Tag Archive for Mobility Plan 2035

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA Council considers Healthy Streets tomorrow, carfree living in LA ain’t so pretty, and Venice bike lane extension

As we mentioned yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to consider the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposition at Wednesday’s meeting.

After the proposition qualified for the ballot, it opened a 20 day window for the council to adopt it as written, or place it on the 2024 ballot for a vote by the city.

Aside from the usual opposition that comes with any proposed changes to LA streets, some advocates have come out against the measure because it doesn’t include a focus on equity or schedule for how the plan will be rolled out.

But that’s not the purpose of the proposal. It’s really a very simple measure — all it does is require Los Angeles to build out the city mobility plan, which they’ve already approved, whenever a street included in the plan is resurfaced.

That’s it.

It’s up to the city to determine when streets get resurfaced, and how to bring equity into the process.

So the best option is for the council to adopt the Healthy Streets LA proposition as written, then adopt a separate plan to fairly and equitably roll it out, especially in lower income communities that are too often ignored.

Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to make it. I’m still having major health problems that keep me close to home, especially at night in the mornings until my meds kick in.

But I’m begging you, if you can clear your schedule Wednesday morning, go make your voice heard to demand that the city keep its word, and give us the safe, livable streets they promised.

And if you can’t, then email your council member today, before the day is over. That’s what I’ll be doing.

Here is what Streets For All said about it in a recent email.

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS WEDNESDAY AND WE NEED YOU TO COME IN PERSON!

After a year and a half, it all comes down to THIS WEDNESDAY. The City Council has item #20 on its agenda to consider adopting Healthy Streets LA now, or send it to the 2024 ballot.

The City Council no longer takes remote comments, and we need you to show up in person Wednesday at 10am at LA City Hall (200 N. Spring St. Room 340) and make public comment asking them to take Option #1, and adopt Healthy Streets LA. Here are some talking points you can use. We suggest timing yourself to make sure you can say everything you want to say in 1 minute.

We’re almost there, and we need all hands on deck. See you there!

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

RSVP AND TELL US YOU’LL BE THERE

VIEW TALKING POINTS

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It’s not always pleasant to see yourself through someone else’s eyes.

Especially the view isn’t always pretty.

An Indian writer working with the LA Times on a journalism fellowship discovers just how difficult it is to survive in Los Angeles without a car, where the taxis are expensive and transit unreliable, and bike lanes start and stop with no coherent reason.

And you can’t even go through a Del Taco drive through without one, even when the walkup window is closed.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A Florida driver killed five people in their late teens and early twenties when he drove the wrong way on a freeway at 4:30 am.

The 30-year old driver, who was the only one who survived the crash, hasn’t had a valid driver’s license since his was revoked after getting caught doing 109 mph.

Yet he continued to drive anyway, racking up traffic violations that include speeding, running red lights and failing to yield at an intersection, despite being described by a former girlfriend as psychotic and obsessive.

Just one more example of authorities allowing a dangerous driver to stay on the roads until he killed someone.

Or five someones.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

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Streetsblog says work is underway to extend the parking protected bike lane on Venice Blvd.

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Buena Park has started work on what will be the longest bike lanes in the city when they’re finished.

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I’m not sure I’d call this a rickshaw. It seems more like a side-by-side tandem to me.

Although I did have to read the tweet to figure out that wasn’t Peter Pan sitting next to Peter Fonda.

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A YouTuber converted his old mountain bike to an ebike, in order to tow his solar-powered camper trailer complete with rechargeable battery.

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

A road raging pickup driver disrupted a Portland open streets event by driving onto the route, screaming obscenities at volunteers and participants, and even flashing a gun at one point. Police say they are investigating.

Once again, cops bend over backwards to exonerate one of their own, after a Lincoln, Nebraska cop right hooked a 15-year old kid crossing the street on his bike with the walk signal; the police insist the kid somehow crashed into the side of the police cruiser as the officer was turning. Something smells like bullshit here, which isn’t hard to find in Nebraska.

British lawyer “Mr. Loophole” wants bike riders who kill pedestrians to face life imprisonment, even though drivers usually get off with a slap on the wrist, if that. And even though it hardly ever happens, while drivers kill people every day.

Cycling Weekly has more information about the Spanish driver who plowed into a group of eight bicyclists, killing a couple of 67 and 72-year old men and seriously injuring three others; the driver was captured ten hours after fleeing the crash. He’s under investigation for murder, after witnesses say he suddenly changed lanes and sped up before hitting the bike riders.

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

A Phoenix man faces charges for shooting and killing another man in a dispute over a stolen bicycle; he confessed to the killing when police arrested him, but swore he actually stole the bike from someone else.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. The LA Times takes a deep dive into deadly street takeovers and side shows, which authorities describe as a scene of lawlessness “bordering on a riot;” six people have already been killed in street takeovers this year.

The WeHo Times provides photos from Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia, while My News LA offers a brief wrap-up.

The sheriff’s department will conduct a traffic safety operation in Santa Clarita from 2 pm to 8 pm today, focusing on violations that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. You know the drill. Ride to the letter of the law until you leave the area, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

 

State 

California is still trying to get its shit together regarding the fully funded ebike rebate program that was supposed to be up and running by now; the California Air Resources team will hold a virtual public workshop tomorrow to discuss issues like participant income eligibility, what types of ebikes should be covered by the program, and what kinds of retailers should participate.

San Diego’s popular Bike the Bay rolls this Sunday, providing your annual opportunity to ride the city’s iconic Coronado Bridge. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

KTLA-5 offers an update on the 14-year old boy who was run down by a 68-year old driver while riding bikes with a friend in the parking lot of the Camarillo Premium Outlets; his mother reports he suffered an extensive brain injury, as well as a collapsed lung, cracked sternum, fractured vertebrae and serious road rash. A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $20,000 of the $50,000 goal.

Thanks again to Robert Leone for catching us up on a couple stories we missed recently:

Richmond is planning to revive its moribund e-bikeshare system a month after Bolt bolted, and left hundreds of abandoned ebikes on the streets.

 

National

Runner’s World recommends the best bike helmets for “comfortable, breezy protection.”

Highway-choked Houston is slowly inching away from its auto-centric reputation with a series of multimodal infrastructure projects. Maybe they could show LA officials how to do it.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a “priceless” bike that belonged to a Minnesota man who recently died of a brain tumor; before his death he passed the bike onto his son because he wanted the boy to enjoy riding like he did.

This, too, is the cost of traffic violence. Pioneering heart researcher Jeffrey Robbins, PhD was killed when a teenage driver attempted to pass him as he was making a left turn on his bike to enter an Ohio bike trail. But it’s okay, because the cops say it was just an “oopsie.”

Unbelievable. Indianapolis has removed concrete bollards along a protected bike lane, and replaced them with flimsy car-tickler plastic bendy posts, because it was just to hard to maintain the concrete barriers after drivers hit them. So better to let drivers crash into the soft people on bicycles instead, apparently.

Ebikes are getting more Maine residents out of their cars, and could help the state meet its climate goals. Which is a pretty good indication that their climate goals aren’t ambitious enough.

Boston residents are working together to cope with a month-long shutdown of a pair of commuter rail lines, including mapping bike routes and organizing bike buses for beginning riders.

DC installed a new traffic signal to address years of complaints about a dangerous intersection, nine days too late to save the life of a woman riding a bike who was right hooked by a garbage truck driver.

This is the cost of traffic violence, too. An 11-year old Florida boy was killed when a pickup driver towing a boat swerved up on the sidewalk to avoid a crash, where the boy was riding his bike.

Sad commentary from a Florida website, which says ghost bikes are becoming all-too-familiar roadside memorials on Miami’s Rickebacker Causeway.

 

International

Yes, cars really are out to get us, one way or another. Vancouver bike riders are demanding a safe route after a bike path was closed when the roof of a parking lot collapsed, blocking the bikeway.

Calgary residents complain about new bike lanes intended to slow speeding drivers, as some worry they won’t be safe because…wait for it…scofflaw drivers will break the law.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a hit-and-run driver walked without a single day behind bars for leaving a bike rider with a broken pelvis.

A British bike rider completed the grueling, 2,500-mile Transcontinental race across Europe riding a Brompton foldie.

That’s more like it. France will pay you up to the equivalent of nearly four grand to swap your smelly, polluting car for a clean running ebike, or $400 to buy an ebike without a car trade, and Paris will give up up to $500 to buy an ebike or foldie.

This is who we share the road with. A 20-year old American service member is under house arrest inside the Aviano Air Base in northern Italy after killing a 15-year old boy while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit.

Cycling Tips considers why Australian roads became proportionately more dangerous during the pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

The real Vuelta starts today, when the peloton returns to Spain with a harrowing uphill finish.

Semi-retired LA pro cyclist Phil Gaimon now owns the course record for Maine’s prestigious Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, while notching his fourth win in the event; San Jose’s Courtney Nelson also set a course record while winning the women’s event.

 

Finally…

Once again, if you’re carrying meth on your bike, put a damn light on it, already. Congratulations, your kid is now some Tesla driver’s crash test dummy.

And this is how you avoid close passes.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

City Watch writer gets Healthy Streets LA all wrong, NACTO says change unfair bike laws, and CNN calls bike boom bust

Talk about not getting it.

A writer for City Watch complains that bike lanes won’t fight climate change in Southern California.

He apparently bases his entire argument on a misreading of a recent article in the LA Times about the Healthy Streets LA ballot initiative, although he seems to have missed the name of the proposal in his reading.

He also missed the part where it said the ballot initiative would require building out the Mobility Plan 2035 — including bus only lanes — instead assuming that it’s all about bike lanes and pedestrian improvements.

The initiatives backer, software entrepreneur Michael Schneider leads the organization “Streets for All.” Schneider seems impatient with the the City of Los Angeles’ execution of the city’s current plans on mobility and bicycles, and City Council President Nury Martinez’s own counterproposal for bicycles and pedestrians.

The Times only mentions bike lanes in the initiative with no mention of bus only lanes. Schneider calls his initiative a “nuclear option.” Playing with weapons is never to be taken lightly, particularly nuclear ones, and his initiative will not lead the city, and the region, in the fight to reduce carbon gases needed to mitigate the climate emergency we now live in. The initiative seems more for the bicycle riders for ride for recreation, and does not take into account transportation for getting to work, shopping, eating, entertainment and other activities of urban dwellers…

If vehicle lanes are to be removed and replaced when the roads are repaved, as in the initiative, the replacements must be bus only lanes, not bicycle lanes, or both.

Oddly, that’s exactly what the initiative calls for. Which he would know if he had actually looked into it, rather than firing off a knee-jerk reaction to a single news article.

He goes on to make a case for why bike lanes aren’t practical to combat climate change in Southern California — including that he is now a “Medicare approved senior citizen,” as if his particular status extends to the entire populace at large. Or that there aren’t other older people who ride on a daily basis.

Then there’s this.

Reasons for riding a bicycle. It would seem riding a bicycle in Los Angeles is mainly recreational. From the United States Census Bureau: “Los Angeles had 1.0 percent of commuters bike to work, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today in a new brief focused on biking and walking to work. Nationally, 0.6 percent of workers commute by bike.” LINK.

Bike advocates have argued for years that the Census Bureau’s figure is a dramatic undercount that misses people who use multi-modal commutes and part-time bike commuters, as well as many immigrants and homeless people who use bicycles as their sole form of transportation.

It also doesn’t count people who ride their bikes to school or shopping, or any other utilitarian uses that doesn’t involve riding to work five days a week.

And of course, he has to trot out the tired bromide that this is not Amsterdam, failing to recognize that Amsterdam was every bit as auto-centric as Los Angeles just a few short decades ago.

Not to mention arguing that it’s too hot to ride a bike in Los Angeles, and no one wants to get sweaty on the way to work. Even though LA has one of the nation’s most temperate climates much of the year, making it far more ideal for bike riding than many other cities with higher riderships, Amsterdam included.

And forgetting that it’s possible to ride without breaking a sweat, especially on an ebike, or to freshen up once you get to work.

Although give him credit for noting that automotive exhaust isn’t healthy for people on bicycles. Even though that’s a better argument for demanding non-polluting cars than discouraging bike use.

Despite his assertions, no one is arguing that bikes should take precedent over transit systems.

That’s not what the mobility plan calls for, and not what the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure is about.

It doesn’t help anyone to go off half-cocked, and misrepresent what this ballot measure is about, and what it does, without taking the simple step of clicking on the damn link find out what it really is.

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They get it.

NACTO calls for changing laws and improving infrastructure that unfairly criminalize people on bicycles.

The group argues that red light and stop sign laws, and equipment laws like bike bell or helmet requirements, are too often used to target people of color, including in New York and Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, they argue that ticketing bicyclists for sidewalk riding or riding salmon is more an indication of inadequate infrastructure than bad bike behavior.

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On the other hand, CNN doesn’t get it.

The cable network reports that the bicycling boom has gone bust, as indoor cycling firms like Peloton and Soul Cycle are facing layoffs, while bike shops are burdened with too much inventory.

Yet bicycling rates remain at near-historic highs in many cities, which suggests bike sales may have slowed simply because a) some bike shops may have over-ordered during the recent inventory shortages, b) many people already have the bikes they need.

Although whether they have all the bikes the want is another matter.

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

A Redditor discovers the hard way that it’s not really funny to tell a coworker “You should have come by car” after she was hit by one while riding her bike to work.

No bias here. After a 70-year old Massachusetts man was killed in a dooring, the local press blames him for crashing into the open car door. Just to be clear, dooring is almost always the driver’s or passenger’s fault, because the law requires that a car door can only be opened when it’s safe to do so.

A London, Ontario bike rider was left with a broken collarbone and road rash when a pickup driver intentionally swerved into him and another rider, after deliberately buzzing the group behind them.

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

The NYPD is looking for three drivers and a bike rider responsible for a weekend hit-and-run rampage that killed one pedestrian and injured five other people, including a 44-year old man who suffered a critical head injury when he was struck by a man on a bicycle, who fled the scene. Just a reminder that bicyclists have the same obligation to stop following a crash that drivers do.

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Local

Long Beach is investing over half a billion dollars in infrastructure improvements over the next five years, including complete rebuilds to improve traffic flow and safety for pedestrians and cyclists on major corridors like Studebaker Road, Artesia Blvd and Anaheim Street.

A man was repeatedly stabbed on Long Beach’s beachfront bike path in an apparent robbery attempt Sunday night; fortunately, his injuries aren’t considered life-threatening.

 

State 

Streetsblog California considers new models in bicycling advocacy, and how new groups can work with established organizations to improve safety and equity.

Thirty-six-year old Kenneth Alexander Heimlich went on trial for a violent rampage in Fullerton and Buena Park, including pushing a man with a bicycle into traffic and repeatedly stomping on his head, for no apparent reason.

A San Francisco op-ed complains about the city police department’s ineffectiveness in combating traffic violence, saying they’re failing to enforce the five most dangerous driving violations, particularly on the city’s High-Injury Network.

The Bay Area’s Bike East Bay is working with the city to build a series of popup protected bike lanes, spending just $20,000 for plastic bollards, tape, and other temporary street markings.

 

National

Best Reviews looks at the best Abus bike locks available on Amazon.

Gear Junkie says ABS anti-lock braking may be one of the next vital ebike features to make riding safer and more fun.

Heartbreaking story from Seattle, where a woman urges drivers to slow down after her husband was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike.

Minnesota advocacy group Streets MN offers the second part of their Tips for Utilitarian Cycling, including advice on riding in heat and rain.

Louisville KY bicyclists are pushing for protective barriers on bike lanes to improve safety from inattentive drivers.

A 45-year old Cleveland man pled not guilty to multiple charges for slamming his car into a family riding their bikes, killing a three year old girl and injuring her father and ten-year old sister, before fleeing the crash on foot.

More heartbreaking news, this time from Pennsylvania, where an off-duty Montgomery County cop was killed when he allegedly swerved his bicycle into the path of an oncoming driver. Norristown Police Cpl. Brian R. Kozera had overcome a rare form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma to compete in six Ironman triathlons, and was scheduled to compete in Kona in October. Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up.

 

International

A Manchester, England walking and biking advocacy group is complaining about an epidemic of drivers parking in bike lanes. Which seems to be a universal problem; if they have bike lanes on Uranus, someone is probably parking in them.

Kindhearted British police give a ten-year old Ukrainian refugee boy a new bike. Which naturally brought out all the hateful trolls on Facebook.

A Norwegian study suggests e-scooter riders are significantly more reckless than bike riders, and four times more likely to ride drunk. Then again, I’d have to be drunk to ride one. But that’s just me.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great news, as the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team confirmed that Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner Egan Bernal will return to racing today with the five-stage Tour of Denmark, just eight months after his near-fatal crash on a training ride in his native Columbia.

Primož Roglič has been declared fit and ready to ride as he goes for a fourth consecutive Vuelta title, after abandoning the Tour de France with a dislocated shoulder and back injury.

Thirty-one-year old Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin calls it a career “with immediate effect.”

A Richmond VA newspaper talks with hometown hero Emma Langley, who won the US women’s road national championship in June.

NPR looks at gravel bike racing, with the sport’s focus on diversity and inclusion amid its soaring popularity.

 

Finally…

Nice wood-print illustration of a tandem bike. What good is a Commonwealth Games medal if you can’t use it to score free beer?

And who needs a limo to get married in style?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Blaming deadly streets, LA council considers Healthy Streets plan, and stoned driver injures mother and child

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

I’m still dealing with what my doctors insist is a form of neurological migraine, even though it hasn’t responded to treatment.

Most nights I struggle to work through it; last Tuesday I couldn’t. My head had me down for the count, and every attempt to rally ended in failure.

I’d like to say it won’t happen again.

But it probably will, until they finally get this damn thing figured out.

Graphic by tomexploresla.

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Let’s start with this piece from NPR.

The public radio network looks at the recent bike boom, and the unfortunate boom in bicycling deaths that accompanied it. Along with the role played by deadly streets designed for maximum automotive throughput.

Take this brief quote, for instance.

Improving urban transportation safety for all users starts with putting cyclists, pedestrians and those using scooters, e-bikes and other alternative mobility modes on a level playing field with car and truck drivers, says P.S. Sriraj, director of the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois – Chicago.

“There is this lack of awareness about sharing the road between different modes, between motorists and bicyclists,” he says.

“The U.S. has this perception about modes other than automobiles being inferior and that needs to be addressed right from the get go,” Sriraj adds.

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

Thanks to Lionel Mares for the heads-up.

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It looks like the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure is making an impact at city hall.

Los Angeles Council President Nury Martinez has joined with four other council members to introduce a measure to implement the city’s long-ignored mobility plan while performing unrelated street resurfacing and slurry seal projects.

The proposal, also backed by councilmembers Monica Rodriguez, Kevin de León, Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, requires the city attorney to draft an ordinance based on the Healthy Streets LA initiative.

It’s just as notable, however, for who didn’t sign on, including pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz, “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, and Hollywood councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, among others.

While the ordinance would be a big step forward, it could be subject to change down the road, and likely could be overridden by a vote of the council, unlike the ballot measure.

Depending on how it’s written, it could also be weaker than the ballot measure, which would require implementation of the mobility plan, rather that just recommending it.

However, it would also avoid a long, difficult and expensive campaign for passage of the Healthy Streets proposal, with no guarantee it would win.

………

What’s worse than an out of control elderly driver?

A stoned one.

A San Diego mother and her child learned that the hard way, when a 78-year old alleged drugged driver slammed into their bikes at 11th Street and Fern Ave Tuesday evening.

Fortunately, their injuries where not life-threatening. The mother was hospitalized with serious injuries, while the child, who was not identified, suffered minor injuries.

The unidentified driver was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.

Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive. And why can’t we manage to keep impaired drivers the hell off the road.

………

Police believe Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, the alleged killer of top gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, flew to Houston before catching a flight to New York.

Armstrong reportedly shot Wilson multiple times, believing she was involved with Armstrong’s boyfriend, cyclist Colin Strickland, who Wilson had briefly dated when the couple were on a break.

Armstrong is 5′ 8″ tall and weighs around 125 pounds. Anyone with information is urged to call the US Marshals Service at 1-800/336-0102.

………

LADOT has made safety improvements to deadly Foothill Blvd.

Although I suspect most bike riders would prefer to see the bollards on the other side of the bike lane.

………

The rich get richer.

Long Beach continues to lead the way in the LA area by building out an actual bike network.

Speaking of Los Beach, the city will host a Pride Ride tomorrow evening.

https://twitter.com/CenterLB/status/1528835863513288705

………

Pico Rivera is getting a new bike lane, too.

Even if it is just a short strip of paint.

https://twitter.com/ayruem2/status/1528924673248858113

………

As former New York DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said, first they fight to stop it, then they fight to keep it.

………

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

No bias here. After a Macon, Georgia bike rider was right hooked by the driver of a logging truck, the local press blames him for riding into the truck’s rear tires.

After Welsh police sent a warning letter to a van driver about an overly close pass of a bike rider, the driver posted the letter on Facebook and bragged about getting away with it.

………

Local

Pasadena police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation tomorrow, ticketing any violations that put bike riders or pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So ride to the letter of the law until you leave the city, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Colorado Boulevard recaps the recent 626 Golden Streets open streets event on the first of this month.

Santa Clarita’s Bike Week celebration took 400 car commuter days off the roads.

 

State 

San Diego advocates are calling on the mayor to improve safety by doubling funding for quick-build bikeways, while the mayor calls for “sexy streets,” a plan to repave 54 miles of major roadways while adding bike lanes and improved sidewalks.

No surprise here. San Diego spent over $68,000 to stripe advisory bike lanes on a Mira Mesa street, then rip them out just days later.

Intense has opened a new assembly plan in Temecula, allowing the mountain bikemaker to streamline operations while giving it greater flexibility.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Montecito, went for a bike ride with a friend from the old country, where he used to be a royal.

Sad news from Fresno, where a 73-year old man was killed by a driver while riding his bike in a crosswalk; Fresno bike riders say they fear for their safety after a recent string of fatal crashes.

Alameda will decide whether the safety of people on bicycles is more important than convenient parking spaces.

More sad news, this time from ostensibly bike-friendly Davis, where a UC Davis student was killed when she was struck by the driver of a garbage truck while riding her bike — even though the story doesn’t even mention that the truck had one. Megan Lynch, who came upon the crash scene shortly after the collision, says Davis “should NOT be Platinum level year after year without serious work on accessibility, and serious enforcement around car-centrist vandalism and car violence.”

 

National

Cycling News looks at the Memorial Day bike sales to help you find the best deal. But before you buy anything online or from a chain store, check with your local bike shop to see what they have to offer, including better service.

A new white paper from Portland State University considers how to make ebike incentive programs more effective.

Portland and Denver have halted wasteful freeway expansions. Let’s hope LA Metro follows their example at today’s board meeting.

A Denver TV station declares the great bicycle shortage is over, as bike shops are rebuilding their inventory, although prices are still up.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Days after an alleged drunk driver drove onto a new bike path next to an Iowa highway, killing one person and injuring two others, officials installed a temporary barrier to keep cars out while they decide on a permanent solution.

Guardian Bikes, a fast-growing startup backed by Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, is building a highly automated manufacturing plant in Seymour, Indiana to overcome supply chain problems inherent in Chinese manufacturing.

Pittsburgh is using complex metrics to design safer streets for bike riders and pedestrians exactly when and where they’re needed.

The best places to ride your bike on your next trip to Cape Cod.

A Boston college student has developed a one-pound backpack for bike riders that automatically inflates into an upper body airbag in the event of a crash.

 

International

Mark your calendar for the 5th annual World Bicycle Day one week from tomorrow.

No surprise here. A new European study confirmed that protected bike lanes help close the bicycling gender gap, with more women willing to ride on safer bike lanes. And no, that does not include bike lanes protected by LADOT’s flimsy plastic car ticklers.

Get a new ebike for less than the equivalent of $1,200 from German grocery chain Aldi this week. But not, sadly, in the US.

You can now borrow an e-cargo bike to transport bulky waste or reusable items to a Rotterdam environmental park.

The New York Times takes multi-day ride from Italy to Croatia.

An Aussie driver will spend the next four years behind bars for killing a respected Adelaide doctor as he was riding his bike; the driver was under the influence of a cocktail of illicit drugs, including meth, ecstasy, coke and weed.

 

Competitive Cycling

Still more bad news, as former pro cyclist Jaime Alberto Restrepo was shot and killed Monday in Antioquia, Colombia; the 25-year old Columbian was targeted by two men on a motorcycle, one of whom was arrested.

The Giro remains incredibly tight, with Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz maintaining a slim three second lead over Australian Jai Hindley with just four stages to go.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you need a massive $75,000 pickup with a three-quarter ton payload just to drive down the street for a cappuccino. When you’re carrying meth, coke and a crack pipe on your bike, put a damn light on it. The bike, that is, not the crack pipe.

And if you’re going to make your getaway from the cops on a bicycle, don’t choose an uphill route.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Riding a bike shouldn’t be so dangerous, a look at LA’s Vision Zero fail, and Garcetti cuts LA’s transportation budget

Happy Earth Day.

Or as Los Angeles officials call it, Friday.

LA’s elected leaders will undoubtedly pontificate and issue all kinds of public statements stressing the importance of protecting the earth and fighting climate change.

But won’t do a damn thing about it.

And if you happen to see outgoing CD5 Councilmember and current candidate for City Controller Paul Koretz, ask him how he can be a self-professed environmentalist while blocking bike lanes in his district.

………

He gets it.

In today’s must-read story, a columnist for the New York Times writes that riding a bicycle in the US shouldn’t be this dangerous.

Using the recent death of a 13-year old Mountain View boy as a starting point, Farhad Manjoo writes that the boy was right hooked by a truck driver who reportedly never saw the kind on his bike hidden in his blind spot.

And that Andre Retana and the man who killed him didn’t do anything. But Andre lost his life anyway, thanks to roads designed to prioritize automotive throughput over everything else.

Including human lives.

Manjoo goes on to say this —

The United States is in the midst of a traffic fatality crisis. Nearly 39,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes on American roadways in 2020, the most since 2007. American roads have grown especially dangerous to “nonoccupants” of vehicles — that is, bicyclists and pedestrians. In 2011, 16 percent of traffic deaths were of nonoccupants; in 2020 it was 20 percent. The trends are a major reversal — from the 1970s until the late 2000s, deaths on American roadways of bicyclists, pedestrians and people in cars had steadily declined. There are a number of potential reasons for rising deaths — among them that many more of our cars are big and deadly S.U.V.s, that states keep raising speed limits, that ride-sharing vehicles have made our roads more chaotic, and that people drove much more recklessly during the pandemic. But while many cities, states and the federal government have unveiled plans to mitigate the horror, progress has been elusive.

The intersection of El Camino and Grant Road illustrates a major part of the problem. A big reason our roads are unsafe is because they were designed that way — because, as the advocacy group Smart Growth America puts it, policymakers at nearly every level of government continue to prioritize the speedy movement of vehicles over the safety of everyone else on our streets. And even when the dangers of our bad roads become glaring, officials have limited options for fixing them.

Our roads are deadly because officials will still call the inevitable consequences of this ill-design a tragedy rather than a choice.

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

Go ahead, we’ll wait.

………

Call this one another must-read.

LAist’s Ryan Fonseca looks at the failure of LA’s Vision Zero and the city’s mobility plan, citing a lack of funding and political will that has led to a dramatic increase in traffic deaths, rather than eliminating traffic deaths by 2025 as we were promised.

Despite putting both plans in motion more than six years ago, L.A.’s streets are deadlier now than they were then, especially for people walking.

In 2015, 186 people were killed in crashes on city streets. Last year, the death toll was 294, according to city data. Pedestrians make up the largest share of victims, with 132 people killed by drivers while walking last year. That’s up 50% from 2015.

Fed up, a coalition of safety advocates and community groups is working to get a measure on the local ballot this November. The measure would compel the city to follow its mobility plan whenever it repaves a street. That’s rarely happening now, according to the group, called Healthy Streets LA.

Once again, it’s worth a few minutes of your day to read the entire piece.

Because, to paraphrase the NYT’s Manjoo, riding a bike — or walking, or even driving or riding in a car — shouldn’t be this dangerous.

Or deadly.

………

Unfortunately, the mean streets of Los Angeles aren’t likely to get any safer anytime soon, as the mayor’s new budget cuts $14 million from the city’s already underfunded transportation budget, while pumping another $125 million into the LAPD’s bloated $3.2 billion budget.

Things like this are why both the LA Times and I have endorsed Kenneth Mejia for city controller, because he’s already doing the controller’s job of digging into the city’s finances to uncover what’s hidden there.

………

Los Angeles filled in yet another missing chunk of the LA River bike path in the San Fernando Valley, as the city works to complete the entire 72-mile pathway in time for the 2028 LA Olympics.

………

So tell me again how bicyclists don’t ride in the damn bike lane?

………

The estimable Will Campbell offers a video love letter to the little known 4th Avenue bike and pedestrian bridge over the !0 Freeway.

………

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

More blowback for the coal-rolling Texas car tuner, as bike riders call for a boycott of the shop over the video of a driver enveloping a bicyclist in his truck’s exhaust, which was apparently posted by the shop owner, who somehow feels like he’s the victim the victim in the whole thing. Hint: He’s not.

………

Local

A writer for the LA Times gets four of the five mayoral candidates on the record for their stands on environmental issues, including calls for better bike infrastructure; billionaire Rick Caruso evidently couldn’t be bothered to do more than email it in.

This, too, is the cost of traffic violence. A mountain lion was killed on the busy 405 Freeway just south of the Getty Center early Thursday morning, apparently trying to get across the massive billion dollar car sewer.

Over one hundred people turned out to honor fallen bike rider Andrew Jelmert with a ghost bike ceremony Wednesday night.

 

State 

Calbike credits their advocacy work for California’s 4th place ranking in the Bike League’s roster of bicycle-friendly states.

Costa Mesa opens a new bollard-protected bike lane on Bristol Street, while “enhancing” existing bike lanes on Baker Street. That protected lane is pretty much just separated bike lane marked by green plastid bollards that aren’t going to stop anyone.

La Jolla’s Traffic & Transportation Board unanimously approved plans to repave and restripe the city’s deadly Via Capri to narrow traffic lanes and add buffered bike lanes, after a $1.32 million settlement over a man who was killed when his motorcycle hit one of the street’s many potholes.

Fontana has decided to abandon an undeveloped piece of property the city has owned for 25 years, while vowing to continue the bike races that often start and end there.

Cambria’s Eroica California vintage bike ride returns to San Luis Obispo County next weekend.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says bike companies may not be perfect when it comes to protecting the environment, but they should keep doing what they’re doing.

Low-income resident’s of Corvallis and Eugene, Oregon can get a $1,200 rebate on the purchase of an ebike.

The wives of fallen bicyclists Adam and Matthew Bullard, the Whittier brothers killed while riding near St. George, Utah, thanked tlocal residents for honoring the men with a ghost bike; the city is also moving forward with plans for a permanent memorial near the site.

Indiana University’s legendary Little 500 is set to roll this afternoon; the race was made famous in Breaking Away.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adaptive tandem bike belonging to a Missouri special needs kid.

 

International

The City Fix calls out five ways to cut oil and gas use through clean transportation, including building safe bicycling and walking infrastructure, and prioritizing both in transportation budgets. Unlike, say, the budget presented by LA’s mayor this week.

The Belize cycling federation called on all bicyclists to don their team jerseys to ride along with the funeral procession honoring cycling coach and race organizer Edison “Vintage” Usher, who died just days before his 49th birthday when the motorcycle he was riding with another man exploded while on their way to livestream a women’s cross country race.

Canadian mountain bikers call for an apology after an Adidas marketing manager wrote a “willfully ignorant” blog post “steeped in white privilege,” which they say suggests the reason women of color don’t succeed in the sport is due to their own lack of hard work.

The president of a Malaysian road safety research institute says there’s no law banning bike riders from any road in the country, as long as they adhere to basic safety requirements.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews says Dutch pro Mathieu van der Poel may be wiser and more dangerous than ever after bouncing back from a nagging back injury.

Paris-Roubaix really was the Hell of the North for France’s Florian Sénéchal, who claims a spectator doused him with urine during the race. Yet he still managed to finish 13th, despite an earlier crash.

VeloNews offers photos from the first stage of this year’s Redlands Classic.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you just want to go for a buck naked bike ride. Nothing like biking with a goggles and bowtie wearing kitty.

And answering the age old question of why do bicyclists shave their legs?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA Times editorial calls for supporting Healthy Streets LA initiative, and Oxnard man arraigned in drunken bike death

Nice to see a writer for the LA Times get behind a ballot measure safer, healthier streets.

Times Editorial Board member Kerry Cavanaugh penned an editorial published Tuesday in support of the Healthy Streets LA initiative, which we discussed here last week.

The measure would require Los Angeles to implement the ambitious, but long-forgotten, Mobility Plan 2035, building out bus and bike lanes, as well as pedestrian improvements, when city streets are repaved.

Here’s what Cavanaugh had to say about the plan, which advocates fought for years to create and pass.

But, as is so often the case in L.A., the implementation of the Mobility Plan has not matched its ambition.

Since its adoption, the city has only made bike, bus and pedestrian upgrades to 95 miles out of 3,137 miles identified in the plan — or 3% in a little more than six years. Time and again, city leaders have ignored or torpedoed bike and bus lanes outlined in the Mobility Plan. At this rate, it will take nearly 200 years — not 20 — to fulfill the plan’s vision.

As Cavanaugh points out, it’s crazy that it takes a ballot measure to force the city to do what it already agreed to do.

But that’s the city we live and ride in these days, where fear of angering anyone leads to paralysis among city leaders. Along with more and more community meetings, where the people who scream the loudest usually carry the day.

And it’s usually the people who fear and fight any kind of change who scream the loudest.

Again, here’s Cavanaugh.

The need for community engagement can’t be an excuse for doing nothing. There’s too much at stake. Last year nearly 300 people were killed in traffic collisions in Los Angeles, a roughly 20% increase over the two prior years. Nearly half of the people killed were pedestrians. Some 52% of Angelenos said that crossing the street in their neighborhood is dangerous, according to polling conducted for the Healthy Streets LA initiative.

As part of his Green New Deal sustainability plan — another aspirational document — Garcetti called for 50% of all trips in the city by 2035 to be made by walking, biking and taking transit. But that goal will be unreachable without the political will to prioritize the infrastructure and transit improvements that make it easier, safer and more pleasant for people to get around.

It’s ridiculous that we’re in this position.

But it’s sadly become clear over the last decade that we can’t count on city leaders to do what they already know has to be done. Yet clearly lack the courage and political will to do.

So we have to do it for them.

Click here to make arrangements to sign the petition, or volunteer to support the measure

………

Prosecutors have thrown the book at the accused drunk driver who killed a BMX rider in Oxnard Sunday night.

Twenty-seven year old Andres Morales pled not guilty yesterday to killing the victim, who has still not been publicly identified.

He faces charges of DUI causing injury or death, and driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08 percent, along with a single count of felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, combined with special enhancements for a serious felony and a crime involving great violence.

He remains in jail on $50,000 bond, which will be reviewed tomorrow.

Meanwhile, a Homeland man is expected to be arraigned today for killing 62-year old Hemet resident Glen Hysom as he rode a bike in unincorporated Winchester, just west of Hemet.

Thirty-eight-year old Carlos Arturo Acosta is expected to be charged with hit-and-run resulting in death, and driving on a suspended license.

He’s being held on $75,000 bail.

………

There’s always a shortage of bike lockers, even at the Metro stations that actually have them. And high demand for them at the stations that don’t.

………

You probably didn’t have this one on your 2022 bingo card — an Orlando, Florida bike cop in hot, but polite, pursuit of a very drunk woman riding a motorized suitcase.

Yes, a suitcase.

She faces up to ten years for spitting at the cops arresting her, damaging their patrol car, and taking a dump on the seat.

………

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

You’ve got to be kidding. An English driver walked with a suspended sentence and a lousy 250 pound fine — the equivalent of just $339 — for intentionally ramming a bike rider who may have accidentally brushed the car’s wing mirror.

………

You might want to avoid the area around USC and the Coliseum this morning, unless you want to get caught up in the Ram’s victory parade.

………

Local

Streets For All reminds us about the virtual public meeting tomorrow to consider plans to convert the peak hour lanes on Santa Monica Blvd west of the 405 into bus and bike lanes.

Walk Bike Glendale alerts us to public meetings this week to fight a plan to settle for sharrows on La Crescenta Ave tomorrow, and on Saturday to create a 9.4-mile linear park along the Verdugo Wash.

The Monterey Park City Council will discuss an induced demand-inducing plan at today’s meeting to widen Garvey Ave from four lanes to a ridiculous six lanes. Exactly the opposite of what should be done to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, and reduce motor vehicle use while California is literally burning. Thanks to Active SGV for the heads-up. 

Calabasas is nearing completion of a road widening project on Mulholland Highway, which appears to include a separated bikeway.

Shaun White is one of us, riding shirtless through the streets of Los Angeles after a fourth place finish in the Beijing Olympics.

 

State 

Four-time world mountain bike world champ Brian Lopes donated 50 Strider balance bikes and helmets to a Santa Ana elementary school through the All Kids Bike Kindergarten PE program, and worked with a couple dozen sixth graders to put them together.

Coronado cops are using bait bikes to bust bike thieves. But LA cops still don’t, and won’t for the foreseeable future over fears of being accused of entrapment.

Rialto police are accused of roughing up a 16-year old girl who was riding an illegal motorized bike; one cop was accused of grabbing her by the throat.

A man in his 20s was lucky to survive when his bike was clipped by a moving train as he rode across the tracks in Oxnard.

 

National

Bicycling says the fixation on bike helmets just shifts the blame to bike riders, and lets killer drivers off the hook. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be available through Yahoo, so if the magazine blocks you, you’re on your own.

Forget a cycling computer. What you really need is contact lenses with a heads-up display.

Bike Portland’s podcast talks with Bike Index founder Bryan Hance about his work to bust a Mexican mountain bike theft ring operating out of Colorado.

A Nashville site says the city has a long way to go to get to zero traffic deaths. Which should sound familiar to anyone in Los Angeles. And most other American cities, for that matter.

New York’s new DOT commissioner is working to fortify half of the city’s bike lanes in his first 100 days, which are currently protected in name only by the usual flimsy white plastic, car-tickler bendy posts.

Just a year after revising Virginia law to require drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders, and remove the limitation on riding two abreast, the state senate is going backwards by approving a measure that would require people on bicycles to ride single file when being overtaken by someone in a car. The bill’s sponsor appeared to make up an incident to support it.

Dozens of Virginia runners turned out to honor a fellow runner who was killed in a collision while riding her bicycle last week.

 

International

A University of Toronto study confirms what you already knew. Over half of all drivers never look for bicyclists or pedestrians before making a right turn. Then again, some of them never look for us when we’re right in front of them, either.

You’ve got to be kidding, part two. An Aussie man wants permission to drive while he is accused of a hit-and-run that took the life of a 62-year old bike rider, despite having already shown he won’t stick around after a crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks forward to the “48th edition of the much-anticipated Volta ao Algarve;” the five-stage race starts today in Portugal.

Cycling News looks at memorable cases of pro cyclists getting spanked for breaking the rules.

A bike lawyer says it could be gross negligence to route an offroad bike race across a field with an ill-tempered bull, but it doesn’t help that the four Rock Cobbler riders who ended up on the wrong end of the horns had signed a waiver.

 

Finally…

As if cars blocking bike lanes isn’t bad enough, now we have to deal with robots. Meet Sigrid, the fixie-riding cat.

And meet a parrot who can ride a bike and poop on command.

………

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

Volunteers needed for LA Mobility Plan initiative, and a call to fix dangerous 2 Freeway/Glendale Blvd stub

Streets For All wants to make Los Angeles put its money where its mouth is.

Or maybe put its stripes where its pavement goes.

As we’ve repeatedly discussed, the LA city council unanimously passed the groundbreaking 2010 bike plan, which included three separate but interconnected bike networks to take riders across their own neighborhood or across the city.

That was subsumed into the equally groundbreaking 2035 Mobility Plan, along with LA’s Vision Zero plan, which promised to reshape how we get around the City of Angels. And which passed with just two negative votes — from bike-hating Gil Cedillo and self-proclaimed environmentalist Paul Koretz, who apparently never met a car he didn’t like.

Then all three plans were immediately placed on the shelf, and promptly forgotten.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1490514757580775428

As a result, Streets For All is introducing a ballot measure that would require the city to implement the mobility plan whenever a street gets resurfaced, as some other cities have done.

Which, as we’ve all seen, isn’t often enough.

But here’s what the organization has to say about the initiative.

Announcing Healthy Streets LA – a ballot measure to change things once and for all.

We’re excited to share our ballot measure with you – and we need your help to get it on the ballot!

Despite passing a 2035 Mobility Plan containing over 1,500 miles of pedestrian safety improvements, bus lanes, and bike lanes, the City of Los Angeles has implemented less than 3% of their plan in seven years. One tragic result of this failure has been exploding traffic violence in Los Angeles, with an increasing number of people getting hurt and killed each year. We don’t have to live this way.

Healthy Streets LA is a ballot measure requiring the City to implement its own plan each time it repaves a street. Since a street has to be re-striped anyway after repaving, this will reduce the cost and dramatically speed up the implementation of the Mobility Plan on the hundreds of miles of streets the city repaves each year.

To qualify for the ballot, we need to turn in 65,000 qualified signatures by May 27th. If we can get it on the ballot, our polling shows it would easily pass. We are excited to partner with LACBC, Climate Resolve, Streets Are For Everyone, Sunrise Movement LA, the West Valley Peoples Alliance, The Transit Coalition, and The River Project on this effort.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

  1. Sign up to volunteer and gather signatures in your area.
  2. Sign up to be an area director and manage volunteers in your area.
  3. Pledge to sign the petition – and get others to as well.

This is the most ambitious thing we’ve ever worked on, and together with your help and the help of our coalition, we can pull it off, and change our city forever.

Hopefully this will get enough signatures to get on the ballot. I’ll be signing it the first chance I get.

Then we’ll see if our fellow Angelenos really support making the changes needed to address traffic congestion, street safety, smog and climate change.

Or like our elected officials, they’d rather just sit in their cars all day, and let someone else deal with it.

………

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton calls on Caltrans to fix the 2 Freeway stub, where a bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run on Glendale Blvd last month.

Linton writes that the freeway was part of the infamous Beverly Hills Freeway, which was cancelled in the 1960s when residents of the “wealthier and whiter neighborhoods” it was supposed to go through rose up against it.

Unlike the less wealthy and white neighborhoods that were obliterated to build some of LA’s other freeways.

Today unfinished freeway merges with heavily travelled, high-speed Glendale Blvd, with its heavily travelled, high-speed slip lanes dangerously dumping freeway traffic onto the boulevard.

Naturally, Caltrans, Metro and the City of LA recognized the problem, and immediately set out to do what they do best.

Nothing.

For many years, Metro, Caltrans and LADOT worked to plan a State Route 2 Terminus Improvement Project. Streetsblog covered the meetings – with a telling 2009 headline that read LADOT Values Capacity over Community on Route 2/Glendale Blvd., Drags Metro along for the Ride. The process resulted in a 2009 Metro board approval of a so-called hybrid alternative that largely ignored the surrounding community’s push for less traffic and more green space.

Metro published fact sheets and broke the project up into phases, declaring that “this approach ensures delivery of the improvements as quickly as possible.” To make the wretched place not quite so hostile, these agencies had planned to add landscaping, ornamental street lights, and sidewalks – and to leave the deadly slip lane in place…

Then, like several other freeway stub-end reimaginings that even barely shift space away from driving, the Metro Highway Program and Caltrans quietly shelved the already-inadequate plans (after completing modest Phase 1A improvements). The project has been scrubbed from Metro’s website (find it at the Wayback Machine).

The city of L.A. approved protected bike lanes for this part of Glendale Boulevard in the city’s Mobility Plan. But, like the rest of the non-car features in that plan, the bikeway was never pursued.

Which takes us back to Streets For All’s ballot initiative we mention above, to force the city to build out the mobility plan.

And the need for Caltrans to live up to its newfound commitment to safer, more complete streets and roadways — if they really mean it this time.

If the victim of this crash had been more seriously injured, he would have been able to sue Caltrans and Los Angeles for failing to fix a situation they clearly knew was dangerous over a dozen years ago, but decided to just leave that way.

Fortunately for him, he escaped serious injury.

But because of that, there’s little chance of finding an attorney willing take the case, and force them to make the changes that are so desperately needed to improve safety for everyone.

………

Sometimes it takes people on bicycles to stand up to people in trucks.

Bike riders in Vancouver were able to block and delay, if not halt, a large truckers convoy protesting Canada’s vaccination requirements, one of several roiling the country.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the links.

………

Speaking of Lynch, she calls on bike-friendly Davis to conduct drills for cargo bike owners to simulate bringing in relief supplies following a natural disaster.

Which wouldn’t be a bad idea down here, or wherever you are.

And toss in all those fat-tired ebikes while we’re at it.

………

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

No bias here. The British press goes berserk over a “feckless” bike rider “making mockery of the Highway Code” by taking a selfie while riding in the middle of the traffic lane, making it “impossible to pass.” Even though the cabbie filming him on dashcam didn’t seem to have any trouble passing him after just a few moments.

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

Pleasanton mountain bikers demand more access after more than a dozen riders were cited by park police, despite the fact the ticketed riders weren’t on a designated trail. Seriously, don’t complain if you’re not willing to play by the rules and protect the land.

Tulsa police fatally shot a man who allegedly pulled a gun from his waistband; he was accused fleeing on a bicycle after robbing a man outside a check cashing business.

Police in Kent, England are looking for a bike rider who allegedly attacked a young woman and threatened her following a collision. Look, adrenalin is born to be running high after something like that, but violence is never the answer. So just don’t.

………

Local

Metro calls on everyone to mark Black History Month by supporting Black-owned businesses while using bikeshare and transit.

The NASCAR Foundation teamed with All Kids Bike to provide 50 Los Angeles area schools with fleets of 24 balance bikes, along with pedal-conversion kits, helmets, a teacher’s instruction bike and an eight-lesson curriculum to teach kids how to ride a bicycle.

Pasadena will consider the city’s new pedestrian plan, which will move to the city council soon following the end of public comment. Anything that improves safety for pedestrians should be good for people on bicycles, too.

A crowdfunding campaign for the Hermosa Beach bike rider rescued by his Apple Watch has raised nearly $22,000, despite confusion over whether he fell or was attacked from behind.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would permanently exempt from environmental review any projects designed to improve safety for walking or biking, improve bus speeds or modernize light rail stations; a current law that does just that will expire next year. Environmental regulations have long been abused by NIMBYs using tortured legal arguments to halt projects that would benefit the environment by encouraging alternative transportation.

This is who we share the road with. A 33-year old man was sentenced to 15 to life for the drunken hit-and-run that killed one man and seriously injured another in a 2018 Santa Ana crash; Jesus Segura Herrera was over three times the legal alcohol limit when he slammed into another car after drinking at a company party.

The Executive Director of San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will discuss the state of bicycling in San Diego County in a Zoom conference at high noon tomorrow.

If you build it, they will come. New San Diego bike counters show the city’s bike lanes are seeing an average of 2,000 riders a day, even in the middle of winter.

A Santa Barbara letter writer praises a new multi-use path along Las Positas and Modoc Roads, calling it “beautiful and well done,” while noting some bike riders may prefer to stay in the traffic lanes.

A Cal Berkeley student relates the lessons she learned riding down the California coast with a male companion. Including that nearly every man they met directed their questions to the guy, not her.

 

National

My bike-friendly Colorado hometown is celebrating National Winter Bike to Work Day this Friday, complete with a free breakfast for anyone on a bicycle. Yet somehow, we can’t manage to mark the day here in Los Angeles, where the weather is perfect for it.

That’s more like it. Denver is more than doubling the cost of parking tickets for drivers who block a bike lane, sidewalk or crosswalk, raising the fee from a paltry $25 to $65. Maybe if we did that here in Los Angeles, we might actually stop people from parking in bike lanes. Of course, that would require the city to actually ticket them, which they seem reluctant to do.

Sad news from Brooklyn, where a woman was killed by a school bus driver in an apparent right hook; she’d been commuting by ebike to protect her family from Covid and lighten her environmental footprint.

Thirty years after a 61-year old New York man founded a bike messenger service, he’s traded his bicycle for a keyboard to pursue his passion for music, living off donations as a street busker.

Philadelphia decides to keep one of the city’s most dangerous streets that way by scrapping plans for a road diet, even though it was judged to be the safest option and had widespread support; they claimed they didn’t do enough outreach to underrepresented communities. Evidently, Los Angeles isn’t the only city where leaders have to scrounge for any excuse to not do the right thing.

Tragic news from Georgia, where the founder of the local chapter of the Bikes Up, Guns Down group to use bicycles, dirt bikes and ATVs to reduce gun violence was himself the victim of a fatal shooting.

Horrible news from West Palm Beach, Florida, where a woman was killed when she fell through a draw bridge as she was walking her bicycle across; she was just ten feet from safety when she fell through a gap in the roadway, falling up to six stories to her death.

 

International

London’s mayor warns of disastrous consequences for bicyclists if the city’s transportation department is forced to slash the equivalent of $678 million in spending, due to declining revenue resulting from people working from home or avoiding transit systems.

London firefighters issue a warning after a rash of apartment fires sparked by ebike batteries.

An English ebike rider was killed in a collision with a pedestrian, dispelling the myth that only pedestrians are at risk in such crashes. Unlike with motor vehicles, where pedestrians and people on bicycles face nearly 100% of the risk.

An English bike rider says he’s reported 300 dangerous drivers to the police, and taken five to court himself based on based on bike cam video, and claims he’ll keep going until drivers treat people on bicycles better. Yet another reminder that the law has to be changed in this country to allow drivers to be ticketed or charged with misdemeanors based on video or photo evidence, which is currently barred in most cases.

A volunteer with a UK mountain rescue team was called on to save an unconscious mountain biker, only to discover the victim was his own 42-year old son.

British bike cab company Pedal Me bizarrely cites safety concerns for prohibiting their riders from wearing bike helmets.

A Dublin paper considers whether the city can ever be made safe for bike riders, as former pro Nicolas Roche says even he feels like he’s risking his life there.

That’s more like it, too. The government of Australia’s New South Wales state has announced plans to more than double its current spending of $950 million for active transportation.

More awful news, as an alleged drunk driver in India’s Uttar Pradesh state was beaten to death after losing control on a speed bump and crashing into someone on a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist David Dekker was lucky to escape serious injury when he rode off the side of the road and into a ravine during last week’s Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

Longtime Spanish pro Alejandro Valverde announced plans to call it a career at the end of the upcoming racing season after two decades as a pro cyclist.

The former captain of Afghanistan’s first women’s cycling team is now living in Roanoke, Virginia, where she’ll compete with the Blue Ridge Twenty24 in hopes of making it to Paris for the 2024 Olympics.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you give accident-prone TV star a set of training wheels for his ebike. Bicycling as a tool to reduce inbreeding.

And folding bike, folding wheels.

………

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

Council committee delays adoption of uninspired LADOT Strategic Plan, and Insta users want carfree Hollywood Blvd

Before we get started, I hope you’ll join me in thanking our title sponsor Pocrass & De Los Reyes for renewing their sponsorship for the coming year. Keeping up with this site is a more than full-time job, and it’s the support of our sponsors, and people like you, who make it possible. 

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels.

………

Maybe we’re lucky they pulled the plug yesterday.

At almost the last minute, Streets For All sent out a notification that the city council’s Transportation Committee would consider LADOT’s new Strategic Plan for the next four years at yesterday’s virtual meeting.

That’s the weak-kneed plan we mentioned last month, which sets the bar so low agency staffers have to be careful not to trip over it on the way to work every morning.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Joe Linton summed it up.

In his introductory statement, Mayor Garcetti calls the plan “an honest, assertive strategy that reflects my priorities for LADOT as your mayor.” While there are laudable goals in the plan, it is anything but “assertive,” except perhaps assertively reiterating that there will be little change to L.A. streets’ status quo. Overall the plan does feel very Garcetti: proclaim lots of great high-minded much-needed goals (Vision Zero, more bikes, more CicLAvias), set some far-off benchmarks, then deliver very little, and avoid courting even minimal confrontation – especially with drivers.

It’s sad just how accurate that is. Garcetti’s tenure has been marked by bold, visionary plans that never seem to manifest on the streets.

Or anywhere else.

Apparently, LADOT has figured out his management style, and now takes care to underpromise, knowing they’ll probably live down to it.

Again, this is how Linton saw it yesterday.

The most dismal portion of the document is in the Health and Safety section, which includes active transportation – walking and bicycling. LADOT states that its goal is to “increase the share of people walking and biking to support healthy communities.” This is the action with which LADOT plans to accomplish this:

“Complete one major active transportation project (such as a protected bike lane on a major street) per year to support the build out of a comprehensive network of active transportation corridors in the city.”

Really. One major project each year. That’s by a department with a $500+million budget, in a city with four million people, more than 6,000 miles of streets, and an approved plan for hundreds of miles of new bikeways by 2035. One major project per year, which might be a protected bike lane… who knows for what distance.

That was exactly my take on it, too.

Garcetti recruited one of the county’s most respected transportation planners in Seleta Reynolds, and brought her in, supposedly, to transform our streets and reduce the city’s ever-growing reliance on motor vehicles.

You can see how well that worked out.

Unless you happen to live Downtown, where a PeopleForBikes-funded initiative spurred some change, chances are you haven’t seen a single infrastructure improvement where you actually live and ride.

Evidently, they plan to keep it that way. And keep LA deadly in the process.

More worthwhile goals paired with minimum implementation show up in this section on Vision Zero:

“Continue to deliver high impact safety treatments on the High Injury Network (HIN), including an annual multimillion dollar signal program and significant roadway improvements to priority corridors”

The disappointing key word here is, arguably, “continue.” The city never actually got around to funding and implementing those “high impact safety treatments” and “significant roadway improvements,” largely due to resistance from city council and backlash from drivers. The plan appears to signal that the city’s weak steps toward Vision Zero will continue to be weak.

The one bit of good news comes in regards to CicLAvia, with a dramatic increase in open streets events.

Although as Linton points out, we’ve heard all that before.

The new plan calls for more CicLAvia events:

“Increase the frequency of open streets events to monthly by 2022 and to weekly by 2023.”

This sounds depressingly familiar. Garcetti’s Sustainability pLAn called for more CicLAvias back in 2015. LADOT’s 2014 Strategic Plan had monthly CicLAvias in 2017.  In 2020 Garcetti pledged to make CicLAvia weekly by 2022. Why keep pushing back the goalposts for what is probably the most popular event in the history of Los Angeles? What’s the hold-up?

Linton’s piece spells out a pattern of repeated downsizing of the agency’s goals, followed by a repeated failure to live up to them.

If that sounds depressing, it is.

Along with a waste of Reynold’s talents.

But that’s what the Transportation Committee was being asked to agree to yesterday, before the meeting was cancelled just before the 3 pm start time.

Maybe we’ll get a little more notice before it comes up before the committee again, so we can call in and demand better.

And in the meantime, we can all contact our councilmembers — especially the ones on the Transportation Committee — and tell them to reject this shameful effort to avoid making any meaningful commitment to change.

Other cities around the world have shown it can be done, and done quickly.

It’s long past time we expected that, too.

Correction — Call it a false alarm. According to a comment from Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, LADOT’s pitiful strategic plan has already been carved it stone, and the council was just going to talk about it after the fact.

How sad is that?

fwiw – the Strategic Plan is already published/adopted – it’s just an executive thing from LADOT – doesn’t need to be approved by City Council. The T-Committee meeting yesterday was set to discuss it – but not to adopt it.

………

According to a nonscientific poll of Instagram users, Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles is one of eight city streets around the world people want to see go carfree, along with Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Then again, it’s not just people outside of LA who are begging for that.

………

After yesterday’s discussion of protected bike lanes, let’s remember who they’re really for.

https://twitter.com/JuliaRidesBikes/status/1366240769741266948

………

A mobile repair service funded in part by a small state grant has fixed 428 bikes in eight communities on the Navajo Nation to help get kids on their bikes.

The nonprofit service is also teaching kids how to fix their own bikes, since there isn’t a single brick-and-motor bike shop on the 29,500 square mile Hopi and Navajo reservation.

………

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

Seattle’s bike-hating radio jerk, uh, jock is back at it again, calling bike advocates delusional for fighting a bike helmet law that is disproportionately enforced against people of color, with Black bike riders ticketed at four times the rate of white riders.

A Brazilian bike rider discovers even nature is out to get us, after getting bombed by a helmet-cracking jackfruit.

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

An Idaho man could serve up to five years behind bars after being convicted of riding his bike over an hour to stalk a woman in another town who had a protection order against him. Although he could serve just a year if he successfully completes a diversionary program.

………

Local

LA Times columnist Patt Morrison examines why so few people jaywalk in Los Angeles, pointing the finger at a heavy-handed police response not seen in other cities. Although under California law, it’s not illegal unless you cross on a block controlled by traffic signals or police officers on either end.

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against LADOT’s data-sharing requirement for micromobility providers, which was filed by the ACLU on behalf of a group of plaintiffs.

Everyone’s least favorite 007 is one of us, as 81-year old George Lazenby used his ebike to go shopping in Santa Monica.

 

State

Tragic news from San Bernardino, where a 29-year old Cherry Valley man was fatally shot in a driveby while riding his bike.

You can now subscribe to a bicycle in Davis,while the Cycling Tips podcast wants to know if you’d lease a roadie.

American Canyon approves plans for a wine warehouse after the company commits to fill an 800-foot gap in a bike path to meet an obligation to offset vehicular traffic.

 

National

A new proposal in the US Congress would commit states to design and build Complete Streets that are safer for everyone.

Yanko Design considers mostly tech-inspired bicycle accessories designed to make your rides “safe, secure and fun.” Including zip-on bike tire treads and a bike helmet that looks like it was inspired by Devo.

Bicycling says it’s time to move ebikes way up on your to do list. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Speaking of which, the New York Times examines the growing confluence of ebikes and bikeshare.

The Manual makes some interesting picks for the nine best fat bikes.

An op-ed for Cycling Tips questions why tech progress is so slow for road bikes, compared to other types of bicycle.

A couple in New Mexico have joined the fight against distracted drivers after the husband was critically injured by one while riding his bike, spending the last year attempting to recover from his injuries.

A North Carolina teenager was shot in a driveby while riding in his own neighborhood; he may have to carry the bullet near his spine for the rest of his life.

 

International

Bike Radar explains how to assemble your internet-bought bike in a box in ten relatively easy steps.

A new ebike promises to let you haul up to 400 pounds, for when you really need to carry a load.

People who bought a futuristic-looking bespoke 3D printed bike on Indiegogo last year aren’t happy, with many still waiting for delivery, and disappointed by the devolving design.

A London investor is understandably livid that police cited a lack of witnesses in refusing to file charges against a truck driver who crashed into his bike — even though the crash was caught on a security cam.

A former soldier from the UK who can no longer walk, talk or swallow after suffering a brain injury in Iraq rode 60 miles on an adaptive stationary bike to raise funds for other wounded veterans.

While Lime rolls out it’s 4th generation ebike, complete with phone and cup holders, they’e giving new life to old ebike batteries by partnering with a British company to make rechargeable portable speakers.

If art school design students have their way, these are the ebikes you’ll be riding through European cities in the not-too-distant future.

Streetsblog considers how the Dutch manage to maintain bike lanes during the winter, when American cities can’t seem to manage it.

 

Competitive Cycling

New pro cyclist Ayesha McGowan is hosting a free virtual summit later this month to celebrate the joy of bike riding for BIPOC — aka Black, indigenous and people of color — bicyclists. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

Nothing like stealing a bike to ride to city hall, and stand shirtless in the middle of the road yelling at cars. When bourbon infused cold brew coffee isn’t enough, put a bicycle selfie station inside to draw the crowds.

And who knew that car-choked, bike-unfriendly Los Angeles is an ideal city?

………

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

Bernie endorses bike-hater Cedillo in LA’s CD1, the role of law enforcement in Vision Zero, and virtual National Bike Summit

Does Bernie hate bike lanes?

Bernie Sanders endorsed Gil Cedillo for re-election in LA’s 1st Council District, apparently repaying Roadkill Gil’s efforts on his behalf during last year’s presidential primary.

But maybe he should have done a little more research into Cedillo’s record. Like his attempt to have every bike lane in his district removed from the mobility plan, and blocking shovel ready safety projects on North Figueroa and Temple Street.

Not to mention attempting to gut the city’s Vision Zero program, back when it still seemed to be a real thing.

Even though many of the immigrant workers Cedillo professes to champion rely on bicycles as their primary — and sometimes only — form of transportation.

And are too often the victims that Vision Zero was supposed to save.

As the 2017 election demonstrated, Cedillo can be beaten, unlike most incumbent councilmembers in the City of Angels.

Joe Bray-Ali had him on the ropes until Bray-Ali’s campaign imploded after racist and fat-shaming comments he’d made on questionable websites surfaced — likely through Cedillo’s hidden hand.

Instead, Cedillo cruised to an easy victory.

He may have more trouble next time if a serious challenger without so much baggage tosses his or her hat into the ring.

In which case Bernie might soon discover he’s backing the wrong candidate.

………

The Vision Zero Network discusses the controversial role of law enforcement in eliminating traffic deaths this Thursday.

………

Here’s your chance to attend the Bike League’s annual National Bike Summit.

And this time, you only have to travel as far as your favorite screen.

………

Pinkbike offers enough bicycling videos to get you through the entire day today. And maybe tomorrow.

………

Local

LADOT is holding a pair of virtual public meetings next month to discuss proposed protected bike lanes on San Vicente Blvd south of Olympic Blvd.

A “slightly cockeyed” map of 1930s Los Angeles shows several people on bicycles, raising the question of whether Los Angeles is a bicycling paradise lost.

 

State

Fifty-one-year old Leovardo Salceda pled not guilty in the cold case shooing death of 37-year-old Oliver Harrison as he rode his bike in San Diego in 1988; police say Harrison was not the intended target. But he’s just as dead as if he was.

Kindhearted Fontana police teamed with the Fontana Foundation of Hope to replace a boy’s bicycle after his was stolen; he’ll ride in style with a new Spider-Man bike, complete with matching helmet.

Santa Barbara will keep State Street through downtown closed to cars and open to people at least through September 8th.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. Bakersfield prosecutors settled for a lousy two years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — half the possible jail term — after bargaining away additional charges of destroying evidence and driving despite a license suspension due to DUI.

Good for them. Santa Cruz residents pitched to clean up a network of bike chop shops in the city; more than 90 bicycle frames, 100 rims and 150 tires were recovered from two sites.

A San Francisco op-ed says don’t sacrifice a newly carfree JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park just because a museum wants more parking.

 

National

The Manual offers a beginner’s guide to choosing the right size bike.

This is what it looks like to be riding in a bike lane, and get cut off by a Portland city bus anyway.

A Montana paper recounts the story of the 1900-mile single speed bike ride undertaken by Buffalo Soldiers of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps in 1897; the all-Black unit proved bicycles were a viable means of transport for the military — just in time for motor vehicles to push them aside.

More proof that bike riders are tough. A 50-year old San Antonio, Texas man rode his bike back home after he was shot in the stomach in a driveby; no word on his condition or why he was shot.

They get it. A Wisconsin paper says if you ride a bike, get to know your local bike shop, where you’ll get service you can’t find online.

Looks like time has run out for Time; the bikemaker’s pedal and shoe business was just sold to Chicago-based SRAM, while the rest of the company went to Arkansas-based Cardinal Cycling Group.

A Nashville man is looking for his 9-year old daughter’s stolen bike, which was taken before Thanksgiving when the SUV it was inside was stolen as part of a teenage crime spree that ended in the shooting deaths of two of the kids involved; the bike has sentimental value, because it was built by her older brother.

Last week we posted video showing a Brooklyn bike rider being severely beaten by a man with a bat; now the victim, an artist who dedicated his life to beautifying the borough, remains in a coma with a respirator doing his breathing for him.

A Philly op-ed calls for keeping a deadly waterfront roadway closed to cars forever after it was opened up to people walking and biking during the pandemic.

Bicycling celebrates a Pennsylvania Earn A Bike program this month, saying it may be the only one in the country that allows children as young as eight to earn a bicycle by learning how to rebuild it in a 12-week program. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

International

Offroad.cc offers a guide to mountain bike lights.

The London Cycling Campaign suspended an advisor after racist tweets from 2019 accusing aggressive Black drivers of being gangsters on drugs came to light.

You could soon ride in a new public bike park built by bicycle tire and accessory maker Vittoria next to their Italy HQ.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a speeding teenage driver walked with probation for slamming into a man riding his bike, despite leaving him with lasting brain damage and a useless left arm.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, too, where the family of a fallen bike rider feels devastated that a judge gave a driver’s license back to the driver who killed him after just three months.

A 22-year old Christchurch, New Zealand native counts the city’s bike network as one of its few success stories, as the once-vibrant city she barely remembers struggles to rebuild from a series of devastating earthquakes.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Sydney, Australia authorities respond to the death of a bicycle delivery rider by dropping the speed limit to 24 mph and removing several right turns — the equivalent of lefts in the US.

 

Competitive Cycling

In a sport where most riders are washed up by 30, Davide Rebellin is still getting paid to ride for Italian Continental team Work Service Marchiol Vega at age 50.

Seriously? Cycling’s governing body did the right thing by banning a Belgian cycling official after several accusations of sexually harassing women cyclists — then backdated the ban to last April to reduce his suspension.

Nineteen-year old Italian cyclist Miguel Ángel López skidded across the finish line of the UAE Tour individual time trial on his side following a tumbling crash. He was hospitalized with a deep gash to one knee, along with other possible injuries.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you steal a pair of bikes, then come back a few days later and take the bike rack they were locked up to. That feeling when a promising new ebike turns out to be vaporware.

And the next time you have to dodge a car in the Bay Area, it may not have a driver.

………

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

Low bike goals in new LADOT strategic plan, proposed retail bike registration requirement, and new Burbank bike path

LADOT has released their updated Strategic Plan for 2021.

I haven’t had a chance to dig into it yet. But at first glance, the section on bike planning and implementation could use some major improvement.

While it’s good news that the city is finally getting around to working on the Neighborhood Enhanced Network — one of three comprehensive bike networks in the city’s mobility plan — completing just one major active transportation project per year sets an extremely low and unambitious bar for the city.

Click to enlarge

 

At that rate, it could be decades before we’ll finally have a safe route across the city. Or through your own neighborhood, even.

And that vague term doesn’t even guarantee that the “major active transportation project” will include bikes at all.

To be fair, Los Angeles Department of Transportation continues to be dramatically understaffed and underfunded, a situation that’s not likely to improve anytime soon, given the city’s precarious financial state.

Meanwhile, biking and walking continues to take a backseat to funneling ever larger amounts of motor vehicles through our already overstrained streets.

And don’t even get me started on the largely forgotten Vision Zero program, which has been pushed so far back on the list of priorities it risks falling off entirely.

While the commitment to major active transportation projects vaguely resembles the long-promised Backbone Network of bikeways on major streets, there’s no mention of the Green Network promised in the 2010 Bike Plan, which was subsumed into the mobility plan.

The idea was to have one network leading into another, giving riders the ability to travel in their own neighborhood, through the local community, and across the city.

Instead we’re left with vague promises, as LADOT continues to set the bar so low they have to be careful not to trip over it on the way out every night.

Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads-up.

………

Saturday’s virtual meeting of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition will include discussion of a proposal to require retail sellers of new and used bikes to register them for the buyer with Bike Index.

Although that would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

A better option would be to offer some sort of tax benefit to encourage bike shops to do what some are already doing — register their bikes when they take them into inventory, then transfer the registration to the buyer if the customer wants.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the tip.

………

Okay, so you may not get much of a workout. But who wants to be the first to ride it today?

Thanks to Chris Buonomo for the heads-up.

………

Nice.

Pastor William S. Epps of South LA’s Second Baptist Church joined with over 50 bicyclists representing the Inner City Cycling Connection on Martin Luther King Day to pray for “healing in African American communities throughout Los Angeles.”

According to a statement issued by ICCC, the group’s members “cycle through a city where the neighborhoods have changed just like the terrain, we push and pedal towards the mountain top…we have our eyes set on the promise land and every muscle we burn, we are assured and filled with hope [that] the day of equality and justice are not just a dream. We pray for the courage to continue to stand up for justice, reconciliation and truth.”

………

 

This is the cost of traffic violence.

………

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

No bias here. A British city councilor says segregated bike lanes are shortsighted because they’ll get too crowded and put residents at risk, and e-scooters are dangerous to cars. No, really.

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

West Virginia police bust a bike-riding shoplifter after a circuitous chase. It seems like a straighter route would have made for a more efficient getaway. But that’s just me.

What a jerk. A bike rider in Brussels is accused of intentionally kneeing a five-year old little girl because she didn’t get the eff out of his way fast enough. And it looks even worse than it sounds.

………

Local

Congratulations to Arlo Day; the five-year old daughter of actors Leighton Meester and Adam Brody is one of us now, after her mother taught her to ride a bike.

 

State

Calbike is asking you to sign a petition calling for biking and walking to get a fair share of the federal transportation budget.

Bad news from San Diego County, where man riding in an El Cajon bike lane suffered a severe head injury when he was struck by a motorist turning into a driveway; no word yet on whether his injuries are life-threatening. Although someone should tell the San Diego Union-Tribune that it was the driver, rather than the car, who was responsible for the crash; it took them until the last paragraph to even mention that the car had one.

There’s something seriously wrong when a 14-year old Fresno boy can’t ride his bike with a friend without getting accosted and shot; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

They get it. Pedestrian advocacy group Walk San Francisco says Slow Streets should be made permanent. And not just in San Francisco, please.

Some Modesto parents are complaining about what they consider a heavy handed response by police in crackdown on unruly teens participating in last weekend’s Ride Out.

 

National

Make your own DIY vibration-detecting bike wheel lights.

Who needs winter bike gloves when you have USB-chargeable, heated handlebar plugs?

Bicycling says hold off on that hot shower after a freezing bike ride. Read it on Yahoo if the magazine’s paywall locks you out.

A Portland bike club was honored by USA Cycling as the nation’s Best Community Builder for 2020.

Utah’s version of the Idaho Stop law sailed through the state House, which voted overwhelming to allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields; the bill’s sponsor said allowing riders to treat red lights as stop signs was too controversial to include it in the bill.

Bike riding has become a favored family activity in pandemic era Houston.

America’s first Bike City, joining cities like Paris and Copenhagen in receiving the designation from international cycling’s governing body, is…Fayetteville, Arkansas?

Streetsblog wants to know how New York plans to install 10,000 bike racks in two years, when they haven’t been able to consistently meet the previous goal of just 1,500 a year.

 

International

Welcome to Vancouver, the bike theft capitol of Canada.

No surprise here. The American hit-and-run driver who fled the country after killing 19-year old London motorcyclist Harry Dunn, claiming diplomatic immunity, was working for an American intelligence agency at the time of the crash.

The British government sets a goal of half of all trips in cities and towns to be done by walking or bicycling by the end of this decade.

Someone please get these people some bikes. Despite the massive increase in bicycling driven by the coronavirus bike boom, Derry residents have the lowest access to a bicycle of anywhere in Northern Ireland.

If you build it, they will come. New figures from the Paris government show that six out of every ten people using the city’s popup bike lanes are new to bicycling. Yet another example of exactly what Los Angeles is missing out on by failing to install a single popup lane during the pandemic.

Ped-assist ebike fires doubled in Singapore last year, even as the overall rate of fires declined.

That’s more like it. An Aussie truck driver got four years behind bars for killing a bike rider after he was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving and leaving the scene of a collision; the judge rejected the driver’s claim that that he didn’t know he’d hit anyone, finding it “totally lacking in credibility.”

 

Competitive Cycling

The iconic, seven-day mountain bike BC Bike Race is launching a new five-day gravel race; the inaugural race of The Gravel Explorer, or BCBR Gravel, is set to roll at the end of September.

Cycling Weekly offers a comprehensive overview of the bikes being ridden on this year men’s and women’s WorldTour.

UCI will attempt to improve safety by requiring better finish line barriers, and assessing the safety of “super tuck” descents.

 

Finally…

That is one seriously funky looking ebike. Your next ebike could have a hydraulic drive instead of a chain.

And is that enough notice for you?

………

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

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