Tag Archive for protected bike lanes

Pasadena driver faces murder charge, LADOT proposes bike lane-free Lincoln Blvd, and protected parking lanes in DTLA

This is who we share the road with.

Police arrested 36-year old Anthony Marcus Houston on murder and reckless driving charges for a Pasadena crash last December.

He’s accused of blowing through a red light at twice the posted speed limit, and slamming into a car driven by 49-year old Pasadena resident Juanita Lucinda Johnson, killing her and injuring three other people.

Houston, who has a lengthy criminal record dating back to his teens, had been wanted since an arrest warrant was issued last month.

He also faces charges for assaulting and threatening two people earlier this month.

It’s just too bad that’s what it seems to take to get prosecutors to take traffic crimes seriously.

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LADOT wants your opinion on proposed changes to Lincoln Blvd south of Santa Monica.

None of which involves building a bike lane.

Then again, it’s not like even a “protected” bike lane means much in the City of Angels these days.

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This is what could be happening in Los Angeles.

But isn’t.

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

A driver jumped out of his car and tried to fight a woman riding her bike in New York.

Something that happens too damned often, and for no good reason.

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Local

Los Angeles has received a $30.7 million grant for transportation projects in the Canoga Park area, including protected bike lanes on Owensmouth Avenue and Sherman Way, and a protected connection between the Orange Line and the LA River bike path.

 

State

A teenage Indio bike rider was hospitalized with moderate injuries after getting struck by a driver Wednesday evening.

The Santa Barbara city council voted unanimously to build the new crosstown Sola Street bicycle boulevard, over loud objections from the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission, who somehow felt traffic diverters would destroy the historic ambiance of the Mission District.

Northern California’s Caltrain is installing new bike lockers at most stations, available on a first come, first served basis for just five cents an hour.

This is who we share the road with, too. Police are looking for a Santa Rosa man who deliberately slammed his car into a homeless camp, injuring a man he’d been arguing with and killing nearby a woman; he’ll face murder and attempted murder charges once he’s arrested.

 

National

Men’s Journal offers their picks for the best bike helmets to keep your head in one piece, however you ride. Although you can protect your head just as well for a fraction of the cost of some of their choices.

Cycling Weekly recommends clothing and accessories for on or off your bike.

A new online bicycling community promises to bring together cycling content, resources, perks and discounts into a single resource, with annual memberships starting at just $10.

A former Portland bike shop owner is urging his erstwhile peers to band together to support an industry climate change declaration. Seriously, bicycles could — and should — be one of the most important tools in fighting climate change, yet the industry has done virtually nothing to encourage it.

In an extreme example of failing to share the trail, a Washington hiker stabbed a mountain biker who asked his group to move over so he could get by. Predictably, both sides disagree on whose fault it was.

Residents of College Station, Texas rally around an 81-year old lawyer after someone stole the beat-up cruiser bike he’d ridden to work every day for the last 12 years.

Minneapolis introduces new artistically designed bike racks. Although I suspect most bike riders are more concerned with keeping their bike safe than how whimsical the rack is.

New York is poised to make a big move by shifting responsibility for crash investigations from the NYPD to the city’s department of transportation, although the police would still be responsible for any criminal investigation that results. However, that raises questions over the need to hire and train hundreds of crash investigators for a department that has never investigated anything more serious than a parking violation.

As California considers legalizing speed cams, New Yorkers voice overwhelming support for automated traffic enforcement, with 78% of New York City voters approving, along with 73% of motorists.

A New York Streetsblog op-ed argues for the role bike co-ops play in promoting equity on the city’s streets, enabling cash strapped people to get a good bike without falling into the trap of dysfunctional used bikes or low quality mass market bicycles.

Speaking of Streetsblog, they note that booming bike use means there’s now an average of just 1.9 cars for every bike on New York’s Second Avenue, yet drivers get roughly 12 times the space.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who could flee the scene after killing a 10-year old boy riding his bike; a 27-year old Georgia woman faces a charge of vehicular homicide.

 

International

The bikewear market took a nosedive last year, dropping 25% despite the bike boom.

An Edinburgh bus driver is out of work after colliding with a drunken bike rider; he was fired for reckless conduct, even though police cleared him of misconduct.

An 84-year old Limerick, Ireland woman beamed when she was given a new bicycle by the kindhearted owner of a local bike shop, after he discovered the bike she rides around the city was too far gone to be repaired.

A group of around 20 Singapore bicyclists are accused of hogging the road — not to mention violating Covid protocols — even though they courteously moved out of the driver’s way after he honked.

 

Competitive Cycling

Leading French newspaper Le Parisien reports next month’s single-day Paris-Roubaix, aka the Hell of the North, has been postponed until fall due to the pandemic; it comes after last year’s race was postponed, before being cancelled.

Bicycling hops into the Wayback Machine for a look back at the pioneering women bicyclists who forced their way into the sport, paving the way for today’s women’s cyclists. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride your bike through a closed Burger King drive-thru looking for change, with an open beer in hand, maybe leave the meth pipe at home. Florida police are looking for an electric bicycle thief; no word on whether he runs on a cord or batteries.

And yes, please.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Cost of traffic violence — 3 killed in SD crash, air better worldwide in pandemic, and bike quotes to get you riding

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Yesterday’s rains drove even more people than usual living on the streets to a San Diego underpass Sunday night, because they had nowhere else to go to seek shelter from the storm.

They paid for it with their lives the following morning when an allegedly impaired driver plowed onto the sidewalk, killing three people and injuring six others, two critically.

Seventy-one-year old Craig Voss arrested for three counts of vehicular manslaughter, as well as five counts of causing great bodily injury while committing a felony, and one count of felony DUI for driving under the influence of drugs.

Police believe Voss was the subject of a call to 911 shortly before the crash reporting a possibly intoxicated driver.

But at least he remained at the scene and attempted to aid the victims.

Beyond the sheer tragedy of three more innocent victims sacrificed on the alter to motor vehicles, it’s heartbreaking that so many people who’ve already lost everything and have to live without a roof over their heads — for whatever reason — aren’t safe along the streets they’re forced to live on.

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One more sign of the damage done by motor vehicles.

Air quality improved in 84% of country’s worldwide when pandemic lockdowns forced many people to stop driving.

An improvement that will undoubtedly be reversed once businesses open back up and people go back to work.

Especially in places like Los Angeles, where so little was done during the closures to encourage more bike riding, walking and other forms of alternative transportation.

That compares to cities throughout Europe, which are doubling down on their successful efforts to encourage bicycling as a safe form of socially distanced transportation, with 600 miles of “cycle lanes, traffic-calming measures and car-free streets” installed over the last year.

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Parade Magazine, of all sources, dishes up 50 bicycling quotes to inspire you to get out and ride, including these —

“Everyone in their life has his own particular way of expressing life’s purpose – the lawyer his eloquence, the painter his palette, and the man of letters his pen from which the quick words of his story flow. I have my bicycle.” – Gino Bartali

“Cyclists see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to” – Dr. K.K. Doty

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” Elizabeth West

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The good news is the city continues to improve safety for bicyclists in DTLA.

The bad is it seems to come at the expense of the rest of the city.

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Invest a short 20 seconds of your life to understand the freedom a bike can give someone with a disability.

And how easy it is to take it away.

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I want to be like him when I grow up.

A 77-year old Arizona man turned down his daughter’s offer to take him by car, and rode his bike nearly 50 miles roundtrip to get his Covid vaccine shot.

Although that might be trumped by a much shorter ride from a much older Dutch woman.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver with a history of violence walked without a single lousy day behind bars when a judge gave him a suspended sentence for assaulting a young couple who had stopped to fix a flat, first punching the man before knocking the woman down and stomping on her head. Seriously, what the hell are jails for, then?

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Local

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold a virtual joint meeting of the Planning and Bikeways Engineering Subcommittees starting at 1 pm this afternoon.

Spectrum News 1 looks at what’s driving pedaling the ebike boom.

 

State

Cooler heads prevail in Santa Barbara, where police reject calls to arrest young bike riders — primarily people of color — for riding bikes and performing stunts on the newly installed bike lane on the city’s State Street pedestrian plaza, with police saying they don’t want to “criminalize children for riding bikes.”

The good guys finally won one for a change, as police busted a pair of burglars who broke into a Larkspur bike shop and temporarily made off with seven bikes worth $29,000, after the owner spotted them inside his store on a live security cam.

Napa’s proposed new general plan envisions making the city’s main streets more walkable and bikeable.

 

National

Planetizen says ending traffic fatalities once and for all isn’t as farfetched as it seems.

That’s more like it. A Nogales AZ man will spend the next seven and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, while he was stoned on meth.

In an unusual move, dozens of volunteers teamed with Houston planning and public works officials to paint a new high-comfort popup bike lane. Maybe that could be a model for Los Angeles to finally end the auto-centric stasis on our streets.

Nine of the 21 candidates for a Queens city council seat took part in a bike ride through the district to examine problems and policies before the upcoming election. For years, the LACBC’s candidate surveys asked people running for city offices if they’d be willing to meet or ride with bicyclists if they were elected; even though most agreed, no one ever asked them to.

If you find yourself riding a bike in New Jersey, keep your hands on the handlebars and your feet on the pedals. And put a damn bell on it.

Biking is booming in the City of Brotherly Love, too.

A Virginia op-ed calls for lowering speed limits to 15 mph to save lives. Although here in Southern California, a 15 mph speed limit means most drivers would still do 25 to 30 mph. But at least that would be an improvement for most drivers, who currently do 35 to 45 in a 25 mph residential zone.

That’s more like it. A North Carolina man got 33 to 49 months behind bars for the November hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

Nice move from bikemaker Subrosa, which gave a new bike to a 15-year old Florida boy whose bicycle was destroyed in a hit-and-run crash; the company teamed with Adventure Cycling to give him the first bike from next year’s line, ensuring it will be a one-of-a-kind bike for the next several months.

Bike riders often spot things drivers don’t. Like a body lying near a Florida bike path, for instance.

 

International

Cyclist celebrates world bicycle speed record holder Denise Mueller-Korenek as Monday’s inspirational woman.

Gates Carbon Drive promotes a half-dozen new bikes using the company’s belt-drive products.

A neurodivergent Saskatoon, Saskatchewan kid will get a $3,500 adaptive bike back, after a bike thief was busted when he listed the unique bike for sale online.

A Mexico City woman is forging her own way in the traditionally male-dominated custom bicycle scene as the owner of the city’s only woman-run bike shop.

Damn straight. An English op-ed calls for trusting the experts when it comes to bicycling and traffic planning.

Germany’s Rose Bikes joined ranks with Commencal, Propain, Santa Cruz and other bike brands in announcing price increases due to rising costs caused by the pandemic.

Apparently, things are pretty much the same everywhere, as drivers continue to park in Philippine bike lanes, with most of the scofflaw vehicles belong to the government.

Remarkably, an Aussie bike rider was able to bounce back up when a dash cam video catches him in a frightening crash while trying to ride across a street.

 

Competitive Cycling

Writing for Red Bull, bike scribe Peter Flax profiles multi-time national champ and L39ion of Los Angeles (pronounced “legion”) founder Justin Williams, and his drive to drag cycling into the age of diversity, kicking and screaming if he has to.

Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar continues to hold the lead after the penultimate stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race, with Danish cyclist Mads Würtz Schmidt claiming his first WorldTour stage win.

British barrister and time trial specialist Jonathan Parker claims to have shattered the world record for 100 miles, checking in a slant two seconds under two hours and fifty minutes, beating the existing record by eight minutes.

UCI pulled the plug on the season opening Mountain Bike World Cup downhill race after Slovenian health officials urged them to reschedule due to the ongoing pandemic.

A 16-year old Georgia boy’s only goal was to finish the 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational fat bike race; instead, he somehow managed to finish third.

 

Finally…

Turn your body into a mini-electric generator when you ride. Another reminder why your bike should sleep indoors, especially during a massive winter storm.

And maybe this will get drivers to give you a little space.

https://twitter.com/svblxyz/status/1371401312177377280

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Apropos of that aforementioned winter storm, I love this image from my home state, where the snow is nearly one corgi deep.

Thanks to Dr. Grace Peng for the laugh.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Injured Encinitas bike advocate wins $11 million settlement, SaMo crashes drop 50%, and boring street racers into quitting

It’s the very definition of tragic irony.

In December of 2018, the executive director of advocacy group Cardiff 101 Main Street was run down by a driver while riding her bike on the sharrows on the North Coast Highway in the Leucadia neighborhood of Encinitas.

Exactly where she had long fought for safety improvements, including a road diet and bike lanes.

Roberta Walker, a longtime bike and pedestrian advocate, and former professional snowboarder, suffered multiple catastrophic injuries that left her survival in doubt for some time after she was placed in a medically induced coma.

This week, she settled a lawsuit with Encinitas for a whopping $11 million to cover past and future medical expenses, as well as what will likely be years, if not a lifetime, of rehab.

Although something tells me she’d gladly give up every penny to avoid those injuries and have her old life back.

Her lawyer argued that the sharrows were a dangerous condition of public property and a direct cause of the crash, in which she was run down from behind by a pickup driver.

Which, sadly, is about as good a description as any for far too many sharrows.

Thankfully, that won’t be a problem much longer.

The long-awaited project began preliminary construction activities last month and features traffic calming measures, buffered bike lanes, raised medians, roundabouts and enhanced crosswalks.

“One profound irony of this accident is that Ms. Walker herself had advocated for a dedicated bike lane in multiple City Council meetings,” (plaintiffs’ attorney Ed) Susolik said.

There’s no word on whether the driver ever faced charges.

Or even got a ticket for nearly killing someone riding legally, exactly where she was supposed to be.

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Santa Monica saw a 50% drop in traffic collisions over the last year as more people stayed home during the pandemic, and a 70% reduction in drunk driving due to the closure of restaurants and bars.

The city also repurposed street parking for al fresco restaurant dining, and built another 18 miles of protected bike lanes — which equals half of all the bike lanes built in Los Angeles in the 2019/2020 fiscal year, despite being just a tiny fraction of LA’s size.

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Apparently, the Burbank Police Department plans to bore street racers into giving it up.

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Today’s common theme is a host of new bikes, e- and otherwise.

Who wouldn’t want an ebike inspired by the legendary Caroll Shelby?

When you need your powerful ebike camouflaged for hunting.

A 24-year old Irishman created a new ebike designed to replace your car, and turned to Vietnam for manufacturing.

Or maybe you’d rather have a cross between a teeny tiny car and a throttle controlled adult e-tricycle.

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

After London cop carelessly cut off a bike rider, the officer made a U-turn and came back — to lecture the guy on the bike.

It’s a sad commentary when even carfree British streets aren’t.

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

Tragic news from the UK, where a bike rider is on trial for allegedly jumping a red light and slamming into a 73-year old man walking home from work; the victim died days later as a result of severe brain injuries suffered in the crash; bicyclist turned himself in after initially fleeing the scene. Yet another reminder that pedestrians are the only people on the street who are more vulnerable than we are. So ride carefully around them, dammit. And stick around after a crash. 

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Local

LADOT is planning safety improvements to a 1.2 mile segment of San Vicente Blvd east of Beverly Hills when the street is scheduled to be repaved this June; options include a separated or parking protected bike lane.

Metro is hosting a virtual bike repair and flat fixing class this Saturday.

 

State

A San Diego bike rider was lucky to survive when he swerved suddenly to avoid a garbage truck in a parking lot, and was impaled through the neck and jaw by a hook hanging from the front of a pickup.

UC Santa Barbara talks with geography professor Trisalyn Nelson, who created BikeMaps to allow bike riders to report trouble spots after yet another too-close call on her bike.

Authorities identified the victim of Saturday’s Turlock hit-and-run as a 44-year old Turlock man; police are looking for the driver of a charcoal gray Mercedes sedan with visible damage to the front and/or side.

Streetsblog is looking for freelance help in San Francisco.

A Gold Country bike columnist says unless you make a living on it, your bike is a toy, so have fun on it. Evidently, he’s never heard of bike commuting or transportation riding. Which doesn’t mean he’s not right about the fun part.

 

National

The Verge looks at the growing DIY ebike movement, citing the birth of Rad Power Bikes as a prime example.

Tragic news from Phoenix, where a 22-year old man was collateral damage when a shootout erupted between a group of people standing in a field as he was riding by on his bike.

It may be illegal to park in a Houston bike lane now, but that doesn’t mean it actually stops anyone.

Chicago’s Goose Island beer is marking the release of their new 312 Lemonade Shandy by giving away new bicycles to anyone who can find one of 50 giant lemons hidden throughout the city on — you guessed it — March 12th, aka 3-12. And they make damn good beer, too.

The bike shortage induced by the bike boom induced by the pandemic has made its way to Bowling Green KY, home to the fighting WKU Hilltoppers.

Armed robbers are targeting New York delivery riders to steal the expensive ebikes they need to do their jobs.

 

International

The family of British motorcyclist Harry Dunn say they’re offended by an offer from American spy Anne Sacoolas to do community service for the wrong way hit-and-run that took his life, after she claimed diplomatic immunity to flee the country. Although you have to wonder about American intelligence services if they can’t figure out that Brits drive on the other side of the road.

A bike chain in the UK is facing well-deserved criticism for laying off 300 workers and shifting the rest to zero guaranteed hour contracts in an effort to slash costs, despite booming business from the bike boom.

 

Competitive Cycling

Vincenzo Nibali, who should know, says turn off those bike computers and power meters during a race and ride on instinct, like Strade Bianche winner Mathieu van der Poel.

Rouleur previews the upcoming Giro, the first of the three Grand Tours.

 

Finally…

Business up front, party in the back — a DIY mountain bike with a mullet. That feeling when the cops have you dead to rights for stealing a bike from a disabled person, and you somehow think you can do better in front of a jury.

And when you want to learn how to make a bicycle, among other things.

In Japanese.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Safety of Cardiff protected bike lane questioned, SD biking safer than you think, and adventures in bad headlines

San Diego bike advocate Phillip Young is a frequent contributor to this site.

I always appreciate his insights. But we part ways when it comes to protected bike lanes.

Young penned a guest post for Cycling Salvation, suggesting that protected bike lanes only give the illusion of safety, while posing a hidden risk to new and experienced bike riders alike.

Bordered by raised asphalt barriers and bright plastic pylons, these “protected bike lanes” create a sort of “safety bubble” that protects cyclists from vehicles moving alongside them, in the same direction. In theory, cyclists of all ages and abilities can enjoy the San Diego sunshine and scenery, while cars and trucks whizz by in the adjacent vehicle lane. Motorists will see the fun loving bikers not slowed by traffic jams and join them in droves. Soon, we’ll all be pedaling together, in cycling bliss.

But those rosy assurances crumble, when we confront the real dangers of “protected bike lanes”, and the emotional and economic cost of the accidents, injuries, and deaths that plague them.

He directs his barbs in particular at a recently installed curb-protected bike lane on the coast highway through Cardiff.

According to statistics gathered by North County cycling advocates, there were 24 accidents — all at slow speeds — in just 8-months on a 1-mile flat “protected bike lane” stretch installed last year on the Cardiff 101 beach route. Fifteen of those crashes were caused by cyclists who collided with the raised asphalt barriers designed to keep vehicles away from the bike traffic. A ten-year-old rider flopped into the traffic lane after colliding with an asphalt barrier – fortunately, not run over by a vehicle. Many of these crashes resulted in ambulance rides to a hospital including: 1-knocked unconscious, 1-neck injury, 2-multiple bone fractures, 1-broken pelvis, 2-pedestrian crashes, and 1-hit surfboard.

The “protected bike lanes” on popular beachfront roads also attract pedestrians, joggers, families with strollers, beachgoers carrying umbrellas, coolers, and chairs, and scores of other non-cyclists. Those pedestrians don’t always pay attention to the cyclists, which creates a serious hazard for everyone. Raised barriers are also a pedestrian trip hazard. When a “protected bike lane” is on a steep grade, the added bike speed makes the situation even more hazardous.

Young also points to the death of a bike rider on another protected bike lane, with a design that prevented the driver from merging into the lane before turning, as required by California law.

A cyclist on Leucadia Blvd suffered a much worse fate. A truck driver made a right turn in front of the rider, who was killed when he collided with the truck. The plastic pylons designed to “protect” the cyclist had the opposite effect; they prevented the truck driver from slowly moving towards the curb as he prepared to make that right turn onto Moonstone Ct.

It’s a well argued piece, worth the click and a few minutes of your time.

However, the suggestion that protected bike lanes increase danger to bike riders runs counter to virtually all of the studies I’ve seen, including this endorsement from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Even the most critical recent report, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, found that most protected bike lanes improve safety for bike riders, with a few limited exceptions like narrow two-bike lanes or protected lanes broken up by numerous driveways and turns.

It’s also worth pointing out that the 24 bicycling crashes he refers to along a single stretch of road in an eight-month period works out to just three per month.

And yes, that’s three too many.

But it’s stat presented out of context. What matters isn’t how many crashes there were after the bike lanes went in, but how that compares to before they were installed.

If there were five crashes a month before the lanes were installed, a reduction to three a month would reflect a significant improvement in safety.

On the other hand, if there was an average of two bicycling crashes a month prior to the protected bike lanes going in, then it would mark a 50% decrease in safety.

The same holds true with the severity of the crashes. Even if there are more crashes now, if the victims are less seriously injured, the protected bike lanes are doing their job.

That said, looking at a photo of these particular bike lanes suggests several serious safety deficiencies.

First, the bike lane doesn’t appear to be wide enough to accommodate two bicycle riding side-by-side, making it challenging to safely pass slower riders. And no one is going to patiently ride in single file behind someone riding at a fraction of their speed.

The proximity of the parking lane also means passengers will exit onto the bike lane, potentially into the path of a passing rider — not to mention cross the bike lane on their way to the beach laden with blankets, umbrellas, coolers and kids.

And the narrow, unwelcoming walkway to the right means many, if not most, pedestrians will choose to walk in the bikeway, instead.

As much as I support protected bike lanes, this particular one does not appear to pass the smell test.

Or any other test, for that matter.

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While we’re on the subject, Phillip Young added some more thoughts in an email exchange yesterday afternoon, which is worth sharing here.

Doing research for my article, I came across San Diego County car vs bicycle accident data:

Average number of San Diego County car vs bicycle accident / crashes annually: 629

San Diego County population 3+ million people

The majority (60%) of the accidents are “Bicycle Riders Acting Badly”:

  • Ran a red light or stop sign
  • Cutting in between cars
  • Taking unnecessary chances

Inexperienced male bicycle riders between ages of 15 and 19 account for most accidents.

The overwhelming majority (92%) of the accidents, the bicycle rider sustains non-severe injuries:

  • 1% Deaths (Not all bicycling deaths are solely the car or truck driver’s fault: e.g. gun shot, alcohol / drugs, medical event, bicycle equipment failure, no lights or reflectors at night, etc.)
  • 7% Severe Injuries
  • 92% Complaint of pain and other visible injury

It is very unlikely a car will hit you on your next bike ride (Average 629 annual crashes with a population of 3+ million people). Even if you are unlucky and a car does hit you, 92% chance it will be a non-severe injury.

It’s way more likely you will hit something and crash — we don’t need more stuff sticking up to crash into or bad road surfaces with holes and debris to cause a fall. Even a slow speed bicycle crash can be serious.

Money is much better spent building Class I Bike Paths and Class II Buffered Bike Lanes.  Building more miles of Class IV Cycle Tracks (Protected Bike Lanes) will just multiply our problems.

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The victim in the fatal Florida bike crash during the 72-hour Sea to Sea endurance race has been identified as Dr. Troy Manz.

The former Marine was a first-year resident at an Indiana hospital, and a member of the Air National Guard.

Two women riding near Dr. Manz were seriously injured. They were among the nine bicyclists involved in four collisions during the race.

Unfortunately, there’s still no word on whether the driver will face charges.

After all, it is Florida, which isn’t exactly friendly to bike riders.

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Who knew?

Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley is one of us, too. 

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A bike messenger and fixie crit racer toured Southern California, looking for the fastest descents the state has to offer.

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Adventures in bad headlines.

Apparently, the driver. or maybe a bystander, was violently killed after hitting the bike rider.

Or at least, that’s what the headline and story implies.

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Sometimes it seems like there’s nothing in our future that The Simpsons hasn’t already predicted.

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

A “mob” of teenage bike riders rode through a UK grocery store two days in a row, becoming abusive when staffers asked them to leave.

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Local

The family of 31-year old Victor Valencia have filed suit against the LAPD for fatally shooting the mentally ill man as he allegedly waved a bicycle part resembling a gun.

UCLA Transportation wonders if an ebike is right for you.

Pasadena police wrote 138 tickets during the latest crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, the overwhelming majority of which went to motorists; just 17 bike riders were ticketed for violations like riding salmon or on the sidewalk, or blowing through stop signs and red lights.

 

State

Kindhearted La Habra cops pitched in to buy a new bike for a 13-year old boy after the one he got from his dad for Christmas was stolen the very next day.

Awful news from San Diego, where a 40-year old former BMX coach was convicted of sexually assaulting three young boys, at least one below the age of ten, after first plying them with porn.

Bakersfield police are looking for the driver of a white, late 1990s Toyota Avalon for the hit-and-run crash that injured a bicyclist last month.

A Sacramento man faces 61 years behind bars for wrapping a woman in his coat and carrying her off a bike path after seeing she was in distress — then fatally stabbing her without warning, for no apparent reason.

Good news, as police in Concord recovered a stolen shipping container filled with nearly 500 bikes that were headed for Botswana; no word on whether the people who stole it were arrested.

 

National

Writing for Bicycling, bike scribe Joe Lindsey tells the Bike Twitterati to give the former Mayor Pete a break, because what really matters is that the Transportation Secretary is on a bicycle. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. Which really makes you wonder what the point of their paywall is, anyway.

Speaking of Buttigieg, he’s scheduled to address the Bike League’s National Bike Summit tomorrow.

Rolling Stone — yes, the music magazine — recommends the best helmets for bike riders.

A Washington man got a well-deserved nine years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while high on meth; he stopped to dislodge the bike from under his car, and told someone he thought he hit a mailbox. Because lots of mailboxes ride bicycles, apparently.

That’s just why everyone goes to Vegas, to ride a Peloton in your hotel room.

He gets it. An op-ed from the head of a Utah council of business and governmental leaders calls on the state to increase investment in the post-pandemic bike boom.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bike that a disabled Missouri man relied as his only form of transportation. And just the opposite for the kindhearted stranger who replaced it.

A Kentucky man admits to being the hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider while high on marijuana and meth.

A Black Rhode Island woman is working to get more women of color on bikes.

A new study shows investing in more bicycling and walking could save as many as 770 lives and $7.6 billion annually in the Northeast states alone.

That’s more like it. A coalition of New York transportation, pedestrian and bicycle advocacy groups are calling on the city to convert 25% of the city’s streets to spaces for bikes, buses and walkers by 2025. Meanwhile, Slate considers what the city could do with all that space.

Key West says get your ebikes off the sidewalks. And slow down, already.

 

International

Cycling Tips explains why roundabouts suck for people on bicycles.

Bike sales figures suggest the bike boom has survived a gloomy British winter.

Tour Christchurch, New Zealand by bike on your next trip to the island nation.

 

Finally…

That feeling when everyone’s reading the tea leaves in your Peloton bio — except you don’t have one. Everyone knows Ozone is bad for people on bicycles.

And who needs protected bike lanes, anyway?

https://twitter.com/anderspreben/status/1366440759113756674

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

WeHo proposes protected bike lanes on Santa Monica and Fountain, and witness looks for West LA bike crash victim

This could be a literal life saver.

West Hollywood is considering a motion to study how protected bike lanes can be installed on Santa Monica Blvd and Fountain Avenue at next Monday’s meeting.

As Streets For All notes, WeHo already has bike lanes on Santa Monica from Doheny to La Cienega. Even if you have to dodge drivers double parked in the bike lane, or pulling in or out of parking spaces.

On the other hand, bicyclists had to settle for sharrows on Fountain, which isn’t exactly the most comfortable place to ride, thanks to impatient, aggressive and often speeding drivers.

Well-designed protected bike lanes could make a big difference on both, providing safe and bikeable routes through the city, as well as better comfort and livability for everyone along the streets.

Streets For All explains how you can support the motion.

HOW YOU CAN HELP IN TWO STEPS

FIRST…

Send an email right now (by 4p on Monday at the latest) to West Hollywood City Council. We’ve pre-filled the text to make it super easy, but the more personal you can make it, the better.

EMAIL PUBLIC COMMENT

SECOND…

Register to speak at the West Hollywood City Council Meeting this Monday, Mar 1 at 530PM by emailing the clerk saying that you wish to speak and then calling in at 530pm on Monday:

Dial 669-900-6833
Meeting ID 946 3099 4369 #

REGISTER TO SPEAK

………

A Nextdoor user is looking for the bike rider who got hit by a driver at Olympic and Bentley in West LA on Wednesday.

Nextdoor isn’t the easiest platform to respond to someone if you don’t live in the same neighborhood.

But if you know the person they’re looking for, I can pass his or her contact information on the the person who sent this to me, and hopefully they can pass it on to them.

………

Calbike urges you to sign the petition calling on California to provide rebates for ebike purchases. And so do I.

The nonprofit organization is also looking for a part-time temporary Policy Associate.

………

Little known fact, courtesy of Zachary Rynew — Los Angeles is both one of the lowest and one of the highest cities in the US, thanks to Mt. Lukens, the city’s highest point.

Which is where Gravel Bike California grinds this week.

………

I rode on a low curb once. Does that count?

https://twitter.com/RexChapman/status/1364958258914594828?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1364963776559255571%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es2_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbikinginla.com%2Fwp-admin%2Fpost-new.php

Thanks to Mike Burk for the link.

………

There are none so blind as drivers who refuse to see the light.

https://twitter.com/abikeist/status/1365142951211331584

………

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

A Rancho Cucamonga man is behind bars for stealing a man’s cellphone at knifepoint after rear-ending the victim’s car on his bike. The story doesn’t mention it, but it crash that started it all sounds like an insurance scam.

………

Local

Yahoo picks up a paywalled story from AFP Relax that says riding a bike in Los Angeles isn’t always easy — and sometimes dangerous — but there’s hope. A faint hope, at this point. But still.

 

State

Los Alamitos is reaching out to the nearby unincorporated community of Rossmoor in an attempt to integrate plans to make the area more walkable and bike friendly.

San Diego e-scooter riders can get a buck of their rental by parking it in a scooter corral.

The rich get richer, as San Francisco bike riders get two more protected bike lanes.

If you had a bike stolen from your San Francisco garage recently, the SFPD may have good news for you.

Anyone in the Wine Country who’s in the market for a kid’s bike should head up to Santa Rosa’s nonprofit Community Bikes, which is blowing out an overabundance of refurbished bicycles at a fraction of their value.

 

National

They get it. Slate calls for ebikes for everyone, asking why shouldn’t the feds help Americans get one?

The Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition calls attention to the state’s three-foot passing law, reminding drivers they have to change lanes to pass a bike rider if they can’t give at least three feet. And yes, that’s a hell of a lot better than California’s law, which allows drivers to pass at less than three feet if they slow down to some unspecified safer speed.

Boulder CO police bust a machete-wielding man who tried to make his escape on a stolen bicycle after he was caught burglarizing a house.

Mountain bikers could soon get another 240 acres of trails just outside Dallas in Denton, Texas. Which is also home to the world’s first and only self-proclaimed nuclear polka band.

An Ohio barber is asking for donations of kid’s bikes, hoping to give away a hundred new bikes and helmets to get children off their screens for awhile.

A member of New York’s Major Taylor Iron Riders bike club describes how bicycling helped her bounce back following a devastating diagnosis of Sjögren’s Syndrome.

Support is growing to keep cars off Philadelphia’s waterfront MLK Drive permanently, which has been closed to cars during the pandemic.

Delaware bike riders want the state law allowing bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields to be made permanent, rather than expiring this year as currently written.

There’s something seriously wrong when a 73-year old Florida woman is thrown more than half the length of a football field by a drunk driver, suffering life-threatening injuries just because she had the misfortune of sharing a street with the jerk.

 

International

Pink Bike asks whether bicycles are actually getting less expensive, with better bikes available for under three grand — or two grand for hardtails.

Road.cc considers the best second bike for roadies.

A London paper offers a guide to riding safely and confidently in the city in order to avoid using public transport while the pandemic rages on.

A British site says forget the SUV and get a folding e-cargo bike; they like this one from Rad Power for around $1,500.

They get it. The UK’s iNews looks at the true cost of bike theft, which goes far beyond the bike’s price.

An Indian paper remembers a noted poet and Hindu priest who passed away on Thursday, known for riding his bike everywhere in the city of Thiruvananthapuram.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tragic news from Italy, where a promising 17-year old member of former Tour de France, Giro and Vuelta winner Vincenzo Nibali’s cycling team was killed in a collision while on a training ride.

Cycling News highlights ’84 Olympic legend Nelson Vails, describing him as “the Harlem kid who became America’s first Black Olympic medalist.” Every February, news outlets across the US remember Major Taylor for Black History Month as America’s first Black cycling champ, forgetting there’s a straight line connecting him with Vails, and LA-based former national champs Rahsaan Bahati and Justin Williams.

Taking a page from what Americans call soccer and the rest of the world calls football, cyclists who commit safety violations can now get a red card for a third offense.

Bad news for the competition, as 38-year old Dutch pro Annemiek van Vleuten says she’s feeling faster than ever, which is saying a lot for the four-time world champ.

The Queen of Pain, aka endurance cyclist Rebecca Rush, recalls the 350-mile 2020 Iditarod Trail Invitational, describing it as the race that nearly broke her.

 

Finally…

Anyone can do a few laps at the velodrome; not many can do 90 laps despite suffering from a variety of mental, physical and genetic disabilities.

And you know things are bad when West Covina sells its own streets.

To itself.

………

Thanks to Margaret for her generous donation to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. Any contribution is always welcome and appreciated!

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Popular Waffle Ride postponed until summer, Culver City passes bus and bike lane plan, and take an ebike laugh break

Happy Groundhog Day!

The good news is, it doesn’t matter whether the groundhog sees his shadow. Either way, there will be six more weeks of bicycling.

And a hell of a lot more after that.

Photo by Aaron J Hill from Pexels.

………

San Diego’s popular Belgian Waffle Ride has been put off until mid-summer, while the Asheville NC edition will roll in August, with a new Kansas ride ten days later.

………

It looks like Culver City’s proposal for quick build bus and bike lanes overcame NIMBY opposition to pass unanimously.

………

Trek says it’s time to take a break from driving to the market and building picnic tables for squirrels, and buy an ebike.

No, seriously, it’s worth watching.

You might get the best smile you’ll have all day.

………

This is who we used to share the road with.

Sadly, some things never change.

………

NACTO celebrates Black History Month by sharing a tweet from last year about a little-known Black inventor who helped make all those kids and adult trikes possible.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego’s bike-friendly Republican former mayor has tossed his hat in the ring to replace California Governor Gavin Newsom in a possible recall election.

Santa Barbara kicks off its new ebike bikeshare system.

San Luis Obispo plans to take advantage of a scheduled street resealing to install paired separated and protected bike lanes.

A new petition calls for a quick-build bike lane on the Bay Area’s Oakland Bay Bridge.

 

National

Rolling Stone — yes, that Rolling Stone — offers suggestions on how to store your bike inside your apartment.

Spokane WA bike riders say winter riding isn’t for the faint of heart, especially with the city’s lack of good infrastructure. Something LA bike riders can relate to, where the bike network sucks and winter daytime temperatures sometimes drop all the way to the 60s. Brrrrrrr.

Las Vegas spent $5.9 million to upgrade a boulevard. And the best they could do for bikes was paint a few sharrows to help drivers improve their aim.

Chicago has roughly half the bike lanes they were promised by now. Yet LA bike riders envy them anyway.

After moving from New Hampshire, a pair of Colorado men discover the state doesn’t have a lift-served bike park dedicated solely to mountain bikers. So they’re building one that will be open half the year, less than an hours drive from Denver.

An upstate New York congressman calls for retaining part of an outdated elevated roadway scheduled to be torn down, and convert it to a bike and pedestrian pathway.

A New York bike rider complains about plans to put a bike lane on the Brooklyn Bridge, saying we should stop making it harder for people to drive (scroll down). No, really.

Streetsblog says the plan for the bridge isn’t radical, but just adjusting to reality as vehicle traffic across the bridge drops and bike traffic increases.

New York’s mayor calls for bike boulevards throughout the city, but fails to make clear just what he means by that.

In yet another case of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a two-time hit-and-run driver in Florida made it three when he was arrested for leaving the scene after killing a bike rider nearly a year ago — then deliberately crashed his truck again to hide the damage from the hit-and-run.

 

International

Proving once again it’s not just an American problem, English police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who t-boned a bike-riding woman in her 50s, in a crash caught on a cringeworthy security cam video. As usual with stories like this, be sure you really want to see it before you click on the video, because you can’t unsee it.

A new survey shows a third of UK residents are riding more than they did prior to the pandemic.

Bike thieves burglarize a Scottish bike shop, making off with the equivalent of $68,000 worth of bikes and frames.

Bike use is soaring in Seoul, Korea, too.

An Aussie site examines why ebike bikeshares can succeed where others have failed.

 

Competitive Cycling

New ‘cross world champ Mathieu van der Poel says his rivalry with fellow Dutchman Wout van Aert is “getting bigger than the sport itself.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay suggests the competition between the Dutch cyclists could be the best rivalry in sports. Even if half his column is hidden behind a paywall.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have a roof and look like a clown car. That feeling when a heavy foot on the gas pedal makes you what you hate most.

And no. Just…no.

Even if he is wearing bike shoes.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

The cost of traffic violence, vehicular cyclists versus protected bike lanes, and why people keep dying on the streets

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A British woman describes firsthand what it’s like to survive — barely — a near-fatal collision with a truck driver while riding her bike to church.

I heard a loud bang. A heavy thud. A violent bump. It was me. It was the noise of my body slamming against the lorry. And then falling to the ground.

I couldn’t work out what was happening. My heart was in my throat. I was staring up at the beautiful, bright blue sky, but at the same time sinking into darkness.

I was in excruciating pain as the heavy truck’s wheels – of which there were 12 in total – ran over my leg.

It’s a powerful story.

Especially this part.

I was desperate to see my kids, but I didn’t want to scare them. After two days, I put on my bravest face and held them when they visited me.

My son said, “Mummy, you’re not ready to die. We haven’t finished our story yet.”

Fortunately, she made it. And kept her leg, thanks to five separate surgeries, including one 12 hour marathon.

But something else to consider.

While she doesn’t mention it in her story, one vital aspect in getting back on her feet was the UK’s National Health Service, which meant she didn’t leave the hospital with a massive bill like she would have in the US.

In fact, chances are, she paid little or nothing, despite her month-long hospital stay.

So she was able to go home to her family and resume her life, even writing a book about her experiences.

Instead of being forced into bankruptcy like so many Americans after a similar experience.

………

The San Diego Union-Tribune takes a deep dive into the city’s new protected bike lane network, and the problems it causes for some in the spandex-clad set.

“This is to attract the all-ages and abilities groups that are just trying to go places within their communities, but if you need to go fast, the (car) lane is always open,” said Everett Hauser, a traffic engineer focusing on bicycle infrastructure for the city of San Diego.

Many new projects around the region also include bicycle-specific traffic lights at busy intersections and reconfiguring streets to encourage slower driving especially at tight turns.

Still, not everyone’s convinced.

“These protected bike lanes that have appeared in the last few years are the most dangerous thing that’s ever happened to bicycling in San Diego,” said Ralph Elliott, 70, historian of the San Diego Bicycle Club and a member for more than 50 years. “They’re unsafe. If there’s a car door in your face, somebody’s walking in the protected bike lane, skateboarding in the lane, dog in the lane all that’s dangerous because you can’t get out.”

Most studies don’t bear that out, however.

A recent 13-year study of 12 large international cities shows that separated and protected bike lanes improve safety for all road users, reducing traffic deaths by 44%.

Although a lot depends on the design and quality of the protected lanes.

But as the story points out, protected bike lanes are designed for casual bike riders who might not feel safe mixing with motorists.

Club riders and other experienced bicyclists who don’t want to slow down should be free to continue riding in the regular traffic lanes, where their speed won’t pose a danger to themselves or others.

………

Sadly, two SoCal bicycle riders lost their lives over the weekend.

On Saturday, a 75-year old man was killed by a semi-driver in an Oxnard crash.

And on Sunday, a motorcycle rider somehow slammed into the trailing rider on a group ride in East San Diego County near Jamul; both the bicyclist and the motorcyclist died at the scene.

Two more tragic reminders that our streets aren’t safe enough for people on bicycles. And our safety is still in the hands of those we share the road with.

………

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

An Iowa man who deliberately drove his car through a group of racial justice protestors because he thought they needed “an attitude adjustment” walked without a single day behind bars, despite leaving several injured people in his wake. To make matters worse, his conviction will be expunged if he stays out of trouble for three short years.

And a North Dakota woman walked away with two years probation after intentionally running down a man she’d been arguing with as he attempted to ride away on his bike.

………

Take a 59-second mountain bike break.

………

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

A 73-year old Novato, California woman blames a pair of aggressive mountain bikers for spooking her horse, resulting in a broken wrist, shattered eye socket and a broken jaw that had to be wired shut. Seriously, don’t do that.

………

Local

Former Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge died unexpectedly last week at 67; he was known for his frequent recreational rides through his district, though he also blocked a number of bike projects, including the long-planned 4th Street Bike Boulevard.

Streets For All says there’s still time to run for your neighborhood council; a Thursday webinar will discuss how you can add more bike and pedestrian voices to your council — starting with yours.

Glendora wants your input on plans to improve bicycle access to the city’s upcoming Gold Line — aka L Line – station.

 

State

A La Jolla woman ‘fesses up to being the person who installed a free trading post along a bike path in the city.

Federal authorities seized 600 girls bikes worth $84,000 that were headed to a company in San Bernardino County; the Chinese-made bikes had an excessive level of lead in their pink paint.

A Lompoc paper considers the role the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition plays in making the streets safer and more equitable for people on bicycles.

After barely surviving stage four throat cancer, a Bakersfield man took to two wheels to regain his life.

No San Francisco, a sharrow on a four-lane arterial roadway does not a safe bicyclist make.

 

National

Bicycling says the best deals are on used bikes these days, and wants to help with your shopping by listing what they consider the best buys.

Cycling Tips offers more details on the proposed class action lawsuit alleging Trek vastly overstated the effectiveness of their WaveCel technology for Bontrager bike helmets.

A young former soap opera star is one of us, as the kid who played Danny Morgan on General Hospital needed a number of stitches after doing a face plant off his bike.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a paraplegic Denver man’s three wheeled adaptive handcycle.

It’s been eight months since a Colorado woman disappeared after reportedly going for a Mother’s Day bike ride; no trace has been found, despite a massive search.

After setting out to ride 2,020 miles across the US in 2020, a South Dakota teenager overshot the mark, ending up with almost 3,000 miles.

Good news from North Carolina, where a 14-year old girl was found safe, three weeks after she had disappeared while riding her bike.

 

International

Now your bike can actively remove pollution from the air, rather than just not adding to it.

A writer for Bike Radar says it’s worth the time and research required to ride comfortably in the winter. Although in LA, that sometimes means just deciding to go with a lower SPF.

Conde Nast Traveler recommends seven bike trails from around the world, from India to Germany — including our own beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail.

Forget how well it protects your head; what really matters about your new bike helmet is whether it works with you ponytail.

A Vancouver man set a new world’s record by riding 7,100 miles to visit 24 European capitals in just six months.

Road.cc calls it an “unexpected outbreak of common sense” as bicyclists get a rule overturned banning bikes from a shopping district, even if they’re just being walked.

London’s city council will take another look at the knee-jerk removal of a popular bike lane after drivers complained it was causing congestion; since the removal, drivers have just used it as a parking lane. As we’ve said before, though, the only real cause of traffic congestion is too many cars.

After riding nearly 50 miles just to get there, a group of men are turned away from a Welsh bike trail for breaking the UK’s lockdown restrictions; they’re told they’ll face arrest if they come back.

British and European bike brands remain in flux as they struggle to adapt to the new Brexit trade rules.

The pandemic-fueled bike boom manifested itself in Ireland, as well, as the city of Cork saw a 35% jump in bicycling last year.

This is what LA could be doing, but isn’t. Paris has approved a $300 million plan to convert the car-choked Champs-Élysées into “an extraordinary garden” running over a mile across the city.

Record-setting 109-year old bike racer Robert Marchand wrote a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron, asking that bicyclists be exempted from Covid lockdown rules that restrict biking or running to within roughly two-thirds of a mile from home.

A new Belgian ebike parking unit allows you to securely lock up your heavy bike, while recharging the battery.

Another Chinese bikeshare bicycle dumping ground swamps the city of Chengdu.

No bias here. A Singapore paper asks if bicyclists and drivers can ever get along — but only includes rules for the people on two wheels, with barely a word on how motorists can drive safely around people on bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

German doctor Mark Schmidt faces up to five and a half years behind bars, as well as losing his medical license for five years for his role in the Operation Aderlass doping scandal that took down at least six riders on the pro tour.

 

Finally…

You can’t use stadium seats for sports fans anymore, so you might as well use them to display your massive team cycling jersey collection. If you’re going to steal a tip jar from a business, don’t leave the bike you stole behind.

And yes, the royal family rides bikes, too.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

LA brags about modest bike lane mileage, resource guide for traffic violence victims, and Trek sued over WaveCel claims

Los Angeles continues to nibble at the edges of bike safety, as the city touts the installation or improvement of 61 miles of bike lanes in 2020.

That includes nearly 13 miles of new bike lanes on South LA’s Avalon Blvd.

However, it’s important to remember that LADOT measures bike lanes in lane miles, which means that each side of the roadway is counted separately. So that 61 miles really means bike lanes were added or improved on just 30 miles of streets.

That’s a big step up from the ten lane miles installed in the 2017-18 fiscal year, but still just a fraction of the annual totals built during Antonio Villaraigosa’s tenure as mayor — although the city is installing more protected and separated bike lanes now.

However, it still neglects large segments of the city, and makes no attempt to create a connected bike lane network crossing Los Angeles — let alone the three interconnected networks called for in the city’s mobility plan.

Bike lane construction for 2021 is expected to concentrate on Figueroa Blvd in DTLA and Broadway in South LA.

So who knows?

Maybe someday the city will finally get around to building bike lanes where you ride while you’re still young enough to use them.

………

Losing a loved one is hard enough under any conditions.

Let alone losing someone you love to traffic violence.

That’s why Southern California Families for Safe Streets, a project of pedestrian advocacy group Los Angeles Walks, is offering a free resource guide for people who have experienced a sudden, unexpected loss.

The guide was prepared by people who have gone through it themselves, including tips on how to turn your grief into effective action.

Let’s hope you never need it.

But roughly 3,500 California families did in 2019. And probably will this year.

………

Why wait for local leaders to rip out a bike lane, when you can just turn an offroad bike path into your own personal car lane?

………

It’s not new, but this video offers a recumbent tour of a unique California neighborhood where homes have hangers instead of garages, and taxiways in place of streets.

Thanks to the free, daily California Sun newsletter for the link.

………

Forget the latest high-end, high-tech wonders. Pink Bike takes a look at what everyday bike riders are riding.

………

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

Someone has been removing bollards from a protected bike lane in the UK and just tossing them across the surrounding area, creating a hazard for people riding bicycles, as well as others who might trip or drive over them.

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

An Aussie bike rider unloads on a motorist after the car’s passenger threw litter at him. Seriously, don’t do this, kids. Violence is never the answer. Although I may have been known to toss trash back through the driver’s window.

………

Local

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition reminds the city — and everyone else — that protected bike lanes improve safety for everyone, not just people on bikes.

 

State

Six women will set out to break three world records on Saturday by riding elliptical bikes up San Diego’s steep Mt. Palomar, with a 5,000 foot elevation gain in just 12.5 miles.

Santa Barbara has embarked on a stunning remake of Los Positas Road to add a 2.6-mile multi-use path connecting to the beach.

 

National

Maybe there’s hope yet. Streetsblog says the victories by Democratic Senate candidates in Georgia opens the way for a long-delayed revamp of the national transportation bill to create greater sustainability, with an emphasis on public transit and active transportation.

A new lawsuit accuses Trek of falsely claiming its Bontrager WaveCel helmets are up to 48 times more effective than traditional foam bike helmets in order to command a higher price.

The Drive recommends their picks for the best ebike conversion kits.

Anyone can build up an existing frame, so learn how to weld your own, instead.

Las Vegas bike advocates are responding to the recent death of five experienced bicyclists at the hands of a meth-using truck driver by pushing for greater safety for people on two wheels, including a call for a presumed liability law that would shift the burden of proof to the person in the more dangerous vehicle.

A Nyack NY bike shop is shutting down after nearly 50 years, after long days due to the pandemic bike boom took all the fun out of it for the owner, and emptied all the shop’s inventory, anyway.

New York suffered its first bicycling death of 2021 when an ebike rider inexplicably rode into the back of a parked SUV, the same day Southern California saw the year’s first first bike rider killed in a Riverside hit-and-run.

Great idea. A New Jersey business district is offering shoppers free twice-weekly delivery by cargo bike.

 

International

Road.cc rates 15 aluminum disk brake bikes, calling them today’s best value bikes.

More evidence of the worldwide bike boom, as London’s bikeshare system saw a record-setting 157% increase in registrations during the pandemic.

Two Irish cousins will spend at least a couple decades behind bars for murdering another man in a case of mistaken identity after falsely accusing him of stealing a bicycle; one man got a life sentence while the other received a minimum of 26 years in prison.

A Dutch university has developed a tool to wirelessly recharge ebikes through the kickstand.

Admitting to mistakes in the early days of the pandemic, Milan’s mayor is committed to changing how people get around the formerly auto-centric city, including plans for 185 miles of new bike lanes, with 21 miles already installed during the initial lockdown.

A horrifying crime, as Indian vigilantes kidnapped 30 women and children because they suspected men in the nomadic tribe of stealing bikes. Although they may have accused them of stealing motorcycles, rather than bicycles, since the Indian press uses the same term for both.

Malaysian bicyclists say new bike riders inspired by the pandemic bike boom are giving the rest of them a bad name.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yes, the pros do care what you say about them. So be nice.

Former doper and current gelati maker Riccardo Riccò just says no to the Covid-19 vaccine, thanks to a newfound concern over what he puts in his body.

 

Finally…

Just what every aspiring fashionista needs — a $27,000 haute couture bicycle. Your lifelong wait for bike shorts with built-in artificial intelligence and stimulating electrodes is finally over.

And if you’re using your bike to burglarize motor vehicles, just put a damn light on it, already.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

New law keeps dangerous DUI drivers on the road, and sharp-eyed BikinginLA follower helps recover stolen bike

Welcome back.

We made it. Not just through the holidays, which is always a challenge. But through the most difficult year in recent memory. 

So pat yourself on the back, and take a celebratory bike ride to mark your achievement. And if you already did, go out for another one. 

Thanks to John M, Eric B, James V, Steven F, Grace P, John H and everyone else who donated their hard-earned money to the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

This year’s donations ranged from $5 to $250. I appreciate the smallest donations every bit as much as the largest ones, because I know all too well how hard it can be to give when money is tight.

I am also incredibly humbled and grateful for the kind words that accompanied so many of the donations. It was a struggle just to get through the past year while keeping up with the demands of this site, for a number of reasons.

It means more than I could begin to say to know those efforts are appreciated. And I’ll do my best to live up to all you had to say.

Thank you.

Photo by Raniery Costa Pelissari from Pexels.

………

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

The new Orange County DA writes that DUI must have consequences, after a little-noticed new law went into effect promising to wipe DUI convictions off a driver’s record.

Beginning January 1, a new law that makes misdemeanor DUI eligible for diversion changes that. Once diversion is completed, it’s as if the crime never happened – and those prior convictions wash out, despite the fact that state law allows prior DUIs to be pled and proven for up to 10 years.  They can’t be used as a prior – and the families whose lives were shattered by an impaired driver will not get the justice they deserve.

Assembly Bill 3234 does not impose a limit on how many times someone can be given diversion. How many times are we going to give someone a break before they kill someone? And now if they do, we won’t be able to prosecute them as more serious crimes.

Seriously, this could be a disaster.

Our legal system will now be actively working to keep dangerous drivers on the road. And free from consequences for actions that could lead to more deaths on the state’s roadways.

………

If you still need proof that registering your bike with Bike Index works, consider this story, complete with a happy ending.

Thanks to a sharp-eyed BikinginLA follower.

https://twitter.com/157/status/1345059924686983170

https://twitter.com/157/status/1345076777073299456

And yes, they did. Resulting in our first recovered bike of the new year.

https://twitter.com/157/status/1345177864975499264

So what are you waiting for, already?

It wouldn’t hurt to get a better bike lock, either.

………

Looks like a new sort-of protected bike lane has popped up in Culver City. Although I’d call something with flimsy plastic bendy posts a separated lane, instead.

………

This is why LA-based former pro Phil Gaiman should be second in line for cycling sainthood behind Gino Batali. Even if he’s not dead yet.

………

Never mind the best. Gravel Bikes California looks at the worst of gravel riding in 2020.

Which somehow seems appropriate for the past year.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

………

Looks like Georgia Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock is one of us. Although something tells me his opponent Kelly Loeffler isn’t.

But I could be wrong.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. Rebecca Grossman, co-founder of the prestigious Grossman Burn Foundation, has been charged with two counts each of murder and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for the hit-and-run deaths of two young brothers who were walking with their parents in a Westlake Village crosswalk. She was released on $2 million bail, pending the results of toxicology tests.

A Reddit user questions the broken, substandard and half gutter bike lane on northbound Sepulveda Blvd north of Mulholland.

Congratulations to Santa Monica on being named a Gold level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. And yes, they deserve it.

 

State

‘Tis the season. The San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles teamed with the Pechanga tribe to give 200 new bicycles and helmets to Southern California kids in need.

 

National

They get it. Business Insider says the US wasn’t ready to handle last year’s pandemic-induced bike boom after a century of leaving bikes behind.

The BBC considers the planned 3,700-mile Great American Rail Trail, which will stretch from DC to the Pacific Ocean near Seattle.

C|net lists their favorite bikes for the coming year.

Las Vegas police are rolling out a specialized bike designed to measure violations of the three-foot passing law to improve safety for people on two wheels. I know the LAPD is aware of the technology, because I told them about it. But apparently, they don’t think it’s worth the effort or the relatively minimal cost. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up. 

An Arizona man was shot by police after a chase when officers tried to make a traffic stop as he was riding his bike, and he allegedly flashed a gun at the pursuing cops.

A Denver bike shop owner is back already at work, just one week after he was released from the ICU following a serious traffic collision,

The New York Times offers tips on how to maintain that new bike you got for the holidays. Or bought for yourself, for that matter.

A New York bike commuter responds to getting run down by a cab driver by advising bicyclists to be loud, and shout when you need to to ensure your safety. Even if the story strangely repeats itself while you’re reading.

The father of a 15-year old boy is considering suing the NYPD, despite an apology from the chief of detectives, after he was wrongly — and publicly — accused of being part of a gang of bike riders that randomly attacked two vehicles on the city’s iconic 5th Avenue last week.

They get it, too. A Philly TV station says protected bike lanes could encourage more bike commuters while reducing congestion.

 

International

London’s tony Kensington neighborhood ripped out a new bidirectional bike lane, after accusing it of causing traffic congestion. So now it’s blocked by parked cars 80% of the time, instead. Let’s be honest — the real cause of traffic congestion is all those cars, not the bike lane.

One of the first casualties of the UK’s ill-advised separation from the European Union turns out to be handmade Brooks saddles, which are now owned and distributed by Italian saddle maker Selle Royal, and as a result, won’t be sold in the UK for the foreseeable future because of Brexit.

Two men have been arrested in connection with a disappearance of a Scottish father after he set out on a bike ride three years ago, and was never seen again.

It must run in the family. British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid’s 23-year old son decided to pick up his new bike from the Chinese factory and ride it back home to Great Britain. Even if some of the commenters bizarrely insist the ride was faked.

No bias here. Aggressive Berlin bike riders are accused of inducing road rage in drivers and pedestrians. Never mind that people on bicycles make up 18% of the city’s traffic, while getting just 3% of road space.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peloton Magazine tells the groundbreaking story of Shelley Verses, who shattered the gender barrier in pro cycling by becoming the first female team trainer in European cycling, with the late great 7-Eleven team in 1985.

 

Finally…

Who needs a marching band when you’ve got a bike?

Yeah, no.

And Frodo’s creator was one of us.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Murder charge in stoned death of autistic bike rider, call for expanded Metro funding, and keep cars out of SaMo bike lanes

It’s Day 13 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Trinh D and David D for their generous support for SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy! 

It only takes a few clicks to donate and help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

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Long Beach resident Richard Lavalle was charged with second-degree murder in the DUI death of 12-year old bike rider Noel Bascon in Costa Mesa Sunday evening.

The boy, who suffered from autism, was riding with his father in a crosswalk when Lavalle allegedly ran a stop sign while driving stoned.

Lavalle is being held without bail, and faces up to 30-years behind bars if he’s convicted.

He could also be charged with a third strike after robbery convictions in 2009 and 2018, which could result in a possible life sentence.

The murder charge results from a Watson Advisement following a 2013 conviction for driving under the influence in San Diego County, stating Lavalle could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence in the future. Otherwise, he would have faced a manslaughter charge.

His passenger, Lee Anna Murphy, has yet to be charged despite being found in possession of illegal drugs and paraphernalia.

A crowdfunding account to help pay Bascon’s funeral expenses has raised over $17,000 in just one day, topping the original $10,000 goal.

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Thirty LA-area organizations are calling for expanded eligibly of Metro funding currently dedicated for highways.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1336399149403541510

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No, Santa Monica’s new two-way protected bike lane isn’t for cars.

Even if their owners assume they own all the road.

https://twitter.com/abikeist/status/1336529892746297344

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Here’s your chance to weigh in on transportation issues in South LA.

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Local

Just say “bikes mean business” to get a discount on a deep dish pizza at Masa of Echo Park this Thursday; the last time the deal was offered, it drew over 200 bicyclists.

A new masterplan for LA’s Exposition Park calls for improved access for bike riders and pedestrians, possibly including protected bike lanes.

Tis the season. Hats off to the Pasadena Rotary for donating 146 bikes to local kidsThanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

 

State

A coalition of California advocacy groups are calling for the next chair of the state senate’s influential Transportation Committee to be a climate champion who understands the importance of investing in transit and active transportation.

It was a bad weekend in Fresno, where a 73-year old woman was killed riding her bike after allegedly veering onto the wrong side of the road.

Also from Fresno, a man riding a bicycle was stabbed several times and had his phone stolen by several people who got out of a passing car to attack him; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

And police aren’t sure why a 42-year old Fresno man was shot multiple times and killed while riding his bicycle.

 

National

They get it. CNBC reports the coronavirus pandemic has spurred a bike boom but most American cities are far from ready for it.

Gear Patrol looks at the latest bikes and accessories as proof of the unstoppable cycle of innovation.

A writer for Fast Company says joining the ebike revolution made this year a lot more tolerable.

Legendary bikemaker Gary Fisher, who literally helped invent mountain biking, is out with a new autobiography.

Road Bike Action Magazine offers tips on how to buy your next roadie.

After his stolen bike was recovered, a bighearted Washington boy gave it to a young fire victim because he’d already gotten a new one.

A Texas bike shop suffered a $10,000 loss when thieves smashed the storefront with a U-Haul and made off with five bikes.

Chicago considers the local community by ensuring a new bike bridge conforms with ancient Jewish law.

An Ohio town filed charges against a driver who killed a 7-year old boy riding his bike in a crosswalk last month, one day after a Cleveland newspaper reported they were illegally withholding details of the crash.

The pandemic forced an annual Massachusetts fundraising ride to go virtual this year, and still managed to raise $50 million for cancer treatment and research.

Horrible story from Flushing NY, where a teenager was talking with a man outside a restaurant when a second man came up from behind and slashed him in the face, before the first man ran off with his bicycle and cellphone.

‘Tis the season, too. Two hundred New Jersey kids got new Huffy bikes courtesy of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski.

 

International

Heartbreaking story from Toronto, where family members mourn a 23-year old woman who was killed riding her bike home to her college apartment.

An Ontario, Canada woman is headed back to jail to serve the remainder of her sentence for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, after the admitted alcoholic violated her parole with yet another DUI conviction.

An American expat living in England was killed when the brakes failed on his ebike during a steep descent while riding with his wife.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine looks at their favorite lightweight bikes of 2020.

They get it. The authors of an op-ed in the prestigious BMJ — the former British Medical Journal — say free parking for healthcare workers just forces them to drive, instead of using healthier, and more sustainable and affordable means. 

You’ve got to be kidding. Life really is cheap in the UK, where a drunk driver walked with a suspended sentence, despite dragging a bike rider who heroically tried to stop his car, while driving at three times the legal limit.

After a Milan bookshop owner was forced to close, he took to his cargo bike to peddle his tomes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey takes a difficult in-depth look at pro cycling’s diversity problems in a nearly all-white sport. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

Former NBA All Star Reggie Miller joined the board of USA Cycling; the passionate bicyclist was one of four new members named to the board of the organization governing bike racing in the US.

Southern California’s Coryn Rivera is looking forward to next year’s Tokyo Olympics and the World Championships in Flanders, as well as joining a newly formed women’s WorldTour team, after a year marred by injury and illness.

Cyclist profiles surprise Giro winner Tao Geoghegan Hart and his climb to pro cycling’s top ranks.

 

Finally…

That feeling when Andy Griffith holds a lifelong a grudge against you for knocking him off his bike. Traveling the world on a Penny Farthing.

And be glad you avoided the great British bicycle stock bubble of the 1890s.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

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