Tag Archive for Los Angeles mayor’s office

LA Mayor Bass caves to Freeway to Nowhere NIMBYs, and new fed bill aims to protect vulnerable road users

She gets it.

Los Angeles Times columnist Erika D. Smith asks why the city won’t even study removing the 90 Freeway stub to nowhere, after the mayor and other local officials caved to LA’s notorious NIMBYs.

Mayor Bass had initially supported a federal grant request to fund a two-year study of the project, which would scrap the three-mile, lightly trafficked highway, potentially replacing it with low-cost housing and a massive linear park.

But in true LA fashion, the mayor and other local officials were for it before they was against it, listening to the loudest angry voices instead of the voice of reason.

Now, though, my excitement as well as (Streets For All founder Michael) Schneider’s has given way to familiar feelings of frustration. True to form for NIMBY-indulging Los Angeles, the political support he believed was solid has suddenly turned porous.

That includes Bass: “I do not support the removal or demolition of the 90 Freeway,” she said in a statement last week. “I’ve heard loud and clear from communities who would be impacted and I do not support a study on this initiative.”

L.A. City Councilmember Traci Park agrees with her. After conducting a very unscientific poll of her Westside constituents, she wrote in her newsletter that: “The 11th District does not support the demolition of the 90 Freeway. Your voice is why Mayor Bass rescinded her initial support.”

L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell told me that, despite rumors to the contrary, she never decided to back a study or tearing down the Marina Freeway, which abuts her district in the unincorporated neighborhood of Ladera Heights. “But it’s a moot point now,” she said.

As Smith makes clear, what they’re all now opposing is nothing more than a feasibility study.

No one, at this point, is calling for the actual destruction of anything. And nothing regarding this project would be done for years, if not decades, that would inconvenience motorists in the slightest.

The flip-flopping pols cite a lack of public outreach their rapid NIMBY cave-in. Yet the reason there hasn’t been any is simply because it isn’t time yet.

Extensive outreach would be a major part of the study, and there’s no reason to do any outreach now, because there’s nothing to actually discuss at this point.

In other words, it’s not that it hasn’t been done. It just hasn’t been done yet.

So what’s the problem in just studying whether the project is feasible and practical, or even wanted — without spending a dime of city funds?

If the mayor is going to cave to NIMBY voices this easily, it doesn’t bode well for getting anything accomplished on our streets during her administration.

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Inland Empire Rep. Norma J. Torres cosponsored legislation calling on federal government agencies to develop methods to better protect pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, as well as providing grants to cities to improved pedestrian infrastructure.

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Prosecutors in Austin, Texas opened the murder trial of Kaitlin Armstrong for the shooting death of gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, revealing that Armstrong tracked Wilson through Strava to learn where she was staying.

In a chilling note, they also said that the last sound Wilson ever made was a scream of terror.

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A memorial will be held this Friday evening in honor of 69-year old Tania Mooser, the woman killed by a driver in a Santa Monica collision last weekend.

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San Diego is looking for more feedback on the city’s draft mobility plan.

Let’s just hope they don’t adopt, then ignore, the finished document, like a certain megalopolis to the north.

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Tell me again why you need an SUV to carry groceries home.

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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 San Francisco letter writer complains that the bike lane on the Richmond-San Raphael bridge “is a joke, foisted on the 40,000 commuters” who use the bridge each day “by the loud and elitist bicycle lobby and its virtue-signaling political allies.” Never mind that the gridlock he complains about is caused by too many people in cars, and won’t be relieved by ripping out the bike lane.

Portland, Oregon is in a dither over whether to rip out a bike lane that was “mistakenly” installed overnight without community input, as bike-riding residents block a large truck to prevent its removal after it was already in the process of scraping the paint off.

No bias here, either. A British mayor faced criticism for his “abysmal failure” to fulfill a campaign promise to rip out a bike lane that has seen several bicycling and pedestrian injuries, in addition to being filled with illegally parked cars. But those injuries couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the parking problem. Right?

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Local 

Incumbent 4th District Councilmember Nithya Raman and challenger Ethan Weaver discussed transportation, transit and public safety issues in a debate sponsored by Streets For All, with both calling for increased efforts to prevent traffic deaths.

This is who we share the road with. The driver of a heavy electric truck somehow went airborne and slammed through the exterior wall of a pizza place in Hollywood. Which explains all the sirens and why there was a police helicopter circling around our apartment Tuesday night.

Santa Monica is creating a “strategic” 700-foot extension to the Michigan Greenway bike/walk project.

He gets it, too. A Manhattan Beach English teacher describes how he gave up his car for a one-hour bike commute to work, asking “why doesn’t everybody?”

 

State

San Diego will hold the 10th Annual Jim Krause Memorial Charity Cycling Ride the Point to support research to combat pancreatic cancer on November 11th.

A man was shot and killed by Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputies in San Jacinto Tuesday afternoon when he pulled a gun as they ordered him off his bicycle.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a person riding a bicycle was apparently killed in what the CHP described as a “high-speed collision.”

Santa Barbara is attempting to reduce conflicts between bike riders and pedestrians by installing a bike lane down the center of the city’s State Street Promenade.

San Luis Obispo County will build a 1.25-mile, $7.4 million bike path along the scenic stretch of coastline between Morro Bay and Cayucos, providing an alternative to biking on the busy coast highway.

More sad news, this time from Modesto, where a 36-year old homeless woman was killed by a driver while riding her bike last week.

About damn time. The San Francisco city attorney is suing websites that sell banned license plate covers that drivers use to illegally evade the police, tolls and tickets.

Bicyclists in Napa just got their first buffered bike lane.

 

National

And they get it. Electrek says we need fewer driverless cars, and more carless drivers. They also get bonus points for correctly using “fewer,” rather than the commonly used “less.”

Denial is not just a river in Egypt. The Las Vegas driver who killed BMX champ Nathan ‘Nate’ Miller as he rode his bike in the city claimed he’s a good driver who never had a crash before — despite 19 previous tickets, including for driving without a license.

A Colorado company has developed an online calculator to, um, calculate how much a city could save in both carbon and cash by investing in ebikes. Which serves as yet another reminder that California’s long-delayed ebike rebate program still isn’t rebating anything to anyone. 

Kindhearted strangers pitched in to buy a North Dakota man a new ebike, just one day after his bicycle was snapped in half when he was struck by a motorist.

In another reminder that bikes mean business, a Chicago CEO recounts how he started his waste composting business by pulling a red wagon behind his bicycle to pick up food waste when he was still a kid.

A 45-year old randonneur describes the hit-and-run in upstate New York that left him with a fractured back and sacrum, a trashed bike, and a long recovery.

Artnet News tags along with Filipina American artist Jasmin Sian on her daily 15-mile bike commute on New York’s Hudson River Greenway, discovering how it helps inform her art.

Speaking of NIMBYs, New York’s mayor is attempting to un-install a new bike boulevard that is virtually finished by re-opening a call for community input, while continuing to micromanage bike lane projects and back off campaign commitments to build more.

A Memphis newspaper says the city’s depiction as the nation’s least-bike friendly city doesn’t tell the whole story, and that bicycling in the city is amazing and getting better — despite a death rate 21% higher than average.

 

International

GCN suggests the best Christmas gifts for bicyclists. Can we at least put off the Christmas talk until we put Halloween a little further in the rearview mirror?

Bicyclists in Windsor, Ontario are angry after a recent report showed the city built less than three miles of bike lanes in the last two years.

Life is cheap in the UK, where an “arrogant” speeding driver who killed a 77-year old man riding a bicycle while driving with traces of ketamine, cocaine and alcohol in his system, walked without a single day behind bars, as a prosecutor described his standard of driving as “just below” the threshold for dangerous driving. You would think that, regardless of the drug use, killing someone while speeding would be prima facie evidence of dangerous driving. But evidently, you’d be wrong. 

A British self-described “cycling nut” is suing giant bikemaker Giant for the equivalent of over $243,000, after he broke his back in four places when the fork on his new carbon-frame bike separated from the steerer tube while he was riding, and the bike collapsed under him.

The star of Britain’s favorite TV commercial returned to the same hill he walked his bike up as a child to mark the 50th anniversary of the famous bread ad.

The Dutch city of Maastricht is addressing a plague of “wild parking” — illegally locking bicycles to lampposts or railings — by confiscating the illegally parked bikes and increasing penalties to get them back.

Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling website considers why it took so long to invent the bicycle after the Mesopotamians invented the wheel.

Beijing, China is cracking down on traffic violations — and not just the ones committed by the people in the big, dangerous machines.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cycling star Jeffrey Hoogland broke the 1 kilometer time-trial world record in Aguascalientes, Mexico, averaging over 40 mph from a standing start.

 

Finally…

Apparently, bikepacking isn’t for everyone. Your next ebike could be made by Lotus, if you happen to have an extra 24 grand lying around.

And this is what it looks like to ride the world’s steepest street.

Or not.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Fighting bike dismount law at Redondo Pier, active transportation lost in LA budget, and free Earth Day Metro Bikes

Happy Bicycle Day!

Which may not be exactly what you think. Or maybe it is.

Photo shows a bike dismount sign in Manhattan Beach, because I don’t have one from Redondo.

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I’ll let someone else start things off today.

Daryll Strauss writes that the Redondo Beach City Council was hearing a recommendation from city staffers last night about the long-standing requirement to walk your bike on the beachfront bike path as it passes the city pier.

Not to mention the ridiculous 5 mph speed limit as the bike path snakes through the pier parking garage, which makes it a challenge to keep your bike upright while getting anywhere close to it.

Redondo Beach Pier has a bike path that travels through the pier parking garage. The RBPD has begun a maximum enforcement ($300 ticket) policy requiring bicyclists to walk their bike through the garage through the south end of the pier. A distance of about 300 yards.

The laws in the city allow police to enforce a walk your bike requirement anywhere signs are posted, and signs can be posted anywhere city staff wants. There are signs and flashing lights that say walk your bike when flashing, but they flash all the time.

The South Bay Bicycle Coalition and the Redondo Beach Harbor Commission have recommended loosening the restrictions, but the recommendations from city staff is to keep the status quo.

This topic is on the agenda for the Redondo Beach City Council meeting tonight.

The staff recommendations are ludicrous. They don’t provide any data to justify their recommendations and make specious arguments. It basically comes down to the fact the police can’t legally enforce a speed limit so they’ll make it “walk your bike”. Their safety concerns for bicycles riding through turns, at an arbitrary 5mpg, are outright ludicrous and can be mitigated with textured pavement. It’s also ironic that they just installed a skate park on the pier which would have much larger safety issues.

I ride this route regularly. I completely understand walking my bike where the bike path crosses the main entrance of the pier when there is significant pedestrian traffic, but the majority of the restrictions are ridiculous.

This is the beginning of the process, so there may be an opportunity to change these rules if the city council doesn’t rubber stamp the staff recommendation tonight.

I always thought the requirement was absurd when I used to ride through there on a semi-regular basis.

Unfortunately, I received this too late to get the word out for last night’s meeting. But hopefully we’ll let you know if they reconsider it at a future meeting.

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As expected, Los Angeles Mayor Bass released her first budget yesterday.

It will take someone with more financial acuity than I possess to dig into it and see what she’s budgeted for alternative transportation, bikes and Vision Zero, and how it compares to previous years.

But a cursory examination didn’t reveal any mention of it in the budget, or in LAist’s detailed look at the budget. Which doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.

But maybe I’m not looking in the right place.

This is what she had to say on the subject when she was campaigning for mayor. We’ll see how much actually made it into the budget.

8. Prevent Traffic Fatalities and Champion Walking and Biking

Los Angeles has one of the highest rates of traffic fatalities in the nation 11 – and those deaths disproportionately impact communities of color and low-income neighborhoods. 1213 That is unacceptable. Traffic safety is a public health issue.

Meanwhile, survey after survey shows that Angelenos don’t feel safe getting around their neighborhood on foot and by bike – even though they want to. 1415 Angelenos shouldn’t have to worry about being struck by a car when they’re trying to bike to work or walk their children to school. Bass will stand up for safe streets, and prioritize accessibility for the most vulnerable members of our community.

As Mayor, Bass will:

  • Treat street safety as the public health crisis it is, and leverage all available city resources to address unsafe speeds and save lives.
  • Prioritize first and last-mile access to transit so that all Angelenos can use the region’s growing rail and bus network.
  • Invest in street safety infrastructure that saves lives.
  • Create family-friendly bicycle and pedestrian routes to connect neighborhood destinations and transit stops.
  • Support and expand monthly open streets events across L.A. like CicLAvia that bring communities together.

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Metro Bike is offering free rides for Earth Day this Saturday.

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BikeLA, the former Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, supports a more equitable distribution of street space on Eagle Rock Blvd.

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The fight to preserve the MOVE Culver City streetscape — and keep it from reverting to the car sewer it used to be — comes to a head on Monday.

https://twitter.com/BikeCulverCity/status/1648361017196548100

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ActiveSGV is hosting a bike ride through Covina on May 6th.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1648453853682061312

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Berkeley bike riders demonstrate the right way to do a die-in, starting with having enough bodies to actually get some attention.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1648519850753671170

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

No bias here. San Jose’s Mr. Roadshow agrees with motorists who demand that bike riders should pay their fair share for the roads we ride on, neglecting to consider that we already pay more than our share for the negligible damage we do to the streets — unlike the massive SUVs that threaten our safety while destroying our streets, and our world. Unfortunately, you’ll have to sacrifice your email address if you want to read it, however.

A New York man faces charges after intentionally driving his car up onto a sidewalk in an effort to run down a kid riding a bicycle, claiming the boy had attempted to steal his property. Which is not an excuse for attempting to use deadly force, as he’s about to learn the hard way.

Police in Surrey, England are looking for a man who stepped out of the darkness to attack a man riding a bicycle with some sort of weapon; the attack was captured on security cam, but the attacker’s face was hidden by a balaclava.

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

An Illinois man faces up to 30 years behind bars for riding his bicycle over a homeless man sleeping in a parking garage, then attacking the victim with both ends of an axe; the horrific assault only ended when the victim was able to reach an emergency phone.

A Singapore man was hospitalized with a brain bleed after he was struck by a “peloton of crazy cyclists” while riding his bike, none of whom stopped after the crash.

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Local 

Metro is hosting a virtual community meeting this afternoon to discuss the Rail to Rail Active Transportation Corridor Project, which will create a walking and biking pathway through Inglewood and South LA.

Santa Monica is planning safety improvements to deadly Wilshire Blvd, including “special markings at four intersections (to) create dedicated space for cyclists to safely cross Wilshire Boulevard.”

 

State

Bills to authorize speed cams and camera enforcement of bike lanes passed their first committee hearings in the state legislature; unfortunately, a bill that would rip out the bike lanes on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and replace them with another lane for motor vehicles did, too.

San Francisco bike advocates rallied to demand protected bike lanes on Arguello Blvd, where masters cycling champ and world record holder Ethan Boyes was killed earlier this month.

 

National

Distracted driving kills ten people a day in the US.

Fast Company says it’s time to undo bikeshare’s original sin, and subsidize it like the public asset it is.

In a surprising move, outdoor co-op REI is pulling out of ostensibly bike-friendly Portland.

A North Carolina paracyclist made a remarkable recovery to complete Monday’s Boston Marathon riding a recumbent handcycle, after he was severely injured in a collision with a pickup driver last July while training for the Para-Cycling Road World Championship.

Heartbreaking news from Florida, where an 83-year old man was murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver, after he was struck by a motorcyclist while trying to ride his bike across the street; the motorcycle rider was critically injured, as well. Seriously, anyone who can still ride a bike at that age deserves a hell of a lot better. Then again, so does anyone else.

More bad Florida news, as Dartmouth College football coach Buddy Teevens had his leg amputated, as well as suffering spinal injuries, as a result of last month’s collision while he was riding his bike home from a restaurant; police naturally blamed him for the crash, and never bothered to test the uninsured driver for drug or alcohol use.

 

International

GCN demonstrates how to wrap handlebar tape on drop bars.

Winnipeg, Manitoba is holding an online auction of unclaimed bikes. The only problem is you’ll have to go there to pick it up if you win. 

England and Wales are on the verge of banning bicycle tires and inner tubes from being dumped in landfills, requiring them to be recycled, instead.

The parents of a young Scottish woman complain that “society has accepted death as a cost of getting from A to B,” after she was killed while riding her bike earlier this year.

Britain’s self-governing island of Jersey is the latest jurisdiction offering ebike rebates, with the equivalent of $372 for a standard ebike, or twice that for a cargo-ebike.

Remarkable news from France, where the 50-year old man who received the first double arm and shoulder transplant two years ago was able to ride a bicycle for the first time after losing both arms when he was electrocuted by power lines 25 years earlier.

The world’s longest purpose-built bike and pedestrian tunnel has opened in Norway, running 1.8 miles under a mountain.

Traffic deaths are up in the Netherlands, as the country suffers the highest bicycling death toll in nearly three decades — especially for riders over 75.

Switzerland is encouraging its citizens to bike to work this spring.

A Spanish man rode his bike 378 miles in just 20 hours to raise awareness and respect for people on bicycles. He certainly earned my respect.

An Indian man has developed a DIY ultrasonic dog repellent to stay safe riding his bike. Although maybe he could make it just a tad smaller before it hits the market.

Your next Taiwanese smart ebike could have a frame made of interlocking carbon triangles crammed with all the latest tech.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late, Australian officials gave the visually-impaired driver who killed a 66-year old man riding a bike an unconditional driver’s license, despite failing the minimum vision test requirements and almost hitting parked cars during his driving test.

 

Competitive Cycling

The governing body for time trials in England, Scotland and Wales is introducing a standard road bike category to encourage more people to take part; no word on why Northern Ireland bike riders weren’t invited to play.

Indiana University’s student newspaper looks forward to the school’s iconic Little 500 bike race this weekend; the race was made famous by the equally iconic Breaking Away. Which is the movie that inspired me to buy a bike and start riding as an adult.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a loose plastic bag makes its home in your spokes while you ride. Now you can carry your bike across your back like a backpack; just be careful walking through crowds or going through doors.

And forget the diamond, and buy your beloved an engagement bike, instead.

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Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month. 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Bass ignores mobility plan in State of City, MOVE removal violates CEQA, and LA Engineering greenwashes LOS climate fire

This doesn’t bode well.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass gave her first State of the City address yesterday, with a focus on the city’s efforts to build housing and end homelessness, as well as increasing the size of the LAPD, LAFD and 911 services to improve safety.

What Bass did not mention was traffic safety, Vision Zero, the mobility plan, bikes, pedestrians, transit or alternative transportation.

We’ll see where her priorities lie when she releases her first city budget this morning, and whether any of that will be given the funding they need.

But right now, it looks like we’re going to be an afterthought.

If that.

Photo by Aayush Srivastava from Pexels.

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Carter Rubin of the Natural Resources Defense Council, aka NRDC, makes a compelling argument in favor of the very successful MOVE Culver City Complete Streets project.

And keeping it right where it is.

The project is under fire from the newly auto-centric conservative majority on the Culver City council, which wants to rip it out so cars can once again go zoom, zoom without having to make room for anyone else.

Here’s just a part of what Rubin has to say.

recent analysis of the corridor shows MOVE Culer City has delivered substantial benefits with few tradeoffs.

  • A 52% increase in bus ridership
  • A 32% increase in cycling activity
  • A 18% increase in pedestrian activity
  • Only a 2 minute increase in average peak period travel time for people in cars

Hard-won progress deserves defending. So this week, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sent a letter to the City Council expressing our support for the MOVE Culver City initiative. In doing so, we joined over 20 other organizations that advocate for sustainable, safe, healthy and equitable transportation.

He also notes that removing the project could violate state environmental laws, as well as federal civil rights requirements.

In our letter, we make the case that any action by the city to increase the number of lane-miles available for mixed-flow vehicle traffic would require analysis, disclosure, and mitigation of potential environmental impacts pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The City must comply with CEQA before making any final decision on a project that changes conditions on the ground today.

Full removal of MOVE Culver City would entail adding approximately 2.6 lane miles of vehicular lanes to principal arterial highways, which is likely to significantly increase vehicle miles traveled, according to the state’s official CEQA guidance. That increase in VMT would contribute to additional greenhouse gas emissions impacts, as well as criteria air pollution, including ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and PM10 and PM2.5, from tailpipe exhaust and brake, tire, and roadway wear.

Further, we note that the City is required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to analyze changes to transit service that might disproportionately affect people of color, immigrants and other protected communities who ride transit.

Or to put it more succinctly,

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They still don’t get it.

The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering is proposing widening a one-mile section of Alameda Street in Wilmington near the Port of Los Angeles, increasing the street to three lanes in each direction to boost automotive throughput and the largely discredited Level of Service.

But they’re throwing us a bone by adding a bike and pedestrian trail to greenwash their work while they set the climate on fire.

Maybe they could just give us the trail, and skip the damn climate bonfire.

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Go Human is awarding grants up to $40,000 to improve traffic safety in your own community.

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Walk Bike Long Beach invites you to for a morning of bikes and coffee this Saturday.

Celebrate Earth Day this Saturday on your bike! We’ll do the usual group ride to get some coffee — this time aiming for Belmont Heights. Then back to Pedal Movement.

For EXTRA CREDIT, keep rolling with us and climb Signal Hill for a chat with the Sierra Club about the threat of future oil drilling in our community.

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Nice to hear from our bike-riding state senator and Congressional candidate.

Now we just need to get the rest of ’em on bikes, too.

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Hard to tell just where this is, but it looks like it might be the Santa Monica Civic Center complex.

Or maybe SaMo High.

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In case you were looking for something to hang on the wall of my office, this will do nicely, thank you.

Of course, you’d also have to buy me an office.

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

No bias here. Officials in a Massachusetts town are up in arms after state officials begin work to remove a traffic lane and install bike lanes on a local bridge, insisting no one told them about the plans; one city councilmember actually insists there’s not enough bike traffic on the bridge to justify a bike lane, apparently forgetting that most people don’t enjoy risking their lives in traffic with safe infrastructure.

No bias here, either. A British Columbia letter writer complains that a “boondoggle” bike lane “smacks of ‘fiscal irresponsibility’ and ‘catering to cycling interests’ over the concerns of taxpayers,” apparently forgetting that people who ride bikes pay taxes, too.

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Local 

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers photos from Sunday’s Pico Union meets Mid-City CicLAvia.

South Pasadena Active Streets was honored by state Assemblymember Mike Fong for their work organizing bike buses for local elementary school students.

The Pasadena Star News looks forward to this weekend’s 626 Golden Streets through San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont in the San Gabriel Valley. Assuming you can get past the paper’s paywall, that is.

 

State

Bakersfield’s popular Kern River Bike Trail will be closed until further notice for maintenance work.

San Francisco moves to make the city less livable with a proposal to rip out the pandemic-era parklets in front of restaurants.

Speaking of San Francisco, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is calling for quick action on Arguello Blvd, where masters champ and world record holder Ethan Boyes was killed recently; the organization notes the Presidio street is used by hundreds of families, commuters and competitive athletes every day.

Just like the failure of the $1 billion 405 Freeway widening project here in Los Angeles, the engineer behind the Bay Area’s $600 million project to widen the 101 Freeway admits that it accomplished nothing, as traffic congestion goes from bad to worse. Just one more argument to invest in transit, rather than flushing more money down the toilet on highway projects. Or widening streets to move more cars.

 

National

Streetsblog complains that Biden’s EV Revolution will pay Americans to drive some really dangerous pickups and SUVS that pose a risk to everyone on the road around them, particularly people walking and biking.

The Washington Post reports that men face a higher risk of dying than women at every stage of life, with the male sex accounting for 71 percent of pedestrian deaths and a whopping 87 percent of bicyclist deaths.

Road Bike Rider explains how to pack for a bike tour, while Cycling Weekly offers lessons learned from going tubeless.

Cycling News considers the best budget bike helmets. But neglects to include any of those budget prices.

A lawyer offers advice on what to do after a hit-and-run or road rage incident. Or both.

The internet is still going crazy over the square, tread track bike wheels.

A 19-year old Bend, Oregon man is building his own sustainable mountain bike company.

A Las Vegas writer takes a pleasant bike ride through the city to examine new construction in preparation of this fall’s Formula 1 race.

Great idea. North Dakota fourth and fifth graders are teaching kindergarten kids how to ride bikes.

If you build it, they will come. Bike ridership is outpacing motor vehicle use in Ann Arbor, Michigan, thanks to new protected bike lanes and banning right on red in some locations.

Maine considers a Stop as Yield law, allowing people on bicycles to roll stop signs instead of coming to a full stop, when its safe to do so.

New York’s city council is considering new regulations to combat ebike and e-scooter battery fires.

Tragic news from Virginia, where a 26-year old woman was killed while she was teaching her 6-year old daughter how to ride a bike, along with her boyfriend; they were all run down from behind by a 36-year old woman.

A New Orleans driver faces up to 15 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a “beloved” local butcher as he was riding his bike six years ago; no word on why it took so long to bring the man’s killer to justice.

 

International

Forbes considers the best bike computers. Even though the most enjoyable rides usually come when they’re broken.

Bikeshare is booming in Mexico City.

That’s more like it. A new British Columbia bill would require speed limiting devices on all heavy duty commercial trucks, while mandating a “safer road environment” for bike riders and pedestrians.

A new memorial bench handcrafted by a fellow bike rider honors a legendary Scottish man who wrote about bicycling for the local paper.

No surprise here, as a new report shows people in London’s poorest areas face the biggest risk of traffic injuries or death. Just like in Los Angeles, and most major cities. 

Next time you’re in the Dutch city of Nijmegen, make sure to stop at the Velorama National Bicycle Museum, the country’s only museum devoted to the invention and growth of the now-ubiquitous bicycle.

The hit-and-run epidemic has spread to Spain, where a British tourist was killed when he was run down by a heartless coward who fled the scene.

A Russian man is riding his bike around the world to promote traditional Turkish music.

 

Competitive Cycling

Russell Finsterwald and Heather Jackson claimed victory in the men’s and women’s elite categories in San Diego’s Belgian Waffle Ride, while the race retired the number 12 in honor of 2022 winner Moriah “Mo” Wilson, who was murdered in Austin, Texas last year.

It was another stage win for L39ION of Los Angeles cyclist Skylar Schneider, who won her second in a row to conclude the women’s Tour of Redlands, while Blue Ridge Twenty24’s Emily Ehrlich claimed the overall victory in the GC.

L39ion of Los Angeles founders Justin and Cory Williams announced the launch of their third co-ed, multi-racial city-based cycling team in Austin, Texas, following the launch of another team in Miami. They may be single-handedly — okay, double handedly — doing more to ensure the survival, growth and spread of cycling in this country than anyone else.

Bicycling explains the new National Cycling League and how it works, and whether it fulfills the promised fan-first professional cycling experience. Read it on AOL this time if the magazine blocks you.

 

Finally…

What good is a wearable computer if the health data thitey measures is wrong? When life gives you speeding drivers, give them your own DIY traffic sign saying “slow the f*ck down.”

And that feeling when you sprain your ankle falling off a bike just before your widely panned set at Coachella.

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Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month. 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Bass elected LA mayor, catch and release in sheriff’s cadet crash, and WeHo considers Fountain bike lanes Monday

Congratulations to Congresswoman Karen Bass on being elected as LA’s new mayor.

The first woman to hold the post, and only the second Black Angeleno, Bass defeated billionaire mall developer Rick Caruso, despite being outspent 11 to 1 as he dropped well over $100 million on his own campaign.

The question for us is whether the new mayor’s professed focus on homelessness, crime and housing authority will preclude desperately needed efforts to transform our streets to improve safety and get Angelenos out of their cars.

Let’s hope Streets For All and BikeLA, formerly the LACBC, are already in contact with her office to set up a meeting.

Because after years of neglect under outgoing Mayor Eric Garcetti, and successful efforts by various councilmembers to block progress in their districts, we don’t have any time to waste.

Meanwhile, Streetblog’s Joe Linton calls the recent election good news for livability and transportation, with the possible exception of CD11’s Tracy Park, who instantly becomes the most conservative member of the city council.

Park has professed support for multimodal transportation, yet drew much of her supporters from Westside NIMBYs who’ve fought bus and bike improvements.

………

He was arrested for attempted murder.

Until he wasn’t.

Just one day after a wrong-way driver slammed into a phalanx of sheriff’s cadets, injuring 25 people, including five critically — and after reportedly turning the investigation over the the CHP — the LA Country Sheriff’s Department announced that Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez had been arrested on a charge of attempted murder on a peace officer.

Then turned around and announced he had been released without charges due to a lack of evidence.

No, really.

The premature arrest indicated the belief of investigators that Gutierrez had intentionally steered into the recruits, accelerating at he plowed through them, as we had surmised yesterday.

The only problem is a lack of evidence confirming intent. Outgoing Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva stressed that the release is provisional, pending collection of more evidence confirming his actions were intentional.

Why they jumped the gun and arrested Gutierrez on a presumption of guilt, rather than basing the arrest on actual evidence, is an open question at this time.

As is why they have apparently reclaimed the investigation from the CHP, after relinquishing it just one day earlier.

But with Villanueva leaving in a couple of weeks, its likely to become incoming sheriff-elect Robert Luna’s problem.

………

West Hollywood is scheduled to consider whether to add protected bike lanes on deadk=ly Fountain Ave at Monday’s council meeting, which would require a reduction to one lane in each direction as well as removing parking spaces; refer to agenda item 4.B.

The lanes would provide a safer east-west alternative to dangerous Santa Monica Blvd, after the existing painted bike lanes on Santa Monica end east of La Cienega.

However, it would also require the removal of at least 150 parking spaces; an alternative plan for painted bike lanes would require removing up to 40 spaces.

Which means opponents are likely to come out in force in an effort to block it.

Meanwhile, WeHo Mayor Lauren Meister is on track for re-election, while former Councilmember John Heilman enjoys a 246 vote lead over Chelsea Wright for the second and third spots; the top three finishers will be seated on the city council.

Former Councilmember John Duran, who made cancelling the bike lanes the centerpiece of his campaign, is currently languishing out of the running in fifth place.

However, with the exception of Meister, who is already on the council, they won’t be seated in time to effect Monday’s decision on Fountain.

………

This puts the problem of LA drivers in perspective.

………

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

Police in Youngstown, Ohio are looking for a bike rider seen on video near the site of three stolen catalytic converters.

Police now believe the fatal shooting of a 21-year old Bronx basketball player by a man riding an ebike was a case of mistaken identity. Which somehow doesn’t seem to make it any better.

………

Local

The newly rebranded BikeLA is hosting a class on the Essentials of Group Riding this evening, and a South LA Pan Dulce Ride on Sunday.

 

State 

A San Diego woman whose husband was killed by a wrong-way driver while riding his bike to the movies calls on the city’s mayor to mark Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence by doubling the budget for the city’s quick-build protected bike lane program, and lowering speed limits on the most dangerous Vision Zero corridors. Sounds reasonable to me.

Oxnard approved a $3 million plan for sidewalks and bike lanes in the city’s El Rio neighborhood.

Berkeley considers a proposal to offer its own instant ebike rebate program, which could be paired with the state’s ebike rebates, if they ever happen.

Bike co-op Rich City Rides is hosting a bike party and ride to celebrate the third anniversary of the protected bike lane on the Richmond San Rafael Bridge.

 

National

Damn good question. An updated edition of Jeff Speck’s book Walkable City asks why we don’t take traffic violence as seriously as terrorism, when you’re 568 times more likely to die in crash than at the hands of a terrorist.

The 22nd annual Cranksgiving bicycle food drive rolls in cities across the US tomorrow, including a return to downtown Los Angeles after a pandemic pause.

Portland bike advocates are suing the city under a 1971 state law that requires improving infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians any time a street is constructed, reconstructed or relocated. Unfortunately, California doesn’t have a similar law, although Los Angeles could if the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposition passes in 2024. 

An abandoned railroad trestle across a Corpus Christy, Texas bay could become a unique rail-to-trail conversion.

Remember this the next time someone tells you handicapped people can’t ride bikes, as a 70-year old Iowa man is using a recumbent bike to continue riding as he recovers from a debilitating stroke.

Jake and Elwood Blues would be thrilled to know Joliet, Illinois could soon be expanding on the city’s two — yes, 2 — existing bike lanes.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tosses her security detail under the bus, blaming them for double-parking in a bike lane to get some donuts.

Curbed says don’t blame ebikes for the recent rash of New York battery fires; blame refurbished batteries and mismatched chargers.

Pennsylvania’s governor vetoed a bill that would have allowed curb and parking protected bike lanes in the state, after the legislature tacked on an unrelated provision to strip power from Philadelphia’s district attorney.

More than 1,300 people will ride to Congress tomorrow to demand safer streets, following the route a US diplomat was taking when she was killed by a truck driver while riding in a Bethesda, Maryland bike lane in August.

Seventy-one year old former astronaut Bill McArthur is one of us, one of 700 riders who recently completed a multi-day bike tour across South Carolina.

 

International

Bike Rumor recommends the best gifts for the wrench in your life.

Speaking of handicapped bike riders, a British Paralympian paralyzed from the waist down will attempt to become the first person to ride an adaptive bike across the Antarctic Plateau.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 13-year old British boy’s bike from his mother’s car after she rushed with him to the hospital when he fell off and broke his collarbone.

A bike advocacy group is urging Amsterdam officials to set a 12 mph speed limit for ebikes on the city’s bike paths, as faster ebikes continue to gain in popularity.

 

Competitive Cycling

A 25-year old Anchorage woman has parlayed her love of bikepacking into a new role as a champion bikepacking endurance cyclist.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a modern take on the classic Schwinn Stingray. Or maybe made from sustainable plywood. Everyone looks better on a lowrider bike.

And who needs a cargo bike when you can ride your bike with nine kids hanging on?

https://twitter.com/JaikyYadav16/status/1592438950991626241?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1592438950991626241%7Ctwgr%5E02995e14f0b9f724efa830ea6cea1714e7f1fc30%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.indiatimes.com%2Ftrending%2Fwtf%2Fvideo-of-man-riding-bicycle-with-9-kids-goes-viral-585052.html

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Streets For All skips mayoral race, CD5 candidates talk bike lanes, and Biden calls for racist councilmembers to quit

Streets For All has released their final endorsements for next month’s 2022 general election.

But surprisingly, without a pick in the mayoral race.

Among their endorsements in Los Angeles County, they anointed the following candidates,

  • Congress CA-34, David Kim
  • LA City Controller, Kenneth Mejia
  • LA CD5, Katy Young Yaroslavsky
  • LA CD11, Erin Darling
  • LA CD13, Hugo Soto-Martinez
  • LA County Supervisor District 3, Lindsey Horvath

The Los Angeles County transportation PAC also makes endorsements for council races in Burbank, Culver City, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Monterey Park, as several local state Senate and Assembly races.

Here is how they explained their decision not to endorse either candidate in the mayor’s race.

We would love to have made a strong endorsement for Mayor, as Los Angeles desperately needs strong environmental and transportation leadership. And while both candidates answered our questionnaire and had some good things to say, neither seemed to show the boldness or courage of conviction needed for our city to truly change. Both candidates displayed a lack of vision for the future of transportation in Los Angeles, which is frightening considering the Mayor has a place on the Metro Board, as well as multiple appointments.

Read all candidate questionnaires here →

………

Speaking of Yaroslavsky, both she and Sam Yebri, her opponent in CD5, support protected bike lanes in the district, although Yebri seems to be a little less enthusiastic about it.

Here’s how they addressed the issue in a recent debate, as reported by the Larchmont Buzz.

Do you support the installation of more protected bike lanes and, if so, where?

Yebri said bike infrastructure is an important long-term planning issue (citing the example of the 80,000 cars that pass through Westwood Village every day), but that it’s critical to plan projects such as bike lanes in partnership with Metro and local residents…which he will do.  Yebri also noted that he’s been hearing a lot of complaints about a new bike lane that just opened on San Vicente Blvd., because residents say they weren’t consulted before it was installed.  He also said he would like to revisit the Uplift Melrose project that was dropped last year after resident complaints, but with better community outreach and input, because we desperately do need to upgrade our transportation infrastructure.

Yaroslavsky said Los Angeles should be one of the great bike cities in the world, because it’s mostly flat, the weather’s great, and most things are within a reasonable distance of each other. She said she supports a broadly connected bike infrastructure, and that we should start with first/last mile areas near transit, and then connect the system outward to our various neighborhoods.  She said both Sixth Street and San Vicente Blvd. would be good places to plan bike lanes – in partnership with those communities – and that improving bikeability is important for both the climate and public safety.  Yaroslavsky also noted that her husband and kids all love to ride bikes, but right now they have to load their bikes into a car to drive to safe bike paths, and “that’s crazy; that’s nuts.”  So when it comes to improving bike infrastructure, Yaroslavsky said, “I’m here for this.”

………

More on the latest scandal rocking City Hall.

President Biden joined the calls for Nury Martinez, Keven De León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo to resign; Martinez took a leave of absence from the city council rather than face her accusers.

The LA Times says the meeting between three Hispanic councilmembers and a labor leader that led to accusations of racism may have been ugly, but it probably wasn’t illegal.

Times‘ columnist Steve Lopez says CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin’s tearful address to the city council in the wake of the racist comments directed towards his Black toddler son was the best thing to come out of City Hall in ages.

………

Streetsblog is hosting a return to the annual in-person Streetsie awards tonight, with a free reception honoring L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell.

Reserve your tickets here.

………

Angela Lansbury was one of us, appearing as a bike-riding, crime solving mystery writer for 12 seasons of Murder, She Wrote.

The actress died yesterday at 96, after a nearly 80-year career.

………

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

A Pittsburgh bike advocate recounts the crash that left her with a brain bleed and a two-year recovery from a shattered jaw, after she was struck by a driver while riding on a street the city had refused to improve, despite the urging of local residents. Along with the ticket she got for running a red light after the police took the word of the only witness — the driver who ran her down.

An English man was strangled with his own bike helmet strap by a road raging drunk driver “dressed like a Blues Brother,” after he was intentionally doored.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in Ireland, where a cab driver walked with a suspended sentence for deliberately driving into a man on a bike — twice — while blaming the victim for verbally abusing him and undertaking his taxi.

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

YouTube road safety advocate CyclingMikey is accused of deliberately jumping onto the hood of an SUV so he could claim a celebrity agent crashed into his bike.

………

Local

Streetsblog offers photos and an open thread from Sunday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia.

A retired LAPD lieutenant is fighting the same battle too many other bike riders have faced, after the DA’s office bargained away the charges against the hit-and-run driver who left him seriously injured as he rode his bike in Agoura, reducing it to a misdemeanor, even after the victim agreed to probation if the driver pled guilty to a felony.

Long Beach’s Artesia Blvd will get a Complete Streets makeover, including protected bike lanes, with the 3.2-mile, $36.2 million Artesia Great Boulevard Project.

 

State 

Calbike recounts the wins — and losses — for bikes and active transportation in the just-ended legislative session.

A motorcyclist pled not guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and other charges in the August crash that took life of 68-year old Brad Allen Catcott during a police pursuit at Carlsbad State Beach in August; Eric Burns is currently being held without bail pending trial.

Congratulations to San Diego’s Barrio Logan, which has been named the world’s sixth coolest neighborhood; Colonia Americana in Guadalajara, Mexico, ranked first.

This is who we share the road with. A 74-year old woman mistook her car’s gas pedal for the brake and plowed into a Rialto market, sending herself and seven other people to the hospital. Just one more example of keeping an elderly driver on the road until it’s too late.

 

National

Forget self-driving cars. Bloomberg makes the case for why Apple should build an ebike, instead, saying it would be the company’s most revolutionary product since the iPhone.

A US military health website recommends safety tips for bike riders, several of which are actually mandatory for military personnel.

WaPo examines a popular Portland bike bus.

Houston authorities are looking for the hit-and-run driver that crashed into a man who lost control of his bicycle during a Pride Ride, then ran over him again while fleeing the scene, killing him.

Dual knee replacements get an Arkansas monk back on his bike.

A Chicago project is giving free bikes to Black trans people in need.

Meet the worst bike lanes in St. Paul, Minnesota. To which Los Angeles says, hold my beer. 

A Minnesota man faces two counts of criminal vehicular homicide for running a stop sign and killing an eight-year old girl while he was high on meth. Allegedly.

A survivor of the horrific Michigan crash that killed two people on a Make-A-Wish fundraising ride recounts the crash and its long, painful aftermath, urging  drivers to slow down and be patient; the alleged drunk driver faces ten charges, including a pair of fatal DUI that could put her away for 15 years each.

No bias here. After an Indiana University student was killed by an alleged speeding drunk driver as he was riding a scooter in the bike lane, the City of Bloomington naturally responded by restricting…scooters. No, really.

 

International

Cycling Weekly lists the best Amazon Prime Day deals on bicycles and accessories in the US and the UK, while the upscale Robb Report recommends the Hurley single-speed urban ebike.

An ecology website examines a program to get women on bicycles in Guazapa, El Salvador, whose motto translates to “without a bicycle there is no planet.”

Leading bicycling researchers Ralph Buehler and John Pucher examine how London responded to the pandemic by expanding bikeways and low-traffic neighborhoods, the equivalent of US Slow Streets. A sad reminder of what Los Angeles could have done with better leadership.

A British driver gets six years for killing a bike commuter with a runaway trailer he’d stolen just minutes earlier. But will only serve another year after accounting for time served in jail and house arrest.

No surprise here, as a new German study shows popup bike lanes not only increased ridership but improved air quality, while decreasing riders exposure to nitrogen dioxide.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips talks with two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar, who says it’s the losses that drive him, including this year’s Tour.

Sad news, as Paralympic medallist George Peasgood is in neuro critical care after falling off his bike in a freak accident.

Who says you need a gravel bike? This year’s gravel world champ won on a road bike. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A competitor in the the 2022 Ironman World Championship in Kona proves you can be fast and have fun on fat knobby tires, too.

LA’s Phil Gaimon will now have to reclaim a number of his KOMs, courtesy of semi-retired British cyclist Tom Pidcock.

 

Finally…

That feeling when bike lanes are used as a wedge issue. Your next bike could be made of magnesium.

And when you’re supposed to pretend two of America’s three greatest cyclists weren’t.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Leading LA mayor candidates ignore street safety, bikes fight high gas prices, and fighting SUVs one tire prick at a time

Ever get the feeling your issues are taking a backseat in local politics?

In a year where all of the leading candidates for mayor of Los Angeles are focusing their campaigns on crime and dealing with the homeless — one way or another — providing safe alternatives to driving hasn’t even been an afterthought.

Literally.

Just take a look at the websites for Karen Bass, Rick Caruso, Kevin de León, Mike Feuer and Joe Buscaino, and see if you can find a single mention of traffic safety. Let alone biking, walking or transit.

No mention of Vision Zero. Not a single word about building out the mobility plan to fix traffic congestion and fight rising gas prices. And nothing about investing in clean transportation to fight climate change.

Not. One. Damn. Word.

But at least Buscaino directed me to a nearly four year old op-ed he penned about embracing smart mobility options, after I complained about that on Twitter.

And as Barry J. Neely reminds us, Bass is one of us.

So let’s hope they all get around to addressing safe streets and alternatives to driving, however belatedly, as the campaign goes on.

Otherwise, it could be a very long four years, regardless of who wins.

Correction: Someone representing Mike Feuer reached out to me directing me to the page on Sustainability on his website, which contains one whole sentence about improving transit and building protected bike lanes, but only in the context of reducing greenhouse gases. 

Which, sadly, makes him the leader at this point.

………

Today’s photo shows Los Angeles City Hall awaiting its next, hopefully bike friendly, occupant, with a little more commitment and follow-through than the current one. 

………

Today’s common theme is people turning to bicycles to fight high gas prices, even though Los Angeles had a decade to get ready for this moment. And didn’t.

Streetsblog offers tips for new bike riders in the City of Angels.

Record gas prices are boosting ebike sales in San Diego, which are seeing exponential growth credited to prices at the pump.

The New York Times explains why California gas prices are so high. Although the best way to reduce price pressure at the pump is just not to play, and find another way to get around.

An Iowa writer says the state’s high gas prices make her want to ride a bike everywhere — even though their gas is over a buck and a half cheaper than California.

Rising gas prices are a double-edged sword for bike shops in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, driving up demand while increasing costs.

………

Seems like a good time for a reminder that many, if most, Los Angeles car trips could easily be done by bicycle.

If they had a safe way to get there, that is.

………

This might be taking things a tad too far.

An international group of climate activists are combating SUVs in an effort to drive the polluting, gas-guzzling and deadly vehicles off the road.

Thought to be an offshoot of Britain’s Extinction Rebellion, Tyre Extinguishers — the spelling points out their roots in the UK — punctures the tires on SUVs, with a goal to “make it impossible to own an SUV in the UK’s urban areas.”

And leave behind a politely worded note explaining their actions, while telling aggrieved drivers not to take it personally.

Which is kind of hard to do when someone leaves you feeling literally deflated, to put it mildly.

The group has targeted vehicles in London’s upscale Chelsea, Chiswick, Notting Hill and Belgravia neighborhoods, where they are colloquially known as Chelsea tractors.

And now the informal group has reportedly spread to Los Angeles, where someone allegedly inspired by their actions claims to have punctured SUV tires here .

I’d be the first to admit that I’d like to push every damn SUV into a pile and blow them all to hell. But I wouldn’t, even if I could.

Because vandalizing other people’s property is always wrong. Even if it is done for the right reasons.

………

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

Nothing unusual here, unfortunately. A bike rider was shot in the leg from someone in a passing car while riding on the UC Davis campus. And no, that’s not a prank, it’s a crime. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Bicyclists accuse an English county of closing a mountain pass to bikes as an anti-cyclist move “dressed up cheaply as health and safety,” two weeks after landslides closed the road to cars.

No bias here. When asked what should be done to improve safety for bicyclists in Oxford, England in the wake of recent deaths, drivers called for bicycle license plates, hi-viz and bicycling proficiency tests, rather than doing anything to drive safer.

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

A Glendale driver reported a hit-and-run bicyclist who fled the scene after crashing into their car. Although something tells me there’s probably another side to that story.

After an 11-year old Springer Spaniel had his leg amputated when he was struck by a man “zooming” along a multi-use path on his bicycle, the dog’s angry owner called for steps to curb “arrogant” bike riders.

………

Local

The Bike League recognized 33 new or renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities, with LA’s Loyola Marymount University moving up to silver, and Pasadena’s California Institute of Technology holding stead at bronze, while Cal Poly Pomona has to settle for another honorable mention.

 

State 

Caltrans is looking for public input on its draft Active Transportation Plan for bicycle and pedestrian improvements on state highways in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

San Diego’s mayor wants the city to marginally lower speed limits, using the same new state law Los Angeles is using to lower speeds 5 mph on 177 miles of streets.

 

National

NPR relates five ways to bounce back better from bicycle or other sports injuries.

The Today Show suggests their somewhat surprising picks for the best commuter, fitness and cruiser bikes.

A writer for Forbes says bicycle infrastructure saves lives by improving health and fitness, too.

Adventure Journal says yes, you can get a nice gravel bike for 900 bucks, albeit with a few caveats.

The Bike Portland podcast talks with local women behind the ebike revolution.

Phoenix AZ is responding to the death of a popular bicycle ambassador with plans to add more protected bike lanes in the downtown area.

Tragic news from Minneapolis, where a man died a year and a half after he was paralyzed by a driver with a revoked license while riding his bike on the sidewalk. The driver, who had two previous license suspensions, was sentenced to a lousy year in county jail in a plea bargain; if prosecutors had waited just six six weeks, the charge could have been vehicular homicide. Just one more example of allowing dangerous drivers to stay on the road until it’s too late.

A new documentary shows a man’s journey by bike from Chicago to New Jersey, riding alone to exorcise the demons of being abused by a priest as a child, and inspire other clergy abuse victims.

Bicycling profiles a proud Black Southern woman from Alabama, who encourages women to live authentically while advocating for representation in bicycling. As usual, read on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

It was Bike to Work Day in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, with the county’s leader leading the way.

 

International

Tern unveiled a new e-cargo foldie for anyone with an extra three grand lying around.

Horrible news from the Netherlands, where a 21-year old Massachusetts woman studying abroad was killed by a stalker, who placed a tracking device on her bicycle after they met on Tinder.

NatGeo wants to help you plan a bike tour through Belgium’s beer country.

German ebike subscription service Dance is expanding into more European cities, including Hamburg, Munich, Vienna and Paris. Which means the US, UK and Canada will have to wait.

Congratulations to Spanish bikemaker Orbea on being named Bike Brand of the year.

Angry New Zealand bike riders claim a teenage bicyclist didn’t have to die over the weekend, blaming local officials for turning a deaf ear to calls to make the area safer for people on two wheels.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great news, as NBC announced it will broadcast the first two years of the eight-stage Tour de France Femmes, aka the Women’s Tour de France, starting this July.

Bad news for the competition, as 39-year old Annemiek van Vleuten says she’s still improving after two decades as one of the top women’s cyclists.

Sad news from the UK, where 28-year old Scottish track sprinter John Paul has died; no cause of death was announced.

 

Finally…

Forget race results — what really matters is pro cyclists and their animal buddies. Your old bicycle chain could turn into spectacular nude human figures.

And who says a stationary bike has to stay that way?

https://twitter.com/AmericanFietser/status/1501228437457227776?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1501228437457227776%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-9-march-2022-290929

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Thanks to Margaret for her generous annual contribution to support this site, and keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

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

Morning Links: Garcetti skips White House run, bike riding bank robber, and Colville-Andersen thinks you’re lazy

It looks like we’ll have Eric Garcetti to kick around for the next few years.

The LA Times is reporting that Garcetti has decided not to run for president, after spending the last couple years seemingly distracted by modern day Wormtongues whispering visions of occupying the Resolute Desk in his ear.

Now maybe he’ll finally get back to fighting for his own policies like Vision Zero and the Great Streets program, which have suffered from a significant backlash while Garcetti has been crisscrossing the county testing tepid waters.

Or maybe just start fighting.

According to the article, Garcetti says he’s skipping a run for the White House because he wants to finish the work he stated.

Let’s hope he means it. And shows a lot more backbone than we’ve seen so far.

Photo shows LA Mayor Eric Garcetti signing the Vision Zero proclamation; photo from lamayor.org.

………

From track cyclist, to French Foreign Legionnaire, to bank robber.

In today’s must read, Chicago Magazine tells the convoluted tale of Olympic track cycling hopeful Tom Justice, who would rob banks dressed in business attire, then change into Lycra and make his getaway by bicycle.

And a high-end handmade bike at that.

He’d throw the money in the trash, or leave it where homeless people would find it. At least until he developed a crack habit, and needed money to buy that bike.

His undoing came as he was making his latest getaway, when a cop wondered why a Lycra-clad roadie on an orange bike would be carrying a messenger bag.

It’s long read, but definitely worth your time.

But if you’re in a hurry, you can catch the Cliff Notes version here.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Apparently, Mikael Colville-Andersen, the host of Copenhagenize and self-appointed ambassador of Danish bicycling, isn’t a fan of ebikes, or the people who ride them.

Maybe he missed the studies that show ebikes can improve your health, while getting people who might not otherwise ride out on bicycles.

As for unfollowing him, some of us never did.

………

Some people have to make an effort to take part in International Winter Bike to Work Day on February 8th.

Chances are, you’ll just have to roll out into the SoCal sunshine and ride.

………

Local

Christian Bale is one of us, going for a casual anniversary bike ride with his wife along the beach in the Palisades.

Ford-owned Spin is hosting a free panel discussion on enhancing mobility, with a focus on equity, safety, and partnerships next Wednesday, as they prepare to join the LA scooter wars.

West Hollywood has stepped up enforcement of the state’s universally ignored anti-gridlock law, which forbids drivers from entering an intersection if they can’t make it all the way across, in a bid to improve safety for pedestrians and bike riders.

Turns out Lime scooters have been programmed to automatically slow down on the beach bike path through Santa Monica. Which is odd, since they’re officially banned from there and subject to confiscation.

The Long Beach Post says the city is losing a ton of money by failing to regulate dockless e-scooters.

State

Sad news from Stallion Springs, where a Bakersfield woman was killed in a crash. The Bakersfield Californian felt the need to say she wasn’t wearing a helmet, but failed to note whether she died of a head injury or if her injuries could have been survivable with one.

National

Fast Company looks at that brilliant takedown of Peloton ads we linked to yesterday, and says you’ll never look at them the same way again.

People for Bikes offers a baker’s dozen rides to add to your bike bucket list this year.

A Portland writer says no, you don’t need an ebike for family biking.

An Iowa college professor has developed a virtual reality version of bicycle Frogger to teach pedestrians how to cross the street without getting hit by a bike rider. Sad that something like that is even necessary.

Denton TX joins the universal battle over parking versus bike lanes, as business owners once again ignore studies showing they’re better off with the latter.

Bighearted Texas police surprise a boy with a new bicycle after seeing him walking his beat-up bike home.

An Ohio letter writer says she’s tired of nearly getting run down by bicyclists on a shared path. And for a change, offers reasonable advice on how to avoid it.

Rhode Island high school students competed to develop a better bike path crossing in response to a six-year old boy who was killed crossing the road on one.

Philly welcomes the UPS three-wheeled e-cargo delivery bikes with welcome arms.

In the never-ending saga of Baltimore’s drunken, texting hit-and-run bishop, the deservedly de-frocked Heather Cook has asked the court to let her spend the rest of her sentence for killing a bike rider at home.

Oops. Baltimore officials are rushing to rewrite legislation that would impose a $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail for riding a dockless scooter too fast; the penalty was supposed to apply to the scooter providers, with riders subject to just a $20 fine.

New US House Transportation Chair Peter DeFazio says the country needs to move beyond fossil fuels and improve streets for bicycling and walking.

Durham NC is getting its first buffered bike lane.

Um, maybe not. The Boston Globe suggests exploring the nation’s most dangerous state for bike riders by… wait for it… bicycle.

A Florida driver spotted a bicyclist riding on the shoulder of a highway, towing his dog in a trailer, and moved over the the left lane to give him room. Except he cut off another driver, who swerved into the right lane, clipping the first car and spinning into the bike rider. At least the dog survived; his owner wasn’t so lucky.

International

A British business insurance company built a fake Brompton bike shop for an ad campaign warning about online phishing attempts.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver got just four months behind bars for killing a bike rider, claiming he didn’t see the victim even though he was “lit up like a Christmas tree.”

A road raging Brit bus driver ran over a man’s bicycle, forcing him to jump out of the way as he tried to block its path.

An Indian sports site profiles record-breaking para-cyclist Aditya Mehta, calling him an inspiration for many athletes.

An Israeli MD has developed a startup to collect data on the severity of car crashes, so emergency room physicians have a better idea of what to expect when a patient is brought in. Call me crazy, but wouldn’t it be better to just avoid crashes in the first place?

That Aussie driver who filmed himself driving on a bike path while screaming abuse at a pair of bicyclists riding in the roadway turned himself into police and will answer to a number of charges, including using a cellphone while driving, offensive language and driving on a bike path. And no, there is no 1st Amendment right to swear your ass off in most other countries.

In a case of life imitating art, a Japanese man has had to make his fiancé fall in love with him every day for the last nine months, after she suffered severe amnesia following a bicycling collision.

Competitive Cycling

Accusations of sexual harassment come to pro cycling, as Quick Step rider Iljo Keisse was accused of rubbing his dick against a teenage Argentine waitress while posing for a photo with his teammates. Or more precisely, it’s always been a boy’s club where crap like has been accepted, and remains all too commonplace.

Chris Froome gets down in the gravel on his time trial Pinarello.

Forget power meters. The well-dressed cyclist will soon be wearing a patch to analyze his or her sweat.

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to get drunk and steal a bike from the local police. Or get drunk and ride one, for that matter.

And sometimes it might be better not to stop for red lights, especially if you’re carrying six bags of heroin in your sweaty hands.

My thoughts on yesterday’s election

If you’re coming here looking for my take on yesterday’s election results, you won’t find it.

That’s because, once again, I’m guest editing LA Streetsblog in Damien’s absence, which is where you’ll find my reaction to the city’s new mayor.

Oh, and Mr. Garcetti? If you’re looking for someone to help out with bike issues, I’m available.

Just saying.

The ugly side of an ugly incident

It was a shocking, disturbing and hideous case of road rage that sent two local cyclists to the Emergency Room — one made worse by the realization it could just as easily have happened to any of us.

But surprisingly, some good has come out of the good doctor’s Mandeville Canyon brake test. The Cyclist’s Bill of Rights has gained some traction as a result, in the hope that we can keep things like this from happening in the future. A real dialogue has finally begun between cyclists and Canyon residents. And for the first time, we saw an overwhelming response from our new-found biking community.

Unfortunately, we also saw how ugly that community can be.

As you may have noticed, I go out of my way not to name of the doctor who cause the injuries to those riders — and who reportedly refused to offer any medical assistance afterwards.

There’s a reason for that.

It’s not like it’s hard to find his name online. And as outraged as I was when I read about the incident, I was just as  sickened to read on LAist’s followup to the incident: *Note: There are other Dr. (name deleted)s in the Los Angeles area who work in medicine and unfortunately some are being wrongly threatened.

And this from the moderator of the Socal Bike Forum’s thread on the Mandeville Incident:

Just to clarify on the “name” issue. We all know who the guy is now, where he lives and where he works… but there is no good reason for posting his personal information on a public board. On another bike site, his name and phone number was displayed and some yokels thought it would be fun to start systematic harassment. Turns out, they posted the number of the wrong guy. (EDIT: LAist just closed their “Comments” feature because a number of men with the same name have been threatened.) Similarly, the hospital where the doctor works undoubtedly has more pressing issues than dealing with phone calls from a bunch of angry cyclists. That is why we do not want such information posted. The two riders have asked that no one take matters into their own hands, and to let the police do their job…

As my friend, and author of the excellent Altadena Blog that covers life in Pasadena’s less pretentious northern neighbor, put it, “…but it’s OK the threaten the RIGHT one? Anonymous phone calls to HIS mailbox are OK? I’m with the bikers on this one, but…let the cops do the threatening! That’s what they’re paid for!”

I wonder what the doctors who were mistakenly threatened think about cyclists now? Our public perception is bad enough in this town without going around threatening innocent people.

If you’ve been following the story online, like I have, you’ve undoubtedly seen countless comments threatening the doctor, or vowing retaliation against other drivers — just as there have been comments that the riders had it coming. And countless others vowing mass traffic disruptions if the charges are dropped, or if the good doctor should somehow be acquitted.

This isn’t the time for violence — as if there ever is a right time — or aggressive civil disobedience. That would only undo the progress our community has made over the past two weeks.

No, this is a time for action.

Contact the mayor’s office and your local council member to support passage of the Cyclist’s Bill of Rights, and demand prosecution of all violent acts against cyclists, as well as an end to police bias in favor of motorists. Contact the governor’s office, as well as your local representatives in the state legislature, and ask them to take real action to protect cyclists and encourage safe cycling everywhere in California.

And while you’re at it, remind them that you bike.

And you vote.