Tag Archive for road diets

Two teens killed in crash where Vista Del Mar road diet removed, and elderly driver plows through a dozen French school kids

Just 208 days left until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the city’s mean streets.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re up to 1,190 signatures, so don’t stop now! Let’s get it up to 1,200 before I send it to the mayor’s office!

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

Back in 2019, a four-year old girl was tragically killed by a driver as she crossed the street in Koreatown, while holding hands with her mother.

In a crosswalk. With the light.

Alessa Fajardo and her mom did everything right as they crossed Olympic at Normandie that October day, yet she died anyway. Even though Los Angeles officials knew long before about the dangers of that area and intersection.

In fact, the school they were going to was ranked the city’s 13th most dangerous campus just six years earlier, while Koreatown as a whole was rated LA’s fourth most dangerous neighborhood for bike riders and pedestrians.

That’s pedestrians, like little kids crossing the street with their mothers.

It took four-and-a-half years, and a $9.6 million dollar settlement before anything was done about it.

Los Angeles Times reporter Ryan Fonseca took a deep dive into why.

Starting with the problem of each city councilmember acting like little kings in their own districts, responsible for identifying and approving any improvements before they are made.

Or not.

Neither former District 10 Councilmember Herb Wesson, who represented the district when Alessa was killed, nor his successor, Mark Ridley-Thomas, secured that funding. Ridley-Thomas was indicted on federal corruption charges, suspended from the council and later convicted and removed from his seat in late March 2022. Nobody represented the district until Heather Hutt was appointed that September.

Hutt identified and allocated $530,000 for the new signals in June 2023, but the installation work did not begin until April 2024, four months after the family’s suit against the city was settled.

District 10 staff would not comment on the record about why they could not secure the funds in 2020, 2021, 2022 and early 2023.

No surprise there.

Then again, even on the rare occasions when councilmembers really do try to do something, angry motorists too often rush for their torches and pitchforks — and threats of recall elections.

Tuesday night, two teenagers were killed, and three people seriously injured, in a head-on collision on Vista Del Mar in Playa del Rey.

And if that sounds familiar, it should.

Two years before little Alessa was killed in Koreatown, the city agreed to another $9.6 million settlement, this time with the family of a 16-year old girl killed crossing — wait for it — Vista Del Mar to get to her car after leaving Dockweiler Beach.

The same beach where the kids were killed on Tuesday.

Then-CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin responded by ordering long-delayed safety improvements on Vista Del Mar, and a handful of other streets in Playa del Rey. Both because too many lives had already been lost on the deadly roadway, and because the next settlement, for the next inevitable death, would be exponentially higher.

Yet the resulting lane reductions and bike lanes were unceremoniously ripped out weeks later on the orders of then-Mayor Eric Garcetti, after angry residents and pass-through drivers from Manhattan Beach rose up in anger — aided by angry rants from conservative KFI shock jocks John and Ken.

Hence that failed recall, as well as a lawsuit from anti-urbanist group Fix the City.

It only took another four years before there was blood on Garcetti’s hands, and all those who chose their own convenience over the lives of others.

Now just three years after that, two more people have needlessly lost their lives on that same bloody stretch of road. And despite a breathless report from Fox-11, police reports said there was no indication either driver was under the influence.

Never mind that the settlement for this one will likely be exponentially higher than the last one, since Los Angeles installed, then removed, safety improvements that might have prevented it.

Yet despite at least four deaths on the same section of roadway in just nine years, some people still seem to think they should have the unfettered, God-given right to go zoom zoom whenever and wherever they want, innocent lives be damned.

If you want to know why we can’t manage to do anything about the ever-rising rate of needless deaths on our streets, that’s it.

And it would be nice if our current mayor and council would somehow show they actually gave a damn, since the previous ones clearly didn’t.

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Once again, a car was a weapon of mass destruction, when an elderly driver plowed through a group of 12 schoolchildren at a French resort.

Three of the kids were critically injured when the 83-year old driver hit them head-on as they rode single file, leaving the children screaming in terror and pain amid their mangled bikes.

She was arrested at the scene, then released and taken to a hospital after police concluded she wasn’t in a “fit state” for questioning.

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Speaking of deadly roadways, here’s your chance to fight for bike lanes on PCH in Long Beach.

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No surprise that a town known for wealthy, entitled NIMBYs would choose to prioritize their convenience over the lives of bike riders.

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Bike Culver City offers a full schedule of bike events this month, including a screening of mobility justice leader Yolanda Davis-Overstreet two short film docuseries on Biking While Black on the 13th.

https://twitter.com/BikeCulverCity/status/1798102948452651350

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It’s now 168 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And three full years since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

For a change, though, California wasn’t the only state whose competency was question, after Minnesota’s planned ebike rebate program was called off for now when the website crashed within minutes of launching.

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

Police in Surrey, England released video of a violent attack on a bike rider, who was knocked off his bike by two “masked thugs” on a motorbike while riding on a bike path.

One of the UK’s leading young women’s cyclists is out of this year’s Tour of Britain after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver; Kate Richardson was on a training ride when she was knocked off her bike by the impatient driver, who came back to verbally abuse her before driving off again.

 

A man in Cork, Ireland was irate after a driver pulled over directly in front of him in a bike lane to chat with a friend on the sidewalk, while he was riding uphill with two kids on his cargo bike.

Campaigning for the European Parliament, a Dublin, Ireland politician went on a “jaw dropping,” “reactionary” anti-bike lane rant, in which she compare them to a Berlin Wall dividing the city in two.

A bike rider in Brussels, Belgium is lucky to be alive after he was knocked off his bike by a driver who tried to pass him and his companion while driving in a clearly marked bike lane, then the enraged motorist got out and slashed the victim’s throat with a knife; the victim managed to escape with just six stitches when the driver barely missed his jugular.

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

A New York rabbi suffered a broken leg when he was struck by a rogue, salmon-riding hit-and-run ebiker as he was crossing a bike lane.

Residents of Glasgow, Scotland called for food delivery ebike riders to be required to wear identifiable numbers on their backs, as a result of a number of collisions and near misses. You know, sort of like prison inmates, but without having to be convicted of anything.

A couple of teen ebike riders naturally got the blame after they quarreled with a “crew of cranky elderly” Aussies — even though the reporter admitted he had no idea what the discussion was about or who caused it.

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Local 

Streets For All urges support for a proposed 28-mile The Hill to Sea transit corridor traversing 13 cities and unincorporated communities from Pasadena to Long Beach, which would “aggressively reduce car dependency by prioritizing high quality bus service, safe protected bike paths, and improved sidewalks for walking and businesses.”

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton asks what’s next for Measure HLA as Los Angeles continues to slow walk new bus and bike lanes.

Urbanize LA has more details on the planned Complete Streets makeover of Hollywood Blvd, with bike lanes scheduled to be on the ground next year.

Los Angeles is building more than four miles of bike and pedestrian corridors in South LA west of the USC campus.

Glendale is delaying a planned Complete Streets makeover of La Crescenta Ave to search for additional funding, after initial estimates came in over budget.

 

State

Orange County supervisors voted to crackdown on ebikes, including restrictions on sidewalk riding, imposing speed limits and reclassifying bikes that generate more than 750 watts through their motors — even though the latter two could put them in direct conflict with existing state law.

Police in Cathedral City released a description of the suspect vehicle in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider last month; they’re looking for a dark-colored 2014-2019 Nissan Versa with major front-end damage, as well as missing parts.

A 52-year old bike rider in Apple Valley was airlifted for treatment after suffering major injuries when the victim was rear-ended by a driver on Monday.

A Heyward man was sentenced to nine years behind bars after pleading no contest to vehicular manslaughter and hit and run in the death of a 52-year old man riding a bicycle while driving a stolen car.

 

National

CleanTechnica sings the praises of Bike Index for registering your bike, which you can do right here for free, for life.

Bloomberg talks with University of Colorado-Denver professor Wesley Marshall about his new book, Killed by a Traffic Engineer: Shattering the Delusion that Science Underlies Our Transportation System; he’s the one who did a study several years back showing drivers and bicyclists break the law at the same rate — but bike riders do it for perceived safety, while drivers do it for their convenience.

Colorado took a step forward by creating a dedicated $7 million funding stream for “proven small infrastructure projects that improve safety for vulnerable road users,” such as bike lanes, sidewalks and other pedestrian improvements. While that’s far too little — even for a relatively small state — it’s a hell of a lot more than most are willing to commit to.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma man faces charges after he led police on a chase while driving on a bike and pedestrian pathway.

Police in Missouri are continuing to look for the SUV driver who nearly hit a man riding his bike, causing him to fall over a guardrail and down an embankment, where he lay in pain yelling for help for 13 hours.

Lawmakers in Michigan want to increase the penalties for drivers who strike vulnerable road users, while tightening the rules for who is considered one.

Vampire Diaries actress Nina Dobrev underwent successful surgery to repair an undisclosed issue resulting from an electric motorbike crash last week, as media sources continued to misidentify it as an ebike.

The Washington Post belatedly discovers bike buses can provide a viable alternative to the standard SUV school run.

Sad news from DC, where a 34-year old White House staffer was killed while riding his bike when he crossed the center line on a sharp curve during a fundraising ride, and was struck head-on by an oncoming motorist; Jacob Thomas Brewer was the husband of Fox News contributor Mary Katharine Ham.

 

International

Momentum explains why bicycles are the perfect vehicle for the 15-minute city, while offering policies to help your city go Dutch.

A writer for Cycling Weekly says forget talk about the “golden age” of bicycling, when there were ten times the number of bicyclists killed in the UK in 1950 compared to now.

A group of Queensland, Australia researchers consider what can be done about the bad weather, hills and dark nights that keep people from bicycling, particularly women. Ebikes can easily flatten the hills, but can’t help with the dark or bad weather.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling reports the annual Red Bull Rampage freeride mountain bike competition will finally welcome women as something other than spectators. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

People Magazine wants to catch you up on what’s happening with America’s best-known ex-Tour de France winner. But fails to explain why anyone should give a damn. 

Huh? Twenty-five-year old Australian cyclist Robert Stannard received a four-year ban for “abnormalities” in his biological passport, with the ban backdated to 2018. Which is pretty much the same as no ban at all.

Former pro Peter Sagan takes the party on the water in a new beer ad.

 

Finally…

Why spend thousands on a gravel bike, when you can do the Gravel Unbound on a Walmart cruiser? Who the hell would steal a Penny Farthing?

And Hitch was one of us.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Firefighters union pledges 6-figure fight to keep LA roads deadly, and woman bicyclist critical after Belmont Shore collision

Just 320 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. Just 60 signatures to go to reach 1,000!

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Somehow, Los Angeles firefighters don’t seem to think LA’s wide street are wide enough.

Or that their trucks can manage to roll over a thin line of paint.

According to the Los Angeles Times, United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112 plans to spend at least $100,000 to fight Measure HLA, the ballot measure that would make the city build out its already approved mobility plan whenever streets within the plan get resurfaced.

Union President Freddy Escobar said his organization, which represents about 3,400 firefighters, is concerned that the measure will lead to slower emergency response times and put new pressure on a city budget already experiencing financial strain. Firetrucks are already being hindered by “road diets” — reductions in vehicle lanes caused by the creation of bike or bus lanes, Escobar said in an interview.

“Every second counts. The road diets slow down our firefighters,” Escobar said. “And it will be so much worse with HLA.”

Like the road diet on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, for instance. Which we were told was dangerously delaying responses from the local fire station after it was installed, until we learned that the average response for Mar Vista’s Station 62 was just four seconds more than the citywide average in the months following the road diet.

Because every second counts, evidently.

Never mind that when firefighters complain about road diets, they neglect to mention that while road diets reduce the number of traffic lanes, most contain a continuous center left turn lane large enough for firetrucks to zoom through any backed up traffic — actually making them more efficient for emergency vehicles than LA’s congested roadways.

Other major streets in the mobility plan are marked for bus lanes, which also present a perfect lane for emergency vehicles to bypass traffic more quickly than they can now.

Assuming no one is illegally parked in them, of course.

Or that one reason we’re told LA’s “protected” bike lanes are protected by nothing more than flimsy plastic posts is so emergency vehicles can drive over them whenever necessary.

Not to mention that most of the bike lanes in the mobility plan will feature nothing more than a thin stripe of white paint, which should hardly pose a barrier for a massive, multi-ton truck with huge wheels.

So the reality is that road diets, particularly the kind the would be created under HLA, would likely speed emergency response times, not slow them.

Which makes you wonder what the firefighters real complaint is.

Then there’s the simple fact that Measure HLA, and the mobility plan it’s based on, is designed to save lives by dramatically reducing the risk of life-threatening injuries and traffic deaths.

So maybe what they’re really worried about is that improved traffic safety could reduce the need for emergency responses.

And emergency responders.

Of course, Los Angeles isn’t the first city to face this type of manufactured conflict.

New York firefighters complained that city’s road diets and bike lanes were affecting response times, until the brass clarified that it ain’t necessarily so.

In fact, response times were better the year after bike lanes were installed on New York’s Columbus Ave than they were the year before.

San Francisco firefighters also complained about the city’s rapid installation of road diets, neighborhood greenways and bus and bike lanes. So city officials bought several slightly smaller fire trucks to enable them to better traverse San Francisco’s narrow, winding streets.

Not, say, our overly wide, straight and multilane boulevards.

Which makes it seem like the union’s real objection is less about reducing response times, and more about wanting to drive unhindered to and from the fire stations and their suburban — or even out-of-state — homes.

But in the end, it’s only appropriate, in this pre-Easter season, that the firefighter’s union will spend more than a hundred grand of their member’s dues to perform a miracle.

By turning their water into whine.

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Bad news from Long Beach, where a 32-year old woman is in stable but critical condition after she was struck by a driver while riding her bike.

The collision occurred at Second Street and Bay Shore Ave in the city’s Belmont Shore neighborhood at 8:15 pm Sunday.

The victim was reportedly making a left turn after the light had changed, when a driver went through the intersection on the red light, striking her.

A nearby doctor provided first aid until paramedics arrived.

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Um, okay.

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It’s now 56 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

A Dublin, Ireland mother was forced to give up bicycling after she was threatened with an £11 million fine — the equivalent of nearly $14 million — and two years behind bars for installing a small bike shed in her front garden to store her family’s bikes and her mother’s wheelchair.

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

New Jersey comedian Rich Kiamco was chased and beaten by a gang of teenaged bicycle riders, who ran him down to steal his ebike; police used the GPS on his bike to track down the thieves and recover his bike less than an hour after it was stolen.

A Singapore botanical garden urged bike riders to slow down, after a hit-and-run bicyclist on a road bike ran over a monitor lizard.

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Local 

It just keeps getting worse. Former Major League shortstop and current Oaks Christian School baseball coach Royce Clayton was busted for DUI early Sunday morning, just weeks after testifying about quaffing margaritas with wealthy socialite Rebecca Grossman and her then-lover, former Dodgers pitcher Scott Erickson, before she allegedly killed two little kids while speeding through a crosswalk.

Metro is looking for volunteers to help audit first mile/last mile connections for the Eastside Transit Corridor, the coming nine-mile extension of the E Line train.

Income-qualified Pasadena residents will be able to get a rebate of up to $1,000 on the purchase of an ebike starting July 1st, while other buyers will be able to claim $500 off a regular ebike, and $750 off an e-cargo bike. And chances are, California’s moribund ebike voucher program still won’t have launched by then.

 

State

Seriously? The replacement project for the Mission Bridge over the Santa Ana River between Riverside and Jurupa Valley has been pushed back until 2025 — but don’t worry, officials plan to protect bike riders by installing a couple of Share the Road signs along the dangerous roadway.

Santa Barbara will seek $32 million in state funds to build a new bike and pedestrian bridge over Highway 101.

The San Francisco Standard examines the proposals to ban kids from riding ebikes, while noting that US Consumer Product Safety Commission research shows it’s people 25 to 44 years old who are the most likely to end up in the ER as a result of an ebike crash — not kids.

 

National

The Manual says you should never buy a used mountain bike.

Once again, a bike rider was a hero, as a Washington state man was saved after driving off an embankment when someone passing by on a bicycle heard his moans and called 911; the driver was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

A Boulder, Colorado op-ed says bicycling isn’t inherently dangerous, but bad street design is. (Hint: Stop the page from loading to bypass the paper’s paywall).

Illinois IndyCar vet David Malukas will see his debut with the Arrow McLaren SP Racing team delayed a couple months, after dislocating his wrist in a mountain bike crash — or maybe tearing ligaments in his wrist; he now expects to start his season at April’s Long Beach Grand Prix.

An Arizona man is likely on his way back to prison after allegedly crashing a stolen box truck in Terre Haute, Indiana, and attempting to make his getaway on a stolen bicycle while naked from the waist down.

She may be onto something. A Baltimore bike rider questions whether cars are just a parasitic alien life form that makes people do their bidding.

 

International

Virgin founder Richard Branson claims bike riders need body armor, after his latest bike crash in the British Virgin Islands left him with a “nasty” road rash and a hematoma on his hip. So he and I finally have something in common (see photo).

Canada commits to stop funding large highway projects, concluding that the country’s current highways are sufficient to meet its needs.

No bias here. A London website says bicyclists will no longer have to annoy pedestrians by dismounting and walking their bikes across the city’s Hammersmith Bridge.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a Yorkshire, England van driver walked without a day behind bars for running down a bike rider from behind, after playing the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card by claiming the sun was in his eyes.

The Turkish founders of the annual, worldwide Fancy Women Ride have called an end to it, saying its goal of getting more women on bikes has been met. Although they may find the ride was easier to start than it will be to stop.

An EV website says Sydney, Australia needs to change its perspective and embrace cycling as a viable mode of transportation.

 

Competitive Cycling

A British Columbia paper says Svein Tuft, arguably Canada’s greatest road cyclist, is finally leaning to slow down after retiring at 41 when he lost his competitiveness, and began braking early to avoid injuries.

 

Finally…

That feeling when even the parking cops don’t care about a blocked bike lane. Forget a tandem, what could be more romantic than a bicycle built for five?

And we may have to worry about road-raging drivers, but at least we’re not likely to get shot after being mistaken for a bike-riding wild boar.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Narrower and fewer lanes save lives, a weekend of traffic violence, and passing ghost bikes on to the next generation

Ride or walk carefully today.

The day after the time change usually sees a spike in traffic collisions, so ride defensively for the next few days. 

And don’t forget your lights. 

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Apparently, narrow traffic lanes save lives.

According to a new study of seven US cities sponsored by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, 12-foot-wide traffic lanes, which remain the norm in too many places, resulted in significantly more crashes than narrower lanes.

Not to mention encouraging drivers to speed, which increases both the risk and severity of crashes, as we’ve learned from other studies.

Narrowing traffic lanes also provides more room for other road uses, like wider sidewalks and bike lanes.

The key findings from the study include —

  • Narrower lanes did not increase the risk of accidents. When comparing 9- and 11-foot lanes, we found no evidence of increased car crashes. Yet, increasing to 12-foot lanes did increase the risk of crashes, most likely due to drivers increasing their speed and driving more carelessly when they have room to make mistakes.
  • Speed limit plays a key role in travel width safety. In lanes at 20-25 mph speeds, lane width did not affect safety. However, in lanes at 30-35 mph speeds, wider lanes resulted in significantly higher number of crashes than 9-foot lanes.
  • Narrower lanes help address critical environmental issues. They accommodate more users in less space, use less asphalt pavement, with less land consumption and smaller impervious surface areas.
  • Narrowing travel lanes could positively impact the economy. This includes raising property values, boosting business operation along streets and developing new design projects.

Meanwhile, another study of Los Angeles-area road diets confirmed that removing traffic lanes improves safety.

Even on high-traffic corridors that exceed Federal Highway Administration recommendations that road diets should be applied to roadways with fewer than 20,000 average daily trips.

According to the authors —

We found that collisions, injuries, and deaths were lower by 31.2% to 100%, depending on the measure, whereas traffic speeds were lower by about 6.7% (peak) to 7.9% (off-peak). We concluded that in Los Angeles higher-traffic-volume road diets appeared to significantly increase safety with only minor effects on traffic speeds.

Let that sink in.

Road diets on high-traffic corridors — even right here in the automotive capital of the world, where driving is considered a God-given right and obligation — dropped traffic deaths and serious injuries by anywhere from a third, to complete elimination.

And all with a minimal impact on driver speeds, taking a typical 40 mph driving speed down to a more reasonable 36.

Which isn’t going to make anyone late for dinner or to pick up the kids, while helping to ensure they’ll actually get there in one piece.

So what the hell are we waiting for?

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This is who we share the road with.

In an example of just how desperately those street changes are needed, Los Angeles County saw an explosion of traffic violence over the weekend, including the apparent hit-and-run that took the life of yet another person riding a bicycle.

An off-duty LAPD officer was killed, along with another person, when their car was struck by a speeding, allegedly drunk BMW driver in Northridge early Saturday; three other people were injured, including the driver, who is accused of blowing through a red light at over 100 mph.

Two people were killed when a minivan driver being chased by police slammed into a Metro bus in DTLA early Sunday morning, after police reportedly saw someone toss a gun out the window of the minivan. Two people in the backseat, who weren’t wearing seatbelts, were killed while the two people up front survived with non-life threatening injuries; three people on the bus suffered minor injuries, including the driver.

Several people suffered minor injuries, and a number of others were lucky to escape injury, when an alleged drunk driver doing donuts lost control of her car, and slammed into a large group of people standing outside a Valencia bar. And almost needless to say, she fled the scene before she and her passenger were arrested — after reportedly changing seats to hide who was driving.

Video of the crash is appalling.

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Sad to think we need to pass this on to a new generation.

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Austrian stunt cyclist Fabio Wibmer goes for a ride through my Hollywood neighborhood, among other Los Angeles area sites.

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

Apparently, hell hath no fury like a London van driver confronted by a bike rider for playing a video game behind the wheel.

Police in Scotland are looking for a driver and passenger who reached out of a passing van to punch a man and woman who were riding their bikes; no word on whether they were injured.

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

A Fresno woman was collateral damage in an apparent political dispute between a 60-year old pickup driver and a bike rider participating in a Pro-Palestinian demonstration, after the driver, who was allegedly under the influence, tried to speed off when the bike rider began punching him through the open window; the victim was lucky to escape with just a broken ankle, while the driver faces possible hit-and-run and DUI charges, while the bike rider could be charged with assault.

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Local 

LAist talks with new LADOT General Manager Laura Rubio-Cornejo, who swears her priority is to make every Angeleno and visitor feel safe on the streets, while revisiting the city’s nearly moribund Vision Zero program — but without making a commitment to the wholesale changes to our streets required to do that.

SoCal speed cams took a step closer to becoming reality in Los Angeles on Wednesday, when City Council Transportation Committee unanimously approved a motion to create an automated Speed Camera Safety Program when a new state law approving a pilot program in Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach goes into effect next year.

No surprise here. The bike-riding woman who was struck by Arnold Schwarzenegger earlier this year has filed a lawsuit against the former governator, alleging he was driving “with excessive speed and failed to keep a proper lookout,” despite reports she swerved in front of his SUV.

 

State

A Streetsblog op-ed by Jeanie Ward-Waller, former deputy director for planning and modal programs at Caltrans, relates how she was fired for doing her job, and speaking out when Caltrans officials tried to skirt the law to widen Sacramento highways. Maybe Newsom should just fire the people running Caltrans, and give her the damn job.

A pair of 15-year old Los Banos boys were hospitalized after they were both struck by a 17-year old girl driving a pickup as they rode their bicycles to school.

A Marin columnist calls the “bike lane experiment” on the Richmond-San Raphael Bridge a “fiasco” that has to be ripped out, since it only sees an average of 118 bike trips and 19 pedestrians on weekdays.

 

National

WaPo examines the current nationwide movement to ban right turns on red lights, in the face of rising pedestrian — and bicyclist — deaths.

Bike Portland relates the strange saga of the “accidental” bike lane that city officials are in the process of ripping out, swearing it was unintentionally installed, even though local residents had requested it six years earlier.

An Oregon craft brewer now combines beer, coffee and bicycles. Or as I used to call that, Monday. 

Someone suspended a bicycle from a Spokane bridge pylon, complete with rider.

A Utah man gets screwed when someone stole a pair of ebikes from his garage, and his homeowner’s insurance refused to pay the claim, stating his policy doesn’t cover “motor vehicles” — even though the state classifies ebikes as bicycles.

A new mural along a Jackson, Wyoming bike path honors the Northern Arapaho heritage of many local residents.

Milwaukee is installing new advisory bike lanes, even if London bike advocates might not approve.

Planetizen says Chicago had a banner year for bike infrastructure, installing more than this year than any previous year. Of course, that might not be saying much.  

A Cambridge, Massachusetts doctor says he’d love to recommend bicycling to his patients, without “putting them at risk of injury or worse,” but he can’t unless the city completes its bicycle network.

A New Orleans website offers inspiring photos from the city’s second-annual Big Easy Bicycle Fest.

 

International

Momentum offers advice on how to navigate the urban door zone, which is a leading cause of bicycling injuries.

Electrek picks the best ebikes you can buy at every price point right now. Although you can’t use your California ebike voucher, since the program still hasn’t launched after more than two years.

Now you, too, can own the “Porsche of bike trailers” for the low, low price of just $526. Wake me when someone has the McLaren of bike trailers.

A Canadian website says dozens of bike riders turned out to support a contentious Toronto Complete Street and bike lanes, after the provincial premier said he would rip them out. Although judging by the photo, “dozens” would seem to be a dramatic underestimate.

A Montreal man argues that ebike crashes should be covered by the rider’s auto insurance, after he was hospitalized following a crash with an ebike rider.

The UK’s Daily Mail accuses London’s mayor of losing the battle with the city’s e-bikeshare program, insisting the “two-wheeled gadgets” litter the streets and sidewalks, and are too often “hijacked by yobs.”

An English driver asks how to be nicer to bicyclists, despite sometimes finding them very annoying. Short answer, don’t be an asshole. Longer answer, don’t be an asshole, please.

Cycling Weekly says Italy’s Dolomites are still the best place to ride your bike.

A doctor in Gaza once again demonstrates the value of a bicycle in a disaster, using his bike to ride over rubble to treat patients, after his car was destroyed by Israeli bombs.

An African business site says Kenyans are increasingly enjoying long-distance bicycling, with rides of 111 miles or more.

Your next electric Honda may not be a car.

 

Competitive Cycling

Danish pro Jonas Vingegaard, two-time winner of the Tour de France, was awarded the prestigious Velo d’Or trophy for the year’s best cyclist, and was apparently so unimpressed he didn’t bother to show up for the ceremony; Dutch Tour de France Femmes winner Demi Vollering won the women’s Velo d’Or.

GCN talks with Slovenian cyclist Matej Mohorič, who popularized the now-banned super-tuck position, about his upbringing and his quest to give a ‘higher purpose’ to his racing.

Remembering the good old days of the Tour de France, when doping meant raiding the local cafe to steal a little mid-stage booze.

 

Finally…

Who needs a $2 million a year anti-aging program when you can just buy a bike? Now you, too, can own a vintage steel-frame Colnago tandem for the equivalent of just $330 — although you may have to stand up to ride it.

And we may have to deal with feral LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about leapfrogging deer.

Usually.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

WeHo approves Fountain protected bike lanes, debate over cyclist semantics, and running over bikes in bike-friendly Davis

Just two more days to one of the biggest, most momentous days of the year!

No, not Black Friday. It’s the official start of the 8th Annual BikinginLA holiday fund drive!

We’ll be off tomorrow, so have a great Thanksgiving, whether you spend it with loved ones or alone on your bike. And find something to be thankful for. 

Besides, you know, this site. 

Then come back on Friday to witness me beg, plead, cajole and grovel for your support.  

And stay safe out there. I want to see you back here again when the weekend is over. 

………

In a surprising decision, the West Hollywood City Council voted unanimously to install a pilot protected bike lane project on Fountain Ave, overcoming fierce opposition to the proposal.

Mayor Lauren Meister summed up her reason for voting yes, even though city staffers haven’t explained where the cars displaced from parking on the apartment-dense street are supposed to go.

“My goal is to make Fountain just safer, period — for pedestrians, making the sidewalks wider and and making it so that cars aren’t speeding through and going over the curves and actually going into people’s yards,” Meister said.

The proposal, which became a key issue in the city’s recent election campaign, would require the removal of a traffic lane in each direction, as well as reconstructing sidewalks along the street, which are not ADA compliant.

The street currently features some of the area’s most uncomfortable sharrows, which are seldom used by anyone but the most confident bicyclists in the face of frequently speeding traffic.

The unanimous approval bodes well for the pilot program withstanding efforts to overturn it when two new, more moderate, councilmembers take their seats in the coming weeks.

………

A lengthy Twitter thread revives the debate over the word cyclist.

It’s something I try not to use, as you may have noticed, preferring bike riders, bicyclists or people on bicycles.

But only because so many people read into to it far more than the word actually conveys, which is merely someone who rides a bicycle.

To some, it means bike racers; to others, it’s anyone who wears spandex. And to others still, it refers to people on fixies, or some other bike world niche.

Then there are people don’t like the word because they feel it labels them in some way, when riding a bike is just something they do, rather than something they are.

I can see all of that, and none of it.

The simple fact is we are all cyclists when we ride a bike, and not once we get off. Just as someone is a driver when they’re behind the wheel, and a pedestrian when they get out; no one calls them drivers when they’re home or in the office.

So go ahead and use the word if you’re comfortable with it, or don’t if you aren’t.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

………

Streets For All is hosting a fundraising holiday party next month.

………

A Davis motorist drove through a line of picketing teaching assistants striking for higher pay and better conditions on UC campuses, driving off with a bicycle still stuck under their car.

Cops off Campus everyone. Good Lovely people!!
byu/accountforperson inUCDavis

But to UC Davis grad student Megan Lynch, it’s yet another example of why the city isn’t the bike paradise its made out to be.

https://twitter.com/may_gun/status/1595127212180926464

………

Now you, too, can drive an even faster and more powerful high-end e-car, for the low, low price of a hundred bucks a month.

Yet somehow, your ebike remains capped by law at 20 or 28 mph, depending on class.

Thanks to How The West Was Saved for the heads-up.

………

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

Oxford, England makes an extremely wrongheaded choice to remove bike racks to make rood for a Christmas market, apparently assuming that no one would want to avoid traffic by biking there.

No bias here. Britain’s “eco-warrior” bike riders are facing threats from motorists, both online and on the streets.

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

An English woman in her 80s was seriously injured when she was struck by an apparent self-riding hit-and-run bicycle, since there’s no mention of anyone on it.

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding man who assaulted an elderly walker-using woman in the UK, stealing her purse containing the equivalent of nearly $1,200 in cash.

………

Local 

Politico says Councilmember Kevin de León is still standing, despite repeated demands for him to resign in the wake of a racist and otherwise offensive recording; he continues to draw his $218,000 salary despite not showing up to work since the outcry began.

SAFE, aka Streets Are For Everyone, wants to know what street safety campaigns and advocacy efforts are important to you.

About damn time. The Hollywood Reporter says it’s time to reopen the case in the 12-year old murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen, which was bizarrely pinned on a destitute, bike-riding Black man who allegedly killed himself as police attempted to take him into custody in a Hollywood flophouse; Beverly Hills police accused Harold Smith of shooting Chasen as she drove home from a premier.

South LA received a $60 million grant to fund bikeshare, and provide free Metro passes for students.

 

State 

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, wants to give you a ped-assist ebike in exchange for a commitment to ride a minimum of 100 miles a month. Or as I used to call that back when I could still do it, Tuesday.

A San Diego resident who “has spent a lot of time, energy and thought on transportation issues” apparently attempts to prove singer Harry Nilsson’s contention that a point in every direction is the same as no point at all, confusingly complaining about the cost and lack of use of expensive bikeway projects, while pointing out the limited safety of some and the lack of an effective network to make them viable.

Completing our San Diego trifecta, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and Families for Safe Streets held a vigil for traffic victims, as the city’s mayor promised to prioritize safety over speed.

San Francisco proposes making a number of the city’s Slow Streets permanent.

 

National

Streetsblog wants to know why there are so many memorials to the victims of wars, but not for the ongoing battle on our streets.

Electrek insists that switching to an ebike means getting more exercise, not less.

Portland’s ebike-based bikeshare system set a new record with over half a million users this year, topping the previous record by more than 100,000.

Heartbreaking news from Arizona, where a four-year old boy was killed by a driver while riding his bike just blocks from his home — and on a street with just a 10 mph speed limit.

This one hits a little too close to home, as an ebike rider in my bike-friendly Colorado hometown was seriously injured when he was left-crossed by the driver of an SUV — on the street that I grew up on, no less, just blocks from my childhood home.

That’s more like it. New York’s transportation commissioner says the city is moving towards a carfree future, and suggests thinking twice before getting a car.

A newspaper in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley examines why the area is a mecca for bicyclists.

DC is facing a lawsuit under the Americans With Disabilities Act, as two handicapped women allege that new protected bike lanes make it harder for them to find parking and safely exit their vehicles. Thanks to Victor Bale for the tip. 

Speaking of DC, probably not the best idea for the newly elected head of a neighborhood commission to give the finger to bike lane opponents. Even if most of us may want to at times.

It takes a major schmuck to slam into a bike-riding, 12-year old Florida boy and flee the scene without even slowing down, leaving the kid lying in the street with serious injuries. There’s video of the crash after the link, but be warned that it’s hard to watch.

 

International

Treehugger offers a beginners tutorial on Vision Zero, which oddly only works when cities actually do something about it.

Montreal bike riders respond to a driver parking in a bike lane for “just two minutes” to get his lunch, by parking their bikes in the traffic lane for the same amount of time.

Now you, too, can work in the bike industry, as CEO of British Cycling, the country’s governing body for bike racing and all things bike.

A woman in the UK explains what it’s like to get hit by a speeding SUV, and why so many drivers, like the one who ran her down, don’t stop after a crash.

Tokyo allowed participants in a charity ride to ride their bikes on the city’s iconic Rainbow Bridge for the first time since it opened 29 years ago.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s looking like the 2024 Tour de France will kick off in Italy, home to the Giro d’Italia.

No surprise here, as the primary goal of two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar is winning it a third time, after this year’s second place finish.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your carbon frame bike is covered almost entirely in 24 karat gold. Or when beef-eating bicyclists are accused of being worse for the climate than cars.

And bemoaning blatant Belfast bike lane blocking.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Blood on Garcetti’s hands as hit-and-run driver murders mom on Vista Del Mar, and big pickups blind drivers to little kids

We knew it was going to happen.

Just four years after a road diet was unceremoniously ripped out on deadly Vista Del Mar, a mother was killed by a hit-and-run driver while carrying her three-year old son.

And immediately, local residents jumped in to demand that something be done to stop the street’s speeding drivers.

Like this man who was quoted by KCBS-2.

A day after the tragic incident, some neighbors are saying that something needs to be done about people speeding down Vista Del Mar.

“Nobody respects the speed limit here,” said a neighbor Adolfo Navarro. “I mean, you’ll see the cops on motorcycles here during the day enforcing it, but at night, it’s…you can hardly see because the lights don’t even gloom right and then you can only see as far as you can using your headlights.”

Except something was done.

And Playa del Rey residents and Manhattan Beach commuters immediately got out the torches and pitchforks demanding its removal, until our weak-kneed mayor cut the legs out from under the local councilmember to force its removal.

Now every damn one of them have this woman’s blood on their hands.

CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin had ordered the road diet when the city was forced to settle a lawsuit for $9.5 million, two years after 16-year-old Naomi Larsen was killed while crossing the road at Dockweiler Beach.

Just like 33-year old Wendy Galdamez Palma on Saturday night.

Bonin understood that, without quick action, people would continue to die on the killer street.

And the next settlement would make that $9.5 million look like peanuts.

So he ordered LADOT to implement a long planned, and long delayed, road diet on Vista Del Mar, along with a handful of other local streets.

Unfortunately, the work was done over a weekend, without warning or public announcements, resulting in massive traffic backups and the inevitable hot tempers.

And somehow, everyone blamed bike lanes — and bike riders in general — for the road diet, even though LADOT used diagonal parking to narrow the street, rather than bike lanes, so speeding drivers wouldn’t keep killing people.

So in the face of demands from angry cut-through commuters, as well as lawsuits and threats of recalls — that was back in the day, before recalls were an everyday thing — Garcetti ordered all the road diets and bike lanes that had been installed on other streets removed.

Making Bonin look like a hapless fool.

And making more deaths inevitable.

As an added bonus, the actions of the future ambassador to India undercut virtually every road diet that had been planned anywhere in the City of Angels, as councilmembers ran scared, and quickly concluded they’d rather see more needless deaths than have those angry drivers come after them.

Most notably on LA’s Temple Street, where both CD1’s Gil Cedillo and CD13’s Mitch O’Farrell quickly backed out of a desperately needed, shovel-ready lane reduction.

Which was soon followed by CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian cancelling plans for similar safety improvements on Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood.

That’s how we ended up with bike riders and pedestrians continuing to die on our streets, six years after the city adopted Vision Zero, and just four years until traffic deaths were supposed to be a thing of the past.

Yeah, right.

Never mind an ever rising epidemic of hit-and-runs, as drivers recognized just how unlikely they are to be caught. And just how likely they are to get away with a slap on the wrist if they are.

All of which brings us to the needless death of a mother cradling her child in her arms, who reportedly turned away from the oncoming car to sacrifice her life in order to save his.

I honestly don’t know what to say anymore.

Wendy Palma did not need to die. Steps were taken to tame high speed drivers on deadly Vista Del Mar. And spineless cowards took them out.

Which means the next legal settlement won’t by $9.6 million, but significantly higher. Because the city knew there was a problem there, and not only didn’t fix it, they actually removed the fix.

And the one after that will be higher still.

And the one after that.

And people will keep dying, because the cowards in City Hall don’t have the courage to do anything about it.

Photo shows the road diet that was removed from Vista Del Mar.

………

If a driver can’t see what’s on the road directly in front of them, they shouldn’t be allowed on the road.

Period.

………

Everyone knows you can’t carry stuff home from the market or hardware store on a bicycle.

Let alone a dozen kegs.

Right?

………

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

This is who we share the road with. A British driver somehow seems to find humor in seeing an injured bike rider on the side of the road. Schmuck.

https://twitter.com/ldnparks/status/1435872982610612224?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1435930878392274949%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es3_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclingweekly.com%2Fnews%2Fgrim-viewing-as-video-emerges-of-driver-mocking-injured-cyclist-in-richmond-park

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

London police “nicked” a teenage fake food delivery rider who was dispensing cannabis instead of food, catching him with nine bags of weed and the equivalent of more than $700 in cash.

It takes a major schmuck to punch a British man walking his dog and kick him in the head, just because the man asked a passing bike rider to slow down.

………

Local

Speaking of Mike Bonin, the councilmember announced improved bollard-protected bike lanes on Airport Blvd in Westchester (scroll down), even if half the riding area is in the gutter.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department’s Fugitive Task Force busted a man riding a bicycle in West Hollywood who was wanted for a New York murder, after his barber gave away his location by posting a photo of him getting a haircut on Instagram.

Fifty South Bay bike riders honored bicycling advocate Julian Katz with a ride in his memory, three years after Katz passed away at the age of 88.

They get it. The Long Beach Business Journal makes the case that a $20 million reconstruction plan for Artesia Blvd through Compton, Long Beach, Cerritos and Paramount, including an upgraded bike lane, will be good for business growth along the corridor.

 

State

San Diego will be the first US city to get the Bird, as the Santa Monica-based company deploys a fleet of their new ebikes in the city.

Twenty-eight-year old ex-con Martin Valdez Arias has been charged with randomly attacking a woman while riding his bike on a Ventura bike path; he faces charges of false imprisonment by violence and attempted sexual battery.

A travel website offers tips on how to ride your bike across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

 

National

They get it, too. Vox says US cities must be designed to encourage much more biking, walking and transit use to end America’s obsession with driving and fight climate change.

A Denver PBS station looks at the local chapter of Black Girls Do Bike, a nationwide group dedicated getting more Black women to ride bikes. And dispelling the myth that they don’t.

Authorities are looking for a man who went missing not far from my Colorado hometown after he set out for bike ride on Friday, and never came home.

A Missouri construction crew devised a brilliant solution to keep the 287-mile Katy trail open during a bridge replacement project, using shipping containers to form a makeshift tunnel to protect riders from falling debris.

A Chicago group gave away 75 refurbished bicycles to kids from two to ten years old, as well as giving them basic safety training.

This is who we share the road with. A three-month old Brooklyn baby is dead, and her mother clinging to life, after a wrong way driver slammed into another car, and both vehicles spun out onto the sidewalk; the driver, who had an incredible 160 traffic violations in the past four years, attempted — and failed — to jack another car to flee following the crash. Just one more example of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late.

Don’t hold your breath. New York’s mayor promises answers after the NYPD turned a new bike lane into their own parking lot.

A New Yorker gets his stolen bike back two months later, after spotting it in a photo of abandoned bikes recovered by the police.

Camila Cabello is one of us, riding her bike with a friend on the streets of New York.

An Atlantic City paper is surprised to learn that county officials have been building a bike network for the past decade, but they support the effort, saying rising bike deaths make it a necessity.

No surprise here. A Pottsville PA cop wasn’t charged for killing a 31-year old man who reportedly was struck when he rode his bike into an intersection; no word on who actually had the right-of-way, or whether the officer was using lights and siren. Unfortunately, police have a well-deserved reputation for blaming the victim in any crash involving a cop.

 

International

If you think traffic is driving you nuts, you may be right. A new study shows exposure to traffic and railroad noise increases the risk of dementia in general, and Alzheimer’s in particular.

A Canadian man is looking for the Good Samaritans who came to his rescue after he did a face plant when a brake cable snapped on a steep descent, while visiting family in Vancouver.

A Toronto columnist says the future of the city’s downtown is not car-friendly. And that’s a good thing.

A man in the UK will spend the next six months behind bars for violating his probation, after being caught in possession of a bicycle that wasn’t registered with police, which was a condition of his suspended sentence for selling weed; he had been allowed back on the streets despite 13 previous convictions.

An Irish paper says carfree housing developments don’t have to be a utopian ideal, and that removing cars from homes can eliminate the risk they pose to children.

A new Netherlands study show bicycling injuries in the country are eight times higher than what has been reported by the police.

United Arab Emirates VP Sheikh Mohammed is one of us, taking to his bike to explore Dubai’s World Expo site ahead of its opening next month. Although he doesn’t look very happy about it, at least in the top photo.

September is the most dangerous month to ride a bike in South Korea, with August second.

More confirmation that Russell Crowe is one of us, as he took his mountain bike out for a spin around Sidney, Australia with his girlfriend.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Pascal Eenkhoorn was the star of Saturday’s 7th stage of the Tour of Britain for handing his water bottle to a young fan who pedaled furiously along the sidewalk to keep up with the lead breakaway.

 

Finally…

Let’s be honest, it would probably be worth the $6.51 fine to ride with a jet engine on your bike. That feeling when you’re tired of horseshit bike lanes — no, literally. Or get attacked by a pair of naked and mostly naked men.

And who says you need a surfboard to ride the waves?

………

On a personal note, yesterday marked the 14th anniversary of the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident. But I’m still here, and the bees aren’t.

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

Hermosa Beach shrinks streets for popup bike lanes, search for bike-riding WeHo rapist, and a bike lane trash dump

Looks like the new router is up and working, and so am I.

So let’s get to it. 

………

See LA, it can be done.

Hermosa Beach somehow managed to do what Los Angeles can’t, installing a popup bike lane and road diet on Hermosa and Pier Avenues, while providing more space for outdoor dining during the pandemic.

The project is planned to last for six months. But if it proves popular, maybe they’ll make it permanent.

………

West Hollywood Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a bike-riding rapist who attacked a woman on Fountain Ave last week.

The suspect is described as a white or Latino male in his early 30s with short black hair and brown eyes. He is 5’7” to 5’11” with a normal build and slight gut. He has a tattoo of some sort on his right arm.

He was wearing black t-shirt and dark blue jeans when last seen.

He left on a black hybrid bike with medium sized tires.

Anyone with information is urged to call sheriff’s deputies at 310/855-8850.

………

What’s a bike lane when it’s not a bike lane?

A trash dump.

………

Nothing like a painfully close pass in the London snow.

………

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

No bias here. Britain’s Daily News complains about “bungling” city councils wasting the equivalent of a relatively paltry $1.4 million dollars installing bike lanes that were later ripped out to appease angry motorists. Evidently forgetting that’s exactly the purpose behind popup bike lanes, allowing cities to install relatively low-cost infrastructure that can be easily removed if it doesn’t work out. Or if entitled drivers scream loud and long enough.

………

Local

It took a long time getting here, but the Westwood Neighborhood Greenway is finally finished, even if you can’t get in yet.

 

State

Gary Turner, the GT in BMX brand GT Bicycles, is back in business with his son building trendy limited-edition oversized BMX street cruisers in Orange.

If you lost a bike in Ventura County recently, you may be in luck. Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies busted a pair of men in Fillmore while serving a warrant last week, and discovered several bikes believed to be stolen.

Bakersfield is looking for funding for a number of clean air projects, including separated bike lanes, affordable housing and turning a six lane roadway into a Complete Street.

The Modesto group behind Saturday’s mass ride out say police overreacted in cracking down on hundreds of bike riders flouting traffic laws. Never mind that mass rides are a particularly bad idea during a pandemic.

Palo Alto is continuing efforts to expand the city’s bicycle network.

She gets it. A Sonoma County columnist says you can buy happiness — it’s called a bicycle.

A pair of freeride skiers rode their bikes 1,033 miles from Lake Tahoe through Oregon and Washington to tackle three of North America’s classic ski runs, on Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainer and Eldorado Peak.

 

National

That feeling when Microsoft advertises your bike brand for you.

In a sign of their growing popularity, racks on buses in Anchorage, Alaska will now accommodate fat tire bikes.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus responds to Monday’s 12-block vehicular rampage that left one woman dead and nine others injured, including two bike riders and seven pedestrians, arguing that we can’t ignore it again. Even if there’s still no answer to the vital question of why it happened.

The new Biden administration could reconsider Trump’s ill-conceived decision to truncate Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

Oh hell no. A proposed Montana law would give bicyclists a three-foot passing law in exchange for requiring hi-viz clothing and front and back lights 24/7, and riding only on the shoulder or far right edge of a roadway, safe or not.

A Minnesota woman embraces her inner Viking, and commits to riding every day this month, including in the snow. Which is seldom a problem here in sunny Southern California, even if it feels like it right now.

Boston rips out a curb-protected bike lane, replacing concrete with flimsy plastic bendy posts. Which will put the city on the hook if anyone is injured or killed there with the now-negligible protection.

The next time someone complains about removing a parking space to improve safety for people on bikes, remind them that 1.6 million New York bike riders have to compete for a lousy 56,000 bike parking spots. And the situation’s probably not much better anywhere else.

A whopping 68% of New Yorkers support building more protected bike lanes in their own neighborhoods, while 56% support swapping parking spaces for protected bus lanes. Someone really needs to conduct a similar survey in Los Angeles, where decisions are usually based on who screams the loudest.

New York considers rule changes that would allow bike riders to make a right on red after coming to a complete stop, as well as ride through red lights and stop signs at the top of T-intersections. Which many bike riders already do anyway, legal or not.

Curbed considers what New York transportation commissioner Polly Trottenberg’s track record suggests she’ll do as deputy transportation secretary under Pete Buttigieg in the Biden Administration.

Life is cheap in Florida, where a drunken Maserati driver got a lousy 18 months for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

 

International

Learn to bunny hop like a pro.

A marketing strategist says bike brands have a rare opportunity to shape culture and seize market share by meeting the needs of women who are taking to their bikes during the Covid-19 lockdowns, and working with cities to provide safer places to ride.

Unsurprisingly, a new data analysis shows Vancouver’s hilly terrain is the main reason people don’t use bikeshare there. Which means ebikes could provide an easy solution.

Tragic news from London, where a 15-year old boy was stabbed to death while riding his bike to get fish and chips.

A British forest park is asking bike riders to keep within their limits, stick to areas they know well, and ride within their ability levels to avoid injuries during the pandemic.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A UK paperboy is still riding his bike to deliver the news, regardless of weather, even as he approaches his 80th birthday.

A new fat tired ebike from Sweden’s Cake is part cargo bike, part mobile utility bench. Although as far as I’m concerned, if it doesn’t have pedals, it’s not a bicycle, electric or otherwise.

 

Competitive Cycling

Absolutely disgusting. Dutch pro Dylan Groenewegen received death threats, including a mailed noose with a note threatening his unborn child, following the crash that seriously injured fellow countryman Dutchman Fabio Jakobsen in the Tour of Poland, which required round-the-clock police protection. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with these people?

The crits must go on, as USA Cycling announces a ten race criterium calendar. Although the closest one to Los Angeles will be in Salt Lake City.

Rouleur considers the cyclists who need to mount a comeback to get back to form for this year’s racing season.

Canyon Bicycles is raffling off a complete Ultimate CF SLX bike to benefit the nation’s first Historically Black College or University (HBCU) cycling team, at North Carolina’s St. Augustine’s University.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could adapt to the type of ride you’re doing. Your new bike stem could recharge your lights, phone or bike computer while you ride.

And the Dutch even use bikes to protest. Although burning them seems like a damn waste.

But at least they’re polite about which ones they take.

https://twitter.com/W0lverineupdate/status/1353402351445372929?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1353402351445372929%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-25-january-2021-280329

………

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

Sheriff’s deputies shot Dijon Kizzee 16 times, blaming road diets for CA decline, and things are looking up in Santa Ana

The official autopsy is out.

And it’s not good.

A pair of LA County sheriff’s deputies shot Compton bike rider Dijon Kizzee 16 times — yes, 16 — in an incident that began with a failed traffic stop for riding salmon.

And escalated when Kizzee allegedly dropped a stolen gun as he struggled to escape the deputies; what’s in dispute is whether he attempted to pick the gun back up. Especially since the official version of events has changed several times in the days following the shooting.

At least four of those shots could have been fatal.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas last year, a Black man told police officers 24 times that he couldn’t breathe before he died, in an incident that began when police tried to stop him for not having a bike light.

Yes, both men took actions that helped lead to their deaths.

But a simple traffic violation should never escalate to the death penalty.

………

No bias here.

A writer for the libertarian magazine Reason concludes that California is a cautionary tale for America — including road diets that remove traffic lanes and install bike lanes.

Never mind that road diets have been successfully used for decades throughout the US, including in red states.

But that would have involved doing a modicum of research, which might have gotten in the way of his preordained conclusions.

………

It looks like things are about to get much better in Santa Ana.

And should be everywhere.

https://twitter.com/lisandroOC/status/1312569428173705216

………

This kind of puts it all in perspective.

………

Mr. CiclaValley reminds you to put more gravel in your life.

………

A couple more reminders to register your bike for free with Bike Index.

Especially now that Bike Index is partnering with the LAPD and the City of Los Angeles to create a new citywide voluntary bike registration program.

it’s up to us to make sure the free, voluntary program stays that way to prevent abuses like we saw with the city’s previous mandatory licensing program, which became an excuse to stop people of color without probable cause as they rode their bikes.

………

Deep thought of the day.

https://twitter.com/henrygrabar/status/1311665276467855368

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

………

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

Horrifying attack in New York, where a speeding SUV driver appears to intentionally ram a group of bike-riding protestors before fleeing the scene; fortunately, no one was seriously injured. Once they find the driver, this should be prosecuted like the terrorist attack it is.

Talk about not getting it. Apparently confusing the treatment with the disease, a London columnist complains that bike lanes are choking the life out of the city through fume-filled traffic jams. Someone should tell him that it’s all those cars that cause the noxious fumes — and the traffic. And safe bike lanes mean fewer of those on the roads. 

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

An English teenager suffered a head injury when another man attacked him with a mountain bike.

A young Dublin man was accused of intentionally riding his bike into a taxi to file a fraudulent claim, but rode off after realizing he was being filmed by dashcam.

………

Local

LADOT wants your input on building stress-free connections on neighborhood streets. As opposed to all those stressful connections we’re all used to.

You have one more week to tell Metro what you think about fareless transit system.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee — the city’s only official voice representing bicyclists — is meeting virtually via Zoom at 7 pm tomorrow evening. You can see the agenda here, including draft motions addressing bias from the LAPD and the fire department in killing the Uplift Melrose project.

South LA could be on its way to a safer and more beautiful Broadway, including parking protected bike lanes, on one of the city’s most dangerous corridors.

Walk Bike Burbank puts three important questions to three candidates for city council. Read it before you vote.

The nascent GoSGV bikeshare system expands to Baldwin Park with 45 ped-assist ebikes and nine docking stations.

Santa Clarita residents can win prizes during the city’s Rideshare Week celebration.

A columnist for the Southern California News Group remembers Long Beach real estate scion and bike advocate Mark Bixby, who fought to get a bike lane across the new replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge, and won, before dying in a 2011 plane crash along with four other people.

 

State

Sad news from Eureka, where a bike rider was killed in a collision when the victim allegedly swerved in front of an oncoming car, according to the driver and multiple witnesses.

 

National

This may just be the best biking on the moon photo you see today. Thanks to TedFaber for the link.

Travel & Leisure recommends the country’s best bike paths to explore US cities. Including one I grew up riding in my Colorado hometown.

After a bicyclist crashes into a cliff wall and falls into the roadway, a bighearted Tesla driver blocks traffic before rushing the victim to the hospital with a likely broken collarbone.

Wired explains what the ebike classifications are, and what that means to you.

Sad news, as longtime bicycle writer Garrett Lai died of natural causes last week; he was just 54.

The Daily Beast talks with Seattle’s Trumpet Man, the protestor who was run over by a bike cop while lying on the ground.

Three men who survived the tragic 1970 plane crash that killed most of the Wichita State University football team are riding their bikes from Wichita, Kansas to the Colorado crash site to remember their fallen teammates on the 50th anniversary of their deaths.

Chicago business owners blame new protected bike lanes for a drop in business, with one hardware store owner insisting the loss of parking spaces has meant a 30% drop in sales. Although a far more likely explanation is the same drop in business suffered by brick and mortar retailers across the US during the coronavirus pandemic.

A pair of men are now in custody for stealing a $3,500 handcycle from an Ohio man; they were captured after riding the bike in front of security cams in a Circle K parking lot.

Following a full year of international travel, bicycling helped a writer for the New York Times fall in love with the city again during the coronavirus lockdown. Thanks to David Drexler for the link.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A New York nurse who spent the past several months on the frontlines of the the Covid-19 pandemic was killed in a collision with a motorcyclist as she attempted to ride her bicycle home following a late-night shift.

 

International

Your bike might be responsible for your back problems.

Road.cc examines the results when carmakers take a stab at making bicycles.

A bighearted triathlete bought a new bike for a 16-year old Canadian boy whose bike was stolen just weeks after finishing a nearly 375-mile ride from Montreal to Toronto, raising over $8,000 to provide clean water for indigenous communities.

The Sportsman offers a nice profile of Josh Quigley, the bicyclist who set a new record for the northern crossing of Scotland, just months after he barely survived getting run down at 70 mph driver by a Texas driver while on an around the world bike tour. He was inspired to do the ride by Britain’s Sir Chris Hoy after a failed suicide attempt.

A British woman wishes she gotten on the saddle sooner, after spending most of her adult life thinking riding a bike wasn’t for her.

In a truly heartwarming story, a seven-year old girl in the UK rode her bike around her school 100 times, completing nearly 16 miles over two days to raise funds for the hospice where her grandfather spent his last days. At last count, she’d raised the equivalent of nearly $1,500.

A German man turned his bike into a mobile video game.

A writer for Outside searches for meaning by island hopping through Norway on two wheels.

An Indian movie screening on Netflix centers on a brahmin’s stolen bicycle, without hiding the country’s dehumanizing caste system.

Ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong took a lap around Beirut on Sunday, leading a bike tour to raise funds and call attention to the city that was devastated by a massive explosion.

Heartbreaking news from Kenya, where a pediatric dentist who had called for the government to reduce crashes was killed in a collision while riding his bike.

A bike-riding Philippines columnist says it’s time the country has a mandatory bike helmet law. Never mind that experience around the world shows that helmet laws depress bicycling rates, which is exactly the wrong thing to do with the world facing a climate crisis — let along the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

It was a bad day for new world champ Julian Alaphilippe, who missed out on winning the rescheduled Liège-Bastogne-Liège by celebrating too soon, losing out to Primož Roglič at the finish line. Then was stripped of his podium position and relegated to fifth for an overly aggressive sprint.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Lizzie Deignan won the women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège in a bold breakaway, racing about half the distance as the men.

The Giro kicked off on Saturday with a mini-tour of Sicily replacing the originally planned Hungary start that was derailed by the coronavirus, which did not work to three-time former world champ Peter Sagan’s advantage.

Good news as Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel is back on his bike, just six weeks after falling off a bridge in a dramatic crash at the Il Lombardia classic.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to perform bike stunts on your 12th floor balcony, at least put some damn clothes on — and try not to fall off. That feeling when a cat finishes the around the world bike tour you’re still dreaming about.

And who says you need a car to go shopping?

………

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

Morning Links: AP e-scooter panic, LA is (not) famous for road diets, and Cedillo thinks people in CD1 don’t need scooters

Let’s start with this insightful look at the panicked Associated Press story we mentioned last week about the dangers of e-scooters, from someone who prefers to remain anonymous.

Here’s an excerpt from the AP story.

Andrew Hardy was crossing the street on an electric scooter in downtown Los Angeles when a car struck him at 50 miles per hour and flung him 15 feet in the air before he smacked his head on the pavement and fell unconscious.

And here’s what our anonymous commenter had to say in response.

The car was going 50 in DTLA, an area where it’s really hard and really illegal to drive 50 mph, and that is the last mention of an obviously speeding car. Instead, it gave 5 paragraphs to helmet use. It outlines the dangers of sidewalk riding (which are valid), but gives no space for discussion of weak infrastructure or vehicle speed that make people feel unsafe riding on the streets. It closes with a quote on how “companies are just dumping in scooters in cities” from Drew Howerton, a 19-year old who visited Austin last October and may not have the most informed view of municipal scooter regulation.

So, to sum it up, scooters are the problem, cars are never the problem and the reporter didn’t interview any subject matter experts. War on cars? Only in your dreams.

Since it is AP, this lazy reporting made its way into nearly every local media outlet in the country.

………

In today’s laugh out loud moment, a Detroit paper says more road diets and bike lanes are coming to the metro area, with supporters saying it calms traffic and opponents trotting out the old war on cars canard.

And one commenter opposes the road diets by insisting “This isn’t LA…”

Never mind that road diets haven’t exactly been welcomed with open arms here, either.

………

The LA City Council Transportation Committee will meet Wednesday afternoon, squeezing in discussion, amid all the micro-restrictions on truck parking and idling, of actually maybe doing something to close the Northvale Gap on the Expo Bike Path, along with banning dockless bikeshare and scooters in Gil Cedillo’s Council District 1.

Because evidently, only people in wealthier districts deserve inexpensive, convenient transportation options.

“Let them drive cars” seems to be Cedillo’s equivalent of “Let them eat cake.”

Meanwhile, Metro will host a series of meetings this week in the San Fernando Valley to consider what streets transit riders will use to get to the coming light rail line on Van Nuys Blvd — with the knowledge that more people are likely to arrive by bike or on foot than in cars.

The first meeting will take place tonight in San Fernando, followed by Van Nuys on Wednesday and Panorama City on Saturday.

………

Tern is giving away a trip for two to to Los Angeles for the August Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia.

Sorry Angelenos, you’re already here.

………

Now here’s a bicycle tour to add to my own bike bucket list — a 550-mile ride to visit all six Belgian Trappist breweries.

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

………

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

Anti-bike terrorists strike again, stringing a wire across a UK mountain bike trail at neck height — something that could be fatal if it caught an unsuspecting rider by surprise.

A British bike rider was lucky to stay on his bike and escape injury when he was the victim of an attack with a paintball fired by a slingshot from a passing car.

When I started writing about the war on bikes, stories like this came along maybe once or twice every few weeks; now they’re a daily occurrence. And like today, often more than one.

………

Local

City officials have finally broken ground on the long-planned, 400-foot orange Taylor Yard Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge connecting Cypress Park and Elysian Valley across the L.A. River; the $20.6 million bridge has been in the works for three decades. And probably would have cost a lot less if they’d moved forward with it then.

A Venice writer tries all the e-scooters, and says most are awful. But Wheels wins, with Bird first runner-up.

CiclaValley takes a bike tour of LA landmarks. And yet, he rides right past my apartment and doesn’t bother to say hi.

A Duarte bike rider was shot in the elbow Saturday evening when a car pulled up next to him; he refused to cooperate with investigators.

 

State

California Streetsblog says it’s time to buy your tickets for the biennial California Bike Summit hosted by Calbike, which just happens to be in Los Angeles this time. I attended the first one, which was also in LA. And it was definitely worth it.

Kellen Winslow II has been convicted of rape, indecent exposure and lewd conduct in a series of San Diego assaults, while jurors remain deadlocked on eight other counts; the former NFL star was caught in part because Strava placed his bicycle near the site of one of the attacks

Santa Barbara police will be conducting yet another bike and pedestrian safety operation today. As always, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit line if you find yourself riding there.

Quartz says Lyft’s lawsuit against San Francisco shows they don’t care about reducing the number of cars on the road, despite talk from the company’s leadership.

 

National

No surprise here. Months after Seattle cancelled plan for a road diet and bike lanes on a dangerous street, complaints are piling up about unsafe driving and dangerous conditions for people on bicycles. It’s almost as if maybe there might have been a reason for the road diet in the first place.

Kansas officials say that with riders from the Trans American Bike Race passing through the state, it’s a reminder for people to drive safely around bike riders, after two Trans Am competitors were killed by Kansas motorists in the past two years.

A Dallas newspaper offers advice to the city’s newly elected mayor. And fixing sidewalks and building bike lanes top the list.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A little girl in Fargo ND suffered non-life threatening injuries when a driver left-crossed the bike her mother was riding, and crashed into the bike trailer she was riding in, claiming he somehow didn’t see them. So the person behind the wheel drove off with a crappy $20 ticket for failing to yield.

A Milwaukee newspaper offers advice on how to keep your bike safe, including registering it for free with Bike Index.

Must have been an autonomous car. A Wisconsin TV station somehow manages to write 250 words about a hit-and-run that seriously injured a woman riding a bike, without ever mentioning the possibility, however remote, that the car may have had a driver.

Bike riders aren’t even protected on separated bike paths, as a Chicago driver was injured when his car flew off the roadway and onto the bike path along the city’s Lake Shore Drive. Fortunately, he appears to have missed anyone on the popular pathway.

The off-duty New York firefighter who deliberately attempted to run over the bike rider he nearly hit while running a red light has finally been arrested by the NYPD on charges of reckless endangerment and driving without a license. Although he should have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, which is what the crime really calls for, at a bare minimum.

A New York physician says the best way to prevent injuries is for kids to wear a helmet and obey the rules of the road when they ride a bike or scooter. Although giving them safer places to ride couldn’t hurt.

Brooklyn safety advocates say traffic violence has become an epidemic in the south part of the borough — as the next story illustrates.

A 22-year old Brooklyn driver faces charges for killing an ebike rider while allegedly speeding and driving under the influence — with her four-year old son in the back seat. The victim was a hard-working Bangladeshi refugee who had been granted political asylum in the US.

A 14-year old New Jersey girl was lucky to escape with a few scrapes when her bike was struck by a driver who was being pursued by police; police are still looking for him after he escaped following the crash.

A conservative Maryland podcast says “transit activists are just like cycling activists in their casual relationship with the truth and their meltdowns when somebody dare says ‘no.'” Something tells me those transit and bike advocates may have a better relationship to the truth than the people behind the podcast care to confess.

 

International

A Kiwi writer bikes Bolivia’s Death Road. Seriously, if the road had any other name, hardly anyone would bother, regardless of how scenic or challenging it might be.

Canadian Cycling Magazine provides warning signs that you may love your bike more than your partner. I may not love my bike more that my wife, but we have been together a lot longer.

Good question. A Vancouver city planner and urbanist asks if only experienced bicyclists feel safe in a painted bike lane, is it really a bike lane at all? Then again, as someone who lives in Hollywood, I’d settle for any bike lanes right now — good, bad or otherwise.

A Saskatchewan letter writer says separating bikes and motor vehicles is safer for everyone, because many drivers don’t follow the rules, either.

London author Jools Walker talks biking while black, and how her book is getting more women on bikes.

A British op-ed writer says it may seem radical, but calm down and try talking to teenagers like human beings for a change. And just leave the kids on ride-outs alone, already.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a truck driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider because… wait for it… the sun was in his eyes, he was busy adjusting his visor, and he didn’t hear the ruble strips on the side of the road.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling examines how a former ultrarunner with limited bike racing experience and no cycling coach managed to win the world’s premier gravel race.

A new partnership has been established between The Cyclist’s Alliance and the HeadSmart Sports Concussion Programme to study the problem of concussions in the women’s pro cycling peloton.

Victories by Los Angeles-based cyclist Justin Williams in two of the stages of the Tulsa Tough cycling race has put his new Legion of Los Angeles team on the national map; the team is dedicated to “increasing diversity (and) encouraging inclusion” in elite cycling.

 

Finally…

No one likes when drivers park in bike lanes, but don’t whack their cars with your scooter. Apparently Kylie Jenner and friend are a few days late for the World Near-Naked Bike Ride — though someone should tell them bikes work better with just one person per seat.

And it says something when even one of LA’s most bike-friendly city councilmembers doesn’t feel safe riding on the street with his kids.

 

Morning Links: Cedillo pulls fast one on Eagle Rock Blvd, Metro Bike goes ebike, and USC prof gets it wrong on road diets

Looks like Gil Cedillo is up to his old tricks.

The CD1 Councilmember is notorious for sandbagging bicycle and safe streets advocates following his flip flop on promises to support a fully funded and shovel-ready road diet on North Figueroa.

Shortly after taking office, he sponsored a series of public meetings carefully crafted to make it look like opposition to the road diet outweighed support, when just the opposite was true.

Then ended up demanding that the city council remove all bike lanes in his district from the mobility plan.

An attempt that failed miserably.

Now he’s suddenly called a public meeting to discuss plans to improve safety on Eagle Rock Blvd on exceptionally short notice.

Neale Stokes reports that hand-scrawled posters have just gone up around Cedillo’s Verdugo field office, announcing a last minute public meeting to be held on Saturday to discuss crosswalks, bike lanes and traffic safety on the busy boulevard.

Never mind that no other notice mentioning a meeting regarding Eagle Rock Blvd has appeared online or in local publications to give more than a handful of people a chance to offer their input.

It’s almost like he wants to hold a public meeting without the public actually showing up.

Except for the ones who’ll support his predetermined position, of course.

It’s hard to read from the photo, but the Eagle Rock Blvd meeting will be held tomorrow from 10 am to noon at the Glassell Park Senior Center, 3650 Verdugo Road.

You owe it to yourself to attend if you live, work, walk or bike in the area round Eagle Rock Blvd to demand a safer street for everyone.

Or just accept whatever it is the city’s most notoriously anti-bike and anti-safety councilmember wants to shove down our throats.

………

LA’s Metro Bike bikeshare will be adding over 300 ped-assist ebikes to its fleet to serve 20 new docking stations stretching from Exposition Park to Koreatown and Silver Lake.

………

LA Times readers react to a recent article questioning the spending of gas tax money on road diets by pointing out the need for them.

Except for the director of USC’s Transportation Engineering Program, who argues that moving cars by maintaining the outdated Level of Service standard is more important than saving human lives.

No, really.

To the editor: Road diets are a travesty regardless of how we pay for them.

Proponents of reducing road capacity invariably claim that lane reductions can be executed with little impact on traffic volumes. They can, but traffic volumes do not describe level of service. A given traffic volume can be achieved with denser, lower speed flow; or with sparser, higher speed flow.

Initiatives like Vision Zero focus worthy attention on pedestrian safety but deliver far too few safety improvements in exchange for potentially crushing increases in network travel delays. Lives have value. Time has value. Mobility has value. Vision Zero mismanages the trade-offs.

Put fuel tax revenues into capacity, maintenance, repair and congestion pricing tools.

James E. Moore II, Los Angeles

The writer is a professor in USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering and Price School of Public Policy and director of USC’s Transportation Engineering Program.

Yet another reminder that the old, entrenched attitudes are hard to defeat.

………

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

A Pennsylvania mountain biker was lucky to avoid serious injuries when he crashed into a rope that someone had strung across a bike trail next to a steep embankment.

Apparently, someone doesn’t like bike races, either, tossing a broken bike into the path of the Giro riders in an apparent attempt to cause a mass pileup.

………

Local

LA’s Exposition Park is in line for a people-friendly makeover, including plans to de-emphasize cars and build more bike racks.

LAist wonders what would happen if Los Angeles banned right turns on red lights. Meanwhile, a San Jose paper says right-on-red bans are spreading through the Bay Area, even as red light cameras are being removed.

A writer for the Daily Bruin says partnering with an e-scooter provider won’t save UCLA’s failing bikeshare system.

A bike-riding YouTube star competes in a Malibu beauty contest, and concludes they have some value, after all.

 

State

The rich get richer. San Francisco announces plans to extend the three-block parking protected bike lanes on Valencia Street another eight blocks.

A Bay Area bike rider lists all the specialized — or Specialized — gear you’ll need for your first bikepacking ride. Or you could just a sleeping bag and a tent, strap ’em onto the bike you already own, and just go.

A Stockton man was shot several times in an apparent robbery attempt while riding his bicycle on a local bike path.

 

National

Bike Snob makes the case that horns don’t belong on cars, either, calling them “inherently stupid and profoundly antisocial.”

Reno firefighters surprised a teenage boy with a new bike after they had to rescue him when his bike slipped off a path, and he got stuck in a culvert.

An Arizona history professor says the lowly bicycle has had an impact on labor, travel, technology, fashion and marriage.

Now that’s more like it. A Wisconsin bike shop is enticing people to get on their bikes with a Bike Week spread offering up fresh bacon and coffee, along with fruit, donuts and an unspecified vegan option. They had me at bacon and coffee.

Streetsblog New York complains about a road resurfacing project that removed all the markings for a protected bike lane, leaving riders to fend for themselves for weeks.

Your move, Los Angeles. New York passes an ordinance making it illegal to block bike lanes for construction work.

A Trenton, New Jersey columnist says the mayor’s Bike Month bicycle ride should have gone through the city’s impoverished neighborhoods, where 18 people have died from gun violence in recent days. A reminder that traffic violence isn’t the only risk far too many people face on a daily basis in this country.

DC decides that flexposts just aren’t good enough for protected bike lanes.

Baltimore is ripping out a section of a protected bike lane to restore twelve parking spaces in front of a church, while the city’s mayor denies remarks attributed to him saying that black people don’t ride bicycles.

A New Orleans writer argues that bike lanes make economic sense for the city.

 

International

A Costa Rican website considers what it will take to get the country’s people on bicycles.

Here’s a few more for your bike bucket list. A Canadian website lists what they consider the five best road bike rides in the western part of the country.

A pair of bike riders raised the equivalent of nearly $38,000 for charity by riding the length of Great Britain — although one man had to finish alone after his partner was seriously injured when he was run down by an older driver with a suspended license.

A travel writer bikes around Taiwan for just $29 a day.

The LA Times former Beijing bureau chief recalls riding his bicycle to witness the Chinese army crush the demonstrators at Tiananmen Square.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclocross Magazine offers a preview of this weekend’s 202-mile Dirty Kanza 200 gravel race.

Then there’s the 350-mile, unsupported, ultra endurance Dirty Kanza XL, featuring the 28-year old woman who won last year’s 2,745-mile Tour Divide — even she didn’t even learn how to ride a bike until she was 20.

 

Finally…

Your next bike tires could come from Russian dandelions. And now you can wear your sweaty bike shorts everywhere and be totally trendy.

Morning Links: Taking traffic safety deniers seriously, walking bikes on the Troutdale bridge, and Bruce Lee was one of us

Good to see you back after the long holiday weekend. 

Now grab your coffee and buckle in. We’ve got a lot of territory to cover, and a lot to catch up on.

Today’s photo captures an e-bakfiets used as an expensive marketing gimmick for a perfume pop-up at the Grove, photobombed by a hot and tired corgi.

………

Call it a major misfire on this one.

A Sacramento-based reporter for the LA Times appears to take traffic safety deniers at face value, giving them a platform to complain about gas tax funds being used for active transportation.

Two years after state lawmakers boosted the gas tax with a promise to improve California streets, some cities have raised the ire of drivers by spending millions of the new dollars on “road diet” projects that reduce the number and size of lanes for motor vehicles.

Projects have touched off a debate as taxpayer advocates and motorists complain that the higher gas taxes they are paying for smoother trips will actually fund projects that increase traffic congestion.

Especially if those funds go towards reducing excess road capacity for motor vehicles, which increasing overall capacity by installing bike lanes.

Also known as the dreaded — to them — road diet.

Not to mention knee-jerk opposition from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn, which never met a tax they liked.

Gas tax money can legally go to such projects, but that does not mean it should, said David Wolfe, legislative director for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., which opposed the original gas tax increase and supported an unsuccessful statewide ballot measure last year to repeal it.It has since continued to watch and criticize how state and local governments are spending the money.

“When Proposition 6 was on the ballot, all voters heard was money would go to road repair and maintenance,” Wolfe said. “They want roads to be repaired. They don’t want roads to be taken away with their taxpayer dollars.”

Never mind that road diets have been shown to reduce overall crashes by 19% in the Golden State, and as much as 47% elsewhere.

So they’re complaining about using gas tax funds to save their own lives and repair bills.

Smart. Real smart.

Never mind also that $2.27 billion of the gas tax increase went to repair and maintain roads, while $750 million a year was set aside for transit projects.

And a paltry $100 million went to bike and pedestrian projects. Most of which benefit drivers, as well.

But try telling that to angry motorists and traffic safety deniers while they light their torches and sharpen their pitchforks.

“It’s creating gridlock on Venice Boulevard, which is then causing cut-through traffic into our neighborhoods,” said Selena Inouye, board president of the Westside Los Angeles Neighbors Network, a group formed in response to the project…

Inouye, a retired social worker, said having motorists pay higher gas taxes so the money can be used to reduce the capacity of roads is contradictory.

She and her husband are paying more than $4 a gallon for gas at her local service station, she said, a price that has been increased by the state gas tax.

“The money should be used to help with congestion overall, and I don’t think that road diets help congestion. I think they cause congestion,” Inouye said.

Even though no one else seems to be able to find that gridlock they keep complaining about. Or that only 12 cents of that $4-plus for a gallon of gas is due to the gas tax increase.

But those are just facts.

And facts just get in the way when you’re insisting on having yours.

………

Malibu Hills resident Chris Willig forwards his observations on the absurd, and possibly illegal, attempts by LA County to force bike riders to walk over the newly reopened Troutdale bridge.

Mulholland Highway had been closed in Cornell for about 6-months since the Woolsey Fire which caused the Troutdale Bridge to melt. The catastrophe has vexed cyclists. They’ve been forced to use a detour of about 6 miles on Kanan Road to go around the closure.  And that route is plagued by increased traffic particularly 1,000’s of heavy debris laden trucks hauling the remains of burned out houses.

A temporary one-lane bridge opened Wednesday afternoon, but the celebration from the cycling community has been short lived. Cyclists have been banned from the main road bed with LA County officials trying to force people to walk their bikes on a pedestrian sidepath. This strange traffic configuration can been seen in the photo (viewing north from the south bank of Triunfo Creek) with all of the signage required to direct traffic. It seems ridiculous since the crossing is now controlled by a traffic light system to allow only oneway passage at a posted 10 MPH. As cyclists using this route are normally in road shoes, walking the 230 feet required seems dangerous. More importantly, if many cyclists take the detour trudging across the bridge as instructed, it is clear traffic will be interrupted by all the dismounting and remounting in the street, especially at the south terminus (pictured).

The safest and most convenient routing for road cyclists would be using exactly the same rules for auto traffic. Ironically, the only change from pre-fire norm would be we’d have to cut our speed in half to accommodate the cars slowed by the new speed limit.

………

A ghost bike will be installed for fallen Valencia bicyclist Kori Sue Powers tonight.

………

Bruce Lee was one of us.

………

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

And this time, the other side is armed.

A Boyle Heights bike rider was shot in the arm in an apparent gang shooting Friday night.

San Diego’s boardwalk turned into a shooting gallery when an emotionally troubled man pulled out a rifle after getting into an argument with a bike rider, shooting at him several times — and missing, thankfully. Then tried to order an Uber to make his escape.

After someone in a passing Mercedes shot an Oakland woman in the ass with a pellet gun as she was riding her bike, she waited on the side of the road for the police to show up. Then gave up and went home, and waited another 12 hours before they finally bothered to stop by to take a report.

An Iowa bike rider was lucky to remain upright when a driver internationally swerved onto the shoulder of the roadway to sideswipe him, as a passenger leaned out the window to scream insults. And he’s got the video and a hole in his glove to prove it.

After someone shot an Arkansas bike rider in the leg, he refused to go to the hospital because he was afraid someone would take his antique bike.

A road raging Florida driver is under arrest for shooting a man riding a bicycle — for the crime of riding in the traffic lane, just like he’s supposed to.

A road raging Aussie man was busted for apparently following a bike rider home after a collision, pulling out a rifle and shooting at the rider’s home. Then leaving and coming back to do it again. And again.

Then again, not all the drivers used guns.

Some used weapons weighing a couple tons or more.

A Winnipeg bike rider watched as a semi driver flattened his bike, running over it in a road rage incident; fortunately, the victim had already gotten off to confront the angry driver.

A road raging Australian driver got mad after following a group of bicyclists, then cut in front and brake-checked them before turning into a driveway.

………

Then again, it’s not like people on bikes are automatic candidates for sainthood.

A Massachusetts man rode up to a convenience store on his bike, robbed it with a meat clever, and rode away again.

New York police are on the lookout for a bike-riding Bronx thief snatching smartphones from women.

You know we’re making progress when even an Irish mob hitman makes his getaway by bike.

And French authorities are searching for a bike-riding man who planted a nail-filled parcel bomb in Lyon, injuring 13 people.

………

Local

No surprise here, as The Eastsider says bridge construction has turned the LA River bike path into an obstacle course.

The LA Times looks at the latest gear and bikes for bikepacking, and examines the utter bliss of bikepacking in the backcountry.

CiclaValley concludes his Best Bike Weekend Ever trilogy with a look back at the recent 626 Golden Streets open streets event.

A Bakersfield man visits LA for the recent Culver City to Venice CicLAvia, and discovers the best part of traveling is the people and animals you meet, while learning that his pug really likes riding a bike.

The LAPD is introducing sand-riding fat tire ebikes and ATVs to Venice Beach in an attempt to stop running over any more people sunbathing on the beach.

Chris Pratt’s six-year old son is one of us, as the actor and fiancé Katherine Schwarzenegger bought him a fat tire bike in Santa Monica.

If you’re a fan of riding a bike without actually going anywhere, head to the Santa Monica pier on Sunday for the annual Pedal on the Pier fundraiser.

Fans of the long-running British soap East Enders will be happy to learn that Patsy Palmer is one of us, as the actress went for a bike ride with her husband in the ‘Bu.

 

State

Three cities in North San Diego County — Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar — will team together for a 500-bike docked e-bikeshare system.

Sad news from Santa Cruz, where a 66-year old man was killed when he was struck by three separate cars while riding his bike on the coast highway.

Great op-ed in the New York Times from a Berkeley man, who considers the “inconvenience” posed by a lifetime of riding bikes as a one-armed black man.

A San Francisco man live-streamed his confrontation with a bike thief who was using a loud power tool to cut a lock and snatch a bike in broad daylight; the thief gave up and walked away after being challenged.

 

National

People for Bikes says inclusiveness is the way to grow the bicycling community.

Your next MIPS helmet could be full of fluid. Or you could wear one that looks like a baseball cap and folds to the size of a water bottle. Meanwhile, Forbes points out the obvious, noting that bike helmets don’t do a lot to protect your face.

Your next fat tire ebike could have three wheels — with two tandem tires in front.

A former Seattle cop and bike rider gets it almost entirely wrong, arguing that motorists automatically have the right-of-way on sharrows. And insisting that road diets and efforts to get more people on bikes are just a leftist plot. Never mind that there’s a pretty good conservative argument for bikes, too.

Great idea. A Seattle program gives bicyclists discounts at over 150 businesses in the city after buying a $5 sticker to put on their helmets.

It takes a major schmuck to steal an adaptive adult tricycle a Phoenix man used as his only form of transportation following a pair of strokes.

The architect behind the proposed Tucson AZ bike ranch across from the entrance to Saguaro National Park explains his plan in the face of local opposition. 

Police have issued an arrest warrant for an Austin TX woman who left the scene after running down a bike rider earlier this year after the victim picked her out of a lineup; apparently thinking she was getting hit on in a singles bar, she gave the victim a fake phone number before driving off. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

Kansas will install a beautiful permanent memorial to honor a fallen bicyclist who was killed in a collision while participating in the annual Trans-Am cross-country bike race last year.

A Kansas teen jumped into swollen flood waters to save the life of a 12-year old boy who was swept away while riding his bicycle.

Five hundred Detroit second graders got new bicycles, thanks to Chevrolet and the NHL’s Red Wings.

A new community garden will honor the victims of the Mardi Gras parade crash in New Orleans, where a drunk driver killed two bike riders and injured seven other people.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole 10-year old autistic Florida boy’s $5,500 adaptive tricycle — and just the opposite for the Good Samaritans who replaced it.

 

International

Mark your calendar for Monday’s World Bicycle Day.

How to be a good citizen of the bike lane.

Bicycling looks back on how bicycles helped defeat the Kaiser and win the war to end all wars. Which sadly didn’t.

A new Canadian study suggests your best protection could be a high-vis vest with a left-pointing arrow to tell drivers to move over to pass. Although that doesn’t replace the need for safe infrastructure.

Canadian advice for anyone thinking about dating a hardcore cyclist. Or maybe it’s a warning.

A Canadian man got his hot bike back after someone bought it for $60, not realizing it was stolen; the original owner used it to traverse the length and breadth of Canada. No, literally.

They get it. A Vancouver paper says “no civic bureaucrat or politician should approve a bike lane they wouldn’t feel safe taking their kids for a ride on themselves.”

A Montreal op-ed explains how bike lanes benefit everyone.

While we were busy observing Memorial Day yesterday, Londoners celebrated their first-ever Bike to Work Day.

London is moving to protect bike riders and pedestrians by dropping the speed limit in the central financial district known as the Square Mile to just 15 mph. Your move, LA Mayor Garcetti.

Participants in an organized English ride complain about routing the ride onto a roadway with speed bumps on a steep descent and no warning signs — with predictable results.

Uber wants Brits to Jump.

After a Glasgow woman is killed riding her bike, a man does some soul searching, wondering whether bicycling is worth the risk. And concluding he may keep riding, but can’t recommend it to a friend.

A couple hundred people turned out for an interfaith bike ride to remember the victims of the Christchurch, New Zealand terrorist attacks, led at the start by one of the victims, who also lost his wife, in his new wheelchair.

I sort of want to be like him when I grow up. A Michigan man gave up his comfy retirement to ride his bike across the US, and in countries around the world. And spent New Years Day riding a fat tire bike on the ice and snow of Antarctica. No offense to our southernmost continent, but I’d prefer a more temperate climate. Which Antartica will probably be in a few years, if we all keep burning fossil fuels.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic considers himself lucky to have lost just 40 seconds to Giro race leader Richard Carapaz, despite Sunday’s debacle when he crashed on a too-small bike borrowed from a teammate, because he just happened to have a mechanical when the team race director was relieving himself.

You, too, can be a hard man or woman, and ride the routes of the cobbled spring classics.

Big mistake. The largest promoter in bike racing is slowly backing away from supporting women’s cycling.

Lance says he did what he had to do to win, and he wouldn’t change a thing. Except, you know, maybe like getting caught and all that.

Cycling Tips talks with the inimitable Peter Sagan.

Cycling Weekly remembers the legendary Fausto Coppi, calling him a cycling icon like no other.

And seriously, don’t try to snatch a pro cyclist’s water bottle out of his face, no matter how much you want a souvenir.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to ride a stolen bike to the courthouse to be sentenced for stealing another bike. The next driver to run you off the road might do it from above.

And we may have to worry about LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about bears.

Or, uh…Bigfoot.