Tag Archive for online reporting systems

Morning Links: Uber & Lyft blamed for traffic deaths, file LAPD theft and hit-and-run reports online, and lots of bike videos

Let’s start with a few new studies today.

Researchers from Rice University and the University of Chicago point the finger at Uber and Lyft for the recent rise in traffic deaths, noting that fatality rates shot up in cities across the US as ride hailing companies set up shop.

A new study shows that while bicycling and pedestrian deaths are on the rise across the US, biking and walking deaths among school-aged children continue to decline; the authors credit programs like Safe Routes to Schools. Although a stronger argument could be made that the decline is due to fewer children walking and riding bikes, as more parents ferry their children everywhere.

A married couple conducted their own study, riding 1,476 miles across the British Isles to monitor air pollution, and finding that 70% of the ride exceeded safe levels established by the World Health Organization.

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In sort of good news, you can now file theft reports with the LAPD online, including bike thefts, as well as non-emergency hit-and-runs.

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Buena Park wants your input on proposed bike facilities. No, really.

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It takes real skill to fail to notice several grown men on bicycles, and take out most of them in a single right hook.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

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Coming to your friend’s rescue is always a good thing. So is moving your bike out of the way first.

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When you’re Danny MacAskill, you make your own weather.

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Translated, it says “Those cyclists feel superior.”

And sometimes, they have a right to.

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

Sometimes, the video says it all.

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Local

Streetsblog reports around 30 people turned out at City Hall on Friday to demand safer streets, following the death of a four-year old girl in Koreatown two days earlier. Not a bad turnout given the short lead time. Let’s hope they can give more notice next time so even more people can show up.

LADOT has begun the city’s first-ever count of bicyclists and pedestrians, finally establishing benchmarks for measuring non-motorized traffic on the city’s streets; prior to this, the only counts were done by advocacy groups LACBC and LA Walks.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker calls for emulating San Francisco’s closure of Market Street to private motor vehicles, and suggests seven LA-area streets that should be closed to cars and opened to people. It would be hard to make a case for closing Sunset, Santa Monica and Wilshire boulevards, as she suggests, since they represent three major parallel crosstown routes; a better case could be made for closing Wilshire and Hollywood to cars.

The new EP by LA musician Nacho Cano, who records under the name Harmless, documents the crash with a speeding drunk driver that nearly took his life as he was riding his bike to work, and the long, painful recovery that followed.

The mayor of Santa Clarita invites you to hop on your bike and tour the city’s bike trails and new bike lanes, and credits the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition for helping increase the popularity of bicycling in the area.

 

State

A Bay Area newspaper says the perfect romantic getaway is 48 hours of bikes and wine in Paso Robles.

A San Jose nonprofit bike shop is still committed to serving the homeless despite two burglaries in the last week; the shop has given away 3,500 refurbished bikes to homeless people, and made over 200,000 repairs for them.

In a story that should sound familiar to any bike-riding catcall-suffering women, the San Francisco Chronicle chronicles the sexual-based backlash suffered by women bicyclists in the 1890s.

The Napa County library has a new branch that travels on three wheels, plus a book-carting trailer.

Santa Rosa is just the latest California city to deal with a homeless camp overrunning a local bike path.

Sacramento bridge will be rebuilt for bicyclists and pedestrians when a new bridge is completed in a few years.

Zombies roll through bike-friendly Davis.

 

National

Outside profiles former professional mountain biker and three-time world 24-hour mountain bike champ Steve Fassbinder, who’s devoted his post-racing retirement to biking, rafting mountain climbing and llama riding adventures around the globe.

A CityLab op-ed accuses micromobility advocates of thinking small, saying instead of asking for bike lanes we should be demanding a world where cars are marginalized and universal basic mobility is seen as a human right.

MIPS and WaveCel could soon have new competition from Specialized. Oddly, my brother got his MIPS helmet by finding it on the side of the road. And no, there wasn’t a head in it at the time.

Surprisingly, Yahoo says you can’t power an entire city with your bike. It’s not surprising you can’t generate that much power with your bike; it’s surprising that Yahoo is still around.

Students at Oregon State University are angry over the arrest of a young black woman who was aggressively wrestled to the ground and cuffed by two state cops for the crime of riding salmon, leading the university to threaten to cut ties with the state police.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 75-year old Arizona man celebrates his birthday by biking his age.

An eight-year old Texas girl born with just half a left arm can ride a bike for the first time, thanks to the first multi-grip bionic arm for kids that young.

Actor Dennis Christopher returns to Indiana for the 40th anniversary of the iconic bike film Breaking Away.

We all know Patrick Dempsey is one of us, right? He returned to his Maine hometown last month, raising $1.2 million for his eponymous center for cancer patients and their families through a bicycling and running event.

A Long Island village became the second area community to approve prosecuting and seizing the bikes of teenage bicyclists for blocking traffic, riding towards moving cars, and otherwise antagonizing motorists.

House of Cards and Jack Ryan actor — and former New York bike messenger — Michael Kelly is one of us, making time to ride his bicycle on the city’s streets every day.

Still more carnage from the Big Apple, where a 66-year old woman died a month after her bike was struck by the driver of a large van, raising the number of 2019 bicycle deaths to 26, compared to ten for all of last year. Needless to say, the NYPD immediately blamed the victim.

In an all-too-typical sign of the times, the family of a black Philadelphia delivery bicyclist has started getting threats and online harassment after he was acquitted of killing a road-raging white motorist who threatened to “beat the black off” him.

He gets it. A writer for the Washington Post asks why we put up with a transit system that kills, maims and wastes hours of our time. Why, indeed. Any transportation system that accepts deaths as a normal part of getting from here to there is an abject failure. 

 

International

Cycling Weekly says take concussions seriously. It could save your life.

Quartz says downtown areas around the world are slowly giving up on personal cars. Except for Downtown Los Angeles, of course, although even DTLA is finally getting around to accommodating bikes, thanks primarily to Councilmember José Huizar.

After a Winnipeg driver right hooks a woman riding her bike on the sidewalk, he complains that he’s being unfairly held responsible because she hit his car.

In a plan that could have been dreamed up by Robin Hood himself, Nottingham, England charges employers for each parking space, then uses the money to reduce car usage.

Road.cc explains why many British bicyclists don’t ride far to the right…uh, left. Just reverse the direction, and it explains why you should take the lane on most streets without bike lanes over here, too.

Welsh doctors can now prescribe six months of free bikeshare to improve patients’ physical and mental health.

One more for your bike bucket list — a 500-mile bicycling route through the fields of Flanders.

An Irish writer bikes the route of the Berlin Wall, nearly 30 years after it fell.

Pune, India is recruiting volunteers to patrol the city’s bikeways and report people who park in them, and other violations, to the police for “corrective action.”

A new Australian safety program focuses on young drivers, because young men are taking too many chances behind the wheel. And bike riders are paying the price.

The best laid plans of mice and bike thieves. A pair of Aussie thieves steal the security cameras from a Sydney parking garage, then come back the next night to steal a bicycle — unaware they were being recorded by dash cam.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dr. Rachel McKinnon retained her world title for the women’s 200 meter sprint in the 35-39 age group, renewing debate over whether female transgender athletes have an unfair advantage over other women.

Dutch cyclist Laurens ten Dam calls it a career after a mere 17 years, leaving the WorldTour to take up gravel grinding.

Legendary cyclist Eddy Merckx got the okay to go home, five days after the 74-year old five-time Tour de France winner suffered a serious head injury in a solo crash.

The Sunweb team responds to the crash that paralyzed 19-year old cyclist Edo Maas by insisting UCI and race organizers need to really focus on safety to prevent future tragedies.

 

Finally…

Young man turns blue after biking across Montana. Four shots, one faceplant.

And Michael Meyers is one of us, too.

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Thanks to John L for his generous donation to support this site.

As we noted before, it would take just $10 from everyone who visits BikinginLA today to fund it for an entire year; John says he says he gave extra to make up for a couple people who didn’t.

Reporting dangerous drivers online — Philadelphia, London and coming soon, L.A.

We’ve all been there.

And if you haven’t yet, just keep riding and you will.

Sooner or later, some driver will take offense at how you ride, where you position yourself in the lane or the simple fact that a bike is taking up space on his road.

So he’ll show his anger by buzzing you, passing way too close for comfort, or maybe making a sudden right-hook turn or braking directly in front of you, forcing you to jam on your brakes to avoid a collision. See Thompson, Dr. Chistopher.

Or maybe it’s just someone who doesn’t have the good sense to put down her cell phone, blowing through a stop sign just as you were about to enter the intersection.

Whether it’s your skills or the fact that the driver has just enough sense and ability to avoid a collision, you escape unscathed but shaken. And mad as hell, wishing there was something you could do about it.

Even if you did call the police, the driver would be long gone before they could respond, or off the phone, or just deny everything. Or the police would tell you that they have to witness the infraction before they can do anything.

Which means you’re on your own and SOL.

That should be changing soon.

While the police may not be able to do something about a specific incident, they can do something about the larger trends, like policing intersections where cyclists frequently encounter problems or stationing officers along a stretch of roadway where drivers refuse to play nice.

The problem is making them aware of these issues.

Philadelphia police, working in conjunction with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, have addressed that by developing an online system that allows cyclists to report hazards, harassment, crashes and blocked bike lanes.

Locally, the LACBC recently forwarded a list of the city’s most dangerous intersections to the police as part of their work with the LAPD Bike Task Force, enabling officers to examine them and determine if the problem can be resolved through roadwork, better signage or tougher enforcement.

Meanwhile, Bikeside has worked with the LAPD, as part of that same task force, to develop an interactive map that combines police collision data with a system to report near misses, collisions, harassment and bike thefts. It not only gives you a way to report incidents you’ve experienced, but allows you to search for dangerous areas you might want to avoid or at least use a little more caution when you roll through.

As they say, forewarned is forearmed. Not that I’d recommend carrying weapons on your bike, as tempting as that might seem sometimes.

You’ll find a similar system for reporting crashes, hazards and thefts — without the integrated police data — at Bikewise.org.

And the LAPD is working with the Bike Task Force to develop an interactive system similar to the one in Philadelphia, which should be online later this year.

Now comes word that the London Metropolitan Police have developed an online system allowing anyone to report dangerous drivers and unsafe conditions. But it goes further by asking people to report uninsured or unlicensed drivers, as well as people who make a habit of drinking and driving.

Around here, it would also have to include a way to report drivers who consistently phone or text behind the wheel.

But if there’s any question whether their system works, consider this.

After a London driver honked, swore and swerved his car at a cyclist, the rider reported the incident on the Roadsafe London website. The police followed up by contacting the employer, which prompted the company to review their tapes from the car’s on-vehicle cam.

And then they promptly fired the driver.

Even if you use an online system to report an incident, you should still report crimes to the police by calling 911 for emergencies, or 1-877-ASK-LAPD (1-877-275-5273) for non-emergencies — and yes, you should have that programmed into your cell phone. And if there’s any question whether you should report an incident to the police, call them and let them figure it out.

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After coming in for harsh criticism from Dr. Alex, LACBC explains the facts behind their recent grants, and how they intend to work with the South Bay Bicycle Coalition to develop an integrated bike plan for the South Bay area.

And yes, the work will be done by professionals with training and experience in the field, despite what you may have heard.

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Thanks to Green LA Girl for the reminder about Thursday’s Bike Night at the Hammer, and the first ever Streetsblog Fundraiser this Friday at Eco-Village; Damien says admission to the Streetsblog event is a suggested donation, and no one will be turned away due to empty pockets.

And check out Bikeway Central, a new compendium of nationwide bikeway maps, information and advocacy organizations.

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Meet Congressional candidate Marcy Winograd when she speaks at Bikerowave on Wednesday. The L.A. Chapter of the American Institute of Architects endorses the 4th St. Bike Boulevard. Santa Monica unveils its draft Land Use and Circulation Element Wednesday; Gary explains why this matters to cyclists. A Claremont cyclist says an effective traffic signal button would work even better with a green bike box; I seriously want his banner art. Better directional bike signage is popping in Long Beach, even if they misdirect sometimes. The California Bicycle Museum is merging with the U.S. Bicycle Hall of Fame; bet you didn’t know either one existed. A Colorado Springs cyclist faces down a gun in a road rage incident. The bikefication of New York continues, with upcomming green bike lanes leading from the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. It’s spring, when a rider’s fancy turns to riding rough roads. How to pass a horse when you’re on a bike; that’s not a problem we have too often around here. EcoVelo offers a pretty picture from a springtime commute. I understand getting hit by a car, but how does a cyclist get hit by a train? Miami police investigate the outgoing mayor for corruption after he accepted a $321 bike from his staff, while Miami cyclists get tickets for doing exactly what the city encourages. In more Miami news, yes, that is Jamie Foxx on a bike. A little further north, drivers are an increasing danger to Jacksonville cyclists and pedestrians. Austin’s planned bike boulevard shrinks. A Vancouver cyclist struggles to reclaim his life nine years after an excruciating collision, while an Edmonton cyclist collars a firebug. A New Zealand truck driver is charged with killing a German tourist just three days after she wrote about the dangers of Kiwi truckers, while the family of a Christchurch cyclist says there was nothing she could have done to avoid a fatal collision. A London cyclist faces charges of involuntary manslaughter by recklessness and negligence after a fatal collision with a pedestrian. We Yanks might call it something else, but all cyclists seem to face that Oh Sod It, Just Carry On moment.

Finally, a Holland, Michigan cyclist looks at the bike path from the mindset of an impatient driver; some of the commenters don’t seem to get the joke.

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