Tag Archive for Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

Morning Links: Hope for LACBC, Paul Smith ghost bike removed already, and study on the dangers of e-scooters

One quick note before we get started.

Last Friday, I had a very pleasant talk with Communications Director Dana Variano and new Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, aka LACBC.

I won’t go into details, since everything we discussed was off the record. But we had a very frank and open discussion about the state of bicycling in general, and the state of the LACBC in general.

Suffice it to say that Kaufman recognizes that he’s got a steep learning curve to get a firm grasp on LA bike culture and street safety.

And he’s well aware of the problems facing the LACBC after drifting far too long without effective leadership.

But he’s committed to listening and improving communications, which has been a major problem as long as I’ve been involved with the coalition, as a member and former board member.

And to making the hard decisions the LACBC will need to return to being an effective voice for LA bicyclists.

I left the meeting feeling like the LACBC is in good hands.

And with a little hope for the first time in a long time.

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Disappointing news from Seal Beach, where Eric Dalton reports the ghost bike for Paul Smith has already been removed, less than three weeks after he was killed.

The popular church leader was riding on PCH at Seal Beach Blvd when he was run down from behind by an allegedly speeding driver.

At this point, there’s no word on who removed the ghost bike, or why.

But it’s heartbreaking that someone apparently didn’t think he was worth remembering for even a month.

Let alone reminding drivers of the dangers of SoCal’s killer highway.

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A new UCLA study shows e-scooters pose pretty much the same risks you might think.

Of the nearly 250 people treated by UCLA medical centers in Westwood and Santa Monica as a result of scooter injuries, the overwhelming majority of injuries were suffered by the people riding them — not pedestrians struck by them, as we are so often led to believe.

“In this study of a case series, 249 patients presented to the emergency department with injuries associated with electric scooter use during a 1-year period, with 10.8% of patients younger than 18 years,” says the January 25 paper by Tarak K. Trivedi, Charles Liu, and Anna Liza M. Antonio.

“The most common injuries were fractures (31.7%), head injuries (40.2%), and soft-tissue injuries (27.7%).”

“Only 10 riders were documented as wearing a helmet, constituting 4.4% of all riders,” the report notes. “Twelve patients (4.8%) had physician-documented intoxication or a blood alcohol level greater than 0.05%

Of course, there’s no word on the severity of the head injuries, which could have been anything from simple cuts to concussions, skull fractures or cranial bleeding.

And no way to know whether helmets could have prevented them.

Then there’s this from Forbes.

Not all of the injured patients had been riding scooters. Eleven had been hit by scooters, and five had tried to lift scooters. Another five had simply tripped over parked scooters, which is what can happen when there are Bird or Lime droppings on the sidewalk.

In other words, despite the panicked response to this study in the media, over 90% of the injuries were to the people riding them. So just like with bicyclists, even the most careless riders are a danger primarily to themselves.

Just wait until the study authors discover how many people get hurt by cars every day.

Which is not to say everyone shouldn’t ride safely, so they don’t pose a risk to themselves or anyone else.

And for chrissakes, don’t leave your damn scooter on the sidewalk, or anywhere else it can pose a danger to anyone.

Especially people with handicaps.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads up.

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NHL All-Stars Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang apparently didn’t get the memo that scooters are dangerous, arriving at the game on a pair of Lime e-scooters.

https://twitter.com/GoldenKnights/status/1089303215332483072?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nhl.com%2Fnews%2Fshort-shifts-marc-andre-fleury-kris-letang-all-star-game-electric-scooters%2Fc-304245710

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Howard Valai forwards video of what it looks like when an LA Metro bus passes about a foot off your handlebar.

If anyone had opened the door on any of those cars, he could have seriously injured. Or worse.

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Life is cheap when you ride a bicycle.

A Colorado truck driver gets an all-too-brief 90 days behind bars, and 120 days work release, for running down a 17-year old boy from behind as he rode in a bike lane, then fleeing the scene and leaving his victim seriously injured in the street.

A speeding hit-and-run Maryland driver got just 18 months behind bars for running a red light and killing a Smithsonian IT specialist who was riding his bike to work last September.

A teenage driver walked with community service for killing a bike rider in the UK by trying to pass on a narrow country road at 60 mph — which the driver’s lawyer wrote off as a simple misjudgment. One that cost an innocent man his life.

But sometimes justice gets done.

Like the Florida driver who got over 13 years behind bars for the drunken, high-speed crash that killed a man on a bicycle.

Or the Japanese man who got a well-deserved 18 years for the road rage death of a motorbike rider, intentionally slamming into him after briefly chasing his bike. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

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I don’t even know what to make of this one.

In a video posted to an anti-bike group, an Aussie driver drove down a bike path to swear at a couple of cyclists for riding in the roadway instead of on the parallel path.

No, seriously.

Needless to say, opinions on the auto-centric site ran in favor of the foulmouthed driver, with one poster calling for him to be named Australian of the year.

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If you haven’t already, mark your calendar for International Winter Bike to Work Day on February 8th. We should be able to show a good turnout here in Southern California, where Viking Biking means you might have to put fenders on your bike.

UCLA will host a panel discussion on Transportation as a Public Health Issue this Wednesday, with Dr. Muntu Davis of the LA County Department of Public Health, Juan Matute of UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds.

The LACBC will hold a historic tour of San Fernando and Pacoima Sunday morning as part of their monthly Sunday Funday rides, which promises to get you home in time for the Super Bowl.

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Local

Cycling scion and three-time national time trial champ Taylor Phinney takes his new team on a tour of the City of Angels and prove he knows it well, including stops at Bicycle Coffee and Golden Saddle Cyclery.

The editor of USC’s Daily Trojan takes a very auto-centric view of Metro’s proposed congestion pricing, saying transportation will always be a citywide struggle. Meanwhile, that Metro proposal also includes possible ride-hailing fees on Uber and Lyft, and shared-mobility fees on dockless bikeshare and e-scooters.

South Pasadena has accepted $332,000 from Metro to pay for the upcoming 626 Golden Streets open streets event through South Pas, Alhambra and San Gabriel this May.

A Santa Clarita letter writer says please leave your bikeshare bikes in the racks where you’re supposed to, rather than abandon them anywhere.

Long Beach police are looking for a serial groper on a distinctive lime green bicycle who’s attacked four women in separate assaults.

Former pro cyclist and current Long Beach Bike Ambassador Tony Cruz had his bicycle stolen last week; be on the lookout for an $8,000 Felt FR1 carbon bike with Sram e-Tap shifters and $1,300 Mavic Carbon Cosmics wheels.

State

State workers can now get reimbursed for their dockless ebike and scooter rides.

Some things never change. Nice to see the OC Register is still giving voice to ridiculously conservative anti-transit op-eds, despite layoffs and ownership changes, and a Congressional map that’s turned solid blue. The paper also says drivers probably don’t know what a sharrow is, which is probably true.

Bike advocate Roberta Walker has begun a rehab program after suffering extensive brain and spinal injuries when she was run down by a driver on PCH in Leucadia last month, while Encinitas has begun rehabbing the roadway to keep it from happening to someone else. A crowdfunding page has raised over $97,000 of the $125,000 goal to help pay her hospital and rehabilitation expenses.

Camarillo police are looking for a man in his 20s who assaulted a woman who was walking on a bike path; fortunately, she was able to fight them off.

An Oakland woman has been charged in the hit-and-run crash that critically injured a 14-year old boy, who was dragged three blocks under her car after she hit his bike; she was already on probation for a DUI conviction last fall.

As we mentioned last week, Marin transportation officials want to cut the four-year pilot program for a bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to just six months, so they can declare it a failure and turn it back over to people in cars.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole 24 bikes from a bicycling club at a Modesto elementary school. And just the opposite for a kindhearted people who replaced 20 of them.

The CHP does more than catch speeders on the freeway. A Redding mountain biker was airlifted to a hospital after apparently breaking his leg in a fall.

National

Great. The plague of LA-based traffic safety deniers has gone national, forming the new agitprop group Keep the US Moving to spread their virtually fact-free campaign to keep our streets deadly and halt all road diets, anywhere. Thanks to Peter Flax for the tip.

Okay, now I’m impressed. Idris Elba is one of us, going for a casual bike ride with his fiancé in Hawaii.

The route has been announced for this year’s 450-mile Ride the Rockies, featuring 28,000 feet of elevation gain through the Colorado high country.

A Minnesota singer found the inspiration for her debut album in the hum of her bike chain.

She gets it. A columnist for the New York Post says drivers are getting away with murder.

New York is still trying to figure out how to deal with ebikes and scooters.

Big Apple Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city doesn’t have the resources to go after drivers who block bike lanes. Which is odd, since most of them seem to be NYPD cops.

Mississippi bicyclists ride 6.6 miles in honor of fallen cyclists.

International

Drivers and doors aren’t the only things we have to worry about. A Vancouver bicyclist was killed when he somehow collided with the friend he was riding with, and fell into the path of a truck.

Canada has cancelled plans for a $65.9 million bike path paralleling a scenic highway through the Rocky Mountains due to environmental concerns and high costs. But all those cars spewing smog are just fine, thank you.

Calgary’s new e-assist bikeshare is a huge hit, even in the winter cold and snow.

The UK could save the equivalent of over $420 million if bicycling could be made as popular in the rest of the country as it is in London.

Well deserved. A British triathlete was fined the equivalent of more than $1200 for aggressively passing a horse and rider on the curb side, colliding with them as causing the horse to bolt, injuring the rider.

The German ambassador to Pakistan went out of his way to find a locally made bike, because he wanted that Made in Pakistan stamp to show his support for the country’s people.

A bighearted South African boy broke open his own piggy bank to buy a new bicycle for a gas station attendant he befriended.

Sad news from New Zealand, where a 32-year old elite cyclist is dying of intestinal cancer, saying she should have pushed harder for a diagnosis after suffering from years of stomach pain.

A Singaporean news channel examines why the island city has yet to become a bicycling paradise, pointing a finger at the heat and rain, and a lack of safe space on the road.

Competitive Cycling

Long Beach will host this year’s Paratriathlon National Championships in June.

Cycling Tips looks at how a little known cyclist from Cuba beat the world’s best women’s riders in the Cadel Road Race.

Road.cc offers advice on how to step up from riding sportives to your first actual bike race.

The LA Times says Zwift’s new esports league is just like pro cycling, but without the turns or crashes, and with actual pro cycling teams.

Finally…

You may not have to worry about drivers on a bike path, but keep your eyes peeled for pigs. How to build a bicycle sidecar out of an empty beer keg; make it a full keg, and you’ve got a deal.

And nothing sells Danish beer like a good bike ride.

Morning Links: LACBC hires new ED, LA Walks hiring new ED, and Diamondback bike found in Silver Lake

Let’s offer a round of congratulations to Eli Akira Kaufman, the new Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Although you may know it better as the LACBC.

Kaufman takes over an organization that has spent the last few years in transition, following the departures of former LACBC Executive Directors Tamika Butler and Erik Jansen in just the past 18 months.

Hopefully he’ll be able to steady the bike coalition, and provide the stable leadership the LACBC desperately needs as the LA area’s leading voice for bicyclists, at a time when our streets have been in turmoil due to a lack of support at city hall.

The simple fact is, we need strong, effective leadership from the LACBC, in the halls of city hall, in the media and on the streets. And the LACBC needs strong, effective leadership in order to provide it.

So let’s all pat him on the back and wish him well.

And tell him to roll up his sleeves and get down to work.

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Speaking of Executive Directors, pedestrian advocacy group LA Walks is in the market for a new one.

Current ED Emilia Crotty is stepping away after three and a half years to be closer to her family on the East Coast.

She’s been a strong advocate for safer streets for people on foot, and all other road users, and will be missed.

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If you’ve lost a Diamondback Sorrento recently, you may be in luck.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

Portland police are looking for whoever has been tossing nails into a bike lane, using different kinds of nails at different times of day.

A separated bike lane in New York’s East Village was sabotaged with broken glass, as well as graffiti calling for a return of street parking.

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We mentioned earlier this week that New Mexico State Rep. Angelica Rubio is biking across the state to attend the opening session of the legislature.

Now Bike Santa Fe’s Brian Kreimendahl forwards word that she’ll be introducing a bill to mandate a five-foot passing distance in the state.

The bill also allows drivers to briefly cross the center line when safe to do so to pass someone on a bike, a provision California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed in an earlier version of our state’s three-foot law.

Let’s hope she arrives safely at the legislature; the safety of all the state’s bike riders could depend on it.

And let’s hope someone in California’s legislature follows her example, and re-introduces the provision Brown killed.

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Local

CicLAvia’s annual pLAy day in LA fundraiser is scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, February 10th.

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin says Elon Musk’s tunnels will only benefit the people who can afford an all-electric autonomous vehicle, and he’d be better off donating the money to the mayor’s Twenty-Eight by ’28program to build road, transit and bike projects before the upcoming LA Olympics.

The good news is Monterey Park has installed a new buffered bike lane on Riggin Street. The bad news, it’s just over half a mile long, giving way to sharrows on either end. As we’ve said before, the arrows in sharrows are only there to help drivers improve their aim.

State

California has finally revised CEQA rules to eliminate LOS (Level of Service) standards that considered bus lanes and bike racks bad for the environment, although the new rules don’t go into effect until next year.

San Diegans are invited to learn how to fix their bikes and make jewelry from bike parts.

A Modesto man was stabbed by a man on a bicycle while delivering newspapers in a “bad neighborhood.”

National

An Alaskan man was set on his path to become a stuntman stand-in for Kevin Bacon and Keanu Reeves when a truck ran his bike off the road, wrecking it while he walked away injury-free.

PC Magazine tries out Nordic Track’s new Virtual Reality stationary bike at CES in Las Vegas, and says it’s a fun workout — if you don’t throw up.

A Kansas man has pled guilty to second degree murder for intentionally running down a man riding a bicycle, claiming the man had struck his mother with a lead pipe.

A Lubbock TX website says the growing number of e-scooters are increasing the need for bike lanes in the central city.

A Chicago letter-writer tells drivers to learn the Dutch Reach and save a life.

A Minneapolis bike writer says there’s still hope, even though the theme of the past year was conflict between drivers and bicyclists.

Two years after an Ohio teacher crowdfunded enough money to buy every kid at her school a new bicycle, the project has morphed into a nonprofit to give kids bikes, as well as other “joyful” things like Halloween costumes.

A Boston letter writer says an auto-first policy is a road to ruin.

Massachusetts plans to get more bicyclists on the roads by focusing on improving safety and accessibility.

New York’s TransAlt advocacy group asks the city’s leaders for a Bike Mayor like London has,. Although we need it here in Los Angeles a lot more than they do.

A DC writer takes a deep dive into the liability issues surrounding e-scooters, after she ends up in the ER when the one she was riding came to a rapid and unexpected stop.

Life is cheap in Louisiana. The widow of a fallen East Baton Rouge councilmember says a lousy 12 days behind bars for the driver who killed him and injured another man as they rode their bikes is a perversion of justice. No shit.

International

The Guardian offers suggestions from around the world on how to encourage urban bicycling, from providing free bicycles to putting spikes on drivers’ steering wheels.

Road.cc goes to the source and gets the inside scoop on how to protect your bicycle from a professional bike thief.

After an English bike rider complains about a close pass by a bus driver, a cop tells him maybe he should drive a Hummer.

A new British bike helmet promises to protect your skull and grey matter even if you get run over by a bus. And remains wearable after surviving 200 impacts.

This is who we share the roads with, UK edition. A drunk van driver smashed into the home of a 92-year old woman, barely missing two young schoolgirls on bicycles, after careening through the town.

Paris is planning free transit and bikeshare for kids.

French bikemaker Coleen has introduced a very cool looking ebike based on a 1941 design by French architect Jean Prouvé.

One more for your bike bucket list — an adrenalin-pumping bike tour of the Greek Isles for a mere $7,000 per person.

Horrifying story from India, where a bike rider was struck by a hit-and-run driver, severing his leg, while the force of the impact threw him into the back of passing truck; his body was finally discovered over 250 miles away. Unfortunately, the Indian press uses the same term to describe bicyclists, motor scooters and motorcycles, so it’s unclear just what kind of bike he was riding.

Entrepreneur looks at the not-unexpected collapse of Chinese dockless bikeshare company Ofo, which dismissed its entire international business department. Meanwhile, the company has pulled its 6,000 out of London, where most of the surviving bikes had been illegally converted to private use.

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to Redlands bike club GS Andiamo, which got USA Cycling’s nod for Division II Cycling Club of the Year for 2018. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Peter Flax confesses what it was like to be a fondo VIP for Bicycling magazine.

Speaking of Bicycling, the magazine suggests 15 mountain bike races you should seriously consider entering this year. Unless you don’t ride mountain bikes, that is. Or race. But otherwise, sure.

Finally…

If you’re going to ride off on your bike after throwing a flaming Molotov cocktail into your neighbor’s yard, try not to get caught on the security cam. More proof you can carry anything on a bike — even a stolen flatscreen TV.

And this must be where dockless bicycles go to die.

Morning Links: LACBC Open House tonight, and Amgen Tour of California gets Santa Clarita to Pasadena finish

It’s Day 14 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And allows me to devote whatever I have left on this planet trying to make it a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

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The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition will celebrate their 20th anniversary tonight with an Open House at LACBC headquarters on Spring Street in DTLA.

The event is open to members only. However, you’re welcome to join the LACBC at the door if you’d like to attend.

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Evidently, we got it right.

The Amgen Tour of California announced the host cities for next year’s race, starting in Sacramento on May 12th, and ending with a final stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena a week later.

But you already knew that last part.

Or at least you did if you read BikinginLA yesterday.

After noting that the Daily Breeze posted, then removed, a story about that final stage, we speculated that the paper may have jumped the gun on a news embargo by the race.

Sure enough, when the stages for next year were announced this morning, they included the aforementioned final stage.

So congratulations if you read that before the official announcement was made.

You got a jump on cycling fans around the world.

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Forget singletrack. Try mountain biking down ramps, jumps and endless flights of stairs at breakneck speed through the alleyways of Medellin, Columbia.

Sort of like this.

Okay, maybe exactly like that.

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This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Local

The LA City Council will vote next Tuesday to raise speed limits on 67 streets around the city to comply with the deadly and outdated 85th Percentile Law.

Marketplace looks at LA’s efforts to bring e-scooters and dockless bikeshare to Boyle Heights and other lower income neighborhoods.

Bike SGV says Metro is scheduled to vote this morning on an unhealthy, unsustainable package of auto-centric proposals to replace the now-cancelled 710 Freeway extension.

Not even a Welcome to Glendale sign  is safe from traffic violence.

 

State

Safe Routes to School is hiring a Southern California policy manager.

A Los Altos bicyclist says one size does not fit all when it comes to bike lanes. Or paths.

‘Tis the season. A group of St. Helena bike riders greet Santa Claus on the city’s kickoff to the holidays.

 

National

Walt Disney was one of us. So was Sylvia Plath.

Bike Snob argues for not wearing a bike helmet, saying you don’t have to wear one just because the pros do. On the other hand, you don’t have to not wear one just because he says so.

Quartz says scientists are still debating whether drivers pass helmet-wearing bicyclists closer than non-helmeted riders.

Bicycling continues their profiles of people who made positive changes in their lives through bicycling, like this man who was pushing 400 pounds before he lost 150 after he started riding.

A new study being conducted by Portland State University will look at how bicycle and pedestrian street improvements affect retailers and other businesses.

More proof that drivers are the same everywhere, as Albuquerque NM traffic engineers are working on keeping cars out of a new bike and pedestrian crossing, because motorists keep ignoring the posted No Motor Vehicles signs.

A bike rider found dead on a Boulder CO bike path in October died of a meth overdose.

She gets it. A Lincoln NE letter writer says it’s cheaper for the city to go into debt to build a bike lane than pay for injured bike riders because they didn’t.

Memphis gets a road diet right, reducing a five lane boulevard in the medical district to three lanes, with wheel stop-protected bike lanes, hi-viz crosswalks and self-watering planters.

NYPD officials refuse to call the thumb tack attack on a city bike a terrorist attack, settling for describing it as a nasty crime. And insist they’re taking it seriously.

A New York driver was arrested for hit-and-run, even though the cops were probably at fault in the crash for parking in a bike lane, which forced the victim to swerve her bike around their van.

 

International

Modacity offers photographic proof that it is possible to take your Christmas tree home on a bicycle. And lots of people do it.

Great idea. Vancouver’s Spikes on Bikes program uses trained volunteers on bicycles to spot homeless people suffering from drug overdoses, and intervene in time to save their lives.

Calgary is overcoming growing pains in their two-year pilot program with Lime’s dockless bikeshare.

Fourteen bike riders from the UK combined to ride 4,200 miles in just four days, raising the equivalent of nearly $45,000 for cancer research; riders included a former Olympic-level cyclist recovering from a life-threatening brain injury.

A road raging British traffic instructor loses his job after being convicted of running a bike rider off the road because he had the audacity to ride in it.

Now they’re just showing off. The transport minister in the Netherlands is going far beyond Vision Zero to set a goal of no traffic collisions at all.

A market study for a newly opened New Zealand bike shop predicts that ebikes will make up 80% of bike sales in the country within five years.

 

Competitive Cycling

British Cycling is using Zwift to identify the next British cycling star with a 3D virtual reality eRacing Championship next February.

The San Francisco Chronicle says summer won’t sound the same without Paul Sherwen.

 

Finally…

Maybe there really is a conspiracy to keep mountain bikes skittish. How to match your bike to your kit instead of the other way around.

And reviewing bike helmets is one thing. Firsthand testing by crashing headfirst into a pile of rocks is another.

And not particularly recommended.

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Thanks to Kevin G, Robert K, Amanda G and Stephen C for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Morning Links: LACBC responds to LA worst bike city nod, Englander bails, and who we share the roads with

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition offered a response yesterday to Los Angeles being named the worst bike city in America by Bicycling magazine.

Worst Bike City in America Another Mandate to Make LA’s Streets Safer

Reading Peter Flax’s article “Los Angeles is the worst bike city in America” is not a wake up call for LACBC, but we hope it serves as one for some of our leaders. For those that work, partner, and volunteer alongside us, we’re highly aware of the dangers of biking and walking in LA, and care deeply about making our streets safer for all road users. Since 1998, LACBC has steadily grown our advocacy and education efforts around safe streets, with a re-focused commitment to equity and inclusion for the most vulnerable road users over the past three years. And while Los Angeles has seen some progress over our two decade history, having to see our friends and neighbors continue to die on our streets while walking and biking is not something we take lightly.

The October 10 article in Bicycling Magazine makes some excellent points, and speaks to the urgency regarding the state of our county’s streets and sidewalks. Working to advocate for livable streets in all 88 cities in LA County is a difficult task, but one from which LACBC does not shy away. Our team is proud of the framework our Interim Executive Director Janet Schulman and our Board of Directors are providing to the organization, and looks forward to ever-increasing our presence in making Los Angeles a better place to bike. During this time of transition, staff continues to focus on critical mobility justice issues.

As a 501(c)3, the LA County Bicycle Coalition is dedicated to helping our community identify and implement complete street changes that would make our streets safer for people walking and biking. Much of our non-profit’s time is focused on base-building and advocating for policies and practices that encourage safer street design and improve the community engagement process. This is work that takes years to develop and grow, and the programs are transforming Los Angeles’s landscape into one that supports a culture of complete streets.

Like you, we take great pride in being an Angeleno, and we’ll never tire in trying to make tomorrow better than today. We invite you to become a part of the movement for safer streets in Los Angeles, and to volunteer with us in making our streets safer for those traveling around LA County.

It’s not exactly the hard-hitting response we might have wanted. But it may be the best we can hope for as the coalition struggles without permanent leadership after losing two executive directors in the space of a year.

Meanwhile, there’s still no hint of a response from the mayor’s office, or any member of the city council.

Today’s photo, like yesterday, represents the massive fail of being named America’s worst bike city. And the repeated failures on behalf of city leaders that brought us to this point.

Maybe we’ll just keep using it every day until they finally do something about it.

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Speaking of the city council, the only Republican on the panel, CD12 Councilmember Mitch Englander, announced he’s leaving the city council at the end of the year.

He becomes the second councilmember in recent years to blow off the people who elected him in favor of a higher paying job in the private sector.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A Florida man was driving 100 mph in a 40 mph zone when he plowed into another car and sent it into a man walking his dogs on the sidewalk.

And was so drunk he didn’t even realize he’d suffered a compound wrist fracture, with the fractured bone breaking through the skin.

Blood tests afterward showed he had an alcohol level of .28, three and a half times the legal limit.

He had two previous arrests for DUI in Florida, as well as four DUI convictions in a ten year period in Virginia, along with another three for driving with a suspended license, earning him a whopping one year of probation.

He’s now facing charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, DUI causing serious bodily injury and reckless driving.

Just one more example of authorities going out of their way to keep a dangerous drunk driver on the roads until it’s too late.

And on the other side of the world, the passenger in a New Zealand contractor’s truck can be heard on video urging the driver to run over a bicyclist on the shoulder of the roadway.

The owner of the company responded by calling it “extremely embarrassing.”

Never mind how embarrassed he should be that his employees were stupid enough to post it online.

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Local

L.A. City Councilmember José Huizar officially opened the new left-side Spring Street parking protected bike lane with a ribbon cutting in DTLA.

The LA Daily News reports on the ghost bike installation for Roberto Perez, the victim in Sunday’s Sun Valley hit-and-run. Now if we can just find the heartless coward who left him to die in the street.

North Hollywood residents will have more time to weigh in on the planned widening of Magnolia Blvd through the NoHo Arts district after people questioned whether it meets LA’s Vision Zero goals; you now have until November 26th to comment.

CiclaValley looks back at the recent NACTO convention in Los Angeles.

 

State

Orange County rapper Innate followed up last year’s solo album with a 5,000-mile bike ride across the US.

The California Coastal Commission has given its blessing to plans for a lane reduction, bike lanes and Complete Streets makeover of the Coast Highway 101 through Leucadia.

San Francisco’s new mayor shows what can happen when the mayor isn’t running for president, moving to speed up work on a pair of safety projects on Market Street. Maybe LA’s mayor could take notes the next time he has a layover at LAX.

JUMP is looking to hire a Market Entry Project Manager in San Francisco.

 

National

Bicycling repeats what we’ve been talking about all week. If you want to fight climate change, leave your car in the garage and ride a bike.

Three bike riders tell Bicycling what Coming Out Day means to them, and why it matters. I’ve had a number of deeply closeted friends over the years, and have seen close up the damage living a double life can do. And the relief that comes with coming out.

Singletacks talks with the executive director of Little Bellas, an organization dedicated to mentoring young girls on mountain bikes.

Outside talks with the professional race car driver who helped Denise Mueller-Korenek shatter the land speed record for a human-powered bicycle.

An Oregon FedEx driver is going on trial for failing to yield in the death of a bike rider; the case hinges on whether a bike lane continues through an intersection. But it’s still just a traffic citation, rather than a criminal case.

A Seattle TV station questions whether it’s really the best bike city in the US. On the other hand, a Seattle weekly doesn’t mince words, saying Bicycling is dead wrong about the city’s first place finish.

My hometown is just one of four Colorado cities that made Bicycling’s list of the 50 best bike towns in the US.

A Denver TV reporter bikes to work live on camera, then learns from angry viewers that the state didn’t actually legalize the Idaho stop, they just made it so individual cities could if they want. And so far, Denver doesn’t.

Residents of an Ohio city are unhappy with plans to relocate a bike path in front of their homesEven though studies show it will make their property values go up.

Akron, Ohio is right sizing the city’s streets by removing lanes and installing bike lanes. And without the near riots that accompanied LA’s attempts to do the same thing on the Westside.

Support is growing for a two-way protected bike lane on New York’s Central Park West.

The NYPD responds to Streetblog’s Freedom of Information request on its decision to “close critical Manhattan bike lanes” during last month’s United Nations General Assembly by telling them, in effect, to mind their own business.

He gets it. A Maryland university professor says the cities of the future should be built for people on two wheels.

 

International

A Canadian writer explains that there are good reasons why you don’t need a license to ride a bike.

European bike makers, bicycle tourism companies and nonprofit organizations have banded together to form an organization representing 650,000 workers to “unite all the private sector voices in cycling, behind one vision, in one structure.”

If you build it, they will come. London opened three new quiet ways across the city, as newly released figures show bicycling in the UK capital increased 8% last year. Los Angeles has no idea how much bicycling went up or down last year because they’ve never bothered to measure it.

Britain’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says traffic planners should consider the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, children and older people to improve safety.

British bike hero Sir Chris Hoy says it’s time to end the “us versus them” attitude between drivers and bicyclists. No shit. Especially since most of the latter are also the former.

A writer from the UK suggests that the 30-mile Sellaronda in Italy’s Dolomites may be the most beautiful bike route in the world.

 

Finally…

Why mountain bikers should be glad summer is over. And the forgotten era of women’s bike racing in the ’90s.

No, the 1890s.

Morning Links: May Bike Month, LimeBike ebikes in SaMo, Aviation road diet fight, and LACBC ED leaving

It’s Bike Month Eve in LA.

Both the LACBC and Bike SGV offer their own calendars of activities in the one month of the year dedicated to bicycling.

As always, the highlight of the month is Bike to Work Day, which takes place on May 17th, with Bike Night at Union Station the following night.

The international Ride of Silence rolls on May 16th to honor fallen bicyclists, including a ride through the San Fernando Valley.

My favorite event, the annual Blessing of the Bicycles will take place at Good Samaritan Hospital near DTLA on May 15th.

And you can ride the Metro Bike bike share for just one dollar for the month of May when you sign up using the code BIKEMONTH2018; after the first one, it will cost $20 for each additional month.

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Just in time for Bike Month, LimeBike has started dockless ebike service in Santa Monica.

According to a press release from the company, the bikes will cost $1 to unlock using your smartphone, and 15¢ per minute of riding.

Let’s hope they manage to avoid the problems that have developed in some other cities with abandoned or illegally parked bikes.

Because this could be a huge step forward for personal mobility in the LA area if they can avoid the usual bikelash.

………

Plans for a lane reduction and bike lanes to improve safety on Aviation Blvd face an uphill battle after opponents turned out at a meeting in Hermosa Beach to discuss the project.

As seems to happen in any public discussion of bicycles, at least one person insisted “When bikes start paying the registration fees that fund our streets, then they can start sharing our lanes.”

Which demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of both who the streets are for and how local streets are paid for.

So let’s be very clear. Neither gas taxes or registration fees pay for more than a small portion of the building and maintenance of local streets; the overwhelming portion comes from local taxes, which we all pay.

Although that may change to some degree with the state’s recent gas tax increase — if it survives an attempt to have it repealed this fall.

And our streets have never been the property of fee-paying motorists; streets are for the movement of people and goods, some of whom will be on foot, some on bikes, some using transit, and some in motor vehicles. Usually alone.

Funny how so many LA drivers seem to feel they have a God-given right to the road.

And aren’t willing to concede a single inch of it to anyone else.

………

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is back in the market for a new Executive Director.

According to an email announcement from the organization, Executive Director Erik Jansen, who replaced former ED Tamika Butler less than a year ago, will be leaving at the end of May.

Erik is leaving the organization after two years of working with LACBC, first as its Development Director, then as its Deputy Executive Director of Advancement, and finally as its Executive Director. A father of two, Erik will be moving with his family to Australia, where his wife accepted a position as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney…

As LACBC enters its 20th year and begins a strategic planning process to outline the next five years, staff remains committed, more than ever, to making streets safer for those biking and walking in Los Angeles County. It is an exciting time for the organization, and the team is looking for an Executive Director to lead the team, LACBC members, and bicycle advocates across the county, to create safer streets in Los Angeles County. If you have an amazing candidate in mind, please send us an email.

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Get a whole body workout by using walking canes when you ride.

No, really.

Unless you’d rather play indoor fixie soccer.

………

Local

A Forbes writer says there are holes in Elon Musk’s plans to colonize underground Los Angeles with high speed transportation tunnels, with a professor reasonably noting that most people would rather walk or bike above ground.

The Talking Headways podcast chats with LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds, while the New York Times looks at her efforts to bring Play Streets to the City of Angels.

Metro has released a first-of-its-kind First/Last Mile Plan for the neighborhoods surrounding the Blue Line, calling for “better sidewalks, more and safer crosswalks, more lighting for pedestrians, better and safer bike lanes and facilities.”

Speaking of Metro, comments are now being accepted on the transportation agency’s Vision 2028 strategic plan.

 

State

The next time some NIMBY tries to tell you handicapped people can’t ride bikes, tell them about Jenn Ramsey, who’s ridden the eight-day, 575-mile California Coast Classic a dozen times, even though her crippling arthritis prevents her from standing for more than 30 minutes.

An Op-Ed from San Luis Obispo, where NIMBYs have risen up to fight a proposed bikeway, insists that bike riders aren’t the enemy.

A writer for the SF Gate calls out what he calls Car Blindness, the double standard in which people easily see the relatively minor problems caused by bikes, scooters and pedestrians, but can’t see the major problems caused by motor vehicles.

Redding officials consider closing a roadway entirely to allow for a safe crossing for a new bike and pedestrian trail. Meanwhile, Los Angeles officials won’t even remove a single traffic lane to improve safety for everyone.

 

National

Good piece from Slate, saying no one teaches ebike buyers how to ride them, which is a problem when some bikes can go up to 30 mph; Bicycling offers tips on how to do it safely.

The Wall Street Journal considers the next generation of bike helmets, which may be hidden behind their damn paywall.

There is something terribly wrong with any society where anyone feels the need to give advice on how to properly survive getting hit by a car. Never mind that most cars actually have drivers, which the article fails to mention. Thanks to Steven Messer and J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Strava’s CEO explains why the app keeps gaining a million users every 40 days, and where he wants to go from here.

Lawrence, Kansas, population 93,000, could soon have more bike boulevards than Los Angeles.

A Houston Op-Ed says the city doesn’t have to be deadly for cyclists. Then again, neither does any other city, even though most of them are.

The pedaling priests of Peoria have finished their 275-mile ride across their Illinois diocese to call attention to religious vocations. I might have considered the priesthood if they’d told me you get to ride bikes all day.

After a reader complains to a Michigan paper, saying someone needs to teach bicyclists the rules of the road, a columnist responds “Whoever does the training, I’m hoping they do a better job than they did with the car and pickup drivers.”

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who left an Indiana man dying in the street — and may have stolen his bike, wallet and mobil phone.

After Columbus OH opened a new two-way cycle track, bike collisions nearly tripled; authorities blamed a jump in ridership, combined with a break-in period for people to get used to the new lanes.

A Virginia couple is planning to bike across the US with their three young kids riding a tandem and a three-person bike.

Nice story about a Charlottesville SC cop who started a new community bike program after fixing kids bikes, then returning to ride with them every week.

 

International

If you build it, they will come. Bicycling rates jump in Victoria, British Columbia, after the opening of a new, safer bridge with bike lanes in each direction.

Heartbreaking news from Canada’s northern Manitoba province, where three boys were killed by a suspected drunk driver while walking and riding their bikes with a group of friends.

The Guardian says smart exercise will keep you young longer.

A writer for the Financial Times says London cyclists are abominable, and she knows because she’s one of them — and she’ll continue to break the law until streets are made with bikes in mind.

An English letter writer says she doesn’t ride a bike in her home town, but would like to if she felt safer. Surveys consistently show that roughly two-thirds of the people in the US feel the same way — including here in Los Angeles.

A British father and son planned to ride Penny Farthings 50 miles in top hats and tails yesterday to raise funds for the Aston Villa soccer team’s charity foundation.

This is who we share the roads with. A man in the UK learns the hard way that if you’re going to put your Tesla on autopilot, at least stay in the driver’s seat.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver walks on charges of killing a bicyclist, despite attempting — and failing — to overtake the rider on a blind curve.

The Telegraph says the best way to see the Netherlands is by boat and bicycle.

No bias here. An Aussie paper says “bike riders are still dicing with death.” Even though the article is really about dangerous drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

New British pro discusses how his dream of making a WorldTour team nearly hit the rocks.

Yahoo previews Friday’s Jerusalem start of the Giro d’Italia. Tainted pro Chris Froome clearly intends to allow his alleged doing case to overshadow the Giro.

Organizers are confident that the Cascade Cycling Classic stage race will be back next year, despite its cancellation for 2018. Which is what bike event organizers usually say just before you never hear from them again.

 

Finally…

When spending $15,000 for bespoke bike is a relative bargain. If you’re going to drive in the bike lane while drunk and with a suspended license, at least stay closer to the speed limit.

And you haven’t got bike skills until you can flip pancakes while riding.

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Thanks to Stephen K for his generous donation to help support this site. I am constantly blown away by the kindness and generosity of our supporters. 

 

Morning Links: Erik Jansen replaces Tamika Butler as LACBC ED; Delaware could adopt Idaho Stop

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has decided to promote from within, turning to interim Executive Director Erik Jansen to replace the irreplaceable Tamika Butler as head of the coalition.

Jansen, the Deputy Executive Director of Advancement, stepped up to fill the void after Butler announced her resignation last June. And was selected to remain as head of the organization by the coalition’s board of directors, following a nationwide search.

Building upon the national reputation the LACBC enjoyed under previous ED Jennifer Klausner for its groundbreaking efforts to reach out to LA’s immigrant community, Tamika Butler led the organization in refocusing its efforts on building equity in underserved communities.

And in doing so, became a leading voice for the underprivileged and people of color within the bicycling community nationwide.

Now it will be interesting to see if Jansen continues those efforts, or moves the LACBC back to a more mainstream form of bicycle advocacy.

He comes at a time of unprecedented bikelash in the City of Angels, with bike lanes and safety projects under fire in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey. And as a lawsuit against the city, and a recall campaign to unseat Councilmember Mike Bonin, attempt to derail LA’s Vision Zero program and intimidate councilmembers to prevent any future lane reductions.

The LACBC has grown to become a mature advocacy group over the past several years. And will need strong leadership to help LA become the bikeable, livable community it must become.

You can meet Erik Jansen when the LACBC hosts a Handlebar Happy Hour at Pure Cycles in Burbank tonight, with free food and drink courtesy of BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass.

Photo from LACBC.

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Delaware could become just the second state in the country to legalize the Idaho Stop.

Hopefully California won’t be too far behind.

………

Male pro cyclists get a boost in the minimum wage, but women riders still don’t even have a guarantee of getting paid.

Britain governing body for cycling hopes to create a women’s cycling team patterned on the successful Team Sky.

A reminder to always cover-up or wear sunscreen when you ride, as retired Columbian racer Lucho Herrera blames cycling for his skin cancer. Something I can relate to, and more than once.

Sometimes a wicked time trial crash is the best form of advertising.

……….

Local

KPCC reports on the bike and pedestrian count conducted over the weekend by Los Angeles Walks and the LACBC.

The MyFigueroa project is just one of the projects changing the face of DTLA’s Figueroa corridor.

UCLA will launch an on-campus bikeshare program next week.

KNBC-4 looks at the COAST Open Streets Festival coming to Santa Monica this Sunday.

 

State

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition is looking for public input on plans for the pre-Halloween CicloSDias open streets event to be held next month.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old North San Diego County man rode 4,200 miles across Canada in 56 days as part of a church group ride.

San Francisco moves forward with plans to sort of crack down on bicycle chop shops without actually making them illegal; a homeless advocate argues that they’re just an entrepreneurial way to for homeless people to make a living recycling bike parts that they happen to find. Except too often, they happen to find bikes that belong to other people.

A 63-year old Napa woman is back home after riding solo 5,000 miles across the US.

 

National

The Denver Post lists Colorado’s best mountain bike trails for your next trip to the Centennial State.

Police in Colorado arrested a man accused of threatening mountain bike riders with a hatchet, on the same trail where a rider was fatally shot a week earlier.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever ambushed a 13-year old Colorado boy in a park to steal his bicycle.

A 19-year old Fargo SD man was killed in a bicycle collision over the weekend, three years after he was deliberately run down in a dispute with a breakaway Mormon religious sect while riding his bike in Utah.

Bike lanes get the blame for traffic congestion in Minneapolis, even though construction projects are likely the real culprits. Never mind that the local TV station couldn’t seem to find any traffic backups to show in the report, despite taking the time to count bikes and cars during the morning and evening rush hours.

The Today Show’s Al Roker is one of us, making room on his daily bike commute for new co-star Megyn Kelly.

No bias here. When a bikeshare rider was hit by a New York Uber driver, the NYPD went out of its way to blame the victim, even though a witness said the driver was at fault.

 

International

Mexico City residents are using bicycles to deliver emergency supplies and help victims of last week’s earthquake.

The war on bikes continues. A Montreal man was seriously injured when he fell off his bike trying to avoid fishing line that had been strung at neck level across a bridge on a bike path.

A Toronto bike rider says the city’s car-first policies create a war on people, as a backlash results in the removal of stop signs that had gone through a community-driven public approval process.

Kindhearted Brits contribute the equivalent of $4,000 to replace the custom-made trike that allowed a man with cerebral palsy to ride, after his was stolen.

The Guardian says government efforts to criminalize reckless bicycling in the UK are ignoring the cause of 99% of the country’s fatal crashes to focus on just 0.12% of them, calling it headline grabbing hypocrisy.

Amsterdam is cracking down on unauthorized dockless bikeshare systems.

An Istanbul man fights his own depression by documenting his journeys around Turkey on his 1960s bicycle with photos and inspiring messages, earning 130,000 Instagram followers in the process.

An Israeli website takes a two-wheeled tor through bicycle history in the county.

Someone is dumping dockless bikeshare bikes into an Australian river; contractors pulled out 40 bicycles in just four hours. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

China’s Mobike and Ofo are battling for world domination in the dockless bikeshare market.

 

Finally…

Next time you sign up for a bike race, make sure it’s in the right country. Your next jean jacket could be more connected than a mafia hitman.

And now you, too, can live like America’s only remaining Tour de France winner for just $5 million.

 

Morning Links: LACBC steps up for safer streets in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey, and looks to replace Tamika Butler

The LACBC is joining the fight over streets in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.

Which is good news for everyone who’s been trying to hold their own against the onslaught of angry drivers in the fight for safer streets.

Especially the beleaguered Peter Flax, who has been leading the fight on Twitter and Facebook — at least until they blocked him — as well as in the opinion pages of the LA Times.

But it is the roll of the LACBC, aka Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, to step up and organize the opposition to the opposition, and help keep these much needed safety improvements in place.

Street safety projects on the Westside have come under attack. If opposition to safe streets succeeds in getting these projects removed, it could stifle similar projects across the city…

Some drivers using these corridors have grown impatient because they are unable to travel at the same unsafe high speeds as they previously could. However, LADOT continues working to improve the synchronization of signal lights to help improve traffic flow, while also keeping streets safe for all who use the corridor throughout their day, including drivers.

Despite the great public benefit, these projects unfortunately have come under attack amid a flurry of misinformation being circulated about the projects. There is some concern that they will be removed, but there are actions you can take to make sure that the streets are safer for the communities of Mar Vista and Playa Del Rey.

They share these tips for how you can get more involved.

Want to take action? 

Help make sure these street safety projects are a success and show your support by:

JOINING our Sunday Funday Ride on the Westside this Sunday, July 2nd at 9:30am. We’ll tour the safety improvements in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista. The ride will roll-out at 10am and be approximately 14 miles at an easy-moderate pace. We’ll also make a stop at Mar Vista Farmers Market for a buy-in to show local support for businesses and share fact sheets.

SHARING on social media! Tweet and post photos of your ride through Venice, Jefferson, and Culver Boulevards, and Pershing Drive on the new bike lanes!

Use #SaferVeniceBlvd#SaferJeffersonBlvd#SaferCulverBlvd, and #SaferPershingDr to share your message with fellow safe streets advocates.

VOLUNTEERING for our LACBC phone bank on Wednesday, July 5th anytime between 4:00pm and 8:00pm at our Headquarters. We will be calling members and allies to take action in support of Vision Zero and the new safety improvements! RSVP by email to elizabeth@la-bike.org.

ATTENDING the Wednesday, July 5th Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC)meeting at the Canal Club at 7:00pm! The VNC Parking & Transportation Committee and Board of Directors Meeting will be discussing Venice Blvd, and there will be an opportunity to provide public comment and vote. Don’t forget to share on social media if you show up!

ATTENDING the Tuesday, July 11th Mar Vista Community Council(MVCC) meeting at the Mar Vista Recreation Center at 7:00pm! The MVCC will be taking action on the bike lanes and it’s critical for us to show up and let them know these lanes are essential for safe Westside streets. If you plan to attend, please let us know by signing in here so we can keep you up to date and help prepare you for public comment. Don’t forget to share on social media if you show up!

SUPPORTING all of LACBC’s work on advocating for safer streets by becoming a memberrenewing your membership, or making a donation.

EMAILING the Mar Vista Community Council and Venice Neighborhood Council TODAY to show your support for street safety improvements on Venice Blvd.

You can find a sample email on the LACBC’s call to action (scroll down to the bottom).

Meanwhile, a Manhattan Beach resident says people from out of town who use Vista del Mar and Culver Boulevard should have been consulted before any changes were made.

You know, just like they consulted LA before calming all those streets in Manhattan Beach.

And offering to pay the legal settlement the next time someone gets killed.

………

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re looking for a new executive director to replace the irreplaceable Tamika Butler, who helped lift the organization onto the national stage, and into the debate over bikes and equity.

………

How’s this for irony? Lance Armstrong lost his seven Tour de France title for doping with EPO. Now it turns out it probably didn’t do anything to boost his performance. And could give you a heart attack.

Belgian rider Jan Bakelants apologized for suggestive remarks about female hostesses — aka podium girls — at the Tour de France, saying he was just trying to be funny. And not really suggesting they were easy, and probably diseased, which is basically what he said.

No Autobahn here. German time trial specialist Tony Martin will ride a bike designed to pay homage to electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk in Saturday’s Dusseldorf TdF prologue.

Forget all that racing in the Tour de France, ABC would rather just talk about the specter of doping.

Three prominent Irish cycling figures have joined the protest over women racers competing in the country’s national championships being told to get the hell off the course to make way for the men before their race was over.

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Local

Metro Bike is celebrating its first birthday at the Wheelhouse next Thursday.

Maybe you should ride through Eagle Rock or Burbank instead. Glendale has ranked near the bottom of the list of America’s worst drivers for 12 years in a row; needless to say, city officials disagree.

West Covina is looking for input on a new Active Transportation Master Plan, aka Pedestrian and Bike Plan; you can respond through the online survey, or attend an open house workshop July 26th.

 

State

The town council in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood is seriously considering turning Bacon Street into a bicycle boulevard. Oddly, no one there seems to have any problem with the term bike boulevard, which bike advocates and DOTs are loath to use these days.

San Diego police are using bait bikes to combat bike thieves in Pacific Beach. Something we still haven’t been able to talk the LAPD into trying.

The Desert Sun offers a tutorial on the oddly controversial CV Link multi-use path through the Coachella Valley.

 

National

CNN looks at Mark Beaumont’s attempt to bike around the world in just 80 days, nine years after he set a record by doing it in 115 days more.

Bicycling crosses an advertorial line, posting what’s nothing more than an ad for Performance Bike in the guise of an article. Which could get them in serious trouble if they were compensated for it.

It should come as no surprise that traffic fatalities involving vulnerable road users ranks as the fourth leading cause of preventable death in the US.

A Seattle woman has filed a pair of $300,000 claims against the city and its transit agency after falling on trolley tracks, exactly one year to the day after another woman was killed in the same spot.

You may lose your ass inside a Las Vegas casino, but you can save half off the price of pedaling it to the next one on a bikeshare bike this summer.

A Utah man is alleging that a cop deliberately kneed him in the back, breaking his ribs and puncturing his lung, after he attempted to flee from a traffic stop on his bicycle; the officers say they initially tried to stop him because he was riding the wrong way on the sidewalk. Unless the law is different in Utah — which I doubt — sidewalks are considered bi-directional, so there is no wrong way. Which would mean there was no probable cause for the stop, or anything that followed.

A South Carolina man is visiting Las Cruces NM on a cross-country bike ride, 50 years after he saved a boy’s life on a similar trek. And met Clint Eastwood, too.

Good news from Austin TX, where kindhearted strangers have raised $13,000 for the Spanish-speaking bike rider who was shot in the face with a shotgun by a teenager in a passing car, who told police he was just looking to blow off some steam. Instead he nearly blew Alonso Solis’ face off, as well as the next several years of his own life. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

After making it big via Shark Tank, a Dallas entrepreneur is sharing the wealth by giving away custom bikes to pediatric cancer patients.

Chicago city trucks will be retrofitted with side guards to protect bicyclists and pedestrians from getting run over by the trucks’ rear wheels. Something that should be done here in LA. And everywhere else, for that matter.

You could be the proud owner of the 40-acre Minnesota estate currently owned by America’s last remaining Tour de France winner for just $5 million. Which is pretty much the price of a tear-down in Manhattan Beach.

If you’re going to pile all of your belongings on your van before hitting a New Hampshire highway, at least use a bike rack.

New York police are looking for a bike-riding jerk who punched a disabled man who was using a walker covered with LGBTQ stickers; they’re investigating the attack as a hate crime. Proof that people on bikes can be bigoted assholes, just like anyone else.

New York chef Daniel Humm is one of us, going from competitive Swiss cyclist to arguably the world’s best chef.

A Baton Rouge LA bike rider was murdered in an apparently random attack after being approached by the suspects as he was riding on the street.

 

International

Apparently, bike cams have been around since at least the ‘80s. No, the 1880s.

After a bike-riding Montreal purse thief snatched a handbag from a woman visiting a cemetery, she chased after him with her SUV, ending up with her car against a tree with the thief under it.

A London travel writer visits the German hometown of the bicycle on the 200th anniversary of the first Draisine, which was basically a wooden adult balance bike.

Before launching in soggy Manchester, England, a dockless bikeshare company tested their bikes in a Chinese river to make sure they could stand up to the weather.

Swansea soccer player Fernando Llorente is one of us, too, as he suffered a broken arm while riding his bike, and may not be ready for the August start of the Premier League season.

Caught on video: A British bike rider was taken down by a dog that lunged at him as he rode by, then tried to attack him as the dog’s owner tried to help.

Caught on video too: A “secret” cyclist in the UK offers evidence of just how badly bike riders are treated on the streets.

Ten years after an accident left him paralyzed from the waist down, a British man is using a handcycle to ride 2,250 miles around the coast of England and Wales.

A Rwandan writer gets it, calling for the country to promote bicycling as a sport, as well as a means of transportation, and a strategy for health intervention.

A South African newspaper offers advice for the fashion conscious cyclist. Which is really has nothing to do with fashion, and more to do with comfort and practicality.

Bicycling has become an integral part of women’s lives in Malaysia.

 

Finally…

No, your bike is not the proper tool to halt a pair of tools having sex in public. Repeat after me: If you’re going to use a bike as your bank robbing getaway vehicle, get your hair done first.

And if you’re riding your bike with dope, a stolen gun and outstanding warrants, signal your effing turns.

Thanks to Niall Huffman for the featured photo of the Mar Vista road diet on Venice Blvd.

Morning Links: Whittier bike rider dies of heart attack, LACBC hosts cop talk, and Amgen ToC comes back to SoCal

Sometimes the dangers we face don’t come from careless drivers, but from our own bodies.

That was the case last month, when the owner of the Toyota of Whittier dealership died of an apparent heart attack while riding on the Greenway Trail. Curt James was just 53 when he succumbed on October 21st, while riding the bicycle he had purchased in July.

His death serves as a tragic reminder that while bicycling may be good for your health, you should always talk to your doctor before changing your riding habits or beginning any new physical activity.

His death is the 68th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 28th in Los Angeles County; at least four of those deaths have been due to natural causes.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Curt James and all his family.

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As we mentioned last week, BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass will be part of a free panel discussion on bicycle laws hosted by the LACBC on November 14th, along with representatives of the LAPD, CHP and LA County Sheriff’s Department.

ask_an_officer_flyer_f

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Next year’s Amgen Tour of California — America’s only men’s WorldTour race — will feature four SoCal stages, with finishes in Santa Clarita, Mount Baldy and Big Bear, along with the final stage in Pasadena. It won’t drop south of Los Angeles this time, although it may come back to San Diego in the future.

Cycling Tips talks with LA pro cyclist Phil Gaimon about retirement and reinvention. Or you can hear Gaimon speak for himself on his weekly podcast.

Petaluma’s Alison Tetrick became a successful pro cyclist after trading one saddle for another.

The German-based Giant-Alpecin cycling team is looking for closure in civil and criminal cases against the 73-year old British driver who crashed head-on into six members of the team on a training ride last year.

………

Local

A writer for the Guardian looks at three American cities addicted to cars and their efforts to kick the habit, including our own City of Angels. And goes for an informative ride with Streetsblog’s Joe Linton.

The LACBC offers their endorsements on the local measures on Tuesday’s ballot, along with a questionnaire from county commissioner candidate Janice Hahn. It says something about our local government that Hahn wants to step down from the US Congress to serve on the county board. And I’m not sure that it’s good.

KPCC’s AirTalk program examines five things you should know before voting on Measure M.

A bike rider standing on a Norwalk street corner pulled out a rifle and took several shots at a motorist who slowed down because he thought the man looked suspicious. Evidently, he was right.

 

State

Oceanside hosts a century ride this Saturday with the Bike the Coast/Taste the Coast Ride and Exposition.

San Diego’s eight-term Republican Congressman Darrel Issa campaigns by bicycle as he struggles to retain his seat.

The San Diego Bike Coalition is giving away free bike lights this afternoon in anticipation of the clock change this weekend.

Hesperia authorities are looking for a bike-riding man in a hockey mask who stabbed another man outside a convenience store.

The San Luis Obispo sheriff’s office is looking for unloved bicycles that can be refurbished and given to kids for the holiday’s. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

National

Outside Magazine sounds the death knell for the local bike shop, as they face increased competition from direct-to-consumer sales by bike makers. Although online dealers can’t set up your bike for you, and won’t be there for you when you need help down the road.

Evidently, a Portland driver thought repeatedly driving on a suspended license was funny, even after he killed an innocent bike rider.

A Seattle bike writer says plans for a new eight-lane waterfront roadway are too car-centric, despite having pedestrian and bicycle pathways.

A Colorado city is spending $30,000 to rip out bike lanes on one street, after spending $39,000 to paint them. All because confused drivers couldn’t figure out what to make of them.

The Guardian offers a photographic look at Detroit’s custom bicycles. Some of which almost stack up to LA’s own East Side Riders.

Bighearted Connecticut cops buy a 14-year old boy a new bike after his was stolen at gunpoint.

After years of complaints, New York asks bicyclists to report blocked bike lanes. Whether that will have any effect on the NYPD, which is among the city’s worst offenders, remains to be seen.

A road raging New Orleans-area cyclist faces charges for punching a woman in the face after she honked at him for swerving into his traffic lane. No matter what a driver may do, violence is never the answer. Period.

A Florida newspaper gets it, saying the death of a young cyclist should be a wakeup call for a community that too often gets caught up in debates over bike lanes, and misses the point that better-designed roads are safer for everyone. Actually, any traffic death, anywhere, should be a wakeup call, but seldom is.

Apparently, if you want to avoid jail time for a fatal hit-and-run, you just have to be old. An 89-year old Florida man got one year of house arrest for fleeing the scene after killing a man riding a bicycle; on the other hand, he won’t be able to legally drive again until he’s 99.

 

International

A travel website lists the Europe’s five most epic cycling climbs.

If you have wear hi-viz, at least it can look good.

Police in a British city insist they don’t have the manpower to investigate dangerously close passes, but do have the time to stop 450 law abiding bike riders to give them a safety chat.

A New Zealand bike rider gets 20 points against his driver’s license for riding through a stop sign, even though he doesn’t have one.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a bus driver got a whole 15 days for carelessly killing an elderly bike rider. Meanwhile, a writer says the island city/state must do more to make bicycling a better alternative to driving. Like maybe stopping bus drivers from killing people.

 

Finally…

Stressing over KOMs can be harmful to your relationship. Who needs an engine when your car has pedals?

And yes, you can be a country music star and still wear spandex when you ride your bicycle.

 

Morning Links: Kick off Bike Month — and get bike swag — with the first ever BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive

Bike month officially started yesterday with the beginning of the National Bike Challenge.

And to celebrate, I’ve started my own bike challenge.

I’m challenging you — yes, you — to become a member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition this month. Or if you’re already a member, to renew your membership through this site before the month is over.

Because this marks the beginning of the first ever BikinginLA LACBC membership drive, with a goal of 100 new or renewing members during the month of May.

That’s just over three people a day.

In other words, you and two others.

Or looking at it another way, less than 1% of the people who will visit this site this month. Okay, a lot less.

Get your friends to join. Your co-workers. Your sister. Your brother-in-law. Anyone who rides a bike in LA County, whether you’re a bike commuter, a committed roadie, an offroad rider or someone who cruises along the beach every now and then.

You don’t even have to own a bike, or live here in LA. Just support a better, more livable and bikeable community for all us.

Simply put, the LACBC is the leading voice for bike riders in the City and County of Angels, advocating for safety, equity and justice for cyclists in the halls of government, with elected leaders and before boards like Metro and the Southern California Association of Governments.

As well as with cities and universities throughout the county through the LACBC’s local chapters and Neighborhood Bike Ambassador program, giving you a far more powerful voice in your own community.

Of course, it’s not all about fighting the good fight.

The LACBC is also about doing the right thing. Like handing out over 2,000 free bike lights through their Operation Firefly. Creating a free pocket guide to the rights and responsibilities of cyclists. Doing the job the city should do by conducting bi-annual bike counts. And working tirelessly to pass and defend LA’s new bike-friendly Mobility Plan.

It’s also about having fun, with monthly Sunday Funday rides. The annual Open House and Firefly Ball. As well as various other activities throughout the year, including the upcoming, hugely popular LA River Ride.

Not to mention discounts at bike shops, restaurants and retailers throughout the LA area.

Better yet, sign up as part of this membership drive, and you’ll get cool bike swag through an exclusive arrangement with the LACBC, with memberships starting at an ultra-low $20.

So what are you waiting for?

Show your support for the LACBC — and BikinginLA — and sign up today.

Full disclosure: After six and a half years as an LACBC board member, I’ll be leaving the board after the June meeting due to my ongoing health issues; I’m simply not able to devote the time and effort I feel the position deserves. However, I continue to support the LACBC, and will remain a member for as long as I’m able to ride a bike in this city, and maybe longer; in fact, I just renewed my own membership.

This membership drive will be my last official act as a board member before I step down. So please, let’s make it a successful one.

………

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re in the market for a senior programs director and an organizer, both full-time, as well as a policy and outreach intern.

They’ve also opened up the search for new members of the Board of Directors.

And no, not just to replace me.

………

LA gets its first permanent ghost bike memorial to honor Australian tourist James Rapley, who was killed by a stoned driver while riding in the uphill bike lane on Temescal Canyon.

ghost bike

………

The Daily Breeze offers an update on the condition of Palos Verdes muralist Steve Shriver, who was critically injured when he was hit by two cars while riding on PCH in Malibu as he was heading home as part of a club century ride.

The paper reports he’s out of the ICU, but no word yet on whether he will suffer lasting injuries.

So far, a fund to help cover his medical expenses has raise nearly $82,000 out of a requested $250,000.

………

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson is always funny. But some days, he also offers important information for anyone who rides a bike.

Today is one of those days, as he tells you how to file a police report about a threatening driver.

And why you have to.

………

South Pasadena is gearing up to host the second stage of the Amgen Tour of California on the 17th; Cycling Weekly offers a stage-by-stage breakdown of the race.

Pro cyclist Simon Yates escapes punishment, at least for now, as British Cycling says the banned substance he was busted for was an inhaler for his documented asthma problems. And yes, many elite cyclists really do have exercise-induced asthma.

Pro cycling’s governing body is using a specialized scanner they say is highly effective in examining bikes for hidden motors. On the other hand, if they haven’t uncovered any motor doping after examining over 500 bicycles, is it because no one is cheating or because the scanner’s not as effective as they think?

Cyclists rally around four-time national champion Mark Scott at this past weekend’s Dana Point Gran Prix, organizing a bone marrow drive for Scott, who needs a transplant to live.

And once again, a race moto caused a major cycling crash, as nearly the entire peloton competing in New York’s Red Hook Classic piled into the lead motorcycle after it stalled on the course just seconds after the start of the race.

………

Local

Work will finally begin on removing the flood control barriers blocking the LA River bike path, although there’s no timetable for completion.

The head of the LA County Health Agency reacts to being called a faggot while riding his bike. Although it’s unlikely the jerk called him that because he somehow intuited that he was gay; for a subset of indignorant drivers, that’s the term for anyone who rides a bike. Because “real men” drive cars, of course.

Richard Risemberg got cut off by an SUV driver who was clearly in the wrong, but chose not to respond in kind after the driver took it out on him anyway. As he says, it’s an old story, and one we’ve all seen too many times.

Santa Monica will host its first ciclovía on June 5th, with a two-mile route along Ocean, Colorado and Main through downtown SaMo.

Glendora will host a family bike safety rally next Saturday.

Unmapped utility lines and other objects are causing unexpected delays in remaking Carson’s eponymous main street into a Complete Street, adversely affecting businesses along the route.

 

State

A bill in the state legislature, AB 516, would require temporary plates on all new vehicles. The lack of temporary plates makes it nearly impossible to identify hit-and-run drivers, which is one reason they’re required in many other states.

A Hesperia cyclist suffered major injuries when he was rear-ended by the driver of an SUV.

Santa Barbara appears ready to choose parking over bike lanes, shunting riders off to a side street and away from the businesses that could use their patronage.

A San Jose columnist explains what sharrows are all about, and actually gets it right.

A 29-year old Texas man was fatally shot while riding in a bike lane in Oakland; no motive has been established, but police don’t believe it was robbery.

Sacramento police bust a bike thief and recover 60 stolen bikes.

 

National

A pair of British Bobbies biking down the full length of the left coast make a stop in Oregon.

Denver installs a bollard-protected gutter, unwittingly turning the painted bike lane to its left into a loading zone.

A team at the University of Colorado is crowdfunding a bicycle designed for people who weigh up to 450 pounds; the leader of the team lost 160 pounds himself.

Thirty thousand bike riders turn out for New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour.

Black Girls Do Bike is expanding with chapters around the US after starting with a Pittsburgh woman’s Facebook group.

Amtrak adds carry-on bike service on the Vermonter from DC through New England.

A New Orleans man is found guilty of manslaughter for fatally shooting the man who was stealing his bicycle; his ex-girlfriend testified that he beat her with a shotgun while she was pregnant.

 

International

A cyclist raced a transit user and a driver to downtown Calgary during the morning commute. And as usual, the bike rider won — even though he was just 11 years old.

Call it Lili’s Secret, as a woman in the UK makes padded women’s cycling underwear that looks more like lingerie.

Caught on video: Usually police look for hit-and-run drivers; a London cop was one as he drove off after hitting a Critical Mass cyclist and destroying his bike.

Paris continues to restrict the use of motor vehicles in order to fight toxic smog levels.

A Swiss canton will install fences to protect bike riders and hikers from killer cows. Yes, cows. Now try not to have nightmares about that one.

Even members of India’s Parliament face speeding drivers, harassment from police and risk having their tires punctured when they ride to work.

An Australian bike rider is threatened with a fine for a law that doesn’t even take effect until next year; meanwhile an Aussie cyclist makes a very tongue-in-cheek call for licensing kangaroos, insisting the animals act like they own the road.

A track cyclist and bike commuter says she’s had it with riding Down Under after she’s punched by a pedestrian, who said he wouldn’t respect her until she got a license and paid road tax.

A Kiwi driver deliberately runs down a cyclist to recover the mountain bike the other man had stolen from him.

Five hundred people applied to take part in last year’s Tibet Challenge, a 10-day ride through the snow-covered peaks of China and Tibet; just 31 were selected. And only nine finished.

A two-year old girl is dead after a speeding driver plows into two separate bicycles in a Bangkok serial hit-and-run; the owner of the car is under arrest on drug charges after turning himself in several hours later, but claims he wasn’t behind the wheel. Don’t watch the video on that link. Trust me.

A Hong Kong man is riding nearly 12,000 miles to Norway on a homemade bamboo bike.

 

Finally…

Get hit by a car while riding your bike, and have a miracle post-menopause baby — and wake up speaking French with a South African accent. Probably not the best idea to steal a bike in front of a martial arts class.

And not even horses are safe in bike lanes.

 

Breaking news: LACBC hires Tamika Butler as Executive Director

New LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler; photo courtesy of LACBC

New Executive Director Tamika Butler; photo courtesy of LACBC

Finally, we see white smoke rising above the Downtown headquarters of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Three months after long-time Executive Director Jen Klausner announced she’d be leaving at the end of the year, the LACBC has hired lawyer and non-profit executive Tamika Butler to lead the organization into its next phase of growth.

The hire comes at the end of an exhaustive, nationwide search that brought in resumes from nearly 100 qualified applicants, which was slowly whittled down to a final three before Butler was offered the job.

I’m told it was a very difficult decision. But at every phase, Butler stood out for her experience in leading a non-profit advocacy organization, as well as her focus on building membership and reaching out to the many diverse, and too often undeserved, communities that make up the City of Angels.

She has big bike shoes to fill.

Klausner has been the face of the LACBC for seven years, taking the bike coalition from adolescence to an award-winning organization with a national reputation and influence far beyond its size. And the only leader of the coalition most of us have ever known.

The thought of replacing her was, as the movie says, inconceivable.

Which is why Butler steps into the same role, not as her replacement, but as someone dedicated to building on the organization’s success, and leading it into even greater growth and influence.

She brings a new face, new ideas and fresh enthusiasm for building a better, safer and more enjoyable community for everyone who travels on two wheels. As well as all those who have been reluctant to give it a try, or thought bicycling just wasn’t for someone like them.

She is not the new Jen Klausner.

She is Tamika Butler, the next leader of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

And by all accounts, the coalition is very lucky to have her.

You can read the LACBC’s full press release announcing her hire below.

……..

Introducing the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s new Executive Director!

After an extensive national search, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is pleased to announce that our Board of Directors has selected Tamika Butler to lead LACBC into the next phase of continued growth as we further our mission to make the Los Angeles region a healthy, safe and fun place to ride a bike.

“I’m really proud of the process and results of the search and couldn’t be more excited about Tamika as our next Executive Director,” says LACBC Board President Steve Boyd.

Tamika Butler brings to LACBC a proven track record of sustainably expanding and running programs and organizations, as well as a policy and advocacy background.  She spent three years as an employment lawyer at the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center and most recently comes from Liberty Hill Foundation, where she was the Director of Social Change Strategies. She first made her mark in Los Angeles as the California Director at the startup policy and advocacy organization Young Invincibles, where she managed the west coast regional staff, was the media and policy spokesperson, organized and led coalitions, developed curriculum and trainings, and fundraised to expand the organization’s presence on the west coast. She also developed relationships with community leaders and state and local lawmakers to advance the organization’s policy goals.

“I am thrilled to have the privilege to become the next Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and look forward to continuing the success, growth, and cutting edge work of the organization.  Biking in Los Angeles County has personally changed my life and deepens my love of the region every time I go for a ride. We’re lucky to live and bike in a county full of diverse communities that motivate this talented staff and me to push towards building a healthier, more vibrant Los Angeles County.  I am excited to start pedaling, dig deep, and get to work with our members and partners, within and across sectors, as we race to the front lines of the nationwide movement to create bikeable, safe, and sustainable neighborhoods.”  One of Tamika’s top priorities is to grow the diversity of LACBC staff and coalition membership.

When Jen Klausner started as LACBC’s Executive Director in 2007, there was only one other employee at headquarters, and it was a real struggle to keep doors open. Jen and the organization faced an uphill battle at City Hall to pass the Los Angeles Bike Plan and get pavement striped with room for bikes. Seven years later, under her leadership, there are now twelve employees working on your behalf with a LOT of successes! We continue to expand across the county with twelve local chapters.  We are poised to extend that reach even further as we strive to more fully represent the diversity of those who bicycle and want to bicycle in all neighborhoods across Los Angeles County. Tamika brings deep experience in social justice work and looks forward to working with the full range of communities across the county. We couldn’t be more excited.

Jen says, “Our new Executive Director Tamika Butler brings a fresh perspective to the leadership of LACBC, and one that is so relevant to the growth of the bike-ped movement and to important dialogues happening here and in cities across the nation.  I am confident in Tamika’s ability to take LACBC to the next level, and I, for one, will be staying tuned and keeping my membership current, because this organization is poised to do great things in the coming years.  Please join me in extending a very warm welcome to Tamika!”

Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles, agrees that Tamika will make a great Executive Director: “Tamika is a dynamic, innovative leader who will be a huge asset to the LACBC team.  She brought Young Invincibles to new heights and I know that she’ll do the same in her new role!”

We look forward to introducing Tamika to our members, partners and supporters at the first available opportunity in January. Look for announcements of those opportunities in our weekly newsletter, on the website, and through Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget—as part of our end of year campaign, any donation at the $250 level and above will get you an invitation to our January 22nd Donor Thank You Party—an intimate gathering with our brand new Executive Director, Tamika Butler, in attendance.  Hope to see you there!

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