Tag Archive for National Transportation Safety Board

Former NTSB official says no deaths should be the only goal, legalize crossing the street, and building the 15 minute city

She gets it.

A former acting chair and board member of the NTSB says we know how to prevent traffic deaths.

And the only rational goal should be zero.

Sometimes I arrived at the scene of a business jet or helicopter crash, other times it was a train derailment, once it was a cargo ship lost in a hurricane — always, it involved a tragic loss of life. But despite the terrible toll of motor vehicle deaths on our nation, I never launched to the scene of a traffic crash. Why? Perhaps because the NTSB only has the capacity to investigate a handful of vehicle crashes each year. Perhaps because there weren’t any crashes classified as major disasters when I was on duty. But in 2019, more than 36,000 deaths were recorded on U.S. roads, so an average of nearly 700 traffic deaths occurred every week I was on duty.

Yet our nation doesn’t think of a traffic crash as a disaster, since deaths typically occur one or two at a time. Many of us don’t believe that every road death is preventable. As a nation, we haven’t yet decided that we can protect everyone, including the most vulnerable among us who use our streets and highways — people who are younger or older, people who are walking or biking, people with disabilities. We accept tens of thousands of deaths on our roads every year as simply unavoidable “accidents,” even though we have proven solutions to prevent them.

It’s worth a few minutes to read.

Because she’s right. There’s no acceptable number of traffic deaths.

And it’s long past time we did something about it.

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Los Angeles Walks is joining with partners across the state on Monday for a national discussion about jaywalking and efforts to decriminalize it.

Like their sponsorship of AB 1238, aka the Freedom to Walk Act, which would get rid of California’s jaywalking law, which is too often used to target people of color.

You can register for the webinar here.

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Streets For All hosts what promises to be a fascinating discussion with the creator of the Paris 15 Minute City Plan on May 11th.

The plan, which is currently being implemented in Paris, promises to put everything you need within a 15-minute walk, bike or transit ride, anywhere in the city.

The LA transportation PAC is also asking for you to take a stand in support for a proposal to make Calfornia’s Slow Streets permanent by emailing the Assembly Committee on Local Government by this coming Wednesday.

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Give credit where credit is due.

Unless you’re LADOT, evidently.

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Bike Talk discusses the bible of traffic engineers this Friday, which is undergoing its first revision in a decade.

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A periodic reminder that bicycle are mobility devices.

And bike lanes help older and disabled people get around, without having to rely on a car.

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Hats off to a kindhearted Cambridge MA cop, who took a few moments out of his day for an impromptu bike ride with a little boy.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A British bicyclist had to call off a fundraising ride across the country after a group of jerks men pushed him off his bike around the hallway point. Which makes the real victims the cancer charity he was raising funds for, and the people they could have helped.

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

Police in Ontario, Canada are looking for a bike rider who fled the scene after crashing his bike into a trash bin, while towing a trailer filled with 31 pounds of cannabis. And a guitar.

A bike-riding British thief uses his head to balance the spa he just stole.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego opens a new South Bay campground and bike park. But not together, unfortunately.

A Bakersfield bike path could be underwater through today, thanks to a water line break.

Speaking of Bakersfield, the city will kick off Bike Month with a solidarity ride this Saturday.

Trek CEO John Burke penned a heartfelt ode to his penpal Joe Shami, the 86-year old Legend of Mount Diablo, who was killed in a collision with a driver on yet another ride up the mountain earlier this month.

Bay Area transportation officials marked the beginning of Bike Month by announcing nine Bike Champion of the Year winners, honoring one person from each county in the Bay region for their commitment to bicycling.

The rich get richer. The Sacramento region is planning a bike freeway network connecting area cities, which could require an another 300 miles of trails in addition to the 450 miles already on the ground.

 

National

The Associated Press says give mom an ebike this year.

Outside says it’s time for a federal ebike tax credit.

AARP takes a look a look at bicycling over 55, including what to look for in a new bike, bikes for people with mobility issues, how to be safer on your bike, and eight of the nation’s top rail trails, including the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.

Pop Sugar recommends ten padded bike shorts to make your ride — and presumably, your wallet — more comfortable.

Bicycling considers how to advocate for and protect the trails you ride this summer. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. And they probably will.

Even Honolulu is building a protected bike lane network.

The newest edition of Oregon’s state bicycling manual gets rid of labels in favor of more inclusive people-first language.

In a common lament across the country, Omaha, Nebraska has more bikeshare bikes than ever. Just not enough safe places to ride them.

They get it. A new survey shows Pittsburgh residents overwhelmingly support bike lanes, walking routes and reduced speed limits. And think traffic injuries are a major problem. Maybe someday someone will finally get around to asking Angelenos those same questions, so our elected leaders might finally see that the car-first crowd is just a very loud minority.

New York has sent a cease and desist order to a new rival to the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare system, saying the privately run dockless bikeshare isn’t authorized to do business in the city.

A New Jersey DJ pleads with lightless and scofflaw bicyclists to stay safe.

In an overly familiar story, DC traffic deaths continue to climb while Vision Zero funding is stuck in limbo.

Camila Cabello is one of us, as she goes for a bike ride through the streets of Miami.

 

International

Road.cc offers 14 tips on how to make your bike more comfortable. I’m a big fan of padded gloves, new bar tape and better insoles myself.

He gets it. A writer for Innovation Origins says we need more and better bike paths, not more helmet laws.

This is who we share the road with. A newlywed English teenager gets a well-deserved year behind bars for stealing a crate of eggs, then driving his car while friends threw the eggs out the window at passing people and cars, permanently blinding a motorcycle rider in his right eye with a direct hit. He took the fall for his friends, refusing to name who actually tossed the eggs.

Princess Di’s “shame” mixte bike sold for the equivalent of over $61,000, which the palace forced her to sell before her ill-fated marriage to Prince Chuck; the bike went for more than twice the presale estimate.

Add this to your bike bucket list, with eleven “of the best and most beautiful places” to ride your bike in Scotland.

Rouleur looks at the 18k gold framed bike famed Italian bikemaker Ernesto Colnago made for Pope — now Saint — John Paul II.

Heartbreaking story from India, where an elderly man was forced to carry his dead wife’s body on his bicycle for hours after villagers blocked him from the local crematorium for fear of Covid-19, even though there was no confirmation she ever had the disease.

 

Finally…

That feeling when God tells you to start a weekly bike night at the local skatepark.

And let’s consign “savages” to the racist dustbin of history. Even in reference to some truly despicable bike thieves.

Oh, and it’s “thief,” not “thieve.”

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Morning Links: Feds say wear a helmet or else, cross-country bike tourist killed, and bike parking on South Pas agenda tonight

A new report from the National Transportation Safety Board says the most common cause of bicycling fatalities is drivers passing people on bicycles.

Or rather, failing to.

That’s followed by “problems with parallel bike and vehicle lanes” — presumably meaning painted bike lanes — bicyclists failing to yield and bicyclists making a left turn.

Bearing in mind that those stats are based on police reports that can suffer from a severe case of windshield bias when it comes to assigning blame.

And the NTSB’s recommended solutions?

Protected bike lanes. Blindspot cams for SUVs. And mandatory bike helmet laws in every state.

Seriously.

Never mind that bike helmet laws have been shown to reduce bicycling rates at exactly the time we need to increase riding to fight climate change.

Or that requiring everyone to wear a helmet every time someone rides a bicycle is like addressing gun violence by requiring everyone to wear a bulletproof vest whenever they leave home.

Except bulletproof vests are a hell of a lot more effective than bike helmets, which are designed to protect against a fall off your bike — not an impact with a speeding SUV driver.

And as we’ve pointed out before, they do nothing to protect against injuries to any other part of the body.

As we’ve said before, a bike helmet should always be considered a last line of defense when everything else fails.

Like better infrastructure, lower speed and safer motor vehicles.

Yet the board still approved the last-minute addition to their agenda, even though staff members had specifically recommended against it.

Mike Cane used screen grabs to capture much of the discussion leading up to the vote.

It should be stressed, however, that at this point, it’s just a recommendation for each of the 50 states. Although the NTSB’s recommendations have a habit of getting turned into laws.

Meanwhile, Washington lawmakers from both parties are finally talking about ways to reduce bicycling and pedestrian deaths.

Of course, talking is what they’re good at.

We’ll see if they can actually get anything passed in today’s highly divided Congress.

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Once again, a bike-riding visitor to this country will be going home in a coffin.

A 27-year old Korean man was killed in South Carolina on Monday when he was struck by a delivery truck driver.

He was riding down the East Coast before turning west, planning to arrive in Los Angeles in early January.

Now he’ll never get here. Or anywhere else.

Seriously, there’s something very wrong when someone can’t visit this country without risking their life.

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Active SGV reminds us that South Pasadena will consider bicycle parking at tonight’s City Council meeting.

And Megan Lynch reminds South Pasadena to consider the needs of disabled bicyclists.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1191916300253089792

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He gets it.

Bay Area State Senator Scott Weiner says fighting climate change means making it easier for people to cut back on driving.

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America’s oldest surviving veteran of the excruciating WWII Battle of Iwo Jima was one of us, still riding his three-wheeled bike two weeks before his death at  103.

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The crowdfunding page for dirt bike legend Micky Dymond has raised just under $24,000 of the $100,000 goal for his medical care, after suffered critical injuries going over the handlebars of his time trial bicycle.

There are a lot worse things you could do with your money.

Thanks to Steve S for the reminder.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

As one OC bike rider learned the hard way yesterday.

But sometimes its the people on bikes behaving badly.

San Diego police are looking for a man who beat another man senseless with a bicycle, or part of it, in a 7-11 parking lot.

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Local

This is who we share the roads with. After a pedestrian was killed by a street racing, hit-and-run driver while crossing an LA street, dozens of people continued to drive past his body lying in the street without stopping to help.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the problem isn’t the new ride hailing management system at LAX, it’s the cars. And it won’t get better until the airport finally embraces mass transit. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

Metro approves funding for Rock the Boulevard, a $16.2 million Complete Streets makeover of Eagle Rock Blvd. Even if it will be awhile before we see any changes to the street.

Lime is launching a new hyperlocal ad campaign focusing exclusively on the LA market.

Hollywood Burbank Airport will try to cut its emissions, in part by encouraging employees to bike, carpool or use transit.

Culver City restaurant Hatchet Hall will honor noted LA chef and fallen bicyclist Joe Miller with a special dinner tomorrow night, with proceeds going to No Kid Hungry; the Michelin Star-winning chef died of a heart attack while riding in New York recently.

Santa Monica Next says a record jump in available parking spaces in Downtown Santa Monica presents a rare opportunity to reclaim the city’s streets.

Long Beach wants your input on the city’s Safe Streets Action Plan.

 

State

Instead of encouraging bicycle riders to use bike lights, or providing free lights to riders who don’t have any as other cities have done, San Luis Obispo police will be cracking down on lightless bicyclists with a pop-up checkpoint today, subjecting bike riders to a fine up to $200.

About damn time. San Francisco responds to another traffic death by declaring a state of emergency for pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. Now maybe Los Angeles can take the hint and actually do something about the deaths down here.

Heartbreaking news from Petaluma, where an bike rider who was killed two weeks ago in a crash with a semi driver was identified as an 89-year old man riding an adult tricycle. Anyone who can still ride at that age, on two wheels or three, deserves better.

More bad news comes from nearby Santa Rosa, where a bike rider was killed when he inexplicably crashed into the trailer of a flatbed truck he was riding next to yesterday, in a crash that doesn’t make any sense at all the way its described.

 

National

Depending on how they decide, and how broadly the justices rule, a case currently before the Supreme Court could make hit-and-runs easier to prosecute by ruling that police can assume the owner of a car is the person driving it.

A driving website makes a surprising case for getting rid of your car altogether. Trust me, I’m working on it.

A 70-year old woman is on a six-year quest to ride around and across the United States in the shape of a peace sign; so far, she’s logged over 40,000 miles through the US and Canada.

Outside says mountain bikes make great “self-sufficient adventuremobiles” for bikepacking trips.

Indoor cycling company Bkool has pulled the plug on their turbo trainers and exercise bikes, and will be focusing on the software side of their business.

Evidently, bicycling must be kosher, as the Jewish Journal picks up a story from Wired concluding that the vehicle of the future is a bicycle.

Speaking of the NTSB, the board concluded that the new software for Uber’s self-driving cars would have spotted a bike-riding Tempe AZ woman in time to avoid the crash that killed her.

Congratulations to Virginia’s Juli Briskman; the woman who gained fame by flipping off Trump’s motorcade while riding her bike just got elected to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, where she’ll oversee the president’s golf course.

A Florida state trooper is asked if drivers are allowed to use a bike lane to pass a stopped car. Short answer, no. Longer answer, hell no.

 

International

Your next Segway could be half mountain bike, half dirt bike, and all electric. Although it would be considered a motorcycle under California law, and require a motorcycle helmet and license.

Bike Radar offers advice on how to determine what kind of bike you need, based on how you plan to ride.

The Guardian’s Laura Laker rides a ped-assist ebike from one end of the UK to the other; she joined 800 other bicyclists on the ride, but was one of just two on ebikes.

More heartbreak, as a British man decides to end his life by turning off his ventilator, six years after he was paralyzed in a mountain biking crash.

One hundred Dublin bike riders held a die-in outside city hall to protest the dangers of riding in a city without adequate bicycling infrastructure, following the death of a local man riding his bike.

German students are learning about the Berlin Wall by riding their bikes alongside it, 40 years after it fell.

Ebikes are surging in popularity Down Under, even as a lack of safe bicycling infrastructure puts lives at risk. Just flip the globe over, and you could be talking about Los Angeles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling looks at the five most badass American women crushing cycling right now.

Former Olympic champ Alexandre Vinokourov and fellow cyclist Alexandr Kolobnev have officially been cleared of fixing the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race, after prosecutors said they gave them the benefit of the doubt.

New Zealand cyclist George Bennett will be riding next year with three fewer ribs.

 

Finally…

Even world champs get their bikes stolen; teenage state champs, too. When you’re a registered offender riding your BMX with several outstanding warrants, maybe you should try leaving the meth and guns at home.

And nothing like posting your own anti-bike self-own.

 

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