Tag Archive for mandatory helmet laws

Morning Links: More mandatory helmet fallout, dog hitches ride at Phil’s Fondo, and SaMo bikeshare may go dockless

In yet more fallout from the NTSB’s ill-considered call for mandatory bike helmets, a Fresno paper questions whether they’re really needed for adults.

That’s despite living in what they say is one of the nation’s most deadly cities for bike riders.

Meanwhile, executive director of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition says “The problem isn’t that we don’t wear helmets, it’s that we’re forced to share space with much faster vehicles.

Photo by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay.

………

Local

Phil Gaimon’s Phil’s Fondo brought out hundreds of bicyclists to ride the Santa Monica Mountains, along with one miniature bulldog who hitched a ride in his owner’s backpack.

Santa Monica is considering getting rid the docks for its Breeze bikeshare, replacing the current system with dockless ebikes.

 

State

Bike Mag says San Diego’s mountain bike scene is finally on the rise. Or maybe they’re just discovering it.

No bias here. A writer for a San Diego paper calls e-scooters today’s Pet Rock — and simultaneously a plaything for 30-somethings, a toy best suited for children, and what’s keeping Millennials from walking.

That’s more like it. San Francisco plans to address the need for more bike and scooter parking by installing 100 new bike racks every month for the foreseeable future.

A Bay Area bike advocate says the new protected bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge may not draw a lot of regular use, but it’s a better transportation policy than adding another motor vehicle lane.

Sacramento is done handing out warnings, and ready to crackdown on scofflaw bikeshare and scooter riders.

 

National

Presidential candidate and former VP Joe Biden offers a $1 trillion transportation plan that keeps America addicted to motor vehicles.

Good question. A science writer says she cares about climate change, so why does she still drive an SUV?

A Kansas paper totally misses the point, after woman followed a man in her car before trying to run him down as he jumped off just in time, then chased him across the parking lot with it. But the local paper only says she hit a bike ridden by a man. Note to Salina Journal — the past tense of ride is rode, not road.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Chicago woman only faces a trio of misdemeanor charges for killing a man riding a bike, despite driving with a suspended license.

A former Minnesota Ford plant will be redeveloped as a low-income housing community, with an emphasis on getting around by bicycling, walking and transit.

Bighearted Kentucky residents pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a 62-year old local celebrity after his was mangled when he was hit by a motorist; the man is known for riding his bike around town and waving as he goes by.

New York police are looking for a group of men who surrounded a delivery rider, striking him in the head before making off with his ebike.

The Virginia Tech student newspaper says trading a car for a bicycle could be one of the best decisions students could make during their time on campus.

Kindhearted Virginia race organizers buy a new handcycle for a man who lost both legs due to complications from diabetes.

Police say the Florida bike rider who was run down by a hit-and-run driver in a crosswalk after rolling a stop wasn’t at fault, because regardless of any other factors, drivers are required to stop for anyone in a crosswalk — including people on bikes.

 

International

A new European study shows that bicycling just 20 minutes is enough to ward off heart disease in people over 60.

The Sun says a “shocking” study shows 20% of British men can’t ride a bike. Which really just means a full 80% can, which is pretty damn good.

The founder of London’s Black Cycling Network says he was stopped and frisked by a cop who swore he could smell weed on him.

Four women take a video boat and mountain tour of Norway and Sweden.

Modern Family star Ariel Winter is one of us, posing with a bicycle in front of an Amsterdam canal. There’s just something about a bicycle that makes anyone look good. Although it helps if you already look good without one, too. 

Uber is preparing to make the big jump to Rome with their dockless Jump ebikes, hoping that Romans won’t trash them like they have every other bikeshare system that dared besmirch the city’s streets.

A Romanian bicycle factory promises to be the biggest in Europe, producing 1.5 million bikes a year.

A pair of Indian parliament members arrive by bike for the current session.

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI is making plans for an annual, cross-discipline world championships that would award titles in virtually every form of cycling over a two-week period.

 

Finally…

If you’re trying to escape the cops on a stolen bike, try to keep it upright. Seriously, it’s not that hard — even a dog can do it.

And how many times do we have to say it? If you’re already on probation and riding your bike carrying a concealed weapon after dark, put a damn light on it.

The bike, not the gun.

………

On a personal note, we’re once more hearing the pitter patter of corgi feet around our apartment. We’re fostering a ten-year old corgi for the next few months while his owner is in rehab. 

This is Bowser — that’s really his name — sleeping off the trauma of what his owner claims was his first ever bath. 

And yes, he smelled like it.

 

 

Morning Links: Cars killing progress on CA climate goals, Flax debunks call for helmet laws, and what a bike thief looks like

As things stand now, California is likely to miss its climate goals.

By a century.

That’s according to a report from MIT Technology Review, which says that despite significant reductions in the energy sector, the state is making little or no progress in other areas.

They point the finger at rising auto emissions, as car ownership climbs while transit use declines.

Transportation emissions, the state’s largest source, have steadily risen since 2013, as the improving economy put more cars on the road and planes in the sky. Emissions from waste dumped into landfills have also been ticking up since the recovery took hold. Meanwhile, highly potent greenhouse gases from the aerosols, foams, and solvents used in refrigeration and air conditioning are rising sharply…

At the same time, overall car ownership rates are rising, public-transit use is falling, and consumers are still shifting toward gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. And the 92% of vehicles sold last year that weren’t EVs will, on average, still be on the roads more than a decade from now.

Accelerating the shift to cleaner vehicles is likely to require far stricter policies, far more generous subsidies, cheaper EVs, and a massive build-out of charging infrastructure. And even California’s efforts to boost the average fuel efficiency of cars sold in the state have been complicated by the Trump administration’s legal challenges.

And while San Francisco and San Diego have been making progress in building out bicycle networks to entice people out of their cars, it’s ground to a near halt in the state’s largest city.

Yes Los Angeles, we’re talking about you.

Maybe one day, the so-called progressives, environmentalists and other assorted climate activists at city hall will stop talking about the problem, and actually do something.

But sadly, that day is not today.

………

Bike scribe Peter Flax is up to his old tricks.

If you can call insightful writing and consistently hitting the nail on the head a trick.

Writing for Bicycling, Flax examines the extremely flawed recommendations from NTBS — the National Transportation Safety Board, which usually concerns itself with plane and train crashes — to reduce the climbing rate of bicycle deaths.

Starting, and nearly ending, with bike helmets and high viz.

And yet the top-line proposals from the NTSB largely shifted responsibility to solve this deadly crisis onto cyclists themselves. Two of the three key recommendations focused on the need for riders to wear helmets and be more conspicuous. (The third was about improving road design, which is awesome because poor cycling infrastructure is an actual cause of cycling fatalities.)

He goes on to sum up exactly what the agency failed to address that’s actually killing people on bicycles, in one brilliant paragraph.

Now let’s talk about all the important stuff that the NTSB report passed over to focus on helmets and high vis and scold renegade riders. Like the problem of distracted driving—where four in 10 motorists admit using social media (and one in 10 say they watch YouTube videos) on their phone when they’re on the road. Or the nation’s pernicious problem with speed limit violations, a widely tolerated illegal behavior that is a known killer. They could urge the auto industry and tech sectors to work together to solve these entirely fixable problems. They could ask out loud how or why many states still don’t have 3-foot safe-passing laws or regulations banning handheld phone use, and how or why these laws are rarely enforced in those that do. They could demand that American trucks and passenger cars match the far superior standards set in Europe and Japan to keep vulnerable road users safe—why don’t our garbage and box trucks have side guards to protect pedestrians and cyclists from the wheels, for instance? They could address an epidemic of fatal hit-and-run crashes and the shifting complexion of impaired driving and America’s love affair with 5,000-pound SUVs. Rather than scold naughty cyclists, agency researchers could have examined the carnage caused by negligent and reckless motorists—and offered commentary on what to do about it.

It’s today’s must read.

So go ahead and click the link. We’ll wait.

Meanwhile, here’s the full two hours and forty-eight minutes of the woefully misguided NTSB meeting.

Thanks to Mike Cane for forwarding the video.

Photo of the ghost bike for the still unidentified Hollywood hit-and-run victim by Healthy Activest via Instagram.

………

This is what it looks like when someone steals a bike from a San Marcos CA garage.

Hopefully, that video shows enough of his face to bring the jerk to justice.

Meanwhile, after a Georgia woman chased down the thief stealing her bike and demanded it back, the bighearted victim is offering to give him a bike to help him get a fresh start.

………

This is what a passenger-side dooring looks like. Toronto bike riders are justifiably outraged.

………

We’ve mentioned Malaysia’s basikal lajaks several times in the past two years, ever since eight riders of the modified bikes were killed when a driver plowed into them.

This response to my tweet shows exactly what the bikes are, and how they’re ridden.

A website calls them a menace to society, but the nation’s sports minister says the riders can be redeemed and represent the county in international competitions with the proper training.

Thanks to kirin for the heads-up.

………

The Los Angeles Handmade Bicycle Show takes place tomorrow…somewhere.

Maybe LA bikewear maker Swrve knows, since they plan to be there.

………

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

A New York man faces two counts of reckless endangerment for killing a 67-year old woman when he ran a red-light on his bicycle, and slammed into her as she walked in a crosswalk with the light; he faces charges from the same DA who routinely lets drivers off the hook. This is wrong in so many ways. So just…don’t.

………

Local

Streetsblog talks with Michael Schneider, the founder of Streets for All, LA’s first, and only, political action group, aka PAC, dedicated to changing city hall to change the city’s streets; the group is meeting in Hollywood next Saturday to discuss pedestrianizing Hollywood Blvd.

KCBS-2 reports nearly a third of the Metro Bike bikeshare bikes get stolen or stripped for parts.

A USC op-ed says students should be discouraged from driving to campus. Or looking at it another way, the school should do more to encourage students to bike or walk to class.

Beverly Hills received a $90,000 traffic enforcement grant from the state, which will allow them to do bike and pedestrian safety crackdowns, among other things. Even if their police department doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being bike and pedestrian friendly.

 

State

The California Transportation Commission is holding a workshop in Sacramento this Tuesday to kickoff discussion of the 2021 Active Transportation Program. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Call it a good time for a good cause. San Diego’s annual 20-mile Bike for Boobs bike ride and dinner takes place tomorrow to raise funds for a local charity to help women experiencing financial difficulties due to breast cancer.

The Coachella Valley Bicycle Coalition held a ghost bike memorial for Raymundo “Ray-Ray” Jaime; sadly, the 30-year old hit-and-run victim left behind his wife and four-year old daughter, who will now grow up without a father.

Thousands Oaks has opened an expansion to the city’s bike park.

Santa Cruz has identified the bike rider who died after riding off a cliff as the owner of a Salinas bike shop.

This is who we share the roads with. Just hours after a Modesto man got out of jail on a DUI conviction for driving while stoned, he got drunk and drove again, killing a bike rider while driving with a BAC nearly two and a half times the legal limit; his trial was delayed five years when he was institutionalized for mental illness.

Lyft is returning their bikeshare ebikes to the streets of San Francisco; hopefully they won’t burst into flames this time. However, you won’t see them in London anytime soon.

 

National

An Omaha bike rider says bicyclists should have to pay the same fees drivers do and have to have a license to ride just like drivers do, saying he knows other cities require that. No, they don’t. I’m not aware of any city in the US that tests and licenses people on bicycles. Never mind that bike riders already pay more than our share.

Chicago bicyclists respond to the death of a woman killed by a dump truck driver by protesting along the bike lane she was riding in.

Now that’s more like it. Instead of warning bike riders when cars get too close, researchers at the University of Minnesota designed a system to warn drivers when they get too close to someone on a bike. Seriously, take my money, already.

A Minnesota advocate refutes common objections to riding a bicycle, calling it carbon-free transportation using the original two-stroke engine. 

An Indiana cycling club shows that yes, it is possible for a riding club to get involved in advocacy and help teach people how to drive around bicyclists. Just in case any LA-area clubs want to give it a shot. Thanks to Melissa for the link. 

Bicycle Retailer dives into the history of Ross Bicycles, calling it the Schwinn of New York.

Kindhearted New Jersey residents passed the hat to buy a new bike for a teenage boy after his was stolen.

New York’s non-helmet wearing mayor and failed presidential candidate is seriously considering making everyone else wear one.

Al Pacino is one of us; he worked as a bike messenger to support his sick mother before finding success on stage, then film. And yes, he still rides.

DC approves plans for a two-way, curb-protected bike lane even though it’s opposed by a neighborhood commission. And even though it means removing parking spaces.

As we noted before, New Orleans Saints backup QB Teddy Bridgewater is one of us. Even if he has to tweet for someone to drive his broken bike to the shop, because he refuses to get to his games any other way. Thanks to BikeLosFeliz for the link.

 

International

The co-founder of Lumos Helmet discusses how they’re creating what they consider the next generation of bike helmets to help bicyclists feel safer.

Once again, the Mounties got their man, busting an 18-year old man for being a bike-riding serial butt slapper.

Twenty-five Montreal bike riders will be allowed to ride a bike path across an otherwise closed bridge to try out various snow clearing methods, as long as they wear a special vest and sign a waiver.

London’s Daily Mail suggests giving your child a bike for Christmas, saying you never forget your first bike. Good advice, even if it is an ad for a British retailer.

A British military vet who lost three limbs in Afghanistan was lucky to survive when he had a blowout on his handcycle and slammed into a truck at 25 mph, shattering what’s left of his right leg.

A Belgian city has managed to cut car motor vehicle traffic by 12% at rush hour, and 40% on key bicycling routes — resulting in a 25% jump in bicycling rates.

Here’s one for my own bike bucket list — a beer hall bike tour along Germany’s Danube River.

 

Finally…

Your next Harley Davidson could have pedals. Forget the family SUV, your new kid hauler could have three wheels with child seats up front.

And UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup gets animated.

No, literally.

 

Morning Links: Mandatory bike helmet law is the wrong answer, Palm Springs death confirmed, and happy birthday Slickrock

Don’t get me wrong. I like David Whiting.

The longtime columnist for the Orange County Register is one of us.

His heart is in the right place, showing time and again he cares deeply about the safety of people on bicycles.

But sometimes, not often, he’s just wrong.

And this is one of those times.

I wish he’d reached out to me before writing his latest column, calling for a mandatory bike helmet law for adults, as well as children.

We could have discussed why that’s a bad idea.

As well as clarifying that while this site is about advocacy, I’ve been the only one behind it since the Corgi died.

We might have started out with this observation.

Two girls, one about eight, the other about six, rip along in the middle of streets on motorized scooters that — and I am not making this up — zoom along at a solid 10 miles an hour.

Now, 10 mph may not seem like a lot if you’re tucked safely in a car. But hitting the asphalt at 10 miles an hour can destroy flesh, bone and skull, especially if a child is struck by a vehicle.

Yet that’s not what terrifies me.

What terrifies me is that these kids don’t wear helmets, an occurrence I see more and more.

I would have pointed out that, yes, anyone under 18 is required to wear a helmet on a scooter, just like on a bicycle.

There’s good reasoning for that. Children’s skulls and brains are still developing, and they lack the judgement to make an informed decision on whether or not to use a helmet.

But you’re also required to be at least 16 year old and have a driver’s license to rent a scooter, let alone ride it. So someone needs to have a good talk with their parents.

Then the conversation might have moseyed along to this study.

Rosenthal and Kreeger is a California law firm that specializes in injuries, but also does actual research that tilts toward actually saving lives.

“Since helmet laws have been instituted in the majority of states, at least for children the death rate for that age group has decreased,” the firm points out. “But research shows that over half of adult bicyclists still do not use a helmet at all.

However, there have been studies that suggest the reason bicycling death rates have declined for children is simply that fewer children are riding bikes these days, as parents ferry them to and from school and soccer practice. And everywhere else.

Some people blame helmet laws for that decrease, saying it makes bicycling seem dangerous.

I’m not sure I buy that argument; I think the reason is the just the dangers on our streets, real and imagined.

But that would have led to discussion of the mandatory, and much hated, bike helmet laws in Australia and New Zealand.

While those laws are similarly credited with a decrease in fatalities, they’re also blamed for a corresponding decrease in bicycling rates.

Which some argue makes the streets even more dangerous by reducing the safety in numbers effect.

And bike helmet laws lead to punitive enforcement, which convinces even more people that riding a bike is just not worth it.

And don’t get me started on how Seattle’s bike helmet law is blamed for killing that city’s first bikeshare program. Something they wisely addressed before taking another stab at it by allowing dockless bikeshare, which has been more successful.

But that’s another problem with bike helmet laws.

Using bikeshare is often a spur of the moment thing, and no one wants to cart around an awkward helmet all day on the off chance they might rent a bike or scooter.

That would lead us to this discussion.

Between 2010 and 2017 (the latest year available), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports cycling fatalities increased by a whopping 35%.

In 2017, nearly 800 people were killed riding bicycles. Not surprisingly, there has been a corresponding increase in bicycle injuries — many of which are never reported.

I’ll add that California has one of the highest death rates in the nation, and Los Angeles and San Francisco made the top 10 list for the most deadly cities.

Yet there is no helmet law for adult cyclists.

Yes, the increase in bicycling fatalities is frightening, and has to be addressed.

But banning SUVs, with their deadly flat grills, and preventing cellphones from working in moving vehicles for anything other than directions and calling 911, would probably be more effective at reducing deaths than putting a bike helmet on every head on two wheels.

The problem with citing figures like that is that we have no way of knowing how many of the people who died were wearing helmets, or how many suffered head injuries.

We can project that from various studies, but at best we can only achieve a very rough estimation.

We also have no way of knowing if those people died as a result of head injuries, or if those injuries would have been survivable if they’d been wearing a bike helmet. Or if they suffered other injuries that would have cost them their lives anyway.

And that’s the last point I would have made.

Because bike helmets aren’t designed to protect against crashes with a car going 70 mph. Or 30, for that matter. And they don’t protect against injuries to any other part of the body.

Even the most expensive helmets are only required to withstand relatively minor impacts.

In other words, a fall off your bike, not a collision with a bus.

They also do nothing to protect against a traumatic brain injury, as I learned the hard way, unless you spring for the more expensive MIPS or WaveCel models.

And the jury is still out on those.

So yes, a bike helmet may help reduce the force of impact in a collision, as well as the severity of any head injury.

Or they may not, depending on the speed of the vehicle and angle of impact.

That’s if the straps don’t break and the helmet stays on. And if it’s still effective, and not degraded due to age or previous impacts.

A bike helmet is a single use device. Hit the pavement or bounce off a bumper just once, and it needs to be replaced.

That’s when I’d tell Whiting that I never ride without mine.

But I also recognize its limitations, and don’t count on a bike helmet to save my life. A helmet should always be seen as the last line of defense, after everything else — from street design to defensive riding skills — have failed.

There are also arguments that they actually increase the danger to riders, whether as the result of closer passes from drivers and riskier behavior by riders, or the dangers of rotational injuries.

Regardless of my own choices, however, I respect people who have made the decision not to wear a helmet, and I respect their right to choose.

Which is what adult bike helmet use should be.

A choice. Not a law.

So I would have ended by saying I respect you, David. I think you’ve done a lot of good for the bicycling community.

But next time, call me first.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

………

Sadly, Victor Bale forwards confirmation that a bike rider was killed in a Palm Springs hit-and-run Monday night. I’ll post a story later today.

Meanwhile, Consumer Reports responds to the increase in bicycling and pedestrian deaths by saying pedestrian detection systems should be standard on all cars. Even though they don’t really work all that well.

………

Say happy 50th birthday to Moab, Utah’s famed Slickrock Trail.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

The recent assaults on Brit bike riders added yet another victim when a man suffered a broken collarbone after a passenger in a passing car pushed him off his bike.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Evidently, scooters pay. San Diego has received $1.5 million in licensing fees from micromobility companies in just the last six months.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike rider was killed when he was run down by a stoned driver. Yet the CHP couldn’t resist blaming the victim for wearing dark colored clothing.

Danville cops reel in another thief with their locked bait bike. And they’re smart enough to use a bike worth more than $1,000 so it qualifies for felony theft.

A San Francisco letter writer says forget cars rolling stop signs, the real problem is people on bicycles. And apparently has a speed gun built into his glasses. Seriously, if you’re not going to stop, always obey the right-of-way, especially around pedestrians. And ride carefully around people on foot, who can be unpredictable, and are the only ones more vulnerable than we are.

San Francisco is slowly adding more red light cams to improve safety. Meanwhile, Los Angeles doesn’t have any, after removing them all to appease angry drivers.

 

National

The Bike League has a new boss.

A new bipartisan bill would take Vision Zero nationwide, providing cities with federal funds to design and implement Vision Zero programs, with a time limit of 20 years to eliminate traffic deaths.

Cycling Tips recommends ten bike books for the holidays. Whether you want to give one as a gift, or need something to get you through a visit with your relatives.

Believe it or not, you can actually get a “decent” ebike foldie on Amazon for less than $700.

A driving website recommends their picks for the best bike lights.

A veteran of the Afghan and Iraq wars is taking the long way across the US, riding 6,000 miles from DC to San Diego to call attention to PTSD.

Portland residents respond to a weekly’s recent call to stop driving and switch to ebikes. Some of which actually make sense, while others are exactly what you’d expect.

Police are dealing with an increase in thefts from Portland apartment and condo building bike rooms. You’re much better off keeping your bike in your unit, if possible; thieves love bike rooms because a) they’re usually empty of people at night, and b) full of bikes.

Kindhearted cops in a Washington town team with bighearted deputies to buy a little boy a new BMX bike after his was stolen.

Life is cheap on an Albuquerque Air Force base, where a truck driver got two and a half years for a) running a stop sign, while b) talking on his cellphone, and c) killing a man riding his bike.

A new documentary examines Minnesota moms who are ditching their cars for cargo bikes.

Bicycling catches up on the story of the Minnesota man who spent the last six years riding every street in his county. Meanwhile, another man did the same thing in central London.

The next time someone tries to tell you bike riders aren’t tough, tell them about the Detroit man who rode his bike to a gas station — after taking a shotgun blast to the face. He’s hospitalized in critical condition.

A Kentucky radio segment tells the story of a century bike race, from a previous century.

New York is responding to recent traffic deaths by retiming traffic lights to create a Green Wave, allowing riders to get a series of green lights to avoid having to stop; naturally, drivers are concerned that it might inconvenience them.

NYC installs its 100th mile of protected bike lanes under ex-presidential candidate and current Mayor Bill de Blasio. But Gothamist wants to know what’s holding up the long-promised bike lane on Queen’s Boulevard of Death. We could ask the same question about the entire LA bike plan.

Apparently having solved all the other crimes, Hoboken NJ hires a pair of officers to fight the scourge of scofflaw micromobility users.

Automotive sacrilege from a Streetsblog op-ed, which calls for New York to build protected bike lanes alongside bus-only lanes — even if it means a loss of parking.

 

International

More proof bike thieves just don’t care. It takes a real schmuck to steal the homemade ebike a Winnipeg high school student spent four years and thousands of dollars building from scratch.

A UK community is warned it won’t meet 2030 climate goals unless it cuts car ownership in half within the next ten years.

A writer for Cycling Tips takes his Tern to go carfree at Eurobike, the world’s biggest bike show.

When a Dutch rider can’t afford a mountain bike, he decides to shred an Austrian mountain on a BMX with no suspension and one “dodgy” brake.

A design website falls in love with the “timeless design” of a Swedish bike bikemaker, who believes the bicycle was perfected 100 years ago.

Heartbreaking story from Aukland, New Zealand, where an 18-year old champion track cyclist will never be the same after a driver ran a stop sign and slammed into his bike, leaving him with a major head brain injury and nearly costing his life.

 

Competitive Cycling

Merced makes its bid to host a stage of next year’s Amgen Tour of California, with a route that would pass Yosemite National Park and the birthplace of Ghirardelli Chocolates

Outside says this is the golden age of American cycling, as long as you look past the men’s WorldTour.

A US Army sergeant picks herself up off the pavement after leading most of the day, and rallies for an 8th place finish in women’s road race of the Military World Games in China.

 

Finally…

Using your noodle to call for safer streets. Trump’s China tariffs mean more cars parked in the protected bike lane.

And as if LA drivers aren’t bad enough, now we have to deal with distracted rats behind the wheel.

 

Morning Links: Failing presidential candidate calls for licensing bike riders, and CiclaValley to open LA River segment

Not exactly the best way to establish your climate change cred.

The same day CNN held their series of presidential candidate climate change town halls, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, who didn’t participate, said he’s considering requiring licenses and registration for bike riders.

And if that’s not enough to force New Yorkers back into their cars, forcing bikeshare riders to wear bike helmets should do the trick.

“We have to think about what’s going to be safe for people first, but also what’s going to work,” the mayor said of the helmet requirement. “Is it something we could actually enforce effectively? Would it discourage people from riding bikes? I care first and foremost about safety.”

Although if he truly cared about safety, he’d start by banning motor vehicles from Manhattan. And taking steps to tame them everywhere else.

Questioning whether 4th tier presidential candidate is trying to undermine his own city’s bikeshare system, Streetsblog succinctly captured their take this way —

De Brainless: Mayor Endorses Meritless Helmet and Licensing Requirements for Cyclists

New York’s Daily News summed it up best, though.

Whether or not he moves forward with the license requirement, the mayor said he plans to crack down on cyclists who break traffic laws, despite little evidence suggesting that bikes are a menace to public safety.

Maybe just he’s hoping that attacking people on bikes could boost his presidential poll numbers up to a full one percent.

Mandatory bike helmet photo by malcolm garret from Pexels.

………

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew will be speaking at the official opening of a new section of the LA River Greenway — aka the LA River bike path — at 10 am today.

Look behind the Coffee Bean if you want to attend.

………

You still have time to call your state assembly member to urge the passage of SB 127, the state’s proposed Complete Streets bill.

CA Streetsblog breaks down exactly how Caltrans lied in an attempt to defeat the bill exaggerated its costs in their required estimate to state legislators by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog profiles new Caltrans Director Adetokunbo Toks Omishakin, saying he has a background in healthy living initiatives, Complete Streets and activite transportation with AASHTO, Nashville and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

So maybe there’s hope for the agency yet.

………

A live streaming bike rider in an undisclosed European city suffered a “brutal cycling accident” when he caught a wheel in some railroad tracks and fell off his bike, suffering a boo boo on his hand.

Maybe they define brutal just a tad differently over there.

………

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

A Stockton man is under arrest on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon for intentionally using his car to attack a bike rider, who was able to jump off just in time to avoid getting hit; his bike was not as lucky.

The New York man with a long rap sheet arrested for intentionally running down and killing a bike-riding burglar says he was just trying to get close enough to catch the man, and blamed the victim for maybe doing something to mess up his brakes and steering. No, seriously.

………

Local

Looks like we won one for a change. Buried in an LA Times story about LA’s self-appointed anti-everything NIMBY extortionists Fix the City suing to halt the city’s Transit Oriented Communities program — which would stop much-needed affordable and market-rate housing — is the news that the group’s challenge to the Los Angeles mobility plan recently failed. That should free the city to finally get started on building bike lanes and safer streets. They should change the group’s name to something else with one more letter that also starts with F, which would be a hell of a lot more accurate.

Hats off to the Eastside Riders for installing a ghost bike for the still unnamed victim of the hit-and-run in South LA earlier this week.

Metro will start using automated cameras on the front of their buses to catch drivers illegally using the Bus Only Lanes. Maybe they could put them on all their buses to catch people parking in bike lanes while they’re at it.

 

State

A 78-year old San Diego man suffered life-threatening injuries when he allegedly rode though an intersection without yielding, and collided with an SUV. As always, the question is whether there were independent witnesses who saw him violate the right-of-way.

Speaking of San Diego, the city is proposing a road diet and bike lanes to tame dangerous Mission Blvd. It’s been 30 years since I lived down there, but Mission was a nightmare for bike riders and pedestrians then, and I doubt it’s gotten any better since.

The San Diego Reader rides the county’s 44-mile Coastal Rail Trail stretching from Oceanside to downtown’s Santa Fe Depot, though not all of it is paved.

Once again, a dangerous pass has taken the life of a bike rider, as a man riding in Fresno County was killed when a driver passed a semi and struck his bicycle head-on as he drove on the wrong side of the road.

The Stanislaus County town of Riverbank is adopting LA’s new permanent memorial signs to honor a fallen bike rider. With a little luck, maybe they will spread throughout the state.

Santa Clara County is considering a paved, 10-mile bicycle superhighway to encourage bike commuting.

Every first and second grader at a San Francisco school got a new bike, thanks to a Colorado nonprofit that’s given away 2,900 bikes to kids in low-income schools across the US. Make that 2,984 now.

 

National

Bicycling considers when, and when not to, wear bike gloves.

Financial website Market Watch considers the best bike helmets under $100. Which could come in handy the next time the stock market crashes.

Speaking of bike helmets, a new study shows drugs, alcohol and not wearing a helmet are frequent factors in e-scooter injuries — even though most of the injuries involved leg, ankle, collarbone, shoulder blade and/or forearm fractures, which bike helmets aren’t likely to prevent. And evidently, dangerous streets and bad drivers don’t play any role at all in e-scooter injuries.

Hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem anymore. A Denver-area man was killed when his bike was struck by two separate drivers, both of whom fled the scene, three minutes apart; police found what they believe is the first vehicle Wednesday afternoon.

A Minnesota woman got a minor miracle when someone spotted her stolen bike for sale on Facebook, and she arranged to meet the seller so police could swoop in and make the arrest. Which is exactly the right way to do it, without putting yourself at needless risk.

A researcher at an Ohio university used kitty litter panniers on her bike to ride around town and prove that squirrels eavesdrop on birds to tell when it’s safe to come out and find their nuts. Those are the same panniers my brother is currently using on his epic bike tour down the left coast, though I don’t believe he’s planning to eavesdrop on birds, squirrels or anything else.

Forget parking. The newest argument against a bike lane bordering New York’s Central Park is that it would cause problems for carriage drivers and their horses. Because really, what could be more romantic than forcing bike riders to contend with impatient drivers?

Police are looking for a Florida man who rode up to a bike shop on his bicycle, then left it behind and rode off with a customer’s $11,000 bike that had been left for service.

Apparently tiring of telling kids to get off his lawn, an anonymous Florida columnist says bikeshare bikes are an eyesore, and it’s a bicyclist’s own damn fault for whatever it was that happened to him. Or her.

 

International

A British woman had been up all night before she killed a bike rider while driving back home; studies show drowsy driving is as bad, or even worse than, drunk driving.

If there’s a major bike race in front of your building, you might want to hide your rooftop cannabis garden; although under Spanish law, it may or may not be legal.

Successive groups of Indian bike riders rode around the world nearly a century ago, each one inspiring the next — despite encounters with elephant herds and Amazon headhunters. Or deciding to drop out and stay in America.

Tokyo considers a government proposal to sort-of require bike riders to carry liability insurance, but without a penalty if they don’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews says it was mixed results for the US team at the Mountain Bike World Championships, marked by grit and close calls, but no results. Admit it, you didn’t even know the mtn bike worlds took place over the weekend. Well, I didn’t, anyway.

USA Cycling hired former Olympic silver medalist and world champion Mari Holden to coach the women’s road cycling team leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

Nothing will encourage you to practice sprints like someone chasing you down the street waving a machete. What is it with bike-riding people — okay, men — wacking off in public lately?

And when your near drowning is captured on live TV.

Morning Links: Annual Holiday Fund Drive under way, Brits go bike helmet mad, and Mike Bonin recall debate

This is day four of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your support helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

You can donate with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

Today’s common theme is uproar that arose when the Times of London apparently decided to create a controversy, by asking Britain’s transportation minister if the government would consider requiring all bike riders to wear helmets.

Then bizarrely took his non-answer as confirmation that a helmet law was in the offing, when he said nothing of the sort.

Unfortunately, the original story is hidden behind a paywall. Although they did at least change the headline to say the policy was under review.

But even that isn’t true.

It’s a sad decline on the subject for the paper that led the campaign to improve safety for bicyclists just five years earlier.

And it didn’t take long for the rest of the Fleet Street newspapers to jump into the fray.

The Telegraph said bike safety advocates — or campaigners in Brit parlance — warn against mandating helmets, while hiding a column behind a paywall that said helmets and hi-viz would shackle the freedom of bicycling.

The Guardian cites safety campaigners as saying there was no justification in making helmets compulsory, while columnist Peter Walker writes that you don’t make bicycling safe by forcing everyone to dress like urban warriors.

Britain’s Chris Boardman says a mandatory helmet law won’t make bicycling any safer.

A columnist for the Daily Mail says requiring everyone to wear a helmet will put more lives at risk by discouraging people from riding.

Meanwhile, official stats show that bicycling is about to surpass driving in London. But forcing everyone to wear a helmet could drive them back into their cars.

And an Aussie columnist jumps in, saying nanny state or not, bike helmets save us all. Even though the decline in head injuries after Australia instituted mandatory helmet laws can largely be attributed to a decline in ridership.

Which is not to say you shouldn’t wear a helmet. I never ride without mine.

But it should always be your choice.

………

Local

This week’s Bike Talk features longtime advocate Don Ward debating Mike Bonin recall leader Alexis Edelstein.

Membership in UCLA’s bikeshare program exceeded projections for the first year in just the first two months.

Mark your calendar for LA’s most challenging hill climb race, Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer, on December 17th.

South Pasadena asks Metro for funding for bike lanes after parents say it’s too scary to ride a bike with their kids in the city.

Long Beach restaurant owners are already worried about losing business due to the start of the Amgen Tour of California returning to the city for the first time in 11 years.

 

State

A San Diego bike rider suffered a broken shoulder in a crash with another rider on a steep hill; no word on how the crash occurred.

Cyclists call on Moorpark to encourage more bike-friendly businesses, which are currently lacking in the city.

Palo Alto is set to approve construction of a $16 million bike bridge, settling for a simple design after a previous attempt at an iconic crossing turned out to be too expensive.

 

National

Earlier this year, we mentioned the woman who was riding over 4,000 miles across the US to photograph people she met along the way; the Daily Beast shares some of her best photos.

It takes some serious chutzpa — or maybe just stupidity — to steal a police bike from a Cheyenne WY squad car.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Wisconsin man rides 80 miles to celebrate his 80th birthday.

A New Hampshire town tears up a multi-use path and tells bicyclists to ride in the street after 91-year old woman was killed in a crash with a bike rider last month.

A Pittsburgh bike rider plans to once again tackle the city’s steepest hills on a 37-pound bikeshare bike after failing to finish the 12-hill competition last year.

Conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is one of us, riding 17-miles along a DC canal every morning.

In a truly sickening case, a Louisiana man faces multiple charges for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he had to pull the victim’s body out of his windshield before dumping him on the side of the road and driving away.

 

International

A woman writes about riding a bicycle to overcome an eating disorder. And yes, it is possible to live too cleanly.

Caught on video: A Vancouver driver confronts an “aggressive” bike rider who swerves around a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Yes, the rider was a jerk; he should have stopped to wait for the woman to cross the street. But I’m just as concerned about the vigilante driver who felt a need to confront the cyclist himself, then followed the rider for several blocks.

Speaking of Vancouver, the city set an ambitious goal of making 50% of all trips by bike, walking or transit by 2020 — and met it five years early. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the heads-up.

Toronto bicyclists push to make drivers at least partially responsible for dooring bike riders, and teach the Dutch Reach on driver’s exams. Meanwhile, a Toronto columnist says it’s time to realize that the killing and maiming on our streets isn’t normal, and the law needs to change when driving in your sleep isn’t considered dangerous.

Caught on video: A rugby coach chases down a London thief riding off with a stolen bike slung over his shoulder.

The war on bikes continues, as a road raging English driver deliberately knocked a man off his bike. And will apparently get away with it unless more witnesses come forward.

Britain considers a national code of conduct for dockless bikeshares. Which wouldn’t be a bad idea here, at least on a statewide level.

The UK’s bike-riding Labour Party leader says bike safety is a social justice issue.

Over 1,100 people from 57 countries took part in Qatar’s largest cycling event.

A New Zealand man plans to finish the last 23 miles of a 108-mile bike trip home from boarding school that he abandoned 50 years ago as a teenager.

A Malaysian paper talks with the Swedish ambassador to provide a primer on Vision Zero.

Where Chinese bikeshare bikes go to die.

Now that’s a fat bike ride. British track cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy will attempt to ride his bicycle 400 miles across Antarctica in record time.

 

Competitive Cycling

A British woman gave up her career as a veterinarian to train for the country’s cycling team.

 

Finally…

No, delivering food by bike does not mean you get to ignore traffic laws. Seriously, don’t run red lights — and if you do, don’t do it in front of a cop.

And now you can own your very own cycling team bus.

………

Thanks to David R, Calla W, Gil S, Terrence H, Theodore F, Penny S and Felicia G for getting the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive off to a roaring start.

 

Morning Links: Biking the Oscars, challenging helmet stats and a big jump in Santa Monica bike commuting

Even the threat of rain couldn’t keep a handful of Angelenos from biking to the Oscars on Sunday.

Actor Ed Begley, Jr. lived up to his promise to bike into the Academy Awards over the Cahuenga pass, donning rain gear on the ride before switching to his tux for the ceremony.

Laemmle Theater president and LACBC board member Greg Laemmle also rode in, wearing his tux on his folding bike despite the threatening weather.

And even the LAPD biked the Oscars as part of the massive security presence protecting the event.

LAPD bike cops at the Oscars

……..

Somehow I missed this one earlier this month.

The Examined Spoke examined that highly flawed stat behind SB 192, Glendale state Senator Carol Liu’s proposal to require bike helmets for all riders, as well as reflective hi-viz after dark.

Liu cites a statistic from the National Conference of State Legislatures that says 91% of bicyclists killed in 2009 weren’t wearing helmets. Never mind that it fails to addresse how many bike riders actually suffered head injuries, or whether their injuries would have been survivable with one.

ES looks at it another way, revealing that the 91% figure may questionable, since it appears the authors may have combined the figures for victims who weren’t wearing a helmet with those where it’s unknown whether or not a helmet was used.

As he points out, that’s a big no-no, statistically speaking.

And it’s definitely not true in California.

Separating out the unknowns from the cases where it’s known if the victim was wearing a helmet, the figure drops to just 63% of bike riders killed in California in 2009 were without helmets.

And it drops even further in recent years, as just 53% — barely over half — of cyclists killed in the state in 2012 weren’t wearing one.

Hardly the overwhelming statistic that would justify forcing every rider to wear a helmet under every circumstance.

……..

Local

Built it and they will come. Afternoon rush hour biking in Santa Monica is up 67% between 2011 and 2013, while overall bike commuting rose from 2.3% to 3.7% from 2010 to 2013. That corresponds with the city’s efforts to improve conditions for cyclists, with 45 miles of new bike lanes and sharrows since 2011.

Writing for HuPo, Joel Epstein reports on a panel discussion questioning whether LA has embarked on a bicycling revolution that will bring about post-car dominated city embracing transit, biking and walking. We can only hope.

Bicyclists get new bike racks in Echo Park. Which should come in handy since bikes are forbidden from the pathways around it.

Two UCLA alums will ride from San Francisco to New York to promote science education, especially for girls.

Don’t miss tonight’s Town Hall Meeting of the Westwood Village Improvement Association to discuss the Remove Nothing Plan for much-needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

CICLE’s Tweed, Moxie and Mustaches Ride rolls on Sunday.

 

State

The editor of the Stockton paper says yes, helmets are important, but mandating them is the wrong answer. The Woodland newspaper disagrees, though they could do without the tasteless and highly offensive cartoon that accompanies the editorial — which also appeared down here in the Daily Breeze, though they don’t seem to have posted it online.

The Times looks at the route for this year’s Tour of California.

A San Diego woman suffers major head injuries despite wearing a helmet after touching wheels with her husband’s bike.

Signs warning drivers about the state’s new three-foot passing law go up outside of Napa.

 

National

Salon looks at why it’s so hard to punish killer drivers.

A Seattle rider travels all of the city’s protected bike lanes in a single day. That would be a lot easier here in LA.

A Wyoming paper calls for a statewide bike path, calling it a visionary proposal. Depending on the route, it could pas through some breathtaking scenery and be a huge draw for bike tourism, as well as long-distance recreational riding.

When life gives you snow, build a 40-foot long bike tunnel to get through it like they did in Boston. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

International

A Dutch bike team has to go home after thieves steal all their bikes and equipment from the team truck.

Rising American rider Teejay van Garderen misses a chance to win the Tour of Oman after the fifth stage was cancelled due to sandstorms and extreme temperatures.

Another attempt to ride around the world has ended in tragedy in Thailand, as a Chilean cyclist attempting to set a record by riding 155,350 miles across five continents in five years is killed in a collision, less than two years after a British couple on a similar quest lost their lives in the country. Tragically, the wreck happened right in front of the victim’s wife, who was riding separately with their two-year old son.

 

Finally…

San Francisco police recover a stolen bike, but release the suspect because the bike hadn’t been reported stolen yet, except it had. Let’s get one thing straight: It’s not a bicycle if it has more than two wheels, electric or not. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

And Bicycling says if you want to lose weight and improve your performance, put butter in your coffee. No, seriously.

You first.

 

Morning Links: The Tour of California comes back to LA; Calbike petition opposes mandatory bike helmet law

The Amgen Tour of California announces the stages for this year’s race.

The courses include another ride up Mt. Baldy, along with a final stage from LA Live through NELA to the Rose Bowl. Maybe they can make the argument for bike lanes on North Figueroa while they’re passing through.

But former Tour of California winner Chris Horner’s team is snubbed this year.

Meanwhile, a North Carolina writer calls for an American Tour de France-style stage race, evidently never having heard of the Tour of California or Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge.

Then again, wouldn’t it be great if they combined the two into a single two week race running from the Rockies to the coast?

……..

HuffPo offers a pretty balanced look at SB 192, which would require all bike riders, including adults, to wear helmets and reflective hi-viz. Bakersfield cyclists are split on the issue.

Calbike has an online petition to oppose it. And yes, I’ve signed it.

Then again, more riders might voluntarily wear helmets if it would improve their Strava times.

……..

Local

A good job for a great organization. CICLE is looking for a Web Developer/SEO Engineer. And yes, I know CICLE is an acronym, but I got tired of typing all those periods all the time.

An LA cyclist lists the top 20 questions he gets asked as a bike commuter. I’ve gotten every one of those myself in one form or another.

LADOT wants your input on redesigning their website, which will include a new version of the agency’s bike blog.

KCET looks at the LA River bike path, and how it could be affected by plans to expand the I-710 Corridor.

The Hispanic-owned EGP newspaper chain becomes the latest to endorse Jose Huizar for re-election in CD14.

 

State

Red Kite Prayer’s Padraig makes a call for brighter colored bikewear to keep from getting run over.

A Santa Ana bike rider suffers non-life-threatening injuries when he’s hit by a car.

San Luis Obispo residents rise up against a utility box adorned with a brightly colored painting of a bike rider; I’m not sure if it’s the bright colors or the bike they find most offensive.

Turlock cyclists want safe, connected routes; then again, don’t we all?

More tragedy from the Bay Area, as a 14-year old bike rider is killed in Concord. As usual, the teenage victim gets the blame. Thanks to Anthony Ryan for the heads-up.

A hearing is set for next week for the San Francisco 49ers player charged with hit-and-run after striking a cyclist with his car, as well as possessing brass knuckles; he was driving on a suspended license at the time.

Two thousand Berkley bike riders have been hit by cars in the last 14 years, not counting the collisions that haven’t been reported.

 

National

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske moves back to VeloNews after writing for Bicycling magazine for the past several years.

Bike riders fear for their safety on Vegas roads.

People for Bikes says the lesson from Denver’s crowdfunded bikeway isn’t about raising money, it’s about raising a movement.

Even Wyoming is considering how to build a network of protected bikeways.

Montana considers scrapping the requirement for cyclists to ride to the right, replacing it with a standard allowing them to ride where they feel safest. The bill would also allow drivers to cross the center line to pass a bike when safe to do so, something our misguided governor vetoed a few years back.

Auto-centric Houston will get its first new bike master plan in 20 years.

One of the architects of New York’s Citibike bike share program says splitting a bike share network up into separate nodes — like how LA is planning to roll out its plan — is a recipe for failure.

 

International

The British Columbia woman charged with booby trapping a popular mountain bike trail now faces trial on a single count, after two other charges were dropped.

The Department of DIY is hard at work in Canada, where Halifax bicyclists designed their own network of protected bike lanes.

London advocates say cyclists are an afterthought when it comes to road safety standards.

A London cyclist suffers a broken pelvis when he’s shoved off his bike by another rider. Seriously, the last thing we need is road raging bike riding jerks; violently pissed off drivers are bad enough.

A UK van driver tells bike riders to stay awesome.

An Irish model is a bundle of nerves when she rides through Dublin; she may have reason for concern.

An Amsterdam designer builds a wood and aluminum bike using 3D printing, but that’s not nearly as cool as building a Louisville Slugger bike.

An Aussie writer questions whether parking adjacent bike lanes are havens or door zones of death.

Bangkok builds a new bike path under an expressway.

 

Finally…

Okay, so it’s not bike related. But Curbed has created a pretty good bingo card for when the New York Times — or pretty much any out of town newspaper — writes about LA. Win an Oscar, and get a statue of a little naked guy; lose, and you’ll get a new bike from Martone Cycling so you can #biketheOscars next year.

And a Brit cow evidently decides if it can’t ride a bike, it might as well wear one.

 

Morning Links: Glendale legislator wants to mandate helmets and hi-viz; help Finish the Ride fight hit-and-run

Forget riding in regular clothes. Or going out for a quick ride without your helmet.

Or even building a successful bike share program.

All those are likely to be tossed out the window if Glendale State Senator Carol Liu has her way.

Not that she’s anti-bike. In fact, I’m told that she’s a regular supporter of bike initiatives.

But on Wednesday, Liu surprised everyone by introducing a proposed law that would require all bike riders, even those over 18, to wear a bike helmet every time they ride. Along with reflectorized hi-visibility clothing anytime they — that is, you — ride after dark.

And by surprised, I mean blindsided. Even people who regularly work with the senator on bike issues had no idea this bill was in the works.

The reaction was almost instantaneous. And universally negative.

Cyclelicious calls it the “Remove Cyclists From California Roads Law of 2015″ or, alternatively, the “Harass Minorities On Bikes Law of 2015,” both of which have been the result of misguided attempts to impose and enforce helmet laws elsewhere.

Longbeachize cites stats and studies to support the argument that the choice to wear a helmet should remain just that.

And Streetsblog points out it doesn’t address the actual dangers on our streets, like distracted driving and speeding.

Let’s ignore the fact that while requiring bike helmets has been shown to reduce the level of head injuries in other countries, it’s done so by reducing the level of bike riding. Fewer cyclists on the road mean fewer riders getting hurt.

And that helmet laws for riders under 18 in this country have been blamed in part for the dramatic drop-off in bike ridership by America’s youth.

Never mind that Australia’s restrictive helmet law has been blamed for the failure of bike share programs in that country, since no one can legally rent one without donning a helmet.

The simple fact is, bike helmets are not the magic safety devices many people wish they were.

Bike helmets are only designed to provide protection in impacts up to 12.5 mph. In other words, a relatively slow fall off your bike, not a collision with a speeding car.

Yes, they can offer some degree of protection in a wreck. But thinking of them as the bicycle equivalent of a seat belt or air bag is dramatically off base.

And while they can help prevent head trauma, they aren’t designed to prevent concussions. Or to protect against injury to any other part of the body.

Which is something Senator Liu should understand, since her own nephew was wearing a helmet when he was killed, and his girlfriend paralyzed, in a collision with a drunk driver in 2004.

Yes, I always wear a helmet when I ride. But I never count on it to save my life.

A bike helmet should always be seen as a last line of defense if all else fails, not the first. It’s far better to avoid collisions and falls in the first place.

And like the requirement to wear hi-viz after dark, it puts the responsibility for safety on cyclists, rather than on government officials, road planners and yes, drivers to ensure our roads are safe.

Just like those ridiculous flags pedestrians are expected to wave as they cross the street. And in a marked crosswalk, no less.

It leaves it up to us not to get hit, rather than up to drivers not to hit us.

A far better alternative would be to encourage, rather than attempt to force, helmet use allowing bike riders to discount the cost of a helmet on their taxes. And encouraging federal officials to raise the safety standards for bike helmets to do more good in real world situations.

Along with taking steps to educate both cyclists and drivers, and improve out streets to prevent collisions in the first place.

Let’s hope this wannabe law dies a quick and quiet death in the legislature. Before it ends up killing the bike boom we’re currently experiencing.

Thanks to Bill Davidson for the heads-up.

……..

Davidson also points out that other ridiculous proposed bike law, which would have required bikes to have a blinking white tail light after dark has been amended to require a blinking red light instead.

Probably because as originally written, it would have gone against traffic safety regulations for virtually every country around the world, which require white lights in the front and red lights on the rear of virtually every vehicle.

On the other hand, many cyclists are currently breaking the law by using a red tail light, rather than the red reflector our outdated laws currently require.

Bike riders should have the option to use a red light, blinking or steady, in place of a reflector. And to use lights, ankle straps or other means of signaling their presence in place of the wheel and pedal reflectors currently required.

The point should be to maximize visibility and safety.

Not adhere to obsolete regulations that do neither.

……..

Damian Kevitt’s Finish the Ride foundation is preparing to post their first billboards to fight the epidemic of hit-and-run.

But they need your help to raise the funds needed to put them up.

He’s also looking for input on which of the two alternative concepts you prefer. If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments below and I’ll make sure he sees them.

H&R Billboard 1

H&R Billboard 2

……..

Must read piece by Stephen Corwin on LA’s disastrous addiction to cars, which he compares to cancer. And says driving less won’t fix it.

……..

Good advice from CABO on how to fight a bad bike traffic ticket.

……..

A webinar will be held on Friday, February 27th to discuss how stress level analysis can result in more effective bike network planning.

……..

Local

Flying Pigeon says South Pasadena officials deserve to be sued for blocking LA bike lanes from connecting with their equivalent on the other side of a dangerous bridge.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department recommends registering your bike to keep it from being a target for thieves.

CICLE is looking for Web Developer/SEO Engineer.

Santa Monica’s upcoming bike share program is officially named Breeze. Which will inevitably lead to comments like “Breeze blows” the any time a problem develops.

The monthly Spoke(n) Art Ride rolls this Saturday.

The authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles will host a ride with the LACBC this Sunday to the Pointe Vincente Lighthouse.

Malibu is hosting a public meeting on Thursday to discuss the PCH Public Safety Study. If you ride the notoriously dangerous highway, make plans to be there.

 

State

A Laguna Beach writer says the city has done a lot in response to recent bicycling fatalities, but there’s more to be done. However, sharing a bike lane with pedestrians is never a good idea.

A Riverside cyclist is severely injured in yet another hit-and-run.

Safety is the top priority for this weekend’s Tour de Palm Springs after Lavonne Koester was killed during last year’s ride.

Bike advocates say San Francisco isn’t doing enough to fulfill its commitment to Vision Zero. On the other hand, they’re doing more than LA is.

Bike racks sprout in downtown Merced.

 

National

CityLab takes an in-depth look at road rage, and says the solution may lie in better street design and road planning. Meanwhile a Seattle writer says middle fingers won’t solve anything.

An Arizona hit-and-run driver admits to smoking dope on a daily basis, but blames his eight-year old victim anyway.

My hometown newspaper concludes their devastating look at a local hit-and-run by asking if justice was done. Also a must read.

A Pennsylvania man rides his bike every day. And has for 32 years.

Now that’s more like it. A severely drunk Louisiana driver faces up to 30 year in prison for killing one cyclist and severely injuring another; the driver’s BAC was nearly four times the legal limit.

 

International

Today is International Winter Bike to Work Day. Which should be very easy to do here in LA.

Just in time for Valentines Day, Vancouver gets heart-shaped bike racks. Then again, so does London.

After a Canadian bike rider is seriously injured in a collision, he gets a $6,000 bill from the driver’s insurance company for damage to the SUV that laid him up for three months.

Twitter helps a London cyclist get his bike back four months after it was stolen and taken to Spain, while another Brit can’t seem to get rid of one.

Plans for that London bike superhighway hits a snag when British officials decide they don’t want bike lanes besmirching Buckingham Palace. But all those traffic lanes in front of the palace are perfectly okay.

Evidently, it’s a universal problem. After Egypt installs bike lanes, they turn into parking lots.

An Aussie website compares underground bike racing to the Fast & Furious, and uses LA’s bike scene as the prime example.

 

Finally…

You’re not a MAMIL, you’re a grown man on bike. A Montana lawmaker’s proposed legislation would ban yoga pants, among other “provocative” garments, in response to Missoula’s equivalent of the World Naked Bike Ride is appropriately laughed out of committee.

And when you buy this $52,000 bike basket they’ll throw in the bike for free.

 

%d bloggers like this: