Tag Archive for PCH

No justice for Florida bicyclists, bikes outnumber cars on Parisian streets, and speed cams could be coming to PCH

Just 265 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the needlessly mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. 

We’re now up to 1,057 signatures, so keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until the mayor agrees to meet with us! 

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My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. Diabetes, a bum shoulder and a bad back, and suddenly becoming a full-time caregiver for my wife and my dog, all combined to knock me on my ass Tuesday night. And it probably won’t be the last time. 

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It’s now 112 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 34 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

A Henderson, Nevada bike rider has launched a “Save Our Bike Lanes” website, after city leaders in the formerly bike-friendly city embarked on a decidedly bike-unfriendly campaign to remove them.

Houston’s new mayor has pulled a 180 from his bike and pedestrian friendly predecessor, ordering pedestrian islands ripped out and freezing plans for bike lane.

The city council of Providence RI has gone on the record as opposing the mayor’s plan to rip out a bike lane on a bridge to make more room for, yes, cars.

A Winnipeg, Canada city councilor spent yesterday backpedaling without a bike after coming under withering and well-deserved criticism for saying bicycle Nazis want to “take away all the lanes and the cars,” apologizing for making the statement at a city council meeting.

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

A Wisconsin man was arrested for threatening deputies and assaulting a nurse, after he was found lying in a ditch next to his bicycle, heavily intoxicated.

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Local 

Metro is hosting a telephone town meeting on Tuesday to discuss next year’s budget.

LAist looks back at LA’s elevated, wooden bicycle freeway, which never quite made it all the way to Pasadena before cars took over in the early 1900s; the route now forms the basis for the Pasadena freeway.

The two executives from North Hills-based Hope the Mission have made it to Oklahoma City on their cross-country bike ride to raise attention to the plight of homelessness. Meanwhile, my brother has made it to eastern New Mexico on his cross-country ride, after encountering several weather delays.

Glendale is hosting a Bike Safety 101 workshop on the last Sunday of this month.

Active Streets Mission to Mission, nee 626 Golden Streets, will return April 28th to the popular route along five miles of San Gabriel Valley streets, winding from the San Gabriel Mission to South Pasadena.

 

State

Friday is the deadline to sign up for Calbike’s California Bike Summit in San Diego.

A 36-year old Hayward man faces charges for the hit-and-run death of a man riding bicycle last September, after seven months on the lam.

San Francisco bicyclists now have their own sidewalk-level bikeway. Which is one more than Los Angeles has. 

 

National

He gets it. A writer for Electrek says there’s a simple solution to virtually every ebike problem — just invest in better bike infrastructure.

Nice gesture. A bicycle shop in Lahaina, Hawaii is giving away over 100 bicycles to Maui residents displaced by last year’s wildfires.

An Oklahoma man set off on a 600-mile ride to visit all of the state’s historic all-Black towns in a single week.

Once again, you can ride your bike to the Indianapolis 500 for the low, low price of just $25 — or $30 the day of the race — which does not actually get you into the race.

Boston bicyclists will return at midnight Sunday for the 16th annual, officially unofficial and unsanctioned 26.2-mile ride along the Boston Marathon route, before the race runs later that morning. The same thing used to take place every year in Los Angeles — until the city made it an official event, then cancelled it, ostensibly over insurance concerns.

Florida man strikes again, as a 73-year old man was arrested for pulling a knife on a boy for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, instead of a bike lane, telling police he thought his life was in danger because the kid was riding right at him.

Make that Florida man strikes again, again, as a man faces charges for firing his gun in a dispute over a bicycle — then left the bike just lying there, of course.

 

International

Momentum lists the world’s ten bike bicycling destinations. None of which is Los Angeles, for obvious reasons. 

That’s more like it. British Columbia drivers will now have to give bike riders a three-foot passing distance, increasing to roughly five feet above 31 mph.

Sad news from Toronto, where a popular 59-year old ride leader for a local bicycling club was killed by a driver.

A new Scottish study shows bike rates remained flat, even as most people now recognize the benefits of bicycling, from better health and happiness to saving money and being better for the environment; as usual, safety remains the biggest barrier.

Drivers in the UK think a new 12-foot wide, two-way bike lane is just too wide and too confusing, accusing city officials of using it as a ruse to drive drivers out of town.

Just as in the US, traffic deaths in the Netherlands continue to drop, despite ever-increasing rate of bicycling deaths; 40% of the bike victims were killed by delivery van drivers.

A new Romanian-made laminated bamboo-frame bike claims to be the world’s lightest ebike, even though at 33 pounds, it probably isn’t.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — bikepacking the spectacular Alps of western Slovenia.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 89-year old Japanese man rode his bike nearly 375 miles just to visit his 61-year old son.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a 23-year old driver got just six to sixteen months behind bars for killing a bike rider, despite using Instagram on her phone while driving at least 50 mph. And not surprising, ays she never saw the entirely innocent victim she killed.

 

Competitive Cycling

Aussie cyclist Jay Vine took his first tentative steps using a walker, after suffering a fractured skull and vertebrae in the Tour of the Basque County crash that also left cycling stars Jonas Vingegaard and Remco Evenepoel facing injuries; Belgian cyclist Steff Cras though he was going to die in the crash.

The spectator who launched a hat at the rear wheel of Mathieu van der Poel’s bike as he soloed to victory at Paris-Roubaix says she didn’t mean to cause any harm. Meanwhile, someone made off with the race’s iconic cobbles.

Tragic news from Russia, where 34-year old former pro cyclist turned hockey player Alexey Tsatevich has died.

Tyler Stites edged Tom Williams to win stage 1 of the Redlands Classic, while Canadian Mara Roldan won a group sprint over Maeghan Easler and Alia Shafi on the women’s side.

 

Finally…

A-tisket, a-tasket, a bird nest in your bike basket. That feeling when a collegiate women’s team pursuit isn’t a frat strategy for a sorority mixer.

And why should motorcyclists get to hog all the sidecars?

Make it corgi-sized to fit an e-cargo bike, and I’m all in.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

PCH near-closure due to Malibu rockslide, Tish & Greg’s Excellent Oscar Adventure, and East Side Riders BEAST classes

Just 294 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

As of this writing, we’re up to 1,011 signatures, so let’s keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until the mayor agrees to meet with us!

Photo from Caltrans tweet, below. 

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As we mentioned yesterday, hats off to Tish and Greg Laemmle, owners of the Laemmle Theater chain, for once again leading a group bike ride from West LA to Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, as the following photos attest.

I can imagine few things more badass or sending a stronger message than walking the red carpet holding a bike helmet.

Tish and Greg Laemmle preparing to ride to the Oscars

The assembled entourage posing in front of the Laemmle on Santa Monica Blvd

And in a reminder that there’s always a troll around, a participant on the ride responds to a commenter’s faux concern about scofflaw riders.

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The East Side Riders Bike Club will now be hosting Bicycle Safety and Education Classes, aka BEAST, as Keller Park every Saturday; participants will get a free bike helmet.

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It’s now 83 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 33 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

No bias here. A Cincinnati public radio station says bicyclists wonder if a Covington KY road diet, and new bike lanes on a bridge things, will make things better or worse, but can only seem to find people who think it will get better. But they do find the city’s mayor, arguing that the city’s streets are too narrow for bike lanes, and you just can’t take people’s parking away, because cars matter more than people’s safety, evidently.

There’s a special place in hell for the two men who stopped to “help” a seriously injured mountain biker in York, England, and made off with his bike, instead.

The metro Manilla area in the Philippines is banning ebikes from all major roadways starting next month, for reasons that must make sense to someone.

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

Brooklyn police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who may have killed a 67-year old man riding an ebike in an apparent bike-on-bike collision, although a close pass by an oncoming van driver may have played a role.

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Local 

After conducting a nationwide search, Pasadena found their new DOT head in their own backyard, promoting 20-year Pasadena Department of Transportation veteran Joaquin Siques to lead the agency.

Santa Monica police will conduct yet another Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Operation this Thursday and Friday, targeting anyone who commits a traffic violation that could endanger either group, regardless of who commits it. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit line, so you’re not the one who gets written up and fined. 

 

State

June will officially be mountain bike month in California.

San Luis Obispo has received $4 million in federal funding to build a 1.25-mile extension of the existing Edna Valley Trail next to Highway 227.

The chair of the San Mateo County Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee reminds everyone that bicyclists pay taxes, too, and deserve safe streets.

Sad news from San Jose, where a woman died a week after she was struck by a motorcyclist while riding her bicycle across the street. The story notes that she was riding “outside of any marked crosswalks,” even though there’s no requirement for bicyclists to ride in one. 

More sad news from Sacramento County, where police are looking for witnesses to an apparent solo bicycling fall last December, when a 62-year old man died after being found in the roadway next to his bicycle. Although it’s also possible that a close pass or bump by a driver could have caused his fall. Read the second link on Yahoo if the newspaper blocks you. 

 

National

No surprise here, as the streets of Milwaukee are even deadlier for people of color, especially when walking or riding a bicycle.

A West Warwick, Rhode Island driver somehow managed to jump an island at a “horrible” intersection, and crash into not one, not two, but three kids riding their bikes; fortunately, none of the tween kids were seriously injured.

A speeding Brooklyn driver faces charges for the “wild” drunken crash that injured a bike rider, and put a pedestrian into a coma.

This could be your best smile of the day, as a South Carolina boy teaches his little sister how to use a backyard bike ramp.

Residents of Valdosta, Georgia are understandably horrified when the driver of a city-owned semi was caught on security cam right-hooking a 56-year old man riding a bicycle, who had pulled up next to the truck at a red light just as the light was changing; the victim remains in stable but critical condition. Naturally, one commenter said “Bicyclists should know traffic laws,” even though the victim didn’t appear to break any. 

 

International

An orthopedic surgeon writes in the prestigious British Medical Journal that active transportation is the “best buy” for improving people’s health, and the UK should make more cycling and walking journeys a priority in the United Kingdom, while calling for more 20 mph speed limits.

Mumbai bike riders raise the alarm over wheel-trapping roadway grates on a new highway flyover. Even though most cities around the world got rid of these hazards years ago. 

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 91-year old South African man gets back on his ebike and finishes the country’s largest fondo, despite a nasty fall that left him momentarily motionless. Although I could do without the nasty fall. And the bandages. 

Luxury Travel Magazine recommends three bicycling routes you need to travel to explore Vietnam by bike, including the Mekong Delta and the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Which are bound to bring up warm memories for any Vietnam vet.

A columnist argues that New Zealand’s war on bicyclists can’t continue, as the country’s Transport Minister proposes slashing bike funding in half, even though other departments only face a 6% cut.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says wet cobbles couldn’t slow Lorena Wiebes down at the Ronde van Drenthe. Although this one doesn’t appear to be available anywhere else yet, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.

 

Finally…

That feeling when Amsterdam has the ability to remotely slow ebike riders, but speeding drivers are apparently A-OK. Or when drivers owe a bike rider their thanks for sucking up flat-causing nails and screws by towing a bigass magnet behind his bike.

And your next cruiser ebike could be built by the same people who made the little red wagon you probably had as a kid.

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Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month today

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Newsom plugs budget hole with Active Transportation funds, and Los Angeles traffic deaths jump once again in 2023

My eye is finally better, so let’s catch up on what we’ve missed the past couple days. 

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so please accept my apologies in advance if I don’t acknowledge you for something you sent me.

I’ll try to make up for it next time. 

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If you haven’t already, stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

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No surprise here, as Governor Gavin Newsom proposed filling an unexpected $38 billion budget shortfall in part by taking $200 million from the state’s already underfunded Active Transportation Program.

The governor’s new budget leaves just $850 million in the ATP, but borrows $200 million from future funding to avoid cutting currently budgeted projects.

Calbike says there’s no budget shortfall in the state’s transportation budget, which is stuffed with more money than ever before.

Meanwhile, the Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, proposes spending a whopping $750 billion on traffic projects over the next 20 years.

Their project list included a whole 4,000 miles of bike lanes — which works out to just 200 miles a year, spread out among the seven-county SoCal region.

The rest of the funding will go overwhelmingly towards highway projects to encourage more driving.

Which is exactly what we don’t need to meet the state’s climate goals.

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So much for Vision Zero.

KNBC-4 reports that LAPD figures show traffic deaths outpaced murders in the City of Angels last year.

The city saw 330 traffic deaths in 2023, a significant increase over 2022’s near-record numbers, “particularly fatal hit and runs and fatal pedestrian and bicycle collisions.”

At the same time, violent crime dropped 3.2%, with a total of “just” 327 murders.

The rise in traffic deaths comes as the city’s underfunded and under-implemented Vision Zero program was supposed to end traffic deaths by next year.

Instead, we’re further than ever from that goal, as people continue to die on our streets while our elected leaders do little or nothing about it.

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A series of bike rides in cities around the world this Sunday will mark 100 days since the vicious Hamas attack on Israeli settlements, and the abduction of hundreds of people as hostages.

Rides are said ti be scheduled for Barcelona, Paris, London, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Czech Republic, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, among others, though I can find no record of a Los Angeles ride.

Bicyclists are encouraged to tie yellow ribbons to your bike on Sunday, even it you’re not participating in one of the organized rides.

https://twitter.com/Israel/status/1743945135602163795

Ed Rubinstein forwards plans for a solidarity ride in Dana Point.

Unfortunately, the link he sent to the Thousand Oaks ride has expired, and I can’t find any details for that one, either.

This Sunday, January 14, will mark 100 days since the October 7 attacks, and the kidnapping of hundreds.  As you may have heard the Israeli Premier Tech pro cycling team and the Israeli Cycling Federation has joined with Bring Them Home Now to organize bike rides in many cities worldwide calling for the release of the 129 remaining hostages. There is a ride planned in Thousand Oaks, but I am not aware of one in Orange County. So, my wife Leti and I decided to create a local alternative.

If you are not going to the big ride in Thousand Oaks, please join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM in Dana Point Harbor in the parking lot at the corner of Golden Lantern and Dana Point Harbor Drive to show your concern for the hostages.  We will provide yellow ribbons to tie on your bikes as a display of solidarity with the hostages.  Then we will take group photos that I will post on social media with the hashtag: #RideToBringThemHomeNow.  After the photos, there are multiple options for unsupported rides ranging from short 5-mile flat rides within the Harbor, a longer flat ride to San Juan Capistrano to a rolly 35+ mile ride to the north end of Camp Pendleton.

This is a digital word-of-mouth effort. You too are encouraged to let your friends know.  I have no idea about how large of a response I will get, so if you can let me know if you plan to attend.

Meanwhile, untold numbers of bike riders took part in a worldwide rally in support of Palestine last weekend.

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More than a dozen wannabe bike burglars attempted to use a U-Haul truck to knock down the wall of a DTLA bike shop Saturday morning.

The thieves used the truck in an attempt to repeatedly batter their way into Just Ride L.A., near the corner of South Hill Street and Venice Blvd in the South Park neighborhood.

But despite their efforts, the wall held, saving the store from a loss that likely would have amounted to tens of thousands of dollars.

As it is, they’re looking at a $40,000 loss to replace the gate and repair the damage cause by the truck.

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Long Beach may have seen Southern California’s first bicycling death of the year, after 43-year old Alecia McCullough was struck by a driver as she was crossing PCH Sunday night — the third death on SoCal’s killer highway in Long Beach this year.

One witness said she appeared to be riding a bicycle. However, there’s no confirmation of that, and no mention of a bike by the police.

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Metro appears to have chosen Lyft to operate the Metro Bike bikeshare program.

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21 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

The same bone-headed Florida website that somehow condemned “bike herds” in response to an elderly woman hitting a group of bicyclists while driving on the wrong side of the road, is now calling on readers to submit photos of bike riders behaving badly. Meanwhile, the editor goes out of his way to blame the victims of the mass crash, despite conceding that the driver was on the wrong side of the road, and the victims were obeying the law by riding two abreast. Notice also how effectively “bike herds” dehumanizes the victims. 

No bias here. Despite the recent panic over London’s floating bus stops, and reports that 60% of bike riders fail to stop for pedestrians moving to and from them, new leaked government documents show a low risk of bike riders actually hitting someone.

After a cabbie scared the crap out of an English bike rider by passing him just inches away, the local authorities apparently responded to the video by sending the driver a sternly worded letter. On the other hand, that’s more than they’d do here, where video isn’t accepted by the cops for anything less than a felony. 

Someone ripped out nearly all the reflective plastic bollards marking a cycle track in Mysore — or Mysuru — India, for no apparent reason.

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

British TV presenter Alex Phillip blamed “a little shit on a bike” for the attempted mugging that made her drop her phone.

A pair of Swiss tourists were fined $400 and had their bikes confiscated by authorities after mountain biking through one of New Zealand’s most famous heritage trails, where any kind of vehicle is banned, including bicycles.

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Local 

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton makes the case that “it shouldn’t take sustained advocacy pressure (and injury lawsuits) from cyclists to get the city to keep its walk/bike paths in a state of good repair,” as the city belatedly begins repairs on a decrepit section of the LA River bike path.

Linton also visits a new parking-protected bike lane on Variel in Woodland Hills.

The Larchmont Buzz looks forward to next month’s CicLAvia on iconic Melrose Ave, calling CicLAvia “one of the coolest community events ever.” When they’re right, they’re right. 

Pasadena announced the completion of the Cordova Street Complete Streets project, including 1.5 mile buffered bike lanes.

Santa Monica cops will be conducting yet another bicycle and pedestrian safety operation today, ticketing anyone who commits a traffic violation that could put either at risk — even if it’s someone walking or riding a bike who does it. So once again, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit line, so you’re not the one who gets written up.

Speaking of Santa Monica, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors took to their bikes for a team building ride along the beach, as the team was in town for games against the Lakers and Clippers; new team member Immanuel Quickley said it was his first time riding a bike.

Long Beach received a $326,000 state grant to promote bike and pedestrian safety projects.

 

State

A bill in the state Senate Transportation Committee would eliminate the need for repetitive and costly traffic studies for bike lanes that have already been studied and approved along the California coast, reducing red tape and speeding construction, at least in theory.

Velo explains how California’s new law allowing bikes to proceed on the walk signal, instead of waiting for a green light, makes biking safer.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever burned down the ghost bike and memorial for Matt Keenan, who was killed by a driver in a head-on collision in San Diego’s Mission Valley in 2021; Keenan’s wife has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to replace it.

A San Diego doctor, ultra marathoner and triathlete says if ebikes are going to be allowed on the county’s trails, the trails will have to be improved and maintained so others don’t have to jump out of the way.

To the surprise of no one, stolen bikes were offered for sale on OfferUp and Facebook in San Diego, as Bike Index listed 331 bikes stolen in the city last year. Professional thieves often move hot bikes from one city to another, so it’s always possible that a bike stolen in LA could be sold in San Diego. Or Riverside, or anywhere else in Southern California.

Sad news from Carpinteria, where an 80-year old man riding a bike was killed by a driver; naturally, sheriff’s deputies blamed the victim for making an unsafe lane change. Oddly, though, it was the car’s rear windshield that was shattered in the crash.

San Francisco public TV station KQED says the bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge has an amazing view, and an uncertain future, after the expiration of the pathway’s four-year pilot program, and calls to return the lane to motor vehicles. Because we all know that cars are more important than people. 

Bike Talk’s Nick Richert talks with San Francisco Streetsblog about the city’s failed Vision Zero program.

The Bay Area’s BART commuter train system finally figured out that people who ride bikes sometimes need to ride trains, too, allowing people to take bikes on most escalators and trains.

 

National

Life is cheap in Colorado, where the driver who killed a 65-year old Minnesota man a third of the way through his lifetime goal of riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route got just nine months of work release, and was ordered to pay for a memorial for the victim.

Police in Kansas ask for the public’s help in identifying the victim injured in a collision while riding his bike. Yet another reminder to always carry ID with you when you ride — and preferably something that won’t get stolen if you’re incapacitated. 

A bike-riding Brooklyn man was busted on hate crime charges for throwing a rock at a Jewish man and yelling “Free Palestine!” Seriously, don’t do that. Passions are high enough without making thins worse.

A Baltimore woman brought an ice cream bike, and turned it into a $20,000 a month side hustle.

The Maryland legislature is considering a new bill that would increase the penalty for hitting someone riding in a bike lane to up to two months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Drivers should automatically be at fault for any crash with someone riding legally in a bike lane.

Atlanta announced a new program to give residents up to $2,000 to buy an ebike, depending on income level and type of bike. And chances are, they’ll run out of funding before California’s moribund program ever launches.

A retired Florida cop finished a 147-day, 5,000-mile bike ride from Vancouver to San Diego, then across the US to raise funds for children’s cancer research.

 

International

Momentum lists the top 10 reasons to buy an ebike this year. Unless you’re counting on California’s moribund ebike incentive program, in which case you’re probably screwed. 

A Canadian legal site asks if allowing bike riders to run stop signs would make the roads safer. Except by definition, it’s not running the stop sign if it’s legal to treat it as as a yield, as in the Idaho Stop Law.

Newly released records show Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer — the equivalent of our Treasury Secretary — slashed funding for active transportation after buying into crackpot conspiracy theories about the 15-minute city.

Ireland announced plans to build a nearly 2,200-mile bike network over the next 16 years, which will connect more than 200 cities, towns and villages with over 5,000 residents. That’s the second-best reason, after the whiskey, for a little reverse migration if things continue to devolve here.

Shimano has applied for a patent to use trainable AI to automatically control mountain bike suspensions and dropper seat posts.

 

Competitive Cycling

Ranchers near the mountain town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, say they weren’t informed about the annual SBT GRVL race, and want the number of participants capped — even though race organizers held a series of public forums, and already cap the number of riders who can take part. Apparently, they don’t understand the meaning of “annual,” either. 

Pro-Palestinian protestors delayed the start of the Australian road cycling championships in an effort to target Israel–Premier Tech cyclist Simon Clarke.

 

Finally…

Blue legs and bike shorts on a cold winter’s day. Who needs an ebike when you can have your very own e-snowboard.

And you could have been the proud owner of Pee-wee Herman’s 1953 Schwinn DX Cruiser, not for “a hundred million, trillion, billion dollars,” but for the low, low price of $140,001.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Move along, nothing to see here

Due to another commitment, I won’t be posting a new Morning Links for Tuesday.

But barring any unexpected developments, we’ll be back bright and early Wednesday to catch up on anything we missed.

Like what may or may not have been Southern California’s first bicycling death of the year, because the victim may or may not have been riding a bike.

Either way, SoCal’s killer highway has claimed yet another life.

Or three.

Caltrans meager PCH safety efforts, a peloton ticketed for following too close, and a call for a life-saving super power

It’s the last four days of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Last year, it took a real Chrismukah miracle to top the previous year, with more than 25 donations in the last five days.

We’ll need at least that many this time around just to catch up — let alone set a new record for the 9th year in a row. 

So thanks to Steven H and Joshua H (no relation) for their generous support for SoCal’s best source bike news and advocacy.

But time is rapidly running out for this year’s fund drive. 

So don’t wait.

Stop what you’re doing, and give now!

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Days left to launch the California ebike incentive program this fall as promised: 0

Seriously, is anyone really surprised that the California Air Resources Board missed their latest self-imposed deadline once again?

Anyone?

Bueller? Bueller?

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If you haven’t already, sign the petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the streets of LA, and city’s ongoing failure to build the safer, more livable transportation system they promised.
Then share it with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

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Even reporters for the Los Angeles Times question whether Caltrans meager safety “improvements” on PCH will be enough to make a difference.

Writing about Monday’s performative press conference to announce a lousy $4.2 million in safety work for the 21 miles of PCH that snakes along the Pacific Coast — which works out to just $200,000 a mile — they almost immediately called the announcement into question.

While there is a process each project will have to undergo, “this is not a ‘business as usual’ approach,” Omishakin said as cars whizzed past.

After several deadly pedestrian crashes that roiled Malibu and sparked calls for change, business as usual won’t be enough, transportation activists said. Damian Kevitt, founder of Streets Are for Everyone, told The Times the “design of PCH through Malibu is simply and clearly deadly.”

“It needs to be a transformed from a highway where people can do 60 to 80 to even 100 mph through residential [areas] and businesses, with families and cyclists, unprotected, just a couple feet away,” Kevitt said.

Hopefully, Caltrans can demonstrate a little more urgency than the $34.6 million project currently underway to sync red lights along the highway, presumably to make speeding drivers stop for red while the typically non-existent non-speeding drivers on the highway will see greens.

The project was approved seven years ago, but because the highway is under California Department of Transportation jurisdiction, it had to be reviewed by the state.

“The Caltrans review process, while undoubtedly necessary for ensuring regulatory compliance and safety standards, proved to be more cumbersome than anticipated,” said Matt Myerhoff, Malibu’s public information officer.

Gee, you think?

Although red lights are typically synced to smooth traffic flow, rather than control speeds.

Meanwhile, Caltrans pledged to study PCH to determine if it can be designated as a safety corridor, in which fines for speeding can be doubled.

But f the mounting death toll on the highway isn’t prima facie proof of the problem, I don’t know what yet another study will accomplish. Then again, you could quadruple the fines, and it won’t matter if the drivers don’t get caught.

Which points to the sheer stupidity of California’s speed cam pilot program only being allowed in Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach, along with three NorCal cities, while completely ignoring the state’s deadliest corridors.

But still.

Members of Seetoo’s Fix PCH Action Team, including Kevitt, say the seven years it took Caltrans to allow Malibu to begin the signal synchronization project “doesn’t indicate that Caltrans is prioritizing safety at all.”

Collecting and studying the data could mean “years and years more delay before they even decide if they can slow down this highway that is known to be deadly,” Kevitt said.

Chris Wizner, another action team member, told The Times he wondered how many more deaths it would take for Caltrans to slow down PCH.

That’s easy.

The formula has always been N+1.

It will take one more death than we’ve already suffered, no matter how many there have already been.

………

A Santa Barbara cop takes a turn at demonstrating he knows nothing about riding in a peloton, without saying it, as a group of Santa Barbara bicyclists got delayed tickets in the mail for following one another too closely, after one rider went down and took several other riders down with him.

Here’s the full text of the tweet.

Insult to injury rant: Group ride Santa Barbara to Ventura & back Nov. 21, a cyclist in the peloton front crashed & took down several of us. EMTs came & took me for a brain scan. I’m fine. Cop pretended to help me as he asked my name etc.

I just got a ticket for “following too close”. In a peloton. Seriously. $235 or contest it in court.

I’m tempted on principle. Would love to confront this cop & ask why he didn’t give me the ticket then & there (others also got tickets in the mail). He probably knows we would have pitched a fit.

Disgraceful. I’m lying there on the ground in paid, bloody & nauseous & this MF cop is writing me up for a traffic violation. No wonder people don’t trust the police. “Protect & Serve”. Bullshit.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

………

Somehow this one slipped under the radar, as Robert Leone forwards the results of the Universal Postal Union’s 2023 letter writing competition.

Okay, maybe I know why this one slipped under the radar.

Regardless, the UPU asked children to write on the following topic:

“Imagine you are a super hero and your mission is to make all roads around the world safer for children. Write a letter to someone explaining which super powers you would need to achieve your mission.”

The winner, a 13-year old girl from Kenya, requests a simple super power — the ability to write posters that will make drivers slow down, because children are the most helpless road users.

Amen.

………

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding the following video, which includes these key points:

  • Soul-crushing car traffic makes the Yosemite experience very frustrating
  • That frustration gets unloaded on retail workers there
  • You should definitely ride a bike in Yosemite
  • But don’t leave anything on your bike because even in Yosemite thieves will strip it to the frame

………

‘Tis the season.

A San Diego group is continuing a five decade tradition of giving, by working to build 150 bikes to give to kids on Christmas Day.

A Cedar Rapids, Iowa bike shop turned into Santa’s workshop as volunteers joined staffers to refurbish 50 bikes for kids in need.

An Alabama Baptist church collected more than 300 bikes to give to area kids for Christmas.

The work of Florida’s legendary Jack the Bike Man lives on, as the charity he founded gave 100 bicycles to people in need, despite his death earlier this year.

………

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

Eureka scrapped plans for a buffered bike lane on Myrtle Street, caving to angry residents who prefer convenient parking to protecting human lives, as long as those lives get around on two wheels instead of four.

No surprise here, as compromises forced on a Brooklyn protected bike lane by people loathe to sacrifice parking or traffic lanes resulted in a project that virtually no one is happy with.

No bias here. A New York councilmember calls for mandatory licensing and registration of ebikes, rhetorically asking “How many actual ebikes do you see stopping at a red light or observing traffic laws?” Just wait until someone tells him about cars and their drivers, which are already registered and licensed, and regularly break traffic laws anyway.

Evidently, verbally abusing and repeatedly swerving a car into a woman riding a bike isn’t illegal anymore, after police in the UK “mistakenly” close the books on a road raging driver.

………

………

Local 

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton applauds yesterday’s deep dive on dooring in the Los Angeles Times.

Metro will offer free bus and train rides on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, along with free Metro Bike Share for the first half hour from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day.

 

State

A man was arrested in Santa Ana Saturday after walking out of an Irvine Walmart with a new beach cruiser. Seriously, if you’re going to steal a bike, at least steal a better one.

Streetsblog zeros in on San Diego’s new Complete Streets policy, examining how advocates pushed for and won a better approach to street design.

A local San Francisco website says sales data doesn’t back up claims from merchants along Valencia Street that the new centerline bike lane has killed their business, showing just a 6% drop in retail sales during construction of the bike lanes. Although to be fair, a 6% drop can mean the difference between profit and loss for some businesses, but it’s a far cry from what they claimed.

At the same time, San Francisco website Underscore_SF says the controversial centerline bike lane was never going to work, and San Francisco should move the bike lanes to a more traditional curbside configuration.

 

National

GCN offers six top tips for descending on a road bike.

REI’s second-gen e-cargo bike is on sale for its lowest price ever; CNN called it the year’s best ebike, cargo or otherwise. At less than $1140, you could easily buy one with California’s ebike voucher program, and have change left over — if the voucher program ever actually launches.

More churn in the ebike world, as Harley-Davidson sold its Serial 1 ebike division to Florida ebike maker LEV Manufacturing.

Not surprisingly, bike riders in Ashland, Oregon support plans to install more bike parking in the public right-of-way.

A pair of alleged bike burglars face charges for breaking into Lance Armstrong’s storage unit — yes, that Lance Armstrong — and stealing four complete bicycles and a couple frames valued at $105,000; it’s not clear if any of the bikes were recovered.

A Texas man will face two counts of criminally negligent homicide for killing a married couple as they rode their bikes this past June; he was allegedly texting when he hit their bikes, which explains why he says he never saw them.

More on the bizarre ruling from the Illinois Supreme Court that says cities aren’t liable for injuries to bike riders due to bad pavement because streets without bike lanes aren’t intended for bicycles.

Inmates in a New Hampshire county jail are learning to repair bicycles, working towards their master bike technician certification while serving their time. Which should provide a nice incentive to commit another crime if they get released before earning their certification.

A Long Island woman faces a host of charges, including 2nd degree assault and disabling an Interlock device, for speeding through a parking lot where a triathlon was being held and slamming into a competitor riding his bike, leaving the victim with a traumatic brain injury and cervical spine fracture.

 

International

Toronto’s paramedic’s union said a controversial protected bike lane cost an ambulance crew 30 seconds getting through an intersection because drivers couldn’t get out of their way. Maybe someone should tell them those little car-tickler plastic posts are designed to bend, so you can drive right over them. 

Sad news from the UK, where popular industry pro Nils Amelinckx died after a lengthy battle with stage four bowel cancer; Amelinckx founded the nonprofit Rider Resilience to promote the use of bicycles as medicine, as well as the bicycling wing of gear maker Lyon Equipment. He was just 36.

Grieving British parents called for mandatory speed limiters on all motor vehicles, after a speeding driver climbed the curbed and killed their 14-year old daughter as she rode in a separated bike lane.

Bankrupt Dutch ebike maker VanMoof intends to rise Phoenix-like from the ashes with plans for a new e-scooter.

The BBC examines how the Finnish coastal city of Oulu became the winter bicycling capital of the world, despite its location just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta released its course for next year, starting and ending with time trials, and “savage” climbing in between.

https://twitter.com/ammattipyoraily/status/1737208276511588374?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1737208276511588374%7Ctwgr%5Efd11a704aa7aaf06f14e2637bcad18fa3438063b%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-20-december-2023-305753

 

Finally…

Aquaman is one of us. This is what it would look like if Tony the Tiger sponsored a cycling team.

And your next e-cargo bike could haul a baby grand piano.

Or a grown-up one, even.

………

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Much ado about nothing for PCH safety, Los Angeles Times talks dooring, and “Share the Road” told to hit the road

Just 5 days left in the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Only one person donated yesterday. So thanks to Jeff S for his generous support to keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

We’ve fallen behind last year’s record pace, so we’ve got some ground to make up in order to top the previous year for the 9th year in a row.

So don’t wait — give now!

………

Days left to launch the California ebike incentive program this fall as promised: 1

………

If you haven’t already, sign — and share — the petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the streets of LA, and city’s ongoing failure to build the safer, more livable transportation system they promised.

………

Call it much ado about nothing.

Caltrans made a big deal yesterday about plans to spend a whole $4.2 million to improve safety along a 21-mile stretch of PCH in Malibu, which works out to a measly $200,000 per mile.

Not exactly the major investment they made it out to be.

According to LAist, those improvements include,

  • Optical speed bars
  • 13 speed safety feedback signs
  • Enhanced striping to warn drivers of upcoming curves
  • Painting the speed limit on the roadways, and
  • Refresh signs designating the PCH safety corridor

None of which is likely to save a single life on Southern California’s killer highway.

Here’s how local radio station 99.1 KBUU, aka RadioMalibu.net, described the chest-beating news conference.

Caltrans and the state of California held a major media event on Malibu Monday, but a city clamoring for changes to Pacific Coast Highway was left empty handed.

The state Transportation Secretary travelled from Sacramento, but did not have any new traffic calming plans to disclose. 

Toks Milshakin repeated the list of quick fixes already disclosed by Caltrans: a $4.2 million set of new lane striping, speed limit signage, and other small safety projects.  

The news conference produced the news that the state will not be able to immediately lower the speed limit on any stretch of PCH.

No new speed study has been conducted, or will be conducted soon. 

No change in the speed limit.

No changes in design.

Caltrans safety manager Lee Haber said right now, that the state cannot lower the speed limits on PCH. 

And that’s just the beginning of a scathing report from the local media, which has been covering the mounting toll on the deadly highway for more than two decades.

Along with local safety advocates, who have been fighting for changes just as long.

Then there was this response, after Malibu Mayor Steve Uhring lauded Caltrans for taking time out to listen to city officials, saying he feels very confident they made some big strides yesterday.

If those strides resulted in any permanent or temporary changes, none were announced Monday.

Instead, officials stuck to the existing design and operation of the highway.

State law requires that the speed limit be computed based on the 85th percentile speed … the speed travelled by 85 percent of the cars.

PCH was designed 70 years ago with lane widths and curves to accommodate 55 mile per hour traffic … and study after study proves traffic moves at a design speed … not a speed limit. 

Never mind that the urgently promised safety study necessary to reduce those excessive speeds, or do much of anything else, won’t be complete until 2025.

Seriously, take a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Because the authors clearly and concisely shred all the happy talk and lauding news reports resulting from the announcement of the state’s meager investment in improving safety on the highway, concluding,

…it is .. after all … a state highway. 

One that is not going to see any major changes … anytime soon … other than 4 point 2 million dollars worth of paint and new signs. 

Ouch.

Thanks to Hans Laetz for the heads-up.

………

The Los Angeles Times takes a look at the problem of dooring and what to do to prevent it.

The paper views it through the lens of artist Yasmine Nasser Diaz, the widow of Hollywood producer Robert George, who was killed in October when a motorist opened their car door at Fountain and Edgemont in East Hollywood, knocking him into the path of another car.

“Dooring” and “doored,” colloquialisms among bicyclists, refer to a collision caused by a driver or passenger opening a car door into an oncoming cyclist. For some cyclists, such as Diaz, it is among their greatest fears. But collisions such as these, they say, can be prevented with greater awareness and better infrastructure.

Developing bike infrastructure in Los Angeles is complicated by logistics and competing interests. Bicyclists say L.A.’s car-centric culture hinders progress and argue that the city favors the comfort of drivers.

Yeah, you could say that.

The story goes on to cite Joshua Cohen, of BikinginLA sponsor Cohen Law Partners.

In California, motorists are mandated to not open a door “unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic,” according to the state vehicle code

But when car doors do collide with cyclists, the fallout can range from a few bumps and bruises to serious damage. Joshua Cohen, a personal injury attorney, said he’s dealt with cases in which cyclists had severed fingers, as well as back, neck and head injuries.

“The edge of the car door where it strikes the human body — generally, if you think about the physics of that happening — it’s almost like someone striking it with a sword because the leading edge of the car door is basically a thin piece of metal,” Cohen said.

Despite that, the law is rarely prosecuted.

A spokesperson with the LAPD says arrests are unlikely to be made unless police can prove malicious intent.

Otherwise, it’s just another oopsie — even though motorists are always at fault in a dooring, because they have the responsibility to prevent it.

The decade-plus I’ve spent tracking SoCal bike deaths tells us that dooring is rarely fatal. Which is good, because it’s one of the most common forms of bike crashes — despite the LAPD stats, which show only two reported doorings this year.

Presumably, one of those is the one that killed George.

………

Don’t let the door hit it on the way out.

………

‘Tis the season.

The San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles surprised over 100 students at a Boyle Heights elementary school with new bicycles for the holidays.

An organization founded by a group of Sacramento high school students when they were just in elementary school is asking readers of the local paper for $5,000 in funding, after donating over 500 bicycles to kids in need over the past ten years.

Bicyclists in the Bosnian city of Mostar donned their finest Santa suits and rode through the city handing out candy to kids, to celebrate the holidays.

………

………

Local 

Streetsblog visits the new Boyle Heights’ Myers/Mission Roundabout connected to the 6th Street Viaduct, along with short bikeway segments on Myers Street and Mission Road.

 

State

A new bike law going into effect January 1st somehow slipped under the radar, requiring bike riders to obey bicycle traffic control devices when they differ from other traffic signals.

An op-ed from a representative for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition says despite the usual parking controversies, both bicyclists and small business owners really just want a more vibrant city.

San Francisco advocates warn tragedy is inevitable on one of the city’s Slow Streets, which is now slow in name only.

Vallejo is evicting residents of a homeless encampment just before the holidays, so the city can begin a $10 million project to rebuild the bike path they’ve been living next to.

 

National

Survivors of the Goodyear, Arizona crash that killed two bike riders and injured 19 others are still waiting for justice ten months later, after the county attorney passed the buck case back to the city attorney.

She gets it. A letter writer in St. George, Utah makes a detailed case that better bicycle infrastructure will improve safety for everyone.

The trial for the two Las Vegas teens accused of intentionally running down and killing former Bell CA police chief Andy Probst was pushed back to next fall, while their attorney attacked the entire grand jury system, and blamed mental, physical and emotional problems for their inappropriate courtroom behavior.

Cincinnati’s bikeshare system will be out of commission until at least early spring, as it undergoes “significant staff reductions.”

Megan Lynch forwards news that a bill in the New Jersey legislature would require low-speed ebikes and e-scooters — not the high speed, throttle-controlled ebikes — to be registered with the DMV and carry liability insurance, passing the Budget and Appropriations Committee on a 4-0 vote. Even though ebikes don’t seem to be what’s killing people on the state’s streets.

Sad news from Atlanta, where a leader of a local winter bicycling league was killed by a driver while on a ride with the group.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to save money — and the planet — by buying a secondhand bike instead of a new one, without suffering buyer’s regret.

A London website says don’t ride your bike through the Tooting neighborhood, where workers see bicycle collisions on a near daily basis. Maybe it would help if drivers would do a little less tooting and more driving.

A speeding English driver was sentenced to nearly five years behind bars for killing a 14-year old girl as she rode her bike on the sidewalk.

A new British study confirms what most of us already know, that drivers who also ride bikes, or at least understand where bike riders are supposed to position themselves on the streets, are less likely to blame the person on the bike for a close pass.

Taiwan is introducing 16 new bicycle tour routes connecting 13 national scenic areas, for your next trip to the island. You know, before China tries to take it over.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as world champ Mathieu van der Poel returned to ‘cross competition, and immediately climbed to the top of the podium.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the kid in the store bicycle display could use a hand. Or when the local bike path goes to the dogs.

And that feeling when you emulate your hero by crashing and burning, just like the real Evel Knievel.

………

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

CNN looks at Malibu’s killer highway, Illinois makes bikes 2nd class citizens, and LA tops 300 murders and traffic deaths

Just 6 days left in the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Sadly, no one donated yesterday to keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

So don’t let that happen again! Take just a moment and give now!

………

Days left to launch the California ebike incentive program this fall as promised: 2

………

If you haven’t already, sign and share the petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the streets of LA, and city’s ongoing failure to build the safer, more livable transportation system they promised.

………

We made the national news, for all the wrong reasons.

CNN reported on LA County’s killer highway, the four Pepperdine students killed by a speeding driver earlier this year, and the 58 people killed along PCH in Malibu in just the last 13 years.

“I should have been there and I usually would be there,” (Pepperdine senior Bridget) Thompson said. “I can just picture them in the car on the way there. I know they were listening to music and I know they were singing along.”

The girls parked and were walking along the Pacific Coast Highway when prosecutors say a BMW going 104 miles per hour slammed into several parked cars before hitting and killing Niamh Rolston, Peyton Stewart, Asha Weir and Deslyn Williams – all Pepperdine seniors…

Thompson is now among those demanding safety changes along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. She helped dedicate a memorial on the scenic highway, which stretches the California coastline, featuring 58 white tires — one for each of the lives lost on the road in Malibu since 2010.

It’s a heartbreaking story, but a necessary one.

Maybe a little national humiliation is what we need to finally get some long-needed changes made.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

………

The Illinois Supreme Court reaffirmed a horrific ruling that officially makes bike riders 2nd class citizens on the streets.

The court ruled that cities aren’t responsible for injuries to bike riders from poorly maintained roads that don’t have bicycle infrastructure, reasoning that bicycles are allowed to use such roadways, but aren’t the intended users.

Apparently, drivers are.

Not only does the ruling absolve cities of responsibility to maintain safe streets, it also provides a disincentive to build the infrastructure that would make them liable.

And makes it clear that we’re nothing more than guests anywhere else.

………

More information on the Colorado hit-and-run crash we mentioned yesterday.

The driver of one Ford Mustang was passing another on a sweeping mountain curve, and slammed headfirst into three bicyclists traveling in the opposite direction.

The driver fled the scene, then he and his passenger abandoned the car a short distance later with the airbags deployed. The driver of the other car attempted to give chase after checking on the victims, but crashed into a guardrail.

It seems almost miraculous that only one of the victims was seriously injured. A second rider suffered major road rash after flying over the car, while the third rode into a ditch to avoid the crash.

………

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

Portland finished ripping out a bike lane that had allegedly been installed by mistake, after the initial work to remove it had been halted by protestors blocking the trucks.

They get it. Velo says ebike licenses won’t make the streets any safer, and rider regulation won’t stop the 7,500 pedestrians killed by cars each year.

………

………

Local 

Yay, us. Los Angeles has topped both 300 murders and 300 deaths from traffic violence for the second year in a row.

No word yet on whether West Hollywood adopted its Vision Zero plan last night.

Santa Monica is considering a ballot measure for next November to tax parking garages to pay for transportation projects, including Vision Zero.

Redondo Beach has completed work on its portion of the new Diamond Street Bike and Pedestrian Path, after Torrance bailed on building its part of the pathway connecting the two cities.

 

State

Sad news from San Jose, where the Bay Area’s Mr. Roadshow died Sunday after a long battle with a degenerative muscle and nerve disease; prior to the paper’s draconian paywall, I often linked to his stories when he got it right, or to criticize when he missed the mark. Gary Richards was 72.

A Streetsblog op-ed says the contentious centerline protected bike lane on San Francisco’s Valencia Street could lead to a more pedestrianized, safer street that allows commerce to flourish — if cooler heads prevail, which seems unlikely.

 

National

Electrek lists their most popular ebike news stories of 2023.

Police in Goodyear, Arizona recommended that the driver who plowed into a group bike ride, injuring 19 people and killing two, face just eight misdemeanor charges after the local DA had rejected the case.

A Michigan man faces a murder charge for fatally stabbing another man in a fight that began over a bicycle. We’ve said it before — no bike is worth a human life. Just walk away. 

He’s a Harvard administrator and amateur bike mechanic.

A man in the Bronx is still waiting for the ebike he ordered from Amazon, which was never delivered over a month later.

A kindhearted former Trek staffer is collecting and refurbishing bicycles to donate to people in Ghana and New Jersey, as well as homeless people in California.

An Alabama district court judge gave her former bailiff, now a college president, the new ebike she won in a raffle, to replace the bike that was stolen on his first day working for her.

 

International

‘Tis the season. Momentum offers a “Bikemas” guide to the best-selling bicycling gifts this holiday season.

A Canadian bike lawyer provides a guide to avoid getting doored, and what to do if you do.

Britain’s Bike Project is changing lives by donating refurbished bicycles to refugees.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is planning to charge owners of massive SUVs triple the normal parking fee in the central city, and double in other parts of the city in an effort to tax them off the streets.

Sad news from Swaziland, where award-winning travel photographer Steve Walton died after breaking his back in a fall off a narrow footbridge while riding his bike during an October safari; he was 69.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — a “magical ride” island hopping over bridges in the Indonesian city of Batam.

 

Competitive Cycling

Top triathletes are renting bikes to compete in the world championships, after the financial failure of a shipping company left many riders rides in limbo.

Orange Factory Racing is pulling out of mountain biking after 30 years.

Pez Cycling News considers what the shutdown of GCN+ and the shift of bike racing coverage to Max — formerly HBO — will mean for US cycling fans.

 

Finally…

When you’re riding your bike despite several outstanding warrants, put a damn light on it, already. Your next tandem ebike could have three wheels — all in a straight line.

And your next bike trailer could be amphibious.

Even if your bike isn’t.

………

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Designed to kill — modern high-profile, blunt-front cars 25% deadlier; and ghost tires installed on LA’s killer highway

It’s not just pickups and SUVs.

While the risk of high-profile vehicles is well documented, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows even flat-front, mediumheight vehicles present a higher risk of pedestrian fatalities compared with similarly-sized cars with low or sloped front ends.

And guess what the current automotive style trend is.

According to the study, vehicles measuring just 30 to 40 inches from the street to the top of the hood posed a 25% greater risk of pedestrian deaths. And presumably, the same or greater risk to people on bicycles.

According to Streetsblog,

Of course, advocates have long known that high and mighty SUVs and pickup trucks are a significant factor in the 80-percent increase in pedestrian deaths on U.S. roads over the last 14 years. High front ends are associated with higher risk of deadly head and thorax injuries, and studies show vulnerable road users are more likely to be thrown under the wheels of an SUV and sustain even more extensive injuries, rather than being being pushed onto the hood or the roof.

The new study reveals, though, that even cars that Americans think of as “medium sized” aren’t necessarily safe, either. Nearly 35 percent of U.S. vehicles are now designed with a blunt — and significantly more deadly — front end, the study authors said, citing a recent re-design of the Ford Mustang…

“Over the past 30 years, the average U.S. passenger vehicle has gotten about four inches wider, 10 inches longer, eight inches taller and 1,000 pounds heavier,” the Insurance Institute added. “Many vehicles are more than 40 inches tall at the leading edge of the hood.”

And they wonder why traffic deaths have been going up every year.

As long as federal regulations continue to allow the seemingly endless motor vehicle size creep — and allow car makers to literally design their vehicles to kill anyone not safely ensconced in a couple tons of glass and steel — that’s not going to change.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

………

Sometimes, though, traffic violence has less to do with the size and shape of the vehicle than the design of the roadway.

And the actions of the driver.

Like on PCH in Malibu, where a driver traveling in excess of 100 mph killed four Pepperdine University students just standing on the side of the roadway, as they made their way to a fraternity party.

Yesterday afternoon, traffic safety nonprofit Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, installed four white ghost tires where they lost their lives.

Or rather, where they were brutally murdered.

The memorials are similar to ghost bikes, to remember those who have been killed by speeding drivers.

But sharing responsibility with their alleged killer are the officials who have done little or nothing to correct the single deadliest surface street in LA County.

Here’s how SAFE put it in their press release.

Any single loss of a loved one and community member due to a preventable traffic collision is tragic. The loss of four in one incident is horrific, but these preventable collisions are made worse by the fact that the short stretch of PCH that travels through residential and business areas of Malibu has been known for decades as a dangerous road with vehicles regularly doing 60-80 MPH and sometimes well over 100.

Since 2010 there have been 58 fatalities (including the four young women just killed) and about 2500 individuals injured. The single largest factor in these crashes is reckless speeding. (Source LA County Sheriff’s Dept and TIMS) For decades the community of Malibu, including various family members of those who have been killed and city officials, has asked Caltrans (the government agency responsible for PCH) to slow down PCH and re-engineer it. Little has been done.

In 2015 the California Office of Traffic Safety commissioned a study of PCH through Pacific Palisades and Malibu called the PCH Pedestrian Safety Project. In that report, there were 130 improvements recommended for the section of PCH in Malibu, including reducing the speed limit of PCH through the most densely populated areas. In the eight years since that report, Caltrans has implemented 6 of the recommendations (the City of Malibu has implemented additional recommendations with Caltrans approval) and none of the most effective recommendations have been accomplished. There is still a 45 MPH speed limit – too fast for the road conditions through Malibu. Drivers still often drive 60+ MPH through this built-up, high-pedestrian area, because there are few stop lights, and traffic calming measures are lacking.

“It’s been eight years since the 2015 safety recommendations were issued. Caltrans has done virtually nothing since then to reduce unsafe driving on PCH in Malibu. EIGHT YEARS! What else has Caltrans been doing over that time that is more important than stopping people being killed at this rate on such a short stretch of road?” – Barry Stewart (Father of Peyton Stewart, killed along with her three friends by a speeding driver on PCH.)

The question is how many more people will have to die before someone, anyone, finally does something to fix the problem.

Because the modest tinkering around the edges that passes for safety improvements on LA’s killer highway clearly haven’t done anything to save lives.

And if the deaths of four innocent young women isn’t enough to convince state, county and local officials to do something, I don’t know what will.

………

Speaking of which, the annual World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is this Sunday.

Maybe someday, carmakers will finally try to design their vehicles to make fewer victims to remember, and traffic engineers and elected officials will build roads that don’t contribute to the problem.

Which is what Vision Zero is all about.

……..

‘Tis the season.

More bike-centric holiday gift guides, from Bike Rumor, Road.cc and Velo.

Meanwhile, the US Army’s South Korean base Camp Humphreys distributed 80 refurbished bicycles for Veterans Day, ensuring that junior-enlisted soldiers had first choice.

……..

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

Nope, no bias here. A former Baltimore city council president decried a recent road diet and bike lanes, saying “There are elitist, fanatical people who believe they want to improve the world by getting rid of cars and the way they do it is by narrowing every street that they can, even if it has a negative effect on the city.” Never mind that lane reductions and bike lanes have been repeatedly shown to improve safety for everyone, and often improve traffic flow while increasing sales for local businesses. But sure, just keep hating on people working to make positive changes on our streets. Schmuck. 

No bias here, either. After police ignored a sideswipe hit-and-run by a motor scooter rider that knocked a London man famed for bicycling with his cat off his bike, telling him only that he should wear a helmet, the victim has received thousands of abusive messages on social media — going so far as telling him to kill himself — and been reported to the SPCA for animal abuse.

………

Local 

Yes, please. CD5 Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky talked with UCLA’s Daily Bruin student newspaper about her goals for Westwood, including more bus and bike lanes to build more livable communities.

Alhambra’s newly revealed active transportation plan calls for more than 50 miles of new bike lanes, as well as several new pedestrian priority zones. Let’s just hope they follow through. Because, as we’ve learned the hard way here in Los Angeles, a mobility plan is only as good as the city’s commitment to it. 

Santa Monica cops will be conducting another bicycle and pedestrian safety operation today, ticketing anyone committing a traffic violation that could put bike riders or pedestrians at risk. So if you haven’t left for your ride yet, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed. 

 

State

Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry examines the new Calbike survey showing most respondents are afraid to walk or bike on roadways controlled by Caltrans, four years after Governor Newsom vetoed a bill that would have mandated Complete Streets because, in his words, “Caltrans was already doing that.” Apparently not.

The new owner of the 50-year old Leucadia Cyclery is fighting to stay in business, after the owners of the building refused to extend the lease due to “water leaks, electrical problems and its overall vulnerability as high-risk unreinforced masonry.”

It’s been a rough few days in Kern County, where a man riding a bicycle was killed by a driver in Bakersfield yesterday afternoon, while a 21-year old woman was arrested for the hit-and-run that killed a bike-riding woman in Wasco on Sunday.

In better Kern County news, a new bike lane is slated to open in Tehachapi this month.

San Francisco state Assemblymember Phil Ting writes about securing more than $2 million for bicycling programs in the city, including $1.2 million for safety improvements to Arguello Blvd between Golden Gate Park and the Presidio, where champion cyclist Ethan Boyes was killed earlier this year. Maybe someday, a Los Angeles-area legislator will secure funding to fix the site where someone, anyone, was killed on our streets.

 

National

Seattle is nearing completion on a $40 million curb-protected bike lane connecting the Capitol Hill neighborhood with downtown, although design compromises — like rerouting it onto a sidewalk and around light post to avoid inconveniencing drivers — could reduce its effectiveness.

Advocates in my bike-friendly Colorado hometown are working to turn the site of the former college football stadium where I used to smuggle rum inside my tuba on game days into a massive 60 to 80 acre world class bike park. I mean, the statute of limitations for that is over, right?

About damn time. A new Chicago ordinance requires the city to study any fatal crashes to determine the cause, and report all fatal crashes to the public. Now let’s get them to do something like that here. Thanks to Bike Lane Uprising® for the heads-up. 

No bias here. After a 16-year old Chicago boy was killed in a collision while riding his bike, the only mention that the truck that hit him even had a driver was a brief note that the driver was uninjured.

That’s more like it. A 27-year old Michigan man will spend between 3.6 and 15 years behind bars, less four days for time served, for the drunken hit-and-run that killed a 30-year old man riding a bicycle; he was nearly three times the legal alcohol limit when he fled the scene, dragging the victim nearly a mile and a half under his van.

Officials in New York called on retailers and food delivery companies to do more to halt the proliferation of dangerous ebike and e-scooter batteries, after three people were killed in a fire blamed on a lithium ion scooter battery.

A coalition of safe streets and immigrant rights advocates are pushing back against a New York City proposal that would require registration and licensing for ebikes, arguing that it would be dangerous and expensive, and wouldn’t make the streets any safer.

An Emmy-winning Irish filmmaker and photographer’s bike was found at a beach in Queens, after he vanished without a trace last week,

There’s a special place in hell for the New Jersey man accused of robbing a group of kids at gunpoint when they met him to buy a bicycle he’d posted online.

Sad news from Philadelphia, where the local bicycle coalition remembers a former staffer who was killed by a driver while leading a long-distance LGBTQ + BIPOC bikepacking trip.

 

International

Momentum offers a guide to securely storing your cargo bike or ebike.

A writer for Bike Magazine takes a five day bikepacking trip through the Alps, discussing all the gear they brought, as well as the gear they didn’t need.

E-bikesharing services are quickly replacing the popular e-scooters on the streets of Seoul, South Korea.

 

Competitive Cycling

Velo remembers the best moments of the 2023 cycling season.

The Tour de France will stay home in 2025, with the Grand Départ set for Lille in northern France.

$70,000 worth of bicycles belonging to competitors in September’s triathlon World Championship race in Pontevedra, Spain are being held hostage by a subcontractor for the shipping company, which insists they are owed $300,000 in unpaid invoices. However, the roughly 180 people whose bikes they’re holding aren’t the ones who allegedly stiffed them.

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying $6,600 worth of hot electronic gear on your bike, put a damn light on it, already. And at last, a bicycle with a glove box.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Remaking deadly PCH as Malibu’s Main Street, and Armstrong goes on trial for murder of gravel champ Moriah Wilson

Thank God October is over.

Now that the deadliest month in memory is finally over, let’s put the whole damn thing behind us and start fresh with a new month. 

Although maybe we can observe today’s Dia de los Muertos by remembering those who have needlessly lost their lives just because they rode a bicycle. 

And recommit ourselves to ensuring it doesn’t happen again. 

………

They get it.

The Los Angeles Times calls for a total makeover of PCH through Malibu, arguing that piecemeal improvements aren’t enough to save lives.

While state and local officials can and should take immediate action to make the road safer, such as putting in more traffic lights and getting permission to install automated speed enforcement cameras, it’s also time to rethink the configuration of PCH through Malibu. It’s a state highway that runs through the middle of the community. The road now caters to commuters and pass-through traffic. It could be redesigned to function as a local road with more sidewalks, traffic signals, bike lanes and crosswalks that force motorists to slow down and drive as though they’re in a city — because they are.

A road redesign won’t be easy. Sections of PCH through Malibu are squeezed between mountains and the ocean, leaving little room to add sidewalks or protected bike lanes without removing a traffic lane or parking or buying expensive property for widening. And it certainly wouldn’t be without controversy, given how many people rely on PCH for different needs. It’s a commuting route, a residential neighborhood, a business district and a destination for beachgoers.

It’s definitely worth reading the whole thing.

Because Los Angeles County’s killer highway is going to keep taking innocent lives until we make some major changes.

……..

Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of 35-year old Kaitlin Armstrong, who faces up to 99 years behind bars for fatally shooting rising gravel champ Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas last year.

Armstrong was arrested in Costa Rica after she allegedly fled the country to avoid prosecution, living under an assumed name as a yoga instructor, dying her formerly red hair, and reportedly having plastic surgery to change her appearance.

Prosecutors accuse Armstrong of killing Wilson for being the other woman in a perceived love triangle for the affections of pro cyclist Colin Strickland.

Armstrong added to the media’s fascination with the case by attempting to escape when she was taken to a doctor’s appointment last month, and trying in vain to climb a fence despite being handcuffed.

You can read all about it in the —

……..

A writer for The LA Times experiences the surrealism of biking on a car-free 110 Freeway during Sunday’s Arroyo Fest, as the paper offers photos from the event.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers his own photos of the joyful event.

………

Dr. Grace Peng provides a powerful thread on the absurd limits placed on bike-riding kids in the South Bay.

Click on the posts to read the full thread on Twitter/X.

………

The EPA wants to see your video documenting your experience with any form of EVs, ranging from from electric scooters to electric school buses.

Which means you could win up to $3,000 just for telling them about what it’s like to ride an ebike.

Or an e-scooter.

Or an electric skateboard or hoverboard.

Thanks to Andre Villasenor for the heads-up.

………

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

London’s Daily Mail insists there’s still no law to deal with reckless bicyclists who kill, after a bike rider who killed a pedestrian got out of jail after 18 months; meanwhile, the victim’s husband says the government is “utterly cowed by the cycling lobby. Although that jail term would seem to suggest that there is, in fact, a law to prosecute reckless bike riders. Never mind that he got more time than most killer drivers do. 

Life is cheap in the UK, where a road-raging woman walked without a day behind bars for deliberately ramming a bike rider in a dispute over a close pass; the victim described it as a hate attack that trashed his $9,700 bike.

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

A Scottish bike advocacy group called on delivery companies to make sure the ebikes their riders are using are legal and roadworthy, after a bicyclist was terrified following a collision with delivery bicyclist riding salmon in a bike lane. Even though that has absolutely nothing to do with the crash. 

A road-raging British bike rider admitted punching a driver in a dispute over a close pass last month, arguing that he was clipped by the driver’s mirror. Violence is never the answer, no matter how justified it may seem in the moment. 

………

Local 

The L.A. Bureau of Engineering has released a plan for the 25-year, $4.8 billion makeover of the massive Sepulveda Basin in the San Fernando Valley, which currently serves as both a recreation area and a flood control basin.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton visits the new protected bikeway along Foothill Boulevard in La Cañada Flintridge.

 

State

The California Transportation Commission is holding a public meeting at 1 pm today, both online and in-person, to gather input on the state’s Interregional Transportation Improvement Program, which includes more bike and train projects, as well as flushing more money down the induced-demand toilet for highway projects; they’ll hold another meeting November 8th.

Irvine cops wasted no time busting a bike thief who stole a bicycle belonging to the city.

San Diego planning officials are proposing more housing, greater density, more bike lanes and less parking for the city’s Hillcrest neighborhood; a local city council candidate somehow thinks that’s a bad thing.

A 41-year old woman suffered a broken pelvis when a driver struck her bike in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood; police blamed the victim, saying she was riding with no lights and wearing dark clothing. Because evidently, cars down there don’t have lights that could illuminate someone directly in front of them. 

Santa Barbara has reached an agreement over the design of the proposed the Modoc Road Multi-Use Path, which will now require the removal of fewer trees, and less encroachment on an existing preserve.

Humans and zombies turned out for the pre-Halloween opening of a new Davis pump track. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

 

National

Men’s Health rates the best ebike foldies

Bicycling rates the best road bike tires for training and race day. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Government Technology says build the bike lanes, and delivery cargo e-bikes will quickly follow. Hopefully in the right direction.

A new study considers how to best communicate the dangers faced by vulnerable road users to mitigate dangerous behavior. Thanks to Gabrielle Lesard for the link. 

CNN says cities are cracking down on free parking to free up valuable curb space.

An Alaska railroad will consider leasing a plot of land for a bike path, after failing in its efforts to block it.

The bicycling community will lose its leading Congressional advocate, as Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer announced he won’t seek re-election next year, after 17 years in the House; Bike Portland reports he’s not concerned with his legacy. Although passage of his federal ebike rebate bill would be a good way to cement it.

“Intense” Las Vegas police bodycam video shows the family of fallen bicyclist and former Bell, California police chief Andreas “Andy” Probst arrive at the site of the intentional hit-and-run that killed him; they came the same time the ambulance did, after Probst’s phone alerted them to the crash.

A Texas city installs pretty artistic bike racks, including one that looks like a giant children’s toy. Because everyone knows the best bike racks are the ones no one uses because they don’t look like bike racks. 

Jail inmates in an Arkansas city will take part in a program to learn how to repair bikes, which will be given away to people in need.

Republican Wisconsin state legislators will hold hearings on a pair of proposed bills to ban Madison’s annual World Naked Bike Ride, after becoming incensed that parents allowed their child to participate. Because children should clearly be shielded from nasty things like protesting carbon-based fuels and the climate emergency.

Vermont is discussing long-range plans to build a bicycle corridor along the state’s eatern seaboard, stretching nearly 200 miles from Massachusetts to Quebec.

Rhode Island is encouraging residents to apply for the state ebike rebate program, which pays up to $350 for the purchase of an ebike, or $750 for low-income residents. Meanwhile, California’s ebike rebate program continues to be nothing but vaporware after more than two years. 

This is who we share the road with. A New York drunk driver allegedly caused a multi-car crash that injured eight people Sunday, after previously serving six years for the hit-and-run crash that killed a woman riding a bicycle. Just one more example of officials allowing a deadly driver back on the road, as well as argument for why hit-and-run drivers should lose their licenses permanently. 

A North Carolina bike rider was shot multiple times by bikejackers after he resisted the robbery attempt; fortunately, his wounds aren’t life-threatening, and he was able to keep his bike. Yet another reminder that no bike is worth your life. Just let them take it, and live to ride another day. 

 

International

Montreal is reinstalling a bike lane three years after it was ripped out due to opposition from local residents,

A 77-year old British bike rider is dead because a stoned driver was in a hurry to get home from a friend’s barbecue.

Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling website lists nine commuting mistakes you should avoid, like riding in jeans or secretly racing strangers.

Jakarta, Indonesia plans to improve the city’s bike lanes, even after cutting the budget by 80% in the face of local resistance.

A writer rediscovers the charms of Shanghai by riding a bike through the city’s neighborhoods in the autumn breeze, while an American tourist is shocked to see a $15,000 Pinarello left unattended, and unmolested, on the street.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclists called it a dark day for hill climbing when the winning competitor in the British championship crossed the finish line using disc brakes. But at least he wasn’t on an ebike.

American Vuelta champ Sepp Kuss and Italian cyclist Giulio Ciccone question the need for a new Saudi-backed Cycling Champions League composed of only the top teams.

Velo describes the tension on the Jumbo-Visma team bus, as Kuss fended off cycling superstars Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard to claim the victory.

A third man has been convicted in the knifepoint robbery of sprinter Mark Cavendish and his wife, including the theft of watches worth $850,000.

 

Finally…

Your next bicycle could be an Aston Martin. Probably not the best idea to try to reclaim your stolen bike from the cops until you clear up those outstanding warrants.

And nothing like leading police in a slow speed chase in a stolen fork lift on the local bike path. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Avalos charged with murder for South LA dragging hit-and-run, a successful Arroyo Fest, and Malibu’s killer highway

Go ahead and call it murder.

Prosecutors are.

Felipe Avalos pled not guilty Friday, after he was formerly charged with murder and hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury in the gruesome death of 65-year old bike rider Francisco Gonzalez in Willowbrook last Tuesday.

The 66-year old driver fled the scene with Gonzalez still trapped under his van, as Avalos twisted and turned for nearly a mile in his efforts to escape, before Gonzalez’ body was finally dislodged in Compton.

The murder charge suggests investigators were able to confirm witness accusations that the crash was intentional. Or maybe the DA’s office just decided that dragging a man’s body for almost a mile demonstrated intent.

Avalos will be due back in court on November 9th to set a trial date, although that date is subject to change.

………

Evidently, a good time was had by all.

Sunday’s Arroyo Fest gave LA County residents a rare chance to take to a local freeway without having to encase themselves in a couple tons of glass and steel. Or having to dodge the usual overly aggressive, speeding, distracted or otherwise generally reckless drivers.

That is, when the crush of cars doesn’t turn it into a parking lot.

In fact, it was the first time in 20 years that the II0 Freeway had been closed to cars, and open to everyone else for what the Los Angeles Times termed “four glorious hours.”

For four glorious hours, cyclists and pedestrians had a chance to safely explore six miles of the 110 Freeway between Los Angeles and Pasadena, a stretch of roadway that opened in 1940 and typically carries more 100,000 daily motorists who brave its winding turns and scary entrance ramps.

Aside from events such as Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets ArroyoFest and other bike celebrations, such as CicLAvia, cycling in L.A. County is not for the faint of heart. The road network was built for automobiles. Bicyclists are often left to vie for space alongside cars on congested, poorly maintained streets. Fatal bike crashes are an intractable problem in the county, and efforts to build dedicated bike lanes have been spotty

This was the reality for the cyclists who joined the crowd of thousands in Northeast L.A. on Sunday…

The paper goes on to talk to a number of bicyclists who participated in the event about what they love about bicycling in greater Los Angeles, and what they’d change about it.

Which might have been the wrong way to frame the question, since the freeway closure likely brought out a number of people who would normally be reluctant to ride on city streets.

Meanwhile, the Pasadena Star-News reported tens of thousands of people turned out to enjoy the all-too brief opportunity.

And Los Angeles Magazine says people “walked, ran, biked, skateboarded, and even rode on horseback to celebrate the second iteration of this rare community event.”

https://twitter.com/GlennC1/status/1718837817558839451

……..

She gets it.

Los Angeles Times culture columnist Mary McNamara extended her beat Sunday to what she termed “Blood Alley,” as Pacific Coast Highway winds, or maybe speeds, through 21 deadly miles of Malibu coastline.

And by extension, some of the other iconic LA-area roadways too many drivers seem to think were built for high-speed thrills.

In Los Angeles, it isn’t just PCH that’s treated like a cinematic backdrop with often fatal consequences. After being featured in “The Fast and Furious” franchise, streets in Angelino Heights roiled with the type of street racing that has plagued other parts of Los Angeles for years. Angeles Crest Highway remains a draw for reckless driving too; despite increased Highway Patrol presence, there are yearly incidents of motorists taking its curves too fast and driving over steep cliffs.

So yes, Malibu definitely needs speed cameras, sidewalks and more signs reminding motorists that they are entering a residential area. Perhaps, as some including Shane suggest, those 21 miles of PCH that cut through Malibu should be designated as a boulevard rather than a highway, with all the traffic-law changes it would require…

There is no reason on God’s green Earth for anyone who is not involved in a professional auto race or being chased by actual monsters to drive more than 80 miles an hour, never mind 100. “The Fast and the Furious” is a film franchise; James Bond is a fictional character; and PCH is, in many places, a treacherous road that should be driven with care even if the Beach Boys are playing.

If you need the exhilaration of speed, go on a roller coaster.

Take a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Then read the paper’s examination of why LA County’s killer highway continues to claim more victims.

……..

As if we haven’t had enough bad news lately, someone riding a bicycle in Palm Springs was critically injured when they were struck by an alleged drunk driver early Saturday.

Twenty-two-year old Mecca resident Diego Pacheco was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence for the 1 am crash.

No word on the current condition or identity of the victim.

……..

Jury selection was scheduled to begin today in the trial of Kaitlin Armstrong for the murder of 25-year old champion gravel cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas earlier this year.

Armstrong was the subject of an international manhunt when she fled the country after allegedly shooting Wilson, who she saw as a romantic rival for the affections of professional cyclist Colin Strickland..

………

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

Police in Madrid are investigating what appeared to be an intentional attack, as a motorist accelerated into a Critical Mass-style protest ride in support of Palestinians, injuring five bike riders; however, the driver claimed he acted in self-defense after several riders assaulted his car.

News broke over the weekend that a New Zealand TV star erupted into a bizarre rant when a bike advocate approached him about allowing a bike path to pass through his estate earlier this year, calling her “the enemy” and saying she needed to “have her head cut off and brain replaced.”

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

A New Jersey man faces charges after a 70-year old man died two weeks after he punched the victim and knocked him off his bicycle; the incident allegedly began when the victim hit the man’s girlfriend with his handlebars, then called him a racial slur.

Police in Telford, England warned local residents about an “errant cyclist” riding an ebike who was abusing pedestrians and wheelchair users on a local trail.

………

Local 

UCLA is bringing back a program allowing staff and graduate students to trade their parking permits for a free bicycle worth up to $900.

 

State

A writer for the UC Santa Barbara student newspaper puts tongue firmly in cheek, and suggests the Tour de France had been rerouted to the campus bike lanes for the second week of the fall semester, and all students were automatically entered.

Sad news from Fresno, where a man riding a bicycle was killed when he was struck by a train after apparently waiting for one train to pass, without realizing there was another coming from the opposite direction. One more reason why you should always wait for the crossing gates to go up before riding across the tracks. 

 

National

The Bike League is out with their latest list of the most Bicycle Friendly Universities, with Stanford, Colorado State University, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, the University of Wisconsin – Madison and Boise State University awarded platinum status. Only one of which is in my platinum-level bike friendly hometown.

Honolulu residents turned out to pick up trash and revitalize the bike path that runs along Pearl Harbor’s waterfront.

Velo talks with Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer about his career-long support for bike riding, as well as a possible national ebike rebate and how to advocate for bikes.

The driver who killed BMX champ Nathan “Nate” Miller in Las Vegas last month was somehow still on the road, despite receiving at least 19 tickets for driving without a license, registration or insurance. Just one more example of officials keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late; he should have been in jail, or had his car impounded, at the very least.

Chicago advocates are justifiably outraged after a hit-and-run driver who killed a man riding in a bike lane was released without charges, even though a Breathalyzer test showed she was two-and-a-half times the legal alcohol limit when the cops stopped her.

Hundreds of Pittsburgh bicyclists turned out for a 60-mile race around the city and up 13 of Pittsburgh’s steepest hills, as spectators offered participants a choice of water or beer.

Baltimore letter writers say no, bike riders belong on the streets, not in alleys.

 

International

Road.cc offers advice on choosing the right bicycle for commuting to work.

A new report from the UK shows that motorists fail to see a 22% of bicyclists, compared to just 4% of jaywalkers — and younger drivers miss seeing a whopping 31%.

A new German study concluded bicyclists are more caring and concerned with the “common good” than drivers, writing “the benefits of cycling over driving are more profound and sustainable than previously thought.” Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

An Ottawa, Canada website says more residents of the city are riding their bikes through the winter months, even as climate change increases the risk from winter storms.

A Montreal writer says he’s grateful for the “insta-super-treatment” he received at a Vermont hospital after an endo on a rented ebike, compared to the endless waits in a Montreal hospital, and didn’t even mind the $10,000 hospital bill since his union insurance should cover it.

An American man completed a 963-mile journey from Nagasaki to Yokohama, Japan on a Penny Farthing, recreating a 1886 trip on the high-wheeler the Japanese called a dharma bicycle.

A Singaporean website asks if a new bikeway network is the answer to going car-lite, concluding that most people won’t give up their cars for a bicycle, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Australian traffic safety experts are calling for an investigation after bicycling deaths have risen more than any other group over the past 12 months.

 

Competitive Cycling

Velo has reaction from the peloton to the newly announced routes for next year’s men’s and women’s Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Who needs to rough it when you can tow your own portable treehouse behind your bike? Your next bicycle could be the illegitimate offspring of a track bike and a cargo bike.

And who says you have to see to ride a bike?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin