Tag Archive for sharrows

Investing in Place fires at Healthy Streets LA, protected and crappy new bikeways, and more 6th Street Bridge misery

Call it friendly fire.

The well-respected advocacy group Investing in Place fired off the since-deleted tweet on the left, coming out against the Healthy Streets LA  ballot initiative.

While the organization praises the efforts of the proposal’s sponsors, they take issue with the initiative itself, which would require the city to build out the Mobility Plan 2035 any time a street included in it gets resurfaced.

As they note, it could result in a haphazard streetscape, given the city’s seemingly random resurfacing program, while taking decades to complete.

Which is still better than the mere 3% that has been built in the seven years since the plan was adopted by the city council.

Here’s how Investing in Place explains their opposition in a blog post.

But here is where we disagree, painting random disconnected blocks of bike lanes while our sidewalks remain cracked, our neighborhoods flood in the rain and wilt in the heat, and bus riders continue to lack seating and shelter will not get us the city that we are working toward.

If the City Council adopts the Healthy Streets L.A. Ballot Measure as written, it would be tying its mandate to the City’s resurfacing program – which is structurally flawed, unpredictable, and inequitable – meaning the ballot measure is unlikely to produce projects with the durable community and political support needed.

It also could pull attention and resources away from efforts to implement truly complete streets with shade, accessible sidewalks, bus shelters and benches, and lighting, none of which are delivered by resurfacing and restriping. We wrote about this last month, as well as a separate but related motion the LA City Council is currently working on. It’s on the latter that the city should be putting its time and effort.

Surprisingly, that appears to represent a fundamental misunderstanding of what the mobility plan entails.

It’s not just bike lanes, even though it subsumed the 2010 bike plan, including its innovative three-level bike network.

It also includes busways and pedestrian improvements, along with a new focus on Complete Streets. Or as the plan itself puts it, it represents a fundamental change in how future generations of Angelenos will interact with their streets.

If it ever gets built.

But while the Healthy Streets LA initiative only requires Los Angeles to implement the plan when streets are resurfaced, that is the minimal requirement.

There is nothing stopping the city from building out an entire bike lane or busway when the new law forces them to stripe a few blocks of it. Nor is there anything preventing local groups and residents from demanding that the city go beyond the mere requirements of the law to include things like trees, benches and human spaces.

Investing in Place also strangely raises the issue of equity.

Any policy developed must include the voices of those most impacted, especially when it comes to public access to public assets. And the best policy outcomes we’ve seen also include the perspective and insight of those working on implementing and doing this work for the public agencies. These are the very real issues that are addressed by the motion put forward by Council President Martinez and discussed at length at the Public Works and Transportation Committees, but left to chance by the ballot measure. As a result, we have deep reservations about the ballot measure…

Until impacted communities living with the historical disinvestment in streets and sidewalks in their neigborhoods are given seats at the table, it is critical to stay the course with the Council President’s motion. Included in the Council President’s motion, and absent from the Ballot measure, is the plan to address the long-standing need for a Capital Infrastructure Plan that coordinates and prioritizes public works and transportation projects with equity baked in from the start.

I say strangely, because the voices of those impacted by the mobility plan were baked in during its drafting, through years of public meetings throughout the Los Angeles area and a lengthy public comment period.

It also came before the Planning Commission, neighborhood councils, city council committees and finally, the full city council itself.

At every point, there was a focus on equity and serving those too often ignored.

Then there’s the extensive support received by the Healthy Streets LA plan, with a lengthy list of sponsors, many of whom share a focus on equity, as shown on the plan’s website.

Our coalition includes a broad range of climate, transportation, business and labor organizations: Streets For All, LACBC, Climate Resolve, Streets Are For Everyone, MoveLA, CalBike, LAANE, Los Angeles Walks, The Eagle Rock Association, National Health Foundation, Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance, UNITE HERE Local 11, People For Mobility Justice, T.R.U.S.T. South LA, East Side Riders, East Valley Indivisibles, Pacoima Beautiful, BizFed, Coalition for Clean Air, FastLinkDTLA, LA Business Council, Sierra Club.

It also enjoys a long list of endorsements from neighborhood councils in virtually every region of the city.

The following Neighborhood Councils have passed letters of support: Arts District Little Tokyo, Atwater Village, Boyle Heights, CANNDU, Canoga Park, Central Hollywood, Coastal San Pedro, Cypress Park, Eagle Rock, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley Riverside, Glassell Park, Granada Hills South, Harbor Gateway North, Harbor Gateway South, Hollywood Hills West, LA32, Los Feliz, MacArthur Park, Mid City, Mid City West, NoHo, NoHo West, North Area Development, North Hills West, North Westwood, Northridge East, Northwest San Pedro, Panorama City, Porter Ranch, Rampart Village, Reseda, Silver Lake, Sun Valley, United Neighborhoods, Van Nuys, Voices, West Adams, West LA/Sawtelle.

That broad-based level of support is exemplified by this map showing the distribution of petition signers, reaching every corner of Los Angeles.

Here’s what Streets For All founder Michael Schneider had to say when I asked him to comment.

We respectfully disagree with Investing in Place’s take on Healthy Streets LA, a citizen-led ballot measure that has been supported by over 100,000 Angelenos across the entire city, 40 neighborhood councils, and a coalition of labor, business, climate, and safe streets advocacy organizations.

But here’s the real problem.

Once the signatures for the ballot initiative are verified and counted, it will be approved for a vote of the people. That should happen by the end of this month.

That will start a 20 day clock that will give the city council the option of approving the Healthy Streets LA proposal as written, or place it on the November ballot.

Investing in Place argues for another alternative, which would involve negotiations between backers of the proposal, city agencies, and other interested parties.

However, only the first approach would carry the force of law, which can only be changed by a vote of the people.

In other words, the concept of improving city streets and expanding who they serve would finally be carved in stone, forcing city leaders to build a more livable city for everyone.

The approach Investing in Place recommends, though, would have the city council adopt a modified version of the proposal that could be changed at anytime, for any reason, by a simple vote of the council.

So if a less favorable council is elected at some point in the future, the improvements to our streets could be halted overnight. Or some councilmember could decide they don’t want a certain project included in the mobility plan, and get the council to override it.

The first approach would force the city to do what it has already committed to.

The other would too, unless someone, somewhere disagrees. Which is guaranteed in a city where drivers have enjoyed unquestioned privilege and hegemony over our streets since the demise of the Red Cars.

And the rest of us have been forced to live with their scraps.

Here, again, is Streets For All’s Michael Schneider.

There is no conflict between city council adopting Healthy Streets LA as an ordinance when it reaches council (which would enshrine it into law versus be at the whim of a future city council vote), and us all working together under the great initiative by Council President Martinez to make sure the mobility plan is implemented with an equitable lens, the mobility plan is expanded beyond paint and bollards, departments are coordinated, and all of the other things in her motion, which we support.

It’s an approach that’s been proven successful in other cities that have tried it.

And which should prove just as successful here.

As long as our fellow advocates don’t sink us with friendly fire.

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We have new protected bikeways in the local news today.

And real ones, this time. Unlike the the ones on the 6th Street Viaduct.

First up, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the long-promised curb-protected bike lanes on 7th Street in DTLA are finally under construction.

The $18.7 million streetscape project stretches one mile, from San Pedro Street in the east to Figueroa Street in the west. The first few blocks leading to and from Figueroa were funded by the developers as a permitting condition for building the Wilshire Grand Center at 7th and Fig.

Linton reports the project will include “expanded sidewalks, pedestrian/cyclist-scale lighting, bus islands, and new trees,” in addition to LA’s first significant curb-protected bikeway

Next up is a new separated bike path along El Segundo Blvd, which I’m just learning about.

However, it seems like for every decent bikeway, we have to accept a crappy one.

Like this one in Echo Park, where slow moving riders crawling uphill have to mix it up with impatient drivers, while downhill riders who could likely keep up with cars get a regular bike lane.

Exactly the opposite of what common sense would dictate. Although anyone who expects to find common sense on LA streets is likely to have a long damn wait.

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Continuing our seemingly endless discussion of the new 6th Street Viaduct, Curbed’s Alissa Walker describes its ostensibly protected bike lanes as “a bike lane built for a car crash.”

Meanwhile, KPCC’s Air Talk discusses bike safety and entirely predictable street takeovers on the viaduct.

And with everything else going on with the bridge, why the hell not?

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Old Pasadena is hosting a ride this weekend.

And no, that’s not a reference to the city’s residents.

Meanwhile, the LACBC is doing a craft beer ride to the South Bay with Sierra Nevada this Saturday.

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

No bias here. A San Diego letter writer says just paint a line on the sidewalk and make people on bicycles ride there, so his car can keep going zoom zoom on the streets.

This is why people keep dying on the roads. A Seattle area woman made just a brief stop behind bars before being released, after running down a bike-riding woman while driving at nearly three times the legal alcohol limit — at ten in the morning.

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

There’s a special place in a hell for the schmuck who harassed a 22-year old Welsh college student as he followed her on his bike for ten minutes making inappropriate comments. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. Period.

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Local

KTLA talks to an expert about what to look for in an ebike.

 

State 

There’s not a pit deep enough for the Adalanto man who attacked a 17-year old boy with a tire iron for no apparent reason as the kid was riding with his mom, leaving him unconscious and bleeding in the street.

Hats off to San Ramon’s Monte Vista High School mountain biking team, who’ve assigned themselves to remove invasive plants from Mt. Diablo.

Sad news from San Rafael, where a 67-year old man was killed in a fall when he rode his ebike off a steep ridgeline.

Bikeshare and e-scooters could be coming back to Davis.

 

National

How to clean your bike helmet.

The Bike League is asking for donations to their Drive Less, Bike More Matching Challenge; the organization is 33% of the way towards their $50,000 goal.

Road Bike Rider offers a plan for beginners to ride 100 miles a week.

Accused killer Kaitlin Armstrong will face trial in October after pleading not guilty to the murder of gravel cyclist Mariah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas.

Some Chicago officials want to legalize speeding, with a proposal to toss out speed cam tickets for anyone going less than ten miles over the speed limit.

Bicycling and walking rates are up in Detroit, as residents cope with high gas prices.

This is who we share the road with. A Jersey City NJ councilwoman was cited for hit-and-run and failing to report a traffic collision, for driving off after hitting a bike rider, and leaving the victim with minor injuries; she claims she struck her head in the crash and reported it once she realized what happened. Sure, let’s go with that.

It’s a sad comment when a man can climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, but can’t survive riding a bike on DC streets.

 

International

A writer for Wired discovers that you can, indeed, do a 70-mile London dirt ride on a Brompton foldie, although the bike fared better than he did.

A British op-ed says teaching bicycling in schools will help foster equity.

An off-duty paramedic in the UK will spend five years and four months behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle, when he tried driving to a party after downing ten pints of Guinness.

An English writer learns firsthand what it’s like to ride France’s legendary Alpe d’Huez.

Bike riders in Düzce, Turkey lay down in the street to stop traffic and finally get noticed by drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tadej Pogačar outsprinted Tour de France leader Jonas Vingegaard to win Wednesday’s stage 17, but was unable to make a dent in Vingegaard’s more than two minute lead; Pogačar has one last mountain stage left to try to take the yellow jersey.

Former Tour de French champ Geraint Thomas is languishing in third place, over four minutes behind and unable to challenge the leaders.

Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen fared just a tad worse, giving everything he had just to make the time cut on Wednesday’s mountaintop finish.

Cycling Weekly says American cycling needs another Lemond — or God forbid, another Lance. But, you know, without the dope and stuff in the latter’s case. Or the shotgun pellets in the former.

 

Finally…

Your next bike can tell you when the air is too bad to breathe. And yes, there’s an online community for you when you just want to say “fuck cars.”

Because of course there is.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

New Clifton Way sharrows in Beverly Hills, San Diego-area bike summit this week, and Bike the Vote tomorrow

So close.

Beverly Hills came tantalizingly close to installing the LA-area’s first advisory lanes, which narrow a roadway to a single two-way center lane and two bike lanes, requiring drivers to move into the bike lanes to get around an oncoming car.

Instead, they settled for sharrows that just sort of hint at a bike lane on both sides of Clifton Way between San Vicente and Robertson, requiring drivers to move to the center to get around bike riders.

Or more likely, impatiently following people on bicycles until they finally find a break in oncoming traffic, before angrily swerving around them.

Because, as we’ve noted before, sharrows only serve to thin the herd, with the arrows there to help drivers improve their aim.

Or as Peter Flax so aptly put it, sharrows are bullshit.

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The San Diego Bicycle Coalition is hosting its third bike summit this Thursday and Friday.

This is how SANDAG Associate Active Transportation Planner Josh Clark described it in an email.

In its third incarnation, the Regional Bike Summit has been a wonderful summary of practice and ideas that’s worth your attendance.  The full lineup of speakers, panels and fun at the San Diego Regional Bike Summit is hosted by the Bike Coalition. This year’s theme: Pedaling Past the Pandemic will highlight the recent “Boom” that has occurred during the pandemic and how we can maintain it. Highlights of the Summit include speakers and sessions on Mobility Justice, E-bikes, Housing and Active Transportation, MIcro-Mobility and Mobility Hubs, Connecting Communities and much more. We will also hear from our regional elected leaders on the state of mobility and bicycling improvements being made in our communities. Registration includes the opening reception, lunch on Friday and rides on Saturday.

You can learn more and register for the event here

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

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Don’t forget to vote by mail, dropbox or at the polls by 7 pm tomorrow.

To make it easier, Metro is offering free bus and train rides on Tuesday, along with free half hour bikeshare rides with the promo code 060722.

Lime is also offering two free half hour rides Tuesday on any of their scooters or bikes to get you to and from the polls, use promo code LIMETOPOLLSCALI.

If you’re still not sure who to vote for, Streets For All released their final endorsements before tomorrow’s Election Day, including corgi dad Kenneth Mejia for City Controller, as well as endorsements for Congress in CA-32, CA-34 and CA-37, and Glendale City Council. You can find their previous endorsements for other races here.

And I agree with them about Mejia, after giving him my endorsement back in January.

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Tragic news from Kansas, where a Colorado man entered in the 200-mile Unbound Gravel was killed in a collision the evening before the race.

Sixty-one-year old Gregory Bachman was killed by the driver of a massive Chevy Silverado pickup while crossing a rural intersection. Local authorities said he somehow crashed into the truck, but didn’t explain how or why.

The gravel intersection doesn’t appear to be controlled by any signs or signals, leaving it up to each person to negotiate a safe crossing. It’s likely the driver wasn’t expecting to find anyone on a bicycle on a gravel country road like that.

A crowdfunding page for Bachman has raised nearly $4,200 of the modest $5,000 goal.

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A reminder that Megan Lynch will be discussing accessibility at tonight’s meeting of the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition.

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If you ever wonder why people drive so aggressively, you can start with despicable marketing like this.

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Turns out the late comic Flip Wilson was one of us, at least on his show.

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

Seriously? A New York NIMBY is trying to sic the cops on a man who runs a curbside bike repair, fixing bicycles for free and giving away refurbished bikes to people in need, while accepting donations from people who can afford to pay.

Bizarre attack in the UK, where the organizer and a ride marshal of the Coventry edition of the World Naked Bike Ride were attacked and kicked off their bikes by masked riders on fast ebikes or trail bikes; one of the victims suffered a broken elbow.

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Local

The LA Times offers advice on how to get to the Hollywood Bowl without a car — including riding a bicycle, if you’re brave enough.

A man was hospitalized in critical condition after he was shot on a beachfront bike path in Long Beach Friday evening; no word on what led to the shooting, or whether the victim was walking, biking or just hanging out. Thanks to fartyshart for the link.

 

State 

No wonder the Golden State Warriors lost their first game in the NBA finals, after a nine-year old Warriors fan’s lucky lowrider bicycle was stolen.

No surprise here. Oakland police are blaming the victim in the death of longtime Chez Panisse wine director Jonathan Waters, concluding he was at fault for making a left turn in front of an 18-year old driver as he rode his bike home from work — although there’s no word on how fast the driver was going.

UC Davis police defend themselves over accusations that the cop on the scene after a bike rider was struck by the driver of a garbage truck did nothing to aid the victim before paramedics arrived. I’m also told a witness accused the cop of driving over the victim’s foot.

 

National

A Malaysian newspaper takes a look at the current state of bicycling in the US, finding 12.4% of Americans ride on a regular basis.

Forget all those new gas powered mail trucks. The US Postal Service is testing e-cargo bikes capable of carrying 400 pounds of mail.

A writer for Bloomberg says it’s time to start subsidizing the purchase of ebikes to jumpstart bike commuting.

Where to land your plane if you’re looking for a good bike ride.

Researchers at MIT have developed a self-driving bicycle, which they say could make docked bikeshare systems three and a half times more efficient, and dockless bikeshares eight times more efficient; the bike automatically turns into a tricycle to improve stability in riderless mode, then converts back when it’s being ridden.

Heartbreaking news from Indianapolis, where one of the last things a bike-riding hit-and-run victim did before she died was to give police the license number of the car that hit her, which led to the arrest of the 27-year old driver.

Around a hundred Boston bike riders turned out to honor late 19th Century Black bicyclist Kittie Knox, who defied racial and gender barriers and joined the League of American Wheelmen — forerunner to the League of American Bicyclists — just one year before they banned Black members in 1894; sadly, she was just 26 when she died just six years later.

Talk about ridiculous. NYPD officers conducted a crackdown on people riding ped-assist ebikes in Prospect park, where they are currently banned — effectively preventing people with limited mobility from accessing the park on a bike.

 

International

It will take a lot more than electric cars to stop pollution, because tire wear on today’s heavier vehicles causes 2,000 times the particulate pollution as what comes out of the tailpipe.

Montreal’s bicycle culture is seen as a model for the rest of Canada as gas prices continue to climb.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — touring Iceland by ebike.

That feeling when your celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee is interrupted by a buck naked couple on a tandem prepping for an au naturale fundraising ride the length of Britain.

Irish bike riders could get a lift up a hill with a 14% grade in Cork.

After a Detroit columnist crashes his bike while riding in France, he ends up getting x-rays and stitches from the only doctor available — a veterinarian.

A new Belgium survey shows that only 12% of people in the country ride their bikes to work or school. Which compares somewhat favorably to 0.6% in the US.

Former Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo is one of us, setting out with his wife on a four day, 280 mile bike tour to a Spanish shrine, to fulfill a promise he made to do the trip if the Spanish soccer team he owns a controlling interest in ever got promoted to the leagues top tier. Which it did.

Slovenian bicyclists raced up the country’s highest peak, climbing over 2,400 feet on small wheeled, singlespeed foldies, to honor the bikes that were once made in the former Yugoslavia.

India marked World Bicycle Day by making pans to donate a whopping 15,000 bicycles to Madagascar to get more people on bikes.

A crowdfunding campaign to help Afghanistan’s women cyclists escape the country has raised over $24,000 of the $187,000 goal.

A Melbourne, Australia writer laments the city’s decision to stop building bike lanes, after getting complaints from out-of-town, pass-through drivers. Which should sound familiar to anyone who has been biking in LA for awhile. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch great Tom Doumalin calls it a career after the end of this season, saying “cycling required my blood, sweat and tears at times, but mostly it was beautiful.”

While we all wait with varying degrees of patience for next month’s Tour de France, racing goes on, with Dutch pro Wout van Aert winning the first stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

CLR Effect reports on the third and final day of racing in the 2022 Los Angeles Velodrome Racing Association Spring Omnium at Carson’s Velo Sports Center, complete with some exceptional photos by author Michael Wagner.

 

Finally…

Nothing like celebrating pride with a drag bike parade. Your next bike could be a 2-D Volkswagen Bug.

And an 1891 patent proves you could have been riding inside one wheel, rather than on top of two wheels. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Settling for sharrows in Beverly Hills, Times columnist gets that crashes don’t just happen, and parking on the bike path

My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence. 

I’m still battling the same health issues I’ve been dealing with since before Halloween. Most nights I battle through it; last week I couldn’t. 

But after seeing four different doctors since this all began, we’ve reached a clear consensus is that it’s definitely a) an inner ear problem, or b) not an inner ear problem. 

Maybe the next four specialists I’m supposed to see can figure it out. 

Meanwhile, have happy Presidents Day! Go out and buy a mattress or something. 

And go for a ride, already.

The Sharrows Are Bullshit t-shirt modeled by yours truly in today’s photo can be purchased from our friend Peter Flax.

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Good news and bad from the former Biking Black Hole.

The good news is Beverly Hills, which has made a major turnaround in recent years, will be implementing a “minimum grid bikeway network.”

The bad news is, it’s just going to be signs and sharrows. In other words, it’s the least they can do.

Literally.

Hopefully, this is just the first step as the city implements its Complete Streets plan, with its promises of pursuing “parallel, longer-range efforts to expand and upgrade cycling infrastructure.”

Let’s hope so.

On the other hand, until the paint is on the ground, we’re always just one election — or uprising by angry drivers and/or overly privileged home or business owners — from a change of heart.

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Maybe she’s starting to get it.

It was only a week ago that we criticized the Los Angeles Times’ Robin Abcarian for concluding that Vision Zero was a worthy, but impossible goal, so “why go out on a limb with a big, bold promise that is so obviously doomed to fail?”

But yesterday found her reconsidering use of the word “accident,” after reading author Jessie Singer’s new book There Are No Accidents: The Deadly Rise of Injury and Disaster — Who Profits and Who Pays the Price.

Although the AP’s change of heart on the word should have tipped her off long before now.

She quotes Singer saying that in virtually every case, there is a cause — often more than one — leading up to the cause of any unfortunate event.

“Never focus on the last causal factor,” Singer told me. “The thing we screw up about ‘accidents’ is looking at the last person who made a mistake. Accidents have layered causality. When you look toward the question of preventing harm, there are just so many answers, so many ways we can throw a pillow between us and our mistakes.”

Abcarian seems to take that message to heart, concluding,

Almost every day, I drive past the intersection on Venice Boulevard and Shell Avenue close to where the actor Orson Bean was struck and killed by two cars as he crossed the four-lane street one dark evening two years ago. There’s a new bright crosswalk, warning lights and signs now where before there were none.

I used to think his death was an unfortunate accident. I’m starting to think of it as inevitable.

Meanwhile, Singer, author of There Are No Accidents, says it’s time to stop yelling at drivers, and start expecting the government to demand safer cars.

After the founding of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the 1960s, the organization began requiring safety improvements to protect the occupants of cars, from seat belts and collapsable steering wheels to air bags.

The result was a steady decline in traffic deaths, resulting in as many as 600,000 lives saved, Singer says.

Until now.

But progress began to reverse even before the coronavirus pandemic. Speeding on pandemic-empty streets only exacerbated the threats posed by heavier, more powerful SUVs. The crisis of traffic safety has been particularly acute for people on foot. While traffic fatalities rose 5 percent in the past decade, pedestrian deaths rose by nearly half. For people living in povertyBlack people, and Indigenous people, the likelihood of traffic death, inside and outside a car, is even more acute.

The European Union and Japan have not seen a concurrent crisis. In those jurisdictions, regulators protect people both inside and outside of a vehicle; vehicle-safety ratings take pedestrian risk into account. More than a decade ago, EU and Japanese regulators required that automakers redesign bumpers, hoods, and detection systems to reduce the likelihood of death on impact. Putting the onus of survivability on the automaker spurred the development of new technology, such as airbags that inflate outside the vehicle. Pedestrian fatalities fell by more than a third in a decade in Europe and have fallen by more than half since 2000 in Japan.

Meanwhile, The Nation makes that case that cars kill twice as many people as guns, and disproportionately affect people of color.

And why.

We also need to change our roads, which often plow through Black and low-income communities with the goal of making it easier to drive farther and faster. Replacing intersections with roundabouts could reduce crashes by more than 50 percent. We can hem in streets with curbs. Removing lanes, adding shoulders, bike paths, and speed bumps, and creating turn lanes would all decrease speeding and crashes.

On the other hand, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham seems to come out in favor of traffic deaths in the name of freedom.

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Mark your calendar for March 5th, when the Taylor Yard Bridge officially opens.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

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It’s bad enough we have to deal with people parking in bike lanes.

But this is taking it too far.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1494378341465395202

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This is what we could have in Los Angeles, if our ex-Climate Mayor and future ambassador to India had even a fraction of the courage and commitment shown by the his predecessor, the mayor of Paris.

https://twitter.com/grescoe/status/1494326829305323521

And did I mention who else is following suit?

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Presenting the height of women’s bikewear fashion, circa 1897.

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I’m happy to say Trevor Noah is one of us.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1495261934999855115

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Your periodic reminder that this is not what bikes are for.

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This is who we share the road with.

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That feeling when what’s passing you on bike path isn’t a bicycle.

Let’s just hope there wasn’t someone inside.

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Former pro Ted King shares his experience on the annual 400-mile Coast Ride from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, including the invaluable direction finding advice to just keep the ocean on the right.

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The folks at GCN tackle the route of famed Paris-San Remo race.

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

No bias here. A writer complains that a 17-year old boy riding an ebike “could have been traveling upward of 20 mph” when he was critically injured in a collision with a truck driver, using that to justify a call to put the brakes on ebikes. Then again, the teen could have been doing just 12 mph. Or 17. Or any other number he wants to pull out of his ass.

Boston bike riders support a pilot program for widening a bike lane over a key bridge, even as video shows vandals tossing the orange cones off it.

Road.cc asks why asking drivers not to pass bike riders too closely causes so much irrational anger.

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Local

Mark your calendar for March 19th, when Walk ‘n Rollers will mark ten years of making a difference for kids on our streets.

To the surprise of virtually no one who lives here, most people in Los Angeles like living here, though there is a lot of room for improvement.

A writer for City Watch calls out councilmember and mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino for what he calls the “ill-conceived notion” to outlaw sidewalk bike repair. Meanwhile, Buscaino’s turn to the right in the mayor’s race has been outflanked by even more conservative billionaire Rick Caruso.

 

State 

California Assemblymember Phil Ting is taking another crack at making it legal to cross the street, reintroducing a bill that would legalize jaywalking, which disproportionately affects people of color.

Also back for another round is a proposal in the legislature to legalize a pilot speed cam program, while another bill would require Leading Pedestrian Intervals at all stop lights statewide. Let’s make sure the law explicitly allows bicycles to use LPIs, too.

A proposal from San Diego’s mayor would shift infrastructure spending, including bikeways, to lower income areas.

Kern County’s long awaited lake-to-lake Kern River Bike Trail has finally become a reality, with a 36.3-mile pathway connecting Lake Ming with the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area.

 

National

A Streetsblog op-ed makes the case for why Vision Zero is a human rights issue for the deaf community and other disabled people.

A new add-on battery promises to double the range of your ebike.

Ford is examining replacing warning alerts with the sounds of simulated, in-car footsteps and bike bells to get the driver’s attention.

Bicycle Retailer examines the role volunteers play in helping Bike Index return stolen and missing bikes to their rightful owners.

Peloton workers say the company sent out rusted stationary bikes to customers as it struggled to keep up with demand.

Shaq says he once bought a new bike for a random kid at a bike shop. Although the kid was probably too young to know who the hell his giant benefactor was.

After nearly 30 years, Seattle’s King County has finally pulled the plug on its well-intentioned but misguided mandatory bike helmet law, after belatedly discovering that it unfairly targets the homeless and people of color; repeal of the law also removes a contested pretext for traffic stops.

European countries offer hard-hitting traffic safety messages; in the US, we’re more likely to get messages like this one from Austin, Texas that says Life is Valuable, Please Drive Safe. Which isn’t likely to get anyone to take their foot off the gas long enough to read it.

Hoboken NJ offers proof that Vision Zero really can work if cities make a commitment to it, with no traffic deaths for the past two years, and a 35% and 11% drop in collisions involving pedestrians and bike riders, respectively.

She gets it. A Virginia columnist decries news coverage that blames and dehumanizes victims of traffic violence.

Our sympathy to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which now has the fourth-worst traffic congestion in the US, behind only eternal leader Los Angeles, New York and Miami.

A new Florida law allows group rides to proceed through stop signs ten riders at a time. But only after coming to a complete stop first.

 

International

Momentum highlights beautiful bike trails in national parks around the world. Which you could visit on your very own amphibious ebike camper.

That’s more like it. A skyscraping Toronto condo tower is being targeted to the bicycling community, complete with a bike repair room, secure bike lockers and a dedicated bicycle elevator.

Road.cc remembers Southern England’s classic handmade steel-frame bike builders of the last century.

You’ve got to be kidding. A prolific thief was given a “final, final chance” after he was convicted of stealing the equivalent of $1369 worth of parts from a British bike shop, which he claimed was to buy his daughter a birthday present — despite a whopping 126 previous convictions. Must have been a damn good present, too.

This is why people keep dying on our roads. A judge could give a convicted drunk driver his license back after a ruptured Achilles heel left him unable to walk or ride a bicycle. So they want to put him back in a big, dangerous machine and give him another chance to kill someone, since he wasn’t successful the first time.

Life and lies are cheap in the UK, where a woman walked without a single day behind bars for fleeing the scene after running down a nine-year old boy on a bicycle, then lying to police investigators, claiming she hadn’t been in a wreck.

Life is cheap in the UK, part II. A 76-year old British man will spend two years behind bars for the impatient pass and head-on crash that killed a man riding a bike, who was reportedly doing everything right. But at least he’s been banned from driving for seven years, even though it should have been life.

Life is cheap in Ireland, too, where a drunk, hit-and-run driver got a lousy two and a half years for killing a man on a bicycle, after leaving him lying in a field to die alone.

Your next French e-cargo foldie could glow in the dark.

After India’s prime minister tried to link the Samajwadi Party, which uses a bicycle as its symbol, to a 2008 terrorist bombing, an Indian paper relates the history of bike bombs around the world.

Longtime Bollywood actor and producer Anil Kapoor is one of us.

Bicycling Australia tackles the eternal question of whether or not to shave your legs.

 

Competitive Cycling

After 13 years, retired pro Ruth Winder discovers that unbecoming a pro cyclist isn’t much easier that becoming one.

Egan Bernal gives a first-person account of the harrowing 38 mph crash that nearly left him paralyzed, as he shares his hope of a return to racing.

Belgian pro Wout Van Aert had a one word response to Chris Froome’s suggestion that specialized time trial bikes should be banned from pro cycling: “Bullshit.”

Cycling Tips examines legendary Black cyclist Major Taylor’s 1903 singlespeed Peugeot track bike, complete with wooden rims.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get away with seven grand worth of meth because the cops didn’t have probable cause to stop your bicycle. When you’re such a jerk your mom gives away your new birthday bike before you can even ride it.

And when you leave your bikes at the beach just a tad too long.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Metro motion rethinks bikeshare system, Flax says sharrows are bullshit, and McSweeney’s says fuck you, I’m a cyclist

Metro is rethinking their bikeshare program.

Which could be a good thing.

A board motion submitted LA Councilmember Paul Krekorian, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, County Supervisor Shiela Kuehl and Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval proposes a number of changes to the Metro Bike system, in part to address theft of the bikes.

Currently, Metro only has 38% of the total original fleet remaining in operation. Metro Bikes have been targets of theft, and rates of fleet loss ebb and flow as new methods of theft are discovered and addressed. The Metro Bike Share team has increased efforts to recover lost and stolen bicycles but this is not sustaining the fleet and the program does not have an established fleet replenishment strategy. As a result, fewer Metro Bikes are available for use, which degrades the quality of service available to the public.

Although I’d think having nearly 40 percent of the original bikes still in operation after five years is pretty damn good.

Regardless, the five are requesting that the Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins report back in 90 days on a number of proposed changes, most of which have nothing to do with addressing bike theft.

A. An action plan to stabilize the current fleet size including actions for how to identify, prioritize, and address new mechanisms of theft as they arise.

B. An action plan to address equitable access in the current program and in any future form of the program. This plan shall include recommendations on issues such as serving people who may be unbanked, addressing the digital divide, and keeping fare cost low.

C. A plan to provide uninterrupted service as the next iteration of the program is determined and executed.

D. A plan to convene an industry forum (as was performed for Metro Micro) to bring together academics, cities with existing bike share programs, community stakeholders, and industry experts to provide recommendations on advancing Metro Bike Share beyond the current contract in one of several forms including but not limited to

  • Continuing Metro Bike Share as a contracted service,
  • Operating the program In-house with Metro employees,
  • A private-sector model with financial subsidy provided by Metro.

E. Performing a market survey to identify best practices and business models among existing bike-share systems in the US, and comparable global systems (e.g., Paris, London, Barcelona, Madrid, and Mexico City), and to develop comparative data on subsidy cost per ride, total ridership, size of fleet, vehicle technology, theft and damage loss and prevention, and alternative financing sources like sponsorship and advertising.

F. Recommendations for continuing and evolving the Metro Bike Share program to meet the goals of the agency, with countywide stakeholder engagement and consideration of cost-sharing, with the goal of expanding service area and local participation to all subregions in the County. These recommendations should include eligible local, state, and federal funding sources for capital and operations budgets, as well as legislative opportunities to expand such funding eligibility.

All of these should be positives, if they’re carried out with a clear intention to maintain the bikeshare system and improve service.

Especially finding better ways to equitably serve low income communities.

As it stands right now, there doesn’t appear to be reason for concern. The question will be what form the response takes when Wiggins reports back in February.

That’s when we’ll want to give her recommendations a close look. And make sure the program is moving forward, not back.

Thanks to an anonymous source for the heads-up. 

………

Somehow I missed this one from our friend Peter Flax, who politely proclaims that sharrows are bullshit.

But we haven’t even gotten to the suckiest part yet. These days sharrows are deployed as a bad-faith alternative to actually making roads safer for bike riders. In recent years, sharrows have become increasingly popular as cities try to balance calls from safety advocates to install quality bike lanes — you know, so folks feel more encouraged to ride and get killed a little less often — and grumpy motorists who don’t want to relinquish driving lanes or parking spaces for bike infrastructure. To the politicians and engineers stuck in the middle, sharrows seem like a devilishly perfect compromise — a way to placate the pro-car populists while still being able to claim you did something.

In short, they are perfect for city officials who care enough about safety to do the very least. There’s only one problem: Sharrows are make believe safety infrastructure.

By now, you probably already know my take.

That sharrows are nothing more than an attempt by transportation agencies to thin the herd, with little arrows painted on the pavement to help drivers improve their aim.

The best you can say is they offer a placemaking guide for people on bicycles, while showing riders where they should position themselves to control the lane.

If they’re placed correctly, that is.

And if riders feel comfortable in the middle of the lane in front of too often impatient and angry drivers.

Instead, you usually see people riding next to them on the right, increasing the risk of unsafe passes. If you see them at all, since many riders seem to prefer other routes that place them in less risk of getting run over.

Which is probably smart. Because as Flax notes, a 2018 study found that sharrows are actually worse than nothing when it comes to safety.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Because he’s right.

Sharrows really are bullshit.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip

………

Then there’s this bizarre, incomprehensible, and supposedly tongue-in-cheek screed from McSweeney’s.

It gets worse.

That was followed by this tweet from McSweeney himself, justifying the piece.

It’s a sure sign you missed the mark when you have to tell people something is funny.

Or when you have to say, no, really, we ride bikes, too.

Because it ain’t satire if it’s not funny.

………

When is a protected bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s a parking lot for government cops.

………

Recently retired pro Tejay van Garderen had his own bikes stolen recently while moving to Denver.

So if you’re in the Denver area, keep an eye out for them. And it wouldn’t hurt to watch out wherever you are, because high-end bikes like these could turn up anywhere.

According to Jonathan Vaughters, that second bike is the one that put van Garderen in the white jersey signifying the best young rider in the 2012 Tour de France.

………

Love this photo that’s the very definition of fin de siècle style and cool.

https://twitter.com/PeterPeterbox/status/1460964802310938625

Here’s what the tweet says, for those of us who are Español challenged.

Bicycles have remained remarkably the same for over 100 years, elegant in their efficiency and simplicity; the look of the cyclists has not changed much either.

………

Another reminder of the exceptional efficiency of bike lanes.

………

Tonight would be great for a not-so-moonlit ride, with the eclipse starting around 9 pm on the West Coast, and reaching it’s peak around 1 am, if you can get away from the coastal fog and clouds.

………

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

Singapore police are looking for a hit-and-run bicyclist who fled the scene after crashing head-on into woman on a bicycle.

………

Local

Long Beach’s multi-modal, bike-commuting captain of the annual floating Christmas tree display is retiring after 39 years on the job, without a single day driving to or from work.

 

State

A 75-year old man was seriously injured when he was run down from behind by a driver while riding his bike on Cushing Road near San Diego’s Liberty Station; fortunately, his injuries aren’t expected to be life threatening.

 

National

Talk about a misguided take. A writer for the New York Times calls out “obscure” “fringe, niche” measures and “special interest breaks” included in the Build Back Better bill currently under consideration in the US House — like the not-so-obscure $900 tax rebate program for ebike purchasers, which has been openly discussed and debated.

The hometown paper in Grand Junction, Colorado, when my former Iditarod-mushing brother lives and rides these days, says there’s plenty more the city could do to make riding a bike a safer and more enjoyable experience. Pretty much like everywhere else.

Colorado police have busted an eight man bike theft ring responsible for $1.5 million worth of stolen bicycles; they face a combination of more than 200 charges.

Chicago Streetsblog calls out a Chicago-style hot dog stand for banning bikes from its drive-through. Although another Windy City hot dog purveyor says bikes are more than welcome at theirs.

A Cleveland TV station talks with several bike commuters about their safety concerns, including better infrastructure and getting more respect from drivers.

A 22-year old hit-and-run driver will now face a murder charge after a preliminary investigation showed he was speeding on his way to work, and high on weed, when he slammed into a six-year old Detroit boy just riding his bike across the street.

The Philadelphia Inquirer joins a mounting chorus saying the recently signed infrastructure bill may be big, but it won’t change America’s misguided focus on cars.

‘Tis the season. Alabama’s 91-year old “Bicycle Man” rescued and repaired 30 discarded bicycles for a holiday giveaway program for children in need.

The mother of the 14-year old Palm Beach, Florida boy who was found dead hours after leaving for a bike ride says he lost control and flipped his bicycle, and there was no foul play involved.

 

International

Treehugger rates the best cargo bike trailers of 2021.

Cyclist offers a beginner’s guide to every part that makes up a road bike.

Smart move. Montreal is setting up an online reporting system just for pedestrian and bicycle crashes in the downtown area, where most such crashes occur. Something we could use here, where police too often don’t even want to take a report unless someone is seriously injured.

In another step backward, the Swiss government is calling for mandating bike helmets for anyone over the age of 12. Before anyone gets upset, I never ride my bike without a helmet. But helmet laws have repeatedly been shown to be counterproductive, while giving police an excuse to target people on bicycles. And too often people of color and homeless bike riders.

What to give your favorite Philippine bike rider this holiday season.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenia’s Primož Roglič says he’s not the cycling Terminator everyone thinks he is.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you rescue a bike from the trash because it has the weirdest, coolest brakes you’ve ever seen. Nothing like a casual bike ride up an 18,000 foot Peruvian peak through two feet of snow.

And what’s the underwater equivalent of Viking Biking?

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Long Beach downgrades planned protected bike lane, de León gets bike-friendly, and biking where Black or Brown

Long Beach may be one of the most bike-friendly cities in Southern California.

But that doesn’t mean they always get it right.

Yesterday, we mentioned that Long Beach will hold a virtual meeting tonight to discuss a $3.7 million infrastructure improvement project on Santa Fe Avenue in West Long Beach, which includes a new bike route.

But what they failed to mention is that original plans called for a protected bike lane.

Which is a pretty major downgrade to a bunch of signs and maybe a few sharrows.

West Long Beach is no exception as this type of lack of safety, particularly along bicycle corridors, has been addressed by urban planners and traffic engineers nationwide through the use of the “8-80 rule.”

It basically goes as such: Would you feel comfortable letting an eight-year-old ride down the street with an 80-year-old as their guide? If your answer is even a remote hesitation, planners feel that road requires “8-80 facilities,” or fully protected bike lanes with bollards and parking as buffers before aligning directly with traffic.

Santa Fe Avenue, according to our own city’s Master Bicycle Plan (Appendix E), is such a facility. These bike lanes are typically Class I bike paths: They do not share, in any capacity, their space with cars.

And yet, for reasons known only to city planners, this ostensibly bike and pedestrian friendly city is going out of their way to maintain the automotive hegemony on this corridor.

Not to mention keeping it dangerous, if not deadly, for anyone who isn’t in a motor vehicle.

It’s up to you to tell Long Beach that’s not good enough.

If you walk or ride in the area, or would like to if it was safer, you owe it to yourself to attend tonight’s virtual meeting.

The virtual meeting—set to be presented in English with interpreters for Khmer, Spanish, and Tagalog speakers on hand—begins at 6PM on Thursday, Oct. 7. To register for the Zoom meeting, click here. For those using phones, you may also call 213-338-8477 and enter the meeting using the following ID: 998 6180 2751. Anyone wanting more information can contact the Public Works Department at contactlbpw@longeach.gov or 562-570-6383.

Thanks to Brian Addison for the heads-up.

……..

CD14 Councilmember and 2022 mayoral candidate Kevin de León has fired a shot across the bow for next year’s campaign, staking out a transit, bike and pedestrian friendly position with a series of motions introduced in the LA city council on Wednesday.

Click through to read the motions.

The fifth motion not mentioned above calls for studying the purchase of more electric mini-street sweepers to keep protected bike lanes clean, as well as the possibility of buying hybrid electric street sweepers.

Although a street sweeper that could keep cars out would help a lot more.

The most interesting motion calls for closing one block segments of some Downtown Streets to car traffic, including

  • Grand Ave between 1st and 2nd
  • Broadway between 3rd and 4th
  • Traction Ave between 3rd and Hewitt

However, a far better option would be to pedestrianize the full length of Broadway, from City Hall south to at least 8th Street.

And while placing bike lanes on the uphill side of some streets and sharrows on the downhill side has some promise, the question becomes whether it would work in practice, since drivers tend to pick up speed going downhill, often far in excess of the speed limit.

Which wouldn’t exactly be comfortable, or safe.

The bigger problem is the motions don’t call for actually doing anything other than conducting yet another a study. Or rather five studies.

Which is what the city does best.

Los Angeles has a long and unproductive history of studying problems to death, without ever taking any real action.

So we’ll have to see if anything actually comes of de León’s motions.

Or if he’s just staking out a position for what promises to be a bruising mayoral campaign.

Then again, there is something he could do to show he really is serious.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1445966890539499525

………

Evidently, the problem isn’t just biking where Black or Brown, but biking where Black or Brown.

A new study from a UC Davis researcher shows that eight times more traffic tickets were issued to bike riders in majority Black neighborhoods, compared to majority white areas. And three times more in majority Latinx neighborhoods.

The study also shows that most traffic tickets are written on major streets, but 85% fewer bicyclists are ticketed on streets with bike lanes. Except few communities populated primarily by people of color have bike lanes.

The study also shows there’s no apparent correlation between higher rates of ticketing people on bicycles and improvements in safety.

The obvious solution is to build more bike lanes in Black and Latinx neighborhoods, in consultation with the community to address fears that bike lanes contribute to gentrification.

Less obvious is the author’s suggestion to remove traffic enforcement from strategies for safer streets, since it doesn’t have any apparent benefit and unfairly target people of color.

………

If you ride an Elliptigo bike, you could be looking at a recall to avoid the risk of your frame breaking while you ride.

Then again, why would you ride an Elliptigo in the first place?

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tweet.

………

The youngest woman to cycle solo around the world narrates a guide to bikepacking in the wild.

Including where and how go to the toilet, without one.

………

Pink Bike demonstrates how to choose lines on your mountain bike.

Which, for those of us who lived through the 80s, is evidently quite different from doing them.

………

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

A San Francisco bike rider was the victim of an apparently unprovoked attack when a motorcycle rider pulled up next to him, then tried to kick him off his bike and punched him, for no apparent reason.

No surprise here. A Houston attorney representing the six bicyclists run down by a teenage pickup driver attempting to roll coal accuses officials and residents in Waller County, where the crash took place, of bias against bike riders, suggesting that the investigation may be tainted as a result.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the New York man riding a pink girl’s bicycle, who strong-armed a little girl walking to school to steal her cellphone.

A British woman was injured when she was struck by a man riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, who then threatened her husband when he challenged him about it.

………

Local

Metro is offering a self-guided bike tour of Chicanx art in DTLA.

Pasadena students mark yesterday’s National Walk and Bike to School Day.

 

State

Monterey’s four day Sea Otter Classic bike fest starts today and runs through the weekend, after last year’s pandemic hiatus. Nice to see Bicycling Monterey’s Mari Lynch get a well-deserved shout-out.

A 57-year old Merced man was shot by a thief when he refused to give up his bicycle; no word on the victim’s condition. Seriously, if someone demands your bike, just give it to them. No bike is worth your life, no matter how attached you are to it.

Sad news from Berkeley, where an 81-year old man died of natural causes while riding on an offroad bike trail, although it’s unknown whether his death was caused by falling off his bike, or if he fell off his bike due to a medical condition.

 

National

Bike industry leaders, who too often remain silent on bicycling issues, say now is the time for the industry and the broader bicycling community to demand action on climate change.

A writer for Cosmo tried swapping her car for an ebike, and lived happily ever after as a contented convert to bicycling.

Seattle microbreweries are discovering that the Venn diagram of craft beer drinkers and bike riders is nearly a circle.

It takes a major schmuck to steal nearly $10,000 worth of bicycling equipment from a Colorado high school cycling team, just days before a race.

More on the proposed legislation that would extend Colorado’s Stop As Yield law statewide, rather than ceding authority to local jurisdictions on whether or not to allow it. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for Governor Newsom to sign California’s version of the law.

Billings, Montana is building a network of neighborhood bikeways. Unfortunately, Los Angeles isn’t, even though the Mobility Plan calls for it as one of the three bike networks included in the plan.

The CBC talks with the ER doctor who was in exactly the right place at the right time, riding a Minnesota bike trail when he came upon an unconscious mountain biker on the side of the trail, and saved his life with an emergency on-site cricothyrotomy.

Heartbreaking news from Minnesota, where a ten-year old girl lost her leg and suffered life-threatening injuries when she was run over on her bicycle and dragged for over a block, after a 73-year old semi driver jumped the curb she was on while making a right turn; needless to say, no charges have been filed yet.

A kindhearted Ohio cop gave a 12-year old boy an unclaimed bike from the police property room, after the boy loaned his bike to a couple other boys, who tossed it off a bridge onto railroad tracks, while both of the boy’s parents were hospitalized with Covid-19.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea might be the wrong person to work on the city’s Vision Zero program, after admitting he’s more afraid of bicyclists and ebike riders than he is of drivers.

Philadelphia followed the national trend of fewer crashes but more fatalities, with traffic deaths up 88% last year despite a drop in collisions.

They get it. The Washington Post says children should be able to safely walk and bike to school, but four kids in crosswalks have been struck by drivers in the last four weeks.

 

International

Treehugger recommends the year’s five best bike trailers for kids.

Cyclist rides the classic Italian climb named for the Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of bicyclists.

More than 50,000 people have signed a petition calling for a ban on private motor vehicles in central Berlin, which would create the world’s largest carfree zone.

An Egyptian woman’s three-year old blog is empowering young women to get on their bikes; the blog is named Tabdeel, which appropriately translates to both pedaling and change.

Tragic news from Nigeria, where a 58-year old Lagos bike rider died five days after he was stabbed repeated by robbers, because the hospital delayed a transfusion and surgery due to a doctors’ strike.

 

Finally…

Forcibly pushing a man on a bicycle out of a grocery store probably isn’t the best way to foster peace and good will. When you’re stuck behind bars, a virtual bike race is probably the best you can hope for.

And that feeling when a stolen bike could be worth its weight in gin.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Culver City considers unlocking gate to Ballona Creek path, and LA claims 51 miles of new bike lanes this fiscal year

Culver City could remove a barrier to bicycling in the city.

Literally.

A virtual city council meeting scheduled for 5:30 pm Monday will consider a proposal to finally unlock the gate blocking access to the Ballona Creek bike path at the east end of Jackson Ave.

Opening the entry to the La Ballona Creek Multi-Use Path (Path) at Jackson Avenue for use by the public is expected to increase usage of the Path, would provide an additional access point along the Path for emergency responders, and offer a less physically challenging entry/exit point at the same elevation as the path. The La Ballona Creek Multi-Use Path offers a protected route for students and parents, commuters, and visitors to travel within the City, assists in relieving heavily congested areas of traffic by providing a travel alternative, and facilitates an environmentally friendly method of traveling.

Of course, the question is why the entrance was blocked in the first place, which isn’t answered in the city’s press release.

Here’s how to comment and watch the meeting, although you have to register in advance to actually address the council during the meeting.

How to Submit a Written Public Comment Prior to a Meeting: Persons may submit comments BEFORE 4 PM on August 9, 2021. Find the active eComment link to the right of the agenda date, then add your comment to the agenda item you chooseWatch a video tutorial on How to make an eComment. Mail your comments to the attention of the City Clerk’s Office at 9770 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, specifically identifying the meeting date.

How to Watch the Meeting: You can watch the meeting online, on the City’s YouTube channel or on the City cable channel.

How to Attend the Meeting Remotely: All attendees must Register to Attend on Webex, after which you will receive an email with directions and a link to join the meeting, once it has begun. Watch a video tutorial on how to register on WebEx.

NEW: For those who wish to speak during the meeting:  When registering to attend the meeting, you may identify the agenda item(s) on which you wish to speak by indicating the section of the agenda followed by the number (for example A-1, PH-2, C-3). For those in attendance who do not request to speak when registering, you may send a request to speak via the CHAT function by stating your name and the agenda item number. At the start of each agenda item, staff will read aloud the names of those who have requested to speak on an agenda item. Requests to speak that are received after the start of the public comment period for that agenda item will not be considered.

If an internet connection is not available, or you think you may have other issues joining the meeting, please call (310) 253-5851 in advance for assistance.

Needless to say, not everyone approves, as a group of residents who live in the surrounding area try to rally opposition.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up. Photo by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

………

Speaking of Linton, he writes that bike lane installation actually rose in Los Angeles during the past fiscal year, with the city claiming 51.5 miles of new and upgraded bikeways.

Although that includes 4.9 miles of new sharrows, which studies show are actually more dangerous than nothing.

It also includes nearly eight miles of upgraded bike lanes, further reducing the total of new lanes.

And that 51.5 miles — 46.6 if you remove the sharrows, please — are measured in lane miles, which means both sides of the street are counted separately. So it actually works out to around half that amount the way most of us would look at it.

………

Two of this year’s most important transportation bills need your help.

California Streetsblog is reporting that AB 1238, known as the Freedom to Walk Act, is stuck in the Senate Appropriations Committee, and must pass by the end of the week in order to move forward.

The bill would remove the prohibition against jaywalking, allowing people to cross the street when and where it’s safe to do so.

Which raises the question of what the hell it has to do with appropriations, unless criminalizing crossing the damn street is inappropriately seen as a money maker for the state, which is yet another reason to get rid of it.

Prospects are better for AB 122, the so-called Safety Stop Bill, which has passed through all committees, and just needs approval from the full Senate.

That bill would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, which most people on bicycles do already. Then again, so do many drivers, in what’s infamously known throughout the US as the California Roll.

This would remove the requirement for bike riders to come to a full and complete stop at a stop sign, increasing efficiency and improving safety.

It would also remove one of the most common reasons police ticket bike riders and eliminate any confusion over what constitutes a stop; many riders have complained about getting tickets for slowing to a near stop or doing a track stand.

………

Bike Talk announces their lineup for this evening’s show, which sounds like it adds up to a compelling hour of, well, bike talk.

………

New York Streetsblog says “actor-influencer-dandy-gadfly-gadabout-hunk-trendsetter” George Hahn is the bike-riding man about town we need right now, after he went on an impromptu rant against cars and car culture.

………

Here’s a reminder of what we could have, if our elected leaders ever got serious about providing real alternatives to driving.

………

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

A woman in Cheddar, England — yes, that Cheddar — was nearly pushed off her bike by the unruly visitors in town for a Christian festival, who forced the village into a virtual lockdown with their rude and aggressive behavior. Maybe instead of attending a festival, they should go back home and re-read the book it’s based on, because they seem to have missed something.

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

Police in San Diego are looking for the Taser-toting bandit who robbed a local smoke shop before making his getaway carrying cash and a small safe on a black mountain bike.

An English woman walking her blind dog complained to police about a pair of “aggressive” bike riders who took offense to her admonition that bikes aren’t allowed on the narrow foot path.

………

Local

The first months of West Hollywood’s 18-month e-scooter pilot program shows people illegally riding and parking on the sidewalks, rather than using the city’s designated scooter parking spots.

 

State

San Francisco tops the latest list of the country’s most bike-friendly cities, with Oakland a surprising number four. Needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t on the list, although Irvine makes an equally surprising appearance at number nine.

State Bicycle Company is partnering with the National Park Service to release a series of national park-themed bicycles, clothing and accessories, including a roadie paying tribute to Southern California’s Joshua Tree NP.

 

National

Your next bike lane could be 3D printed and suspended under a bridge.

Colorado’s Glenwood Canyon bike path will be out of action for the foreseeable future after mudslides shut down I-70 through the canyon, which runs next to it, for several days.

Things got tense in San Antonio, Texas, where a man pulled out a machete and threatened a driver who had just killed the man’s girlfriend as they were riding together; a bystander with a permit for a concealed weapon pulled out his gun to “diffuse” the situation. Note to KSAT-TV — the word you’re looking for is defuse, not diffuse. And who the hell carries a machete on a bike ride?

Good luck visiting Minnesota’s state parks if you don’t drive a car.

A TV station looks back to the nine minutes that triggered the Crown Heights riot 30 years ago, which began when an Orthodox Jewish driver slammed his car into a seven-year old Black boy who was fixing his bike chain, pitting the two groups against each other for three days of violence.

The New York Times offers a beginner’s guide to bicycling in the city.

Rumors are flying around Channing Tatum and Zoë Kravitz after she hitched a ride on the back of his BMX bike.

Newly released security cam video shows an Atlantic City, New Jersey man riding his bike into an intersection with a green light, where he was run down and killed by a cop rushing to a call without bothering to use his lights or siren.

 

International

A London man is trying to find out what happened that left him with a brain bleed and concussion after riding his bike to work; whatever occurred left him with no memory of the incident.

A look at London’s thriving bike polo scene.

Around two hundred people staged a bicycle die-in to demand safer streets in an English town after a 53-year old woman was killed riding her bike earlier this month. Maybe someday we’ll see that kind of outrage here; previous Los Angeles die-ins have attracted a handful of people, at most.

An Irish writer says the country needs the equivalent of Ireland’s smoking ban to improve safety on the streets by slowing traffic.

New Zealand’s governing body for sports has announced an investigation into the alleged suicide of Rio Olympic track cyclist Olivia Podmore, who was left off this year’s team after reportedly being bullied by cycling officials into making false statements.

Life is a little less cheap in Singapore, where a driver will have to spend two weeks behind bars after an appeals court overturned her original sentence of probation for killing a bike rider.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as two-time defending Vuelta a España champ Primož Roglič has slipped back into the race’s red leader’s jersey, with a 25-second lead he’s not likely to give up.

Cycling Tips offers a preview to the paracycling events at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Next time think before you comment online. Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome takes thoughtless sports fans to task for needlessly criticizing athletes, including your favorite — or least favorite — cyclists; reminding us that we’re talking about real people with real feelings, who may struggle with the pressure of competing at the highest levels. Considering he’s also won the Vuelta — twice — and the Giro, he might have some idea what he’s talking about. Or to put it another way, just don’t be a jerk, online or in what passes for real life these days.

 

Finally…

Now you can buy your Bird instead of renting, thanks to their new Van Moof knockoff. Someone please tell Michael Keaton that the only thing that’s like riding a bike is riding a bike.

And a reminder to pay attention to height limits when using a roof rack.

https://twitter.com/keithcolville/status/1428287386618847239

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

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. 

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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

………

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. 

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

Bakersfield bike riders go on their monthly full moon ride.

………

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.

………

Now this is a mountain bike race.

Watch: 2019 Mountain Of Hell Mountain Bike Race

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

 

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