Just 5 days left in the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!
Only one person donated yesterday. So thanks to Jeff S for his generous support to keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!
We’ve fallen behind last year’s record pace, so we’ve got some ground to make up in order to top the previous year for the 9th year in a row.
So don’t wait — give now!
Days left to launch the California ebike incentive program this fall as promised: 1
If you haven’t already, sign — and share — the petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the streets of LA, and city’s ongoing failure to build the safer, more livable transportation system they promised.
Call it much ado about nothing.
Caltrans made a big deal yesterday about plans to spend a whole $4.2 million to improve safety along a 21-mile stretch of PCH in Malibu, which works out to a measly $200,000 per mile.
Not exactly the major investment they made it out to be.
According to LAist, those improvements include,
- Optical speed bars
- 13 speed safety feedback signs
- Enhanced striping to warn drivers of upcoming curves
- Painting the speed limit on the roadways, and
- Refresh signs designating the PCH safety corridor
None of which is likely to save a single life on Southern California’s killer highway.
Here’s how local radio station 99.1 KBUU, aka RadioMalibu.net, described the chest-beating news conference.
Caltrans and the state of California held a major media event on Malibu Monday, but a city clamoring for changes to Pacific Coast Highway was left empty handed.
The state Transportation Secretary travelled from Sacramento, but did not have any new traffic calming plans to disclose.
Toks Milshakin repeated the list of quick fixes already disclosed by Caltrans: a $4.2 million set of new lane striping, speed limit signage, and other small safety projects.
The news conference produced the news that the state will not be able to immediately lower the speed limit on any stretch of PCH.
No new speed study has been conducted, or will be conducted soon.
No change in the speed limit.
No changes in design.
Caltrans safety manager Lee Haber said right now, that the state cannot lower the speed limits on PCH.
And that’s just the beginning of a scathing report from the local media, which has been covering the mounting toll on the deadly highway for more than two decades.
Along with local safety advocates, who have been fighting for changes just as long.
Then there was this response, after Malibu Mayor Steve Uhring lauded Caltrans for taking time out to listen to city officials, saying he feels very confident they made some big strides yesterday.
If those strides resulted in any permanent or temporary changes, none were announced Monday.
Instead, officials stuck to the existing design and operation of the highway.
State law requires that the speed limit be computed based on the 85th percentile speed … the speed travelled by 85 percent of the cars.
PCH was designed 70 years ago with lane widths and curves to accommodate 55 mile per hour traffic … and study after study proves traffic moves at a design speed … not a speed limit.
Never mind that the urgently promised safety study necessary to reduce those excessive speeds, or do much of anything else, won’t be complete until 2025.
Seriously, take a few minutes to read the whole thing.
Because the authors clearly and concisely shred all the happy talk and lauding news reports resulting from the announcement of the state’s meager investment in improving safety on the highway, concluding,
…it is .. after all … a state highway.
One that is not going to see any major changes … anytime soon … other than 4 point 2 million dollars worth of paint and new signs.
Thanks to Hans Laetz for the heads-up.
The Los Angeles Times takes a look at the problem of dooring and what to do to prevent it.
The paper views it through the lens of artist Yasmine Nasser Diaz, the widow of Hollywood producer Robert George, who was killed in October when a motorist opened their car door at Fountain and Edgemont in East Hollywood, knocking him into the path of another car.
“Dooring” and “doored,” colloquialisms among bicyclists, refer to a collision caused by a driver or passenger opening a car door into an oncoming cyclist. For some cyclists, such as Diaz, it is among their greatest fears. But collisions such as these, they say, can be prevented with greater awareness and better infrastructure.
Developing bike infrastructure in Los Angeles is complicated by logistics and competing interests. Bicyclists say L.A.’s car-centric culture hinders progress and argue that the city favors the comfort of drivers.
Yeah, you could say that.
The story goes on to cite Joshua Cohen, of BikinginLA sponsor Cohen Law Partners.
In California, motorists are mandated to not open a door “unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic,” according to the state vehicle code…
But when car doors do collide with cyclists, the fallout can range from a few bumps and bruises to serious damage. Joshua Cohen, a personal injury attorney, said he’s dealt with cases in which cyclists had severed fingers, as well as back, neck and head injuries.
“The edge of the car door where it strikes the human body — generally, if you think about the physics of that happening — it’s almost like someone striking it with a sword because the leading edge of the car door is basically a thin piece of metal,” Cohen said.
Despite that, the law is rarely prosecuted.
A spokesperson with the LAPD says arrests are unlikely to be made unless police can prove malicious intent.
Otherwise, it’s just another oopsie — even though motorists are always at fault in a dooring, because they have the responsibility to prevent it.
The decade-plus I’ve spent tracking SoCal bike deaths tells us that dooring is rarely fatal. Which is good, because it’s one of the most common forms of bike crashes — despite the LAPD stats, which show only two reported doorings this year.
Presumably, one of those is the one that killed George.
Don’t let the door hit it on the way out.
End of an era – the new edition of MUTCD no longer has "share the road." Too many people misunderstood it as telling bikes to squeeze off into the gutter so drivers could pass without changing lanes.
The replacement is a mouthful, but much clearer legally. pic.twitter.com/AZPUgMF6gc
— Josh Putnam (@j_putnam) December 20, 2023
‘Tis the season.
The San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles surprised over 100 students at a Boyle Heights elementary school with new bicycles for the holidays.
An organization founded by a group of Sacramento high school students when they were just in elementary school is asking readers of the local paper for $5,000 in funding, after donating over 500 bicycles to kids in need over the past ten years.
Streetsblog visits the new Boyle Heights’ Myers/Mission Roundabout connected to the 6th Street Viaduct, along with short bikeway segments on Myers Street and Mission Road.
A new bike law going into effect January 1st somehow slipped under the radar, requiring bike riders to obey bicycle traffic control devices when they differ from other traffic signals.
An op-ed from a representative for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition says despite the usual parking controversies, both bicyclists and small business owners really just want a more vibrant city.
San Francisco advocates warn tragedy is inevitable on one of the city’s Slow Streets, which is now slow in name only.
Vallejo is evicting residents of a homeless encampment just before the holidays, so the city can begin a $10 million project to rebuild the bike path they’ve been living next to.
Survivors of the Goodyear, Arizona crash that killed two bike riders and injured 19 others are still waiting for justice ten months later, after the county attorney passed the
buck case back to the city attorney.
She gets it. A letter writer in St. George, Utah makes a detailed case that better bicycle infrastructure will improve safety for everyone.
The trial for the two Las Vegas teens accused of intentionally running down and killing former Bell CA police chief Andy Probst was pushed back to next fall, while their attorney attacked the entire grand jury system, and blamed mental, physical and emotional problems for their inappropriate courtroom behavior.
Megan Lynch forwards news that a bill in the New Jersey legislature would require low-speed ebikes and e-scooters — not the high speed, throttle-controlled ebikes — to be registered with the DMV and carry liability insurance, passing the Budget and Appropriations Committee on a 4-0 vote. Even though ebikes don’t seem to be what’s killing people on the state’s streets.
Sad news from Atlanta, where a leader of a local winter bicycling league was killed by a driver while on a ride with the group.
Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to save money — and the planet — by buying a secondhand bike instead of a new one, without suffering buyer’s regret.
A London website says don’t ride your bike through the Tooting neighborhood, where workers see bicycle collisions on a near daily basis. Maybe it would help if drivers would do a little less tooting and more driving.
A speeding English driver was sentenced to nearly five years behind bars for killing a 14-year old girl as she rode her bike on the sidewalk.
A new British study confirms what most of us already know, that drivers who also ride bikes, or at least understand where bike riders are supposed to position themselves on the streets, are less likely to blame the person on the bike for a close pass.
Taiwan is introducing 16 new bicycle tour routes connecting 13 national scenic areas, for your next trip to the island. You know, before China tries to take it over.
No surprise here, as world champ Mathieu van der Poel returned to ‘cross competition, and immediately climbed to the top of the podium.
And that feeling when you emulate your hero by crashing and burning, just like the real Evel Knievel.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin