Tag Archive for NACTO

Bonin calls for opening streets for social distancing, what to look for in a bike, and free NACTO healthy streets webinar

It’s no surprise that Mike Bonin gets it.

The Westside councilmember became the first — and so far, only — Los Angeles councilmember to call for taking advantage of the city’s newly traffic-free streets to provide more space for people to walk, bike and run while maintaining social distancing.

Responding to an increasing number of requests from residents — especially seniors, families with children, and people with disabilities — Bonin, who serves as Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee, wrote a letter to LADOT general manager Seleta Reynolds, asking her to consider proposals and make recommendations to temporarily repurpose space on some city streets to give Angelenos more opportunities to get outside while still honoring social distancing protocols and remaining in their neighborhoods.

“During the past month, we have all experienced the ways in which our neighborhood infrastructure does not support new patterns of local essential travel, and does not provide sufficient space for local recreation,” Bonin wrote to Reynolds. “Our sidewalks are too narrow, our streets continue to be unsafe for biking, and some motorists are taking advantage of congestion-free streets to speed recklessly even as more people are moving around on foot and bike…”

“As the father of a 6-year-old, I know firsthand that being able to spend time outside is a matter of physical and emotional well-being – for children and adults. We have the opportunity right now to make our streets more family-friendly,” Bonin added.

We’ll see if anyone else on the council or in the mayor’s office joins him. Particularly since city hall is distracted by the ongoing corruption allegations, which appear to be coming to a head in the near future.

You can read Bonin’s full letter here.

Meanwhile, a writer for Bicycling calls on more cities to follow Oakland’s lead in closing 74-miles of streets to most cars.

New York advocates are calling for more safe routes through Central Park as healthcare workers take to their bikes.

Germany is busy redrawing road markings to make more space for social distancing people.

And New Zealand became the first country to fund popup bike lanes and wider sidewalks on a nationwide basis during the coronavirus lockdown.

On the other hand, DC residents are joining the Department of DIY and doing it for themselves.

GIF from Streets for All showing what’s possible here in Los Angeles, right here and right now.

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Speaking of which, David Drexler sends word that even without closing traffic lanes, Santa Monica’s San Vicente Blvd, usually home to speeding distracted drivers and double-parked FedEx vans, was so packed with socially distancing bicyclists, runners, walkers and other assorted people that it looked like a mini-CicLAvia.

And what few drivers there were had to avoid them, for a change.

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Seems like it was only yesterday we quoted heavily from Peter Flax’s article about the struggle of small local bike shops to survive in the age of Covid-19.

Oh wait, it was.

Today he’s back, talking with some of the world’s leading experts, from the legendary Ernesto Colnago to America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, about what to look for in a great bicycle.

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Thanks to Kent Strumpell for forwarding news of tomorrow’s free NACTO webinar on how to build safe and healthy streets in a time of social distancing, with nationally recognized epidemiologist Dr. Keshia Pollack Porter and former NYDOT director Janette Sadik-Khan, now with Bloomberg Associates.

It will also be live-streamed on the NACTO Facebook and YouTube pages if you can’t set up a Zoom account. Or don’t want to.

It’s not like we’ve all got anything better to do these days.

Right?

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

A Davis man faces charges after he was busted while biking for allegedly stealing a completed Covid-19 test sample. No, really.

And it takes a real schmuck to steal from a food bank.

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Local

KCET remembers longtime LA civil rights and environmental justice advocate — and bicyclist — Robert García, who passed away earlier this month at age 67.

Beverly Hills is joining cities across the US in taking advantage of the quieter streets by speeding work on the former Purple Line subway, while Los Angeles fixes potholes.

Rapper and actor Ice-T used to be one of us, sort of. After his own bicycle was stolen while growing up in Los Angeles, he stole bike parts to build his own Frankenbikes.

 

State

San Francisco police bust a hit-and-run driver who left a bike rider lying injured in the streets on Saturday.

An Oakland news blogger watches a Bay Area bike rider’s hour long video showing a ride through the city’s nearly carfree streets, but can only see the blown stop signs and traffic signals. Worst part is, he — or maybe she — has got a point.

Sad news from Napa County, where a 67-year old man was killed when he somehow fell off his bike into a 15-foot deep culvert.

 

National

Specialized is giving away 500 bicycles to key essential workers in the US on a first come, first served basis.

Bicycling looks at the best gravel bikes you can buy right now, ranging from under a grand to well over ten times that amount. And talks with some of the nation’s best bike photographers.

The coronavirus means fewer cars on the streets of Portland, and the city wants to keep it that way.

A two-time cancer survivor passes through Arizona on the penultimate leg of his eight-year bike ride around the US to call attention to the disease.

A Holland MI writer calls on everyone to be more aware on the streets, while citing a study showing scofflaw bicyclists are at fault for just 6.5% of bike collisions. Unfortunately, he doesn’t cite the study, which we’d all like to see.

A suspected stoned driver faces a half dozen charges for the hit-and-run crash that severely injured a 29-year old Indiana bike rider. Thanks to Melissa for the heads-up.

After beating breast cancer, a Virginia Beach VA woman took up bike racing and quickly rose to become a newly minted Cat 2 racer. Even if she can’t race during the shutdown.

Heartbreaking news from Georgia, where a 14-year old girl was chased down on her bike and stabbed to death, allegedly by a teenage boy as part of an MS-13 gang initiation.

Tiger King’s Carole Baskin says she’s had to give up her daily Florida bike rides due to harassment and threats from fans of the Netflix docuseries, who accuse her of killing her former husband, even though the local sheriff says she’s not a suspect.

 

International

Santiago, Chile is making its bikeshare system free for healthcare workers. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Sign up for free online bike webinars to pass the time under house arrest, uh, social distancing, including Canadian yoga for bicyclists.

Urbanist and former Vancouver city planner Brent Toderian offers tips on how to make cities more livable during the pandemic lockdown. And hopefully keep them that way.

A pair of UK expats try to weather the storm of Covid-19, five years after moving to the Spanish coast to open a bike touring company.

British world heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua flouts the country’s lockdown rules to go for a 30-mile bike ride with friends.

Bicycling rates have jumped across Scotland, including two and three times previous rates in some locations.

A bighearted Philippine boy gives up the money he’d been saving for a new bike to help frontline workers fighting the coronavirus.

Australia’s Smart Company asks if Covid-19 means the end of bikeshare.

 

Competitive Cycling

Now you can own the scuffed-up bike that was handmade for the legendary Gino Bartali, which he rode to a second-place finish in the 1947 Tour de France — assuming you have nearly a hundred grand to invest. Put it somewhere safe, because you could end up being a holy relic if the Catholic Church finally gets around to making him a saint. Or beatifies him, anyway.

Turkey pulls the plug on all bike races through next month.

An Indian newspaper predicts a financial meltdown in pro cycling if the Tour de France is cancelled. Although for now, it looks like it’s merely being rescheduled.

 

Finally…

No one says you can’t do your household chores while you ride your bike. Nothing like building a bike lane on a bridge, while banning bikes from the roads leading to it.

And Dear Abbey says get her a bike, already.

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

Morning Links: It’s a Day Without a Scooter in SaMo, progress on Beverly Hills bike lanes, and NACTO visits LA

Still more news on the scooter beat.

Supporters of Lime and Bird e-scooters are urged to head to Santa Monica City Hall tonight to protest plans to boot the popular scooter providers out of town.

City staff has recommended using scooters provided by Lyft and Uber, instead, the latter of which clearly intends to monopolize every form of shared transportation humanly possible.

Call me crazy, but it makes far more sense to me to work with the scooter companies that have already established a solid foothold in the city, then bring in other companies to compete with them on an even basis.

Meanwhile, an Ohio city shows that it is in fact possible to take a common sense approach to scooters.

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Patrick Pascal sends word that bike lane striping on the westbound side of Santa Monica Blvd is about one-third finished, currently stretching from Doheny to Palms in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

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NACTO will be meeting in Los Angeles in two months.

The group, formally known as the National Association of City Transportation Officials, will be coming here the first week of October to discuss Designing Cities.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti paints a glowing picture for attendees of a city transforming the way we get around.

Maybe we can get the mayor to take them on a tour of Temple Street, and 6th Street, and Lankershim Blvd, and Westwood Blvd, and Central Ave, and North Figueroa, and all the other streets where LA councilmembers have blocked that “transformation.”

Not to mention Rowena Ave, where Councilmember David Ryu apparently wants to rip out one that’s already been successfully transformed.

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No bias here.

An Ohio TV station reports that a 60-year old bicyclist was killed in a collision after he ran a stop sign.

But what they fail to mention is that he was competing in a triathlon at the time.

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Local

CiclaValley looks at how the North Hollywood Block Party I couldn’t talk my wife into going to claimed the streets, if only for one day.

Councilmember Jose Huizar officially opened the new and improved Alhambra Avenue, including 1.5 miles of lane reductions and door zone bike lanes. Proving that it is possible to implement a road diet in Los Angeles, as long as it doesn’t affect entitled Westside drivers.

Burbank opens far more appealing buffered bike lanes on Riverside Drive, with the buffer on the curb side to keep riders out of the door zone; it could be coming to 1st Street soon, as well.

Pasadena authorities are urging drivers to be cautious as thousands of children head back to school this week. That goes both ways for bikes — ride carefully around children, and ride defensively around their parents as they drop them off.

 

State

California’s record wildfires are having a negative effect on bicycle sales across the state.

A real estate website ranks the nation’s most affordable “outdoorsy” cities, with Bakersfield coming in number two on the list behind Spokane WA.

Berkeley is installing a hybrid traffic signal designed to automatically detect bicycles and trigger a flashing yellow light, followed by a red light.

A bike-riding Stockton minister led the installation of a ghost bike for a man who was killed by a hit-and-run driver two years ago; he also runs the bicycle ministry for a local Episcopal church.

That’s a safe bet. A Chico letter writer says the driver who struck and killed a bike-riding physician apparently didn’t give the victim a three-foot passing distance.

 

National

NFL legend Emmitt Smith is one of us, as the three-time Super Bowl champ has traded his running shoes for a bicycle. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

Bicycling recounts 30 “insane” cycling records, including the world’s tallest rideable bike, Stoopidtaller built by LA’s own Richie Trimble.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where no charges will be filed against the driver who ran down and killed two German bike tourists last May. Apparently not noticing two people on bicycles directly in front of your car before you run them over is perfectly legal in Kansas.

A Texas bus driver blames a bike rider after sideswiping him, even though the rider was in the bike lane the bus driver kept drifting into.

A conservative writer calls a Chicago bike rider’s decision not to report a crash with elderly Latina driver who was in the country illegally “lefty compassion run amok,” even though she once did exactly the same thing. Except in her case, he was Irish. Which I’m sure had nothing to do with her change of heart. Right?

A 15-year old Kentucky girl says she’s not going to ride her bike again after she was hit by the town’s mayor while riding in a crosswalk; the mayor was cited for hit-and-run after he drove off, then returned later, claiming he had no idea he hit anyone despite knocking the girl off her bike.

A Vermont police chief survives the dreaded death wobble after crashing while descending at 45 mph. Thanks to Opus the Poet for the link.

He gets it. An Op-Ed in the New York Daily News says it’s time to stop blaming bicyclists for their deaths, adding “those of us who don’t drive SUVs everywhere are not just second-class citizens — we’re disposable.”

A Pennsylvania county adopts an ambitious bike plan calling for 800 miles of bike-friendly paths, even though it currently has just 19 miles of bike lanes. Although as we’ve learned the hard way in Los Angeles, a bike plan is meaningless until you can actually ride it.

Great idea. A coalition of bicycling organizations has released a subway-style map showing what an actual network of connected bikeways could do to better serve the DC area.

 

International

Canadian bicyclists are calling for the legalization of riding two abreast after five riders were run down and injured in Edmonton; a bike club was riding abreast when the driver somehow failed to see them right in front of him. One of the injured riders understandably says it’s heightened his fear of cars.

Speaking of Edmonton, local bicyclists say the proposed location of a protected bike lane is just an attempt to make drivers happy.

Police in the UK defend their actions after being criticized on social media for stopping 50 kids who were popping wheelies and riding their bikes in an “anti-social manner.”

Britain’s Conservative Party has deleted a tweet accused of demonizing bicyclists, as they attempt to crack down on the perceived threat of dangerous bicyclists. Cycling Weekly responds by noting that you’re more likely to be killed by cows than someone on a bike, while Chris Boadman says you’re more likely to be killed by Christmas decorations, and asks why they hate us. Good question.

In a sad commentary on the state of British roads, a 95-year old English couple is giving up riding their tandem after 78 years because of disrespectful drivers.

A Freedom of Information request shows Dublin’s city council is failing to meet demands for bicycling infrastructure. Which sounds like another city council we could name, in a city NACTO will be visiting soon.

Maybe you’d like to try a little Irish speed dating on two wheels.

A German vehicle association has developed a new standard for measuring the range of ebikes, promising to level the playing field in comparing one ebike to another.

Boston-based bikeshare startup Go Bike is focusing on Nigeria as the first step in their goal of becoming the leading bikeshare provider in Africa.

Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Mobike has developed their own ebike with a top speed of 12 mph. Which is the same slow speed a Los Angeles proposal would limit scooters to.

 

Competitive Cycling

The all-diabetic Team Novo Nordisk makes a Rwanda radio DJ eat his words after he said diabetics can’t compete and that the team was a joke, by coming back to win the Tour of Rwanda.

Cycling Tips admires the climbing ability of Tour of Utah winner Sepp Kuss. Then again, who doesn’t?

You may be seeing double at the Vuelta, as the Yates twins make late decisions to ride.

A 33-year old British man set a new record by running the entire course of the 2018 Tour de France, beating the cyclists to Paris, in the latest moving piece by Peter Flax.

 

Finally…

Your next Pashley could be a Morgan. Your next Yamaha could have pedals — and a battery.

And someone should tell the paper this sequence of events is highly unlikely.

 

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