Tag Archive for Santa Monica

Morning Links: Driving on Ballona Creek, SaMo sued over Lyft scooter trip-and-fall, and December die-in at City Hall

When is a bike path not a bike path?

When it unexpectedly turns into a roadway for lost drivers.

Josh Hamilton forwarded this photo he took Tuesday morning on the Ballona Creek Bike Path in Culver City, along with the following note.

Longtime reader and wanted to share something that happened this morning.

Turns out there is nothing preventing cars from entering the bike path at Sepulveda Blvd (and minimal signage) and 2 people in a car accidentally drove onto the Ballona Creek Bike Path. They were driving slowly when I stopped and spoke with them near the pedestrian bridge at the school next to the path.

I assume they were foreign tourists as they were in what seemed like a rental car with out of state plates and they didn’t speak English. They mistakenly had Google Maps set to bicycle directions. They were concerned and clearly meant no harm, but it’s clearly an issue if drivers can just enter the bike path on accident or on purpose.

Then again, it seems to be a problem other places, too.

Photo of the unprotected entrance to the Ballona Creek Bike Path from Google Maps; photo of car on bike path by Josh Hamilton.

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Santa Monica voted to extend their e-scooter and bikeshare program another six months, until it can be replaced with a more comprehensive program.

Even though an 88-year old woman is suing Santa Monica, Lyft and the Santa Monica Community College District after suffering multiple hip, pelvis and elbow fractures when she tripped over a Lyft scooter that had been illegally left in a no scooter zone in front of the school.

It had been left on the sidewalk next to a passenger drop-off zone where the city had instituted a scooter “no deployment zone,” but allegedly failed to enforce it.

I’ve long supported micromobility to reduce the numbers of cars on the street and vehicle miles traveled.

Long being a relative term, since they first hit the streets just two years ago.

But inherent in that support is the need to use them responsibly. Which does not include leaving them where they block sidewalks or other places where people can trip on them.

A successful micromobility program demands safe places to ride the devices, as well as safe places to park them.

We need a complete, comprehensive network of bike lanes throughout every city in the LA area, along with secure, in-street bicycle, bikeshare and scooter parking on every block.

Whoever left that scooter there in violation of the rules, whether it was the last person to use it or someone who moved it there, is who’s really responsible for harming an elderly woman.

And they’re extremely lucky that’s all it was.

Instead, every resident of Santa Monica will be on the hook for that one person’s carelessness.

Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the heads-up.

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This time they gave us plenty of notice.

So mark your calendar for December 3rd, when LA bike riders will hold a die-in on the steps of city hall.

Let’s there’s at least one person on the ground for each of the 28 people on bicycles killed in LA County so far this year — half of them in the City of Los Angeles.

And those numbers will continue to grow until Vision Zero finally becomes more than just a feel-good slogan for our elected leaders.

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A woman was injured when she was left crossed by a motorist pulling into a driveway during last weekend’s Tour de Foothills in Upland.

No word yet on how serious her injuries are.

Thanks to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew and Erik Griswold for the video.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Alleged drunk driver Carlo Adrian Navarro has been charged with murder for the Halloween night crash that killed an entire family in Long Beach.

The 20-year old man faces up to life in prison for the crash that killed a mother, father and their three-year old son as they were trick-or-treating.

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Thanks to the Beverly Hills PD for keeping the streets safe from people driving without a valid sofa license.

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The Orange County Bicycle Coalition sends word that half the Seal Beach Blvd bike lanes will be closed for the next six weeks.

Speaking of which, Orange County didn’t quite turn out as promised.

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

Someone has been smearing shit under the handlebars of DC bikeshares.

A road raging London driver screamed at a bicyclist to get in the bike lane, apparently unaware that bike riders don’t have to use them in the UK. Or maybe he was just pissed off about having to pay for a tiny fraction of it.

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

Seriously, if you’re taking up more than one seat on the train, move your damn ass if someone else needs one.

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Local

No surprise here. Uber is taking Los Angeles to court to prevent getting banned over their refusal to share use data with the city.

UCLA police are cracking down on scofflaw scooter users.

A USC editor talks about his bike commute, and says LA’s bikeability could use some improvements. Meanwhile, a writer for the school paper says distracted bicycling has to be banned on campus. Just wait until the New York Times tells him about distracted walking.

Bruce Willis is one of us, taking up bicycling after he sold his motorcycles and donated the profits to support active and retired soldiers. Although you can’t win with the British tabloids, who criticize people who don’t wear helmets and ridicule them if they do.

Get a ticket riding in the South Bay, and you could find yourself in bike traffic school.

It’s a tad too late for this month. But you might want to mark your calendar for next month’s full moon ride in Long Beach.

 

State

Cycling News offers photos from Peter Sagan’s three-day Sagan Roadie-Oh! in San Diego last weekend.

A board member with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition says criticism from a man who failed to get elected to the board was off base, because he simply failed to convince enough people to vote for him.

San Diego mountain biker Nate Marroquin will walk into med school next summer, despite breaking his back in a fall that left him paralyzed last year.

A bike-riding serial killer will face trial for attacking a number of mostly homeless people in San Diego, killing four and injuring several others.

A Ventura neighborhood will get new sidewalks and bike lanes.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a trailer from a Fresno bike club, along with the mountain and cross bikes inside.

A San Jose columnist says yes, green lanes are important.

Sad news from the Bay Area, where a San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision while riding his bicycle. Let’s hope he pulls through, and makes a fast and full recovery.

San Francisco is making plans to lower the speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph on narrow residential streets, even though that requires changing or repealing the state’s deadly 85th Percentile Law.

Berkeley considers instituting a sort-of Idaho Stop Law by asking police to de-emphasize ticketing riders who treat stops as yields, and red light like stop signs.

 

National

RideApart considers what tools you should carry on your bike.

Liberal think tank Center for American Progress says all-of-the-above transportation strategies won’t work. And what has to go is the country’s over-reliance on motor vehicles.

That’s more like it. A Denver driver gets some real justice for right hooking a bike rider, when a judge sentenced her to 50 hours of community service — to be served with a bicycling organization.

The Chicago Tribune offers tips one how to choose the best foldie. Oddly, they recommend a Schwinn, which has got to be one of the few times that’s happened since the ’60s.

Streetsblog says don’t blame the victim after a woman was killed when she was right hooked by a garbage truck.

Call it the two-wheeled Indy 500. IndyCar racer Tony Kanaan is one of us, riding 500 miles in a typical week. He considers the 56-mile bike leg of a triathlon a light day.

Speaking of Indy, a student at Indiana University has started a petition to remake Breaking Away with a female cast; the movie is based on the university’s annual Little 500. I’m all for it if Dennis Christopher they let reprise his role; Dave Stohler would a hell of a bike coach. And yes, I signed the petition.

A Rhode Island construction company is threatening to build apartments on a new bike path, claiming the state doesn’t own the land it built it on.

The New York Times recommends ped-assist bikes to help new mountain bikes gain confidence and fitness.

The NY Times also piles on with the victim blaming by offering tips on how to stop your distracted walking. Unlike distracted driving, no one has ever been killed by a distracted pedestrian. And there are few, if any, stats to support the idea that there has been a rash of distracted walking deaths.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bike a Pennsylvania special needs man used to get to work.

Bicycling checks in with ex-Tour de France winner and new Amish Country hemp mogul Floyd Landis.

Sure, that’s credible. A Florida hit-and-run driver who killed a man riding his bike claimed he didn’t know he hit anyone. And just happened to buy some spray paint and repaint his truck.

After someone stole the bicycle a retired cop and stroke survivor used as his only form of exercise, kindhearted Florida sheriff’s deputies pitched in to buy him a new one.

 

International

A new study confirms that helmet laws drive down bicycling rates — but also finds that helmet use corresponds with a higher rate of upper body injuries. Before you throw your helmet away, bear in mind that correlation does not equal causation. And a wrecked shoulder is better than a wrecked skull.

That’s more like it. A Calgary man could face up to life in prison for the meth-fueled hit-and-run that killed a 15-year old boy and seriously injured his friend as they were riding their bikes; prosecutors waived 11 other charges against the man, who was driving a stolen vehicle without a valid driver’s license.

Seriously? The British government is allowing thousands of wild duck eggs to be destroyed because they might, potentially, grow up and walk in front of a bike rider someday.

Meital Weiss is one of us, too. She’s a 12-year old Israeli girl paralyzed from the waist down since she was 10 months old, who will celebrate her bat mitzvah by trading her wheelchair for a handcycle and ride to raise funds for the rehab hospital that cared for her. And that makes her a celeb — and a hero — in my book.

Aussie researchers consider why people fail at riding a bicycle, and how we can learn to fail better. And how you can tell where someone is in their commitment to ride by where they keep their bikes.

A Hong Kong bikeshare firm suffers a timely system breakdown, which just happened to make free bikes available to students and protesters.

Your next Chinese-made ebike could cost $425 and fold down to the size of a very large sheet of paperAlthough that looks more like a scooter to me. And doesn’t have any pedals.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Australia, where five-time Paralympic medalist Kieran Modra was killed in a collision while he was riding to meet family members for a bike ride.

Eighty-three-year old French cycling great Raymond Poulidor passed away on Wednesday; he had eight Tour de France podiums in his 15-year career in the ’60s and early ’70s, but never wore the yellow jersey.

Cycling legend Eddy Merckx says he could have been a goner following his mid-October bike crash, if not a nurse who happened to be passing by.

 

Finally…

Forget that business degree; now you can major in bikes. You may never be a world champ mountain biker, but at least you can own his bike.

And riding your bike the wrong way on a freeway is not the recommended way to escape from the cops.

Even if it works.

 

Morning Links: Not so bikeable Los Angeles, Times endorses Lundquist in CD12, and dodging distracted bicyclists

The latest rankings of America’s most bikeable places are out.

And this year, my Colorado hometown only ranks second, behind nearby Boulder CO, and one spot above Eugene OR.

Somehow, I’m sure they’ll get over it.

People for Bikes, the nonprofit bike industry-sponsored advocacy group the compiled the rankings, explained their methodology this way.

To compile the data, PeopleForBikes crunched Census figures, analysis from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, plus the group’s own analysis of city planning information, maps, and surveys from community members in cities.

“We focused this year’s efforts on engaging more cities to improve accuracy of ratings,” PeopleForBikes director of research Jennifer Boldry said in a statement. “Better accuracy provides a more valuable tool that helps cities benchmark, set goals and measure progress.”

The list changes year to year to account for traffic injury rates, ridership figures and public investment in creating bike lanes and other infrastructure.

Bikeable Santa Monica was the highest rated SoCal city, checking in with an eight-way tie for 11th with a 3.1 overall score; a group that also included Santa Barbara.

San Diego was a notch behind at 3.0, while Ventura and Goleta both scored a 2.9.

And where did the not-so-bikeable City of Fallen Angels rank?

Over 180 notches below the leaders, with a lousy 1.7. And as CiclaValley points out, a significant drop from last year’s 2.6.

Not that we’re going the wrong way or anything.

But who knows?

Maybe if LA’s leaders get serious about Vision Zero and building out the mobility plan, and lose their irrational fear of angering the NIMBY traffic safety denying segment of LA’s driving public, we might work our way back up to 1.9 — or maybe even a 2.0 — in no time.

It could happen.

On the other hand, at least we’re not Detroit.

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The LA Times endorses astrophysicist Loraine Lundquist for LA City Council in CD12 to replace Mitch Englander, who decided he didn’t want the job anymore; she also got an A rating from Bike the Vote LA.

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It may not be the holiday season, but generosity still carries the day.

A player for the Denver Broncos donated 70 bicycles to kids at a Denver elementary school, in hopes it will help the develop healthy habits for a lifetime.

A former foster mom continues to provide new bicycles, locks and helmets to Ohio foster kids through her Bike Mom charity, providing more than 11,000 bikes over the past 11 years.

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

A Florida bike rider was injured when he ran into a fishing line that had been strung across a path, slicing his throat.

Two 16-year old Japanese boys face attempted murder charges for stringing a rope across a roadway, seriously injuring a 79-year old woman on a scooter.

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Local

A transit site says LA Metro is hosting a host of LA Bike Month events.

Santa Monica police with run one of their periodic bike and pedestrian safety enforcement days this Friday. And this time, they’re throwing scooter violations in the mix, as well. So ride to the letter of the law as long as you’re in the city.

The tenth annual Tour of Long Beach will roll this Saturday to benefit kids suffering from cancer. Meanwhile, the city is stepping up Visio Zero efforts after 31 people were killed in traffic collisions in Long Beach last year.

 

State

Vallejo police released body camera footage of a police officer shooting and killing a black man for the crime of riding a bicycle without a headlight, after the bike rider allegedly grabbed the cop’s flashlight during a struggle.

 

National

No surprise here. A pair of new studies conclude that the way the news media reports on bicycle crashes reflects a subtle bias that helps shift blame to the victim.

Following the introduction of their high-end mountain and gravel bikes, Walmart is jumping into the road market with a $2,300+ road bike available only online. Although if they had a better sense of humor, they would call it L’Viathon.

Amazon’s Waymo self-driving cars may have finally learned to recognize people on bicycles.

Common sense has carried the day in Oregon, where the legislature has passed a bill to overturn a bizarre court ruling, making it clear that bike lanes extend through intersections, even if the paint doesn’t.

He gets it. A Washington traffic columnist says bicyclists might be safer if they didn’t have to stop at stop signs.

Famed framebuilder Roland Della Santa was found dead in his Reno home on Saturday; he was 72.

A Nevada public radio station asks whether bike riders are safe on the state’s streets.

Sad news from Utah, where an 11-year old Rwandan refugee died just hours after she was placed in a foster home; she was allowed to ride her bike without supervision, despite knot knowing the area, and was killed in a collision.

60-year old Kansas man is given a free car so he doesn’t have to bike to work anymore. Which doesn’t sound like a happy ending from here.

New York’s presumptive presidential candidate mayor is urged to forget his quixotic quest to become president, and refocus on the city’s Vision Zero problems.

This is why you always ride carefully around pedestrians. A New York woman has died weeks after she was struck by an alleged red light running bike rider.

Over 200 bike riders turned out to form the funeral procession for a beloved New Jersey bike shop owner whose goal was to save the world with bicycles.

 

International

Your next ebike could make its own electricity.

A Dutch intern living and biking in Vancouver says maybe Amsterdam isn’t the best model to follow due to rage, chaos and clashes in the biking mecca.

A Canadian woman tries biking to work, and finds it wasn’t as easy as it seems.

Residents of a Montreal suburb are threatening to move because of plans to replace parking spaces with a bike lane.

A new Scottish study shows that active commuting can cut your risk of heart disease and early death, whether or not you’re overweight.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. An eight-day self-guided bike tour from Venice to Croatia.

China’s 29th International Bike Fair kicked off in Shanghai on Monday.

 

Finally…

Even sunglass-wearing dogs have to deal with bike theft. Don’t get mad and bust out the windows of a bike lane-blocking school bus with your U-lock — especially since we all have to pay to get that shit fixed.

And those damn distracted drivers…uh, bicyclists.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the video

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Thanks to Matthew R and Theodore F for their generous donations to help support this site.

Donations of any amount are always welcome. And appreciated. 

 

Morning Links: Scooter rider killed in SaMo, others injured; dangerous drivers; and Marathon Crash is back

It’s been a rough few days in Santa Monica.

Starting with the death of a man who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Santa Monica’s Ocean Park neighborhood Friday night.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding a privately owned e-scooter headed south on the 2700 block of Third Street, when he apparently fell off and was struck by the driver’s car.

The driver initially stopped but fled the scene before police and paramedics arrived.

That was followed by another crash in front of the Santa Monica Public Library on Sunday afternoon.

A teenaged girl described as an experienced bicyclist suffered a broken jaw when she was struck by the driver of a Metro bus while riding in the bike lane on Santa Monica Blvd.

Unfortunately, no other details are available.

David Drexler came upon the scene shortly after the crash, and took photos of the scene.

Unfortunately, things didn’t get any better on Monday.

Evan Burbridge came across the aftermath of another scooter rider who struck by a driver.

I just saw the aftermath of a woman hit by a car here in Santa Monica.  She was riding north on 14th across Olympic and the car was turning left onto Olympic.  My coworkers actually saw the incident, and she apparently went onto the driver’s windshield and broke it.  By the time I got there, all I saw was the ambulance driving her away and the mangled scooter on the center median.  

The frustrating thing is the conversations I had with people after the incident.  A woman at Tacos Por Favor who saw the accident said we should ban all scooters.  I informed her that it sounded like it was the car’s fault, and that cars cause hundreds of deaths every day in America.  Then, my coworkers used the classic victim-blaming argument, “she should have been wearing a helmet.”  

I try my best to explain the facts to people, and point out their biased perspective on the incident, but it’s so deep seeded that I don’t think people will ever let it go.

Then again, things weren’t much better in Los Angeles, where Josh Steich, aka Kierkegaarden Cop, reported seeing the aftermath of a crash involving a bike rider on his commute through Eagle Rock Friday evening.

That was followed by another crash involving a pedestrian a few minutes and several block later.

No word on the condition of either victim.

Let’s hope all the victims make a full and fast recovery. And offer our deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim of Friday’s night’s scooter crash.

Photo is of a broken Lime scooter on my block in Hollywood.

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Today’s common theme is justice for dangerous — and too often deadly — drivers.

An unlicensed Colorado driver got six years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a woman riding her bike; she had a string of traffic violations dating back to 2005.

A drunken, hit-and-run driver was sentenced to up to 15 years for killing an Indiana bike rider; she was over twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.

And a Florida drunk driver got a well deserved nine years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider. He fled the scene, leaving the victim lying in the street, where he was run over by another driver; it was the second crash that actually killed him.

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The war on bikes continues. Except this time, it’s another bike rider who kicked the victim off his bike, leaving him in critical condition.

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Local

Downtown News looks at the 15 new drop zones for dockless bikes and e-scooters in DTLA.

CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo continues his one man war against any form of transportation with less than four wheels, as he attempts to ban e-scooters from Chinatown in DTLA, as well as the rest of his district.

LAist wants to hear your complaints about parking in Los Angeles. And yes, that includes parking in bike lanes.

Los Feliz residents are calling for improvements on deadly Hyperion Avenue, two years after they first raised the alarm — and before a woman was killed by an out-of-control driver as she stood on the sidewalk. Needless to say, they’ve never received a response.

The Urbanist talks with LA chief design officer Christopher Hawthorne about the disastrous green bike lane blunder on Spring Street in DTLA.

A spokesman for the twice-weekly Rose Bowl Ride says Pasadena’s recent safety improvements are just an attempt to kill the 60-year old ride, and do nothing to make it safer for pedestrians and casual bicyclists.

Pasadena Now looks forward to this weekend’s Bike MS:Los Angeles, as 500 bicyclists are expected to turn out for the annual century ride, with a goal of raising $750,000 for research.

It looks like the unofficial LA Marathon Crash Ride is unofficially back this Sunday, after a failed attempt to make it legit. And more expensive.

State

A writer for the San Bernardino Sun explains how people should drive around hoverboard users, which basically boils down to use a little caution and courtesy, and don’t be a dick — on both sides.

San Francisco extended a protected bike lane in record time following the death of a bike rider, making advocates wonder why they can’t do that all the time.

National

I want to be like them when I grow up. A pair of bighearted, 82-year old Tucson bicyclists help refurbish used bikes for kids, as part of a group that gives away over 300 bicycles a year.

Yes, you can still race a Penny Farthing in Texas.

A Wisconsin lawmaker proposes expunging the record of first-time drunk drivers in an apparent attempt to keep dangerous drivers on the road. Seriously, what could possibly go wrong?

A Chicago area official was lucky to escape without serious injuries when he was run down by a teenage driver who didn’t bother to scrape the frost off his windshield, even though he was riding on an eight-foot shoulder; the driver walked with a couple of tickets.

Chicago bike riders share their stories of being attacked fists, fluids and motor vehicles after confronting drivers parked in bike lanes.

New Jersey legalized ebikes and e-scooters, with a maximum speed of 20 mph and 19 mph, respectively.

International

It may be counterintuitive, but docked bikeshare systems and dockless bikeshare can flourish in the same city. Which offers hope for LA’s Metro Bike.

A tech industry analyst says forget bicycling, the micromobility revolution will be motorized.

Forbes highlights five exotic bicycling adventures, from a mountain bike safari from Zululand to Mozambique, to a coast-to-coast crossing of Sri Lanka. If you happen to have an extra several thousand dollars lying around.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker skillfully dismantles the latest misguided proposal to require licenses and liability insurance for bike riders in the UK.

A Scottish woman got her bike back six weeks after it was stolen after she confronted the teenager riding it, with the help of her boyfriend and a security guard.

Turns out the US ambassador to Greece is one of us, too.

A Maltese bike advocate says it’s very clear that whoever wrote the country’s bicycling strategy doesn’t ride a bike.

Competitive Cycling

Once again a young cyclist has been killed in collision; 19-year old Stefan Loos died when a race marshal mistakenly sent a group of riders off the course, where they collided with a delivery van.

Finally…

Who needs an ebike when you can power one with compressed air? Your next bike used to be a wine barrel.

And yes, you can be charged with DUI, whether or not you’re on four wheels.

Even if you’re on four hooves.

Morning Links: Bike rider critical after PCH crash, become an LCA, and police search for bicycling SaMo shooter

A bike rider was critically injured on PCH in Pacific Palisades on Tuesday evening when a driver somehow lost control of his car , and overturned in the parking lot.

No word on the identity of the victim, or whether he was riding on PCH or in the parking lot when the driver crashed into him.

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Here’s your chance to be a League Certified Cycling Instructor, as Bike SGV is hosting a training session next month.

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Santa Monica police are looking for a bike rider who pulled out a gun and shot a driver in a liquor store parking lot last November, after a confrontation with the occupants of her SUV.

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Scottish stunt rider Danny MacAskill races a horse and finishes in front, despite having two fewer feet.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines Metro’s bike ban on 1st Street in Little Tokyo and the mostly ignored 2,700-foot detour, saying it may not be legal, and is just another example of Metro’s repeated failure to fix known problems.

Here’s your chance to design your own LA parklet. Hint: More bike corrals, please.

Good piece from LA Bike Dad, who discovers the hard way that he and his kids aren’t made of sugar, after getting caught in Saturday’s expected downpour while riding their bikes.

CiclaValley goes riding on the Santa Clarita Truck Trail, also discovering the hard way that it was a lot longer and steeper than expected.

A Burbank man was busted for burglary after police spotted him riding a bicycle with no hands while carrying a large box at 3:45 am.

State

San Diego police are looking for the hit-and-run driver who ran down a woman riding a bicycle in Mission Bay. Note to SDPD: Bike riders can ride in a crosswalk, but aren’t required to. Or expected for that matter.

San Jose’s bike-riding mayor is working from home as he recovers from his recent collision.

San Francisco Streetsblog asks readers where they want to see the next protected bike lane. My choice is Los Angeles.

Once again, an alleged drunk driver fled the scene of a crash with the victim embedded in his windshield. The Sacramento driver faces numerous charges, while his skateboarding victim is recovering from shattered bones in both legs, as well as injuries to her arm and neck.

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to make your dog the best riding partner ever.

Tech Guide takes a close-up look at the new bicycle air bag vest. Just one more example of upping the bike safety arms race because people can’t be expected to drive safely.

An Illinois woman is under arrest for embezzling money from the bike shop where she worked as a bookkeeper.

Boston’s bike hating columnist gloats over the recent decline in bike commuting rates, insisting it’s time “for public officials and policy makers to turn their backs on the militant, self-righteous bike lobby and its fantasy of a world in which drivers defer to cyclists as the rightful kings of the road.” Um, right.

This is why you don’t try to stop bike thieves by yourself. A New York man was slashed with a knife when he tried to stop two thieves who were trying to make off with an ebike behind the restaurant he works at.

A Virginia bike club is crowdfunding donations to build a new bike path.

Three Florida kids gave up their own Christmas celebration so their dad could ride a bike across Florida to raise funds to fight domestic violence.

International

Massive trucks and SUVs may make the people in them feel safer, but increase the danger to everyone else.

That’s more like it. Toronto distracted drivers will now face a $1,000 fine and three points off their license. California charges a measly $20 for the first offense — and zero points. Recently retired former governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill which would have toughened fines for California’s almost universally distracted driving laws.

A British convict’s taste of freedom didn’t long. He was rearrested in a nearby town the day after he stole a prison bicycle and rode out the gates.

A Rwandan teenager has found his American Dream working as a bike mechanic after spending 13 years in a refugee camp.

Bikeway maps show just how much the Dutch government cherishes bicycles and the people who ride them.

Competitive Cycling

Yes, there really is a US Open Fat Bike Beach Race, which is expected to double in size for this year’s race.

Finally…

Your next bike could be a tall bike or chopper — or both. If you’re going to murder a mob enforcer in a bike-by shooting, be sure to wear a hi-viz vest to call more attention to yourself.

And this new motorcycle can really fly.

No, literally.

Morning Links: LA wins best bike cities race to bottom, the beauty of bicycling, and update on SaMo bike crash

Bicycling is out with their bi-annual ranking of the best bike cities in America.

Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t win.

Our bayside neighbor to the north is second, the same position San Francisco held last time.

My hometown slid up to third, while Seattle was a surprising choice for the top pick among America’s best bike cities after ranking fifth in 2016.

Then there’s LA.

The City of Angels, which ranked 24th on the best bike cities list last time around, didn’t come in quite so high this time.

In fact, LA didn’t make the list at all.

Then again, simply not making the list would have been an improvement for a city that was rated as the worst bike city in America.

That’s right, we’re number one on Bicycling’s list of America’s best bike cities. From the bottom.

An honor, if you want to use the term, that is well-deserved as city leaders have seriously backslid in their support for bicycling in Los Angeles.

Let alone safe streets.

This is what Peter Flax had to say on the subject, after he was asked to write the story for Bicycling.

Los Angeles should be heaven for cyclists. The weather is beyond dreamy—downtown L.A. has gotten less than four inches of rain so far this year. The city is an enormous, mostly flat grid of wide boulevards with plenty of room for smartly placed bike infrastructure. The traffic is literally the worst in the world, making it all the more reasonable to cover shorter trips by bike. The metro area boasts postcard-perfect oceanfront riding and spectacular climbing in legendary spots like the Malibu hills, Palos Verdes, and the San Gabriel Mountains. Every day, I see hundreds of people pedaling around town with smile on their faces, despite the challenges the city throws at them.

That’s the good news.

It all sounds quite lovely until you start to contemplate all of the cyclists who have been killed—and ask yourself why. In the past five years alone, more than 180 riders in the metropolitan area have been killed by people driving motor vehicles. During the last three years that national crash data has been compiled (2014-2016), only three U.S. states have seen more cyclist fatalities than just L.A. County—Florida, New York, and California as a whole.

The roads themselves are a disaster. The cruelest irony is that the city is spending money on them. But instead of investing in the quality infrastructure, millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent to pay out civil lawsuits brought by severely injured cyclists or the families of killed riders. The sad truth is that in L.A., it’s more politically expedient to pay seven-figure civil damages than to fix all the crappy roads and build the infrastructure that keeps people from getting hurt or killed.

 

There’s more, sadly. A lot more.

Looking to sustain L.A.’s broken and ineffective transportation system are a cadre of well-funded organizations like Keep L.A. Moving, who are fighting any safety project that might remove a single driving lane from the urban grid. In their minds, one or two cyclist fatalities a month are acceptable collateral damage to keep a big car-centric city properly lubricated…

This angry populist rebellion resonated far beyond the borders of Playa del Rey. L.A. City Council members saw the political might wielded by angry motorists. So did Mayor Garcetti, who has aspirations for national office and wants to shy away from unpopular controversies. And since the bike lanes in Playa del Rey got ripped out, the already glacial pace of making streets safer practically came to a stop in L.A.

It’s not exactly pleasant to read.

But it’s worth your time, because Flax nails it, accurately calling out the multitude of problems we face. And the shameful lack of political support for making the changes we so desperately need.

Maybe this will serve as a wake-up call for our bad publicity-shy public leaders. Or maybe embarrass them just enough to actually do something.

At least enough to get us back onto the list. Even if we have to settle for the 50th spot, as America’s worst best bike city.

Which would be a hell of an improvement over where we are now.

Meanwhile, Long Beach did make the list, checking in at 27th, up one from their previous ranking.

Here’s the methodology Bicycling used to determine the rankings.

Thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.

………

It was a busy day for Peter Flax; if the last story left you feeling down, take a few minutes to read his take on everything that’s beautiful about bicycling.

Trust me, you’ll feel better.

………

Sort of good news.

In answer to yesterday’s request for more information about a bike crash at 23rd and Navy in Santa Monica, City Manager Rick Cole responded that the victim was “severely, but not critically injured.”

Not exactly good news, but better than we had feared.

Let’s keep out fingers crossed for a full and fast recovery.

………

Speaking of bad news, I somehow missed the news that an unidentified bike rider was killed in Stanton on Monday. The driver initially fled the scene, but returned a short time later.

I’ll try to catch up with the story later today.

………

The Los Angeles Fire Department offers a video profile of LAFD’s bike-riding paramedics at LAX, who use their bicycles to respond to emergencies faster than they could by motor vehicle.

………

Local

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the best way Angelenos can support climate action is to stop driving so much. And support improved transportation and density.

Streetsblog says California needs more bike diversion programs, after Bike SGV’s Andrew Yip helped a poor immigrant get into one when he faced a choice between a $240 fine or jail for riding on the sidewalk.

 

State

A writer for Medium says today’s hipsters have a long way to go to match San Francisco’s mustachioed high wheeled cycling fanatics of the 1890s.

 

National

The good news is bicycling fatalities in the US declined 8.1% last year. The bad news is they’re still too damn high, with an average of over two deaths a day, every day.

Lucky us. A new study shows, on average, every 13th driver that passes you on your bike is driving distracted.

Forbes says shared mobility data offers an opportunity to reshape cities.

Cycling Industry News refutes ten bike fit myths. I can personally testify to #4; bicycling is the only thing that held my balky right knee together as long as it did. Even now that I’ll need to get it replaced in the coming weeks, I can still ride with minimal pain, which is more than I can say about walking. Or sitting.

Speaking of that best bike cities list, Portland received its worst ranking ever, coming in at number five. Which is still 19 spots higher than LA ever has.

A Grand Junction CO newspaper urges donations to a Colorado high school marching band that was stiffed by an annual bike tour. If you’ve got a few extra buck lying around, there are worse things you could do with it.

A Chicago bike rider and a pedestrian were injured when a teenage boy hopped behind the wheel of an unlocked car and speed off, crashing into several parked cars in the process.

Caught on video: A Chicago bike rider complains about private parks security racing down a multi-use path in an SUV to chase riders around tight corners — especially when the ones being chased can simply turn around to get away.

A Massachusetts city has removed their requirement for bicyclists to hug the curb, allowing bike riders full use of the lane, like other city’s in the state.

A long list of drivers are still allowed in New York’s Central Park, months after they were supposedly banished.

 

International

Cities around the world are facing the question of how to adapt to an aging population, and what an age-friendly city would look like — including safer streets, improved transit and making bicycling accessible to older people.

A new foam liner from Vittoria and Tannus promises to replace your tubes and make your tires puncture proof.

A “secret” cyclocross fondo through the British Columbia countryside is gaining in popularity, despite being unannounced and not having any maps.

Putting the “mounted” back in Mounted Police, Canada’s famed Mounties are learning that patrolling by bicycle helps officers improve community relations and stop street crime.

An annual London charity ride takes you up to 90 miles from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle to raise funds for The Prince’s Trust. The perfect royal ride for the Anglophile in your life.

File this under you’ve got to be kidding. Just riding a bicycle through a chain of outdoor malls in the UK could result in prison time, thanks to a recent court ruling.

Understanding your Emotional Quotient can improve your performance on your bike, according to a British lecturer.

CityLab says Paris could be a model for how cities can combat climate change, as the city works to reduce motor vehicle use.

Dutch phrases you need to know to ride a bike in the Netherlands.

No bias here. A Reuters story says Africa is locked in traffic as the “poor man’s transport,” aka the bicycle, is ignored. Which feeds into the narrative that people only ride bikes because they can’t afford to drive, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nebraska resident and new US cycling team member Ashton Lambie has gone from riding Kansas backroads to setting a world record in the 4,000-meter individual pursuit.

French cyclist Sylvain Chavanel reveals what he learned in 19 years in the pro peloton.

 

Finally…

Who needs an SUV when you can have a Sports Utility (e)Bike? That feeling when the city steals your bike to replace the rack.

And keep an eye on Craigslist; someone stole Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France trophy.

Morning Links: Uber & Lyft join Bird & Lime in SaMo, San Gabriel River path closure, and Metro bus squeeze play

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the three-day Labor Day weekend.

Which means the streets will be filled with drivers leaving work early this afternoon to get a head start on the weekend. And the drinking — and smoking — will start soon after, and continue through Monday. 

Standard holiday rules apply. Assume every driver you see on the streets is under the influence. And those who aren’t are more likely to be looking at their phones than looking for you.

So ride accordingly.

Ride your bike safely and defensively. I want to see you back here bright and early Tuesday morning. 

Photo by Michael Spadoni from pexels.com

………

Cooler heads prevailed in Santa Monica, which chose existing e-scooter providers Bird and Lime to participate in a year-long pilot program, along with newcomers Uber and Lyft.

Yes, that Uber and Lyft.

Each company will be allowed to provide up to 1,000 scooters and 2,000 ebikes in the coastal city, with 750 scooters allowed in the initial rollout.

Uber appears to be the only one of the four which currently has ebikes available with their Jump bikes. Presumably Lyft and Lime will follow suit, though it’s unclear if Bird has any interest in getting into the bikeshare business.

Let’s hope Los Angeles, which was supposed to send out cease and desist letters to both Bird and Lime this week, is paying attention.

Because this is how a smart city does it.

………

A look at data in Charlotte NC shows that on a level playing field, dockless e-scooters are kicking dockless bikeshare’s ass, with nearly four times as many trips taken on scooters.

However, that could change once e-bikeshare is added to the mix.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg takes a look at Uber’s new Jump scooter.

………

Mark your calendar if you ride the San Gabriel River Bike Path in Long Beach.

The city is working with the Los Angeles Department of Public Works on a plans for a one-day closure of the bike path between 2nd Street and 7th Street (California State Highway 22) next month.

The closure is tentatively set for September 17, 2018 from 8 am to 5 pm; plans should be finalized in another week or two.

Thanks to Long Beach Mobility & Healthy Living Programs Officer Michelle Mowery for the heads-up.

………

CiclaValley got caught in a squeeze play with a Metro Bus in DTLA. Something that should never, ever happen.

Period.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says the MyFigueroa project opened to muted applause, thanks to too many compromises and what ended up as just a semi-protected bike lane, due to a lack of political support and opportunities for public involvement.

Speaking of Streetsblog, Joe Linton notices LA’s incredible disappearing sharrows on 4th Street, and Rosewood Ave. Personally, I consider sharrows a failed experiment; used correctly, they’re good for wayfinding and positioning riders outside the door zone, but little else.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride will meet up with twenty immigration rights advocates riding from Seattle to San Diego for a tour of Long Beach this Sunday.

A Santa Clarita magazine says the city’s Heads Up safety campaign may be working, with collisions down 12% over the first five months of this year.

Writing for the Long Beach Post, Brian Addison suggests the planned expansion of the 710 Freeway won’t be good for the surrounding communities. Or for people on foot or bikes, despite the promises.

 

State

The California legislature has passed AB 2989, which will limit dockless e-scooters to 15 mph, and remove the ridiculous helmet requirement. Now it’s on to the governor’s desk, where we have to worry whether we’ll get Jerry Browned once again.

Streetsblog urges a no vote on Prop 6, which would remove the state’s new gas tax to pay for desperately needed roadway repairs, calling it “an incoherent and childish effort to distract you from Donald Trump.”

A San Diego website recommends the top four things to do on an ebike in the city.

Life is cheap in San Luis Obispo, where a distracted driver walks with probation and community service in the death of a world-class triathlete, thanks in part to the kindness and forgiveness of the victim’s family. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

San Francisco will bring back e-scooters after a four month ban, but gives the contracts to a couple of firms most scooter users have never heard of.

A columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle looks at the arrest of Rich City Rides founder Najari Smith for playing his music too loud and allegedly resisting arrest while leading a group ride, aka Biking While Black. His supporters will rally for Smith at a court hearing scheduled for this morning on the noise violation charge. No doubt he’ll be surrounded by countless drivers arrested in Oakland for bumping loud music from their cars. Right?

Frustration boiled over at a meeting to discuss the death of an Oakland man who was killed in a collision while riding his bike, as family members complained about a lack of information and the slow pace of the investigation.

 

National

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske starts a conversation on legal liability for group rides.

The booming popularity of ebikes is outpacing attempts to regulate them, as only 10 states have passed legislation to reclassify them. One of those ten is California, which should get credit for pioneering the regulations the others have copied.

Bike Snob goes e-scooting in Portland, and finds them “both highly convenient and laughably benign.” And wonder’s what’s not to like.

Ride carefully out there. A Baltimore bike rider is in critical condition after a collision with another bicyclist.

No bias here. After two bike riders are killed in separate hit-and-runs in a matter of hours in a Kentucky town, the local police urge riders to wear helmets and hi-viz instead of telling drivers not to hit people, and if they do, stop.

In an attempt to keep dockless bikeshare bikes from cluttering the sidewalks, DC makes the situation worse by requiring that they be locked to a bike rack or street sign at the end of each ride, which will greatly reduce the amount of available bike parking for everyone else.

A bicyclist is passing through Louisiana on her way to Key West in an attempt to be the first woman with a prosthetic leg to bike across the US.

After a Lousiana city councilman was killed when his bike was run down from behind by a negligent driver, the parish where the crash occurred naturally responds with a series of punitive, victim-blaming proposals aimed at the people on two wheels, instead of the ones in the big, dangerous machines.

 

International

No bias here, either. A British Columbia letter writer says no one uses the new bike lanes, and those who do are usually towing carts full of stolen goods.

An Alberta letter writer patiently explains that when a bike rider hits a dog, or anything else, they’re more likely to fall over than ride away.

Ottawa police stress that a woman was injured when she fell on her own while riding on a separated bike lane, and hit a passing truck when she fell. If someone can fall off their bike and hit another vehicle, it’s passing too damn close. And it could have been the close pass that caused her to fall.

A suspect has been arrested in the ebike hit-and-run that left a London woman critically injured as she was trying to cross the street. Security cam video clearly shows the victim dart out into the path of the rider, something that has been left out of the previous press reports. Just like with many motor vehicle crashes, if the bike rider had remained at the scene, there probably wouldn’t have been any charges. Or hysterical tabloid stories, for that matter.

A heroic Brit jumped into a moving van and wrestled the driver’s feet of the pedals to stop him after he ran over a bike rider, then led bystanders in pushing the van up a hill to get it off the victim, who was hospitalized in serious but stable condition.

It’s three years behind bars for an English driver who critically injured two bike riders because he was having an argument with his girlfriend — via video chat while driving.

Like most early car makers, Britain’s Aston Martin was founded by bicyclists. Which means James Bond could have been one of us, too.

A UK letter writer brings out every cliche in the book to call bicyclists an “absolute menace.

British advocacy group Cycling UK calls on the government to address a fear of cycling, as a new study shows fears about road safety is the main reason that keeps people off their bikes.

A new French study looks at whether there’s really any benefit to drafting uphill. And concludes there’s more than they thought.

Another ride to add to your bike bucket list — traveling from the German birthplace of the bicycle to the gateway to the Black Forest. Then again, word is the Netherlands isn’t bad, either.

A business writer says South Africans are becoming addicted to overseas cycling events.

An Australian study says it could save the country $380 million dollars a year if motor vehicle occupants all wore bicycle helmets. Remember that if a driver gets on your case for not wearing one. And before you get on mine, yes, I always wear a helmet when I ride, but believe grownups should be able to make that decision for themselves.

A Chinese volunteer teaching in Africa took the long way home, riding nearly 10,000 miles from Benin to the Forbidden Kingdom.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Kiwi cyclist reports he got death threats after getting angry with a teammate while winning gold in mountain biking at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.

In today’s mostly spoiler-free Vuelta event, a rider goes from last place to first in the space of 24 hours.

 

Finally…

If it’s divided from the roadway, pained green and has little pictures of a bicycle stenciled on it, it may not be intended for motor vehicles. Sharrows do not a bike boulevard make.

And when you can’t remember the name of the foreign dignitary visiting your country, just call him “the bicycle guy.”

 

 

Morning Links: Mostly blank bike guide to SaMo, bike-riding actress hit in Marina, and a road-raging hell spawn

Bike travel site Bikabout offers a bike tourism guide to Santa Monica.

Or maybe not, since most of the site is still appears to be vaporware.

And clicking one beachfront bike path photo just takes you to to the Denver Art Museum.

………

How to tell when someone doesn’t ride a bike.

After actress Maura Tierney was hit by a driver while riding her bicycle in Marina del Rey, a blogger wonders how it could have happened since the street has a bike lane.

Maybe someone could explain it to her.

………

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

Someone sabotaged a Boston-area bike path with razor blades, which slashed a rider’s tire. And could have resulted in serious injuries.

Police in the UK are looking for two men on a motorcycle who tried to push a man off his bicycle.

………

Local

Downtown News says the MyFigueroa Complete Streets project is finally ready to roll. Although as Curbed points out, it still has some major bugs to work out.

CiclaValley urges you to turn out for a public workshop for safety improvements on Winnetka Ave, including a proposal to add a mile of bike lanes that offer genuine connectivity for a change.

Good news for mountain bikers, as the Gabriel National Recreation Trail through the Arroyo Seco canyon reopens this weekend, nine years after it was destroyed by the flooding that followed the Station Fire.

 

State

Nice gesture. A cycling club in Coronado bought pizza for the local fire department in appreciation for the care they gave an injured rider.

A San Luis Obispo woman complains that a group of retired NIMBY homeowners were allowed to dominate a recent planning commission meeting, and urges the city to approve the bikeway they came out to oppose.

Lyft is building a geofence around a pair of San Francisco streets to prevent drivers from stopping in the bike lanes to pickup or drop-off passengers.

Vox explains the sudden proliferation of e-scooters across the US — despite their sudden disappearance from the streets of San Francisco — saying there’s a lot of latent demand for a quick and cheap way to get around.

It probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that half of the injuries treated at San Francisco General Hospital result from traffic collisions; bicyclists accounted for 16% of those hospitalization costs, while pedestrians made up 44%.

Bay Area residents are urged to attend a court hearing this Friday to support Rich City Rides founder Najari Smith, who was arrested and jailed for a weekend over what appears to amount to a charge of Biking While Black.

 

National

Volunteers in Austin, Texas are refurbishing hundreds of yellow bikeshare bikes that were donated by Ofo when it pulled out of the city. Although someone might want to explain to Spectrum News that there’s a difference between bikeshare and rideshare.

A Missouri writer points out that bike tourism is a powerful economic driver. Especially when they can keep the people on bikes away from the other kind of drivers.

That didn’t take long. Just two weeks after an Indiana town installed a steel planter-protected cycle track, someone has already vandalized them with spray paint.

Bro country star Luke Bryan is one of us, doing 35 – 40 mile rides with former pro Robbie Ventura and America’s most famous ex-Tour de France winner.

A Pitt University student reminds drivers that bike lanes are for bicyclists, which should be obvious. But obviously isn’t.

A New York driver claims squatter’s rights, claiming he has the right to park in a parking-protected bike lane because he was parking there before the lane was striped.

Unbelievable. A Philadelphia driver won’t be charged with killing an 11-year old bike rider after rolling a stop because he didn’t actually hit the victim, who crashed into the side of the car after he was cut off.

Baltimore conducts a road diet to build a bike lane through a park to connect two hard-to-reach neighborhoods; one bike advocate describes it as taking away a lane of traffic and giving the space back to the neighborhood.

Speaking of Baltimore, the Maryland city may be a trendsetter, shutting down its troubled bikeshare system in favor of dockless bikeshare and scooters. It’s hard to imagine how most bikeshare systems will survive without significant sponsorship revenues when dockless options offer greater convenience at a significantly lower price.

A Mississippi city is about to get the state’s first two-way bike lane, which will pick up where an existing bike path leaves off.

A three-day Mississippi bike tour helps a group of older Florida riders discover that bicycling is the fountain of youth.

Already on trial for intentionally running down and killing a Florida father as he rode on a bike path, the driver repeatedly interrupted the judge to confess to killing another rider in a crash authorities say never happened.

Residents of a Florida town say they’d rather have wider bike lanes than sidewalks along a 50 mph coastal highway. Except state law won’t let them do that.

 

International

Wonder Woman is one of us, too.

A writer for Bicycle Times tells his tale of riding 6,500 miles across South America.

More support for the safety in numbers theory, as a London study concludes roads with the most bike riders are 13% safer.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A wealthy British woman was found dead from a heroin overdose, after she was unable to get over killing a 17-year old bike rider eight years earlier.

A 30-something working mom shares what she learned by biking 500 miles across France.

A bike advocacy group met with civic leaders in Prague for the first time, after the courts threw out a ban on bicycles in the city center.

Life is cheap in Japan, where a distracted driver gets a suspended sentence for killing a 77-year old bike rider, despite having her smartphone in one hand and a drink in the other at the time of the crash.

They get it. A Vietnamese website calls for separate roads for bicyclists and pedestrians to ease traffic in increasingly congested cities.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly offers our first spoiler-free report from the Vuelta, while Vincenzo Nibali says he just hasn’t got it this time after fracturing his back in the Tour de France.

An Indian cyclist describes what he went through to become the first rider from his country to finish the over 5,600 mile Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme ultra-stage race.

Another Continental team folds after losing its sponsor.

 

Finally…

It’s hard to be number one when you have to stop for number two. When you want to go vegan on your bike, because you’re so tired of strapping on those leather arm warmers and that bacon bike bell.

And maybe he really is the spawn of hell. At least when it comes to people on bikes.

 

Morning Links: Koretz proposes ban on e-scooters in Los Angeles, and keeping drivers on the road until it’s too late

In a move that probably shouldn’t have surprised anyone, LA’s self-proclaimed environmentalist councilmember has called for a temporary ban on dockless e-scooters.

Yes, Paul Koretz, the councilmember who singlehandedly blocked desperately needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd — as well as on other major corridors throughout the Westside — has taken action to force people of their e-scooters and back into their cars, rather than allowing a viable first mile/last mile solution to take root.

This is the same councilman who has called for a Climate Emergency Mobilization Department. Yet can’t seem to see the logical disconnect in fighting alternative forms of transportation while paying lip service to climate change.

Then again, he doesn’t seem to see any problem with blocking increased density, either.

Evidently, he’s all for emergency action to address climate change, as long as it’s in someone else’s district.

Never mind that, as someone else pointed out, blocking bike lanes is just climate change denial in action.

Then there’s this disconnect, from the report by KFI radio.

“When we had a hearing in our Transportation Committee, at the time I had seen about three of them and I thought it wasn’t a big deal,” Koretz said. “I’ve probably seen a thousand since just on Beverly Boulevard where I live, and 100 percent have no helmet usage. … I’ve seen probably 20 go by with double on the scooter, which is very dangerous. On the commercial streets, everyone is illegally on the sidewalk.”

Which was followed by,

As for the public’s reaction, Koretz said he believed most residents want the scooters off the streets. He said his office has receive hundreds of complaints about them in recent weeks.

Yes, that is the scientific way to gauge public opinion, especially since people who support the scooters aren’t likely to call to say so without some compelling reason.

Like a stupid proposal to ban them, for instance.

And how is it that “hundreds of complaints” somehow outweighs thousands of users — by his own observation?

As for Koretz’ “better safe than sorry” concerns, there’s this from the Hollywood Reporter’s overview of the response, legal and otherwise, to e-scooters in the LA area.

Scooters have shown to pose safety hazards while operational and parked. According to injury attorney Catherine Lerer of L.A.’s McGee Lerer & Associates, who has written extensively about electric scooters, the top two seen in her office are people hurt when a scooter malfunctions — when a brake line is cut by disgruntled L.A. residents, for instance, or the scooter’s main post collapses — and pedestrians tripping over the scooters. “I’ve gotten calls from elderly people exiting businesses…people leave them right outside the front door,” Lerer notes.

Doesn’t exactly sound like a disaster in the making. Especially when one of the leading causes of injuries is sabotage by scooter-hating NIMBY terrorists.

The proposal was seconded by San Fernando Valley Councilmember Mitch Englander, who has also proposed a ban on dockless bikeshare until the city can work out a permitting process.

This follows the misguided bans on e-scooters in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills; the latter banning even riding bikeshare bikes or e-scooters through the city, which most likely violates state law.

Of course, this kind of hysteria about a new form of transportation is nothing new.

And something tells me Koretz would have been one of the first to call for a ban on bicycles had he lived in the 1890s. Although he probably would have been fine with the Model T chasing everyone else off the roads.

Of course, Los Angeles could take a more rational approach, like working with Lime and Bird to address any issues while they work the bugs out, as Culver City and Long Beach are doing.

But that would make too much sense.

Especially for an environmentalist who seems determined to keep Angelenos in their smog and greenhouse gas-belching cars.

https://twitter.com/LAMetroBlueLine/status/1024492126694866944

………

As long as we’re talking about e-scooters and dockless bikeshare, let’s look at a few more stories on the subject.

Curbed offers everything you need to know about renting e-scooters and dockless bikeshare in Los Angeles. While you still can, that is.

When a Portland-area website went fishing for complaints about e-scooters, what they got were complaints about cars.

And a St. Louis website gives Lime scooters a test ride, and comes back with 13 things they learned. Including that they’re fun as, well, you get the idea.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a driver gets just 45 days behind bars for killing a van driver while speeding, tailgating and driving recklessly — despite receiving 40 tickets over the last 20 years.

And a Tuskegee University football player will never play the game again, after his leg was severed when a friend’s car he was helping to jump was hit by a driver with a “criminal history dating to 1989 (that) ‘shows a pattern of driving offenses and felony arrests.'”

Just two more examples of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late.

………

More on the American couple killed in a terrorist attack in Tajikistan on Sunday, who had quit their jobs to bike around the world.

The couple from Washington, DC had written about their trip on a blog that sadly will never be finished.

And authorities blamed the attack on members of the blacklisted Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan.

………

Local

As we noted last week, fresh green bike lanes are finally going down on Santa Monica Blvd in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, which had fought the lanes for nearly a decade before surprisingly embracing them last year.

Today Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies will step up enforcement of traffic violations that put bicyclists and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So ride to the letter of the law until you leave their jurisdiction.

 

State

A Cambrian man accidentally became the first bike rider to travel Highway 1 in Big Sur after it reopened last month.

San Francisco approves plans for a curb-protected bike lane the promises to be the safest in the city.

Sad news from Del Norte County, where the CHP is looking for a hit-and-run driver who killed a woman as she rode her bike; the victim wasn’t carrying ID and still hasn’t been identified. One more reminder to always carry some form of identification when you ride; I never leave home without my RoadID, which doubles as a medic alert bracelet.

 

National

A writer for Forbes says cities must take advantage of the opportunities presented by bikeshare.

Bloomberg says Uber and Lyft may not be the solution to traffic congestion, but they’re probably not the cause, either.

Bicycling profiles BMX star Nigel Sylvester, saying the “rebellious superstar is breaking all the rules,” and doesn’t need your permission, thank you.

A writer for Fox News blames “big-spending liberals” for pushing Seattle bike lane and streetcar projects that have been plagued with cost overruns.

A Washington writer gets a detailed education in why many bicyclists prefer to ride on the highway, when there’s a perfectly good bike path nearby. Which should be required reading for planners before they’re allowed to design any offroad path.

Evidently, Los Angeles isn’t the only city where councilmembers have the power to block bike lanes. A Chicago bike rider was killed when he was doored on a street that was supposed to have a protected bike lane, which was halted by the local alderman.

After Ofo pulled out of White Plains NY, they donated over 100 bike for use by low income families.

An Albany NY TV station raises concerns about the structural integrity of an old railroad bridge that now used by over “200,000 bike riders, joggers and dog walkers” every year.

Charlotte NC is planning its first two-way, protected cycle track.

 

International

Curbed looks at 14 gorgeous carfree cities around the world. Anyone one of which I’m just about ready to move to. Although bike riding on the Venice canals might be a bit of a challenge.

No surprise here, as a study shows the noxious fumes in London’s air disappeared during the annual carfree Ride London event.

A British lawyer who calls himself Mr. Loophole suggests revising the country’s traffic laws, including requiring all bike riders to pass a proficiency test, and have their bicycles inspected annually for safety violations (aka an MoT, or Ministry of Transport exam).

Talk about lessons not learned. Bike Biz reprints a speech in the British parliament that calls for a revival of bicycling in the national interest — which was given sixty years ago. And clearly not acted on.

Egyptians are being encouraged to leave their cars behind in an effort to spread bicycle culture throughout the country.

Shimano has apparently overcome the losses from the factory fire in Japan earlier this year, with sales up 6.8%.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forbes calls bicycle racing the best sport to combine spectating and active participation.

A French newspaper calls for a budget cap for pro cycling teams following Team Sky’s dominating performance in the Tour de France; the president of cycling’s governing body calls for limiting teams to a maximum of six riders instead.

After successful surgery to repair a fractured vertebrae suffered during the Tour, Vincenzo Nibali hopes to return in time for the Vuelta a España later this month.

VeloNews talks with a sports psychologist about whether the abuse Team Sky riders suffered from fans during the Tour had any effect. Apparently not, since they led most of the way and placed two riders on the podium; cutting back on salbutamol probably had a bigger effect on Chris Froome.

Speaking of VeloNews, the magazine also talks with the head of the Dimension Data team about his efforts to build an African team; while several African riders have competed on the WorldTour with the team, no black African has yet won a stage at the highest levels.

And completing our VeloNews trilogy, the magazine offers a beautiful photo essay of the Tour de France from the Pyrenees to Paris.

A 60-year old Australian woman won the masters mountain bike world championships just one day after suffering a major crash.

 

Finally…

Evidently, the more bikes change, the more they look the same. Doing the Tour de France without a bicycle.

And sometimes, doing the right thing gets rewarded.

Update: Man killed in rear-end collision in Santa Monica while riding on LA County’s killer highway

Once again, someone has been killed riding a bicycle on PCH.

According to the Daily News, a man in his 20s was riding north on the 200 block of Pacific Coast Highway around 7 pm when he was struck from behind.

A press release from the Santa Monica Police Department places the initial call at 7:03 pm.

The victim died at the scene. He has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin.

No word on whether he was using lights at the time of the crash, which came nearly 45 minutes after sunset.

The driver initially fled the scene, but returned shortly later, which should be considered hit-and-run, but probably won’t be. Police are investigating why the driver failed to stop after the crash.

The person driving, who has not been identified in any way, is not currently suspected of being impaired; no word on whether distraction was involved, or why the driver failed to see someone on a bike directly in front of them.

A street view shows a six-lane highway with a center left turn lane, where drivers frequently exceed the 45 mph speed limit.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call Investigators Pace or Olson at 310/458-8954; or call the SMPD at 310/458-8491.

At least 13 people have been killed riding bicycles on PCH in Los Angeles County since 2005; eight of those have been killed on the deadly northern section of the highway running through Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Malibu.

This collision occurred roughly across the street from where Erin Galligan was killed while riding home from work in a 2012 hit-and-run; that driver still hasn’t been caught.

This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 22nd in Los Angeles County; he’s also the first bike rider to be killed in Santa Monica since Galligan’s death.

Update: The victim has been identified as 23-year old Kazumasa Nozaki

Still no word on what may have led to the crash.

Update 2: 

I received the following email from Carrie Wick, who was one of the first people on the scene after the crash. She reports the driver did not return of his own accord, as the police suggested, and that the police have not been forthcoming about the crash. 

I am contacting you regarding a fatal hit and run incident my friend Kinya Claiborne and I witnessed on PCH Sundaynight where a 23-year-old pedestrian/ bicyclist named Kazumasa Nozaki was struck from the rear and killed by a driver who fled the scene. Perhaps you’re interested in looking into the incident.

Kinya and I were traveling southbound down PCH on October 15 around 7pm, when we noticed debris and a bike in the roadway along with a pedestrian who was laid flat in the east-northbound lane. The victim had significant head trauma and his body was bleeding and distorted. We were the first responders on the scene to provide aid to the victim, who was non-responsive and we called 911 for assistance.

There were several other witnesses including two men who were driving directly behind the driver who struck the pedestrian. They followed the driver, who fled the scene in a white BMW, for 5-10 minutes down PCH honking their horn in an attempt to get the driver to stop. As they were following the driver the witnesses called 911 to report the hit and run, providing the driver’s license plate number and location of the driver. The witnesses took pictures of the car and returned to the scene to provide their statement and evidence in person directly to the police.

There was also a couple on the scene who were driving northbound on PCH and witnessed the bicycle flying in the air when the pedestrian was struck from behind. They also provided their statement to the police on the scene.

There are a lot of inaccuracies being reported. The LAPD/SMPD statement implies the driver fled the scene and returned on his own vs. a hit and run, where the driver immediately fled the scene of a fatal collision. An officer on the scene announced, “We got him”, from the men tracking down the driver and the reporting of the license plate and location to the police.

Also, LAPD/SMPD have not acknowledged any of the witnesses or their statements, including the men who witness the hit and run, tracked down the driver, reported it via 911 and provided a statement to the police on the scene. Authorities are acting like the witnesses and hit and run incident never existed as evident in the press release issued by SMPD on October 16.

It seems as though the LAPD and SMPD have taken a lax approach with completing a thorough investigation and have clearly omitted key facts and witness reports from the fatal hit and run incident. This man does not have a voice any longer and can’t fight for himself, so we will try to on his behalf.

She also reports that the bike was so badly mangled from the impact that it was impossible to tell if he was using lights and reflectors. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kazumasa Nozaki and his loved ones.

Morning Links: Cedillo and Bray-Ali in CD1 runoff, and Santa Monica writer attacks Lincoln Blvd plans — and you

It’s semi official.

The latest vote count shows CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo with just 49.4% of the vote, putting him under the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff with second place finisher Joe Bray-Ali.

Which means Bray-Ali and Cedillo will likely face off in a winner-take-all vote on May 16th that will determine, not just whether the district will continue to be represented by a disinterested career politician, but whether it will see a safer and more livable future.

The final vote totals should be certified tomorrow.

If Bray-Ali wins, it will be the first time an incumbent councilmember has been defeated since 2003.

Meanwhile, LA’s famed Wolfpack Hustle has nothing but good things to say about him.

………

A writer of for the Santa Monica Observer explains street planning from the perspective of someone who has no idea how street planning works, predicting that a road diet planned for Lincoln Blvd will bring traffic to a screeching halt while making the surrounding community unlivable.

Actually, it should have exactly the opposite effect, taming an exceptionally dangerous street that has long depressed the local community and forced businesses along its way to struggle. The plans call for a more livable, walkable street that should help the area thrive for the first time in decades.

He also apparently has never been to a public meeting to discuss a community project, predicting that “…ten bicycle riders will show up and tell them they’re godlike. Bicyclists who live in mom’s basement have time to attend public meetings.”

Funny, the meetings I’ve attended have usually been filled with people trying to shout down those bike riders, who often have to take time off from their jobs and families to attend.

Not that he would know. Or care, evidently.

………

Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski outsprinted Peter Sagan and Julian Alaphilippe in a photo finish to win the 108th edition of the Milan – San Remo classic on Saturday.

Deadspin says the gray areas in cycling doping rules aren’t helping anyone.

Roger Pingeon, winner of the 1967 Tour de France, passed away after suffering a heart attack; he was 76.

………

Local

An LA bicyclist is asking for $2 million in damages after being injured by an FBI agent making an illegal U-turn while the rider was participating in a charity ride.

LA Curbed offers more details on the state grants to build bikeways in the LA area, including nearly $15 million for DTLA’s Arts District.

The Daily News Group’s Steve Scauzillo experiences what we’ve all felt at our first ciclovía at the recent 626 Golden Streets.

The LA Weekly previewed Sunday’s Marathon Crash Ride.

Long Beach celebrates the first anniversary of its bikeshare system, while introducing a branded “unicorn bike” program with prizes available for people who find it.

 

State

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will be stepping up enforcement of traffic violations that can endanger cyclists and pedestrians today. You know the drill; obey the letter of the law in any area they patrol today.

Yes, she’s tougher than you are. An OC woman paralyzed from the waist down plans to hand-cycle her way to the North Pole in a solo marathon attempt.

Evidently, it runs in the family. A San Diego woman has been arrested in the hit-and-run death of a high school student as he walked with a friend; her sister is doing eight years for a fatal DUI.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adult three-wheeled bike from a 69-year old Fresno veteran who used it for his only form of transportation; the bike was given to him by a stranger to replace a bike that was stolen when he rode to the market. The good news is a Fresno couple bought him a new bike after seeing the story on the news.

It was a bad weekend in Northern California. A 43-year old bike rider was killed in a Stockton hit-and-run, and a 65-year old man died when his bicycle was struck by a truck in Auburn. Meanwhile, a Sacramento man turned himself in for a hit-and-run last week, after apparently giving himself a few days to sober up.

A Palo Alto bike rider was seriously injured when she was struck by a wrong-way driver who was fleeing from police; police arrested all five people in the car after an extensive search of the downtown area.

Nice story from Santa Clara, where a former county supervisor sort of got his stolen Steyr Clubman bicycle back 34 years later.

Dozens of NorCal bicyclists rode to honor law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

 

National

Maybe racing 100 miles through the wilds of Alaska by bike, foot or skis in 40 degree below zero weather is your idea of a good time. Unless maybe you’d rather do 1,000 miles, instead.

Life is cheap in Idaho, where the hit-and-run death of an off-duty firefighter as he rode his bike is only worth a lousy 90 days in jail; the driver claimed she fell asleep at the wheel. Although she was presumably fully awake when she fled the scene afterwards.

Iowa’s famed RAGBRAI, and tourism in general, may be taking a hit because of Iowa Congressman Steve King’s recent comments about “someone else’s babies.”

Sadly, no surprise here. Chicago bicyclists suffer from the Biking While Black syndrome, as minority areas receive the most bike tickets. Something that seems to be true in many major cities, including Los Angeles.

Seriously, if someone can use a bike rack to jump over the fence at the White House, maybe its time to move it.

The local paper in Hilton Head SC calls for better lighting to improve safety for cyclists on the popular resort island.

 

International

Residents throughout Costa Rica are asking their elected officials to build promised bike paths that remain stuck on the drawing board.

A Canadian city is considering offering bike riders free bus rides up a steep hill to promote cycling and improve safety for riders.

Once again, authorities manage to keep a dangerous driver on the roads until she killed someone, as a Calgary driver was sentenced to 30 months for the distracted driving death of a cyclist. It’s not like her seven prior speeding and careless driving convictions might have been a red flag or anything.

Windsor, Ontario bike riders are up in arms after the city plans to use funds that were promised for bikeways for roadwork, instead.

A British bike rider suffered a broken pelvis when he was “rugby tackled” by a drunk 280 pound man as he rode by; unfortunately, the only description police have to go by is a six-foot tall man in a brown suit.

A pair of Brit cyclists are just days away from completing a record-setting tandem journey around the world.

Caught on video: A rider in a UK bike lane is lucky to get home in one piece after a painfully close pass.

Luxembourg installs two new bike counters in the capital city, bringing the total number in the city to thirteen.

An Indian man who was partially paralyzed by an electric shock was forced to ride a child’s toy tricycle in the hospital ward because he couldn’t afford a bribe to get a wheelchair.

A newspaper in Dhaka, Bangladesh says it’s time that the city embraced the bicycle, in hopes that a more bike-friendly approach could improve the quality of life in one of the world’s most unlivable cities.

The world may be going to hell, but at least Arnold is wearing a bike helmet as he pedals around Melbourne.

Justin Bieber is sort of one of us, riding through Auckland, New Zealand, in a pedal-powered rickshaw.

Bicycles donated by a nonprofit group are a passport to a better life for women in Nepal.

After weeks of victim blaming by the Malaysian media, the driver who killed eight teenage cyclists and injured eight others in a late night crash is expected to be charged with reckless driving.

 

Finally…

Enjoy that vanilla half-caf latte while you can. Anything that starts with a truck parked on a bike path isn’t likely to end well.

And riding your bike could give you the heart of a non-bike riding Amazonian tribesman.

But take good care of it, because he might need it later.

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