Tag Archive for Santa Barbara

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which isn’t saying much.

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

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

Not for the last time, either.

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Or leaving your home, for that matter.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Lime supports local bike advocacy, Bicycling calls for racial diversity on bikes, and dogs (and a monkey) on bikes

E-scooter riders have come to appreciate the value of bike lanes as much as anyone.

Now Lime is trying to channel that energy into safer streets for all of us.

The company is launching their new Lime Action program in partnership with a number of advocacy groups across the US, including the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

“As people around the world are taking action to support racial justice, safer streets and cleaner air, we are excited to provide a platform for our millions of riders to turn their passion into action,” said Katie Stevens, Head of Global Policy at Lime. “Lime Action connects our riders with local grassroots organizations making meaningful change in their communities. We’re proud to help riders strengthen their hometowns by getting involved in efforts to create safer, calmer streets, reduce congestion and harmful emissions from car traffic, and fight systemic racism and injustice.”

Lime will provide their partner organizations with access to a number of advocacy tools, as well as directing their users to get involved with local organizations like the LACBC.

However, it light of today’s issues, safer streets in the traditional sense are just part of the fight.

The Lime Action partnerships and organizations will enable our riders to engage on issues that range from those directly impacting their rides, such as safer streets, to making transportation and our cities as a whole more equitable, and to helping make our world more sustainable:

  • Safer Streets: Lime riders are often encountering bike lanes for the first time on a scooter– and quickly discover how street space issues between cars and other modes of transportation can affect their safety. Lime Action will provide a way to translate this awareness into action to support campaigns for safer street infrastructure, including bike lanes, greenways, and cycle tracks.
  • Social Justice: Lime believes in strengthening our cities, and that goes beyond safe infrastructure. That’s why Lime Action partners with local organizations supporting re-entry for formerly incarcerated people, addressing institutional racism, providing career training and meaningful employment, and increasing opportunities for underprivileged youth.
  • Sustainability: The COVID-19 crisis has driven home the impact car travel has on our local air quality, with major improvements to clean air in cities when car use is minimized — but these reductions are already being erased as cities begin to recover. Lime riders already help to contribute to reductions in car use, with a quarter of all rides replacing a car trip, and all trips being powered by 100% renewable energy. Lime Action provides additional ways to support cleaner air by getting involved in local environmental and sustainability campaigns.

Lime also has a program that allows users to donate a small additional percentage to the LACBC and other organizations at the end of their rides.

Although it would be nice to see the company put its money where its mouth is, by committing to donate a few cents from every ride to the advocacy groups they partner with, which could provide a steady revenue stream for groups that desperately need it.

But this is a great start. Because scooter users need safe and fair streets as much as we do.

And we can definitely use their help to demand change from our elected leaders.

Meanwhile, a writer for Medium says the coronavirus may mark the turning point to profitability for scooter companies, by providing a safer alternative to transit.

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An editorial from Bicycling calls for support for national and local bicycling organizations working for more racial diversity.

Here in Los Angeles, they mention the Bahati Foundation, Legion of Los Angeles, and Alterra Home Loans Cycling Team in Houston and LA.

All of which are worthy of your time, money and efforts.

But I’d also include local standouts like East Side Riders Bike Club, which is feeding hundreds of people who might otherwise go hungry this summer, and South LA’s Black Kids on Bikes, just to name a few.

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He gets it.

After celebrating the newly carfree State Street pedestrian plaza, and calling for everyone to wear masks when they go there, a Santa Barbara columnist had this to say.

In all this forced solitude and isolation, people are rediscovering the simple joys of one of mankind’s greatest inventions: the bicycle. Not to state the obvious, but there are few better ways to get out and about while maintaining a safe social distance. Hazards and Bicycle Bob’s report their bike repair waiting lists longer than Trump’s Tulsa rally reservation list — only there are no K-Pop agitators and saboteurs involved. Bikes that sell for $500 flew out the door a month ago. Electric bikes are everywhere.

With so few cars on the road, the streets are safer. For a while, every day felt just like Sunday morning.

He goes on to criticize plans to ban bikes from the plaza, as we noted a few days ago.

And ends with this line.

There’s hope. Humans, after all, remain the only species that can ride a bike or snap their fingers.

So someone should tell him about this.

And this.

And this.

And yes, this.

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You’re invited to Ride Against Racism this Sunday to support Black Lives Matter and protest police brutality.

https://twitter.com/VelTheWonder/status/1276186111186853890

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Former basketball great Bill Walton is teaming with marathon champ Meb Keflezighi to host another BikeForHumanity virtual bike ride this July to benefit several charities, including No Kid Hungry.

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This is what it looks like to get run down from behind when a close pass isn’t.

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Rapper and producer DJ Mustard’s son is one of us now.

Although someone should tell him to be careful around walls.

https://twitter.com/RapCentury_/status/1275970424476663809?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1275970424476663809&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Freal923la.iheart.com%2Fcontent%2F2020-06-25-mustard-teaches-his-son-to-ride-a-bike-it-didnt-go-as-planned%2F

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Unfortunately, there are far too many bikeways like this in the US, too.

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Former pro Phil Gaimon is back with another video, explaining five common bike collisions and how to avoid them, no matter how man wheels you travel on.

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Local

Somehow we missed this ranking of America’s best and worst cities for your heart. And for a change, Los Angeles scores well on a national list, checking in at a relatively healthy 20.

The LA Times recommends nine Los Angeles trails to ride your bike. Although they take a very expansive view of LA, including anything north of San Diego and Imperial Counties. 

Speaking of The LA Times, they join a long list of news outlets asking if the pandemic-fueled bike boom will continue. Short answer: At least as long as the pandemic does.

Downey’s mayor now has a 26-year old, bike-riding, YIMBY challenger for her city council seat.

This is who we share the road with. A woman walking her dog on a Palmdale bike path was killed by a driver who lost control while fleeing from sheriff’s deputies.

 

State

The California Transportation Commission, not to be confused with Caltrans, approved $100 million in Complete Streets funding, and began a discussion of equity in transportation.

San Luis Obispo bike riders rode 8.46 miles on Wednesday to honor George Floyd and show solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

 

National

FloBikes offers advice on how to avoid common bicycling injuries. The ones that happen without falling off.

WTF. Police in Maine report a pickup truck creepily followed an eleven-year old girl as she rode her bike. But never mention that the truck may have had a driver.

Six urban rides to explore Boston for the next time you find yourself in Beantown.

A Rhode Island bike shop is celebrating its 100th anniversary; the shop was founded two years after the last pandemic, and its anniversary comes just in time for the next one.

Life is cheap in upstate New York, where even killing an off-duty cop riding a bike with his son merits nothing more than a traffic ticket.

New York advocates are making progress in efforts to remove the NYPD from traffic enforcement and return responsibility for enforcement to the city’s Department of Transportation.

After years of ticketing and confiscating bicycles from immigrant delivery workers, New York City has finally gotten around to legalizing ebikes. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they’ll be giving all those bikes back and refunding their money.

New York continues to lap Los Angeles, as it opens up normally congested streets so people can dine al fresco, unlike their Left Coast counterpart.

A Delaware letter writer says the problem isn’t people parking their bikes illegally, it’s that the city didn’t put bike racks where people need them.

Superstar Columbian singer Maluma is one of us too, going for a Miami bike ride with a friend.

 

International

Road.cc offers advice on whether you should buy a tandem, and how. Hint: Only if you like to ride with someone else.

Gear Patrol says one of the best bike saddles is from a company you’ve never heard of.

Take a virtual bike ride along a London DIY pop-up bike lane.

A London paper offers advice on basic bike maintenance for new riders.

An Indian woman who couldn’t even ride a bike four years ago is now a virtual RAAM champ. And she’s not a small woman, which should give hope to people everywhere.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pope Francis has joined people around the world in expressing his support for Alex Zanardi, as the Paralympic champ fights to recover from a horrifying handcycling crash; doctors are worried that Zanardi, who already lost his legs in a car racing crash, may lose his eyesight or suffer brain damage.

The Dutch cycling federation considers how to move forward this summer after the country lifted its ban on competitive sports.

 

Finally…

Not many people can claim they sold bikes to Bruce Springsteen and Richard Nixon. Who needs a clown car when you’ve got bikes?

And Tour de France champ Egan Bernal has clearly mastered the most important bike skills.

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

Morning Links: The bi-coastal bikelash goes on, and good news on the medical and track racing fronts

The bikelash goes on.

Sometimes, even from people who profess to be cyclists themselves.

Take this writer from Goleta, just outside Santa Barbara.

Please.

He starts with a suspicion of a grand conspiracy to force drivers out of their cars.

According to him, road diets, bulb-outs and bike lanes are planned, not to improve safety or provide transportation options, but to make driving so miserable that people have no choice but to give up on their cars and take to bikes.

Never mind that if bicycling somehow miraculously reached the level of ridership found in the Netherlands, it would still only amount to 27% of all trips.

He insists that those behind it are those damn progressive politicians and traffic department bureaucrats, environmental advocates, and the “well-funded, politically powerful Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition.”

Which would no doubt come as a surprise to the SBBC. And make it one of the few well-funded bike advocacy groups anywhere.

Or maybe the only one.

Then he pivots to the standard complaint that bicyclists don’t pay for the lanes they ride on. Which is based on the false assumption that drivers do, rather than being the most heavily publicly subsidized form of transportation.

The obvious solution, in his mind, anyway, is licensing cyclists.

Even though the money raised by licensing is unlikely to bring in enough to even cover its own operating costs. And even though bike riders already pay more than their share for the roads through their own taxes.

Naturally, he also complains that bike riders break the law. Except for him, of course.

And unlike motorists, who would never, ever dream of speeding, driving distracted or making an unsafe lane change in a vehicle capable of doing far more harm than even the worst scofflaw cyclist.

So the law needs to crack down on cyclists, he insists. And we all need to carry liability insurance, because maybe someday, in the bike utopian world he so fears, a distracted cyclist could cause a massive bike pileup that forces a poor, innocent driver off the road.

No, really.

It’s worth the read if you need a good laugh.

Unlike the New York Post’s latest attack on former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

In what passes for an exceptionally auto-centric, yet pedestrian review of her acclaimed new book, a writer for the paper goes on the attack, less for what she wrote than what she wrought.

He complains about “her ruinous tampering with historic traffic patterns” as she sought to turn the city into one of the world’s great bicycling cities, “everyone else be damned.”

Even though surveys consistently show most New Yorkers support the city’s bike lanes and the changes she helped make, and traffic fatalities have reached historic lows.

He goes on to complain that public plazas around Times Square are so crowded and overrun with tourists and hucksters that New Yorkers “assiduously” avoid it. Sort of like Yogi Berra’s famous proclamation that “No one goes there’s anymore. It’s too crowded.”

And in his eyes, moving parked cars away from the curb to form protected bike lanes makes the streets look like parking lots. Unlike before, when the same cars were far more attractively parked on the same streets.

Somehow, those cars also make it harder to see what’s on the other side of the street. Because they were apparently transparent before being moved a few feet to the left.

He tops it off with the assertion that the city’s bike lanes are only used by food delivery people most times of the day.

Never mind that bike commuting doubled in just five years, and more people are riding that ever before. Let alone those 22 million Citi Bike riders, who have to be riding somewhere.

He ends by complaining that the damage done by Sadik-Khan’s reign is with us to stay.

For which most New Yorkers are undoubtedly grateful.

And the rest of us can only envy.

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If you haven’t already, take a few moments to sign the petition asking for all new or used cars sold in California to leave the lot with a temporary license plate.

It doesn’t take much effort watching traffic to realize that too many cars are on the streets with no front plates — or any license plates at all — making them virtually impossible to identify in the event of a hit-and-run or other traffic crime.

And enforcing the law requiring front and back plates on every vehicle seems to be a very low priority.

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Exciting news on the medical front, as stunt cyclist Martyn Ashton takes his first mechanically assisted steps with a new hi-tech walker, three years after he was paralyzed from the waist down.

And after an injection of neural cells taken from his nose, a Polish firefighter can now ride an adaptive tricycle, four years after he was paralyzed from the chest down after a stabbing.

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US women win their first-ever gold in team pursuit at the track cycling world championships; Temecula’s Sarah Hammer was part of the winning team, and qualified for the Rio Olympics in another event.

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Road raging drivers are one thing. Getting chased by an ostrich is another.

And he really needs to learn to hold his line.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Amy Wong of Women on Wheels.

Russell Crowe goes mountain biking on Sunset Blvd, while the Brit press goes gaga over his biceps.

Burbank residents beg for safety improvements on Edison Blvd, including a proposal to install bike lanes to tame traffic.

A Pacoima man was shot to death Thursday night, apparently while riding his bicycle.

The next LACBC Sunday Funday ride with roll this Sunday, with a pre-St. Patrick’s Day themed ride through DTLA led by board member Patrick Pascal.

 

State

It’s been over 49 days since the Marines impounded a number of mountain bikes after their riders strayed onto the Miramar Marine base in San Diego, with no resolution in sight.

A Silicon Valley bike commuter creates a website to provide consumers with more information about insurance companies in an effort to force them to improve their customer service.

 

National

Here’s your chance to work in bike advocacy, as the Bike League is hiring a new Education Director and a Member Services Coordinator.

The Tucson truck driver who plowed into a group of cyclists while allegedly high on meth is being held on $1.5 million bond. Which somehow seems too low.

Two-thirds of Iowans support proposed legislation that would require drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders. Although someone there clearly doesn’t like cyclists, as a popular Des Moines bikeway is sabotaged with tacks.

Chicago is building three curb-protected bike lanes, with an eventual goal of 50 miles of low-stress bikeways.

The Washington Post argue that the federal government should not reclassify bikeshare as mass transit programs, which would qualify it for Fed transit funding.

 

International

The new Audi A4 has lights on the doors to warn drivers if a bike is coming to help avoid doorings. Because actually looking before you open the door is just too hard.

A Vancouver business site says instead of investing $5 million in bikeshare, the city could have bought bicycles for about 200,000 children in low-income households. Which kind of misses the point.

A Toronto lawyer says cars are becoming the weapon of choice, yet drivers who use them to attack others still get their licenses back.

Nice piece on bicycling in Victorian England, which suggests that the bike-riding men of the day were the original hipsters.

Belgian rider Femke Van den Driessche is just 19 years old, and facing a lifetime ban for motor doping.

An Aussie writer says the only thing the country’s mandatory bike helmet law protects you against is fines. Meanwhile, an Australian news network does its best to whip up a panic over e-bikes.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old Kiwi cyclist refuses to let a collision with a trailer keep him off his bike.

 

Finally…

The next driver who runs you off the road could have two left feet; no, literally. Ford wants to save you from those embarrassing moments when you can’t unclip from your pedals.

And I think we can all agree BikinginLA deserves a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. So who has an extra $30,000 lying around?

 

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