One quick note before we get going.
This has been a very hard year for me.
But I have a lot to be grateful for, starting with a self-made job I truly love. And the readers who make it possible.
Because without you, all this would just be empty words in cyberspace.
So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Have a warm and loving Thanksgiving, whether you spend it with family, friends or on your own this year. And ride safely, because I want to see you back here when we return next week.
Although you’re more than welcome to return over the weekend, when we kick off the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.
And the last one that will feature the late, great Corgi as our official spokesdog.
Photo by Nikita Lyamkin from Pexels.
Let’s start with some good news today.
The LAPD announced yesterday they’ve made an arrest in the Silver Lake hit-and-run that left a homeless bike rider severely injured last month.
Fifty-two-year old Silver Lake resident Molly Jane Hoene was taken into custody at a relative’s home in Palm Springs around 8 am Tuesday.
Meanwhile, her victim remains hospitalized in stable condition after enduring multiple surgeries.
We have made an arrest on the Hit&Run that occurred in Silver Lake. See press release. @silverlakenc, @KCBSKCALDesk @NBCLA @KTLAnewsdesk @ABC7 @FOXLA @KNX1070 @TELEMUNDO52 @Univision34LA @estrellatv @CBSLARachel @TheEastsiderLA @bikinginla pic.twitter.com/GgDaYrNcwS
— LAPDCTD (@LAPDCTD24) November 26, 2019
No word on who, if anyone, will get the $25,000 reward.
Los Angeles officials celebrated the official opening of the 1.5-mile Main Street protected bike lane, a near twin of the Spring Street bike lane one block away.
#CD14 hosted a ribbon cutting today for the City's 2nd 2-way bike lane. Complimenting its sister street – Spring St – the 2 streets now form the City's 1st loop of 2-way bike lanes. The two streets together create an almost 2-mile long loop from Cesar Chavez to 9th and Spring St. pic.twitter.com/dVU0qvkrzr
— Jose Huizar (@josehuizar) November 26, 2019
The two-way lane is positioned on the left side of the roadway to avoid conflicts with bus stops and parked cars.
Although whether it will become another parking magnet for movie production trucks and delivery vans, like the lanes on Spring Street, remains to be determined.
KNX radio reporter Margaret Carrero offered a brief look at the new lane.
— Margaret Carrero (@KNXmargaret) November 26, 2019
Although not everyone was pleased, as our anonymous correspondent makes clear.
A couple thoughts on the bike lane.
On Saturday, before the Art Crash ride, I gave the new lanes a spin, heading north.
First. The signals. The #¢&ing signals. The bike signals are short, and you will sit there, staring agog at a green pedestrian signal, while the red bike signal mocks you. The fury will be interrupted only by the terror of close left turns by motorists.
Just north of 6th Street, I paused to reflect upon my unplanned nap (and accompanying skull fracture) at the exact location that is now the buffered zone of the new bike lane.
In the northbound Main Street lane at 5th Street, as I sat at an unnecessarily long red, thinking unkind thoughts about our traffic engineers, a left-turning motorist rolled by within inches of my front wheel. Had there been a bollard there, I imagine she would’ve scraped it, and then blamed me.
Halfway to 4th Street, I parked at the curb to drag a scooter away from its repose in the northbound bike lane. The heavy, ungrateful thing beeped angrily for having its slumber disturbed.
Upon reaching 3rd Street, I whipped left, and hit the brakes, because there’s only one bike lane, and it’s contraflow! There’s no warning about this. No “NO LEFT TURN” or bike-lane specific “ONE WAY ONLY” signage. How does design this dangerous pass review?
So, once you reach 3rd, and you wish to continue westbound, you have to either share the westbound #1 lane with cars, or cross over to the #3 lane, which has a sharrow.
AAAAUUUUGHHHH. It’s like LADOT gave their interns a couple gallons of paint, a couple gallons of whiskey, and free rein.
I want an apology.
LA has announced a clean transportation plan designed to reduce the number of cars on the streets.
The Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap 2.0 aims to drastically cut emissions and traffic in time for the 2028 LA Olympics, through a shift to electric cars and buses, micromobility, and yes, bicycles.
L.A. has a reputation as a car-dependent city. But the city also now has the country’s most ambitious plan for cutting emissions from transportation. In less than a decade, it wants the majority of new cars to be electric and all city buses to be electric—and it wants 20% of trips that currently happen in single-occupancy cars to shift to public transportation or active transportation like biking.
Good luck with that.
According to the plan, in just nine years, Los Angeles will have a complete fleet of electric buses, and 30% of the cars on the street will be electric.
Then there’s this.
Expanding micromobility can also help; a recent report in Santa Monica found that 49% of the trips that people were taking on electric scooters and shared bikes were replacing short trips that otherwise would have happened in cars. Some projects now are working to expand access to micromobility in neighborhoods that don’t have many options. Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, for example, is running a pilot with a nonprofit building a solar-powered e-bike share project in the community of Huntington Park. (Other pilot projects are expanding access to electric car sharing in low-income neighborhoods; if residents use that option instead of owning cars themselves, they also may be likely to drive less.) Designing streets to make it safer to ride a bike—such as a two-way protected bike lane that was installed in downtown L.A. earlier this year—is also a key part of helping people shift away from cars.
As usual, the question is whether there will be any follow through this time.
Unlike, say, the city’s stagnant Vision Zero plan. Or the dust-ridden 2010 bike plan, or the equally ignored Mobility Plan 2035 it was subsumed into.
Or any number of other plans that were announced with great fanfare, and quickly forgotten because our elected leaders lacked the political will to actually implement them.
So we’ll see.
But considering they only have nine years to accomplish this massive transformation of the city’s streets, they’d damn well better get started.
The Bike League issued their biennial ranking of the nation’s most bicycle friendly states — with California coming in a surprising 4th, behind Washington, Oregon and Minnesota.
Although it’s clear from the state’s individual report card that there’s a lot of room for improvement.
Starting with convincing Gavin Newsom to sign the next Complete Streets bill that crosses his desk, after vetoing it this year.
Now that’s more like it.
Australia’s New South Wales state gets serious about distracted driving by installing new high-def cameras to catch cellphone using drivers in the act; violators will be subject to a $344 fine and five points against their license.
We desperately need these in California, where the view from a bike seat makes it seem like every other driver is holding their phones.
I was briefly in touch with the company behind these cameras, before losing their emails during my drug-addled post-surgical state earlier this year, who said they’re working to bring them to the state.
It was founded by a friend of James Rapley, the Australian man tragically killed by a stoned driver while riding a rented bike on Temescal Canyon just days before Christmas in 2013.
Personally, I can’t think of a better memorial to Rapley than legalizing them in the state where he died.
This is what a dooring looks like.
Watch the right side of the street just two seconds in.
To make matters worse, the police apparently ticketed the victim because he wasn’t riding in the bike lane, even though he was barely conscious.
And even though drivers or their passengers are usually at fault for dooring anyone, because they’re required to only open a car door when it’s safe to do so and doesn’t interfere anyone, and only leave it open as long as necessary to exit the vehicle.
Which this driver clearly failed to do.
Yes, handicapped people can ride bikes. Despite what angry NIMBYs insist at bike lane public meetings.
Ian Tallach has significantly restricted mobility as a result of MS.
— Cycling UK (@WeAreCyclingUK) November 26, 2019
A Chinese bike rider was very lucky to survive when he was struck in the head by an overturning truck in an extremely cringe-inducing crash.
‘Tis the Season.
Every student at a St. Louis elementary school got a new bicycle and helmet, thanks to two men who had visited earlier in the year for a safety fair.
A pair of Florida Good Samaritans bought a new bicycle for the son of a Florida firefighter after the one he rode every day was stolen.
Lime announced they will match all donations made through their Lime Hero program between Thanksgiving and next week’s Giving Tuesday.
South Pasadena passed its $204,000 citywide bicycle parking plan.
Caltrans admits its current policies aren’t working, and commits to determining how much additional traffic new projects will generate.
Work off those Thanksgiving carbs and calories with a turkey-shaped bike route around San Francisco.
Streetsblog SF shines a light on a trench that turns into a booby trap for bike riders whenever it rains.
A Sonoma County man riding his bike with five outstanding arrest warrants learned the hard way that he can’t outrun a police dog.
He gets it. A writer for the libertarian website Reason says even though he was in a wreck while riding an e-scooter, he doesn’t want them banned, because the real danger is people in cars.
A researcher says Denver kids don’t walk or bike to school because the city’s streets are so dangerous no one wants to walk or bike in them in the first place.
A self-described lifelong bicyclist in Austin TX wonders if it’s time to require licenses for bike riders. Short answer, no — for a very long list of reasons.
A bike-riding Kansas City photographer uses her Instagram account to encourage other women to take off on solo adventures.
The Second City gets New York’s seconds, as hundreds of Big Apple bikeshare ebikes were stripped of the defective electric components that caused them to randomly burst into flames, then converted to regular bikes and shipped to Chicago for their bikeshare system; both programs are operated by Lyft.
The Daily News looks at New York Mayor De Blasio’s call for bike and pedestrian mayors, otherwise known as an Office of Pedestrians and an Office of Active Transportation; Streetsblog explains why they’re necessary.
A Georgia city goes beyond state law by passing a vulnerable users ordinance that increases penalties for drivers who hit or threaten bike riders or pedestrians. Or skate boarders, motorcyclists or scooter riders, for that matter.
Mark your calendar for International Bike Shop Day on December 7th. If any SoCal bike shops are participating, drop me an email and I’ll be happy to mention it.
Bike Radar examines the best bike saddles for the coming year.
Your next handlebars could warn you when drivers are sneaking up from behind. Or barelling straight at you.
A Canadian mountain biker describes how he celebrated his 45th birthday by fighting off a grizzly bear with nothing but his bike and a tiny Buck knife.
Business is booming at Vancouver bike shops, as commuters look for alternatives in preparation for today’s transit strike.
Once again the Mounties get their man. Or men, as they bust a pair of prolific British Columbia bike thieves.
Treehugger says Toronto offers a lesson in how not to do Vision Zero. To which Los Angeles replies, hold my beer.
Business owners on a Montreal street complain about a bike lane pilot project that replaced 275 parking spaces over the summer, saying their business was down $5,000 a month, although they don’t say if that was an average of all the businesses or collectively. Instead of complaining, maybe they should do something to entice the 800 riders who pass by on the bike lanes each day to stop and come in.
British police are cleared of wrongdoing for the death of a bike rider during a high-speed pursuit after the burglar being chased backed into a 75-year old man.
The Irish Times says ebikes are still a workout and not an effortless romp.
No trademark issues here. An Aussie startup wants to get delivery workers out of their cars and onto the company’s Bolt Bikes rental ebikes. Not to be confused with Usain Bolt’s bright yellow Bolt scooters, which got here first.
Cycling News asks the burning question of whether WorldTour cyclists should use dropper seatposts to reduce the risk from high speed descents.
America’s last remaining Tour de France winner says receiving a Congressional Gold Medal is the biggest honor of his career.
Transgender cyclist Philippa York insists the idea that trans people are going to take over women’s sport is absolutely ridiculous.
And spreading kindness and carbs with free bike-borne bread deliveries.