Tag Archive for Paris

Healthy Streets LA ballot measure qualifies for ballot, moves to city council; and Paris moves to be 100% bikeable

Correction: I got a couple things wrong in the following piece.

First off, the Healthy Streets LA initiative has qualified for the 2024 ballot, not this fall as I originally wrote.

Second, my sloppy wording implied that the city council had the option of changing the wording on the initiative, but they don’t. They have the option of adopting the initiative as written, or adopting their own ordinance based on the initiative. 

I’ve made both corrections below. 

It’s on.

The Healthy Streets LA ballot measure has been approved for the 2024 election.

According to Streetsblog, the LA City Clerk’s office ruled that the coalition behind the proposal, headed by transportation PAC Streets For All, has collected enough qualified signatures to go to a vote of the people.

Or as an alternative, the city council could skip the whole hassle of campaigning for the next two years, and adopt the measure outright, which is what Streets For All is pushing for.

The measure would simply require that the city implement the already approved mobility plan whenever streets in the plan get resurfaced, whether repaved or coated with a slurry seal.

The council can adopt the plan outright, adopt their own alternative version based on the plan, or vote to place it on the ballot.

Some people, including longtime leading pedestrian advocate Jessica Meaney, have called for the city to adopt the alternative version including a plan for implementation with a focus on equity.

The problem with that is that it could be amended or revoked by a simple vote of the city council at any time, for any reason. So if the next Gil Cedillo or Paul Koretz decided they didn’t want bike lanes in their district, they could easily have them removed.

Adopting the proposal outright would give it the force of law, and would require a vote of the people in order to modify it. And nothing prevents the city council from approving both the Healthy Streets LA proposal, as well as the council’s version, with a focus on equity in the resurfacing schedule, to govern how it will be rolled out.

Which would be the best of all possible worlds, and what Streets For All is recommending.

Meanwhile, the LA Times looked at the ballot measure, and the willingness of city officials and the public to make real changes to the streets to increase safety and livability.

In the city where the car is king, activists are pushing to claim strips of the biggest boulevards for bicyclists and walkers.

Their fight has played out at Griffith Park, where streets were recently closed after a cyclist was killed. It spilled out along the steps of City Hall where advocates staged a die-in. And now, it could make its way to the ballot box in a vote that will test traffic-weary Angelenos’ willingness to put themselves on a so-called road diet to make streets safer and the air cleaner.

But what jumps out from the story is a comment from a board member from NIMBY advocacy group Fix The City.

“If you take away vehicle lanes, you are creating congestion,” said Mike Eveloff, a board member of the nonprofit Fix The City. The group successfully sued Los Angeles over its mobility plan, mandating that an extensive outreach plan accompany new projects for 10 years. “This will result in even more lawsuits against the city. There are no costs disclosed. This represents a ‘hidden’ tax.”

Eveloff said he once loved to cycle but not anymore. “The infrastructure is incompatible with cars, bikes and pedestrians sharing the same space.”

He clearly doesn’t recognize the irony of that statement.

Because that same lack of safe infrastructure keeps many people from riding their bikes or walking to the market. And the fixes the Fix The City group opposes are exactly what would allow him to ride a bike once again.

Who knows, he might even like it.

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This is what Los Angeles could be doing.

Paris has invested the equivalent of 154 million dollars to transform itself from a typically auto-centric, car-choked city to one where both residents and visitors can choose to get anywhere in the city on two wheels.

Now Paris is planning to drill down to the neighborhood level over the next five years, to make 100 percent of city safe and convenient to travel by bicycle.

The city is increasing its investment to $258 million to build 621 miles of bike lanes and 186 miles of cycle tracks, along with 30,000 bike racks, with 1,000 spaces reserved for cargo bikes, and 40,000 new secure bicycle parking spaces.

They’re also planning for 8,400 ebike charging stations.

This is the sort of wholesale transportation changes we were promised with the adoption of LA’s mobility plan, before we were all told it was merely “aspirational.”

And forgettable, evidently.

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Robert Downey Jr. is one of us, as he makes a sepia toned call for more bike lanes.

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A Vancouver visual effects artist created short videos placing local bicyclists in the Upside Down and the middle of a Star Wars battle.

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

The widow of a man murdered by a bike-riding man while their family was on vacation in Myrtle Beach SC is demanding the death penalty or life in prison for his killer; the victim was shot eight times after agreeing to give the down-and-out stranger a ride

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Local

AAA calls on people to drive safely and avoid distraction as kids return to school. Never mind that they should drive that way all the time, whether or not school is in session.

The LAPD reports things are finally quieting down on LA’s new $577 million 6th Street Viaduct, while the city public works committee considers a proposal to periodically close the bridge to cars to allow greater bike and pedestrian access.

Santa Clarita residents are invited to a public meeting on Wednesday, August 24th to learn more about the Bouquet Canyon Bike Trail project.

 

State 

Streetsblog calls on California to ban parking minimums, noting that AB 2097 would prohibit parking mandates in areas near public transit.

Assembly Bill 371 could threaten bikeshare systems throughout the state by requiring providers to obtain insurance to cover the cost of injuries or deaths caused by negligent users.

Steve Martin is one of us, riding his ebike into town when he spends summers in Santa Barbara with his wife.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a bike-riding man was killed in a collision just after midnight Wednesday.

Gizmodo calls Silicon Valley’s push into transportation a miserable failure, marked by a lot of disruption but not much innovation, while a Canadian technology writer accuses tech firms of planning for transportation that benefits the few, not the many.

San Francisco has received a $23 million federal grant to improve the plastic-protected bike lanes on a seven-block section of Howard Street, including concrete buffers, curb-protected intersections and new bike traffic signals.

No surprise here, as the parents of a 19-year old UC Davis student killed by a university garbage truck driver as she rode her bike to class have filed a wrongful death suit against the university.

A New Jersey website offers tips on how to keep your bike from getting stolen.

A new study suggests the Richmond-San Rafael bridge is dramatically underused, with an average of just 136 weekday crossings.

Call it a different kind of tall bike, as Road Bike Action examines 6’7″ former NBA great Reggie Miller’s new Moots gravel bike.

People For Bikes examines plans for the Lost Sierra Route, a new 600-mile bike trail connecting 15 mountain towns in Northern California.

 

National

Treehugger asks if we’re seeing the beginning of an e-bikelash.

Speaking of Silicon Valley tech firms, Ralph Nader urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, to recall Tesla’s full self-driving technology, calling it “one of the most dangerous and irresponsible actions by a car company in decades.”

CityLab calls for installing speed governors on all cars to keep drivers from dangerously exceeding the speed limit; modern versions use geolocation to match the posted speed limit on a given roadway.

A Seattle website suggests riding your bike around the scenic islands of Puget Sound.

Utah has seen a spike in fatal bike crashes, already topping any other year for the past decade.

A Durango, Colorado letter writer reminds readers that without an ebike, he wouldn’t be able to ride at all.

A Massachusetts city councilor is calling for the removal of a bike lane, even though it has reduced crashes a whopping 77%.

 

International

Toronto’s mayor met with the city’s largest bike advocacy group protesting a crackdown on bike riders in the city’s High Park; an Ontario website calls the crackdown a colossal waste of time and money, since only 15 pedestrians were hit by bike riders over an eight-year period, with no fatalities, while drivers killed 212 pedestrians over the same time.

A London bike company is offering commuters free bikes to use when tube workers are on strike.

Five British bicyclists completed a 1,100-mile trip across the country, raising the equivalent of nearly $100,000 to install “life-changing” gardens at every spinal injury center in the UK.

Horrible story from India’s Uttar Pradesh state, where a woman and her son beat a young man on a bicycle to death, using a bat to knock him and his bike into an open sewer.

A New Zealand website recommends the world’s best and most beautiful bike routes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Veteran World Cup mountain biker Lea Davison has walked away from the Life Time Grand Prix gravel racing series, concluding she loves mountain biking, gravel not so much; she also cited a lack of safety and fairness.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can sculpt a giant pink cow for a Florida bike path. Or hold your own in a drag race pitting a DIY ebike against a Ford Mustang.

And if you’re going to get drunk and fall off your bike, try not to do it in front of someone’s doorbell cam.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Former NTSB official says no deaths should be the only goal, legalize crossing the street, and building the 15 minute city

She gets it.

A former acting chair and board member of the NTSB says we know how to prevent traffic deaths.

And the only rational goal should be zero.

Sometimes I arrived at the scene of a business jet or helicopter crash, other times it was a train derailment, once it was a cargo ship lost in a hurricane — always, it involved a tragic loss of life. But despite the terrible toll of motor vehicle deaths on our nation, I never launched to the scene of a traffic crash. Why? Perhaps because the NTSB only has the capacity to investigate a handful of vehicle crashes each year. Perhaps because there weren’t any crashes classified as major disasters when I was on duty. But in 2019, more than 36,000 deaths were recorded on U.S. roads, so an average of nearly 700 traffic deaths occurred every week I was on duty.

Yet our nation doesn’t think of a traffic crash as a disaster, since deaths typically occur one or two at a time. Many of us don’t believe that every road death is preventable. As a nation, we haven’t yet decided that we can protect everyone, including the most vulnerable among us who use our streets and highways — people who are younger or older, people who are walking or biking, people with disabilities. We accept tens of thousands of deaths on our roads every year as simply unavoidable “accidents,” even though we have proven solutions to prevent them.

It’s worth a few minutes to read.

Because she’s right. There’s no acceptable number of traffic deaths.

And it’s long past time we did something about it.

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Los Angeles Walks is joining with partners across the state on Monday for a national discussion about jaywalking and efforts to decriminalize it.

Like their sponsorship of AB 1238, aka the Freedom to Walk Act, which would get rid of California’s jaywalking law, which is too often used to target people of color.

You can register for the webinar here.

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Streets For All hosts what promises to be a fascinating discussion with the creator of the Paris 15 Minute City Plan on May 11th.

The plan, which is currently being implemented in Paris, promises to put everything you need within a 15-minute walk, bike or transit ride, anywhere in the city.

The LA transportation PAC is also asking for you to take a stand in support for a proposal to make Calfornia’s Slow Streets permanent by emailing the Assembly Committee on Local Government by this coming Wednesday.

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Give credit where credit is due.

Unless you’re LADOT, evidently.

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Bike Talk discusses the bible of traffic engineers this Friday, which is undergoing its first revision in a decade.

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A periodic reminder that bicycle are mobility devices.

And bike lanes help older and disabled people get around, without having to rely on a car.

https://twitter.com/AmericanFietser/status/1387647840109879297

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Hats off to a kindhearted Cambridge MA cop, who took a few moments out of his day for an impromptu bike ride with a little boy.

https://twitter.com/CambridgePolice/status/1387107364986363906?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1387107364986363906%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwhdh.com%2Fnews%2Fleft-a-lifetime-impression-cambridge-police-officer-goes-on-bike-ride-with-4-year-old%2F

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

A British bicyclist had to call off a fundraising ride across the country after a group of jerks men pushed him off his bike around the hallway point. Which makes the real victims the cancer charity he was raising funds for, and the people they could have helped.

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

Police in Ontario, Canada are looking for a bike rider who fled the scene after crashing his bike into a trash bin, while towing a trailer filled with 31 pounds of cannabis. And a guitar.

A bike-riding British thief uses his head to balance the spa he just stole.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego opens a new South Bay campground and bike park. But not together, unfortunately.

A Bakersfield bike path could be underwater through today, thanks to a water line break.

Speaking of Bakersfield, the city will kick off Bike Month with a solidarity ride this Saturday.

Trek CEO John Burke penned a heartfelt ode to his penpal Joe Shami, the 86-year old Legend of Mount Diablo, who was killed in a collision with a driver on yet another ride up the mountain earlier this month.

Bay Area transportation officials marked the beginning of Bike Month by announcing nine Bike Champion of the Year winners, honoring one person from each county in the Bay region for their commitment to bicycling.

The rich get richer. The Sacramento region is planning a bike freeway network connecting area cities, which could require an another 300 miles of trails in addition to the 450 miles already on the ground.

 

National

The Associated Press says give mom an ebike this year.

Outside says it’s time for a federal ebike tax credit.

AARP takes a look a look at bicycling over 55, including what to look for in a new bike, bikes for people with mobility issues, how to be safer on your bike, and eight of the nation’s top rail trails, including the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.

Pop Sugar recommends ten padded bike shorts to make your ride — and presumably, your wallet — more comfortable.

Bicycling considers how to advocate for and protect the trails you ride this summer. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. And they probably will.

Even Honolulu is building a protected bike lane network.

The newest edition of Oregon’s state bicycling manual gets rid of labels in favor of more inclusive people-first language.

In a common lament across the country, Omaha, Nebraska has more bikeshare bikes than ever. Just not enough safe places to ride them.

They get it. A new survey shows Pittsburgh residents overwhelmingly support bike lanes, walking routes and reduced speed limits. And think traffic injuries are a major problem. Maybe someday someone will finally get around to asking Angelenos those same questions, so our elected leaders might finally see that the car-first crowd is just a very loud minority.

New York has sent a cease and desist order to a new rival to the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare system, saying the privately run dockless bikeshare isn’t authorized to do business in the city.

A New Jersey DJ pleads with lightless and scofflaw bicyclists to stay safe.

In an overly familiar story, DC traffic deaths continue to climb while Vision Zero funding is stuck in limbo.

Camila Cabello is one of us, as she goes for a bike ride through the streets of Miami.

 

International

Road.cc offers 14 tips on how to make your bike more comfortable. I’m a big fan of padded gloves, new bar tape and better insoles myself.

He gets it. A writer for Innovation Origins says we need more and better bike paths, not more helmet laws.

This is who we share the road with. A newlywed English teenager gets a well-deserved year behind bars for stealing a crate of eggs, then driving his car while friends threw the eggs out the window at passing people and cars, permanently blinding a motorcycle rider in his right eye with a direct hit. He took the fall for his friends, refusing to name who actually tossed the eggs.

Princess Di’s “shame” mixte bike sold for the equivalent of over $61,000, which the palace forced her to sell before her ill-fated marriage to Prince Chuck; the bike went for more than twice the presale estimate.

Add this to your bike bucket list, with eleven “of the best and most beautiful places” to ride your bike in Scotland.

Rouleur looks at the 18k gold framed bike famed Italian bikemaker Ernesto Colnago made for Pope — now Saint — John Paul II.

Heartbreaking story from India, where an elderly man was forced to carry his dead wife’s body on his bicycle for hours after villagers blocked him from the local crematorium for fear of Covid-19, even though there was no confirmation she ever had the disease.

 

Finally…

That feeling when God tells you to start a weekly bike night at the local skatepark.

And let’s consign “savages” to the racist dustbin of history. Even in reference to some truly despicable bike thieves.

Oh, and it’s “thief,” not “thieve.”

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Morning Links: Killer road-raging SoCal drivers, and parolee charged in Escondido death of fallen cyclist Kevin Lentz

They drive among us.

A couple of bizarre non-bike road rage incidents illustrate just who we share the roads with.

In a truly strange, tragic and confusing case in my own neighborhood, a 26-year old mother is dead after rear-ending a motorcyclist, then getting run over by her own passenger after she got out to argue with the man on the motorbike when he followed them home.

The passenger ran away after killing her friend. Literally.

And there’s a special place in hell for the road raging Corona resident who inexplicably went ballistic over the age-old Ding Dong Ditch prank, jumping into his car and ramming a car filled with six teenage boys as they tried to escape him.

Anurang Chandra could face multiple counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon after three of the boys were killed when their car went off the road and slammed into a tree.

Seriously, people, just chill already.

Motor vehicles bring out the worst in far too many people. Myself included.

One of the many reasons I quit driving was that I may be Bruce Banner on my bike or in a bus, but you wouldn’t like me behind the wheel.

And I didn’t, either.

Photo by Wendy Corniquet from Pixabay.

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A prison parolee will stand trial for the drunk and stoned crash that killed mountain biker Kevin Lentz in Escondido last November.

Jamison Connor faces ten charges, including vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run and driving under the influence, as well as drug and weapons violations.

He also faces a single count of child endangerment for allowing his four-year old son to sit unrestrained in the car as he fled the scene after — allegedly — killing Lentz.

Never mind the meth and loaded semi-automatic police found in his pickup when they busted him.

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Unlike Los Angeles under current international Climate Mayor Eric Garcetti, the former Climate Mayor is making great strides in reimagining the streets of Paris and the city as a whole.

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Call it Peloton’s revenge for the bikelash over the now-infamous Peloton Wife commercial.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7jaELBJbIi/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

So maybe FedEx is just trying to keep up.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the first link.

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Your next DIY ebike could be solar powered. As long as you don’t mind hauling a bigass bike trailer everywhere you go.

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

Florida police are looking for a bike-riding robber who holds-up people parking their cars in a Tampa parking garage, then makes his getaway on his bike.

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Local

New advocacy group Streets for All will meet this Tuesday to discuss a campaign for a Venice Blvd Complete Street.

A ghost bike will be placed in Arleta this Thursday in honor of fallen bike rider Jesus “Gallo” Urbina, who was killed while using his bike to deliver water to some homeless friends.

 

State

San Diego is still struggling to cut pedestrian deaths, despite a Vision Zero pledge to end all traffic-related deaths in the next five years. Judging by recent news, they’re not doing so good on the bike front, either.

A new poll shows San Diegans overwhelmingly oppose installing bike lanes at the expense of parking spaces, and want to keep e-scooters, but impose stricter regulations on them.

An Embarcadero restaurant is endangering San Francisco bike riders by continuing to place its valet stand directly in the bike lane, while a protected bike lane currently being built stops just short of the restaurant.

 

National

In a story that could be a ripped from the headlines look at LA’s own mayor, Fast Company says there’s a “big disconnect between what mayors want in terms of street design and what they’re actually willing to support to make it happen.” Except virtually no one in LA is writing headlines about the mayor’s failure to support his own Great Streets, Complete Streets and Vision Zero programs. Except yours truly, of course.

Terrano is offering a 25% discount on their cycling communications and bluetooth system, for hands-free communications with other riders on the road.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a Portland man’s bicycle on the one-year anniversary of his kayaking death on the Hood River. Then again, it takes a major schmuck to steal a bike, period.

A New York congressman swears he supports bike lanes, despite a racially charged King Day speech accusing them of causing gentrification. So he says bike lanes cause gentrification, and he supports bike lanes. Which would seem to suggest he supports gentrification, too.

Los Angeles Laker LeBron James announced he was teaming with Lyft to give free bikeshare memberships to kids at the Harlem YMCA; he also called for a better bike lane network in the Big Apple. Let’s hope someday he’ll address the lack of safe bike lanes in his new hometown, too.

Apparently, getting a driver’s license suspended in Florida is the end of life as we know it. While most of us can empathize with someone who can’t afford to pay a traffic fine, there are valid alternatives to driving that lots of people actually use in real life.

 

International

A 26-year old woman who campaigned to halt violence against women in Juarez, Mexico became the latest victim, when she was shot in the back of the head while riding her bike home in Downtown Juarez; nearly 180 women were murdered in the city last year.

A writer for the Daily Mail complains about the sexual harassment women like her face riding London’s Tube, and says women on bicycles don’t have it any better. Seriously guys, just knock it the fuck off, and start treating women like human beings for a change.

The bighearted English man who reunited a stolen bike with its original owner after buying it for the equivalent of around a hundred bucks has become an internet hero, earning a shoutout from rapper Stormzy.

If you’re looking for bike-friendly cities in the UK, skip Manchester and head straight to Lancaster.

Girls riding bikes isn’t news. Unless you’re in Karachi, Pakistan, where it’s discouraged, if not actually prohibited. But some brave girls are doing it anyway.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips wants to know if gravel racing can maintain its renegade status, even as it moves to the mainstream.

Speaking of gravel, America’s Colin Strickland decides he’d rather keep racing — and winning — the Kansas Dirty Kanza than compete on the WorldTour and race Paris-Roubaix.

Next month’s Tour of Oman has been cancelled, after a year of mourning was declared following the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said.

Australian Rohan Dennis says he walked away from last year’s Tour de France to save his marriage, afraid his deteriorating mental state due to conflicts within the Bahrain-Merida (now Bahrain McLaren) team would drive his wife away.

Congratulations to Guam’s first professional cycling team.

Former pro Phil Gaimon pens an understanding letter to a lower-level pro busted for doping, suggesting he skip the post-suspension hostility and just move on with his life.

 

Finally…

Police have better things to do than deal with fake theft report from a bike rider. Dockless bikeshare — the new getaway choice of bank robbers.

And it only takes three comments to blame bicycles for a crash that didn’t involve any.

 

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