Tag Archive for Streets Are For Everyone

Kids bike camp at VELO Sports Center, London shows what LA could be but isn’t, and rider attacked by ungrateful ‘roo

Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, is living up to its name by hosting the free USA Cycling “Let’s Ride” Camp.

The camp is being held in conjunction with the East Side Riders Bike Club and the Bahati Foundation to get more kids on bikes, and teach them to ride safely.

And who knows, maybe your precocious kid will get discovered by one of those Olympians or team reps, and set on a path to become LA’s next bicycling superstar.

It could happen.

Right?

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This is what Los Angeles could be. But isn’t.

And this is how you make the streets more efficient.

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

Bizarre crime in Brentwood CA (scroll down), where a man hopped out of a pickup and sprayed a bike rider in the face with mace outside a local brewery, in an apparently random attack, before riding off on a skateboard.

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

Police in Kuantan, Malaysia, are looking for a bike rider caught on dashcam video drafting a truck; he could face up to the equivalent an $80 fine if he’s caught, or $229 for a repeat offender.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times urges Newsom to sign AB 1238 to decriminalize jaywalking and let people cross the street when it’s safe, without having to worry about getting a ticket — especially in Black communities where jaywalking is too often used as a pretext for police stops. And a pair of writers for CityLab agree.

A group of UCLA researchers have received a $1 million grant to fund a digital art project designed to encourage more people to ride a bike, by creating art projects that only come to life when someone rides past on a bicycle.

You can now give Metro Bike the Bird by using the dockless scooter app to rent one of Metro’s bikeshare bikes.

Caltrans plans three Complete Streets projects in LA County. But don’t get too excited. Only one, on Western Ave, will have a bike lane; the others — on PCH in the South Bay, and Alvarado Street and Santa Monica Blvd — will only be sort-of complete.

 

State

BikeSD is urging everyone in San Diego County to attend SANDAG’s virtual meeting on Friday, or send in a comment, to help push four regional bikeways over the finish line.

The San Francisco Chronicle says a “permanently car-free John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park” could finally become a reality after more than 50 years of effort and advocacy; city officials want the public to weigh in on whether the street closure should be permanent.

Tips are reportedly flowing in to help identify a man who lost his memory in a Sacramento collision while riding his bike, and has no idea who he is.

 

National

Seriously? A Seattle website offers tips on how to get around the city without a car. But the first two suggestions still recommend using someone else’s car, whether through carshare or a ride hailing service. Which is the exact opposite of not using a car, even if it’s not yours.

Horrible news from Utah, where a man on a bicycle was critically injured when he was struck by an older driver, who then repeatedly backed up and drove forward again and again, running over the victim twice. Yet witnesses inexplicably insisted she didn’t seem to realize she’d hit anything, despite what sounds like an intentional attack.

A Kansas woman is back behind bars where she belongs after her bail was revoked for leaving the state over the weekend; she’s charged with running down a man on a bicycle with her van, then getting out and fatally shooting him as he lay injured on the street.

Chicago announced the largest bike lane expansion in the city’s history, with a commitment to install 100 miles of new and upgraded bike lanes over the next two years at a cost of $17 million.

Tragic news from New Hampshire, where a retired police sergeant was found dead in a ditch nine hours after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver while training for a Police Unity bike tour. The driver should be charged with murder for making a conscious decision to flee once he or she is caught, rather than getting the help that might have saved her life.

Massachusetts police respond to complaints by taking steps to stop kids on bicycles from “harassing and endangering the public” by riding their bikes erratically around drivers and pedestrians.

Life is cheap in upstate New York, where an 84-year old woman got a lousy traffic ticket for killing a bike rider. Yet another example of keeping an older driver on the road until it’s too late.

New York is set to unveil a redesigned Queens Blvd next month, including a bike lane and wider medians and pedestrian crossings, making it the centerpiece of the city’s Vision Zero program; the so-called Boulevard of Death saw 23 people killed or severely injured over a four-year period.

The DC city auditor is opening a 10-month investigation into the city’s Vision Zero program to determine why deaths have gone up every year but one since it was adopted in 2015. Maybe they can do Los Angeles next, which hasn’t fared much better. 

A Georgia man has named a state legislator and a local police chief in a wrongful death suit, accusing them of covering up a hit-and-run collision that killed the man’s bike-riding son; instead of dialing 911, the driver called his buddy the legislator, who called the police chief, neither of whom got help for the victim or charged the driver.

Brian Laundrie is one of us. The “person of interest” in the murder of his fiancée Gabby Petito was seen going for a casual bike ride with his mother after returning to his Florida home alone from an extended road trip with Petito, with no explanation.

 

International

Life is cheap in the UK, where a distracted cab driver got less than three years behind bars for killing a bike rider while driving 70 mph and using his cellphone; he tried to cover up the crime by wiping the data on his phone.

A bike advocacy group said it was shocked when the Belfast, Northern Ireland transportation agency called for removing all the city’s popup bike lanes, or converting them to use by people on four wheels, as well as on two.

The number of people commuting to work by bicycle in Brussels dropped by a third since the pandemic began, but the distance they’re riding went up; 14 percent of commuters now bike to work, compared to 21 percent pre-ppandemic. Los Angeles would have to see a nearly ten time increase to reach the current level, let alone the previous one.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great to see veteran German cyclist Tony Martin end his career on a high note by winning the mixed relay race at the world championships in his last race before retiring, after finishing sixth in Sunday’s individual time trial.

Seventeen-year old Austrian junior cyclist Leila Gschwentner was injured in a collision with a public bus in Leuven, Belgium, while training for Saturday’s junior road cycling world championship; no word on how badly she was hurt.

UCI is stepping in to tame the Wild West of gravel bike racing, metaphorically pinning on its own marshal’s badge to impose structure and a world championship on the formerly unregulated racing events.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to have a “brutal” mountain bike crash, make sure there’s an ER doc on the trail with you. That feeling when a rude ‘roo shows his lack of gratitude for being saved from drowning by attacking a passing bike rider.

And we may have to deal with aggressive LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting attacked by a rabid beaver.

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

Remembering traffic victims and the failure of Vision Zero in LA, fatal hit-and-run in DTLA, and Joe Biden is one of us

Members of SAFE — Streets Are For Everyone — turned out in South LA yesterday to mark the World Day of Remembrance for traffic victims.

The group demonstrated at the intersection of Slauson and Western, one of the deadliest locations in all of Los Angeles, according to the city’s High Injury Network.

And one that has yet to see any significant attempt to make it safer.

In other words, pretty much like the rest of LA’s seemingly forgotten Vision Zero program.

According to CBS2/KCAL9,

…police say there has been a staggering 29% increase in traffic-caused fatalities and injuries in South L.A. this year so far in 2020 compared to 2019.

Additionally, there have been close to 5,000 hit-and-run collisions in 2020, police said.

There are few people who haven’t been touched by traffic violence in some way.

I’ve lost two people close to me, both at the hands of drunk drivers.

A friend I’d known since kindergarten was killed just weeks before our senior year of high school when a drunk woman somehow jumped the wide median on an interstate highway, and hit his car head-on, killing him and a friend instantly.

She walked away unharmed, with just a slap on the wrist for murdering two strangers.

The other was my cousin, who was killed when she was thrown from her own father’s car, and was run over by him.

And once again, there were no real consequences. Unless you consider the guilt and self-loathing he lived with for the rest of his life.

That’s not counting the hundred of people I’ve written about here who have needlessly lost their lives on the mean streets of Southern California — most at the hands and on the bumpers of drivers.

It has to stop.

It looked, for a short time, as if the City of Los Angeles was actually going to do something about it when Vision Zero was announced with great fanfare just five years ago.

But then it got hard when the city ran into resistance from auto-centric NIMBYs. And LA’s mayor got distracted by the shiny object of national ambitions, with far too many Wormtongues whispering in his ear.

And so Vision Zero was shoved onto a cold back burner, just another page on the LADOT website, with a handful of piecemeal projects here and there, rather than the massive road safety overhaul we were promised.

Never mind the now laughable goal of eliminating traffic deaths in the city by 2025.

Less than five years from now.

Which leaves us waiting for the mayor and the city’s recalcitrant councilmembers to be termed out, so we can finally replace them with leaders who will hopefully have the courage and political will to make the hard decisions necessary to save lives.

And not just talk about it, for a change.

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LA Bike Dad offers photos from the demonstration at Slauson and Western.

Click on the tweets for more photos.

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The LAPD’s looking for the heartless coward who ran down a pedestrian in DTLA while driving on the wrong side of the road, then got out to check his own car for damage before driving away, ignoring the victim.

There’s a $25,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Warning — The video is graphic, so be sure you really want to see it before you click the link because you can’t unsee it. 

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The new President-elect of the United States is one of us.

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This is what happens when the NIMBYs win.

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Tell your favorite LBS the news. And register your own bike if you haven’t already.

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At least one LA-area city is moving forward with safer streets.

But it ain’t Los Angeles.

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Here’s today’s stunt biking break, with a short film from Dutch BMX rider Niels Bensink, as he moves to Canada to immerse himself in mountain biking.

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

No bias here. An Edmonton columnist is outraged that the city plans to install more bike lanes to fight climate change.

No bias here, either. London’s Sunday Mail claims bike lanes and low traffic neighborhoods are delaying ambulances and paramedics; the UK’s national cycling organization responds that the paper is relying on “alternative facts.”

A lawyer in the UK says bike riders should be limited to just a small space on the side of the road, if that.

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

A Florida man was busted after attempting to flee on foot when police stopped him while riding his bike in a “known narcotics area,” and found a white rock in his pocket.

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Local

Someone using the Citizen app captured video of up to 500 people riding bikes through Chinatown in DTLA. Although they may not have thought it was a good thing.

A South Bay writer calls for better bike paths, safer streets and fewer cars after she gets right hooked by an SUV driver.

 

State

San Diego was awarded $125,000 for education programs to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety.

Ojai received a $450,000 grant to conduct a road diet and install a quick build parking protected bike lane on a 3/4 mile stretch of Maricopa Highway, connecting a restored wetlands with an existing bike trail and a high school.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike-riding man was killed by a speeding hit-and-run driver. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A clown was caught on video stealing a little girl’s bike in Hayward. Yes, a clown.

 

National

Bicycling continues their conversation about race and equity with a rare non-paywalled piece by former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler, who says she won’t call herself a cyclist, even though she loves to ride her bike.

Apparently, jorts are socially acceptable again, as long as they’re made of technical denim and intended for mountain biking.

Wall Street thinks the bike boom is over, as bike stocks fall while automotive stocks are going up.

In a story every LA area leader should read, Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus says we’ll never have safe streets if we continue to make safe choices.

Dallas-area residents mourn yet another victim of traffic violence after a paletero was killed by a driver as he pedaled his cart, following two decades of selling ice cream and chicharrones. Thanks to John Clary for the link.

This is who we share the road with. An Oklahoma state senator faces a first-degree manslaughter charge after she skidded off a rain-slicked road while driving nearly 100 mph, and killed a man whose car was stalled on the side of the road. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Life is cheap in Ohio, where a 73-year old woman got a whole 30 days behind bars for killing a local Teacher of the Year as he was riding his bike. But at least she’ll lose her license for five years. Although at her age, that should be permanently.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Massachusetts man rode his bike 77 miles to celebrate his 77th birthday.

Another Massachusetts man reminds bike riders to warn slower riders and pedestrians before you pass. Seriously, call it out or use a bike bell. “Passing on your left” works better than “on your left,” which tends to confuse some people.

Dune star Timothee Chalamet is one of us, going for a hooded ride through NYC.

A group of Black New Jersey husbands and fathers are taking advantage of their bikes and the area’s open roadways to form a fraternal bond to cope with the struggles of 2020.

Bighearted Virginia bike riders scoured local grocery stores to deliver food donations for a local rescue mission and weekend school food program.

A North Carolina nonprofit is preparing a bike giveaway to make the holidays brighter for hundreds of kids.

 

International

A sports psychologist explains how to face down your bicycling fears and stay safe on the roads.

British Columbia’s Human Right Tribunal concludes that Victoria’s floating bus stops on a new two-way cycle track discriminates against blind and visually impaired pedestrians.

An Edmonton, Alberta bike shop owner offers advice on how to bike through winter snow. Which is seldom a problem here in Los Angeles, but we can hope.

Toronto bike riders are lighting up the night with a rolling bike rave.

Hats off to a London man who rode his bike around the city for an hour to corral a stray dog and return it to its owner.

A Scottish charity has put over 1,000 refugees and asylum seekers on two wheels, calling it the key to helping them settle into a new community, develop new friends, and access essential services.

Brit bike hero Chris Boardman calls for banning cars from residential streets for the sake of the country’s children.

A new British subscription service allows people to get a Brompton for the equivalent of less than $1.32 a day.

Bike Radar takes a deep dive into the UK’s current state of diversity in bicycling, or the lack thereof. And the importance of inclusion and representation in biking, whether for sport or transportation.

A British travel writer takes an easy ebike bikeshare tour of Jersey.

A bicycling group in Nagpur, India lights their bikes to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights also celebrated by Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists.

A Mumbai man is using his indoor cycling studio to help people scarred by traffic violence rediscover the joys of bicycling.

Fifty-seven percent of the residents of the Indian city of Gurugram would rather bike to work — but only if they have safe streets and bikeways.

She gets it. Kenya’s Second Lady — the wife of the country’s 1st Deputy President — takes to her bike, and mourns the needless deaths of people riding bicycles.

Malaysia takes a step towards a greener future with the nation’s first bicycle messenger service.

Cycling Tips traces the birth and growth of Aussie bikepacking and adventure racing brand Curve Cycling.

 

Competitive Cycling

More racial and trans insensitivity from America’s young pro cyclists, as former world track champ Chloe Dygert had to apologize for liking a number of biased tweets. This is what Black cyclist Ayesha McGowan had to say about it.

Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar’s winning bike will live on at the Colnago museum in Cambiago, Italy, joining bikes ridden by the legendary Eddy Merckx and Johan Museeuw, aka The Cannibal and The Lion of Flanders.

A writer for Rouleur says the nine-month ban given Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen for his role in the crash in the final sprint at Stage 1 of this year’s Tour of Poland is cruel and unusual punishment, and sets a dangerous precedent.

Surprise Giro winner Tao Geoghegan Hart had to buy his brother a new car to pay off a bet that he wouldn’t end up winning the race.

 

Finally…

Anyone can ride from Canada to Key West, but not many do it on Penny Farthings. Now you, too, can own your very own Dunkin’ tandem bike.

And that feeling when your foot is run over by Albus Dumbledore.

Well, the second one, anyway.

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Happy Diwali to everyone celebrating this year. May the divine light spread into your life and bring peace, prosperity, happiness, good health and grand success.

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

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