Tag Archive for Malibu

Caltrans meager PCH safety efforts, a peloton ticketed for following too close, and a call for a life-saving super power

It’s the last four days of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Last year, it took a real Chrismukah miracle to top the previous year, with more than 25 donations in the last five days.

We’ll need at least that many this time around just to catch up — let alone set a new record for the 9th year in a row. 

So thanks to Steven H and Joshua H (no relation) for their generous support for SoCal’s best source bike news and advocacy.

But time is rapidly running out for this year’s fund drive. 

So don’t wait.

Stop what you’re doing, and give now!

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Days left to launch the California ebike incentive program this fall as promised: 0

Seriously, is anyone really surprised that the California Air Resources Board missed their latest self-imposed deadline once again?

Anyone?

Bueller? Bueller?

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If you haven’t already, sign the petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the streets of LA, and city’s ongoing failure to build the safer, more livable transportation system they promised.
Then share it with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

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Even reporters for the Los Angeles Times question whether Caltrans meager safety “improvements” on PCH will be enough to make a difference.

Writing about Monday’s performative press conference to announce a lousy $4.2 million in safety work for the 21 miles of PCH that snakes along the Pacific Coast — which works out to just $200,000 a mile — they almost immediately called the announcement into question.

While there is a process each project will have to undergo, “this is not a ‘business as usual’ approach,” Omishakin said as cars whizzed past.

After several deadly pedestrian crashes that roiled Malibu and sparked calls for change, business as usual won’t be enough, transportation activists said. Damian Kevitt, founder of Streets Are for Everyone, told The Times the “design of PCH through Malibu is simply and clearly deadly.”

“It needs to be a transformed from a highway where people can do 60 to 80 to even 100 mph through residential [areas] and businesses, with families and cyclists, unprotected, just a couple feet away,” Kevitt said.

Hopefully, Caltrans can demonstrate a little more urgency than the $34.6 million project currently underway to sync red lights along the highway, presumably to make speeding drivers stop for red while the typically non-existent non-speeding drivers on the highway will see greens.

The project was approved seven years ago, but because the highway is under California Department of Transportation jurisdiction, it had to be reviewed by the state.

“The Caltrans review process, while undoubtedly necessary for ensuring regulatory compliance and safety standards, proved to be more cumbersome than anticipated,” said Matt Myerhoff, Malibu’s public information officer.

Gee, you think?

Although red lights are typically synced to smooth traffic flow, rather than control speeds.

Meanwhile, Caltrans pledged to study PCH to determine if it can be designated as a safety corridor, in which fines for speeding can be doubled.

But f the mounting death toll on the highway isn’t prima facie proof of the problem, I don’t know what yet another study will accomplish. Then again, you could quadruple the fines, and it won’t matter if the drivers don’t get caught.

Which points to the sheer stupidity of California’s speed cam pilot program only being allowed in Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach, along with three NorCal cities, while completely ignoring the state’s deadliest corridors.

But still.

Members of Seetoo’s Fix PCH Action Team, including Kevitt, say the seven years it took Caltrans to allow Malibu to begin the signal synchronization project “doesn’t indicate that Caltrans is prioritizing safety at all.”

Collecting and studying the data could mean “years and years more delay before they even decide if they can slow down this highway that is known to be deadly,” Kevitt said.

Chris Wizner, another action team member, told The Times he wondered how many more deaths it would take for Caltrans to slow down PCH.

That’s easy.

The formula has always been N+1.

It will take one more death than we’ve already suffered, no matter how many there have already been.

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A Santa Barbara cop takes a turn at demonstrating he knows nothing about riding in a peloton, without saying it, as a group of Santa Barbara bicyclists got delayed tickets in the mail for following one another too closely, after one rider went down and took several other riders down with him.

Here’s the full text of the tweet.

Insult to injury rant: Group ride Santa Barbara to Ventura & back Nov. 21, a cyclist in the peloton front crashed & took down several of us. EMTs came & took me for a brain scan. I’m fine. Cop pretended to help me as he asked my name etc.

I just got a ticket for “following too close”. In a peloton. Seriously. $235 or contest it in court.

I’m tempted on principle. Would love to confront this cop & ask why he didn’t give me the ticket then & there (others also got tickets in the mail). He probably knows we would have pitched a fit.

Disgraceful. I’m lying there on the ground in paid, bloody & nauseous & this MF cop is writing me up for a traffic violation. No wonder people don’t trust the police. “Protect & Serve”. Bullshit.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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Somehow this one slipped under the radar, as Robert Leone forwards the results of the Universal Postal Union’s 2023 letter writing competition.

Okay, maybe I know why this one slipped under the radar.

Regardless, the UPU asked children to write on the following topic:

“Imagine you are a super hero and your mission is to make all roads around the world safer for children. Write a letter to someone explaining which super powers you would need to achieve your mission.”

The winner, a 13-year old girl from Kenya, requests a simple super power — the ability to write posters that will make drivers slow down, because children are the most helpless road users.

Amen.

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Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding the following video, which includes these key points:

  • Soul-crushing car traffic makes the Yosemite experience very frustrating
  • That frustration gets unloaded on retail workers there
  • You should definitely ride a bike in Yosemite
  • But don’t leave anything on your bike because even in Yosemite thieves will strip it to the frame

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‘Tis the season.

A San Diego group is continuing a five decade tradition of giving, by working to build 150 bikes to give to kids on Christmas Day.

A Cedar Rapids, Iowa bike shop turned into Santa’s workshop as volunteers joined staffers to refurbish 50 bikes for kids in need.

An Alabama Baptist church collected more than 300 bikes to give to area kids for Christmas.

The work of Florida’s legendary Jack the Bike Man lives on, as the charity he founded gave 100 bicycles to people in need, despite his death earlier this year.

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

Eureka scrapped plans for a buffered bike lane on Myrtle Street, caving to angry residents who prefer convenient parking to protecting human lives, as long as those lives get around on two wheels instead of four.

No surprise here, as compromises forced on a Brooklyn protected bike lane by people loathe to sacrifice parking or traffic lanes resulted in a project that virtually no one is happy with.

No bias here. A New York councilmember calls for mandatory licensing and registration of ebikes, rhetorically asking “How many actual ebikes do you see stopping at a red light or observing traffic laws?” Just wait until someone tells him about cars and their drivers, which are already registered and licensed, and regularly break traffic laws anyway.

Evidently, verbally abusing and repeatedly swerving a car into a woman riding a bike isn’t illegal anymore, after police in the UK “mistakenly” close the books on a road raging driver.

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Local 

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton applauds yesterday’s deep dive on dooring in the Los Angeles Times.

Metro will offer free bus and train rides on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, along with free Metro Bike Share for the first half hour from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day.

 

State

A man was arrested in Santa Ana Saturday after walking out of an Irvine Walmart with a new beach cruiser. Seriously, if you’re going to steal a bike, at least steal a better one.

Streetsblog zeros in on San Diego’s new Complete Streets policy, examining how advocates pushed for and won a better approach to street design.

A local San Francisco website says sales data doesn’t back up claims from merchants along Valencia Street that the new centerline bike lane has killed their business, showing just a 6% drop in retail sales during construction of the bike lanes. Although to be fair, a 6% drop can mean the difference between profit and loss for some businesses, but it’s a far cry from what they claimed.

At the same time, San Francisco website Underscore_SF says the controversial centerline bike lane was never going to work, and San Francisco should move the bike lanes to a more traditional curbside configuration.

 

National

GCN offers six top tips for descending on a road bike.

REI’s second-gen e-cargo bike is on sale for its lowest price ever; CNN called it the year’s best ebike, cargo or otherwise. At less than $1140, you could easily buy one with California’s ebike voucher program, and have change left over — if the voucher program ever actually launches.

More churn in the ebike world, as Harley-Davidson sold its Serial 1 ebike division to Florida ebike maker LEV Manufacturing.

Not surprisingly, bike riders in Ashland, Oregon support plans to install more bike parking in the public right-of-way.

A pair of alleged bike burglars face charges for breaking into Lance Armstrong’s storage unit — yes, that Lance Armstrong — and stealing four complete bicycles and a couple frames valued at $105,000; it’s not clear if any of the bikes were recovered.

A Texas man will face two counts of criminally negligent homicide for killing a married couple as they rode their bikes this past June; he was allegedly texting when he hit their bikes, which explains why he says he never saw them.

More on the bizarre ruling from the Illinois Supreme Court that says cities aren’t liable for injuries to bike riders due to bad pavement because streets without bike lanes aren’t intended for bicycles.

Inmates in a New Hampshire county jail are learning to repair bicycles, working towards their master bike technician certification while serving their time. Which should provide a nice incentive to commit another crime if they get released before earning their certification.

A Long Island woman faces a host of charges, including 2nd degree assault and disabling an Interlock device, for speeding through a parking lot where a triathlon was being held and slamming into a competitor riding his bike, leaving the victim with a traumatic brain injury and cervical spine fracture.

 

International

Toronto’s paramedic’s union said a controversial protected bike lane cost an ambulance crew 30 seconds getting through an intersection because drivers couldn’t get out of their way. Maybe someone should tell them those little car-tickler plastic posts are designed to bend, so you can drive right over them. 

Sad news from the UK, where popular industry pro Nils Amelinckx died after a lengthy battle with stage four bowel cancer; Amelinckx founded the nonprofit Rider Resilience to promote the use of bicycles as medicine, as well as the bicycling wing of gear maker Lyon Equipment. He was just 36.

Grieving British parents called for mandatory speed limiters on all motor vehicles, after a speeding driver climbed the curbed and killed their 14-year old daughter as she rode in a separated bike lane.

Bankrupt Dutch ebike maker VanMoof intends to rise Phoenix-like from the ashes with plans for a new e-scooter.

The BBC examines how the Finnish coastal city of Oulu became the winter bicycling capital of the world, despite its location just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta released its course for next year, starting and ending with time trials, and “savage” climbing in between.

 

Finally…

Aquaman is one of us. This is what it would look like if Tony the Tiger sponsored a cycling team.

And your next e-cargo bike could haul a baby grand piano.

Or a grown-up one, even.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Designed to kill — modern high-profile, blunt-front cars 25% deadlier; and ghost tires installed on LA’s killer highway

It’s not just pickups and SUVs.

While the risk of high-profile vehicles is well documented, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows even flat-front, mediumheight vehicles present a higher risk of pedestrian fatalities compared with similarly-sized cars with low or sloped front ends.

And guess what the current automotive style trend is.

According to the study, vehicles measuring just 30 to 40 inches from the street to the top of the hood posed a 25% greater risk of pedestrian deaths. And presumably, the same or greater risk to people on bicycles.

According to Streetsblog,

Of course, advocates have long known that high and mighty SUVs and pickup trucks are a significant factor in the 80-percent increase in pedestrian deaths on U.S. roads over the last 14 years. High front ends are associated with higher risk of deadly head and thorax injuries, and studies show vulnerable road users are more likely to be thrown under the wheels of an SUV and sustain even more extensive injuries, rather than being being pushed onto the hood or the roof.

The new study reveals, though, that even cars that Americans think of as “medium sized” aren’t necessarily safe, either. Nearly 35 percent of U.S. vehicles are now designed with a blunt — and significantly more deadly — front end, the study authors said, citing a recent re-design of the Ford Mustang…

“Over the past 30 years, the average U.S. passenger vehicle has gotten about four inches wider, 10 inches longer, eight inches taller and 1,000 pounds heavier,” the Insurance Institute added. “Many vehicles are more than 40 inches tall at the leading edge of the hood.”

And they wonder why traffic deaths have been going up every year.

As long as federal regulations continue to allow the seemingly endless motor vehicle size creep — and allow car makers to literally design their vehicles to kill anyone not safely ensconced in a couple tons of glass and steel — that’s not going to change.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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Sometimes, though, traffic violence has less to do with the size and shape of the vehicle than the design of the roadway.

And the actions of the driver.

Like on PCH in Malibu, where a driver traveling in excess of 100 mph killed four Pepperdine University students just standing on the side of the roadway, as they made their way to a fraternity party.

Yesterday afternoon, traffic safety nonprofit Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, installed four white ghost tires where they lost their lives.

Or rather, where they were brutally murdered.

The memorials are similar to ghost bikes, to remember those who have been killed by speeding drivers.

But sharing responsibility with their alleged killer are the officials who have done little or nothing to correct the single deadliest surface street in LA County.

Here’s how SAFE put it in their press release.

Any single loss of a loved one and community member due to a preventable traffic collision is tragic. The loss of four in one incident is horrific, but these preventable collisions are made worse by the fact that the short stretch of PCH that travels through residential and business areas of Malibu has been known for decades as a dangerous road with vehicles regularly doing 60-80 MPH and sometimes well over 100.

Since 2010 there have been 58 fatalities (including the four young women just killed) and about 2500 individuals injured. The single largest factor in these crashes is reckless speeding. (Source LA County Sheriff’s Dept and TIMS) For decades the community of Malibu, including various family members of those who have been killed and city officials, has asked Caltrans (the government agency responsible for PCH) to slow down PCH and re-engineer it. Little has been done.

In 2015 the California Office of Traffic Safety commissioned a study of PCH through Pacific Palisades and Malibu called the PCH Pedestrian Safety Project. In that report, there were 130 improvements recommended for the section of PCH in Malibu, including reducing the speed limit of PCH through the most densely populated areas. In the eight years since that report, Caltrans has implemented 6 of the recommendations (the City of Malibu has implemented additional recommendations with Caltrans approval) and none of the most effective recommendations have been accomplished. There is still a 45 MPH speed limit – too fast for the road conditions through Malibu. Drivers still often drive 60+ MPH through this built-up, high-pedestrian area, because there are few stop lights, and traffic calming measures are lacking.

“It’s been eight years since the 2015 safety recommendations were issued. Caltrans has done virtually nothing since then to reduce unsafe driving on PCH in Malibu. EIGHT YEARS! What else has Caltrans been doing over that time that is more important than stopping people being killed at this rate on such a short stretch of road?” – Barry Stewart (Father of Peyton Stewart, killed along with her three friends by a speeding driver on PCH.)

The question is how many more people will have to die before someone, anyone, finally does something to fix the problem.

Because the modest tinkering around the edges that passes for safety improvements on LA’s killer highway clearly haven’t done anything to save lives.

And if the deaths of four innocent young women isn’t enough to convince state, county and local officials to do something, I don’t know what will.

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Speaking of which, the annual World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is this Sunday.

Maybe someday, carmakers will finally try to design their vehicles to make fewer victims to remember, and traffic engineers and elected officials will build roads that don’t contribute to the problem.

Which is what Vision Zero is all about.

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‘Tis the season.

More bike-centric holiday gift guides, from Bike Rumor, Road.cc and Velo.

Meanwhile, the US Army’s South Korean base Camp Humphreys distributed 80 refurbished bicycles for Veterans Day, ensuring that junior-enlisted soldiers had first choice.

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

Nope, no bias here. A former Baltimore city council president decried a recent road diet and bike lanes, saying “There are elitist, fanatical people who believe they want to improve the world by getting rid of cars and the way they do it is by narrowing every street that they can, even if it has a negative effect on the city.” Never mind that lane reductions and bike lanes have been repeatedly shown to improve safety for everyone, and often improve traffic flow while increasing sales for local businesses. But sure, just keep hating on people working to make positive changes on our streets. Schmuck. 

No bias here, either. After police ignored a sideswipe hit-and-run by a motor scooter rider that knocked a London man famed for bicycling with his cat off his bike, telling him only that he should wear a helmet, the victim has received thousands of abusive messages on social media — going so far as telling him to kill himself — and been reported to the SPCA for animal abuse.

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Local 

Yes, please. CD5 Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky talked with UCLA’s Daily Bruin student newspaper about her goals for Westwood, including more bus and bike lanes to build more livable communities.

Alhambra’s newly revealed active transportation plan calls for more than 50 miles of new bike lanes, as well as several new pedestrian priority zones. Let’s just hope they follow through. Because, as we’ve learned the hard way here in Los Angeles, a mobility plan is only as good as the city’s commitment to it. 

Santa Monica cops will be conducting another bicycle and pedestrian safety operation today, ticketing anyone committing a traffic violation that could put bike riders or pedestrians at risk. So if you haven’t left for your ride yet, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed. 

 

State

Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry examines the new Calbike survey showing most respondents are afraid to walk or bike on roadways controlled by Caltrans, four years after Governor Newsom vetoed a bill that would have mandated Complete Streets because, in his words, “Caltrans was already doing that.” Apparently not.

The new owner of the 50-year old Leucadia Cyclery is fighting to stay in business, after the owners of the building refused to extend the lease due to “water leaks, electrical problems and its overall vulnerability as high-risk unreinforced masonry.”

It’s been a rough few days in Kern County, where a man riding a bicycle was killed by a driver in Bakersfield yesterday afternoon, while a 21-year old woman was arrested for the hit-and-run that killed a bike-riding woman in Wasco on Sunday.

In better Kern County news, a new bike lane is slated to open in Tehachapi this month.

San Francisco state Assemblymember Phil Ting writes about securing more than $2 million for bicycling programs in the city, including $1.2 million for safety improvements to Arguello Blvd between Golden Gate Park and the Presidio, where champion cyclist Ethan Boyes was killed earlier this year. Maybe someday, a Los Angeles-area legislator will secure funding to fix the site where someone, anyone, was killed on our streets.

 

National

Seattle is nearing completion on a $40 million curb-protected bike lane connecting the Capitol Hill neighborhood with downtown, although design compromises — like rerouting it onto a sidewalk and around light post to avoid inconveniencing drivers — could reduce its effectiveness.

Advocates in my bike-friendly Colorado hometown are working to turn the site of the former college football stadium where I used to smuggle rum inside my tuba on game days into a massive 60 to 80 acre world class bike park. I mean, the statute of limitations for that is over, right?

About damn time. A new Chicago ordinance requires the city to study any fatal crashes to determine the cause, and report all fatal crashes to the public. Now let’s get them to do something like that here. Thanks to Bike Lane Uprising® for the heads-up. 

No bias here. After a 16-year old Chicago boy was killed in a collision while riding his bike, the only mention that the truck that hit him even had a driver was a brief note that the driver was uninjured.

That’s more like it. A 27-year old Michigan man will spend between 3.6 and 15 years behind bars, less four days for time served, for the drunken hit-and-run that killed a 30-year old man riding a bicycle; he was nearly three times the legal alcohol limit when he fled the scene, dragging the victim nearly a mile and a half under his van.

Officials in New York called on retailers and food delivery companies to do more to halt the proliferation of dangerous ebike and e-scooter batteries, after three people were killed in a fire blamed on a lithium ion scooter battery.

A coalition of safe streets and immigrant rights advocates are pushing back against a New York City proposal that would require registration and licensing for ebikes, arguing that it would be dangerous and expensive, and wouldn’t make the streets any safer.

An Emmy-winning Irish filmmaker and photographer’s bike was found at a beach in Queens, after he vanished without a trace last week,

There’s a special place in hell for the New Jersey man accused of robbing a group of kids at gunpoint when they met him to buy a bicycle he’d posted online.

Sad news from Philadelphia, where the local bicycle coalition remembers a former staffer who was killed by a driver while leading a long-distance LGBTQ + BIPOC bikepacking trip.

 

International

Momentum offers a guide to securely storing your cargo bike or ebike.

A writer for Bike Magazine takes a five day bikepacking trip through the Alps, discussing all the gear they brought, as well as the gear they didn’t need.

E-bikesharing services are quickly replacing the popular e-scooters on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.

 

Competitive Cycling

Velo remembers the best moments of the 2023 cycling season.

The Tour de France will stay home in 2025, with the Grand Départ set for Lille in northern France.

$70,000 worth of bicycles belonging to competitors in September’s triathlon World Championship race in Pontevedra, Spain are being held hostage by a subcontractor for the shipping company, which insists they are owed $300,000 in unpaid invoices. However, the roughly 180 people whose bikes they’re holding aren’t the ones who allegedly stiffed them.

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying $6,600 worth of hot electronic gear on your bike, put a damn light on it, already. And at last, a bicycle with a glove box.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Remaking deadly PCH as Malibu’s Main Street, and Armstrong goes on trial for murder of gravel champ Moriah Wilson

Thank God October is over.

Now that the deadliest month in memory is finally over, let’s put the whole damn thing behind us and start fresh with a new month. 

Although maybe we can observe today’s Dia de los Muertos by remembering those who have needlessly lost their lives just because they rode a bicycle. 

And recommit ourselves to ensuring it doesn’t happen again. 

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They get it.

The Los Angeles Times calls for a total makeover of PCH through Malibu, arguing that piecemeal improvements aren’t enough to save lives.

While state and local officials can and should take immediate action to make the road safer, such as putting in more traffic lights and getting permission to install automated speed enforcement cameras, it’s also time to rethink the configuration of PCH through Malibu. It’s a state highway that runs through the middle of the community. The road now caters to commuters and pass-through traffic. It could be redesigned to function as a local road with more sidewalks, traffic signals, bike lanes and crosswalks that force motorists to slow down and drive as though they’re in a city — because they are.

A road redesign won’t be easy. Sections of PCH through Malibu are squeezed between mountains and the ocean, leaving little room to add sidewalks or protected bike lanes without removing a traffic lane or parking or buying expensive property for widening. And it certainly wouldn’t be without controversy, given how many people rely on PCH for different needs. It’s a commuting route, a residential neighborhood, a business district and a destination for beachgoers.

It’s definitely worth reading the whole thing.

Because Los Angeles County’s killer highway is going to keep taking innocent lives until we make some major changes.

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Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of 35-year old Kaitlin Armstrong, who faces up to 99 years behind bars for fatally shooting rising gravel champ Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas last year.

Armstrong was arrested in Costa Rica after she allegedly fled the country to avoid prosecution, living under an assumed name as a yoga instructor, dying her formerly red hair, and reportedly having plastic surgery to change her appearance.

Prosecutors accuse Armstrong of killing Wilson for being the other woman in a perceived love triangle for the affections of pro cyclist Colin Strickland.

Armstrong added to the media’s fascination with the case by attempting to escape when she was taken to a doctor’s appointment last month, and trying in vain to climb a fence despite being handcuffed.

You can read all about it in the —

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A writer for The LA Times experiences the surrealism of biking on a car-free 110 Freeway during Sunday’s Arroyo Fest, as the paper offers photos from the event.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers his own photos of the joyful event.

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Dr. Grace Peng provides a powerful thread on the absurd limits placed on bike-riding kids in the South Bay.

Click on the posts to read the full thread on Twitter/X.

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The EPA wants to see your video documenting your experience with any form of EVs, ranging from from electric scooters to electric school buses.

Which means you could win up to $3,000 just for telling them about what it’s like to ride an ebike.

Or an e-scooter.

Or an electric skateboard or hoverboard.

Thanks to Andre Villasenor for the heads-up.

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

London’s Daily Mail insists there’s still no law to deal with reckless bicyclists who kill, after a bike rider who killed a pedestrian got out of jail after 18 months; meanwhile, the victim’s husband says the government is “utterly cowed by the cycling lobby. Although that jail term would seem to suggest that there is, in fact, a law to prosecute reckless bike riders. Never mind that he got more time than most killer drivers do. 

Life is cheap in the UK, where a road-raging woman walked without a day behind bars for deliberately ramming a bike rider in a dispute over a close pass; the victim described it as a hate attack that trashed his $9,700 bike.

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

A Scottish bike advocacy group called on delivery companies to make sure the ebikes their riders are using are legal and roadworthy, after a bicyclist was terrified following a collision with delivery bicyclist riding salmon in a bike lane. Even though that has absolutely nothing to do with the crash. 

A road-raging British bike rider admitted punching a driver in a dispute over a close pass last month, arguing that he was clipped by the driver’s mirror. Violence is never the answer, no matter how justified it may seem in the moment. 

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Local 

The L.A. Bureau of Engineering has released a plan for the 25-year, $4.8 billion makeover of the massive Sepulveda Basin in the San Fernando Valley, which currently serves as both a recreation area and a flood control basin.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton visits the new protected bikeway along Foothill Boulevard in La Cañada Flintridge.

 

State

The California Transportation Commission is holding a public meeting at 1 pm today, both online and in-person, to gather input on the state’s Interregional Transportation Improvement Program, which includes more bike and train projects, as well as flushing more money down the induced-demand toilet for highway projects; they’ll hold another meeting November 8th.

Irvine cops wasted no time busting a bike thief who stole a bicycle belonging to the city.

San Diego planning officials are proposing more housing, greater density, more bike lanes and less parking for the city’s Hillcrest neighborhood; a local city council candidate somehow thinks that’s a bad thing.

A 41-year old woman suffered a broken pelvis when a driver struck her bike in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood; police blamed the victim, saying she was riding with no lights and wearing dark clothing. Because evidently, cars down there don’t have lights that could illuminate someone directly in front of them. 

Santa Barbara has reached an agreement over the design of the proposed the Modoc Road Multi-Use Path, which will now require the removal of fewer trees, and less encroachment on an existing preserve.

Humans and zombies turned out for the pre-Halloween opening of a new Davis pump track. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

 

National

Men’s Health rates the best ebike foldies

Bicycling rates the best road bike tires for training and race day. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Government Technology says build the bike lanes, and delivery cargo e-bikes will quickly follow. Hopefully in the right direction.

A new study considers how to best communicate the dangers faced by vulnerable road users to mitigate dangerous behavior. Thanks to Gabrielle Lesard for the link. 

CNN says cities are cracking down on free parking to free up valuable curb space.

An Alaska railroad will consider leasing a plot of land for a bike path, after failing in its efforts to block it.

The bicycling community will lose its leading Congressional advocate, as Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer announced he won’t seek re-election next year, after 17 years in the House; Bike Portland reports he’s not concerned with his legacy. Although passage of his federal ebike rebate bill would be a good way to cement it.

“Intense” Las Vegas police bodycam video shows the family of fallen bicyclist and former Bell, California police chief Andreas “Andy” Probst arrive at the site of the intentional hit-and-run that killed him; they came the same time the ambulance did, after Probst’s phone alerted them to the crash.

A Texas city installs pretty artistic bike racks, including one that looks like a giant children’s toy. Because everyone knows the best bike racks are the ones no one uses because they don’t look like bike racks. 

Jail inmates in an Arkansas city will take part in a program to learn how to repair bikes, which will be given away to people in need.

Republican Wisconsin state legislators will hold hearings on a pair of proposed bills to ban Madison’s annual World Naked Bike Ride, after becoming incensed that parents allowed their child to participate. Because children should clearly be shielded from nasty things like protesting carbon-based fuels and the climate emergency.

Vermont is discussing long-range plans to build a bicycle corridor along the state’s eatern seaboard, stretching nearly 200 miles from Massachusetts to Quebec.

Rhode Island is encouraging residents to apply for the state ebike rebate program, which pays up to $350 for the purchase of an ebike, or $750 for low-income residents. Meanwhile, California’s ebike rebate program continues to be nothing but vaporware after more than two years. 

This is who we share the road with. A New York drunk driver allegedly caused a multi-car crash that injured eight people Sunday, after previously serving six years for the hit-and-run crash that killed a woman riding a bicycle. Just one more example of officials allowing a deadly driver back on the road, as well as argument for why hit-and-run drivers should lose their licenses permanently. 

A North Carolina bike rider was shot multiple times by bikejackers after he resisted the robbery attempt; fortunately, his wounds aren’t life-threatening, and he was able to keep his bike. Yet another reminder that no bike is worth your life. Just let them take it, and live to ride another day. 

 

International

Montreal is reinstalling a bike lane three years after it was ripped out due to opposition from local residents,

A 77-year old British bike rider is dead because a stoned driver was in a hurry to get home from a friend’s barbecue.

Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling website lists nine commuting mistakes you should avoid, like riding in jeans or secretly racing strangers.

Jakarta, Indonesia plans to improve the city’s bike lanes, even after cutting the budget by 80% in the face of local resistance.

A writer rediscovers the charms of Shanghai by riding a bike through the city’s neighborhoods in the autumn breeze, while an American tourist is shocked to see a $15,000 Pinarello left unattended, and unmolested, on the street.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclists called it a dark day for hill climbing when the winning competitor in the British championship crossed the finish line using disc brakes. But at least he wasn’t on an ebike.

American Vuelta champ Sepp Kuss and Italian cyclist Giulio Ciccone question the need for a new Saudi-backed Cycling Champions League composed of only the top teams.

Velo describes the tension on the Jumbo-Visma team bus, as Kuss fended off cycling superstars Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard to claim the victory.

A third man has been convicted in the knifepoint robbery of sprinter Mark Cavendish and his wife, including the theft of watches worth $850,000.

 

Finally…

Your next bicycle could be an Aston Martin. Probably not the best idea to try to reclaim your stolen bike from the cops until you clear up those outstanding warrants.

And nothing like leading police in a slow speed chase in a stolen fork lift on the local bike path. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Four Pepperdine students dead thanks to official inaction on deadly PCH, and more context-free San Diego ebike panic

This is who we share the road with.

Tuesday night, four young Pepperdine University students were killed by an alleged speeding driver on Southern California’s killer highway.

The four 20-year old college seniors were standing on the side of the road in an area locals call Dead Man’s Curve when the 22-year old driver slammed into three parked cars, knocking them into the women.

And making them all collateral damage on a roadway designed and build to accommodate, if not encourage, high speeds.

The driver, Fraser Michael Bohm, was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, which will likely be upgraded to four counts once he’s arraigned.

It’s only a pity that the people who have gone out of their way to keep this killer highway dangerous and deadly won’t face charges with him.

It was nearly a decade ago that I began representing the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, now BikeLA, on the PCH Task Force.

The task force was created by the state legislators who then represented the Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica and Ventura County areas to address safety and other concerns on the highway, with input from the various stakeholders.

The LACBC took an interest because PCH is such a popular route for bicyclists of all kinds. And claimed so many as victims.

In fact, it is the single most deadly roadway for bike riders in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The LACBC joined with other representatives to demand safety improvements to the highway, ranging from road diets and protected bike lanes, to eliminating roadside parking and reducing speed limits.

In almost every case, we were told what we were asking for was impossible. We were told the road, Malibu’s 22-mile long main street, was necessary to funnel commuters from Ventura County and the San Fernando Valley in and out of the LA area.

The overly wide traffic lanes, high speed limits that were nearly universally exceeded, slip lane right turns and roadside parking were all necessary to prevent excessive traffic congestion, or so we were told.

Never mind they also encouraged speeding drivers weaving in and out of slower traffic 22 hours a day. And put bike riders at needless risk of right hooks and dooring.

Caltrans, which has responsibility for the roadway, could have taken steps to dramatically improve safety years ago.

They didn’t.

Malibu, Los Angeles and Santa Monica could have demanded changes that would have saved lives.

They didn’t.

Sure, minor changes were made. A painted bike lane here, widening the shoulder there. But the killer highway remained, and remains, a deadly speedway for most of the day and night.

Now four young women, who did nothing to put their lives in danger, are dead — victims of an alleged speeding driver, and the officials, engineers and bureaucrats who enabled him.

The young man behind the wheel is likely to be middle-aged before he gets out of prison, unless an overly lenient judge takes pity on him.

It’s just a pity that the others who have worked so hard to keep PCH so deadly won’t be there with him.

What a fucking waste.

A 2013 publication highlights the joys of biking sans helmets on SoCal’s deadliest highway.

……..

San Diego media sources were whipped into a tizzy by “startling new statistics” from the city’s Rady Children’s Hospital, which shows increasing rates of ebike and e-scooter injuries, especially among children.

Yet once again, they fail to put any of it in context.

Injuries can be expected to rise with increasing rates of any activity. If more people started playing Frisbee golf, we’d see rising rates of arm and impact injuries as a result.

What matters is whether those injuries are rising faster than the increase in ridership, or becoming more serious than a baseline of bicycling injuries.

Unless and until we have that context, reports like this are nothing more than a concerning, but anecdotal, data point.

……..

Frequent contributor Megan Lynch forwards news that UC Davis journalism students, not the professional press, are digging into what’s been done since a student was killed by a university employee while riding her bike.

I was lucky enough to be logged on to Mastodon at the time the MuckRock bot sent this through. Otherwise I’d never have known someone was finally making a CPRA request on this. Sadly, it was not made by UC Davis student journalists, but students in a journalism class at University of Nevada, Reno.

You may remember that (19-year old sophomore) Tris Yasay was killed by a yet-unnamed UC Davis employee driving a UC Davis sanitation truck on May 25, 2022. First responders were all UC Davis employees as well (UCDPD and UCDFD). Local press didn’t ask many questions and the few that the Davis Enterprise followed up on was because I got after the reporter about it. It still wasn’t what was needed.  UC Davis was successful in burying the questions.

Months later, its PR flacks linked the “accident” and the grant they applied for re “cyclist and pedestrian safety” that simply targets pedestrians and cyclists for re-education, not its own drivers.

So far as I know, UC Davis has not done any campaign to re-train its own drivers or at least it has not publicized one. I vaguely recall reading somewhere that the claim was that the driver could not see the cyclist in the side view mirror. In which case, the position and efficacy of these mirrors needs to be examined. Because cyclists are a regular feature of the UC Davis campus and if the side view does not accurately reflect what’s going on, drivers should be trained to crane their heads around and look for themselves BEFORE turning. “Blind” spots should be minimized on the vehicle.

But haven’t read about any of that happening.

I’m interested to see what the student journalist finds and if the MuckRock interface will let everyone see it when UC Davis responds. They also requested the City of Davis Bicycle Action Plan.

……..

Our Deutschland correspondent Ralph Durham forwards a newsletter from the ADFC, aka General German Bicycle Club, on the subject of licensing bicycles, and why that’s a bad idea.

Here is a link to the ADFC newsletter on the subject of bike license plates. And their list of reasons not to have them. A huge one is the cost because of bureaucracy. Something Germans know a little about.

However, you’ll either need to read German, or dump the story into a translation service like Google Translate.

……..

I used to ride this same route almost daily to get to Lake Hollywood when I first moved to Los Angeles about a hundred years ago.

It didn’t feel safe then, and it feels a lot less safe now.

………

Bike Talk posts their latest episode, starting with questioning the effectiveness of Vision Zero on both coasts.

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LA County wants your input on proposed bike paths in the county.

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Local 

West Hollywood’s city council voted to end the city’s e-scooter trial phase and extend their contracts with Lime and Bird, although by a narrow 3 to 2 margin; the increasingly conservative WeHoVille site predictably did not approve.

 

State

Calbike claims a number of “big” legislative victories that survived the governor’s desk, along with concerns about bills creating an ebike safety study and a Caltrans bike czar.

The Kern County coroner’s office has finally identified the 39-year-old woman killed by a driver while riding her bike in Bakersfield last month; the CHP continues to blame her for crossing in front of the driver’s car.

The two people killed by shifting lumber form a passing Freightliner truck while riding their bikes on Napa County’s Silverado Trail were identified as a married couple from Portland, Oregon; no word on why they were riding in Napa. It’s questionable whether the driver gave them the required three-foot passing distance, which might have spared them from the impact. 

No one seems to like San Francisco’s new Valencia Street centerline protected bike lane, as advocates call it dangerous and counterintuitive, while merchants along the street say it’s killing their business.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is looking for a new executive director once again, as current ED Jannelle Wong is stepping down after just 18 months on the job.

 

National

NPR reports on the recent study that shows regular bike riding can improve mental health for middle school students. Which is one more reason for Safe Routes to Schools

Bicycling offers a requiem and post-mortem for the popular Surly Cross Check, which has been discontinued by the bikemaker. This one doesn’t seem to be available from other sources, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you. 

Friends of 32-year old BMX champ Nathan “Nate” Miller want to know why the Las Vegas driver who killed him hasn’t been charged for the September crash, after security cam video surfaced showing the speeding driver jerking between lanes before crashing into Miller’s bike, then crashing into a fence and a parked vehicle.

The wife and daughter of fallen former Bell, California police chief Andreas “Andy” Probst first realized he was injured when they got an alert of a fall from his Apple Watch, then heard police sirens and helicopters just blocks from their Las Vegas home; two teens face murder charges for intentionally running down Probst in a stolen car, apparently just for the hell of it.

A 62-year old Florida woman has been identified as the hit-and-run driver captured in a viral video crashing into an 11-year-old girl riding her bike in a school parking lot, and pushing her at least 60 feet with the car; instead of helping the girl, she just got out of her car, asked if the victim was okay, and told her to just go home and take a shower.

Once again, a cop has killed someone riding a bicycle, this time in Marion County, Florida, where a 22-year old sheriff’s deputy ran down a 63-year old man early Wednesday; investigators quickly blamed the victim for riding on a dark roadway without a helmet or reflective clothing, or using lights on his bike. Because apparently, patrol cars in Florida don’t have headlights that could have illuminated someone riding a bike.

 

International

Momentum offers 13 helpful tips for a worry-free first-time bike commuting experience.

Inside EVs says the new European Declaration on Cycling offers 36 principles aimed at advancing bicycling in the European Union, laying the groundwork for future legislation to unlock the full potential of bicycles.

An Australian woman has been seriously injured riding her bike, less than a week after warning a Victoria state parliamentary inquiry into road safety about the extreme risks bicyclists face on the country’s roads.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Arizona, where longtime bike racer John Timbers, a previous winner of the Iron Horse Classic and the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, and founder of Arizona’s Vuelta de Bisbee stage race nearly five decades ago, was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike in Tucson early Tuesday morning; he was 78.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a trio of random tweets tells a story about traffic violence and automotive hegemony. Nothing like suffering a daily aerial assault on your bike commute.

And who says you can’t do stunts on a heavy-ass bikeshare bike?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Possible serious injury crash in Malibu, LADOT and BSS work together at last, and battered Finneas is one of us

This doesn’t sound good.

The LA County Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station announced a two-hour closure of a roughly half-mile section of PCH in Malibu.

The section from Heathercliff to Bonsall was shut down after the driver of a vehicle transport carrier hit someone riding a bicycle yesterday afternoon.

Closing the entire roadway in both directions for a crash investigation suggests  the victim may have suffered serious, potentially life-threatening injuries; police usually don’t close the road entirely unless there’s a death or possibly fatal injuries.

Let’s hope that’s wrong in this case and they’re okay, whoever it is.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

Maybe the Healthy Streets LA initiative is having an impact already.

LADOT unveiled the first of what they’re calling their new BLAST program, starting with the newly completed protected bike lanes on San Vicente.

If you can call a flimsy plastic bollard protection.

The program marks a new effort to coordinate operations of the Bureau of Street Services with LADOT, which both bike and government advocates have been demanding for years, if not decades.

It appears to mimic Healthy Streets LA by implementing bikeway projects as streets are resurfaced, though it lacks the initiative’s enforcement mechanism to require implementation after resurfacing.

It also doesn’t necessarily follow the city’s mobility plan, let alone the 2010 bike plan.

Streetsblog also notes that these projects will happen after termed-out LA Mayor Eric Garcetti leaves office at the end of this year, after overseeing a dramatic drop in implementing bike lanes.

Just one more reason so many of Garcetti’s former supporters will be happy to see him go.

Myself included.

………

Turns out singer, songwriter and producer — and Billie Eilish brother — Finneas is one of us.

Although, as usual, we only learned about it after he crashed his ebike and pulled a major endo, shattering his elbow and collarbone.

But he insists he’ll be back in time for his sister’s show at the Forum in December.

………

Gravel Bike California takes a ride up Mt. Lowe Road in the Angeles National Forest.

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

No bias here. A Berkeley letter writer trots out the usual town versus gown conflict, complaining that a new bike lane supported by university students will kill local businesses, to the detriment of longtime residents. Never mind that studies show bike lanes are good for business, even if they require removing parking spaces. And chances are, the university was there long before she lived there, and will be there long after she’s gone.

No bias here., either. New York’s MTA says they need to see proof that bike riders will use bikeways on city bridges before they’re willing to build them. Which is nearly impossible to demonstrate when riding a bike on most bridges is dangerous and illegal.

A New York bike rider captures what it looks like — and sounds like — to get hit by a red light-running driver while recording other red light-running drivers. And gets left lying in the street afterwards.

And a road raging driver in a $230,000 Bentley subjected BBC host Jeremy Vine and a couple other bicyclists to punishment passes, and called Vine him a dick, when Vine called him on it.

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

Police in Gloucester, England are looking for a man who fled by bike after robbing a local shop armed with a crowbar.

A British man who fled by bicycle after fatally stabbing another man, and attempting to flee the country disguised as a woman, has been sentenced to just seven years behind bars.

………

Local

Malibu-based fat tire e-bikemaker SONDORS is the first US ebike brand to file an IPO, although the prospectus reveals the company has shown a loss for the last two years, and may not be able to meet its financial obligations if it can’t secure adequate funding.

 

State 

Here’s your chance to name San Diego’s new mini bike lane sweeper. And yes, Sweepie McSweepface is probably taken.

Um, no. A 62-year old Poway man was seriously injured when a driver crashed into his bike; sheriff’s investigators said the rising sun could have been in the driver’s eyes — even though the crash was nearly an hour after sunrise.

Sad news from Los Banos, where a 19-year old woman was killed when her bike was rear-ended by a motorist, allegedly while riding after dark without lights or reflectors.

More bad news, this time from San Mateo County, where an 80-year old retired Stanford water polo coach was killed when he crashed his bike into a street sweeper parked on the side of the road Tuesday afternoon.

San Jose reached a 25-year high for pedestrian deaths, with 29 people killed walking the city’s streets; no word on how many of the 54 people overall killed in traffic collisions were riding bikes.

An Oakland website asks candidates for mayor how they would improve street safety, after 11 people were killed on city streets this summer; one councilmember is calling for increased police enforcement — despite his own DUI arrest — and turned down funds for a seven-mile bikeway.

 

National

A new study examines disparities in bikeshare use among lower-income residents and people of color in three US city, examining why they use the services less than wealthier and whiter residents.

Bike USA is recalling their Punisher adult bicycle helmets for failing to meet the Consumer Products Safety Commission’s standards for positional stability and impact attenuation.

An Oklahoma man was sentenced to ten years behind bars for the shooting death of a man riding a bicycle; he was driving the car when the victim was shot by another man, who was sentenced to life last week.

Misdemeanor charges have been filed against a white Milwaukee man who was caught on video grabbing a young Black man by the neck after accusing him of stealing his friend’s bikes; the 25-year old victim reportedly has the mental capacity of a five-year old. Although it appears the man may have been right about the stolen bikes.

A new 58-mile greenway will allow bike riders to travel from West Michigan, through Indiana to Chicago without setting a wheel on the roadway.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who could flee the scene after killing a 13-year old Ohio kid riding his bike; a suspect is on trial for hit-and-run and vehicular homicide, as well as possessing coke when he was arrested the next day.

Kindhearted cops in New York’s Hudson Valley bought a new bike for a teenage boy after his was stolen.

New York will develop a comprehensive Greenway masterplan for the city’s bike and pedestrian infrastructure for the first time in three decades.

A Franciscan brother has founded a campaign to get Queens bike riders to use lights after dark — and stay off the sidewalk and stop for red lights — after returning home to care for his Jewish mother.

Momentum offers a biking guide for your next trip to the Big Easy.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Louisiana woman pled guilty to negligent homicide in the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding man — eight years after killing a 15-year old boy as he was riding his bike. Just another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. Again.

Miami is lowering the speed limit on the city’s deadly Rickenbacker Causeway to improve safety for bike riders, after several fatal crashes in recent years. Although lowering the limit just 5 mph, from 45 mph to 40 mph, may not make as big a difference as they might hope. Particularly when so many drivers ignore it anyway. 

There’s something seriously wrong when a Florida man still rides a bike at 82 year old, only to be killed by an SUV driver.

 

International

Off-road.cc explains the meaning of singletrack.

Cycling Weekly addresses five textbook mistakes to avoid when you take your riding inside.

Don’t mind me. I’ll just be applying for this assistant bike shop manager job in Edinburgh. You know, the one in Scotland.

A bike rider in England’s Surrey County calls it the worst place in the world to ride a bike. Meanwhile, riders in cities around the world are shouting “Hold my beer!” 

British officials were warned last year that removing plastic bollards from a bike lane would leave it in a substandard condition; now two bike riders have been killed in separate incidents in the past six months.

 

Competitive Cycling

The route for next year’s Tour de France was announced yesterday; Rouleur says it’s all about the mountains.

The 2023 women’s Tour will feature eight stages, including a finish atop the legendary Tourmalet.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you call the cops on your own 14-year old sister for stealing your son’s bike. Or when your relationship can survive BMX racing, but not reality TV.

And you won’t be hearing alleged Hitler aficionado Ye, nee Kanye, in Peloton classes anytime soon.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Bicyclist killed at PCH and Big Rock in Malibu; 4th Malibu PCH bike death in nine months, and 2nd at the same intersection

Southern California’s killer highway has claimed the the life of yet another person on a bicycle.

The Malibu Times is reporting that a bike rider was killed on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu Thursday afternoon — the same day another victim was killed on PCH in Huntington Beach.

And at nearly the same location another bike rider was killed just a month ago.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was struck by a driver at PCH and Big Rock Drive around 2 pm.

He was dead in the street by the time emergency personnel got there.

According to the Canyon News, the driver isn’t suspected of being under the influence, which suggests this was not a hit-and-run.

Traffic signals were upgraded at the intersection in 2014 to improve safety; clearly, it didn’t work.

Unfortunately, there’s no further information at this time. No word on which way the victim and his killer where going, or how the crash occurred.

This is at least the seventh bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the fourth person killed riding a bike on PCH in Malibu in just the last none months. Just more evidence of a serious traffic safety problem in the beachfront city.

Correction: I originally misidentified the cross street as Black Rock, rather than Big Rock, for reasons that will forever escape me. Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the heads-up. 

Breaking News: Bike rider killed in PCH collision near Big Rock Drive in Malibu; 3rd PCH bicycling death this year

It looks like LA County’s killer highway has claimed yet another victim.

KCBS-2 reports that someone has been killed riding a bicycle on PCH in Malibu, between Big Rock Drive and Topanga Canyon Blvd.

Video from the scene appears to place the crash on the westbound side of the roadway, where riders are forced to either share the lane with impatient drivers, or use the poor quality shoulder, which varies in width and is frequently blocked by debris and parked cars.

According to My News LA, the crash occurred around 2 pm Tuesday afternoon; the victim died at the scene.

Malibu State Senator Henry Stern had this to say after driving by the aftermath of the crash.

No other information is available at this time.

This is at least the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

The victim is also at least the third bicyclist killed on PCH in Malibu this year.

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

Thanks to Yves Dawtur for the heads-up. 

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

I hope you’ll have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

More proof bicycling pays.

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what the hell are we waiting for?

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

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

Then again, it sounds like she already is.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And maybe remember her on Giving Tuesday next week.

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

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

………

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

Fingers crossed.

………

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

Once again, no news is good news. Right?

 

State

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

And that pretty well sums it up, alright.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1463173113835839488

………

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

Windshield-biased Ocean Beach victim blaming, PCH project back on Malibu agenda, and unsafe Venice bike lanes

This is who we share the road with.

In a truly awful piece, a writer in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood complains that bike advocates are lying about this years rash of bicycling deaths to foist an anti-car agenda on the car-driving public.

He has the shameless audacity to go through each death one by one, pointing out how the victims were, or could have been, at fault, but from his windshield-biased perspective.

Never mind that he’s relying on newspaper accounts for his information, which as we’ve seen, too often don’t contain the salient facts and leave far too many blanks to fill.

And all too often, are based on police reports, which can, and usually do, reflect the officer’s windshield bias, and a basic lack of training when it comes to bike laws.

I had intended to open today’s post with a lengthy rant dissecting his arguments. But soon discovered that Peter Flax had beaten me to the punch.

Writing for Medium, Flax took the writer — and the bike-unfriendly OB Rag, which published the shameful piece — to task for the obvious victim blaming.

Obvious to anyone but the author, anyway.

The central premise of Page’s story is that bike advocates and city leader in San Diego have dishonestly tried to leverage the spate of riders being killed there to get more bike lanes built — “to further the cycling agenda” as he puts it. In his argument, the connection between people dying and the need for better riding infrastructure is mostly fictious and totally overblown. And then to prove his hypothesis, Page does some light googling and sets out to demonstrate that nearly all the cycling deaths that have occurred in San Diego were likely the riders’ own fault. It’s an eye-opening exercise in victim blaming.

Above all, the story is inhumane and recklessly presumptive. Imagine thinking that you could spend an hour on Google, read a handful of day-one news stories, and then feel equipped to pronounce that strangers in your community have been killed because of their own errors or bad judgment. Imagine being an editor or publisher and thinking you want to publish that kind of a hot take on your site.

Then Flax did something remarkable.

He reached out to the man who penned that awful piece, and held a non-judgmental online discussion — nonjudgmental on his side, anyway — on why he wrote it.

Here’s just a brief sample of the conversation.

In your story, you state quite firmly that five of these deaths were the fault of the cyclists, and that several made “poor choices” and several more died in circumstances where blame cannot be assigned. This adds up to nearly all the deaths in San Diego. Can you see how many people felt like you were engaged in victim blaming?

I did not blame any victims. I recounted that the news stories on five of these clearly showed the cyclist was at fault, that was not me making a decision based on the facts. The facts in five more do not say who was at fault, not a conclusion I came to. I have responded to several comments asking for a specific instance of victim blaming in my article. Nothing.

It’s not victim blaming these folks are upset about. They are upset because I had the temerity to challenge the cycling narrative to the public by debunking their claim about what these 12 deaths meant. My target was dishonesty.

Unfortunately, the conversation accomplished exactly what you’d expect, with the author unbudging in his unbridled victim blaming, and accusations of some subversive cyclist agenda.

But you have to give Flax credit.

That could not have been an easy conversation to have. And he went out of his way to understand the other man, and to be fair.

But this kind of attitude is, sadly, all too common.

One where we are seen, not as ordinary people simply trying to stay safe on the streets, but as wild-eyed activists pushing a radical anti-car agenda to force the unwilling car-driving public onto bicycles.

When the truth is, we’re just trying to get from here to there in one piece.

And too often, failing.

Photo from the bike path in Santa Monica, which will have to stand in for Ocean Beach.  

………

Malibu’s continually rescheduled discussion of a plan to widen the shoulder on a two-mile section of PCH, instead of building bike lanes, which will presumably put bike riders in the door zone — unless maybe they won’t — is back on the agenda for tomorrow night.

Unless it gets postponed once again.

Here’s the notice from Streets For All

Ask the City of Malibu to add safe, protected bike lanes to PCH

There is a special Planning Commission Meeting (RESCHEDULED) in Malibu this Wednesday at 630pm where they are going to discuss approving a plan to widen the shoulder on 2 miles of Pacific Coast Highway between Webb Way and Puerto Canyon Road to add MORE parking.

Their proposal really only benefits cars and puts people on bikes in the “door zone.” We need them to do better – it’s time for Caltrans and Malibu to add protected bike lanes to PCH.

EMAIL THE MALIBU PLANNING COMMISSION BY TUESDAY (9.7)

Maybe the ‘Bu is just hoping we’ll all stop paying attention if they postpone it enough times.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

………

The author of this tweet sent it to my attention to point out a dangerous condition on the bike lanes on Venice Blvd.

To be honest, it’s hard for me to get too worked up about this simply because it’s been going on for so long.

Whether’s it’s RVs, illegally parked semis and construction trucks, or some other obstacle, the Venice bike lanes are frequently blocked in one place or another from one end to another, and have been for years.

Enforcement doesn’t seem to do any good. Ticketing or towing drivers for parking illegally only seems to work in the moment, until they come back a day or two later.

If not the same day.

The only solution I can see is to install protected bike lanes from Downtown to the coast. And preferably designed so drivers won’t just park in it anyway, like the LAPD and delivery drivers already do in DTLA.

Which should have been done already.

………

Sunset4All held a successful celebration of LA’s first public/private partnership to transform one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

………

Join Tern and New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie for a Reddit chat on the two-wheeled future of transportation.

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Here’s your reminder that the annual worldwide Fancy Women Bike Ride will roll later this month.

Unfortunately, I haven’t heard anything about rides planned for Los Angeles, or anywhere in Southern California.

So let me know if you’re planning anything here.

………

A Scottish driver escaped a close call when a bicycle fell off the rack of another car on the highway, and lodge in his windshield.

Maybe there really is a war on cars, and the bikes are finally striking back.

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GCN says you’re probably killing your ebike, if you have one. So stop it, already.

Meanwhile, a writer for Treehugger says she gets so many questions, she feels like a celebrity when she rides her ebike. And recommends getting one “a million times over.”

………

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

Nothing like an LA driver intent on sending a message. Or worse.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1434327524004163588

Evidently, there’s no such thing as a carfree event where drivers are concerned. Like the schmuck who decided to weave his car around participants in Chicago’s Bike the Drive on Sunday.

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

Probably not the best idea to repeatedly fire an antique gun for no apparent reason while riding along an Iowa bike path.

A New York State man is under arrest after using his bicycle as a weapon when police attempted to take him in on a couple outstanding warrants, before pulling a knife on them after a foot chase.

A Virginia bike rider refused to exchange information and demanded money from a driver after a minor collision; the driver wisely called the police instead, and the man on the bike rode off before they arrived.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. A 22-year old Los Angeles man is dead following a road rage confrontation after a minor fender bender. He chased the other driver when she left the scene, then was thrown to the street after somehow ending up on her hood during a second confrontation.

Streets For All is hosting another virtual happy hour a week from tomorrow, with special guest LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. Which makes it the perfect opportunity to ask why the bike plan is still just “aspirational,” and why Vision Zero and the city’s Green New Deal seem to have been pushed so far onto the back burner they’re in danger of falling off entirely.

Mark your calendar for the Los Angeles edition of the World Naked Bike Ride on September 18th, where you can go as bare as you dare except for your face, which will need a mask.

 

State

Police in La Jolla busted a suspected serial burglar and bike thief who had been raiding back yards and garages for months; he’s now being held on $300,000 bond.

After talking with other people who’d done it, a San Francisco writer decides to try riding a bike up the area’s steepest hill, with grades as stiff as 30%

A pair of looters were arrested for stealing bicycles from South Lake Tahoe homes after the town was evacuated because of the Caldor Fire.

Oops. A Chico man was busted after police stopped him riding a $5,000 mountain bike, then searched his home and found several stolen bike frames and parts, along with a few grams of meth.

 

National

Your next bike helmet could come loaded with an augmented reality and artificial intelligence-enhanced heads-up display, complete with a 360-degree camera.

After walking away from his IT job, a Portland man is devoting himself full-time to cleaning up the city’s pathways, collecting trash in a trailer towed behind his bike.

Reno bike advocates are up in arms after the city calls for a $100,000 study to reroute a planned bike lane, because the casinos complained that they don’t want one in front of their businesses. Apparently failing to grasp that bike riders are used to gambling, since we have to do it on a daily basis.

Nice gesture from Denver Bronco’s general manager, the rest of the front office and the coaching staff, as they built 75 bicycles for underprivileged second grade students at a local elementary school in honor of former Bronco’s coach Greg Knapp, who was killed in a Bay Area bicycling collision in July.

Kansas police insist they’ve got the right man now, after arresting a motorist for shooting and killing a man, apparently to steal his bicycle, after they’d both visited the same business; another man was cleared of the crime after being arrested earlier, but was still being held on outstanding warrants.

Sometimes, the sound of gunfire is just a bike tire popping in an Arkansas Walmart.

A Cincinnati student newspaper calls for keeping a popup bike lane that was installed in a weekend for just fifty grand.

A Connecticut congressman is riding his bike across the state to promote all the state has to offer. Which apparently isn’t much, since his ride will be just a hair over 91 miles. 

A New York man was rescued after spending anywhere from two to eight hours trapped down a shaft in the Queens woods when he somehow fell down it during a bike ride through the park.

New Yorkers are criticized for risking the lives of bicycle delivery riders, who somehow stayed on the job despite the incredible risks posed by the recent Hurricane Ida.

Sad news from New Jersey, where nationally recognized cyclist and triathlete Arland Macasieb was fighting for his life after being run down by the driver of a classic ’59 Corvette as he was riding his bike across a freeway onramp; Macasieb is also a repeat national trial champ and national record holder in the Philippines.

A Philadelphia magazine profiles North Philly’s Bilenky Cycle Works and their high-end, handmade bicycles.

 

International

The shortage of bicycles and parts fueled by the pandemic bike boom is now expected to last through the end of next year.

Credit the Romans with the first Low Traffic Neighborhoods — or Slow Streets, as we call them on this side of the Atlantic.

He gets it. A British writer says there are no winners in the debate over cars versus bikes.

Inspiring story from a 14-year old English boy who was told he could never ride a bicycle due to his autism and hydrocephalus, and not only learned to ride, but raised the equivalent of nearly $14,000 for his scout troop by riding 1,000 mile across the length of the UK. And had to overcome the theft of his bike just days before he started.

What does it say about our streets that there’s even a need for a $1,000 German made backpack that becomes a full torso airbag in the event of a crash?

BMW wants to put you on a ped-assist ebike with a whopping 186-mile range — and a top speed of 37 mph, which would appear to make it illegal under California law. And would require a driver’s license and motorcycle helmet even if it’s not.

Gee, it’s such a relief to know there’s no suspicion of foul play in the death of a Singapore man who was dragged more than 100 feet under a bus, after he allegedly ran a red light on his bicycle and was right hooked by the driver, who claims he never saw him.

Speaking of Singapore, a woman had a far too close call when she fell off her bike and nearly landed in the path of a large truck. Although all the commenters seemed to care about is that the group of bicyclists she was with wasn’t supposed to be on that highway to begin with.

Still in Singapore, a bike delivery rider says why bother with handlebars, and builds an AI chip that can steer his bike for him.

 

Competitive Cycling

To the surprise of no one, Primož Roglič won the Vuelta by a whopping margin of 4 minutes and 42 seconds, after taking four stages in the process.

Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez apologized for giving up and quitting in the middle of the penultimate Vuelta stage, after falling off a possible podium finish when he was dropped in an attack, slipping from third to sixth before abandoning.

Pez Cycling News shares their final rant from, and about, the Vuelta.

For reasons known only to them, media outlets across the US suddenly decided to share a 2013 CNN piece offering fast facts about Lance Armstrong, as if the seven-time ex-Tour de France winner was somehow once again relevant. Which he’s not.

Sad news from Spain, where a competitor in a Córdoba mountain bike race was found dead a short distance off the road after going missing during the race; the cause of his death was unknown.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to wear spandex when you ride, but try not to look like the Michelin man. If you’re carrying a baggie full of crack on your bike — and have an outstanding warrant for murder — put a damn light on it, already.

And if drivers keep blocking the bike lane, just move it to the other side of the street to keep them out.

Right?

………

L’shanah tovah to everyone celebrating 5782 today!

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

Scarpa trial Monday for killing Costa Mesa fire captain, wrist slap for killer SD AG, and Malibu postpones PCH meeting

The allegedly stoned driver who killed a popular Costa Mesa fire captain will finally face justice next week.

The Daily Pilot reports that 27-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa will go on trial for murder on Monday for fatally running down 44-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita resident Mike Kreza as he was training for a triathlon in 2018.

According to the paper,

Kreza was off duty and riding his bike in Mission Viejo on Nov. 3 when a van driven by Scarpa drove off the roadway at Alicia Parkway and traveled 8 feet across the curb line, a sidewalk and an embankment, striking Kreza.

Police found Scarpa sitting on a curb following the crash, apparently intoxicated. He admitted to investigators he had shot up a combination of methamphetamine and fentanyl while at a party, along with taking an anxiety medication.

Kreza died two days later, leaving behind his wife and three young children.

The murder charge suggests this wasn’t Scarpa’s first DUI arrest, and that he had probably signed a Watson advisement indicating he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while intoxicated, following a previous conviction.

The paper reports Scarpa has remained in county jail for 1,032 days since his arrest — nearly three years — by the time he goes on trial Monday.

Chance are, he’ll end up serving a lot more than that.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

If you want to get away with killing someone, use a car.

Or better yet, get elected attorney general.

South Dakota AG Jason Ravnsborg was sentenced Thursday for a fatal hit-and-run crash. And walked without a single day behind bars.

The judge gave Ravnsborg a gentle caress on the wrist, allowing him to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts for a total of $1,000 in fines.

Which is apparently what a human life goes for in South Dakota these days.

Even an order to do some sort of public service to mark the anniversary of the victim’s death was put on hold, when Ravnsborg’s attorney argued it wasn’t allowed under the statute.

Authorities allowed Ravnsborg to claim he kept driving because he thought he hit a deer, rather than a man walking along the roadway. Even though the victim did a face plant in the AG’s windshield, leaving his glasses in the car where investigators found them the next day.

You’d think most people would have recognized a human face staring back at them through the windshield. Or at the very least, stopped to see what they hit.

But apparently, that kind of logic isn’t required for elected office in the state.

By continuing home, Ravnsborg may also have escaped a DUI count by delaying a blood alcohol test until 15 hours after the crash, by which time any alcohol consumed at the political fundraiser he attended would have been safely out of his system.

And it was.

Ravnsborg capped it off his extremely minimal sentence with a very self-serving statement.

The state’s governor and at least some legislators are calling for Ravnsborg to be impeached, since he refuses to step down.

We can hope, anyway.

Thanks to Pat Benson for the heads-up.

………

To be continued.

Malibu pulled the plug on last night’s planned discussion on widening the shoulder on a two-mile segment of PCH, rescheduling the meeting for next month.

Supporters describe the proposed project as improving safety for people on bicycles. But others fear it would just move us into the door zone, instead.

I’m told that the wider shoulders will allow plenty of room for both bikes and parked cars, without posing a risk to the people on two wheels.

But let’s get serious.

That would require at least seven to eight feet to the right of the roadway and the left of parked cars. Anything less would be in the door zone.

So if there’s that much space already built into this plan, why don’t they just install bike lanes, instead?

Or better yet, a parking protected bike lane.

………

CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León wants to know what you want to see on Huntington Drive.

You know what to tell him.

………

Good news for anyone who walks. Or crosses the street.

https://twitter.com/LosAngelesWalks/status/1430988640298012672

On the other hand, the legislature killed AB 1401, which was murdered died in committee; the bill would have allowed cities to reduce parking minimums for new buildings near transit stations.

………

This is what you call expert level trolling.

………

A brilliant solution for locking your bike.

Unless the thief has a chain tool.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for forwarding the tweet.

………

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

Two British men have been charged with murder, and a third with assisting them, for intentionally running down a man as he and a woman were riding bicycles; the men allegedly abandoned and burned the car they used in an attempt to coverup the crime.

An Australian man faces charges for deliberately ramming three people on bicycles in three separate incidents just minutes apart as they were riding in a bike lane earlier this month; fortunately, none of the victims was seriously injured.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton politely takes LADOT and the LA Bureau of Engineering to task for a number of missed opportunities to install bike lanes, or protect the ones they did install.

Climate Resolve considers Eagle Rock’s resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan to remake Colorado Blvd into a green, safe and vibrant street, calling it an opportunity for climate action.

The Los Angeles Times suggests 13 parking hacks they say every driver should know. Although the best hack is to just take transit. Or ride a bike.

LA firefighters have made it to the halfway point in St. Louis on their cross-country ride to the former site of the World Trade Center to honor the victims of the 9/11 attack.

 

State

A tandem-riding San Diego couple are fed up with the trash lining the city’s Kearny Villa Road, saying nothing has been done despite repeated complaints to the city. On the other hand, when Phil Gaimon got tired of seeing all the trash and litter on Mulholland in the Hollywood Hills, he organized his own volunteer clean-up operation.

A Monterey County writer makes an impassioned defense of an unfinished “bike path to nowhere,” insisting it will be worth it once it’s completed and connects to other bikeways.

A Chico man got his bicycle back six months after it was stolen when police noticed it in a homeless camp, because he had recorded the bike’s serial number and reported it to the police. Although an even better option is to register your bike now so you have all the information before anything happens to it.

 

National

Cycling Tip’s Caley Fretz wants to know where his stolen bike was for the past three years, after it suddenly showed up locked to a Boulder, Colorado fence, mostly intact, not far from where he lived when it was taken.

Boise, Idaho will host a “wonderfully weird” pedal-powered party to celebrate the removal of the dreaded bike tire-puncturing Goathead plants.

How to explore Kansas City by bicycle on your next BBQ pilgrimage.

Continuing with this week’s theme of restoring our faith in humanity, a firefighter foundation in Wausau, Wisconsin bought a new bike for a teenage boy after the bicycle he used to deliver newspapers and care for lawns was trashed in a collision.

Someone is targeting Chicago bikeshare riders by stealing their bikes at implied gunpoint after they unlock them.

A Cleveland website says the only risks you face on Michigan’s carfree Mackinac Island are horse poop, bike traffic and distracted pedestrians.

Speaking of Cleveland, a 58-year old man had to relearn how to walk after shattering his leg in a motorcycle crash, and celebrated his recovery by riding a bicycle 3814 miles through 14 states.

New York is moving forward with plans for congestion pricing, after reaching an agreement with the Biden administration to conduct an environmental review of charging drivers a toll to enter central Manhattan; it would be the first such fee in the US. Meanwhile, Los Angeles officials are doing what they do best, conducting a study of Metro’s congestion pricing proposal. Which usually results in studying it to death.

 

International

Bicycling can be a pain in the back, literally. So read this Cycling Weekly story about the causes of lower back pain, and how to prevent it.

Toronto bicyclists demand immediate improvements after an 18-year old man was killed by the driver of a dump truck, after he was forced to ride through a construction zone when a bike lane ended and dumped him into busy traffic; a bike advocate had warned something like that was likely to happen just two days before it actually did.

Treehugger responds to the same Toronto death by arguing that it’s time for the construction industry to prioritize the safety of people who walk or bike.

Los Angeles becomes the poster child for bad scooter behavior, as a Dublin letter writer uses it as a bad example of what he hopes the Irish city won’t become.

Paris continues to make huge strides towards safety and livability, by reducing speed limits on most streets to just 18 mph.

A former Afghan government minister is happy just to have a job, working as a bicycle delivery rider after moving to Germany in hope of a better future.

Cycling News reports on efforts to get women cyclists out of Afghanistan over fears they will be targeted by the Taliban for breaking traditional taboos.

Dozens of bicyclists took to the streets of Yemen’s capital to call for peace in the war torn country.

One hundred people faced road rage charges in Japan last year, with 24 tagged for brake checks and 20 sudden lane changes; four of the cases were blamed on bike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Surprisingly, two-time defending Vuelta champ Primož Roglič lost more time in Thursday’s stage 12, now standing almost two minutes behind oddly named leader Odd Christian Eiking of Norway.

LA-based Continental cycling team L39ION of Los Angeles lived up to their usual winning ways in the team’s first-ever stage race, taking both the men’s and women’s races in the opening stage of the Fayetteville, Arkansas Joe Martin Stage Race.

VeloNews dives head first into the debate over whether there should be separate categories for elite women gravel racers.

 

Finally…

Think of it as a fondo where you reduce your time by eating donuts. That feeling when your winning breakaway is suddenly halted by a car fire.

And it turns out Dutch kids aren’t born on bikes, after all.

https://twitter.com/NLinSF/status/1430600351028191235

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