Tag Archive for LADOT

Westside bikeways virtual meeting & Bob George ghost bike installation tonight, and PA Senator Fetterman gets it

It’s another light news day for some reason.

And this time, I actually managed to manage my diabetes well enough to stay awake to work. 

So let’s get right to it. 

And apropos of nothing, here’s an AI image of a corgi riding a tricycle.

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A couple quick reminders of events taking place today.

LADOT is hosting a virtual workshop to discuss building bikeways connecting neighborhoods on the Westside, which they could find in the city’s decade-old mobility plan, if they bothered to dust it off.

However, judging by their tweet/post, the actual time is on a need to know basis. But since you may need to know, it starts at 5:30 pm.

The other event takes on a sadder tone, as street safety nonprofit SAFE — aka Streets Are For Everyone — will place a ghost bike for fallen Hollywood producer Bob George, who was killed in a dooring in East Hollywood last month.

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He gets it.

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

No bias here. After a dump truck driver struck and killed a Louisiana bike rider, state troopers and the local media were quick to remove any agency from the killer driver, while blaming the victim for “colliding” with the truck.

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

That feeling when the cops chase a bike-riding known felon through the streets of Red Bluff CA, where the local press apparently doesn’t know the difference between road and rode. Never mind that the police need probable cause to stop someone, let alone chase them, and “known felon” isn’t enough. 

A Texas man faces charges for repeatedly stabbing another man in a dispute over a bicycle, after he had taken the victim’s bike earlier in the day and returned without it.

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Local 

Discover Los Angeles looks forward to next month’s CicLAvia – South LA on December 3rd, the final CicLAvia of the year. Just my luck they had to schedule it on my sister’s birthday, when I will be otherwise engaged. 

 

State

KPBS talks with former Caltrans executive Jeanie Ward-Waller, who was fired for blowing the whistle on a possibly illegal freeway project in Sacramento after watching the agency repeatedly skirt the rules.

Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry takes Caltrans to task after Director Tony Tavares tweeted that safety is the agency’s top priority, arguing that if it is, it certainly doesn’t show. Maybe he can explain how wasting billions to widen freeways makes anyone any safer.

Calbike announced plans for its next biennial California Bicycle Summit, to be held in San Diego on April 18th and 19th.

A long-awaited bikeway connecting Santa Barbara County’s iconic Santa Claus Lane with nearby Carpenteria has finally opened.

A San Luis Obispo bike rider was lucky to escape injury after being struck by a 15-year old boy driving a stolen car; the driver and his passenger fled on foot, but cops were able to track down the boy behind the wheel.

Sad news from Modesto, where a bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver in a Kia Soul as he was just trying to ride across the street.

A report on the contentious bike lane pilot program on the Bay Area’s Richmond-San Rafael Bridge confirms that it’s not the cause of traffic congestion on the bridge, along with the resulting smog, while opponents play the race card in a full-page ad trying to get it removed.

 

National

CleanTechnica explains how ebikes can make using a bike for transportation practical, or even pleasurable. To which Californians still waiting for the state’s long-delayed ebike rebate program responded, “We wouldn’t know.”

A new organization co-founded by a Portland phys-ed teacher is dedicated to helping kids and parents form bike buses throughout the US.

That’s more like it. An Iowa woman was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for the drunken crash that killed two men and injured another when she somehow mistook a bike path for a freeway onramp; she’ll have to spend at least 17 years behind bars before she’s eligible for parole. Which should give her plenty of time to sober up. 

That’s more like it. Several members of the Dallas, Texas city council rode their bikes to work as the city works on its first new bike plan in a decade; one council member said he only felt safe on about half of his ride. Which is probably more than many of the city’s bike riders could say. 

The Kaitlin Armstrong murder trial continued in Austin, Texas, with testimony from two of her friends who heard her threaten to kill gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, in a jealous rage over a perceived love triangle with pro cyclist Colin Strickland; a former prosecutor warns the case is built on circumstantial evidence.

Streetsblog introduces real New Yorkers who rely on ebikes, in an effort to get politicians to stop demonizing them; meanwhile, Curbed says licensing New York ebikes won’t make the sidewalks any safer.

Bicycles could be restricted, if not banned, under new rules proposed for the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway stretching through Virginia and North Carolina.

A student advocacy group at North Carolina’s Duke University took matters into their own hands, and striped their own DIY bike lanes using duct tape and temporary paint.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is really cheap in Georgia, where a 28-year old man walked without a day behind bars for the hit-and-run crash that left a 60-year old man riding a bicycle with life-threatening injuries; he jumped a raised median with his car, striking the victim from behind and kept going despite literally running the man over. If you wonder why people keep dying on our streets, this is Exhibit A. 

 

International

Momentum suggests a dozen ways a bicycle could supercharge your life in the city.

Police in London say halting a rash of bike muggings is “among” their priorities, as a number of bike riders report being attacked for their bicycles. Not that they want to get carried away and stick their necks out or anything.

The sister of a fallen Welsh bike rider and two of his friends have refurbished the historic village pub where he used to hang out, and are re-opening it in his honor. Although someone should tell the Welsh news site about this nifty new invention called paragraphs, which would make stories like this much easier to read.

A new patent show Shimano may be trying to cut the weight on e-bike motor systems for gravel bikes and roadies.

A new ebike radar system developed by a 75-year old Japanese company uses an AI algorithm to worn of vehicles approaching from the rear that could pose a risk, as well as a multi-stage brake light for enhanced visibility.

 

Competitive Cycling

Three climate activists who halted this year’s Men’s Elite Road Race at the UCI Cycling World Championships in Scotland by gluing their hands to the narrow roadway got off with a firm admonishment from the local sheriff, while the fourth was fined the equivalent of $307.19.

 

Finally…

Heavy bikes need a heavy duty bike stand and lift system. That feeling when low-cost Costco techwear is almost, sort of, but not quite as good as the name brand mountain bike stuff.

And your new ebike could have a motor developed for a Mars lander, for the low, low price of just 25 grand.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

2nd Vegas teen busted in Probst vehicular murder, Gutierrez convicted of murder, and Caltrans fires sustainability advocate

We’re learning more about the vehicular rampage in Las Vegas that led to the intentional hit-and-run death of 64-year old retired Bell, California police chief Andreas Probst.

Including that Probst wasn’t the first bike rider attacked by the two teens.

ABC News reports that the attacks began when the driver deliberately slammed into a 72-year old man riding a bicycle; no word on whether that victim was injured.

They then sideswiped a car, and moments later attacked Probst.

The second person in the car, who videoed the attack, was arrested Tuesday, although no charges appear to have been filed against him at this point.

Neither juvenile has been publicly identified, but that’s likely to change if they are charged as adults.

The Black Wall Street Times reports Probst’s killers may have been inspired by a TikTok hit-and-run challenge, in which “teens show others how to steal certain vehicles without a key and go on joyrides.”

If that’s the case, it could cast a frightening shadow over the recent hit-and-run rampage in Huntington Beach, where a teenaged driver faces charges for intentionally slamming into three people riding bikes, resulting in the death of 70-year old Huntington Beach resident Steven Gonzales.

Then there’s this.

Despite being the first reporter on the scene following Probst’s killing, and encouraging a school resource officer to turn the video of the attack over to the police, Las Vegas Review-Journal crime reporter Sabrina Schnur became the subject of violent and anti-semitic comments from people who falsely accused the paper of downplaying Probst’s death.

Not surprisingly, X/Twitter owner Elon Musk drove much of the attacks, after accusing the media of a lack of sufficient outrage to meet his demands.

On Sunday morning, Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, amplified one of the screenshots, posting “An innocent man was murdered in cold blood while riding his bicycle. The killers joked about it on social media Yet, where is the media outrage? Now you begin to understand the lie.” That post had 68.2 million views as of Monday evening…

The Review-Journal’s social media accounts and other staff also received vicious attacks. When Schnur shared that she’d received 700 notifications on X and an onslaught of angry emails and voicemails, editors jumped in to support her and make sure she was safe.

Executive editor Glenn Cook said that during his 30-plus years in journalism, he’d never seen vitriol of this volume or intensity. “It’s like a fire hose of hatred to the face,” he wrote in a column about the social media outrage.

The attacks were also driven by other rightwing sources, including far-right commentator Laura Loomer and Fox News host Greg Gutfield.

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As long as we’re discussing the murder of innocent people with motor vehicles, 33-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez was convicted of murder Tuesday for intentionally running down a man walking his bicycle in a 2021 Riverside hit-and-run.

Forty-six-year old Benedicto Solanga was walking with a friend when Gutierrez drove by in his pickup, flipped the men off for no apparent reason, then made a U-turn to come back and slam into Solanga from behind. He died in a hospital three days later.

The Riverside jury also convicted Gutierrez a sentence-enhancing allegation of using his truck as a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.

There’s no word on whether Gutierrez knew Solanga, or if this was a case of road rage. Or if there was some other reason for his murderous attack.

Gutierrez is currently being held without bail at Riverside’s Robert Presley Jail, with a sentencing hearing scheduled for December 15th.

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Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry calls it a troubling sign that Caltrans’ staunchest advocate for safety, sustainability and sanity has apparently been fired, in what Politico calls a “shakeup.”

Deputy Director of Planning and Modal Programs Jeanie Ward-Waller, the former Advocacy Director for the California Bicycle Coalition, is reportedly being “reassigned” in the department.

Curry speculates that the move may have come because Ward-Waller argued too strongly for incorporating the state’s climate plan in highway projects, as “some Caltrans planners are still pushing strategies to get around changing state regulations.”

If so, that is troubling. But sadly, not surprising.

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That white smoke coming from LA City Hall yesterday means we now have a new LADOT General Manager, as uninspiring as the choice may be.

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We have a new “protected” bike lane in the San Fernando Valley.

Even if bollards won’t keep out abandoned mattresses, or food truck customers.

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In my efforts to catch up from my unexcused diabetic crash and burn a few weeks ago, I have been remiss in not mentioning next month’s LA Bike Fest, hosted by BikeLA, the former Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

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Huntington Beach is the latest city to consider overwriting state traffic laws to regulate bicycles, including a ban on riding against traffic on the sidewalk.

Even though sidewalks aren’t directional, and a newly passed state law will legalized sidewalk riding throughout the state, if it’s signed by Governor Newsom.

The regulations would also ban going around stopped of slowed traffic, and includes a vague ban on riding in an unsafe manner, and a provision allowing impounding bikes belonging to juvenile scofflaw riders.

Any and all of which could be tossed out by the courts, since the state, not cities, is responsible for regulation all forms of traffic under California law, on two wheels as well as four.

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

The founder of Streets For All is reminded that plastic bollards are no protection against LA drivers.

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

Police in New York has released video of the hit-and-run ebike rider who killed a 69-year old woman as she crossed a street on the Lower East Side earlier this month.

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Local 

Los Angeles is asking the federal government for up to $10.3 million in grant funding for a series of new active transportation and public open space projects, including proposals to reconnect bisected MacArthur Park by closing Wilshire Blvd, and studying the possibility of capping the 101 Freeway in Hollywood to build a new park over it; the city is also teaming with Metro to request another $86 million for new bus lanes, bike lanes, and other active transportation and transit infrastructure projects.

When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When seniors using walkers have to use it to get around a Venice homeless camp.

The Cities of Los Angeles and San Fernando are hosting a non-CicLAvia open streets festival from 10 am to 2 pm this Saturday “promoting an active lifestyle and community engagement, all while celebrating the joy of biking, walking, and rolling.”

 

State

San Diego’s annual Bike the Coast ride will return on November 4th, allowing “participants of all levels to enjoy a memorable course that takes them along the scenic views and quaint communities along Highway 101.”

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 39-year old woman was killed by a driver when she allegedly rode her bike in front of the oncoming car. Although what actually happened hinges on whether there were any independent witnesses, or if investigators are relying solely on the driver’s statement, since the victim can’t give her side of the story.

Palo Alto parents are demanding steps to improve traffic safety after two children were struck by drivers in separate incidents, including a middle school student who was critically injured while riding his bike.

San Francisco traffic safety advocates are calling on the city to protect bike riders and pedestrians by banning right turns on red lights.

Stockton suspended its e-bikeshare program after it was plagued by vandalism and theft.

 

National

Santa Monica-based Bird has taken a dominant position in the US micromobility market with its acquisition of Spin from European provider Tier.

A writer for Cycling Weekly explains why he prefers to ride alone 95% of the time. I do, too, though in my case it’s a case of cycling weakly.

Bike-friendly Portland suffered the year’s first bicycling fatality when a man was struck by a driver Tuesday morning; that compares to four bicycling deaths in the city last year.

A Seattle driver agreed to plead guilty to vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run in exchange for a recommendation of just under three and a half years for fleeing the scene after killing a man riding a bike. Let’s hope that also includes a length driving ban once he’s released.

Life is not so cheap in New Mexico, for a change, as the estate of a fallen bike rider agreed to a $1 million settlement with his killer, a state district judge who originally walked with just $82 in court costs after invoking her right to remain silent.

A Denver-based nonprofit gave the entire second grade class at a Colorado Springs CO elementary new BMX bikes and helmets.

Tragic news from New Hampshire, where Dartmouth College football coach Buddy Teevens died of complications from a bicycling collision on Tuesday, seven months after he lost a leg and suffered a spinal chord injury when he was struck by a speeding driver as he rode his bike home from a Florida restaurant with his wife; he was 66.

A Hartford website accuses the state’s ebike rebate program of an equity failure, with just 2% of the 468 vouchers reaching the state’s most financially challenged residents.

New York Magazine highlights “comfy and cool” bike helmets kids will actually want to wear.

DC became the latest city to approve ebike incentives, offering vouchers up to $1,500 for an ebike, or $2,000 to buy an e-cargo bike. Meanwhile, potential California ebike buyers continue to wait. And wait. 

 

International

A new survey ranks the UK’s worst cities for bike riders, with London a surprising third behind Bradford and Leeds.

London’s Fire Brigade called for “proper regulation” of ebike batteries and chargers after a man suffered life-changing injuries when his ebike battery caught fire

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has introduced a new 12-point ‘code de la rue’ (street code), in addition to France’s existing code de la route (highway code), to help bike riders, drivers and pedestrians better share the city’s streets; the rules include giving pedestrians priority and banning all two-wheeled vehicles from sidewalks, as well as a ban on drinking before driving, biking or scooting.

Belgian ebike maker Cowboy teamed with a Parisian designer for a dramatic cruiser bike designed to fit “in with women’s busy lives.” Evidently, men need not apply for the $3,700 ebike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says none of Sepp Kuss’ friends back home in Colorado are surprised at his victory in the Vuelta. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Not only is Kuss king of the Vuelta, he’s also king of the KOMs.

LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon topped 370 other riders to win the 2023 Mount Baker Hill Climb, in what Essentially Sports called a “stunning display of cycling prowess.”

Bicycling also reports that the sports director for the Lotto Dstny Development Team has been suspended for deliberately running over a course marshal during Belgium’s GP Rik Van Looy bike race. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

 

Finally…

Cars of the not-too-distant future could communicate with rooftop emojis. That feeling when you end up chatting with the newly crowned king on a Scottish bike ride.

And repeat after me. When you’re riding your bike under the influence, while carrying controlled substances and already wanted on an outstanding warrant, put a damn light on it.

The bike, that is. Not the warrant.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Pasadena Transportation chief to head LADOT, soft launch for CA ebike rebates, and lousy $500 ticket for AZ sideswipe

Well, I’m underwhelmed.

Nine months after Karen Bass became mayor of Los Angeles, she finally got around to naming someone to lead LADOT.

According to Streetsblog, current Pasadena Transportation head Laura Rubio-Cornejo will become the next general manager of the Los Angeles transportation department, assuming she’s approved by the city council.

Which is pretty much a given in a city where most councilmembers are loathe to rock the boat.

Rubio-Cornejo, who previously led Metro Countywide Planning, replaces underperforming former LADOT and NACTO chief Seleta Reynolds, who left for greener pastures at Metro a year ago.

Despite sky high expectations, Reynolds was largely a disappointment at LADOT, where her hands were tied by risk-averse city officials, and never appeared to have the full backing of former LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Whether Rubio-Cornejo fares any better remains to be seen.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Photo from City of Pasadena, via Streetsblog.

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Still no word on when the statewide launch of the California ebike rebate program will take place.

According to Calbike, San Diego’s Pedal Ahead, which has been chosen to administer the program, announced its long-awaited soft launch.

No, really.

We are currently launching a multi-phase California E-Bike Incentive Project soft launch which includes retailer onboarding and training, community-based organization (CBO) outreach and community engagement, and the website launch. The next one to two months will be focused on retailer and CBO outreach, which will be happening concurrently leading up to the application window opening.

The soft launch will focus on four regions in California and we have already begun introducing the program to local CBOs and identifying retailers in the regions to make sure they are fully supported with the appropriate program support, trainings and resources.

So, at least another month or two before we can expect to see any action outside of a few select, unnamed areas. And before we can start seeing more ebikes replace smelly, dangerous, climate-killing cars here in the late, great Golden State.

Anyone who’s been holding their breath waiting for this is probably dead by now.

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You’ve got to be effing kidding.

Life is cheap in Arizona, where the driver who sideswiped a bicyclist taking part in a club ride, sending three people to the hospital, walked with a ticket for an unsafe pass carrying a lousy fine of up to $500.

Because evidently, knocking multiple bike riders down like so many bowling pins is just no big deal.

And pretty much legal.

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Huh?

A writer for an Aussie website calls for mandatory registration and license plates for cyclists.

But not for people riding bikes.

By his standard, if you earn money riding a bike — like delivery riders — you’re a cyclist. But if you just ride to work once a year, or ride to the park with the kids, you’re just riding a bike.

Then there’s this.

If you routinely spend every Sunday morning rolling en masse along a beachside boulevard, pumping the blood as much as you are metaphorically pumping your fist at an imaginary Le Tour stage gate, then you are a cyclist too and you should probably pay for registration.

You’re on the road. You’re using the infrastructure. You are at risk from other cyclists and you are a risk to pedestrians. Plus, I can’t be the only person to have seen riders sail through red traffic lights…

Never mind that people taking part in group rides are usually in the traffic lane, not using bicycle infrastructure.

Or that splitting hairs must be easier down there, as he somehow expects police to tell whether someone on a bike rides every weekend, or just this once.

Or whether that guy riding to the park with his kids may have just finished a fast half century with the club.

Although his primary concern — I say his, since it has a man’s byline, but is so self-contradictory it could easily have been generated by AI — appears to be forcing bicyclists to carry insurance and get some skin in the game.

As with all these adjustments in the way we live our lives, we need the powers that be to arrange a little quid pro quo. Remove vehicle lanes to encourage more bike riders, so why not extend the reach of the third-party insurance that is included with motor vehicle registration to cover you when on your bike? You’ve paid the fee, does it really matter what vehicle you are using?

After all, you can’t drive and ride at the same time…

Plus, if we want less cars and more bicycles, taxation has to come from somewhere. Surely it would be better to recognise a contribution of your bicycle registration than to just have everything else ratcheted up to account for the gap.

It’s likely this piece is nothing more than an effort to create a little controversy to drive traffic to the site, while signaling to car shoppers that they’re on their side.

But they may find out the hard way all those weekend warriors on bikes buy cars, too.

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The New York Times continues their bizarre anti-ebike campaign, arguing that parents don’t know whether to view the bikes as freedom or danger, as more teens take to them.

For the moment, the power to decide what teenagers may or may not ride falls to a nongovernmental authority: parents. Across the country, they are expressing a mix of enthusiasm, contrition and uncertainty about the trendy mode of transportation.

Some parents who initially embraced e-bikes now say their enthusiasm has waned with news of recent crashes involving teenagers.

Because apparently, no child was ever injured riding a bicycle without a battery.

The question they fail to answer, as they build their anecdotal case, is whether there have been more more, or more severe, crashes on ebikes than would have been expected on regular bicycles.

Unless and until they can provide that, their entire campaign should be seen as nothing more than anti-ebike fear mongering, with the possible exception of calling out the increased fire risk due to lithium ion batteries.

Since regular bikes hardly ever burst into flames.

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The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee has now been around for 50 years.

Although it continues to remain strictly advisory, instead of being given the regulatory authority of a commission it should have received years ago.

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Phil Gaimon responds to the critics, and arms bicyclists with responses to the 1% of hostile motorists who seem to make up most of the commenters online.

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

No bias here. Writing for The Spectator, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle says Jeremy Vine’s call for drivers to be banned from overtaking cyclists in major cities is “ridiculous” and “the real problem isn’t motorists but Jeremy Vine himself.” Something even Vine seems to agree with, as he says to take his comments with a grain of salt and stop overreacting to everything he says.

It turns out the Philippine driver who pulled a gun on an unarmed bicyclist is a former cop who left the force after repeated demotions, including one for grave misconduct, yet he complains he’s being depicted as a “bad person” on social media; Quezon City has offered the victim protection if he chooses to pursue a case against the former QC cop.  

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

Two Bakersfield boys saw very different outcomes when police attempted to stop them for riding against traffic; a 13-year old boy who pulled over and waited at the side of the road was released to his mother, while a 14-year old boy who kept riding and popping wheelies had the book thrown at him.

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Local 

You may now be able to rent a Tern cargo bike for as little as $99 a month, as the Aussie bike leasing firm Wombi announces plans to set up their first US operation in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles plans to implement safety improvements from the city’s “Vision Zero Safety Toolkit” along a two-mile stretch of Hollywood Blvd east of Gower, which saw 56 people killed or seriously injured over the last decade. Although what those improvements will be remains to be seen, likely depending on public feedback.

The LA Times foresees an optimistic paradise of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, ebikes and free public transit replaced gas-guzzling cars within 20 years.

 

State

Calbike calls on you to help get a slate of active transportation bills out of the Suspense File in the Senate Appropriations Committee; the bills must move forward by the first of the month or be killed for this year.

The late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was one of us, doing some of his best thinking and songwriting on a mountain bike near his Laguna Beach home.

The San Diego Reader questions whether the same man is responsible for two violent bikejackings in the city.

 

National

A Honolulu ER doc rides his bike 21 miles to work every day, rain or shine — and has for over 30 years.

A Houston writer says “there’s something heart-warming about the anarchy of 2,000 people on bikes reclaiming the roads back from cars.”

An Indianapolis woman faces charges for DUI and driving without ever having a driver’s license after she crashed into a man riding a bicycle, leaving the victim with multiple compound fractures, while driving at over three times the legal alcohol limit.

This is the cost of traffic violence, part one. A “cherished” Evansville, Indiana high school music director was killed while riding his bicycle, though the details are unclear.

This is the cost of traffic violence, part two. The Boston-area bike rider killed by a UPS driver Monday afternoon was identified as a respected professor and mentor to graduate students at Tufts University School of Medicine.

As the California legislature continues to appease vested driving interests in an attempt to legalize a speed cam pilot program, New York stats show a 30% drop in speeding violations after their camera program began operating 24/7.

Life is cheap in Pennsylvania, where a driver got just 11½ to 23 months behind bars for severely injuring a man riding a bicycle while driving his pickup truck with inoperable brakes and without insurance.

A new 2-mile ADA-accessible Delaware bike path was funded with $23 million from the new federal infrastructure bill.

This is the cost of traffic violence, part three. Police in Baltimore are looking for the hit-and-run driver who took the life of a “beloved” mother of two as she rode her bike home from work over the weekend.

That’s more like it. A new 42 story, 631 unit Miami residential tower will have more than twice as many bicycle parking spaces as it will spaces for cars.

 

International

Tragic news from the UK, where two men on ebikes were killed by a driver on a “very fast” 50 mph roadway; the driver was arrested on a careless driving charge.

The fiancé of the Scottish bike rider killed by a drunk driver, who then hid his body for three years with the help of the driver’s brother, lashed out at the courts for failing to impose a “proper” sentence on the two men, who received 12 years and five years and three months, respectively.

A British man has defied the odds by learning to walk and eat again, after doctors gave him just 24 hours to live after hitting an embankment on his ebike.

Momentum Magazine visits the world’s longest purpose-built bike and pedestrian tunnel in Bergen, Norway; the Fyllingsdalen is 1.8 miles long and takes approximately 10 minutes to travel by bicycle.

Bicycling reports over 45,000 people rode their bicycles to a Formula 1 race in the Netherlands after the country banned cars from the event; another 55,000 arrived by bus or train. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Workers in the Spanish town of Elche are scraping bike lanes off the roads, after the newly installed far-right government adopted a populist, pro-car policy. Which is a warning of what could happen here if we don’t vote for bike-friendly candidates. 

He gets it. A writer from Islamabad, Pakistan says bicyclists aren’t a nuisance, whether you’re talking about kids on bikes or adults riding to reduce their waistlines.

 

Competitive Cycling

His hometown newspaper celebrates James Macdonald’s victory at the recent world road cycling championships, as the 80-year old Williamsburg, Virginia resident topped the 80-84 age group in a 53-mile race earlier this month.

Remco Evenepoel raged about safety at the Vuelta, or the lack thereof, after he was bloodied in a crash with a spectator following his stage three win, saying “It’s the third day in a row and it’s breaking my balls a bit now. I’ve had enough.” Meanwhile, the peloton has finally figured out they’re just pawns in the game.

The home of 22-year old pro cyclist Michel Hessmann was searched by German authorities as part of a doping investigation, after the suspended Jumbo-Visma rider tested positive for a banned diuretic earlier this month. But the doping era is over, right?

The inaugural CRIT Championship will debut in St. Petersburg, Florida this October, the race is the multi-million dollar brainchild of L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams.

 

Finally…

The street may be open, but it will cost you nearly 85 bucks to bike it. Even stairs are nothing to the world’s fastest pizza delivery rider.

And it took me about five seconds to find the bicycle in this picture.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

LA suggests un-Healthy Streets alternative, LADOT commits climate arson, and drivers back it up on Ventura Blvd

My apologies if you received an email with just the barest outline of a post earlier.

I seem to have had a twitchy publish button finger.

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Somehow, you knew this was going to happen.

A full year after the Los Angeles City Council rejected the proposed Healthy Streets LA ordinance, the city has finally come back with their long-awaited alternative version.

And suffice it to say it leaves a lot to be desired.

The original measure, which easily qualified for next year’s ballot, requires the city to build out the already-approved Mobility Plan 2035, which subsumed the 2010 Bike Plan, any time a street in the plan gets resurfaced or resealed with slurry.

The council had the option of approving it as written, or sending it to a vote of the people.

They chose the latter, while promising to come back within weeks with an even better, new and improved version of their own.

You can guess how that turned out.

According to an analysis of the proposal from Streets For All, who wrote the original ballot measure, the city changed the requirement from covering any resurfacing over 1/8 of a mile to 1/4 of a mile, which they say would exclude 80% of the projects in the Mobility Plan’s Neighborhood Enhanced Network, as well as removing slurry seals from the plan.

Correction: I originally wrote that the change to 1/4 mile would exclude 80% of the projects, which was a misreading of the text on my part. I have corrected the paragraph above to more accurately reflect the effect of the change.

Then there’s this.

When defining “standard elements” it was interesting that the City Attorney didn’t simply say “the improvements in the Mobility Plan” but said that it’s the improvements that the Board of Public Works, Director of City Planning and General Manager designate for inclusion in a Project.” In other words, if any of those entities don’t “designate” an improvement to be included in a Project, then it’s excluded, and a bike or bus lane is ignored. This is the first “out” the City has given itself, and it’s a big one.

But wait, there’s more, as they say in the world of informercials.

This next section is a doozy. It basically says that the General Manager of LADOT and Director of City Planning — in “consultation” with LAPD, LAFD, and the City Attorney (three entities often hostile to bike and bus lanes in the first place) — can “revise” Mobility Corridors. In other words, they’re usurping City Council’s authority over the Mobility Plan and taking it for themselves. It’s a dangerous precedent to set that City departments can change the City’s General Plan without Council, and especially dangerous to put it in the hands of LAPD, LAFD, and this City Attorney (who has implied the City shouldn’t be at fault for pedestrian deaths even if the City has failed to implement its own Vision Zero or Mobility Plan 2035 plans).

Read that again.

The city’s revised version would remove the requirement to include any street or project in the already-approved Mobility Plan, and replace with the judgement of city officials likely to be hostile to any changes.

The city version goes on to include a public outreach process, which has too often been gamed by city officials to kill projects they don’t like, or are afraid to implement.

Like shovel-ready lane reductions on Lankershim, North Figueroa and Temple Street, just to name a few.

Streets For All ends their insightful analysis this way.

So what is our overall take on the City’s version? It’s full of holes, exceptions, and bureaucracy, and is not an attempt to actually implement the Mobility Plan during repaving; it’s an attempt to look like it’s doing something, while actually continuing to mostly ignore the Mobility Plan. It also does not address any of the equity additions (former Council President Nury Martinez) had promised, nor does it establish a centralized office of coordination, or provide for a multi year funding plan.

In other words, it’s not nearly good enough. We have raised more than $2,000,000 to get our ballot measure across the finish line this spring. Our polling shows an overwhelming number of Angelenos are sick of the status quo — and will support Healthy Streets LA at the ballot box. If you’re ready for change, join us! You can stay up-to-date, volunteer, donate, and get involved on our website.

See you at the ballot box.

And in the meantime, contact your councilmember to let them know the city’s proposal is dead in the water.

………

LADOT appears to be committed to committing climate arson.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports Los Angeles continues to widen streets throughout the city, calling out more than a dirty dozen streets that will soon have more room — and in most cases, more lanes — for motor vehicles.

In fact, Linton lists a full fifteen streets either currently being expanded or set for expansion, at a total cost of more than $218 million.

Although that’s barely a fifth of what the city is spending to give raises to the LAPD.

Some folks out there may be under the mistaken impression that Los Angeles is not really widening roads any more. Though widening roads is counterproductive in many ways, it has long been and continues to be an incessant L.A. City practice.

Streets for All founder Michael Schneider terms L.A. City road widening “the opposite of fighting climate change,” noting that “widening streets induces more driving, meaning more pollution burden locally and more greenhouse emissions further harming the climate.” Widening is expensive, and adversely impacts safety, health, climate, air, water, noise, housing, historic preservation, and more.

That money could make a sizable dent in the city’s bike plan, which could actually get some of those cars off the streets, rather than flushing more money down the toilet by funding still more induced demand.

This far into the 21st Century, it should be clear that we can’t build our way out of traffic congestion.

And that fighting climate change will require getting people out of their cars, and onto their feet or bikes, and into transit.

Widening streets is the exact opposite of what we should be doing.

………

Reverse angled parking is supposed to improve safety for people on bicycles by improving sightline for drivers pulling out of spaces.

But the new configuration on western Ventura Blvd isn’t exactly winning rave reviews, as bicyclists complain about drivers using the bike lanes to back into parking spaces, as well as double parking to wait for a space to open up, forcing riders out into unforgiving traffic.

https://twitter.com/gatodejazz/status/1695998850182660507

………

Santa Monica is improving safety on deadly Wilshire Blvd by making several cross streets right turn only.

https://twitter.com/santamonicacity/status/1695150351966466427

………

CicLAvia’s North Hollywood CicLAmini along the Lankershim Blvd corridor is less than four weeks away.

The good news is you can just step off the B (Red) Line subway at the NoHo station and you’re there.

https://twitter.com/CicLAvia/status/1695487795165364512

………

OC bike advocate Mike Wilkinson forwards evidence of why you should always hesitate pulling out from a red light, until you know every driver in every direction is coming to a stop.

………

If you build it, they will come.

………

Remember this the next time someone questions why bike riders insist on riding in the street.

Or better yet, just send it to them.

………

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

Maybe starting the Vuelta in the Catalonia region wasn’t the best idea, as someone tried to sabotage the complicated second stage by tossing tacks and nails on the course, flattening the tires of around 15 cyclists.

An “arrogant” road-raging driver — and possible government employee — in the Philippines assaulted a man riding a bicycle, then pulled out a gun and aimed it at the victim before cooler heads apparently prevailed.

………

Local 

Beverly Hills is looking for your input on the parking-protected bike lane pilot project on Roxbury Drive, as they consider making the bike lane permanent.

Police in Long Beach are looking for a pair of robbers who fired a gun as they struggled with a man to steal his bicycle along the Los Angeles River bike path Thursday night; the thieves eventually ran off without the bike.

 

State

Video from a TikTok user shows people in San Diego standing by and watching as a man steals a woman’s bike in broad daylight, calling it an example of the Bystander Effect. Then again, the person taking the video didn’t intervene, either. 

Sad news from Sacramento, where a woman riding a bicycle was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

 

National

US colleges are beginning to ban ebikes due to a fear of fire risk as well as a risk to pedestrians. After all, it makes so much more sense to force students and faculty back into their cars, which evidently don’t pose a greater risk to anyone. Right?

The Better Business Bureau offers tips tips to help you pick the right ebike for your budget.

Bike Rumor offers their picks for Best in Show at Portland’s MADE handmade bike show; Velo offers their favorites, too.

Cycling Weekly visits MADE to examine the new Moots prototype spec’ed with 750D wheels, asking if we really need another wheel diameter standard.

A Seattle website profiles Seattle Bike Blog author Tom Fucoloro, who has a new book examining the city from behind the handlebars.

My hometown paper offers highlights from the massive turnout for the country’s last remaining Tour de Fat.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Sixty-four-year old John Kezdy, the lead singer of the ’80s punk band The Effigies, died on Saturday, three days after he was critically injured crashing his bike into an Amazon van illegally parked in a Chicago bike lane. The inevitable lawsuit will be just the cost of business for the online shopping giant.

It’s apparently open season on bike riders at Indiana University, as three students who participated in the iconic Little 500 bike race were hit by drivers in three days last week; the race was made famous in Breaking Away.

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who left a 12-year old Boston-area boy bleeding alone in the streets. Or any other kid, for that matter. 

A writer for The New York Times says he improved his mental and physical health by ditching his car and walking to biking to run errands, though he suggests that anyone wanting to emulate him may not want to start with a trip to Costco. Thanks to Bike Talk’s Taylor Nichols, who suggests getting writer Andrew Leonard to appear on the show, for the heads-up.

A Long Island woman faces charges for slamming into a triathlete as he rode his bike in the middle of a race, after pulling out of a parking lot at a high rate of speed and onto the race course that had been closed to traffic.

The AP offers not necessarily safe for work video from the Philadelphia World Naked Bike Ride.

This is who we share the road with. A road-raging Philadelphia driver with a concealed carry permit pulled out a gun and began firing after his car was surrounded by dirt bike riders on an apparent rideout, shooting one man before he was wounded by return fire.

 

International

Evidently, you can kill a man on a fundraising bike ride while driving drunk, bury his body a shallow grave on a remote Scottish estate for three years, and get off with just 12 years behind bars — and could get out in as little as six. And get just five years and three months for helping your brother hide the body.

BBC host and bicycling advocate Jeremy Vine causes a stir in the UK by saying drivers should pull over and let bicyclists pass in urban centers, since people on bicycles can often travel faster than people in cars — and that drivers shouldn’t be allowed to pass bicyclists at all. Finally, a campaign platform I can get behind.  

Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is one of us, after he posted video of going on a cargo bike ride with his twins while vacationing in Yorkshire, England. From the looks of it, the bike was almost as long as his name. 

GCN shares the “most bizarre and beautiful” bikes from last week’s Paris-Brest-Paris.

A Nigerian website says bicycling is a must if the country hopes to “be rid of hydra-headed transportation gridlock that often sends road users to nightmarish spasm.”

Giant Taiwanese bikemaker Giant warns customers that a scam website posing as the bike brand may be ripping off consumers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Jonas Vingegaard and Remco Evenepoel said enough is enough and intentionally slowed the peloton after a crash by Primož Roglič in Sunday’s stage 2 of the Vuelta; Italy’s Andrea Piccolo took the leader’s red jersey as Denmark’s Andreas Kron won the day on a stage shortened by flooding near rate finish.

Britain’s William Bjegfelt just won the Paracycling World Championships after he was told he’d never walk or bike again following a head-on collision with a driver in 2015.

L39ION of Los Angeles cyclists Kendall Ryan and Ty Magner wons the elite women’s and men’s races, respectively, at the IU Momentum Health Indy Crit in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Cycling Weekly takes a look at the alternative, off-road race scene in the UK.

More bad news, in what has been an unbelievably tragic year for pro and amateur cyclists, as 22-year old Belgian rider Tijl De Decke was killed when he crashed into the back of a car on a training ride.

 

Finally…

You may have to blow up your next bike helmet. That feeling when the man accused of stealing your bicycle finally gets arrested — 38 years later.

And they get it.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

LA Times remembers philanthropic Burbank bicyclist Roy Wiegand, and LA wants your input on Forest Lawn Drive

One quick note: I am now on Bluesky, in response to the increasing toxicity on Twitter/X, thanks to an invite from Todd R.

If you’re on there, you can follow me @bikinginla.bsky.social. And I’m still on Twitter, at least for now, @bikinginla

Photo by Luana Bento from Pexels

………

The Los Angeles Times remembers the life and philanthropy of Burbank bicyclist and professional trumpet player Roy Wiegand, who was killed when a driver turned into him as he road his bike near Prunedale in Monterey County.

The 60-year-old ultra marathoner and cyclist was refueling after traversing 2,500 miles on his bicycle in 25 days and in the process raising $26,000 to help improve access to clean drinking water for the Navajo Nation.

Wiegand ventured through San Francisco and Yosemite and braved 110-plus degree heat in Death Valley and Las Vegas. He enjoyed stunning vistas in Arizona and New Mexico and stayed at the homes of friends and strangers alike, his posts showed…

Wiegand, a trumpet player who performed with the Who, Wayne Newton and Mel Torme among others, is survived by his wife, Angela, son Dillon, daughter Sophie and father Roy Sr.

In the last few years, he had dedicated much of his time to philanthropic causes, most recently working with the water advocacy group DigDeep to raise money for the more than 700,000 American Indian and Alaskan Native people who lack access to clean, reliable water in the United States.

Funny how killer drivers always seem to take the best of us.

………

Los Angeles wants your input on whether to protect the bike lanes on Forest Lawn Drive, which seems like a no brainer on the dangerous street.

………

This is a phenomenon I’ve long observed riding from Los Angeles into Santa Monica, and vice versa.

One city clearly thinsk people on bikes actually matter.

And the other is Los Angeles.

………

Who’s a good boy?

A San Diego bike thief stops to play with a golden retriever who only wants a belly rub before he goes — with the $1,300 bike belonging to the dog’s owner.

………

Hundreds, if not thousands, of Bay Area bike riders, mostly in their teens, marked the first anniversary of a mass ride that took over the lower span of the Bay Bridge by doing it again.

Whether because of the sentiment expressed below, or because bikes still are only allowed to ride halfway across, before being forced to turn back.

Legally, anyway.

………

Let’s share a little Seattle bike joy from my friends at West Seattle Blog, as a huge mass of people take off on two wheels for a questionably named ride.

………

Well, that’s one way to stay safe on the road. Although I’m sure we all understand his reasoning.

………

The question is, how and why do they get there?

Is this the result of people tossing unloved and abandoned bikes into the water, or drunk tourists not watching where they’re riding?

Thanks to the incomparable Patt Morrison for the heads-up. 

………

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

This is who we share the road with. After someone apparently riding a bicycle was injured in a collision at LA’s West Grand Ave and Vista Del Mar, the couple posting the video to Citizen observe the aftermath of the crash, and you can hear the man say “This is why you stay in the bike lane.” Never mind that he apparently has no idea what caused the crash, or why the victim may or may not have been in a bike lane, but automatically assumes the bike rider was at fault. I’m not sure if the link will work; unfortunately, I can’t embed the video. Thanks to Margaret W for the link. 

A 28-year old Toronto man faces charges for allegedly deliberately slamming his car into a bike rider after the two men argued at a red light. A reminder once again that motor vehicles are ready, locked and loaded weapons in the hands of the wrong people. 

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

A bicycling Montreal columnist says he’s had it with shadow-hidden potholes, and scofflaw ebike and e-scooter riders with little or no experience.

………

Local 

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, who understands these things a lot better than I do, takes a deep dive into the complicated, wonky subject of freeway mitigation, which requires Metro to take active steps to offset any increase in driving on future freeway, under California law. And hopefully, he’ll correct me if I didn’t explain that right. 

Burbank bike rider Doug Weiskopf once again calls on the city to allow people to walk bicycles on the Mariposa foot bridge leading to Griffith Park, seven years after the city caved to equestrians by banning bikes entirely.

More on Manhattan Beach’s decision to crack down on teenage ebike riders who violate traffic laws, instituting a zero-tolerance approach to scofflaw ebike riders. Although that sounds like illegally biased enforcement, unless the same zero-tolerance applies to motorists and pedestrians, as well as regular bike riders; if not, that could get all the tickets tossed if the kids get a good lawyer.

 

State

An East Bay bike ride demanded justice for the death of an unarmed, 20-year old Hayward man killed by CHP officers and Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies responding to an alleged stolen car.

 

National

A writer for The Verge says it’s not hard to convert a cargo bike to an ebike, as long as you have the right tools and expect the unexpected.

Apple Insider likes the design and features of the new Lumos Ultra ebike helmet, if not the $200+ price.

An RV writer gets a good life lesson from learning to ride her ebike, discovering that you need to look where you want to go, not at the obstacles you want to avoid.

Anchorage, Alaska took a number of steps to become more bike friendly, approving measures to allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, as well as eliminating requirements for lights and brakes and noise signals, and for children 16 to wear helmets; the city also eliminated penalties for jaywalking.

The Colorado highway where 17-year old cycling star Magnus White was killed is slated to get a 12-foot-wide separated bike path next year, a year too late to save his life.

A writer likes the new bike path over Colorado’s Vail Pass, despite — or maybe because of — a section known as The Wall, with its 14% incline.

A Dallas, Texas youth soccer coach is raffling off tickets to see soccer legend Lionel Messi to benefit the family of a 12-year old girl killed in a right hook as she rode her bike on the sidewalk.

A Corpus Christi, Texas woman got the feeling that city council members weren’t listening to a woman of color making the case for protected bike lanes, so she used AI to create a white male avatar to make her case, instead.

After a Chicago man used his bike to fight boredom and find solace during the pandemic, he honored it by having it tattooed on his thigh.

When a ten-year old Michigan boy won a new bike in a raffle, he raised funds to buy one for his friend so they can ride together.

The Michigan woman accused in the DUI killing of two people participating in a fundraising bike ride across the state has had her trial postponed until October; it had been scheduled to begin today.

Gear Patrol raves about TriBeCa-based Priority Bicycles new 16-pound, $1,299 “speed demon” fixie.

 

International

Road.cc offers advice on how to beat the cost of living crisis, and feel healthier and happier, by riding your bike to work.

How to tell when a city actually gives a damn about people on bicycles. Montreal now has a 24/7 hotline to report vehicles blocking bike lanes.

There’s a special place in hell for the British teens who threatened a 13-year old boy with a machete to steal his bike.

The Verge looks are who’s in the bidding to buy what remains of bankrupt Dutch ebike maker VanMoof.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as Mathieu van der Poel overcame a late crash to win the world road cycling championship, becoming the first Dutch world champ since 1985; Belgian Wout Van Aert finished second, and Solvenia’s Tadej Pogačar beat out Denmark’s Mads Pedersen for third. No surprise here, either, as no American made the top ten. 

A French cyclist described the Glasgow road course for the worlds as “dizzying, dangerous and designed by a drunk person.”

The race was halted for a full hour as protesters blocked the roadway on a remote climb just 48-miles into the race, with environmental group This is Rigged taking the credit and/or blame for the incident to oppose new fossil fuel projects in Scotland.

Katie Archibald overcame grief over the death of her romantic partner, mountain biker Rab Wardell, to lead Britain to gold in the team pursuit, dedicating the win to Wardell.

Aside from Chloe Dygert’s victory in Thursday’s women’s individual pursuit, the US has failed to podium in any other race so far.

 

Finally…

Meet the training wheel “Bike Whisperer.” Although Britain’s PM probably didn’t need them for an indoor, Taylor Swift-themed LA cycling class.

And it’s hard to imagine these kids would be in their 80s by now.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1687583494984138752

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

News conference drums up support for LA-area speed cam pilot program, and Spanish mayor nails parking debate

Speed cams could soon be coming your way.

At a press conference in Studio City Tuesday morning, city and state officials explained the reasoning behind AB 645, which would establish a speed cam pilot program in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Glendale, along with three NorCal cities.

According to LADOT’s Makenzi Rasey,

“Too many people are dying on our streets and these crashes disproportionately impact low-income communities, people walking, people biking, our seniors, and our children.”

Like the 4,379 Californians killed in traffic collisions in 2021 alone, including 1,275 people walking and riding bikes.

Every one of them someone’s mother or father, son or daughter, sister or brother, leaving massive holes that can never be filled in the lives of their loved ones.

Rasey went on to add that LADOT is fighting the speeding crisis with “every street design tool available,” including lower speed limits on nearly 200 miles of streets, speed humps, signals and redesigned streets, along with more bike lanes.

Although as we can all testify, not nearly enough of those.

And the city still hasn’t moved forward with shovel-ready lane reductions planned for North Figueroa and Temple Street, which were blocked by councilmembers who are no longer in office.

Never mind the Westwood Blvd bike lanes blocked by then-Councilmember Paul Koretz, who has been replaced by the ostensibly more bike-friendly Katy Yaroslavsky.

The bill is also tailored to inflict minimal financial impact on, well, anyone, as Assembly Transportation Chair and congressional candidate Laura Friedman explained.

“Under our bill, unlike with getting a traditional speeding ticket, there’s no points on your license … Under this program, your first ticket, assuming that you aren’t egregiously speeding, is a warning. and after that, if you get a second ticket, that ticket starts at just $50. Now if you’re low-income that $50 is cut in half to just $25. And there’s a small escalator for every 10 mph over the limit you are going,” said Friedman.

Which doesn’t seem like nearly enough to get drivers to take their damn foot off the gas.

But that’s the compromise needed to get the bill through the legislature in a state where driving — and exceeding the speed limit — is considered a God-given right.

………

This may be the best answer to the incessant parking demands of drivers I’ve seen.

………

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

A Portland city commissioner is calling for rolling back requirements to install bike parking facilities in new residential buildings to increase affordability. Even though the costs are pretty damn negligible, especially compared to installing car parking. 

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

Seriously, don’t be a dick when riding your ebike at Burning Man.

A New Jersey teenager repeatedly punched a Target employee in the mouth when he was instructed to stop riding his bike. No, in the store.

A “thrill-seeking cyclist” was captured on video riding his bicycle on a busy Toronto freeway.

A middle-aged man in the UK, who should certainly know better, is accused of swearing at and threatening a young girl, and throwing her phone to the ground, after they collided while riding their bicycles. Schmuck.

………

Local 

ActiveSGV is hosting a family-friendly community bike ride this Saturday to demonstrate the Santa Anita Ave Complete Streets Project.

An LA-based writer for Velo is excited to encounter a man riding a custom Holland Cycles Titanium road bike on PCH in the ‘Bu.

 

State

Tragic news from San Diego, where a woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she was sideswiped by the driver of a massive pickup while riding her bike in the downtown Gaslamp District. Which should have at least been a prima facie violation of California’s three-foot passing law, but apparently wasn’t.

San Diego bike thieves are targeting ebikes as their popularity continues to grow. Ebikes, that is, not bike thieves, who continue to be unpopular in San Diego, and most everywhere else.

Bicycles — electric and otherwise — will now be banned from a five-block carfree section of downtown Ventura, along with skateboards and scooters. That would be illegal under state law if cars were allowed on the street, but apparently allowed since cars are banned.

SFist says San Francisco’s contentious Valencia Street centerline protected bike lane is causing confusion and chaos, with some people calling it the “Valencia Meatgrinder.”

Streetsblog talks with a 32-year old San Francisco man, seven years after he was severely injured by an inattentive driver while riding his bike, who argues that it would be easy to protect people on bicycles but the city won’t.

 

National

Apparently, rock and metal music tops the Spotify playlists for American bicyclists.

Bicycling offers tips on how to test-ride a bicycle before you buy. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Public comments submitted to the Consumer Product and Safety Commission calls for eliminating the requirement that kid’s bikes have coaster brakes, arguing the it keeps them from learning how to use handbrakes.

A lawsuit from the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) argues that the National Park Service was wrong to allow ebikes into national parks, saying the NPS hadn’t adequately addressed their potential to disturb wildlife and create conflicts with other people on the trail. Because evidently, the wilderness is only for fit people who don’t need a little help riding a bike. 

Seriously? Alaska’s governor vetoed a bill regulating ebikes, arguing ”…it creates unnecessary bureaucracy by regulating recreational activity,” even though all it does is establish the same three-tiered classifications pioneered in California, and passed in many, if not most, other states. The sponsor says the legislature will override the veto of the bill, which passed with overwhelming support.

In a clear demonstration of bent-up demand for ebike rebates, Denver’s latest round of ebike rebate vouchers was completely snapped up just three minutes after they became available. Which does not bode well for California’s vastly underfunded program, whenever it finally goes online.

Even rural ski resort town Jackson, Wyoming could soon require bike parking in all future developments.

An AP sportswriter is one of the roughly 80,000 people riding across Iowa in this year’s 50th RAGBRAI, writing that the mantra of the participants is “The ride will provide.”

Um, okay. An Illinois man reportedly threw a kid’s bike into a pond because he thought the boys were fishing too close to some ducks.

A panicking Michigan father threw a bicycle at a second story window to wake his kids and alert them that their home was on fire; firefighters arrived shortly afterwards to pull the kids to safety.

Who needs a car to attend the legendary Rhode Island Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals when you have a bicycle?

Florida man strikes again — literally — after a 37-year old man whacked another man over the head with a bicycle kickstand, because the victim apparently refused to play a country song. Although it’s not clear if he refused to play a particular country song, or just country songs in general.

 

International

Police threw the book at a 17-year old Toronto girl after she crashed a stolen car into a female bike cop.

Oxford, England merchants are accusing the city council of being “hyper-woke” — whatever the hell that means — after refusing to close a bike lane for the city’s annual Christmas market. Because obviously, the lives and safety of bike riders are of no importance compared to selling holiday treats and trinkets.

A 55-year old Oxford, England man faces a charge of “‘wanton or furious cycling” for crashing into an 81-year old woman walking on a pathway, who died 12 days later.

Litium-ion ebike battery fires could eventually be a thing of the past, as Swiss bikemaker Stromer introduced the first solid-state ebike battery, which promises to cut charging times down to just 20 minutes or less, even for the largest batteries.

 

Competitive Cycling

Outside talks with trans cyclist Austin Killips, who says she just wants to ride her bike, after becoming the poster child for excluding trans athletes from women’s sports.

Bicycling says Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky continues to hold the yellow jersey in the women’s Tour de France, but expects a shake-up in today’s mountainous stage four. The story doesn’t appear to be locked behind their usual paywall, but here’s the Yahoo link just in case.

The Guardian says the pay parity gulf between men’s and women’s cycling is continuing to widen, as all three Grand Tours now have women’s versions, but with significantly less prize money.

Colombian national time trial champ and former Tour de Suisse and Volta a Catalunya winner Miguel Angel Lopez has been provisionally suspended for a suspected doping violation. But bicycling is clean now, right?

 

Finally…

What bikes of the future could look like, if it wasn’t for rules and stuff. Your next e-mountain bike could be made of bamboo, other than, you know, the battery and all that metal and rubber stuff.

And this is what happens when you give an ebike to a Slopestyle cyclist.

https://www.tiktok.com/@canyon_bicycles/video/7254580546742045979?embed_source=%3Bnull%3Bembed_blank&refer=embed&referer_url=www.bikemag.com%2Fnews%2Fgravel-bike-slopestyle&referer_video_id=7254580546742045979

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Explore the Venice Corridor with LADOT and CicLAvia Sunday, and East Side Riders expands to Huntington Park

CicLAvia offers more details on Sunday’s event to celebrate and explore the new dedicated bus lanes and protected bike lane extensions on Venice Blvd.

And since I’m worn out after a too long, too hard and too busy week, I’ll let them tell you about it.

WHAT:

On Sunday, July 23, from 2-6 p.m., Venice Boulevard: Explore the Corridor presented by Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and powered by CicLAvia, celebrates the recent transportation safety improvements along Venice Boulevard.

This free public event will feature a series of guided group bike rides and walks along the new protected bike lanes and safety features on Venice Boulevard, between National and Sepulveda, as well as routes through the surrounding neighborhoods. Venice Boulevard will remain open to cars, and we encourage participants to explore the area safely. Bicycles, roller skates, skateboards, scooters, strollers, walkers, and runners are all welcome.

WHERE:

There will be a Hub at Venice and Bagley (9390 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232) with music, street games and other activities for all ages and abilities.

WHEN:

Sunday, July 23, 2023; 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Illustration shows the new Venice Blvd bus/bike corridor. 

……….

The Watts-based East Side Riders Bike Club made a handful of announcements, starting with news of a second location in Huntington Park serving the Southeast LA communities.

Huntington Park Community News.

We recently secured a location in the city of Huntington Park to help is serve the Southeast (SELA) communities.

We’re looking forward to launching our summer Tuesday and Thursday community bike rides, teaching bicycle safety and education and lunching our SELA E-Bike loan program in HP.

Our Friday Night Rides (FNR) and Sunday Rides will now start and finish in Huntington Park.

Friday Night Rides

Every other Friday @ 6:00 pm

Sunday Rides

Weekly at 10:00 am

6013 State Street, Huntington Park CA 90255

The group also issued a Save the Date notice for the Watts Non-Profit Day.

Save The Date!!

Join East Side Riders and you the community as we host our first Nonprofit Day in Watts.

National Nonprofit Day is commemorated on August 17 each year to recognize nonprofit organizations’ ongoing efforts to serve the local community. If you’ve ever volunteered, you’re well aware of the significance of these charitable organizations.

This is a day to bring NPO’s in Watts together along with our elected officials so we can all get to know one another and share resources with the community.

Our Nonprofit Day will be held on

Sunday August 20th, 2023

11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Located on 103rd Street between Success and Compton in Watts.

For more information or to RSVP email Monica Sanchez, monica.sanchez@esrbc.org

 

Finally, the East Side Riders announced their free, all-ages after school activities program.

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Gravel Bike California looks forward to California’s Gravel Event Calendar as the fall / winter season picks up.

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Mountain bike brand Forbidden says quit your job, and ride a bike.

Works for me.

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

The Conservative Party’s candidate for London mayor threatens to undo years of progress for active travel, in sharp contrast with other European mayors; she insists she’s not insists she’s not anti-bike, despite describing bike riders as lawless and dangerous, while calling for mandatory registration for bicyclists, and claiming bike lanes cause congestion. Makes you wonder whether she’d consider anything short of calling for the death and dismemberment of people on two wheels as being anti-bike.

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

A Utah bike rider was captured on live TV lifting his bicycle over a barricade closing a bike trail, after a woman was killed when a tree fell on her during a storm (see story under National news).

There’s a special place in hell for the Pennsylvania man who stole a 15-year old boy’s bicycle, then used it to chase the boy’s teenaged sisters on their bikes, until an adult couple confronted the man.

Police in Singapore are looking for a Caucasian hit-and-run bicyclist who crashed into a woman and her toddler daughter, leaving them both banged up and shaken. Yet another reminder that you have the same obligation to remain after a crash as drivers do, even if too many of them don’t.

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Local 

LA’s experiment with placing cool paint on Pacoima streets is paying off, as the newest surface coatings are reducing ambient temperatures by three degrees throughout the ten-block test area.

 

State

Velo’s Urbanist Update argues that San Raphael state Assemblyman Damon Connolly is wrong when he cites the bike lanes on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge for causing pollution, because removing the bike lane would only move the bottleneck to the other end of the bridge. Besides, the real problem is the 80,000 drivers who insist on using it every day, not the people on bikes.

 

National

PeopleForBikes latest bikeability ratings of American cities continues to make waves, as EcoWatch looks at eight of the top-rated cities, including my Colorado hometown.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission warned people to immediately stop using SQM bicycle helmets because they don’t comply with positional stability and certification requirements, and can fail to protect riders in a crash.

Inmates at a Las Vegas correctional institution are fixing up abandoned bicycles collected from police around Nevada to donate to veterans, kids and the homeless.

For the second time this week, a bike rider had been killed by a falling tree branch, after a 68-year old Utah woman was killed when a tree fell on her as she rode on a bike trail during a thunderstorm.

Chicago Streetsblog calls PeopleForBikes’ low ranking for the city silly, but applauds the push for lower speed limits and a citywide protected bike network.

That’s more like it. A 32-year old Michigan man faces up to 15 years behind bars after he was convicted for the high-speed hit-and-run that killed a man riding a bicycle, while driving at over three times the legal alcohol limit — although prosecutors had asked for a second-degree murder conviction, with a possible life sentence.

Life is cheap in Pennsylvania, where a 39-year old woman got a whole 30 days behind bars for the hit-and-run collision that left a bike-riding man with a broken neck. But at least she’ll have to wear a monitoring anklet for another three months.

A grieving Georgia mother kicked off a traffic safety campaign after her ten-year old son was killed just trying to cross a street on his bike to get home.

 

International

Momentum Magazine offers a beginner’s guide to choosing the right ‘bent.

A writer for Condé Nast Traveler says her favorite Airbnb experience was riding an ebike on a 19-mile trail through Brazil’s Tijuca National Park, in the rainforests outside Rio de Janeiro.

Frightening video from Toronto, where dashcam captured a driver attempting to pass a bike rider on the right before running over him; fortunately, the victim pops back up after the crash. Be sure you really want to see it before you click on the clink, because you can’t unsee the image.

 

Competitive Cycling

Danish cyclist Kasper Asgreen foiled what was supposed to be a sprinter’s stage in yesterday’s stage 18 of the Tour de France, winning the stage with a lengthy four-man breakaway as multiple teams tried to chase them down at the finish.

American Sepp Kuss looks back at his role as a key lieutenant for Tour leader Jonas Vingegaard, saying the team knew what they had to do to break two-time winner Tadej Pogačar on the Col de la Loze.

Pogačar aims to finish the Tour on his terms, as his UAE Team Emirates looks towards two spots on the final podium, even if he’ll be denied a third yellow jersey.

Belgian Wout van Aert has what may be the best excuse for dropping out of the Tour, after leaving to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

Canadian cyclists will be able to compete under their chosen gender in non-UCI sanctioned events for the rest of this year, after the governing body for bike racing banned trans athletes from competing in women’s races.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can prevent close passes with your very own inflatable spiky bikepack. That feeling when authorities give you a shuttle bus instead of a bike lane.

And when a self-deprecating f-bomb wins you more fans for keeping it real.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin.

Update: Boerner introduces bill to require ebike licenses, ban young riders; and bike rider severely injured in Moreno Vally crash

The news isn’t great on the bill to create an ebike licensing program.

Sponsored by 77th District Assemblymember Tasha Boerner, AB 530, which cannibalized an earlier bill, would —

1) Prohibit anyone under 12 from riding any class of ebike.

2) Require a photo ID for anyone over 16 who doesn’t have a valid driver’s license.

3) Existing state law requires that anyone riding a Class 3 ebike, defined as a ped-assist bike capable of speeds up to 28 mph, to wear a bike helmet that meets standards from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Correction: I originally wrote that the bill would require an ebike license for anyone who doesn’t have a driver’s license.

However, that understanding came from the press release posted below, which says the bill would “Require an online written test and a state-issued photo identification for those without a valid driver’s license.”

I’m told that the bill actually requires that anyone over 16 without a driver’s license would be required to carry photo ID to ride an ebike, though I’m not sure what that would be, since not everyone has one. 

The bill would also establish a working group with a goal of creating a license for ebike riders. 

Although as we’ve repeatedly been told, there’s no way to create a bicycle license that would pencil out financially, so I’m not sure that would work out. Not to mention all the other reasons bike licensing isn’t viable

I don’t actually have a problem with the first requirement. Ebikes are powerful machines that young children may not be able to handle. Although I’d exclude handicapped children who may not be able to ride a standard bicycle.

I do have a problem with requiring a license for any adult to ride any kind of bicycle, electric or otherwise. There are countless reasons why someone might not have a driver’s license, which have nothing to do with their ability to ride a bicycle.

Someone who has been riding a bicycle for 20, 30 or 40 years is perfectly capable of riding an ebike without having to pass a test to get a license. And it creates a very slippery slope to the demands of some drivers that all bike riders should be licensed.

Once we require licenses for one group of bicyclists, it’s a very small step to require them for all.

Never mind that it’s exactly the wrong thing to do when California is literally on fire, overly congested traffic is grinding to halt, and our air and climate are fouled by motor vehicles.

We should be encouraging alternatives to driving, rather than throwing up still more barriers.

What would make far more sense is to create a separate class for throttle-controlled ebikes, which require no physical exertion to operate, and can easily reach speeds beyond what inexperienced riders are capable of safely controlling.

Like this one. Or this.

I’m sure Tasha Boerner’s heart is in the right place — although I’d like to know why the hell she pulled AB 73, which would have allowed bike riders to treat stop signs as yields when safe to do so, when it appeared to be on track to pass the legislature.

Especially since I’ve heard Gavin Newsom may have looked more favorably on it this time, after vetoing two earlier versions of the bill.

But this bill, AB 530, should be dead on arrival without major revisions.

Photo by Maxfoot from Pixabay.

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Sad news from Moreno Valley, where a man riding a bicycle was severely injured in a head-on collision Friday night.

The victim was riding east on Box Springs Road at Pine Cone Lane around 9 pm when he allegedly crossed onto the wrong side of the road, and was struck by the driver of a 2006 Honda Civic.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Deputy Andrew Galbreath of the Moreno Valley sheriff’s station at 951/486-6700.

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CicLAvia is teaming with LADOT to explore the newly extended protected bike lanes and safety improvements on Venice Blvd this Sunday, though the street will remain open to motor vehicles.

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Streets For All is back with their monthly virtual happy hour on Wednesday, with Caltrans District 7 Director Gloria Roberts as special guest.

Which means this is your perfect chance to ask questions about safety improvements and Complete Streets requirements on state roadways.

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A Shakespeare put it, “’tis true ’tis pity, and pity ’tis, ’tis true.”

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

Talk about not getting it. A London writer and bike rider says we don’t need any bike cam vigilantes, arguing that a road raging driver who went ballistic after being challenged for texting behind the wheel wasn’t endangering anyone because he was stuck in stationary traffic. Never mind that texting drivers often lurch forward without looking after someone honks at them for not moving when the light changes. 

A road-raging Porsche driver ran over a bike after a group of bike riders participating in a London ride-out blocked the driver’s path.

A couple in the UK were ordered to remove their DIY cargo bike parking space after the local council concluded that the planter they used for protection might hurt the poor cars.

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

Police in Northern Ireland have spoken to a bike rider regarding his conduct, after the “intolerant and ignorant” man shouted obscenities as he rode past a Protestant parade. More proof that The Troubles aren’t entirely in the past.

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Local 

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton visits my neighborhood to offer his thoughts on the new peak-hour bus lanes on La Brea Blvd, which he suggests could be even quicker and cheaper to build; he also notes that CD10 Councilmemember Heather Hutt is working to maintain the street’s auto-centric focus by indefinitely blocking the project south of Olympic Blvd. It’s worth noting that Hutt, who cites a lack of public consensus for blocking the project was appointed by the council to fill a vacancy, and has yet to face the voters.

 

State

Solana Beach officials discussed the city’s response to mounting ebike injuries, after neighboring Carlsbad and Encinitas declared a local state of emergency earlier this year.

The Ventura County Transportation Commission wants your input on planning the future of mobility for the county.

San Francisco Streetsblog takes a self-guided, unofficial tour of the new Gilman Street pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-80, even though it’s not scheduled to open until October.

A Chico driver may have saved the life of a bike rider, stopping her car to intervene when she saw around eight pit bulls attacking a man riding his bike on a bike path, before the dogs turned on her; the dogs were captured at a nearby homeless encampment after both victims managed to get away

 

National

A travel website wants you to explore Mexico City by bicycle.

Streetsblog reposts a Substack article offering advice on how to talk to strangers to accomplish your bike and transit goals, saying even if you’re an introvert, you have to win others over to your cause.

Oregon officials are planning to build a 172-mile bicycle network in the scenic southwest portion of the state, though just what form it will take is still to be determined.

A new Oregon law reduces the penalties for biking under the influence, as lawmakers recognize the reduced damage an intoxicated bike rider can cause, compared to people in the big, dangerous machines.

A tragic warning about riding in extreme heat, after an Arizona man in his 70s died from apparent heat-related causes after suffering a flat, and attempting to walk his bike to a nearby fire station to wait for his wife.

This is who we share the road with. An Idaho woman is in a medically induced coma after she was run down by a 14-year old driver on the 4th of July while riding her bike; she was in treatment for a meth addiction and 120 days sober when she was injured. A crowdfunding campaign to defray her medical expenses has raised just over ten percent of the $50,000 goal.

A Nebraska bike rider became the latest person to be run down by a cop while riding a bicycle, after he was right hooked while riding on the sidewalk.

There’s a special place in hell for the adult thief who pushed a Detroit boy off his bike as the kid was riding it, then pedaled off on it; the thief turned himself into the police, while a state legislator gave the boy a new bike.

An Indiana man will spend the next 35 years behind bars after he was convicted of attempted murder for shooting a man on a bicycle in the back, while shouting that the victim had stolen his car.

A Kentucky state park worker is being praised for jumping into the water to save a ten-year old boy who accidentally rode his bike off a 15-foot cliff, then dove back in to retrieve the boy’s bicycle.

They get it, too. The leaders of a Boston-area city want the city’s police to stop ticketing bicyclists who ride through red lights without putting anyone else at risk.

Tragic news from DC, where a fixture in the local bicycling scene was fatally gunned down early Saturday; 27-year old Dzhoy Zuckerman was killed just blocks from his home by an unknown attacker. No word on whether he was riding his bike at the time, or any motive for the shooting. A crowdfunding campaign to support his partner has raised over $3,800 of the $10,000 goal in the first few hours.

 

International

Bike Biz asks if rising bicycle prices have become a barrier to sales.

A small new Canadian study suggest one factor causing crashes is that drivers just aren’t looking for people on bicycles.

A man riding his bike across Canada to raise awareness for mental health lost all of his gear when someone stole his bike outside a Winnipeg coffee shop; he says he was warned about Winnipeg.

A new Scottish study concludes that drivers are more likely to be at fault in crashes with bicyclists.

They must be doing something right, as British bicycling deaths drop 24% to their lowest level in 30 years. Exactly the opposite of what’s happening in this country, for reasons that should be self evident.

Forty people from four continents, including survivors of the 2017 New York bike path attack climbed the Grand Colombier before the Tour de France stage to honor the victims of terrorism.

Now you can carry your kids with what is in effect a three-wheeled ped-assist pedicab, thanks to a collaboration between Germany’s Cube and BMW.

A Singapore writer says it’s not easy being a casual bike rider in the island city-state. But apparently, it’s not any easier being a serious bicyclist, as 26 Singaporean roadies were fined for exceeding the limits on group rides, which specify no more than five bicyclists can ride together at any given time.

 

Competitive Cycling

This year’s Tour de France is threatening to descend into chaos, marring what is turning into an epic battle between Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar.

Exhibit one is the race motos that halted an attack by Pogačar on the Col de Joux Plane on Saturday’s stage 14, which may have kept him from claiming the yellow jersey.

Velo questions whether the race motos could prove decisive, as Pogačar lost out on a time bonus that could have cut Vingegaard’s lead to just four seconds, while the riders and passengers of both motos were suspended for one whole stage for their transgressions.

Exhibit two is a mass crash shortly after the start of Saturday’s stage that forced three riders to abandon, while holding up the race for half an hour to attend to the injured cyclist; two other riders were forced to abandon when they both crashed on a fast descent shortly after the restart.

Exhibit three is another mass crash on Sunday’s stage, when a spectator taking a selfie came in contact with American rider Sepp Kuss, triggering a massive chain reaction crash.

Vingegaard responded to questions about increases in speeds, as he and Pogačar have broken several climbing records in recent years, crediting it on improving bicycle tech, while acknowledging that he can understand why people would wonder if he’s on something.

American riders Neilson Powless and Lawson Craddock lit up Sunday’s “monster climbing stage” in stage 15, as Powless defended the King of the Mountain jersey he’s worn for two weeks, while Craddock just missed the podium with a career-best fourth.

UCI has reversed its policy for transgender cyclists, ruling that transgender women who transition after puberty will be barred from competing in women’s cycling events in all categories and disciplines. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Huh? A bizarre story from South Korea, where a transgender cyclist says she won a woman’s race to prove a point to “selfish” trans athletes that biological men are physically superior to biological women.

Citing a recent court decision, a Colorado landowner is now requiring liability waivers from all the competitors, support staff and spectators for the Leadville 100 mountain bike race, after allowing the race to traverse his land for the previous four years he’s owned it. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can carry a concealed weapon on your bicycle (just give a fake birthday to get past the NRA’s intrusive age check). That feeling when your bike brand shares a name with a late rock star.

And when popping wheelies and bunny hopping makes you “the NBA of the streets.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin.

Pasadena ebike rebates start tomorrow, Americans know wider highways won’t fix traffic, and LADOT wants your input

Today marks the start of a four-day holiday weekend for many people, myself included. 

Which means the drinking and driving is likely to start early today, and continue through Tuesday.

While riding a bike remains the best way to get to the fireworks and other festivities, you’ll want to watch out for distracted and drunk drivers, because chances are, they won’t be looking for you. 

So ride defensively, stay safe, and come back here bright and early on Wednesday to catch up on anything we may have missed over the weekend. I’ll be around if there’s any breaking news in the meantime, so make sure you’ve signed up for email alerts near the end of that long, long blue column on the right if you haven’t already. 

And have a great 4th of July!

As for the photo up above, it’s a sad day when even clowns aren’t safe on the streets, judging by the residue by the curb near my apartment.

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Pasadena will begin its ebike rebate program for city residents tomorrow.

Meanwhile, California’s nascent program, which was supposed to be launched by today, remains nowhere to be seen.

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A new study of registered voters across the US shows that two-thirds of Americans know widening highways doesn’t solve traffic problems.

Even if government officials and transportation agencies — like Metro — don’t seem to get it.

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Good question.

The Highland Ave survey considers the section from Franklin to Santa Monica, so it doesn’t go up to the Hollywood Bowl, or down to the subway on Wilshire.

The survey for Culver Blvd covers the street from Berryman Ave to Centinela west of the 405.

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A brief thread from Richard Masoner of Cyclicious fame effectively frame the problem of shared responsibility in a world of distracted drivers.

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1674472139620225024

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Gravel Bike California’s latest epic takes you riding on Mendenhall Ridge in the Angeles National Forest, by way of Metrolink.

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

A New Orleans advocacy group is teaming with the local bikeshare to give away bike helmets to promote bike safety in the city with the country’s highest per capita bicycling death rate. Except that’s just more victim blaming in the guise of safety, because it doesn’t do a damn thing to get the people in the big dangerous machines to sober up or pay attention to the road and people ahead of them.

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

Yes, Fox News was right about naked men participating in annual Body Pride Ride as part of an all-ages Seattle Pride parade, but a photo of children walking past naked bike riders comes from the London World Naked Bike Ride in 2017, instead. But they wouldn’t want to mention that since the Naked Bike Ride is a protest about climate change, not gay pride. 

A pair of British ebike riders shot up a number of parked cars, for no apparent reason.

Awful news from Germany, where a former Olympic gold medalist cyclist was convicted of sexually abusing a child.

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Local 

BikeLA, nee Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, is looking for auction items for their upcoming LA Bike Fest, in case you or your company has anything of value you can donate. Maybe I can give them an autographed copy of this blog.

 

State

The California Transportation Commission — not Caltrans — announced the latest round of 134 active transportation projects for the Active Transportation Program’s (ATP) Cycle 6, including projects in LA’s Boyle Heights, National City and Tehachapi.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will now offer bicycle safety classes in lieu of citations for scofflaw ebike riders. Once again putting the onus for safety on the potential victims, rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines.  

While the San Diego media has fanned the flames of driver anger over the new bike lanes on Park Blvd, bicyclists complain that the painted lines on one block don’t offer any protection.

A San Luis Obispo weekly looks at the effort to build a bike path along the California coast, which has been ongoing since the ’70s.

Caltrans plans to improve safety along El Camino Real in Redwood City, including adding bike lanes, by 2028. And just hope no one gets killed in the next five years, apparently.

No surprise here, as vandals and bike thieves have targeted Stockton’s nonprofit bikeshare fleet.

 

National

A new movie tells the story of a 12-year old bike thief who is none too happy when her estranged dad re-enters the picture. Although it might be pushing it to expect the bike community to have sympathy for a bicycle rustling waif.

GearJunkie offers a primer on the carbon fiber found in bike frames and other assorted parts.

Bicycling says the US Bicycle Route System is now even cooler with the addition of new routes, including its first ferry ride. Although you may be out of luck if the magazine blocks you, since it doesn’t appear to be available anywhere else. 

A 69-year old California man has spent the last two years riding back and forth across the US to raise funds for the Challenged Athletes Foundation to provide prosthetics for Paralympic athletes. And has high praise for Nebraska drivers.

Heartbreaking story from Detroit, where a man was found not guilty after his three dogs attacked and killed a nine-year old girl as she rode her bike, then began eating her leg; the law requires a person to know their dogs were dangerous before they can be held responsible. Maybe he didn’t know they were dangerous, but he may have starved them.

An artist in Lansing, Michigan has designed a series of artistic leaf-shaped bike racks. Which aren’t likely to be used, because a) they don’t look like bike racks, and b) they appear to be just bolted to the sidewalks, meaning they could be unbolted, too.

Boston plans to build a bike lane on the city’s Boylston Street, and parts of Beacon and Berkeley, to address safety concerns for bicyclists in the Back Bay, although some residents bicker about losing parking spaces. Meanwhile, Back Bay NIMBYs bizarrely warn someone is likely to die because of the protected bike lanes, even though protected lanes have been shown to improve safety for all road users. This story has been brought to you by the letter B.

Maybe there’s hope yet, as teams of architects and designers reimagine what New York streets could be without cars.

New York’s fire department is cracking down on ebike shops selling and storing unsafe lithium-ion batteries.

 

International

A new interactive game invites you to ride a ghost bike to the afterlife to save lost souls. Although in this case, the ghost bikes are magical couriers who ride between the world of the living and the world of the dead. It still sounds like it’s in very poor taste, though, given what ghost bikes represent in the real world. 

Downtown Vancouver has introduced a summer-long free bike valet. Which is a service that every city should offer. 

A British Columbia family ditched their SUV for an environmentally responsible e-cargo bike, and haven’t looked back.

Transgender comedian Suzy Eddie Izzard is one of us, taking to the streets of London wearing a miniskirt on a bikeshare bike.

British bike riders raise understandable concerns after discovering that the bike racks at a new Aldi store can simply be lifted out of the pavement.

The Connexion examines the French love of all things bicycle, dating back to the nineteenth century.

Parisian Mayor Anne Hidalgo enters the emerging conflict between ebike and e-scooter users and people on foot, not by cracking down on electric micromobility, but with what Streetsblog calls a common-sense plan that includes taking still more space from drivers.

An unlicensed Scottish driver was arrested for the hit-and-run that killed a noted local bicyclist in Ibiza, Spain; police found his abandoned Jeep three miles from the crash scene.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay calls Belgium’s Wout Van Aert the Bo Jackson of the Tour de France, but the paper insists on hiding the story behind its draconian paywall. Am I the only one who is less likely to subscribe to any publication after being confronted by their paywall?

Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling previews the competition for the Tour de France’s green sprinter’s jersey sponsored by the car brand.

Velo says riders preparing for the Tour de France are pushing for more safety measures in the wake of Gino Mãder’s death in the Tour de Suisse, arguing that “the worst-case scenario is really scary.”

 

Finally…

Who could have imagined that a wheel-less, tread-operated bicycle could be horribly inefficient? That feeling when the first ebike with built-in AI is as weird as it sounds.

And this looks like my pre-4th beer run.

Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin.

BOLO alert for Westlake hit-and-run, more on NY bikeshare Karen, and Life/Cycle-riding doctor running to replace Schiff

The seemingly epidemic of heartless LA hit-and-run drivers just keeps on going.

The LAPD is looking for the driver who left a bike rider bleeding in the streets of Westlake, suffering from what is described as “severe, though not life-threatening injuries.”

The crash occurred around 8:45 pm on Saturday. May 13 at Hoover and Carondelet streets in the Westlake District.

The suspect vehicle is described as an older model white Nissan, with likely with damage to its front end, hood and windshield from the impact with the victim.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/833-3713, or email 31480@lapd.online. Or call the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213/833-3746 after hours or weekends.

As always, there is a $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious, but not fatal, injuries in the City of Los Angeles.

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

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There’s always another side to the story, even when everyone has already taken sides.

It’s been clear for some time that we’ve only heard one side of the story about the white New York hospital worker filmed in a viral video trying to wrest and whine a bikeshare bike out of the hands of a Black teenager.

The woman, who has become infamous as the Citi Bike Karen, has spoken through her attorney, who claims he has receipts showing she rented the bike she was trying to claim.

She’s raised over $124,000 from people who thought she was unfairly accused of racism.

Now the family of the teenager she was trying to take the bike from is finally speaking out for the first time. According to them, the 17-year old boy’s life and family have been in turmoil since the incident.

They explained that as the son of low-income, West African immigrants on public assistance, he was entitled to discounted 45-minute bikeshare rides, after which the rate increases.

The day of the incident, he and his friends rode from his home in the Bronx to visit friends in Harlem. After 45 minutes, he re-docked the bike to reset the clock, before setting out again at the reduced rate.

Which is when he claims his life went to hell.

He says the hospital worker approached the group as they briefly rested with the bikes, asking each one in turn if she could use their bike. Each boy said no, because they were about to take them back out again.

So she stepped onto the bike anyway, using her phone to scan the bike’s QR code as he held onto the handlebars, and tried to take the bike out of his hands.

According to New York’s NewsOne,

It was 7:24 p.m., and that is when the boys began recording…

Michael insisted Sarah Jane Comrie knew he was planning to use the bike. He said she asked him and his friends to use theirs, and they all informed her they were using the bikes and would be leaving shortly.

He said she seemed annoyed that they wouldn’t willingly give up their bikes to her. He also said he believes she wanted that bike as opposed to the others that remained docked in the rack because he had one of the newer e-bikes.

The rest of the interaction plays out in the video. Sarah Jane Comrie, dressed in scrubs bearing the NYC Health + Hospitals logo, removed her work ID badge from her neck, placed it in her bag along with a brown paper bag she was holding and began screaming for help.

Proving once again there’s always another side to the story.

We have no way of knowing who is right, or exactly how the events played out in the minutes before the camera was turned on. But the incident offers a Rorschach Test for today’s America, as people on both sides of the political divide quickly chose sides.

A white woman received over a hundred grand, while a young Black man has his life upended. Although a crowdfunding campaign started yesterday has raised over $37,000 for his legal fees in less than 24 hours.

Because once again, we’re all taking sides.

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He gets it.

A reporter for Vice takes on former LADOT head Seleta Reynolds recent comments comparing building bus and bike lanes without community engagement to bulldozing houses to build freeways.

This difference of intent and scale is worth dwelling on because it is why the comparison is so misguided. The U.S. Department of Transportation has estimated 475,000 households containing one million people were displaced due to highway construction from 1957 to 1977. That is the equivalent of displacing the entire population of modern-day Austin, Texas. Likewise, a Los Angeles Times analysis found that an additional 200,000 people have lost their homes due to highway construction since 1990. To the best of my knowledge, there has not been a single housing unit destroyed or person displaced to build a bike or bus lane anywhere in the U.S. On these grounds alone, it is simply absurd to compare urban highway construction to bike and bus lanes. Projects of such vastly different scopes and scale deserve different approaches and mindsets.

But there is another good reason to reject this comparison, one that is equally revealing about the biases of modern transportation officials. Reynolds asked, “What makes us so confident we know best?” Another way of asking this is, what makes us so confident we know bike and bus lanes are better than masses of parking and multiple travel lanes for private cars for everyone?

The answer is: we’ve got the receipts. In this case, decades of scientific study and experiments carefully tracked and evaluated by local departments of transportation.

The sheer absurdity of Reynolds’ comments, coming from someone who should surely know better, is appalling.

It also explains why so little was done to improve LA streets while she ran the department. And why we shouldn’t hold our breath for any major innovations coming from her new position as Metro’s Chief Innovation Officer.

Unless maybe her chief innovation is even more pointless, never-ending public meetings.

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Openly gay, Lebanese-Armenian global health leader Dr. Jirair Ratevosian is the latest candidate to toss his hat into the ring to replace outgoing Rep. Adam Schiff in California’s 30th Congressional District.

He’s also one of us, regularly taking part in the annual 545-mile AIDS/LIFECYCLE ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, which benefits the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

However, Ratevosian faces stiff competition from Burbank Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman, California State Senator Anthony Portantino, and former Boy Meets World star Ben Savage, among others.

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

A Columbus, Ohio bike rider is calling for more protected bike lanes after a road raging driver brake checked him, then threw a drink at him. That came just days after another road raging driver deliberately backed into a bike rider when the man on the bike refused to get off and fight him.

No irony here. A London man goes on a rant about the city’s LTNs, or Limited Traffic Neighborhoods, while filming himself in front of a congested, non-LTN jammed with cars.

An award-winning British TV producer, writer and comedian was fined the equivalent of more than $1,200, plus another $1,250 in court costs and victim surcharge, for flipping off a bike cam activist when he was caught using his smartphone from behind the wheel of his $173,000 Aston Martin.

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

After a Seal Beach letter writer complains that it seems petty to ticket a pair of senior citizens on a tandem for rolling a stop sign, a cop explains that bicycles are treated as vehicles in California, and bike riders have to obey the law, too. Even laws that most drivers don’t. Which is one more argument to pass the Stop As Yield bill in the state legislature, and get Governor Newsom to sign the damn thing this time. 

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Local 

For some reason, I can’t seem to embed tweets today. So click through for some great shots of bicycles over 100 years ago in LA’s historic Chinatown, forwarded by Erik Griswold.

Los Angeles Public Press examines LA’s gender-expansive group rides designed to make biking in the city more comfortable, safer and accepting.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

The CPSC, aka Consumer Product Safety Commission, is looking for public input as they consider how to update federal regulations governing bicycles to accommodate ebikes. Read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Bloomberg’s CityLab says American cities are failing female bicyclists by failing to invest in bike infrastructure.

A writer for the Christian Science Monitor relates riding cross county from Boston to Oregon in the ’70s with just a bike and $200, back when ATMs and cellphones didn’t exist.

After saying that dismantling yet another claim that bike and bus lanes cause pollution is uninteresting and a complete waste of his time, a Seattle writer considers the philosophical function of the automobile, instead.

A Colorado man takes to the road on an adaptive recumbent bike, eight years after he was injured hitting a pothole, which eventually cost him both legs.

A 28-year old Kentucky man is dead after a pickup driver crashed into his bike; police excused the crash because glare from the setting sun kept him from seeing the victim. Never mind that the correct course of action would have been to pull over to the side of the road until he could see, before he killed anyone.

The New York Times says the Citi Bike bikeshare has become part of New York’s street life as it marks its tenth anniversary.

Several members of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles participated in a fundraising ride to benefit an autism nonprofit while wearing winged bike helmets to match the ones they wear on the field.

This is who we share the road with. A 32-year old Philadelphia woman faces murder and vehicular homicide charges for a December hit-and-run crime spree that killed on man and injured two other people; she is accused of hitting three cars and a scooter rider, then crashing into a bike rider before fatally slamming into a man walking in a crosswalk, and fleeing from all three crashes.

 

International

British Columbia becomes just the latest city, state or province to offer ebike rebates before California’s long-delayed program finally gets off the ground, with purchase credits ranging from $350 to a maximum of $1,400.

After a UK city announced plans to encourage bike riding by giving away 2,500 bicycles and free bicycling lessons, local advocates argued the city needs to address the “huge issue” of providing safe places to ride them.

This is what it looks like to hit a pothole while riding at speed, as a British man suffered a broken pelvis when he only managed to avoid three out of four potholes in his path.

 

Competitive Cycling

Leader Geraint Thomas held off an attack by by Primož Roglič and his Jumbo-Visma team on stage 18 of the Giro, while Italian champ Filippo Zana broke away from the pack to claim the stage win; the stage came on Thomas’ 37th birthday.

Bicycling says the colossal amounts of elevation gain in the last few stages of the Giro will make the final days of racing a slugfest. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t appear to be available anywhere else, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you. 

Cycling Weekly pulls nine bikes out of the Worldtour pro peloton to name one as their racing bike of the year.

The annual Tour of Nevada City Bicycle Classic as been officially cancelled this year, following years of declining attendance.

 

Finally…

As long as people hate bicycles and semi-trucks, you might as well do them both. That feeling when you take your javelina bike out for a spinthanks to Dr. Grace Peng for the link. 

And that feeling when you can’t decide between a BMX and pogo stick. So you do both.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.