Tag Archive for Streets For All

EVs present danger to all road users, how Measure HLA ballot measure changed the city, and Laemmle’s bike the Oscars

Just 295 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

As of this writing, we’re up to 1,010 signatures, so let’s keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until the mayor agrees to meet with us!

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A new study shows even a total worldwide switch to EVs would perpetuate what the authors call “car harm,” such as death, injury, disease and other miseries, because the current system “prioritizes speed over safety.”

 

The report concludes:

  • In 2019, 43% of people killed by motor vehicles were walking, using a wheelchair or riding a bike.
  • Motor vehicles kill more than 700 children a day. Traffic deaths occur at the highest rates in Africa and Southeast Asia, and, in the US and Brazil, crashes disproportionately kill Black and Indigenous people.
  • SUVs, which make up nearly half of car sales globally, are eight times more likely than traditional cars to kill children.
  • Traffic-related air pollution is linked to circulatory and heart disease, lung cancer, asthma and, according to a cited study, “acute lower respiratory infections in children.”
  • Other car harms include drunk driving, drive-by shootings, carbon monoxide poisoning and, in the US, traffic stops that “are a setting for police violence against Black, Latine/x, and Indigenous people,” they write.
  • Access to oil has played a role in a quarter to half of wars between countries since 1973.
  • The electric car, a juggernaut of the energy transition, “fails to address a majority of the harms,” they write, including crashes, sedentary travel, inequality and cities designed more for cars than people.

 

Greg and Tish Laemmle, owners of the Laemmle Theater chain and descendant of early Hollywood royalty, led a group biking to the Oscars yesterday.

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GCN tests whether an experienced amateur can descend at the same hair-raising speeds as a pro cyclist.

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It’s now 82 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 33 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

No bias here. A writer for Streetsblog complains that an NYPD precinct is responding to complaints about ebike riders by targeting riders of traditional human-powered bikes, because they’re easier to catch.

A Scottish mountain biker was lucky to escape without serious injuries after someone booby trapped a trail with buried spike strips they had welded together to cause maximum damage.

A British woman learns the hard way what happens when you hug the edge of the road, as several drivers pass her bike way too close — including a large truck.

No bias here, either. The UK traffic lawyer who calls himself Mr. Loophole for getting scofflaw drivers off the hook continues his campaign to force bike riders to carry ID and have numbered license plates on their bicycles. Apparently forgetting that it’s the dangerous drivers he represents who are the real problem. 

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Local 

A letter from a former LA resident argues that the passage of Measure HLA is proof that NIMBYs aren’t the majority, no matter how loudly they scream.

Arnold is apparently in the clear, after the woman suing the former governator for crashing into her bike with his massive SUV dropped her lawsuit.

A 40-year old man was airlifted from the Haines Canyon Mountainway in the Sunland/Tujunga area after injuring his back in a mountain bike fall Sunday morning.

Culver City is asking the state for a $4 million grant to replace existing bike lanes with protected lanes on a 1.75-mile stretch of Overland Avenue between Washington and Sawtelle Boulevards.

 

State

An op-ed from the leaders of Hispanic rights organization LULAC and the California Alliance for Jobs calls for an “all of the above” approach to transportation infrastructure to keep people working. But what they really mean is keep spending billions on highways — even though bike and pedestrian projects create more jobs.  

San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood received a $3.3 million state grant for enhanced bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

A Simi Valley letter writer calls out the “dismal condition” of the city’s major streets and bike lanes, thanks to a “multitude of ruts, cracks, potholes.”

San Francisco bike shop owner fear the city’s new ban on dangerous lithium-ion ebike batteries, along with a requirement for any store that sells them to install sprinklers, could put them out of business. Meanwhile, a British member of Parliament calls the batteries “unexploded bombs.”

 

National

A travel website recommends 20 American cities to visit without a car.

Jalopnik says bike lanes are good for business, and anyone who says otherwise is wrong. So there.

Electrek says riding an ebike instead of driving can really impact your wallet — in a good way.

Bicycling drama Hard Miles is set for a nationwide April 19 premier date; the fact-based film tells the story bicycling team made up of inmates from a Colorado correctional school as they ride from Denver to the Grand Canyon.

Give your kid an early start on the biking bug with a new book large-format picture book for kids ages 3 to 6 that follows a mom and her son on a bicycling adventure.

This is who we share the road with. Life is cheap in Vermont, as the driver who killed motorcycle-riding actor Treat Williams walked without a day behind barsl, despite pleading guilty to negligent driving.

A writer for Forbes offers advice on how to stay safe riding a bicycle in New York traffic. Or any other traffic, for that matter.

The mayor of Baltimore’s security team parked in a bike lane for over an hour while he attended a candidate forum, despite the city’s recent crackdown on bike lane violators.

 

International

An Irish man just returned home for bicycling across Afghanistan, Iran, India and Pakistan as part of a multi-stage ride around the world, while attempting to meet as many people as possible along the way.

A conservative Irish counselor claims she was never told that a Limerick road project included segregated bike lanes — even though she posted on Facebook four years ago how delighted she was with them.

Velo looks at the best bike tech from small brands only Belgians have access to.

A bicycling organization hosting a series of of bicycling“camps in spectacular destinations throughout Türkiye, formerly known as Turkey in the English-speaking world.

Rappler rides a 120 kilometer — 75 mile — bike route through central Manila to rate the roadway quality, and concludes not so much.

David Seymour, leading of New Zealand’s rightwing Act Party, wasn’t injured when he went over his ebike handlebars to avoid a driver, then suffered verbal abuse from a bystander who complained about what he was doing to the Māori, even though he is one.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-four-year old American Matteo Jorgenson won the Paris-Nice stage race on Sunday, capping the biggest victory of his young career, as Cycling News offers a blow-by-blow recount of the final stage; Bobby Julich in 2005, and ex-Tour de France champ Floyd Landis in 2006, are the only other Americans to win the iconic Race to the Sun.

Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard claimed a dominating victory in the seven-day Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, as the Visma-Lease a Bike cycling team took both Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico in the same year for the first time.

Ghana’s national cycling team blamed substandard equipment for their poor showing in the ongoing Africa Games, competing on their own aluminum-frame bikes and using the same gear they train on.

This year’s 38th annual Redlands Bicycle Classic will take place on April 10th through this 14th.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying illegal narcotics on your bike, put a damn light on it and don’t ride on the sidewalk. Your next ebike could have four wheels and look more like a dorky little car. Or maybe be made of recycled plastic.

And an NFL cheerleader turns gravel racer, while a track cyclist turns astronaut.

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Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month today

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Cops look for hit-and-run driver — and bicyclist, Boerner set to unveil ebike bill for kids, and demand safer streets now

Just 328 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand LA Mayor Karen Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. We’re nearly up to 900 signatures, so let’s try to get it up over 1,000 this week!

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My apologies, once again, for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

Let’s just say diabetes sucks, and get on with it. 

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Authorities in LA County are investigating a pair of hit-and-runs. Although only one of the suspects was actually in a motor vehicle.

First up is a late January crash in Long Beach that left a bike rider with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

The victim was riding with a group of bicyclists traveling west on Fourth Street at Atlantic Ave around 9:50 pm on Thursday, January 25th, when he was struck by driver headed south on Atlantic, who fled without stopping.

Police are looking for the driver of a silver Nissan sedan with chrome rims. Anyone with further information is urged to contact Long Beach Police investigators at 562/570-7355.

Photo from Long Beach Police Department

That was followed by the hunt for a hit-and-run bike rider who left an elderly woman lying severely injured in a Sierra Madre street.

The woman was walking near North Baldwin Ave and Highland Ave around 10 am this past Saturday when she was struck by the bike rider, who also continued without stopping.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Detective Ascano at 626/355-1414, or nascano@cityofsierramadre.com.

And yes, bicyclists have the same obligation to stop after a crash that drivers do, and could face the same penalties if they don’t.

Photo from Sierra Madre police department

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It looks like Encinitas Assemblymember Tasha Boerner is ready to introduce her promised ebike bill, which will require anyone without a driver’s license to pass an online ebike safety training course before they can buy an ebike in California.

The bill appears to be directed towards children, though it could apply to adults without a license, as well.

It also prohibits any child under 12 from riding any class of ebike, and establishes diversion programs as an alternative to ticketing children, which is already allowed under current bicycle regulations.

Personally, I’d prefer to see that ban raised to 14 years old, and reclassify throttle-controlled ebikes as mo-peds, requiring a driver’s license to operate, and prohibited from being used in bike lanes or pathways of any sort.

I also hope the bill clarifies that the license requirement does not apply to anyone over the age of 18.

And it raises the question of what happens when a parent with a driver’s license buys an ebike for a child without one. Would the parent be prohibited from being able to buy an ebike for their own child?

But we’ll see what ends up in the actual text.

Thanks to Malcomb Watson for the heads-up. 

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As the previous tweet hinted at, Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, says you have the chance tomorrow to tell Mayor Bass that we need safer streets.

Mayor Bass wants to hear from us!

The UCLA Bunche Center is conducting a series of Community Listening Sessions, as a part of a City of Los Angeles Community Safety Research Study. The study’s goal is to identify and document a broad and representative understanding of the perceptions and realities of public safety (and of its management) of residents in the City of Los Angeles.

Join the discussion and raise your voice about important safety issues in your neighborhood. Please include the need for safety on our streets for cyclists, pedestrians, and all users. With 336 deaths on LA City roads last year, this is a vital safety concern. 

Join this community listening session, and let Mayor Bass know that you want safer streets.

Virtual Community Listening Session
February 8, 2024
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Click Here to Register

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Streets For All — not to be confused with SAFE — has updated their voter guide for next month’s election, with endorsements for six of the seven LA council races, as well as council races in Glendale and Pasadena.

Meanwhile, Boyle Heights Beat is hosting a candidate forum for CD 14 this Saturday.

Personally, though, I’m still struggling to decide between state Assemblymember Laura Friedman and state Senator Anthony Portantino for my next Congress member, either of whom would provide a strong, bike-friendly voice for traffic safety in DC.

I only wish they weren’t running in the same district, because both deserve to win.

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Velo marks Black History Month with a trio of articles recounting Black bicyclists from the early days of bicycling.

First up is what they call the little-known story of the US Army’s all-Black Bicycle Corps. Which isn’t so little known anymore, after several historical articles over the past couple years.

Then there’s 1890s Black cyclist Woody Hedspath, who they refer to as Major Taylor Number Two, honing his skills in summertime “colored fairs” during the Jim Crow era before moving on to greater accomplishments.

Finally, they write about Kittie Knox, the young Boston woman who broke racial and gender barriers in the 1890s, becoming the first Black woman to join the League of American Wheelmen, the forerunner to today’s League of American Bicyclists, or Bike League, before they changed the rules to exclude people of color.

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The Bambino was one of us.

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Someone finally found a good use for a Tesla pickup.

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It’s now 48 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

No bias here. After British tabloids attack a Birmingham bike lane as a 10 million pound “waste of money” that “no one uses,” a local paper finds it’s actually one of the most popular bikeways in the city.

Ireland’s Green Party called the Sinn Féin party’s objections to a protected bike lane “populist, anti-cycling, anti-road safety, anti-climate action bolloxology.” Although I kinda suspect they made that last word up.

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

A Portland, Oregon letter writer who seems to have an overly high opinion of his fearlessness and bike riding abilities says the city shouldn’t invest in more bike lanes or public transit until they clean them up and more people use them

Police in Mobile, Alabama busted a man riding a bicycle on multiple drug charges after searching him following a short pursuit, begun because he was exhibiting “suspicious behavior.” Let’s hope he can afford a good lawyer, because “suspicious behavior” is entirely subjective, and not probable cause to make a stop.

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Local 

The Eastsider reports that Bike LA, the former Los Angele County Bicycle Coalition, has been awarded a $100,000 grant to “evaluate transportation gaps and identify the mobility challenges, needs, preferences, and priorities of Boyle Heights and East LA residents,” one of 12 similar grants across the state. Let’s hope that’s enough to sustain the organization, which has struggled financially in recent years, but offers a much-needed voice for bicyclists in the LA area.

The Los Angeles Times explains daylighting, and why you’ll now need to park further back from an intersection to avoid a ticket.

Santa Monica police will be conducting yet another bike and pedestrian safety operation tomorrow, ticketing any violation that could put either group at risk, regardless of who commits it. So ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets written up.

Speaking of Streets For All, the street safety PAC is hosting a bike ride and fundraiser in Mar Vista this Saturday. Saturday is also the Lunar New Year, so there could be some major dragon energy there.

The Alhambra and South Pasadena bike ride hosted by Safe Streets for SGV and South Pas Active that was scrubbed because of rain last weekend has been rescheduled for this Sunday, when the weather looks more promising. And should give you time to get back home in time for that big sportsball thing.

 

State

Good question. The Los Angeles Times asks why the state is widening the 15 Freeway in San Bernardino County, in conflict with the state’s climate goals, which are supposed to be given priority but clearly aren’t. Meanwhile, a new nationwide coalition is calling for a halt to freeway expansion, arguing that “Endless highway expansions are pulling our country into an environmental, budgetary, and public health crisis.”

A San Francisco bike rider was lucky to escape with non-life threatening injuries when he was struck by a Waymo driverless car, which evidently couldn’t spot him following a truck through an intersection. They’re called Waymo because they’re probably way mo’ dangerous than most cars with drivers.

San Francisco banned the use or sale of damaged or recycled ebike and e-scooter batteries, along with limiting how many can be stored in a single home.

 

National

Momentum offers more on the groundbreaking new study that shows cities with high levels of bicycling are usually safer for all road users — and by extension, cities that are safer for bicyclists usually have high levels of bicycling.

NPR considers what Vision Zero has and hasn’t accomplished in American cities. The only thing it’s really accomplished in Los Angeles is making traffic violence part of the conversation, without actually doing anything about it.

Cyclist calls Moab, Utah a gravel cycling mecca like nowhere else on Earth.

The Colorado Supreme Court upheld a $2,400 restitution judgement against a bike thief for damaging the victim’s car, after the bike’s owner used it to give chase and cut in front of the thief to stop him as he made his getaway.

A Rhode Island man is suing Trek and Shimano for $2 million, alleging his bike’s brake lever impaled his thigh in a crash due to faulty design.

A New Jersey man was killed when a state trooper driving an unmarked SUV crashed into his bike; no word on whether the trooper was on duty at the time.

A 72-year old Florida woman was killed when her bicycle was rear-ended by a 92-year old woman driving a truck. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive safely. 

 

International

GCN offers five reasons ebikes are better than regular bikes, along with five reasons they’re better than cars.

Momentum recounts the wildest bike lane obstacles, from fat, indecisive squirrels to discarded e-scooters and banana peels.

An English research fellow writes that ebikes offer huge promise for sustainable transport in rural tourist areas.

Bicycling says Paris is now a bicyclist’s paradise after closing 100 streets to cars. Read it on AOL this time if the magazine blocks you.

A writer for Men’s Journal explains why he’s stoked to ride his bike across Morocco. Which should go without saying, because Morocco.

 

Competitive Cycling

Velo writes about Eritrean WorldTour rookie Henok Mulubrhan, who they refer to as the “new hot prospect” already making waves as an African phenom on a mission.

British Cycling, the governing group for nearly all bicycling in the UK, will take over operations of the annual Tour of Britain, which was at risk of folding after the previous organizer shut down.

 

Finally…

Your next pair of Reebok’s could be an ebike and an e-scooter.

And the 2026 Wold Cup final will take place in a stadium where it’s literally illegal to walk; thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

https://twitter.com/nikicaga/status/1754270927339020360

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Disappointing new LA bike lane totals, Angelenos suffer from car blindness, and Long Beach needs bike count volunteers

It just keeps getting worse. 

I’m told someone was killed riding a bike yesterday on Fountain Ave in East Hollywood.

If it’s confirmed — and it comes from an unimpeachable source — this will be the ninth SoCal bike rider killed in just 12 days.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more soon. 

Today’s photo, in contrast with too much of the day’s news, is a very happy corgi enjoying a pedicab ride over the new 6th Street Bridge during Sunday’s CicLAvia. 

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Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes his semi-annual deep dive into bike lane building, or the lack thereof, in the City of Angels.

And finds the current results underwhelming, with far too many disappointments including truncated mileage, downgraded facilities, long delayed timelines and false claims, just to name a few.

Or as we call that here in Los Angeles, Wednesday.

As noted in past posts (FY21-22, FY20-21, FY19-20), not all bikeway miles are equal. Quality protected bike lanes and bike paths serve riders aged 8 to 80, while sharrows serve almost nobody. New bikeway mileage expands the network; upgrades to existing bikeways do not. Among upgrades, some are significant (protecting unprotected lanes) and others are nearly meaningless (adding a buffer stripe to an existing lane).

In recent years, around a quarter of the city’s output consists of these less than newsworthy facilities. Among the city’s FY23 totals are about 6 miles of new sharrows and 5 miles of buffer stripes added to existing bike lanes.

The city’s FY22-23 total of 45.2 miles breaks down into 27.7 miles of newbikeways and 17.5 miles of upgrades to existing bikeways. This represents a slight improvement over last year, which saw 26.6 new bikeway miles and 12.5 upgraded miles.

That’s a far cry from the city’s commitment to build 50 miles of bike lanes a year when the current bike plan was approved. Which was quickly cut in half when the city switched to measuring by lane miles, which counts bike lanes on each side of the road separately.

Then reduced further, when they decided sharrows count, too.

Adding disappointment, on disappointment, on disappointment.

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Streets For All founder Michael Schneider writes that we suffer from car blindness in Los Angeles.

We are car blind in Los Angeles; as a City, we seem to have accepted cars as essential for society to function, and we overlook their downsides and harms they cause on our society.

Cars are the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California, and car crashes are a leading cause of death for children in Los Angeles. Our streets are so dangerous that a pedestrian is killed about once every three days — a rate that is four times the national average.

I’ve often said this city’s problem is we can’t see the cars for the traffic.

So it’s worth taking a few minutes to read the whole thing, because he’s absolutely right.

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Long Beach is still looking for volunteers for this week’s bike and pedestrian count.

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Metro is hosting a series of meetings beginning in Westwood next Tuesday to discuss the Traffic Reduction Study, Sepulveda Transit Corridor, and I-405 Sepulveda Pass ExpressLanes projects

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ActiveSGV will host a discussion with Strong Towns founder Chuck Marohn and current Pasadena Planning Commissioner Rick Cole at Throop Church in Pasadena tonight.

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Sounds like fun.

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SAFE offers a reminder that bike riders aren’t the only vulnerable victims of traffic violence.

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Nailed it.

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

No bias here. A San Francisco restaurant owner says the Valencia Street business corridor will die if the controversial center-line bike lane on the street isn’t removed.

A Flushing, New York letter writer with a bad case of windshield bias says riding a bicycle in traffic is a horrible idea, whether or not it’s in a bike lane, and everyone but drivers deserve tickets for breaking the law.

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

A San Mateo bike rider was arrested for brandishing a weapon after a woman tried to pass a large group of bicyclists in the downtown area; he raised his shirt to show the weapon in his waistband when a group of riders surrounded her car and started beating on it.

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Local 

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers photos from Sunday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia.

A South Pasadena site looks forward to the first Arroyo Fest in 20 years, as the 110 Freeway prepares to close to motor vehicle traffic for a few hours on October 29th to welcome thousand of people walking, biking, running, scooting and rolling.

Garden Grove has received a $441,000 Caltrans grant to improve the city’s Medal of Honor Bike Trail.

 

State

The LA Times says the recent legislative session was mixed bag when it comes to fighting climate change, noting that Governor Newsom signed bills supporting electric cars and hydrogen fuels, but vetoed bills to improve bicycle safety.

A UC San Diego student asks if roads around the campus will ever be safe, years after a protected bike lane was approved for Gilman Drive, but never built.

San Bernardino’s Skypark Bike Park announced the opening of a new Black Diamond mountain bike trail.

A 34-year-old Victorville man faces narcotics and gun charges after a bike theft victim tracked his stolen bike to a city bus, where the man had taken it.

A series of new traffic diverters and islands on Santa Barbara’s Sola Street are aimed at creating a safe bicycling link between the Westside and downtown.

The San Francisco Standard examines why the city so rarely enforces illegal parking in bike lanes. You could ask the same question in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, too. 

Tragic news from Napa County, where a pair of bicyclists were killed when the load shifted on a passing lumber truck, striking the victims as they rode on the side of the roadway; the victims were identified only as a man in his 50s and a woman in her 40s.

 

National

The Guardian considers whether it’s time to ban right turns on red lights, as pedestrian deaths soar. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, oh hell yes.

Good question. Adventure Rider asks why mountain bikes cost as much as motorcycles these days.

Sports Illustrated recommends the best bike shorts for women who actually ride bikes. As opposed to the trendy bike short-style shorts for women who don’t. 

The new Portland Bicycle School is offering riders the bicycle equivalent of Driver’s Ed.

A Las Vegas high school student says he was forced to withdraw from school after he was threatened by the sister of one of the two teens charged in the vehicular murder of former Bell, California police chief Andy Probst, after she apparently suspected he was the source who turned video of the crash over to police; meanwhile, the 72-year old bike rider who was injured in the hit-and-run crime spree describe the crash that left him with road rash and knee pain.

Heartbreaking news from the Denver area, where residents of Littleton demanded safety improvements after a boy was killed in a collision while riding his bike to middle school.

Accused killer Kaitlin Armstrong’s recent failed escape attempt was apparently premeditated, as a Texas site notes that she exercised vigorously for months and wore civilian clothes in advance of a doctor’s appointment; Armstrong is accused of fatally shooting gravel cycling star Moriah “Mo” Wilson over an imagined love triangle.

A new Brooklyn book bike is fighting book bans by serving the gay and nonbinary community, bringing free LGBTQIA+ books for all ages and languages directly to them.

New York officials blamed the increase in bicycling deaths on ebikes, with 62.2% of bicyclists killed in the city this year riding one, compared to 57.9% two years ago and 47.4% last year — but failed to provide any stats putting it in context, such as the proportion of ebike riders, or who was at fault in the crashes; meanwhile, 94% of this year’s deaths occurred on streets without protected bike lanes, calling into question the mayor’s failure to fulfill his campaign promise to build more.

New York bike riders say they’re fighting over inches on the city’s crowded bridges, where narrow bikeways contribute to bike-on-bike crashes.

A New Jersey man faces a manslaughter charge for allegedly pushing a 70-year old man off his bike, for no apparent reason; the victim died after hitting his head on the pavement and initially refusing treatment. A tragic reminder to always get checked out after hitting your head, because life-threatening injuries may not show up until hours later. 

The Washington Post says forget buying another car, and get an ebike instead.

 

International

Streetsblog admires the quick build bike lanes of Lima, Peru, which enabled residents to keep active during the pandemic, and to keep riding now.

Bicycling tells the tale of a Canadian man who set off on a bikepacking tour around the world with his six-year old border collie, who was just three months old when they set off. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Another Canadian man is riding his bike around the world to share lessons in physics with teachers and students.

Oxford, England will install speed cams at a dangerous roundabout where a bike-riding university researcher was killed by a coked-up dump truck driver last year, although a city counselor says a license plate reader will be required to catch scofflaw drivers, too.

A woman in the UK says she and her husband tried swapping their car for an e-cargo bike, but unwelcoming drivers forced them off the road and onto smaller hybrid bikes.

A British man will spend the next four years behind bars for killing another man with a single punch, after an argument over the sale of a bike, as he claimed the victim’s friend still owed him money for it. Yet another reminder than no bicycle is worth a human life. 

Hyderabad, India is installing solar panels over 13 miles of bike paths, fighting climate change through solar power, while providing riders with shade to combat the city’s frequent heat waves.

An Arab Israeli bike shop owner has received the equivalent of almost $168,000 in donations after his shop was torched because he donated 50 bicycles to Jewish kids forced to evacuate following the recent Hamas attack.

A new e-cargo bike premiering at the Taipei Cycle Show claims to be the first designed by women for women, with a smaller frame designed to accommodate shorter riders.

More heartbreaking news, this time from Down Under, where a 72-year old man was killed by a driver while participating in a club ride, seven years after he survived a crash that killed one man, and injured both him and another rider.

 

Competitive Cycling

Another WorldTour cyclist is walking away due to a health conditions, as Dutch pro Wesley Kreder retired at age 32 after suffering a heart attack.

Velo considers 32-year old Ethiopian pro cyclist Tsgabu Grmay and his efforts to help more of his countrymen and women enter the sport.

 

Finally…

Never trust a sat-nav device that doesn’t know you’re not a car. Maybe flipping a modern day Penny Farthing isn’t the best idea.

And how not to promote a gravel race.

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My most humble apologies for neglecting to thank Megan L for her generous donation to support this site when my eyes were out of commission last month. As always, donations are welcome and very appreciated anytime, for any reason, even if I’m too blind to properly show my gratitude.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Heart of LA CicLAvia Sunday, followed by Streets For All CicLAvia afterparty, and help clean up Venice Blvd Saturday

It should be an extra spooky Friday the 13th on the mean streets of LA today, coming just over two weeks before Halloween. 

While a little triskaidekaphobia never hurt anyone, it couldn’t hurt to use a little extra caution today, so your ride doesn’t turn into someone else’s bad luck.

And if you see someone in a hockey mask coming your way, maybe ride the other direction just to be safe.  

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CicLAvia returns to its DTLA roots this weekend, nearly 13 years to the day after the first one.

However, Sunday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia follows only portions of the original route, traveling 7.8 miles through downtown with stops in Chinatown and Little Tokyo, while adding extensions to South Park, and Boyle Heights and Mariachi Plaza across the new 6th Street bridge.

That will be followed by the year’s final CicLAvia, in South LA on December 3rd, offering a route stretching from Historic South Central to Leimert Park, primarily along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I see a side trip to Harold and Belle’s in my future.

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Streets For All will follow Sunday’s CicLAvia with an afterparty at a super secret location in DTLA.

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Get in the mood for Sunday’s CicLAvia by helping clean up the neglected Venice Blvd bike lanes.

Which could definitely use it.

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If CicLAvia isn’t your thing, the Burbank Kiwanis club is hosting a bike rodeo on Sunday.

My favorite events are the roadie roping and ebike buck riding.

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

Police in Parma, Ohio are looking for a hit-and-run driver who used his SUV as a weapon to intentionally run down someone on a bicycle; no word on the condition of the victim or any reason for the attack.

No bias here. An Ottawa, Canada writer places tongue firmly in cheek, and announces that the country’s bike riders were mortified to learn they’re not “actually allowed to run every red light and stop sign they come across.” Just wait until someone tells him about all those entitled drivers who pick and choose what traffic laws they want to obey.

………

Local 

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton lists eight things you probably don’t know about the first Arroyo Fest in 20 years, which walks and rolls on Sunday, October 29th on the 110 Freeway — and takes place early, starting at 7 am and ending a 11 am.

El Monte-based Addmotor is introducing a $2,700, dual battery longtail e-cargo bike with an exceptional 210 mile range.

Hermosa Beach moves forward with an effort to usurp the state’s authority over traffic laws by copying other SoCal cities attempts to write their own laws regulating ebikes, such as Manhattan Beach’s illegal ban on anyone — on an ebike or otherwise — riding two abreast, which is legal under state law.

 

State

Governor Gavin Newsom signed two bike bills authored by Burbank state senator and US House candidate Anthony Portantino to require landlords to allow tenants to store and charge ebikes and e-scooters in their apartments, and require Caltrans to appoint an active transportation safety czar. Although it doesn’t require the state transportation agency to actually, you know, listen to them.

A new study from San Bernardino County’s Loma Linda University shows that middle school bicycling programs can boost students’ mental health. Which should come as a surprise to no one.

 

National

The Strategist offers suggestions for the best gifts for bicyclists. And for a change, they actually suggest some decent stuff. 

Axios maps out where bicycling is growing in the US, including San Diego and Los Angeles, based on a recent report from mobility data firm StreetLight Data.

CleanTechnica says a new calculator can help cities quantify the “environmental and economic benefits of replacing short-distance vehicle trips with ebike trips.” Maybe someone should tell those ebike-averse beach cities about it. 

A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed against Shimano, Specialized and Trek following the massive Hollowtech crankset recall, alleging that by failing to recall all Hollowtech cranksets, the companies are attempting to limit costs at the expense of consumers. Or maybe the ones they recalled were just the only ones that were defective. 

The Stranger talks with Seattle Bike Blog author Tom Fucoloro about his new book exploring the history of bicycling in the city, Biking Uphill in the Rain: The Story of Seattle from Behind the Handlebars.

An Idaho law professor explains the state’s bike-friendly traffic laws, saying it’s hard not to feel embattled riding a bicycle when confronted by drivers who don’t know the law.

Security cam video shows a bike thief riding off with a woman’s bicycle at a Denver rail station, before a Good Samaritan steps up to stop him and get her bike back.

Colorado continues its efforts to get more residents riding ebikes, offering local communities part of a $2.5 million pot of cash to provide their own ebike rebates, in addition to the state’s rebate program. Meanwhile, California’s ebike rebate program remains in limbo after more than two years, so far just a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. 

Milwaukee officials hope adding more protected bike lanes will make the city safer for bicyclists, after seven people were killed in the county last year; it may be helping, because they’ve only suffered two deaths this year. Although two is still two too many.

Brooklyn drivers complain that a new parking-protected bike lane makes it impossible to pull out of their driveways, echoing the same complaint of every driver faced with every parking-protected bike lane everywhere. And everyone else seems to get used to it, so they probably will, too.

New York announced plans for another 40 miles of protected bike lanes, with two new bikeways in Queens and one each in Brooklyn and the Bronx, as well as a 10-mile protected bike lane on Staten Island between Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge and the Goethals Bridge.

That’s more like it. A 29-year old Alabama woman was sentenced to six years behind bars for the criminally negligent, hit-and-run crash that killed a “beloved” retired veterinarian as he was riding his bicycle in 2021; the driver claimed she had hit a deer. Although there’s something wrong when negligently killing someone is just a misdemeanor, while driving away from it is a felony. 

 

International

The European Union Court of Justice has officially ruled that ebikes are bicycles, not motorcycles, because they are not exclusively motor driven and don’t require insurance to cover damages. Although that would seem to leave throttle-driven ebikes in question.

He gets it. Scotland’s new roadworks commissioner says bicyclists and pedestrians should be given priority at roadway projects, even if it delays motorist and takes up space. If he ever runs for office, I’m voting for him. Even if I have to move. 

Disturbing story from the UK, where officials knew about a deep roadway crack for months before it killed an 84-year old man whose bike tire got stuck in it, but the highway workers sent to examine it were only focused on potholes that could damage cars, not cracks that could kill bike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling offers all the details on L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams’ new one-day Circuit Racing International Tour, aka CRIT, championship in St. Petersburg, Florida next weekend. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can ding! ding! your little heart away as you drop hapless foes in your next crit or club beer race.

And that feeling when you try to run away from your jailers, even though you just don’t look good in stripes.

Or maybe because you don’t look good in stripes.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Las Vegas teens face life in Probst murder, bicycling up 37% in US, and SAMOCAN talks with Streets For All founder

Yesterday I found out the hard way what happens when you accidentally inject long-acting insulin directly into a vein, rather than the fat surrounding it. 

The result was a rapid fire, 300 point blood sugar swing that knocked me on my ass for the rest of the day. 

Good times. 

So if I had any sense, I’d be in bed already. 

Instead, I’m going to try to get through this, then pull a pillow over my head and sleep for the rest of the weekend. Or maybe the rest of the month. 

Which is the best way I know to face another birthday, anyway. 

So Gamar hatimah tovah to everyone observing Yom Kippur on Monday. 

Stay safe, and we’ll see you back here next week.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

Two teenagers charged with the video-recorded, hit-and-run murder of former Bell, California police chief Andreas Proust as he rode a bike in Las Vegas made very brief initial appearances in adult court on Tuesday.

The two teens were held without bail on several charges, including murder and attempted murder. However, due to their ages, they won’t face the death penalty, since Nevada law imposes a maximum sentence of 20 years to life in state prison for murder committed before the age of 18.

The driver, Jesus Ayala, was 17 at the time of the crime, while Jzamir Keys, the passenger who recorded the attack, is just 16.

Their two-hour crime spree included three cars thefts, a burglary and an attempt to murder a second bicyclist, who apparently escaped without serious injuries.

Ayala’s mother was quoted as saying “I don’t know why he did this. I don’t know if God can forgive this.”

Her son, who just turned 18, told police he expected to get a slap on the wrist, and “I’ll be out in 30 days, I’ll bet you.”

I’d take that bet.

Ayala now matches his age with 18 criminal counts, including murder, and already has a lengthy record as a juvenile. So if he’s lucky, he might be out in 30 years.

But I wouldn’t count it.

Meanwhile, The Guardian observes the “firehose of hatred” unleashed on the staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, after rightwing pundits linked to a photo of an outdated headline that didn’t mention the intentional attack, but was later changed to reflect the murder charge.

The Washington Post blames Elon Musk’s “itchy Twitter finger” for riling up the online mob.

………

A new report from Streetlight Data indicates bicycling rates grew a whopping 37% in the US since 2019, with the top ten states showing at least a 25% increase over that time frame.

Not surprisingly, New York showed the highest growth, followed by San Diego, Bakersfield(!) and Las Vegas.

The first two have made significant investments in bicycling infrastructure; the last two, not so much, to the best of my knowledge.

………

Climate Action Santa Monica offers a recording of yesterday’s SAMOCAN talk with Streets For All founder Michael Schneider.

Meanwhile, Streets For All is hosting a fundraiser tomorrow featuring guest speakers including Councilmember Katy Yuroslavsky, Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur and State Senator and Congressional candidate Anthony Portantino.

The group says pay what you can if you can’t afford the full $100 ticket price.

………

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

A writer for City Journal cries “E-nough,” arguing that ebike and gas-powered mopeds are “reversing more than a decade’s progress in making New York’s dense streets safer for pedestrians and traditional cyclists.” Or maybe they’re just encouraging more people to get out of cars, which pose the real risk, and onto two wheels, which don’t. Although I’d distinguish between ped-assist ebikes and any kind of throttle-controlled or gas-guzzling bikes. 

………

Local 

An anonymously penned Streetsblog op-ed says Metro should treat walking and biking projects with the respect they deserve. Amen, brother. Or sister.

West Hollywood is installing a pair of bike repair stations.

The Elysian Valley Arts Collective invites you to illuminate the night on the Taylor Yard Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge over the LA River in Cypress Park tomorrow night.

Streetsblog also provides a schedule of public meetings to discuss extending the popular Ballona Creek Bike Trail east into LA’s Mid-City neighborhood, beginning this Sunday in Culver City, with additional meetings Monday and Wednesday, and via Zoom on October 7th.

 

State

Good question. A Streetsblog op-ed asks why fare evasion is punished more severely in California than speeding, as the recently passed AB 819 gives the governor an opportunity to change that.

The Orange County Register examines Huntington Beach’s plan to begin impounding ebikes that are misused by riders. Although it’s not clear if they have that authority under state law. 

Encinitas has received a $3 million grant to make the North San Diego County city safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and bus riders

 

National

Shimano recalled over 3/4 of a million Dura-Ace and Ultegra cranks after thousands of failures that pose a crash risk to users; the recalled products include the Shimano Ultegra FC-6800, Dura-Ace FC-9000, Ultegra FC-R8000, Dura-Ace FC-R9100 and FC-R9100P 11-Speed Bonded Hollowtech II g Rts. Thanks to Al Williams for the tip. 

Electrek offers tips on how to choose the right ebike for your teenager. My take, avoid throttle-controlled ebikes, and anything with a top speed over 20 mph.

Momentum recommends idyllic settings for a bicycle-themed Thanksgiving getaway.

CNN says yes, Seattle-based Rad Power’s RadWagon 4 longtail e-cargo bike can replace a car for most trips.

Houston could soon have two docked bikeshare systems, as the Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority considers opening its own bikeshare to compete with Houston’s struggling BCycle system

Tragic news from Brooklyn, where a 44-year old man was killed when he was right-hooked by the driver of a school bus as he rode his bike at what residents describe as a dangerous intersection; the bus was carrying around 24 students, who will likely need counseling after witnessing the crash.

There’s not a pit deep enough for the man who man pulled a knife on a 13-year old Staten Island boy to steal his bicycle.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever left a Mennonite man to die alone on the side of the road next to his crumpled bicycle, in Pennsylvania’s Amish country. Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up.

Bicyclists could soon become second-class citizens on the popular Blue Ridge Parkway, which stretches 469 miles from Shenandoah to the Smoky Mountains, as a new draft plan focuses exclusively on the Parkway being “actively managed as a traditional, self-contained, scenic recreational driving experience.”

This is who we share the road with. A Georgia man faces charges after plowing his truck into a group of motorcyclists, killing one man and injuring four others, then fleeing the scene with a motorcycle still embedded in the truck’s grill.

 

International

An East London neighborhood council has gone against public opinion and scrapped the majority of the area’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods, or LTNs, despite overwhelming public support.

A new study shows over half of Swiss bicyclists wear a bike helmet, although that ranges from nearly three-quarters in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino to just 43% in German-speaking areas.

Romania is now the European Union’s second-largest producer of bicycles, behind Portugal and ahead of Italy.

Apparently, it ain’t easy being a bicyclist in India’s Goa state, either.

Australia saw its highest August traffic death toll in five years, with bicycling deaths jumping 37% over last year, while pedestrian deaths climbed 27%.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling calls out pro cycling’s concussion protocol, or maybe the lack thereof, after Swiss cyclist Stefan Küng finished the European championship road cycling time trial with a busted helmet and bloodied face; Los Angeles-based former pro Phil Gaimon posted that cyclists need to respect their brains, and that there was “nothing inspiring or bad ass” about Küng’s photo. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

 

Finally…

Call it a Pashley parade through Shakespeare’s hometown. Tough love doesn’t mean shattering your spouse’s mountain bike dreams.

And you can see a lot of things riding a bike. Like the King of England, for instance.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Both sides rest in Solanga vehicular murder case, and Culver City bicyclists crowdfund to save protected bike lane

We could have a verdict before the end of this week.

Both sides rested Tuesday in the murder trial of 33-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez, who is accused of using his truck to run down 46-year old Benedicto Solanga in Riverside two years ago.

Gutierrez allegedly flipped Solanga off as Solanga walked his bike with another person, then made a U-turn to come back to slam into Solanga, killing him.

Prosecutors have not said if the men knew each other, or why he attacked Solanga with his truck.

Photo from Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.

………

No bias here.

A Culver City councilmember says kids are much better off riding on circuitous side streets than in the direct, protected bike lane he wants to rip out.

He’s got a point.

Studies have shown that bicyclists are exposed to higher particulate levels when riding next to busy roadways. But it’s unclear whether those particulates have a measurable effect on lung function.

Meanwhile, a new crowdfunding campaign has been established to fight the council’s blatantly illegal decision to replace the bike lane with another lane for motor vehicles, bizarrely claiming it would have no environmental impact and doesn’t require a CEQA review.

As of this writing, it’s raised nearly half of the modest $10,000 goal in less than 24 hours.

https://twitter.com/bikinginla/status/1701845885712568829

………

The California state legislature has approved the bill to establish a limited speed cam pilot program in Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach, as well as three NorCal cities — as long as they meet a number of preconditions.

The state Senate also passed a bill legalizing sidewalk riding everywhere in the state, overriding any local prohibitions.

Assuming the governor signs it, of course.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1701704009709425101

………

More proof that lane reductions and protected bike lanes work. Someone please tell the Culver City Council.

Oh wait, they already know.

………

Let’s pause our bike news for a moment for a couple of brief help wanted notices.

Los Angeles Walks is hiring an Incoming Executive Director to manage the pedestrian advocacy group; you have until the end of this month to apply.

And if any planners out there are looking for work, Oregon could be looking for you.

Statewide Recreation Trails Planner (Limited Duration)

In this capacity, your role will revolve around being a planner and fostering partnerships. This will involve the facilitation of high-level trail planning initiatives, requiring close coordination with various stakeholders, including state and local agencies, tribal governments, trail advocacy groups, and trail user constituencies. You will also be tasked with the development of comprehensive processes to manage all stages of trail project delivery effectively. Building internal and external partnerships will be key to ensuring the efficiency and success of these processes and systems, all while prioritizing the department’s Mission in your decision-making.

Thanks to Alan Thompson for the heads-up. 

………

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

Police in Downey are investigating after a man was captured on video randomly shoving a man off his bike while he rode with another man along the riverbed on Florence Ave, moments after attacking another bike rider.

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

San Diego is cracking down on ebikes and e-scooters on beach boardwalks, two years after an unenforced and universally ignored ban went into effect.

………

Local 

LA County broke ground on the 3 mile, $8.1 million Vincent Community Bikeway, which will combine a creekside bike path with on-street protected bike lanes through the unincorporated community.

Streetsblog looks at Pasadena’s new Union Street protected bike lane.

More on the effort of three Santa Monica city councilmembers to stop truck drivers from parking in the city’s bike lanes, which has been a problem as long as the city has had them.

 

State

Caltrans and the California Office of Traffic Safety are launching a new “Safety is Sharing. Safety is Caring.” public awareness campaign to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety. Probably because they couldn’t come up with anything more boring and less impactful, despite their best efforts. 

San Francisco bicyclists are taking to social media to complain about drivers illegally using the controversial new centerline protected bike lane on Valencia Street,

 

National

The bike industry’s ebike battery recycling program has collected 43,000 pounds of batteries since it began two years ago.

Direct marketing brand Canyon is having a sale on a number of their bikes, across the categories.

Popular Seattle-based ebike maker Rad Power Bikes is out with their updated new lineup, as the financially troubled company commits to using only UL certified lithium-ion batteries.

Once again, Burning Man attendees abandoned hundreds of slightly used, but very muddy, bicycles, which are going to the Reno Bike Project to find loving new homes.

Heartbreaking story about the death of Colorado endurance bicyclist Greg Bachman, who was killed by a Kansas driver the night before last years Unbound Gravel race; his widow calls out anti-bike bias from Kanas Highway Patrol, which destroyed evidence, failed to examine the driver’s phone or the victim’s GPS, and went out of their way to incorrectly blame the victim.

Omaha bike riders are calling for better “road awareness” from both bicyclists and motorists after a noted local cardiologist was killed by a driver while riding his bike.

A three-day Iowa Underground Railroad bike ride will explore 136 miles of the state’s abolitionist history.

Kindhearted Missouri cops surprised a man with a new bike after the one he used to get to work was stolen.

New York City councilmembers slammed the city’s transportation department for falling behind on building new bus and bike lanes, which are legally mandated by the city’s transportation master plan. Which is what happens when city leaders actually give a damn, and draft a plan with real teeth, unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis I could name. 

 

International

Momentum explores the top styles of bicycles for active aging.

The annual, worldwide, women-only Fancy Women Bike Ride rolls this Sunday, though there doesn’t appear to be one scheduled for anywhere in Southern California.

A columnist for a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan newspaper says the road to safer bicycling in the city is sadly “paved with blood,” suggesting that despite deaths and injuries, the debate about safe bicycling always seems to come down to cost. Sadly, it seems to be the case everywhere that nothing happens until it’s too late.

Montreal, Quebec’s ghost bike group marked its tenth anniversary by filling a busy intersection with 645 pairs of white shoes, indicating the number of people killed while walking in the province over the past decade.

Britain’s Conservative government is considering new laws to confront dangerous bicycling, including a pledge to create a “death by dangerous cycling” law, after concluding the existing laws are old and inadequate.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgian pro cyclist Nathan van Hooydonck was injured in a car crash after becoming unwell while driving with his pregnant wife on Tuesday; an update from his Jumbo-Visma team indicated his condition was “not critical,” despite earlier reports.

American race leader Sepp Kuss lost time to his own teammates in the Vuelta yesterday, after Jumbo-Visma’s Jonas Vingegaard attacked to win stage 16 and move just 29 seconds behind Kuss.

L39ION of Los Angeles co-founder Justin Williams has reportedly been suspended for a second time in consecutive years for causing a crash in last month’s Audi Denver Littleton Criterium; reports also indicate Thomas Gibbons was fined for swearing after Williams caused him to crash.

Pro cyclist Lachlan Morton overcame “trench foot, freezing rain, wildfire detours, mental demons and a busted derailleur” to record the fastest ever time on the Tour Divide bikepacking route, completing 2,670 miles and 192,000 feet of climbing in 12 days, 12 hours, and 21 minutes. But his time won’t go down as a new record, because the camera crew that accompanied him isn’t allowed under official rules.

Anyone betting the National Cycling League wouldn’t make it to their second season should collect your winnings, as the fledgling US bike racing league laid off two-thirds of the riders they had under contract.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can build your very own dream cargo bike.

And you think you’ve got bike skills?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

LA suggests un-Healthy Streets alternative, LADOT commits climate arson, and drivers back it up on Ventura Blvd

My apologies if you received an email with just the barest outline of a post earlier.

I seem to have had a twitchy publish button finger.

………

Somehow, you knew this was going to happen.

A full year after the Los Angeles City Council rejected the proposed Healthy Streets LA ordinance, the city has finally come back with their long-awaited alternative version.

And suffice it to say it leaves a lot to be desired.

The original measure, which easily qualified for next year’s ballot, requires the city to build out the already-approved Mobility Plan 2035, which subsumed the 2010 Bike Plan, any time a street in the plan gets resurfaced or resealed with slurry.

The council had the option of approving it as written, or sending it to a vote of the people.

They chose the latter, while promising to come back within weeks with an even better, new and improved version of their own.

You can guess how that turned out.

According to an analysis of the proposal from Streets For All, who wrote the original ballot measure, the city changed the requirement from covering any resurfacing over 1/8 of a mile to 1/4 of a mile, which they say would exclude 80% of the projects in the Mobility Plan’s Neighborhood Enhanced Network, as well as removing slurry seals from the plan.

Correction: I originally wrote that the change to 1/4 mile would exclude 80% of the projects, which was a misreading of the text on my part. I have corrected the paragraph above to more accurately reflect the effect of the change.

Then there’s this.

When defining “standard elements” it was interesting that the City Attorney didn’t simply say “the improvements in the Mobility Plan” but said that it’s the improvements that the Board of Public Works, Director of City Planning and General Manager designate for inclusion in a Project.” In other words, if any of those entities don’t “designate” an improvement to be included in a Project, then it’s excluded, and a bike or bus lane is ignored. This is the first “out” the City has given itself, and it’s a big one.

But wait, there’s more, as they say in the world of informercials.

This next section is a doozy. It basically says that the General Manager of LADOT and Director of City Planning — in “consultation” with LAPD, LAFD, and the City Attorney (three entities often hostile to bike and bus lanes in the first place) — can “revise” Mobility Corridors. In other words, they’re usurping City Council’s authority over the Mobility Plan and taking it for themselves. It’s a dangerous precedent to set that City departments can change the City’s General Plan without Council, and especially dangerous to put it in the hands of LAPD, LAFD, and this City Attorney (who has implied the City shouldn’t be at fault for pedestrian deaths even if the City has failed to implement its own Vision Zero or Mobility Plan 2035 plans).

Read that again.

The city’s revised version would remove the requirement to include any street or project in the already-approved Mobility Plan, and replace with the judgement of city officials likely to be hostile to any changes.

The city version goes on to include a public outreach process, which has too often been gamed by city officials to kill projects they don’t like, or are afraid to implement.

Like shovel-ready lane reductions on Lankershim, North Figueroa and Temple Street, just to name a few.

Streets For All ends their insightful analysis this way.

So what is our overall take on the City’s version? It’s full of holes, exceptions, and bureaucracy, and is not an attempt to actually implement the Mobility Plan during repaving; it’s an attempt to look like it’s doing something, while actually continuing to mostly ignore the Mobility Plan. It also does not address any of the equity additions (former Council President Nury Martinez) had promised, nor does it establish a centralized office of coordination, or provide for a multi year funding plan.

In other words, it’s not nearly good enough. We have raised more than $2,000,000 to get our ballot measure across the finish line this spring. Our polling shows an overwhelming number of Angelenos are sick of the status quo — and will support Healthy Streets LA at the ballot box. If you’re ready for change, join us! You can stay up-to-date, volunteer, donate, and get involved on our website.

See you at the ballot box.

And in the meantime, contact your councilmember to let them know the city’s proposal is dead in the water.

………

LADOT appears to be committed to committing climate arson.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports Los Angeles continues to widen streets throughout the city, calling out more than a dirty dozen streets that will soon have more room — and in most cases, more lanes — for motor vehicles.

In fact, Linton lists a full fifteen streets either currently being expanded or set for expansion, at a total cost of more than $218 million.

Although that’s barely a fifth of what the city is spending to give raises to the LAPD.

Some folks out there may be under the mistaken impression that Los Angeles is not really widening roads any more. Though widening roads is counterproductive in many ways, it has long been and continues to be an incessant L.A. City practice.

Streets for All founder Michael Schneider terms L.A. City road widening “the opposite of fighting climate change,” noting that “widening streets induces more driving, meaning more pollution burden locally and more greenhouse emissions further harming the climate.” Widening is expensive, and adversely impacts safety, health, climate, air, water, noise, housing, historic preservation, and more.

That money could make a sizable dent in the city’s bike plan, which could actually get some of those cars off the streets, rather than flushing more money down the toilet by funding still more induced demand.

This far into the 21st Century, it should be clear that we can’t build our way out of traffic congestion.

And that fighting climate change will require getting people out of their cars, and onto their feet or bikes, and into transit.

Widening streets is the exact opposite of what we should be doing.

………

Reverse angled parking is supposed to improve safety for people on bicycles by improving sightline for drivers pulling out of spaces.

But the new configuration on western Ventura Blvd isn’t exactly winning rave reviews, as bicyclists complain about drivers using the bike lanes to back into parking spaces, as well as double parking to wait for a space to open up, forcing riders out into unforgiving traffic.

https://twitter.com/gatodejazz/status/1695998850182660507

………

Santa Monica is improving safety on deadly Wilshire Blvd by making several cross streets right turn only.

………

CicLAvia’s North Hollywood CicLAmini along the Lankershim Blvd corridor is less than four weeks away.

The good news is you can just step off the B (Red) Line subway at the NoHo station and you’re there.

………

OC bike advocate Mike Wilkinson forwards evidence of why you should always hesitate pulling out from a red light, until you know every driver in every direction is coming to a stop.

………

If you build it, they will come.

………

Remember this the next time someone questions why bike riders insist on riding in the street.

Or better yet, just send it to them.

………

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

Maybe starting the Vuelta in the Catalonia region wasn’t the best idea, as someone tried to sabotage the complicated second stage by tossing tacks and nails on the course, flattening the tires of around 15 cyclists.

An “arrogant” road-raging driver — and possible government employee — in the Philippines assaulted a man riding a bicycle, then pulled out a gun and aimed it at the victim before cooler heads apparently prevailed.

………

Local 

Beverly Hills is looking for your input on the parking-protected bike lane pilot project on Roxbury Drive, as they consider making the bike lane permanent.

Police in Long Beach are looking for a pair of robbers who fired a gun as they struggled with a man to steal his bicycle along the Los Angeles River bike path Thursday night; the thieves eventually ran off without the bike.

 

State

Video from a TikTok user shows people in San Diego standing by and watching as a man steals a woman’s bike in broad daylight, calling it an example of the Bystander Effect. Then again, the person taking the video didn’t intervene, either. 

Sad news from Sacramento, where a woman riding a bicycle was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

 

National

US colleges are beginning to ban ebikes due to a fear of fire risk as well as a risk to pedestrians. After all, it makes so much more sense to force students and faculty back into their cars, which evidently don’t pose a greater risk to anyone. Right?

The Better Business Bureau offers tips tips to help you pick the right ebike for your budget.

Bike Rumor offers their picks for Best in Show at Portland’s MADE handmade bike show; Velo offers their favorites, too.

Cycling Weekly visits MADE to examine the new Moots prototype spec’ed with 750D wheels, asking if we really need another wheel diameter standard.

A Seattle website profiles Seattle Bike Blog author Tom Fucoloro, who has a new book examining the city from behind the handlebars.

My hometown paper offers highlights from the massive turnout for the country’s last remaining Tour de Fat.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Sixty-four-year old John Kezdy, the lead singer of the ’80s punk band The Effigies, died on Saturday, three days after he was critically injured crashing his bike into an Amazon van illegally parked in a Chicago bike lane. The inevitable lawsuit will be just the cost of business for the online shopping giant.

It’s apparently open season on bike riders at Indiana University, as three students who participated in the iconic Little 500 bike race were hit by drivers in three days last week; the race was made famous in Breaking Away.

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who left a 12-year old Boston-area boy bleeding alone in the streets. Or any other kid, for that matter. 

A writer for The New York Times says he improved his mental and physical health by ditching his car and walking to biking to run errands, though he suggests that anyone wanting to emulate him may not want to start with a trip to Costco. Thanks to Bike Talk’s Taylor Nichols, who suggests getting writer Andrew Leonard to appear on the show, for the heads-up.

A Long Island woman faces charges for slamming into a triathlete as he rode his bike in the middle of a race, after pulling out of a parking lot at a high rate of speed and onto the race course that had been closed to traffic.

The AP offers not necessarily safe for work video from the Philadelphia World Naked Bike Ride.

This is who we share the road with. A road-raging Philadelphia driver with a concealed carry permit pulled out a gun and began firing after his car was surrounded by dirt bike riders on an apparent rideout, shooting one man before he was wounded by return fire.

 

International

Evidently, you can kill a man on a fundraising bike ride while driving drunk, bury his body a shallow grave on a remote Scottish estate for three years, and get off with just 12 years behind bars — and could get out in as little as six. And get just five years and three months for helping your brother hide the body.

BBC host and bicycling advocate Jeremy Vine causes a stir in the UK by saying drivers should pull over and let bicyclists pass in urban centers, since people on bicycles can often travel faster than people in cars — and that drivers shouldn’t be allowed to pass bicyclists at all. Finally, a campaign platform I can get behind.  

Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is one of us, after he posted video of going on a cargo bike ride with his twins while vacationing in Yorkshire, England. From the looks of it, the bike was almost as long as his name. 

GCN shares the “most bizarre and beautiful” bikes from last week’s Paris-Brest-Paris.

A Nigerian website says bicycling is a must if the country hopes to “be rid of hydra-headed transportation gridlock that often sends road users to nightmarish spasm.”

Giant Taiwanese bikemaker Giant warns customers that a scam website posing as the bike brand may be ripping off consumers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Jonas Vingegaard and Remco Evenepoel said enough is enough and intentionally slowed the peloton after a crash by Primož Roglič in Sunday’s stage 2 of the Vuelta; Italy’s Andrea Piccolo took the leader’s red jersey as Denmark’s Andreas Kron won the day on a stage shortened by flooding near rate finish.

Britain’s William Bjegfelt just won the Paracycling World Championships after he was told he’d never walk or bike again following a head-on collision with a driver in 2015.

L39ION of Los Angeles cyclists Kendall Ryan and Ty Magner wons the elite women’s and men’s races, respectively, at the IU Momentum Health Indy Crit in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Cycling Weekly takes a look at the alternative, off-road race scene in the UK.

More bad news, in what has been an unbelievably tragic year for pro and amateur cyclists, as 22-year old Belgian rider Tijl De Decke was killed when he crashed into the back of a car on a training ride.

 

Finally…

You may have to blow up your next bike helmet. That feeling when the man accused of stealing your bicycle finally gets arrested — 38 years later.

And they get it.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

A call to remove the Marina Freeway, why more people don’t ride bikes in LA, and car-ticklers don’t protect a damn thing

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

After surviving through hours of pouring rain, I lost my internet connection just as the storm was letting up — and just as I was about to put Monday’s post online. 

Then waited nearly 19 hours to get it back again. 

So here’s the post you were supposed to get yesterday. We’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on Monday’s news after I have a chance to catch up myself. 

………

I hope everyone came through this weekend’s hurriquake in one piece. 

If you’re riding anywhere in Southern California today, try to avoid going through any standing water. 

As much fun as it might be to relive your splash-filled youth by riding through puddles, there’s usually no way to know how deep it is, or what may be hidden underneath. 

The result could be anything from a broken wheel to a broken collarbone. So it’s just not worth the risk. 

Image from From Streets For All/SWA Group.

………

Urbanize examines the call from Streets For All and landscape architecture firm SWA Group to remove the underused Marina Freeway stub, and replace it with a linear park.

The concept unveiled yesterday, dubbed Marina Central Park, calls for converting the roughly 128-acre right-of-way lined with nearly 4,000 new homes, as well as roadway with space for vehicles, bus rapid transit, and bikeways. Renderings show low-rise structures located throughout the park, standing five stories in height with commercial uses located at the first floor.

Likewise, the proposal calls for reconnecting the freeway corridor surrounding ecological resources such as the Ballona Wetlands and Centinela Creek, which is shown with new terrace decks lining the concrete channel.

It’s worth considering, even if the prospect of removing a freeway —even one as useless as the Marina Freeway — in car-addled LA seems unlikely, at best.

………

According to Joni Yung, aka ayogist, if you want to know why more people don’t bike in the LA area, consider the quality of our roads.

Or the lack thereof.

………

This is why LADOT’s favorite form of bike lane “protection” doesn’t protect a damn thing.

………

The East Side Riders Bike Club forwards news of Saturday’s Non-Profit Day in Watts.

Hope in the Community! / Esperanza en la Comunidad!

Watts Non-Profit Day!

This Saturday August 26th

10:00am-3:00pm

Watts Civic Center

1513 E. 103rd St, Los Angeles, 90002

It’s an opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate our triumphs in our amazing City!

Non-Profit Day with East Side Riders Bike Club is not just a one-time event, it’s a steppingstone toward lasting Community Transformation, Empowerment, and Unity. The purpose of the day is to bring all non-profits in Watts and surrounding areas together so we can get to know one another, showcase their work to the community and bring Government Departments together so non-profits can interact and learn from their local government on policies and procedures. It’s a STEPPINGSTONE toward lasting community transformation.

As the organization’s email says, they’re more than just a bike club.

A lot more.

………

Once again, a someone riding a bike was a hero, and a bicycle was the difference between life and death in an emergency, as a man in Maui borrowed a bike to get past a long line of stalled traffic and warn his grandmother in time to escape the flames of the Lahaina fire.

Meanwhile, a Kona bike shop owner is collecting “gently used” bikes to donate to victims of the Lahaina fire to meet their needs for transportation and recreation.

………

Today’s best story comes from the UK, where an English man sold his bikes to pay for an operation for his dog.

When his dog, named for the bikewear brand Rapha, needed a lifesaving operation costing over $7,600, he put his four bicycles up for sale to pay for it.

So he was surprised when one of the buyers turned out to be a friend of his, who gave the bike back to him.

And when word got out about what he’d done, a local bike shop gave him another bike so he could keep riding.

………

The recent world championships in Glasgow included competition in cycle-ball.

Seriously, raise your hand if you even knew that was a thing.

 

And don’t watch the next two videos if you want to remain proud of your ability to track stand or bunny hop.

………

Alpha Romeo F1 driver Valtteri Bottas is one of us, competing in a Colorado hillclimb dressed as Duffman, the iconic Duff Beer mascot from the Simpsons.

………

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

A Utah columnist says the local government tries to appease bike haters by randomly chip sealing the most popular riding routes, even if it forced them to repaint all the bike lanes. With tongue firmly in cheek, I hope.

No bias here. An Irish paper asks why Mike van Erp, aka Cycling Mikey, is Britain’s most hated bicyclist, just because he films drivers breaking the law.

A New Zealand paper says “bike lane bullies” are putting bike riders at risk, with road raging repeat offenders and bike lane-encroaching drivers needlessly increasing the danger for people on bikes.

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

A 40-year old man has been arrested for a string of sexual assaults in San Mateo County, accused of riding his mountain bike on local trails and assaulting women as he rode by.

There’s a special place in hell for the Portland man who allowed his dog to attack a beloved 17-year old cat outside its owner’s home, then stomped on the wounded animal and rode his bike over it to finish it off, before riding off with the cat’s lifeless body.

Police in New York are looking for the couple who attacked a pair of Orthodox Jews when a woman passenger on a bikeshare bike slapped a man on the back of the head as they rode by, then attacked an Orthodox woman; another Orthodox man was attacked when a man got off his e-scooter to knock the victim’s yarmulke off his head.

North Carolina cops are looking for the spandex-clad bike rider who tried to kick over a political sign saying “Trump won,” before returning at night to set the sign on fire.

British bike riders competing in a wildcat race — aka “thugs” in tabloid parlance — were accused of plowing into an elderly woman and a tourist, and nearly striking a little boy, although only the latter can be seen on video.

………

Local 

Long Beach wants to know how you use bikeshare and dockless e-scooter programs in the city.

Sixty-four-year old former Bell police chief Andreas Probst was killed while riding his bike near his northwest Las Vegas home last Monday when he was struck by an alleged speeding, underaged driver; his daughter learned about the crash through a notification from Probst’s Apple Watch moments after it happened.

 

State

Police in La Mesa are looking for the hit-and-run driver who seriously injured a 51-year old man riding a bicycle on Wednesday; the driver of the pickup is described as a Hispanic male in a white T-shirt, black shorts and white shoes.

Good question. The San Francisco Standard wants to know why you can’t ride your bike across the Bay Bridge, with bike riders currently required to turn around halfway.

Megan Lynch forwards word that UC Davis is now offering accessible bikeshare, although with no recumbents or trikes, it may not be accessible for everyone.

 

National

The maker of a cargo bike designed to transport kids saw a big jump in sales after a successful 2021 Shark Tank appearance, although they faced a recent recall for exceeding federal lead paint guidelines.

A writer for Electrek argues that we need more kids on e-balance bikes, not fewer, even though The New York Times calls them motorcycles for kids.

After biking 3,000 miles across the US, a German man is now attempting to run all the way back, running more than a marathon distance every day.

The Cherokee Nation is accepting applications for next year’s Remember the Removal Bike Ride, which retraces the northern route of the Trail of Tears through seven states over a span of three weeks and 950 miles; applicants must be between 16 and 24 years old, and members of the Cherokee Nation.

A Chicago man is riding across the city bearing signs calling for 10% of the city’s streets to have bike lanes, instead of the current 2%.

Minneapolis-based All-City Cycles is on the way out, after its parent company announced the bikemaker won’t be releasing any new models after next year, despite its cult-like following.

In what may be a dangerous prank gone wrong, a Buffalo, New York man faces up to 25 years behind bars for fatally shooting a 38-year old man riding a bike with a BB gun.

New York’s recent Vision Zero progress has come completely undone this year, as the city sees its deadliest year for bike riders in decades, and with no one but the victims paying the price.

A 28-year old Philadelphia man faces life behind bars after he was convicted of the fatal driveby shooting of a 67-year old man riding a bike in Camden, New Jersey.

 

International

A Whistler, British Columbia pro mountain biker returned home to conduct her own anti-racism mountain biking clinics, teaching bike riders to be not only better mountain bikers, but better humans, as well.

Life is cheap in Ontario, Canada, where a 22-year old man will spend six years behind bars for killing two First Nation’s women out for an early morning bike ride, while driving under the influence.

Fed up with drivers blocking bike lanes, a Toronto bike advocate is dressing up as a World Cup referee and handing out yellow cards to offending motorists.

A Glasgow university professor has created a music map of the city to encourage people to ride their bikes or walk between music venues.

The British manufacturer of a new anti-theft smart bike light claims it’s more secure than most relationships. Which is probably true, sadly.

Bundesliga star Kevin Behrens is one of us, as the German soccer player rode his bike home after scoring a hat trick in a recent game.

A young man from Malta rode his bike over 2,700 miles from the Mediterranean island through Europe, traveling from the boot of Italy through Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark and Sweden, while carrying just his tent, sleeping bag, four changes of clothes and a phone charger.

An Indian paper says bike riders struggle for space on the roads in Chennai at the risk to their own safety, as the city of nearly 12 million has lost its love for bikes over the past 90 years.

A Nigerian man rode his bicycle for 15 days and 500 miles just to meet afrobeats star Davido in Lagos.

That’s more like it. Motorcyclists in the Philippines will face arrest if they continue to use a bike lane on a major roadway, although the fine converts to less than $18.

 

Competitive Cycling

Newly crowned world road champ Mathieu van der Poel may extend his WorldTour season to train for mountain biking.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the highly touted new bike route just leads to a pair of locked gates. When you’re trying to escape from the cops, try not to ride your bike into a stopped police van.

And now you, too, can own a bicycle custom made for the legendary Fausto Coppi, for the low, low price of nearly $132,000.

So who wants to start a crowdfunding campaign so I can buy it?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

I confess to a major screw up, advocates call on Metro to keep its damn promises, and shooting cars while naked

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. 

I screwed up. 

On Tuesday, I issued a call for BikeLA, the former LACBC, to step up and resume their rightful place as LA County’s leading bicycle advocacy organization, after recovering from serious economic turmoil.

Something I continue stand by. 

But in doing so, I called on them to help Fullerton bike advocates support a planned lane reduction, which has run into predictable opposition. 

In my mind, I was placing Fullerton in the tangle of cities in Southeast Los Angeles County. 

It’s not.

It’s in Northern Orange County, of course, on the other side of Buena Park. Something I should have known, having written about it several times. Let alone being there more than once. 

So my apologies to BikeLA for any real or implied criticism of any lack of action in Fullerton — which is like criticizing the OC Sheriff’s Department for not patrolling in Norwalk. 

I fucked up, and I own it.

Photo by Steve Johnson from Pexels

………

Los Angeles bicycle and livability leaders called on Metro Wednesday to keep its damn promises.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton writes that a group of organizations including BikeLA, Climate Resolve, MoveLA, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Streets For All signed a letter urging Metro to “promptly add several bike/walk facilities left out of Metro Regional Connector construction.”

Linton broke the news last month that Metro had left out several promised and/or required first-and-last-mile projects intended to improve safety and connectivity for people walking and biking near the near Regional Connector stations.

Although they somehow didn’t forget to add lanes for drivers.

According to Streetsblog,

The missing Connector first/last mile facilities fall into two categories: (more on these below)

  • omitted and scaled-back facilities in a Metro (with LADOT) federal grant – by Little Tokyo Station
  • facilities omitted that had been approved in the city’s Downtown Street Standards – at all three Connector stations

Streets For All founder Michael Schneider has been sounding an urgent note regarding the grant moneys, declaring that “[Metro and DOT] should implement the omitted elements now to avoid having to give the Feds their money back.”

The letter urges Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins and Metro Board Chair Mayor Karen Bass to “to move expediently to complete these required and promised pedestrian and bicycle improvements in the next three months,” as Linton notes in his subhead.

Let’s hope they take the advice to heart.

As well as the streets of DTLA.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A naked woman armed with a gun opened fire on passing cars on the busy San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge until she was taken into custody, apparently without hitting anyone.

She was probably angry that bike riders still can’t get more than halfway across the bridge.

Although she probably wasn’t the same person who took a drive-by shot at an Oakland bike rider in broad daylight early Wednesday afternoon.

………

Speaking of BikeLA, they’ll be at the Bicycle Kitchen — which is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary — on Saturday, preaching bike safety and giving away free digital bike horns

………

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

Safety advocates predicted more bicycling deaths after the New Orleans suburb of Algiers ripped out a two-year old protected bike lane, because some people complained about the aesthetics, lack of parking, and traffic. Someone should tell them that traffic congestion isn’t caused by bike lanes; it’s the result of too few people in too many cars. 

Tampa officials blame “rogue cyclists” for plans to ban bicycles from the city’s Riverwalk. But at least the mayor is calling for bike lanes parallel to the popular route.

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

The LAPD finally arrested a bike-riding man suspected of committing multiple assaults, including the sexual assault of a 67-year old woman outside her East LA home.

In a truly bizarre story, a 19-year old Rhode Island man was arrested when security cam video showed he was the “primary aggressor,” after someone driving a pickup stopped and took his bicycle, and threw it into the back of the truck; he then took his bike back and punched the pickup driver hard enough to possibly break his own hand. Because apparently, you’re not allowed to fight back to keep someone from stealing your bike in Rhode Island, at least not if you’re big and Black.

………

Local 

The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering wants your feedback on three options for remaking the massive Sepulveda Basin, including an extension of the LA River bike path. And pickleball courts.

They get it. Pasadena city councilmembers say more has to be done to prevent bike and pedestrian deaths in the city, which has suffered between 2 and 6 active transportation fatalities per year for the past four years.

Santa Monica police will conduct another bicycle and pedestrian safety operation next Thursday and Friday, ticketing any violations that could put either at risk, regardless of who commits them. So follow the usual protocol and ride to the letter of the law until you’re safely back in LA. “Safely” being a relative term. 

 

State

Calbike says California is falling short on Complete Streets policies, with only one California city making Smart Growth America’s list of the nation’s leading cities for forward-thinking active transportation policies. And needless to say, it wasn’t Los Angeles. 

For the second day in a row, a San Diego ebike rider was seriously injured in a crash with a pickup — even if this one was unoccupied — when 32-year old man crashed into the left rear bumper of a legally parked truck in the Shelltown neighborhood. Although it’s always possible that he was forced into the truck by a driver passing too close. 

Only In Your State calls the 16-mile bikeway from Ventura to Carpinteria the ultimate outdoor playground.

At least one bicyclist likes San Francisco’s new centerline protected bike lane, finding the new Valencia Street project “glorious.” Although it’s interesting that the San Francisco Chronicle dropped its draconian paywall just for this story.

San Francisco’s Vision Zero plan is failing after traffic deaths jumped during the pandemic; the city has just one more year to meet its goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2024. Los Angeles has two more years, and still doesn’t have a chance in hell of meeting that.

A proposed bike and pedestrian bridge would connect the East Bay cities of Oakland and Alameda, replacing a dark and dirty tunnel under an estuary between the cities; however, opponents balk at the $200 million price tag.

 

National

The US Chamber of Commerce highlights five small businesses capitalizing on the ebike “craze,” including Orange County’s Electric Bike Company.

Truly awful story from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where a 40-year old woman was found dead in her home after someone apparently drove her there when she was the victim of a hit-and-run while riding her bike miles away. Yet another tragic reminder to always seek medical care if you’re hit by a motorist, because you’re probably hurt more than you think. 

An Iowa state senator was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of refusing to abide by a law enforcement officer during this week’s RAGBRAI, insisting he didn’t have to budge when the cop ordered a group of bike riders to clear a roadway.

The Green Bay Packers maintained their annual tradition of opening training camp by riding bicycles borrowed from little kids, after the storm clouds parted to allow the event to go on.

Jalopnik apparently sees its first advisory lane at a pilot demonstration in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and comes away predicting disaster for bike riders; the roadways feature a single traffic lane shared by drivers with bike lanes on either side, requiring drivers coming from opposite directions to briefly move into the bike lanes to pass one another.

Feel free to keep parking in Michigan bike lanes, after a supposed bill banning the act turned out to be a hoax.

Connecticut is increasing funding for the state’s ebike rebate program after accepting nearly 6,400 applications. That’s not likely to happen when California exhausts the far too low $7.5 million budget for the state’s ebike rebate program, in a state with over ten times the population of Connecticut.

Hundreds of New Yorkers demanded the city do something to get dangerous ebikes and scooters off the streets at a local town hall, complaining that people on ebikes, mopeds and other motorized vehicles often run red lights and refuse to yield to pedestrians. Because evidently, only people in cars are allowed to do that.

Philadelphia bike messenger bag maker R.E.Load Bags is going out of business after 25 years, because the founders want to move on to other things.

Once again, Florida retains its title as the nation’s deadliest state for people on bicycles. California usually comes in second to Florida in terms of sheer numbers, despite having nearly twice the population.

 

International

In another bizarre case, a 31-year old Scottish man confessed to the drunk driving death of a 63-year old man taking part in a charity bike ride, then coming back with his twin brother the next day to bury the victim’s body and dispose of his bike and other belongings; the victim was considered missing until his body was finally found over three months later.

A UK electric safety organization calls for regulating ebike batteries, after 12 people died in suspected ebike and e-scooter fires in the country since 2020.

The pandemic bike boom is clearly over, as Shimano’s bike component sales dropped nearly 18% in the first six months of this year due to weak demand.

 

Competitive Cycling

Velo writes that Wednesday’s fourth stage of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, aka the women’s Tour de France, turned into a measuring test between pre-race favorites Demi Vollering and Annemiek van Vleuten, with Vollering gaining eight seconds over her chief rival.

Dutch cyclist Yara Kastelijn won a “hard-earned victory in a long, grueling stage,” according to Velo.

UCI conducted nearly 1,000 checks for motor doping during the recent men’s Tour de France, looking for any mechanical device that could give a cyclist an unfair advantage over his competitors. And thankfully came up empty.

Twenty-three-year old Polish cyclist Filip Maciejuk will miss the world championships and his home country’s stage race, after he received a 30-day ban for causing a massive pileup in April’s Tour of Flanders.

Bold move from the Northampton International Cyclocross, as the country’s oldest ‘cross race requested that it be removed from the UCI calendar in order to continue to welcome all riders, after bike racing’s governing body recently reversed course to ban trans athletes from competing in women’s events. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

 

Finally…

Your new cyberpunk ebike could look like a Tesla pickup — but why the hell would you want it to? Every city needs a bike path connecting local microbreweries.

And who needs a bike mechanic when you can fix it yourself in the middle of the race?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Ebikes aren’t motor vehicles under CA law, despite legislator’s call to license riders; and update on CA ebike rebate program

Yesterday we wrote that Encinitas State Assemblymember Tasha Boerner plans to introduce a bill in the state legislature to require a license to ride an ebike.

The restriction would apparently apply to any kind of ebike, whether ped-assist or throttle-controlled, or any combination thereof.

She announced her intention in an email directed to various people in her district, in response to the Encinitas ebike state of emergency aimed at reducing bicycling injuries, electric and otherwise, in the Northern San Diego County city.

In response, Oceanside bike lawyer and BikinginLA sponsor Richard Duquette forwards a quick state law cheat sheet explaining whether an ebike can legally be considered a motor vehicle requiring a license.

Is an E bike a Motor Vehicle? No.

See CVC  24016(a) discusses “an electric bicycle described in CVC 312.5(a) “equipped w operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts”. i.e., class 1 through 3 types.

See CVC 24016(b) “A person operating an electric bicycle is NOT subject to the provisions of this code relating to financial responsibility, drivers’ licenses, registration and license plate requirements and an electric bicycle is not a Motor vehicle.”

See CVC 415, which says a motor vehicle is a vehicle that is self-propelled (versus propelled by human power).

So, there’s an argument to be made that a strictly throttle-controlled ebike without operable pedals can be considered a motor vehicle, subject to licensing.

Then again, they already are under California law and require a valid driver’s license to use, though the law is inadequately enforced.

Anything else isn’t. Period.

Then again, all that has already been legislated. California was the first state to develop a classification structure for ebikes and e-scooters, which has been copied and implemented by a significant number of US states.

Click to enlarge

So consider Boerner’s proposed legislation a solution in search of a problem.

One that would create far more problems than it solves, especially at a time when we urgently need to reduce the number of motor vehicles on our streets in response to the climate emergency.

Never mind preventing our streets from grinding to a gridlocked halt due to too many, too large, vehicles.

If she wants to solve that problem, we should talk.

Ebike battery photo by Alex from Pexels.

………

We finally have an update on California’s ebike rebate program, which is still is failure to launch mode, despite earlier estimates that it would go live before this month.

San Diego’s Pedal Ahead ebike loan-to-own program, statewide administrator for the California ebike rebate program, posted this announcement yesterday, backdated to the end of last month.

Click to enlarge

So we’re still waiting, though it sounds like we’re getting closer, and still have no idea when or where the soft launches will take place.

Hopefully we’ll all learn more soon.

………

Streets For All points the finger at Metro’s wasteful highway spending under Measure M, which imposed a half-cent sales tax in Los Angeles County to fund transportation projects.

As they point out, the $10 billion allotted to the highway projects — only a handful of which would accomplish anything other than inducing creating more gridlock through induced demand — would be much better spent on providing safe and efficient alternatives to driving, considering that even so-called green cars are harmful to the environment.

………

Let’s face it.

You could buy a pretty nice bike or two for twelve grand. And you wouldn’t be stuck with an expensive, smelly and inefficient car anymore.

………

Works for me.

I mean, if you have to go, you might as well go in style.

………

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

No bias here. A writer for conservative website Reason says buy your own damn ebike, arguing that there’s nothing to show that ebike rebates increase the number of ebike riders on the streets. Even though Denver’s ebike voucher program has done exactly that

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

A bike-riding burglar broke into Bibi’s Boutique on Pico Blvd and made off with the contents of the cash register early yesterday. But at least he was wearing a hi-vis helmet.

A 42-year old Houston man was arrested two weeks after he was charged with felony criminal mischief for smashing a driver’s windshield with a bike lock during a confrontation involving a groups of bicyclists who swarmed the car; the driver has not been charged, despite repeatedly honking and driving through the group ride, as well as pulling a knife because “he felt threatened.”

………

Local 

No news is good news, right?

 

State

A San Diego bike shop owner offers advice on the best kind of bike for every type of bike rider.

A San Francisco website looks at San Francisco’s widely detested Valencia Street centerline protected bike lane pilot project, calling it a compromise that grew from behind the scenes talks, with hope for more radical change down the road.

San Francisco public radio station KQED talks with a mother and educator about the joy of biking with her two young children.

A Sacramento woman talks in depth about quitting her car dependency and going down an anti-car rabbit hole after nearly getting run down by a driver while riding her bike.

 

National

A Streetsblog op-ed from the advocacy manager for America Walks offers five ways you can stand up to demand safer cars and trucks to address the increasing bloodshed on our streets.

The new 2024 Ford Mustang will come with an exit warning device to prevent doorings.

Bicycling highlights the best bike deals from today’s Amazon Prime Day, while Business Wire points out the best ebike buys.

PinkBike conducts their annual field test of “value” mountain bikes. Although they clearly define value a lot differently than I do.

AARP offers seven tips for touring on an ebike, saying don’t get on a battery-powered bicycle before reading it. Most of which you really don’t need to if you have a modicum of experience or common sense. But at least they wait until the penultimate tip before insisting you wear a helmet.

Rad Power Bikes is pulling out of Europe to focus on US sales, in the wake of ongoing problems at the Seattle-based bikemaker, financial and otherwise.

Police in Salem, Oregon sat on video evidence in the March collision that killed a 53-year old woman riding a bicycle in an apparent coverup, failing to turn it over to outside investigators for nearly three months, after earlier failing to disclose that the driver was an off-duty DEA agent.

This is who we share the road with. A 21-year old Yakima, Washington man faces charges for running down a bike rider, snapping his bike in half, before plowing through a chainlink fence and continuing on without stopping; the crash left the victim with broken bones in his thigh, shin, shoulder, arm, wrist and face.

The downside of Denver’s highly successful ebike voucher program is that it hasn’t been successful in spurring sales at local bike shops, with most of the vouchers used with out-of-state companies.

Good news from Michigan, where a 13-year old boy has made a “miraculous” recovery after a hit-and-run driver left him with a fractured neck and critical traumatic brain injury; the driver charged with hitting him remains in jail on $25,000 bond.

Kindhearted Ohio sheriff’s deputies gave a boy a new bike for his 11th birthday, just days after someone stole his bicycle.

There’s a special place in hell for the Memphis bike thief who stole a boy’s bike, then shot the kid several times in the foot after the victim spotted him riding his bike.

 

International

A British man was hospitalized with a brain bleed and two broken ribs after he was severely beaten by a gang of teenagers, who hit him with his own bicycle before making off with it.

Shocking news from the Netherlands, where high-flying Dutch ebike maker VanMoof called it quits, at least for now, after apparently burning through more than $200 million in venture capital funding; the company has halted sales and all operations as it tries to secure bridge funding to keep going.

An Indian newspaper says a “tribe” of bicycling tutors, including a successful urologist, is teaching older adults to pedal a path to freedom.

Speaking of India, Conde Nast Traveller directs you to eight guided bicycling tours to travel the subcontinent during the monsoon season.

Singapore ebike riders complain about dangerous drivers, as well as increasingly stringent regulations have increased their risk.

 

Competitive Cycling

The US will send a team of battle-tested Tour de France vets to the world championships next month, with a lineup including includes king of the mountain leader Neilson Powless, near-stage winner Matteo Jorgenson, as well as Lawson Craddock and US road race champion Quinn Simmons.

Road.cc examines the bicycles that have won each stage of the Tour de France so far.

The Belgian Waffle Ride gravel races are changing their entry categories after a transgender woman dominated her competitors last month; classifications will now be limited according to birth sex, with a third Open category open to anyone, regardless of sexual identification.

Cyclist talks with trans cyclist Pippa York, who was the first Brit to win a stage at the Tour de France before she transitioned.

 

Finally…

Who says your bike needs round wheels? Probably not the best idea to flee from the cops while riding under the influence, then tell them to tase you.

And that feeling when your wind tunnel graphic looks more like a bike rider with a massive farting problem.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin.