Tag Archive for San Diego

Socially responsible transportation in the age of coronavirus, Los Angeles NC meetings on hold, and Woon prelim Tues

The good news is — maybe the only good news right now — that riding a bike is perhaps the most socially responsible form of transportation in these depressingly Covid-19, coronavirus shaded days.

Unlike public transportation, ride sharing or even walking, riding on your own provides automatic social distancing, with virtually no risk of catching or transmitting the virus. And at the same time, strengthening your immune system, respiratory system and overall health.

Even riding with a friend, it’s very easy to keep your distance from one another.

The only time it becomes difficult is on a large group ride, where you’re likely to find yourself far less than six feet from others.

As for driving a car, it’s automatically self-isolating as long as you’re the only one in it.

But it’s hard to describe it as socially responsible, even in better times.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels.

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Speaking of which, the New York Times examines the surge in bicycling as New Yorkers turn away from transit; Salon says bikeshare use is up 67% compared to last year.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton has good advice — and a reading list — for riding in the age of Covid-19, including wiping the bike down with antibacterial wipes if you use bikeshare. Which goes for scooters, too.

Good advice from Bicycling on how to ride safely amid coronavirus concerns, including that you’re better off doing your riding outside right now. And keep those damn loogies and snot rockets to yourself.

Portland bike shops face the difficult question of whether to stay open or close, while Seattle alternative paper The Stranger, which is facing its own existential crisis, says at least bicycling is less stressful now.

A new study in the Lancet suggests that if you have both diabetes and high blood pressure, you’re pretty well screwed. Thanks to Mike Cane for the link.

On the other hand, the 79-year old publisher of Outside says the coronavirus is overblown to pump up media sales, and says it’s only “scary to a degree” because there’s no vaccine for it. Tell that to the 6,500 people who’ve already died from it worldwide. And their loved ones. Schmuck. 

And a writer for Psychology Today says there’s an upside to the virus going viral, because old people like him are the most likely to die, and have had good, long lives. So he looks forward to going out “listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on my iPod,” after polishing off a Napa Cabernet. Maybe someone could point out that viruses are, by definition, viral. Which is pretty much the kindest thing I’d want to say to him right now. 

Meanwhile, Calgary provides an easy to understand yardstick for what’s a safe distance.

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Forget making your case for bicycling at your local neighborhood council anytime soon.

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The rescheduled prelim for the woman charged with the hit-and-run death of bike rider Frederick “Woon” Frazier is supposed to take place tomorrow.

But don’t be surprised if it’s rescheduled once again because of the coronavirus.

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Thanks to Robert Leone, who’s been so busy forwarding San Diego-area news this weekend that he gets his own little section.

First up is an update on road closures for Camp Pendleton riders, courtesy of the Camp Pendleton community liaison.

  1. Basilone Road and Anglim Court between commissary and San Onofre 2 and 3, housing is flooded, traffic can still go through for now.
  2. Beach Club Road closed:  People can access through state side gate per MCCS.
  3. Vandegrift Blvd, vicinity Box Canyon East bound lane closest to shoulder is closed due to falling debris. One lane is still open for travel East bound and Two lanes open for West Bound travel.
  4. Stuart Mesa Road is open.
  5. Beach club Road is closed.
  6. Las Pulgas Gate closed – Only open to emergency vehicles. Cyclists may use the I-5 shoulder to ride if access to the bike path is closed.
  7. De-Luz Road at Sequoia Road closed. De-Luz Road closed all the way before the training area by O’Neil Heights.
  8. Lake O’Neil housing can be accessed by from both direction on Santa Margarita Road and De-Luz Road.

Please check Facebook for updates.

Next comes notice that San Diego’s Bike to Work Day has at least temporarily bitten the dust due to — you guessed it — our friend Covid-19.

And the San Diego Bike Coalition has pulled the plug on many of their activities for now.

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

A bike-riding London man was convicted of murder for stabbing a 14-year old boy to death for his Nikes.

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Local

Kate Hudson is one of us. Though someone might tell her bike helmets work better if you actually wear them.

The planned U.S. Bicycle Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica will likely run right through the campus of Pomona College.

 

State

Kendall Jenner is one of us, too, as she takes to an ebike in Palm Springs. And looks like she actually knows how to ride it, although her take on Covid-19 got panned.

A pair of bike lovers are opening a new brewery and taproom in Thousand Oaks tomorrow. Assuming they actually get to, under the circumstances.

This year’s edition of the Eroica California scheduled for next month in Cambria finds itself sacrificed on the Covid-19 altar.

 

National

My brother ran Alaska’s famed Iditarod sled dog race four times, finishing three. But he never rode a fat tire bike in the Iditarod Trail Invitational along the same frozen trail.

He gets it. A Minnesota columnist says drivers “learning bike-passing and road-sharing best practices” may be the best way to improve safety and encourage bike riding. Or maybe second best, after providing safe, protected and effective bikeway network.

A Providence RI site films a busy street post-road diet, and is shocked! shocked! to discover drivers outnumber bike riders in the middle of winter 191 to 1. Never mind that most road diets are conducted to improve safety and reinvigorate communities by reducing road capacity, and bike lanes are merely a very beneficial tool to do it.

Owners of a Delaware funeral home complain that a new post-protected bike lane is affecting their business by blocking them from parking in front of the funeral parlor. Or maybe they just want to force bikes back into the street to drum up more business.

He gets it. A Pasadena letter writer says don’t blame the victim in a bicycling fatality, because bicyclists have a legal right to the road. No, the Maryland Pasadena. And no, I didn’t know there was one, either.

A North Carolina columnist complains about “the elitist scourge known as ‘road diet,'” which he claims it intended to force a healthy lifestyle down their throats for the sake of a tiny minority.” So evidently, people who ride bikes — like students and the soon-to-be laid off busboys who work in the local bars and restaurants — are elitists. Good to know.

 

International

How Sidi got its swirly.

The BBC offers a detailed overview of what they call the world’s most flexible form of transport — the bicycle.

A British columnist experiences what many of us have, as a well-worn article of bikewear gets him reminiscing about his favorite rides.

A Welsh website suggests five cheap and easy bike upgrades you can do yourself while you self-isolate, including building your bike a house.

It takes a major schmuck to steal an Irish doctor’s bike while he’s covering a 13-hour shift for a colleague forced into coronavirus isolation. Or just steal someone’s bike, period.

Yes, please. The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands is building a high-density residential district for 12,000 people, where cars will be banned and bikes will rule.

Bike riders get to see a lot of things most motorists miss. Like the pope taking a walk through Rome, for instance.

Rideable bikes are down 90% for a New Zealand dockless bikeshare provider since they launched three years ago, which appear to be prone to wheels collapsing; an expert says the bikes are unsafe, while the company blames their own customers.

A Kiwi website remembers the 1930s world traveling bike-rider and performer the Woman in Red.

Aussie drivers complain about bike riders on the streets. Which may be why they’re driving on the bike paths, too.

A 66-year old Singaporean secondhand bike seller was busted for his sideline of giving free massages and exorcism rituals to women, as an excuse to molest and film them.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Paris-Nice stage race came to an end on Saturday, as Germany’s Maximilian Schachmann claimed the individual title after Sunday’s final stage was cancelled.

European pros won’t be allowed to even train in Spain for the next two weeks, as the country cracks down on all activity to battle the coronavirus. Although the sport’s governing body doesn’t seem to be taking it all that seriously yet.

Speaking of UCI, they plan to backdate Olympic qualifying, which will screw anyone who hadn’t qualified for the cycling events by March 3rd.

Dutch pro Mathieu Van der Poel gets it, saying cancellation of the early cycling season is a disappointment, but there are much bigger problems in the world right now.

The organizers of next month’s Redlands Classic followed the Tour of the Gila in pulling the plug on this year’s 36th annual edition.

 

Finally

Your next Mecedes-AMG could have just two wheels — if you can afford to drop around five figures on one. The sex shops may be closing, but at least the bike shops will stay open.

And one worth repeating, as a young Frank Zappa plays a bike instead of riding it.

OCTA wants your transportation input, San Diego gears up for Bike Month, and a zombie project on Magnolia Blvd

The Orange County Transportation Authority wants to know how you get around the county.

And yes, the correct answer is by bike.

OCTA Seeks Community Input on O.C. Transportation Needs

Transportation Needs Assessment Survey is available online and in multiple languages through March

ORANGE – The Orange County Transportation Authority is conducting an online survey to gain better insight into how people living in Orange County are changing the way they get around the county.

The Transportation Needs Assessment Survey is intended to gauge people’s opinions on the current public transit system and help shape future transportation planning in Orange County.

The online survey is part of an ongoing effort by OCTA to reach out to current riders of OC Bus and Metrolink, as well as non-riders, to deliver a balanced and sustainable transportation network for the county and to enhance overall quality of life.

The survey, at www.OCTAsurvey.com, will be online through the end of March. In an effort to engage residents from a variety of backgrounds, the survey is available in English and six other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

“Our goal is to ensure all residents have a voice when it comes to transportation needs,” said OCTA Chairman Steve Jones, also the mayor of Garden Grove. “The Transportation Needs Assessment is an opportunity for residents to have a say in local and regional mobility and to ensure everyone is being served.”

The brief survey, which should take approximately 10 minutes or less to complete, asks how residents currently get around Orange County, and seeks suggestions on what can be improved to encourage people to use public transportation or consider active transportation options, such as walking and cycling.

For more information about the OC Bus system, visit www.OCBus.com and take the survey at www.OCTAsurvey.com.

Although I’m still not sure there’s life beyond the Orange Curtain.

Photo by 3888952 from Pixabay.

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While we’re on the topic of points south, San Diego is already making plans for this year’s Bike Month and Bike to Work Day.

Save the date! The 30th Annual SANDAG Bike to Work Day will be Thursday, May 14, 2020. Online registration will open on March 2. Register by April 12 for a chance to win a $500 gift card to Moment Bicycles!

Interested in hosting an official Bike to Work Day pit stop? Applications will be accepted from March 2–20. Support new and experienced riders throughout the county as they roll by a pit stop to pick up a free t-shirt, snacks, and encouragement.

Be sure to stay tuned to the SANDAG Facebook page to vote for this year’s official Bike to Work Day t-shirt later this month!

For more information about Bike to Work Day, visit the iCommute Bike Month web page.

Needless to say, LA Metro apparently hasn’t given it much — or any — thought, with last year’s page still online., and no mention of events past next month.

Which could go a long way towards explaining why LA’s Bike Month, and Bike to Work Day in particular, have petered out in recent years.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

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Leone also forwards a busy calendar of events from the San Diego County Bike Coalition, starting with a bike touring weekend and basic road safety class tomorrow.

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A Twitter thread from Streetsblog makes the case that the proposed widening of Magnolia Blvd in North Hollywood is a zombie project that has somehow lived on, despite a call to narrow the street in the city’s mobility plan.

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

Bike riders in Christchurch, New Zealand, face a rising bikelash, as drivers demand that riders need to be educated and wear hi-viz. Or maybe just get the hell off the roads.

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Local

CicLAvia is starting the year off on the right foot, or maybe wheel, with a six-mile route down historic Central Ave in South LA this Sunday.

Spectrum News 1 profiles LA’s Areli Morales, who relies on Metro Bike bikeshare to support her carfree lifestyle.

The beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail is getting a much-needed facelift north of the Santa Monica pier, including widening the path and adding a separate walking path like below the pier, in time for the busy summer riding season.

 

State

Calbike says a change in state law led to the passage of a $90 million bond to fund San Diego bike projects.

A Palm Springs bicyclist wants the city to rip out some recent road diets on arterial streets, saying he prefers sharrows. Unlike most bicyclists and the bike curious, who would rather see some degree of separation from cars, if not protection.

Conejo Valley high school students will be collecting new or used bicycles for Wheels to Africa on March 7th; the Virginia nonprofit ships bikes to Africa to provide mobility for people in need.

 

National

It’s rude to draft a stranger without getting an okay first. But for a woman, it’s downright creepy and scary to have a man on an ebike on her wheel for the entire ride.

Peloton didn’t just offer to give people one of their “like new” stationary bikes in exchange for a Flywheel stationary bikes after winning a lawsuit against their competition. Owners report Peloton plans to brick their Flywheel bikes at the end of next month.

Curbed explains everything you always wanted to know about ebikes, but were afraid to ask; meanwhile Electrek finds five ebikes under a grand.

Portland bike owners can now report stolen bikes online. Which should solve the problem of cops who don’t want to be bothered with writing up a report.

Houston wants bike riders to get creative with rolling two-wheeled artworks for the city’s first Art Bike Parade in May.

A Saint Louis bike rider was run down by a heartless coward who fled the scene in a crash caught on security cam video. Not an apparently driverless El Camino, as the story suggests.

Chicago will now allow parking enforcement officers to photograph drivers who block bus or bike lanes so a ticket can be mailed to the owners, even if they move their vehicles before they can be ticketed onsite.

Massachusetts will finally get a hands-free law for drivers on Sunday. Although studies show even hands-free mode isn’t safe

A writer for Gear Patrol rides his first double century, from New York’s Hudson Valley through Vermont.

New York Mayor de Blasio threw his own Department of Transportation Commissioner under the bus, backtracking on a long-delayed bike lane just a day after she had announced it was moving forward.

An op-ed by a pair of “avid” New York bicyclists offers advice on how to how to ride a bike in the city and live to tell the tale.

A Florida sheriff’s deputy in an unmarked car crashed into a man on a bike after the victim allegedly darted into traffic.

 

International

A British man gets a well-deserved four and a half years for using a three-foot samurai sword to steal a bicycle from a 13-year old boy.

A UK website makes their picks for the best bicycling gear of 2020 to get the most out of your ride.

A mountain bike and helmet triggered a search, and hopefully a rescue, after they were left untouched for four days on New Zealand’s Great Barrier Island.

Unbelievable. The allegedly intoxicated man who ran down five Australian bicyclists as they rode in a bike lane was granted bail on a previous drug charge just one day before the crash. Just one more example of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late.

This is who we share the roads with. An Australian man was the victim of a vicious ax murder a couple hours after he was involved in a road rage incident.

The coronavirus claimed an indirect victim when an Irish bike rider was killed in a collision in Thailand, after he was prevented from flying home due to travel restrictions imposed as a result of the virus.

 

Finally…

Apparently, accused bike path terrorists are just a tad touchy when you wake them up. Harrison Ford was a dirty, rotten fibber when he denied riding an ebike.

And Aussie road champ Amanda Spratt gets goat bombed.

https://twitter.com/AmandaSpratt/status/1230196465273888768?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1230196465273888768&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2F271389-g-says-overall-peloton-standard-has-gone-evenepoel-20-sets-2020-alight-froome

Death of San Diego lacrosse executive Dylan Herrick finally confirmed, over 2 months after he was injured riding bike

Too often, the press never follows-up after reporting about a crash.

Which means it may take weeks to know whether the victim lived or died. If ever.

Sadly, this time, he didn’t.

As we mentioned on Friday, we’ve finally found confirmation that San Diego resident Dylan Herrick passed away in the hospital, shortly after suffering a life-threatening head injury when he was struck by a driver last November.

The 27-year old Herrick was riding north on the 2000 block of Morena Boulevard in San Diego’s Bay Park neighborhood a little after 10 pm on Thursday, November 14th, when he was rear-ended by a 67-year old pickup driver traveling in the same direction.

A front office staffer for the San Diego Seals professional lacrosse team, Herrick’s death was announced on the Seals Twitter account, and confirmed by the league later the same day.

Dylan Herrick; photo from San Diego Seals Twitter account

I’m told his death was also recently confirmed by a family member.

Herrick was reportedly riding a black beach cruiser while ghost riding another bike, holding the second bike with his right hand as he rode. According to the police, neither had lights or reflectors, despite the late hour.

Neither drugs nor alcohol were suspected of being a factor in the crash.

Morena Blvd is a two lane divided roadway lined with apartment buildings on the northbound side, which means the parking lane would likely have been full at that hour, forcing Herrick to ride in the number two lane.

Unfortunately, the painted bike lane on the southbound side offers no benefit to bicyclists traveling in the opposite direction, while the straight, wide lanes make it likely drivers would exceed the posted 40 mph speed limit during nighttime hours.

This is at least the 79th bicycling fatality in Southern California last year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Diego County, all of which occurred in the City of San Diego.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dylan Herrick and all of his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for his efforts to confirm this story.

Morning Links: Speeding across the US at 123 mph, the once and future CicLAvia, and more post-Peloton ad hysteria

Before we start, let me take a moment to thank every who’s given to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive so far.

Since we started ten days ago, not a single day has gone by without at least one donation. And often, more than that.

So let me offer my heartfelt thanks to Mike W, Ilya G, Philippa M, Gregory S and Glen S for their generous donations to since we saw you last.

Because their open hearts, and open wallets, is what helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Which means the only question is, who’s going to join them today?

And will it be you?

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This is who we share the roads with.

Writing for Bicycling, Joe Lindsey criticizes a culture that allows motorists to break the law with seeming impunity. And chuckle when someone gets away with it.

Like drivers in a highly modified Mercedes using every trick known to man to evade the police while speeding across the US at an average of 123 mph.

And a top speed of 193 mph.

Speeds which would be instantly fatal to anyone outside of the car in the event of a crash. And probably in it, too.

All to win an illegal, unauthorized race across the country, speeding 2,800 miles across the US in less than 27 and a half hours. And putting the lives of everyone else on the roadway at risk, in every city, county and state they drove through.

Maybe it’s here where I point out that all of this is patently insane.

It’s insane to shift-drive across the country on open roads at triple-digit speeds. It’s insane to have such arrogant disregard for the law that you heavily modify a vehicle specifically to evade the police, using technologies that are themselves illegal in many states—laser jammers are illegal in California, Colorado, and Illinois, to name three states on the route, and it’s illegal in every state not to have functioning brake and taillights. It’s insane to try to pass this off as both a bold adventure AND a paragon of driving skill and discretion. And it’s insane for the media to accept that narrative so credulously and uncritically…

Cars are the apex predator in a transportation ecosystem where menace and aggression are literally built into the grilles, and where drivers can hit and kill cyclists and pedestrians and walk away without charges, or receive laughably minimal punishment when they are brought to court. Our devotion to cars is a stuck parking brake on the economy, a pox on public health, and is killing the planet.

It’s today’s must read.

And well worth the few minutes it will take to speed through it.

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The Los Angeles Daily News says the final CicLAvia of the year opened people’s eyes to “the sights, scenery (and) shops” in Canoga Park, Winnetka and Reseda yesterday.

But don’t worry.

CicLAvia will be back next year with a return to South LA and a first foray into Watts in February.

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It’s worth clicking on the tweet below just to read the long list of witty responses.

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San Diego is moving forward with the long-debated protected bike lanes in North Park, removing 450 parking spaces to make room for them.

At the same time, however, it’s also beginning work on a pipeline under the street, which could mess up your bike commutes for the next month.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

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Leone also forwards news that parts of Camp Pendleton were closed due to flooding as of this past weekend.

Please be aware of the following closures due to flooding:

  1. BEACH CLUB ROAD REMAINS CLOSED
  2. RAMP TO WIRE MOUNTAIN ROAD FROM VANDEGRIFT BLVD  ENTERING FROM MAIN GATE CLOSED
  3. LAS PULGAS GATE IS NOW CLOSED
  4. STUART MESA RD, 41 AREA TO LAS PULGAS IS NOW CLOSED.

Roads and gates above will re-open once water subsides.

For additional information regarding these closures, please contact Mr. Sam Jammal.

Sam Jammal, Community Plans Liaison, Camp Pendleton

Osamah.jammal@usmc.mil

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Nothing like a leisurely bike ride along the Nile.

No, on it.

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Just when you thought discussion of the much-loathed Peloton ad had beaten the subject into the ground…

…actor and gin meister Ryan Reynolds takes a swing at it.

Meanwhile, a Fox News host insists the whole controversy stems from the actress’ expressive eyebrows. No, really, he’s serious.

Apparently failing to understand what actors do for a living, some very stupid people have been sending death threats to the man who plays the husband in the spots. And a writer for the Guardian says the actor’s attempts to prove he’s not sexist misses the point.

And not surprisingly, Saturday Night Live got in on the action, not once but twice. Although you have to watch the first one all the way through.

Unfortunately, the actor in the ad isn’t an SNL fan, either.

At least not in this case.

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‘Tis the Season.

Inmates in an Iowa county jail refurbished 25 bicycles for local kids.

A western Pennsylvania bike drive resulted in 1,245 bike for Toys for Tots; the founder says he wants to make sure every kid has the chance to ride one like he did.

Twenty-six Long Island NY kids got new bikes and helmets thanks to a local nonprofit.

A Tampa Bay nonprofit built 900 bicycles for local kids in need.

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

No, people on bikes don’t think they own the road. But evidently, the woman in this Texas truck thinks she does.

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Local

Los Angeles got a pair of state grants totaling $3.5 million to build 2.2 miles of multi-use pathways along the LA River in North Atwater Village, as well as improving habitat along the river.

If you’re carrying a garage door opener, crack pipe and several change purses on what’s probably a $5,000 stolen bike, stay off the sidewalk — and put a damn light on it.

 

State

San Diego bicyclists rode Friday to celebrate the completion of new bus and bike lanes along El Cajon Blvd.

Mind your turn signals and stop signs in Oxnard tomorrow, when the police conduct a bike and pedestrian safety sting, calling it an educational operation. The usual protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you get outside their jurisdiction.

San Jose pedestrian fatalities are at an all time high, with other traffic deaths not far behind.

A somewhat incredulous Sacramento reporter follows a Christmas tree delivery in three parts to prove it can be done by bicycle.

 

National

A writer for Quartz questions why women don’t ride to work when they love bikes so much.

Life is cheap in Colorado, where a dump truck driver walks with community service for killing a new mother on her first bike ride after giving birth. And apparently gets to keep his license, too.

Conservative Texas aims to eliminate traffic deaths in the entire state by 2050. Unlike progressive California, which hasn’t even discussed Vision Zero.

A Chicago alderman (alderperson?) backed down on plans to dangerously reconfigure bike lanes to make room for more parking.

He gets it. An Illinois writer says you “meet the most interesting people, see what most drivers rarely notice, and discover places you wish you had known years ago” when you ride a bike.

No surprise here, as Pittsburg drivers make like a quarterback avoiding a blitz by using bike lanes to swerve around speed humps without slowing down.

Gothamist wants to know why ebikes are okay for Amazon and UPS deliveries in NYC, but remain illegal for immigrants delivering food. And why the governor hasn’t signed a bill to rectify that.

New York’s Port Authority makes La Guardia Airport virtually off limits to people on bikes, suggesting it’s your fault for making drivers feel bad when they have to hit you.

 

International

Stats show most Toronto bicycling and walking deaths occur during the day, suggesting the free reflective armbands offered by police won’t help very much.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver will serve less than two years behind bars for killing a bike rider when he couldn’t even see her because of the tray table he built onto his dashboard.

A British woman says she’s lucky to be alive after the brakes on her bike failed during a steep descent on a 114-mile charity ride, sending her crashing into a rock.

British Prime Minister and Captain of the H.M.S. Brexit Boris Johnson says the naughtiest thing he’s ever done was ride a bike on the sidewalk. But London’s Mirror begs to differ, insisting Boris has done much worse — like using highly offensive racial slurs, for instance.

A new Austrian inner tube offers lower rolling resistance, combined with the kind of savings weight weenies could only dream of — if you’re wiling to pay the price.

An African photographer focuses his lens on Burundi’s bicycle taxi culture.

The best way to visit the Cypriot city of Nicosia is by bicycle, according to a local paper. Then again, that’s usually the best way to visit any city.

A visually impaired Japanese man can finally live his dream of racing with his wife after friends and family hand-built a lacquered bamboo and beech wood tandem they can ride together.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist picks the cycling team of the decade; three of their eight picks are women — with Marianne Vos topping the list.

Eurosport considers the most controversial moments in the 2019 bike racing season.

Although maybe you’d prefer watching the top riders and their crazy bike handling skills seen below.

https://twitter.com/VelonCC/status/1202302881224896513?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1202302881224896513&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclingweekly.com%2Fnews%2Fracing%2Fwatch-velon-recap-shows-amazing-bike-handling-skills-pro-riders-443996

 

Finally…

When your stolen bike — and subsequently stealing it back — becomes the topic of a children’s book. If you spot a tempting bicycle sitting outside the sheriff’s office, just leave it alone, already.

And if you want to avoid ripping the skin off your penis, put some damn grips on your handlebars.

Assuming you have one, of course.

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Morning Links: $25,000 reward for heartless hit-and-run driver, LA chef dies after cycling heart attack, and Gatto gets it

Once again, a heartless coward has fled the scene after slamming into someone on a bicycle.

But this time, it was caught on security cam.

And yes, it’s every bit as hard to watch as you might think, so be forewarned.

Remarkably, the victim survived the crash, but is hospitalized with severe injuries.

The wreck took place around 11:45 pm in the 3000 block of Berkeley Avenue in Silver Lake as the hit-and-run driver rounded a curve, and slams into the victim head-on.

Then keeps going without even slowing down.

And this time, there’s no arguing that the driver may not have known it happened.

I’m told the victim may be a homeless man who lives in the area.

Police suspect the hit-and-run driver may live in the neighborhood; they’re looking for a late model red Mini Cooper with a white roof and sunroof, with probable damage to the front-end and windshield.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/833-3713. As always, there is a standing $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injury to the victim.

Let’s find the jerk.

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A surprising number of chefs in the Los Angeles area ride bikes.

Sadly, it may have cost one his life last week, as famed LA chef Joe Miller died weeks after suffering a heart attack while riding his bike.

Family members announced the Michelin star-winning chef behind the groundbreaking Joe’s on Abbot Kinney lost his battle to survive on Wednesday, due to complications from a cardiac arrest on a September cycling trip.

This is a tragic reminder that while bicycling provides exceptional cardio-pulmonary benefits, it can also trigger underlying medical conditions.

It’s vital to see your doctor on a regular basis to make sure you’re up to the stresses you put on your body, especially those of us who like to ride hard.

It’s natural to think you’re bulletproof and avoid seeing a physician when you’re strong on a bike.

It’s also a mistake.

For nearly two decades after I started riding, the only time I saw a doctor was in the ER when they were patching me up after my latest two-wheeled wipeout.

If I had, it’s possible someone may have caught my diabetes before it did so much damage.

If you see a doctor regularly, good for you. Just push him or her to look a little harder and make sure everything’s okay under that muscular physique.

Well, muscular from the waist down, anyway.

If you don’t, what the hell are you waiting for? Stop reading, pick up the phone and make an appointment.

We’ll wait.

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Now that everyone is back, today’s must read comes from former Burbank state representative Mike Gatto, as he makes the case for establishing a walkable, shopable and carfree retail district in each of LA’s 15 council districts.

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Once again, the business community gets it wrong, insisting that plans to eliminate street parking on San Diego’s 30th street will harm businesses and won’t save the climate.

Studies have shown that business owners consistently overestimate the percentage of their business that comes from motorists, and underestimate how much comes from bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users — let alone how much more would if customers had more complete, livable streets.

Those same studies show that bike lanes are good for business, increasing sales, reducing vacancy rates and increasing property values in the surrounding area.

But who would want that?

As for the climate, we have to start somewhere.

And the best place to start is reducing the number of motor vehicles on the streets. Which means creating walkable, bikeable, transit-rich communities so people don’t have to drive.

If that also benefits businesses and residents, everyone wins.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

A Phoenix family is alive today because a crash saved them from a red light-running driver.

………

This is the difference a single bicycle can make to someone in need.

Thanks to the One Bicycle Foundation for the link.

You can help make a difference in someone’s life for as little as $25. Or donate a bike yourself for just $170.

………

And this is just a practice session.

Meanwhile, Bike Mag offers some very cool photos of death-defying aerials from the actual Red Bull Rampage on Friday.

………

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

A Victorville man faces charges for pistol whipping a 16-year old boy with a semi-automatic handgun for the crime of simply riding a bicycle in the area. Apparently he did it with the gun loaded and the safety off — and it went off while he was beating the boy with it. Let’s hope they find a very deep pit to drop him in.

………

Local

The long-discussed Red Car Pedestrian Bridge is slowly taking shape over the Los Angeles River, using trusses from the old Red Cars to give bicyclists and pedestrians a less-convenient alternative to the soon-to-be-rebuilt Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

The Southern California Association of Governments’ popular Go Human safety campaign will go on, after receiving a $1 million grant from the state.

Metro wants your comments on proposals to close the DTLA-Vernon gap in the LA River bike path to create a single route from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach.

Burbank is moving forward with plans to complete a protected bike lane connecting with the city’s Metrolink station, and building out a bike network that will connect with other cities in the region.

 

State

A writer for the LA Times tagged along with the eight-day, 525-mile California Coast Classic; the 195 riders raised $1.1 million to fight arthritis.

A Carlsbad street will get new bike lanes, sidewalks and landscaping for an underpass crossing I-5.

The California Public Utilities Commission signed off on plans to build a bike and pedestrian underpass to provide a safe route across a rail line in Encinitas.

A 51-year old Bonita man suffered “major but not life-threatening” injuries when he was right hooked by the driver of a cement truck while riding his bike.

San Diego streets shut down on Sunday — or rather, opened up — for that city’s CiclaSDias open streets celebration.

More bad news from Palm Desert, where an 82-year old man suffered major injuries when he was left crossed on his bike by a 77-year old driver. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Once again, the threat of a recall is enough to get city officials to rip out a protected bike lane, after residents of Grover Beach couldn’t figure out that you have to step over the curb on a new curb-protected bike lane. And can’t drive over it, either. Sort of like every other curb, anywhere else.

Sad news from Fresno, where a man on a bicycle was killed by a stoned driver who got high in her car on her lunch break.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Berkeley woman walks without a single day behind bars after she left crossed a 69-year old man on a bike, dragging him under her car for several seconds, then got out, yanked his bike out from underneath her car, and drove off as the victim and a witness tried to stop her. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Sad news from Petaluma, where someone on a bicycle was killed in a collision with a semi driver.

 

National

Fast Company questions whether SUVs should be banned, at least in cities. New York’s DOT commissioner appears to agree, blaming SUVs for the city’s alarming jump in bicycle fatalities this year.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a Portland ghost bike after twelve years.

Aspen CO resident Lance Armstrong pitched in along with a former Colorado governor to build over one hundred bicycles to offer to every second grader at a local elementary school.

Forget the bikes; check out the speaker on that Victrola in this turn of the century Colorado bike shop.

Kindhearted Colorado sheriff’s deputies pitched in to buy a new bicycle for an autistic high school student who had outgrown his.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma man faces a first-degree murder charge for repeatedly stabbing another man in a fight over a bicycle.

Outside says frozen Minnesota is an ideal year-round bicycling spot.

Providence RI will rip out a brand new two-way cycle track after just six weeks because the city failed to consult residents before putting it in.

New York’s senior senator, the Democratic leader in the US Senate, calls for a plan to replace all gas-powered motor vehicles with electric ones by 2040. Great idea, except that until the US achieves 100% renewable power, it just exchanges one form of carbon-burning power for another, and doesn’t take a single car or truck off the road.

Heartbreaking news from Brooklyn, where boy got a new bicycle for his eighth birthday. And was killed riding it just two years later.

New York City considers adopting a three-foot passing law to pre-empt the state’s requirement for a safe passing distance. But will only fine drivers a lousy fifty bucks for breaking it.

Good news for Gotham bike riders, as a judge tosses a lawsuit from wealthy NIMBY condo owners trying to have the popular Central Park West protected bike lanes ripped out, calling the lawsuit meritless.

They get it. An editorial in an upstate New York paper calls for a new law to penalize drivers who injure or kill another person.

The DC City Council responds to bike and pedestrian deaths with proposals to lower speed limits, ban right turns on red lights and allow private citizens to ticket drivers blocking crosswalks and bike lanes, as well as require protected bike lanes anytime a street in the bike plan gets overhauled. Maybe we could get them to come teach their LA peers what to do to make Vision Zero work.

Tampa FL police say they’re getting a handle on the problem of biking while black, saying they’re stopping and ticketing fewer African American bike riders, though black riders are still more likely to get a ticket or warning than a white person.

 

International

Road.cc offers inexpensive hacks to help keep you on your bike this winter.

A writer for Bike Radar offers five common quotes guaranteed to deflate the mood on your next group ride.

You know ebikes have officially arrived when they’re featured on a Trump-less British version of The Apprentice. And sell a combined $2.2 million worth.

An English woman in her 70s was knocked cold by a hit-and-run bike rider. Seriously, don’t be like people in cars. Just stop, already.

Always hit the back brakes first. A UK bike cop pulls a major endo in the middle of the street while chasing a suspect.

I want to be like her when I grow up, too. A 72-year old grandmother in the UK battled it out with a suspected bike thief when the man tried to reclaim it from her son’s shop after being told it was stolen.

A British woman starts her own bikeshare company after dropping out of Oxford to study design; what initially began as a school project is now available on the streets in three cities.

An Irish pedestrian group says you should have to wear an identity badge anytime you ride your bike. How about one of those convention badges that read “Hi, my name is ….”?

Egyptian women are overcoming societal restrictions to claim space on Cairo streets for them and their bicycles.

In a highly questionable Qatari study, not one single bicyclist who was admitted to a hospital with a serious head injury was wearing a helmet, and only 3% of riders admitted with any kind of traumatic injury during the six-year study had a skid lid on.

Former Aussie rugby player and current CrossFit star James Newbury is one of us, even if he won’t be riding for awhile after hitting gravel and pulling an endo, then hitting a tree and fracturing his back.

This is who we share the roads with. Five people are dead and nine injured after a Shanghai driver went on a hit-and-run rampage, starting by hitting a taxi and an ebike rider, followed by crashing into an SUV after running a red light, and wrapping it all up by slamming into three non-motorized vehicles and several pedestrians. And yet, Xinhua still calls it an accident. Let’s hope that’s just a bad translation.

What if you built a state-of-the-art automated bicycle parking garage in Singapore and nobody came?

Tokyo wants to force bicyclists to carry liability insurance when they ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forget doping. Just zap your brain, instead.

Peter Sagan announces he’ll ride both the Giro and the Tour de France next year, forgoing the Amgen Tour of California.

Rouleur selects this year’s inductees for their Cycling Hall of Fame, selecting America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, as well as Marianne Vos, and Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin.

The US team finished seventh in the men’s road cycling race at the World Military Games, with the top individual finisher crossing the finish line in 11th place.

How to ride a bike at 183.9 mph. Which is very similar to my cruising speed these days, as long as you remove the one and the eight.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to tell the cops you were injured in a hit-and-run after cutting your hands breaking into a store, get rid of the damn merchandise you took, first. Apparently, we’re not even safe from golf cart drivers.

And as long as your dog has a license, might as well let him use it.

67-year old Thomas Burke dies five days after bike hit by pickup driver in San Diego’s Otay Mesa

Last week, we were told a San Diego man was expected to survive a brain injury suffered when his bike was hit by a truck in Otay Mesa.

Today, we learned he didn’t.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that 67-year old Thomas Burke died on Monday, five days after he was injured last Wednesday morning.

Burke was riding north on Beyer Boulevard near Del Sol Boulevard when he was struck by a pickup driver around 11:35 am. He was taken to a hospital in the Hillcrest neighborhood with a brain bleed and other injuries that were expected to be survivable.

Police initially said he was riding in the left of two lanes on the four lane street. However, according to the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office, Burke was in a designated bike lane when he was run down from behind.

Which means he definitely did not come out of nowhere, as one witness said.

Just two more example why you should always take initial reports with a grain of salt. If not the entire bag.

The crash remains under investigation. But if Burke was riding in the bike lane, there should be no question who was at fault.

This is at least the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and just the second that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Thomas Burke and his loved ones.

 

Morning Links: Balboa bicyclist crashes with LAPD moto, search for hit-and-run driver, and making SD customers drive

Frequent contributor Danger D came across the immediate aftermath of a serious collision near Balboa Park early yesterday afternoon, involving a bike rider and an LAPD motorcycle cop.

Just passing by on the bike path on Burbank Blvd in the Balboa Dam area. They have the whole of Burbank Blvd closed in the area (probably to hide what they did until they can find a reason it’s not their fault)

An officer let me through while others tried to stop me from going under the tape. You should make some inquiry into this collision. Cop bike on its side in the westbound lane and a totaled bicycle with a bent over front wheel in the center of the road.

There’s no word on how the crash happened. Particularly since there’s a separated bike path around Lake Balboa that parallels Burbank Blvd.

According to traffic reports, the street was blocked off entirely throughout the afternoon and through the evening rush hour, which is not a good sign.

An extended total street closure like that usually means a fatal crash, or one they think could become one. Unless maybe they were just taking extra care with the investigation because a police officer was involved.

But at last report, the officer was hospitalized with minor injuries, while the person on the bicycle was in critical condition with non-life-threatening injuries.

Let’s hope it stays that way.

Photo from LAPD website.

………

Tony Berquam is looking for the cowardly jerk — my words, not his — who left an injured bike rider lying in the street.

On 7/16, 5-5:30 pm, eastbound on Beverly near Fairfax, a lone cyclist was clipped by an unknown vehicle, knocking him to the ground. The rider was rendered unconscious and left injured in the street. The driver did not leave contact information. The cyclist was subsequently transported to Cedars by emergency services. Any help in establishing the involved vehicle and or related information is appreciated.

If you have any information, you can contact him at tbb422010@gmail.com.

………

If you think your customers only arrive at your business in cars, maybe it’s because they don’t have any other choice.

That’s the battle San Diego merchants in the North Park neighborhood continue to fight, demanding that the city reverse plans for removing 420 parking spaces along 30th Street in favor of protected bike lanes.

Never mind that studies have shown that bike riders shop more often, and spend more in the long term, than people who arrive by car.

Or that making a street more bikeable — and therefore more walkable — results in an increase in livability, and a thriving, prosperous commercial district.

Not to mention a decrease in commercial vacancies, while boosting property values in the surrounding area.

But instead of explaining all that to his constituents, a weathervane councilmember stuck his finger in the wind, and decided the plan needs “slight changes” in favor of maintaining the automotive hegemony in the district.

So business owners continue to fight against their own self interests.

And San Diegans will continue to do their shopping by car, because it’s the only real option they have.

Full disclosure — I lived in the North Park neighborhood before moving to Los Angeles in 1990.

And while I loved living in one of the city’s few truly mixed neighborhoods, I hated the feeling of being unsafe anytime I tried to walk or bike to local restaurants or shops. It was easier to just hop in my car and take my business somewhere else.

………

To the best of my knowledge, no bicycle ever flew off the road into one of my favorite fishing spots just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park.

But I admit I may have come close a few times.

………

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

A Northern Irish bike rider learned the hard way that someone had scattered box cutter blades on a Belfast bike path after one sliced through his rear tire.

………

Local

LAist’s Leo Duran offers tips on how to get started riding a bike in Los Angeles.  He also says Biking in LA can be dicey. But I’ll try not to take it personally.

Long Beach addresses concerns about the recent Broadway road diet by agreeing to make “tweaks” to the roadway design — including widening traffic lanes in places by taking space from the protected bike lanes.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Agency wants to improve your safety on your bike and on foot with a series of Be Safe Be Seen workshops. If they really want to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, they should give the workshops to drivers. And make them mandatory.

San Francisco Streetsblog says it’s time to stop Caltrans and Alameda County from building another bike and pedestrian hellscape by removing sidewalks and crosswalks, and forcing both to share 3.4 foot maintenance catwalk through a tunnel.

This is who we share the roads with. A red light-running Tesla driver is accused of slamming into a San Francisco couple as they walked in a crosswalk, killing the husband.

He gets it. Great piece from an Oakland illustrator, explains graphically why he’s afraid to ride a bicycle, even though his neighborhood is flat and he doesn’t drive a car.

 

National

The high-end Robb Report looks at the new and ponderously named Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL-Founder’s Edition, saying someone finally made an ebike that doesn’t look like an ebike. Which should come as a surprise to all the other ebikes that don’t look like ebikes that got here first.

A Portland nonprofit uses adaptive bikes to help people living with a disability or dementia enjoy the thrill of getting outside and riding a bicycle, even if someone else is doing all the pedaling.

The Department of DIY suffered a setback after an Alaska father used his own money to rent plastic bollards to keep drivers from mistaking the bike path his kids ride on for a roadway; the state DOT took them down the next day, insisting the 17 signs drivers already ignore are good enough.

Denver bike riders complain about downtown’s patchy bike network, and the total ban on bike riders on the 16th Street Mall. Which are the same things I complained about when I lived there. Except not even a patchy bike network was there then.

A Missouri writer says bike lanes are political, not practical, and everyone should just merrily mix with traffic in the streets like he does. Which is exactly what’s inhibited the growth of bicycling for the past 60 years. And will keep depressing bike rates, and bike riders, until people like him stop giving cover to anti-bike traffic engineers. 

Good for them. An Illinois woman’s own parents turned her into the police for the hit-and-run that left a 63-year old man with serious injuries, after she crashed into his bicycle. My dad would have done the same thing. Then made me apologize to the victim and pay for the damages.

They get it, too. The New Yorker asks if the automobile era was a big mistake, saying our cars haven’t loved us back for the love we’ve given them over the past century. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, things weren’t so awful for the first 50 years or so, if you can ignore all the pollution and killing people and stuff.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A Queens, New York community board member’s comment that pedestrians deserve to get run over reflects a car-first culture that continues to grant motorists hegemony over the street at the expense of everyone else.

A Maryland woman was killed in a collision while participating in a 50-mile fundraising ride for a local fire department. Note to WJZ-13 in Baltimore — chances are she didn’t collide with a car; the driver hit her.

Hats off to a group for teenagers in a Georgia youth home, who rode their bikes 500 miles through two states to move past addiction and show themselves and others what they’re capable of.

 

International

Counterfeit bike saddles could literally mean the difference between life and death.

A Toronto op-ed says bike lanes won’t end the city’s hostility to people on bicycles.

A British barrister claims his client’s Parkinson’s means he couldn’t be responsible for killing a bike rider because he was driving in a state of automatism, with no idea what he was doing. Which only means he shouldn’t have been driving in the first place.

A UK writer says start the two-wheeled revolution without her.

 

Competitive Cycling

The AP says this year’s wide open Tour de France is saving its best for last.

The Beach Reporter offers more photos from Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, where CiclaValley’s young daughter got to meet her idol Coryn Rivera and got a souvenir jersey from last year’s US road champ.

 

Finally…

A Hall of Famer’s career was nearly derailed by riding his bike back home after arriving too early for his first practice as an eight-year old. Comic-Con, where dockless scooters and bicycles go to die.

And a properly sepia-toned look back at the early days of bicycling in Europe.

………

I neglected to thank Eric L yesterday for his very generous donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Although you can be thankful we haven’t followed the lead of all the “Christmas in July” sales and TV movies to run a midsummer holiday fund drive.

And yes, I’m properly embarrassed that last year’s holiday fund drive page is still up on the header for this site, like someone who still has the Christmas lights up on his doublewide trailer. 

 

Morning Links: LACBC calls for action on safe streets, bad day for San Diego bike riders, and anti-bike victim blaming bile

My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence. 

I was knocked on my ass by another bout with dangerously low blood sugar. Except this time, I couldn’t get back up. 

It took four hours, three fig bars and two cookies to get my blood sugar back up to a minimal safe level. 

Yes, it’s true. 

Your sweets are my life-saving medicine. 

And as anyone with diabetes knows, the toll something like that takes on your body lasts for hours afterwards. 

Which is all a long-winded way to say diabetes sucks. 

So get tested if you’re at risk or have a family history of the disease. Then do everything you can to get your blood sugar back under control, and keep it there. 

Because you don’t want this.

Trust me. 

Now let’s get on with today’s news. Because we have a lot to catch up on. 

Photo by Dan Fador from Pixabay

………

We’ve waited a long time for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, aka LACBC, to step up and take any real action on our streets.

Including during my five-plus years on the board, when I fought a losing rearguard action to encourage them to stop working only behind the scenes, and take good fight to the streets.

It looks like that time is finally here.

They even make it easy for you by including the email addresses for the mayor and city council.

  • mayor.helpdesk@lacity.org
  • councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org
  • councilmember.Krekorian@lacity.org
  • councilmember.blumenfield@lacity.org
  • david.ryu@lacity.org
  • paul.koretz@lacity.org
  • councilmember.martinez@lacity.org
  • councilmember.rodriguez@lacity.org
  • councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org
  • councilmember.price@lacity.org
  • councilmember.wesson@lacity.org
  • councilmember.bonin@lacity.org
  • councilmember.Smith@lacity.org
  • councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org
  • councilmember.huizar@lacity.org
  • councilmember.buscaino@lacity.org

Let’s all take a few minutes and email the councilmember for your district. And remember, as the LACBC notes above, to include your address to prove you’re a real, honest to God constituent.

If you don’t live in Los Angeles, contact the councilmembers for any districts where you work or ride, and make it clear you want to be able to bike safely in the City of Angels.

I haven’t had a chance to write my email yet. But I’ll do my best to get it done today.

So I hope you’ll join the LACBC — and yes, me — in demanding safer streets for bike riders, and everyone else, throughout Los Angeles.

And maybe if we all respond, this won’t be the last time the LACBC tries something like this.

If you want to share your email on here, just let me know.

………

Speaking of the LACBC, here’s your chance to tell them to form an associated 501(c)4, so they can engage in direct political action without risking their tax-exempt status.

SoCal’s largest bike advocacy group, the LACBC wants your comments on what direction they should take at a Community Input Forum on Saturday, July 27th, as they regroup to confront the challenges of bicycling in Los Angeles.

You already know what I think.

If not, read these last two sections again.

………

Saturday was a very bad day in San Diego.

In what was initially a very confusing story, a 60-year old man suffered a life-threatening head injury when he allegedly descended too fast on a steep hill in the city’s Park West neighborhood around 3 pm, made an “unsafe” move to the right and somehow clipped a car mirror.

It made more sense when the Union-Tribune clarified that he clipped the mirror of a parked car; he was thrown several feet onto the pavement as a result.

Just three hours later, someone described only as a teenager was riding on Claremont Blvd in Kearney Mesa when he or she was struck by an SUV turning onto the northbound I-805 onramp; the driver claimed he didn’t see the victim until it was too late.

Which should be seen as a confession, but usually serves only as a Get Out of Jail Free card to absolve drivers of any responsibility.

The driver remained at the scene, while his passenger jumped out to perform CPR on the victim.

Naturally, the CHP investigators blamed the victim, saying he or she wasn’t riding in the crosswalk. Even though bike riders aren’t expected or required to use a crosswalk.

And even though bicyclists still get ticketed for riding in a crosswalk, which is legal in California following a recent change in the law.

It’s not the first crash at that intersection, either.

Early reports indicated the victim had died, but other sources revised their stories to say it was unclear whether or not the victim was still alive.

Sadly, it seems like prayers and good thoughts are called for in both cases.

Chances are, we’ll hear more about one or both cases in the next few days.

Thanks to JMK for the reminder about the deadly intersection.

………

No bias here.

An anti-bike op-ed from an anti-bike writer in the generally anti-bike New York Post says it’s your own damn fault if you get killed.

The two things that might have prevented this horror — training and adherence to rules — are tellingly absent from the protesting cyclists’ list of demands.Not to put too fine a point on it, cyclists are frequently their own worst enemy, and their presence has made everyone less safe.

Of course, automobiles are more dangerous than bikes, but adding cyclists to the mix, many of whom refuse to obey traffic laws, has compounded that hazard.

Never mind that in many, if not most, of the New York’s recent bicycling fatalities the victim didn’t do a damn thing wrong.

But clearly, he doesn’t let that give him a moment’s pause.

When Mayor Mike Bloomberg began wedging bike lanes into our already crammed streets, it wasn’t to meet a demand — it was to create one. To promote cycling, he and then-DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, a bike enthusiast, threw caution to the wind and encouraged cyclists to hit the streets without so much as a helmet law, which might have deterred ridership, especially among the affluent, arrogant, scofflaw cyclists who want to use the city as their own personal racetrack.

Of course, only affluent people ride bikes.

Even though bike commuters are more likely to come from low income households, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone saddled with monthly car payments — let alone gas, insurance, maintenance and taxes.

And as well all know, anyone who rides a bike arrogantly insists on not getting killed by some random jerk. Like say, the writer of that piece, for instance.

It was a recipe for disaster, and the disproportionately influential, ceaselessly kvetching bicycle-advocacy groups capitalized on every heart-rending fatality to further their agenda.

Nobody elected the advocacy outfit Transportation Alternatives to speak for New Yorkers. It isn’t a safety organization, a cadre of seasoned city planners or even some impartial arbiter seeking what’s best for everyone; it’s a bunch of mainly upscale cyclists trying to make the city more navigable for themselves.

Actually, they did.

TransAlt is one of the nation’s largest and most effective alternative transportation and traffic advocacy groups, composed of thousands of average, everyday New Yorkers who elected the group to speak for them.

Then there’s this BS.

It’s not at all unusual to see them texting or riding hands-free as they careen through traffic. Close calls have become a daily occurrence, especially for the elderly and disabled, whose reflexes aren’t ideal for evading speeding cyclists.

Case in point, two months ago, 67-year-old Donna Sturm died after being mowed down by a cyclist who ran a red light in Midtown. If bicyclists can ride fast enough to kill, they ride too fast to enjoy exemption from the training, certification, insurance and identifiable licensing required for the use of every other vehicle on our streets.

Just wait until someone tells him about cars, whose drivers have killed far more New Yorkers than the single person killed by a jackass bike rider this year.

Not to mention that simply bumping into someone while walking can cause a fatal fall — as can tripping over your own shoelaces.

Which by his reasoning means that every person who steps out of their home or apartment must be trained, licensed, insured and certified.

Good luck with that.

We’ll leave the discussion on this final outpouring of faux journalistic bile.

Bike lanes haven’t made anyone any safer, but they have inarguably taken traffic congestion from bad to intolerable. The narrowing of our city’s critical arteries to accommodate a tiny minority whose vehicles are rendered impractical all winter and on rainy days seems to have been irrationally prioritized with regard to triage.

Maybe he should do just a little research before guessing like that. And missing by a mile.

But then, what would you expect from someone who pops up periodically with his anti-bike, but seems to be a ghost otherwise?

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

………

A Bay Area bike rider was pleasantly surprised when another bicyclist returned his lost money clip, completely intact, just an hour after tweeting that it was missing.

………

Driverless cars may not be coming anytime soon.

But a new company plans to introduce fully automated delivery pods in the near future.

And plans to take your hard-won space on the street to do it, knocking us from second class citizens to ranking somewhere behind a bunch of robots.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

An Arizona man faces charges for swerving into a bike lane and killing a bike rider, while under the influence of a veritable pharmacopeia of legal and illegal drugs.

Taylor acknowledged taking methadone — a drug used to treat addiction — earlier that day, but he initially denied any other drug use. After failing several impairment tests, he was arrested at about 9 p.m., according to the report.

Taylor later tested positive for opiates, methamphetamine, amphetamine and methadone, the police report said. He told officers he had used meth and heroin earlier in the week before taking methadone the same day as the collision.

Police also found heroin and paraphernalia in his possession, according to the police report.

 

Let’s hope he can manage to get clean in whatever deep, dark hole they throw him in.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the worldwide war on bikes just keeps going on, as someone has been sabotaging popular British bike paths by placing medieval-style booby traps across the trails.

………

Local

Mariah Banks pled not guilty in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA last year, despite reportedly confessing when she turned herself into the police weeks after the crash.

Metro wants you to help rank their priorities for Our Next LA.

An ebike magazine goes e-mountain biking with recently retired former LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who helped get the department back on bicycles.

Burbank is studying how to improve safety for people riding bicycles as part the city’s Complete Streets plan, while the mayor calls for “quick and dirty” solutions.

 

State

Speaking of San Diego, the city has made the first installment in the promise by city leaders to remake the downtown area to be safer and more inviting for people on bikes, with parking protected bike lanes, bollards and green intersections appearing on three streets.

A group of bicyclists are riding across the US to raise money for families in need, starting at the site of the Poway synagogue shooting.

A Santa Maria paper says people in cars may be safer, but bike riders and pedestrians, not so much.

Oakland promises its new equitable bike plan will be accessible to everyone, regardless of identity.

 

National

The new Complete Streets Act introduced in both houses of Congress would require states to set aside 5% of federal highway funds for streets that serve all road users.

It’s getting rough in the Great Plains, as a Kansas cop rear-ended a fleeing bike rider while driving on the sidewalk. And an Oklahoma cop tasered an apparently intoxicated bike rider who refused to stop, even though the victim didn’t pose a direct treat to to the officer or anyone else.

Someone please tell this Illinois TV station that sharrows are not bike lanes.

Pittsburgh bike riders are leaving their bikes on buses. Or someone’s, anyway.

A Pennsylvania doctor thanks the four strangers who saved his life when he was struck with a sudden heart attack while riding his bike.

Speaking for NIMBY’s everywhere, a Boston writer says don’t mess with our street, promising to fight plans for a road diet and bike lanes, in an apparent effort to keep it dangerous.

No shit. New York’s police commissioner agrees that the NYPD’s longstanding policy of ticketing bicyclists following a fatal bike crash is just a tad insensitive. You think?

The New York Times wants to know what the hell happened to a city that was supposed to be getting better for bike riders, while Bicycling says it’s shocking just how badly New York is failing people who ride bicycles.

NYC councilmembers want to ensure the city’s expanding bikeshare program serves low-income residents, too.

Does it really surprise anyone that cars — or more precisely, the people operating them — are more dangerous than guns on the streets of the Big Apple?

A homeless man in Louisiana learned the hard way not to stick around the parking lot begging for money after you walk out of Walmart with a stolen bike.

An op-ed in the local paper says people should warned explicitly that riding a bicycle just about anywhere in the Charleston SC area is inherently unsafe, while the paper hopes the third time is the charm to get approval for a bike and pedestrian bridge.

 

International

The good, the bad, and the ugliest bikeways around the world.

A Canadian driver swerved to avoid a crash as a group of Gran Fondo cyclists cut into his lane at the last second to avoid a fall in the peloton.

A Toronto newspaper politely explains the point of ebikes, calling them the great equalizer, while a writer in the city tries bikeshare for the first time, and decides it should be expanded.

A climate change protester shut down a British airfield for 20 minutes to protest a military air show as he road his bike on the runway, pursued by firefighters and service members.

A UK YouTube star became the first person in the country to be killed in an e-scooter crash.

Adding insult to injury, an English thief not only stole a teenage boy’s bike, he flipped the victim off while riding away with it.

Maltese bicyclists complain about dangerously substandard bike lanes. Especially the section that dead-ends into a brick wall. Oh, and the green paint is slippery, too.

An Indian ex-con hated life on the outside, and the abuse he suffered from his wife and kids, so much that he stole a bicycle to get back to his friends behind bars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten won her second Giro Rosa in a row, only finishing out of the top seven twice in the ten-stage race.

In your spoiler-free Tour de France update, the difficult terrain on Saturday’s 8th stage shook up the standings.

Le Tour went gravel grinding last week, forcing French pro Romain Bardet well off the pace.

Amazing photo catches defending TdF champ Geraint Thomas in midair as he crashes, landing on teammate Gianni Moscon while snapping Moscon’s bike in two and sending him to the hospital.

Then there were three. Tejay van Garderen dropped out of the Tour de France after breaking his hand in a fall, leaving just three American cyclists in the raceVeloNews considers why such crashes are inevitable.

The newly reformatted Colorado Classic announced the course for the August race, as it transforms into a strictly women’s stage race.

Horrible news from the world of track cycling, where a 17-year old Italian cyclist was in intensive care after he was impaled when a piece of the track splintered and punctured his lung at the European U-23 and Junior Track Championships.

 

Finally…

Bike riders hardly ever crash into outdoor cafes, and when they do, the result is usually a little spilled coffee and avocado toast. Before you sell a bike on Letgo, make sure it’s really yours.

And this is who we share the roads with, too.

Note the bike tally on his door.

 

San Diego man killed in collision after falling off his bike

More bad news.

According to multiple sources, a man was killed in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood on Tuesday when he was hit by a driver after apparently falling off his bike.

The victim, identified only as a 66-year old man, was riding against traffic in the left lane of northbound Fairmont Ave, between Home Street and Federal Boulevard, when he somehow tumbled from his mountain bike around 6:45 pm.

A 61-year old woman ran over his sprawled body after thinking he was just a shadow in the street, and was unable to stop in time when she realized her error.

She stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators, despite initial reports that it was a hit-and-run.

It’s unknown whether the victim lost control because he was under the influence, suffered from some kind of health condition or fell for some other reason.

It’s also unclear why he was riding in the left lane, rather than in the bike lane.

Other sources identify the area of the crash as the Ridgeview/Webster or Chollas Creek neighborhoods of San Diego.

This is at least the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first I’m aware of in San Diego County.

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

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up.

Morning Links: New bill requires Complete Streets on state roads, and SD man suffers life threatening injuries

A new bill in the state legislature would require Caltrans to make changes to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians whenever they maintain or improve any state highways.

And that includes requiring Complete Streets on state-owned surface streets such as LA’s Sepulveda and Santa Monica Blvd, and Pacific Coast Highway in the ‘Bu.

SB 127, sponsored by San Francisco State Senator Scott Weiner, would shift the focus of California’s transportation department to serving all road users, not just the ones in the big, dangerous machines. Unlike what it has done throughout its existence.

It would also require state transportation funding programs to prioritize pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

According to Streetsblog California,

Senator Wiener said his goals with S.B.127 are threefold: to increase safety, to help people live healthier lives by encouraging more use of active transportation modes, and to create better climate outcomes by giving people the option to use environmentally friendly travel modes. “That can only happen if it’s safe to do so,” he said.

“Caltrans has historically treated these surface streets as if they were the same as a major traditional highway,” said Senator Wiener, “and they’re not. We need to make sure these streets are safe for all users.”

The bill will undoubtedly meet opposition from entrenched motorist interests, just like any other recent Complete Streets bill that seems to threaten the automotive hegemony on our streets.

But it could make a real, and lasting, difference in the way Californians get around.

………

Sad news from San Diego, where a man suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision while riding his bike in the Linda Vista neighborhood.

Unfortunately, a message from a police watch commander makes it clear he’s not expected to survive.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

………

That hardly ever happens in real life.

After a very close call, a truck driver pulled over to apologize to the bike rider he nearly ran down.

………

There’s a reason why bike racers ride instead of rapping.

https://twitter.com/AstanaTeam/status/1084816681682300928

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Local

Santa Monica provides a three-month update on the city’s Shared Mobility Pilot Program, including 52 bike and scooter parking zones throughout the city, with plans for up to 50 more. That compares favorably with LA’s zero.

A Dallas magazine says Santa Monica-based Bird has quietly backed off plans to give cities money to build more bike lanes, after apparently running out of venture capital cash.

State

San Jose’s mayor is back at work following his New Year’s Day bike crash.

A San Francisco-based company is using cellphone data to measure bicycle and pedestrian traffic to improve traffic planning.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick takes local officials to task, correctly noting that Vision Zero requires a total commitment to safety and responsibility. Someone please tell our mayor and city council that. And LADOT. And the LAPD. And LA Vision Zero.

National

If you own a 2017 or later Specialized with Specialized’s Future Shock front road suspension feature, you should stop riding it immediately and take it back to a dealer for repairs under a recall.

Business Insider lists their picks for the best bike helmets in five different categories.

Bicycling says doing any kind of physical activity for just 30 minutes a day will help you live longer. Like bicycling, for instance.

Police in Everett WA are trying to identify a man seen riding a bicycle in the area, after he was found dead in a local park.

A Washington man says if a BMX rider is wearing a mask or a bandana, police should assume they’re criminals and violate their constitutional rights. And let ’em sue if they don’t like it.

Writing in Bicycle Retailer, a staff member from Bike Utah says better infrastructure in the answer to growth in ridership and the bike industry.

Unbelievable. A road raging Illinois driver repeatedly slammed into a bike rider, then ran over him, breaking his arm, leg and pelvis, before she was arrested driving away with his bike still stuck under her SUV. Then was acquitted of attempted murder and six other felony counts a year later by reason of insanity. By that standard, there are a lot of crazy people behind the wheel. Thanks again to Phillip Young.

Chicago and New York both held extensive public meetings on how and where to expand their public bikeshare systems — and promptly ignored the results.

A Massachusetts magazine calls for a “radical rethinking” of Boston’s major streets, describing them as “grotesquely overbuilt, inequitably allocating nearly all their space to single-occupant motor vehicles.”

Apparently having missed the memo that bikes are good for business, New York business owners are demanding that the city rip out new bike lanes that were installed as part of a now-cancelled plan to shut down a subway for maintenance. Because parking.

A Philly bike cop sues the department, alleging bias against Italian-Americans.

A Virginia newspaper remembers a local icon known for decades as Bicycle Charlie due to his ever-present bicycle. Except his name was Floyd.

International

The European Union is considering a plan that would require ebike riders to carry liability insurance — which is not required for any other type of bicycles — in an apparent attempt to kill the market for them.

A 12-year old London boy was lucky to escape with minor injuries after riding into the path of a bus as he tried to escape from older boys who were chasing him.

Irish police bust a suspect bike thief, and recover five hot bikes and a stash of coke and weed.

An Aussie rider’s high-end Pinarello road bike is now a melted carbon mess after his add-on ebike hub caught fire — and couldn’t be approached to put it out because the CO2 canisters in his seat bag started exploding.

Three Australian bicyclists suffered minor injuries in a rare bike on bike on bike crash.

No bias here. An Aussie motorcycling group has called for bicyclists to be forced to wear unique numbers somewhere on their body, so they can be charged for violating traffic laws. Never mind that unlike motorcyclists and drivers, bicyclists pose minimal risk to others.

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist Jani Brajkovic got off with just a ten-month ban for failing a doping test, after he convinced officials he ingested it accidentally as part of a supplement.

The former team physician for Team Sky and British Cycling faces doping related criminal charges.

Great story about a Cat 2 bike racer from Arkansas, who lost his leg as a result of a crash while playing bike polo — then won a national championship in individual pursuit, along with another silver and a bronze, at the recent Paralympic National Championships.

A 15-year old British boy is the first champion of the five-day E-Bike Desert Challenge through the sands of the Moroccan desert.

Finally…

If you want to lose weight, get a job as a bicycle courier. More proof bike shorts look ridiculous in the absence of a bicycle, no matter what decade you’re in.

And if you’re riding your bike while drunk as a skunk and tossing the empties, half empties and full cans into your bike trailer, put a damn light on it already.

And don’t threaten the cops that pull you over.

Seriously.

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