Tag Archive for Los Angeles River bike path

Morning Links: LA River Greenway to expand through the Valley, Louisiana lawmaker says don’t play in the street

Good news on the LA River front.

A design firm has been selected to build a bike and pedestrian path along a 12-mile segment of the Los Angeles River in the San Fernando Valley, from Vanalden in the West Valley to Forest Lawn and Zoo Drives in Griffith Park.

Which means, if the seemingly endless series of closures and construction projects finally wrap up, you’ll be able to ride uninterrupted from the West Valley through Elysian Park.

Unfortunately, I haven’t heard any word on when we can expect an extension of the bike path through DTLA and points south, to connect with the pathway leading up from Long Beach.

Meanwhile, you’ll soon be able to combine bikes, bagels and beer on the newly re-opened segment of the LA River bike path in Frogtown.

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This is the sort of attitude we have to deal with.

A Louisiana state legislator actually said “If you don’t want to overdose, don’t do drugs. If you don’t want to get hit by a car, don’t play in the street,” in quashing the state’s proposed vulnerable user law, out of fear his constituents could go to jail for “accidently” killing someone.

‘Cause you know, these things just happen, right?

Then again, this is the same public servant who tried to pass a law prohibiting strippers from being too fat or too old, then claimed it was just a joke.

Apparently, so is he.

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Mark Cavendish has pulled out of the Tour de France in order to focus on the Rio Olympics.

Two-time Tour runner-up Nairo Quintana faces his last chance to overtake leader Chris Froome as the race enters the Alps, while second-place Nairo Quintana has been in this position before.

If you can’t shave any more weight off the bike, shave a few seconds off your time with a 3D-printed skinsuit.

And women’s cycling is taking a big step forward with the creation of the first all-black African women’s cycling team.

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Local

The Source’s Steve Hyman demonstrates remarkable restraint when an impatient driver tells him to get on the sidewalk as he rides on Cordova Street — while riding in a bike lane, no less.

Downtown News says DTLA’s new Metro Bike bikeshare system is better late than never; over 1,600 people bought passes by the end of the first week.

KPCC wants to know what traffic laws should be enforced more vigorously, including violations by those darn scofflaw cyclists. Remarkably, they include cars driving below the speed limit, which isn’t against the law, but fail to include speeding, which is.

 

State

Eighty-five year old Apple Valley cyclist and community advocate Chuck Hanson passed away from cancer over the weekend; he had ridden nearly half a million miles over his lifetime.

Apparently, the San Francisco DA takes traffic crime seriously. A 19-year old man has been charged with murder in the hit-and run death of a bike rider while driving a stolen car last month. He faces additional charges of vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run and auto burglary, and is being held on $1 million bail.

A new bike shop, café and social club is due to open in downtown Oakland, serving beer and advocacy without the pressures of a “jerk bike shop.”

A Redding man was able to hold onto his bike when he was attacked by two teenagers while riding on a bike path.

 

National

Portland joins the bikeshare revolution, unveiling a new system with 1,000 smart bikes at 100 stations.

Great idea. A Wichita KS program will donate bikes recovered by the police to provide homeless people with a form of transportation.

Life is cheap in Nebraska, where a careless driver gets a whopping 30 days in jail and a $100 fine for killing a bike rider.

Cleveland is using bike cops to keep the peace at this week’s Republican National Convention.

A Wisconsin writer learns the hard way that no one is impervious to injury, as he describes firsthand what it’s like to break your collarbone falling off your bike.

A Minnesota family finally finds closure as the hit-and-run driver who killed a 24-year old woman as she rode a bike has been sentenced to 39 months in prison.

Michigan proposes a five-foot passing law in the wake of the Kalamazoo massacre.

Massachusetts considers a bill that would make it illegal to park in bike lanes statewide.

Philadelphia police are looking for a mountain bike-riding man who has violently attacked three prostitutes, killing one.

 

International

A sports psychologist explains how to tell if you’re addicted to cycling.

A new Brazilian study says 72 hours may not be long enough for your body to recover from an 80-mile race. And yet professional cyclists are expect to compete on much longer routes every day, with no recovery time.

A Vancouver planning consultant says the way to reign in those annoying scofflaw cyclists is to make bike couriers ride three-speed upright bikes. No, really.

Also in Vancouver, a writer says it doesn’t look right when a Nigerian-Canadian bike rider is detained by six police officers for over an hour, apparently for the crime of riding on the sidewalk while black.

A ten-year old British hit-and-run victim asks how anyone could just leave him lying in the street.

Caught on video: A London cyclist suffers the equivalent of a left cross, hit-and-run crash the first time he used his new GoPro.

A proposed five and a half mile protected bike lane would run under a bridge to connect East and West Berlin.

Now that’s more like it. An Aussie telecom company is offering employees $1,000 to buy the bicycle of their choice and ride it to work. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

The General-Secretary of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who also serves as chair of the Japan Cycling Association, was injured while riding his bicycle on Saturday; official reports are he was just slightly injured, but other sources say his injuries may be serious.

 

Finally…

The way to improve safety is to tame motor vehicle traffic, not helmets that turn bicyclists into hi-viz mini-cars. The Tron-inspired spokeless bicycle has met its Kickstarter goal, but no, it is not the future of bicycling.

And it’s one thing to promote veganism by riding your bike, another to break all the rules doing it. Seriously, Strava only encourages you to ride like a jackass; it’s your fault if you actually do.

 

Morning Links: Bikeshare finally comes to DTLA, and bike-friendly LA city council candidate Jesse Creed

Just a short update today, as my diabetes seems compelled to knock me on my ass following a busy day.

I’ll try to be back tomorrow with a full report for the weekend.

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It’s true.

Los Angeles finally has a bikeshare system.

LA Downtown News takes an early Metro Bike test ride, and finds the bikes comfortable, but with a shortage of safe places to ride them.

A $75,000 grant, matched by $25,000 from Metro, will help make bike sharing more accessible to underserved communities. Note to LA Weekly: That photo from CicLAvia has nothing to do bikeshare; it’s like using a photo of private cars to illustrate a story about taxis.

The LA Times questions whether Los Angeles will embrace bikeshare, while Mayor Eric Garcetti mimics William Mulholland by saying “Here they are. Use them.”

The Times also provides a detailed explanation of how the Metro Bike system works, along with a nifty little bikeshare music video.

The Daily News says Los Angeles has big plans for the bikeshare system to expand to nine regions, starting next year with Pasadena, Venice and the Port of LA.

LAist offers a full report from the kickoff event, while noting riders proceeding along Grand Avenue were greeted by multiple signs reading “Bike Lane Closed.”

KTLA-5 offers a video report, including a brief interview with the mayor, in which he says he looks forward to taking one of the bikes out to go for lunch.

KPCC explains how to use the bikeshare system, which is currently only available to pass holders; walk-up users can rent a bike using their TAP card beginning August 1st.

It's (LA) Time(s) for bikeshare in Los Angeles

It’s (LA) Time(s) for bikeshare in Los Angeles

A massive fleet of Metro Bikes waiting to be deployed

A massive fleet of Metro Bikes waiting to be deployed

A crowd of a few hundred people turned out for the event

A crowd of a few hundred people turned out for the event

Metro CEO Phillip Washington addresses the crowd of soon-to-be bike sharers.

Metro CEO Phillip Washington addresses the crowd of soon-to-be bike sharers.

LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis

LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis looks forward to eastward expansion

Proof that I really was there, courtesy of the Eastside Riders

Proof that I really was there, courtesy of the Eastside Riders

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds helps lead the ride off from Grand Park

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds helps lead the rideoff from Grand Park

Riders roll out with LA City Hall as a backdrop

Riders like this should be a common sight at LA City Hall and throughout the Downtown area

The loneliest Metro Bike awaits in front of the Grand Central Market, with the Million Dollar Theater and the Bradbury Building in the background

The loneliest little Metro Bike awaits in front of the Grand Central Market, with the Million Dollar Theater and the Bradbury Building in the background

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If you need a place to ride your new Metro Bike, the LAPD invites you to attend a People and Pets Safety Fair tomorrow at the still-unnamed LAPD Headquarters in DTLA.

LAPD People and Pets

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Following the Metro Bike event, I had the pleasure of meeting with Jesse Creed, who’s running against incumbent Councilmember Paul Koretz in LA’s 5th Council District.

Before I even met him, he had my qualified support under the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” doctrine.

But after talking with him, I can remove that “qualified” and say he now has my full support.

I found him to be youthful, energetic, personable and highly engaged, with a clear understanding of the problems facing Los Angeles, and the belief that we can and should do better.

A bike rider himself, his commitment to sustainable transportation goes beyond mere words, including riding his bike for short trips instead of taking the car. And working to represent the entire community to build Complete Streets that benefit everyone, as opposed to arbitrarily blocking them as his opponent has done.

He’s also open to new perspectives. When I recommended a book on how to make government work better, he pulled out his phone and bought it on the spot.

We still face four months of nasty campaigning leading up to this fall’s presidential election, and the inevitable voter fatigue that will follow before LA’s city election finally rolls around in the spring.

But we could do a lot worse than electing Creed to represent the people of the 5th District.

In fact, we already have. And we’re paying the price for it.

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On a related, and belated, note, I’ve been remiss in my failure to note that Josef Bray-Ali, owner of the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop in Northeast LA, now has a fundraising website set up.

If we can elect Creed and Bray-Ali next spring, we’ll be well on our way to making this the livable city it can and should be.

And if #bikeLA finally gets off its collective ass and gets out to vote, we will.

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Once again, construction closes a section of the LA River Bike Path. And for the next three years, no less.

But at least this time, they’re doing it for our benefit, in order to lengthen the path and improve access at Riverside Drive.

LA River bike path closure at Riverside Drive

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The LAPD has captured a suspect in the string of bike-riding Hollywood parking lot robberies.

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Reuters looks at the South LA lowrider bicycle scene, including a talk with Manny Silva of Manny’s Bike Shop, considered the godfather of lowrider bikes.

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Finally…

Leo Tolstoy was one of us.

 

Morning Links: LA River bike path closed through Memorial Day, and biking & walking are booming in the US

You might as well give up on riding the LA River bike path anytime soon.

LADOT reports the Army Corps of Engineers plans to keep the flood control closure in place through the Griffith Park, Silverlake and Atwater Village areas at least through Memorial Day. And possibly longer if El Niño persists.

LA River Closure

Then again, I wouldn’t plan on hiking Runyon Canyon, either.

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The Alliance for Biking & Walking says both are on the increase.

According to Bicycle Retailer, the organization’s nearly 200-page 2016 biannual report says bicycling is up 71% in large cities since 2007, and 50% overall, even though men continue to outnumber women riders, who make up just 29% of all bicyclists.

The report also shows protected bike lanes encourage bicycling, increasing riding levels anywhere from 21% to 171%.

And eight out of the ten Complete Streets projects studied resulted in increased property values for the surrounding area. Which means that when home and business owners argue against bikeways, they’re fighting against their own financial self-interest.

Meanwhile, the reports lists the top ten US cities where people bike or walk to work. And needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t on it.

Although surprisingly, Los Angeles leads the nation in miles of bikeways. Too bad so few of them connect into a useful network, or those commuting levels might be higher.

US Bike Lane Comparison

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It’s a CicLAvia preview battle royale, as reigning champ the Militant Angeleno is out with his epic 20-point look at Sunday’s North Valley ciclovía, while Valley boy CiclaValley challenges with a preview so jam-packed it had to come in two parts.

But as any fan of the pugilistic arts can attest, it’s the blows that land, not the ones thrown, that count.

Read ‘em all, and plan your day accordingly.

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VeloNews offers a preview on the biggest year ever for women’s cycling.

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Local

The Valley’s Vineland Ave bike lanes get a coat of green paint in conflict areas in an attempt to keep cars out, since nothing else has seemed to work.

Look for the South Bay’s Beach City Bike Tours to be featured on the Today Show Friday morning.

 

State

Goleta approves plans for a bike and pedestrian bridge crossing San Jose Creek.

Sad news from Fresno, as a bike rider was killed after being hit by one or more cars. And a salmon cyclist suffered life-threatening injuries when he was hit by a car in nearby Hanford.

Alameda approves a plan to improve bike and pedestrian safety.

Outside Magazine provides a look at 21 of the world’s most beautiful bicycles from Sacramento’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

 

National

Caught on video: Michael Eisenberg forwards news of a stuck-and-run driver who somehow managed to travel more than 300 feet along a separated bike path on an Oregon bridge before getting wedged in, then simply went home for the night. leaving her truck where it was. Police let her off, saying totaling her truck was punishment enough.

Seattle’s city council can’t decide whether to save the city’s bikeshare program.

Cycling in the South Bay takes a trip down memory lane at Lance Armstrong’s Mellow Johnnie’s bike shop in Austin TX

Talk about a winner. An Arkansas woman whose dog mauled a cyclist last month is arrested for threatening a 17-year old girl on Facebook.

Caught on video 2: A road raging Chicago driver chases down and beats the crap out of a bicyclist, all because the rider softly said “You’re in the bike lane bro” as he rode past the man’s car.

New DC bike ramps will make it easier to bike near the White House.

 

International

A worldwide network of bike counters — including one at UCLA — show ridership is rising rapidly; a new report says training is the key to getting new riders out on the road.

A member of the Manitoba Hell’s Angels faces assault charges for pummeling a 14-year old boy for riding his bicycle past the biker’s yard.

A London bike loan program is helping to get underrepresented groups out on bikes; people get a bike, lock and helmet for a month, along with bicycle training, for the equivalent of just $14. Something like that could be very effective in increasing ridership in underserved areas right here in LA.

Despite vocal opposition, London’s network of segregated cycle tracks enjoys exceptionally strong support, with 71% of Londoners saying they’d like to see protected bike lanes on main roads in their own neighborhoods.

Okay, so maybe 3 pm on a Friday isn’t the best time to pull a 200-yard wheelie in front of a cop on a busy British street.

More stupid criminal tricks, as a New Zealand man left his bike helmet and lock behind after gunning down two people; DNA from the helmet identified him as the suspect.

A new Streetfilm looks at why so many people bike in Tokyo when there are so few bike lanes.

Speaking in Taipei, Trek’s CEO challenges bike makers to do more to support bike advocacy. Which shouldn’t be hard, since they currently do almost nothing.

 

Finally…

When you have a $1.2 million bet on the line for your first bike ride in 18 years, clearly, the first thing to do is shave your legs; although a bicycle powered by 4,500 PSI of compressed air might help, too. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times — if you’re going to ride with meth and drug paraphernalia on your bike, put a damn light on it. Thanks to Bryan Dotson for the heads-up.

And the seven deadly sins of cycling that will have you burning in hell for all eternity.

Well, maybe not you, but some other cyclists you probably know.

 

Morning Links: Koretz aid promises Westwood bike lane removal, and the Bieb nearly takes out bikers in the ‘Bu

Don’t forget, there’s just four more days to nominate someone you know to win a new bicycle in our first-ever bike giveaway. So take a moment to tell us who you think deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net today!

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Do they know something we don’t?

A field deputy for Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz assured the Westwood Neighborhood Council that a bike lane slated for Westwood Blvd north of Wilshire Blvd in the Village will be removed from the new Mobility Plan.

Even though he doesn’t have the authority to do that. And even though a proposal to remove it, or any other bike lane, from the plan must first be approved by the city Planning Commission, then face a hearing by the city council Transportation and Planning and Land Use Management Committees, before being voted on by the full council.

To this point, there have been no public discussions of the matter by any of those bodies.

Any secret discussions or backroom deals attempting to bypass that process would be a violation of the state’s Brown Act, which requires that all meetings of official bodies be held in public. And would likely invalidate any decisions resulting from it.

So let’s hope that she just misspoke or was misquoted, and meant to say that Koretz will attempt to have the bike lane removed from the plan.

Because we all have a right to be heard before any decision is made.

Especially the wrong one.

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CiclaValley catches up on the latest details of the LA River bike path closure. The good news is most of the barriers will be on the opposite side of the river from the bike path. However, he says the path will close for construction of the barriers between Riverside and Glendale Blvd for two weeks starting on the 26th; no word yet on whether it will reopen in full or in part once the work is finished.

Meanwhile, LADOT Bike Blog fills in the history and the background of the flood control efforts on LA’s concrete river.

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Tres shock! A new study shows what we already knew — sharrows don’t improve safety, and they don’t seem to increase ridership, either.

Meanwhile, another study suggests that biking infrastructure and gentrification mirror one another, making it difficult to say which one causes the other.

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Semi-reformed celeb bad boy Justin Bieber nearly takes out an entire cycling team that was training in the ‘Bu, inexplicably running out in front of the riders waving his arms while they cruised down PCH at 25 mph.

However, all was forgiven when he posed for selfies with the riders, who forgot to ask why he did it in the first place.

Maybe he just wanted their autographs.

Although one site seems to blame the guys in the tight shorts, saying they should have stuck with SoulCycle.

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Local

The petition to remove bike lanes from York Blvd in Northeast LA has 304 supporters as of this writing; the petition to keep them has 454.

There’s now more hope on Hope Street, as the DTLA street gets a new parklet.

A UCLA alum is filming a documentary about the problems bike riders face, focusing on last year’s Emmy Ride; the film’s executive producer is former Ad Men producer Tom Smuts, who started the ride.

Another former UCLA student writes that she has continued to ride after graduating, commuting to work, leading rides and volunteering as an advocate for safer streets. And it all began with the school’s program to rent out commuter bikes to students for $45 a quarter.

That guy riding one of New York’s Citi Bikes across the US has now made it to Claremont; Santa Monica Spoke invites you to welcome him when he ends his journey at the end of Route 66 on the 23rd.

Long Beach firefighters rescue a woman who injured her head when she somehow fell off the San Gabriel River bike path.

Mark your calendar. BikeSGV lists the seven — count ‘em — open streets events scheduled for the LA area this year.

 

State

Three Leucadia coffee shops will soon get bike corrals in the North San Diego County community.

Sad news from the Bay Area, as an 80-year old Novato sidewalk cyclist was killed in a collision with a 16-year old driver who was making a left turn out of a parking lot.

Streetsblog talks with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s new interim ED.

Best wishes to one of last year’s AIDS Lifecycle riders, Sonoma-area winemaker Chuck Hovey, who is recovering from a massive stroke he suffered just a week after finishing the ride.

In a crime that appears to be getting more common, a Sacramento cyclist is bike-jacked at knifepoint. Expanding the city’s bait bike program won’t help with that kind of theft, even though it lead to around 60 busts last year.

 

National

Nice. An Albuquerque program gives bikes to the homeless to help them get back on their feet.

An Oklahoma driver will face a felony manslaughter charge for the distracted driving death of a cyclist, who was biking across the country building and repairing homes; the woman who was riding with him is still recovering from her injuries.

Even the sponsor of the Missouri bill which would require every bicycle to have a 15-foot orange fluorescent flag agrees that it’s ridiculous; he claims he just wanted to get people talking about bike safety. He previously co-sponsored a bill that would have banned bikes from state roads if there was a bike trail within two miles of the highway.

Chicago is ticketing more drivers for parking in bike lanes, while expanding its bikeshare into predominantly African American and low-to-moderate income communities.

A 50-mile Kentucky bike ride will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the bike-riding Buffalo Soldiers in 1896.

A Massachusetts eighth grader testifies in front of a state legislative committee in support of a pair of bike safety bills, after his father was nearly caught between a bus and a row of parked cars when it cut into the bike lane as they were riding together.

Boston’s Bikeface compares bikes to shoes to explain why you always seem to need one more.

You still have a chance to win a bike ride with Bono through New York’s Central Park, who is tempting fate by returning to the scene of his solo crash.

A Georgia nurse who just happened to by passing by saved the life of a bike rider when he collapsed from a heart attack in the middle of an intersection.

Despite doomsday predictions, there have been no bike crashes on a Florida bridge two years after a ban on bikes was lifted.

 

International

Caught on video: An angry Brit bike rider confronts a driver inside a supermarket after a dangerously close punishment pass.

Supporters of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn raise funds to give him his dream bike, a sub-$700 Raleigh Criterium — even though a writer for the Telegraph criticized him for coveting such an “expensive” bike.

It took four cops to put an “arrogant” Irish bike rider in a squad car after he was busted for insisting on his “right to cycle in the manner in which he insisted he cycled;” during the incident, he called the Irish equivalent of 911 in an effort to report the police to the police.

So much for that friendly welcome to Europe. Norway is sending bike-riding Syrian refugees back to Russia the same way they came after they exploited a loophole banning anyone from walking or driving across the border.

The National continues its recent coverage of bicycling in the United Arab Emirates and beyond, this time offering a look at riding in Rwanda.

Dutch bank ING donates pedicabs to Philippine hurricane survivors to help lift them out of poverty.

 

Finally…

No matter how angry you get, don’t take it out on your bike. Speaking of tres shock!, LA bike thieves learn the hard way not to steal bikes. Or sit on them, anyway.

And it’s a common tactic for bike thieves to lock another bike to yours so they can come back later to take it. But what does it mean when someone ties a cute little dog up to your bike?

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site. Contributions are always welcome in any amount, for any reason.

 

Morning Links: BOLO alerts for a bike thief and a stolen e-bike, and a section of the LA River bike path closes

Get comfortable. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today.

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There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who pushed an 11-year old boy off the bicycle he just won, then rode off with it after placing a small girl on the handlebars.

It happened on Halloween at Ted Watkins Park in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood. Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Daniel Cerda at the Sheriff’s Department’s Parks Bureau, 213/216-7675.

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The closure of a one-mile segment of the LA River bike path begins on Monday. Riders will be detoured through Griffith Park to avoid construction to add carpool lanes on the 5 Freeway.

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Keep your eyes open for an e-bike stolen from Andrew Yip of BikeSGV, which was used to transport materials for the organization, as well as worn out kids.

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Calbike provides the voting records on bike bills for the every member of the state Assembly and Senate.

If your representative scored poorly, you might want to have a talk with him or her.

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Utah gets the point across when it comes to distracted driving.

Utah-Traffic-Sign

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Local

LAist considers what it will be like to use the coming Metro bikeshare system in DTLA, while Metro wants your help to determine just where those stations should be located.

CiclaValley offers his favorite routes from the Valley to DTLA.

Santa Monica gets its first protected bike lane down the center of Pico Blvd, to provide a safer connection from Santa Monica High School to Main Street. Meanwhile, a writer for the Santa Monica Daily Press considers whether bikeshare and that “bike thingy” on Pico are actually useful developments.

 

State

Talk about getting tough on crime. Road raging California drivers can lose their license for a whole six months for the first offense.

A writer for Orange Coast magazine previews this year’s “super-subversive” Laguna Beach Tour de Coop chicken coop ride. Except it was actually held last Sunday.

A Newport Beach driver pled not guilty to felony hit-and-run for fleeing the scene after critically injuring a 14-year old girl as she rode her bike on the Balboa Peninsula last August.

A cyclist in Newport Beach suffered just minor injuries when he was hit in a left cross collision on Tuesday.

Celebrate the third anniversary of the Inland Empire Biking Alliance in Redding with the BikesGiving Telethon on November 19th.

Bay Area groups are working to get more women on two wheels.

A Redding bicyclist has died nearly a week after he was hit by a car while riding home from work.

 

National

Next City makes the case against eye-searing flashing bike lights. I use two lights; a relatively low-powered light on flashing mode so I can be seen, and a bright light angled down so I can see without blinding others.

Bicycling offers up some classic bike commercials if you have 5:40 to kill.

Smart idea, as Seattle is installing DIY bike repair stations at nine county libraries.

A San Antonio TX man is on trial for killing his roommate because he failed to close the gate after bringing his bicycle into the yard.

A Pittsburgh letter writer seems to be saying it’s a cyclist’s fault that she doesn’t know how to use her mirrors and drives too close to parked cars, while another says sometimes bike riders really are at fault.

Baltimore bike advocates kick off a year-long “I Bike, I Vote” campaign to get bicyclists to the voting booth.

A candidate for mayor of Charleston SC says the most important issue in the campaign is keeping a key bridge for cars only; his opponent says he’s not sold on it either.

Atlanta’s first chief bicycle officer explains how he’s working to turn the auto-centric capitol of the South into a city that serves all road users. Including a road diet on a formerly seven-lane street that provided dedicated space for everyone, while improving automotive throughput and reducing crashes 25%.

A Florida bike thief is under arrest after he was chased down and dragged out of the bushes by a 5’3” mom whose bike he stole; unfortunately, the bike didn’t fare very well.

 

International

Apparently, pro cyclists are popping tramadol to kill the pain of racing. Seriously? When take I it, I can barely walk across the street, let alone ride a bike. And forget about a sprint finish.

Cycling News talks with cycling scion Taylor Phinney, who not only made an amazing comeback from a devastating injury, but became a better person in the process.

Um, no. An unpublished British study claims to show bike helmets turn riders into risk takers. All it really shows is that bike helmets may protect from over-inflated balloons.

Here’s another reason to ride. A study from the UK finds that stronger legs reduce the risk of age-related dementia.

An English soccer fan raised the equivalent of over $30,000 riding 15,000 miles to attend last year’s World Cup in South Africa. Then has his Surly stolen from outside his house.

A Brit paper explains how to stay dry while riding in wet weather. Which should be an El Niño primer for bike-riding Angelenos.

Bicycling has decreased in Ireland, but the percentage of people who use bikes as their primary form of transportation has gone up. Although more off-street bike parking in convenient locations might turn that decrease around.

Botswana’s Minister of Transport calls for everyone to use the roads safely and take responsibility for their behavior, yet the press somehow turns that into a call for responsible cycling.

Now that South Australia is allowing bikes on sidewalks, one city wants to impose speed limits. Which only works for bikes with speedometers, of course. And do they plan on ticketing excited kids who pedal too fast on their training wheels?

Now that’s a big bike ride. Around 600,000 Thais have registered for a nationwide ride in honor of the country’s king.

 

Finally…

Forget tall bikes; what you really need is a half-block long tandem. If you’re going to cut in and out of a group of cyclists while blaring your horn, try to make sure one of them isn’t the country’s prime minister.

And I’ve been trying to figure out how to take the Corgi on my bike. But this probably isn’t the answer.

Dog-Rack

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Please join me in offering a special thank you and Happy Veterans Day to everyone who’s served our country. 

Morning Links: LA Times columnist takes his anger out on us, and a section of LA River path closed for two years

Take a breath, George.

Abraham Lincoln had a habit of writing angry letters to let off steam, then placing them in his desk, unsigned and unsent.

Maybe LA Times Capitol Journal columnist George Skelton should take the hint.

In his Thursday column, Skelton reported that his planned trip to Lake Tahoe with his daughter over the weekend was derailed when they ran into a road closure to accommodate an Ironman triathlon — not a bicycle race, despite how he characterized it. And was so incensed he responded by calling for a tax on all bike riders.

Which is like demanding that joggers and pedestrians pay for the sidewalks and crosswalks they use just because the LA Marathon keeps you from crossing the street, as Keith Pluymers pointed out.

Except they already do.

In fact, we all do. Just as we all pay for the roads Skelton seems to think are exclusively financed by motorists.

Even gas taxes and auto registration fees, which he seems to think bike riders don’t pay — even though the overwhelmingly majority of people who ride bikes also own and drive cars — only cover a fraction of the cost of building and maintaining our streets and highways.

The rest comes out of the same income and sales taxes we all pay, whether we travel on two wheels or four.

Or none.

He also seems to forget about those similarly freeloading electric car drivers, who don’t pay a penny more in gas taxes than bike riders do. And hybrid owners, whose relatively high mileage means they pay a fraction of the taxes other drivers pay when they fill up.

Then there’s the simple matter of why drivers are expected to pay for those roads.

It’s not for the privilege of driving on them, as Skelton seems to presume. It’s because those multi-ton vehicles cause exponential wear and tear on the roadways every time they’re driven on them.

Bicycles don’t. Period.

Even at the peak of my out-of-shape weight following my father-in-law’s stroke, when I packed 220 pounds onto a 15 pound bike, my impact on the road was infinitesimal compared to even the lightest motor vehicles. Never mind the massive SUVs so common in California they should replace the grizzly on the California flag.

It’s true that bike lanes aren’t free.

But striping lanes costs just pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of building a roadway to accommodate cars and trucks. Let alone the more than $1 billion — that’s billion, with a b — it cost to put HOV lanes on the 405 through the Sepulveda pass.

And as anyone who’s driven there lately can attest, that’s barely made a dent in the infamous 405 traffic congestion. If that.

Skelton doesn’t address the question of who would have to register their bikes with the state. Does the toddler on her trike have to pay the same fee as the roadie slicing curves on Mulholland?

What about the immigrant worker who can’t afford a car or public transportation? Do we slap him in leg irons if he rides an unregistered bike on the streets of our fair state?

Finally, there’s the question of who would administer the fees he calls for.

The DMV has already said they don’t want the job. The sort of small fees he suggests — such as the $3 licensing fee charged in Long Beach — wouldn’t begin to cover the millions required to administer and enforce a program to register every single bicycle in the late, great Golden State.

And any fee high enough to cover the costs would only serve as yet another barrier to bicycling, at time when we should be lowering those barriers to encourage more people to bike to improve their health, and the health of the cities they live in.

Let alone removing a few more cars from our overly congested streets.

In fact, a recent study showed that every mile traveled by bike results in a net economic gain of 42 cents to society, while every mile traveled by car results in a net loss of 20 cents.

Which means we should be getting a rebate, not charged extra taxes on top of those we already pay.

Skelton should have known better.

And probably would have if he’d just taken long enough to cool off; even a few minutes with Google could have corrected his misassumptions before they ever got into print.

Instead, a respected reporter who usually offers valuable insights into the inner workings of our state government apparently let his anger get the better of him.

And instead of taking it out on the Ironman sponsors, Caltrans or the local governments who permitted the race, he chose to take it out on you and me.

This is one column that should have been placed in his desk drawer. And left there.

Permanently.

Thanks to Noel Smith for the heads-up.

………

Just in case you needed a reminder — which is highly unlikely if you ride LA streets — this is what a too-close pass looks like, courtesy of On My Bike in LA.

………

LA area cyclists are about to lose one of the few safe places we have to ride thanks to the never-ending drive to increase capacity for cars.

A one-mile section of the La River bike path will be closed for two full years between Riverside Drive and the 134 Freeway.

Yes, two years.

All because Caltrans is adding carpool lanes to a section of the 5 Freeway. The construction will impact a section of the bike path that runs nearby, and the closure is for our own safety, according to the notice.

Thanks for looking out for us. No, really.

Bike riders will be diverted onto Zoo Drive and Western Heritage Way, near where Finish the Ride founder Damien Kevitt was struck by a hit-and-run driver who dragged him onto the 5, nearly taking his life.

So if anyone happens to get hit by a car while bypassing the construction zone for the next two years, I’d suggest getting a good lawyer who can reach into the deep pockets at Caltrans.

And yes, I can recommend a few.

………

Mike Wilkinson forwards advice on what to do if you’re the first on the scene following an injury collision. It’s written from a motorcyclist’s perspective, but the advice holds true for non-motorized riders.

………

Welcome to the US. An unidentified cyclist training for the world championships was hit by a car that was somehow allowed to cross the course; fortunately, the victim was not seriously hurt.

Bicycling talks with U23 silver medalist Emma White; the 18-year old is the first American woman to podium in the world junior time trial since 2007.

School students get days off for snow days, teacher training days, religious holidays, and now, UCI world championships race days.

Alberto Contador makes plans to exit stage left after the Rio Olympics next year. Bike racing’s governing body announced next year’s women’s WorldTour with a 60% increase in competition days. Women continue to ride in the back of the bus, though, and there’s still no women’s equivalent to the men’s Grand Tours.

Taylor Phinney discusses the pain of time trials versus the pain that comes from a devastating injury, while the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay offers perhaps the best Taylor Phinney profile yet. And a gofundme account has raised $80 to buy Phinney a muffin.

Yes, a muffin.

………

Local

South LA cyclists demand the Central Avenue bike lanes promised in the mobility plan. And rightfully so.

Bike Portland talks with our own transportation maven Seleta Reynolds.

The latest podcast from Streetsblog’s Damien Newton is a talk with new CicLAvia Executive Director Romel Pascual.

A man is under arrest for murder after shooting another man near West 6th and Lafayette Park, then stealing a bicycle at gunpoint before being captured by police.

Los Angeles Magazine offers five tools to make shopping by bike easier. Although they somehow forgot messenger bags, which were developed by bike messengers for a reason.

 

State

An anonymous tip has led San Diego police to the car used in a hit-and-run that seriously injured a woman riding her bike last week; it was found at a repair shop, apparently getting fixed to hide the damage. Although the local NBC station seems to think the car was acting on its own.

Trial began on Thursday for the wrong-way, allegedly high driver who slammed into 10 riders on San Diego’s Fiesta Island, leaving one permanently disabled.

The San Diego Union-Tribune puts the Coronado anti-bike hysteria in context, saying it’s part of a backlash against increased tourism on the penisula. Maybe tourists should respond by taking their money somewhere else.

Palm Springs cyclists get a new mobile bike repair truck.

Bittersweet story from Camarillo, as a woman is spending her final days touring California by bike with her boyfriend; she was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer shortly after kicking a two decade addiction to meth. Camarillo’s US Bike Company gave them new bicycles after theirs were stolen in Big Sur.

Caught on video: The San Francisco police captain who ordered a crackdown on scofflaw cyclists rolls a stop himself while on his bike. Maybe he was just trying to fit in.

Evidently, San Francisco cyclists will be on the Critical Mass to Hell this weekend.

Sad news from Shingletown, near Redding, as a bike rider was killed Thursday evening when a 17-year old driver drifted onto the shoulder where she was riding.

 

National

The National Bike Challenge hit 35 million miles 10 days before the scheduled end of the program, a whopping 50% increase over last year.

You can now ping your bell to tell you where you parked your bike. Although if you can’t find where you parked your bike, it’s usually a sign it may not be there anymore.

The Portland paper road tests the city’s new bikeshare bikes.

The standard controversy erupts over a road diet in my hometown, with drivers complaining about traffic backups and unused buffered bike lanes, which riders avoid because they don’t connect to anything and dump them back into traffic with no warning.

Denver tries on a protected bike lane for size; for a change, local merchants joined safety advocates in pushing for changes on the busy street.

That’s one way to steal a bike. A woman walked into an Ohio Wal-Mart, set a rack of pajamas on fire, and walked out with a new bike.

Some schmuck stole a 1980 Schwinn 12-speed from a 92-year old WWII vet in Troy NY; he only rode it twice before hanging it up in his garage.

Now those are some serious choppers. A New York bike thief imitates the city’s infamous rats and uses his teeth to gnaw through a bike lock. Yes, his teeth.

A Philadelphia website says the pending papal visit is the perfect opportunity for drivers to experience a Road to Damascus conversion to bike commuting.

That Delaware DuPont exec on trial for killing a man on a bicycle in a hit-and-run last year claimed he thought he hit some tree branches. And yet his young sons saw the bike spinning away and asked if he’d just killed a cyclist. Schmuck.

All Washington DC students will now learn to ride a bike in the second grade. This should set the standard for every city, including LA.

Atlanta officials sign off on 31 miles of new bike lanes.

By his account, a 70-year old Georgia driver was doing everything right when those crazy bike riders started yelling at him, and he accidently ran into one trying to get away. Sure, that sounds credible.

FL police blame a teenage bike rider for not riding in the crosswalk after he’s injured in a collision. Of course, if he had been in the crosswalk, they would have blamed him for that.

 

International

Now those damn Canadians are trying to take credit for the Popebike.

No bias here. The CBC apparently thinks the value of a victim’s bike has something to do with why a left turning driver ran him down in the bike lane and fled the scene.

Serious injuries among British bike riders are going up three times faster than the increase in miles ridden.

Brit bike couriers protest to demand a living wage.

 

Finally…

Evidently, the key to success as a champion lumberjack is riding a bike. Regardless of what the Standard thinks, a combination breathalyzer/bike lock is not a blow to bike-riding boozers as long as its use remains voluntary.

And this gnome-lookalike perv should be locked away until he’s 87. But you’ve got to admire his bike handling skills.

 

Weekend Links: Our anonymous correspondent visits the Frog Spot, and a busy weekend for SoCal cyclists

Note: I am aware of the bike-hating video posted by a reserve Santa Paula police officer. I saw the video shortly after it went online when Bike Snob tweeted about it, and had originally intended to include it as part of this post.

However, the video had been taken down before I was able to link to it. Since then, the woman responsible for it has apologized, and been suspended by the SPPD pending review. 

Since it’s no longer an urgent matter, I’ll offer my thoughts when I post again on Monday. Thanks to everyone who has reached to me about the story. 

……..

We’ve mentioned the new Frog Spot on the LA River bike path a few times already, as the Friends of the Los Angeles River open a new gateway welcoming walkers, riders and visitors to the Elysian Valley.

This week, I received an email from a regular correspondent, who prefers to remain anonymous, and who stopped by last week to check things out.

There’s a new pit stop on the LA River Path in Elysian Valley! I’ve missed all the soft hours they’ve had, but Friday afternoon, I saw peeps still there finalizing things, so I swung around and got to speak with none other than FoLAR’s Director of Development Jennifer Kang, as well as Edgar, the handsome young man who’ll be supervising the workers hired from the City’s HIRE LA’s Youth. Elsa’s Bakery is providing coffee and Antigua is providing coffee containers. There’s ice water, coffee, snacks, popsicles, WiFi, sunblock, simple emergency bike repair stuff available. And seating under pretty shade banners, so you don’t have to plunk your butt on the revetment.

http://folar.org/frogspot/

Excitingly, there are RESTROOMS!!!!!!!!! There are not enough exclamation marks for this. The ladies cannot just duck into the willows like some brakebeam tourist. And parents will no longer have their youngster’s nature walks cut short. It’s no exaggeration that my heart nearly leapt out of my chest to hear that there’ll be a clean, reliable, safe place to answer the call of nature, without miles of detour off the path. This is groundbreaking, because despite its new mantle as a public recreation area, the river has lacked this simple, necessary amenity.

Incidentally (sorry in advance for oversharing) I did once, in fact, dive behind the arundo to pee, because I never would’ve made it over that horrid, violently bumpy Riv-Fig bridge without flooding the roadway. Oh, the pain that day. Too much pain to even cuss at the many tree-root bumps on the path. I believe I speak for all the ladies when I express overwhelming gratitude for this simple dignity we’ve been denied for too way too long.

When I returned Saturday morning, I chugged coffee & ice water, but it was so warm & humid, I sweated out any chance of trying the new porta-potties. While waiting, I stood at the entrance by the river path yelling “Free ice water! Come on in!” with the two multi-talented, all-purpose hired hands on duty, who took turns luring in passers-by. The great assortment of visitors included spandex guys, fixie trash (me included), walkers, super friendly canine guests, and families who invariably had difficulty convincing the younger members it was time to leave.

There’s a bocce court. There’s cornholes (that’s what it’s called; it’s a very Midwestern bean-bag toss game, properly played with little sacks of popcorn kernels), which were very popular with the younger visitors. Art supplies are handy for budding young artists to enjoy under a shade tree. There are friendly, knowledgeable folks who’ll answer every question you could possibly have about our beautiful river. And the pups weren’t forgotten, either! Fido can rehydrate, and if you left the poo bags at home, they’re available at the Frog Spot!

Did I mention the restrooms? In addition to comfort and dignity, there’ll be music and poetry and history and bikes all summer, right next to the mortally dangerous concrete-smothered flood control channel we’ve been “protected” from for so long.

The only thing I don’t care for is the Frog Spot’s lovely, blinding, sparkly, alabaster gravel, but this is just personal preference, and I’m still totally willing to brave snow blindness for a safe restroom.

Anyway, it’s worth checking out even though you’re not in that neck of the woods very often. Corgis love rivers. Maybe Ballona will get something similarly awesome someday.

Check it out for yourself when the Frog Spot hosts a Sunset at the Oasis fundraiser for FoLAR from 5 pm to 8 pm tonight, and every Saturday. A minimum $15 donation will get you live music, two drinks — beer, wine or soda — and light snacks; Palmdale band Vista Point will be playing tonight.

……..

Haven’t had a chance to update the Calendar for awhile, but there’s a lot going on with Bike LA this weekend.

First up, it’s late notice, but if you’re up early, you may still have time to join the LACBC and the authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles for a 45-mile round-trip tour of the world-famous beach and surf communities of Orange County on Saturday morning.

Visit some of Downtown’s most famous and hidden film locations, as Metro, CICLE and Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles sponsor an LA film history ride on Saturday evening.

The newly formed LA Explorers Club leads a ride to explore the origins and history of Downtown LA, also on Sunday.

Mark your calendar for Long Beach’s Bicycle Drive-In on August 2nd, part of the city’s Summer and Music series.

The Gran Fondo Italia returns to bike-unfriendly Beverly Hills on September 28th. Evidently, the city wants to bask in the prestige cycling brings, as long as they don’t actually have to deal with the great unwashed masses on bikes. Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up. 

And after a return to DTLA and a new foray into South LA, you can look forward to CicLAvia coming to Pasadena and the Valley next year.

……..

Nibali takes Friday’s stage of the Tour de France, extending his lead to 3:37 and positioning himself to become just the sixth rider to win all three major tours. Tejay van Garderen gets a big confidence boost. The Telegraph examines the life of a domestique.

And some guy named Lance, who claims to have won a few Tours himself, is reportedly cooperating with doping investigators.

……..

Local

KCET offers the definitive examination of Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s veto of the North Figueroa Fig4All project. Seriously, nice work by Krista Carlson.

Instead of increasing funding for active transportation, Metro agrees to come up with a funding strategy after studying the matter.

Culver City police are looking for the owners of some hot bikes and Razor scooters after busting a bike thief.

 

State

A new study from the University of Colorado says wrecks didn’t decrease in the first six months after California banned hand-held cell phone use. Maybe because the law is still almost universally ignored.

Newport Beach moves forward with the city’s proposed bike plan.

More on bike riders storming the Laguna Beach City Council session earlier this week.

Two hundred days in jail for the Santa Cruz County Tesla driver who lost control and killed a cyclist, then blamed the new car smell for making him fall asleep.

 

National

A new app could be the best way to track actual trips, whether by bike, foot, transit or car.

Buffered bike lanes and contraflow lanes finally get approval from NACTO for inclusion in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the standard guidebook for traffic planners.

Iowa is becoming a bicycling destination as RAGBRAI kicks off next week.

When you’re vomiting blood the morning after a bike collision, it’s probably a sign you might have been injured, after all.

 

International

Fewer than half of UK drivers convicted of killing cyclists ever see the inside of a jail.

British ministers say taxpayers should fund improvements for bicycling.

A Brit woman gets four years for killing a cyclist as she attempted to chase down the lover who dumped her.

 

Finally…

Bikeyface examines the real bicycle face. And the Daily Show offers an insightful and entertaining look at Washington’s failure to increase the gas tax.

 

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