Tag Archive for Paul Koretz

Morning Links: Koretz gets bike-friendly on La Brea, protected lanes make everyone safer, and good news for an injured cyclist

Turns out Paul Koretz can still support bicycling after all.

According to the Beverly Press, the CD5 councilmember was the inspiration for a new pedestrian and bicycle traffic light on Rosewood Ave at La Brea, after seeing a group of kids struggle to get across the busy boulevard.

The traffic light is the first step in a planned neighborhood greenway — a reduced calorie version of bicycle boulevard — on Rosewood stretching from La Cienega to La Brea.

The street will also feature a traffic diverter to force drivers to turn right onto La Brea, to keep Rosewood from becoming yet another cut-through street swamped with motor vehicles.

This is what we could have had on 4th Street if former councilmember Tom La Bonge hadn’t riled up Larchmont area residents by failing to explain how a bike boulevard would benefit them, while promising not to install a red light that was never planned for the street to begin with.

So thanks off to Koretz, who hasn’t exactly been a friend to bike riders in Westwood and West LA, for doing the right thing here.

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Forget safety in numbers.

A new study from the University of Colorado Denver and the University of New Mexico shows that what really makes bicycling safer is installing bike lanes — especially separated and protected lanes.

Originally, researchers believed that more bike lanes and the increase in cyclists would lead to a “safety-in-numbers” effect: the more cyclists on the road, the more likely drivers would slow down and be aware of their surroundings. Instead, they found that safer cities aren’t due to the increase in cyclists, but the infrastructure built for them – specifically, separated and protected bike lanes. They found that bicycling infrastructure is significantly associated with fewer fatalities and better road-safety outcomes.

And like previous studies have demonstrated, it shows that protected bike lanes don’t just improve safety for people on bikes, but for everyone on the roadway.

Researchers found that like the grid blocks found in cities with higher intersection density, bike facilities act as “calming” mechanisms on traffic, slowing cars and reducing fatalities.

“The U.S. is killing 40,000 people a year on roads, and we treat it as the cost of doing business,” Marshall said. “A lot of the existing research focuses on bicycle safety; with this study, we’re interested in everyone’s safety.”

The study also concludes that slowing traffic through bike lanes and other improvements can result in more minor crashes, but fewer deaths — which is the exact purpose of Vision Zero.

And refutes the arguments used by groups like Keep LA Moving, who have used a slight increase in car crashes to argue against the road diet on Venice Blvd.

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How about some good news for a change?

Three years ago, Lauren De Crescenzo nearly lost the use of her legs — if not her life — when she suffered a serious brain injury after a bad fall during Southern California’s San Dimas Stage Race.

The brain damage was so bad she couldn’t even recognize her own parents after the crash, let alone her own teammates.

That’s the bad news.

Fast forward to 2019, and De Crescenzo is the proud recipient of a newly minted masters degree in Public Health from the University of Colorado, with plans to focus on concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

She’s even racing — and winning — again, taking the time trial title at the US collegiate national championship earlier this month.

And if that’s not good news, I don’t know what is.

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On a similar note, if you want to ride your bike for a good cause this weekend, you could do a lot worse than participating in Saturday’s Third Annual Paper Route Ride, to help LA area athletes Jenna Rollman and Sam Bosco with training expenses to get to the Tokyo Paralympics.

That also leaves you free for Sunday, when you can head over to the LA Grange Grand Prix in Carson.

Thanks to Michael for the heads-up. And if you don’t already read his great blog CLR Effect, today would be a good day to start.

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Apparently, the new and improved Ottolock Hexband bike lock is a little harder to bust.

But only a little.

The company’s response is that the lock is only intended for quick errands, and should be used in combination with heavier locks whenever possible.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A London bike rider was the victim of a road raging driver who used his car as a weapon to deliberately slam into him before speeding off, after the two had exchanged words.

Someone has been tossing pins on an English roadway in an apparently attempt to harm people on bicycles on at least three separate occasions.

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Local

On Sunday, an HIV positive Los Angeles woman will roll out with thousands of other riders for her 6th AIDS LifeCycle Ride, which ends a week from Saturday at LA’s Fairfax High School after 545 miles down the coast.

That’s more like it. Santa Clarita’s Memorial Day crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bike riders and pedestrians yielded a total of 30 tickets, at least 26 of which went to the people in the big, dangerous machines; no word on whether any bicyclists were ticketed.

City Traffic Engineer Eric Widstrand, who oversaw much of Long Beach’s recent transformation into a bike friendly city, is stepping down from his job for undisclosed reasons.

Long Beach has renewed the $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the two hit-and-run drivers who killed Cole Micek while he was riding his bike in March, 2018.

 

State

One more thing Strava is good for. Former NFL star Kellen Winslow II was busted for a string of sex crimes in part because Strava put his bike at the scene where he allegedly exposed himself to one of his victims.

A 66-year old British man was the victim of Thursday’s bicycling crash on the coast highway in Santa Cruz. So once again, a foreign tourist visiting the US will go home in a coffin simply because he rode a bicycle on our deadly streets.

Streetsblog San Francisco examines the promise from the city’s mayor to build 20 miles of protected bike lanes over the next two years, concluding that it really will double the amount of protected lanes.

San Francisco bikeshare users are getting slammed with hefty $1,200 fines for missing ebikes that they swear they returned and docked properly.

Forbes says the female executives of Bay Area bag maker Timbuk2 are turning the 30-year old company into a lifestyle powerhouse.

 

National

A new study shows every bit of movement helps your health, even if it’s not an actual workout. Or on a bike, for that matter.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning parents and bike riders about the dangers of counterfeit bike helmets. Meanwhile, a viral photo of a crushed bike helmet posted by a pediatrician is convincing parents across the US to make sure their kids where one when they ride their bikes.

It’s 9,000 to one in Portland, where a man is on a one-person crusade to halt the city’s hugely popular edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, which consistently draws 9,000 semi-nude riders.

Colorado now has a vulnerable users law, which increases penalties for drivers that seriously injure or kill bike riders and pedestrians.

Missoula, Montana rolls out new rules for ebikes and e-scooters, saying they’re not just for Lycra-clad racers. Because so many racers ride scooters in their skin-tight Lycra kits, evidently.

A Kansas woman is upcycling trashed bike parts, combining them with stained glass to create unique works of art.

Even Texas is getting on the Vision Zero bandwagon.

After a bighearted Little Rock cop tried to help a kid fix his too small bike, he ended up buying the kid a new one that actually fit.

A Chicago bike rider says banning bikes from the city’s new Riverwalk after promoting it as a bike & pedestrian pathway in order to get a $99 million loan to build it is bait-and-switch, even as an alderman promises to pass the ban.

Vice says New York Mayor, and presidential candidate for reasons only he understands, Bill de Blasio claims to be environmentally friendly, while overseeing a city that’s openly antagonistic to people on bikes.

A teenage bike crew in Philadelphia is all about safety.

A DC kids bikemaker is about to feel the full effect of Trump’s China tariffs.

Miami Beach’s top cop was out on bike patrol over the weekend when he lunged from his bike in a failed attempt to drag a reckless teenager off his own bicycle; the young man wrestled his bike away and rode off, but was stopped before he got too far.

Congratulations to Florida on retaining its title as the nation’s most dangerous state for people on bicycles.

 

International

An Ottawa letter writer says banning right turns on red lights next to bike lanes is a bad idea, because drivers are more likely to right hook a rider when the light is green. Which would make sense if most drivers bothered to look right before they turn right on a red. But they don’t.

The frontman for Papa Roach is one of us, as Jacoby Shaddix rides his bike around London in the metal band’s latest video.

An English language Moscow paper says 1,500 people turned out for Russia’s four-year old gran fondo, even though many of the country’s cities are still unsafe for people on bicycles.

Is anyone surprised that commuters in the Netherlands turn to their bikes in the face of a transit strike? I didn’t think so.

An Aussie woman tells her bike-riding husband that if he insists on shaving his legs, she’ll stop shaving hers. And everything else.

Taiwan-based Tern is out with a new top-secret foldie designed to take anywhere, featuring an all new type of patented folding system, starting at around $1,300.

Beijing will open the city’s first bike-only roadway tomorrow; the 4-mile bikeway promises to cut 14 minutes from commute times to a nearby job center, even with a 9 mph speed limit — and no ebikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Austrian road cyclist and mountain bike racer Christina Kollmann-Forstner is just the latest pro cyclist to be suspended for suspicion of doping. Good thing the era of doping is over though, right?

 

Finally…

Who needs e-scooters when you can rent a dockless e-moped? Would you give your bike to a cop to chase down a criminal?

And if LA really wants to improve safety, they should use the 70 grand to build bike lanes, not look for the city’s safest drivers.

It’s like War Games. The only way to win is not to play.

Morning Links: Bike lanes promote safer passing, and Chino Incycle manager run down by bike thieves

Maybe that painted bike lane is safer than you think.

In a new study from a Canadian university, researchers rode bicycles equipped with sensors and a handlebar-mounted camera to measure how close drivers pass people on bicycles.

The results show that on two lane roads without bike lanes, motorists passed people on bicycles too closely 12% of the time, based on the equivalent of a three-foot passing distance.

But on roads with bike lanes, that dropped to just 0.2%.

On four lane streets, incidents of close passing dropped from 6% to just 0.5%.

The university plans to use that data to develop tools to determine where bike lanes would do the most good.

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Bike thieves walked out of the Chino Incycle Bicycles with a $10,000 mountain bike, then ran over the manager when she tried to stop them.

Bike mechanic Raul Ureno chased the thieves in his car and managed to get the bike back, though he was unable to stop them.

The manager, who wasn’t named, suffered a broken pelvis, crushed ribs and fractured skull.

There’s a $10,000 reward for the suspects. Let’s hope someone takes them up on it.

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A Rancho Mirage-area Strava user posted a photo of a powerful billboard featuring fallen cyclist Will Campbell.

Too bad we don’t have the money to put these up everywhere, one for every rider who loses their lives on the streets.

Maybe then drivers would start to pay attention.

Thanks to Steve S for the heads-up.

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In yet another example of LA leaders’ rhetoric exceeding their actions, bike-friendly Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Nury Martinez were joined by the decidedly unfriendly Paul Koretz in calling for a Green New Deal for the City of Los Angeles.

Never mind that Koretz has consistently blocked much-needed bike lanes in his Westside district, forcing residents to rely on carbon fuel-driven motor vehicles. And gone out of his way to fight the density that would cut trips for work, school and shopping.

Koretz has long positioned himself as LA’s most ecologically minded councilmember.

But until his actions catch up with his words, they’ll remain just that.

Words.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Mountain biker Brandon Semenuk tells the full story behind the most viewed mountain bike video of all time.

If you’ve got four minutes to spare, it’s worth taking a brief break in your day to watch the original video. Which is a lot shorter than the 24-minute explanation.

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Local

Good news, Los Angeles. You no longer have the worst traffic in the US. In fact, we’re not even in the top five.

CiclaValley offers a video essay on the best route from the San Fernando Valley to the Westside, suggesting Fryman Canyon to Franklin Canyon, with a surprisingly low 442 feet of climbing. I’m going to save that one for my next trip over the Hollywood Hills.

State

A San Diego site says it’s time to reign in e-scooters, as the city’s mayor proposes to do just that.

More sad news, this time from Bakersfield, where a man was killed when he allegedly rode his bike out in front of an oncoming car at an intersection.

Redding prepares to open a new bike path connecting downtown to the Sacramento River, replacing what residents call a harrowing one-mile journey.

Work crews with the California Conservation Corp destroyed three popular, but unsanctioned, bike trails in the forests around Arcata, which a local news site called “the lifeblood of the community forest for generations of bike riders.”

National

Bicycling offers nine tips on how to get a stolen bike back, including recommending Bike Index as your best bet to register your bike after the theft. You can report your stolen bike with Bike Index right here on this site. Then again, why wait until it’s too late?

You can kiss the last remaining Performance Bicycle locations goodbye; if you don’t make it in before March 2nd, it will be too late. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the tip.

If you can get past the Wall Street Journal’s paywall, you can read about a Hawaii man who took a five-day ride around the coast of the Big Island once the Kilauea volcano settled down.

The rich get richer. Portland is attempting to reclaim its title as America’s leading bike city by building 16.5 miles of protected bike lanes. And getting rid of 1,000 parking spaces in the process.

Crosscut profiles the active transportation director for the Washington State Department of Transportation, asking if she can save bicycling in the state.

Caught on video: Police in Mesa AZ are looking for three people who attempted to run over a group of bike cops, crushing their bikes as they jumped out of the way.

Utah’s legislature is moving forward with a bill that would allow bike riders to go through red lights if they don’t change after stopping for 90 seconds, over the objections of law enforcement.

Um, sure. An allegedly drunken San Antonio driver who killed a bike riding surgeon says she fled the scene because she got frightened after thinking she ran over something. Meanwhile, his accused killer is out on $50,000 bond. Sure. Doesn’t everyone get terrified when they drive over a stick or a speed bump or something? Thanks to Stephen Katz for the tip.

Lime is pulling the plug on it’s bikeshare service in Hartford CT, leaving the city scrambling for a replacement.

While Los Angeles bike riders wait for the DA’s office to finally file charges against the hit-and-run driver who killed Frederick “Woon” Frazier, the NYPD has failed to make arrests in four recent hit-and-runs involving people on bicycles, including two where they know the identity of the driver. Which begs the question, why should drivers take hit-and-run seriously when police and prosecutors apparently don’t?

About damn time. A well-funded global alliance launched in the nation’s capital with the goal of finally putting people before cars on our streets.

After that Greenville SC boy jumped on his bike to get help for his unconscious father, bighearted local firefighters surprised him with a new bicycle.

International

Vancouver police help a group of college engineering students recover their custom-designed, hand-built, one-of-a-kind racing ebike after it was stolen.

London is responding to the death of a bike rider by banning cars entirely from three roads leading into a busy junction in the city’s financial district.

Caught on video too: A London bike rider discovers an air horn can move mountains. Or at least pedestrians blocking bike lanes. Be sure to stay to the end for the totally unsurprising response; thanks again to Steve S.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is one of us, riding a bicycle into the English Premier League team’s Spain training camp, as they take a break from the title chase.

Amsterdam has a nine-year old junior bike mayor. Which is exactly one more than Los Angeles has, junior or otherwise.

Bari, Italy is now the first Italian city to pay residents to bike to work, up to the equivalent of $28 a month.

They get it. Melbourne’s leading motoring organization is recommending that bicycle superhighways move to the top of the state government’s infrastructure plans to fight traffic congestion in the city.

An Aussie writer calls for a little sympathy and tolerance after reading the disturbing comments following the death of a bike rider.

A Singapore man has been spotted again riding a bicycle while towing a strange ladder-like metal extension. Unless it actually is a ladder, in which case it’s not strange at all.

Competitive Cycling

Lawson Craddock, the pro cyclist who finished dead last in his first Tour de France after riding the entire race with a broken collarbone, is working his way back to this year’s race with a new attitude as a new father.

Fifty-eight-year old former Tour de France stage winner Sean Yates has turned to an ebike to keep riding after suffering a heat defect that limits his pulse rate to just 90 beats a minute.

Rouleur talks with 1960s six-day race superstar Patrick Sercu.

Finally…

Apparently it’s against the law to ride a moped while carrying a bicycle in some places. Climbing the legendary Mont Ventoux without a seat.

And it may be about to get wet out there, but at least this is one problem we don’t have in LA.

Morning Links: City Atty says scrap Griffith Park Blvd bike lanes, and bike riders victim of London terrorist attack

LA City Attorney Mike Feuer has recommended removing the bike lanes on Griffith Park Blvd due to the crappy condition of the aging concrete pavement.

His recommendation comes after paying out a total of $700,000 following lawsuits from a pair of bike riders — only one of whom was actually injured on the section of Griffith Park that has bike lanes.

And even though it would increase the city’s liability the next time someone gets injured where the lanes used to be. Which is a given considering the condition of the street.

The obvious solution is to actually fix the crumbling pavement on Griffith Park, as the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee voted to recommend, which would solve the real problem.

That’s something we thought was in progress after the $200,000 settlement with Patrick Pascal, who was injured on the street beyond where the Griffith Park bike lanes end near Los Feliz Blvd, before they actually enter Griffith Park.

But they only fixed the section that took him down. And only after the city settled with him, despite countless calls to fix it prior to his injury.

Which is how it usually seems to work in the City of Angels.

In the photo, LA’s Bureau of Street Services repairs the section of pavement on Griffith Park Blvd where Patrick Pascal was injured. 

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Once again, bike riders were the victims of a terrorist attack.

Last time it was New York, this time in London, where a man in his late 20s was arrested after driving into a group of bicyclists and pedestrians in what appeared to be a deliberate act.

Fortunately, no one was killed in the attack outside the British Houses of Parliament, though at least two people were injured, and a number of bikes mangled — a surprisingly good outcome considering the suspect drove an estimated 50 mph along the sidewalk for at least 130 feet.

And in typical British fashion, a bicyclist who chased the suspect until police intervened said “you just have a cup of tea and a biscuit and you carry on.”

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Local

LAist offers a refresher on how to drive safely around kids headed back to school, including advice to watch for bicycles. And presumably, their riders. Speaking of which, remember that bike riders are required to stop for school buses, just like drivers, to avoid collisions with kids running across the road — or getting on or off the bus, if riders try to pass on the right. And yes, I’ve seen that.

The James Beard award-winning celebrity chef behind DTLA’s NoMad Hotel is one of us; Daniel Humm was a professional mountain biker before he won his first Michelin star at 24.

CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz wrote a letter to the LA Times explaining his call for a temporary ban on e-scooters in the name of pedestrian safety, something he never seemed to give a damn about before. A Streetsblog reader kindly fixed it for him to focus on the real threat.

Lime and Bird scooters were shut down yesterday in Santa Monica in advance of a protest that reportedly drew hundreds to SaMo city hall to call for the e-scooter providers to be allowed to remain in the city; a proposal under consideration would boot both in favor of new scooters from Uber and Lyft. You have two more days to voice your opinion before the city cuts off the comment period.

 

State

Police data reveals the most dangerous intersections in Mountain View.

San Francisco’s Masonic Ave remains a work in progress as safety measures are unveiled by the city, with the city’s new mayor promising protected bike lanes are on the way.

Bay Area bike advocates are calling on San Francisco to lift the restrictive caps that are preventing bikeshare from growing in the city. Meanwhile, the city apparently has no idea what to do about e-scooters, which are banned in the City by the Bay until it figures it out.

A Eureka physician displays a remarkable amount of windshield bias, saying bike riders don’t need to use a particular bike path if the wind blows because there are several others, even it they don’t go the same way. And that there are no reproducible studies showing bicycling prolongs life, or that road diets work (hint: there are, on both counts). The remarkable thing is how he can still treat patients when he can’t seem to see past his own dashboard.

A group of bicyclists stop in Humboldt County on a ride from Seattle to San Diego to promote the Dream Act.

 

National

A post on Bike Portland says sidewalk cycling can be a savior for family biking.

Public tips led to the arrest of a Washington man who left a grandmother dying in a ditch next to her crumpled bicycle.

A Boise ID woman says a speeding, spandexed bicyclist sent her to the hospital to have a one-pound blood clot removed after crashing into her on a park pathway.

As we mentioned yesterday, the driver who killed two German bike tourist in Kansas earlier this year won’t face charges; the county attorney explains that it’s because she wasn’t under the influence or otherwise operating the vehicle in a reckless or dangerous manner. Although you’d think running over two people directly in front of you would be prima facie evidence of the latter.

Caught on video: Onboard cameras catch an Austin TX bus driver sideswiping a bicyclist — and nearly running him over — as he rode in a bike lane. It’s hard to watch, so be sure you really want to see it before clicking on the link. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

Two air conditioned teepees await bike tourists in an Arkansas city, as long as you’re willing to pay the price of a regular hotel room.

Chicago police double down on claims that a crackdown on bike riders in predominately black and Hispanic neighborhoods is an effective tool to prevent violence.

A New York councilmember responds to the death of a bike-riding Australian tourist by calling for a two-way protected bike lane on Central Park West. Meanwhile, a New York radio station asks listeners to imagine safer streets where bike riders are protected from things like that.

A Baltimore firefighter has been sentenced to one year probation after pleading guilty to an off-duty assault on a bike advocate at a community meeting to discuss bike lanes. At least we can be grateful that the bikelash over LA bike lanes haven’t turned violent. Yet.

A writer for the Washington Post tries, and fails, to understand the rights of bicyclists through his decidedly windshield perspective, before concluding that maybe bikes just don’t belong on the road.

 

International

A Canadian university professor says it’s odd that Toronto officials espouse the same 100-year old approach to bike and pedestrian safety that failed so spectacularly in the past.

The shooter who killed four people in Fredericton, New Brunswick last Friday is also one of us.

France’s first lady is one of us, too.

Now that’s bike friendly. A vote in Switzerland next month could enshrine bicycling in the nation’s constitution, committing the country to promoting bike transport and building suitable infrastructure.

An Indian website recommends riding a bike to pedal your blues away.

New Zealand police conclude that the truck that critically injured a champion triathlete doesn’t exist.

A Malaysian website says riding a bicycle is the healthiest form of urban transport.

 

Competitive Cycling

Santa Rosa native and defending Leadville 100 champ Larissa Connors arrives at this year’s race mourning the damage done to Trabuco Canyon by the devastating Holy Fire.

A writer for The Guardian complains that women’s cyclists will compete on a watered-down road course at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, saying it shows the Olympic motto of “faster, higher, stronger” only applies to men. Seriously, we should be long past the days when women were considered the weaker sex, especially in athletic competition.

Vincenzo Nibali says pro cycling has become a circus due to the aggressive behavior of racing fans, following his fan-caused crash in the Tour de France.

America’s most famous ex-Tour de France champ says he’ll do anything in his power to help former rival Jan Ullrich recover from his downward spiral.

 

Finally…

When your GPS may not have your best interests at heart. Evidently, there’s a backspace button for bike corrals.

And biking across the US is no joke, even for a former pro cyclist turned comedian.

And neither is fighting domestic abuse.

 

Morning Links: Koretz proposes ban on e-scooters in Los Angeles, and keeping drivers on the road until it’s too late

In a move that probably shouldn’t have surprised anyone, LA’s self-proclaimed environmentalist councilmember has called for a temporary ban on dockless e-scooters.

Yes, Paul Koretz, the councilmember who singlehandedly blocked desperately needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd — as well as on other major corridors throughout the Westside — has taken action to force people of their e-scooters and back into their cars, rather than allowing a viable first mile/last mile solution to take root.

This is the same councilman who has called for a Climate Emergency Mobilization Department. Yet can’t seem to see the logical disconnect in fighting alternative forms of transportation while paying lip service to climate change.

Then again, he doesn’t seem to see any problem with blocking increased density, either.

Evidently, he’s all for emergency action to address climate change, as long as it’s in someone else’s district.

Never mind that, as someone else pointed out, blocking bike lanes is just climate change denial in action.

Then there’s this disconnect, from the report by KFI radio.

“When we had a hearing in our Transportation Committee, at the time I had seen about three of them and I thought it wasn’t a big deal,” Koretz said. “I’ve probably seen a thousand since just on Beverly Boulevard where I live, and 100 percent have no helmet usage. … I’ve seen probably 20 go by with double on the scooter, which is very dangerous. On the commercial streets, everyone is illegally on the sidewalk.”

Which was followed by,

As for the public’s reaction, Koretz said he believed most residents want the scooters off the streets. He said his office has receive hundreds of complaints about them in recent weeks.

Yes, that is the scientific way to gauge public opinion, especially since people who support the scooters aren’t likely to call to say so without some compelling reason.

Like a stupid proposal to ban them, for instance.

And how is it that “hundreds of complaints” somehow outweighs thousands of users — by his own observation?

As for Koretz’ “better safe than sorry” concerns, there’s this from the Hollywood Reporter’s overview of the response, legal and otherwise, to e-scooters in the LA area.

Scooters have shown to pose safety hazards while operational and parked. According to injury attorney Catherine Lerer of L.A.’s McGee Lerer & Associates, who has written extensively about electric scooters, the top two seen in her office are people hurt when a scooter malfunctions — when a brake line is cut by disgruntled L.A. residents, for instance, or the scooter’s main post collapses — and pedestrians tripping over the scooters. “I’ve gotten calls from elderly people exiting businesses…people leave them right outside the front door,” Lerer notes.

Doesn’t exactly sound like a disaster in the making. Especially when one of the leading causes of injuries is sabotage by scooter-hating NIMBY terrorists.

The proposal was seconded by San Fernando Valley Councilmember Mitch Englander, who has also proposed a ban on dockless bikeshare until the city can work out a permitting process.

This follows the misguided bans on e-scooters in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills; the latter banning even riding bikeshare bikes or e-scooters through the city, which most likely violates state law.

Of course, this kind of hysteria about a new form of transportation is nothing new.

And something tells me Koretz would have been one of the first to call for a ban on bicycles had he lived in the 1890s. Although he probably would have been fine with the Model T chasing everyone else off the roads.

Of course, Los Angeles could take a more rational approach, like working with Lime and Bird to address any issues while they work the bugs out, as Culver City and Long Beach are doing.

But that would make too much sense.

Especially for an environmentalist who seems determined to keep Angelenos in their smog and greenhouse gas-belching cars.

https://twitter.com/LAMetroBlueLine/status/1024492126694866944

………

As long as we’re talking about e-scooters and dockless bikeshare, let’s look at a few more stories on the subject.

Curbed offers everything you need to know about renting e-scooters and dockless bikeshare in Los Angeles. While you still can, that is.

When a Portland-area website went fishing for complaints about e-scooters, what they got were complaints about cars.

And a St. Louis website gives Lime scooters a test ride, and comes back with 13 things they learned. Including that they’re fun as, well, you get the idea.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a driver gets just 45 days behind bars for killing a van driver while speeding, tailgating and driving recklessly — despite receiving 40 tickets over the last 20 years.

And a Tuskegee University football player will never play the game again, after his leg was severed when a friend’s car he was helping to jump was hit by a driver with a “criminal history dating to 1989 (that) ‘shows a pattern of driving offenses and felony arrests.'”

Just two more examples of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late.

………

More on the American couple killed in a terrorist attack in Tajikistan on Sunday, who had quit their jobs to bike around the world.

The couple from Washington, DC had written about their trip on a blog that sadly will never be finished.

And authorities blamed the attack on members of the blacklisted Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan.

………

Local

As we noted last week, fresh green bike lanes are finally going down on Santa Monica Blvd in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, which had fought the lanes for nearly a decade before surprisingly embracing them last year.

Today Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies will step up enforcement of traffic violations that put bicyclists and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So ride to the letter of the law until you leave their jurisdiction.

 

State

A Cambrian man accidentally became the first bike rider to travel Highway 1 in Big Sur after it reopened last month.

San Francisco approves plans for a curb-protected bike lane the promises to be the safest in the city.

Sad news from Del Norte County, where the CHP is looking for a hit-and-run driver who killed a woman as she rode her bike; the victim wasn’t carrying ID and still hasn’t been identified. One more reminder to always carry some form of identification when you ride; I never leave home without my RoadID, which doubles as a medic alert bracelet.

 

National

A writer for Forbes says cities must take advantage of the opportunities presented by bikeshare.

Bloomberg says Uber and Lyft may not be the solution to traffic congestion, but they’re probably not the cause, either.

Bicycling profiles BMX star Nigel Sylvester, saying the “rebellious superstar is breaking all the rules,” and doesn’t need your permission, thank you.

A writer for Fox News blames “big-spending liberals” for pushing Seattle bike lane and streetcar projects that have been plagued with cost overruns.

A Washington writer gets a detailed education in why many bicyclists prefer to ride on the highway, when there’s a perfectly good bike path nearby. Which should be required reading for planners before they’re allowed to design any offroad path.

Evidently, Los Angeles isn’t the only city where councilmembers have the power to block bike lanes. A Chicago bike rider was killed when he was doored on a street that was supposed to have a protected bike lane, which was halted by the local alderman.

After Ofo pulled out of White Plains NY, they donated over 100 bike for use by low income families.

An Albany NY TV station raises concerns about the structural integrity of an old railroad bridge that now used by over “200,000 bike riders, joggers and dog walkers” every year.

Charlotte NC is planning its first two-way, protected cycle track.

 

International

Curbed looks at 14 gorgeous carfree cities around the world. Anyone one of which I’m just about ready to move to. Although bike riding on the Venice canals might be a bit of a challenge.

No surprise here, as a study shows the noxious fumes in London’s air disappeared during the annual carfree Ride London event.

A British lawyer who calls himself Mr. Loophole suggests revising the country’s traffic laws, including requiring all bike riders to pass a proficiency test, and have their bicycles inspected annually for safety violations (aka an MoT, or Ministry of Transport exam).

Talk about lessons not learned. Bike Biz reprints a speech in the British parliament that calls for a revival of bicycling in the national interest — which was given sixty years ago. And clearly not acted on.

Egyptians are being encouraged to leave their cars behind in an effort to spread bicycle culture throughout the country.

Shimano has apparently overcome the losses from the factory fire in Japan earlier this year, with sales up 6.8%.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forbes calls bicycle racing the best sport to combine spectating and active participation.

A French newspaper calls for a budget cap for pro cycling teams following Team Sky’s dominating performance in the Tour de France; the president of cycling’s governing body calls for limiting teams to a maximum of six riders instead.

After successful surgery to repair a fractured vertebrae suffered during the Tour, Vincenzo Nibali hopes to return in time for the Vuelta a España later this month.

VeloNews talks with a sports psychologist about whether the abuse Team Sky riders suffered from fans during the Tour had any effect. Apparently not, since they led most of the way and placed two riders on the podium; cutting back on salbutamol probably had a bigger effect on Chris Froome.

Speaking of VeloNews, the magazine also talks with the head of the Dimension Data team about his efforts to build an African team; while several African riders have competed on the WorldTour with the team, no black African has yet won a stage at the highest levels.

And completing our VeloNews trilogy, the magazine offers a beautiful photo essay of the Tour de France from the Pyrenees to Paris.

A 60-year old Australian woman won the masters mountain bike world championships just one day after suffering a major crash.

 

Finally…

Evidently, the more bikes change, the more they look the same. Doing the Tour de France without a bicycle.

And sometimes, doing the right thing gets rewarded.

Morning Links: No charges in NorCal triple hit-and-run, Koretz calls climate crisis, and LA on Amazon shortlist

File this under you’ve got to be kidding.

Authorities in Contra Costa County have decided not to file charges against an 83-year old man who kept driving after rear-ending a woman riding a bike last October.

He then returned 40 minutes later, and rear-ended two men riding their bikes in the opposite direction.

But despite being arrested two days later on suspicion of three counts of felony hit-and-run, prosecutors concluded they couldn’t prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

So why even try, right?

Which means that a dangerous driver is once again allowed to remain on the roads.

And drivers are once again reminded that the authorities don’t take hit-and-run any more seriously than they do.

………

CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz teams with fellow Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to introduce a motion calling for a climate emergency response in spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “fierce urgency of now,” in response to the recent fires and mudslides.

Which means he will undoubtedly reverse his position and approve bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and elsewhere on LA’s Westside, to provide a safe alternative to driving and reduce greenhouse gasses.

Right?

Don’t hold your breath.

………

Los Angeles has somehow made it onto Amazon’s not-so-short shortlist of cities under consideration for their second headquarters.

However, given that one of their primary requirements is that the chosen city must have a good bicycle network, LA can probably look forward to getting a participation trophy.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

………

Peter Flax sends news that the new bike path bypassing construction in Marina del Rey opens today.

………

Local

Chicago Streetsblog writer Steve Vance visits Los Angeles, and says it’s easy to get around by transit and bikeshare.

Curbed editor Alissa Walker lives kid-friendly and carfree in LA.

No irony here. Mar Vista’s dermatologist, neighborhood council member and self-appointed planner says LA needs to approach planning as engineers, rather than social justice warriors. Except when the engineers at LADOT do exactly that, neighborhood NIMBYs and pass-through drivers reject it because it’s not the kind of social engineering they want.

Orphan Black actress Tatiana Maslany is one of us.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at Monterey Park’s approval of a protected bike lane on Monterey Pass Road; as one resident pointed out, it could be the first step in revitalizing the street and getting people out of their cars.

Sheriff’s deputies issued 69 citations for bike and pedestrian safety violations in Santa Clarita on Wednesday, all of which went to motorists. And 46 of which were for distracted driving.

Long Beach restaurant owners are worried about the effect of the Amgen Tour of California’s shoreline start on their Mother’s Day business.

 

State

A former California resident is re-releasing the book she wrote following her round-the-world bike tour 30 years ago.

This is pretty much the definition of NIMBY. Five Encinitas residents are suing the city to block officials from opening a park gate to give kids a safe route to their elementary schools; they complain that it will be used by people who don’t live in their neighborhood to enter the park.

A Denver poet is delivering handwritten “dreams” by bicycle to subscribers in San Diego.

Visually impaired people from across the US are in Chula Vista for a para triathlete training camp to learn how to be guided by a sighted triathlon partner.

An allegedly drunk Apple Valley bike rider refused medical treatment after dodging a car in one direction, then getting hit by one headed in the other.

A Morgan Hill columnist says hosting a stage of the Amgen Tour of California could put the city on the map.

Bike East Bay is hiring a fulltime outreach coordinator and a trio of part-time interns.

Sad news from Danville, where a 73-year old ebike rider was killed after hitting a speed bump.

 

National

People for Bikes explains all about ebikes.

Bicycle Times offers advice on how to avoid bicycling burnout.

Bicycling talks to badass winter bike commuters from five cities with tough winters. Although they somehow left out Los Angeles, where riders are sometimes forced to endure partly cloudy days and temperatures in the 60s.

No, this is badass. A man who lost part of his skull years ago in a bike crash is overcoming his fears and finding hope by riding his bike across the US to get on a waiting list for treatment at a San Diego clinic.

A writer for Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes on the world’s toughest climb on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Portland calls their adaptive bikeshare trial a success. Let’s hope Metro Bike is paying attention; a lot of nontraditional riders could benefit from a program like that.

Caught on video: A writer takes a low-tech bike ride in the Las Vegas rain looking for the latest bike tech.

A Dallas photographer depicts the bike carnage he found looking for dockless bikeshare bikes in the city, while Dallas tells the companies to clean up their act, or else.

 

International

A woman who wears a size 18 offers advice for other plus-sized bicyclists, or as she calls it, biking while fat.

A Canadian letter-writer says money spent building a bike boulevard would have been better spent providing education for the bike-riding public. Which would do little to protect them from dangerous drivers.

London’s transportation department says reports of a slash in the bicycling budget are wrong, but don’t expect more of the city’s cycling superhighways anytime soon.

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton looks fashionably annoyed by the London paparazzi as she rides her bike in the cold.

A London HuffPo writer says what shocked her most about taking up bicycling was the support she received from bike-riding strangers.

A travel writer for the Washington Post rides the length of Great Britain, from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The 125-year old Dutch bike maker Gazelle rolled out its 15 millionth bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Philippine website Rappler — which has been ordered shut down by the country’s increasingly authoritative government — profiles SoCal’s Filipina-American cycling champ Coryn Rivera.

Australia’s extreme heat is causing organizers of the Tour Down Under to shorten race routes.

The head of cycling’s governing body tells Lance Armstrong to stay the hell out of Flanders, not that he can stop him. Meanwhile, coming clean about being dirty has cost Lance $100 million and counting.

 

Finally…

Just what every bicyclist needs: a high-tech toilet. Getting hit by a car seems like an extreme way to get out of a murder trial.

And you know it’s a strong wind when you can’t even hold onto your bike.

 

Morning Links: Koretz calls for climate change mobilization but still no bike lanes, and Bikes4Orphans BBQ ride

No hypocrisy here.

Bike lane-blocking LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz joined with author Naomi Klein to call for a World War II style mobilization to fight climate change.

Los Angeles took on the needs of the entire United States and much of the world during World War II by embracing wartime mobilization. Its existing population and hundreds of thousands of new residents not only contributed massively to aircraft and ship manufacturing, they also volunteered to aid the Red Cross by the tens of thousands. I’m calling on all Angelenos to mobilize once again.  We need a World War II-scale mobilization in order to keep our City safe and our planet habitable and resilient. And we need to ensure that we do it in a way that honors frontline communities, ensures equity, and protects workers.  I’m asking the creative minds of Los Angeles to join with the grassroots activists in creating the City of the future, not some fictional Tomorrowland, but here, on the ground, in the City of Angels we all love.

Of course, one of the single best steps LA could take to fight climate change would be to get people out of their cars, and onto non-polluting sources of transportation.

Like bicycles, for instance.

But that would mean building the kind of on-street bikeways on arterial streets that Koretz has actively opposed since being elected to the LA City Council, after being termed out of the state legislature.

Let alone calling for an outright bike ban on the boulevard.

So we can only assume that Koretz has had a change of heart, and will now approve the shovel-ready bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and other Westside streets.

Or maybe he’s not serious about that WWII-style mobilization — or fighting climate change — after all.

Thanks to David Wolfburg for the heads-up.

………

Bikes4Orphans will hold a fundraising BBQ ride on August 20th; the Pasadena-based non-profit sends bicycles to children around the world to help them stay in school.

 

………

VeloNews looks at how the leader in the Tour de France gets a yellow bike to match his yellow jersey. Or not.

Britain’s Chris Froome is the overwhelming favorite to win this year’s Tour, which starts on Saturday in Dusseldorf.

A rider on Alberto Contador’s Trek-Segafredo team has been replaced for the Tour after testing positive for EPO. It’s refreshing to still see old school blood doping in this modern age of motor and poop doping.

Bicycling offers tips on how to watch the Tour de France without cable TV. The magazine also talks with newly crowned national champ Amber Neben about how she reclaimed the title at 42 years old.

Iowa’s Sarah Cooper talks with a local TV station following her RAAM victory.

A lawsuit against British Cycling seeks to have the country’s Olympic athletes declared employees before a claim of discrimination can be heard; they aren’t currently considered employees, despite signing a contract and receiving a monthly salary.

………

Local

The innocent victim killed in a drive-by shooting as he rode his bike past people arguing after a traffic collision in South LA has been identified as a 17-year old Los Angeles man; a GoFundMe page set up to pay his funeral expenses has raised less than $1,000 of the $10,000 goal.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton points out the irony that the anti-safety group looking to reverse the lane reductions in Playa del Rey is stealing the Open Streets name from the popular carfree ciclovías spreading across the US. Also note in the comments that the changes to Vista del Mar have proven as unpopular with some cyclists as they have with drivers.

Los Angeles pledges $1 million to improve safety on the LA River bike path.

You know there’s something positive going on when a reporter for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune can ride his bike to a music festival next to the Rose Bowl.

The Metro Bike bikeshare will come to Culver City next year, with 600 bikes at stations throughout the city, as well as in Palms, Mar Vista, Del Rey and Playa Vista. However, the bikes will be incompatible with the bikeshare in neighboring Beverly Hills.

You can beat the traffic to Santa Monica’s free Twilight Concerts on the pier with a free bike valet or the city’s Breeze bikeshare. However, that’s “or”, not “and,” since the bike valet does not accept the bikeshare bikes.

 

State

A San Diego cyclist and former sheriff’s sergeant is fighting a severe form of brain cancer; a fund to help defray medical expenses has raised just under $35,000.

It might be the most dangerous intersection on San Diego’s El Cajon Blvd, but apparently, it’s not dangerous enough to fix.

Ford has pulled a controversial 24-hour pass for its new Bay Area bikeshare over fears it would destroy the local bike rental industry. However, they were beaten to the punch by a new dockless — and unpermitted — bikeshare that dropped 100 ebikes on the streets of San Francisco.

San Francisco Streetsblog questions why more isn’t done to protect bike riders during construction projects. Here in LA, riders are usually just thrown to the wolves during construction.

Caught on video: A San Francisco bicyclist documents the difficulty riding through the homeless camps that have taken over a popular bikeway.

 

National

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner has won again, getting a temporary restraining order against a pair of professional cybersquatters.

A Minneapolis paper looks at the 200-year history of the bicycle, noting it’s gone from being considered risky to healthy.

Detroit continues to be in the news, as a bike shop is closed until next week after an incident in which a black customer berated a black mechanic at the store using derogatory racial terms, then claimed on Facebook that he’d been jumped by the employees when they ask him to leave.

An 11-year old Ohio boy is rewarded with a new bicycle and helmet after using his own money to help pay for his great-grandmother’s funeral.

A Brooklyn man could face more serious charges for sucker punching a man as he rode past on his bicycle; his victim is still in a coma three weeks later.

Baltimore bike advocates reach a settlement with the city to keep a protected bike lane in place, after filing suit when the mayor threatened to rip it out.

 

International

A Toronto columnist says it’s crazy to suggest that lower speed limits could make the city’s streets more dangerous by increasing driver frustration and aggression. Although taking away a traffic lane certainly seems to push them over the edge.

A new play about the death of a London woman on her bike is crowdfunding money to stage a premier this fall.

A change in British law to give priority — aka right-of-way — to people going straight over people turning at intersections could improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, while reducing delays up to 38%. That’s also the law here, though it’s often ignored.

 

Finally…

How can it be a bicycle café if there aren’t any bicycles? It’s stretching it to call something that can do 60 mph an ebike — even if they make you promise not to go that fast on the street.

And no, don’t grab a tow from a backhoe.

 

Morning Links: Vision Zero funding carries the day, cyclist-killing pedophile sentenced, and bad bike marketing

Safer streets won the day at yesterday’s meeting of the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee.

According to Curbed LA, a motion passed to allocate 60% of the city’s Measure M local return funds to Vision Zero projects, as opposed to a city plan to allocate two-thirds to fixing the city’s crumbling streets.

The motion sponsored by CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin passed by a slim 3 – 2 margin, with CD5’s Paul Koretz and CD4’s David Ryu voting to fix potholes while keeping the city’s streets dangerous.

As Bonin put it,

“We can fill a bunch of potholes, or we can save a bunch of lives.”

However, comments from Koretz blamed jaywalking pedestrians and poor pavement quality in bike lanes, not high speeds, poor street design or dangerous drivers, for the city’s unacceptably high rate of fatalities.

Never mind that he’s the one responsible for blocking planned bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and on other streets in his mostly Westside district.

And Ryu is the one standing in the way of a desperately needed road diet on 6th Street that’s overwhelmingly supported by the neighborhood councils in the area.

But sure, let’s go with potholes over human lives.

………

Sometimes, I don’t even know what to say.

An Agoura Hills man was sentenced to the maximum term of nearly six years behind bars for committing lewd acts with a 14-year old boy, 29 years after he was convicted on felony counts of hit-and-run and conspiracy for killing a bike rider in Laguna Hills.

Gary Haw, who owned a string of tanning salons in the early 2000s, is also suspected, but wasn’t charged, with molesting other boys who worked for his company.

He was driving his father’s $80,000 Porsche when he slammed into his 17-year old victim in 1988. Despite throwing the boy’s body the length of a football field, he was somehow acquitted of vehicular manslaughter in the case, and received just two years in prison.

His father was convicted of obstruction and lying to a police officer for attempting to cover for Haw by claiming he was the one driving, even though he was at his Culver City home at the time of the crash.

Haw was also convicted of molesting a child in Santa Monica that same year.

Yet his attorney in the current case argued that Haw was a “pillar of the community” who was unlikely to re-offend.

Which seems highly unlikely, given his track record.

And which makes the five year, eight month sentence seem a few decades too short.

………

Once again, a bicycle company badly misses the mark by assuming their market is made up solely of immature straight males.

As Bicycling points out, the sexist and homophobic ad Wolf Tooth Components and another company shared on social media over the weekend was quickly pulled when wiser heads prevailed following an intense backlash.

The question is why anyone would approve it in the first place. And why does the bike industry just not get it?

………

Patrick Lynch forwards video of an airport bike cop photobombing a Today Show news report on TSA pat-downs.

………

A professional mountain biker describes his addiction to Tramadol, the painkiller used — legally — by many cyclists in the pro peloton.

Women’s races have been added to two of the four stages of the new Colorado Classic bike race, with an unrelated women’s crit the third day.

A German website profiles American cyclist Leah Thorvilson, who went from marathon runner to winning a pro cycling contract at age 38 by coming in first in a Zwift virtual cycling competition.

………

Local

CiclaValley calls tonight’s People For Bikes Draft Meetup at Pure Cycles a must.

LA-based Smart Bikes is accepting pre-order sales for their new Hexagon light, combining a rear-view camera with a taillight, brake light and turn signals, and allowing you to use your smartphone to see what’s coming behind you. But probably not the “ultimate safety device,” as the company describes it.

The LACBC’s annual River Ride will once again feature a Long Beach start, as well as the traditional starting line in Griffith Park; the Long Beach start was discontinued last year due to construction work.

 

State

There seems to be a common theme to our first three stories. I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

  • Health rankings of California counties indicate where you live has an impact on how healthy you are and how long you’ll live, with Orange County near the top of the list, and Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties not so much. Safe, walkable and bikeable neighborhoods with access to fresh fruits and vegetables made a positive difference.
  • Calbike says a good state transportation bill was poisoned at the last minute by an ill-advised compromise allowing the trucking industry to keep polluting neighborhoods near ports and trucking routes.
  • A white paper from the California Air Resources Board says physical activity is good for you, just try not to breath the air.

Long delayed plans for a bikeway on San Diego’s Coronado bridge could cost as much as $210 million for a 15-foot tube suspended beneath the bridge, and could require a toll to fund it — either on the bicyclists and pedestrians using it, or the drivers on the bridge above them.

A Santa Cruz letter writer says “smug weekend cyclists” should be banned from a large number of mountain roads. Does that mean modest weekday riders are okay?

A Sacramento magazine says it’s time for the city to stop spinning its wheels and build its first protected bike lane, noting that Sacramento and Las Vegas are the only two of America’s 40 largest cities without at least imminent plans for one.

A Folsom newspaper says cyclists and motorists need to work together for safety, and drivers shouldn’t squeeze cyclists off the road.

 

National

A new study questions why girls lose interest in bicycling when they reach their teens; not surprisingly, traffic is a major factor.

A writer for Forbes calls the new $5,000, 33 mph Stromer ebike a people magnet and a thing of sheer beauty. Although here in California, any motorized bicycle that goes that fast requires a helmet and a motorcycle license.

It was a big night out for a Denton TX man, who was arrested after allegedly crashing his car into three separate vehicles before hitting a woman on a bicycle, then running away and attacking a woman getting out of her car, insisting he needed it to get something to drink.

Chicago bike riders are cheering plans for extending a bike trail and building a riverwalk bike path on both sides of the river through a gentrifying industrial corridor.

A Cleveland letter writer says don’t be a jerk by riding in the middle of the lane and slowing down traffic just to prove you have a right to the road. Never mind that riders are taught to take the lane to avoid the door zone, increase visibility and make drivers go around them to pass.

Next City examines how Massachusetts is updating its statewide bike plan to shift focus from recreational riding to riding for transportation.

 

International

The international bicycle industry is finally getting onboard with bike advocacy.

Peru’s Agricultural Minister was fired for sunbathing and riding her bicycle while half the country was being devastated by the worst flooding in two decades.

Plans are underway to install segregated bike lanes on London’s Westminster bridge, site of last week’s terrorist attack. However, work has been postponed for the foreseeable future, as one British lord inexplicably blames the current painted lanes for contributing to the carnage.

A British rider is close to finishing his goal of riding 107 kilometers (66 miles) every day for 107 days, despite working full time, and overcoming food poisoning and a major storm.

The head of Ireland’s Green Party calls for improving safety for cyclists on the country’s roads, comparing riding in Dublin to a Ben-Hur chariot race.

CNN takes a 12-day, 602-mile ride around Taiwan on a route that is rapidly becoming one of Asia’s greatest adventures.

Singapore is trying to encourage bicycling by installing bike racks and bike parking zones throughout the island.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Going full Superman downhill on a fixie doesn’t look as hard as getting back on the spinning pedals. Evidently, bike racers get fined for riding where bike riders are supposed to.

And nothing like riding your fat bike past a long line of cars stalled in an Alaskan blizzard.

Morning Links: LA elections: Still hope in CD1, while Koretz re-elected in CD5; living with the pain of killing a cyclist

Disappointing news in yesterday’s LA city elections, with 100% of precincts in.

Anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo appears to have eked out a victory in CD1, setting the stage at least five and a half more years of deadly streets as the city switches to holding its elections at the same time as state and national votes.

Although a runoff with Joe Bray-Ali is still possible, as Cedillo topped the minimum 50% threshold by just 198 votes; Bray-Ali issued a statement saying he isn’t conceding until all the votes are counted.

And in CD5, current councilmember Paul Koretz won a final term with nearly two-thirds of the vote over bike-friendly challenger Jesse Creed.

In the end, Creed and Bray-Ali struggled to overcome the power of LA incumbency, where office holders running for re-election almost never lose — thanks in large part to the city’s gerrymandered districts and the massive amount of out-of-district special interest money that inevitably pours in to benefit sitting councilmembers.

Not that those special interests would dream of expecting a return on their investment or anything.

The news was better in CD7, where Bike the Vote LA-endorsed Monica Rodriguez was leading, and will enter a runoff with Karo Torossian if the totals hold.

As expected, the other current officeholders steamrolled to victory over their token opposition in all the other races.

So if nothing changes, it looks like nothing changes.

A few districts with bike-friendly councilmembers such as Joe Buscaino, Jose Huizar and Mike Bonin will continue to get safer and more complete streets, while Cedillo and Koretz will continue to block much needed improvements.

And our city will suffer for it.

But at least we can end on a brighter note, as anti-growth Measure S went down to defeat, handing AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Michael Weinstein his third loss in three tries at ballot propositions in four months; attempts to regulate drug prices and require condoms for porn shoots statewide lost last November.

And Measure H passed with the necessary two-thirds majority, as the city and county finally appear to be getting serious about working together to end the crisis of homelessness.

……..

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A Massachusetts woman writes about what it’s like to live with the knowledge she killed a cyclist 20 years earlier.

I wasn’t found at fault in my crash; I wasn’t speeding, distracted or impaired on the night I rounded a highway curve and a bicyclist crossed in front of my car, too close for me to avoid. But I will always see him staring wide-eyed at me as he flew into and over my windshield. I will never forget his body at roadside, utterly motionless.

If you remember nothing else I write, I hope you’ll remember this: You do not want to be me. No destination, no text, no drink, no glance away from the road is worth knowing that you have killed another human being. You don’t want to feel you’d give anything not to have been on that road at that time. You don’t want to believe that anything you accomplish in life is offset by the death of another person. You don’t want any happiness you experience to remind you of the happiness denied the person you hit, her family, his friends. You don’t want to struggle to go on living, convinced you don’t deserve to exist, wishing you hadn’t been born.

She still says the collision could have been avoided if only the victim had lights on his bike. But notes that drivers have to change their attitudes to prevent similar tragedies.

Her own friend was killed riding a bike two years ago.

………

Cycling News looks back at the day the great Marco Pantini left cycling after being busted for doping during the 1999 Giro d’Italia.

The manager for Italy’s Androni Giocattoli team is royally pissed off that they’ve been excluded from this year’s Giro, calling it the biggest injustice of his career. Then again, Axel Merckx isn’t thrilled his team has been left out of the AToC.

The former Scottish national coach says men’s cycling is shit, but women’s racing is a growth industry.

The new chairman of British Cycling says there’s no evidence the organization isn’t clean. Which isn’t exactly the same as saying it is.

………

Local

KPCC’s AirTalk program will discuss California’s proposed Idaho Stop law at 10:40 this morning; you can listen to it live online.

A columnist for the Pasadena Star-News says don’t put the brakes on the Idaho Stop law that can make it safer for California cyclists.

Bike SGV posts more great photos from Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets, where a good time was clearly had by all.

Police in La Verne are looking for a bike-riding burglar after break-ins in a pair of jewelry and cellphone stores.

The Santa Monica Lookout says a new study shows SaMo residents are still sticking to their cars. Maybe if they washed their hands more often…

Pierce Brosnan is one of us, as he goes for a bike ride with his wife on an apparently non-existent beachfront bike path in Malibu.

 

State

Laguna Nigel police will hold an event at city hall on Monday to talk about traffic safety and enforcement.

The Sacramento Bee reviews the one-man performance Concussed: Four Days in the Dark, by comedian Jack Gallagher, based on the traumatic brain injury he got when he was hit by a car while riding his bike.

The driver for the mayor of Sacramento hit a bike rider at a notoriously dangerous intersection on Tuesday evening while the mayor in the car; naturally, they blame the victim for running a stop sign. So if the intersection is so dangerous, why haven’t they fixed it already?

 

National

A new US study posted on an Aussie website shows bicycling can slow the effects of aging, and that older people benefit more than the young. And here I assumed all those close passes were aging me, not realizing I was getting younger, and yes, better looking, with every pass.

Gizmodo says building the new Ikea bike is a pain worth suffering through.

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer calls on bicyclists to use bike advocacy as a tool to save America.

Speaking of close passes, Houston researchers are looking for bicyclist and pedestrian victims of close passes by motorists for a new safety study.

The newspaper for tiny Victoria TX calls on the city to invest in making it more bike friendly.

A new Minnesota study shows bike commuting reduces chronic illness and preventable deaths, saving millions of dollars annually in medical costs. Maybe the GOP should make bicycling a part of their new healthcare plan.

This is what happens when you take Vision Zero seriously. Philadelphia’s mayor calls for a three-year plan touching on virtually every aspect of road travel in order to make the city’s streets safer.

It only took NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. five minutes into his first bike ride to get flipped off by a Florida driver.

 

International

A Canadian man with type 1 diabetes is riding across the country in the dead of winter.

A Calgary driver says it’s not her fault she hit a cyclist because the sun was in her eyes. Seriously, if you can’t see what the hell is directly in front of your car, pull the damn thing over and wait until you can.

A UK bike advocacy group calls for clarification on the differences between careless and dangerous driving charges after a driver who admitted to a dangerous pass gets just eight months for killing a man on a bike.

British police are asking for bike cam video to protect cyclists and enforce the law against dangerous drivers. It’s questionable whether similar video footage can be used to prosecute drivers for traffic violations in California, where current law says police must actually witness the violation, except in the case of felonies. Thanks to Cyclist’s Rights for the heads-up.

In an update on yesterday’s story, it turns out a Brit bus rider could tell it was a bicyclist fucking in the bushes because he still had his helmet on; his more traditionally attired partner was wearing a coat, at least. Or maybe it was just a couple with a weird bike helmet fetish.

Police in Malvo, Sweden are on the lookout for a pair of bike-by shooters.

Controversy over a 15-year old model aside, the Lagerfeld Paris fashion show featured crepe de chine Bermuda shorts edged in tweed, described as being perfect for space travel, as well as ideal for riding a bicycle. Seriously, you can’t make this shit up.

India’s Business World considers bicycling as a form of public transport.

Bicycling looks at Team New Zealand’s efforts to pedal to victory in the America’s Cup.

An Aussie news site examines how cycling culture around the world differs from Australia’s not-so-great approach.

Taipei is cracking down on sidewalk riders.

 

Finally…

Seriously officer, the wreck couldn’t be my fault, I was asleep at the time. Maybe this Haribo thing is catching on.

And Lance finally gets around to admitting he was a dick. Which everyone else knew a long time ago.

 

Morning Links: Koretz calls for banning bikes from Westwood, and protected bike lanes are coming to Lankershim

Yes, he really said that.

Speaking at a candidate forum Tuesday night, incumbent CD5 city councilmember Paul Koretz called for banning bicycles from Westwood Blvd.

Never mind actually building the bike lanes he’s personally blocked from being installed on the boulevard.

And never mind that it’s against state law to ban bikes from any public street where cars are allowed. Which he should know, as a former state Assembly member.

But then, nothing seems to get in the way of his apparent desire to keep Westwood dangerous, and filled with failing businesses and empty storefronts, as he strives to maintain automotive hegemony over the street.

Which could be, but isn’t, why the LA Daily News endorsed his opponent Jesse Creed over career politician Koretz. Although you’d think they might have mentioned the obvious hypocrisy of blocking bike lanes while claiming to be an environmentalist.

You can do something about it by joining Bike the Vote LA in their get out the vote effort from 12 to 4 pm this Sunday, at 109 S Robertson Blvd, between 3rd Street and Alden Drive.

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Local

Great news, as Los Angeles will undo a small portion of the damage wrought by former Councilmember Tom LaBonge by installing 2.2 miles of protected bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood, from Magnolia to Vanowen; like Kortez, LaBonge had blocked a previous shovel-ready plan for bike lanes on the boulevard in an apparent attempt to keep the street dangerously auto-focused.

CiclaValley writes about Monday’s North Hollywood death of a bike rider identified, as Stanley Martin Digerose, who was killed when he stopped to retrieve a ball that had rolled into the street from a nearby park.

Loyola Marymount will open a free bikeshare system on campus; the center will eventually offer seminars teaching students how to fix, tune, and repair their bikes, as well.

Pasadena installs a combination bike repair and hydration station near the rose Bowl.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would require Caltrans to improve safety on state highways that run through urban areas and neighborhoods by installing safer sidewalks, crosswalks and bike infrastructure — and more importantly, by providing the funding to pay for it. Streetsblog says it would force Caltrans to follow its own Complete Streets guidelines.

Needless to say, reaction to a proposed bill to allow the Idaho Stop Law in California hasn’t been entirely positive.

Speaking of Idaho Stops, the Union-Tribune shows where bike riders are most likely to get a ticket for stop sign violations. Thanks to Frank Shunkan for the heads-up.

San Diego’s already bad roads are getting worse after the winter rains, leading to lawsuits from drivers and injured bicyclists. Potholes and cracks may be an expensive annoyance to drivers, but can be dangerous for bike riders.

 

National

A new study of male athletes suggests riding too long and hard could affect your sex drive and fertility. Previous studies have shown a similar affect on women.

A bicycling website ranks the top ten bike-friendly cities in the US. Guess which one isn’t on the list?

Lifehacker offers advice on how to buy a bike off eBay without getting hosed.

Your next fat bike could be half scooter.

A Washington high school offers a bike academy to train students for jobs in the bicycle industry.

A popular Tucson bike path is closed down for construction without adequate notice or a detour around the project site. Not that there’s anything unusual about that.

An Op-Ed in the Denver Post says Colorado faces a $2 billion transportation shortfall, and the state must invest in multimodal transportation, including bicycling, instead of building more roads.

The hit-and-run driver who dragged a Las Vegas teenager’s bike under his truck for two and a half miles before tossing it in a dumpster is a convicted felon, though the story doesn’t say what he was convicted of; thankfully, his victim is slowly recovering from his injuries.

A new Chicago plan calls for wetlands and bike bridges leading to a massive industrial area.

No, seriously. Who could have possible imagined that a killer drunk driver would lie to a Chicago courtroom to save his own skin? Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the link.

Teenage Staten Island bike riders get busted for performing stunts while weaving in and out of traffic and riding salmon. So in their infinite wisdom, authorities filed criminal charges against them. Seriously. For riding bikes.

A Virginia deputy isn’t angry at the 19-year old girl who stole his bike to get home after she was stranded following the Super Bowl. Especially since she brought it back the next day with a note asking for forgiveness.

It’s the cover-up that gets you caught. A Florida woman is caught using a bike to cover her tracks after skipping 1.5 miles of a Ft. Lauderdale half marathon.

 

International

Now you can get Strava on your iWatch, assuming you have one. Or want one.

Toronto considers new rules to keep bike lanes from being used as parking and loading zones for construction sites.

London is the latest city to get the subway-style bike map treatment. Which would just show a bunch of disconnected lines if they tried it here.

Caught on video: This is why drivers have to give a safe passing distance, as a Brit cyclist is clipped by a passing driver who apparently didn’t see him, despite his hi-viz. Or maybe just didn’t care.

A UK paper is shocked and appalled that someone would ride in a bike lane with no hands and no helmet. Although he does seem to have his bike under control, even making a hands-free left — and signaling, though I initially missed that.

After video of a woman bike rider ripping off the wing mirror of a van goes viral, the Guardian says the race for clicks is undermining the credibility of the press. Although a HuffPo writer says she wishes she had the courage to do it.

Irish drivers could face a the equivalent of an $84 fine for passing a bike rider with less than five feet distance on roads with a speed limit over 31 mph, and 3 feet on streets with lower speeds, under a “radical” plan under consideration.

Nice story of an Indian man who rode his bike 7,000 miles to Sweden in the 1970s to be with the woman he loved; they’ve now been married 40 years.

One of China’s app-based bikeshare systems is about to drop 500 bicycles on the streets of Cambridge, England.

A lawyer says the Malaysian driver who killed eight teenage bike riders in a collision over the weekend deserves the blame for hitting them from behind, not her victims or their parents.

 

Finally…

If you get pulled over for DUI, probably best not to do cartwheels when the cop asks you to walk a straight line. What to say to those foul-mouthed, bell-happy cyclists when you innocently park in their bike lane.

And someone really needs to give this dog a dope test. Seriously.

Morning Links: Bike the Vote endorses Creed, possible SaMo heartbreak, and San Fran fights Chinese bikeshare

The first shoe has dropped in the race for city council in CD5.

Typical of LA’s gerrymandered council districts, the sprawling Westside district stretches east from Sepulveda to nearly encircle Beverly Hills, before reaching north to the San Fernando Valley west of Sepulveda.

For the past eight years it’s been represented by career politician Paul Koretz, who moved into the district once he was termed out of the state assembly, after serving on the West Hollywood city council.

It was Koretz who single-handedly killed the fully funded and shovel ready bike lanes on Westwood Blvd at the behest of a small group of wealthy homeowners, followed by inciting a council vote to remove the lanes from the city’s mobility plan. And stating there would be no bike lanes as part of the Great Streets program in Westwood Village.

Yet he oddly still claims to support bicycling.

His reasoning is that Westwood, which is included in LA’s High Injury Network under the Vision Zero plan, is too dangerous for bike riders. So his solution is to keep it dangerous, and shunt all those riders who currently use it as the most direct route between the Expo Line and the UCLA campus onto other less practical alternatives.

And with the exception of Motor Blvd, he has failed to implement any of the major bike lanes called for in the city’s Mobility Plan.

So it should come as no surprise that Bike the Vote LA has endorsed his challenger, Jesse Creed, in the March election over the incumbent Koretz.

You can read Creed’s responses to Bike the Vote’s candidate survey at the above link, and find Koretz’ responses here, along with that of a third candidate, Mark Herd.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newtown offers a good analysis of both the candidates, and Bike the Vote’s endorsement.

But the bottom line is that Koretz has had eight years to prove his support for bicycling is more than just talk. But his actions, particularly on Westwood Blvd, have proven otherwise.

………

Heartbreaking news, as there’s an unconfirmed report that the owner of Santa Monica’s Bicycle Ambulance shop was killed while riding to work recently. I’m working on getting official confirmation; if anyone has any information, please let me know.

Update: A comment from Chris, along with an email from Brian Nilsen, confirms that a GoFundMe page raising funds to defray funeral expenses has been set up by the son of Tony Barnes, the owner of Bicycle Ambulance. There is also a ghost bike in Barnes honor at South Centinela Ave and Jefferson Blvd in Playa Vista. I’ve reached to the LAPD for more information.

Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the heads-up.

………

San Francisco is threatening legal action to stop a Chinese app-based bikeshare provider from “dumping” thousands of rental bikes on the city’s streets without the proper planning or permits.

In other words, doing exactly what Uber did in moving into new markets, by establishing their ride hailing service first and dealing with the paperwork later.

But then, Uber was cars. And wasn’t Chinese.

And wasn’t threatening to disrupt the city’s existing dock-based bikeshare.

On the other hand, the problem with China’s app-based bikeshare model is that people are abandoning the bikes, resulting in a 500-bike pile in the city of Shenzhen.

………

Calbike will host a webinar at 11 am today to discuss a grant program which could expand the use of ebikes to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

………

An LGBT website says trans cyclist Jillian Bearden is receiving both praise and uninformed criticism as she continues to break barriers.

Cycling Weekly says fewer, but bigger races could save cycling in France.

………

Local

The LA Rams may need some help, but at least the new head coach rides his bike to work. Thanks to Josh for the link.

The LACBC is calling for bike riders to submit comments on a proposed redesign of Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills by this Friday; the section under consideration currently has painted bike lanes, which the coalition would like to see upgraded to parking protected lanes.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re in the market for a new Planning & Policy Director.

The latest Bike Talk features former bike shop owners Josef Bray-Ali and TJ Flexer discussing the demise of the local bike shop.

 

State

Westminster police are on the lookout for a bike-riding burglar.

A San Diego Navy vet got a new $3,000 bike for Christmas after his was totaled when he did a face plant last September. Then someone stole off his car it after his first ride.

San Diego has secured funding to begin design work on a crucial link between the Chollas Creek bike path and the planned 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway; the path would allow residents of lower-income areas to safely cross the I-5 and I-15 interchange and get to jobs in the downtown area.

No bias here. A Bakersfield bike rider gets hit by a drunk driver who flees the scene. Yet police still blame the victim for wearing dark clothing and not riding in a crosswalk — even though there was no reason for her to even be in crosswalk.

A Menlo Park cyclist says a new bike project would only benefit a small number of bike riders at the expense of most bicyclists and the rest of the city.

Caught on video: An East Bay cyclist leaves his bike cam going when he stops for mid-ride coffee, and catches a high-end bike thief red-handed.

 

National

Bicycling says riding inside doesn’t have to suck anymore. But it’s still inside, and the bikes still don’t move.

A Seattle website says the city owes residents an apology and their $1.4 million back after buying the city’s troubled bikeshare program, then unceremoniously killing it just before the long weekend. But there’s still a desire for bikeshare if it’s done right.

A French company rode their 3D-printed bike over 600 miles from Las Vegas to San Francisco to prove it works.

The war on bikes continues, as an Arizona bicyclist was shot repeatedly with BB guns by a man and woman in a passing car, with the couple’s child in the backseat. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for people like that.

A homeless man says refurbishing bikes at a Utah collective to give to others has given purpose to his life.

A Colorado letter writer says “stupid is as stupid does” in deciding whether to ride on the roadways with motor vehicle traffic, suggesting — or rather, outright stating — that bikes don’t belong on public streets. I’d apply that same aphorism to people who can’t resist the urge to share their particular anti-bike bias with the rest of the world; saying it’s not safe to share the roads with motor vehicles is really just saying that people are incapable of driving safely, which I refuse to believe.

Wisconsin police bust a pair of bike thieves and reclaim a stolen bike that was being sold on Craigslist; the victim had been given the bike by her grandmother.

Chicago bike riders continue to ride through the winter as part of a two-week challenge. Oddly, no one seem to consider doing something like that here in Southern California, where the weather is much more conducive to year-round riding.

Blocked bike lanes remain a big problem in Brooklyn and Manhattan. And pretty much everywhere else.

President-elect Trump’s traditional inaugural walk will be on a DC bike path.

 

International

Now that a Canadian reporter has recovered from a near-fatal bike crash, she says it was one of the best experiences of her life, because it changed her for the better. And yes, she plans to ride again.

Toronto is studying near-miss incidents, as well as actual collisions, before and after bike lanes were installed on a major street, in order to get a more complete look at how safety has changed.

London cabbies bring traffic to a standstill to protest plans to close a key junction to motor vehicles; cyclists argue that taxis are one of the biggest causes of congestion and drivers are just supporting “the right to poison Londoners.”

A self-described bike lane-skeptic member of the British parliament questions whether bike lanes are the reason London traffic congestion has gotten worse, and if they are causing an increase in pollution as a result.

Scotland promises a more ambitious and innovative approach to cycling, as council leaders promise to play a huge role in encouraging ridership; the country plans to have 10% of journeys made by bike by 2020.

 

Finally…

Filming yourself riding a bike on a Buddhist temple is probably not the best way to win friends in a foreign country. And not even wheelie-popping former Super Bowl winners are safe on a bike.

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