Tag Archive for Los Angeles

San Diego’s transformative new transportation plan, and Munich shows how bike lane bypasses should be done

It’s Day 8 of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Dongyi L, Alan C, Gregory S and Todd T for their generous donations to keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

So take a moment to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. 

Seriously, go ahead and do it right now. We’ll wait. 

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San Diego is about to show California how its done.

San Diego Forward, a new 30-year plan presented by the San Diego Association of Governments, better known as SANDAG, offers a transformational vision of what the city can, and should, be.

Here’s how Streetsblog explains it.

It is unlike any previous regional plan in San Diego, or in California. That’s in part because SANDAG got into a bit of trouble over its last, very inadequate draft plan, which pretended to be forward-looking but, like many regional transportation plans, was mostly a warmed-over rehash of previous plans that prioritize freeways. The previous SANDAG plan included some transit and bike improvements, but those investments were all put on the back burner, and highway expansions came first.

Not this time. The new draft plan – written under new SANDAG leadership – presents a utopian vision of what a connected, equitable, easy-to-navigate transportation system could be, focusing on new technologies for managing vehicle traffic, improving transit, and building streetscapes that work for people on foot and on bike.

Although the 3o-year timeline is about 20 years too late for the planet, which needs to see drastic shifts in how we get around in the next ten years to avoid catastrophic climate changes.

The other challenge is the cost, with an unfunded $160 billion price tag — yes, with a b — to build out.

And as we’ve learned the hard way here in Los Angeles, the key to its success is actually building it, rather than letting it turn into dust sitting on the shelf, like LA’s mobility plan.

Which so far hasn’t been worth the silicon it’s printed on.

However, San Diego leaders have actually shown a willingness to live up to their commitments, such as the city’s climate action plan.

So maybe there’s hope of real change down there, even if it may take too long.

Now if they could just show the rest of us how it’s done.

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Ralph Durham offers a followup to Monday’s photo of a spacious bike lane bypass through a Munich construction zone, protected by a sturdy metal barricade.

It gets better.

We were walking towards the intersection where I took pictures of the detour at the intersection. This time we tried to cross the bridge. The bridge is undergoing major construction and is down to two lanes from four. No sidewalk use either. However, on both sides there are temporary bike ped bridges. Four in total because there is a small island in the river.

Here is a picture of one of the temporary bridges. Yes that is snow.

Photo by Ralph Durham

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That feeling when an anti-bike British lawyer demands his God-given right to dangerously pass a group of bicyclists who are legally riding two abreast to control a narrow lane.

And the cops politely say not today, Satan.

Although the police use a painful analogy to correct him on another one.

Unfortunately, we can only imagine what it would be like to have police back us up like that in this country.

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

The California Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a man who killed an off-duty LA County Sheriff’s deputy along with another man over 15 years ago, and left his bicycle at the scene as he fled afterwards.

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Local

Santa Monica will be building protected bike lanes on 17th and Steward Streets in the Pico Neighborhood on the eastern part of the city, along with improved crosswalks and safe routes to school for the area’s Edison Language Academy.

 

State

San Diego officials confirmed the identity of a man who was murdered by a driver as he was riding his bike near the Silverwing Recreation Center; police say 40-year old Octavio Mendoza was intentionally run down as the hit-and-ru driver apparently chased him across a grass field with his SUV. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

An Escondido bike shop owner is a repeat winner of the National Gingerbread House Competition, despite only recently taking up competitive baking, as opposed to biking.

A 43-year old Oakland mother suffered major injuries when she was doored while riding her bike in Berkeley, then immediately struck by another motorist as she fell to the street.

A Sonoma paper looks back fondly to bicycling’s local heyday in the ’80s and ’90s. No, the 1880s.

 

National

Fast Company says electric cars won’t be enough to save our cities.

A planned Portland lawsuit over the city’s decision not to build a bike lane is up in the air, after the ostensible plaintiff moved to Amsterdam despite crowdfunding $13,000 to fund the suit.

Tragic news from Arkansas, where a bike-riding paramedic was killed during the Little Rock Marathon when he grabbed onto a utility vehicle to respond to an injured runner and was pulled under the vehicle’s wheels; the state governor ordered flags flown at half-staff for two days in his honor.

Talk about a life well-lived. A developmentally disabled Wisconsin man spent 12 years riding his bike to raise funds for a local food bank, covering more than 75,000 miles and raising over $42,000 before his death last week at 75. We should all have a heart that big.

Chicago rolls out Lyft’s new ebikes as part of its bikeshare system.

A Michigan man faces up to 30 years behind bars after admitting to using meth and weed, and using Facebook Messenger while driving at highway speeds when he fatally ran down a woman riding her bike earlier this year.

The bike boom is straining New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare system, which is struggling to keep up with demand in some areas.

Philadelphia solves two problems at once by installing bike corrals to keep drivers from parking in front of fire hydrants.

Heartbreaking news from Florida, where police revealed that the 14-year old Palm Beach boy who was murdered while riding his bike had been stabbed repeatedly in the head by a homeless man, in a totally senseless random attack; his killer had recently spent time in a mental institution after a similarly random attack on an Atlanta man.

 

International

Road.cc recommends essential tools for bike riders who do their own maintenance. And yes, I had all of those. Even if my wife won’t let me work on my bike in our apartment any more.

Vancouver is a little more colorful after installing artwork designed by university art students at five bike parking facilities near rail stations around the city.

Twin British brothers have been charged with murder in the death of a 63-year old man, whose body was found earlier this year after disappearing four years ago during a charity ride in Scotland; there’s no word on why he was killed, however.

Israel’s Knesset has given preliminary approval to a bill that would require license plates on ebike and e-scooters.

The former chairman of Fly6 and Fly12 maker Cycliq discovered the hard way that bike cams don’t stop thieves, after burglars made off with a trio of rare racing bikes from his garage.

 

Competitive Cycling

The reluctance of Quick-Step GM Patrick Lefevere to form a women’s cycling team was behind sponsor Deceuninck switching its alliance to the Alpecin-Fenix team next year.

Twenty-five-year old American ‘cross cyclist and mountain biker Ellen Noble is stepping away from racing indefinitely to deal with health issues caused by an auto-immune disorder and a crash that fractured her spine in three places.

If you’re not doing anything tonight, here’s your chance to dip a toe into track cycling.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you hope someone else buys a 20-year old custom-made cycling team bike so you don’t have to. Your next ebike could be a Porsche — and priced like it, too.

And people on bicycles hardly ever threaten anyone with a gun over bike parking.

Just saying.

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

 

 

Only bike mechanic in US Congress retires, Beemer-blocking bollards, and Metro reconsiders bikeshare today

It’s Day 7 of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Glenn C and Erick H for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. 

So what are you waiting for?

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Leadership of the US House Transportation Committee will be changing hands, as one of the chamber’s most bike-friendly members retires.

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This is who we share the road with.

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

No bias here. Once again, a bicycle rider has been killed by a seemingly sentient truck, which apparently operated without having anyone behind the wheel. Or maybe a Kentucky TV station just forgot to mention them.

London’s transportation department is forced to pull an ad calling for greater understanding on the streets amid accusations of victim blaming by bike riders, after a driver and a bicyclist metaphorically kiss and make up when the former nearly kills the latter.

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Local

The Source offers a preview of today’s Metro Board Meeting, focusing on policing contracts for Metro trains and buses; among the “also on the agenda” items is a motion to develop plans to improve the Metro Bike bikeshare program.

Los Angeles awards 14 community grants for beautification projects, including a proposal to landscape the LA River bike path along the river’s headwaters.

 

State

Berkeley ends its 4.2-mile Slow Streets program, apparently concluding people no longer need safe and healthy places to walk and ride.

A Redding man suffered major injuries when he was struck by an SUV, after multiple witnesses reported he was riding recklessly, weaving around vehicles and riding his bike on the wrong side of the road.

 

National

A Las Vegas sports business website says the best way to explore Utah’s Zion National Park is by bicycle.

Forbes profiles the 25-year old founders of Phoenix-based, sub-$1,000 direct-to-consumer brand Lectric eBikes.

Scottish bicyclist Josh Quigley returns to Texas to resume his around-the-world journey, two years after he was nearly killed when a driver ran him down fro behind.

If you’re visiting Milwaukee this weekend, look out for hundreds of bike-riding Santas. And yes, they’re all the real Santa. So get over it, kid.

New York unveils a glossy new transportation plan, with a city commitment to building 250 miles of protected bike lanes over the next five years — and hopes that it can somehow come up with the money to pay for it. On the other hand, how many miles of protected bike lanes has Los Angeles committed to over the same time period — with or without current funding?

LA’s Tamika Butler, Justin Williams and Peter Flax discuss the need for another Major Taylor moment in the final episode of the Chasing History video series, about the founding of the first cycling team at a Historically Black College or University, representing North Carolina’s St. Augustine’s University.

Kindhearted Jacksonville, Florida deputies replaced a young girl’s bicycle after it was mangled when a pursuit suspect came to a stop on top of it on her front lawn.

An arrest has been made in the murder of a 14-year old Palm Beach, Florida boy who disappeared while riding his bike; more information should be available later today.

 

International

Banff, Alberta wants to help residents reduce their carbon footprint with a proposed new ebike rebate program.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 76-year old woman in London, Ontario collided with another driver after allegedly running a red light, and slammed into a group of ten people walking on the sidewalk, eight of them children; one young girl was killed. And all the driver appeared to care about was whether she was going to be arrested. Let’s hope so.

Even a former Welsh rugby star can be the victim of a bike thief.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A speeding British driver who killed a motorcyclist walked with no jail time after the judge concluded he was already punishing himself. Seriously? Remind me to use that excuse if I ever shoot someone.

The four largest cities in the Netherlands are asking the country’s parliament to improve safety by lowering the speed limit to 30 kph, the equivalent of 18 mph.

A woman in the Ivory Coast is using an exercise bike to produce artisanal chocolate from locally sourced cocoa beans.

The South African mountain kingdom of Lesotho is slowly building a mountain biking culture, following the introduction of the six-day Lesotho Sky mountain bike race a decade ago.

Endgadget says a new Chinese-made ebike is more like a computer on wheels, even if some of the promised feature are still vaporware.

 

Competitive Cycling

An all-female group of cyclists will represent athletes on the board of USA Cycling, with the selection of Cari Higgins, Meredith Miller and Maddie Godby joining current board member Alison Tetrick; VeloNews talks with Godby about her new role.

Another round of track racing at the Velo Sports Center in Carson this weekend. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

Note to DOTs — when you install new bike lanes, take down the signs allowing parking first. Your next ebike could have a corkscrew downtube.

And Mathieu van der Poel and his Alpecin-Fenix teammates demonstrate their lack of acting skills in a sponsor video described as “cringeworthy.

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

 

 

LA Council votes to close Northvale Gap on Expo Line bike path, and last CicLAvia of 2021 rolls through South LA Sunday

There may be hope for closing the infamous Northvale Gap yet.

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to use eminent domain to seize a small portion of the backyards on eight properties lining the E Line train tracks, nee Expo Line, between Motor and Overland Aves.

That will provide the space needed to extend the Expo Line bike path to close the approximately one-mile gap that resulted when Metro gave up on building the pathway through that section, in the face of heavy opposition from homeowners living on Northvale Road.

They had opposed the construction of the Expo Line, apparently believing when they bought their homes that the unused train tracks behind them would stay that way in perpetuity.

And after losing that battle, turned their attention to fighting the bike path, convinced pervy bike riders would peer into their homes, and criminals would make off with their flat screen TVs and silverware balanced on their handlebars.

No, really.

That left bike riders forced to take a circuitous route on the street in front their homes, instead of a direct one behind them. And having to climb a steep hill to ride west, instead of a flat route alongside the train.

The completed pathway is projected open in 2025 — 13 years late, and tens of millions of dollars more than it would have cost to build it along with the train line.

And that’s only if the inevitable lawsuit over eminent domain doesn’t delay the construction even longer.

Our spokesdog wants to know why you haven’t donated to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive yet. Or to thank you, if you already have.

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Maybe I’m not the only one it snuck up on.

The year’s final CicLAvia will roll this Sunday along Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvds in South LA.

The weather should be beautiful, with the forecast calling for mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the mid 60s.

Metro notes the route will have easy access with several stops along the aforementioned E is for Expo Line.

Unfortunately, I won’t be going, since I’m still suffering from the long-lingering effects of whatever the hell illness knocked me on my ass before Halloween.

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We’ve linked to this one before. But it’s worth revisiting.

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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 conservative member of the Canadian Parliament was rightfully mocked for accusing a government minister of placing a bicycle on the wall behind him in a zoom call to “make a statement about his environmental cred”.

No bias here, either. Britain’s Express cites comments from dozens of bike haters drivers opposed to narrowing lanes to create or widen bike lanes. But can’t seem to find a single person who thinks it’s a good idea.

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Local

The LA Times podcast revisits the paper’s recent investigative report revealing racial bias in bike traffic stops by sheriff’s deputies, as 70% of riders pulled over by deputies were Latinos, and 85% of bike riders stopped by deputies were searched, usually without probably cause. Unless you think that merely riding a bicycle is evidence of a crime. Which they apparently do.

He gets it. Former Azusa, Ventura and Santa Monica city manager — no, not at the same time — Rick Cole says cities can’t put off road repairs, and can’t build their way out of gridlock.

Metro lists the bicycle classes available this month — four online and one in-person at Leimert Park — as well as a BEST bike ride on the 11th.

 

State

San Diego puts its money where its mouth is — literally — by committing to divest fossil fuel funds from the city’s $2.33 billion investment portfolio, to reduce greenhouse gases and live up to its climate goals.

A San Diego scooter rider suffered a broken nose, fractured shoulder and facial cuts when he was the victim of a hit-and-run driver while riding in a bike lane in the city’s Linda Vista neighborhood.

San Francisco Streetsblog editor Roger Rudick takes a spin around California to observe all the progress — and lack thereof — in creating a more equitable transportation system.

 

National

Men’s Health offers their recommendations on the best bikes to hit the road with, choosing among five separate types, from roadies to cruisers, but apparently never having heard of foldies, commuters or cargo bikes.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A longtime Houston art model was killed in a drunken hit-and-run crash when a speeding driver plowed into the back of his bike; he had credited bicycling with helping him maintain the muscular physique that made him popular with artists.

That’s more like it. A Texas woman will spend the next 15 years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run death of a prominent local surgeon as he was riding his bicycle.

Life is cheap in Buffalo, New York, where a driver was fined a whopping $200 for hitting and injuring a bike-riding woman while forcing her pickup through a protest last year.

A Maryland study found over 95% of crashes involving bike riders occurred on roads without bicycling infrastructure. Which is what happens when the overwhelming majority of roads don’t have any.

Nice move from ebike maker Rad Power Bikes, which is funding West Virginia’s first bicycle tech lab to teach students ebike mechanics, as well as entrepreneurship and health.

Ride in the footsteps of Daniel Boone with a new bike route tracing his steps through four states, from Atlanta to Cleveland. Coonskin bike helmet optional.

No bias here, either. A local Fox News channel reports on the opposition of North Carolina residents to a lane reduction and bike lanes along a rural highway, while failing to note that the primary reason for removing traffic lanes is to slow speeding drivers and improve safety, not to to force bike lanes on people who don’t want them.

 

International

A new international guidebook attempts to improve safety for riders around the world with proven bike lane design principles.

Momentum lists their picks for the best gifts for urban bike riders. If anyone has me for their Secret Santa, I’ll take the Brompton ebike, thank you.

A London tabloid accuses the police of going soft on scooter riders, after announcing they will no longer seize e-scooters being ridden illegally.

Record-setting Scottish bike rider Josh Quigley says it’s time to finish the around-the-world bike trip that was interrupted when he was run down by a Texas driver; he credits bicycling with saving his life after months of heavy drinking and depression — even though it’s nearly killed him twice.

The death toll is rising on Britain’s rural roads, as the pandemic bike boom led to a nearly 50% increase in countryside bicycling deaths last year, and almost double the total from 2018.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider during a failed pass. Lenient sentences like that might just be another reason more people on bikes are getting killed.

Police in Kolkata, India are reimposing a ban on bicycles on 71 thoroughfares and bridges, after removing the restrictions during the pandemic. Which, it should be noted, is still going strong.

A pair of Emirati teens are on the verge of completing a four-year challenge to ride their bikes through all seven of the United Arab Emirates.

A Chinese reporter examines the health of the country’s surviving bikeshare providers in the wake of the industry’s collapse four years ago due to flooding the market with cheap bikes and stricter government regulations.

 

Competitive Cycling

French cyclist Anthony Roux has started his own initiative to fight roadside litter, encouraging people to remove trash from both sides of the road, after becoming upset over the piles of trash he sees on his training rides. We can see a lot more garbage along the roads than people who zoom by in cars do. And too often cause more than our share of it.

Rouleur celebrates eight pivotal moments in the career of the legendary Eddy Merckx.

Nineteen of the top American cycling teams have joined forces to create the National Association of Cycling Teams, following the demise of the USA CRITS series; however, the L39ion of Los Angeles cycling team isn’t participating, at least for now. Unless maybe it’s actually 22 teams instead.

 

Finally…

Honestly, who wouldn’t want to ride a bicycle at 186 mph? It’s never too early to get your kid a pseudo-Peloton.

And how to buy a balance bike for your kid. Or you, for that matter.

No judgement.

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It’s penultimate day of the first full week of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to James L, André V, Paul F, Terese E and Matthew R for their generous donations to keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming to your favorite screen every day.

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. And thanks for all the kind words accompanying the donations; that means as much as any amount of cash.

………

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

 

Killer Oceanside hit-and-run driver gets 2 years, low curb hazard on new Culver bike lanes, and scam Bonin anti-recall site

Before we get started, just a quick reminder that today is Giving Tuesday, the one day each year set aside to support worthy nonprofit organizations that need your help.

We could name a very long list, from Streets For All and the LACBC, to Calbike and Streetsblog LA and California.

Along with your own local advocacy groups, wherever you live.

One group that recently came to my attention is the Los Angeles Bicycle Academy, a youth cycling and bicycle education program created to “empower, educate and develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills in youth between the ages of 8-18.”

Our focus is to work with youth from underserved communities where opportunity, access, equity, and exposure within the sport of cycling is extremely limited. We want to help more young people learn the positive impact a bicycle can have on their own lives, and the lives of those around them.

They have big plans for the coming year, including opening a community bike shop, launching a build-a-bike program, and developing a women’s cycling team.

It’s worth checking out. And maybe adding them to your giving list this year.

Speaking of giving, our spokesdog up there reminds you to support SoCal’s best bike news by giving to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

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Life is cheap in San Diego County, where 24-year old Oceanside resident Bailey Tennery got a lousy two years behind bars for killing 27-year old Carlsbad resident Jackson Williams as he rode his bike in Oceanside last July.

Tennery pled guilty to felony hit-and-run causing death and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.

She could have gotten up to four years in the state pen, with another year in county.

Instead, she got a relative slap on the wrist for leaving an innocent man to die alone in the street. Then hid her car for a full week until it was spotted by a homeless man.

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You can’t please everyone.

Culver City officially unveiled their new Move Culver City initiative, installing quick build bus and bike lanes on three major streets in the downtown area — in a fraction of the time and cost required for similar projects across the city limit line in Los Angeles.

But while most people came out to celebrate completion of the project, I’m told a group of drivers turned out to protest, apparently under the misconception that 100% of the streets belong to cars.

And unwilling to give up a single inch, let alone a lane or two.

On the other hand, the response from the two-wheeled group seems mostly positive.

However, Mitchell Guzik pointed out an unexpected hazard posed by low concrete curbs intended to protect people using the bike lanes, but which could present a risk to any bike rider who runs into them.

Photo by Mitchell Guzik

Even in daylight, it’s a struggle to spot them in the photo. Which means it would be nearly impossible after dark.

And as we’ve seen on PCH in Cardiff, unintentionally hitting them can spill a rider into the roadway, with serious results.

The obvious solution, as Guzik suggests, is to paint the curbs a more visible color. Or go crazy, and let some of Culver City’s many artists decorate them.

Obviously, we don’t want to fall into the common SoCal trap of letting perfect be the enemy of good when it comes to bike lanes.

But just a minor improvement could make them safer for everyone.

Correction: I originally misspelled the name of Mitchell Guzik. My apologies for the error. 

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They’re back.

A few very unpleasant years ago, I had the misfortune of tangling with the fraudulent Westside Walkers Twitter account, which was created in response to the 2017 lane reductions on Venice Blvd and in Playa del Rey.

As Peter Flax made clear in outing the person behind the account, the Westside Walkers pretended to be “LA’s #1 walking & biking advocacy group.”

But it was actually just one man’s political dirty trick, posing as a nonexistent group to muddy the advocacy waters and make his opposition to traffic safety measures seem more reasonable.

He even went so far as to claim to be a co-founder and operator of this site. Which I can assure you neither he, nor anyone else other than myself, had anything to do with.

Now he’s back, pretending to be the “Official Democrat Anti Recall” group supporting CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, which undoubtedly came as a surprise to the actual group opposing the recall.

As before, this is just another political dirty trick by a recall supporter and longtime Bonin hater, in an attempt to muddy the water.

And not hesitating to use outright lies to do it.

So don’t fall for it.

Whether or not you support Bonin — and I do — there’s no place for stunts like this, from someone with a long history of playing dirty.

Politics in Los Angeles are dirty enough.

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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 London political columnist takes issue with bike lanes and the unlicensed people who use them, saying bikes were fine for Victorian times, but should only be used on private property these days (scroll down — no, keep scrolling). Just wait until someone tells him who the roads were really built for. 

A British driver sideswipes a bike rider while making an ill-advised pass. And naturally blames the guy on the bike for being there — and touching his car with his body. No, really. 

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Local

DTLA’s Grand Ave now has a dedicated right-side bus lane to complement the protected bike lane on the other side of the road.

 

State

A truck driver who fatally right-hooked a bike-riding San Luis Obispo man faces a maximum of one lousy year behind bars or a $1,000 fine after being charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide, because he didn’t do it on purpose. On the other hand, the victim is still dead, whether or not it was intentional.

The CHP busted a hit-and-run driver who killed a 25-year old Watsonville man when he rear-ended the victim’s bicycle.

A Streetsblog op-ed accuses Oakland’s Vision Zero program of being an empty promise, and says the city needs to take it seriously if they want to eliminate traffic deaths. A sentiment most Los Angeles bike riders and pedestrians could probably relate to.

The carnage continues in the Bay Area, as a San Jose bike rider was killed in a collision yesterday.

The victim of the fatal Moraga bicycling collision we mentioned yesterday has been identified as a 77-year old man, who surely deserved better.

 

National

The Washington Post says, despite the rising rate of disasters brought on by a rapidly warming climate, state transportation agencies are only beginning to plan for climate change.

US bicycling rates are up 10% nationwide, with some cities seeing up to a 50% jump in ridership.

Electrek looks at the year’s best ebikes for under a grand.

Cycling Tips talks with an Iowa artist who turns discarded bike parts into works of art.

Um, no. Treehugger says a New York company’s stylish, high-viz vests will make you want to ride your bike every day. Something is seriously wrong if you have to dress like a glow-in-the-dark clown just to stay alive on a bicycle.

Streetsblog makes the case that the NYPD is lying about the risks posed by ebikes, conflating crashes involving ebikes, which are legal in New York, with mopeds, which aren’t. And placing all the blame on the bike riders, while ignoring who was actually at fault in those crashes.

Something is definitely out of kilter when bike lanes become a wedge issue in a local New Jersey election.

 

International

Evidently, in Canada, a bicycle visible in your Zoom background is just a partisan prop.

A writer for Bike Radar makes the case for registering your bike in the UK. Something you can do for free with lifetime registration from Bike Index on this side of the pond.

A British newsletter takes issue with the legend that Scottish veterinarian John Dunlop invented the pneumatic tire in the 1880s, pointing out that another Scotsman had patented one 40 years earlier.

The Philippines pandemic-driven bike boom was accompanied by a nearly 50% increase in injury collisions.

 

Finally…

Bicycles for people with more dollars than sense. Nothing like wracking your nuts on the top tube on live TV

And probably not the best idea to drive a stolen car to sell a stolen ebike bike to the guy you stole it from.

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It’s Day 5 of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

So let’s thank Bernard B, Stephen M and Tom C for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy keeps coming your way every day.

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

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

Bike-riding man killed in Harbor Gateway hit-and-run; 18th fatal bicycling hit-and-run in Southern California this year

Once again, a man on a bike has been killed by a Southern California driver, this time in LA’s Harbor Gateway neighborhood.

And once again, a heartless coward fled the scene, leaving his victim to die in the street.

According to KCBS2/KCAL9, and a virtually identical report on My News LA, the victim was riding west on Alondra Blvd at Vermont Ave around 2:40 am Sunday when he was run down by a driver headed north on Vermont.

The 39-year old bike rider, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

His killer apparently fled without stopping. There’s no description of the driver or the suspect vehicle; given the location and early morning hour, there may not have been any witnesses.

There’s also no word on who might have had the right-of-way at the signalized intersection.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD South Traffic Division at 323/421-2500 or 323/421-2577. As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles.

This is at least the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It’s also at least the 7th bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

Eighteen of those SoCal deaths have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

 

 

San Diego bike rider allegedly murdered by driver, violent/deadly dirty cop tricks, and razing the Wright Bros 1st bike shop

We’re off to a rip-roaring start to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

After just three days, donations are already running well above last year’s record-setting pace!

So let’s keep it up! Your contribution will help fund this site until our sponsors renew in the spring, and ensure SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy keeps coming your way every day.

Thanks to Janice H, Michael S, Robert K, Kim D, Daniel F, Arthur B, Mark J, Joseph B, Andrew G, Theodore F, Megan L, Steven S, Elizabeth T, Jonathan P, Douglas M, Amy S, and Jamie S for their generous donations.

And that’s in addition to Robert L, Eric L, David V, Mitchell G, and Olivia K, who donated even before the official start of the fund drive on Friday.

Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

………

Police allege a San Diego man may have been murdered by a hit-and-run driver, after witnesses apparently told them the driver deliberately attacked him Thanksgiving morning.

Relatives of 40-year old San Diego father Octavio Mendoza called for additional witnesses to come forward in hopes of catching the driver.

Police are looking for a light-colored, older model Chevrolet Suburban or Tahoe; unfortunately, there’s no description of the driver.

Mendoza is at least the 17th person killed riding a bicycle in San Diego County already this year, perhaps three or four times more than in most years.

It’s also the second time in just two months someone in the city has been accused of intentionally murdering a bike rider with their car.

………

This is who we share the road with.

Sometimes, I don’t even know what to say. So we’ll let NBC News start things out.

A New Jersey police officer is accused of fatally striking a pedestrian, taking the man’s body home to discuss what to do, and then returning to the scene with the dead man in his back seat, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

They on on to explain the off-duty cop and his passenger fled the scene without bothering to aid the victim or call for help.

Then this.

They reportedly went back to the scene multiple times before they put Dymka into the Honda Accord. They then went to Santiago’s home, where he, Guzman and Santiago’s mother, Annette Santiago, discussed what to do, Stephens’ office said.

Louis Santiago eventually went back to the scene, and his father, who is a Newark police lieutenant, called 911, officials said.

New Jersey State Police arrived and found Dymka dead in the back seat, the prosecutor’s office said.

Did we mention that he’s a cop?

Yet apparently, despite his training, he still had no idea what to do after killing someone with his car.

At least this time, there should be consequences. The killer cop faces charges including reckless vehicular homicide, desecrating human remains, and official misconduct, along with a raft of other counts.

Meanwhile, his mom and passenger are both charged with conspiracy to desecrate human remains and hindering apprehension, among other varied and assorted crimes.

No word on whether the cop and his passenger were drunk or stoned. But you’d sure as hell hope no sober person would do that.

Let alone a cop.

………

This is who we share the road with, part two.

A Tucson woman face charges, apparently for allowing an angry driver to assault them.

And yes, he’s a cop, too.

Aloisi and her daughters were walking across the parking lot after brunch, they said, when a vehicle approached them fast before the driver abruptly stopped.

The driver, a man, waved his arms at them and appeared to be yelling, they said, though his windows were closed. The women waved their arms and yelled back at him. Aloisi has a leg problem that prevents her from walking fast after sitting for a length of time, she said…

“He zoomed into that back parking spot, jumped out of his car, threw his hands up in the air and screamed ‘Just f—ing walk’ at us,” Nicole Whitted said.

They tried explaining that their mother can’t walk fast, but the cop continued advancing towards them, before allegedly chest bumping one of the women and angrily taking her to the ground.

He then took the 62-year old mother to the ground as well, holding her down with an arm across her throat while pinning her daughter down with his knee, shades of Derek Chauvin.

Only the intervention of a bystander ended the ugly confrontation after their attacker identified himself, for the first time, as a cop.

Yet only the daughter he allegedly chest bumped was cited for misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Meanwhile, the alleged road raging attacker denied everything and placed all the blame on the three women, apparently getting off with a pat on the back.

And shamefully, did it all with his family waiting and watching in his car.

………

Some things are just wrong. And others are wrong as hell.

Zoning officials in Dayton, Ohio voted almost unanimously to allow the city to demolish the first bike shop operated by the Wright Brothers, overruling the city Landmark Commission, which voted to preserve the 129-year old building.

I mean, it’s not like those guys went on to do anything important or anything.

As justification, the city bizarrely cited the Florida condo collapse, somehow seriously equating the dangers of the collapse of an occupied 12-story building with the possible fall of the long-vacant two-story shop.

Apparently, irreplaceable historic sites must be a dime a dozen around there. Because they don’t seem to give a damn about this one.

………

Metro Bike is offering a pair of specials for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Black Friday Weekend – 30-Day Pass for $1
USE PROMO CODE:
BIKESEASON21
$1 for a 30-Day Metro Bike Share Pass (Regular Price: $17)
Sign up for a 30-Day Pass online at metro.net/bikeshare.
Valid Thursday, 11/25/2021 – Monday, 11/29/2021.

Cyber Monday – Save 50% on 365-Day Pass
USE PROMO CODE:
CYBERMONDAY21
$75 for a 365-Day Metro Bike Share Pass (Regular Price: $150)
Sign up 365-Day Pass online at metro.net/bikeshare.
Valid Monday, 11/29/2021 only.

………

Zachary Rynew reports progress on an extension of the San Fernando Road Bike Path, but notes there’s still work to be done.

………

Apparently, there wasn’t a lot of bikewashing at the Los Angeles Auto Show this year, unlike last year when ebikes made a splash. David Drexler forwards this photo of a Shinola bike, noting it’s the only bicycle he saw at the show this year.

Except for all of the mountain bikes used as props on the backs of SUVs, of course.

………

Our German correspondent, Ralph Durham, forwards a photo showing how bike lane detours are handled in a country where bikes, and the people on them, actually matter.

I’m sending you a picture of a short Bike and ped detour in Munich.

This is at the corner of Ludwigsbrucke (over the Isar river) and Steindorfstrasse. It is a major intersection. the bikes heading north and south have a direct path under the bridge and can avoid the issue. If you need to turn onto the bridge or off the bridge you will hit this. This bike path has a counter and records hundreds of thousands of trip per year.

The road is 2 lanes in each direction and there is work being done that directly impacts the pedestrian walkway and the 2 way bike path. So they shut down the two northbound car lanes and retriped for bikes and pedestrians to get around the construction.

A lot of care is put into allowing bikes and pedestrians to avoid direct interaction with motor vehicles when construction impacts roads and sidewalks.

Compare and contrast that with how your town handles it.

………

Remember this next time you have to lock your bike up to a street sign or parking meter.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up. 

………

Over the long weekend, I received an email from a British man, asking me to mention the new foldie developed by his San Francisco brother-in-law — the first folding bike where the wheels fold, too.

We’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again, since wheels are the biggest size limitation for folding bicycles. And with just one day left to go, the Tuck Bike still has over $42,000 to go to meet their funding goal.

So if you’re in the market for a $1,300 bike that really folds, this is your chance.

………

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

No bias here. In an interminably long screed, San Diego’s bike-hating OB Rag accuses “extreme” bicyclists of holding sway over area planners for demanding crazy things like stop signs to slow speeding drivers, and not wanting to get killed when they ride.

A British YouTuber and self-proclaimed Voice of Reason offers a bizarre rant, concluding that “supercilious nature is out of control,” and bike lanes — or maybe bike riders — must be banned for the good of the planet.

An unlicensed Aussie driver was finally sentenced to a decade behind bars after repeatedly bragging to people for nearly ten years about the night she chased down and killed a Hong Kong man who was just riding his bike home from work, after he allegedly flipped her off, getting more racist with each retelling.

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

A bike-riding British man got three year behind bars for snatching a woman’s purse, and leaving her with hip and leg injuries after knocking her to the ground. Which is two years and three months more than a career criminal in the UK got for stealing four bicycles in five weeks, on top of more than 100 prior convictions.

………

 

Local

Streets For All urges you to contact the city council to support completion of the Expo Line bike path by closing the absurd Northvale Gap, which was skipped to appease homeowners on the afore mentioned Northvale Road, who worried criminals would ride their bikes into the neighborhood to steal their stuff. No, really.

Streets For All is also calling on everyone to support a Metro board motion scheduled for Thursday to provide an additional $2 million in open streets funding; current funding allows funding of just less than half of the 27 open streets proposals from around the county.

The student newspaper at Cal State Northridge calls on the university to use surplus funds to develop its own campus-wide bikeshare system.

The massive new Burbank bridge finally opened after 20 months of construction, featuring bike lanes on either side, but only a single sidewalk on the south side of the bridge. Evidently, they couldn’t squeeze in another sidewalk because the needed to make room for three traffic lanes and a freeway onramp lane in each direction.

 

State

The San Diego Reader celebrates all the infrastructure options available for bike riders in the city. Although sharrows are nothing to celebrate.

A Berkeley woman is expected to survive after she was critically injured in a collision while riding her bike; thankfully, she was revived after having no pulse and not breathing when paramedics arrived.

A bike rider was killed in a collision in Moraga Friday morning; unfortunately, no details were available about the victim or the crash.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever left a 15-year old Stockton boy sprawled in the street after slamming into his bicycle, apparently not seeing the group of teens on their bikes directly ahead of him or her after rounding a corner.

 

National

A writer for The Atlantic confronts the deadly myth that human error is responsible for 94% of traffic fatalities — unless that human error is actually committed by the people who design and engineer our roads.

A blogger offers tips on buying an ebike, along with recommendations on what to buy.

Singletracks offers their favorite picks for Cyber Monday deals on mountain bikes and gear.

An author Philadelphia author relates how riding her bike helped her cope with a series of losses during the pandemic, including the death of her mother, who taught her how to ride a bicycle.

A five-year old Louisiana boy is able to ride a bike for the first time, thanks to a dozen people who rode their bikes 108 miles from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, raising $30,000 to buy adaptive bicycles for handicapped kids like him.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a “groundbreaking” Florida neurosurgeon faces a vehicular homicide charge for killing a bike-riding triathlete while driving on the wrong side of the road at over four times the posted 20 mph speed limit in a borrowed Tesla; he’s been ticketed at least three times for speeding in the past five years, at speeds up to 112 mph.

 

International

A coalition of 125 community groups rode and rated Toronto’s bike lanes, concluding that nearly half deserved a failing grade. Anyone want to guess how LA’s bike lanes would fare?

It takes a major schmuck to steal an old, rusty bike from a Nova Scotia man, whole he was busy ringing the bell for a Salvation Army kettle.

That’ll teach ’em. After drivers complained about what they consider overly wide bike lanes, English officials threatened to narrow traffic lanes even more if drivers keep causing crashes.

You’ve got to be kidding. A judge in the UK ordered a former professional cyclist into rehab and wished him well following his drunken strong-armed robbery of a 13-year old girl’s bike.

A Irish man graduated at the top of his class as a bicycle mechanical engineer, 18 years after he was blinded in an assault as a teenager; he built his own tandem bike as part of his coursework.

Bike Radar reports on the cutting edge findings from the Science & Cycling Conference in Leuven, Belgium to help you go faster

An Indian district president rode his bicycle to thank voters for electing him to another term, as well as “raise awareness about the environment, simple living and fitness.”

An Indian man was busted for biking under the influence, just a day after a new Kolkata policy went into effect to give breath tests to suspected intoxicated bike riders.

A Philippine mayor was ticketed for riding a bicycle without a helmet, just a year after she signed a bill requiring them.

Philippine bike riders took to the streets to celebrate yesterday’s National Bicycle Day.

Once again, a member of New Zealand’s parliament has ridden her bike to the hospital to give birth, delivering a. healthy baby about an hour later; she also rode her bike to the hospital three years ago to deliver her first child. Thanks to Victor Bale for the link.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly profiles rising American cyclist and college student Megan Jastrab, who won three world titles in 2019 as a 17-year old junior, and took Bronze in team pursuit at the Tokyo Olympics in her first race at the elite level.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your training as a stunt person lets you walk away from a crash with another bicyclist, with nothing more than a bruised pinkie. Making bike thefts stats drop by giving up on reporting it.

And there’s more than one good use for an ebike.

Thanks again to Keith Johnson.

………

Happy Chanukah to everyone celebrating today!

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

It’s the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today!

Donate now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

It’s that time of year again.

No, not the holiday season, which seems to start around Halloween these days.

It’s that wonderful time of year when, just like that guy with the red kettle front of the market, we shamelessly, beg, plead and/or cajole you for your hard-earned cash.

But without all the bells.

I could give you a sob story about how tough this past year has been with my wife and I both out of work. Or what a challenge it’s been to keep this site up on a daily basis as my own body seems determined to kill me.

But hey, we’ve all got problems.

Instead, I’ll ask you one simple question.

Do you enjoy getting all the best bike news on your favorite screen every morning? Or almost every morning, anyway.

And if so, how much?

Okay, so that’s two questions.

The simple fact is, it takes hours every day to scour the internet for news sites, from around the corner and around the world, to find all the latest news from the wild, wonderful and sometimes wacky world of bicycles.

And hours more to present it to you as clearly and succinctly as possible, to help keep you on top of everything you need to know in just a few minutes each day.

Well, almost everything.

Trust me, there are some things you just don’t want to know.

So what’s that worth to you?

I count on your donations to get through the usual dry spell before our sponsors start to renew each spring, assuming they do. Not to mention keep our spokesdog in kibble until things turn around.

But if you can’t afford to give, don’t worry about it. Everyone is welcome here, no questions asked.

Or if you can only afford to give a little, believe me, any amount is deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. I know how hard it can be when you’re struggling to get by.

But please give what you can, if you can.

Or I may have to start ringing that damn bell on here.

And trust me, I have one.

………

Special thanks to Robert L, Eric L, David V, Mitchell G and Olivia K for their generous donations to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, even before we officially kicked things off this morning!

Study shows bicycling boosts jobs and economy, inspiring comeback by injured rider, and LA Arborteum gets the message

I hope you’ll have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow. 

Just take a few minutes to practice an attitude of gratitude, and find something to give thanks for. Even if it’s just making it through another year in these trying times. 

And if you can take a break from stuffing yourself with stuffing, find some time to get out for a bike ride. Take it from me, there are few better days to ride, as long as you make it back before all those drivers high on tryptophan start crawling back home. 

Then come back on Friday, when we’ll officially kick off the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, and I shamelessly beg for your hard-earned money to help keep this site coming your way every day. 

We’ll be back on Monday with more Morning Links to catch up on anything we missed. And of course, we’ll be here over the weekend if there’s any breaking news.

And yes, that’s the royal “we,” unless you count our intern and spokesdog up there on the left.

Now stay safe, and enjoy the ride. I want to see you back here next week.  

………

More proof bicycling pays.

A new report from an academic research company shows that tripling the current level of London bicycling by 2030 would save lives and create jobs, while resulting in a $6.5 billion annual economic dividend.

And that’s on top of the usual benefits like reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality.

Investment in cycleways was one of the best ways of creating jobs through infrastructure spend, more than any other infrastructure project aside from energy efficiency in buildings, reported the TUC’s 2020 study. Thirty-three jobs are created for every $1.4 million invested in walking or cycling infrastructure over a two-year period, found the TUC.

The Bicycle Association’s 32-page report claims that increasing cycling’s modal share to 14% is “realizable” because net-zero ambitions will require a shift from private motor car use to other means, including cycling.

There’s absolutely no reason to believe the same wouldn’t hold true in Los Angeles, or most other major cities. And it should be easier to realize that kind of increase in Los Angeles, with its temperate climate and mostly flat terrain.

All that’s missing is the political will and financial investment to make it happen.

So what the hell are we waiting for?

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

If it’s true about that which does not kill you, one LA bicyclist is going to be pretty damn strong once she gets back on her feet.

Then again, it sounds like she already is.

A reader named Mitchell reached out to me yesterday to ask if I’d heard about Peta Takai, a master’s road and gravel cyclist who was critically injured in a collision while riding on PCH last September.

Apparently, she was riding near La Costa Beach in Malibu when a kid driving the family Range Rover made an illegal U-turn and slammed into her.

She’s been sharing her challenging and inspiring story on Instagram.

As she notes, she has a very long road ahead of her to get her life back, let alone get back on her bike some day.

A crowdfunding page has raised $28,100, easily topping the low $20,000 goal. But given the extent of her injuries, and the months, if not years, of rehab that will be required, that’s likely just a fraction of what she’s going to need.

So if you’ve got a few extra bucks, send them her way. And tell your friends to do the same.

And maybe remember her on Giving Tuesday next week.

Thanks to Mitchell for the heads-up, and hats off to Giant Santa Monica, which I’m told helped raise funds for her.

And you can make that crowdfunding total $28,120 now.

………

Maybe we’ll see some decent bike parking at the Arboretum soon.

Fingers crossed.

………

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

Colorado sheriff’s deputies shared video of an idiot driver who passed a left-turning bike rider at high speed on the wrong side of the road, in what they called “the true definition of a close call.” And they were right.

Once again, a bike rider has been deliberately rammed off the road by a hit-and-run driver in London’s Richmond Park, raising questions as to why drivers are allowed in the park in the first place. Parks are for people, not cars. Period.

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

Police in Ohio are looking for a bank robber who made his getaway on a bicycle, which is rapidly becoming the getaway vehicle of choice for discerning criminals.

………

Local

Once again, no news is good news. Right?

 

State

Rancho Santa Margarita’s Felt Bicycles has changed hands again after the company was offloaded to ebike and motorcycle maker Pierer Mobility, just four years after it was sold to Rossignol.

San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge is about to get a 15 mph speed limit for bike riders, with fines ranging from $238 to $490 for anyone caught speeding. The question is whether the limit will be enforceable against riders without a cycling computer or speedometer, who would have no way of knowing they’re exceeding it — especially since there is no statutory requirement to have one on your bike. 

 

National

A new 360° ebike warning system promises to alert riders to the risk of collisions in any direction, and could eventually be upgraded to warn about potholes and other road hazards; it draws power from the ebike’s battery, which is why it can’t currently be used on other bikes.

The Consumer Post offers a roundup of the best Black Friday deals on ebikes and e-scooters. Although I’m firmly in the go outside and buy nothing on Black Friday camp.

Smaller communities are getting creative to promote ebike use, including Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley, which uses a pair of freestanding solar-powered bikeshare docks to recharge the bikes. They also have a pretty damn good trout stream, too.

More details on the Colorado bike theft ring that stands accused of stealing over $1.5 million worth of mountain bikes from 29 bike shop break-ins, and apparently taking them over the border into Mexico to resell. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

Incredibly bad idea from a Kansas City councilwoman, who proposed an ordinance to give local residents greater control over bike lanes — including the power to remove lanes they don’t like.

Nice gesture from a Wisconsin town, which will feature a float honoring an 89-year old man who rode his own hand-built wooden bicycle, patterned after the first pedal bike, in local parades for over 20 years, after he was killed while riding a bike to his high school reunion.

Sentencing has been delayed for a 74-year old Wisconsin man who pled guilty to hitting a teenage bike rider with his pickup and leaving the boy to die alone in a ditch, as he considers changing his plea and rejecting the deal negotiated by his lawyer.

Boston is experimenting with a road diet on the Harvard Bridge to give more room for bike riders than the existing bike lane, on a bridge with the city’s highest ridership rate.

Strangers came to the aid of a New Orleans woman after she was right-hooked by a hit-and-run driver, and no one showed up in response to a 911 call; police say they responded within six minutes, but no one was there. Which means either someone is lying about the police response, or they went to the wrong location.

This is why you should never confront a bike thief yourself. A Florida man was stabbed after a woman confronted a thief trying to steal her bike, and called her husband for help; he brought along a co-worker who was stabbed by the thief.

 

International

A London bike rider has set a Guinness world record for the largest GPS drawing completed in 12 hours, crafting an image of a mustachioed man overlaid on the city.

Luxury fashion brand Jacquemus is teaming with Dutch ebike maker Van Moof to market their own ebike, joining a long list of fashion brands collaborating with bikemakers.

Dubai continues its crackdown on scofflaw bike riders, as police confiscate an average of nearly 1,000 bicycles a month for the last ten months.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yet another investigation has been launched into the death of 1998 Tour de France winner Marco Pantini, this time focusing on whether others were involved in his apparent drug overdose.

Veteran women’s cyclist Tayler Wiles decries the dearth of young women coming into the sport, placing the blame on the lack of a WorldTour race in the US, after a series of high-level events have fallen off the calendar, including the late, great Tour of California.

 

Finally…

Forget an Apple Car, just make the iBike, instead. Your daily ride could help prevent Alzheimers.

And that pretty well sums it up, alright.

………

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

Likely 60% boost to CA Active Trans funding, a call for universal free ebikes, and Wisconsin attack ruled intentional

Calbike breaks down how California can expect to benefit from the new federal infrastructure plan.

According to Streetsblog, that includes a 60% boost in the Active Transportation Program, which provides most of the funding for bike and pedestrian projects in the state.

It also contains $1 billion to mitigate the damage caused to communities affected by the too-often racist legacy of freeway building. Although that’s 300 times less than the funding in the bill to build freeways.

And while the it contains language requiring planners to “consider the needs of all road users” in designing new projects, California’s existing Complete Streets policies already carry a similar requirement.

………

He gets it.

A writer for the New York Times says the 30% rebate on ebike purchases doesn’t go far enough to address climate change.

So he says give everyone a free ebike, instead. Along with safe streets to ride them on.

According to Jay Caspian Kang,

City governments should purchase an electronic bicycle for every resident over the age of 15 who wants one. They should also shut down a significant number of streets to be used only by bicycles and a small number of speed-regulated, municipal electric vehicles.

The Biden administration’s Build Back Better Act includes a $4.1 billion tax break for e-bike purchases. It would let you save 30 percent via a refundable tax credit capped at $900. That may help with some e-bike adoption, but tax credits can feel a bit abstract, and even with the discount, e-bikes, which typically run between $1,500 and $4,500, will still be out of the budgets of most Americans.

He’s not totally giving up on cars, though.

By the way, I am not envisioning a world without cars. People will still need to go on longer trips, disabled people will still need to get around, and goods will still need to be delivered. Cars will be channeled through a few routes in each city. In keeping with Schimmelpennink’s vision, transportation within the bicycles-only areas will be handled by a fleet of electronic taxis that will travel at speeds below 25 miles per hour. As for deliveries, many package deliveries in the United States can be handled by cargo e-bikes, which can transport hundreds of pounds at a time.

Shutting down some streets for bikes is key not only for safety, but also because the more inconvenient driving becomes, the more people will start to consider other options. Available to them is a free-of-charge mode of transportation that will often be faster than sitting in traffic and having to find a parking spot.

The only place he misses the mark is when it comes to people with disabilities, failing to recognize that for many, an ebike can be an effective mobility device, giving them more freedom to get around than they can by other means.

As he points out, however, the biggest obstacle to implementing a plan like that is the political pushback leaders would face from people who can’t even imagine a world with fewer cars.

Let alone none.

………

More heartbreaking news from Wisconsin, as police have confirmed that the driver who killed five people and injured over 40 more by plowing through the Waukesha Christmas parade did it on purpose.

Thirty-nine-year old Milwaukee resident Darrell E. Brooks was reportedly involved in a domestic violence incident just minutes before the attack on a parade filled with innocent victims.

He is also accused of jumping bail for a previous incident.

………

Seriously, our institutions have got to do better.

………

Ted Faber offers a very brief tweet essay on bicycling.

………

Tons of bikes. Yet nary a bear from deepest, darkest Peru in sight.

………

But seriously, can you even be too hard on cars?

………

Back in the days when every lane really was a bike lane.

………

Evidently, parking in bike lanes is nothing new.

Or uniquely American.

………

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

A British paper accuses “abusive” cyclists of swearing at forest rangers attempting to roundup a herd of wild horses, as they carry out a 1,000-year tradition. Although Road.cc says it’s just anti-cyclist clickbait.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego plans to limit the number of ebike and e-scooter providers, with at least two of the six firms currently serving the city likely to be forced out.

 

National

Treehugger considers whether an e-cargo bike can serve as your one and only bike.

Pro cyclist Adam Myerson explains how to draft. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be on Yahoo, so you’re on your own if Bicycling blocks you.

Bike Hacks offers advice on how to pack your bike for your next move. Or better yet, just ride it and let someone else do the driving.

Kindhearted Kansas cops replaced an overly trusting teenager’s bicycle, after the boy loaned his bike to some schmuck who promised to return it, and didn’t.

An Oklahoma City man faces charges for firing a gun inside a Walmart when a security guard tried to stop him from walking out with a bicycle without paying for it.

A Chicago artist has gone from competing on bicycles to turning old bike parts into upcycled new items, using every part of the bike.

More mass traffic violence, as a Connecticut driver allegedly aimed his car at a group of people blocking the street to protest the Rittenhouse verdict on Saturday, hitting six people and injuring four. At least two states have passed legal protections for drivers who commit that kind of vigilante action against protestors in the roadway.

The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers would choose curbside dining over free parking, especially in Manhattan. Now if they’d just make the same choice for bike lanes, too.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 77-year old agriculture professor at Louisiana State University was killed in a collision while riding his bike near campus on Saturday; as usual, there’s no mention of the driver.

 

International

A 140-decibel horn billed as “the world’s loudest bicycle horn” has now reached $4 million in international sales, six years after it was rejected on the UK’s equivalent of Shark Tank.

Traffic deaths declined an unprecedented 17% in the European Union during the pandemic last year, although that likely has more to do with traffic restrictions and lockdowns than any long-term change in driving habits.

Ankara, Turkey is proposing the city’s first bike plan, calling for 178 miles of bikeways by 2040.

A new study from the United Arab Emirates found that only two percent of local delivery riders wear helmets, and just four percent use bike lights after dark.

Injuries are up among middle-aged Aussie mountain bikers, as more men have taken to the trails during the pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new $250,000 race series will combine six of the top American gravel and mountain bike races, limited to the top 20 men and top 20 women.

Four-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome goes wading with the alligators on a Florida training ride.

A crowdfunding campaign has been set up for the family of rising Eritrean cyclist Desiet Kidane, who was killed by a driver while she was on a training ride earlier this month; so far it’s raised the equivalent of just $1582 of the $56,000 goal.

 

Finally…

An ebike for the balance bike set. Fighting air pollution one bike wheel at a time.

And if you’re an ex-con illegally carrying a gun on your bike, stay off the damn sidewalk, already.

………

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

Wisconsin tragedy mars World Day of Remembrance, Move Culver City opens, and a peckish wheel pecking parrot

This is the cost of traffic violence.

It was heartbreaking to learn that, on the World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Victims, five people were killed and over 40 injured when a driver plowed through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

It almost doesn’t matter why.

As I write this, there’s no word on whether this was a terrorist attack, some other intentional act of vengeance, or just another everyday traffic “oopsie.”

Because, even under the best of circumstance, with the best of intentions, people operating cars can turn deadly in an instant.

36,096 dead in 2019, the last year on record. An average of 99 people a day.

Every day, without end.

Graphic by tomexploresla

What happened in Waukesha was unusually horrific. And will undoubtedly become even more heartrending when we learn more about the victims, dead and alive.

So far, all we know for sure is that a Catholic priest was one of the victims, along with some Catholic school kids who were apparently watching the parade.

Both before and after the news broke, I scoured Google and Twitter for any remarks from any Los Angeles official, city or county, commemorating the World Day of Remembrance, without luck.

I can’t say no one said anything. But if they did, I couldn’t find it.

Which says as much as anything else about the sad state of LA streets, and LA government. As well as elected officials who promised change when they needed our votes, but turned their backs on the people of Los Angeles once they got into office.

Because traffic violence effects all of us.

Sadly, things like this will continue, here in Los Angeles and throughout the country. Whether it takes the form of mass casualty events like Waukesha yesterday or the San Monica farmer’s market nearly 20 years ago.

Not to mention Kalamazoo, Las Vegas, Show Low, Waller County or Liberty County, just to name a few.

Let alone the the constant trickle of traffic deaths and injuries too ordinary to make the news.

And nothing will change until enough American’s finally say “enough!”, like the Dutch did 50 years ago.

Because clearly, this is one issue where our leaders don’t have the courage or political will to lead.

Which leaves it up to us.

That means you. And yes, me.

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At least he gets it, anyway.

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Culver City opened the Move Culver City project on Saturday, with quick build bus and bike lanes on three streets in the downtown area.

As to why things like this don’t happen in Los Angeles, our risk-averse department of transportation would first have to study the proposed project for months, and continue to water it down until they’re sure they’re not taking any chances and won’t run the risk of offending anyone.

Then the city would hold a series of meetings where the usual assortment of NIMBY homeowners and angry drivers would scream about how it would inconvenience them a little, after which our elected officials would promise to change everything they screamed about.

Then the plan would make its way into the circular file, while the city makes a few minor safety improvements, and declare the problem solved.

But other than that, there’s no reason why it can’t happen here.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the video tweet.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1462124642081017859

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When I saw this Instagram post over the weekend, I assumed the parrot was just examining the damage.

Au contraire, mon frère.

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This is, by far, my favorite photo of the weekend.

And the guy on the bike doesn’t have to be slow; those little buggers are fast.

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This one is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

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Steve Martin is one of us. Or was, anyway.

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This Harley ebike video made me laugh more than I did the rest of the day. Or maybe the entire weekend.

Seriously, this might just be the best 8 minutes and 39 seconds of your day.

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

Sentencing was delayed in the case of the Las Vegas minivan driver whose passenger fell to his death after leaning out the window to push a woman off her bicycle, killing her as well, because someone in the detention center forgot to bring him to the courtroom to be sentenced.

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

The man dubbed LA’s “Western Bandit” was convicted on two counts of murder, as well as shooting at several other people, in a bike-born crime spree; the DA said every pedal stoke on the way to commit his crimes counted as premeditation.

A bike-riding burglar was busted by LA County sheriff’s deputies while riding away after he was allegedly caught on security cam breaking into a La Canada Flintridge home on Friday.

A Ventura man has pled guilty to being the man on a bicycle who sexually assaulted a woman walking on a bike path, as well as flashing a woman who was walking with her grandson while riding his bike (scroll down).

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Local

An unhoused Black man complains about the original headline of a recent LA Times column about a man reclaiming his stolen bikes from a bike chop shop in a Mar Vista homeless camp, accusing them of doxing the homeless encampment.

A West Covina man was found shot to death along the LA River bike path Friday morning; no word on whether he was riding a bike, or was there for some other reason.

 

State

An estimated 600 people were expected to turn out for the first Oxnard Peace Ride on Saturday to promote bicycle safety and awareness of gun violence.

Palo Alto’s long-gestating bike and pedestrian bridge over Highway 101 isn’t mythical anymore.

A Bay Area bike rider was caught on video weaving unsafely in the fast lanes on the Bay Bridge; a bike lane extends across the eastern span, while bikes are banned from the rest.

 

National

WaPo looks at the US Bicycle Route System, which has expanded by nearly 3,000 miles in the West and Midwest.

Your next ebike could come complete with a built-in laptop stand. Unfortunately, it’s not designed so you can work while you ride, or I could write this while cruising under the moon.

A Maui councilmember says it’s time to rein in the popular bike tours that race down the island’s Haleakala volcano, while a letter writer calls the tours a disaster waiting to happen.

A Seattle woman got 28 months behind bars for operating a sophisticated embezzlement scheme that bilked over $150,000 from the unnamed high-end mountain bike company where she worked as an accountant and bookkeeper.

A former prosecutor said Nevada state troopers missed obvious signs truck driver Jordan Barson was high on meth at the time of the crash that killed five bicyclists outside Las Vegas.

A Colorado bike mechanic is raising the alarm about planned obsolescence in the bike industry, as more manufacturers are making low-end, unfixable and disposable bicycles designed to only last a few years.

San Antonio’s bikeshare system is going all in on ebikes.

The Texas A&M student newspaper argues that the state should adopt the Idaho Stop Law, aka Stop as Yield. Which California’s governor foolishly vetoed last month.

Massachusetts bike riders mark the World Day of Remembrance by calling on the legislature to pass bicycle safety bills, including a bill to require side guards and other safety devices on large trucks.

Connecticut Magazine looks at the history 50-year history of Cannondale, which began business in 1971 hawking a bike trailer called The Bugger.

Durham, North Carolina is fighting traffic congestion and climate change by offering people who work downtown the free use of an ebike, along with a helmet and free maintenance. Thanks again to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

Despite earlier reports that a Palm Beach, Florida boy had apparently died falling off his bike, the death of the 14-year old victim has now been ruled a homicide; he disappeared after going out for a bike ride last week.

 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips recommends ten products that inspired him to say “Take my money, please!”

Clearly, traffic violence isn’t just the US, as a hit-and-run driver knocked four English teenagers off their bikes; fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.

Good luck fixing the bicycle shortage anytime soon, as a British bikemaker calls the current supply chain issues plaguing his company an “absolute clusterfuck.”

The Irish Times complains about the lack of oversight and quantifiable costs for the country’s bike to work program, which allows employers to provide workers with a tax-free bike and accessories to be repaid through salary deductions, and unfairly benefits most the high-income workers who need it the least.

A 72-year old Limerick, Ireland man “miraculously” got his 40-year old vintage stolen bike back through the power of social media. My original 1981 Trek is exactly that old, and covered in dust until I have the money to restore it. But I’d hardly call it vintage yet.

The rich get richer, as bike riders in The Hague now have a new, museum-like bike parking garage with space for 8,000 bicycles, directly across from a busy railway station.

A former “passionate” Indian bicyclist says he’s given up riding since a longtime friend ended up in the ICU after he was hit by a speeding driver while riding his bike; now he only recommends offroad mountain biking and using a trainer indoors.

NIMBYs keep telling us that bike lanes hinder handicapped people. But a Wellington, New Zealand bike network would benefit a bike-riding mother with multiple sclerosis, who discovered she can bike easier than she can walk, and tows her service dog in a trailer behind her.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mark Cavendish had to abandon the Six Days of Ghent after a hard fall, withdrawing in fourth place on the final day. Kenny De Ketele and Robbe Ghys ended taking the overall classification. Meanwhile Cavendish says he knew he had it in him to get back on top this year, after his own team thought he was washed up.

A local website offers photos from Saturday’s El Tour de Tucson.

We’re lucky to have this great facility here in Los Angeles. Well, Carson anyway.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a Croatian Porsche. Inside the mind of a pedestrian when someone on bike says “On your left.”

And wait for the guy on the bike, who wisely beats a hasty retreat facing a barrage of snowballs.

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A special thanks to frequent contributor Robert L for his generous donation to kick off this year’s 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive four days early! So save your nickels and dimes, because the corgi’s getting ready for her closeup, and we’ll be begging for them to keep her in kibble later this week.

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

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