Tag Archive for Los Angeles mayor’s office

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.

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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.

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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.

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This puts the problem of LA drivers in perspective.

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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.

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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?

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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 →

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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