Tag Archive for Los Angeles

Cops look for hit-and-run driver — and bicyclist, Boerner set to unveil ebike bill for kids, and demand safer streets now

Just 328 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand LA Mayor Karen Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. We’re nearly up to 900 signatures, so let’s try to get it up over 1,000 this week!

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My apologies, once again, for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

Let’s just say diabetes sucks, and get on with it. 

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Authorities in LA County are investigating a pair of hit-and-runs. Although only one of the suspects was actually in a motor vehicle.

First up is a late January crash in Long Beach that left a bike rider with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

The victim was riding with a group of bicyclists traveling west on Fourth Street at Atlantic Ave around 9:50 pm on Thursday, January 25th, when he was struck by driver headed south on Atlantic, who fled without stopping.

Police are looking for the driver of a silver Nissan sedan with chrome rims. Anyone with further information is urged to contact Long Beach Police investigators at 562/570-7355.

Photo from Long Beach Police Department

That was followed by the hunt for a hit-and-run bike rider who left an elderly woman lying severely injured in a Sierra Madre street.

The woman was walking near North Baldwin Ave and Highland Ave around 10 am this past Saturday when she was struck by the bike rider, who also continued without stopping.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Detective Ascano at 626/355-1414, or nascano@cityofsierramadre.com.

And yes, bicyclists have the same obligation to stop after a crash that drivers do, and could face the same penalties if they don’t.

Photo from Sierra Madre police department

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It looks like Encinitas Assemblymember Tasha Boerner is ready to introduce her promised ebike bill, which will require anyone without a driver’s license to pass an online ebike safety training course before they can buy an ebike in California.

The bill appears to be directed towards children, though it could apply to adults without a license, as well.

It also prohibits any child under 12 from riding any class of ebike, and establishes diversion programs as an alternative to ticketing children, which is already allowed under current bicycle regulations.

Personally, I’d prefer to see that ban raised to 14 years old, and reclassify throttle-controlled ebikes as mo-peds, requiring a driver’s license to operate, and prohibited from being used in bike lanes or pathways of any sort.

I also hope the bill clarifies that the license requirement does not apply to anyone over the age of 18.

And it raises the question of what happens when a parent with a driver’s license buys an ebike for a child without one. Would the parent be prohibited from being able to buy an ebike for their own child?

But we’ll see what ends up in the actual text.

Thanks to Malcomb Watson for the heads-up. 

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As the previous tweet hinted at, Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, says you have the chance tomorrow to tell Mayor Bass that we need safer streets.

Mayor Bass wants to hear from us!

The UCLA Bunche Center is conducting a series of Community Listening Sessions, as a part of a City of Los Angeles Community Safety Research Study. The study’s goal is to identify and document a broad and representative understanding of the perceptions and realities of public safety (and of its management) of residents in the City of Los Angeles.

Join the discussion and raise your voice about important safety issues in your neighborhood. Please include the need for safety on our streets for cyclists, pedestrians, and all users. With 336 deaths on LA City roads last year, this is a vital safety concern. 

Join this community listening session, and let Mayor Bass know that you want safer streets.

Virtual Community Listening Session
February 8, 2024
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Click Here to Register

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Streets For All — not to be confused with SAFE — has updated their voter guide for next month’s election, with endorsements for six of the seven LA council races, as well as council races in Glendale and Pasadena.

Meanwhile, Boyle Heights Beat is hosting a candidate forum for CD 14 this Saturday.

Personally, though, I’m still struggling to decide between state Assemblymember Laura Friedman and state Senator Anthony Portantino for my next Congress member, either of whom would provide a strong, bike-friendly voice for traffic safety in DC.

I only wish they weren’t running in the same district, because both deserve to win.

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Velo marks Black History Month with a trio of articles recounting Black bicyclists from the early days of bicycling.

First up is what they call the little-known story of the US Army’s all-Black Bicycle Corps. Which isn’t so little known anymore, after several historical articles over the past couple years.

Then there’s 1890s Black cyclist Woody Hedspath, who they refer to as Major Taylor Number Two, honing his skills in summertime “colored fairs” during the Jim Crow era before moving on to greater accomplishments.

Finally, they write about Kittie Knox, the young Boston woman who broke racial and gender barriers in the 1890s, becoming the first Black woman to join the League of American Wheelmen, the forerunner to today’s League of American Bicyclists, or Bike League, before they changed the rules to exclude people of color.

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The Bambino was one of us.

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Someone finally found a good use for a Tesla pickup.

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It’s now 48 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

No bias here. After British tabloids attack a Birmingham bike lane as a 10 million pound “waste of money” that “no one uses,” a local paper finds it’s actually one of the most popular bikeways in the city.

Ireland’s Green Party called the Sinn Féin party’s objections to a protected bike lane “populist, anti-cycling, anti-road safety, anti-climate action bolloxology.” Although I kinda suspect they made that last word up.

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

A Portland, Oregon letter writer who seems to have an overly high opinion of his fearlessness and bike riding abilities says the city shouldn’t invest in more bike lanes or public transit until they clean them up and more people use them

Police in Mobile, Alabama busted a man riding a bicycle on multiple drug charges after searching him following a short pursuit, begun because he was exhibiting “suspicious behavior.” Let’s hope he can afford a good lawyer, because “suspicious behavior” is entirely subjective, and not probable cause to make a stop.

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Local 

The Eastsider reports that Bike LA, the former Los Angele County Bicycle Coalition, has been awarded a $100,000 grant to “evaluate transportation gaps and identify the mobility challenges, needs, preferences, and priorities of Boyle Heights and East LA residents,” one of 12 similar grants across the state. Let’s hope that’s enough to sustain the organization, which has struggled financially in recent years, but offers a much-needed voice for bicyclists in the LA area.

The Los Angeles Times explains daylighting, and why you’ll now need to park further back from an intersection to avoid a ticket.

Santa Monica police will be conducting yet another bike and pedestrian safety operation tomorrow, ticketing any violation that could put either group at risk, regardless of who commits it. So ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets written up.

Speaking of Streets For All, the street safety PAC is hosting a bike ride and fundraiser in Mar Vista this Saturday. Saturday is also the Lunar New Year, so there could be some major dragon energy there.

The Alhambra and South Pasadena bike ride hosted by Safe Streets for SGV and South Pas Active that was scrubbed because of rain last weekend has been rescheduled for this Sunday, when the weather looks more promising. And should give you time to get back home in time for that big sportsball thing.

 

State

Good question. The Los Angeles Times asks why the state is widening the 15 Freeway in San Bernardino County, in conflict with the state’s climate goals, which are supposed to be given priority but clearly aren’t. Meanwhile, a new nationwide coalition is calling for a halt to freeway expansion, arguing that “Endless highway expansions are pulling our country into an environmental, budgetary, and public health crisis.”

A San Francisco bike rider was lucky to escape with non-life threatening injuries when he was struck by a Waymo driverless car, which evidently couldn’t spot him following a truck through an intersection. They’re called Waymo because they’re probably way mo’ dangerous than most cars with drivers.

San Francisco banned the use or sale of damaged or recycled ebike and e-scooter batteries, along with limiting how many can be stored in a single home.

 

National

Momentum offers more on the groundbreaking new study that shows cities with high levels of bicycling are usually safer for all road users — and by extension, cities that are safer for bicyclists usually have high levels of bicycling.

NPR considers what Vision Zero has and hasn’t accomplished in American cities. The only thing it’s really accomplished in Los Angeles is making traffic violence part of the conversation, without actually doing anything about it.

Cyclist calls Moab, Utah a gravel cycling mecca like nowhere else on Earth.

The Colorado Supreme Court upheld a $2,400 restitution judgement against a bike thief for damaging the victim’s car, after the bike’s owner used it to give chase and cut in front of the thief to stop him as he made his getaway.

A Rhode Island man is suing Trek and Shimano for $2 million, alleging his bike’s brake lever impaled his thigh in a crash due to faulty design.

A New Jersey man was killed when a state trooper driving an unmarked SUV crashed into his bike; no word on whether the trooper was on duty at the time.

A 72-year old Florida woman was killed when her bicycle was rear-ended by a 92-year old woman driving a truck. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive safely. 

 

International

GCN offers five reasons ebikes are better than regular bikes, along with five reasons they’re better than cars.

Momentum recounts the wildest bike lane obstacles, from fat, indecisive squirrels to discarded e-scooters and banana peels.

An English research fellow writes that ebikes offer huge promise for sustainable transport in rural tourist areas.

Bicycling says Paris is now a bicyclist’s paradise after closing 100 streets to cars. Read it on AOL this time if the magazine blocks you.

A writer for Men’s Journal explains why he’s stoked to ride his bike across Morocco. Which should go without saying, because Morocco.

 

Competitive Cycling

Velo writes about Eritrean WorldTour rookie Henok Mulubrhan, who they refer to as the “new hot prospect” already making waves as an African phenom on a mission.

British Cycling, the governing group for nearly all bicycling in the UK, will take over operations of the annual Tour of Britain, which was at risk of folding after the previous organizer shut down.

 

Finally…

Your next pair of Reebok’s could be an ebike and an e-scooter.

And the 2026 Wold Cup final will take place in a stadium where it’s literally illegal to walk; thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Major changes proposed for Hollywood Blvd, Parisians boost SUV parking fees, and Metro hasn’t changed its 710 stripes

330 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand LA Mayor Karen Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. We’re up to 871 signatures, so let’s try to get it up over 1,000 this week!

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We could be looking at major changes on Hollywood Blvd.

Fingers crossed.

Thursday’s public meeting unveiled plans for one of the city’s first major lane reductions in the past several years for the east end of the boulevard, along with new protected bike lanes, providing a major safety improvement in addition to traffic calming.

Let’s just hope this moves beyond just talk and vaporware, for a change.

Click through on the links if the tweets disappear, which seems to be happening a lot lately.

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It’s not just the mayor.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has gotten a lot of the credit — or blame, depending on your perspective — for the recent changes making the city more climate friendly and livable, from new bike lanes to planning for a 15-minute city.

But clearly, Parisians are in her camp.

Not only did they re-elect her less than four years ago, but now residents of the city have approved her proposal to increase parking fees for SUVs.

And not by a small margin. Nearly 55% of voters agree to triple the cost to park an SUV on city streets, raising the cost for a private vehicle weighing over 1.6 tons — 3,200 pounds — to $20 an hour, in an effort to discourage their use in the city.

After all, few people will buy — let alone drive — oversized SUVs if they can’t afford to park them.

Your move, Los Angeles.

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Apparently, Metro’s cancellation of plans to widen the 710 Freeway really wasn’t a cancellation at all.

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, a new proposal from the agency still includes plans to widen the freeway, and may require demolishing homes along the route, which led to the original cancellation.

And the much-promised improvements for transit, walking and biking along the corridor apparently don’t amount to much.

All of which goes to show just how little the agency has changed its stripes.

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GCN examines the all-important question of how much speed can you actually buy, as we’ve all heard — or yes, said — that you can buy speed, but you can’t buy skill.

You can, however, buy a $7,100 skinsuit.

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It’s now 46 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

With friends like these, who needs enemies? An op-ed from a Boulder, Colorado bicyclist asserts that bicyclists needs to take responsibility for their behavior, because “Most bicycle accidents are caused by improper, sometimes illegal, cyclist behavior,” and adding “There is almost no excuse for a single-operator (bicycle) crash.” As if drivers and poor road conditions have nothing to do with it.

The count is now up to six teenagers facing charges for intentionally running down a pair of Australian bike riders with a stolen car, in separate attacks that left at least one victim with life-changing injuries; the kids range from just 13 to 16, with a 14-year old and a 16-year old suspected of doing the driving.

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Local 

The next time you need to get something across Long Beach in a hurry, you may have to take it yourself, after the city’s only bicycle messenger service abruptly shut down after nearly a decade.

 

State

San Diego Magazine recommends a trio of roads in the Anza Borrego desert east of the city to explore by mountain bike.

San Francisco’s almost universally maligned Valencia Street centerline bike lane could already be on its way out, even though sales tax figures show businesses along the street are actually doing better than surrounding areas, despite claims of a slowdown.

Bay Area transportation planners are considering a proposal to reopen the westbound shoulder of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to motor vehicle traffic, even though it’s currently a protected bike lane. Because really, who gives a damn about those darn people on bikes if there’s a driver somewhere who thinks they’re being inconvenienced?

 

National

A groundbreaking new study shows cities with high levels of bicycling are usually safer for all road users — including drivers. Which really shouldn’t surprise anyone, but probably will. 

Colorado will host its Winter Bike to Work Day this Friday, including in my bike-friendly hometown. Which is our annual reminder that Los Angeles still doesn’t have a Winter Bike to Work Day, despite having a much more inviting climate — this week excepted. Then again, we didn’t have much of a summer one last year, either. 

Chicago bicyclists disproved the myth that no one rides in the winter, as hundreds of people turned out for last month’s Critical Mass ride in 39 degrees and rain.

A Tennessee recumbent rider was killed, and two other bike riders were injured, when a driver jumped a curb and crashed into a group of bicyclists waiting on a Murfreesboro sidewalk for the light to change; the local bike club urged people not to jump to conclusions about who was at fault. Although it’s kind of hard not to when the victims were on the sidewalk, and so was the driver.

Men’s Health explains how the head chef of an elite, two Michelin-starred Brooklyn restaurant manages to be an elite bicyclist, too.

After a North Carolina driver killed a man riding a unicycle, the state Highway Patrol quickly blamed the victim for not having a headlight. Which raises the question of where they expected him to put it.

 

International

How to celebrate Valentines Day with a bicycle. I mean, not as your date or anything, because that would be weird. 

A British Columbia writer says yes, bike helmets are helpful, but if you really want to improve safety, make drivers wear them, too.

A pair of Edinburgh bicyclists were left shaken after they were attacked by hooded thieves who made off with their bikes, worth over $12,000.

Disappointing news, as one of England’s oldest bike shops shuttered after 134 years.

The UK’s national Bikeability children’s bicycle safety training program says fewer kids are riding to school, even though more are passing through the program.

Good question. A BBC radio show considers why bicyclists with bike-cams are considered snitches, while drivers with dash-cams are responsible citizens.

A European travel site says put Valencia, Spain on your bike bucket list.

Sad news from Bengaluru, India, where the man known as the Century Cyclist or the Cycle Yogi for his unbroken streak of 42 months of daily metric century rides — 62 miles — died of a heart attack just days after finishing the streak; he was just 45.

A London bike rider says spending a week riding on a cycle track through Abu Dhabi’s breathtaking Al Wathba desert changed his mind about bicycling, in a good way.

An Aussie ebike rider was seriously injured by a woman driving at nearly twice the county’s .05 legal blood alcohol limit, but the tabloids had a field day after learning she was wearing nothing but leather lingerie at the time of the crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

Estonia’s Madis Mihkels and Belgian pro Gerben Thijssen made a donation to their Intermarché–Wanty cycling team’s junior team, and were asked to make a presentation to the junior team members on the values of cycling after they were yanked from last year’s Chinese Tour of Guangxi for making a common anti-Asian racist gesture.

 

Finally…

Use wind-power to run your bike lights. Who needs Critical Mass when you can have a monthly bike rave, instead?

And seriously, how low can you go?

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C0KYTXjv0Bg/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=33a07c8f-a11a-405f-aef2-962a6c6fb356

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

LA Times voter guides for CD4, CD6 and Healthy Streets LA; SGV bike ride Sunday; and Weiner talks speed governors

332 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

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The Los Angeles Times offers a detailed voter guide to the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, including a look at what it does and doesn’t do, as well as who supports and opposes it.

And there’s a lot more of the former than there is the latter.

The paper also provides election guides for the six-way race for the CD6 seat currently held by Imelda Padilla on an interim basis, as well as the two men challenging Nithya Raman in the reconfigured CD4.

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Update: This ride has been postponed until next Sunday due to risk of rain.

Safe Streets For SGV is hosting a moderately paced, nine-mile bike ride on Sunday to call for safer streets and promote better connections between Alhambra and South Pasadena.

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State Senator Scott Weiner describes his bill that would require speed governors in all new cars, which would “only” allow drivers to break the law by 10 mph.

Which sounds perfectly damn reasonable to me.

Thanks to MYVOTECD1 for the heads-up.

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The latest episode of Bike Talk is available online now.

A listener, Reese, speaks for connected, protected bike lanes in Utah. 2:00

News: With pedestrian and cyclist deaths in Los Angeles at an 8-year high, the departing Los Angeles Police Chief blames their reckless biking and walking habits. In California, SB 961 calls for all new cars to have speed governors. A Die-in against traffic violence at LA City Hall. 7:12

When a 14 year old on his bike was hit by an uninsured motorist in Chicago, personal injury lawyer Jonel Metaj took the case all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court. Now, people in Illinois with uninsured motorist coverage will be protected when biking and walking, too. 18:57

Alison Cohen is the founder of Bicycle Transit Systems, which operates bikeshare in cities throughout the US. She explains how BTS came to be threatened with replacement by Lyft in Los Angeles. 33:00

A Bike Thought by Stacey. 52:23

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Not only was Farrah Fawcett one of us, but she could clearly do “Look Ma! No hands!” with the best of them.

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It’s now 43 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A couple of young Frenchmen walked without a single day behind bars for an eight-month series of attacks in which they leaned out of a moving car to push at least a dozen bike riders off their bikes and into ditches, and hit at least one man repeatedly with a small truncheon; they were both sentenced to two-year suspended sentences after telling the judge they were really, really sorry. No, really.

No surprise here. A pair of Australian teenagers were arrested for intentionally running down two Melbourne bicyclists in a stolen car last week, leaving the men with serious, potentially life-changing injuries, and posting video of the attack online. They joined a now worldwide social media-inspired trend of teens stealing cars and intentionally attacking people on bicycles — including recent attacks in Huntington Beach and Las Vegas — for no other reason than they can.

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Local 

Metro announced plans to improve streets, bus stops and bike lanes along the 710 Freeway corridor, after cancelling plans to widen the freeway in the face of public opposition.

Seven Culver City cops will join the Police Unity Tour, riding 300 miles to honor fallen officers.

 

State

San Diego and Imperial counties will share $12 million in state infrastructure funding, including for bike and pedestrian projects.

The atmospheric river that poured through California yesterday left a Santa Barbara bike lane closed due to flooding, with no projected opening date.

 

National

Bike Rumor picks the year’s best bike handlebar bags.

SRAM issued a recall for all aftermarket 12-speed eTap AXS Red, Force, Rival and Apex shift-brake levers produced before July 2023 that were not installed by a bicycle dealer, telling owners to stop using them immediately.

Forbes recommends fat biking as one of “three winter adventurers (sic) you can’t afford to miss in Anchorage.” Especially since they finally have snow this year.

A kindhearted Maine high school resource cop called on a local bike shop to donate a refurbished bike for a kid who was struggling with attendance, leading to a new program accepting donated bikes for students.

A Baltimore letter writer says traffic calming doesn’t work, and new bike lanes will never lure people out of their motor vehicles, because cars.

After losing his own vision, a New Orleans man created a tandem bicycling group to allow blind people to keep riding.

 

International

Momentum offers seven “examples of stunning and inspiring bicycle infrastructure around the world.” None of which are in Los Angeles. Or North America, for that matter. 

A longstanding worker-owned bike shop in London’s Brixton neighborhood is begging for donations to help it withstand the worst year in its two decade history.

Singer Harry Styles is one of us, spending the last day before he turned 30 riding through London in a quilted orange puffer jacket.

A new London study suggests male Sikh bike riders might not benefit from bike helmets, because the style and thickness of their turbans could already provide the best possible head protection.

British ebike brand Gocycle is introducing a futuristic take on the family e-cargo bike — as long as you have at least seven grand burning a hole in your bank account.

Unbelievable. A road raging Jersey teenage was acquitted of manslaughter for killing a bike rider with a single punch to the face, claiming he was frightened by the victim, despite repeatedly honking at him and getting out of his car to confront him after the man deservedly flipped him off.

This is who we share the road with. Italian saboteurs are cutting down speed cams, and ripping out speed humps to fight for their God-given right to speed.

The Jerusalem Post highlights the best selling bike phone mounts. One of which I already own. 

A pair of Aussie researchers say e-scooter injuries are rising, but there’s not enough data yet to say if they’re more dangerous than other micromobility methods, such as bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

The first win of the 2024 cycling season goes to Belgian Soudal Quick-Step sprinter Tim Merlier.

 

Finally…

Why you shouldn’t trust your bike to the cheapest lock you can find at CVS. What happens when you let a Magic 8-Ball write your bike lane headlines.

And when the mayor’s office says just kidding about scrapping the city’s annual bike ride.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Die-in at City Hall as LA 333 days from Vision Zero fail, San Diego prioritizes Vision Zero, and support soars for HLA

333 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

Now, we’ve got a lot to catch up on, after being down for two days, so strap in for a bumpy ride. 

Die-in photo by Joe Linton for Streetsblog

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Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on Saturday’s die-in at City Hall, where at least one speaker clearly didn’t pull his words.

SAFE founder Damian Kevitt criticized the city’s Vision Zero program, intended to eliminate traffic deaths, as “an abysmal failure.”

“We aren’t even remotely doing [Vision Zero], so let’s stop trying to fool everyone by saying that we are.” He emphasized SAFE doesn’t oppose Vision Zero, but urges the city to step up and take its program more seriously.

“We need to yell and yell loud and don’t stop yelling… for safer roads” Kevitt urged, leading the assembled crowd in chanting, “Mayor Bass, where’s your plan?”

Maybe if we all sign the petition up at the top, we could do that yelling where she might actually hear us.

The speakers included state legislators and C-30 Congressional candidates Assemblymember Laura Friedman and State Senator Anthony Portantino, as well as Councilmember Nithya Raman.

A handful of elected officials joined the rally. Assemblymember Laura Friedman recounted her long struggles to pass much-needed legislation to allow cities to cap speed limits and to install automated speed enforcement. “Let’s slow people down,” Friedman urged, “let’s take back our streets!”

State Senator Anthony Portantino urged attendees to “turn tears… and pain… and tragedy… into action” for safer streets. L.A. City Councilmember Nithya Raman spoke about her success in implementing bikeways, funding for bus shelters, and more. Raman urged treating the “staggering rise in deaths” as the “public heath crisis that it is.”

Take a few minutes to read the whole thing. Because far too many people are dying on our streets, and the city isn’t doing anywhere near enough to stop it.

But at least one councilmember gets it.

Meanwhile, Streets Are For Everyone gave Los Angeles an F grade for traffic safety in 2023.

Here’s what founder Damian Kevitt had to say.

I am starting this report with a question that anyone reading this must think about:

How many more Angelenos need to die before we, as a collective city, start treating traffic violence with the urgency it deserves?

 In January 2023, Streets Are For Everyone produced its first report, Dying on the Streets of Los Angeles, looking at traffic violence trends, the numbers behind them, and other statistics related to traffic violence in Los Angeles.

The numbers were disturbing. They showed that what was being done to address traffic violence was clearly not working and needed a significant change in action, level of funding, and dedication if our elected officials truly intended to save lives on the roads of Los Angeles. The report laid out four broad steps that needed to be taken. In short, these were:

  1. Cut the bureaucracy by declaring a state of emergency related to traffic violence. 
  2. Reestablish Vision Zero with accountability, transparency, and PURPOSE.
  3. Prioritize lives over the right to speed.
  4. Get real about the magnitude of the problem by funding road safety improvements at a level that might start to make a difference.

Guess how many of those items city leaders actually checked off? No, really, we’ll wait.

And once again, take a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Because we’re dying here. Too often literally.

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At least San Diego gets it.

https://twitter.com/TallDarknJewish/status/1752387993149858242

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The Los Angeles City Council punted when they had the chance to adopt the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure a year and a half ago.

But at least some of them want you to do it next month.

The ballot measure has also been endorsed by the Los Angeles Times, the LA County Democratic Party, and — surprisingly — the Los Angeles Unified School District, as well as a number of other organizations and Neighborhood Councils.

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A virtual town hall this evening will discuss plans to improve safety on the east end of Hollywood Blvd.

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Gravel Bike California takes on the LA Tourist Race.

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A Bay Area TV station reports on how triathletes who competed at the worlds won the battle to get their high-end racing bikes back, which had been impounded due to a dispute with the shipping company.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link. 

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A reminder that 94-year old actor Gene Hackman is one of us.

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It’s now 42 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

You can smell the bullshit a mile away when bike lanes are rejected in the name of safety, as they were in one upstate New York town, although the real reason seems to be preserving parking spaces. Because we all know that human lives are less important than personal convenience.

Dublin bike riders describe the intimidation, aggression and bullying they receive from the city’s motorists.

Two young Frenchmen face up to five years behind bars for pushing at least a dozen bike riders into ditches over a period of several months.

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

They get it. A Slovakian newspaper argues that bike riders sometimes knowingly break the law, but do it for the safe of safely in the absence of safe infrastructure.

A Singapore bike rider hit a dog’s snout while riding a pedestrian walkway, then criticized the owner for not controlling the dog when it growled at him as a result.

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Local 

LAist declares 2023 the year of the pothole, and tells you how to report them.

A Los Angeles Times letter writer agrees with a proposal to place speed limitation devices on motor vehicles, arguing that cars have gotten too big and fast, but another writer blames the victims, calling for a campaign to teach “defensive walking” to pedestrians so they won’t get killed.

Metro will offer free rides on the county transit agency’s bus, rail and bike systems this Sunday for Transit Equity Day, and the birthday of civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

Speaking of Joe Linton, the Los Angeles Streetsblog editor visits the new bikeways of Beverly Hills, demonstrating that the overprivileged city is not longer the area’s biking black hole, as well as new curb-protected bike lanes in Long Beach.

Another Streetsblog writer examines the first segment of the new Rosemead Blvd Complete Streets project in El Monte. Because evidently, Linton can’t be everywhere. 

 

State

Streetsblog is now accepting applications for their California board of directors.

A pair of San Marcos kids suffered serious injuries when they were run down by a hit-and-run driver while sharing an ebike.

Bakersfield bicyclists will be able to bike a new 1.5-mile section of freeway before it opens to motor vehicles.

There’s a special place in hell for the anti-social asshole — and I choose my words carefully — who burglarized Richmond’s Rich City Rides bike shop and community advocacy group, forcing the shop to close after suffering at least $13,000 in losses.

Bad news from Lincoln, California, where cycling strength trainer, and health and wellness expert Derek Teel, owner of Dialed Health, suffered a severely broken pelvis, a broken femur and a collapsed lung, among other injuries, when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver Tuesday afternoon.

 

National

A new report suggests that capping vehicle hood heights at 3.6 feet — instead of massive trucks and SUVs with high, flat grills literally designed to kill — could save 1,350 American lives a year, as a new calculator determines exactly how likely a vehicle is to kill you.

A new study shows cargo bikes really can replace cars, as people rated cargo bikes higher than motor vehicles in nearly every category.

A group of four Democrats have introduced a bill that would require states to direct a portion of their federal highway funding towards the creation of a Complete Streets Program.

Both sides of the Congressional aisle have finally agreed on a bipartisan ebike bill — but instead of offering a rebate, this one would create federal standards for ebike batteries.

Miss Manners confronts drama on the bike trail, as a man’s riding companions give him the cold shoulder for taking too long to chat with friends in another group, delaying their group ride.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A 32-year old man with 19 previous traffic citations agreed to plead guilty to killing 32-year old BMX champ Nathan “Nate” Miller, after prosecutors agreed to a sentence of probation or just one year in prison. Congratulations to Nevada officials on keeping him on the road until he actually killed someone, then letting him loose to do it again. 

The Salt Lake City man behind the Pedaled Piano project dreams of riding his bicycle and playing piano across Europe.

The allegedly stoned driver who killed two brothers riding with their kids in the annual Spring Tour of St. George bicycle ride escaped with a pair of third-degree vehicular homicide convictions when the jury returned a split verdict; the woman claimed she was shitting on herself as she drove, and didn’t notice the men riding their bikes on the side of the road.

Like Los Angeles, Colorado is seeing bicycle and pedestrian deaths rise, even as overall traffic deaths decline.

Hats off to a trio of University of Illinois engineering students, who designed a fully custom bike, complete with adaptive handlebars, gear hub and frame, to allow an eight-year old boy with a form of dwarfism to ride a bike for the first time.

An Illinois bike advocacy group launched a statewide campaign to call attention to the state’s rising rate of bicycling deaths.

Bike crashes are surging in Michigan, where bicycling deaths are up 64% over the past three years.

Nashville star Zach Bryan is one of us, riding a tandem with his girlfriend in Amsterdam while high on ‘shrooms and blasting the late Warren Zevon’s Lawyers, Guns and Money on endless repeat. I confess to two out of the three, though how much of that applies to you is entirely a matter of your own personal habits. 

New York Magazine considers MIPS helmets, and whether you need one. Unlike MIPS, regular bike helmets are designed to prevent fractures, not traumatic brain injuries. So the short answer is yes, if you’re going to wear one at all.

 

International

GCN considers the pros and cons of puncture-proof tires.

Momentum lists the most romantic bicycling cities on the planet, all of which are in Europe. And none of which is Los Angeles.

A Cycling Weekly opinion piece makes the case for not taking your local bike shop for granted.

Marketplace talks with London bike writer Laura Laker about the complications of navigating a city by bicycle, and how map apps can make things worse.

A London writer reports feeling bereft after her decades-old bicycle was stolen.

An English church is asking for permission to modify its fence, over fears people riding on the nearby bike path could be impaled on the fence’s spikes.

Residents of a British apartment complex blame construction of a nearby bike path for a recent rat infestation, after construction work blocked garbage trucks for three months.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The 68-year old founder of a UK arts and health charity was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a 19-year old driver; he was described as a gifted pianist, talented mathematician, bridge builder and visionary leader.

Three-time world record-breaking British cyclist Kate Strong will ride a bamboo bike 160 miles to deliver the game ball for Saturday’s Forest Green Rovers FC and Colchester United FC soccer match to call for greener support for the planet.

A five-day British fundraising ride will travel from the UK through Normandy to honor the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landing. Or pedal Italy while you feed your face with a new bicycling tour of Sicily, hosted by two award-winning chefs.

Seriously? A 17-year old Aussie driver says he was frightened of the 62-year old man on a bicycle who flipped him off after the kid repeatedly honked at him for riding too slowly — so scared, in fact, that he got out of his car and challenged the older man to a fight, killing him with a punch.

 

Competitive Cycling

A four-year old Florida boy appears to eke out a victory racing his bike against the local garbage collector.

Cycling Weekly refutes Rigoberto Urán’s statement that he’s too old to race bikes at 37, citing other riders who competed well into relative old age.

On the opposite end of the cycling age spectrum, 22-year old German pro Michel Hessmann won’t face criminal doping charges, but could still be subject to a cycling ban from German authorities.

 

Finally…

How to give new life to your old bike parts. We may have to worry about vipers behind the wheel, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting a deadly brown snake wrapped around your wheel.

And three ways to open a beer with your mountain bike.

You know, in case the first two don’t work.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

New Flax bike book, Metro cuts open streets funding, and nation’s deadliest city for pedestrians rates 8th for walkability

Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

………

LA bike advocate and former Bicycling Editor in Chief Peter Flax has a new book coming out on March 19th titled Live To Ride, which is available for preorder now.

Meanwhile, Bicycling’s Gabe’s Bike Shop talks with Flax about his book, and digs through his Twitter/X account to get into his head.

As usual, read and/or listen to it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

………

Metro inexplicably followed through on a staff recommendation to cut open streets funding last week.

The LA County transportation agency reduced spending on already-approved projects up to 20%, sending organizers scrambling to secure more funding, and putting events like CicLAvia, 626 Golden Streets and Beach Streets in jeopardy.

The agency also refused funding for projects planned for this December for Ventura Blvd, as well as Northridge, Wilmington, Long Beach, Hawthorne, Lincoln Heights and MacArthur Park.

The decision makes no sense at a time when reducing automobile traffic and getting people out of their cars is vital for the health of our transportation network, and our world.

And even though the $5.5 million approved for open streets funding over the next two years amounts to a lousy rounding error on Metro’s massive $9 billion annual budget.

They could have easily fully funded all the proposed events just by trimming one needless and environmentally harmful highway project.

Update: I received the following statement from Metro’s Jennifer Butler, disputing that funding had been cut, but rather, an increase in funding had been spread further, resulting in a reduction in funding for existing events.

On Jan. 25, 2024, the Metro Board approved the Open and Slow Streets Grant Program, which reflected an increase in annual funding from $4 to $5 million and included unspent funds from last year for a total of $5.5 million in fiscal year 2024. Metro has funded $20 million for Open Streets events since the program began, and with the recent Board action, this figure rises to just over $25 million cumulatively through 2025. 

The approved increased in annual funding, together with staff’s recommendation to partially fund (at 80%) the longstanding events that had received open streets funding for five or more events prior to this Cycle, allowed Metro to fund 16 Open Streets activities vs 13 previously.  

The mature events have access to (Part 3 such as TDA Article 3, bicycle and pedestrian funds) to complete the funding of their events, and new applicants now have the opportunity to hold their first event, giving more people in LA County a chance to experience safe walking, biking and rolling. This fulfills the program’s objective to provide seed funding for open streets events and enables more people to experience active transportation and public transportation for the first time. 

………

Condé Nast Traveler caused an uproar after rating Los Angeles the eighth most walkable city in the US — despite also being the nation’s deadliest city for pedestrians.

Which one would think would kind of have an impact on walkability.

But apparently not.

Meanwhil, Redfin rates the ten most bikeable cities in California, none of which are Los Angeles.

Although Santa Monica ranks sixth.

………

NBA star Klay Thompson is one of us, as the Golden State Warriors guard showed up on an ebike for a recent game with the Los Angeles Lakers.

………

It’s now 39 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

………

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

A 47-year old Oregon man faces a host charges after allegedly intentionally ramming a bike rider with his car, then fleeing the scene; no word on the extent of the victim’s injuries.

No bias here. A populist Irish politician who frequently complains about the “nanny state” apparently has no problem acting like one if it means requiring hi-viz for people on bicycles.

The wife of an Australian man intentionally run down by the occupants of a stolen car says he should be able to walk again, but his spine will never be the same — and the jerks who did it were laughing as they drove away.

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

A Florida man was busted for biking under the influence for trying to ride his bike home while both high and drunk, as well as having no idea what time it was. And should be grateful the cop didn’t get him for littering, too.

………

Local 

A Los Angeles bike rider was treated by paramedics after being struck by a driver fleeing from the LAPD.

ActiveSGV calls on LA County to fund the 5-city, 8-mile Eaton Wash Greenway running from Pasadena to El Monte.

 

State

Southern California will get a share of $1.2 billion in new funding from the California Transportation Commission, including over $53 million to improve safety on CA-2, better known as Santa Monica Blvd.

A new ghost bike was installed in San Diego’s Mission Valley to remember husband and father Matt Keenan, after his ghost bike was set on fire earlier this month; one man is in custody for the arson attack.

No bias here, either. The CHP was quick to absolve a semi driver of responsibility for driving off after hitting a Bakersfield bike rider, who suffered major injuries, saying “the truck driver most likely did not feel they hit someone.”

Sad news from San Jose, where a man riding a bicycle was killed when a driver somehow “made contact with him.” Which makes it sound like just a little bump, instead of a life-threatening crash.

Ten teens have now been charged with stabbing a 41-year old Santa Rosa man  multiple times to steal his bicycle earlier this month.

 

National

Outside says there’s no good reason to buy a carbon bike, because the only people who really need one get them for free.

The Tucson, Arizona driver who killed a woman participating in the city’s Bike Party, and caused life-changing injuries to two other people, will spend the next 17 years behind bars — even though the victim worked to reduce prison populations and sentences.

US Marshals smoked out alleged killer and former fugitive Kaitlin Armstrong from her Costa Rica hideout when she responded to an ad they posted looking for a yoga instructor; Armstrong is charged with murdering gravel champ Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas over a perceived love triangle with pro cyclist Colin Strickland. As rumored, she used plastic surgery to change her appearance.

Eight of New York’s 77 police precincts recorded zero traffic deaths last year, even as the city suffered its second-worst year on record for bicycling fatalities.

New York magazine rates the best bike helmets, saying there’s one for every head.

That’s more like it. A Florida man was sentenced to a dozen years behind bars, followed by eleven years probation, for killing a bike-riding man while driving drunk and doing 109 mph in a 35 mph zone.

 

International

How to build your very own aluminum framed superbike.

A 70-year old English minister is sacrificing his free time to fix “unsolvable” bike repair problems.

A new British study shows cargo bikes are faster in urban areas than delivery trucks or vans, without the harmful climate effects of motor vehicles.

One of the UK’s most wanted criminals will spend the next 19 years behind bars after he was busted by Spanish police trying to make his escape by ebike after two years on the run.

Indian film star Bobby Deal killed four years by running and riding his bike while waiting for his movie debut to finally be released.

A Karachi, Pakistan bikeathon was held to reclaim public spaces for women on bicycles, who are subject to “evil” street harassment.

A group of British Muslims are biking nearly 350 miles between Makkah and Madinah, following the route of the Prophet Muhammad, to protest the war in Gaza.

Hats off to Rwandan ebike-startup Ampersand for securing nearly $20 million in debt and equity funding to get off the ground.

Celebrity Philippine beauty doctor Vicki Bello is one of us, after her equally celeb physician husband gave her a new Fendi ebike for her 68th birthday.

 

Competitive Cycling

Makes sense to me. Cycling Weekly says the greatest rider of all time is always the one who inspired you in your youth. Which explains why I always nominate The Cannibal; however, anyone who grew up idolizing a certain one-balled Texan may be screwed.

A 27-year old British Columbia cyclist was permanently banned from participating as a coach, athlete, volunteer or spectator at any Canadian cycling event after violating Cycling Canada’s code of conduct in some undisclosed way.

French pro Rudy Molard has been unable to fly home after suffering a concussion hitting the pavement in the third stage of the Tour Down Under, leaving him with no memory of the crash. I can relate; I still have no idea what happened in the infamous beachfront bee incident more than 16 years later.

 

Finally…

If you think today’s ebike designs are strange, consider from whence they sprang. We may have to deal with piggish LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about actual wild hogs roaming our bike paths.

And that feeling when you go swimming with your bicycle in an icy lake while streaming live on Twitch.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Times talks traffic deaths, die-in and Healthy Streets LA; rightwing jock trashes HSLA, speed governors and Sen. Weiner

Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

………

Los Angeles Times reporters Rachael Uranga and Libor Jany examined the recent news that traffic deaths outnumbered murders in the City of Angels last year.

In all, 336 people died in crashes in 2023 — more than half of them, 179, were pedestrians. That’s the highest number since the city started keeping statistics more than two decades ago.

Graphics by tomexploresla

Meanwhile, “just” 327 people were murdered in the city last year, a decrease of 17% over 2022.

“This is a deadly city and it’s not being treated with urgency,” said Damian Kevitt, executive director of the advocacy group Streets Are For Everyone. “We need to declare a state of emergency on traffic violence and treat it as the public health crisis that it is…”

Enforcement has fallen and the city’s interest in making streets safer has waned, Kevitt says, adding that then-Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Vision Zero plan that was supposed to eliminate fatalities by 2025 has been largely abandoned.

They go on to mention efforts to pressure city officials to do more to improve traffic safety in Los Angeles.

On Saturday, Kevitt’s group is planning a “die-in” on the steps of City Hall asking officials to take swift action on safety measures such as implementing speed cameras that were approved by the state Legislature last year. A March ballot measure proposed by another advocacy group would force the city to build more protected bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

Here’s the information on tomorrow’s die-in at City Hall. The link in the graphic below isn’t live, but you can learn more and register to attend here.

It’s also a damn good reason to go back up and sign the petition.

………

Speaking of the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, an op-ed from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider stresses why it’s so desperately needed.

When I first started doing this work via Streets for All in 2019, we used to somberly state that a pedestrian is killed once every three days in Los Angeles. Today, that has increased to a pedestrian being killed every two days. Compared with 2015, when 88 pedestrians were killed on L.A. streets, 176 pedestrians were killed last year. Pedestrian deaths have doubled in just eight years, when they’re supposed to be on the decline.

The nation as a whole has seen a rise in recklessness on the road since the pandemic began in 2020, including driving under the influence, distracted driving, excessive speed and road rage. In that time, Los Angeles has become the most dangerous city in the nation in which to walk. Back in 2022, only New York City had deadlier streets for pedestrians. As of the end of 2023, Los Angeles has now eclipsed New York City, and by a lot (176 deaths versus 114). For the first week of 2024, the city experienced nine fatalities from car crashes, including five pedestrians. That means that more than one Angeleno was dying every day because of traffic violence during the first week of January.

He goes on to point out that the city paid out more in liability settlements for people harmed by traffic violence stemming from our deadly streets than it did to prevent it.

Which is something the HSLA measure would change, though far more Vision Zero funding is needed, as well. Let alone Garcetti’s Green New Deal program.

Schneider ends his piece this way.

If a serial killer were on the loose killing more than 300 Angelenos every year, we would launch a citywide hunt to end the spree. With car crashes among the top causes of death for kids in Los Angeles, and with a decades-high number of pedestrians dying, shouldn’t we treat road safety with the same sense of urgency?

It’s definitely worth taking a few minutes to read the whole thing.

………

Then there’s this steaming pile of windshield biased, reactionary claptrap.

John Kobylt, yet another angry, indignorant shock jock host for rightwing radio KFI, spouted off for a couple hours about SB 961, the new state bill from San Francisco Senator Scott Weiner.

Or as schoolyard bully Kobylt called Weiner, “that emaciated little worm…trying to destroy the automobile industry and destroy our freedom…”

By limiting cars to allowing drivers to break the law by just ten miles an hour, instead of the usual 20, 50 or even 100 mph, in violation of every speed law in every city and state in the Union?

Seriously?

Yeah, that’s definitely taking our freedom away. Next thing you know, they’ll pass a law against killing people with your car.

Oh wait, they already did.

I only made it a few minutes into the program, when he introduced someone from driver activist group Keep LA Moving to trash LA’s already-approved Mobility Plan 2035, and the Healthy Streets LA ballot initiative that would require merely require the city to keep their damn word.

But if your stomach is stronger than mine, feel free to give it a listen.

Or better yet, just don’t. Your brain will thank you.

………

Orange County bike advocate and longtime tandem pilot Mike Wilkerson forwards news of an informal group bike ride in Fullerton on the last Friday of every month.

Which is, like, tonight.

Everyone is invited to a fun ride this Friday evening in Fullerton.

The ride starts at 6:00 pm from the Fullerton Downtown Plaza at 125 E Wilshire Ave. It will be about 16 miles long, all on public streets, some with hills.

This will be a no-drop ride, so come as you are on what ever you ride.

It will be an night time ride. Please bring front and rear lights and wear a helmet.

This ride goes on the last Friday of most months. Put it on your calendar, and enjoy the company of fellow riders along some of Fullerton’s bike-friendly streets!

………

It’s now 36 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

………

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

Former Tour de France and world champ Cadel Evans called out the “bad attitudes” of Aussie drivers towards bicyclists, after two men riding bikes were seriously injured in deliberate hit-and-runs that were filmed and uploaded to social media.

………

Local 

No surprise here, as Streetblog’s Joe Linton calls out Metro for once again ignoring Los Angeles city standards by implementing wider traffic lanes at the forthcoming Wilshire and La Brea Metro station than the city allows, which encourages speeding and otherwise dangerous driving.

Streetsblog also reports a virtual town hall will take place on Thursday to discuss plans to install bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd between Gower Street and Fountain Ave.

A Larchmont paper looks forward to the 50th CicLAvia, scheduled for February 25th on a four-mile stretch of Melrose Ave. However, future open streets events could come less often if Metro cuts funding, as staffers are recommending.

Culver City approved funding to rip out the successful Move Culver City protected bikes lanes and require bike riders to share a lane with public buses, although there is an ongoing CEQA lawsuit to halt the project; the city council also approved plans to install new bike lanes on Culver Blvd and Robertson Blvd.

Burbank police have made an arrest in the hit-and-run that critically injured a 77-year old man riding a bicycle last week; 23-year old Sherman Oaks resident Alexander Saenz reportedly admitted to being behind the wheel. Meanwhile, the victim remains hospitalized in critical condition.

 

State

The Acorn reports on the hundreds of bike riders who turned out in Thousand Oaks to demand the release of the Israeli hostages, on the 100th day the Israel-Hamas war.

An Oildale bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was struck by an on-duty Kern County Sheriff’s deputy in a marked patrol car.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man died this week, seven months after he was struck by a driver while riding his bike last June.

Tomorrow night, San Franciscans can enjoy the city’s 3rd Annual Light Up the Night Bike Parade, featuring “hundreds of bicyclists taking a leisurely 2-mile, family-friendly bike ride along JFK Promenade, all aglow with colorful bike lights and fun costumes.”

 

National

A Colorado man says he was lucky to escape with just a few broken vertebrae, along with a broken hip and shoulder, when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver who saw him on the ground in tears, begging for help, and chose to drive off anyway.

 

International

Even the usually auto-centric Daily Mail has a problem with a “daft” motorist blithely driving down a Glasgow bike lane, ignoring all the little bike symbols along the way.

In a bizarre case, a couple men got into a fist fight in an English courtroom after one of the two was convicted of murder for fatally stabbing a man to steal his ebike, while the other man was found guilty of manslaughter and robbery; a third defendant apparently had enough sense to stay out of it.

Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling website offers advice on how to keep riding your ebike through the cold and snowy winter months. Or as we call that in LA, somewhere else.

An Indian website lists the best bikes for women in pink. Because all women prefer pink and only like girly bikes, evidently. 

Let’s hope something was lost in translation, as an Indian website reports a young man was killed as he returned home on a bicycle after the birth of his wife.

Here’s one for your bike bucket list, with the 46th edition of the world’s largest timed bike tour taking place in Cape Town, South Africa in March.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News says pro cycling needs to take a page from Formula 1, and design bikes specifically for speed, with the tech eventually trickling down to the rest of us. You know, like how car alarms and cup holders eventually made their way down from F1 to the rest of us.

The season opening race of Northern California’s 27-year old Grasshopper series will feature a unique mentorship program by professional women’s cyclists for U19 girls.

 

Finally…

The addiction to obese cars. Your next e-cargo bike could be hand-built in Will Shakespeare’s hometown.

And now you, too, can own bikes ridden by Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard, Wout van Aert and Marianne Vos.

Though probably not the one Vingegaard rode in the Tour, dammit.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

New bill requires speed governors on new California cars, LAPD Chief blames traffic victims, and LA bike deaths jump 41%

Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

………

San Francisco state Senator Scott Weiner introduced two bills to improve traffic safety, including requiring speed governors on all new cars, and side guards on trucks.

Here’s how Calbike, which sponsored the bills, explains them.

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced the Speeding and Fatality Emergency Reduction on California Streets (SAFER California Streets) Package, Senate Bills 960 & 961, a first-in-the-nation effort to make California roads safe and accessible to all users. Senate Bill 961 requires changes to vehicles directly, including a first-in-the-nation requirement that all new vehicles sold in California install speed governors, smart devices that automatically limit the vehicle’s speed to 10 miles above the legal limit. SB 961 also requires side underride guards on trucks, to reduce the risk of cars and bikes being pulled underneath the truck during a crash.

Senate Bill 960 requires that Caltrans, the state transportation agency, make physical improvements like new crosswalks and curb extensions on state-owned surface streets to better accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, the disability community, and transit users.

These changes are a head-on attempt to tackle vehicle fatalities, which are surging across the U.S.—and especially in California—amid a rise in reckless driving since the onset of the pandemic. A recent report from TRIP, a national transportation research group, found that traffic fatalities in California have increased by 22% from 2019 to 2022, compared to 19% for the U.S. overall. In 2022, 4,400 Californians died in car crashes.

The speed governing requirement is probably unlikely to pass in its present form, as it will undoubted face stiff opposition from organizations defending California drivers’ God-given right to speed.

But it could be one of the biggest steps the state could take to ensure drivers follow speed laws, and save lives.

Sort of, anyway. Since it would still let them speed by the same 10 mph over the limit that most California drivers do now, anyway.

………

Outgoing LAPD Chief Michael Moore caused an uproar by blaming the victims for the city’s climbing traffic deaths, placing responsibility on pedestrians for crossing streets outside of crosswalks, and bicyclists for riding on streets without bike lanes and not wearing reflective gear.

Not on, say, drivers for speeding or driving distracted or under the influence, or just generally not managing to avoid hitting other people. Or on his own officers for failing to enforce traffic laws.

Schmuck.

His misguided criticisms hardly explain LA’s rapid jump in bicycling deaths, since bike riders seem no less likely to use bike lanes or wear hi-viz and reflective gear than they were just three years ago.

………

Meanwhile, Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, is looking for volunteers to promote Saturday’s die-in at LA City Hall at tomorrow’s Critical Mass Ride.

SAFE is holding a Protest for safe streets on Saturday, January 27th, on the steps of City Hall in order to demand LA City leaders do something effective about safety in our roads. Our goal is to have at least 330 people in attendance to represent each life lost to traffic violence in 2023.

We will be at the LA Critical Mass ride on Friday, January 26th, to let the cycling community know about the protest and enlist their help. We need volunteers to join us and make our protest as big and loud as possible!

………

Metro wants your input on how to reduce traffic.

Traffic Reduction Study (TRS) Survey closes Jan 31, 2024 
TRS is looking at how we can manage demand to reduce traffic through congestion pricing, and make it easier for everyone to travel, regardless of how they choose to travel. Following the conclusion of the survey, Metro staff will take the time necessary to assess and evaluate the feedback received countywide to include in the study’s technical analysis. We appreciate your assistance in helping us understand what your priorities and concerns are about traffic. Please take the survey here.

………

I hope you weren’t planning to ride Orange County’s Mariposa Bridge anytime soon.

………

That’s more like it.

An Arizona tow truck driver got 17 years behind bars for plowing into a group bike ride, killing one woman and injuring five other people, despite playing the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card by claiming the sun was in his eyes. Although part of that sentence is for the kiddie porn cops found on his phone.

A 19-year old New Mexico man got a little more than seven years for the drunken hit-and-run that killed a 63-year old man riding a bicycle, after prosecutors dropped an additional seven years from his sentence in a plea deal.

And the Florida drawbridge operator who walked with seven years probation for failing to check if anyone was on the bridge before opening it, killing a woman walking her bike across it at the time, could be headed for nine years behind bars after failing a urine test required as a condition of her probation.

………

More proof that brilliant writers ride bikes.

I mean, besides me.

………

It took me about two seconds to find the bike with no rider, for whatever that’s worth.

………

It’s now 35 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

………

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

A British bicycling organization says the country’s addiction to ever bigger cars is driving bike riders off the roads, as car widths increase an average of one centimeter a year — a little less than half an inch.

A London bike rider filmed a motorist driving blissfully the wrong way down a bike lane, as bicyclists dodged out of his way.

 

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

New York’s self-appointed sidewalk vigilante has made over 5,000 documented reports to the city’s 311 systems, thanks to a personally-programmed camera aimed to capture people illegally riding bikes on the sidewalk.

………

Local 

The Los Angeles Times suggests 13 out-of-the-mainstream bike shops to help discover the city’s thriving bicycle culture. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link, who says his go-to shop Safety Cycle should have made the list, too.

Hollywood Progressive profiles Leon Comerre’s breathtaking 1903 painting Cycling at Vesinet.

 

State

A writer for Streetsblog says the California Transportation Commission needs to hit pause on highway projects to address the state’s massive budget shortfall, arguing that putting a potentially problematic $200 million highway expansion on hold was a step in the right direction.

Sad news from Livermore, where a 58-year old man died when he went over his handlebars after apparently suffering a mechanical problem with his bike.

San Francisco celebrity chef, restaurateur and philanthropist Chris Cosentino is one of us, riding his bike to help manage his mental health.

The City by the Bay is proposing a $9 million settlement after an infamous roadway bump resulting from a botched water pipe repair left a bike rider with life altering injuries; four other people have sued for under a million each for injuries suffered hitting the bump with their bikes. Which raises the obvious question of why not just fix the damn thing after the first person got hurt?

 

National

Oregon truckers are complaining that road diets and buffered bike lanes are making traffic lanes too narrow for their bigass trucks. Which is a better argument for making the trucks smaller than reducing bike lane buffers.

Separated bike lanes in Austin, Texas are paved with terra-cotta, making them more resistant to wear, and red instead of the usual green.

Streetsblog criticizes New York Mayor Eric Adams for once again failing to even mention bus or bike lanes in his annual State of the City address, in contrast to his vocal support as a candidate. But he does feel the need to regulate ebikes, proposing a new Department of Sustainable Delivery to regulate micro-mobility.

A DC website offers a step-by-step playbook for starting your own family biking group.

A Richmond, Virginia bike shop reopened after an unexplained closure left customers without the bikes they had ordered or had repaired, resulting in at least one customer lawsuit, as well as a suit filed by Giant Bicycles over an unpaid $144,000 tab.

 

International

A tech site says Europe’s bike industry is hitting bumps as the bicycling craze cools. Although other recent reports have suggested the opposite.

In a bizarre case, a British woman took her own life after learning her estranged husband had been riding a bicycle with another woman. Which hardly counts as infidelity, unless maybe they were sharing the same bike seat.

Travel site Lonely Planet explains how to plan a family bike trip around France’s Lake Annecy.

A 41-year old Sydney, Australia man says people make fun of him because he never learned to drive, but he’s better off riding a bike and taking transit when necessary. And so’s the planet.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mathieu van der Poel’s remarkable ten race unbeaten streak to start the ‘cross season finally came to an end, with a fifth-place finish in the Benidorm World Cup.

Canadian Cycling Magazine takes a deep dive into the relatively recent history of motor doping, including an unconfirmed accusation against American Sepp Kuss.

 

Finally…

Don’t look so surprised if you get popped for biking under the influence. The Bike Share Batman fights evildoers by stealing back stolen bikeshare bikes.

And why would you need more than one wheel to check out of a hotel, anyway?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

LA 3rd worst for bike deaths as percentage of bike commuters, and Metro considers slashing open streets budget

Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

Photo by Darren Graves.

………

Let’s start with today with yet another measure of how deadly streets are in the City of Angels, as Los Angeles ranks 3rd among large American cities in the number of bike riders killed as a proportion of bike commuters.

Although that measure fails to consider that many, if not most, LA victims may be riding for other reasons.

But still.

And it’s yet another good reason to sign the petition above, before that figure gets any higher.

Thanks to Dr. Michael Cahn, aka Velocipedus, for the head’s up.

………

The Metro board is considering a staff recommendation to cut funding for open streets events, including CicLAvia, 626 Golden Streets and Beach Streets, just as they are expanding in frequency throughout LA County, and needed more than ever.

………

The 46th Annual LA Chinatown Firecracker festival is set to take place on February 24th and 25th, marking one of the largest and oldest Lunar New Year celebrations in the US.

But it’s the bike rides taking place on Saturday the 24th that’s of most interest here.

This is how organizers describe them.

20/50-Mile LA Chinatown Firecracker Bike Ride Highlights 

Participants receive:

  • Commemorative short sleeve t-shirt
  • Goodie Bag
  • Finisher Medal
  • Post-Event Carbo Load Dish and 1 Beer (21+)
20-MILE FUN RIDE

CHINATOWN, LOS ANGELES RIVER PATH

The short route takes advantage of the recently renovated LA River Bike Trail that is protected from vehicular traffic. It also starts in Chinatown and enters the restored Los Angeles River that has been transformed into a sanctuary for a wide variety of birds and other wildlife. View the architectural bridges, cafes and even a bike shop that has sprouted up along the river. This is an easy and relaxed route that is perfect for beginners and intermediate riders. There are multiple restrooms along the route and a large staffed and stocked rest stop with a picnic area will be waiting for you at the halfway point.

Check out the route map here.

50 MILE HALF-CENTURY – NEW FOR 2024

EAST SIDE & SAN GABRIEL VALLEY NEIGHBORHOODS

We collected feedback from riders of past events and designed a better route with improved rest stops that are more cyclist friendly. The new route goes through Downtown LA, The LA River, Glendale, Eagle Rock, Pasadena, Altadena, San Marino, South Pasadena, El Sereno and Lincoln Heights. We start in historic Chinatown with a backdrop of City Hall, ride past Los Angeles State Historic Park, Autry Museum, LA Zoo, Travel Town, LA Equestrian Center, Bette Davis Park, Verdugo Mountains, JPL/NASA, Christmas Tree Lane, Eaton Canyon and much more. This is a fantastic way to experience the sights, smells and diversity of Los Angeles County on two wheels with fellow cyclists, route signage, SAG support and 2 stocked/staffed rest stops. This is a mix of bike paths, bike lanes and urban streets. *2,200 ft climb

Check out the route map here.

………

It’s now 34 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

………

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

No bias here. Rose City driver activist group Keep Pasadena Moving criticizes efforts to urge the city to use NACTO’s All Ages & Abilities design standards for upcoming greenways, describing the respected National Association of City Transportation Officials as a New York special interest group.

Two men riding bikes were seriously injured when they were run down by what appears to be the same driver in stolen car in Melbourne, Australia. No word on whether the attacks were deliberate, but it sounds a lot like similar attacks in Las Vegas and Huntington Beach, which may have stemmed from a TikTok challenge.

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

A 77-year old San Leandro, California woman was killed when she was struck by a 12-year old boy riding a bicycle as she stepped out of a store earlier this month; the boy put his foot down, but was unable to stop in time.

………

Local 

Velo says it might not be a good idea to give Lyft an exclusive contract to operate the Metro Bike bikeshare system for the next 11 years, after the troubled bikeshare operator put itself up for sale; the proposal has been delayed after objections from LA bikeshare users and union members.

A February 4th bike ride will roll through the streets of Alhambra to call for a safe bike network in the city, as it prepares to roll out a new bike and pedestrian plan.

 

State

Calbike announced this year’s California Bicycle Summit will be held at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside on April 18-19.

A Bakersfield judge has postponed the preliminary hearing of a man charged with murder in the alleged drunken hit-and-run that killed a 30-year old woman riding a bike last year; 25-year old Caleb Nathaniel Rodriguez was already driving on a suspended license following a previous DUI conviction.

Nice Guy. The 24-year old driver who escaped charges for killing former NFL coach Greg Knapp as he rode his bike in San Ramon two years ago was arrested for assaulting his own father over the weekend.

Streetsblog examines new raised bike lanes on Oakland’s Frutivale Ave.

A 70-year old Modesto woman is lucky she wasn’t one of the 23 people killed walking or riding bicycles in Stanislaus County last year, after surviving a crash by a pickup driver.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 14-year old boy was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bicycle.

 

National

The co-founder of the All Bodies on Bikes movement explains the techniques she used to make peace with hills, despite being a fat bicyclist. Her description, not mine. 

Here’s your chance to work in the bicycle industry, as Pink Bike lists 13 jobs that are open right now.

Thrillist says you’ll need a guide, a bicycle and cash to find the best tacos in Tucson, Arizona.

A Colorado bike law attorney examines plans for an offroad bike path replacing the deadly section of roadway between Boulder and Longmont where 17-year old US junior ‘cross champ Magnus White was killed last year.

A local TV station says Baltimore is slowly becoming safer for people walking and on bicycles.

A Miami bike rider wants to know whatever happened to Critical Mass. He’s welcome to come to Los Angeles this Friday, and the last Friday of every month to find out.

 

International

The European Cyclists Federation says markings on pavement are more than just paint, as bicycling infrastructure plays “an essential role in safer cycling by mitigating risks, enhancing visibility and overall enforcing a sense of safety for cyclists.” Although that last part can be problematic, considering it is just paint.

Velo considers the world’s five best bicycling hotels for your next two-wheeled vacation.

Road.cc rates the year’s ten best road bikes.

Oasis singer and songwriter Noel Gallagher is one of us, as he lost the equivalent of $25 million in his divorce settlement, but at least he got to keep his bicycle.

A London family was torn apart when a young mother was the victim of a speeding hit-and-run driver doing over twice the posted speed limit as she rode her bike home from work.

A Scottish columnist says it’s time for Edinburgh to take bicycle safety seriously.

Talk about the road trip from hell. A man attempting to ride from Scotland to India was killed when he fell off a cliff after eating a poisonous wild mushroom in Italy, following the theft of his bicycle and money in a robbery while riding through France.

Britain’s Brompton is now offering a 12-speed foldie.

Momentum says the Dutch are inspiring the world once again with their fancy solar bike paths.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pez Cycling News examines the health, or lack thereof, of pro cycling in North America.

Popular American pro Joe Dombrowski calls it a career after 11 years on the WorldTour.

The organizers of Belgium’s E3 Saxo Classic apologized for posting a cartoon widely seen as homophobic, which showed Wout van Aert finishing the the Cyclocross World Cup in Spain after losing his bike seat, with the caption “Wout van Aert crosses the finish line without a saddle. LGBTQ community blazing.”

 

Finally…

Your next car could be a “terrifying three-wheeled EV” with bike pedals. If you’re riding salmon, without lights or reflectors, with an active warrant and carrying meth on your bike, maybe leave the folding table on your handlebars at home.

And that feeling when Tadej drops you like freshman English.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Die-in on the steps of LA City Hall Saturday to mark 337 traffic deaths in Los Angeles last year — including 24 bicyclists

Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

Note: I’ve lost track of who created the image up there on the left, along with the Spanish-language version below. So if anyone knows, hit me up.

………

Let’s start with Saturday’s die-in at Los Angeles City Hall to protest our ever-rising rates of traffic violence.

As I mentioned last week, I have another commitment that morning I can’t get out of, so I won’t be able to make it this year. But if you have the morning free, I urge you to attend, and add your voice and body to demand safer streets in the City of Angeles.

I’ll let Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, take it from here. And give it a close read, because there’s a lot of vital information there about just how bad things are on our streets.

Dying-In LA 2024:
Advocates Needed For A Die-In At City Hall, January 27th, 9 am.

Sign up here https://mobilize.us/s/0JnZmq to join Streets Are For Everyone, Streets For All, Street Racing Kills, Santa Monica Spoke, and many more to demand that our elected officials prioritize safer streets in 2024. Why? 2023 was a grim year for traffic fatalities, and we need to let City Hall know we have the political will to continue fighting for safe streets. That means starting the year strong by building our movement through community organizing

2023 was a rough year for Los Angeles. 330 victims died from traffic violence in the city, marking a 9% increase over 2022 and a 14% increase since 2021. This is the highest number of traffic fatalities in over 20 years. In addition to that disheartening number, there were increases in injuries and fatalities across multiple categories, including:

  • 176 pedestrians killed in 2023 – a 15% increase since 2022 and a 35% increase since 2021.
  • 24 cyclists killed in 2023 – a 20% increase since 2022 and a 41% increase since 2021.
  • 29 people killed in DUI-related car crashes in 2023 – a 32% increase since 2022 and a 38% increase since 2021. 
  • 105 people killed in hit-and-run crashes in 2023 – a 30% increase since 2022 and a 38% increase since 2021.

The surge in these statistics can be attributed to various factors, including:

  • Faster, quieter, and larger vehicles are killing more pedestrians. 
  • There is a sharp increase in the use of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs (both legal and illegal) while driving. 
  • Distracted driving in various forms – cell phones being one of the largest sources but also an increase in the prevalence of smart “infotainment” systems in cars. (Instead of using tactile touch for basic functions like adjusting the radio station or temperature, drivers often fiddle with screens, diverting their attention from the road.)
  • A decrease in the enforcement of driving laws for various reasons (worth its own article) results in more people driving recklessly, knowing they are less likely to get caught.

While there is no single solution to all these issues, the fact remains that too many of our elected officials continue to ignore this worsening public health crisis.  

Join us for a crucial call to action as we unite in this collective effort. Real change only occurs when we amplify our voices and make them resoundingly heard.

  • Date: Saturday, 27 Jan 2024
  • Location: Steps of Los Angeles City Hall, 232 N. Spring Street
  • Set-up Time: 9:30 AM (Coffee will be provided)
  • Press Conference: 10 AM to 10:45 AM

Volunteers needed: 330 people are required for part of the die-in visual – one for each person who lost their life in 2023. Please feel free to bring bicycles and skateboards. Volunteers are also needed to stand behind the speakers, holding handmade protest signs demanding safer streets.

Parking: You should ride, walk, or take Metro Line B (exit Civic Center/Grand Park Station) to City Hall as parking is limited.  

………

Unfortunately, as bad as those numbers are, they don’t tell the whole story.

According to Crosstown, the actual number of deaths due to traffic violence in Los Angeles last year was 337, as fatalities rose for the third year in a row, climbing 7.3% over 2022.

And the 24 bicyclists killed in the city last year is one more than I was aware of.

It’s also a reminder that Los Angeles is the hit-and-run capital of California, which is the hit-and-run capital of the US.

So maybe reconsider signing that petition, if you haven’t already.

………

The latest episode of Bike Talk is now available online.

………

I’ve always believed in leaving this world better than you find it. But cleaning the bike lane behind you takes that to a whole new level.

………

Nothing like watching someone jerk off a bicycle, in a clear case of taking things just a tad too far in the name of creativity.

………

32 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

Anyone want to bet on whether they’ll make it to the three year mark?

………

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

Residents of Coventry, England express concerns that a new bike lane will make bicyclists sitting ducks when drivers back into their driveways in front of bikes doing 30 mph — vastly overestimating the speed of most bike riders, while underestimating drivers ability to check their damn mirrors. Unless maybe their real objection is just having a bike lane on “their” street. 

Don’t bother riding your bike to the ‘cross World Cup in Costa Blanca, Spain, but feel free to drive there.

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

A group of male bicyclists were roundly criticized for hogging space with their bikes on a Malaysian women-only train car.

………

Local 

A British woman believes riding a bicycle can change the direction of young people’s lives, after her husband, BAFTA-winning film director and Cat 1 racer Jonathan Gales, was killed by an alleged wrong-way drunk driver while crossing the street on a work trip in Los Angeles in 2022.

 

State

If you only found a front wheel when you went to unlock your lime green Diamondback recently, Irvine cops could have your bike.

Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding the latest construction update on San Diego’s Pershing Bikeway project, which appears to be nearing completion.

A 46-year-old Simi Valley woman was arrested for the hit-and-run that seriously injured a second Simi Valley woman as she walked her bike across a street on January 4th of this year.

A 20-year old Bakersfield man walked with just eight hours of community service after pleading no contest to resisting arrest during a during a bike takeover involving hundreds of bicyclists.

Sad news from Visalia, where a 17-year old girl was killed by a driver while riding salmon on a local street.

A Fresno columnist warns bike riders and pedestrians that your life is only worth a slap on the wrist if a driver runs you down. Which is sadly the same wherever you are in California. 

 

National

Even CNN is asking whether it’s time to get rid of right-on-red.

A writer for Medium celebrates the history and diversity of bicycles. But apparently has no idea what they look like, since all the photos illustrating the story are of motorcycles. 

New York tells bike riders to “Slow your roll, respect the stroll,” in a public service campaign to respect the safety of pedestrians. And here I thought that referred to rolling your eyes at the campaign. Seriously, they couldn’t have given any of the city’s 1,200 ad agencies a crack at it first?

Gothamist looks back on the tenth anniversary of New York’s Vision Zero, and says “the program was indisputably a success — at least in areas where it won the support of elected officials.”

A Wyoming man climbs atop a bicycle mounted on top of an endangered grain elevator, sending a message to “ride the day like a bull.”

 

International

Black Grape singer Shaun Ryder is one of us, telling The Guardian that he’d “be out on my bike right now” if he wasn’t busy talking to them. And no, I’ve never heard of him, either.

Clip-on ebike drive-maker Skarper claims they’ve “condensed an entire ebike into the palm of your hand.” Assuming you have a really, really big hand, anyway.

Road.cc offers “all the tips you need” to keep riding in your 60s and beyond.

New government stats show that seven out of ten people in England never ride a bicycle, as safer roads are seen as key to growing participation, not more bike lanes.

A British coroner says a 41-year old driver was “selfish beyond comprehension” when he killed a 15-year old boy riding a bike, while rushing to meet a woman from a dating app after downing three beers and two glasses of wine.

An Irish cop is finally back on the job, after he was suspended for three years for giving an unclaimed bicycle to an isolated elderly man early in the pandemic. For which he should have gotten a commendation, instead.

A half-dozen bikeable bakeries for your next visit to Shanghai.

A “keen” Kiwi/Aussie bicyclist offers advice on winter bike riding in frigid South Korea. Which probably translates to wherever you ride outside of Southern California this winter. And I’ll take “keen” over “avid” any day. 

A New Zealand landowner donated a section of his property to build a rest area for bike riders traveling the country’s Tasman’s Great Taste Cycle Trail, complete with wifi, ice cream, drinks, coffee, fresh water, sunscreen and bug spray.

 

Competitive Cycling

Welshman Stevie Williams won the general classification title at the Tour Down Under, clinching the final stage in decided fashion by winning a five-rider sprint.

Sad news from the UK, where “cycling legend” Mick Ives has died after a series of heart attacks; the former Moulton draftsman won 81 British Championship Titles and 8 World Masters Cycling Titles, including the World Cup Time Trial Champion at age 65; he was 84.

The Sun looks at the salaries of the highest paid cyclists in the pro peloton. Never mind that the average riders don’t make nearly that much.

 

Finally…

If the bike won’t fit in the cab, just leave it sticking out the open door. Nothing like a little python hunting on your ebike.

And while I’m not a fan of this kind of humor, there is some major schadenfreude to be had from watching someone pull the string on bike thieves.

Literally.

Thanks to Mike Burk for the heads-up. 

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

LA Times endorses Healthy Streets LA initiative in March vote, and SCAG to study turning highways into boulevards

Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

………

Big news for the coming March election, as the Los Angeles Times has joined a broad range of community groups to endorse the Healthy Streets LA initiative.

Frustrated by the lack of political will and bureaucracy, street safety advocates collected enough signatures to put Healthy Streets LA, or Measure HLA, on the March ballot. The initiative would force the city to carry out the improvements in the Mobility Plan. Any time city departments repave at least one-eighth of a mile of street, they would have to add the improvements outlined in the plan, whether bike lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian enhancements or fixes to ease vehicle traffic.

This makes sense. When city crews have to repaint the lines when repaving a street, why not restripe the roads according to the Mobility Plan at the same time? Yet in a city as large as Los Angeles, making this a smooth process is not always easy. The multiple departments responsible for street paving, engineering and transportation safety struggle to coordinate and have missed opportunities to install Mobility Plan projects. The mandate of Measure HLA would, ideally, prompt City Hall to better organize street work programs and make Mobility Plan improvements a part of routine road maintenance.

The paper concludes their editorial this way.

Measure HLA has broad support among neighborhood councils, environmental, labor and business groups. Their members understand that Los Angeles needs to evolve into a city that is safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and, yes, even motorists. The plan recognizes that Angelenos will still drive — it includes 80 miles of streets that are prioritized for vehicle travel and projects that help drivers maintain safe, consistent speeds and reliable travel times.

The rising number of traffic deaths is a preventable tragedy. Voters have the power to make Los Angeles’ streets safer. Vote yes on Measure HLA.

I couldn’t agree more.

………

The Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, has received a federal grant to study the possibility of removing some SoCal highways, and possibly converting them to boulevards.

They could start with the proposal to remove the purposeless 90 Freeway stub, and converting it to housing and a Marina Central Park.

………

29 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

………

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

San Diego police arrested 32-year old Alvaro Jovani Lopez for torching the Mission Valley memorial for fallen bicyclist and father Matt Keenan, destroying a banner and Keenan’s ghost bike; they found Lopez already behind bars for a parole violation. No reason was given for his dastardly deed.

Life is cheap in Wisconsin, where a Madison man who strung wire across a bike bridge, nearly decapitating a bike rider, walked with a gentle caress on the wrist when the judge sentenced him to a lousy four years probation.

No bias here. Underground hip-hop artist Gorilla Nems, aka Travis Doyle, took out his anger on New York’s Complete Street transformation over the past decade or so, telling a podcast host “Fuck bike lanes…this ain’t Copenhagen,” while instructing his followers to ignore walk signals and just cross the street anytime they want, after looking both ways.

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

A 59-year old New York woman has emerged from a months-long coma after she was struck by a bikeshare rider as she was crossing the street; a 62-year old man was ticketed for riding salmon and running a red light.

………

Local 

The Metro board delayed a vote to award Metro Bike management to Lyft, after ride hail drivers and delivery riders teamed with bikeshare workers to protest the proposed contract. But you’ll have to subscribe the Daily News or find a way around the paper’s draconian paywall if you want to read about it.

Glendale residents complained they were left out of the decision making process for the city’s new bike plan, even though they say they’ll be directly affected by a proposed bike path.

 

State

Police in Huntington Beach are using bait bikes to bust bike thieves. Something the LAPD still won’t do over fears they’ll be accused of entrapment.

They get it, sort of. A Simi Valley paper says safety is a two-way street, but drivers shoulder most of the responsibility to look out for vulnerable bike riders. Although they should go to cliche jail for trotting out the tired two-way street metaphor.

Oakland got a clear message to fix their crumbling roads, when the city agreed to a $6.5 million settlement with a woman who was paralyzed when her bike hit a pothole.

Six Santa Rosa teenagers were arrested for stabbing a 41-year old man to steal his bicycle last week.

 

National

The 18-year old Las Vegas man accused of deliberately killing former Bell police chief Andreas Probst in a hit-and-run last year is now facing an attempted murder charge in a separate case for the gang stabbing of a Las Vegas man.

Life is cheap in Indiana, where a woman faces just a year behind bars after confessing to a hit-and-run that left a bike-riding man with multiple broken bones.

That’s more like it. Instead of fighting bike infrastructure, residents of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park neighborhood are actually calling on the mayor to finish a new bike boulevard.

An “avid” New York bicyclist tells tourists the best routes for exploring the city by bicycle.

They get it, sort of, too. New York officials unveiled a new campaign encouraging bike riders to be more courteous and look out for pedestrians, while admitting that drivers pose the real danger to people walking.

Bike advocates say New York has a new “Boulevard of Death,” marking the failure of the city’s Vision Zero program after ten years.

A former Maryland Director of Planning and Zoning was indicted for the alleged drunken hit-and-run that killed a bike-riding man.

A North Carolina paper examines how bike riders and pedestrians are coping with the added danger as more drivers take to local roads.

 

International

Road.cc asks bike experts if the switch to internal cables has been worth it. Meanwhile, Cycling Weekly takes up the burning topic of whether bike bells really have a useful reason to exist.

The violin belonging to a British musician was somehow reconstructed, despite being broken into over 100 pieces when he was hit by a bus while riding a bicycle; unfortunately, he wasn’t as lucky, losing a leg as a result of the crash.

A new Danish study examines how the country encouraged greater bike helmet usage without mandating them.

A new United Arab Emirates bike ride took bicyclists through all seven emirates in seven days.

Adding insult to literal injury, an American tourist was fined for illegally stepping into the path of an ebike rider — while he was in a coma as a result of the collision; the ticket was withdrawn after he hired a lawyer to fight it.

 

Competitive Cycling

The future of the Tour of Britain, the Women’s Tour and other British races could be in doubt because the organizer of the races entered liquidation proceedings, after losing their license to conduct the races over an unpaid fee totaling the equivalent of over $884,000.

Australian pro Luke Plapp was left with a shredded kit and some truly ugly road rash after a nasty fall on a descent in the Tour Down Under.

Aussie sprinter Sam Welsford celebrated his 28th birthday by winning his third stage at the Tour Down Under on Friday. Today’s race was conducted yesterday, because they live in the future down there. 

 

Finally…

It’s hard to use a bike lane that’s blocked by a shitload of sugar beets. Stealing bikeshare bikes back from the thieves who stole them. A micro musette for mademoiselle et monsieur

And we may have to deal with rubbernecking drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about nuzzling giraffes.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin