Tag Archive for NTSB

Morning Links: More mandatory helmet fallout, dog hitches ride at Phil’s Fondo, and SaMo bikeshare may go dockless

In yet more fallout from the NTSB’s ill-considered call for mandatory bike helmets, a Fresno paper questions whether they’re really needed for adults.

That’s despite living in what they say is one of the nation’s most deadly cities for bike riders.

Meanwhile, executive director of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition says “The problem isn’t that we don’t wear helmets, it’s that we’re forced to share space with much faster vehicles.

Photo by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay.

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Local

Phil Gaimon’s Phil’s Fondo brought out hundreds of bicyclists to ride the Santa Monica Mountains, along with one miniature bulldog who hitched a ride in his owner’s backpack.

Santa Monica is considering getting rid the docks for its Breeze bikeshare, replacing the current system with dockless ebikes.

 

State

Bike Mag says San Diego’s mountain bike scene is finally on the rise. Or maybe they’re just discovering it.

No bias here. A writer for a San Diego paper calls e-scooters today’s Pet Rock — and simultaneously a plaything for 30-somethings, a toy best suited for children, and what’s keeping Millennials from walking.

That’s more like it. San Francisco plans to address the need for more bike and scooter parking by installing 100 new bike racks every month for the foreseeable future.

A Bay Area bike advocate says the new protected bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge may not draw a lot of regular use, but it’s a better transportation policy than adding another motor vehicle lane.

Sacramento is done handing out warnings, and ready to crackdown on scofflaw bikeshare and scooter riders.

 

National

Presidential candidate and former VP Joe Biden offers a $1 trillion transportation plan that keeps America addicted to motor vehicles.

Good question. A science writer says she cares about climate change, so why does she still drive an SUV?

A Kansas paper totally misses the point, after woman followed a man in her car before trying to run him down as he jumped off just in time, then chased him across the parking lot with it. But the local paper only says she hit a bike ridden by a man. Note to Salina Journal — the past tense of ride is rode, not road.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Chicago woman only faces a trio of misdemeanor charges for killing a man riding a bike, despite driving with a suspended license.

A former Minnesota Ford plant will be redeveloped as a low-income housing community, with an emphasis on getting around by bicycling, walking and transit.

Bighearted Kentucky residents pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a 62-year old local celebrity after his was mangled when he was hit by a motorist; the man is known for riding his bike around town and waving as he goes by.

New York police are looking for a group of men who surrounded a delivery rider, striking him in the head before making off with his ebike.

The Virginia Tech student newspaper says trading a car for a bicycle could be one of the best decisions students could make during their time on campus.

Kindhearted Virginia race organizers buy a new handcycle for a man who lost both legs due to complications from diabetes.

Police say the Florida bike rider who was run down by a hit-and-run driver in a crosswalk after rolling a stop wasn’t at fault, because regardless of any other factors, drivers are required to stop for anyone in a crosswalk — including people on bikes.

 

International

A new European study shows that bicycling just 20 minutes is enough to ward off heart disease in people over 60.

The Sun says a “shocking” study shows 20% of British men can’t ride a bike. Which really just means a full 80% can, which is pretty damn good.

The founder of London’s Black Cycling Network says he was stopped and frisked by a cop who swore he could smell weed on him.

Four women take a video boat and mountain tour of Norway and Sweden.

Modern Family star Ariel Winter is one of us, posing with a bicycle in front of an Amsterdam canal. There’s just something about a bicycle that makes anyone look good. Although it helps if you already look good without one, too. 

Uber is preparing to make the big jump to Rome with their dockless Jump ebikes, hoping that Romans won’t trash them like they have every other bikeshare system that dared besmirch the city’s streets.

A Romanian bicycle factory promises to be the biggest in Europe, producing 1.5 million bikes a year.

A pair of Indian parliament members arrive by bike for the current session.

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI is making plans for an annual, cross-discipline world championships that would award titles in virtually every form of cycling over a two-week period.

 

Finally…

If you’re trying to escape the cops on a stolen bike, try to keep it upright. Seriously, it’s not that hard — even a dog can do it.

And how many times do we have to say it? If you’re already on probation and riding your bike carrying a concealed weapon after dark, put a damn light on it.

The bike, not the gun.

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On a personal note, we’re once more hearing the pitter patter of corgi feet around our apartment. We’re fostering a ten-year old corgi for the next few months while his owner is in rehab. 

This is Bowser — that’s really his name — sleeping off the trauma of what his owner claims was his first ever bath. 

And yes, he smelled like it.

 

 

Morning Links: The real reasons bike riders keep dying, $100k OCTA bike safety grant, and Oaxaca Day of the Dead race

Last week, Peter Flax explained why the NTSB — the National Transportation Safety Board — was wrong about their call for mandatory bike helmets to cut the rising rate of bicycling fatalities.

This week he’s back to spell out the real reasons people are dying on our streets.

And it ain’t a lack of helmets.

He starts by recounting the last decade’s decline in bicycling deaths.

Then this.

The situation seemed great—until it wasn’t great. Right around 2011, things started arcing in the wrong direction. In 2010, a total of 618 cyclists were killed—hardly miraculous, but the lowest toll in at least 40 years. Then every year after that, the number of casualties has gotten progressively worse. The newly released 2018 statistics mean that the fatality rate for riders has risen 37 percent in just nine years—and NHTSA data indicate that the death rate for urban and female cyclists has soared even more.

So while the NTSB analysis focused primarily on encouraging or mandating greater helmet use, as well as things cyclists, road designers, and carmakers should do so riders are more conspicuous to motorists, those factors don’t really explain why a serious, sustained uptick of deaths began in 2011. It’s not like helmet use had a major decline, or cities ripped out quality protected bike lanes, or high-viz apparel or auto headlights got worse. These factors, especially related to road design, might have an impact on fatalities going forward, but they don’t explain why more cyclists have been dying in the past decade.

It’s a must read for anyone who wants to understand what the real problems are, and why we keep dying.

And do something about it.

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Orange County’s OCTA announces a grant to improve bicycle safety and education.

The Orange County Transportation Authority has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety for a year-long community program dedicated to pedestrian and bicycle safety classes and distribution of safety equipment for people walking and biking.

The aim of the program is to increase safety and reduce traffic-related injuries and fatalities. OCTA will use the funding as part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to deliver transportation solutions, including for active transportation – biking, walking and skating.

“OCTA appreciates the strong partnership we have formed with the state’s Office of Traffic Safety to work toward enhancing safety on our streets,” said OCTA Chairman Tim Shaw, also a City Council member in La Habra. “OTS has provided grant funding for the past three years to develop programs improving conditions for walking and biking, and ongoing grant funding will help us with one of our primary goals of reinforcing safety throughout Orange County.

Activities to be funded by this year’s grant include:

  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety classes
  • Distribution of bicycle lights and helmets
  • Distribution of reflectors for pedestrians

The need for increased safety training is clear. Bicycle and pedestrian-related collisions have been on the rise for the past decade.

“No matter which way you get around, you play a part in roadway safety,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “These grant programs are intended to educate residents on ways they can make themselves and those around them safe when they walk or bike.”

The pedestrian and bicycle safety program and distribution of safety materials will occur throughout 2020. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more information on bicycle programs and safety in Orange County, and to stay updated on where classes are being scheduled, visit octa.net/bike.

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The LACBC is looking for volunteers to help give out free bike lights to riders who don’t have them in Koreatown next week.

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Tune into Bike Talk at 6 pm tonight to hear, and maybe chat with, Juli Briskman, the Virginia woman who lost her job after flipping off Trump’s motorcade.

And responded by running for office — and winning.

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

A 13-year old New York boy credits an Emergency 911 app on his phone with scaring off a group of older boys on bikes who tried to rob him.

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Local

A 35-year old Fontana man was arrested for a Pasadena hit-and-run that left a juvenile bike rider hospitalized with critical injuries; he was booked on suspicion of hit-and-run and DUI resulting in serious injury or death. Let’s all say a pray or offer best wishes that the kid makes a full and fast recovery.

People for Bikes invites you to join the weekly Ride and Pint mountain bike ride rolling out of Pedlar’s Fork in Calabasas every Thursday. You can find it, and other great rides, through their Ride Spot app.

The future of Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is in doubt as it faces stiff competition from dockless bikeshares; the city will have to fork over $225,000 in subsidies just to keep it operating for the next year. West Hollywood has already pulled the plug on its money-losing sister operation.

 

State

Seven Orange County communities will host the first Meet on the Beach festival, offering a carfree open streets experience along 1.5 miles of Beach Blvd to reimagine what the street could be. Thanks to the Orange County Bicycle Coalition for the heads up.

Temecula is opening a new pump track bike park this Tuesday.

A new 32-page manual put together by a pair of San Francisco advocacy groups explains how to build protected bike lanes that work for everyone, including pedestrians and disabled people.

The long-promised bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge connecting Contra Costa and Marin counties will open tomorrow, despite continued efforts in some quarters to convert it to a yet another lane for motor vehicles. Because everyone knows just one more traffic lane will solve all our traffic problems forever.

 

National

EcoWatch makes the case for why your next car will be a bike.

Joe Biden attempts to boost his run for president with a new infrastructure plan that’s heavy on high-speed rail, transit and bicycling.

An Oregon Republican proves conservatives can support bicycling, too, as he announces his run for Congress.

Be careful carrying that bike. A 74-year old Detroit man was found dead after he fell down the stair while trying to carry his mountain bike up them.

He gets it. An op-ed in the New York Daily News calls for eliminating free parking to pay for free transit.

Britain’s Beryl bikeshare brand makes a beachhead in New York’s Staten Island, booting Lime and Jump; meanwhile, Lyft is pulling the plug on their e-scooter operations in six smaller market cities.

After a Virginia boy’s new bike was stolen, his bighearted neighbors pitched in to buy him a new one. Stories like this remind us that there’s still a lot of good in this world, despite how it may seem these days.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man says he needs a miracle to keep giving thousands of refurbished bikes to kids in need, after the building housing the nonprofit was sold and the new owner jacked his rent up over $100 grand a year.

 

International

Cars could be killing us even without touching us. A new study has linked pollution from motor vehicles to brain cancer for the first time.

Bicycle Retailer reminds us that Trump’s trade war with China is still going strong, and the bikes are losing.

Your next bike helmet could be a custom-made, 3D printed number with individual hexagon-shaped crumple zones that the company says is safer than MIPS or WaveCel — if you have an extra $390 on hand.

A writer for Gear Patrol offers lessons learned from Trek’s mountain bike camp at the Whistler resort in British Columbia.

A pair of British doctors set a new Guinness record for circumnavigating the globe on a tandem bike, covering 18,000 miles in 218 days and 22 hours, breaking the previous men’s record by nine days.

He gets it. An Irish letter writer reminds the anti-bike crowd that roads are a public service that we all pay for.

A European bikemaker came up with a smart, if somewhat creepy and invasive, sales promotion, scanning Paris license plates to determine how much CO2 each car puts out, and using that figure to offer the owner a discount on a new bicycle.

Tom Vanderbilt explains how he went from riding solo to taking his family along, thanks to a trip to Italy.

Now that’s more like it. A stoned, speeding Australian driver will spend the next 11 years behind bars and be prohibited from driving for two decades after walking away from the crash that killed a Dutch woman riding a bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Cyclist magazine recalls the Motorola team that rose from the ashes of America’s late, great 7-11 team after the convenience chain declared bankruptcy — including the tragic death of Italy’s Fabio Casartelli in the 1995 Tour de France.

The UAE Team Emirates cycling team is considering legal action against Croatian pro Kristijan Đurasek following his four-year ban for doping. But cycling officials keep telling us the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can get your very own ebike branded by your favorite soccer team — as long as your favorite team is Paris Saint-Germain. When your round-the-world bike trip gets interrupted by a water-logged passport, just fly home and get a new one.

And nothing like a little Dia de los Muertos mountain bike racing in the middle of Oaxaca.

 

Morning Links: More NTSB bike helmet fallout, OC bike rider dies after hit-and-run, and the wise really do ride bikes

Let’s start by wishing a happy Veterans Day to everyone who has served their country to help keep the rest of us safe.

Cycling Weekly considers how military training can make you a better bicyclist.

And hundreds of bike-riding military vets, many disabled, were expected to roll through Las Vegas this Veterans Day weekend as part of Project Hero to call attention to the problem of suicide among veterans.

Let’s hope that one day veterans will finally get the care they need to come all the way home.

Artwork by VintageBlue from Pixabay.

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The fallout over the National Transportation Safety Board’s call for mandatory helmet laws continued over the weekend.

NACTO told the NTSB not so fast on calling for mandatory helmet laws, saying building safe places to ride a bike will keep people safer than making everyone wear a helmet; you can read their full statement here.

Sonoma’s Press Democrat begged to differ, however, saying requiring helmets for all bike riders of any age would save lives. Although more than a few studies have suggested the opposite is true.

An automotive website notes that not one state currently mandates all bicyclists have to wear helmets.

And bike riders aren’t sold on the idea, either.

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Just learned that OC bike rider Virgil Lemus Garcia died last month, two days after being critically injured by a hit-and-run driver.

Unfortunately, there was no follow-up story in the news, and no coroner’s report since he died in the hospital.

We’ll post our story later today.

Thanks to Bill Sellin for the heads-up.

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Don’t give drivers the bird.

Especially it’s on your handlebars.

https://twitter.com/Hoshikazu123/status/1192350304123015168

Clearly, any owl that rides a bike really is wise.

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Cute video from pro stunt cyclist Cam McCaul, as he goes for a bike ride with his adorable daughters, and takes a spin around a bike park with his three-year old on his bike.

But thankfully saves the back flips for when he’s riding solo.

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When a bike gets too old to ride, you can still use it to hold your burger and beer.

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

A Stanford student was the victim of a hate crime when a white woman pushed a woman of Asian descent off her bicycle, then stood over her on the street and called her an ethnic slur before walking away.

The owners of a Portland bikini coffee shop face charges after a road rage incident involving a group of bicyclists in front of their shop; after one of the riders didn’t take kindly to being yelled at, one the men got out of their car carrying a hammer, punched one man, then knocked a phone out of a woman’s hand before punching her out cold.

The New York Post claims that in four years, the city’s war on cars has claimed 6,100 parking spaces. On the other hand, it’s also claimed the live of 39 people riding bicycles over the same period. So which side is losing?

Yet another British man has been pushed off his bicycle by someone in a passing vehicle; this time the victim was a 72-year old grandfather.

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

A man on a bicycle could face attempted murder charges for shooting two homeless people with a bow and arrow in the East Bay city of Richmond CA; the victims are in stable condition following surgery.

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Local

Michael over at CLR Effect questions whether officials on La Verne are just yanking our chains by failing to paint the promised bike lanes after Baseline Road was repaved, and restriped for every other purpose. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

 

State

The former mayor of Encinitas wears her windshield bias on her sleeve, concluding that a road diet on the coast highway is a bad idea because only around 300 people in the city ride their bikes to work. So apparently, all those people who ride their bikes to school, for errands or shopping, or for recreation and exercise through the city don’t exist. Or maybe just don’t count in her book.

Horrible story from Mead Valley, where a woman was mauled by a pair of pit bulls as she walked her bicycle; police also found the badly decomposed body of the dogs’ owner when they checked their home.

Bad news from San Francisco, where a woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she was collateral damage after another driver hit a car and swerved into her. Note to KRON-4 — yes, the vehicles stayed at the scene. But only because the people driving them did.

A Bay Area pedestrian advocacy group has started a Slow Our Streets campaign to call for reduced speed limits, speed bumps and better traffic enforcement to protect the lives of people walking or riding a bike.

This is who we share the roads with. A Marin County woman will face a handful of charges for killing a woman on a bicycle last year, after investigators presented evidence that she was drunk and possibly impaired by cannabis and a medication to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder, and had been texting moments before the crash.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a man was killed when he was run down from behind by an SUV. Yet somehow, the city’s CBS station manages to get through the entire story without mentioning that the SUV may have had a driver.

 

National

Good advice. Bike Snob says don’t try to fix your bike when there’s nothing wrong with it.

A new study from BYU says yes, an ebike gives you a real workout, but it doesn’t feel like one.

Skip the recovery drink after your next ride, and just grab a cold one.

A New Mexico man looks back on earning ride patches in the early days of the League of American Wheelmen, long before the group changed its name to the League of American Bicyclists and transformed in to the advocacy group better known as the Bike League.

An Arkansas man is likely to go away for a very long time; in addition to a felony bike theft charge, he faces ten years for violating probation for burning down a barn, and another ten for not updating his registration as a sex offender after getting kicked out of a halfway house.

Wouldn’t a better term for an “interactive live mannequin” pedaling in the window of a Wisconsin bike shop be a person riding a stationary bike?

After Chicago suffers its third bicycling death of the year, the Chicago Tribune calls on the city’s drivers to start seeing people on bicycles.

A Illinois man has earned the title Bike Man by saving over 3,000 broken bikes from the junk heap and repairing them to give to people in need.

A new sculpture in Auburn NY will honor former slave and Underground Railroad founder Harriet Tubman with bicycles depicting different aspects of her life.

Evidently, public shaming motivates police departments, too. Streetsblog reports the NYPD was motivated to hold a reckless driver who crashed into a bike rider accountable, but only after they asked cops about a viral video showing the crash.

The carnage continues on the streets of New York, where 25-year old professional wrestler Matt Travis became the 28th person to be killed riding a bike in the city this year when he was struck by a dump truck driver making an illegal turn.

We already knew New Orleans Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater is one of us; now he’s thanking the people who unexpectedly fixed his bike so he didn’t have to walk to Sunday’s game.

 

International

The Financial Post considers how former Microsoft star J Allard developed the 529 Garage app, and worked with police in Vancouver to cut bike theft by 40% in four years.

Toronto’s Globe and Mail wants to know what Canadian officials are doing about distracted driving, calling it as dangerous as DUI was decades ago.

This is who we share the roads with, part two. Police in Ontario fined a semi driver $615 for weaving all over the road while he was watching TV behind the wheel.

A London cartoonist offers his view of bicycling in the city. I particularly like his take on the urban peloton and the reality of city cycling.

The New York Times takes a deep dive in the bicycling world of Copenhagen, where the only traffic congestion is on two wheels, and even the dead ride bikes.

A Ugandan-born man won Sweden’s 2019 Environmental Innovator of the Year Award for offering tours of Stockholm on Greek-made wooden bicycles.

While most of Europe is moving forward with creating bike lanes and space for people, Madrid is in retreat.

An Aussie teacher and mother of two has traded her car for a bicycle and pledged not to even set foot in a car for the next year.

 

Competitive Cycling

It was a close call for 52-year old Italian great Mario Cipollini, who was lucky to survive a major heart problem thanks to a five hour surgery; now he faces charges for pointing a gun at his ex-wife.

Another trans woman has been subjected to online harassment after winning a bike race; fixed-gear racer Evelyn Sifton said no one cared when she finished in 20th or 30th place, but only when she finally won one.

 

Finally…

Using a bicycle as an anchor to weigh down a body may not be its best use. Any bike cartoons that feature Santa Claus and a corgi can’t be all bad.

And James Bond is one of us. No, not that one. Not him, either. Nope, not that guy. Or the other guy, for that matter.

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Thanks to Felicia G for being the first person to donate to this year’s BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, before it even started. 

The annual fund drive won’t officially launch until Thanksgiving, but the page is already active in case anyone else wants to get a head start on it. 

Morning Links: Cars killing progress on CA climate goals, Flax debunks call for helmet laws, and what a bike thief looks like

As things stand now, California is likely to miss its climate goals.

By a century.

That’s according to a report from MIT Technology Review, which says that despite significant reductions in the energy sector, the state is making little or no progress in other areas.

They point the finger at rising auto emissions, as car ownership climbs while transit use declines.

Transportation emissions, the state’s largest source, have steadily risen since 2013, as the improving economy put more cars on the road and planes in the sky. Emissions from waste dumped into landfills have also been ticking up since the recovery took hold. Meanwhile, highly potent greenhouse gases from the aerosols, foams, and solvents used in refrigeration and air conditioning are rising sharply…

At the same time, overall car ownership rates are rising, public-transit use is falling, and consumers are still shifting toward gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. And the 92% of vehicles sold last year that weren’t EVs will, on average, still be on the roads more than a decade from now.

Accelerating the shift to cleaner vehicles is likely to require far stricter policies, far more generous subsidies, cheaper EVs, and a massive build-out of charging infrastructure. And even California’s efforts to boost the average fuel efficiency of cars sold in the state have been complicated by the Trump administration’s legal challenges.

And while San Francisco and San Diego have been making progress in building out bicycle networks to entice people out of their cars, it’s ground to a near halt in the state’s largest city.

Yes Los Angeles, we’re talking about you.

Maybe one day, the so-called progressives, environmentalists and other assorted climate activists at city hall will stop talking about the problem, and actually do something.

But sadly, that day is not today.

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Bike scribe Peter Flax is up to his old tricks.

If you can call insightful writing and consistently hitting the nail on the head a trick.

Writing for Bicycling, Flax examines the extremely flawed recommendations from NTBS — the National Transportation Safety Board, which usually concerns itself with plane and train crashes — to reduce the climbing rate of bicycle deaths.

Starting, and nearly ending, with bike helmets and high viz.

And yet the top-line proposals from the NTSB largely shifted responsibility to solve this deadly crisis onto cyclists themselves. Two of the three key recommendations focused on the need for riders to wear helmets and be more conspicuous. (The third was about improving road design, which is awesome because poor cycling infrastructure is an actual cause of cycling fatalities.)

He goes on to sum up exactly what the agency failed to address that’s actually killing people on bicycles, in one brilliant paragraph.

Now let’s talk about all the important stuff that the NTSB report passed over to focus on helmets and high vis and scold renegade riders. Like the problem of distracted driving—where four in 10 motorists admit using social media (and one in 10 say they watch YouTube videos) on their phone when they’re on the road. Or the nation’s pernicious problem with speed limit violations, a widely tolerated illegal behavior that is a known killer. They could urge the auto industry and tech sectors to work together to solve these entirely fixable problems. They could ask out loud how or why many states still don’t have 3-foot safe-passing laws or regulations banning handheld phone use, and how or why these laws are rarely enforced in those that do. They could demand that American trucks and passenger cars match the far superior standards set in Europe and Japan to keep vulnerable road users safe—why don’t our garbage and box trucks have side guards to protect pedestrians and cyclists from the wheels, for instance? They could address an epidemic of fatal hit-and-run crashes and the shifting complexion of impaired driving and America’s love affair with 5,000-pound SUVs. Rather than scold naughty cyclists, agency researchers could have examined the carnage caused by negligent and reckless motorists—and offered commentary on what to do about it.

It’s today’s must read.

So go ahead and click the link. We’ll wait.

Meanwhile, here’s the full two hours and forty-eight minutes of the woefully misguided NTSB meeting.

Thanks to Mike Cane for forwarding the video.

Photo of the ghost bike for the still unidentified Hollywood hit-and-run victim by Healthy Activest via Instagram.

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This is what it looks like when someone steals a bike from a San Marcos CA garage.

Hopefully, that video shows enough of his face to bring the jerk to justice.

Meanwhile, after a Georgia woman chased down the thief stealing her bike and demanded it back, the bighearted victim is offering to give him a bike to help him get a fresh start.

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This is what a passenger-side dooring looks like. Toronto bike riders are justifiably outraged.

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We’ve mentioned Malaysia’s basikal lajaks several times in the past two years, ever since eight riders of the modified bikes were killed when a driver plowed into them.

This response to my tweet shows exactly what the bikes are, and how they’re ridden.

A website calls them a menace to society, but the nation’s sports minister says the riders can be redeemed and represent the county in international competitions with the proper training.

Thanks to kirin for the heads-up.

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The Los Angeles Handmade Bicycle Show takes place tomorrow…somewhere.

Maybe LA bikewear maker Swrve knows, since they plan to be there.

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

A New York man faces two counts of reckless endangerment for killing a 67-year old woman when he ran a red-light on his bicycle, and slammed into her as she walked in a crosswalk with the light; he faces charges from the same DA who routinely lets drivers off the hook. This is wrong in so many ways. So just…don’t.

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Local

Streetsblog talks with Michael Schneider, the founder of Streets for All, LA’s first, and only, political action group, aka PAC, dedicated to changing city hall to change the city’s streets; the group is meeting in Hollywood next Saturday to discuss pedestrianizing Hollywood Blvd.

KCBS-2 reports nearly a third of the Metro Bike bikeshare bikes get stolen or stripped for parts.

A USC op-ed says students should be discouraged from driving to campus. Or looking at it another way, the school should do more to encourage students to bike or walk to class.

Beverly Hills received a $90,000 traffic enforcement grant from the state, which will allow them to do bike and pedestrian safety crackdowns, among other things. Even if their police department doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being bike and pedestrian friendly.

 

State

The California Transportation Commission is holding a workshop in Sacramento this Tuesday to kickoff discussion of the 2021 Active Transportation Program. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Call it a good time for a good cause. San Diego’s annual 20-mile Bike for Boobs bike ride and dinner takes place tomorrow to raise funds for a local charity to help women experiencing financial difficulties due to breast cancer.

The Coachella Valley Bicycle Coalition held a ghost bike memorial for Raymundo “Ray-Ray” Jaime; sadly, the 30-year old hit-and-run victim left behind his wife and four-year old daughter, who will now grow up without a father.

Thousands Oaks has opened an expansion to the city’s bike park.

Santa Cruz has identified the bike rider who died after riding off a cliff as the owner of a Salinas bike shop.

This is who we share the roads with. Just hours after a Modesto man got out of jail on a DUI conviction for driving while stoned, he got drunk and drove again, killing a bike rider while driving with a BAC nearly two and a half times the legal limit; his trial was delayed five years when he was institutionalized for mental illness.

Lyft is returning their bikeshare ebikes to the streets of San Francisco; hopefully they won’t burst into flames this time. However, you won’t see them in London anytime soon.

 

National

An Omaha bike rider says bicyclists should have to pay the same fees drivers do and have to have a license to ride just like drivers do, saying he knows other cities require that. No, they don’t. I’m not aware of any city in the US that tests and licenses people on bicycles. Never mind that bike riders already pay more than our share.

Chicago bicyclists respond to the death of a woman killed by a dump truck driver by protesting along the bike lane she was riding in.

Now that’s more like it. Instead of warning bike riders when cars get too close, researchers at the University of Minnesota designed a system to warn drivers when they get too close to someone on a bike. Seriously, take my money, already.

A Minnesota advocate refutes common objections to riding a bicycle, calling it carbon-free transportation using the original two-stroke engine. 

An Indiana cycling club shows that yes, it is possible for a riding club to get involved in advocacy and help teach people how to drive around bicyclists. Just in case any LA-area clubs want to give it a shot. Thanks to Melissa for the link. 

Bicycle Retailer dives into the history of Ross Bicycles, calling it the Schwinn of New York.

Kindhearted New Jersey residents passed the hat to buy a new bike for a teenage boy after his was stolen.

New York’s non-helmet wearing mayor and failed presidential candidate is seriously considering making everyone else wear one.

Al Pacino is one of us; he worked as a bike messenger to support his sick mother before finding success on stage, then film. And yes, he still rides.

DC approves plans for a two-way, curb-protected bike lane even though it’s opposed by a neighborhood commission. And even though it means removing parking spaces.

As we noted before, New Orleans Saints backup QB Teddy Bridgewater is one of us. Even if he has to tweet for someone to drive his broken bike to the shop, because he refuses to get to his games any other way. Thanks to BikeLosFeliz for the link.

 

International

The co-founder of Lumos Helmet discusses how they’re creating what they consider the next generation of bike helmets to help bicyclists feel safer.

Once again, the Mounties got their man, busting an 18-year old man for being a bike-riding serial butt slapper.

Twenty-five Montreal bike riders will be allowed to ride a bike path across an otherwise closed bridge to try out various snow clearing methods, as long as they wear a special vest and sign a waiver.

London’s Daily Mail suggests giving your child a bike for Christmas, saying you never forget your first bike. Good advice, even if it is an ad for a British retailer.

A British military vet who lost three limbs in Afghanistan was lucky to survive when he had a blowout on his handcycle and slammed into a truck at 25 mph, shattering what’s left of his right leg.

A Belgian city has managed to cut car motor vehicle traffic by 12% at rush hour, and 40% on key bicycling routes — resulting in a 25% jump in bicycling rates.

Here’s one for my own bike bucket list — a beer hall bike tour along Germany’s Danube River.

 

Finally…

Your next Harley Davidson could have pedals. Forget the family SUV, your new kid hauler could have three wheels with child seats up front.

And UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup gets animated.

No, literally.

 

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

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

Or rather, failing to.

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

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

And the NTSB’s recommended solutions?

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

Seriously.

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

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

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

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

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

Like better infrastructure, lower speed and safer motor vehicles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

………

He gets it.

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

………

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

………

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

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

Thanks to Steve S for the reminder.

………

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

As one OC bike rider learned the hard way yesterday.

But sometimes its the people on bikes behaving badly.

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

………

Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

 

Morning Links: NTSB report concludes speed kills, Press-Enterprise misses the mark, and a new SoCal bike film

Traffic safety advocates already know that speed kills.

One of the basic tenets behind Vision Zero states that a pedestrian — or bike rider — hit at a speed of 20 mph has a far greater chance of survival than one hit at 40 mph or higher.

A difference of a 10% chance of death at 20 mph versus 80% at 40, according to one federal government study.

Although a study by AAA cites a much lower risk of death at similar speeds.

Now the National Transportation Safety Board — the group that brought you air bags and graduated driver’s licenses for teens — says speeding is responsible for roughly as many deaths as both drunk driving and not wearing a seat belt.

And they say it’s long past time to do something about it.

That something ranges from automated speed cameras — currently illegal in California — and cars that alert drivers when they’re exceeding the speed limit, to a national anti-speeding campaign and changes in how speed limits are set.

And yes, it also includes the sort of lane reductions that have been much maligned in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista. Even though they’ve proven hugely successful in improving safety and revitalizing Santa Monica’s Main Street and York Blvd in Northeast LA.

So, increasingly, traffic engineers are trying to design roads that reflect the needs of all users, not just motorists. “The design of a facility can help send the message of what the proper speed is and encourage people to drive at that speed rather than a faster speed,” Lindley says.

The NTSB report did not explore the issue of road design, and that’s a missed opportunity, says Atherton, the director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. “You have to pair speed limits with physical traffic-calming measures for them to be effective,” she says. “Just lowering the speed limits is insufficient.”

One of the NTSB commissioners asked the agency’s researchers during their presentation why road design wasn’t emphasized in the report. One of the authors said that other publications, like street designs by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the Federal Highway Association already explained in great detail how to improve road design to improve safety.

The people fighting to have the lane reductions ripped out insist they’re not anti-safety.

In which case, they need to step up and work with those who have already been focused on improving traffic safety, rather than just standing in the way of community-driven improvements.

Because speed kills.

And it’s already taken far too many of us.

………

The Riverside Press-Enterprise tried to clarify California bike laws after getting the rules on sidewalk riding wrong.

Yet they still get it wrong when they say that bicyclists have to use bike lanes when they’re available, but fail to point out that bike riders can legally ride on any public street, with or without a bike lane or sharrows, with the exception of some limited access freeways.

Or that bicyclists are legally allowed to ride in the center of the lane on any right-hand lane that’s too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle. Which is the case on most of the roadways in LA County, and many in the rest of Southern California.

Although nothing says riders have to take the lane if they’re not comfortable there. Even though riding to far right increases the risk of unsafe passing by motorists.

And if bicyclists are traveling with the speed of traffic, they can legally ride anywhere on the road they damn well want to, as long as they travel in the direction of traffic.

………

A new experimental film dropping this weekend paints a portrait of Southern California’s Cryptic Cycles, award winner at the 2016 North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

The trailer below offers a first look at what the filmmaker describes as “the unique handmade build process of crafting a one-of-a-kind carbon fiber bike frameset and the amazing feeling it gives you on your first ride.”

………

Ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis talks with Cycling News, saying nothing has really changed since he broke cycling’s omertà.

VeloNews says the Colorado Classic represents the future of bike racing, while the Denver Post offers some great photos from last weekend’s race.

Riders in the Tour of Britain could be breaking the law when one stage starts in a town where bicycling is banned in the city center.

Food & Wine examines the decidedly non-gourmet 7,000-calorie diet of a professional cyclist.

……….

Local

LA Downtown News explains what happened to the protected bike lane and other streetscape improvements that were promised as part of the Wilshire Grand construction project; city officials insist it’s still coming as part of a longer corridor improvement project leading into the Arts district.

Plans for safety improvements on North Figueroa are on hold, as Roadkill Gil Cedillo attempts to block any road diets in his district without his prior approval. Which would simply codify the virtual fiefdoms councilmembers currently enjoy in their districts, but for just him.

A smart essay on the Los Angeles Walks website says Vista del Mar offers a sad but instructive lesson for LA, and calls for more productive conversations to ensure pedestrians are protected.

 

State

The husband of an Encinitas hit-and-run victim calls for help in finding the coward who left his bike-riding wife lying injured in the street.

Great idea. The annual Victor Valley Bicycle Tour has donated 600 traffic signs promoting California’s three-foot passing law, to be posted in Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville and San Bernardino County.

A local TV station talks with the Atascadero man who won this year’s Tour Divide, despite being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last year.

Tragic news from Fresno, where a 51-year old bike rider was killed after allegedly running a red light.

Streetsblog looks at last week’s pop-up protected bike lane in San Jose.

 

National

Bicycle Times offers advice on how to pack your bike for travel. Or better yet, you could just pack your panniers and ride it there.

Post-Charlottesville, conservative media sites are deciding that maybe it’s not a good idea to encourage people to drive through protesters. Although conservative lawmakers don’t seem to be getting the message. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Today Show profiles a DC doctor who only makes house calls — often by bicycle.

A Savannah GA weekly says widening roads can make them more dangerous, rather than the other way around. Which is putting it mildly.

A Florida business is raising funds to build a new custom bicycle, compete with speakers, for the town’s “bike man” after his was destroyed in a collision that left him hospitalized.

This is why so many people hate lawyers. A Florida attorney blames the hospital for a bicyclist’s death, even though the victim wouldn’t have been there if his client hadn’t dragged the man under his car for two miles following a collision, then dumped him into a trash bin.

 

International

Caught on video: A road raging Brazilian driver rams a bicyclist from behind, then repeatedly runs up onto his bicycle before the rider jumps up onto the hood of the car to keep him from fleeing. That last part’s not smart, as we saw in this week’s Long Beach crash.

A Vancouver cyclist is doing a double Everest — 58,058 feet of vertical climbing — to fight depression.

The war on bikes continues, as someone strung fishing line at neck height across a popular English biking trail. A particularly dangerous crime, since fishing line tends to be virtually invisible, even in daylight.

Caught on video too: A bike rider suffers a too close call in the British equivalent of a right hook.

Cyclists in South Africa’s Western Cape region complain about life-threatening drivers who run them off the road. More proof that you’ll find LA drivers everywhere.

Gold medal-winning Australian track cyclist Stephen Wooldridge died at age 39 after taking his own life; like many athletes, he struggled to cope after his cycling career ended.

The vice mayor of Brisbane, Australia calls for scrapping the country’s mandatory bike helmet law.

 

Finally…

Just because a bridge doesn’t have a bikeway doesn’t mean you can’t find a scary way across. Your next smart bike could cost 1999 yuan.

And it’s easy to go incognito on a bicycle.

Even if you’re dressed in spandex shorts and a hunting shirt.

 

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