Tag Archive for LAPD

New bill requires speed governors on new California cars, LAPD Chief blames traffic victims, and LA bike deaths jump 41%

Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

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San Francisco state Senator Scott Weiner introduced two bills to improve traffic safety, including requiring speed governors on all new cars, and side guards on trucks.

Here’s how Calbike, which sponsored the bills, explains them.

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced the Speeding and Fatality Emergency Reduction on California Streets (SAFER California Streets) Package, Senate Bills 960 & 961, a first-in-the-nation effort to make California roads safe and accessible to all users. Senate Bill 961 requires changes to vehicles directly, including a first-in-the-nation requirement that all new vehicles sold in California install speed governors, smart devices that automatically limit the vehicle’s speed to 10 miles above the legal limit. SB 961 also requires side underride guards on trucks, to reduce the risk of cars and bikes being pulled underneath the truck during a crash.

Senate Bill 960 requires that Caltrans, the state transportation agency, make physical improvements like new crosswalks and curb extensions on state-owned surface streets to better accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, the disability community, and transit users.

These changes are a head-on attempt to tackle vehicle fatalities, which are surging across the U.S.—and especially in California—amid a rise in reckless driving since the onset of the pandemic. A recent report from TRIP, a national transportation research group, found that traffic fatalities in California have increased by 22% from 2019 to 2022, compared to 19% for the U.S. overall. In 2022, 4,400 Californians died in car crashes.

The speed governing requirement is probably unlikely to pass in its present form, as it will undoubted face stiff opposition from organizations defending California drivers’ God-given right to speed.

But it could be one of the biggest steps the state could take to ensure drivers follow speed laws, and save lives.

Sort of, anyway. Since it would still let them speed by the same 10 mph over the limit that most California drivers do now, anyway.

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Outgoing LAPD Chief Michael Moore caused an uproar by blaming the victims for the city’s climbing traffic deaths, placing responsibility on pedestrians for crossing streets outside of crosswalks, and bicyclists for riding on streets without bike lanes and not wearing reflective gear.

Not on, say, drivers for speeding or driving distracted or under the influence, or just generally not managing to avoid hitting other people. Or on his own officers for failing to enforce traffic laws.

Schmuck.

His misguided criticisms hardly explain LA’s rapid jump in bicycling deaths, since bike riders seem no less likely to use bike lanes or wear hi-viz and reflective gear than they were just three years ago.

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Meanwhile, Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, is looking for volunteers to promote Saturday’s die-in at LA City Hall at tomorrow’s Critical Mass Ride.

SAFE is holding a Protest for safe streets on Saturday, January 27th, on the steps of City Hall in order to demand LA City leaders do something effective about safety in our roads. Our goal is to have at least 330 people in attendance to represent each life lost to traffic violence in 2023.

We will be at the LA Critical Mass ride on Friday, January 26th, to let the cycling community know about the protest and enlist their help. We need volunteers to join us and make our protest as big and loud as possible!

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Metro wants your input on how to reduce traffic.

Traffic Reduction Study (TRS) Survey closes Jan 31, 2024 
TRS is looking at how we can manage demand to reduce traffic through congestion pricing, and make it easier for everyone to travel, regardless of how they choose to travel. Following the conclusion of the survey, Metro staff will take the time necessary to assess and evaluate the feedback received countywide to include in the study’s technical analysis. We appreciate your assistance in helping us understand what your priorities and concerns are about traffic. Please take the survey here.

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I hope you weren’t planning to ride Orange County’s Mariposa Bridge anytime soon.

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That’s more like it.

An Arizona tow truck driver got 17 years behind bars for plowing into a group bike ride, killing one woman and injuring five other people, despite playing the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card by claiming the sun was in his eyes. Although part of that sentence is for the kiddie porn cops found on his phone.

A 19-year old New Mexico man got a little more than seven years for the drunken hit-and-run that killed a 63-year old man riding a bicycle, after prosecutors dropped an additional seven years from his sentence in a plea deal.

And the Florida drawbridge operator who walked with seven years probation for failing to check if anyone was on the bridge before opening it, killing a woman walking her bike across it at the time, could be headed for nine years behind bars after failing a urine test required as a condition of her probation.

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More proof that brilliant writers ride bikes.

I mean, besides me.

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It took me about two seconds to find the bike with no rider, for whatever that’s worth.

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It’s now 35 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

A British bicycling organization says the country’s addiction to ever bigger cars is driving bike riders off the roads, as car widths increase an average of one centimeter a year — a little less than half an inch.

A London bike rider filmed a motorist driving blissfully the wrong way down a bike lane, as bicyclists dodged out of his way.

 

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

New York’s self-appointed sidewalk vigilante has made over 5,000 documented reports to the city’s 311 systems, thanks to a personally-programmed camera aimed to capture people illegally riding bikes on the sidewalk.

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Local 

The Los Angeles Times suggests 13 out-of-the-mainstream bike shops to help discover the city’s thriving bicycle culture. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link, who says his go-to shop Safety Cycle should have made the list, too.

Hollywood Progressive profiles Leon Comerre’s breathtaking 1903 painting Cycling at Vesinet.

 

State

A writer for Streetsblog says the California Transportation Commission needs to hit pause on highway projects to address the state’s massive budget shortfall, arguing that putting a potentially problematic $200 million highway expansion on hold was a step in the right direction.

Sad news from Livermore, where a 58-year old man died when he went over his handlebars after apparently suffering a mechanical problem with his bike.

San Francisco celebrity chef, restaurateur and philanthropist Chris Cosentino is one of us, riding his bike to help manage his mental health.

The City by the Bay is proposing a $9 million settlement after an infamous roadway bump resulting from a botched water pipe repair left a bike rider with life altering injuries; four other people have sued for under a million each for injuries suffered hitting the bump with their bikes. Which raises the obvious question of why not just fix the damn thing after the first person got hurt?

 

National

Oregon truckers are complaining that road diets and buffered bike lanes are making traffic lanes too narrow for their bigass trucks. Which is a better argument for making the trucks smaller than reducing bike lane buffers.

Separated bike lanes in Austin, Texas are paved with terra-cotta, making them more resistant to wear, and red instead of the usual green.

Streetsblog criticizes New York Mayor Eric Adams for once again failing to even mention bus or bike lanes in his annual State of the City address, in contrast to his vocal support as a candidate. But he does feel the need to regulate ebikes, proposing a new Department of Sustainable Delivery to regulate micro-mobility.

A DC website offers a step-by-step playbook for starting your own family biking group.

A Richmond, Virginia bike shop reopened after an unexplained closure left customers without the bikes they had ordered or had repaired, resulting in at least one customer lawsuit, as well as a suit filed by Giant Bicycles over an unpaid $144,000 tab.

 

International

A tech site says Europe’s bike industry is hitting bumps as the bicycling craze cools. Although other recent reports have suggested the opposite.

In a bizarre case, a British woman took her own life after learning her estranged husband had been riding a bicycle with another woman. Which hardly counts as infidelity, unless maybe they were sharing the same bike seat.

Travel site Lonely Planet explains how to plan a family bike trip around France’s Lake Annecy.

A 41-year old Sydney, Australia man says people make fun of him because he never learned to drive, but he’s better off riding a bike and taking transit when necessary. And so’s the planet.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mathieu van der Poel’s remarkable ten race unbeaten streak to start the ‘cross season finally came to an end, with a fifth-place finish in the Benidorm World Cup.

Canadian Cycling Magazine takes a deep dive into the relatively recent history of motor doping, including an unconfirmed accusation against American Sepp Kuss.

 

Finally…

Don’t look so surprised if you get popped for biking under the influence. The Bike Share Batman fights evildoers by stealing back stolen bikeshare bikes.

And why would you need more than one wheel to check out of a hotel, anyway?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

22 people killed on bikes in LA this year, city on record pace for traffic deaths; no one feels safe on Caltrans highways

Color me livid.

For some time, I’ve been concerned that we’re not learning about people killed riding their bikes in the City of Los Angeles.

Now know they’ve been keeping the truth from us.

That worry stemmed from this year’s surprisingly low number of bicycling deaths that have been reported in the media, as well as the LAPD’s belated announcements of fatal hit-and-runs that come weeks, if not months, after the fact.

Never mind that they’re asking for our help long after the trail has gone cold, and any potential witnesses have likely forgotten key details.

So much for the city’s highly touted hit-and-run alert system.

Yesterday, Crosstown confirmed that they just aren’t telling us what we need to know to stay safe, and identify the problems on our streets — let alone fix them.

Following the death of Los Angeles resident Samuel Tessier in an apparent fall at the entrance to Universal Studios last week, I had counted nine people who had been publicly confirmed to have been killed while riding their bikes on the mean streets of the City of Angels.

But according to LAPD figures reported by Crosstown, the actual number is more than twice that high. In fact, of the more than 260 traffic deaths in the city through October 28th, 19 were people on two wheels.

It’s actually worse than that, however, because three more people have been killed riding bikes in Los Angeles since then, including Mr. Tessier, for a current total of 22.

Yes, 22.

Although that figure pales compared to the 138 pedestrians slaughtered on our streets, as the city is on track for more than 300 traffic deaths for the second year in a row.

And once again likely to top the highest number of traffic fatalities in more than a decade, topping last year’s total of 314 — or nearly one person killed on our streets every day of the year.

So much for Vision Zero.

We were promised that the city would pull out all the stops and do whatever was necessary to eliminate traffic deaths by — wait for it — 2025.

Which means they have a hell of lot of work to do to if they’re going to meet that goal in the next 13 and a half months.

Especially since they can’t even be bothered to tell us about the over half the bike-riding victims of traffic violence in the city.

Let alone the other 243 people killed in traffic collisions this year.

And if that doesn’t piss you off, I don’t know what will.

Photo by Wendy Corniquet from Pixabay.

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Then again, it’s not just Los Angeles.

According to a new survey conducted by Calbike, a whopping 83% of respondents would feel uncomfortable walking or biking on California highways controlled by Caltrans.

And 99% would be uncomfortable walking or biking those highways with a child.

But let’s just round up, and say all of us.

Then again, there’s pretty damn good reason for that.

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Evidently, LA officials are keeping us in the dark literally, as well as figuratively.

https://twitter.com/im_walkin_here/status/1724333507554718133

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Bike-riding state senator and congressional candidate Anthony Portantino landed a key endorsement in his campaign to replace outgoing Congressmember Adam Schiff, in what appears to be shaping up as a battle with equally bike-friendly Assembly Transportation Committee head Laura Friedman.

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‘Tis the season.

The bicycling holiday gift guides are coming in fast and furious now, with new editions from Bike World News, Popular Science and Engadget.

Meanwhile, Bicycling gets into the spirit by recommending six bicycling-related charities that could use your holiday donations. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Just remember to save a few bucks for the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, which officially kicks off after Thanksgiving.

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

Massachusetts Streetsblog reports hating on bike lanes was not a winning strategy for the state’s politicians in the recent election.

A London man got knocked off his bike by a hit-and-run mo-ped rider while biking with his cat, and all the cops care about is his lack of a helmet. And presumably the cat’s, too.

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Local 

Pasadena just got a federal grant for just over three-quarters of a million dollars to boost active transportation in the Rose City.

Long Beach is starting design work on an 8.3-mile, north-south curb-protected Backbone Bikeway on Orange Ave to compliment several east-west bikeways currently under development, as well as a 5-mile bikeway on Atlantic Ave currently in its earliest phase.

 

State

Solano Beach is considering adding signs along the city’s Coastal Rail Trail to encourage courtesy and slower speeds when approaching pedestrians, whether someone is riding an ebike or a regular bicycle.

Ebike riders are calling on San Diego to lift the city’s four-year old ban on riding on its boardwalks.

Seriously? A Blythe man walked out of court already on parole after pleading guilty to shooting a man riding a bicycle after the two men had quarreled over a dice game; 27-year old Deveon Keyshawn Smith was sentenced to four years time served for the crime, after being held behind bars since the 2018 shooting.

Bay Area bike riders turned out in force to celebrate the 4th anniversary of the bike lane on the Richmond-San Raphael Bridge, with an estimated 1,000 bicyclists riding to demand its retention in the face of a relentless campaign for its removal.

 

National

CNN tests 17 ebikes and one conversion kit and comes up with some surprising recommendations, as well as the usual suspects.

Singletracks talks with an attorney to understand why frame warranties for mountain bike frames are written to prevent replacement or repairs.

Pertinent advice from Road Bike Rider on how to keep your bicycling duds from stinking up the room.

That’s more like it. Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss offers five bike safety tips that are more important than wearing a helmet. Which is not to say that you shouldn’t wear one, just that it should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails, not the first. 

Bike Magazine considers the drive for ebike incentives across the US. Which serves as yet another reminder that California’s seemingly moribund ebike voucher program still hasn’t launched, over two years after it was approved and funded by the state legislature. 

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumaneuer continues his exit interview tour, as the co-founder of the Congressional Bike Caucus talks with Streetsblog about the state of bicycling, traffic safety and bi-partisanship in the US.

It takes major huevos — or maybe a distinct lack of common sense — to steal ten police bikes from a San Antonio police storage room.

Police in Missouri discovered a body in a local park after someone found an abandoned bike along a bike path, several months after a local person went missing.

I want to be like her when I grow up. An 83-year old Ohio woman wakes up with a smile every morning by looking forward to riding her bike each day, after overcoming polio as a child.

Horrible news from Alabama, where a 63-year old woman was apparently killed by dogs while riding her bike, after she was found unresponsive on the side of the road. A tragic reminder that unleashed dogs can be more than just an annoyance. 

 

International

GCN explains how to fit clip-on mud guards to almost any bike. Which could come in handy with the atmospheric river projected to hit California later this week. 

Nice guy. A Welsh man switched seats with his wife and let her take the blame after blowing through a red light and slamming into a bike-riding teenager, leaving the boy with life-changing injuries.

A British bike rider was suitably horrified as he filmed a swarm of rats along a local bike path.

The bereaved romantic partner of rising Irish cyclist Gabriele Glodenyte warns that the county’s roads are like a war zone, after the 24-year old rider was killed by a driver while the pair were on a training ride in May.

An Irish mother of two faces charges for an alleged drunken and stoned hit-and-run, accused of leaving an off-duty police inspector for dead in a ditch after slamming into his bicycle; she refused a friend’s offer of a ride, despite smoking a joint and downing at least ten drinks.

Two Cypriot bicyclists were hospitalized after they were both run down by a hit-and-run driver.

Eight bicyclist crisscrossed Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, during the night on bicycles outfitted to monitor air quality and pollution from Diwali fireworks.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan recalls riding his bike 155 miles from Delhi to Chandigarh after graduating high school, because he wasn’t having any luck getting into colleges in his hometown.

Seoul, Korea is proposing a 12 mph speed limit for bicyclists riding in bike lanes along the Han River to rein in speeding riders.

Borrow a bicycle for a free two-hour ride on your next layover at the Singapore airport.

A Melbourne, Australia man riding his bike with an Israeli flag was attacked by a woman and knocked off his bike, in an assault fueled by escalating Israel-Palestine tensions.

 

Competitive Cycling

Grand Tour veteran Geraint Thomas is apparently spending the off-season drowning in booze, admitting to being drunk 12 nights out of the previous two weeks.

The next time someone suggests cyclists aren’t tough, remind them of the time Dutch ‘cross rider Lars Van der Haar causally popped his own dislocated shoulder back in using his own bike. Read it on AOL if Bicycling blocks you.

https://twitter.com/kwoodzie14/status/1723352124828876978?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1723352124828876978%7Ctwgr%5E0ab0d0cb5a4b64820e9398ac0345d32bf7b9d086%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.aol.com%2Flifestyle%2Fwatch-moment-lars-van-der-160100396.html

 

Finally…

Donate a bike, get a free burger and fries. You know you’re in a small town when failing to signal your lane change tops the local news.

And why your new carbon fiber, high-performance bicycle could be made by a Red Sox fan.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Narrower and fewer lanes save lives, a weekend of traffic violence, and passing ghost bikes on to the next generation

Ride or walk carefully today.

The day after the time change usually sees a spike in traffic collisions, so ride defensively for the next few days. 

And don’t forget your lights. 

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Apparently, narrow traffic lanes save lives.

According to a new study of seven US cities sponsored by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, 12-foot-wide traffic lanes, which remain the norm in too many places, resulted in significantly more crashes than narrower lanes.

Not to mention encouraging drivers to speed, which increases both the risk and severity of crashes, as we’ve learned from other studies.

Narrowing traffic lanes also provides more room for other road uses, like wider sidewalks and bike lanes.

The key findings from the study include —

  • Narrower lanes did not increase the risk of accidents. When comparing 9- and 11-foot lanes, we found no evidence of increased car crashes. Yet, increasing to 12-foot lanes did increase the risk of crashes, most likely due to drivers increasing their speed and driving more carelessly when they have room to make mistakes.
  • Speed limit plays a key role in travel width safety. In lanes at 20-25 mph speeds, lane width did not affect safety. However, in lanes at 30-35 mph speeds, wider lanes resulted in significantly higher number of crashes than 9-foot lanes.
  • Narrower lanes help address critical environmental issues. They accommodate more users in less space, use less asphalt pavement, with less land consumption and smaller impervious surface areas.
  • Narrowing travel lanes could positively impact the economy. This includes raising property values, boosting business operation along streets and developing new design projects.

Meanwhile, another study of Los Angeles-area road diets confirmed that removing traffic lanes improves safety.

Even on high-traffic corridors that exceed Federal Highway Administration recommendations that road diets should be applied to roadways with fewer than 20,000 average daily trips.

According to the authors —

We found that collisions, injuries, and deaths were lower by 31.2% to 100%, depending on the measure, whereas traffic speeds were lower by about 6.7% (peak) to 7.9% (off-peak). We concluded that in Los Angeles higher-traffic-volume road diets appeared to significantly increase safety with only minor effects on traffic speeds.

Let that sink in.

Road diets on high-traffic corridors — even right here in the automotive capital of the world, where driving is considered a God-given right and obligation — dropped traffic deaths and serious injuries by anywhere from a third, to complete elimination.

And all with a minimal impact on driver speeds, taking a typical 40 mph driving speed down to a more reasonable 36.

Which isn’t going to make anyone late for dinner or to pick up the kids, while helping to ensure they’ll actually get there in one piece.

So what the hell are we waiting for?

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This is who we share the road with.

In an example of just how desperately those street changes are needed, Los Angeles County saw an explosion of traffic violence over the weekend, including the apparent hit-and-run that took the life of yet another person riding a bicycle.

An off-duty LAPD officer was killed, along with another person, when their car was struck by a speeding, allegedly drunk BMW driver in Northridge early Saturday; three other people were injured, including the driver, who is accused of blowing through a red light at over 100 mph.

Two people were killed when a minivan driver being chased by police slammed into a Metro bus in DTLA early Sunday morning, after police reportedly saw someone toss a gun out the window of the minivan. Two people in the backseat, who weren’t wearing seatbelts, were killed while the two people up front survived with non-life threatening injuries; three people on the bus suffered minor injuries, including the driver.

Several people suffered minor injuries, and a number of others were lucky to escape injury, when an alleged drunk driver doing donuts lost control of her car, and slammed into a large group of people standing outside a Valencia bar. And almost needless to say, she fled the scene before she and her passenger were arrested — after reportedly changing seats to hide who was driving.

Video of the crash is appalling.

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Sad to think we need to pass this on to a new generation.

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Austrian stunt cyclist Fabio Wibmer goes for a ride through my Hollywood neighborhood, among other Los Angeles area sites.

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

Apparently, hell hath no fury like a London van driver confronted by a bike rider for playing a video game behind the wheel.

Police in Scotland are looking for a driver and passenger who reached out of a passing van to punch a man and woman who were riding their bikes; no word on whether they were injured.

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

A Fresno woman was collateral damage in an apparent political dispute between a 60-year old pickup driver and a bike rider participating in a Pro-Palestinian demonstration, after the driver, who was allegedly under the influence, tried to speed off when the bike rider began punching him through the open window; the victim was lucky to escape with just a broken ankle, while the driver faces possible hit-and-run and DUI charges, while the bike rider could be charged with assault.

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Local 

LAist talks with new LADOT General Manager Laura Rubio-Cornejo, who swears her priority is to make every Angeleno and visitor feel safe on the streets, while revisiting the city’s nearly moribund Vision Zero program — but without making a commitment to the wholesale changes to our streets required to do that.

SoCal speed cams took a step closer to becoming reality in Los Angeles on Wednesday, when City Council Transportation Committee unanimously approved a motion to create an automated Speed Camera Safety Program when a new state law approving a pilot program in Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach goes into effect next year.

No surprise here. The bike-riding woman who was struck by Arnold Schwarzenegger earlier this year has filed a lawsuit against the former governator, alleging he was driving “with excessive speed and failed to keep a proper lookout,” despite reports she swerved in front of his SUV.

 

State

A Streetsblog op-ed by Jeanie Ward-Waller, former deputy director for planning and modal programs at Caltrans, relates how she was fired for doing her job, and speaking out when Caltrans officials tried to skirt the law to widen Sacramento highways. Maybe Newsom should just fire the people running Caltrans, and give her the damn job.

A pair of 15-year old Los Banos boys were hospitalized after they were both struck by a 17-year old girl driving a pickup as they rode their bicycles to school.

A Marin columnist calls the “bike lane experiment” on the Richmond-San Raphael Bridge a “fiasco” that has to be ripped out, since it only sees an average of 118 bike trips and 19 pedestrians on weekdays.

 

National

WaPo examines the current nationwide movement to ban right turns on red lights, in the face of rising pedestrian — and bicyclist — deaths.

Bike Portland relates the strange saga of the “accidental” bike lane that city officials are in the process of ripping out, swearing it was unintentionally installed, even though local residents had requested it six years earlier.

An Oregon craft brewer now combines beer, coffee and bicycles. Or as I used to call that, Monday. 

Someone suspended a bicycle from a Spokane bridge pylon, complete with rider.

A Utah man gets screwed when someone stole a pair of ebikes from his garage, and his homeowner’s insurance refused to pay the claim, stating his policy doesn’t cover “motor vehicles” — even though the state classifies ebikes as bicycles.

A new mural along a Jackson, Wyoming bike path honors the Northern Arapaho heritage of many local residents.

Milwaukee is installing new advisory bike lanes, even if London bike advocates might not approve.

Planetizen says Chicago had a banner year for bike infrastructure, installing more than this year than any previous year. Of course, that might not be saying much.  

A Cambridge, Massachusetts doctor says he’d love to recommend bicycling to his patients, without “putting them at risk of injury or worse,” but he can’t unless the city completes its bicycle network.

A New Orleans website offers inspiring photos from the city’s second-annual Big Easy Bicycle Fest.

 

International

Momentum offers advice on how to navigate the urban door zone, which is a leading cause of bicycling injuries.

Electrek picks the best ebikes you can buy at every price point right now. Although you can’t use your California ebike voucher, since the program still hasn’t launched after more than two years.

Now you, too, can own the “Porsche of bike trailers” for the low, low price of just $526. Wake me when someone has the McLaren of bike trailers.

A Canadian website says dozens of bike riders turned out to support a contentious Toronto Complete Street and bike lanes, after the provincial premier said he would rip them out. Although judging by the photo, “dozens” would seem to be a dramatic underestimate.

A Montreal man argues that ebike crashes should be covered by the rider’s auto insurance, after he was hospitalized following a crash with an ebike rider.

The UK’s Daily Mail accuses London’s mayor of losing the battle with the city’s e-bikeshare program, insisting the “two-wheeled gadgets” litter the streets and sidewalks, and are too often “hijacked by yobs.”

An English driver asks how to be nicer to bicyclists, despite sometimes finding them very annoying. Short answer, don’t be an asshole. Longer answer, don’t be an asshole, please.

Cycling Weekly says Italy’s Dolomites are still the best place to ride your bike.

A doctor in Gaza once again demonstrates the value of a bicycle in a disaster, using his bike to ride over rubble to treat patients, after his car was destroyed by Israeli bombs.

An African business site says Kenyans are increasingly enjoying long-distance bicycling, with rides of 111 miles or more.

Your next electric Honda may not be a car.

 

Competitive Cycling

Danish pro Jonas Vingegaard, two-time winner of the Tour de France, was awarded the prestigious Velo d’Or trophy for the year’s best cyclist, and was apparently so unimpressed he didn’t bother to show up for the ceremony; Dutch Tour de France Femmes winner Demi Vollering won the women’s Velo d’Or.

GCN talks with Slovenian cyclist Matej Mohorič, who popularized the now-banned super-tuck position, about his upbringing and his quest to give a ‘higher purpose’ to his racing.

Remembering the good old days of the Tour de France, when doping meant raiding the local cafe to steal a little mid-stage booze.

 

Finally…

Who needs a $2 million a year anti-aging program when you can just buy a bike? Now you, too, can own a vintage steel-frame Colnago tandem for the equivalent of just $330 — although you may have to stand up to ride it.

And we may have to deal with feral LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about leapfrogging deer.

Usually.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

14-year old bike rider injured by hit-and-run car thieves, and pistol packing, gun-shooting Culver City bike rider

I’m feeling pretty sick tonight, so I’m posting this without editing. My apologies in advance for any mistakes.

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The LAPD is looking for four men who stole a Kia, and left a teenage bike rider severely injured when they lost control and slammed into him as he rode his bike.

The 14-year old boy was riding north on Main Street near Adams Blvd when the car headed in the opposite fishtailed direction fishtailed and knocked him off his bike around 7:30 pm on Tuesday, May 16th.

The victim suffered a broken knee and arm, with bruises and road rash all over his body.

A crowdfunding campaign to help pay his medical expenses has raised over $11,000 of the $30,000 goal. If you’ve got any extra cash lying around, this would be a good one to give to.

As always, there is a standing $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injury in the City of Los Angeles.

Let’s hope that’s enough to get someone to turn them in.

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Police in Culver City are looking for a bike-riding man who bizarrely rode down an alley firing a gun into the air, for no apparent reason.

The incident occurred around 5 pm last Wednesday in the Lindberg Park area.

Fortunately, no one was injured.

The suspect is described as a man wearing a red sweatshirt and shorts, with a dark baseball cap and tattoos on his hand, riding a black bike.

Anyone with information is urged to call Culver City police at 310/253-6316 or 310/253-6202.

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Heartbreaking news from the Tour de Suisse, aka the Tour of Switzerland, where 26-year old Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder died after going off the road on a high-speed descent.

Mäder was found lying unconscious in water at the bottom of a ravine. He was rushed to a hospital, but succumbed to his injuries.

His Bahrain Victorious team withdrew from the race in the wake of Mäder’s death, while news of his death brought condolences from throughout the bike racing world.

American cyclist Magnus Sheffield was discharged from the hospital after three days for his injuries suffered in the same crash.

Twenty-two-year old Danish cyclist Mattias Skjelmose dedicated his victory in the tour to Mäder.

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Actor Bob Odenkirk is one of us.

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

A Boston-area letter writer says a West Roxbury group is fighting plans for new bike lanes using fear mongering over lost parking spaces, small businesses suffering, and interfering with emergency response — even though it would remove just two parking spaces, and preserve five of the six existing lanes.

In a terrifying incident, road-raging Welsh retiree threatened to kill a bicyclist at a busy intersection before physically assaulting him, then driving his car at the victim, telling him “You will die on this road today!” And even after he was arrested, demanded the cops give him the victim’s name so he could have a hit put out on him.

A 19-year old English driver faces charges for allegedly intentionally running down a pair of teenaged boys walking along a roadway, before a passenger in his car took one victim’s bicycle, and tossed it in the trunk before driving off.

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

The CHP issued a warning after a group of teen bike riders took their latest rideout onto the northbound lanes of Interstate 580 in Hayward, California on Monday.

Houston’s mayor says violent incidents won’t be tolerated after a group of people on bikes swarmed a driver’s car, kicking a scratching it, and bashing in the windshield with a bike chain.

It takes a major scumbag to steal a 14-year old British boy’s bike after crashing into him with a bicycle.

………

Local 

Streets For All founder Michael Schneider bikes and talks with actor and environmentalist Ed Begley Jr. about running errands in LA without a car.

This is who we share the road with. Actor Pete Davidson faces a misdemeanor reckless driving charge for crashing into a fire hydrant and a home in Beverly Hills in March.

A short video shows how much nicer the Ballona Creek bike path is now that the brush has been cut back.

A writer for the Westside Current goes for a test ride in a Waymo self-driving taxi. However, there’s probably no truth to the rumor that the name comes because they’re way mo’ likely to run you down as you ride your bike. 

The next 626 Golden Streets open streets even will come to South Pasadena and Los Angeles with Arroyo Fest on Sunday, October 29th.

 

State

A Fullerton newspaper calls for better bike and pedestrian infrastructure in the city.

A 10-year-old was collateral damage in a rolling car-to-car shootout along a San Francisco bike path, when she was hit by a driver distracted by the shooting as she walked her bike across a street.

Sacramento County advocacy group Bicycle Advocates for Rancho Cordova held a Juneteenth celebration Sunday offering free dinner, kid’s books and bike repairs.

 

National

A writer for Wired makes the case for keeping your kids off ebikes until they’re old enough to handle them. But bizarrely uses the tragic death of death of 12-year-old Molly Steinsapir as a case in point, even though her death was allegedly the result of brake failure at the base of a steep hill.

Spectrum News reports the pandemic bike boom and bust is still affecting the availability and cost of new parts, causing some riders to opt for used parts.

A writer for Slate says his ebike changed his life. Presumably in a good way.

Bikes mean business. A study from Northwest Arkansas shows that bicycling contributed $159 million to the local economy, and while creating 743 jobs.

Kindhearted West Virginia cops replaced a young girl’s stolen bike after it was recovered chopped into pieces.

Former Sex Pistols singer Johnny Rotten, nee John Lyden, is officially placing his name on US-made Ionic Bikes’ new edition of their early-2000s mountain bike, which was released with his name, if not the rights to it.

A New Orleans street performer known as the Queen of Bourbon Street was injured when she was run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding her adult tricycle.

 

International

Ten cities around the world will get a major boost for biking with grants from the first-ever Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure. None of which are in the US. 

Heartbreaking story from Ecuador, where an alleged drunk driver is being held without bail for killing a 71-year old man and his two teenaged grandsons as they waited at a bike trailhead for their rental bikes to be delivered.

The Guardian says an e-cargo bike could be the future of carfree local transportation, but only if the cost comes down. Even though the $2,500 cost of the one she tested is on the low end for e-cargo bikes. And just a fraction of the cost of the cheapest motor vehicles. 

Bighearted London, Ontario residents are refurbishing bicycle to donate to migrant farm workers.

A 35-year old man from the other London took a “hot, busy, trafficky” three-hour ride around the city, using his GPS to draw a giant heart to raise awareness for Refugee Week and advocate for a kinder policy towards refugees.

No bias here. An op-ed in London’s liberal New Statesman calls the 15-minute city a working-class nightmare, adding that “a car-free lifestyle is only possible for those whose profession and income permit it.” Never mind that many low-income people ride bikes and walk because they can’t afford a car.

Police in the UK are investigating the death of a man in his 60s taking part in the annual London to Brighton Bike Ride.

A British counselor sounds the alarm over a monster pothole, standing waist-deep in the hole to warn of the danger it could pose to a bike rider or motorcyclist.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 87-year old British man says bicycling has been a lifesaver, still setting long-distance records while riding 150 miles a week.

A writer for The Guardian takes a 2,700 mile bike ride from Ibiza to England’s Norfolk Broads in an effort to understand David Bowie’s Life on Mars, released 50 years ago this week.

A 62-year old German truck driver was finally arrested for the hit-and-run death of pro cyclist Davide Rebellin in Italy last November; he’ll face charges of vehicular homicide and failure to provide assistance if he is extradited to the country.

 

Competitive Cycling

Queer Gravel founder Abi Robins makes the case for why nonbinary representation in bike racing matters, as they work to build a space for gay- and trans-identifying cyclists. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

The Euskaltel-Euskadi and Baloise-Trek Lions cycling teams had to pull out of the final stages of the Tour of Slovenia and Baloise Belgium Tour, respectively, after bike thieves stole the teams’ bikes and wheels.

A BBC radio podcast will explore what really happened to Italian cycling great Marco Pantani, asking if the mafia would really kill such a high-profile cyclist.

Former Tour de France, Vuelta and Giro champ Alberto Contador suffered a bloodied face when another rider crashed in front of him during China’s Desafío Beijing by La Vuelta; he was in the country to encourage people to ride bikes.

A British elite bike race demonstrated the problem of competing on an open course when it had to be cancelled just 18 miles into the planned 125-mile course when a drunk driver plowed into a family car while traveling at 100 mph; remarkably, no one was injured. The driver was so drunk he couldn’t even stand up after the crash.

South African pro cyclist Nic Dlamini is still waiting for justice, over three years after five national park rangers broke his arm for allegedly failing to pay the entrance fee.

 

Finally…

Forget a tandem, and get a Buddy Bike instead. If you’re going to celebrate your race victory arm in arm, maybe wait until you actually win.

And when you’re riding your bike with a broken meth pipe and a week-old baby raccoon in your backpack, put a damn light on it, already.

The bike, that is, not the backpack. Although you could do that, too.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA study suggests replacing traffic cops with safer streets, and closing arguments today in Tour de Palm Springs murder trial

It took awhile, but Los Angeles is finally back with a study suggesting the city should take cops out of traffic stops.

First proposed nearly three years ago in the wake of the George Floyd protests, the results of the study would turn traffic enforcement over to unarmed civilians, as well as remaking streets to prevent aggressive and reckless driving in the first place.

LA, meet your underfunded Vision Zero program.

According to the Los Angeles Times,

Among the recommendations put forth by the city report is investing in so-called “self-enforcing infrastructure,” such as narrower streets, dedicated bike lanes and more clearly marked pedestrian crosswalks.

Such measures naturally slow the flow of traffic and discourage drivers from speeding or breaking other road laws. Much like the Vision Zero initiative — unveiled in 2015 by then-Mayor Eric Garcetti to end traffic deaths within a decade — they would increase safety and reduce the need for active enforcement in “high-injury network corridors, low-income communities, and communities of color,” the report said.

While the city could build on the existing Vision Zero model, the report said, it should be less reliant on law enforcement.

Then again, Vision Zero supporters have stressed that last part since the program was adopted.

The program — at least as envisioned in the original European approach — is based on re-envisioning infrastructure to prevent behavior that too often leads to traffic deaths, rather than the Americanized approach of increased enforcement and education.

Which may be cheaper, but it’s a lot less effective, as countless failed Vision Zero programs across the US attest.

Including right here in Los Angeles.

The study goes on to address the rising rates of traffic violence — as well as other forms of violence from motorists — directed at people outside of cars, whether they’re walking, biking or living on the streets.

From the chronic problem of people running stop signs to a rise in sideshows that occasionally lead to injuries — such as street takeovers or drag racing — the work group found that the “aggressiveness of drivers towards nondrivers, including the unhoused, is a growing problem in Los Angeles.”

Headlines describing road violence involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists have piled up in recent months, including one case last month in which police say a possibly impaired driver barreled into a mother and her 6-year-old daughter as they walked to school in Mid-Wilshire. The mother was killed and the girl was critically injured…

The city’s streets remain particularly deadly for pedestrians and bicyclists, with 159 people killed in collisions involving pedestrians and motorists last year. This is a 19% rise compared with 2021, LAPD data show. An additional 20 people died in collisions involving bicyclists and motorists, an 11% rise.

The report also calls for further reducing the kind of pretextual stops we’ve too often seen directed against people on bicycles — particularly people of color — who may be stopped for a minor traffic violation, only to find themselves handcuffed and searched.

Or in some cases, shot.

The question is whether the LAPD’s powerful police union will be willing to give up responsibility for traffic enforcement, which is anything but a given at this point.

Particularly since they haven’t even been willing to embrace automated speed cams.

Other questions involve what happens when drivers flee a traffic stop, or when the unarmed civilians are confronted by armed motorists.

But it’s worth pursuing to see if we can make it work.

Especially if it means finally embracing the changes to our streets we’ve already agreed are needed.

………

Closing arguments are scheduled for today, after the defense rested in the murder trial of Desert Hot Springs resident Ronnie Ramon Huerta Jr, for the high speed death of Washington resident Mark Kristofferson during the 2018 Tour de Palm Spring.

Huerta was allegedly driving stoned and without a license when he ran down Kristofferson at speeds up to 100 mph; he was arrested after being detained by witnesses in a nearby field as he attempted to run away on foot.

He also faces charges for leaving Huntington Beach resident Alyson Lee Akers with lasting injuries, in a crash just seconds from the brutal impact that killed Kristofferson.

The case could go to the jury as early as this afternoon.

………

A new bill could be the first step in ushering out parking minimums nationwide.

The bill, co-sponsored by four Democratic Representatives, including Long Beach Congressman Robert Garcia, would extend California’s approach to eliminating parking minimums near transit hubs to the federal level.

It’s a start, anyway.

Although the chances of getting the bill through the Republican-controlled House seem pretty minimal, at best.

………

Speaking of which, the Los Angeles Times reviews Slate columnist Henry Grabar’s new bookPaved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World, describing it as “a romp, packed with tales of anger, violence, theft, lust, greed, political chicanery and transportation policy gone wrong.”

If you own a car, you’ve got to park it somewhere. If you live in or near a city — most of us do — the consequences are all around you. Everyone already knows how fundamentally the automobile has shaped our physical environment, the residents of Los Angeles County perhaps most of all. Roads and highways are only part of it.

“Paved Paradise” sensitized me to just how profoundly parking itself has contributed to the uglification of urban life, creating, as one of Grabar’s sources puts it, “a super-mundane environment that people just want to move through.” He notes a sad fact about “The Sims,” the popular reality-cloning video game, which tried to simulate the world as accurately as possible but had to cut back dramatically on the overwhelming presence of parking lots for its simulated city. The visual result would have been too grim…

California, inevitably, figures heavily in “Paved Paradise.” The paradise line from the famous Joni Mitchell song “Big Yellow Taxi” that gives Grabar his title may have been inspired by Hawaii, but Los Angeles is its truest manifestation. In the 1920s, as those newfangled private motor cars gummed up traffic, street-side parking downtown was banned. The result: comfortably smooth traffic flow and a revenue decline for downtown merchants of 50%.

It’s a good read, about what sounds like a surprisingly good read about parking, and how too much emphasis on cars can destroy cities.

It’s going on my reading list, anyway.

………

LA street safety PAC Streets For All is hosting their virtual happy hour this evening, featuring CD1 Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez.

………

Metro is celebrating bike month in Los Angeles County with free rides on Bike Day — formerly known as Bike to Work Day — as well as $1 bikeshare passes and a long list of bicycle classes.

Although here’s a link to the Metro Shop to replace the broken link on the page above, in case anyone else wants the backpack in the photo, which doesn’t seem to actually exist.

https://twitter.com/metrolosangeles/status/1655996701767761922

However, the real peak to this year’s Bike Month may come the following weekend, when Long Beach hosts their latest Beach Streets open streets event on Saturday, May 20th, followed by CicLAvia’s first Ciclamini in Watts the next day.

………

San Diego’s BikeSD reminds us about next week’s annual Ride of Silence to remember bike riders killed in traffic violence.

So far, there are two rides scheduled for the Los Angeles area, with the usual Rose Bowl ride joined by another in East Hollywood.

Pasadena

Contact: Thomas Cassidy    <–Send email
Distance: 12 mi.

Los Angeles

Contact: Rafael Hernandez   <–Send email
Distance: 10 mi
Notes: Location is tentatively scheduled to start and end at Reciclos pending confirmation from the venue

………

The San Diego County Bike Coalition wants to know where you want to see the city’s upcoming open streets events.

https://twitter.com/sdbikecoalition/status/1655997210738429952

………

Works for people on bicycles, too.

………

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

Proving once again that no good deed goes unpunished, a New Haven, Connecticut bike rider was shot after arguing with a second motorist when he tried to help a driver who’d fallen asleep at the wheel.

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

A Florida man was busted for being a bike-riding porch pirate.

Actor James Norton is one of us, although he might regret that after London’s Daily Mail goes ballistic when he’s seen jumping a red light in the city.

Two friends were “viciously” attacked when a London man deliberately rode his bikeshare bike into one of them, then punched the other in the face, breaking his glasses. Although I’d think a truly vicious attack would result in more than just broken spectacles. But what the hell do I know?

………

Local 

LA County wants your input on how to update the county bike plan, and improve conditions for people on bikes in unincorporated areas of the county. Thanks to Dr. Grace Peng for the heads-up, who reminds us to request completion of the LA River and Ballona Creek bike paths, which are under county control.

Former UFC interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson was busted on suspicion of DUI after his truck hit at least two other cars and flipped over in Hollywood early Sunday; fortunately, no one was injured.

Santa Clarita wants you to Hit the Trail this Saturday, with an informal, self-guided community bike ride exploring the city’s bike trail system.

 

State

Streetsblog says the pandemic kind of increased street space allocation for California bike riders, but more is needed.

California’s Equity-First Transportation Funding Act (AB 1525) would require that 60% of the state’s transportation funds would have to directly benefit “priority populations” in historically marginalized communities.

A 23-year old San Diego man was hospitalized with an open fracture to his right ankle after failing to land a bike stunt.

Two 57-year old men were seriously injured when their bikes collided as they were riding together in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood last Friday.

Fresno is marking Bike Month with a Ride With the Mayor event. Meanwhile, Los Angeles isn’t.

Sad news from Hayward, where a 29-year old Salinas man was killed in a collision while riding his bike Sunday night. But the driver wasn’t drunk or stoned, so apparently it’s okay. 

Five people were injured when an ebike battery caught fire in a San Francisco apartment Tuesday morning.

 

National

Every city in Oregon can now use speed cams, after the state’s governor signed a bill expanding the current ten-city pilot program. Meanwhile, speed cams continue to be illegal in California, for reasons no one seems able to adequately explain. 

A Salt Lake City public radio station says it will take more than reducing costs to establish an ebike society in the region.

Denver is working with nonprofit bike registration program 529 Garage to replace the city’s existing bike registration system. Meanwhile, the LAPD is using Bike Index to register and recover bikes. Although bike registration does more to recover bikes after they’re stolen than to prevent thefts in the first place. 

Colorado is set to offer a $12 million income-based e-bike incentive program, building on the successful Denver ebike rebate program. It’s also $2 million more than California’s long delayed program, despite having just 14% of California’s population. 

Oops. A Wisconsin man will spend another six months behind bars after a judge revoked his deferred sentencing agreement for noncompliance, after he originally spent just two months in jail for seriously injuring a bike rider; he will also be required to maintain absolute sobriety for the next five years.

The Federal Highway Administration has approved New York City’s proposed congestion pricing plan, after an environmental review resulted in a “Finding of No Significant Impact” on the surrounding region.

The star of TLC’s Welcome to Plathville is taking a sabbatical from social media after her 15-year old brother was killed in a collision while riding his bike in Franklin County, Virginia.

Florida bike riders could soon get that healthy radioactive glow, after the state legislature passed a law mandating a study of using radioactive phosphogypsum as a paving material, although using the agricultural byproduct would require EPA approval.

 

International

No bias here. A couple of candidates for mayor of Toronto clashed over whether bike lanes help or hurt traffic congestion, even as one insists he’s not anti-bike lanes while promising to rip them out anyway.

That’s more like it. A British appeals court increased the sentence of a “callous,” speeding driver, resentencing him to six years behind bars for killing a man on a bicycle while driving at 82mph, after concluding the original sentence of four years and eight months was too lenient.

Ebike sales are booming throughout Europe — except in the UK, where they actually shrank last year. But that may have more to do with the UK deciding it’s not part of Europe anymore.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, with the new Seine à Vélo bike route that follows the river from Paris to the Normandy coast.

Bicycling reports one man is dead, and two other people injured, after a stoned Spanish motorcyclist plowed into a group of Polish bike riders vacationing in Mallorca. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

After a South African bike rider was killed when he fell off his bike and was struck by a driver, the local press somehow feels the need to note that his bike was undamaged. As if it’s okay as long as his bike survived.

 

Competitive Cycling

In a surprising turn, Norway’s Andreas Leknessund took the leader’s jersey from pre-race favorite Remco Evenepoel in Tuesday’s 4th stage of the Giro, becoming just the second Norwegian to wear the pink jersey, and the first in 42 years.

American Sepp Kuss successfully pulled off a high risk, high speed battery swap in Monday’s Stage 3 of the Giro.

Bicycling offers a calendar of amateur bike races and events for the next two years. This one isn’t available on other sites, however, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you. 

 

Finally…

Your next e-cargo bike could be grown, not made. Now you, too, can use your new e-truck to charge your ebike.

And that feeling when the internet really loves your new bike fest logo.

LOVE this poster for a bicycling event
by u/filmAF in DesignPorn

……….

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA among deadliest cities for bike riders — or not, and $25,000 reward for hit-and-run motorcyclist who cost boy his leg

Nothing like passing out from high blood sugar, then picking up your laptop and starting work at 1 am. 

So if I screw up or miss anything, my apologies in advance. 

Then again, that’s no different from most nights these days.

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

………

Los Angeles is one of the nation’s deadliest large city for people on bicycles.

Or maybe not even in the top 15, depending on how you measure it

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, reports LA saw 12 people killed while riding bicycles in 2020, the latest year for which detailed traffic safety stats are available.

That comes in behind only New York’s 17. And tops Houston, Texas and Jacksonville, Florida with ten each, followed by Chicago and Detroit with eight.

But on a per capita basis, we’re not even close.

Tucson, Arizona led the nation with 1.26 deaths per 100,000 residents, followed closely by Detroit with 1.2 per 100,000 people.

Los Angeles was all the way down at number 16, with a relatively paltry 0.30 per 100,000 residents. Or we could be 20th, since we were tied with Oklahoma City, Las Vegas, Chicago and San Jose.

Despite leading the US in sheer number of bike riders killed, New York didn’t even make the top 20 on a per capita basis.

But however you look at it, it’s still too damn many.

Then again, even one traffic death is one too many.

………

The LAPD is continuing the hunt for the hit-and-run motorcyclist who slammed into a 13-year old boy in a Boyle Heights crosswalk.

Joshua Mora was crossing Whittier Blvd at Osme Ave when he was struck by the speeding motorbike rider, who left him sprawled and bleeding in the street as he angrily got back on his bike and sped away.

The crash cost Mora his right leg.

There’s a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible — thanks to the city’s standing hit-and-run reward program — while a crowdfunding campaign for the victim has raised slightly more than the $30,000 goal.

Meanwhile, a protest will be held at the site this Saturday to demand justice and safer streets.

………

Streets For All will host their next virtual happy hour on Wednesday, with new CD5 Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky.

………

The National Association of City Transportation Officials, aka NACTO, is looking for a new director of engagement.

Which sounds like a position better suited to The Batchelor, but it pays up to 150 grand.

………

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

No bias here. London’s Daily Mail gets its knickers in a twist over a bike-riding woman ignoring the country’s widest bike lane. Never mind that there are any number of reasons why she might not have used it.

………

Local 

The LAPD’s Olympic Station held a BBQ fundraiser on Wednesday to help send four of their fellow officers to the annual New Jersey to DC Police Unity Tour to honor fallen police officers.

A writer for the Los Angeles Times walks all 25 miles of Sunset Blvd in a single dayThat’s long been one of my favorite LA bike rides, taking you through a microcosm of virtually every type of LA neighborhood from DTLA to the coast. Although it’s a lot more fun if you do it when it’s not choked with cars and drivers.

 

State

A father in Aliso Viejo credits an Apple AirTag with recovering his daughter’s stolen ebike, reclaiming it from the thief himself when sheriff’s deputies were unable to find it. Although you should be cautious about that doing yourself, since you never know if the thief might be armed.

San Diego’s ArtReach will auction off Electra bicycles designed by local artists, to benefit young people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to art programs.

Berkeley is indefinitely postponing a bike and pedestrian friendly redesign of Hopkins Street, citing pervasive staffing shortages, as well as unresolved safety issues and regulatory concerns.

Streetsblog reports San Francisco’s approval of an unpopular two-way, centerline bike lane on Valencia Street makes more sense when you consider it was the only option presented to the city’s transportation board.

 

National

LiveStrong rates the best bicycling shoes. I can’t comment since I’ve never worn anything but Sidi. 

Bicycling makes their picks for the year’s 12 best ebikes, topped by the $2,700 Specialized Globe Haul ST cargo bike. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Good question. Transportation for America says in theory, streets are for people, so why aren’t they in practice?

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus offers his thoughts on the city’s continuing decline in bicycling rates, which began a decade ago.

Consider it the world’s wildest Ciclovía, as Yellowstone National Park opens its gates to bike riders tomorrow, before opening to motorists later this month.

Kindhearted Tennessee cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a 10-year old boy, after spotting him running next to his bike-riding friends because he didn’t have one.

We recently mentioned a three-year old boy in Maine whose Spider-Man bike was stolen when he went into a store with his mom; now a bighearted woman who can’t even afford shelter for herself used what little money she had to buy him a new one.

The NYPD tickets less than 2% of drivers in blocked bike lane complaints. Which makes sense, since they’re often the ones blocking them.

A Pennsylvania man wants out of prison for vehicular homicide in the death of a 15-year-old boy killed while the kid was riding his bike with friends; he says he’s a good person who always tries to do the right thing, but the local paper says the only thing missing from his parole petition is remorse.

DC is pushing back plans for a 2.7-mile redesign of Connecticut Ave that would reduce speeds and remove parking, and could include spacious seven-foot wide bike lanes.

Six months after they were installed, new bike and pedestrian lanes on a Maryland roadway have eliminated crashes for people walking and biking, while increasing travel times just 30 seconds for morning motor vehicle commuters.

A Virginia bike shop worker blames distracted drivers for most crashes. And he should know, since his last job was more than two decades as a cop.

 

International

Bike Radar explains everything you always wanted to know about fat tire bikes, but were afraid to ask.

Women working in the bike industry say it still has a long way to go to achieve equity and equality.

A British Columbia driver blames poorly designed bike lanes for why he high-centered his car on a concrete lane divider, while bike riders say it’s his own damn fault.

Video captures a violent brawl as a gang tries to steal a London delivery rider’s bicycle.

Flemish officials have set a goal of having over 30% of all trips in Flanders taken by bicycle by the end of this decade.

99 Percent Invisible relates how the Netherlands reclaimed their country from motor vehicles, forever cementing it in the minds of everyone who opposes bike lanes by insisting “This isn’t Amsterdam!”

BMW is jumping on the ebike bandwagon with plans to introduce Mini electric bikes by the end of the year. That’s Mini branded bikes, not tiny bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

The bike racing season is gaining speed, as Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen took the victory in the Netherland’s Scheldeprijs, while a resurgent Mark Cavendish finished third in his best result of the year.

GearJunkie considers why the punishing cobbles of Paris-Robaix are the toughest one-day bike race on the pro calendar.

Muscle and Fitness explains everything you need to know about the nascent National Cycling League.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you challenge a three-time Olympic track cycling champ to an ebike race. It only took the indictment of a former president to empty New York’s bike lanes.

And if you’re going to protest Trump’s indictment dressed as the Q-Anon Shaman, try to stay on your bike.

https://twitter.com/thomas__barker/status/1643396957837352960?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1643396957837352960%7Ctwgr%5E03b9ab090824d0df7da1b1e9de6e7df818c1efcb%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newsweek.com%2Ftrump-supporter-crashing-bike-new-york-viral-video-1792671

………

Chag Pesach Sameach to all observing Passover tonight. 

………

Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month. 

……….

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Four lousy days for killer wrong-way driver, video of fatal Sun Valley hit-and-run, and how to avoid robbery in “sketchy” LA

Disgusting.

Evidently, life is pretty much worthless in San Diego, where a wrong-way driver was sentenced to a whole four days behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle.

A year and a half after Matt Keenan was killed while riding his bike in Mission Valley, Melissa Gonzalez was sentenced for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

Not the felony she should have been charged with for driving on the wrong side of the street around a blind curve. Let alone the distracted driving charge she likely deserved.

The kindhearted judge took pity — not on Keenan’s widow, or even his toddler son who will grow up without father, but on the woman who killed him.

In addition to four lousy days in jail, Gonzalez received a single year probation, 150 hours of community service, and had her license suspended for three years, as the judge bizarrely ruled she didn’t deserve a punishment that would wreck her life.

Never mind that she wrecked the lives of Keenan’s friends and family. Let alone literally wrecking, and ending, Matt Keenan’s.

If you ever wonder why people keep dying on our streets, this is exhibit A.

We can only hope San Diego voters will remember this one when the judge comes up for re-election.

Photo from Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.

………

The LAPD has released security video of Friday morning’s fatal crash at Lankershim and Tuxford in Sun Valley, where a hit-and-run driver killed a man riding a bicycle.

The bike rider, who still has not been publicly identified, was the victim of a left-cross crash from the truck driver while riding in the crosswalk.

He was then struck by another driver as he lay in the roadway. But at least that one had the basic human decency to stick around afterwards.

Police are looking for a flatbed truck with a white cab, and a distinctive yellow logo on the passenger door. Not to mention the heartless coward behind the wheel.

As always, there is a $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles.

Thanks to KCAL-9 anchor Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

You be the judge.

An Australian man claims he avoided a robbery attempt on a bike path in a “sketchy” part of Los Angeles by yelling back when two men approached and told him to get off his bike.

Although the only thing that seems sketchy to me is the video itself, which looks be staged.

@shearingshedvlogs

You must assert your voice when you are talking to someone who approaches you in sketchy areas, because strangers don’t really come up to you to have a friendly conversation about the weather like we do in Australia. In America some people might come up to you to try to come up. #streetsmart #streetsmarts #safety #safetyfirst

♬ original sound – ShearingShedVlogs

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Always helps to have co-workers nearby if you get run down by a drunk driver. Especially when they’re paramedics.

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GCN attempts to clarify the confusing world of bicycle tires.

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

No surprise here. After a Seattle advocate printed his own DIY traffic signs warning drivers not to park in a protected bike lane, they just ignored them and parked there anyway.

A Florida man who fled the scene after deliberately targeting three people riding bikes with his car, including an 11-year old girl, then went on an antisemitic rant when a Jewish deputy was assigned to transfer him to jail.

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

Police arrested a Denver man who rode his bicycle into a car wash to fatally shoot a driver who had just pulled onto the lot, and injuring the car’s passenger; he fled the scene on his bike before changing clothes twice in a homeless camp, hacking off his hair, and hiding in a hole under the train tracks.

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Local 

Streetsblog reports on a newly protected 0.4 mile section of White Oak Ave in Reseda, although the protection is just those chubby white plastic bollards that look solid, but won’t stop anything. And a new bike lane could finally be coming to San Fernando Road in Cypress Park, now that former Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo is gone.

Just eight people ignored the weekend rain, and turned out for Metro Bike Share’s Women’s History community bike ride in DTLA; they were nearly outnumbered by the Metro staffers.

Pedestrian advocacy group Los Angeles Walks has released their annual report for the past year.

 

State

Imperial Beach councilmembers approved plans for a $3.3 million Complete Street makeover of the city’s 9th Street using state Active Transportation funds; the plan calls for replacing a traffic lane in each direction with bike lanes featuring door-side buffers.

 

National

Bicycling says the days when a broken carbon frame had to be relegated to the trash are over, writing even the worst breaks can usually be repaired and ridden for many more miles. Unfortunately, you’re on your own this time if the magazine blocks you.

Good Morning America reports on a four-year old girl who got a huge smile on her face when she was given a new adaptive tricycle by the Little Wishes organization after spending months in the hospital.

Gear Patrol says fixies are kind of dumb and not for everyone, but “goddammit they rule.” 

Bend, Oregon is now accepting applications for $2,000 ebike rebates for up to 75 low-income residents. Just one more ebike rebate program created after California’s first-in-the-nation program, yet it’s somehow up and running before California’s finally gets rolled out — if it ever does.

After a kindhearted, bike-riding Illinois cop spotted a man walking his busted bicycle home in a snowstorm, he worked with a local bike shop to donate a used bike to the man.

A Michigan man faces two to fifteen years behind bars for the drug-fueled crash that killed a 25-year old man riding a bicycle; the driver admitted to using meth and marijuana before getting behind the wheel, and was using his cellphone to search for radio-controlled cars when he ran the victim down.

More on the Florida crash that critically injured Dartmouth football coach Eugene “Buddy” Teevens, who was run down by a driver while riding home from a restaurant with his wife in St. Augustine; police reports blamed the victim, saying he didn’t appear to have lights on his cruiser bike, and was crossing the state’s coast highway outside of a crosswalk or designated crossing area. Even though bike riders aren’t expected, let alone required, to use crosswalks.

 

International

Bike Radar discusses wind tunnel-tested aero gear on a budget.

A British auto service chain is now offering bicycle repairs, with an emphasis on supporting ebike and cargo bike fleets. Which would be kind of like Pep Boys doing it here. Which isn’t a half bad idea.

BBC TV personality Dan Walker says he was comfortable getting back on his bicycle, following the recent collision that left him bloodied and bruised.

A UK company recommends that employers offer flextime policies for people who bike to work to reduce the risk of rush hour collisions.

A group of French bicyclists set a new record for the largest Strava art, teaming to sketch a 637-mile velociraptor across the face of France.

A crowdfunding campaign has been established for Aussie cycling photographer Marcus Enno, aka Beardy McBeard, who was seriously injured when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike near his Tasmania home; it’s already raised over three times the original $10,000 goal.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews says a disappointed Wout van Aert is turning his attention to the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix after settling for third in Milan-San Remo. Meanwhile, the magazine says the Monument’s days as a sprinter’s race are over.

In an oddly ironic moment, Irish pro Sam Bennet watched his chance at a Milan-San Remo victory get dashed in a pileup, when he and three other riders in the breakaway group crashed into an unmarked bike rack on the side of the road. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Dutch pro Shirin van Anrooij won Sunday’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda, the world’s oldest one-day women’s race, in what was described as her breakout moment; meanwhile, women’s cycling great Marianne Vos saw her long-awaited return from pelvic surgery cut short by cramps in both legs.

Bicycling says you’ll be able to watch the new National Cycling League on subscription cycling streaming service GCN+ for the next three years, if it lasts that long. Read it on AOL if the magazine blocks you.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be made by a computer company with built-in AI. Your next bike tires could be made from your last bike tires.

And it took the life flight of an injured bike rider to learn there’s a California in Maryland.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Arrest made in San Pedro hit-and-run, memorial ride for Dr. Mammone, and CD5’s Yaroslavsky joins Metro board

Too often, hit-and-run drivers get away with their crimes.

But not this time, apparently.

The LAPD announced the arrest of 27-year old Anisha Marie Lockhart, accusing her of being the heartless coward driver who killed Oscar Montoya as he was riding his bike in San Pedro early in the morning on Sunday, March 5th.

A statement from the department reported that citizen tips led them Lockhart’s car two days after the crash, and additional tips helped them take Lockhart into custody two days later.

She was reportedly under the influence at the time of the crash, and on her way to another bar when she slammed into Montoya, who was just picking up an order from a food truck.

Lockhart was being held on $100,000 bond on a charge of felony hit-and-run; it’s not clear if she’s still in custody.

Meanwhile, it’s likely that multiple people will split the $50,000 reward if she’s is convicted.

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The Big Bear Cycling Association has more information on Saturday’s memorial ride for Dr. Michael Mammone, who was murdered while riding his bike on PCH in Laguna Beach last month, by a man apparently suffering from mental illness.

The cycling community has rallied in an effort to honor the life and contribution of Dr. Michael Mammone.

With support from Providence Mission Hospital Foundation a celebration of life and ride has been organized on Saturday March 18th, 2023 at the Leonard Cancer Institute at Mission Hospital 27799 Medical Center Road Mission Viejo.

All cycling groups small and large are encouraged to ride to the event. We ask that your ride does not “start” or “end” at the hospital but instead “STOP” at the event no later than 11:00 A.M. Groups should plan their own independent rides and converge at the event.

Armbands (optional/free) to be worn on the ride may be picked up at Rock n Road Cyclery, at all 4 Orange County locations and Specialized of Costa Mesa, any time prior to the day of the event and worn on your group rides that day.

For those individuals and families wishing to attend without riding to the event, free parking will be provided on the first three levels with the rooftop level reserved for standing room only attendance.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

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Los Angeles CD5 Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky will take former Councilmember Mike Biden’s place on the Metro board, which should be good news for active transportation.

https://twitter.com/DavidZahniser/status/1636180907685195776

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Costa Mesa could use someone who bikes for their new Energy/Sustainability Manager.

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The San Diego Bike Coalition is teaming with Families for Safe Streets San Diego for a hard-hitting new poster campaign calling attention to the record number of traffic deaths in the county.

The group is looking for volunteers to help put up posters around the city this Saturday. You can learn more and RSVP here.

Sadly, they’ll need another one in Oceanside after a man riding a bike was killed by a driver high on heroin yesterday.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the tip.

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

He gets it. A writer for The Spectator calls on everyone to stop demonizing bike riders, and give colleagues a pass for showing up in the office in a bit of Lycra, because more people on bicycles benefits everyone.

But sometimes, its the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A Scranton, Pennsylvania man walked without a day behind bars for groping four women as he rode by on his bicycle, after the judge sentenced him to four months home vacation confinement.

An assistant to a Baton Rouge, Louisiana judge was lucky to escape unscathed after she nearly hit a pair of teenaged bike riders, who responded by shooting her in the arm; the same suspects reportedly stole a running pickup minutes later, then repeatedly shot the driver when he tried to reclaim it after they crashed into a stop sign with their bikes in the truck bed.

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Local 

The UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge will spend the next two years examining transportation issues with local stakeholders through their new TRACtion program, short for Transformative Research and Collaboration.

Chris Hemsworth is one of us, riding barefoot on an ebike made by Los Angeles-based Super73.

 

State

The UCI Health system will host the 7th Annual UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge this October, featuring bike routes of 14, 35, 60 or 100 miles, as well as a new mountain bike route, and 5K and 10K run/walks.

She gets it. A Solano Beach letter writer says that the increase in bicycling collisions isn’t because bicyclists are riding in an unsafe manner, but rather, “due to the explosion in popularity of ebikes, more people are biking on our unsafe roads.

San Jose will use a $2 million federal grant to fund a design study on how to transform a six lane highway into a boulevard with dedicated transit lanes and protected bike lanes; nicknamed Blood Alley, Monterey Road has long been the city’s deadliest roadway, with 42 deaths and severe injuries in less than four years. Maybe Malibu could take a few notes on how to transform PCH from SoCal’s deadliest highway into the Main Street it should be.

San Francisco opened a two-way bikeway on Battery Street, which Streetsblog’s Roger Ruddick bitingly describes as “just more paint, plastic, and prayers masquerading as ‘protection.'”

 

National

Men’s Journal offers their choices for the year’s best road bikes, with prices starting at around $800 and going up — a lot.

A mountain biker discusses three things that can kill your confidence on the trail.

Surprising news from bike-friendly Portland, where bicycling rates have dropped to a 17 year low, including a 45% drop in bicycling in the central city from nine years earlier.

A Wyoming paper talks with Michael “Mac” McCoy, the father of the 2,700-mile Great Divide Trail, which follows the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico.

Chicago approved a plan to use cameras to ticket drivers who park in bus and bike lanes, employing a combination of cams mounted on poles and on buses and other city vehicles. LA Metro approved a similar program to use bus-mounted cameras to ticket drivers who park in bus lanes.

The Washington Post reports on the battle to make pandemic era Slow Streets permanent, as some drivers refuse to give up without a fight.

 

International

Undefeated UFC fighter Lerone Murphy is preparing to return to the ring, 18 months after surviving a near-fatal bicycling collision in London.

London-based luxury fashion and lifestyle magazine Salon Privé examines the physical health benefits of riding a bicycle. Although the mental health benefits are equally, uh, beneficial. 

A Dublin, Ireland man filed a multi-million euro lawsuit alleging he suffered a catastrophic brain injury slamming his head into a series of bollards, despite wearing a helmet, after losing control of his ebike hitting a low curb on a protected bike lane.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a former bus driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle, after playing the universal Get Out of Jail Free card by claiming the sun was in his eyes. Which may or may not be true, but the correct response to being blinded by the sun is to stop until you can see, not keep going until you run over someone.

Belgium is creating a voluntary national bicycle registry to combat bike theft.

Germany’s bicycle industry quadrupled in just a decade, rising to a combined total of seven billion euros, the equivalent of roughly $7.5 billion, while every second bicycle sold in the country is an ebike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-three-year old British cyclist Tom Pidcock is out of Saturday’s Milan-San Remo after he showed mild concussion symptoms following a crash in the final stage of last Sunday’s Tirreno-Adriatico.

Belgian cyclist Lotte Kopecky won the country’s Nokere Koerse bike race on Wednesday, just four days after the unexpected death of her brother; Belgian national champ Tim Merlier successfully defended his win in last year’s men’s race.

 

Finally…

Seriously, who wouldn’t ride a bicycle to get ice cream in the middle of a blizzard? If you’re going to steal a cargo bike worth over $2,600 in a petty crime spree, it might raise fewer red flags if you tried to sell it for more than 60 bucks.

And it’s that time of year when mountain bikers emerge from their winter hibernation.

https://www.tiktok.com/@thecaliradokid/video/7203741560847060270?embed_source=121331973%2C120811592%2C120810756%3Bnull%3Bembed_blank&refer=embed&referer_url=www.bikemag.com%2Ftrending-news%2Fmountain-bikers-spring&referer_video_id=7203741560847060270

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Accused Dana Point killer mentally ill; LAPD’s version of Van Nuys bike rider shooting, and CicLAvia unveils April route

Now it makes a little more sense.

As if anything so random and violent could ever make sense.

The Daily Pilot is reporting that Vanroy Evan Smith was diagnosed with a mental disorder over two years before he allegedly murdered Dr. Michael Mammone — attacking first with his car, then finishing the job with a knife.

According to a child custody petition filed by Smith’s ex-wife, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder following a meltdown in December, 2020.

Yet Smith was allowed to retain his driver’s license despite his illness.

Dr. Mammone apparently paid the price for that when Smith ran down his bike from behind, in what looks to be a deliberate, high-speed crash on PCH in Dana Point. He then got out of his car and repeatedly stabbed Mammone, who died hours later in the same emergency room where he sometimes worked.

Federal law would have prevented Smith from owning a gun with his illness. Yet he was somehow allowed to own and operate a motor vehicle, which became a deadly weapon in his hands.

Now the question is whether he will be found competent to stand trial, which will likely determine whether he gets treatment for his illness. Or spends the rest of his life in jail.

Or, hopefully, both.

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Not surprisingly, the LAPD paints a different picture from what we got yesterday about the police shooting of a man riding a bicycle in LA’s Van Nuys neighborhood.

According to a press release from the department, the victim was wanted on an outstanding warrant for murder, and was also a suspect in an assault with a deadly weapon, when officers spotted him riding his bike Tuesday afternoon.

The officers drove alongside the victim, ordering him to stop, when he somehow “made contact with the patrol car’s passenger side mirror,” which caused him to get off his bicycle and flee on foot.

In other words, he fled after they hit him with the car’s mirror.

One of the officers pursued him on foot, at which point the man allegedly pulled a ghost gun out of his pants and pointed it at the officer, who fired, striking him.

He was treated at a hospital, and released into police custody, suggesting his wounds were not serious.

That’s the official version, anyway.

Whether we ever learn more depends on whether the patrol car and bodycam video is released.

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We have a veritable feast of open streets events coming up in the next few months.

The years first CicLAvia is just over two weeks away now, as SoCal’s most popular open streets event visits The Valley on February 26th.

That’s followed less than two months later by the just announced Mid-City to Pico Union route, with 626 Golden Streets coming to the San Gabriel Valley just a week later.

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StreetsLA broke ground on the new Chandler Bicycle & Recreation Area.

Although that’s not a project I’m familiar with, and one that doesn’t seem to be posted online yet.

Thanks to Ravener for the heads-up.

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Streets For All posted video of Wednesday’s virtual happy hour featuring LA County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath.

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Sometimes, its the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Police in New York are looking for a man who hit a bike rider in the face with a U-lock following a public argument, then fled the scene on the victim’s ebike.

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Local 

The Claremont Courier asks if the east LA County college town is safe to walk or ride a bike in, as the state ranks it in the bottom 20% of similarly sized cities for traffic deaths and injuries; meanwhile, a new advocacy group is working to change that.

Billions actress Malin Akerman is one of us, as she gave her son a ride to school on her fat tire ebike.

 

State

Streetsblog says don’t hold your breath on California’s long-delayed ebike rebate program, which has been put off until at least April.

This is the story we all need right now. Momentum lists five sunny, bike-friendly cities for a winter bicycling vacation, including Santa Barbara and San Diego.

 

National

Cycling Savvy offers advice on how to stay safe when you ride fast, even if you didn’t mean to.

Sales for MIPS helmets dropped 46% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the previous year, reflecting a 50% decline in bike helmet sales.

A new study shows the benefits of bicycling are more than physical, enhancing the brain’s cognitive abilities, and could benefit kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

The third generation Fly6 rear-facing bike cam and taillight is on sale now, which allows you to record the drivers coming up behind you. You know, just in case. Although I’m surprised to see it get a middling 2.8 review score on a five-point scale.

Vox considers how to go carfree in Middle America. Or car-light, anyway.

Salt Lake City officials issued an arrest warrant for a hit-and-run driver who hasn’t been seen since he ran down two boys riding an ebike, seriously injuring one boy; the victims weren’t found for 18 minutes following the crash.

CityLab says Denver’s highly successful ebike rebate program will improve safety by creating an army of bike lane advocates.

Speaking of Denver, a pro-labor candidate for mayor plans to visit all 78 of the city’s neighborhoods by bike in just five days. So when was the last time a candidate for mayor of LA even got on a bike? Not in my 30+ years here, anyway. 

The Minnesota legislature is honoring a longtime transportation advocate who lost his battle with cancer last year with a bill to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, with an emphasis on Safe Routes to Schools, funding sidewalks and bike lanes, and a stop as yield law for bikes.

Maine is getting on the ebike bandwagon with a proposal to add ebikes to the state’s EV rebate program.

Massachusetts custom carbon framemaker Parlee Cycles went belly up, filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Seriously? Attorneys for confessed vehicular terrorist Sayfullo Saipov say the decision to seek the death penalty was based on possible ethnic or religious discrimination, not murdering eight people on a Manhattan bike path.

Good news from Atlanta, where the autistic man we mentioned yesterday who had his bike stolen now has a new one, thanks to a kindhearted lawyer whose firm replaced the man’s bike with the same carbon-fiber Trek he had before. Along with a much better lock. A reminder that no matter how bleak the world seems at times, there are a lot of kindhearted people out there.

 

International

Toronto voted to make a pair of popup bike lanes permanent, despite claims by residents that they resulted in increased gridlock.

A British member of Parliament says she was lucky to walk, or maybe limp, away from a crash while riding her bike home to her London neighborhood, after a driver made an illegal left turn.

France has extended their rebate on bicycle purchases for another year, while raising the financial threshold to qualify.

 

Competitive Cycling

Scotland’s Stirling Castle is lit up in the colors of cycling’s governing body to mark the six-month countdown to the world championships in the country.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you ditch your bike for a stolen tow truck, then crash it into an auto parts store. Your next purchase from electric truck maker Rivian could be an ebike.

And that feeling when getting hit by a driver may have saved your life.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Armed bike rider shot fleeing from LAPD, mucho macho e-trucks and SUVs, and deadly PCH scheduled for makeover

Patch is reporting that a man in his 40s was shot by LAPD officers near Victory Blvd and Tyrone Ave in Van Nuys Tuesday afternoon, after they attempted to arrest him while he was riding his bike.

The victim, termed a “known suspect” by police, was shot after officers spotted a gun as he attempted to flee on foot. However, there’s no word on whether he fired or even brandished the weapon.

He’s reportedly hospitalized in stable condition. A gun was found at the scene after the shooting.

Only the release of bodycam video will tell us whether the shooting was justified.

This follows the highly questionable shooting of Dijon Kizzee by sheriff’s deputies, after Kizzee fled a traffic stop for riding salmon in 2020.

As usual, neither of the deputies who shot Kizzee 16 times ever faced charges.

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Curbed’s Alissa Walker considers the danger America’s every-increasingly “macho” electric trucks and SUVs pose to everyone else around them.

Walker fittingly describes them as “dangerously powerful trucks driven by people who can’t see what’s in front of them, barreling through neighborhoods that were not designed for vehicles of this size.”

But the tame routes traveled by these vehicles don’t make them safe. Tracking of news reports and federal data by the advocacy group Kids and Car Safety shows that child “frontover” deaths — meaning cars driving forward over kids, not backing over them — have dramatically increased over the past decade, nearly doubling from 2009 to 2019 compared to the ten-year period before. During the same period, the average American pickup truck’s front hood grew 11 percent taller and vehicle weight increased by 24 percent, according to Consumer Reports. And in addition to their size, Macho EVs also have increased torque. In fact, only two trucks can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds, and they’re both electric: the Hummer EV and the Rivian R1T. But being able to accelerate so quickly in such a large vehicle creates an extremely dangerous combination. That extra power — the Hummer EV labels it, appropriately, “WTF” — has Hummer EV drivers posting videos where they’re struggling to control the vehicle. “I forgot how heavy this car is,” one driver says. “It did not want to slow down.”

Take a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Because this is definitely not the future we want.

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A writer for The Malibu Times says a planned redesign of a 7.5 mile section of SoCal’s killer highway north of Malibu in Ventura County can’t happen soon enough.

The paper reports the section is currently the deadliest part of PCH, with 21% of the total crashes on the highway through Los Angeles and Ventura Counties occurring there.

After analyzing data, the engineer (Ashley Haire of Alta Planning and Design) stated, “There are a variety of different types of bicyclists. We have some long-haul tourists that are going through this area. We also have some folks who are good at riding in constrained spaces and are comfortable mixing somewhat with higher-speed vehicles. But overall this is a pretty scary section of road to ride a bike on. It’s not comfortable. Nobody’s out there taking their kids for rides.”

She goes on to explain that federal guidelines call for a separated bikeway when average speeds exceed 35 mph, which this section does.

“There’s really not a section of this project where people are only driving 35mph,” Haire stated. “We really think it would be important to have a separated facility out here, one that separates bicyclists and pedestrians from vehicular traffic, provides a safe barrier between those uses, and really gets folks out of harm’s way.”

Let’s hope they find the room for a fully protected bike lane. Or make it, if need be.

You can send comments on the project to Stella.Yip@arup.com through tomorrow.

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The Eastside Riders will hold their annual Ride4Love this Saturday, with rental bikes available for anyone who needs one courtesy of People for Mobility Justice.

Unfortunately, though, the link to the $15 T-shirt for the event just leads to the group’s donation page.

Hopefully, they’ll get that fixed. Because I definitely want to buy one.

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Sometimes, its the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A group of Kiwi bike riders hit the pavement when one cyclist on a group ride went down and the others crashed into him, resulting seven people hurt, with three seriously injured.

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Local 

This is the cost of traffic violence. The Los Angeles Times says something has to be done to save the lives of California’s mountain lions, with over 500 killed by drivers in the last eight years; star Griffith Park puma P-22 was put down by animal control officers after he, too, was struck by a motorist.

Good idea. BikeLA, formerly the LACBC, is working with Wilmington business owners to clear the air in the largely Latino industrial community, one ebike at a time. Using a nearly half million dollar grant from the City of Los Angeles, the group is loaning 42 ebikes to local residents for six month, then giving them a chance to buy the bikes at a reduced rate.

Rapha invites you to sign up for their inaugural Yomp Rally, a 375-mile gravel ride from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles, starting on May 5th.

 

State

The rails-to-trails movement is finally making its way to Orange County, where the Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, plans to convert abandoned rail tracks into bike paths paralleling the new streetcar. Thanks to Lois for the heads-up. 

San Diego Magazine spends a weekend on a non-epic bike ride to Julian.

Consumer Reports addresses the public panic over ebike batteries, with tips like sticking with OEM batteries, never charging your ebike overnight, and unplug your bike if the battery starts hissing. But check for snakes if it keeps hissing after your unplug it.

A Visalia bike shop is asking for the public’s help identifying a teenager who walked off with a bike while the shop’s workers were distracted.

A Berkeley op-ed says police enforcement should be a last resort in Vision Zero, used only after engineering and education efforts have failed.

Richmond has adopted a new Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan identifying 181 potential bicycle projects and 111 potential pedestrian projects. Of course, the key word there is “potential;” as we’ve learned the hard way in Los Angeles, even the most aggressive plan is meaningless without the political will to implement it. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip. 

They get it. The Marin Independent says fixing a dangerously confusing San Raphael intersection controlled by five traffic lights to make it safer for motorists, pedestrians and bike riders will provide benefits for the entire county.

 

National

In what may be the most vital bike commuting article you’ll read this year, Momentum examines the best ways to carry coffee on a bicycle.

A new study published in Nature recommends a data-driven approach to Everesting, calling for elite cyclists to select a hill with gradient  over 12%, while amateur and recreational cyclists should choose a hill with gradient less than 10%.

An MSNBC podcast talks with Rad Power Bikes founder Mike Radenbaugh, who explains why ebikes are here to stay.

Oregon’s proposed ebike rebate bill sailed through its first committee hearing in the state legislature; as the bill is currently written, it would offer up to $1,700 back on the purchase of an ebike. It would be a shame if Oregon got their program up and running before California’s long-delayed ebike rebate program finally rolls out. 

Cycling Utah offers tips on bike commuting in advance of tomorrow’s National Winter Bike to Work DayYet somehow, no city in Southern California appears to celebrate it, even though we have near ideal weather for bike commuting all year. Then again, if last year was any example, we barely mark the regular Bike to Work Day anymore, either.

A Boulder, Colorado man will spend the next 16 years behind bars for punching a woman in the face when she confronted him for stealing her bike.

Denver’s ebike rebate program continues to prove popular, with the latest round of vouchers exhausted in just 20 minutes.

Virginia Tech’s latest bike helmet ratings are out, with the $300 Giro Aries Spherical placing first, and the $120 Specialized Tactic 4 coming in second.

Some kindhearted Alabama cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a local man, after the bike he used as his primary form of transportation was stolen when he turned his back to get his tire pump.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a bicycle belonging to a young Atlanta man living with autism, disrupting his entire life.

 

International

Continuing a theme, an editor for Bike Radar highlights six commuter bike accessories he can’t live without. Although I think the story should have said “corgi carrying” instead of “cargo carrying.”

Singletracks offers three reasons you should mountain bike in Oaxaca, Mexico. I only need one — mole.

London’s 12-year old iconic bike café and workshop Look Mum No Hands! has closed, a victim of the pandemic and rising costs. That name alone should have been enough to guarantee their success.

Cycling Weekly looks at the alarming increase in bicycling deaths on rural French roads once renowned for safe and courteous driving; a new French road safety campaign targets risky, macho behavior by male drivers.

A new study from Lisbon shows the positive influence bicycling coalitions can have on shaping urban policy. Thanks to BikeLA for the link.

Good question. An Indian magazine asks why urban planners ignore bicycles, when millions of Indians commute by bicycle every day.

A Sydney, Australia company is saving thousands of bikes abandoned by Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Mobike, refurbishing them to provide transportation for underprivileged kids.

A Kiwi writer says you never forget your first ebike ride, and he definitely didn’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro road and gravel cyclist Lauren De Crescenzo reflects on her first attempt at mountain bike racing, at The Gobbler 6/3 outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

 

Finally…

Your next camper van could be a cargo ebike camper. Your next steel bike bottle could benefit an environmental nonprofit.

And your next purchase from German car audio maker Blaupunkt could be an e-foldie.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.