Tag Archive for police bias

$24 million settlement in 2014 Fiesta Island crash, LA County tackles racial bias in bike stops, and Culver City gets mobile

Evidently, justice delayed isn’t always justice denied.

It was seven long years ago when a wrong-way driver slammed into a group of 30 bicyclists on San Diego’s Fiesta Island, injuring ten people.

Theresa Owens was high on meth when she got behind the wheel, looking for a boyfriend she thought was cheating on her.

She was speeding on the 25 mph roadway, after turning the wrong way on the narrow, one-lane road, when she rounded a blind corner and smashed into the group of riders.

Six of the victims were seriously injured, with Juan Carlos Vinolo ending up paralyzed from the chest down, as well as suffering a long list of other injuries.

A jury divided the liability between Owens and the city in 2019, ruling San Diego was responsible for failing to maintain visibility on the roadway, despite knowing of the dangers.

They held the city responsible for 27% of the damages, while state law required the city to pay 100% of Vinolo’s past and future medical bills and lost earnings.

Yesterday that bill came due, when the San Diego city council agreed to a whopping $23.75 million settlement for Vinolo and his wife for the meth-fueled Fiesta Island crash.

Although something tells me they’d gladly give back every penny in exchange for the use of his legs again.

Meanwhile, the city could have saved a fortune just by trimming some bushes and reducing berms, instead of waiting until it was too late.

And maybe reworking the intersections to channel drivers so they can only turn in the right direction.

Thanks to Megan Lynch, Phillip Young and BikinginLA sponsor Richard Duquette for the heads-up. 

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Los Angeles County responded to a recent LA Times investigative report that found biased policing of bike riders by LA County sheriff’s deputies.

The Times found that the overwhelming majority of bicycle traffic stops conducted by deputies were in areas where people of color make up the majority of the population, and with limited bike infrastructure.

Seven out of ten of those stops involved Latino riders, and 85 percent of the riders stopped were searched by deputies — even though those searches only turned up illegal items eight percent of the time.

Just imagine the outcry if drivers were routinely placed in the back of a squad car while police searched their belongings following a simple traffic stop.

Let alone white drivers.

The LA County Board of Supervisors responded on Tuesday by unanimously approving proposals to decriminalize bicycling violations, including

  • Developing a diversion program allowing bike traffic school in lieu of fines for traffic tickets, which was approved by the state a few years ago, and
  • Drafting a change to county code to legalize riding a bicycle on the sidewalk in unincorporated areas, although only on non-residential streets without bike lanes.

In addition, the supervisors ordered a review of biased policing of bike riders by the sheriff’s department.

Not surprisingly, though, the sheriff’s department, which has attempted to stonewall virtually every other effort at oversight, had no response.

Granted, these are just proposal to develop new rules, so far. But it’s a big step in the right direction.

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Newly bike-friendly Culver City officially kicks off Move Culver City this Saturday, featuring three new quick-build bus-bike lanes in the downtown area.

Quite a change from the not-too-distant past when Culver City cops would meet group rides at the city limits, and ticket riders for every real and imagined violation they could find, while they escorted them out of town.

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Streets For All has posted video of last night’s mobility debate between the candidates for LA’s CD13, currently held by two-term incumbent Mitch O’Farrell.

 

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Clearly, not even Tour de France winners are safe from dangerous drivers, as 2019 winner Egan Bernal was the victim of a far too close pass from a driver trying to squeeze into a non-existent gap.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

The president of a college-prep nonprofit spent every Friday for the past month riding his bike to talk with teachers and students at nearly 30 Orange County schools, covering 200 miles by the time he was done. Thanks to Sindy for the link.

A bike-riding homeless woman went to court, and won the right to keep living in a Fountain Valley park, despite repeated attempts to force her to leave.

San Diego continues to make strides to meet their climate change goals and reduce car use by eliminating parking requirements for businesses near transit or in densely populated areas.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a woman was killed when she allegedly rode her bike across the street in front of an oncoming driver. As always, a lot depends on whether there were any independent witnesses, besides the driver, who saw her ride out into traffic.

A Berkeley paper joins the Cal Berkeley student paper’s call to improve Telegraph Ave, and raises them by calling for making the iconic street carfree.

 

National

Last month’s Vision Zero Cities conference considered how the language used in ads and newspaper reports can hurt crash victims, who are inevitably blamed for their injuries.

An Arizona man is 6,700 miles into a planned 18,000-mile journey by bicycle to visit each of the more than 400 national parks in the US, although he may need to pick up the pace a little after hitting just 14 parks, leaving another 386+ to go. He’s attempting to raise $50,000 for conservation projects in the National Parks.

Speaking of national parks, Utah’s Zion National Park now has a new ten-mile bike trail on the east side of the park.

A Streetsblog op-ed says New York’s bike lanes need more protection than the usual plastic car-tickler bendy posts, which don’t keep anyone out.

A Washington Post op-ed says American bicycling has a racism problem, tracing the roots to discrimination against Southern Black bike riders around the turn of the last century.

Tragic news from Florida, where a 14-year old boy was found dead after he went missing while riding his bike on Monday; no word on the cause of death, though his school described it as an “accident.”

 

International

Montreal’s Bixi bikeshare had a record-setting year, with ridership up 74% as they packed the bikes up for the winter.

This is who we share the road with. A London woman mistakenly stepped on the gas instead of the brakes, jumped the curb and killed a man walking on the sidewalk, then lied to investigators by saying the man stepped out into the street in front of her. So naturally, the court let her walk without a day behind bars, and took her license away for a whole year.

Burglars broke into a British bike park and stole literally everything there was to take, from generators and Park Tools, to cash raised for a local air ambulance service.

He gets it. A writer for Britain’s Independent says we’ll never get to zero emissions until we admit we’re all climate hypocrites who want to stick to our comfortable, fossil-fueled lifestyles.

A member of the UK Parliament says the country’s lax hit-and-run laws give drivers an incentive to flee the scene rather than stick around and get tested for DUI. We have exactly the same problem in California, where lax penalties and minimal enforcement encourage drivers to flee, knowing they’re unlikely to ever get caught, or seriously punished if they are.

E-scooters in Paris will be forced to automatically slow down to just above walking speed in over 700 more crowded areas throughout the city.

Bicycle Dutch author Mark Wagenbuur has updated his classic explanation of how the Dutch got their cycle paths.

An Indian writer considers the benefits of getting your kids off their screens and onto bicycles.

He gets it, too. An op-ed by a New Zealand university professor explains why your next car should be a bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

The popular SoCal edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride gravel race hits the little screen with the new hour-long documentary This Is Not A Gravel Race premiering on Outside TV.

Britain’s Pfeiffer Georgi won the country’s road race national championship less than 12 months after breaking two vertebrae while riding in Belgium

The thief who stole Geraint Thomas’ bike was just 15 years old; Thomas said he was looking forward to checking his Garmin to see if the kid had any skills.

Track racing at the Velo Sports Center in Carson this weekend.

 

Finally…

Build your own DIY shaft-drive bike. Now you, too, can ride a hand-painted work of art, for the low, low price of 30 grand.

And we may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t…well, wait for it.

Thanks to Pops for forwarding the tweet.

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

$32.1 million award in Metro crash, LA Times calls for bike lanes and sheriff’s oversight, and Mar Vista bike chop shops

Thank you all for your support and kind words last week.

I’m not even close to a hundred percent yet, but at least I can write again without tossing my cookies. Not that I should be having cookies, anyway.

Now buckle in, ’cause we have a lot to catch up on. 

And please forgive me for not crediting people who sent me links this time; it was just too hard to keep up with while I was under the weather.

But thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who did. 

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A jury awarded $21.6 million to the parents of Ciara Smith, the 13-year old girl killed by a Metro bus operated by a subcontractor four years ago when she rode her bike off a Redondo Beach sidewalk.

Combined with earlier settlements from Caltrans and Redondo Beach, they’ve now been awarded a total of $32.1 million, though the latest judgement will undoubtedly be appealed.

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The Los Angeles Times responds to their recent investigative report that uncovered bias in traffic stops of Latino bike riders by sheriff deputies in LA County, by calling for legalizing sidewalk riding and building desperately needed infrastructure.

Instead of finding support for their carbon-free travel, cyclists in some communities face unsafe and unjust conditions. In East Los Angeles, only 1% of streets have bike lanes, meaning cyclists are expected to navigate crowded and often poorly maintained streets. Of course people are going to ride on the sidewalk, even if it’s prohibited, because it’s safer.

Yet that rational decision makes cyclists a target for law enforcement. Nearly a quarter of bike stops in East L.A. were for sidewalk violations, The Times reported. In Lynwood, where there are no bike lanes at all, sidewalk violations account for 16% of stops. In West Hollywood, which is predominantly white, more streets have bike lanes and the city allows bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk in areas with no bike lanes. Less than 1% of bike stops were initiated because of sidewalk violations.

The paper also said the biased traffic stops and searches of bike riders call for stronger oversight of the sheriff’s department, which so far has attempted to avoid virtually any oversight.

Meanwhile, Streets For All urges your support for a motion at tomorrow’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting to legalize sidewalk riding in unincorporated Los Angeles County.

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As long as we’re talking about the Times, opinion columnist Robin Abcarian joins a Mar Vista man searching local homeless camps and outdoor bicycle chop shops for his stolen bicycles.

And somehow managed, against all odds, to get them all back.

Never mind that the LAPD told her they don’t bother to look for stolen bikes.

Or the Catch-22 clownshow below when he tried to report the theft to the cops.

Weitz had tried to file a police report online. Because his garage was broken into, he was told, he would have to file in person. But his local LAPD outpost in West Los Angeles is not allowing walk-ins because of COVID-19. So he went to the Pacific Division station on Culver Boulevard but was told he had to file it in West L.A.

“My local lead officer said he would get in touch after I file my police report,” said Weitz, “but I can’t file my police report, so he can’t call.”

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The teenaged pickup driver who mowed down a half dozen Texas bike riders while attempting to roll coal has been identified in court papers.

The well-connected son of prominent local sheep and goat breeders faces six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after initially being allowed to walk free when mommy and daddy reportedly showed up at the crash site.

Meanwhile, the Santa Rosa woman injured in the other recent Texas crash, where a pickup driver ran down three people on a cross-country bike tour and killed a Massachusetts man, is still waiting to fly home.

Doctors says she’s too fragile to leave the Houston hospital where she’s being treated for a collapsed lung, facial fracture, broken back, five broken ribs and a broken arm.

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Streets For All will talk mobility with the candidates for CD13 this Wednesday, presumably including incumbent Mitch O’Farrell.

The street safety PAC also calls for supporting a 5.9-mile peak hour bus lane on La Brea Blvd from Sunset to Coliseum at or before tomorrow’s public meeting.

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Metro announced the top-scoring picks for open streets events throughout the county over the next two years, including likely funding for CicLAvia and 626 Golden Streets.

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One more reason to love the East Side Riders, as they continue to support, and feed, the Compton community.

And to contribute if you can, financially or otherwise.

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If you’re reading this early enough, you may still have time to join a Twitter town hall calling for zero traffic deaths, in advance of this Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance.

Meanwhile, Finish the Ride will host a march for safer roads on Saturday, in an early observance of the World Day of Remembrance.

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More proof that bike lanes are more efficient than regular traffic lanes. Regardless of drivers who claim no one ever uses them.

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Taking a tiny approach to urban density in Denver.

And yes, there’s an itty bitty bike involved.

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It’s a pity everyone seemed to forget the hard-earned lessons learned in the first major gas crisis back in the ’70s.

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

Late is better than never, apparently, as Bicycling belatedly catches up with the story of the white Texas man who severely beat a Black man who paused while riding a bicycle through the neighborhood they both share last month. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

DC drivers are using a new buffered bike lane for free parking.

An Orlando, Florida bike shop owner sounds the alarm on drivers using the bike path in front of his shop as a traffic bypass.

A London man suffered a broken collarbone when a driver deliberately ran him off his bike in the city’s Richmond Park — then fled the scene afterwards, of course.

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

Police in San Antonio, Texas released video of the fatal shooting of a man who fled when officers tried to stop him on his bike; he allegedly tried to pull a gun out of his waistband after one of the cops doored him and wrestled with him on the ground.

A British Columbia man faces charges for whacking a 65-year old woman with his bicycle, causing her to hit her head on the pavement, after she apparently confronted him for riding his bike on the sidewalk.

The award for the world’s biggest jerk — okay, one of many — goes to the Belgium bike rider who crashed into a five-year old girl last Christmas, and is suing the girl’s father for posting the viral video of it.

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Local

A man was shot in the chest earlier this month while riding on a Culver City bike path, then was kicked in the face and punched by two or more men, for no apparent reason. Or at least, no reason the police have mentioned.

There’s still time to take a survey on how to transform deadly Western Ave between MLK to Century Blvd in South LA. Hint: fewer traffic lanes and more protected bike lanes.

A San Fernando group has called for the removal of CD12 Councilmember John Lee from the Los Angeles City Council Planning Committee; Lee was implicated in the Mitch Englander bribery scandal.

Streetsblog looks at the new raised, protected bike lanes on Burbank’s Hollywood Way.

A Claremont nonprofit is looking donations of usable bicycles in good condition, as well as “helmets, padding and locks” to help recent Afghan refugees. And no, I have no idea what padding means, either.

AARP hosts a virtual chat with CicLAvia this Thursday, including 65-year old longboarder and CicLAvia icon Swee (Ool) Woo.

 

State

Santa Ana will host a meeting tonight to discuss a proposed protected bike lane and bicycle boulevard on McFadden Avenue.

Orange County hikers complained about “hard-charging” mountain bikers at last week’s meeting of the Coastal Greenbelt Authority.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says the city needs to focus on the action part of its climate action plan, rather than patting itself on the back based on outdated statistics.

Streetsblog credits the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, with having a lot to like in their draft 2021 transportation plan, despite questionable funding plans.

Santa Barbara County is loaning local residents free ebikes for up to five days to experience an alternative to driving.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a bike from a ten-year old Santa Cruz girl in a strong-arm robbery.

 

National

Do we really need to be told yet again that more highways mean more cars, more congestion and more environment and climate harming emissions?

One more reason to do your riding outside, as a 23-year old woman nearly lost her leg after developing a potentially fatal breakdown of muscle tissue following a high-intensity spin class.

Seriously? What kind of cash flow does this Oregon bike shop have when the theft of $100,000 worth of bicycles isn’t a major setback?

The Nevada state stoppers who investigated the crash that killed five bike riders outside Las Vegas eleven months ago never suspected semi-truck driver Jordan Alexander Barson was under the influence, even though he tested positive for meth hours later — an oversight that led to a plea bargain on reduced charges.

Congratulations to Austin, Texas, on being named home to the worst bike lane in the world.

Sad news from Iowa, where John Karras, the former newspaper man who co-founded RAGBRAI with another reporter, passed away last week at 91; the popular ride across Iowa was founded by the Des Moines Register nearly 50 years ago.

Hats off to a six-year old Ohio boy, who set a new record as the youngest rider to complete a backflip during a California BMX competition.

Once again, the death of a bike rider is no big deal, as a US postal worker faces just a misdemeanor charge and a traffic ticket for killing a 71-year old New York man riding a bike.

Curbed offers a detailed primer on perfecting New York streets, while embracing public spaces. All of which would apply here in Los Angeles, too.

A fallen bicyclist’s mother will finish the last 1,900 miles of his planned New Hampshire to San Diego bike tour, three years after he was run down by a driver shortly after leaving Hattiesburg, Mississippi; a crowdfunding page has raised just $330 of the $10,000 he was trying to collect for a children’s hospital.

A 22-year old Florida man has been charged with manslaughter after he failed to swerve his e-scooter out of the way of a woman riding a bicycle; the victim died of her injuries several days later.

 

International

No surprise here, as climate experts say electric cars won’t save the planet. But more active transportation will help.

Virgin founder Richard Branson showed off his injuries after his bike’s brakes failed and he crashed into another bicyclist while riding in the Virgin Islands; he credits his helmet with saving his life from the “colossal” crash. Seriously, I’ve had worse.

Glasgow, Scotland is joining the international trend of banning cars from urban centers.

The Smithsonian talks with the teenage girl who rode her bike 570 miles from her English home to Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 climate conference.

London’s iconic Westminster Bridge is getting bollard-protected cycle tracks, which might have helped prevent the 2017 vehicular terrorism attack.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 61-year old business exec walked with a suspended sentence for killing two men on bikes when he plowed his car into both as they rode together last year; adding insult to injury, he was fined a whole £475 — the equivalent of just $637 — in court costs.

A 21-year old British man was sentenced to life behind bars for strangling his 17-year old “friend” and leaving him to drown in a dispute over a bicycle. Seriously, if someone bullies you for months, let alone tries to kill you, maybe he’s not really your friend.

A new sensor developed by a Dutch company allows you to monitor the air quality as you rides. But do you really want to know what kind of crap you’re sucking into your lungs?

Cycling Tips alleges bullying and blackmail in the convoy that carried members of the Afghan cycling team to freedom.

Heartbreaking story from India, where an Indian soldier was one of seven people gunned down by ethnic rebels, just two days after promising his eight-year old daughter he’d bring her a bicycle as a belated birthday gift when he came home in February.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tragic news from Eritrea, where rising 21-year old cyclist Desiet Kidane was killed by a driver while training in the country; she was part of UCI’s World Cycling Center training program.

Apparently, even winning the Tour de France isn’t enough to protect against bike thieves, as Geraint Thomas learned the hard way when he popped into a coffee shop while training on the French Riviera.

A new book claims to be the first written by a Black bike racer about Black bike racers in one hundred years.

The EF Education-Nippo cycling team fired Columbian cyclist Sergio Higuita for riding a Specialized bike instead of team sponsor Cannondale, but quickly took him back after he apologized. His American teammate Lawson Craddock got fired and quickly unfired, for the same reason.

It takes some serious bike skills to get back in your shoe while it’s still clipped in the pedal.

 

Finally…

The top 10 reasons drivers don’t like us. Now they aren’t even waiting until the bikes leave the shop to run them over.

And SNL has good news and bad news on the ebike front.

 

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

Calls for investigation into biased sheriff’s bike stops, multiple charges in Texas coal roll crash, and more fed bike funding

Let’s hope they take it seriously this time.

Los Angeles County leaders have called for an investigation into last week’s LA Times investigative report on the harassment bike riders face at the hands of sheriff’s deputies and the back seats of their patrol cars.

And Latino riders in particular.

The paper found that out of 44,000 bicycle stops conducted by LA County sheriff’s deputies, seven out of ten people stopped were Latino, and 85% of bike riders stopped were searched.

According to the paper, they found illegal items in just 8% of the searches — less than one half of one percent.

Never mind the highly questionable legality of those searches.

This is how a sheriff’s spokesperson explained it.

Riding a bike allows criminals “to traverse a neighborhood unnoticed, faster and safer than on foot, and additionally makes it easier to avoid police contact. We are not conducting traffic stops of persons obviously engaged in the use of a bicycle for exercise or amusement,” department spokeswoman Lt. Lorena Rodriguez said in September.

Apparently, no one wearing spandex has ever been up to no good.

Not to mention that bicycles allow perfectly law-abiding people to get to work, school and the market.

And for many, it’s the only form of transportation they have. But apparently, just riding a bike somehow makes people of color suspicious in the eyes of sheriff’s deputies.

Thankfully, LA County officials pushed back on Monday, with two county supervisors — Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis — calling for the legalization of sidewalk riding in unincorporated areas, which was used as a pretext for traffic stops in eight percent of the cases.

At the same time, members of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission asked the department’s inspector general to conduct an investigation into the report, and racial disparities in traffic stops in general. And to look into whether the agency should be conducting traffic stops to begin with.

All of which sounds good.

However, County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is notorious for ignoring efforts by members of the Board of Supervisors, the Oversight Commission and the Inspector General to look into his activities, or that of the department he leads, since his upset election three years ago — to the point of refusing to comply with legitimate subpoenas for information and testimony.

And so far, they’ve been unable, or unwilling, to force him to comply.

The excuse Villanueva has given is that he isn’t subject to their authority, having been elected directly by the people. Even though both county and state law allows for an oversight commission with direct authority over the sheriff.

So don’t hold your breath.

An investigation is definitely called for. But whether it will go anywhere remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, remember that you are under no obligation to let police or sheriff’s deputies search your belongings without a warrant. And they’re not likely to get one based on a simple traffic stop.

They have the right to ask you for identification, although there’s nothing in the law that says you need a driver’s license just to ride a bike.

But whether or not you consent to a search of your bike, pockets, bags or backpack is entirely up to you.

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About damn time.

The district attorney in Waller County, Texas is finally getting around to filing charges, over six weeks after a teenage pickup driver ran down six bicyclists while attempting to blow exhaust smoke into their faces, a violent act known as rolling coal.

The 16-year old driver, who has not been publicly named, is expected to face six counts of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — one count for each victim, four of whom were hospitalized.

The charge carries a penalty of anywhere from two to 20 years for each count in Texas. However, as a juvenile, he is likely to face far less, unless he is tried as an adult.

Waller police came under intense criticism for failing to initially arrest, or at least ticket, the driver; as the investigation moved forward, it became clear the boy’s parents were influential in the community.

Meanwhile, Texas pickup drivers astutely note that rolling coal is for idiots.

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More on the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill, which is currently awaiting Biden’s signature, as we continue to learn just what’s in it.

Bicycling Retailer reports that, in addition to the $11 billion in federal transportation safety funding we previously mentioned, the bill includes additional benefits for people who ride bikes, including Complete Streets and a big boost in the funding pool for bike projects.

The infrastructure bill includes:

  • An increase in funding for the Transportation Alternatives Program by 60%, with subsequent annual increases. The program is the largest source of federal dollars for bike projects like protected bike lanes, trails, and multi-use paths. The funding is currently limited to $850 million annually, and the bill would increase the program to $1.38 billion in 2022 and up to $1.48 billion in 2026.
  • A requirement for all states to develop standards for Complete Streets, a policy and design approach to ensure users of all ages and abilities have safe and convenient access.
  • A vulnerable road user assessment to determine how dangerous roads are for people outside of cars.
  • Inclusion of the model three-class e-bike definitions.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog lists several other “small victories” contained in the bill, including,

  • A new competitive grant program that will provide another $200 million a year to connect active transportation infrastructure to plug gaps in existing networks sand improve access to essential destinations
  • Another $200 million a year for the new Safe Streets for All program, which will fund Vision Zero projects throughout the U.S.
  • A further $200 million a year for the Reconnecting Communities pilot program, which will address the damages caused to BIPOC and low-income communities by the interstate highway system in a number of ways, including projects that promote active modes like pedestrian bridges and highway removals
  • A new requirement for states to devote 15 percent of their Highway Safety Improvement Program dollars to saving vulnerable road users’ lives if vulnerable road users make up 15 percent of their roadway deaths or more — a move that will impact nearly all coastal communities and a handful of upper midwestern states, too
  • A revision of federal crash reporting standards to better capture the causes of the pedestrian death crisis, including new provisions to better incorporate hospital data into federal stats, rather than just police data

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San Diego County’s annual Udo Heinz Memorial Ride will roll out from Carlsbad on November 20th — a week from this coming Saturday.

This year’s ride will honor all fallen bicyclists, which the county has seen far too many of this year.

The ride was founded seven years ago in memory of Heinz, who was killed by an allegedly distracted bus driver while riding in Camp Pendleton in 2013.

Thanks to our latest sponsor, San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette, for the link. 

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As we mentioned last week, the Los Angeles City Council’s Public Safety Committee voted to advance a proposal to ban bicycle chop shops on public property, even though chop shops dealing in stolen bicycles are already illegal.

This photo by David Drexler, of a homeless encampment at Venice and Grandview in Mar Vista, shows why it may matter, although it’s not clear from the photo whether that’s on a property belonging to the city.

If your bike disappeared in the area recently, you may be able to find it there.

Or part of it, anyway.

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

You’ve got to be kidding.

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

Police in Michigan busted a bike-riding bank robber as he made his getaway after allegedly hitting two banks in a single day.

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Local

A Cheviot Hills website looks back to the earliest days of bicycling in West Los Angeles over a century ago, as the first generation of two wheelers gave way to more familiar names to Angeleno bicyclists, including local legends Alex Baum and Raymond Fouquet. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Long Beach could soon green light a $1.4 million project to improve traffic signals on deadly Los Coyotes Diagonal, including installation of new detectors for vehicles and bicycles. A good start, but what the street really needs is a road diet and protected bike lanes in both directions.

Authorities have identified the man killed by a gunman in Long Beach last week as a 31-year old father, who was riding his bike home from his studies to become a dental assistance; police believe the shooting was gang related.

 

State

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 13-year old Hemet boy went missing after he ran away from home on his bike two days before Halloween; he was eventually found as a John Doe in a local hospital, after he was struck by a driver just half an hour after leaving home.

A driver plowed into several bike riders near Los Olivos on Sunday, leaving one rider with serious injuries.

That’s more like it. San Jose bike cops will patrol a newly opened section of the Coyote Creek Trail ten hours a day, seven days a week. Something that should be done on at least a frequent basis on every bike trail, everywhere. Especially here in LA. 

Sad news from Stockton, where a 62-year old man was killed in a late night collision while riding his bike.

 

National

Bicycling says it’s time to switch to dry lube, already. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

The New York Times says the popularity of electric bikes doesn’t show any sign of fading, with ebike sales jumping 145% last year, and now outselling all-electric cars by more than two to one.

A Streetsblog op-ed says the revised edition of the MUTCD merely enshrines dangerous policies into law.

Alaska is experiencing a serious shortage of fat bikes and parts.

A Colorado bike rider shares what he learned tackling his first century ride.

Good idea. Link will cut the maximum speed in half for first-time e-scooter users in Hartford, Connecticut to improve safety until they get the hang of it.

Bike ridership on New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge nearly doubled over last year after a new two-way protected bike lane opened on the bridge in September.

 

International

Trek puts its money where its mouth is, pledging to match donations to World Bicycle Relief up to $500,000 through the end of the year; the nonprofit works to change lives by donating bicycles to people in need in developing areas.

Road.cc shares “affordable, high-quality” gadgets for bike riders for less than $135.

Interesting idea. A new light developed by a London designer shines a buffer grid onto the street around you, and automatically sends your location to a crowdsourced stress map when drivers get too close anyway.

Birmingham, England is finally getting around to installing bike lanes at an intersection where a young doctor was killed riding her bike four years ago.

British Transport Police are looking for a pair thieves who threatened a man with a weapon and wrested his bicycle away from while on board a train near Glasgow.

A 42-year old mother in the UK will spend the next five years behind bars for fleeing the scene following a drunk and stoned crash that killed a 61-year old man riding a bike; she told police the damage to her car was from hitting a fox. Although there may be a slight difference in size between a little fox and a grown man on a bicycle. 

An Aussie bike rider shares what it’s like to be dive-bombed by a swooping magpie.

 

Competitive Cycling

Fumiyuki Beppu, the first Japanese cyclist to reach racing’s highest level, called it a career after two full decades on the WorldTour.

 

Finally…

An ebike for people who like to pretend they’re on a modern motorcycle. When rumble strips protect the cars, not the other way around.

And that feeling when there’s an SUV parked on your singletrack trail.

https://twitter.com/SarahJ_Berry/status/1457115150583013380?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1457115150583013380%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-8-november-2021-287627

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

Biking Where Black, candidates to replace Koretz in CD5 back bikes, and Ford fan site blames aggressive drivers

No surprise here.

A new study from Chicago’s South Side shows a correlation between the lack of bike lanes in majority Black communities, and excessive ticketing for bicycling violations by police.

It’s no surprise then that, according to a study by University of California Davis professor Jesus Barajas, tickets for riding on the sidewalk were issued eight times more often per capita in Chicago’s majority-Black communities than majority-white neighborhoods, which tend to have far more miles of marked and protected bike lanes on arterial roads.

In addition, the Chicago Police Department has been fairly upfront about the fact that it uses zero-tolerance traffic enforcement as a strategy to enable searches for guns and drugs in high-crime neighborhoods. “When we have communities experiencing levels of violence, we do increase traffic enforcement,” Glen Brooks, the department’s director of public engagement, said on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” show in 2018. “Part of that includes bicycles.”

Just more evidence of the excessive burden placed on people of color for biking while Black or Brown.

Simply put, these are our brothers and sisters, who deserve better. And the support of the entire bicycling community.

Today’s photo shows a new Metro Bike dock that appeared without warning in Hollywood, just two blocks from the entrance to Runyon Canyon.

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This is who we could have representing LA’s 5th Council District, replacing pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz, who was happy to support bicycling as long as it didn’t inconvenience cars or the people in them in any way.

Or anyone else, for that matter.

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Speaking of CD5, Katy Young Yaroslavsky — longtime LA politician Zev Yaroslavsky’s daughter-in-law — has tossed her hat in the ring for next year’s election to replace termed-out Paul Koretz.

And the senior environment and arts policy deputy for County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and former environmental land-use attorney is already saying the right things when it comes to supporting safer and more livable streets.

Yaroslavsky also said she would have supported Uplift Melrose, a proposal to bring more pedestrian space and fewer traffic lanes to the Melrose area. That proposal was not supported by Koretz because he said it would have created more traffic congestion in surrounding areas. Yaroslavsky said she is open to pursuing options like Uplift Melrose and also supports more bicycle lanes, particularly lanes connecting to locations that are centers of employment.

“I think that we need to create opportunities for people to get out of their cars,” Yaroslavsky said. “Bike lanes need to connect to each other and they need to get people where they need to go.”

We have a long way to go before May’s primary election.

But it looks like we’re off to a good start.

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He gets it.

A writer for a Ford aficionado site takes a surprising stand in the case of a Colorado bike rider killed last week by a 19-year old mechanic test driving a Ford F-150 Raptor pickup.

And concludes that most crashes involving bicyclists result from aggressive and distracted driving.

Meanwhile, a Denver TV station refutes claims of scofflaw bicyclists by looking back at a grounding breaking study from a University of Colorado Denver professor who found that drivers and bike riders break the law at about the same rate.

But that people on bicycles do it for better safety, while drivers do it for convenience.

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Looks like fun.

London bicyclists turned out in force for a mobile rave in a tunnel.

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

Oh hell no. Police are looking for a road raging Brazilian driver who backed his car over a man and his five-year old son for the crime of allowing the boy to ride his bicycle in the street; fortunately, neither was seriously injured.

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

A 66-year old English woman needed an urgent hip replacement after she was knocked to the ground by a bike rider pulling a trailer at an outdoor market, who simply shouted “sorry” as he rode away without stopping to see if she was okay.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says Metro’s revised proposals for bus rapid transit on Eagle Rock’s Colorado Blvd provides a litmus test for CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León as he runs for mayor next year.

 

State

What does it say when a new fat tire ebike from a California company inspired by the car that won the ’79 Le Mans comes complete with a built-in fire extinguisher?

Davis is hosting a zombie bike ride on Halloween Day. That’s in contrast to the zombie drivers we have to contend with every day.

 

National

Bicycling examines how ebikes are getting people back on their bikes and back into their communities. As usually, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Speaking of Bicycling, the magazine unveiled Specialized’s $5,000 Aethos Comp Rival as their bike of the year for 2021. Once again, read on Yahoo if you can’t access Bicycling’s site.

A kindhearted El Paso deputy bought a new bike for a homeless man he befriended, after noticing the man was riding a “ratchety” bicycle.

Austin, Texas is more than halfway to building out a 400-mile bicycle network by 2025, at a pace of slightly less than 50 miles a year. Just in case you need proof it can be done. And yes, I’m talking to you, Los Angeles.

A Wisconsin man is riding 1,600-miles from Martha’s Vineyard back to his home state to raise awareness about kidney disease and the opportunity to be a living donor, just one year after he gave one of his to a stranger.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would steal an adaptive bicycle from someone with special needs. Like the schmuck who made off with the customized three-wheeled bike a Toledo, Ohio man with cerebral palsy relied on for transportation.

Vogue takes a look at what they call New York’s most meaningful and stylish fundraising ride.

 

International

Cycling News considers the best bike bells for any kind of riding, while Livestrong proves they’re still around with a list of their own.

A new book highlights the weird, wonderful and sometimes ludicrous world of early bicycles.

Bike thefts in Scotland are up nearly 20% since the beginning of the pandemic, with the jump in thefts due to increased demand from the worldwide bike boom.

London plans to introduce a life-saving, citywide 15 mph speed limit next year. Proving once again that is can be done. Still looking at you, Los Angeles.

An English driver could stand trial for gross negligence manslaughter for killing a bike-riding 15-year old boy, who then kept going to see a woman he met on a dating app, after a coroner’s inquest uncovered additional evidence three years after the driver had walked when a previous case collapsed in court.

Probably not the best idea for a drug-abusing British man to steal a doctor’s bicycle while awaiting sentencing as a serial bike thief; he ended up getting two years for his crimes.

Apparently, the bike boom doesn’t extend to kids riding to school in the UK, even while average bike mileage has more than doubled in the last 19 years.

Proof that comedians aren’t always such keen observers of life, as British comic Rob Beckett claims he’s never seen someone on a bicycle smile.

An Irish man gets two and a half years for attacking a 50-year-old woman riding to her job cleaning a shopping mall and stealing her bike.

German startup Dance continues to pull in investments for their ebike subscription service, raising nearly $20 million in new funding.

A 28-year old bike-riding Italian priest was beatified by the Catholic Church, 77-years after he was brutally beaten to death when he attempted to bury at least 770 civilians massacred by the Nazis in WWII; his bicycle was one of the holy relics presented at the ceremony.

A self-described Latino American magazine calls Barcelona, Spain a bicycling paradise.

 

Competitive Cycling

Annemiek van Vleuten turned on her fellow Dutch teammates for failing to effectively support Marianne Vos in the women’s road world championships, accusing them of not working hard enough in the race.

VeloNews considers how 43-year old Czech mountain biker and ‘cross champ Kateřina Nash keeps winning after 20 years as a pro cyclist.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your bike tire was bitten by a rabid fox. Ebike weight weenies of the world rejoice — you have nothing to lose but your $22,000.

And I want to be like him when I grow up.

No, not just still riding at that age, but an 11 term congressman, too.

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Thanks to Alan C for his unexpected donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Donations are always welcome and appreciated, regardless of the size, season or reason. 

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

Ride to letter of the law in SaMo today, police look for hit-and-run bike rider, and Beverly Hills cops accused of racial bias

Apologies for the short notice on this one.

You’ll want to ride to the letter of the law in Santa Monica today while the police are conducting another bicycle and pedestrian safety operation.

They’ll be looking for violations that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So just make sure it isn’t you.

And maybe the city can give us a little more notice next time.

Photo of green bike lane on Main Street in Santa Monica.

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Beverly Hills Police are looking for this man for questioning in a hit-and-run collision with a pedestrian.

If you know him — or if it’s you — contact the Beverly Hills Police Department at 310/550-4951. Right now, they just want to talk.

And yes, it’s still hit-and-run if you’re on a bicycle, and ride away from a collision that injures another person. So don’t do that.

Stick around and exchange information, or wait until the police arrive, just like you would in a car collision.

Because you would, right?

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Speaking of Beverly Hills cops, the department is accused of harassing Black people on and around Rodeo Drive, according to a lawsuit filed by a Black couple visiting from Philadelphia, who were arrested for the heinous crime of riding scooters on the gilded street.

They were among the targets of a task force set up in the wake of last year’s George Floyd protests to address fraud in the high-end shopping district arrested 106 people — 105 of whom were Black.

The other man was identified as Latino.

Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

Other Black people were arrested for walking outside of the crosswalk or roller skating, although the police noted that the task force did recover 13 loaded guns and seized $250,000 in cash and ill-gotten debit cards.

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Great idea. A new clamp-on attachment promises to convert a wheelchair to an e-tricycle.

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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 Purdue University website says people on bicycles break laws and create danger for drivers. Just wait until someone tells them about the dangers caused by lawbreaking drivers.

Police in Nottingham, England are looking for the driver caught on video calmly driving down a bike lane, as if it was his or her own personal traffic lane.

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

A student at LA’s Santee High School was shot in the leg following a fist fight with another student, who fled on a blue bicycle.

Police in Ventura are looking for a man who randomly attacked a woman walking on bike path near Kimball Park, after he rode his bike past her, then turned around and assaulted her for no apparent reason.

Someone is riding a bike around the Harvard University campus randomly punching male grad students.

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Local

An op-ed in the LA Times examines why people of color are more likely to be the victims of traffic violence, both in Los Angeles and throughout the US, while noting that pedestrian deaths are up more than a third in the six years since the city adopted Vision Zero.

Metro Bike is offering free one-ride passes for Labor Day weekend, and a 30-day pass for just one dollar.

No bias here, either. A writer for Yo! Venice says now that the city has cleaned up the homeless encampments, it’s time to deal with the “scourge” of e-scooters, complaining they’re “out-of-control and everywhere.”

Pasadena approved spending $168,000 on a Slow Streets program by repurposing funds originally budgeted for the 626 Golden Streets open streets fest, but had to return another $162,000 in Metro grant money.

Mike Richards may have lost his short-lived job replacing Alex Trebek as host of Jeopardy, but he’s still one of us, riding with his family on an offroad trail in LA.

 

State

More on the passage of AB 122, which will allow California bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, assuming the governor signs it. And which overwhelmingly passed both houses of the legislature with rare bipartisan support.

Officers from the Westminster Police Department and Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies finished a four-day, 630-mile to Sacramento to honor officers who died in the line of duty earlier this year.

If you were planning to spend the holiday weekend at the China Peak bike park outside Fresno, start making new plans, after it abruptly closed for the season due to the high fire risk.

Campus police at Chico State are urging students to secure their bikes with a U-lock, as bike theft increases on the campus.

 

National

They get it. The American Prospect says it’s time to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the pandemic by building back, not just better, but bike friendly, while noting that not many US cities have done that.

The Verge offers more on the groundbreaking new bike-by-wire system designed to power ped-assist ebikes without a chain or belt drive.

MSN ranks their picks for the best bike computers for all types of bicyclists. On a similar note, Forbes offers their choices for the best bike helmets for different types of riders.

A bike rider in Salt Lake City was lucky to escape with minor head injuries after he rear-ended a stopped van when his brakes apparently failed. A reminder to always check your brakes before you ride, and clean your rims to remove oil or other residue if you have rim brakes. 

Drivers in Texas could now see jail time for killing or injuring a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Now extend the law to bike lanes, and we can talk.

Chicago is installing new protected bike lanes on the “notoriously dangerous intersection” where School of Rock drummer Kevin Clark was killed while riding a bike last summer; 13 years after another bike rider was killed at the same spot. Although the “protection” is nothing more than the plastic car-tickler bendy posts that too often pass for protection in Los Angeles, and won’t actually protect anyone. 

A longtime Chicago community activist and bike and pedestrian advocate was critically injured when he as struck by an SUV driver, after he somehow “appeared in the street” as the driver was turning right. Yet another reminder that no one ever just appears out of nowhere; it’s just another way of drivers admitting that they weren’t paying attention behind the wheel.

Life is cheap in New York, where the operator of a limo company walked without a single day in jail for a “catastrophic brake failure” that killed 20 people; he’ll serve just five years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service despite copping a plea to 20 counts of criminally negligent homicide.

After being feted by Forbes as one of their Under 30 honorees, the founder of Philadelphia-based folding bike helmer maker Kova by AnneeLondon shuttered the business for the sake of her mental health after struggling to keep it going during the pandemic.

A bill to officially designate the 1,300-mile 9/11 National Memorial Trail connecting the three sites of the terrorist attacks, stretching from Pennsylvania to DC, passed the US House by a unanimous vote and now awaits its fate in the Senate.

 

International

The Guardian says bikepacking is the best way to escape the crowds in Cornwall on a new 124-mile gravel trail.

Berlin is making their popup bike lanes permanent, after the city saw a 25% jump in bicycling rates during the pandemic. On the other hand, Los Angeles can’t make any popup bike lanes permanent, because they didn’t install any. And no one really knows if bike riding rates went up during the pandemic, because no one was counting.

They get it. Lebanon residents are fighting to make the country more bicycle friendly as a solution to congestion and rising fuel prices. Exactly why we should do the same thing here, especially if you add combating climate change to the equation.

Atlas Obscura looks back fondly to the golden age of bicycle noodle delivery, when workers would ride with one hand on the handlebars and the other balancing a massive stack of boxed soba noodles on their shoulder.

 

Competitive Cycling

Swiss road champ Marlen Reusser broke away from a six-woman breakaway to win the first day of the Challenge by La Vuelta, with SoCal sprinter Coryn Rivera finishing second; the four stage race serves as the severely truncated women’s counterpart to the 21 stage Vuelta.

Colombian Miguel Ángel López claimed a solo victory after riding away from the pack on the hors catégorie Altu d’El Gamoniteiru in Thursday’s 18th stage of the Vuelta, while Primož Roglič finished second to virtually his seal victory in this year’s race.

Sixty-year old Aussie Paralympic cycling great Carol Cooke was hospitalized with a punctured lung following a “nasty crash” with two other competitors on the rain slicked road cycling course; she’d won gold in the event five years ago in Rio.

Cyclist questions whether this year’s Tour de France was decided by the high number of crashes involving top riders.

 

Finally…

Why settle for a regular ebike when you can have a DIY part-time pneumatic tall bike? That feeling when your bird hates flying but loves riding on your handlebars.

And who needs an ebike when you’ve got rocket power?

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Thanks once again to Matthew R for his generous monthly donation to help support this site. Donations of any size or frequency are always welcome and appreciated. You can also help by telling your favorite local bike shop to advertise here.

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

Riverside bike rider murdered by driver, Culver City considers Jackson gate, and selective enforcement in Highland Park

Murder.

That’s what Riverside prosecutors are calling it, in a crime you may have missed over the weekend.

Just one of three bicycling deaths that became public over the past three days.

According to reports, 31-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez briefly drove off after getting into what police termed a “brief interaction” with 46-year old bike rider Benedicto Solanga late last month.

Gutierrez then made a sudden U-turn, and came back to slam his Ford F-250 pickup into Solanga’s bike, before fleeing the scene.

Solanga died a few days later at a local hospital.

Gutierrez was arrested nearly three weeks after police found his damaged truck, and charged with using it as a weapon to murder Solanga.

He’s currently behind bars, being held on a whopping $1 million bail.

Let’s hope he stays there for a very long time.

Let the be yet another tragic reminder to be careful out there. And just who we share the road with.

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Streets For All reminds you to get your comments in to the Culver City city council in time for tonight’s meeting.

Because the NIMBYs are already lining up against it.

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Unconfirmed report that police will be targeting bike riders in Highland Park, at the behest of locals.

If true, that’s illegal selective enforcement.

Police are required to enforce traffic laws equally against all violators, without bias for or against any particular group. If they accepted a grant under these terms, they’re breaking the law.

Correction: Oops. A comment from Matt points out that the comment probably refers to Chicago’s Highland Park neighborhood, as a opposed to the Highland Park in Los Angeles. One more to add to a long and growing list of SoCal cities and neighborhoods that might not be. 

But it’s still selective enforcement, and should be illegal wherever it is.

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Hermosa Beach hosted the seventh annual Glow Ride for Cystic Fibrosis on Saturday; the Daily Breeze has photos if you can get past their paywall.

Meanwhile, Richard Masoner, aka Cyclelicious, offers a fun thread of photos from the monthly San Jose Bike Party.

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1428944793590140928

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New York’s leading alternative transportation advocacy group is looking for help, for anyone who lives out that way. Or wants to.

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This is what happens when people are considered more important than cars.

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GCN goes bike riding with a two-year old.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. A Las Vegas TV station reports that 19 people are being held at a local detention center for bicycle violations, including a lack of lights, in the wake of a man who was killed by Las Vegas cops after trying to flee when they tried to stop him for not having a light. Since when do police make an arrest for a simple traffic violation? Would they actually arrest a motorist who forgot to put his or her lights on?

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a ghost bike for a 12-year old suburban Denver boy and smashed the memorial where he died.

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

A 62-year old woman complains that the NYPD refused to investigate when a hit-and-run bike rider left her with a fractured spine, knocking her down while she was crossing the street and shouting that she took too long.

A 19-year old man has turned himself in for a horrific attack on a Philadelphia delivery driver; the recently married victim remains on a ventilator in the ICU nearly a week after he was surrounded and beaten by up to eight bike-riding teens.

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Local

A bike rider had to air lifted to safety after suffering non-life threatening injuries in a fall on Sullivan Fire Road near Pacific Palisades Saturday morning

The new mayor of West Hollywood points out the need for safer infrastructure, saying dockless bikeshare and e-scooters will only succeed when the city has protected bike lanes from one end to the other.

 

State

Caltrans gave Riverside County $5 million in grants for transportation projects; however, only $150,000 of that amount was dedicated to bike and pedestrian safety, for a project in Eastvale.

No bias here. Santa Cruz police and sheriff’s deputies both cited the 54-year old organizer of Saturday’s Santa Cruz Rideout for failing to get a permit for the event they said “jeopardized the safety of all riders and (the) motoring public.” Which would be like requiring a permit for Critical Mass.

Petaluma police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider, even though he appears to have been the victim in a pair of collisions while riding his motorized bike through a gas station.

Santa Rosa police busted a pair of bike thieves who tried to make off with a bait bike, which was valued at over $1,000 to ensure the thieves would be subject to felony charges. Los Angeles police still can’t use bail bikes, after the city attorney’s office bizarrely concluded it could constitute entrapment.

 

National

Somehow we missed this one from a few weeks ago, as MarketWatch makes the environmental and financial case for getting out of cars and onto buses and trains, arguing that improving public transportation is good for the economy and the planet.

A bike blogger looks back on the pre-1930’s history of Schwinn.

A Portland woman beat a bike rider with a plastic tube, and he was bitten by her dog, for the crime of taking too long in a public restroom; she was cited for assault and released at the scene.

This is who we share the road with. An Iowa bigot woman can look forward to spending the next 25 years in federal prison for intentionally running down two young kids because she thought they looked Mexican or Middle Eastern. She was already sentenced to 17 and a half years in state prison, which will be served concurrently. I can’t find who sent this one to me, so please accept my apologies and thanks, whoever you are.

An 18-year old Ohio man will play college football this year, nine years after he was nearly killed when he fell off his bike, and was impaled through the groin by his handlebars.

A seven-year old Buffalo NY boy born without a hand was able to ride a bike for the first time after kindhearted students at a local high school fabricated a prosthetic arm for him.

The return of New York’s popular Five Boro Bike Tour will have to wait another year, after it was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Henri this past weekend.

In yet another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the roads, a 63-year old woman from Florida’s The Villages, the nation’s largest senior’s community, had her license suspended for ten years for driving with a BAC nearly three times the legal limit, but won’t spend a day behind bars despite two previous DUI arrests. But as long as she gets to keep her car, there’s nothing to stop her from driving anyway. Thanks to Victor Bale for this one. 

 

International

A London website says just 90 seconds of video illustrates the risks for bike riders at one of the city’s most dangerous intersections.

London bike advocates are fighting to get a bike lane reinstalled on dangerous Kensington High Street, which was ripped out by local leaders after just seven weeks because it inconvenienced drivers.

An Englishman was attacked by a pair of teens, who laughed as they punched him off his bike, kicked him in the head and rode away with it.

Road safety continues to be the biggest barrier keeping women from riding a bike in the UK, with 42% saying they don’t feel confident on the road, and 45% saying well-lighted bike lanes would encourage them to try riding.

After nearly 5,000 bicycles were stolen in Dublin, Ireland in just 16 months, a local website says new bike lockers, proper lighting and security cams are desperately needed at bicycle parking spots.

Here’s something to look forward to. Owen Wilson will play a bike-riding reporter in the fictional French city of Ennui-sur-Blasé (get it?), in director Wes Andersons new film, The French Dispatch.

Recognizing that women too often weren’t allowed to ride a bicycle in some conservative Middle Eastern countries, a German group is giving refugee women their freedom by teaching to do exactly that.

Afghanistan’s internationally celebrated women bicyclists now fear for their lives in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of the country. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Visually impaired Paralympic cyclist Steve Bate plans to set a new record for crossing Africa by bicycle next year.

Your next bike could be a weird Chinese-made solar powered ped-assist tricycle, complete with two seats and a roof.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with the stars of Sunday’s 9th stage of the Vuelta, as Primož Roglič proves my prediction wrong by giving the red leader’s jersey; Monday will be a well-deserved rest day.

Forty-one-year old Spanish great Alejandro Valverde’s cycling career may be over after he broke his clavicle riding off the roadway in Friday’s stage seven of the Vuelta, 12 years after he won the race.

Britain’s Ethan Hayter took a wire-to-wire victory in the four-stage Tour of Norway, for his first victory in a stage race. Bonus points if you even knew there was a Tour of Norway.

L39ion of Los Angeles continued its domination of the US men’s crit series with a pair of victories in Georgia.

 

Finally…

Nothing like having to ensure the public that bikeshare bikes were thoroughly cleaned after they were used for the local naked bike ride. To be honest, regular bikes hardly ever break out in flames.

And Road.cc calls this ode to anti-bike NIMBYs “the must-hear No.1 hit of the summer.”

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

Morning Links: Leading climate change denier attacks bikes, and problems bicyclists face on the road & with police

He’s back.

The anti-bike writer in the Financial Post who called for banning bicycles last week, saying cities made a huge mistake in promoting bicycling, is back with a second screed even less informed than the first.

Fake news, indeed.

Lawrence Solomon, executive director of the Urban Renaissance Institute, is back to misstate and misinterpret bicycling crash statistics to suggest that bikes have made the streets more dangerous, going so far as to cite unnamed studies “not funded by bike-path proponents” that show bike infrastructure actually increases crashes.

Which is the exact opposite of every study I’ve ever seen, few, if any, of which have been funded by “bike path proponents.”

It’s the worst kind of drivel, taking unrelated data points to support his arguments, such as suggesting that the recent increase in overall traffic fatalities is somehow due to the increase in bicycling, and that bike riders are almost always the ones at fault in any crash.

The problem is, his baseless arguments have given cover to other writers to attack bikes and bike lanes, like a Staten Island columnist who asks if we’re watching the beginning of an anti-cycling bikelash, or the writer for an alt-right website who does little more than repost Solomon’s arguments.

However, few of those echoing his arguments have bothered to consider who it is who’s doing the writing — a leading climate change denier and anti-vaxxer funded by the oil and gas industry, posing as “one of Canada’s leading environmentalists.” Solomon has gone so far as to call the groundbreaking Kyoto Protocol “the single biggest threat to the global environment.”

Which would suggest that everything he says should be taken with a grain of salt.

If not an entire bag.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the alt-right link.

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A writer for Outside captures succinctly the problems bike riders face on the roads.

Let that sink in: I was in a bike lane, wearing a bright orange helmet, sans earphones, when a car traveling over the speed limit and completely off the road struck me from behind—and the police tried to ticket me and let the driver go free. I realized that day that altercations between cars and bikes aren’t so much about the risk factors, like distracted driving, bike lanes, or mountain versus road. They’re about a car culture that devalues bikes.

Over the years, passing motorists have thrown and struck me with eggs, fountain drinks, and, once, a half-empty can of beer. I’ve been shouted at, flipped off, menaced, driven into the shoulder, and even chased on foot. My own father-in-law grouses regularly about cyclists on the road and likes to joke about “door-popping” them. If cyclists can’t even rely on our families or the police, it’s clear that we are on our own.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read.

If you’ve been hit by a driver, you may recognize yourself in the story. I certainly do; when I was run down by a road raging driver, the police officers who responded believed her story. And ended up threatening to arrest me for filing a false police report, leaving me to limp home with a broken arm and damaged bike.

If not, it’s fair warning that you may be blamed in a crash even if you didn’t do anything wrong.

It’s not right. But it’s the battle we have to fight far too often.

Note: I originally left out the link to this piece; thanks to Mike Wilkinson and J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

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BOLO Alert: A bike rider was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in La Tuna Canyon on Saturday; the victim was still unconscious after 20 hours in the ICU. The vehicle was described as a newer black Mazda SUV. Thanks to Mike Kim for the tip.

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A reminder that if you haven’t signed it already, you can support one of LA’s most underserved communities by signing a petition calling for bike lanes in DTLA’s Skid Row.

We the undersigned residents of the City of Los Angeles, sign this petition calling on Council member Jose Huizar of the 14th District and the Department of Transportation to begin the process of creating Skid Row specific bike lanes on 5th street heading west and 6th street heading east. Skid Row has one of the largest bicycle riding populations in Los Angeles and because of this, we feel that we need bike lanes on these streets to improve public safety.

Thanks to Bobby Peppey for the heads-up.

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‘Tis the season.

Over 400 Cathedral City students got new bikes for getting good grades.

One hundred ninety Clovis kids got new bikes and helmets thanks to a local nonprofit group.

Hundreds of Sonoma County fire victims got new bikes on Sunday.

Five hundred kids in Tucson got new bicycles thanks to a local community activist.

Eighty Aurora IL volunteers built 350 bicycles to donate to kids.

Roughly 100 San Antonio kids took home new bikes as part of an earn-a-bike program.

One hundred bikes were donated to children of law enforcement officers in College Station TX.

Around 35 Santas rode their bikes to raise $5,000 for a Green Bay, Wisconsin children’s hospital.

Around 90 people took part in a 1.2 mile bike ride through an underground cavern in Louisville KY, decorated with more than 2 million lights and past 850 holiday displays.

An Ulster NY bicycle club donated 30 bicycles and helmets to the local county children’s services.

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It’s Day 18 of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

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Local

By all reports, Los Angeles enjoyed another successful CicLAvia yesterday; next year could see one in running through San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont.

Metro Bike Share wants your feedback, whether or not you’ve ever used bikeshare.

David Wolfberg points out that even the LA Auto Show doesn’t recommend driving there.

 

State

Smoking dope will soon be banned in motor vehicles in California. But bikes aren’t considered motor vehicles under California law, so puff away. As long as you don’t do it in public or ride under the influence.

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting looks at efforts to clear homeless camps off the Santa Ana River Trail, even though the people living in them have nowhere else to go.

UC Santa Barbara students are having to bike through smoke and ash from the Thomas Fire to get ready for finals.

Life is cheap in San Luis Obispo, where a 60-year old driver gets 90 days behind bars for illegally crossing a double yellow line to pass another vehicle, and killing a bike rider in a head-on crash; he’s expected to actually serve just half of that. The driver is reportedly grief-stricken. Although likely not as much as the relatives of the victim.

A San Luis Obispo man responds to recent anti-bike columns by asking city officials to make it safer for people on bicycles, and for local residents to spare a few moments for the safety of cyclists.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bicyclist was killed by a suspect drunk hit-and-run driver.

A tragic find, as a bike rider discovered a young woman’s body in the water along a Sunnyvale bike trail.

Life is even cheaper in Napa, where a 77-year old woman got three years probation and had her license permanently revoked for the hit-and-run death of a popular cyclist.

A Boston website says Marin County’s West Ridgecrest road up Mt. Tamalpais may be one of the best bike rides in the US.

An Oak Park man in riding his bicycle around Sacramento, collecting garbage and scraps to turn into compost. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

National

The Wall Street Journal says gadget obsessed cyclists need a data detox, while a writer for Slate complains that he doesn’t even know how turn off the tech and ride his bike for fun anymore. Seriously, turn everything off, and for the rest of this month, just ride for the fun of it. You might even remember why you love bicycling again.

NPR looks at automakers attempts to woo members of Gen Z, who have shown little interest in owning cars so far.

California Congressman Tom McClintock discusses his bill to allow bicycles back in wilderness areas.

A Denver weekly looks at how the murder of mountain biking legend Mike Rust was finally solved, seven years after he disappeared; his killer was found guilty of 1st degree murder last week, along with a host of other charges.

A Colorado newspaper applauds plans to make the town more walkable and bikeable, but worries about the loss of 162 downtown parking places. Because everyone knows people never walk or bike to go shopping. Right?

A group from my hometown is asking the public for another 75 bicycles so they can donate 400 bikes to kids for the holidays. And they can drop off those bikes at the shop where I bought my first bike, back when dinosaurs still walked the earth.

A Chicago letter writer suggests everyone walking on the river walk should wear a bike helmet, since city hall somehow ignored his letter demanding that bikes to be banned from the path.

Still no explanation for what drove a bike-riding doctor to attack his neighbor, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

The surgeon who treated Bono after his Central Park bicycling crash was found dead in his New York apartment with a knife plunged into his chest, the victim of an apparent suicide.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 79-year old Georgia man is riding from Northern California to Atlanta.

Seriously? A Tallahassee FL writer welcomes dockless bikeshare to town, but worries where people will park their cars to use them.

 

International

A Canadian cycling magazine calls on the country to adopt a National Cycling Strategy. Something you’re not likely to ever see in the US.

The war on bikes continues, as someone vandalized a bike belonging to the mayor of Victoria, British Columbia for the second time; she doesn’t want to believe it has anything to do with her support for bike lanes.

Roughly 180,000 Quebec residents ride their bikes all through the winter, despite the cold and snow. Tell that to the next person who tells you Angelenos won’t ride their bikes to work year-round.

This is what happens when you install a temporary bike lane around a Toronto construction site, but don’t do anything to accommodate people on foot.

Ed Sheeran gets back on a bike in London for the first time since he broke both arms in a crash, even if it did have training wheels.

Shades of Children of the Corn. A British town is installing bollards designed to look like little children, and stare back at drivers to get their attention. Thanks again to David Wolfberg.

A Bulgarian expat has formed a volunteer crew to rescue damaged and abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes in Singapore; he may have his work cut out for him.

A Pakistani woman became the first woman to ride a bike up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

An Indian man is riding across the country to encourage people to ride to work.

 

Competitive Cycling

A freshly bearded cycling great Bradley Wiggins craps out in his attempt to make the British rowing team, after mistakenly lowering his oars in a “schoolboy error.”

The very busy Peter Flax has written a great profile of lifelong bike racer Bill Elliston, saying that Elliston, while never quite fast enough to make the pros, “represents much that is pure and good in the sport of bike racing.”

 

Finally…

Kylo Ren is one of us. We may have to worry about distracted drivers, but at least we don’t have dodge zebras.

And Australia chose their bird of the year even though it attacks bicyclists.

Or maybe because of it.

 

What You Need to Know about Police Reports

Bikes Have Rights™
By James L. Pocrass, Esq.
Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

 

A close up view of a traffic collision report form.

I settled a Malibu bike collision case in which the driver of a motor vehicle made a left turn into the cyclist. The accident happened at dusk; it was not dark out yet. The police report states that the cyclist was cited for “unsafe speed conditions” because the cyclist was wearing all black.

When I was taking the sheriff’s deposition, I asked him why he cited the cyclist for wearing all black. He told me he asked another officer at the station who told him that because the cyclist was wearing all black, he was going too fast for the conditions.

The cyclist was going 15 – 20 mph! This conclusion is absolutely wrong. What the cyclist was wearing had nothing to with “unsafe speed conditions” (VC 22350).

More recently I represented a woman who suffered serious personal injuries in a pedestrian collision. My client was crossing in the crosswalk, with the light, when she was struck by a motor vehicle. When I took the deposition of the police officer I asked him why he didn’t take a witness statement from the friend who was walking next to her at the time of the collision. His answer was that as a friend of the victim he figured the witness would be biased and would just back up whatever the victim said. Regardless, it was the officer’s responsibility to take statements from all witnesses.

I have represented hundreds of cyclists. The one constant in all of these cases is the police report. I’d estimate that 60 percent of the time, the police reports I see blame the cyclist for the collision.

So is it worth getting a police report? Simply, yes.

Though police officers are often biased against cyclists, they usually get the facts of a bike collision correct. Such details as: the time, place, weather, what direction each participant was going and where they were located when the accident happened, contact information for witnesses, confirmation of insurance, and any physical evidence at the scene, is usually recorded correctly.

It is the police officer’s conclusion that is typically wrong. Though I would much rather police officers would lose their cyclist bias, filing a police report is still beneficial to your legal case and to your insurance claim because it sets out in writing the basic facts.

If the police refuse to come to the scene or they come to the scene but refuse to take a police report, I suggest you go to the nearest police station and file a report yourself.

Police reports with tainted conclusions or incorrect facts also need to be addressed. You can go to the police station and file a Supplemental Statement. This allows you to correct the facts and is attached to the original report. Though the police won’t change their police report, at least your version or the correct facts will be in the report.

The filing of a biased or incorrect police report will make the handling of your case or insurance claim more difficult, but the police report and the opinions and conclusions of the police officer are not admissible in court since in most instances the officer did not see the accident themselves. This makes most police reports hearsay and not admitted into evidence.

Where police reports have an effect is on the insurance company. When the insurance company reads the police report and accepts the officer’s conclusions, it may refuse to settle your case or offer you much less compensation than which you are entitled.

The result is that we have to file a lawsuit, gather evidence, and take the police officer’s deposition to prove the officer was wrong. Frequently it is during or after the deposition stage that the insurance company will offer to settle the case to avoid going to court.

Now a days a number of cities – including the City of Los Angeles – will not send an officer to the scene of the collision if there are no injuries (and you should NEVER comment on injuries or guilt to ANYONE, including a police officer).

If you are in a collision and the police refuse to come to the scene, but you want a police report taken, you will need to go to the nearest police department to file a report as I mention above. Getting the facts on the record is always helpful.

Remember, filing a police report does not mean you have to file a legal case. It can assist you in collecting compensation for damages you incurred in the bike collision and, should you decide to take legal action later, a police report will be of value to your bike collision lawyer as he is pursuing your case.

 

*California Vehicle Code 21200: A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle. . .

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

For more than 25 years, Jim Pocrass has represented people who were seriously injured, or families who lost a loved one in a wrongful death, due to the carelessness or negligence of another. Jim is repeatedly named to Best Lawyers in America and to Southern California Super Lawyers lists for the outstanding results he consistently achieves for his clients. Having represented hundreds of cyclists during his career, and Jim’s own interest in cycling, have resulted in him becoming a bicycle advocate. He is a board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Jim Pocrass at 310.550.9050 or at info@pocrass.com.

 

Morning Links: Blatant anti-bike bias from a director of the LAPD police union; LAX cyclist gets jet washed

We’re still at 19 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive following the weekend.

So we need four more people to sign up today or renew your membership to just to make it 23 new members by the 23rd, let alone meet our seemingly out-of-reach goal of 100 by the end of this month.

You only have to read the item below to realize how desperately the LACBC, and your fellow bike riders, need your support

………

If you ever wonder if cops are biased against bike riders, consider this from the director of the union representing LAPD officers.

Finally, if you ride a bike, you’re supposed to share the road, not own it. The bicycle lobby is small but loud. They have purposefully impeded our ability to enforce safe speed laws by blocking the City’s ability to update its engineering and traffic surveys. Without current and valid engineering and traffic surveys, speed-measuring devices cannot be utilized. Speed is the No. 1 cause of traffic collisions.

The bicycle lobby is doing this to force the City to add more bike lanes and to convert traffic lanes into shared bike/car lanes. Putting aside the absolute traffic nightmare this would cause, their actions are making it more dangerous for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Our elected officials have allowed this special interest group to prevent the enforcement of safe speeds in our neighborhoods. Common sense must prevail here.

That comes from Officer Mark Cronin, a director of the LA Police Protective League, in a post on the union’s website.

Most of what he says elsewhere in the piece actually makes sense, as he explains that improving safety on our streets calls for greater stability in the leadership of the department’s traffic divisions, allowing traffic enforcement officers to crack down on unsafe drivers, and increasing the number of trained collision investigators in the department.

It’s just the part about bicycling that doesn’t make any sense.

Like his comments about bicyclists blocking the city’s ability to update its engineering and traffic surveys.

As near as I can figure out, he appears to be referring to the speed surveys of city streets required every seven years under the state’s 85 percentile rule, which mandates that speed limits be adjusted to the rate travelled by the average of 85% of traffic on a given street.

In other words, if 85% of drivers drive 50 mph in a 30 mph zone, the speed limit has to be adjusted to the higher level (although a recent change in the law allows cities to round down by 5 mph).

In effect, that puts speeding drivers in charge of setting speed limits. Which is like putting burglars and safe crackers in charge of bank security.

Failing to do that means the police lose the right to use speed guns to enforce the law on that particular street, giving lead-footed motorists a free hand to travel virtually unimpeded at any speed they like, pushing average speeds up even higher and repeating the cycle.

So the boogeyman bicycle lobby has nothing to gain by stopping enforcement; the higher speeds go, the greater the risk to everyone on the roadway. Especially cyclists.

And to the best of my knowledge, we don’t have the ability to stop those surveys even if we wanted to, since they are required by state law.

On the other hand, I have, along with other bike riders, argued against raising speed limits on some streets as a result of those speed surveys. Just as countless pedestrians, homeowners, business owners, traffic safety advocates and neighborhood councils have.

And usually failed.

Yet no one seems to criticize the pedestrian, homeowner, business or safety lobbies.

Why he would single out the people on two wheels is confounding. Especially when we are natural allies in repealing the 85% rule, which is a dangerous and deadly relic of California’s recent auto-centric past.

In fact, it was a group of bicycle advocates who fought with then state legislator Paul Krekorian, now an LA city councilmember, in a failed attempt to repeal the law a few years ago in order to return speed limits to sensible levels and allow the police to effectively enforce them everywhere.

Yet somehow, in Cronin’s mind, we are doing this dastardly deed in order to force the city to put in bike lanes and convert traffic lanes into shared bike/car lanes.

Never mind that almost no one likes sharrows. And that under state law, bicyclists already have the right to use the full lane on any right-hand traffic lane that is too narrow to be safely shared by a car and bicycle traveling side-by-side — which is the case on almost all of the streets in Los Angeles, according to the LAPD.

Which he would know if he completed the LAPD’s bike training module, which every street-level officer was required to do in 2011.

As for those bike lanes, they aren’t being added due to “fringe politics.”

They are included in the city’s Mobility Plan precisely for the reasons he advocates for in the rest of this piece: to improve traffic safety and save lives.

Bike lanes are a traffic calming measure that has been repeatedly shown to slow speeding traffic and improve safety for all road users, not just bike riders. And in many cases, actually improves traffic flow, rather than causing the nightmare scenario he fears.

And they are absolutely necessary if the city is to ever reduce, let alone eliminate, traffic fatalities under Vision Zero.

I tried to explain that to him when he responded to a tweet from someone else Friday night, attempting to point out that we wanted to same thing and should work together to repeal the 85th percentile rule.

What I got was a series of terse, if not surly, one-word responses, before he tweeted I was “mistaken & above all else misinformed.”

About what, he refused to explain.

And by morning, he had deleted his side of the entire conversation.

It’s frustrating to see these kinds of attitudes still in existence within the department after more than six years of working with the LAPD’s bike liaison program to correct this kind of anti-bike bias among officers. Let alone when it comes from a union leader with sway over the rank-and-file, counteracting the ongoing efforts of the department’s leadership to improve relations with the bicycling community.

Officer Cronin is wrong about us, and about the objectives of people who ride bicycles in the City of Angeles.

We don’t think we own the road. And we don’t want to. We just want to get where we’re going in one piece.

And we need the help of the police — the officers he represents — to make that happen.

Note: For some reason, Officer Cronin included his contact information on his piece, most likely because he assumed no one outside the department would ever see it.

Feel free to express your anger here, but please don’t call him, or email to insult or threaten him. Let representatives of the so-called bike lobby at the LACBC , and his superiors at the LAPD, handle it.

Taking him on yourself will only harden his attitudes and make it worse for all of us.

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As if LA’s drivers weren’t enough, now we have to worry about jet wash.

In a scene out of Top Gun, a bike rider heading home on last week’s Bike to Work Day was riding in the bike lanes on Aviation Blvd behind the runways at LAX, when he was knocked off his bicycle from the turbulence caused by an American Airlines jet taking off.

Fortunately, unlike Goose, there was no canopy to strike his head against upon ejecting, though he did get a good scare on his surgically repaired hip.

Maybe the airport should post some sort of warning for cyclists about the risk of riding there.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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Important advice in a must-read from Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, who says if you’re ever threatened by a driver — or worse — report it. Period.

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After an overnight scare, LA’s best known bakfiets was back with owner Josef Bray-Ali of the Flying Pigeon bike shop following an overnight theft on Saturday; someone in the neighborhood found and returned it to the newly minted city council candidate the following day.

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Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff outsprinted Peter Sagan for victory in Saturday’s Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California. Twenty-three-year old Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe held on Sunday to become the youngest winner of the AToC by a slim 23-second margin; his victory was forged on the slopes of Gibraltar.

Dutch great Marianne Vos sprinted to victory in the third stage of the women’s Tour of California by half a bike length, while US road champ Megan Guarnier took the overall title the next day.

Emigrants from Eritrea turned out to cheer a rider from their home country when the tour visited Santa Rosa. And the race gave a marketing boost to Lake Tahoe, as it created an estimate 4.25 billion — that’s with a b — impressions worldwide in over 200 countries.

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Local

An estimated 2,500 cyclists are expected to take part in next month’s annual AIDS/LifeCycle ride from San Francisco to LA, which is on track to raise over $16 million to benefit HIV/AIDS services.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at last week’s Ride of Silence in Pasadena and North Hollywood. Thanks to BikeSGV for the link.

LA County sheriff’s deputies are searching for a man on a bike who shot an officer in West Covina Friday night; fortunately, he’s recovering from his wounds and expected to survive.

The monthly Pedal Love podcast interviews Hollywood Reporter Features Editor and former Bicycling Magazine Editor in Chief — and author of an always entertaining Twitter account — Peter Flax.

 

State

A car meet was held in Downtown Ventura to remember the 14-year old boy killed in a double hit-and-run earlier this year; one driver has been identified but not charged, while the second is still missing.

A San Francisco bicyclist was the victim of a strong arm robbery, as four men knocked him off his bike as he rode on a recreation trail, kicked and punched him, then took his “property.” Whatever that means.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever would steal a custom tricycle from a 13-year old Sacramento boy with special needs.

A Yolo County driver will face trial on 19 charges — including assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run with injury, DUI and vehicle theft — for a five-day crime spree that culminated in deliberately running down three bike riders before fleeing the scene.

 

National

Felt has developed a revolutionary bike for the US women’s pursuit team at the Rio Olympics, with the pedals and chain on the left, instead of the right, to compensate for the banking of the track.

Business Insider says this seven-foot long, neon green cargo ebike could be your new car.

A cross-Oklahoma bike ride will pay homage to five Native American tribes by riding through the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations.

New York’s new bikeshare bicycles may be sleeker and faster, but the frames may be bending, cracking and warping.

Illegal parking evidently takes precedence over bike lanes and traffic safety on a New Orleans street.

 

International

How to cheat death mountain biking down Bolivia’s Death Road.

London’s Telegraph lists nine Italian climbs every cyclist must ride in their lifetime. None of which you, or anyone else, actually need to ride, as much as you might like to.

Taking bike theft to the extreme, a British thief pushed a mountain biker down a 20 foot drop to make off with his custom ride.

A Dublin bike advocacy group argues that lowing speed limits to just over 18 mph will save lives; naturally, the Irish equivalent of AAA begs to differ. Meanwhile, the city sees a record 11,000 daily bike commuters.

A blind bicyclist celebrated his 80th birthday while raising the equivalent of over $17,000 by riding 160 miles to Paris.

A Monaco exhibition is all about the fine art of bicycles.

Police in Australia’s New South Wales are doing their best to discourage bicycling by dramatically ramping up tickets following the state’s draconian jump in bicycling fines; penalties for riding without an approved skid lid totaled $350,262 for March and April, compared to just $50,000 last year.

 

Finally…

If a cyclist is wearing a helmet, is he really naked? If you’re going to steal a bike, make sure you lock it up afterwards.

And who says bike racing is just for humans?

 

Weekend Links: Free Breeze bikeshare pass, unfair bike traffic ticket, and anti-bike lane — and anti-bike — madness

As we’ve discussed before, Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare system officially kicks off with a grand opening ceremony this Thursday.

What we haven’t mentioned is that it’s free that day; just register online for a free one-day trial membership.

Breeze Email-ad-Final

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Saw this post on Facebook from endurance cyclist, vegan nutritionist and organizer of Sunday’s Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer, Matt Ruscigno,

So I’m splitting lanes in heavy traffic on Melrose Blvd and I time a red light so I enter the intersection as soon as it turns green while maintaining my speed.

[police sirens]

LAPD: I’m pulling you over because you ran that red light.

Me: No I didn’t, I timed it perfectly.

LAPD: YOU RAN IT RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.

Me: I may have rolled into the crosswalk but I had it timed. I watched. 
[takes ID, writes me a ticket]

LAPD: And you have to ride as far to the right as possible.

Me: I was passing, I’m allowed to do that.

LAPD: YOU MUST RIDE AS FAR TO THE RIGHT AS POSSIBLE.

Me: I was going around the cars in the right lane, safely.

LAPD: Don’t talk to me about safety- you shouldn’t have been doing that.

Me: Oh so I’m getting a ticket because you didn’t like I was splitting lanes and timed the light?

LAPD: I’M NOT ARGUING WITH YOU. YOU DON’T KNOW THE LAW.

Me: Actually, I do. And I was riding safely.

LAPD: You’re lucky I’m not giving you two tickets!

Me: I can pass right?

LAPD: Yes.

Me: [Ride away, splitting lanes, with a $400 ticket in my pocket]

Sad that some cops still don’t get it.

………

Today’s common theme is attacks on bike lanes and the people who ride them.

More anti-bike insanity from Coronado, as a writer says bike advocates need to learn from animal advocates. Except she thinks bicyclists a sense of entitlement rather than a legal right to the road, she doesn’t get that police don’t always get bike law right (see above), and she doesn’t have a clue how traffic safety works.

A British Columbia writer says bike lanes are a waste of money and bikes belong on the sidewalk. Oh, and bicyclists don’t pay for roads, taxes or insurance, either.

Apparently desperate for click bait, a UK paper offers one story saying cyclists are a menace and should be banned from the roads, and another saying motorists should ask for more bikes on the road instead of complaining about them. Meanwhile, a writer for Cycling Weekly deconstructs the former, calling it the most ridiculous anti-cycling column yet. Thanks to Mike Kim for the link.

The vitriol isn’t limited to road bikes, either. In a piece that reads like it belongs in The Onion, a Berkeley Ph.D. suggests we’re corrupting the youth of America through high school off-road racing, saying introducing children to mountain biking is criminal. Speaking of criminal, his hatred of mountain biking goes back to at least 1997; he was arrested in 2010, tried and convicted of assaulting a pair of riders with a hacksaw and slicing one on the chest. And his previous posts to a mountain bike forum were replaced with a Seussian Ode to a Usenet Kook (scroll to the bottom for the final entry). Thanks to Mark Ganzer and Patrick Traughber for the heads-up.

………

Local

The Amgen Tour of California will make a stop in South Pasadena on its way north.

CiclaValley discusses not riding Oat Mountain, the highest peak in the Santa Susana Mountains north of the San Fernando Valley, but his teammate Cameron Bond did.

Build traffic skills with a family friendly ride to Trader Joes followed by a picnic in Silver Lake Meadow on Sunday.

Find out where recently elected CD4 City Councilmember David Ryu stands on transportation issues when he discusses the LA Mobility Plan with LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds at the Autry Museum this Monday. Be sure to ask him why one of his first acts on the council was an attempt to exempt some streets in his district, including the long-promised 4th Street bike boulevard, from the plan.

This Thursday, Metro Chief Planning Officer Martha Welborne will discuss Metro’s regional planning vision at the the Transit Coalition Dinner Meeting, by registration only.

Santa Monica will host a free, full-day family bike festival on Sunday the 17th.

 

State

Seriously? Monterey’s annual Sea Otter classic will now offer e-bike races.

SFist says there’s a plague of bike thefts at San Francisco State University and college officials don’t seem to care.

Here’s a dream job for any bike advocate who doesn’t mind moving to the Bay Area. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is looking for a full-time Campaigns Director to “manage and direct the 44-year-old organization’s organizing, policy and political campaigns.” Then again, you probably can’t afford to live there, and you might have to become a Giants fan, which could be a deal breaker.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A suspected drunk driver is arrested after a high-speed chase in Santa Rosa, despite having already lost his license after five previous DUI convictions and 12 license suspensions. Taking away the license doesn’t keep some of the most dangerous drivers off the roads; we’ve got to find another way to keep them from driving.

Despite appearances, that Redding cyclist who suffered major injuries when he was hit by an 88-year old driver wasn’t a transient; he was collecting recyclables to donate to his church. And friends say he wasn’t one to just turn in front of a car.

 

National

A new online bike marketplace promises that you won’t encourage bike theft by buying a stolen bike.

A new website maps out every one of the 373,377 traffic fatalities in the US from 2004 to 2013

Toyota is investing $1 billion in artificial intelligence in the US. Which is probably a good thing, since there seems to be so little of the real thing on our streets.

Seattle residents vote to tax themselves to build a 50-mile protected bike lane network, along with a 60-mile network of neighborhood greenways.

Disappointing, but not surprising, as popular Colorado-based pro cyclist Tom Danielson’s B sample comes back positive for an anabolic steroid.

A Wyoming cyclist won’t face charges for killing a decorated former military dog; he claimed he shot the dog with the handgun he keeps strapped to his bike after it attacked him.

Once again, a car has been used as a weapon, as a Houston man accuses another man of intentionally running him down as he rode his bike following a dispute, then jumping him and attempting to drown him.

A Cleveland cyclist was shot in the chest after being asked for a cigarette at 3 am.

A New York cyclist captures photos of law breaking drivers, while admitting that he doesn’t always follow the law himself; meanwhile, a barely recognizable Katy Perry takes a spin around the city on her Trek.

Good read from the New Yorker, which blames the seemingly never-ending conflict between bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians on old-fashioned egocentricity.

 

International

Bloomberg looks at the next generation of bespoke bike builders.

A cyclist from Colorado has been found safe after being missing from a three day stage race across Costa Rica.

Canadian authorities are looking for a driver who drove over a cyclist’s leg, asked if he was okay, then just drove away.

A British road safety advocate calls for a left-handed equivalent to the Idaho stop law.

It’s three years in jail for the Brit mom of six who deliberately ran down an autistic bike rider following a dispute. With her kids in the car, no less.

A writer considers the lessons learned from a family bike tour in France, where he was accepted by more experienced riders with open handlebars. His term, not mine.

An Indian professor says bike riders are normalizing bicycling as a way of life, and recreational cycling in Mumbai should not be seen through the lens of class conflict.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Nothing like reading a newspaper while driving. Nothing brings peace between cyclists and pedestrians like miso fries.

And meet the Cuban equivalent of LA’s Stupidtall bike.

 

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