Tag Archive for Laura Friedman

Another LA councilmember indicted for bribery, Claremont clarifies apparent bike ban, and bike riders get Gavined again

My apologies for the recent unexcused absences. 

You know I’m having a bad night when I post an explanation for why I won’t be posting something that day.

A really bad night is when I don’t manage to post anything at all. 

……..

The beat goes on at LA City Hall, where yet another councilmember has been indicted for bribery.

Longtime LA-area politician Mark Ridley-Thomas was indicted for allegedly bribing a former dean at USC to admit a family member into a graduate program while he was serving on the LA County Board of Supervisors, before getting elected to the city council after he was termed out by the county.

He is the third current or former councilmember to be indicted for bribery in recent years, although Mitch Englander was convicted of receiving bribes, and Jose Huizar charged with doing the same.

And that doesn’t include CD12 City Councilmember John Lee, who remains on the council, despite reportedly figuring prominently in the bribery charge and conviction of his predecessor.

Maybe that’s our problem.

Maybe we need to take up a collection to bribe a few councilmembers, so bikes can get their attention for a change.

Meanwhile, the New York Times looks at the redistricting controversy that could send recently elected CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman to represent the San Fernando Valley, where no one voted for her, while disenfranchising  her current district and leaving them without the bike, pedestrian and transit-friendly representative they voted for.

………

Claremont has apparently learned the error of their ways, correcting a badly worded draft ordinance that could have been read to ban bicycles on at least one street, in violation of state law.

Credit Erik Griswold with sounding the alarm.

………

Evidently, we’ve been Gavined again.

Streetsblog reports Governor Newsom vetoed AB 1147, which would have required better data and analysis regarding greenhouse gas reductions, while calling on Caltrans to develop a pilot program of branded bicycle highways.

He apparently wielded his overactive veto pen out of spite because the bill’s author, Laura Friedman, blocked Newsom’s $7.6 billion transportation bill in a dispute over what segments of high speed rail to fund first.

And no, I don’t know what a “branded” bicycle highway is, either.

On the other hand, Newsom did sign AB 773, which will make it easier to make Slow Streets permanent, as well as partially or completely closing streets for al fresco dining.

He also signed Friedman’s AB 43, which will allow cities to lower speed limits, but not until July 1st, 2024.

And Newsom signed SB 69, which will shut down the state’s “the defunct and bankrupt North Coast Railroad Authority,” and transition it to the Great Redwood Trail Agency, which will be charged establishing a rail trail through the redwoods along California’s North Coast.

………

We’ve been following the case of the coal-rolling, 16-year old Texas driver who slammed into six bicyclists on a training ride in Waller County, and trying to read through the lines to figure out why the kid wasn’t charged on the spot.

We don’t have to wonder anymore.

Erik Griswold forwarded a powerful blog post from the Houston lawyer representing the victims from earlier this month, which has somehow gone unreported in the media.

Our 6 clients are suffering from horrible injuries including broken vertebrae, cervical and lumbar spinal injuries, broken collar bones, hands, and wrists- many of which require surgical intervention- as well as multiple traumatic brain injuries, lacerations, soft tissue damage, road rash, and extensive bruising. And those are just the physical injuries.

The driver of the black F-250 that crushed our clients’ bodies and left them and their bikes splashed and scattered across the roadway is a 16 year old Waller, Texas male. Through our own investigation, we’ve learned his name, his address, the names of his parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbors and family friends. We know the names of the businesses owned and operated by the driver’s family. We know where he was earlier in the day, prior to crashing into our clients while they were more than 70 miles into their USAT tri-club training ride. We know the identity of his passenger (a local 17 year old male from a neighboring town) and a pretty good idea about the role he may have played in causing the crash that sent ALL of our clients to the hospital; 2 by Life Flight, 2 by ambulance, 2 by personal transport…

The driver’s family’s connections in Waller are a legitimate reason for concern, but I know that Charlie and Peter are very well versed in handling the challenges that nepotism can create.

They go on to add this —

The backdrop of the Waller Bike Crash is one riddled with anti-bike bias. Charlie knows all too well as he has recent experiences with judges there, one who actually lamented to him that Waller, TX “doesn’t like [our] kind.” Charlie has formerly represented several cyclists who were targeted and ticketed by Waller police over the last couple of years…This advocacy includes exposing and fighting against those who choose to selectively enforce the law for only a select few.

Our clients are not only hostages to the truck driver’s behavior and their own broken bodies, but also to a criminal process that is supposed to help make them “whole” again in a place that “doesn’t like [their] kind.”

Which reads like a perfect example of saying something without saying it.

Without mentioning the names of the driver’s family members, or their social, financial and/or official positions, the post makes it very clear he’s part of, and protected by, a powerful family in the country.

And that achieving justice in the face of the county’s extreme anti-bike bias will be an uphill climb.

It’s definitely worth a click to read the whole thing.

………

Streetsblog reports that Norwalk is beginning work on a bicycle master plan.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

………

LADOT offers a quick look at last Sunday’s CicLAvia.

………

That feeling when you win the Nobel, but have no use for the prime parking spot that comes with it.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding the tweets.

………

Kermet is one of us, too.

But then, we already knew that.

And yes, that’s something to sing about.

………

A UK bike advocacy group celebrates one of the country’s most celebrated bike illustrators.

………

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

No bias here. A British mayor complains he’s been abused for trying to stop “silly cyclists” from getting killed riding recklessly after dark.

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

A 41-year old man faces charges for running over a 12-year old girl with his bike as she was walking to school in Corona, then stripping naked and making lewd comments; he was arrested as he rode naked past students arriving for school.

Rome, New York police are looking for an ax-wielding, bike-riding robber who made off with a 14-year old boy’s bicycle after threatening to chop his head off.

………

Local

LA is taking another step towards creating a continuous bikeway along the LA River, with plans to close a 2.9-mile gap in the San Fernando Valley.

A letter writer takes the LA Times to task for publishing an op-ed from a homeless advocate complaining about a bike rider who loudly objected to two men blocking the LA River bike path to comfort a homeless man, comparing it to a post on Nextdoor. Ouch.

Santa Monica-based Bird announced a new, integrated smart sidewalk protection technology designed to keep users from illegally riding the company’s e-scooters on sidewalks.

While Los Angeles tries to redefine what “Complete Streets” means to include sort-of, semi-complete streets, Culver City is busy building the real thing with a Complete Streets makeover of Washington Boulevard, including dedicated bike and bus lanes connecting downtown to the city’s E Line, nee Expo, station.

LA County Sheriff’s deputies disproportionately stop, search and handcuff Black people in the Antelope Valley, apparently for the crime of walking, biking or driving while Black.

 

State

Streetsblog complains about Gavin Newsom’s “deeply disappointing” vetos of bills to legalize Stop and Yield for bike riders and decriminalize jaywalking, saying the governor relied on flawed data.

A San Mateo letter writer complains about “confiscating” parking spaces from low income, working class neighborhoods, calling it callous and punitive. Evidently, she’s unaware that poor and working class people ride bicycles, too — many as their only form of transportation.

A letter writer from Northern California’s Plumas County makes the case for bike lanes, noting that he’s 60 year old and rides a bike 60 to 70 miles a week to stave off congestive heart failure. But we all know bike lanes only benefit young, healthy adults. Right?

 

National

America Walks will offer a webinar tomorrow on how to take on harmful jaywalking laws. Just a tad too late for those of us in California, though.

Now you, too, can build your own ebike with fat, low profile wheels intended for custom cars.

KC bike and pedestrian advocates called for safety improvements after a man was killed by two separate hit-and-run drivers while leaving Sunday’s Kansas City Chiefs game.

Kindhearted cops in Jasper, Texas raised funds to buy an adaptive bicycle for a 12-year old special needs girl.

Life is cheap in San Antonio, where a 70-year old woman will serve a lousy ten days behind bars and another hundred on house arrest for the drunk driving death of a bike rider.

Evidently, things are no better in Chicago than the Antelope Valley, where bike riders in predominantly Black neighborhoods are eight times more likely to be ticketed than riders in mostly white neighborhoods.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer promises to deliver for the Deliveristas, promising federal infrastructure funds to build rest areas for New York delivery riders, as they band together to protect their own safety.

A paralyzed former Army Ranger living in Virginia has made it his mission to provide adaptive bicycles for paralyzed and disabled children and veterans.

 

International

A British Columbia drunk driver was 2.5 times over the legal alcohol limit when he killed a bike rider, after texting a woman he was arguing with that he was going to get fucked up. And did, apparently.

The theft of high-end bikes continues in London’s Richmond Park, as machete-wielding thieves on motor scooters attacked a man and made off with his nearly $8,000 bike, the fourth such theft this week. Note to self: Don’t ride in Richmond Park.

Evidently, parking in bike lanes isn’t just an American thing, as a London bike rider snapped a photo showing at least seven drivers parked in one.

An English bike rider credits his helmet with saving his life — not from a collision, but when a brick wall collapsed on him as he was riding by. So always wear your helmet 24/7, on or off your bike, just in case.

After British bike riders ridicule a ridiculously short ten-foot bike lane, county officials contend it’s not really a bike lane, but just bike markings and parallel stripes on the pavement. Which is kind of what a bike lane is.

Does anyone really need the new Van Moof ebike that can do 37 mph? That would make it a motorcycle under California law, requiring a helmet, driver’s license and license plate.

A Turkish woman has taught 72 women to ride bikes in just the last five months, in an area where it’s not considered inappropriate for a woman to ride a bike. Which implies that there are places in the country where it is.

 

Competitive Cycling

A 31-year old woman is set to face charges of causing involuntary injuries and endangering others for causing a mass crash on the opening stage of this year’s Tour de France, by holding a handwritten sign reading Allez Opi-Omi — go grandma and grandpa — in front of the peloton.

Four-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome says he still dreams of getting a record-tying fifth win. Someone who shall not be named once won seven Tour de France titles, before unwinning them by doping.

Legendary cyclist Eddy Merckx says Slovenia’s Tadej Pogačar has the potential to do even better than he did. Which is saying something, since Merckx is generally considered the greatest of all time.

American Olympic bronze medalist Emma White announced her retirement at the ripe old age of 24, just days after winning this year’s Sea Otter Classic.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your neighborhood is closed to kids, because cars. Note to paramedics — don’t leave the damn keys in the ambulance.

And, um, well…

………

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

Calbike vetoes recall, urges support for Safety Stop; hidden history of LA bikes; and bikes & coffee go good together

Let’s start with a little news from Sacramento.

Starting with Calbike urging everyone to vote no on the election to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.

Personally, I’m no fan of Newsom. But the place to challenge him is in next year’s general election, not a needless and wasteful recall that’s nothing more than an attempt to claim a prize the GOP couldn’t otherwise win in deep blue California.

Speaking of Calbike, the statewide bike advocacy group urges you to contact your state senator no later than tomorrow to support AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill.

The bill would introduce a partial Idaho Stop Law in California, allowing people on bicycles to treat stop signs as yields. However, it would not allow bike riders to treat red lights as stop signs, as the Idaho law does.

And finishing our Calbike trifecta, the organization is working with the California Air Resources Board to draft an ebike rebate program to go into effect next July. The $10 million program is already fully funded, so it’s just a matter of working out the details.

Meanwhile, Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman says we’re getting close to breaking the death grip of the 85% rule on California streets.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

………

Great twitter thread on the forgotten history of bicycles in the City of Angels.

All of which makes you wonder why most of it never showed up on our streets.

Or have LA leaders always suffered from a lack of political will, and the courage to stand up to angry NIMBYs?

………

Registration has opened for next year’s 44th Annual LA Chinatown Firecracker festival, celebrating the Year of the Tiger.

The event will mark the Lunar New Year with a series of run, walk, bicycling and dog walk events held over the weekend of February 19-20, 2022, including rides of 20 and 40 miles.

Photo courtesy of Firecracker LA.

Meanwhile, the annual Long Beach Marathon will return this October, along with a 20-mile bike tour before the race.

………

Bloomberg makes what may be one of the most inadvertently accurate — and unfortunate — word choices ever.

In a story discussing the difficulty of building self-driving cars, Waymo staffers says they’ve solved 99% of the problem.

But it turns out that last 1% has been a killer. Small disturbances like construction crews, bicyclists, left turns, and pedestrians remain headaches for computer drivers. Each city poses new, unique challenges, and right now, no driverless car from any company can gracefully handle rain, sleet, or snow. Until these last few details are worked out, widespread commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles is all but impossible.

Killer, indeed.

Especially after one of Uber’s self-driving cars ran down and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she walked her bicycle across a Phoenix roadway two years ago.

So maybe the last 1% might be a tad more important than they think.

Correction: I originally wrote that Herzberg was killed by a Waymo car, but it was actually an Uber vehicle. Thanks to Andy Stow for catching the mistake.

………

Pull up another chair at the coffee shop.

In what may be the best news ages, it turns out bikes and coffee really do go together.

………

How to use your brakes to improve mountain biking speed.

………

Take an Andorran mountain bike ride with Peter Sagan.

………

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

A group of New Jersey bicyclists were threatened by a pickup driver and his passenger who buzzed them, then got out of the truck after blocking their path, and told them to get off “their” road or they would kill them.

No bias here. A British paper is up in arms over a spacious 11-foot wide bike lane next to 9.5-foot traffic lanes, failing to grasp the concept that narrow lanes improve safety by forcing drivers to slow down.

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

Probably not the best idea to tow a loaded shopping cart with one hand while riding your bike with the other.

………

Local

CicLAvia is looking for an event production assistant to help put on the country’s most successful open streets events.

Los Angeles considers improvements to Huntington Drive in Lincoln Heights, using funds originally earmarked for the cancelled 710 Freeway extension. Let’s hope they don’t try to sell us yet another incomplete street under the guise of Complete Streets.

Santa Monica is hosting a two-day open streets festival on Main Street this weekend.

Long Beach is moving forward with plans to actually reduce speed limits in Belmont Shores, one of the few times state-mandated speed studies have actually resulted in slower streets.

 

State

A bike-riding woman gets dangerously buzzed in a pair of punishment passes on San Francisco’s newly reopened Great Highway, which had been closed to cars during the pandemic. The video of the passes embedded in the story doesn’t work, but you can see it here

NorCal bike chain Mikes Bikes has been sold to the Dutch company behind Santa Cruz, Cervelo and Gazelle bikes.

The rich get richer. Bike friendly Davis is installing a new green bike lane and a two-way cycle track on the west side of the UC campus.

 

National

The Manual makes their picks for the best road bikes, most of which cost at least 11 grand — and go up from there.

Marin Bikes is recalling several mountain bike models to repair a defective bottom bracket that can break while riding.

At least some Las Vegas cops were disciplined for the death of a Black man, who was initially stopped for riding without a front light on his bike; like George Floyd, he repeatedly told police officers he couldn’t breath as one knelt on his back. Unfortunately, though, that could mean anything from a simple reprimand to dismissal from the force.

A Utah man will face the equivalent of a vehicular homicide charge for the alleged drunken and distracted crash that killed a man riding his bike last year.

A San Antonio, Texas CEO rode his ebike 9,500 miles through 30 states to visit all of his company’s offices and call attention to the need for senior care, while raising $100,000 to install grab bars in the homes of local seniors.

A Michigan town backs down on plans for bike lanes on a state roadway after local residents brought out the torches and pitchforks, opting to install parking on both sides of the street, instead.

Florida’s Sarasota Magazine explains what Everesting is and how to get started. Step 1, leave Florida for someplace a little less flat.

 

International

A Scottish bike shop lost over $42,000 worth of bicycles to a trio of late night burglars.

The Dutch city of Groningen is introducing a small fleet of hydrogen-powered ebikes available to various city departments, and fueled by “green hydrogen” produced by a nearby solar power plant.

How to buy and ride a bike in Denmark. Step 1, move to Denmark.

 

Competitive Cycling

Overhead video shows a massive crash at the Vuelta that took down half the peloton, resulting in a change in the leader’s jersey.

Three novice mountain bikers share the lessons they learned training for, and competing in, Colorado’s legendary Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

Your next bike bag could be made from leftover Burleys. If you insist on skitching, try not to lose your grip.

And nothing like the ever-popular genre of loser bike rider advertising.

………

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

Streets For All shares virtual drinks with Friedman, CicLAvia returns on Sunday, and Brits battle over riding abreast

Let’s start with a couple of events this week.

Streets For All is back tomorrow with another virtual happy hour, this time featuring California State Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Laura Friedman.

Meanwhile, Fox11’s Good Day LA looks forward to the return of CicLAvia in Wilmington this Sunday. The short 2.2-mile route could see a big turnout from a full year’s worth of pent-up demand.

………

Britain’s Jeremy Vine takes the contrarian view to all those drivers who insist people on bikes should ride single file all the time.

Needless to say, not everyone took the lesson well. And some of the responses were brutal.

………

GCN explains how to choose the right bike pump.

………

Norm Bradwell forwards the best pro bike helmet commercial of all time.

Yes, you may have seen it before, but it’s more than worth seeing again. Or for the first time, if you haven’t.

………

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

No bias here. San Diego letter writers insist no one uses bike lanes because they don’t see them filled with bikes at the exact moment they happen to pass by, and that bike riders have to obey the law. Never mind that studies show safe infrastructure improves adherence to the law, and that bike riders break the law at about the same rate as people in the big, dangerous machines, but for much better reasons. Hint: Drivers cheat for convenience, bike riders to stay safe.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding man who groped a woman in her 60’s as she walked on a Palo Alto sidewalk.

With any luck, the British Columbia perv who allegedly exposed himself to several woman while riding his mountain bike will be there waiting for him.

………

Local

Glendale has hired the architecture firm behind New York’s highly successful High Line Park to reimagine the Verdugo Wash, reclaiming the concrete-lined channel while potentially adding bikeways and walkways.

 

State

For the second time in a week, a Santa Barbara driver has been busted for running down a teenage bike rider, as a driver is being held on $100,000 bond on DUI and hit-and-run charges after rear-ending a 14-year old boy on a bicycle; the victim was hospitalized with moderate injuries.

The pandemic bike boom continues to strain the bike industry, as the bicycle division of Scotts Valley’s Fox Factory is over a year from catching up to demand, despite — or maybe because — record sales for the past year and a half.

Now that’s more like it. Sacramento responds to one of the city’s dangerous streets by shutting it down entirely to make it more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

 

National

Utah is now home to five new US Bicycle Routes, adding 550 miles to the 410 it already enjoyed; that’s part of a nationwide expansion with 18 new routes in five states, adding nearly 3,000 miles to the US Bicycle Route System.

Great idea. A Colorado town is trying to boost local bike shops while encouraging alternatives to driving by considering a $200 rebate for every ebike bought in town.

A Colorado man is charged with murdering his missing wife, who disappeared on a Mother’s Day bike ride last year. Sheriff’s deputies found Suzanne Morphew’s abandoned bicycle later that day, and discovered her undamaged helmet days later over eight miles away; however, her body has never been found.

Group rides are booming in popularity in Houston during the pandemic, like  800 people on bikes rapper Slim Thug lead to the home of a young man with Downs Syndrome, who wanted to meet him.

Is anyone really surprised that Illinois cops rushed to blame the victim when one of their own right hooked a 71-year old man riding his bike on the sidewalk?

Interesting idea from Michigan, where learning to ride a bicycle is used as a springboard to help kids get ready for kindergarten.

Adweek says you need the skills of an Olympian just to get around New York.

The New York Times questions whether the city’s pandemic-inspired carfree streets can survive the pushback to proposals to make them permanent.

No surprise here, either, as Florida and Louisiana lead the way with the most bicycling deaths per capita in the US.

The Miami Herald seems surprised that a man was run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a bike lane, as if the thin strip of paint was somehow supposed to repel cars.

 

International

The latest Copenhagenize Index ranks the world’s top 20 bike cities, with the usual suspects — Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Utrecht — taking the lead. Guess how many American cities made the list? That’s right, none.

A Dutch bicycle brand reminds Londoners that riding a bike is forever, not just for during the pandemic lockdown.

A kindhearted Indian cop dug into his own pocket to buy a new bicycle for a 14-year old boy after his was destroyed in a collision while riding home from his job.

 

Competitive Cycling

The racing world goes on in the wake of the Olympics, with stage one of the seven stage Tour of Poland.

Malaysians are geeking out over the $80,000 track bike their countryman Azizulhasni Awang rode to a silver medal in the men’s keirin in Tokyo.

Sad news from New Zealand, where 24-year-old cyclist Olivia Podmore died unexpectedly, five years after she represented the country at the Rio Olympics.

Cyclist remembers the Tour de France win 23 years ago that made the late Marco Pantani a legend.

 

Finally…

If a driver asks for your help with a flat tire, maybe just keep on riding. Now you can own the gas-powered moped Steve McQueen rode on the track at Le Mans for a mere 50 grand.

And forget elevation gain. Try riding a bicycle a thousand feet in the air.

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or just use your own words.

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just signed it.

So what are your waiting for?

………

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

So check it out.

………

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

………

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

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

………

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

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

3 Italian Steel Bicycles

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

………

Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

LA bike crashes drop 90% in September, and Glendale’s Laura Friedman heads state Assembly Transportation Committee

It’s Day 18 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Robert R and John M for their generous donations to help bring you all the best bike news and advocacy, from around the corner and around the world. 

So don’t wait. Take a few moments to give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive right now!

………

Call it a Chrismakah miracle.

Crosstown reports that LA had just ten percent of the usual number of bicycle collisions in September, dropping from 185 last year to just 18 this year — even though bike use jumped 52% after the pandemic shutdown earlier this year.

And through November, bike-involved crashes are down 70% compared to last year, from 1,655 in 2019 to 496 this year.

That’s reflected in a corresponding drop in bicycling fatalities, with 16 deaths in LA County this year, according to my stats, compared to 34 for all of 2019.

I can’t explain it, because traffic in the city is back to pre-pandemic levels. And it’s not like there’s been a sudden jump in bike lanes or Complete Streets, temporary or otherwise.

I’m stumped.

So how do you explain the unexplained decrease?

………

Maybe there’s hope for California after all.

According to Streetsblog California, Burbank/Glendale Assembly Member Laura Friedman has been given the reins of the state assembly’s Transportation Committee.

The former Glendale city councilmember has long been a supporter of safer streets and reducing the use of private motor vehicles, while encouraging biking, walking and transit use.

And she has tried, so far unsuccessfully, to reform California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their right foot.

Here’s how Streetsblog put it.

As a freshman Assemblymember, during the fierce and sometimes off-topic arguments about S.B. 1, Friedman spoke up against an argument that all money raised from gas taxes should go for road expansion to solve congestion. “We know that adding capacity does not decrease congestion,” she said. “Getting people out of their cars decreases congestion…”

Friedman also worked to find a way to allow cities to lower speed limits, a job that turned out to be much more complex than it should be. She succeeded in creating a Zero Fatalities Task Force to discuss the topic. The Task Force issued a report last year that recommended what Friedman had been saying: that the state should change the way it sets speed limits.

Now that she’s chairing the committee, maybe — just maybe — we’ll start to see a little more progress here in the late, great golden state.

We can hope.

………

Here’s your chance to work in the wonderful world of bicycles.

A San Francisco ice cream company is looking for sales people to blast tunes and peddle their frozen treats from e-cargo bikes.

The Marin County Bicycle Coalition is looking for a full-time policy and planning director.

Unless maybe you’d rather move to Yellowstone adjacent Jackson Hole, Wyoming to head Mountain Bike the Tetons.

And if you’ve ever been to the Tetons, then yes, you would.

………

Former presidential candidate and Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg is one of us.

And no, I don’t get it either, even though I like the guy.

………

Time for your Tuesday mountain bike break.

………

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

A Singapore woman is looking for the hit-and-run bike rider who nearly slammed into her as she rode her bike with her husband on a park bike path, causing her to lose control and knock herself cold.

………

………

Local

UCLA law professor emeritus Paul Bergman is one of us, frequently making the nearly 30-mile commute from his Pasadena home to campus by bicycle; he’ll be leading a free Zoom class to explain what really happens in a courtroom.

If you’ve got any extra cash lying around after donating to our holiday fund drive, Streetsblog is doing a little end-of-year fundraising, too.

 

State

This is who we share the road with. Residents along Oakland’s 8th Street are demanding traffic calming measures to stop drivers from slamming into their houses.

Burlingame has adopted a shiny new bike and pedestrian plan. Although as we’ve learned in LA, a bike plan doesn’t mean a thing if it never gets built.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 41-year old Morgan Hill man was killed when he was hit by not one, but two hit-and-run drivers while trying to cross the street. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

A San Francisco cop is accused of injuring two people riding bikes after running a red light. Thanks to Dr. Metro BlueLine for the heads-up.

Ebikes could soon be allowed on fire roads on Marin County’s popular Mt. Tam.

 

National

Bicycling wants to teach you how to bomb down descents like a pro. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you out.

Body building legend and former six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates is one of us, after dislocating his shoulder hitting an oil slick while biking with his wife. 

Um, okay. A Forth Worth man faces murder charges for chasing down a bike rider he accused of stealing a shotgun from his car — the car he stole, that is — then driving off laughing after fatally shooting the other man.

Ocean City, Maryland wants to build a beachfront bike path to get bicyclists off the dangerous coast highway. Although experience shows a beach path is likely to quickly become crowded with pedestrians and slower riders, forcing faster and more experienced bike riders back onto the highway.

 

International

A pair of Canadian researchers say expanding bike lane networks during Covid-19 can lead to more inclusive cities.

It looks like London’s bikeshare system isn’t going anywhere, after all.

A sports site profiles British bicyclist Mike Hall, who set a new record by riding around the world in just 91 days — an average of 200 miles a day.

Here’s one more for your bike bucket list — biking along Russia’s scenic Volga River. Yes, that Volga River.

Israel’s Supreme Court rules that ped-assist ebikes are not motor vehicles, as long as they aren’t strictly throttle controlled.

The New York Times says bikes are booming in Manilla, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italy’s anti-doping investigators cracked down hard on former pro Riccardo Riccò, hitting the admitted doper with a lifetime cycling ban long after he retired to open an ice cream shop — and while he was already serving a 12-year ban. Does that mean he can’t peddle ice cream from his cargo bike anymore?

Cyclist imagines what today’s racing bikes would be like if there were no UCI rules.

The Guardian looks back at the 125-year old Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic bike race.

 

Finally…

Why settle for a bike path when you can have an outdoor art gallery, too? That feeling when Google’s street view apparently decides your bike seat is obscene.

And that feeling when your bike ride gets an ostrich escort.

[Cape Point National Park][RSA] Credits go to Daniel’s ass from CyclistsWithCameras

………

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

Breaking news — California report says deadly 85th Percentile Law has to go, and new UK study say hi-viz doesn’t help

The report is in.

And it’s not good news for heavy-footed drivers.

A statewide Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force, created under Burbank State Assembly Woman Laura Friedman’s AB 2363, has examined the deadly 85th Percentile law, and determined it needs to go.

F-S1: Existing law does not provide enough flexibility in urban areas to set speed limits that are appropriate for these complex environments.

Current procedures for setting speeds limits in California rely mainly on the 85th percentile methodology, an approach developed decades ago for vehicles primarily on rural roads. Although California’s population, roads, and streets have changed significantly, reflecting different modes of transportation including bicycling and walking, the method for setting speed limits has not. While the way that speed limits are calculated has remained essentially static, vehicles and street uses have evolved over time. CalSTA’s vision is to transform the lives of all Californians through a safe, accessible, low-carbon, 21st-century multimodal transportation system. Yet the 85th percentile methodology relies on driver behavior. Greater flexibility in establishing speed limits would allow agencies an expanded toolbox to better combat rising traffic fatalities and injuries.

The report goes on to conclude that posted speed limits are effective in reducing traffic speeds without the time and expense required for infrastructure changes.

And that cities need more flexibility to adjust speeds without conducting traffic studies, to reflect current circumstances and save lives.

Especially when it comes to people not protected by a couple tons of glass and steel.

F-S5: There is consistent evidence that increased vehicle speed results in an increased probability of a fatality given a crash. Vulnerable road users are disproportionately impacted by the relationship between speed and crash survivability. State and local agencies would benefit from additional classes of locations eligible for prima facie speed limits which do not require an engineering and traffic survey.

Prima facie speed limits are those that are applicable on roadways when no posted speed limit is provided. They do not require an engineering and traffic survey to be enforceable. Current law defines two prima facie speed limits covering six classes of locations. The first speed limit is 25 mph and is applicable to business and residential areas, school zones and areas around senior facilities. The second speed limit is 15 mph and is applicable to railway crossings, uncontrolled intersections and alleyways. Some allowances are currently provided to reduce these speed limits further, for example, to 15 mph and 20 mph in school and senior zones. State and local agencies on the Task Force stated that additional classes of locations should be eligible for prima facie speed limits especially in areas that have high concentrations of vulnerable road users.

In addition, the report calls for legalization of automated traffic cameras to supplement, but not replace, the work of traffic cops in enforcing speed limits.

F-EF1: International and U.S. studies have shown that automated speed enforcement is an effective countermeasure to speeding that can have meaningful safety impacts.

Automated speed enforcement systems work by capturing data about a speed violation, including images and license plate information, which is then reviewed and processed at a later time to determine if a violation occurred. Currently, automated speed enforcement is used extensively internationally and in 142 communities in the U.S. Numerous studies and several federal entities, including the National Transportation Safety Board, have concluded that automated speed enforcement is an effective countermeasure to reduce speeding-related crashes, fatalities, and injuries.

F-EF2: Automated speed enforcement should supplement, not replace, traditional enforcement operations.

According to the Federal Highway Administration’s Speed Enforcement Camera Systems Operational Guidelines, automated speed enforcement is a supplement to, not a replacement for, traditional traffic law enforcement operations. Automated speed enforcement systems can effectively augment and support traditional enforcement operations in multiple ways. Automated speed enforcement systems serve as a “force multiplier” that allows limited law enforcement resources to focus on other public safety priorities. ASE can be operated in areas where in-person traffic stops would be impractical as well as on higher speed roadways where traffic calming devices may not be appropriate. While ASE does not provide an educational opportunity nor afford the exercise of judgment in issuing a citation that an officer would have from an in-person stop, it may also provide for more consistent and impartial enforcement. Examples of cities that have deployed automated speed enforcement programs without reducing law enforcement staffing levels include Seattle, Portland, and Washington, D.C.

In other words, the report takes 68 pages to sum up what bike and pedestrian advocates have been arguing for years.

The 85th Percentile method currently enshrined in state law allowing speeding drivers to set their own speed limits is outdated and dangerous.

And it’s got to go.

Now.

………

In news that should surprise absolutely no one, researchers in the UK have concluded that wearing hi-viz clothing doesn’t seem to make a damn bit of difference.

Neither does wearing casual clothing, as opposed to a spandex kit, when it comes to how close drivers pass.

Contrary to the researchers’ expectations, there was no marked difference between ‘experienced rider’ kit, and a vest marked ‘Novice Cyclist’, nor between ordinary clothes and hi-viz kit.

Irrespective of any of the kit worn, 1-2 per cent of overtakes were within 50cm (Ed: roughly 20 inches), suggesting that nothing a rider wears makes any significant difference to the incidence of very close passes.

Unless that hi-viz happens to identify you as a police officer, that is. And even then, it’s only a gain of about two inches.

The researchers found that the only item of clothing that had a noticeable impact on passing distance was a high-vis vest that featured the word “POLICE” on the back. Those riders were also bearing a notice advising motorists that they were being filmed. These conditions increased the average passing distance by 5cm, to 122cm.

The researchers concluded that better infrastructure is a more effective means of improving rider safety than how you dress.

So go ahead and wear whatever feels right for you.

………

The rich get richer, as the Dutch continue to show the rest of us how it’s done.

………

The LACBC released a letter in support of keeping the protected bike lanes installed as part of the Reseda Great Streets project right where they are, for anyone attending tonight’s Streetsblog CD12 transportation forum.

………

The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition, a very active neighborhood chapter of the LACBC, is meeting tonight.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

After his son was killed in a traffic collision, an Oklahoma man got drunk and got behind the wheel of his pickup — then fled the scene after plowing into several members of a high school cross country team.

Two girls were killed. Four others were injured; at least one remains in critical condition.

There’s just no fucking excuse.

………

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

Davis police are looking for a man who fled the scene on a bicycle after coming up from behind and fondling a woman who was unloading her car.

Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana busted a bike-riding robber who chased a “mildly intoxicated” man before whacking him with a metal pipe and stealing $300 at knife point. Although the thief claims he was just trying to get back money the victim had stolen from him, but he doesn’t really remember because he was too stoned at the time.

………

Local

Streets For All reports the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council will discuss a motion to support protected bike lanes on Sunset Blvd at tonight’s meeting.

Streetsblog takes a look at LA’s newly opened Red Car Bike & Pedestrian Bridge over the LA River in Atwater Village.

A group of San Fernando Valley residents have pitched in to clean up a section of the LA River bike path in Reseda.

 

State

A Davis columnist insists that city, not Portland, is the bicycling capital of the US. Even if it can’t muster a quorum for the city’s Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission. At least they have one; Los Angeles just has a toothless Bicycling Advisory Committee, whose members are usually ignored by the councilmembers who appoint them. Creating an actual commission would give them the authority they currently lack. 

San Francisco supervisors rejected a demand for an environmental impact statement for a bikeway pilot project from a pair of notorious anti-bike crusaders, who blame it for the actions of angry drivers who can’t keep their hands off their damn horns.

 

National

An engineer digs into the data, and discovers that the panic over e-scooters may be overblown, concluding they don’t appear to be any more dangerous than riding a bicycle. Which is good news and bad news, when you think about it.

Kindhearted Utah cops dug into their own pockets to buy a nine-year old boy a new bike after the one he got in a Christmas donation was stolen.

Denver residents ignored the cold weather to ride to work after the city plowed a protected bike lane following a heavy snow. Meanwhile, Los Angeles NIMBYs continue to insist no one will ever commute by bike in the mild SoCal winter, where temperatures sometimes dip all the way into the 60s.

This is why you always carry ID on your bike. Texas police are appealing to the public to identify a man who was killed in a collision while riding his bike. A wallet helps, but can get lost or stolen following a crash. Better to actually carry some form of ID on you, or wear something like a Road ID with your name, emergency contacts and any medical conditions.

Hats off to a kindhearted Omaha, Nebraska Eagle Scout, who is collecting and refurbishing adult bicycles to donate to homeless people.

Chicago decided to make room for humans on the double-decker Lake Shore Drive, and convert one of the lower level lanes to a walkway and protected bike lanes. That’s got to be the only city in the US where it’s okay for drivers to be on LSD.

Great idea. Knoxville, Tennessee opened a new accessible bike trail specifically designed for people with disabilities riding adaptive bicycles.

A proposed New Hampshire bill to require helmets for everyone from bike riders to motorcyclists received overwhelming opposition, with 259 people lining up to speak against it and only four in favor.

New York advocates are up in arms over a secret plan to close part of the popular Hudson River Greenway to make long-delayed repairs resulting from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. New York prosecutors inexplicably let a killer driver off the hook for backing over an elderly woman last year — even though he continues to rack up tickets for speeding and red light violations.

DC finally gets around to banning parking in bike lanes, fining drivers $150 for blocking the flow of bicycle traffic. It’s illegal to park in bike lanes in Los Angeles, too. Which doesn’t seem to stop anyone, especially in DTLA.

New Orleans cops get a firsthand view of the streets from a bicyclist’s perspective, as officers ride with a group of cycling instructors through a variety of problematic locations. That would solve a lot of problems if we could convince every police and sheriff’s department to try that.

 

International

A 51-year old nursery school teacher was one of the victims of Sunday’s terrorist knifing attack in South London as she rode her bike home after meeting friends, saying she’s lucky to be alive.

A pair of British doctors set a new record for riding around the world on a tandem bike, traveling over 18,000 miles in 218 days and 22 hours.

The British government will ban all gas and diesel powered vehicles by 2035, moving the deadline forward by five years. Meanwhile, the US has committed to banning gas powered vehicles by, um, never.

Parisians are staying on their bikes, despite the winter weather, even after a major transportation strike ended; January ridership was up 131% over the same month last year.

An Indian university tells faculty members that bicycling isn’t just for students.

Failed Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo switches gear and reinvents itself as a shopping platform — and decides to keep users deposits anyway. Scroll down past the obnoxious full screen ad to get to the story, when and if you can. 

A globe trotting Indian bike tourist says he’s not worried about coronavirus as he nears the end of his 16 year ride through 154 countries to promote HIV and AIDS awareness; his now in Beijing while riding through China, leaving 37 countries to go.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good news for non-Californians. San Diego’s popular Belgian Waffle Ride, a mixed-surface, ultra-distance race, is branching out to Asheville, North Carolina and Cedar City, Utah this year.

Pro cyclists offer advice on how to beat jet lag. Personally, I’ve never been able to ride fast or far enough for that to be a problem.

Twenty-two-year old world mountain bike champ Kate Courtney is getting a little extra coaching to prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics from her new riding partner, retired NBA player turned mountain bike aficionado Reggie Miller.

 

Finally…

Apparently, dropping your bong while fleeing police on your bike is a bad thing. If you’re carrying nearly three dozen pre-measured bags of meth on your bike, make sure it at least meets legal standards.

And presenting the perfect gift for bicyclists who drink their bourbon through a straw.

No, really.

 

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?

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

 

%d bloggers like this: