Tag Archive for Main Street bike lane

Morning Links: Oslo’s Vision Zero map, Hollywood commandeers Main Street, and busting distracted drivers with TAP cards

Please forgive my unexcused absence on Wednesday. 

I’ve been dealing with high blood sugar for the past few weeks. When it finally came down, it crashed hard, taking me down like a shot. And kept me there for several hours. 

One more reminder that diabetes sucks. 

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Good question.

A writer for Strong Towns wants to know why Americans view Vision Zero as an impossible goal.

Even though Oslo, Norway has proven that it can be done.

And offers a recipe any city can follow to break America’s addiction to speed, and the cars that make it possible.

Although in most cities, the overwhelming number of cars and trucks make any kind of speed virtually unachievable for much of the day. Including right here in Los Angeles.

Or maybe especially in Los Angeles.

Never mind that the excess capacity that allows those cars to inch along at rush hour also allows drivers to blow well beyond what passes for speed limits the rest of the day. Putting the limbs and lives of everyone else on or near the roads at risk.

But here’s the path Oslo followed. And the one every other city could, and should, if human lives matter even a whit more than the convenience of people in cars.

Changing that basic fact is our challenge. It’s possible, but it’s going to require both institutional and far-reaching cultural changes, including but not limited to:

It’s a holistic strategy. It will take decades. The lesson from Oslo is that if we embark on this path, the potential rewards are great. We too could have cities where nobody fears losing their son or daughter or parent or best friend to a car crash.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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When is a new two-way protected bike lane not a bike lane?

When the city forgets that we live here too, and it becomes a Hollywood backlot.

https://twitter.com/Tomexploresla/status/1214611261238829056

When you run into something like that, complain to FilmLA, LADOT and the local councilmember — in this case, Jose Huizar.

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Maybe we can get Metro to give the LAPD a few TAP cards.

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Show up for the bike safety course, stay for the free helmet and bike light.

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Evidently, work on the coming Red Car bike and pedestrian bridge over the LA River is coming along nicely.

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It’s not too early to start thinking about impressing that Valentines date with a little hand-drawn bike art. .

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. 

Nothing like getting attacked by an angry driver who’s blocking a San Francisco protected bike lane. And yes, that’s assault with a deadly weapon, and should be reported to the police.

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

Police in New York are looking for a bike-riding creep who approached a special needs student, then grabbed her ass when she tried to get away.

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Local

New Los Angeles political advocacy group Streets for All wants your help electing Sarah Kate Levy in CD4, and Loraine Lunquist in CD12; both are running against incumbents who are anything but friendly to safer streets.

CiclaValley offers up a video bike tour of Elysian Park, the second largest park in the City of LA. And takes a gravel bike ride in the snow.

CicLAvia is celebrating ten years of America’s most successful open streets events with a fundraising party on the 2nd of next month.

Pasadena Weekly profiles longtime bike advocate and Altadena Councilmember Dorothy Wong.

LongBeachize says with 29 people dead as a result of traffic violence in the city last year, including four bike riders and 17 pedestrians, it’s time to change the way we talk about it.

 

State

San Diego County has paid an injured woman half a million dollars after she suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was thrown from her bike by bad pavement on Highway 8. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Speaking of San Diego, Robert Leone forwards SANDAG’s winter progress report, with 16 miles of bikeways currently under construction and more on the way.

Finishing off our San Diego trifecta, business owners in the North Park neighborhood have proposed an alternative plan that would extend the protected bike lane planned for 30th Street, while allowing them to keep 100 of the 550 parking spaces scheduled to be removed.

Encinitas is closing a section of the coast highway for the first time ever for Sunday’s inaugural Cyclovia.

Heartbreaking news from Ramona, where 53-year old Michelle Scott remains unresponsive with minimal brain function more than three months after a hit-and-run crash while she was riding her bike to work; a crowdfunding page has raised just over $11,000 of the modest $15,000 goal to help pay her medical expenses. Let’s all say a prayer or send good wishes her way for a full recovery. 

Apparently Robert Leone gets around; he’s also looking forward to San Jose’s Library to Library bike tour next Saturday.

The new bike path on the Richmond – San Raphael Bridge may be great, but getting on and off apparently leaves something to be desired; there’s already been a fatal fall when a bike rider crashed into a fence. Thanks to Al Williams for the link.

 

National

A new insurance industry report ranks the 20 most dangerous cities for bike riders; sadly, San Bernardino comes in 3rd and Chula Vista 6th; Bakersfield checks in at 11.

Streetsblog examines the real reasons e-scooter injuries are booming. Hint: scooter usage is, too.

No surprise here. A new study shows the US needs to invest a lot more in bicycling and walking infrastructure if they want active transportation rates to grow. On the other hand, if they just want our streets to become increasing clogged until no one can move, make our air unbreathable and our planet an oven, then carry on.

Lime is responding to continued losses by laying off 14% off its employees and pulling the plug in 12 markets, including San Diego; the company will continue serving Los Angeles, for now anyway.

Road.cc offers eight bike gadgets from this year’s CES tech trade show. And yes, that water bike really is a thing.

Ebike maker Blix has dropped its prices after moving to online distribution only.

Two men have already been arrested in the apparently random shooting of a bike-riding Texas teenager we mentioned just yesterday; still no word on a possible motive.

Evidently, biking while black or brown applies to people on foot, too. At least in New York.

In a remarkable outcome, a Philadelphia food delivery rider won’t spend a single day behind bars for fatally stabbing a wealthy real estate developer who reportedly threatened to “beat the black off” him. Michael White was acquitted on a number of charges after claiming self-defense, and sentenced to just two years probation for evidence tampering for throwing away the knife he had used.

A Maryland state legislator rode her bike 324 miles over a 13-month period to cover nearly every block of every street in her hometown.

A Virginia woman faces charges for the drunken hit-and-run that took the life of a bike-riding father, who was found dying in a ditch nearly an hour after the crash; the driver still had the victim’s hi-viz safety vest embedded in her windshield when she was busted.

A man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has been charged with 2nd degree murder for shooting a bike thief in the head as he attempted to make off with a bicycle from in front of a convenience store.

 

International

Now you, too, can own what may be the world’s most bicycle with a sticker price of £60,000 — the equivalent of over 78 grand in the US.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews examines the rise of Peter Sagan over the past decade, saying he became the most popular pro cyclist by making winning fun.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to Tase a bike-riding young man for popping a wheelie.

And it’s always been my belief that people drive the way they push a grocery cart.

https://twitter.com/SafeCyclingEire/status/1212431490946088962

 

Green bike lanes aren’t worth a damn if they’re blocked by Hollywood production trucks

This is me, post nuclear.

I went just this side of ballistic this afternoon, when news broke on the KCET blog that an agreement had been reached that would allow Hollywood productions to continue shooting on Spring and Main Streets in Downtown L.A.

Those pretty green bike lanes were already as good as gone, victim of a claim that they would prevent the twinned streets, which had previously been among the most popular filming locations in the city, from continuing to pass for Anytown, USA.

In fact, the story quoted Paul Audley, President of FilmLA, saying that filming was already down 10% to 15% since the green lane was installed. Even though green is the color most easily removed in post-production.

But not this particular shade of green, evidently. At least not according to the filmmakers.

And even though the green lane was already doing a pretty good job of removing itself.

Still, it had become quite clear in recent days that the color-testing LADOT had promised us to ensure the green paint would last for more than a few days was not going to happen anytime soon. And while the bike lanes would remain, the green paint would soon be a thing of the past.

Of course, as the late, great Dale Carnegie once wrote, there are two reasons for anything a man — or a film industry, for that matter — does. One that sounds good, and the real reason.

And in this case, it didn’t take long for the bike-hating LA Weekly to ferret out the reason behind the reason.

While they weren’t happy with the city’s choice of USDOT-dictated green, the studios were actually upset that they’d lost their access to free curbside parking. Because, you know, all those Hollywood studios and production companies can’t manage to find offstreet parking for their massive production trucks.

Or afford to pay for it out of their mutli-multi-million dollar budgets.

Even though Downtown L.A. has more parking per acre than anywhere else on earth, according to UCLA parking maven Donald Shoup.

So having already won the Great Downtown Green War, there was only one battle left to fight.

According to the KCET story, Hollywood declared victory with an agreement permitting film crews to park those trucks on our beloved bike lanes. And nothing in that article suggested that it was limited to Spring and Main, implying that film crews could now park anywhere they damn well pleased, on any bike lane in the city.

And that, my friends, is when my head exploded.

For a change, though, I didn’t go ballistic. Instead I reached out to the people who should actually know what was really going on before going off on here. And used all my self control not to go off on them, either.

First to respond — in a matter of just minutes, in fact — was LADOT Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery, who assured me that permits would still be required to block any traffic lane, bike or otherwise. And that lane closures for film shoots should be limited to the minimal amount required for actual shooting, and not simply to provide parking for cast and crew.

I could feel my blood pressure dropping already.

A few hours later, I got a response from Paul Audley himself, who said the article got it wrong.

Dear Ted,
The article headline is incorrect.
The DOT is allowing film vehicles in the parking lane next to the bike lanes.
Nobody wants to injure bikers!  🙂

Good to know. Although my own experience on the roads might suggest that at least some L.A. drivers might disagree with that last line.

Personally, though, as nice as they were, I don’t really give a damn whether the bike lanes are green, blue, black or pink. As long as they’re clear from obstructions and safe to ride.

But the problem is, a blocked bike lane is worse than no lane at all. Because drivers will expect you to ride in it regardless of whether or not it’s actually ridable. And aren’t likely to give you an inch if you dare to venture outside the lines.

So if Hollywood needs to change the color scheme, be my guest.

Just don’t park your trucks where they block our bike lanes.

And that goes for your little orange cones, too.

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