Tag Archive for safest states for bike riders

US traffic deaths down slightly, bike deaths up; CA not worst for bike riders; curb protected lanes coming to 7th Street

My apologies. 

I inadvertently posted this post and emailed it to subscribers before I had a chance to finish editing it.

So if you received a mistake-filled draft, I’m sorry for the mistake.

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The Washington Post is reporting that traffic deaths fell slightly in the US in the first nine months of last year.

According to the paper, traffic fatalities were down 0.2 percent compared to the same period last year, a welcome if modest drop after record increases during the pandemic.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, showed nearly 31,800 people were killed in crashes from January through September. That follows increases of 7 percent in 2020 and 10.5 percent in 2021.

However, the news isn’t as good for bike riders and pedestrians. Deaths continued to climb two percent for pedestrians and eight percent for people on bicycles in the first six months of 2022; nine month figures aren’t currently available.

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Hats off to Nebraska, which was named the nation’s safest state for people on bicycles, where just 15 people died in bicycle-related crashes over the past decade, even as the Bike League ranks it the second-least bike friendly state.

Neighboring South Dakota came in second in the NHTSA’s bike safety ranking, while placing fifth from the bottom in the Bike League’s assessment.

Not surprisingly, Florida and Louisiana ranked first and second from the bottom as the nation’s most dangerous states for bike riders.

California was apparently somewhere in the middle, since it doesn’t show up in the top ten states, or the bottom five.

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Work is proceeding on the long-promised curb protected bike lane on 7th Street between Figueroa and San Pedro streets in DTLA, which was one of the conditions for approving construction of the 62-story Wilshire Grand Center.

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LADWP is funding a half-million dollar program to rent out ebikes for up to nine months with a single $20 donation; however, the former Jump bikes used in the Pacoima program can’t be charged at home, and have to be taken to taken in to have the battery swapped.

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

No bias here. A Staten Island columnist complains about efforts to expand Vision Zero and speed cams throughout the state, taking away his God-given right to a) speed, and b) kill people with his car, apparently.

No bias here, either. North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is proposing a daytime ban on bikes at the beach this summer, with bikes prohibited from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. Because apparently, beaches are only for people in cars.

After a German bike rider slammed into the trunk of a turning car after being right hooked, The Sun newspaper tries to stir up controversy by asking who was in the wrong.

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Local 

Let’s give a grateful thank you to Pasadena’s Lin Realty, whose staff built 150 bikes to donate to the city’s Boys and Girls Club.

The recently passed federal budget bill includes $22.6 million in earmarks for coastal cities, with $1 million of that budgeted to the Manhattan Beach Safe Cycling Project, which is intended to provide a safe bike route to the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail by way of Highland and 45th Street.

 

State

The nationwide Black Girls Do Bike organization is celebrating its first ten years with a meetup in San Diego at the end of August, coinciding with the annual Bike the Bay ride. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Folsom man is suing the city over dangerous road conditions after he was struck by a turning driver while riding in a bike lane.

 

National

NPR talks with Cycling Savvy bicycle safety instructor John Schubert about how to safely ride a bike in the city.

Momentum Magazine examines three more American cities that have embraced bicycling. And no, Los Angeles is not one of them.

Bike Portland compares advisory lanes in the Oregon city with the ones in Utrecht, the Netherlands, where they originated.

Last year was a bad one for Las Vegas area bike riders and pedestrians, with 14 bicyclists and 72 pedestrians killed in Clark County.

This is what Los Angeles bike riders have to look forward to. An Austin, Texas bike rider recorded a self-driving General Motors’ Cruise robotaxi veering dangerously into a bike lane; fortunately, no one was riding in the bike lane at the time. Waymo is testing its autonomous vehicles in LA in anticipation of rolling out its robotaxi service; no word on whether they’re programed to respond to an extended middle finger. 

Tragic news from Houston, where a man riding in a bike lane with his wife was struck by a motorcyclist traveling at highway speeds on the surface street, killing both men in what a police spokesperson termed a “very avoidable’ crash.

That’s more like it. The Texas Department of Transportation announced plans to invest $250 million in bike and pedestrian projects.

The accused terrorist who killed eight people with a speeding pickup on a Manhattan bike path five years ago reportedly smiled to an FBI agent as he proudly confessed to his murderous rampage.

A Chattanooga, Tennessee woman is suing the local bikeshare provider for nearly $900,000 after she was knocked unconscious when she was thrown from what she says was a defective or poorly maintained bike.

Horrible news from Georgia, where an 11-year old boy was hospitalized after he was attacked by dogs while riding with a friend.

 

International

Good idea. Alberta mounties are using billboards in an effort to find the hit-and-run driver who killed a 45-year old woman riding a bike last July.

English actor Mark Williams is one of us, as the star of the popular Father Brown murder mystery series fell off his bike while filming; fortunately, he only hurt his pride.

Britain’s anti-bike lawyer who calls himself Mr. Loophole shocked visitors to his website by suggesting that drivers make it their New Years resolution to give bike riders more space when passing.

Dublin artists are concerned that plans for a separated bike lane could destroy a 40-year old tradition of an open-air art gallery, since the bikeway would mean they couldn’t park right next to the park fence they use to display their works. Because apparently, it’s impossible to park further away and use a dolly or some other device to transport their paintings another few feet.

An Irish court heard a 54-year old father riding a bicycle was killed by a semi truck driver who attempted to pass him just 20 inches from the victim’s handlebars — or the length of three or four soup spoons, as the prosecutor described it.

Hanoi will mark this month’s Tet lunar new year celebration by rolling out the city’s first bikeshare system.

Chinese bikeshare company Mobike’s Australian branch has gone into liquidation following a second failed attempt to crack the Aussie market, leaving over 1600 bikes worth about $1.3 million abandoned on the streets and in warehouses.

 

Competitive Cycling

The trial continues for two men accused of the masked home invasion robbery of British cycling great Mark Cavendish and his family, as Cavendish describes getting punched by a robber and having a knife held to his throat.

Forty-seven-year old Cat 3 cyclist Noslen Ruiz-Gutierrez received a four-year doping ban (scroll down) after a urine test revealed six — count ’em, 6 — banned substances; Ruiz-Gutierrez argued that his doping didn’t matter because he races for recreation, not competition. Sure, try telling that to the other racers he’s not competing against.

 

Finally…

At last, an ebike designed to move your anvils. And repeat after me — when you’re carrying meth on your bike at 2 am, put a damn light on it, already.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

California slightly less dangerous for bike riders, Bonin runs for return to city council, and sabotage on a Scottish bike trail

Maybe we’re not quite so bad, after all.

A new report from transportation data analytics firm StreetLight Data creates their own ranking of the safest and dangerous states to ride a bike.

The report uses additional data points to scramble the rankings prepared by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Top 10 Riskiest States for Bicyclists
  1. Delaware (#2 on FARS* per capita report)
  2. South Carolina (#4 on FARS)
  3. Florida (#1 on FARS)
  4. Louisiana (#3 on FARS)
  5. New Mexico (#5 on FARS)
  6. Oklahoma (#9 on FARS)
  7. Mississippi (Not in the FARS top 10)
  8. West Virginia (Not in the FARS top 10)
  9. Arizona (#7 on FARS)
  10. California (#6 on FARS)
Top 10 Safest States for Bicyclists
  1. Massachusetts (#1 on FARS per capita report)
  2. New York (Not in the FARS top 10)
  3. Illinois (#7 on FARS)
  4. Pennsylvania (#4 on FARS)
  5. Utah (#8 on FARS)
  6. Tennessee (#2 on FARS)
  7. Minnesota (Not in the FARS top 10)
  8. Missouri (#5 on FARS)
  9. Arkansas (#3 on FARS)
  10. Washington (Not in the FARS top 10)

Which means we have just slightly less work to do to make our streets safe and inviting for everyone.

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Councilmember Mike Bonin is tossing his hat in the ring for a third and final term representing coastal Los Angeles on the council.

One of LA’s most progressive councilmembers, Bonin, who used to bike commute to city hall when he was the top aide to Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, has been one of the leading bike supporters on the council in recent years.

Which isn’t saying much.

But it was Bonin who was behind the simultaneous rollout of three much-needed lane reductions and bike lanes in Playa del Rey in 2017.

And who stood firm in the face of massive motorist opposition until he was undercut by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who disregarded his own Vision Zero program.

Not for the last time, either.

Maybe Bonin can use his last few years on the council to have as big an impact on our streets as his late mentor and predecessor.

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Formerly staid Santa Barbara has taken a surprising turn towards becoming more bike and pedestrian friendly in recent years.

Here’s your chance to learn how, from some of the people making it happen.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1390111086985158656

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

This is who we share the parks with. When a Scottish man confronted a retired couple who had just placed a large log on a park bike trail, they confessed they were intentionally trying sabotage it to injure bike riders so they wouldn’t come there anymore.

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Local

Supporters of Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard plan are asking you to reach out to Councilmember Kevin de León, and urge him to join County Supervisor Hilda Solis and other local leaders in supporting the plan to re-envision Colorado Blvd when a new Bus Rapid Transit line goes in.

Santa Clarita is challenging residents to go green by bike commuting next week.

 

State

Credit the CHP with calling on drivers to operate their vehicles safely around people on bicycles — and not considering bike helmets the beginning and end of bicycle safety. Although the idea of shared responsibility on the streets doesn’t exactly hold true when comparing a two-ton semi-ballistic weapon with a few hundred pounds of flesh and bone. Or less. 

They get it. The Orange County Transportation Authority calls on everyone to “stay active and get outdoors to safely travel by bicycle” during May’s Bike Everywhere month in the county.

’70s alto sax legend Sonny Simmons was down and out in San Francisco, busking on the streets for spare change, when a local jazz promoter happened by on his bicycle and revived his career with a sold-out gig opening for Branford Marsalis; Simmons died last month, six years after a fall left him partially paralyzed and ended his playing career. If he’d been in a car, he probably never would have heard Simmons, and that career revival might never have come.

 

National

Enough with the light bikes. Pink Bike contemplates what’s the heaviest mountain bike their could build for ten grand.

NACTO follows up on last year’s street design grants to ten cities across the US; Long Beach used theirs to create a parklet program to support restaurants in underserved communities.

Gear Junkie examines whether Apple’s new AirTag is the best anti-bike theft device, allowing you to track your bike down if anyone takes it. On the other hand, AirTag also makes it easier for someone to stalk you.

Speaking of Apple, a new iOS update will allow you to use Siri to report traffic hazards to Apple Maps, where they can be seen by other users. Although it’s questionable what it can do when the hazard is “all these damn cars and the people driving them.”

An Arizona website explains how to tour Zion National Park, Snow Canyon State Park and other hidden Utah gems by bicycle.

A Salt Lake City alternative paper considers the best bike bags for riding around the city.

About damn time. A Colorado man has been arrested for 1st degree murder following the disappearance of wife last year, who set out on a Mother’s Day bike ride and was never seen again; countless searches have failed to discover her body.

A retired ranger says banning bikes from Yellowstone’s south entrance until the park opens to cars is like telling people on bicycles to wait until it’s too dangerous to ride there.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Hartford, Connecticut is reducing traffic lanes and adding bike lanes and better medians on a street where a bike rider was killed last year.

Connecticut is showing California how it’s done, as a proposal to place speed cams in a limited number of school, hospital and work zones around the state sailed through a second legislative committee with bipartisan support; the bill would also prohibit dooring, among other safety provisions. A similar bill to place speed cams in school zones was gutted by California Senate Transportation Committee Chair Lena Gonzalez of Long Beach.

Buffalo NY is marking Bike Month with a number of pop-up Complete Streets in the city’s Fillmore District. Meanwhile, Los Angeles isn’t.

 

International

London’s Independent considers the best cycling shorts for women.

Yorkshire’s historic Bolton Abbey denies using security guards to turn away people on bicycles, despite bike riders saying that’s exactly what happened over the weekend; the estate claims they were just explaining voluntary pandemic safety measures. Sure, let’s go with that. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went for a bike ride with the mayor of Stourbridge on the eve of the country’s local elections, with both looking surprisingly unsteady on their bikeshare bikes. Especially since London’s bikeshare system was popularly known as Boris Bikes when the experienced bike rider was mayor of the city.

Cycling legend Gino Bartali was honored with a Roman Catholic service on he 21st anniversary of his death; the Italian rider helped save over 800 Jews from the Nazis by smuggling papers in the frame of his bike during WWII.

A Slovenian composites company says they can build a road bike for everyday use that weighs less than nine pounds. Even if cycling’s governing body limits bikes to 15 pounds or more.

Hyderabad, India’s bicycle mayor is leading a group of volunteers fighting the country’s horrific Covid-19 crisis by using their bikes to deliver badly needed medicines to the elderly, as well as searching for oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, ventilators and plasma donors.

 

Competitive Cycling

2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal says his performance in the upcoming Giro depends on how his balky back responds.

Amber Neben proves you’re never too old to go for the gold, competing against women half her age for a spot on the U.S. women’s Olympic road team at 46 years old.

The world road cycling championships will be hosted by an African nation for the first time, going to Rwanda in 2025.

 

Finally…

Your next bike might have a steering tube — or a front fork. Nothing like a tall bike to make you stand out in any field.

And now you, too, can compete in Indiana University’s iconic Little 500 bike race, without the inconvenience of attending the university.

Or leaving your home, for that matter.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.