Tag Archive for Streets For All

KCRW fails to confront LA Vision Zero fail, volunteers needed for ballot measure, and El Monte Vision Zero meeting

Someone in the media finally paid attention to LA’s failing and forgotten Vision Zero program.

Unfortunately, the story hits about as hard as I do these days. Which is more of a polite tap than a solid gut punch.

KCRW’s Greater LA took a look at the program, using the tragic death of fallen bicyclist Branden Findley — killed a hit-and-run driver in a stolen vehicle while on his way to the Ride for Black Lives — as an entry point.

The station notes that 294 people needless lost their lives on the mean streets of Los Angeles last year, a 20% increase over the year before. And that traffic deaths have gone up nearly every year since Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the program in 2015.

“Every single one of those numbers is a tragedy,” says LA Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds. “If we cannot get people from A to B and guarantee that they are safe, and that when somebody leaves in the morning, they’ll come home safely at night, then we haven’t fulfilled sort of a basic responsibility.”

It’s Reynolds’ responsibility to reduce traffic deaths and injuries in LA, and her most important tool to do that is a program called Vision Zero.

Unfortunately, while the station notes the existence of critics who think the city isn’t moving fast enough, they apparently couldn’t find a single one to put on the air.

I must have been busy that day.

But then they pivot back to marshmallow journalism, allowing LADOT head Seleta Reynolds to wiggle out of the city’s responsibility for the program’s continued failure.

But Seleta Reyolds of LA’s Department of Transportation says Vision Zero is only part of the solution to reducing traffic deaths.

She points to things beyond traffic planners’ control, like America’s continuing love affair with big, heavy vehicles that make it harder for pedestrians and cyclists to survive collisions.

Then there’s the challenge of distracted driving and the development of increasingly sophisticated car infotainment systems that keep motorists’ attention focused on screens instead of the streets.

And that’s the problem.

Despite the pleading of advocates in a series of public meetings, back when public meetings could actually take place in person, the city never really adopted Vision Zero.

Instead, the city launched a toothless facsimile of the program, relying on the Four Es — engineering, education, enforcement, and evaluation — to reduce traffic deaths.

Except Vision Zero is actually predicated on one simple realization — that people will make mistakes, and it is up to government to design our streets so that those mistakes don’t have to become fatal.

They acknowledge as much on the city’s Vision Zero page, if you can find it on LADOT’s Livable Streets website.

Our Guiding Principles

  1. People will make mistakes on the road.
  2. The consequences of these mistakes should not be death or severe injury.
  3. Reducing vehicle speed is fundamental to safer streets.

Nothing there calls for education or enforcement.

That’s because Vision Zero is based on reimagining the physical reality of our streets to protect vulnerable road users, and tame aggressive and careless drivers.

But that costs money, which hasn’t been budgeted — at least not in sufficient amounts to actually make a difference.

And it requires civic leaders who possess the political courage to make the hard choices necessary to save lives. Even if it means inconveniencing drivers by removing traffic lanes or parking spots, which our currant crop of cowards clearly isn’t willing to do.

So we have to be content with excuses, and moving the goal posts.

Of course, these challenges existed when LA launched Vision Zero seven years ago. Although Reynolds acknowledges the city probably won’t meet the program’s goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025, she says setting a goal with Vision Zero is still worth it.

“We’ve set a milestone. We’ve set a year. And if we don’t get there, then I hope it will invite a lot of accountability and dialogue and discussion,” says Reynolds.

But once again, Vision Zero isn’t about accountability and dialogue and discussion. It’s about ending traffic deaths.

That, we have failed to do.

And we will continue to fail until Vision Zero finally becomes the city’s one overarching priority for our streets, rather than just one program among many.

Future Indian ambassador Eric Garcetti signs Vision Zero proclamation at his massive outdoor desk. Photo from Streetsblog.

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Streets For All is looking for volunteers to circulate a petition to qualify a ballot measure calling for safe streets everywhere in LA.

Click here to volunteer.

Speaking of Streets For All, the safe streets Political Action Committee forwarded a few key findings from a recent poll in support of the ballot measure.

51.8% of people surveyed in Los Angeles would be more likely to ride a bike if there was a network of safe bike lanes

53.5% would consider taking the bus more often if it came more frequently and had its own bus-only lane

75% agree we can and should make changes to how we use street space that would improve our city

And a whopping 84% think it’s the responsibility of LA’s mayor and city council to reduce car traffic, clean the air and make our streets and sidewalks safer.

I would have liked to see more specific questions, like whether people would support removing parking spaces or traffic lanes to improve traffic safety and make room for bike lanes.

But it’s a damn good start.

And we’ll look forward to seeing the ballot measure once its released.

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Vision Zero could soon be making its way to El Monte, starting with tomorrow’s online workshop.

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This is who we share the road with.

A USC student “did everything right” in crossing the street in a crosswalk, and was run down by a pickup driver anyway, who stepped on the gas and fled like the heartless coward they are.

Just remember that the next time someone tries to tell you bike riders would be safe on the streets if we just obeyed traffic laws.

Because you can clearly obey the letter of the law and do everything right, and still get your ass run over by some jerk.

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We’ve seen this New Zealand ad before. But it’s definitely worth watching again.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

A homeless parolee has been busted for breaking out a window at a Santa Ana bike shop, and making off with a $2,000 bicycle.

Now this is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. After two people were killed while using the bike lanes on San Diego’s Pershing Drive last year, the city responds by speeding up construction of a two-way buffered bike lane and pedestrian walkway to improve safety.

Oakland announces the coming closure of the city’s Covid-inspired Slow Streets program, even though the pandemic isn’t over. And neither is the need for safe neighborhood streets.

 

National

Arch Daily offers a guide to becoming a more bicycle-dependent city.

Singletracks recommends mountain bike tools that pay for themselves in a few uses.

Great idea. Des Moines, Iowa is holding a competition to select artworks to be displayed along the city’s bike paths.

A Minnesota writer refutes the mistaken perception that winter bicyclists are all as white as the snow they ride on.

New York’s popular Five Boro Bike Ride is back on this spring as Covid cases decline.

Curbed reports that ebike batteries are catching fire way too often, while Gotham delivery riders need safe places to recharge them so they don’t.

A North Carolina man will face the death penalty for 1st degree murder for fatally shooting a five-year old boy as he rode his bicycle outside his father’s house; the alleged killer still hasn’t said why.

South Carolina belatedly gets around to considering a bill banning handheld cellphone use while driving. Then again, it’s not like bans in other states have actually stopped drivers from using them.

 

International

Trek’s holiday fundraising efforts for World Bicycle Relief may become an annual tradition for the company, as its low-maintenance Buffalo Bike built for the nonprofit is named Bike of the Year.

Yanko Design looks forward to the bicycle accessory trends of 2022, from airless bike tires and ebike workstations, to a bike helmet with a built-in air filter. Although I’m not sure “trend” is exactly the right word.

The Week recommends their picks for the best ebikes for “effortless engineering,” ranging from the equivalent of $1,343 to $5,804.

An Indian man became an overnight success after seven years of effort when he received the equivalent of $13,000 for 40% of his company on the country’s version of Shark Tank, for modifying and adult tricycle into a low-fi pesticide sprayer for crops.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal remains in intensive care recovering from leg and spinal surgeries after suffering extensive injuries when he crashed into a bus that was parked partially blocking the roadway, while he was training in his native Colombia.

 

Finally…

If you’re already a fugitive from justice, maybe it’s not the best idea to ride your bike on the freeway. Jenny from the Block looks pretty in pink on her BMX — even if it is just an ad shoot.

And the next time it feels like you’re about to be run down by the Apocalypse, you may just be right.

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

Times op-ed says LA can’t keep pushing bikes and buses aside, and 330-mile NorCal rail trail threatened by coal plans

Just 11 days left to give to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to Michael B and Phillip Y for their generous donations to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

This is the only time all year we actively ask — okay, beg — for your money. 

So take a moment to open your heart and wallet. And give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

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He gets it.

In a hard-hitting LA Times op-ed, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider says Los Angeles can no longer afford to push buses and bicycles to the side.

Or worse, actively block implementation of safe bus and bike lanes.

Paul Koretz kills a bike lane on Melrose and fights a bus lane on Wilshire. Gil Cedillo and Mitch O’Farrell work together to kill a bike lane on Temple. Paul Krekorian kills a bike lane on Lankershim. David Ryu kills a bike lane on 6th Street. John Lee fought a bus lane on Nordhoff. All of these real events over the last few years have something in common: members of the Los Angeles City Council actively ignoring the city’s Mobility Plan 2035, part of the general plan passed by the council in 2016.

He goes on to explain that there’s no way to get drivers out of their cars without more efficient transit and bikeways.

And that there is no way to prioritize alternative modes of transport without sacrificing some driver convenience and space on the street.

Then there’s this.

Another issue in Los Angeles is that we tend to build bike lanes in small segments based on the city’s repaving schedule. The problem here is that just like car lanes, bike (and bus) lanes really work well only as a network. Imagine if the 101 almost connected to the 405, and the 405 almost connected to the 10, and in the gaps, drivers faced a dirt road with potholes. How many cars would drive on those roads? Yet we ask the same of people on bikes today. Unless someone can get to where they need to go and feel safe for the entire journey, many won’t bother. That requires a network of protected bike lanes that connect to other protected bike lanes, criss-crossing the city.

Not surprisingly, he hits the nail on the head when it comes to the solutions.

We need all candidates running for mayor and City Council in 2022 to be leaders on this issue. The mayor especially must lead by action, not just talk, as it is today. Individual council members should not be allowed to block road changes prescribed in the Mobility Plan. We need citywide implementation, across district lines; the average Angeleno has no idea where one district ends and one begins, and those boundaries should not determine where a bike or bus lane mysteriously stops or starts.

We have elected far too many hypocrites and spineless “leaders” with their finger to the wind, bending whichever way people scream the loudest.

That needs to change.

Now.

We have to elect genuine leaders committed to their principles, who know what needs to be done and have the political courage to do it.

Because this city may not survive otherwise.

At least not in any form we’d want to live in.

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Gravel Bike California is sounding the alarm about plans to use an abandoned railway to ship coal to California’s North Coast, where it would be loaded onto ships and transported overseas.

Not only would the plan be like setting a torch to the growing climate emergency, it would expose everyone living along the rail line to the dangers of highly carcinogenic coal dust.

And it would mean the death of plans to convert the defunct North Coast rail line into the Great Redwood Trail, taking riders through ancient redwood forests and along roaring rivers.

You can sign a petition to oppose the plans here.

Because there’s no benefit to anyone to shipping coal through the redwoods.

Except for the people whose pockets it would line.

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Throw in some donuts, and we’ll all show up.

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Take a Welsh mountain biking break if you’ve got 24 minutes to spare.

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‘Tis the season.

All 55 third graders at a Lakewood, California elementary school got new bikes for the holidays, after initially being told just two students would win one.

A Good Samaritan bought a new bike for a popular Milwaukee pizza shop employee after his was stolen, giving it to the police to pass along anonymously.

A Newport RI bike club donated 100 rebuilt bicycles to students at a local elementary school.

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

A Montreal bike rider was the victim of a pepper spray attack by a road raging motorcyclist, who thought the victim should have been riding in the nonexistent bike lane.

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

Police in Miami are looking for a shooting suspect who fled on a red BMX bike. No, the one in Oklahoma.

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Local

Los Angeles will break with longstanding tradition, and take advantage of a new state law to actually lower speed limits on some streets next year.

This is who we share the road with. A 21-year old USC student was killed by a pair of street racing drivers as he walked in a crosswalk near campus; surprisingly, both drivers stopped following the crash.

 

State

This is who we share the road with, part two. Once again, an elderly driver has been kept on the road until it’s too late, as an 87-year old Desert Hot Springs man faces vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run charges for crashing his Caddy into the back of a school bus, then plowing into a group of kids as he tried to flee, killing a nine-year old girl and injuring three other children. Whoever kept renewing his license should face charges, too.

No surprise here, as a Salinas paper says whether you’re safe on a bicycle depends on where you are. In other words, just like anywhere else.

With just over two weeks left in the year, San Jose traffic deaths are approaching record levels, despite the city’s Vision Zero program.

 

National

Yes, you can bring your Christmas tree home by bicycle.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske writes about the need for bright lights on your bike, both to stay safe and and limit liability in a collision. I suggest going even further by riding with multiple bright lights day or night to increase your visibility. And note to Mionske: Isn’t time to stop using that outdated and inaccurate term “accident?” A crash isn’t an oopsie. 

Cycling Tips offers four great bicycling photos from the previous two centuries and the stories behind them. Like a stunt cyclist upside down on a loop-the-loop, and riding down a steep flight of stairs on a Penny Farthing.

A Washington writer says bike riders should just go around people who walk in the bike lane when there’s no sidewalk, because “running into a pedestrian is fundamentally unsafe.” Well, yeah. He’s got a point. 

Heartbreaking story from a Flagstaff AZ writer, who struggles to process her emotions in the wake of witnessing a woman killed, and several others injured, when a tow truck driver blew a red light and plowed into them during the city’s May Bike Party.

The couple responsible for putting up ghost bikes in Houston are looking for volunteers to help replace stolen bikes. Seriously, there’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal a ghost bike.

It defies logic, but apparently, it’s possible to hit and kill a 12-year old bike-riding Texas girl with your pickup without doing anything wrong.

New York bike riders are demanding a downtown civic group replace their sleek-looking bike racks, which they say only a thief could love.

Yesterday we linked to video of a nine-year old DC boy run down on his bike by a hit-and-run driver as he was riding home from school with his mother; today he’s speaking out to call for safer streets. My kind of kid.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana is finally recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community. And only 40 years too late for me, after risking my life to ride there. And don’t get me started on beer-chucking LSU frat boys. 

 

International

Yanko Design looks at the year’s best new bicycle innovations, including airless bike tires, zip-on bike tire treads, and a compact air pump — for car tires.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker digs into a pair of rapidly spreading London myths — that the city is the most congested in the world, and the reason is bike lanes. Neither one of which he says is true.

It only took four hours to fully crowdfund new bike lights from Northern Ireland’s See.Sense, promising 575 lumens from the front light, and 350 in the rear, which brightens as you slow down. And if you hurry, a set will set you back as little as $118.

UK authorities are urged to close a loophole in traffic law that allows killer motorists to keep driving if taking their license away would cause an extreme hardship. Imagine the hardship it causes the people they kill.

A 26-year old British man is riding over 5,100 miles from Bristol, England to Beijing, despite being diagnosed with cancer.

If you’re an Aussie football star, maybe don’t get drunk and attempt bike stunts. And fail.

 

Competitive Cycling

New Zealand could struggle to compete internationally in the future, with the short-sighted closure of four of the country’s cycling development centers.

 

Finally…

Apparently, you need a better excuse than simply not remembering that you stole a bike. You could have been the proud owner of a $7,500 handmade El Polo Loco lowrider bike if you’d just moved a little faster.

And who says self-driving tech is just for the people on four wheels?

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

Feds say bike with a beacon so self-driving cars won’t kill you, new Bike League report, and CD13 mobility debate

Evidently, the feds want you to wear a beacon so self-driving cars won’t kill you.

The recently passed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill contains a provision intended to speed up the use of beacons to help autonomous vehicles identify people walking and biking, which has presented problems for their developers.

Here’s what Carlton Reid has to say about it.

An easy to miss part of the Act also formalizes the acceptance of so-called “vehicle to everything” (V2X) technology that, on the face of it, promises enhanced safety on the roads for pedestrians and cyclists…

This states that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office and the Federal Highway Administration, will “expand vehicle-to-pedestrian research efforts focused on incorporating bicyclists and other vulnerable road users into the safe deployment of connected vehicle systems.”

While it might improve safety from autonomous vehicles, those “vehicle to everything” beacons really just shift carmaker’s responsibility for designing and building safe vehicles onto literally everyone else.

It also continues the current automotive hegemony, in which everyone else has to live in fear of the big, dangerous machines. And indefinitely delays the desperately needed transition to transit and active transportation.

But no big deal, right? It’s only the future of our cities and the planet we’re talking about.

The only way I might be willing to wear a beacon when I ride is if, and only if, every car on the road is required to have a compatible warning sensor.

Even if every last one has to be recalled and retrofit.

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels.

Will even little kids like him have to be beaconize just so carmakers won’t have to program their damn killer cars to see them?

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Meanwhile, Streetsblog takes a look at what’s in the infrastructure bill.

And what’s not.

Like Biden’s promise to fix existing streets and highways before building new ones.

Politico also reported that the bill shelved the “fix-it first” promises that President Biden made when he ran for the White House.

“The House-passed surface transportation bill would have prioritized this kind of ‘fix it first,’ and also would have made states measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” the outlet reported. “But the House bill got sidelined in favor of the more bipartisan Senate version over the summer.”

The bill continues the decades-old focus on highway funding, with $300 million to be allocated to the states for pretty much whatever the hell they want to do with it.

Which in most cases means more induced-demand inducing highways and interchanges.

The bill also includes a modest $39 million in transit funding, though the article notes more transit funding is included in the $1.7 trillion Build Back Better bill currently stalled in the House — when and if it ever passes.

California is in line for an extra $5.8 billion in highway funds over the next five years, but will have to compete with other states for a share of the $11 billion in safety funds for bicycling and walking budgeted in the bill.

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For the first time in eight years, the Bike League has issued a new report on the current state of bicycling.

The new report from the League of American Bicyclists, titled Reconnecting to the New Majority, is intended to reflect the changing demographics surrounding bikes, to “ensure that all people – particularly Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC) – have access to safe bicycling, and further progress actions that promote equity in bicycling.”

Among the key findings,

  • More people of Latin heritage are riding bicycles, while fewer Black people are;
  • Bicycling deaths have increased significantly since the 2013 report, disproportionately affecting people of color;
  • Potential interactions with police are a deterrent to bicycling for people of color and younger people.

And as with virtually every other report on the subject, it shows that more people would be willing to ride if they had better infrastructure and safer places to park their bikes, along with better bicycle training.

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Streets For All is hosting a mobility-focused debate for the candidates vying for Mitch O’Farrell’s seat in CD13 next week.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

If a roadway is so wide that you need a sign telling drivers it’s not a traffic lane, it’s more than wide enough for a road diet. And protected bike lanes.

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While Los Angeles has forgotten all about the groundbreaking mobility plan that was supposed to transform the city, Barcelona is busy forging ahead with a post-car future.

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Clearly, Scottish bike rider care about the climate and the future of our earth.

Maybe someday, we can get LA’s bike community to care that much about anything.

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Madame Curry was one of us, along with her husband.

More proof that she really was a genius.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1457211209069912071

And maybe it’s just me, but this looks a lot like the original railing at Palisades Park, overlooking the 101 and the Santa Monica pier.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1457435610659139590

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Here’s one good deed for the day.

A Brazilian man on a bike stopped traffic so an elderly woman could get across the street safely.

https://twitter.com/GoodNewsMoveme3/status/1454151785023778823?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1454151785023778823%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-5-november-2021-287559

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A billionaire Conservative British Parliament Member may be a “keen cyclist” who just bought a new bike, but he’s no fan of popup bike lanes. Especially making them permanent.

https://twitter.com/ldnparks/status/1456322436031467523?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1456322436031467523%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-5-november-2021-287559

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You don’t have to understand German to get this one, as a driver wants to fight a group of bike riders, apparently just for being.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. A witness followed an alleged drunk driver in Santa Cruz, who admitted to fleeing the scene after intentionally running down a bike rider. But they can’t press hit-and-run or vehicular assault charges because they don’t have victim, because he left the scene, too.

Once again, someone has sabotaged a bike trail, after an apparent anti-bike terrorist planted 60 sharpened metal spikes on a Tahoe multi-use offroad trail. When and if they find the person responsible, they should be charged with assault, if not attempted murder; spikes could seriously injure or kill a bike rider or hiker who falls on one, or has a tire blow out while riding downhill.

A Greeley, Colorado letter writer argues that the city’s bike lanes are under utilized, because they’re not swarming with people on bikes at the exact times he happens to drive by.

Ugly confrontation on a DC street, as a bike rider taps on the trunk of a car parked in a bike lane, and also blocking the wheelchair curb cut at the intersection, and asks them to move, to which the driver and his passenger take no end of offense for having the audacity to touch his car.

No irony here. A British city councilor who threatened to paint over a set of bike lanes herself is furious when someone painted them back themselves.

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

Culver City police are looking for a bike-riding robber who stole a man’s bicycle at gunpoint while he was riding on Sawtelle Blvd near Braddock Drive last month, claiming the bike belonged to the gunman’s friend.

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Local

Metro is moving forward with plans to finally extend to LA River bike path roughly eight miles south, from Elysian Valley through Downtown Los Angeles to the City of Maywood; the agency will hold a pair of virtual public meetings on November 13th and November 17th to talk about it. Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the link.

LADOT’s Connect the Green program is intended to calm traffic and create safe connections along neighborhood streets designed to help people bike and walk safely, with less stress. Which sounds a lot like reinventing the wheel just to come up with the already approved network of Bicycle Friendly Streets mapped that were out in the 2010 bike plan.

Metro presents a self-guided bike tour of Little Tokyo and the Arts District, as well as offering discounted Metro Bike passes to anyone with a Golden State Advantage card (EBT).

Evidently, Eagle Rock isn’t the only place fighting over the NoHo to Burbank bus rapid transit line, as Burbank debates removing parking spaces to make room for it on their end.

 

State

Calbike offers a recap of this year’s wins and losses at the state legislature, while taking Governor Newsom to task for vetoing the stop as yield bill, as well as the bill that would have legalized crossing the damn street, due to a lack of vision and relying on false information.

Colleagues remember Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, saying her legacy will be tremendous; Chan was killed in a collision while trying to walk her dog across one of Alameda’s most dangerous corridors. Thanks to Sindy for the link.

San Francisco debates what to do after the cops bust a pair of bike thieves with 20 previous arrests between them, as the city’s DA pursues criminal justice reform. I’m all for criminal justice reform. But just how how many second chances should career criminals get?

A judge rules that felony charges are merited against a Davis bike thief who snatched a bait bike valued at $1,700, well over the $950 threshold for felony theft. Yet the LAPD still can’t use them, thanks to a City Attorney opinion that bait bikes could be seen as entrapment.

 

National

Streetsblog says it’s time for America to get serious about bike parking, noting that a key part of the $290 million plan to make the city 100% bikeable is a commitment to build 130,000 new places for bicyclists to store their bikes at the end of their ride.

USA Today recommends renting an ebike or taking a guided ebike tour on your next vacation, while the Wall Street Journal recommends buying a light one you can actually carry — if you can actually get past their paywall to read it.

Bicycling recommends the 20 best gifts for bike riders that will “truly enhance” their rides. After all, who doesn’t want to find chamois butt cream in their stocking? As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Bicycling also rates 22 road bikes you can buy right now. And for a change, prices starting at less than $500. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

CityLab reports on VanMoof’s stolen bike hunters, who fulfill the company’s promise to find or replace any of their ebikes that get stolen in the first three years after purchase — as long as you pay their $398 fee.

An Oregon man was found dead after apparently crashing his bicycle into a traffic sign placed in the roadway. Which is exactly why temporary signs should never be placed in bike lanes, on highway shoulders or on the right side of the traffic lane.

A Washington man used his Apple AirTag to find his stolen ebike, and snatched it back from the dozing thief himself after the cops failed to show up.

Hats off to this 80-year old Illinois man, who has fought the effects of Parkinson’s for the past 45 years by riding a bike, even if he has to do it indoors.

An Ohio columnist calls on a hit-and-run driver to turn himself in, after the primary suspect insists he hit a deer, rather than killing an 18-year old man riding a bike.

A Boston woman faces charges for killing a 69-year old man riding a bike while she was driving distracted, allegedly blowing through a stop sign while she was FaceTiming with someone as her kid was crying in the backseat. Although the kid wouldn’t have been that big a distraction if she had actually been paying attention to what she was doing.

The New York Times rides every inch of the state’s new 750-mile bike route stretching from Manhattan to the Canadian border.

A New Orleans woman can look forward to spending the next 15 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a young father riding a bicycle, along with a handful of drug charges.

A Louisiana appeals court tossed the 90-year sentence given a convicted drunk, speeding driver who ran down a group of bike riders attending a Mardi Gras parade, killing two people; the court sent the case back for a new sentencing hearing because the judge didn’t give a reason for imposing the maximum sentence.

 

International

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is one of us, which we learned the hard way after he needed surgery on his lips following a fall of his bike; Shapps credits his helmet with preventing a more serious injury.

Nothing like watching a bike thief use an axel grinder to steal a bicycle outside a UK shopping mall in broad daylight. And simply ignoring it when challenged about it.

A Jewish military hero’s grave was reconsecrated after he was mistakenly buried as a Catholic; the Austrian native served as an interpreter and bike messenger for the British in WWII, riding his bike under heavy fire to get a medical team for an ambushed commando unit, then persuading an entire company of Nazi soldiers to surrender.

After a Russian spy somehow fell — or was pushed — to his death in Berlin, his case is tied to the murder of a former Georgian rebel commander, whose killer used an ebike and e-scooter in an elaborate escape plan.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as Road.cc recommends exploring the natural beauty of Montenegro’s Balkan Black Mountain state.

Around 32,750 people took park in Dubai’s annual open streets event, enjoying a few precious carfree hours on a ten-lane, skyscraper-lined superhighway.

Over 130 bike riders from multiple countries raised $30,000 for Cambodian orphans.

An Aussie driver has been fined for driving with one hand while ghost riding a bicycle alongside the car with the other.

 

Competitive Cycling

The legendary 7-11 cycling team nearly missed out on its first Tour de France in 1986 when Ronald Reagan’s bombing campaign against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi threatened to derail their entire season.

 

Finally…

When you think e-foldies, the first name that comes to mind is…Honeywell? That feeling when a four-year old rides a unicycle and a balance bike better than I do on two wheels.

And here’s one way to get drivers to slow down.

https://twitter.com/BikeThisCity/status/1457158982347284480

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

Prosecutors throw book at killer Show Low AZ driver, Streets For All blasts Garcetti, and Culver City to open mobility lane

My apologies for yesterday’s server outage that knocked us offline all day. You can catch up on everything you missed here

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More mass casualty bike crashes in the news, as an Arizona website offers an update on the case against Shawn Michael Chock.

Chock is accused of deliberately slamming his massive pickup into a group of up to 50 competitors in a master’s bike race in Show Low, Arizona last June.

He ended up killing one man and injuring six other people when he smashed into the group, then backed his truck up and attempted to make another pass.

Prosecutors allege Chock huffed computer cleaning fluid before getting behind the wheel, whether that motivated the attack or simply gave him the courage to carry it out.

He was shot by police after fleeing the scene and engaging in a standoff with cops behind a local hardware store, and was arrested on his release from the hospital.

He continues to be held on a half million dollars bond, facing decades behind bars on charges including 2nd degree murder, aggravated assault against a peace officer and eight other counts of aggravated assault, leaving the scene of a collision involving death or serious injury, and unlawful flight from a law enforcement vehicle.

His next court hearing is on the 29th of this month. Hopefully in a courtroom full of bike riders.

The website adds that Chock is presumed by court to be innocent until proven guilty.

Thankfully, we’re under no such obligation.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Garcetti spoke with Spectrum News 1 about his climate goals following COP26. Although as we’ve seen too many times, the mayor is great at talking, not so good at following through.

Meanwhile, bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid takes the COP26 climate conference to task for inexplicably ignoring the quickest and most efficient way to decarbonize.

Bicycles.

That was the same message contained in a letter from over 80 bicycle organizations around the world, who argued that “government leaders must commit to boosting cycling levels to reduce carbon emissions and reach global climate goals quickly and effectively.”

Cycling represents one of humanity’s greatest hopes for a shift towards a zero-carbon future. New research shows that life-cycle CO₂ emissions drop by 14% per additional cycling trip and by 62% for each avoided car trip. Switching from a car to a bicycle saves 150g of CO₂ per kilometre. E-cargo bikes cut carbon emissions by 90%compared with diesel vans. Swapping the car in cities for walking and cycling even just one day a week can reduce your carbon footprint by about half a tonne of CO₂ over a year. Building synergies with other travel modes such as public transport can critically enhance this potential.

Our world is on fire. We must urgently leverage the solutions that cycling offers by radically scaling up its use. What we need now is for governments to politically and financially commit to more, safer and integrated cycling that is equitable for everyone living in our countries, cities and regions…

………

Culver City is opening the city’s first mobility lane designed for scooters, bikes and ebikes on November 20th.

https://twitter.com/CulverCityBus/status/1455594901454741504

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Both San Diego and San Jose are celebrating open streets events this Sunday, with San Jose hosting Viva CalleSJ.

And the San Diego Bike Coalition co-hosting CicloSDias on the streets of Pacific Beach.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up. 

………

Leone also reminds us to take extra precautions as Daylight Savings ends this Sunday.

Make sure you have lights on your bike if you’ll be riding after dark, with the sun setting around 5 pm next week; I also carry lights with me anytime I ride in the late afternoon, in case a flat or mechanical problem delays my return.

And ride defensively, especially for the first few days next week, because the initial days after Daylight Savings ends are always among the worst days for traffic collisions.

………

Damn, that really is a close call. If the guy on the bike hadn’t been a cop, the driver probably would have gotten away with it.

………

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

San Diego police are looking for a man riding a blue mountain bike with black rims and silver spokes, who is described as a person of interest after a woman was sexually assaulted in a Mission Bay restroom.

………

Local

LADOT is planning to extend the bike lanes on Riverside Drive in Los Feliz from Glendale Blvd to Los Feliz Drive, after the street is resurfaced over the next year; the work will also include upgraded paint and crosswalks.

A writer for the Financial Times laments LA’s unrealized potential as a bicycling city. As do we all.

Santa Monica-based Bird is planning to go public despite a history of financial losses, merging with a Dallas-based special purpose acquisition company in hopes of raising $384 million in capital.

Opening arguments began in the civil trial against a Metro contractor for the 2017 death of 13-year old Ciara Smith on PCH in Redondo Beach; her attorney blamed poor training of the driver, while the defense placed the blame on bad road design.

A 31-year old man was fatally shot while riding a bike in Long Beach on Friday.

 

State

Santa Barbara County will take its ebike demo to Santa Maria for five days this month, allowing people to try them out and even take one home overnight.

Sad news from Oakland, where an e-scooter rider was killed by a wrong-way driver who allegedly ran a red light; Streetsblog argues that the paint on the street was insufficient to protect her, or anyone else.

More in the Santa Rosa woman who was seriously injured in Saturday’s mass casualty bike collision in Liberty County, Texas; 59-year-old Barbara Anne Ferrell was one of three bicyclists struck by the driver while on a cross-country ride.

 

National

They get it. Fast Company compares the $12,500 tax incentive to buy an electric car contained in the stalled Build Back Better bill with the relatively paltry $1,500 tax break for buying an ebike, charging that the bill continues the harmful automotive dominance in our cities.

This is who we share the road with. Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III faces up to 20 years behind bars for the fiery, high-speed crash that killed an innocent woman and her equally innocent dog; he was released from the team hours after his arrest on felony DUI and reckless driving charges. You know you’re toxic when even the Raiders won’t touch you.

The bike theft scourge has infected the entire country, even in small Midwestern towns like Iowa City.

Hundreds of people turned out to honor a fallen Chicago man at a ghost bike ceremony yesterday, while a crowdfunding campaign for the popular amateur cyclist has raised more tha $164,000 in just four days.

 

International

Canadian mountain biker Magnus Manson has started the Conquer Your Challenge crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for aspiring Canadian cyclists, as he battles stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; he’s already topped the $10,000 goal bu raising over twelve grand.

A Toronto op-ed accuses the city of falling short on efforts to stop pedestrian traffic deaths, despite its Vision Zero program.

A Scottish legal columnist explains the defense of automatism — where someone isn’t in control of their actions through no fault of their own and have no knowledge of what happened — after a driver was acquitted of killing a man on a bike because she claimed she had no memory of the crash.

A website in Scotland recommends banning cars from schools and building a walking culture in kids to improve safety and cut climate-damaging emissions. Although they should also add riding their bikes to school to that.

A South African musician is scaling up the country’s first ebike delivery service.

 

Competitive Cycling

British cyclist Alex Dowsett is in Mexico City, attempting to retake the hour record he first set in 2015.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal a bike, at least have the decency to leave your old one in its place. Who needs carbon fiber when you can build your own bike out of wood?

And why carry a tent on your bike when you can build your very own self-powered wooden e-camper van bike?

………

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

25×25 plan to reshape LA’s public spaces, man killed in Texas mass casualty bike crash, and Zuckerberg’s bad bike fit

Before we get started, there’s news of a 24-year old man killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike in Santa Ana early Friday morning.

However, I haven’t been able to find official confirmation of the crash, or any further details.

Hopefully we’ll learn more soon.

………

Streets For All announced a bold plan to reshape the streets of Los Angeles on Monday.

The group’s 25×25 plan calls for devoting 25% of the city’s public space back to the people, instead of cars.

Consider this manifesto from the opening page of the 25×25 website.

For over a century, the people of Los Angeles have been forced to accept a “normal” on our streets that is anything but:

  • It is not normal for a whole city to be crippled by traffic.
  • It is not normal to breathe poisonous air.
  • It is not normal for children to lack space to play.
  • It is not normal for jobs to be rendered inaccessible, especially for low-income communities and communities of color.
  • It is not normal for sidewalks to be impassable and broken.
  • It is not normal for bus service to be unreliable and late.
  • It is not normal to fear death and serious injury when crossing the street or riding a bike.

Streets For All envisions a city where the bus is never stuck in traffic. Where children can bike themselves to school. Where green space dots every corner of the city. Where everyone can get where they’re going quickly, with dignity and joy.

Streets For All is asking candidates in next years city elections to sign on to the 25×25 plan, with half of the candidates for city offices already endorsing it.

So far, more than 50% of viable candidates running in 2022 have already signed on:

Mayor: Jessica Lall
Controller: David Vahedi, Kenneth Mejia
City Attorney: Kevin James, Marina Torres
CD1: Eunisses Hernandez
CD3: Yasmine Pomeroy
CD5: Molly Basler, Jimmy Biblarz, Sam Yebri, Scott Epstein, Katy Yaroslavsky
CD9: Curren Price, Dulce Vasquez
CD13: Al Corado, Dylan Kendall, Hugo Soto-Martinez, Kate Pynoos
CD15: Bryant Odega

It’s worth noting that one candidate for city controller hasn’t signed on.

Then again, it’s no surprise that bike-unfriendly pseudo-environmentalist career politician Paul Koretz would oppose it.

However, it’s hard to imagine LA’s glacial bureaucracy moving fast enough to build out the plan’s long list of measures in just the next four years.

  • 1,550 miles of additional Slow Streets
  • 60,000 safer crossings at all intersections
  • 615 miles of dedicated bus lanes on Tier 1 Metro bus routes
  • 30.5 million square feet of public plazas and open space for people
  • 26.1 million square feet of wider sidewalks
  • 600 miles of new protected bike lanes
  • 200,000 additional trees
  • 6,000 new bus shelters
  • 2,500 new public restrooms
  • 10,000 new benches
  • 20,000 new trash cans
  • 7,500 additional Al Fresco outdoor dining implementations
  • 10,000 new loading zones

Meanwhile, this is what they say the plan would achieve, if implemented.

  • Likely reach zero annual traffic deaths on city streets (achieve “Vision Zero”)
  • Increase the number of Angelenos that live a 10 minute walk from a park or plaza from 65% → 100%
  • Increase the number of Angelenos that live within a 10 minute walk from a bus-only lane from 11% → 55%
  • Increase the number of Angelenos that live a 10 minute walk from a protected bike lane from 10% → 65%
  • Ensure every school and park is directly connected to a neighborhood greenway or slow street
  • Reduce VMT in LA by at least 13% per the LA Green New Deal
  • Increase the percentage of all trips made by walking, biking, or transit 35% per the LA Green New Deal

Of course, the key to all of that is the phrase, if implemented.

Which is always the problem in Los Angeles, where it’s one thing to get a plan passed, and another for city officials to actually carry it out.

But it has the potential to be truly transformational.

So let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Photo from LA25x25.com.

………

Sad news from Texas, where a man has died after a driver slammed into a group six bike riders in Liberty County, northeast of Houston.

And as usual, the speeding driver has been released without so much as a ticket.

The victim was identified as 51-year-old Kent Joshua Wosepka from South Hamilton, Massachusetts, one of six riders participating in an annual cross-country ride from San Diego to St. Augustine, Florida.

He was a talented artist, who chaired the board of trustees for Boston’s Montserrat College of Art.

A 54-year old woman, also from South Hamilton, and a 59-year old woman from Santa Rosa were also hospitalized in serious condition; the other three riders were uninjured.

Investigators allowed the 66-year old driver to walk without charges, despite police concluding he “failed to maintain his speed.”

At least this time the investigation is being conducted by the state police, rather than the local sheriff, as was the case in nearby Waller County in late September, when a teenaged driver plowed into another six riders while attempting to envelop them in a cloud of exhaust fumes, known as rolling coal.

Let’s hope the drivers are held accountable in both cases. But I wouldn’t count on it.

It’s Texas, after all.

………

Maybe we can talk KCBS/KCAL9 bike riding news anchor Jeff Vaughn into trade his news desk for a bicycle seat.

………

That feeling when you’ve got $69 billion, but can’t manage to get a decent bike fit.

………

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

A Houston-area bike rider was severely beaten by a neighbor, who ordered him to leave the corner he was stopped at because he was “making everyone nervous,” apparently just for being a Black man on a bicycle.

………

Local

The LA school district is participating in a pilot project for the All Kids Bike program, ensuring every kindergarten kid at two elementary schools will have a chance to learn how to ride a bike during PE classes.

A Koreatown website examines Bicycle Meals, the volunteer group delivering food to homeless people by bicycle three times a week.

CD11 Councilmember and Transportation Committee Chair Mike Bonin is asking for public endorsements as he faces re-election next year, as well as a right-wing recall attempt; Bonin has long been one of the most bike and pedestrian friendly members on the council.

This is who we share the road with. A 27-year old Long Beach man faces charges for an allegedly deliberate hit-and-run attack in which he drove onto a crowded sidewalk outside a Halloween party early Sunday morning, injuring six people, following what was described as a domestic violence incident.

 

State

Phillip Young forwards news of a support group for people who have been injured in bicycle crashes, courtesy of the San Diego County Bike Coalition. (Scroll down. No, keep scrolling.)

Police in Pacifica are looking for a hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike rider from behind, leaving him or her with serious injuries.

Legendary Sausalito bike shop owner Anthony “Tony” Tom died last week; he was around 65-years old.

A Davis letter writer says the city is no more the nation’s bicycle capital than any other college town, and that a bicycle capital “should do more than rest on its laurels for establishing bike lanes in the 1960s.” Ouch.

 

National

Seattle introduces a simplified plan to close a 1.4-mile gap in the city’s Burke-Gilman Trail, which has defied solutions for over two decades.

In an unusual twist, gambling giant Ceasar’s Entertainment may shoot down plans for a bike lane through Downtown Reno, because it doesn’t go in front of their casinos.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in Ohio, where a hit-and-run driver who nearly killed a bike-riding mother of three walked without a single day behind bars when she was sentenced to one lousy year of probation, and lost her driver’s license for a whole six months. Anyone who leaves the scene of a crash without stopping should lose their license for life, at a bare minimum.

A New York State man faces up to seven years behind bars for killing a bike-riding woman while he was high on weed, which is legal in the state — but not for drivers.

 

International

Cycling Weekly looks forward to the best Black Friday deals on kids bikes and balance bikes, both in the UK and the US.

A group of English pediatricians and other health professionals rode their bikes 800 miles to the COP26 climate summit to call attention to the dangers of pollution and climate change for kids.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a terrified 10-year old British boy’s bicycle at knifepoint.

An Indian man launches the first bike brand in Chhattisgarh state, employing traditional art and craft forms to make a handcrafted bamboo bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

American ultracyclist Amanda Coker shattered the women’s 24-hour record, becoming the first woman to ride more than 500 miles in a single day.

Oleg Tinkov, the former owner of the Tinkoff-Saxo cycling team, has been convicted of tax fraud in the US and fined $500 million — less than a quarter of his estimated wealth — on top of a one-year suspended sentence.

 

Finally…

Seriously, what kind of lowlife steals an ice cream bike from a gelato shop? If you have to steal a bike, don’t visit grandma until she turns off her security cam.

And I would have thought Daniel Boone was more of a horse guy, myself.

………

Thanks once again for Matthew R’s generous monthly donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. 

Meanwhile, our seventh annual Holiday Fund Drive is coming at the end of this month. So start saving your spare change. 

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

US bike injuries spiked last year, Streets For All CD5 debate, and Republicans willing to bike more but not drive less

No real surprise here.

A new study shows that bike-related injuries doubled across the US during last year’s pandemic lockdowns, even though overall traffic injuries were down.

Bicycling injuries rose nearly 31% at an Orange County trauma center, while almost tripling in Portland.

Researchers explained the jump by noting the increase in bicycling rates resulting from the bike boom, as more people took to their bikes for exercise and to break the boredom of being stuck at home.

Although another problem, as we’ve noted before, is the increased severity of bike injuries as drivers took advantage of the emptier streets to put their foot down on the gas pedal.

The same study showed gun-related injuries jumped nearly 25% during the same period.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels.

………

I missed Streets For All’s Mobility Debate among the candidates to replace pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz in CD5 while I was down for the count the past couple days.

Fortunately, LA’s one and only mobility PAC has posted the full debate online.

………

Interesting take on the climate change debate, as 44% of Republicans express a willingness to walk and bike more, compared to just 39% who are willing to drive less.

Even though that equates to the same thing.

And even though two-thirds don’t want to hold fossil fuel providers accountable for the climate crisis.

Meanwhile, a study of seven European countries shows bike rider emit 84% less CO2 than drivers or public transport users.

And Seattle’s pilot project to replace delivery vans with e-cargo bikes for last-mile trips reduced CO2 emissions an average of 30% per package.

………

Apparently, you can even move a museum by cargo bike.

………

Yet another gentle reminder that free bicycle registration is your best hope of getting your bike back if anything happens to it.

………

This is who we share the road with.

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

Police in Lubbock, Texas are looking for a hit-and-run driver who intentionally ran down a man on a bicycle, then got out of his car and repeatedly punched the victim, for no apparent reason.

………

Local

Sadly, this is who we share the road with, too. A speeding 18-year old driver faces a possible murder count for slamming into a Van Nuys building that was hosting a popup Halloween event, killing one woman and injuring several others; the man was reportedly fleeing after police broke up a street takeover.

Pasadena police arrested a 37-year old woman for repeatedly bashing a man in the head with a bottle in a failed attempt to steal his bicycle in Washington Park.

Santa Monica celebrates the fifth anniversary of the new and improved California Incline, complete with a protected bike and pedestrian lane.

A lawsuit against a Metro bus driver and a contractor for the transportation agency goes to trial this week in the death of 13-year old Ciara Smith as she rode on a Redondo Beach sidewalk two years ago; she was killed when she rode off an angled curb cut that forced her bike out into the street.

Greg Camp, guitarist for ’90s rock stars Smash Mouth, was one of us, saying he wrote their first hit Walkin’ on the Sun about feeling afraid while riding his bike in the wake of the ’92 LA Riots.

 

State

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 83-year old Carlsbad man completed an 11-year quest to ride the 24,901-mile circumference of the Earth, without ever leaving his own neighborhood. Although I probably wouldn’t mind leaving my neighborhood now and then.

A 53-year old Santa Barbara man died in his own bathroom, hours after he brushed against a fellow moped rider and fell into the street. While this involves a moped, which is capable of higher speeds than a traditional bike or ped-assist ebike, it’s a reminder to always get checked out by a doctor after a hard fall, because some injuries don’t become apparent until hours later.

Fremont is one of the all-too-rare examples of a city that has actually made Vision Zero work, reducing traffic deaths to an average of just 2.1 per 100,000 residents each year, compared to an average of 9.1 per 100,000 in California, and 11.0 in the US. That also compares to Los Angeles, where Vision Zero has become an afterthought, with city leaders too afraid of angering motoring voters to make the hard choices needed to save lives.

San Francisco began a belated effort to fix southbound Polk street and prepare it for a protected bike lane, five months after a woman was killed and a man seriously injured when a driver used the painted bike lane to bypass a line of stalled traffic, blowing through a red light at twice the speed limit; the other side of the street already has one of the city’s best protected lanes.

Sacramento officials announced a $12 million plan to improve the popular Lower American Parkway bike and pedestrian path, although there was no word on how that would impact the homeless encampments along the trail.

 

National

A writer for Next City complains that VanMoof’s new high-speed, car-replacing “hyperbike” ebikes aren’t really bicycles and don’t belong in bike lanes, and should be regulated more like mopeds or motorcycles.

Make your own very clumsy looking DIY ebike using a modified car alternator.

A pair of kindhearted Iowa cops dug into their own pockets to buy a boy a new bike after his was stolen, when they learned about the theft from the boy’s waitress mother.

A kindhearted Oklahoma cop gave a 17-year old boy a new bike after learning the teen was walking an hour and a half to work each way.

Advocates complain that New York’s plan to make a hard-won open street into a permanent, carfree linear park fails, because drivers could easily reclaim the space by simply driving over the painted diverters and car-tickler plastic bendy posts.

Security cam video captured a New York man fighting off a half dozen attackers who used sticks, bottles and knives in a failed attempt to steal his bicycle.

Pennsylvania police are looking for a man who was allegedly high on meth, coke and other drugs when he ran down and killed a 60-year old man riding a bicycle in May; he’s wanted on ten separate charges ranging from felony counts to traffic infractions.

DC’s mayor got an earful from both sides, as residents of an affluent neighborhood complained about sacrificing parking spaces to build a protected bike lane, even though only 40% of the city’s residents own cars. The question is how many have driveways or garages they could use instead of free street parking.

Police still haven’t found the killer of a North Carolina grandfather, who was repeatedly stabbed from behind and brutally beaten while riding his bicycle on a Raleigh bike path over a year ago.

 

International

Don’t plan on getting a deal on a new bike anytime soon, as Pink Bike explains  why bicycle prices will continue to rise over the next year.

Cycling Weekly complains about the biggest irritants of modern bicycle design.

Sounds like fun. A London website recommends bicycling a 10.25-mile route through an “amazingly pretty town” on the Scottish island of Cumbrae, otherwise known as the “Island of a Thousand Bicycles.”

Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill called attention to climate change and the importance of renewable energy by riding his bike across the blades of a working wind turbine.

They get it. Wellington, New Zealand is proposing a new tunnel paralleling an existing automotive tunnel under the city’s Mt. Victoria. But only for walking and bicycling, with no additional automotive lanes.

An indigenous women’s group on a remote Australian island is in need of more bicycles, with more women wanting to ride than they have bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Bradley Wiggins apologizes for being such a jerk over the years, as the former Tour de France winner explains he just didn’t know how to handle fame and adulation. Here’s a suggestion — just don’t be an asshole.

VeloNews talks with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, as Greg LeMond lined up for his first gravel race.

L39ion of Los Angeles made a lot of news the past few days, starting with Rouleur’s interview with team founders Justin and Cory Williams about the team’s game-changing journey in its first few years.

VeloNews talks with Ian Garrison about his decision to step down from the WorldTour to race domestically with L39ion of Los Angeles; a spokesperson for the team says Garrison was “treated like a water bottle” by his former Deceuninck-QuickStep team.

And L39ion of LA is apparently trying to corner the market on bike racing siblings by signing yet another pair.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to seek YouTube stardom by impersonating a campus cop, including forcing a bike rider to undergo a series of sobriety checks. Who needs a car when you can get a ski rack on your cargo bike?

And how wasted do you have to be to crash into a bicycle in the middle of the roadway, yet somehow assume no one was riding it?

Although that is possible.

………

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

Day one of Scarpa murder trial, tell LA to stop street racing and loud engines, and CHP responsible for East LA hit-and-run

Our anonymous Orange County correspondent is back to cover this week’s trial of Stephen Taylor Scarpa for murder.

Scarpa allegedly ran down popular Costa Mesa fire captain and father Mike Kreza in a drug-fueled crash three years ago, as Kreza was riding a bicycle in Mission Viejo to train for a triathlon.

Here’s what she had to say about the lead-up to the long-delayed trial.

Stephen Taylor Scarpa‘s jury trial starts on Monday. So far, Judge Patrick Donahue has decided to allow the video of Scarpa’s participation in his high school’s “Every 15 Minutes” event, as well as testimony from fellow personnel of the rehab centers he worked at. The People’s exhibits will probably also include the DMV’s letter of license revocation and a diagram (but no photographs) of the victim’s many injuries.

Since Scarpa has a long-standing association with drugs, his medical records might be presented as well. The judge finds that this is not in violation of HIPAA. Despite the lack of a previous arrest for DUI, there is sooo much other evidence, strong evidence, that Scarpa knew the dangers of impaired driving, the DA might not even bother to present these records. Scarpa had jaw-dropping levels of assorted drugs in his system, and his blood was not drawn until 4 hours after the collision.

His Honor has forbidden Kreza’s fellow firefighters to attend the trial in full uniform, and friends & family will not be allowed to wear clothing or badges with the deceased’s likeness. I am sorely tempted to get a T-shirt printed up with “It’s about time” in bold letters, because according to the arresting officer, these were Scarpa’s words as the handcuffs were slapped on.

And this is how she reported on the first day of public testimony in the trial.

Oh, man, I’m not hopeful.

The Scarpa trial began Monday morning. Deputy DA Michael Feldman began opening statements by thanking the victim’s friends and family for coming. As stipulated by the judge, no uniformed firefighters were present inside the courtroom. But they were out in the hallway to provide support for the widow and other family members. There was no mention that Mr. Kreza himself had been a firefighter.

In a PowerPoint presentation bannered by the misspelled name of the defendant, Mr. Feldman tersely listed the basic facts that support the People’s charge, among them Scarpa’s participation in his high school’s “Every 15 Minutes” program, his rehab stints, and his employment as a behavioral health technician. “He’s gonna be the one to tell you first hand,” insisted Mr. Feldman, pointing at the defendant, that he was aware of the dangers and consequences of impaired driving. To this end, the People played audio files of the interrogation, in which Mr. Scarpa tells the investigating deputy, “I do it, but I don’t condone it,” a tacit and unambiguous confession. Mr. Scarpa clutched tissues as the DA played his confession that he’d driven impaired with his own young daughter in the car.

Feldman then went on to use the word “accident” several times during his opening statement. AUUUUURGH. That is the entire premise of the defense. It’s almost like he’s trying to hand Mr. Scarpa an acquittal with a big red shiny bow.

Mr. Lowenstein, for the Defense, insisted that the collision had been an “accident,” and that Mr. Scarpa’s actions did not meet the legal definition of implied malice. He stated that the prescription drugs found in Scarpa’s system do not, as opposed to Feldman’s assertion, have warning stickers telling users not to drive. The defense asked whether Scarpa acted with “conscious disregard” (without underscoring the impossibility because Scarpa was, in fact, unconscious at the time of impact).

The Defense told the jury that Scarpa, though drugged up after a party, drove approximately 25 miles without incident, and there was no evidence that he was speeding. He went on to loftily praise Scarpa’s parking (“snug against the curb”!) after the collision, and reiterated several times that he did not attempt to flee afterwards. The collision was merely “a split second in time, a miscalculation, a perfect storm of events.”  Scarpa’s temporary inattention, “a fraction of a second,” and impaired state led to “a perfect storm of events.” (Lowenstein also mentioned something about a perfect storm of events.)

Both Feldman and Lowenstein brought up the words Mr. Scarpa uttered upon his official arrest: “It’s about time.” The People assert that this indicated Mr. Scarpa’s acceptance of a long-anticipated outcome. The Defense suggested that Mr. Scarpa had been expecting an arrest only for the duration of his lengthy interrogation.

First to testify was widow Shana Kreza, who identified a photo of her late husband, and briefly described the family’s Saturday morning, getting ready for their daughter’s soccer game. Mr. Kreza had left on his bicycle, but never arrived at the soccer field.

Next on the witness stand was the first responding officer, who described taking initial command of the scene, Mr. Kreza’s broken body, the agitation of the suspect, and the actions of the Good Samaritans.

The next two witnesses had been in the car behind Scarpa. Ragan Hill and her nephew, Cage Morgan, were putting up garage sale signs in the neighborhood. Hill saw Scarpa’s minivan leave the roadway. As it took out shrubs and saplings on the embankment to the right of the sidewalk (where Kreza was riding his bicycle, despite the adjacent bike lane), she saw a body fly off the top of the minivan.

Morgan described his aunt yell, “Oh my god, look at that car!” He diverted his attention from his phone to see Scarpa’s minivan returning to the roadway, with a trailing cloud of debris. He watched as a man fell off the minivan’s roof onto the road. Hill hit the brakes, stopping about 5-10 feet from Kreza’s prone, bloody body. Morgan called 911, and both exited the vehicle to assist.

Scarpa had parked by the curb and exited his minivan as well, but didn’t approach his victim or the witnesses. Instead, he sat on the curb, fidgeting. “My first thought,” testified Hill, “was that he was impaired.”

Both Hill and Morgan described the same aspects of the scene: Scarpa’s agitation, Kreza’s bone sticking out of his lower leg. Morgan was afraid to initiate CPR, fearing it would exacerbate Kreza’s injuries. Because Morgan was unsure the collision was accidental and did not know whether Scarpa was dangerous, he didn’t approach the suspect, but gestured questioningly from a distance, with palms up. He kept an eye on Scarpa, who appeared disoriented, because “I was afraid he would flee the scene.”

Deputy Christian Servin was called to the scene to perform a field sobriety test. He first approached the twitchy suspect and asked what was going on. He was apprehensive about asking Scarpa to perform some of the physical field sobriety testing tasks because his lack of balance and coordination might subject him to falls. Deputy Servin’s search found six 800mg gabapentin pills on Scarpa’s person, and Scarpa confirmed he had no prescription. Though Servin had difficulty with communication because Scarpa was “in and out” of it, he was able to determine that Scarpa had not slept for two days, had smoked .25g of meth 36 hours prior, had fresh tracks from injecting a fentanyl/meth mixture, had taken Suboxone at a party that morning, and had taken lorazepam. Scarpa stated that he had no medical conditions, and (and) that he was under a doctor’s care. (This doctor, perhaps?) Scarpa also stated he knew he should not have been driving, because he was “upset,” and he believed that he had crashed into a tree and several people.

At this point, court recessed for lunch, and I had to split ’cause I have graveyard shifts, but I’m all free for Day 2.

Meanwhile, the Daily Pilot says the case will hinge on intent, and whether Scarpa intentionally committed the act that resulted in Kreza’s death.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

Our anonymous correspondent also added this note.

EMT students are required to attend one rotation in a hospital emergency department. I did this.

The morning started off slow, and the nurses had zero interest in talking with me, so I poked my head into an exam room and announced to the patient that I was there to check her vitals. She consented and while I took her pulse, I asked what brought her to the ER. She stated that she had passed out while making a left turn (in a major intersection, btw) and had crashed into a fire hydrant. I sympathized with her awful morning, and then asked what she’d had for breakfast. Nothing. I suggested that it was always a good idea to fuel up to start your day. Then I asked whether she was on any medications. She had taken a prescription narcotic analgesic before she took her kids to school. “And you drove?” She confirmed this. I informed her that it was dangerous to drive under the influence, and her pill bottle even had a warning sticker added to the prescription label. She insisted there was no such warning, so we pulled the bottle out of her purse to look at it.

I read the warning out loud: “Do not operate heavy machinery.”

She protested, with frustration at my stupidity, “I wasn’t operating heavy machinery. I was just driving my car.”

(Ed. note: Because evidently multi-ton cars aren’t, well, you know…)

There are warnings of “Don’t drive until you know how this drug affects you,” even though said drug impairs your cognitive abilities such that you cannot ascertain how the drug impairs you. In the absence of quantification and/or memory, your brain just lies to you: “Everything’s fine.”

Why appropriate phrasing hasn’t been legislated, I don’t know.

………

Streets For All is urging you to take action to support a couple of motions on the agenda for this afternoon’s meeting of the LA City Council Public Safety Committee.

Make your voice heard on two key issues this week.

There are two key issues being considered this week at City of Los Angeles Public Safety Committee.

1 – The first (Council File 21-0870) is a motion at the Public Safety Committee to consider re-designing streets to prevent illegal street racing. As much as we fight for lower speed limits, the best way to slow cars down is by redesigning streets all together.

2 – The second (Council File 20-1267) is a motion to reduce illegal exhaust noise in the City of Los Angeles. Modified mufflers disturb the peace and evenincrease our stress hormones and risk of heart disease. While we don’t want more armed officers doing traffic stops, we can solve this by clamping down on the shops that make these illegal modifications.

Here’s how you can help in 2 easy steps:

1) Make public comment using the council file system

If you are unable to make live public comment, the next best thing is writing a message in the council file management system. We have made this easy with a pre-filled template and links.

MAKE PUBLIC COMMENT IN ADVANCE

2) Make public comment live at the committee meetings

The Public Safety Committee is on Wednesday, September 1, at 330pm. Here is the agenda. Call into this meeting to comment on the re-designing streets to curb racing and the illegal exhaust noise issue.

CALL IN INSTRUCTIONS + TALKING POINTS

………

Speaking of Streets For All, the political nonprofit is calling on you to fill a vacancy in your local Neighborhood Council if you live in any of the following areas.

………

In a Twitter thread, the LACBC calls for accountability from the CHP for the hit-and-run that injured a 14-year old boy in East LA over two months ago.

Despite catching the crash on video, and multiple news reports, they’ve apparently done nothing to hold the officer responsible, or compensate the bike-riding boy for his injuries.

Click on the tweets for the full thread.

………

This is who we share the road with.

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

Utah’s Zion National Park is looking for public input on new bike and ebike regulations that would allow bikes in groups of no more than six spread at least a quarter-mile apart, require riders to pull off to the side of the road for buses, and have a bell on your bike to warn people and wildlife. Because everyone knows cougars, skunks and bighorn sheep will politely move aside to let you pass if they hear the dulcet tones of a bike bell announce your presence.

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

San Diego authorities are looking for a bike-riding arsonist who set a series of small fires in the city’s North Park neighborhood earlier this month.

Probably not the best idea to leave a “sanctimonious, passive-aggressive” note on a Portland driver’s car calling out the expired plates, and suggesting they get rid of it and start riding a bicycle.

Police in Lincoln, Nebraska busted a man who stabbed another man in the back in a dispute over an alleged stolen bicycle, then tried to break into an apartment using lock pick tools.

………

Local

Bloomberg considers UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup’s call to stop subsidizing drivers at the expense of everyone else, arguing that free parking is killing our cities.

Monrovia’s new “Biking for Bucks” program promises to reimburse people who live or work in the city up to $350 for the purchase of bikes and ebikes, whether for adults or children, as well as bicycle accessories, purchased between July 1st and September 30th of this year. So start shopping, already.

Active SGV teamed with Alhambra and SCAG to install a new popup bike lane, high viz crosswalks and curb extensions on Popular Boulevard in the city to gather public feedback. But hurry of you want to check ’em out, because they’ll be gone this time next week.

 

State

LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds teams with San Francisco Transportation Director Jeffrey Tumlin to pen an op-ed for CalMatters in support of AB 43, arguing that speeding drivers should not set speed limits.

 

National

It looks like Outside and VeloNews are joining Bicycling in hiding their stories behind a draconian paywall, on the mistaken assumption that preventing people from reading them will make more people want to. However, unlike Bicycling, the Outside and VeloNews stories don’t appear to be available on Yahoo.

Schwinn’s new I Am A Cyclist ad campaign focuses on marginalized members of the bicycling community to show what kind of people really ride bicycles.

Consumer Reports explains the steps they take to rate bike helmets, while InsideHook looks at the best commuter bike helmets for people who hate to wear one that won’t make you look like a total dork.

Best Buy is jumping head first into the ebike business by selling ebikes, e-scooters, mopeds and electric dirt bikes on their website, as well as in some stores.

A writer for Shape raves that her new Rad Power bike actually makes her comment enjoyable. And no, Best Buy doesn’t sell it.

Police in Colorado are looking for a hit-and-run driver who abandoned his SUV, then fled on foot before stealing a bicycle from a nearby school to make his getaway.

This is who we share the road with, part two. South Dakota’s killer Attorney General was hit with yet another speeding ticket — his seventh in seven years — just days before he was scheduled to go on trial for the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian while on his way home from a fundraiser last year. Yet he’s still allowed to stay on the roads to kill someone else, never mind that the $177.50 fine for a simple speeding ticket is nearly a fifth of what he was fined for actually killing someone.

A new Illinois law will require the state to pick up 100% of the costs for bicycle and walking infrastructure on state roadways; the state had previously required the local community to pay 20%.

A four-year old Michigan girl is able to ride a bicycle for the first time, after a fundraiser brings in enough to buy her an adaptive bike, and cover the cost to buy a bike for someone else, too.

Like drivers everywhere, motorists in Dayton, Ohio seem to have trouble figuring out how the city’s new parking protected bike lanes are supposed to work, parking in the bike lane next to the curb while leaving the parking lane empty.

 

International

Wired says Covid-19 means it’s finally time for the 15-minute city, where living, shopping and work are all within walking distance in the same neighborhood. Unless you live in Los Angeles, that is, where city leaders seem to be firmly committed to keeping everything within an hour and a half drive. Except at rush hour, of course.

Bosch says their new upgrades to ebike batteries and motors promise to make your new ebike ride smarter and farther.

Probably not the best idea to try to steal a bike from inside a British police station.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a driver was sentenced to seven years for the meth-fueled hit-and-run that seriously injured five bike riders last year — but with time served, he’ll be eligible for parole in less than a year.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-year old American cyclist Quinn Simmons refuses to limit his options, dividing his plans for next year between the WorldTour and American gravel races.

Red Bull talks with two-time European mountain bike champ Lars Forster about how he went from riding with his dad to riding with, and beating, the world’s best.

 

Finally…

When your status in the local bicycling community hinges on finding the right bike basket. Get your very own bicycle umbrella for your next rainy ride.

And you’ll have to wait another year for a zombie bike ride in Key West.

………

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

Help East Side Riders fix hit-and-run damaged van, help get six critical bills passed, and CHP may have your hot bike

Let’s start with a little bad news from one of LA’s best bike clubs.

Because if you’ve got a few extra bucks lying around, Watts’ East Side Riders could use your help.

The group does invaluable work, using bicycles as a starting point to uplift and feed the community. And they give back far more than they receive.

But that work will be on hold for a least a few days, after someone crashed into their van, pushing it up the street. Best case, it was a hit-and-run driver; worst, someone vandalized their van on purpose.

They haven’t asked for help yet, but they can clearly use it. So give ’em a hand if you can. You can donate directly to them right here.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

And yes, I gave a little, too.

Photo shamelessly borrowed from the East Side Riders Bike Club website.

………

Streets For All is once again asking for your help to get a half-dozen bills across the finish line in the final days of this year’s state legislative session.

We need your help to get 6 critical bills to the governor’s desk

The legislative session is about to end do it’s all-hands-on-deck for getting these final bills passed.

We need you to reach out to your state senator because time is running out.

Here are the bills that need to get to Newsom:

  • AB 917 – Cameras on buses to enforce bus-only lanes
  • AB 122 – Bicycle safety stop
  • AB 339 – Requiring local governments to have a teleconferencing option for public comment
  • AB 1238 – Decriminalize jaywalking
  • AB 1147 – Active transportation program for regional agencies
  • AB 43 – Allows cities the ability to lower hundreds of miles of speed limits

AB 43 is important for racial justice as a disproportionate amount of pedestrians killed are in black and brown neighborhoods

Here’s how you can help in 2 easy steps:
1) Email a comment to your state senator as soon as possible!!

If you do not know who you state senator is, don’t worry!

You can easily find out right here.

Use our email template below, but for maximum impact, personalize your message.

CLICK HERE to email your senator

2) Add your name to the I MADE A DIFFERENCE LIST

This helps us keep track of the outreach we have made and where we need to focus our efforts.

CLICK HERE to add your name

………

The good news is the CHP may have recovered your stolen bikes.

The bad news is they apparently weren’t registered or reported stolen, so the state police don’t know who they belong to.

And it’s yet another reminder that registering your bike now, before something happens to it, is your best hope of getting it back if anything does.

………

Kittie Knox was also one of the first women to join the League of American Wheelmen, today’s League of American Bicyclists, aka the Bike League.

She joined just a year before it changed the bylaws to Whites Only, but since the rule was not made retroactive, Knox was grandfathered in and allowed to remain.

And went on to become a trailblazer for Black women on bikes, and all women.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

………

We’ve often linked to stories from British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid, as well as his internationally bike touring son.

But this one hit him close to home, as his son’s girlfriend totaled her bike, but was lucky to escape with minor injuries, when she hit a massive pothole hidden by standing water.

Which is another reminder not to ride through puddles, because you never know what is — or isn’t — underneath. Like pavement, maybe.

………

Today’s common theme is celebrities and their kids on bikes. And one little girl who should be one.

Credit a bike ride with the success of Michael Jackson’s multi-platinum Thriller album. The gloved one took a ride on a borrowed bike to ride to a Los Angeles schoolyard to watch the kids play after concluding the recording was “crap,” then returned to the studio with a clear head to remix and fix it.

Ben Affleck’s nine-year old son Samuel is one of us, after dad upgraded him to a new Co-Op bike from REI.

Ava Fouts is one of us, too. The ten-year old Tucson girl has done over 200 rides totaling more than 2,500 miles, despite a surgically repaired congenital heart defect. Seriously, if you need a good smile, read this one.

Orlando Bloom has been one of us for a long time, as the British actor posts a photo of himself riding a bike while wearing a back brace after a dangerous fall in his 20s. Oddly, I did exactly the same thing by riding my bike wearing a back brace back in the day. But my broken back resulted from a cracked car jack.

Evidently, British paparazzi never give up, turning out to capture former comedian Lee Evans riding an ebike, seven years after he walked away from his comedy career to spend time with his family.

Luxury car marque Rolls-Royce was founded by one of us; Charles Stewart Rolls started his career as a racing cyclist at Cambridge in the 1890s. Too bad he didn’t just stick to bikes and build a luxury bicycle, instead.

………

GCN has advice on how to ge the most out of riding with your family.

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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 Kansas City man got the blame for crashing his bike into a van, even though the driver clearly violated his right-of-way by left-crossing him. Never mind that the story doesn’t mention the driver.

No bias here, either. The New York Post somehow thinks maintaining a smoggy, dangerous and traffic-choked boulevard on 5th Avenue is good for business, and returning the street to a more human scale means declaring war on cars. Right. If LA’s elected and appointed leaders had half the courage and imagination of their New York counterparts, we’d already see this on Wilshire Blvd, and a half dozen other major corridors, as well. 

A Welsh driver was fined the equivalent of over $500 for a dangerously close pass of a group of bike riders, which appeared to clear them by a matter of inches.

A British bike rider unwittingly and painfully demonstrated the dangers of overly close passes, when he suffered serious injuries after a driver ran him off the road, and head first into a set of wrought-iron gates.

………

Local

West Hollywood’s massive Melrose Triangle project promised to “coordinate” designated ride share and passenger loading areas with the existing bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. Let’s hope that works better than it sounds, because it sounds like a nightmare.

Something must be in the water in Culver City, where another massive 1800-word NIMBY screed decries plans to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians at the three-way intersection of Overland, Kelmore and Ranch, fearing that a planned refuge island for bicyclists and pedestrians would require dangerous mixing of the two, and that the best solution is just to put up a sign banning street crossings entirely.

 

State

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bicycle early Saturday; police are looking for the driver of a possibly red, late model small to mid-sized SUV. Although it would have been nice if the Bakersfield Californian, which should know better, even mentioned that the car had a driver.

Speaking of Bakersfield, you can thank the local golf course and a funding shortfall for killing a “whimsical” proposal to extend the Kern River Bike Path.

A San Francisco writer decries the city’s “inability to address madness and criminality on public transit and on the streets.” And complains about what she calls “whimsical” plans to put bike lanes on the Bay Bridge, saying most would only “undertake the slog” as a last resort, while insisting that biking is a non-starter for small children, seniors, and others with mobility challenges. Clearly, she’s never heard of ebikes. Or met many older bike riders or paracyclists. And what’s with that whimsical word all of the sudden?

 

National

It was a big weekend for naked people on bicycles and chaste camera views, as the World Naked Bike Ride was marked in Mad City, Philly and even Amsterdam.

A kindhearted cop raised funds to buy a new bike and helmet for a Gloucester, Massachusetts teenager, after he was unable to recover the boy’s stolen bicycle.

Three people were injured when their bikes collided at a bottleneck in New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour, which was limited to “just” 20,000 riders as a pandemic precaution.

It takes a major schmuck to push a 74-year old Pennsylvania man down after threatening to steal his bicycle, and only making off with the man’s water bottle.

A group of Baltimore volunteers are delivering meals by bicycle to families in need during the coronavirus crisis.

A man on a cross-country bike tour tries to outrun a hurricane, scurrying just days ahead of Ida’s landfall in Louisiana on Sunday.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is celebrating his 80th birthday by riding his bicycle 80 miles a day for 10 days straight, for a total of 800 miles. Although he might have to take a break for a day or two until Hurricane Ida blows itself out.

Seriously? A Florida man faces felony charges for stealing $2.67 worth of soup and some crackers after crashing his bicycle into a patrol car while trying to flee from police; the petty theft was escalated to a felony due to his previous theft convictions. Anyone who steals something like that does it because he’s hungry, not for financial gain, regardless of his record.

 

International

Treehugger takes a look at surprising ways e-cargo bikes are being used for low-carbon commerce.

Cycling News recommends the best bidons, otherwise known as water bottles for us plain folk.

After a bighearted Saskatchewan boy got a new bike to replace his stolen bicycle, he passed it on to another kid whose bike was stolen, when a Good Samaritan found his purloined bike and returned it.

She gets it. A London physician says she should be able to ride her bike to work without worry, but that we will continue to see more people killed as long as we continue to prioritize the people in the big, dangerous machines. 

Never mind the cars, England’s Countess Sophie got a scare from big-horned stags on a tandem ride with a blind stoker.

A university lecturer in the UK asks if ebikes are ruining mountain biking.

The Dutch may ride at home, but Great Britain’s Dutch ambassador set off a firestorm by saying he doesn’t dare ride in London.

An Aussie business professor puts his expertise to work opening a bicycle-themed hotel in the heart of Belgium’s Flanders region, where “bicycling is practically a religion.”

Calcutta regresses into an auto-centric past by banning bicycles from major streets; an Indian magazine calls it a “warped idea of planning and an antipathy towards the working classes.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Pink Bike considers what’s next for Afghanistan’s growing mountain bike community, over fears of a crackdown by the Taliban; one rider complains he feels like they’ve been dragged into a black hole.

Road.cc says ongoing Covid lockdowns in Asia continue to adversely affect bicycle supplies in Europe.

 

Competitive Cycling

No change in the leader’s standings, as Rafal Majka rode a 56-mile breakaway to victory in Sunday’s 15th stage of the Vuelta.

Twenty-four-year old Evie Richards became British woman to claim the mountain bike cross-county world championship on Saturday in Val di Sole, Italy.

Openly gay Canadian cyclist Kate O’Brien took silver in the 500 meter time trial in the Paralympic Games, just five years after competing in the Rio Olympics, and four years after she was nearly killed crashing into a race moto.

Aussie cyclist Caroline Buchanan became the first woman to land a mountain bike front flip onto a dirt surface.

 

Finally…

Sharpen your pocket knife while you sharpen your riding skills. Your next bike light could be powered by the wind.

And watch out for cars when you stick your imaginary landing.

I would’ve made it if the car wasn’t there :/ from GrandTheftAutoV

………

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

Streets For All shares virtual drinks with Friedman, CicLAvia returns on Sunday, and Brits battle over riding abreast

Let’s start with a couple of events this week.

Streets For All is back tomorrow with another virtual happy hour, this time featuring California State Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Laura Friedman.

Meanwhile, Fox11’s Good Day LA looks forward to the return of CicLAvia in Wilmington this Sunday. The short 2.2-mile route could see a big turnout from a full year’s worth of pent-up demand.

………

Britain’s Jeremy Vine takes the contrarian view to all those drivers who insist people on bikes should ride single file all the time.

Needless to say, not everyone took the lesson well. And some of the responses were brutal.

………

GCN explains how to choose the right bike pump.

………

Norm Bradwell forwards the best pro bike helmet commercial of all time.

Yes, you may have seen it before, but it’s more than worth seeing again. Or for the first time, if you haven’t.

………

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

No bias here. San Diego letter writers insist no one uses bike lanes because they don’t see them filled with bikes at the exact moment they happen to pass by, and that bike riders have to obey the law. Never mind that studies show safe infrastructure improves adherence to the law, and that bike riders break the law at about the same rate as people in the big, dangerous machines, but for much better reasons. Hint: Drivers cheat for convenience, bike riders to stay safe.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding man who groped a woman in her 60’s as she walked on a Palo Alto sidewalk.

With any luck, the British Columbia perv who allegedly exposed himself to several woman while riding his mountain bike will be there waiting for him.

………

Local

Glendale has hired the architecture firm behind New York’s highly successful High Line Park to reimagine the Verdugo Wash, reclaiming the concrete-lined channel while potentially adding bikeways and walkways.

 

State

For the second time in a week, a Santa Barbara driver has been busted for running down a teenage bike rider, as a driver is being held on $100,000 bond on DUI and hit-and-run charges after rear-ending a 14-year old boy on a bicycle; the victim was hospitalized with moderate injuries.

The pandemic bike boom continues to strain the bike industry, as the bicycle division of Scotts Valley’s Fox Factory is over a year from catching up to demand, despite — or maybe because — record sales for the past year and a half.

Now that’s more like it. Sacramento responds to one of the city’s dangerous streets by shutting it down entirely to make it more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

 

National

Utah is now home to five new US Bicycle Routes, adding 550 miles to the 410 it already enjoyed; that’s part of a nationwide expansion with 18 new routes in five states, adding nearly 3,000 miles to the US Bicycle Route System.

Great idea. A Colorado town is trying to boost local bike shops while encouraging alternatives to driving by considering a $200 rebate for every ebike bought in town.

A Colorado man is charged with murdering his missing wife, who disappeared on a Mother’s Day bike ride last year. Sheriff’s deputies found Suzanne Morphew’s abandoned bicycle later that day, and discovered her undamaged helmet days later over eight miles away; however, her body has never been found.

Group rides are booming in popularity in Houston during the pandemic, like  800 people on bikes rapper Slim Thug lead to the home of a young man with Downs Syndrome, who wanted to meet him.

Is anyone really surprised that Illinois cops rushed to blame the victim when one of their own right hooked a 71-year old man riding his bike on the sidewalk?

Interesting idea from Michigan, where learning to ride a bicycle is used as a springboard to help kids get ready for kindergarten.

Adweek says you need the skills of an Olympian just to get around New York.

The New York Times questions whether the city’s pandemic-inspired carfree streets can survive the pushback to proposals to make them permanent.

No surprise here, either, as Florida and Louisiana lead the way with the most bicycling deaths per capita in the US.

The Miami Herald seems surprised that a man was run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a bike lane, as if the thin strip of paint was somehow supposed to repel cars.

 

International

The latest Copenhagenize Index ranks the world’s top 20 bike cities, with the usual suspects — Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Utrecht — taking the lead. Guess how many American cities made the list? That’s right, none.

A Dutch bicycle brand reminds Londoners that riding a bike is forever, not just for during the pandemic lockdown.

A kindhearted Indian cop dug into his own pocket to buy a new bicycle for a 14-year old boy after his was destroyed in a collision while riding home from his job.

 

Competitive Cycling

The racing world goes on in the wake of the Olympics, with stage one of the seven stage Tour of Poland.

Malaysians are geeking out over the $80,000 track bike their countryman Azizulhasni Awang rode to a silver medal in the men’s keirin in Tokyo.

Sad news from New Zealand, where 24-year-old cyclist Olivia Podmore died unexpectedly, five years after she represented the country at the Rio Olympics.

Cyclist remembers the Tour de France win 23 years ago that made the late Marco Pantani a legend.

 

Finally…

If a driver asks for your help with a flat tire, maybe just keep on riding. Now you can own the gas-powered moped Steve McQueen rode on the track at Le Mans for a mere 50 grand.

And forget elevation gain. Try riding a bicycle a thousand feet in the air.

………

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

Hit-and-run epidemic hits LA and San Diego, volunteers wanted for carfree K-town fest, and best bike traffic sign ever

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

Monday was a rough day.

It was supposed to be my wife’s first day at her new job, after the company she’d been with for 20 years shut down in the first days of the pandemic. But it lasted just three hours before her new bosses decided they needed someone familiar with their systems, rather than training her as they had promised. 

So now we’re both back where we’ve been for the last 18 months, with her extended unemployment benefits expiring next month, just as the Delta variant is exploding. 

Good times. 

………

Today’s common theme is hit-and-run, sadly.

Starting with the heartless coward who backed over a 91-year old woman on the sidewalk behind his work truck in LA’s University Park neighborhood — then got out and watched her die for three minutes before driving away, without doing a damn thing to help.

And if that doesn’t demand a murder charge once he’s caught, I don’t know what does. As always, there’s a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, San Diego police are looking for the driver who fled the scene after running a Mission Bay red light and smashing into a man on a bicycle, dragging the victim and his bike several yards, and leaving him with life-threatening injuries.

The driver abandoned their truck nearby, and fled the scene on foot. Which always raises the question of whether truck was stolen.

Or they just want to be able to claim it was later.

Police in Riverside are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run while riding his bike, which left him a facial injuries too serious for a photo. Seriously, we’ve said it before, but this is why you should always carry some form of ID that won’t get stolen every time you get on your bike.

And let’s not forget this hit-and-run that took the like of a bike-riding man in Ontario Monday night.

Modesto police are looking for the SUV driver who ran down a bike rider from behind and left him to die alone in the street.

In one of the most bizarre hit-and-runs ever, a pair of Kansas women apparently kidnapped the bike rider they had just crashed into, loading the victim into their car before dumping him somewhere else; police later found him safe, but suffering from significant injuries.

Police in New Jersey busted a 92-year old man who kept driving after hitting a 14-year old boy on a bicycle, telling investigators he thought he’d hit a tree branch. Because evidently, tree branches look a lot like 14-year old kids on bikes once you get that age.

A 71-year old New Orleans man turned himself in for a mid-July hit-and-run that took the life of a 74-year old woman artist riding a bike — but only after a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Lest anyone think this is just is an American problem, a New Zealand driver is on trial for killing a bike rider while fleeing from the police, then trying to hide his damaged car under a pile of blankets.

Because that wouldn’t look suspicious at all, apparently.

Sadly, though, nothing will ever change until authorities start taking the crime seriously, and actually do something to stop drivers before they flee, like the cowards they are.

………

Streets For All is looking for volunteers to help host a two block, four hour, carfree block party in Koreatown a week from Saturday.

………

This is who we share the road with.

………

Can we please get this sign here?

Pretty please?

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

After a New York state senator nearly ran down someone riding a bike with his car, he naturally responded by introducing legislation to crack down on people on bicycles; Streetsblog responds that the danger on our streets doesn’t come from bike riders, but from the people in the big, dangerous machines.

Someone has been sabotaging a busy Virginia Beach VA bike lane for the past month, tossing thumbtacks into it in an apparent attempt to cause flat tires and possible injuries.

A Miami man faces charges for driving through a group of bike-riding kids, then intentionally running down a girl as she tried to chase him down.

Then there’s this —

https://twitter.com/amtillie/status/1422172825369157633

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

T.I. was busted when Amsterdam cops politely invited him into the backseat of their patrol car after the rapper rode his bike through an intersection — apparently against the light — and broke the mirror on the police car.

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Local

LaVerne is considering a 510-foot bike and pedestrian bridge connecting the Pomona Fairplex with the city’s coming L Line, nee Gold Line, station. No word on what Shirley has planned.

LA County is proposing a $30 million, 2.6-mile bikeway along Rosemead Blvd in the Whittier Narrows area. Although you may have to give your email address to get past the paywall.

 

State

Fountain Valley-based Pedego is riding the crest of the pandemic bike boom, with a whopping $121 million in sales over the past 12 months.

A Beaumont man who already had a misdemeanor warrant now faces charges for carrying a loaded, unregistered handgun on his bike.

A 13-year old girl was hospitalized after she was hit by a driver while riding in a Moorpark crosswalk; no word on her condition.

San Luis Obispo’s popular Bread Bike is moving into a brick and mortar storefront after years of delivering their baked good by bicycle; no word on whether the two-wheeled deliveries will continue when customers can just pop in for a loaf.

 

National

What apparently won’t be included in the new bipartisan federal infrastructure bill is money dedicated to removing highways from urban areas; the intent was to restore damage from many existing freeways that destroyed what were then thriving Black neighborhoods.

A Streetsblog op-ed says support the Recreational Trails Program, but don’t fund it with money earmarked for safe sidewalks and bike lanes.

Men’s Journal falls in love with a pedal-less, throttle controlled e-balance bike, calling it “the coolest gift you can give your kid.” Um, no.

While drivers and state officials decry a massive mudslide that blocked Colorado’s I-70, bike riders are taking advantage of an unexpectedly carfree Loveland Pass.

Like most major American cities, Houston roads are for deadly for bike riders and pedestrians because they prioritized traffic speed over safety.

My bike-friendly hometown is better for hipsters than Berkeley, according to an “unironic” survey from Rent.com, but not as good as Seattle, Minneapolis and Tempe.

A Philadelphia reporter finally learns to ride a bike after decades of failed attempts.

 

International

He gets it. A writer for Road.cc calls the bike industry to task for focusing on speed and performance, at the expense of a large segment of their customer base.

Your next bike could be made from LEGOs, though it might be too small to ride. Even if it is fully functional.

A zen website suggests finding yours by exploring Edmonton, Alberta by bicycle.

The former leader of India’s Congress Party rode a bike to Parliament to protest the rising price of gas and cooking fuels.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s the end of an era, as Tejay van Garderen, one of the few American cyclists to make a mark in WorldTour in the post-Lance era, calls it a career after 12 years.

The UK was knocked out of the men’s team pursuit in the Tokyo Olympics when Danish rider Frederik Madsen rode directly into a British cyclist who had fallen off the pace, then leapt up and started swearing at the hapless Brit; needless to say, the Fleet Street press was having none of it.

An Aussie cyclist was lucky to escape with bruises and road rash on his face and arms when the handlebars inexplicably snapped off his track bike at 40 mph, just one thousand meters into a four thousand meter race.

Rouleur looks at under-the-radar riders who could impact this month’s Vuelta.

 

Finally…

Stolen bike or hot car? Your next bike could be a funky, one-seat, four-wheeled, ped-assist ebike/car hybrid.

And your old wheels could be a chicken’s new merry-go-round.

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Thanks to James B and Elizabeth T for their generous donations to help keep this site coming your way every day; any donation, no matter how large or small, helps and is deeply appreciated. 

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

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