Tag Archive for San Fernando Valley

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

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

Here’s an excerpt from the AP story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry Angelenos, you’re already here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

 

Morning Links: Run down by e-scooter, scooters invade the SFV, and bicycling keeps your heart young — literally

Last night it was my turn.

I’ve seen and heard countless comments from people complaining about getting hit by e-scooters over the last year. In fact, two people in my building have been injured in collisions with scooter riders in the past few months. 

I almost joined them last night.  

The Corgi and I were walking on the sidewalk in a residential section of Hollywood Blvd when I saw three adult men on scooters coming up from behind. So we moved over to the grass to give them room, and they passed without incident.

But several seconds later, after we moved back onto the sidewalk, something slammed into me from behind with no warning.

I was still trying to figure out what the hell happened when I saw a man hurry to get back on his scooter and rush away, without a single word of apology or even a glance back to see if we were okay. 

Fortunately, neither one of us were seriously injured, though my back hurts everywhere as I write this several hours later. And I suspect I’m going to be pretty immobile for the next few days.

And he’s lucky he didn’t hit the Corgi, or Lime would need a proctologist to get their scooter back.

I know there are people think e-scooters should be banned because of incidents like this. 

But it wasn’t Lime who a) illegally rode on a residential sidewalk, b) had the throttle wide open trying to catch up to his friends, and c) tried to squeeze past us without a single word of warning.

E-scooters, like bicycles and cars, are just tools. 

And while steps can be taken to improve their safety, I don’t know any way of ensuring that jerks like that aren’t allowed to use them. 

After all, it hasn’t worked with motor vehicles yet. And probably never will, until we take humans out of the equation. 

One quick reminder: You’re required to stop and render aid, and exchange ID, after any crash, whether in a car, on a bike or riding an e-scooter. Anyone who fails to do so can be charged with hit-and-run — besides being a total schmuck.

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Speaking of e-scooters, they’re about to make their first big push into the San Fernando Valley

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Here’s one more reason to ride a bike. 

NPR reports that seniors who exercise regularly can have hearts that look 30 years younger

And yes, ped-assist ebikes count, too.

So I can safely say that after a lifetime of bicycling, the rest of me may be reaching its expiration date, but my heart can still hit run circles around hearts half its age. 

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It’s Day 20 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

If you haven’t donated yet to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy, please give today to BikinginLA coming your screen every morning.

You can donate in just moments via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, and the email address on this link.

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

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Local

As expected, the LA city council voted to raise speed limits on over 100 miles of surface streets throughout the city so police can legally use speed guns to enforce the new limits, as required by California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law. Seriously, this law has to be changed. Because Vision Zero is nothing but a bunch of pretty platitudes if we keep increasing speeds to ever more dangerous levels

This is why people keep dying on our streets. In Los Angeles, you can flee the scene after killing a pedestrian with your car — even a successful musician — and walk away with nothing more than probation.  

Congratulations to CiclaValley, who’s so excited about his recent cyclocross win he had to break the story into multiple parts.  

State

The mayor of Encinitas calls for speeding up the timeline for safety improvements on the North Coast Highway following the crash that critically injured bike and pedestrian advocate Roberta Walker.  

A hard-hitting Streetsblog editorial says a debate over a Complete Streets makeover of an Oakland street boils down to whether people in cars are worth more than everyone else.

National

According to a new report from the US Department of Transportation, the problem isn’t that traffic lanes are too small, it’s that fire trucks and other heavy vehicles are too damn big, saying smaller trucks could save lives while doing the job just as well. 

Fast Company relates five steps most cities go through to make themselves better, including stop doing the wrong things, and stop doing the wrong things better. LA is still stuck on that first step. Maybe permanently.   

new report from the Seattle DOT shows driving, bike riding and walking are down, while transit use and carpooling is up.  On the other hand, bike safety is improving, as Seattle bicycling deaths and injuries are down for the year.

An Idaho town is developing bikepacking trails of up to 180 miles to provide shorter alternatives to the state’s premier 600-mile adventure cycling route. 

Now that’s more like it. A Nebraska judge sentenced a driver to 12 to 14 years for the drunken crash that killed a bike rider, and revoked his driver’s license for 15 years. Hopefully, the clock on his license won’t start counting until after he gets out

Atlanta has the same problem Los Angeles has, as streets designed for speed are leading to an increase in bicycling and pedestrian deaths

Candidates for Tampa mayor agree that street safety must be improved for bike riders and pedestrians

International

New figures from the World Health Organization show worldwide traffic deaths rose to around 1.35 million, with people traveling by foot or bicycle making up overt a quarter of those deaths. 

Road.cc explains everything you need to know about MIPS helmets

After a London butcher shop switched from delivery vans to e-cargo bikes, they reduced delivery times and expenses, and cut carbon emissions — while improving the health of their delivery people. 

Authorities in Liverpool, England released new images to show what a Complete Street makeover of a major street would look like — but removed any trace of a bike lane from the pictures

The Polish host city for the UN’s climate change talks now has a new bicycle mayor.  

lack of cycle tracks and safe bike parking keeps people in an Indian city from bicycling — and the cleaner air that would come with it. Sort of like just about everywhere else.

An Australian writer says male cyclists need to lose the attitude and encourage women riders like her

Not surprisingly, Japanese bicyclists have largely shunned a shuttle service that ferries bike riders across a bridge where bicycles are banned. 

Competitive Cycling

The new Continental cycling team sponsored by America’s other ex-Tour de France winner will be called Floyd’s Pro Cycling, after Canada denied permission to name the team after cannabis purveyor Floyd’s of Leadville.

Interesting move by the organizers of the four-stage Colorado Classic bike race, which is dropping the men’s race to focus solely on the women’s race going forward; the race will be the only standalone women’s-only bike race on the UCI and USA Cycling Pro Road Tour calendars.

VeloNews looks at how Ellen Noble overcame crippling anxiety attacks to become America’s top cyclocross racer this year.

Possibly the most successful mountain biker of all time, 45-year old Norwegian cyclist Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, decides to call it a career

Finally…

If you’re riding drunk, try not to fall off your bike— or crashing it when you try to get back on. When chasing volcanoes isn’t thrilling enough, open a bike shop.  

And what’s the point of being a bike snob if you’re just going to like stuff?

Update: Bike rider killed on Winnetka Blvd in the San Fernando Valley

Word is just breaking that a man in his 60’s was killed yesterday while riding his bike in the Winnetka neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley.

The victim was reportedly riding his bike in the crosswalk on westbound Lanark Street crossing Winnetka Ave when he was struck by the driver of a 2001 Toyota Corolla around 6:30 pm.

He was taken to Northridge Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A street view shows a wide four lane roadway on Winnetka, with a center left turn lane and a bike lane in both directions, and an uncontrolled crosswalk on the west side.

No other details are available at this time.

This is at least the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 18th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

A ghost bike ceremony is tentatively scheduled for 9 pm tomorrow night. (Note: This originally said it would be held on Tuesday, but it will be Wednesday, instead.)

Update: According to a source with the LAPD, the victim is an unidentified, 72-year old ebike rider.

He was struck when he rode off the north sidewalk on Lanark into the crosswalk, and was struck by a driver headed north on Winnetka. 

This is yet another reminder of the dangers of sidewalk riding. Drivers often aren’t looking for you there, so you have to assume they don’t see you. Even if you have the right-of-way, it’s often safer to wait until cross traffic has passed. 

And always carry some form of ID. This crash is even more tragic knowing that the victim’s loved ones may have no idea he was killed.

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

Thanks to Zachary Rynew and Steve for the heads-up. Photo of the victim’s ghost bike from Steve.

 

Guest Post: CiclaValley invites you to remember fallen riders at next week’s SF Valley Ride of Silence

Ghost bike for Cairo Castaneda in Studio City

Ghost bike for Cairo Castaneda in Studio City

In the past few years, CiclaValley has become one of the leading voices for bike advocacy in the LA area, with a focus on the San Fernando Valley. Today he offers a guest post on next week’s Ride of Silence to remember fallen bike riders.

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Cycling is a community.

It doesn’t matter how fast you ride, what bike you have or how often you do it. You have a connection knowing that your fellow cyclists share the same joys and anxieties as you.

When news breaks that cyclist has lost their life, you can’t help but think about what that person left behind. Family. Friends. Even children. It is a perilous world, but one where we can use these tragedies to teach us how to live.

Last year, I attended my first Ride of Silence in Pasadena. I had no idea what to expect or how many people would be there, I just thought it was important to go to show my dedication to this community.

There were at least one hundred riders on hand, but what was more powerful than our size was the symbolism coming from riding together in absolute silence. Riding down Colorado Blvd., people took notice not only of our large group, but also the message we were sending without any sound.

I knew from that day one year ago that the San Fernando Valley, with over 1.8 million residents, needed a ride of our own. As I continued my preparations for the ride with LACBC, my planning changed when in early April, Cairo Castaneda lost his life in Studio City at an intersection that is very familiar to me. Danny Gamboa of Ghost Bikes came to place the memorial and since that time, people have continued to pay their respects by adding details making it a beautiful shrine.

This ride will now quietly roll by this site.

The goal is to spread the Ride of Silence, not just to the valley, but countywide as well.

Please come out to support our ride in North Hollywood next Wednesday night on May 18th. It meets at the North Hollywood Red Line Station at 6:30 p.m. If you cannot make it out into the valley, Pasadena’s ride will be meeting the same evening at the Rose Bowl, and you’ll also find other rides in Orange County, Thousand Oaks and Oxnard.

Cycling is a great community because we care about each other. Let’s show everyone else as well.

……….

CiclaValley mentioned other RoS in Southern California.

You can find all the OC rides on Bill Sellin’s site, including rides in Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Orange and Santa Ana; information on the Oxnard ride can be found here, and Thousand Oaks here.

I’ve long had a vision for a Ride of Silence down Wilshire Blvd from Santa Monica to Beverly Hills. Maybe one day we’ll be able to make it happen.

 

Morning Links: Belgian cyclist killed in wreck with race moto; 7 of the 8 most dangerous Valley intersections

It’s finally happened.

After far too many pro cyclists have been hit by race motos and support vehicles the past few years, it seemed inevitable that someone would be killed if changes weren’t made.

They weren’t. And someone was.

Sadly, 25-year old Belgium rider Antoine Demoitie died after falling off his bicycle and being run over by a motorcycle in Sunday’s 2016 Gent-Wevelgem.

The tragedy overshadowed Peter Sagan’s first victory since winning the world champion’s rainbow jersey, after a string of second-place finishes.

Former Belgian national champion Jens Debusschere was also hospitalized after suffering a concussion during the race.

………

It was a very bad weekend for Belgian cyclists, as 22-year old pro Daan Myngheer was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack while competing in a Corsican race.

It took Eritrean cyclist Mekseb Debesay 15 hours and 149 miles to complete Belgium’s 128 mile E3 Harelbeke race after getting lost along the course. But at least he arrived at the team hotel clean and feed, after a Good Samaritan took him home and offered him a shower and clean clothes.

Two Russian track cyclists were just the latest of their countrymen to test positive for the recently banned meldonium; 27 Russian athletes have failed drug tests since the first of the year.

Closer to home, the 32nd Redland’s Classic begins a week from Wednesday with over 300 men and women riders set to compete.

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Local

The LAPD and LADOT are working to improve safety at the eight most dangerous intersections in the San Fernando Valley, but the Daily News only manages to list seven. Evidently, the eighth one is a secret. Or maybe a tie between every other intersection in the Valley.

Arcadia police bust a bike thief using a GPS-enabled bait bike.

 

State

El Centro puts in temporary bike lanes at the city’s the Le Tour de 8th to show riders what’s coming.

An Ohio cyclist pauses along the Central Coast on his ride around the perimeter of the US to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity and Save the Children; he’s ridden 7,300 miles so far with 24 states to go.

A passing bicyclist found a Merced-area bike rider lying injured on the side of the road after hearing the hit-and-run victim plead for help.

Traffic deaths in San Francisco haven’t gone down yet, two years after the city adopted a Vision Zero plan. As noted before, Vision Zero is a long process requiring a dramatic shift in infrastructure, attitudes and enforcement, making quick results highly unlikely.

A Marin columnist bizarrely suggests the billions spent on roadways is proportionately little compared to funding for bikes, and fails to grasp that bike commuting might increase, and roads get a little less gridlocked, if people had safer places to ride to work.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Sacramento bike rider gets hit by a driver, who then assaults him before driving off without exchanging license and insurance information. And the local police respond, in effect, “So?”

 

National

Cheyenne WY will start a seven-station pilot bikeshare program this Saturday; unlike virtually every other bikeshare system in the US, it will be free to use. Meanwhile, cyclists in nearby Laramie are raising funds to build a bike park.

A group of strangers pitch in to buy an Amarillo TX girl a new bike in response to a Facebook post after hers was stolen.

Oklahoma City will host a three day bike festival this summer, including a multi-day pro-am crit.

Chicago advocates think they can convince the city to build an elevated bike path connecting two branches of the Chicago River. Maybe something like that would work for some of the narrower sections of the LA River, as well.

Maybe he should stick to his specialty. A Michigan orthopedic surgeon says always wear your bike helmet to prevent concussions. Except most bike helmets don’t do that.

Writers for a paper in New York’s Lower Hudson Valley get it, saying the state needs to fund Complete Streets to improve safety and access for everyone.

Statistics show New York’s Citi Bike really is part of the city’s transit system, as commuters make up a large percentage of the bikeshare system’s users.

NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson and Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff will join People for Bikes in riding 400 miles to Atlanta starting this Wednesday; they’ll be joined by a pair of women from Trek and Specialized who’ll set their professional competition aside to advocate for safer streets.

A bighearted Florida man fixes up discarded bicycles and donates them to a homeless center; the program he started has given the shelter around 500 refurbished bikes since 2008.

 

International

Former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan tells a Canadian audience that bike and pedestrian friendly cities are worth fighting for. Meanwhile, Ottawa city councilors urge the city to take advantage of new federal funding to speed up construction of bicycling and pedestrian projects.

The Guardian complains that the UK’s new blueprint for cycling and walking is undermined by a laughably small investment in either one; former Olympic champ Chris Boardman agrees, saying he doesn’t feel safe riding in London.

A British sports physiologist says bicycling is the country’s best hope against obesity.

An Indian state plans to improve safety by installing a series of protected bike lanes, although a local cyclist says the only real solution would be fewer cars on the road.

Pakistani women fight back against harassment on the streets with a bike rally in Lahore, after a woman was hit by a group of men in a car while riding to the city’s Critical Mass.

Leaders of the South African metro area surrounding Pretoria call for more diversity in sport cycling after most of the competitors in a two-day mountain bike event were white.

Australian authorities are looking for a driver who deliberately swerved to run down a bike-riding father of two.

 

Finally…

Maybe you’re so slow because you’re too fast. If you chase down and kill the person who stole your bicycle, chances are you weren’t really friends to begin with.

And road raging drivers can now claim the cat made me do it.

 

Morning Links: Another successful CicLAvia, Seleta and Sadik-Khan chat, and 15-to-life in fatal DUI hit-and-run

Another successful CicLAvia is in the books.

And according to everyone I spoke with, it was one of the most successful, and least spandexed, ones yet.

The LA Times offers an early report on the day, along with some great photos. The Daily News also reports on the Valley’s first open streets event — although I hope it was a typo when a police sergeant estimated the crowd at an absurdly low 20,000.

Even the New York Times discovered the Valley CicLAvia.

KABC-7 estimates the number in attendance at 50,000, which is about how many bikes were parked in front of Ventura beer and burger bar Stout. KNBC-4 says it could have been as high as 75,000, which still seems low by at least half.

KCBS-2 was worried about the effect on businesses, although from what I saw, many of the businesses that reached out to CicLAvia participants did well.

Some — especially food and drink purveyors — seemed far busier than they would be on a normal Sunday. Others wisely took the opportunity to promote their businesses in hopes the passing riders and walkers would come back another day; one pet shop may have a new customer after their sidewalk table caught my eye.

Then there were those who chose to close down for the day, effectively offering an FU to the countless thousands passing by.

Meanwhile, my favorite overheard comment was from the rider who was surprised to discover that the Valley is just like LA.

And that, more than anything else, is what I love about CicLAvia.

It gives us a chance to rediscover our own city, in a way we never could by car. And visit parts of this expansive city that some may have never seen before.

It also draws a crowd that looks like us. Perhaps the most ethnically diverse event in what may be the world’s most ethnically diverse city, allowing us to meet and interact with people we might never otherwise come in contact with.

You see, it’s not just that CicLAvia is changing our streets.

It’s changing our city.

And how we see ourselves.

These awesomely customized bikes were waiting for an elevator at the NoHo Red Line station.

These awesomely customized bikes were waiting with their riders for an elevator at the NoHo Red Line station.

These two speed demons kept trying to pass me on my right, as their father ran behind trying to keep up.

These two speed demons kept passing me on my right, and nearly dropping me, as their father ran behind trying to keep up.

Many of the participants were children who wouldn't be allowed to ride on the busy boulevard any other day.

Many of the participants were children who wouldn’t be allowed to ride on the busy boulevard any other day.

LAFD paramedics were riding to route to provide faster response if needed.

LAFD paramedics were riding to route to provide faster response if needed.

Businesses that reached out to bike riders were rewarded with bikes on the sidewalk representing customers inside.

Businesses that reached out to bike riders were rewarded with bikes on the sidewalk representing customers inside.

And more bikes...

And more bikes…

...and still more bikes.

…and still more bikes.

Leave it to me to spot the lone Corgi in attendance.

Leave it to me to spot what may have been the lone Corgi in attendance.

There's no better sign of a successful event that a bunch of bored cops watching the crowds go by. Because that means they didn't have to respond to calls for help.

There’s no better sign of a successful event than bored bike cops watching the crowds, waiting patiently in case they were needed.

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This looks like a great talk, as LADOT transportation maven Seleta Reynolds chats with former New York DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan at the Hammer Museum on Thursday.

The event is free — though tickets are required, and only available at the box office one hour before the talk — and bike parking is available at no charge. A live feed will be available online if you can’t make it in person.

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Convicted hit-and-run driver William Donald Johnson gets 15 to life for second degree murder in the drunken head-on collision that took the life of Beaumont cyclist Phillip Richards in December, 2013.

The judge also tacked on an additional three years for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an injury collision.

……..

Local

Streetsblog’s Joel Epstein says this is not your parent’s LADOT; nice to hear how much the department has changed, but we’re still waiting for those changes to show up on our streets.

LA Times readers react to the paper’s editorial calling for more study instead of a California bike helmet law. Meanwhile, Calbike pens an open letter to state Senator Carol Liu suggesting what she can do with her proposed bike helmet law. No, not that.

A writer for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune explains what it’s like to ride a pedal-assist electric bike.

 

State

Speaking of Calbike, now you can own your very own shaft-drive bicycle company, lock, stock and trademark.

San Diego’s Mission Beach wants bike riders to slow down on the boardwalk.

A cyclist is seriously injured going over his handlebars after hitting a rock on a La Jolla roadway; fortunately, he’s expected to recover.

Morgan Hill gets its first complete street on a trial basis, which appears to be working despite misinformation in the community.

A San Francisco street will get special bike-only traffic signals to protect riders from right turning cars, the second street in the city to get that configuration. Which compares favorably to LA, having exactly zero.

The 25-year old Oakland bike rider who had his wallet stolen while he lay unconscious following a collision is finally awake from his coma and talking; a fund has raised $11,000 to help pay his medical expenses.

 

National

A review of medical journal articles shows what we already knew: bike lanes and bike share programs help fight obesity.

A Seattle thief was arrested after trying to sell the bike he stole back to its owner, who had posted a stolen bike notice on Craigslist.

Efforts are underway to make Anchorage AK a more bike-friendly city.

Cincinnati is rethinking a protected bike lane that no one can seem to figure out.

A New York man is suing the city’s bike share program for $3 million after a faulty fender caused him to face plant after flying over the handlebars.

Claiming New York’s bike lanes and pedestrian plazas cause environmental damage, a former New York Libertarian candidate files suit to stop them; a similar suit in San Francisco held up the city’s bike lanes for several years. Then again, maybe he’s got a point.

Former Olympic Bronze medalist and Tour de France stage winner Davis Phinney — father of pro cyclist Taylor Phinney — is honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for his work battling Parkinson’s Disease.

A Baltimore group designs and builds bikes for people with special needs.

 

International

Britain’s House of Commons will debate stricter sentences for dangerous drivers following the deaths of two cyclists. Maybe they should also consider tougher penalties for bar patrons, after one attacks a cyclist for riding on the sidewalk.

Scottish bike riders will soon see another 30 long distance bikeways totaling 500 miles.

German imams and rabbis will ride tandems together, accompanied by 1,000 Berlin residents, in a unity ride for tolerance. Maybe tandems could finally pave the way to peace.

Three-time RAAM champion Christoph Strasser sets a new 24-hour record, riding 556.856 miles in a single day at a former Berlin airport.

Turns out Bollywood megastar Salman Khan is one of us.

A Dutch traffic engineer calls on Aussie drivers to get a new attitude, while a cyclists’ political party aims to give riders more clout at the ballot box.

Singapore cyclists are accused of road hogging.

 

Finally…

It takes a real schmuck to strong arm a five-year old kid by pushing him off his bike to steal it; big-hearted Sacramento cops and clergy pitch in to get him a new one. A Polish cyclist rode up all 3139 steps to the top of Taiwan’s 101 story Taipei 101 building, the world’s tallest building until just five years ago.

And former pro football player Kellen Winslow Jr. is determined to dominate pro cycling; he’ll need to ride a lot more than 60 miles a day, and weigh a lot less than 215 pounds, just to make the peloton. Let alone win.

 

Valley bike rider says he was threatened by road raging Metro bus driver

A San Fernando Valley bike rider reports being harassed by a Metro bus driver earlier this week.

The rider, whose name I’m withholding, was riding on westbound Burbank Blvd around 9:30 am Monday when he made a box turn onto southbound Valley Circle Blvd, first crossing Valley Circle, then waiting at the light to cross Burbank.

As he was crossing Burbank, the driver of a Metro Bus, which had also been waiting at the red light on Valley Circle, came up behind him and began honking. The driver continued honking as he pulled up within a few feet of his bike, illegally driving in the bike lane behind him for at least another 100 yards.

The rider says he pulled as far as he could to the right curb, leaving the bike lane in an effort to get out of the way of the threatening driver. The bus finally pulled into the traffic lane and went around him, continuing to honk until it had passed.

Despite being shaken up, he was able to get the route number of the bus — 645 — but not the number of the bus itself.

But it wasn’t over yet.

About a half block later, the bus pulled into the bike lane next to the parked cars to let some passengers off. The rider was about 200 yards behind the bus when he saw the doors close, but the bus didn’t move.

Not knowing how long the bus was going to sit there, he started to pass it on the left. But as soon as he approached the bus, the driver cut sharply left, in what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to cut him off.

He’s filed a complaint with the police, as well as with Metro itself.

But without video or eyewitness testimony, there’s not likely to be much the police can do, unless they get the video off the bus itself. And then only if it clearly shows the driver acting in a dangerous or threatening manner.

Meanwhile, Metro considers complaints against their drivers private personnel matters, which means he’s unlikely to ever know if any action was taken against the driver internally. Or if they even took his complaint seriously.

This could make a good case under the city’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, but the bicyclist says he’s not interested in monetary damages. And besides, without witnesses or other evidence, it would be virtually impossible to make a case unless he could get the video from the bus, which would require a subpoena from a lawyer.

Unless someone who saw the events unfold on Monday — such as a passing motorist or pedestrian, or a passenger on the bus — sees this and happens to step forward.

Stranger things have happened.

But at the very least, this incident is now on record with the police. So if the driver does something like this again they will be able to use his complaint to establish a pattern of behavior.

And maybe get this bus driving jerk off the road before he kills someone.

………

The Times says Wilshire Blvd is no place for bikes, especially in Westwood; surprisingly, all the comments — so far, at least — have been pro bike.

Of course, what the paper fails to consider is that most of Wilshire is scheduled to get a shared bus/bike only lane. Except, of course, the section through the high-priced condos of Westwood where it is most needed.

And the reason cyclists dare the dangerous stretch of the boulevard beneath the 405 between Federal and Westwood is that they are prohibited from riding through the Los Angeles National Cemetery, which would provide the safest and most direct route from Westwood and UCLA to Brentwood and points west.

Until that changes, nothing else is likely to, either.

………

Matthew Gomez reports encountering preliminary markings for new bike lanes in East Pasadena, on California Blvd between Rosemead and Michilinda.

………

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says Mayor Eric Garcetti needs to slay the zombie projects before he can be the mayor we voted for. Metro wants your help to update their bikeway map, while the next meeting of the Metro Bicycle Roundtable is scheduled for Tuesday, November 5th from 5:30 to 7 pm. Not exactly bike related, but LA is finally going to consider moving its election date so more people might actually cast a vote for a change. Flying Pigeon considers the success of Portland’s bike corrals. Cyclelicious looks at LA bike advocate Nona Varnado and the LA bike trains. The Bird Wheel tests noseless bike saddles to protect delicate parts. Why bike parking could outnumber car spaces in some new — and not so new — developments. Hollywood races to get competing Lance Armstrong biopics on the screen; maybe they can film the finale on Spring Street now that the green lanes they love to hate are gone forever.

There will be a fundraiser next Sunday, as well as a Saturday bake sale, for fallen bike rider Angel Gonzalez; the 15-year old cyclist was killed in a collision with a Metrolink train last week. San Diego cyclist sues the city, county and state over inadequate bicycling facilities. Central Coast cyclists aren’t sold on Caltrans efforts to fix chip sealing on Highway 1. Menlo Park is the latest Bay Area town to consider an LA-style bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

Will a rapping puppet, not puppy, dog get you to wear a helmet? A new smart wheel provides battery powered pedal assist, offering speeds of 20 mph for up to 30 miles. The Christian Science Monitor takes up the debate over use of the word cyclist; you can guess where I, a cyclist of long standing, stand on the matter. Bike lane rage erupts in Portland. The recent Colorado flooding means Boulder may not host a leg of next year’s Pro Challenge. It was a bad day for bike riders in my hometown. It takes a real jerk to steal a legally blind Colorado boy’s custom made bike a second time. Chicago Streetsblog says the city has a speeding epidemic; actually, pretty much every city does these days. Chicago’s mayor caught riding sans-helmet. The good news is, this innovative Memphis bike lane is being partially paid for by crowdsourcing; the bad news is that it has to be. Charts show New York’s Citi Bike program is taking over the city; now that’s what I call a healthy growth curve. A well-spent 14 minutes watching NYDOT’s Janette Sadik-Khan’s TED talk. Gotham’s Guardian Angels are patrolling three of the city’s parks following attacks on bike riders. Sharrows come to Waynesville NC. Turning a crunched classic frame into a new folding bike.

Why do cyclists shave their legs; I do it for the third reason, myself, having learned my painful lesson the hard way. Interactive map shows where London cyclists outnumber motorists. Groningen shows how bicycles can rule a city. In a chain reaction collision, an Aussie driver rubs his eyes, veers off course and hits a light pole, which falls on a cyclist, fatally throwing him onto the hood of the driver’s SUV. WaPo looks at the Kolkata — nee Calcutta — bike ban.

Finally, repeat after me. When you’re riding your bike through London carrying a concealed switchblade, marijuana and traces of meth, stop for the bloody red light, already.

Important LAPD meeting next week for anyone who lives or rides through the San Fernando Valley

Yesterday I received the following email from Glenn Bailey, Vice-Chair of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee. 

Dear Valley Bicyclists:

At the request of LAPD Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas, commanding officer of LAPD’s Operations-Valley Bureau, an important meeting with Valley bicyclists to discuss and improve the handling of:

  •       traffic enforcement to ensure cyclist safety
  •       hit and run collisions/crimes
  •       bicycle thefts
  •       improving safety on the Orange Line and other bicycle paths in the Valley
  •       safety education for motorists and cyclists
  •       and other topics of interest to bicyclists

The LAPD Valley Traffic Division will be participating and the County Sheriff (Metro Orange Line enforcement) has been invited as well.

You are cordially to invited to attend:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
LAPD Van Nuys Division
6240 Sylmar Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91401

So that there is adequate seating and copies of handouts, please RSVP via email to glennbaileysfv@yahoo.com if you are attending OR may be attending. Also, if you have additional topics you wish to be considered for this or a subsequent meeting, please forward those as well.

I encourage you to forward this invitation to other interested Valley cyclists.

Hope to see you there.

Thank you.

Glenn Bailey, Vice-Chair
Bicycle Advisory Committee
City of Los Angeles

Having worked with both Bailey and Deputy Chief Villegas as part of the department’s bike task force, I can assure you this is one meeting that will definitely be worth your time.

Especially given the subject matter.

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