Tag Archive for Pacific Palisades

Metro Bike expands to Hollywood, O’Farrell claims to support bikes, and L39ION of LA quits USA Crit series

Metro has officially gone Hollywood.

A few weeks after we spotted the new Metro Bike hub on the southwest corner of Fuller and Franklin avenues, just a couple blocks from the entrance to Runyon Canyon, Metro has officially unveiled their new bikeshare expansion into Hollywood.

The new hubs make it easier to connect with existing Metro Bike hubs in East Hollywood, Los Feliz and Silver Lake, part of the 220 hubs docking stations in DTLA, Central L.A., Exposition Park and North Hollywood.

The new network opens with a dozen stations centered primarily around Hollywood Blvd, extending down to Sunset and Santa Monica blvds.

  • Franklin and Fuller avenues
  • Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue
  • Highland Avenue and Sunset Boulevard
  • Hawthorne Avenue and Orange Drive
  • McCadden Place and Hollywood Boulevard
  • Cherokee Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard
  • Whitley Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard
  • Ivar Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard
  • Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street
  • Fountain Avenue and Vine Street
  • Yucca Street and Argyle Avenue
  • McCadden Place and Santa Monica Boulevard

The Hollywood bikeshare system should prove popular with tourists, providing an alternative to walking the Walk of Fame, as well as connecting with other popular tourist attractions.

Unfortunately, it comes with a near total lack of bicycling infrastructure in the area, forcing people who don’t know the area to contend with heavy LA traffic.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that goes better than I think it will.

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Meanwhile, a number of people took issue with a Saturday tweet from CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell claiming to support bike infrastructure in his Hollywood-based district.

Like this one from a challenger to O’Farrell in next year’s election.

Then there’s this.

Maybe O’Farrell should try listing some of the bike lanes he claims to have supported in his district, since no one seems to know about them.

Or better yet, he could try moving forward with some of the ones he’s killed before next year’s election, if he wants to get the bike vote.

Like moving those Hollywood Blvd protected bike plans off the master plan and onto the streets, before someone gets killed out there.

And approving the shovel-ready lane reduction on deadly West Temple Street that he killed three years ago, claiming a lack of community engagement, despite overwhelming support for the project.

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Installing bike lanes when streets are repaved should be the rule, not the exception.

Unfortunately, these only cover a fifth of a mile before dumping riders off onto sharrows.

LADOT should be required to build out bike lanes when any street in the bike plan is repaved, as some other major cities have committed to doing.

Instead, it’s common practice in Los Angeles to repave streets with little or no consideration to people on two wheels, regardless of whether the street is included in the bike plan.

But then, as we were reminded by an LADOT official shortly after the 2010 bike plan was unanimously passed by the city council, it remains merely “aspirational.”

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This Vision Zero webinar should be interesting.

And here’s a better description.

You’ve seen it before. Commercials with cars doing donuts down dense city streets. PSAs telling pedestrians it’s on them, not drivers, to avoid being hit in a crash. Car culture shows no signs of slowing down, and has a firm grip on how the safe streets movement appears in mainstream media and marketing. Join this panel to hear from experts on just how pervasive this grip is, how we begin to relinquish it, and how to successfully frame and move the needle on Vision Zero through the media and marketing.

It’s part of the virtual 2021 Vision Zero Cities conference beginning Wednesday, intended to explore “the most pressing issues on our streets today. From street design to traffic enforcement, hear from experts and advocates devoted to safe streets and livable cities.”

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Congratulations to everyone who participated in Saturday’s LAPD Back the Blue Ride. Nice to see the department encouraging officers to ride their bikes.

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Megan Lynch offers a thread on the sad state of bollards that are supposed to protect people on bicycles in ostensibly bike-friendly Davis.

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This is what bike lane enforcement looks like in a city that actually cares about safety.

To answer the question, yes, I can imagine it.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

It would be easy enough for Los Angeles to put parking enforcement officers on bikes, and charge them with enforcing illegal parking in bike lanes, like this video from Toronto.

Instead, drivers feel free to park in bike lanes throughout the city, with little risk getting a ticket — let alone towed.

And cops are often the worst offenders, especially Downtown.

Thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

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A new British ad makes the case that bikes are best for short journeys. And that when more people bike, everyone wins.

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

The debate over whether to allow cars on San Francisco’s Great Highway has devolved into vandalism and threats, as someone keeps vandalizing sensors intended to count road users, while local residents hold signs demanding bike riders get out of their neighborhood. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

A small group of New York residents protested against the city’s Open Streets program — aka Slow Streets — complaining about dangerous bike riders, and apparently feeling they would be safer contending with cars instead.

No bias here. A writer for a car website says the new 18 mph speed limit in Paris is just part of the war on cars, designed to force people out of them.

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

A bike-riding, 44-year old man is under arrest for stabbing a pair of men on New York’s Williamsburg Bridge and a nearby park after arguing with them in separate incidents; both victims are in critical condition.

Police are on the lookout for a Florida man who made his escape by bicycle after dashing out of a smoke shop with $178 worth of purloined cigars and cigarettes.

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Local

This is the cost of traffic violence. Heartbreaking news from North Hills, where an 18-month old toddler was collateral damage in a hit-and-run collision when one of the cars slammed into a group of people standing by a food cart, where the boy was waiting in a stroller with his grandparents; one other woman was seriously injured. The heartless coward in the other car fled the scene after the crash. Seriously, when the hell will we finally get fed up with sacrificing our kids at the altar of the almighty motor vehicle, and demand safer streets for everyone? It’s long past time for an American Stop de Kindermoord movement. 

Crosstown LA looks at the rise in road road in post-pandemic Los Angeles, too often involving a gun.

Long Beach is looking for volunteers to conduct the city’s bike and pedestrian count. Assuming you can get past the paper’s paywall, anyway.

 

State

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. San Diego’s KPBS public radio discusses how the city is ramping up bike infrastructure in response to the dramatic increase in bicycling deaths this year.

Sad news from Merced, where someone riding a bicycle was somehow killed by a driver in some sort of truck, who may or may not have remained at the scene.

A new study from San Jose State University examines attitudes towards bike helmet use and the effects of a possible mandatory helmet law in the state. And yes, you may have answered a survey for this one awhile back.

Bay Area transportation leaders will talk bike safety on the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

She gets it. A bike-riding Sonoma County columnist asks if it’s really that hard to be considerate to bike riders, while noting that the real objection to the recently vetoed Stop as Yield Law is the way bike riders are too often seen as “others,” and somehow less than human.

 

National

Parade Magazine’s Marilyn vos Savant, the columnist with the record-setting IQ, proves she really is a genius by confirming that it’s safer to ride a bicycle with traffic. Although she could have mentioned that it’s also the law everywhere in the US.

A writer for the Atlantic makes the case that the simplest way to make roads safer while reducing police violence is to reduce the amount of cars on the road, while taking traffic enforcement away from cops.

Heartbreaking news from Arizona, where yet another cross-country bike rider was killed when a Portland husband and father was run down by a driver while riding through a remote section of the state. A crowdfunding campaign for his family has raised nearly $64,000 of the updated $75,000 goal. Seriously, people should be able to ride their bikes across the US without taking their lives in their hands.

Tragic news from Iowa, where the body of an 11-year old boy was found in a cornfield, five months after he disappeared while riding his bike; police consider the case “suspicious.”

The Boston Globe examines the debate over expanding bikeways in Providence, Rhode Island, pitting the environment and infrastructure against public safety and traffic concerns, while noting a similar debate over a bike path built in 1983 that’s now wildly popular.

Awful case from New York, where a man walking his bike through a crosswalk was killed by a hit-and-run driver while his wife looked on in horror, just one more death in what is turning out to be a very deadly year for people on bicycles.

More bad news from New York, where a 51-year old man was stabbed to death  by a thief who stole his bicycle; he was apparently a delivery rider for Grubhub.

The New York Post’s decidedly anti-bike columnist continues yelling at kids to get off his lawn, insisting that rerouting the city’s 5th Avenue before the holidays to install bike lanes is madness.

He gets it, too. A New York State bike advocate says bicycles can be part of the state’s green future.

 

International

A travel website recommends eleven “enchanting” places where cars aren’t allowed, including three in the US.

A 14-year old Indian girl was a finalist for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize to inspire innovative idea to fight climate change, with her design for a solar-powered, bike-based mobile ironing cart to press wrinkles out of clothes, to replace the estimated 10 million ironing carts that each burn an average of about 11 pounds of charcoal per day.

The senseless violence continues in South Africa, where a man was shot and killed by a group of robbers who stole his bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

In a surprising move, L39ION of Los Angeles has pulled out of the USA Crits series, after the director of the race series was suspended, and implicated in a decade old child pornography case.

L39ION of LA’s announcement was quickly followed by the withdrawal of the Aevolo Cycling team, along with the Boise Twilight Criterium and Tulsa Tough, which announced they would no longer be associated with the series.

USA CRITS Managing Director Scott Morris was “temporarily suspended” by the organization for some sort of unannounced misconduct; Morris had reportedly been arrested for possession of child pornography in Virginia and Georgia in 2007 and 2008, but he apparently bargained the case down to a conviction for theft of computer services.

Conviction or not, there should be no time limit on child pornography, if it can be established that he really possessed it. One strike and you’re out. 

Period.

 

Finally…

Join the Aussie army so you, too, can ride a 50 mph ebike. When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s just road markings.

And lots of people carry their dogs on their bikes.

A cat on a fixie, not so much.

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

PCH claims another victim, as bike rider killed in Pacific Palisades hit-and-run

Yet another bike rider has been murdered by a heartless driver who didn’t have the basic human decency to stop.

KCBS-2 reports the victim was struck by the driver of a white Jeep around 11 pm on PCH at Sunset Blvd. However, they add that it was near Temescal Canyon, suggesting that the wreck occurred somewhere in between the two streets.

No information is currently available about the victim, who died at the scene.

The driver fled following the crash, with the front bumper hanging off the vehicle.

No other details are available at this time.

According to SWITRS data, the brief section of PCH through Los Angeles remains one of the most dangerous areas of the coast highway, with 158 bicycle-involved crashes in the last 12 years, second only to Long Beach. Malibu is third with 128.

The section of PCH that runs through Santa Monica, Los Angeles and Malibu has been the site of nine bicycling fatalities in that time, including this one, making it one of the deadliest roads for cyclists in Southern California. At least three of those deaths have been the result of hit-and-runs.

Malibu is currently working on safety improvements to PCH through the city, while Caltrans has promised to eventually widen PCH to provide shoulders through the section where this crash presumably occurred.

This is the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 22nd in Los Angeles County; it’s also the seventh in the City of Los Angeles.

Note: An earlier version of this story contained the wrong total for bicycling fatalities in Los Angeles County this year; it has been corrected to reflect the accurate total. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his or her loved ones.

Thanks to Brian Nilsen for the heads-up. And thanks to Ed Ryder for the stats on PCH.

Update: USC professor seriously injured in early morning PCH collision; CHP blames the victim

Very few details are available yet.

According to the LA Times, a female bike rider was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries following a collision on PCH in the Malibu area this morning.

The collision occurred sometime before 5 am near PCH and Coastline Drive, which may be just east of the city limits. The CHP stopped traffic in both directions for at least two hours to conduct their investigation, which is never a good sign.

The Daily News reports officers are interviewing the driver of the car, while the Times says a big rig truck remains at the scene.

There’s not enough information available to speculate on what might have happened. However, it sounds like prayers may be in order; let’s hope this doesn’t turn out to be more serious than it already is.

Thanks to Rick Risemberg and Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

Update: Good news from KABC-7, which reports the victim is expected to survive.

Update 2: I’m told a writer on the Velo Club LaGrange news group reports coming on the scene at 7 am, and watching a Sheriff’s Deputy remove the remains of a black and white carbon road bike, which was in several pieces. He reports the rider was hit by a truck.

Update 3: According to the Malibu Times, the victim is 33-year old Maija Iris Heller, a professor of oceanography at the University of Southern California. Heller’s driver’s license lists a Pasadena address, but police speculated that she lived in the area and was out for early morning exercise. 

The paper quotes CHP spokesperson Leland Tang as saying she was riding downhill on Coastline Drive in Pacific Palisades when she ran the red light at PCH, and was hit by a westbound flower delivery truck at 4:41 am.

She was transported to UCLA Medical Center with major injuries, where she reportedly remains in serious but stable condition. 

Which begs the question, who, exactly, witnessed the collision at that hour and saw her go through the red? 

Given her critically injured state, it’s highly unlikely that police were able to talk to her before she was transported to the hospital. Let alone that she would have been capable of describing how the collision occurred and whether the light was red or green when she went through the intersection.

It’s also questionable whether any independent witnesses were at the scene at such an early hour, and just happened to be looking in the right direction to observe the collision, and at the same time, notice what color the light was.

In all likelihood, the only witness capable of speaking to the police was the driver of the truck that hit her, who has an inherent interest casting events in a favorable light.

If there were any independent witnesses, police should let the public know, if only for the sake of credibility.

At the very least, no conclusion should be made in this, or any other collision, until police speak with all the surviving participants — even if that means waiting days or weeks until the victim recovers enough to present the other side of the story.

That is not to say that the driver was lying. It’s human nature to recall events in a way that casts our actions in the best possible light.

It’s also entirely possible that the collision occurred exactly the way the story describes. 

Heller may have picked up too much speed on the steep downhill and been unable to stop in time. Or, like too many bike riders, she may have simply blown through the light, thinking it would be safe so early in the morning — though it’s questionable whether she would have intentionally run the red with a large truck bearing down on her at highway speeds, regardless of how Tang casts the collision.

“One of the biggest things we are having a problem with is bicyclists are not following the rules of the road,” he said. “Bicyclists have to stop at stop signs, they have to stop at red lights. [Heller] ran a red light.”

I believe he left out the word, “allegedly.” 

I could be wrong.

Maybe there were multitudes of people milling about that corner before 4:45 am. Or maybe the CHP found security video that clearly showed the light was red when she attempted to go through the intersection.

But we should always take such victim-blaming conclusions with a grain of salt until we hear both sides of the story.

And so should the police.

Update 4: Wayne Gunn offered the following update in a comment on another page, including a link to a Caring Bridge page to raise funds for Heller’s recovery. 

Update on Maija Heller, the USC professor injured on PCH at this site set up by her roommate:  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/maijaheller/mystory She rides to USC daily from home near the accident site and started in early that day (and in the dark) to help load instruments for a two month trans-Pacific research cruise. Needless to say, she will be on a different journey- of recovery.

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