Tag Archive for speed limits

More mass casualty bicycling wrecks, LA considers safe streets proposals, and NJ whitewashes Biking While Black bust

Mass casualty crashes involving bikes just keep piling up on American roads.

For the second time in a month, six bike riders have been injured in a collision on a Texas highway.

This time, the crash occurred in Liberty County northeast Houston when a driver slammed his car into a group of people taking part in an annual ride across the US from San Diego to St. Augustine, Florida.

Two of the victims were airlifted to a hospital, while at least one more was transported ambulance.

No word yet on the condition of the victims or just how the crash occurred.

That follows last month’s crash that injured another six bike riders when a 16-year old driver injured six people riding their bikes while training for a triathlon in nearby Waller County, Texas , after he tried and failed to roll coal with his pickup.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts reported his own wife was in the ICU after a driver ran a stop sign and plowed into a 60-mile ride hosted by the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen, striking three riders; she suffered 12 broken bones, two broken collarbones and punctured lungs. Unfortunately, there’s no word on the other victims.

Maybe it’s time we classified cars as weapons of mass destruction.

Because clearly, they are.

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Streets For All is raising the alarm about tomorrow’s Los Angeles City Council Meeting, which will take up a trio of proposals to take advantage of new state laws to improve safety on the streets.

The first (Council File 21-1222) supports a Permanent Slow Streets program. It would expand existing slow streets to many more communities, and provide a framework for outreach and money for implementation.

The second (Council File 21-1223) begins the process of lowering speed limits on hundreds of miles of previously raised streets in Los Angeles. This is possible thanks to a recently passed state bill, AB-43, which Streets For All enthusiastically supported.

The third (Council File 21-1224) begins the process of installing cameras on buses (made possible by AB-917, a bill that Streets For All enthusiastically supported). These cameras will automatically send tickets to cars that are illegally parked in bus lanes. Cars illegally using the bus lane are the single biggest source of delays to buses, and this solves the problem without using police enforcement.

You’ll find call-in instructions to attend the virtual meeting, a link to submit your comments in advance, and talking points to help craft your message on the link above.

Meanwhile, the Transportation Committee of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council will discuss bike lanes on Hyperion and Riverside tomorrow night.

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Call it a New Jersey whitewash.

A county prosecutor concluded that a group of white cops were perfectly justified in seizing the bicycles of a group of Black and Brown bike riders who separated from a larger rideout.

The teens were busted for the crime of failing to have a bicycle license and registration as they rode through the upscale Perth Amboy community, with the arrest captured on a viral video.

Even though it’s highly questionable whether that requirement can be enforced against anyone who doesn’t live there.

And it’s highly questionable whether drivers would have their cars impounded for what would normally be a simple fix-it ticket.

Never mind that Black bike riders bear the brunt of enforcement in the state.

Nothing to see here. Just another case of biking while Black or Brown.

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Yet another example of keeping an elderly driver on the road until it’s too late.

A 90-year old Florida woman could continue to drive until her license was finally suspended last month, a full year after nearly killing a woman and injuring her husband as they were riding their bikes.

She told investigators she fled the scene because she was “so scared” — but apparently not too scared to have her damaged car towed in for repairs to coverup the crime.

She remains free on bond while facing two counts of felony hit-and-run, and can look forward to getting her license back next April.

Meanwhile, her victim continues to deal with the effects of 17 broken ribs, a broken arm and wrist, a collapsed lung and paralyzed vocal cord, and torn finger tendons and ligaments.

Not to mention brain injuries.

But other than that, no reason why she shouldn’t keep driving at 91, right?

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The San Diego Bike Coalition is looking for volunteers for next Sunday’s CicloSDias open streets festival.

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Nothing like celebrating Halloween with a people-protected bike lane. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link. 

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A reader who prefers to remain anonymous forwarded this video offering a short history of a 1910 firefighter’s bicycle, complete with coiled hose.

Although the story of the three-day old saint was kinda fun, too.

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

Chicago police are looking for the passenger in an Audi who punched out a 69-year old bike rider, after the man picked up fast food bag the passenger had dumped out of the car, and placed it on the hood of the Audi; police credit his helmet with saving his life.

A Brisbane, Australia woman faces attempted murder charges for intentionally ramming a man on a bicycle, then trying to run him over while yelling racial slurs until he jumped over a fence to get away. Meanwhile, the man’s bicycle was apparently stolen by a passerby after he was forced to abandon it.

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

A 24-year old employee of Jamis Bikes was formally charged with first degree murder for beating a co-worker to death with a sledge hammer to steal her credit cards. He then went home to shower and change clothes, before coming back to call 911 to report a woman had been injured; he confessed the crime to police when they questioned him.

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Local

Speaking of Streets For All, the transportation PAC is hosting an afterparty and fundraiser after the CoMotion transportation conference on November 18th; a minimum $50 advance donation is required for entry.

 

State

She gets it. A Costa Mesa op-ed calls on the city to undo the dominance of cars, and make room for the exploding popularity of ebikes. Oops. I originally misread the name, and misgendered the author of this piece. Thanks to Michelle Fay for the correction. 

Accused hit-and-run driver Lucas Beau Morgans pled not guilty to killing 75-year-old retired physicist Allen Hunter II as he rode his bike on South Coast Highway 101 in Solano Beach; the 21-year old driver faces up to 16 years behind bars on felony charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run causing death and two counts of DUl. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, approved a future four cent per mile tax on motorists to fund transit projects, a possible replacement for gas taxes as more electric vehicles hit the road.

No surprise here, as San Mateo residents get out the torches and pitchforks over a plan to remove 214 parking spaces to install bike lanes and a bicycle boulevard, apparently preferring the convenience of free parking over the lives and safety of people on bicycles, including school kids.

 

National

Forbes offers five non-earthshaking reasons to buy an ebike, none of which will surprise anyone who’s been paying attention.

This is who we share the road with. The Boston Globe reports that protesters around the US have been injured by drivers ramming demonstrations, as several states are passing laws to make that legal. And yes, some of those victims have been on bikes.

Wired likes the new Apple Watch Series 7, particularly the “excellent” bike-friendly features. The battery life, not so much.

Your new e-BMX could be a Harley, complete with a milk crate front basket.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever pulled a knife on a 13-year old Queens boy to jack his bike.

 

International

Former New York Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan examines the bikelash paradox, in which any changes to the street will inevitably draw complaints from angry drivers and the accompanying media storm, yet mayors who make true transformational change get re-elected over and over, from Barcelona and Paris to New York and DC.

The indigenous Bolivian women known as Cholitas held their own bike race Saturday, weaving through car and truck traffic while riding their bicycles garbed in traditional attire, at an oxygen sucking 13,615 feet above sea level.

Former Vancouver, British Columbia chief planner Brent Toderian explains how the “trick-or-treat test” determines neighborhood walkability and design.

A contentious popup bike lane through a Vancouver park will stay after commissioners voted to keep it in place, despite complaints from drivers and local businesses. After all, parks should be for people, not cars.

Work still hasn’t been finished on upgrades to a London junction where eight bike riders have been killed in the past 13 years — including the latest just this past August — even though it was supposed to be done two years ago.

The husband of a British woman killed by a man on a bicycle five years ago says the country’s ministers are afraid of the bicycling lobby, blocking his fight for tougher penalties against bike riders who kill or maim others. Funny how so many people seem to think we’re a lot better organized and more influential than we are. 

People in the UK are complaining that a popular English forest is being ruined by mountain bikers and dog poop.

Rouleur considers the inescapable link between bicycles and coffee, while recommending the best coffees for people who bike. As long as you’re in the UK, or UK adjacent, that is; no guarantee you can find them on this side of the pond.

Romanian police have recovered nearly $700,000 worth of bikes stolen from the Italian cycling team last month, after unexpectedly discovering the 21 bicycles during a drug raid, including Filippo Ganna’s gold Pinarello.

Zimbabwe shoots the goose that laid the golden egg by imposing an annual tax on bike riders that disproportionately hits the country’s poorest workers, who turned to their bikes following a pandemic ban on public transit.

The bike boom continues in Japan, as bicycle prices rise as much as 11% due to continued demand.

He gets it. A Manilla, Philippines columnist says the city needs to get the weekend roadies to bike commute during the week in order to avoid a post-pandemic return to the city’s crippling traffic jams. Imagine what it could do for LA traffic if every spandexed weekend rider tried bike commuting to work just one day during the week.

 

Competitive Cycling

L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams proves to be an ungracious host by winning the inaugural Into the Lion’s Den race sponsored by his own team; Rally Cycling’s Olivia Ray won the women’s race.

Rouleur considers whether there remains a path to redemption for former German great and confessed doper Jan Ullrich, who has spent recent years mired in scandal, drowned in alcohol and lost to drugs.

Forty-year old German cyclist Trixi Worrack is hanging up her cleats after spending half her life in the women’s peloton.

Bike Radar examines the “wonderfully odd” world of a Swedish three-day Penny Farthing stage race.

Sad news from Chicago, where Broderick Adé Hogue of the amateur Half Acre Cycling team died three days after he suffered a severe head injury in a collision, despite wearing a helmet; witnesses say the 32-year old Hogue was in the intersection, riding in a crosswalk when the light changed.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to throw your bike off your upper floor apartment. If you’re going to carry meth, weed and drug paraphernalia on your bike, put a damn light on it.

And it’s the harvest season, when the trees hang heavy with fresh bicycles.

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

Metro bikewashes 605 freeway expansion, LA council considers safety measures, and CicLAvia heads to South LA

Sometimes, the explanation stinks as much as the project.

And the location.

Anyone who ever drove the 605 Freeway through Baldwin Park and the City of Industry in years past noticed the stench of the duck farm long before it came into sight.

And it lingered long after, making you wonder if the odor was still wafting through the air, or burned into your olfactory nerve.

It’s been 20 years since work began to turn the poultry farm into a park. Although you have to wonder if even that is long enough to get the stink off the land.

But now the stench is wafting from the Metro boardroom, instead.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the board Planning Committee unanimously approved a $35 million project to widen the freeway interchange at the 605 and Valley Blvd. And is greenwashing it with supposed benefits to bike riders and pedestrians.

What’s depressing is how inexorably these small freeway expansion projects continue to advance. And the Metro gaslighting that now promotes polluting auto-focused freeway expansion as good for equity and for active transportation.

He goes on to note that Caltrans bizarrely certified that the project would have no negative environmental impact.

Because apparently, induced demand isn’t a thing anymore.

The 605/Valley Blvd project was environmentally cleared via a negative declaration (asserting the project has no adverse environmental impacts) approved by Caltrans in May 2021. The environmental documents use discredited Level of Service metrics to show that widening roadways would “reduce congestion on Valley Boulevard” and “alleviate mobility constraints.” The project would widen roads, increasing car congestion and concomitant pollution burdens on the surrounding communities.

Equally bizarre, though, is Metro’s attempts at greenwashing the project by touting its extremely limited benefits to alternative transpiration.

Again, from Linton’s Streetsblog piece —

Caltrans and Metro tout the project as benefiting alternative transportation. The environmental documents assert that the project would “enhance bicyclist and pedestrian safety” and “help reduce GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions” by supporting alternative modes of transportation: biking and walking.

All of the non-car features of the project are:

  • Adding a sidewalk where it is currently missing on the north side of Valley Boulevard – including ADA-mandated features such as wheelchair ramps.
  • Adding “a widened shoulder to provide a future bike lane along Eastbound Valley Boulevard up to the northbound loop on-ramp.” Installing this 1,400-feet length of bike lanes does not appear to be actually included in the project, but the margin for potential future bike lanes is nonetheless noted as helping reduce GHG emissions.
  • Reducing the curve radius of the northbound loop on-ramp from eastbound Valley Boulevard; this “would be reduced to slow entering traffic to enhance safety for bicyclists and pedestrians and support use of these alternative modes.” Note that the reason the turning radius is being narrowed is to accommodate a second lane on the current one-lane on-ramp (without taking out the business next door). Caltrans asserts that an upcoming curve radius would slow Southern California drivers entering the on-ramp, and that this would encourage bicycling. Really.

All the extra bike riding this project would inspire wouldn’t begin to offset the environmental and climate damage it would cause.

Then again, it’s hard to offset anything when the bike and pedestrian side of the equation is virtually nil.

Unless you think a possible, noncommittal quarter-mile bike lane that may never be built is enough to offset what would undoubtedly be a major increase in traffic and emissions.

Or that safety for people on foot and bicycles can really be enhanced by adding a second onramp lane.

Admittedly, I’m not lawyer. But it seems like it wouldn’t take a very big cannon to shoot holes in the environmental report for this project.

Or a water pistol, for that matter.

So let’s be honest.

Every member of the Planning Committee who voted in favor of this project — which is all of them — should be ashamed.

Because whatever benefits this freeway widening project may or may not offer, their efforts to bikewash it with negligible benefits to bike riders and pedestrians stinks every bit as much as the duck farm did.

And it will take years to wash that stench off them, too.

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Nice to see an effort by LA Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz to use newly signed state laws to improve safety on our streets.

Then again, Koretz has always been in favor of safety improvements, as long as they’re in someone else’s district.

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CicLAvia has released details on December’s 5.3 mile open streets festival in South LA, connecting the neighborhoods of South Central, Exposition Park, Leimert Park and Crenshaw.

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Today’s must read comes from an Associated Press story that only tangentially involves bicycles.

Instead, it’s about kids as young as six years old being handcuffed and arrested by police — including brutal use-of-force incidents — the overwhelming majority of whom are Black, brown or other people of color.

Here’s just one example they cite.

About 165 miles due south, in the rural hamlet of Paris, Illinois, 15-year-old Skyler Davis was riding his bike near his house when he ran afoul of a local ordinance that prohibited biking and skateboarding in the business district — a law that was rarely enforced, if ever.

But on that day, according to Skyler’s father, Aaron Davis, police officers followed his mentally disabled son in their squad car and chased his bike up over a curb and across the grass.

Officers pursued Skyler into his house and threw him to the floor, handcuffing him and slamming him against a wall, his father said. Davis arrived to see police pulling Skyler — 5 feet tall and barely 80 pounds, with a “pure look of terror” on his face — toward the squad car.

“He’s just a happy kid, riding his bike down the road,” Davis said, “And 30 to 45 seconds later, you see him basically pedaling for his life.”

Seriously, there’s no damn excuse for targeting kids like this, unless they somehow pose a direct threat.

And that’s pretty hard to imagine for a six-year old.

Or an unarmed 15-year old just out for a bike ride.

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More evidence that motor vehicle exhaust lowers intelligence, as a Texas driver rolls coal into a Whataburger dining room.

@jaysonmanzanares0

Only in Texas #fypシ #smoke #funny #stupid #dumbass #viral #popular #outtaline #whataburger @Whataburger

♬ original sound – Jayson Manzanares

While it may seem like an obnoxious prank, it should be treated as an assault with a deadly weapon, which could have severe consequences for anyone with allergies or breathing problems.

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Who needs a bike car in the train when you’ve got one in front of it?

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

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

No bias here. Instead of improving safety, Korea’s leading steel maker is banning bicycles from its mills.

Singapore is banning bicyclists from riding in groups of more than ten people riding abreast, or five riding single file.

 

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

Calabasas sheriff’s deputies are looking for a bike-riding cosmetics shoplifter who raided the local Sephora and Ulta Beauty stores on at least four separate occasions.

Police in my Colorado hometown are looking for a peeping Tom who fled by bicycle after he was spotted, firing several shots at a group of people who tried to confront him.

A bike-riding Florida teenager says he was trying to kill himself to avoid going back to jail when he fatally shot a cop he was wrestling with, who was trying to arrest him for attempting to break into several cars.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

The New York Times explains why Newsom vetoed a handful of bills, including California’s proposed Stop As Yield law and one legalizing jaywalking. Meanwhile, SF Gate questions why Newsom vetoed the jaywalking bill, since everyone does it.

Here’s a chance to make some money while you ride your bike. Caltrans wants to pay you up to $250 a day to clean up trash along California highways.

Santa Barbara is hosting a pair of public meetings, virtual and otherwise, to discuss a possible bike/ped bridge over the 101 Freeway.

A Santa Cruz charity ride raised over $200,000 for local nonprofits. And no, it’s not named for conservative KFI shock jocks Jon and Ken.

Good news and bad news. Bay Area bike riders are happy to learn the hard-won bike lane on the Richmond-San Raphael Bridge won’t have to be closed for construction of a proposed water pipeline. But the approach leading to the bridge will be.

 

National

Seriously, who doesn’t need a limited edition Ozzy Osbourne bike jersey?

A climate website looks at the delivery riders on the front lines of the shakeup in sustainable transportation, and the price they pay with their own lives and bodies. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Outside offers advice on how to avoid low bone density, which has been linked to extensive bicycling.

Road Bike Action offers tips on how to be your own wrench.

Consumer Reports provides advice on how to keep your ebike running longer, while warning about the dangers of ebike battery fires.

A trio of Seattle physicians call on officials to reconsider a proposal to revoke the county’s mandatory bike helmet law, which has been used to unfairly target people of color.

Kindhearted Texas residents pitched in to buy a new ebike for a formerly homeless vet, after his homemade shoeshine cart and the jury-rigged ebike he built were stolen; he recovered the shoeshine cart, but his bike remains missing.

Hats off to a group of Rhode Island mountain bikers, who pitched in to scrub Nazi graffiti off state lands.

A former mountain biker from Seattle is in New York, replicating the Shadowman figures of 1980s street artist Richard Hambleton.

An op-ed from three New York teens calls on the city to develop The NYC Tube, a proposed inter-borough bicycle highway. We need something like that here in Los Angeles to connect at least some of the 88 cities in LA County. Let alone one crossing the City of LA itself.

Momentum Magazine talks with a stunt rider who calls himself Obloxkz, or O, about the Red Bull documentary NYC Bike Life and the ride-outs that continue to traumatize Long Island drivers.

Florida police are checking an abandoned bike for fingerprints, which may or may not have been the bike ridden by someone who may or may not have been Brian Laundrie, who may or may not be suspected in the death of Gabby Petito. Meanwhile, investigators are examining human remains found in a Florida nature reserve, which may or may not be Laundrie’s.

 

International

Intenet users teamed up to find a handicapped Vancouver man’s stolen handcycle, just 17 minutes after he posted a notice of the theft online.

An Italian ultracyclist is riding over 1,200 miles from Milan to Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference to spread the word about bicycling.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as India’s Relief Riders earn a nomination for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to deliver food and medicine to elderly, disabled and people isolating during the worst of the country’s pandemic.

An Indian man insists he loves his wife, despite running her down with his car as she rode her bicycle to work, then hacking her to death before attempting to cut her head off. Which makes you wonder what he would have done if he didn’t love her.

Malaysia threatens to jail people for up to three months for the crime of riding an e-scooter on public streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seems appropriate. Rising Belgian pro Remco Evenepoel will take part in the Kansas edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride, along with his Deceueninck-QuickStep teammate Mattia Cattaneo.

Seventeen top women’s teams have confirmed for next week’s inaugural Lion’s Den race in Sacramento, with a star-studded field including US Olympians Lily Williams and SoCal’s own Coryn Labecki, who was formerly known as Coryn Rivera before her recent marriage.

Cyclist looks forward to next year’s women’s Tour de France, calling it a week of brutal climbs and gravel.

A diabetes website talks with former Team Novo Nordisk cyclist Ezra Ward-Packard about the joys of competing with Type 1 diabetes. Thanks again to Keith Johnson. 

Cannondale is teaming with travel and language company EF Education First to sponsor new college cycling teams at one HBCU and two tribal colleges, with enough funding for three years.

Forty-seven-year old Natalie van Gogh is calling it a career after 15 years in the pro peloton, insisting she’s just Natalie, “not Natalie the transgender cyclist.”

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to ride your e-scooter on a highway, weaving in and out of traffic at up to 60 mph. Now you, too, can get your next bike from a haunted REI co-op.

And maybe it’s time we demanded a mandatory helmet law for deer.

Pretty impressive handspring as it tumbles offscreen, too.

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

Motorists behaving badly, possible parking protected bike lane on San Vicente, and dealing a blow to 85th Percentile rule

A couple more notes from our anonymous correspondent.

In this week’s edition of Motorists Behaving Badly, accounting for the first thirty minutes after midnight Tuesday morning:

  • A driver rear-ended a CHP officer who’d made a traffic stop on the 105, injuring the officer and totaling a patrol vehicle.
  • On Normandie Ave, a hit-and-runner hospitalized a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk literally in front of Woon’s (fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier) mama’s home.
  • A driver smashed the guardrail at Carmelita Ave & Zaring St (house and occupants remained safe, because a guardrail was installed, probably in hindsight.)

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Random tangent: My Favorite Lawyer™ Christien Francis Petersen (who got stabby with a reporter at a freedumb rally in HB last year, and then got arrested again for bringing a bunch of unregistered assault weapons to another freedumb rally last April) was arrested recently for hit-and-run (property damage) & DUI. Thrilled to know I’m sharing the road with him!

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In personal news, my Surly was stolen Sunday morning. Probably not by someone late for church.

Also, while nothing major was lost in the Great MacBook Air Inferno of 2021, little scraps of lost info randomly irk me, like the names of the accomplices in the Chillandra Bell (hit-and-run vs ped) case, and the specifics of the altercation in the Victor Manuel Romero case. Aurgh. Also, I cannot find Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes on the CA Department of Corrections site. I lost my inmate number file, but you don’t actually need one to locate an inmate, and she wasn’t (isn’t?) up for parole until next month.

Photo of driver behaving badly by Artem Podrez from Pexels.

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Mark your calendar for the 18th, when you can sample a proposed parking protected bike lane on San Vicente Blvd.

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This could be the first, long overdue, nail in the coffin of the deadly 85th percentile rule.

Assuming Governor Newsom signs it, the bill would allow local governments to actually lower speed limits starting in 2024, and take the safety of vulnerable road users, such as bicyclists and pedestrians, in setting speed limits.

The bill has widespread support, passing the Senate with just five no’s and five abstentions.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1436102857510449158

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Pink Bike says pump your way to faster trail speed.

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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 Missouri town says a badly worded law bans bikes from the city’s parks, even if it was only intended to prohibit riding on structures; even little kids banned from riding in them.

No bias here, either. A professional driver and self-professed amateur cyclist says many London bike riders have to be protected against their own stupidly, claiming there’d be far more riders killed if it wasn’t for drivers like him. Just wait until someone tells him about the stupid things some drivers do.

A British truck driver will be lucky to keep his job after he was suspended for tweeting that he couldn’t wait to knock down one of those “spandex-wearing fuckers.”

A hit-and-run driver in Kuala Lumpur faces charges for driving off after intentionally crashing into a man on a bicycle, leaving the victim with minor injuries.

And call me crazy, but there just may be more to this story.

https://twitter.com/MikeyCycling/status/1435884147915075589?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1435884147915075589%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-9-september-2021-286197

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

WTF is wrong with some people? An Illinois college student reported a couple people on bicycles rode up and coughed on her, after claiming one had Covid.

A British Columbia letter writer complains about silent bike riders who whizz by on the sidewalks without warning. He’s got a point. If you’re going to ride on the sidewalk, give pedestrians the right-of-way and a wide berth, and always announce your presence before passing anyone from behind.

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Local

Take a two-hour guided bike tour of urban art and graffiti in DTLA over the weekend for $19 a person.

Santa Clarita’s Trek Bike Park is adding a number of features to its advanced trail, including an “eight-foot Whale Tail, six-foot kicker ramp, four-foot kicker ramp, 90-degree berm turn and an eight-foot flat wall ride;” it’s expected to be completed by next Friday.

 

State

You’ve got to be kidding. An impasse between the governor and his fellow Democrats in the state legislature means California will miss out on $500 million in funding for active transportation projects, as well as another $1 billion for LA transportation projects for the 2028 Olympics.

LAist examines the recently passed AB 1238, the so-called Freedom to Walk Act, which would eliminate most fines for jaywalking, as well as walking on the wrong side of the street when there’s no sidewalk, noting that the current prohibition disproportionately cracks down on people of color; the bill is sitting on Newsom’s desk waiting for his signature.

Santa Clara is looking for volunteers to serve on the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

A short two-minute film from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism explains how to make the unprotected parts of Oakland’s Telegraph Ave safer for people on bicycles.

San Francisco Streetsblog argues that highways wrecked American cities, leveling some of the country’s greatest neighborhoods. And too often, flattening thriving neighborhoods devoted to people of color.

 

National

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager explains how to avoid common bicycling injuries before they knock you off your bike. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

A writer for Medium says e-scooters shouldn’t be used, because it doesn’t do any good to go green if you break your neck in the process.

Austin, Texas is halfway through building out a 400-mile connected bicycle network in just ten years. Something Los Angeles could have done by now if it had kept Villaraigosa’s promise to build 40 miles of bike lanes every year.

Another e-scooter maker is getting into the ebike business, with Texas-based GOTRAX introducing a $649 entry-level bike.

Illinois has removed the requirement for local matching funds for roadway projects, eliminating a barrier for building safer streets in poorer communities.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Skins and A Dog’s Prayer actress Kathryn Prescott is in a New York ICU after she was struck by a cement truck while crossing the street on Wednesday, narrowly avoiding paralysis after breaking her pelvis in two places, both her legs, her foot and her left hand, according to her twin sister.

It looks like New Yorkers can get their confiscated bicycles back, after city leaders said “oh no, you didn’t” to the NYPD, slapping the department for cutting the locks off non-abandoned bikes chained to traffic signs.

New York police busted a 21-year old man for assaulting and robbing a 68-year old man in a vicious attack as he was riding a bikeshare bike in Queens.

She gets it. A DC woman says it’s time to stop waging a block-by-block battle against safer streets in the era of global warming.

 

International

More on the international bike parts shortage, as Forbes says the wheels could come off the booming bike industry if it can’t keep up with demand.

Road.cc offers advice on how to build a better bike, with 23 upgrades for your roadie for under the equivalent of $68.

A new book shares the story of a researcher’s 10,201-mile journey by bicycle following the annual monarch butterfly migration from Mexico to Canada. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

An Ontario cop has been cleared of wrongdoing for using his patrol car to block a bike rider fleeing from police; the brakeless rider suffered a broken kneecap crashing into his car.

A British company has introduced combination head and tail lights and bike cams, similar to the popular Cycliq Fly 6 and Fly 12, for the equivalent of $138 for one, or $250 for both.

Bike and scooter riders get blamed for the City of Light’s mediocre walkability score, as a Parisian website argues “a Paris stroll has now become a hazardous balancing act for pedestrians trying to dodge screeching wheels and aggressive bicycle bells.”

Swedish electric vehicle maker Polestar introduced plans for a three-wheeled e-cargo bike for delivery companies, although it’s really more of an oversized scooter.

Tragic news from South Africa, where a driver faces charges of culpable homicide, drunk driving and reckless and negligent driving for running down and killing two men in their 50s as they rode their bikes.

Malaysian social media users tracked down a hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike rider faster than the cops could.

 

Competitive Cycling

Hats off to England’s William Bjergfelt, who at 42 became the second-oldest cyclist to compete in the Tour of Britain — and the first paracyclist, after he was told he would never ride a bike again when his shattered leg was reconstructed with three titanium plates following a head-on by a driver in 2015.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a bike-riding kitty in dark glasses. Is it trading down to leave a stolen bike behind to take a Jeep, instead?

And that feeling when they want to name a bike path after you, but you’d rather pass.

………

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

Nevada lawmakers propose banning bikes from high-speed highways, and the war on bikes just keeps on going

No bias here.

Nevada lawmakers somehow respond to the meth-fueled massacre of five Las Vegas bike riders by trying to punish the victims by banning bikes from 4,400 miles of state highways with a speed limit of 65 mph or higher.

The bill would also ban bicyclists from riding more that two abreast on the shoulder of a highway, even if there’s room for it without encroaching on the roadway.

Although personally, I don’t have a problem with passing a law banning bikes from high speed highways.

As long as they pass another one to lower speed limits to more rational levels that would improve safety for everyone.

………

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

South Carolina bicyclists complain about harassment and attacks from people in cars, ranging from punishment passes and being pelted with bottles to leaving a critically injured bike rider bleeding in the road.

A Florida county sheriff was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was the victim of a hit-and-run while on a 20-mile bike ride; a witness said the driver appeared to intentionally run him down. Update: The crash wasn’t intentional, just another stupidly distracted driver shopping on her phone instead of watching the road. And naturally, claimed she just hit a mailbox when she was caught.

Someone deliberately tried to injure innocent bike riders by stringing a wire across a popular Edinburgh bike path; at least one man was seriously injured.

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

An English man in his 70s suffered a broken hand, wrist and arm when he was knocked down by a sidewalk-riding, top hat-wearing, hit-and-run bike rider, who swore at him while riding off without stopping.

A Welsh bicyclist was filmed skitching by holding on to a large truck as it pulled him through traffic; the trailing witness naturally gave the story to Farmer’s Weekly.

………

Local

Metro invites you to take a short bikeshare tour through Downtown LA for women’s history month.

A Santa Clarita bike rider made a lucky, if possibly illegal, escape after allegedly getting hit by a Metrolink train, then picking his or herself up and fleeing the scene. Although I’m not sure that qualifies as fleeing if there were no injuries or significant damage to the bike or the train.

 

State

It seems like it would be hard to go belly up during a bike boom, but SoCal direct-to-consumer bikemaker Eminent Cycles proved it can be done by filing Chapter 11, with current assets representing just 10% of its existing debt.

A San Jose man was busted for the hit-and-run death of a 63-year old man riding his bike in Cupertino last August, after sheriff’s deputies finally found the man’s car with damage consistent with the crash.

 

National

Specialized is teaming with a Tesla co-founder to solve the problem of recycling old ebike batteries.

A Bicycle Retailer op-ed questions why we can’t make bicycles in the US, citing advantages ranging from shorter supply chains to pride in craftsmanship.

Um, no. A Utah columnist responds to the collision that left former NBA star Shawn Bradley paralyzed by talking with a bicyclist who offers safety advice. Except all of the advice is for the people on two wheels, and none for the ones in the big dangerous machines — even when it comes to dooring.

Denver wants to give Lyft and Lime the keys to the city, handing them exclusive rights to provide dockless bikes and e-scooters in the city.

A Colorado man’s new book details his “difficult and grueling 1,400-mile ebike ride from Denver to Columbus, Ohio” to raise funds for Meniere’s disease awareness and research — which causes chronic dizziness, nausea, severe ringing in the ears and vertigo — after realizing the automated features of an ebike could hep him overcome his symptoms to get off the couch and onto the road.

An Arkansas woman celebrates the passage of a bill that sailed through the state house without opposition to tighten the penalties for hit-and-run, with up to 20 years behind bars and a $15,000 fine; her husband was killed riding his bike less than two months after they were married.

A New Hampshire woman faces faces up to seven years behind bars for hit-and-run despite playing the “I thought I hit a deer” card, telling police she blacked out after seeing horns and hearing a loud bang; fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously injured. Surprisingly, very few bike riders actually have horns, even though some drivers apparently think we all do.

Police in Greenwich, Connecticut remind everyone that people on bicycles have to obey the law just like people in cars. Which evidently means no one has to obey the law, since most drivers don’t.

Pennsylvania approves a bill to legalize parking protected bike lanes.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 70-year old man plans to ride 1,000 miles from Miami to Mobile AL to raise funds for an organization that provides comprehensive care to people with special needs.

Miami Dade police killed a man who stole a bicycle from a bus while shooting his gun to frighten off the owner, then fired again during a carjacking at a gas station.

 

International

Ebike prices continue to drop, with the new KBO Breeze checking in at a relatively svelte $1,399.

Canadian advocates call for making temporary popup bike lanes permanent, arguing that they’ve increased accessibility in a number of the country’s cities. A feeling Los Angeles bike riders are unfamiliar with, since the city still hasn’t installed a single popup lane anywhere.

London bike riders say the decision to rip a popular popup bike lane off one of the city’s deadliest streets is depressingly predictable, after officials concluded that the plastic bendy posts marking the lane would somehow prevent emergency vehicles from getting through. Apparently forgetting that the plastic bollards are no match for a bigass firetruck, or even a decent police bike.

Good boy! An eight-year old English boy started his own fundraising bike ride to help dogs rescued from the meat trade; so far he’s raised $400, mostly from family and friends.

A British man and his family converted one of the country’s iconic red phone booths into a self-service bike repair station.

Dutch ebike maker VanMoof plans to expand to 50 cities around the world. Although in the US, it will be limited to the West and Northeast Coasts.

A local tour guide recommends ten iconic Manila landmarks to visit by bicycle.

An Aussie home burned down when an ebike that had been left to charge overnight burst into flames; all seven residents managed to escape safely, though the bike was toast.

 

Competitive Cycling

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 78-year old driver walked with a lousy fine for brake checking an Olympic hopeful just days after she won a bronze medal at the world championships; then-19-year old Lauren Dolan was forced to give up cycling as a result of her extensive injuries.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a Louisville bike shop restores Ray Bradbury’s bicycle, but the story is hidden behind a paywall.

And when you’re already carrying a large bag full of stolen mail — including a $10,652.90 check — maybe it’s not the best idea to stop to steal a bicycle.

Especially not in front of a cop.

………

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

State considers ebike rebates and stop as yield, and maybe now LA County will finally fix deadly Hawthorne Blvd

Things could be looking up in the state legislature.

Streetsblog takes a look at bike and traffic safety bills that have been introduced this session that could actually make a real difference on our streets.

AB 122 would finally legalize what most bike riders — and too many drivers — already do by allowing them to treat stop signs as yields; a similar law in Delaware resulted in a 23% reduction in bike crashes at intersections with stop signs.

AB 117 would allocate $10 million from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to provide rebates for ebike buyers; combined with a proposed 30% rebate on ebikes from the federal government, it could finally make ebikes affordable for lower income buyers.

Permanent Slow Streets could become a fixture in neighborhood with limited access to parks and high air pollution risk if AB 773 passes both houses.

As currently written, AB 43, sponsored by new Assembly Transportation Committee chair Laura Friedman would only track bike and pedestrian crashes, but the Burbank assemblywoman hopes to rework it to compel cities to redesign streets to lower speeds.

………

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

You couldn’t have turned on your TV yesterday without encountering wall-to-wall coverage of Tiger Woods’ high speed rollover crash on Hawthorne Blvd in tony Palos Verdes Estates.

Fortunately, he’s expected to survive, despite major injuries to both legs.

But it raises the question of why nothing has been done to improve safety on the deadly street, where a bike rider died in a hit-and-run a little further down the road a few years ago, and where residents say drivers routinely exceed the 45 mph speed limit.

It nearly took the life of one of the world’s greatest golfers.

The next person may not be so lucky.

………

White Eyes, a 20-minute short film shortlisted for this year’s Live Action Short Oscar, questions who really owns a stolen bicycle, and the effect reclaiming it would have on the lives of those involved.

………

People for Bikes takes a quick look at Black bike history.

https://twitter.com/peopleforbikes/status/1364314351990149120

………

This is what a hit-and-run looks like.

The 48-year old English victim was lucky to escape with minor injuries, while questioning the humanity of the driver who left him lying in the street.

“You are not telling me you can’t see or feel a fully grown man on a bike coming in the roundabout. I’m sorry, but that’s just can’t be true.

“I’m really angry, sad and disappointed at the same time. I’m disappointed in the driver, as a human being. One thing is sure that had I done something like that, I would’ve been able to drive away.”

………

One quick way to earn a bunch of one star reviews — park in a protected bike lane.

https://twitter.com/JamesNonchalant/status/1364132581810266115?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1364132581810266115%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-23-february-2021-281119

………

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

A new bill put forward by GOP members in the Washington legislature would tax bicycle and transit riders, as well as Uber passengers, to maintain the roads and fix the damage caused by…cars and trucks.

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

Police in Elmira NY are looking for a bike-riding man who slashed another man in the arm in a dispute over who owned the bicycle; the victim mistakenly thought it was his.

A British man walked with probation and a fine for punching his neighbor and throwing a bicycle at him when the other man refused to turn down his music at 5 am.

………

Local

LA pediatric neurologist Chris Giza explains to The Washington Post how a 21-mile fake commute along the beach can provide balance for people working from home during the pandemic.

Once an environmental makeover of the Ballona Wetlands is finished, you could be able to actually ride through it, rather than just speed past on the Ballona Creek bike path.

Culver City is holding a virtual meeting tomorrow to consider expanding and strengthening the city’s Slow Streets program, including making the existing Slow Streets permanent.

 

State

A pair of California college students rediscovered their faith in humanity by riding across the US; the two women spent three months traveling a meandering 4,200-mile route.

Some San Diego bike riders say roundabouts may improve safety, but they don’t feel safe using them.

San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette examines the ways insurance companies will try to deny a claim by arguing that you assumed the risk of injury when you got on your bicycle. Which is like saying a driver assumed the risk of a wreck by turning the ignition key.

A Santa Cruz scientist who fatally ran down a bike-riding teenage farm worker 25 years ago warns maskless protesters what it feels like to carry that guilt every day.

A new gap-closing bikeway should turn Monterey’s bike lane to nowhere into a connected bike network that actually leads somewhere, while bike riders wait for the completion of a 28-mile off-road bike path connecting key points throughout the city.

 

National

The Today Show profiles three Black founders who built inclusive fitness groups for everyone, including Black Girls Do Bike founder Monica Garrison.

An outdoor website questions whether the REI co-op has grown too much; it’s now a $3 billion business with 168 stores and 19 million members.

Three generations of a Hawaiian bike shop-owning family struggle to weather the ups and downs brought on by the pandemic bike boom.

Kindhearted Florida cops gave a five-year old boy a new bike after his was destroyed in a “horrific” crash that left him seriously injured.

 

International

Road.cc considers fourteen of the best touring bikes for when you finally decide to chuck it all and hit the road.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 92-year old Vancouver man is back on a bike, after a bike shop offered him a loaner ebike for 30 days in hopes his own stolen ebike somehow turns up. He’s also had a martini every day for the last 60 years.

Devastated family members plead for information on how a Scottish man died, after his body was found three years following his disappearance on a charity bike ride.

Tragic news from the UK, where a three-year old girl accidentally hung herself when she fell from a tree while wearing her unicorn bike helmet. Sadly, it’s not the first time I’ve seen stories like this. It’s just another reminder that children’s bike helmets are for riding bikes, and can be dangerous under other circumstances.

An Irish girl who won the hearts of her countrymen when she opened up on TV about losing her leg to cancer has won them again, after learning how to ride a bike again using her prosthetic leg.

Sweden is reducing car usage and making cities more livable by replacing street parking with tables, benches and plants.

A Singapore ebike dealer will spend the next 13 weeks behind bars for forging government seals ensuring power-assist ebikes are safe to use, after repeated attempts to get official approvals failed.

A New Zealand ebike designer is calling for online retailers to fight bike theft by removing ebike chargers from their websites, and requiring proof of ownership before selling them.

Melbourne, Australia bike riders hope the fourth time is the charm, after three previous attempts at bikeshare failed.

You’ve got to be kidding. Melbourne police will use handheld speed guns to crack down on bicycle and e-scooter riders violating the 6 mph speed limit on a multi-use promenade. I have trouble riding that slow even in my lowest gears without falling over.

Australian authorities are offering a $250,000 reward for information on how a man ended up submerged in a sewage tank, after he was last seen riding his bicycle two years ago.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips profiles 2019 junior world road and track champ Megan Jastrab, who won virtually every race she entered before Covid put juniors racing on hold, giving her an extra year to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

Your new Porsche could come with a built-in bike rack. Your next bike helmet could weigh less than a hamster, or maybe a half dozen Pop Tarts.

And when you want to feel like you’re riding Eddie Van Halen’s guitar.

………

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

LA Times tells state to speed up slowing drivers down, Streets For All goes all in on ads, and 5 riders run down Down Under

I seem to be apologizing a lot this week.

Sorry for the downtime on this site yesterday morning, and thank you to everyone who notified me about the 502 error; unfortunately, I wasn’t able to access the backside of this site, either.

It turned out to be a large scale glitch that took down a number of sites across the internet. But everything’s back to normal now.

Hopefully, it will stay that way.

And let me apologize to everyone who sent me links the past few days. I’ve lost track of most of them, and I’m way too tired to track them all down now.

So allow me to just offer a general and generic thank you to everyone who contributed something for your help, which I genuinely appreciate.

………

They get it.

In recent years, the LA Times editorial board has taken strong stands in favor of safer streets and alternative transportation.

Yesterday was no exception, as the paper complained about the state slow-walking efforts to slow motor vehicle traffic. And called on California to finally get rid of the deadly 85th percentile state speed limit law, calling it “outdated, absurd and downright dangerous.”

The problem stems from a decades-old state law that essentially requires cities to set speed limits based on how fast people are already driving on that stretch of road, regardless of whether that speed is safe or whether the street has a history of wrecks. It was adopted more than 60 years agoto prevent cities from setting speed traps, or arbitrarily low speed limits aimed at sticking drivers with pricey tickets…

The more common and unintended consequence of the 85th percentile rule is what’s known as speed creep. Higher speed limits encourage motorists to drive faster, which in turn prompts higher speed limits. That’s what happened on Zelzah Avenue in L.A.

It’s not surprising, then, that the task force has recommended giving cities more flexibility to set lower speed limits, particularly on streets with lots of injury crashes or an abundance of pedestrians and cyclists. Research shows that speed limits do affect drivers’ behavior, and even modest reductions in speed can save lives. A pedestrian or cyclist hit by a vehicle traveling 35 miles per hour has a 68% chance of survival. A person hit by vehicle traveling at 40 mph — just 5 mph faster — has only a 35% chance of survival.

They conclude this way.

None of these steps will be easy; Californians have fiercely resisted safety-promoting reforms that might slow their commutes. But at the very least, lawmakers should get rid of a system that forces cities to give in to speeders before cracking down on them.

Amen, brothers and sisters.

………

Here’s something that’s been missing from Los Angeles for far too long.

LA nonprofit Streets For All has produced YouTube ads supporting safe streets candidates in the upcoming March 3rd election.

The short ads endorse CD4’s Sarah Kate Levy and Loraine Lundquist in CD12, while taking well-deserved shots at incumbents David Ryu and John Lee.

While there’s an argument to be made against independent groups getting involved in local political races, until campaign finance laws are reformed to remove outside influence and expenditures, it’s vital to get our side out there, too.

And yes, I’ll be casting my vote for Sarah Kate Levy during the early voting period next week.

Meanwhile, Bike the Vote LA lists their endorsements in the coming election, including Levy and Lundquist, as well as Calbike’s endorsements for the state legislature.

………

Horrible news from Australia, where five bicyclists have been injured, two critically, when they were run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a clearly marked bike lane.

A 28-year old man has been arrested for the crime after police discovered his blood-splattered SUV.

He faces numerous charges, including multiple counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm; dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and adversely affected by an intoxicating substance; and failing to remain at the scene and render assistance.

The question is whether he was just too drunk and/or stoned to control his damn vehicle, or if this was a deliberate attempt to run down as many riders as he could.

………

A meeting will be held in NoHo this afternoon to discuss the ill-advised widening of Magnolia Blvd, which contradicts LA’s Vision Zero and climate action plans, and all that is holy.

………

A UK website questions whether police have given up on bike thefts, saying many riders are putting off buying expensive bikes for fear of having them stolen.

Case in point, a bike thief uses an axle grinder to slice through a lock, stealing a bike on a crowded street in broad daylight.

Then threatens a bystander with it when he objects.

………

The source of those nonstandard, and likely legally unenforceable, Dismount Bikes signs in the construction zones on Wilshire Blvd has been revealed.

In case you want to order some of your own. Maybe someone could convert them to Drivers Dismount, instead.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. And on. 

A road raging Miami-area driver was caught on video brake checking a bike-riding couple and trying to run them off the road, screaming that they aren’t allowed on the street; naturally, the local police don’t seem to care.

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

A Washington burglar was busted just five minutes after raiding a restaurant freezer while making his getaway by bike. Although it does make you wonder if maybe he was just hungry.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says just eight days into the mayor’s “Decade of Action” on climate change, the closure of the Jefferson Blvd bike lanes has left the city’s bike infrastructure worse off than it was last week.

Pasadena News Now allows the four candidates for the city’s mayor to make their case; all but one ignore transportation, except to complain about traffic. The fourth, Major Williams, gets points for wanting to get cars off the street — but what the hell are “motorized walkway paths?”

 

State

Bicycling says NBA Hall of Famer — and UCLA legend — Bill Walton is a huge cyclist, riding the streets of San Diego when he’s not broadcasting basketball games or engaged in multi-day tours.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s investigators are asking anyone with information or video regarding the allegedly drunken hit-and-run that took the lives of Mary Jane Becerra Corral and Adolfo Corral on a Goleta bike path to contact them; their accused killer, Eric Mauricio Ramirez-Aguilar, remains in custody on $1 million bond.

San Francisco’s mayor proposes congestion pricing and charging for metered parking on nights and weekends to reduce traffic in the congested downtown area.

An architecture and design site talks with the urban planner behind San Francisco’s newly carfree Market Street. Meanwhile, a San Jose columnist says closing streets there would have major benefits.

 

National

Seventy-seven-year old Harrison Ford is one of us. And wants you to know he doesn’t ride an ebike.

Peloton wants to swap your Flywheel in-home cycling bike for a “like new” Peloton, after the former lost a patent infringement suit to the latter. You might want to think twice about an Echelon stationary bike, too.

A Golden, Colorado bike thief made off from a bike shop with an $8,000 bicycle after leaving a stolen ID and credit card as security to take it on a test ride, and never came back.

After kids bike was stolen, a Colorado cop followed tracks in the snow to find it, along with another stolen kids bike, as well as the homeless addict who admitted taking them.

A Buffalo, Wyoming website tells the convoluted tale of why there were bike tire tracks in the snow one recent morning, after a rancher remembered he left his pickup in town following a late night visit to a “parts store.”

Nice piece from VeloNews, as a Marine lieutenant colonel describes how he started bicycling to recover after he was shot by a sniper in Afghanistan, and fell in love with the Dirty Kanza gravel race.

A Texas county commissioner pledged $7.4 million to build 3,000 acres of greenspace along Houston’s bayous, along with 150 miles of connected hiking and bicycling trails.

Cincinnati is moving forward with plans to create an additional 176 miles of bike lanes.

New York’s ped-assist bikeshare ebikes are back, after a redesign to prevent the brakes from locking and tossing riders over the handlebars.

New York City met its goal of 20 miles of protected bike lanes last year, and commits to 30 miles this year. That compares to LA’s firm commitment to maybe build a mile or two if it doesn’t, you know, inconvenience anyone.

Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says car crashes are an epidemic, but one we can solve. But autonomous cars aren’t the answer.

This is who we share the road with. A West Virginia woman admits to distracted driving after killing a man riding a bike, saying she never saw the victim until she heard the thud because she was too busy looking at her phone.

An 88-year old DC crossing guard is a hero, holding his ground against a speeding driver and sacrificing his own life to save two children. Thanks to Orange House for the heads-up.

Kindhearted Virginia firefighters started a crowdfunding page for a man with Down syndrome after the custom three-wheeled bike he relies on for transportation was stolen; the site has raised over $1,600 in two days.

The Department of DIY strikes in the Big Easy, as a carnival krewe posts their own handmade signs urging drivers to watch out for bike riders during the upcoming Mardi Gras season.

Over 500 people are expected to turn out for a 51-mile bike ride commemorating the 55th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March of 1965.

 

International

A new report says e-scooters are just as safe as bicycles, and drivers are the real problem. But better regulation is necessary.

Cycling News considers the counterintuitive benefits of slapping wider tires on your skinny tire bike.

Now you, too, can own your very own badly named online bicycle accessory site.

A group of bicyclists ride 285 miles across Nicaragua in three days.

A proposal to require licenses and insurance for bicyclists in British Columbia is met with decidedly mixed reviews.

Despite the overwhelming success of London’s bicycling superhighways, merchants in the city’s Holland Park district fear it will cost them business — once again mistaking passing cars for paying customers.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A 75-year old London rabbi offered to help a woman park her Jag, and somehow confused the brake and gas pedals, crashing into two pedestrians before plowing into a pharmacy. Yes, the news is two years old; British privacy rules prevent releasing details on cases like this before they go to trial.

A man in the UK was driving at twice the legal alcohol limit when he hit a traffic island. So naturally, he blamed a bike rider for the crash.

British rock group Glass Animals makes a comeback 18 months after drummer Joe Seaward suffered a serious head injury when he was hit by a truck driver while riding his bike in Dublin.

A South African “adventure enthusiast, businesswoman and entrepreneur” describes how taking up bicycling twelve years ago has opened up her world.

Now that’s a beautiful bike. A Japanese student designed and built a handcrafted bespoke bike, melding traditional kitsuregoshi woodwork with a modern bicycle.

A Christian group has kicked off a campaign to provide 2,500 bicycles to pastors in Asia at a cost of $110 apiece.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with American cycling legend Davis Phinney.

🎶 Hello muddah, hello faddah, busted for burglary, in Granada. 🎶 Former TdF stage winner Juan Miguel Mercado was arrested on suspicion of leading a violent burglary gang in Granada, Spain. Scroll way down, or read the original story en español. And anyone too young to get the musical reference can catch up here

 

Finally…

When you’re skipping school to ride your bike and carrying a little weed and a gun in your pants, make sure you have something in there to keep it in place. Your next ride could be on car tires.

And when you’re bunny hopping a canal, don’t miss.

Morning Links: New East Side Riders bike book, LA raising speed limits again, and begging to cross on MyFig

Let’s start with a new book from six young members of South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club.

Bikes Need Love Too is a collection of personification essays covering family, loyalty, abandonment, fun, and friendship from six amazing young authors who reside in Watts, CA, and who are members of the East Side Riders Bike Club (ESRBC) organization under the leadership of John Jones III. For seven weeks, the authors participated in a rigorous writing workshop which was facilitated by Publishing Hope and Branding A+ Behavior better known by its acronym, the PHABB 5 program. In these eye-opening and heartwarming essays, the student authors of ESRBC take readers on a fun, powerfully motivating ride. Bikes Need Love Too is engaging, sincere, and a brilliant approach to help encourage young readers to discover their voices.

It’s less than a month from Christmas, and only days from Chanukah. Which makes this the perfect gift for anyone who loves bikes.

Even if you give it to yourself.

………

Once again, Los Angeles is planning to raise speed limits beyond already dangerous levels on over 100 miles of streets, further endangering bicyclists and pedestrians.

The increase is required to comply with California’s deadly 85th Percentile Rule, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their heavy right foot.

Sort of like putting bank robbers in charge of security.

Without the increases, the LAPD will be prohibited from using radar, LIDAR and other speed guns to enforce speed limits, as they have been for years on most LA streets.

Which explains why virtually no one in LA obeys them.

But increasing speed limits, even to improve enforcement, is the exact opposite of Vision Zero, making our streets more dangerous for everyone on them.

Instead of voting to endanger even more lives, city officials should be camped out at the state capital to demand an immediate repeal of the law.

And the ability to set speeds at safer, common sense levels.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

In more WTF news from the City of Angels, the universally despised beg buttons are back on the MyFigueroa bike lanes.

After countless complaints from bike riders when the MyFigueroa project first opened, LADOT adjusted the signals to give people walking and on bikes automatic green lights.

But evidently, it was just a show for the people attending the recent NACTO national convention in DTLA.

Now that the convention is over, anyone not in a car once again has to beg just to cross the damn street.

And good luck with that.

Just another auto-centric fail on what’s supposed to be LA’s showcase Complete Street. Let alone another Vision Zero fail.

And they wonder why we’re pissed off.

………

The Bike League — aka the League of American Bicyclist — released their list of the most Bicycle Friendly Universities.

Congratulation to Santa Monica College, which moved up to a Silver rating on their fourth year on the list.

Among other SoCal schools, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara held their Gold rankings, while CSU Long Beach and UCLA are Silver.

Cal Poly SLO, CSU Bakersfield, Loyola Marymount and Pomona College ranked Bronze.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

LA-based comedian Bill Burr thinks Share the Road means we’re all supposed to get the fuck out of his way.

No, really.

Here’s that quote, in case you missed it.

…Oh and people who ride bikes in LA are morons, morons, they fucking dress up like they’re in a bike race and then they just drive out in the road. And they always yell ‘share the road’, it’s like well ’yeah, yeah you too, move over’ I allowed enough time to get there in a car, not follow you on your fucking bicycle Lance. I’m not saying it’s not a bad thing when they die, but it’s not shocking. *laughs*

In other words, just another indignorant, overly aggressive LA driver who thinks he does, in fact, own the road.

And that it’s somehow funny when someone gets killed.

Thanks to Steve S for the video.

………

How to build a DIY wooden bike.

………

A new video intended for motorcyclists explains how drivers can look right at you and never see you. Which applies to anyone on two wheels, with or without an engine.

………

It’s Day 8 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

Local

A new proposal from architecture firm Woods Bagot calls for repurposing LA’s surface parking lots into housing, retail and open space; their More LA plan could reclaim enough space to house an additional three million people.

Bike SGV’s annual Noche de las Luminarias awards event takes place tomorrow night; as of Thursday, some tickets were still available.

The final CicLAvia of 2018 rolls, walks, skates and scoots through the streets of DTLA and Boyle Heights this Sunday; be sure to note the earlier 3 pm ending time.

 

State

The LA Times says California talks a good game on climate change, but fails to follow through on promises for building more walkable, bike-able, transit-friendly communities.

Encinitas’ Leucadia Cyclery is closing it’s doors after 30 years. Which makes me feel old, since it was new when I lived down there.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man was killed after walking his bike down a highway embankment, then attempting to ride across a freeway; he was hit by a car almost immediately.

San Francisco is moving forward with a pair of bike lanes to provide alternatives to deadly bike lanes on the Embarcadero, which aren’t due to be fixed until 2022.

Bay Area public radio station KQED discusses ten things to know about bike theft in San Francisco — all of which apply in Los Angeles, including the advice to register your bike. Except for the part about bike theft going down; the opposite is true in the City of Angels.

 

National

‘Tis the season. Momentum Magazine offers their 2018 gift holiday guide for city cyclists.

Lyft is now the owner of the biggest docked bikeshare provider in the US.

Ebike prices are slowly starting to come down, as Bicycling reviews a $1,649 foldie.

A Boise, Idaho bike co-op is training prison inmates to rebuild bicycles for Syrian refugees.

Colorado Springs CO residents debate bike lanes in the local newspaper’s letters column while trotting out just about every anti-bike trope, discredited and otherwise. But while they argue about whether drivers should have to give up a few feet to improve safety, the city is suffering its deadliest year ever on the streets.

The Chicago Tribune looks at those crazy people who bike in blizzards and surf Lake Michigan.

The widow of a fallen Chicago cyclist has filed suit against the parents of the 15-year old hit-and-run driver who took his life, alleging they should have kept their unlicensed, underage son from getting behind the wheel. Let alone driving on the sidewalk, where the victim may have been standing.

The one thing Michigan bike riders, pedestrians and roller skiers — yes, it’s a thinghave in common is disrespectful, dangerous drivers.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.  And spreads to the Big Apple, where someone sabotaged a popular parking protected bike lane in Queens with dozens thumb tacks; a city councilmember gets it right, calling it an criminal act of vigilantism.

An Op-Ed by the former head of the National Highway Safety Administration says if DC is serious about being a green city, it needs to encourage dockless scooters.

A Mississippi bike site says bicyclists deserve equal protection on the roads.

Florida police track down a woman who had been missing since Monday in a Fort Meyers hospital; she had been admitted as a Jane Doe following a crash while bicycling. Yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID when you ride.

 

International

Zwift is about to get some indoor cycling competition. Which should please Strava fans, where virtual group rides are more popular than the real thing.

An Ontario, Canada popup museum celebrates the area’s bicycling history.

Bike thieves force a British bike shop out of business, following the third break-in in just seven weeks.

Police bust an Edinburgh bike thief charged with stealing over 60 bicycles worth nearly $39,000.

A British writer recommends a trip to the Scottish Borders, saying the region has been transformed with some of the best bicycling trails and infrastructure in the country.

Malta proposes a new strategy to replace bike lanes with safer, bike-friendly streets and an app that directs riders to the safest route.

A Nepalese traffic engineer calls for making Kathmandu bike friendly, saying every government agency should see bicycles as a major mode of transportation.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as a writer explores Korea’s mostly flat, sea-to-sea Four Rivers Route, one of the world’s longest paved bike paths.

A former Miss Malaysia goes bikepacking from Cambodia’s 600-year old New City to Thailand’s festival of lights.

Life is cheap in Malaysia, where a dump truck driver received just four weeks behind bars for killing a 78-year old bike rider. He also lost his license for four years, which will cost him his job.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Flax tells the tale of a long-time domestique who finally came in first in his final race.

Cyclist profiles cycling scion and renaissance man Taylor Phinney.

Indiana’s Marian University has awarded what may be the first cycling team mechanic scholarship in the US.

 

Finally…

Try not to photobomb a couple’s surprise engagement, even if they are blocking the bridge. Presenting pro cycling’s Last Supper.

And now you, too, can own the coolest bike in the neighborhood, even if you missed it the first time around.

Morning Links: LA raises speed limits, Vision Zero holds course, and LA River Bike Path reopens in Long Beach

One quick note. Come back after 11:00 this morning for a guest post from Derrick Paul about the planned Vision Zero lane reduction and complete street project on Temple Street. 

And why it hasn’t happened.

………

Los Angeles will be raising speed limits on nearly 100 miles of streets to comply with California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows drivers to set speed limits by applying their foot to the gas pedal.

Meanwhile, speed limits will decrease somewhat on a little more than 52 miles of streets.

The tradeoff is that police will now be able to use radar to enforce speeds, which they had been banned from doing on nearly 80% of LA streets.

Under the terms of the law, police can’t use radar to enforce the speed limit if a street hasn’t had a speed survey within the last seven years.

Once the survey is conducted, the speed limit must be set at the speed driven by the 15th fastest motorist driving unimpeded in non-rush hour traffic, although the city does have the option to round down slightly.

So in order to make our streets safer, we have to make them faster and more dangerous.

Or just repeal a stupid, outdated and deadly law.

Correction: In my haste last night, I mistakenly wrote that the 85th Percentile Law was based on the average speed of 85% of motorists, ignoring my gut feeling that I was wrong, but too tired to stop and look it up.

And I was right. That I was wrong, that is. 

The following email from Casey Kerrigan clarifies this complicated law better than any other explanation I’ve seen. 

When doing the speed survey the speed limit is based on the 85 percentile not on the average speed of 85% of the cars surveyed.  Note that speed surveys are conduced under the optimal conditions to speed, ie during the day, at a non rush hour time and only the speed of free flowing cars are measures. Free flowing are cars with no traffic ahead of them for at least 5 seconds on a straightaway and unmarked cars are used to house the speed measurement equipment.
This is from the Caltrans guidelines for how to set speed limits which you can find here.
This paragraph is taken from the Caltrans guidelines linked above on page 36.

3.2.6 Calculating 85th Percentile Speed

If 100 vehicle speeds are plotted, the 85th percentile speed is determined by looking at the speed of the 15th vehicle down from the top speed. Fifteen percent of the vehicles are travelling faster than this speed, and eighty five percent are travelling at or below this speed. If less than 100 vehicles are counted, the 85th percentile speed must be determined by calculating 85 percent of the number of vehicles counted and determining the vehicles’ 85th percentile speed. For example if 70 vehicles were counted, 0.85 x 70 = 59.5. The speed of vehicle 60 represents the 85th percentile. Examples are shown in Appendix A on the Speed Zone Survey Sheet examples.

………

Speaking of which, Vision Zero Los Angeles has released their 2018 Action Plan & Progress Report.

The city plans to remain on course with the program, despite a sharp jump in pedestrian deaths, and badly missing Mayor Eric Garcetti’s goal of a 20% reduction in traffic fatalities in 2017.

Of course, that was overly ambitious, since the program is just now gaining its footing and getting its first real funding.

………

The LA River Bike Path has reopened in Long Beach, where it had been closed for construction work, now that a large construction crane has been removed.

However, work vehicles and flaggers will remain on the path, and riders may be required to slow down or walk their bikes through the construction zone.

Thanks to Long Beach Mobility and Healthy Living Programs Officers Michelle Mowery for the heads-up.

………

Rent-a-cops driving on a Chicago bike path lose it when a bike rider complains that they don’t belong on the path. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bfub83XnlZo/

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Local

The victim’s missing head was finally found in an LA multi-modal murder.

A UCLA letter writer says scofflaw Bird scooter users are no worse than bike riders, who he can’t recall ever having seen “obey the traffic laws to the letter.” Unlike pedestrians and motorists, who evidently always obey the letter of the law in his eyes.

CiclaValley imagines what a re-imagined, bike-friendly Ventura Blvd could be.

The Pasadena Star News looks at the proposal to reconfigure Orange Grove Blvd into a complete street that welcomes everyone.

 

State

Seven proposed U.S. Bicycle Routes could soon be coming to, and through, California.

Encinitas-based cruiser bike-maker Electra Bicycle Company turns 25.

Cycling Without Age comes to Merced.

A pair of dueling Op-Eds in the Sacramento Bee say a bill to allow mountain bikes in wilderness areas would be good for the backcountry, while another calls it a Trojan horse that would put wheels over wilderness.

 

National

Bike Snob says enough with the helmet shaming, already.

Streetsblog says American cities aren’t making much progress on Vision Zero, except for New York and San Francisco. Although for some reason, they aren’t tracking Los Angeles on their chart.

A Seattle-area man had his bike stolen after he was hit on the head with a pipe. No word on whether he was wearing a helmet, which might have helped. Or not.

Washington is the latest state to approve an ebike classification bill based on the one pioneered in California.

Great idea, as a Washington bike school teams with a woodworking school to teach everything from wrenching to wood frame and wheel building.

Evidently, LA drivers aren’t the only ones who complain about removing traffic lanes from massive streets. Tempe AZ will restripe a roadway to remove bollards protecting a bike lane and add back a third traffic lane in response to motorist complaints.

You’ve got to be kidding. Just days after the Utah house approved an Idaho stop law, a bill that would allow drivers to also treat red lights as stop signs passed a legislative committee. After all, what difference could there possibly be between someone on a 15-pound bike and someone wrapped in two tons of high-speed glass and steel? I mean, other than the bodies the latter would likely leave behind?

Plans for a new bridge on I-10 in Mobile, Alabama will be required to include options for bicycle and pedestrian pathways.

 

International

Cycling Tips offers advice on how to use music to get the best out of your rides. They probably don’t mean singing Hank Williams out loud while you ride, as someone who looks a lot like me may or may not have done on occasion.

Toronto rejects a staff recommendation to remove lanes from a major street, and keep it six lanes and dangerous instead.

Caught on video: British police use bike cam video to prosecute a 50 mph punishment pass, resulting in the equivalent of a $365 fine. A much better punishment would be to make the driver stand in the roadway while someone else does it to him.

The Irish government will introduce a safe passing law mandating that drivers pass bicyclists with the rough equivalent of three feet on roads with a speed limit below 31 mph, and five feet above that.

Eat and bike your way across Italy with Top Chef contestants.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war bikes is all too real, as Aussie bicyclists find thumbtacks spread across at least four popular riding routes. Far from a harmless prank, something like that can cause serious injuries — or worse — if a flat causes a rider to fall. And should be prosecuted as such.

The government of Queensland, Australia, has introduced a presumed liability bill, which would presume that the operator of the more dangerous vehicle has a greater responsibility to avoid crashes, and would be considered at fault in a collision; the head of the local auto club calls it a divisive bill that pits motorists against cyclists. Actually, motorists have done that themselves for decades.

 

Finally…

Your WiFi depends on a Hollywood bombshell who escaped Nazis and an unhappy marriage on a bicycle. It’s golf balls over bikes on the beach.

And can a serial burglar really be a bad guy if he rides a bike and leaves the homes neat and tidy?

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Thanks to View-Speed for their generous contribution to help keep BikinginLA coming your way every day. Click here if you’d like to donate to help support this site

 

Morning Links: More proof lower speed limit cuts casualties, and CA bill could allow lower limits on dangerous streets

One quick question before we start.

Does it count as Viking Biking in Los Angeles when there’s water falling from the sky?

………

Evidently, 20 really is plenty.

Overall traffic injuries in Edinburgh, Scotland have dropped 24% since the city instituted a 20 mph speed limit. And fatalities and serious injuries dropped nearly a third.

More evidence that if Los Angeles is serious about Vision Zero — something that remains to be seen — it will have to get serious about lowing speed limits.

Which will be difficult to do under current state law.

………

That effort could be aided a little by a new bill in the state legislature that would allow cities to lower speed limits on streets with a high crash rate.

The bill, AB 2363, sponsored by Glendale’s Laura Friedman, is a long way from repealing the state’s deadly 85th percentile law, which allows speeding drivers to set dangerously high speed limits.

But at least it’s a step in the right direction.

And one Los Angeles should support if we hope to make a dent in the city’s far-too-high fatality rate.

Then again, one death is one too many.

………

Local

Ewan McGregor is one of us, as the paparazzi catch him going for a bike ride with his daughter in LA.

 

State

A woman was seriously injured in San Diego County’s Imperial Beach when she was struck by a left-turning driver as she rode with two other people in a bike lane. Needless to say, the driver claims he never saw her — and somehow concludes, based on that total lack of knowledge, that she never saw him, either. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up. 

People for Bikes offers lessons learned from San Francisco’s “lightening-fast, dirt-cheap” protected bike lanes.

 

National

In news that should surprise absolutely no one, studies show that Uber and Lyft are adding to the congestion on our streets, rather than reducing it.

Hawaii bike riders complain that drivers give cyclists less space on the road than they’d give a dog.

A Wisconsin city is making efforts to become more bike-friendly, nearly two centuries after bicycles first came to town. Even if one of the two bike-friendly businesses is the local tackle shop.

Dozens of Illinois cyclists took a 40-mile winter bike ride to promote year-round bicycling, and raise funds to buy a new bicycle for the local police department.

A Detroit newspaper looks at calls to boycott the maker of Giro, Bell, Camelbak and Copilot bike gear, because their parent company also make guns and ammunition, and supports the NRA.

A 77-year old Pennsylvania woman has donated the funds needed to finish a $1 million bike and pedestrian bridge over a highway, which will be named after her surgeon husband, who passed away last year.

Bike riders in Atlanta are complaining about cars blocking bike lanes. In other words, just like drivers do virtually everywhere else.

 

International

Nice story, as a mother worries, and does the research, when her 5-year old daughter asks if she can ride to school by herself.

A Toronto newspaper sings the praises of bicycling in Mexico City, while noting it’s still far from a bike paradise.

An Ottawa, Canada newspaper complains that bikes were an afterthought in plans for a new train line, after commissioners reject plans to ban bikes from the trains at rush hour.

Ebike sales are surging in Europe, as they give older and disabled people the opportunity to ride, while others look to reduce their carbon footprint.

The war on bikes continues, as a road raging English driver tries to run a bike rider off the road, before getting out and pushing him off his bike.

An automotive website looks at the problem of introducing dockless bikeshare to Amsterdam, where most residents already own one or more bikes, and don’t welcome the new bikes cluttering their sidewalks.

A Spanish man tells the tale of how he spent 28 days in a coma after being struck by lightening, then recovered enough to win a bronze medal at last year’s paracycling world championships. Oddly, he was struck just days after getting a lightening bolt tattoo.

New Zealand bicyclists complain that moving a bike lane to the opposite side of the street to avoid conflicts with bus stops has actually made it more dangerous.

Auckland, New Zealand turns to polka dot streets in an effort to get drivers to slow down and protect bike riders and pedestrians.

Caught on video: A lane-splitting Aussie bike rider slams into an 80-year old man who was crossing mid-block between stalled cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Locals fear Philadelphia’s 33-year old professional bike race is over for good, after being canceled for the second straight year.

VeloNews offers photo essays from the winter Omloop and Muur cycling classics.

 

Finally…

When you feel the need for a hard ride, but don’t actually want to go anywhere. That feeling when the hit-and-run driver who ran you over is a Nintendo character in a go-kart.

And why bother building more bikeways when you can just declare your city bike-friendly?

 

Morning Links: NTSB report concludes speed kills, Press-Enterprise misses the mark, and a new SoCal bike film

Traffic safety advocates already know that speed kills.

One of the basic tenets behind Vision Zero states that a pedestrian — or bike rider — hit at a speed of 20 mph has a far greater chance of survival than one hit at 40 mph or higher.

A difference of a 10% chance of death at 20 mph versus 80% at 40, according to one federal government study.

Although a study by AAA cites a much lower risk of death at similar speeds.

Now the National Transportation Safety Board — the group that brought you air bags and graduated driver’s licenses for teens — says speeding is responsible for roughly as many deaths as both drunk driving and not wearing a seat belt.

And they say it’s long past time to do something about it.

That something ranges from automated speed cameras — currently illegal in California — and cars that alert drivers when they’re exceeding the speed limit, to a national anti-speeding campaign and changes in how speed limits are set.

And yes, it also includes the sort of lane reductions that have been much maligned in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista. Even though they’ve proven hugely successful in improving safety and revitalizing Santa Monica’s Main Street and York Blvd in Northeast LA.

So, increasingly, traffic engineers are trying to design roads that reflect the needs of all users, not just motorists. “The design of a facility can help send the message of what the proper speed is and encourage people to drive at that speed rather than a faster speed,” Lindley says.

The NTSB report did not explore the issue of road design, and that’s a missed opportunity, says Atherton, the director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. “You have to pair speed limits with physical traffic-calming measures for them to be effective,” she says. “Just lowering the speed limits is insufficient.”

One of the NTSB commissioners asked the agency’s researchers during their presentation why road design wasn’t emphasized in the report. One of the authors said that other publications, like street designs by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the Federal Highway Association already explained in great detail how to improve road design to improve safety.

The people fighting to have the lane reductions ripped out insist they’re not anti-safety.

In which case, they need to step up and work with those who have already been focused on improving traffic safety, rather than just standing in the way of community-driven improvements.

Because speed kills.

And it’s already taken far too many of us.

………

The Riverside Press-Enterprise tried to clarify California bike laws after getting the rules on sidewalk riding wrong.

Yet they still get it wrong when they say that bicyclists have to use bike lanes when they’re available, but fail to point out that bike riders can legally ride on any public street, with or without a bike lane or sharrows, with the exception of some limited access freeways.

Or that bicyclists are legally allowed to ride in the center of the lane on any right-hand lane that’s too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle. Which is the case on most of the roadways in LA County, and many in the rest of Southern California.

Although nothing says riders have to take the lane if they’re not comfortable there. Even though riding to far right increases the risk of unsafe passing by motorists.

And if bicyclists are traveling with the speed of traffic, they can legally ride anywhere on the road they damn well want to, as long as they travel in the direction of traffic.

………

A new experimental film dropping this weekend paints a portrait of Southern California’s Cryptic Cycles, award winner at the 2016 North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

The trailer below offers a first look at what the filmmaker describes as “the unique handmade build process of crafting a one-of-a-kind carbon fiber bike frameset and the amazing feeling it gives you on your first ride.”

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Ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis talks with Cycling News, saying nothing has really changed since he broke cycling’s omertà.

VeloNews says the Colorado Classic represents the future of bike racing, while the Denver Post offers some great photos from last weekend’s race.

Riders in the Tour of Britain could be breaking the law when one stage starts in a town where bicycling is banned in the city center.

Food & Wine examines the decidedly non-gourmet 7,000-calorie diet of a professional cyclist.

……….

Local

LA Downtown News explains what happened to the protected bike lane and other streetscape improvements that were promised as part of the Wilshire Grand construction project; city officials insist it’s still coming as part of a longer corridor improvement project leading into the Arts district.

Plans for safety improvements on North Figueroa are on hold, as Roadkill Gil Cedillo attempts to block any road diets in his district without his prior approval. Which would simply codify the virtual fiefdoms councilmembers currently enjoy in their districts, but for just him.

A smart essay on the Los Angeles Walks website says Vista del Mar offers a sad but instructive lesson for LA, and calls for more productive conversations to ensure pedestrians are protected.

 

State

The husband of an Encinitas hit-and-run victim calls for help in finding the coward who left his bike-riding wife lying injured in the street.

Great idea. The annual Victor Valley Bicycle Tour has donated 600 traffic signs promoting California’s three-foot passing law, to be posted in Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville and San Bernardino County.

A local TV station talks with the Atascadero man who won this year’s Tour Divide, despite being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last year.

Tragic news from Fresno, where a 51-year old bike rider was killed after allegedly running a red light.

Streetsblog looks at last week’s pop-up protected bike lane in San Jose.

 

National

Bicycle Times offers advice on how to pack your bike for travel. Or better yet, you could just pack your panniers and ride it there.

Post-Charlottesville, conservative media sites are deciding that maybe it’s not a good idea to encourage people to drive through protesters. Although conservative lawmakers don’t seem to be getting the message. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Today Show profiles a DC doctor who only makes house calls — often by bicycle.

A Savannah GA weekly says widening roads can make them more dangerous, rather than the other way around. Which is putting it mildly.

A Florida business is raising funds to build a new custom bicycle, compete with speakers, for the town’s “bike man” after his was destroyed in a collision that left him hospitalized.

This is why so many people hate lawyers. A Florida attorney blames the hospital for a bicyclist’s death, even though the victim wouldn’t have been there if his client hadn’t dragged the man under his car for two miles following a collision, then dumped him into a trash bin.

 

International

Caught on video: A road raging Brazilian driver rams a bicyclist from behind, then repeatedly runs up onto his bicycle before the rider jumps up onto the hood of the car to keep him from fleeing. That last part’s not smart, as we saw in this week’s Long Beach crash.

A Vancouver cyclist is doing a double Everest — 58,058 feet of vertical climbing — to fight depression.

The war on bikes continues, as someone strung fishing line at neck height across a popular English biking trail. A particularly dangerous crime, since fishing line tends to be virtually invisible, even in daylight.

Caught on video too: A bike rider suffers a too close call in the British equivalent of a right hook.

Cyclists in South Africa’s Western Cape region complain about life-threatening drivers who run them off the road. More proof that you’ll find LA drivers everywhere.

Gold medal-winning Australian track cyclist Stephen Wooldridge died at age 39 after taking his own life; like many athletes, he struggled to cope after his cycling career ended.

The vice mayor of Brisbane, Australia calls for scrapping the country’s mandatory bike helmet law.

 

Finally…

Just because a bridge doesn’t have a bikeway doesn’t mean you can’t find a scary way across. Your next smart bike could cost 1999 yuan.

And it’s easy to go incognito on a bicycle.

Even if you’re dressed in spandex shorts and a hunting shirt.

 

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