Tag Archive for Streets For All

Updating traffic violence news, Healthy Streets LA turns in 120,000 signatures, and OC applies for bikeway grant

Happy first day of summer! And belated Juneteenth and Father’s Day greetings! 

Maybe one of these days I’ll actually catch up to the calendar. 

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Let’s start by updating a pair of tragedies we mentioned yesterday.

First is an Illinois county judge who was killed when he was rear-ended by a 73-year old driver. Today brought news that he had been riding with his wife on a roadway rated by the state as unfriendly for bikes, yet which was inexplicably recommended by Google Maps; he was also a board member for a statewide bike advocacy group.

We had also mentioned that a Buffalo, NY woman was killed when a driver plowed into a group of three bike-riding women; today we learned the victim was popular singer-songwriter in the area. Police believe the crash occurred when the driver suffered some sort of medical emergency.

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This is just a fraction of the 120,000 signatures they’re ready to turn in for the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposition.

Don’t forget tomorrow’s 2:15 pm special public meeting of the LA City Council’s Public Works and Transportation Committees to discuss a proposal to adopt the wording of the ballot proposition before it goes to a public vote this November.

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This could be a big plus for OC bike riders.

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The estimable Will Campbell struck out in an effort to bike to the new Sandy Koufax statue at Dodger Stadium.

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Lionel Mares forwards photos from Saturday’s ride along the LA River with LACBC and California Sate Senator Maria Elena Durazo and LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman.

Speaking of the LACBC, any donations to the bike advocacy group will be matched dollar for dollar by Warner Bros. Discovery for the next month, up to a total of $25,000.

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An inspiring new video demonstrates how an adaptive athlete helped Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s “deepest, darkest” mountain bike trail welcome adaptive bike riders.

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

Denver area sheriff’s deputies are looking for a man with a long criminal record who allegedly swerved his pickup onto the shoulder of a highway to attack a group of bicyclists Sunday morning, critically injuring one woman; deputies found his abandoned truck that night, after he had stopped briefly to dislodge a bicycle stuck underneath it.

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Local

Former LACBC board member and Laemmle Theaters owner Greg Laemmle is hosting his popular Tour de Laemmle this Sunday, welcoming anyone who wants to join him in riding to the recently sold Laemmle Playhouse 7 one last time.

The star of the documentary Q Ball was released from prison after 24 long years; he had been sentenced to life behind bars for his third strike conviction after Long Beach police found him in possession of a gun when they stopped him for riding his bike without a light. Otherwise known as a pretext stop, giving cops an excuse to stop and search someone.

 

State 

Food giant Mondelēz International got the munchies, and gobbled up Emeryville-based maker of Clif Bars for a whopping $2.9 billion. Yes, that’s billions with a B.

 

National

File this one under bad ideas. President Biden is considering a temporary pause in the already too low federal gas tax, which hasn’t been raised in 29 years. There are better ways to address the pain of high gas taxes than cutting funds that support transportation spending. Like tax rebates funded by a windfall profits tax on oil companies.

No, that wasn’t former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki making fun of Donald Trump after Biden fell off his bike.

Bike Hacks offers tips on how to feel safe and confident on the road while riding at night.

A Portland man has filed suit against the city, alleging he was injured by a flashbang grenade and beaten by police during the 2020 racial justice protests, and unable to reclaim his bicycle after it was seized by officers.

A new entry-level, retro-style cruiser ebike from Seattle bikemaker E-Velo is specifically designed for riders under 5’10” tall. Although I would hardly call $3,500 “entry-level.”

Pittsburgh has installed the city’s first advisory bike lane, which channels drivers into a shared center lane, while allowing them to briefly move into the bike and pedestrian lanes on either side — just like the one that was unceremoniously ripped out in San Diego.

This is who we share the road with. Six people were injured, three critically, when a New York cabbie hit a bike rider after rounding a corner, then jumped the curb, slamming into several pedestrians and pinning two women against a wall; once again, police suspect the driver may have suffered some sort of medical episode.

Police in Tupelo, Mississippi struggled to identify a man who was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike Friday, before members of the public came up with his name several hours later. One more reminder to always carry ID with you when you ride — preferably something that won’t get stolen if you’re incapacitated.

 

International

A new Colombian law named for a 13-year old victim of traffic violence killed riding his bike commits the country to improving traffic safety through the safe systems approach, while reducing speed limits and adopting UN regulations for vehicle standards and licensing.

Canadian musician DJ JaBig is entering the final leg of a 10,000-mile ride through the US to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief; he’s less than $1,000 short of his $16,500 goal.

Bath, England decides to trade up, replacing two golf courses with a new bike park.

Angry bike riders complain about ice cream trucks illegally parked in the protected bike lanes on London’s Westminster Bridge.

Israeli approved plans to crack down on bike and e-scooter riders for crimes like riding distracted and not wearing a helmet.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly talks with Alexey Vermeulen, who bailed on a brief road cycling career to earn six figures as a gravel privateer.

Win a bike race, celebrate with a dip in the pool in full kit.

And avoid that awkward sprint to the finish with a spirited round of Rochambeau.

 

Finally…

Why wait for bikes to hit the road when you can run them down in the shop? That feeling when a stray bike wheel shuts down the entire subway.

And once again, a bike rider is a hero. If only to our feathered friends.

But wait, there’s more!

Thanks to TEOTWAWKI, aka TRutt, for the heads-up.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

NHTSA considers limiting speeds on new cars, California considers $2,500 tax credit for non-car owners, and Ford finally gets it

It’s Election Day in California. 

If you live in the state, get out and bike the vote if you haven’t already. 

Seriously, what are you waiting for?

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels.

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Yes, please.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, asked if Americans would accept GPS-based speed limiters that would prevent drivers of new cars from exceeding the speed limit, except in an emergency.

A modern take on mechanical speed governors, the electronic system, which is taking effect in the European Union this year, would slowly reduce deaths and injuries due to speeding as older cars are phased out.

It would also eliminate a leading cause of police traffic stops, reducing racial profiling while improving safety for both police and the vehicle occupants, especially people of color.

Although it’s questionable how well it would be received here in the US, where too many drivers consider speeding their God-given right. And it would drive an inevitable black market industry to disable them.

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Great idea.

Streets For All is working with State Senator Anthony Portantino to sponsor SB 457, which would provide a $2,500 tax rebate for any adults that who don’t own a car.

The goal is to reward people making the socially conscious choice not to drive, while providing a financial incentive for people to go carfree.

Especially in light of a new study shows that the lifetime cost of owning an average small car comes to $689,000, of which society pays $275,000, while owning a Mercedes SUV carries a lifetime burden of over a million dollars.

Which is about as good an argument as you can make for passing a rebate to give up your car for good.

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On further reflection, even Ford gets that their ad was despicable.

Or at least, when social media is against them.

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

No bias here. A writer for City Watch blames road diets for the failure of Vision Zero in Los Angeles, as well as increasing traffic congestion and rising road rage, and all the other ills on our streets. Maybe someone should remind her that most road diets planned for Los Angeles never happened, after cowardly councilmembers cancelled them. 

An 18-year old Georgia woman faces an attempted murder charge after intentionally running down a woman she knew as the victim was riding her bicycle.

Also in Georgia, a man faces charges for intentionally running down a 15-year old boy on a bike with his ATV, after the boy tossed a banana peel on the side of the road next to the man’s property.

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

A Singapore delivery rider was sentenced to three days in jail for crashing his speeding ebike into a 71-year old man, breaking his wrist.

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Local

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold its monthly virtual meeting starting at 6:30 this evening.

The one-woman play California Coast Classic currently being staged in North Hollywood comedically retells the author’s experience with the annual ride from San Fransisco to Malibu to benefit the Arthritis Foundation.

 

State 

About damn time. Caltrans has received $35 million in funding from the California Transportation Commission to upgrade traffic lights and install Class II painted bike lanes along a 20 mile stretch of PCH in Orange County.

San Francisco is planning a half million dollar pilot program to give free ebikes to 35 delivery drivers to get them out of their cars and cut their carbon footprint.

Maybe he really is lucky. The San Francisco Warriors fan hosted the nine-year old fan whose lucky lowrider bike was stolen for game two of the NBA championship. And won the game.

Yosemite’s bikeshare system gives you up to two hours to visit park attractions by bike, for free.

 

National

People for Bikes suggests three keys to rapidly building out extensive bike networks fast, from getting everyone to the table, to not waiting for policy to catch up.

Condé Nast Traveler talks with the plus-sized founders of All Bodies on Bikes, which works to make cycling more size-inclusive, and eliminate anti-fat bias in society as a whole.

Austin, Texas has invested $23.3 million in new bike infrastructure since 2016, but still has a long way to go to make the city safe enough to encourage people to use bicycles as their primary form of transportation.

Chicago will give away 5,000 bicycles to city resident this year, along with helmets, locks and beginner’s bicycling classes.

Yesterday we mentioned an Indianapolis hit-and-run victim who told police the license number of the car that hit her before she died; now it turns out she was intentionally run down by her ex-boyfriend as she rode her bike, who had been stalking her and their daughter.

Bicyclists in Maine could soon see a $160 million offroad bike trail connecting all of the states 25 largest cities. “Largest” being a relative term, with Brewer checking in at the 25th spot with just 9026 residents.

The jealous girlfriend who allegedly killed gravel cycling star Moriah “Mo” Wilson was reportedly last seen at the Newark, New Jersey airport three weeks ago, the day after Austin, Texas authorities issued a warrant for her arrest.

DC’s 150 miles of bike lanes still leaves significant gaps in the network, leaving riders on their own to confront “eight lanes of death.”

 

International

Milan, Italy announced plans to build 466 miles of protected bike lanes to create one of Europe’s largest and most comprehensive bike networks, with a concentric spoke and hub system connecting every part of the city.

A Ghanian website looks at the the very cool, but very strange wooden bicycles made by a local artist.

Australia’s new prime minister is one of us, taking a diplomatic ride on bamboo bikes with the Indonesian president on a state visit to West Java.

 

Competitive Cycling

French pro Clara Copponi survived a mass crash less than a thousand feet before the finish to win the first stage of the women’s Tour of Britain; the race was delayed over an hour after a driver crashed into a motorcycle cop leading the race.

No bias here. British tabloids went on the attack after a pair of trans women won a gender inclusive fixed-gear crit, with a young mother finishing third; the race was open to “trans men and women whose physical performance aligns most closely with cis-women.”

Scary moment in the Vuelta a Colombia, when stage three winner Luis Carlos Chia crashed into his own wife, who was taking photos of the race, seconds after crossing the finish line.

Bicycling profiles transgender women’s cyclist Molly Cameron, who has faced that same bias herself. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner announced he’s suffering from Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, a slow-progressing and treatable form of blood cancer; Greg LeMond says he hopes to be in remission in a few months.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have built-in Bluetooth and a wireless 4G connection. Do your pedaling on the road, not under your desk.

And that feeling when your bike gets charged by a zebra.

No, right here in California.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Road rage rises on the mean streets of LA, LACBC Bike Month ride, and Streets For All plans June virtual Happy Hour

No surprise here.

Road rage continues to soar on the mean streets of Los Angeles, with reports up 41.4% over the first four months of the year, compared to last year.

And no, that doesn’t just reflect calmer streets during last year’s pandemic slowdown. It’s also a significant increase over the pre-pandemic good old days of 2019.

It’s more than just a simple disagreement between road users, too. As Crosstown explains,

While the concept of road rage makes some think of a driver who gets cut off and responds by shaking a fist, actual incidents are much more serious. The LAPD defines road rage as when a person commits an assault with a vehicle, or other weapon, due to something that occurs while driving. To be classified as road rage, the encounter must, in police parlance, require “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others.”

Over two-thirds of road rage cases reported last year involved a gun — more than double the number of cases reported in each of the previous two years. As if a multi-tin motor vehicle isn’t weapon enough.

So be careful out there.

You never know who you’re sharing the road with. Or how they’re armed.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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Lionel Mares forwards photos from last Sunday’s LACBC Bike Month ride, where it appears a good time was had by all.

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Streets For All is hosting another virtual happy hour on June 8th — the day after Election Day — with the vice mayor of Burbank.

And no, that’s doesn’t mean he’s mayor of all the fun stuff.

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Gravel Bike California offers your guide to riding the rocks at May and Kagel Canyons.

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If anyone gets me on their gift list this year, this will do nicely.

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GCN offers advice on how to buy a used bike.

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

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A British hit-and-run driver was fined the equivalent of just $526 for a crash that left a bike rider seriously injured, even though he appeared to crash into the victim intentionally.

Police in the UK are looking for three men who got out of a car and beat a man in his 50s after they crashed into his bike.

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

New York police are looking for a masked bike rider who jumped off his bicycle and repeatedly stabbed a man who was walking on the sidewalk; the victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times got four of the remaining candidates for mayor of Los Angeles on the record for their transportation policies, although Kevin de León is the only candidate with an actual transportation platform; billionaire Rick Caruso apparently had better things to do, saying he wasn’t ready to discuss the subject yet, less than two weeks before Election Day.

E-scooter providers Lime, Lyft and Spin have changed their city-mandated programs for low-income riders, reportedly without informing the public first.

 

State 

A 52-year old San Diego man was sentenced to 11 years behind bars, 34 years after his errant shot killed a passing bike rider in the city’s Encanto neighborhood.

Murrieta kindergartners are learning how to ride a bike as part of the All Kids Bike program, with bikes and helmets courtesy of supercross star Ryan Dungey.

Momentum considers the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s successful efforts to create the city’s first carfree street. Which compares favorably to LA’s none.

If you build it, they don’t always come. A San Francisco website reports the free bike valet at the city’s Chase Center arena, home of the NBA Warriors, is going mostly unused.

No surprise that New York and Los Angeles lead the nation in bicycling deaths; more surprising is that Stockton and Sacramento County both rank in the nation’s top ten for bicycling fatalities.

 

National

CNN offers suggestions on how to store and secure your bike at home.

The sheriff of New Mexico’s Sandoval County is recovering from a broken back and rib after crashing his mountain bike when he tried to ramp over a rock, and slammed into it instead.

A Colorado writer considers the growing animosity between drivers and bike riders, insisting “We all kinda hate each other, and by ‘kinda,’ I mean truly and deeply with a passion.”

Colorado Public Radio relates the origin tale of the Iron Horse Classic, when two brothers decided to race each other, one on a bike and the other at the helm of a classic narrow gauge steam engine; this weekend marks the 50th edition of the road race.

Britain’s Daily Mail — not exactly know for its veracity — reports cyclist Colin Strickland has gone into hiding, evidently worried that his fugitive girlfriend will target him next, after allegedly shooting and killing top gravel cyclist Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson.

The head of Brompton is on a mission to convert New Yorkers to foldies.

A Pennsylvania man is on life support after a man just released from jail knocked him off his bicycle, then beat him with it for two minutes before walking away and leaving his victim for dead.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Fed up with high gas prices, an 85-year old North Carolina man fixed up his bike, and plans to live virtually carfree for the foreseeable future. Even if gas prices there are nearly two bucks cheaper than in Los Angeles.

 

International

A new international database offers nearly 1.6 million geo-located records of bicycle collisions from various cities, states, regions and countries around the world, apparently including Los Angeles, making it easier for researchers to study them.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — an easy four-hour ebike ride from Rome to see the 2,500-year old Appian Way and ancient Roman aqueducts.

Survivors of a British endurance cyclist are suing the organizers of a French bike race for the equivalent of nearly a million dollars after the 36-year old man died of heat stroke during the competition.

Copenhagen will introduce Denmark’s first diagonal bike lane to connect bike lanes through a busy intersection.

WaPo examines Ukrainian fighters turning ebikes made in the country into weapons of war.

Sad news from Myanmar, where the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Winner was killed in a collision; 42-year old Kyaw Win Hlaing was run down when a quarreling couple in a mini-truck rear-ended his bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

The popular Belgian Waffle Ride offroad race is expanding into Michigan, for what will be the series fifth event, following races in San Diego, Utah, North Carolina and Kansas.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have a massive DIY omnidirectional front wheel. Your next ebike could be made by Mercedes Formula E car racing team.

And who says you can’t carry trash on a bike?

Thanks to Jon for the link.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Riverside driver kills own son with vision-blocking SUV, and tell Metro to stop wasting money widening highways

This is who we share the road with.

And what, unfortunately.

Heartbreaking news from Riverside County, where a father ran over his own son in his own driveway as he was coming home from work, killing him.

Apparently, the boy was playing next to the gate and ran into the driveway to greet his father, where the grill of the man’s massive Chevy Tahoe SUV may have blocked his view of the one-year old boy.

It’s one of the most absurdly needless dangers we all face on the road, as the ever-increasing size of SUVs and pickups can block the driver’s view of anything directly in front of them, up to and sometimes including grown adults on bicycles.

Their high, flat grills also make it more likely that anyone the drivers hit will be knocked down in front of the wheels, increasing their risk of getting run over by a nearly three ton vehicle.

So if you’re looking for a reason why pedestrian deaths continue to spike, you can start right there.

There’s simply no excuse for allowing machines that are literally designed to kill to use our public roadways.

Photo by Abdulwahab Alawadhi from Pexels.

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Streets For All reminds everyone to tell Metro to stop wasting billions on demand-inducing highway widening projects this Thursday.

This Thursday: Tell Metro to cancel the 710 widening and stop spending billions to widen more highways!

This Thursday, the Metro board on its agenda (#9) will consider a motion to formally kill the 710 freeway widening project, and to develop a local project investment plan that includes transit and active transportation improvements.

Despite this, the board will also consider approving a budget (item #15) that allocates billions of dollars more to widen yet more highways, often based on lies told by Metro staff.

We know that widening the freeway will only induce demand and is Destruction For Nada, and Metro needs to reallocate funding and priorities based on this proven fact.

If you’re able to call in (Thursday at 10am) and make public comment, this is most impactful. If not, send the board an email.

BEST > Call in and make public comment (5.26 @ 10am)

Email Public Comment

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Today’s common theme is advances in bike lighting and security.

New clipless pedals from Redshift Sports come with built-in front and rear facing lights to improve safety, with the rotational movement of the pedal more likely to draw attention than a stationary light; the lights turn on and off automatically, and always know which direction they’re facing.

A new Schwinn ebike comes with a built-in frame light, while a new longtail foldie ebike from Calendar Bikes actually glows in the dark.

Wing Bikes new VanMoof knockoff ebike comes with a built-in Apple Find My network tracker to keep tabs on your bike.

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Looks like progressive talk radio host Stephanie Miller is one of us.

Thanks to Mike Burk and the Smiling Corgis for the heads-up. 

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Either Bob Dylan is one of us, or he just found a beat up old bike to pose with.

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Here’s your chance to learn planning and design the Dutch way.

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Oopsie.

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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 Houston letter writer insists bicycles should be licensed so bike riders will help pay for planned new bikeways. Never mind that people who ride bikes pay taxes just like everyone else, while studies show a bike license program would cost more to administer than it would bring in.

Horrific video from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where a driver swerved into a bike lane and ran down several bike riders, in a crash that appears to be anything but accidental; fortunately, none of the victims, all of whom were riding in the bike lane, were seriously injured.

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Local

Los Angeles was the nation’s second most deadly city for bike riders in the past decade, coming in just behind New York, as bicycling fatalities continue to rise; Los Angeles County led the nation with 276 deaths from 2011 to 2020.

 

State 

Sad news from Madera, where a man riding a Huffy beach cruiser was killed by a hit-and-run driver who lost control of his car while making an unsafe turn, swerving off the roadway onto the dirt shoulder where the victim was riding.

Extreme endurance cyclist Grant Lottering is planning a 700-mile nonstop ride from Central California’s Shaver Lake to Irvine, including 63,000 feet of elevation gain, to raise awareness of a charity using sports to help children and young people overcome violence, discrimination and disadvantages.

 

National

It was nice while it lasted. Just a year after acquiring Peloton, Outside has axed the magazine, as well as mountain bike startup Beta; the publishing company also terminated some editorial staff members at CyclingTips and VeloNews, as it transitions from print to online.

The Navajo Nation is working on a 60-mile rail-to-trail conversion, which would be the first such bikeway on native lands in the US.

A 29-year old Idaho man pledged to do whatever it takes to become a better man, after he was sentenced to seven and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding man; he was smoking heroin when police took him into custody.

Bicycling looks inside the Major Taylor display at the Indiana State Museum. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

A “burrito ministry” using bicycles to deliver food to homeless people in Nashville and Memphis twice a week is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Nice piece from the New Yorker, as a university professor takes a very personal look at the history of bicycling, from the first Laufmaschine to the pandemic bike boom, noting that a toddler who starts on a balance bike can experience virtually every type of historic bike as they grow up.

A Republican sponsored bill would legalize parking protected bike lanes in Pennsylvania.

A Miami weekly considers three ways to improve safety on the deadly Rickenbacker Causeway, where a bike-riding couple was killed by a dozing driver.

 

International

The New York Times highlights seven great bicycling cities, along with the best bike trail to ride in each one, from Geneva to Bogota, and San Francisco to New York and DC.

Famed Irish travel writer Dervla Murphy has died, after making a career of traveling the world by bicycle, foot, pack pony or public transport; she first came to fame with a book about bicycling from Ireland to India in 1965. She was 90 years old. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

An Irish website recommends five bucket list worthy bike routes to explore the Emerald Isle.

A British man has died two weeks after his bicycle was stuck by a ped-assist ebike.

Differences in speeds are leading to conflicts between different types of bike riders on Brussels bikeways.

Bicycling crashes have dropped significantly in Amsterdam after e-scooters were banned from the city’s bike lanes.

A New Zealand university professor says ignore the bikelash, because the benefits of investing in bicycling far exceed the cost.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tragic news from Italy, where the sports director of the Viris Vigevano cycling team was killed when he was struck by a rider as he was watching the conclusion of the Trofeo Castelfidardo race in Italy’s Marche region.

Dutch pro Ellen van Dijk is the new women’s hour record holder, covering 49.254 km — the equivalent of 30.605 miles — at Switzerland’s Gretchen velodrome.

CyclingTips profiles Ally Wollaston, a New Zealand track cyclist making her mark on the women’s WorldTour.

Friends and family members remember Moriah “Mo” Wilson, the gravel cyclist fatally shot in a love triangle murder in Austin, Texas earlier this month.

 

Finally…

Who needs a tandem when you can ride a bicycle built for seven? Now you, too, can have a vintage 1946 Bianchi racing bike owned by four-time Giro winner Luigi Casola, for a mere 27 grand.

And what do you do when a YouTube star slams a rented Tesla into your car trying to catch air on one of the steepest streets in Los Angeles?

You write a song about it, of course.

Thanks to LAPD Central Traffic Division for the link.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

New York joins LA in fight for 25×25, Streets For All’s state & county endorsements, and Ford says park the car

New York is joining Los Angeles in the movement for 25×25.

Advocates are challenging city leaders to return 25% of city street space back to the people by 2025, whether in the form of sidewalks, bikeways or public plazas.

New York currently has 19,000 lane miles dedicated to motor vehicle use, and three million free on-street parking spaces — more than 1.5 for every vehicle in the city.

The LA 25×25 campaign similarly seeks to return 25% of the city’s 6,500 centerline miles of streets to human use by 2025.

Unfortunately, none of the five major candidates for mayor — make that four, after Joe Buscaino dropped out — have signed on yet, though a handful of others have, including progressive candidate Gina Viola.

Which would seem to make it a valuable point of distinction for anyone who does.

Meanwhile, three of the five candidates for city controller have endorsed the plan; not surprisingly, pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz is a holdout, along with Paul Wilcox. And four of the five candidates for city attorney are onboard.

Only Curren Price has backed it among sitting city council candidates. Bob Blumenfield is a no, while Monica Rodriguez and Mitch O’Farrell have failed to respond, along with “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, though several of their challengers have endorsed it.

Combined with the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, which requires the city to build out the already-approved mobility plan as streets are repaved, it could radically reform the city into a human-centered space it hasn’t seen for most of the past century.

And New Yorkers could envy us for a change.

Photo shows kids enjoying a pre-pandemic CicLAvia.

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Streets For All offers their endorsements for the state legislature and the LA County Board of Supervisors.

Not surprisingly, the political action committee recommend returning Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Laura Friedman to office, along with Hilda Solis at the county level.

They also recommend WeHo Mayor Lindsey Horvath for the county board.

Click the link above for their endorsements in other state legislature races.

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The East Side Riders invite you to join them on a family friendly ride this Sunday.

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Ford is starting a new campaign telling their European staffers to park their cars and bike to work, instead.

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

This is the problem with drivers parking in bike lanes. A road raging San Francisco driver subjected a bike-riding man to a punishment pass, then threw something at him while screaming to “stay in the God damn bike lane!”, after the victim had been forced to leave it several times to get around illegally parked cars. Which is not to suggest that the jerk behind the wheel had a point.

No bias here. After a 15-year old Paris, Texas girl was injured in a hit-and-run while riding her bike, the local press can’t be bothered to mention that the apparently sentient car even had a driver.

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

A South Philly bike rider was killed in a curbside shootout when he tried to rob a man smoking in front of his home, not realizing the intended victim was armed and had a license to carry.

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Local

The widow of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy who died during a mountain bike race run by the California Police Athletic Federation won a partial victory when a judge refused a bid to dismiss her lawsuit, but ruled she couldn’t receive punitive damages in a wrongful death case.

 

State 

No news is good news, right?

 

National

AAA included head-on collisions with bicyclists in their crash tests for cars with active driving assistance; the results weren’t pretty.

Bring it on! Seattle is hosting a self-guided Tour de Donut leading to five donut shops around the city; the $25 entry fee includes a T-shirt, and coffee or donut at each stop. LA has a hell of a lot more donut shops, in case anyone wants to try it here.

LV Sports Biz has more details on plans to hold a L’Étape by Tour de France fondo in Las Vegas next May.

Colorado bike vigilantes are stealing back previously stolen bicycles, because police don’t have the time or resources to track them down.

Millions of toddlers can’t be wrong. The founder of popular balance bikemaker Strider Bike will be inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.

Police in Kalamazoo, Michigan are using a laser measuring device mounted to an officer’s bicycle to catch drivers violating the city’s five-foot passing law. Something we tried, and failed, to get the LAPD to do here when they complained there was no way to enforce California’s three-foot passing law.

Seriously? A Virginia legal group suggests five of the state’s bike laws that could save your life — including wearing a helmet, which isn’t required under state law. But the only tip they have for drivers is to obey the three-foot passing law. Because evidently, if you get killed by a driver it’s your own damn fault.

 

International

Vancouver is Awesome offers a cycling enthusiast’s guide to buying your first bicycle.

Good idea. Canada’s Price Edward Island is donating $25,000 to a foundation to help young people in recovery transition back into society, to help establish a program to refurbish and recycle bicycles.

Great idea. Cycling UK, Britain’s official bicycling agency, is now offering free three-month ebike loans to encourage people to stop driving and start riding.

The rich get richer. London bicyclists now have yet another bicycle superhighway, providing a safe route for riders on the city’s east side. Which compares favorably with LA’s none.

No bias here, either. An Irish jeweler blames a new bike lane that replaced parking spaces in front of his shop for “forcing” him to close, before even waiting to see how it affected his business; Facebook commenters aren’t having it.

We Love Cycling, which appears to be associated with Czech carmaker Škoda, offers advice on how to buy a bicycle online.

More heartbreaking news from Ukraine, where a father was killed by Russian soldiers as he was riding his bike, leaving his family to carry his body back home in a wheelbarrow.

No surprise here. After authorities in a New Zealand city block a dangerous street to through traffic, there hasn’t been a single crash; the city now plans to make the closure permanent.

 

Competitive Cycling

No change in the leader’s jersey, as French cyclist Arnaud Démare overcame  Caleb Ewan in a photo finish to win Thursday’s sixth stage of the Giro, capturing his second consecutive stage.

Evidently, Astana Qazaqstan team leader Alexander Vinokourov still thinks a bike race is best seen from the seat of a bicycle, taking a few minutes to motor pace behind the team van during Thursday’s sixth stage.

Cycling Tips looks at an Italian cycling team’s whopping 38 sponsors.

 

Finally…

Presenting an ebike for people who’d rather be riding a motorcycle. If you’re riding a bike with two active drug warrants and an open charge of driving without a license, maybe don’t ride salmon — or flee from police when you do.

And you’ll have to keep riding a dumb Zwift bike for now.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Wrist slap for fatal Jurupa Valley hit-and-run, prelim for killer hit-and-run socialite, and bank robbing cyclist talks to BBC

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

A Riverside County judge rewarded a killer hit-and-run driver with his choice of 364 days in jail, work-release or home vacation confinement, for the crash that killed 30-year-old Rigoberto Guzman Jr in Jurupa Valley three years ago, followed by what the DA described as “a torrent of lies.”

Pizza deliveryman Andrew Scott Walters struck Guzman as he was riding his bike, then got out and pulled Guzman’s bike out from under his car before driving away, leaving the injured victim lying in the road when he was struck and killed by another driver — assuming he wasn’t already dead from the first crash.

Walters went so far as to call 911 to report seeing an injured man down in the road, without bothering to mention his own involvement.

He then went back to the Pizza Hut he worked at, where he explained the damage to his car by telling his boss that a drunk homeless man had hurled his bicycle at him “out of nowhere.”

No, really.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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This is who we share the road with.

Hidden Hills socialite and philanthropist Rebecca Grossman faces a preliminary hearing for the alleged street racing death of two young boys, who had the misfortune of crossing the street with their family while she was speeding down it.

Grossman, co-founder of the famed Grossman Burn Center, was reportedly driving at speeds up to 81 mph on residential streets, while repeatedly switching lanes with another driver, when she slammed into the boys as they rode their skateboard and scooter in the crosswalk.

She faces two murder counts, two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, and a single charge of hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Which proves the over-privileged can be just as idiotic and deadly as the rest of us.

………

No surprise here, as Streets For All has endorsed Eric Darling to replace Mike Bonin in West LA’s CD11; Darling has stood out from the other candidates for his stands on safe and livable streets since the start of the campaign.

The street safety PAC has also endorsed Bob Wunderlich for Beverly Hills City Council, along with John Mirisch.

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The BBC talks with former US Olympic hopeful turned bank robber Tom Justice, who used his cycling skills to make his getaway from over two dozen banks.

He still rides his bike, even after nine years in prison and more than a decade out, but with a La Grange jersey these days.

Chicago Magazine took a deep dive into his story in 2019 if you want to learn more.

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Buena Park continues work on a plan to install a road diet and bike lanes on Dale and Whitaker.

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If you build it, they will come.

This is what the newly bikeable Paris looks like these days. And what Los Angeles could, with just a modicum of effort from city hall.

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But only bicyclists ignore the right-of-way, right?

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

The Texas car shop owner who posted video of himself rolling coal at a bike rider, then denied knowing anything about it, now says he’s really, really sorry. But only after the video went viral, leading to calls to boycott his shop.

No bias here. Someone in the UK altered a road sign with their own handwritten message telling bike riders to ride “single file you Lycra wearing twats!”

After a British bike rider filmed a driver using his phone behind the wheel, the driver chased him, including driving up on the sidewalk at one point, as the terrified bicyclist begged people to call the police.

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Local

We’re #1! The Los Angeles – Long Beach region once again takes the title as America’s smoggiest metro area. So try not to breathe so much on your next ride. Your lungs will thank you.

Streetsblog looks at the new “protected” bike lanes on westbound 1st Street from Boyle Heights to Little Tokyo. Although once again, the protection is only in the form of little plastic bollards that won’t stop anyone from crashing through.

The Ballona Creek bike path will be closed for maintenance between National and Sepulveda through Friday.

 

State 

Residents of a San Diego apartment complex voiced their anger over new bike lanes in the Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood, which they say were striped in the dead of night with no advance warning. Although that’s hard to believe, since the parking spaces that were removed to make room for the bike lanes would have been full of cars at that hour.

Hats off to a Santa Barbara Eagle Scout, who built a mountain bike trail for students at his old elementary school.

San Francisco takes the next step towards a safer, less-polluting future by permanently banning cars from JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park.

Questions remain over San Francisco’s Slow Streets program, as the city keeps four of its car-lite corridors, while some residents want them gone.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run while riding in a bike lane; another person riding in the bike lane at the time was uninjured.

 

National

A fascinating new study shows colorfully painted street surfaces can cut crashes involving vulnerable road users by a whopping 50%.

The Bike League belatedly addresses April’s Distracted Driving Month, noting that one in five traffic deaths is the result of distracted driving.

Police in Mt. Vernon, Washington are looking for a man and woman who fled on foot after crossing onto the wrong side of the road and driving up on the sidewalk, where they slammed into a family riding their bicycles, injuring both parents before crashing into several parked cars.

This is why people keep dying on our streets, part two. A Las Vegas food delivery driver faces her third DUI in recent years after she ran into a child riding a bicycle, leaving the kid with moderate injuries. Although the two “popular food delivery service providers” she claimed to work for disavowed any knowledge of her. One more example of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late. 

A Utah bike rider is asking the same question every hit-and-run victim asks — “I just want to know why they didn’t stop.”

Denver is putting money where its bike-friendly policy is, with all Denver residents now eligible for a $400 rebate on the purchase of an ebike, with an additional $500 for an e-cargo bike, while qualified low income residents can get a $1,200 rebate.

The Denver Post says Colorado’s new Safety Stop Law, aka the Idaho Stop Law, exposes the animosity between bicyclists and drivers. But you’ll have to sign up or subscribe to find out how or why.

Great idea. A Missouri bike and pedestrian advocacy group got a handful of state legislators on their bikes to ride a bike trail crossing the state with their constituents. I’d love to see that here, at LA City Hall, or in Sacramento.

New York’s fire department is warning about the dangers of improperly charging and storing lithium-ion batteries, after a number of fires, while Bicycling offers advice on how to keep your ebike battery from bursting into flames. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

There’s a special place in hell for whoever took a trailer filled with kids bikes from the New Orleans advocacy group Bike Easy. Although they’re just saying it’s “missing” at this point.

 

International

Shimano says the worldwide bike boom is showing signs of slowing off in Asia and South and Central America, though the North American and European markets are going strong.   

YK Design looks at the top ten bikes designed for an eco-friendly urban commute, including some that are seriously weird, and/or just vaporware at this point. Although number nine may be very strange, but in a very cool way, even though you probably wouldn’t want to ride it with those wires just begging for your crotch. 

A British van driver was sentenced to a total of eight years, including four behind bars, and barred from driving for 12 years, all for killing a 71-year old man riding a bicycle while so drunk he couldn’t to stand on his own following the crash; he had 25 previous traffic convictions. Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until they kill someone.

A Malaysian paper decries kids riding the popular basikal lajak, illegally modified bicycles that allow users to race downhill in the Superman position, calling them “a threat to road safety.” Even though it was a woman driver who was convicted of killing eight teens who were riding them, rather than the other way around.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal posted a video telling fans to be patient, because he’s on his way back. Evidently he meant it, as he returns to Europe to begin training for the first time since the training crash that nearly took his life.

World champion Julian Alaphilippe’s multiple serious injuries during Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège came when he fell down a ditch and hit a tree as a result of a mass crash.

Want to feel old? An eight-year old Missouri second grader was named to the US national BMX team.

  

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a Mini Cooper. Seriously, if a Burley is good enough for your kids, it’s good enough for your pet.

And you probably weren’t planning to, but still.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

CD15 mobility debate, SGV state Senator Anthony Portantino is one of us, and Bullard crowdfund passes $73,00

Streets For All continues to take the lead vetting candidates for the upcoming city election by hosting yet another virtual candidate debate.

This time the group is hosting three of the four candidates to replace CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino in LA’s oddly drawn 15th council district, which stretches from San Pedro to Watts.

Not participating is self-described businessman and community advocate Anthony Santich.

Meanwhile, Buscaino’s mayoral campaign is languishing at the bottom of the pack with just 1% of support from likely voters, after billionaire Rick Caruso’s massively self-financed campaign outflanked him to the right of the city’s otherwise liberal field.

Caruso and Karen Bass lead the field, with 24% and 23%, respectively.

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Speaking of Streets For All, the transportation PAC talks with California state Senator Anthony Portantino, who represents the San Gabriel Valley’s 25th district.

And yes, he’s one of us now.

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The crowdfunding campaign to benefit the families of Whittier’s fallen Bullard brothers, who were killed by an alleged DUI driver in Saturday’s Tour of St. George, Utah, has now exceeded $73,000 of the $100,000 goal in just two days, driven in part by members of Utah’s bicycling community.

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Maybe hi-viz isn’t the answer after all.

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

Four Pennsylvania teens are accused of riding around town threatening people with a replica AK-47-style gun, shooting someone on a bicycle with airsoft pellets.

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Local

The route and the final environmental study for the new 19-mile NoHo to Pasadena rapid bus line will go before the Metro Board later this month; the plan appears to incorporate many of the elements from the resident-designed Beautiful Boulevard plan.

Hats off to Santa Monica-based Bird for piloting a free, first-of-its-kind program to provide motorized attachments for New York wheelchair users.

 

State 

Despite San Diego’s avowed commitment to long-term climate goals, the city’s nonprofit Climate Action Campaign says area cities aren’t doing enough, and moving too slowly in the face of the climate emergency. On the other hand, they’re moving a lot faster than a certain megalopolis to the north we could name.

A group of Ventura middle school students have created a new kind of tote bag for a local food bank, making it easier to carry on a bicycle.

Road.cc highlights 12 “show stopping” bikes from Monterey’s annual Sea Otter Classic.

Arcata explains their new two-stage bike boxes, which eliminates the need for bike riders to filer across three lanes of a one-way street to make a left turn. Although it does mean waiting through up to two light cycles.

 

National

Beware of a recent nationwide jump in road raging drivers, many of whom may be armed after a surge in gun sales during the pandemic.

Bullshit. Forbes considers what types of bikes are best for seniors, which they seem to define as anyone over 55, including ebikes, cruisers and adult trikes. Never mind that many people ride road and mountain bikes well into their 70s, and sometimes 80s. The right bike for you depends entirely on your relative fitness and the kind of riding you want to do, regardless of your age.

The List examines what happens to your body when you ride a bike every day. Hint: It’s all good.

The Cherokee Nation introduced the six young women who will participate in this year’s Remember the Removal Bike Ride, which follows the northern route of the infamous Trail of Tears for 950 miles through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma; this is the first time the participants have been made up entirely of Cherokee women.

It’s official in Colorado, where the governor signed a bill allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields and red lights like stop signs; the law, which takes effect immediately, also applies to other “slow speed” conveyances, including ebikes, e-scooters, skateboards and wheelchairs.

A St. Paul MN writer recalls the “scorcher” menace of the 1890’s, which marked the beginning of the anti-bike bias we still enjoy today.

Streetsblog concludes there’s a little truth — very little — in an article criticizing a new protected bike lane for a drop in local retail sales, rather than poor business practices or right-wing politics.

Georgia police investigators are criticized for not knowing the state’s bike laws, blaming a young woman for her own death because she didn’t have a rear light on her bike or hi-vis clothing, even though neither are require in the state. And even though she was run down by a woman stoned on meth and valium, as well as two other drugs.

 

International

Cycling News rates the best helmets for ebike riders. Which are evidently different than the best helmets for non-electric bikes, for some reason.

A 19-year old British bike rider blames a local housing association after he collided with a collapsed fence and was impaled through the chest by a fence pole.

A new Dutch study offers some much-needed perspective on the relative dangers of ebikes, revealing that ebike riders are 1.6 times more likely to end up in the emergency room than people on traditional bikes — compared to two times more likely for people on racing bikes, and three times more likely for mountain bikers. Which kind of refutes many of the panicked reports we’ve been seeing about the dangers posed by ebikes.

Vision Zero is apparently working in the Netherlands, where traffic deaths are half what they were 20 years ago, although more people were killed riding bikes than in cars. Meanwhile, a road safety group calls for mandatory helmets for anyone over 60, who account for half of the country’s bicycling fatalities.

A Malaysian lawyer called for people to pray for the woman convicted of killing eight teens riding the popular basikal lajak modified bicycles, after she was sentenced to a well-deserved six ears behind bars, along with a fine of a little more that $1,400.

An Aussie tow truck driver was allegedly high on crystal meth when he ran a stop sign and killed a 43-year old man riding a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling star Peter Sagan has temporarily stepped away from racing to deal with lingering health problems following his second bout with Covid. He’s not calling it long Covid, but others are. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

French world champion Julian Alaphilippe was taken down by his own team car during Belgium’s one-day Brabantse Pijl classic.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the cops responsible for catching bike thieves are the ones stealing them. Or when a bicycle-themed NFT group decides they’re not about NFTs after all.

And it’s probably a bad thing when your ebike foldie has a tendency to break in half.

Or maybe that’s just me.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Bike bills advance in CA legislature, DIY zebra crosswalks in East Hollywood, and CD11 candidates discuss transportation

A handful of bike and pedestrian bills moved forward in a four hour hearing at the California capital Tuesday.

Streetsblog reports the bills all passed in the bike-friendly Assembly Transportation Committee, most by large margins.

The measures include:

  • AB 1713 reprises last year’s Stop As Yield bill vetoed by Gavin Newsom
  • AB 2147 would legalize jaywalking under most circumstances, also vetoed by Newton last year
  • AB 2264 requires pedestrian lead intervals when traffic lights are replaced
  • AB 2336 would authorize a limited test of speed cams in six California cities
  • AB 1909, the Omnibus Bike Bill, makes several tweaks to state law, including requiring drivers to change lanes to pass a bike rider, when possible.

The bills now move on to other committees, where they are likely to find a less friendly reception.

Meanwhile, San Jose’s mayor was one of the primary speakers pushing for the speed cam bill.

Photo from Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.

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The Department of DIY has struck again, this time painting some very professional looking crosswalks in East Hollywood when the city wouldn’t.

Now if we can just get them to do a few bike lanes.

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Streets For All posted video of Tuesday’s virtual forum for the candidates running to replace Mike Bonin in Westside’s CD11.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog posted an illuminating recap of their answers to whether they would re-install the safety improvements in Vista Del Mar that were ripped out after pass-through drivers got out their pitchforks and torches.

And I know who I’d be voting for if I lived in the district.

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Metro is hosting a pair of virtual public meetings this week.

First up is this evening’s Community Meeting for LA Metro’s Active Transportation Strategic Plan (ATSP) Update, which Streetsblog’s Joe Linton notes they periodically update before putting it back on the shelf to gather dust.

Next is Friday’s meeting to discuss the agency’s proposed Street Safety Policy, which appears to follow the recent trend of not using the term Vision Zero to describe Vision Zero plans.

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

No bias here. Get hit by a lawbreaking driver, and get a bill from the insurance company.

 

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

A Charlotte NC couple complain they were attacked by a gang of teenage bike riders after the driver “just kind of beeped the horn,” and were further traumatized when the cops said there was no point in pressing charges because it happens all the time.

A hearing impaired Singapore woman says a bike rider slapped and verbally abused her when she failed to give way when he rang his bike bell. Contrary to popular opinion in some quarters, a bike bell or “on your left” are both polite warnings, not commands meaning “get the eff out of my way.

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Local

The LACBC is teaming with Metro to offer an in-person class in bicycling street skills in Commerce City tomorrow.

She gets it. CD 5 council candidate Katy Yaroslavsky, daughter-in-law of longtime LA politician Zev Yarolslavsky, says LA should be one of “the greatest bike cities in the world,” but isn’t because people don’t feel safe on the streets.

An LA mom uses her bike to bounce back from a sudden, tragic loss.

 

State 

Streetsblog offers some alternatives to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposal to give gas tax rebates to wealthy drivers who don’t need them, which would only encourage them to keep wasting gas.

The Press-Enterprise provides a primer on the use of ebikes and e-scooters, for anyone who hasn’t been paying attention up to this point.

More on Carlsbad’s crackdown on ebikes in the beachfront city, after collisions involving ebikes jumped from 39 in 2020 to 63 last year. Which likely corresponds with the jump in ebike usage over the last year. And just wait until someone tells them about cars.

 

National

A Chinese man is biking across the US to call attention to the fight for democracy in Hong Kong.

CleanTechnica says the US should offer ebike rebates to help starve Putin out of Ukraine.

Cycling Tips says put some foam inserts in the tires on your gravel bike.

Iowa City, Iowa reminds drivers not to park in bike lanes. Which shouldn’t need a reminder, but evidently does.

Country star Dierks Bentley is one of us, riding a mountain bike century through the Tennessee hills in a relatively balmy 40 degrees.

A Staten Island teen will spend the next four years behind bars after stealing a car, crashing into a bike rider, and leading police on a wild chase; the man on the bike suffered a broken nose and several other injuries, but wasn’t seriously hurt.

A recommendation for bicycle and e-scooter parking and ebike charging stations on the ground floor of a coming Coral Gables, Florida mobility station ran into opposition from the mayor, who is insisting on ground floor retail to offset some of the construction costs.

 

International

Bike Radar offers the “ultimate” beginners guide to buying a bicycle this year.

Rouleur provides a masterclass in the “structural, neurological and psychological repercussions” of bicycling injuries.

A British man credits his survival from a heart attack while riding to a pair of quick-thinking friends and a nearby defibrillator.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A Bollywood star’s 83-year old mother gets back on her bike after 25 years. Although maybe without the two and a half decade layoff.

Singapore actress Jaime Teo is one of us, breaking her collarbone trying to pass a large group of bicyclists on her bike when she bumped another rider.

 

Competitive Cycling

British bike hero and former Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins says keep using time trial bikes on the road, but get rid of all the distractions.

 

Finally…

The Mounties not only got their man, they crashed into him. That feeling when you get run over by a Key West tourist trolley.

And don’t brag about your bike skills until you can ride no hands while balancing a bundle of banana leaves on your head.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cbj-wl9AcgV/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=c9ffcf18-bbbb-4418-b12c-c666aec61815

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Metro forgets Complete Streets promises, help put the buena back in Buena Park, and Newsom to bike riders: drop dead

Once again, Metro gets it wrong.

In its zeal to keep building highway projects in the midst of a climate emergency, the LA County transit agency is starting work on a new $26 million interchange where the 605 and Beverly Blvd meet.

But despite the agency’s professed commitment to Complete Streets, they’re not including bike lanes, even though the roadway will be wide enough to accommodate them at some distant, unspecified date.

Because evidently, they just can’t find a few extra bucks in that $26 million budget for a couple more cans of white paint.

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Speaking of Metro, Streets For All takes the agency to task for their ever-expanding freeway spending.

As if they didn’t learn anything about induced demand from their failed $1 billion project to add express lanes to the 405 through Sepulveda Pass.

Which they probably didn’t.

This is was the email the group sent out yesterday.

Did you know Metro is planning on increasing their freeway budget by $142 million next year?

Metro’s 2023 draft budget will increase Freeway spending by 30%. This comes after last year’s 80% increase in freeway spending, and at the same time as transit expansion funding is being decreased in 2023.

Freeways continue to cause massive health and climate impacts among LA’s most vulnerable populations while making traffic worse.

Tell the metro board not to increase freeway spending by calling in to the Metro Board meeting tomorrow at 10am (most impactful) or emailing public comment before 5pm TODAY.

Unfortunately, it’s too late to send an email. But you may still have time to call in your comment this morning.

Meanwhile, Metro will consider a pair of bikeway projects at today’s meeting that would connect the LA River bike path with Union Station in DTLA.

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Help put the buena back in Buena Park. The OC city wants your input on a new Complete Streets project.

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California Governor Gavin Newsom is once again throwing money around prior to an election.

But this time, it goes out to everyone but us.

At stake is the governor’s proposal for a $400 per car rebate for drivers, in lieu of freezing the gas tax as a sop to people complaining about rising gas taxes.

The money would go out to everyone with a car registered in California, for up to two vehicles, no matter how wealthy the owner, or how environmentally destructive the vehicle is.

Or if it even uses gas.

Meanwhile, transit riders would get a three month fare reprieve. And a relatively paltry $500 million would go towards active transportation projects in the state.

In other words, Newsom is doing everything in his power to maintain the automotive hegemony on our streets, regardless of the environmental damage, rather than use the crisis as an opportunity to make a sea change in how people get around in our state.

And not one penny to the people who did the right thing, and made the sometimes difficult, but environmentally sound, decision to give up their cars.

Instead of rebates to car owners who don’t need them — and in many cases, should have purchased a less wasteful and destructive vehicle to begin with — Newsom should make all transit systems within the state free.

Not just for three months, but permanently.

He should also pay people a monthly stipend to walk or bike to work instead of driving — enough to actually get people out of their cars. Then use the remaining funds to build the infrastructure necessary to support it.

Instead, we’re just doubling down on the same problems that got us here in the first place.

And learning absolutely nothing from the last gas crisis, while just setting us up for the next one.

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Unbelievable. A young Indian boy miraculously survives when his bike was crushed by a city bus after he darted out across the roadway on his bicycle and broadsided a motorcyclist, then skidded across the roadway just inches in front of the moving bus.

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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 Santa Barbara letter writer and former “frequent bicyclist” complains about the “bike lobby” that has “gained outsized power in the city government,” while conflating off-street bike paths with on-street bike lanes, and complaining that few people who ride the bike paths are riding to work. And that people in cars, who are apparently far more important than bike riders, really, really need their parking spaces. Although someone should ask him why he stopped riding, and if it had anything to do with a lack of safe bikeways.

A Scottish city is being justifiably criticized for leaving a huge lamppost in the middle of a new bike lane, evidently preferring to risk the safety of people using the lane than pay to move it.

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

An anonymous Portland writer complains about “asshole bicyclists” who ignore No Bikes Allowed On Trails signs to ride on walking trails in environmentally sensitive areas. Aside from making it clear he or she is as much of an a-hole as the people they’re complaining about, the writer has a point. Never ride where you could cause real harm to fragile landscapes.

Police in Ohio are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who slammed into the side of an SUV after running a stop sign, and took off on foot when the driver called the police.

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Local

Metro Bike returns to North Hollywood with new and improved bikeshare docking stations designed to accommodate any Metro Bike from anywhere in the city.

Culver City Patch reports on the 10th anniversary celebration of children’s bike advocacy group Walk ‘N Rollers.

 

State 

That feeling when your new Ducati bicycle isn’t made by Ducati, but comes as a tribute to the Italian motorbike brand from an Irvine-based ebike maker.

Danville is looking for volunteers to serve on the city’s six-person Bicycle Advisory Commission.

A Sebastopol winemaker faces up to 12 years and eight months behind bars after pleading guilty to the drunken crash that took the life of a bike-riding man, and cost the leg of a 12-year old boy who just happened to be riding near him; or he could walk with just time served. Ulises Valdez Jr. was nearly twice the legal blood alcohol limit following the collision.

 

National

Forbes offers their picks for the best bikes to ride anywhere, from the mountains to the bodega.

Bicycling offers a clickbait slideshow with their recommendations for the ten best women’s bike helmets for any kind of rider. Because why let someone just scroll to the one that suits them when you can get a few extra clicks? As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

This is the cost of traffic violence. A speeding San Antonio, Texas mom lost control and rolled her car, killing an innocent 18-year old bike rider, while injuring herself and her baby. Anyone who drives like that with a baby in the car should have either the car or the baby taken away.

Houston police were quick to blame the victim after a bike rider was killed by a  dump truck driver in a pre-dawn crash, accusing him of darting in front of the truck in what appears to be a single witness crash. Which seems somewhat unlikely, since most bike riders try to stay the hell away from massive trucks.

Completing our Texas trifecta, a Seguin, Texas man was extradited from Mexico for the fatal 2018 shooting of a man riding a bicycle; no explanation was given for why he allegedly murdered the victim, who was described as a good man who helped his neighbors.

A Kansas City public radio station profiles the city’s Black-led Major Taylor Cycling Club, saying they may not be the fastest, but make everyone feel welcome.

She gets it. A Cambridge, Massachusetts letter writer says you can support both small businesses and bike lanes, and that the two actually complement and benefit one another.

A New York morning newspaper says a two-way, barrier-protected bike lane brought a belated bike boom to the Brooklyn Bridge. Either they have an editor who loves alteration almost as much as I do, or they had an over-abundance of Bs they had to use before they went bad.

A Pittsburgh PA bike shop also hosts the world’s largest bicycle museum, with over 4,000 bicycles of every description.

Speaking of Pittsburgh, five of the eight cops involved have been fired for the fatal tasing of a man accused of riding a bicycle without permission; the victim was shocked repeatedly in a short period of time for the crime of taking the unattended bike for a test ride around the block.

To the surprise of no one, an arrest warrant has been issued for the woman who led a bike cop on a slow speed chase through a Florida airport while riding a self-propelled suitcase after she failed to appear for a court hearing.

 

International

They get it. A Halifax, Nova Scotia newspaper says SUVs are driving us to climate calamity, adding it will never be environmentally sound to use two tons of material to move roughly 200 pounds of human.

A self-described bicycling virgin shares their thoughts on riding in Manchester, England.

London’s mayor says the reputation of the city’s transportation department is at stake if bicyclists keep dying at a busy intersection.

A former British mayor and councilor accused bike riders ignoring a ban on bikes on a popular climb of being “an organized gang…who are up to no good.”

Luxembourg — the city, not the country, although the city is in the country — announced plans for seven new bike boulevards, joining three successful bike boulevards opened last year. Although someone should tell them that bikes and cobbles like the ones in the photo aren’t the best combination.

A new Italian bike light puts out a massive 5,000 lumens, yet weighs less than two ounces; it can be yours via Kickstarter starting around $138.

The women who founded Turkey’s annual Fancy Women Bike Ride have been honored with a special UN recognition for promoting bicycling; the ride has now spread around the world.

The US has finally removed the onerous 25% tariff on many Chinese bicycles, including kid’s bikes, ebikes and accessories.

That tariff change comes just in time for a Chinese company introducing a new wireless ebike charging system, which works like a charging pad for your cellphone.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canadian Cycling Magazine looks at the surprisingly long list of active pro cyclists who died of heart attacks.

 

Finally…

Your toddler may get a magnesium-framed Bentley before you do, if you do. Your dog may get a Burley before your kid does.

And we may have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about rampaging ostrich escapees.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Signing the Healthy Streets LA petition, LA asks for $197 million to finish LA River path, and working for safer Hyperion

That’s a picture of me signing the petition to get the Healthy Streets LA measure on the ballot at Pan Pacific Park yesterday, with Streets For All founder Michael Schneider.

With my four-footed intern somehow managing to upstage us both.

As we’ve mentioned a few times before, the ballot measure is a pretty simple proposition.

It would require Los Angeles to build out the city’s mobility plan, which is currently collecting dust on the city’s servers, whenever a street gets repaved. Which isn’t often enough, as anyone who’s had to fix a pothole flat can attest.

That’s it. If the street is included in the mobility plan — whether it calls for a bike or a bus lane — the city would be obligated to to stripe it.

The beauty of this approach is that the costs are minimal, since the street would have to be restriped anyway.

And every bus lane, bike lane and bicycle friendly street in the plan has already been formally blessed by the LA Planning Commission and the Los Angeles City Council, so it’s pretty damn hard to argue against.

But before that can happen, it has to qualify for the ballot, which will take around 93,000 signatures.

Let’s make yours one of them.

Mine already is.

Thanks to Michael, August and everyone volunteering their time to collect signatures on this vital transportation and traffic safety measure. 

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Los Angeles is working on getting state funding to finally finish the full LA River bike path in time for the 2028 Olympics.

Burbank-Glendale state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, says she’s on board.

Yes, $197 million is a lot of money.

But it pales in comparison to the $1.6 billion flushed down the toilet to install HOV lanes on the 405 Freeway through LA’s Sepulveda Pass, which only resulted in more congestion and slower travel times.

And it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the state’s $31 billion budget surplus.

At the very least, it would provide a healthy alternative to driving for those who can use it for a commuter corridor, as well as a safe place to ride recreationally.

I included a link to the Daily News story from Friedman’s tweet, but it’s up to you to find a way around the paper’s paywall. 

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Here’s your chance to work for a safer street for bike riders and pedestrians on Hyperion.

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Horrifying thread from a New York bike rider, who was chased down and attacked by a driver and their passenger — for the crime of touching their car to get by after the driver illegally parked in a bike lane.

It’s worth a click to read the whole thing.

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The future of foldies, five decades ago.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1500365563889020932

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

Life is cheap in the UK, where a homicidal driver got the equivalent of a lousy $1,321 fine after trying to intentionally ram a man on a bicycle at least six times, by my count.

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

An allegedly stoned 50-year old New York ebike rider faces charges for crashing into two women crossing the street, leaving one in critical condition with a head injury.

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Local

An e-scooter rider was murdered by a hit-and-run driver in LA’s Koreatown early Saturday. He was struck by a minivan driver, then run over and dragged nearly 20 yards by a second driver as he lay in the street; the first driver stayed followed the crash, but the second driver, who likely did the most harm, fled the scene.

Despite the impending climate emergency, climate change is taking a back seat to policing and homelessness — or more often, policing the homeless — in the race for mayor of Los Angeles.

At least Los Angeles ranks high on the list of the best cities to walk a dog, coming in at sixth.

LA County firefighters hoisted an injured mountain biker out of a remote area in the Santa Monica Mountains above Brentwood.

 

State 

The nation’s highest gas prices are kicking ebike sales up another gear for San Diego bike shops, on top of the previous pandemic bike boom.

Dozens of Riverside bike riders turned out to honor 15-year old fallen bicyclist Javier Gonzalez., who was killed in a hit-and-run last week. Although someone should tell KNBC-4 that some of those “teens” look like they haven’t seen their teens for awhile now.

Residents along Shannon Road in Los Gatos say they support a proposal to add bike lanes and sidewalks, they just want to make them less safe, inviting and comfortable to “preserve the rural feel” of the community. Although they do have a point about adding trees along the route. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

San Francisco is planning ahead, considering three options for bikeshare after its current contract with Lyft expires in five years.

Bad news from San Francisco, where a woman is still fighting for her life, three weeks after she suffered a fractured skull and broken jaw and ribs when she was run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding home from her bartending job.

 

National

Cycling Savvy explains cadence.

Always wear a bike helmet in case you get assaulted by men with sticks and bats, like this New York delivery rider who was saved by his helmet when he was assaulted by eight men, apparently just for the hell of it. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

An Iowa man was convicted of homicide after running a series of red lights while driving drunk, and killing a 40-year old man riding a bike, before fleeing the scene.

It takes a major schmuck to steal the seat off a three-wheeled bike a Marshall University student with spinal bifida needs to get to class.

Speaking of which, an Alabama TV station examines how an adaptive bike can change the life of someone with a disability.

 

International

A British Columbia writer says yes, he supports more bike lanes to create safe streets and alternatives to driving, but maybe Amsterdam isn’t the best model for North American cities.

A new Canadian ebike employs motorcycle-like parts to promise speeds up to 40 mph. Which would make it illegal in California, and most of the US. 

Evidently, bike theft is no better on the other side of the Atlantic, where a bicycle gets stolen in London ever 16 minutes, with only a two percent chance of ever seeing it again.

London has expanded its Ultra-Low Emission Zone to cover any older, smog-emitting vehicles in the entire city; anyone with a gas-powered car built before 2005, or a diesel-powered car or truck built before 2014 will have to pay the equivalent of $16.70 per day. Meanwhile, Los Angeles, which consistently ranks among the smoggiest cities in the US, continues to do not one damn thing.

Twenty-five year old former world mountain bike champ Reece Wilson is the new face of tourism in Scotland’s Borders region.

Brussels has seen a 50% drop in traffic deaths since implementing an 18 mph speed limit a year ago, while bicycling rates continue to ride. LA drivers would probably riot if anyone tried to slow them down that much. Or just ignore the new limits, like they do now.

Eight-year old US/Ukrainian ebike startup Delfast continues to operate under impossible conditions in the Eastern European country, despite the Russian invasion.

A New Zealand coroner says a bike-riding man is dead because a contractor just forgot to change the road markings after a roundabout was repaved.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cycling star Tadej Pogačar claimed victory in Saturday’s Strade Bianche classic, with 41-year old Alejandro Valverde overjoyed just to finish second; high winds caused a massive crash that took down dozens of riders early in the race, including both Pogačar and Valverde.

Thirty-year old French cyclist Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will take on South Africa’s Absa Cape Epic, considered the world’s premier mountain bike stage race; she has won world titles in four disciplines, including road cycling and cyclocross.

Rather than banning time trial bikes, British TT specialist Alex Dowsett calls for rule changes to raise the height of handlebars to eliminate the head-down riding position and improve safety

That’s one way to avoid sanctions on Russian riders. Russian cyclist Pavel Sivakov is now officially French, after UCI gave him permission to change his nationality.

Sad news from the UK, where former English Tour de France and Olympic cyclist, bike shop owner and club president Colin Lewis died after a short bout with cancer; he was 79.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your banana yellow, submarine-shaped ‘bent causes causes an uproar. When you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a handgun on your bike, put a damn light on it.

And now we know what caused that big crash in the Strade Bianche.

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

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