Tag Archive for Michael Schneider

EVs present danger to all road users, how Measure HLA ballot measure changed the city, and Laemmle’s bike the Oscars

Just 295 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

As of this writing, we’re up to 1,010 signatures, so let’s keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until the mayor agrees to meet with us!

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A new study shows even a total worldwide switch to EVs would perpetuate what the authors call “car harm,” such as death, injury, disease and other miseries, because the current system “prioritizes speed over safety.”

 

The report concludes:

  • In 2019, 43% of people killed by motor vehicles were walking, using a wheelchair or riding a bike.
  • Motor vehicles kill more than 700 children a day. Traffic deaths occur at the highest rates in Africa and Southeast Asia, and, in the US and Brazil, crashes disproportionately kill Black and Indigenous people.
  • SUVs, which make up nearly half of car sales globally, are eight times more likely than traditional cars to kill children.
  • Traffic-related air pollution is linked to circulatory and heart disease, lung cancer, asthma and, according to a cited study, “acute lower respiratory infections in children.”
  • Other car harms include drunk driving, drive-by shootings, carbon monoxide poisoning and, in the US, traffic stops that “are a setting for police violence against Black, Latine/x, and Indigenous people,” they write.
  • Access to oil has played a role in a quarter to half of wars between countries since 1973.
  • The electric car, a juggernaut of the energy transition, “fails to address a majority of the harms,” they write, including crashes, sedentary travel, inequality and cities designed more for cars than people.

 

Greg and Tish Laemmle, owners of the Laemmle Theater chain and descendant of early Hollywood royalty, led a group biking to the Oscars yesterday.

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GCN tests whether an experienced amateur can descend at the same hair-raising speeds as a pro cyclist.

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It’s now 82 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 33 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

No bias here. A writer for Streetsblog complains that an NYPD precinct is responding to complaints about ebike riders by targeting riders of traditional human-powered bikes, because they’re easier to catch.

A Scottish mountain biker was lucky to escape without serious injuries after someone booby trapped a trail with buried spike strips they had welded together to cause maximum damage.

A British woman learns the hard way what happens when you hug the edge of the road, as several drivers pass her bike way too close — including a large truck.

No bias here, either. The UK traffic lawyer who calls himself Mr. Loophole for getting scofflaw drivers off the hook continues his campaign to force bike riders to carry ID and have numbered license plates on their bicycles. Apparently forgetting that it’s the dangerous drivers he represents who are the real problem. 

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Local 

A letter from a former LA resident argues that the passage of Measure HLA is proof that NIMBYs aren’t the majority, no matter how loudly they scream.

Arnold is apparently in the clear, after the woman suing the former governator for crashing into her bike with his massive SUV dropped her lawsuit.

A 40-year old man was airlifted from the Haines Canyon Mountainway in the Sunland/Tujunga area after injuring his back in a mountain bike fall Sunday morning.

Culver City is asking the state for a $4 million grant to replace existing bike lanes with protected lanes on a 1.75-mile stretch of Overland Avenue between Washington and Sawtelle Boulevards.

 

State

An op-ed from the leaders of Hispanic rights organization LULAC and the California Alliance for Jobs calls for an “all of the above” approach to transportation infrastructure to keep people working. But what they really mean is keep spending billions on highways — even though bike and pedestrian projects create more jobs.  

San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood received a $3.3 million state grant for enhanced bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

A Simi Valley letter writer calls out the “dismal condition” of the city’s major streets and bike lanes, thanks to a “multitude of ruts, cracks, potholes.”

San Francisco bike shop owner fear the city’s new ban on dangerous lithium-ion ebike batteries, along with a requirement for any store that sells them to install sprinklers, could put them out of business. Meanwhile, a British member of Parliament calls the batteries “unexploded bombs.”

 

National

A travel website recommends 20 American cities to visit without a car.

Jalopnik says bike lanes are good for business, and anyone who says otherwise is wrong. So there.

Electrek says riding an ebike instead of driving can really impact your wallet — in a good way.

Bicycling drama Hard Miles is set for a nationwide April 19 premier date; the fact-based film tells the story bicycling team made up of inmates from a Colorado correctional school as they ride from Denver to the Grand Canyon.

Give your kid an early start on the biking bug with a new book large-format picture book for kids ages 3 to 6 that follows a mom and her son on a bicycling adventure.

This is who we share the road with. Life is cheap in Vermont, as the driver who killed motorcycle-riding actor Treat Williams walked without a day behind barsl, despite pleading guilty to negligent driving.

A writer for Forbes offers advice on how to stay safe riding a bicycle in New York traffic. Or any other traffic, for that matter.

The mayor of Baltimore’s security team parked in a bike lane for over an hour while he attended a candidate forum, despite the city’s recent crackdown on bike lane violators.

 

International

An Irish man just returned home for bicycling across Afghanistan, Iran, India and Pakistan as part of a multi-stage ride around the world, while attempting to meet as many people as possible along the way.

A conservative Irish counselor claims she was never told that a Limerick road project included segregated bike lanes — even though she posted on Facebook four years ago how delighted she was with them.

Velo looks at the best bike tech from small brands only Belgians have access to.

A bicycling organization hosting a series of of bicycling“camps in spectacular destinations throughout Türkiye, formerly known as Turkey in the English-speaking world.

Rappler rides a 120 kilometer — 75 mile — bike route through central Manila to rate the roadway quality, and concludes not so much.

David Seymour, leading of New Zealand’s rightwing Act Party, wasn’t injured when he went over his ebike handlebars to avoid a driver, then suffered verbal abuse from a bystander who complained about what he was doing to the Māori, even though he is one.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-four-year old American Matteo Jorgenson won the Paris-Nice stage race on Sunday, capping the biggest victory of his young career, as Cycling News offers a blow-by-blow recount of the final stage; Bobby Julich in 2005, and ex-Tour de France champ Floyd Landis in 2006, are the only other Americans to win the iconic Race to the Sun.

Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard claimed a dominating victory in the seven-day Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, as the Visma-Lease a Bike cycling team took both Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico in the same year for the first time.

Ghana’s national cycling team blamed substandard equipment for their poor showing in the ongoing Africa Games, competing on their own aluminum-frame bikes and using the same gear they train on.

This year’s 38th annual Redlands Bicycle Classic will take place on April 10th through this 14th.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying illegal narcotics on your bike, put a damn light on it and don’t ride on the sidewalk. Your next ebike could have four wheels and look more like a dorky little car. Or maybe be made of recycled plastic.

And an NFL cheerleader turns gravel racer, while a track cyclist turns astronaut.

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Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month today

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Hope for Expo bike path despite entitled NIMBYs, LA needs safer streets not more signs, and South Bay tries to rein in ebikes

Welcome to the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

We’re off to a rip-roaring start as we begin Day 4, ahead of last year’s record pace by nearly $450 after just three days. 

So before you settle down to Cyber Monday shopping, take a moment to join the 23 people who have already opened their hearts and wallets to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

And please join me in thanking everyone who’s given so far for their kindness and generosity in supporting this site. 

Thanks to James L, David R, Eric L, Arthur B, Stephen T, Scott R, John C, Joni Y, André V, Glenn C, Jordan G, Michael G, David M, Joseph R, Michael S, Mark J, Stephen M, Patrick M, Steven F, Steven S, Brian N, Robs M, and Smiling Corgis. 

Let’s hope tomorrow’s list is just as long. So donate today!

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Writing for Streetsblog, longtime lawyer, bike advocate and Cheviot Hills resident Jonathan Weiss tells a prototypical LA horror story about entitled NIMBYs blocking the Expo Line bike path.

Weiss writes how wealthy Cheviot Hills residents successfully fought the installation of the Expo Bike Path after unsuccessfully fighting the Expo Line train, resulting in the notorious Northvale Gap that has forced bike riders and walkers to use difficult bypass routes.

And how they’ve used means both legal and otherwise to deter outsiders from besmirching their neighborhood.

But there may finally be light at the end of the tunnel, after ten long years.

As for finally closing the Northvale Gap, I am cautiously optimistic now that Katy Yaroslavsky is the Los Angeles City Councilwoman for Cheviot Hills. She is pro-active-transportation and is also on the Metro board. Already, her office has obtained additional funds from Metro to close the Northvale Gap. Her staff regularly meets with relevant departments (LADOT, Engineering, City Attorney) to solve problems. The latest (2022) fact sheet available through LADOT’s “Exposition Bike Path (Northvale Segment)” website says “Construction is anticipated to begin Spring 2024.” The Council Office expects construction to start some time in 2024.

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In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider says the city needs safe streets, not more signs warning drivers to “watch your speed.”

The official responses to proven traffic hazards are woefully inadequate — mere gestures, if even that.

In 2021, after Monique Muñoz was killed on Olympic Boulevard at Overland Avenue by a driver going more than 100 miles per hour, the city placed a “Watch your speed” sign, politely asking drivers to slow down. Unfortunately, in the over two years that have passed, the city has yet to meaningfully redesign Olympic Boulevard to prevent a crash like this from happening again.

People don’t drive based on signage. They drive based on the design of the street. In the case of Olympic Boulevard in West Los Angeles, the design screams “wide open highway,” a lot like the Pacific Coast Highway. Hazardous as this is to all people (including drivers), it is most dangerous to pedestrians and cyclists.

Take a few minutes from your busy Cyber Monday to read the whole thing, because, as Schneider concludes, “The problem is carnage in the streets, and we know the solutions.”

Indeed we do.

We just need leaders with the courage to implement them, which seems to be sadly lacking in this town.

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Speaking of the LA Times, the paper observes the proliferation of ebikes in California’s coastal cities, as South Bay cities struggle to rein riders in.

And as we’ve seen, several have over-reacted with draconian, and possibly illegal, restrictions. Hello, Manhattan Beach.

Meanwhile, Clean Technica gets it, pleading with officials not to turn ebikes into a regulatory nightmare.

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CicLAvia looks forward to their final event of the year, as the nation’s most successful ongoing open streets festival finds its way to South LA this weekend.

The route runs from historic Central Ave to iconic Leimert Park, with culturally rich MLK Jr. Blvd in between.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to miss this one, much to my regret, due to other obligations.

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The Cyber Monday sales are coming in fast and furious, with as Cycling Weekly rounds up bicycling deals, including up 40% off at REI and up to 50% off at Competitive Cyclist, as well as deals on bikewear and novelty jerseys.

Meanwhile, Wired says you can now get a Specialized ebike for as little as two grand.

Which would normally give us another opportunity to chide California for the interminable delay in launching the state’s ebike rebate program, but screw it.

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Of course Bill Nye the Science Guy is one of us.

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A German TV network reports on the influx of migrants flowing into Finland across the border with Russia, many on bicycles supplied by the Russians.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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GCN tackles the ultimate question of who is the fastest, staging a drag race pitting a roadie against a mountain biker, BMX rider and a track cyclist.

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

No bias here. Georgetown historian Thomas Zimmer writes on Mastodon that certain members of the far right are promoting “aggressive anti-bikeism” as part of their political agenda, even though bicycling is far less socialist than the massive public subsidies paid for cars. Unfortunately, I can’t embed his post, but you can read this thread and other Mastodon posts without having an account with the social media company; thanks again to Megan Lynch for the link. 

Britain’s Daily Mail offers a panicked assessment of the “staggering 10,000 cyclists” delivering fast food across Scotland’s cities and towns, saying they pose a threat to pedestrians and even cars by flouting ­traffic regulations and riding on sidewalks. Never mind that an additional 10,000 people driving cars to make fast food deliveries would pose an greater risk to everyone.

London’s former police chief calls for forcing bike riders to wear numbered license plates to “stop so many cyclists being a danger on London’s streets.” Meanwhile, a writer for conservative The Spectator wisely asks what good would requiring bicyclists to wear numbered plates actually do?

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Local 

Writing for CityLab, Alex Contreras argues that LA should have used the I-10 closure as an opportunity to rethink the freeway and apply the same sense of urgency to get people out of their cars.

West Hollywood will team with the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition to host a WeHo Mobility Popup on Santa Monica Blvd tonight, giving away free bike lights on a first-come, first-served basis for people with bicycles, along with other complimentary giveaways for everyone.

 

State

No surprise here, as California ranks among the country’s deadliest states for bicyclists, ranking 4th nationwide in the percentage of bicyclists killed compared to total traffic deaths.

An assistant US Attorney in San Diego says a form of blood cancer knocked him off his bike, but not for long.

In a rare occurrence, someone was killed in a bicycling crash, and it wasn’t the person on two wheels. A driver in San Gregorio was killed when he struck a bicyclist riding on the shoulder, then went off the road and struck a tree; compounding the tragedy, the bike rider was hospitalized with what was described as severe injuries.

San Francisco advocates say the city is prime real estate for undoing one of the country’s most glaring urban infrastructure mistakes and building cities around people instead of cars.

Sad news from Lodi, where a 56-year old homeless man was killed riding his bike after allegedly swerving head-on in front of a 19-year old driver; investigators blamed the victim for possibly being stoned

 

National

A pair of kindhearted Pocatello, Idaho business owners gave a new bicycle to a man described as a local fixture for riding his bike around the city, after his bike was stolen.

New York’s high court extended prohibitions against illegal search and seizure to bicyclists, ruling that people on bicycles should have the same protections as people in cars, and require that police have probable cause to conduct a search.

Bloomberg’s CityLab talks with the mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey about the steps the city has taken to improve street safety, which has resulted in no traffic deaths for the past six years. And proves that Vision Zero is achievable — if our leaders actually give a damn, and have the political will to make the tough choices.

 

International

Rouleur says ‘cross will make you a more powerful bicyclist.

Momentum offers the top ten reasons to bike to work in the winter. Reason #1 should be that you live in Los Angeles. Or anywhere else in sunny Southern California. 

The mayor of Manchester, England defends plans for a new segregated bike path alongside a major highway, as vandals steal orange construction cones in what the mayor describes as “systemic theft,” arguing that we can’t live in a world where cars “have got all the road.”

The owner of an independent Dublin, Ireland bike shop describes how his business was trashed and looted by right-wing rioters angry over immigration and a stabbing.

The Guardian examines the culture of bicycling on the cobbles and countryside of Flanders.

National Geographic describes how to plan a design-focused bicycling tour of Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city.

The Philippines’ Iloilo City hosted roughly 3,000 bike riders for a three-day celebration of all things bicycle.

A British TV star is once again criticizing a 108-mile New Zealand bike path that runs across property and a restaurant he owns, citing a number of safety concerns for bike riders on the trail, although he has long fought its mere existence on his property.

Hats off to 39-year old Kiwi paracyclist Hannah Pascoe, who became the first blind bicyclist to ride the full 1,000-mile length of New Zealand.

 

Competitive Cycling

Jeffrey Rusk forwards news that four California paracyclists were among the 15 Americans competing for Team USA at the 2023 Parpan American Games in Santiago, Chile last week — including his girlfriend Jenna Rollman, who brought home bronze in Road Mixed H Womens Class Time Trial, among several other American medalists.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have a 19-gear string drive groupset. Why ride a mere bicycle, when you can pedal a Star Wars speeder, instead?

And when you disagree with the law, just change it.

Or chop it down, anyway.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Disappointing new LA bike lane totals, Angelenos suffer from car blindness, and Long Beach needs bike count volunteers

It just keeps getting worse. 

I’m told someone was killed riding a bike yesterday on Fountain Ave in East Hollywood.

If it’s confirmed — and it comes from an unimpeachable source — this will be the ninth SoCal bike rider killed in just 12 days.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more soon. 

Today’s photo, in contrast with too much of the day’s news, is a very happy corgi enjoying a pedicab ride over the new 6th Street Bridge during Sunday’s CicLAvia. 

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Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes his semi-annual deep dive into bike lane building, or the lack thereof, in the City of Angels.

And finds the current results underwhelming, with far too many disappointments including truncated mileage, downgraded facilities, long delayed timelines and false claims, just to name a few.

Or as we call that here in Los Angeles, Wednesday.

As noted in past posts (FY21-22, FY20-21, FY19-20), not all bikeway miles are equal. Quality protected bike lanes and bike paths serve riders aged 8 to 80, while sharrows serve almost nobody. New bikeway mileage expands the network; upgrades to existing bikeways do not. Among upgrades, some are significant (protecting unprotected lanes) and others are nearly meaningless (adding a buffer stripe to an existing lane).

In recent years, around a quarter of the city’s output consists of these less than newsworthy facilities. Among the city’s FY23 totals are about 6 miles of new sharrows and 5 miles of buffer stripes added to existing bike lanes.

The city’s FY22-23 total of 45.2 miles breaks down into 27.7 miles of newbikeways and 17.5 miles of upgrades to existing bikeways. This represents a slight improvement over last year, which saw 26.6 new bikeway miles and 12.5 upgraded miles.

That’s a far cry from the city’s commitment to build 50 miles of bike lanes a year when the current bike plan was approved. Which was quickly cut in half when the city switched to measuring by lane miles, which counts bike lanes on each side of the road separately.

Then reduced further, when they decided sharrows count, too.

Adding disappointment, on disappointment, on disappointment.

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Streets For All founder Michael Schneider writes that we suffer from car blindness in Los Angeles.

We are car blind in Los Angeles; as a City, we seem to have accepted cars as essential for society to function, and we overlook their downsides and harms they cause on our society.

Cars are the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California, and car crashes are a leading cause of death for children in Los Angeles. Our streets are so dangerous that a pedestrian is killed about once every three days — a rate that is four times the national average.

I’ve often said this city’s problem is we can’t see the cars for the traffic.

So it’s worth taking a few minutes to read the whole thing, because he’s absolutely right.

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Long Beach is still looking for volunteers for this week’s bike and pedestrian count.

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Metro is hosting a series of meetings beginning in Westwood next Tuesday to discuss the Traffic Reduction Study, Sepulveda Transit Corridor, and I-405 Sepulveda Pass ExpressLanes projects

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ActiveSGV will host a discussion with Strong Towns founder Chuck Marohn and current Pasadena Planning Commissioner Rick Cole at Throop Church in Pasadena tonight.

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Sounds like fun.

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SAFE offers a reminder that bike riders aren’t the only vulnerable victims of traffic violence.

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Nailed it.

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

No bias here. A San Francisco restaurant owner says the Valencia Street business corridor will die if the controversial center-line bike lane on the street isn’t removed.

A Flushing, New York letter writer with a bad case of windshield bias says riding a bicycle in traffic is a horrible idea, whether or not it’s in a bike lane, and everyone but drivers deserve tickets for breaking the law.

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

A San Mateo bike rider was arrested for brandishing a weapon after a woman tried to pass a large group of bicyclists in the downtown area; he raised his shirt to show the weapon in his waistband when a group of riders surrounded her car and started beating on it.

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Local 

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers photos from Sunday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia.

A South Pasadena site looks forward to the first Arroyo Fest in 20 years, as the 110 Freeway prepares to close to motor vehicle traffic for a few hours on October 29th to welcome thousand of people walking, biking, running, scooting and rolling.

Garden Grove has received a $441,000 Caltrans grant to improve the city’s Medal of Honor Bike Trail.

 

State

The LA Times says the recent legislative session was mixed bag when it comes to fighting climate change, noting that Governor Newsom signed bills supporting electric cars and hydrogen fuels, but vetoed bills to improve bicycle safety.

A UC San Diego student asks if roads around the campus will ever be safe, years after a protected bike lane was approved for Gilman Drive, but never built.

San Bernardino’s Skypark Bike Park announced the opening of a new Black Diamond mountain bike trail.

A 34-year-old Victorville man faces narcotics and gun charges after a bike theft victim tracked his stolen bike to a city bus, where the man had taken it.

A series of new traffic diverters and islands on Santa Barbara’s Sola Street are aimed at creating a safe bicycling link between the Westside and downtown.

The San Francisco Standard examines why the city so rarely enforces illegal parking in bike lanes. You could ask the same question in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, too. 

Tragic news from Napa County, where a pair of bicyclists were killed when the load shifted on a passing lumber truck, striking the victims as they rode on the side of the roadway; the victims were identified only as a man in his 50s and a woman in her 40s.

 

National

The Guardian considers whether it’s time to ban right turns on red lights, as pedestrian deaths soar. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, oh hell yes.

Good question. Adventure Rider asks why mountain bikes cost as much as motorcycles these days.

Sports Illustrated recommends the best bike shorts for women who actually ride bikes. As opposed to the trendy bike short-style shorts for women who don’t. 

The new Portland Bicycle School is offering riders the bicycle equivalent of Driver’s Ed.

A Las Vegas high school student says he was forced to withdraw from school after he was threatened by the sister of one of the two teens charged in the vehicular murder of former Bell, California police chief Andy Probst, after she apparently suspected he was the source who turned video of the crash over to police; meanwhile, the 72-year old bike rider who was injured in the hit-and-run crime spree describe the crash that left him with road rash and knee pain.

Heartbreaking news from the Denver area, where residents of Littleton demanded safety improvements after a boy was killed in a collision while riding his bike to middle school.

Accused killer Kaitlin Armstrong’s recent failed escape attempt was apparently premeditated, as a Texas site notes that she exercised vigorously for months and wore civilian clothes in advance of a doctor’s appointment; Armstrong is accused of fatally shooting gravel cycling star Moriah “Mo” Wilson over an imagined love triangle.

A new Brooklyn book bike is fighting book bans by serving the gay and nonbinary community, bringing free LGBTQIA+ books for all ages and languages directly to them.

New York officials blamed the increase in bicycling deaths on ebikes, with 62.2% of bicyclists killed in the city this year riding one, compared to 57.9% two years ago and 47.4% last year — but failed to provide any stats putting it in context, such as the proportion of ebike riders, or who was at fault in the crashes; meanwhile, 94% of this year’s deaths occurred on streets without protected bike lanes, calling into question the mayor’s failure to fulfill his campaign promise to build more.

New York bike riders say they’re fighting over inches on the city’s crowded bridges, where narrow bikeways contribute to bike-on-bike crashes.

A New Jersey man faces a manslaughter charge for allegedly pushing a 70-year old man off his bike, for no apparent reason; the victim died after hitting his head on the pavement and initially refusing treatment. A tragic reminder to always get checked out after hitting your head, because life-threatening injuries may not show up until hours later. 

The Washington Post says forget buying another car, and get an ebike instead.

 

International

Streetsblog admires the quick build bike lanes of Lima, Peru, which enabled residents to keep active during the pandemic, and to keep riding now.

Bicycling tells the tale of a Canadian man who set off on a bikepacking tour around the world with his six-year old border collie, who was just three months old when they set off. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Another Canadian man is riding his bike around the world to share lessons in physics with teachers and students.

Oxford, England will install speed cams at a dangerous roundabout where a bike-riding university researcher was killed by a coked-up dump truck driver last year, although a city counselor says a license plate reader will be required to catch scofflaw drivers, too.

A woman in the UK says she and her husband tried swapping their car for an e-cargo bike, but unwelcoming drivers forced them off the road and onto smaller hybrid bikes.

A British man will spend the next four years behind bars for killing another man with a single punch, after an argument over the sale of a bike, as he claimed the victim’s friend still owed him money for it. Yet another reminder than no bicycle is worth a human life. 

Hyderabad, India is installing solar panels over 13 miles of bike paths, fighting climate change through solar power, while providing riders with shade to combat the city’s frequent heat waves.

An Arab Israeli bike shop owner has received the equivalent of almost $168,000 in donations after his shop was torched because he donated 50 bicycles to Jewish kids forced to evacuate following the recent Hamas attack.

A new e-cargo bike premiering at the Taipei Cycle Show claims to be the first designed by women for women, with a smaller frame designed to accommodate shorter riders.

More heartbreaking news, this time from Down Under, where a 72-year old man was killed by a driver while participating in a club ride, seven years after he survived a crash that killed one man, and injured both him and another rider.

 

Competitive Cycling

Another WorldTour cyclist is walking away due to a health conditions, as Dutch pro Wesley Kreder retired at age 32 after suffering a heart attack.

Velo considers 32-year old Ethiopian pro cyclist Tsgabu Grmay and his efforts to help more of his countrymen and women enter the sport.

 

Finally…

Never trust a sat-nav device that doesn’t know you’re not a car. Maybe flipping a modern day Penny Farthing isn’t the best idea.

And how not to promote a gravel race.

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My most humble apologies for neglecting to thank Megan L for her generous donation to support this site when my eyes were out of commission last month. As always, donations are welcome and very appreciated anytime, for any reason, even if I’m too blind to properly show my gratitude.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Las Vegas teens face life in Probst murder, bicycling up 37% in US, and SAMOCAN talks with Streets For All founder

Yesterday I found out the hard way what happens when you accidentally inject long-acting insulin directly into a vein, rather than the fat surrounding it. 

The result was a rapid fire, 300 point blood sugar swing that knocked me on my ass for the rest of the day. 

Good times. 

So if I had any sense, I’d be in bed already. 

Instead, I’m going to try to get through this, then pull a pillow over my head and sleep for the rest of the weekend. Or maybe the rest of the month. 

Which is the best way I know to face another birthday, anyway. 

So Gamar hatimah tovah to everyone observing Yom Kippur on Monday. 

Stay safe, and we’ll see you back here next week.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Two teenagers charged with the video-recorded, hit-and-run murder of former Bell, California police chief Andreas Proust as he rode a bike in Las Vegas made very brief initial appearances in adult court on Tuesday.

The two teens were held without bail on several charges, including murder and attempted murder. However, due to their ages, they won’t face the death penalty, since Nevada law imposes a maximum sentence of 20 years to life in state prison for murder committed before the age of 18.

The driver, Jesus Ayala, was 17 at the time of the crime, while Jzamir Keys, the passenger who recorded the attack, is just 16.

Their two-hour crime spree included three cars thefts, a burglary and an attempt to murder a second bicyclist, who apparently escaped without serious injuries.

Ayala’s mother was quoted as saying “I don’t know why he did this. I don’t know if God can forgive this.”

Her son, who just turned 18, told police he expected to get a slap on the wrist, and “I’ll be out in 30 days, I’ll bet you.”

I’d take that bet.

Ayala now matches his age with 18 criminal counts, including murder, and already has a lengthy record as a juvenile. So if he’s lucky, he might be out in 30 years.

But I wouldn’t count it.

Meanwhile, The Guardian observes the “firehose of hatred” unleashed on the staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, after rightwing pundits linked to a photo of an outdated headline that didn’t mention the intentional attack, but was later changed to reflect the murder charge.

The Washington Post blames Elon Musk’s “itchy Twitter finger” for riling up the online mob.

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A new report from Streetlight Data indicates bicycling rates grew a whopping 37% in the US since 2019, with the top ten states showing at least a 25% increase over that time frame.

Not surprisingly, New York showed the highest growth, followed by San Diego, Bakersfield(!) and Las Vegas.

The first two have made significant investments in bicycling infrastructure; the last two, not so much, to the best of my knowledge.

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Climate Action Santa Monica offers a recording of yesterday’s SAMOCAN talk with Streets For All founder Michael Schneider.

Meanwhile, Streets For All is hosting a fundraiser tomorrow featuring guest speakers including Councilmember Katy Yuroslavsky, Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur and State Senator and Congressional candidate Anthony Portantino.

The group says pay what you can if you can’t afford the full $100 ticket price.

………

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

A writer for City Journal cries “E-nough,” arguing that ebike and gas-powered mopeds are “reversing more than a decade’s progress in making New York’s dense streets safer for pedestrians and traditional cyclists.” Or maybe they’re just encouraging more people to get out of cars, which pose the real risk, and onto two wheels, which don’t. Although I’d distinguish between ped-assist ebikes and any kind of throttle-controlled or gas-guzzling bikes. 

………

Local 

An anonymously penned Streetsblog op-ed says Metro should treat walking and biking projects with the respect they deserve. Amen, brother. Or sister.

West Hollywood is installing a pair of bike repair stations.

The Elysian Valley Arts Collective invites you to illuminate the night on the Taylor Yard Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge over the LA River in Cypress Park tomorrow night.

Streetsblog also provides a schedule of public meetings to discuss extending the popular Ballona Creek Bike Trail east into LA’s Mid-City neighborhood, beginning this Sunday in Culver City, with additional meetings Monday and Wednesday, and via Zoom on October 7th.

 

State

Good question. A Streetsblog op-ed asks why fare evasion is punished more severely in California than speeding, as the recently passed AB 819 gives the governor an opportunity to change that.

The Orange County Register examines Huntington Beach’s plan to begin impounding ebikes that are misused by riders. Although it’s not clear if they have that authority under state law. 

Encinitas has received a $3 million grant to make the North San Diego County city safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and bus riders

 

National

Shimano recalled over 3/4 of a million Dura-Ace and Ultegra cranks after thousands of failures that pose a crash risk to users; the recalled products include the Shimano Ultegra FC-6800, Dura-Ace FC-9000, Ultegra FC-R8000, Dura-Ace FC-R9100 and FC-R9100P 11-Speed Bonded Hollowtech II g Rts. Thanks to Al Williams for the tip. 

Electrek offers tips on how to choose the right ebike for your teenager. My take, avoid throttle-controlled ebikes, and anything with a top speed over 20 mph.

Momentum recommends idyllic settings for a bicycle-themed Thanksgiving getaway.

CNN says yes, Seattle-based Rad Power’s RadWagon 4 longtail e-cargo bike can replace a car for most trips.

Houston could soon have two docked bikeshare systems, as the Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority considers opening its own bikeshare to compete with Houston’s struggling BCycle system

Tragic news from Brooklyn, where a 44-year old man was killed when he was right-hooked by the driver of a school bus as he rode his bike at what residents describe as a dangerous intersection; the bus was carrying around 24 students, who will likely need counseling after witnessing the crash.

There’s not a pit deep enough for the man who man pulled a knife on a 13-year old Staten Island boy to steal his bicycle.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever left a Mennonite man to die alone on the side of the road next to his crumpled bicycle, in Pennsylvania’s Amish country. Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up.

Bicyclists could soon become second-class citizens on the popular Blue Ridge Parkway, which stretches 469 miles from Shenandoah to the Smoky Mountains, as a new draft plan focuses exclusively on the Parkway being “actively managed as a traditional, self-contained, scenic recreational driving experience.”

This is who we share the road with. A Georgia man faces charges after plowing his truck into a group of motorcyclists, killing one man and injuring four others, then fleeing the scene with a motorcycle still embedded in the truck’s grill.

 

International

An East London neighborhood council has gone against public opinion and scrapped the majority of the area’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods, or LTNs, despite overwhelming public support.

A new study shows over half of Swiss bicyclists wear a bike helmet, although that ranges from nearly three-quarters in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino to just 43% in German-speaking areas.

Romania is now the European Union’s second-largest producer of bicycles, behind Portugal and ahead of Italy.

Apparently, it ain’t easy being a bicyclist in India’s Goa state, either.

Australia saw its highest August traffic death toll in five years, with bicycling deaths jumping 37% over last year, while pedestrian deaths climbed 27%.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling calls out pro cycling’s concussion protocol, or maybe the lack thereof, after Swiss cyclist Stefan Küng finished the European championship road cycling time trial with a busted helmet and bloodied face; Los Angeles-based former pro Phil Gaimon posted that cyclists need to respect their brains, and that there was “nothing inspiring or bad ass” about Küng’s photo. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

 

Finally…

Call it a Pashley parade through Shakespeare’s hometown. Tough love doesn’t mean shattering your spouse’s mountain bike dreams.

And you can see a lot of things riding a bike. Like the King of England, for instance.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Arizona toll rises to 19 including two dead, how to protect yourself on two wheels, and Ballona Creek path could be extended

Make that 19.

The number of victims in Saturday’s bicycling massacre in Phoenix suburb Goodyear, Arizona has risen to two dead and 17 injured.

NPR reports the victims of the crash have been identified as a woman from Goodyear and a man visiting from Michigan, both 61-years old. Eight people remain hospitalized, with one in critical condition.

According to the AZ Central website,

Goodyear Mayor Joe Pizzillo also offered his condolences to those whom the fatal collision had impacted.

“We have a tight-knit cycling community, so this has deeply affected many across the West Valley,” Pizzillo said at a news conference at the city’s police station. “But a tragedy like this affects the entire community of Goodyear.”

Twenty-six-year old driver Pedro Quintana-Lujan reportedly told police his steering had locked before the truck drifted right and ran down the riders, likely one and two at a time. One victim said he wasn’t actually struck by the truck, but by the bodies of victims piled on its grill.

Police report there is currently no indication that the crash was intentional. The results of a blood test to determine if the driver was under the influence are still pending; however, as Arizona Bike Law points out, police would have needed evidence of intoxication in order to get a warrant for the blood test.

According to AZ Central, court documents show Quintana-Lujan told police he had smoked marijuana with his wife the previous evening, roughly 11 hours before the collision.

There’s no report on whether police are looking at distraction as a possible cause, or have examined Quintana-Lujan’s phone.

The victims were participating in a regular weekly ride sponsored by the West Valley Cycle bike club. They were among 20 riders in the second of three groups taking part in the ride when the driver mowed them down, spewing bodies in every direction.

Which means only one person on a bike managed to avoid becoming a victim. Chillingly, no one was likely aware of the driver before he plowed through the entire group.

“No one really saw the truck because he pretty much hit the back of the group and came all the way through the group,” (club founder David) Herzog told NPR.

The driver was in a massive Ford F-250 pickup, designed with a flat front grill that would have acted as a sledge hammer when driven at speed; a trailer being pulled by the truck would have added mass while limiting maneuverability.

Quintana-Lujan faces a raft of charges after prosecutors threw the book at him, including two counts of manslaughter and three counts of aggravated assault; at last report, he was still being held on $250,000 bond.

A crowdfunding campaign for the victims has raised nearly $80,000 of the $120,000 goal.

On a personal note, I’m having a hard time coping with this one, and all the emotions it brings up. Like mass shootings, mass casualty crashes like this just shouldn’t happen. 

Photo from Pexels.

………

BikinginLA sponsor Richard Duquette emailed to say the 65-year old bike shop worker seriously injured in the Goodyear crash that we mentioned yesterday had just helped him with his bike last month.

He also reminds all of us of something we have discussed here before, that one of the best ways to protect yourself is to max out the coverage on your own automotive insurance, which also covers you on your bicycle.

Buy the maximum Auto Uninsured/Under insured motorist ($500k min.) & excess Umbrella ($2M) coverage with a UM/UIM “rider” (not just liability) because YOU then control the amount of coverage, instead of relying on the defendant drivers insurance limit, if any, or if in the “course & scope of employers coverage”.

Mass crashes like this may prove difficult getting full compensation, as there will be multiple victims to apportion damages. So spending the money on strong insurance coverage is a critical family & financial planning investment as a bicyclist.

He explains more in this blog post from 2016.

Frequent contributor and San Diego bike advocate Phillip Young also offered his thoughts on how to avoid being a victim of a motorist.

A brightly colored bicycling kit especially with bio movement (bight color with movement) and a rear view mirror may save a trip to the emergency room (ER) or morgue. Easily seeing cars from behind with a mirror is essential situation awareness.

Wear brightly colored bicycling kit [Yellow Chartreuse (best), White (2nd Best) or Orange (3rd Best)]:

  1. Jersey
  2. Helmet
  3. Reflective vest
  4. Shoes, shoe covers, or socks and pants (bio movement)
  5. Front and back blinky lights. (lights with bio movement are the best on arms and legs)
  6. Spoke reflectors, front and rear reflectors, and other reflectors
  7. Rear view mirror (Third Eye bar end mirror is the best)

I can’t argue with any of his advice, although my personal take is to wear colors that contrast with the environment you’ll be riding in. Dark colors can be effective in bright daylight, while light or hi-viz colors are a must at night; we’ve all seen Ninja cyclists decked out entirely in black.

Or maybe we haven’t, which is exactly the problem.

I also believe in using multiple bright running lights, day or night, with a steady white light and flashing white light in front, and three flashers in back.

That’s based on the advice of bike crash survivor Mark Goodley, who researched the optimal approach to lights following the collision that nearly killed him.

I’ve never felt the need for a mirror, since I could usually sense a car coming up from behind before they got close enough to pose a danger. But now that I’m older, I find I get surprised more often, making a mirror a valuable safety tool.

And Young is absolutely right about wearing something attention-getting on your legs. I wear reflective ankle bands at night, and should probably up my shoe and sock game during the day, to ensure drivers see them pumping up and down.

I’ve been known to strap a light to my ankle, though that’s not always easy or comfortable.

I also advise adding front and rear facing bike cams, which could be the only way to provide your side of the story in a serious crash, because the cops will talk to the driver while you’re being hustled away by paramedics.

………

Today’s must read comes in the form of an op-ed from Streets For All Founder Michael Schneider.

Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Schneider bemoans the days when kids could walk and bike in their own neighborhoods.

Half a century ago, it was very common for kids to disappear into their neighborhood and play with other kids, often arriving by bike. This included the school commute. In 1969, 48% of children 5 to 14 walked or biked themselves to school. By 2009, this was down to 13%.

The result has been an enormous increase in children arriving by car. Anyone with school-age children is likely familiar with long and chaotic car dropoff lines in front of schools all over Los Angeles. The same applies to kids’ playdates, activities, sporting events, etc. — usually, children arrive and depart by car.

A large part of the problem — pun intentional — is the ever increasing size of motor vehicles, crowded into streets and lanes that remain the same size they were decades earlier.

The 1973 Honda Civic was 140 inches long and 59 inches high. Today, a Honda Civic is 168 inches long and 70 inches high. A 2015 Ford Mustang is 63% larger than its 1964 predecessor. A 2018 Mini Cooper is 61% larger than its 1950 counterpart. A 2013 Land Rover is 43% larger than a 1981 model. And a modern-day pickup truck or SUV is larger than a World War II-era Sherman tank.

As cars get larger, they squeeze space in existing roads, leaving even less room for pedestrians and cyclists. Where a kid on a bike might have been able to fit comfortably between parked cars and moving cars before, they are now more likely to be perilously sandwiched between them. Even just crossing the street has become harder because of the awful blind spots for drivers of modern,massive SUVs.

It’s more than worth a few minutes of your day to read the whole thing.

Because there’s no clearer sign that our cities have failed us than the way they’ve failed our children.

………

Speaking of Michael Schneider, it looks like he won a major victory in the effort to extend the popular Ballona Creek Bike Path to near where the creek rises to the surface at its eastern end.

………

An effort is underway at the state legislature to ban bans on sidewalk riding, in the absence of safe bikeways.

As the tweet suggests, allowing people to ride their bikes on the sidewalk when there’s no bike infrastructure present enables them to decide what is safest and most comfortable way to ride in that situation, without fear of getting a ticket for trying to protect your own life

However, it’s important to remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way, and we all have to ride safely and courteously around them.

Another bill sponsored by Streets For All would eliminate jail terms for transit fare evasion.

Now if we could just get someone to introduce a bill to permanently revoke drivers licenses from hit-and-run drivers.

Finally, the transportation and safety PAC is hosting their next virtual happy hour a week from tomorrow, with Culver City Vice Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin.

………

The winds of political reform are finally blowing in Los Angeles County, as Supervisors Lindsey Horvath and Holly Mitchell are proposing an expansion of the five-member Board of Supervisors, traditionally known as the five little kings for the power they’ve enjoyed over the years.

With the two sponsors on board, they just need one more vote to pass the motion.

And yes, that’s a good thing.

https://twitter.com/LindseyPHorvath/status/1630282154113650689

………

Pasadena’s Municipal Services Committee will receive a report at this afternoon’s meeting recommending the city reject a proposed ebike incentive program; ActiveSGV calls for comments calling for rejecting the rejection.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1630311877296427008

………

Has it really been that long?

Culver City-based street safety and bicycle education nonprofit advocacy group Walk ‘N Rollers is celebrating their 11th anniversary next month.

………

Gravel Bike California rode up to the snow that fell over the weekend above the San Fernando Valley.

………

This is what a city does when it’s serious about fighting climate change.

https://twitter.com/Anne_Hidalgo/status/1630460341678112769

That tweet translates to:

Fighting pollution also means supporting Parisians in their transition to other means of transport.

This is what we do by offering numerous financial aids for the purchase of bicycles.

………

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

No bias here. A writer for City Watch with a severe case of windshield bias calls for free transit use while rejecting bicycling out of hand, suggesting that “bike lanes and other traffic-“calming” measures are probably the worst approach since these practices constrict traffic flow creating more congestion, increasing engine idling, and in many areas exacerbating the inability for trucks to make deliveries, moms to drop off kids, or even to back into a parking space if that rara avis should become available.” You can read her full misguided take, if you can navigate the site’s seemingly interminable popups. 

A Kiwi man says local officials laughed at him when he requested separate bike paths and underpasses for bicyclists at a new roundabout that’s under construction, warning that the dangerous design could result in a bike rider being killed in the first year.

………

Local 

Streetsblog offers a wrap-up on Sunday’s successful CicLAvia in the San Fernando Valley, along with a schedule of upcoming CicLAvias; the next one will be Mid City meets Pico-Union the day before April’s Tax Day. Get your taxes done early so you’re not stuck at home with a pile of receipts, when you could be out enjoying the carfree streets.

The long-awaited Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle and Pedestrian Path on the new $1.5 billion Long Beach International Gateway Bridge is slated to open in May, following the completion of demolition work on the former Gerald Desmond Bridge; the path is named for longtime local bike advocate Mark Bixby, who was killed in a Long Beach plane crash along with four other community leaders.

If you need a cop to come out to a relatively minor crash in Long Beach, better tell the dispatcher you think the driver is drunk or stoned or you won’t see one.

 

State

California is offering $33 million to underserved communities to launch and support new and existing shared mobility projects, including bikeshare.

San Luis Obispo is considering allowing bike riders onto the sidewalk.

 

National

A Honolulu TV station considers bicycling as part of their Multimodal Mondays.

Hiking advocates question proposals in the Montana legislature that would allow ebikes anywhere that bicycles are allowed, including off-road trails. One thing that often gets lost in that debate is that ebikes provide backcountry access to countless people who would not be able to enjoy it otherwise. 

Dallas has combined 39 miles of existing bike trails with 11 miles of newly built bikeways to create a 50-mile loop around the city.

Oops. WWI flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker almost didn’t become one of the most decorated aviators in American history, after cracking his skull attempting to fly his bicycle off a Columbus, Ohio shed in an attempt to imitate the Wright Brothers flight.

The family of a fallen New York bicyclist is suing the city for $100 million, alleging that nothing was done to fix the corridor she was riding on despite five previous deaths in less than two decades. They may have a case, since they can prove the city was aware of the problem, but didn’t correct it. Although the eventual settlement will be far lower than what they’re asking.

A Central Pennsylvania public radio station shares a poem about the intersection of bicycling and Alzheimer’s from Pennsylvania poet Henry Israeli.

Florida’s Highway Patrol is wrapping up their hit-and-run awareness month by telling drivers to stay at the scene after a crash, after Tampa Bay saw over 300 drivers flee this month.

 

International

Bike Radar examines how to prevent hand and wrist pain when you ride. A good padded handlebar tape and padded bike gloves help. So does relaxing your death grip on them in stressful situations.

A South London bike shop owner surprisingly argues that expanding the city’s Ultra Low Emission Zone will just cause chaos. Although the fact that he owns nine cars, and it would cost him the equivalent of nearly $100,000 to make just three of them compliant with the new rules, might have something to do with it.

It only took 18 months, but a London truck driver has finally been charged with killing a pediatrician who was biking to work after taking it up during the pandemic. But whoever designed the city’s Holborn gyratory, where eight bike riders have been killed in the last 15 years, should face charges, too.

A new dockless bikeshare service named Fredo aims to provide last-mile connectivity in suburban France. Although things did not end well for Fredo in The Godfather II. 

Austria gets serious about multimodal commuting by offering a subsidy of up to the equivalent of $636 on the purchase of a folding bike, but only for people with an annual transit pass; the country is also offering a subsidy of half off the price of an ebike, up to a little over $1,000.

Fatal car crashes surged in Germany last year; not surprisingly, bike riders and pedestrians remained among the most vulnerable victims, with death rates rising for both groups.

Spanish newspaper El Pais reports on the new study showing stolen Dutch bicycles usually remain in the city where they were taken, continuing to contribute to the local economy. Even if the original owners are screwed.

Arevo says they’ve fulfilled 96% of the more than 2,800 Indiegogo orders for their new Superstrata custom carbon bikes and ebikes, which are being 3D printed and assembled in Vietnam.

Tragic news from the Philippines, where a 14-year old boy was killed when he failed to round a corner on his bicycle, and rode off a 33-foot cliff; family members blamed the crash on a broken brake.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly says the opening weekend of the bike racing season has seen a shift from Jumbo-Visma to Soudal-Quick Step as the classics team to beat. And no, I didn’t know they have earthquakes in the UK.

Cycling Weekly’s point was driven home by the remarkable feat of Jumbo-Visma rider and Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard winning all four stages of the O Gran Camiño.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can have your picture taken on a giant bicycle with Mexican conchas for wheels. That feeling when selling your bicycle means a more than 13 hour, 43-mile walk home.

And bbenfulton reminds us that reggae legend Peter Tosh was…uh, half of us, too.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

CicLAvia releases calendar of 8 events across LA, more from Saturday’s City Hall Die-In, and LA hip hop history bike tour

Mark your calendar.

Nonprofit group CicLAvia released their full schedule of open streets events for the coming year, with eight CicLAvias spread throughout the city.

The list includes two new one to two mile CicLAmini events targeted to walkers, instead of bike riders.

In addition to the previously announced five-mile Valley CicLAvia on Sherman Way February 26th, you’ll have a chance to take part in the following events.

  • April 15: Mid-City Meets Pico Union presented by Metro
  • May 21: CicLAmini – Watts presented by Metro
  • June 18: South LA – Vermont Ave presented by Metro
  • August 20: Koreatown Meets Hollywood presented by Metro
  • September 17: CicLAmini – North Hollywood
  • October 15: Heart of LA presented by Metro
  • December 3: South LA – Leimert Park Meets Historic South Central presented by Metro

The group also announced an additional event on February 10th, when Los Angeles Ale Works will release their new seek-la-VEE-ah West Coast India Pale Ale at a CicLAvia season launch party and fundraiser at Ivy Station Complex, Culver City, during the 5-10 pm Night Market.

So now you can drink CicLAvia while you ride, walk, scoot, skate or roll it.

………

As we mentioned yesterday, Saturday’s die-in at Los Angeles City Hall, hosted by a long list of advocacy groups, protested the worst year on LA streets in recent memory, with 312 people needlessly killed in the City of Angels.

Although you’d think this city would have made more than enough angels by now, since even one death from traffic violence is one too many.

Here are just a few faces and images from the day.

Organizers distributed 312 white flowers to symbolize the 312 lives needlessly lost to traffic violence.

Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE) Founder Damian Kevitt, holding the three flowers on the left, led the day’s events.

 

From center to right, California Assembly Member Laura Friedman, LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, state Senator Anthony Portantino, and Streets For All's Michael Schneider

From center to right, California Assembly Member Laura Friedman, LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, state Senator Anthony Portantino, and Streets For All’s Michael Schneider; my new friend Max reclines at lower right

Participants lay still for 312 seconds of silence in honor of the 312 lives needlessly lost

California Assembly Member Laura Friedman, LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, state Senator Anthony Portantino stand above Damian Kevitt at the mic

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports just over 200 people attended the protest; he offers his own photos from the day.

………

Volume Four of the Temple Tactics hip hop blog talks with Conkrete Mike P. about his bike tours exploring West Coast Hip Hop Historical Sites.

Although apparently, you can also do the tours by car, if you insist.

………

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

No bias here. A New York columnist says the city could make a fortune just fining bicyclists for moving and equipment violations, including riding backwards — which is physically impossible — and insists that ebikes somehow aren’t bicycles. Just wait until someone tells him about cars and the things their operators do, including driving backwards. And I suppose electric cars aren’t real cars, either.

No bias here, too. A British Columbia man who claims to be a bike rider blasts what he calls the city’s most disruptive protected bike lanes, blames “woke” politicians for them, and claims no one ever uses them. So a columnist went out in the middle of the day and counted 13 bicyclists in just ten minutes.

The British media is going crazy over the shortest bike lane ever, which isn’t actually a bike lane — just a seven-foot half circle designed to give bicyclists a safe place to pull over.

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

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for an Iowa man who faces charges for throwing a children’s bike at a woman before punching her in the face, and knocking her to the ground.

………

Local 

Streets For All calls for ending LA’s bizarre policy of automatic street widening, which results in brief mid-block curb carve-outs in front of new construction, and have been mistakenly called bike lanes; a motion to end the policy will be heard at tomorrow’s Public Works Committee meeting.

 

State

Students in Los Alamitos will now have to complete an ebike safety course and have a permit to ride an ebike to school.

A 63-year old San Diego man suffered a number of broken bones when his beach cruiser was rear-ended by a driver on Pacific Highway in the Morena neighborhood Saturday night; the victim was reportedly riding without lights or reflectors.

A new report shows bike and pedestrian injuries have nearly been eliminated on Santa Barbara’s Promenade since cars were banned, without a single fatality or severe injury in the past four years.

A couple dozen protestors blocked traffic at a San Francisco intersection where a 64-year old woman was killed by a driver two weeks ago, demanding improved pedestrian safety in the neighborhood.

 

National

It’s a very sad commentary when a review site recommends stationary bikes to use if riding a bike in your city seems too dangerous. Instead of, you know, just making it safer to actually ride a bike. 

Axios examines the ever-expanding American pickup truck, which has continued to increase in size, power and capacity over the past four decades, even as buyers use it more for shopping and dropping the kids off at soccer practice, and less for hauling anything but ass. And which presents ever increasing danger to anyone outside of them.

Makes Use Of offers advice on how to avoid ebike fires.

Life is cheap in Utah, where a hit-and-run driver was sentenced to up to 15 years behind bars for the alleged drunken death of a 13-year old boy riding his bike last year — or he could be out in less than a year with good behavior.

If it’s any consolation, over twice as many people were killed on Colorado roadways last year than the 312 killed on Los Angeles streets — even though the state’s population is just 40% higher — making it Colorado’s deadliest year in four decades. And I hope no one actually takes any real solace in that. 

Streetsblog reports that more children under 18 were killed on New York streets last year than any other time since Vision Zero was adopted 2015; the site also reports the NYPD is a lot better at solving hit-and-runs in white neighborhoods than in communities of color.

Police in Charlottesville, Virginia say charges against a driver in a fatal crash will depend on whether the victim was riding his bike across the street or walking it; one means the victim was operating a vehicle and had to obey the rules of the road, while the other makes him a pedestrian who the driver had to yield to. Yet either way, the victim is still dead and the driver still killed him. 

Seriously? Key West, Florida has put a proposed ebike ban on hold in hopes the state will take action. Because the risks posed by ebikes are so much greater than the ones from cars, evidently.

 

International

Road.cc awards their choices for accessories of the year, which may not all be available here in the US.

A Penn State student spent his winter break riding a bike over the world’s highest volcano, climbing over 20,000 feet over 11 days to top Chile’s Ojos del Salado.

A Toronto lawyer is challenging the constitutionality of a speeding ticket she received for violating the 12 mph speed limit while riding downhill in a park; she claims imposing a flat speed limit on non-flat terrain increases the risk for bike riders.

The latest road danger in England’s West Midland’s region are foot-long laughing gas canisters abandoned in the roadway by people abusing nitrous oxide intended for the catering industry — apparently including people imbibing behind the wheel.

Sad news from the UK, where the two bike riders killed by a hit-and-run driver we mentioned yesterday turned out to be a father riding with his 16-year old son; the 37-year old alleged driver was arrested after abandoning his car.

A British bike storage company claims Brexit has crippled its business, which is down 25% since the country left the European Union.

A Kiwi website makes the case for why the country needs an ebike rebate. Then again, every city, state and country should offer rebates for ebikes. Including this one.

 

Competitive Cycling

Outside takes a deep dive into the murder of rising gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, which begins with pro cyclist Colin Strickland’s belief that every woman should own a gun for their own protection — including ex-girlfriend Kaitlin Armstrong, Wilson’s accused killer.

It was a split verdict in the trial of two men charged with robbing Mark Cavendish and his family at knifepoint in a brutal 2021 home invasion; one of the defendants was found not guilty, while 31-year-old Romario Henry was convicted on two robbery counts. A third man had previously pleaded guilty, while two others remain at large. As usual, read the story on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

 

Finally…

That feeling when someone steals your new bike prototype before you can even build the damn thing. Presenting the perfect Ti touring bike for people with more dollars than sense.

And the perfect accessory for bike riders who really wish they were cars.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

PR plug for killer socialite, transportation ideas for CD13, and ex-Tour de France champ discussed in racist recording

Forget Black Friday. It’s just three more days to the official start of the 8th Annual BikinginLA holiday fund drive!

Thanks to our longtime friend Jim L for getting us off to an early start with his generous donation!

………

The pre-trial PR campaign is kicking into high gear.

Wealthy socialite Rebecca Grossman, co-founder of the prestigious Grossman Burn Center, wants us to know that she is just so very misunderstood, and isolated from all her rich friends.

Just because she killed two innocent little kids while speeding along on surface streets at what police investigators have estimated as up to 80 mph in a 45 mph zone.

No, she says, she wasn’t drunk or street racing with her friend, former Dodger Scott Erickson, even though they were reportedly zig zagging and leap frogging one another’s cars.

And no, I don’t remember him, either.

I do, however, recall her victims, 11-year old Mark Iskander and his 8-year old brother Jacob, who were violently run down as they were crossing the street with their family.

She faces 34 to life if she’s convicted on both murder counts, and is walking free on $2 million bail pending a March trial.

Hopefully she’ll show up for that one, unlike five previous hearings.

Seriously, LA Magazine should be ashamed for allowing themselves to be used like this.

………

Today’s must-read comes from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, who has 11 transportation suggestions for newly elected CD13 Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez.

The ideas range from implementing the Sunset4All Complete Streets project, and the Temple Street lane reduction and bike lanes blocked by outgoing Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, to capping the 101 Freeway with a public park.

It’s more than worth the eight minutes it will take to read.

Let alone turning all the ideas into action.

………

The LA Times has compiled an annotated transcript of the racist and otherwise offensive recording that lead to the resignation of former City Council president Nury Martinez and LA County Federation of Labor chief Ron Herrera.

The recording has also lead to repeated calls for councilmembers Kevin de León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo to resign, although the latter will be leaving next month anyway, after losing his bid for re-election, while the former refuses to do the right thing.

The conversation also bizarrely featured disgraced ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Kevin de León
Over the weekend, I called a buddy of mine who is a former U.S. attorney.

Nury Martinez
I have one of those, too. It’s good to have one of those.

Kevin de León
Cool. We’re very close. And he, he had the Lance Armstrong case too, when they were going to indict Lance Armstrong.

Nury Martinez
The cyclist?

Kevin de León
The cyclist. Yeah.

Nury Martinez
What did he do? Doping. Is it doping

Kevin de León
Yeah. And the case was coming out of the L.A. office of the U.S. attorney’s office here…

………

Enter this number in your phone. And take it with you when you ride.

Meanwhile, Ann Arbor, Michigan, is considering following New York’s lead by offering a bounty on drivers who block bike lanes.

Maybe our new councilmembers could consider something like that here.

………

This is who we share the internet with.

That was followed by this comment, from someone who apparently fails to grasp the concept of a protected bike lane.
Car drivers have to move over in the lane for obstructions all the time (mail trucks, trash trucks, etc.). How hard is it for a biker to move over? What happening to sharing the road?

………

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

No bias here. A regional transportation group has put a Des Moines, Iowa model bike safety on hold, somehow fearing a backlash over the common sense reforms.

A British driver was caught on video speeding down a protected bike lane, either oblivious to or not caring about the oncoming bike riders who were forced out of the lane.

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

A 20-year old man in the UK was sentenced to six-months time served for rebelling against his parents attempt to have him committed by brandishing a machete while riding with a group of other bike riders, even though the only injury anyone suffered was a dog bite after the group was chased by a small pack.

………

Local

Babe star James Cromwell added his voice to a campaign to halt plans to restore the ecologically degraded Los Angeles Ballona Wetland Ecological Reserve, which includes plans for a ten-mile bike and pedestrian path; no word on what the pig had to say.

Ride hailing and micromobility provider Lyft has pulled all of their bikeshare bikes and e-scooters out of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, after failing to secure a longterm contract from city officials.

Glendale has received a $6 million state grant for the Verdugo Wash Visioning Project, which will create a 9.4-mile-long linear park and nature trail for walking and cycling, courtesy of Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

 

State 

A mountain biker used his bike as a shield when he was charged by a mountain lion on a San Luis Obispo trail, leading to a brief standoff before the big cat retreated. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

The $20 million bike and pedestrian path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is entering the final year of its four-year pilot program, as impatient motorists chomp at the bit to get it back.

The CHP has released a photo of the suspect vehicle in the hit-and-run that killed a man riding a bike in North Highlands earlier this month.

 

National

Fortune says the four-year old e-scooter industry is finally getting around to being as green and sustainable as they claimed, after quietly polluting for years.

No irony here. A Portland bike rider was lucky to escape serious injury when he was run down by a red light-running hit-and-run driver in a crash caught on video, while he was riding to an event to mark the World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence.

A Kansas City business owner says his business is suffering because Missouri drivers are apparently incapable of figuring out a parking-protected bike lane.

A decades old Fayetteville, Arkansas bicycle charity is shutting down after giving away tens of thousands of bikes to kids in need; the 76-year old wife of the man known locally as the Bicycle Man continued the program for nine years after his death, and hopes to give away another 1,000 bicycles before shutting down after the holidays.

‘Tis the season. A Louisville country music station has collected over 1,500 bicycles, as well as monetary donations for Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army, to ensure that every local kid has a gift for the holidays.

The rich get richer, as New York announced plans to expand the city’s bike lane network next year.

A 60-year old New Jersey man is on his 14th bike trip across the US; he’s covered over 39,000 miles since he first hit the road on his ‘bent five years ago, after recovering from getting hit by a drunk driver.

‘Tis the season, too. A kindhearted Baton Rouge, Louisiana lawyer is giving away over 450 new bikes to local kids.

 

International

In honor of the World Cup, Road.cc creates their own all-star team of bike-riding soccer stars.

British residents say they want a bike with an ABS anti-lock braking system.

An Irish paper is up in arms after local officials “wasted” the equivalent of nearly $12,000 building a 600-foot separated bike lane, complaining it’s an “embarrassment” that even bike riders don’t want.

Pink Bike features seven weird and wonderful bikes currently for sale on the platform.

Hanoi, Vietnam is considering establishing a public bikeshare service to to reduce traffic congestion and environmental pollution, with 1,000 bikes at 94 stations.

 

Finally…

Your new fixie could be a Wu-Tang Clan bike. That feeling when the kids are riding on thin ice. No, literally.

And bike riding while blind and blind drunk.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Video highlights LA Vision Zero fail, missing OK bike riders murdered, and Times endorses Soto-Martínez in DC13

It’s been seven years since Eric Garcetti signed the Vision Zero declaration, which committed Los Angeles to ending traffic deaths by 2025.

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

It wasn’t long before the city realized just how hard that would be, and how much change it would require, before quickly shoving it far back on the shelf where they hoped no one would notice.

Funny thing is, though, we told them that. The city held a series of public meetings and solicited comments from the public — without bothering to enlist the advocates who had fought for it.

But we showed up anyway.

One of the biggest things people stressed in these meetings was that it would require wholesale changes in how we get around. Something that somehow didn’t make it into the final Vision Zero Action Plan, which instead proposed a policy of nibbling at the edges of the city’s most dangerous corridors, in hopes the combined incremental changes might somehow make a difference.

You can see how well that worked out.

Another thing we stressed was the need for a change in attitude among LA drivers, assuring the city the program would fail unless there was a large scale reeducation campaign informing motorists that they don’t, in fact, own the road, and that even the best drivers are capable of killing and maiming innocent people unless they learned to drive carefully around vulnerable road users.

And to use the long-abused and misused term, to share the road with people on bikes and on foot, making room and giving them a wide berth, rather than running them off the road.

That, too, was ignored.

I mention this because of this video posted by father and Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, as a driver on what should have been a quiet side street threatened to call the police because Schneider had the audacity to ride a cargo bike in the street with his four-year old kid.

I share it, not because it’s uncommon, but because this sort of crap is all too common.

There are few of us brave enough to mix it up with motor vehicles that haven’t run into drivers like this at one time or another. Sometime literally.

The attitude persists among too many drivers that streets are for cars, and too dangerous for people walking or on bicycles, without grasping the irony that they are the very people who keep that way.

Until that changes — or rather, until our elected leaders care enough about saving human lives to actually do something to make it change — Vision Zero will continue to fail.

And people will keep dying needlessly on our streets.

Photo from LA Streetsblog

………

Speaking of Vision Zero, a pair of NACTO executives argue that cities urgently need to fix dangerous arterial streets, which make up just 15 percent of all roads but are responsible for a whopping 67 percent of pedestrian deaths.

And Streets For All is urging you to support a proposal for a pedestrian plaza on deadly Sawtelle Blvd at tonight’s Zoom meeting of the West LA Sawtelle Neighborhood Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

Because clearly, it’s up to us to keep pushing for a safer, more livable city for all Angelenos.

………

It never seemed like the story of the missing Okmulgee, Oklahoma bike riders was going to end well.

But the real story is so much worse than anything we imagined.

The four friends inexplicably disappeared after setting out for a bike ride Sunday evening. A massive search turned up nothing, until their bodies were found Friday — shot, dismembered and dumped in a local river.

To complicate matters, it turns out the men were killed while committing, or at least planning, a crime. Although just what that crime might have been is unknown at this time.

Cellphone records show they traveled to a pair of salvage yards, five and eleven miles from where their bodies were found. One of which showed “evidence of a violent event” nearby.

Police are looking for a person of interest in the case, who also disappeared Sunday night, and reportedly may be suicidal.

………

No, it’s not.

………

This effectively makes the case for why slower speeds save lives, showing the difference between roughly 50 mph and 20 mph.

………

Inspiring video demonstrating that bikes aren’t just for the able-bodied, as British pro mountain biker James Anderson competes despite suffering from Monoplegia, an acute form of Cerebral Palsy.

………

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

Police in New York are looking for the bike-riding man accused of two sexual assaults in the East Side and West Village neighborhoods. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough. 

A British mother of four claims she was forced to sell drugs after failing in debt to a drug gang, after she was busted for peddling heroin and coke by bike.

………

Local

The Los Angeles Times makes a surprising endorsement, picking challenger Hugo Soto-Martínez over incumbent CD13 Councilmember and acting council president Mitch O’Farrell.

Councilmembers Kevin de León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo have been stripped of their committee assignments, as pressure mounts for them to resign in the wake of a racist taped conversation that was leaked last week.

People for Mobility Justice is teaming with Metro to host a free bike tour of East LA taco vendors and bike infrastructure this evening, starting at Mariachi Plaza.

WeHoVille gets the candidates for West Hollywood City Council — or most of them, anyway — on the record for their support, or the lack thereof, for proposed protected bike lanes on deadly Fountain Ave. Too many of whom insist on seeing it from a windshield perspective, preferring to protect parking and high-speed traffic over human lives. 

Metro is hosting a webinar meeting tonight to discuss bike and pedestrian improvements near the planned Sepulveda Blvd G Line — aka Orange Line — station.

Metro has released an interactive map of its Draft Prioritized Active Transportation Network, showing where in LA County the agency thinks it should make multimodal improvements

 

State 

No surprise here, as pedestrians made up 25% of all traffic traffic fatalities in California in 2020, with pedestrian deaths climbing 4% over the previous year.

Carlsbad’s Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream is hosting a fundraiser today for a local firefighter and his 16-month old daughter, after their wife and mother were killed by a driver while riding her ebike with the girl in August.

Sad news from Kern County, where a Bakersfield man was killed riding a bicycle in the city early Saturday morning.

San Francisco is headed for its worst year for traffic deaths and injuries in 15 years, making its goal of zero traffic deaths by 2024 increasingly unlikely; researchers blame inadequate and misdirected police enforcement.

More sad news, as the CHP is searching for the hit-and-run driver who killed a man who was riding a bike in Sacramento just after midnight Sunday; the victim wasn’t carrying ID and hasn’t been identified. Meanwhile, a CHP officer is in critical condition after he was struck by a drunk driver while investigating the crash.

 

National

He gets it. CNN’s Chris Cillizza uses Black Panther’s African utopia of Wakanda as a model to illustrate why it’s time to move our cities beyond the failed and destructive age of car culture.

A mom of twins offers a rave review of her first thousand miles on an e-cargo bike.

Cycling Weekly shares some of the best custom and yet-to-be-released handmade bikes from Portland’s seventh annual Chris King Open House, while Cycling News highlights five bikes from London’s recent Bespoked custom bike show.

The Las Vegas Raiders are adding additional bike racks and planning to stripe bike lanes outside their stadium, in response to demand from fans riding bikes to the games.

Horrible story from Michigan, where a bike rider was killed when he was dragged several blocks underneath a car by a hit-and-run driver.

The New York Civil Liberties Union is arguing a case before the state Supreme Court, demanding that cops and courts treat search and seizure of people on bicycles the same as they do people in cars.

 

International

A new international study shows a bike rider in New York is 25 times more likely to be killed than a similar rider in Vancouver, and faces roughly the same risk as a bicyclist in Auckland or Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, Los Angeles wasn’t included in the study.

This is who we share the road with. A Welsh driver was allegedly using Facebook and Instagram behind the wheel, moments before killing an off-duty police sergeant as she was riding a bicycle; he claims it was his 13-month old son using his phone at the time of the crash.  Sure, let’s go with that.

 

Competitive Cycling

An Irish columnist marks the 10th anniversary of Lance Armstrong’s downfall by arguing that his punishment was “draconian and probably excessive,” but caused by the same “bloody-mindedness” that led to his seven Tour de France wins.

Former Italian great Mario Cipollini was sentenced to three years and a fine of 85,000 euros — the equivalent of nearly $83,750 — after being convicted of domestic abuse and threats against his ex-wife and her current partner.

US national road race champ Kyle Murphy has signed with L39ion of Los Angeles, as the LA-based cycling team apparently looks to compete as a Continental team next year, after dominating the American crit scene.

Zwift is sponsoring the first physical location for the LA Bicycle Academy, a cycling team founded and led by people of color to help young people from underserved communities enter the sport.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the internet has misses the point entirely. Or when your only race fan is a monkey. No, a real one.

And apparently, bicycling fashion has changed just a tad over the years.

https://twitter.com/may_gun/status/1582184306453061633

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Getting a jump on LA mobility plan, seriously injured Mtn biker rescued, and anti-semitic banner on Davis bike bridge

Good piece from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider.

He makes the case for the city council to get a head start on their promises to implement the Los Angeles mobility plan, rather than waiting for the inevitable drawn-out process to draft and approve an alternative to the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal.

Schneider recommends ten streets currently scheduled for resurfacing work that they can start work on restriping right now.

Unless the councilmembers were just saying what they think we wanted to hear, with no intention of actually following through.

Naw, they wouldn’t do that to us.

Again.

………

The Los Angeles Fire Department rescued a seriously injured mountain biker in Brentwood, hoisting the 56-year old victim to safety by helicopter after he suffered several traumatic injuries Saturday morning.

………

There’s a special place in hell for the group of people who hung a racist, anti-semitic banner from a bicycle overpass on the UC Davis Campus, for the second weekend in a row.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

………

Caltrans forwards a notice that Camp Pendleton will close the bike path through the base for five days next month, so mark your calendar. And make plans to use the shoulder of the 5 Freeway through the base if you need to ride then.

Another notification to pass: Bike path from Pulgas Gate to south entrance to the San Onofre State Park will be closed for military operations from 15 to 19 September from 6:00 AM to 6 PM daily.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

………

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

No bias here. A Chico letter writer complains about a new bike bridge, saying it will just give bike thieves a faster route to escape after stealing one.

No bias here, either. The New York Post calls Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine an anti-car extremist for pushing a “pie-in-the-sky bike lane plan for the West Side Highway,” despite his record of 41 traffic violations in the past decade. Although bad driving ability is a pretty damn good reason to switch to bikes.

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

There’s not a pit deep enough for the bike-riding thieves who stole a cellphone and the equivalent of over $2,000 from a homeless woman in Hong Kong. Although why she was sleeping on the street with that much cash is beyond me.

………

Local

Metro recommitted to using Randolph Street for the eastern segment of the Rail-to-River bike/walk path, after Union Pacific refused to relinquish its right-of-way for an abandoned rail line.

Congratulations, Los Angeles. We now beat the Bay Area in transit use, especially buses. The story wasn’t paywalled for me, for some reason; your results may vary.

Streets For All calls on the city to cancel plans to expand parking at the Los Angeles Zoo in the middle of a climate emergency.

LA Times readers sound off about what streets they’d like to see closed, after the city banned cars from Griffith Park Drive in the park. My first choice would be to close Hollywood Blvd to install a pedestrian plaza at Hollywood & Highland, followed by closing Broadway in DTLA, and Wilshire Blvd from Downtown to the coast.

About damn time. Los Angeles blacktop may not be black for long, as the city works to cover one million square feet of Pacoima streets and other paved surfaces with cooling reflective paint, which can lower surface temperatures up to 12° Fahrenheit. Of course, that’s just a small fraction of LA’s heat-sink paved surfaces. And something tells me they’re not building out the mobility plan when they do it. Thanks again to Robert Leone for the link. 

This is who we share the road with. Despite initial denials, the LAPD was chasing a stolen car when it crashed into multiple vehicles August 19th at Manchester Ave and Broadway, killing a couple in a hit-and-run.

This is who we share the road with, too. One person is dead and two injured, after a pair of road raging drivers traded gunfire in Long Beach, before one of the drivers crashed into a truck and home.

 

State 

A Huntington Beach cop killed a pedestrian in a predawn crash while responding to an emergency call Saturday.

San Diego bicyclists Biked the Bay, riding across the Coronado Bridge in the San Diego County Bike Coalition’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

A San Diego County man credits his Apple Watch with saving his life after a mountain biking crash that left him a quadriplegic; he was able to tell Siri to call a friend for help.

The rich get richer. Santa Barbara County is beginning work on the new Santa Claus Lane bikeway, which will create a new Class I bikeway and multipurpose path connecting the California Coastal Trail to bike lanes on Carpinteria Ave.

 

National

Former New York City transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan applauds the rise of car-free cities to combat climate change.

Cities around the US are debating whether to keep pandemic-era road changes, as drivers, pedestrians, bike riders and diners debate who the streets are for. Although you know it’s not a serious report when they quote a spokesperson for the tiny drivers rights extremist group the National Motorists Association.

A Eugene OR newspaper seems surprised to discover that bicycles can move things “just like cars,” as a group of cargo bike owners carry a live band performance along the city’s streets.

A 19-year old Durango, Colorado man faces DUI and vehicular homicide charges for the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding local fire captain; he abandoned his car, with the victim’s bike sill under the front fender, and the victim embedded in his windshield. At his age, the legal alcohol level is zero.

Colorado residents debate allowing ebike access on offroad trails, even though the bikes can provide outdoor access to people who couldn’t otherwise ride them.

Horrible news from Texas, where a Houston-area man in his 30s was apparently mauled to death by dogs while riding his bike.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Kansas City teacher and father of ten children was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike.

Good idea. A Michigan writer describes how he carries pruning shears on his bike to trim bushes and trees encroaching on the bike path.

Cleveland announces a Vision Zero plan, committing to ending traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2032. Let’s hope they commit to it better than Los Angeles, which still hasn’t adequately funded the program after seven years.

Christian singer Amy Grant made her first public statement since she was seriously injured in a fall off her bike, saying she’s taking it easy at her Nashville home this fall on the advice of her doctors.

A Tennessee newspaper lists “12 perfect gifts” for bike enthusiasts. And for a change, they actually offer some pretty good suggestions. Although I’d add a gift certificate for a cleaning and overhaul at your local bike shop.

No surprise here, as Boston bike ridership jumps nearly 50% after a major train line was shut down for renovations.

Madonna is one of us, sticking her tongue out at the paparazzi as she goes for a bike ride in the Big Apple. And deservedly so.

NPR examines how Hoboken, New Jersey achieved zero traffic deaths in just four years, using quick, high-impact techniques. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

This, too, is the cost of traffic violence. A 42-year old State Department employee was killed when she was run down by a flatbed truck driver while riding her bike in Bethesda, Maryland; the diplomat had most recently served as head of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Section at the US Embassy in Kyiv.

Virginia drivers complain about the width of a new bike lane, apparently unable to figure out how to drive between the lines.

 

International

No surprise here. A new study charts bicycle ownership in various countries worldwide, concluding that high bike ownership does not necessarily correlate to high ridership. Sorry, America.

Cops in Surrey, England have added a Brompton to their crime fighting fleet, catching over 20 scofflaw motorists in the first few days.

Olympic gold medalist track cyclist Katie Archibald talks about her struggles in the week since her boyfriend, Scottish champion mountain biker Rab Wardel died of a heart attack at their Glasgow home.

Road.cc asks if anyplace requires numbered license plates for bicycles, aside from North Korea; Britain’s transport minister says they won’t be required, regardless of what he said before.

A pair of British men have been sentenced to 21 years each behind bars for using a car to deliberately murder a bike-riding father of four in a drug dispute.

A website says no, ebike batteries don’t attract lightening, in the wake of an Italian ebike rider killed by a lightening strike.

After the Russian invasion, a Ukrainian mayor rode her bike to patrol her small town and resist the occupation.

A New Zealand bike rider received a frightening punishment pass from a delivery truck driver; fortunately he was stopped for a pedestrian in the crosswalk, or it could have been worse. Never mind that he stopped, and the truck driver didn’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgian pro Remco Evenepoel continued to hold onto to the red leader’s jersey in the Vuelta with a gap of 1:12 over Spain’s Enric Was; three-time defending champ Primož Roglič remains in striking distance at 1:53 back. All the American cyclists have dropped out of contention, with Lawson Craddock now the top US rider in 59th place, over 45 minutes back.

Pez Cycling News looks back at 1945 Vuelta winner Delio Rodríguez, who holds the record for stage wins in the Grand Tour at 39.

The LUX/CTS U19 cycling team, one of the most successful junior development teams, is shutting down at the end of this season, a victim of cycling’s failed sponsorship model.

Tragic news from Vermont, where 33-year old Kenyan cyclist Sule Kangangi was killed in a high speed fall while competing the Vermont Overland gravel race Saturday.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to try to escape through a flooded river, no matter what kind of bike you just stole. It’s hard enough riding the grueling Iron Horse Classic on two wheels; now try it on one.

And at least one NBA star is excited about cycling’s rising stars. Then again, he does hold a French passport.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Taking Metro to task for wasting funds on highways, LA tanks on best bike cities list, and big Griffith Park announcement Friday

Let’s start with a new op-ed taking Metro to task for continuing to flush tens of billions of dollars down the highway toilet.

Writing in the LA Times, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider argues that the county transportation agency’s highway construction plans more than negate any climate change improvements from new transit lines, while only serving to make traffic worse.

Hello, induced demand.

Climate change impact is measured in two ways: vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions. For the billions that we will spend on new bus and rail service, as well as active transportation improvements, Metro estimates in a study it just published that by 2047 we will reduce vehicle miles traveled by 9.7 billion, resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2.7 million metric tons of CO2. These massive reductions would result in much cleaner air for us all, and go a long way toward meeting our climate goals.

However, just as Metro is spending tens of billions building rail and bus projects, it also plans to spend billions adding 363 miles of new highways and arterials. According to Metro’s own calculations based on state standards, this will increase vehicle miles traveled by up to 36.8 billion, and emit an additional 10.1 million metric tons of CO2.

Yes, you read that right — we are spending tens of billions of dollars to make climate change and traffic worse. The expansion of highways will do far more harm than the expansion of mass transit will avert.

Never mind that the money being wasted on highway expansion could be put to better use building bus and bike networks, as well as speeding the completion of the upcoming K Line (Crenshaw Line) to connect with the B Line (aka Red Line) at Hollywood & Highland.

That would create Metro’s first viable connector line, with connections to the B Line, D Line (Purple), E Line (Expo), and the C Line (Green), as well as connecting to LAX.

As Schneider says, it’s long past time Metro stopped sabotaging their climate-friendly projects, and instead spend the money we give them on projects that will reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions.

Wasting more money on highway projects is exactly what we don’t need now.

Or ever, for that matter.

………

Surprising results, as a new survey ranks Utrecht in the Netherlands the world’s best bicycling city.

That’s followed by Munster, Germany and Antwerp, Belgium, before we get to the usual suspects in Copenhagen and Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, Johannesburg, South Africa checks in as the worst city to ride a bike.

Not surprisingly, no American city made the top ten. You have to go all the way down to #39 to find San Francisco, followed by Portland at #41.

Los Angeles checks in at a deservedly low #57 out of 100 cities worldwide.

The only real question is why we ranked that high.

………

The plot thickens, as both CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman and Finish the Ride, tease a big announcement on the future of Griffith Park this Friday.

………

Nice. USA Cycling is looking to fast track entree to track cycling for kids from marginalized communities that have traditionally been ignored by cycling.

………

The Bike League is recruiting more LCIs.

………

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

An Oregon driver is charged with 2nd degree murder for intentionally backing his truck into a man on a bicycle following an argument between the two men, pinning the other man against a wall.

A London, Ontario bike rider is speaking out about the apparently intentional hit-and-run that left him with a broken collarbone, and injured another rider.

A London cabbie celebrates the removal of a bike lane by buzzing the unfortunate bike rider who happened to be there.

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

An equestrian in the UK blames a bike racing club for panicking her horse, which nearly spun her in front of an oncoming car. We’re only getting one side of the story here, but seriously, show some respect and courtesy to others on the road.

………

Local

The LA Times offers tips on riding an ebike, saying they offer a different ride than regular bikes.

West Hollywood looks forward to Sunday’s CicLAvia—Meet the Hollywoods, which travels down Hollywood Blvd, Highland Ave and Santa Monica Blvd, and invites attendees to stick around afterwards for a free concert with M&M The Afro-Persian Experience at Plummer Park.

Compton is embedding Botts’ Dots in an intersection in an effort to halt street takeovers.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Long Beach is planning safety improvements at an intersection where a seven-year old boy was killed by a left-turning truck driver while crossing in a crosswalk with his dad, even though the intersection was considered up to code at the time of last month’s crash.

Long Beach’s popular Beach Streets University open streets event is set to return to the area around Cal State Long Beach next month, after a two-year hiatus.

 

State 

Governor Newsom has signed a new law charging the CHP with developing statewide safety standards for ebikes. Although they couldn’t have found a less bike-friendly organization, or one with more limited training on existing bike laws.

The family of fallen bicyclist Christine Hawk Embree is calling for safer streets after the 35-year old woman was killed in a Carlsbad collision while riding her ebike with her 16-month old daughter, who somehow survived unscathed.

Former Santa Monica city manager and Los Angeles deputy mayor Rick Cole says the death of respected Ventura County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez is a wake-up call for street safety; Ramirez was killed crossing an Oxnard street last week.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is hosting their 12th Annual Bike Summit in Millbrae tomorrow.

San Francisco has put plans for congestion pricing on hold until traffic returns to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, LA’s proposed congestion pricing plan is apparently being studied to death.

 

National

Road Bike Rider offers advice on how to survive the dreaded speed wobbles.

People For Bikes argues that bicycles and ebikes weren’t completely ignored in the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act, though you have to look pretty damn hard to find them.

Boston commuters are expected to take to their bikes to cope with a month-long train line shutdown.

Fire up your crocodile tears for all those New Yorkers who can’t find anywhere to park their cars, in the one American city where you’re least likely to need one.

A Virginia woman says now she needs to live for her friend after they were both run down by an 18-year old alleged drunk driver; only she survived, though she has a very long road to recovery.

 

International

Canadians are up in arms over a policy allowing ebikes in the country’s Banff National Park.

Road.cc remembers “slightly crazed” English bike designer Mike Burrows, saying we’ll “never see his like again;” Burrows died Monday at age 79.

That’s more like it. A 29-year old Scottish driver got a well-deserved five years behind bars, along with a 12 and a half year ban on driving, for killing a 16-year old boy riding his bike home from school, while he was driving at a whopping 80 mph in a 30 mph zone.

No bias here. Britain’s Transportation Secretary promises to get tough on bike riders, saying bicyclists should be insured, have license plates on their bikes, and be subject to the same speed limits as motorists.

The executive director of a UK bike advocacy organization says it’s a mistake to pitch ebikes as “enhanced bicycles,” arguing they should be considered the most energy efficient of all electric vehicles, instead.

A Toronto paper says Munich’s bicycling culture offers ideas on how to safely integrate bikes and cars, arguing that the city should prioritize safe infrastructure instead of cracking down on bike riders with ineffective policing.

She gets it. An op-ed writer for a Malta newspaper says a mandatory helmet law won’t make bicycling any safer; what’s needed is better infrastructure, safer vehicles and education.

A traffic safety organization in the Netherlands teamed with a bike advocacy group to call for a ban on ebike performance kits, which can double the allowed speed controls; a spokesperson says “If you install one on the electric bike, you are simply a racing monster.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome says he’s fully recovered from Covid, and ready to roll in Friday’s Vuelta a España, where he’ll co-lead the Israel-Premier Tech team with Michael Woods.

A new women and majority-minority owned cycling league is set to take off, with teams in Miami, Atlanta, Denver and Chicago.

 

Finally…

No, you can’t legally jam drivers’ cellphones, tempting though it may be. You — yes, you — can build your very own DIY ebike.

And Dustin Hoffman was one of us. On a foldie, no less.

https://twitter.com/marlonw/status/1559528883581358082

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.