Tag Archive for road hazards

Dangerous hazard on LA River path, harrowing account of Portland rampage, and Santa Monica Mtns gravel guide

Robert Karwasky forwards a photo of a dangerous situation on the LA River bike path, just north of the Colorado Street overpass, as a collapsing fence post juts out over the pathway.

Here’s how he describes the problem —

It poses a risk for very serious injury and when traveling south on the path at dusk or night, in blends in with the tunnel and is very difficult to see.

The problem comes in figuring out just who’s responsible for fixing it.

It could be the City of Los Angeles, or maybe Glendale; it could be LA County or Caltrans. Or whoever the property owner is whose fence is collapsing.

If anyone knows, let me know so we can get this fixed before someone gets hurt.

Or if you know someone who already got hurt there, I know some damn good lawyers over there on the right.

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A Portland delivery rider offers a firsthand account of the harrowing vehicular rampage that left an elderly woman dead and injured another ten people, mostly on foot or riding bikes.

Sixty-four-year old Paul Rivas pled not guilty to 14 felony counts in the 15-block rampage, while offering an ever-shifting array of motivations.

Needless to say, police suspect some form of intoxication or illness, physical or otherwise.

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Gravel Bike California is back with the ultimate Santa Monica Mountains gravel guide.

Who knew I was a trend setter back in the day, when I rode gravel farm roads through eastern Colorado on my inappropriately skinny-tired bike.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

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Caltrans wants to know what intersections need help.

And while “every intersection” is indeed the correct answer, it’s probably not the one they’re looking for.

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Spend 14 minutes bikepacking in the Sierras through Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks (scroll down), and exploring the devastation after a wildfire.

Or you could spend less than half that time with Danny MacAskill’s latest insane bike video.

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

A car passenger in Yorkshire, England pushed a 70-year old man off his bicycle. Then added insult to injury — literally — by getting out and stealing the man’s bike as he lay incapacitated on the street.

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Local

The LA Times says yes, you can do bike — and hiking — tours on the cheap.

 

State

A San Clemente writer and longtime ebike rider gets a positive response to a column promoting ebikes, but reminds riders to stop for stop signs and red lights. Even if teen girls laugh at you.

An op-ed from a former San Diego bike commuter says bicycling rates are remaining flat, despite the city’s investment in a quality bike network. And offers suggestions on how to change that, including a call to subsidize ebikes for commuters.

Who knew? Former Vice President Spiro Agnew was one of us, taking to his bike to ride through the Coachella Valley after resigning in disgrace in 1973.

 

National

Bike Portland clarifies that AAA’s shift away from calling crashes accidents that we mentioned yesterday was actually from a large group of member organizations, rather than the national AAA itself.

Now that’s more like it. An Iowa man got a well-deserved eleven years behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle, while driving drunk and texting.

The Chicago Tribune offers advice on how to bike in the snow. A skill you’re not likely to need here in Southern California; how to ride with pontoons may be more appropriate today.

The mother of a New York State teenager is suing the owner of the car that killed her daughter, alleging he loaned it to the drunk driver who swerved into a bike lane and struck the girl as she rode her bicycle; the driver was sentenced to a well-deserved five to fifteen years behind bars.

In a huge victory for Brooklyn bike riders, the city’s eponymous bridge will finally get curb protected bike lanes on both sides of the iconic span; the somewhat less famous Queensboro Bridge will get a pair, as well.

In addition to the new bridge bike lanes, New York Mayor de Blasio pledged to build new bicycle boulevards in each of the city’s seven boroughs, calling them the key to an equitable Covid recovery. That deafening silence you hear is LA Mayor Garcetti in response.

Call it an inside job. A pair of New York bike thieves enter an apartment building with bolt cutters, and take the elevator up to steal an ebike used by food delivery rider that was locked in the hallway. Which suggests they somehow knew exactly where to find it.

A member of Gotham’s Major Taylor Iron Riders bike club celebrates the namesake that inspired similar clubs across the US.

A Florida advocacy group is highlighting 21 bike-riding women for their commitment and dedication to bicycling to serve as role models for women interested in riding.

 

International

No surprise here, as a British bike advocacy group says removing bike lanes hits young riders the hardest. Sometimes literally.

An Indian man proves you don’t have to be able to see to compete in an ultra climbing bike race.

A Singapore bikeshare rider learns the hard way that it’s probably not the best idea to bribe an enforcement officer so he won’t seize your illegally parked bike. Or maybe just offer more next time.

 

Competitive Cycling

The French bicycling calendar kicks off this weekend with the Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise. And no, you probably can’t see it here.

Peloton remembers the late, great Raymond Poulidor, who made the Tour de France podium eight times in 14 appearances in the ’60s and ’70s.

 

Finally…

You know you’ve finally made the big time when there’s a sand truck named after you. Youth must be served, as a toddler kicks ass on a pump track with a pacifier in his mouth.

And this driver should be charged with bicycle cruelty.

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Apropos of nothing, here’s a little corgi action from my personal Twitter account to get you through the weekend, until we meet again.

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

Extra caution required as construction projects raise risk on PCH and Temescal Canyon

A couple of quick notes from Wednesday’s PCH Taskforce meeting that could affect your rides along the coast.

First up is a stormwater treatment program on Temescal Canyon Road that will block the right turn lane off PCH, as well as intermittently blocking the uphill bike lane on Temescal itself.

The project is designed to capture the first ¾ inch of rainwater, which contains the most pollutants, allowing it to be diverted for treatment once the storm is over.

However, it could pose a risk to riders on PCH, who will be forced to share the right through lane with right-turning drivers, as well as drivers going straight. The bigger problem, though, is the blockages of the bike lane planned for the uphill side of Temescal.

Construction under the center divider will force temporary closures of one uphill lane as well as the bike lane, requiring riders to share a single lane with motorists on a road where many drivers race through far above the speed limit. And where the steep uphill means riders travel at far lower speeds than they would otherwise, creating a potentially deadly combination.

However, the solution could be as simple as the wide sidewalk on the right, if the city just invests in a few dollars worth of asphalt to build curb ramps that would allowing riders to safely bypass the construction.

Downhill traffic won’t be affected.

The second, and potentially more dangerous, problem lies a little further south on PCH at Potrero Canyon.

A project to stabilize the canyon will mean as many as 200 heavy trucks loaded with soil will soon be traveling northbound PCH every day, adding more — and more dangerous — traffic to one of the area’s most popular riding routes. Then after dumping their loads, they will turn around at the temporary traffic signal that you may have noticed being installed in that area this week, and return back down PCH towards Santa Monica.

This, in an area where the lack of an adequate shoulder means riders have to take the lane in front of frequently speeding drivers — as well as traffic that can grind to a stop due to heavy congestion.

That section is scheduled to be widened, and a shoulder added, by 2017.

But in the meantime, you should ride with extra caution and keep a wide eye open for truck drivers unfamiliar with the road, and who may not be looking for you.

On the other hand, major work on the sewer project that has affected southbound cyclists on PCH around West Channel Road for the last year, and forced a bypass to the beachfront bike path, should be finished by May; the full job is expected to be done by fall.

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In a surprising move, the nation’s three leading bike advocacy organizations have decided to merge their efforts.  The League of American Bicyclists, industry trade group Bikes Belong and the Alliance for Biking and Walking announced that they will join together to form a new unified organization.

What exactly that means remains to be determined.

They could unite at the top, while keeping the existing structure of the three organizations intact. Or they could merge into a single organization — though how they make that work when one is membership driven, one composed of local bike organizations from across the nation, and one made up of the nation’s largest bicycle and components manufacturers is beyond me.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive so far. But as Richard Masoner points out on Cyclelicious, a number of questions remain.

Done right, this could give us the political clout we need to avoid future disasters like the current House Transportation bill, which effectively eliminates all bike and pedestrian funding.

Or it could end up weakening — or eliminating — three organizations that have served us well over the years, and leaving us with something less responsive to the needs of average riders.

This proposed merger bears the possibility of greatness. But it’s something we’ll all want to keep a close eye on.

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Speaking in Los Angeles, bike racing boss Pat McQuaid finally acknowledges that women riders deserve better. Commute by Bike offers another perspective on L.A.’s green bike lane, while Flying Pigeon shows there’s a little overlap in that new agreement allowing film production trucks to park next to them. A Cypress Park middle school falls in love with bikes; while an L.A. riders says it’s okay for roadies to be friendly, too. New bike lanes land on Aviation Blvd near LAX. While L.A. works on pilot projects, Santa Monica thrives by catering to bikes. UCLA gets a new bike repair stand. Malibu moves forward with a PCH safety study. Solving bike clutter in Redondo Beach. A Redondo Beach bike sting nets career criminals. Diversifying transportation in Glendale is a necessity, not a luxury. Montrose Search and Rescue come to the aid of two stranded mountain bikers near Crescenta Valley. Welcome to the newly formed Pomona Valley Bike Coalition, the latest local chapter of the LACBC. Bikes and beer always go together, so how about velos e vino?

Following the death of a teenage cyclist, San Diego’s press belatedly discover the existence of fixies. San Diego cyclists have to deal with trash cans in the bike lanes, too. Riding on the sidewalk isn’t enough to keep a Stockton cyclist safe from out of control trucks. Texas Governor Rick Perry — the only other governor fool enough to veto a three-foot passing law besides our own Jerry Brown — will have surgery for an old bicycling injury in San Diego. Evidently, sidewalks in Atascadero have right and wrong directions, unlike sidewalks everywhere else — and seriously, even a local cop should know that riding on the sidewalk in either direction isn’t illegal under state law.

Sometimes an endorsement of cycling isn’t as glowing as it seems. Wisconsin cyclists rally for a vulnerable user law. Despite fatally dooring a cyclist, a New York driver faces just 30 days or $500 for driving with a suspended license; no, really, the NYPD takes fatal bike collisions seriously, honest. Gotham defense attorney’s love it when drivers leave the scene of a collision. A Carolina bike shop owner says cars and bikes really can get along. A Georgia bill would ban riding side by side. Why Miami is a deathtrap for cyclists; it’s not just Miami — Florida continues to be the most dangerous place in the nation for cyclists and pedestrians. It’s not the UCI that’s stifling bike frame innovation.

A Canadian cyclist is killed in a collision after running a red light, yet the Mounties insist on blaming his death on the lack of a helmet; I’d say risk factors were a) running a red light, b) getting hit by a truck, and c) not wearing a helmet, in that order. In a remarkable display, the UK’s Parliament gathered Thursday to debate bike safety — something our Congress desperately needs to do, yet which I doubt we will ever see. Two thousand cyclists ride for bike safety in London. In a rare display of Fleet Street comity, London’s Guardian endorses the Times’ Cycle Safe campaign. The risk of death is 10 times higher for cyclists in the UK’s rural areas. A British cyclist dies even though the car that hit him was only doing 10 mph. Safer cycling makes cities safer for everyone. A Scot cyclist punches a driver in the nose after getting knocked off his bike; guess which one got punished? For such a seemingly freak accident, there seem to be a lot of new stories about children killed or injured by falling on their handlebars; is this a bigger problem than we realize? Copenhagen police target cyclists for fun and profit. An Aussie cyclist explains why they’re so angry. According to Reuters, Indonesian cyclists risk their lives every day to ride to work.

Finally, another typically insightful and entertainingly artistic look at cycling from Boston’s Bikeyface. And a cyclist leaves a note for a driver ticketed for parking in the bike lane.

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