Tag Archive for Laura Friedman

Morning Links: More proof lower speed limit cuts casualties, and CA bill could allow lower limits on dangerous streets

One quick question before we start.

Does it count as Viking Biking in Los Angeles when there’s water falling from the sky?

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Evidently, 20 really is plenty.

Overall traffic injuries in Edinburgh, Scotland have dropped 24% since the city instituted a 20 mph speed limit. And fatalities and serious injuries dropped nearly a third.

More evidence that if Los Angeles is serious about Vision Zero — something that remains to be seen — it will have to get serious about lowing speed limits.

Which will be difficult to do under current state law.

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That effort could be aided a little by a new bill in the state legislature that would allow cities to lower speed limits on streets with a high crash rate.

The bill, AB 2363, sponsored by Glendale’s Laura Friedman, is a long way from repealing the state’s deadly 85th percentile law, which allows speeding drivers to set dangerously high speed limits.

But at least it’s a step in the right direction.

And one Los Angeles should support if we hope to make a dent in the city’s far-too-high fatality rate.

Then again, one death is one too many.

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Local

Ewan McGregor is one of us, as the paparazzi catch him going for a bike ride with his daughter in LA.

 

State

A woman was seriously injured in San Diego County’s Imperial Beach when she was struck by a left-turning driver as she rode with two other people in a bike lane. Needless to say, the driver claims he never saw her — and somehow concludes, based on that total lack of knowledge, that she never saw him, either. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up. 

People for Bikes offers lessons learned from San Francisco’s “lightening-fast, dirt-cheap” protected bike lanes.

 

National

In news that should surprise absolutely no one, studies show that Uber and Lyft are adding to the congestion on our streets, rather than reducing it.

Hawaii bike riders complain that drivers give cyclists less space on the road than they’d give a dog.

A Wisconsin city is making efforts to become more bike-friendly, nearly two centuries after bicycles first came to town. Even if one of the two bike-friendly businesses is the local tackle shop.

Dozens of Illinois cyclists took a 40-mile winter bike ride to promote year-round bicycling, and raise funds to buy a new bicycle for the local police department.

A Detroit newspaper looks at calls to boycott the maker of Giro, Bell, Camelbak and Copilot bike gear, because their parent company also make guns and ammunition, and supports the NRA.

A 77-year old Pennsylvania woman has donated the funds needed to finish a $1 million bike and pedestrian bridge over a highway, which will be named after her surgeon husband, who passed away last year.

Bike riders in Atlanta are complaining about cars blocking bike lanes. In other words, just like drivers do virtually everywhere else.

 

International

Nice story, as a mother worries, and does the research, when her 5-year old daughter asks if she can ride to school by herself.

A Toronto newspaper sings the praises of bicycling in Mexico City, while noting it’s still far from a bike paradise.

An Ottawa, Canada newspaper complains that bikes were an afterthought in plans for a new train line, after commissioners reject plans to ban bikes from the trains at rush hour.

Ebike sales are surging in Europe, as they give older and disabled people the opportunity to ride, while others look to reduce their carbon footprint.

The war on bikes continues, as a road raging English driver tries to run a bike rider off the road, before getting out and pushing him off his bike.

An automotive website looks at the problem of introducing dockless bikeshare to Amsterdam, where most residents already own one or more bikes, and don’t welcome the new bikes cluttering their sidewalks.

A Spanish man tells the tale of how he spent 28 days in a coma after being struck by lightening, then recovered enough to win a bronze medal at last year’s paracycling world championships. Oddly, he was struck just days after getting a lightening bolt tattoo.

New Zealand bicyclists complain that moving a bike lane to the opposite side of the street to avoid conflicts with bus stops has actually made it more dangerous.

Auckland, New Zealand turns to polka dot streets in an effort to get drivers to slow down and protect bike riders and pedestrians.

Caught on video: A lane-splitting Aussie bike rider slams into an 80-year old man who was crossing mid-block between stalled cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Locals fear Philadelphia’s 33-year old professional bike race is over for good, after being canceled for the second straight year.

VeloNews offers photo essays from the winter Omloop and Muur cycling classics.

 

Finally…

When you feel the need for a hard ride, but don’t actually want to go anywhere. That feeling when the hit-and-run driver who ran you over is a Nintendo character in a go-kart.

And why bother building more bikeways when you can just declare your city bike-friendly?

 

Morning Links: Bike the Vote LA offers their endorsements, and CicLAvia wants to give you a bandana

If you haven’t heard, there’s an election coming.

Bike the Vote LA unveiled their endorsements for the upcoming June primary, when you’ll have a chance to vote against the presidential candidate(s) of your choice and have it actually mean something for a change.

And as long as you’re in the voting booth, you can Bike the Vote by casting a ballot for these bike-friendly candidates for state Senate and Assembly from the LA area.

bikethevote2016-ca_primary

A couple names on that list jump out at me.

A long-time cyclist, Steven Bradford was the father of the state’s three-foot passing law when he was in the state Assembly, and has long worked to make our streets safer for everyone. Which is why he had my endorsement the minute he announced his candidacy for state Senate.

Former Glendale Mayor Laura Friedman has been one of the most consistent voices for safer bicycling in any city government, and would make the ideal replacement for outgoing Assemblyman Mike Gatto — who will also have my support for any office he runs for in the future.

And Richard Bloom, my own state Senator now that I live in Hollywood, is up for a well-deserved third and final term.

I can’t say I’m familiar with the others on the list.

But knowing the people who make up the Bike the Vote LA team, I trust their judgment. They’re one of the few organizations whose recommendation could get me to mark my ballot.

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Next month’s Southeast Cities CicLAvia just got a little more interesting.

Pick up a stamp card and get it stamped at all five hubs, and you’ll get a free bandana to mark the occasion. As well as the satisfaction of riding all 10 miles.

Let’s hope they have a lot of them.

I need to get one for the Corgi, who, like most redheads, looks good in black.

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Surprisingly, the 19-year old Belgian motor doper gets just a six year suspension and a $20,000 fine; most observers predicted she’d get a lifetime ban for cheating. As usual, though, it’s unlikely she was the only one cheating; just the only one who got caught.

A year after a key report on reforming bike racing’s governing body was submitted, not enough has been done to make it an “independent, self-governing and more economically-sustainable premier league sport.”

British Cycling suspends the technical director who told a track cyclist to go have babies instead of competing for the Rio Olympics.

The Amgen Tour of California will continue to be the Amgen Tour of California, as the race’s title sponsor renews its sponsorship, along with co-sponsors Coke and United Healthcare. Good thing, since it’s now America’s only UCI Men’s WorldTour race.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at how Mayor Garcetti’s ambitious sustainability plan has done after the first year. They’ll have to step up bikeway installation in a big way to meet the goal of 35% active transportation and transit by 2025.

A new LA startup wants to put your bike bag between your legs; the company has surpassed their $10,000 Kickstarter goal by over $6,000 with four days to go.

Aussie singer Cody Simpson is one of us, riding his bike barefoot along the sidewalks of Abbott Kinney in front of the new Shinola store.

CiclaValley edges his way around Strawberry Peak, wearing a Raspberry Beret. Okay, maybe not the last part; I may have been hearing too much Prince lately.

 

State

Calbike says the state Assembly Transportation Committee let us down by choosing bigger, faster, wider roads and highways over the needs of underserved Californians who have no choice but to ride the bus, walk and bike. Except making those roads bigger and wider seldom makes them any faster. Or safer.

Once again, a killer drunk driver gets off with a slap on the wrist, as a Bakersfield man gets one year in jail, with six years suspended, for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider in 2014. People will continue to die on our streets as long as judges refuse to take traffic crime seriously.

San Francisco’s People Behaving Badly looks at badly behaving people in the bike lane who don’t belong there.

Napa Valley bike riders complain about dangerous road conditions around the tracks for the Napa Valley Wine Train.

 

National

The bikeshare director for NACTO says we’ll know we’re getting bike equity right when bikeshare systems, and bikeways, adequately serve low income neighborhoods and create jobs. See state Assembly fail above.

HuffPo says making cities less dangerous and more livable for women makes them better for everyone. That includes making our streets safe and welcoming for women riding their bikes alone, day or night.

As usual, LA expat Bikeyface nails it, saying it’s not about bicycling, it’s about creating neighborhoods where people will stop bicycling and stay awhile.

Jeffrey Tanenhaus — the guy who rode a New York Citi Bike across the US — explains why riding one was the best way to see the US.

City Lab is the latest to question Phoenix’s “incredibly gruesome” anti-bike bike safety graphic novels.

Colorado authorities confirm that human remains found earlier this year belonged to Mountain Biking Hall of Fame member Mike Rust, who disappeared without a trace in 2009.

A year later, police identify two suspect vehicles, but still no suspect, in a series of random roadway shootings that began with the murder of a cyclist near my hometown.

Where to ride your bike the next time you’re in Brooklyn.

A Charleston SC columnist investigates complaints that a trial bike and pedestrian path over a key bridge is creating massive traffic tie-ups, and finds not a single congestion in sight.

The US Department of Justice says Tampa Bay’s policy of ticketing black bike riders to reduce crime and improve safety only succeeded in unduly burdening black bicyclists; eight out of every ten bicycling tickets went to black riders. But despite the findings, the city insists it wasn’t discriminating. Of course not.

 

International

Momentum Magazine asks if banning biking under the influence is really the right answer. Both are dangerous, but I’d much rather see a drunk on a bicycle than behind the wheel.

A writer for the Guardian says don’t assume people with disabilities aren’t interested in riding their bikes, and won’t benefit from quick, safe bicycle routes.

Dublin plans to swap its door lane bike lanes for parking protected lanes.

Paris will now ban motor vehicles from the famed Champs-Élysées the first Sunday of every month. Maybe we can see their bet and shut down Hollywood Blvd once a month, as well.

Amsterdam will select the world’s first bike mayor in June, but plans to export the position to cities around the world. If they get around to LA, I’m available. Just saying.

This laser-welded aluminum Dutch bike doesn’t look a thing like a Dutch bike.

A Swiss laboratory uses a full-body model to study why your head gets hot when you wear a bike helmet; they estimate better ventilation could encourage more helmet use, potentially reducing over 1000 avoidable head injuries per year.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to wear a hoody to ride your bike on a chilly night, you might want to throw some pants on, too. If you’re going to get loaded and ride your bike, try not to crash into a loaded school bus.

And we all love our bikes. But gutting your stepson with a knife for messing with your bicycle is going a tad too far.

 

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