Tag Archive for LADOT

E-cargo bikes beat delivery vans in city centers, new and improved LA bike lanes, and who’s really in the way

Let’s talk e-cargo bikes.

A new European study shows electric cargo bikes are cleaner and less polluting than typical delivery vans, which isn’t really surprising.

But they’re also faster and more efficient — 60% faster than vans in city centers, resulting in significantly more deliveries per hour.

And they’re even cleaner than electric vans, emitting a full third less carbon — and 90% less than diesel vans.

As an added bonus, they have a far smaller impact on urban congestion.

Here’s what The Guardian had to say

Home deliveries have soared in recent years, spurred by online shopping and the coronavirus pandemic. Vans can travel along clear stretches of road at higher speeds than cargo bikes but are slowed by congestion and the search for parking. Cargo bikes bypass traffic jams, take shortcuts through streets closed to through traffic and ride to the customers door.

“Recent estimates from Europe suggest that up to 51% of all freight journeys in cities could be replaced by cargo bike,” said Ersilia Verlinghieri at the Active Travel Academy at the University of Westminster and lead author of the report. “So it’s remarkable to see that, if even just a portion of this shift were to happen in London, it would be accompanied by not only dramatic reduction of CO2 emissions, but also contribute to a considerable reduction of risks from air pollution and road traffic collisions, whilst ensuring an efficient, fast and reliable urban freight system.”

In other words, cargo bikes for the win.

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Speaking of which, our German correspondent Ralph Durham forwards photos of the the wide variety of work bikes he found on a recent visit to Strasbourg, France.

Starting with a food delivery bike for a Japanese restaurant…

A postal bike…

And what appears to be a bakery bike.

Finally, he sends this photo of an electric flatbed bike towing a trailer, which was picking up food waste from a restaurant for treatment offsite.

But as drivers and NIMBYs keep reminding us, you can’t carry things on a bicycle, let alone make deliveries.

Right?

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Maybe there’s more going on that it seems.

Streetsblog reports on a number of new and improved bike lanes in the LA area, including in Downtown LA, South LA, Koreatown and the San Fernando Valley.

Then again, it seems like nothing is going on outside of DTLA, so anything is an improvement.

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Your old bike could have been a Volvo.

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This is what LA could look like in just two short years with a little more leadership.

Okay, a lot more leadership.

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They should put this on the cover of every driver’s instruction manual and owner’s manual in the country.

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

Culver City police are still looking for the bike-riding man who assaulted a young woman last month.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. Three innocent people were killed in a violent Burbank collision when a speeding driver slammed into their car on a quiet surface street; the killer driver may have been racing with the driver of another car, who also crashed.

LA City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez calls for redesigning streets to put a stop to street racing. Making them bike and pedestrian friendly helps, too.

 

State

Sad news from San Jose, where a man died a day after he was struck by a driver when he allegedly ran a red light on his bike. As usual, the question is whether anyone saw him run the light, other than the driver who hit him.

 

National

Streetsblog says the new bipartisan infrastructure bill could be better for active transportation than it seems, with hidden clauses within the bill that could benefit bike riders and pedestrians.

They get it. CityLab says if you want safer streets, get rid of dangerously aggressive language in car and truck commercials. But you may have to give up your email address if you want to read it.

Putting a bike rack on your car can significantly reduce your gas mileage. So you might as well just ride your bike in the first place.

Apparently firm believers in thinking small, Civilized Cycles thinks their new ebike could replace your second car. Because replacing your first — or only — car is just a bridge too far for them, evidently.

A 14-year old Washington boy made it all the way across the US on a fundraising bike ride to see the Statue of Liberty, accompanied by his 72-year old grandfather.

A woman in Maine put together a virtual posse and got her stolen bicycle back within days, although the ukulele she kept on the handlebars may be gone forever.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner is turning Eastern Tennessee into the hub for his new bike line. And wants to turn it into what he calls “Carbon Fiber Valley.”

The Cherokee Nation is now accepting applications for next year’s 950-mile Remember the Removal bike tour retracing the infamous Trail of Tears through seven states. But you have to be Cherokee to apply.

 

International

Forget the best ebike. Treehugger considers what would be a good design for both older and beginner ebike riders.

Yes, you can put a bike rack on your car in Costa Rica. Just be sure to mount your bikes correctly.

A new London resident tries the city’s bikeshare for the first time, and it completely changes his view of the city. Let alone how fast he could get around.

You know there’s a problem when seven people have been killed riding their bikes at the same London junction in the past 13 years, where long-promised safety improvements have yet to materialize.

A pair of Bengaluru bike riders are attempting to set a new record by riding 15,000 miles through 29 Indian states and 2 territories in 200 days.

 

Competitive Cycling

More troubles for Britain’s Olympic cycling team, with reports that the radical new design of the team’s track bikes may have been stolen from a design patented by famed cycling engineer and aerodynamicist Richard McAinsh and his Dutch bike brand.

Good news from Tokyo, where BMX cyclist Connor Fields was released from the hospital just five days after a horrific crash during a preliminary heat put him in the ICU with a brain hemorrhage, collapsed lung and broken ribs.

Danish team pursuit cyclist Frederik Madsen finally apologized to the British rider he unceremoniously yelled at after slamming into him while looking down at the track.

 

Finally…

Strap one on your handlebars, and never get bit by another mosquito when you ride. If you’re going to steal a bike, return it with a note saying you’re sorry.

And sometimes, other road users just jump right out at you.

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

More talk about dogs on bikes, LADOT wins awards for pandemic response, and Ohio cops run over shooting victim

Let’s talk dogs on bikes.

Earlier this week, we mentioned a story with tips on how to ride a bike with your dog.

Something I hope to do with our corgi, once I find a decent e-cargo bike I can mange to ride without her killing me.

And something Adam Ginsberg is already doing with his.

Well now…..it’s just so happens I started riding with our rescued Boston Terrier, Bailey, last July. During one of our daily walks, my wife and I saw a man riding with his dog…but the dog was in a backpack!! I had a good hunch Bailey would enjoy doing the same. So, I employed my mAd Google sKiLlz, and found…..www.k9sportsack.com.

They have all manner of pooch backpack goodness so us 2 legged humans can take our 4 legged family members on adventures. Within a few days, a pack arrived, and I immediately set about training Bailey to ride. My hunch proved correct, and she fell in love with riding.

To help protect her vulnerable eyes, I added a pair of Rex-Specs, too.

Now, we go on rides 2-3 times a week, down to the beach, and thru downtown Ventura, where the city closed off Main Street to cars and opened it up to restaurants, shops, people and bikes (yay!!!).

We get so many great reactions – people from 1 to 100 love seeing us riding around town.  We regularly are asked if they can take a picture, and Bailey never says no.

I already have the backpack Ginsberg mentioned, a gift from a fellow corgi aficionado. And a pair of pink corgi-sized goggles that our last corgi never took to.

So maybe I’ll have to give it a try once my hands heal enough to get back on a bike.

Photo by Adam Ginsberg

Photo by Adam Ginsberg

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Maybe LADOT had a better year than we thought.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation received four Outstanding Project Awards from the Metropolitan Los Angeles Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The agency was recognized for —

  • An outstanding emergency response/preparedness project award for its COVID-19 pandemic response programs, including the al fresco dining program, slow streets program, automated touchless traffic signals, and support for COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites.
  • An outstanding bikeways and trails project award for the new protected bike lanes on Fifth and Sixth streets from Spring Street to Central Avenue.
  • An outstanding applied mapping technology project award for its GIS strategic plan, which uses all available department and city data to create a network to identify priority projects for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Green New Deal.
  • An outstanding big data project award for its pandemic travel behavior study, which analyzed travel trends during the pandemic, affirming long-standing racial inequities created by decades of policies oppressing people of color.

What’s not on the list, of course, is any mention of popup bike lanes created during the pandemic. Because there weren’t any, unlike most other major cities.

Nor was there any attempt to speed up implementation of the city’s mobility plan or traffic elements of the Green New Deal while traffic was lighter during the pandemic, squandering a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

There was also no mention of an award for implementing LA’s Vision Zero program, apparently acknowledging that nibbling around the edges with easy to implement, non-controversial projects will never make a significant dent in the city’s traffic fatality rate.

A rate that’s measured in broken human lives and shattered families.

So let’s all give LADOT a warm and well-deserved round of applause for what they accomplished last year.

While recognizing that it’s nowhere near enough. And that we’ll be paying for a generation for what wasn’t done when they had the chance.

Evidently, I’m not the only one who thinks so.

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And yes, it can be done, if we have the will to do it.

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This is who we share the road with.

After an Ohio man was shot by an assailant, he was run over by a driver as he lay bleeding in the street before paramedics could get to him.

Or rather, he was run over by the police officer responding to the call, who was too busy reading street address numbers to pay attention to the roadway ahead of her.

Never mind the actual crime scene.

And never mind that the initial police report didn’t even mention the collision, which the police chief later wrote off as just an oopsie.

No word on whether it was the oopsie or the gun actually killed the poor guy.

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LA County wants your input on how we’ll all get around in the eastern San Gabriel Valley in the years to come.

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GCN considers how to avoid bonking on your next long ride.

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

This is what it’s like to get buzzed — repeatedly — by Denver motorcycle cops in violation of Colorado’s three-foot passing law.

A Toronto bike rider exchanged more than words with a road raging driver, puncturing the pickup’s tire as the driver got back in, then attempting in vain to escape as the irate man chased him down and grabbed his bike, smashing it against a building.

https://twitter.com/livingbyyyz/status/1404959122202808320

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

After a man violently punched an Orthodox Jewish boy on LA’s Melrose Ave for no apparent reason, his bike-riding friend walked up and threatened to kill the boy’s entire family, as well as a bystander who was documenting the assault.

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Local

More details on yesterday’s tragic news about the fatal driveby shooting of a 22-year old man in South LA, which also wounded an eight-year old girl; the victim was Marcelis Gude, son of the man behind the Twitter account @FilmThePoliceLA, who was apparently mistaken for a gang member as he stood speaking with a woman. The girl, who is in stable condition, was just collateral damage, caught up in the gunfire as she was riding by on her bike.

 

State

Nice. San Diego’s $30 million spacious, curb-protected Rose Creek Bikeway is wide open and ready to ride.

The California Coastal Commission gave the thumbs-up to expanding Santa Barbara’s bikeshare system along the city’s waterfront, while giving a solid thumbs-down to an appeal from a self-appointed city hall watchdog who complains they’ll mar her views.

Treehugger talks with dads who use their cargo bikes to take their kids everywhere, including an English father of two who now lives in Thousand Oaks.

Thirty-one people have suffered broken bones at the hands and batons of Bakersfield cops over the last four years, including a 37-year old man who was beaten for the crime of not having a light on his bicycle, ending up with a compound fracture and charges for assaulting an officer and resisting arrest by allowing them to beat him.

 

National

Cycling Weekly considers how to safely store your ebike.

Next City says cars want the streets back now that the pandemic is — hopefully — ending, but cities would be better off without them.

Regardless of what the advertorials say, no bike lock offers “impenetrable bike security;” with the right tools and enough time, a determined bike thief can get through anything.

Support is growing for a repeal of Seattle’s counterproductive bike helmet mandate, which is blamed for unfairly targeting riders of color.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the bicycle a 57-year-old Arizona man with autism and schizophrenia used as his only form of transportation, as well as therapy

Not only is RAGBAI back this year, you can leave your mask at home for the annual ride across Iowa.

Members of a Twin Cities Facebook group were honored by the Minneapolis Police Department for helping capture a wanted felon while trying to recover a stolen bike; the group has helped return more than 100 stolen bicycles to their owners over the past five years.

The Green Bay Packers annual tradition of borrowing bicycles from young fans to ride the last few yards to training camp could be in jeopardy for the second year in a row, as the NFL warns players not to interact with fans due to Covid risks.

New York graffiti artist Futura has teamed with Cinelli for a line of bikewear, recalling his days as a bicycle messenger.

A team of New York developers has come its senses, and will stop fighting the legally required 286 bike parking spaces for an 83-story mixed-use tower in Midtown.

A WaPo columnist says Republicans could actually improve Biden’s infrastructure proposal by ensuring the money is spent well, rather than merely on how much gets spent.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution profiles the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, and their efforts to make bicycling safer and more comfortable in the Big Peach.

 

International

Cycling News says no, you can’t legally chip your ebike to overcome the manufacturer’s speed limitations. But you can make other improvements, starting with a second battery.

An Ottawa, Canada man was overjoyed to get his stolen bike back, newly repaired by a local bike shop; he had initially gone viral for wishing the thief well when it was stolen back in January, saying he hoped they treated it with respect and enjoyed the ride.

The numbers don’t lie. Montreal’s new bicycle network is a clear success, with over 6,200 riders passing a bike counter on the 2nd of this month; anything over 4,000 daily riders is considered exceptional usage.

A London writer is terrified of being run down by someone on an e-scooter, while another woman says a teenage boy riding one once crashed into her.

A British man learns the hard way that just because you’ve safely left your vintage bike outside for the last decade doesn’t mean someone won’t steal it.

That’s more like it. The UK warns local governments to be “ambitious” in bidding for funds for bike projects, suggesting that mere paint won’t make the cut.

A Chinese company wants to put a 23 tool bike multitool in your pocket for just $29 on Kickstarter.

 

Competitive Cycling

Giro champ Egan Bernal had an audience with the pope, and gave the former bike-riding Argentine bishop his winning bike and the winner’s pink jersey.

Racing is underway in the annual cross-country Trans Am Bike Race, as the competitors begin passing through Kansas.

 

Finally…

Never mind your laptop, hackers could be after your Peloton. Riding a bike shouldn’t be a pain in the butt.

And your next bike could be a Louis Vuitton for the low, low price of just $28,900.

For less than that, you could have had a $24,000 Radiohead Brompton.

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

Stripe DTLA bike lanes when fixing streets, Pomona bike rider gravely injured, and new bill ends CA’s auto-centric past

Los Angeles is finally getting around to repaving the streets of DTLA that have been torn up for five years of construction on a new subway connector line.

The problem is, they’re busy restoring them to the same failing, incomplete streets they were before.

While LADOT has made great progress building bike lanes in Downtown Los Angeles — the only neighborhood in all of LA that can claim an actual bike network — they’re still stuck in 1990s thinking, falling far short of what they could, and should, be doing.

This is what the longstanding B.I.K.A.S. — aka Bicycle Infrastructure Knowledge Activism and Safety — blog has to say on the subject.

After adding great new transit stations and new transit service – why restore streets back to the way they were in 2014? Why not upgrade them – adding first/last mile bike lanes to access the new stations?

Street restoration includes several wide streets with plenty of space for bike lanes: Flower Street, Hope Street, Alameda Street, and Temple Street. In addition, the city of L.A.’s Mobility Plan designates protected bike lanes on First Street and Second Street. Short new lanes on Third Street would connect a southbound Flower bike lane to its couplet partner northbound on Figueroa.

If Metro and the city of L.A. act now, they could implement numerous new bike lanes improving downtown’s already fairly good network of bikeways. Implementing them when post-construction streets are due for resurfacing saves the city time and money.

Make that pennies on the dollar compared to what it would cost to strip off the auto-centric painted lanes to add bike lanes at a later date.

Although no one has ever accused Los Angeles of thinking long term.

The blog calls for sending “respectful” emails to city officials, including our future ambassador to India, encouraging them to “implement a first/last mile Regional Connector bikeway network.”

Personally, I’d say demand, rather than encourage. But then, I’ve always been a pushy little son of a mother — especially when my safety and that of others who take to two wheels is concerned.

You’ll find a sample email there you can modify to make you own.

Or just use your own words.

But don’t let them get away with reverting to last century infrastructure in the only LA area where we’re actually making some real progress.

Map shows planned first/last mile bikeway network, from Metro Regional Connector street reconstruction page via B.I.K.A.S.

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Prayers or good thoughts may be called for, whatever you’re comfortable with, after a man was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Pomona Sunday night.

The victim was reportedly in grave condition after paramedics found him unresponsive fallowing the 9:31 pm crash near Fairplex Drive and Arroyo Avenue.

No ID was provided for the victim, and no explanation given for how the crash occurred. However, the driver remained at the scene, and was not considered to be under the influence.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Pomona PD Traffic Services Bureau at 909/802-7741.

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Now here’s a bill we should all be able to get behind.

Calbike is calling for your help to support AB 1147, from Burbank legislator Laura Friedman, which would finally move California out of its auto-centric past and present to a safer and more livable future for all of us.

Imagine a separated, limited access bikeway that gives you a frictionless ride across town or commute to work. That’s not science fiction or the fever dream of a Copenhagen urbanist. Bicycle highways and 15-minute neighborhoods, where most amenities and services are within a 15-minute bike ride, are just two of the forward-thinking concepts in AB 1147.

AB 1147 reorients transportation planning away from the car-choked past and towards a climate- and human-friendly future. It’s a visionary piece of legislation authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

The bill has passed the Assembly, but it faces a tougher fight in the Senate. It needs all the help it can get. Sign the petition to show your support

AB 1147 also envisions 15-minute neighborhoods, where shops and services are an easy bike ride from homes. Please sign now to help us pass this essential legislation.

I just signed it.

So what are your waiting for?

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A new campaign links Paris, New York and London in a data and persuasion driven effort to get their mayors to embrace car-reduction policies.

And renounce once and for all their auto-centric ways.

Car Free Megacities’s dashboard shows the striking similarities and also the differences between London, Paris and New York — the metrics the cities can use to learn rapidly from each other and take actions that will save lives, make streets healthier, pleasanter places and deliver critical progress toward urgent climate goals.

Maybe if we begged them pretty please we could get them to include a certain Left Coast megalopolis that desperately needs to renounce the error of its ways.

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Good Twitter thread from the estimable Peter Flax on the fallacies behind the usual calls for helmet laws and bike licenses, which once again raised their ugly head in NYC.

And coming soon to an anti-bike rant near you.

It’s worth clicking through on the tweets below to read the whole thing.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Claremont Cyclist Michael Wagner, author of CLR Effect, who asks “When is a bike lane not one?”

Answer, “When it is transformed into a garbage collection lane. One of many similar instances we encountered during Saturday’s Ride Around Pomona.”

Sad to see that the blight of bike lane trash bins extends so far east of East LA.

And yes, it’s my fault we don’t hear from Michael more often, since he’s always got something worthwhile to say.

So check it out.

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Don’t count on securing your own Metro bike locker anytime soon.

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These days, we all feel like refugees on SoCal streets.

Thanks to David Drexler for the photo of a proposed Beverly Hills “refuge.”

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Phillip Young calls our attention to a free exhibit of Italian steel at La Jolla’s The Museum Of __, which is apparently still trying to define just who and what they are.

But as long as they want to talk bikes, I’m okay with that.

3 Italian Steel Bicycles

From the Collection of Ron Miriello
June 5, 2021 through July 17, 2021

The Museum Of__ is pleased to present an exhibition of vintage steel bicycles handcrafted and built throughout Italy between 1978 and 1986 from the personal collection of Ron Miriello, a San Diego-based graphic designer, artist, and Italophile. For decades, Italian steel bicycles have been synonymous with finely detailed craftsmanship and storied histories, from their hand-painted lettering and unique details etched in steel, to headtube badges and wool jerseys celebrating the pride of their cities and villages.

Though once there was a bicycle maker in most every Italian town, streamlined manufacturing has shifted the bicycle world’s ethos and desire for more advanced technologies. A globalized industry has challenged the future of these family-run operations in favor of mass-production, but their stories of dedication to the craft continue through a community of devoted collectors of these steel wonders around the globe.

The exhibition is open from 11 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Saturday, at 7655 Girard Ave in La Jolla.

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

New York police are looking for a man who repeatedly punched a man in the face as he rode a Flatbush train with his bike, after they had an argument on the train.

A road raging Pennsylvania driver beat a bike-riding man with a golf club after trying, and failing, several times to swerve into him.

A 30-year old Welsh woman justifiably told off a male driver for making sexual remarks as she was riding her bike. Which is just one of the many things that can drive women off their bikes. So stop it, already. 

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Local

Spectrum News 1 looks at the recent rankings from PeopleForBikes, which shows Los Angeles trailing far behind other large cities when it comes to bicycling.

The cable news site also examines the LACBC’s virtual LA Rivers Challenge, which is continuing throughout this month.

LA casual bikewear brand Swrve gets a well-deserved shoutout in the New York Times, as they examine the shorts staffers will be wearing in comfort this summer.

 

State

A La Jolla cardiologist probably saved his own life by promising to tell police he was injured in a mountain biking crash, rather than suffering a severe beating at the hands of his neighbor, who pled to 19-years behind bars.

That feeling when you freak out after spotting creepy cloaked men in the middle of the desert on Google Earth, including one with a bicycle. Only to discover it’s an art exhibit in the middle of Death Valley.

In a bizarre disconnect, a study from Oakland’s Department of Transportation confirms that protected bike lanes are the safest. But they want to rip out the successful protected bike lanes on iconic Telegraph Avenue anyway.

 

National

Next City says Europe has taken great strides to reduce the dangers motor vehicles pose to bike riders and pedestrians, but automakers on this side of the Atlantic have yet to address America’s addiction to deadly SUVS, as well as their own insistence on making them bigger and deadlier with every passing model year.

The Manual recommends bicycling gifts for adventurous dads. But Road Bike Action thinks you’d rather have some colorful national park bike socks.

Survivors of the Kalamazoo Massacre reunite five years later to remember the five bike riders killed by an extremely intoxicated driver, who also injured four other bicyclists; Charles Pickett Jr. was eventually sentenced to 40-75 years bars for their deaths.

A three-year old Brooklyn nonprofit “builds, donates and rents adapted bikes to kids and adults with disabilities unable to use standard bikes.”

A New York state senator commuted to work by bike over the weekend — 164 miles from Queens to the state capitol in Albany.

 

International

Road.cc recommends 15 birthday presents for the bicyclist in your life, starting at the equivalent of $21. Even if the only bicyclist in your life is you.

For people who can never spend too much on bikewear, Britain’s Rapha introduces their first mountain bike collection.

The Dutch Grand Prix is asking motorsports fans to bike, rather than drive, to watch the F1 race amid the country’s coastal dunes.

A 68-year old Nigerian man vows to keep riding the bicycle he bought 40 years ago for the equivalent of less than six dollars, saying only death can separate him from his beloved bike.

BTS fans call the new song Bicycle by band member RM that we linked to yesterday a masterpiece, as a website offers an English translation of the first verse and bike-friendly chorus. Then again, their fans would probably think it’s a masterpiece if he read a box of corn flakes.

Two Philippine men were killed by a bomb blast as they were riding their bikes past a mine site, which was targeted by a rebel group.

 

Competitive Cycling

Jumbo-Visma cyclists Sepp Kuss and Jonas Vingegaard came up short during the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, but sport director Grisha Niermann insists they’re on the right track for next month’s Tour de France.

VeloNews offers a middle-of-the-action photo essay from this past Saturday’s Gravel Unbound race in Kansas, formerly known as the Dirty Kanza.

 

Finally…

James Joyce as a mediocre bike racer. Probably not the best idea to flee from the police on your bicycle after pointing a pretty damn realistic cap gun at a driver.

And now you know why there’s so many typos on here. She’s a hard worker, but can’t type worth a damn.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Able-bodied mtn biker confronts disabled ebike rider, Metrolink helps promote bikes, and redesigning LA’s worst intersections

A video from last fall has popped up again, causing fresh outrage online.

Justifiable outrage, for a change.

David Wolfberg forwards a story from Boing Boing that picks up a video we posted last September, showing an able-bodied mountain biker complaining about a disabled rider’s adaptive ebike, and demanding to see the rule allowing him to use it on the Indiana trail.

Maybe you’ll remember it.

Lord knows I do.

The story doesn’t end there, though, as reprehensible as this uncomprehending attack on a disabled man is.

Wolfberg also forwards videos revealing the disabled man, Tom Morris, to be a noted endurance athlete and coach.

And yes, going back to the original video, Morris had every right to ride it on the trail according to this piece from Road.cc.

Morris…has since said he has been in touch with Terry Coleman, the deputy director of Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), who told him that his bike was perfectly legal to ride on trails.

Morris said: “What I’m on is not an e-bike, it’s an adaptive piece of equipment. And adaptive equipment is allowed on all of the trails throughout all of Indiana. So if you’ve got this equipment, get out and use it, use it in the state parks, use it on these trails.”

Morris also said Coleman told him that the DNR had actually just bought 12 “off-roading wheelchairs”, to give disabled people in the state more access to trails and paths for leisure activities.

So the next time you find tempted to criticize someone else for some infraction, real or imagined, think twice.

Then don’t.

There may be some reason why they’re doing what they’re doing. And it doesn’t really matter whether you understand or agree with it.

Because it’s not your job to enforce the rules, any more than driveway vigilante drivers have the right to enforce their interpretations — or misinterpretations, more often — of bike laws on you.

Try a little empathy and understanding instead.

And maybe make this world a little better for all of us in the process.

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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Remember this tweet the next time someone insists Los Angeles isn’t (insert more progressive city here).

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Metrolink is teaming with the LACBC to promote bicycling as Bike Month sinks slowly in the west.

Taking Metrolink makes a great way to explore other parts of Southern California by bike, especially with their $10 weekend fares.

And particularly now that it’s getting safer to get back on a train.

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Great thread from 18-year old housing and transportation enthusiast Zennon Ulyate-Crow, who is doing the work LADOT should be doing to reimagine some of LA’s most problematic intersections.

Here’s his latest project, which turns an East Hollywood mess into something we could all live with.

Let’s hope LADOT is already keeping an eye on him, with the promise of a job once he gets his degree.

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Speaking of LADOT, it seems the ostensibly progressive department ostensibly focused on Compete Streets still hasn’t gotten the message of the mayor’s Green New Deal — that we have to reimagine our streets and how we get around if we’re going to meet the city’s climate change goals, let alone survive.

Or maybe they still have old school engineers on staff who retain their focus on automotive throughput, as an obsolete plan to widen Burbank Blvd rises from the dead.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton busts the myths in Metro’s half billion dollar highway budget for next year, saying this is not what Angelenos voted for when they approved Measure M funding.

With auto-centric crap like this is still being pushed by Metro and LADOT, maybe we can’t afford to wait, and need to get Ulyate-Crow working there now.

Or better yet, running it.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to instruct you in how to wear a bike helmet.

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

No bias here. San Carlos has installed a bicycle dismount zone where people are supposed to get off their bikes and walk them across an intersection to “minimize conflicts between vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.” Even though bike riders have every right to just ride across the damn street.

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

A man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was sentenced to 25 years behind bars for fatally shooting another man who tried to take his bicycle from outside a convenience store.

A Jackson, Mississippi man is on trial for fatally shooting a 14-year old boy in the back after one of the boy’s friends stole a bike from his yard. We all hate bike thieves. But no bicycle is ever worth a human life. 

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Local

Streets For All introduces Destruction for Nada, a much-needed campaign to stop all highway widening in LA County, as Metro considers an induced-demand boosting jump in highway spending at Thursday’s board meeting, along with a proposal to kill the wasteful and destructive $8 billion plan to widen the 710 Freeway. It’s long past time all of Metro’s funding was shifted to transit and Complete Streets.

Speaking of Streets For All and highways, mark your calendar for Wednesday, June 9th, as they host another of their virtual happy hours, featuring Caltrans District 7 Director Tony Tavares.

LAist examines the battle over the Beautiful Boulevard plan to create a livable Complete Street along the route of the planned NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit line through Eagle Rock.

 

State

Antioch could build the Bay Area’s first Bicycle Garden, a fully landscaped miniature streetscape within an existing park to teach bicycling skills to kids and adults.

The post-pandemic reopening is raising a debate over the streets of San Francisco, as advocates call for keeping closed-off streets carfree, while drivers insist they need the roads open to get around. That’s a debate that should be happening in Los Angeles, as well, as the city faces an urgent need to reimagine how people get around in order to meet climate goals, and confront the ever-increasing congestion on our streets. But isn’t. 

San Francisco installs the city’s first advisory lane, where bike riders use bike lanes on either side of the street, while drivers in both directions share a single center lane.

Sad news from Northern California, where a man riding a bike in Cottonwood was killed by a hit-and-run driver who just left him on the side of the road to die. As we’ve said before, in cases like that, the driver should face a murder charge once they’re caught for making the conscious decision to let their victim die.

 

National

Marketplace reports on why you should care about the draft update to the MUTCD, the country’s traffic control bible.

The NRDC has rejected the proposed federal highway bill under consideration in the US Senate, calling it a small step when we need a great leap.

Bicycling explains why you should ride your bike for fun more often. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

An anonymous donor gave a whopping $1 million to purchase land for mountain bike trails on Washington’s Bainbridge Island, as well as conserving land and expanding an existing dog park.

A Chicago man took an “epic” bike ride across Indiana just to dine at the nearest Waffle House. Although the real story is how he was able to make almost the entire trip on offroad bike paths.

The New York Times offers a photo essay examining bike style around the city. These days my only sense of style is whatever will look least humiliating in public.

Island Press introduces Bike Easy, which has played a significant role in the remarkable transformation of New Orleans into a bike friendly — or at least, friendlier — city.

Miami joins the Vision Zero club, as the city announces plans to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Let’s hope they take it more seriously than Los Angeles does, like planning to remove bike lanes and sidewalks to widen Burbank Blvd.

 

International

Momentum Magazine offers a primer on the different types of cargo bikes.

An IT professional from a tiny Uruguayan pueblo is now riding a bicycle through Mexico, in the fourth year of his quixotic quest to ride from Uruguay to Alaska.

A Canadian girl got a new BMX bike for being honest enough to return a bike a stranger had given her, after learning it had been stolen. Although the question is why did a stranger give her a stolen bike to begin with.

This is who we share the road with. A British man will spend six years behind bars for intentionally running down and killing another driver in a road rage dispute.

The UK press continues their onslaught of photos contradicting Prince Harry’s claim that he was never he was able to ride a bike with his father, heir-to-the-thrown Prince Charles.

Members of a Dublin bike club testify that a speeding driver rounded a bend on the wrong side of the roadway moments before slamming into a woman who couldn’t get her bike off the road in time; the driver is on trial for her death.

You’ve got to be kidding. When a Welsh bicyclist tried to take video of dangerous drivers to the local police, they threatened to charge him for swearing at the motorists who nearly killed him, instead.

The Air Force Times tells the story of a top secret suicide squad of bike-riding Jewish commandos dropped behind German lines during World War II.

More proof that bicycling pays. A study of bike paths in Helsinki, Finland, shows a gain of the equivalent of $4.41 for every $1.22 spent to place bikeways along major arteries in the city. Then again, they increase property values, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

The BBC questions whether anyone can beat Columbia’s Egan Bernal, saying the pink leader’s jersey is his to lose.

However, Cycling Weekly says the race is far from over, and offers five things to watch for as it enters its final week.

American Joe Dombrowski rode the cycling roller coaster in the just the first week of the Giro, going from winning a stage one day to crashing out the next.

Cycling Tips introduces Tim Declercq, who they call one of the world’s best domestiques, and who is always at the front of the action.

International politics once again reaches into the sports world, as Germany responds to the hijacking and apparent torture of an opposition journalist in Belarus by pulling out of next month’s Elite Track European Championships in the country. And yes, that’s the right move; hopefully other countries will follow their lead.

Durango, Colorado’s annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic mountain bike race has proven to be a launching pad for cycling careers, including rising US WorldTour star Sepp Kuss.

 

Finally…

The answer to N+1 could soon be a subscription. Your next ebike could go 40 mph — as long as you’re willing to get a helmet, registration and motorcycle license.

And if your toddler feels left out by the time you spend on your Peloton, just build him one of his own.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Welcome to a pandemic Bike Week, Newsom gives extra half billion to active transportation, and don’t Koretz our streets

Welcome to Bike Week 2021.

Such as it is.

Thanks to year two of the pandemic, there’s no opening event, no Blessing of the Bicycles, and no pit stops on Friday’s Bike Anywhere Day — the Covid inspired replacement for Bike to Work Day.

But Metro is trying to fill the gap with a series of online bike classes ranging from basic bicycle repair and maintenance to how to use bikeshare.

Speaking of bikeshare, they’re offering a free 1-ride Metro Bike pass this Friday only, using promo code 052121, or half-off a 365-Day Pass using Promo code: BIKEANYWHERE2021.

You can also get a one-year Metro Bike Hub pass for just $20 this month, two-thirds off the usual $60. Register here with promo code MAY2021.

Metrolink — no relation to Metro, despite the similar names — is offering free rides to anyone with a bicycle this week. Which is a great excuse to hop a train to Ventura, San Bernardino or Oceanside to try riding somewhere new.

The LACBC is continuing their Bike Month Photo Scavenger Hunt all month, in conjunction with Las Fotos.

And Wednesday marks the annual Ride of Silence to remember fallen bicyclists; sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any rides scheduled in the LA area this year.

Hopefully this damn disease will be behind us soon, and we can bounce back with an even bigger and better Bike Week next year.

Photo by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

………

Okay, so I screwed up on Friday.

Thanks to Joe Linton for pointing out that I had the wrong link to LADOT’s virtual public meeting to discuss closing the infamous Northvale Gap on the Expo Bike Path.

The meeting will take place this Wednesday at 5pm; advance registration is required.

The .7 mile gap in the bike path was forced by homeowners in Cheviot Hills, who settled for stopping the bike path through their neighborhood after failing to stop the Expo Line itself — somehow fearing that the bike path would bring some sort of criminal element, who would bike off with their bigass flatscreens.

Metro and city officials decided it would be easier to leave the gap and just build the train line, and come back to to close it at a later date — and at a much higher cost.

But the joke was on the homeowners, since the gap in the bikeway forces riders to take a more circuitous route in front of their homes, rather than on the other side of a wall behind them.

The usual NIMBYs will undoubtedly be out in force to oppose it. So make sure to attend if you can to voice your support.

This is what Streets For All is asking for.

We encourage you to attend and to make public comment asking that:

  • the bike path be open to people on bikes 24/7 (there is a NIMBY effort to close it after dark)
  • the bike path have multiple access points to maximize convenience for people on bikes (there is a NIMBY effort to limit access)
  • the bike lanes on Motor be physically protected from moving car traffic

………

Governor Gavin Newsom is tossing bike riders and pedestrians a half-billion dollar Active Transportation bone, although that’s just a small part of the state’s $79 billion pandemic tax windfall.

Never mind that he seems to be doing his best to buy a victory in the upcoming recall by spreading state money around to everyone.

………

I wasn’t the one who first turned “Jerry Brown” into a verb meaning a dangerously close pass, after he vetoed not one, but two three-foot passing laws before finally signing a much weaker version.

But I sure as hell did everything I could to popularize and spread it.

Now Alissa Walker has turned pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz into a verb, as well.

As in CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León tried to Koretz Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard plan.

And it couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1393556992917078016

………

This is who we share the road with.

………

9 to 5 Mac puts Apple’s new AirTag to the test for a simulated bike theft. And likes the result.

………

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

No bias here. A London paper tries to stir up anger with a one hour time-lapse camera showing barely any bicyclists using a new bike lane, as drivers complain about snarled traffic. Even though it doesn’t look very snarled. It also does say what time of day the video was taken; it was likely filmed at the slowest part of the day.

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

An unidentified man escaped by bicycle following a failed attempt to scale a wall into Ben Affleck’s Los Angeles home, after he was chased off by paparazzi.

………

Local

Metro plans to boost spending on induced demand by 80% in their upcoming budget, devoting $212 million to widening highways and other highway “improvements;” it will be on the agenda of their meeting this Wednesday. Eagle Rock’s resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard will also be on the agenda.

Hancock Park residents opposed LADOT’s Stress Free Connections plan for a safer and more bikeable 4th Street, with the head of the homeowner’s association saying “We want to make the neighborhood safer for everyone, not just those riding bicycles,” apparently failing to grasp that making it safer for bicyclists makes it safer for everyone.

Santa Clarita held their Bike to Work Week last week, and a community bike ride, complete with goody bags, on Saturday.

Long Beach may consider building a three-mile pedestrian pathway alongside the San Gabriel River bike path.

 

State

Call it a good argument badly framed. A columnist for the Southern California New Group points out the reasons why bike riders should be allowed to treat stop signs as yields. Although he calls it blowing though stop signs, a phrase that is guaranteed to piss drivers off.

San Diego is also dropping Bike to Work Day in favor of Bike Anywhere Week this week.

Speaking of San Diego, the city appears to be making progress with Vision Zero, as traffic deaths and serious injuries dropped for the second straight year.

The Bakersfield Californian calls for allowing ebikes and scooters on the 30+ mile Kern River Parkway Trail. Although they awkwardly refer to them as “motorized vehicles,” which likely means something entirely different to most people.

 

National

A new study from the CDC reports there were 596,972 emergency department visits for bicycle-related traumatic brain injuries in the ten years from 2009 to 2018; surprisingly, that represents a 5.5% decrease for adults, and a nearly 50% drop children. Although that could reflect a decrease in ridership among children as much as improved safety.

Gear Patrol recommends their favorite fixies, with prices ranging from $299 to $1199.

No bias here. A bad take from an insurance company based in the Pacific Northwest, which says there’s a “battle for road supremacy” in Portland and Seattle between drivers and increased numbers of people on bikes. Even though their survey shows half of the people who responded think bikes and cars share the road well.

A retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist rode his bike across the Permian Basin oil fields in New Mexico and Texas to call attention to climate change.

Heartbreaking news from Chicago, where a 13-year old boy was critically wounded when he was shot in the head and neck in a driveby shooting as he was riding his bicycle. There’s just no damn excuse for that crap. Period.

Tragic news from New Hampshire, where a 69-year old man was killed when he was struck by a bike rider as he was crossing the street. Another reminder to always slow down and ride carefully around pedestrians, who can be unpredictable and don’t always look for bikes when they step out into the street. Which is not to say that’s what happened here.

A kindhearted New York filmmaker gave his own bike to a young man who recently rode a heavy bikeshare bike up a local mountain.

 

International

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter questions why ebike regulations are so random, and no one is looking at them as part of the larger transportation picture.

A travel website looks at the world’s most dangerous mountain bike trails. Which is a large part of the appeal to some people. 

A Montreal woman is devoting her time to ensuring kids get bikes despite the short supply cause by the bike boom by passing along donated bicycles to underprivileged children; she’s given away over 250 bikes since March.

If you insist on stealing a bicycle, probably not the best idea to steal an English police bike.

An Irish man is riding his bike over 1,700 miles from Dublin to where he first met the love of his life in Spain to raise funds to fight Motor Neuron Disease, after she succumbed to the disease at just 31-years old.

Forget an inflatable helmet. A French company is introducing an airbag jacket that inflates if you crash or fall. As long as you have an extra nine hundred bucks to buy one.

Break India’s Covid curfew and you might have to do sit-ups in the street and carry your bike back home.

A Singapore writer says “errant cycling” gives the rest of us a bad name, and “we could all stand to exercise more graciousness.”

An Australian woman cried tears of joy after receiving a custom adaptive bicycle, following the loss of both legs and most of her fingers to a bacterial infection.

 

Competitive Cycling

French cyclist Victor Lafay won his first Grand Tour stage in Saturday’s stage eight of the Giro

About damn time. The organizer of the Tour de France says they’re going to bring back the women’s TdF after more than thirty years, with the first edition to come sometime after the men’s race. But he made it clear not to expect parity with the men’s Tour.

SoCal bike racing is back with the season opener for the California Bicycle Racing 2021 CBR Criterium Series; L39ION of Los Angeles swept the podium for the men’s pro race, while Serious Cycling’s Chloe Patrick took the women’s race.

 

Finally…

Why vacuum with a Dyson when you can ride one, instead? That feeling when you accidentally photobomb a soccer team bus with your bakfiets and a poodle.

And probably not the best idea to jump into a river to avoid the police, after drunkenly smashing your head into a storefront window, and attempting to jack a bike.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Death of DC bike advocate reveals LA safety failures, LADOT bike count up 22%, and arrested for Biking While Black

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words following my surgery earlier this month. 

My fumble fingers are finally functional again, even though the swollen new Frankenhand they’re attached to is still almost, sort of, not really, kind of back to normal.

But it’ll get there. And nearly two weeks after surgery, the pain is already better than it was before, so there’s that.

Meanwhile, we have a lot to catch up on.

It will take a few days to catch up on all the bike news we missed, but I’ll make sure we don’t miss out on anything important. 

So let’s get started on the first installment. 

And my apologies for the near-total lack of credits today; with one exception forwarded by multiple people yesterday, I lost track of who sent what to my attention during my extended downtime, which is going to be a problem until we get caught up. 

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels.

……..

Heartbreaking news from DC, where a longtime bike advocate was killed in a collision, just hours after tweeting about the dangers on the city’s streets.

Here’s how the Washington Post described it.

(Jim) Pagels was struck in a horrific chain-reaction crash along Massachusetts Avenue NW, about a mile from his home on Capitol Hill, his family said. The avid rider and self-described urbanist who was in his second year of a doctorate program in economics, died at a hospital.

Pagels’s sister, Laura Menendez, described her brother as funny, smart and passionate about many things — pursuing his postgraduate studies, playing tennis and board games, and traveling by bike.

“He had a good heart,” Menendez said. “And he was such a huge advocate for bike safety.”

The paper also quotes a friend of Pagels.

“He was so excited about working in that urban space,” said Finn Vigeland, a close friend who met Pagels while the two worked on the Columbia Daily Spectator. “He was well aware of the dangers of cycling . . . but he loved biking, and he wanted everyone to bike. He wanted everyone to feel like this was the best way to get around D.C…

I hope our city leaders hear about Jim and understand the life that was so senselessly taken away on Friday. He cared so deeply about the injustices that led to his death, and he would want us to be furious about it,” Vigeland said. “I hope that knowing that this was something Jim was working so hard to change might prompt people to take bolder action.”

Let’s hope city leaders get the message here, too.

Before it’s too late for someone else.

Meanwhile, a writer for the LA Times took the death of his friend and former college classmate personally.

And used the tragedy as a springboard to call for safer streets, and talk with Michael Schneider, founder of LA street safety PAC Streets For All.

It doesn’t take long for their conversation to get to the heart of the problems on our streets.

ME: Six years ago, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti set a goal of zero traffic-related deaths by 2025, part of the global Vision Zero initiative. So far, we’re not on track to meet that goal. My colleague Steve Lopez recently reported that 238 people died in car crashes in Los Angeles last year — only a tiny decrease from 2019 despite significantly reduced traffic due to COVID-19, and just 8% less than the first full year Garcetti’s policy was in effect. What is going on?

SCHNEIDER: Our city is very good at plans and goals and not very good at implementation. Can you imagine if you were a heart surgeon and people were coming in for heart surgery, and no one would let you operate? Vision Zero is a laudable goal, but until we have a City Council and a mayor who will spend the political capital to make the tough decisions and deal with NIMBY blowback to make changes to our streets, it’s never going to happen…

ME: Where has Mayor Garcetti been on safe streets?

SCHNEIDER: Absent. He says all the right stuff, and he hires great people, like Seleta Reynolds. He will never risk his neck at all for a bike lane or a bus lane.

But I think we’re on the cusp of some exciting changes, especially because the city of Los Angeles has now aligned their elections with federal elections, and the turnout is so much larger and so much more progressive. I think we are on the cusp of truly having different political leadership, where a guy like Paul Koretz, who’s termed out, couldn’t win in 2022 and beyond. And where someone like Nithya Raman, who had making the city more bikeable in her campaign messaging, can defeat an incumbent.

Then there was this about the recent failed attempt to make iconic Melrose Ave safer and more livable for everyone.

ME: Talking about blowback, I read the post you wrote about the proposed “Uplift Melrose” project, which would have added protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks and shaded seating areas along a 1.3-mile stretch of Melrose Avenue. There was broad support from local businesses, but City Councilmember Paul Koretz effectively killed the proposal. Why is it so difficult politically to get changes like these approved?

SCHNEIDER: Opponents typically say the following: If you remove parking or reduce car capacity in any way, how are people going to shop or get to businesses? You’re going to kill business. They also ask, “Why would we invest in this when no one uses the bike lanes anyway?” People cite anecdotes of driving by bike lanes and seeing them empty.

If we had a beautiful six-lane paved highway that only went for one mile and then became a dirt road with potholes, how many cars would take that road? That is the equivalent of what we ask people to do when they bike around Los Angeles. If we had a network of protected bike lanes, you would see a ton of people using them. One piece of evidence is CicLAvia. Those events bring out tens of thousands of people to ride their bikes on closed streets.

What happened to Uplift Melrose was egregious even by L.A. standards. Koretz basically became a puppet for mostly white, wealthy homeowners who couldn’t see themselves riding a bike or a bus.

Pagels’ death serves as a tragic reminder of what can happen to anyone on the streets — even though the risk to any one of us at any particular time is infinitesimally small.

But if anything ever happens to me when I’m riding a bicycle, I want you to politicize the hell out of it.

Take what’s left of my body to the city council and dump it on the dais, if you have to.

Metaphorically speaking, of course. Or literally, for that matter.

And if it happens on a street marked for safety improvements in city’s mobility plan, I hope those lawyers up there on the right will join together to sue the hell out of the city for failing to keep their commitment to safer streets.

Or maybe just sue over LA’s failed and forgotten Vision Zero plan to force the cowards we foolishly elected to lead us to the changes we so desperately need on our streets.

………

LADOT has finally release the results of the city’s biennial walk and bike count, which for years has been done on a volunteer basis by the LACBC and later, LA Walks.

Which is something they should have been doing all along.

The result was a 22% increase in bicycle rates from the last count — in 2017.

And yes, they are just now releasing data collected that was collected two years ago, for reasons known only to them.

It also shows how easy it is to boost bicycling with a little decent infrastructure, with a 73% jump in ridership as a result of the protected and separated bike lanes on the MyFigueroa project.

MyFig also resulted the city’s most heavily-trafficked pedestrian corridor, even above the tourist-clogged sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd.

And it points to how Los Angeles can increase the far too low rate of women riding bikes on city streets.

While the report found that women make up 40 percent of pedestrians on weekdays and 44 percent on weekends, women made up just 14 percent of cyclists.  However, the report also indicated a 120 percent increase in female riders on streets improved with dedicated bike paths.

In other words, all they have to do is what the city already committed to in the 2010 bike plan, and the mobility plan that subsumed it.

Not to mention LA’s nearly forgotten Vision Zero and the mayor’s Green New Deal.

………

What the hell.

I’m not sure where this video is from; I can’t make out the the police patches or or the name on the patrol cars.

But something looks seriously wrong about a bunch of while cops taking a young black man into custody for the crime of…wait for it…

…riding a bicycle without lights or licenses.

In the middle of the day, no less.

And while some cities require bikes to be registered, I don’t know any place where police have the authority to seize private property over a handful of minor infractions.

Which would be illegal as hell if they tried to seize someone’s car for an expired license or failing to signal a turn.

Let alone not having their headlights on in broad daylight.

Unfortunately, there’s a term for crap like this — Biking While Black.

And regardless of their motivation, it makes the cops look racist AF.

Thanks to Jon, Megan Lynch and Stacey Kline for the heads-up. 

And if anyone knows where this happened, let me know so I’ll never make the mistake of going there.

Update: Thanks to Al Williams for identifying this as Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Which I will make a point of never visiting. 

………

If you live or ride in Beverly Hills, the city needs to hear from you at today’s city council meeting, where councilmembers will consider the city’s proposed Complete Streets plan.

………

When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s free parking for a tire shop.

………

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

A Texas bike rider bike rider was hospitalized with a brain bleed and facial fractures when he was run down by a drunk driver — while riding on an ostensibly carfree bike path.

Singaporean actor Tay Ping Hui says he’s got nothing against bicyclists, despite complaining when a small group of riders merged onto the roadway ahead of him. Because apparently, it’s asking too much to slow down or change lanes to drive safely around them.

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

No bias here, either. A Singapore motorcyclist calls for banning bicycles from the roads after watching one — count ’em, one — scofflaw bicyclist weaving through traffic. Meanwhile, the website somehow feels the need to point out that 34 bike riders were ticketed for breaking the law over the weekend. Makes you wonder how many motorcyclists got tickets the same weekend. Let alone drivers. But sure, blame everyone on bicycles.

………

Local

LA Magazine highlights “cool” bike accessories to keep you riding in style. Too bad they forgot to feature that mirrored helmet in the main photo. Because who wouldn’t want to look like a human disco ball?

LA Taco takes a look at nine kinds of bad drivers you’ll meet on the streets of Los Angeles — and they include kids on scooters in that.

Keep an extra eye open if you’re riding the Arroyo Bike Path through Arroyo Seco Park, where a man walking on the pathway was shot several times by couple men who approached him around dusk Sunday evening.

A proposal for protected bike lanes on Pasadena’s North Lake Ave would keep 98% of the current parking on the street.

LA County Sheriff’s Deputies made a spectacular rescue of a mountain biker who went off the side of the road on Mt. Wilson; the victim was hanging head-first over a sheer cliff, clinging to the rock face like a cat, suspended by a thin cord around his ankle.

Former Lakers star Kobe Bryant was one of us, starting his bike rides at 4:30 am and not coming home until the sun was at its peak.

 

State

A bill currently under consideration in the state legislature would increase the penalties for a fatal hit-and-run from 2 to 4 years to 3 to 6. It’s already been watered down from the original proposal, which would have doubled the penalties for hit-and-run that result in death or permanent serious injury.

Calbike wants your support for the proposed Safety Stop Bill, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which is exactly what many riders safely do right now. And far too many drivers do unsafely.

AB117, the bill that would create a $10 million fund to help lower income Californians buy ebikes, passed its first test in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Meanwhile, AB 43 unanimously passed the Assembly Transportation Committee with no opposition; the bill would retain the deadly 85th Percentile Law, but allow cities to consider factors other than drivers’ right feet in setting speed limits, such as the location as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety.

California is joining a nationwide movement to prioritize safety over speed. The question is whether the shift is real, or if the legislature will simply pass a few feel good bills before forgetting all about it and moving on to other matters, as too often happens.

Credit old school police work. Riverside police finally busted the hit-and-run driver who killed 52-year old Brian Sabel two years ago, arresting 34-year old Menifee resident Steven Allen Watson Jr. for the crime, despite the apparent lack of any witnesses or evidence at the time of the crash.

Bay Area bike riders may want to ride with a partner or group around Grizzly Peak Boulevard in the hills above Berkeley, where a number of solo riders have been robbed by armed bike jackers; at least five riders have been run off the road and robbed at gunpoint or knifepoint since late March.

A San Francisco ER physician calls for keeping the city’s Safe Streets, saying they’ve helped empty his emergency room.

A San Francisco woman celebrates seven years of living carfree after switching to an ebike when her car was totaled by an uninsured driver; she claims she’s saved over $50,000 over that period.

 

National

Of course she gets it. Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan teams with her Streetfight co-auther to call for cities to hold onto the street space reclaimed for people during the pandemic, saying surrendering our cities to cars would be a historic blunder.

My hometown university has now joined the Vision Zero club. Which isn’t too surprising, considering it’s surrounded by one of the nation’s most bike-friendly communities. Even though it didn’t get that way until long after I left, of course.

Apparently writing with all seriousness, a New Hampshire medical worker and self-described cyclist says he worked with a state legislator on a bill that would require bicyclists to ride salmon, but the bill died when he couldn’t get time off work to attend the hearing. Because evidently, riding a bike in New Hampshire just isn’t dangerous enough already.

A Massachusetts man got his fat tire bike back two months after it was stolen, when he recognized it being ridden by a burglary suspect on a TV news story about a break-in.

The Big Apple is getting a belated start on the micromobility revolution, as the city finally gets its first e-scooters.

 

International

In a story that’s scary as hell, a writer for Bike Radar examines whether lane-keeping technology poses a risk to bike riders, after he had to wrestle a car for control to avoid running down a bike rider sharing the same lane.

T3 considers what you get with a high-end road bike that you don’t with a cheap one. Or put another way, is an expensive bike really worth 20 times more than a low-end bike?

A pair of Vancouver business owners are taking their case to the British Columbia Supreme Court to fight the re-installation of a protected bike lane through a park, arguing the decision to swap a traffic lane for a bikeway wasn’t “reasonable, rational or logical.” Seriously. It’s in a park.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who stole an ebike from a disabled 13-year old English girl.

A pregnant British driver will spend the next 30 months behind bars for killing an 80-year old triathlete while chatting with her sister on WhatsApp; no word on whether her baby will spend the first years of its life in prison with her.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 26-year old driver got a lousy 35 months in jail for intentionally running down a 13-year old boy riding his bike after getting into an argument with the kid in a park, and following him for 20 minutes before using his car as a weapon to attack him.

Scottish cyclist Josh Quigley is on his second day of a world record attempt for the greatest distance ridden on a bicycle in a single week, attempting to ride 320 miles a day in an 80-mile loop through the Scottish countryside; he’s aiming for Aussie pro Jack Thompson’s record of 2,177 miles, despite suffering multiple broken bones in a crash three months ago.

France is now allowing drivers to trade their old, smog-belching cars for a nearly $3,000 grant to buy a new ebike.

Last year was even a bad year for bike riders in the Netherlands, with the highest number of bicycling deaths in the past 25 years.

This is who we share the road with. A Kiwi driver is filmed blissfully driving on the right side of the road — which is the wrong side Down Under adjacent — until confronted head-on by a large truck. If your first thought was that it was probably just an American tourist confused about what side to drive on, join the club.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch legend Marianne Vos outsprinted the competition to win the one-day Amstel Gold Race on Sunday; Belgian Wout van Aert took the men’s race by a nose in a photo finish.

More proof cycling hasn’t kicked its doping habit yet, after 52-year old California masters racer Vahe Aivazian was banned for four years for testing positive for not one, not two, but ten different banned drugs. But the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

That feeling when your personal traffic bypass bridge turns out to be a pedestrian walkway. That feeling when you’re an elected official with no idea what Bicycle Day is all about.

And who needs to pick a bike lock when you can just blow it up with a hand grenade?

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Pasadena driver faces murder charge, LADOT proposes bike lane-free Lincoln Blvd, and protected parking lanes in DTLA

This is who we share the road with.

Police arrested 36-year old Anthony Marcus Houston on murder and reckless driving charges for a Pasadena crash last December.

He’s accused of blowing through a red light at twice the posted speed limit, and slamming into a car driven by 49-year old Pasadena resident Juanita Lucinda Johnson, killing her and injuring three other people.

Houston, who has a lengthy criminal record dating back to his teens, had been wanted since an arrest warrant was issued last month.

He also faces charges for assaulting and threatening two people earlier this month.

It’s just too bad that’s what it seems to take to get prosecutors to take traffic crimes seriously.

………

LADOT wants your opinion on proposed changes to Lincoln Blvd south of Santa Monica.

None of which involves building a bike lane.

Then again, it’s not like even a “protected” bike lane means much in the City of Angels these days.

………

This is what could be happening in Los Angeles.

But isn’t.

………

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

A driver jumped out of his car and tried to fight a woman riding her bike in New York.

Something that happens too damned often, and for no good reason.

………

Local

Los Angeles has received a $30.7 million grant for transportation projects in the Canoga Park area, including protected bike lanes on Owensmouth Avenue and Sherman Way, and a protected connection between the Orange Line and the LA River bike path.

 

State

A teenage Indio bike rider was hospitalized with moderate injuries after getting struck by a driver Wednesday evening.

The Santa Barbara city council voted unanimously to build the new crosstown Sola Street bicycle boulevard, over loud objections from the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission, who somehow felt traffic diverters would destroy the historic ambiance of the Mission District.

Northern California’s Caltrain is installing new bike lockers at most stations, available on a first come, first served basis for just five cents an hour.

This is who we share the road with, too. Police are looking for a Santa Rosa man who deliberately slammed his car into a homeless camp, injuring a man he’d been arguing with and killing nearby a woman; he’ll face murder and attempted murder charges once he’s arrested.

 

National

Men’s Journal offers their picks for the best bike helmets to keep your head in one piece, however you ride. Although you can protect your head just as well for a fraction of the cost of some of their choices.

Cycling Weekly recommends clothing and accessories for on or off your bike.

A new online bicycling community promises to bring together cycling content, resources, perks and discounts into a single resource, with annual memberships starting at just $10.

A former Portland bike shop owner is urging his erstwhile peers to band together to support an industry climate change declaration. Seriously, bicycles could — and should — be one of the most important tools in fighting climate change, yet the industry has done virtually nothing to encourage it.

In an extreme example of failing to share the trail, a Washington hiker stabbed a mountain biker who asked his group to move over so he could get by. Predictably, both sides disagree on whose fault it was.

Residents of College Station, Texas rally around an 81-year old lawyer after someone stole the beat-up cruiser bike he’d ridden to work every day for the last 12 years.

Minneapolis introduces new artistically designed bike racks. Although I suspect most bike riders are more concerned with keeping their bike safe than how whimsical the rack is.

New York is poised to make a big move by shifting responsibility for crash investigations from the NYPD to the city’s department of transportation, although the police would still be responsible for any criminal investigation that results. However, that raises questions over the need to hire and train hundreds of crash investigators for a department that has never investigated anything more serious than a parking violation.

As California considers legalizing speed cams, New Yorkers voice overwhelming support for automated traffic enforcement, with 78% of New York City voters approving, along with 73% of motorists.

A New York Streetsblog op-ed argues for the role bike co-ops play in promoting equity on the city’s streets, enabling cash strapped people to get a good bike without falling into the trap of dysfunctional used bikes or low quality mass market bicycles.

Speaking of Streetsblog, they note that booming bike use means there’s now an average of just 1.9 cars for every bike on New York’s Second Avenue, yet drivers get roughly 12 times the space.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who could flee the scene after killing a 10-year old boy riding his bike; a 27-year old Georgia woman faces a charge of vehicular homicide.

 

International

The bikewear market took a nosedive last year, dropping 25% despite the bike boom.

An Edinburgh bus driver is out of work after colliding with a drunken bike rider; he was fired for reckless conduct, even though police cleared him of misconduct.

An 84-year old Limerick, Ireland woman beamed when she was given a new bicycle by the kindhearted owner of a local bike shop, after he discovered the bike she rides around the city was too far gone to be repaired.

A group of around 20 Singapore bicyclists are accused of hogging the road — not to mention violating Covid protocols — even though they courteously moved out of the driver’s way after he honked.

 

Competitive Cycling

Leading French newspaper Le Parisien reports next month’s single-day Paris-Roubaix, aka the Hell of the North, has been postponed until fall due to the pandemic; it comes after last year’s race was postponed, before being cancelled.

Bicycling hops into the Wayback Machine for a look back at the pioneering women bicyclists who forced their way into the sport, paving the way for today’s women’s cyclists. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride your bike through a closed Burger King drive-thru looking for change, with an open beer in hand, maybe leave the meth pipe at home. Florida police are looking for an electric bicycle thief; no word on whether he runs on a cord or batteries.

And yes, please.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Council committee delays adoption of uninspired LADOT Strategic Plan, and Insta users want carfree Hollywood Blvd

Before we get started, I hope you’ll join me in thanking our title sponsor Pocrass & De Los Reyes for renewing their sponsorship for the coming year. Keeping up with this site is a more than full-time job, and it’s the support of our sponsors, and people like you, who make it possible. 

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels.

………

Maybe we’re lucky they pulled the plug yesterday.

At almost the last minute, Streets For All sent out a notification that the city council’s Transportation Committee would consider LADOT’s new Strategic Plan for the next four years at yesterday’s virtual meeting.

That’s the weak-kneed plan we mentioned last month, which sets the bar so low agency staffers have to be careful not to trip over it on the way to work every morning.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Joe Linton summed it up.

In his introductory statement, Mayor Garcetti calls the plan “an honest, assertive strategy that reflects my priorities for LADOT as your mayor.” While there are laudable goals in the plan, it is anything but “assertive,” except perhaps assertively reiterating that there will be little change to L.A. streets’ status quo. Overall the plan does feel very Garcetti: proclaim lots of great high-minded much-needed goals (Vision Zero, more bikes, more CicLAvias), set some far-off benchmarks, then deliver very little, and avoid courting even minimal confrontation – especially with drivers.

It’s sad just how accurate that is. Garcetti’s tenure has been marked by bold, visionary plans that never seem to manifest on the streets.

Or anywhere else.

Apparently, LADOT has figured out his management style, and now takes care to underpromise, knowing they’ll probably live down to it.

Again, this is how Linton saw it yesterday.

The most dismal portion of the document is in the Health and Safety section, which includes active transportation – walking and bicycling. LADOT states that its goal is to “increase the share of people walking and biking to support healthy communities.” This is the action with which LADOT plans to accomplish this:

“Complete one major active transportation project (such as a protected bike lane on a major street) per year to support the build out of a comprehensive network of active transportation corridors in the city.”

Really. One major project each year. That’s by a department with a $500+million budget, in a city with four million people, more than 6,000 miles of streets, and an approved plan for hundreds of miles of new bikeways by 2035. One major project per year, which might be a protected bike lane… who knows for what distance.

That was exactly my take on it, too.

Garcetti recruited one of the county’s most respected transportation planners in Seleta Reynolds, and brought her in, supposedly, to transform our streets and reduce the city’s ever-growing reliance on motor vehicles.

You can see how well that worked out.

Unless you happen to live Downtown, where a PeopleForBikes-funded initiative spurred some change, chances are you haven’t seen a single infrastructure improvement where you actually live and ride.

Evidently, they plan to keep it that way. And keep LA deadly in the process.

More worthwhile goals paired with minimum implementation show up in this section on Vision Zero:

“Continue to deliver high impact safety treatments on the High Injury Network (HIN), including an annual multimillion dollar signal program and significant roadway improvements to priority corridors”

The disappointing key word here is, arguably, “continue.” The city never actually got around to funding and implementing those “high impact safety treatments” and “significant roadway improvements,” largely due to resistance from city council and backlash from drivers. The plan appears to signal that the city’s weak steps toward Vision Zero will continue to be weak.

The one bit of good news comes in regards to CicLAvia, with a dramatic increase in open streets events.

Although as Linton points out, we’ve heard all that before.

The new plan calls for more CicLAvia events:

“Increase the frequency of open streets events to monthly by 2022 and to weekly by 2023.”

This sounds depressingly familiar. Garcetti’s Sustainability pLAn called for more CicLAvias back in 2015. LADOT’s 2014 Strategic Plan had monthly CicLAvias in 2017.  In 2020 Garcetti pledged to make CicLAvia weekly by 2022. Why keep pushing back the goalposts for what is probably the most popular event in the history of Los Angeles? What’s the hold-up?

Linton’s piece spells out a pattern of repeated downsizing of the agency’s goals, followed by a repeated failure to live up to them.

If that sounds depressing, it is.

Along with a waste of Reynold’s talents.

But that’s what the Transportation Committee was being asked to agree to yesterday, before the meeting was cancelled just before the 3 pm start time.

Maybe we’ll get a little more notice before it comes up before the committee again, so we can call in and demand better.

And in the meantime, we can all contact our councilmembers — especially the ones on the Transportation Committee — and tell them to reject this shameful effort to avoid making any meaningful commitment to change.

Other cities around the world have shown it can be done, and done quickly.

It’s long past time we expected that, too.

Correction — Call it a false alarm. According to a comment from Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, LADOT’s pitiful strategic plan has already been carved it stone, and the council was just going to talk about it after the fact.

How sad is that?

fwiw – the Strategic Plan is already published/adopted – it’s just an executive thing from LADOT – doesn’t need to be approved by City Council. The T-Committee meeting yesterday was set to discuss it – but not to adopt it.

………

According to a nonscientific poll of Instagram users, Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles is one of eight city streets around the world people want to see go carfree, along with Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Then again, it’s not just people outside of LA who are begging for that.

………

After yesterday’s discussion of protected bike lanes, let’s remember who they’re really for.

https://twitter.com/JuliaRidesBikes/status/1366240769741266948

………

A mobile repair service funded in part by a small state grant has fixed 428 bikes in eight communities on the Navajo Nation to help get kids on their bikes.

The nonprofit service is also teaching kids how to fix their own bikes, since there isn’t a single brick-and-motor bike shop on the 29,500 square mile Hopi and Navajo reservation.

………

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

Seattle’s bike-hating radio jerk, uh, jock is back at it again, calling bike advocates delusional for fighting a bike helmet law that is disproportionately enforced against people of color, with Black bike riders ticketed at four times the rate of white riders.

A Brazilian bike rider discovers even nature is out to get us, after getting bombed by a helmet-cracking jackfruit.

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

An Idaho man could serve up to five years behind bars after being convicted of riding his bike over an hour to stalk a woman in another town who had a protection order against him. Although he could serve just a year if he successfully completes a diversionary program.

………

Local

LA Times columnist Patt Morrison examines why so few people jaywalk in Los Angeles, pointing the finger at a heavy-handed police response not seen in other cities. Although under California law, it’s not illegal unless you cross on a block controlled by traffic signals or police officers on either end.

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against LADOT’s data-sharing requirement for micromobility providers, which was filed by the ACLU on behalf of a group of plaintiffs.

Everyone’s least favorite 007 is one of us, as 81-year old George Lazenby used his ebike to go shopping in Santa Monica.

 

State

Tragic news from San Bernardino, where a 29-year old Cherry Valley man was fatally shot in a driveby while riding his bike.

You can now subscribe to a bicycle in Davis,while the Cycling Tips podcast wants to know if you’d lease a roadie.

American Canyon approves plans for a wine warehouse after the company commits to fill an 800-foot gap in a bike path to meet an obligation to offset vehicular traffic.

 

National

A new proposal in the US Congress would commit states to design and build Complete Streets that are safer for everyone.

Yanko Design considers mostly tech-inspired bicycle accessories designed to make your rides “safe, secure and fun.” Including zip-on bike tire treads and a bike helmet that looks like it was inspired by Devo.

Bicycling says it’s time to move ebikes way up on your to do list. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Speaking of which, the New York Times examines the growing confluence of ebikes and bikeshare.

The Manual makes some interesting picks for the nine best fat bikes.

An op-ed for Cycling Tips questions why tech progress is so slow for road bikes, compared to other types of bicycle.

A couple in New Mexico have joined the fight against distracted drivers after the husband was critically injured by one while riding his bike, spending the last year attempting to recover from his injuries.

A North Carolina teenager was shot in a driveby while riding in his own neighborhood; he may have to carry the bullet near his spine for the rest of his life.

 

International

Bike Radar explains how to assemble your internet-bought bike in a box in ten relatively easy steps.

A new ebike promises to let you haul up to 400 pounds, for when you really need to carry a load.

People who bought a futuristic-looking bespoke 3D printed bike on Indiegogo last year aren’t happy, with many still waiting for delivery, and disappointed by the devolving design.

A London investor is understandably livid that police cited a lack of witnesses in refusing to file charges against a truck driver who crashed into his bike — even though the crash was caught on a security cam.

A former soldier from the UK who can no longer walk, talk or swallow after suffering a brain injury in Iraq rode 60 miles on an adaptive stationary bike to raise funds for other wounded veterans.

While Lime rolls out it’s 4th generation ebike, complete with phone and cup holders, they’e giving new life to old ebike batteries by partnering with a British company to make rechargeable portable speakers.

If art school design students have their way, these are the ebikes you’ll be riding through European cities in the not-too-distant future.

Streetsblog considers how the Dutch manage to maintain bike lanes during the winter, when American cities can’t seem to manage it.

 

Competitive Cycling

New pro cyclist Ayesha McGowan is hosting a free virtual summit later this month to celebrate the joy of bike riding for BIPOC — aka Black, indigenous and people of color — bicyclists. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

Nothing like stealing a bike to ride to city hall, and stand shirtless in the middle of the road yelling at cars. When bourbon infused cold brew coffee isn’t enough, put a bicycle selfie station inside to draw the crowds.

And who knew that car-choked, bike-unfriendly Los Angeles is an ideal city?

………

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

Low bike goals in new LADOT strategic plan, proposed retail bike registration requirement, and new Burbank bike path

LADOT has released their updated Strategic Plan for 2021.

I haven’t had a chance to dig into it yet. But at first glance, the section on bike planning and implementation could use some major improvement.

While it’s good news that the city is finally getting around to working on the Neighborhood Enhanced Network — one of three comprehensive bike networks in the city’s mobility plan — completing just one major active transportation project per year sets an extremely low and unambitious bar for the city.

Click to enlarge

 

At that rate, it could be decades before we’ll finally have a safe route across the city. Or through your own neighborhood, even.

And that vague term doesn’t even guarantee that the “major active transportation project” will include bikes at all.

To be fair, Los Angeles Department of Transportation continues to be dramatically understaffed and underfunded, a situation that’s not likely to improve anytime soon, given the city’s precarious financial state.

Meanwhile, biking and walking continues to take a backseat to funneling ever larger amounts of motor vehicles through our already overstrained streets.

And don’t even get me started on the largely forgotten Vision Zero program, which has been pushed so far back on the list of priorities it risks falling off entirely.

While the commitment to major active transportation projects vaguely resembles the long-promised Backbone Network of bikeways on major streets, there’s no mention of the Green Network promised in the 2010 Bike Plan, which was subsumed into the mobility plan.

The idea was to have one network leading into another, giving riders the ability to travel in their own neighborhood, through the local community, and across the city.

Instead we’re left with vague promises, as LADOT continues to set the bar so low they have to be careful not to trip over it on the way out every night.

Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads-up.

………

Saturday’s virtual meeting of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition will include discussion of a proposal to require retail sellers of new and used bikes to register them for the buyer with Bike Index.

Although that would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

A better option would be to offer some sort of tax benefit to encourage bike shops to do what some are already doing — register their bikes when they take them into inventory, then transfer the registration to the buyer if the customer wants.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the tip.

………

Okay, so you may not get much of a workout. But who wants to be the first to ride it today?

Thanks to Chris Buonomo for the heads-up.

………

Nice.

Pastor William S. Epps of South LA’s Second Baptist Church joined with over 50 bicyclists representing the Inner City Cycling Connection on Martin Luther King Day to pray for “healing in African American communities throughout Los Angeles.”

According to a statement issued by ICCC, the group’s members “cycle through a city where the neighborhoods have changed just like the terrain, we push and pedal towards the mountain top…we have our eyes set on the promise land and every muscle we burn, we are assured and filled with hope [that] the day of equality and justice are not just a dream. We pray for the courage to continue to stand up for justice, reconciliation and truth.”

………

 

This is the cost of traffic violence.

………

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

No bias here. A British city councilor says segregated bike lanes are shortsighted because they’ll get too crowded and put residents at risk, and e-scooters are dangerous to cars. No, really.

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

West Virginia police bust a bike-riding shoplifter after a circuitous chase. It seems like a straighter route would have made for a more efficient getaway. But that’s just me.

What a jerk. A bike rider in Brussels is accused of intentionally kneeing a five-year old little girl because she didn’t get the eff out of his way fast enough. And it looks even worse than it sounds.

………

Local

Congratulations to Arlo Day; the five-year old daughter of actors Leighton Meester and Adam Brody is one of us now, after her mother taught her to ride a bike.

 

State

Calbike is asking you to sign a petition calling for biking and walking to get a fair share of the federal transportation budget.

Bad news from San Diego County, where man riding in an El Cajon bike lane suffered a severe head injury when he was struck by a motorist turning into a driveway; no word yet on whether his injuries are life-threatening. Although someone should tell the San Diego Union-Tribune that it was the driver, rather than the car, who was responsible for the crash; it took them until the last paragraph to even mention that the car had one.

There’s something seriously wrong when a 14-year old Fresno boy can’t ride his bike with a friend without getting accosted and shot; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

They get it. Pedestrian advocacy group Walk San Francisco says Slow Streets should be made permanent. And not just in San Francisco, please.

Some Modesto parents are complaining about what they consider a heavy handed response by police in crackdown on unruly teens participating in last weekend’s Ride Out.

 

National

Make your own DIY vibration-detecting bike wheel lights.

Who needs winter bike gloves when you have USB-chargeable, heated handlebar plugs?

Bicycling says hold off on that hot shower after a freezing bike ride. Read it on Yahoo if the magazine’s paywall locks you out.

A Portland bike club was honored by USA Cycling as the nation’s Best Community Builder for 2020.

Utah’s version of the Idaho Stop law sailed through the state House, which voted overwhelming to allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields; the bill’s sponsor said allowing riders to treat red lights as stop signs was too controversial to include it in the bill.

Bike riding has become a favored family activity in pandemic era Houston.

America’s first Bike City, joining cities like Paris and Copenhagen in receiving the designation from international cycling’s governing body, is…Fayetteville, Arkansas?

Streetsblog wants to know how New York plans to install 10,000 bike racks in two years, when they haven’t been able to consistently meet the previous goal of just 1,500 a year.

 

International

Welcome to Vancouver, the bike theft capitol of Canada.

No surprise here. The American hit-and-run driver who fled the country after killing 19-year old London motorcyclist Harry Dunn, claiming diplomatic immunity, was working for an American intelligence agency at the time of the crash.

The British government sets a goal of half of all trips in cities and towns to be done by walking or bicycling by the end of this decade.

Someone please get these people some bikes. Despite the massive increase in bicycling driven by the coronavirus bike boom, Derry residents have the lowest access to a bicycle of anywhere in Northern Ireland.

If you build it, they will come. New figures from the Paris government show that six out of every ten people using the city’s popup bike lanes are new to bicycling. Yet another example of exactly what Los Angeles is missing out on by failing to install a single popup lane during the pandemic.

Ped-assist ebike fires doubled in Singapore last year, even as the overall rate of fires declined.

That’s more like it. An Aussie truck driver got four years behind bars for killing a bike rider after he was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving and leaving the scene of a collision; the judge rejected the driver’s claim that that he didn’t know he’d hit anyone, finding it “totally lacking in credibility.”

 

Competitive Cycling

The iconic, seven-day mountain bike BC Bike Race is launching a new five-day gravel race; the inaugural race of The Gravel Explorer, or BCBR Gravel, is set to roll at the end of September.

Cycling Weekly offers a comprehensive overview of the bikes being ridden on this year men’s and women’s WorldTour.

UCI will attempt to improve safety by requiring better finish line barriers, and assessing the safety of “super tuck” descents.

 

Finally…

That is one seriously funky looking ebike. Your next ebike could have a hydraulic drive instead of a chain.

And is that enough notice for you?

………

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

LADOT sets priorities for state legislation, driver tries to run down Pasadena bike riders, and fallen DC cop was one of us

Thanks to all for the kind words after yesterday’s non-post.

My pain is back down to a more normal — and more tolerable — level, so let’s get on with it. 

………

Looks like they finally get it.

LADOT has released their legislative priorities for the coming year, which they’ll take to the state legislature if the Los Angeles City Council gives the okay.

1 – Reforming state law, allowing LA to lower speed limits (it’s crazy, but today LA doesn’t have control over its own speed limits, and even has to raise speed limits on already dangerous roads!)

2 – Automating speeding tickets using speed safety cameras. Speed is the #1 factor in determining if someone lives or dies when hit by a car, and speed cameras are a proven solution to reduce excessive speeding. Armed officers must be removed from traffic law enforcement, and this is a great way to do it. LADOT has a thoughtful proposal that takes into account privacy and makes sure the burden doesn’t fall disproportionately on communities that can least afford it.

3 – Increase legal protections for the most vulnerable road users(pedestrians and cyclists). This would increase civil fines and penalties in the event of crashes caused by carelessness or driver distraction (ex. texting).

4 – Get rid of handicap placard abuse by reforming the benefits they provide and increasing enforcement, so we can preserve handicap spots for those that truly need it.

Throw in new laws to target the hit-and-run epidemic crippling Los Angeles bike riders and pedestrians — too often literally — and they might be on to something.

Streets For All is asking everyone to submit a comment to the council in support of the LADOT agenda.

You can find a sample comment template here, and use this link to submit your comments.

And if you want to call on the council to add a fifth priority to address hit-and-run, I won’t complain.

………

A report has been circulating on Nextdoor about a driver intentionally trying to run down and brake check a pair of Pasadena bike riders.

I’ve obscured the license plate number since I have no way of verifying the report.

But keep your eyes open if you ride in the area.

And let’s hope the victims reported it to the police, because this is a crime — end could have easily been much worse.

Thanks to Steve Messer for the heads-up.

………

Zachary Rynew calls out the sexism that’s been baked into the popular Belgian Waffle Ride in years past.

And which, like podium girls, doesn’t belong in cycling, period.

………

That’s easy. All of them.

………

Looks like fallen Officer Brian Sicknick, who gave his life defending the US Capital from insurrectionists on January 6th, was one of us.

………

One hundred-year old Captain Sir Tom Moore was one of us, too.

The bike-riding WWII vet raised the equivalent of nearly $45 million for the UK’s National Health Service by walking laps across his backyard.

Sadly, he died Tuesday after catching Covid-19.

………

Thanks to BikeSD for today’s history lesson, and shining a light on a Black woman we should all be thankful for.

And someone I’d never heard of before.

………

Zwift invites you to pedal along with top Black cyclists like Nelson Vails, Rahsaan Bahati and Ama Nsek of LA’s L39ION of Los Angeles team in a virtual ride through New York.

………

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

No bias here. British radio personality Nick Ferrari, a regular critic of bicycling, said London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods are a form of apartheid. Never mind that he lives on one himself.

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

A British man denied selling an ebike allegedly used in a fatal shooting to cover-up for his nephews accused of the crime.

………

Local

Hats off to LA’s Michael Park, who’s giving back to the community by leading a crew of bike riders in feeding the homeless in Koreatown twice a week. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you.

Metro Bike is offering a discounted bikeshare membership to essential workers for just $75 for a full year.

Good news for the San Gabriel Valley, after Metro approved $12 million for active transportation projects in South Pasadena and Monterey Park.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was hospitalized with unknown injuries after getting struck by a driver; no word on the victim’s condition.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature, AB 117, would create a $10 million, five-and-a-half-year ebike rebate program for California bike riders, using money from California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. So keep your fingers crossed. Or better yet, contact your representatives in Sacramento.

San Jose police released security cam video of the crash that killed a bike rider early Sunday morning; police are looking for a black Chevrolet Silverado with a bed cover and likely front-end damage.

A San Francisco supervisor calls for kicking out Lyft’s for-profit bikeshare, and turning it into a city-owned and potentially city-operated service.

Northern California bike shop owner Dennis Uphoff died last month after he was injured in his home; he was 69.

Police in Manteca are asking for a meaningful dialog with organizers of a series of mass bike rides involving mostly tween and teen riders, after accusing the riders of being “outright rude,” “blatantly defiant to orders” and spewing profanities at officers who try to rein them in.

 

National

Staffers from the recently defunct Bike Mag are starting a new mountain bike publication, called Beta.

Good piece from Cycling Tips Angry Asian saying it’s time to cut out the cancer of criticizing other bike riders for not doing it right or arguing that one kind of bicycling is better than any other.

The Portland driver who deliberately ran down numerous bike riders and pedestrians in a wild 15-block rampage, killing one and injuring at least ten others, has been hit with a well-deserved 31-count indictment, including a second degree murder charge.

New Las Vegas billboards tell drivers to change lanes to pass people on bicycles.

A Kansas City advocacy group is calling on the city to decriminalize walking and biking by repealing laws that have been used to target Black and brown people.

New York’s Suffolk County is confronting complaints about teen bicyclists swarming the streets by banning trick riding, weaving or zig-zagging “unless necessary,” as well as requiring a horn or bell, at least one hand on the handlebars, and no more than one person per bicycle, along with a raft of other requirements.

New York’s new transportation commissioner promises to install 10,000 new bike racks across the city, leaving it only a few million short of what’s needed to accommodate the city’s bike riders.

DC’s Vision Zero program actually has some teeth, requiring that any construction work on streets “pre-identified as a candidate for a protected bike lane, bus-only lane or private-vehicle-free corridor” has to include it in the final project.

The Maryland bike rider who assaulted a group of teens and ripped up the Black Lives Matter fliers they were posting along a bike path last year has walked with probation after apologizing for his actions.

Bike riders in DC fear the security fencing installed in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol on January 6th will make their commutes more dangerous.

The coronavirus bike boom — and Democrat takeover of DC — leads to the reintroduction of two bills that died in last-term’s GOP-controlled Senate, to make bikeshare programs eligible for federal transportation funding and reinstate and improve the bicycle commuter tax benefit.

Virginia’s comprehensive bike safety bill, which includes the Idaho Stop law, passed the state house and moves on to the Senate.

 

International

Cyclist explains how to clean your bike in the time it takes to make a cup of tea. A standard of measurement that may be meaningless to most people on this side of the Atlantic.

A science website says drop your car and get on your bike if you really want to cut your greenhouse gas emissions.

A Guatemalan bike rider is fighting hunger by trading donated books for food to distribute to the needy.

North Vancouver is doubling the current $100 fine for blocking a bike lane, while banning “stopping, parking or otherwise impeding a mobility lane.”

A British man has founded a charity to give bikes to cancer patients to help them recover, crediting bicycling with helping him overcome his illness.

A pair of brothers in the UK are on trial for the alleged racist murder of a Black man to steal his bicycle.

Crashes involving bike riders more than doubled in Brussels over the past decade, with 72% involving a motor vehicle last year.

A group of female journalists and activists broke with taboos to hold northeastern Syria’s first women’s bike race to encourage women to ride bicycles and promote green transportation.

A surprising three-quarters of Aussie bike riders say they’ve been the victim of road raging drivers. The only real surprise is that the number is so low.

 

Competitive Cycling

American cyclist Quinn Simmons appears to be back in the good graces of his Trek-Segafredo team; the 19-year junior world champ will make his Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders debuts after being suspended last year for an online comment in support of Donald Trump that was widely seen as racist and divisive.

Zwift has banned two more virtual cyclists for cyber doping by falsifying ride data.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a bike from the local police. Bike tattoos are forever — especially the truly cringeworthy kind.

And that’s one way to make sure drivers pass safely.

https://twitter.com/CyclingContessa/status/1356625738238025730

………

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

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