Tag Archive for Nextdoor

Longest-serving LACBC staffer out due to Covid-19 shutdown, and Nextdoor user claims bikes can’t use bikeways

Normally, I’d wish you a happy April Fools Day. 

But with everything that’s going on in the world, we all need to be able to trust what we read right now. Here, and everywhere else.

Photo by Татьяна Чернышова from Pexels.

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Very disappointing news today, as the coronavirus shutdown claimed another victim.

This is part of an email that was forwarded to me today.

…I’m writing to tell you that this will be the last email you get from me at LACBC. As of Friday March 27, my time as an employee of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition officially came to a close.

As you probably know, LACBC has been struggling financially for over a year now. Thanks to the tremendous work of Eli Akira Kaufman, the Board of Directors, and my fellow staff, we were on a path to recovery, until recently. Unfortunately, the current pandemic has effectively put a hold on the contracts I’ve been managing, our annual LA River Ride is hanging in the balance, and our finances are even tighter than before. Eli and the board have had to make some difficult decisions for the sake of keeping LACBC rolling.

That message comes from Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Education Director Colin Bogart, the coalition’s longest serving staff member, and the last remaining link to the group’s founding.

I also want you to know that it’s been a great joy and a pleasure to work at LACBC and with all of you. I’ve always considered myself lucky to be doing this work and to be able to work with so many great people. And I’m forever grateful to those of you who have volunteered your time or supported LACBC through various fundraising efforts. I hope that you will continue to do so. LACBC still needs all of you.

Lastly, this is not good-bye. Instead, it’s more like “see you later.” As many of you know, I truly believe in bicycling as a means to make our world a better place. I’m not going anywhere and I intend to stay engaged. (Some of you may recall that I myself was a volunteer and a board member for years before I was hired)…

If you believed, like me, that Colin would be the one turning out the lights if the worst ever came for LA County’s leading bicycle advocacy group, this day brings special sadness.

It marks an end of an era stretching back two full decades, and the final, last loss of institutional memory for the LACBC. Thanks to board term limits and staff turnover, no one is left who has been with the coalition more than four years.

He will be very missed.

And so, too, will the LACBC if we don’t all pull together to save it.

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Nothing like citing just half a law.

And trying to tell people they can’t ride bikes on a bikeway. Or let their kids ride legally on a sidewalk.

Actually, that section of the Municipal Code reads,

No person shall ride, operate or use a bicycle, unicycle, skateboard, cart, wagon, wheelchair, roller skates, or any other device moved exclusively by human power, on a sidewalk, bikeway or boardwalk in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.

Which kinda changes the whole meaning.

So you and your kids can feel free to ride any bikeways, boardwalks or sidewalks that are still open right now.

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

A British woman opens up about the sabotaged bike trail that left her mountain biking husband in a wheelchair, just two years after he survived a heart attack.

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

San Diego deputies busted a man who escaped by bicycle after he allegedly assaulted a woman in a Poway park. Let’s hope he goes away for a long time.

Not many homicides are solved as easily as this one, after a Charleston SC man rode his bike up to the crime scene and shouted out his confession to the shooting.

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Local

The only upside of the coronavirus crisis is the clean air in the mostly carfree City of Angels.

Gossip Girl actor Chase Crawford is one of us, taking a spin through Los Feliz on his ebike.

 

State

The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition is looking for a new executive director.

A half dozen high school art students will ride from San Francisco to New York to spread the message of pedal power over gas power.

 

National

NACTO suggests ten ways cities should respond to Covid-19 on their streets, including getting rid of beg buttons, which LA is starting to do in DTLA and MacArthur Park.

PeopleForBikes is is looking for ambassadors for their Ride Spot digital biking platform.

Your next bike could fold all the way down to its airless tires.

A writer for Golf takes on the sport’s Peloton king, and wins. Call it a good ride ruined.

Portland’s annual Filmed by Bike festival will be streaming online instead of in theaters, starting this Saturday.

Nevada encourages families to get out and walk, bike or hike on Wednesdays.

Pink Bike takes a field trip to Sedona to try out four sub-two grand mountain bikes.

Nice guy. The bighearted owner of an Idaho bike shop is giving away 5,000 pounds of potatoes to people affected by the coronavirus shutdown to thank community members for their support over the years.

Unfortunately, the federal ruling that bike shops provide an essential service doesn’t carry the force of law, allowing New Mexico to conclude the opposite and order them shut down.

The 19-year old driver who killed professional mountain biker Benjamin Sonntag outside Durango CO was traveling nearly twice the speed limit at the time of the crash.

A Chicago bike courier collective is helping restaurants survive the shutdown by safely delivering meals across the city.

New York installed a temporary protected bike lane to fix a dangerous gap during the city’s Covid-19 bike boom, only to have someone move the cones off the street onto the sidewalk.

The celebrity bike boom moves to the other coast, as former Wolverine Hugh Jackman rides the streets of New York in the protective gear of our times.

A bighearted Florida man is refurbishing bikes and giving them to people who’ve lost their jobs due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Asking for a little more tolerance on the road, a Florida bicyclist complains when a pedestrian tells his bike club to get off a shared use path, and another tells them to get off the road a few minutes later.

 

International

Forbes says bikes are making a comeback, as social distancing has led to a bike boom around the world, including ChicagoFlorida and Sheffield, England.

Pez Cycling News talks with bike brands on both sides of the Atlantic about how they’re doing during the coronavirus crisis.

Cycling Weekly suggests eight places in the UK to add to your bike bucket list once the country’s coronavirus lockdown is lifted.

Cycling Tips has advice on fifteen mistakes to avoid if you’re doing your riding indoors on Zwift.

Two men have confessed to being the lowlife jerks stealing bikes from Nottingham, England hospital workers while they were treating coronavirus patients.

The Verge calls the new ped-assist ebike from Dutch bikemaker Stella a “near-perfect city bike.” Meanwhile, New Atlas calls the new bike from the Netherlands’ Mokumono Cycles “the perfect urban ebike.”

No irony here. A New Zealand man was rescued by helicopter after he hit a pothole and went over the handlebars, while he was on a fundraising ride for a rescue helicopter service.

Clearly, not everyone has given up on April Fools Day.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as the annual Redlands Bicycle Classic stage race is officially kaput for this year.

Former Tour de France champ Geraint Thomas says he just wants to race his bike again.

 

Finally…

No. Just…no. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. 

And this is what happens when an actual pro cyclist tries to ride with Zwift.

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Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

Morning Links: No Carmageddon on Venice Blvd, auto-centric capitalism, and four-wheeled scofflaw cyclists

Yesterday, I wasted far too much of my life.

Hours, in fact, that I will undoubtedly regret on my dying day, trying in vain to defend the Mar Vista and Playa del Rey lane reductions, both here and on Twitter.

And yes, I should know better.

But I’m a firm believer in engaging with people of all viewpoints, in hopes that I can correct inaccurate beliefs, and that I might learn something from them. And maybe, just maybe, we could come to some kind of a consensus.

Hopes that were quickly dashed on the rubble heaps of online discourse.

The best one, by far, was a comment from someone complaining that traffic backups caused by the Venice Blvd Great Streets project had pushed cut-through drivers onto the surrounding side streets. So he insisted that since the project included bike lanes, bike riders should be licensed and taxed to mitigate the problems caused by… drivers.

Uh, sure.

However, the primary argument cited by virtually everyone opposed to the projects was the accusation of soul crushing traffic congestion causing total gridlock and destroying the vehicular lifeblood of the communities.

But as the song says, it ain’t necessarily so.

Yesterday, we included a bike cam video made by Jon Phillips as he rode on Culver Blvd through Play del Rey, showing almost no congestion during the evening rush hour. Though as we noted, that was just one trip, and another journey at another time might have shown something different.

John Montgomery thought of that.

The author of the excellent Digital Slurry website, he set out to explore traffic on Venice Blvd following the lane reductions, and made a point of riding at different times of day, and on multiple days, to get a feeling of what traffic is really like on the street.

What he found was similar to what Phillips found on Culver. Traffic did back up at times, but it started flowing again once the light changed. And at least part of the problem appeared to stem from poor synchronization of traffic lights.

But don’t take his word for it. Or mine.

Read his report and watch the videos, whether the full 14 minute version, or the three minute highlight reel.

And decide for yourself is this is really the return of Carmageddon.

Which turned out to be no big deal, either.

………

Montgomery also forwarded this screen shot from the North Venice Beach Nextdoor, giving what may be the single most bizarrely auto-centric and capitalistic perspective ever on using a bicycle for transportation.

Meanwhile, the other argument used anytime the subject of bicycling comes up is the accusation that bike riders don’t deserve equal treatment on the streets because we all break the law anyway.

So he set out to record those scofflaw cyclists in action.

And this is what he found.

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Sad news from Iran, where a 19-year old member of the national women’s cycling team was killed in a car crash.

Next month’s Colorado Classic four-stage race is attempting to reinvent pro cycling by charging a fee to participate in a music festival and view the final two stages.

Cyclists participating in Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will race backwards in pursuit of a total $21,500 purse.

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Local

LADOT has selected a new polymer color treatment for green bike lanes that was developed in conjunction with the film industry. Because Hollywood should always have the last word when it comes to traffic safety.

REI will open their first flagship store in LA County next month, taking over an old Sports Authority location in Burbank.

A Pasadena bike rider stole a 64-year old man’s backpack, then discarded it after rifling through it and stealing two beers. Let’s at least hope they were crappy beers.

West Covina is hosting a community open house – workshop tonight to discuss the city’s proposed Active Transportation Master Plan.

The Santa Monica Lookout talks with the rest of the SaMo city council about how they go carfree at least part of the time; the first part of the story appeared on Monday.

The rich get richer. Construction will begin on Monday on another east-west bike boulevard in bike friendly Long Beach.

 

State

Pink’s seven-month old son is one of us, too.

A Simi Valley bike tour operator could be out of business after thieves stole over $25,000 worth of high-end mountain bikes out of his garage.

San Diego is looking for people to adopt one of the city’s 54 largely abandoned bike and pedestrian counters.

Lompoc is experimenting with closing streets to cars for a weekly Friday evening market, while the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition gave dozens of kids refurbished bicycles to take advantage of it.

A DUI hit-and-run driver faces up to ten years in prison after pleading guilty in the death a Watsonville cyclist last year; she was also texting at the time of the crash, as well as driving with a suspended license.

San Francisco’s Public Works Department will enforce a proposed ban on bike chop shops, rather than the police. Because why would you want to arrest anyone for trafficking in stolen bikes and parts?

Dockless bikeshare is getting closer to LA, as Spin is moving into South San Francisco after colonizing Seattle.

No justice for the Sacramento running legend who was hit by a bicyclist on a river pathway, because prosecutors aren’t sure if California’s hit-and-run statutes apply to bikes ridden on trails instead of streets. Here’s a crazy idea: File charges and let a judge decide if the law applies. Because that’s what they do.

 

National

Most US students can legally drive a car before they’re old enough to legally ride a bikeshare bike, even though a bikeshare membership can be provided for a fraction of the cost of busing them to school. We should be encouraging students to ride any kind of bicycle rather than clogging the roads with more buses and cars. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and David Drexler for the heads-up.

Streetsblog says autonomous cars should have to rely on their own sensors, rather than forcing bicyclists and pedestrians to wear sensors to avoid getting run over.

If you ride offroad, book your trip to Oregon now, where they’ve just opened a 668-mile singletrack course that covers the entire state.

A Colorado Republican legislator is shocked that anyone was shocked that he proposed taxing bicycles.

A generous Milwaukee man bought a stolen bike for $20 to return it to its owner after she posted the theft on Facebook.

A university website profiles MIT emeritus professor David Gordon Wilson, author of Bicycle Science, which they call the industry bible for bike design.

Talk about getting Vision Zero wrong. After a New York cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run, the NYPD responds by cracking down on bike riders, rather than the people in the big dangerous machines. Thanks again to Mike Wilkinson.

A proposed New York state law would require all bicyclists in New York City to wear bike helmets, including users of the Citi Bike bikeshare — even though there’s only been one fatality, and just 50 injuries requiring medical attention, in over 43 million Citi Bike rides. The real question is why the law would only apply to NYC; evidently, no one else in the state has heads worth protecting.

After a kindhearted South Carolina cop fails to recover a boy’s stolen bicycle, he buys him a new one.

A group of three boys and two girls in their early teens have been arrested for beating and stomping a 19-year old Orlando man, stealing his bike and sandals, and throwing away his groceries.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice for how to manage riding during your period. Assuming you have one, of course.

The war on bikes continues, as a Canadian jogger stepped on a nail-filled board concealed on a bike trail.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says that no matter what the safety issue, bike-hating commenters always shift the blame to cyclists. Which is exactly what’s happening in Mar Vista and Play del Rey, and pretty much everywhere else in Southern California; more proof that cyclists face the same issues virtually everywhere.

Caught on video: A British bike rider is shown riding through a red light as cars turn into his lane. No, seriously. Don’t do that.

After a 91-year old English man was killed in a collision while participating in a time trial, the proposed solution is banning bikes from divided highways, rather than expecting people to actually pay attention when they drive.

A 15-year old Irish boy received a twelve-month sentence for bashing another boy over the head with a board to steal his bicycle, on top of the eight-month sentence he’s currently serving for threatening to kill someone else. Along with his previous 24 convictions. Did I mention he’s only 15?

Caught on video too: An Irish cyclist gets doored; notice the driver not rushing to his aid.

World Bicycle Relief has distributed 78,000 bicycles in Zimbabwe after a 2010 New York Times story about a then 17-year old man who longed for a bike instead of walking nine miles to school.

The Guardian says cycling campaigns focusing on women and girls are changing the dynamics on African roads.

More Malaysian office workers are choosing to bike to work.

An Aussie writer says drivers in Western Australian can’t handle the concept of an Idaho Stop Law.

 

Finally…

No, Graeme Obree is not a fictional character. Now you, too can ride a modern take on a commie bike.

And now you won’t have to choose between a Bianchi and a Ferrari.

 

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