Tag Archive for Reseda Blvd. bike lanes

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

The report is in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And it’s got to go.

Now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So go ahead and wear whatever feels right for you.

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

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

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

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This is who we share the roads with.

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

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

There’s just no fucking excuse.

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

No, really.

 

Morning Links: Charges for Escondido hit-and-run driver, fight for Reseda bike lanes, and bikes beat lemmings in cars

I depend on your support to help keep this site going, bringing you all the best bike news from around the corner, and around the the world. 

And to keep the foster corgi in kibble. 

So stop what you’re doing, and donate to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today. 

We’ll wait. 

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Forty-one-year old Jamison Connor pled not guilty yesterday to charges unrelated to the death of an Escondido bike rider last month.

Connor, who is accused in the hit-and-run death of Kevin Lentz as he was riding with a group of fellow mountain bikers, was arrested for parole violations and multiple other charges just five days after the alleged head-on hit on Lentz.

Police arrested Connor on Thanksgiving Day as he was apparently driving drunk and stoned, with a loaded gun and a bag of meth in his pickup — along with his four-year old son.

According to TV station 7 San Diego, Connor faces 16 felony counts, along with three misdemeanors.

Connor faces one count of each of the following charges: child cruelty resulting in injury or death, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of an unlisted handgun, carrying a loaded firearm in public, carrying a concealed weapon with a prior conviction, having a concealed weapon in a vehicle with a prior conviction, possession of a controlled substance while armed, use of controlled substance while possessing a firearm, crime against a person or property while having a previous conviction for drugs, DUI for alcohol or drugs, DUI for alcohol and drugs, and violating probation, according to (Escondido Police Department).

He also faces three counts of crime against a person or property while having a previous conviction for narcotics and four counts of possessing ammo while prohibited, according to EPD.

And that lengthy list doesn’t even include charges for killing Lentz and fleeing the scene.

If he’s lucky, he may see that kid again someday.

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Streetsblog takes a look at car-centric, anti-safety Councilmember John Lee’s attempt to rip out LA’s first Great Streets project — and first protected bike lanes — noting that he’s calling for a totally subjective public opinion survey, rather than an actual study of the safety and effectiveness.

Meanwhile, Keep Rowena Safe tells you where to send your comments if you’re ready to fight back.

And the LACBC shares the message they sent to members and supporters in Lee’s district.

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Speaking of the LACBC, don’t miss their annual open house tonight. It’s free for members; if you’re not one yet, you can sign up at the door.

I plan to be there to help them honor my friend, site sponsor and former fellow board member Jim Pocrass, so be sure to say hi.

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Robert Leone forwards news of another closure of Camp Pendleton to people on bicycles next week.

This is how a representative of the base described it.

Due to military operations bicycle access will be closed on Old Pacific Highway from San Onofre State Park to the Las Pulgas gate entrance. Bicyclists may ride on the I-5 shoulder during the indicated days of the Old Pacific Highway closure.

Closure time: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM

When: Daily, from December 9-13

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Turns out our means of transportation is far more efficient than anything else.  Including those mice and lemmings in cars.

Thanks to Yves Dawtur for the heads-up.

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Los Angeles ranks a surprising 14th on a list of international cities most ready for the coming mobility revolution; LA is one of the top three American cities, behind New York and San Francisco.

Singapore topped the list, followed by Amsterdam, London and Shanghai.

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That much-loathed Peloton ad is turning into a disaster for the company, costing it $1.5 billion — yes, with a b — in market value.

The New York Times says the ad is being called sexist and dystopian, while Reuters says it’s being mocked as sexist.

Even advertising industry bible AdAge called out the “commercial’s bizarre vibe,” while a psychologist called it a complete male fantasy.

But the company says it’s not their fault, it’s yours for misunderstanding what they were trying to say.

As someone who has stuck his feet in his mouth so many times I now wear favored socks, I can safely say when everyone thinks you got it wrong, chances are it’s your fault.

Not theirs.

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‘Tis the Season.

Over one hundred Tennessee kids asked for a bike through the county’s Angel Tree program; thanks to the Salvation Army and a local bike charity, they’ll all get one for Christmas.

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Sometimes its’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A 17-year old Hawaiian boy will be tried as an adult in the death of an 85-year old woman, who fell and hit her head when he rode his bike up as she walked with her husband and snatched her purse.

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Local

This is the last week to offer your comments on a proposal to close the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA.

Congratulations to Santa Clarita for being named a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community.

 

State

A San Diego letter writer says give the new bike lanes time to catch on, already.

Mountain View has prohibited parking RVs in bike lanes; the ACLU finds that “disturbing.” Yes, people who live in RVs need a place to park them, but bike lanes have no value, and offer limited safety, if no one can actually ride in them.

A Newark CA truck driver isn’t a fan of the Idaho Stop because bike riders blow through red lights and stop signs anyway; others say the real problem is the people in cars doing it. Or maybe everyone.

 

National

A homeless Maui man was given a “last chance” probation for attacking a bike commuter with a broomstick, just six days after he was released from prison.

Portland will now require larger buildings to include a bike room. Even though bike thieves love them; if they’re not monitored 24/7, it’s just an invitation to steal multiple bikes at once.

Over half of the dockless Lime and Jump ebikes in Seattle’s bikeshare system are unrentable.

An allegedly stoned 17-year old girl was cited on a juvenile manslaughter charge for killing a 76-year old man who was riding his bike on the sidewalk.

More on New York’s decision to start replacing delivery trucks with ped-assist ebikes.

A New Orleans magazine says people are dying of indifference in the city, as officials, cops and the news media ignore the problem of reckless drivers.

Police in Pensacola FL are pulling over bicyclists without lights — not to ticket them, but to give them a free set.

 

International

Just in time for the holidays, Cycling News takes a look at the best saddle packs, while Bike Radar lists the best “affordable” stocking stuffers for bicyclists. Because really, who doesn’t want bum butter in their stocking?

Bike riders in the Canadian capital complain that the city’s new Vision Zero plan is really just a Vision 20, calling for a 20% reduction in traffic deaths each year.

Tragic news from the UK. Yesterday we questioned what kind of heartless coward could run down a pregnant woman riding a bicycle and leave her bleeding in the streets; today we learned just who is accused of the crime — and that the victim’s baby died.

The family of a Polish man killed by a 17-year old Maltese driver while riding his bike have forgiven him, as he appeals his four-year prison sentence and lifetime driving ban.

A Bangladeshi op-ed says bicycling should be encouraged in the capital city, despite roads that are ill-equipped for people on bicycles.

The future is cloudy for Cambodia’s nascent bicycle industry; a German website talks with workers it calls exploited.

Honda engineers seriously studied the effects of a collapsible bicycle frame on head injuries after getting hit by a car. And not, say, making the cars safer instead.

 

Finally…

What does it mean when a bike hub replaces a former brothel? And even a broom knows drivers should stay out of the bike lane.

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Thanks to Hamid V and Ryan D for their generous donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Your support for this site helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

 

Morning Links: Successful die-in at City Hall, Lee moves to rip out Reseda bike lanes, and more Peloton ad fallout

Let’s start with yesterday’s die-in at City Hall, where around 30 Los Angeles bike riders turned out in hopes of not doing it for real on the streets.

According to LAist,

Fed up by the lack of progress on reducing traffic deaths in Los Angeles, dozens of protesters staged a die-in outside City Hall Tuesday, calling on city leaders to take swift, bold action to make streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

“We have all the tools and solutions to solve this crisis,” said cyclist and organizer Andres Quinche. “What we are lacking is the courage and the conviction from our city council members, our mayor, (and) the Department of Transportation to stand up and say that safety matters more than speed, and that someone’s life is more valuable than a driver losing 10 seconds on their way to work…”

“I call the mayor’s office once a week to ask about this,” he said. “And I always get a response that someone’s going to get back to me about it. And it’s been maybe like two months since the last protest we staged and I haven’t heard anything.

But then, that’s about what you’d expect from a city that considers installing speed feedback signs a Vision Zero improvement.

Streetsblog’s seemingly ubiquitous Joe Linton described the die-in this way.

Though L.A. drivers are on track to kill more than 200 people in 2019, speakers emphasized the especially horrific deaths of Marlene and Amy Lorenzo, and of Alessa Fajardo – all kids on their way to school. In a crosswalk near Exposition Park in April, a driver killed sisters Marlene (14) and Amy (12) while they were walking to school. In a Koreatown crosswalk in October, a driver killed Alessa (4) as her mother walked her to nursery school.

Speakers criticized L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and the L.A. City Council for lacking courage and conviction to put their leadership behind the Vision Zero policies they approved. In attendance were three pro-Vision Zero candidates hoping to be elected to the City Council in 2020.

Needless to say, none of LA’s elected officials bothered to stop by. But as Linton notes, three candidates running for city council next year did.

https://twitter.com/hippierunner/status/1202006332087255041

Remember that when you go to mark your ballot next year.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog offers five Vision Zero tips for suburban cities.

Maybe LA officials could take a hint.

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In a move that’s pretty much the opposite of Vision Zero, recently elected CD12 Councilmember John Lee continues to make his anti-bike and traffic safety bones with a resolution aiming to “improve” or remove the hard-won bike lanes on Reseda Blvd.

But before you put all the blame on Lee, notice who seconded the motion.

That’s right.

The same formerly bike-friendly councilmember who single-handedly blocked the Lankershim Blvd Great Streets project that would have brought a much needed, shovel-ready protected bike lane to the boulevard.

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A teenaged boy in Oxford, England made the medical journals after hitting the handlebars in a slow speed bike crash — and suffering what may be one of the most gruesome injuries in bicycling history.

Just be forewarned, however, because you can’t unread the graphic description. Especially if you have a scrotum, or know someone who does.

And no, a bike helmet wouldn’t have helped.

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How about some very cool freeriding through the streets of London and Paris?

You’ll want to watch this one full screen. But maybe take your motion sickness pills first.

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If it’s any consolation for LA bike riders, you may have to deal with flooded streets, but at least you don’t have to worry about treacherous snowpacked and icy bike lanes.

Then again, it would be nice to have more bike lanes, period.

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Active SGV invites you to join them on their annual holiday lights ride this Friday.

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More fallout from that much-loathed Peloton ad.

So far, it’s gotten local coverage from Los AngelesSan Jose and Boston,

CNN picked up the story, while CBS News wasn’t impressed, and Cosmo considered what to give your husband in retaliation return. Although it didn’t keep NPR’s reporters from wanting one.

Apparently, Wall Street didn’t like the ad, either.

Seriously, though, it takes real skilled to make an ad so universally loathed that it garners millions of dollars worth of free press.

But wait, here’s another one. At least it’s a little more middle class.

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‘Tis the Season.

Thanks to a sporting goods chain and a player with the Atlanta Falcons, more than 1,500 kids will get a new bike this year.

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Sometimes its’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A hockey player for the Ottawa Senators clotheslined a bike-riding thief to keep him from riding off after stealing a backpack from a car.

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Thanks to Lisa G and View-Speed Inc. for their generous donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Your support for this site helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Which could come in handy when your ride gets rained out. Like today.

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Local

Voyage LA talks with East Side Riders founder John Jones III. He already has my vote whenever CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino decides to step down.

Streetsblog explains exactly what last night’s Complete Streets meeting in Beverly Hills was all about, including biking, walking and transit improvements.

 

State

If you’re in the mood for a ride up the coast, SRAM will hold an open house and fundraiser for World Bicycle Relief at their San Luis Obispo HQ on December 13th.

A bicycle columnist for a Gold Country newspaper says helmets might help, but the real problem is a lack of good infrastructure.

Somehow we missed this one last month, as a UC Davis researcher says more bicycling could bring huge health benefits to the state. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

 

National

Cycling Tips tests the top bike chains. Meanwhile, another Cycling Tips writer says self-driving cars may improve safety in urban environments, but not as much as improvements in bike infrastructure.

Interesting take from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who says ticketing bicyclists is pointless and cruel because on the streets, survival is more important than strict adherence to the law. I’m firm believer that we’re all safest when we follow the rules, except when we’re not. Your safety is what matters most when you ride. And only you can decide what that means at any given moment.

A writer for Streetsblog says Europe is laughing at us for installing parking protected bike lanes because it only incentivizes driving.

Even in bike-friendly Portland, neighborhood groups want bike lanes somewhere else.

An Iowa letter writer describes how — and why — she gave up riding her bike after moving from bike-friendly Minneapolis, blaming the hatred drivers have for people on two wheels.

You’ll have to wait until spring to ride a bikeshare ebike in the Windy City.

Evidently, Minneapolis police aren’t fans of Viking biking.

Former Massachusetts governor and second-place presidential finisher Mike Dukakis is no fan of driving. Which makes you wonder where we’d be today if an oilman hadn’t won that race.

New York will try out ebike delivery service for Amazon, DHL and other package-trucking companies.

A New York cab driver was busted 20 minutes after running down a bike rider. But only after his passenger begged him to go back.

 

International

When is a Victoria, BC bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s a parking lane literally half the day.

Seriously, how much of a heartless coward do you really have to be to leave a very pregnant English woman bleeding in the street after running her bike down with your car?

Royal-in-law James Middleton — Kate and Pippa’s brother — is getting good use out of his cargo bike, first taking Pippa’s brother-in-law for a ride with his dogs, followed by going Christmas tree shopping with his fiancé. Even if she had to walk along next to it.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old Irishman races 50 miles every weekend and holds a national age group record. Even if he is a stickler for the rules.

An Australian bike rider has died a week after he became collateral damage in a police chase, when he was struck by a driver fleeing from the cops.

Singapore will require ebike and e-scooter users to pass a license test, and may require all users to carry liability insurance.

 

Competitive Cycling

American triathlete Brandon McDonald describes competing just ten weeks after undergoing open heart surgery.

So much for taking over. Four transgender women discuss what it’s like to compete in cycling and other women’s sports with little or no chance of winning.

 

Finally…

Maybe a little Christmas spandex will get you in the holiday spirit. (Insert celebrity name here) is one of us, too.

And who needs winter bike gloves when you’ve got heated handlebars?

Morning Links: Graphic testimony in the case of a fallen PCH cyclist; riding the Reseda protected bike lanes

It’s been just over a year since John Greg Colvin was killed when his bike was rear-ended while riding on PCH in Laguna Beach.

Last week, a preliminary hearing was held for the driver, Dylan Rand-Luby, on charges of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run for driving over a mile from the scene before stopping, despite a windshield too shattered to even see through.

A source, who prefers to remain anonymous, reports on the hearing from inside the courtroom.

Warning — some of the information presented in the hearing was very graphic. If you’re uncomfortable with that, you may want to skip to the next section.

Dylan Thomas Rand-Luby’s preliminary hearing was Tuesday morning, and surprisingly, the word “texting” never came up. The word “objection,” on the other hand, popped up a couple dozen times like a poorly written comedy.

A witness in a vehicle traveling behind Rand-Luby’s Prius in the #2 lane had just moved over into the #1 lane to pass him. When the witness glanced at his rear-view mirror, he saw a bicyclist’s body going onto the hood of the Prius, and then up and over. Despite the shock, the witness immediately scanned the roadway to see where he could pull over. He was unable to move into the #2 lane, because Rand-Luby was accelerating. Alarmed, the witness told his confused wife to call 911 (she hadn’t seen the actual collision, and as you might imagine, had to be told several times why to call 911.) Meanwhile, Rand-Luby had rolled down his driver’s side window in order to see the road. He was clearly terrified, and yelled, “I have to pull over!” But he didn’t pull over until he reached the El Morro School parking lot, over a mile down the road; the distance surprised the witness, who followed him into the parking lot. Rand-Luby was crying, trembling and covered in shards of glass as he stepped out of his car and approached the witness, who hugged him and told him that 911 was already on the way to help.

Another witness had been in the #2 lane when Rand-Luby came up behind her. His tailgating led her to believe he was distracted, and she was so nervous that she sped up to create distance. In her rearview, she saw the Prius drift to the right, hit the cyclist, then swerve to the left and accelerate. She had merged into the #1 lane, and upon observing the shattered windshield as the Prius passed her in the #2 lane, she grabbed her cell phone to call 911.

A young Department of Fish & Wildlife officer in a marked DFW vehicle was traveling northbound in the #2 lane and hit the brakes upon approach to the scene. He immediately parked in the lane, activated his emergency lights, and ran to the victim. Bike parts and clothing were strewn on the shoulder. A woman at the scene identified herself to him as a nurse, and as the DFW officer had no advanced first aid training, he allowed the nurse to provide care, and returned to his vehicle to contact dispatch.

Within minutes, LBPD was on the scene. The first arriving officer observed the road shoulder littered with bike debris, and two Good Samaritans, one in scrubs, attending to the victim, who was bleeding about the face, head and arm. One swollen arm indicated a fracture. The officer attempted to initiate chest compressions, but the victim’s ribcage was no longer intact. The officer identified Mr. Colvin by his Road ID.

The lead investigator, who testified, is a cyclist himself. When the defense pressed him about his qualifications to assess whether the friction mark left by Colvin’s rear tire was actually created by a bicycle, he first mentioned his familiarity with bicycles, and road bikes especially, and then listed his pertinent professional training as an investigator.

The defense suggested, without much success, that perhaps the victim had been riding to the left of the solid white line that delineates the shoulder. Don’t know what she was getting at there?… She, and the paid criminal investigator, made a big deal about the overgrown shrubbery encroaching a little bit into the right side of the shoulder. It can’t be helpful for the defense to insinuate that the victim may have been lawfully riding in the #2 lane, and would therefore have been even more visible to a motorist approaching from behind. But there you go, excellent strategy. The defense’s own investigator also made a big deal about the thirteen “NO PARKING ANY TIME” signs between the point of impact & the school parking lot, suggesting that Rand-Luby did, in fact, pull over at the first lawful opportunity. Naturally the defense skipped over the part about Rand-Luby’s inability to actually see these signs.

In sending the case to trial, the judge cited separate witnesses who corroborated Rand-Luby’s sudden acceleration immediately upon hitting the victim, and she agreed with the prosecutor that operating a motor vehicle with a completely opaque windshield for over a mile on a highway with a 50mph speed limit is certainly an aggravating circumstance. The judge also denied the defense’s request to reduce the hit and run charge to misdemeanor.

Rand-Luby, who was just 19 at the time of the collision, faces up to four years in prison if he’s convicted.

………

It’s not always easy to get from one part of this vast city to another, especially on two wheels.

Which means most LA riders haven’t had a chance to try out the new protected bike lanes on Reseda Blvd. Or even know they exist, for that matter.

Reader danger d makes up for that with a video tour of the full length of the northbound lane, including a lingering look at the sidewalk treatments and outdoor furniture that make up the city’s first Great Street.

………

Way too much news to wrap up the Tour de France, which ended Sunday at the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Élysées.

After weathering three weeks of doubt and abuse, not to mention comparisons to He Who Must Not Be Named, Chris Froome rolled into Paris as the winner of the Tour de France; maybe he should have crossed the finish line in a yellow polka dot jersey. He also explains why he keeps his head down when he rides. But that doesn’t explain his awkward elbows-out cycling form.

The BBC asks where Froome ranks in the pantheon of British bike racing. Peter Sagan wins his fourth green jersey in a row as the Tour’s best sprinter, while Alberto Contador has no regrets after failing to win a rare Giro – Tour double.

Here are the full standings in every category at the end of the race, which ended with a bang — and a shooting.

Bicycling talks to the man behind the spectacular artworks carved into farm fields at the Tour. The Wall Street Journal offers video of the crazed fans atop the Alpe D’Huez, while Cycling Weekly offers a GoPro view from inside the peloton.

And a writer for Forbes explains how pro cycling’s 6.8 kilo rule leads to more innovation.

Meanwhile, Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen wins the rain-soaked women’s La Course preceding the final stage of the Tour. A racer looks at the misconceptions that have kept women from having more than a token race before the finish of the Tour de France. But while progress has been made, women’s racing still has a long way to go.

………

Local

KPCC looks at bike commuting in the City of Angels, while NPR rides with LA’s Carlos Morales and the Eastside Bike Club.

Rick Risemberg says when it comes to city councilmembers blocking bike lanes, just sue ‘em. Couldn’t agree more. Any lawyers out there want to volunteer?

CiclaValley rides the LA area’s equivalent of Alp d’Huez.

Glendale votes to build parks and extend the bike path along the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk.

 

State

Ride too far on San Diego’s Mission Trails, and you could be cuffed and busted by armed Marines, and your bike seized as evidence.

The owner of a bike rental shop in San Diego’s Pacific Beach complains about the city’s bikeshare program competing with his business. Even though bikeshare is intended for short-term rentals, and could bring more customers to his shop.

San Carlos-based Beeline Bikes receives financing to take their mobile bike repair shops nationwide.

The library bike movement spreads to San Francisco.

Bicycles and riders of every description flock to Oakland’s Jack London Square for the city’s Pedalfest.

A Bay Area hit-and-run driver tries to cover-up the crime after hitting a cyclist. Literally.

The managing editor of the Stockton paper calls for peace and consideration on the streets after getting an unwanted shower while riding. And is just glad it was Gatorade instead of something else.

Sacramento police discover most bike thieves are habitual criminals. Which really shouldn’t shock anyone.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to buy a saddle, while Treehugger asks if we really need all those gadgets on our bikes. Surprisingly, most bikes still function even without Strava and GPS.

Plans are underway to encircle Detroit with a 26-mile bike and pedestrian path, although an 8.3 mile gap still needs to be plugged.

Who says cyclists aren’t tough? A New Mexico mountain biker drove himself to the hospital after being impaled through the neck with a tree branch.

A Texas woman calls for locks on bus bike racks after her bicycle was stolen. Suggested solutions range from locks where the key stays in the lock until used, to a solenoid controlled by the driver.

Chicago is transforming a roadway into a three-block long shared street accommodating bicycle, pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic.

After a Pittsburgh-area woman accuses a road raging driver of pushing her off her bike, he claims they were the ones harassing him and she just fell off her bike as he ran screaming towards her. Sure, let’s go with that.

Bikeyface has lane envy.

 

International

Winnipeg’s anti-bike councilors aren’t giving up, despite the city’s adoption of an aggressive bike and pedestrian plan.

A Brit pedalcab operator says he was justified in charging a pair of tourists the equivalent of $320 for a one-mile trip because he was riding uphill. Most of the peloton didn’t make that much per mile riding up Alp d’Huez.

A Welsh hotel is going out of its way to make bike tourists feel at home.

After a similar video appeared online last month showing a Brit cyclist being pushed off his bike from a moving car, some Irish jerks film themselves pushing over a bike rider as they drive by. Seriously, there’s not a jail cell dark enough or a pit in hell deep enough for people like that.

Over 150 cyclists will race across India in six-member teams to promote amateur cycling.

An Aussie writer questions whether bicycling is really in decline in the county.

 

Finally…

If you’re wanted on an outstanding warrant and carrying drug paraphernalia on your bike, stop for the damn stop sign, already.

A YouTube video looks at the tragic plight of the bicyclists’ nearest living relative, the endangered North American biped.

And in a must watch video, a bike-riding Aussie TV host makes some strong points with tongue planted firmly in cheek, telling drivers “don’t be a wanker.” Update: As mwandaw points out below, this video is no longer online. Let’s hope it comes back soon.

Seriously, this could be the best five minutes of your day.

 

Morning Links: Evidently, Great Streets require skinny street sweepers; bike share moves forward in Beverly Hills

Reseda Blvd Flyer_Workshop2_April-11__colorLA’s first official Great Street could get even greater.

A workshop will be held this Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm to show off the new sidewalk patterns and benches lining Reseda Blvd in Northridge, and discuss what improvements will take place in Phase 2 of the project.

Thanks to the BAC’s Glenn Bailey for the heads-up.

Speaking of Reseda, I’m told the topic of the city’s first parking-protected bike lane lining one side of the boulevard came up at the meeting of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee earlier this month.

Specifically, the question of how LA intended to keep rocks, glass and other debris from piling up, since none of the city’s street sweepers are narrow enough to fit between the bollards and the curb.

Which is exactly the argument commonly used against having a physical separation the parking lane and the bike lane to keep cars out. Although even that hasn’t been effective with confused LA drivers.

Apparently, it will require the purchase of a skinny new street sweeper.

Using funding from the bikeways program, of course.

……..

The Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills may need a new moniker after approving a bike share pilot program.

The city approved buying docking stations and 50 smart bikes from the same manufacturer that will be used by Santa Monica’s coming Breeze bike share.

Although placing tourists on the city’s unwelcoming streets may be problematic.

Beverly Hills might want to rethink the decision not to widen Santa Monica Boulevard to make room for bike lanes before they thrust tourists on slow bikes into the already jammed traffic lanes.

Thanks to Better Bike’s Mark Elliot for the news.

……..

Local

Flying Pigeon says the force isn’t with you when the LAPD is leaving their patrol cars in what’s supposed to be a buffered bike lane, not a parking lot.

The Daily News says California needs more focus on older people. But they get it wrong in suggesting downtown lofts and bike paths are strictly for young people; older adults benefit from vibrant, walkable neighborhoods as well, and many improve their health and happiness by riding bikes. And need a safe place to do it.

New LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler is featured on the This Is The City podcast.

Nice. The Los Angeles Circuit Race on Sunday, April 18th will honor fallen Bahati Racing pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado.

An 81-year old bike rider suffered life-threatening injuries in an El Monte collision on Tuesday night; by Wednesday morning he was in stable condition.

 

State

CABO joins Calbike in coming out in opposition to SB 192, the proposal to require all California bike riders to wear a helmet when they ride, with reflective hi-viz at night.

The annual Redlands Classic kicked off on Wednesday, offering one of the country’s top amateur stage races. Sadly, one rider didn’t make it, as 23-year old Erica Greif was killed in a car collision on her way to the race; thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.

 

National

People for Bikes says you don’t need to travel to some exotic location when the best riding is in your own back yard. New York’s Bike Snob might agree, as he takes a casual fried ride through the Bronx.

Seriously? Money magazine offers advice on how to beat the high cost of bicycling, even though it only costs a lot if you want it to; many riders get by on almost nothing.

Bicycling lists the nation’s 29 best bike shops, including LA’s Golden Saddle Cyclery, Pedalers Fork in Calabasas, The Unlikely Cyclist in Costa Mesa and Irvine’s A Road Bike 4U.

What to do if you hit an animal while riding your bike.

Bike riders are told to be on their best behavior, as Denver grants them a whole extra weekend day of riding on the city’s iconic 16th Street Mall.

 

International

It was a police officer behind the wheel of the service car that took out New Zealand cyclist Jesse Sergent during the Tour of Flanders; frighteningly, the cop has no memory of the incident or why he tried to pass when there wasn’t enough room.

An Indian newspaper seems amazed by a 22-year old’s nearly 3,000 mile, 49 day “crazy” journey across the country, noting that he has never been a professional cyclist or had specialized training in long-distance riding.

 

Finally…

Anyone can descend. But how many cyclists can do it backwards at 50 mph? And a ticket for riding without a bike bell comes back to haunt a Canadian bike rider five years later.

 

Weekend Links: Parking protected biking finally comes to LA; gunman guilty in shooting of San Diego bicyclist

LA takes a big step forward, as Northridge gets the city’s first parking protected bike lane.

The new Reseda Blvd bike lane uses the parking lane, and the cars in them, to form a protective barrier between bikes and motor vehicle traffic on the busy street. Even if some drivers don’t seem to get the idea.

The sidewalk got a makeover, too.

……..

The man accused of shooting and killing a developmentally disabled San Diego bike rider just for the hell of it has pled guilty to first degree murder.

Twenty-two-year old Humberto Emanuel Galvez leaned out of a car window and shot Jordan Hickey with a shotgun as Hickey was just blocks from his home as he rode home from visiting his girlfriend four years ago.

Galvez will be sentenced to life without parole for the shooting; by pleading guilty, he took a possible death sentence off the table.

His partner in the crime, 24-year old Juan Ignacio Gomez, also faces life without parole after being convicted last week.

……..

Local

Routing bike riders onto alternate back streets that don’t form a complete grid isn’t the right answer, a lesson CiclaValley says ostensibly bike-friendly CD4 candidate Carolyn Ramsay needs to learn.

Flying Pigeon explains why the upcoming school board election should matter to you, whether or not you have kids.

KPCC correctly notes that LA’s incomplete bike network makes it impossible to cross the city using designated bikeways. Although they could have found a more current map.

Good ideas are contagious. The success of CicLAvia prompts Glendale to consider their own ciclovía on Brand Blvd this September.

 

State

A 13-year old bike rider suffers non-life threatening injuries when he’s apparently right hooked by the driver of a car.

Build it, and they will come in droves. Buffered bike lanes in San Diego result in a 347% increase in ridership since 2012.

Former baseball great Curt Schilling joins with other San Diego residents to help replace the 18 custom bikes stolen from wounded vets; so far, they’ve raised $25,000 to replace bikes valued at $45,000.

San Diego cyclists will gather on April 19th for the second annual 35.5-mile memorial ride to honor long-time cyclist and bike advocate Gordy Shields. We’re still waiting for LA to do something, anything, to memorialize our own Alex Baum after his passing.

Plans for a 48-mile bike path through the Coachella Valley could be jeopardized as Rancho Mirage threatens to pull its support.

San Francisco’s bike share program could expand from the current 700 bikes to 7,000 bikes in cities throughout the Bay Area.

A San Francisco bike theft victim gets his $7,000 ebike back when the built-in GPS pinpoints its location.

Police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who plowed into three SF cyclists, seriously injuring one, as she fled after rear-ending a car and before hitting another one.

 

National

I want one. Or maybe two. Trek’s Bontrager line introduces a new tail light designed for daytime use, said to be brighter than a car taillight and visible for over a mile away.

A Harvard study says police are still using outdated collision report forms, missing out on vital data that could help prevent bike collisions; Los Angeles cyclists have been asking the LAPD to improve their forms for years.

Despite complaints, a Portland road diet slows drivers an average of just one minute per trip.

Nice story. A 12-year old boy in my hometown who was born without arms will soon be able to ride a bike for the first time, thanks to the efforts of his new friend.

A Milwaukee writer says it’s not riding a bike that’s hazardous to your health.

A Minnesota public library is introducing The Book Bike, a bicycle-towed trailer designed to bring books to local kids.

Even the Motor City is getting its first parking-protected bike lane.

Some people just don’t get it. A Syracuse paper says parking is more important than bike lanes, even though getting more people on bikes could reduce the need for it.

A New Yorker who helped paint the city’s first ghost bike says he’ll keep building them until they aren’t needed anymore.

The Baltimore bishop accused in the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider has pled not guilty; she faces trial on June 4th. So much for confession being good for the soul.

New Orleans cyclists turn to social media to track down suspected bike thieves.

No bias here, as a Florida rider died after being doored, yet the local press blames him for running into it. Note to Tampa Bay Times: If someone dies of his injuries, they were life threatening, even if they didn’t appear that way at first.

 

International

Montreal cyclists say the city has a long way to go to improve safety; a new bike path could have only been designed by someone who doesn’t ride.

A two-year old Brit boy is the proud owner of perhaps the world’s only penny farthing balance bike.

Paris plans to double the size of its bike lane network to over 860 miles in the next five years, including protected bike lanes on the Champs Elysees and other major avenues. Seriously, if they can do it there…

VeloNews looks at Easter Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.

At least Mercedes AMG didn’t build yet another high-end racing bike, like so many other car makers dabbling in bicycling. They built a mountain bike instead.

Bystanders join together to lift a car off a Chinese cyclist when she’s pinned underneath following a collision. For some reason, though, they illustrated the story with a photo from CicLAvia, and a caption about LA’s planned bike share program.

 

Finally…

Someone stole the new sign asking people to stop pooping on an Illinois bike path; to be honest, given the opportunity, I might have taken it myself. When you’re wanted on two outstanding warrants and carrying nine packets of heroin on your bike, put a damn bell on your bike if that’s what the law requires.

And yes, biking under the influence is illegal in California, as a San Raphael rider blows twice the legal limit after blowing a stop sign.

……..

Please accept my best wishes for a happy Passover, a happy Easter, or just a damn fine weekend, whatever you may observe.

 

Bike rider injured in Tarzana collision earlier this month has died; 11th LA bike death this year

More bad news.

Earlier this month I reported on a collision in Tarzana in which several people passing by saw a bike rider down with severe head injuries. Now I’ve gotten word from the LAPD that the victim has died.

Unfortunately, details are still sparse.

The collision occurred at the intersection of Reseda Blvd and Collins Street around 5:50 pm on Saturday, August 10th. The male victim, who has not been publicly identified, was presumably riding in one of the bike lanes on Reseda when he was struck by a turning car; whether it was turning onto or off of Collins is unknown.

A comment from a reader indicated he was wearing a helmet, but it was knocked off during the collision. He was transported to a local hospital, and died of his injuries sometime last week.

Unfortunately, this was not unexpected.

Whenever a victim is described as suffering from severe head injuries, the outcome is unlikely to be good. Too often, it means he or she has been put on life support until family members can make a decision on organ donation. Even in the best cases, it’s likely to result in life changing injuries.

I’ve put in a request for more information. Hopefully we’ll know more soon.

This is the 60th fatal bicycling collision in Southern California this year, and the 27th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the 11th fatal bike collision in the City of LA since the first of the year.

That exceeds the total for both the city and county for each of the last two years, with over four months left to go.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Update: Bad news on a beautiful day; cyclist killed in Pomona shooting, another rider seriously injured in Tarzana

Just a quick note to take the shine off this beautiful Sunday.

……..

A bike rider was shot and killed in Pomona last night.

According to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 45-year old Pomona resident Jose Cerda was riding on Lexington Avenue just west of Garey Ave around 9:30 pm when a vehicle pulled up next to him and one of the occupants opened fire, shooting him several times.

Cerda was pronounced dead at the scene.

He was just the first of three people killed by gunfire in the city overnight, in what would appear to by a series of drive-by shootings.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Pomona Police Department Detective Bureau at 909-620-2085.

Update:  According to the LA Times, no one has been arrested yet in any of the shootings; no word on whether police have any suspects or if the shootings are related.

……..

I’ve also gotten word of a serious collision involving a bike rider in Tarzana last night.

An email from reliable source says he was driving with his family along Reseda Blvd near the 101 Freeway overpass around 5:50 last night when he came upon the immediate aftermath of collision involving a bike and a car.

He arrived before the paramedics, and said the victim, who was not wearing a helmet, appeared to have been gravely wounded with a serious head injury.

Thankfully, the driver had remained at the scene; the window on the small car was completely smashed. Judging from the damage and position of the car, he said it did not appear to be a hit-from-behind collision, but couldn’t tell from what he saw how it might have happened.

As a frequent rider in the area, he reports the area is very congested with heavy vehicle traffic due to the freeway offramp, and that riding there can be challenging. despite the presence of a bike lane.

I haven’t been able to find any confirmation of the collision yet; however, knowing the source, I have no reason to question what he saw. Not surprisingly, he says he and his entire family were traumatized by what they witnessed.

Once again, it sounds like prayers or best wishes are in order, whatever you’re most comfortable with.

Thanks to Bro Dave for the heads-up.

Update: Sgt. Stephen Egan, the bike liaison for the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division, reports that the collision occurred at 5:50 pm Saturday at the intersection Reseda and Collins. The driver was making a turn when he hit the rider; which way he was turning or what street he was turning onto is not clear at this time. 

The victim was transported to a local hospital with severe head trauma.

MB reports in the comments that the victim was wearing a helmet, but it was evidently knocked off by the force of the impact.

Update 2: Bad news. I’ve just gotten word that the victim died of his injuries last week. I’m trying to get more information.

Why the New York bikelash matters to L.A. cyclists

New York cyclists are up in arms over a lengthy New York Magazine article tracing the history of the bikelash — the tabloid-flamed controversy over the city’s rapid transformation into a more livable, walkable and ridable Gotham.

While opponents use anecdotal evidence to criticize the bike lanes — indeed, the entire concept of allowing bikes on the streets and/or sidewalks of the city — the data clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the bikeway system.

In fact, New York Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson recently  backed the bike lane argument with a solid set of statistics, including one demonstrating that once separated bike lanes are installed, injuries for all road users decline 40% to 50%.

Unfortunately, facts aren’t enough to win over those who think bikes are the biggest threat this side of al Qaeda. And no, I’m not exaggerating.

Consider this quote from the article — from a former bike shop owner, no less — who clearly needs to increase his meds:

“You know about the cars. You know about that potential danger when you’re crossing the street. You know you might end up a bag of blood and guts and bones. But that is a finite realm of danger,” says Jack Brown, who used to own a bike shop in the East Village. “When it comes to cyclists, that danger is infinite. Cyclists can be anywhere, at any time: on the sidewalk, riding the wrong way down the street. And you have no peace … The anarchy that has been allowed to prevail is astonishing. According to butterfly theory, according to chaos theory, I am sure that the level of emotional and psychological damage wrought by the bicycle far exceeds the damage done by cars.” And then Brown goes there: “It is homegrown terrorism. The cumulative effect is equivalent to what happened on 9/11.”

Not only does he equate the simple act of riding a bike to flying a jet into the World Trade Center, he claims that the harm done by the relative handful of bicycle incidents far exceed the emotional and psychological damage done by the 40,000 +/- deaths caused by cars on American streets each year — let alone the countless crippling and life-changing injuries resulting from car collisions each year.

Talk about blaming the victim.

As someone who has lost both a relative and a childhood friend to drunk drivers, I can assure you that he is quite mistaken as to which one inflicts lasting emotional harm.

As for psychological damage, I’d point the finger at whatever he’s been smoking.

As proof of the danger posed by cyclists, opponents inevitably trot out the case of Stuart Gruskin, who died as a result of a collision with a wrong-way bike deliveryman.

Needless and tragic as that case was, it was just a single death two years ago. And not caused by a speeding spandex-clad cyclist, or even the city’s notoriously anarchic bike messengers, but by a food delivery rider taking an ill-advised shortcut. And a victim who failed to look both ways when crossing a one-way street.

That compares with a long, long list of New Yorkers killed by motor vehicles last year alone.

It’s enough to make bike lane opponent Louis Hainline, founder of the ironically named — some say Orwellian — Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes, seem relatively rational.

Although it never hurts to have a reminder not to take it all so seriously.

So why does a dispute on the opposite coast matter to riders here in L.A.?

Simply this.

We’ve just finished the battle to get a widely praised bike plan adopted. But right now, those bike lanes, sharrows and bike-friendly streets exist as nothing more than lines on a map.

And if you think New Yorkers are mad, wait until you see the blowback here in the City of Fallen Angeles when we try to take a single inch of road capacity away from drivers to create even a shadow of a complete street.

Because Wilbur Avenue is just the beginning.

Along those lines, cyclists are urged to come out to support completion of the bike lanes on Reseda Blvd, as the final half mile between Roscoe and Parthenia comes up for review by the Northridge South Neighborhood Council.

This one may prove controversial, as it will require the removal of parking on one side of the road for a one-block stretch between Chase and Napa Streets.

And the only thing L.A. drivers love more than an open lane to speed in is a place to park their gas-guzzling SUVs when they’re done. Most local businesses are yet to be convinced that bike riders spend money, too.

The meeting takes place at 7 pm this Thursday, March 24, in the Northridge Middle School Library, 17960 Chase Street.

So make your voices heard.

Because we already have more than enough disconnected bikelanes in L.A. And we need to head-off the L.A. bikelash before it begins.

.………

Santa Monica Spoke says yes, please to a proposed Michigan Ave Bike Boulevard. LACBC reports on their successful Bike Valet program. Men’s Journal says rides with Jake Gyllenhaal on the streets of L.A., and Ewan McGregor bikes with a cute dog. Glendale offers a children’s bike skills class April 30th. Those new separated bike lanes — the ones that Long Beach columnist Doug Krikorian complained about not seeing a single cyclist on — don’t officially open until April 2nd. A look at Mark Bixby’s final victory as a bike advocate.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says it won’t be easy to get biking or transportation projects funded by a cost-cutting Congress. Advocacy Advance grants are available for state and local biking organizations. NPR points out that it’s often cheaper to tear down outdated freeways than to fix them. Three years, one family, from Alaska to Chile. Portlanders are good, but not great, about using bike lights. Illinois cycling advocates consider legislation to force the state to track dooring incidents. Taking New York’s bike crackdown to ridiculous levels, cyclists are ticketed for violating an evidently fictional 15 mph speed limit. The Wall Street Journal looks at the growing popularity of hand-cranked bikes; thanks to George Wolfberg for the link. Partisan politics and negative perceptions of cyclists take down Virginia’s proposed three-foot passing law. Video tips for riding in the rain, which may come in handy for the rest of the week.

A one year suspended license and community service for driving dangerously and killing an 89-year old cyclist. Italian cycling needs to stop living in the past. Dutch cyclists are being terrorized by little kids in golf carts. A 10-point plan to make bike racing more exciting.

Finally, a London writer says the Mary Poppins Effect only works when riding an upright bike, without a helmet and while wearing a skirt.

Probably counts me out.

Do we dare to declare victory?

“I declare the war is over; it’s over…” — Phil Ochs, The War Is Over

In case you missed it, L.A. cyclists scored a couple of big victories in the last few weeks.

As you may recall, following the outrage over LADOT’s plans to remove the bike lanes on Reseda Blvd in order to install peak hour lanes, LADOT denied they would ever consider such a thing. As part of that denial, LADOT explained that they were planning to repave a 1-mile section of Reseda, and that maybe that’s where the “misunderstanding” started.

Cyclists, of course, smelled opportunity.

Or maybe we just smelled blood in the water. And insisted that LADOT prove their sincerity by completing the long-delayed bike lanes along the full length of Reseda that we were promised in the old bike plan, starting with that one mile section.

Then, as cyclists continued to press their case at a meeting of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, Alan Willis, LADOT Principal Transportation Engineer for Valley Traffic Operations, announced that the promised bike lanes would be installed on the section to be repaved. And that the remaining gaps in the bikeway could — maybe — eventually be closed.

Of course, they never admitted their deception. Let alone offered an apology.

Then last week came news that after 5 long years, the city is finally moving forward with a Sharrow test project. Nine streets are under consideration, including one along the current Class 3 bike route on Westholme Ave, just blocks from my home.

This comes less than a year after an LADOT representative gave an update to the city council’s Transportation Committee, claiming that the delay was because they didn’t know what kind of paint to use so that cyclists wouldn’t slip on wet paint when it rained.

Maybe that was a legitimate concern in today’s highly litigious society. Although when I mentioned that to a respected transportation planner at the Bike Summit earlier this year, he just rolled his eyes.

Of course, cities from Pittsburgh to Long Beach — not to mention Portland, Denver, Minneapolis and Seattle, just to name a few — have already put sharrows to use on the streets. And to the best of my knowledge, there have been no rash of injured cyclists in those cities.

But maybe they don’t have wet streets in Seattle, Portland or San Francisco. Or maybe cyclists there don’t come out until the streets are completely dry after a storm.

Or maybe LADOT just forgot to call their counterparts in those soggy cities to ask what kind of paint they use.

Still, the commitment to move forward with a Sharrow pilot project is a major victory. And the LACBC deserves credit for hanging in there and refusing to let them delay it to death. Combined with the bike lanes on Reseda, those are the biggest wins for local cyclists in recent memory.

Of course, the bad news is that LADOT actually considered removing existing bike lanes to squeeze a few more cars onto the already overcrowded city streets. Which means that no bike lane, sharrow or bike route — existing or not — will ever be safe if it stands in the way of what they consider progress.

Which means that we need to remain vigilant, ready to defend what little biking infrastructure we have. Let alone fight for what we deserve.

Of course, there is another alternative.

The city — and LADOT in particular — could start working with cyclists, rather than seeming to fight us every step of the way. They could, finally, start focusing on how they can move more people, rather than just more cars.

And begin building complete, livable streets that work for all their users, as well as the people who live, work and shop along them.

They might just find that we could be the best friends that they — and this city — ever had.

……….

The Anonymous Cyclist spots new ex-parking meter bike racks in Westwood. No Whip discovers a wallride in Mammoth, and Stephen Box discovers a full-service bike station Down Under. Travelin’ Local presents five ways to use your bike while traveling on Metro. LADOT wins an Emmy for a PSA encouraging drivers to pay attention around kids. The Times much-missed transportation beat reporter is now pucking around online. Joe Linton details the latest controversy, this time over a SoCal Gas plan to “fix” the popular fat tire and hiking trail in Sullivan Canyon, while lining portions of the creek bed with rip rap and concrete matting. A writer on Bob Mionske’s Bicycle Law blog challenges car-centric news coverage of a driver arrested for intentionally striking a cyclist, while Bob discusses what “as far to the right as practical” means in real life. A DC cyclist is physically assaulted after pushing a car door to avoid being doored. Town Mouse outrides a herd of migrating Scottish cows. Controversy flares in Korea over a proposed mandatory helmet law. Finally, sex columnist Dan Savage dares drivers to show their contempt for the recent study showing they’re at fault for 90% of car/bike collisions — and they gladly oblige. Of course.

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