Tag Archive for SoCal Families for Safe Streets

Die-in driven from news by mass shooting, LA Vision Zero a “totally unfunny self-parody,” and voters say no to De León

Three-hundred-twelve lives needlessly lost to traffic violence.

Most of them bike riders and pedestrians, many lower income, as Los Angeles set a record for the most traffic deaths in at least the last two decades.

Yet almost as heartbreaking as the lives lost to traffic violence in the City of Angels last year was the way Saturday’s die-in at City Hall to protest the deaths was shoved out of the headlines by yet another mass shooting.

The protest, which drew around one hundred participants, appeared to be covered by a number of news outlets.

Yet the only news story that’s been posted online so far came from Fox11.

And even they couldn’t be bothered to identify California Senator Anthony Portantino as the prone bicyclist shown gripping his handlebars in the story’s top photo.

Oops.

When your lead photo shows a state senator participating in a large protest, maybe it would be nice to identify him. Just saying.

 

The brief story attempts to put LA’s unacceptable rate of traffic deaths in perspective.

Yet somehow fails to mention that even one death is one too many.

How does that compare to other cities across the state, or even nationally? LA’s 312 traffic fatalities equate to just over eight deaths per 100,000, nearly twice that of San Francisco (4.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2022), but fewer than San Diego, which saw just less than nine traffic deaths per 100,000 people in 2022. In Cook County, Illinois, home to Chicago, there were roughly 7.8 traffic deaths per 100,000 people in 2022.

It ends with an all-too-brief mention of just what the assembled protestors were demanding.

Protesters organizing Saturday, want the city to do more to help curb traffic deaths in LA. They’re asking Mayor Karen Bass to declare a state of emergency on traffic violence; for more funding for the LA Department of Transportation and initiatives like VisionZero; and the passage of legislation that would allow for automated speed enforcement on dangerous roads.

“Throwing only $50.6 million at road safety issues in a city this big, especially considering how many lives are being lost, is a joke,” SAFE’s report concludes.

All of which was great.

But in addition to failing to identify Portantino, the station also failed to mention that Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman took part, as did CD3 Councilmember Bob Blumenfield.

Not to mention leaders from Streets Are For Everyone, Families For Safe Streets, Streets For All, LA Walks and BikeLA — formerly the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition — among others.

Even then, the story was gone by morning, as LA’s news outlets went with wall-to-wall coverage of the Monterey Park shootings.

Leaving the reaction to the city’s horrendous death toll forgotten on the newsroom floor, just a blip in the weekend news.

I’ll have more tomorrow, after I have a chance to sift through all the many photos I took of the event.

At center is this photo, with the red bandana, is very good boy Max, who joined his owner in playing dead along with everyone else.

The top photo shows Assembly Member Laura Friedman addressing the crowd, flanked by state Sen. Anthony Portantino; behind her are LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and Streets For All founder Michael Schneider. 

Correction: Apparently suffering a major brain cramp, I somehow originally misidentified Streets For All’s Michael Schneider in the above caption as Michael MacDonald, evidently mistaking him for a member of the Doobie Brothers. He is, to the best of my knowledge, not a Doobie nor a rock star, but a street safety star instead. My apologies. 

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Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times Letters Editor Paul Thornton introduced responses to LA’s rising toll of traffic violence with a headline calling the city’s Vision Zero failure a “totally unfunny self-parody.”

All along, the city’s primary tool to achieving its Vision Zero goals has been redesigning roads to reduce vehicle speeds and allocate more and safer spaces to cyclists and pedestrians. What we’ve gotten since 2015 are bike lanes removed from street widening projects, quashed “complete street” proposals, a thriving Lincoln Heights street market shut down by the city, and a reopened 6th Street Viaduct used as a drag strip. Something tells me we’ll be much worse off on Vision Zero in 2025 than we were in 2015.

Although naturally, one letter writer felt the need to remind us that streets are for cars, and everyone and everything else doesn’t belong there.

Nope. No bias there.

And while we’re on the subject of letters to the editor of the Los Angeles Times, the expected complaints about ebikes in the paper’s recent article about their supposed invasion of Orange County Beach cities, a Huntington Beach man says what the outrage over ebikes really points out is the lack of safe bike infrastructure.

Well said.

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No surprise here.

The LA Times is reporting that CD14 voters have turned sharply against incumbent Councilmember Kevin de León in the wake of his comments on a racist and otherwise offensive recording that has already led to the resignation of the former council president and one of LA’s most powerful labor leaders.

The turnaround comes just two years after those same voters overwhelmingly installed De León to replace disgraced Jose Huizar, who pled guilty to racketeering last week.

…By a wide margin, voters said De León puts his own political self-interest ahead of the people he represents. Even reliable supporters who voted for him in the past have lost faith, the poll found.

Only 23% of the voters surveyed approved of the job De León is doing, compared with 48% who disapproved, the poll found. Just over half think he should resign, compared with fewer than a quarter who want him to stay in office and 18% who were undecided; 9% did not answer the question.

If a recall were to qualify for the ballot — an effort to qualify one is currently circulating petitions — 58% would support recalling him from office, compared with 25% who would be opposed and 17% undecided, the survey found.

That comes after De León was heard on the leaked recording comparing the Black adopted son of former Councilmember Mike Bonin to a Luis Vuitton purse, and discussed how Latino councilmembers could mute the influence of their Black peers on the council, as well as their constituents.

Yet De León continues to ignore calls to resign, apparently thinking there is some pathway that will allow him to rehabilitate his image before facing the voters again in 2024.

Or sooner, if the recall petitions currently circling in his district qualify for the ballot.

De León had shown promise when it came to supporting bike and safety improvements in his district, including selecting the resident-designed Beautiful Boulevard option for the NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit route through Eagle Rock.

But whatever good he promised came to a quick end the moment he was heard on that infamous recording.

It’s time for De León to read the writing on the wall — and in the pages of the Times — and resign.

CD14 deserves a leader who can more effectively represent all the people, including those of us who travel on two wheels.

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This area has long been one of the most unforgiving areas for bicycling in all of the Los Angeles areas.

Although the long-delayed Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle Pedestrian Path over the new Long Beach International Gateway Bridge, better known as the replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge, should help.

Once they finally get around to opening it.

Meanwhile, this video of trying to find a safe route around the Port of Los Angeles plays like a one-man Marx Brothers routine.

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Dr. Grace Peng forward news that an anti-bike lane Redondo Beach councilmember is facing possible loss of his license to practice law after allegedly misappropriating over a half million dollars of client funds.

Proving that corruption allegations extend far beyond LA City Hall.

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

The Chicago Sun-Times probably didn’t mean it when they placed an ad about the warning signs of dementia in a story about a man riding 60 miles across the frozen wintery city to meet with other similar-minded viking bikers. But still.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A road raging British driver was found not guilty of punching and choking a man riding a bike after claiming self-defense because the bike rider punched his car after the driver “clipped” him.

This is what “clipped” looks like, as an Australian truck driver sideswipes a bike rider, then keeps going, possibly unaware he’d even hit someone.

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

Seriously, if you’re carrying guns and a large amount or narcotics on your bike, make sure the damn thing is up to the vehicle code.

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Local 

Streets For All is calling for more support for the heavy rail option to extend the Metro train system through the Sepulveda Pass, including a Metro station on the UCLA campus, at an in-person meeting on Tuesday and a virtual meeting on Thursday. Bel Air residents are demanding an impractical monorail through the center of the 405 because it wouldn’t, you know, inconvenience the rich people.

VeloNews has more on the nonprofit Bahati Foundation, formed by Compton’s own former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati to change the lives of underprivileged kids through bikes.

Santa Monica-based Bird is selling their consumer ebike for 60% off right now, marking it down from $2,299 to just $899, including free shipping.

 

State

Twenty people got tickets during Goleta’s latest crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bike riders and pedestrians; unfortunately, there’s no breakdown on whether the tickets went to motorists, bike riders or pedestrian.

 

National

Washington’s governor pitched in on the first day of a new program to teach Seattle kindergartners how to ride a bike.

They get it. The Chicago Sun-Times says that it’s worth trying surveillance cameras and automated ticketing to keep drivers out of bus and bike lanes.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale is one of us, as he explains what happened when he fell off his bike and broke his wrist, which combined with Tommy John surgery and a broken finger to cost him most of three seasons.

 

International

Rouler explores the relationship between Italian bikemaker Cinelli and artist and former pro cycling wunderkind Taylor Phinney.

A travel site offers tips on exploring Europe’s over 27,000 miles of bikeways. Which would take the better part of two years if you averaged 50 miles a day. Works for me.

An insurance company issued an urgent warning to British bicyclists about the crumbling state of the country’s roads, as 21% of bike riders suffered pothole-related injuries. Although I imagine what they really mean is 21% of bicycling injuries are related to potholes. But what do I know?

Once again, a driver has claimed multiple victims, as a British driver faces charges for the hit-and-run death of two men who were riding their bikes, before abandoning his car and fleeing on foot. Although even more frightening is how the local weekly paper seems to accept the horrific crash, mentioning it almost in passing.

A history website tells the story of Peter Masters, an Austrian Jew who escaped the Nazis, then returned as a bike-riding British commando during the D-Day invasion.

Horrible story from India, where a 70-year old man was killed when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike, then desperately clung to the drivers hood before he was thrown off and run over when the driver finally hit the brakes.

A New Zealand man’s planned three-day bike ride to babysit his granddaughter took a detour when his ride was interrupted by Cyclone Hale.

 

Competitive Cycling

British pro Simon Yates won an uphill battle to claim the final stage of the Tour Down Under, as Aussie Jay Vine took the GC title to win his first WorldTour race.

Bryan Coquard claimed his first WorldTour stage win in Saturday’s stage four of the Tour Down Under, 11 years after he joined the top pro circuit.

Rising Dutch ‘cross star Shirin van Anrooij had to sit one out after thieves stole her race bike from the parking lot while she was doing recon on the course in Costa Blanca, Spain.

Zimbabwean mountain biker Pressmore Musundi is aiming to compete in this year’s African Games, despite being born with no toes on either foot, following first and third place finishes in a pair of South Africa’s top mountain bike races.

 

Finally…

If a cop stops you for driving under the influence, try not to bite his finger off trying to get away. And we may have to deal with aggressive LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about leopard attacks.

Usually, anyway.

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Happy Lunar New Year, whatever language you celebrate in! And my sympathy and prayers to all the victims of the Monterey Park shooting and their loved ones. May the new year finally bring an end to both traffic and gun violence. 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Plea deal in death of 15-year old Javier Gonzalez, grieving families fight for safer streets, and housing for people not cars

Happy World Bicycle Day!

Now get out there and ride one.

And contact your elected leaders to demand safer streets when you get back.

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It looks like there will be justice for Javier Gonzalez, after all.

If you consider over six years justice for fleeing the scene after killing a teenage boy.

Thirty-seven-year old Riverside resident Rosendo Morales Caldera pled guilty to hit-and-run resulting in death, with a sentencing enhancement for fleeing the scene of a crime, after prosecutors agreed to drop a misdemeanor count of driving without a license.

Caldera was accused of killing Gonzalez last March as the 15-year old boy rode salmon with his friends on a Riverside street, slamming head-on into his bicycle before speeding away without stopping.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 13th. Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of six years and eight months, significantly above the standard penalty of four years for a fatal hit-and-run in California.

And yet, it seems like it’s still not enough.

Caldera has a lengthy criminal record, with prior convictions for car theft, possessing a forged driver’s license, vandalism, and being felon in possession of a firearm; he was out on probation at the time of Gonzalez’ death.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.

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Today’s must read is a hard-hitting, inspiring and heartbreaking piece from the New Yorker, about families of fallen pedestrians and bike riders who banded together to fight for safer streets — leading to the country’s first Vision Zero in New York, and traffic safety wins at city hall and the state capital.

And balanced out by just as many losses.

The group they founded, Families for Safe Streets, has grown to include chapter across the US, including here in Southern California. Each of whom has lost a family member to traffic violence.

But this is what they’re up against.

By century’s end, cars had grown progressively larger, better insulated from the feedback of the surrounding environment, and safer for the people inside them. Those on the outside were less lucky. The U.S. automotive lobby resisted regulations enacted in Europe that made cars and trucks less lethal, and, by 2018, the number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths per kilometre in the United States was more than four times higher than in the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Among the most vulnerable are older adults, who in 2020 made up twenty per cent of killed pedestrians, and people who live in low-income neighborhoods where there has been little investment in safe road design.

Between 2010 and 2019, as the number of U.S. drivers or passengers who died in collisions held fairly steady, deaths of those on bikes rose thirty-six per cent, and deaths of those on foot nearly doubled.

It’s a long piece. But more that worth the time you’ll invest in reading it.

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A columnist for The New York Times says California has to flip the paradigm of having too much housing for cars, and not enough for people.

Farhad Manjoo calls for the passage of AB 2097, which would prohibit minimum parking requirements near public transit, or at least SB 1067, which gives developers more leeway to get around parking minimums.

Meanwhile, UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup calls for enforcing the state’s parking cash-out law to reduce emissions and fight climate change.

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For early risers, the LACBC will host a Twitter Space to discuss women, children and bicycling starting at 6:00 this morning.

Yes, 6 am.

So chances are, you may have already missed it.

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

No bias here. Call it friendly fire, as a self-professed non-leg-shaving cyclist says everyone hates bike riders, so we should ride cringingly at the edge of the road to keep from annoying drivers more than they already are. Even in the English countryside where he says hedges block drivers’ views, making it far safer to take the lane, regardless of who you piss off.

Horrible news from the UK, where a woman riding a bicycle was left with a life-changing injury when a man sicced one of his large dogs on her, forcing it to bite her upper leg and clamp down for several minutes until she managed to break free, after accusing her of nearly running into his kid on a bike path. Let’s hope he goes away for a long time. And those dogs — and his kid — get a new home with someone who isn’t so cruel.

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Local

A writer for City Watch pushes back on the recently approved plans for a bus rapid transit line on Colorado Blvd through Eagle Rock, calling the reallocation of traffic lanes undemocratic because it doesn’t give all the road space to people in cars. Even though it seems far more democratic to reserve space for pedestrians, bike riders and yes, transit users, too.

The LACBC is working with Los Angeles Walks on a pilot program to encourage business owners in Wilmington and San Pedro to use ebikes.

 

State 

Calbike offers an update on active transportation bills in the state legislature, with a number still alive, including bills to legalize jaywalking, treat stop signs as yields, and require cities to include bike and pedestrian facilities in their circulation plans.

An op-ed from an Escondido urban planning student says California cities are unwalkable, unbikeable and dangerous, but they don’t have to be.

Très scandaleux! A San Diego TV station claims to have caught the 30th Street bike counter double counting some bike riders, not counting others, and even counting an armored truck illegally parked in the lane, which some local business owners claim proves the new bike lane is underused.

Berkeley residents are fighting for a carfree future on Telegraph Ave north of the UC Berkeley campus; as usual, business owners along the street are fighting back, unable to imagine any customers walking or biking to get there. If customers won’t walk or bike a few blocks to do business with you, there’s something seriously wrong with the way you do business.

 

National

NACTO says the US Department of Transportation is still taking comments on proposed safety regulations to make massive trucks and SUVs safer for bike riders and pedestrians; you have through Wednesday to voice your concerns. Or you can follow their template.

Portland is now installing lengthy lines of bike racks along sidewalks in an effort to keep homeless people from sleeping there.

Housing inspectors in Minneapolis are saying goodbye to their SUVs and using Rad Power ebikes to conduct their inspections instead; the city purchased five of the ebikes for a total of $12,000, and have already put 1,200 miles on them. Which is a hell of a lot less than they would have paid for five motor vehicles.

Syracuse NY is expected to approve a $700,000 settlement for a man who was critically injured when a speeding cop slammed into his bicycle; witnesses said the police car was traveling without lights or siren.

That’s more like it. New York City officials call for automated bike lane cams to crack down on scofflaw drivers who can’t resist turning them into parking lots.

One casualty of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was New York’s ultrafast bicycle delivery startup Buyk, which was forced to declare bankruptcy and layoff all of its American employees when US sanctions cut off access to its Russian co-founders and parent company, as well as financing from Russian banks.

Very Local highlights the top five “bicycling adventures” in the Big Easy. Although I suspect most New Orleans bike riders would prefer if riding there wasn’t quite so adventurous. 

Life is cheap in Florida, where a Vero Beach driver walked with a lousy $148 fine for swerving into a bike lane and killing a 63-year old man riding a bike, despite his long record of traffic violations and refusal to take a blood test.

 

International

Financial Times calls bicycles the cheap, green, low-tech solution for the world’s poorer megacities. Then again, they’re a pretty good solution for the rich ones, too. You can also read it here if you can’t get past their paywall.

Mounties in New Brunswick have written just 121 tickets in the five years since the province passed the equivalent of a three-foot passing law, known locally as Ellen’s Law, for a rising pro cyclist who was killed by a passing driver.

A Philippine transport group marks World Bicycle Day by calling on the government to ensure people on bicycles arrive alive.

A new study from a Sydney, Australia hospital shows injuries to delivery bicyclists are dramatically underreported, with delivery riders 13 times more likely than other bicyclists to be injured between the hours of 8 pm and midnight.

Melbourne, Australia will halt the installation of new bike lanes in the central business district, apparently unprepared for an entirely predictable bikelash from businesses and delivery drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 89-year old Texas man is determined to complete this weekend’s 200-mile Gravel Unbound race, after missing the time cut at the 120-mile checkpoint last year.

European carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling website ranks the three greatest domestiques of all time.

 

Finally…

Start your new career as an NYC bike lane inspector. Fix your own bike, already.

And face it, you just can’t duck karma, instant or otherwise.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LAX opens massive climate-destroying parking garage, “immoral” painted bike lanes, and $1000 Prada bike shorts

While the world is literally burning, Los Angeles opens a massive new parking garage to encourage more people to drive to LAX.

Yes, Los Angeles will open a people mover to finally connect the airport to the city’s rail system in another two years.

Something that should have happened nearly two decades ago when the Green Line, now called the C Line, inexplicably bypassed the airport. Note: I originally misidentified this as the Blue Line; thanks to John for the correction.

The $5.5 billions plan to improve non-automotive access to the airport also promises to make it easier to bike to there. But exactly what that means, and when we’ll finally see it on the streets, remains unclear.

But as this massive car storage facility makes clear, the city is planning for driving to remain the primary way to access the airport for the foreseeable future — if not actively encouraging it through induced demand.

Climate emergency be damned.

Here’s another view.

https://twitter.com/schroedinger_/status/1450599873477152768

Thanks to Ted Faber and Schroedinger for the heads-up.

Photo of smoke-shrouded sky by Cole Keister from Pexels.

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Frightening video from the Bay Area earlier this month, when a small group of bicyclists were nearly run down by a driver who fell asleep and crossed over onto the wrong side of the road.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick offers it as evidence that painted bike lanes are immoral, leaving vulnerable road users in mortal danger.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1446183478777679888?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1446183478777679888%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fsf.streetsblog.org%2F2021%2F10%2F19%2Fwhy-painted-bike-lanes-are-immoral-in-one-video%2F

Although it’s hard to imagine that most protected bike lanes would prevent something like this, either.

Rudick notes that only a curb-protected bike lane or a parking protected lane would have kept this driver out.

And even those are questionable, since there’s a good chance the snoozing driver could have jumped a curb, while parking protected lanes depend on whether anyone is actually parked there at the time.

Never mind any of the more common bollard protected lanes, whether the fat plastic bollards or the car-tickler plastic bendie posts that are euphemistically termed protection.

The gold standard for protection remains heavy, albeit ugly, k-rails, or planters that are anchored to the pavement.

But plastic is less expensive. And paint is even cheaper.

Which should tell you what officials think our lives are worth.

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Southern California Families for Safe Streets is hosting their monthly brunch to fight traffic violence this Saturday.

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One of the big question marks in traffic safety is the shifting perceptions on the roll law enforcement should play.

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This is what could happen here if we had safer streets.

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This is who we share the road with.

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That feeling when you get kicked out of Prada with your $40 bike shorts.

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

Life is cheap in London, where a driver walked with a year of community service for intentionally running down a bike rider, who turned out to be the city’s former bicycling czar.

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Local

The Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, received a $1.25 million state grant for its award-winning Go Human campaign.

Santa Monica is in the process of adding a protected bike lane and protected intersections on 17th Street, as well as other safety projects on streets surrounding the 17th Street/SMC Metro Station.

Sit-down e-scooter provider Wheels settled a consumer protection lawsuit with Santa Monica for $300,000, after the city accused it of operating without a permit.

Eternals actress Malin Akerman is one of us, after she was spotted riding the streets of Los Feliz with her eight-year old son on the back of a fat tire ebike.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

The Bike League is looking for a temporary Advocacy and Outreach Assistant to help prepare for next year’s National Bike Summit.

A Streetsblog op-ed makes the case for reducing inequities in our cities through better management of the streets.

Singletracks offers a beginner’s guide to truing your mountain bike wheels.

A record-setting ebike rider is making a 6,500-mile loop around the US on a custom-built solar-powered electric bike, although he’s skipping the Deep South for some reason.

A 60-year old Portland woman has been frightened off her bike after she was left-crossed by a driver while riding in a crosswalk. Fortunately, she wasn’t seriously injured, but says the fear has deprived her of an important mobility tool. Simply put, we will never make a serious dent in car usage until average people of all ages feel safe on our streets without one.

San Antonio is the latest city converting its entire bikeshare system to ebikes.

Salem, Massachusetts is considering lifting a ban on ebikes, which are technically illegal under a state law intending to ban mopeds.

No surprise here, as New York’s only safe streets PAC has endorsed Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams over Republican nominee and avowed bike lane hater Curtis Sliwa, who wants to remove any bike lanes that aren’t actively used.

Gothamist asks if New York is about to get its first bike mayor, after presumptive winner Adams pledges to regularly ride his bike to and from City Hall, adding “I think if people start seeing their mayor on a bike, they’d be more encouraged to know that the streets are safe to ride their bikes.” Although an actual bike mayor is something entirely different

A 72-year old Virginia woman has completed the last leg of her record-setting cross-country bike ride, using her route to draw a peace sign across the US in honor of her brother, who was killed when his plane went down in Laos when she was 20 years old.

Brian Laundrie may be one of us, after the reputed prime suspect in the killing of killing of Gabby Petito was reportedly seen riding a bicycle a few hours north of his Florida home. Then again, he’s also reportedly been seen all over the state, and as far north as the Appalachian Trail.

 

International

A new survey shows 40 percent of British people would consider buying an ebike, a jump of 11 percent since before the pandemic.

Pink Bike says clipless Crocs are a thing now, developed by a three-time French bike polo champ.

A Spanish firm has released the final designs for a wooden bike you can download and build yourself for around $500. Or maybe you’d rather buy a completed bespoke wooden bike for the equivalent of around $5,400.

Hungary plans to install eight luminescent, glow-in-the bike lanes by the end of the year.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Turkish man has ridden a bicycle almost every day for 71 years, and still rides 12 miles a day, when he’s not caring for sick or injured animals.

More proof bicycling pays, as bikes contribute a massive $6.3 billion to the Australian economy.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says cyclists aren’t tough? Dutch pro Annemiek van Vleuten is already back on her bicycle, just two weeks after breaking her pelvis and shoulder in the inaugural women’s Paris-Roubaix.

 

Finally…

Buy this unique mountain bike for $2,500 and get the patent for it free. Maybe it’s not the best idea to steal a bike from behind the police station since it probably belongs to a cop.

And that feeling when bikes power the show.

https://twitter.com/BBC/status/1449814065468018689

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

LA brags about modest bike lane mileage, resource guide for traffic violence victims, and Trek sued over WaveCel claims

Los Angeles continues to nibble at the edges of bike safety, as the city touts the installation or improvement of 61 miles of bike lanes in 2020.

That includes nearly 13 miles of new bike lanes on South LA’s Avalon Blvd.

However, it’s important to remember that LADOT measures bike lanes in lane miles, which means that each side of the roadway is counted separately. So that 61 miles really means bike lanes were added or improved on just 30 miles of streets.

That’s a big step up from the ten lane miles installed in the 2017-18 fiscal year, but still just a fraction of the annual totals built during Antonio Villaraigosa’s tenure as mayor — although the city is installing more protected and separated bike lanes now.

However, it still neglects large segments of the city, and makes no attempt to create a connected bike lane network crossing Los Angeles — let alone the three interconnected networks called for in the city’s mobility plan.

Bike lane construction for 2021 is expected to concentrate on Figueroa Blvd in DTLA and Broadway in South LA.

So who knows?

Maybe someday the city will finally get around to building bike lanes where you ride while you’re still young enough to use them.

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Losing a loved one is hard enough under any conditions.

Let alone losing someone you love to traffic violence.

That’s why Southern California Families for Safe Streets, a project of pedestrian advocacy group Los Angeles Walks, is offering a free resource guide for people who have experienced a sudden, unexpected loss.

The guide was prepared by people who have gone through it themselves, including tips on how to turn your grief into effective action.

Let’s hope you never need it.

But roughly 3,500 California families did in 2019. And probably will this year.

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Why wait for local leaders to rip out a bike lane, when you can just turn an offroad bike path into your own personal car lane?

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It’s not new, but this video offers a recumbent tour of a unique California neighborhood where homes have hangers instead of garages, and taxiways in place of streets.

Thanks to the free, daily California Sun newsletter for the link.

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Forget the latest high-end, high-tech wonders. Pink Bike takes a look at what everyday bike riders are riding.

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

Someone has been removing bollards from a protected bike lane in the UK and just tossing them across the surrounding area, creating a hazard for people riding bicycles, as well as others who might trip or drive over them.

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

An Aussie bike rider unloads on a motorist after the car’s passenger threw litter at him. Seriously, don’t do this, kids. Violence is never the answer. Although I may have been known to toss trash back through the driver’s window.

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Local

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition reminds the city — and everyone else — that protected bike lanes improve safety for everyone, not just people on bikes.

 

State

Six women will set out to break three world records on Saturday by riding elliptical bikes up San Diego’s steep Mt. Palomar, with a 5,000 foot elevation gain in just 12.5 miles.

Santa Barbara has embarked on a stunning remake of Los Positas Road to add a 2.6-mile multi-use path connecting to the beach.

 

National

Maybe there’s hope yet. Streetsblog says the victories by Democratic Senate candidates in Georgia opens the way for a long-delayed revamp of the national transportation bill to create greater sustainability, with an emphasis on public transit and active transportation.

A new lawsuit accuses Trek of falsely claiming its Bontrager WaveCel helmets are up to 48 times more effective than traditional foam bike helmets in order to command a higher price.

The Drive recommends their picks for the best ebike conversion kits.

Anyone can build up an existing frame, so learn how to weld your own, instead.

Las Vegas bike advocates are responding to the recent death of five experienced bicyclists at the hands of a meth-using truck driver by pushing for greater safety for people on two wheels, including a call for a presumed liability law that would shift the burden of proof to the person in the more dangerous vehicle.

A Nyack NY bike shop is shutting down after nearly 50 years, after long days due to the pandemic bike boom took all the fun out of it for the owner, and emptied all the shop’s inventory, anyway.

New York suffered its first bicycling death of 2021 when an ebike rider inexplicably rode into the back of a parked SUV, the same day Southern California saw the year’s first first bike rider killed in a Riverside hit-and-run.

Great idea. A New Jersey business district is offering shoppers free twice-weekly delivery by cargo bike.

 

International

Road.cc rates 15 aluminum disk brake bikes, calling them today’s best value bikes.

More evidence of the worldwide bike boom, as London’s bikeshare system saw a record-setting 157% increase in registrations during the pandemic.

Two Irish cousins will spend at least a couple decades behind bars for murdering another man in a case of mistaken identity after falsely accusing him of stealing a bicycle; one man got a life sentence while the other received a minimum of 26 years in prison.

A Dutch university has developed a tool to wirelessly recharge ebikes through the kickstand.

Admitting to mistakes in the early days of the pandemic, Milan’s mayor is committed to changing how people get around the formerly auto-centric city, including plans for 185 miles of new bike lanes, with 21 miles already installed during the initial lockdown.

A horrifying crime, as Indian vigilantes kidnapped 30 women and children because they suspected men in the nomadic tribe of stealing bikes. Although they may have accused them of stealing motorcycles, rather than bicycles, since the Indian press uses the same term for both.

Malaysian bicyclists say new bike riders inspired by the pandemic bike boom are giving the rest of them a bad name.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yes, the pros do care what you say about them. So be nice.

Former doper and current gelati maker Riccardo Riccò just says no to the Covid-19 vaccine, thanks to a newfound concern over what he puts in his body.

 

Finally…

Just what every aspiring fashionista needs — a $27,000 haute couture bicycle. Your lifelong wait for bike shorts with built-in artificial intelligence and stimulating electrodes is finally over.

And if you’re using your bike to burglarize motor vehicles, just put a damn light on it, already.

………

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

Morning Links: World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims & anti-Vision Zero NoHo road widening

Los Angeles Walks invites you to join them for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims this Sunday, hosted by their project SoCal Families for Safe Streets.

Especially if you’ve impacted by dangerous street design and reckless driving in Southern California.

This Sunday, November 18, more than 100 family members, survivors, and allies will stand in solidarity.

We will remember the thousands of lives lost and forever changed in preventable traffic collisions across Greater Los Angeles. Join us. 

Stand with Dr. Debbie Hsiung, who witnessed the death of her 7 year-old son Aidan Tam on May 31, 2014, while her family legally crossed the street in Pasadena. Dr. Hsiung went on to co-found SoCal Families for Safe Streets, a project of Los Angeles Walks.

SoCal Families for Safe Streets members bear witness to their pain and suffering in order to end preventable deaths and severe injuries on our streets.

Together the group will mark World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday, November 18 from 3pm-5pm at LA State Historic Park. RSVP now. 

Streets Have Stories

In addition to participating in ceremonies that honor lives lost or forever changed by preventable traffic collisions, we invite you to share your story this Sunday with Monique López of Pueblo Planning, who will be on hand recording experiences.

Every 7 hours someone is killed or severely injured on LA city streets.

Thousands of people throughout our region live with the pain of a sudden, traumatic loss or a life-altering injury. But their experiences — the stories of people most directly impacted by dangerous street design and reckless driving — go unheard.

Join SoCal Families for Safe Streets on Sunday, November 18 at World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims to record your story.

Through your story, you will help to shift our cultural understanding of traffic and street safety in Los Angeles and push for change.  

Please join us. RSVP today.

With gratitude, 
Los Angeles Walks

Besides, they’ll have s’mores.

………

Local

LA Councilmember Joe Buscaino has proposed lifting a ban bicycles, scooters and inline skates at the city’s 25 skate parks.

CiclaValley urges you to attend Monday’s meeting to discuss LADOT’s dangerous anti-Vision Zero plan to add more traffic lanes to Magnolia Blvd in North Hollywood.

A Vermont newspaper posts an obituary of Burlington native Leslie Pray, who was allegedly murdered by a Claremont motorist while riding her bike earlier this month.

Over 60 people in Long Beach have something else to be grateful for, after the city gave out 62 refurbished bicycles donated by residents yesterday.

 

State

Nice program in Riverside, where city officials are working with Ride 2 Recovery to give bicycles confiscated by police to veterans, saying it can literally save a life by giving them a way to get to the doctor or cope with PTSD.

Highland proposes pedestrian and bike safety improvements along a key bridge, including street lights and bicycle signal detection zones, with a possible Class 1 bike path to be added later.

A new study says completing the bike path along San Francisco’s 82-year old Bay Bridge would offer spectacular views, for a spectacular price — as high as $429 million.

 

National

The Design Museum of Chicago commissioned 17 original pieces of bike art for a new exhibition opening this week. Thanks to Fred Davis for the heads-up.

East Coast newspaper readers say reckless bike riders need to get off the sidewalk and follow the rules of the road. If you want to get bikes off the sidewalk, just give people safe places to ride on or off the street.

An Op-Ed in the Boston Globe says the streets need to be made safer — now. Meanwhile, the paper calls for requiring side guards on trucks to keep bike riders and pedestrians from getting caught underneath. If side guards were required in California, Frank Guzman would probably still be alive.

An MIT PhD candidate quits school and takes a nice, quiet 6,000-mile bike ride along China’s Silk Road. And writes a book about it.

New York improves access to the city’s Williamsburg Bridge by installing a protected bike lane, in advance of next year’s shutdown of a key subway line. However, Gothamist says the new bike lane has a potentially dangerous flaw.

After a Virginia man killed a bike rider and fled the scene in his work truck, his boss had the truck repaired to hide the evidence; now they both face criminal charges.

A Charleston SC newspaper says cars shouldn’t be the only way to get around the city, and that focusing on them makes it more dangerous for everyone else.

 

International

Cycling Weekly discusses the four stages that come after having your bike stolen.

A writer for Treehugger learns to give her bicycle a tune-up at a bicycle collective — aka bike co-op — in just a couple hours. And rides off for just $15.

Bolivia’s Death Road lived down to its name when a 22-year old Israeli woman was killed after a 440-pound rock fell onto a mountain bike tour.

London’s Evening Standard looks at five plans to cut toxic air and traffic deaths, including making deliveries from a train station by e-cargo bike and building safer trucks to protect people on foot and on bikes.

Paris considers banning cars permanently.

A Pakistani cycling coach says too many people think of a bicycle as a poor person’s transport, rather than a healthy way of life.

An Aukland, New Zealand columnist questions why bicycles provide such a “flamethrower of fury,” saying just relax a few years and you’ll love what the city is becoming.

An Australian newspaper considers the myth around riding single file, saying most drivers consider riding two abreast illegal and dangerous — and it’s actually just the opposite.

The Aussie edition of Bicycling provides ten tips on how to get more out of Strava.

 

Competitive Cycling

You won’t be seeing Portuguese cyclist in the pro peloton anytime soon, following his four year ban for doping with EPO before the 2017 Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Bikes really are the new golf — and beat running, too. Who needs earbuds when your helmet has built-in bluetooth bone-conduction speakers?

And seriously, who doesn’t need a bicycle jacket that turns into a sleeping bag?

 

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