Tag Archive for National Bike Summit

Caltrans wants bike input on Active Transportation Plan, Secretary Pete talks bikes, and LACBC Women’s History Ride

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. Blame it on my diabetes, which took a sudden turn in a southerly direction Wednesday night.

And as I’ve learned the hard way, it’s damn near impossible to get anything done when you’re just this side of unconscious.

So grab some snacks and hunker down for a long haul, ’cause we’ve got a lot of miles to cover today. 

Adorable photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels.

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Let’s start with a call from Caltrans for more input on their Active Transportation Plan from people who ride bikes.

And yes, they specifically said in an email that they really want to hear from us, which is a nice change — and a good opportunity.

But only if we take advantage of it.

Caltrans Calls for Public Input on Active Transportation Plan Survey

LOS ANGELES — Caltrans is looking for public input on its active transportation planning process survey to identify locations for bicycle and pedestrian improvements on the state highway system. The public can play a critical role in shaping the plans by participating in this localized map-based survey.

“Today we must plan and build a transportation system that incorporates alternative means of transportation and that also considers equity,” said Caltrans District 7 Director Tony Tavares. “Public input on our Active Transportation Plan is crucial to the development of safe pedestrian, bicycle and public transit facilities on our highways.”

The public survey will allow residents to tell Caltrans where improvements could be made to facilitate bicycling and walking on or near the state highway system. Survey responses will provide specific data about the type and location of needed improvements, allowing Caltrans to evaluate these locations in developing future projects.

Caltrans wants to align the state’s bicycle and pedestrian network with the needs of local communities, with an emphasis on improving social equity, reconnecting communities, and improving access for all modes of transportation, including people who walk and bicycle. Caltrans will be actively engaging with partners and community members in areas where historic transportation decisions may have created barriers to adequate transportation.

To take the public survey using your computer, tablet or smartphone, please visit survey.catplan.org and click on District 7. This survey is also available in Spanish.

For more information about the Caltrans Active Transportation Plans, visit catplan.org/district-plans.

Here’s what Streets For All had to say about the survey.

Tell Caltrans to add bike lanes on major streets in LA!

Caltrans District 7 still owns many major streets in Los Angeles that are “state highways” including parts of Santa Monica Bl, Lincoln Bl, Venice Bl, and more. They just released a map and survey that allows you to pinpoint specific streets you feel unsafe biking/walking on. Please put pins on the map asking them to add protected bike lanes!

TELL CALTRANS WHERE TO ADD BIKE LANES

So what are you waiting for, already?

And while we’re on the subject of input, Metro wants yours on first mile – last mile connections to improve biking, walking and rolling access to and from the extension’s first three new Purple Line, aka D Line, stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega.

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Looks like we have a Secretary of Transportation who gets it. And sees bikes as part of the solution, even if he hails from the heart of car country.

https://twitter.com/SecretaryPete/status/1367564417790070785

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The LACBC is out with a self-guided bike tour to celebrate Women’s History Month, including a real-life Rosie the Riveter.

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More proof that free lifetime registration with Bike Index really does work.

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Prop 22 may have rolled back protections for gig workers, but at least you get to ride an ebike all day.

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Um, okay.

A New York expat Zoomed into a community meeting from sunny Santa Barbara CA to complain about a proposed bike lane on the Big Apple’s Upper East Side, insisting no bike riders from Queens would ever spend money at the borough’s restaurants.

And was immediately refuted by a bike rider from Queens who was doing just that.

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A couple of notable bike notices, as Brompton recalls some of their ebike foldies due to a problem with the firmware.

And two models of Masi bicycles were recalled because a faulty fork steerer tube could lead to dangerous falls.

Meanwhile, Mavic warns that counterfeit wheels being sold under their name could lead to serious injury or death.

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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 Syracuse NY website blames a critically injured bicyclist for riding into the side of a car. Then just casually mentions at the end that the driver a) didn’t have a license, and b) fled the scene.

No bias here, either. The wife of a former advisor to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the war on cars is backfiring, and Low-Traffic Neighborhoods only benefit drug dealers on scooters and wealthy bicyclists. Like herself, for instance. A wealthy bike rider, that is, not a drug dealer. 

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

Bike-riding convicted rapist and former pro football star Kellen Winslow II was sentenced to a well-deserved 14 years behind bars for a series of bizarre San Diego sexual assaults.

An emeritus professor at an Australian university conducts his own private study, and concludes that bike riders treat pedestrians far worse than drivers treat people on bicycles.

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Local

Despite the pandemic, funding has been approved for two dozen biking and walking projects in LA County, courtesy of Metro Measure M Active Transportation grants and California Transportation Commission Active Transportation Program grants.

CiclaValley says we’re finally getting closer to protected bike lanes on the Los Angeles section of Chandler Blvd, closing the gap with Burbank’s popular Chandler Bike Path.

Metro invites you to use the Metro Bike bikeshare to take a ride on the Westside’s Ballona Creek bike path. Especially if you use Metro Bike to do it.

Harrison Ford is one of us, stopping by the Santa Monica Helen’s to get his bike fixed. Twice.

 

State

A Lake Forest man tells the story of how his father’s disappearance drove him to drink, and his bicycle helped carry him back to sobriety. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Santa Barbara now has a green center bike lane to channel riders through the carfree State Street Promenade.

After a Santa Rosa newspaper wrote about the glut of refurbished kids bikes at a nonprofit bike shop, a bighearted donor gave $2,500 to give bikes to kids whose parents can’t afford them.

 

National

US House members heard last week that unsafe streets put residents of marginalized communities at risk of inequitable traffic enforcement, as well as dangerous drivers.

Bicycling explains how to build your own DIY pseudo Peloton setup. As usual, Yahoo has the story if Bicycling blocks you.

Why worry about finding a safe place to sleep on your next bike tour when you can just tow a camping trailer behind your bike?

An executive with Ohio-based Huffy says the bike boom still has some steam, and there’s plenty more sales ahead for the company’s bicycle-shaped objects.

A Massachusetts city discovers those orange bendy posts marking a protected bike lane made drivers slow down, then speed right back up after they were removed for the winter. The same held true after the plastic wands protecting a popup bike lane in the UK were removed, too.

Today’s best headline award goes to Streeetsblog NY, for this entry about a vanishing popup bike lane: Northern Boulevard Bike Lane Lost In Time Like Tears In Rain.

The Virginia legislature passed the state’s bike safety bill, legalizing treating stops as yields and riding two abreast; it now just needs the governor’s signature to become law. Anyone who questions the safety of stops as yields should recognize that it only legalizes what most people do anyway, on two wheels or four. 

The bighearted owners of a Valdosta, Georgia bike shop are working with the local police to refurbish used bikes and give them to people in need.

If you rode a tall bike to Key West last month, the local paper apparently approves.

Florida prosecutors agreed that a schizophrenic man was legally insane when he turned his car off the road and intentionally slammed into a man and his two sons riding bikes on a pedestrian pathway, killing the father and injuring both boys; if the court agrees, he could be sent to a longterm mental health facility.

 

International

Covid-19 cut global greenhouse gas emissions last year, but it will take further dramatic reductions in carbon dioxide to keep it going; more safe urban spaces for walking and cycling could help.

A Yucatán business council is all in on plans for bike lanes in the city of Mérida.

Make up your damn mind, already. Just months after Vancouver ripped out a bike lane so drivers could go zoom zoom and park in a park, the matter is coming to a head once again as people fight to get it back.

Life is cheap in Ontario, Canada, where a woman got a lousy one year of house vacation arrest for fleeing the scene after killing a Toronto-area man riding his bike, then lied about how her car was damaged to cover up the crime.

London bike riders continue to be at risk of near-miss terror from aggressive drivers who “treat cyclists like cockroaches.”

Contrary to perceptions, a new study shows London’s Low-traffic Neighborhoods — the equivalent of our Slow Streets — don’t disproportionately benefit more privileged communities.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine features the best deals on bike helmets in the US and UK.

Ebikes now make up 17% of all European bike sales, and growing.

Your next ebike could be a Porsche. Or you could just put all that excess money in a pile, build a straw man and set it on fire.

An Indian writer discovers their grandfather’s detailed diary of a nearly 1,000-mile bike trip from Kolkata to Kashmir in 1933.

A brief photo essay from Chinese news site Xinhua looks at a wheelchair-bound bike repairman in Palestine.

They get it. The next time you get a craving for coffee and donuts in the Philippines’ Quezon City, just make a detour through Dunkin’s first-ever bike-through lane.

Talk about a bad idea. An Aussie city installed speed bumps in a park to slow down speeding bike riders and reduce collisions with pedestrians. Never mind that the speed bumps are likely to increase injuries by knocking people off their bikes, as well as riders swerving to go around them.

Hollywood’s Thor is one of us, as Chris Hemsworth went for an ebike ride through Sydney, Australia with his wife, Spanish model and actress Elsa Pataky.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rising 21-year old American cyclist Matteo Jorgenson is looking forward to tackling Paris-Nice this Sunday, as well as the Giro in May.

 

Finally…

Why face front when you can just ride your bike backwards? That feeling when you want your chain to look like it’s made of LEGO.

And apparently, LA streets may have changed just a tad in the last 126 years.

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Thanks to David A for his generous donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

As an aside, there’s no such thing as a small donation; I know as well as anyone just how hard it can be to donate to someone else when you’re struggling yourself, and couldn’t appreciate it more.

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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

The Google now loves bikes and other assorted links

In a move long-awaited by cyclists — and currently running rampant through the biking blogosphere — Google announced the beta version of its Google Map biking directions at the National Bike Summit currently taking place in Washington, DC.

It allows you to call up bike maps for any of 155 cities throughout the U.S., including the entire Los Angeles metropolitan area, and allows you to zoom in to show street-level detail. Like their driving and transit maps, the bike maps allow you to enter a starting and ending point, and will map out a presumably bike-friendly route “optimized for cycling, taking advantage of bike trails, bike lanes, and bike-friendly streets and avoiding hilly terrain whenever possible.”

I say presumably, because early tests have been mixed.

This morning, I tried entering two trips starting from the Coffee Bean at the intersection of Santa Monica and Beverly Glenn boulevards.

The first, plotting out a route to the Santa Monica Pier, was a disaster to put it mildly. The odd, circuitous route it suggested added 10 unnecessary turns — and nearly a mile of riding — at the beginning, when all it had to say was “get on your bike and ride west in the bike lane on Santa Monica Blvd.” Then instead of recommending the reasonably safe bike lanes on Ocean Blvd in Santa Monica, it suggests walking down a flight of stairs and riding on the walkway through Palisades Park, even though riding on the sidewalk is illegal in Santa Monica.

The second attempt, riding east to Downtown’s City Hall, proved much better. Again, it starts out with a strange loop at the beginning, when it would be far easier to simply get on the bike lane on Santa Monica and ride east. Then it follows the same route I would take through Beverly Hills, before recommending riding Olympic Blvd to Downtown — which is actually a decent route, though many cyclists could feel uncomfortable on such a busy, high-speed street. And ends by directing you to ride past the main entrance to City Hall, around the block to the Spring Street employee-only entrance.

Maybe Google assumes no one but a city employee would want to go there.

It’s a good start, and could prove invaluable down the road, giving cyclists the ability to successfully navigate their own cities, as well as visit places they’ve never gone before. Although it didn’t take long for the bike haters to jump in.

But there are a lot of bugs that will have to be worked out.

As JJ Hoffman, River Ride Director for the LACBC, put it:

Google gives you an option to email them to correct their directions.  I will be exercising that option.

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Other news from the national Bike Summit currently taking place in Washington, DC.

Bikes Belong launches a new campaign to unite bike riders of all types in a single voice; BikePortland says think of it as a MoveOn.org for bikes. Evidently, some members of the Senate Bike Caucus support bikes in name only; notice the lack of any members from the once Golden State. And the LACBC has sent its own delegation to the Street Summit, with meetings scheduled with a number of SoCal Congress men and women — though evidently neither of our non-Bike Caucus Senators, one of whom is running for re-election. (Note to Barbara Boxer — we vote, too.)

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It was an exceptionally bad weekend for cyclists in the Southern hemisphere. A young Australian cycling champ was killed on a training ride Saturday when he failed to make a turn. Meanwhile, three “outstanding” South African cyclists were killed on a training ride when they were struck by a driver who claimed to be blinded by the sun; a fourth died later in the hospital.

One of the surviving riders succinctly summed up the horror:

“I was slip-streaming… I looked up, saw the bakkie (ed: pickup) and then it hit me. Everything happened so fast. The next thing, the paramedics woke me up and I heard the doctor telling someone to cover the three bodies with a blanket.”

The driver has been charged with homicide.

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The LACBC reminds you about the ongoing input meetings for L.A. County Bicycle Master Plan, including tonight’s session at the Marina del Rey Library, where the Marina bike path crosses Admiralty Way. Stephen Box takes Metro to task for failing to meet minimal standards for bike parking at the Hollywood and Vine Metro Station. Photos from the Bike Kitchen’s 5th Anniversary celebration. Miley Cyrus takes to her bike in Toluca Lake, though she could use a few adjustments. The amazingly cool bike sculptures of Robertus Joost van der Wege go on display in Forth Worth; could be worth a trip to Texas just to check it out. Cyclists may soon be able to share Pennsylvania Avenue with the President; but maybe a bike lane isn’t always the best solution. Lance says don’t count on him to beat Contador in this year’s Le Tour. Floyd Landis finally gets a new team, though it’s a big step down for a former Tour non-winner. Oddly, a survey of motorists conducted by a car insurance company and posted on an Automotive news site shows that most drivers want cyclists to pay road fees and ride somewhere else; half also admitted to having little understanding of bike laws — evidently, the rest either wouldn’t admit it or don’t realize how little they know. Changes to Ontario’s auto insurance regulations could put cyclists and pedestrians at risk. Kiwi cyclists can now fly, as a New Zealand inventor unveils a new pedal-powered monorail. The good news, Toronto gets a new bike lane; the bad news, it’s full of cabs waiting for fares — with a traffic cop guiding them. To survive on London streets, women riders should be less ladylike.

Finally, a London cyclist was killed at almost the same time London’s mayor unveiled a new Cycle Safety Action Plan; I’ll let you know what I think about it when I have a chance to read it. And if anyone from Metro is reading, something like this could be a great outgrowth of the new Metro Bicycle Roundtable.

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