Tag Archive for sharrows

South Bay settles for sharrows, another closure on LA River Path, and carjacker busted in horrific DTLA hit-and-run

We’re taking a little different format today, after dealing with last night’s breaking news left too little time for the usual links.

But with far too much news to ignore. 

Meanwhile, Friday means we’re finally on the cusp of the summer’s first three-day weekend. 

So assuming you’re still here reading this, remember that holidays typically mean more drunks on the road, as people barrel into their cars after outdoor gatherings, or to make another drunken beer run. 

So get out and enjoy the great weather. And by all means, ride your bike. 

Just ride defensively, and assume ever driver you see after noon today has had a few. Or more than a few. 

Chances are, you won’t be too far off. 

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Call it much ado about nothing.

Or how to look like you’re doing something to improve bike and micromobility safety, while actually doing as little as possible.

And maybe even making things worse.

According to a presentation by the South Bay Council of Governments, the regional body plans to install a network consisting of 243 miles of sharrows throughout the region, for no apparent reason.

As we’ve pointed out before, sharrows serve little or no actual purpose, failing to grant riders a single right or inch of pavement to which they weren’t already entitled.

People on bicycles are already legally allowed to ride in the full lane in any substandard lane. Which means any that isn’t wide enough for a bike rider to safely share the lane with a motor vehicle, while remaining outside the door zone.

A definition that applies to most right lanes in Southern California.

At best, sharrows remind riders to position themselves in the center of the lane, while providing wayfinding and directing riders to presumably safer streets.

At worst — which is usually how they work — they merely position unsuspecting people directly in the path of angry drivers who fail to comprehend what the strange chevron-shaped symbols are for, while the little arrows simply serve to help them improve their aim.

In this case, the sharrows appear to be an attempt to shunt bike riders and micromobility users onto quieter side streets, and get them out of the way of entitled motorists on larger arterials, while providing more space for parking.

Yes, they want us out of the way so they can store more of the cars they aren’t using.

South Bay COG even pats themselves on the back, saying the network is likely to win an award of innovation.

Apparently forgetting that sharrows ain’t infrastructure, and don’t improve safety.

In fact, studies show that streets with sharrows do little or nothing to improve safety, and can actually increase the risk to people on bicycles.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton forwards news that a resolution calling for creation of the network was approved at last night’s board meeting of the South Bay COG.

But the already weak network was weakened even further when representatives from Torrance and other cities were assured that participation in the plan was strictly voluntary.

You can see maps of the proposed Local Traffic Network here.

Seriously, it’s nice that they are trying to do something, even if their motives are highly questionable.

But in this case, it seems like it really is the least they could do.

Illustration from South Bay COG.

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Speaking of Linton, he forwards news that long-suffering users of the LA River bike path will have to keep on suffering.

After years of closures due to flood control measures by the Army Corps of Engineers — and the damage they caused — as well as multiple bridge construction projects, the pathway north of the LA Zoo is closed once again.

The section from Victory to Zoo Drive will be shut down until future notice to repair damage and deterioration to the path.

Which is apparently engineer speak for “don’t hold your breath.”

According to an email from LADOT, the agency must first find funding for the project before a timeline can be announced.

Let’s just hope the work can be finished before next winter’s rains cause further damage, or put a halt to construction work.

Assuming we get any rain, which is far from guaranteed.

In the meantime, LADOT will once again be putting up signs to mark yet another detour.

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Phillip Young forwards news that an arrest has finally been made in the heartbreaking hit-and-run death of 46-year-old Branden Finley in Downtown Los Angeles earlier this year.

Finley was on his way to join the Ride For Black Lives on January 16th of this year, when he became the victim of a horrific careening crash as a speeding carjacker tried to make his escape through DTLA.

Following the collision, the thief simply walked away, bizarrely carrying the truck’s steering wheel, as the popular father of two lay dying in the street.

Now LAPD investigators have used DNA evidence to identify 36-year old Ronald Earl Kenebrew Jr. as the suspect, charging him with murder for Finley’s death.

They didn’t have to look far to find Kenebrew once they got a hit on DNA collected from the truck; he’s been in the custody of the Sheriff’s Department since February on suspicion of robbery.

He was also identified from security videos of the suspect as he walked away.

Normally, I say something like let’s hope they lock him up for a long time.

But that seems pretty assured in this case.

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This is who we share the road with.

Ted Faber forwards news of an anti-tax auto-borne terrorist who slammed her car through a Marysville, Tennessee vaccination site.

Thirty-six-year old Virginia Christine Lewis Brown was arrested after speeding through a through a vaccine tent in a mall parking lot, yelling “No vaccine!” as workers dove out of her way.

Witnesses described her as driving at a high rate of speed, while she somehow claimed she was only doing a sedate 5 mph.

If convicted on all counts and sentenced to the max — which is unlikely — she could face up to 105 years behind bars.

Which somehow seems slightly worse than getting a little jab in the arm.

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Just a couple more quick items.

A Pennsylvania man was busted after he hopped on his bike and pedaled toward’s his daughter’s house with a rifle in hand, after a drunken threat to kill blow his son-in-law’s head off.

Although he told police he was just “varmint hunting.” Which is an odd way to describe your daughter’s husband.

He faces charges of “simple assault, making terroristic threats and possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as with the summary offenses of public drunkenness, harassment, criminal mischief and hunting without a license.”

I think we all know what he was hunting.

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Bike racing fan Peter Flax recommends Indiana University’s iconic Little 500 — the race made famous in Breaking Away — if you just can get enough.

And yes, that’s still the best damn bike movie ever made.

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Gravel Bike California gets a tour of gravel riding trails in California’s Great Not-So-White North.

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And finally, our last item of the day comes from Erik Griswold, who says don’t be like Kevin.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

LA promised bike lanes but gave us sharrows, CA Assembly approves stop as yield, and popular bike rider shot and killed

Update: We saw a big jump in donations yesterday after I asked you to give to a crowdfunding campaign for 31-year old Adriana “Fishy” Rodriguez, who left five young children behind when she was killed by a driver while riding her bike in Lincoln Heights last month.

And you responded.

Donations jumped within minutes of my initial tweet, and kept growing throughout the day, rising from just $1,375 to a much healthier $3,116.

Now let’s keep it going.

If you haven’t given yet, take a few minutes to donate to the GoFundMe account established for Rodriguez before she died.

Because those kids will now have to spend the rest of their lives without their mother. So let’s try to get them off to the best start we can.

Photo of sharrows on LA’s Riverside/Zoo Bridge by Photo by Joe Linton of Streetsblog LA; see story below. 

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Once again, city officials promised a bike lane.

And gave us sharrows.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton writes that, like the undelivered bike lanes on the North Spring Street Bridge, the Riverside/Zoo Bridge in Griffith Park was scheduled to get bike lanes during a recent widening project.

Instead, drivers got the sort of plush, wide lanes that encourage speeding.

And we got sharrows — placing bike riders directly in the path of those speeding drivers.

The city’s environmental documentation (called a Mitigated Negative Declaration – MND) as approved by City Council for this project states that the project scope included two new five-foot shoulders. The MND states that “The proposed project would add shoulders to the bridge for the bicyclists” as well as a bike undercrossing (more on that below.)

Though the city’s MND does not call them “bike lanes,” the city’s rendering shows bike lane markings in newly-striped shoulders.

Linton goes on to include an apt description of those little arrow-shaped chevrons that do little to nothing on the road, other than aid in wayfinding and positioning, while helping drivers improve their aim.

At us.

For folks not familiar with the term, sharrows are shared lane markings, called “the dregs of bike infrastructure” because they don’t actually allocate space to cyclists, nor have they been shown to make streets safer.

He also makes the case, as I have many times, that parks are for people, not cars. And that the bridge has more than enough bicycle traffic to justify painted, if not protected, bike lanes.

The bridge is located inside Griffith Park. Does L.A. really need big wide lanes for drivers to speed through its parks? No. Inside parks, the city should encourage more park-compatible quieter modes, like bicycling. Similarly, in pursuing river revitalization, the city states that the river corridor will prioritize walking, bicycling, and transit…

The city’s MND acknowledges that the bridge sees plenty of cyclists. It notes a 2013 bicycle count that found that approximately 375 bicyclists crossed the bridge on weekdays, with 43 crossing during the morning peak hour and 34 during the evening peak hour. The same count found higher numbers on weekends: approximately 610 cyclists per day on Saturday, and 796 cyclists on a Sunday, where the hourly peak was 158 cyclists. That peak is more than two cyclists per minute, on a bridge not designed for cyclists (no bike lanes and two freeway ramps).

He goes on to make some very viable and practical suggestions on how to give us the bike lanes we were promised, while improving safety for everyone on the roadways.

It’s more than worth taking a few minutes to give the piece a read.

It’s also worth taking a few minutes to contact new CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman to ask her to do what her predecessors didn’t, whether by email or phone.

Instead of letting the city settle for the least they can do.

Again.

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It’s on to the state senate after the California Assembly approved a modified Idaho Stop Law, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields.

It’s not the first time a bill like this has been introduced in the legislature. But to the best of my knowledge, it’s the first time one has gotten out of committee, let alone survived a floor vote.

Maybe we’re making progress, after all.

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Heartbreaking news, as a popular South Carolina bicyclist was shot and killed while riding near a park, just blocks from his home.

Forty-four-year old David “Whit” Oliver was on the phone with the 911 operator when shots were heard in the background, and the phone went silent.

But he knew his attacker, giving the operator the name of the man who killed him just before he was shot.

Police were able to quickly find his killer, 62-year old Jeffrey Mark Murray, but not before he was involved in another shooting minutes later.

Murray was shot and killed by police officers after getting out of his car with a gun.

A friend of Oliver’s wrote that Murray was known for harassing bicyclists “and anyone else that the man came across while walking in our neighborhood.”

The South Carolina bicycling community was in mourning as news of Oliver’s death spread; former pro cyclist George Hincapie was among those tweeting a link to the crowdfunding campaign to benefit Oliver’s wife and young son.

As of this writing, it’s raised over $21,000 of the $50,000 goal in just 24 hours.

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Looks like America’s most popular open streets event could be back soon, as the pandemic continues to loosen it’s deadly grip on the City of Angels.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

A Saskatchewan man calls for a little empathy from drivers, after his wife took a bad fall while being harassed by a honking, tailgating driver; needless to say, the driver saw her fall, but just kept on going.

A bike-riding former Welsh cop suffered elbow, hip and knee injuries when a driver intentionally swerved into him, after threatening to kill him; when the local police hesitated to take up the case, he started the investigation himself.

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Local

They get it. Capital and Main says political gridlock is the reason Los Angeles hasn’t solved its transit gridlock, as planners argue that a combination of “rail, bus rapid transit (BRT) and electric bikes and scooters would transport Angelenos around the county more easily” — and more safely — than cars do.

 

State

A Voice of San Diego op-ed argues that it will take more than just bike lanes to get more people to bike to work, saying ebike rebates and incentives would be money well-spent to get people riding in the hilly city.

The Christian Science Monitor profiles Richmond’s Najari Smith, founder of Rich City Rides, who uses the bicycle co-op as a tool to uplift his entire community. Which is why he is one of my personal bike heroes and one of the people I admire most.

 

National

The Verge talks with Transportation Secretary Pete about the future of transportation and infrastructure in the US. And that future includes micromobility and active transportation, as well as eliminating traffic deaths.

More proof that bikes are good for the environment, as a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in conjunction with Trek confirms that replacing car trips with biking or walking is one of the most effective ways of improve human health and mitigate climate change.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 75-year old Maine chocolate maker is taking a few weeks off for a 3,000-mile fundraising ride up the East Coast; the retired, award-winning architect is hoping to raise $30,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Traffic deaths in Boston rose last year as empty streets encouraged more speeding drivers, though bicycling and pedestrian declined. Although even one death is still one too many.

A Huntsville, Alabama man has biked over 2,000 miles to ride every street in town.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice on how to ride faster.

A pair of Canadian teens learn first hand what it’s like to unexpectedly ride their bikes through a den of rattlesnakes.

British bike riders may soon be allowed to ride up to 30 miles from home as the country begins to loosen the latest pandemic lockdown restrictions.

The international pandemic bike boom may be bypassing Aussie bike clubs, as some Victoria clubs are struggling to attract members despite the increasing numbers of bike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Taco Van Der Hoorn won the third stage of the Giro in a surprising victory in his first Grand Tour, the last survivor of an eight-man breakaway that led the peloton by six-and-a-half minutes before declining to a slim four-second margin at the finish.

An 18-year old Belmont, California man is planning to put off college at UC Santa Cruz for awhile in hopes of succeeding as a pro cyclist — assuming Covid-19 allows developmental racing to resume this year.

 

Finally…

What would it look like if road space for cars and bikes were reversed? How about a game of Bike Tag, you’re it?

And who needs an ebike when you’ve got a propeller on your back?

https://twitter.com/NickyTay55/status/1390955665083019269?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1390955665083019269%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-10-may-2021-283191

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Morning Links: Hermosa Beach sharrows fight, and what the hell is going on with LADOT and the Arroyo Seco Bike Path?

A bike-raging Hermosa Beach bicyclist could face charges for attempting to punch a motorist.

Then again, so could the driver.

The incident started when the guy on the bike complained that the driver passed too close while he was riding on the city’s sharrows. Then allegedly attack the other man after he stepped out of his car.

Police officials say the incident is still under investigation, but that both men could be responsible for the incident.

Meanwhile, the man who shot the video says he rides a bike too. But thinks the sharrows make bike riders “feel entitled to more than common sense would allow.”

Even though that’s the exact purpose of sharrows, to demonstrate to everyone that bicyclists are entitled to ride in the lane, and just where they should be positioned.

And even though sharrows don’t give bike riders any rights we don’t already have on virtually any other street.

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Good Twitter thread asking what the hell is going on with the seemingly endless closure of the Arroyo Seco Bike Path in Gil Cedillo’s 1st Council District, as LADOT insists they’re working on it.

And the LACBC politely responds, not very hard.

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Thanks to Opus the Poet for forwarding this educational video on how to throw a monkey wrench into the usual auto-centrism.

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Bakersfield bike riders go on their monthly full moon ride.

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If you think riding the cobbles of the spring classics are rough, check out this ride from the Åre Bike Park in Sweden.

But you might want to take a little Dramamine first.

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Now this is a mountain bike race.

Watch: 2019 Mountain Of Hell Mountain Bike Race

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Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

A Wyoming man suffered serious injuries when he was literally run over by someone on a bicycle, as proven by the tire tracks on his chest.

Wichita KS police are looking for someone on a bicycle who shot the windows out of cars with a BB gun.

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Local

LA officials unveil three proposals for a major new park on the former Taylor Yards site along the LA River.

Dubai’s Open Skies magazine visits a recent CicLAvia, questioning whether it means an end to LA’s love for cars. We should be so lucky.

 

State

A San Diego TV station demonstrates how to rewrite a NIMBY press release without adding any information, while tossing in an anti-bike tweet from one of their news people for good measure. Thanks to F. Lehnerz for the heads-up.

An op-ed in the Desert Sun lists all the NIMBY reasons why the 50-mile CV Link trail around the Coachella Valley is a bad idea. Seriously, folks, it’s just a bike path.

The Ojai Valley Bike Trail will be closed fo five months for drainage repair work, starting on the 15th of next month. Ever notice that they seldom seem to close the roadways drivers use for months at a time?

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says if government officials really want to save the environment, they should forget electric cars and start subsidizing ebikes.

A bike commuting fashion writer offers tips on how women can dress to ride a bike, with nary a spandex in sight.

A self-described avid bicyclist insists bikes don’t belong on the streets, and says Las Vegas should start building wider sidewalks that bike riders can share with walkers and joggers. Aside from the obvious conflicts of sharing sidewalks, that begs the question, if bikes don’t belong on the streets, where does he ride now?

A memorial sculpture composed of multiple ghost bikes honors the eight bike riders killed in Nevada in 2017.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a Kansas man who was out riding with his wife teamed with a cop to rescue a teenage girl trapped in a river.

There’s a special place in hell for the grown men who punched an eleven-year old Nebraska boy in the face to steal his bicycle.

There’s a good reason why business was buzzing at a Texas bike shop.

A Chicago weekly questions whether fears of reckless cyclists are overblown. Gee, you think?

A New York website says the city should take a page from London to make it safe for bike riders.

New York’s leading alternative transpiration advocacy group is looking for a communications associate.

When a New Jersey woman’s car broke down, a group of bike cops who were training nearby were happy to give her a push.

Heartbreaking story from Atlanta, where a married man who had just graduated college with two degrees — paid for by Starbucks, his employer — was killed by a drunk driver as he rode his bike to work at 5 am.

A report from a Georgia public radio station says Atlanta’s rapid growth and lack of safe infrastructure is putting bicyclists and pedestrians at risk, with crashes up 53% in ten years.

More heartbreaking news, this time from Florida, where a 17-month old toddler is dead, her mother in a wheelchair and her father still in a coma, 46 days after a driver jumped the curb and slammed into the family as they were riding on the sidewalk to help the child fall asleep. A GoFundMe account to help pay their medical expenses has raised nearly $45,000 of the $100,000 goal.

 

International

Thirteen bike bells to help drive Quasimodo crazy, and tell other road users that an angel just got its wings.

If you build it, they will come. Despite the usual arguments that no one would ever use it, a 10-year old separated bike path across a Vancouver bridge has proven hugely successful, becoming the busiest bike lane in North America, with over a million bike riders a year.

Speaking of Vancouver, the city is dealing with a rash of bicycle chop shops.

A woman who was injured in a terrorist attack outside London’s Houses of Parliament while riding her bike to work has been too frightened to ride her bike ever since. The driver was convicted of intentionally plowing his car into a group of bike riders waiting on a red light, before attempting to hit a pair of police officers.

Former London mayor and possible prime minister Boris Johnson is accused of lying during a debate about the bike he rode while mayor having been stolen; he’d previously said it died of old age.

Life is cheap in Great Britain, where a woman walked with a bare slap on the wrist for killing a renowned conservationist because she “just didn’t see him” as he rode his bicycle across the street.

An English e-bikeshare program was scrapped after vandals destroyed the bikes, making it financially unfeasible to go on.

An Irish group calls for separated bikeways because too many women feel judged due to intimidating behavior by men and boys on the road.

Your next Dutch bike could be a shaft-driven ebike that never needs charging.

An Indian website looks at how Hero Cycles got the country on wheels following its independence from the UK.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Denver op-ed calls for equality for women in pro cycling, starting with next month’s Colorado Classic women’s stage race.

London’s Telegraph says Julian Alaphilippe may be a genius on his bike, but questions how long he can hold onto the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.

Cycling Tips ranks the top four mountain bike jumps over the Tour de France.

The weirdest rules of the world’s greatest bike race.

 

Finally…

One reason it’s better to be a road cyclist than a mountain biker: roadies hardly ever run into bears. Evidently, Alfred Hitchcock was right about the birds.

And a letter to the editor from a self-identified non-Luddite says roads were built for horses, bicycles and streetcars, not cars.

Then again, it was written in 1908.

 

Morning Links: Police investigate as Corona del Mar bully says he’s sorry; Canadian cyclist loses all in theft

Newport Beach police are investigating the video we linked to yesterday showing a bully motorist berating a bike rider in a profanity-laced, homophobic tirade, for the crime of riding on the sharrows.

And yes, they’re now taking it very seriously, after the rider was initially blown off when he tried to file a report.

In case you missed it, the video has now been posted to YouTube, which means we can share it here.

Let’s hope he likes the way he looks on the screen; the Facebook video has been seen over 400,000 times in just the first 24 hours.

KCBS-2 caught up to the driver, who apologized for the language he used, and said he was embarrassed by the whole thing.

“I’m just an old surfer, knucklehead, and I do apologize for using the words that I used,” Lewis told CBS2 reporter Michelle Gile.

However, you’ll note that he didn’t apologize for threatening the victim. Or for clipping him with his mirror, or for the brake check that forced the victim into the left lane to go around him.

And we’re still left to wonder whether even that apology was sincere, or if it was just the result of adverse publicity from a video that went viral.

We’ll have to wait for the NBPD to complete their investigation to learn what charges will be filed, if any. Although there’s a good case to be made for assault with a deadly weapon and hit-and-run if it can be shown that he really did clip the victim with his mirror.

However, LAPD officers have explained in the past that the mere act of getting out of a vehicle to confront someone is enough for an assault charge.

Let alone threatening to kill him.

Meanwhile, the whole thing just shows how far we have to go in educating drivers about sharrows.

And just about every other aspect of sharing the road with people on bicycles.

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Thanks to David Bain for forwarding word of a Canadian musician who had his bike and all his belongings stolen while attempting to set a Guinness world record on a coast-to-cost bike tour; a gofundme account has raised over $6,500 of a $10,000 goal to help replace it.

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Kristin Armstrong waited until her victory was confirmed, becoming the first cyclist to win gold three times in the same event, then collapsed and was checked out by medics before her five-year old son came out to give her a hug.

A French rider may have only placed 26th in the women’s road race, but she’s winning the competition to resemble the former Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge.

Britain threw down the gauntlet with a world record on the first day of qualifying for the women’s 4,000 meter team pursuit, while the men struck gold in the team sprint.

The great Evelyn Stevens decides to walk away from pro cycling at the peak of her career, just seven years after quitting her job as an investment banker to compete full-time.

A Philippine paper says it helps to have a short memory in bike racing, since everyone hits the pavement sooner or later.

Closer to home, the Redlands Bicycle Classic will move to May next year, serving as a domestic lead-in to the Amgen Tour of California.

And SoCal Cycling offers photos of Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

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Local

Air quality in the LA area is the deadliest in the nation. That alone should be enough to get LA and other local cities to provide safe alternatives to driving. But probably won’t.

CiclaValley reports the North Hollywood Metro tunnel will be opening Monday, with a promised Bike Hub to come.

Park La Brea News profiles Sunday’s Wilshire Blvd CicLAvia.

Long Beach celebrates the opening of the new parking protected bike lanes on Artesia Blvd, the first half-mile of what will eventually be a two-mile protected bikeway.

 

State

Cyclelicious examines why land use matters for bike advocacy, noting that people aren’t likely to bike to work if they can’t afford to live nearby.

KPCC looks at the increasing popularity of bike lanes in OC.

Don’t throw your bike at a trolley if they won’t let you on, a lesson a Laguna Beach man learned the hard way; he could face charges for vandalism, and probably needs a new bike after the trolley ran over it.

Salinas will host its fourth ciclovía in October, with a 1.6 mile route.

This time it’s firefighters with the big hearts, as Pleasanton firefighters pitch in to buy a man a new bicycle and helmet after his was damaged when he was hit by a car.

Sacramento authorities want people to walk, ride a bike or take transit when the new arena opens.

Sad news from NorCal, as a Redding bike rider was killed by a driver who allegedly ran a red light. Something many drivers insist only bike riders do.

 

National

An Oregon neo-Nazi covered with pro-Aryan and anti-police tatts fled on his bicycle when police tried to stop him for a traffic violation, eventually shooting a cop and taking a woman hostage; he suffered non-life threatening wounds when he was shot by police to end the siege.

Forget riding through crosswalks; Portland is installing cross bikes — no, not this kind — to help bike riders get through intersections safely.

The grizzly bear that killed a Montana mountain biker last June was nearly old enough to legally drink.

Caught on video: An Iowa bike rider is forced to bail off the road when a pickup coming in the opposite direction crosses onto the wrong side of the road, barely missing him.

Inflamed passions boil over in a dispute over a Detroit bike lane.

This is who we share the roads with. A Pennsylvania woman was caught on video, not just texting behind the wheel, but actually steering with her feet while she drove.

A South Carolina bike maker is bringing some manufacturing back to the US thanks to automation, even if the pay is less than the new minimum wage in Los Angeles.

An Atlanta bike advocate is working to get more black people on bicycles as the founder of the local chapter of Red Bike and Green.

Seriously, if your hat blows into the bay while riding your bike on a Florida causeway, just let the damn thing go.

 

International

Bike Radar offers tips on how to keep your saddle from being a pain in the butt, while Ella Cycling Tips offers advice on how women can choose the right one.

Forget the Olympics; Rio is also the site of the world’s largest Lego bicycle.

It’s not just the US where the bike theft epidemic is on the rise; it’s jumped 31% north of the border in just one year.

Calgary’s new bike lane network will hit one-million riders just a year after completion, a 40% jump in ridership. Yet one councilmember is underwhelmed, claiming it should have at least doubled — never mind that it came in $1.5 million under budget.

As if the Brit press didn’t have enough reasons to hate bike riders, now they accuse us of being deer killers. Seriously, don’t discard anything when you ride; jerseys have pockets for a reason.

A UK website says nothing beats a bike if you want to get more active.

A renowned pediatrician who made a “huge contribution to neonatal medicine in the UK” is mourned after he lost his life in a solo fall.

Amsterdam now has a special mayor devoted entirely to improving bicycling in the already bike-friendly city. Sometimes it seems like they’re just rubbing it in.

An Iranian town bans women from bicycling after the local iman says it violates the teachings of Islam, despite a national anti-pollution program encouraging everyone to ride their bikes every Tuesday.

 

Finally…

Evidently, if you’re riding in dark clothing at night, you need to take it all off. This is what you call a bike lane fail.

And don’t wrestle over dead goats without locking your bike up first.

 

Morning Links: Cop gets slap on wrist for beating bike rider, and road raging driver threatens CdM cyclist

Once again, the Los Angeles District Attorney let a cop accused of wrong doing off the hook.

And once again, it involved someone riding a bicycle.

The LA Times got wind of a plea deal reached earlier this year in the case of LAPD officer Richard Garcia, who was captured on security video beating and kicking a bike rider after he voluntarily surrendered and was already restrained by other officers.

Then-22-year old Clinton Alford Jr. was riding his bike on the sidewalk along Avalon Blvd in South LA when a police car pulled up behind him and ordered him to stop. According Alford, the officers failed to identify themselves, and fearing for his safety, he tried to get away, fleeing first by bike and then on foot.

After a brief pursuit, he stopped on his own and laid down on the ground, and was taken into custody without resistance.

That is, until an officer identified as Richard Garcia arrived on the scene, and immediately began beating and kicking Alford; one police official said he kicked the man’s head like he was kicking a field goal.

This is how the Times described the brutal attack.

The officer then dropped to the ground and delivered a series of strikes with his elbows to the back of Alford’s head and upper body, sources said. Alford’s head can be seen on the video hitting the pavement from the force of the strikes, two sources recounted. Afterward, the officer leaned his knee into the small of Alford’s back and, for a prolonged period, rocked or bounced with his body weight on Alford’s back, the sources said. At one point, the officer put his other knee on Alford’s neck, a source said.

Afterwards, several officers can reportedly be seen on the unreleased video carrying his limp body into a patrol car.

Yet despite that, and despite the determination by LAPD Chief Beck and the Police Commission that Garcia and another unnamed officer violated the department’s use of force policies, DA Jackie Lacey quietly negotiated a plea that lets Garcia off without a single day behind bars. Let alone the three years he faced if the case had gone to trial.

And possibly, without even a felony conviction.

Garcia pled no contest to felony assault in exchange for a sentence of community service and a paltry $500 fine to be paid an unnamed charity. After he completes the terms, he will be allowed to enter a new plea to a misdemeanor charge, which would replace the original conviction, and be placed on two years probation.

That’s it.

According to the Times, Lacey thinks that was a tough sentence.

Lacey said that she believed filing the felony charge against Garcia signaled to both police officers and residents that “people will be held accountable.”

“I do think it sends a strong message to any law enforcement officer who is thinking about violating the law,” she said. “If you talk to any officer about a felony on their record gotten in the course of their job, I don’t think anyone would see this as light at all.”

She’s right, it does send a strong message.

It tells every officer on the street that you can nearly kill a man for no valid reason, and walk away without even a felony conviction on your record.

Which is exactly the same message she sent in refusing to file charges against the LA County sheriff’s deputy who killed cyclist Milt Olin while typing on his onboard computer instead watching out for the man who was legally riding his bike in the bike lane on Mulholland Highway — just moments after the deputy texted his wife while driving, something that could have landed anyone else in jail.

And the same message she sent in refusing to indict the three Gardena police officers who killed an unarmed man who was simply trying to tell them they had stopped the wrong men after his brother’s bicycle was stolen, in a shooting captured on dashcam video.

Let’s be clear. Alford is no saint.

He was originally booked on possession and resisting arrest, charges that were quickly dropped when news of the beating came to light. And he faces new charges of pimping, rape and assault with a deadly weapon.

But even the worst criminal deserves protection from rogue cops who take the law into their own hands.

And from a DA who doesn’t seem to give a damn.

One time might be explainable. But three times is evidence of a pattern, and an apparent policy of refusing to hold even the worst police officers accountable for their actions.

Or maybe it’s just the people on bicycles she doesn’t like.

………

Unbelievable.

A cyclist in Corona del Mar receives a death threat from a road raging motorist who calls him a pussy and a queer, among many other things, and says he’s just lucky there are witnesses around. All because the rider had the audacity to ride his bicycle on the sharrows, exactly where he’s supposed to be.

They need to get this asshole off the streets before he kills someone. On purpose.

………

A Santa Monica writer notes that bike theft was up 30% in the city in 2015, and guesses that the trend has continued this year. And wonders if the Expo Line is to blame.

Never mind that the Expo Line didn’t even reach SaMo until May of this year.

………

The next time someone says bike riders don’t pay our share of the road because bikes aren’t registered, show them this.

CA DMV Where Money Goes

Only 13% of registration fees go to maintain the roads — and even that is just for state highways.

………

We have results from yesterday’s Olympic time trial, so skip to the next section if it’s still waiting in your viewing queue.

Fabian Cancellara caps his cycling career by capturing gold for Switzerland in the time trial, eight years after winning in Beijing; Tom Doumalin and Chris Froome finished second and third.

No Cinderella story on Wednesday, as cycling scion Taylor Phinney finishes 22nd, over five minutes behind the leaders, while Aussie Rohan Dennis had to settle for fifth after his handlebars broke. A Namibian cyclist takes pride in finishing dead last in the time trial after he entered the race at the last minute on a road bike because he didn’t have a time trial bike.

American Kristin Armstrong overcame age and a bloody nose to win her third consecutive gold medal in the women’s time trial on her final day as a 42-year old; dope-tainted Russian Olga Zabelinskaya took silver while Anna van der Breggen captured bronze. The Wall Street Journal calls Armstrong the comeback queen.

The US women’s pursuit team begins its pursuit of a gold medal today with new left-side drive Felt track bikes that promise to shave three seconds off their time.

The world’s top pro cycling teams have voted to boycott the time trial at October’s world championships in Qatar in a protest against cycling’s governing body.

………

Local

The LA2050 Challenge Grants are back for another year; applications are being accepted between September 6th and October 4th.

A Los Angeles triathlete’s bike was stolen while she was training with her team in Long Beach; her bike was missing when she came back from a swim. As of this writing, a gofundme account to replace it has raised $1895 of the $3,000 goal.

A French artist begins a two-month examination of the LA River by foot and bike for an art project based on the items he recovers.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on the soft opening of West Hollywood’s new WeHo Pedals bikeshare. Although almost all of the planned docking stations are on the Santa Monica Blvd corridor, ignoring most north/south streets and the Sunset Strip.

Alhambra police ask if you know this bike-riding package thief. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Caltrans reports it has patched pavement along PCH; however, a Malibu Safety Commissioner says they should be held to a higher standard of surface integrity given the large number of bicycles on the roadway.

Friends remember Bill Bowers, the homeless bike rider fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies in Castaic last week; posters at the event call the shooting murder.

Save the date for Noche de los Luminarias, the Bike SGV Awards Night on November 10th.

 

State

Too little too late. Newport Beach decides to install four new stop signs between Newport Heights Elementary School and Newport Harbor High School following the death of eight-year old Brock McCann as he rode his bike home from school. There’s no reason to believe it would have prevented this tragedy, but maybe it will help prevent the next one.

Dozens of Encinitas streets could get bike lanes or sharrows, depending on the width of the street.

A San Diego man teams up with a cop in an unsuccessful effort to recover his stolen bike, though they did catch the suspected thief with a stolen truck and two other hot bikes. Note to ABC 10: $900 does not a pricey bike make.

A Ventura tow truck driver pled not guilty in the hit-and-run death of 14-year old bike rider Jonathan Hernandez earlier this year; he faces up to 40 months in prison if he’s convicted.

 

National

A mountain biker says the current ban on bikes in wilderness areas is based on nothing more than a few people who don’t like them, and risks dividing supporters of environmental protection of unspoiled areas.

Elly Blue says everyone benefits by looking past the stereotype of bicyclists as white guys in spandex to embrace the full bicycling community, regardless of color or sex, noting that people of color make up the fastest growing cycling demographic.

People for Bikes says businesses are finding creative ways to put bicycles to work.

When a beginning bike rider asks how far an “easy” ride really is, a Portland writer says a bike coach who recommends adding 10 miles per ride until you reach 80 miles can just fuck off.

A New Mexico teen is making a remarkable recovery, even if his dreams of becoming a pro cyclist ended on the bumper of a careless driver.

A Denver bike rider says the hit-and-run driver who ran him down did it on purpose.

The National Transportation Safety Board issues their preliminary report on the Kalamazoo massacre in which five cyclists were killed and four injured by a stoned driver, but doesn’t have much to add to the story. If this is just the first step in the NTSB finally dealing with bicycling and traffic safety, it’s a welcome one; if not, it should be.

Scientists at Columbia University are studying vehicle exhaust to determine its effects on bike riders.

A Pennsylvania county offers a $500 reward to catch whoever has been repeatedly tossing tacks on a popular bike trail. Note to Fox 43: A deliberate attempt to harm cyclists or their bikes may be many things, but a prank it’s not.

Philadelphia women say they’re forced to ride their bikes through red lights and stop signs to escape threats and sexual harassment. Seriously, everyone, regardless of gender, has the right to travel the streets safely and without fear.

 

International

A Canadian bike rider praised Vancouver’s bike lane network, but says most of the country’s bike lanes are a waste of space and money, with some amounting to little more than private roads for hip urbanites.

British cyclists crowdfund the private prosecution of a driver accused of killing a 70-year old bike rider; a writer says it’s not about persecuting the driver, but getting prosecutors to take bicycling deaths seriously. Too bad we can’t do that here.

Katy Perry is one of us, as she shows a little cheek riding in the French countryside.

Anime fans can look forward to the release of Yowamushi Pedal: Spare Bike next month, though you may have to go to Japan to see it.

CNN shares a cyclist’s perspective on Tokyo, courtesy of Byron Kidd, editor of Tokyo by Bike.

This is why you don’t lock up to living things. A Chinese bike thief is caught on video cutting down a tree to steal the bicycle chained to it.

 

Finally…

Your next helmet could be a headphone. Taking a virtual reality tour of the UK on a bike that doesn’t move is not the same as the real thing.

And if you want to illustrate the town’s new bike lanes, maybe the best way to do it isn’t with a photo of a salmon cyclist riding next to one, with a sidewalk cyclist visible in the background.

I’m just saying.

 

Morning Links: Honked at for riding sharrows, Vision Zero lost in Mobility Plan fallout, and upcoming bike events

Digital Slurry offers video evidence of what we already know.

Many drivers just don’t get sharrows.

And don’t have a lot of patience when they find a bike riding legally in front of them, regardless of whether there’s a picture of a bike with an oversized pointy hat painted on the street.

His bike cam video was shot while riding in Venice. But anyone who has ridden on sharrows in Hollywood, or most anywhere else in LA, has probably had the same experience.

Meanwhile, On My Bike LA offers a video response to Bruce Feldman’s Op-ed in the LA Times complaining about the Mobility Plan.

………

The big news this week was the announcement of LA’s Vision Zero to eliminate traffic fatalities in just the next 10 years.

Or at least, it should have been.

*crickets*

Instead, everyone still seems to be shocked! shocked! that LA would possibly consider removing traffic lanes in order to improve mobility. Let alone safety.

At least the LA Times has remained rational, turning the new Mobility Plan into a very cool interactive map that allows you explore the road changes proposed as part of the plan.

The Los Feliz Ledger, on the other hand, says everyone was taken by surprise by the passage of the plan, even though it had a four year public process — even longer of you count the 2010 bike plan, which was incorporated into it — along with a dedicated website and 20 public meetings.

Then again, 91.4% of Angelenos couldn’t even be bothered to vote in the last election, never mind actually get involved in a process that will shape our streets and city for the next 20 years.

Seriously, if you don’t get involved with your own local government, who’s fault is that?

………

Time to catch up on upcoming bike events.

Metro is offering more free bike safety classes throughout the LA region this weekend.

Join the Eastside Bike Club to walk or bike this Saturday to trace the footsteps of LA’s first settlers.

A memorial ride will be held in Huntington Beach this Saturday to remember fallen cyclist and hit-and-run victim Michael Vega.

Bike riders are invited to join the Inland Empire Biking Alliance and Caltrans to ride the Santa Ana River Trail on Saturday to show the need to finish the trail.

Bike SGV is hosting the last bike train of the summer this Sunday starting at Santa Fe Dam.

The LACBC’s September Sunday Funday Ride rolls through Long Beach, with a 25-mile guided tour of parks, lagoons and universities.

Metro’s new El Monte Bike Hub — the first of what will hopefully be many throughout the region — has its grand opening on September 14th.

Pedal for Parkinson’s will raise funds to support Parkinson’s research in Solano Beach on September 27th.

Bike SGV is hosting a family friendly ride back to the 1920s in El Monte on October 3rd.

………

Johan Esteban Chaves took his second stage of the Vuelta on Thursday to move back into the leader’s jersey. After getting booted from the race for hanging onto a team car to rejoin the peloton, Vincenzo Nibali is barred from racing anywhere else until the Vuelta is over.

Meanwhile, Peter Sagan is taking aim at next month’s worlds in Richmond, Virginia once he’s done with the Vuelta, where every stage seems to have his name on it.

Domestic cycling teams complain about the strong-arm tactics of the WorldTour teams at the recent USA Pro Challenge.

And here’s someone to keep an eye on, as a Del Mar track cyclist wins four silver medals at the USA Cycling Elite and Junior Track National Championships.

Especially since she’s just a nine-year old fourth grader.

………

Local

A Santa Barbara podcast discusses itineraries for touring Los Angeles car-free by foot, bike and public transportation.

The LA Weekly looks at the Spoke Café along the LA River bike path in Frogtown, and its owners’ struggles to get city permits to sell their own food and beer.

 

State

Calbike offers their monthly update, including news that they have a fleet of shaft-drive bikes to sell, along with the company that made them. Anyone want to start a Kickstarter so I can buy a bike company? Didn’t think so.

Santa Ana is opening three Bike Huts to provide secure bicycle parking safe from thieves and the elements.

The San Diego Free Press says the region’s transportation plan is stuck in reverse.

In the wake of the San Diego “bike mob” that chased down an angry hit-and-run driver, BikeSD explains what sharrows are, and how to deal with a road raging driver. And no, shooting them in self defense is not an option.

Coronado’s apoplectic NIMBY attack on a proposed beach bike path goes on… and on. Seriously, people, it’s just a bike path.

UC Santa Barbara had to pay out of their own pockets through student fees to build a bike roundabout to improve a dangerous intersection.

No bias here. After a San Francisco bike rider suffers a life-threatening head injury in a right hook, a local TV station says he tried to overtake the car on the right.

Now this I want to see. Folsom, home to the prison made famous by Johnny Cash, is planning eight public art works honoring the legendary Man in Black along the bike path named for him.

An Auburn driver gets four years for the death of a bike rider while under the influence of Vicodin; he pled no contest after the original charge of murder was taken off the table.

 

National

Huffy recalls some of their bicycle shaped objects that have front disc brakes to replace the quick release.

Never a good idea to steal a bike from a gang called Satan Disciples; the theft by another gang led to the fatal shooting of a 17-year old in Chicago.

A Minnesota bike rider says it’s okay to go through a red light, even though it is illegal, if you scan the intersection for safety and go slowly if the way is clear.

Evidently, they take hit-and-run seriously in Michigan; a driver faces up to 15 years for failing to stop, after killing a nurse who was riding across the state as part of a group ride.

Ford says they want to be known as a mobility company, not a car maker, as they unveil their new e-bike in Louisville KY.

After the bike a 10-year old Connecticut girl got for her 10th birthday was stolen, the police dispatchers who took the call pitch in to replace it.

A bike riding writer for New York Magazine says the solution to the city’s rude, spandex-clad cyclists is to build more protected bike lanes.

Caught on video: A Philadelphia mom riding with her kids on a cargo bike is verbally harassed by a driver for going around a pickup parked in the bike lane. If the jerk was so concerned about her kids, maybe he shouldn’t have taught them so many four-letter words.

Removing a traffic lane from a Charleston bridge to make room for bike lanes could actually result in less delay, while allowing the bridge to function at acceptable levels for decades.

If New Orleans can become bike friendly, so can Shreveport.

 

International

Buenos Aires is banning most motor vehicle traffic from 100 blocks of the city’s downtown area.

A Canadian advocate explains why bike helmet laws don’t work.

Ontario drivers will now face fines of at least $490 for distracted driving, and $365 for dooring a bike rider, although cyclists will be fined $110 for riding without lights.

An Ottawa university professor files a $1 million lawsuit after being doored by someone in a car owned by the Japanese Embassy.

British bicyclists are being taken down by potholes and crumbling roads. Sort of like what LA bike riders deal with on a regular basis.

London’s Evening Standard looks at tech solutions to bike theft.

A Canadian writer takes a death-defying two-wheeled tour of Copenhagen while on a business trip,

 

Finally…

Wait. You mean that picture of a bike rider with an oversized pointy hat actually means something? Your could soon lock your bike to a rack made from a forest of flexible poles that won’t chip your paint, as long as you’re okay with having it stolen.

And if you really want to confuse one of Google’s self-driving cars, do a track stand. And if you want to confuse a writer for the Washington Post, point out that people on bikes with gears can do them. too. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: Brake-checking driver harasses cyclist; curb-jumping drivers don’t get Redondo bike lanes

The problem with sharrows is that they put you right in the path of drivers.

Impatient, road-raging and brake-checking drivers, at times, as cyclist Michael Schinderling learned out the hard way while riding on Fountain Ave in Los Angeles.

The driver first honks, then repeatedly slams on his brakes in front of him. Even though Schinderling was riding exactly where the sharrows indicate he should be.

The big problem with LA’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance is that it’s so hard to get proof that a driver deliberately antagonized a rider.

But this looks like an open-and-shut case.

……..

Caught on video: Those new Redondo Beach separated bike lanes seem to be working well. Except for curb-jumping drivers who can’t seem to figure out why the traffic lane is green and there are so many bikes in it.

……..

American cyclist Tyler Farrar is heading back to the Tour de France as part of the first African-based pro team, while Tejay van Garderen is older and wiser and says he’s ready for the challenge. The Wall Street Journal asks why no Latin American rider has won the Tour de France, as Nairo Quintana attempts to become the first.

Meanwhile, former pro team leader Bjarne Riis chose to ignore doping by his riders. Or more likely, tacitly encouraged it, if not openly.

Cycling Weekly looks at the best bike tans in the peloton. Dutch police evidently feel the best way to get a new collective bargaining agreement is to delay riders in the Tour de France, thus ensuring it won’t besmirch their country again.

And sad news from the UK, as a British bike racer was killed in a collision with another rider last weekend.

……..

Local

The LA-area’s Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) wants your input on a new regional transportation plan.

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom and two Westside councilmembers say Metro is going the wrong way with plans for a bike share system that will be incompatible with systems opening soon in Long Beach and Santa Monica, and as well as systems planned for West Hollywood, UCLA and yes, the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

San Gabriel gets a new bike lane on Las Tunas Drive.

Santa Clarita opens a new 1.5 mile stretch of the Santa Clarita River Trail, including a bike bridge over the Los Angeles aqueduct.

A Long Beach councilwoman will host a bike safety program for kids from 9 to 17 years old next week.

The second Tour de Laemmle will roll on July 19th, as Greg Laemmle invites you to ride with him on all or part of a 125+ mile tour of all the Laemmle Theaters.

 

State

Santa Ana conducts a reverse road diet, forcing long-time residents out of their homes to make room for an added lane and bike lanes on Warner Ave, as the OC Register says evicted residents will have to be made whole.

A bike rider suffered major injuries in a collision with a pickup in Anaheim on Tuesday; a comment on Bike Forums suggests the victim was riding in the crosswalk over the onramp to the 57. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

Big oops from the Bay, as San Francisco retracts a report that a new bikeway saw a 651% jump in bike traffic; the actual figures ranged from a 12% to 62% increase depending on time of day. You’d think someone would have noticed that those numbers seemed just a tad high before sending out the press release.

Oakland is planning to trade traffic lanes for bike lanes, with twelve road diets proposed for the next three years; needless to say, bike riders are thrilled while motorists are worried. Maybe Oakland could explain how the process works to Santa Ana.

The Marin tech exec who viciously beat a driver who clipped him with his mirror has been found guilty of felony battery and misdemeanor assault; he faces up to four years in prison. Seriously, never resort to violence. Period.

 

National

Tragic news from Las Vegas, as a 16-year old boy riding without ID was hit by a car last week; he died the next day before family members learned about the wreck and he could be identified.

A Utah driver has plead guilty to intentionally running down a bike rider with whom he had an adversarial relationship.

Evidently, the penalty in Texas for riding a bike without lights is to get Tased, then beaten after falling off your bike. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

An Iowa man is back on his bike six months after losing a leg to complications from diabetes; he’ll be riding in the Tour de Cure this weekend.

Needless to say, Chicago business owners are worried about the loss of parking with the city’s first curb-protected bike lane; Chicagoist asks if it will be good for business. Bikes are usually good for business. And there’s something seriously wrong if your customers won’t walk a few extra feet to do business with you.

A Maine driver is accused of intentionally running down a 10-year old boy on a bike over a dispute with the kid’s mother; unbelievably, the man was released on just $1,000 bail — despite using his car as a weapon to attack a child.

Just days after an LA bike rider was attacked with a machete in an attempted bike theft, a machete-swinging road-raging PA teenager attacked a cyclist and his fiancée, who used his bike to defend themselves.

The Baltimore Sun says bike helmets aren’t ugly anymore, while The Week offers a look at six bike helmets of the future. Can we just get one that actually protects against concussions and other serious brain injuries in real world collisions?

A Georgia website offers advice on how to get a red light to change for your bike.

A cyclist rides 1,400 miles up the East Coast while towing his dog and a cargo trailer.

 

International

Here we go again, as a Facebook page devoted to shaming law-breaking Victoria BC cyclists devolves into a hotbed of anti-bike hatred.

Two Edmonton councilors call for ripping out bike lanes on three streets, calling them unsafe and underutilized.

Cyclists halt London traffic to protest the death of yet another young woman killed by a truck while riding to work. Although not everyone was willing to show a little respect.

Caught on video: The UK’s “vigilante cyclist” catches a woman texting behind the wheel with two kids in her car. I see something similar almost every time I ride. Like a woman who was steering with her knees as she texted with her kids in the back seat.

A pair of Good Samaritans pitch in to replace a British nurse’s bike after it was stolen from outside her apartment.

A Brit bike rider gets a year in jail for killing a 73-year old woman in a collision while riding a brakeless BMX.

Switzerland is telling e-bike riders to slow down, following a rise in single-vehicle bike wrecks due to riders misjudging their speed and stopping times.

India gets its first cycling café in the “Detroit of India” even though the city doesn’t have a single bike lane.

Australian bike riders may soon be allowed to ride on sidewalks in the state of Victoria, but could face on-the-spot fines for using a handheld phone. So what happens if they can’t pay? Are they arrested on the spot?

“Selfish” Aussie cyclists are accused of illegally riding in high-speed bus-only lanes to avoid slower bikeways.

Don’t ride under the influence in Japan, don’t report a falling down drunk bike rider to the police, and don’t ride with groceries on your handlebars.

 

Finally…

It takes a bold thief to ride off with a bike cop’s bike as she stood just a few feet away. Caught on video: an Ohio bird defends his territory against a cyclist. Or maybe he just doesn’t like they guy’s taste in bike helmets.

And a new study from the University of Duh confirms that marijuana use impairs driving. Next up, a study confirming that it gives people the munchies, too.

……..

I need to find a better name for the Morning Links, since I seem to be temporally challenged these days. Chain Links is too cutsie, while Bike News seems a little dull.

Any suggestions?

Morning Links: El Monte rider victim of vicious attack, hit-and-run rewards passed, and why sharrows don’t work

Not too long ago, it was hard to find enough bike news to post. Now some days. there’s just too much news.

Like today, for instance.

So let’s not waste any time and just get started.

……..

An El Monte bike rider was critically injured in a frightening attack earlier this month.

Security camera footage shows the April 6th assault, as five men beat and stabbed the 36-year old South El Monte man for a full 45 seconds before getting back in their car; one of the men can’t resist the temptation to turn back for one last kick.

Most disturbingly, there appears to be no reason for the attack.

Police report the victim, who remains hospitalized, was an innocent bystander who was simply riding his bike on Elliot Ave at 12:15 am when a car passed him in the opposite direction, and one of the passengers shouted at him. The driver then made a U-turn, following the rider before stopping alongside his bike to confront him.

He tried to run away, but his attackers caught up and repeatedly hit, kicked and stabbed him.

Anyone with information is urged to call the El Monte Police watch commander at 626/580-2109.

Thanks to Megan Lynch and BikigninLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the heads-up.

……..

As expected, the proposal to offer standing rewards in hit-and-run cases passed the LA City Council on Wednesday.

Witnesses providing information that leads to a conviction in a hit-and-run case will now be eligible for rewards ranging from $1,000 for a property damage collision up to $50,000 for a hit-and-run resulting in death.

However, as with the city’s anti-harassment ordinance, the new law only applies with the Los Angeles city limits.

So if a driver leaves you lying broken and bleeding on the street in Beverly Hills, East LA or Compton, or anywhere else outside the LA city limits, you’re on your own.

……..

If you’ve ever wondered why I think most sharrows aren’t worth the paint they’re made from, Michael Schinderling, aka Mykee Steen, provides graphic proof.

The video was taken on Fountain and Avenues in Hollywood and Los Feliz, which is my new bicycling territory. And clearly demonstrates the lack of comfortable riding routes in the area.

Schinderling notes that Hollywood Councilmember that ‪Mitch O’Farrell told him that the sharrows were low-flow and safe, and that bike lanes are unnecessary.

Right.

Actually, I think the real purpose of those arrows with a bike symbol on such busy streets is just to help drivers improve their aim.

……..

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers a great interview with new LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler, who explains her focus on equity and social justice.

Nice to see a growing commitment to the whole community from SoCal’s leading bike advocacy group.

……..

Great ad from Cycling Canada shows bikes riding themselves to urge potential riders to just hop on. An accompanying video explains how it was done.

……..

Too much sad news today.

BikeSD reports that one of their founding members passed away; Hans Wangbichler was just 54.

The three-year old Kings County boy who was seriously injured when the bike trailer he was riding in was rear-ended by a driver doing at least 50 mph has died; no word on the condition of his father, who was riding the bike.

A 54-year old Pleasanton cyclist died while riding just weeks before he was due to retire; friends who were planning a retirement party will now be attending his memorial.

And a Humboldt County bridge has been renamed as a memorial for a cyclist who was killed in a February collision.

……..

Local

Bicycling offers a great interview with LA cycling legend Road Block, aka Don Ward. If you ask me what riders and bike advocates I admire most, local or otherwise, he’d be pretty near the top of the list.

CiclaValley attends the mayor’s State of the City speech; evidently, everything is awesome in the city of Angels.

The CSUN Sundial looks at the new protected bike lane on Reseda Blvd; not all bike riders are in favor.

RadPad’s blog explains how to avoid gridlock with breezy, mostly off-the-street biking in the east end of the SFV.

The South LA bike rider caught on a security camera allegedly being beaten by police claims that LAPD officers are harassing him in retaliation for his lawsuit.

BikeSGV is raising funds for the San Gabriel Valley’s first Bicycle Education Center and Co-op.

Long Beach police bust two bike thieves after they fall for a bait bike; the suspects already had two other suspected stolen bicycles in their possession at the time of their arrest. And yes, LBPD recommends using a U-lock and registering your bike.

 

State

Cyclelicious discovers Calbike has lost sponsors as a result of its successful fight against the proposed mandatory helmet bill. Anyone would pull their support from the state’s leading advocacy group over that needs to seriously rethink their commitment to bicycling.

That triangle curb protruding into a new San Diego protected bike lane is being removed, after a new paint job failed to pass muster.

Paso Robles hosted an Italian mayor last weekend as part of this country’s first L’Eroica. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Caltrans installs barbed wire next to a San Mateo County bike path in an apparent effort to keep people and deer off a freeway — or possibly ensure painful injuries to anyone who falls or rides off the path.

A Sausalito councilwoman continues to push for a limit on rental bikes, evidently preferring that all those people drive and take up even more space instead. I guess creating space for those tourists to safely ride and park their bikes is out of the question. 

 

National

The Federal Highway Administration finally gets serious about helping local transportation planners count bikes and pedestrians; needless to say, LA is left out of the first round of the pilot program.

Nice to have bike lawyer Bob Mionske back online; today’s advice is to stay out of the door zone. But you knew that already, right?

A Portland paper explains why cyclists are attempting to get the bike-friendly ranking for the former-bicycling paradise downgraded.

Even Boise gets bike share before LA.

Minneapolis votes to keep their 10 mph speed limit for bicycling in parks, even if it’s unenforceable.

A Chicago alderman tries to force the city to move a protected bike lane from a busy street. Unlike LA, he apparently doesn’t have the near-dictatorial power to kill it all by himself.

Once again, a Florida-based gym co-opts the ghost bike movement by placing orange copies around Ann Arbor MI to promote their new location. Maybe they should place orange tombstones, instead; the message to cyclists would be about the same.

A suspected drunk driver is charged with the head-on collision that killed a popular Vermont cyclist after the driver drifted onto the wrong side of the road; in addition to the fatality, he’s charged with his fifth offense for driving with a suspended license. Once again, the system allowed a dangerous driver to remain on the road, legally or not, until he killed someone.

A New York councilmember comes out against a proposed ban on texting while bicycling. Gothamist notes that it’s actually already illegal, but rarely enforced; however, they’re wrong about it being illegal in California, where a proposed ban failed to pass.

Writing for the Washington Post, New York’s Bike Snob says they’re trying to turn us into cars. And that mandatory helmet laws and glow-in-the-dark spray paint show who really owns the roads.

The Atlanta Braves encourage bike riding instead of driving to their new stadium, due to open in 2017. Maybe the Dodgers should demand safer cycling routes to encourage more people to leave their cars at home.

 

International

British cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins lines up to be the next in a long string of riders to attempt the hour record.

Swiss cyclists will now have to dodge Segways in the bike lane.

Ride recklessly in the UAE, and your bike could be seized by the state; police in one Emirates city took 117 bikes from cyclists in just four days.

An Aussie paper looks at the controversy over Volvo’s reflectorized Life Paint, and why bike riders aren’t rushing to spray themselves before riding.

 

Finally…

Two Arizona teenagers are arrested for trying to smuggle 3.5 pounds of marijuana across the border hidden in their bike tires; but how was the ride? Mazda is the latest car maker to design a bike, which appears to be a disc-wheeled single speed; I look forward to the day when the Cannibal introduces a new car model.

And yes, it is possible to ride a bike with a Corgi in a backpack.

No, I’m not going to try it.

 

Making the law up as they go along — another SoCal cop gets it wrong on sharrows and riding abreast

6-AK-Sharrows

You’re not required to ride to the right when sharrows are present

It’s said that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

But what if the ones who appear to be ignorant of the law are the same people charged with enforcing it?

It looks like cyclists in San Diego’s North County may be about to find out.

In a case reminiscent of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s deputy who was captured on video demonstrating his lack of knowledge about sharrows recently, a San Diego County Sheriff’s Captain spoke — or rather, misspoke — on the subject with community members last month.

According to the Coast News,

Sheriff Capt. Robert Haley said sharrows are a great concept but there has been some confusion on the proper way to use them.

Problem is, he’s the one who seems to be confused.

“Some people think it’s a giant bike lane,” he said, adding that, according to the law, cyclists are always supposed to ride as far to the right as possible anytime they are on a roadway, even in a sharrow or bike lane.

Uh, no.

Excuse me. Hell no.

Bike riders are not required to ride to the right within a bike lane, which in most cases would put you in the door zone. Or in the gutter.

Instead, bicyclists are legally allowed to ride anywhere between the two lines they feel safest or most comfortable. And a sheriff’s captain should know that.

He should also know that cyclists can leave a bike lane anytime, for any number of reasons. And that they aren’t required to ride in a bike lane unless they’re travelling below the speed of traffic.

Which means that if you’re riding as fast or faster than the cars around you, the requirement to ride to the right doesn’t even apply, and you can ride anywhere in the roadway you damn well please.

And it doesn’t apply at all within a bike lane.

Any officer foolish enough to ticket a cyclist for not riding on the far right of a bike lane can, and should, be laughed out of court.

The same goes for anyone who tries to ticket a bicyclist for riding on sharrows.

Sharrows, or shared lane markings, are intended, among other things, to indicate where a bike rider should position him or herself on a lane that’s too narrow to be safely shared by a bike and a car travelling side-by-side in the same lane.

And that’s the key point.

Sharrows are intended for use on substandard-width lanes, which is generally considered any right-side traffic lane narrower than 14 feet.

Think of it this way.

You take up about three feet on your bike, and need a three foot cushion for an eight-foot wide vehicle to pass you safely.

And that’s if there’s no parking on your right. If there is, add another four to five feet to keep you safely out of the door zone.

Which means that, according to CVC 21202, the requirement to ride as far right as practicable — not as possible, despite what Capt. Haley said  — does not apply on any lane less than 14 feet wide, or 18 if it contains parking.

So sharrows not only indicate that the lane is to be shared between bikes and cars, they should serve as an indication to everyone concerned that the requirement to ride to the right does not apply on that street.

Then again, it doesn’t apply on many, if not most, right hand lanes in Southern California, sharrowed or otherwise, where a 14 foot lane would be a luxury.

You’d think those charged with enforcing our laws would get that.

Of course, you’d also think that police, sheriffs and CHP officers would know that there is no requirement to ride single file under California law. In fact, it’s not even mentioned anywhere in the California Vehicle Code.

And one of the basic precepts of English Common Law, which forms the basis of the American legal system, is that anything that isn’t expressly prohibited is therefore legal.

But like Capt. Haley’s, many police agencies — including the CHP and at least some sections of the LA County Sheriff’s Department — frequently misapply CVC 21202 to ticket cyclists who are legally riding side-by-side.

“If a person is riding to the left of someone else, he isn’t as far to the right as possible,” he added.

Haley said he verified the law with Traffic Commissioner Larry Jones, who confirmed that cyclists must ride in a single line while on a street.

As one cyclist I know put it, “I couldn’t ride any further to the right, officer. There was another bike there.”

Except, as pointed out above, CVC 21202 doesn’t apply on substandard lanes.

Which means that bike riders can legally ride side-by-side — or side-by-side-by-side, or more — on any lane that’s less than 14 feet wide, or 18 to 19 feet wide if there’s parking on the right.

And again, that’s virtually every right lane in Los Angeles, and most in Southern California.

Or, as pointed out above, if you’re riding at the speed of traffic. Which means if your double paceline can ride at the speed limit for the roadway you’re riding on, you are perfectly within your rights.

Of course, it’s not just the police that get it wrong.

As David Salovesh pointed out, the DMV’s own training materials (top of page 17) get it wrong, too.

Bicyclists may ride side-by-side (two abreast) on roadways, but they must ride single file when being overtaken by other vehicles. Bicyclists may only travel more than two abreast on a shoulder, bike lane or bike path intended for bike use if there is sufficient space. However, they must be in single file when passing vehicles, pedestrians, or other bicyclists.

None of which appears in CVC 21202, despite their citation. Or anywhere else in the Vehicle Code, for that matter.

Not the part about being allowed to ride two abreast, or being required to ride single file when passing or being passed.

Which makes you wonder just how they came up with it. And how they justify spreading false information with no basis in the law in an official publication.

But back to our sheriff’s captain from San Diego County.

Haley said cyclists who don’t like the laws can work to get legislation enacted to change them.

Or he, and other police officers, could just try enforcing the laws as they are actually written, rather than misinterpreting and misapplying them to prohibit behaviors they were never meant to address.

Fortunately, Haley says his department doesn’t intend to target riders for violating their misinterpretation of the law.

But anyone who does get a ticket for riding abreast or not riding far enough right — with or without sharrows, in San Diego or anywhere else — should measure the lane they were riding in.

Then get a good lawyer.

Embarrassing video shows Sheriff’s deputy doesn’t know what a sharrow is or what it means

They should be embarrassed.

Or maybe we should, since the LA County Sheriff’s Department is supposed to work for all of us.

Yet as this new YouTube video from WesHigh shows, at least one Sheriff’s Deputy has no idea what a sharrow is. Let alone that bicyclists aren’t required to ride to the ride on a non-sharable lane.

As the video points out, sharrows are not just wayfinding symbols that indicate a Class III bike route, but indicate the preferred position for bike riders within the lane. While you’re not required to ride on the sharrows, if you position yourself on the point of the arrow, you’ll be in the exact spot traffic engineers think you should be within the lane.

Those charged with enforcing the law should know that.

Yet from what I heard from other bike riders, the Deputy’s misconception, while an extreme example, isn’t that unusual for the department.

Many riders have complained about Sheriff’s Deputies demanding that they ride as far as possible to the right, in violation of CVC 21202, which only requires bicyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable. And then, only when traveling below the speed of traffic.

If you’re riding as fast or faster than the vehicles around you, you can legally ride anywhere you damn please, as long as you travel in the direction of traffic.

Yet even if you’re just crawling along, there are countless exceptions to the requirement to ride to the ride — including riding in a non-sharable lane, which is defined as any lane too narrow to share with a motor vehicle. And that includes allowing for sufficient space to avoid the door zone, which is one of those hazards the law refers to.

Which means that virtually every right lane in the Los Angeles area should be considered non-sharable. Especially if it allows parking on the right.

The officer is also mistaken in his insistence that the rider was obstructing traffic. Under California law, that only applies on two lane roadways, and by definition, requires five or more vehicles stuck behind the slower vehicle and unable to pass. If drivers can pass, or if there is another lane to the left they could use to pass if they chose to do so, the rider is not legally obstructing traffic.

As the video shows, this was a four lane street. And drivers were able to pass with ease — including the officer who dangerously chose to speak with a moving cyclist without pulling over to the curb first.

Unfortunately, this brings up a much bigger problem.

While the LAPD has worked with local bike riders to clarify the laws applying to cyclists, and developed a training session to train their officers in just how to — and how not to — enforce traffic laws relating to cyclists, the LASD, to the best of my knowledge, has not.

Just what training their officers receive in bike law isn’t known outside of the department and the officers who actually receive it. Or not.

And while the department may feel their officer training is adequate, this video — and complaints from bike riders around the county suggesting a lack of knowledge and inconsistent enforcement in various areas of the county — would suggest it isn’t.

It’s long past time for the Sheriff’s Department to step up and work with cyclists to ensure their officers understand bike law and enforce it correctly, and fairly.

In the meantime, this video prepared by the LAPD in conjunction cyclists participating in the department’s bike task force remains the state-ot-the-art for bicycle traffic law training among SoCal police agencies.

Even then, it’s only as good as department’s commitment to ensure every officer views it.

And learns it.

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