Tag Archive for NIMBYs

Hope for Expo bike path despite entitled NIMBYs, LA needs safer streets not more signs, and South Bay tries to rein in ebikes

Welcome to the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

We’re off to a rip-roaring start as we begin Day 4, ahead of last year’s record pace by nearly $450 after just three days. 

So before you settle down to Cyber Monday shopping, take a moment to join the 23 people who have already opened their hearts and wallets to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

And please join me in thanking everyone who’s given so far for their kindness and generosity in supporting this site. 

Thanks to James L, David R, Eric L, Arthur B, Stephen T, Scott R, John C, Joni Y, André V, Glenn C, Jordan G, Michael G, David M, Joseph R, Michael S, Mark J, Stephen M, Patrick M, Steven F, Steven S, Brian N, Robs M, and Smiling Corgis. 

Let’s hope tomorrow’s list is just as long. So donate today!

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Writing for Streetsblog, longtime lawyer, bike advocate and Cheviot Hills resident Jonathan Weiss tells a prototypical LA horror story about entitled NIMBYs blocking the Expo Line bike path.

Weiss writes how wealthy Cheviot Hills residents successfully fought the installation of the Expo Bike Path after unsuccessfully fighting the Expo Line train, resulting in the notorious Northvale Gap that has forced bike riders and walkers to use difficult bypass routes.

And how they’ve used means both legal and otherwise to deter outsiders from besmirching their neighborhood.

But there may finally be light at the end of the tunnel, after ten long years.

As for finally closing the Northvale Gap, I am cautiously optimistic now that Katy Yaroslavsky is the Los Angeles City Councilwoman for Cheviot Hills. She is pro-active-transportation and is also on the Metro board. Already, her office has obtained additional funds from Metro to close the Northvale Gap. Her staff regularly meets with relevant departments (LADOT, Engineering, City Attorney) to solve problems. The latest (2022) fact sheet available through LADOT’s “Exposition Bike Path (Northvale Segment)” website says “Construction is anticipated to begin Spring 2024.” The Council Office expects construction to start some time in 2024.

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In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider says the city needs safe streets, not more signs warning drivers to “watch your speed.”

The official responses to proven traffic hazards are woefully inadequate — mere gestures, if even that.

In 2021, after Monique Muñoz was killed on Olympic Boulevard at Overland Avenue by a driver going more than 100 miles per hour, the city placed a “Watch your speed” sign, politely asking drivers to slow down. Unfortunately, in the over two years that have passed, the city has yet to meaningfully redesign Olympic Boulevard to prevent a crash like this from happening again.

People don’t drive based on signage. They drive based on the design of the street. In the case of Olympic Boulevard in West Los Angeles, the design screams “wide open highway,” a lot like the Pacific Coast Highway. Hazardous as this is to all people (including drivers), it is most dangerous to pedestrians and cyclists.

Take a few minutes from your busy Cyber Monday to read the whole thing, because, as Schneider concludes, “The problem is carnage in the streets, and we know the solutions.”

Indeed we do.

We just need leaders with the courage to implement them, which seems to be sadly lacking in this town.

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Speaking of the LA Times, the paper observes the proliferation of ebikes in California’s coastal cities, as South Bay cities struggle to rein riders in.

And as we’ve seen, several have over-reacted with draconian, and possibly illegal, restrictions. Hello, Manhattan Beach.

Meanwhile, Clean Technica gets it, pleading with officials not to turn ebikes into a regulatory nightmare.

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CicLAvia looks forward to their final event of the year, as the nation’s most successful ongoing open streets festival finds its way to South LA this weekend.

The route runs from historic Central Ave to iconic Leimert Park, with culturally rich MLK Jr. Blvd in between.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to miss this one, much to my regret, due to other obligations.

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The Cyber Monday sales are coming in fast and furious, with as Cycling Weekly rounds up bicycling deals, including up 40% off at REI and up to 50% off at Competitive Cyclist, as well as deals on bikewear and novelty jerseys.

Meanwhile, Wired says you can now get a Specialized ebike for as little as two grand.

Which would normally give us another opportunity to chide California for the interminable delay in launching the state’s ebike rebate program, but screw it.

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Of course Bill Nye the Science Guy is one of us.

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A German TV network reports on the influx of migrants flowing into Finland across the border with Russia, many on bicycles supplied by the Russians.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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GCN tackles the ultimate question of who is the fastest, staging a drag race pitting a roadie against a mountain biker, BMX rider and a track cyclist.

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

No bias here. Georgetown historian Thomas Zimmer writes on Mastodon that certain members of the far right are promoting “aggressive anti-bikeism” as part of their political agenda, even though bicycling is far less socialist than the massive public subsidies paid for cars. Unfortunately, I can’t embed his post, but you can read this thread and other Mastodon posts without having an account with the social media company; thanks again to Megan Lynch for the link. 

Britain’s Daily Mail offers a panicked assessment of the “staggering 10,000 cyclists” delivering fast food across Scotland’s cities and towns, saying they pose a threat to pedestrians and even cars by flouting ­traffic regulations and riding on sidewalks. Never mind that an additional 10,000 people driving cars to make fast food deliveries would pose an greater risk to everyone.

London’s former police chief calls for forcing bike riders to wear numbered license plates to “stop so many cyclists being a danger on London’s streets.” Meanwhile, a writer for conservative The Spectator wisely asks what good would requiring bicyclists to wear numbered plates actually do?

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Local 

Writing for CityLab, Alex Contreras argues that LA should have used the I-10 closure as an opportunity to rethink the freeway and apply the same sense of urgency to get people out of their cars.

West Hollywood will team with the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition to host a WeHo Mobility Popup on Santa Monica Blvd tonight, giving away free bike lights on a first-come, first-served basis for people with bicycles, along with other complimentary giveaways for everyone.

 

State

No surprise here, as California ranks among the country’s deadliest states for bicyclists, ranking 4th nationwide in the percentage of bicyclists killed compared to total traffic deaths.

An assistant US Attorney in San Diego says a form of blood cancer knocked him off his bike, but not for long.

In a rare occurrence, someone was killed in a bicycling crash, and it wasn’t the person on two wheels. A driver in San Gregorio was killed when he struck a bicyclist riding on the shoulder, then went off the road and struck a tree; compounding the tragedy, the bike rider was hospitalized with what was described as severe injuries.

San Francisco advocates say the city is prime real estate for undoing one of the country’s most glaring urban infrastructure mistakes and building cities around people instead of cars.

Sad news from Lodi, where a 56-year old homeless man was killed riding his bike after allegedly swerving head-on in front of a 19-year old driver; investigators blamed the victim for possibly being stoned

 

National

A pair of kindhearted Pocatello, Idaho business owners gave a new bicycle to a man described as a local fixture for riding his bike around the city, after his bike was stolen.

New York’s high court extended prohibitions against illegal search and seizure to bicyclists, ruling that people on bicycles should have the same protections as people in cars, and require that police have probable cause to conduct a search.

Bloomberg’s CityLab talks with the mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey about the steps the city has taken to improve street safety, which has resulted in no traffic deaths for the past six years. And proves that Vision Zero is achievable — if our leaders actually give a damn, and have the political will to make the tough choices.

 

International

Rouleur says ‘cross will make you a more powerful bicyclist.

Momentum offers the top ten reasons to bike to work in the winter. Reason #1 should be that you live in Los Angeles. Or anywhere else in sunny Southern California. 

The mayor of Manchester, England defends plans for a new segregated bike path alongside a major highway, as vandals steal orange construction cones in what the mayor describes as “systemic theft,” arguing that we can’t live in a world where cars “have got all the road.”

The owner of an independent Dublin, Ireland bike shop describes how his business was trashed and looted by right-wing rioters angry over immigration and a stabbing.

The Guardian examines the culture of bicycling on the cobbles and countryside of Flanders.

National Geographic describes how to plan a design-focused bicycling tour of Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city.

The Philippines’ Iloilo City hosted roughly 3,000 bike riders for a three-day celebration of all things bicycle.

A British TV star is once again criticizing a 108-mile New Zealand bike path that runs across property and a restaurant he owns, citing a number of safety concerns for bike riders on the trail, although he has long fought its mere existence on his property.

Hats off to 39-year old Kiwi paracyclist Hannah Pascoe, who became the first blind bicyclist to ride the full 1,000-mile length of New Zealand.

 

Competitive Cycling

Jeffrey Rusk forwards news that four California paracyclists were among the 15 Americans competing for Team USA at the 2023 Parpan American Games in Santiago, Chile last week — including his girlfriend Jenna Rollman, who brought home bronze in Road Mixed H Womens Class Time Trial, among several other American medalists.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have a 19-gear string drive groupset. Why ride a mere bicycle, when you can pedal a Star Wars speeder, instead?

And when you disagree with the law, just change it.

Or chop it down, anyway.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

LA Mayor Bass caves to Freeway to Nowhere NIMBYs, and new fed bill aims to protect vulnerable road users

She gets it.

Los Angeles Times columnist Erika D. Smith asks why the city won’t even study removing the 90 Freeway stub to nowhere, after the mayor and other local officials caved to LA’s notorious NIMBYs.

Mayor Bass had initially supported a federal grant request to fund a two-year study of the project, which would scrap the three-mile, lightly trafficked highway, potentially replacing it with low-cost housing and a massive linear park.

But in true LA fashion, the mayor and other local officials were for it before they was against it, listening to the loudest angry voices instead of the voice of reason.

Now, though, my excitement as well as (Streets For All founder Michael) Schneider’s has given way to familiar feelings of frustration. True to form for NIMBY-indulging Los Angeles, the political support he believed was solid has suddenly turned porous.

That includes Bass: “I do not support the removal or demolition of the 90 Freeway,” she said in a statement last week. “I’ve heard loud and clear from communities who would be impacted and I do not support a study on this initiative.”

L.A. City Councilmember Traci Park agrees with her. After conducting a very unscientific poll of her Westside constituents, she wrote in her newsletter that: “The 11th District does not support the demolition of the 90 Freeway. Your voice is why Mayor Bass rescinded her initial support.”

L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell told me that, despite rumors to the contrary, she never decided to back a study or tearing down the Marina Freeway, which abuts her district in the unincorporated neighborhood of Ladera Heights. “But it’s a moot point now,” she said.

As Smith makes clear, what they’re all now opposing is nothing more than a feasibility study.

No one, at this point, is calling for the actual destruction of anything. And nothing regarding this project would be done for years, if not decades, that would inconvenience motorists in the slightest.

The flip-flopping pols cite a lack of public outreach their rapid NIMBY cave-in. Yet the reason there hasn’t been any is simply because it isn’t time yet.

Extensive outreach would be a major part of the study, and there’s no reason to do any outreach now, because there’s nothing to actually discuss at this point.

In other words, it’s not that it hasn’t been done. It just hasn’t been done yet.

So what’s the problem in just studying whether the project is feasible and practical, or even wanted — without spending a dime of city funds?

If the mayor is going to cave to NIMBY voices this easily, it doesn’t bode well for getting anything accomplished on our streets during her administration.

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Inland Empire Rep. Norma J. Torres cosponsored legislation calling on federal government agencies to develop methods to better protect pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, as well as providing grants to cities to improved pedestrian infrastructure.

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Prosecutors in Austin, Texas opened the murder trial of Kaitlin Armstrong for the shooting death of gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, revealing that Armstrong tracked Wilson through Strava to learn where she was staying.

In a chilling note, they also said that the last sound Wilson ever made was a scream of terror.

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A memorial will be held this Friday evening in honor of 69-year old Tania Mooser, the woman killed by a driver in a Santa Monica collision last weekend.

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San Diego is looking for more feedback on the city’s draft mobility plan.

Let’s just hope they don’t adopt, then ignore, the finished document, like a certain megalopolis to the north.

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Tell me again why you need an SUV to carry groceries home.

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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 San Francisco letter writer complains that the bike lane on the Richmond-San Raphael bridge “is a joke, foisted on the 40,000 commuters” who use the bridge each day “by the loud and elitist bicycle lobby and its virtue-signaling political allies.” Never mind that the gridlock he complains about is caused by too many people in cars, and won’t be relieved by ripping out the bike lane.

Portland, Oregon is in a dither over whether to rip out a bike lane that was “mistakenly” installed overnight without community input, as bike-riding residents block a large truck to prevent its removal after it was already in the process of scraping the paint off.

No bias here, either. A British mayor faced criticism for his “abysmal failure” to fulfill a campaign promise to rip out a bike lane that has seen several bicycling and pedestrian injuries, in addition to being filled with illegally parked cars. But those injuries couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the parking problem. Right?

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Local 

Incumbent 4th District Councilmember Nithya Raman and challenger Ethan Weaver discussed transportation, transit and public safety issues in a debate sponsored by Streets For All, with both calling for increased efforts to prevent traffic deaths.

This is who we share the road with. The driver of a heavy electric truck somehow went airborne and slammed through the exterior wall of a pizza place in Hollywood. Which explains all the sirens and why there was a police helicopter circling around our apartment Tuesday night.

Santa Monica is creating a “strategic” 700-foot extension to the Michigan Greenway bike/walk project.

He gets it, too. A Manhattan Beach English teacher describes how he gave up his car for a one-hour bike commute to work, asking “why doesn’t everybody?”

 

State

San Diego will hold the 10th Annual Jim Krause Memorial Charity Cycling Ride the Point to support research to combat pancreatic cancer on November 11th.

A man was shot and killed by Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputies in San Jacinto Tuesday afternoon when he pulled a gun as they ordered him off his bicycle.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a person riding a bicycle was apparently killed in what the CHP described as a “high-speed collision.”

Santa Barbara is attempting to reduce conflicts between bike riders and pedestrians by installing a bike lane down the center of the city’s State Street Promenade.

San Luis Obispo County will build a 1.25-mile, $7.4 million bike path along the scenic stretch of coastline between Morro Bay and Cayucos, providing an alternative to biking on the busy coast highway.

More sad news, this time from Modesto, where a 36-year old homeless woman was killed by a driver while riding her bike last week.

About damn time. The San Francisco city attorney is suing websites that sell banned license plate covers that drivers use to illegally evade the police, tolls and tickets.

Bicyclists in Napa just got their first buffered bike lane.

 

National

And they get it. Electrek says we need fewer driverless cars, and more carless drivers. They also get bonus points for correctly using “fewer,” rather than the commonly used “less.”

Denial is not just a river in Egypt. The Las Vegas driver who killed BMX champ Nathan ‘Nate’ Miller as he rode his bike in the city claimed he’s a good driver who never had a crash before — despite 19 previous tickets, including for driving without a license.

A Colorado company has developed an online calculator to, um, calculate how much a city could save in both carbon and cash by investing in ebikes. Which serves as yet another reminder that California’s long-delayed ebike rebate program still isn’t rebating anything to anyone. 

Kindhearted strangers pitched in to buy a North Dakota man a new ebike, just one day after his bicycle was snapped in half when he was struck by a motorist.

In another reminder that bikes mean business, a Chicago CEO recounts how he started his waste composting business by pulling a red wagon behind his bicycle to pick up food waste when he was still a kid.

A 45-year old randonneur describes the hit-and-run in upstate New York that left him with a fractured back and sacrum, a trashed bike, and a long recovery.

Artnet News tags along with Filipina American artist Jasmin Sian on her daily 15-mile bike commute on New York’s Hudson River Greenway, discovering how it helps inform her art.

Speaking of NIMBYs, New York’s mayor is attempting to un-install a new bike boulevard that is virtually finished by re-opening a call for community input, while continuing to micromanage bike lane projects and back off campaign commitments to build more.

A Memphis newspaper says the city’s depiction as the nation’s least-bike friendly city doesn’t tell the whole story, and that bicycling in the city is amazing and getting better — despite a death rate 21% higher than average.

 

International

GCN suggests the best Christmas gifts for bicyclists. Can we at least put off the Christmas talk until we put Halloween a little further in the rearview mirror?

Bicyclists in Windsor, Ontario are angry after a recent report showed the city built less than three miles of bike lanes in the last two years.

Life is cheap in the UK, where an “arrogant” speeding driver who killed a 77-year old man riding a bicycle while driving with traces of ketamine, cocaine and alcohol in his system, walked without a single day behind bars, as a prosecutor described his standard of driving as “just below” the threshold for dangerous driving. You would think that, regardless of the drug use, killing someone while speeding would be prima facie evidence of dangerous driving. But evidently, you’d be wrong. 

A British self-described “cycling nut” is suing giant bikemaker Giant for the equivalent of over $243,000, after he broke his back in four places when the fork on his new carbon-frame bike separated from the steerer tube while he was riding, and the bike collapsed under him.

The star of Britain’s favorite TV commercial returned to the same hill he walked his bike up as a child to mark the 50th anniversary of the famous bread ad.

The Dutch city of Maastricht is addressing a plague of “wild parking” — illegally locking bicycles to lampposts or railings — by confiscating the illegally parked bikes and increasing penalties to get them back.

Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling website considers why it took so long to invent the bicycle after the Mesopotamians invented the wheel.

Beijing, China is cracking down on traffic violations — and not just the ones committed by the people in the big, dangerous machines.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cycling star Jeffrey Hoogland broke the 1 kilometer time-trial world record in Aguascalientes, Mexico, averaging over 40 mph from a standing start.

 

Finally…

Apparently, bikepacking isn’t for everyone. Your next ebike could be made by Lotus, if you happen to have an extra 24 grand lying around.

And this is what it looks like to ride the world’s steepest street.

Or not.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Guns versus cars, NIMBYs want to ban beach bike bridge in park named for late bike advocate, and SaMo anti-bike bias

Thank you everyone for the kind comments. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me. 

I’d like to say I’m better now, but my blood sugar is still more reminiscent of a ballistic missile than a placid stream. And my mental state is still swirling around the drain, in part due to my health issues, and in part due too many stories like the ones below. 

The former should get a boost when I see my doctor this week, and impress on her the need for more urgent and aggressive action; the latter should improve once the former does.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t count on the health of our streets getting better anytime soon. Or our society, for that matter.

Now let’s catch up on a little news. 

I’ve lost track of who sent me what over the last week, so let me just apologize in advance and thank everyone who sent me something.

And I’ll try to do better next time. 

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This is who we share the road with.

On Saturday, an alleged rightwing extremist stepped out of a car in Allen, Texas armed with an AR-15 and opened fire, killing eight people and injuring at least seven others, before he was killed by a police officer.

The next day, a speeding driver plowed into a crowd of migrants standing outside a homeless shelter in Brownsville, Texas, killing eight people and injuring at least eleven others, in a crash witnesses allege was intentional.

If there is a difference between these two events, it appears to be one without distinction.

The body count is remarkably similar; the only difference is the choice of weapon, and the only question is one of intent. Which something tells me matters not one wit to the victims or their loved ones.

We will continue to fail as a nation, and a society, until we take comprehensive action to rein in guns and cars, and the out-of-control people in possession of both.

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George Wolfberg, right, talks with LA County’s Kristofor Norberg.

I received an email from a friend who lives in the Pacific Palisades area while I was out of commission last week.

She writes that a new park in Potrero Canyon has been named after our mutual friend George Wolfberg, a lifelong civic advocate and volunteer who fought for better beach bike paths, bike lanes and other safety facilities to help Angelenos bike more and drive less, both for cleaner air and to combat climate change, and just for the sheer joy of riding a bike.

George worked on what will now be known as George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon for over 30 years, part of his larger vision of an interconnected Los Angeles.

What he envisioned was a park that would be open to all of the public, an oasis for recreation and beauty, in a fully sustainable environment of coastal native plants, while a restored riparian water capture system would protect the canyon.

Sadly, though, George didn’t live to see the park he worked for decades to build, passing away three years ago at age 82.

And taking nearly eight decades of civic pride and advocacy with him.

But more than just a park, George envisioned a bikeway that would safely allow average people to ride from downtown Pacific Palisades, through the park and across a bridge to the beach, as well as connecting to the bike path to take riders south to the Metro Expo (E) Line in Santa Monica, or even further to Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Palos Verdes.

The final step seemed to be when Senator Ben Allen and others earmarked $11 million for the bridge and bikeway,

But as we’ve seen too often in the past, someone always seems to step in at the last minute to throw a wrench in the whole thing.

In this case, it’s a group of wealthy NIMBY homeowners who bizarrely don’t want bikes of any kind to besmirch a park honoring a lifelong bike advocate.

Here’s how she described it.

HOWEVER, there is a group of homeowners in the Palisades with homes on or near the rim of the park who have been very vocal about not wanting any bicycles or any type or e-bikes to be allowed in the park (which goes against what the community came to agreement upon years ago). They are making a lot of noise and asking to return the funds and cancel the bridge.

  • Even though the Coastal Development Permit for the Potrero Canyon Park requires access to the beach;
  • The Recreation and Park Board of Commissioners’ approval for the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon envisions a bridge access across PCH to the beach parking lot;
  • A bridge would provide safe passage across PCH rather than the danger of people trying to cross through the traffic on foot;
  • The bridge is also something that Caltrans supports (and it does not support adding a crosswalk or light at that location).

Yes, they want to cancel an already funded, and potentially life-saving, bike project.

Where have we heard that before?

But here’s the problem.

Because it was assumed that this was moving forward and funds were set aside, elected officials are only hearing from people opposed to the project, and not from anyone advocating FOR the bridge.

To complicate matters, supporters of the project only learned about the opposition last Wednesday, while the vote is set for this Wednesday, May 10.

Which means if you want a bike path and connectivity to the beach via a safe bridge over PCH, you need to speak up now.

No, now.

Email your support to the following California state senators today —

I’m counting on you.

Because banishing bikes from a park named for one of their biggest advocates would be this city’s ultimate bike fail.

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Speaking of NIMBYs, a group of motorists are once again raising their anti-bike heads to demand the removal of a SoCal bikeway, this time Santa Monica’s new 17th Street bikeway project.

And once again, they are arguing that a Complete Streets project designed to improve safety for everyone somehow makes them less safe for people in motor vehicles.

Which is just a socially acceptable way of saying they don’t want to be inconvenienced, and are willing to risk sacrificing human lives for their God-given right to go zoom! zoom! to their hearts content.

You can sign a free petition thanking the Santa Monica City Council and Mobility Division for the project, and expressing your appreciation for their work to make our streets safer.

Meanwhile, a new video explains how Santa Monica is turning into Amsterdam. And as you’d expect, drawing more people on bikes.

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Streetsblog spots new and improved bike infrastructure in Silver Lake, after motorists managed to destructively dismantle the previous effort.

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Streets For All will host a virtual happy hour with special guest CD1 Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez on Wednesday.

After all, anyone who could get “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo off the city council deserves all the support she can get.

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Mark your calendars for SoCal’s largest Pride ride on June 3rd.

https://twitter.com/CulverCityPride/status/1653863048577445888

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Speaking of Culver City, drop in for a Bike Month Handlebar Happy Hour this Friday.

https://twitter.com/Atticuz85/status/1653991731980034049

Meanwhile, LA’s Bike Week is next week, while Bike Day — formerly known as Bike to Work Day — will be Thursday, May 18th; Streetsblog offers an overview of Bike Month in Los Angeles and Long Beach.

And Santa Clarita is hosting its annual Bike to Work Challenge next week, as well.

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Gravel Bike California grinds it out in the Cleveland National Forest. Which, oddly, is nowhere near Cleveland, thankfully.

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Count on former Talking Heads frontman and bike advocate David Byrne to make a statement in white at the Met Gala.

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God only knows how many times I’ve been tempted to do exactly this.

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Who needs bike shorts, when you can just ride naked like Aquaman star Jason Momoa?

Although most bike riders don’t have that little bottle to follow us around.

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

Good question. A Montana writer wants to know when bicycle safety became a partisan issue.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the British hit-and-run bicyclist who left a two-year old boy lying in the street, after hitting him hard enough to knock the kid out of his shoes.

A Nairobi man faces charges after he was stopped while riding the bicycle he allegedly stole during a violent robbery of the bike’s original owner; his alleged accomplices are still at large.

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Local 

LA Times Letters Editor Paul Thornton writes about the whiplash of Culver City caving to car culture, while other cities, like Alhambra, are resisting it; he also said Culver City’s ill-advised move made it a horrible week for ‘climate friendly’ cities. 

LAist explains how you can get involved in reshaping the size and structure of the Los Angeles City Council.

 

State

Calbike is asking you to email the California State Senate and the Senate Budget Committee to demand that California policymakers to “divest from regressive road-building” and invest $10 billion in Complete Streets and California’s transportation future. Works for me.

California saw a whopping 10% increase in pedestrian deaths last year, with a pedestrian fatality rate of 1.29 deaths per 100,000 people — a full 25% above the national average.

This is who we share the road with, too. A Corona man was found guilty of killing three teenagers, and critically injuring three others, when he ran their car off the road and into a tree, for the crime of playing Ding Dong Ditch and speeding off after mooning him.

The executive director of Bike SD says San Diego’s decision to widen SR-56 simply prioritizes short-term convenience over long-term sustainability.

San Diego’s Vision Zero is going the wrong way, as bicycling and pedestrian deaths spike on the city’s streets.

Arguello Boulevard in San Francisco’s Presidio will get a protected bike lane, after world masters champ Ethan Boyes was killed there last month. Although as usual, the decision to improve a dangerous street only came after it was too late. 

Hundreds of people rode their bikes in the annual Davis Loopalooza, as residents tried to reclaim their city in the wake of a serial stabber who killed two people, including one who was killed as he rode his bike through a local park.

 

National

If your favorite cyclist or bike advocate now has a blue check on Twitter, there’s a good chance they didn’t ask for it, let alone want it.

American men are three times more likely to ride a bike as American women, unlike many other countries.

Pinkbike’s editors explain what bike saddles they use on their own bikes and why.

A Spokane, Washington woman is — allegedly — a two-time hit-and-run loser, charged with killing two people after getting drunk and falling asleep behind the wheel, a decade after she was convicted of fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider. Which is precisely why drivers should lose their license for life after a single hit-and-run, because they’ve shown themselves to be unwilling to obey even the most basic requirement for driving. Let alone human decency. 

The definition of chutzpah. An Arizona driver, apparently dissatisfied with the gentle caress on the wrist he received for the hit-and-run crash that killed a bike rider, appealed his conviction and sentence of less than six months behind bars and five years probation; thankfully, the appeals court politely told him to pipe down and do his time.

A Salt Lake City TV station takes advantage of Yellowstone’s annual carfree soft-opening for a bike ride through the snowy Wyoming national park.

A Pittsburgh columnist argues the city should commit to zero traffic deaths by 2035. Although as we’ve learned the hard way, it’s one thing to commit to no traffic deaths, but it’s another to get elected leaders to actually invest the money and make the hard choices to make it happen.

If you build it they will come. No surprise here, as a controversial Staten Island lane reduction and bike lanes is seeing more two-wheel traffic as the weather warms.

There’s something wrong when a longtime advocate for bikes and improving New York’s deadly streets becomes a victim of them.

New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour brought 32,000 bike riders out for a 40-mile carfree ride through the city.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. The Washington Post looks at DC’s failure to rein in dangerous drivers, as one motorist manages to run up $186,000 in unpaid traffic fines. Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the streets until its too late.

WaPo also examines the dirty underbelly of “clean” electric vehicles, and explains why free street parking could cost you thousands more in rent.

 

International

Tragic news from the UK, where former track champ and Tour of Britain director Tony Doyle died after a brief battle with cancer; he was just 64.

An Irish columnist feels unsafe on the street after arriving at her office, then returns to find her bike missing.

They get it. France will spend the equivalent of $2.21 billion to boost bicycle use over the next five years.

More proof you can carry anything on a bicycle, as a Pakistani photographer catches a street vendor with his bike overloaded with garlic.

That’s more like it. A Johannesburg taxi driver has been sentenced to eight years behind bars for the drunken crash that killed a bike rider, after driving nearly one thousand feet — more than three football fields — with the victim trapped under his van.

 

Competitive Cycling

The home side was victorious in Sunday’s stage 2 of the Giro, as Italy’s Jonathan Milan took the day, and reigning world champ Remco Evenepoel held onto the leader’s jersey.

Dutch cyclist Martijn Tusveld survived a dramatic crash late in Sunday’s stage 2, but his bike didn’t, snapping in two when he was sent flying into a roadside barrier.

Cycling Weekly profiles four-time world champ Annemiek van Vleuten, saying Remco Evenepoel isn’t the only former soccer player to win the cycling worlds.

Conservative media was up in arms over a “biological man” winning the women’s Tour of the Gila, saying it renewed calls to ban trans women from competitive cycling. Which would only seem to matter if you ignore all the other times a trans woman didn’t win.

An Ohio woman finished the 2022 Race Across America, aka RAAM, in 11 months and seven days, completing the final 262 miles ten months after a crash into a wooden bridge left her with a broken hip.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you visit a Marin bike museum, and find your mother’s seatless bike on display. Your next bike could have brake levers poking out of the handlebars, even before you crash it.

And fortunately, this helped mitigate the trauma caused when Britain’s new figurehead not only failed to include a regiment of royal corgis in the coronation parade, but didn’t even his loyal four-foot soldiers a shoutout.

……….

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Commission approves Wolfberg park, NIMBYs fight Culver City Complete Streets, and racist road rage murder

Let’s start with a followup to yesterday’s proposal to name the new Potrero Canyon Park for longtime bike and community advocate George Wolfberg, who fought for its creation before his death last year.

This update came from his son, David Wolfberg, who followed in his father’s footsteps as a bike advocate and longtime member of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, in a comment to yesterday’s post.

Thank you Ted for the highlight. It appears to be a go for the park naming. The Parks Commission was wonderful and importantly now includes one of the city’s greatest bike and community advocates, Tarafai Bayne. Many people and agencies have contributed mightily to the development of the park, notably David Card of the Pacific Palisades Community Council and the Bureau of Engineering. Commissioner Nicole Chase expressed a desire for the parks named after engaged citizens like my father George to have detailed reliefs that tell us more about that community member. All of L.A.’s parks are accessible via bicycle though some require more effort than others. My father envisioned connecting the park to the historic Marvin Braude bike path via a bridge over PCH. That is a big spend and they are working to locate funding for it. In the meantime I’ve suggested waypoint signs and/or safety warnings as we definitely don’t want to see anyone trying to cross PCH to get to the park. There are two tunnels south of the park and a crossing signal at Temescal for safe crossing. They are aiming for a park opening in 2021.

He also added this note about the TikTok video of the Peloton instructor that concluded yesterday’s post.

Regarding the hilarious and disturbing Peloton instructor, that is Caitlin Reilly who also recently lost her father, actor John Reilly of General Hospital. Caitlin has several characters developed in lockdown who are poignantly funny reminders of the time in which we’re living. She is an incisive observer and many of these clips are unmistakably “L.A.” https://www.tiktok.com/@itscaitlinhello?

George Wolfberg photo from Pacific Palisades Community Council.

………

That didn’t take long.

Just days after Culver City’s new Complete Streets plan went online, some people are already gearing up to fight against livable streets and a healthier business community.

In other words, exactly the same sort of streets people fly to other cities to enjoy, but fight like hell to keep out of their own neighborhoods.

But if they bothered to get informed, like the flier calls for, it would only take a simple Google search to learn that bikeable, walkable Complete Streets can reduce congestion by getting people out of their cars, significantly boost retail and restaurant sales, and bring new life to car-choked streets.

And that any increase in traffic to neighborhoods can be easily mitigated with simple traffic control measures.

They might also learn that once a project like this goes in, the same people who once fought it will often fight to keep it.

Instead, Culver City is seeing the same knee-jerk opposition to change that we’ve seen repeated throughout the LA area, with varying degrees of success.

Which mans it’s probably only a matter of time before we see a new Keep Culver City Moving chapter.

Flier photo courtesy of Zennon Ulyate-Crow.

This is who we share the road with.

A Boston area man was killed in a racially charged road rage attack when the Black and Latino victim and his white attacker got out of their cars to argue.

Then the killer got back in his car and deliberately slammed into the victim.

And yes, the accused killer driver, 54-year old Dean Kapsalis, was arrested after turning himself in half an hour later.

Although the current charges don’t begin the meet the seriousness of the crime, because anything less than second degree murder would be a travesty.

As if the racist murder wasn’t bad enough, though, Henry Tapia, better known as Henny, a 35-year old father of three, was also one of us.

https://twitter.com/bostonaruban/status/1352090438518370310

In a reflection if just how tragic this death is, that crowdfunding page mentioned above has raised nearly $75,000 in just the first day, far exceeding the modest $10,000 goal.

But no matter how much money it raises, it won’t bring Henny back.

And in yet another example of government officials keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, the killer had an extensive record of crashes and traffic violations.

It’s just too bad drivers don’t have to pass a test to root out racism before we trust them multi-ton weapons.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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Sadly, this tweet from Oklahoma speaks for itself.

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More proof that bikes are good for business.

It’s worth the click to read the brief thread about how an interest in bicycles helped turn around a dying business.

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

No bias here. A San Clemente ebike rider says the city needs to clamp down on everyone else, insisting ebike-riding “kids and elders” are going to kill someone.

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

The New York SUV driver who was terrorized by a group of teen bicyclists after allegedly brake checking one of them — intentionally or otherwise — says nothing has been done by the city and he’s still too afraid to drive his car, despite charges against one of the boys.

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Local

According to the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, Northwest Pasadena deserves better than the recently released proposal to remake North Lake Avenue, which the organization says would remain an incomplete street that violates the city’s commitment to Vision Zero.

 

State

Momentum is finally building for a 24-acre bike park in Alpine in East San Diego County.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Bakersfield man was allowed to plead no contest to a single hit-and-run charge in the death of a bike rider, despite driving with a suspended license — and despite changing his appearance and pushing his SUV into a ravine to cover up the crime.

Sad news from Merced, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run Monday night; police busted the driver after tracking down his heavily damaged car.

He gets it. A bike-riding Manteca columnist says instead of calling wheelie-popping teen bicyclists hoodlums who a terrorizing the populace, be glad they’re taking up bicycling and burning off a little energy.

 

National

Yet another kit promises to convert your bicycle to an ebike.

A Minnesota town proposes a road diet and roundabouts to improve safety, but after a 13-year old boy was killed riding his bike to school last year. Maybe cities could make safety changes they know are necessary before it’s too late for a change.

Seriously? A Cape Cod community wants to make sure they don’t sacrifice the town’s character to Complete Streets. Because apparently, its character is somehow tied to car-clogged streets.

A secret government report shows New York never had any intention to put bike lanes on the Verrazzano Bridge, despite holding several public meetings, and only floated an expensive, impracticable plan in order to kill it.

In an effort to become one of the safest states for bicycling, Virginia moves forward with a bill that would require drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle, allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and let bicyclists ride two abreast.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The family of a North Carolina man killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike last year say the arrest of the driver brings them little comfort because it can’t bring the victim back.

A North Carolina school bus driver could use remedial training after nearly hitting an SUV head on while passing a bike rider with full load of kids.

 

International

Just weeks after officials tore out a protected bike lane in London’s tony Kensington and Chelsea boroughs, a bike rider was injured hitting one car in an effort to avoid another.

The UK’s rash of violent strong-arm bike thefts goes on, after an 18-year old bike rider was knocked off his bicycle by a thief who rode off with his bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

He gets it. Longtime pro André Greipel says he feels privileged to race in the middle of a pandemic, and the other riders in the pro peloton should, too.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a little blood and guts to get your kid to wear a helmet. Always look under your saddle before you ride.

And this has got to be the best bikeshare ad ever.

https://twitter.com/NOWTVIreland/status/1351631160842072065?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1351631160842072065%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-20-january-2021-280195

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We have another person who prefers to remain anonymous to thank for yet another generous donation to help bring SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy to your screen every morning. And yes, even though our annual fund drive is over, donations are always welcome and appreciated!

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

Koretz uses one-man rule to kill bike, business and pedestrian friendly Uplift Melrose project

He did it again.

Seven years after CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz blocked proposed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, he singlehandedly killed a proposal for a much-needed makeover of Melrose Blvd.

One that had overwhelming community support, both from the general public and Melrose business owners.

A project that could have once again made Melrose the destination street it was decades ago. And one that excited virtually everyone who saw it, with a few notable NIMBY exceptions.

Starting with Koretz himself.

The self-proclaimed environmentalist and climate advocate caved to a NIMBY minority to stop a project that would improve safety on one of LA’s High Injury Network streets, while giving a significant boost to a once-thriving business district that has been in decline for decades.

Kind of like Westwood, where empty storefronts nearly outnumber occupied ones.

Yet in both cases, Koretz personally blocked bicycle and pedestrian improvements that could have revived them.

In this case, he cited his unsupported belief that the project wouldn’t get anyone out of their cars — as he drove the street in his own.

I have done much soul searching, and even driven down Melrose one more time to try and envision the results. Many factors contributed to my decision to not move forward with this process…

I don’t believe that this action will get anyone out of their cars, except for immediate neighbors on short trips who could walk or bicycle. However, it will make it more difficult for potential customers to access Melrose shops by car. The loss of parking could also reduce access by customers, unless the BID is able to cut long-term deals with several locations for large numbers of cars. This is likely to happen, but not a certainty.

I also believe that this will result in a short-term loss of more marginal businesses during construction. Longer term, I think it is likely to raise rents once it is completed, knocking out remaining smaller businesses that give Melrose its charm, for better funded, more chain-like businesses.

Maybe if he actually got out of his car, he could see what wonderful street it could be for walking. Even if it isn’t now.

But bottom line, he makes the anti-environmental, anti-climate choice to keep Melrose a sewer for pass-through drivers, while making it virtually impossible to access the area any other way.

It must be all those boarded up storefronts and Going Out of Business signs that pass for charm in his estimation.

He also ignores the fact that a project like this would once again make the street a draw for people from across the city, and not just out-of-town tourists relying on outdated guidebooks.

Not to mention that the plan actually results in a net increase in available parking, despite the loss of spaces on Melrose itself.

In a must-read story, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examined the motivations consequences behind Koretz dictatorial decree.

L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz has effectively killed Uplift Melrose, a plan to invest in making Melrose Avenue greener, safer, and more welcoming. Uplift Melrose was initiated by the Melrose Business Improvement District and enjoyed broad local support, including from the Mid-City West Community Council and the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council.

He goes on to cite bizarre opposition from representatives of both the police and fire departments.

LAPD Wilshire Area Commanding Officer Shannon Paulson’s August 25 email to Koretz staff states that Uplift Melrose “would undeniably have a direct impact on the ability of PD to respond along this (previously) primary accessway to emergency locations on this stretch of Melrose, as well as… emergencies in adjacent residential neighborhoods.” She asserts that the proposed Melrose lane reduction would “undeniably” create “traffic congestion and delays” on Melrose and “this would also result in more north/south traffic in those nice residential streets north and south of Melrose” where she forecasts “more calls for unsafe speed… and a higher likelihood of vehicle vs pedestrian accidents, stop sign violations, more people feeling not as safe walking their dogs and pushing their strollers on those streets.”

Never mind that the project was still in the early discussion phase, and that most, if not all, of those objections could have been easily mitigated.

She went on to offer this doozy, making her anti-bike windshield bias even more apparent, while broadly dismissing bike lanes all over Los Angeles:

I would also suggest a comprehensive study of the bike lanes. I have seen a lot of money and energy and planning go into some of these bike lanes in the City– which are fantastic for those who use them. But I think in many LA communities the use of these bike lanes have been exceptionally minimal (to almost zero) – this after surrendering very valuable vehicle traffic lanes to create them. I have also been part of conversations regarding their safety, as they design the lanes to be “two way” which results in some dangerous scenarios. I think immediately of the “two way” bike lane currently on Main Street downtown – where you have City Hall employees pulling out of that CH garage near Temple and they look right only as the traditional vehicle traffic on Main St is northbound, yet that bike lane along the curb is two -way. So you have a southbound bicycle coming along at 25 mph crossing them that the driver never see.

Evidently, in addition to being a cop, Paulson is also an expert in traffic engineering and urban planning.

Or at least thinks she is.

And as Linton points out, we’re still waiting for all that money for bike lanes she talks about. Maybe it got diverted into the LAPD’s coffee and donut fund.

As for the objections from the fire department,

Koretz’ staff received Streets L.A. Landscape Architect Alexander Caiozzo’s response to all of the points raised by Getuiza. Caiozzo’s September 3 email emphasizes that the Melrose design represents a “preliminary plan” and, when funding is secured, further refined designs will address all the specific Fire Department concerns.

Never mind that Linton explains that much of the objections raised by the fire department were the result of a fundamental misreading of what was being proposed.

He goes on to point the finger at a self-proclaimed watchdog group that has worked to block progress throughout the city.

One source is the “notorious Nimby” group Fix the City. In 2015, Fix the City filed a lawsuit to block L.A.’s multi-modal Mobility Plan, asserting that the city was “stealing” lanes from drivers, who do not “have the luxury of being able to ride to work on a bike or bus.” The lawsuit was settled by an agreementbetween L.A. City and Fix the City that mandates extensive outreach and analysis before safety improvements can be implemented. Fix the City then uses this agreement to kill safety projects.

The settlement requires the city to evaluate LAFD response times at the station level for all mobility projects of significant scale. If safety improvements degrade LAFD response times, then Fix the City boardmember Jim O’Sullivan waves the settlement around, badgers the city Transportation Department (LADOT) and City Council, and threatens further lawsuits.

Personally, I’d take it a step further, and question whether it’s the soft corruption of campaign contributions and promises of support for the career politician’s next run for office.

Or something worse.

In the aftermath of the Jose Huizar and Englander bribery scandals, any single-handed action like this is immediately suspect. So the question becomes, not just whether someone inappropriately influenced Koretz, but who might have, how and why.

It could be as simple as Linton’s suggestion that Koretz kowtowed to the notorious NIMBYs at Fix the City.

Or it could be something much worse.

The real problem is that Los Angeles has a failed system of government in which each councilmember rules as a king or queen in his or her own district, enjoying near dictatorial power over what gets built, from upscale condo towers to streetscape improvements.

Something we’ll have to change if we ever want to see real progress in the city.

Meanwhile, Mid City West Community Council President Scott Epstein — leader of one of the city’s better neighborhood councils — offers his own insights into the project, and Koretz’ open betrayal of the community.

Bike Talk will be discussing the whole Melrose mess tonight.

Morning Links: NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, LA finally counts bikes, and bust made in near-fatal Ramona hit-and-run

Streetsblog takes a look at the highly biased survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep Pasadena Moving, chock full of leading questions designed to get just the responses they want about traffic in the Rose City.

But the best way to overcome their extreme NIMBY windshield bias is to get everyone you know who supports walking, bicycling, transit and safe, livable streets to take the survey themselves.

Because you already have, right?

Right?

Photo by Roberto Nickson from Pexels.

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LADOT will finally conduct its first-ever count of bicyclists and pedestrians in the City of Los Angeles.

Something they should have done years ago; previously, the city didn’t have a clue how many people actually biked or walked in LA.

Apparently, they were satisfied to rely on this count done in the early ’80s.

The only prior counts were conducted on a volunteer basis by the LACBC, later in conjunction with LA Walks.

Hardly a valid basis for any city to make solid transportation decisions.

Bizarrely, though, the story implies that the counts will only be done on weekends, which will provide little real information on bike commuting and transportation riding.

Almost as if the city has fallen for the old myth that the only people who ride bikes in LA are the weekend recreational riders.

By contrast, the LACBC counts were done during both morning and evening commutes, as well as on weekends.

However, that may not be totally accurate, as Sean Meredith suggests that the weekday counts may have been contracted out to a private company.

Let’s hope he’s right.

Update: The LACBC confirms that LADOT has contracted out to a private company to do bike and pedestrian count using traffic cameras. 

In fact, it may have already been done. 

………

The CHP has arrested 32-year old Ramona resident Chase Richard for the hit-and-run crash that critically injured Michelle Scott in Ramona.

The 53-year old woman was hit while she was riding her bike to work one week ago today;

The damaged car, which had stolen plates, was seized as evidence.

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This is who we share the road with.

CiclaValley catches the end of a nasty U-turn by a driver who didn’t seem to care he was there.

Sort of like this impatient North Hollywood driver who uses the bike lane to zoom around slower traffic.

Even though someone was riding in it at the time.

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Local

The LA Times reports the LAPD searches blacks and Latinos far more often than whites during traffic stops, even though white people are more likely to be carrying illegal items. That’s why LA’s mandatory bike registration program — which most people didn’t even know existed — was discontinued by the city council a decade ago, after it was used by police in some areas as a pretext to stop and search people of color riding bicycles.

The Orange County Register offers a schedule of the Long Beach Marathon events, including Sunday’s 20-mile bike ride preceding the race.

 

State

Berkeley is considering a proposal to require the city to improve streets and add protected bike lanes on any repaving project, while devoting half the repaving budget to bikeways and high-collision streets. The ball’s in your court, Los Angeles.

San Francisco is finally nearing the start of construction on a 2.2 mile, $604 million makeover of iconic Market Street, turning it into a carfree bicycle and transit corridor.

A Sonoma writer looks back at the legendary Coors Classic, which had four starts in the city, along with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, who won the Coors the year before his first Tour win.

Unruly teenage bike riders participating in a ride out take over the streets of Vacaville, allegedly kicking and slapping vehicles, and attempting to open car doors at red lights. Police took several riders into custody for traffic offenses, even though those are ticketable violations, rather than crimes subject to arrest. Note to Daily Republic: Unless the kids were trying to sell something to the people in those cars, the word you’re looking for is “pedalers,” not “peddlers.”

 

National

The Netherlands Stop de kindermoord movement of the 1970s may have gotten its start with less successful anti-car demonstrations led by American women in the ’50s and ’60s.

A former bike shop owner says forget the romantic dreams of owning a bike shop, and run it like the business it is. Otherwise, you may end up like these former LBS owners on the other side of the ocean.

Neighbors are upset about a Kansas City sex offender’s front yard bike sculpture. Not because they don’t like it, but because their kids are drawn to it.

A Massachusetts Navy vet is on a three-year, 25,000 ride around the US to promote suicide awareness — one year for each time he tried, and failed, to kill himself. His depression finally lifted when a friend introduced him to bicycling.

This is how you do it. Atlanta will install its first pop-up bike lane for a week to judge the response and effectiveness. And inviting people to come out and help build it.

 

International

A crowdfunding campaign is raising capital for what promises to be the world’s smallest and lightest ebike conversion kit; they’ve already raised 1246% of the $25,000 goal with nearly a month to go.

The BBC has confirmed earlier studies that determined families that drive to school are exposed to more pollutants that those who walk or bike; bicyclists were exposed to just two-thirds the amount drivers were.

A finance worker’s helmet cam catches his head-on collision with another rider on a London bike path, after he swerved around a construction barrier.

A British roadie magazine tries to answer the question of whether you need a women’s specific bike. And concludes, maybe.

PinkBike ranks Scottish cyclist Danny MacAskill’s top ten stunt videos, and wants you to vote on your favorite.

Here’s one for my bike bucket list, as The Guardian takes us bikepacking across Scotland. Unless maybe you’d rather add the Czech Republic to your mountain bike bucket list.

An Australian bike rider is looking for the Good Samaritan who saved his life after a hit-and-run driver left him unconscious in a ditch.

A Singaporean e-scooter rider will spend six weeks behind bars for crashing into the back of a man’s leg without slowing down. Seriously, they take this shit seriously over there. Thanks to Mike Cane — that’s C-A-N-E, with no R — for the heads-up. Despite how I usually seem to spell his name.

Three people — one mute, another with a bad leg — are riding their bikes over 1,600 miles across two Indonesian islands to prove to themselves that physical impairments don’t need to be obstacles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yet-another U-23 rider has lost his life. Twenty-two-year old Italian cyclist Giovanni Iannelli was killed in a fall during Saturday’s Trofeo Bassa Valle Scrivia in northern Italy; he fell in a sprint 100 yards from finish, hitting his head on a fence post with enough force to shatter his helmet.

The drug dealer who says he sold Italian cycling great Marco Pantani his final hit of coke now insists that the former Tour de France winner was murdered in his motel room.

The mountain bike course for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is winning praise from competitors.

The 2023 Tour de France could kick off in Spain’s Basque Country. Then again, if they really wanted to ride the Basque country, they could have just gone to Bakersfield.

Aussie cyclist Brodie Chapman discusses six things she’s learned so far while riding on the Women’s WorldTour.

 

Finally…

This could be the first published poem about dooring. If you’re fleeing a robbery on your bike, try not to crash into a police car.

And Los Angeles is fun.

But not that much fun, apparently.

 

Morning Links: Los Angeles bike lane fail, take a NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, and road rage on San Diego golf course

Um, no.

Spectrum News 1 reports on Sunday’s CicLAvia, and leads off with the surprising news that Los Angeles has installed 600 miles of bike lanes on LA streets since the bike plan was passed in 2010.

Except it ain’t necessarily so.

There is a case to be made that the city has built 600 miles of bikeways over the past nine years.

But only if you include bike paths and sharrows in that total.

And only if you measure part of that in lane miles — which counts each side of the road separately, effectively doubling the total.

A more easily understandable figure is center lane miles, which measures both sides of the roadway at once.

In truth, Los Angeles had only painted 250.82 miles of bike lanes when adjusted for lane miles, as of the 2015-16 fiscal year. Along with 19.95 miles of bike paths, and 90.44 miles of basically useless sharrows.

In the three years since then, the city’s anemic output has resulted in just 33.25 center lane miles of any kind — a miserable average of just 11.08 miles a year.

And this with a progressive mayor who supposedly supports bicycling, and one of the nation’s most respected planning heads in LADOT’s Seleta Reynolds.

The word pathetic comes to mind.

So a more accurate figure, measured the way most people would understand it, comes out to less than 400 miles of bikeways of any kind built in Los Angeles since 2010.

394.46, to be exact.

And only 284.04 miles of those are on-street bike lanes – assuming all the bikeways built after the 2013-2014 fiscal year are bike lanes, and not sharrows.

Or looking at it another way, only 120.61 miles of bikeways of any kind have been built since Eric Garcetti became mayor in 2013, for an average of just 17.23 center lane miles per year.

And yes, that includes sharrows.

To make matters worse, half of those were built during his first year in office, so they were already under way when he came in.

Which means in reality, Garcetti and Reynolds should only be credited with just 60.85 center lane miles of any kind.

An average of just 10.14 miles per year after his first year.

Just in case you wondered why Vision Zero is failing in Los Angeles.

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Seriously, stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few minutes to respond to this very slanted survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving’s Pasadena franchise.

It would be a real shame if the responses to the survey reflected a desire for safe streets and increased density, instead their desire to keep zoom, zooming on bike and pedestrian unfriendly Rose City streets only a car could love.

And while the survey says you can only respond once, that’s once per device.

I also may have *accidently* discovered that you can respond as many times as you want if you keep deleting the two Survey Monkey cookies on your computer.

Not that anyone would do that. of course.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew is none too pleased with a UPS driver.

For good reason.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A road raging San Diego man drove onto a golf course to chase two bike-riding teens after they allegedly through food onto his car, first running down one boy with his car, then getting out and repeatedly punching him. Note to crazy man: just get your damn car washed next time.

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

Or at least we can assume it was someone who rides a bike who once again hacked a Brooklyn NY traffic sign to spread anti-car messages. Seriously, I’m not laughing. You’re laughing.

………

Local

Nice piece from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman about a South LA man who hit the scrapyard to build a custom lowrider-style fat tire bike for a friend. And ended up inking a deal with a bike maker.

 

State

They get it. Encinitas decides to split the baby, converting existing bike lanes along the Coast Highway to protected lanes, and painting sharrows on the right lane of the highway so the spandexed crowd doesn’t have to slow down or compete for space with slower riders.

A Palm Springs magazine talks with Tom Kirk, the man behind the planned 50-mile bike path slowly taking shape around the Coachella Valley.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are trying out new police vehicles with a battery and two wheels, and a Trek decal on the frame.

Streetsblog SF says you may not be able to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, but at least something could be done about employees of transit agencies.

The victim in Thursday’s fatal dooring in Oakland has been identified as a 24-year old Oakland man. Just a reminder, since the Bay Area media insists on saying the victim ran into the open door — drivers are always responsible for dooring a bike rider as long as the victim obeying the law and riding on the right side of the street.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says there’s nothing controversial about bike lanes, and it’s time for the media to catch up. Tell that to Keep LA Moving and their associates.

You can forget autonomous cars saving us anytime soon. A study by AAA shows cars with supposed pedestrian-detection systems can’t recognize people in the roadway under several circumstances, including after dark and when traveling over 25 mph.

The New York Times says bikes and bears don’t mix, with recreational mountain biking leading to dangerous conditions for humans, as well as for bears and other wildlife. Mountain biking may have sustainability issues, too. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the first link.

Forget bears, rainbow crosswalks are the real danger.

Hundreds of Lime bikes and scooters were burned in a Seattle warehouse fire, apparently sparked by exploding batteries.

A Colorado velodrome is facing demolition unless they can find an alternate buyer in the next few months.

A Cleveland man faces 16 charges, including kidnapping and aggravated robbery, for carjacking a vehicle with a toddler inside and killing a man riding a bicycle while fleeing from police. Which brings up the obvious question of why, apparently, wasn’t he charged with 2nd degree murder?

An MS-13 gang member got 23 to life behind bars for hacking a 15-year old New York State boy to death with a machete after he went out for a bike ride.

Apparently, things are no different in Hoboken as they are anywhere else, as local NIMBYs swear their support for bike lanes and Vision Zero, just not where the city wants to put them.

Charges were reduced for an Uber bike delivery rider in the stabbing death of a Philadelphia man, from 2nd degree murder to voluntary manslaughter, reducing the maximum sentence from 40 to 20 years. The defense claims the white victim used racist language while arguing with the black bike rider.

Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a bank robber who may have fled the scene in a white van. Or maybe an SUV. Or a mountain bike.

Bethesda, Maryland bike riders get their first protected intersection. Which outnumbers similar intersections in Los Angeles by a factor of 1 – 0.

Heartbreaking news from Alabama, where a preteen boy shot a 12-year old boy in the back of the head when he refused to hand over his bicycle.

 

International

A British Lord has a long history of vehemently opposing bicycles and the people who ride them. But all that will be forgotten if you sign up for his charity bike ride in Spain (scroll down). Forgotten by you, that is; he’ll undoubtedly continue criticizing bikes while taking your money.

Road.cc explains why UK bike riders may not use the “perfectly good bike lanes” drivers often complain about.

The Guardian asks if we should ban SUVs from our cities. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, absolutely.

Apparently, suffering a severe brain injury isn’t good for your marriage. The wife of British adventurer James Cracknell explains why the couple split up after 17 years of marriage, saying the extreme brain injury he suffered when he was struck by a truck driver while riding across the US in 2010 left him with a different personality.

Amsterdam is slowly moving to cut cars out of the picture, one street at a time.

Break the rules for riding a bicycle in Abu Dhabi, and you may not have one anymore.

Tragic news from Singapore, as a 53-year old man died five days after he was hit by someone on a bicycle; to make matters worse, his sister stumbled on the scene as paramedics were tending to her brother.

Speaking of Singapore, e-scooters may be on their way out in the law-and-order city-state.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a pro cyclist has been seriously injured in a crash with a motor vehicle during a race. Dutch rider Edo Maas suffered neck, back and facial fractures when he collided with a car whose driver had wandered onto the closed course during a rapid descent in the Piccolo Lombardia race; the 19-year old cyclist was riding on the Giro’s Madonna del Ghisallo bike path, named after the patron saint of bicyclists.

Deadspin walks readers through the “hilarious” Zwift cheating scandal. Despite the scandal, Zwift is aiming to make it into the Olympic Games. Nothing like winning gold for riding a bicycle that doesn’t go anywhere.

Bike Radar says Lance just won’t go away. Although they might have said it a tad more politely. But still.

 

Finally…

Sometimes, you just can’t win; even when a bike-riding burglar put lights and reflectors on his bike, it just makes him easier to spot. Today’s lesson — don’t pee around machete-carrying bike riders.

And if mountain bikes are too expensive, just make your own, using a front fork for the rear suspension.

 

Morning Links: A short CicLAvia thread, NYT op-ed says cars are death machines, and Keep LA Moving summit on video

I had a little different CicLAvia yesterday.

My wife, who doesn’t ride a bike, wanted to go to CicLAvia this time.

So I left my bike at home, and we walked the section through the Civic Center and Little Tokyo, then combined it with a long-planned walking tour of the Arts District, ending with lunch at Smorgasburg.

Along with a stop at Angel City Brewery on the way back for a touch of Octoberfest and a half growler of their fest martzen.

And yes, a good time was had by all. With the exception of my new knee, which has been barking at me ever since we got home.

I should have sprung for the Vibranium model.

Or maybe unobtanium.

More a few people turned out this time. Just like every CicLAvia, going back to the very first one.

Whoever scheduled a Mole fest right next to CicLAvia deserves a promotion.

Who doesn’t love the incredible craftsmanship that goes into these lowrider bikes?

Thanks to Jason for a quick rundown on Pure Cycle’s new e-cargo bike.

I’m not saying everyone went to Angel City post CicLAvia…

…but it sure as hell looked like it.

 

Meanwhile, Sam Omar-Hall offers a great thread capturing the day.

And everyone’s favorite transit advocate reminds us that the final CicLAvia of the year comes in two months.

https://twitter.com/_KennyUong_/status/1181045930595778561

………

Today’s must read comes in the form of an op-ed in the New York Times.

Especially after her nine-year old niece was lucky to survive getting hit by an ice cream truck in Los Angeles.

Cars are death machines. Pedestrian fatalities in the United States have increased 41 percent since 2008; more than 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2018 alone. More than 4,000 American kids are killed in car crashes every year – I am thankful every day my niece wasn’t one of them.

Here’s the thing: Statistics clearly don’t seem to persuade anyone of the magnitude of this problem. Not policy makers or automakers, technologists or drivers.

She goes on to quote from over 500 people who responded to her request for stories of getting hit by a driver.

And says autonomous cars aren’t going to save us.

Among the safety measures proposed by car companies are encouraging pedestrians and bicyclists to use R.F.I.D. tags, which emit signals that cars can detect. This means it’s becoming the pedestrian’s responsibility to avoid getting hit. But if keeping people safe means putting the responsibility on them (or worse, criminalizing walking and biking), we need to think twice about the technology we’re developing.

This may be the worst outcome of the automobile-centered 20th century: the assumption that it’s people who need to get out of the way of these lethal machines, instead of the other way around.

And neither are SUVs.

Because the front end of an S.U.V. is higher than the average car’s front end, it is far more likely to hit a pedestrian in the chest or head and twice as likely to kill walkers, runners, cyclists and children, compared to regular cars. And yet, S.U.V. sales account for 60 percent of new vehicle sales.

One of the easiest ways to make cars safer would be to make them smaller. Another way? Figuring out how to get people to drive less by providing safer, more sustainable alternatives to the car.

Seriously, take a few minutes to read the whole thing — including the quotes from the victims.

We’ll wait.

If you have any time left, The Guardian offers this long read on why the streets are getting deadlier for pedestrians.

And for us.

………

Shameful.

The wife of an American diplomat stationed in the UK is claiming diplomatic immunity to avoid responsibility for the hit-and-run that killed a British motorcycle rider.

She was reportedly driving on the wrong side of the road when she slammed into the 19-year old victim while driving next to a US spy base.

After police tracked her down, she promised not to leave the country. Then did it anyway, presumably returning to the US.

His heartbroken parents have appealed to President Trump to return her to face justice.

But we’ll have to see if this administration has the integrity to do the right thing. Or will shield her from anything even resembling justice.

I know which one my money is on.

………

Keep PDR Moving has posted a nearly four-hour video of the “national summit” for Keep LA Moving, which Peter Flax says amounted to about 25 NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers gathered in a restaurant.

He also says John Forester, aka the “father of vehicular cycling,” comes on about 30 minutes in, and proceeds to bore the room

If you have the time, and the stomach, to actually watch it.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A road raging Wisconsin driver got out of his car and repeatedly punched a man on a bike, then threatened to beat up the police officers when they arrived to break it up, after the bike rider made the mistake of flipping off the driver when he revved up behind him. That’s one key lesson I learned the hard way — never flip off the driver behind you.

………

Local

The LA Times celebrates the permanent hold placed on the freeway portion of the High Desert Corridor through north LA County, saying building a highway that will increase the amount of miles driven, at a time when the state is committed to cutting driving miles, is the wrong move. But notes that the high speed rail and bike path portions of the project can still go through. And should.

A former member of the Pasadena Transportation Advisory Commission sets the record straight on Complete Streets, correcting the mistaken belief that Complete Streets only benefit of people walking or riding a bike.

This is who we share the roads with. An allegedly drunk Pasadena driver fled the scene after killing a pedestrian; the driver faces charges for vehicular manslaughter, DUI and driving without a license. More evidence just how desperately those Complete Streets are needed. And how desperately we need to do something to stop hit-and-runs.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, and Caltrans want your input on how to transform Beach Blvd between La Habra and Huntington Beach. Banning cars and turning it into a transit, bike and pedestrian corridor probably won’t fly. But it should.

An anonymous donor is offering a $25,000 reward for the heartless coward who fled the scene after running down 53-year old Michelle Scott as she rode her bike to work at her Escondido office on Wednesday, leaving her lying on the side of the road with critical injuries.

The Ventura County Star suggests riding a bike as one option for an eco-friendly commute during the county’s Rideshare Week starting today.

A bike-riding San Francisco columnist says the solution to conflicts on the road are bicycle turnout lanes that would allow bike riders to get out of the way of trailing traffic, just like the one he and his wife used to pull aside to leet a semi pass on a narrow roadway.

Sad news from Oakland, where a 24-year old man was the victim of a dooring; he was killed when someone opened the door of a parked car in front of him, knocking him into the path of a large pickup. I’m told the street had sharrows, which were due to be replaced with bike lanes. But it’s too late to save this man.

Former pro Levi Leipheimer’s GranFondo drew nearly 5,000 bike riders from 14 countries to Sonoma County for the 11th edition of the annual ride.

USA Today picks up the story of the four bike-riding junior detectives who helped rescue a lost 97-year old Roseville woman with dementia.

 

National

Gear Patrol says their bike of the year is one you never heard of. For once, I have to agree.

A writer for Bicycling says ebiking has suddenly become his favorite new way to explore a city.

Bicycle-oriented development is the latest trend in housing targeting Millennials.

Seattle police appear to have abused their bait bike program, targeting poor and homeless people by leaving an unlocked bicycle outside of a Goodwill store; nine people were busted, but the only one that went to trial resulted in a not guilty verdict.

A Michigan woman pens a passionate plea dripping with windshield bias begging bike riders not to make her almost kill us.

NBA great Reggie Miller rode his first century in Indiana over the weekend to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

The carnage continues in New York, where a 10-year old boy was killed riding his bike with the light while in a crosswalk; the driver, who didn’t have a driver’s license, reportedly attempted to flee with the bicycle still jammed under his truck. The boy was the 24th bike rider killed in the city this year, compared to just 11 for all of last year.

Good idea. Some New York city buses will be outfitted with cameras pointed at the right side of the road to catch people illegally parking in bike lanes; the drivers could eventually get tickets in the mail. But who will get the tickets for all those police cars parked in them

Delaware bicyclists are looking for a private property owner willing to host a ghost bike, when they had to take down the bike honoring a fallen bike rider after just two days because the local DOT was planning to remove it from the public property it was sitting on.

Los Angeles celebrated CicLAvia just one day after bike riders in DC enjoyed the city’s first open streets event.

South Carolina bicyclists say a road widening project left them with less room, not more.

 

International

The BBC talks with people with disabilities, who say that ebikes have changed their lives.

Former Cream and Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker was one of us; the rock legend, who died on Sunday, gave up his dream of riding in the Tour de France after he was hit by a cab as a teenager.

Life is cheap in London, where a woman walked without a single day behind bars for slamming into a bikeshare rider with her Porsche and breaking his skull.

No bias here. A UK columnist says the spread of e-scooters are proof we’re doomed as a species, insisting that riders terrorize the sidewalk and look ridiculous. Yes, the way people look while riding a scooter is certainly the best argument against them.

A British man rode a BMX bike 300 miles in a monkey suit to raise funds and call attention to the problem of stillborn births, walking the last mile after breaking his chain. And learned the hard way that a plush monkey head works better than a bike helmet.

A writer for The Guardian wants to know why women bicyclists are targeted for abuse by aggressive male drivers, saying it’s “as though female cyclists are transgressing an invisible boundary in a way that some men find intolerable.”

A full 5% of Scottish commuters regularly get to work by bike, a number most American cities would envy, let alone the whole county. But that’s just half the country’s target for next year.

Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson is one of us, too, as she goes for a bike ride with her boyfriend on a chilly UK autumn afternoon.

Finnish immigrants get free lessons in how to ride a bike in order to fit in with the bike-riding natives.

The Danish and Irish prime ministers went for a leisurely bike ride in Copenhagen, while the Dutch prime minister explains why he rides his bicycle to work nearly every day. Short answer, because he can.

Even Tehran is passing Los Angeles by promising to build 340 miles of cycle tracks over the next five years, although women can ride a little more comfortably here, without worrying about dressing conservatively or prohibitive fatwas. That compares favorably to LA, which “built or upgraded” just 13 lane miles of bike lanes — 6.5 miles of actual roadway — in fiscal year 2018-2019. 

 

Competitive Cycling

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 70-year old Bolivian woman became the oldest woman to compete in the country’s 37-mile Skyrace extreme bike race on the legendary Death Road.

Now you, too, can cheat in cycling from the comfort of your own home.

 

Finally…

If you’re going use a mountain bike as your getaway vehicle, at least wait until you get the money. If you’re playing hide and seek from the cops with a stolen motorbike, maybe find a better hiding place than behind a telephone pole — and put a damn shirt on for your mug shot.

And your bike can take you almost anywhere.

Like to a good piece of cake.

………

A special thanks to Linda T and Matthew R for their generous contributions to support this site. I rely on your support — emotionally and financially — to keep the best bike news coming your way every day.

And too often, the worst, too. 

Morning Links: Triathlete killed in crash during race, bicyclist talks abductor into freeing her, and Riverside cyclist t-boned

Just a quick warning.

We’ve got some rough stories to start with today. So you might want to skip the first few items if you don’t want to deal with that this morning.

………

A triathlete was killed when she was run down by a semi while competing in the bicycle portion of the Ohio 70.3 Ironman triathlon.

Police say the right lane of a highway was coned off to provide a safety zone for competitors, but for some reason she was outside the safety zone.

Which apparently made her fair game.

Never mind that organizers somehow thought a few orange cones would offer sufficient protection from high-speed traffic and heavy trucks.

Or that no one participating in a race would go outside the cones to, say, pass other participants.

Meanwhile, Stephen Collins points out the sheer idiocy of noting that the victim was wearing a helmet, as if that would somehow protect her from getting run over by a massive truck.

Or that the driver was wearing his seatbelt.

Seriously.

Photo by Mike Bird from Pexels.

………

In another outrageous story, an Australian triathlete was knocked off her bike by the driver of a delivery van, bound with electrical tape, then kidnapped and driven to a rundown house on the outskirts of town where she was stripped and beaten.

Yet somehow, 27-year old triathlete and former cycling champ Nathalie Birli managed to talk her abductor into releasing her — by complimenting his orchids.

Police later used the GPS on her racing bike to track down the suspect and arrest him.

Let’s hope they toss him in a very deep hole until he gets the help he obviously needs.

Meanwhile, Megan Lynch reminds us that this case is eerily reminiscent of the killing of American biologist Dr. Suzanne Eaton on Crete, who was struck twice with a motor vehicle before the driver abducted and raped her, then abandoned her in a World War II bunker to die.

The difference is that Birli was able to talk her way out of it.

Raising the question of just what the fuck is wrong with these people?

As well as just how easy it is to turn a motor vehicle into a weapon.

………

Robs Muir forwards a Facebook post reminding us all to be careful out there, after a Riverside bicyclist was t-boned by a stop sign-running driver.

But aren’t the people on two wheels supposed to be the dangerous ones who run stop signs and jeopardize all those poor, innocent motorists?

Maybe not so much.

………

Evidently, Denver has some pretty spectacular NIMBYs, too.

Even after a woman was killed by a garbage truck driver while riding her bike, residents of the street she was killed on still oppose a bike lane.

So a local newscaster called them out, suggesting that maybe they shouldn’t argue for the aesthetic appeal parking while bodies are lifted off the street.

………

He makes a good point.

………

Unbelievable.

A Milwaukee bicyclist was the victim of a strong-arm robbery while he was competing in a 24-hour race, after a man confronted him, then wrestled his bike away and rode off with it.

………

 

Local

Los Angeles looks to close the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA and Vernon, creating a single 32-mile pathway in time for the 2028 Olympics.

The Long Beach Post goes riding with the Pedal Movement bike tour to visit the Pow! Wow! murals of the city.

 

State

Police in San Diego will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation today. So the usual protocol applies. Ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets a ticket.

San Diego bike riders remember a fallen bicyclist a year after he was killed while inexplicably riding on a busy freeway.

A San Diego op-ed says everything is fine, just keep on driving and don’t let those bad, bad bureaucrats force you onto a bike or transit.

One last item from the self-proclaimed America’s Finest City, as Good Samaritans chased down a hit-and-run driver who ran a red light and knocked down a bike rider; the victim refused to go to the hospital, despite suffering a head injury.

A San Francisco op-ed by the head of Policy Initiatives for dockless e-scooter provider Spin says it’s time to rebuild cities for people, not cars.

Horrible tragedy in Turlock, where a bike rider was killed on the way to the hospital when the ambulance he was riding in after getting hit by a car rolled over when it was hit by a truck driver; five other people were injured. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Davis columnist says the city was dissed in PeopleForBikes ranking of California’s top ten bicycling cities, which was topped by San Diego and didn’t include Davis at all.

After seven year’s, Truckee’s bike park is still going strong.

 

National

A writer for Bicycling asks drivers if their time is really more important than his life. That loud roar you hear is impatient drivers across the US screaming “yes!”

An expert on autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence suggests the solution to getting more kids to ride bicycles is to get fully autonomous vehicles on the road — which will presumably be safer and not bang into them as much. I won’t hold my breath. Especially since current AVs have a problem recognizing and avoiding people on bicycles.

A pair of Oregon women spent their Saturday night shoplifting from TJ Maxx, then running down a bike rider as they made their getaway, leaving the victim with serious injuries.

An Iowa priest overcame a stroke to take part in this year’s RAGBRAI ride across Iowa, with the help of friends and a ‘bent built for two.

Former Texas congressman and current presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s dad was one of us, hopefully passing along his passion for bicycling across the country, as well as his ability to lose well.

Once again, the Green Bay Packers rode borrowed bicycles to training camp, as area kids competed to to get their heroes attention and loan them their bikes.

A Chicago alderman wants to ban bikes on the city’s popular Riverwalk. Or maybe just the entire city.

The spirit of Major Taylor is energizing a Minnesota bike club, as they try to get more African Americans on bicycles.

She gets it. A St. Louis letter writer politely excoriates the local paper for calling a bike-car crash an accident.

Pennsylvania kids as young as 13 say the Bike Life movement helps keep them off drugs and out of trouble, even if they annoy the crap out of drivers when they swarm the streets.

Streetsblog says the Green Wave plan presented by New York’s mayor is “long-overdue — and not truly visionary,” but should make a clear difference, while the Daily News says now its up to the mayor to actually deliver on his promises.

No bias here. The traditionally anti-bike New York Post says in response to the previous news that “bike supremacy” is ruining the city, with “more turf torn from cars and pedestrians.” Never mind that bike lanes don’t take an inch from sidewalks. Or that bike delivery people who use those bike lanes are just doing their jobs, just like the delivery drivers the Post champions. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

Aussie model Jordan Barrett is one of us, illegally riding on a New York sidewalk on a bikeshare bike with his newly bleached hair.

A North Carolina bridge dedicated to a fallen bike rider finally gets a plaque in his honor, 28 years after he died.

An Atlanta columnist kind of makes fun of Atlanta’s people protected bike lane last week but manages to get through the entire piece without saying much of anything. Although the protesters called it an LIT lane, for Light Individual Transport, to include scooters and other forms of micromobility.

 

International

An Ottawa newspaper succumbs to a severe case of both side-ism, telling everyone to act like adults and not attack one another when it comes to bicycle safety. Except the attacks were coming from a city councilor in response to bike riders saying they don’t want to get killed.

Speaking at a 288-mile fundraising ride in her honor, the family of assassinated British Member of Parliament Jo Cox says the country’s politics has gotten more toxic since she was killed by a far-right gunman.

Victoria’s Secret model Alexina Graham is sort of one of us, posing for a UK photoshoot astride a bicycle in the very practical riding attire of work boots and a tiny red bikini.

No, it’s not the English bikeshare system that failed when only 25 of the 5,000 promised bikes were ever delivered in the first place, it’s the people running it.

A doctor from the UK raised the equivalent of over $130,000 for a breast cancer charity by competing on a two-man team in the Race Across America.

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed a member of Parliament who champions the benefits of bicycling and walking as the country’s new roads minister.

An Edinburgh couple agreed to bike around the world in their initial Tinder message; 18 months and 19,000 miles — and one Yosemite marriage — later, they’ve made it back home.

Evidently, banning cars is more popular than they thought. Madrid’s new mayor is backing off a campaign pledge to reverse the ban on cars in the city center after a citizen backlash rises to defend it.

Four New Zealand bicyclists ended up in the hospital following a car-free crash at “reasonably high speed” while on a club ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-two-year old Columbian Egan Bernal won this year’s Tour de France after gaining the lead in a controversial finish to stage 19, when organizers stopped the race early after hail covered the the course leading up to the finish, depriving France’s Julian Alaphilippe the opportunity to make up for lost time and defend his yellow jersey.

Newsweek tells you everything you need to know about Egan Bernal but were afraid to ask.

Team Ineos — the former Team Sky — marked Bernal’s win by turning Bernal’s bike yellow down to the water bottles, with special yellow-accented kits for his teammates.

Bernal says he doesn’t even know how to describe the feeling of happiness his victory gave him.

Billboard celebrates Bernal’s win with five bicycle-themed songs, most of which are, appropriately, in Spanish.

The Guardian says the only surprise is that it took a Columbian so long to win the Tour de France. Or anyone from South America, for that matter.

It wasn’t just Bernal. Bicycling lists the winners of all four categories that are celebrated with a colored jersey.

The pain of crashing out of the Tour with serious injuries is more than just physical. Especially when you’re carrying the hopes of the home country on your shoulders.

Outside says the motor-doping tests at the Tour de France are a joke, accusing officials of just going through the motions rather than actually looking for motors on competitors bikes.

Canadian Michael Woods became the first person to both run a sub-four minute mile and finish the Tour de France.

Gear Patrol questions when athletic gear so innovative it might be cheating should be banned from the sport, like Graeme Obree’s record-setting homemade track bikes.

 

Finally…

Never leave your bigass truck unlocked with the keys inside, or someone on a bike may ride up, toss his bike in the back and drive off with it. Pedal your bike up to your secluded treehouse; no, literally up.

And seriously, if drivers can’t see a rider on a one-ton horse, how the hell are they supposed to see us?

 

Morning Links: Metro talks congestion pricing, induced demand goes both ways, and FilmedByBike this Sat

Metro’s board of supervisors considered congestion pricing to discourage driving and fund the 28 by 28 initiative at their monthly meeting on Thursday, but decided not to decide until next month.

The plan would provide funding to complete 28 transit projects in time for the 2028 LA Olympics. Metro’s CEO has also discussed using congestion pricing funds to provide free bus and train rides throughout the LA area.

LA’s ever-worsening traffic congestion means we have a choice between encouraging people to leave their cars behind by making it more convenient to ride a bike or use transit, or taking painful steps to force them to.

But the city’s ever-present NIMBYs, entitled drivers and traffic safety deniers have fought to block bike lanes, and too many spineless city officials have caved in to them.

So now congestion pricing is on the table. Whether they like it or not.

………

More evidence that induced demand goes both ways.

The Seattle Times looks into where the 90,000 drivers who formerly used the city’s shorefront Alaskan Way Viaduct every day went once it was closed down, and before the new tunnel meant to replace it opens.

The paper concludes that some drivers moved to another highway, some switched to transit, and some took to their bicycles.

But most, they say, either changed their commutes, or simply stayed home.

………

Looks like LAist and LA Magazine know a good thing when they see them.

LAist recommends The Frogtown Show comedy night at the Spoke Bicycle Cafe along the LA River Bike Path in Elysian Valley Saturday Night.

And both recommend FilmedByBike — Los Angeles at the Boomtown Brewery in Aliso Village on Sunday. Admission includes two movie screenings, a panel discussion, raffle and 25 exhibitors with bike demos. Correction: Earlier I wrote it was on Saturday; it’s actually Sunday. Thanks to Joe Linton for the correction.

………

An impatient driver forced his way through an Oakland protest, running over a bicycle — after the rider jumped off — then ran over the leg of a blind homeless man, while driving on the sidewalk.

Remarkably, no arrest was made, as police appeared to make excuses for the driver.

You can see some of the event below, despite the shaky camera work.

………

You can’t keep a good man down.

Or off an arena with his camera crew, evidently.

A British court ruled that YouTube star Ryan Taylor can legally post video of his scofflaw BMX ride on top of London’s massive O2 Arena.

Even if it encourages others to copy his dangerous stunt.

And eve if his ride was interrupted by a police helicopter.

………

Local

This is who we share the roads with. A woman was arrested for killing a MacArther Park pedestrian Wednesday night; the victim was walking in a crosswalk when he was run down by the driver, who was viewing messages using WhatsApp.

LADOT is hosting a mixer for community-based organizations and community leaders on February 19, from 3 to 6 pm.

More on the selection of homegrown Long Beach bike service provider Pedal Movement to operate and expand the city’s bikeshare program.

State

Santa Cruz, which already has the state’s second-highest bike commuting rate, will raise downtown parking fees to finance efforts to further increase bike and transit use.

Bay Area bike riders say not so fast to plans to steal back a long-promised bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and give it to the same drivers who claim the other five lanes.

A San Francisco TV station honors Richmond’s Rich City Rides for its work building community around bicycle rides and projects.

National

Entrepreneur talks with William Shatner, the new captain of the starship Pedego.

No bias here. A Seattle website accuses “anti-car ideologues” at area DOTs of forcing bicycles on an unwilling populace.

Oh, well that’s okay, then. A hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider in Salt Lake City told police he fled the scene because he was scared. Even if that was the case, he should have turned himself in the next day — after he sobered up, most likely.

A 19-year old Wyoming man’s self-funded film captures the spirit of freeride mountain biking.

Dallas isn’t afraid of road diets, unlike a certain SoCal city I could name. The Texas city approved plans to reduce a major streets from six lanes to four to make room for bike lanes and wider sidewalks. The same sort of six-to-four lane reduction was what made some Mar Vista drivers apoplectic, demanding its removal.

E-scooters could finally get the green light in Gotham, as scooter companies descend on the city to lobby for their approval. However, Gothamist warns there could be roadblocks ahead.

A 62-year old Brooklyn bike rider was awarded $2.25 million after suing the city accusing a police detective of shoving him into a parked car, suffering permanent injuries; needless to say, the officer denied touching him, bur security video — hidden from the defense for four years — showed otherwise.

US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will be confined to a wheelchair and walker for the next several months as she recovers from a painful broken pelvis and hip socket suffered in a bicycling crash; still no word on whether if was a solo fall or if she was hit by a driver.

A proposed DC ordinance would give scooter and ebike riders involved in crashes the same rights as regular bicyclists and pedestrians.

Bighearted North Carolina police pitch in to replace a bike that was stolen from a young girl, whose father is suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Life remains cheap in Louisiana, where the driver who got just 90 days for killing a bike-riding city councilman gets another 90 days for injuring his riding companion. But he’ll serve just 17 days of that.

Georgia thieves steal a page from the Middle Ages and the Old West, laying a tree branch across a bridge to force a bike rider to stop; when he tried to move it, they popped out with guns and stole his cellphone. Although victims in the Middle Ages and Old West hardly ever carried cellphones with them.

He gets it. A Gainesville FL writer considers his transportation options, and concludes that cars are expensive and cumbersome, and nothing beats a bike.

The Tampa Bay Times says it’s time to make the dangerous city — and the entire state of Florida — safer for people walking and on bicycles.

International

Bike Portland looks at the bikeways of Baja.

Singer, rapper and producer Ray J plans to stay involved in the business, after selling his e-scooter company to a Canadian concern for a price tag in the high seven figures. The money will help rollout the scooters throughout North America.

A Vancouver newspaper asks if a proposal to put bike lanes and a walkway down the center of an existing bridge is smart planning or the first step towards Carmaggedon.

A British Columbia bike rider asks if the impatient driver who nearly ran her down was as frightened by it as she was. Probably not.

A Saskatoon, Canada teenager just became the youngest person to ride a bike around the world, covering nearly 20,000 miles through 16 countries.

A new report says building community bike hubs could encourage more bicycling in the Toronto suburbs; the hubs provide access to bicycles, repairs, tools and other items and services to promote bicycling in areas with no bike lanes and very few bicyclists.

The younger brother of royal spouse Kate Middleton is one of us, as he takes his two dogs for a cargo bike ride.

An “anti-social” bike mob is accused of frightening shoppers at a local mall, riding directly at them while hurling abuse.

It’s not every day that a bike thief asks to be put in prison to break his spiral of addiction; a Belfast judge was happy to oblige. Because everyone knows there are no drugs behind bars. Right?

Retired pro cycling favorite Jens Voigt tells an Indian newspaper that the problem with Millennials is they want to be millionaires in two weeks, and life doesn’t work that way. Don’t blame me, take it up with Jensie.

An Indian environmental website says bicycling would have huge benefits for the country, but the high cost of bicycles and a lack of a bicycling ecosystem are holding it back.

NIMBYs are everywhere. Even in South Africa, where white homeowners are fighting to have a new separated bike lane removed from their street.

A Singapore paper says don’t give up on dockless bike sharing yet.

Competitive Cycling

CiclaValley offers scenes from the SoCal Cross season finale.

Finally…

Turning bike parts into art. Even cartoon pigs have to wear bike helmets, ven if they originally didn’t.

And seriously, when you’re carrying meth on your bike after dark, put a damn light on it.

It might even help see the soft dirt when you flee from the police.