Tag Archive for lane-miles

Morning Links: Meager LADOT bike lanes output, Lee Iacocca pushed 1990s ebikes, and the war on bikes goes on

Happy 4th of July!

There’s no better way to get to the fireworks or other holiday events than riding your bike or walking. 

Just remember that drivers will be focused on finding parking spaces or a faster way out of traffic afterwards.

And won’t be looking for you. 

So ride accordingly. 

And just like any three or four-day weekend, remember that many people will start drinking or smoking early and often.

So assume any driver you see on the road is under the influence of something. Which means ride carefully and defensively — because the best protection is being prepared for anything, at any time.

And we want to see you back here again after the holiday. 

………

This is nothing to be proud of.

When the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan was passed, the city committed to building 40 miles of bike lanes every year.

Honest-to-gosh, cross their hearts, pinkie swear.

Then they switched to measuring bike lanes in lane miles, rather than centerline miles, effectively cutting that commitment in half.

Then they decided that sharrows counted towards that commitment.

Hint: They don’t. Or shouldn’t, anyway.

Then our supposedly bike-friendly Mayor Eric Garcetti took office, and the building of new bike lanes quickly ground to a virtual halt in the City of Angels.

Which leads us to this Monday, when LADOT proudly announced it had built or upgraded 13 miles of bike lanes in the last fiscal year.

And since that’s measured in lane miles, that means counting each side of the road as a separate bike lane.

So in reality, we’re talking about a lousy 6.5 miles of bike lanes, which is nothing to be proud of, protected or otherwise.

Pretty shameful, in fact.

Especially in a city with the largest street system in the United States.

So the next time you’re wondering why people keep dying on our streets, you know where to point the finger.

And which one to use.

Photo by lumpi from Pixabay.

………

Megan Lynch reminds us that the late automaker Lee Iacocca was an early proponent of ebikes; he died yesterday at 94.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going, with no end in sight.

A Baltimore bike rider was knocked off his bike when he was intentionally rammed by a van driver, who then turned around and drove straight at him for no apparent reason; to make matters worse, both the police and paramedics failed to show up at the crash site.

A road raging English driver threatened a group of bike-riding kids with his car, then got out and pushed a 12-year old boy off his bike and into the path of an oncoming car.

A 63-year old British grandmother suffered a broken collarbone and rope burns on her neck when she ran into a rope someone had intentionally strung across a beachfront bike path at neck level.

Apparently tired of people riding bicycles on the sidewalk, a magazine editor recommends stringing razor wire across sidewalks at neck height to teach scofflaw sidewalk riders a lesson. Although it’s hard to learn much of anything when your head is in the gutter surrounded by “red slime and gore,” and looking for the rest of you.

………

Local

LAist considers LA’s existential battle over bus-only lanes. Which serves as a reminder that bicyclists are allowed to ride in bus lanes in Los Angeles, even if some cops don’t get it. And as long as you don’t mind a 13-ton bus driving up your ass.

CiclaValley goes gravel bike riding in Sycamore Canyon.

Long Beach business owners are threatening to sue over the Broadway road diet, claiming sales are down as much as 70% due to limited parking and difficulty accessing the area by car; they also claim the road diet has made the street more dangerous, which is the opposite of what road diets usually do.

 

State

California Streetsblog takes a deep dive into why the state needs a Complete Streets law, as the state Assembly Transportation Committee prepares to take up S.B. 127 on Monday.

The state task force set up to study the effects of the deadly 85th Percentile Law that too often forces cities and counties to raise speed limits held its first meeting last week; it has until January to write a report with its recommendations. That’s easy. Just throw out the damn law and lower speed limits almost everywhere.

San Diego introduced strict new regulations in an attempt to tame the wild, wild world of e-scooters — including speed limits as low as 3 mph in select pedestrianized areas.

Chula Vista-based Juiced Bikes has introduced a 33 mph ebike, which is actually a moped under California law — and in many other states — requiring a driver’s license, vehicle license and helmet to be legally ridden on the roads, and is barred from being used on bike paths or protected bike lanes.

A Fresno bicyclist in his late 60s was injured by a pickup driver who couldn’t manage to stay out of the bike lane while passing another car on the right. And almost needless to say, couldn’t be bothered to stay at the scene.

Sad news from Rohnert Park, where a 66-year old man was killed in a collision with a commuter train last week, just one day after a woman was killed running across the tracks at the same crossing. Despite a great job of victim blaming by investigators — including accusing the victim of riding the wrong way on the sidewalk, which isn’t a thing — officials consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there might be a problem with the crossing. Gee, you think?

 

National

Now you, too, can own a replica of the bikes from Stranger Things. Or you could, if two of the three bikes weren’t already sold out, and the other wasn’t “temporarily unavailable.”

A missing Oregon triathlete was found dead in the Columbia River, five days after he went on a training ride; his bike was found two days later in a park along the river.

Arizona officials approved a controversial bike resort planned to be built across the street from Saguaro National Park near Tucson.

The Idaho Stop Law is gaining momentum, as Oregon passes a bill allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, though not allowing riders to roll red lights, joining Idaho, Arkansas and Delaware with variations of the law; Colorado allows individual cities and counties to decide whether to adopt the Idaho Stop.

Life is cheap in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where investigators conclude the fatal dooring that took the life of a young woman was just a big “oopsie.”

A New York state senator blames built-in racism and classism for the death of a bike rider last week.

Tragic news from Brooklyn, where a 14-year old boy succumbed to injuries he received when he was hit by a car while riding his bike three years ago.

A Manhattan community board chose safety over car storage, approving a proposal to remove 400 parking spaces to install a protected bike lane on a street where a bike-riding woman was fatally doored last year.

Presidential candidate and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio promises a crackdown on drivers who block bike lanes, in response to the city’s skyrocketing bicycling fatality rate. Problem is, it’s usually the police who are doing it.

 

International

Canada’s first bike mayor says mandatory bike helmet laws are a sign of a failed government.

Great piece from The Guardian’s Peter Walker, who effectively demolishes ten common myths about bike lanes, including many of the NIMBY greatest hits you’ll inevitably hear at any public meeting, or read in the comments on any story about bicycling.

They’re onto us, comrades. A British letter writer says dooring is no big deal, and it’s those ignorant bike riders who put themselves at risk, then try to take advantage of the poor, innocent drivers and their insurance companies.

Security camera video catches the crash that left a UK bike rider with a serious brain injury, as the driver gets off with a 20-month sentence — only half of which actually has to be served behind bars. As always, be sure you actually want to see someone get hit by a driver before clicking the play button on the video.

An Aussie bicyclist makes the case for why you should have cameras mounted on your bike. I ride with a helmet cam, and want to add a rear-facing bike cam when I can, if only to be able to prove I wasn’t the one who broke the law if I’m involved in a crash or get a ticket. And so it can speak for me if I can’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

This is so effing wrong. After Ukrainian cyclist Anna Solovey won gold in the European Games, she complained when the head of the Kyiv Cycling Federation got credit for her win. And was told her victory was an accident, and she could be kicked off the national team for opening her mouth.

Forget Alpe d’Huez. This year’s Tour de France competitors will have to survive the legendary Tourmalet.

Cycling News offers eight conclusions from this year’s US pro cycling nationals.

 

Finally…

Actually, it’s called skitching. And this is what I call a bike crash.

………

I continue to be blown away by the kindness and generosity of the people who visit this site. 

Thanks to Howard V for his generous donation to help support BikinginLA. Along with his moving note, which helped lift my spirits on yet another difficult day dealing with the Corgi’s ongoing health problems.

As always, donations of any size, for any reason, are truly welcome and appreciated

He also forwarded a cute video showing him riding through the streets and bike paths of Venice and Santa Monica with his two dogs on his new e-cargo bike from LA’s own Cero

Which is something to remember the next time someone tries to tell you about all the things you can’t carry on a bicycle. 

 

Morning Links: A little LADOT bike lane slight-of-hand, more Rowena fallout, and how bicycling makes lives better

Maybe they can be forgiven for missing their own goal.

But fudging the facts is another matter.

Writing on Twitter, BikeLA points out that LADOT fell far short of their self-stated goal of installing 40 miles of bike lanes last year, instead crediting themselves with just 22.2 miles.

Understandable, perhaps, since the department had been void of leadership for most of the year before Seleta Reynolds took over as GM late last year.

Except that 22.2 miles comes only after changing the way bike lanes have traditionally been measured, here in LA and throughout the country. Instead of measuring centerline miles — including both sides of the road as a single mile — they’re now measuring lane-miles, or crediting themselves with one mile for each side of the road.

Which means those 22.2 miles really account for just 11.1 miles of roadway.

As someone wrote to me in an email pointing out the change,

I noticed this via Twitter, so you may have seen as well, but did you see LADOT’s accounting of bike infrastructure for fiscal year 2014-2015?

Besides the fact that LADOT did not reach the 40 miles of bike lanes goal per year set by the bike plan, it seemed really misleading that they simply double-counted all of their upgrades by shifting from centerline miles to directional miles. Thus 11.1 miles become 22.2 miles. My understanding is that this is irregular for cities to use (for example, Long Beach uses centerline accounting). Using the new metric, the 17 mile long LA River bike path from Vernon to Long Beach just doubled to be 34 miles long.

Seemed really shady to me, and hadn’t seen anyone call it out beyond Twitter.

If the city is going to rely on a little accounting slight-of-hand, the same rule needs to apply to their goal of 40 miles of new bike lanes a year for five years.

So make that 80 miles of bike lanes they owe us each year, not 40. And 400 miles total for the five-year period

So they still fell 57.8 miles short last year.

Let’s hope they can make it up now that Reynolds is on board.

………

The Times Steve Lopez, who has written favorably about bicycling in the past, and has been known to ride a bike himself, misses the mark with Wednesday’s column about the Rowena road diet. He looks at the non-controversy from a windshield perspective, without digging into rationale behind road diets and the benefits they bring. Beyond driving impatient motorists over the edge, that is.

LAist highlights the hero of Monday’s Rowena road diet town hall meeting, a precocious 11-year old kid.

Meanwhile, Flying Pigeon points out if drivers don’t want to deal with the road diet, there’s a giant freeway free of bikes and pedestrians just a block and a half away. Although describing WAZE as methadone for road hogs is absolutely brilliant.

………

The Brits are looking for a few podiums at the worlds starting this weekend. And pro cyclists tell People for Bikes how bicycling makes their lives better.

………

Local

If drivers are doing 70 mph on Sunset Blvd, the solution isn’t installing a beacon to warn them about a red light.

The Bike Talk podcast talks Vision Zero with Deborah Murphy, Malcolm Harris, Caroline Kewer, Brian Murray and Damien Kevitt.

The LADOT Bike Blog explains how Vision Zero will reduce the cost of traffic collisions we all have to bear; according to the site, the nearly 29,000 traffic-related injuries and deaths that occurred in Los Angeles in 2013 cost the city approximately $3.681 billion, or $367.36 per resident. The piece could use a little proofing, though; near the beginning it says roughly 200 people are severely injured or killed in traffic collisions in LA each year, while later it lists 1,591 in 2013 alone. Must have been a bad year.

A pair of cyclists want to share a beer with you to celebrate their return home from a 4,300 mile bike ride from New York to Long Beach on Friday.

 

State

Lost in the flurry of legislation passed in the state legislature’s final days last week was a bill clarifying the rules for e-bike riders; it now awaits Governor Brown’s signature. And based on past experience, God only knows what the hell he might do.

San Diego’s Vision Zero plan has been endorsed by the city council’s Infrastructure Committee.

San Jose residents refuse to sacrifice 26 free, on-street parking spots to make room for bike lanes.

 

National

A new report offers lessons in making bikeshare more equitable.

The owner of sock company Save Our Soles doubles down on the great Interbike sockgate blunder, without apologizing for the inappropriately sexist footwear. The best way to destroy your own business is to put your foot in your mouth while wearing your own socks.

The rich get richer. Already the nation’s fittest state, Colorado’s governor plans to invest $100 million over the next four years to make it the best state for bicycling. Your move, Gov. Brown.

A Colorado driver claims he couldn’t see the 4-year old boy riding a bike with his father that he hit while making a left turn because of landscaping on the median. So why turn if you can’t see where the heck you’re going? And why would any city let landscaping grow high enough to block the vision of turning drivers?

Nothing says bike racks have to be boring staples sticking out of the ground; Norman OK turns theirs into public art.

No irony here. Three British men cycling across the US installing ghost bikes and calling for an end to bicycling and running collisions were rear-ended by a pickup while riding through Missouri. Fortunately, they don’t seem to have been seriously injured; two have already been released from the hospital.

Caught on video: A University of Illinois cop reacts quickly and runs out into the street to stop a kid from riding in front of a bus. Despite the breathless headline, though, he doesn’t appear to risk his life; there isn’t any traffic other than the bus, which is on the other side of the street and never comes close to him. Unless the streets are so dangerous that just exiting your vehicle risks life and limb.

An Indiana writer explains why your hands get numb when you ride, and what to do about it.

New York police wrote 77,000 tickets for blocking bike lanes in the last fiscal year, even though they’re often the problem. Then again, they don’t seem to care about people driving on cycle tracks, either.

Richmond VA cyclists get a luxuriously wide buffered bike lane across a bridge, though getting on and off can still be a problem.

A North Carolina cyclist returns from riding the 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris, and gets hit by a car twice in the same week. On the same road, no less.

Heartbreaking news from Charlotte NC, as a 73-year old man was killed riding his bike to the laundromat just months after ending years of homelessness following his service in the Gulf War; his bike was collateral damage in a collision between two vehicles.

 

International

A Taiwanese cyclist riding around the world made it over 3,100 miles before his bike was stolen in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Now that’s a great kid. After an 8-year old Ontario, Canada girl won a new bike, she gave it to another student because she already had one, saying she loved her bike and thought someone else would want one. She also recently donated her hair for cancer patients.

London’s bikeshare system is sampling the Blaze Laserlight that casts a laser image of a bike on the road ahead of the rider. Is it too much to ask for a laser light that measures out the three foot passing distance?

Nitrogen Dioxide kills 23,500 people in the UK every year, which means better bicycling infrastructure and increased ridership could save the lives of people who never set foot on pedal.

A British town wants to get rid of “arrogant and fast” bike riders who ignore traffic regulations and pose a threat to people walking.

A Brit letter writer says advanced stop lines for cyclists at intersections would be useless because most cyclists don’t stop anyway.

After a Scottish student goes on an extended 3 am Facebook rant when her bike was stolen, dozens of kindhearted people offer to replace it for her.

A Zambian bike rider killed a pedestrian while making a sharp left turn. Seriously, ride carefully around pedestrians, they’re the only ones more vulnerable on the streets than we are.

 

Finally…

Bad enough to be injured in a bicycling collision, let alone impaled in the groin by your handlebars. Motorists may complain about scofflaw cyclists, but scofflaw motorists, that’s just the way it is.

And maybe what drivers need are protected car lanes to make them feel safer.

………

Still more thanks are in order, this time to Moore Rhys for his generous donation to support this site.

 

%d bloggers like this: