Tag Archive for Los Angeles Times

LA Times columnist takes on dangerous drivers and politicians, and transportation bills advance in the state legislature

Trust the Los Angeles Times’ Steve Lopez to take on LA’s dangerous drivers, and the streets that encourage that behavior.

He says that Angelenos — or at least his readers — have had it with speeding drivers in the wake of last week’s crash that killed five people, as well as an unborn baby just two weeks from full term.

They want more enforcement, stiffer penalties for offenders and better street design, and they want to know why — even as we move toward electric vehicles to save the planet — the auto industry produces gas-guzzling behemoths that easily go twice the highest speed limits, and why the media culture celebrates velocity.

While he addresses safety concerns throughout the city, what especially stands out is a group of Angelino Heights residents who are fighting to stop filming for the latest movie in the Fast & Furious franchise, over fears it will encourage still more dangerously aggressive drivers to seek out the neighborhood.

“We will not stand for them filming here,” says a letter that was emailed to City Hall, arguing that the moviemakers “do nothing to dissuade their macho fans from endangering people’s lives on public streets in Los Angeles…”

“I am sick and tired of these knucklehead street racers speeding and doing doughnuts in our neighborhood,” said Echo Park resident Alan Lee, who lives near a market featured in one of the “Fast & Furious” movies. The market draws speeders and stunt drivers, Lee said, and he saw one lose control and plow into a neighbor’s car.

Michele McKinnon said tenants in her Echo Park apartment building complain of stunt driving and the smell of burned rubber, a familiar scent on weekend evenings. The “Fast & Furious” franchise has made billions glorifying “deadly street racing,” McKinnon said in an email to city officials, promising to disrupt filming “all day and night” in honor of those who have lost their lives to reckless driving.

Speed Racer wannabe see, Speed Racer wanna be do.

Lopez also isn’t afraid to take state legislators to task for failing to earn their pay.

Some legislators have tried to do something, but several bills to control speeding have failed. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that whereas national Republican lawmakers have failed to support sensible gun control proposals despite the ongoing firearm carnage, the Democrats who dominate the California Legislature have been missing in action when it comes to cracking down on drivers who use vehicles as weapons.

Amen, brother.

Still, there’s good news on the legislative front, as we’ll see in the next section.

Artwork by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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It was a good day from transportation bills in the state legislature yesterday.

First up, Assembly Member Laura Friedman’s bill to tie state transpiration projects to California’s Climate Action Plan passed out of committee.

Streets For All notes that several transportation bills passed out of the Appropriations Committee, where good bills too often go to die.

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GCN examines five descent positions so dangerous their were banned.

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

A dermatologist and self-annointed expert on urbanism honors the founder of City Watch after Ken Draper’s death, yet devolves into complaining about “bike nazis” while adding “you know who you are.”

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

A San Francisco man will avoid anti-Asian hate crime charges after he was arrested for jumping off his bike and attacking former San Francisco commissioner-at-large Greg Chew.

A 44-year-old New York man was critically injured by a hit-and-run bike rider, who was part of a larger group of bicyclists riding through Manhattan.

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Local

LA Times readers weigh in on whether kids should be riding ebikes, after the parents of a Pacific Palisades girl files suit against Rad Power Bikes for her death.

Anne Heche was reportedly high on coke at the time of her fiery crash into a Mar Vista home; the actress suffered a catastrophic brain injury, and isn’t expected to survive.

StreetsLA has partnered with CAKE electric motorcycles to inspect 1,100 miles of bike lanes in the city.

 

State 

The San Diego community mourns Christine Hawk Embree, the mother killed riding her ebike in Carlsbad on Sunday.

East San Jose has received a $10 million grant to improve safety around Senter Road, including new street lights, bike lanes and other protective measures.

A San Francisco music club threatens that they’ll have to close if a new bike lane running in front of the venue goes in, apparently thinking their survival depends on a handful of free parking spaces, rather than happy customers.

 

National

The Biden administration released the first round of funding for federal RAISE grants — Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity — which were formerly known as BUILD grants, which were themselves formerly known as TIGER grants, releasing roughly $2.2 billion to fund 166 initiatives in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

California Representative Mike Thompson has sent a letter to the USPS urging the Postal Service to use more ebikes.

Mother Jones talks with author Jessie Singer, who says when drivers kill — not cars, thank you — it’s not an accident.

A group of volunteers is building a 5,000-mile mountain bike trail stretching from Washington state to Baja California.

Strong Towns Program Director Rachel Quednau discusses opening an ebike shop with her husband.

Bicycling considers all the best bike locks — or at least the best bike locks you can get on Amazon. Meanwhile, ZDNet says you need two locks to secure your ebike, recommending a pair of Kryptonite’s.

Check the bikeability of your next neighborhood on Zillow before you move.

Police in Vail, Colorado busted a suspected serial bike thief.

A writer for Lonely Planet explains how he rode 468 miles across Iowa for RAGBRAI with 18,000 close friends.

Chicago is installing a trio of speed cameras to calm dangerous intersections near where two bike riders were recently killed. Yet they bizarrely remain illegal here in California, where speeding evidently isn’t a problem.

An Ohio grand jury indicted a driver who fled on foot after crashing into a family riding their bicycles, killing a three-year old girl.

New York is backsliding on open streets, as residents lost 63 miles of open streets over the past year.

A Florida state attorney — the equivalent of a DA — has rescinded a policy put in place by her predecessor to address the problem of police stops that disproportionately targeted Black people, aka Biking While Black.

 

International

F1 great Lewis Hamilton expands on his recent statement that he finds driving outside of the track very stressful. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the heads-up.

Cycling Weekly examines whether expensive sunglasses perform any better than the cheap ones.

Um, no. A British bike delivery startup prohibits its workers from wearing bike helmets, fearing helmet use will somehow make them more aggressive.

A bike rider in the UK complains the the country’s legal system “is not fit for purpose,” recounting his struggle for justice after he was hit by a driver 18 months earlier.

Police in Graz, Austria are cracking down on drunk bicyclists, after residents respond to drunk driving laws by taking to their bikes. I still say that’s counterproductive; I’d much rather see a drunk on a bike than in a car, where they could do far more harm.

 

Competitive Cycling

Marianne Vos has made it three for three in the Tour of Scandinavia, notching stage wins in the first three stages to build a modest 22 second lead going into today’s stage.

Twenty-six-year old Flanders pro Laurens De Plus tells drivers to think twice or wait five seconds after he was knocked off his bike in a collision on a training ride.

Maybe the era of doping isn’t really over, after all, as weekend crit warrior Jackson ‘Huntley’ Nash received a lifetime ban for multiple anti-doping violations, while 23-year-old Italian pro Michele Gazzoli got a one-year ban for using a prohibited stimulant.

 

Finally…

A Portland bike rider explains how to make your next move by bike. Yes, you can get a new sofa home by bike.

And now we know what inspired Far from the Madding Crowd.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

More high-speed carnage on dangerous LA streets, Streets For All tallies LA traffic violence, and Rivendell reparations fail

This is the cost of traffic violence, as the carnage continues on Los Angeles streets.

Just one day after a driver traveling at an estimated 80 to 100 miles per hour ran a red light and plowed into cars crossing the busy intersection of La Brea and Slauson, killing six innocent people, a well-known actress apparently copied the act.

Except Anne Heche plowed into a home in a fiery Mar Vista crash.

According to TMZ, Heche had apparently crashed into a pair of apartment building garages in the area, doing relatively minor damage to each, and may have been fleeing paparazzi and people trying to halt her as she sped up Walgrove Ave.

Security video shows her traveling at an extreme rate of speed.

Any bike rider or pedestrian unfortunate enough to be in her way would have been killed instantly.

Instead, she apparently lost control and slammed into a home less than a block from an elementary school, narrowly missing the homeowner inside.

The home and its contents were a total loss.

Heche herself somehow survived, despite suffering critical burns; as in the Windsor Hills crash, she was reportedly too badly injured and treated with too many medications to conduct a valid test for drug or alcohol use.

Although a sharp-eyed person points out what appears to be an open pint of alcohol next to the gear shift in one of the TMZ photos.

Heche reportedly faces a long and painful recovery from her injuries.

We’re only lucky that she didn’t take anyone else with her.

And once again, the crash points out the abject failure of LA’s chronically underfunded — and under-cared about — Vision Zero program, as well as the failure of the city to carry through with the transportation reforms promised in the mobility plan, in the seven years since either was approved.

Simply put, speeds like those in either crash should not be possible on surface streets. And the city should make every effort to ensure things like this can’t happen.

Let alone don’t.

Clearly, though, not everyone agrees. Take this comment in response to Friday’s post about the Windsor Hills crash.

Please.

Wow, this is one of the worst articles on this subject ever written. The ideas are without merit and the ignorance is almost frightening. I’d recommend not quitting your day job.

Never mind that this is my day job. But that, too, is who we share the road with.

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

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There’s no question that LA Times columnist Steve Lopez gets it, as he examines the horrifying carnage on our streets.

“People have their necks broken, they burn to death and suffer unrecoverable injuries. The onus for care drops into the laps of firefighters and paramedics … and even those guys, with all their equipment and training, can’t do anything,” (UCLA ER physician Dr. Mark) Morocco said…

It’s terrifyingly common in Los Angeles, and getting behind the wheel, or going for a walk or a bike ride, is a game of roulette.

Meanwhile, letter writers to the Times say the crash shows the city is desperate for safer streets.

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Important Twitter thread from Streets For All examining the full cost of traffic violence throughout Los Angeles, and in each individual council district, since Vision Zero and the mobility plan were adopted in 2015.

The charts also include the amount of mobility plan implementation, miles of bus and bike lanes, and how many people in the district signed the Healthy Streets LA petition to require implementation of the mobility plan when streets are resurfaced, which the organization accurately describes as massive citywide support.

You can find a downloadable pdf of the full report for each council district here.

Take a moment to check out your own district, then look at some of the others, like the 55 bike riders and pedestrians killed in Mitch O’Farrell’s CD13 in Hollywood, the 82 killed in Curren Price’s CD9, or the horrifying 105 dead in Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s CD8 in South LA.

Never mind that just one traffic death is one too many.

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Great piece from Outside, about custom bikemaker Rivendell Bicycle Works’ well intentioned, but ultimately doomed, effort to offer a 45% discount to Black customers as a form of reparations for the long history of racism in a the bike industry.

“The American bicycle industry has been racist, often overtly racist, since 1878,” the company wrote in the release. “Rivendell has been obliviously—not ‘obviously’—racist most of the time since 1994. We say this not to scold the industry, not to be publicly humble, not to scold other bicycle businesses, and not to be uncharacteristically on trend. It’s just true.”

Rivendell’s nine staff members were on board to launch the Black Reparations Pricing, or BRP. The company would not increase prices on other frames and would dedicate 10 percent of its inventory to BRP for customers who identified as Black. “We’re committed to it, and will not cave at the first heat,” said the company statement. “As for how it’ll affect business, we’ll just see. If we go broke because those who use the flag or God as an invisibility cloak for their white nationalism stop patronizing us we’ll…move on…”

The inequality started in the first bike boom of the 1890s, when cycling lessons and clubs were only available to white people, and bikes were priced out of reach for all but the most elite. The exclusion continued through the next century in ways that had a chilling effect on who rides and where—like a 1971 law in Washington, DC, that required costly bike licenses, which stopped many impoverished Black people from riding as commuters, or a 1987 bike ban in Midtown Manhattan, through which Wall Street executives sought to bar mostly Black and brown bike messengers from their lobbies and avenues, even while those same executives flocked to the mountain bike trails around their summer cabins upstate. A recent Los Angeles Times investigation reviewed 44,000 bike stops by police and found that they disproportionately targeted poorer communities with large nonwhite populations.

Unfortunately, the backlash was swift and severe.

Once Rivendell’s program hit the national media, Petersen began to receive threats by phone and email. Worried about his safety, he installed video cameras around the store. The company’s phones rang repeatedly with calls from alt-right podcasters, and their Yelp, Google, and social media sites were flooded with negative comments and one-star reviews. “Quit the political commentary BS & focus on bikes,” wrote one commenter on Instagram. “Those people, the majority of them, had never bought anything from us. They probably don’t even ride bikes,” says Will Keating, Rivendell’s general manager. “It’s like they just saw something that infuriated them on the internet and had to take the next step.” The program was shut down on the advice of Rivendell’s lawyers. “The whole thing—it was a grand plan that fizzled out,” says Petersen. “We were afraid for our physical well-being. It was really ugly around here. We were all miserable.”

“From a strictly legal perspective, we’ve been handcuffed,” Petersen wrote in a blog announcing the end of the reparations program.

It’s a good piece, and well worth taking a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Because it clearly demonstrates the difficulty in trying to do the right thing, in a country so sharply divided along political and racial lines.

And it raises questions of how much more we could and should be doing to right historical wrongs that continue to manifest in the present.

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A rally will take place at Los Angeles City Hall this morning to protest the new ordinance criminalizing open air bike chop shops.

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Turns out that one of the most common aggressive maneuvers practiced by California drivers is against the law.

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On a happier note, it looks like Charlize Theron is one of us.

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Of course Marge Simpson is one of us.

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

A Pennsylvania man faces charges for getting out of his pickup to beat and strangle a man riding a bicycle, after crashing into the victim and knocking him into a pole.

Sometimes you turn to the cops for help after a road rage attack, only to discover it was a cop who did it; meanwhile, another Toronto cop crashed into a bike rider in a bike lane, later claiming the sun was in his eyes.

Police in the UK initially refused to take action after a woman deliberately drove her Range Rover into a bike rider, who called their response “victim-blaming twaddle.”

No bias here. A London writer proclaims the war on cars is a war on women. Which it wouldn’t be, even if it was real.

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

Great Britain’s transport minister is proposing a bill to reign in a “selfish minority of bike riders” by creating a bicycling equivalent to the country’s death by dangerous driving law, with a penalty up to life in prison.

A man on a bicycle is blamed for stealing a New Zealand statue of Ernest Rutherford, known as the father of nuclear physics, by rocking the statue back and forth for half an hour until it snapped off its base.

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Local

The LA Times reports on the parents of a 12-year old Pacific Palisades girl who are suing Rad Power Bikes alleging a defective design caused their daughter’s death.

The LACBC is giving donated bikes away to people in need through its Bike Match program.

 

State 

Streetsblog reports on a recent webinar explaining how to fight for bike lanes where you live.

Seriously? A Coronado newspaper says ebikes may be the future, but questions whether they’re a hazard on the island’s roadways.

Camarillo letter writers say the city needs to make itself bike-friendly now, not five years from now when a new bike path is scheduled to open.

A pair of 14-year old Camarillo boys were injured, one seriously, when they were run down on their bikes by a 68-year old driver at the Camarillo outlet mall.

The LA Times says the best SoCal bike trail is the Ojai Valley Trail, describing it as an “incredibly scenic path (running) 15 miles from the Ventura shoreline to the charming town of Ojai.”

Kindhearted cops in Arroyo Grande got a new bike for a 15-year old boy after the one he rode to his summer job was stolen.

A 23-year old man was arrested for robbing a Palo Alto bike shop near Stanford University, after the shop’s workers refused to buy an ebike he’d brought in.

A rideout took over the eastbound lanes of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge on Saturday, as the CHP did their best to herd them onto a bike path.

A San Francisco bike hater belatedly becomes the Bike Guy after rediscovering riding in middle age.

 

National

A new study explains why most people never forget how to ride a bike, no matter how long it has been.

Bikeshare can play a role in helping older Americans age in place.

US Weekly considers the best ebikes for women of any height.

Still more traffic violence in New Mexico, where an alleged drunk driver without a valid license barreled through a Gallup parade celebrating Native American culture, injuring at least 15 people, including two cops who tried to stop him.

He gets it. A columnist for the Minnesota Post explains why driving is bad for America, saying other than extending our ability to move at high speed, it comes at the cost of almost every other kind of action.

More mass carnage, as five Minnesota bike riders were injured when they were run down from behind by a driver, who plowed into the group of seven bike-riding kids led by one adult; fortunately, none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

Sad news from Ohio, where an Ohio State University student died of a “heart-related medical issue” just two miles from the end of a 102-mile fundraising ride.

Good news from Nashville, where Gospel singer Amy Grant is reportedly improving every day, after she was knocked unconscious for over ten minutes in a fall off her bicycle.

A New York ebike rider was the victim of a strong-arm robbery when he was punched in the head by a stranger who stole his bike in Central Park Saturday afternoon.

New York Magazine reports on their picks for the best bike helmets, while the New York Times picks the best handlebar bags.

The Washington Post examines the inevitable ebike bikelash, saying everyone loves ebikes, except for some who share the road, or the bike lane, or the sidewalk, with them.

Over 100 South Florida kids rode their bikes to call for an end to gun violence.

Life is cheap in Florida, where a man walked without a single day behind bars — or even being charged with a crime — for killing a bike-riding man when he somehow veered off the road last year.

 

International

We Love Cycling offers tips on how to go the beach with your bike.

A Calgary, Alberta man is back to gravel racing, ‘cross and mountain biking, using an adaptive bike he built himself, 20 years after he broke his back snowboarding.

An Ottawa, Canada organization is giving mom’s a taste of freedom by teaching women to ride a bike

Life is cheap in the UK, where a speeding, stoned and distracted driver gets less than two years for killing a newly married man riding a bicycle.

After he was pulled off his bicycle and beaten by men shouting anti-gay slurs, an Amsterdam man is angered by the lack of resource to mount a police response.

A writer learns the hard way not to joke about unhinged bicyclists in Amsterdam, especially if you weren’t born in the Netherlands.

Ukraine’s elderly bicyclists defy the military violence surrounding them, refusing to flee or give in to the chaos.

 

Competitive Cycling

Shades of a two-wheeled Eddie the Eagle. A 48-year old man representing Ghana in the Commonwealth Games finished 47th out of 54 competitors in the time trial, which was won by Australia’s Rohan Dennis; Chris Symonds keeps in shape by riding a hybrid bike to his job as a doorkeeper at Britain’s Houses of Parliament, where he keeps his bike safe by parking it at the House of Lords. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your bike tire turns invisible. Or when the road symbols suggest it’s a bike lane for dogs.

And maybe it’s just me, but it looks like he could use a larger frame.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA Times says prioritize people not cars, hit-and-run cop hits bike-riding teen, and racial profiling getting worse in traffic stops

They get it.

The Los Angeles Times says it’s time for California to prioritize people, not cars, by eliminating parking requirements in new developments near transit.

Or maybe they could just eliminate parking requirements, period.

Most cities require new residential and commercial developments to be built with lots of on-site parking, no matter if the spots are needed or desired. Typically, cities mandate one to two parking spaces per unit in a residential development. It can cost $55,000 per parking spot in a midsize apartment project in Los Angeles, according to one analysis. That drives up the cost of construction and makes it difficult for smaller or less pricey projects to pencil out. The expense of building parking is passed along to tenants and buyers, whether they want the spots or not…

Is all that parking really necessary? Oftentimes, no. A 2019 review of parking requirements examined 10 developments in Southern California built with just the minimum number of spots required by local laws and found that peak parking utilization was 56% to 72% at each development. Localities were demanding more parking than needed.

A pair of bills in the state legislature, AB 2097 and SB 1067 take different approaches to problem, one significantly stronger than the other.

But either one could provide a necessary first step in decoupling parking from housing, and reducing the stranglehold cars have on our streets.

And our wallets.

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It’s hard enough to get the cops to take hit-and-run seriously.

But what do you do when the driver is a cop?

Police use car to knock over a teenage bicyclist in Chicago from chibike

These three Chicago kids might have an attitude when it comes to cops, not unlike a lot kids these days.

But in this case, it seems to be well deserved.

The incident starts with a police SUV following three teens as they ride their bikes, before pulling up next to them to challenge one of the boys for using his phone while he rides.

They then hit one of the boys with their police cruiser before backing off, and fleeing the scene without stopping.

There’s little argument that the officers screwed up, and should have stopped their vehicle and called in a supervisor.

But they didn’t.

Which makes them no better than any other hit-and-run driver.

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Naturally, the Chronicle hides the story behind their draconian paywall, which blocks even casual readers.

But the problem of biased police stops appears to just be getting worse. And recent history tells us it’s just as bad, if not worse, for people on bikes.

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San Diego had an impressive turnout for this year’s Pride Ride.

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It looks like Premier League soccer team Newcastle United is one of us.

Okay, maybe just three of them.

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

No bias here. A writer for the Robb Report says keep your Lycra bikewear on the bike, and out of cafes and the office.

A Michigan driver got out of his pickup and pushed a woman into traffic, apparently for the crime of accidentally hitting his truck bed with her handlebar after he blocked the crosswalk and forced her to go around him.

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

An 82-year old San Diego pedestrian and an ebike rider in his 50s both suffered serous brain injuries when the lightless bicyclist slammed into the older man at a high rate of speed; fortunately, neither injury was considered life-threatening.

A Houston man was arrested by sheriff’s deputies after shooting another man multiple times following an argument at a gas station, despite trying to make his getaway on a bicycle.

New York police are looking for an ebike-riding man who sexually assaulted two women about an hour apart, threatening both with a knife.

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Local

The daughter of actress Gabrielle Union and former NBA star Dwayne Wade is one of us, as Union teaches the three-year old how to ride a bike with training wheels.

Kylie Jenner showed off her new $24,000 Louis Vuitton bicycle. The perfect bike for anyone with too many dollars and not enough sense.

 

State 

San Diego continues to pay for broken sidewalks and dilapidated bike lanes, forking out a total of over $333,000 in legal settlements in just 30 days.

Fresno police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a bike-riding man bleeding in the street; the victim was hospitalized in stable condition.

Two hundred volunteers turned out to help build bicycles with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, with a goal of giving away 500 bikes to kids in the community (scroll down, if you can get past the paywall). Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

One more example of officials keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late, as a 78-year old Berkeley driver crashed into a couple in their 70s walking in a crosswalk — just four days after he crashed his car into an 83-year-old woman in another crosswalk; one of his victims remains in the ICU.

Contra Costa County’s Mount Diablo State Park will have 30 bike turnouts installed today to allow drivers to safely pass bicyclists, who make up 60% of all vehicular traffic on the roadway.

 

National

Newsweek considers the best ebikes to buy and ride this year, ranging from a $899 SWFT commuter to a $3,100 Cannondale.

She gets it. An op-ed from a Honolulu writer says Hawaii has a flat tire when it comes to bikeways, making little progress since the 1980s; this comes after several students filed suit against the state for operating a transportation system that harms the climate, prioritizing highways over more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

Speaking of Hawaii, the island state is now offering rebates up to $500 on the purchase of an ebike; however, the program is limited to students, non-car owners and low-income buyers.

A Japanese man who recently moved to California with his family writes about the racist assault where a Portland man attacked him and his daughter while yelling anti-Japanese slurs; his five-year old daughter now wants to leave the US.

Around 5,500 people completed a 206-mile ride from Seattle to Portland, with roughly 1,000 finishing the ride in a single day, and the rest riding in the next day.

A Phoenix man is recovering in the hospital after he was shot by a gunman who stole his bike; no word on whether he was riding it at the time.

Missouri residents are honoring the 125th anniversary of the famed Buffalo Soldiers 1897 bike ride covering 1,900 miles from Missoula, Montana to St. Louis.

A Chicago columnist says he didn’t take wearing a bike helmet seriously, until he was hit by a 70-something, possibly distracted, driver who said she just didn’t see him.

A Louisville KY TV station asks if things are getting worse for pedestrians and bike riders on the city’s streets. You can probably guess the answer without ever riding there.

Pittsburgh Magazine credits local advocacy group BikePGH with a successful 20-year battle to make the city more bike friendly.

Yes, please. New York will now require new drivers to take a bike and pedestrian safety course before getting a license. Thanks to Victor Bale for the link.

Hundreds of Atlanta bike riders turned out to honor Congressman and civil right icon John Lewis, on the two-year anniversary of his death.

A Florida lawyer won an $8.2 million settlement over the death of a 79-year old woman who fell off a drawbridge when the operator opened it as she was walking her bike across.

 

International

Big news in the race for mayor of Toronto, as famed international urbanist Gil Penalosa tossed his chapeau into the ring.

A Toronto writer explores the proper way to make a left turn on your bike. Actually, the best way to make a left is whatever you feel comfortable with that won’t get you killed.

Devon, England’s 18-year old Piano Bike Girl has become one of the most recognizable buskers in the coastal city, performing on a piano mounted on a three-wheeled bike.

Good news for Welsh bicyclists. The country’s new 20 mph speed applies to cars but not bicycles. So feel free to blithely ride past puttering drivers, nose-thumbing optional.

An ebike conversion kit from the UK’s Swytch now comes with a battery that can fit in a large pocket.

British bikewear maker Fat Lad at the Back unveils an attention getting outdoor ad campaign reading Fat C*n’t, and continuing on the next line, Actually Fat Can, suggesting it’s actually an “a” that’s missing.

Pink Bike looks at the most exciting new products from this year’s Eurobike trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, while Cyclist shares five weird and wonderful things for the show. I could totally rock that mirrored disco ball bike helmet, myself.

More proof of the everyday utility of bicycles, as Ukrainian refugees flee to the southern village of Zelenodolsk, most arriving by bikes or wheelchairs.

PETA, aka People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, hired bike riders to tow anti-wool billboards in front of an Aussie wool and sheep trade show.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Michael Matthews soloed to victory in Saturday’s 14th stage of the Tour de France, as Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar continued their battle for the yellow jersey.

Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen won the sprint for Sunday’s stage 15, while Vingegaard held onto the lead by a 2 minute 22 second margin, despite crashing 36 miles from the finish, in 100° temperatures.

L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams was DQ’d, along with Best Buddies’ Michael Hernandez, following a dust-up on the final lap of the Salt Lake Criterium; L39ion swept the podium in both the men’s and women’s races.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to try to sell a bike back to the person you stole it from. Now you, too, can own your very own wooden bicycle for the low, low price of just — wait for it — nearly 24 grand.

And how else would you transport a tree?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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

They get it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

……….

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

Thankfully, he missed.

………

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

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

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

………

Local

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

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

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

 

State 

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Vehicular homicide arrest in fatal Griffith Park crash, and man missing riding bike in Long Beach found dead of natural causes

Let’s start with Saturday’s senseless death of 77-year old Andrew Jelmert.

According to a story by the LA Times’ Rachel Uranga, Jelmert was killed by a speeding, possibly drunk, driver as he rode on Griffith Park’s Crystal Springs Drive.

Jelmert was run down from behind as he neared the finish line of a training ride for this year’s AIDS/LifeCycle Ride, which would have been his seventh time completing the weeklong San Francisco to Los Angeles fundraising ride.

He had already raised over $20,000 for the ride, which could now be lost along with his life.

Thirty-seven-year old Jairo Martinez was attempting to pass another car when he slammed into Martinez with enough force to shatter the windshield of his BMW, as well as Jelmert’s bike. The impact scattered bits of the bike across the hillside, where they were later found by Jelmert’s husband.

The only blessing is that in all probability, Jelmert literally never knew what hit him.

Martinez was arrested by sheriff’s deputies shortly after the crash, after he attempted to run away on foot. At last report, he was being held on suspicion of vehicular homicide, with more charges likely to follow pending results of his blood tests.

Meanwhile, KNBC-4 reports on the installation of Jelmert’s ghost bike Monday night.

Uranga succinctly captures the problem bike riders face riding in the park/freeway bypass.

Griffith Park, which occupies more than 4,000 acres of rolling hills, is popular with cyclists who whiz down its tree-lined roads, often crossing over from the nearby L.A. River bike path.

But the few bike lanes that exist do not have barriers separating riders from cars, according to the L.A. Department of Transportation.

Crystal Springs Drive parallels the 5 Freeway and is sometimes used as a cut-through during traffic jams. The posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour, but many drivers go significantly faster.

Too often, drivers come off the 5 and 134 Freeways, and continue through the park at freeway speeds.

I’ve had the crap scared out of me by speeding drivers using the wide shoulder to pass slower cars on the right, while I was riding on it.

It’s also not far from where Damien Kevitt was infamously run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding on Zoo Drive, and dragged underneath the driver’s van onto the 5 Freeway, losing his leg in the process. And nearly his life.

The simple fact is, cars don’t belong in parks.

We should all demand — not ask — that city leaders move immediately to block the offramp leading into the park, as the first step in banning cars entirely from Griffith Park.

Let the park flourish as just that — a park, not a high-speed sewer for overly aggressive drivers.

Because the simple fact is, parks are for people, not cars.

And tragedies like this will inevitably keep happening if we don’t.

Photo from the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Facebook page.

………

Sad news from Long Beach, where Manuel Abotye was found dead at a local hospital after disappearing while riding his bike last month.

The 73-year old man from a small village in Mexico’s Sinaloa state was in Long Beach visiting his sister when he suffered shortness of breath, and died 30 minutes after being transported to the emergency room.

However, he went unidentified for weeks because he had left his ID at home, and was considered missing until his body was discovered on Saturday.

Yet another reminder to always carry ID when you ride.

………

Jim Lyle forwards a Nextdoor notice about a Palos Verdes resident targeting people on bicycles.

The male owner of this green truck has been accelerating towards people riding bikes on the street as though he’s intending to hit them with his car. And, I don’t mean the part of the street where cars belong. I mean the parking area near the gutter not in the way of vehicle traffic. He’s done this to me twice, once so close I was sure he was going to hit me. He swerves away before contact. Be aware of this truck if you ride…I don’t know his name or or know him personally. I learned from a neighbor who saw him accerlerate towards me this morning that he’s known for unsafe, aggressive behavior (I wasn’t given other examples). This info has been given to the sherrif’s department as well.

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from longtime bike advocate, neighborhood council member and Bicycle Advisory Committee member Glenn Bailey, who forwards photos of Waste Management trash bins illegally blocking the heavily used bike lane on Reseda Blvd in Northridge.

He’s filed a complaint with the city’s Bureau of Sanitation, so hopefully he’ll get a response soon.

Or better yet, actually get action to keep it from happening again.

………

Curses, Spectrum!

Because their service outage knocked me offline yesterday, we missed marking Bicycle Day, commemorating the 79th anniversary of the day LSD inventor Albert Hoffman discovered its psychedelic effects for the time.

Hoffman famously dropped a few tabs and attempted to ride his bike home, experiencing the first trip on a bike trip.

And inspiring both the best and worst music of the 60s.

Read the first link on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

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She gets it.

………

Catch up on the latest Bike Talk, as they catch up on Calbike’s recent Bike Summit.

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Join Sunset For All and the LACBC as they explore the corridor while promoting local businesses and plans for protected bike lanes on Sunset Blvd.

………

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

Texas authorities are looking for the driver of a white jeep caught on camera swearing at a bike rider, who responds by flipping the bird; the driver then makes a U-turn and veers onto the wrong side of the road to threaten the rider, nearly sideswiping him.

Also from Texas, the owner of a car customization business is catching well-deserved flack after posting video of a pickup driver rolling coal at an unsuspecting bike rider, then claiming to be just “vaguely aware” of the video he himself posted, while suggesting that someone’s personal actions shouldn’t reflect on the business they work for. Or own, evidently.

A British bus driver avoided a fine for a punishment pass because the cops didn’t use the right form for their prosecution notice.

………

Local

Metro and Metrolink will both offer free rides on Friday for Earth Day, including free Metro Bike rides.

A new poll shows Los Angeles voters want real action to address air pollution and extreme heat caused by climate change. Let’s hope our elected officials are listening, and actually do something for a change. Like building out the mobility plan and the transportation portion of the mayor’s Green New Deal. 

Los Angeles received a $5 million grant from Congress to build a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge at the Pacoima Wash to provide safer access to the planned El Dorado Park.

Streets For All calls on everyone to reach out to the Metro Board today and next Thursday to help get Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard plan for the NoHo to Pasadena bus rapid transit line over the finish line.

Pomona has opened a beautiful new two-way curb-protected bike lane on Valley Boulevard.

The popular 626 Golden Streets open streets event returns to South Pasadena, San Gabriel and Alhambra on May 1st.

 

State 

Something doesn’t add up. Just days after we learned that California is the nation’s sixth most dangerous state for bicycle riders on a per-capita basis, the Bike League ranks the late, great Golden State as the 4th most bicycle-friendly state in the US. Evidently, to paraphrase Mark Twain, it’s a great place to ride. If you live.

The CHP and Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are looking for the driver of a purple Toyota Scion, who fled the scene after running down a 20-year old man riding his bike near Santa Maria, leaving the victim with major injuries.

 

National

No, bicycles don’t cause traffic congestion or slow down your commute.

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to shop for a new kid’s bike.

A Utah woman is suing Seattle ebike maker Rad Power Bikes, claiming a loose stem on the bike she assembled caused her to crash, since the instructions didn’t tell her to check the tightness of the stem.

Speaking of Utah, a cute video captures an eight-year old Utah boy teaching his four-year old little sister how to ride a bike for the first time.

A Colorado judge dropped the murder case against Barry Morphew, whose wife disappeared without a trace after leaving for a Mother’s Day bike ride two years ago. However, it was dismissed without prejudice, allowing prosecutors to refile when and if they have a better case.

New York commits $11 million to sweeping streets and bike lanes.

 

International

Lebanese commuters are taking to their bikes in increasing numbers, driven — so to speak — by the a fuel crisis aggravated by the war in Ukraine.

More proof that bike lanes increase property values, as rental units close to London’s cycle superhighways draw a 20% premium over similar units elsewhere.

Five-time British Olympic champ Bradley Wiggins revealed that his struggles with depression stem, at least in part, from being sexually groomed by his cycling coach when he was just 13 years old.

Justice delayed, as a Malaysian appeals court has stayed the six-year prison sentence given to the woman who killed eight teenage bike riders after plowing through the group of kids riding modified bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian world champ Elisa Balsamo was disqualified from Saturday’s Paris-Roubaix Femme, after getting a little too much assistance from the team car in returning to the peloton after suffering a flat.

VeloNews offers a photo essay from last weekend’s Paris-Roubaix, aka The Hell of the North; Cycling Tips does, too.

Once again, a bike race spectator has taken down a competitor, as a fan applauding on the side of the roadway caught the handlebars of Belgian pro Yves Lampaert during Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.

 

Finally…

Maybe that jersey pocket isn’t necessary after all. That feeling when your 1950’s style ebike offers a very illegal 40 mph.

And maybe put the helmet on before you try riding off on the bike you just stole.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA Times editorial calls for supporting Healthy Streets LA initiative, and Oxnard man arraigned in drunken bike death

Nice to see a writer for the LA Times get behind a ballot measure safer, healthier streets.

Times Editorial Board member Kerry Cavanaugh penned an editorial published Tuesday in support of the Healthy Streets LA initiative, which we discussed here last week.

The measure would require Los Angeles to implement the ambitious, but long-forgotten, Mobility Plan 2035, building out bus and bike lanes, as well as pedestrian improvements, when city streets are repaved.

Here’s what Cavanaugh had to say about the plan, which advocates fought for years to create and pass.

But, as is so often the case in L.A., the implementation of the Mobility Plan has not matched its ambition.

Since its adoption, the city has only made bike, bus and pedestrian upgrades to 95 miles out of 3,137 miles identified in the plan — or 3% in a little more than six years. Time and again, city leaders have ignored or torpedoed bike and bus lanes outlined in the Mobility Plan. At this rate, it will take nearly 200 years — not 20 — to fulfill the plan’s vision.

As Cavanaugh points out, it’s crazy that it takes a ballot measure to force the city to do what it already agreed to do.

But that’s the city we live and ride in these days, where fear of angering anyone leads to paralysis among city leaders. Along with more and more community meetings, where the people who scream the loudest usually carry the day.

And it’s usually the people who fear and fight any kind of change who scream the loudest.

Again, here’s Cavanaugh.

The need for community engagement can’t be an excuse for doing nothing. There’s too much at stake. Last year nearly 300 people were killed in traffic collisions in Los Angeles, a roughly 20% increase over the two prior years. Nearly half of the people killed were pedestrians. Some 52% of Angelenos said that crossing the street in their neighborhood is dangerous, according to polling conducted for the Healthy Streets LA initiative.

As part of his Green New Deal sustainability plan — another aspirational document — Garcetti called for 50% of all trips in the city by 2035 to be made by walking, biking and taking transit. But that goal will be unreachable without the political will to prioritize the infrastructure and transit improvements that make it easier, safer and more pleasant for people to get around.

It’s ridiculous that we’re in this position.

But it’s sadly become clear over the last decade that we can’t count on city leaders to do what they already know has to be done. Yet clearly lack the courage and political will to do.

So we have to do it for them.

Click here to make arrangements to sign the petition, or volunteer to support the measure

………

Prosecutors have thrown the book at the accused drunk driver who killed a BMX rider in Oxnard Sunday night.

Twenty-seven year old Andres Morales pled not guilty yesterday to killing the victim, who has still not been publicly identified.

He faces charges of DUI causing injury or death, and driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08 percent, along with a single count of felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, combined with special enhancements for a serious felony and a crime involving great violence.

He remains in jail on $50,000 bond, which will be reviewed tomorrow.

Meanwhile, a Homeland man is expected to be arraigned today for killing 62-year old Hemet resident Glen Hysom as he rode a bike in unincorporated Winchester, just west of Hemet.

Thirty-eight-year old Carlos Arturo Acosta is expected to be charged with hit-and-run resulting in death, and driving on a suspended license.

He’s being held on $75,000 bail.

………

There’s always a shortage of bike lockers, even at the Metro stations that actually have them. And high demand for them at the stations that don’t.

………

You probably didn’t have this one on your 2022 bingo card — an Orlando, Florida bike cop in hot, but polite, pursuit of a very drunk woman riding a motorized suitcase.

Yes, a suitcase.

She faces up to ten years for spitting at the cops arresting her, damaging their patrol car, and taking a dump on the seat.

………

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

You’ve got to be kidding. An English driver walked with a suspended sentence and a lousy 250 pound fine — the equivalent of just $339 — for intentionally ramming a bike rider who may have accidentally brushed the car’s wing mirror.

………

You might want to avoid the area around USC and the Coliseum this morning, unless you want to get caught up in the Ram’s victory parade.

………

Local

Streets For All reminds us about the virtual public meeting tomorrow to consider plans to convert the peak hour lanes on Santa Monica Blvd west of the 405 into bus and bike lanes.

Walk Bike Glendale alerts us to public meetings this week to fight a plan to settle for sharrows on La Crescenta Ave tomorrow, and on Saturday to create a 9.4-mile linear park along the Verdugo Wash.

The Monterey Park City Council will discuss an induced demand-inducing plan at today’s meeting to widen Garvey Ave from four lanes to a ridiculous six lanes. Exactly the opposite of what should be done to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, and reduce motor vehicle use while California is literally burning. Thanks to Active SGV for the heads-up. 

Calabasas is nearing completion of a road widening project on Mulholland Highway, which appears to include a separated bikeway.

Shaun White is one of us, riding shirtless through the streets of Los Angeles after a fourth place finish in the Beijing Olympics.

 

State 

Four-time world mountain bike world champ Brian Lopes donated 50 Strider balance bikes and helmets to a Santa Ana elementary school through the All Kids Bike Kindergarten PE program, and worked with a couple dozen sixth graders to put them together.

Coronado cops are using bait bikes to bust bike thieves. But LA cops still don’t, and won’t for the foreseeable future over fears of being accused of entrapment.

Rialto police are accused of roughing up a 16-year old girl who was riding an illegal motorized bike; one cop was accused of grabbing her by the throat.

A man in his 20s was lucky to survive when his bike was clipped by a moving train as he rode across the tracks in Oxnard.

 

National

Bicycling says the fixation on bike helmets just shifts the blame to bike riders, and lets killer drivers off the hook. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be available through Yahoo, so if the magazine blocks you, you’re on your own.

Forget a cycling computer. What you really need is contact lenses with a heads-up display.

Bike Portland’s podcast talks with Bike Index founder Bryan Hance about his work to bust a Mexican mountain bike theft ring operating out of Colorado.

A Nashville site says the city has a long way to go to get to zero traffic deaths. Which should sound familiar to anyone in Los Angeles. And most other American cities, for that matter.

New York’s new DOT commissioner is working to fortify half of the city’s bike lanes in his first 100 days, which are currently protected in name only by the usual flimsy white plastic, car-tickler bendy posts.

Just a year after revising Virginia law to require drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders, and remove the limitation on riding two abreast, the state senate is going backwards by approving a measure that would require people on bicycles to ride single file when being overtaken by someone in a car. The bill’s sponsor appeared to make up an incident to support it.

Dozens of Virginia runners turned out to honor a fellow runner who was killed in a collision while riding her bicycle last week.

 

International

A University of Toronto study confirms what you already knew. Over half of all drivers never look for bicyclists or pedestrians before making a right turn. Then again, some of them never look for us when we’re right in front of them, either.

You’ve got to be kidding, part two. An Aussie man wants permission to drive while he is accused of a hit-and-run that took the life of a 62-year old bike rider, despite having already shown he won’t stick around after a crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks forward to the “48th edition of the much-anticipated Volta ao Algarve;” the five-stage race starts today in Portugal.

Cycling News looks at memorable cases of pro cyclists getting spanked for breaking the rules.

A bike lawyer says it could be gross negligence to route an offroad bike race across a field with an ill-tempered bull, but it doesn’t help that the four Rock Cobbler riders who ended up on the wrong end of the horns had signed a waiver.

 

Finally…

As if cars blocking bike lanes isn’t bad enough, now we have to deal with robots. Meet Sigrid, the fixie-riding cat.

And meet a parrot who can ride a bike and poop on command.

………

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

Candidate list for June primary, Times’ Abcarian says Vision Zero “impossible,” and PCH claims another victim

Pick your ponies and place your bets.

The Los Angeles City Clerk has posted the latest list of candidates filing for the city’s June primary election.

Like most California elections, not everyone is a serious candidate. But there are some genuine choices hidden among the clowns and wannabes.

………

No, Vision Zero is not “impossible.”

LA Times columnist Robin Abcarian writes that eliminating traffic deaths is a worthy, but impossible, goal.

The goal is worthy, but why go out on a limb with a big, bold promise that is so obviously doomed to fail?

In Australia, at least, they call the effort “Toward Zero,” which seems more realistic…

As long as there is traffic, there will be traffic tragedy, especially in a car-centric city like ours, where you cannot drive an inch without seeing distracted drivers holding phones. How many times have you been stuck behind a car at a red light that doesn’t move when the light turns green because the driver in front is poking at a screen? At least while they aren’t moving, they aren’t killing anyone.

The obvious problem with that attitude is the question of just how many deaths are acceptable as the cost of just getting from here to there.

Graphic by tomexploresla

And if that number is anything other than zero, which of your loved ones are you willing to sacrifice to the motor vehicle gods?

Which makes it clear that one is the only acceptable answer.

Abcarian’s right that we may not get there today. But it’s up to all of us to do everything we can to make sure we get there tomorrow.

To her credit, she does identify one of the biggest problems with Vision Zero, with each of the city’s 15 councilmembers free to implement their own vision of how to end traffic deaths, or the lack thereof.

As well as the lack of alignment between the city and county, with Los Angeles aiming for 2025 — just three years from now — while the county aims to end traffic deaths a decade later.

Never mind the other 87 cities that call LA County home.

But the solution to that is to coordinate, not forget it. Then give the city and county transportation agencies the power to override individual councilmembers and supervisors to do what needs to be done to save lives.

Which also serves to shield our elected officials from blame by angry drivers, which is what some of them really care about, anyway.

And while we’re at it, someone please tell Ms. Abcarian the difference between a crash and an accident.

………

Southern California’s serial killer highway has claimed yet another victim.

………

Pass the word, teens can grab a quick Benjamin from Walk ‘n Rollers for customizing a bicycle.

………

Remember, you always need a truck or SUV to go to the hardware store.

………

Sometimes it’s not who we share the road with, but what.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1491487543455465472

………

Here’s that great East Side Riders video we weren’t able to embed yesterday.

………

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

Someone in newly bike friendly San Diego clearly doesn’t get it, ruling that no action is necessary for a traffic signal clearly designed to thin the herd by encouraging drivers to turn left through a bike lane while bike riders still have the green. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

There’s a special place in hell for the couple who flipped off a bike-riding Florida boy as they passed him in their car, then whipped a U-turn and threatened him with a gun when he responded in kind, before proceeding to pistol whip and slap him repeatedly; they were arrested after the boy managed to record video of the couple, along with their car and license plate.

A 67-year old Scottish man was left shaken after a construction worker pelted him with cement when he stopped his bike to ask if they had a permit to block an Edinburgh bike lane with a cement mixer.

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

A thirsty armed robber helped himself to cash and a canned drink from a Houston convenience store before making his getaway on a baby blue bike.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman takes a hard look at mayoral candidate and current Councilmember Joe Buscaino’s motion to crack down on bike chop shops, which could also catch legitimate bike repair in its wide net. Including if you decide to fix your own bicycle outside on a sunny day, if it’s too broadly written.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton checks out the new bike lanes on Yosemite Drive in Eagle Rock.

This is who we share the road with. A Manhattan Beach man claims a driver ran him over in a grocery store parking lot, then backed up and ran over him again, in a dispute over face masks that began inside.

Camilla Cabella is one of us, taking a bikeshare ride through the streets of LA with a “mysterious” friend. Oh, and she likes ice cream, too.

Rihanna showed her generosity Sunday, stopping by the West Los Angeles VA Campus with practical, needed gifts for homeless vets, including bike locks.

 

State

The annual Tour de Palm Springs returns to the Coachella Valle this weekend, with safety measures and law enforcement in place to hopefully keep participants safe, which hasn’t always been the case.

A 55-year old Navy vet is suing Caltrans, Bakersfield and Kern County after he was injured riding his bike into an open manhole on a Bakersfield sidewalk, which was left unmarked by orange cones or other warning devices.

The US Forest Service settled a lawsuit by agreeing to allow ebikes on non-motorized trails in the Tahoe National Forest.

 

National

Yes, please. A quartet of Democratic congressmen urged the president to request full funding for the new Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program in the next budget, which would provide $200 million a year for five years for biking and walking projects.

US ebike sales are on their way to one million units a year in the US, and one billion worldwide.

A new lawsuit accuses Peloton of bullying competitors and entering into sham agreements to secure its market position.

In a case of real life imitating art, actor Bob Odenkirk revealed his near-fatal heart attack came as he was riding an exercise bike on the set of Better Call Saul, which may or may not have been the same make that killed Mr. Big in HBO’s Sex and the City reboot, and nearly killed Mike “Wags” Wagner on Billions.

Talk about Viking biking. Try riding an ice bike across Wisconsin’s frozen Lake Winnebago in 13° weather.

Frightening story from New York, where a man called the NYPD to report a parked truck illegally blocking a bus stop, and immediately started getting death threats from the truck’s owner — even though his call should have been confidential.

 

International

Treehugger recommends their picks for the best bike cargo bags.

Towing your kids in a bike trailer may not be good for their lungs, as a new British study shows the lower position exposes them to more pollution that someone on a bike seat.

No bias here. And no surprise, either, as a new study from the UK shows that drivers and bike riders are treated differently by the press following a crash.

British bicyclists rode to protest a “discriminatory” daytime ban from the Bedford town center, which resulted in 3,200 fines for the equivalent of $107 — including one issued to a man on the second week of his around-the-world bike tour.

Now bike thieves aren’t even waiting until the bikes are assembled. Thieves hijacked 10,000 Shimano ebike parts by gassing the driver at a German service station.

Pakistan’s Associated Press captures a photo of an old man selling bundles of traditional handmade brooms from his bicycle.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai is one of us, riding with a group to check out a new beachfront bike path. And yes, I included that one just so I could use his full title.

 

Competitive Cycling

Black cycling legend Major Taylor’s 119-year old wood-rimmed Peugeot bike is returning for an exhibit at the Indiana State Museum in his Indianapolis home town.

Tadej Pogačar is back on his bike after testing positive for Covid.

We Love Cycling looks at inter-generational cycling dynasties.

In a scene straight out of Breaking Away, a local Colombian kid falls in and holds his own alongside Rigoberto Urán and Tom Dumoulin on a training ride. Except they don’t put a tire pump through his spokes.

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying meth on your bike with several outstanding felony warrants, maybe try not to make your escape through a snow-covered field.

And enough said.

https://twitter.com/schmangee/status/1491506749794361345

………

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

$32.1 million award in Metro crash, LA Times calls for bike lanes and sheriff’s oversight, and Mar Vista bike chop shops

Thank you all for your support and kind words last week.

I’m not even close to a hundred percent yet, but at least I can write again without tossing my cookies. Not that I should be having cookies, anyway.

Now buckle in, ’cause we have a lot to catch up on. 

And please forgive me for not crediting people who sent me links this time; it was just too hard to keep up with while I was under the weather.

But thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who did. 

………

A jury awarded $21.6 million to the parents of Ciara Smith, the 13-year old girl killed by a Metro bus operated by a subcontractor four years ago when she rode her bike off a Redondo Beach sidewalk.

Combined with earlier settlements from Caltrans and Redondo Beach, they’ve now been awarded a total of $32.1 million, though the latest judgement will undoubtedly be appealed.

………

The Los Angeles Times responds to their recent investigative report that uncovered bias in traffic stops of Latino bike riders by sheriff deputies in LA County, by calling for legalizing sidewalk riding and building desperately needed infrastructure.

Instead of finding support for their carbon-free travel, cyclists in some communities face unsafe and unjust conditions. In East Los Angeles, only 1% of streets have bike lanes, meaning cyclists are expected to navigate crowded and often poorly maintained streets. Of course people are going to ride on the sidewalk, even if it’s prohibited, because it’s safer.

Yet that rational decision makes cyclists a target for law enforcement. Nearly a quarter of bike stops in East L.A. were for sidewalk violations, The Times reported. In Lynwood, where there are no bike lanes at all, sidewalk violations account for 16% of stops. In West Hollywood, which is predominantly white, more streets have bike lanes and the city allows bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk in areas with no bike lanes. Less than 1% of bike stops were initiated because of sidewalk violations.

The paper also said the biased traffic stops and searches of bike riders call for stronger oversight of the sheriff’s department, which so far has attempted to avoid virtually any oversight.

Meanwhile, Streets For All urges your support for a motion at tomorrow’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting to legalize sidewalk riding in unincorporated Los Angeles County.

………

As long as we’re talking about the Times, opinion columnist Robin Abcarian joins a Mar Vista man searching local homeless camps and outdoor bicycle chop shops for his stolen bicycles.

And somehow managed, against all odds, to get them all back.

Never mind that the LAPD told her they don’t bother to look for stolen bikes.

Or the Catch-22 clownshow below when he tried to report the theft to the cops.

Weitz had tried to file a police report online. Because his garage was broken into, he was told, he would have to file in person. But his local LAPD outpost in West Los Angeles is not allowing walk-ins because of COVID-19. So he went to the Pacific Division station on Culver Boulevard but was told he had to file it in West L.A.

“My local lead officer said he would get in touch after I file my police report,” said Weitz, “but I can’t file my police report, so he can’t call.”

………

The teenaged pickup driver who mowed down a half dozen Texas bike riders while attempting to roll coal has been identified in court papers.

The well-connected son of prominent local sheep and goat breeders faces six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after initially being allowed to walk free when mommy and daddy reportedly showed up at the crash site.

Meanwhile, the Santa Rosa woman injured in the other recent Texas crash, where a pickup driver ran down three people on a cross-country bike tour and killed a Massachusetts man, is still waiting to fly home.

Doctors says she’s too fragile to leave the Houston hospital where she’s being treated for a collapsed lung, facial fracture, broken back, five broken ribs and a broken arm.

………

Streets For All will talk mobility with the candidates for CD13 this Wednesday, presumably including incumbent Mitch O’Farrell.

The street safety PAC also calls for supporting a 5.9-mile peak hour bus lane on La Brea Blvd from Sunset to Coliseum at or before tomorrow’s public meeting.

………

Metro announced the top-scoring picks for open streets events throughout the county over the next two years, including likely funding for CicLAvia and 626 Golden Streets.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1459484455362457605

………

One more reason to love the East Side Riders, as they continue to support, and feed, the Compton community.

And to contribute if you can, financially or otherwise.

………

If you’re reading this early enough, you may still have time to join a Twitter town hall calling for zero traffic deaths, in advance of this Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance.

Meanwhile, Finish the Ride will host a march for safer roads on Saturday, in an early observance of the World Day of Remembrance.

………

More proof that bike lanes are more efficient than regular traffic lanes. Regardless of drivers who claim no one ever uses them.

………

Taking a tiny approach to urban density in Denver.

And yes, there’s an itty bitty bike involved.

………

It’s a pity everyone seemed to forget the hard-earned lessons learned in the first major gas crisis back in the ’70s.

………

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

Late is better than never, apparently, as Bicycling belatedly catches up with the story of the white Texas man who severely beat a Black man who paused while riding a bicycle through the neighborhood they both share last month. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

DC drivers are using a new buffered bike lane for free parking.

An Orlando, Florida bike shop owner sounds the alarm on drivers using the bike path in front of his shop as a traffic bypass.

A London man suffered a broken collarbone when a driver deliberately ran him off his bike in the city’s Richmond Park — then fled the scene afterwards, of course.

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

Police in San Antonio, Texas released video of the fatal shooting of a man who fled when officers tried to stop him on his bike; he allegedly tried to pull a gun out of his waistband after one of the cops doored him and wrestled with him on the ground.

A British Columbia man faces charges for whacking a 65-year old woman with his bicycle, causing her to hit her head on the pavement, after she apparently confronted him for riding his bike on the sidewalk.

The award for the world’s biggest jerk — okay, one of many — goes to the Belgium bike rider who crashed into a five-year old girl last Christmas, and is suing the girl’s father for posting the viral video of it.

………

Local

A man was shot in the chest earlier this month while riding on a Culver City bike path, then was kicked in the face and punched by two or more men, for no apparent reason. Or at least, no reason the police have mentioned.

There’s still time to take a survey on how to transform deadly Western Ave between MLK to Century Blvd in South LA. Hint: fewer traffic lanes and more protected bike lanes.

A San Fernando group has called for the removal of CD12 Councilmember John Lee from the Los Angeles City Council Planning Committee; Lee was implicated in the Mitch Englander bribery scandal.

Streetsblog looks at the new raised, protected bike lanes on Burbank’s Hollywood Way.

A Claremont nonprofit is looking donations of usable bicycles in good condition, as well as “helmets, padding and locks” to help recent Afghan refugees. And no, I have no idea what padding means, either.

AARP hosts a virtual chat with CicLAvia this Thursday, including 65-year old longboarder and CicLAvia icon Swee (Ool) Woo.

 

State

Santa Ana will host a meeting tonight to discuss a proposed protected bike lane and bicycle boulevard on McFadden Avenue.

Orange County hikers complained about “hard-charging” mountain bikers at last week’s meeting of the Coastal Greenbelt Authority.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says the city needs to focus on the action part of its climate action plan, rather than patting itself on the back based on outdated statistics.

Streetsblog credits the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, with having a lot to like in their draft 2021 transportation plan, despite questionable funding plans.

Santa Barbara County is loaning local residents free ebikes for up to five days to experience an alternative to driving.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a bike from a ten-year old Santa Cruz girl in a strong-arm robbery.

 

National

Do we really need to be told yet again that more highways mean more cars, more congestion and more environment and climate harming emissions?

One more reason to do your riding outside, as a 23-year old woman nearly lost her leg after developing a potentially fatal breakdown of muscle tissue following a high-intensity spin class.

Seriously? What kind of cash flow does this Oregon bike shop have when the theft of $100,000 worth of bicycles isn’t a major setback?

The Nevada state stoppers who investigated the crash that killed five bike riders outside Las Vegas eleven months ago never suspected semi-truck driver Jordan Alexander Barson was under the influence, even though he tested positive for meth hours later — an oversight that led to a plea bargain on reduced charges.

Congratulations to Austin, Texas, on being named home to the worst bike lane in the world.

Sad news from Iowa, where John Karras, the former newspaper man who co-founded RAGBRAI with another reporter, passed away last week at 91; the popular ride across Iowa was founded by the Des Moines Register nearly 50 years ago.

Hats off to a six-year old Ohio boy, who set a new record as the youngest rider to complete a backflip during a California BMX competition.

Once again, the death of a bike rider is no big deal, as a US postal worker faces just a misdemeanor charge and a traffic ticket for killing a 71-year old New York man riding a bike.

Curbed offers a detailed primer on perfecting New York streets, while embracing public spaces. All of which would apply here in Los Angeles, too.

A fallen bicyclist’s mother will finish the last 1,900 miles of his planned New Hampshire to San Diego bike tour, three years after he was run down by a driver shortly after leaving Hattiesburg, Mississippi; a crowdfunding page has raised just $330 of the $10,000 he was trying to collect for a children’s hospital.

A 22-year old Florida man has been charged with manslaughter after he failed to swerve his e-scooter out of the way of a woman riding a bicycle; the victim died of her injuries several days later.

 

International

No surprise here, as climate experts say electric cars won’t save the planet. But more active transportation will help.

Virgin founder Richard Branson showed off his injuries after his bike’s brakes failed and he crashed into another bicyclist while riding in the Virgin Islands; he credits his helmet with saving his life from the “colossal” crash. Seriously, I’ve had worse.

Glasgow, Scotland is joining the international trend of banning cars from urban centers.

The Smithsonian talks with the teenage girl who rode her bike 570 miles from her English home to Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 climate conference.

London’s iconic Westminster Bridge is getting bollard-protected cycle tracks, which might have helped prevent the 2017 vehicular terrorism attack.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 61-year old business exec walked with a suspended sentence for killing two men on bikes when he plowed his car into both as they rode together last year; adding insult to injury, he was fined a whole £475 — the equivalent of just $637 — in court costs.

A 21-year old British man was sentenced to life behind bars for strangling his 17-year old “friend” and leaving him to drown in a dispute over a bicycle. Seriously, if someone bullies you for months, let alone tries to kill you, maybe he’s not really your friend.

A new sensor developed by a Dutch company allows you to monitor the air quality as you rides. But do you really want to know what kind of crap you’re sucking into your lungs?

Cycling Tips alleges bullying and blackmail in the convoy that carried members of the Afghan cycling team to freedom.

Heartbreaking story from India, where an Indian soldier was one of seven people gunned down by ethnic rebels, just two days after promising his eight-year old daughter he’d bring her a bicycle as a belated birthday gift when he came home in February.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tragic news from Eritrea, where rising 21-year old cyclist Desiet Kidane was killed by a driver while training in the country; she was part of UCI’s World Cycling Center training program.

Apparently, even winning the Tour de France isn’t enough to protect against bike thieves, as Geraint Thomas learned the hard way when he popped into a coffee shop while training on the French Riviera.

A new book claims to be the first written by a Black bike racer about Black bike racers in one hundred years.

The EF Education-Nippo cycling team fired Columbian cyclist Sergio Higuita for riding a Specialized bike instead of team sponsor Cannondale, but quickly took him back after he apologized. His American teammate Lawson Craddock got fired and quickly unfired, for the same reason.

It takes some serious bike skills to get back in your shoe while it’s still clipped in the pedal.

https://twitter.com/VelonCC/status/1458483340537962496?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1458483340537962496%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.essentiallysports.com%2Fwatch-french-cyclist-pulls-off-insane-bike-adjustment-while-cycling-to-prevent-crash-us-sports-news-cycling%2F

 

Finally…

The top 10 reasons drivers don’t like us. Now they aren’t even waiting until the bikes leave the shop to run them over.

And SNL has good news and bad news on the ebike front.

 

………

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

Bike riders Gavined by governor’s veto pen, rude writer confronts rude rider, and bad Claremont proposal threatens bikes

We’ve been Gavined.

We’re only a few years removed from when Jerry Brown became a verb meaning a too close pass, after he vetoed legislation establishing a three-foot passing law.

Twice.

It took a third try, and a vastly weakened law, to get it past Brown’s overactive veto pen.

Now Gavin Newsom is trying to take his place by irrationally vetoing bike and pedestrian safety laws.

Consider this statement that accompanied his veto of the Safety Stop Bill, otherwise known as the Idaho Stop or Stop as Yield, which has gone into effect in several other states without an accompanying jump in carnage.

And note, there’s no bike in carnage, but there’s sure all hell a car.

While I share the author’s intent to increase bicyclist safety, I am concerned this bill will have the opposite effect. The approach in AB 122 may be especially concerning for children, who may not know how to judge vehicle speeds or exercise the necessary caution to yield to traffic when appropriate.

Fatalities and serious injuries have been on the rise on the state’s roads since 2010. The Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System shows that, since 2015, there were 3,059 crashes involving bicycles at an intersection in which the primary collision factor was failure to stop at a stop sign. The data indicates bicyclists were determined to be at fault for 88 percent of the collisions resulting in fatalities and 63 percent of those involving injuries.

So let’s be clear.

Few, if any, legitimate sources use that 88% figure; most researchers find fault either evenly divided, or drivers at fault for most crashes involving bike riders.

While it’s a useful tool, the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, better knows as SWITRS, is hardly the most reliable source. SWITRS depends on voluntary self-reporting by law enforcement agencies, which results in most, but not all, serious collisions being reported.

It is also dependent on the CHP and other law enforcement agencies with their infamous windshield bias and lack of adequate training in bike law.

And never mind that of those 3,059 collisions at intersections where someone failed to stop at a stop sign, it wasn’t necessarily the person on the bike who failed to stop.

Drivers blow through stop signs at least as frequently as people on bikes, and with far more deadly results.

And as we’ve said many times before, even the most reckless bike rider is primarily a danger to him or herself, while a reckless driver is a danger to everyone around them.

Not to mention Gavin also killed a very good law decriminalizing crossing the damn street, for similarly specious reasons — despite clear evidence that it has resulted in biased police enforcement against people of color.

Although to his credit, he did sign a bill that allows the first small steps towards weakening the deadly 85th Percentile Rule and lowering speed limits.

So maybe Gavined should be the new term for irrationally rejecting bike and pedestrian safety rules.

Or maybe that’s what we’ll call it when someone gets a ticket for otherwise safely rolling a stop sign or crossing the street mid-block, which would have been legal under the laws he rejected.

Or both.

Because we had high hopes that California would finally take a long-delayed rational step forward to make it safer and easier to get around without a car.

But instead, we got Gavined.

In today’s photo, a family takes a break on the front plaza of LAPD headquarters during yesterday’s CicLAvia in Downtown Los Angeles.

And my apologies for the lack of attribution for the people who sent me links for today’s post. Too be honest, it’s nearly 5:30 am as I finish this, and I’m just too damn tired to go back and see who sent what. But I thank you, and truly appreciate the help!

……..

A worker with a homeless organization complains about a rude bike rider on the LA River bike path, in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.

He was standing on the pathway, comforting a homeless man who’s longtime partner had just died, when a man on a bike yelled at them to get out of the path.

These were the circumstances when you, spandex-clad and biking south along the river, yelled at the three of us to get out of the path, to which I responded with a predictable vulgarity.

I was surprised when you returned to insist that I apologize for my foul language and for forcing you to shift lanes. You seemed genuinely certain you were the injured party, and I imagined you carrying that for the rest of the day — telling your friends about the confrontation, using it as an example of our ongoing civilizational decline…

Things shouldn’t be like this. I took your behavior as evidence that you, like many of my neighbors, view unhoused people exclusively as nuisances, similar to bad traffic on the 5 or our most recent oat milk shortage.

As usual, though, we’re only hearing one side of the story.

Undoubtedly, the man on the bicycle would see things differently; he had no way of knowing about the death of the homeless man’s partner.

But based on what we’ve been told by the author of the piece, it would seem like they were both wrong.

He could, and should, have moved the homeless man off the pathway to avoid blocking a path used by countless people every day. It’s likely that the two people comforting a homeless man blocked more of the path than he realized.

The bike rider could have also held his tongue as he rode past, assuming there was enough room to get by. Yes, it’s annoying when people stand on a bike path. But that’s what people do.

And sometimes, as in this case, there’s a reason for it.

The author also could have responded without swearing at the bike rider, which seems uncalled for under the circumstances.

So what we’re left with is two people behaving badly, and one whining about it in the pages of the Times.

Neither of whom seem very sympathetic in the retelling.

………

Eric Griswold calls our attention to a very badly worded motion before the Claremont city council that could ban bikes from one or more surface streets, in violation of state law.

So just to be clear, under California state law, bike riders have all the rights and responsibilities of motorists, and must be allowed on any public street where cars are allowed, with the exception of some limited access highways.

While some cities have tried to ban bikes from certain roadways, it’s questionable whether it can be legally enforced. Although fighting it could mean taking it to the state appeals courts, which is a slow and costly process.

So let’s hope Claremont takes another look at this wording, and sends it back for a rewrite.

And maybe gets a new law firm for the next draft.

………

Sunday marked the return of CicLAvia to DTLA, exactly 11 years to the day after the first one.

And yes, a good time was had by all.

Even our very own BikinginLA intern, who not only experienced her first CicLAvia, but also took her first pedicab ride.

Not to mention her second. And loved every minute of it, thanks to our very kind and friendly driver.

We also had a chance to talk corgis, bikes and city finances with the man who may just be LA’s next city controller.

Maybe he could put his own corgis to work sniffing out financial irregularities at city hall.

https://twitter.com/kennethmejiaLA/status/1447365863363923969

………

Show this tweet the next time someone complains about bike lanes in front of businesses.

Then wait for the inevitable “Yeah, but this isn’t Madrid.”

………

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

An editor with Esquire wants us to feel sorry for him for getting his first traffic ticket in 30 years for right-hooking a bike rider who came off the sidewalk “out of nowhere.” Evidently, though, the cops understood that no one ever comes out of nowhere if drivers are paying attention, even if he doesn’t.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the man who brutally attacked an 18-year old woman in South Los Angeles as she was walking with her young brother, stealing about 30 bucks before making off on a bicycle.

New York police are looking for a bike-riding man who shouted a racist comment at an Asian woman before bumping her with his bike.

………

Local

All five candidates to replace pseudo-environmentalist, bike lane-blocking, thankfully termed out CD5 City Councilmember Paul Koretz will participate in an online debate on mobility on October 25th, sponsored by Streets for All.

Congratulations to LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood, which is officially the world’s 14th coolest neighborhood.

This is who we share the road with. A man was beaten to death by bystanders after using his car as a weapon to intentionally crash into several people on a sidewalk when he was tossed from a Hawthorne business, then crashed into a building as he tried to get away, only to be pulled from his car and killed by members of the crowd he attacked

Not everyone turned out for CicLAvia on Sunday, as some people took part in the return of the bike ride on the course of the Long Beach Marathon. Although I suspect some people did both.

 

State

An Orange County woman got her stolen bike back a day later, after cruising the neighborhood with her dog until she spotted a man riding it, and the police in Santa Ana recovered it for her.

Cycling Tips looks at Day Two of this year’s Sea Otter Classic.

Moving piece from a Berkeley publicly funded paper about the 81-year old retired firefighter who died of a heart attack while riding his bike last week.

The San Francisco Chronicle examines the lack of equity for two San Francisco drivers who killed two bike-riding women in separate crashes on the same night; one driver got a lousy 16 days behind bars, while the other has been held in county jail for five years on $10 million bail, without ever getting a hearing.

 

National

Treehugger says US ebike sales are up a whopping 240%.

How to repurpose old wheelbarrows to build your own DIY bike trailer.

Chicago residents petition to restore a Slow Street, after the city continues its campaign to remove them.

In a major traffic collision, an eight-year old Ohio girl was riding her bicycle when she was struck by a 10-year old boy and 8-year old girl in a pony cart, spilling them all.

Two hundred Massachusetts bike riders turned out turned out to honor the sacrifices of police and firefighters who gave their lives to protect the public.

Bicycling rates continue to rise in the Big Apple, with a 33% jump in weekday ridership.

Jersey City NJ bike riders are getting the secure bike parking we all need with a Black and Brown-owned Brooklyn-based startup that provides customizable bike storage pods that can fit in a single parking space. Let’s hope they come here to SoCal soon.

Woody Harrelson is one of us, riding a bike around DC shortly after punching a drunk man at the Watergate Hotel, who allegedly lunged at him when Harrelson asked him to delete photos of him and his daughter. .

 

International

Birmingham, England announced a transformative plan to cut motor vehicle use by requiring drivers to use a ring road, rather than allowing them to drive across the city, while introducing a fleet of zero-emission cross-city buses and additional protected bike lanes.

Oh, bother. Local residents agree on protecting England’s Hundred Acre Wood, made famous by Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore and Piglet et al, though there’s less agreement on whether to allow bicycles. Although something tells me Pooh would welcome bikes.

Nice story from the UK, where YouTube BMX star Zak Jones gave a young boy with autism a new bike after meeting him at a skate park, when the boy, who had never ridden a bicycle, decided to become a cycling star like Jones.

It takes a major schmuck to borrow a Kenyan boy’s bicycle, then turn around and sell it.

Life is really cheap in Malaysia, where an appeals court confirmed that a driver got a walk for killing eight — yes, eight — teenagers on the customized bikes known as basikal lajak. And she got her driver’s license back, too. I don’t care who you are, it takes major recklessness to crash into eight people on bicycles with enough force to kill them all.

Covid is delaying construction of a Sydney, Australia bikeway, as “snobbish” and “narrow minded” residents work to stop it.

Australian actor Samuel Johnson is one of us, possibly to his regret, after permanently losing his sense of smell when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogacar won the Il Lombardia classic, in the final race on this year’s WorldTour calendar.

Pink Bike offers a photo essay from the Red Bull Rampage, calling it the greatest show on earth.

British sprinting star Mark Cavendish turned up at the women’s Tour of Britain to speak out in support of women’s cycling.

Congratulations to SoCal’s own Coryn Rivera, who is now Coryn Labecki, after getting married and moving to a new team.

American BMX cyclist Connor Fields crash in the Tokyo Olympics left him with a serious traumatic brain injury and memory loss, raising questions about whether he can recover enough to compete again.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new low-end e-mountain bike is okay for everything, except riding mountains. Who needs the Batmobile when you’ve got a turbo-charged bicycle?

And clearly, dooring is nothing new.

………

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

SD bike riders protest deadly streets, former WY senator dies from bike crash, and LA Times says slow speeding drivers

It looks like San Diego bike riders have finally had enough.

After a horrifying 12 bicycling deaths in San Diego County so far this year — roughly double what the county might experience in a typical year — dozens of local residents held a protest ride and press conference to demand safer streets.

That bloody toll includes five people who were killed on their bikes in just the past month.

“Grief makes you angry,” San Diego Bicycle Coalition executive director Andy Hanshaw said. “If there’s not a dedicated path that’s seperate from the road, then we need a safer bike lane on the street, and your typical white stripe is not safe enough.”

Beloved bicyclist and San Diego State University administrator Laura Shinn was killed on Pershing Drive last Tuesday. Police said she was in the bike lane, wearing a helmet, when a driver hit her from behind.

Graphics by tomexploresla

“A lot of people are feeling hesitant,” bicyclist Elizabeth Mayer said. “They don’t want this freedom option of transportation taken from them because they’re afraid of cars.”

Although someone might want to tell NBC-7 that not everyone who rides a bicycle is an “athlete.”

………

Sad news from Wyoming, where former US Senator Mike Enzi has died following some sort of bicycling crash.

According to the local Gillette, Wyoming newspaper, the 77-year old politician was transported to a medical center near my Colorado hometown after he was involved in a “serious bicycle accident” Friday night.

He died of his injuries on Monday.

Newsweek reports that Enzi was found lying in the roadway next to his bicycle, about the same time his Apple Watch sent a distress call indicating a bad fall.

The magazine reports he had suffered a broken neck and broken ribs; there’s no word on whether he fell off his bike, or may have been the victim of a hit-and-run.

Regardless of whether or not you agreed with his politics, he devoted his life to serving his state and his country.

And he was one of us.

………

They get it.

The Los Angeles Times says it’s time to stop letting drivers set speed limits with their right foot.

The Los Angeles City Council was recently forced to raise speed limits on sections of Olympic and Overland boulevards in West L.A. — where a woman was killed this year by a recklessly speeding driver.

Why? Because an outdated and absurd law essentially requires cities to set street limits based on how fast people are already driving on a stretch of road — not whether that speed is safe.

This law is based on a flawed methodology, according to a report released last year. It relies on the overly optimistic assumption that most drivers will drive at a safe and reasonable speed, and that it’s safer to set speed limits that reflect the “natural” flow of traffic.

The paper calls for passage of AB 43, which would modify the deadly 85th Percentile Law to allow cities and counties to lower speed limits by a modest 5 mph on streets with injury high rates of injuries, or heavy bike and pedestrian use.

What we really need is to repeal the 85th Percentile Law entirely.

But until we can get there, this is a start.

………

This is what it looks like to ride the new bike lane on New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

Just don’t count on riding it yourself for the next few months.

………

Local

Bird is rolling out their next generation e-scooters in Long Beach this week.

 

State

Clean Technica says California’s new ebike rebate program is a done deal. But securing the funding is not the same as approving the program.

Former San Luis Obispo councilmember Robert “Red” Davis passed away peacefully in his home over the weekend. The 76-year old bike advocate had served as president of the SLO Bike Club, as well as chairing the Morro Bay Citizens Bike Committee and the County Bicycle Advisory Committee; a local bikeway is named in his honor.

A San Francisco TV station tries out a $5,500 ebike intended to replace a car, and capable of carrying two passengers and up to 400 pounds at 30 mph. However, that top speed means you’d be required to wear a helmet, and prohibited from using bike paths and protected bike lanes.

San Francisco Streetsblog says a pilot speed cam program may be exactly what the city needs to meet its Vision Zero goals in the next three years. On the other hand, Los Angeles has virtually zero chance of meeting its goal of ending traffic deaths by 2025, by which time the mayor who committed to it will likely be serving as ambassador to India, anyway. 

Sacramento officials identify the 76-year old man who died a month after he was run down by a drunk motorist illegally driving on a bike path.

 

National

TikTok’s Mr. Barricade discusses the benefits and practicality of quick-build bike lanes.

The New Republic says car sales and usage are on the rise, crushing hopes of reclaiming streets for bike riders and pedestrians.

A pair of Navy vets discuss their 1,300-mile bike ride to visit sites marking the 9/11 attacks to honor those who died that day.

The kindhearted staff of a Wyoming co-op dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a young girl, after someone stole her bicycle and tried to fix its flat tire at their shop.

Someone please tell San Antonio, Texas that a 35 mph speed limit does not a Slow Street make.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 75-year old Kansas man is planning to ride 75 miles to celebrate his birthday, while raising funds to help former inmates reenter society.

There’s a special place in hell for the person who jumped out of a car and shot a 12-year old St. Louis boy, just missing his 11-year old companion; fortunately, the boy is expected to survive.

Olympic silver medalist Brent Emery now devotes his efforts to building custom adaptive bicycles for kids with disabilities; Emery won his medal for team pursuit in the ’84 Los Angeles games.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A legend in local television was killed when a driver ran down a 77-year old former Florida TV executive in the fog on Saturday morning; Stephen McKenney Steck had ridden his bike every day for the last seven years.

Speaking of a special place in hell, that goes double for whoever viciously beat and robbed a 68-year old New York grandfather as he rode a bikeshare bike.

 

International

Raleigh wants to replace your car, too, for the low, low price of just $6,000. Apparently, “replace your car” is code for a cargo bike that costs as much as a used car.

Toronto bike riders are complaining after police ticketed dozens of bicyclists for speeding and blowing a stop sign in a local park, setting up a speed trap on a street where the limit was 20 mph for everyone. Although, as another story that was hidden behind a paywall wondered, is it really fair to ticket bike riders who don’t have a speedometer?

The world’s longest solar power-generating bike path is now open in the Netherlands, stretching over 1,000 feet.

Hats off to Mohammad Ashraf, who is completing a 2,300-mile ride across India, despite having to ride with just one leg after the other was paralyzed in a 2017 bicycling crash, which also limited use of his right hand.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Tom Pidcock took gold in men’s Olympic mountain biking in his first Olympics, after barely qualifying as U-23 rider.

Mathieu van der Poel blames a missing wooden ramp for crashing out of the mountain bike race, saying it had been there during his practice rides.

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten says she’s “gutted” after falsely claiming victory in the road race after losing track of Anna Kiesenhofer, who finished over a minute ahead of her to claim the gold.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a cross-state group ride crosses paths with a police chase. Nothing like being 300 miles into a 1,200 cross-country bike ride because you lost a bet.

And don’t count on riding BMW’s compact, folding ped-assist e-cargo bike anytime soon.

Or maybe ever.

………

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

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