Tag Archive for Lon Angeles

Morning Links: Debunking a bike rumor, Insurance Institute criticizes protected bike lanes, and a bicycle video Monday

Before we start, let me offer a quick apology and thank you to anyone who sent in links for today’s post.

As you’ll see below, it’s been a traumatic weekend, and with a few exceptions, I’ve lost track of who may have sent what. 

I’m incredibly grateful to anyone who takes a few minutes out of their busy day to give me a heads up, whether or not my muddled brain manages to keep up. 

Photo by Deniz Anttila from Pixabay.

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Let’s start by debunking a rumor.

According to a Reddit post last week, a bike rider was killed by motorist in DTLA last week as a result of a road rage dispute.

Fatal bicycle accident on 7th and hill in DTLA

I was walking on 7th today around 10:30am and came across a woman on the side of the street who was clearly having a panic attack. I looked beyond her parked car and there was a man on a bicycle, his head face down on the pavement and blood everywhere. He wasn’t moving. There were no police or authorities on the scene yet. A man next to me said that the bicyclist kicked a car and the car hit him and drove off. He died on contact… Did anyone else see this? Have any more info? I’m not sure if the woman was panicking because she saw it happen or because she hit him and the kicking story isn’t true. Pretty gnarly to see. I walked on the same corner about 30 minutes later and it was as if nothing happened… all there was left was some blood and a bit of flesh on the pavement. Woof.

Except it didn’t happen.

Any fatal crash would require the roadway to be closed for several hours as police investigate the crash. Especially if it involved a homicide investigation.

Not just cleaned up and reopened in a matter of minutes, as if nothing ever happened.

But just to be sure, I checked with someone with knowledge of the situation, who said there was an incident at that location, but it didn’t involve a crash. Intentional or otherwise.

And no one was killed.

So let’s be careful spreading rumors. There are enough real tragedies without needlessly, and incorrectly, adding more.

Thanks to Matt Stewart for the tip.

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A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says not all protected bike lanes are created even.

And in some cases, aren’t even as safe as a regular painted bike lane.

Compared with a major road with no bike infrastructure, the risk of a crash or fall was much lower on two-way protected bike lanes on bridges or raised from the roadway — for example, within greenways. In contrast, the risk of a crash or fall on a two-way protected bike lane at street level was much higher than that of a major road.

One-way protected bike lanes differed little from major roads in terms of injury risk.

“A cyclist on a protected lane at street level is likely to encounter vehicles at intersections, driveways and alleys more often than on a protected lane enclosed within a bridge or greenway,” says Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president for research and the lead author of the new paper. “Pedestrians also sometimes enter street-level bike lanes, which can cause cyclists to swerve and fall.”

On the other hand, a crash in a protected bike lane is less likely to be fatal.

That said, the types of bicyclist crashes seen in street-level protected lanes weren’t the type that are typically most severe. Most fatal bicyclist crashes involving motor vehicles occur midblock, while cyclists in protected bike lanes in the study collided with vehicles most often at intersections or junctions with driveways and alleys. In such cases, vehicles are usually turning and traveling slowly…

“There is evidence that protected bike lanes help prevent the worst crashes,” Cicchino says. “What our study shows is that certain locations are better than others for this type of infrastructure.

So the choice seems to come down to whether you want to prevent crashes, or save lives.

Or just insist on building better bike lanes to begin with.

You can read the full press release hereThanks to Chris Woodyard for the heads-up.

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CiclaValley narrates an inaugural ride along a new segment of the LA Riverfront Greenway in the San Fernando Valley, better known in lower sections as the LA River bike path.

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A Boston public radio station traces the long and winding backstory connecting a mass market brand of French cognac to early cycling legend Major Taylor.

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Seriously, don’t blame the driver next to you when you don’t hold your line. Or keep both wheels on the ground.

Meanwhile, bike-riding British radio host causes an uproar by responding that a clown on a bicycle doesn’t hurt anyone, unlike a clown in a car.

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Dutch bikemaker VanMoof released the video below to show how willing people are to buy a stolen bike.

Except it turns out the entire thing was a scam — the “real” people were hired actors, and the money came directly from the film crew.

Which is a little worse than just spreading rumors.

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It’s sort of like lane assist for bicycles.

A new Dutch ebike prototype has smart steering assistance built into the handlebars to help keep riders upright.

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Evidently, the old song was right.

A new study shows breathing in air pollution is as bad for your lungs as smoking. Especially for active people — like the ones who ride bicycles, for instance.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Washington State police found a distracted driver stopped on the side of the road playing Pokémon Go on not one, not two, but eight separate phones at once.

And apparently let him go with just a warning.

If you want to know why people keep dying on out streets, that’s a pretty good place to start.

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Local

Los Angeles is now marking the sites of fatal collisions with rainbow halos created by artist John Morse, in collaboration with Southern California Families for Safe Streets and Los Angeles Walks.

WeHoVille offers a recap of Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia, which allowed tens of thousands of people to experience Hollywood, Highland and Santa Monica Blvds without cars, most for the first time. Meanwhile, apologies for the tardiness as the Militant Angeleno’s latest Epic Tour tells you what you may have missed yesterday.

Santa Clarita police will stage yet another bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement day this Thursday, ticketing anyone who commits any violation that could jeopardize the safety of people walking or biking. The usual protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law that day until you leave their jurisdiction, so you’re not the one who gets written up.

 

State

California Streetsblog accuses Caltrans of trying to sabotage the Complete Streets bill in the state assembly with an over-inflated price tag.

A news story popping up across the US asks if California can put cars in the rear view mirror, noting that the only way to meet the state’s climate goals is reducing the number of cars on the streets.

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting considers the family fun of the popular Over the Hump mountain bike race.

KPBS says a group suing to stop plans for a bike lane on 30th Street in the North Park neighborhood vastly overstated their local support, as 31% of the people who signed their petition live outside of San Diego, let alone North Park.

A Santa Barbara man recovered a stolen bike and returned it to its rightful owner after spotting someone stashing it in an alley.

It’s only taken the state three years to get around to clearing a rock slide off a Sacramento-area bike path, once again demonstrating just how much they value people who get around on two wheels.

 

National

An Irishman gets a different view of the US by riding his bike 4,500 miles across the country.

Maybe he should have kept up the steroids. Turns out the singer/dancer/actress is in much better shape than her athlete boyfriend, as J-Lo nearly drops A-Rod on a bike ride.

CityLab looks at the birth of the beach cruiser in 1970s California, and how it helped turn vacationers into bike riders.

GeekWire says Lime’s ebikes can be a blast. Sometimes literally.

Bicycling rates the best commuter bags for bike riders, starting at just $30.

A lot of people go spring skiing, but not many ride their bikes there. And even fewer ride their bikes 3,650 miles to just ski Alaska’s Mt. Denali.

Colorado Springs CO spent ten years installing bike lanes before the auto-centric bikelash began; a leader of the car-focused activists says he doesn’t like bike lanes even though they haven’t slowed down his commute, because he’s highly offended that someone wants to force out of his car and onto a bicycle. Because really, who hasn’t stood by helplessly as those damn militant bicyclists grab some poor, innocent driver, jerk them out of their cars and force them onto bicycles?

Nice. Houston opens a 30-acre, $25 million bike park.

This is who we share the roads with. An Oklahoma driver admitted to being high on meth when he crashed into a bike rider, apparently without breaking.

That’s more like it. A drunken Illinois hit-and-run driver who killed a 19-year old bike rider and injured another man was sentenced to 15 years behind bars — which could be doubled due to prior felony convictions.

Sometimes a story just goes from bad to worse. After a Pittsburgh bike rider was run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver, police arrested an off-duty Pittsburgh cop for the crime, after video showed he downed two shots and 160 ounces of beer before getting behind the wheel — because he was celebrating the drive-by murder of Pittsburgh rapper Jimmy Wopo.

A mob of “two-wheeled hooligans” rode their bikes on a wild rampage through Providence RI, stealing snacks from a Dollar Tree and randomly assaulting people. Police bizarrely blamed dockless Jump ebikes for the rampage because some of the kids rode them after hacking the locks. Which is like blaming car rental companies for all the reckless drivers on the 405. Or anywhere else.

A kindhearted Connecticut cop turned bike mechanic when he saw a kid having problems with his bicycle.

A Buffalo NY man decides to trade his motorcycle for a slow roll bike ride.

New York bike riders are up in arms after the local DA refuses to charge a truck driver who kept going after running over a bike rider, concluding she fell over after hitting a pothole, and the driver had no idea he’d hit anyone. No, really.

A Gothamist op-ed says making incremental changes on the streets has failed, and it’s time to break car culture now.

A surprisingly even-handed report from a New York TV station observes that the rate of pedestrians hit by bicyclists is going up. But while many bike riders break the law, it’s not always the bicyclist’s fault.

On the other hand, a writer who seems to suggest he’s an expert on bicycling because he briefly worked as a bike messenger 20 years ago says New York is living in a golden age of bicycling — or would be, if not for all those lawbreaking bicyclists. Yes, people on bicycles need to obey the law and use the streets safely, just like anyone else. But safe bike riders get killed just like the other kind.

Wealthy New York residents are suing to stop a bike lane next to Central Park, choosing to protect their precious parking spaces over human lives; as one resident who opposes the suit puts it, “The optics are terrible. No doubt we look like an overprivileged, insensitive group of people.” Gee, you think?

A Brooklyn bike shop is taking the next step in bike advocacy by posting the city’s bicycling death toll on the door to ensure everyone see it. Meanwhile, LA bike shops don’t seem to grasp the concept that safer streets would mean more customers.

Miami police have finally arrested the motorcyclist who fatally shot a bicyclist on a group ride after other members of the ride came forward with video contradicting his claim of self-defense. The New Times says the shooting is symptomatic of the dangers people on bicycles face.

 

International

Don’t steal a bike from a runner. A Winnipeg woman manages to chase down the man making off with her bicycle and get it back. While running in bare feet, no less.

The Guardian’s Laura Laker considers just how much we lose when a local bike shop shuts down. Hint: A lot. You may get a better price online, but you’ll pay much more in the loss of hands-on service. Besides, you might make some new friends if you venture out into the real world to do your shopping.

An Aussie woman living in France got her stolen bike back thanks to a sharp eye in the classifieds and an assist from the local gendarmes. 

A new German/Canadian study shows that bike helmets make you feel safer. Even if you’re nowhere near a bicycle.

Wonder Woman’s Gail Gadot is one of us, as the Israeli actress poses for a photo on her bike as she waits on a bridge. Although someone should explain to the Daily Mail what a selfie is. Because they don’t seem to have a clue.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling offers a preview of the 2019 Vuelta a España; the year’s final Grand Tour kicks off on Saturday in the Alicante province.

1960s Italian racing great Felice Gimondi passed away from a heart attack at age 76; he won the 1965 Tour de France in his first year as a pro, followed by victories in the Vuelta and the Giro, making him just one of seven riders to win all three Grand Tours.

The pro cyclists union says the narrow streets, unmarked road furniture and dangerous conditions of the Binck Bank Tour mean it doesn’t deserve to be a WorldTour race.

Writing for the Guardian, competitor Nick Van Mead offers a first-hand description of what it’s like to compete in the self-supported, unmapped Transcontinental bike race across Europe from the Black Sea to France’s Atlantic Coast — including getting chased through Serbia by packs of wild dogs.

 

Finally…

Seriously, who needs a seat tube? Apparently, you can carry just about anything on a bicycle or four.

And who needs an ebike when you’ve got an exosuit in your shorts?

 

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