Tag Archive for Orange County Register

Bizarrely blaming War on Cars for tax rebate, WeHo drops traffic diverters, and bikemaker accused of cutting his foot off

No bias here.

A columnist for the Orange County Register bizarrely makes the claim that giving people without cars $1,000 to help cover their transit costs is part of the mythical War on Cars.

As if the new law awaiting Gov. Newsom’s signature somehow does anything to prevent anyone from owning a car if they want one, and can afford it.

Some people might say single occupancy vehicles are a way to get to work and earn a living, enabling the government to collect taxes from paychecks, and also that they transform into quadruple occupancy vehicles that drive people to school, to doctor’s appointments and on trips to spend money at California businesses.

Portantino doesn’t acknowledge any need for a car in his argument in support of his bill. “SB 457 will incentivize mass mode shift toward sustainable transportation by allowing a credit against the ‘net tax’ in the amount of $1,000 for each household with zero registered vehicles,” he said, according to the bill analysis.

And silly me. I thought conservatives were in favor of cutting taxes.

Evidently just not for poor people. Or if it involves cars.

Never mind that the quote above is her entire argument that the tax credits have anything to do with a War on Cars.

Although she seems to think banning the sale of new gas cars by 2035 is somehow equivalent to banning all cars.

Instead, she morphs into complaints about Covid relief payments and buying votes, conveniently forgetting that California law requires rebate checks if tax payments exceed the state’s needs.

But that apparently doesn’t fit her narrative.

Photo by Jonathan Cooper on Pexels.

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It was nice while it lasted.

WeHo’s first attempt at bike-priority street failed, apparently because it was inconvenient of some ressident.

Never mind that you can’t encourage more bike riding by requiring bicyclists to stop every block or two.

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Unbelievable.

Bizarre update to last week’s story about Baphomet Bicycles framebuilder Dillen Maurer losing a foot in a collision with an ATV rider as he rode his bike near his Taos, New Mexico home.

The local sheriff has concluded it never happened, and that Maurer cut his own foot off using a chainsaw. Although that be easy to prove — or disprove — since there would be blood and bone trapped in the chainsaw blade to back up the sheriff’s contention.

If not, he owes Maurer a very public apology.

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Radio host Stephanie Miller is one of us, as is writer and contributor to her show Bob Cesca.

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Ludacris is one of us, too. Or at least can play one in the movies.

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And NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt was one, too.

But only if he could ride backwards while sitting in the handlebars.

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

No bias here. Ebike-riding teens get the blame for bad behavior by La Jolla drivers, as school officials complain about kids riding in a bike lane legally passing stalled traffic, and nearly getting hit by careless drivers who can’t figure out how to use their mirrors.

There’s no excuse for hit-and-run. And not much for being a self-entitled jerk forcing your way through a sea on oncoming bikes, even if they are on the wrong side of the road.

Police in Madison, Wisconsin say the sabotage of bike trails with electronic cords hung at neck height has finally stopped; one man was seriously injured crashing into one on his bike.

No bias here, either. A New York woman was impaled on a fence after she was struck by a driver with 168 traffic violations — yes, 168. The driver blamed bad brakes, while the victim’s daughter somehow blamed a new parking protected bike lane.

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

A bike-riding transient was arrested for allegedly attempting to sexually assault a masseuse at a Pasadena health spa.

An Arkansas man got six years behind bars for fleeing from police on a bicycle while carrying meth and a handgun he was prohibited from possessing as a convicted felon; he was stopped when he was tased by a cop.

A bike-riding South Carolina man was busted for randomly shooting a woman’s SUV with a BB gun.

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Local

A number of tiny homes for homeless veterans at West LA’s Veterans Center were destroyed in a fire evidently started by an overheated lithium ebike battery; 11 units were destroyed, and at least four others damaged.

Palmdale’s Planning Commission adopted a new 23-year update to the city’s General Plan, including plans to develop 20-minute neighborhoods, with increased walkability and bicycle safety.

 

State 

Carlsbad bike riders call on the city to amend a “well intended but misguided” ordinance that requires ebike riders to dismount anytime they come within 50 feet of a pedestrian or equestrian on a pathway less than five feet wide, which in effect forces people to walk more than they ride on some trails.

San Diego’s Park Blvd is getting much needed bus and bike lanes leading to Balboa Park, following a repaving project.

Kindhearted Turlock firefighters bought a new BMX bike for a 14-year old boy after his was trashed when he was struck by a driver.

A Forestville teenager recounts his efforts to save the life of Santa Rosa chef Rob Reyes, who died after crashing into a metal bollard on a bike path during a bike ride with his restaurant staff last month.

 

National

Maui, Hawaii considers age limits and other restrictions on commercial downhill tour operators to address complaints about safety on the island’s Haleakalā volcano.

Aussie cyclist Lachlan Morton raised over $12,000 for his friend, Kenyan pro cyclist Suleiman “Sule” Kangangi, who was killed in the Vermont Overland gravel race, while setting a provisional record for completing the 530-mile Colorado Trail in 3 days 10 hours and 15 minutes.

The chancellor of the City University of New York is one of us, too, spending his weekend mornings on his bike.

Life is cheap in New Jersey, where carelessly killing a 13-year old kid riding a bicycle is only worth a damn traffic ticket.

 

International

Electrek discusses the best ebikes at every price point, starting at just $995 and rising to $6,999.

A London bike theft victim complains the city has to do more to stop the crime, with a bike is stolen even 16 minutes, and just 2.6% of cases resulting in an arrest.

That feeling when you’re not welcome in central London riding a Penney Farthing while dressed in Viking chain mail, complete with traditional Viking weaponry. Apparently bringing up bad memories of the last time the Vikings sacked London in 842.

The manager of the English Premier League’s Manchester United side is also one of us, taking a leisurely ride around Cheshire with his wife after the weekend matches were cancelled following the queen’s death.

That’s more like it. A UK truck driver whose provisional drivers license expired 20 years ago got eight years behind bars for killing bike-riding woman while high on coke.

A British woman recalls riding her bike over an embankment after nearly running over the queen and her corgis, only to find the queen peering over the edge asking if she was alright. The corgis, on the other hand, apparently didn’t give a bark.

A writer for Road Bike Action recommends taking an Irish bike trip back in time.

If you’re going to ride 870 miles from Liège, Belgium to Nice, France in search of a croissant made with “lavender grown on a wide limestone plateau high up in the Côte d’Azur hinterland,” it better be a damn good one.

New Zealand’s Stuff website continues their Better By Bike series with a local transport engineer discussing six myths about bicycling in Christchurch. Virtually all of which you can encounter on a regular basis to disparage bicycling in Los Angeles. The only difference is instead of being told it’s too cold and wet, we’re told it’s too hot and dry. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Remco Evenepoel became the first Belgian to win the Vuelta since 1978, a victory that was all but assured after three-time defending champ Primož Roglič dropped out following a hard crash in stage 16; Evenepoel also avenged his father Patrick, who finished next-to-last in the Vuelta 29 years ago.

Apparently, Evenepoel made the right choice by switching from soccer to cycling.

Belgium celebrated Evenepoel’s victory by illuminating Brussel’s main square in the red color of the Vuelta leader’s jersey.

Meanwhile, Roglič blamed Britain’s Fred Wright for the “unacceptable” crash that forced him out of the race after touching wheels.

 

Finally…

Evidently, Bollywood stardom doesn’t keep you from having to catch a ride home on a rickshaw after getting a flat on your bike. When you’re fleeing from store security on your bike after shoplifting at J.C. Penney’s, try not to crash into a police cruiser as you make your getaway.

And that feeling when you have to turn around and go back home because the queen died.

Thanks to Teotwawki for the link.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

OC columnist cites mythical war on cars, the cost of traffic violence, and NYT declares it’s the Summer of Cycling

Welcome back from the long Memorial Day weekend. Now settle in, because we have a lot of ground to cover. 

Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels — time to gear up for the war on cars!

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No bias here, as a columnist for the Orange County Register goes all in on the mythical war on cars.

Susan Shelley says throw in the towel on climate change, stop building transit oriented development and duplexes and keep allowing parking minimums, because it really doesn’t matter what we do here in California, since the state only accounts for 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Which is kind of a lot for just one state.

And it might, you know, kind of inconvenience someone.

Besides, she insists, transit isn’t practical because that one time she plotted a route to some distant site 43 miles off it was easier just to drive.

Never mind that most people only need to travel a few miles. Or blocks, even.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A student at UC Davis remembers her best friend; the 19-year old woman was killed in a collision with a garbage truck driver last week.

Two young women are dead, and 20 people injured, after a speeding 18-year old driver crashed into another car before slamming into a group of pedestrians at an annual Nebraska cruising night; police are convinced it’s just another oopsie and wasn’t intentional.

A 25-year old NFL cornerback is dead, along with the woman he was traveling with, after apparently crashing his speeding car into another vehicle on a Dallas freeway; Jeff Gladney spent two years playing for the Minnesota Vikings before signing with the Arizona Cardinals this year.

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The New York Times has declared this the Summer of Cycling.

Which makes it official, right?

According to the paper,

In addition, there’s a couple stories we mentioned last week.

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Good questions.

Thanks to Grace Peng for the heads-up. 

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A Black-led bike club is raising funds to benefit people affected by the recent Buffalo mass shooting.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Evidently, only the top bananas get to ride in the official team pedicab.

Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

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That about sums it up.

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Apparently, e-tandems are nothing new.

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

Police in Boston are looking for a man who slashed the tires on ten bicycles parked at a transit station, for no apparent reason.

No bias here. The New York State Division of Consumer Protection urges everyone to wear a bike helmet, apparently convicted it’s the only thing that could possibly improve bike safety.

Or here, either. A Virginia writer says groups of bike riders are just recreating, while people in cars have important places to go. And it’s their fault if an impatient driver stupidly attempts to pass them all at once.

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

Police in Wheat Ridge, Colorado are blaming a bike rider for a head-on crash between two drivers, claiming one driver swerved to avoid someone on a bike, who left the scene. Even though they haven’t said the bike rider did anything wrong, or explained how they might have caused the crash. 

There’s a special place in hell for the schmuck who slammed his bicycle into a bike-riding 13-year old kid in Long Island, then used it to beat the boy with.

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Local

The Los Angeles River Recreation Zone is officially open for the summer; a local resident says the bike path along the river has been transformed, in a good way.

LA-based Urb-E, maker of the sit-down scooter popular with hip-hop artists a couple years back, has switched gears to join the fight on air pollution and congested streets by refocusing on high-capacity e-cargo bikes. Thanks once more to the prolific Megan Lynch.

Construction has begun on a new streetscape project on Melrose Blvd in West Hollywood’s Design District, including wider sidewalks, shade trees and “bicycle safety improvements,” whatever that means.

Watts-based East Side Riders Bike Club now has its own app to connect users “to the website, swag, rewards, and the ability to track their bike rides.”

 

State 

A public records request reveals San Diego officials went into damage control after the backlash over an advisory bike lane in the Mira Mesa neighborhood, with no more plans to install them anywhere else.

Emeryville mayor John Bauters insists he’s concerned about creating people-oriented spaces, not just bike lanes.

 

National

Build your own DIY ebike for under $500.

After the Portland Bike Index spotted a bike stolen in an armed robbery for sale on OfferUp, they tried to get the police to do something, only to watch that bike and others get sold to unsuspecting buyers, while the cops did nothing (Twitter thread).

Once again, Colorado authorities solved a hit-and-run by using an emergency alert system similar to an Amber Alert. Both Los Angeles and California have similar hit-and-run alert systems, but they’re seldom, if ever, used.

Austin, Texas bicyclists rode to remember gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, who was allegedly murdered by a jealous lover of pro cyclist Colin Strickland; sponsors have cut ties with Strickland over the killing, even though he appears to have had little involvement in it.

Bad news from Moline, Illinois, where a second victim has died after an alleged drunk driver drove onto a bike path paralleling a highway.

An Illinois judge expands cities’ liability for bike riders, ruling that the presence of bikeshare stations indicate that bikes are supposed to be ridden there.

A DC op-ed calls on physicians to help make bicycling safer by demanding safer infrastructure, saying it’s a public health issue.

The League of American Bicyclists, nee Wheelmen, was founded 142 years ago yesterday in Newport, Rhode Island; the group was instrumental in the fight for better roads before cars came along and drivers stole them all.

The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at the Mexican American lowrider bicycle culture in the city.

 

International

Your next bike could be made from recycled plastic.

Treehugger explains how an e-cargo bike can be life-changing.

After a single mom in British Columbia posted on Facebook that thieves has stolen the bicycle she gave her ten-year old son for his birthday, kindhearted strangers pitched into raise over $900 to buy him a new one.

Scotland’s active transportation minister is accused of spreading confusion by encouraging kids to wear a bike helmet, after saying they have no value for adult riders. On the other hand, at least they have an active transportation minister, unlike some countries I could name.

Seriously? A British minibus driver was told he “could be” facing jail time after he was convicted of deliberately swerving to slam into a bike rider, as his passengers watched. Someone needs to change that “could be” into damn well will be.

A former UK minister proves once again you can carry anything on a bike, as he sets off on a 2,000 mile bike tour of Europe with his trusty cello on an extended rear rack.

Bicycling rates are up 53% in Belgium, but bike theft continues to plague Brussels, even as it drops in the rest of the country.

A Czech company wants you to make tushy imprint and take pictures of it, so they can build a 3D-printed bike saddle custom-made to fit your butt, for a mere $400.

A crowdfunding campaign headed by Copenhagenize author and urban planner Mikael Colville-Andersen is raising funds to supply bicycles and build pop-up bike infrastructure for refugees fleeing the Russian invasion in Lviv, Ukraine; the crowdfunding campaign has raised roughly 1% of the more than $212,000 goal.

Bikeshare comes to Cairo, Egypt for the equivalent of just 54¢ per hour.

They get it. A New Zealand website refutes the myth that bike lanes are bad for business.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pre-race favorite Richard Carapaz held on to the pink leader’s jersey right up to the penultimate stage of the Giro, when he lost it to 26-year old Aussie Jai Hindley. Hindley held on in the final time trial, unlike two years ago when he lost the race in the final stage.

Hindley is the first Australian to win the Giro; a Sydney paper explains everything you need to know about the country’s newest cycling star.

Cycling News offers five moments that defined this year’s Giro.

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan is headed to Kansas this weekend for the 100-mile Unbound Gravel race.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can own your very own NFT of the world’s first 3D printed bike. When you’re riding with an outstanding warrant, meth and drug paraphernalia on your bike, put a damn light on it.

And why wait for bikes to hit the street before running them down?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Morning Links: Auto-centric traffic safety denier op-ed in OC Register, cross-border bike rescue, and why people keep dying

One quick bit of advice before we get started. 

With all the fires in California this week, it’s important to note that wildfire smoke can cause problems ranging from allergies and irritated eyes to lasting lung damage. 

So if you can smell smoke, don’t ride. If you have to ride, wear a mask.

And stop by your local hardware store or pharmacy to get one that really works.

Your lungs will thank you. 

Photo by Denniz Futalan from Pexels.

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File this one under you’ve got to be kidding.

An op-ed in the Orange County Register makes some of the most blatant auto-centric, traffic safety denier arguments for the preservation of automotive hegemony we’ve yet seen.

Starting with the photo and captions of the “recent” road diets in Playa Del Rey.

LA Department of Transportation crews began restoring a second eastbound lane of traffic on Culver Boulevard between Nicholson Street and Jefferson Boulevard in Playa Del Rey while adding bollards as barriers to protect new bike/walk lanes. A recent “road diet” caused gridlock and backlash from commuters. Work is expected to be complete by Monday morning commute. Photo by Robert Casillas, Daily Breeze/SCNG

Only problem is, those road diets and bike lanes were removed two year ago. after climate friendly progressive mayor had them unceremoniously yanked out.

Evidently, it’s taken LADOT a long damn time to finish the work.

Or maybe our friendly neighborhood traffic safety denier authors — one a senior fellow with the Cato Institute, which is funded by the anti-transit Koch Brothers, the other an attorney and member of traffic safety denier pressure group Keep LA Moving — didn’t bother to do even the most basic fact checking.

Or maybe just didn’t care.

As demonstrated by their lead paragraphs, repeating the myth that a recent road diet prevented the evacuation of Paradise CA, leading to the deaths of 86 people.

Except it’s not true, according to the town’s mayor.

Mayor Jody Jones said Tuesday that the evacuation of Paradise, begun at 7:46 a.m Nov. 8, was complete by 3 p.m. Residents who arrived at a shelter in Oroville said the 16-mile exodus took 2½ hours, better than the three-hour evacuation in 2008 that sparked the Butte County Grand Jury’s investigation.

“I don’t believe that it really mattered,” Jones said of the changes made on Skyway. “I don’t think there’s any town in the world prepared with a roadway infrastructure that could evacuate their entire town all at once. They’re just not built to do that.”

That’s right.

The evacuation route took half an hour less than the same journey ten years earlier — six years before the road was even installed.

Then there’s this whopper.

The mass-produced automobile is one of the greatest inventions in American history because it brought both physical and economic mobility to the masses. These benefits were accompanied by pollution and safety issues, but such problems have dramatically declined. Cars today are 99 percent cleaner than cars in 1970, and fatality rates per 100 million vehicle miles have declined more than 75 percent.

Ask anyone who rides a bike or walks if they feel safer on the streets.

Never mind that this great invention they cite is literally one of the least efficient ways to move human beings from one place to another. And has the entire world on the brink of a climate disaster.

But hey, they’re not as bad as they used to be, right?

Or how about this?

The numbers reveal that fatalities plummeted 21 percent after the 2008 financial crisis. This was because total driving fell by 2.3 percent, reducing congestion and apparently increasing safety. When driving and congestion increased again during the economic recovery, fatalities also increased, though not by as much as they had declined.

This suggests that small reductions in traffic congestion can save many lives. Congestion especially makes intersections and streets more dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.

However, there is a much better case to be made that while congestion may increase the risk of collisions, the severity of crashes decreases along with the decrease in speeds.

As we’ve seen in LA, the risk of traffic fatalities actually increases dramatically when streets are less congested, enabling drivers to speed and drive more aggressively.

Studies have found that for every pedestrian whose life might be saved by slowing traffic, anywhere from 35 to 85 people will die from sudden cardiac arrest due to delayed emergency response. This doesn’t even count other medical emergencies, structure fires, or other emergency service needs.

Someone please show us these studies, because they defy all comprehension.

Or maybe the Federal Highway Administration has no idea what they’re talking about when they say that not only do road diets not slow down emergency response times, they can actually improve them.

Then our traffic safety denier guides bring it down to the local level, LA style.

Los Angeles installed a road diet on Venice Boulevard, a tsunami, fire, and earthquake evacuation route, converting two of six traffic lanes into bicycle lanes. Auto traffic declined yet bicycle-auto accidents increased, a problem worsened by the difficulty emergency vehicles had in reaching injured cyclists.

Which is funny, since the road diet on Venice Blvd, aka the Mar Vista Great Streets project, actually reduced injury collisions involving people on bicycles, while eliminating severe injury collisions.

And average response times for the Mar Vista fire station are just 30 seconds longer than the citywide average.

Yes, every second matters. But clearly, the roads aren’t as congested and impassible as they would have us believe.

Let’s end on this note.

Calculations using the Department of Transportation’s National Transit Database reveal that transit in Los Angeles and most cities not named New York uses more energy and emits more greenhouse gases per passenger mile than the average car or SUV. Autos use even more energy and pollute the most in congested traffic, so increasing congestion or forcing people onto transit are the wrong ways to protect the environment.

The solution is not to force people to keep driving, which has already resulted in ever increasing traffic congestion virtually everywhere, with or without road diets.

It’s to provide viable alternatives to driving in order to get more of those cars, trucks and SUVs off the road. And the way to do that is by making bicycling, walking and transit safer, more pleasant and more efficient.

Not by doing the exact opposite.

Note: I debunked many of these and other similar myths by the Keep LA Moving half of these traffic safety denier authors in a response to his equally wacky Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this year.

Sadly, it’s clear they’ll still get a platform, though, as long as newspapers keep excluding opinion pieces from any form of fact checking.

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David Drexler forwards news of a stolen bicycle returned to its owner, despite being taken across the border into Mexico.

Thanks in part to Bike Index.

BIKE INDEX AIDS IN RARE CROSS-BORDER RECOVERY
San Diego, Coronado, and Tijuana police forces collaborate expertly after receiving a tip on Bike Index to recover this $6,000 bicycle.

“Hi think I saw your bike on a swap meet place in Tijuana, which was a very weird place for me find an awesome bike. I’ve got the feeling that it was stolen so I took some pics and sent them to your phone. I hope it’s your stolen bike.” In August, a bike was stolen from outside of the Hotel del Coronado. A month later, someone messaged the registrant using Bike Index, believing they saw the bike at a swap meet in Mexico. Officers in Tijuana recovered the bike and met officers from the San Diego and Coronado police at the border to return the stolen bike to the owner. Cross-border recoveries are extremely rare! We’ve only had two others in our history: one bike found in Guadalajara and another found in Mexico City.

So what are you waiting for?

Register your own bike, already. Before it’s too late.

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This is why people keep dying on the streets.

The family of a Michigan man is understandably upset about a plea deal that would mean just one year in jail for the hit-and-run driver who killed him as he was riding his bike, instead of the maximum of 15-years behind bars.

After a New York trucker was convicted of killing a bike rider while driving with a suspended license, the judge sentenced him to…wait for it…another suspended sentence. Which probably won’t keep him off the roads, either.

A Malaysian judge dropped all charges and freed a woman who had slammed her car into a group of teenaged bike riders, killing eight young men; the judge ruled the police had failed to sufficiently investigate the crash. And even gave her back her driver’s license so she could do it again.

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The LACBC offers a few slogans for your Climate Strike sign at this Friday’s City Hall protest, which will feature 16-year old climate activist Greta Thunberg.

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

Brooklyn garbage collectors respond to the recent deaths of bike riders killed by garbage truck drivers by walling off a bike lane with garbage cans to protest this damn bike riders. No, really.

Then there’s this, from our own LA backyard.

Meanwhile, CiclaValley says the new Safe Lanes app is the best way to record and report drivers who block bike lanes.

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Local

Here’s a better version of the Eastsider’s story about construction work on the new Red Car Pedestrian Bridge over the LA River that we linked to yesterday. Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the link.

West Hollywood ranked in the bottom third of America’s Best Small Cities, but scored a top 20 ranking for quality of life, due in part to its bikeshare system. Which has now been removed.

It’s not just bike riders who are dying in LA-area hit-and-runs.

 

State

The California Transportation Commission will livestream a symposium on the state’s Active Transportation Program today and tomorrow.

San Diego residents can look forward to a number of street disruptions in the South Bay Area for construction of the South Bay Rapid transit system starting, uh, yesterday. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

More news from down south, where the bikeways program of the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, is on hold for a year after falling behind schedule and $79 million over budget. Smart thinking. Nothing will get them back on track like falling even further behind.

Sacramento residents discuss how they’d make biking and walking safer.

 

National

Great long read from Cycling Tips’ James Huang, aka the Angry Asian, who says enough already, it’s time the bike industry did something about traffic deaths, while a Kentucky newspaper says not only are more pedestrians dying on our streets, but even more carnage lies ahead.

Vox says carfree zones could be the future of cities. Exactly what former state legislator Mike Gatto called for in Sunday’s Daily News.

He gets it. A writer for a public interest research group says with the dangers posed by climate change, bike riders getting scared off the roads by safety fears should be a big red flag, and we already know how to fix it.

A driving website recommends the best bike bells, calling them a must-have for a “safe, care-free ride.” Because evidently, a bell can be heard above a bumping sound system in a hermetically sealed, virtually soundproof motor vehicle, instantly alerting the driver he’s about to run over your ass. Right?

Outside tests three popular e-cargo bikes, and likes the Tern best. But says the much cheaper RadWagon will still get you there.

Evidently, they don’t get a lot of bike-riding Buddhist monks in Memphis. Or headline proof readers, for that matter.

When Boston park benches get in the way of bike stunts, just take an angle cutter and remove them. The benches, that is.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. New York responds to this year’s epidemic of bicycling deaths with a $1.7 billion commitment to build 250 miles of protected bike lanes. Meanwhile, Los Angeles is committed to building bupkis.

A bike rider says he was tackled off his bike while riding on a DC trail and robbed at gunpoint, with the thief taking his bike, pannier, wallet and everything else he had with him.

The admittedly drunk New Orleans driver who killed two people riding bikes and injured several others at a Mardi Gras parade has changed his plea and and admitted guilt to all charges; he now faces up to 80 years behind bars.

A kindhearted anonymous donor dropped off a new bicycle for a Florida chef after his was stolen while he was at work; he can’t drive due to epilepsy and relies on his bicycle to get anywhere.

 

International

Interesting idea. A new bike stem comes with a built-in bike computer and 800 lumen headlight.

A brazen British bike thief literally followed a woman into a local shop to steal her new bike, after she took it in because she’d forgotten her lock.

In an absolutely brilliant step, a Belgian TV show takes politicians on a bike ride to show them the poor state of bicycle infrastructure, then confronts them with 500 relatives of people on bicycles who died because of it. Maybe if an LA TV station tried that, we might actually see some changes around here.

The City Fix offers three key lessons from The Netherlands to help spur bicycling in your own city.

A Pakistani man was killed when a glass-coated kite string fell on him, slitting his throat as he rode his bike; coated strings are used for popular kite battles in which the goal is to cut the strings of other kites.

Japanese internet users are in a tizzy after a mom is caught on video smacking her son in the head and knocking him down, for riding his bike in front of a car without looking.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling likes next year’s Giro course, of course.

Good for them. After the lead rider in a Brazilian bike race got hit by a driver on an open course while the cop responsible for stopping traffic stood idly by checking his phone (see below), the entire peloton laid down their bikes and walked off in protest.

But maybe you’re more into Brompton racing.

 

Finally…

Mutant bikes and the people who love them. Who hasn’t dreamed of one day owning a shape-shifting aero bike helmet?

And nothing like getting dropped by a little kid.

 

Morning Links: It’s Bike Week in SoCal, but anti-Bike Week in Riverside, and OC columnist calls out deadly drivers

Today’s common theme?

Bike Week, of course.

Metro is celebrating with a 30 day Metro Bike Pass for just one dollar this month.

LA Downtown News looks forward to tomorrow’s multi-denominational Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital. Unfortunately, you won’t see me there this year as I continue to rehab my knee, even though the Blessing of the Bicycles is my favorite Bike Week event.

The annual Ride of Silence will take place on Wednesday, and for the first time, will travel from the Vermont and Wilshire Metro Station to Los Angeles City Hall. Maybe then our city leaders will get the message.

This is what Zachary Rynew, aka CiclaValley, had to say about it.

This Wednesday evening, there are a number of events across the Southland for the Ride of Silence and if you’re part of this community, I hope you take part.

Commemorating those that have been lost or injured riding in the roadway isn’t an experience we wish for, but it does provide a moment of inspiration. We all share these streets and each Ride of Silence has brought out all factions of our community. While we are blessed to be a part of this group, there’s an obligation to honor those no longer with us. I know from the number of ghost bikes I’ve placed, providing support to even complete strangers gives comfort to us all.

There will be hundreds of rides taking place across the globe, but if you’re in the Los Angeles area, please take the time Wednesday evening to take place in one of the rides at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Thousand Oaks, or the one I’m hosting from the Vermont / Wilshire Station to City Hall.
You can also find a number of other rides across California or the nation by going here. We ride for each other because these roads connect us not just point to point, but person to person.

Thursday is Bike to Work Day, which is the Bike Week equivalent of trick or treating for bike commuters. You’ll find pit stops with treats and other assorted goodies all over LA County; though not all are on the map. Metro will also offer free rides for anyone with a bike or helmet.

The LACBC will have their own Bike to Work Day pit stop on Spring Street in DTLA.

Pasadena and CICLE will bring you a full week of Rose City Bike Week events, ranging from a Taste of Pasadena and Women’s Bike Night, to a Bike from Work Happy Hour and a Bike-In Movie.

Santa Clarita will mark Bike Week with Bike to Work Day and the final stage of this year’s Amgen Tour of California.

Ride with Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole on Saturday to explore the city’s 19 miles of new green bike lanes. Santa Monica Spoke has more Bike Month and Bike Week activities, including a Bike From Work Handlebar Happy Hour.

LA County Bike Week wraps up with the 626 Golden Streets: Mission to Mission ride on Sunday; the Alhambra Source tells you everything you need to know.

OCTA, aka the Orange County Transportation Authority, is hosting a ride on Thursday, plus a chance to win a Trek 2 bicycle or Fitbit Charge 2 if you pledge to ride to work at least one day this month.

San Diego will celebrate Bike to Work Day on Thursday, as well.

Ventura County celebrates Bike Week with a full week of biking to work, instead of a single day, including “entertainment, opportunities and prizes.”

Photo by Ali Arapoğlu from Pexels.

………

On the other hand, hats off to the Riverside Police Department for celebrating National Bike Month and attempting to improve bike safety by — wait for it — cracking down on the vulnerable people on two wheels, and giving the ones in the big, dangerous machines a pass.

If the goal is to get more people on their bikes, that’s the wrong way to go about it.

Let alone improve safety.

………

Powerful piece by Orange County Register columnist David Whiting, who calls out distracted and aggressive drivers for far too many OC bicycling deaths.

He also quotes longtime Orange County bike advocate Bill Sellin extensively.

Except things are even worse than Whiting says. With the death of a man in Santa Ana last week, there have now been four people killed while riding bikes in OC this year, not the three he cites in the article.

Thanks to John McBreaty for the heads-up. 

………

New Orange County Bicycle Coalition board member Mike Wilkinson wonders why downhill riders should have all the fun.

………

Taylor Nichols says if you see this guy riding around the Hollywood Hills, say hi and maybe pass him a few bucks.

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

An Aussie driver is accused of running down a man on a bike, intentionally backing over him, and fleeing the scene. Then gets released on a ridiculously low $10,000 bond, and claims she thought she just ran over a piece of metal. Sure. A piece of metal with wheels and a human being attached.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a violent road raging driver got ten months home vacation, uh, detention and community service for intentionally swerving at a man riding his bike, forcing him up on the sidewalk, then making a U-turn to come back and slam into him. Then when the victim came to in the street with a severely broken leg, the driver stood over him and said “Serves you right.”

………

Local

Police in South Pasadena are warning about an increase in bicycle thefts.

A new survey shows most Santa Monica bikeshare and e-scooter users are young, affluent and live outside the city. And over half are using them to replace motor vehicle trips.

 

State

Speaking of OCTA, they want your input on how to improve the Beach Boulevard La Habra and Huntington Beach; options include enhanced sidewalks and bicycle paths.

The Orange County Sheriffs Department will conduct a pair of safety enforcement operations today, with a bicycle and pedestrian enforcement in San Clemente, and cracking down on motorcycle safety violations in Stanton. Standard protocols apply; ride to the letter of the law until you leave the city limits. Thanks to Rock Kendall for the tip.

San Diego County has broken ground on what will be the county’s first bike park, scheduled to open later this year.

Los Angeles is known for car chases; in San Diego, they flee on bikes.

Too scary. Someone apparently took a few shots at Oxnard bike rider from a passing car for no apparent reason.

People for Bikes says Santa Barbara is the best bike city in California.

San Francisco’s Timbuk2 is keeping up with the times by shifting its emphasis from messenger bags to backpacks and products designed for women.

Sad news from Stockton, where a hit-and-run driver left a man who was either riding or walking his bike to die alone in the street.

 

National

Open your wallet wide. Because bicyclists will get to pay for Trump’s trade war with China. Especially people in the market for entry level and kids bikes.

Good piece from Curbed’s Alissa Walker, saying bike lanes need barriers instead of just paint, because cities shouldn’t let people on bicycles get run over.

City Lab explores what it will take to finish America’s first coast-to-coast bike trail.

A new app from a pair of Oregon professors promises to give you a green light 80% of the time.

An Idaho letter writer calls for the law to be changed to allow bicyclists to ride facing traffic, on the assumption it will improve safetyHint: It won’t. Riding salmon dramatically increases your risk of a serious crash. 

Nice work. A pair of bicycling Colorado grandmas are hanging it up after riding 20,000 miles on multiple trips across the US, raising nearly three-quarter of a million dollars to fight Huntington’s Disease.

Kindhearted North Dakota firefighters buy a new bike for a boy whose bike was stolen, after seeing a Facebook post about the theft.

A retired Kansas trauma surgeon is planning to ride 1,000 miles from Wichita to Winnipeg, Canada to honor his daughter and raise funds to fight eating disorders, following her death from anorexia and depression.

Not even bike cops are safe from hit-and-run drivers, as a Dallas police officer learned the hard way; fortunately, he was not seriously injured.

Minneapolis police busted a bike rider for smashing the windows on a school bus, though they’re not sure if it’s the same person who vandalized two previous school buses for parking in a bike lane.

Now that’s more like it. A Michigan century ride is providing bicyclists with food stops offering cherry pie along the way, and a hot buffet, live music and cocktails at the end.

Now that’s more like it too. An Indiana bike park has opened an adaptive use trail for kids and adults with disabilities.

Great video of kids from a Massachusetts Boys and Girls Club being surprised with 25 new bicycles.

A biking Buffalo bishop plans to ride 3,000 miles through 600 cities on four continents to raise funds for homeless people and the less fortunate.

A Brooklyn bike path is not the place for a swastika; nowhere else is, either.

A New York letter writer tells the red light-running bicyclist who cursed him out for almost hitting him, “If you ever wonder why arrogant cyclists are so reviled by law-abiding motorists like myself” just look in the mirror. Something tells me there’s another side to this, but still.

You gotta respect a successful Hollywood actor who rides the streets of New York with a wooden crate instead of a basket. And takes his rescue dog with him.

The son of a Pennsylvania police officer who was killed in the line of duty will join in on the 250-mile national police memorial ride to Washington DC to honor fallen officers.

He gets it. A Virginia coffee shop owner has started a petition calling for safer streets for people on bicycles, based on personal experience.

They get it too. A South Carolina newspaper says safety education and increased enforcement won’t reverse the longstanding neglect that kills too many bike riders and pedestrians. And the only way to get truly safe roads is to build them that way.

A Tampa, Florida TV station says putting your garbage can out in the bike lane is a serious problem.

 

International

No more dirty bikes. Now you can buy your own pressure washer made just for washing bicycles for the equivalent of less than $120.

The makers of the new Xtracycle ebike promise it never become obsolete, changing along with the rider through all stages of life.

Riding across Canada with two good legs is hard. Riding 4,500 miles across the country on a handcycle after losing the use of his legs is another thing entirely.

Canadian Cycling Magazine offers tips for beginning riders.

A Toronto newspaper says six years and $2.59 million dollars is a lot for bike parking, even if it does come with showers; they’ve got a point, the project was originally supposed to be done two years ago for less than half of that.

No bias here. A writer for a driving website accuses Montreal’s leaders of having an anti-car agenda, after the city responded to the death of a bike rider by closing a roadway through a park that drivers had been using as a freeway to avoid traffic, and favoring high-speed “racing bike scofflaws.” Just like LA’s Playa del Rey, the action was reversed after angry drivers got out their torches and pitchforks.

A New Brunswick, Canada teenager has developed a bike light designed to show drivers the equivalent of a three-foot passing distance.

British blogger Velo City Girl is working to make bicycling more socially inclusive, while dumping the Lycra.

The New York Times considers the Welsh program allowing doctors to prescribe bikeshare to their patients, saying “take two bike rides and call me in the morning.”

If you build it, they will obey the law. A new study shows that just 5% of Dutch bike riders break the law, compared to 66% of drivers; that rose to 14% of bicyclists when there was no bike infrastructure present.

Just in time for Bike Week, an Aussie columnist describes his journey from timid beginning bike commuter to peak MAMIL.

 

Competitive Cycling

As usual, we’re going to avoid spoilers for this year’s Amgen Tour of California, as well as the Giro d’Italia, for anyone who hasn’t had a chance to catch up on the most recent stages. Which is why we’ll just say Sunday’s first stage of the AToC offered a very dramatic sprint to the finish with a surprising competitor.

The Tour of California continues to grow in international stature, with lots of stars, but no clear favorite. Although it’s questionable what this headline from the LA Times preview even means.

CiclaValley offers his own take on the action about to unfold this week.

VeloNews says the penultimate Mount Baldy queen stage could overshadowed by four potential breakaway stages.

The Santa Clarita Signal looks forward to Saturday’s final stage of the AToC.

And in non-ATOC news, apparently bike racing is the perfect cure for the stress of working with dolphins.

 

Finally…

Now you can own your very own Bird scooter for the low, low price of just $1,299; thanks to David Drexler for the link. When your bike becomes a moveable kinetic sculpture. Real FBI agents hardly ever ride bikes on the job, and they seldom dump live catfish on your lawn.

And apparently, my name has an entirely different meaning north of the border.

Somehow, I prefer the second meaning.

Thanks to Chris Klibowitz for finding that one.

I think.

Morning Links: Green bike lanes coming to Beverly Hills, and windshield bias from Pepperdine economics prof

Hell is about to freeze over.

After years of telling us it was impossible and repeatedly voting it down, Beverly Hills has given final approval for bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd, between Wilshire Blvd and Doheny Drive.

The city council also overrode a staff recommendation for white striped lanes with a little green paint at key conflict zones, instead voting for green lanes the entire length, at a cost of around $100,000 — nearly triple the staff’s $35,000 budget.

Which should give you an idea just how cheap bike lanes really are.

The work should be done sometime this spring.

Thanks should go to Beverly Hills’ bike-friendly Mayor Lili Bosse, as well as Better Bike’s Mark Elliot, who continued a quixotic and nearly solitary fight for the lanes, long after others had given up.

Myself included.

Photo from Beverly Hills website.

………

I’d give this econ professor an F.

In an Op-Ed for the Orange County Register, Pepperdine’s Gary Galles writes that transit use is down because cars remain popular.

And that the reason they are so popular is because they are “vastly superior” transit and other forms of non-motorized transportation.

Many things are already in motion to solve transit agencies’ problems. For instance, in 2015, Los Angeles began a 20-year plan to remove auto lanes for bus and protected bike lanes, as well as pedestrian enhancements, diverting transportation funds raised from drivers and heightening congestion for the vast majority who planners already know will continue to drive.

Such less than effective attempts to cut driving by creating gridlock purgatory suggest we ask a largely ignored question. Why do planners’ attempts to force residents into walking, cycling and mass transit, supposedly improving their quality of life, attract so few away from driving?

The reason is simple — cars are vastly superior to alternatives for the vast majority of individuals and circumstances.

Of course, what he fails to consider from his windshield-perspective perch overlooking PCH is that drivers around Southern California already complain about massive traffic congestion.

And, in fact, one of the reasons bus use is less attractive that driving is that bus schedules are constantly thrown off by all those people in cars jamming streets beyond their practical capacity.

So what traffic planners are attempting isn’t to create a gridlock purgatory.

It’s dealing with the traffic congestion hell we already find ourselves in, and preparing for an otherwise dystopian future in which more and more people try to jam themselves into an already built-out traffic system that can no longer be expanded.

So unless we provide those people with safe, practical alternatives to driving, our streets will continue to get worse with every new car added to the grid.

That means more frequent and reliable transit, and safer walking and biking. Which in some cases will require making traffic worse in the short term in order to make it better in the long term.

As an economics professor, he should understand that.

But as a shill for the motor vehicle industry, he’s doing a damn good job.

………

The Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council will discuss the draft Hollywood Community Plan at the William & Ariel Durant Library, 7140 West Sunset Blvd on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 6-8 pm.

If you live, work or ride in bikeway-challenged Hollywood, you’ll want to be there to support the bike lanes described in Section 6 of the plan.

Because the Hollywood Hills homeowners will undoubtedly turn out in force once again to complain about density and traffic congestion. As well as bike lanes, if they think it will contribute to either one.

Thanks to the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition for the heads-up.

………

Local

A Pacoima square will be dedicated in honor of fallen cyclist Saul Lopez, the 15-year old boy who was collateral damage in a crash between two cars at Glenoaks Boulevard and Vaughn Street after one of the drivers ran a red light.

 

State

Coronado, where bike lanes give residents vertigo, considers improving bike safety by replacing stop signs with roundabouts; needless to say, not everyone approves.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs rolls this weekend, and a letter writer says it’s rude to ride two or more abreast and force drivers to change lanes (scroll down) to go around them. Even though that’s exactly what drivers are supposed to do, unless there’s a solid yellow line.

A Bakersfield columnist shares the joys of his regular Saturday morning group ride, which has been riding together for over 20 years.

Not so fast on the bike boulevard in San Luis Obispo, as the cycle track portion of the project has been put on hold after residents rise up to demand their God-given right to free street parking.

The former mayor of SLO tries to out-crazy the Coronado NIMBY’s, describing the planned bikeway as “urban rape … not to be performed by a male penis, but by thousands of inanimate bicycles … .” No, seriously.

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan will host a pair of California fondos, starting with a gravel ride in Truckee this May, and a road ride in a city TBD in November.

 

National

Nice idea. In an attempt to support sustainable transportation, a Washington couple builds a small Bike Hut on the edge of their property, providing riders in need with spare tubes, chain lube and other small necessities.

A Montana paper looks at the efforts of rural towns to capitalize on bicycle tourism.

Zen and the art of bicycle maintenance in Minneapolis.

After moving off campus, a Johns Hopkins University student discovers the joys of bicycling in Baltimore and the city’s monthly Bike Party.

A writer from Los Angeles falls head-over-heels — literally — for mountain biking just a few hours outside Atlanta. And wonders why he doesn’t do it more here in California.

 

International

A couple of British pub owners ride the length of South America, covering over 3,000 miles from Chile to Argentina.

A London physician gets it, saying the city’s Camden neighborhood won’t meet its smog reduction goals without a greater emphasis on bicycling and presumed liability. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, presumed liability assumes the operator of the more dangerous vehicle is at fault in any collision, unless it can be proven that the other party is at fault, because they have a greater responsibility to avoid crashes due to their ability to cause greater harm.

A British coroner rules that a velodrome did not follow safety guidelines when a cyclist was killed in a 35 mph crash with another rider in 2014.

An Aussie letter writer says bicycles should be required to have bells, since there’s apparently no other way to politely warn others a bike is approaching. And seems to be under the illusion that drivers politely yield to people on bikes and on foot.

 

Competitive Cycling

An entre Italian amateur team gets busted for systematic doping (scroll down) following the heart attack death of a 21-year old cyclist last May. But sure, tell us again how the era of doping is over.

VeloNews previews this year’s Amgen Tour of California, and says the key stages will be the famed Gibraltar climb and the time trial in Morgan Hill. And looks at how the pros overcome the fear of failure and getting hurt.

 

Finally…

Evidently, I’m not actually a road cyclist. Maybe someday you’ll ride wearing an inflatable flak jacket.

And today is International Winter Bike to Work Day.

So pat yourself on the back if you were able to somehow endure Southern California’s sunny winter weather on your way to work this morning.

Morning Links: $4.5 million settlement in broken street death, new laws aren’t helping OC, and windshield bias in CD7

LA’s poorly maintained streets and lack of safe bicycling infrastructure will cost taxpayers $4.5 million dollars.

And cost a bike rider his life.

The city council agreed to a settlement in the 2014 case of Edgardo Gabat, who struck a two-inch ridge of concrete on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, and was thrown over his handlebars.

Sadly, the city knew about the problem after other riders had been injured there, but failed to fix it. Yet continued to list Colorado as a bicycle-friendly street, despite a lack of any bicycling infrastructure or warning signs.

As the LA Times points out, this settlement comes as Los Angeles debates whether to invest Measure M local return funds in fixing the streets or supporting Vision Zero projects.

Clearly, both are necessary. Because sometimes, it’s the same thing.

And as large as this settlement is, I have a feeling Gabat’s family would gladly give it all back just to have him with them again.

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from David Whiting of the Orange County Register, who says new laws and thousands of dollars spent improving safety haven’t cut the county’s bicycling death toll, averaging one rider a month killed in traffic collisions.

Yes, he stresses the need for bike riders to be polite and obey the law. And he’s not wrong about that, although no one ever seems to suggest that every driver has to obey all the laws and be ambassadors for motoring.

But he does point the finger where it belongs, at distracted drivers and dangerously close passes that violate the state’s three-foot law. And notes that fines for littering exceed the penalty for nearly killing another human being with just inches to spare.

The kicker to the story, which ends with a call for Wednesday’s Ride of Silence, is that his own wife returned home from a ride as he was writing it, and reported that a man in a truck yelled an obscenity at her.

Which really shouldn’t surprise anyone, unfortunately.

………

Streetsblog considers the new protected bike lanes on Foothill Blvd in Sunland-Tujunga, which were installed as a Vision Zero measure in response to the death of bike rider Jeff Knopp. And how they entered the debate between CD7 council candidates Karo Torossian and Monica Rodriguez, as the formerly bike-friendly Torossian offered a windshield-perspective comment about bike lanes being “rammed down our throats.”

Meanwhile, the Eastsider repeats questions for the candidates for CD1, and once again, gets crickets from incumbent Gil Cedillo.

For all the problems that have surfaced recently with Joe Bray-Ali, it’s hard to imagine he could be any less responsive or more out-of-touch with the district than Cedillo has been.

………

This is why you don’t retaliate against drivers, no matter what they do or how pissed off you are.

A Santa Clarita man was sentenced to 188 days behind bars for throwing a bottle at a car after the driver apparently cut him off as he rode his bike on the sidewalk.

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CNN visits the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel above Lake Como in Italy and its shrine to cycling and the Giro d’Italia.

A major crash took down 50 riders in the Giro, sending a number of riders out of the race and into the hospital. Meanwhile, Vincenzo Nibali’s homecoming was ruined when one of his teammates got the cycling equivalent of a red card for shoving another rider off the road.

The Modesto Bee previews the Amgen Tour of California, which starts this weekend, and says keep an eye on Peter Sagan. French rider Julian Alaphilippe won’t be defending his title, or competing in the Tour de France, for that matter, after knee surgery knocks him out for at least four weeks.

Southern California’s Coryn Rivera returns to compete in the four-stage women’s Tour of California after becoming the first American the Tour of Flanders; full rosters were released for the women’s teams.

The course for this summer’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will go backwards.

………

Local

Metro invites you to attend the grand opening of the long-awaited Hollywood Bike Hub on Friday the 19th at 9 am.

CiclaValley looks at last weekend’s NBA Reunion and BMX Bike Show, which oddly had nothing to do with basketball.

The LACBC will be hosting a pair of bike safety classes in Inglewood this afternoon and this evening.

The Bikerowave bike co-op invites you to bring your bike in on Saturday to get ready for Bike to Work Day, and score some swag from Metro.

Santa Monica gets serious about reducing traffic fatalities, including hiring a Vision Zero Czar, increasing funding, improving infrastructure, updating the bike action plan, and addressing the city’s speeding problem. Maybe LA could take a few hints from them.

The year’s first Redondo Beach TEDx talk addresses the city’s transportation issues, like how to reduce driving and where more bike lanes are needed; sadly, the discussion came just two days before a 13-year old girl was killed riding her bike along PCH.

Speaking of the young victim in that case, the Easy Reader News offers the most complete account yet of what happened that tragic night, and the heartbreaking impact Ciara Smith’s death has had on the community. If the story doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I am.

Long Beach approved plans for a new 2.5 mile bicycle boulevard in the southeast part of the city. Thus demonstrating to its much larger neighbor that it is in fact possible to build the things that are included in a city’s bike plan.

 

State

Good question. The Human Streets website asks if it’s possible to get the data needed to pass the Idaho Stop Law in California without actually trying it first.

An injured mountain biker was airlifted after falling off his bike at the top of Coyote Run Trail in Wood Canyons Wilderness Park near Laguna Nigel.

Laguna Beach is looking for more input to create a more inviting entrance to the city, including a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cal State Fullerton police are looking for a bike-riding man who threatened to kill a woman who rejected his sexual comments.

Newport Beach boldly backs out of plans to improve safety on Bayside Drive, canceling plans for a roundabout, as well as an alternate plan for a road diet. Because obviously, you don’t want to do anything to save lives if it might possibly inconvenience someone.

Sixteen bike repair stations will be installed at fire stations throughout Ventura County over the next year; a 10-mile family friendly ride will be held on Monday to celebrate the first one.

Bakersfield police are still investigating a member of a prominent local farming family in the January hit-and-run death of a woman riding her bike; police found an empty vodka bottle in the SUV of the driver, who has at least one previous DUI.

A Bay Area TV station offers advise on what you need to start cycling, albeit from a strict roadie perspective.

 

National

A new study shows increasing bicycling infrastructure can reduce fatalities and severe injuries as much as 75%. It includes Los Angeles as an example, even though LA has drastically cut back on building bikeways, and largely forgotten its 2010 bike plan.

People for Bikes says living plants make great diverters and traffic calming measures while doubling as on-street storm drainage.

Oregon considers a new 4% – 5% excise tax on the sale of new bicycles to fund transportation projects; while bike advocates may not like the idea, they’re not going to the mattresses.

Chicago is about to get its first contraflow bike lane, on a road where people frequently ride salmon to avoid busier streets.

As we mentioned awhile back, Pittsburgh-based ultracycling legend Danny Chew is back on track towards his goal of riding one million miles in his lifetime, now using a handcycle after a crash that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Hundreds of police officers are riding from New Jersey to DC for the annual Police Unity Tour to honor officers killed in the line of duty.

The homeless man who stabbed a Connecticut man to death as he neared the end of a ride to Miami to propose to his girlfriend won’t stand trial after being declared incompetent by the judge.

 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips says there’s no such thing as “just” a concussion, and every brain injury has to be taken seriously. I concur, from experience.

London’s Telegraph shares ten cycling routes you should tackle on your next trip to the UK.

After former three-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome was intentionally hit by a car while training in France, the BBC asks how safe the roads in the UK really are for people on bikes.

The Guardian says police have to crack down on vicious drivers, because bike riders don’t deserve to be killed by bike-hating motorists for jumping lights or hopping curbs.

Caught on video: Yesterday we mentioned the road raging London mother-to-be who will be having her baby behind bars after running a bike rider off the road and into a tree; today, horrifying security cam video of the crash was released. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Dutch art student left her bike in an English town when she returned home, with a note encouraging people to use it and return it for others to use.

The Paris Velib bikeshare goes electric with a new operator, ebikes and a new parking scheme that doubles dock capacity.

 

Finally…

The best way to lose a race — and get laughed at — is to celebrate your victory a lap early. Unless it’s nearly getting run over by the peloton posing for your Instagram pics.

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a drunken crash, make sure the cyclist you hit wasn’t a bike cop.

They take that shit seriously.

 

Weekend Links: The CHP gets it wrong again, the LA Times gets it right, and North Fig safety dogs Cedillo

We’re still at 19 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive after yesterday’s unplanned absence.

So let’s get two more people to sign up or renew your membership now to make it 21 new members by the 21st.

Your fellow bike riders are depending on you to add your support to the LA area’s leading voice for bicyclists, and help make this a more bikeable, livable and equitable city.

Never mind the great LACBC gear you’ll get just for signing up.

………

Happy Bike to Shop Day.

………

Once again, the CHP gets it wrong.

Despite what a CHP officer told the OC Register’s traffic columnist, there is no law in California requiring cyclists to ride single file, on narrow roads or anywhere else.

Even though the department has been known to misapply CVC 21202, which requires bicyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable.

However, subsection 3 of the ride to right law exempts substandard lanes from that requirement, explicitly stating that the law does not apply on any lane that is too narrow for a bicycle to safely share with a motor vehicle. In most cases, that means any lane less than 14 feet wide, since bike riders are allowed to ride a safe distance from the curb, and drivers are required to give at least a three-foot passing distance.

That means, despite the officer’s assertions, that there is no legal justification for ticketing cyclists who ride abreast in a narrow lane, and no requirement under California law that they ride single file in the scene shown in the photo accompanying the column, where the lane is clearly too narrow for a cyclist to safely share with most cars, let alone a truck or SUV.

Yes, it is courteous to allow drivers to pass when safe to do so.

However, it is often safer for bicyclists to ride side-by-side on narrow roadways — not so they can chat, but to increase visibility and prevent unsafe passing.

As for whether it’s legal to cross a solid yellow line to pass a cyclist, that is allowed in most states with a three-foot or wider passing law. Unfortunately, Governor Brown vetoed an earlier version of California’s three-foot passing law that would have allowed drivers to briefly cross the center line to pass a cyclist, but only when safe to do so.

It’s not the officer’s fault he doesn’t know the law in this case.

The CHP has long failed to adequately train their officers in bike law, forcing officers to rely on cheat sheets that don’t list the many exceptions to CVC 21202, or go into detail on any of the other laws governing the rights and responsibilities of bike riders.

But providing false information like that only puts bike riders at needless risk, and encourages driveway vigilantes to take out their frustrations on bicyclists who are riding safely and within their rights.

Let alone subjecting them to tickets that aren’t legally justified, but are often too difficult to fight.

………

Great opinion piece from Paul Thornton the LA Times, who says if LA really wants to encourage more bicycling, the city needs to fix the roads so they’re safe to ride.

He also calls out former councilmember Tom LaBonge and current member Paul Koretz for dangerous decisions that defeat the purpose of the city’s Mobility Plan.

………

The Eastsider examines the North Figueroa safety issues dogging CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo, as he claims to be working to improve safety, despite unilaterally cancelling a road diet designed to do exactly that.

And they talk with Flying Pigeon LA bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali, who has thrown his hat into the race to challenge Cedillo in next year’s city elections.

………

Germany’s Andre Greipel wins his third sprint of the Giro d’Italia, then promptly quits the race. Andrey Amador takes the leader’s jersey from Bob Jungels after the 13th stage, becoming the first Costa Rican to lead a Grand Tour.

Cycling Weekly examines five talking points about the Giro as the race reaches the legendary Dolomites this weekend.

This has been one of the most democratic Amgen Tour of California’s in memory, as the race had yet another stage winner in Latvian pro Toms Skujins. Aussie Rohan Dennis won Friday’s time trial to leap into second place, 16 seconds behind leader Julian Alaphillppe.

Meanwhile, American Megan Guarnier won the first stage of the women’s tour in a last minute breakaway.

The AToC heads to Santa Rosa today, on the same day the city hosts their 122nd Rose Parade. Which is different from Pasadena’s Rose Parade.

………

Local

CiclaValley reacts to Thursday’s bicycling fatality in Panorama City, which occurred just hours after he returned from Wednesday’s Ride of Silence.

LA’s Fox-11 concludes it is in fact possible to go carfree in SoCal.

The newly opened Expo Line extension adds 130 bike racks and lockers at seven new stations.

The LAPD has put out a BOLO Alert for a bike thief in the Central LA area.

South LA Councilmember Joe Buscaino rode an ebike 25 miles to work at City Hall in observance of Bike to Work Day.

KPCC is the latest media site to talk with the Eastside’s Ovarian Cycles Bicycle Brigade, who host their monthly women-identified Luna Ride tonight.

A writer for the Daily Bruin tweets that the board of directors for Westwood Village has voted to spend $44,000 for two bikeshare hubs in the village this fall. Unfortunately, the lack of bike lanes means there won’t be any safe places to ride them.

The Santa Monica Spoke invites you on a multi-modal Expo Line ride on Sunday.

The LACBC talks with Antelope Valley cyclist and soap maker Sharon Murdock.

 

State

It takes a world champion schmuck to steal an adult tricycle from a 67-year old Anaheim woman with multiple sclerosis.

A Huntington Beach man gets seven years for beating a police officer who stopped him for an alcohol violation while riding his bike; the officer’s daughter was doing a ride along and witnessed the assault. Not that the sentence isn’t warranted, but why is it that motorists seldom get a fraction of that for actually killing a cyclist or a pedestrian?

Potential San Diego bike commuters want more than just bike lanes to get them to ride, like showers and more considerate drivers. They have a much better chance of getting the showers.

A Fresno cyclist says don’t count on laws to protect you from distracted drivers.

In a seriously disgusting assault, a white Rancho Murieta driver ran a black bike rider off the road before getting out and punching him, after telling the victim to “go back to the hood.”

 

National

Members of the bicycle industry finally bind together to promote bicycling in the US. Something should have been done decades ago — and with a much higher budget.

HuffPo says we’ve been brainwashed into calling crashes accidents.

Caught on video: A Seattle truck driver jumps the curb in an apparent attempt to run down a bike rider; the action starts after the 1:50 mark. Note to cyclists: when you’re posting video of drivers behaving badly, feel free to delete the extraneous footage leading up to it.

A Salt Lake cyclist says he’ll be happy to pay for his fair share of the roads, as long as drivers pay theirs.

Agenda 21 is just so passé; evidently the new global bad guys are AARP and the World Health Organization, forcing age-friendly complete streets down the throats of those fine, upstanding Vermonters.

Apparently, traffic violations that put bike riders at risk don’t violate the rules of New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.

A DC bike commuter lists his pet peeves about riding to work, from cars that don’t signal to the traditional catcall to get on the sidewalk.

A bicycling Florida non-profit is redefining sharecropping, riding en masse to work organic gardens on land borrowed from homeowners; the model has already spread to Oakland and Uganda.

 

International

Brazil’s bike-riding president is running out of options to fight her ouster by impeachment.

A Toronto bike lane carries nearly as much bicycle traffic as the roadway next to it does cars.

Nothing like just now returning one of London’s Boris Bikes late after it was rented on New Years Day — in 2015.

London’s Telegraph asks if an increase in heavy truck traffic in the UK is responsible for an unexpected decrease in bike ridership. Not bloody likely, to use the vernacular.

More spending on bicycling would show Britain is serious about increasing ridership.

Two Afghan cyclists on a round the world journey stop in New York to tell UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon their country is tired of war and violence, before setting out across the US for Los Angeles.

An Aussie writer asks motorists to remember the driver who killed his 75-year old bike-riding uncle, showing rare understanding and sympathy for the inevitable impact it had on the man responsible.

 

Finally…

Forget self-driving cars; the next thing is Google’s interactive Levi bike jacket. Nothing like putting a billboard in the middle of a bike lane.

And the next time you’re in San Diego, a bronzed Bill Walton and his bike will be waiting to greet you on the shores of Mission Bay.

 

Morning Links: Coronado bike lane madness hits big time, Rowena redux, and OC deputy gets bike law wrong

The Coronado anti-bike lane madness is now officially the butt of jokes.

In a brilliant monologue, CBS Late Late Show host James Corden rips the rich old white ladies, as he calls them, who claim to get vertigo from the tattoo and graffiti-like white stripes besmirching their streets.

Seriously, watch it.

It could be the best four minutes and thirty-six seconds of your day not spent on a bike.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

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Meanwhile, the San Diego Bicycle Coalition responds to the madness in Coronado, asking city leaders to reconsider the decision to cancel the planned bike lanes.

And the insanity extends to the local police, as a Coronado cop refuses to believe the beach bike a sailor bought at the wasn’t stolen.

Because he’s a man, and it was pink.

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Maybe there’s something in the water down there by the border.

A new report finds a disconnect between the transportation plan developed by the San Diego Association of Government and the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan; San Diego calls for 50% of trips to be made by foot, bike or transit, while SANDAG settles for just 15%.

In fact, SANDAG envisions a future with more driving, not less. And one in which an increase in greenhouse gases is perfectly acceptable, as long people can continue to slog through traffic on an ever-increasing mass of freeways.

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Then again, it’s not just a West Coast problem.

In a prime example of just not getting it, a Staten Island website complains about bike lane fever gripping city officials.

SI Live argues that the evangelical zeal of bicyclists has transformed into an influential political movement that has found ardent acolytes at city hall, in the absence of “anything approaching broad, let alone overwhelming, public support.”

Odd.

Anywhere else, the 66% of New Yorkers who favor bike lanes would be considered overwhelming, let alone broad, support.

But whatever.

They also question the “dubious claim” that a road diet to add bike lanes serves to calm traffic, never mind that it can actually improve traffic flow.

Sure. As long as you consider a 19% to 47% reduction in overall crashes dubious. And think the Federal Highway Administration is a questionable source for those stats.

As for that other claim that road diets can improve traffic flow, it comes not from bike riders and their political acolytes, but the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

Who should know.

And both the FHWA and NACTO also say that bike and pedestrian use tends to soar following a road diet, which is something else the SI Live editorial dismisses.

But why let the facts get in the way of a good uninformed rant?

Of course, there are those who will say the mad rantings of an NYC website don’t matter here on the Left Coast.

Except this is the same sort of misguided and barely informed thinking we see at work in Coronado, Beverly Hills, Silver Lake and on North Figueroa.

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Speaking of Silver Lake, Larry Mantle discusses the Rowena road diet with LADOT’s Tim Fremaux, while the Los Feliz Ledger offers a relatively one-sided look at the recent town hall meeting. And KABC-7 asks if the road diet is causing unnecessary traffic headaches.

Meanwhile, EGP News takes a surprisingly even-handed look at the issues surrounding North Figueroa, while KPCC discusses the street as ground zero in the debate over road diets.

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Honk my ass.

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that newspaper column with such an auto-centric name would get a question about bicycling wrong.

The Honk column in the Orange County Register was asked whether it was legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk. And turned to an OC Sheriff’s traffic deputy for the answer.

Bad idea.

The officer responded that under state law, bicycles were forbidden to ride along a sidewalk. Which just goes to show, once again, a cop is the last person you should ask about bike law.

Because section 21206 of the California Vehicle Code leaves it up to the local jurisdictions to decide.

The result is a crazy patchwork of bike laws, where someone can legally ride on the sidewalk in LA, and be ticketed for exactly the same thing after crossing the street into Beverly Hills. And usually with no posted warnings, and often no indication you’ve gone from one city to another.

Down in OC, bikes are allowed on the sidewalk in Laguna Hills, and banned in Laguna Beach. And allowed everywhere but the central business district in Laguna Woods and Laguna Nigel.

So the real answer to the question is, it depends on where you happen to be at the moment.

As for why someone would ride on the sidewalk when there’s a perfectly good bike lane on the street right next to it, there can be a lot of reasons.

Especially in Orange County, where bike lanes are routinely found on streets with speed limits of 50 mph or more.

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Applications are now open for the bike industry’s 2016 Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarships; 16 scholarships will be offered for the first all-female class in professional repair and shop operation.

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And one more common theme before we move on.

Urban Adonia questions how Vision Zero will play out in communities of color, raising concerns over racial profiling and the predominance of Eurocentric thinking.

A new study reveals that disadvantaged people are more likely to die in traffic collisions than people who are well-off. And despite a declining rate of traffic fatalities nationwide, death rates are going up for people over 25 without a high school diploma.

Ebony magazine looks at Slow Roll Chicago, described as a community-based organization that uses bicycling to connect with underserved and unappreciated communities.

And the founders of DC’s Black Women Bike and Black Girls Do Bike explain why groups like theirs matter.

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Local

Not even bike cops are safe from the epidemic of hit-and-run drivers, as an LAPD officer’s bike was hit by a driver who sped away after the officer tried to flag him down; he was hospitalized in stable condition.

CiclaValley meets the orange-vested mystery man who keeps Mulholland clean.

Bicycling should get a little easier in the Mid-City area, thanks to a Metro grant for a pair of bicycle friendly streets. As long as we manage to wait until 2020, that is, when they’re finally scheduled to be finished.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out the rising rate of bicycling injuries in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills. And things are only going to get worse thanks to a decision to not include bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd — let alone any kind of accommodation for bikes during the construction phase.

Richard Risemberg suggests imbibing in a strong dose of optimism and see what’s being done in cities around the world at next week’s New Urbanism Film Festival.

 

State

It looks like next year’s Amgen Tour of California will have a Pasadena start.

Chico police are using GPS-enable bait bikes to bust bike thieves.

 

National

Nice piece from a 45+ year old mountain biker, who discusses the women who inspire her to ride. And it’s not the pretty young things with an insatiable Instagram account.

According to Gizmodo, science says driving is the most stressful way to get to work, while commuting by bicycling or walking makes you healthier and happier.

A Kickstarter campaign is raising funds for a bike lock built into the pedal. The makers promise an alarm will sound if a thief tries to cut what looks like an easily defeated cable. Then again, no one even pays attention to car alarms any more.

Oh please. A Seattle radio personality says the city’s volunteer bike count has already been decided before it even happens, because the local bike club anticipates asking for more funding based on the results. If she really wants to ensure an honest count, maybe she should sign up to help out herself. Or get the city and state to pay for something they should be doing anyway, instead of leaving it to a volunteer advocacy group.

A Boston radio station discusses the nation’s first protected intersection in Salt Lake City.

Boulder CO bicyclists ride to protest the dismantling of a road diet in that city.

A cyclist leads horse mounted state troopers on a wild west wrong way chase through the streets of Austin TX after running a stop sign.

Despite a broken collarbone, a quick thinking Chicago cyclist snapped a photo of the license plate belonging to the driver who fled after running him down, and got a sizable settlement as a result.

A Boston petition calls on the city to “improve safety” by removing all bike lanes and sharrows; it had received 33 signatures as of Tuesday, while a competing petition calling on the city to keep them had over five times as many.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Florida man is planning to ride 80 miles to celebrate his 80th birthday on Saturday.

 

International

Mass-produce hydrogen cars are still a long way off. But the first hydrogen-powered e-bike is already here.

Two Canadian men are fined for building an illegal bike trail in a provincial park.

Now that she’s on top of the cycling world, 24-year old British World Cup and world road racing champ Lizzie Armistead is thinking about retiring after next year’s Rio Olympics.

An arrest has been made in the brutal, unprovoked attack on a 54-year old Edinburgh bicyclist as he rode on a bike path.

So much for helping those in need. Norway says Syrian refugees who used a legal loophole to bike across the border from Russia will now be sent back. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Caught on video: A rampaging magpie swoops down at an Aussie cyclist mutiple times, leaving him with a bloodied ear.

 

Finally…

Seriously? Even Costco is getting into the argument over whether bike riders should pay registration or user fees. Caught on video: Two French cyclists ride the word’s smallest velodrome.

And if you’re going to burglarize a couple of homes, make sure the homeowner doesn’t walk in on you. And don’t wear an easily recognizable shirt as you make your getaway by BMX bike.

 

Morning Links: CD4 Livable Streets forum tonight, and the OC Register gets it very wrong on bike funding

Don’t miss tonight’s Livable Streets forum for the massive scrum of candidates running to replace Tom LaBonge in LA’s 4th council district.

You can register for the free event here, and bike the vote by riding in with Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward.

And yes, there will be a bike valet.

Meanwhile, the Jewish Journal profiles the seven most prominent candidates in the race, three of whom call for better bike lanes in the district.

……..

In a highly uninformed editorial, the OC Register says bike paths and other active transportation — no ironic quotes needed, thank you — plans receive a disproportionate amount of transportation funding.

Which is absolutely true, as the LACBC’s Eric Bruins points out, since walking and biking account for 19% of trips, 39% of traffic fatalities and just 1% of funding in LA County.

In other words, the very definition of disproportionate. But maybe not the way the Register intended.

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Local cyclist and costume designer Erica Schwartz wants your help with a new line of fashionable and functional clothing for women who ride bikes.

Taking just a few minutes to fill out this anonymous survey will help her develop fashions that will meet your needs.

……..

Throw me something, mister!

For those of us who know what it means to miss New Orleans, Metro is hosting a Mardi Gras celebration at Union Station on February 17th.

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Turns out even 81-year old country music outlaw Willie Nelson is one of us.

So is Russell Crowe, though we knew that already. Note to Daily Mail — that is so not a BMX bike.

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Local

The LA Weekly looks at LA’s underground bike racing scene, which isn’t really all that underground anymore.

LA’s newest bike corral is taking its lumps protecting bikes and pedestrians from careless Larchmont drivers.

The Loyola Marymount news site lists five of LA’s best bike routes. Although some of those seem a little too familiar; maybe someone should explain the need for attribution to them.

If you loved the South LA CicLAvia, don’t miss the Love Ride on Valentines Day.

 

State

Cyclelicious offers a look at transportation bills introduced in the California legislature; nothing exciting on the bike front yet. Which could give the governor’s veto pen a rest this year.

Costa Mesa considers the safety of biking and walking in the city. Thanks to sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the heads-up.

The EPA will help Fresno plan a bike share program to help improve air quality.

The East Bay Bike Club’s Robert Prinz explains how to carry a little or a lot of stuff on your bike.

Sounds like they think he did it on purpose. A Ukiah teenager faces five counts of assault with a deadly weapon for mowing down a series bike riders in rapid succession; he also faces one count of DUI.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to bike with your dog, and how to buy an un-abused used bike.

I’ve never been a fan of PC language, as you may have noticed. But People for Bikes makes the case that changing terms helped end the divisive Seattle bikelash.

Now that’s more like it. A bill before the Nebraska legislature would make injuring or killing a cyclist through careless driving a felony with up to five years in jail. Although someone should have a long talk with the editor who approved that awful illustration.

Louisville KY’s extremely cool new underground bike park built in an abandoned limestone mine prepares to open next month.

Unbelievable. A Shreveport driver received over 40 moving violations in 20 years — including a DUI — yet somehow was still allowed on the road to kill a seven-year old girl in an allegedly drunken collision.

Baltimore gets a new bike plan calling for 253 miles of bikeways.

 

International

The president of cycling’s governing body admits dropping the ball on paracycling, but pinkie-swear promises to make it right.

London approves plans for segregated bike superhighways crisscrossing the city, as well as additional bike infrastructure improvements. Even as a member of the city’s transportation board says it’s your own damn fault if you get killed.

Just seven days after receiving the heart of a fallen cyclist, a British transplant patient suddenly takes up bicycling. And rides a 30-mile sportive in his donor’s honor 19 weeks later.

My favorite Scottish bike blogger turned leading bike advocate says if you want to sell bikes to women, maybe you should actually listen to them.

The womens pro cycling tour is showing the Arab world what women can do if given a chance; I hope they’re watching in Saudi Arabia, where women are prohibited from riding a bike in public.

 

Finally…

If you’re trying to auction stolen bikes online, don’t take photos with your unique wallpaper visible in the background. When you’re an unregistered sex offender carrying drug paraphernalia and meth on your bike, put a damn light on it, already. Or better yet, don’t.

And Bike Radar offers 30 reasons to take up bicycling. Although boosting your bowels is not one most people would usually recommend to prospective riders.

 

(Late) Morning Links: The OC Register says hell no to Give Me 3, and the New York bikelash beat goes on

Leave it to the Orange County Register to get it wrong.

The historically conservative paper has been, if not a supporter of bicycling, a fair voice in reporting on bicycling issues behind the Orange Curtain. And they’ve largely lifted their paywall when it comes to reporting on bicycling collisions, allowing subscribers and casual readers alike to get the details we need to stay safe and informed.

But evidently, AB 1371, the state’s new three-foot law, went about a yard beyond their comfort zone.

In a remarkably knee-jerk auto-centric editorial, the paper can’t conceive of how any driver could manage to give a rider a three-foot buffer without creating a calamitous situation.

Never mind that the Orange County is famous — some might say notorious — for its wide, highway-like streets that leave plenty of room to pass without even slowing down.

Or that drivers have always been required to pass cyclists at a safe distance. Which they evidently would define as anything that does not actually cause contact with the bike or its rider.

Sort of like a lot of drivers in the county, from what I’m told.

And instead of expecting drivers to operate their vehicles safely and simply change lanes to pass a bike rider, they trot out the usual tired clichés about scofflaw cyclists — as if the bad behavior of a few riders justifies driving dangerously around them or anyone else.

Nor can they conceive of bikes as a solution to the area’s transportation ills. Even though many riders — undoubtedly including a number of their readers — already ride to work, school and shopping on a regular basis.

To them, bicycling is simply a recreational activity that interferes with the region’s vital transportation needs.

“Drivers will figure it out,” editorialized the Los Angeles Times, but drivers shouldn’t have to choose between following the law and using the roads for the purpose for which they were intended.

The LA Times gets it.

The Register, on the other hand, could use a boost into the current century. And a lesson in exactly who and what our roads are intended for — which is moving people, goods and services.

Not cars.

Thanks to Frank Peters for the heads-up.

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HPimage001-650

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Meanwhile, OC cyclist Matt Kelley offers his own response to the Register’s misguided editorial.

Editor:  I agree that AB 1371 is a poorly written law. It is unenforceable; and vague, unenforceable laws create a societal ignorance and apathy toward the law. 

And I can’t excuse poor cycling behavior by my fellow cyclists. But, an honest observer must also acknowledge the reasons for some of the behaviors that cyclists exhibit. Riding on the sidewalk is legal in California; except when specifically prohibited – which doesn’t excuse operating a bicycle in a dangerous fashion to pedestrians. Many cyclists ride on sidewalks because it is a rational response to the great many carelessly incompetent motorists that endanger cyclists. Cyclists riding on streets with on-street parking are directed to ride outside of the “door zone” in order to avoid dangerous accidents with careless motorists opening doors without checking for oncoming traffic.

While we’ve all seen examples of inconsiderate cycling, how many examples do we see from motorists?

As for the recreational nature of cycling – does the Editor then assert that all of the cars driving down PCH or Santiago Canyon Rd. on Saturday are engaged in “vital transportation?”

Laws like AB1371 are unnecessary if all road users are acknowledged as being legitimate users of a roadway – and in fact that is the crucial question; who are the roads for?  And if the answer is for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, why is our infrastructure designed and built in so many cases only for the safe use by cars?

……..

 

The East Coast bikelash beat goes on in the wake of last week’s Central Park collision that resulted in the death of a pedestrian.

A writer for the New Yorker bemoans the self-righteousness of the city’s overly aggressive scofflaw cyclists — except for him, of course — while recalling that time he was hit by a bike.

In 2003.

And in what may or may not be satire, a DC writer calls for bikes to be banned entirely, claiming they maim, maul and kill countless innocent people. Although it does contain the following extremely cutting line:

All my bikes combined have killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy’s car.

Meanwhile, a more rational writer says bad bicyclist behavior may be memorable, in part because it’s rare.

The biker who flips the bird is held up as an example; the queue waiting at the light is not.

……..

Polaroid jumps into the action cam market with a cute little cube. It may not offer the picture quality of a GoPro, but at $99, it opens the door to capturing their rides for many more people. And offers the insurance every rider needs against anti-bike bias to prove what really happened in any collision or traffic dispute.

……..

Local

Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s staff presents their alternative (pdf) to the planned, approved and funded road diet and bike lanes on North Figueroa at the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council’s Ad Hoc Transportation Committee on Thursday.

Streetsblog examines the latest census data on bike commuting in Los Angeles, which has a 1.2% mode share — a 33% increase over 2010. I’m not a fan of census data, though, as it fails to count the many people who use their bikes for transportation, but not riding to work; for instance, I work at home, but regularly ride my bike to meetings and errands.

Streetsblog and Santa Monica Next follow up on their interview with Sheila Kuehl by talking to her competition for County Supervisor, Bobby Shriver, who says he’s a bicyclist himself.

 

State

The US Department of Transportation will issue their own manual on how to build protected bikeways; unfortunately, a narrowly written new law permitting protected bikeways in California will prohibit its use unless it’s adopted by Caltrans or NACTO.

Turns out Beyoncé isn’t the only performer who bikes to her shows, as Katy Perry tweets that she rode 22 miles from Palo Alto to last night’s performance in San Jose.

Caught on video: A cyclist takes to San Francisco’s heavily trafficked Bay Bridge. And yes, bikes are banned from the bridge, other than a separated bikeway that only goes part way.

 

National

REI becomes the exclusive US retailer for the German Ghost bicycle brand — neglecting that ghost bikes mean something very different here. And good luck defending that copyright.

Grist offers advice on what to do if you’re hit by a car; you can find my advice here.

Adventure Cycling lists this year’s favorite bicycle touring blogs.

A new study says users of active transportation — aka bicyclists and pedestrians — are the happiest commuters. But you knew that, right?

A major flap in the world of bike journalism, as the Bikerumor website is accused of plagiarism. And not for the first time.

The five best fall bike rides in Colorado; I’ve done both the Cache la Poudre and Peak to Peak rides many times, back in the days when a motorist was more likely to give you a friendly wave than run you off the road.

American cycling legend Dale Stetina is still struggling to recover from the near collision that almost killed him, as the Colorado driver responsible enters a guilty plea.

Once again, we send a bike riding visitor to the US back to his home country to recover; this time it’s a deaf and blind cyclist from Norway who was injured in a collision while riding tandem in Iowa.

Bicycling looks at the world’s first underground mountain bike park in Louisville, KY.

 

International

Around the world in 365 days and 11,200 miles by bike.

Even stunt bike star Danny MacAskill is the victim of a bike thief when his is stolen in Glasgow.

Shimano agrees to work for bike advocacy in Europe; every bike company should support advocacy efforts wherever they do business.

A week after Jens Voigt set a new hour record, Bradley Wiggins announced plans to go after it as well.

 

Finally…

A poster for a class on how to steal bikes actually leads to a vasectomy clinic; no, I don’t get it either. Following up on a recent item, the Bieb has reportedly given up drinking and partying for bicycling, tennis and clean living. Yeah, I’m not holding my breath.

And Budweiser offers a surprisingly subtle, but hard-hitting call to avoid drunk driving.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for his generous contribution to support BikinginLA; his gift came as a very pleasant birthday surprise. 

L’shanah tovah!

 

 

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