Tag Archive for Metro

Best and worst of California biking, confusing Metro 710 bike mess, and you don’t have to bike inside after all

Today’s must read belatedly came to my attention, after a week lost in my spam folder.

Calbike took a look back at best and worst of California biking last year, from Glendora’s low-cost quick-build Complete Streets demo, to proof that traffic jams improve safety, as bike and pedestrian deaths went up even as traffic levels decreased during the pandemic.

A few other highlights —

  • A pair of San Diego area bikeway prove persistence pays off
  • The Eastside’s Roadkill Gil gets a nod for worst abuse of political power
  • The failed anti0bike recall of Nithya Raman
  • Calbike’s big win on California’s new ebike subsidy program
  • The LA Times investigation of biased bike stops by sheriff’s deputies

Take a few minutes to read the whole thing. It may the most entertaining and informative thing you’ll read all day.

Aside from what you’re reading now, anyway.

Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels.

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Sometimes I don’t know what the hell to make of something.

Especially when it involves widening a freeway in a soon-to-be-failed attempt at relieving traffic congestion, as if induced demand isn’t even a thing.

Not to mention make a complete mess of things when it comes to bicycling.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports that’s the case with Metro’s recent presentation on the proposed widening of the 710 Freeway — excuse me, the multimodal transformation of the 710 corridor.

The $6 billion project was put on pause after decades of community complaints, cancellation by the EPA, pausing by Caltrans and suspension by the Metro board.

Which is one hell of a losing streak, if you ask me.

Now the project is once again rearing its ugly head, this time accompanied with references to rail and NextGen bus service.

And bike lanes. Well, sort of.

Or maybe not.

We’ll let Linton take it from here.

Metro’s video states that there is a “protected bike lane” along the L.A. River, when the river facility is actually a bike path. The presentation emphasizes that there is “a lack of designated bike routes,” though cyclists know that bike routes are typically meaningless. Metro’s “Bike Routes [sic]” map labels many bike paths as protected bikeways, and maps numerous protected bikeways in lots of places where they don’t exist: East L.A., Vernon, Carson, etc. (Hint for Metro’s intern: the only protected bikeways in the study area are in the city of Long Beach.)

I hesitated writing about this for over a week, thinking my feeble diabetes and drug addled brain just couldn’t make sense of it.

Then I finally realized it didn’t make sense to me because it just doesn’t make sense.

Like Metro somehow not knowing the difference between an imaginary protected bike lane and an actual riverfront bike path, albeit one with an eight-mile gap through DTLA.

Or that they would somehow invent a network of nonexistent protected bike lanes that would make vaporware look good.

I’d suggest Metro needs to get their shit together, but it looks like they already put their #2 staffer on it.

Pun intended.

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Let’s all shed a tear for Peloton’s CEO, who is no longer a billionaire after the company’s stock has dropped 85% since its pandemic peak.

Meanwhile, Alissa Walker reminds us that you don’t have to settle for riding a bike indoors.

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We may have to worry about aggressive LA drivers. But at least we don’t have to dodge angry wild turkeys just to get a ride in.

Frequent contributor Megan Lynch can give thanks she had a much milder encounter with some skinnier and less aggressive toms.

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What could possibly go wrong with this?

Unless maybe you’re the bike rider waiting patiently for a little old lady to make it all the way to the other side, while an impatient driver runs up on your ass, horn blaring.

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No wonder they called it the Great War.

Sure, they may have had to fight on an unforgiving front in a brutal war, but at least they got to ride bikes.

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

No bias here. English police don’t bother to do anything about a driver’s dangerously close pass on a blind curve, but give a warning for the bike rider’s bad language in response.

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

A Brit man on a mountain bike more than lived up to this section’s theme by punching a delivery driver in the eye after claiming he cut him off.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. The LAPD is looking for a trio of hit-and-run drivers who injured one pedestrian and a person riding an e-scooter, and killed another pedestrian in three separate crashes the Jefferson Park neighborhood this month.

Riders on the LA River bike path may eventually have something besides a concrete river channel to look at when the path is finally extended from Elysian Park through DTLA to Maywood; the new infrastructure bill contains $28 million to restore 11 miles of the river to some semblance of a more natural state from Glendale to Downtown Los Angeles.

Get ready to rumble in Palmdale, where Caltrans is proposing removing street parking along a section of State Route 138 to make room for bike lanes, as well as pedestrian improvements to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is sure to rile up the local citizenry and businesses.

 

State

Sad news from San Jose, where a man who had survived getting struck by a driver while riding a motorized bike last October died due to complications stemming from his injuries.

 

National

Bike Hacks offers a clickbait-friendly seven reasons why every college student should have a bicycle.

The driver who killed the wife of one of Tesla’s co-founders as she rode a bike outside of Reno is facing six years after pleading guilty to felony reckless driving.

Streetsblog considers whether Chicago speed cams are racist because they disproportionately ticket people of color, or if the real problem is racist road design in low-income neighborhoods that encourage people to speed.

The trial of a Black Illinois bike rider accused of fatally shooting a car passenger who he says called him a racial slur was nearly derailed when a witness said a defense paralegal had posed as a police officer to interrogate him at work.

Seriously? A Massachusetts letter writer complains that a new bike lane is dangerous and will get someone killed because drivers have to cross it to make a right turn, and have to watch out for people on bikes when leaving a parking space. You know, pretty much like virtually every other bike lane on the face of the earth, aside from Denmark and the Netherlands, of course.

A pair of Brown University students have created what they describe as “Waze for bikes” to help overcome the woes we usually face.

 

International

Brompton is introducing its first Ti frame, sub-17 pound foldie.

Britain’s biggest bicycle retailer is offering commuters free use of an ebike if their train is cancelled due to the ongoing disruptions caused by the Omicron variant.

Speaking of Denmark, it’s the bike-friendly country’s Year of the Bike, with the Tour de France scheduled to start in Copenhagen, and a commitment to spend $64 million on bike lanes this year — part of a whopping $458 million bicycling infrastructure plan. Then again, every year is the year of the bike for Danish residents.

Dutch bikemaker Van Moof introduces a twin engine “hyperbike” ebike — even though its 31 mph top speed makes it illegal in Europe and much of the US, including California.

Jerusalem residents are demanding bike lanes on congested Hebron Road, and getting the cold shoulder from city hall.

An Aussie urban designer explains how the country could become a world leader in bicycle friendly cities, starting with prioritizing bikes and pedestrians over cars. Which should be the starting point for all traffic laws everywhere. Especially right here in Los Angeles.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Colorado hedge fund is taking a new approach to pro cycling’s failing business model by earmarking a percentage of their management proceeds to support USA Cycling and other cycling organizations.

 

Finally…

Remember to unplug your ebike before it explodes. Now you, too can look like your heroes from L39ion of Los Angeles.

And “If you’re in a four wheel drive, you can f**k off.”

Now that’s a lyric we can all relate to.

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

Metro motion rethinks bikeshare system, Flax says sharrows are bullshit, and McSweeney’s says fuck you, I’m a cyclist

Metro is rethinking their bikeshare program.

Which could be a good thing.

A board motion submitted LA Councilmember Paul Krekorian, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, County Supervisor Shiela Kuehl and Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval proposes a number of changes to the Metro Bike system, in part to address theft of the bikes.

Currently, Metro only has 38% of the total original fleet remaining in operation. Metro Bikes have been targets of theft, and rates of fleet loss ebb and flow as new methods of theft are discovered and addressed. The Metro Bike Share team has increased efforts to recover lost and stolen bicycles but this is not sustaining the fleet and the program does not have an established fleet replenishment strategy. As a result, fewer Metro Bikes are available for use, which degrades the quality of service available to the public.

Although I’d think having nearly 40 percent of the original bikes still in operation after five years is pretty damn good.

Regardless, the five are requesting that the Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins report back in 90 days on a number of proposed changes, most of which have nothing to do with addressing bike theft.

A. An action plan to stabilize the current fleet size including actions for how to identify, prioritize, and address new mechanisms of theft as they arise.

B. An action plan to address equitable access in the current program and in any future form of the program. This plan shall include recommendations on issues such as serving people who may be unbanked, addressing the digital divide, and keeping fare cost low.

C. A plan to provide uninterrupted service as the next iteration of the program is determined and executed.

D. A plan to convene an industry forum (as was performed for Metro Micro) to bring together academics, cities with existing bike share programs, community stakeholders, and industry experts to provide recommendations on advancing Metro Bike Share beyond the current contract in one of several forms including but not limited to

  • Continuing Metro Bike Share as a contracted service,
  • Operating the program In-house with Metro employees,
  • A private-sector model with financial subsidy provided by Metro.

E. Performing a market survey to identify best practices and business models among existing bike-share systems in the US, and comparable global systems (e.g., Paris, London, Barcelona, Madrid, and Mexico City), and to develop comparative data on subsidy cost per ride, total ridership, size of fleet, vehicle technology, theft and damage loss and prevention, and alternative financing sources like sponsorship and advertising.

F. Recommendations for continuing and evolving the Metro Bike Share program to meet the goals of the agency, with countywide stakeholder engagement and consideration of cost-sharing, with the goal of expanding service area and local participation to all subregions in the County. These recommendations should include eligible local, state, and federal funding sources for capital and operations budgets, as well as legislative opportunities to expand such funding eligibility.

All of these should be positives, if they’re carried out with a clear intention to maintain the bikeshare system and improve service.

Especially finding better ways to equitably serve low income communities.

As it stands right now, there doesn’t appear to be reason for concern. The question will be what form the response takes when Wiggins reports back in February.

That’s when we’ll want to give her recommendations a close look. And make sure the program is moving forward, not back.

Thanks to an anonymous source for the heads-up. 

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Somehow I missed this one from our friend Peter Flax, who politely proclaims that sharrows are bullshit.

But we haven’t even gotten to the suckiest part yet. These days sharrows are deployed as a bad-faith alternative to actually making roads safer for bike riders. In recent years, sharrows have become increasingly popular as cities try to balance calls from safety advocates to install quality bike lanes — you know, so folks feel more encouraged to ride and get killed a little less often — and grumpy motorists who don’t want to relinquish driving lanes or parking spaces for bike infrastructure. To the politicians and engineers stuck in the middle, sharrows seem like a devilishly perfect compromise — a way to placate the pro-car populists while still being able to claim you did something.

In short, they are perfect for city officials who care enough about safety to do the very least. There’s only one problem: Sharrows are make believe safety infrastructure.

By now, you probably already know my take.

That sharrows are nothing more than an attempt by transportation agencies to thin the herd, with little arrows painted on the pavement to help drivers improve their aim.

The best you can say is they offer a placemaking guide for people on bicycles, while showing riders where they should position themselves to control the lane.

If they’re placed correctly, that is.

And if riders feel comfortable in the middle of the lane in front of too often impatient and angry drivers.

Instead, you usually see people riding next to them on the right, increasing the risk of unsafe passes. If you see them at all, since many riders seem to prefer other routes that place them in less risk of getting run over.

Which is probably smart. Because as Flax notes, a 2018 study found that sharrows are actually worse than nothing when it comes to safety.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Because he’s right.

Sharrows really are bullshit.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip

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Then there’s this bizarre, incomprehensible, and supposedly tongue-in-cheek screed from McSweeney’s.

It gets worse.

That was followed by this tweet from McSweeney himself, justifying the piece.

It’s a sure sign you missed the mark when you have to tell people something is funny.

Or when you have to say, no, really, we ride bikes, too.

Because it ain’t satire if it’s not funny.

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When is a protected bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s a parking lot for government cops.

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Recently retired pro Tejay van Garderen had his own bikes stolen recently while moving to Denver.

So if you’re in the Denver area, keep an eye out for them. And it wouldn’t hurt to watch out wherever you are, because high-end bikes like these could turn up anywhere.

According to Jonathan Vaughters, that second bike is the one that put van Garderen in the white jersey signifying the best young rider in the 2012 Tour de France.

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Love this photo that’s the very definition of fin de siècle style and cool.

Here’s what the tweet says, for those of us who are Español challenged.

Bicycles have remained remarkably the same for over 100 years, elegant in their efficiency and simplicity; the look of the cyclists has not changed much either.

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Another reminder of the exceptional efficiency of bike lanes.

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Tonight would be great for a not-so-moonlit ride, with the eclipse starting around 9 pm on the West Coast, and reaching it’s peak around 1 am, if you can get away from the coastal fog and clouds.

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

Singapore police are looking for a hit-and-run bicyclist who fled the scene after crashing head-on into woman on a bicycle.

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Local

Long Beach’s multi-modal, bike-commuting captain of the annual floating Christmas tree display is retiring after 39 years on the job, without a single day driving to or from work.

 

State

A 75-year old man was seriously injured when he was run down from behind by a driver while riding his bike on Cushing Road near San Diego’s Liberty Station; fortunately, his injuries aren’t expected to be life threatening.

 

National

Talk about a misguided take. A writer for the New York Times calls out “obscure” “fringe, niche” measures and “special interest breaks” included in the Build Back Better bill currently under consideration in the US House — like the not-so-obscure $900 tax rebate program for ebike purchasers, which has been openly discussed and debated.

The hometown paper in Grand Junction, Colorado, when my former Iditarod-mushing brother lives and rides these days, says there’s plenty more the city could do to make riding a bike a safer and more enjoyable experience. Pretty much like everywhere else.

Colorado police have busted an eight man bike theft ring responsible for $1.5 million worth of stolen bicycles; they face a combination of more than 200 charges.

Chicago Streetsblog calls out a Chicago-style hot dog stand for banning bikes from its drive-through. Although another Windy City hot dog purveyor says bikes are more than welcome at theirs.

A Cleveland TV station talks with several bike commuters about their safety concerns, including better infrastructure and getting more respect from drivers.

A 22-year old hit-and-run driver will now face a murder charge after a preliminary investigation showed he was speeding on his way to work, and high on weed, when he slammed into a six-year old Detroit boy just riding his bike across the street.

The Philadelphia Inquirer joins a mounting chorus saying the recently signed infrastructure bill may be big, but it won’t change America’s misguided focus on cars.

‘Tis the season. Alabama’s 91-year old “Bicycle Man” rescued and repaired 30 discarded bicycles for a holiday giveaway program for children in need.

The mother of the 14-year old Palm Beach, Florida boy who was found dead hours after leaving for a bike ride says he lost control and flipped his bicycle, and there was no foul play involved.

 

International

Treehugger rates the best cargo bike trailers of 2021.

Cyclist offers a beginner’s guide to every part that makes up a road bike.

Smart move. Montreal is setting up an online reporting system just for pedestrian and bicycle crashes in the downtown area, where most such crashes occur. Something we could use here, where police too often don’t even want to take a report unless someone is seriously injured.

In another step backward, the Swiss government is calling for mandating bike helmets for anyone over the age of 12. Before anyone gets upset, I never ride my bike without a helmet. But helmet laws have repeatedly been shown to be counterproductive, while giving police an excuse to target people on bicycles. And too often people of color and homeless bike riders.

What to give your favorite Philippine bike rider this holiday season.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenia’s Primož Roglič says he’s not the cycling Terminator everyone thinks he is.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you rescue a bike from the trash because it has the weirdest, coolest brakes you’ve ever seen. Nothing like a casual bike ride up an 18,000 foot Peruvian peak through two feet of snow.

And what’s the underwater equivalent of Viking Biking?

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

Fed ebike tax rebate cut again, DTLA flyover would raise risk for Figueroa riders, and South Pasadena Community Ride

The up and down, back and forth tug-of war continues on the federal ebike tax rebate program.

What started out as a $1,500 tax credit on the purchase of an ebike was cut to $750 in a House committee, before being restored to the original $1,500, or 30% of the purchase price.

It’s now back down to a maximum $900, or 30% of the purchase price of a ebike up $4,000, after being cut yet again in a House committee.

Never mind that the bills also provide tax benefits up to $12,500 for an electric car, providing yet more assistance to many of those who need it least, while continuing the country’s harmful over reliance on motor vehicles.

And proving yet again that our elected leaders just don’t get the crisis we’re in, both in terms of traffic safety and congestion, and the most effective solutions to the climate emergency facing our country, and the world.

Although on the plus side, the bill would increase the pre-tax commuter benefit for riding a bike to work from $20 per month to a slightly less paltry $81.

Of course, all of that is moot if the bills don’t manage to get through both the House and the Senate.

And their prospects are just as murky as the heavy fog blocking my view out the window right now.

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I had thought this disastrous Metro highway project had been put out of our misery when it first raised its ugly head a few years ago.

Evidently not.

https://twitter.com/rootsimple/status/1456089321522405377

As this thread notes, freeway projects disproportionately target poorer neighborhoods and people of color, and this one is no exception.

It’s also true that it makes no sense to keep building massive freeway projects during a climate emergency, when it’s vital that we shift people out of their cars in favor of transit, walking and biking.

Spending millions on a project that will merely result in yet more induced demand, while destroying a neighborhood and greatly increasing the risk to people on bicycles is like lighting a match to our future and community.

Never mind that, like the thread points out, the many millions to be spent on this ramp, and the millions of dollars that have already been spent on consultants, would be better spent improving transit service and making it free for everyone.

Instead of a wasteful project that will only benefit a relative handful of people in cars, while ultimately making traffic and the environment worse.

You would think Metro would have learned from their disastrous widening of the 405 through the Sepulveda pass, which wasted $1.1 billion to make traffic congestion even worse than it was before.

But evidently, you would be wrong.

https://twitter.com/rootsimple/status/1456089328698855428

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South Pasadena will host a community bike ride this Saturday with state Senator Anthony Portantino and Mayor Pro Tem Michael Cacciotti.

Thanks to Michael Siegel for the heads-up. 

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Here’s the equivalent of 3,000 words on problem with the concept of shared responsibility.

Because the potential for harm is anything but equal.

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It’s hard to believe people on bikes gain a lot of supporters by blocking intersections, especially from the people stuck in their cars.

But it does make us more visible.

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Needlessly close call, as an impatient driver in the UK nearly hits an oncoming car head-on while trying to pass a group of bike riders occupying a narrow lane.

The riders are lucky neither driver swerved their way to avoid the near crash, which could have resulted in multiple injuries.

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

A man described as a male “Karen” approached a trio of Black women filming a TikTok video in Seattle, ordering them to pick up their phone “real quick” before pushing over their bicycle for no apparent reason.

https://www.tiktok.com/@hollymichelle206/video/7025687282413849902?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailydot.com%2F&referer_video_id=7025687282413849902&refer=embed

Unbelievable. A Black man was racially targeted as he stopped briefly while riding a bike in his own Houston neighborhood, after a man told him he didn’t belong there and was making people nervous, then got out of his car and smashed the victim’s phone before brutally attacking him and slamming his head on the concrete. Yet his White attacker was arrested on a simple misdemeanor charge and released on a ridiculously insulting $100. More proof just how un-seriously authorities take attacks on people of color, and people on bicycles.

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Local

The LA Times’ Patt Morrison says, contrary to the gospel of Who Killed Roger Rabbit, we’re all responsible for the death of LA’s Red and Yellow car streetcar systems. Maybe we should take those billions Metro has budgeted for traffic-inducing highway projects and rebuild the streetcar system by taking a lane from every major street to lay down the tracks.

The LA City Council’s Public Safety Committee approved a motion calling for the city attorney to draft an ordinance banning bicycle chop shops on public property. Even though chop shops dealing in stolen bicycles are already illegal.

A recent survey conducted in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Korean shows 91% of people in the Los Angeles area support revitalizing the Los Angeles River, regardless of ethnicity.

A bike rider was critically injured while riding on Sherman Way in North Hollywood early Wednesday morning; the victim was apparently riding without lights two hours before sunrise. And for a change, the driver stuck around afterwards.

 

State

KCBS-2 reports Orange County has seen a whopping 500% increase in ebike injuries compared to this time last year. But they fail to consider whether ebike sales and usage have increased a similar, or even greater, amount, while sounding the alarm about the bikes supposed dangers.

A local Pacific Beach newspaper looks forward to Sunday’s CiclaSDias open streets event in the San Diego neighborhood.

A Berkeley paper remembers local artist Claudia Hoffberg, who passed away this past August at the age of 62; Hoffberg was noted for yarn-bombing bike racks throughout the Bay Area.

Tragic news from the Bay Area, where Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan was killed by a driver while walking her dog across a street at an intersection called out in the Alameda Vision Zero plan for a high rate of injuries at the hands and bumpers of motorists.

NIMBYs seem to feel a constant need to remind us that this isn’t Copenhagen, or Amsterdam, or some other bike-friendly city. Now you can add smallish Davis to that list, where 20% of all non-recreational trips are taken by bike.

 

National

PeopleForBikes is teaming with battery recycler Call2Recycle to establish the first industry-wide ebike recycling program.

This is who we share the road with. Former Las Vegas Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs III had a BAC over twice the legal limit and was driving 156 mph just two seconds before he slammed into a car driven by 23-year old Tina O. Tintor, killing her and her dog in a fiery crash; Ruggs was released by the team hours later, and faces up to 20 years behind bars.

Denver voters approved a $63.3 million transportation initiative to expand sidewalks and bike lanes, as well as fund street projects.

Kindhearted Oklahoma cops came to the rescue when someone stole a young woman’s bike by raising funds to buy her a new one.

If you build it, they will come. Once again, a once controversial bike lane has become a resounding success, as a nearly two mile, two-way bike lane in New York’s Astoria district now averages two riders every minute at peak hours, with a high of 2,300 trips in a single day.

NPR rides with a New York delivery rider, discovering the risk of injury and theft the app-based workers face on a daily basis, along with clients who too often take problems with the food out on them.

Heartbreaking story from Athens, Georgia, where a man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike, eight years after his mother met the same fate while walking along a roadway; neither driver has been caught.

 

International

Once again, an Apple Watch has come to the rescue. An English bike rider credits his with saving his life when it automatically called for help after he was struck by a driver. Which is about the only reason I would want one. And yes, I do.

A billionaire British phone tycoon decries what he calls the “barbarian” conditions in an Italian hospital, after a blown bike tire exploded during a descent, leaving him fighting for his life.

That’s more like it. Dublin, Ireland responds to an increase in ridership by contracting for a pair of secure, indoor bicycle parking facilities capable of holding up to 300 bikes.

Needless to say, not everyone agrees with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s commitment to build a 100% bikeable city, yet she won re-election anyway, despite the doubters. Although her campaign for president remains mired in the single digits.

More on the new Indian bike brand developed to preserve traditional crafts, with everything but the wheels, seat, front fork and drive train made from bamboo.

Aussie footballer Jordan De Goey is one of us, mountain biking with a friend somewhere in California as he faces charges for harassment and assault stemming from incident at a Manhattan nightclub.

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI released the final rankings for the past racing season, dominated by Tadej Pogačar and Wout van Aert on the men’s side, and Annemiek van Vleuten and Elisa Longo-Borghini for the women. Meanwhile, the US is nowhere to be seen in the top five nations on either side.

Hungary will finally host the first three stages of the Giro, two years after the original plans were scrapped because of the pandemic.

Congratulations to 20-year old Lauren Lackman, a junior at Colorado Mesa University, on winning the women’s Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships.

 

Finally…

Who needs batteries? Your next (really weird looking) ebike could run on hydrogen. Your next foldie could have folding wheels, too.

And riding a bike provides infinite headroom.

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

Metro bikewashes 605 freeway expansion, LA council considers safety measures, and CicLAvia heads to South LA

Sometimes, the explanation stinks as much as the project.

And the location.

Anyone who ever drove the 605 Freeway through Baldwin Park and the City of Industry in years past noticed the stench of the duck farm long before it came into sight.

And it lingered long after, making you wonder if the odor was still wafting through the air, or burned into your olfactory nerve.

It’s been 20 years since work began to turn the poultry farm into a park. Although you have to wonder if even that is long enough to get the stink off the land.

But now the stench is wafting from the Metro boardroom, instead.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the board Planning Committee unanimously approved a $35 million project to widen the freeway interchange at the 605 and Valley Blvd. And is greenwashing it with supposed benefits to bike riders and pedestrians.

What’s depressing is how inexorably these small freeway expansion projects continue to advance. And the Metro gaslighting that now promotes polluting auto-focused freeway expansion as good for equity and for active transportation.

He goes on to note that Caltrans bizarrely certified that the project would have no negative environmental impact.

Because apparently, induced demand isn’t a thing anymore.

The 605/Valley Blvd project was environmentally cleared via a negative declaration (asserting the project has no adverse environmental impacts) approved by Caltrans in May 2021. The environmental documents use discredited Level of Service metrics to show that widening roadways would “reduce congestion on Valley Boulevard” and “alleviate mobility constraints.” The project would widen roads, increasing car congestion and concomitant pollution burdens on the surrounding communities.

Equally bizarre, though, is Metro’s attempts at greenwashing the project by touting its extremely limited benefits to alternative transpiration.

Again, from Linton’s Streetsblog piece —

Caltrans and Metro tout the project as benefiting alternative transportation. The environmental documents assert that the project would “enhance bicyclist and pedestrian safety” and “help reduce GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions” by supporting alternative modes of transportation: biking and walking.

All of the non-car features of the project are:

  • Adding a sidewalk where it is currently missing on the north side of Valley Boulevard – including ADA-mandated features such as wheelchair ramps.
  • Adding “a widened shoulder to provide a future bike lane along Eastbound Valley Boulevard up to the northbound loop on-ramp.” Installing this 1,400-feet length of bike lanes does not appear to be actually included in the project, but the margin for potential future bike lanes is nonetheless noted as helping reduce GHG emissions.
  • Reducing the curve radius of the northbound loop on-ramp from eastbound Valley Boulevard; this “would be reduced to slow entering traffic to enhance safety for bicyclists and pedestrians and support use of these alternative modes.” Note that the reason the turning radius is being narrowed is to accommodate a second lane on the current one-lane on-ramp (without taking out the business next door). Caltrans asserts that an upcoming curve radius would slow Southern California drivers entering the on-ramp, and that this would encourage bicycling. Really.

All the extra bike riding this project would inspire wouldn’t begin to offset the environmental and climate damage it would cause.

Then again, it’s hard to offset anything when the bike and pedestrian side of the equation is virtually nil.

Unless you think a possible, noncommittal quarter-mile bike lane that may never be built is enough to offset what would undoubtedly be a major increase in traffic and emissions.

Or that safety for people on foot and bicycles can really be enhanced by adding a second onramp lane.

Admittedly, I’m not lawyer. But it seems like it wouldn’t take a very big cannon to shoot holes in the environmental report for this project.

Or a water pistol, for that matter.

So let’s be honest.

Every member of the Planning Committee who voted in favor of this project — which is all of them — should be ashamed.

Because whatever benefits this freeway widening project may or may not offer, their efforts to bikewash it with negligible benefits to bike riders and pedestrians stinks every bit as much as the duck farm did.

And it will take years to wash that stench off them, too.

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Nice to see an effort by LA Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz to use newly signed state laws to improve safety on our streets.

Then again, Koretz has always been in favor of safety improvements, as long as they’re in someone else’s district.

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CicLAvia has released details on December’s 5.3 mile open streets festival in South LA, connecting the neighborhoods of South Central, Exposition Park, Leimert Park and Crenshaw.

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Today’s must read comes from an Associated Press story that only tangentially involves bicycles.

Instead, it’s about kids as young as six years old being handcuffed and arrested by police — including brutal use-of-force incidents — the overwhelming majority of whom are Black, brown or other people of color.

Here’s just one example they cite.

About 165 miles due south, in the rural hamlet of Paris, Illinois, 15-year-old Skyler Davis was riding his bike near his house when he ran afoul of a local ordinance that prohibited biking and skateboarding in the business district — a law that was rarely enforced, if ever.

But on that day, according to Skyler’s father, Aaron Davis, police officers followed his mentally disabled son in their squad car and chased his bike up over a curb and across the grass.

Officers pursued Skyler into his house and threw him to the floor, handcuffing him and slamming him against a wall, his father said. Davis arrived to see police pulling Skyler — 5 feet tall and barely 80 pounds, with a “pure look of terror” on his face — toward the squad car.

“He’s just a happy kid, riding his bike down the road,” Davis said, “And 30 to 45 seconds later, you see him basically pedaling for his life.”

Seriously, there’s no damn excuse for targeting kids like this, unless they somehow pose a direct threat.

And that’s pretty hard to imagine for a six-year old.

Or an unarmed 15-year old just out for a bike ride.

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More evidence that motor vehicle exhaust lowers intelligence, as a Texas driver rolls coal into a Whataburger dining room.

@jaysonmanzanares0

Only in Texas #fypシ #smoke #funny #stupid #dumbass #viral #popular #outtaline #whataburger @Whataburger

♬ original sound – Jayson Manzanares

While it may seem like an obnoxious prank, it should be treated as an assault with a deadly weapon, which could have severe consequences for anyone with allergies or breathing problems.

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Who needs a bike car in the train when you’ve got one in front of it?

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

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

No bias here. Instead of improving safety, Korea’s leading steel maker is banning bicycles from its mills.

Singapore is banning bicyclists from riding in groups of more than ten people riding abreast, or five riding single file.

 

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

Calabasas sheriff’s deputies are looking for a bike-riding cosmetics shoplifter who raided the local Sephora and Ulta Beauty stores on at least four separate occasions.

Police in my Colorado hometown are looking for a peeping Tom who fled by bicycle after he was spotted, firing several shots at a group of people who tried to confront him.

A bike-riding Florida teenager says he was trying to kill himself to avoid going back to jail when he fatally shot a cop he was wrestling with, who was trying to arrest him for attempting to break into several cars.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

The New York Times explains why Newsom vetoed a handful of bills, including California’s proposed Stop As Yield law and one legalizing jaywalking. Meanwhile, SF Gate questions why Newsom vetoed the jaywalking bill, since everyone does it.

Here’s a chance to make some money while you ride your bike. Caltrans wants to pay you up to $250 a day to clean up trash along California highways.

Santa Barbara is hosting a pair of public meetings, virtual and otherwise, to discuss a possible bike/ped bridge over the 101 Freeway.

A Santa Cruz charity ride raised over $200,000 for local nonprofits. And no, it’s not named for conservative KFI shock jocks Jon and Ken.

Good news and bad news. Bay Area bike riders are happy to learn the hard-won bike lane on the Richmond-San Raphael Bridge won’t have to be closed for construction of a proposed water pipeline. But the approach leading to the bridge will be.

 

National

Seriously, who doesn’t need a limited edition Ozzy Osbourne bike jersey?

A climate website looks at the delivery riders on the front lines of the shakeup in sustainable transportation, and the price they pay with their own lives and bodies. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Outside offers advice on how to avoid low bone density, which has been linked to extensive bicycling.

Road Bike Action offers tips on how to be your own wrench.

Consumer Reports provides advice on how to keep your ebike running longer, while warning about the dangers of ebike battery fires.

A trio of Seattle physicians call on officials to reconsider a proposal to revoke the county’s mandatory bike helmet law, which has been used to unfairly target people of color.

Kindhearted Texas residents pitched in to buy a new ebike for a formerly homeless vet, after his homemade shoeshine cart and the jury-rigged ebike he built were stolen; he recovered the shoeshine cart, but his bike remains missing.

Hats off to a group of Rhode Island mountain bikers, who pitched in to scrub Nazi graffiti off state lands.

A former mountain biker from Seattle is in New York, replicating the Shadowman figures of 1980s street artist Richard Hambleton.

An op-ed from three New York teens calls on the city to develop The NYC Tube, a proposed inter-borough bicycle highway. We need something like that here in Los Angeles to connect at least some of the 88 cities in LA County. Let alone one crossing the City of LA itself.

Momentum Magazine talks with a stunt rider who calls himself Obloxkz, or O, about the Red Bull documentary NYC Bike Life and the ride-outs that continue to traumatize Long Island drivers.

Florida police are checking an abandoned bike for fingerprints, which may or may not have been the bike ridden by someone who may or may not have been Brian Laundrie, who may or may not be suspected in the death of Gabby Petito. Meanwhile, investigators are examining human remains found in a Florida nature reserve, which may or may not be Laundrie’s.

 

International

Intenet users teamed up to find a handicapped Vancouver man’s stolen handcycle, just 17 minutes after he posted a notice of the theft online.

An Italian ultracyclist is riding over 1,200 miles from Milan to Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference to spread the word about bicycling.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as India’s Relief Riders earn a nomination for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to deliver food and medicine to elderly, disabled and people isolating during the worst of the country’s pandemic.

An Indian man insists he loves his wife, despite running her down with his car as she rode her bicycle to work, then hacking her to death before attempting to cut her head off. Which makes you wonder what he would have done if he didn’t love her.

Malaysia threatens to jail people for up to three months for the crime of riding an e-scooter on public streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seems appropriate. Rising Belgian pro Remco Evenepoel will take part in the Kansas edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride, along with his Deceueninck-QuickStep teammate Mattia Cattaneo.

Seventeen top women’s teams have confirmed for next week’s inaugural Lion’s Den race in Sacramento, with a star-studded field including US Olympians Lily Williams and SoCal’s own Coryn Labecki, who was formerly known as Coryn Rivera before her recent marriage.

Cyclist looks forward to next year’s women’s Tour de France, calling it a week of brutal climbs and gravel.

A diabetes website talks with former Team Novo Nordisk cyclist Ezra Ward-Packard about the joys of competing with Type 1 diabetes. Thanks again to Keith Johnson. 

Cannondale is teaming with travel and language company EF Education First to sponsor new college cycling teams at one HBCU and two tribal colleges, with enough funding for three years.

Forty-seven-year old Natalie van Gogh is calling it a career after 15 years in the pro peloton, insisting she’s just Natalie, “not Natalie the transgender cyclist.”

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to ride your e-scooter on a highway, weaving in and out of traffic at up to 60 mph. Now you, too, can get your next bike from a haunted REI co-op.

And maybe it’s time we demanded a mandatory helmet law for deer.

Pretty impressive handspring as it tumbles offscreen, too.

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

Keeping dangerous drivers driving until it’s too late, Metro neighborhood bike guides, and Brompton guests on Ted Lasso

Once again, authorities have managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road and behind the wheel until it’s too late.

A 90-year Chico old man faces up to one year behind bars after pleading no contest to killing a 75-year old doctor in a dangerous pass, sideswiping his bicycle after failing to give a safe passing distance.

Shockingly, the crash came just three years after the then 84-year old man hit another bike rider on the same damn road.

Which is exactly when he should have been forced to give up his keys.

Permanently.

Admittedly, it’s difficult to know when an older person can no longer drive safely. And I know from experience just how hard it is to take the keys from a loved one.

But it’s the state’s job to do exactly that. And before they kill someone.

Which makes the DMV, police, and any prosecutors and judges who may have been involved in the earlier case just as responsible for this doctor’s death as the man who actually killed him.

And who shouldn’t have been allowed to drive in the first place.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

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CicLAvia wants to remind you that Metro has lots of recommendations of where to ride in transit-accessible neighborhoods throughout the city.

Meanwhile, CicLAvia returns this Sunday with a short 2.25-mile route in Wilmington.

Which makes this a great one to try if you want to walk or skate the route instead of riding.

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SCAG’s award-winning Go Human campaign is hosting an online conversation next Wednesday to discuss what works for advocacy work.

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You’re invited to join the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s free virtual bike summit today and tomorrow.

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The subtitles are Spanish, but the audio is in English.

As is the Brompton that’s becoming a featured character in the Apple TV+ series.

Spotted in Ted Lasso S2.E02 from Brompton

The link above is in case the embedded Reddit video doesn’t work. Which happens a lot.

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GCN offers a beginner’s guide to riding a bike.

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

The battle over whether bicyclists should ride abreast is bursting into open verbal warfare in the UK, as the founder of a motoring group warned against “fueling a war between drivers and cyclists,” even though his group fired the first shot by accusing the government of focusing transportation policy on “the privileged cycling few.”

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

The recent rash of bike-riding gropers has reared its ugly head in Palo Alto, where two women were assaulted by the same man in separate incidents.

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Local

The Easy Reader says now you can stop in for a hot burger or pancakes at Oceans Café & Grill at Dockweiler Beach the next time you ride the South Bay stretch of the beachfront Marvin Bruade Bike Trail.

 

State

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a Solano Beach man saved the life of another bike rider who collapsed on a bike path from a sudden, massive heart attack, performing CPR, without training, for five minutes until paramedics arrived.

A San Clemente man rode his bike across the country to attend his 50th high school reunion, while raising roughly $30,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

A Bay Area panel considers whether the quick build bike and pedestrian projects that popped up in cities surrounding the San Francisco Bay will survive the pandemic. Meanwhile, a former San Francisco realtor worries about added traffic surrounding the city’s Slow Streets, even though the people who live on the streets love them.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for City Observatory says yes, we need electric cars — but with a lot less driving.

CleanTechnica offers advice on commuting by ebike in a bike lane-free suburb.

Salt Lake Magazine says there’s no bust built into Utah’s pandemic bike boom. Although a Portland weekly isn’t so sure, especially when it comes to ebikes.

Sad news from my Colorado hometown, where longtime bicycle industry veteran George Parry died at the all-too-young age of 58 earlier this month. He spent stints as a designer and engineer with GT Bicycles and Schwinn/GT, Cannondale and Niner bikes, after getting his start as a mechanic at my favorite LBS back in the day.

Must be a small company. An Oklahoma City bikeshare provider says someone stole a full third of their bicycles, then listed serial numbers for the five missing bikes. Yes, five.

They get it. A Chicago panel says the disability and bicycle communities should join forces to promote their common interests, while a Pennsylvania TV station reminds us that an adaptive bike can be life-changing for a disabled child. Or adult, for that matter.

A Minnesota art installation features 857 pinwheels and butterflies to honor John Egbers, who was killed by a distracted driver while participating in the 2018 Trans Am cross-country bike race, along with the 856 other people whose lives were stolen by traffic violence while riding their bikes that year. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

The nonprofit 9/11 National Memorial Trail Alliance is hosting its 3rd annual Tour de Trail, a 24-mile ride to the Pennsylvania memorial for the victims of Flight 93 in honor of the 20th anniversary of America’s worst terrorist attack.

A Florida man will spend the next six years behind bars for stealing a $3,000 bicycle from a bike shop floor, then turning around and pawning it for $500.

 

International

British royal-in-law James Middleton introduces his new role as a bike riding, blogging dog whisperer.

No irony here. A Scottish rock band is offering free tickets and other swag to anyone who can help recover the stolen bicycle that was taken from the band’s guitarist for the group that calls itself Mark Sharp & The Bicycle Thieves.

 

Competitive Cycling

Say it ain’t so, Joe. The legendary Katie F’n Compton was banned for four years after testing positive for an undisclosed anabolic agent in an out-of-competition drug test last fall; the 42-year old, 15-time national ‘cross champ won’t be eligible to compete again until late 2024, after her suspension was backdated to the date of the failed test. But the doping era is over, right? I mean, that’s what they keep telling us.

The Los Angeles-based LA Sweat women’s cycling team is working to identify and encourage the next generation with their Junior Development Program. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

American Olympic BMX cyclist Connor Fields says he’s on the road to recovery after suffering a brain hemorrhage in a massive crash in Tokyo, but has no memory of several days, including the crash itself.

FloBikes looks forward to the upcoming mountain bike world championships in Trentino, Italy at the end of this month.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to do bike stunts on the front entrance to the local DOT office — in full view of the security cams, no less.

And that feeling when no one recognizes the random, 4-time Tour de France-winning “bicycle hiker” who rode into the shot.

Thanks to David Huntsman for forwarding the video.

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

Stripe DTLA bike lanes when fixing streets, Pomona bike rider gravely injured, and new bill ends CA’s auto-centric past

Los Angeles is finally getting around to repaving the streets of DTLA that have been torn up for five years of construction on a new subway connector line.

The problem is, they’re busy restoring them to the same failing, incomplete streets they were before.

While LADOT has made great progress building bike lanes in Downtown Los Angeles — the only neighborhood in all of LA that can claim an actual bike network — they’re still stuck in 1990s thinking, falling far short of what they could, and should, be doing.

This is what the longstanding B.I.K.A.S. — aka Bicycle Infrastructure Knowledge Activism and Safety — blog has to say on the subject.

After adding great new transit stations and new transit service – why restore streets back to the way they were in 2014? Why not upgrade them – adding first/last mile bike lanes to access the new stations?

Street restoration includes several wide streets with plenty of space for bike lanes: Flower Street, Hope Street, Alameda Street, and Temple Street. In addition, the city of L.A.’s Mobility Plan designates protected bike lanes on First Street and Second Street. Short new lanes on Third Street would connect a southbound Flower bike lane to its couplet partner northbound on Figueroa.

If Metro and the city of L.A. act now, they could implement numerous new bike lanes improving downtown’s already fairly good network of bikeways. Implementing them when post-construction streets are due for resurfacing saves the city time and money.

Make that pennies on the dollar compared to what it would cost to strip off the auto-centric painted lanes to add bike lanes at a later date.

Although no one has ever accused Los Angeles of thinking long term.

The blog calls for sending “respectful” emails to city officials, including our future ambassador to India, encouraging them to “implement a first/last mile Regional Connector bikeway network.”

Personally, I’d say demand, rather than encourage. But then, I’ve always been a pushy little son of a mother — especially when my safety and that of others who take to two wheels is concerned.

You’ll find a sample email there you can modify to make you own.

Or just use your own words.

But don’t let them get away with reverting to last century infrastructure in the only LA area where we’re actually making some real progress.

Map shows planned first/last mile bikeway network, from Metro Regional Connector street reconstruction page via B.I.K.A.S.

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Prayers or good thoughts may be called for, whatever you’re comfortable with, after a man was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Pomona Sunday night.

The victim was reportedly in grave condition after paramedics found him unresponsive fallowing the 9:31 pm crash near Fairplex Drive and Arroyo Avenue.

No ID was provided for the victim, and no explanation given for how the crash occurred. However, the driver remained at the scene, and was not considered to be under the influence.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Pomona PD Traffic Services Bureau at 909/802-7741.

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Now here’s a bill we should all be able to get behind.

Calbike is calling for your help to support AB 1147, from Burbank legislator Laura Friedman, which would finally move California out of its auto-centric past and present to a safer and more livable future for all of us.

Imagine a separated, limited access bikeway that gives you a frictionless ride across town or commute to work. That’s not science fiction or the fever dream of a Copenhagen urbanist. Bicycle highways and 15-minute neighborhoods, where most amenities and services are within a 15-minute bike ride, are just two of the forward-thinking concepts in AB 1147.

AB 1147 reorients transportation planning away from the car-choked past and towards a climate- and human-friendly future. It’s a visionary piece of legislation authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

The bill has passed the Assembly, but it faces a tougher fight in the Senate. It needs all the help it can get. Sign the petition to show your support

AB 1147 also envisions 15-minute neighborhoods, where shops and services are an easy bike ride from homes. Please sign now to help us pass this essential legislation.

I just signed it.

So what are your waiting for?

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A new campaign links Paris, New York and London in a data and persuasion driven effort to get their mayors to embrace car-reduction policies.

And renounce once and for all their auto-centric ways.

Car Free Megacities’s dashboard shows the striking similarities and also the differences between London, Paris and New York — the metrics the cities can use to learn rapidly from each other and take actions that will save lives, make streets healthier, pleasanter places and deliver critical progress toward urgent climate goals.

Maybe if we begged them pretty please we could get them to include a certain Left Coast megalopolis that desperately needs to renounce the error of its ways.

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Good Twitter thread from the estimable Peter Flax on the fallacies behind the usual calls for helmet laws and bike licenses, which once again raised their ugly head in NYC.

And coming soon to an anti-bike rant near you.

It’s worth clicking through on the tweets below to read the whole thing.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Claremont Cyclist Michael Wagner, author of CLR Effect, who asks “When is a bike lane not one?”

Answer, “When it is transformed into a garbage collection lane. One of many similar instances we encountered during Saturday’s Ride Around Pomona.”

Sad to see that the blight of bike lane trash bins extends so far east of East LA.

And yes, it’s my fault we don’t hear from Michael more often, since he’s always got something worthwhile to say.

So check it out.

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Don’t count on securing your own Metro bike locker anytime soon.

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These days, we all feel like refugees on SoCal streets.

Thanks to David Drexler for the photo of a proposed Beverly Hills “refuge.”

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Phillip Young calls our attention to a free exhibit of Italian steel at La Jolla’s The Museum Of __, which is apparently still trying to define just who and what they are.

But as long as they want to talk bikes, I’m okay with that.

3 Italian Steel Bicycles

From the Collection of Ron Miriello
June 5, 2021 through July 17, 2021

The Museum Of__ is pleased to present an exhibition of vintage steel bicycles handcrafted and built throughout Italy between 1978 and 1986 from the personal collection of Ron Miriello, a San Diego-based graphic designer, artist, and Italophile. For decades, Italian steel bicycles have been synonymous with finely detailed craftsmanship and storied histories, from their hand-painted lettering and unique details etched in steel, to headtube badges and wool jerseys celebrating the pride of their cities and villages.

Though once there was a bicycle maker in most every Italian town, streamlined manufacturing has shifted the bicycle world’s ethos and desire for more advanced technologies. A globalized industry has challenged the future of these family-run operations in favor of mass-production, but their stories of dedication to the craft continue through a community of devoted collectors of these steel wonders around the globe.

The exhibition is open from 11 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Saturday, at 7655 Girard Ave in La Jolla.

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

New York police are looking for a man who repeatedly punched a man in the face as he rode a Flatbush train with his bike, after they had an argument on the train.

A road raging Pennsylvania driver beat a bike-riding man with a golf club after trying, and failing, several times to swerve into him.

A 30-year old Welsh woman justifiably told off a male driver for making sexual remarks as she was riding her bike. Which is just one of the many things that can drive women off their bikes. So stop it, already. 

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Local

Spectrum News 1 looks at the recent rankings from PeopleForBikes, which shows Los Angeles trailing far behind other large cities when it comes to bicycling.

The cable news site also examines the LACBC’s virtual LA Rivers Challenge, which is continuing throughout this month.

LA casual bikewear brand Swrve gets a well-deserved shoutout in the New York Times, as they examine the shorts staffers will be wearing in comfort this summer.

 

State

A La Jolla cardiologist probably saved his own life by promising to tell police he was injured in a mountain biking crash, rather than suffering a severe beating at the hands of his neighbor, who pled to 19-years behind bars.

That feeling when you freak out after spotting creepy cloaked men in the middle of the desert on Google Earth, including one with a bicycle. Only to discover it’s an art exhibit in the middle of Death Valley.

In a bizarre disconnect, a study from Oakland’s Department of Transportation confirms that protected bike lanes are the safest. But they want to rip out the successful protected bike lanes on iconic Telegraph Avenue anyway.

 

National

Next City says Europe has taken great strides to reduce the dangers motor vehicles pose to bike riders and pedestrians, but automakers on this side of the Atlantic have yet to address America’s addiction to deadly SUVS, as well as their own insistence on making them bigger and deadlier with every passing model year.

The Manual recommends bicycling gifts for adventurous dads. But Road Bike Action thinks you’d rather have some colorful national park bike socks.

Survivors of the Kalamazoo Massacre reunite five years later to remember the five bike riders killed by an extremely intoxicated driver, who also injured four other bicyclists; Charles Pickett Jr. was eventually sentenced to 40-75 years bars for their deaths.

A three-year old Brooklyn nonprofit “builds, donates and rents adapted bikes to kids and adults with disabilities unable to use standard bikes.”

A New York state senator commuted to work by bike over the weekend — 164 miles from Queens to the state capitol in Albany.

 

International

Road.cc recommends 15 birthday presents for the bicyclist in your life, starting at the equivalent of $21. Even if the only bicyclist in your life is you.

For people who can never spend too much on bikewear, Britain’s Rapha introduces their first mountain bike collection.

The Dutch Grand Prix is asking motorsports fans to bike, rather than drive, to watch the F1 race amid the country’s coastal dunes.

A 68-year old Nigerian man vows to keep riding the bicycle he bought 40 years ago for the equivalent of less than six dollars, saying only death can separate him from his beloved bike.

BTS fans call the new song Bicycle by band member RM that we linked to yesterday a masterpiece, as a website offers an English translation of the first verse and bike-friendly chorus. Then again, their fans would probably think it’s a masterpiece if he read a box of corn flakes.

Two Philippine men were killed by a bomb blast as they were riding their bikes past a mine site, which was targeted by a rebel group.

 

Competitive Cycling

Jumbo-Visma cyclists Sepp Kuss and Jonas Vingegaard came up short during the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, but sport director Grisha Niermann insists they’re on the right track for next month’s Tour de France.

VeloNews offers a middle-of-the-action photo essay from this past Saturday’s Gravel Unbound race in Kansas, formerly known as the Dirty Kanza.

 

Finally…

James Joyce as a mediocre bike racer. Probably not the best idea to flee from the police on your bicycle after pointing a pretty damn realistic cap gun at a driver.

And now you know why there’s so many typos on here. She’s a hard worker, but can’t type worth a damn.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Able-bodied mtn biker confronts disabled ebike rider, Metrolink helps promote bikes, and redesigning LA’s worst intersections

A video from last fall has popped up again, causing fresh outrage online.

Justifiable outrage, for a change.

David Wolfberg forwards a story from Boing Boing that picks up a video we posted last September, showing an able-bodied mountain biker complaining about a disabled rider’s adaptive ebike, and demanding to see the rule allowing him to use it on the Indiana trail.

Maybe you’ll remember it.

Lord knows I do.

The story doesn’t end there, though, as reprehensible as this uncomprehending attack on a disabled man is.

Wolfberg also forwards videos revealing the disabled man, Tom Morris, to be a noted endurance athlete and coach.

And yes, going back to the original video, Morris had every right to ride it on the trail according to this piece from Road.cc.

Morris…has since said he has been in touch with Terry Coleman, the deputy director of Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), who told him that his bike was perfectly legal to ride on trails.

Morris said: “What I’m on is not an e-bike, it’s an adaptive piece of equipment. And adaptive equipment is allowed on all of the trails throughout all of Indiana. So if you’ve got this equipment, get out and use it, use it in the state parks, use it on these trails.”

Morris also said Coleman told him that the DNR had actually just bought 12 “off-roading wheelchairs”, to give disabled people in the state more access to trails and paths for leisure activities.

So the next time you find tempted to criticize someone else for some infraction, real or imagined, think twice.

Then don’t.

There may be some reason why they’re doing what they’re doing. And it doesn’t really matter whether you understand or agree with it.

Because it’s not your job to enforce the rules, any more than driveway vigilante drivers have the right to enforce their interpretations — or misinterpretations, more often — of bike laws on you.

Try a little empathy and understanding instead.

And maybe make this world a little better for all of us in the process.

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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Remember this tweet the next time someone insists Los Angeles isn’t (insert more progressive city here).

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Metrolink is teaming with the LACBC to promote bicycling as Bike Month sinks slowly in the west.

Taking Metrolink makes a great way to explore other parts of Southern California by bike, especially with their $10 weekend fares.

And particularly now that it’s getting safer to get back on a train.

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Great thread from 18-year old housing and transportation enthusiast Zennon Ulyate-Crow, who is doing the work LADOT should be doing to reimagine some of LA’s most problematic intersections.

Here’s his latest project, which turns an East Hollywood mess into something we could all live with.

Let’s hope LADOT is already keeping an eye on him, with the promise of a job once he gets his degree.

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Speaking of LADOT, it seems the ostensibly progressive department ostensibly focused on Compete Streets still hasn’t gotten the message of the mayor’s Green New Deal — that we have to reimagine our streets and how we get around if we’re going to meet the city’s climate change goals, let alone survive.

Or maybe they still have old school engineers on staff who retain their focus on automotive throughput, as an obsolete plan to widen Burbank Blvd rises from the dead.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1396938808650731520

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton busts the myths in Metro’s half billion dollar highway budget for next year, saying this is not what Angelenos voted for when they approved Measure M funding.

With auto-centric crap like this is still being pushed by Metro and LADOT, maybe we can’t afford to wait, and need to get Ulyate-Crow working there now.

Or better yet, running it.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to instruct you in how to wear a bike helmet.

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

No bias here. San Carlos has installed a bicycle dismount zone where people are supposed to get off their bikes and walk them across an intersection to “minimize conflicts between vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.” Even though bike riders have every right to just ride across the damn street.

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

A man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was sentenced to 25 years behind bars for fatally shooting another man who tried to take his bicycle from outside a convenience store.

A Jackson, Mississippi man is on trial for fatally shooting a 14-year old boy in the back after one of the boy’s friends stole a bike from his yard. We all hate bike thieves. But no bicycle is ever worth a human life. 

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Local

Streets For All introduces Destruction for Nada, a much-needed campaign to stop all highway widening in LA County, as Metro considers an induced-demand boosting jump in highway spending at Thursday’s board meeting, along with a proposal to kill the wasteful and destructive $8 billion plan to widen the 710 Freeway. It’s long past time all of Metro’s funding was shifted to transit and Complete Streets.

Speaking of Streets For All and highways, mark your calendar for Wednesday, June 9th, as they host another of their virtual happy hours, featuring Caltrans District 7 Director Tony Tavares.

LAist examines the battle over the Beautiful Boulevard plan to create a livable Complete Street along the route of the planned NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit line through Eagle Rock.

 

State

Antioch could build the Bay Area’s first Bicycle Garden, a fully landscaped miniature streetscape within an existing park to teach bicycling skills to kids and adults.

The post-pandemic reopening is raising a debate over the streets of San Francisco, as advocates call for keeping closed-off streets carfree, while drivers insist they need the roads open to get around. That’s a debate that should be happening in Los Angeles, as well, as the city faces an urgent need to reimagine how people get around in order to meet climate goals, and confront the ever-increasing congestion on our streets. But isn’t. 

San Francisco installs the city’s first advisory lane, where bike riders use bike lanes on either side of the street, while drivers in both directions share a single center lane.

Sad news from Northern California, where a man riding a bike in Cottonwood was killed by a hit-and-run driver who just left him on the side of the road to die. As we’ve said before, in cases like that, the driver should face a murder charge once they’re caught for making the conscious decision to let their victim die.

 

National

Marketplace reports on why you should care about the draft update to the MUTCD, the country’s traffic control bible.

The NRDC has rejected the proposed federal highway bill under consideration in the US Senate, calling it a small step when we need a great leap.

Bicycling explains why you should ride your bike for fun more often. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

An anonymous donor gave a whopping $1 million to purchase land for mountain bike trails on Washington’s Bainbridge Island, as well as conserving land and expanding an existing dog park.

A Chicago man took an “epic” bike ride across Indiana just to dine at the nearest Waffle House. Although the real story is how he was able to make almost the entire trip on offroad bike paths.

The New York Times offers a photo essay examining bike style around the city. These days my only sense of style is whatever will look least humiliating in public.

Island Press introduces Bike Easy, which has played a significant role in the remarkable transformation of New Orleans into a bike friendly — or at least, friendlier — city.

Miami joins the Vision Zero club, as the city announces plans to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Let’s hope they take it more seriously than Los Angeles does, like planning to remove bike lanes and sidewalks to widen Burbank Blvd.

 

International

Momentum Magazine offers a primer on the different types of cargo bikes.

An IT professional from a tiny Uruguayan pueblo is now riding a bicycle through Mexico, in the fourth year of his quixotic quest to ride from Uruguay to Alaska.

A Canadian girl got a new BMX bike for being honest enough to return a bike a stranger had given her, after learning it had been stolen. Although the question is why did a stranger give her a stolen bike to begin with.

This is who we share the road with. A British man will spend six years behind bars for intentionally running down and killing another driver in a road rage dispute.

The UK press continues their onslaught of photos contradicting Prince Harry’s claim that he was never he was able to ride a bike with his father, heir-to-the-thrown Prince Charles.

Members of a Dublin bike club testify that a speeding driver rounded a bend on the wrong side of the roadway moments before slamming into a woman who couldn’t get her bike off the road in time; the driver is on trial for her death.

You’ve got to be kidding. When a Welsh bicyclist tried to take video of dangerous drivers to the local police, they threatened to charge him for swearing at the motorists who nearly killed him, instead.

The Air Force Times tells the story of a top secret suicide squad of bike-riding Jewish commandos dropped behind German lines during World War II.

More proof that bicycling pays. A study of bike paths in Helsinki, Finland, shows a gain of the equivalent of $4.41 for every $1.22 spent to place bikeways along major arteries in the city. Then again, they increase property values, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

The BBC questions whether anyone can beat Columbia’s Egan Bernal, saying the pink leader’s jersey is his to lose.

However, Cycling Weekly says the race is far from over, and offers five things to watch for as it enters its final week.

American Joe Dombrowski rode the cycling roller coaster in the just the first week of the Giro, going from winning a stage one day to crashing out the next.

Cycling Tips introduces Tim Declercq, who they call one of the world’s best domestiques, and who is always at the front of the action.

International politics once again reaches into the sports world, as Germany responds to the hijacking and apparent torture of an opposition journalist in Belarus by pulling out of next month’s Elite Track European Championships in the country. And yes, that’s the right move; hopefully other countries will follow their lead.

Durango, Colorado’s annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic mountain bike race has proven to be a launching pad for cycling careers, including rising US WorldTour star Sepp Kuss.

 

Finally…

The answer to N+1 could soon be a subscription. Your next ebike could go 40 mph — as long as you’re willing to get a helmet, registration and motorcycle license.

And if your toddler feels left out by the time you spend on your Peloton, just build him one of his own.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Record setting 109-year old French bicyclist Robert Marchand dies, and Stupid Driver Tricks on the bike paths

We can’t be too sad for someone who leaves this world after an exceptionally long, eventful — and record setting — life.

That’s the case with the news that French cyclist Robert Marchand left us at the remarkable age of 109.

The former truck driver, lumberjack and firefighter didn’t take up bicycling until he was 68, never realizing that he would ride for another 40 years. And set a number of age group records along the way.

This comes from his obituary in the Washington Post.

(Marchand) cycled from Paris to Moscow in 1992 and set the 100-kilometer (62.14-mile) record for cyclists past the age of 100.

In January 2017, he set a world record in the 105-plus age category — created especially for him — by riding 22.54 kilometers (14 miles) in one hour on the boards of the Vélodrome National near Paris.

I’m now waiting for a rival,” he said at the time.

Three years earlier, Mr. Marchand had covered 26.92 kilometers (16.73 miles) in one hour to better his own world record in the over-100s category.

After a life like that, we should mourn, not for him, but for those of us who are left behind, and will miss Marchand dearly.

And wish him a safe and speedy ride home.

Photo by Valeriia Miller from Pexels.

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The full Metro Board will vote Thursday on whether to approve running the planned North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit line along Colorado Blvd through Eagle Rock, which forms the basis of the resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan.

Comments for the 10 am meeting can only be submitted over the phone.

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Evidently, it was Drive on the Bike Path Day over the weekend.

Todd Seelie sends a Nextdoor screenshot showing a driver stuck trying to access the LA River bike path.

And here’s one from UC Davis, courtesy of frequent contributor Megan Lynch.

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Lynch also forwards this video of Oakland bike riders enjoying a beautiful day.

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Everyone knows bikes and brews naturally go together. Especially now, when tipping one back can help support the LACBC.

And it doesn’t hurt that Highland Park Brewery made this short list of the city’s best microbreweries.

………

It was a bike giveaway weekend.

The YMCA in Longmont, Colorado gave around 200 bikes to kids in need.

Eighty-eight Michigan kids with special needs got custom adaptive bicycles, after waiting two years for the giveaway when Covid-19 cancelled last year’s event.

Nearly 500 children and adults received donated bikes courtesy of a Toledo, Ohio rescue mission.

And Metro will start working with community-based organizations to give some of the 400 to 500 bicycles abandoned on LA buses and trains every month to needy residents or the homeless.

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

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the ebike-riding man who yelled antisemitic slurs outside a Florida synagog, then returned to leave a bag of human shit in front of the entrance.

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Local

CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz and LADOT presented plans to close the infamous Northvale Gap in the Expo Line bike path, with construction scheduled to be completed by 2025 — 13 years after the Expo Line opened. More evidence that Koretz supports bikes — as long as they don’t inconvenience drivers in any way.

A photo essay from the LA Times looks at the rebirth of the 6th Street Bridge, which will include bike ramps to help riders reach the elevated span.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition makes the case for why Pasadena is the perfect fit for bikes — and what it will take to get there.

 

State

San Diego driver Jamison Connor faces at least 30 years behind bars after being convicted on seven counts for the 2019 hit-and-run death of Kevin Lentz.

San Diego letter writers call on the city to rethink how people get around, and for drivers to give bike riders and pedestrians some space.

Bakersfield equestrians call on the city to ban ebikes from the city’s dirt trails.

Sad news from Sebastopol, where a 52-year old man died nearly two weeks after he and a 12-year old boy were severely injured by an alleged drunk driver while riding their bikes; no word on the child’s condition.

El Dorado County says if you want to open a Dollar General store, you’ve got to build a bike path, too.

 

National

Travel website TripSavvy lists America’s 15 best destinations to explore by bicycle; West Coast cities Seattle, Portland and San Francisco made the cut. And needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

Over 25,000 people commented on the proposed update to the MUTCD — the bible of traffic engineering. Four hundred of those came from NACTO, including calls to end the deadly 85th percentile law, and make ending traffic deaths a guiding principle of the document.

Bike Snob’s Eben Wiese says electronic shifting works perfectly, but he’d rather go old school and do it himself, anyway.

No, an eight-year old kid probably wasn’t killed riding his bike into the side of a turning truck in Las Vegas; it’s far more likely the driver turned into his path.

Dozens of Denver bike riders held a die-in to protest the city’s unsafe streets after three people on bicycles were killed in the past week.

More proof that you can’t please everyone, as a hundred or so New Yorkers marched down the city’s most successful Open Street, demanding the right to drive on the same street they were able to march on because no one’s allowed to drive on it.

Bike Life is taking off in New York, where young bike riders are swarming drivers and commandeering roadways in a celebration of life on two wheels.

You know a street is too damn dangerous when a woman is killed trying to cross it, just two blocks from where her husband was killed trying to cross the same street four years earlier.

 

International

A new study from Ford shows listening to music on headphones slows reaction time by an average of four seconds for both drivers and bike riders.

A British Columbia letter writer says bike lanes are for the 99% of people who aren’t “avid” cyclists.

The former leader of Britain’s Labour Party is one of us, despite not learning to ride a bike until he was 50. And he calls for a much-needed two wheeled revolution in the country’s transportation system.

The Irish Times says riding an ebike can speed your commute and reduce sweat while still giving you a workout, and Tech Radar calls them a good value and a great investment.

Life is cheap in Spain, where a 32-year old woman is expected to spend less than four years behind bars after pleading guilty to the drunk driving deaths of three triathletes on a training ride, and critically injuring two others; with time served, she’ll likely be released in just six months — despite a failed drug test and a BAC nearly four times the legal limit.

A New Zealand court denies a driver’s effort to get out of her sentence for the meth and weed-fueled crash that killed a man riding a bike, despite already having her sentence cut from nearly two years behind bars to a cushy 10 months of home detention. And despite the fact that another man is in prison the drunken crash that killed her own son.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgian cyclist Victor Campenaerts took his first Grand Tour stage win in Sunday’s 15th stage of the Giro, while Egan Bernal continued to look pretty in pink.

Cycling Weekly offers five talking points from Sunday’s stage, from the rainy crash-filled start to a competitive finish.

Budding Belgian superstar Remco Evenepoel has gone from contending for the pink leader’s jersey to hoping for a top ten finish, conceding his form is not what he had hoped for.

Who had Laurens ten Dam holding off Colin Strickland to win the inaugural 155-mile Gravel Locos on your fantasy gravel racing card?

Bicycling explains everything you need too know about this year’s crit season. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

 

Finally…

Lots of women ride their bikes while they’re pregnant. Not many ride to deliver the baby, though.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Metro commits to BRT on Colorado Blvd, Gonzalez kills speed cam bill in Assembly Committee, and 20 is plenty

Today is Bike Anywhere Day in LA County. So just get on your bike and do it, already.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels.

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More on the battle for the heart and soul of Eagle Rock, as Metro commits to running the NoHo to Pasadena BRT — aka, bus rapid transit — line along Colorado Blvd.

However, as we noted yesterday, the configuration of the roadway is still undetermined, after CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León threw a wrench in the resident-driven Beautiful Blvd plan, which would remove a traffic lane in some places, while retaining bike lanes, landscaping, medians and most parking.

De León insisted on studying another option, and gathering still more public input, despite months of public meetings and comments already.

………

San Diego Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez drove the final nail in the coffin of one of the two speed cam bills under consideration in the state legislature this session, blocking the pilot program in the Assembly Appropriations Committee after severely gutting it earlier.

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The UN Global Road Safety Week calls on policymakers to reduce speed limits  to 20 mph on streets where bicyclists and pedestrians mix with motor vehicles.

Meanwhile, a British town is scrapping its 20 mph speed limit because most drivers ignore it anyway.

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Good point.

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Local

Long Beach is officially opening a new bike path leading to Pier J along Harbor Scenic Drive this Sunday.

 

State

Bike rodeos are back, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department hosting one for kids in San Clemente on the 26th.

Menifee police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation on the 24th, ticketing any violations that put either group at risk, regardless of who commits them. So ride to the letter of the law if you ride there on Monday.

Bakersfield is marking Bike to Work Day today, with bike shops and clubs offering refreshments on the Kern River Parkway throughout town, pandemic be damned.

A Clovis bike rider captures a closeup view of a hawk attacking his head on his helmet cam; the bird has a reputation for attacking people who come too close to its nest.

Danville opens a new bike and pedestrian bridge that cuts half a mile off the previous route through downtown, while allowing riders to bypass three busy intersections.

 

National

The latest bike helmet ratings are in from the testing lab at Virginia Tech, demonstrating once again that higher cost doesn’t necessarily translate to better protection.

Jalopnik asked readers to share the close calls they’ve had on a bike. And boy, did they.

A new study shows ped-assist ebikes offer nearly the same health benefits as regular bicycles.

If you’re in the market for a Giant or Liv bicycle, Colorado used bike site The Pro’s Closet is now accepting trade-ins.

A bicycle resort in Colorado Springs CO is hosting a bike-themed art show this weekend.

Riding away from a lifelong dream to play in the NFL, a football player at the University of Texas El Paso gave up his final year of eligibility for a 650-mile ride across the state with his father and brother, to raise awareness of brain cancers after his uncle died of glioblastoma.

A Cape Cod town considers blocking a bike and pedestrian path leading to the beach, closing a public access route that’s existed for more than 200 years.

A bighearted Rhode Island teenager raised funds to donate 70 bicycles to the local Boys and Girls Clubs for kids in need.

The pandemic bike boom has hit the mountain bike trails, as well; the New York Times credits more trails, better bikes and the rise of high-school mountain biking, as well as the chance to get out in the fresh air with friends.

A North Carolina man will spend the next four years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a popular bike advocate, after being sentenced to a total of 20 years with 16 years suspended. His boss faces charges as an accessory after the fact for helping coverup the crime committed in a company truck.

Even the buildings are out to get us. A New Orleans bike rider was injured when high winds blew debris off an abandoned skyscraper.

Miami police released bodycam video of the aftermath of a drunken hit-and-run collision in which a former porn star is charged with running down an ebike-riding pastor.

A Florida man escaped with serious injuries when he became collateral damage in police chase while riding his bike, as officers chased five teens in a stolen SUV; he’s currently confined to a wheelchair after being thrown 15 feet into the air by the force of the impact.

More collateral damage in Florida, where two men were indicted on first degree murder charges for the accidental shooting of a bike rider, who was hit by a stray bullet during a shootout between the occupants of two cars; three other men will also face charges in the case.

 

International

An op-ed from an “avid cyclist” in Vancouver says the city’s bike lanes are unnecessary and wasteful, because they inconvenience people in cars and are primarily used during the morning and evening rush hours. You know, kind of like all those lanes drivers use. 

A 17-year old Irish boy will spend the next two years in juvenile detention for killing a bike courier after running a red light.

Sisters and Bollywood stars Janhvi and Khushi Kapoor warn a paparazzo to back off after he steps into their path to film them riding their bikes.

Manilla residents are taking to bicycles to escape the city’s notorious gridlock.

A Singapore e-scooter rider will spend 12 weeks behind bars for the death of a 64-year old woman on a bicycle after they crashed on a shared-use path; the victim’s family understandably calls the sentence too lenient.

A group of Aussie bicyclists get brake-checked by a trailer-towing pickup driver, who gets out and yells at them for having the audacity to ride on the road. You know, like they’re supposed to.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian cyclist Gianluca Brambilla was booted off the podium in yesterday’s 12th stage of the Giro, relegated from third to fourth for veering wildly in front of George Bennett in a final sprint to the finish. Fellow Italian Andrea Vendrame won the stage in a breakaway with Australian Chris Hamilton.

A new gravel race will roll from Fruita, Colorado to Cisco, Utah tomorrow, with distances up to 185 miles, while the glitterati of the gravel world will be in Texas for the inaugural 155-mile Gravel Locos race.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a Penny Farthing. Is there really such a thing as a popular freeway interchange?

And I can’t offer any better advice for Bike Anywhere Day than this.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Metro to study Beautiful Blvd and 2nd plan in Eagle Rock, CicLAvia helps LA dine Al Fresco, and 250 pound SaMo ebikes

Before we start, I want to clarify Tuesday’s report on the death of cyclocross champ Laurence Malone in Lancaster CA on Monday.

As more information came in, it became clear that the initial reports that Malone was riding his bike were wrong; he was actually driving on Highway 138 when his car was hit head-on by the driver of a semi-truck.

I’ve rewritten my report on his death as a result, and am no longer counting his death among this year’s bicycling fatalities.

Today’s photo is a rendering of one section of the Beautiful Boulevard plan, from Eagle Rock Forward

………

Metro voted to move forward with additional studies of the resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan for Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, as well as another plan that with keep two traffic lanes and bike lanes, while reducing medians and parking.

The board followed the lead of CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León, who called for additional public input on top of the numerous meetings that have already been held, and countless comments previously submitted.

Bike Talk posted the audio for the last 12 commenters discussing the proposals at yesterday’s virtual Metro meeting.

Meanwhile, the LA Times questioned why de León is trying to stall the transit and climate friendly plan for Eagle Rock.

In theory, there’s nothing wrong with more public discussion and analysis. But activists in Eagle Rock are understandably worried that the delay is an attempt to undermine the Beautiful Boulevard concept in favor of a car-centric view of the streets. That would be disappointing, considering how De León has touted his commitment to fighting climate change and his support for transit and safer streets.

There’s a long history of L.A. leaders proclaiming their climate leadership only to abandon climate-minded street design at the first cries of opposition.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles continues to kick the climate can down the road, leaving it to others to make the hard decisions our elected leaders lack the courage to make.

We have no choice but to provide safe, clean and efficient alternatives to driving, as an ever increasing number of cars slowly grind our streets to a halt, without destroying the livability of our communities.

The Beautiful Boulevard plan does just that, enhancing the community while providing safe space for transit, walking and riding a bike.

We have no choice but to move forward with plans like this throughout LA if we hope to save our city.

And ourselves.

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CicLAvia is leveraging its experience with open streets to guide Los Angeles in expanding the city’s COVID-19 Al Fresco outdoor dining program, and making it permanent.

“CicLAvia has been utilizing its open streets planning expertise in a new way by reaching out to smaller ‘mom and pop’ restaurants in communities most impacted by the pandemic,” said CicLAvia Executive Director Romel Pascual.

“By offering free assistance to these ‘hidden gems’ via the L.A. Al Fresco program, CicLAvia helps these restaurants accommodate more customers so they can serve their neighborhoods safely and with greater capacity, stay open and continue to prosper.”

At the same time, CicLAvia is planning the return of the country’s largest and most successful open streets event, which was halted last year due to the pandemic.

A new route and date is expected to be announced soon.

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A Playa del Rey letter writer who identifies himself as a 63-year old cyclist complains about the presence of “250 pound E-bikes traveling at 20 mph or more” on the beachfront bike path, piloted by “clueless riders of all ages.”

He goes on to call for them to be banned from the popular pathway.

However, ebikes are already prohibited from the bike path in Santa Monica, and numerous bikes have ticketed and confiscated in the past.

Correction — Santa Monica now allows ebikes on the beach bike path; somehow I missed that. Thanks to Howard for the correction

And anything that can travel over 20 mph is barred by the state from being ridden on any bike path.

Never mind that even the heaviest ebikes check in at a little over 50 pounds, rather than 250, which very few riders would even be able to lift.

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This is who we share the road with.

God help us.

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

Campus police at Cal State Northridge are warning women to be on the lookout for a suspected serial groper; unfortunately, the only description is a man in a black hoodie on a black bicycle.

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Local

Metro will host a virtual meeting at 6pm today to discuss first mile/last mile bike and pedestrian connections near the Expo/Crenshaw Station; another meeting will be held Tuesday afternoon.

The Beverly Hills city council will review the environmental impact report and consider plan approvals for the massive One Beverly Hills project at 7pm tonight; Better Bike calls for the newly bike friendly city to insist on bike lanes to and through the project on the site of the former Robinson’s May department store.

 

State

A San Diego councilmember voices his support for building a bike and pedestrian bridge across the San Diego River in Mission Trails Regional Park in honor of a 21-year-old student who drowned at the crossing in January.

A Bay Area writer says the recent death of local legend of Joe Shami, known as the King of Mount Diablo, is a reminder for drivers to put their phones down and watch for bicyclists.

 

National

Cycling News explains why your ebike can’t recharge while you pedal or brake.

The Colorado lawyer representing the family of fallen national master’s road champ Gwen Inglis is calling for the charges against the allegedly stoned driver to be bumped up to 1st degree murder to reflect his extreme indifference to human life.

Colorado mountain resort Steamboat Springs approved permitting the state’s Safety Stop, aka Stop As Yield, in the town; unlike other states, Colorado allows individual cities to choose whether or nor to allow bike riders to roll stops after checking for oncoming traffic. And the sky has not fallen there, or any other state that allows it.

Iowa’s popular RAGBRAI bike ride across the state returns with coronavirus safety precautions in place this year, after being cancelled last year.

The pandemic has shown the need for more bike lanes and sidewalks in Connecticut, with up to a 50% jump in bicycling, and two to three times as many pedestrians.

A New Jersey bill would ban bike licenses across the state, after white cops in Perth Amboy recently confiscated the bikes of Black and brown teens for not having one.

Speaking of New Jersey, the state is considering a new law requiring drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle or give a four-foot passing distance; however, like California, it contains the same clause allowing drivers to ignore those requirements by slowing down and being prepared to stop, making it relatively toothless.

An enterprising 12-year old Philadelphia boy responded to the shutdown of bike shops during the pandemic by starting his own bike repair service.

A Pennsylvania bike co-op marked the Ride of Silence by placing 22 ghost bikes on the steps of the state capitol, in a powerful reminder of the 22 people who lost their lives riding in the state last year.

 

International

The popup bike lanes on London’s Westminster Bridge will be made permanent  after proving their worth during the pandemic. That’s not the case in Los Angeles, though, where no popup bike lanes will be made permanent because shortsighted city officials failed to install any.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Edinburgh councilmember is being investigated by an ethical standards watchdog, after responding to a story about barbed wire strung across a bike path by calling for those fighting popup bike and pedestrian spaces to take responsibility for their behavior.

Moscow traffic control cops are taking to their bicycles to keep drivers out of the city’s bike lanes.

Motorcycling great Troy Bayliss was seriously injured in a head-on collision with another bicycle rider; the three-time World Superbike champ returned to his Australian home to recover from a fractured vertebrae and spinal damage. Been there, done that. I fractured the same vertebrae in my 20s when a jack broke and dropped the car I was working on down on me.

 

Competitive Cycling

Swiss cyclist Mauro Schmid captured yesterday’s 11th stage of the Giro for his first win as a pro.

Remco Evenepoel could have used a virtual Jens Voigt in his ear, yelling “Shut up, legs!” Instead he lost two minutes to race leader Egan Bernal on the Giro’s gravel stage yesterday, complaining that his “legs felt empty.”

VeloNews looks at the “unsung hero” working to help keep Evenepoel at the front of the pack, although he might look slightly less heroic after yesterday.

 

Finally…

Presenting the ebike for people who aren’t ready to give up their cars. That feeling when you’re collateral damage in a police chase.

And the perfect bike for anyone who still wants to be a cowboy when they grow up.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

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