Tag Archive for protected bike lanes

PA man tased and hogtied for buying bike while Black, and LADOT plans North Valley protected bike lane

As if Biking While Black wasn’t bad enough, you can add buying a bike while Black.

Pennsylvania police were caught on video tasing and hogtying a Black man who was buying a bike for his son at Walmart.

The store manager accused him of riding recklessly through the aisle and disturbing other shoppers, while some witnesses said he was just test riding the bike and telling people to have a nice day.

Police threw the book at him, filing charges of aggravated and simple assault, disarming a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, defiant trespass and disorderly conduct.

So instead of a bicycle for his birthday, his son will get to see his father behind bars.

And remarkably, it only took a single day for the DA to absolve the officers of any wrongdoing.

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LADOT appears to be waking from their coronavirus slumber.

In addition to new bike lanes in DTLA, they released videos explaining two upcoming projects, including this one in the North San Fernando Valley.

Let’s hope this is just the start of long-delayed action to make the streets safer for people on two wheels.

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CiclaValley takes you gravel riding up Mt. Lowe above Altadena.

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

A driver in Australia’s Queensland state is accused of intentionally crashing into five cars and three bike riders in eight separate incidents over a single three hour period; fortunately, no one was killed.

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

Police are looking for a bike-riding man who may have sexually assaulted two women on a Temecula bike path.

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Local

Metro Bike wants to know what you think about LA’s bikeshare system, with a chance to win a $200 gift card.

Los Angeles Magazine readers voted Helen’s Cycle’s the city’s best bike shop, although the magazine only seems to know about two of the LA area chain’s locations.

 

State

No bias here. Tomorrow Riverside police are planning yet another of the frequent safety operations targeting violations by bike riders and drivers that put bicyclists at risk. Yet My News LA, which usually does better, suggests the operation is targeting unsafe bicycling. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit line so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

The CHP blamed a bike rider for a Fresno collision, saying he shouldn’t have been riding  on the limited access highway.

A local news site has more on the death of 23-year old fixie rider Andrew Sanders, who died on Sunday following a crash with a skateboarder during last week’s Hill Bomb on San Francisco’s Dolores Street.

 

National

Google Maps is promising to up their bike game.

The newest version of the Lumos smart bike helmet set a Kickstarter record by raising nearly $3 million.

Seattle bike riders formed a line to protect marchers demanding racial, climate, economic, worker and social justice.

Denver bike shop owners say don’t count on getting a mountain bike until next year.

He gets it. An op-ed from a Colorado environmental design professor says this is the time to reinvent our roadways and how we use them while the coronavirus pandemic results in fewer cars on the streets.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bike from a nonverbal autistic man in an Iowa town.

A Chicago Streetsblog editor teamed with a local weekly to publish an illustrated low-stress bicycle map of the city showing the most comfortable riding routes.

Good question. A Chicago public radio station wants to know what happened to 76 bicycles police seized from people at a recent protest.

A Champaign IL bike rider was pushed off his bike, punched in the mouth and robbed of his money by a knife-wielding man.

An Illinois hit-and-run driver turned himself in after smashing into a bike rider because he felt bad about what he’d done. Every hit-and-run driver should feel the same way. And do the same thing.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a sleepy driver got just 20 days for the fiery crash that killed a postal worker after lawmakers wiped negligent homicide off the books, which would have carried a two-year penalty. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a ghost bike installed for a Pittsburgh area man. Or any other ghost bike, for that matter.

 

International

Mexico City is expanding its bicycle network to encourage more riding during the Covid-19 crisis.

Kindhearted strangers pitched in to buy a new bike for a British Columbia boy after his BMX bike was stolen.

He gets it, too. A writer for the conservative London Times calls on officials to stand up to anti-cycling NIMBYs if the “golden age of cycling” promised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson is ever going to become a reality.

David Beckham is one of us, although Esquire seems more impressed with the former LA Galaxy and English soccer great’s shorts than anything else.

No bias here, either. A British taxi site blames an elderly man for damaging a cab with his bike and fists during a road rage incident, when the cab driver interfered in a dispute the older man was having with someone else after “purposely inconveniencing” other people on the road. Purposely inconveniencing people usually just means legally riding a bicycle in the roadway in front of impatient drivers.

The founders of music sharing platform SoundCloud are starting an all-inclusive ebike subscription service, beginning in Berlin.

Tern’s e-cargo bikes were among the first to exceed Germany’s still new safety standards.

German arts curator Hella Mewis was kidnapped by unknown assailants as she was riding her bicycle home from her office in Bagdad, Iraq Monday night.

Four Australian kids were killed by an alleged drunk and stoned in a horrifying crash as they walked on a sidewalk to get ice cream this past February; of the five cousins, only one boy who was riding a bicycle behind the others survived the brutal crash.

Despite the pandemic, bike and pedestrian deaths in Australia’s Queensland state are going the wrong way, with fatalities more than doubling compared to last year.

A road raging Singapore driver had his appeal for intentionally swerving into a bike rider denied, and will spend the next seven weeks behind bars; the rider he was arguing with got a $2,800 fine for his part in the dispute.

 

Competitive Cycling

Women’s pro cycling gets back to racing in Spain tomorrow after a four month coronavirus hiatus; the Women’s WorldTour fires up next week with the Strade Bianche.

 

Finally…

Who needs a front wheel when you’ve got a ski? Block parties are out, bike the block parties are in.

And bicycles are officially cool again.

As if they ever weren’t.

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

Somber solo Ride of Silence, bicyclist defends San Diego’s lockdown-busting ride, and protected lane parking in DTLA

You’re on your own for tonight’s annual Ride of Silence, which can be done solo or virtually.

Or maybe just join me tonight in remembering all those who have lost their lives needlessly.

Photo by Matt Tinoco.

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Seriously?

A Los Angeles bicyclist defends the actions of the bike riders on Sunday’s mass ride through San Diego, which resulted in a literal fist fight with an angry driver.

As in,

“When you have that many riders, it’s going to be unruly. I wouldn’t say rowdy,” said Vasquez.

Never mind that unruly ride violated every semblance of California’s Covid-19 lockdown rules.

Which currently prohibits groups of more than ten. Let alone the few hundred bike riders it drew from all over the state.

And never mind that they couldn’t do a better job of spreading the disease if they tried.

If only one of the riders had a symptom-free case of coronavirus without knowing it, they could have shared it with dozens of others on the ride, who would then take it home to their family and friends.

Not to mention putting innocent bystanders at risk along every inch of the ride route.

Irresponsible doesn’t begin to cover it.

According to the LA bicyclist — who I won’t name, even though the story does — the mass ride was sponsored by a group called Keep it Rolling.

Maybe they’ll think before they roll out again.

So maybe they next time we read or hear about them, it will be because they got it right.

Not for crap like this.

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No surprise here.

The new protected bike lanes on 7th Street in DTLA have turned into one more example of free curbside parking for any drivers willing to squeeze through the bollards.

Just like what happened after every other protected bike lane in Downtown Los Angeles was opened.

Which makes you wonder why LADOT apparently hasn’t learned anything from the experience.

Thanks to Melanie Freeland for the heads-up.

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Pasadena police are warning about an increase in bike thefts, with advice on how to prevent it.

All good advice.

Although I’d add that bikes aren’t safe on balconies even if they’re secured, unless it’s too high to climb up. And it probably isn’t.

Your garage isn’t much better, unless it’s securely locked at all hours.

Also, take lots of pictures of your bike — including your bike’s serial number, which is the easiest way to make sure you always have it with you.

And register your bike for free with Bike Index right now while you’re thinking about it. Before anything happens to it.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

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Who was that masked man?

If you’ve spotted a 7-foot tall man riding a bike through Los Angeles lately with only his eyes visible, it may have been the Lakers’ JaVale McGee.

Although maybe someone should teach him how to fix a flat.

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Here’s your chance to sort-of ride with the world’s best — and only — all type 1 diabetic cycling team.

But only if you’re diabetic, too.

Speaking of which, CNN says the team has turned type 1 diabetes into its greatest strength.

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If you live or work in my neighborhood, the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council is having a virtual meeting this evening.

If you have the patience to wait until they finally get around to general comments, ask for some Slow Streets in Hollywood.

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

An Omaha woman was knocked off her bike by rock-throwing teenagers, just days after resuming riding for the first time since she was eight years old. Jerks.

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Local

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin talks LA’s Slow Streets program on KPCC’s Take Two.

CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino gets it. He’s calling for allowing Los Angeles businesses to expand out into sidewalks, streets and parking lots for dining al fresco and other outdoor activities. Seriously, anything that gets Angelenos to re-envision our streets is a good thing.

You should be able to find plenty of bike parking in South Pasadena now, after the city worked with Active SGV to install 200 new lime green bike racks, including covered bike corrals.

Just weeks after buying Uber’s Jump Bikes, Lime is pulling the company’s ebikes and scooters off the not-so-mean streets of Santa Monica.

Long Beach is planning to turn currently under-used streets into outdoor dining, too.

 

State

San Francisco’s Sierra Club says we should try making Slow Streets permanent.

Sacramento is finding space on the roads for Slow Streets, too.

A bike-riding Davis columnist tells drivers to use their damn turn signals, already.

 

National

Curbed calls Slow Streets the path to a better city.

Yahoo lays out your fashion choices for every type of ride this year. Or you could just wear whatever the hell you want.

Gear Patrol says you’re wearing your bike helmet wrong, especially if it’s on backwards.

Portland business owners get it, where 60 businesses say they support a proposed protected bike lane in front of their shop.

Colorado teens are trying to defend a DIY bike park after the city moves to remove it.

If anyone wants to know what to get me for my birthday, bikemaker Detroit Bikes is remaking the 1965 edition of the iconic Schwinn Collegiate model, which will be available at Walmart for just under a grand. Or just get me a corgi.

A new public health study shows collisions involving bike riders dropped 13% in Philadelphia after the city’s bikeshare opened, despite the increase in ridership and no new infrastructure, giving more proof to the safety in numbers theory. And more people bike commute in cities with bikeshare, too.

Good news: New Jersey is allowing bike shops to reopen. Bad news: They’re reopening car dealers, too.

A Savanah, Georgia paper says the heir to the roadside Stuckey’s chain is one of us, too.

 

International

Treehugger says ebikes are eating the market, as Rad Power Bikes sees an almost 300% increase in sales during the coronavirus shutdown.

Strava defends their decision to start charging for leaderboard access and break thousands of third-party apps, saying the company isn’t profitable. And needs to start raising revenues now.

Peru is now a bicycling paradise, courtesy of the Covid-19 lockdown. Meanwhile, Americas Quarterly asks if the pandemic could mark the beginning of a biking revolution in Latin America.

Canadian Cycling Magazine takes a look at Supremely overpriced designer bicycles.

Analog bikes are booming, too. A UK bike shop has seen a nearly 700% jump in sales of bike over the equivalent of $600 compared to last year.

Eight ways to avoid the crowds on your next bike ride through London.

German bike shops are busier than ever.

Tel Aviv is taking a step beyond Slow Streets, converting eleven streets in the city center into pedestrian zones.

Bikes are booming in Uganda, too, where driving is prohibited under the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Nothing like adding a slightly illegal 5,000 watt, 49 mph ebike conversion kit from a Hong Kong company to your existing bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome is threatening to jump ship midseason, leaving Ineos for a rival team after being overshadowed in recent years by fellow Tour de France winners Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal. Although it’s hard to call it midseason if there haven’t been any races.

Running a few days behind, as usual, Bicycling catches up with pro mountain biker Keegan Swenson’s new Everesting record, as he tops Phil Gaimon’s new world record by 12 minutes, just four days after Gaimon set it.

Seriously, who’s shocked that Lance started doping long before he turned proBetter question: Who still cares?

 

Finally…

Yes, Peloton, it is possible to be too white. If you’re going to use pool noodles to protest cars coming too close, maybe try keeping away from them, too.

And not bad for my first self-applied Covid haircut, if I say so myself.

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

LA slowly gets Slow Streets, 7th Street protected bike lanes looking good, and Westwood homeowners up to old tricks

About damn time.

Los Angeles finally got around to implementing Slow Streets this weekend to allow residents to get outside while maintaining social distancing.

Only two months after the coronavirus lockdown began in mid-March. And long after other cities in the US and around the world demonstrated it could be done safely, to the benefit of local residents.

But naturally, LA has to do it the hard way.

Instead of just installing them on appropriate streets throughout the city — or even following the already-approved network of Bicycle Friendly Streets in the city’s mobility plan — someone has to apply for them.

Correction, some sort of group or organization has to apply, not an individual.

And only one application will be accepted per neighborhood council district.

So, maybe you’ll get one somewhere near you. But probably not.

Never mind that the city has already threatened to shut down any Slow Street that turns out to be too popular.

Meanwhile, Sacramento is following LA’s lead — and bad timing — by asking residents to nominate streets for their Slow Streets program. Thanks to Martin Rose for the link.

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Evidently, LADOT can move fast when they put their minds to it, after all.

Patrick Pascal says this is what it looked like just two days earlier.

7th Street bike protected bike lane; photo by Patrick Pascal.

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Westwood homeowners and the Westwood Neighborhood council are up to their old tricks, incorrectly claiming that every organization in the Westwood area opposes bike lanes on Westwood Blvd in Westwood Village.

And drastically exaggerate both what is planned, and the effect it would have.

Which is a polite way of not calling them liars.

Except the North Westwood Neighborhood Council, which represents the area north of Wilshire Blvd, where the proposed bike lanes would be located, are actually in favor of it.

But that first link implies, this is nothing new.

The area’s wealthy homeowners have claimed ownership of the Village for decades, going so far as to have dancing — yes, dancing — banned.

Maybe they staged the Footloose remake in the wrong town.

It’s this kind of ham-fisted misrepresentation of the area that caused the NWNC to break off from the Westwood NC a few years ago, and finally give Westwood Village its own representation.

Before the homeowners succeed in completely killing it.

Because they will, if they have their way.

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No, seriously.

If they’re stupid enough to do the crime, they’re probably stupid enough to get caught.

Richard Rosenthal forwards news of a group of four Long Beach teens who mugged a man riding his bike on the San Gabriel River Trail, stealing his phone and wallet after hitting and kicking him, then tossed his bike onto the rocks along the river.

And posted a video online boasting about the crime.

Long Beach police think there were other people who witnessed the crime, or knew about the video, and kept silent.

Anyone with information is urged to call LBPD Robbery Detective Fermin Gonzalez at 562/570-7068.

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Some things are just too cute not to include here.

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Here’s a suggestion for the next time you want to hit a little gravel.

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Evidently, Mr. Las Vegas is one of us, too.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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

Police are looking for a murder suspect who fled the scene on a bicycle, after stabbing a man to death on LA’s Venice boardwalk.

Police in Seattle are looking for a bike-riding thief wanted for a string of armed robberies. Odd that no one tries to steal his bike when he leaves it unlocked like that when he goes in to rob a store.

British police are looking for a pair of bicyclists who collided with a six-year old scooter-riding boy, leaving him with a broken leg.

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Local

Even though collisions are down 38% in Los Angeles since the Covid-19 lockdown began, traffic fatalities are up 15% — with pedestrian deaths jumping 33% — thanks to speeding drivers.

Los Angeles came as close as it probably ever will to being a traffic-free city on the last Monday in March.

KPCC and LAist producer Leo Duran tries to uncover why no bicycles are allowed on the beach bike path in LA County, and doesn’t get anywhere. But he does have the good taste to quote yours truly.

Santa Monica is extending the city’s shared mobility pilot program for another year.

Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago is one of us, spending his lockdown time with his kids and girlfriend when he’s not riding his bike through the streets of Los Angeles. Maybe he’ll run into Tobey Maguire riding his bike while he’s out there.

 

State

Seal Beach is planning to reopen a section of the San Gabriel River Bike Trail through the Orange County city in the coming days, though the exact timing isn’t clear.

Encinitas considers lowering speed limits on the coast highway to improve safety for bike riders, while trying to accommodate all kinds of bicyclists.

Sad news, as longtime Riverside civic advocate and volunteer high school mountain bike coach Bob Stockton was killed when he was struck by a van driver while jogging last week. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

An Isla Vista bike rider was seriously injured when he allegedly rode out of a driveway in front of an oncoming car.

Lompoc wants your input on the city’s proposed Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan.

Bad news from Bakersfield, where a bike rider suffered major injuries when he or she was run down by the driver of a gardening truck, who fled the scene.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is looking for volunteers to help distribute seedlings throughout the area. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Berkeley is going beyond Slow Streets by closing major streets entirely to provide physically distant restaurant seating.

As LA’s Slow Streets gets off to a slow start, San Francisco is preparing to expand its program to 13 new corridors.

 

National

Phillip Young forwards news of the most dangerous cities in the US for bike riders. For once, we can be glad Los Angeles didn’t make the list; San Bernardino, not so much.

The Atlantic warns about the dangers of a backlash against walkable, bikeable cities in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

NPR catches up to the coronavirus bike boom, noting bike sales are up 50% over last year; Canada is running out of bicycles, too.

A new study shows that bike commuting really does increase after bikeshare rolls into town.

The Bike League wants your help to design and build a better bike lane barrier.

Bicycling rates the ten best women’s mountain bikes.

Portland cops bust a homeless camp bike chop shop, recovering at least 15 hot bikes, including a Cannondale worth four grand as well as various bike parts and power tools.

Still no trace of the Colorado woman who reportedly disappeared on a Mother’s Day bike ride; her family is offering a $200,000 reward for her return, with no questions asked. Police say they haven’t ruled out foul play.

Well if that’s all it takes. A pair of Texas priests rode through the Rio Grande Valley to pray for rain — and the next day it poured. Then again, I used to have a gift for bringing rain when I rode, too, despite praying it would hold off until I got home.

No bias here. A New York TV station questions whether all those new temporary bike lanes are really needed, because bikeshare use is down during the coronavirus pandemic. Never mind that many people are far more comfortable riding their own bikes, rather than a shared bike, right now.

No surprise here, as New York’s popular Five Boro Bike Tour was cancelled for this year, just three days before it was scheduled to be run.

The Cherokee Nation has cancelled the annual Remember the Removal Bike Ride tracing the route of the infamous Trail of Tears through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma; the nine young riders chosen for this year’s tour will have a chance to ride next year, instead.

A group of Savannah, Georgia bike riders are creating their own self-guided tour of the city’s historic neighborhoods, writing their guide in sidewalk chalk.

 

International

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says ebikes could be the answer to our post-lockdown commuter problems, while the Christian Science Monitor says the world’s two-wheeled future is so bright it has to wear…well, you get it.

T3 argues that you can get a really good road bike for less than the equivalent of $1,200.

Bike Radar offers a guide to developing an effective cadence.

Does it really count as the World Naked Bike Ride if you’re just riding naked on your indoor trainer?

A Vancouver Island man was lucky to get his bike back after it was recovered in a police raid, three years after he reported it stolen. Which is exactly why you need to register your bike now, and report it to the police if it ever gets stolen.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is one of us, taking to his bike with an apparent tennis racket slung across his back.

It ain’t necessarily so. A London legend tells of a woods haunted by the ghost of a boy murdered by an axeman while walking or riding his bicycle in the early 1700s. Problem is, that’s about a hundred years before the first forerunner of the bicycle was invented.

A writer in London explains how she overcame her fear and started riding her bike.

Sad news from the UK, as Phil May, lead singer for the British ’60s R&B/psychedelic rock band Pretty Things, died following surgery for a broken hip suffered when he fell off his bike.

Up to five million Brits are expected to bike to work following the coronavirus crisis, a significant chunk of the country’s 32 million residents.

Chef Gordon Ramsey continues to demonstrate how to win friends and influence people, telling his Welsh neighbors not to get their knickers in a twist as he settles for riding indoors this time, after flaunting his lockdown-breaking bike rides the last few weeks.

Chris Boardman says the UK has a chance to change the country’s transportation forever.

Red Bull recommends nine French climbs that will chew you up and spit you out, while giving you a sense of accomplishment — if you actually make the summit.

A woman from the UK says she learned to live in the moment while riding along the Rhine and Danube rivers to Istanbul, “turning the pedals and waiting for the world to unfold.”

Sad news from India, where an American expat working in Hyderabad, India was killed in a mountain biking fall.

A migrant worker in India stole a bicycle to make the 150-mile journey home. But he left a very nice note saying he had to take it to get back to his special needs son.

An Afghan man is riding his bike door-to-door through Nangarhar province to spread awareness of Covid-19.

We take a lot of things for granted in this country — like an ambulance will be there when we need it. Residents of a remote Ugandan village were excited to receive a modified bicycle ambulance to transport expectant mothers and sick patients to medical care when an ambulance isn’t available.

South African bicyclists are urged to wear masks when they ride. Los Angeles bike riders are required to wear masks under the latest rules, while riders in LA County are only required to wear masks when others are around.

A reporter is riding his bike across Japan to see firsthand the effects of Covid-19 in the island nation.

 

Competitive Cycling

That didn’t take long. Just four days after LA’s Phil Gaimon shattered the world record for Everesting, US cross-country mountain bike champion Keegan Swenson shaved 12 minutes off Gaimon’s record.

On the other hand, Everesting on a fixie, not so much.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t use WD40 to lube your chain. If your city won’t paint bike lanes, just do it yourself. Your next bike lock could double as a light — or part of your frame.

And your new cargo bike is waiting. If you can outbid Zach.

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

New Broadway protected bike lane could be final Santa Monica bike project; DTLA 7th ST protected bike lane moves forward

A special thanks to Los Angeles Bicycle Attorneys Josh and Paul Cohen of Cohen Law Partners for renewing their sponsorship for the coming year. 

They join title sponsors Pocrass & De Los Reyes in renewing their support, despite these troubling economic times. 

It’s their sponsorship that allows me to do what I do, and bring you the latest and best bike news on a daily basis. 

Without their support — and yes, yours — this site would not be possible, at least in its present form. 

Now saddle up, because we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

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Let’s start in Santa Monica, where good things are happening.

And not so good.

On the plus side, David Drexler sends word that the city has taken advantage of the slow traffic during the coronavirus shutdown to install parking protected bike lanes on a short section of Broadway.

Look at this, a gift to cyclists from Santa Monica. They took advantage of the low corona traffic to redo Broadway thus far from 20th Street west a few blocks. They moved the parking away from the curb and replaced it with a very protected bike lane on both sides. These photos were a taken at 19th and Broadway. Not sure how far they will extend it. It goes from 20th to the Santa Monica food coop right now, then the old green lane picks up there.

The picture of the G on the ground is probably where they will pain green.

It makes cycling much safer in those lanes than the ones next to traffic, I feel. Hope they do more.

On the other side of the ledger, Santa Monica is planning to make drastic cuts to city funding in response to the loss of sales tax revenue due to the lockdown.

Advocacy group Santa Monica Spoke joins with other organizations to warn that excessive cuts to the transportation department could imperil the safety of vulnerable road users, as well as any post-pandemic economic recovery.

Santa Monica’s economy depends on a functioning transportation network that safely moves people, goods and services. Current proposed budget cuts will be destructive to transportation work, will disable basic functions, and slow our safe recovery from this pandemic. Transportation staff, infrastructure and services are classified as essential government functions* and perform vital functions that literally keep our community running safely. These cuts will damage safety and the very fabric of services and programs that we depend on living in Santa Monica…

These essential life saving functions are under threat with extreme plans to cut over half of the City Transportation and Mobility Division compared to 20-40% across other departments. While we can only imagine the stress and burden of decisions weighing on City Council, this level of cuts would severely impact basic public safety and infrastructure operation functions, wounding our city’s ability to rebound fiscally from the COVID-19 crisis. It is imperative to be strategic. We must consider the holistic dynamic relationships, dependencies and functions that contribute to safety, economic stability and regrowth. While the City suffers catastrophic shortfalls, we should not use a sledgehammer where a scalpel is needed to balance new budgets. Council needs to take time to cut costs strategically, while maintaining essential staff that would facilitate a safe and secure path to economic recovery and resilience.

As part of the cutbacks, Santa Monica plans to cut all bike, pedestrian and Vision Zero funding for the next year.

Which means those Broadway protected bike lanes may be the last we’ll see for awhile.

The Santa Monica City Council will hold a virtual council meeting tomorrow to discuss the proposed budget cuts.

Santa Monica Spoke urges you to contact the councilmembers to demand continued funding of the Transportation Department, and ongoing support for bicycle, pedestrian and Vision Zero projects.

Because lives depend on it.

And the proposed cuts are more than just a scratch.

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Evidently, Vision Zero isn’t completely dead in the City of Angels.

Just badly wounded.

The program is rising from a premature grave, as LADOT invites you to attend a free public workshop to discuss plans to fix 7th Street in DTLA.

And about damn time, since the existing bike lane is largely unrideable much of the time, and usually serves as nothing more than free parking in front of the Bloc shopping mall.

And the only rule governing traffic on 7th seems to be to aim for the soft, squishy people instead of the cold, hard cars.

You can learn more about the project here.

Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads-up.

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Meanwhile, Streets For All offers a glimpse of what could be if LA actually remembers it has an already-approved Mobility Plan.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1256351201462870017

You can see a larger, interactive version of the above map here.

And here’s the link to the petition, since the link in the tweet is broken.

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Bike Angeles examines some unexpected improvements along a two-mile stretch of Vineland Ave in North Hollywood.

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This is why we can’t have nice things.

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When a bike rider hits a pedestrian, it usually end badly for both parties.

Which is exactly what happened in Berkeley on Saturday, where a 55-year old man on a bike crashed into a 60-year old woman, leaving both victims in critical condition.

Although it’s not clear how it happened, since police say he was riding in the street and she was standing on the sidewalk; a witness says the man on the bike must have had “mental issues.”

The same thing happened in Minneapolis, where a pedestrian is in critical condition and a bicyclist seriously injured following a crash.

Anyone who’s ridden for awhile can tell you it’s not always the bike rider’s fault in a situation like that; people are unpredictable, and can step out into the street without looking for someone on a bicycle.

But it’s always our obligation to ride carefully around pedestrians, because they’re the only ones more vulnerable than we are. And be prepared to stop or swerve to avoid crashing into someone.

Especially if you’re riding on a sidewalk.

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This working from home thing might just catch on after all.

https://twitter.com/cycling_woman/status/1255909638907846659

Thanks to W Corylus for the link.

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Maybe it’s not the best idea to draft a dump truck in heavy traffic.

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

Nashville police are looking for a goateed, bike-riding miscreant who smashed a jewelry store window with a cinderblock and made off with over 200 rings. Although as someone who spent a decade in the jewelry business, I’d question why the window wasn’t shatterproof glass, and the rings in a safe after hours.

A Scottish thief made off on his bike after taking over 100 wedding rings worth more that $124,000 in a grab and run.

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Local

Streetsblog examines the massive failure of LA city officials in cancelling a Slow Streets social distancing program in the Del Rey neighborhood, just hours after it was announced.

The LA Times says city officials think closing streets for social distancing just too risky, even though other cities throughout North America are doing exactly that. Evidently, they think we’re calling for CicLAvia-style street closures that would draw people from across the city, rather than closing a few streets in every neighborhood to allow people to get outside without risking their health and safety.

Dylan McDermott is one of us, as the Hollywood star went for a bike ride through Pacific Palisades with his family.

Santa Monica residents join the chorus of voices demanding safe space on the streets for social distancing.

 

State

A Chula Vista bike rider suffered a leg injury when he or she was was right hooked while riding in a crosswalk by a truck driver, who never bothered to look the direction he was turning.

Britney Spears is one of us, posting a photo showing her riding her bike with her boyfriend near her Thousand Oaks home in happier, pre-pandemic days.

A Santa Barbara bike rider is in critical condition after he was run down by what must have been a self-driving car, since the story does’t even mention a driver.

Bay Area bike shops can’t keep up with the demand as business booms during the coronavirus pandemic.

It takes a major schmuck to steal bikes and tools from a nonprofit San Jose bike co-op as they were preparing to reopen next week.

This is why you shouldn’t try to reclaim a stolen bike by yourself. A Santa Rosa man is recovering from stab wounds to his hand after he approached a man who was riding his stolen bike.

Sacramento will block or limit motor vehicle traffic on some streets to make more room for social distancing. On the other hand, San Jose says don’t hold your breath.

 

National

Yes, May is Bike Month, even if everything has been cancelled and too many cities won’t give an inch on the streets during the coronavirus pandemic. Including Los Angeles.

Zwift wants you to ride or walk in place to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders.

Bike Snob says road cycling isn’t dead after all, even if gravel is all the rage.

An eight-year old Honolulu boy got his stolen bike back after conservation officers spotted it outside a state park.

You don’t mess with an angry dog — or a grandfather. Reality TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter is offering a $1,000 reward for the “scum” who stole his granddaughter’s bike from the family garage in Hawaii.

A New York nurse continues to bike to work, even after she was hit by a driver.

We already know NFL quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is one of us. But apparently supporters of his new team are just figuring it out, as fans are shocked by his “absurd” 74-mile Florida ride.

 

International

People around the world are being encouraged to see bikes as a post coronavirus commuting option — when they’re not getting stopped by the cops for doing exactly that.

Bike historian Carlton Reid offers a warning from history despite the boom in bicycling during the Covid-19 lockdown. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Bike Radar explains what muscles are used to ride a bike, and offers advice on what to wear when you ride one. Never mind that you can ride in anything from T-shirt and shorts to a three-piece suit. But the right clothes can make it a hell of a lot more comfortable.

Road.cc says you’re not a pro, so you don’t have to ride like one.

A nine-year old Ontario boy has set out on a 621-mile bike ride to raise funds for a local health foundation, riding roughly six miles a day.

When a Nova Scotia nursing home worker went to pick up her bike after having it repaired, the shop surprised her with a new bicycle to thank her for her work on the frontlines of the Covid-19 battle.

Speaking of rising from a near grave, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns from his extended absence due to Covid-19, and calls on the country’s mayors to take action to encourage bicycling and walking, and keep cars out of city centers.

Noel Gallagher is one of us, as the former Oasis singer and guitarist rode his bike near his English home, despite the country’s lockdown.

British band Glass Animals talks about the 2018 bicycling crash that nearly took the life of the band’s drummer and left him unable to walk, talk, eat, read or write for a time.

Members of a Scottish cycling club honored one of their own, lining the street with their bikes and club kits to show respect for a member who died of Covid-19.

A Catholic priest in the UK had to deliver his daily podcast and evening prayers as he walked home, after going out for a bike ride and suffering successive flats.

Just call it Strassenverkehrsordnungnovelle. Germany announced a raft of changes to traffic laws, including banning parking in bike lanes, allowing people to ride two abreast, and prohibiting drivers from passing bike riders or motorcycles in narrow areas.

Over 3,500 Slovenians rode their bikes in defiance of the lockdown to protest a ban on bike riding, as well as government interference in procuring protective gear and ventilators.

Tragic news from India, where a couple were killed in a collision along with two other people, after a kindhearted truck driver offered them a lift after riding 250 miles because they couldn’t find any other form of transportation.

An Indian op-ed calls for more space on the roads for people walking or biking, arguing that the biggest hurdle in making making it more popular in the country is a lack of necessary infrastructure.

Tokyo commuters are taking to their bikes to avoid the risk of infection on the city’s packed trains.

 

Competitive Cycling

A UK paper looks back at what they call the toughest bike race ever ridden, a snowy seven-stage, 1,300-mile race through the battlefields of the just-ended Great War, as well as in the middle of the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Apparently assuming Covid-19 will blow over by then, officials tell pro cyclists to be ready for an August 29th start for the Tour de France.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome says the race can work without spectators, but isn’t sure organizers can keep them away.

June’s mountain bike worlds was just the latest race to fall victim to the coronavirus, while September’s European road championships were put off until next year.

A British man raised the equivalent of $16,000 by riding the length of the Tour de France without ever leaving his apartment.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a seatless Penny Farthing. Or long enough to let you maintain social distance from your tandem partner.

And when you’re drunk, riding salmon, and carrying an open container, at least put some damn lights on your bike.

And don’t fight with the cops that try to stop you.

………

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

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. 

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

‘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.

………

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?

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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

………

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

………

‘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.

………

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?

………

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.

 

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