Tag Archive for street safety

Morning Links: Successful die-in at City Hall, Lee moves to rip out Reseda bike lanes, and more Peloton ad fallout

Let’s start with yesterday’s die-in at City Hall, where around 30 Los Angeles bike riders turned out in hopes of not doing it for real on the streets.

According to LAist,

Fed up by the lack of progress on reducing traffic deaths in Los Angeles, dozens of protesters staged a die-in outside City Hall Tuesday, calling on city leaders to take swift, bold action to make streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

“We have all the tools and solutions to solve this crisis,” said cyclist and organizer Andres Quinche. “What we are lacking is the courage and the conviction from our city council members, our mayor, (and) the Department of Transportation to stand up and say that safety matters more than speed, and that someone’s life is more valuable than a driver losing 10 seconds on their way to work…”

“I call the mayor’s office once a week to ask about this,” he said. “And I always get a response that someone’s going to get back to me about it. And it’s been maybe like two months since the last protest we staged and I haven’t heard anything.

But then, that’s about what you’d expect from a city that considers installing speed feedback signs a Vision Zero improvement.

Streetsblog’s seemingly ubiquitous Joe Linton described the die-in this way.

Though L.A. drivers are on track to kill more than 200 people in 2019, speakers emphasized the especially horrific deaths of Marlene and Amy Lorenzo, and of Alessa Fajardo – all kids on their way to school. In a crosswalk near Exposition Park in April, a driver killed sisters Marlene (14) and Amy (12) while they were walking to school. In a Koreatown crosswalk in October, a driver killed Alessa (4) as her mother walked her to nursery school.

Speakers criticized L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and the L.A. City Council for lacking courage and conviction to put their leadership behind the Vision Zero policies they approved. In attendance were three pro-Vision Zero candidates hoping to be elected to the City Council in 2020.

Needless to say, none of LA’s elected officials bothered to stop by. But as Linton notes, three candidates running for city council next year did.

https://twitter.com/hippierunner/status/1202006332087255041

Remember that when you go to mark your ballot next year.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog offers five Vision Zero tips for suburban cities.

Maybe LA officials could take a hint.

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In a move that’s pretty much the opposite of Vision Zero, recently elected CD12 Councilmember John Lee continues to make his anti-bike and traffic safety bones with a resolution aiming to “improve” or remove the hard-won bike lanes on Reseda Blvd.

But before you put all the blame on Lee, notice who seconded the motion.

That’s right.

The same formerly bike-friendly councilmember who single-handedly blocked the Lankershim Blvd Great Streets project that would have brought a much needed, shovel-ready protected bike lane to the boulevard.

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A teenaged boy in Oxford, England made the medical journals after hitting the handlebars in a slow speed bike crash — and suffering what may be one of the most gruesome injuries in bicycling history.

Just be forewarned, however, because you can’t unread the graphic description. Especially if you have a scrotum, or know someone who does.

And no, a bike helmet wouldn’t have helped.

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How about some very cool freeriding through the streets of London and Paris?

You’ll want to watch this one full screen. But maybe take your motion sickness pills first.

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If it’s any consolation for LA bike riders, you may have to deal with flooded streets, but at least you don’t have to worry about treacherous snowpacked and icy bike lanes.

Then again, it would be nice to have more bike lanes, period.

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Active SGV invites you to join them on their annual holiday lights ride this Friday.

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More fallout from that much-loathed Peloton ad.

So far, it’s gotten local coverage from Los AngelesSan Jose and Boston,

CNN picked up the story, while CBS News wasn’t impressed, and Cosmo considered what to give your husband in retaliation return. Although it didn’t keep NPR’s reporters from wanting one.

Apparently, Wall Street didn’t like the ad, either.

Seriously, though, it takes real skilled to make an ad so universally loathed that it garners millions of dollars worth of free press.

But wait, here’s another one. At least it’s a little more middle class.

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‘Tis the Season.

Thanks to a sporting goods chain and a player with the Atlanta Falcons, more than 1,500 kids will get a new bike this year.

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Sometimes its’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A hockey player for the Ottawa Senators clotheslined a bike-riding thief to keep him from riding off after stealing a backpack from a car.

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Thanks to Lisa G and View-Speed Inc. for their generous donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Your support for this site helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Which could come in handy when your ride gets rained out. Like today.

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Local

Voyage LA talks with East Side Riders founder John Jones III. He already has my vote whenever CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino decides to step down.

Streetsblog explains exactly what last night’s Complete Streets meeting in Beverly Hills was all about, including biking, walking and transit improvements.

 

State

If you’re in the mood for a ride up the coast, SRAM will hold an open house and fundraiser for World Bicycle Relief at their San Luis Obispo HQ on December 13th.

A bicycle columnist for a Gold Country newspaper says helmets might help, but the real problem is a lack of good infrastructure.

Somehow we missed this one last month, as a UC Davis researcher says more bicycling could bring huge health benefits to the state. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

 

National

Cycling Tips tests the top bike chains. Meanwhile, another Cycling Tips writer says self-driving cars may improve safety in urban environments, but not as much as improvements in bike infrastructure.

Interesting take from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who says ticketing bicyclists is pointless and cruel because on the streets, survival is more important than strict adherence to the law. I’m firm believer that we’re all safest when we follow the rules, except when we’re not. Your safety is what matters most when you ride. And only you can decide what that means at any given moment.

A writer for Streetsblog says Europe is laughing at us for installing parking protected bike lanes because it only incentivizes driving.

Even in bike-friendly Portland, neighborhood groups want bike lanes somewhere else.

An Iowa letter writer describes how — and why — she gave up riding her bike after moving from bike-friendly Minneapolis, blaming the hatred drivers have for people on two wheels.

You’ll have to wait until spring to ride a bikeshare ebike in the Windy City.

Evidently, Minneapolis police aren’t fans of Viking biking.

Former Massachusetts governor and second-place presidential finisher Mike Dukakis is no fan of driving. Which makes you wonder where we’d be today if an oilman hadn’t won that race.

New York will try out ebike delivery service for Amazon, DHL and other package-trucking companies.

A New York cab driver was busted 20 minutes after running down a bike rider. But only after his passenger begged him to go back.

 

International

When is a Victoria, BC bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s a parking lane literally half the day.

Seriously, how much of a heartless coward do you really have to be to leave a very pregnant English woman bleeding in the street after running her bike down with your car?

Royal-in-law James Middleton — Kate and Pippa’s brother — is getting good use out of his cargo bike, first taking Pippa’s brother-in-law for a ride with his dogs, followed by going Christmas tree shopping with his fiancé. Even if she had to walk along next to it.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old Irishman races 50 miles every weekend and holds a national age group record. Even if he is a stickler for the rules.

An Australian bike rider has died a week after he became collateral damage in a police chase, when he was struck by a driver fleeing from the cops.

Singapore will require ebike and e-scooter users to pass a license test, and may require all users to carry liability insurance.

 

Competitive Cycling

American triathlete Brandon McDonald describes competing just ten weeks after undergoing open heart surgery.

So much for taking over. Four transgender women discuss what it’s like to compete in cycling and other women’s sports with little or no chance of winning.

 

Finally…

Maybe a little Christmas spandex will get you in the holiday spirit. (Insert celebrity name here) is one of us, too.

And who needs winter bike gloves when you’ve got heated handlebars?

Morning Links: Eric Garcetti fails street safety test, LA BMX pro fatally shot, and meet Cycling Without Age founder

A must read Op-Ed from Bike the Vote LA’s Michael MacDonald, who asks where Mayor Eric Garcetti is, as angry motorists torch the mayor’s signature traffic safety plans.

And Angelenos continue to die on the streets.

And yet, since the mayor’s 2015 directive, Los Angeles hasn’t just gotten more dangerous, it has become outright hostile to the concept of roadway safety. A small but vocal contingent of residents has taken an increasingly combative posture to any meaningful safety improvements that appear to interfere with their daily car commutes. City agencies have responded to this pushback by buckling — either canceling or watering down proposals to address dangerous speeding on North Figueroa StreetLankershim Boulevard, the Hyperion bridge and elsewhere. At the same time, we’ve seen a 43% increase in traffic fatalities in the first year after the adoption of Vision Zero, with the fatality rate trending to rise again in 2017.

Garcetti, meanwhile, has been inexplicably and unaccountably silent on the matter.

When Councilman Mike Bonin and Garcetti announced last week that they were removing a multi-street Vision Zero effort in Playa del Rey, it was in large part because Garcetti refused to insert himself in the debate around safety. As the drama escalated and some residents threatened a recall of Bonin over the safety upgrades, Garcetti never came to the councilman’s defense…

This is why I won’t support Eric Garcetti for any higher office, despite strongly supporting him in the past, first on the city council, then in two runs for mayor of Los Angeles.

The last straw came last week, when Garcetti appeared to take credit — if you want to call it that — for the decision to rip out the road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey, even though at least one of those bike lanes was included in the 2010 bike plan.

He has done a great job of setting policy by calling for safer, more walkable and bikeable communities, and bringing Vision Zero to Los Angeles, along with LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds.

But then he disappeared, leaving it up to others to defend those policies, as he set off in search of other initiatives, like so many shiny new toys.

He had the potential to be a great mayor.

But that will never happen unless and until he decides that this is the job he actually wants to have.

And that means rolling up his sleeves and getting to work on the street level with the rest of us.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

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On a related subject, Curbed asks if LA’s road diets are in jeopardy due to the bikelash in Playa del Rey. That would be an unequivocal yes.

Speaking of which, CD4 Councilmember David Ryu has put a survey online asking about safety improvements on 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea; this is your chance to voice your opinion on whether to improve traffic flow on the deadly street (Option A), or slow traffic and improve safety through a lane reduction (Option B). Do I really have to tell you which one I prefer?

Meanwhile, community group Keep Rowena Safe offers proof that lane reductions, aka road diets, really work. Which isn’t to say that the Rowena road diet isn’t at risk of being ripped out by Ryu, despite its proven success.

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Fast Company lists 50 reasons why everyone should want more walkable streets, virtually all of which apply to bikeable streets, as well.

And somehow we missed this one from earlier in the month, as an architecture critic for the Philadelphia Enquirer listed seven ways bike lanes benefit motorists and pedestrians. Commit these to memory for the next time an angry driver complains about bike lanes. Which will probably be the next time you go to any public meeting or onto any social media platform.

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Tragic news from the Vermont Square neighborhood of Los Angeles, where BMX pro Gabe Brooks was found shot to death outside his home at 52nd and Western. Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the heads-up.

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Here’s your chance to meet Ole Kassow, the founder of Cycling Without Age — the international program that’s changing lives by giving older people the chance to enjoy bicycling again, often for the first time in decades.

Kassow will hold a meet and greet at the Surf Food Stand on The Strand in Manhattan Beach, from Noon to 3 pm this Saturday.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.

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Local

KPCC looks at the effects of the deadly 85th percentile law, which will force Los Angeles to raise speed limits on a number of streets, whether we want to or not.

If you think the LA streets you ride could use a good cleaning, there may be a reason for that.

 

State

San Diego State University is cracking down on students who don’t ride their bikes in designated bike lanes or routes. Even though that would appear to violate state law; under California law, bikes are legally allowed on any public surface street where motor vehicles are permitted.

Former motocross racer and current Pink husband Carey Hart catches hell on Instagram for the crime of letting his 10-month old son roll gently on a skateboard, sans helmet.

A San Francisco museum is attempting to halt an effort to close Golden Gate Park to cars on weekends year-round; the main road through the park is already closed on Sundays and half the year on Saturdays. On the other hand, if the street was closed, the museum wouldn’t have to worry about the parking spaces they lost when a cycle track went in.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Novato man has been charged with multiple felony hit-and-run counts, despite intentionally running down four bicyclists earlier this month; he faces a maximum of five years behind bars. He should be facing four counts of assault with a deadly weapon at the bare minimum.

A proposed new bridge over the Sacramento River could improve access for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as providing space for a possible future streetcar line.

The town of Paradise is rewarded with full bike racks at the town’s elementary school as new bike lanes near completion, part of a Safe Routes to Schools project.

 

National

Caught on video: A Chicago burglar discovers that a stolen bicycle can come in handy to cart off a freshly stolen snow blower. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

Not surprisingly, the family of a Michigan cyclist killed by an 83-year old driver want a change in the review process to keep dangerous drivers off the road. And they’re right.

JuJu got his bike back; someone turned the Pittsburgh Steeler and former USC star’s bike in to the police, claiming he’d bought it for $200 before recognizing it on TV. Sure, let’s go with that; no one would want to get rid of a stolen bike just because it got too hot.

New York Streetsblog calls for the state to give prosecutors the tools they need to go after hit-and-run drivers, and for prosecutors to be more willing to do it.

A road raging New Orleans driver tried to run a bike rider off the road after telling him to get onto the sidewalk, then got out of his car and physically attacked him.

 

International

Relatives of people killed by traffic violence in Toronto call for safer streets; the families want safer infrastructure and stiffer penalties for careless drivers.

A new survey shows that 87% of British cyclists think bike lights should be required day and night, 81% call for mandatory helmets, and over half would require mirrors and hi-viz. Which might be explained by the fact that the survey was conducted by a car rental company, of its own self-identified bicycling customers.

After a friend was badly injured riding his bike, a Bengaluru, India writer asks if it’s better to risk life and limb to be socially and environmentally responsible by taking to two wheels, or add to the city’s choking congestion by driving a private car.

 

Finally…

Your next ped-assist ebike could have hydrofoils instead of wheels. Why wait for someone to give you bad bicycling advice when you can read it all here? Thanks to David Drexler for the link.

And this may be the best scary clown bike fast food burger commercial in human history.

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