Tag Archive for Spring Street

Morning Links: New Spring Street bike lane goes both ways, red cup protected bike lanes, and ebikes up in smoke

Before we start, congratulations are in order for frequent BikinginLA contributor and behind-the-scenes proof reader Mike Wilkinson, who was recently elected to the Orange County Bicycle Coalition Board of Directors.

Couldn’t happen to a more passionate or deserving person.

Even if he does ride a tandem.

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Los Angeles’ first two-way protected bike lane is coming to Spring Street in DTLA, with a companion lane to follow soon just one block east on Main Street.

Actually, they’re already here.

Here’s how both the Spring Street and coming Main Street bike lanes are supposed to work — if LA drivers can resist the urge to park in them, which is a big if.

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Bike riders across the US took part in Friday’s Red Cup Project by placing red plastic drinking cups on existing bike lanes to make their own DIY protected lanes.

And sending a message that paint is not enough. Such as the Pittsburgh advocates who called for more parking protected bike lanes.

Although not surprisingly, many didn’t last long before drivers ran them over, either failing to see the bright red cones, or simply not caring.

Like in Denver, where tomato-capped cups were soon turned into marinara. And where the project got its start, in honor of fallen DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh, who was riding in a painted lane when he was killed.

Meanwhile, hundreds of DC bicyclists converged on city hall to hold a die-in to demand streets that don’t kill people in the wake of Salovesh’s death. Although one local TV station seemed more concerned with scofflaw bicyclists than keeping law abiding ones alive.

And yes, the Red Cup Project even touched down in auto-centric Los Angeles.

And on the other side of the Orange Curtain, as well.

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Traditional bicycles seldom catch on fire.

Ebikes, not so much.

An Australian woman’s home was gutted by fire when the battery on her ebike unexpectedly burst into flames.

A Singapore woman and her son were injured when the ped-assist ebike they were riding burst into flames after they were struck by a van driver.

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Local

British singer Pixie Lott is one of us, following up on her recent Coachella appearance with a Dutch bike ride on the beachfront bike path in Venice. Maybe she ran into Simon Cowell while he was riding in Santa Monica.

Pasadena’s first-ever human sculpture took the shape of a bicycle at the Rose Bowl on Friday, in anticipation of the Pasadena finish of the Amgen tour of California next month.

The city managers of Alhambra, Pasadena and South Pasadena accuse Metro, which should know better, of ignoring people-powered transportation in favor of more cars after pulling the plug on the 710 Freeway extension through those cities.

A group of bicyclists set out from the Santa Monica Pier on Friday, hoping to raise a thousand dollars per mile for their 2,499-mile ride on Route 66 to Chicago, which would bring in $2.499 million for the fight against pediatric cancer.

The Coastal Commission gives Long Beach the okay to move palm trees along Marina Drive to make room for sidewalks and bike lanes, but only if it doesn’t bug the birds.

 

State

A Garden Grove man was sentenced to 26 years to life behind bars for the unprovoked attack that left a passing bike rider dead; 19-year old Bryan Ortega was knocked off his bike and repeatedly stabbed by 23-year old Troy David Son, even though there was no history between the two men, who did not appear to know each other.

Pro mountain biker Jeff Lenosky had $30,000 worth of bikes, cameras and other gear stolen when someone broke into his team van at a Santa Ana Holiday Inn.

A Ventura bike rider calls the city’s crumbling streets an embarrassment, complaining that the state’s gas tax money doesn’t seem to be fixing them.

Thanks to the help of a fellow church member and musician, a Bakersfield man is continuing to ride a bike despite losing his eyesight.

The news from Sunnyvale just keeps getting worse. In the story we’ve been following since last week, police now say the speeding driver who intentionally steered his car into eight pedestrians and bike riders at a Sunnyvale intersection did it because he thought they were Muslim; the FBI is now investigating it as a hate crime.

The Trader Joes of bike shops is making its second foray onto American shores with a new store in Emeryville, after pulling out of the US market thirteen years earlier.

 

National

A bipartisan bill pending in Congress would extend and expand the successful Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to build bikeways and sidewalks to reduce traffic congestion and support safe routes to schools. Unfortunately, bipartisanship is out of fashion in DC, so its immediate prospects could be questionable.

Bicycling examines the mechanical failures that led Lyft to lift its ebikes from city streets across the US.

This is what happens when you try to drive your pickup camper over a Portland bike and pedestrian bridge.

A writer from Cheyenne, Wyoming heads south to my hometown to ride the bike path along the Cache la Poudre River, which I used to ride on a near daily basis back in the day. Cheyenne is where I used to go to buy booze before I turned 21, or whenever I wanted to get beat up by a cowboy for looking at his girl the wrong way. Good times. 

Omaha NE has completed a 38-mile interconnected bicycle network just in time for next month’s Bike Week. But those damn bike riders are just never satisfied, saying it’s not enough. Unbridled sarcasm aside, at least they have an actual network, unlike LA’s disjointed and inadequate patchwork of bikeways that don’t connect to anything or go anywhere.

An Iowa letter writer calls for bicyclists to pay their fair share, and get a motorcycle license because they move too damn fast. Because evidently, it’s not enough for bike riders to subsidize drivers with their tax money.

This is what can happen if you do bikeshare right. Houston’s booming bikeshare system is reshaping the car-centric city, with the biggest jump in ridership coming from people who swapped car rides for bike rides.

Apparently, it takes a village to find a stolen Michigan girl’s bicycle.

Massachusetts legislators advanced a bill creating a three-foot passing law and 25 mph speed limits, but rejected a clause that would have expanded the use of interlock devices to fight repeat drunk driving. There’s no excuse for driving drunk, ever. Some people will tell you anyone could get caught after having a few drinks, but the easy solution is just don’t drink if you have to drive.

A group of 26 bicyclists are riding from Newtown, Connecticut to Baltimore, then back up to Pittsburgh to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre and call for an end to gun violence.

The New York bike rider who allegedly blew through a red light and seriously injured a pedestrian was a homeless man, who told police his gears and brakes weren’t working right. The victim’s boss issued a statement calling for license plates for people on bicycles, saying lawbreaking bike riders put peoples lives in peril. Never mind that the last time a person was killed by a bike rider in Gotham was 2014, while 64 people have been killed by cars this year alone.

Rapper J Cole is one of us, too, riding the streets of New York to get a haircut.

A Jackson MS man faces a murder charge after fatally shooting a 14-year old boy who may have been attempting to steal his bike.

After a group of Florida mothers got suspicious of a man who kept riding his bike past an elementary school when kids were getting out, they discovered he was a registered sex offender.

 

International

Kicking your car to the curb in favor of an active commute could help cut the risk of death for overweight people.

Environmental activists swarmed central London and held a die-in at the Tate Modern museum to protest insect die-offs linked to climate change.

Britain can’t seem to figure Brexit out, but they are turning a 1790s Scottish cashmere mill into a world-class mountain biking research and development lab.

Despite earlier reports of a decline in bicycling, the UK enjoyed a record year for bike commuting last year, as new bike superhighways and improved networks helped bike lane usage boom across the country.

The BBC belatedly discovers that bicycling is not just for MAMILs. Although it’s hard to call women bicyclists rare when they make up nearly a third of Irish riders.

A Chinese bike factory town is dealing with the fallout after the bust of the bikeshare boom.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sadly, Dutch Continental cyclist Robbert de Greef has died, three weeks after suffering a heart attack while competing in a race.

Santa Clarita Magazine looks forward to next month’s Amgen Tour of California visiting the valley, calling it America’s greatest cycling race.

 

Finally…

In Los Angeles, we have car chases; in Indiana, hot bike chases. If you’re just riding around the perimeter of Great Britain, is it really a world record?

And apparently, your love of bicycling is nothing more than a basic, garden variety Satanic possession.

Which totally explains that whole N+1 thing.

 

Morning Links: DIY red cup protected bike lanes today, LA traffic deaths up despite Vision Zero, and a busy bike weekend

It’s National Red Cup Project Day. 

So go out and stake out your own protected bike lane by using your favorite brand of plastic red cups to mark your favorite bike lane for just a few bucks.

And knowing LA drivers, for just a few minutes before they run them over anyway.

But still.

Then send me the photos or video, and I’ll post them on here.

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Good piece from the LA Times’ Laura Nelson, who writes that, despite Vision Zero, traffic fatalities are up significantly in Los Angeles; advocates blame inaction by the city and a lack of commitment to improve safety if it means inconveniencing drivers.

I’d say that about sums it up.

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It’s a busy bike weekend in the LA area.

Culver City is looking for volunteers to clean up Ballona Creek on Saturday, presumably including the bike path.

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield hosts his annual Blumenfield Bike Ride in Reseda Saturday morning.

Long Beach’s popular Beach Streets open streets event takes place on Saturday, as well.

And the ever-popular CicLAvia rolls through the streets of Wilmington on Sunday, with their first event of 2015.

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KCBS-2 looks forward to Monday’s arrival of LA’s first two-way bike lane on Spring Street in DTLA.

Although unlike the photo they use to illustrate the story, it probably won’t be cobbled.

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Kindhearted Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies surprised a young boy with a new bike after his was stolen; credit the local Bicycle John’s outpost for donating the bike.

Thanks to Nina Moskol, Chairperson of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition for the heads-up.

Speaking of Santa Clarita, the city’s mayor looks forward to next month’s visit by the Amgen Tour of California, while encouraging residents to explore the city by bicycle.

And a columnist for The Signal decries a “relative bloodbath of pedestrian and bicycle accidents” in the area, saying more must be done to improve safety, especially on busy six-lane McBean Parkway.

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Today’s common theme: mountain bikes.

Recently retired football great Rob Gronkowski is one of us; Bicycling offers a little unsolicited advice as he takes up mountain biking.

Congratulations to gun maker Smith & Wesson, whose attempt to enter the mountain bike market ranks 41st on USA Today’s list of the 50 worst product flops of all time.

Finishing our mountain bike trifecta, Outside offers seven tips for beginning mountain bikes, whether or not they answer to Gronkowski.

But wait, there’s more!

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting takes a docent-led mountain bike tour through the volunteer-managed Irvine Ranch Conservancy, which he says most people have never heard of, even though at 40,000 acres it’s nearly as big as Bryce Canyon National Park and even more spectacular.

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Local

Spectrum News 1 is the latest LA news outlet to look at the city’s new program to install permanent memorials to fallen bicyclists.

A former LA city planner states the obvious, suggesting that LA traffic congestion is only going to get worse and that solutions like walking and biking remain woefully underfunded, without the safe infrastructure necessary to make them work. However, he also blames increased density and transit oriented development, as well as reduced parking requirements, calling them frauds, without citing evidence to back it up.

An op-ed in the LA Daily News says California drivers won’t willingly give up their cars.

This is who we share the beach with. A woman tells what it was like to get run over by an LAPD SUV while sunbathing on Venice Beach.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare program could be on the chopping block due to competition from dockless bikes and e-scooters, as the city faces budget cuts and layoffs under a program to speed payment of its $448 million unfunded pension liability. 

He gets it. An op-ed from the vice chair of the Long Beach Transit board of directors says everyone deserves safe streets.

This is who we share the roads with. A Long Beach bus driver faces charges for sideswiping more than a dozen cars while driving at three times the legal alcohol limit.

Signal Hill police will be cracking down on violations that endanger bike riders and pedestrians net month.

 

State

California’s Complete Streets bill moves forward after passing through the Senate Transportation Committee; SB127 would require Caltrans to consider the safety of all road users on any state-owned road.

That’s more like it. An El Cajon woman driving with a suspended license got three years behind bars for the hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a nine-year old boy who was riding his bike to school.

A San Diego TV station says bike riders and skaters at a new pump track think the park isn’t big enough for both of them.

A 75-year old Indian Wells man was hospitalized with significant injuries after he somehow crashed into the back of a parked city van Thursday morning.

Riverside sheriff’s deputies are still on the lookout for the red light-running hit-and-run driver who killed a 21-year old Eastvale man as he was biking home from work five years ago; deputies originally arrested a man who admitted to driving while “drunk out of his mind” and thought he had hit something that night, but phone records placed him miles from the crash site.

The speeding driver in the Sunnyvale crash who intentionally rammed eight pedestrians and bike riders as they waited at a red light was reportedly suffering from PTSD from his time in the Army; witnesses said they heard him repeatedly moan “Thank you, Jesus” following the crash.

 

National

A tax bill pending in Congress could mean an extra $53 a month in your pocket for commuting by bike.

Fast Company says people only realized just how much they’d miss ebikes after they were taken away.

Breaking a sweat today can provide health benefits up to a decade later.

An Oregon weekly offers its annual bicycling edition, with stories ranging from BMX and gravel grinding to low stress bicycle networks.

Phoenix says what’s a few traffic deaths between friends, bucking the national trend by voting not to adopt a Vision Zero plan.

A new study from an Arizona professor recommends leading bicycle intervals or split LBIs to reduce the risk of collisions with right-turning drivers.

Colorado comedian Wally Wallace discusses the second edition of his bicycle and comedy festival in tiny Trinidad CO, choosing the city of slightly more than 8,000 people because it’s halfway between Los Angeles and Chicago by train.

A Boise, Idaho bike cop is about to log 100,000 miles on his bike.

A Minneapolis transportation columnist says if you want a happy commute, travel by bicycle.

The NYPD is cracking down on red light-running bike riders, after a woman suffered a fractured skull that left her in a coma when she was struck by a food delivery rider who blew through the light. Seriously, unless you live in Idaho or Arkansas, stop for the damn red light, already — especially when pedestrians are present.

A DC website says it’s very charitable to conclude that the cop who hit a bike rider as he rode in a crosswalk actually had the right-of-way, as the local police insist.

Life is cheap in North Carolina, where a speeding driver who killed an 18-year old basketball star while he was riding his bike walked with just 75 days behind bars — and even that was suspended.

A travel writer visiting New Orleans says bikeshare is a surprisingly good way to tour the city.

 

International

Research papers usually tell just half the story about exercise science, since they too often leave women out of the equation, according to a Cycling Weekly writer.

Heartbreaking video from England, where a balance bike-riding three-year old became collateral damage in a road rage dispute between two drivers; remarkably, the truck driver who killed him was cleared of wrongdoing. Evidently, road rage is perfectly legal in the UK, even if it kills an innocent person.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in Britain, where a “remorseless” hit-and-run driver walks without a single day behind bars for leaving a triathlete with serious injuries after deliberately cutting in front of her bike — and saying she deserved it, calling it karma, for the crime of delaying his car for a few moments. Let’s wish him well, because karma’s got a nasty way of coming back to bite you in the ass.

Seriously? Japan Today points out the dangers of reckless bicycling, while noting that police blame bike riders for “nearly 100%” of crashes with pedestrians. While we have an obligation to ride safely around people on foot, anyone who’s ever had someone step off a curb or turn around in front of them knows that’s pretty damned unlikely.

The Japanese man whose wife and three-year old daughter were killed when their bike was struck by an 87-year old driver calls attention to elderly people who can no longer drive safely. We’ve got to find a better way to identify unsafe drivers and take the keys out of their hands. Because despite what Elon Musk says, self-driving cars are a long way off.

 

Finally…

When you’re sexually harassed by your e-scooter.  Here’s your chance to tour Winterfell by bike.*

And yes, I would.

In a heartbeat.

*dragons not included

Morning Links: DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh killed, DTLA cycle tracks starts work, and Metro Bikes free today

I lost a follower on Twitter last weekend. 

Which is nothing new.

Except this time it happened the worst possible way. 

Like a number of other people, I’ve followed Dave Salovesh, aka @darsal, for some time. And vice versa, for reasons only he knew.

The extremely popular DC bike advocate has been an outspoken supporter of protected bike lanes and safer streets, as well as taking action now to fight climate change. I’ve enjoyed his humor and insights, and learned a lot from him over the years.

Sadly, we won’t be following each other anymore.

Salovesh was killed Friday morning when the speeding driver of a stolen van ran a red light, crashed into a car and slammed into his bicycle before crashing into a tree.

It could be argued that he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, collateral damage to someone else’s crime.

Except he was riding on one of the city’s most dangerous streets, where Salovesh had been fighting to get a protected bike lane.

Whether that would have been enough to save him, we’ll never know.  

Meanwhile, a bicycle columnist for a DC weekly remembers Salovesh as his good friend, confessing to raw emotions while adding that bike advocacy will go on, but it will be far less meaningful without him.

Over two hundred bike riders held a vigil and ghost bike ceremony in his honor on Sunday, starting and ending at the spot where the speeding car thief took his life. 

DC TV station calls his death a cruel irony, while bike riders attending the vigil demand for safer streets for all bicyclists

And the city announced, just a little too late, that it would increase enforcement against drivers who stop or park in bike lanes.  

Which is another of the issues Salovesh had long fought for.

Meanwhile, I’ve lost an ally and a friend, albeit one Ive never met. 

And now, never will.

Photo of Dave Salovesh’s ghost bike and the spot where the driver’s car came to rest by Ryan Keefe

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LADOT is beginning work next weekend to convert the bike lanes on Spring and Main Streets in DTLA to two-way protected cycle tracks. 

Now let’s just hope they also do something to keep drivers the hell out of them. 

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Metro, Metrolink and other SoCal transit systems are offering free rides today in honor of Earth Day.

They’re also providing free rides on the Metro Bike bikeshare system. 

Or you can just ride your own bike, which is always free, with or without a code. 

Meanwhile, Metro celebrates Earth Day by beginning a three-year detour of the Expo Line bike path next to Jefferson Blvd today

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LA’s hit-and-run epidemic struck close to home last week, when a man was murdered by a hit-and-run driver on Sunset Blvd just walking distance from our apartment.

Even with the cane I’m currently confined to.

Compounding the tragedy, the victim was an Australian man who had been released from prison 12 years after he was wrongly convicted of murder.

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Pinkbike celebrated the weekend with videos of epic mountain bike fails. 

On the other hand, at least these people were out there riding, so there’s that.

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Local

Westwood Village applies for grants to improve the appearance and walkability of Westwood Blvd, as well as install bike racks. But apparently forgets to improve the actual streets and add bike lanes so people might actually use them. 

A writer for the USC paper says the future of LA sustainability begins with students, urging them to get involved at every level of planning and policy, including supporting more bike lanes. 

The LACBC’s next Sunday Funday Ride rolls May 5th, offering a preview of June’s popular LA River Ride

Claremont police ticketed bike riders and drivers in a crosswalk crackdown for rolling through the crosswalk instead of stopping for pedestrians, as the law requires. 

Food delivery drivers will get their own dedicated parking spaces in front of two restaurants in downtown Santa Monica for a three-month trial to keep them from double-parking in the bike lane. Now maybe they can do something about the FedEx and UPS drivers who park in the bike lanes on Ocean and San Vicente on a daily basis

 

State

Turns out the thief who stole a $5,000 bike from the Cyclist bike shop in Santa Ana just wanted to ride it, and cut off the ends of the handlebars because he’s a Phil Gaimon fan.

A San Diego community planning board voted to approve plans for a new cycle track in Point Loma

A bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries following a crash with a hit-and-run driver near the University of San Diego. 

A “gypsy family” of pedicab drivers stops in Coachella to provide rides at the music festival, one of several they serve as they make their way around the country. 

A San Jose newspaper says the popular road up Mt. Diablo needs more bike turnouts allowing drivers to pass bike riders without crossing the center line, and hopefully avoid the next crash. 

In a horrifying story, the CHP is looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a Merced woman to die on the side of the road after crashing into her bicycle; her body was found at 1 pm, hours after she was struck the previous evening. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know if she would have survived if she had been found sooner. Or if the coward who hit her had stopped to get help. 

 

National

Seattle bicyclists rode to all 27 public library branches in the city in an 11-hour, 70-mile ride to support investing in the city’s library system.

Speaking of Seattle, the city is bucking the trend by maintaining a fleet of dockless bikeshare bikes, even as providers pull dockless bicycles in favor of e-scooters. 

Talk about not getting it. A Texas man will spend the next ten years behind bars after repeatedly violating the terms of his probation for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he had originally gotten out after serving just 17 days of a two-year sentence thanks to a loophole in the law. You’d think someone would have enough sense to keep their nose clean after a gift like that. But apparently  you’d be wrong

She gets it. A Chicago letter writer says make safer bike lanes the norm

A Michigan outdoor campaign is putting a face on distracted driving by plastering photos of the victims of distracted drivers on billboards.

A Rhode Island man has spent the past nine years looking for a pair of nurses to thank them for saving his life after his front wheel locked up on a bike path.

A 74-year old New York man says he was attacked by a lawless gang of teenage bicyclists swarming down a riverfront path. 

The head of New York’s TransAlt advocacy group says the NYPD has to stop going out of its way to blame the victims

DC bike cops bust a prodigious bike thief, but aren’t able to find any of the bicycles he allegedly stole. 

Kindhearted Virginia deputies pitched in to buy a physically and emotionally impaired man a new bicycle when his was stolen, after they learned he had overcome the odds by learning to walk again following a crash left him in a coma.  

A South Carolina newspaper says not every street in the state has to be a Complete Street, but there are some where it’s necessary.   

 

International

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for children and young adults

London’s formerly bike-friendly Sunday Times now says a reported drop in bicycling levels in the UK is a victory for motorists “in their long-running battle with cyclists.”

A writer for The Guardian says cars are ruining our lives and triggering environmental disasters, and must be phased out within ten years

Dutch bike maker VanMoof has sold 11,000 ebikes worth a cool $33 million and change

Afghan women are demanding that their rights be preserved in any peace talks, including the hard-won ability to ride a bicycle. 

South African police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who fled the scene on foot after plowing into a 10 bicyclists, killing one and injuring seven others.

In a case of keeping an elderly driver on the road until it’s too late, an 86-year Australian man faces charges for dragging a food delivery rider under his car the length of a football field before fleeing the scene; the 23-year old woman he hit suffered extensive injuries, including severe burns. 

In yet another case of an elderly driver who shouldn’t be, a Japanese man crashed his car into a group of people waiting at an intersection, killing a mother and daughter who were sharing a bicycle and injuring eight others. Police suspect the 87-year old driver hit the gas pedal instead of the brake

Taiwan’s Penghu archipelago, made up of more than 90 islands and islets, is promoting bicycling tourism, saying it’s the best way for tourists to explore the area

Beijing is opening a four-mile, bicycle-only roadway with one lane in each direction, along with a reversible lane in the middle. 

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling will field a national team at the Amgen Tour of California, naming ten young riders the team will be chosen from, including one who competes for an LA team. 

Belgium is mourning the death of track cycling great Patrick Sercu, considered one of the greatest of all time.

 

Finally…

Banned from riding your bike in a not-so-public public park. When you decide anyone who doesn’t ride like you do and go out of their way to ride in a bike lane is a selfish, entitled jerk.  

And if you’re carrying a number of controlled substances on your bike, don’t break any bylaws.

Whatever that means. 

Morning Links: Tearjerking look at Woon tragic death, Pasadena flirts with e-bikeshare, and fix for Spring St

Seriously, they’re just trying to make us cry now.

Just days after Sahra Sulaiman’s moving story on how Frederick “Woon” Frazier’s mom is coping with the death of her only son a year later, former Bicycling editor-in-chief Peter Flax steps up with a heartbreaking look of his own for his former publication.

And no coincidence, in either case, that today is the one-year anniversary of needless, cowardly hit-and-run that took his life.

Or that, despite the announcement of pending charges against the speeding, uninsured driver who left him to die in the street — then attempted to coverup her crime by repainting her Porsche Cayenne — no charges have actually been filed a full year later.

Even though she turned herself in and confessed to the crime when investigators were closing in on her.

Maybe they’re waiting for today to do it with a big splash.

We can only hope.

Flax describes the day of Woon’s death in painful new detail.

When Woon got to the busy intersection of Normandie and Manchester avenues, less than a mile from home, he arced a slow right turn. Almost instantly, the Porsche was upon him. A nearby security camera caught the moment when a driver in a white Cayenne, who had been speeding in the gutter lane, closed the gap to Woon’s rear wheel and struck him from behind.

The impact was fierce, more than enough to shatter the rear triangle of his carbon-fiber frame. Then the driver took off, leaving Woon to die on Manchester Avenue before an ambulance could take him to the hospital.

Perhaps an hour after her son left the house, Owens (Woon’s mother) heard a knock on her door. On the front step stood three LAPD officers. One detective pushed up his shades—his eyes were red, Owens recalled—and told her that Woon had been in a crash and didn’t make it.

It’s a must read, as Flax delves into the extreme loss, emotionally, physically and financially, for a family that can least afford it, in any sense. Yet refuses to give up on long-delayed justice, even without hope of a civil judgement.

But be sure to have some tissues on hand.

Flax ends his story with a visit to Woon’s ghost bike. And an unexpected encounter, as a monthly South LA group ride came pedaling by.

Everyone was staring and shouting at the ghost bike. Two dudes popped synchronized wheelies. 

I later recalled something Owens told me that afternoon. She and her son had been talking about the dangers of riding a bike in South Central, and Woon looked up at his mother and tried to reassure her. “Don’t worry, Momma,” he said. “If something happens to me, they’ll ride for me.” She said she didn’t understand it then, but she understood it now.

A Latino guy on a tricked-out fixie was riding shotgun at the back of the Fixie Goons. As he passed the ghost bike, we made eye contact for a second. Then he titled his head back and shouted to the sky: “Long live Woon!”

Long live Woon, indeed.

Although the best part of Flax’s story isn’t even part of it.

He mentions, almost in passing, the crowdfunding page set up for Woon’s three-month old son.

Sitting in the small and crowded living room in South Central, Beverly Owens spent a few hours talking about her son and her heartbreak, but there was one more bittersweet disclosure to come. On the day of Woon’s funeral, Owens said, his girlfriend found out she was pregnant. 

The baby is three months old now. The boy’s mother is trying to raise him on her own, but it’s tough. An ongoing GoFundMe campaign helped buy a crib and car seat, but diapers are expensive. A settlement in civil court would have really make a difference for the people Woon left behind.

When I last checked the GoFundMe site on Sunday night, it had been languishing at just over $1,000 for four full months.

But within hours of Flax’s story appearing online, it had jumped to over $3,000. And now sits at $3,555 as of this writing.

A happy ending to a very sad story.

Photo of Woon’s mom looking at his photo from GoFundMe page.

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In a surprise announcement, Pasadena may be getting back into the bikeshare business.

Less than a year after pulling the plug on the Metro Bike docked bikeshare program, the city is considering buying into an ebike bikeshare proposed by San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments.

The program will roll out 1,000 bikes which can be ridden in ped-assist or fully electric mode, across ten SGV cities.

Just don’t plan on riding an e-scooter in the Rose City anytime soon.

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It looks like LADOT heard the complaints about the notorious Spring Street parking lane protected bike lane, and will be making some much needed improvements soon.

At least, we can hope they’ll be improvements.

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

A San Francisco driver chased a man on a bike and intentionally ran him down with his car after the two got into an argument; fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously hurt.

Yet somehow, police inexplicably failed to make an arrest.

Something tells me they wouldn’t let the suspect go if he’d pistol whipped the victim, which is no different in any real sense than using a motor vehicle as a weapon.

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Usually I’m loathe to share a commercial TV spot on here, especially for an insurance company. And especially without getting paid for it.

But this gecko-less Geico semi-PSA is worth a small exception.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

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A new Mobility Lab video shows that walkers and bike riders are the happiest commuters.

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Local

Work has finally begun on the new bike and pedestrian bridge across the LA River using the piers originally used by the Red Car trolleys, which will allow access for people on bikes and on foot to cross the river once work begins on remaking the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

Riders using the Expo Line bike path will have to deal with a three-year detour — 1,096 long days (don’t forget leap year) — for construction of an oddly spelled “creative” high-rise office complex at Jefferson and National.

Not everyone likes LA’s demand that dockless bikeshare and e-scooter companies share their usage data with the city; the Electronic Frontier Foundation says the ride tracking pilot program is out of control. Thanks to Steve S for the link.

A Santa Clarita man was seriously injured when he was hit by the driver of a car while riding his bicycle on Sunday; a witness worried the victim would never walk again. Meanwhile, Santa Clarita collisions are down 24% since the implementation of the city’s Head’s Up safety campaign.

The Laemmle theater chain — run by bike-riding former LACBC board member Greg Laemmle — will screen The Bikes of Wrath, a documentary following five Australians as they ride from Oklahoma to California, following the westward Okie migration described in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

State

San Diego gives the boot to DecoBike, operator of the city’s docked bikeshare, alleging an unspecified breach of contract.

How about a three-day self-paced bike tour through the wine country surrounding Los Olivos?

National

Walmart is moving beyond their typical low-end bicycle shaped objects to introduce a high-end mountain bike selling for up to $6,000.

The question of how many bike shops there are in the US, and whether they’re shrinking or expanding, depends on how you define “bike shop.”

A Seattle radio station offers a discussion on how to ride a bike in a town without enough bike lanes. Which is probably required listening for all of us here in America’s Worst Bike City.

Bike Mag takes a ride in the heat, thorns and amazing desert blooms around Tucson AZ.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 77-year old Chicago grandmother stops by the Grand Canyon on a cross-country bike ride, as part of a group of 14 senior citizens riding across the US the hard way, going east to west headfirst into the prevailing winds.

Once again, a bicyclist visiting this country has been killed, this time in New Mexico, where an Australian man was run down from behind by an “inattentive” driver. There’s something terribly wrong when someone can’t ride a bike while visiting this country without getting shipped back home in a coffin.

There’s a special place in hell for the Texas thief who rode off with a nine-year old boy’s bicycle as he pleaded with him not to take it.

A bike-riding Maine letter writer freaks out at the sight of a group of bicyclists riding two abreast, which appears to be perfectly legal in the state. Besides, anyone who uses the too-tired phrase that bicycling is a two-way street belongs in cliche jail.

Now that’s more like it. Cambridge, Massachusetts has passed a first-in-the-nation ordinance requiring it to add permanent protected bike lanes anytime they reconstruct a road in the city’s bike plan. LA advocates fought for a clause like that when the bike plan was adopted. Needless to say, we didn’t get very far.

Seriously? A Massachusetts TV station reminds viewers to wear a helmet when they ride a bike, after someone sent them a photo of a helmetless rider popping a wheelie in the middle of a busy intersection. Call me crazy, but I’d think better advice would be don’t pop wheelies in intersections. with or without one.

International

A new study shows the cognitive and psychological benefits of bicycling are the same whether you pedal yourself or let an ebike do it for you. So just get out there and ride, already.

Argentina’s national soccer coach Lionel Scaloni is one of us; he was lucky to escape with a few cuts and bruises when he was hit by a driver while riding in Spain. Just a pity that we too often find out who rides a bike when they get knocked off one.

Montreal tried to close a popular park to motor vehicles after a bike rider was killed — then reopened it after motorists rose up in anger. Which might sound familiar to anyone who remembers LA’s Playa del Rey fiasco.

Adventure cyclist Ishbel Holmes set out on an around-the-world bicycle tour, only to adopt a stray dog in Turkey that she says changed her life forever.

Competitive Cycling

British Continental cyclist Ian Bibby said he’s devastated after thieves broke into his garage and stole his bike.

Cyclist considers the favorites for Sunday’s infamous Hell of the North, aka Paris-Roubaix.

Minnesota’s North Star Grand Prix launched a crowdfunding campaign to make up a $200,000 shortfall in funding in their planned comeback as a UCI women’s race.

And this is how you give a post-race interview.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for that one.

Finally…

Discovering that bike riding can actually be fun if you try. Why did a bike-riding Domino’s worker get run down with a full load of Little Caesars pizzas?

And adding insult to injury.

Literally.

Morning Links: Who we share the roads with, Spring Street filming, and parking in the not-so-protected bike lane

This is who we share the roads with, part 1.

A hit-and-run driver plowed into a line of parked cars at 6th and Daisy in Long Beach, resulting in a daisy chain of crashed cars.

Or as the Long Beach Post called it, a car conga line.

But sure, tell us again about those entitled bicyclists.

Or maybe scooters.

………

This is who we share the roads with, part 2.

A Texas woman had this to say about the driver of the bus she was on after the driver fatally rear-ended a bicyclist on the University of Texas campus.

“She was drunk or she was crazy or something. She was not normal. I could feel it the whole time I was on the bus,” Mitchell said. “She was all over the place. One second she’d be 34 miles per hour, then 17 miles per hour, then 21 miles per hour. There was nothing steadfast about it.”

Not exactly the most comfortable way to get from here to there. And as usual, it was the guy on the bike who paid the price.

Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

………

This is who we share the roads with, part 3.

A drunken Honolulu driver killed three people when he somehow drove his truck across three lanes, jumped a traffic island and hit six people, followed by crashing into a pole, then into another truck.

Three other people remain in critical condition, including the driver of the other truck.

Initial reports indicate one of the people killed was on a bicycle.

………

CiclaValley points out that the new Spring Street sort-of-but-not-really protected bike lanes don’t seem to have hurt filming, unlike the Hollywood rebellion over the previous green lanes.

Then again, it also seems to double as a parking lane.

But wait, there’s more.

Then again, I’m told that parking in the bike lane is a daily occurrence.

And so is the filming.

………

BikinginLA sponsors Cohen Law Partners offer advice on how long you have to file a lawsuit after a crash — two years in most cases.

Unless the driver holds you captive.

No, really.

………

Freemont, California approved plans for a 17-mile, $1 million bike lane network to make up for their existing patchwork of disconnected lanes.

And yes, the plans include Complete Streets and lane reductions.

Although Robert Leone suggests that maybe it’s just a ploy to keep more motorists off the main streets and on the highways.

………

Local

A Los Angeles architect says little vehicles like e-scooters and bicycles can help heal car-centric cities.

Long Beach has seen an average of over one person killed in traffic collisions every week this year, including two pedestrians and two bike riders.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department received a nearly $2 million grant from the state to conduct traffic safety operations over the coming year, including DUI checkpoints and bicycle and pedestrian safety education.

State

San Diego officials suggest defunding proposed bike lanes and sidewalks in a low income urban neighborhood, and moving the money to another project — even though it scored much lower on the city’s Visio Zero network.

The two-day, 30-mile Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride across San Diego County is intended to “help military veterans wounded on battlefield begin a new path towards healing.”

A mountain biker was airlifted to a hospital after suffering serious injuries while trail riding at the Vail Lake Village Resort east of Temecula.

The faux Dutch village of Solvang put a bike lane project on hold, after discovering it was cheaper to remove parking on both sides of the street than just on one.

A San Francisco woman got her $4,000 foldie e-cargo bike back after it was stolen, thanks to Bike Index and an alert cop. One more reminder to register your bike for free before something like this happens to you.

Not bias here. A Marin newspaper says six months is plenty of time to judge if a pilot bikeway program on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is a success. Let’s see if they say the same thing about the area’s next highway project.

Petaluma police busted a pedal-pushing burglar peeping into parked cars with drug paraphernalia and break-in tools in his pack.

Chico got a $12 million cash infusion from the state’s Active Transportation Program to build a bike bridge over a major roadway.

National

Good news. A new study shows “extreme” exercise like bicycling or running doesn’t put any extra strain on your middle-aged heart.

A writer for Bicycling wants to know if Google Sheets is trolling her with the image of four bicyclists on its homepage.

A new study of 22 cities shows that transit use drops an average of 1.27% annually when ride-hailing services enter a city; the only one not to see a drop was Seattle. It would be interesting to see if it has a corresponding effect on bicycling.

A Washington driver was sentenced to four and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a woman out for a 30-minute bike ride; her 81-year old husband found her body in a ditch when she didn’t come home.

In yet another example of our legal system keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a Las Vegas hit-and-run driver with a previous DUI conviction downed three-quarters of a gallon of beer before he ran down a bike rider. Then downed another three-quarters afterward because he said he was going to jail anyway.

A Montana writer says it’s dangerous to tailgate bike riders, so don’t do it. Especially in the snow. Which is not a problem LA riders are likely to face anytime soon, though rain is another matter.

Pensacola FL embraces Complete Streets after a previous effort was torpedoed by city leaders.

West Palm Beach, Florida officials credit the city’s Vision Zero program for a more than 20% drop in crashes involving bike riders and pedestrians over the past year. Even though they didn’t adopt it until the last five months of the year.

A hate crime lawsuit was filed against the white Miami driver who threatened a group of black teenage bike riders with a gun while yelling racist epithets. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

International

Toronto votes to make a set of separated bike lanes permanent after they reduced crashes involving bicyclists by a whopping 73% during the pilot period. More proof that bike lanes work, despite what the traffic safety deniers claim.

There’s a lot of good people out there. A British woman wants to thank the strangers who rushed to her aid after she skidded on some oil and flew off her bike.

Not surprisingly, a UK used car magazine’s campaign to give free reflective wear to vulnerable road users got a lot of blowback on social media, even though the company says they had a great response from the bicycling community.

Twenty more bicyclists have come forward claiming they had “inexplicable” crashes at a single intersection on an English roadway, bringing the total to 28 people who say they were injured falling off their bikes at the same location.

No size shaming here. An Irish rugby player says when he sees someone who weighs 280 pounds riding a bicycle, he wonders “What’s the point?” The point is a) they’re improving their health, b) they may be going somewhere, and c) they’re enjoying themselves. So get over it, already.

A Norwegian startup has developed a rechargeable, bendable GPS tracker that can be wrapped under your handlebar tape to help fight bike theft.

A one-armed Indian bicyclist rode nearly 1,000 miles from Delhi to Mumbai in just 15 days. No word on whether anyone lent him a hand.

An Aussie newspaper says motorists are wrong when they criticize bike riders for breaking the rules — like the man who drove on a bike path to swear at two bicyclist who were riding in the road, not doing a damn thing wrong.

A bicyclist says the barriers blocking an Australian bike path are just a load of bollards.

Hurry, and you might be able to score one of two remaining handmade ti bikes inspired by the ancient Chinese imperial court in the Forbidden City, for just under $6,000; the other seven have already been given to foreign dignitaries as national gifts. Or you could just ask your favorite dignitary to give you theirs.

Finally…

Evidently, the fifth time is not the charm. If you’re trying to ride away from an angry owner after stealing his bike, watch out for cross traffic.

And now you can ride My Boo.

As long as you’re willing to move to the UK first.

Morning Links: Biking to fight climate change crisis, how to bike Spring Street, and a musical view of CicLAvia

A new report warns that the Earth only has another eleven years to reverse climate change before suffering irreversible and catastrophic damage.

Not surprisingly, bicycling and walking more were among the mitigating tactics the researchers recommended to help fight climate change and keep the planet habitable.

Then again, that news is nothing new.

Although it may come as a shock to some members of the LA city council, where self-proclaimed environmentalists continue to block bike lanes and keep Angelenos dependent on their cars, despite acknowledging a climate emergency.

Maybe now they’ll finally get the message. And actually do something about it.

Though something tells me we may all turn blue from waiting.

Unless we die first from the effects of all those cars idling in traffic.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s takeaway from that climate change report is that we need to all switch to solar powered e-cars.

It’s almost like he has a stake in it or something.

Thanks to Jason Islas for the Musk heads-up.

………

LADOT has advice for bike riders on how to use the new left hand, parking protected bike lanes on Spring Street in DTLA.

Now if they could just come up with advice for drivers on how to avoid parking in it.

………

LA County serves up a great video recap weaving a musical tapestry from last month’s Celebrate LA! CicLAvia.

Thanks to LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas for the link.

………

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss continues his ascent to being one of the country’s leading bike advocates, this time taking on the self-described “avid cyclists” who stand in the way of bike safety.

Sort of like the Kiwi driver and self-described cyclist who got upset when he had to follow two chatting bike riders, calling them entitled, rude and careless for delaying him for a whole 21 seconds.

Meanwhile, a bike advocate respond to his video by saying “Revving your engine, overtaking on a blind corner, and yelling at people on bikes is a dick move.”

Something tells me Weiss would agree.

………

Anyone have more information about this crash near Santa Monica Airport? That totally trashed bicycle doesn’t look good.

However, there’s nothing in the news about it. And usually, no news is good news.

Update: I saw the following email from Benjamin S after I posted this last night. 

Meanwhile, a comment below says it took police 12 hours to clear the crash scene, and that forensics was called to investigate, which is never a good sign. 

Let’s all take a moment to offer a prayer or good thoughts for the victim of this crash, and hope for the best.

Update 2: According to Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole, the victim was “severely, but not critically injured.” 

………

Pro cyclist Ted King was on the receiving end of a punishment pass from a road raging driver.

Twitter user RS recognizes the location as Petaluma Road in Point Reyes.

………

Nothing like endangering a kid in a baby carriage with an ill-advised pass.

………

Today’s common theme is ebikes.

Lifehacker considers whether you should buy an ebike. Unfortunately, the first — and often, last — consideration for many people is whether they can actually afford it.

The New York Times questions whether ebikes are about to take over the city, now that Gotham has eased restrictions on ped-assist bikes.

Business Times argues that ebikes can make you fitter than a regular bike. Which is probably true if the regular bike stays in your garage.

And Wired examines how dockless bikeshare provider Jump designed a global ebike capable of serving the most people, in the most urban environments.

………

Local

A ghost bike will be placed tonight for the victim of Sunday’s bike crash in Sun Valley.

 

State

The Challenged Athlete’s Foundation is hosting a 600-mile Million Dollar Challenge ride down the left coast from Monterey to San Diego next week.

The Orange County Bike Bells program to distribute bike bells to mountain bikers was honored with a Savvy Award for the best use of a promotional item from the national City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA).

A separated Class 1 bike path in Goleta has won the Bikeways and Trails Project of the Year Award from the Los Angeles chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Now this Oakland bikeway is what a protected bike lane — and a Complete Street — should look like.

Former pro Levi Leipheimer’s Levi’s GranFondo drew over 4,000 bicyclists to Sonoma County over the weekend.

Sacramento approved a change to the city’s food vending vehicles code to legalize food bikes, at the urging of a couple who found out their fresh Stroopwafel bike violated the city codes.

 

National

The author of the “safety in numbers” theory says that tiny vehicles, such as e-scooters, could be the best thing to happen to Vision Zero.

Bike Index talks with the owner of the 5,000th stolen bicycle recovered through the free bike registry.

Bicycling profiles what they call cycling’s cutest rider, a three-pound Schnoodle named Pippa.

It’s neighbor against neighbor on the streets of Denver, where residents are split on a series of mini traffic circles installed as part of a neighborhood bikeway giving priority to non-motorized users.

Cycling tackles one of Colorado’s most iconic passes.

A Colorado bike tour has left a trail of bounced checks and broken promises in its wake, including stiffing a high school marching band.

If drivers can’t even manage to avoid dooring the new Milwaukee street car, how the hell are they supposed to see us?

In a problem DTLA bike riders can relate to, a Chicago TV station reports that bike riders are being endangered by having to swerve around cars and buses parked in a bike lane.

Maine is trying to boost bike tourism by plotting a 320-mile extension to US Bike Route 1 through the northern part of the state.

New York is building a 750-mile escape route, uh, bike trail to Canada.

WaPo discovers ‘bents, saying today’s adult tricycles are low, sleek, speeding and growing in popularity.

 

International

In Vancouver, dooring isn’t considered a crash, because the car isn’t moving and bikes aren’t considered vehicles. And the fine is just $81.

Life is cheap in Manitoba, Canada, where an allegedly drunk hit-and-run driver got just two years for killing a bike riding father; he also lost his license for five years, but the court cut that in half to credit him with the time since the 2016 crash.

A candidate for the Windsor, Ontario city council is taking Bike the Vote seriously by doing his campaigning by bicycle.

A “radical” new proposal would pedestrianize half of the streets in London’s historic core, banning cars and trucks while lowering speed limits to just 15 mph.

A reporter follows BBC presenter Jeremy Vines as he rides his bike from his TV gig to his radio studio, and quotes Vines saying riding a bike is quicker than a Maserati in London.

Safety first. A British bike rider dressed all in black, including a balaclava, to murder a man in a bike-by shooting — but wore a hi-viz jacket over it. One paper suggests it could be an effort to hide in plain sight.

No surprise here. A new study from a British insurance company shows that bike riders make better drivers; bike riding drivers filed claims at less than half the rate of other motorists.

A UK city is posting “Share with Care” signs to remind bike riders and pedestrians to safely share formerly pedestrian streets that were recently opened to people on bicycles.

Police in a British city are stopping bicyclists for using a cellphone when they ride. Only problem is, that’s not illegal.

A Scottish woman is on track to shatter the record for the fastest women’s ride around the world.

Bicycling is booming in Russia, despite market conditions that limit the importation of better quality bikes.

International diplomats climb on their bikes to fight climate change in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Foreign workers in Dubai can’t get to their jobs after their bicycles were confiscated for violating the emirate’s law mandating bike helmets and hi-viz.

Kiwi bike riders say they’re sick of the anti-cyclist vitriol on social media.

The Korea Times takes a look back at the country’s first women bike riders, even though many of the first women’s bikes were ridden by men wearing traditional skirts.

Tragic news from Japan, where an 88-year old woman is in a coma after being knocked down by a 13-year old boy on a bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

An admittedly flawed Irish study shows a worrying increase in spinal injuries among competitive cyclists.

A writer for Outside says America’s most recent ex-Tour de France winner is seeking forgiveness by starting a new cycling team.

A new Chinese cycling team with a massive budget sets out to win the Tour de France by 2025.

 

Finally…

A cuter, fluffier way to sniff out dope cheats. Why change tires when you can just zip on a new tread?

And apparently, there’s nothing scarier than bike-riding teenagers in clown masks.

 

Morning Links: LA backslides on Spring Street bridge bike lanes, and NY crash shows why blocked bike lanes matter

Once again, the City of Angels is backsliding on commitments to build the bike lanes called for in the mobility plan.

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, the Spring Street bridge was widened and rebuilt for the express purpose of installing bike lanes and improving sidewalks.

But now that the $50 million project is finished, the long-promised bike lanes aren’t there.

Instead, there’s a stripped-off area where the bike lanes would normally be, nominally directing riders into the traffic lane, where most riders would have to struggle uphill in front of speeding traffic.

The question of what happened to the missing lanes appears to come in the next to last sentence, where Linton mentions that the councilmember representing the project is our old bike-hating friend, Gil Cedillo.

Yes, the same Cedillo who has singlehandedly halted the much-needed, shovel-ready lane reduction on North Figueroa. As well as cancelling the planned Complete Streets project on Temple Street, in conjunction with neighboring Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who should know better.

It was also Cedillo who attempted to remove all the bike lanes in his district from the city’s mobility plan.

Instead, he’s just kept them from getting built.

Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

………

If you’ve ever had someone tell you that blocking a bike lane in no big deal, this is why it matters.

A 23-year old Australian tourist was killed when an livery cab driver swerved into the New York bike lane she was riding in, forcing her out into traffic where she was hit by a dump truck.

It probably didn’t help any that the driver had been drinking.

The New York Times quoted the city’s mayor about the crash —

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who oversaw the creation of more than 66 miles of bike lanes last year under his Vision Zero plan, which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities, visited the scene on Friday and said he was disgusted by what happened.

“This is another example, from my point of view, of the danger of reckless driving, and we’re going to make sure there’s a full investigation and we’re going to make sure that there are real consequences for anything that happened here that was illegal,” he added. “A 23-year-old, that’s very painful.”

Yet that same Mayor de Blasio has repeatedly said that he doesn’t think drivers should be ticketed for blocking bike lanes. And has done it himself more than once.

Maybe he’ll want to rethink that now.

………

So-called experts insist bike riders have to wear hi-viz to make sure drivers see us.

On the other hand, 15 people riding side-by-side in the middle lane of a highway should be pretty damn easy to spot. Yet somehow, an Edmonton, Canada driver couldn’t manage that, either, injuring five riders after plowing into them from behind.

Meanwhile, the president of the bike club says don’t blame the victims, because the law requiring cyclists to ride single file doesn’t make sense.

………

A new law proposed by the British government could mean that bike riders who kill a pedestrian or other riders could face up to 14 years behind bars.

The bill, which would create the crime of causing death by dangerous cycling, comes in response to the death of a woman earlier this year, when authorities struggled to find a crime to charge the reckless rider with.

On the other hand, it didn’t help when the country’s Conservative Party tweeted that the law would protect the “most vulnerable road users” from dangerous cyclists.

As if bike riders aren’t vulnerable road users themselves.

Or that 445 of the 448 pedestrians killed in the country in 2016 were killed by people in the big, dangerous machines, not the people on two wheels.

Needless to say, bicyclists were not pleased.

………

Opponents of bike lanes will inevitably claim that they only benefit fit, able-bodied young people who can ride a bicycle.

Nothing is further from the truth. Especially given the popularity of ebikes, which virtually anyone can ride.

Case in point, Yusuf Çelebi, the head of the department for the disabled in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, who had this to say on the subject —

“The disabled also need bicycles, just like everybody else. They’re ideal for avoiding traffic jams and getting exercise,” Çelebi said.

“I ride my bike to show that we stand together with the disabled, not only in the home or office, but in every field.”

 

Its also worth mentioning that the bike he rides is a tandem, which his official driver uses to steer around the city’s traffic problems, since Çelebi is blind.

………

Local

That study commissioned by Councilmember David Ryu to reconsider the Rowena Ave road diet has finally been released. And as expected, three of the four options involved removing all or part of the bike lanes. Which is not surprising, since that seems to have been the whole point all along.

Lime says LA’s proposed 12 mph speed cap for e-scooters could increase the risk for users, noting that the slower speed could disrupt the flow of traffic in bike lanes. However, at 15 to 20 mph, they vastly overestimate the speed of an average bicyclist, who is more likely to travel at a relatively sedate 10 to 12 mph.

LA-based nonprofit Bikes4Orphans has just delivered four bicycles to an Indian orphanage; the group, which was founded by a high school student, uses bikes to help children get an education and lift themselves out of poverty.

The Long Beach Post looks at adventurous ways to escape the city by bike or on foot.

 

State

At least one person was critically injured when an out-of-control San Clemente pickup driver slammed into a light post, jumped the center divider and smashed into a pedestrian and a pair of bike riders before crashing into four parked cars. Police say it’s unclear if drugs or alcohol played a role, but it’s a safe bet excessive speed did.

A retired Alameda County sheriff’s deputy has finished a 68-day ride across the US to honor his partner, who was killed in a shooting in 1998.

An employee-owned San Francisco bike shop was cleaned out by burglars last week, losing 21 bicycles worth $60,000 as the thieves took every bike in the shop.

The Bay Area’s Bike East Bay is demanding changes after a rash of bicycling deaths in recent weeks.

 

National

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as someone sabotaged a bike lane under construction in Seattle with fireworks; a group fighting the lanes denies doing it. Which doesn’t mean their supporters didn’t.

A South Dakota TV station says bike shops and riders could be in the bullseye for Trump’s next round of tariffs, with a proposed 10% increase on most bicycles, parts and accessories, to go along with a 25% tariff on ebikes that just went into effect.

When technology put an end to his bike courier business, a Minneapolis man switched gears to open a bike food delivery service.

Even the recent death of a bike rider doesn’t seem to be enough to get a protected bike lane built on the South Side of Chicago.

A Chicago woman decides not to report a crash to police, after the driver who crashed into her bike begged not to have her deported — which means she can’t collect payment for her injuries. A GoFundMe page has raised nearly $6,000 of the $10,000 goal to help pay her medical expenses.

A writer for Streetsblog captures New York pedestrians running in fear, cyclists blocked, and drivers fuming as they try to funnel into a too-small street near the Holland Tunnel.

This is who we share the streets with. A cab driver is accused of biting another driver in an ongoing Battle Royale that raged down a New York street

Streetsblog looks towards the death of a North Carolina man as a prime example of how lazy reporting obscures the dangers on our streets; the 80-year old victim was accused of running in front of oncoming traffic, and not wearing reflective clothing even though the crash occurred in daylight. Too many news outlets simply retype whatever the police say without question, regardless of whether it makes any sense.

 

International

A psychologist offers advice on how to overcome the fear of getting back on your bike after a crash.

In a bizarre Catch-22, a ban on cars in a Toronto Park is in jeopardy after it made the park more dangerous because too many drivers ignored the ban and drove there anyway.

Road signs intended to slow Toronto drivers down have been removed because they actually worked.

Caught on video: Three thousand young bike riders take over the streets of London to call for an end to knife crime.

A new app confirms that bicycling is the fastest way to get around London.

London’s Metro newspaper vows to be more careful when tweeting from now on, after initially blaming a bike rider who was nearly run over by the driver of a large truck in the British equivalent of a right hook.

A British driver was severely beaten following a dispute with two men on bicycles. No matter what started it, violence is never the answer. The riders can, and should, be prosecuted for the attack.

Edinburgh will celebrate Scotland’s first open streets events, making select streets carfree on the first Sunday of every month.

Five ways to find a bike on your next trip to the Netherlands.

They get it. A Ghanian website asks how safe is it to ride a bike in the country, while saying drivers should direct their anger at the authorities who failed to consider bicycles when designing roadways.

Speaking of the war on bikes, the Australian press has finally discovered the death threats and hate comments and emails that bike riders receive.

Evidently, foreign tourists aren’t any safer in Australia than they are in New York, as a Dutch tourist was killed by a car thief making his getaway as she rode her bike on a busy street; police are looking for the killer, who ran away after crashing into a pair of parked cars, saying he may have been on drugs.

A Malaysian letter writer says something must be done to stop the “mat lajak menace,” groups of reckless teen bicyclists who take over highways to perform stunts.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Lars Ullrich continues his recent meltdown, as he was sent to a psychiatric facility after attacking a prostitute in his Berlin hotel room; he suffered a panic attack after he was released following his arrest for investigation for attempted manslaughter. That comes a week after he was arrested for fighting with a neighbor in Mallorca, Spain.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine talks with former world champion Johan Museeuw about his three Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders wins, his comeback from a shattered kneecap that nearly cost him his leg, and confessing to doping after he retired.

Former US mountain bike champ Sepp Kuss dominated last week’s Tour of Utah; the 23-year old rider finished second last year in the same race last year in just his second year as a pro road cyclist.

 

Finally…

Nothing like catching your mountain bike faceplant on your bike cam. Why push yourself on your bike when you can just shvitz your way to better health?

And this is how you define a Dad of the Year candidate.

 

Save the endangered San Pedro and Spring Street bike lanes; hit-and-runs involving bicyclists up in L.A.

I’m a little battered and bruised tonight.

Riding home from another wildly successful River Ride, I hit an open 8-inch mini-manhole cover somewhere along the transition from Silver Lake to Beverly Blvd. I somehow managed to stay upright, although how I have no idea, finding myself momentarily riding a wobbling and fully ballistic bike veering dangerously towards both the curb and the asphalt.

Falling down there would have meant going down hard and in front of traffic. It would have also meant my second fall of the day, as I misjudged a steep hill on my way there in the morning, and couldn’t clip out from pedals in time after a bad shift.

Which would have made it just my second fall in the past several years, as well.

Even so, I ended up with cuts and bruises where my legs smacked the frame. And everything from butt up feels like I was hit by a Mack truck.

Yes, everything.

Enough said.

Just a reminder that something most drivers wouldn’t even notice can be dangerous if you’re on a bike.

Even if you don’t hit the street.

So with that, let’s catch up on the news we missed as I tried to sleep off my bumps and bruises yesterday.

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Bad news from Redondo Beach, as a 48-year old triathlete Michael Giardano collapsed and died after the swimming leg of the Redondo Beach Triathlon. My condolences to all his loved ones.

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Buscaino FlyerIf you’re anywhere near San Pedro tonight, try to make it to the 6 pm meeting with Councilmember Joe Buscaino to defend the recent road diets and bike lanes in the area.

As we’ve discussed before, the primary complaints center on the road diet installed on Westmont Drive, which reportedly results in traffic congestion just 20 minutes each morning and afternoon as parents pick their children up at the local school.

Yet the bike lanes those parents complain about exist primarily to tame traffic and improve safety around that very school. Which means that instead of demanding that they be removed, parents should be thanking city officials for taking tangible steps to protect their children.

The mantra for this meeting should be it’s not about bicyclists, it’s about the safety of your children. And if local residents somehow think the convenience of a few drivers is more important that, something is seriously wrong in San Pedro.

With school ending for the year, they’ve got all summer to find a solution that works for everyone. And returning to the previous status quo ain’t it.

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Remember that vivid green paint that lasted about a week on Spring Street, which Hollywood location scouts claimed was impossible to avoid filming or remove in post-production and was used nowhere else in the known universe?

Yeah, right.

Mark your calendar for a Battle Royale this Friday when the issue comes before the full City Council. Every bike rider who can make it should be at City Hall at 10 am Friday to refute the lies and demand that the safety of our citizens should take precedence over the convenience of filmmakers — as if there’s not enough money in their bloated budgets to cover-up a little green paint on the street.

Tell you what.

Just give me a couple of hours and a box of gaffers tape, and I guarantee they won’t see an glimpse of green in the dailies.

Fortunately, not all Hollywood types are bike-unfriendly. Or have such small hearts.

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I haven’t had a chance to dive into it yet, but the long-awaited LAPD report on hit-and-runs has finally been released, and will be presented to the Police Commission at today’s meeting.

At first glance, it suggests that the city’s rate of hit-and-run, while not acceptable, is not out of line for comparable major cities, and hit-and-runs resulting in death or serious injuries to pedestrians is on the decline.

But if you think more drivers fleeing after killing or injuring bicyclists, you’re right.

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The “new” LADOT issues their annual report, and takes credit for more than doubling the number of bike lanes in the last eight years compared to the previous 32, with 150 miles installed during the eight-year Villaraigosa administration.

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A bike rider is shot in Santa Monica in an apparent gang driveby, which had absolutely nothing to do with last week’s shooting rampage, despite the Times unfortunate spin on the story. L.A. mayor-elect Eric Garcetti promises bike lanes and walkable communities. The Source names the bikiest guy in L.A. The upcoming Wilshire Blvd CicLAvia should be better for pedestrians; CicLAvia means open streets for everyone, not just bike riders. Another neighborhood council wants your take on bike lanes on North Figueroa; take a few minutes to respond, because the bike haters certainly will. Turns out handlebars aren’t the safest place to ride, but you knew that, right?

Laguna Beach sees an increase in bicycle collisions. If you hit another cyclist or a pedestrian, stick around until you know they’re okay, hit-and-run laws — and common human decency — apply to us, too; thanks to Allan for the heads-up. A Sacramento man faces a murder charge after deliberately running down a bike rider he’d argued with, then getting out and kicking him repeatedly. An 18-year old Pleasanton driver kills a woman cyclist and injures her husband; since she rear-ended both of them, it doesn’t really matter if one might have been outside the bike lane, does it? In what was clearly a horrible weekend for NorCal cyclists, a 25-year old bike rider is killed in Elk Grove, a San Jose cyclist is killed in a collision with a train and a Modesto man is killed in a hit-and-run. Once again, a San Francisco pedestrian is injured by a cyclist.

Your next bike could be a lot smarter than your last one; on the other hand, I’m not looking forward to a bike that can say “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” Especially since my name’s not Dave. IsolateCyclist looks at the people who self-identify as cyclists in order to criticize other cyclists. Bicycling is catching on with the NBA. Members of my college fraternity will be riding cross-country to raise half a million dollars for people with disabilities. Lessons learned by a first-time bike commuter from my hometown. A Kansas man is electrocuted trying to steal copper wire, but props for riding a bike to do it. Chicago’s bike-specific traffic signals increase compliance by 161%. New York’s new bike share program currently reaches just 10% of the city’s population; the NY Times asks why the fuss over bikes in a city that can tolerate anything? Why conservatives should love bike share; then again, no one ever said embracing bike share would be easy. NYC bicyclists offer their wisdom on riding in the city in 10 words or less. A struggling rider finds advice on how to ride uphill. Even when one of their own editors is doored, the NY Daily News blames the victim; however, they agree cyclists aren’t the real danger, despite what the WSJ’s wicked witch says. Boston incorrectly blames bicyclists for most collisions. Bob Mionske relates how a local Tennessee political boss got away with murder — or vehicular homicide by intoxication, in this case — something I suspect occurs far more often than we’d like to admit. The wife of North Carolina’s Bicycle Man fills in during his illness.

A British PSA might just shock a few drivers into sobering up first; thanks to Day One for the heads-up. London’s bike czar says the city needs fewer testosterone-fueled cyclists and more careful female ones; nope, not a hint of reverse sexism there. A UK cyclist suffers a broken arm in a road rage assault. As usual, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain offers a blog roundup that puts this one to shame. Bike safety devices designed to prevent collisions with trucks could make things worse. Guess which country has gone pazzo for bicycling? A South African driver flees the scene after plowing into three cyclists. An Australian woman is killed while riding with her husband the day before an appointment to find out if she was pregnant. Proof that bike riders aren’t always the good guys, as an Aussie cyclist shoots a sleeping transient with an arrow. A special New Zealand inquest rules mandatory hi-viz clothing won’t cut bicycling deaths. Chinese authorities apologize for beating a bike salesman. Well said: “If we meet out on the road or trail, let that be the start, not the totality, of a friendship.”

Finally, it’s seldom a good idea to celebrate your birthday by riding drunk and trying to strangle the cop who stops you. This is why it’s not a good idea to use people instead of traffic cones at bike races, with entirely predictable results. And someone should tell this 10-time loser that just because the sign says Highway 101, that’s not actually the speed limit; seriously, if you lose your license 10 times in four years, you shouldn’t even be on the damn highway. Or any other street, for that matter.

Too easy to get, too hard to lose, indeed.

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