Tag Archive for Michael Schneider

San Diego bike rider gravely injured, waking the two-wheeled giant of LA politics, and biking to school in the rain

It’s the last ten days of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to Michael W and Dan W — no relation — for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

I often ask you to support other people and causes throughout the year. But this is the only time all year I actively ask for your financial support for this site. 

So take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

It’s okay, we’ll wait. 

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Bad news from San Diego.

A 51-year old man suffered life-threatening injuries when a driver rear-ended his bicycle, after he allegedly left a bike lane and veered into traffic, although it’s possible he may have been trying to make a left turn.

The crash occurred around 5 pm Monday in the 5900 block of University Ave in the Redwood Village neighborhood.

Sadly, police said the victim is not expected to survive.

Let’s hope they’re wrong.

………

As Streetsblog’s Joe Linton makes clear, Southern California “rarely misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity when it comes to bike lanes.”

Including bike lanes already been approved by Metro, Los Angeles and/or Caltrans, but never installed.

Even when the cost is nothing more than a few cans of paint.

Recently, there has been a frustratingly continuous drumbeat of planned bikeways being left off of large-scale southern California construction projects.

There are a host of reasons for the omissions. Numerous agencies are involved, though it’s mostly Metro, Caltrans, and L.A. City Public Works Department bureaus. The effect is the same: missed opportunities for interconnected facilities that would move the southland closer to becoming a safe and convenient place to get around by bike.

He goes on to cite a long list of recent projects where previously approved bike lanes were either downgraded or omitted entirely.

From the infamous Northvale Gap in the E Line — nee Expo — bike path, to the upcoming Van Nuys Blvd light rail project, which was supposed to include nine-miles of bike lanes along the rail route, but will now preserve that road space for cars.

And that doesn’t include countless other bike lanes that government officials have already committed to, but which have been unceremoniously shelved, often with little or no fanfare.

Here’s Linton again.

What is exasperating is that agencies already have approved bike plans – often the result of a great deal of advocacy pressure from cyclists. L.A. City adopted its Mobility Plan in 2015. Metro approved its Complete Streets Policy in 2014 (and received national recognition for it.) That policy builds on Metro’s 2014 First/Last Mile Strategic Plan. Even Caltrans recently released its own Statewide Complete Streets Policy.

Bike riders press to get bikeway facilities included during project planning processes, often to be told that there just isn’t space or funding or staffing or something-or-other for bikeways. Then, even when agencies (often reluctantly) approve bikeways as part of larger plans, they are dropped in full or in part during construction – as if bicycling is just not a valid way to get around, and as if the safety of bicyclists just isn’t quite worth following through on.

The bottom line, though, is that crap like this only happens because we let them get away with it.

As I’ve stressed before, the bicycling community is the sleeping giant of Los Angeles politics.

Don’t believe me?

In the 2010 bike plan that was unanimously approved by the city council, the city estimated that 434,161 Angelenos ride their bikes at least once a month.

From the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan

That’s more than the entire 407,147 votes cast in the last mayoral election, which put Eric Garcetti back in office for his final term.

Never mind the estimated 786,918 people who ride every summer, or the 1,356,754 who ride sometimes. Let alone the overwhelming majority of people in Los Angeles who say they’d like to ride a bike more, if they only felt safer on the streets.

So let’s wake that sleeping Giant.

We have the perfect opportunity to be heard, and to make a real difference in this city with the upcoming 2022 elections — the first time since 2013 we will be electing someone other than the disappointing, and soon to be disappearing, Garcetti. Not to mention half of the city council, including a number of open and contested seats.

It’s up to us to make enough noise that we can’t be ignored.

And then hold their feet to the fire once they get elected.

………

As George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

Which applies perfectly to all those drivers who insist you can’t ride a bike in the rain. Let alone drop off your kids at school.

And to which Streets For All founder Michael Schneider responds with actions, not words.

Okay, so he explains with words, too.

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There’s a bike path in there somewhere. Let’s see how long it takes the county to clear it this time.

Since they didn’t do so great before.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Here’s your chance to ask for bike lanes in Larchmont.

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Good to hear from our old friend Opus the Poet, even if the news he shared wasn’t.

There was a YouTube creator hit on an e-bike in a hit and run.
Suspect vehicle was a black SUV of unknown make, model, and year. Victim’s insulin pump was destroyed in the wreck, to give an idea of how violent the wreck was.

It starts around the one minute mark. Unfortunately, while Hartford lives in California, she doesn’t say where the crash happened.

………

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

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick discovers that some Sprouts security guards didn’t get the memo when it comes to letting shoppers into the store with a bicycle. Adding insult to injury, one even told him to get a car.

A British Columbia man got 21 months behind bars for deliberately running down a bike-riding neighbor he’d been quarreling with, leaving the other man with serious injuries.

A British petition to force bike riders to use bike lanes and wear numbered bibs has drawn 10,000 signatures, which will require a government response.

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

A man in Mad City, Wisconsin fled on his bicycle after attacking another man with a baseball bat following an argument in a convenience store. Although there’s no explanation for why he had a baseball bat with him on his bike in the first place.

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Local

Spectrum News 1 offers five things you need to know about illegal street racing and takeovers, like the tidbit that street racing collisions have tripled in Los Angeles this year — including the death of a USC student killed by street racers this past weekend.

 

State

A San Clemente mountain biker was the victim of an off-road hit-and-run when he was knocked down on a trail by a man riding an electric motorcycle, who fled the scene.

The founder of Bike Index says OfferUp refuses to do anything to curb scammers, after a man ran off with a San Marcos man’s bike in response to an OfferUp ad, after handing him a bag supposedly full of cash to buy it.

 

National

A new report from the Coalition for a Prosperous America says the US must build back bike manufacturing in this country if we want the pandemic-induced bike boom to continue; over 97% of bikes sold in the US come from outside the country, with over 86% coming from China alone. Just like virtually every other American industry these days. Thanks again to Keith Johnson. 

A green business site calls ebikes the “uncelebrated heroes” of last-mile delivery.

Seattle attorneys are filing suit against the city and a local railroad over injuries to several bike riders resulting from a 1.4-mile gap in the Burke-Gilman Trail, as local business owners and trucking companies fight plans to close it. Maybe if we did that here, we might not have such a problem with all those disappearing bike lanes.

Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes announced plans to raise prices across the board on all their ebikes in response to the ongoing supply chain issues.

The woman who killed a prominent San Antonio surgeon in a drunken crash as he was riding his bike has been sentenced to a well-deserved 15 years behind bars.

A Massachusetts man who raised over $70,000 for cancer research, as well as raising funds for an Israeli charity for people with disabilities, now needs help with his own disability after September crash while riding his bike left him a paraplegic; a crowdfunding page has raised over $103,000 of the $250,000 goal.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Florida man has ridden 3,500 miles on his bike this year.

 

International

Momentum reports cities around the world are sacrificing parking spaces to make room for people on the streets. Including people on two wheels. Unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

A new combo bike cam promises a 80 lumen tail light, combined with a camera capable of recording 9.5 hours of 1080p video and audio; it’ll set you back $182 on Kickstarter right now.

No bias here. Politico says Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has lost the love of Parisians in her efforts to transform the city into a “green cyclist’s utopia.” Even though she was just re-elected last year after already setting much of the changes in motion.

A German court is set rule on whether an alleged bike-riding Russian hit man killed a former Chechen commander in a Berlin park on orders from Moscow.

Over 3,000 people have signed a petition calling on Lisbon, Portugal to keep a bike lane until another safe alternative can be found, while more than 1,000 turned out for a demonstration demanding it stay in place.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews offers a series of photos from the 2021 Cyclocross National Championships in Chicago, as a where a first lap breakaway led to six riders spending the rest of the race chasing eventual winner Eric Brunner.

 

Finally…

Who knew Best Buy sells ebikes — or that we’re a day late and $500 short. That feeling when you’ve spent your career torturing bikes and the people who make them.

And maybe consider adding an air horn or two for extra safety and entertainment on your bike.

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

Times op-ed says LA can’t keep pushing bikes and buses aside, and 330-mile NorCal rail trail threatened by coal plans

Just 11 days left to give to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to Michael B and Phillip Y for their generous donations to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

This is the only time all year we actively ask — okay, beg — for your money. 

So take a moment to open your heart and wallet. And give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

He gets it.

In a hard-hitting LA Times op-ed, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider says Los Angeles can no longer afford to push buses and bicycles to the side.

Or worse, actively block implementation of safe bus and bike lanes.

Paul Koretz kills a bike lane on Melrose and fights a bus lane on Wilshire. Gil Cedillo and Mitch O’Farrell work together to kill a bike lane on Temple. Paul Krekorian kills a bike lane on Lankershim. David Ryu kills a bike lane on 6th Street. John Lee fought a bus lane on Nordhoff. All of these real events over the last few years have something in common: members of the Los Angeles City Council actively ignoring the city’s Mobility Plan 2035, part of the general plan passed by the council in 2016.

He goes on to explain that there’s no way to get drivers out of their cars without more efficient transit and bikeways.

And that there is no way to prioritize alternative modes of transport without sacrificing some driver convenience and space on the street.

Then there’s this.

Another issue in Los Angeles is that we tend to build bike lanes in small segments based on the city’s repaving schedule. The problem here is that just like car lanes, bike (and bus) lanes really work well only as a network. Imagine if the 101 almost connected to the 405, and the 405 almost connected to the 10, and in the gaps, drivers faced a dirt road with potholes. How many cars would drive on those roads? Yet we ask the same of people on bikes today. Unless someone can get to where they need to go and feel safe for the entire journey, many won’t bother. That requires a network of protected bike lanes that connect to other protected bike lanes, criss-crossing the city.

Not surprisingly, he hits the nail on the head when it comes to the solutions.

We need all candidates running for mayor and City Council in 2022 to be leaders on this issue. The mayor especially must lead by action, not just talk, as it is today. Individual council members should not be allowed to block road changes prescribed in the Mobility Plan. We need citywide implementation, across district lines; the average Angeleno has no idea where one district ends and one begins, and those boundaries should not determine where a bike or bus lane mysteriously stops or starts.

We have elected far too many hypocrites and spineless “leaders” with their finger to the wind, bending whichever way people scream the loudest.

That needs to change.

Now.

We have to elect genuine leaders committed to their principles, who know what needs to be done and have the political courage to do it.

Because this city may not survive otherwise.

At least not in any form we’d want to live in.

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Gravel Bike California is sounding the alarm about plans to use an abandoned railway to ship coal to California’s North Coast, where it would be loaded onto ships and transported overseas.

Not only would the plan be like setting a torch to the growing climate emergency, it would expose everyone living along the rail line to the dangers of highly carcinogenic coal dust.

And it would mean the death of plans to convert the defunct North Coast rail line into the Great Redwood Trail, taking riders through ancient redwood forests and along roaring rivers.

You can sign a petition to oppose the plans here.

Because there’s no benefit to anyone to shipping coal through the redwoods.

Except for the people whose pockets it would line.

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Throw in some donuts, and we’ll all show up.

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Take a Welsh mountain biking break if you’ve got 24 minutes to spare.

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‘Tis the season.

All 55 third graders at a Lakewood, California elementary school got new bikes for the holidays, after initially being told just two students would win one.

A Good Samaritan bought a new bike for a popular Milwaukee pizza shop employee after his was stolen, giving it to the police to pass along anonymously.

A Newport RI bike club donated 100 rebuilt bicycles to students at a local elementary school.

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

A Montreal bike rider was the victim of a pepper spray attack by a road raging motorcyclist, who thought the victim should have been riding in the nonexistent bike lane.

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

Police in Miami are looking for a shooting suspect who fled on a red BMX bike. No, the one in Oklahoma.

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Local

Los Angeles will break with longstanding tradition, and take advantage of a new state law to actually lower speed limits on some streets next year.

This is who we share the road with. A 21-year old USC student was killed by a pair of street racing drivers as he walked in a crosswalk near campus; surprisingly, both drivers stopped following the crash.

 

State

This is who we share the road with, part two. Once again, an elderly driver has been kept on the road until it’s too late, as an 87-year old Desert Hot Springs man faces vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run charges for crashing his Caddy into the back of a school bus, then plowing into a group of kids as he tried to flee, killing a nine-year old girl and injuring three other children. Whoever kept renewing his license should face charges, too.

No surprise here, as a Salinas paper says whether you’re safe on a bicycle depends on where you are. In other words, just like anywhere else.

With just over two weeks left in the year, San Jose traffic deaths are approaching record levels, despite the city’s Vision Zero program.

 

National

Yes, you can bring your Christmas tree home by bicycle.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske writes about the need for bright lights on your bike, both to stay safe and and limit liability in a collision. I suggest going even further by riding with multiple bright lights day or night to increase your visibility. And note to Mionske: Isn’t time to stop using that outdated and inaccurate term “accident?” A crash isn’t an oopsie. 

Cycling Tips offers four great bicycling photos from the previous two centuries and the stories behind them. Like a stunt cyclist upside down on a loop-the-loop, and riding down a steep flight of stairs on a Penny Farthing.

A Washington writer says bike riders should just go around people who walk in the bike lane when there’s no sidewalk, because “running into a pedestrian is fundamentally unsafe.” Well, yeah. He’s got a point. 

Heartbreaking story from a Flagstaff AZ writer, who struggles to process her emotions in the wake of witnessing a woman killed, and several others injured, when a tow truck driver blew a red light and plowed into them during the city’s May Bike Party.

The couple responsible for putting up ghost bikes in Houston are looking for volunteers to help replace stolen bikes. Seriously, there’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal a ghost bike.

It defies logic, but apparently, it’s possible to hit and kill a 12-year old bike-riding Texas girl with your pickup without doing anything wrong.

New York bike riders are demanding a downtown civic group replace their sleek-looking bike racks, which they say only a thief could love.

Yesterday we linked to video of a nine-year old DC boy run down on his bike by a hit-and-run driver as he was riding home from school with his mother; today he’s speaking out to call for safer streets. My kind of kid.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana is finally recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community. And only 40 years too late for me, after risking my life to ride there. And don’t get me started on beer-chucking LSU frat boys. 

 

International

Yanko Design looks at the year’s best new bicycle innovations, including airless bike tires, zip-on bike tire treads, and a compact air pump — for car tires.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker digs into a pair of rapidly spreading London myths — that the city is the most congested in the world, and the reason is bike lanes. Neither one of which he says is true.

It only took four hours to fully crowdfund new bike lights from Northern Ireland’s See.Sense, promising 575 lumens from the front light, and 350 in the rear, which brightens as you slow down. And if you hurry, a set will set you back as little as $118.

UK authorities are urged to close a loophole in traffic law that allows killer motorists to keep driving if taking their license away would cause an extreme hardship. Imagine the hardship it causes the people they kill.

A 26-year old British man is riding over 5,100 miles from Bristol, England to Beijing, despite being diagnosed with cancer.

If you’re an Aussie football star, maybe don’t get drunk and attempt bike stunts. And fail.

 

Competitive Cycling

New Zealand could struggle to compete internationally in the future, with the short-sighted closure of four of the country’s cycling development centers.

 

Finally…

Apparently, you need a better excuse than simply not remembering that you stole a bike. You could have been the proud owner of a $7,500 handmade El Polo Loco lowrider bike if you’d just moved a little faster.

And who says self-driving tech is just for the people on four wheels?

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

Death of DC bike advocate reveals LA safety failures, LADOT bike count up 22%, and arrested for Biking While Black

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words following my surgery earlier this month. 

My fumble fingers are finally functional again, even though the swollen new Frankenhand they’re attached to is still almost, sort of, not really, kind of back to normal.

But it’ll get there. And nearly two weeks after surgery, the pain is already better than it was before, so there’s that.

Meanwhile, we have a lot to catch up on.

It will take a few days to catch up on all the bike news we missed, but I’ll make sure we don’t miss out on anything important. 

So let’s get started on the first installment. 

And my apologies for the near-total lack of credits today; with one exception forwarded by multiple people yesterday, I lost track of who sent what to my attention during my extended downtime, which is going to be a problem until we get caught up. 

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels.

……..

Heartbreaking news from DC, where a longtime bike advocate was killed in a collision, just hours after tweeting about the dangers on the city’s streets.

Here’s how the Washington Post described it.

(Jim) Pagels was struck in a horrific chain-reaction crash along Massachusetts Avenue NW, about a mile from his home on Capitol Hill, his family said. The avid rider and self-described urbanist who was in his second year of a doctorate program in economics, died at a hospital.

Pagels’s sister, Laura Menendez, described her brother as funny, smart and passionate about many things — pursuing his postgraduate studies, playing tennis and board games, and traveling by bike.

“He had a good heart,” Menendez said. “And he was such a huge advocate for bike safety.”

The paper also quotes a friend of Pagels.

“He was so excited about working in that urban space,” said Finn Vigeland, a close friend who met Pagels while the two worked on the Columbia Daily Spectator. “He was well aware of the dangers of cycling . . . but he loved biking, and he wanted everyone to bike. He wanted everyone to feel like this was the best way to get around D.C…

I hope our city leaders hear about Jim and understand the life that was so senselessly taken away on Friday. He cared so deeply about the injustices that led to his death, and he would want us to be furious about it,” Vigeland said. “I hope that knowing that this was something Jim was working so hard to change might prompt people to take bolder action.”

Let’s hope city leaders get the message here, too.

Before it’s too late for someone else.

Meanwhile, a writer for the LA Times took the death of his friend and former college classmate personally.

And used the tragedy as a springboard to call for safer streets, and talk with Michael Schneider, founder of LA street safety PAC Streets For All.

It doesn’t take long for their conversation to get to the heart of the problems on our streets.

ME: Six years ago, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti set a goal of zero traffic-related deaths by 2025, part of the global Vision Zero initiative. So far, we’re not on track to meet that goal. My colleague Steve Lopez recently reported that 238 people died in car crashes in Los Angeles last year — only a tiny decrease from 2019 despite significantly reduced traffic due to COVID-19, and just 8% less than the first full year Garcetti’s policy was in effect. What is going on?

SCHNEIDER: Our city is very good at plans and goals and not very good at implementation. Can you imagine if you were a heart surgeon and people were coming in for heart surgery, and no one would let you operate? Vision Zero is a laudable goal, but until we have a City Council and a mayor who will spend the political capital to make the tough decisions and deal with NIMBY blowback to make changes to our streets, it’s never going to happen…

ME: Where has Mayor Garcetti been on safe streets?

SCHNEIDER: Absent. He says all the right stuff, and he hires great people, like Seleta Reynolds. He will never risk his neck at all for a bike lane or a bus lane.

But I think we’re on the cusp of some exciting changes, especially because the city of Los Angeles has now aligned their elections with federal elections, and the turnout is so much larger and so much more progressive. I think we are on the cusp of truly having different political leadership, where a guy like Paul Koretz, who’s termed out, couldn’t win in 2022 and beyond. And where someone like Nithya Raman, who had making the city more bikeable in her campaign messaging, can defeat an incumbent.

Then there was this about the recent failed attempt to make iconic Melrose Ave safer and more livable for everyone.

ME: Talking about blowback, I read the post you wrote about the proposed “Uplift Melrose” project, which would have added protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks and shaded seating areas along a 1.3-mile stretch of Melrose Avenue. There was broad support from local businesses, but City Councilmember Paul Koretz effectively killed the proposal. Why is it so difficult politically to get changes like these approved?

SCHNEIDER: Opponents typically say the following: If you remove parking or reduce car capacity in any way, how are people going to shop or get to businesses? You’re going to kill business. They also ask, “Why would we invest in this when no one uses the bike lanes anyway?” People cite anecdotes of driving by bike lanes and seeing them empty.

If we had a beautiful six-lane paved highway that only went for one mile and then became a dirt road with potholes, how many cars would take that road? That is the equivalent of what we ask people to do when they bike around Los Angeles. If we had a network of protected bike lanes, you would see a ton of people using them. One piece of evidence is CicLAvia. Those events bring out tens of thousands of people to ride their bikes on closed streets.

What happened to Uplift Melrose was egregious even by L.A. standards. Koretz basically became a puppet for mostly white, wealthy homeowners who couldn’t see themselves riding a bike or a bus.

Pagels’ death serves as a tragic reminder of what can happen to anyone on the streets — even though the risk to any one of us at any particular time is infinitesimally small.

But if anything ever happens to me when I’m riding a bicycle, I want you to politicize the hell out of it.

Take what’s left of my body to the city council and dump it on the dais, if you have to.

Metaphorically speaking, of course. Or literally, for that matter.

And if it happens on a street marked for safety improvements in city’s mobility plan, I hope those lawyers up there on the right will join together to sue the hell out of the city for failing to keep their commitment to safer streets.

Or maybe just sue over LA’s failed and forgotten Vision Zero plan to force the cowards we foolishly elected to lead us to the changes we so desperately need on our streets.

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LADOT has finally release the results of the city’s biennial walk and bike count, which for years has been done on a volunteer basis by the LACBC and later, LA Walks.

Which is something they should have been doing all along.

The result was a 22% increase in bicycle rates from the last count — in 2017.

And yes, they are just now releasing data collected that was collected two years ago, for reasons known only to them.

It also shows how easy it is to boost bicycling with a little decent infrastructure, with a 73% jump in ridership as a result of the protected and separated bike lanes on the MyFigueroa project.

MyFig also resulted the city’s most heavily-trafficked pedestrian corridor, even above the tourist-clogged sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd.

And it points to how Los Angeles can increase the far too low rate of women riding bikes on city streets.

While the report found that women make up 40 percent of pedestrians on weekdays and 44 percent on weekends, women made up just 14 percent of cyclists.  However, the report also indicated a 120 percent increase in female riders on streets improved with dedicated bike paths.

In other words, all they have to do is what the city already committed to in the 2010 bike plan, and the mobility plan that subsumed it.

Not to mention LA’s nearly forgotten Vision Zero and the mayor’s Green New Deal.

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What the hell.

I’m not sure where this video is from; I can’t make out the the police patches or or the name on the patrol cars.

But something looks seriously wrong about a bunch of while cops taking a young black man into custody for the crime of…wait for it…

…riding a bicycle without lights or licenses.

In the middle of the day, no less.

And while some cities require bikes to be registered, I don’t know any place where police have the authority to seize private property over a handful of minor infractions.

Which would be illegal as hell if they tried to seize someone’s car for an expired license or failing to signal a turn.

Let alone not having their headlights on in broad daylight.

Unfortunately, there’s a term for crap like this — Biking While Black.

And regardless of their motivation, it makes the cops look racist AF.

Thanks to Jon, Megan Lynch and Stacey Kline for the heads-up. 

And if anyone knows where this happened, let me know so I’ll never make the mistake of going there.

Update: Thanks to Al Williams for identifying this as Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Which I will make a point of never visiting. 

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If you live or ride in Beverly Hills, the city needs to hear from you at today’s city council meeting, where councilmembers will consider the city’s proposed Complete Streets plan.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s free parking for a tire shop.

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

A Texas bike rider bike rider was hospitalized with a brain bleed and facial fractures when he was run down by a drunk driver — while riding on an ostensibly carfree bike path.

Singaporean actor Tay Ping Hui says he’s got nothing against bicyclists, despite complaining when a small group of riders merged onto the roadway ahead of him. Because apparently, it’s asking too much to slow down or change lanes to drive safely around them.

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

No bias here, either. A Singapore motorcyclist calls for banning bicycles from the roads after watching one — count ’em, one — scofflaw bicyclist weaving through traffic. Meanwhile, the website somehow feels the need to point out that 34 bike riders were ticketed for breaking the law over the weekend. Makes you wonder how many motorcyclists got tickets the same weekend. Let alone drivers. But sure, blame everyone on bicycles.

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Local

LA Magazine highlights “cool” bike accessories to keep you riding in style. Too bad they forgot to feature that mirrored helmet in the main photo. Because who wouldn’t want to look like a human disco ball?

LA Taco takes a look at nine kinds of bad drivers you’ll meet on the streets of Los Angeles — and they include kids on scooters in that.

Keep an extra eye open if you’re riding the Arroyo Bike Path through Arroyo Seco Park, where a man walking on the pathway was shot several times by couple men who approached him around dusk Sunday evening.

A proposal for protected bike lanes on Pasadena’s North Lake Ave would keep 98% of the current parking on the street.

LA County Sheriff’s Deputies made a spectacular rescue of a mountain biker who went off the side of the road on Mt. Wilson; the victim was hanging head-first over a sheer cliff, clinging to the rock face like a cat, suspended by a thin cord around his ankle.

Former Lakers star Kobe Bryant was one of us, starting his bike rides at 4:30 am and not coming home until the sun was at its peak.

 

State

A bill currently under consideration in the state legislature would increase the penalties for a fatal hit-and-run from 2 to 4 years to 3 to 6. It’s already been watered down from the original proposal, which would have doubled the penalties for hit-and-run that result in death or permanent serious injury.

Calbike wants your support for the proposed Safety Stop Bill, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which is exactly what many riders safely do right now. And far too many drivers do unsafely.

AB117, the bill that would create a $10 million fund to help lower income Californians buy ebikes, passed its first test in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Meanwhile, AB 43 unanimously passed the Assembly Transportation Committee with no opposition; the bill would retain the deadly 85th Percentile Law, but allow cities to consider factors other than drivers’ right feet in setting speed limits, such as the location as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety.

California is joining a nationwide movement to prioritize safety over speed. The question is whether the shift is real, or if the legislature will simply pass a few feel good bills before forgetting all about it and moving on to other matters, as too often happens.

Credit old school police work. Riverside police finally busted the hit-and-run driver who killed 52-year old Brian Sabel two years ago, arresting 34-year old Menifee resident Steven Allen Watson Jr. for the crime, despite the apparent lack of any witnesses or evidence at the time of the crash.

Bay Area bike riders may want to ride with a partner or group around Grizzly Peak Boulevard in the hills above Berkeley, where a number of solo riders have been robbed by armed bike jackers; at least five riders have been run off the road and robbed at gunpoint or knifepoint since late March.

A San Francisco ER physician calls for keeping the city’s Safe Streets, saying they’ve helped empty his emergency room.

A San Francisco woman celebrates seven years of living carfree after switching to an ebike when her car was totaled by an uninsured driver; she claims she’s saved over $50,000 over that period.

 

National

Of course she gets it. Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan teams with her Streetfight co-auther to call for cities to hold onto the street space reclaimed for people during the pandemic, saying surrendering our cities to cars would be a historic blunder.

My hometown university has now joined the Vision Zero club. Which isn’t too surprising, considering it’s surrounded by one of the nation’s most bike-friendly communities. Even though it didn’t get that way until long after I left, of course.

Apparently writing with all seriousness, a New Hampshire medical worker and self-described cyclist says he worked with a state legislator on a bill that would require bicyclists to ride salmon, but the bill died when he couldn’t get time off work to attend the hearing. Because evidently, riding a bike in New Hampshire just isn’t dangerous enough already.

A Massachusetts man got his fat tire bike back two months after it was stolen, when he recognized it being ridden by a burglary suspect on a TV news story about a break-in.

The Big Apple is getting a belated start on the micromobility revolution, as the city finally gets its first e-scooters.

 

International

In a story that’s scary as hell, a writer for Bike Radar examines whether lane-keeping technology poses a risk to bike riders, after he had to wrestle a car for control to avoid running down a bike rider sharing the same lane.

T3 considers what you get with a high-end road bike that you don’t with a cheap one. Or put another way, is an expensive bike really worth 20 times more than a low-end bike?

A pair of Vancouver business owners are taking their case to the British Columbia Supreme Court to fight the re-installation of a protected bike lane through a park, arguing the decision to swap a traffic lane for a bikeway wasn’t “reasonable, rational or logical.” Seriously. It’s in a park.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who stole an ebike from a disabled 13-year old English girl.

A pregnant British driver will spend the next 30 months behind bars for killing an 80-year old triathlete while chatting with her sister on WhatsApp; no word on whether her baby will spend the first years of its life in prison with her.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 26-year old driver got a lousy 35 months in jail for intentionally running down a 13-year old boy riding his bike after getting into an argument with the kid in a park, and following him for 20 minutes before using his car as a weapon to attack him.

Scottish cyclist Josh Quigley is on his second day of a world record attempt for the greatest distance ridden on a bicycle in a single week, attempting to ride 320 miles a day in an 80-mile loop through the Scottish countryside; he’s aiming for Aussie pro Jack Thompson’s record of 2,177 miles, despite suffering multiple broken bones in a crash three months ago.

France is now allowing drivers to trade their old, smog-belching cars for a nearly $3,000 grant to buy a new ebike.

Last year was even a bad year for bike riders in the Netherlands, with the highest number of bicycling deaths in the past 25 years.

This is who we share the road with. A Kiwi driver is filmed blissfully driving on the right side of the road — which is the wrong side Down Under adjacent — until confronted head-on by a large truck. If your first thought was that it was probably just an American tourist confused about what side to drive on, join the club.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch legend Marianne Vos outsprinted the competition to win the one-day Amstel Gold Race on Sunday; Belgian Wout van Aert took the men’s race by a nose in a photo finish.

More proof cycling hasn’t kicked its doping habit yet, after 52-year old California masters racer Vahe Aivazian was banned for four years for testing positive for not one, not two, but ten different banned drugs. But the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

That feeling when your personal traffic bypass bridge turns out to be a pedestrian walkway. That feeling when you’re an elected official with no idea what Bicycle Day is all about.

And who needs to pick a bike lock when you can just blow it up with a hand grenade?

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Alleged San Diego hit-and-run driver pleads not guilty, and more on NIMBY Koretz killing Melrose project

Twentynine-year old Mauricio Flores pled not guilty to felony hit-and-run in San Diego on Monday.

Flores is the minivan driver who allegedly slammed into a 66-year old bike rider near the city’s airport last month, leaving the victim with a life-threatening head injury.

In actions captured on video, he allegedly got out of his van, along with a passenger identified as 50-year old Jessica Bailey, examined the victim lying in the roadway, then calmly removed his bike from under their van and drove away.

They were captured in Kern County less than two weeks later.

There’s no word on whether Bailey is in custody, or if she will face any charges.

And no word on the identity or condition of the victim.

There are several stories from other news outlets, like this one, but they’re all virtually identical. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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Streets For All founder Michael Schneider lays out in painful, step-by-step detail just what went wrong with the Uplift Melrose plan to improve the iconic, if deadly, LA street.

And how the environmentally friendly project was killed by a single LA councilmember, acting on behalf of a notorious NIMBY group.

Just after the Mid City West meeting, the NIMBYs sprang into action. They viewed Uplift Melrose as a threat to the sacred space of vehicles in this city, and were outraged that a project would even be considered that would rellocate space from cars for a bike lane. Those bike lane thieves, trying to take away sacred car space! And while the project was so much more than a bike lane — it was wider sidewalks, new trees, raised crosswalks, new lighting… all they could see was the bike lane.

Jim O’Sullivan, co-founder of Fix The City — a litigious organization that sues over nearly every bike lane and high density housing project using money from questionable funding sources — started sending threatening emails to Councilmember Koretz and eventually to the entire city council. They also posted misinformation on Next Door. When NIMBYs can’t win on the merits of something, then they simply resort to the tired and true “there wasn’t enough outreach” argument.

It’s worth taking a few minutes — okay, nine, according to the article — to read the whole thing.

Because this is what we’re up against.

And what we will continue to confront — and too often, lose — as long as we continue to elect regressive leaders in environmentalist sheep’s clothing.

Speaking of which, Bike the Vote LA is encouraging you to phonebank for CD4 candidate Nithya Raman this Sunday to support an actual environmentalist.

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Something is seriously wrong when the person charged with enforcing a state’s laws doesn’t obey them himself.

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg killed a man riding his bike Saturday night, then continued driving home without bothering to stop, later claiming he thought he’d hit a deer.

An excuse used by countless other hit-and-run drivers, in a usually failed attempt to avoid responsibility for their crimes.

It remains to be seen whether Ravnsborg, who has a long record of speeding and other traffic violations, will be held accountable. Or if his position will shield him from blame.

Although it doesn’t bode well that the state’s Department of Public Safety is withholding key details of the investigation.

Ravnsborg was reportedly driving home from a Republican fundraising dinner, where he swears he didn’t drink.

Even though any rational and sober person would stop to see what they hit after an impact like that.

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Still more proof you can literally carry anything on a bicycle.

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

An American marine biologist in the Philippines with a bad case of windshield bias questions why road space is being given to bike riders when motor vehicles bring in much more “revinue” for the government. He may be many things, but an environmentalist clearly ain’t one of them, regardless of what the headline says.

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Local

Bruce Willis is one of us, riding his Trek ebike through the streets of LA, even if the story somehow comes by way of Islamabad. Yippie-ki-yay, indeed.

Olympic boarder Shaun White and Vampire Diaries actress Nina Dobrev are two of us. Or make that three, as they went for a bike ride through the ‘Bu with her dog in his arms.

 

State

A recovering Newport Beach stroke victim reached his goal of swimming 100 miles Labor Day weekend, then walked a couple miles to where he’d left his bicycle to ride back home.

A San Diego letter writer questions the city’s 42 percent increase in bike ridership, saying it’s meaningless without knowing how many riders there were before. Hate to say it, but he’s got a point.

 

National

Washington state is adopting the Idaho Stop Law next month, allowing bike riders to treat stops as yields — but not treat red lights like stop signs, as is legal in Idaho.

This is how it works in other places. Austin, Texas is going to make permanent a popup bike lane installed during the coronavirus crisis after it proved successful. Unfortunately, unlike countless other cities around the world, auto-centric Los Angeles never bothered to install any temporary bike lanes during the lockdown period to begin with.

Dozens of Louisville KY residents rode to apartment where Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by police, who were looking for her former boyfriend, to see where it happened and demand justice for her.

Chicago is responding to the increase in bike riders by installing a curb and post protected bike lane on a busy street, removing 100 parking spaces to make room.

Boston is raising Austin’s ante by making an entire Downtown popup bike network permanent. Although Boston’s bike boom has also been reflected in a corresponding jump in bike thefts.

Now that’s how to campaign. A New York state assemblyman is riding his bike 116 miles across the state’s 116th Assembly District to raise funds for his campaign.

A 73-year old Franciscan friar in Pennsylvania is riding nearly 400 miles along the Erie Canal to raise funds for an outreach center serving people struggling with rural poverty; it’s the stage-4 colon cancer survivor’s tenth annual ride.

Billy Connolly is one of us, too. The Scottish comic, who suffers from Parkinsons, suffered an eye injury falling off his ebike near his home in Key West.

Unbelievable. Authorities dropped aggravated assault charges against a Florida driver who aggressively drove into a crowd of protesters, then pulled a gun on them when they surrounded his car.

Police in Florida have arrested four men for the January, 2019 shooting death of a man riding his bike, who was apparently collateral damage in a shootout between the occupants of two cars.

 

International

The World Resources Institute says 80 percent of urban freight begins or ends in cities, and it’s time to take it seriously — including using e-cargo bikes to make deliveries.

A bike rider goes skitching, hanging on to a semi-truck trailer on a Toronto highway. Although someone should tell Narcity that there’s no need to pedal when you’re being pulled by a truck.

A Canadian woman explains how Covid-19 finally encouraged her to learn how to ride a bike at the ripe old age of 33.

Financial Times profiles famed British bike rider and designer Paul Smith, calling him the most loved man in fashion.

He gets it. An English cycling instructor says a new protected bike lane isn’t intended to make it easier to drive, but to improve safety for people on bicycles and in cars.

France ie encouraging more people to ride bikes by paying them the equivalent of nearly $60 to get their bikes repaired.

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending Tour de France champ Egan Bernal dropped out after Sunday’s 15th stage, complaining that he just didn’t have any power.

Cyclist looks at Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogačar, calling him cycling’s newest sensation.

An excerpt from a new book examines the troubled legacy of cycling great Marco Pantani; the 1998 Tour de France winner died of a coke overdose just six years later.

Women’s cycling is still going strong, despite the media’s best efforts to ignore it, including the longest ever stage of the Giro Rosa.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the disabled parking is in the middle of the street. Your next bike could be a folding mountain ebike for just 600 bucks.

And what does it say when the streets aren’t safe enough for police to conduct a bike safety sting?

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

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