Tag Archive for the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills marks bike month, bike/ped bridge plans safe for now, and prosecution rests in Tour de Palm Springs murder case

Chances are, if you’ve been here awhile, you’ll recall how I used to call Beverly Hills the Biking Black Hole for its complete lack of biking infrastructure.

Not to mention what was, at best, an antagonistic attitude towards bikes on the city’s behalf.

But clearly, things have changed.

They may still have work to do — hello, BHPD! — but Beverly Hills has made a number of improvements on the streets.

And on the city calendar.


I’ve heard from a number of people with insider knowledge of the situation with the new George Wolfberg Park, and the proposed bike/ped bridge over PCH, in the past 24 hours.

It looks like funding for the bridge is secure for now, and officials are moving forward with a required feasibility study, a relative handful of anti-bike NIMBYs notwithstanding .

So I’m told the best course of action, for now, is to hold off on contacting the state senators we listed yesterday.

Or if you still want to reach out, thank them for securing funding for the project.

Maybe George is still busy guiding things and stirring the post from the afterlife.


The prosecution has rested in the trial of Ronnie Ramon Huerta Jr.

Huerta is facing a murder charge for the alleged stoned driving death of Mark Kristofferson during the 2018 Tour de Palm Springs, while driving at speeds up to 100 mph.

Without a driver’s license.

He also faces charges for severely injuring Huntington Beach resident Alyson Lee Akers in the same crash, who has been left with lasting injuries.


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

Virginia bike advocates are panning a plan to allow bikes on a bridge over the Potomac, labeling it “ludicrous,” “unconscionable” and “malpractice,” and predicting no one would use it if it goes forward. Then again, maybe that’s the point. 

No bias here. A British pub owner says he’s being punished by “unreasonable demands” to stop blocking a shared bike/ped path in front of his establishment with his advertising signs.

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

Scottish forestry officials say people who ride mountain bikes, kayak or camp outside of approved areas are a menace to wildlife.

Ireland’s rail authority says people who ride bicycles, skate or scoot on train platforms are showing a “disregard for everyone else.”



LA’s KABC-7 takes a deep dive into the problem of how to make car-centric Southern California safer for people on bicycles, including the ever-popular problem of disconnected bike lanes to nowhere.

The Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle and Pedestrian Path on the new Long Beach International Gateway Bridge will officially open on Saturday, May 20th. Maybe we can just unofficial shorten that unwieldy title to “the Bixby.”



Visit California takes a Power Trip to NorCal for some “surf, mountain bike and culinary shenanigans.” They must have lost my invitation, because I’m usually all in on shenanigans of any sort.

San Diego’s Port commission is considering a proposal to ban pedicabs, ebikes and e-scooters from the city’s Embarcadero and Seaport Village.

Santa Barbara bike riders discuss how to improve safety and courtesy on the city’s State Street promenade, where bike allegedly reach speeds up to 30 mph. Seriously?




Governing says the federal Safe Streets and Roads for All program is accepting applications from cities to improve streets and infrastructure to improve safety.

Consumer Reports considers how to make your ebike last longer. Hint: Stay the hell away from SUVs.

The author of The Art of Cycling recommends seven books that “transcend cycling as mere sport,” and make you want to get out and ride your bike.

Forbes considers the best bike pumps.

Kaitlin Armstrong’s Austin, Texas murder trial for allegedly killing pro gravel cyclist Moriah Wilson has been delayed until October, with no explanation; it had been scheduled for next month.

Employees in a Vermont market went far beyond their usual duties to track down the bicycle stolen from a customer while she was shopping.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts letter writer says getting doored demonstrates why the city needs a bike network and mass transit.

A NY Streetsblog op-ed says center-running bike lanes aren’t as good as proponents suggest. Which may be the understatement of the year.

No, Orlando, Florida is not banning Critical Mass, despite a misunderstanding between organizers and city officials.



Segway introduces a new line of mopeds and ebikes for women.

A new survey lists the world’s seven best bike cities. Guess how many are in the US?

An Ontario man is inviting the public to peruse his personal collection or antique bikes dating back to the 1800s, including an exhibition showing the evolution of the bicycle from the 1860s to the 1930s.

Tragic news from New Brunswick, where the CEO of the Canadian province’s Energy and Utilities Board died suddenly while riding his bike.

London introduces a plan to boost the use of e-cargo bikes. They could have used one on Saturday for the coronation of King Chuck instead of that ornate gilded coach.

Dublin, Ireland is launching an e-cargo bike rental service targeted to people who don’t drive.

No bias here. Critics are blasting an Oakley ad campaign featuring a French downhill mountain bike champion, who is modestly naked except for his sunglasses, bizarrely comparing it to the Bud Light campaign featuring a transgender influencer that has infuriated some on the right.

An Indian man has been sentenced to a year behind bars for killing a 64-year old Singapore man riding a bicycle, after failing to give way at an intersection, and somehow convincing his passenger to take the blame.

The Daily Mail debates whether drivers in Queensland, Australia are allowed to cross a double yellow line to pass someone on a bicycle. Yet they oddly fail to ask anyone in a position to actually, you know, know.


Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Michael Matthews edged out Mads Pedersen and Kaden Groves in a mad sprint to the finish in Monday’s 3rd stage of the Giro, while pre-race favorite Remco Evenepoel extended the overall lead he’s expected to hold for the next three weeks.

US military cyclists will complete in the 25th annual Armed Forces Cycling Classic in Arlington, Virginia next month, with events ranging from kids races to an invitational pro-am race.

No bias here. Retired Olympic cyclist Inga Thompson wants pro cyclists to adopt the anti-racist gesture of taking a knee to “save women’s sports” from trans athletes. In other words, she wants to use a gesture intended to support oppressed minorities to further oppress another oppressed minority. Which is just wrong, regardless of whether or not you approve of trans women competing in women’s sports.



You know your bike lanes suck when they have to be pre-cleaned to avoid breaking the street sweeper. When you’re reporting from the Netherlands, it only makes sense to build your broadcast studio on a cargo bike.

And feel free to celebrate National Masturbation Month this month, along with National Bike Month.

But preferably not at the same time.


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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Morning Links: Santa Monica Blvd green lane, bicyclist survives fatal PCH crash, and keep your hands to yourself

Green bike lanes are finally making an appearance on the south side of Santa Monica Blvd in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

Which is trying to reform while turning itself into the Scooter Black Hole.

Given how unlikely it was just a few years ago, this is a huge step forward, even if the lane does seem very cramped, offering just enough space for a single rider, with no room to pass without swerving out into traffic.

And the narrow bike lane means unless you hug the gutter, all those buses on Santa Monica Blvd will buzz by your elbow at far less than the required three foot passing distance.

I’m not sure this will bring many more riders out, but the green paint may make those who already ride Santa Monica Blvd feel more comfortable.


A bike rider was collateral damage in yet another fatal crash on SoCal’s killer highway in Malibu on Friday.

The driver of a minivan jumped the center divider on PCH near Trancas Canyon Road and struck a pickup head-on, demolishing both vehicles.

Sadly, both drivers were killed; a passenger in one of the vehicles was slightly injured.

The bicyclist, who was not seriously injured, was struck by a wheel that flew off in the violent crash as he rode in the painted bike lane.

Needless to say, authorities suspect speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

Another reminder that the deadly road most be tamed. And we’re all at risk until it us.


Former pro and current author, fondo meister and YouTube star Phil Gaimon kicked over a hornet’s nest with this tweet over the weekend.

While most women agreed with him, some argued that they appreciate the help, especially from someone they know. And many men argued that they were just trying to help. Or something.

So instead of mansplaining, we get manpushing.

But there’s an easy solution to the problem. Just ask first. If a woman — or a man, for that matter — wants your help they’ll tell you.

And if they don’t, just nod politely and go on your way.

The same thing goes for offering advice.

Always ask for permission before you start spouting cycling tips; the other person may not want them, or may be following another program.

Although personally, I prefer to be a well, not a fountain. Most people will usually ask advice if they really want it.


A New York bike rider shows what it’s like to ride in Gotham bike lanes. Which many LA bicyclists can relate to, as well.

Thanks to Patrick Murray for the link.


Heartwarming story from Dayton OH, where someone left a pair of Target gift cards attached to a new bike helmet and riding gloves in a Target store, along with this message —

The note read, “Hi! Please enjoy this small, random act of kindness in honor of my father-in-law, Jeff-an avid cyclist, a lover of the outdoors, and an all-around awesome dude. The only thing that I ask is that you always wear a helmet when riding your bike, and that you send any spare good vibes and healing thoughts out his way to the Pacific Northwest.”

The woman who found it said she felt like it was meant for her, since she’d just started bicycling again after several years.

Let’s hope this sort of thing catches on.



LADOT has released a summary of the recent open house to discuss closing the ridiculous Northvale Gap in the Expo Line Bike Path, which resulted when local Cheviot Hills residents successfully fought the bike path when the Expo Line was built.

We haven’t checked in with Cycling in the South Bay for awhile, as Seth Davidson says thanks to a long list of people for their help with the first annual sixth All Clubs BBQ and South Bay Cycling Awards taking place this Sunday.



Southern California athletes are gearing up for the 10th Annual Gay Games, which started in Paris on Saturday, with events ranging from cycling and track and field, to dance sports and table tennis.

Bakersfield applies for funding for three safety projects, including a proposed six-mile, $8.2 million bike path along the Friant-Kern Canal.

A San Jose columnist says the road up the East Bay’s Mt. Diablo is too narrow and winding for full-size buses, after video shows a bike rider nearly hit head-on as a bus rounds a blind curve on the wrong side of the road.

Plans to expand San Francisco’s Ford GoBike docked bikeshare across the city are on hold, as city supervisors complain about process, and residents say they’d rather have the parking spaces.

Oakland is planning major safety improvements to five intersections around the Lake Merit BART station, including protected intersections.

Sad news from Pleasant Hill, where a man was killed in a collision with a big rig truck while taking a bike ride on his lunch break; local residents insist something like this was bound to happen.



Bike Snob says he’s been ensnared in Strava’s seductive web. And he likes it.

An Aspen, Colorado woman says if dirt bikes aren’t allowed to use the roads, bicycles shouldn’t either. So there. Note to world: Bike riders are expected to obey traffic signals and crosswalks, even if some don’t.

A Boulder CO newspaper profiles Spencer Powlison, the 34-year old mountain biker who plans to compete in the Leadville 100 on 1983 Stumpjumper that’s older than he is.

One more to add to your bike bucket list. A Wyoming writer sings the praises of the packed gravel Medicine Bow Trail west of Laramie, where you’re likely to see moose, elk and mule deer, and possibly a bear or two. Or maybe you’d prefer a tour of Spain’s Basque Country.

Kansas City gets its first parking protected bike lane.

A colorful Des Moines IA lane reduction and parking protected bike lanes have reduced collisions by 2%, while dropping injury collisions a whopping 58%. And contradicting claims by anti-road diet forces everywhere, it has shaved 30 seconds off response times by the fire department.

Oklahoma City’s weekly Donut Ride has been going strong since the mid-1970s, still led by the same, now 90-year old ‘bent rider.

Plans to build five miles of mountain bike trails in a Minnesota park could be on hold after the discovery of an endangered bumblebee.

Instead of just talking about homeless people, Detroit bicyclists are holding a ride to call attention to the problem and raise funds for a homeless recovery service.

This is why you don’t confront bike thieves yourself. A Cleveland man is in critical condition, and a woman injured, after they were both shot when they confronted two teens they accused of stealing their children’s bicycles. If you think you’ve found your stolen bike, call the police and let them deal with it; no bike is worth your life.

In a perfect example of automotive entitlement, a DC driver says she blocked a bike lane — and so what?



No bias here. The notoriously anti-bike owner of a Vancouver driving school says bike commuters are law-abiding, while daytime riders are a bunch of irresponsible scofflaws.

No bias here, either. A Vancouver mayoral candidate promises to rip out the city’s hugely successful bike lanes if she gets elected, and sic half the city’s parking enforcement officers on lawless bike riders and pedestrians.

No bias here, either. An Ottawa, Canada columnist says that instead of building bikeways, the city should crack down on bike riders and require riders be licensed, carry insurance and have license plates, to name a few on his long list of demands that he says would make bicyclists disappear. Which he thinks would be a good thing.

There’s a first. After an English driver buzzed a bicyclist, he stopped a little further down the road, got out and apologized. And the rider got the whole thing on video.

A Belgian bicyclist rode 7,500 miles from Lyon, France to Guangzhou, China on a solar powered ebike to win the first edition of a race intended to promote renewable energy.

A French mayor is warning about the dangers of illegally modified ebikes that can travel up to 30 mph, twice the country’s legal speed limit for ebikes.

Now that’s a bike ride. An annual night bicycle parade in Moscow drew an estimated 20,000 riders to call for better bike infrastructure, twice as many as last year.

Australia’s version of AAA says the country’s road safety strategy is failing and bicyclists are most at risk, as bicycling fatalities rise a frightening 80% in the past year.

He gets it. An Australian professor — and former UCSD prof — says it’s time to consider the needs of people above cars.


Competitive Cycling

A writer for VeloNews says Mexican cycling is failing at developing homegrown talent.

An elite Texas cyclist was airlifted to a Colton medical center after he was seriously injured after hitting a rock in the Tour de Big Bear; fortunately, he’ll be okay, though he’ll have to tend to an arm injury and some broken ribs.

Popular young Team Sky cyclist Egan Bernal suffered serious facial injuries in a crash with several other riders in Spain’s Clasica San Sebastian; he was later diagnosed with a nasal fracture and maxillary injury. Movistar’s Mikel Landa went to the hospital with a back injury as a result of the same crash.

The new six-part Amazon TV series Eat. Race. Win. follows Australia’s Orica-Scot team and the chefs who feed them as they compete in the Tour de France. The cyclists, that is, not the chefs.

Evidently, winning the Tour isn’t enough for newly famous Geraint Thomas, who wants to take on Eminem in an epic rap battle.



If you want to see the pope, leave your car at home — but take your bike. We have to worry about crashing into cars parked in bike lanes; Colorado bike riders try to avoid crashing into mountain goats.

And you shoulda been in Bangalore in the ’70s and ’80, when bicycling was bliss.

Morning Links: BH bans dockless bikes & scooters; CiclaValley water bombed; stolen bike recovered with Bike Index

Nothing like standing firmly in the way of alternative transportation and non-motor vehicle traffic.

In an astoundingly wrong-headed decision, Beverly Hills has voted for a complete six-month ban on the use of dockless e-scooters anywhere in the city.

According to the Beverly Hills Courier,

The ordinance will prohibit shared mobility devices from being placed in any public right-of-way or on public property, operated in any public-right-of-way or on public property, or offered for use anywhere in the City of Beverly Hills.

That would appear to apply to dockless bikeshare bikes as well as e-scooters.

However, the legality of that dockless vehicle ban is highly questionable.

While Beverly Hills does have the authority to ban the placement of dockless devices in the city, it’s unlikely that they have the authority to ban the use of a vehicle that is legal under state law on public right-of-ways.

Let alone the deep pockets to fight the companies in court.

The question is whether they are willing to force tourists off their bikes and scooters as they ride into the city from other places and fine violators, risking a public relations disaster that could harm tourism in a city that depends on it.

Let alone whether the police will be willing to devote resources that are better spent elsewhere to enforce it.

Either way, it’s a big step backwards for a city has has been working to overcome its previously well-deserved reputation as the LA area’s biking black hole.

Meanwhile, David Drexler reports that e-scooters have been officially banned from Santa Monica’s beachfront bike path.


Naturally, people have responded exactly the way you might expect. By ignoring it and using the scooters anyway.

As the photo shows, not everyone is a fan of e-scooters.


As long as we’re on the scooter beat, here’s a few more pieces to consider.

According to Wired, data shows that scooter users are surprisingly diverse, and not the upscale tech bros they’re often painted as.

A new public survey shows e-scooter use is growing at an unprecedented rate, and 70% of Americans see them in a poise light.

The Drive compares a Bird scooter to a high-end Mercedes-Benz, and finds the Bird wins out in almost every category.

But sounding like he could be a Beverly Hills city councilmember, a writer for Jalopnik says fuck scooters and fund effective public transit instead.

As if it’s somehow impossible to have both.


The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

And this time it hits close to home, as CiclaValley reports that he was hit with a water balloon from a passing car.

While it may sound like a harmless prank, throwing anything from a moving vehicle at another human being is a crime. And one that could have caused him to lose control and crash, possibly with catastrophic results.

Fortunately, in this case, he just got wet. And understandably angry.

It’s also a perfect candidate for LA’s largely forgotten cyclist anti-harassment ordinance.


This is why you need to register your bike. Using Bike Index, a theft victim was able to recover a stolen bicycle in Irvine this week.

And yes, lifetime bicycle registration is free.

So is reporting a stolen bike, and searching the Bike Index national stolen bike database.


LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon has posted the final video in his epic grudge match battle with fellow ex-pro Fabian Cancellara.


Proof that not all radical right wackjobs are eligible for social security, as a much younger YouTuber sees last weekend’s Go Human Demonstration Project in West Covina as an attempt to impose a carfree, Agenda 21-driven future on all us real Americans.

Be sure to listen closely as he boos the mayor pro-tem of Ontario, who is also the president of the Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, around the 3:30 mark.

Which I’m sure is why he booed him. And not because he was the only one wearing a yarmulke.

And for anyone who needs a refresher, Agenda 21 is a harmless, non-binding UN action plan calling on all nations to work towards a more sustainable future, and not some secret cabal hellbent on destroying our gas-driven way of life.



The LA Times says it’s time to reform the outdated laws that force California cities to keep raising speed limits to deadly levels.

Hats off to CiclaValley for drying off and finishing the Nichols Ride.

The Metro Bike docked bikeshare system is on the way out in Pasadena, and will be gone entirely within the next few weeks after the city pulled the plug in the face of massive losses.

A Whittier man pled not guilty to charges that he deliberately ran over a bike rider in a parking lot after losing a fistfight with him.

Santa Monica voted last night on a $5 million package of upgrades to the city’s existing bike lanes, and SaMo’s first parking protected bike lane; no word yet on how the vote came out.



San Diego approves a hard-fought bike plan that promises to greatly increase bike use, and includes a proposal to provide bicycle eduction for fourth grade students; however, the plan has no deadlines for completion. Let’s hope they don’t follow the Los Angeles model, and end up putting it on the shelf indefinitely while individual councilmembers slowly gut it.

A San Diego bicyclist suffered major injuries when he was struck by a driver at 60 mph while riding in the traffic lanes of State Route 163.

Goleta unveils a new bicycle and pedestrian master plan.

A bike-riding Sacramento teenager was struck by a patrol car as he attempted to flee police on foot after they attempted to pull him over for a vehicle code violation; he was charged with resisting arrest after his release from the hospital.

This is the exact opposite of Vision Zero. Bike riders in South Lake Tahoe call for a safe crossing on the highway that serves as the town’s Main Street where a bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run earlier this month. Naturally, Caltrans can’t fix it without conducting a study first, and says it’s too late to conduct one before they rebuild the roadway.



Actor Dennis Quaid is one of us, going from a banana seat Sting Ray, to starring in Breaking Away, to riding 100 miles a week on his roadie. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

A new study shows bicycling can protect your heart from the damaging effects of air pollution. Even if the air you’re riding in sucks.

Outside says older carbon fiber frames are failing, leading to serious injuries and expensive lawsuits.

Next City says equity makes bikeshare work.

Heartbreaking story from Denver, where a bike commuter did everything right, only to end up paralyzed by a careless driver, and a second collision with a hit-and-run driver as he lay in the street.

Denver Streetsblog reminds us that drivers and bike riders both break the law at about the same rate. The difference is that drivers do it out of convenience, while bicyclists do it for safety.

The Des Moines IA columnist who co-founded Iowa’s popular RAGBRAI mass ride died of prostate cancer on the day this year’s ride started; Donald Kaul was a two-time finalist for the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. RAGBRAI participants rode a mile of silence in his honor.

Houston police release a composite photo of the bike-riding killer who shot a noted cardiologist as he rode his bicycle.

Chicago talks with the founder of a DIY website for posting photos of vehicles blocking bike lanes, with the possibility that the city may end up ticketing the drivers. I’d love to see LADOT start a website like that here, and send tickets to the owners of the vehicle with legible plates.

No bias here. A New Hampshire writer says bicyclists have a greater burden of responsibility for road safety, because we’re the ones most likely to pay the price. Not the people in the big, dangerous machines who might, you know, hurt or kill someone.

A year after he was intentionally run down by a hit-and-run driver, a Pennsylvania man gets back on his bike for a 22-mile ride.

The Philadelphia Inquirer offers stretches for your tight bicycling muscles.

The New York Times says riding a bike is just like riding a bike, and make sure your kids wear their damn helmets, already. And you, too.

A month-long Florida lane reduction project was successful in reducing speeding by 53%, while the protected bike lanes resulted in a 50% jump in bicycling rates and a 38% boost in walking.



Prince George and Princess Charlotte are both one of us, as the toddling royal riders learn to bike without training wheels.

Apparently taking Vision Zero seriously, London plans to cut speed limits to 20 mph in some areas.

A British woman vows never to return to the city of Exeter after taking offense at the local edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, writing “Who on earth wants to see wrinkly old men showing their ‘bits’.”

The war on bikes continues, as a woman in the UK leaned out of a car’s passenger window to verbally abuse three bike riding teenagers before grabbing one from the moving car and pulling him off his bike.

Sad news, as South African track cycling legend Garen Bloch was killed in a motorcycle crash Saturday night. A motorcycle crash also took the life of a Rwandan cycling official.

Good question. An injured Aussie bicyclist asks what it is about our culture that has “reduced cyclists to non-people that do not deserve the most basic human compassion?”

An Australian woman was hit with a $400 fine for talking on a cellphone while riding a bike; the law absurdly treats bicyclists and drivers the same when it comes to distracted usage, even though only one poses a significant risk to others.

Three out of five US advisors said bicycles made South Vietnam’s militias more effective during a pilot program in the Vietnam war, though the bike-born forces apparently never saw combat. At least not by the South.

A Singaporean woman has been sentenced to two weeks in jail and ordered to pay compensation, after crashing her bike into a 77-year old woman and breaking her hip, despite numerous No Bicycles signs in the market was riding through.


Competitive Cycling

The nation’s third oldest bicycle race rolled through the streets of Manhattan Beach on Sunday, with the 57th Annual Manhattan Beach Grand Prix. SoCal pro Coryn Rivera came home to win the women’s elite race, while Justin Williams won the men’s title.

It’s looking like Sky versus Sky as the Tour de France enters its final week.

Adam Yates took a decisive tumble in Tuesday’s stage 15, while Philippe Gilbert was lucky to survive a frightening crash, flipping over a wall and down a steep drop; he somehow finished the race with a broken kneecap.

Apparently trying to make the race more exiting in the face of Sky’s dominance, French farmers protested by tossing bales of hay into the path of the peloton, which had to take a break after an overzealous cop pepper sprayed the famers — and the passing cyclists.

Yellow jersey wearer Geraint Thomas warns that Tom Dumoulin isn’t out of it yet.

The Bahrain-Merida team is considering suing the Tour de France after Vincenzo Nibali was forced out of the race following a crash caused by an overzealous fan.

Wired takes a deep dive into the physics of drafting in the Tour.

Anecdotal evidence points to more, and more dangerous, crashes in the pro peloton; theories for the reason range from faster speeds, to more reckless riding due to helmet use, and the use of the pain killer Tramadol by riders.

More cyclists in the Tour are riding with wider tires and lower air pressure, which studies have shown reduces rolling resistance.

Outside examines the real reason there’s no women’s Tour de France. Which seems to be somewhere between a lack of sponsorship and a lack of giving a damn on the part of pro cycling officials.



Stop sign-running bicyclists busted by   the fashionistas came for our shorts, now it’s our sunglasses.

And sure, he may be a pro cyclist competing in his first Tour de France, but he’s also a poet and a proponent of the Oxford comma.


Thanks to Mark J for his generous donation to help support this site; any contribution, in any amount to help keep this site coming your way (almost) every morning is deeply and truly appreciated.

Especially since we didn’t win the half billion dollar lottery yesterday. 


An open letter urging Beverly Hills to approve Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes

Yesterday we had a guest post by Better Bike’s Mark Elliot discussing the return of the never-ending debate over bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd, which is back for discussion before the Beverly Hills City Council at 7 pm tonight.

Stephen Collins wrote to the mayor and city council in response, urging them to approve the desperately needed lanes, which is the missing link between existing lanes in West Hollywood and Century City. He agreed to let me share his letter with you.


Hello Mayor Bosse and Beverly Hills City Council Members,

As a resident of a neighboring community (Hollywood), an individual who makes an effort to bicycle commute whenever possible (for the environment we all share, in addition to my wellness), a visitor and patron to parks and businesses in Beverly Hills and surrounding communities, and an engineer with work experience in public infrastructure;

I write to urge your strong support of Bicycle Lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. I ride this route regularly, and there is a stark contrast between the safe, relaxed, and predictable riding I am able to do on this same street through nearby West Hollywood, and the dangerous, nerve-racking, and unpredictable riding I must choose if I stay my path into Beverly Hills.

A popular website for cyclists called Strava publishes an aggregate map of where their users ride. I would like to draw your attention to how important Santa Monica Blvd. is to the region in the image below, where I’ve approximately circled the segment through Beverly Hills.

Brighter lines indicate higher utilization. As you can clearly see, this is the most important East/West route for bicyclists North of the 10 Freeway. It’s utilization is on par with streets like Venice Blvd (complete bike lanes, with recent safety improvements in Mar Vista), San Vicente Blvd (complete bike lanes), Sunset Blvd through Echo Park/Silverlake (complete bike lanes) and even the Ballona Creek Bicycle Path, which is car-free. This is the most important stretch of road in the whole area which does not have complete bike lanes. You should have no worries that an investment in safe multi-modal transit for the future of Santa Monica Blvd will be underutilized.

[FYI – Strava is able to provide better data and analysis to city planners and decision makers directly through their Strava Metro program – I encourage you to check it out here: http://metro.strava.com/]

If you haven’t, I would also encourage you to take a single short ride along this segment of road one weekday morning or afternoon, in either direction. Cars and buses move swiftly in open sections of road, and completely jam forward progress when traffic gridlocks. Neither of these are nearly such a concern to cyclists in neighboring communities on this route.

The wide, green lanes in WeHo are a delight, but even the striped lanes on the other side through Century City are leaps and bounds more safe and comfortable to ride than the section through Beverly Hills.

This is a very important bicycle thoroughfare for the region, and Beverly Hills has an opportunity to step up to or even exceed the standards in safety and environmental consciousness set by its neighbors on the same road. It can also be used to encourage cyclists to visit your business district, and to allow community members safer access to their favorite shops in town.

Thanks for your consideration of this matter. I am sorry I am unable to attend your meeting tomorrow – thus my note.


Stephen M. Collins


If you’d like to voice your support, you can attend attend the meeting at 7 pm in the council chambers at Beverly Hills City Hall, 455 N. Rexford Drive. If you can’t make it, email your support to mailto:mayorandcitycouncil@beverlyhills.org, and indicate whether you are a resident or work there.


Morning Links: The real cost of traffic violence, bicycles promoting pastries, and a torturous new bike team

This is the cost of traffic violence.

In a heartbreaking story, the parents of eight-year old Brock McCann remember their son, who was killed in a collision with a garbage truck while riding his bike home from school in Newport Beach last week.

A memorial service will be held at 10 am this Saturday at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 600 St. Andrews Road in Newport Beach, just blocks from where he was killed.

Meanwhile, a fundraising page has drawn over $66,000 in donations in less than a week.

Ghost bike and memorial for Brock McCann; photo courtesy of Jeffrey Fylling

Ghost bike and memorial for Brock McCann; photo courtesy of Jeffrey Fylling


Look what came in the mail the other day.

Cycling in the South Bay

I’m looking forward to adding this one to my reading list. Seth always has something interesting to say in his own inimitable style.


You know we’re making progress when a new French patisserie in the Biking Black Hole promotes itself with a faux delivery bike.



Bahrain’s Prince Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa is expected to officially unveil his new Bahraini-based cycling team at next month’s Tour de France.

Although accusations of torture make you wonder what he’ll do to riders who don’t make the cut.



The new scramble crosswalk at Hollywood and Highland has helped turn one of LA’s most dangerous intersections into one of the safest. However, the map of Hollywood’s many dangerous streets included in the story points out the desperate need for the currently non-existent bike lanes the neighborhood.

CICLE’s Vanessa Gray offers suggestions on how to make Echo Park safer and more attractive for bicyclists.

Mind the letter of the law in Pasadena tomorrow, where the local constabulary will step up enforcement of violations that can cause collisions between motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists in key locations around town.

Suddenly, new open streets events are coming in rapid succession, as Santa Monica hosts Coast this Sunday, followed by Viva SGV! in El Monte and South El Monte a week later. And the 18-mile long 626 Golden Streets stretching from South Pasadena to Azusa takes place on the 26th.



The Palm Springs paper talks with a first-time AIDS/Lifecycle rider; 2,500 cyclists will depart from San Francisco on Sunday to raise awareness and funds for the fight against HIV/AIDS.

A popular Little Rock AR chef will take part in the 300-mile No Kid Hungry Chef’s Ride from Carmel to Santa Barbara at the end of this month.

Campbell police bust two bike thieves using a GPS-equipped bait bike. Note that the value of the bait bike is over the $1,000 threshold for felony theft; below that, the crime is just a misdemeanor, which means thieves go right back out on the streets to do it again. And again.

Oakland police are looking for help in solving the fatal shooting of a bike rider on his way home from a party.



Streetsblog offers graphic evidence why speed limits should be set at 20 mph on city streets. Especially since most LA drivers drive at least 10 miles over the limit anyway.

A new automatic Bluetooth bike lock currently raising funds on Kickstarter is designed to disable your rear wheel and sound a 110 dB alarm if anyone messes with your bike.

Seriously? A North Dakota man steals a $10,000 racing bicycle, and gets a whole 15 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The Guardian looks back on what could have been, as New York’s Gridlock Sam tried to ban cars from downtown Manhattan in the ’70s. Speaking of Sam Schwartz, his new book offers a great primer on how we got into this auto-centric traffic mess, and how we can get ourselves out.

Joe Jonas is one of us, as he rides what appears to be a fixie with his bikeshare pedaling date.

More bighearted cops, as police officers in New Jersey replace a bike that was stolen from a deaf and developmentally challenged adult.

A Pennsylvania drunk driver gets seven to 16 years for the death of a triathlete; the driver had at least five prior arrests for driving under the influence — and once for drunk boating — before he finally succeeded in killing someone. A perfect example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road, and taking traffic crime seriously only after it’s too late.

Video of the hour-long standoff between a Philadelphia bike rider and a city bus shows both the cyclist and the driver were at fault.



It turns out high-level endurance training isn’t bad for your heart after all.

A Canadian man rode 16,000 miles around the coasts of Canada and the US after he was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.

Toronto police finally get serious about keeping parked cars out of bike lanes, ticketing over 100 drivers in just two days.

A British cyclist was killed when the bond between the fork crown and steerer tube on his bike failed; a recall notice on the bike he was riding didn’t go out until two months after his death.

A UK woman calls for cyclists to stop riding on the sidewalk after she was knocked down by a rider as she was training a guide dog for the blind.

A bipolar bike rider sets out on a 5,000 mile ride around the coast of Britain to raise awareness for mental health.

You’ve got to be kidding. A road raging Aussie driver is caught on video getting out of his car and threatening a cyclist with a knife. And gets off with a lousy $1,500 fine for carrying a weapon in public.



At last, you can now get paid to ride your bike — as long as you don’t mind turning your bike into a wind-resistant rolling advertisement. No, really, the driver didn’t crash into the cyclist, they just crossed paths.

And when you’re riding on the edge of a cliff, it’s probably a good idea to remain upright.


Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for his generous donation to help support this site, and keep bringing BikinginLA to you each morning.

And thanks to Jon Froman for fixing the header on this site, which had long resisted my best efforts, and those of others, to correct.