If it looks like I lost my best friend, it’s because I have.
Or rather, we have.
Embattled CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, the best friend the bicycling community currently has on the LA City Council, announced yesterday that he won’t seek a third and final term, and will leave the council when his current term expires next year.
Which will put the leadership of the city council’s Transportation Committee in play, as well as his coastal Los Angeles district, which encompasses Venice, Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.
Today I announced I've decided not to seek reelection to the LA City Council.
This is a difficult, deeply personal decision, and I’ve wrestled with it for several days, but I’m confident it is the right choice for the right reasons. (thread)
— Mike Bonin (@mikebonin) January 27, 2022
Bonin has received an incredible amount of abuse in recent years from drivers angered by lane reductions in Playa and Mar Vista, and wealthy NIMBY gentrifiers angered by homeless encampments while actively blocking efforts to build housing and shelters to get them off the streets.
Not to mention dealing with at least three failed recall attempts in recent years, as opponents attempted to undo his overwhelming victory in the general election.
And apparently, it’s taken a toll.
It is hard for me to speak publicly about mental health, but I’ve always been forthcoming about my addiction and recovery, and about my struggles with housing insecurity. I want to be honest here, too.
I believe that sharing about our fragility is how we build common strength.
— Mike Bonin (@mikebonin) January 27, 2022
He vows to remain active and keep fighting the good fight in his final year in office, as well as after he leaves.
During the remainder of my term, I'm not going to mellow out or shut up.
I’ll keep fighting for low-wage workers, renters, seniors, students, bus riders, and the unhoused – who are being demonized and scapegoated by politicians, media figures and some in our neighborhoods.
— Mike Bonin (@mikebonin) January 27, 2022
The problem now is that anyone who isn’t already campaigning to replace him now have just 16 days to file their candidacy with the city clerk’s office. Which could leave the race to the handful of less progressive, decidedly un-bike-friendly candidates who had lined up to challenge Bonin.
They would likely have had little chance of beating Bonin. But now they face a wide open race where anything could happen, and anyone could win.
And not necessarily someone who will support safer streets.
So let’s all give our thanks to Mike Bonin, and offer our best wishes for healing for him and his family as they recover from the challenges of holding office in today’s abusive environment.
And hope we can find someone to take his place who will continue his fight, and have the courage to stand up to angry drivers and reactionary local residents and business owners.
I’ll leave you with this final thought from Alissa Walker.
Mike is the rare elected official who is both honest and courageous, and he has risked everything to prioritize the well-being of families ignored by this city for far too long. It’s a loss for LA, but his decision to prioritize his own well-being is a testament to his leadership https://t.co/DfRzO537xU
— Alissa Walker (@awalkerinLA) January 27, 2022
That feeling when even the people responsible for enforcing the law seem to have no idea what it actually is.
Not only are drivers not permitted to park in bike lanes, it’s a violation of the California Vehicle Code 21211(b), which specifically prohibits parking in any bikeway.
(b) No person may place or park any bicycle, vehicle, or any other object upon any bikeway or bicycle path or trail, as specified in subdivision (a), which impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist unless the placement or parking is necessary for safe operation or is otherwise in compliance with the law.
And yes, LADOT agrees.
Thank you for flagging this issue. What you were told is inaccurate. There is no permit for such vehicles to be blocking a bike lane. Such vehicles are subject to citation/tow.
— LADOT (@LADOTofficial) January 26, 2022
Maybe something like this would finally get drivers to stop parking there.
Nice to see bike-riding Lakers fans turn out to remember Kobe Bryant, on the second anniversary of the helicopter crash that took his life, as well as eight other people, including his daughter Gianna.
REMEMBERING KOBE: Hundreds of bikers rode together from East LA to honor Kobe Bryant,his daughter Gigi, and 7 others killed two years ago today. They’re out here sharing memories. Highlights coming up on kcal & cbs 2. #kobe #lakers #losangeles @cbsla #kcal pic.twitter.com/xJyc7sWkxG
— Laurie Perez (@LauriePerez) January 27, 2022
Speaking of Kobe, he drove a hard bargain from a young age, demanding a red bicycle in exchange for his first endorsement deal.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
A UK county council admits it acted illegally by ruthlessly ripping out a temporary bike lane installed on an emergency basis during the pandemic, before it could even be finished.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
A Black Milwaukee bike rider was convicted of first-degree reckless homicide for the road rage shooting that killed a White immigration lawyer; the shooter alleged the victim had called him a racial slur.
A Spanish bike rider got the equivalent of a $1,120 fine for his drunken crash into a pedestrian, which was captured on security cam.
LADOT will host the rescheduled Central LA Neighborhood Design Lab and Tree Adoption on Saturday, February 12th, after the original date was scrubbed due to the Omicron surge.
Streets For All will host their next virtual happy hour on Wednesday, February 9th, with special guest Stephanie Wiggins, the new CEO of LA Metro.
Gravel Bike California talks with former BMX pro Andrew Jackson about his jump into gravel, as well as his family’s efforts building a pump track in Inglewood.
A longtime Santa Barbara bike rider says he crossed over to the Dark Side by buying an ebike, and doesn’t regret it a bit. Although it’s hard to imagine anything that gets people out of their cars as part of the Dark Side.
Steroids may have kept Barry bonds out of the Baseball Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t stop him from living an idyllic life riding his bicycle in Marin County. Besides, performance-enhancing drugs have a long tradition in bicycling, anyway.
Sacramento will now require people using dockless e-scooters or bicycles to leave them in drop zones or lock them up to bike racks, or face a whopping $15 fine.
The Bike League has released a new benchmarking report examining five bike-friendly cities to show the importance of safe bicycle infrastructure and connected bicycle networks, while noting that the US is 40 years behind European cities in developing bike networks for people of all ages; City Lab offers an easy to digest summary of the report.
A former Uber driver had bid farewell to fares, and is riding his bike across the US to visit all 50 state capitals; so far he’s just over the halfway point, riding through 25 state capitals and Washington DC.
Michigan finally gets around to banning distracted driving.
There’s a special place in hell for whoever keeps breaking into a Louisiana bike co-op, stealing 15 bicycles worth $4,000 in a series of burglaries.
Florida’s Seminole County is planning to add a pair of bike tunnels to help riders get past the busy intersection of two highways. While bike tunnels may seem like a good safety solution, they’re also prone to collecting debris and can be subject to flooding, as well as providing a home for the homeless. And anything that removes bike riders from public view increases the risk of violent crime, particularly for women.
A pilot project will encourage physicians in Bristol, England to prescribe bicycling and walking to address health issues such as obesity, inactivity and loneliness.
A new British study shows more people ride bikes when they feel comfortable on the roads. And aside from a lack of hills, nothing makes bike riders feel more comfortable than speed limits under 20 mph.
The UK’s Transport Minister has proposed law change that would treat deadly bike riders just like deadly drivers, by creating a new charge of death by dangerous cycling. Although wouldn’t treating killer bicyclists like deadly drivers mean just giving them a slap on the wrist, anyway?
Over two-thirds of French people support mandatory bike helmet use, even though only 30% of bike riders currently wear them. Or maybe because only 30% wear them.
USA Cycling has announced the ten-race schedule for the 2022 National Criterium Series. Although we Californians will have to travel to Salt Lake City to see the nearest one.
Next year’s Tour de France will kick off in Northern Spain’s Basque Country.
The British cycling organizer behind the Women’s Tour and the Tour of Britain calls for UCI to get off its collective ass and do something to prevent serious crashes, accusing the organization of allowing dangerous crashes to happen.
Egan Bernal’s teammate Tom Pidcock says cyclists need safer ways to train for time trials in the wake of the training crash that left Bernal in intensive care.
Biography profiles legendary American cyclist Major Taylor, the fastest man on two wheels and the world’s first Black international athletic superstar.
Let’s all wish a happy belated 126th birthday to the ebike. That feeling when certain drivers can’t spot the bikes in a Captcha.
And have a thought for all those poor thieves Van Moof is trying to put out of business.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.