Tag Archive for Los Angeles City Council

Bike theft season in LA, burning more money on freeway expansion, and shifting power balance with “do-nothing” council

Apparently, it’s bike theft season.

Crosstown LA examined the trends, and discovered bicycle thefts tend to spike in Los Angeles during September and October.

According to the site, bike theft has surged in the fall since at least 2015, peaking in October from 2015 to 2019, and September for the past two years.

Bike theft numbers are likely artificially low, as publicly available Los Angeles Police Department data only counts thefts actually reported. Many people may not call police for a missing two-wheeler, either because of time constraints, or because they do not expect doing so will help with recovery.

Still, the annual fall rise in thefts indicates that the increase may be tied to the resumption of school, in particular the return of college students. From Jan. 1, 2015–Aug. 15, 2022, a total of 2,062 bicycles were reported stolen in University Park, where the USC campus is located and where many of its students reside. That is the highest count of any neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles.

The second-highest number of thefts occurred in dense Downtown, followed by Venice, a well-known cycling hub. The fourth-most victimized community in that period was Sawtelle, where many UCLA students live.

It’s worth giving it a quick read to learn how to protect your bike.

Like this, for instance.

Sometimes, the best way to thwart a theft is prevention. Ted Rogers, the editor of the blog BikinginLA and a former board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, said he takes measures to keep his bike safe.

“I’ve been known to walk my bike into stores just so I don’t have to lock it up,” he said. “Never lock your bike to a sign because signs can be unbolted and taken away. Never lock your bike to a small tree because those have been known to be pulled out of the ground.”

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A Streetsblog Twitter thread explains plans by Metro and Caltrans to widen a section of the 405 Freeway through Carson.

We’ve already seen how they might as well just flush the money down the toilet, as other expansion projects — like the $1 billion effort to install HOV lanes through the Sepulveda Pass — have only served to make traffic worse through induced demand.

The money would be far better spent to improve transit, as well as bikeways, to reduce congestion by providing people with viable alternatives to driving.

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A writer for City Watch considers how the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal alters the balance of power for the “do-nothing” city council.

The Mobility Initiative alters the balance of power.  Now the City Council is not in complete control.  Now it must work with the Initiative’s sponsors.  The City Council and the sponsors both need to consider the voters who will have the opportunity to accept or reject the Mobility Initiative or any other alternative measure cooked up by the City Council.

One of the issues that needs to be addressed is how to pay for the Mobility Plan and the $5 billion needed to repair our streets and sidewalks.  Will this require an increase in our sales tax or a new parcel tax?

Although it should be noted that the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal requires no additional investment, since it only requires the city to stripe infrastructure called for in the mobility plan when streets are resurfaced, when they would need to be re-striped anyway.

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Finish the Ride wants you to come celebrate Halloween with them in Santa Clarita.

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

More anti-bike sabotage, as someone built a cinderblock wall across a Portland, Oregon bike path, which someone else quickly knocked down.

A Joliet, Illinois man faces charges for a seemingly random attack on a woman riding bikes with her two children, striking her with a plastic pole and repeatedly hitting her after yelling at them to be quiet.

What could possibly go wrong? A seemingly endless line of porta-potties have been installed in an Edinburg, Scotland bike lane to serve people waiting in line to see the queen lying in state. Which puts riders at risk of an entirely different kind of dooring.

More proof that bicyclists face the same risks the world over, as bike riders in Ghana worry about hostile attitudes from drivers, which could “continue to cause fatalities among cyclists and further discourage young people.”

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

Toronto bike cops are called on the carpet for riding through stop signs, setting a bad example for the rest of us.

Police in Glasgow, Scotland are looking for an ebike rider who seriously injured a 55-year old bike rider in a collision; both stopped following the crash, but the ebike rider may have ridden off before learning how seriously the other man was injured.

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Local

A Venice bicyclist pulling a trailer was stopped by another man who insisted the bike was his in an altercation caught on security cam; the second man took the bike after appearing to whack the bike rider with a stick.

Pasadena police will conduct yet another in the seemingly endless series of bicycle and pedestrian safety operations this Friday. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed. 

LA County is investing $15 million in a series of new bike lanes and other street improvements in South Whittier, La Mirada, and Santa Fe Springs

 

State 

A 34-year old repeat offender was arrested by Cal State Fullerton university police for the seventh time on bike theft charges, after they saw through his attempt to disguise himself as a student.

Apparently assuming they’re the only ones who need to get anywhere, residents near San Diego State University’s new Snapdragon Stadium are protesting plans to reduce traffic lanes along portions of Mission Village Drive in order to install protected bike lanes.

Streetsblog looks at the bike treatments currently taking shape in downtown San Jose.

An Oakland website looks at ten road projects underway in the city, including protected bike lanes and road diets.

 

National

Don’t think twice about that odor emanating from your body after a hard ride; NPR says it’s good for you. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

More evidence we’re failing the nation’s bicyclists, as The Guardian cites a number of American bike riders who say they are giving up bicycling because they just don’t feel safe on the streets.

Oregon elected officials get out and ride their bikes at Portland’s annual Bike Town Hall. Something we should definitely try to replicate here.

Bikemakers continue to offer seriously overpowered ebikes, as Colorado-based Optibike introduces a bike with the world’s highest power-to-weight ration, and a top speed of 36 mph.

Former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid pled guilty to the speeding, DUI crash that left a five-year old girl with severe brain injuries, as well as injuring another child; he faces a maximum of four years behind bars.

Sounds familiar. A Kansas City public radio station says the city’s worst intersection is all of them, with too many problematic intersections to fix at once.

Cincinnati bike riders and pedestrians will get a new bridge later this month, connecting multiple trails for the first time.

A Chicago cop could face discipline for running a stop sign and plowing into a bike rider, while traveling without lights and siren.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The head basketball coach of Pennsylvania’s Delaware County Community College was killed in a collision while on a group ride, after police say he lost control of his bike and swerved in front of the driver of an oncoming pickup; he still holds the school record for assists at Coppin State University, where he played in the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1990.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice on bicycling while pregnant

Bike Biz examines how bike shops can be more inclusive for disabled bike riders.

Another unexpected consequence of the queen’s death, as the introduction of ebikes to London’s bikeshare system — the former Boris Bikes — has been postponed during the mourning period.

Bike riders in Norwich, England are confused by signs closing bike racks during the mourning period, which wouldn’t seem to have anything to do with the queen’s death.

That’s more like it. The UK government has approved a traffic control device allowing Bike Bus chaperones to control traffic signals to improve safety for kids riding their bikes to and from school.

One of South Africa’s largest bicycling organizations is urging riders to wear neon colors during the day, and reflective gear at night. None of which will protect riders from the country’s notorious bike-robbing criminal gangs, however.

Premium bikes are gaining popularity with urban residents in China’s resurgent bicycle kingdom.

 

Competitive Cycling

The owner of the Israel-Premier Tech cycling team is threatening to take UCI to court as his team faces relegation, with two lower-level teams preparing to move up to the WorldTour, while six teams are in danger of moving down.

A San Francisco website looks back at the five-day Mission Crit held in the Mission District September 3rd, billed as “the last great American bike race.”

 

Finally…

In honor of the queen, everyone is expected to drive. That feeling when your gran fondo runs out of food.

And always remember to make eye contact with drivers, even though they may not be able to see you, anyway.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Getting a jump on LA mobility plan, seriously injured Mtn biker rescued, and anti-semitic banner on Davis bike bridge

Good piece from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider.

He makes the case for the city council to get a head start on their promises to implement the Los Angeles mobility plan, rather than waiting for the inevitable drawn-out process to draft and approve an alternative to the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal.

Schneider recommends ten streets currently scheduled for resurfacing work that they can start work on restriping right now.

Unless the councilmembers were just saying what they think we wanted to hear, with no intention of actually following through.

Naw, they wouldn’t do that to us.

Again.

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The Los Angeles Fire Department rescued a seriously injured mountain biker in Brentwood, hoisting the 56-year old victim to safety by helicopter after he suffered several traumatic injuries Saturday morning.

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There’s a special place in hell for the group of people who hung a racist, anti-semitic banner from a bicycle overpass on the UC Davis Campus, for the second weekend in a row.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

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Caltrans forwards a notice that Camp Pendleton will close the bike path through the base for five days next month, so mark your calendar. And make plans to use the shoulder of the 5 Freeway through the base if you need to ride then.

Another notification to pass: Bike path from Pulgas Gate to south entrance to the San Onofre State Park will be closed for military operations from 15 to 19 September from 6:00 AM to 6 PM daily.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

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

No bias here. A Chico letter writer complains about a new bike bridge, saying it will just give bike thieves a faster route to escape after stealing one.

No bias here, either. The New York Post calls Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine an anti-car extremist for pushing a “pie-in-the-sky bike lane plan for the West Side Highway,” despite his record of 41 traffic violations in the past decade. Although bad driving ability is a pretty damn good reason to switch to bikes.

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

There’s not a pit deep enough for the bike-riding thieves who stole a cellphone and the equivalent of over $2,000 from a homeless woman in Hong Kong. Although why she was sleeping on the street with that much cash is beyond me.

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Local

Metro recommitted to using Randolph Street for the eastern segment of the Rail-to-River bike/walk path, after Union Pacific refused to relinquish its right-of-way for an abandoned rail line.

Congratulations, Los Angeles. We now beat the Bay Area in transit use, especially buses. The story wasn’t paywalled for me, for some reason; your results may vary.

Streets For All calls on the city to cancel plans to expand parking at the Los Angeles Zoo in the middle of a climate emergency.

LA Times readers sound off about what streets they’d like to see closed, after the city banned cars from Griffith Park Drive in the park. My first choice would be to close Hollywood Blvd to install a pedestrian plaza at Hollywood & Highland, followed by closing Broadway in DTLA, and Wilshire Blvd from Downtown to the coast.

About damn time. Los Angeles blacktop may not be black for long, as the city works to cover one million square feet of Pacoima streets and other paved surfaces with cooling reflective paint, which can lower surface temperatures up to 12° Fahrenheit. Of course, that’s just a small fraction of LA’s heat-sink paved surfaces. And something tells me they’re not building out the mobility plan when they do it. Thanks again to Robert Leone for the link. 

This is who we share the road with. Despite initial denials, the LAPD was chasing a stolen car when it crashed into multiple vehicles August 19th at Manchester Ave and Broadway, killing a couple in a hit-and-run.

This is who we share the road with, too. One person is dead and two injured, after a pair of road raging drivers traded gunfire in Long Beach, before one of the drivers crashed into a truck and home.

 

State 

A Huntington Beach cop killed a pedestrian in a predawn crash while responding to an emergency call Saturday.

San Diego bicyclists Biked the Bay, riding across the Coronado Bridge in the San Diego County Bike Coalition’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

A San Diego County man credits his Apple Watch with saving his life after a mountain biking crash that left him a quadriplegic; he was able to tell Siri to call a friend for help.

The rich get richer. Santa Barbara County is beginning work on the new Santa Claus Lane bikeway, which will create a new Class I bikeway and multipurpose path connecting the California Coastal Trail to bike lanes on Carpinteria Ave.

 

National

Former New York City transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan applauds the rise of car-free cities to combat climate change.

Cities around the US are debating whether to keep pandemic-era road changes, as drivers, pedestrians, bike riders and diners debate who the streets are for. Although you know it’s not a serious report when they quote a spokesperson for the tiny drivers rights extremist group the National Motorists Association.

A Eugene OR newspaper seems surprised to discover that bicycles can move things “just like cars,” as a group of cargo bike owners carry a live band performance along the city’s streets.

A 19-year old Durango, Colorado man faces DUI and vehicular homicide charges for the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding local fire captain; he abandoned his car, with the victim’s bike sill under the front fender, and the victim embedded in his windshield. At his age, the legal alcohol level is zero.

Colorado residents debate allowing ebike access on offroad trails, even though the bikes can provide outdoor access to people who couldn’t otherwise ride them.

Horrible news from Texas, where a Houston-area man in his 30s was apparently mauled to death by dogs while riding his bike.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Kansas City teacher and father of ten children was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike.

Good idea. A Michigan writer describes how he carries pruning shears on his bike to trim bushes and trees encroaching on the bike path.

Cleveland announces a Vision Zero plan, committing to ending traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2032. Let’s hope they commit to it better than Los Angeles, which still hasn’t adequately funded the program after seven years.

Christian singer Amy Grant made her first public statement since she was seriously injured in a fall off her bike, saying she’s taking it easy at her Nashville home this fall on the advice of her doctors.

A Tennessee newspaper lists “12 perfect gifts” for bike enthusiasts. And for a change, they actually offer some pretty good suggestions. Although I’d add a gift certificate for a cleaning and overhaul at your local bike shop.

No surprise here, as Boston bike ridership jumps nearly 50% after a major train line was shut down for renovations.

Madonna is one of us, sticking her tongue out at the paparazzi as she goes for a bike ride in the Big Apple. And deservedly so.

NPR examines how Hoboken, New Jersey achieved zero traffic deaths in just four years, using quick, high-impact techniques. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

This, too, is the cost of traffic violence. A 42-year old State Department employee was killed when she was run down by a flatbed truck driver while riding her bike in Bethesda, Maryland; the diplomat had most recently served as head of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Section at the US Embassy in Kyiv.

Virginia drivers complain about the width of a new bike lane, apparently unable to figure out how to drive between the lines.

 

International

No surprise here. A new study charts bicycle ownership in various countries worldwide, concluding that high bike ownership does not necessarily correlate to high ridership. Sorry, America.

Cops in Surrey, England have added a Brompton to their crime fighting fleet, catching over 20 scofflaw motorists in the first few days.

Olympic gold medalist track cyclist Katie Archibald talks about her struggles in the week since her boyfriend, Scottish champion mountain biker Rab Wardel died of a heart attack at their Glasgow home.

Road.cc asks if anyplace requires numbered license plates for bicycles, aside from North Korea; Britain’s transport minister says they won’t be required, regardless of what he said before.

A pair of British men have been sentenced to 21 years each behind bars for using a car to deliberately murder a bike-riding father of four in a drug dispute.

A website says no, ebike batteries don’t attract lightening, in the wake of an Italian ebike rider killed by a lightening strike.

After the Russian invasion, a Ukrainian mayor rode her bike to patrol her small town and resist the occupation.

A New Zealand bike rider received a frightening punishment pass from a delivery truck driver; fortunately he was stopped for a pedestrian in the crosswalk, or it could have been worse. Never mind that he stopped, and the truck driver didn’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgian pro Remco Evenepoel continued to hold onto to the red leader’s jersey in the Vuelta with a gap of 1:12 over Spain’s Enric Was; three-time defending champ Primož Roglič remains in striking distance at 1:53 back. All the American cyclists have dropped out of contention, with Lawson Craddock now the top US rider in 59th place, over 45 minutes back.

Pez Cycling News looks back at 1945 Vuelta winner Delio Rodríguez, who holds the record for stage wins in the Grand Tour at 39.

The LUX/CTS U19 cycling team, one of the most successful junior development teams, is shutting down at the end of this season, a victim of cycling’s failed sponsorship model.

Tragic news from Vermont, where 33-year old Kenyan cyclist Sule Kangangi was killed in a high speed fall while competing the Vermont Overland gravel race Saturday.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to try to escape through a flooded river, no matter what kind of bike you just stole. It’s hard enough riding the grueling Iron Horse Classic on two wheels; now try it on one.

And at least one NBA star is excited about cycling’s rising stars. Then again, he does hold a French passport.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA Council rejects adopting Healthy Streets, protest street racing in Angelino Heights, and Santa Ana gets it all wrong

Why do I get the feeling the city council is Lucy.

And we’re Charlie Brown.

And they really think we’re going to fall for that damn football trick one more time.

Yesterday, the city council had the chance to adopt the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal.

Instead, they pulled the football away one more time, voting to develop their own plan, which will be based on the Healthy Streets LA plan, but with a greater focus on equity.

And voted to place Healthy Streets LA on the 2024 ballot.

In other words, they’re kicking the can down the road once again. Which seems to be the city’s favorite sport.

It really was typical Los Angeles.

A number of council members spoke, seemingly with their hair on fire, about how dangerous LA streets are, how little the city has done, and how they need to be forced to keep their commitments.

Then they voted unanimously not to.

Shamefully, they also chose to ignore the large turnout in support of the measure, with Council President Nury Martinez cutting off comments while over 30 supporters were still waiting to speak.

Although they somehow had time to listen to those opposed to the measure, for some reason.

If you’re wondering why I sound angry, it’s because we’ve been here before.

In 2010, then-Councilmember Bill Rosendahl famously declared “Car culture ends today!” 

In a powerful statement before the full council, Rosendahl said “The culture of the car is going to end now!” He reminded his fellow council members about the harassment cyclists face on the road, as well as the lack of support riders have received from the LAPD in the past. “We’re going to give cyclists the support they should have been getting.”

“This is my pledge to the cycling community.”

That pledge lasted until Rosendahl left the council to battle a recurrence of the cancer that took his life.

Under Rosendahl’s guidance, the city preliminarily adopted the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights, written a group of bike bloggers known as the Bike Writer’s Collective, sending it to the City Council for review and inclusion in the 2010 bike plan.

Except it never made it into the plan. In fact, it was never heard from again.

Rosendahl also shepherded approval of the innovative 2010 bike plan, with its three levels of bikeways forming a unified network designed to channel bike riders through their neighborhood, and throughout the city.

That was subsumed into 2015’s Mobility Plan 2035. And once again, never heard from again.

In fact, we were soon told the plan was merely “aspirational,” which probably explains why only 3% of the plan has been built out in the seven years since.

Charlie Brown, meet football.

Then there’s the city’s Vision Zero plan, also adopted in 2015, which pledged to eliminate traffic deaths in the City of Angels by 2025.

Hint: we ain’t gonna make it.

In fact, traffic deaths have continued to climb virtually every year since, jumping 19% in 2019, and 21% in 2020.

There goes that football again.

That was followed by the mayor’s Green New Deal, which promised to phase out gas-driven cars while providing safe and efficient alternatives to driving.

You can probably guess what comes next.

Now the city council expects us to trust them while they tee-up the ball yet again, pledging that the new ordinance they’re going to write will be even bigger and better than Healthy Streets LA.

Except (soto voce, crossed fingers hidden behind their backs) any ordinance they write they can also change at any time, for any reason. Unlike the Healthy Streets LA proposal, which could only be changed by a vote of the people had they adopted it yesterday.

So if a councilmember doesn’t want a particular project in his or her district, or LA’s notorious NIMBYs rise up in opposition, they can reject it in part, or in toto.

Or when a new council comes in, they can overturn it, again in whole or in part.

So much for forcing them to keep their commitments.

I’ve worked hard for 14 years now to kick over SoCal rocks, and shine a light on all the ugliness underneath, at serious harm to my own mental, physical, emotional and financial health.

But days like this, combined with the ongoing carnage on our streets, make me wonder if it’s all worthwhile.

And I know I’m not alone in feeling that way. Especially now.

But let’s give credit to Michael Schneider and Streets For All for all their hard work in getting us this far. And to everyone who turned out yesterday to speak to the council, whether or not they bothered to listen, and everyone who emailed and called their councilmembers fighting for a better result than the one we got.

You deserve better. We all do.

Instead we have to wait another two years for an expensive, uncertain electoral battle against the full force of LA’s NIMBYs.

Meanwhile, we need to hold the council’s feet to the fire to ensure they keep their promises, and come up with a workable alternative.

And stick to the damn thing this time.

Because I can’t speak for you. But I’m done falling for the same damn trick again.

Peanuts drawing from ClipArtMax

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It looks like Hollywood has worn out its welcome in LA’s Victorian Angelino Heights neighborhood — especially the seemingly endless series of Fast & Furious sequels.

A protest is planned for tomorrow to halt filming, in an effort to reduce the number of boneheaded copycats attempting to duplicate the stunts there.

Thanks to Dr. Michael Cahn for the heads-up.

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Santa Ana cops are on the lookout for a bike rider who kicked a motorist after crashing into his car, then possibly threatened the driver with a knife.

Although there’s so much wrong here, I don’t even know where to start.

Reading between the lines, the driver apparently right hooked the bike rider, while illegally turning across the bike lane instead of safely merging in to make his turn, as required by California law.

And while the bike rider was clearly in the wrong to kick and threaten the driver, LAPD officers have made it clear to me in the past that a driver commits assault simply by getting out of his vehicle.

In other words, the bike rider was the victim of the crash, and could have been acting in self-defense when he threatened the driver, since leaving the car could have been seen as a threatening act.

A good lawyer could have a field day with this one if they find the guy.

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The LAPD is looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a Vespa-style moped rider with severe injuries at 3rd and Flower in DTLA earlier this month.

Los Angeles has a standing reward of $25,000 for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injuries.

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Yeah, I’d probably use it.

Although as someone noted, the weak spot is still the cable.

Thanks to Megan Lynch and Jon for forwarding the tweet.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the British man who appeared to come to the aid of an injured mountain biker who fell off his bike, only to steal his nearly $2,800 bicycle while he was laid out on the ground.

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

A Connecticut man faces charges for groping two women while riding his BMX bike.

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Local

LA Progressive endorses a slate of candidates throughout the LA area, including Alex Fisch and Freddy Puza in Culver City, who it says face a well-funded NIMBY backlash from “homeowners who want to keep apartments, bike lanes and non-rich people out of their neighborhoods.”

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council is pushing for safety improvements at the extremely complicated disjunction junction of Glendale Blvd, Fletcher Drive and Silver Ridge Ave, citing a lack of bike lanes and sidewalks, as well as potholes and frequent gridlock.

Tony Palos Verdes Estates is pulling the plug on plans for a roundabout at Palos Verdes Drive West and Via Corta in Malaga Cove, after local residents got out the torches and pitchforks because they fear what they don’t understand.

 

State 

California is banning the sale of gas-powered vehicles starting in 2035.

Newport Beach considers what to do about speeding ebike riders, from restricting ebikes from certain trails to a blatantly illegal scheme to license ebikes, while limiting the licenses to local residents, the banning unlicensed bikes from the streets.

A 68-year old San Diego man was lucky to escape serious injury when he was right-hooked by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike near Sunset Cliffs in the Point Loma neighborhood.

Pismo Beach has received $14.7 million for new curb cuts, bike lanes and wider road shoulders to comply with Complete Streets requirements and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

National

Streetsblog considers three common bike laws that are overdue for a change, including requiring safety equipment instead of safe streets.

Good question. GearJunkie asks whether the great pandemic bicycle shortage is ending, or if it’s really just getting started.

Writing for Bicycling, a woman says she fell in love with bicycling — lower case — by delivering weed on two wheels. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Bicycling also highlights the best early Labor Day sales on bike gear, in an article that doesn’t appear to be paywalled.

Autoevolution reviews Jeep’s new ped-assist ebike, calling it $7,600 of awesomeness. For that price, it damn well better be.

New nonprofit City Thread worked with five American cities — Austin, Denver, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Providence — to build out 335 miles of bike lanes in just two years, a full 25 years earlier than otherwise expected. Someone please give LADOT their phone number. Pretty please. 

A Eugene, Oregon paper says ebikes and high gas prices are making this bicycling’s golden hour in the city.

Tacoma, Washington takes advantage of an eroding bluff to ban cars from a 2.5-mile loop in the city’s Point Defiance Park, opening up the roadway to walkers, bike riders and skateboarders.

The Austin, Texas judge in the homicide case against Kaitlin Armstrong for the death of pro gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson says the case will likely be delayed to give her time to consider motions.

Texas-based Volcon just quietly rolled out the company’s first moped-style, ped-assist ebike, which is designed to look like a motorcycle.

Tragic news from Indiana, where a 67-year old South Bend parish priest was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he was riding his bike.

The Bike League’s policy director helps the New York Post pick the best bike helmets for different types of riders.

A New York bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run salmon bicyclist who plowed into him head-on while riding in a bike lane; a photographer just happened to be there to immortalize the aftermath.

 

International

Bicycling Retailer says the late Lotus Bike designer Mike Burrows was much more than just a legendary bike designer; Burrows succumbed to lung cancer last week at 79.

Canadian Cycling Magazine calls a Toronto parking cop the greatest of all time for ticketing drivers parked in bike lanes.

Scottish mountain bike champ Rab Wardell apparently died of a heart attack in his sleep, as his girlfriend, Olympic track cyclist Katie Archibald, fought to save his life.

A British writer says the proposal to require numbered license plates on bicycles is so bad it could result in the dissolution of the United Kingdom.

More proof that drivers aren’t the only threat we face. A pair of French bicyclists are in critical condition after they were each stung nearly 50 times by European hornets, while a third rider was stung 15 times.

F1 star Valtteri Bottas is one of us, as Cycling Weekly goes gravel biking with the Finnish race car driver, while falling in love with the country’s trails. Thanks to Pops for the link.

Add this one to your bike bucket list, as The Guardian takes a bike ride through the “vast panoramas and the gleaming Adriatic” of west Slovenia.

A 23-year-old New Zealand woman pled guilty to careless driving for dooring a 19-year old bike rider, who was killed when he was knocked into the path of another car; she’ll be sentenced in November.

 

Competitive Cycling

Talk about a good problem to have. Danish cyclist Jonas Vingegaard is reportedly having a very hard time adjusting to life after winning the Tour de France.

American Lawson Craddock gambled on a breakaway on the next-to-last climb during Wednesday’s fifth stage of the Vuelta, but had to settle for fifth when he was reeled in by stage winner Marc Soler.

Slovenia’s Primož Roglič had to peel off his newly won red leader’s jersey, giving it up to Frenchman Rudy Molard after stage five.

Britain’s Fred Wright stands 2nd in the Vuelta GC, while Craddock moved up to 4th; previous leaders Roglič and American Sepp Kuss slipped to 5th and 6th, respectively.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying crystal meth on your bike and riding erratically, put a damn light on it, already. That feeling when your new bike lanes look like they were striped by a drunk.

And this is one of the best bike ads I’ve seen recently. Maybe we can get them to do an American version.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA Council considers Healthy Streets tomorrow, carfree living in LA ain’t so pretty, and Venice bike lane extension

As we mentioned yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to consider the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposition at Wednesday’s meeting.

After the proposition qualified for the ballot, it opened a 20 day window for the council to adopt it as written, or place it on the 2024 ballot for a vote by the city.

Aside from the usual opposition that comes with any proposed changes to LA streets, some advocates have come out against the measure because it doesn’t include a focus on equity or schedule for how the plan will be rolled out.

But that’s not the purpose of the proposal. It’s really a very simple measure — all it does is require Los Angeles to build out the city mobility plan, which they’ve already approved, whenever a street included in the plan is resurfaced.

That’s it.

It’s up to the city to determine when streets get resurfaced, and how to bring equity into the process.

So the best option is for the council to adopt the Healthy Streets LA proposition as written, then adopt a separate plan to fairly and equitably roll it out, especially in lower income communities that are too often ignored.

Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to make it. I’m still having major health problems that keep me close to home, especially at night in the mornings until my meds kick in.

But I’m begging you, if you can clear your schedule Wednesday morning, go make your voice heard to demand that the city keep its word, and give us the safe, livable streets they promised.

And if you can’t, then email your council member today, before the day is over. That’s what I’ll be doing.

Here is what Streets For All said about it in a recent email.

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS WEDNESDAY AND WE NEED YOU TO COME IN PERSON!

After a year and a half, it all comes down to THIS WEDNESDAY. The City Council has item #20 on its agenda to consider adopting Healthy Streets LA now, or send it to the 2024 ballot.

The City Council no longer takes remote comments, and we need you to show up in person Wednesday at 10am at LA City Hall (200 N. Spring St. Room 340) and make public comment asking them to take Option #1, and adopt Healthy Streets LA. Here are some talking points you can use. We suggest timing yourself to make sure you can say everything you want to say in 1 minute.

We’re almost there, and we need all hands on deck. See you there!

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

RSVP AND TELL US YOU’LL BE THERE

VIEW TALKING POINTS

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It’s not always pleasant to see yourself through someone else’s eyes.

Especially the view isn’t always pretty.

An Indian writer working with the LA Times on a journalism fellowship discovers just how difficult it is to survive in Los Angeles without a car, where the taxis are expensive and transit unreliable, and bike lanes start and stop with no coherent reason.

And you can’t even go through a Del Taco drive through without one, even when the walkup window is closed.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A Florida driver killed five people in their late teens and early twenties when he drove the wrong way on a freeway at 4:30 am.

The 30-year old driver, who was the only one who survived the crash, hasn’t had a valid driver’s license since his was revoked after getting caught doing 109 mph.

Yet he continued to drive anyway, racking up traffic violations that include speeding, running red lights and failing to yield at an intersection, despite being described by a former girlfriend as psychotic and obsessive.

Just one more example of authorities allowing a dangerous driver to stay on the roads until he killed someone.

Or five someones.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

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Streetsblog says work is underway to extend the parking protected bike lane on Venice Blvd.

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Buena Park has started work on what will be the longest bike lanes in the city when they’re finished.

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I’m not sure I’d call this a rickshaw. It seems more like a side-by-side tandem to me.

Although I did have to read the tweet to figure out that wasn’t Peter Pan sitting next to Peter Fonda.

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A YouTuber converted his old mountain bike to an ebike, in order to tow his solar-powered camper trailer complete with rechargeable battery.

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

A road raging pickup driver disrupted a Portland open streets event by driving onto the route, screaming obscenities at volunteers and participants, and even flashing a gun at one point. Police say they are investigating.

Once again, cops bend over backwards to exonerate one of their own, after a Lincoln, Nebraska cop right hooked a 15-year old kid crossing the street on his bike with the walk signal; the police insist the kid somehow crashed into the side of the police cruiser as the officer was turning. Something smells like bullshit here, which isn’t hard to find in Nebraska.

British lawyer “Mr. Loophole” wants bike riders who kill pedestrians to face life imprisonment, even though drivers usually get off with a slap on the wrist, if that. And even though it hardly ever happens, while drivers kill people every day.

Cycling Weekly has more information about the Spanish driver who plowed into a group of eight bicyclists, killing a couple of 67 and 72-year old men and seriously injuring three others; the driver was captured ten hours after fleeing the crash. He’s under investigation for murder, after witnesses say he suddenly changed lanes and sped up before hitting the bike riders.

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

A Phoenix man faces charges for shooting and killing another man in a dispute over a stolen bicycle; he confessed to the killing when police arrested him, but swore he actually stole the bike from someone else.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. The LA Times takes a deep dive into deadly street takeovers and side shows, which authorities describe as a scene of lawlessness “bordering on a riot;” six people have already been killed in street takeovers this year.

The WeHo Times provides photos from Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia, while My News LA offers a brief wrap-up.

The sheriff’s department will conduct a traffic safety operation in Santa Clarita from 2 pm to 8 pm today, focusing on violations that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. You know the drill. Ride to the letter of the law until you leave the area, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

 

State 

California is still trying to get its shit together regarding the fully funded ebike rebate program that was supposed to be up and running by now; the California Air Resources team will hold a virtual public workshop tomorrow to discuss issues like participant income eligibility, what types of ebikes should be covered by the program, and what kinds of retailers should participate.

San Diego’s popular Bike the Bay rolls this Sunday, providing your annual opportunity to ride the city’s iconic Coronado Bridge. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

KTLA-5 offers an update on the 14-year old boy who was run down by a 68-year old driver while riding bikes with a friend in the parking lot of the Camarillo Premium Outlets; his mother reports he suffered an extensive brain injury, as well as a collapsed lung, cracked sternum, fractured vertebrae and serious road rash. A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $20,000 of the $50,000 goal.

Thanks again to Robert Leone for catching us up on a couple stories we missed recently:

Richmond is planning to revive its moribund e-bikeshare system a month after Bolt bolted, and left hundreds of abandoned ebikes on the streets.

 

National

Runner’s World recommends the best bike helmets for “comfortable, breezy protection.”

Highway-choked Houston is slowly inching away from its auto-centric reputation with a series of multimodal infrastructure projects. Maybe they could show LA officials how to do it.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a “priceless” bike that belonged to a Minnesota man who recently died of a brain tumor; before his death he passed the bike onto his son because he wanted the boy to enjoy riding like he did.

This, too, is the cost of traffic violence. Pioneering heart researcher Jeffrey Robbins, PhD was killed when a teenage driver attempted to pass him as he was making a left turn on his bike to enter an Ohio bike trail. But it’s okay, because the cops say it was just an “oopsie.”

Unbelievable. Indianapolis has removed concrete bollards along a protected bike lane, and replaced them with flimsy car-tickler plastic bendy posts, because it was just to hard to maintain the concrete barriers after drivers hit them. So better to let drivers crash into the soft people on bicycles instead, apparently.

Ebikes are getting more Maine residents out of their cars, and could help the state meet its climate goals. Which is a pretty good indication that their climate goals aren’t ambitious enough.

Boston residents are working together to cope with a month-long shutdown of a pair of commuter rail lines, including mapping bike routes and organizing bike buses for beginning riders.

DC installed a new traffic signal to address years of complaints about a dangerous intersection, nine days too late to save the life of a woman riding a bike who was right hooked by a garbage truck driver.

This is the cost of traffic violence, too. An 11-year old Florida boy was killed when a pickup driver towing a boat swerved up on the sidewalk to avoid a crash, where the boy was riding his bike.

Sad commentary from a Florida website, which says ghost bikes are becoming all-too-familiar roadside memorials on Miami’s Rickebacker Causeway.

 

International

Yes, cars really are out to get us, one way or another. Vancouver bike riders are demanding a safe route after a bike path was closed when the roof of a parking lot collapsed, blocking the bikeway.

Calgary residents complain about new bike lanes intended to slow speeding drivers, as some worry they won’t be safe because…wait for it…scofflaw drivers will break the law.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a hit-and-run driver walked without a single day behind bars for leaving a bike rider with a broken pelvis.

A British bike rider completed the grueling, 2,500-mile Transcontinental race across Europe riding a Brompton foldie.

That’s more like it. France will pay you up to the equivalent of nearly four grand to swap your smelly, polluting car for a clean running ebike, or $400 to buy an ebike without a car trade, and Paris will give up up to $500 to buy an ebike or foldie.

This is who we share the road with. A 20-year old American service member is under house arrest inside the Aviano Air Base in northern Italy after killing a 15-year old boy while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit.

Cycling Tips considers why Australian roads became proportionately more dangerous during the pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

The real Vuelta starts today, when the peloton returns to Spain with a harrowing uphill finish.

Semi-retired LA pro cyclist Phil Gaimon now owns the course record for Maine’s prestigious Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, while notching his fourth win in the event; San Jose’s Courtney Nelson also set a course record while winning the women’s event.

 

Finally…

Once again, if you’re carrying meth on your bike, put a damn light on it, already. Congratulations, your kid is now some Tesla driver’s crash test dummy.

And this is how you avoid close passes.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Contact LA city council to support Healthy Streets LA, and CA bill would give up to $5,000 tax credit for carfree households

Streets For All is asking everyone to support the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal now that it’s before the Los Angeles City Council.

The council has 20 days to decide whether to adopt the proposal as written or place it on the ballot for the 2024 election.

Or they could adopt their own ordinance, which could include similar language to the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal, but could be change at any time, for any reason, unlike the the ballot measure which would require a vote of the people to modify or repeal.

Your support matters, especially since some advocates have come out against it.

WE NEED YOU:
Tell City Council to adopt Healthy Streets LA!

Last month, we turned in more than 100,000 signatures from residents in every single council district in Los Angeles — the people demanded safer streets, protected bike lanes, and dedicated bus lanes. Yesterday, the City Clerk certified our petition.

Now, it goes to City Council. The City Council has 20 days to decide to adopt our measure as an ordinance, or send it to the ballot to let the voters decide. We already know what voters want. That’s why we need your help to get the city council to adopt us as an ordinance within the next two weeks.

MAKE PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE COUNCIL FILE

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Good news for carfree households.

Let’s hope this one passes.

It could do as much as anything to help get people out of their cars.

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This is who we share the road with.

A New Hampshire truck driver plowed head-on into a group of motorcyclists, killing seven people; a jury let him walk without a day behind bars, though he may be deported to his native Ukraine. Just in case you wondered why people keep dying on our streets. And my apologies to whoever sent this to me; I’m afraid I lost track of it over the weekend.

A Pennsylvania man faces charges after plowing through a crowd gathered to raise funds for victims of a deadly house fire, killing one person and injuring 17, including four critically; he then ran down his own mother with his car and beat her to death with a hammer.

A driver plowed into an Arlington, Virginia pub, injuring 15 people, two critically; people inside described the crash as being like a bomb going off.

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Too many Angelenos learn about our deadly streets the hard way.

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Evidently, Portland drivers can figure out what San Diego drivers couldn’t.

Or didn’t want to.

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Not Just Bikes considers the bakfiets as a car. replacement.

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French illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé created over one hundred covers for The New Yorker, including many bicycling themed illustrations.

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If anyone has me on their Secret Santa list, I’ll gladly settle for a copy of this painting.

Or the original, even.

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

This is what a punishment pass looks like.

No bias here. A Louisville KY TV station reports, apparently seriously, that a salmon cyclist crashed her bike into the front of a police patrol car, rather than the cops hitting her with their car. That’s like saying “Please accept my apologies for hitting your fist with my nose.”

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

Police in Fort Worth, Texas are looking for a bike-riding man who rode out of the darkness to slash a man’s arm with a machete.

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Local

Los Angeles Times readers address the recent article about the Healthy Streets LA initiative qualifying for the ballot with surprisingly less vitriol than expected, though one insisted on trotting out the old “this is not Amsterdam” bromide, combined with the myth that its too hot to ride to work in a suit here. Especially since so many Angelenos have ditched their suits post pandemic.

The Times editorial department says you’ll soon have the chance to vote for safer streets.

Treehugger says the high-speed Windsor Hills crash that killed six victims, including a pregnant mother just two weeks from full term, has reignited debate about installing speed limiters in cars.

 

State 

California governor Gaven Newsom has named former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to serve as the state’s first Infrastructure Advisor to identify priority projects and maximize access to federal dollars.

A memorial crowdfunding campaign has raised over $110,000 for the family of Christine Hawk Embree, the 35-year old Carlsbad mother killed by a driver while riding an ebike with her 16-month old daughter; at last check, the fund stood at more than $119,000.

Eight San Diego men set a new team record for riding across the US in five days, two hours and 47 minutes.

Police in Contra Costa County arrested a hit-and-run driver who allegedly killed a 57-year old bike rider, before crashing head-on into another car minutes later.

A new 600-mile hiking and mountain biking trail could help revive dying towns in the Sierras.

 

National

Bike shops couldn’t keep up during the pandemic bike boom, and ended up ordering bikes that weren’t delivered until the after the boom crested; now they’re overflowing with bikes they can’t sell. For some reason, this story wasn’t blocked by the Wall Street Journal’s paywall, though your results may vary. 

Tech Radar offers a ten point checklist on how to safely secure your bike. And adds advice to never buy cheap secondhand bikes from shady sellers.

A Flagstaff, Arizona woman rode her mountain bike 2,700 miles on off-road trails in 51 days — despite being blind.

There is no lower form of human scum than someone who could leave a bike-riding 6-year old Las Vegas boy to die in the street.

That’s more like it. A Beaumont, Texas driver got 12 and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; his sentence was extended as a repeat offender.

A Wisconsin family brings 17 extra bikes with them to ensure every child can take part in the Green Bay Packer’s tradition of riding borrowed kids bikes to practice.

Christian singer Amy Grant has postponed more concert dates in September and October, as she continues to recover at her Nashville home from being knocked cold falling off her bike.

No, New York City will not be banning cars anytime in the foreseeable future.

The gunman who killed a security guard on the set of Law & Order: Organized Crime in Brooklyn last month apparently stalked the victim using a bicycle.

Someone tossed a heavy bikeshare bike onto the tracks in front of a New York subway train, with predictable results.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Friends remember a Virginia woman who was killed by a teenaged drunk driver while riding with a friend at 7:30 am; the other woman remains hospitalized in critical condition.

President Biden took another bike ride with his family while on vacation in South Carolina. And didn’t fall off this time.

A Miami man carries his 75-pound, sunglass-wearing golden doodle on his back as he rides around his neighborhood.

Kindhearted Florida duputies bought a 13-year old boy “the monster of all bikes” after learning he was depressed over the theft of his bike and the death of his father.

 

International

Road.cc reviews the new book Two Wheels Good – The History and Mystery of the Bicycle, giving it four out of five stars. The website also lists a half-dozen bike upgrades you don’t really need, from high-end gruppos to disc brakes and tubeless tires.

Kindhearted Ottawa, Canada cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a young kid after the one he received in a charity giveaway was stolen.

Someone may have stolen $3,300 from a bike rider in Trinidad after he was killed in a collision.

A British luxury lifestyle magazine recommends the best places for a biking vacation this fall. And no, nowhere in the US made the cut.

They get it. Officials in Camden, England say new bike lanes will benefit both bike riders and local businesses.

A 34-year old Edinburgh man with terminal motor neurone disease completed a mountainous, 20 hour, 265-mile fundraising ride; in the four years since his diagnosis, he’s raised the equivalent of $181,000 to fight the disease, with another $60,000 pledged for this ride.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver got just seven months behind bars for killing a 71-year old man riding a bicycle; he played the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card, saying he just didn’t see the victim.

Would you like fries with that? A new documentary tells the story of a Yugoslavian man who ate an entire bicycle in three days. No, really. 

Over 100 bicyclists turned out to mark Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, aka the 75th anniversary of Indian independence.

Nice story from Gabon, where a teacher got tired of watching her students walk for miles to get to school, so she started a company making bamboo bicycles; she already has over 5,000 orders.

You’ve got to be kidding. The new Hermes bicycle sold out in mainland China, despite a price tag over $24,000. Demonstrating that a number of wealthy Chinese have more yuan than sense.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seventy-one-year old Rick Taggart qualified for the US Nationals for his age bracket, despite a high-speed crash in the final mile of a 76-mile race that left him with a broken collarbone; he somehow managed to finish the race anyway.

Pez Cycling News takes a look at seven of the world’s “most challenging, weirdest bike races.”

 

Finally…

That feeling when your bike breaks during a 1,000-mile audax, so you ride into the nearest town, buy a new frame and build up a new one to finish the ride. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting kicked in the head by a deer doing a high jump. 

And evidently, Napoleon was one of us, too.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Investing in Place fires at Healthy Streets LA, protected and crappy new bikeways, and more 6th Street Bridge misery

Call it friendly fire.

The well-respected advocacy group Investing in Place fired off the since-deleted tweet on the left, coming out against the Healthy Streets LA  ballot initiative.

While the organization praises the efforts of the proposal’s sponsors, they take issue with the initiative itself, which would require the city to build out the Mobility Plan 2035 any time a street included in it gets resurfaced.

As they note, it could result in a haphazard streetscape, given the city’s seemingly random resurfacing program, while taking decades to complete.

Which is still better than the mere 3% that has been built in the seven years since the plan was adopted by the city council.

Here’s how Investing in Place explains their opposition in a blog post.

But here is where we disagree, painting random disconnected blocks of bike lanes while our sidewalks remain cracked, our neighborhoods flood in the rain and wilt in the heat, and bus riders continue to lack seating and shelter will not get us the city that we are working toward.

If the City Council adopts the Healthy Streets L.A. Ballot Measure as written, it would be tying its mandate to the City’s resurfacing program – which is structurally flawed, unpredictable, and inequitable – meaning the ballot measure is unlikely to produce projects with the durable community and political support needed.

It also could pull attention and resources away from efforts to implement truly complete streets with shade, accessible sidewalks, bus shelters and benches, and lighting, none of which are delivered by resurfacing and restriping. We wrote about this last month, as well as a separate but related motion the LA City Council is currently working on. It’s on the latter that the city should be putting its time and effort.

Surprisingly, that appears to represent a fundamental misunderstanding of what the mobility plan entails.

It’s not just bike lanes, even though it subsumed the 2010 bike plan, including its innovative three-level bike network.

It also includes busways and pedestrian improvements, along with a new focus on Complete Streets. Or as the plan itself puts it, it represents a fundamental change in how future generations of Angelenos will interact with their streets.

If it ever gets built.

But while the Healthy Streets LA initiative only requires Los Angeles to implement the plan when streets are resurfaced, that is the minimal requirement.

There is nothing stopping the city from building out an entire bike lane or busway when the new law forces them to stripe a few blocks of it. Nor is there anything preventing local groups and residents from demanding that the city go beyond the mere requirements of the law to include things like trees, benches and human spaces.

Investing in Place also strangely raises the issue of equity.

Any policy developed must include the voices of those most impacted, especially when it comes to public access to public assets. And the best policy outcomes we’ve seen also include the perspective and insight of those working on implementing and doing this work for the public agencies. These are the very real issues that are addressed by the motion put forward by Council President Martinez and discussed at length at the Public Works and Transportation Committees, but left to chance by the ballot measure. As a result, we have deep reservations about the ballot measure…

Until impacted communities living with the historical disinvestment in streets and sidewalks in their neigborhoods are given seats at the table, it is critical to stay the course with the Council President’s motion. Included in the Council President’s motion, and absent from the Ballot measure, is the plan to address the long-standing need for a Capital Infrastructure Plan that coordinates and prioritizes public works and transportation projects with equity baked in from the start.

I say strangely, because the voices of those impacted by the mobility plan were baked in during its drafting, through years of public meetings throughout the Los Angeles area and a lengthy public comment period.

It also came before the Planning Commission, neighborhood councils, city council committees and finally, the full city council itself.

At every point, there was a focus on equity and serving those too often ignored.

Then there’s the extensive support received by the Healthy Streets LA plan, with a lengthy list of sponsors, many of whom share a focus on equity, as shown on the plan’s website.

Our coalition includes a broad range of climate, transportation, business and labor organizations: Streets For All, LACBC, Climate Resolve, Streets Are For Everyone, MoveLA, CalBike, LAANE, Los Angeles Walks, The Eagle Rock Association, National Health Foundation, Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance, UNITE HERE Local 11, People For Mobility Justice, T.R.U.S.T. South LA, East Side Riders, East Valley Indivisibles, Pacoima Beautiful, BizFed, Coalition for Clean Air, FastLinkDTLA, LA Business Council, Sierra Club.

It also enjoys a long list of endorsements from neighborhood councils in virtually every region of the city.

The following Neighborhood Councils have passed letters of support: Arts District Little Tokyo, Atwater Village, Boyle Heights, CANNDU, Canoga Park, Central Hollywood, Coastal San Pedro, Cypress Park, Eagle Rock, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley Riverside, Glassell Park, Granada Hills South, Harbor Gateway North, Harbor Gateway South, Hollywood Hills West, LA32, Los Feliz, MacArthur Park, Mid City, Mid City West, NoHo, NoHo West, North Area Development, North Hills West, North Westwood, Northridge East, Northwest San Pedro, Panorama City, Porter Ranch, Rampart Village, Reseda, Silver Lake, Sun Valley, United Neighborhoods, Van Nuys, Voices, West Adams, West LA/Sawtelle.

That broad-based level of support is exemplified by this map showing the distribution of petition signers, reaching every corner of Los Angeles.

Here’s what Streets For All founder Michael Schneider had to say when I asked him to comment.

We respectfully disagree with Investing in Place’s take on Healthy Streets LA, a citizen-led ballot measure that has been supported by over 100,000 Angelenos across the entire city, 40 neighborhood councils, and a coalition of labor, business, climate, and safe streets advocacy organizations.

But here’s the real problem.

Once the signatures for the ballot initiative are verified and counted, it will be approved for a vote of the people. That should happen by the end of this month.

That will start a 20 day clock that will give the city council the option of approving the Healthy Streets LA proposal as written, or place it on the November ballot.

Investing in Place argues for another alternative, which would involve negotiations between backers of the proposal, city agencies, and other interested parties.

However, only the first approach would carry the force of law, which can only be changed by a vote of the people.

In other words, the concept of improving city streets and expanding who they serve would finally be carved in stone, forcing city leaders to build a more livable city for everyone.

The approach Investing in Place recommends, though, would have the city council adopt a modified version of the proposal that could be changed at anytime, for any reason, by a simple vote of the council.

So if a less favorable council is elected at some point in the future, the improvements to our streets could be halted overnight. Or some councilmember could decide they don’t want a certain project included in the mobility plan, and get the council to override it.

The first approach would force the city to do what it has already committed to.

The other would too, unless someone, somewhere disagrees. Which is guaranteed in a city where drivers have enjoyed unquestioned privilege and hegemony over our streets since the demise of the Red Cars.

And the rest of us have been forced to live with their scraps.

Here, again, is Streets For All’s Michael Schneider.

There is no conflict between city council adopting Healthy Streets LA as an ordinance when it reaches council (which would enshrine it into law versus be at the whim of a future city council vote), and us all working together under the great initiative by Council President Martinez to make sure the mobility plan is implemented with an equitable lens, the mobility plan is expanded beyond paint and bollards, departments are coordinated, and all of the other things in her motion, which we support.

It’s an approach that’s been proven successful in other cities that have tried it.

And which should prove just as successful here.

As long as our fellow advocates don’t sink us with friendly fire.

………

We have new protected bikeways in the local news today.

And real ones, this time. Unlike the the ones on the 6th Street Viaduct.

First up, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the long-promised curb-protected bike lanes on 7th Street in DTLA are finally under construction.

The $18.7 million streetscape project stretches one mile, from San Pedro Street in the east to Figueroa Street in the west. The first few blocks leading to and from Figueroa were funded by the developers as a permitting condition for building the Wilshire Grand Center at 7th and Fig.

Linton reports the project will include “expanded sidewalks, pedestrian/cyclist-scale lighting, bus islands, and new trees,” in addition to LA’s first significant curb-protected bikeway

Next up is a new separated bike path along El Segundo Blvd, which I’m just learning about.

However, it seems like for every decent bikeway, we have to accept a crappy one.

Like this one in Echo Park, where slow moving riders crawling uphill have to mix it up with impatient drivers, while downhill riders who could likely keep up with cars get a regular bike lane.

Exactly the opposite of what common sense would dictate. Although anyone who expects to find common sense on LA streets is likely to have a long damn wait.

………

Continuing our seemingly endless discussion of the new 6th Street Viaduct, Curbed’s Alissa Walker describes its ostensibly protected bike lanes as “a bike lane built for a car crash.”

Meanwhile, KPCC’s Air Talk discusses bike safety and entirely predictable street takeovers on the viaduct.

And with everything else going on with the bridge, why the hell not?

………

Old Pasadena is hosting a ride this weekend.

And no, that’s not a reference to the city’s residents.

Meanwhile, the LACBC is doing a craft beer ride to the South Bay with Sierra Nevada this Saturday.

………

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

No bias here. A San Diego letter writer says just paint a line on the sidewalk and make people on bicycles ride there, so his car can keep going zoom zoom on the streets.

This is why people keep dying on the roads. A Seattle area woman made just a brief stop behind bars before being released, after running down a bike-riding woman while driving at nearly three times the legal alcohol limit — at ten in the morning.

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

There’s a special place in a hell for the schmuck who harassed a 22-year old Welsh college student as he followed her on his bike for ten minutes making inappropriate comments. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. Period.

………

Local

KTLA talks to an expert about what to look for in an ebike.

 

State 

There’s not a pit deep enough for the Adalanto man who attacked a 17-year old boy with a tire iron for no apparent reason as the kid was riding with his mom, leaving him unconscious and bleeding in the street.

Hats off to San Ramon’s Monte Vista High School mountain biking team, who’ve assigned themselves to remove invasive plants from Mt. Diablo.

Sad news from San Rafael, where a 67-year old man was killed in a fall when he rode his ebike off a steep ridgeline.

Bikeshare and e-scooters could be coming back to Davis.

 

National

How to clean your bike helmet.

The Bike League is asking for donations to their Drive Less, Bike More Matching Challenge; the organization is 33% of the way towards their $50,000 goal.

Road Bike Rider offers a plan for beginners to ride 100 miles a week.

Accused killer Kaitlin Armstrong will face trial in October after pleading not guilty to the murder of gravel cyclist Mariah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas.

Some Chicago officials want to legalize speeding, with a proposal to toss out speed cam tickets for anyone going less than ten miles over the speed limit.

Bicycling and walking rates are up in Detroit, as residents cope with high gas prices.

This is who we share the road with. A Jersey City NJ councilwoman was cited for hit-and-run and failing to report a traffic collision, for driving off after hitting a bike rider, and leaving the victim with minor injuries; she claims she struck her head in the crash and reported it once she realized what happened. Sure, let’s go with that.

It’s a sad comment when a man can climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, but can’t survive riding a bike on DC streets.

 

International

A writer for Wired discovers that you can, indeed, do a 70-mile London dirt ride on a Brompton foldie, although the bike fared better than he did.

A British op-ed says teaching bicycling in schools will help foster equity.

An off-duty paramedic in the UK will spend five years and four months behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle, when he tried driving to a party after downing ten pints of Guinness.

An English writer learns firsthand what it’s like to ride France’s legendary Alpe d’Huez.

Bike riders in Düzce, Turkey lay down in the street to stop traffic and finally get noticed by drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tadej Pogačar outsprinted Tour de France leader Jonas Vingegaard to win Wednesday’s stage 17, but was unable to make a dent in Vingegaard’s more than two minute lead; Pogačar has one last mountain stage left to try to take the yellow jersey.

Former Tour de French champ Geraint Thomas is languishing in third place, over four minutes behind and unable to challenge the leaders.

Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen fared just a tad worse, giving everything he had just to make the time cut on Wednesday’s mountaintop finish.

Cycling Weekly says American cycling needs another Lemond — or God forbid, another Lance. But, you know, without the dope and stuff in the latter’s case. Or the shotgun pellets in the former.

 

Finally…

Your next bike can tell you when the air is too bad to breathe. And yes, there’s an online community for you when you just want to say “fuck cars.”

Because of course there is.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Healthy Streets LA submits signatures, moves forward in city council; and Moriah “Mo” Wilson killer busted in Costa Rica

So, did I miss anything last week?

Thankfully, my head and stomach finally returned to their standard state late last week, after doing my best to sleep it off all week. 

Now we’re back, with a lot to catch up on.

And no, that fool photo up there refers to the following story, not me. Although the resemblance is uncanny. 

Photo by 1195798 from Pixabay.

………

As a former president famously said, “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice…won’t get fooled again.”

Let’s hope we don’t.

It was more than a decade ago when a group of LA bicyclists calling themselves the Bike Writers Collective developed the Cyclists Bill of Rights, calling for common sense entitlements for people who ride bikes.

(Full disclosure, I was briefly a member of the group after this Bill of Rights was written.)

Like the right to “travel safely and free from fear”, the “full support of the judicial system,” and the “right to routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements.”

It made so much sense, it was provisionally adopted by the Los Angeles City Council in 2008.

Which is apparently what they do when they want to make something go away.

The proposal was sent to the city attorney’s office for review, before being routed to various city agencies and council committees, with an ultimate goal of writing it into city code and including it in the upcoming 2010 bike plan.

And that was the last anyone ever heard of it.

Which should serve as fair warning as the city considers preemptively adopting the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal.

This past week, Streets For All submitted over 102,000 signatures in support of the proposal, which would require the city to implement the long-forgotten mobility plan whenever a street mentioned in it is resurfaced.

Assuming enough signatures are validated, it would go before city voters, possibly as early as this fall.

But that’s where it gets interesting.

Because before the public has a chance to vote on it, it will go before the city council, who will have the option of adopting it outright.

If they do, it will immediately become law, and require a vote of the public before it can be modified or repealed.

Meanwhile, the city has also voted to move forward with their own version of the plan, based on the Healthy Streets initiative.

The motion, which passed unanimously — although safe streets opponents Paul Koretz and the recently defeated “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo were absent, along with former mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino — sends it back to the city attorney’s office to draft it into an ordinance.

Sound familiar?

The council will have the option of adopting the Healthy Streets plan, their own plan, or approving both. Or neither., for that matter

According to Streetsblog, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider says the best approach would be for the city to adopt them both.

“There are things in the ordinance, good things, that aren’t in the initiative,” explained Schneider after delivering the signatures earlier today. His advice to the Council? “Adopt ours, and then adopt yours as the implementation mechanism.”

The worst option would be for the city to approve a watered down, toothless version of the ordinance that would allow them to back out of implementing the plan whenever a councilmember decides it would be inconvenient to someone — whether motorists, police or the fire department.

Which could be altered or revoked by future council action at any time.

And which is pretty much what we have right now, resulting in less than 3% of the mobility plan being striped, seven years after it was adopted. And just 13 years before it’s supposed to be completely built-out.

Which means, if the city does adopt a weak-ass version, it will be up to the voters to correct their mistake.

So it’s great that the city is moving forward with their own version of the Healthy Streets LA proposal.

But it’s up to us to stay on top of them, and at the same time, keeping moving forward on the ballot initiative, to ensure we don’t get fooled again.

Or as another former president put it, “Trust, but verify.”

………

While we were gone, Kaitlin Marie Armstrong was busted in Costa Rica, after 43 days on the run for the May killing of top gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas.

The 34-year old fugitive was captured at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas.

Armstrong was reportedly traveling on a borrowed passport under an assumed name. She was returned to the US to face murder charges.

Wilson was repeatedly shot, apparently in a fit of jealousy for the crime of briefly dating Armstrong’s boyfriend, 35-year old cyclist Colin Strickland, and maintaining their friendship.

US Marshalls tracked Armstrong down by following her obsession with yoga classes, despite dying her hair in an effort to hide her identity.

………

The LACBC has taken a stand against the recently passed ordinance criminalizing bike chop shops, urging the mayor to veto it.

………

Enough said.

………

This is how fast a tragedy can happen. And how it can be avoided by a matter of inches, and sheer luck.

https://twitter.com/adamatic521/status/1540765682689658884

………

Women cyclists competing in the road race at the US Road Cycling National Championships took a knee to protest the recent overturning of Roe vs Wade.

………

This is what it looks like when a whole country bikes instead of driving.

https://twitter.com/annaholligan/status/1542205441069010946

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link. 

………

They get it. A British police department explains why drivers don’t really want people on bikes to ride single file, regardless of what they might think.

………

We haven’t had much success getting Hollywood to #biketheOscars.

Maybe we’re just asking the wrong country.

………

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

No bias here. After six-year old boy was knocked down on a San Diego bike path by a pair of kids on ebikes, a surf website says ebikes are “piloted exclusively by the lazy and selfish and/or young and spoiled, (who) fly down bike paths, sidewalks, anywhere pedestrians amble at full speed cloaked in the gauze of “environmentalism.” Um, sure.

No bias here, either. A chain of UK coffee shops says they don’t serve people on bicycles in their drive-throughs because “they’re not road legal, taxed or insured.” 

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

A 17-year old English boy faces a dangerous driving charge for fleeing the scene after running down an 80-year old pedestrian with his ebike. Yet another reminder to always slow down and ride safely around pedestrians. And stop if you hit someone, dammit. 

Also in the UK, a 29-year old man faces a charge of “wanton or furious driving while being in charge of a bicycle” for killing a 29-year old woman as she was crossing the street.

………

Local

Cars are now officially banned from a roughly one-mile section of Griffith Park Drive in Griffith Park, at least for now. More on that tomorrow.

Once again, bad police training has raised its ugly head, after an LAPD spokesperson tells Spanish speakers it’s illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk in Los Angeles, even though it’s perfectly legal as long as you respect others on the sidewalk.

A man was in stable condition after he was shot while riding a bicycle in central Long Beach early yesterday morning; police have not identified a suspect or motive.

CicLAvia is back, taking over the streets of South LA this Sunday. Or a street, anyway.

Speaking of Streets For All, the transportation PAC is hosting a another virtual happy hour on July 13th, this time featuring LA County District 1 Supervisor Hilda Solis.

 

State 

Several thousand bike riders turned out for a patriotic bike ride through Huntington Beach, in just the ride’s third year.

A kindhearted Castro Valley man fixes up donated bikes, and gives them to people who can’t afford one.

 

National

He gets it. Former President Barack Obama called on cities to fight sprawl and create “livable density…that allows us to take mass transit and take bicycles.”

Writing for Jalopnik, the co-host of The War on Cars podcast says “ban cars” is an inaccurate and incomplete summary of a complex issue, but he means it anyway.

A writer for Slate calls out Joe Biden’s “misguided” plan to suspend the federal gas tax.

A British man is riding across the US to call attention to testicular cancer, under the hashtag #BikingForBalls. No, really.

The Chicago Police Department has opened an internal investigation after a man claiming to be an off-duty cop was filmed pinning a 14-year old boy to the ground, and accusing him of stealing his son’s bike; the boy’s mother accused the cop of racial bias, saying when the boy simply tried to move it because it was blocking the sidewalk.

Police in the Bronx are looking for a hit-and-run driver in a stolen Jeep who killed a bike rider in a high speed crash, then removed a baby from the back of the Jeep, and made off in another SUV.

The carnage continues on American roads, when a DC driver crashed into a man on a bicycle before slamming into a fireworks stand; both the bike rider and a worker at the stand were killed. The driver apparently lost control due to a medical event.

 

International

Amazon is replacing its London delivery vans with a fleet of mini delivery van-style e-cargo bikes.

A British bicycling website says abuse on the roads keeps many women from riding, who might otherwise take to their bikes. The same story could be written for any American city or state.

Copenhagen’s bicycling chef is combining bikes and cuisine to give customers a ride to remember.

A new German study puts ebikes ahead of electric cars as the most popular and attractive form of electric vehicle.

Horrible news from Kolkata, India, where a 25-year old man was electrocuted when he tried to remove fallen electrical wires that got tangled with his bicycle wheels.

A 57-year old Kiwi man has ridden his bike everywhere for more than 40 years, without ever owning a car.

 

Competitive Cycling

Swiss cyclist Stefan Küng learned the hard way that you’re not supposed to grab another competitor’s helmet, grasping Ruben Guerreiro’s skid lid during Saturday’s stage two of the Tour de France.

Danish rider Magnus Cort was a hero to the hometown crowds during Sunday’s stage three, cementing his hold on the polka dot climber’s jersey with an 81-mile breakaway.

There always seems to be a mass crash during the early stages, and Sunday’s stage three was no exception, with several of the leading contenders losing time they’ll have to make up in the coming weeks.

Dutch pro Annemiek van Vleuten cemented her lead in Italy’s Giro Donne with a win in stage four.

LA-based L39ION of Los Angeles swept the podium for the women’s national crit championship, as Kendall Ryan took a bunch sprint ahead of teammates Skyler Schneider and her own sister, Alexis Ryan; 19-year old Sebastopol CA resident Luke Lamperti successfully defended his title on the men’s side.

Kyle Murphy and Emma Langley won the men’s and women’s road cycling Nats.

Veteran cyclist Alejandro Valverde suffered minor injuries when he and a teammate were struck by a driver while training in Spain on Saturday.

Team Novo Nordisk, the pro team composed entirely of cyclists with type 1 diabetes, is out with a new documentary; you can see it here.

 

Finally…

Chances are, you’ve never ridden a bicycle at 169 mph, with or without a tow. Now you, too, can ride your bike on half a wheel.

And I seriously need this one on my wall.

https://twitter.com/davidguenel/status/1541360691742916608

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

BOLO alert for hit-and-run driver, council committee meeting considers Healthy Streets LA, and Biden takes a fall

Be on the lookout for a hit-and-run driver who left a bike-riding man with serious injuries last week.

According to the LAPD, the victim was struck by the driver of a 2006 burgundy Toyota Highlander around noon Wednesday, at the at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Mateo Street in DTLA.

The driver was described as a Hispanic male in his early 20s.

There is a standing $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injuries in the City of Los Angeles.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Juan Campos, Central Traffic Detectives, at 213/833-3713, or email 31480@lapd.online.

………

Mark your calendar for this Wednesday, when a joint session of the Los Angeles City Council’s Public Works and Transportation Committees will consider advancing Council President Nury Martinez’s motion to adopt the principles of the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal.

The proposal calls for building out the previously approved Mobility Plan 2035 whenever a street in the plan gets resurfaced; the city has currently built out just 3% of the plan in the seven years since it was adopted.

At that rate, they should call it Mobility Plan 2268, since that’s how long it would take the city to finish it.

If they actually did.

This proposal probably won’t have the teeth of the ballot proposal, which would require the city to carry it out.

But it’s still a big step forward, and would serve as a strong backup if the ballot measure fails at the ballot box this fall.

………

President Joe Biden took a tumble off his bike Saturday when his foot got caught in a toe clip — something that’s happened to virtually anyone who has ever used them.

Fortunately, nothing but his pride was injured, although social media had a field day with it.

Surprisingly, even former President Donald Trump expressed his concern, while repeating his vow to never ride a bicycle.

Although the second part of that should surprise exactly no one.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Robert Leone forwards word that Camp Pendleton will be doing construction work affecting the bike path through the base.

1. From 22 June to 8 July, there will be constructions on Vandegrift near the intersection of Stuart Mesa Rd/Ash St.  This construction will impact the bike path due to lane closure so cyclists need to be extra careful and maintain single file, per Base requirement.

2. From 9 July to 22 July, Vandengrift Rd west of the Stuart Mesa/Ash St intersection will be closed to inbound and outbound traffic 24/7 and that forces us to close the bike path from the Main gate to the Las Pulgas gate.

………

Evidently, he did more than just play Auld Lang Syne every New Years.

………

Once again, bike riders are heroes. A group of Forth Worth bicyclists paused in the middle of their weekly ride to rescue a dog who had been abandoned on a bridge support.

………

This may be the best, if not strangest, 11 minutes of your day.

I mean, after all, who wouldn’t fall for someone with a flying bicycle?

Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

………

If you’re going to use an axel grinder to steal a bicycle in broad daylight, maybe make sure it doesn’t belong to a British Member of Parliament first.

https://twitter.com/helenhayes_/status/1537331125776941059

………

This is who we share the schoolyard with.

………

We may have to deal with aggressive SoCal drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about leopard attacks.

………

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

No bias here. San Diego’s CBS8 continues their steady drumbeat of negative stories about the city’s new bike lanes, this time citing confusion over the reverse angled parking protecting bike lanes on Park Blvd in University Heights.

British drivers are up in arms over bicyclists with helmet and bike cams capturing their bad driving and reporting them to the police. Or maybe it’s just the British tabloids trying to stir up trouble to sell more papers.

Meanwhile, a London columnist says blame bicyclists for “stoking the flames of the road culture war” with their bike cams. Evidently, because drivers don’t like to get caught breaking the law, let alone held accountable for it.

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

A Fairfield, California ex-con was arrested after using bear spray on a cop who tried to stop him; police found a nail gun converted to fire .22 caliber bullets in his backpack.

………

Local

An adjunct professor from Pacific Oaks College makes the case for the Arroyo Link, which would be the city’s first protected bike and pedestrian path, connecting Old Town Pasadena with the Arroyo Seco.

A West Hollywood man found healing on his first AIDS/LifeCycle ride following the death of his twin brother from the disease.

 

State 

Unbelievable. San Diego continues to destroy bicycles as part of their homeless camp cleanups. Never mind that they might need them for transportation, or that the bikes might actually belong to someone else.

A 27-year old former UCLA soccer player is riding a bike again thanks to San Diego’s Blind Stoker’s Club, after a stage 3 malignant brain melanoma left him blind, and with cognitive, memory and speech issues.

Sad news from Oakland, where a 42-year old father was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding bikes with his two young sons, who were uninjured; the city received funding for a protected bike lane on the street six years ago, but never moved forward with it.

 

National

The National Transportation Safety Board, aka NTSB, examines how Helsinki, Finland achieved zero pedestrian deaths — along with Hoboken, New Jersey. Apparently, something that can only be achieved by cities starting with H.

Outside says plan to spend around $100 to $160 on your next mountain bike helmet.

Sad news from Illinois, where a Schuyler County judge was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a 73-year old driver in a bigass pickup.

A 32-year old Detroit man remains missing, three years after he disappeared while riding his bike.

Hundreds of Boston women are learning to ride bikes, as the city builds more protected bike lanes.

Yet another motoring mass casualty event, when a driver in Buffalo, New York plowed into a group of three women riding bicycles, killing one and seriously injuring the other two; the driver kept going until she crashed into a pair of parked cars.

Actress Julia Fox is one of us, riding an ebike in her revealing red carpet outfit to get to a friend’s screening at the Tribeca Film Festival.

A 34-year old Florida woman faces charges for killing a man riding bikes with his father outside Key West while she was high on meth.

 

International

Bike Radar offers a buyer’s guide to balance bikes for discerning toddlers.

More bad news, this time from Mexico City, where a 22-year old Mormon missionary was killed when he crashed his bike falling on a steep, slippery hill.

A new $1,200 British ebike conversion kit uses a disc brake rotor to power your bike.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a woman received just 15 months behind bars for killing a bike rider while illegally using her cellphone.

A shortage of nighttime taxis has led to a 41% increase in drunk bicycling in Seoul, Korea, as people turn to the city’s bikeshare system instead.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews anoints 20-year old Brit Leo Hayter the next big thing, following his win at the Giro d’Italia Giovani Under 23, otherwise known as the Baby Giro. Raise your hand if you even knew that was a thing.

Fears rise that Covid could put this year’s Tour de France at risk after the disease tore through the peloton at the Tour de Suisse, causing around 30 riders to abandon the race.

Cycling Weekly looks at the early adopters who are carving out a career in gravel racing.

Pro cyclist Colin Strickland says he’s shellshocked to find himself in the middle of a fatal love triangle, as police allege his girlfriend, Kaitlin Armstrong, killed gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson in a fit of jealousy.

 

Finally…

Who needs pedals when you have a drone to power your bike? Your next ebike could transform into a kick scooter, as long as you’re willing to do without pedals.

And let’s see you do this while pedaling.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

6 years for hit-and-run death of Colton boy, LA votes on bike chop shop ban today, and demand Griffith Park bike safety

The hit-and-run driver who killed 15-year old bike rider Javier Gonzalez in Riverside has been formally sentenced to six years behind bars.

Thirty-seven-year old Riverside resident Rosendo Morales Caldera pled guilty earlier this month to hit-and-run resulting in death, with a sentence enhancement of fleeing the scene of a crime, after prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor count of driving without a license.

Caldera might not have faced any jail time if he’d just stopped his damn truck, since Colton resident Gonzalez and his friends were riding on the wrong side of the street.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

The Los Angeles City Council will vote on a proposed ordinance today to ban outdoor bike repairs and sales on public property, in an effort to halt open air bike chop shops.

However, it will exempt “people in possession of a single bike being repaired with the express purpose of allowing them to ride it again.” Which means you shouldn’t be subject to the law just for fixing your bike in public.

Key word, shouldn’t.

Although whether it will actually have an effect on bike theft remains to be seen.

………

A Reddit post reminds us about the Griffith Park Advisory Board, which meets twice a month to discuss matters concerning the park.

Like how to keep bike riders safe from all the cars and drivers they let in to what should be a safe place for people.

The next virtual meeting takes place on the 27th of this month.

Improving Safety within Griffith Park: Griffith Park Advisory Board from BikeLA

……….

Inspiring story of a Tampa, Florida bike mechanic who rides his fixie with just one leg, after losing his left leg in a motorcycle crash.

Even on the track.

………

GCN offers advice on how to perform basic maintenance for beginning bike riders.

………

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

This is why we can’t have nice things. A San Francisco disability advocate, backed by an art museum, is filing a ballot measure to force the return of cars to newly carfree John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park.

Disgruntled motorists have been sabotaging London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods by repeatedly tipping over planters intended to limit traffic flow.

………

Local

Spectrum News 1 profiles the Watts-based East Side Riders and co-founder John Jones III as they work to support the community and push for change.

Pacoima is launching the San Fernando Valley’s first ebike-based bikeshare system, which will be free to use for the next nine months.

He gets it. An op-ed from former Santa Monica City Manager and Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Rick Cole says stop spending billions on freeways. That money could be better spent on transit, biking and pedestrian projects to reduce the need to drive, instead of fueling it.

 

State 

Guardian Bikes, a children’s bikemaker financially backed by Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, is pulling up stakes in Irvine and moving to Seymour, Indiana, which should result in a ten-times increase in production.

A handful of residents and business owners turned out to protest as San Diego began work to remove two traffic lanes and install protected bike lanes on Park Blvd in University Heights, at a cost of just 88 parking spaces — most of which will be replaced nearby.

A Palm Springs man started an organization to provide bicycles to homeless people, to support them with much-needed transportation.

Oakland residents protested to call for safer streets in the wake of two deadly collisions involving a man on a bicycle and an elderly pedestrian.

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson is one of us, explaining he rides his bicycle to home games to cut his carbon footprint.

 

National

ABC News reports that racial disparities in American traffic fatalities are even worse than previously thought, especially for pedestrians and bike riders, with Black pedestrians and cyclists 2.2 times and 4.5 times more like to killed on a per-mile basis, respectively; the trend is similar for Hispanic Americans.

Bicycle Retailer says increases in US bike ridership reached the highest levels in decades during the pandemic, but the bike boom may already be over.

A Santa Fe, New Mexico letter writer asks why the city can’t keep bike lanes clean and free of debris. Something most of us would like to know, wherever we live.

Kansas drivers are reminded to watch out for bike riders this month, as the Trans Am Bike Race and the Race Across America, aka RAAM, roll through the state, along with the annual Biking Across Kansas; three riders have been killed in the last five years.

The Chicago Sun-Times calls on the city to raise the fine for drivers who block bike lanes, after a three-year old girl was killed when her mother rode her bike around a utility truck parked in one.

A 43-year old Toledo man faces charges for viciously beating a 70-year old man riding his bicycle on a bike trail; the suspect bizarrely claims he was just trying to wake the victim up because he didn’t look well.

Writing from the perspective of a “non-avid cyclist,” a DC woman calls for better bike infrastructure for people like her, rather than the self-proclaimed “avid cyclists” who always seem to show up to oppose it.

A Virginia writer remembers riding his $5 junkyard bike all over town as a boy, while lamenting that kids don’t ride bikes anymore.

 

International

Riders stripped down to participate in the World Naked Bike Ride in Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico to call for greater visibility of people on bicycles; dozens of riders joined the fun in Toronto, too.

A Calgary man was sentenced to three years and three months behind bars for the drunken crash that killed a bike-riding man as the driver was leaving a golf course; the judge rejected a defense plea for a lenient sentence, saying it wouldn’t deter other people from drinking and driving.

An Ottawa, Canada woman has been holding weekly bike giveaways for the past three months to help Ukrainian refugees settle into the city.

Hanoi, Vietnam is opening a new 200-station bikeshare network.

An outdated law limiting handlebar widths means that most mountain bikers in Western Australia risk fines for breaking the law.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini won the Women’s Tour of Britain by just one second over Australian Grace Brown, thanks to a four-second bonus for a third place finish in the final stage.

Sprinter Mark Cavendish probably won’t have a chance to break his tie with Eddy Merckx for the most stage wins in the Tour de France, since he’s unlikely to make the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team roster for the race.

 

Finally…

What’s a bike race without a little booze? Before you submit video of a scofflaw bicyclist, make sure you’re not the one breaking the law.

And before you celebrate your win, make sure you really did.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA Times supports city’s adoption of Healthy Streets LA initiative, and another DIY crosswalk in Hollywood

They get it.

The Los Angeles Times says the city could finally be getting serious about safer streets, following a city council proposal to copy the Healthy Streets LA ballot initiative.

The proposed ballot measure would require the city to build out the already approved mobility plan whenever a street gets resurfaced, noting that only 3% of the plan has currently been built out.

Earlier this year, transportation and environmental activists frustrated by the slow pace of progress decided to take the matter into their own hands. The groups began collecting signatures for the Healthy Streets LAballot measure that would require the city to add the promised bus, bike and pedestrian improvements whenever streets are repaved. They expect to have enough signatures to qualify the measure for the 2024 ballot.

But Angelenos may not have to wait that long. City Council President Nury Martinez recently called for an ordinance that would do the same thing as the Healthy Streets LA measure. Martinez said with traffic deaths increasing, Angelenos shouldn’t have to wait. Her motion, backed by four council colleagues, would direct the city attorney to write an ordinance based on the ballot measure that would require that city departments add mobility plan improvements when streets are resurfaced.

Martinez’ motion goes further than the ballot initiative by establishing a unified project coordinator to ensure infrastructure projects incorporate crosswalks, bus shelters, streetlights, stormwater infrastructure, sidewalk repairs and street trees, as well as elements contained in the mobility plan.

But just as important is ensuring that the work gets funded, including hiring sufficient staff at LADOT to carry it out.

And, the paper warns, it could still come undone, depending on what approach the city takes.

Yes, it’s frustrating that residents had to organize a ballot measure campaign to prod city leaders to carry out their own mobility plan. And it’s not a done deal yet. The City Council has a choice — it can adopt its own ordinance, which could be watered down or undone by future city councils. Or, under the city’s initiative law, it could adopt the language of the Healthy Streets LA measure when it qualifies, most likely this summer, rather than send it to the ballot. That would mean any future amendments would have to go to voters.

Let’s hope they take the latter direction, which would achieve all the goals of the ballot measure without the expense and inherent risk that comes with taking it to the voters.

And let’s all keep on top of it to make sure the council follows through without watering it down.

Because we’ve already seen the city won’t keep their commitment to safer streets unless we make them.

……….

LA’s guerilla Crosswalk Collective has struck again, this time in my own neighborhood.

It really shouldn’t have taken do it yourself action to stripe much needed crosswalks in front of a school used by hundreds of little kids every day.

But sadly, that’s exactly where we are in Los Angeles these days.

Now let’s see the city try to explain it to their parents when they try to rip it out.

………

A Palm Springs man is being held on one million dollars bail on charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism.

Twenty-seven-year old Juaquin Mercer Moraga allegedly rammed his car into several vehicles, assaulted a driver and deliberately tried to run over a bike rider.

Thankfully, he missed.

………

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

No bias here. An Illinois Republican Congressional candidate accused his opponent of pork barrel spending for supporting a bike trail in their district, rather than focusing on high gas prices. Never mind that safe bikeways help their constituents avoid buying gas.

No bias here, either. An English town councilor calls a new two-way protected bike lane the biggest waste of money he’s ever seen, insisting no one asked for it or wanted it.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says LA’s permanent slow streets program seems to be doing just enough to look busy, “while avoiding any features that would actually prevent cars from speeding down neighborhood streets.” (Scroll down.)

Spectrum News 1 says street safety is on the ballot in LA’s CD1, where “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo faces a challenge from newcomer Eunisses Hernandez; initial results had Cedillo leading with 53.8% of the vote, compared to Hernandez 46.2%.

Mel Gibson navigates the mean streets of Los Angeles on a bicycle in his new film Last Looks, a comedy crime-thriller opening Friday.

 

State 

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is calling for area bike riders to support San Diego’s Quick-Build Bikeways Program, in advance of Monday’s city council meeting. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

An Imperial Beach mother says she just wants to see her kids, after she barely survived after getting run over by a stop sign-running driver in a massive pickup, while riding with her children two weeks ago.

A Davis bike advocate recommends exploring beautiful Yolo County by bicycle. After all, you only live…well, you know.

 

National

Planetizen examines the weaponization of bike racks to displace homeless people.

Bicycling deaths in Washington State have remained steady over the past three years, even while bicycle crashes dropped 30%. But an insurance spokesperson said the repeal of Seattle’s bike helmet law was one factor contributing to the deaths — even though it wasn’t repealed until this year, and only applied to the county surrounding Seattle.

A Colorado man was sentenced to eight years behind bars for the meth and booze-fueled death of popular 45-49 age-group national road race champ Gwen Inglis, who was run down while riding in a Denver-area bike lane with her husband.

A kindhearted Texas neighborhood watch group bought a new bicycle for a 63-year old Dairy Queen worker, after the bike he relied on to get to work was stolen.

Several witnesses chased down an alleged stoned hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider, boxing in her car and holding her until police arrived.

Kalamazoo, Michigan bike riders held a Ride of Silence last night to honor the five victims killed by a driver stoned on prescription pain killers when he slammed into members of a cycling club six years ago, and injured another four people; Charles Pickett Jr. was sentenced to serve a minimum of 45 years behind bars for the deaths.

Talk about missing the point. A Kentucky news channel says a local bike shop owner rides his bike to avoid high gas prices. Even though he’s been doing it for 34 years, starting when gas was a hell of a lot cheaper.

 

International

What to consider before your next bikepacking trip to Costa Rica.

He gets it, too. A 14-year old British Columbia bike rider says the only reason he rides on the sidewalk is because of the city’s horrible bike infrastructure.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A Welsh driver got a lousy 12 weeks behind bars, and lost his license for a year, for the hit-and-run crash that left a. bike-riding man fighting for his life.

British drivers are reminded to look out for bike riders and give them more space when passing, following changes to the country’s Highway Code to protect vulnerable road users. Good advice anywhere, regardless of any changes to the law.

Dubliners consider how pedestrians and bicyclists can best share a road after it was permanently closed to cars.

A Danish music producer and DJ is collecting the sounds of Copenhagen from her cargo bike.

An Indian newspaper describes Delhi roads as a death trap for bicyclists, as bicycling deaths jump 36% over last year.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Lorena Wiebes won the second stage of the women’s Tour of Britain after out sprinting a pair of cyclists to win by several lengths.

Mark Cavendish and son were in the audience for the race.

Wout van Aert, who should know better, became the latest victim of premature celebration after assuming too soon he won Tuesday’s stage three of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

British transgender cyclist Emily Bridges revealed she suffered a vicious barrage of violent threats after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “biological males” shouldn’t compete in women’s sports.

 

Finally…

Forget foldies. Your next bike could transform into a chair and table. Your next roadie could be made from bamboo, and sell for less than $1,400.

And if you can afford to drop over 18 grand on an “Italian lifestyle” bike, chances are, you’re already doing pretty good.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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