It still sucks.
Although maybe a little less.
Despite the city’s best efforts — that would be Los Angeles, not Beverly Hills — the dangerously convoluted intersection of Burton Way and San Vicente and La Cienega Boulevards near the Beverly Center remains a confusing and dangerous place to ride a bike.
Writing for Flying Pigeon, Richard Risemberg notes that Los Angeles has added a bike lane along northbound San Vicente, with sharrows directing cyclists riding through to Burton Way.
The southbound side, which evidently is within the Beverly Hills city limits, currently has none. Nor am I aware of any plans to paint any bike lanes anywhere within the city other than the two already in existence, including one that matches up with LA’s lanes on Burton Way.
As it turns out, I found myself riding home from a meeting Downtown on Wednesday night, so I gave the newly restriped intersection a try.
To be honest, the bike lane on San Vicente was a significant improvement. While you still need eyes in the back of your head to watch out for speeding drivers on the overly wide lanes, I was able to ride more comfortably on the street than I ever have before — especially since parking is confined to an access road, eliminating the risk of dooring.
The problem comes in attempting to continue through the intersection on San Vicente or navigate the turn onto Burton Way.
Either of which requires contending with busy traffic on the multi-laned intersection, while somehow avoiding vehicles jockeying for position to end up reasonably close to where they want to go.
Meanwhile making the turn onto Burton Way requires crossing over three traffic lanes, then waiting for the light to change on sharrows in the middle of the street — which disappear in the middle of the intersection where you need them most to let drivers know you are, in fact, in the right place, and not just riding in the middle of the damned intersection for the hell of it.
It was bad enough at 10 pm when light traffic allows drivers to turn San Vicente into their own private speedway. I can’t imagine attempting it in the unforgiving traffic at rush hour.
I applaud the city for trying.
But unless and until bike-specific signalization is installed to give riders a head-start before motorized traffic is released, this will remain a dangerous place for bikes to be.
And I will continue my long standing practice of avoiding the intersection entirely by turning left at Colgate, then right on Holt to illegally, but safely, cross over to westbound Burton.
After a cyclist on a group ride is illegally ticketed by LA County Sheriff’s Deputies for the unforgivable crime of riding abreast in an unsharable traffic lane on PCH, Cycling in the South Bay teams with the LACBC’s Eric Bruins to win the right riders should have already had.
And got the ticket dismissed when the officer fails to appear in court.
CicLAvia-style Open Streets events will soon be spreading throughout LA County, including the long-rumored San Fernando Valley CicLAvia and a possible 50-mile(!) CicloSGVia through the San Gabriel Valley.
LA’s Bicycle Advisory Committee — the city’s only official voice for bike riders — meets Tuesday at Pan Pacific Park. Meanwhile, the next community meeting to discuss the inexplicably troubled North Figueroa bike lanes is scheduled for June 12th.
A new Facebook group has been formed to Bike the Vote in Los Angeles.
Turns out Angelenos are sort of fit, after all.
The LAPD offers advice on how to keep your bike from being stolen.
Plans to save the old Riverside Drive Bridge for bicyclists and pedestrians goes down in flames.
Beverly Hills’ Parks and Recreation director says local kids have no safe places to ride a bike in the city. Then again, adults don’t have many, either.
Long Beach gets new sharrows by the shore.
The Newport Bay Conservancy won’t back a ban on cars on the Back Bay; oddly, they didn’t seem to have a problem restricting bike use, though.
San Diego cyclists raise $425,000 for cancer research.
The road-raging San Diego driver who seriously injured a cyclist on a charity ride is bound over for trial. The aptly named Douglas Lane, who failed to remain in his, could face up to three years behind bars.
Riverside County authorities ask for the public’s help in finding the hit-and-run driver who took the life of an Eastvale bike rider.
In attempting to reopen a long-settled matter of law, a professor argues that San Francisco’s bait bikes are a form of entrapment designed to target poor people. As long as those poor people happen to carry bolt-cutters with them.
Cyclelicious notes “the sun was in my eyes” is the not-so-secret password of the vehicle code. Oddly, it only seems to work for drivers, though.
Motor vehicle crashes cost every American an average of nearly $900 a year. And $871 billion to American society.
Bicycling is the fastest-growing mode of commuter travel.
Elly Blue examines what it really costs to ride a bike.
What would it cost to make the whole country as bikeable as Minneapolis.
Pro cycling scion Taylor Phinney has a second successful surgery to repair injuries he suffered during Monday’s national road championship.
A London writer says police inaction jeopardizes every cyclist.
A writer for London’s Telegraph asks if bike racing is the world’s worst spectator sport.
Adelaide cyclists cause gridlock by riding the streets at rush hour; clearly, all those cars had nothing to do with it.
Seriously? An Aussie woman calls the country’s helmet law sexist because it forces women to suffer helmet hair.
And eHarmony offers 15 reasons to date a cyclist. I’ve always wondered why riders aren’t in greater demand, since anyone who can spend several hours in the saddle isn’t likely to collapse in exhaustion after five minutes of usuallly less strenuous exercise in bed. I’m just saying.
Please forgive the lack of Morning Links yesterday; between Wednesday night’s meeting followed by a bad bout with bouncing blood sugar levels, writing just wasn’t an option. Hopefully today’s extended version will make up for it.