Tag Archive for protected bike lanes

CD12 Councilmember John Lee implicated in FBI probe; his ex-boss, former CM Mitch Englander, indicted

A quick note before we get started. Let’s all thank Jim Pocrass of the Pocrass & De Los Reyes law firm for renewing their title sponsorship of this site for the coming year. 

Without their help, it wouldn’t be possible to keep BikinginLA going on a full-time basis. 

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Is anyone really surprised that former CD12 Councilmember Mitch Englander may have been dirty?

According to the Los Angeles Times, Englander was busted by the FBI yesterday.

Not for being a very bad, bad boy, and allegedly taking bribes from a Los Angeles businessman, but lying to the feds about it.

When a Los Angeles businessman treated then-City Councilman Mitchell Englander to a night out in Las Vegas in 2017, he pulled out all the stops, according to a federal indictment unsealed Monday.

The perks allegedly included a hotel room with amenities reserved for high rollers, an envelope stuffed with $10,000 in cash, lavish meals and bottle service at a nightclub, and a female escort sent to his room at the end of a long night of partying.

But according to the indictment, Englander wasn’t alone in his nefarious activities.

Word quickly spread that the so-far un-indicted city staffer who accompanied Englander on his wild partying spree was current  CD12 Councilmember — and bike and transit foe — John Lee.

According to Bike the Vote LA,

We learned on Monday from reporting by the L.A. Times, NBC Los Angeles, and LAist that the FBI has focused on John Lee as a central figure in an alleged corruption scandal involving former CD12 Councilmember Mitch Englander, his former boss. You can download the full indictment of Mitch Englander here.

After being questioned by reporters, John Lee admitted that he was “City Staffer B,” the “high-ranking staff member” who is alleged to have joined Englander on an illicit trip to Las Vegas in which they received a $10,000 cash in an envelope, $1,000 in casino chips, $34,000 in nightclub bottle service, and “services” from two escorts.

Yes, Lee copped to the partying, if not the crimes.

But as Bike the Vote points out, the indictment doesn’t support his last claim.

John Lee claimed to be “the choice for law enforcement,” but apparently was an active participant in bribery and the coverup for his and his boss’ actions. Despite being aware he was under FBI investigation since 2017, John Lee chose to hide his actions from voters in hopes of bolstering his election campaign.

It’s important to remember that neither Lee, who’s currently leading in the vote to retain his seat, nor Englander have been charged with bribery or any other crime, other than Englander’s indictment for lying to the FBI.

But it’s also clear from the indictment that the FBI has both in their crosshairs. And Lee’s activities were shady, if not criminal.

Which is why a petition went live yesterday demanding that Lee resign effective immediately.

And yes, I signed it.

Bike the Vote LA is also calling on LA City Council President Nury Martinez to strip Lee of all his committee assignments until he doesn’t the right thing and resigns.

They have a sample email below; all you have to do is click the first line, and sign it.

Sample email (click HERE):
To: councilmember.martinez@lacity.org

Subject: Council President Martinez: Please remove John Lee’s Committee assignments

Email body: Honorable Council President Martinez,

The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Monday morning that it has indicted former Councilmember Mitch Englander with seven counts of making false statements and obstruction of justice related to a corruption investigation involving then Chief of Staff and current Councilmember, John Lee, identified in the indictment as “City Staffer B.” The indictment describes a number of alleged illegal acts that John Lee took part in. It is imperative that the public trust be maintained, and it is for that reason that I am calling on you to remove all of John Lee’s City Council Committee assignments.

Amid a series of corruption scandals involving businesses and developers seeking to influence City decision-making, Los Angeles City Council must send a clear message: that corruption will not be tolerated from its own members. Until either the FBI has exonerated him from wrongdoing in this probe or he resigns from office, I call on you to immediately remove Councilmember Lee from the following City Council Committees:

• Information, Technology, and General Services (Chair)
• Personnel and Animal Welfare (Vice Chair)
• Planning and Land Use Management
• Public Safety
• Ad Hoc Committee on Police Reform

Thank you,
[YOUR NAME HERE]
Los Angeles, CA

Meanwhile, there’s no shortage of speculation that Englander’s indictment is an attempt to get him to roll over on other officials.

And don’t forget the raid on CD 14 Councilmember José Huizar’s office in 2018, which led to his wife dropping out of the race to replace him.

So this may be just a single incident implicating two current and former councilmembers.

Or it could be the tip of a very deep, and possibly very corrupt, iceberg.

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No bias here.

A New York lawyer claims the city’s new protected bike lanes are a lawsuit waiting to happen. Because apparently, bike riders are always at fault in collisions with pedestrians, who never step out in front of people on bikes without looking.

Yes, bike riders sometimes break the law.

But so do other humans, regardless of how they travel. And studies have shown that protected bike lanes improve safety for everyone, not just the people on two wheels.

Which you’d think a decent liability lawyer would know.

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The next round of Metro BEST bicycle education classes will kick off at the end of this month.

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Local

A new study shows Los Angeles has the two worst corridors for motor vehicle traffic in the US, and three of the top ten. To which bike commuters said, “So?”

This is who we share the road with. A Hawthorne man has pled guilty to the 2017 road rage crash that killed a motorcycle rider.

 

State

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 92-year old man has raised over $400,000 riding his ‘bent through Death Valley to fight diabetes, and plans to take part in the Death Valley Ride to Cure Diabetes again this year.

A Cal Poly student says a century ride may be painful, but it’s worth it.

San Francisco remembers a woman who was killed in a dooring a year ago.

Sonoma considers plans for a road diet, with options for a protected or buffered bike lane. Note to Sonoma: If your protected bike lane still forces bicyclists to go around buses stopped in it, it’s not very protected.

Davis police want to know why a man was riding a bike through the UC Davis campus carrying a machete; they recovered the knife, but haven’t found the rider.

 

National

An Oregon public radio station warns listeners that better weather brings out the bike thieves.

Spokane WA is building its first bike and pedestrian friendly greenway, while a local bike advocate is calling for more.

A Massachusetts “urban cyclist” says if you don’t want kids swerving bikes and popping wheelies in traffic, just build them a bike park. Or stop chasing them out of empty parking lots.

More details are emerging in that fatal Maryland crash that took the life of a bike rider and injured two others — including one with life-threatening injuries. The seven riders in the group were reportedly well-lighted and riding in single file when the driver of an SUV crossed onto the wrong side of the road and hit them head-on.

The University of North Carolina has updated the Federal Highway Administration’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation University Course, based on the latest recommendations. Let’s hope it doesn’t just come down to wearing a helmet and hi-viz. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up. 

Bad news from Georgia, where the son of a US congressman is in intensive care after crashing during a race with the Georgia Tech cycling team.

 

International

An English driver is charged with the equivalent of drunk driving and driving with a suspended license for critically injuring a man bicycling the length of Britain, from John O’Groats to Lands End, to raise money to fight cancer; his riding partner finished the ride alone.

A UK bike rider learns the hard way to always lock a bicycle to something, and not just lock the wheel, after a thief simply walks up and carries it off.

It doesn’t happen often, but it happens. A Zambian bike rider was killed after drifting out of his lane and colliding with another bicyclist, who suffered just a deep cut over his eye.

A Kiwi street artist is back at work painting Lego heads on a retaining wall after taking a few months off to recover from a broken collarbone suffered in a bike crash.

A new study from New Zealand shows what we already knew — ride your bike to work and live longer.

An Aussie driver crossing a roadway hits someone on a bicycle, and the country debates who was at fault. Which is only a question if they’ve repealed right-of-way down there.

Thor is one of us, as actor Chris Hemsworth goes for a ride with his kids in Australia’s New South Wales.

After video showed a Singapore man’s $10,000 mountain bike being stolen, local social media helped him get it back in just four days.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forget those plans to attend the Olympic torch lighting ceremony on Thursday, which will now be held behind closed doors due to the coronavirus.

The Paris-Nice bike race is still ongoing, despite the worldwide coronavirus threat. And no, the riders don’t appear to be following health experts recommendations to stay at least three feet from other people.

The crit stages of next month’s Redlands Classic, as well as New Mexico’s Tour of the Gila, will be available on a free livestream, with highlights of other races available after the finish.

The four stage Colorado Classic women’s bike race announces its host cities for this year’s edition.

 

Finally

If you’re stealing a bicycle from an open garage, don’t drop your cellphone — and don’t call the cops to get it back. Look at the bright side of stress.

And now your cat can have its own tent on your next bikepacking trip.

 

Breaking news — California report says deadly 85th Percentile Law has to go, and new UK study say hi-viz doesn’t help

The report is in.

And it’s not good news for heavy-footed drivers.

A statewide Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force, created under Burbank State Assembly Woman Laura Friedman’s AB 2363, has examined the deadly 85th Percentile law, and determined it needs to go.

F-S1: Existing law does not provide enough flexibility in urban areas to set speed limits that are appropriate for these complex environments.

Current procedures for setting speeds limits in California rely mainly on the 85th percentile methodology, an approach developed decades ago for vehicles primarily on rural roads. Although California’s population, roads, and streets have changed significantly, reflecting different modes of transportation including bicycling and walking, the method for setting speed limits has not. While the way that speed limits are calculated has remained essentially static, vehicles and street uses have evolved over time. CalSTA’s vision is to transform the lives of all Californians through a safe, accessible, low-carbon, 21st-century multimodal transportation system. Yet the 85th percentile methodology relies on driver behavior. Greater flexibility in establishing speed limits would allow agencies an expanded toolbox to better combat rising traffic fatalities and injuries.

The report goes on to conclude that posted speed limits are effective in reducing traffic speeds without the time and expense required for infrastructure changes.

And that cities need more flexibility to adjust speeds without conducting traffic studies, to reflect current circumstances and save lives.

Especially when it comes to people not protected by a couple tons of glass and steel.

F-S5: There is consistent evidence that increased vehicle speed results in an increased probability of a fatality given a crash. Vulnerable road users are disproportionately impacted by the relationship between speed and crash survivability. State and local agencies would benefit from additional classes of locations eligible for prima facie speed limits which do not require an engineering and traffic survey.

Prima facie speed limits are those that are applicable on roadways when no posted speed limit is provided. They do not require an engineering and traffic survey to be enforceable. Current law defines two prima facie speed limits covering six classes of locations. The first speed limit is 25 mph and is applicable to business and residential areas, school zones and areas around senior facilities. The second speed limit is 15 mph and is applicable to railway crossings, uncontrolled intersections and alleyways. Some allowances are currently provided to reduce these speed limits further, for example, to 15 mph and 20 mph in school and senior zones. State and local agencies on the Task Force stated that additional classes of locations should be eligible for prima facie speed limits especially in areas that have high concentrations of vulnerable road users.

In addition, the report calls for legalization of automated traffic cameras to supplement, but not replace, the work of traffic cops in enforcing speed limits.

F-EF1: International and U.S. studies have shown that automated speed enforcement is an effective countermeasure to speeding that can have meaningful safety impacts.

Automated speed enforcement systems work by capturing data about a speed violation, including images and license plate information, which is then reviewed and processed at a later time to determine if a violation occurred. Currently, automated speed enforcement is used extensively internationally and in 142 communities in the U.S. Numerous studies and several federal entities, including the National Transportation Safety Board, have concluded that automated speed enforcement is an effective countermeasure to reduce speeding-related crashes, fatalities, and injuries.

F-EF2: Automated speed enforcement should supplement, not replace, traditional enforcement operations.

According to the Federal Highway Administration’s Speed Enforcement Camera Systems Operational Guidelines, automated speed enforcement is a supplement to, not a replacement for, traditional traffic law enforcement operations. Automated speed enforcement systems can effectively augment and support traditional enforcement operations in multiple ways. Automated speed enforcement systems serve as a “force multiplier” that allows limited law enforcement resources to focus on other public safety priorities. ASE can be operated in areas where in-person traffic stops would be impractical as well as on higher speed roadways where traffic calming devices may not be appropriate. While ASE does not provide an educational opportunity nor afford the exercise of judgment in issuing a citation that an officer would have from an in-person stop, it may also provide for more consistent and impartial enforcement. Examples of cities that have deployed automated speed enforcement programs without reducing law enforcement staffing levels include Seattle, Portland, and Washington, D.C.

In other words, the report takes 68 pages to sum up what bike and pedestrian advocates have been arguing for years.

The 85th Percentile method currently enshrined in state law allowing speeding drivers to set their own speed limits is outdated and dangerous.

And it’s got to go.

Now.

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In news that should surprise absolutely no one, researchers in the UK have concluded that wearing hi-viz clothing doesn’t seem to make a damn bit of difference.

Neither does wearing casual clothing, as opposed to a spandex kit, when it comes to how close drivers pass.

Contrary to the researchers’ expectations, there was no marked difference between ‘experienced rider’ kit, and a vest marked ‘Novice Cyclist’, nor between ordinary clothes and hi-viz kit.

Irrespective of any of the kit worn, 1-2 per cent of overtakes were within 50cm (Ed: roughly 20 inches), suggesting that nothing a rider wears makes any significant difference to the incidence of very close passes.

Unless that hi-viz happens to identify you as a police officer, that is. And even then, it’s only a gain of about two inches.

The researchers found that the only item of clothing that had a noticeable impact on passing distance was a high-vis vest that featured the word “POLICE” on the back. Those riders were also bearing a notice advising motorists that they were being filmed. These conditions increased the average passing distance by 5cm, to 122cm.

The researchers concluded that better infrastructure is a more effective means of improving rider safety than how you dress.

So go ahead and wear whatever feels right for you.

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The rich get richer, as the Dutch continue to show the rest of us how it’s done.

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The LACBC released a letter in support of keeping the protected bike lanes installed as part of the Reseda Great Streets project right where they are, for anyone attending tonight’s Streetsblog CD12 transportation forum.

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The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition, a very active neighborhood chapter of the LACBC, is meeting tonight.

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This is who we share the roads with.

After his son was killed in a traffic collision, an Oklahoma man got drunk and got behind the wheel of his pickup — then fled the scene after plowing into several members of a high school cross country team.

Two girls were killed. Four others were injured; at least one remains in critical condition.

There’s just no fucking excuse.

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

Davis police are looking for a man who fled the scene on a bicycle after coming up from behind and fondling a woman who was unloading her car.

Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana busted a bike-riding robber who chased a “mildly intoxicated” man before whacking him with a metal pipe and stealing $300 at knife point. Although the thief claims he was just trying to get back money the victim had stolen from him, but he doesn’t really remember because he was too stoned at the time.

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Local

Streets For All reports the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council will discuss a motion to support protected bike lanes on Sunset Blvd at tonight’s meeting.

Streetsblog takes a look at LA’s newly opened Red Car Bike & Pedestrian Bridge over the LA River in Atwater Village.

A group of San Fernando Valley residents have pitched in to clean up a section of the LA River bike path in Reseda.

 

State

A Davis columnist insists that city, not Portland, is the bicycling capital of the US. Even if it can’t muster a quorum for the city’s Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission. At least they have one; Los Angeles just has a toothless Bicycling Advisory Committee, whose members are usually ignored by the councilmembers who appoint them. Creating an actual commission would give them the authority they currently lack. 

San Francisco supervisors rejected a demand for an environmental impact statement for a bikeway pilot project from a pair of notorious anti-bike crusaders, who blame it for the actions of angry drivers who can’t keep their hands off their damn horns.

 

National

An engineer digs into the data, and discovers that the panic over e-scooters may be overblown, concluding they don’t appear to be any more dangerous than riding a bicycle. Which is good news and bad news, when you think about it.

Kindhearted Utah cops dug into their own pockets to buy a nine-year old boy a new bike after the one he got in a Christmas donation was stolen.

Denver residents ignored the cold weather to ride to work after the city plowed a protected bike lane following a heavy snow. Meanwhile, Los Angeles NIMBYs continue to insist no one will ever commute by bike in the mild SoCal winter, where temperatures sometimes dip all the way into the 60s.

This is why you always carry ID on your bike. Texas police are appealing to the public to identify a man who was killed in a collision while riding his bike. A wallet helps, but can get lost or stolen following a crash. Better to actually carry some form of ID on you, or wear something like a Road ID with your name, emergency contacts and any medical conditions.

Hats off to a kindhearted Omaha, Nebraska Eagle Scout, who is collecting and refurbishing adult bicycles to donate to homeless people.

Chicago decided to make room for humans on the double-decker Lake Shore Drive, and convert one of the lower level lanes to a walkway and protected bike lanes. That’s got to be the only city in the US where it’s okay for drivers to be on LSD.

Great idea. Knoxville, Tennessee opened a new accessible bike trail specifically designed for people with disabilities riding adaptive bicycles.

A proposed New Hampshire bill to require helmets for everyone from bike riders to motorcyclists received overwhelming opposition, with 259 people lining up to speak against it and only four in favor.

New York advocates are up in arms over a secret plan to close part of the popular Hudson River Greenway to make long-delayed repairs resulting from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. New York prosecutors inexplicably let a killer driver off the hook for backing over an elderly woman last year — even though he continues to rack up tickets for speeding and red light violations.

DC finally gets around to banning parking in bike lanes, fining drivers $150 for blocking the flow of bicycle traffic. It’s illegal to park in bike lanes in Los Angeles, too. Which doesn’t seem to stop anyone, especially in DTLA.

New Orleans cops get a firsthand view of the streets from a bicyclist’s perspective, as officers ride with a group of cycling instructors through a variety of problematic locations. That would solve a lot of problems if we could convince every police and sheriff’s department to try that.

 

International

A 51-year old nursery school teacher was one of the victims of Sunday’s terrorist knifing attack in South London as she rode her bike home after meeting friends, saying she’s lucky to be alive.

A pair of British doctors set a new record for riding around the world on a tandem bike, traveling over 18,000 miles in 218 days and 22 hours.

The British government will ban all gas and diesel powered vehicles by 2035, moving the deadline forward by five years. Meanwhile, the US has committed to banning gas powered vehicles by, um, never.

Parisians are staying on their bikes, despite the winter weather, even after a major transportation strike ended; January ridership was up 131% over the same month last year.

An Indian university tells faculty members that bicycling isn’t just for students.

Failed Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo switches gear and reinvents itself as a shopping platform — and decides to keep users deposits anyway. Scroll down past the obnoxious full screen ad to get to the story, when and if you can. 

A globe trotting Indian bike tourist says he’s not worried about coronavirus as he nears the end of his 16 year ride through 154 countries to promote HIV and AIDS awareness; his now in Beijing while riding through China, leaving 37 countries to go.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good news for non-Californians. San Diego’s popular Belgian Waffle Ride, a mixed-surface, ultra-distance race, is branching out to Asheville, North Carolina and Cedar City, Utah this year.

Pro cyclists offer advice on how to beat jet lag. Personally, I’ve never been able to ride fast or far enough for that to be a problem.

Twenty-two-year old world mountain bike champ Kate Courtney is getting a little extra coaching to prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics from her new riding partner, retired NBA player turned mountain bike aficionado Reggie Miller.

 

Finally…

Apparently, dropping your bong while fleeing police on your bike is a bad thing. If you’re carrying nearly three dozen pre-measured bags of meth on your bike, make sure it at least meets legal standards.

And presenting the perfect gift for bicyclists who drink their bourbon through a straw.

No, really.

 

Morning Links: Protected bike lanes save lives even where they aren’t, and New York kind-of goes after macho drivers

Just eight days left in the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

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Yet another benefit from protected bike lanes.

A new Toronto study shows that not only did protected bike lanes increase ridership 2.57 times on the streets they’re located on, they also reduced collisions between motorists and bike riders 38% on those streets.

But surprisingly, they reduced collisions between motorists and bike riders by 35% on nearby streets up to 1,800 feet away, as well.

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New York officials say macho men in SUVs and pickups are killing people on bikes and foot, so they’re introducing a new ad campaign to shame them.

Although most drivers probably won’t be.

Not to mention when I look at the ad, his expression and dress doesn’t exactly say “macho” to me.

Meanwhile, the SUV reference is so subtle, it’s barely there. And could be literally any other type of vehicle without changing anything.

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In what looks like a case of out-of-control cops, Seattle bike cops appear to ram pedestrians on a sidewalk from behind with their bikes, apparently without warning, then bust them for obstruction and resisting arrest.

Although remember, we’re not seeing what came before this, which may or may not be relevant.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

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‘Tis the Season.

A pair of players for the San Diego Padres teamed with the Bikes for Kids nonprofit group to give 141 bikes to 2nd and 3rd graders at a local elementary school.

Over 300 Pleasanton CA volunteers turned out to build 800 bikes for East Bay kids. And recycle the boxes they came in.

Power company PG&E worked with the Bay Area Bike Project and a Chico CA sports store to provide 40 bicycles for kids affected by last year’s devastating Camp Fire.

A South Dakota bike charity built 171 bicycles for kids in need.

Ninety-two Missouri kids now have new bikes courtesy of the Boys and Girls Clubs.

Over 100 bike-borne Santas, elves and reindeer invaded Mad City, Wisconsin over the weekend.

Three hundred kids in upstate New York will get new bicycles thanks to the employees of the county garbage collector.

A Pennsylvania urgent care center donated 110 balance bikes to local schools to help kindergarten kids learn to ride a bike.

The owner of the New Orleans Saints gave 50 new bikes to needy kids belonging to a Louisiana Native American tribe.

A Mississippi bike club is teaming with the local sheriff’s department to give 120 bicycles to area kids.

Kindhearted cops in Orlando FL gave away 100 bike and helmets to area students.

But by far the best story comes from Scotland, where a kindhearted young boy asked Santa to bring him a new bicycle, and give the one he’d outgrown to a homeless shelter.

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It’s not just the last full week of the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, it’s the last eight days of the late Corgi’s tenure as spokesdog.

Let me offer my sincere thanks to Beverly L and Harold and Karen K for their generous donations to support this site. And help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day

So what are are you waiting for, already?

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Local

A New York couple relates how they quit their jobs and moved to Southern California by bicycle, riding 2,500 miles in 44 days while looking for work and freelancing along the way.

 

State

An Irvine bike rider was hit by an apparent drunk driver shortly after midnight Sunday morning, despite having lights and reflectors, and riding in a crosswalk near a bike path.

San Francisco police have finally gotten around to responding to bicyclists’ complaints about drivers blocking the bike lanes on Valencia Street, where citations are up 41% over last year.

Inexcusable. The chair of the Oakland Bicyclist and Pedestrian Commission was held at gunpoint by private security guards for the crime of taking pictures of yarn-bombed bike racks on a public sidewalk. But it couldn’t have anything to do with him being black, right?

An op-ed in a Marin newspaper says the new bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is part of efforts to remove obstacles to bicycling. Apparently, it’s working, since the bridge is averaging 660 bike trips every day in its first two weeks.

Santa Rosa police busted four homeless people for stealing a bait bike.

Sacramento is the latest California city to adopt a Complete Streets policy. Let’s hope they have more luck with it than a certain SoCal metropolis has.

 

National

Peloton isn’t the only game in town for stay at home bicyclists; the others range from less expensive to a lot less expensive. Although just getting outside can help you live longer.

DHL has been ordered to pay over $9 million to a Canadian couple who were run down while riding single file on on the shoulder an Oregon highway. The driver said it wasn’t his fault, claiming they were actually in the traffic lane and he couldn’t avoid them; one victim nearly lost his leg as a result of the crash.

Colorado bicyclists are making a last ditch effort to roundup investors to rescue a Northern Colorado velodrome before another buyer tears it down.

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding. An off-duty Michigan cop could walk with probation for the hit-and-run that left a bike rider with a broken elbow. Then coming back and directing traffic — without telling anyone he was the one who hit him.

New York councilmember tell the cops to knock off harassing and ticketing ebike delivery riders. Good luck with that. Harassing bike riders appears to be what the NYPD does best.

Louisiana State University, home to the new Heisman Trophy winner, will be getting new bike lanes to improve bike safety on campus. Which is a big change from when I lived in Baton Rouge, and could count on getting a beer or two thrown at me just for daring to ride past the campus.

 

International

Despite the complaints of some disgruntled drivers, over two-thirds of Vancouver residents like the city’s new network of protected bike lanes.

A Calgary letter writer says scofflaw bicyclists are getting with murder — and the editor of the local paper evidently agrees with him. Never mind that its the people on four wheels who are actually killing people, and disproportionately the ones on two wheels or feet getting killed.

Apparently, some drivers really can’t see us. After an English driver critically injured a woman on a bicycle, she failed an eye test the next day.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is one of us, through his election likely means his days as an everyday bike rider are probably numbered. But he should still be a friend to bicycling while in office.

A UK truck driver was convicted despite playing the universal Get Out of Jail Free card by claiming the sun was in his eye. Possibly because he was high on coke at the time of the crash.

An Irish court awarded an injured bike rider the equivalent of over $22,000 after a driver ran over his foot — even though he allegedly ran a red light, ruling he was 60% responsible for the crash.

A Danish website suggests ebikes are becoming the country’s new car.

An Indian city has asked municipal employees to walk or bike to work once a week to help curb pollution.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is one of us, touring the Red Sea city of Sharm el Shiekh before opening the World Youth Forum later that day.

 

Competitive Cycling

A mass crash in a Brisbane, Australia track cycling race took out 12 of the 21 World Cup cyclists competing in the Omnium.

Cycling Tips offers tips on how to design a bike race course.

Twenty-two-year old Gage Hecht is your new men’s US national ‘cross champ.

 

Finally…

Former Doors frontman Jim Morrison is still one of us, evidently. Who says you can’t ride on solid ice?

And that feeling when your loose dog is faster than most of the peloton.

https://twitter.com/FulSpeed/status/1206215964754432001?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1206215964754432001&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclingweekly.com%2Fnews%2Fracing%2Fwatch-dog-causes-havoc-getting-course-cyclocross-race-445156

Morning Links: Missing bollards in DTLA, LA Walks celebrates, and new LA River bridge unofficially opens

It’s a light news day as we lead into the actual holiday season. As opposed to the one that started shortly before Halloween.

So let’s all remember to ride safely and defensively the next few days.

And try to keep it that way.

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Eric Solomon sends word that Los Angeles officials appear to be doing their best to make the protected bike lanes on Spring Street in DTLA a little less safe.

I noticed that some of the bollards on the Spring Street Bike lane have been removed from the edge of intersections, allowing cars turning left to cut through the bike lane rather than make their turn from the middle of the intersection.

After all, you wouldn’t want to inconvenience motorists a little just to improve safety for people who aren’t encased in a few tons of glass and steel.

Right?

Update: Solomon reports today that the bollards have been replaced.

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Los Angeles Walks will honor leading walking advocates at their annual soirée next month, with tickets starting at $150.

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It looks like the striking new bike and pedestrian suspension bridge over the Los Angeles River is finally open.

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That feeling when you need the entire road for your oversized vehicle.

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‘Tis the Season.

Oklahoma City volunteers built 1,400 bicycles for children in need.

Nashville’s Toys for Tots program ensured over one thousand kids will get a new bike for the holidays.

The generous owners of an English bike shop gave a new bike to a 13-year old autistic boy, after the one he used to strengthen his hips and legs following surgery was stolen while his family was away.

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

An Ontario, Canada driver discovers he can skip traffic by using a curb-protected bike lane that’s a perfect fit for his SUV.

Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

Cal State San Marcos police are looking for a man who exposed himself and jerked off in front of a pair of women, before riding off on a bicycle.

Talk about instant karma in action. Police in Corpus Christi TX are looking for a man who rode his bike up to a woman and snatched her purse, then crashed into a truck as he made his getaway; he ran off, leaving his bike and gun behind.

Seriously, how big an asshole do you have to be to give another bike rider a punishment pass?

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Still more sad news from Northern California, where a homeless man was killed when he was struck by several drivers while riding on a freeway in Richmond; at least one of the drivers fled the scene. As with other similar cases recently, there’s no explanation for why he was riding there.

A Sonoma columnist says the $20 million it took to build a new protected pedestrian and bicycle lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge was money well spent to fight climate change.

Hundreds of Chico bike riders raided thrift stores or their grandparent’s closets to turn out for this year’s Tweed Ride. Even if the local paper had to explain what tweed is.

 

National

A Buddhist “Monk on a Bike” is riding westward across the US after riding across the country in the opposite direction last year, in an effort to connect with the spirit of America and call attention to Alzheimer’s disease, which recently took his father’s life.

Good news for randonneurs, as a new 10-year study shows extreme exercise — working out 35 hours a week — doesn’t create any additional heart risks.

The Seattle Times calls on Washington lawmakers to require bike helmets for everyone, saying the benefits are unquestioned. Even though numerous studies have questioned the benefits of mandating helmets. And no, bike helmets aren’t the equivalent of seat belts. 

The man who killed a Mesa AZ bike rider in 2006 was finally arrested, 13 years  after fleeing to Mexico.

A Tucson man has built his own interactive website to help bike riders find safe and quiet routes to ride.

A Denver bike advocate rebuts a pair of op-eds from a Koch-funded pro-driving group that say the best way to fight traffic congestion and pollution is to just keep putting more cars on the roads.

The local Buffalo NY newspaper says a battalion of lobbyists are pushing for the governor to sign a bill that would allow dockless ebikes and e-scooters in the state. Then again, so are countless average New Yorkers, who simply want to use them.

New York is getting a bike mayor — and a pedestrian mayor. Which is two more than we have in ostensibly progressive Los Angeles.

I still want to be like him when I grow up. As promised, a Florida pastor celebrated his 82nd birthday by riding his age; he’s put 30,000 miles on his bike since he bought it 14 years ago.

 

International

Evidence continues to grow refuting the belief that ebikes are cheating, as studies show they give you the same physiological benefits as regular bikes.

A tech entrepreneur says the future of the bicycle industry is using bikes, rather than owning them.

Toronto pedestrian advocates are up in arms after police gave seniors reflective armbands to keep them safe at night, instead of doing something to improve safety on the streets.

The ebike revolution is passing by Northern Ireland because the country has failed to reclassify them like the rest of the UK did; current law classifies them as mo-peds instead of bikes, requiring additional tax, insurance and a license.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. Despite calling him “intemperate and reckless,” an Irish judge let a road raging Dublin man walk with probation and a fine for deliberately running down a bike rider — even though the driver had six previous convictions.

Outside takes a deep dive into the story of Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, the American bike tourists on an around the world journey who were murdered by terrorists in Tajikistan two years ago, after 369 days on the road. The pair have been posthumously, and unfairly, ridiculed in some quarters for their positive outlook and faith in humanity.

After an Australian drunk driver ran down a bike rider, instead of checking on the victim or calling the Down Under equivalent of 911, he stood next to his car and texted his sister to call a good lawyer; he apparently found one, since the judge sentenced him to just three years behind bars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former male pro cyclist Philippa York says transitioning to a woman after she retired taught her about transphobia and homophobia in the sport.

 

Finally…

If you happen to be carrying a bomb in your backpack, try not to break any bike laws.

And you’re not a real bike mechanic until you can forge your own bike parts out of aluminum cans over an open fire.

 

Morning Links: Getting crushed by car culture, safety versus convenience, and LA’s new sideways bike lane sweeper

Let’s start with today’s must read, as an editor for The Outline says he’s seen the future.

And it’s not us.

There is also the unrelenting, often murderous hostility of drivers toward pedestrians and people on bikes. No cyclist I know has not been menaced by an enraged driver — brushed past within inches, bumped at an intersection, run off the road — and most of us have been menaced more than once. No pedestrian who has to cross at a mid-block crosswalk is unfamiliar with the experience of a driver actually speeding upwhen they see you; no one who has crossed at a regular intersection is unfamiliar with a turning driver laying on the horn and waiting until the last second to jam on the breaks as you scurry out of the way.

The car is a very specifically American symbol of freedom, but like so many instruments and symbols of American freedom, it is a tool of domination and control. A car is a missile and a castle, a self-propelled, multi-ton fortress, hermetically sealed against the intrusions of weather, environment, and, of course, other people. Drivers view the world through the lenses of speed and convenience — most of the anger at cyclists, in my experience, is at having to drive at something resembling a normal urban speed limit because there’s a bike in front of them — but also through the lens of ownership. Streets belong to cars. The rest of us are interlopers, invaders, invasive species.

He goes on to blame car culture, not the internet, for the crushing disconnection and loneness rampant in out society, as we move things further and further apart, forcing us to live more and more of our lives in motor vehicles.

Seriously, take a few minutes to read it.

We’ll wait.

Then take a couple more to see just how right he is, as a new traffic congestion study is criticized for being too pro-car, while ignoring the “new realities of multi-modal transport.”

Making it all too clear that the auto-centric way of thinking won’t die easily.

Photo by John Howard from Pixabay.

………

Then there’s this one from Grist, questioning whether New Orleans can keep bike riders safe, as it revamps the streets with 75 miles of bikeways surrounding the downtown area in the next few years. 

This is a life-saving effort,” De Wulf said of his krewe’s push. “Would you rather have someone die on a bicycle, versus someone being inconvenienced for five minutes of their day?

Sadly, I’ve heard the answer to that one too many times, in dozens of public meetings, and in the comments online.

Because far too many Angelenos would rather get home a couple minutes earlier, your life or mine be damned.

And that, my friends, is what we have to change.

………

On the other hand, it looks like Claremont bike riders may have won that battle, at least on Foothill Blvd.

Michael Wagner’s excellent CLR Effect reports on the progress of Claremont’s nearly completed curb-protected bike lanes on Foothill Blvd, which is looking pretty damn good at this early stage.

Hopefully neighboring cities will pick up on it, and extend them beyond Claremont’s city limits.

Although, like anywhere else, some drivers are a little slow to take the hint.

One of my major regrets lately is that I don’t have time to keep up with some of my favorite blogs. Starting with Wagner’s, which does an exceptional job of keeping up with biking in the Far East. 

Of LA County, that is. 

So don’t make my mistake. Bookmark CLR Effect now, and keep checking back to see what’s new.

It’s okay if you got so caught up you miss a new BikinginLA every now and then. Just don’t let it happen too often.

………

After trying out several models, Los Angeles is ordering a cute little mini-street sweeper for protected bike lanes.

Hopefully it will work upright, as well as sideways. Although it won’t get a lot of use either way unless LA builds some more protected lanes.

………

A new study shows women who say they have genital pain and numbness while riding a bike are far more likely to suffer from sexual dysfunction.

So don’t grit your teeth and try to ignore it.

Get to a bike shop and buy a new seat to take the pressure off. Or get a good bike fit to change your positioning in the saddle.

Even if you have to get a friend to help and do it yourself.

………

Local

A writer for City Walk talks with bike and Complete Streets supporter Sarah Kate Levy about her race to unseat David Ryu in LA’s 4th Council District; Glendale has an election coming up next year, too.

WeHo sheriff’s deputes wrote 72 tickets to e-scooter riders over an 18-month period ending in July, mostly for riding on the sidewalk, compared to 800 scooter tickets over the same period in Los Angeles.

Surprisingly, Pasadena is working on a return of the legendary ArroyoFest next year; the original 2003 event may have been the region’s first modern day open streets event, shutting down the historic Arroyo Seco Freeway, aka the Pasadena Freeway, to motor vehicles, and opening it up to all human-powered forms of transportation.

Boulder CO-based Bicycle Retailer and Industry News is looking for sponsors for an ebike tour of Long Beach, Pasadena and Santa Monica bike shops next month. Or better yet, just sponsor me and I’ll be happy to ride an ebike almost anywhere you want.

Long Beachize’s Brian Addison reports that 20 people have been killed in motor vehicle collisions in the city this year, including ten pedestrians and three people on bicycles. Yet no one there is calling for a ban on cars, unlike bikes or scooters if their users dare ride on the sidewalk or collide with someone.

Simon Cowell is one of us. And so is his son, as the TV talent show judge hopped on his bigass ebike to take the five-year old boy for a ride through the ‘Bu.

 

State

A former San Diego County sheriff’s deputy has pled guilty to sexually assaulting 16 women while on duty, including a woman he groped while she was riding her bike; he faces a well-deserved five years behind bars, and will have to register as a sex offender.

 

National

A new app promises to let you use bikeshare, scooters and transit systems across the US, including Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus.

Outside profiles a 57-year old African-American grandmother who rode her bike across the US just five years after suffering a stroke, learning about gears along the way. And she plans to do it again.

A Milwaukee convenience store owner says he’s fed up with getting robbed by roving gangs of bike riding kids, saying he’s losing $5,000 to $6,000 worth of merchandise a day.

After retiring, a kindhearted Michigan man spends his days fixing up bicycles to donate to kids in need.

A Connecticut Bikes for Kids program gave out 36 bicycles and helmets to underprivileged kids over the weekend, a small part of the 500 bikes they give out each year.

A writer for the New York Daily News says a new bike lane will endanger children because they might get run down by speeding bike riders. Or maybe because emergency vehicles might get stuck in traffic. Or, something.

The NYPD continues to blame the victim, saying an ebike rider was at fault for the crash with a garbage truck that left him critically injured; not surprisingly, Steetsblog sees things differently.

Maybe they could have a chat with the CHP. After a South Carolina high school guidance counselor was killed in a rear-end collision, state troopers charged the driver with driving too fast for conditions. The same law is on the books in California, but the CHP doesn’t seem familiar with that section of the vehicle code. Then again, LA County Sheriffs could use a brush up, too.

 

International

A British woman is planning to swim the English Channel, five years after losing a leg when she was run over by a truck driver while riding her bike; she’ll be joined by a pair of air ambulance paramedics on her swim, including the one who saved her life.

Just heartbreaking. Moments after finishing a 45-mile Scottish charity ride, a man learned his father had collapsed and died while taking part in the same bike ride.

The family of a fallen Irish bike rider calls for safer infrastructure and a ban on dangerous passing to protect bicyclists on the Emerald Isle.

Your next Dutch bike could be very strange, heavy, uncomfortable-looking and 3D-printed.

A new study suggests Barcelona’s plan to limit car use and reserve 70% of street space for bicyclists and pedestrians could save 667 lives a year. Which seems like an oddly specific number.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews explains why Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic finds himself in the Vuelta’s red jersey instead of competing in the Tour de France earlier this year. And looks at former mountain biker Sepp Kuss’ rapid rise to a stage victory in the Vuelta.

The next time someone tells you ebikes are cheating, point them to Belgian pro cyclist Wout Van Aert, who’s using one to rehab a severely torn muscle suffered during the Tour de France.

London’s Independent looks back on legendary 1960s Italian cyclist Felice Gimondi, one of just seven riders to win all three Grand Tours, including his first Tour de France when he was just 22. Even in his best dope-fueled days, Lance never even tried to win any of the other Grand Tours. 

If James Joyce was a mediocre bike racer. Or writer, for that matter.

 

Finally…

Until you get eyes in the back of your head, a new bike helmet could be the next best thing. If you’re going to break out of prison, at least try to change clothes before getting on a stolen mountain bike the next day.

And we may have to deal with f’ed-up LA drivers, but at least we don’t have cope with schtupping copperheads.

Or toxic plants, for that matter.

 

Morning Links: Road rage driver attacks LA bike rider, WeHo mayor OKs blocked bike lanes, and protected bike lanes AOK

Sorry about that. 

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

Blame it on my diabetes, after a bout of low blood sugar knocked me out for several hours. 

I’d like to say it won’t happen again.

But it probably will. 

Road rage photo by Wendy Corniquet from Pixabay.

………

Un-effing-believable.

A man riding to work on Santa Monica Blvd was repeatedly harassed, brake checked, and physically assaulted by a driver in an unmitigated display of road rage that lasted over 6 minutes.

All for the crime of riding a bike, legally and exactly where he was supposed to be.

And to top it off, she accused him of scratching her car after she blocked his bike against another car, and proceeded to door him multiple times.

Seriously, watch the whole thing — with the sound up.

According to KCBS2/KCAL9, the road rage attack took place two years ago. The poster child for road rage driver was arrested after the victim called 911, and was recently sentenced to 450 hours of community service.

Which is why he’s just releasing the bike cam video now.

Hopefully, that will be enough to get her road rage temper under control. And help her realize that bikes do, in fact, belong on the streets.

………

The LAPD is stepping up efforts to find the heartless coward who slammed into a 15-year kid riding legally in a South LA crosswalk, and left him lying crushed and bleeding in the street.

Meanwhile, advocacy nonprofit SAFE — Streets Are For Everyone — is hostingMarch for Safety and Healing – In Honor of Roberto Diaz this Saturday.

Diaz is the victim of the crash, who remains hospitalized.

………

Evidently, the mayor of West Hollywood is perfectly okay with mail carriers and delivery drivers blocking the city’s few bike lanes.

Which isn’t much of a problem.

Unless you’ve ever had to go around someone blocking the bike lane in heavy traffic on Santa Monica Blvd.

Because it’s apparently just too much to ask them to remove a parking space or two to create a loading zone.

Oh wait. Maybe I wasn’t the first one to say that.

After all, it’s much easier to accuse people of “outrage culture” than to take a small step to protect human lives.

WeHo can clearly do better than that. And should.

In fact, it does, no thanks to the mayor, apparently.

………

No surprise here.

After the the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a study questioning the safety of some protected bike lanes, John Pucher and Ralph Buehler, two of North America’s leading bicycling academics, say it ain’t necessarily so.

According to a Forbes piece by British bicycle historian Carlton Reid, this is how Pucher responded in an email.

“Finding problematic intersection design of cycle tracks here and there in three U.S. cities does not at all negate the overwhelming evidence that protected bike lanes are both safer, in fact, than unprotected lanes or no facilities at all, and that the vast majority of cyclists and potential cyclists overwhelmingly prefer such protected facilities and feel safer on such facilities, thus leading to sharp increases in cycling rates.”

Pucher stresses:

“The IIHS study focuses on the dangerous intersections, but overall, cycle tracks are definitely safer. I agree, however, that intersection design is absolutely crucial to the safety of cycle track systems, and that special intersection, roadway markings, traffic signs, and traffic signals are necessary.”

So don’t stop fighting for protected bike lanes.

Just make sure they’re designed properly.

………

The Malibu Times reports that local pro mountain biker Marshall Mullen’s short film The Woolsey Fire Through the Eyes of Marshall Mullen will make its local debut at Casa Escobar restaurant.

The paper notes that the film been on YouTube since late May. But oddly doesn’t bother to include the link.

Fortunately, we can do better than that. Even though this version has a much shorter title.

………

They get it. No, they totally get it.

GQ recommends their picks for the best bike helmets for any kind of road riding.

But they begin their piece this way.

No, you don’t have to wear a bike helmet. If you were to, say, get hit by a garbage truck on your commute, a small piece of foam and molded plastic is not going to make much of a difference. But since this is America and not Copenhagen, where cyclists are demonized for taking a sliver of space away from precious steel boxes and commuters are regularly in fear of their lives, it’s best to hedge your bets. Wear a helmet. (But whatever you do, please don’t helmet shame those who prefer to let their locks flow.)

………

Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly. 

A San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries when he was hit over the head with a bicycle. The attacker fled, but it sounds like police know who the attacker is, since they know his age.

An Aussie bike rider faces charges after he rode across several lanes of traffic to spit in the face of an anti-abortion protester. Seriously, don’t do that.

………

Local

The LAPD is responding to CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz’ recent anti-scooter campaign by establishing a special task force to ticket e-scooter users riding on the sidewalk along Beverly Blvd, Melrose Ave and 3rd Street. Apparently, he’d much rather they get their asses run over on those narrow, busy streets that don’t offer any other place to ride. Or just not ride scooters, which is what he really has in mind.

Streetsblog talks with Bird’s sustainability chief.

Montebello Blvd is getting bike lanes and new medians in a 1.4-mile improvement project. And aggravating drivers in the process.

California is sending $315 million to LA County for highway repairs funded by the recent gas tax increase, along with $5.4 million for active transportation projects.

 

State

The proposed Complete Streets bill will stay alive in the state legislature, despite a “farcical” estimate from Caltrans that appears to be an effort to kill it.

The driver who killed Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza as he rode his bike in Mission Viejo last year had seven different drugs in his system at the time of the crash, including prescription drugs, street drugs and various metabolized drug byproducts; 25-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa is facing a murder charge in Kreza’s death, and remains behind bars on a $2 million bond.

Beautiful piece by an investigative reporter for the LA Times about the remarkable recovery of a man who was nearly killed in an Oceanside bike crash, after lingering in a near vegetative state for months. And her efforts to convince someone he was still alive in there.

San Diego advocates are calling on the city to reconsider plans to remove parking spaces to install bike lanes on 30th Street because of the impact it could have on elderly and handicapped people. Because apparently, it’s impossible to pull over just long enough to let someone out of a car. And elderly and handicapped people never, ever ride bicycles, as everyone knows.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a woman was killed trying to ride her bike in a crosswalk; the CHP immediately absolved the driver of blame because it was dark. Apparently, Dodge Challenger’s like the one the driver had don’t have headlights, and the CHP has never heard of the state’s basic speed law, which prohibits driving too fast for current conditions. Like when it’s too dark to see what’s in the road directly ahead of your car.

A pair of men were busted for making off with six bikes worth $30,000 from a Santa Cruz bike shop after they were observed by a witness.

A car thief received the maximum sentence for plowing into a San Francisco bike cop as he attempted to flee from the police; Willie Flanigan was convicted on charges of “assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run, evading and resisting an officer, fleeing the scene of an accident, receiving stolen property and being an unlicensed driver.” Yet somehow, despite all those charges, the maximum sentence was just 12 years and 8 months.

Seventy-five-year old Courtney Rudin was convicted of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for the head-collision that killed a woman riding in a Sonoma County charity ride when he made dangerously ill-advised passed around a slower vehicle; he faces just one year behind bars. Seriously, killing another human being should never be a misdemeanor, intentionally or not.

An 85-year old Los Osos man was critically injured after he suffered some sort of medical issue and fell off his ebike, even though he was wearing a helmet.

 

National

Bike Lawyer Bob Mionske says excusing careless drivers by blaming their victims just ensures that other drivers will keep driving that way.

No shit. Streetsblog says testing self-driving cars on the roads endangers pedestrians. And everyone else.

Forbes says bicycle-oriented development is a growing force with the larger field of transit-oriented development throughout the US, now that bicycling is the nation’s fastest-growing form of transportation.

Entry-level ebike prices continue to drop, as Rad Power Bikes introduces their new RadRunner cargo bike, which can be ridden in e-assist or full throttle mode.

A moving and hard-hitting photo essay says Portland is spending millions to stop drivers from killing people, but it’s not working.

He gets it. A Salt Lake City-area father and bike rider says aggressive driving should be treated as a crime. Preferably before they kill someone.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 86-year old Utah man still rides 1,000 miles a year on a tandem with his son; he was riding 3,000 miles a year on his own until he was hit by a driver three years ago. Although I’d just as soon skip that whole “hit by a driver” part, thank you.

Former Bicycling editor and elite cyclist Andrew “Bernie” Bernstein speaks out from his hospital bed about the dangers of distracted, drunk and/or speeding drivers, a month after he was left to die by a hit-and-run driver outside Boulder CO.

A bike shop in my hometown is struggling to clear its name after police arrested someone selling stolen bikes on the Let Go app, and making it appear the bike shop was doing it.

A Dallas man faces a murder charge for allegedly running down a man riding a bicycle for allegedly stealing his gun, then allegedly beating him to death with a piece of wood.

Horrible news from Oklahoma City, where a professional magician suffered severe spinal damage when he was struck by a police car while riding his bike; the officer was placed on paid leave, while the victim may be permanently paralyzed and unable to speak.

The owner of three pit bulls that killed a nine-year old Detroit girl as she was riding her bicycle has been charged with second degree murder for not controlling his dogs; the dogs, one of whom was shot by a rescuer, will likely get the death penalty.

An Indianapolis teenager says he forgives the driver who fled the scene after running him down on his bike, leaving him lying in a ditch unable to move.

I want to be like him, too. Bicycling offers four tips from the 91-year old Indiana cyclist who keeps breaking age group records.

Rapper Kadeem’s new album World Sport takes on a bicycling theme, reflecting the time spent on his ‘87 Schwinn World Sport as he was recording it, as well as his time on two wheels navigating the streets of Boston, dealing drugs and delivering for DoorDash.

New York prosecutors threw the book at the 18-year old driver who ran a red light and caused the collateral damage crash that killed a Brooklyn bike rider two weeks ago, charging him with criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, vehicular assault, disobeying a traffic device and doing 61 mph in a 25 mph zone. In other words, driving his Dodge Charger exactly the way the carmaker suggests he should. Thanks to Shaggy for the heads-up.

The New York Times examines why drivers rarely faces charges for killing bike riders; prosecutors have to show the driver’s behavior was “egregious,” and that they broke at least two traffic laws. Although it seems unlikely that the same standard would apply to killing someone with any other kind of weapon.

In the eternal battle over car storage, Philly residents are on the warpath over new bikes lanes that removed over a hundred parking spaces.

 

International

Forbes recommends six bike tours from around the world, including a self-guided tour of LA-area movie star homes, for people who are into that sort of thing.

Road.cc offers a guide to group ride hand signals. No, not that one.

Montreal will soon start ticketing drivers who violate Quebec’s equivalent of a three-foot passing law by using an ultrasound device that measures the distance between a bike and a passing car. The LAPD apparently has no interest in that, despite being told about the device multiple times as part of the department’s bike liaison program.

This is why you should always get checked out by a doctor after any bike crash. A London man died after a blood clot caused a heart attack two weeks after he fell off his bike. That’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way.

A report from the UK Parliament says forget electric cars, get Brits on bikes. Good advice on this side of the Atlantic, too.

Evidently, placing solar panels in a French roadway was a bad idea.

Germans call for expanding bicycle infrastructure after bicycling deaths reach their highest total since 2010.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews suggests four story lines to follow at the four-stage women’s Colorado Classic bike race, which kicked off yesterday in Steamboat Springs CO. You can livestream the races on the magazine’s website.

The New York Times offers an obituary for Felice Gimondi, one of just seven cyclists to win the Tour de France, Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can find bikeshare above the Arctic Circle, in case you were wondering. If you’re riding your bike with several outstanding warrants, just put a damn light on it, already.

And your next bike could be a Harley.

No, really.

 

Morning Links: Bike lanes may create illusion of safety, a tropical criminal tri, and bike lanes on reimagined Crenshaw

A hard-hitting piece on the Governing website says new bike infrastructure creates the illusion of safety, encouraging more women to get on their bikes.

And the result is more women dying on them.

The solution, according to the writer, is separating bike lanes behind a physical barrier, while lowering speed limits for cars and trucks.

Long Beach bike lanes photo by Richard Rosenthal.

………

Call it a tropical criminal triathlon.

When police tried to stop a Hawaiian woman who appeared to be riding a stolen bicycle, she sped off on the bike, leading a slow speed chase across Hilo to the beach, where she ran to the water and swam off.

Police later found her on a nearby island, and pulled her out of the water when she tried to swim off again.

Then to top things off, it wasn’t even the bike their were looking for.

………

A 73-year old Indian driver suffered the ultimate distraction when he died of a heart attack behind the wheel and rammed into a 72-year old bike rider, causing “grievous” injuries.

Making the case even more bizarre, police booked the driver on posthumous criminal charges for causing the crash. Which presumably means, if convicted, he could face eternity behind bars.

Unfortunately, the Indian press frequently uses the same terms for bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles, so we have no way of knowing what the victim was actually riding.

………

Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly. 

A Vancouver bike rider demonstrates why you shouldn’t fly off a sidewalk and try to beat oncoming traffic.

https://twitter.com/village_whisper/status/1163212325920186368

Seriously, don’t try this at home.

Or anywhere else.

………

Local

CD8 City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson is calling for new design standards for Crenshaw Blvd that call for an increase in density, and appear to include plans for much-needed bike lanes.

A new official Los Angeles art project will place up 100 rainbow halos to honor traffic victims. While it’s important to remember victims of traffic violence, wouldn’t it be better to fix the damn streets so we don’t need the halos in the first place?

A photographer offers some great views of last Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia.

 

State

San Diego now projects a nearly $2 billion shortfall in street infrastructure funding over the next five years.

The SF Weekly wonders what it will take to get San Francisco’s Vision Zero back on track, saying the goal to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2024 seems farther away than ever.

 

National

Outside observes that bike riders who’ve been frightened off the roads are migrating to the dirt, and going where drivers can’t. I wish I could call that hyperbole, but I’ve heard from far too many people who now only ride gravel or mountain bikes because they don’t feel safe on the streets. 

The upscale Robb Report recommends seven “stylish and powerful” ebikes you’ll actually want to ride. And ranging from a mere $4,499 to $16,500.

This is who we share the roads with. A Portland driver was arrested after fleeing on foot following a multi-block serial crash that injured a man on a bike and wrecked a total of five parked cars.

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton is one of us, as he prepares to ride with Portland Trailblazer fans this weekend.

A Colorado woman has started the online #itcouldbeme campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to change the us vs. them mentality and put a face to the dangers bike riders face on the roads. Thanks to Penny Sputh for the heads-up.

Heartbreaking news from Detroit, where a nine-year old little girl was attacked and killed by three dogs as she was riding her bike near her home.

A kindhearted Michigan cop worked with a police nonprofit organization to replace the bike a boy uses to ride to school after it was stolen overnight.

Two bystanders are credited with saving the life of a Cincinnati man after he suffered a heart attack while returning home from a bike ride; a couple of cops also jumped in with an automatic defibrillator until paramedics arrived.

An Indianapolis bike rider says he appreciates the city’s new bicycle network, but he’s had it with people driving in bike lanes. Not to mention drivers who start on the green bike signal, rather than the regular traffic light.

Overprivileged residents of New York’s Central Park West went to court yesterday, suing to preserve their God-given right to street parking instead of protecting the lives of innocent people — even though a woman was killed riding her bike there last year.

A writer for Jalopnik says Vision Zero is the wrong goal; instead of responding to traffic deaths, New York should focus on “unleashing the joy of riding a bike to make a better place to live, not fighting the fear that riding a bike may entail.”

In an op-ed for the New York Times, a woman describes how her new ebike changed her life, getting her riding again in her 60s.

A DC website lists eight ways the law incentivizes driving.

A WaPo writer goes for a ride on the city’s new Vespa-style dockless e-mopeds.

A Georgia woman worries about the lack of children riding bikes, but admits she only rides on quiet Sunday mornings to avoid traffic.

 

International

London skyscrapers are blamed for creating dangerous wind tunnels that can knock bicyclists off their bikes, so the city is creating new planning rules that will require developers to study how to minimize the wind effect of any new building.

Britain’s Office of Communications received over 300 complaints following a controversial TV show asking if bicyclists are the scourge of the streets; the show promised an “unfiltered look” at the hostility between drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, but bike advocates called it nothing but “dressed up prejudice.”

The rich get richer. Bike-friendly Copenhagen opens a beautiful curving bike and pedestrian bridge across the city’s Inner Harbor. Forget Greenland, Trump should try buying that and moving it over here instead.

Beijing’s city-center Tongzhou district plans to upgrade 40 roads over the next three years to build a better network for non-motorized transportation, with separate lanes for bicyclists and pedestrians.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canadian Cycling Weekly previews the Vuelta a España kicking of this weekend. Surprisingly, four Americans are expected to contend for the title. South Americans, that is.

A woman survives the death of her pro cyclist husband in a racing crash, only to find love with another cyclist; Astrid Collinge married Belgian cyclist Louis Vervaeke this year, three years after her then-husband Antoine Demoitié was killed by a race moto during the 2016 Gent-Wevelgem.

Road.cc offers a video look back at what happens when pro cyclists get mad.

 

Finally…

It’s not a bakfiets, it’s a three-wheeled, pedal-powered preschool school bus. Five years behind bars for assault with a deadly bicycle.

And nothing like having your wedding pictures photobombed by naked people on bicycles.

 

Morning Links: Debunking a bike rumor, Insurance Institute criticizes protected bike lanes, and a bicycle video Monday

Before we start, let me offer a quick apology and thank you to anyone who sent in links for today’s post.

As you’ll see below, it’s been a traumatic weekend, and with a few exceptions, I’ve lost track of who may have sent what. 

I’m incredibly grateful to anyone who takes a few minutes out of their busy day to give me a heads up, whether or not my muddled brain manages to keep up. 

Photo by Deniz Anttila from Pixabay.

………

Let’s start by debunking a rumor.

According to a Reddit post last week, a bike rider was killed by motorist in DTLA last week as a result of a road rage dispute.

Fatal bicycle accident on 7th and hill in DTLA

I was walking on 7th today around 10:30am and came across a woman on the side of the street who was clearly having a panic attack. I looked beyond her parked car and there was a man on a bicycle, his head face down on the pavement and blood everywhere. He wasn’t moving. There were no police or authorities on the scene yet. A man next to me said that the bicyclist kicked a car and the car hit him and drove off. He died on contact… Did anyone else see this? Have any more info? I’m not sure if the woman was panicking because she saw it happen or because she hit him and the kicking story isn’t true. Pretty gnarly to see. I walked on the same corner about 30 minutes later and it was as if nothing happened… all there was left was some blood and a bit of flesh on the pavement. Woof.

Except it didn’t happen.

Any fatal crash would require the roadway to be closed for several hours as police investigate the crash. Especially if it involved a homicide investigation.

Not just cleaned up and reopened in a matter of minutes, as if nothing ever happened.

But just to be sure, I checked with someone with knowledge of the situation, who said there was an incident at that location, but it didn’t involve a crash. Intentional or otherwise.

And no one was killed.

So let’s be careful spreading rumors. There are enough real tragedies without needlessly, and incorrectly, adding more.

Thanks to Matt Stewart for the tip.

……….

A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says not all protected bike lanes are created even.

And in some cases, aren’t even as safe as a regular painted bike lane.

Compared with a major road with no bike infrastructure, the risk of a crash or fall was much lower on two-way protected bike lanes on bridges or raised from the roadway — for example, within greenways. In contrast, the risk of a crash or fall on a two-way protected bike lane at street level was much higher than that of a major road.

One-way protected bike lanes differed little from major roads in terms of injury risk.

“A cyclist on a protected lane at street level is likely to encounter vehicles at intersections, driveways and alleys more often than on a protected lane enclosed within a bridge or greenway,” says Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president for research and the lead author of the new paper. “Pedestrians also sometimes enter street-level bike lanes, which can cause cyclists to swerve and fall.”

On the other hand, a crash in a protected bike lane is less likely to be fatal.

That said, the types of bicyclist crashes seen in street-level protected lanes weren’t the type that are typically most severe. Most fatal bicyclist crashes involving motor vehicles occur midblock, while cyclists in protected bike lanes in the study collided with vehicles most often at intersections or junctions with driveways and alleys. In such cases, vehicles are usually turning and traveling slowly…

“There is evidence that protected bike lanes help prevent the worst crashes,” Cicchino says. “What our study shows is that certain locations are better than others for this type of infrastructure.

So the choice seems to come down to whether you want to prevent crashes, or save lives.

Or just insist on building better bike lanes to begin with.

You can read the full press release hereThanks to Chris Woodyard for the heads-up.

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CiclaValley narrates an inaugural ride along a new segment of the LA Riverfront Greenway in the San Fernando Valley, better known in lower sections as the LA River bike path.

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A Boston public radio station traces the long and winding backstory connecting a mass market brand of French cognac to early cycling legend Major Taylor.

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Seriously, don’t blame the driver next to you when you don’t hold your line. Or keep both wheels on the ground.

Meanwhile, bike-riding British radio host causes an uproar by responding that a clown on a bicycle doesn’t hurt anyone, unlike a clown in a car.

………

Dutch bikemaker VanMoof released the video below to show how willing people are to buy a stolen bike.

Except it turns out the entire thing was a scam — the “real” people were hired actors, and the money came directly from the film crew.

Which is a little worse than just spreading rumors.

………

It’s sort of like lane assist for bicycles.

A new Dutch ebike prototype has smart steering assistance built into the handlebars to help keep riders upright.

………

Evidently, the old song was right.

A new study shows breathing in air pollution is as bad for your lungs as smoking. Especially for active people — like the ones who ride bicycles, for instance.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

Washington State police found a distracted driver stopped on the side of the road playing Pokémon Go on not one, not two, but eight separate phones at once.

And apparently let him go with just a warning.

If you want to know why people keep dying on out streets, that’s a pretty good place to start.

………

Local

Los Angeles is now marking the sites of fatal collisions with rainbow halos created by artist John Morse, in collaboration with Southern California Families for Safe Streets and Los Angeles Walks.

WeHoVille offers a recap of Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia, which allowed tens of thousands of people to experience Hollywood, Highland and Santa Monica Blvds without cars, most for the first time. Meanwhile, apologies for the tardiness as the Militant Angeleno’s latest Epic Tour tells you what you may have missed yesterday.

Santa Clarita police will stage yet another bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement day this Thursday, ticketing anyone who commits any violation that could jeopardize the safety of people walking or biking. The usual protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law that day until you leave their jurisdiction, so you’re not the one who gets written up.

 

State

California Streetsblog accuses Caltrans of trying to sabotage the Complete Streets bill in the state assembly with an over-inflated price tag.

A news story popping up across the US asks if California can put cars in the rear view mirror, noting that the only way to meet the state’s climate goals is reducing the number of cars on the streets.

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting considers the family fun of the popular Over the Hump mountain bike race.

KPBS says a group suing to stop plans for a bike lane on 30th Street in the North Park neighborhood vastly overstated their local support, as 31% of the people who signed their petition live outside of San Diego, let alone North Park.

A Santa Barbara man recovered a stolen bike and returned it to its rightful owner after spotting someone stashing it in an alley.

It’s only taken the state three years to get around to clearing a rock slide off a Sacramento-area bike path, once again demonstrating just how much they value people who get around on two wheels.

 

National

An Irishman gets a different view of the US by riding his bike 4,500 miles across the country.

Maybe he should have kept up the steroids. Turns out the singer/dancer/actress is in much better shape than her athlete boyfriend, as J-Lo nearly drops A-Rod on a bike ride.

CityLab looks at the birth of the beach cruiser in 1970s California, and how it helped turn vacationers into bike riders.

GeekWire says Lime’s ebikes can be a blast. Sometimes literally.

Bicycling rates the best commuter bags for bike riders, starting at just $30.

A lot of people go spring skiing, but not many ride their bikes there. And even fewer ride their bikes 3,650 miles to just ski Alaska’s Mt. Denali.

Colorado Springs CO spent ten years installing bike lanes before the auto-centric bikelash began; a leader of the car-focused activists says he doesn’t like bike lanes even though they haven’t slowed down his commute, because he’s highly offended that someone wants to force out of his car and onto a bicycle. Because really, who hasn’t stood by helplessly as those damn militant bicyclists grab some poor, innocent driver, jerk them out of their cars and force them onto bicycles?

Nice. Houston opens a 30-acre, $25 million bike park.

This is who we share the roads with. An Oklahoma driver admitted to being high on meth when he crashed into a bike rider, apparently without breaking.

That’s more like it. A drunken Illinois hit-and-run driver who killed a 19-year old bike rider and injured another man was sentenced to 15 years behind bars — which could be doubled due to prior felony convictions.

Sometimes a story just goes from bad to worse. After a Pittsburgh bike rider was run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver, police arrested an off-duty Pittsburgh cop for the crime, after video showed he downed two shots and 160 ounces of beer before getting behind the wheel — because he was celebrating the drive-by murder of Pittsburgh rapper Jimmy Wopo.

A mob of “two-wheeled hooligans” rode their bikes on a wild rampage through Providence RI, stealing snacks from a Dollar Tree and randomly assaulting people. Police bizarrely blamed dockless Jump ebikes for the rampage because some of the kids rode them after hacking the locks. Which is like blaming car rental companies for all the reckless drivers on the 405. Or anywhere else.

A kindhearted Connecticut cop turned bike mechanic when he saw a kid having problems with his bicycle.

A Buffalo NY man decides to trade his motorcycle for a slow roll bike ride.

New York bike riders are up in arms after the local DA refuses to charge a truck driver who kept going after running over a bike rider, concluding she fell over after hitting a pothole, and the driver had no idea he’d hit anyone. No, really.

A Gothamist op-ed says making incremental changes on the streets has failed, and it’s time to break car culture now.

A surprisingly even-handed report from a New York TV station observes that the rate of pedestrians hit by bicyclists is going up. But while many bike riders break the law, it’s not always the bicyclist’s fault.

On the other hand, a writer who seems to suggest he’s an expert on bicycling because he briefly worked as a bike messenger 20 years ago says New York is living in a golden age of bicycling — or would be, if not for all those lawbreaking bicyclists. Yes, people on bicycles need to obey the law and use the streets safely, just like anyone else. But safe bike riders get killed just like the other kind.

Wealthy New York residents are suing to stop a bike lane next to Central Park, choosing to protect their precious parking spaces over human lives; as one resident who opposes the suit puts it, “The optics are terrible. No doubt we look like an overprivileged, insensitive group of people.” Gee, you think?

A Brooklyn bike shop is taking the next step in bike advocacy by posting the city’s bicycling death toll on the door to ensure everyone see it. Meanwhile, LA bike shops don’t seem to grasp the concept that safer streets would mean more customers.

Miami police have finally arrested the motorcyclist who fatally shot a bicyclist on a group ride after other members of the ride came forward with video contradicting his claim of self-defense. The New Times says the shooting is symptomatic of the dangers people on bicycles face.

 

International

Don’t steal a bike from a runner. A Winnipeg woman manages to chase down the man making off with her bicycle and get it back. While running in bare feet, no less.

The Guardian’s Laura Laker considers just how much we lose when a local bike shop shuts down. Hint: A lot. You may get a better price online, but you’ll pay much more in the loss of hands-on service. Besides, you might make some new friends if you venture out into the real world to do your shopping.

An Aussie woman living in France got her stolen bike back thanks to a sharp eye in the classifieds and an assist from the local gendarmes. 

A new German/Canadian study shows that bike helmets make you feel safer. Even if you’re nowhere near a bicycle.

Wonder Woman’s Gail Gadot is one of us, as the Israeli actress poses for a photo on her bike as she waits on a bridge. Although someone should explain to the Daily Mail what a selfie is. Because they don’t seem to have a clue.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling offers a preview of the 2019 Vuelta a España; the year’s final Grand Tour kicks off on Saturday in the Alicante province.

1960s Italian racing great Felice Gimondi passed away from a heart attack at age 76; he won the 1965 Tour de France in his first year as a pro, followed by victories in the Vuelta and the Giro, making him just one of seven riders to win all three Grand Tours.

The pro cyclists union says the narrow streets, unmarked road furniture and dangerous conditions of the Binck Bank Tour mean it doesn’t deserve to be a WorldTour race.

Writing for the Guardian, competitor Nick Van Mead offers a first-hand description of what it’s like to compete in the self-supported, unmapped Transcontinental bike race across Europe from the Black Sea to France’s Atlantic Coast — including getting chased through Serbia by packs of wild dogs.

 

Finally…

Seriously, who needs a seat tube? Apparently, you can carry just about anything on a bicycle or four.

And who needs an ebike when you’ve got an exosuit in your shorts?

 

Morning Links: Balboa bicyclist crashes with LAPD moto, search for hit-and-run driver, and making SD customers drive

Frequent contributor Danger D came across the immediate aftermath of a serious collision near Balboa Park early yesterday afternoon, involving a bike rider and an LAPD motorcycle cop.

Just passing by on the bike path on Burbank Blvd in the Balboa Dam area. They have the whole of Burbank Blvd closed in the area (probably to hide what they did until they can find a reason it’s not their fault)

An officer let me through while others tried to stop me from going under the tape. You should make some inquiry into this collision. Cop bike on its side in the westbound lane and a totaled bicycle with a bent over front wheel in the center of the road.

There’s no word on how the crash happened. Particularly since there’s a separated bike path around Lake Balboa that parallels Burbank Blvd.

According to traffic reports, the street was blocked off entirely throughout the afternoon and through the evening rush hour, which is not a good sign.

An extended total street closure like that usually means a fatal crash, or one they think could become one. Unless maybe they were just taking extra care with the investigation because a police officer was involved.

But at last report, the officer was hospitalized with minor injuries, while the person on the bicycle was in critical condition with non-life-threatening injuries.

Let’s hope it stays that way.

Photo from LAPD website.

………

Tony Berquam is looking for the cowardly jerk — my words, not his — who left an injured bike rider lying in the street.

On 7/16, 5-5:30 pm, eastbound on Beverly near Fairfax, a lone cyclist was clipped by an unknown vehicle, knocking him to the ground. The rider was rendered unconscious and left injured in the street. The driver did not leave contact information. The cyclist was subsequently transported to Cedars by emergency services. Any help in establishing the involved vehicle and or related information is appreciated.

If you have any information, you can contact him at tbb422010@gmail.com.

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If you think your customers only arrive at your business in cars, maybe it’s because they don’t have any other choice.

That’s the battle San Diego merchants in the North Park neighborhood continue to fight, demanding that the city reverse plans for removing 420 parking spaces along 30th Street in favor of protected bike lanes.

Never mind that studies have shown that bike riders shop more often, and spend more in the long term, than people who arrive by car.

Or that making a street more bikeable — and therefore more walkable — results in an increase in livability, and a thriving, prosperous commercial district.

Not to mention a decrease in commercial vacancies, while boosting property values in the surrounding area.

But instead of explaining all that to his constituents, a weathervane councilmember stuck his finger in the wind, and decided the plan needs “slight changes” in favor of maintaining the automotive hegemony in the district.

So business owners continue to fight against their own self interests.

And San Diegans will continue to do their shopping by car, because it’s the only real option they have.

Full disclosure — I lived in the North Park neighborhood before moving to Los Angeles in 1990.

And while I loved living in one of the city’s few truly mixed neighborhoods, I hated the feeling of being unsafe anytime I tried to walk or bike to local restaurants or shops. It was easier to just hop in my car and take my business somewhere else.

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To the best of my knowledge, no bicycle ever flew off the road into one of my favorite fishing spots just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park.

But I admit I may have come close a few times.

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

A Northern Irish bike rider learned the hard way that someone had scattered box cutter blades on a Belfast bike path after one sliced through his rear tire.

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Local

LAist’s Leo Duran offers tips on how to get started riding a bike in Los Angeles.  He also says Biking in LA can be dicey. But I’ll try not to take it personally.

Long Beach addresses concerns about the recent Broadway road diet by agreeing to make “tweaks” to the roadway design — including widening traffic lanes in places by taking space from the protected bike lanes.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Agency wants to improve your safety on your bike and on foot with a series of Be Safe Be Seen workshops. If they really want to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, they should give the workshops to drivers. And make them mandatory.

San Francisco Streetsblog says it’s time to stop Caltrans and Alameda County from building another bike and pedestrian hellscape by removing sidewalks and crosswalks, and forcing both to share 3.4 foot maintenance catwalk through a tunnel.

This is who we share the roads with. A red light-running Tesla driver is accused of slamming into a San Francisco couple as they walked in a crosswalk, killing the husband.

He gets it. Great piece from an Oakland illustrator, explains graphically why he’s afraid to ride a bicycle, even though his neighborhood is flat and he doesn’t drive a car.

 

National

The high-end Robb Report looks at the new and ponderously named Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL-Founder’s Edition, saying someone finally made an ebike that doesn’t look like an ebike. Which should come as a surprise to all the other ebikes that don’t look like ebikes that got here first.

A Portland nonprofit uses adaptive bikes to help people living with a disability or dementia enjoy the thrill of getting outside and riding a bicycle, even if someone else is doing all the pedaling.

The Department of DIY suffered a setback after an Alaska father used his own money to rent plastic bollards to keep drivers from mistaking the bike path his kids ride on for a roadway; the state DOT took them down the next day, insisting the 17 signs drivers already ignore are good enough.

Denver bike riders complain about downtown’s patchy bike network, and the total ban on bike riders on the 16th Street Mall. Which are the same things I complained about when I lived there. Except not even a patchy bike network was there then.

A Missouri writer says bike lanes are political, not practical, and everyone should just merrily mix with traffic in the streets like he does. Which is exactly what’s inhibited the growth of bicycling for the past 60 years. And will keep depressing bike rates, and bike riders, until people like him stop giving cover to anti-bike traffic engineers. 

Good for them. An Illinois woman’s own parents turned her into the police for the hit-and-run that left a 63-year old man with serious injuries, after she crashed into his bicycle. My dad would have done the same thing. Then made me apologize to the victim and pay for the damages.

They get it, too. The New Yorker asks if the automobile era was a big mistake, saying our cars haven’t loved us back for the love we’ve given them over the past century. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, things weren’t so awful for the first 50 years or so, if you can ignore all the pollution and killing people and stuff.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A Queens, New York community board member’s comment that pedestrians deserve to get run over reflects a car-first culture that continues to grant motorists hegemony over the street at the expense of everyone else.

A Maryland woman was killed in a collision while participating in a 50-mile fundraising ride for a local fire department. Note to WJZ-13 in Baltimore — chances are she didn’t collide with a car; the driver hit her.

Hats off to a group for teenagers in a Georgia youth home, who rode their bikes 500 miles through two states to move past addiction and show themselves and others what they’re capable of.

 

International

Counterfeit bike saddles could literally mean the difference between life and death.

A Toronto op-ed says bike lanes won’t end the city’s hostility to people on bicycles.

A British barrister claims his client’s Parkinson’s means he couldn’t be responsible for killing a bike rider because he was driving in a state of automatism, with no idea what he was doing. Which only means he shouldn’t have been driving in the first place.

A UK writer says start the two-wheeled revolution without her.

 

Competitive Cycling

The AP says this year’s wide open Tour de France is saving its best for last.

The Beach Reporter offers more photos from Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, where CiclaValley’s young daughter got to meet her idol Coryn Rivera and got a souvenir jersey from last year’s US road champ.

 

Finally…

A Hall of Famer’s career was nearly derailed by riding his bike back home after arriving too early for his first practice as an eight-year old. Comic-Con, where dockless scooters and bicycles go to die.

And a properly sepia-toned look back at the early days of bicycling in Europe.

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I neglected to thank Eric L yesterday for his very generous donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Although you can be thankful we haven’t followed the lead of all the “Christmas in July” sales and TV movies to run a midsummer holiday fund drive.

And yes, I’m properly embarrassed that last year’s holiday fund drive page is still up on the header for this site, like someone who still has the Christmas lights up on his doublewide trailer. 

 

Morning Links: Bike rider is hero in purse snatching, bicyclist injured in LAPD crash, and pooping drivers is a thing now

Once again, a bike rider is a hero.

And this time, it’s LA’s own Will Campbell.

Longtime readers of this site will remember Will as a popular bike blogger, as well as a bike-riding non-caped crusader dedicated to being a hero to animals in need — going so as to carry dog food on his long-distance bike commutes to entice strays close enough to rescue.

Or at least ensure they get one good meal, anyway.

And he was a hero to our feathered friends, famously rescuing a pelican that found itself wrapped in fishing line along the Ballona Creek bike path.

Even though the pelican seemed to have no desire to be rescued, thank you very much.

(Unfortunately, that story appears to be lost somewhere deep in the BikinginLA archives, somehow evading all my searching skills.)

Then in a truly brilliant move, Will made a midlife career change, turning his avocation into a vocation as a licensed, gun-toting animal control cop for the Los Angeles chapter of the SPCA.

But this time, he was a hero to a human, putting that police training to work rescuing a woman, instead.

Or her purse, anyway.

We’ll let him tell the story.

Photo of hero chainring by Rahul from Pexels.

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An LA bike rider was the victim of an LAPD motorcycle cop who allegedly cut into the bike lane he was riding in without signaling.

Then again, LA bike cops don’t appear to be any safer from their fellow officers. Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the heads-up.

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LADOT wants your feedback on the new plastic delineators for protected bike lanes they tried out at Sunday’s CicLAvia.

https://twitter.com/LADOTofficial/status/1145506092685783040

You can email your thoughts to bike.program@lacity.org.

While I was forced to miss this CicLAvia, judging from the pictures, it looks a lot prettier than the usual plastic posts. And should do a much better job of keeping drivers the hell out.

On the other hand, it looks pretty awkward to exit if you have to leave the bike lane for any reason.

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Talk about not getting it. Mountain View police stopped a bike rider because his three-foot pool noodle was supposedly blocking traffic.

Which is kinda the point, since it marks a safe — and legally required — three-foot passing distance.

https://twitter.com/dannyman/status/1145749738290991104

Fortunately, they learned a lesson.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Evidently, stopping your car to poop in a Santa Clarita parking lot — or poop in a stranger’s driveway — is a thing now.

So is threatening another driver with a military-style knife.

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Local

The Los Angeles City Council made it official, voting to make the lane reductions and bike lanes on Rowena Ave permanent following a hard-fought battle to save them, as well as extending the bike lanes and make at least a portion of them protected. Maybe that could be the first installation of those new wavy delineators.

You could be a hero to your fellow bicyclists by helping improve LA’s crappy streets and sidewalks, as Mayor Garcetti invites you to become a member of the StreetsLA Stakeholder Advisory Council.

Curbed remembers the famed turn-of-the-20th-Century elevated bike path that was supposed to run from DTLA to Pasadena, eventually forming the basis of the Pasadena Freeway.

The LACBC is hosting number of bike safety classes throughout LA County this month.

Yes, it’s a little late to link to the Militant Angeleno’s epic guide to Sunday’s CicLAvia. But here’s what you might have seen or missed along the route.

Retired basketball great and TV announcer Reggie Miller is one of us, frequently seen riding his roadie and mountain bike through the Malibu Hills. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

 

State

Great idea. The local minor league baseball team has teamed with Bike Bakersfield to host a bike to the ballpark night. So when will the Dodgers — or any other LA sports team — hold a similar promotion?

Sad news from Berkeley, where a 24-year old bike rider died a week after he was left-crossed by a driver. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

National

Bike Snob says owning a car is the path to financial ruin. Tell me about it. I’ve paid over $1,500 for car insurance alone in the last 18 months, even though I haven’t driven an inch in that time. So if anyone wants a good, cheap car, let me know. Seriously. 

A former bike messenger and repeat cross-country rider discusses how an e-cargo bike helped her get her mojo back after becoming a new mom.

Just days after Denver announced a $100 fine for exceeding the 15 mph speed limit on local bike paths, a bicyclist was critically injured in a head-on bike crash with another rider on one of the city’s most popular bikeways; the city responded by increasing enforcement. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the tip.

New York bicyclists are fed up with blocked bike lanes after yet another bike rider was needlessly killed. Not to mention the NYPD’s habit of cracking down on bike riders, rather than the people in the big dangerous machines, after nearly every fatal crash.

 

International

They get it. A Toronto newspaper says slowing cars is the quickest way to safer streets.

A Canadian pedestrian learns the hard way that not only are crosswalk flags worthless and humiliating as safety devices, they can be used as a weapon in a robbery.

The Guardian offers a cartoonist’s guide to bicycling in the city. And if you like what you see there, you’ll find more here.

Call it a win-win. For the equivalent of just $350, you can buy an up-cycled, heavy-duty British postal bike. And give one just like it to someone who needs reliable transportation in Malawi.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s a changing of the guard in US cycling, as Alex Howes finally broke through and won the US men’s road cycling title after a number of close finishes, while Ruth Winder edged out defending champ Coryn Rivera for the women’s title. Emma White and Travis McCabe won the national crit titles.

The US Junior and Elite Track National Championships will take place right here in our own backyard at the VeloSports Center in Carson, starting today through the 9th. The Paracycling Track Nationals will be held at the same site next Monday and Tuesday.

 

Finally…

Before you sell an old bike at a garage sale, make sure it’s not your wife’s irreplaceable family heirloom. Now you, too, can build your very own steam-powered steam punk bicycle.

And who says you need two legs to ride a bike?

https://twitter.com/Bicicleto_ZGZ/status/1145418506659356677

………

Last week was a rough one, both because of my own health issues, and because the news wasn’t good in the Corgi’s visit to the vet for a serious illness. 

So let me offer my sincere thanks to Gold Leaf Films, Ken Rudman Consulting, and John H for donating to support this site in an effort to cheer me up. And thanks to Matthew R for setting up his own monthly subscription payment. 

As always, donations are always welcome and appreciated, in any amount. And for any reason. 

And if anyone would like to say a prayer or offer a good thought or two for a good little dog, that would be appreciated, too.

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