Tag Archive for SoCal’s killer highway

Streets For All virtual happy hour tonight, SoCal’s killer highway getting bike lanes in OC, and Prime Day bike deals

Let’s start with a reminder that Streets For All is hosting their latest virtual happy hour this evening, featuring Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.

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Southern California’s killer highway could be getting a little safer in Orange County.

According to the Daily Pilot, the stretch of PCH that runs through Huntington Beach is scheduled for a number of improvements, as part of a $14.8-million Caltrans project.

Among the scheduled improvements are rehabilitating the pavement — whatever that means — replacing traffic loop detectors and guardrails, and upgrading facilities to Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

In addition, the plans call for adding Class II painted bike lanes, although they will be downgraded to a mere bike route in some areas, forcing riders to fight for road space with impatient drivers.

That could mean relying on the dreaded sharrows, which studies show could be worse than nothing. And which appear to exist only to help drivers improve their aim and thin the herd.

Additional plans call for $21.2 million to be spent on two projects in Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach, including unspecified pedestrian and bicycle upgrades.

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Today’s common theme is Prime Day bike deals.

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A Twitter user responds to Governor Newsom’s call to sue gunmakers by suggesting we should be able to sue the makers of killer cars.

Especially since the news media insists on holding their drivers blameless.

Not just cars that kill, but cars, trucks and SUVs that are literally built to kill, with no thought to the survival of anyone outside the vehicle.

And which are too often sold in a way that actually encourages the most extreme and dangerous behavior.

Thanks to How The West Was Saved for the heads-up. 

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A new crowdsourced book says it’s not too late to stave off a carbon-fueled climate disaster.

Let’s hope they’r right.

Thanks to Pedal Love for the tip.

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A lifelong car enthusiast explains why he’s starting to hate cars, and why owning multiple cars is an insanely bad idea.

And “why car dependency is terrible and why car enthusiasts should care about reducing traffic fatalities.”

Took the words right out of my mouth.

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

There’s a special place in hell for whoever painted swastikas along a Rhode Island bike path.

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

Palo Alto police arrested a 34-year old Mountain View man for robbing a 16-year old bike-riding boy; he was arrested riding a bike while carrying meth and drug paraphernalia, as well as the knife he threatened the teenager with.

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Local

Streetsblog reports on last week’s groundbreaking for the Rail-to-Rail active transportation project through South LA and Inglewood.

Heartbreaking story from the LA Times about a young Black man who lived alone and worked remotely, whose body was found five days after he logged off from work, after apparently dying in his sleep from an undetected heart condition; among his possessions was a new bicycle with just four miles on the odometer.

 

State 

A pair of projects in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys have received grants from the Southern California Association of Governments, part of 26 grants up to $15,000 for active transportation projects in the six-county SCAG region.

More sad news from Northern California, where a Visalia bike rider was killed in a rear-end collision.

San Jose received a $10 million grant to install street lights and build out bike lanes on a nearly five-mile stretch of one of the city’s most dangerous roads.

The recent decision to permanently ban cars from a portion of JFK Drive through San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park could go to the voters, after opponents turned in enough signatures to get the question on the November ballot. Or opponent, actually, as the signature gathering effort was funded entirely by an heiress to the Dow Chemical fortune, who’s family apparently hasn’t done enough environmental damage yet.

A speeding hit-and-run driver ran down a man riding a bicycle in San Francisco’s Mission District, driving off with the bike’s front wheel still stuck to their grill; fortunately, the victim is expected to survive. Although the driver may regret leaving the car’s license plate behind.

 

National

Muscle and Fitness recommends bicycling as a low-impact exercise in the great outdoors that provides something for everyone from elite athletes to people battling serious illnesses, focusing on a survivor of stage 4 pancreatic cancer who rides 50 to 100 miles a week.

Money Inc lists ten jobs that often require using a bicycle.

Peloton is outsourcing its stationary bike manufacturing, shutting down its bikemaking subsidiary and laying off 570 people; the layoffs follow more than 3,000 earlier job cuts.

Gear Junkie rates the year’s best mountain bike helmets.

Las Cruces, New Mexico is using special green paint to lower the surface temperature of bike lanes, while making them more visible to drivers.

A carfree Portland Millennial is spreading her “glorious bike propaganda” to her 16,000-plus Tik Tok followers.

Wisconsin’s 32 foot high fiberglass sculpture of an 1890’s man riding a Penny Farthing has been designated as the world’s biggest bicycling statue.

Unbelievable. A 40-year old Florida man faces vehicular homicide and hit-and-run charges for killing a 74-year old man who wasn’t even riding his bike at the time — or anywhere near the roadway; the speeding driver hit a mailbox on the wrong side of road before losing control, driving off the road and hitting the victim, then crashing into a building.

 

International

Streetsblog’s podcast The Brake talks with British environmental psychology expert Dr. Ian Walker about why high gas prices and other disincentives don’t get people out of their cars, and why even incentivizing other modes doesn’t always work.

British bike scribe and bicycling historian Carlton Reid examines how Milan, Italy tamed its streets with bikeways, ping pong and polka dot plazas, a move that proved so popular that the mayor was re-elected with nearly two-thirds of the vote — 20 points more than he received in 2016.

Electrek previews ebikes expected to make their debut at the Eurobike 2022 trade show, starting today in Frankfurt, Germany.

An Emirati website examines why Middle Eastern countries are lagging in the fight to reduce traffic deaths. Just wait until they see the US, which is going the wrong way entirely.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yesterday’s stage ten of the Tour de France came to a sudden and unexpected halt when a group of protesters blocked the roadway. A statement from the group Dernière Rénovation — aka Last Renovation — says they interrupted the stage to “stop the mad race towards the annihilation of our society,” adding they “can no longer remain spectators of the ongoing climate disaster.”

Former Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins, who won the race a decade ago, was criticized for calling the protesters imbeciles.

Yes, there was actually a race after the road was cleared of protesters, with Danish rider Magnus Cort winning in a mountain top finish; Germany’s Lennard Kämna missed taking the yellow jersey by just 11 seconds.

Covid reared its ugly face in the Tour after all, with two riders dismissed after testing positive and another allowed to continue, just 24 hours after the peloton had gotten a premature all clear.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a 20-foot long, two way bike lane, with arrows directing you to crash into a pole. That feeling when you’re still waiting for your bike and luggage to arrive, ten days into a two-week Icelandic bicycling vacation.

And that feeling when you run into your idol while riding your bike, then perform with him at a sold out concert.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Caltrans plans PCH bike lanes in Malibu, guilty verdict in DUI killing of LB family, and more on Griffith Park Drive closure

Caltrans is finally taking steps to tame SoCal’s killer highway.

Maybe.

The state transportation agency, which has responsibility for deadly Pacific Coast Highway, announced tentative plans to stripe bike lanes on a 16-mile stretch of PCH, from Malibu Lagoon to the Ventura County Line.

However, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press, Malibu officials complained about what they called vague plans, which could include the removal of over 2,000 roadside parking spaces.

And the state Coastal Commission might have something to say about it, since their rules prohibit the removal of beach access parking, while requiring some form of mitigation.

Never mind that the Malibu mayor’s primary concern seemed to be whether bicyclists would be ticketed for riding in the traffic lanes instead of the bike lane.

So much for the city’s flirtation with accommodating people on bicycles in recent years.

Maybe he should be asking why the state agency insists on having a major highway run through the heart of the coastal city, instead of turning it into a Complete Street Main Street to serve the needs of all residents and road users, rather than primarily benefitting cut-through commuter traffic.

And yes, CVC 21208 requires bicyclists to use the bike lane if they’re riding slower than the speed of traffic.

The plans call for a painted, Class II bike lane, although bike riders called for a buffer zone next to any remaining parking, as well as next to traffic speeding by at — or often above — the 50 to 55 mph speed limit.

Someone also asked why the bike lane was planned for the west side of the city, rather than the east side where it’s needed more.

Good question.

Thanks to Austin Brown for the heads-up.

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This is who we share the road with.

A 23-year old Long Beach man faces up to 45 years behind bars after he was convicted of three counts each of murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for killing an entire family on Halloween night in 2019.

Carlo Adrian Navarro was just 20 years old when he drunkenly drove onto the sidewalk, striking a mother and father, and their three-year old son, as they were walking home from trick or treating.

He’ll be sentenced in September.

With a little luck he could be out by the time he’s 50.

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As we mentioned yesterday, Los Angeles has closed a roughly one-mile section of Griffith Park Drive in Griffith Park to cars, at least for now.

The pilot closure comes in response to drivers using the park as a cut-through route to avoid freeway traffic, putting bike riders, pedestrians and other park users at risk.

Streetsblog reports it’s part of a multi-phase effort to fast track safety improvements to the park.

SAFE, aka Streets Are For Everyone, the traffic safety organization founded by Finish the Ride’s Damian Kevitt, hosted a ride on Saturday attended by hundreds of bike riders to mark the closure.

Lionel Mares shared his photos from the ride.

SAFE and Finish the Ride Founder Damian Kevitt

LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, and California State Senator Anthony Portantino

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Claremont Cyclist / CLR Effect author Michael Wagner sends us a photo from the July Ride Around Pomona, saying the long line of broken bollards doesn’t instill much confidence in the ability of drivers around the Cal Poly campus.

If your kid goes there, you might want to call just to make sure they’re okay.

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Streetfilms says Emeryville, California mayor John Bauters is the biking mayor your city needs.

Especially if your city is Los Angeles.

Never mind that Bauters sports Peter Flax’s Sharrows Are Bullshit t-shirt.

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British tennis pro Cameron Norrie is one of us.

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Stephen Hallet forwards this context-free photo he ran across recently.

Something tells me there’s a story there. Albeit a painful one.

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

No surprise here. Texas officials dramatically undercharged a driver who intentionally drove onto the wrong side of the road, instead of the felony assault with a deadly weapon the crime calls for. 

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

A Houston man made his getaway by bicycle after robbing a Burger King with a gun pointed at a worker’s head.

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Local

Metro has begun construction on the Rail to Rail Active Transportation Project, a 5.5-mile shared use path connecting the A (Blue) Line and the upcoming K (Crenshaw/LAX) Line through Inglewood and South Los Angeles.

The Fullerton Observer offers photos from that city’s 4th of July holiday bike parade.

 

State 

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who fled after striking a 13-year-old bike rider in Merced County, leaving the boy hospitalized with minor injuries.

 

National

Accessory maker Knog is introducing a waterproof, Apple-compatible “super loud bike alarm and highly accurate bike finder.”

Road Bike Rider offers advice for long-distance riding with “at least some measure of comfort.”

A Portland man faces multiple charges for a racially biased attack on a bike-riding man and his five-year old daughter, after yelling slurs based on their Japanese ancestry while repeatedly punching the father in the head, as well as punching the little girl in her bike helmet. There’s not a pit deep enough for a jerk like that.

Denver is renewing its ebike rebate program after an initial rush depleted the funds in a matter of days. Meanwhile, California’s ebike rebate program continues to tread water waiting for the people in charge to get their shit together.

Chicago Streetsblog complains that People For Bikes ranks the city well below “car-centric, bicycle-sparse metropolises like Houston and Los Angeles” in their annual ranking of bike-friendly cities.

Gotham gets mini street sweepers to clean the city’s protected bike lanes.

 

International

Alleged killer Kaitlin Armstrong reportedly fled the US using her sister’s passport, and had a receipt for plastic surgery when she was arrested in Costa Rica last week; she faces a first degree murder charge for the fatal shooting of gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson.

Apparently, hit-and-run isn’t just an American problem, as drivers have fled in over 1,500 crashes in the last three and a half years in England’s West Midlands, including 28 fatal crashes.

A new Polish study suggests male bike riders should stand on their pedals every ten minutes to avoid genital damage that can lead to erectile disfunction and fertility problems.

Cairo, Egypt is unveiling a 45 dock, 500 bike bikeshare system to fight climate change while providing an alternative to the city’s crushing traffic.

 

Competitive Cycling

Wout van Aert won Tuesday’s stage four of the Tour de France to extend his hold on the yellow jersey; Red Bull profiles the Belgian ‘cross champ as he turns his attention to road cycling.

The annual 2,700-mile Tour Divide is becoming even more extreme, as climate change-driven wildfires, flooding and extreme drought conditions pushed competitors to the edge.

The inaugural Life Time Grand Prix moves on to Beaver, Utah this weekend with the 70-mile, mixed terrain Crusher in the Tushar race, featuring “60 handpicked WorldTour roadies, gravel pros, track world champions and MTB Olympians” competing for a $250,000 purse.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use an excavator to break into a bike shop, make sure you can get the bikes out past the rubble afterwards.

And who doesn’t need a little monkey-faced Wednesday weirdness?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Hit-and-run driver busted in death of 15-year old Riverside boy, and Metro active transportation virtual meeting next week

Maybe there will be justice for Javier Gonzales after all.

Police in Riverside arrested 37-year old Rosendo Morales Caldera for the hit-and-run death of the 15-year old bike rider, who was killed on the first of this month.

Gonzales was riding salmon with a group of friends when he was run down by by the driver of a large black pickup, who kept going without slowing or stopping.

Caldera is currently being held behind bars in lieu of bail.

Police impounded his black Chevy truck as evidence, which should happen in every alleged hit-and-run.

But too often doesn’t.

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Here’s your chance to tell Metro what you need to be safer in your commute and community.

And maybe mention it’s time to stop wasting money on highway projects in the middle of a climate emergency.

https://twitter.com/MaverickMPA/status/1507238721891889153

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SoCal’s killer highway continues to claim new victims.

I’m told the victim works at the Getty Villa, which leaves no viable option to commute by bike other than PCH, which continues to operate as a cut-through highway when it should be Malibu’s Main Street.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the heads-up. 

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Slow roll Adams Blvd on Sunday to check out LADOT’s safety improvements on the formerly dangerous corridor.

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LACBC invites you to attend their first-ever Bike Salon on Thursday, which will actually be held in person, rather than virtually.

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OC bike advocate Mike Wilkinson is parting ways with his lovingly used tandem.

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Apparently, even a five-year old can beat rush hour traffic on his way to school Britain. Even without decent bikeways.

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

In a prime example of too little, if not too late, Las Vegas area cops clamped down on drivers who endanger bike riders, enforcing traffic laws and educating motorists on how to share the road — for a whole four hours. Now they just need to do something the other 8,756 hours in the year.

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

Police busted a man who robbed a Kansas gas station, then made his getaway by bicycle. Maybe he was really just an anti-car freedom fighter raising funds for the rebellion. It could happen. 

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Local

No bias here. The Hancock Park Homeowners Association hosted a candidate forum for the people running to replace Paul Koretz in CD5 — but notably excluded former Mid City West Neighborhood Council chair Scott Epstein, a longtime supporter of a bike-friendly street on 4th Street opposed by the wealthy neighborhood.

 

State 

A 58-year old Rancho Bernardo man is planning to ride 3,400 miles across the US to raise funds for diabetic research, inspired by his 25-year old daughter, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was just eight months old.

A 32-year old Fresno man was stabbed when he tried to defend himself from a group of men who demanded his bike; fortunately, he’s expected to make a full recovery.

Sad news from Eureka, where someone on a bicycle was killed when they were run down by the driver of a pickup.

 

National

PeopleForBikes celebrates the removal of Trump’s 25% tariffs on Chinese-made bicycles and parts.

USA Today says you need an ebike to cope with rising gas prices. Meanwhile, CleanTechnica provides a primer on the proper care and feeding of your ebike.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission issued a recall for Ninebot Children’s Bicycle Helmets for failing to meet minimum federal safety standards.

Black and brown Colorado bike riders say the state’s proposed Stop As Yield law, aka the stop sign part of the Idaho Stop Law, would keep them safer from both cars and cops, reducing the risk of Biking While Black or Brown stops that target people of color, as well as reducing potentially dangerous interactions with police. Maybe that argument that would finally get a California bill past Newsom’s veto pen.

Hurry up to Yellowstone, where you can enjoy 49 miles of blissfully carfree roads for the next three weeks, before the national park is opened to motor vehicles. Although you still need to keep an eye peeled for bears and bison, among other potentially unfriendly fauna.

Even in Iowa, people are biking to work instead of driving, while a writer for the University of Iowa student newspaper says now is the perfect time to start bicycling.

A Memphis man is turning old car and truck tires into decorative barriers to protect people on bicycles.

Boston bike advocates point out the benefits of bicycling while calling for safer conditions on the streets.

A Louisiana driver who killed a bike rider last month tested positive for narcotics following the crash, though there’s no mention of what he was allegedly on.

A Florida man was convicted — again — of killing a teenaged boy over a stolen bicycle when he was just 15 years old. The victim had purchased the boy’s stolen bicycle, not knowing it was hot, then offered to sell it back to him for just $10; he returned with a gun after riding the bike home because he felt disrespected. The original conviction had been overturned because police had questioned him after he requested a lawyer. We’ve said it before — no bike is worth taking or sacrificing a life. Period.

 

International

Bike Radar offers a buyers guide to bike trailers, while confessing that yes, they do change how you have to ride and the way your bike feels

Bizarre case from Wales, where a woman played doctor — literally — by treating the victim of an ebike crash, despite having no medical background. Yet she somehow walked with the equivalent of a lousy $790 fine.

Oops. Scofflaw drivers who parked in an English shared bus and bike lane will get their fines refunded, after the city discovered the authorization for the lane had expired and they hadn’t bothered to renew it.

Life is cheap in Jersey, where a 67-year old driver walked with the equivalent of a $6,500 fine for the right-cross crash — the equivalent of a left-cross in the US — that likely left a bike-riding woman with lifelong pain from a broken back, fractured rib and collapsed lung.

A new study from a UC Berkeley researcher looks at the remarkably rapid Parisian bike boom, as the city transformed itself during the Covid pandemic.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid rides the 75-mile car-free Vennbahn rail-trail through Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg, which remains a 30-foot wide swath of Belgium even as it passes through the other countries.

 

Competitive Cycling

Milan-San Remo winner Matej Mohorič says it wasn’t just the dropper post that delivered his victory, he also used oversized disc rotors and new, secret wheel bearings.

 

Finally…

Maybe God is out to get us, too. People are more likely to bike commute when slower drivers are less likely to kill them.

And that feeling when you try to break an iPhone by riding your bike off a phone booth.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Santa Barbara bicyclist seriously injured in PCH hit-and-run, and Huntington Beach pulls the plug on bike path project

The hit-and-run epidemic show no sign of stopping.

The same day a Santa Ana bike rider was murdered by a driver who fled the scene, leaving his or her innocent victim to die in the street, another bicyclist was lucky to survive being run down by a hit-and-run driver on the Ventura County section of Southern California’s killer highway.

Or maybe calling PCH a serial killer highway is more accurate.

Here’s a brief press release from the victim’s family.

Santa Barbara family seeks answers and witnesses in PCH hit-and-run

On Saturday, February 12 at 11:10 a.m., Santa Barbara resident Jeff Sczechowski (seh-CHOW-ski) was struck from behind and thrown into a parked vehicle while riding his black mountain bike on the shoulder of the northbound side of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). This was just north of the Sycamore Canyon State Park entrance across from the Thornhill Broome Beach Campground that is south of the large sand hill on the inland side of the PCH.  He was wearing a white helmet and grey and yellow cycling clothing.  The victim was transported by ambulance to the Ventura County Medical Center, where he is hospitalized and receiving care.  He has sustained significant injuries to his back, leg, and arms.  Jeff, a chemical engineering PhD, manages a research center in the UCSB Department of Physics.  He is also an avid cyclist and bonsai tree artist.  Jeff, his wife, and their children ask anyone who may have been involved in or witnessed the event to please contact Ventura California Highway Patrol Officer Bowen at 805-662-2640.

Shamefully, fully half of the 12 people killed riding bicycles in Southern California this year have been the victims of hit-and-run drivers.

Yes, 50 percent.

There is simply no excuse.

Not for the heartless cowards who lack the basic human decency to stick around after a crash. Or for those in elected office who lack the courage to do anything about it.

I’ve offered my suggestions on how to stop it. And I’m sure there are other options out there to put a stop to .

But one way to another, this epidemic has got to stop. Now.

Photo of Jeff Sczechowski taken just hours before the crash. Thanks to Todd Mumford for the heads-up.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

After gathering feedback on its proposed Trails to the Sea project, Huntington Beach has pulled the plug on the entire thing.

The project would have added 4.75 miles of offroad trails along a pair of channels, where they would have had zero impact on traffic and the surrounding community. And provided much needed safe routes through the beachside city, which is already one of the most dangerous places to ride a bike in Orange County.

Instead, the responses from local residents were apparently so bad that local officials decided not to do the right thing, and killed the project instead.

Never mind the current dangers faced by bike riders and pedestrians in the city. Or the desperate need to get people out of their cars, at a time when Orange County is already a year-round fire zone.

And never mind that access to a safe bikeway increases local property values.

There’s simply no rational reason to oppose a project like this, let alone cancel it.

But they did anyway.

Thanks to Eric Eberwein for the tip.

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Say goodbye to the green bollards on Del Amo Blvd in Long Beach, and hello to a new curb-protected bike lane.

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The Davis Bike Counter wasn’t just removed. It was killed by an errant driver.

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Megan Lynch also forwards this news about a single bike rider blocking a protesting Canadian trucker from blocking the roadways.

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Real talent is riding a bicycle around a stage during a live performance without missing a note.

Thanks to GlennC1 for forwarding the tweet. 

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

A South Carolina man was arrested for stabbing a bike rider who nearly hit him while riding on the sidewalk, despite the bike-riding man’s repeated apologies.

No bias here. After a 15-year old boy was killed by a suspected drunk driver, Florida sheriff’s deputies somehow insist on noting the victim didn’t have lights on his bicycle — over half an hour before sunset.

No bias here, either. An Indian protected bike lane was removed after drivers were “inconvenienced” by the lane reduction to make room for it, never mind that bike riders were inconvenienced by the drivers parking in it.

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

An Albuquerque, New Mexico BMX rider is under arrest for a horrific stabbing spree that left eleven people injured at seven separate sites, riding his bike to attack people apparently at random.

Welsh police are looking for an ebike rider who is accused of “terrorizing” the residents of a small seaside town; officers seized his bike after he fell off while being chased, but the rider managed to get away on foot.

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Local

Nice to see East Side Riders Bike Club co-founder John Jones III honored with a trip to the Super Bowl in recognition of his volunteer work.

 

State

Hundreds of bike riders turned out for a ride to honor 49-year old Fremont resident Ellen Le, a week after she was killed in a head-on collision with an SUV driver while riding with a Santa Clara County bike club.

Hundreds more turned out for a demonstration to keep JFK Drive in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park carfree.

San Francisco ripped out a protected bike lane due to a construction zone, temporarily replacing it with a painted bike lane, despite being on a street where three people have been killed in three years. Never mind that removing the protected lane will make the city liable for any injuries that happen as a result.

A Vallejo driver faces a murder charge for the hit-and-run death of a 52-year old bike rider, due to a previous DUI arrest; naturally, the defense attorney wants to blame the victim, instead.

 

National

The New York Times says billions of dollars in last year’s federal infrastructure bill dedicated to highway expansion could worsen climate change.

A Washington mountain biker couldn’t find bikewear to fit her plus-size body, so she started her own company to make it.

Utah’s law cutting the blood alcohol level required for DUI to .05, from the .08 allowed the other 49 states, is showing demonstrable benefits, with drunk driving deaths and crashes dropping 20% in the state since the law went into effect.

A man is restarting his cross-country bike ride in the middle of the North Dakota winter, five months after he was nearly killed by a pickup driver, which ultimately cost him a tooth and his spleen.

Nice move from a Tulsa OK bike club, whose members raised $5,000 to buy a racing bike for a promising young rider who has never owned a bike of his own.

No coverup here. After a New York cop hit a kid while driving the wrong way on a one-way street on Halloween, the NYPD bizarrely tried to claim the boy somehow ran across the hood of a stationary patrol car, then they tried to just pretend the while thing never happened.

New York Streetsblog says it’s not the speed cams that are racist, it’s the road designs in low-income communities of color.

A 62-year old Pennsylvania man is alive today because his friends rushed to call  911 and perform CPR when he suffered a sudden heart attack on a long group ride.

A cautionary story from Charleston, South Carolina, where police are reopening a crash investigation after a man died two months after he was hit by a driver, despite being released from the hospital the same day with an apparent misdiagnosis of just minor injuries.

Always get the keys back after you fire someone. A Florida man faces charges for helping a former bike shop worker come back and steal $15,000 worth of bicycles after she was let go.

 

International

They get it. An op-ed in London’s Independent questions how the country can get to zero carbon emissions when the UK suffers from cyclophobia, and riders aren’t safe on the roads.

No shit. BBC presenter and bike rider Jeremy Vine says that the safety of people on bicycles is more important than drivers getting to their destinations on time.

A new British report shows bikeshare is a gateway drug to get people back on their bicycles, with bikeshare use reducing car use 53%, with an average of 3.7 miles per user.

The game ball for a rugby match between Wales and Scotland traveled 500 miles by bike to get to there, as part of a charity ride to raise fund to fight motor neuron disease.

Porsche is moving further into ebikes by purchasing a 20% stake in Munich ebike maker Fazua, to gain access to their removable engine and battery tech.

Cycling Tips is accusing UCI of silence in the face of allegations of death threats, abduction and torture involving the Afghan Cycling Federation during and after efforts to evacuate cyclists from the country.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 93-year old South African man’s bicycle when he stopped at an ATM; he got the bike from his parents in 1950 and rode it for the past 72 years.

In an obvious effort to thin the herd, Melbourne, Australia has painted sharrows between the rails of a tram line, encouraging people to ride their bikes directly in front of an oncoming train.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome called for banning time trial bicycles, saying it would be safer and fairer to train and race on road bikes; his comments have drawn support from his fellow riders.

Retired Irish pro Nicholas Roche has been warned not to ride in the mountains south of Dublin, while he’s filming the British version of Dancing With the Stars in the city, because thieves are known to knock riders off their bikes, then toss them in their van and drive off while the rider is still sprawled in the roadway.

The Italian movie The Pantini Affair should be coming to the US, after Capital Motion Picture Group picked up the North American rights to the 2020 film about the last five years in the life of legendary cyclist Marco Pantani.

A Steamboat Springs, Colorado newspaper offers photos of downhill dual slalom racing on a snow-packed mountain, while UCI considers plans for a Snow Bike World Cup.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be carved from wood. That feeling when the peloton has to jump the median to avoid a police roadblock.

And we may have to deal with the horns of angry drivers. But at least that beats the horns of an angry bull.

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

Candidate list for June primary, Times’ Abcarian says Vision Zero “impossible,” and PCH claims another victim

Pick your ponies and place your bets.

The Los Angeles City Clerk has posted the latest list of candidates filing for the city’s June primary election.

Like most California elections, not everyone is a serious candidate. But there are some genuine choices hidden among the clowns and wannabes.

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No, Vision Zero is not “impossible.”

LA Times columnist Robin Abcarian writes that eliminating traffic deaths is a worthy, but impossible, goal.

The goal is worthy, but why go out on a limb with a big, bold promise that is so obviously doomed to fail?

In Australia, at least, they call the effort “Toward Zero,” which seems more realistic…

As long as there is traffic, there will be traffic tragedy, especially in a car-centric city like ours, where you cannot drive an inch without seeing distracted drivers holding phones. How many times have you been stuck behind a car at a red light that doesn’t move when the light turns green because the driver in front is poking at a screen? At least while they aren’t moving, they aren’t killing anyone.

The obvious problem with that attitude is the question of just how many deaths are acceptable as the cost of just getting from here to there.

Graphic by tomexploresla

And if that number is anything other than zero, which of your loved ones are you willing to sacrifice to the motor vehicle gods?

Which makes it clear that one is the only acceptable answer.

Abcarian’s right that we may not get there today. But it’s up to all of us to do everything we can to make sure we get there tomorrow.

To her credit, she does identify one of the biggest problems with Vision Zero, with each of the city’s 15 councilmembers free to implement their own vision of how to end traffic deaths, or the lack thereof.

As well as the lack of alignment between the city and county, with Los Angeles aiming for 2025 — just three years from now — while the county aims to end traffic deaths a decade later.

Never mind the other 87 cities that call LA County home.

But the solution to that is to coordinate, not forget it. Then give the city and county transportation agencies the power to override individual councilmembers and supervisors to do what needs to be done to save lives.

Which also serves to shield our elected officials from blame by angry drivers, which is what some of them really care about, anyway.

And while we’re at it, someone please tell Ms. Abcarian the difference between a crash and an accident.

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Southern California’s serial killer highway has claimed yet another victim.

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Pass the word, teens can grab a quick Benjamin from Walk ‘n Rollers for customizing a bicycle.

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Remember, you always need a truck or SUV to go to the hardware store.

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Sometimes it’s not who we share the road with, but what.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1491487543455465472

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Here’s that great East Side Riders video we weren’t able to embed yesterday.

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

Someone in newly bike friendly San Diego clearly doesn’t get it, ruling that no action is necessary for a traffic signal clearly designed to thin the herd by encouraging drivers to turn left through a bike lane while bike riders still have the green. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

There’s a special place in hell for the couple who flipped off a bike-riding Florida boy as they passed him in their car, then whipped a U-turn and threatened him with a gun when he responded in kind, before proceeding to pistol whip and slap him repeatedly; they were arrested after the boy managed to record video of the couple, along with their car and license plate.

A 67-year old Scottish man was left shaken after a construction worker pelted him with cement when he stopped his bike to ask if they had a permit to block an Edinburgh bike lane with a cement mixer.

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

A thirsty armed robber helped himself to cash and a canned drink from a Houston convenience store before making his getaway on a baby blue bike.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman takes a hard look at mayoral candidate and current Councilmember Joe Buscaino’s motion to crack down on bike chop shops, which could also catch legitimate bike repair in its wide net. Including if you decide to fix your own bicycle outside on a sunny day, if it’s too broadly written.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton checks out the new bike lanes on Yosemite Drive in Eagle Rock.

This is who we share the road with. A Manhattan Beach man claims a driver ran him over in a grocery store parking lot, then backed up and ran over him again, in a dispute over face masks that began inside.

Camilla Cabella is one of us, taking a bikeshare ride through the streets of LA with a “mysterious” friend. Oh, and she likes ice cream, too.

Rihanna showed her generosity Sunday, stopping by the West Los Angeles VA Campus with practical, needed gifts for homeless vets, including bike locks.

 

State

The annual Tour de Palm Springs returns to the Coachella Valle this weekend, with safety measures and law enforcement in place to hopefully keep participants safe, which hasn’t always been the case.

A 55-year old Navy vet is suing Caltrans, Bakersfield and Kern County after he was injured riding his bike into an open manhole on a Bakersfield sidewalk, which was left unmarked by orange cones or other warning devices.

The US Forest Service settled a lawsuit by agreeing to allow ebikes on non-motorized trails in the Tahoe National Forest.

 

National

Yes, please. A quartet of Democratic congressmen urged the president to request full funding for the new Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program in the next budget, which would provide $200 million a year for five years for biking and walking projects.

US ebike sales are on their way to one million units a year in the US, and one billion worldwide.

A new lawsuit accuses Peloton of bullying competitors and entering into sham agreements to secure its market position.

In a case of real life imitating art, actor Bob Odenkirk revealed his near-fatal heart attack came as he was riding an exercise bike on the set of Better Call Saul, which may or may not have been the same make that killed Mr. Big in HBO’s Sex and the City reboot, and nearly killed Mike “Wags” Wagner on Billions.

Talk about Viking biking. Try riding an ice bike across Wisconsin’s frozen Lake Winnebago in 13° weather.

Frightening story from New York, where a man called the NYPD to report a parked truck illegally blocking a bus stop, and immediately started getting death threats from the truck’s owner — even though his call should have been confidential.

 

International

Treehugger recommends their picks for the best bike cargo bags.

Towing your kids in a bike trailer may not be good for their lungs, as a new British study shows the lower position exposes them to more pollution that someone on a bike seat.

No bias here. And no surprise, either, as a new study from the UK shows that drivers and bike riders are treated differently by the press following a crash.

British bicyclists rode to protest a “discriminatory” daytime ban from the Bedford town center, which resulted in 3,200 fines for the equivalent of $107 — including one issued to a man on the second week of his around-the-world bike tour.

Now bike thieves aren’t even waiting until the bikes are assembled. Thieves hijacked 10,000 Shimano ebike parts by gassing the driver at a German service station.

Pakistan’s Associated Press captures a photo of an old man selling bundles of traditional handmade brooms from his bicycle.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai is one of us, riding with a group to check out a new beachfront bike path. And yes, I included that one just so I could use his full title.

 

Competitive Cycling

Black cycling legend Major Taylor’s 119-year old wood-rimmed Peugeot bike is returning for an exhibit at the Indiana State Museum in his Indianapolis home town.

Tadej Pogačar is back on his bike after testing positive for Covid.

We Love Cycling looks at inter-generational cycling dynasties.

In a scene straight out of Breaking Away, a local Colombian kid falls in and holds his own alongside Rigoberto Urán and Tom Dumoulin on a training ride. Except they don’t put a tire pump through his spokes.

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying meth on your bike with several outstanding felony warrants, maybe try not to make your escape through a snow-covered field.

And enough said.

https://twitter.com/schmangee/status/1491506749794361345

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

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