Tag Archive for the cost of traffic violence

LA Council considers Healthy Streets tomorrow, carfree living in LA ain’t so pretty, and Venice bike lane extension

As we mentioned yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to consider the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposition at Wednesday’s meeting.

After the proposition qualified for the ballot, it opened a 20 day window for the council to adopt it as written, or place it on the 2024 ballot for a vote by the city.

Aside from the usual opposition that comes with any proposed changes to LA streets, some advocates have come out against the measure because it doesn’t include a focus on equity or schedule for how the plan will be rolled out.

But that’s not the purpose of the proposal. It’s really a very simple measure — all it does is require Los Angeles to build out the city mobility plan, which they’ve already approved, whenever a street included in the plan is resurfaced.

That’s it.

It’s up to the city to determine when streets get resurfaced, and how to bring equity into the process.

So the best option is for the council to adopt the Healthy Streets LA proposition as written, then adopt a separate plan to fairly and equitably roll it out, especially in lower income communities that are too often ignored.

Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to make it. I’m still having major health problems that keep me close to home, especially at night in the mornings until my meds kick in.

But I’m begging you, if you can clear your schedule Wednesday morning, go make your voice heard to demand that the city keep its word, and give us the safe, livable streets they promised.

And if you can’t, then email your council member today, before the day is over. That’s what I’ll be doing.

Here is what Streets For All said about it in a recent email.

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS WEDNESDAY AND WE NEED YOU TO COME IN PERSON!

After a year and a half, it all comes down to THIS WEDNESDAY. The City Council has item #20 on its agenda to consider adopting Healthy Streets LA now, or send it to the 2024 ballot.

The City Council no longer takes remote comments, and we need you to show up in person Wednesday at 10am at LA City Hall (200 N. Spring St. Room 340) and make public comment asking them to take Option #1, and adopt Healthy Streets LA. Here are some talking points you can use. We suggest timing yourself to make sure you can say everything you want to say in 1 minute.

We’re almost there, and we need all hands on deck. See you there!

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

RSVP AND TELL US YOU’LL BE THERE

VIEW TALKING POINTS

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It’s not always pleasant to see yourself through someone else’s eyes.

Especially the view isn’t always pretty.

An Indian writer working with the LA Times on a journalism fellowship discovers just how difficult it is to survive in Los Angeles without a car, where the taxis are expensive and transit unreliable, and bike lanes start and stop with no coherent reason.

And you can’t even go through a Del Taco drive through without one, even when the walkup window is closed.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A Florida driver killed five people in their late teens and early twenties when he drove the wrong way on a freeway at 4:30 am.

The 30-year old driver, who was the only one who survived the crash, hasn’t had a valid driver’s license since his was revoked after getting caught doing 109 mph.

Yet he continued to drive anyway, racking up traffic violations that include speeding, running red lights and failing to yield at an intersection, despite being described by a former girlfriend as psychotic and obsessive.

Just one more example of authorities allowing a dangerous driver to stay on the roads until he killed someone.

Or five someones.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

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Streetsblog says work is underway to extend the parking protected bike lane on Venice Blvd.

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Buena Park has started work on what will be the longest bike lanes in the city when they’re finished.

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I’m not sure I’d call this a rickshaw. It seems more like a side-by-side tandem to me.

Although I did have to read the tweet to figure out that wasn’t Peter Pan sitting next to Peter Fonda.

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A YouTuber converted his old mountain bike to an ebike, in order to tow his solar-powered camper trailer complete with rechargeable battery.

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

A road raging pickup driver disrupted a Portland open streets event by driving onto the route, screaming obscenities at volunteers and participants, and even flashing a gun at one point. Police say they are investigating.

Once again, cops bend over backwards to exonerate one of their own, after a Lincoln, Nebraska cop right hooked a 15-year old kid crossing the street on his bike with the walk signal; the police insist the kid somehow crashed into the side of the police cruiser as the officer was turning. Something smells like bullshit here, which isn’t hard to find in Nebraska.

British lawyer “Mr. Loophole” wants bike riders who kill pedestrians to face life imprisonment, even though drivers usually get off with a slap on the wrist, if that. And even though it hardly ever happens, while drivers kill people every day.

Cycling Weekly has more information about the Spanish driver who plowed into a group of eight bicyclists, killing a couple of 67 and 72-year old men and seriously injuring three others; the driver was captured ten hours after fleeing the crash. He’s under investigation for murder, after witnesses say he suddenly changed lanes and sped up before hitting the bike riders.

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

A Phoenix man faces charges for shooting and killing another man in a dispute over a stolen bicycle; he confessed to the killing when police arrested him, but swore he actually stole the bike from someone else.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. The LA Times takes a deep dive into deadly street takeovers and side shows, which authorities describe as a scene of lawlessness “bordering on a riot;” six people have already been killed in street takeovers this year.

The WeHo Times provides photos from Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia, while My News LA offers a brief wrap-up.

The sheriff’s department will conduct a traffic safety operation in Santa Clarita from 2 pm to 8 pm today, focusing on violations that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. You know the drill. Ride to the letter of the law until you leave the area, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

 

State 

California is still trying to get its shit together regarding the fully funded ebike rebate program that was supposed to be up and running by now; the California Air Resources team will hold a virtual public workshop tomorrow to discuss issues like participant income eligibility, what types of ebikes should be covered by the program, and what kinds of retailers should participate.

San Diego’s popular Bike the Bay rolls this Sunday, providing your annual opportunity to ride the city’s iconic Coronado Bridge. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

KTLA-5 offers an update on the 14-year old boy who was run down by a 68-year old driver while riding bikes with a friend in the parking lot of the Camarillo Premium Outlets; his mother reports he suffered an extensive brain injury, as well as a collapsed lung, cracked sternum, fractured vertebrae and serious road rash. A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $20,000 of the $50,000 goal.

Thanks again to Robert Leone for catching us up on a couple stories we missed recently:

Richmond is planning to revive its moribund e-bikeshare system a month after Bolt bolted, and left hundreds of abandoned ebikes on the streets.

 

National

Runner’s World recommends the best bike helmets for “comfortable, breezy protection.”

Highway-choked Houston is slowly inching away from its auto-centric reputation with a series of multimodal infrastructure projects. Maybe they could show LA officials how to do it.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a “priceless” bike that belonged to a Minnesota man who recently died of a brain tumor; before his death he passed the bike onto his son because he wanted the boy to enjoy riding like he did.

This, too, is the cost of traffic violence. Pioneering heart researcher Jeffrey Robbins, PhD was killed when a teenage driver attempted to pass him as he was making a left turn on his bike to enter an Ohio bike trail. But it’s okay, because the cops say it was just an “oopsie.”

Unbelievable. Indianapolis has removed concrete bollards along a protected bike lane, and replaced them with flimsy car-tickler plastic bendy posts, because it was just to hard to maintain the concrete barriers after drivers hit them. So better to let drivers crash into the soft people on bicycles instead, apparently.

Ebikes are getting more Maine residents out of their cars, and could help the state meet its climate goals. Which is a pretty good indication that their climate goals aren’t ambitious enough.

Boston residents are working together to cope with a month-long shutdown of a pair of commuter rail lines, including mapping bike routes and organizing bike buses for beginning riders.

DC installed a new traffic signal to address years of complaints about a dangerous intersection, nine days too late to save the life of a woman riding a bike who was right hooked by a garbage truck driver.

This is the cost of traffic violence, too. An 11-year old Florida boy was killed when a pickup driver towing a boat swerved up on the sidewalk to avoid a crash, where the boy was riding his bike.

Sad commentary from a Florida website, which says ghost bikes are becoming all-too-familiar roadside memorials on Miami’s Rickebacker Causeway.

 

International

Yes, cars really are out to get us, one way or another. Vancouver bike riders are demanding a safe route after a bike path was closed when the roof of a parking lot collapsed, blocking the bikeway.

Calgary residents complain about new bike lanes intended to slow speeding drivers, as some worry they won’t be safe because…wait for it…scofflaw drivers will break the law.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a hit-and-run driver walked without a single day behind bars for leaving a bike rider with a broken pelvis.

A British bike rider completed the grueling, 2,500-mile Transcontinental race across Europe riding a Brompton foldie.

That’s more like it. France will pay you up to the equivalent of nearly four grand to swap your smelly, polluting car for a clean running ebike, or $400 to buy an ebike without a car trade, and Paris will give up up to $500 to buy an ebike or foldie.

This is who we share the road with. A 20-year old American service member is under house arrest inside the Aviano Air Base in northern Italy after killing a 15-year old boy while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit.

Cycling Tips considers why Australian roads became proportionately more dangerous during the pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

The real Vuelta starts today, when the peloton returns to Spain with a harrowing uphill finish.

Semi-retired LA pro cyclist Phil Gaimon now owns the course record for Maine’s prestigious Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, while notching his fourth win in the event; San Jose’s Courtney Nelson also set a course record while winning the women’s event.

 

Finally…

Once again, if you’re carrying meth on your bike, put a damn light on it, already. Congratulations, your kid is now some Tesla driver’s crash test dummy.

And this is how you avoid close passes.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

This is the cost of traffic violence — Six innocent victims killed in fiery, high-speed Windsor Hills crash

Sometimes the news is so bad, I don’t even want to write about it.

Or anything else, for that matter.

That’s the case today, after six innocent people were killed, and eight injured, by a speeding driver who ran a red light in LA’s Windsor Hills neighborhood yesterday afternoon.

The driver, reported to be a traveling nurse in her 40s, was traveling at an excessive rate of speed when she blew through the stop light at La Brea and Slauson directly into heavy cross traffic.

One of the cars immediately exploded into a fireball, as witnesses described bodies and debris raining into a gas station on the opposite corner.

At least six vehicles were involved in the crash, with one victim found inside a burned-out car hours later.

The victims included a pregnant woman; both she and her baby were killed, along with another infant.

The injured included several other children, ranging in age from 13 months to 15-years old.

The driver was hospitalized with serious injuries, and being held in custody as she receives treatment. At least one report indicated she wasn’t tested for drugs or alcohol, because they wouldn’t have shown up after the emergency medications she received at the scene and in the ER.

As others have noted, the design of the wide, multilane intersection and straight roadways engineered for high-speed traffic have to be seen as major contributory factors, along with cars capable of exceeding the speed limit to such a degree.

The technology exists to reign in speeding drivers; we just refuse to use it. And fail to demand it.

On a personal note, I have only watched the video above a single time. But that’s all it took to burn it into my consciousness; I’ve been unable to stop seeing that image as it plays over and over in my head.

And with it comes a renewed sense of failure and despair. I’ve been working for safer streets for a decade and a half now, while others have struggled for much longer. We’ve all seen decades of promises from city officials to do something.

But it’s always too little, too late. If they do anything at all.

LA’s Vision Zero program will be seven years old later this month, just three years from that magic date when we were promised traffic deaths would be eliminated, once and for all. Instead, they have steadily increased, with bike riders and pedestrians paying a disproportionate cost.

La Brea was one of the the first streets identified as part of the city’s High Injury Network, and should have seen significant efforts to tame traffic violence.

Yet it has been allowed to languish as an over-designed, high-speed car sewer. And now six people have paid the price for that inaction in a single fiery incident.

Six innocent people.

We’re bound to hear more about it in the days to come, as city officials mourn the victims and make more promises that they will inevitably fail to fulfill.

I’m disgusted and angry with it all.

I hope you are, too.

We’ll be back on Monday with our usual Morning Links. But right now, I don’t even want to think about it.

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

OC columnist cites mythical war on cars, the cost of traffic violence, and NYT declares it’s the Summer of Cycling

Welcome back from the long Memorial Day weekend. Now settle in, because we have a lot of ground to cover. 

Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels — time to gear up for the war on cars!

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No bias here, as a columnist for the Orange County Register goes all in on the mythical war on cars.

Susan Shelley says throw in the towel on climate change, stop building transit oriented development and duplexes and keep allowing parking minimums, because it really doesn’t matter what we do here in California, since the state only accounts for 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Which is kind of a lot for just one state.

And it might, you know, kind of inconvenience someone.

Besides, she insists, transit isn’t practical because that one time she plotted a route to some distant site 43 miles off it was easier just to drive.

Never mind that most people only need to travel a few miles. Or blocks, even.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A student at UC Davis remembers her best friend; the 19-year old woman was killed in a collision with a garbage truck driver last week.

Two young women are dead, and 20 people injured, after a speeding 18-year old driver crashed into another car before slamming into a group of pedestrians at an annual Nebraska cruising night; police are convinced it’s just another oopsie and wasn’t intentional.

A 25-year old NFL cornerback is dead, along with the woman he was traveling with, after apparently crashing his speeding car into another vehicle on a Dallas freeway; Jeff Gladney spent two years playing for the Minnesota Vikings before signing with the Arizona Cardinals this year.

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The New York Times has declared this the Summer of Cycling.

Which makes it official, right?

According to the paper,

In addition, there’s a couple stories we mentioned last week.

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Good questions.

Thanks to Grace Peng for the heads-up. 

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A Black-led bike club is raising funds to benefit people affected by the recent Buffalo mass shooting.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Evidently, only the top bananas get to ride in the official team pedicab.

Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

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That about sums it up.

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Apparently, e-tandems are nothing new.

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

Police in Boston are looking for a man who slashed the tires on ten bicycles parked at a transit station, for no apparent reason.

No bias here. The New York State Division of Consumer Protection urges everyone to wear a bike helmet, apparently convicted it’s the only thing that could possibly improve bike safety.

Or here, either. A Virginia writer says groups of bike riders are just recreating, while people in cars have important places to go. And it’s their fault if an impatient driver stupidly attempts to pass them all at once.

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

Police in Wheat Ridge, Colorado are blaming a bike rider for a head-on crash between two drivers, claiming one driver swerved to avoid someone on a bike, who left the scene. Even though they haven’t said the bike rider did anything wrong, or explained how they might have caused the crash. 

There’s a special place in hell for the schmuck who slammed his bicycle into a bike-riding 13-year old kid in Long Island, then used it to beat the boy with.

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Local

The Los Angeles River Recreation Zone is officially open for the summer; a local resident says the bike path along the river has been transformed, in a good way.

LA-based Urb-E, maker of the sit-down scooter popular with hip-hop artists a couple years back, has switched gears to join the fight on air pollution and congested streets by refocusing on high-capacity e-cargo bikes. Thanks once more to the prolific Megan Lynch.

Construction has begun on a new streetscape project on Melrose Blvd in West Hollywood’s Design District, including wider sidewalks, shade trees and “bicycle safety improvements,” whatever that means.

Watts-based East Side Riders Bike Club now has its own app to connect users “to the website, swag, rewards, and the ability to track their bike rides.”

 

State 

A public records request reveals San Diego officials went into damage control after the backlash over an advisory bike lane in the Mira Mesa neighborhood, with no more plans to install them anywhere else.

Emeryville mayor John Bauters insists he’s concerned about creating people-oriented spaces, not just bike lanes.

 

National

Build your own DIY ebike for under $500.

After the Portland Bike Index spotted a bike stolen in an armed robbery for sale on OfferUp, they tried to get the police to do something, only to watch that bike and others get sold to unsuspecting buyers, while the cops did nothing (Twitter thread).

Once again, Colorado authorities solved a hit-and-run by using an emergency alert system similar to an Amber Alert. Both Los Angeles and California have similar hit-and-run alert systems, but they’re seldom, if ever, used.

Austin, Texas bicyclists rode to remember gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, who was allegedly murdered by a jealous lover of pro cyclist Colin Strickland; sponsors have cut ties with Strickland over the killing, even though he appears to have had little involvement in it.

Bad news from Moline, Illinois, where a second victim has died after an alleged drunk driver drove onto a bike path paralleling a highway.

An Illinois judge expands cities’ liability for bike riders, ruling that the presence of bikeshare stations indicate that bikes are supposed to be ridden there.

A DC op-ed calls on physicians to help make bicycling safer by demanding safer infrastructure, saying it’s a public health issue.

The League of American Bicyclists, nee Wheelmen, was founded 142 years ago yesterday in Newport, Rhode Island; the group was instrumental in the fight for better roads before cars came along and drivers stole them all.

The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at the Mexican American lowrider bicycle culture in the city.

 

International

Your next bike could be made from recycled plastic.

Treehugger explains how an e-cargo bike can be life-changing.

After a single mom in British Columbia posted on Facebook that thieves has stolen the bicycle she gave her ten-year old son for his birthday, kindhearted strangers pitched into raise over $900 to buy him a new one.

Scotland’s active transportation minister is accused of spreading confusion by encouraging kids to wear a bike helmet, after saying they have no value for adult riders. On the other hand, at least they have an active transportation minister, unlike some countries I could name.

Seriously? A British minibus driver was told he “could be” facing jail time after he was convicted of deliberately swerving to slam into a bike rider, as his passengers watched. Someone needs to change that “could be” into damn well will be.

A former UK minister proves once again you can carry anything on a bike, as he sets off on a 2,000 mile bike tour of Europe with his trusty cello on an extended rear rack.

Bicycling rates are up 53% in Belgium, but bike theft continues to plague Brussels, even as it drops in the rest of the country.

A Czech company wants you to make tushy imprint and take pictures of it, so they can build a 3D-printed bike saddle custom-made to fit your butt, for a mere $400.

A crowdfunding campaign headed by Copenhagenize author and urban planner Mikael Colville-Andersen is raising funds to supply bicycles and build pop-up bike infrastructure for refugees fleeing the Russian invasion in Lviv, Ukraine; the crowdfunding campaign has raised roughly 1% of the more than $212,000 goal.

Bikeshare comes to Cairo, Egypt for the equivalent of just 54¢ per hour.

They get it. A New Zealand website refutes the myth that bike lanes are bad for business.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pre-race favorite Richard Carapaz held on to the pink leader’s jersey right up to the penultimate stage of the Giro, when he lost it to 26-year old Aussie Jai Hindley. Hindley held on in the final time trial, unlike two years ago when he lost the race in the final stage.

Hindley is the first Australian to win the Giro; a Sydney paper explains everything you need to know about the country’s newest cycling star.

Cycling News offers five moments that defined this year’s Giro.

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan is headed to Kansas this weekend for the 100-mile Unbound Gravel race.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can own your very own NFT of the world’s first 3D printed bike. When you’re riding with an outstanding warrant, meth and drug paraphernalia on your bike, put a damn light on it.

And why wait for bikes to hit the street before running them down?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

90-year old walk advocate severely injured by driver, ’tis the season to give kids bikes, and biking down stairs in hot pursuit

It’s the last three days of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Brandon H and Michael S for their generous donations to bring all the best bike news and advocacy to your favorite screen every morning.

And yes, the corgi is going to keep staring at you while you’re reading this, until you give in. 

So don’t wait. Stop what you’re doing 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.

It’s okay. We’ll wait. 

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A driver ran down 90-year old walking advocate Jacque Ensign, the co-founder of the Berkeley Path Wanderers, as she walked in a Berkeley crosswalk, leaving her with “multiple severe injuries.”

She’s one of three older residents seriously injured while walking or biking on the same short section of roadway in the Bay Area town.

Which is a pretty damn good indication they have a serious traffic safety problem.

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‘Tis the season.

Sacramento sheriff’s deputies made a ten-year old special needs boy’s wish come true, giving him a bicycle made to look like a police motorcycle, including red light and siren.

Police in Port Isabel, Texas gave a ten-year old boy a new bicycle as a reward for pointing out where a suspect was hiding.

A professional mountain biker performed stunts for a group of 65 Hartford, Connecticut first graders, then surprised them all with new bikes and helmets.

A foundation started by a Baton Rouge, Louisiana man has given adaptive bikes to special needs kids for the last 14 year, donating over 400 of the high-end bikes in that time.

A Mississippi sheriff’s department is teaming with a local chapel to donate bikes to a pre-selected group of children.

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Pink Bike examines the difference between $450 and $2,200 mountain bike wheels.

Now someone tell ’em to do road bikes next, ’cause I need new wheels if my damn hands ever let me start riding again.

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A Seattle bike cop rides his bike down a couple flights of stairs before chasing a suspect on foot to recover a gun and bust a suspected drug dealer.

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

A British politician demonstrates the opposite of the holiday spirit, yelling at a group of kids to get off their bicycles for the crime of riding in a new bike lane that recently opened. Schmuck.

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

Police in Osaka, Japan believe a bike-riding man accused of arson at a mental health clinic where he was being treated attempted to seal the door with tape before lighting a leaking container of gas on fire, sparking a blaze that killed 25 people.

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Local

Metro will offer free bus and train rides on Christmas and New Years’ Eves, along with free Metro Bike rentals the same days.

 

State

San Clemente will consider banning bicycles and ebikes from the pier, as well as the beach trail and sidewalks, in response to complaints about reckless bike riders.

The rich get richer, as the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, offers a progress report showing 12 miles of new bikeways, with 11 more currently under construction and another 34 miles in the wings. Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding the email.

A San Luis Obispo op-ed explains how bike riders can avoid right hooks. Although better advice would be to tell drivers to check their mirrors and blindspots to avoid cutting someone off in the first place.

Bike Davis looks back on the last year in California’s ostensibly most bike-friendly city, in the form of the 12 Days of Christmas. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

 

National

A triathlon site considers the best reflective and hi-viz gear to keep you safe on your bike.

A small Chicago bike shop is out around $16,000 after thieves broke in for the second time in two weeks, stealing five bicycles worth $15,000; the rest is the cost of having the glass replaced for the second time. Meanwhile, a SWAT team surrounded a bike shop in nearby Skokie, Illinois, but all they found inside was a few missing bikes. Thanks to David Drexler for the tip.

It’s not safe for anyone outside of a car on New Jersey streets these days, as bicycling and pedestrian deaths reach their highest levels in 32 years.

Eight Pittsburgh PA cops will face discipline for killing a man who was tased to death for the crime of taking a bike being sold for fifty bucks for a test ride around the block without permission; the Black victim was tased eight times in rapid succession, dying the next day. Criminal charges are still being considered against the officer who fired the taser, and possible others.

Life is cheap in Georgia, where judge tossed out charges against a state senator for failing to call 911 when his buddy called to tell him he’d just fled the scene after running down a bike rider; he called the police chief, instead, fatally delaying the critical emergency response.

Frank Sinatra would probably appreciate plans to install bike lanes on Sinatra Drive in his home town of Hoboken NJ, since he looked pretty dapper on a bike himself.

 

International

Cyclist beats a dead horse, once again raising the long-settled question of whether it’s safe to ride a bike when pregnant. Not only is it safe to ride when your pregnant, it’s good for you and your baby, who will likely be born wearing cleats and a jersey. Unless you’re a man, that is, in which case it’s not safe at all. 

Jalopnik explains how a group of Colorado bike theft victims worked with Bike Index to uncover a ring of bike thieves who would steal high end mountain bikes, then send them across the border to be resold in a Juárez bike shop.

Mexico News Daily considers a far more legitimate operation, profiling an all-female studio making custom, hand-built bicycles in Mexico City.

With typical Brit understatement, the government of the UK says it has no plans to make people on bicycles wear identification numbers, regardless of what a popular bike-hating lawyer demands.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twentyone-year old Columbian cyclist Daniel Arroyave was lucky to escape without serious injuries when he was struck by a driver while on a training ride in his home country; however, his bike is toast.

Spanish cyclist Rafael Valls calls it a career after 11 years on the WorldTour, concluding that lingering injuries prevent him from competing at an elite level.

 

Finally…

Apparently, cops are perfectly okay with someone flashing a fake driver’s license and a tin foil police badge while riding a possibly stolen ebike. When you’re carrying $13.8 million in coke on your bike, try not to hit a car fleeing from the cops.

And that feeling when a protective barrier is there to protect the sidewalk, not the bike lane.

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

Wisconsin tragedy mars World Day of Remembrance, Move Culver City opens, and a peckish wheel pecking parrot

This is the cost of traffic violence.

It was heartbreaking to learn that, on the World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Victims, five people were killed and over 40 injured when a driver plowed through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

It almost doesn’t matter why.

As I write this, there’s no word on whether this was a terrorist attack, some other intentional act of vengeance, or just another everyday traffic “oopsie.”

Because, even under the best of circumstance, with the best of intentions, people operating cars can turn deadly in an instant.

36,096 dead in 2019, the last year on record. An average of 99 people a day.

Every day, without end.

Graphic by tomexploresla

What happened in Waukesha was unusually horrific. And will undoubtedly become even more heartrending when we learn more about the victims, dead and alive.

So far, all we know for sure is that a Catholic priest was one of the victims, along with some Catholic school kids who were apparently watching the parade.

Both before and after the news broke, I scoured Google and Twitter for any remarks from any Los Angeles official, city or county, commemorating the World Day of Remembrance, without luck.

I can’t say no one said anything. But if they did, I couldn’t find it.

Which says as much as anything else about the sad state of LA streets, and LA government. As well as elected officials who promised change when they needed our votes, but turned their backs on the people of Los Angeles once they got into office.

Because traffic violence effects all of us.

Sadly, things like this will continue, here in Los Angeles and throughout the country. Whether it takes the form of mass casualty events like Waukesha yesterday or the San Monica farmer’s market nearly 20 years ago.

Not to mention Kalamazoo, Las Vegas, Show Low, Waller County or Liberty County, just to name a few.

Let alone the the constant trickle of traffic deaths and injuries too ordinary to make the news.

And nothing will change until enough American’s finally say “enough!”, like the Dutch did 50 years ago.

Because clearly, this is one issue where our leaders don’t have the courage or political will to lead.

Which leaves it up to us.

That means you. And yes, me.

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At least he gets it, anyway.

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Culver City opened the Move Culver City project on Saturday, with quick build bus and bike lanes on three streets in the downtown area.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1462170796487368707

https://twitter.com/sydneykamlager/status/1462186471293472775

As to why things like this don’t happen in Los Angeles, our risk-averse department of transportation would first have to study the proposed project for months, and continue to water it down until they’re sure they’re not taking any chances and won’t run the risk of offending anyone.

Then the city would hold a series of meetings where the usual assortment of NIMBY homeowners and angry drivers would scream about how it would inconvenience them a little, after which our elected officials would promise to change everything they screamed about.

Then the plan would make its way into the circular file, while the city makes a few minor safety improvements, and declare the problem solved.

But other than that, there’s no reason why it can’t happen here.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the video tweet.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1462124642081017859

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When I saw this Instagram post over the weekend, I assumed the parrot was just examining the damage.

Au contraire, mon frère.

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This is, by far, my favorite photo of the weekend.

And the guy on the bike doesn’t have to be slow; those little buggers are fast.

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This one is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

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Steve Martin is one of us. Or was, anyway.

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This Harley ebike video made me laugh more than I did the rest of the day. Or maybe the entire weekend.

Seriously, this might just be the best 8 minutes and 39 seconds of your day.

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

Sentencing was delayed in the case of the Las Vegas minivan driver whose passenger fell to his death after leaning out the window to push a woman off her bicycle, killing her as well, because someone in the detention center forgot to bring him to the courtroom to be sentenced.

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

The man dubbed LA’s “Western Bandit” was convicted on two counts of murder, as well as shooting at several other people, in a bike-born crime spree; the DA said every pedal stoke on the way to commit his crimes counted as premeditation.

A bike-riding burglar was busted by LA County sheriff’s deputies while riding away after he was allegedly caught on security cam breaking into a La Canada Flintridge home on Friday.

A Ventura man has pled guilty to being the man on a bicycle who sexually assaulted a woman walking on a bike path, as well as flashing a woman who was walking with her grandson while riding his bike (scroll down).

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Local

An unhoused Black man complains about the original headline of a recent LA Times column about a man reclaiming his stolen bikes from a bike chop shop in a Mar Vista homeless camp, accusing them of doxing the homeless encampment.

A West Covina man was found shot to death along the LA River bike path Friday morning; no word on whether he was riding a bike, or was there for some other reason.

 

State

An estimated 600 people were expected to turn out for the first Oxnard Peace Ride on Saturday to promote bicycle safety and awareness of gun violence.

Palo Alto’s long-gestating bike and pedestrian bridge over Highway 101 isn’t mythical anymore.

A Bay Area bike rider was caught on video weaving unsafely in the fast lanes on the Bay Bridge; a bike lane extends across the eastern span, while bikes are banned from the rest.

 

National

WaPo looks at the US Bicycle Route System, which has expanded by nearly 3,000 miles in the West and Midwest.

Your next ebike could come complete with a built-in laptop stand. Unfortunately, it’s not designed so you can work while you ride, or I could write this while cruising under the moon.

A Maui councilmember says it’s time to rein in the popular bike tours that race down the island’s Haleakala volcano, while a letter writer calls the tours a disaster waiting to happen.

A Seattle woman got 28 months behind bars for operating a sophisticated embezzlement scheme that bilked over $150,000 from the unnamed high-end mountain bike company where she worked as an accountant and bookkeeper.

A former prosecutor said Nevada state troopers missed obvious signs truck driver Jordan Barson was high on meth at the time of the crash that killed five bicyclists outside Las Vegas.

A Colorado bike mechanic is raising the alarm about planned obsolescence in the bike industry, as more manufacturers are making low-end, unfixable and disposable bicycles designed to only last a few years.

San Antonio’s bikeshare system is going all in on ebikes.

The Texas A&M student newspaper argues that the state should adopt the Idaho Stop Law, aka Stop as Yield. Which California’s governor foolishly vetoed last month.

Massachusetts bike riders mark the World Day of Remembrance by calling on the legislature to pass bicycle safety bills, including a bill to require side guards and other safety devices on large trucks.

Connecticut Magazine looks at the history 50-year history of Cannondale, which began business in 1971 hawking a bike trailer called The Bugger.

Durham, North Carolina is fighting traffic congestion and climate change by offering people who work downtown the free use of an ebike, along with a helmet and free maintenance. Thanks again to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

Despite earlier reports that a Palm Beach, Florida boy had apparently died falling off his bike, the death of the 14-year old victim has now been ruled a homicide; he disappeared after going out for a bike ride last week.

 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips recommends ten products that inspired him to say “Take my money, please!”

Clearly, traffic violence isn’t just the US, as a hit-and-run driver knocked four English teenagers off their bikes; fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.

Good luck fixing the bicycle shortage anytime soon, as a British bikemaker calls the current supply chain issues plaguing his company an “absolute clusterfuck.”

The Irish Times complains about the lack of oversight and quantifiable costs for the country’s bike to work program, which allows employers to provide workers with a tax-free bike and accessories to be repaid through salary deductions, and unfairly benefits most the high-income workers who need it the least.

A 72-year old Limerick, Ireland man “miraculously” got his 40-year old vintage stolen bike back through the power of social media. My original 1981 Trek is exactly that old, and covered in dust until I have the money to restore it. But I’d hardly call it vintage yet.

The rich get richer, as bike riders in The Hague now have a new, museum-like bike parking garage with space for 8,000 bicycles, directly across from a busy railway station.

A former “passionate” Indian bicyclist says he’s given up riding since a longtime friend ended up in the ICU after he was hit by a speeding driver while riding his bike; now he only recommends offroad mountain biking and using a trainer indoors.

NIMBYs keep telling us that bike lanes hinder handicapped people. But a Wellington, New Zealand bike network would benefit a bike-riding mother with multiple sclerosis, who discovered she can bike easier than she can walk, and tows her service dog in a trailer behind her.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mark Cavendish had to abandon the Six Days of Ghent after a hard fall, withdrawing in fourth place on the final day. Kenny De Ketele and Robbe Ghys ended taking the overall classification. Meanwhile Cavendish says he knew he had it in him to get back on top this year, after his own team thought he was washed up.

A local website offers photos from Saturday’s El Tour de Tucson.

We’re lucky to have this great facility here in Los Angeles. Well, Carson anyway.

https://twitter.com/LAVeloRacing/status/1462517848702480387

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a Croatian Porsche. Inside the mind of a pedestrian when someone on bike says “On your left.”

And wait for the guy on the bike, who wisely beats a hasty retreat facing a barrage of snowballs.

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A special thanks to frequent contributor Robert L for his generous donation to kick off this year’s 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive four days early! So save your nickels and dimes, because the corgi’s getting ready for her closeup, and we’ll be begging for them to keep her in kibble later this week.

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

The cost of traffic violence, Metro unveils October bike calendar, and Colorado Blvd public meeting this weekend

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A 26-year old digital media staffer for the Los Angeles Clippers was killed when he pulled his car onto the shoulder of a highway Monday night, and was rear ended by another driver who drifted off the roadway.

But let’s be honest.

Any transportation system that accepts even a single death as a cost of simply getting from here to there is an abject failure.

Let alone over 38,000 deaths each year.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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Metro announced their calendar of classes and bike rides for October.

Only the Leimert Park Fix-A-Flat class and a pre-Halloween DTLA Taco Ride are in person, while the rest are online.

Classes

Rides

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The Beautiful Boulevard Coalition wants your help creating a safer, more livable and yes, more beautiful Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock.

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This is what a street looks like when it’s designed to serve everyone, not just the people in cars.

https://twitter.com/Derailluer/status/1443696873659789328

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Yes please. And start in my neighborhood.

https://twitter.com/grescoe/status/1443638526482989062

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GCN considers whether Colnago’s new blockchain technology will spell the end of bike theft.

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

A 25-year old Brazilian woman was knocked off her bike when a driver pulled up next to her so his passenger could reach out to grope her ass; fortunately, she wasn’t injured. Police stopped the driver, who is expected to face charges along with his groping friend. Schmucks.

A Queensland, Australia driver is behind bars for deliberately swerving into two bike riders in separate incidents, with one rider suffering “significant injuries.” Although he appears to be an equal opportunity offender, smashing his car into two other vehicles, as well.

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Local

Evidently, Long Beach wants you to stay in your lane. The city is installing bike lane markers on a portion of the city’s boardwalk. Correction: Once again, I’ve mistaken news from Long Beach, New York for Long Beach, California. We should make one of these change their name. Thanks to Steve White for the catch. 

 

State

San Mateo proposes building bike lanes and a bike boulevard that will necessitate the removal of 214 parking spaces, but promises to make up for it with additional parking nearby. Maybe Los Angeles could learn from their example.

 

National

Streetsblog looks at a pair of toxic car ads “that use the shiny gloss of white feminism to sell cars as a form of women’s empowerment.”

A writer for Outside defies convention and rides his bike shirtless. And the world doesn’t come to an end.

An Entrepreneur op-ed offers business lessons gained from eleven years and 38,000 miles on a bicycle. Although that works out to a relatively paltry 66 miles a week.

A Las Vegas woman did everything right by coming to a full stop at a stop sign before riding into an intersection. And was killed by a speeding driver who blew the stop.

Police in Missoula, Montana used their patrol car to shield a couple of young bike-riding kids from a driver fleeing from police while high on meth; the driver bailed out about 15 feet short of the children and attempted to flee on foot.

Sad news from Iowa, where human remains were found in a farm field matching the description of a young boy who disappeared four months ago, after going out for a bike ride just days before his 11th birthday. Although there’s no word yet on what may have happened to him.

The University of Cincinnati is calling for the removal of a popup protected bike lane near campus. But they swear they really do support bike lanes, just somewhere else.

 

International

A British Columbia court rejected a lawsuit from a consortium of Vancouver restaurant owners demanding the removal of a bike lane through a city park, evidently preferring the money of people who arrive on four wheels to those who do on two.

A pair of candidates for mayor of Montreal debate bike safety after a bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run truck driver, near the site of another bicycling death four years earlier.

Drivers in the UK will soon be required to use the Dutch Reach to open their cars doors, although the overwhelming majority of drivers apparently have no idea the law is about to change.

There may be hope in the battle against bike thieves. A new ceramic, graphene reinforced bike lock from Britain’s Hiplock stood up to a sustained attack with an axle grinder for over 20 minutes, defeating four grinder disks in the process. But it will cost you $270 on Kickstarter, before it goes up to $345.

A confederation of European ebike makers are working together to keep their customers from hacking their bikes to get more speed.

An Indian woman and her lovers face murder charges for hacking her husband to death, and tossing his bicycle into a canal.

Seriously? A Singapore panel charged with reviewing the rules for on-road bicycling has recommended the equivalent of a four and a half foot passing law — but also recommends a limit of five bikes in any group ride, and required to ride single file.

The Australian cycling community is mourning coaching legend Heiko Salzwedel, who died in his native Germany following a brief illness.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cycling star Mathieu van der Poel likes his chances in Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, predicting attacks will begin early.

In a big step forward for women’s cycling, twenty-two teams and 132 riders will line up for the first ever women’s Paris-Roubaix, complete with over 18 miles of cobbles.

Former pro Gracie Elvin explains why the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes carries such symbolic weight after 125 years as a men’s-only event.

Congratulations to the new women’s hour record holder, with a distance of 30.077 miles.

https://twitter.com/GcnRacing/status/1443629636051689472

Finally…

Get your very own Key West branded spandex bike kit. No, distracted bike riding doesn’t work, either.

And while she’s happy there’s a new Metro Bike location in our Hollywood neighborhood, she does find the corgo carrier is just a tad cramped.

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Thanks again to Matthew R for his generous monthly donation to help keep this site coming your way every day; donations of any size and frequency are always welcome and appreciated.

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

Columnist who wrote about bus bike theft leaves LA, the massive cost of traffic violence, and restoring your faith humanity

LA Times City Beat columnist Nita Lelyveld penned her final piece for the paper, which included a reminder of one of my favorites.

In a story from nine years ago, she told how two strangers on a bus became close friends when one rescued the other man’s bicycle from a would-be thief.

A story that started right here a few months earlier.

She also told my own story of taking in a homeless man’s corgi so he could get back on his feet. Which literally saved his life when he saw the outpouring of love and support that resulted, much of it from readers of this site.

Along with a followup from earlier this year, relating how my wife and I had become friends with the now formerly homeless man, and the new puppy that filled the hole in our lives after our own corgi died.

To be honest, I’m not sure I would have trusted anyone else with the story.

Nita’s moving on to Portland, Maine, where she’ll be the new city editor for the Portland Press Herald.

Their gain, LA’s loss.

Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels.

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Sometimes, I don’t even know what to say.

So just let these numbers sink in: 112,519 people who weren’t in cars — mostly pedestrians and people on bicycles — have been killed by drivers since 9/11.

And nearly 2 million — yes, million — American traffic deaths since 1975, which would make it equivalent to the 5th largest city in the US.

Somehow, we have to make our fellow Americans care enough to finally do something about it.

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I’m usually not one for surveys, but I might make an exception this time.

PeopleForBikes wants your opinion on what it’s like to ride a bike where you live for their 2022 City Ratings, and promise it will only take five minutes of your time.

Anyone who does will be entered to win prizes, including this Schwinn Orange Krate bike.

From PeopleForBikes

Then again, the fewer people who respond, the better my chance of winning the bike I wanted as a kid, but never got.

So forget I said anything.

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This is who we share the road with.

Phil Gaimon posted video this morning of the aftermath of a road rage incident in Boulder, Colorado. Although it’s not clear if the driver severely beat the victim, or ran him down with his car, then got out to look at him.

The good news is, the driver has been identified, and may yet be held accountable for his crimes.

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As usual, drivers make the best case for protected bike lanes.

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Let’s interrupt the usual news with a few stories to help restore your faith in humanity.

A nurse on Hawaii’s Big Island discovered it takes a village to recover a stolen bicycle — in less than a day, even — while reminding everyone to get vaccinated.

Bighearted Texas cops used donations from local businesses to give a new bike, helmet, lock and lights to a man formerly homeless man who had been walking 14 miles round trip to get to his job in another town.

Kindhearted Oklahoma cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a special needs man, after the bicycle he used as his primary means of transportation was stolen.

Firefighters in Waukesha, Wisconsin opened their own wallets to buy a used bicycle for a man whose bike was destroyed in a collision with a driver, after learning it was his only means of transportation.

An anonymous Good Samaritan surprised a Virginia girl with a new bicycle, leaving it on her porch with an unsigned note a month after hers was stolen.

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Clean transportation nonprofit Calstart is looking for a new director of innovative mobility.

https://twitter.com/ryanschuchard/status/1430362551301206020

Although even after reading the job description, I’m still have no idea what that means.

But something tells me I’m probably not qualified, anyway.

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

A road raging Aussie driver drove over a bicycle and took off with a bicyclist clinging to the hood of his car, in a confrontation that began when a group of bike riders complained about the driver swerving into them; the driver can be heard on the video saying “I will fucking destroy you, I’ve got money mate.” And there’s nothing scarier than an angry driver with money, right?

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

A bike-riding parolee was busted for “terrorizing” a Venice community by slashing car tires with a folding knife and shattering a window in the west LA neighborhood with a brick.

A man was permanently banned from a Washington Walmart after entering the closed store on his bike, riding around the store pocketing drinks and candy bars before threatening security guards with a meat cleaver.

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Local

Los Angeles CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman appeared to throw long-standing plans for a 4th Street Neighborhood Greenway under the bus in a meeting with Larchmont area homeowners, agreeing to oppose proposals for bike and pedestrian traffic signals on 4th and Highland, and 4th and Rossmore. Even though they would benefit local residents as much as anyone else, without causing any harm.

Metro Bike is offering two weeks free for any passholders who refer a friend.

Simon Cowell is still one of us, taking his ebike for a ride through the ‘Bu, a year after shattering his back crashing an electric motorcycle. Which the press still insists on calling an ebike.

 

State

Paso Robles is looking for public input for a planned bicycle pump track, to be designed by the same firm that built the skate park for the Tokyo Olympics.

Drivers were outraged by the estimated 5,000 people on bicycles who turned out for the 5th annual Santa Cruz Ride Out and “clogged traffic for hours.” In other words, kind of like drivers do all by themselves multiple times a day.

 

National

Bicycling makes their picks for the best ebikes of 2021 — including LA-based Aventon — with prices starting at just $999 and going up. Way up. I can’t find this one on Yahoo, so you’re on your own if Bicycling blocks you.

A father and daughter duo rode their antique Penny Farthings across the US from San Francisco to Boston, covering 3,314 miles in 57 days. Then turned around and rode across the US from north to south, for a total of 6,100 miles.

Forbes reviews the new book by the guy who took a New York bikeshare bike on a ride across the US in search of a new home, before settling on — and in — Tusla OK.

Heartbreaking news from Wisconsin, where an 88-year old man was killed by a driver while trying to make a left turn on his bicycle. Anyone who makes it to that age deserves better, damn it — and safer streets to ride on. Never mind that it takes the local paper until the penultimate paragraph to mention that the pickup that hit him even had a driver.

Chicago Streetsblog tells the sad story of protected bike lane proposals killed by parking pushback. Something tells me Los Angeles could produce an even greater tearjerker.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 70-year old retired creative writing professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and former Alaska Writer Laureate was killed in a Maine bicycling collision last week.

 

International

After a Toronto councilmember had her own bicycle stolen, some unsympathetic residents blamed her for supporting shelters for the homeless, accusing them of taking her bike.

A pair of British men are on trial for murder in the death of a young father, after he accused one of them of stealing the other man’s bicycle to buy more drugs; the alleged killer swears he didn’t mean to harm the victim, despite repeatedly punching him and stomping on his head. I’d hate to see what he’d do if he did mean to hurt someone.

Welsh residents complain about plans for a “national standard” BMX track over fears that it will add to traffic congestion. More proof that NIMBYs are the same everywhere.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s starting to look like the only thing that could keep two-time defending Vuelta champ Primož Roglič from the red leader’s jersey is falling off his bike. Which is exactly what happened yesterday.

Tragic news from Spain, where ultra-distance cyclist Ana Orenz was competing in the unsupported, nearly 2,00-mile Transiberica race when she suffered “devastating” injuries after crashing into a wild boar during a high-speed descent; Orenz suffered a broken neck and spinal injuries, as well as severe head trauma, and lay alone in the roadway unable to move for two hours before she was found. A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $41,000 of the $58,700 goal.

 

Finally…

Who needs a Bookmobile when you’ve got a cargo bike? Now you, too, can have your very own Louis Vuitton bicycle, complete with awkward hand brakes that look chic but will probably kill you, for the low, low price of $27,000.

And it takes a pretty smart dog to be this knowledgable when it comes to doping.

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

Council committee vote on semi-Complete Streets, bike stabbings in San Diego, and remembrance for victims of traffic violence

About damn time.

The Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee will vote tomorrow to transform Culver Blvd and Highland Ave — and to a lessor degree, La Brea Ave — into the Complete Streets.

In other words, turn them into the somewhat less auto-centric streets they should have been to begin with, but aren’t.

All three would get desperately needed pedestrian and accessibility improvements, but only Culver and Highland would get the bike lanes they all need.

Which would still leave La Brea a somewhat safer, but still incomplete Complete Street.

But it’s a start.

Streets For All points out the La Brea proposal also leaves out the bus lane called for on the corridor in the 2035 Mobility Plan, which would be an exceptionally shortsighted surrender to private cars.

Never mind that bike riders would be allowed to use the bus lanes, if they exist.

Streets For All also directs our attention to proposals to redesign streets to prevent street racing, and reduce illegal eardrum-shattering exhaust noise.

Yes, please.

Update: According to Streets For All’s Michael Schneider, there are currently no plans for bike lanes in the so-called Complete Streets plan, and that the references to “bikeway striping” may simply be a reference to sharrows.

And as we all know, sharrows are nothing more than an attempt to thin the herd, with arrows to help drivers improve their aim. 

Both Highland and La Brea are scheduled for bike lanes in the 2010 bike plan, although they’re reduced to Tier 3 in the mobility plan, which means they’re less likely to be built by 2035. 

Meanwhile, Culver Blvd calls for a bike path, which is apparently a reference to the existing, not-so-safe pathway that runs down the median. 

Maybe we need to let the council know tomorrow that sharrows aren’t good enough, and we want the bike lanes they promised us by unanimous vote. 

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San Diego police are looking for a heavyset White man with a shaved head who allegedly stabbed a homeless man in a dispute over a bicycle in the city’s Midway district.

Fortunately, the victim’s injuries were not considered life threatening.

No word on what exactly they were arguing about.

Meanwhile, another man was repeatedly stabbed by a pair of attackers in the city’s Logan Heights neighborhood; he was also expected to survive.

No reason was given for that attack.

We’ve said it many times before, but it’s worth saying again — No bicycle is ever worth a human life.

Just give it up before risking your life, if that’s what it takes. Or before risking anyone else’s.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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Faith for Safer Street and Streets Are For Everyone will host a memorial for the victims of traffic violence in South LA at the end of this month; RSVP here.

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Now that’s more like it.

A little good news from NextDoor, for a change, as a Good Samaritan offers up her own bicycle to a stranger in need.

https://twitter.com/kjaggi/status/1427084759201550336

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Nothing like photobombing a couple’s wedding photos in the middle of a bike race.

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Local

CicLAvia made a comeback on historic Avalon Blvd in Wilmington on Sunday, after missing all of last year due to the pandemic.

 

State

Calbike urges you to email your state senator to support AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which most of bike riders safely do anyway, legal or not.

San Diego’s National City plans to convert an existing overpass into a protected bike lane and place for people to hang out. But whether it’s a good idea to expose bike riders and pedestrians to the exhaust and noise of an overhead freeway remains to be seen.

San Diego will pay out $1.75 million to a man who was seriously injured when his bicycle hit a patch of buckled pavement in Carmel Valley; he’ll also get additional settlements from a landscape contractor and a tree contractor, for a total of $2.8 million.

You’ve got to be kidding. A proposed extension of Bakersfield’s Kern River bike path could be sent back to the drawing board because it’s “incompatible” with the golf course it’s supposed to go around, since bike riders might get hit by balls or sneak onto the course. Evidently, they’ve never heard of fences in the San Joaquin Valley.

Speaking of Bakersfield, there’s a special place in hell for whoever fled the scene after crashing into a ten-year old kid riding his bike.

Sad news from San Luis Obispo, where a bike-riding, 23-year old Cal Poly grad student died six days after a 17-year old hit-and-run driver left him bleeding in the street

She gets it. The editor of a Monterey weekly says yes, cars occupy a unique place in American culture. But the reality is they’re bad for us.

 

National

A new study refutes the popular belief that bike lanes lead to displacement and gentrification.

Popular Science recommends their picks for the best bike helmets for any age rider.

Rapha’s Lael Wilcox is attempting to break the record for the Tour Divide by riding the 2,745-mile offroad route from Canada to Mexico in less than 14 days to beat the existing time of 13 days, 22 hours and 51 minutes. My brother is currently riding the same route, after turning south Saturday after riding up to the Canadian border. Although he expects to take just a tad longer. (Update: Wilcox posted on Instagram that she is abandoning the attempt due to poor air quality from all the wildfires; thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.) 

Sad news from Arkansas, where a man was killed when he was rear-ended by a driver after moving his bike over to make way for a truck, and his riding companion injured in an apparent attempt to bail out of the way.

A nine-year old Colorado girl finished a 4,000-mile ride across the US riding stoker on the back of a tandem with her father upfront, finishing in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Chicago speed cams brought in $11 million in fines in just the first two months after they were readjusted to ticket any driver doing more than six miles over the speed limit, resulting in 300,000 speeding tickets. And yet, these proven traffic cameras remain illegal in California, where they are somehow seen as unfair to people needlessly breaking the law.

A writer for New York Streetsblog argues it’s time for muscle car makers to stop marketing them as vehicles for mayhem. And yes, he’s looking at you, Dodge. Although these days, virtually every carmaker is selling virtually every car as a high performance vehicle, and showing them being driven the same way.

 

International

NPR explores the history of Mexico City by canoe and bicycle.

The husband of the deputy chief of staff to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is fighting for his life after he was struck by a truck driver while riding his bike in London’s Primrose Hill.

A Welsh university student shattered the women’s Everesting record, making 72 ascents up an 18% grade to equal the mountain’s 29,029 feet of climbing; 21-year old Illi Gardner beat the existing record by nearly 20 minutes.

Here’s a few more rides to add to your bike bucket list, with a handful of scenic on and offroad trails in Wales. Unless maybe you’d prefer a vacation to the “coastal cycling paradise” of Japan’s Setouchi district.

A pair of English cops are credited with rushing to the rescue of a bike rider who collapsed in the middle of the road, and potentially saving his life with a chocolate bar and orange juice after realizing he was having a diabetic episode.

After two bikes were stolen from a British man, he went to Facebook to find a replacement — and found his own bikes for sale; a 31-year old man is now in custody for the thefts.

It turns out there was a second rider who finished the Tour de France route on his own this year, as Australia’s Jack Thompson rode the entire route averaging two stages per day. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

You probably haven’t ridden your bike often enough if a Japanese bird makes its home in the basket.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovokia’s Primož Roglič put on the Vuelta’s red leader’s jersey on Saturday, and held on to it by a scant four seconds over Alex Aranburu by narrowly avoiding a mass crash in Sunday’s sprint finish.

Cycling News offers a full-length interview with four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome following his dramatic comeback from a nearly career-ending crash at the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné.

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten took control of the four-stage Ladies Tour of Norway with a powerful ride on Saturday, claiming the title a day later.

Recently retired American cyclist Tejay van Garderen will take the helm of the EF Education-Nippo cycling team as sports director next year.

South Africa’s Willie Smit offers uncensored, inside views of the pro peloton.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your modernistic new ebike looks like the Mark of Zorro. Or when your tea is worth its weight in bike balls.

And meet the future militants of the bike brigades.

………

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

Unofficial Bixby bike lane opening on new Desmond Bridge, Beverly Hills popup on Sunday, and the cost of traffic violence

That long-planned bike lane over the replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge is finally still not open.

The Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle Pedestrian Path was inaugurated with a private ceremony Saturday on what is now called the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge.

The bike advocating scion of one of Long Beach’s most prominent families, Bixby had fought for a bikeway along the bridge prior to his death ten years ago in a private plane crash, along with four other people.

Despite the ceremony for Bixby’s family and friends, the path is not expected to open to the rest of us for several more months, while a connector bridge leading to it won’t be ready for another year and a half.

………

The former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills is demonstrating just how far they’ve come.

The city is hosting a popup protected bike lane on Roxbury Drive next to Roxbury Park from 10 am to 4 pm this coming Sunday. The lane is designed to protect riders while connecting with existing bikeways in Los Angeles, without removing any parking spaces.

Which means there’s a realistic chance it might actually get built.

Meanwhile, this is what we could and should have here in Los Angeles.

………

Hats off to LA’s Metro Bike workers on their successful campaign to form a union to protect their rights with the company that manages the Los Angeles bikeshare system.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Another promising life was needlessly cut short, for the crime of crossing the street near the Beverly Center.

As usual, there is a standing $50,000 reward for his killer.

Police are looking for the driver of a white BMW driving east on Beverly Blvd. Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD West Traffic Division detectives at 213/473-0234.

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The Netherlands is advancing bike safety by removing protected bike lanes on some streets, redesigning them to give priority to the vast majority of users.

The people on bicycles.

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Who says bike riders never stop for red lights?

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

Anti-bike sabotage rears its ugly head in Colorado, where someone has apparently been tossing thumb tacks on a popular bike lane.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a Kalamazoo, Michigan ghost bike. Or any other ghost bike, for that matter.

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

A Buffalo NY man faces charges for injuring two men with an illegal gun in a bike-by shooting.

A road raging bike rider faces charges for attacking a lawyer on his way to court, after somehow getting blamed for the Indian equivalent of a right hook. A reminder to never resort to violence, no matter how justified it may seem at the time, because you’ll automatically get the blame.

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Local

Streets For All reminds us that the LACBC and Sunset4All are over halfway to their goal of raising $25,000 for LA’s first public/private partnership to build protected bike lanes on the eastern part of Sunset Blvd; make that 55% as of this writing. So what the hell are you waiting for, already?

 

State

A man was seriously injured in a collision in Downtown San Diego when a driver crashed into the e-scooter he was riding.

Also in San Diego, a 65-year-old man suffered a skull fracture, fractured pelvis and multiple other injuries when he was run down by a suspected drunk driver while walking his ebike, after it had apparently run out of juice; fortunately, his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

They get it. Instead of cracking down on teen bike riders, police in Fresno are riding with them.

Santa Cruz pulled up stakes on a popup bike lane, after saying they don’t have the money to make it permanent. Especially since it didn’t even get the full endorsement of a bicycling club.

They kind of get it. San Jose will consider reducing future parking, while leaving all the current spaces intact.

Uber’s CEO says he nearly got killed delivering food by bike outside San Francisco’s Oracle Park baseball stadium for the company’s Uber Eats program.

Alpine County’s 40th annual Death Ride took a back seat to a real risk of death, after it was cancelled when Northern California’s Tamarack fire exploded to over 18,000 acres. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

If you’re riding a bike in Ukiah carrying meth and a loaded gun, put a damn light on it. The bike, that is. Not the gun.

 

National

Two-time NBA champ Ray Allen is one of us, crediting his helmet with saving him from “a far worse fate” after he ran over a tree branch and was thrown from his bicycle.

Outside looks at the new mountain bike boomtown of Ely, Nevada.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adaptive bike from a disabled Minneapolis woman. Seriously, just how low do you have to be to steal someone a person relies on for accessibility, let alone transportation? Thanks again to Megan Lynch. 

The off-duty Chicago cop who killed a nine-year old boy with his jacked-up pickup as the kid was riding his bike in a crosswalk got a traffic ticket for “failure to exercise due care for a pedestrian in the road. Yes, a lousy traffic ticket was all he got for killing an innocent kid.

Police in Arkansas used a pair of bait bikes worth nearly four grand to bust a bike thief suspected in a number of high-end bike thefts. But the LAPD still won’t use bait bikes to confront rampant bike theft in Los Angeles, thanks to a ruling from the City Attorney that it might be considered entrapment — despite their successful use in a number of other cities in California and across the US.

Forget driving, and explore Indiana’s Notre Dame University by bicycle.

A Massachusetts ebike maker is introducing a new bicycle for first responders, complete with a 70 mph top speed and its own drone.

Horrible news from New York, where man riding a bikeshare bike was shot and killed at point blank range.

Heartbreaking news from New Orleans, where a baby was found stabbed to death in a bicycle trailer; police arrested the baby boy’s mother after finding a sharpened railroad spike covered in blood on her bicycle.

 

International

A writer for Medium makes the case that streets are for people, not cars.

Portland will donate 600 used bikeshare bikes to Hamilton, Ontario, to help keep that city’s bikeshare system going after it nearly shut down last year.

British authorities punish the victim, jailing a man whose bicycle had been stolen for confronting the thief with a fake gun to get it back; he got 13 months behind bars, while the thief only got four.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a 76-year old driver walked with a suspended sentence for killing a 69-year old man riding a bike. But at least he won’t be able to drive again until he’s 86. And yes, that was sarcasm.

Our old friends Chris and Melissa Bruntlett, who uprooted their two kids to move from Vancouver to the Dutch city of Delft, discuss just how their new home gets bicycling right.

Speaking of the Netherlands, the country’s leading bicycle advocacy group called for a get-tough approach to people who hack their ebikes to exceed the 15 mph speed limit on bike paths, as much as doubling the allowable speed.

An Indian engineer hacked an old bicycle to convert it into an ebike capable of riding at 25 mph, for the equivalent of $267.

A writer for Stars and Stripes begs bike riders to pay attention in Japan.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as 22-year old Slovenian Tadej Pogačar took his second consecutive Tour de France in such convincing fashion, it raises the question of whether everyone will be racing for second place for the foreseeable future.

Pogačar swore there’s nothing illegal about his bike, after riders from other teams said they heard strange noises emanating from the rear of his bike, and that of his teammates and three other teams; it didn’t help that Pogačar’s teammate Matej Mohorič made an ill-advised “zipped lip” gesture after winning stage 19.

It’s not every day a pro cyclist turns hero. Chris Froome, Philippe Gilbert and BikeExchange’s Christopher Juul-Jensen were riding back to their buses at the end of stage 17 when they saw a bike-riding tourist ride off the road into a ravine after missing a turn, so they hopped off their bikes and climbed around 65 feet down to rescue him; the man was injured badly enough that he had to be evacuated by ambulance.

Thirty-year old former pro Ian Boswell faces the difficult choice of whether to turn pro again and return to full-time cycling after winning June’s Unbound Gravel race.

Once again, LA’s own diversity-based L39ion of Los Angeles cycling team swept the podium on the men’s side at the third round of USA Crits in Salt Lake City; L39ion’s women’s team sat this one out, giving other teams a shot at victory.

Disappointing to see Cavendish miss out on breaking Eddy Merckx record for most stage wins in the Tour de France, but no one makes the right moves all the time. But after four stage wins in this year’s race, along with capturing the points title, there’s a good chance he’ll get another shot next year.

 

Finally…

Your next full suspension mountain bike could be made of plywood. That feeling when you live in San Diego, and decide to ride your bike to grandma’s 90th birthday celebration — in North Dakota.

And how to spot a clown behind the wheel, without the big red nose and stuff.

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Thanks to Raul M for his generous donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. 

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

Carlsbad GOP candidate gets proposed ebike bill all wrong, sexist anti-bike bias, and the high cost of traffic violence

No bias here.

A Republican candidate for the California Assembly from Carlsbad takes aim at a proposal to provide a tax rebate for part of the purchase price on a new ebike.

The proposal, AB 117, is supported by current Assembley Member Tasha Boerner Horvath, whom she hopes to unseat.

At a price-point anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000, they are a noteworthy investment, but should the government be subsidizing these purchases without accountability? Absolutely not. Yet Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath wants to spend unlimited amounts of money to do just that.

Maybe someone should tell her about the massive rebates the state already gives to people who buy electric cars.

But rudeness, rather than money, seems to be her chief objection.

Worse, many of us have witnessed near collisions between e-bikes or e-scooters and vehicles. Personally, I have been almost struck while crossing the street in a crosswalk, and many people have observed near-catastrophes on a daily basis.

So, from her point of view, we should make it harder to buy ebikes, because someone almost struck her while riding one.

Because apparently, no one on a regular bicycle — or a scooter, skateboard, roller skates or running shoes — would ever do such a dastardly deed.

And she’s evidently never experienced the way rude, aggressive and/or inattentive drivers treat people in crosswalks, either.

But the most frightening part, from her bizarre perspective, is that the bill would provide up to $10 million in state tax rebates. Never mind that California currently has an $85 billion — yes billion, with a b — tax surplus.

Which, by my English major math calculations, works out to less than 0.012% of that surplus.

Now the state government wants to fund incentives for purchasing electric bicycles — atop significant out-of-control spending already happening at the state level.

Think I’m kidding? One of Boerner Horvath’s latest bills — Assembly Bill 177 — states that the purpose of her newest taxpayer-funded program is to “fund…incentives for purchasing electric bicycles” under the guise of an “air quality improvement program.”

But wait, there’s more!

Despite Horvath’s empty virtue signaling to the environmentalists, the government should not be incentivizing us to purchase electric bicycles when they are already affordable and available. That’s the job of Lime, Bird, and other companies in the San Diego region. Plus, those companies are held accountable by the cities in which they operate — not by nameless bureaucrats in Sacramento.

Maybe $1,500 to $4,000 — or a lot more, actually — is affordable to her. But it’s a major stretch for many of the constituents she hopes to represent.

And she apparently has no idea what Lime, Bird and other e-scooter providers actually do.

Or what bikeshare is, for that matter.

Then she trots out the usual bike hater screeds.

This legislation is a disaster in the making. Beyond the notion that this isn’t the role of government, there are no safety precautions, no spending limits, and no licensing requirements. Above all, there is no accountability to determine the efficacy of the program or its reduction in air pollution.

So, she wants to license ebike riders. Or maybe all bike riders.

Never mind that California already regulates ebikes into three distinct classes, with increasing levels of safety restrictions and requirements.

And did we mention that $10 million spending limit?

As for reducing air pollution, she’s got a point. Everyone knows the paltry electricity consumed by a little ebike, and its burrito eating rider, would create far more emissions than your average massive gas-guzzling SUV.

Right?

Let’s hope that, contrary to her wishes, AB 117 does see the light of day.

And the very confused and uninformed 

Ebike photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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Then again, they’re blaming ebikes in New York, too.

On the other hand, Cycling Savvy discusses ebike etiquette so you won’t be one of those few ebike-riding jerks justifiably complains about.

As opposed to the overwhelming majority who aren’t.

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You owe it to yourself to take a few minutes to read this hard-hitting op-ed from a New Zealand environmental sociologist and bike rider.

When white men start using a bike, I often think they experience a sort of status shock. They see what marginalisation feels like: the dehumanisation, the fear, the threat of violence. If you ride a bike and you belong to another group who already lives with this threat, there is a familiarity to it all…

Being a cyclist often reminds me of being a woman. If someone hurts me it’s my fault because I didn’t wear the right thing, I didn’t defer to them and “know my place”, and I didn’t just smile and put up with their abuse. Power imbalances foster bullying.

So, avoid them if you can, the dehumanising stereotypes. All the comparisons to vermin this past fortnight on conservative radio and social media – cockroaches, rats, lice, etc –  have been way out of line. Even the fixation with lycra. It’s something male sports cyclists usually wear. The obsession with men wearing tight revealing clothing in public so often veers into an obviously homophobic place. Just don’t.

Seriously, read the whole thing.

Because it probably matters more than you think.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Bystanders had to lift a pickup off an 11-year old boy, after an alleged drunk driver ran the kid down while he was riding in a crosswalk, then continued on dragging the boy underneath his truck for a “considerable distance,” leaving him with life-threatening injuries.

One of the top dog handlers missed out on this year’s Westminster Dog Show after his van was rear-ended in Laramie, Wyoming while driving ten canine competitors cross-country to the show; he ended up in the hospital, but fortunately, the dogs were uninjured. Which goes to show how much safer cars could be if everyone inside just rode in the human equivalent of a dog crate.

Speaking of Wyoming — Wyoming, Delaware in this case — a 74-year old man was killed in a collision when he was run down by a driver while mowing his lawn when a driver lost control of her SUV, pinning him underneath.  Naturally, no charges have been filed yet, because it was just an oopsie.

A Canadian woman complains that the drunken hit-and-run driver who fatally rear-ended her 27-year old son as he rode his bicycle could be out of prison in just one and a half years, despite a BAC over twice the legal limit after an admitted 13 drinks that day prior to getting behind the wheel — leaving a hole in her family that can never be filled.

In another form of violence due to motor vehicles, the grave of Robert Meacham, who rose from slavery to Florida state senator and helped establish the state’s public school system, is likely buried unmarked and unremembered under a Tampa parking lot, along with the bodies of hundreds of other Black people.

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Sarah Silverman is one of us now.

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GCN dives into the endless debate over roadies versus gravel bikes (gravelies?).

They also consider whether Shimano’s integrated shifters and brake levers were the greatest bike innovation of all time.

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

A road raging woman from an undisclosed location got out of her car to demand a young bike-riding woman give her “everything” in compensation for an invisible scratch to her apparently very expensive car.

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Local

Streets For All wants you to call on the city council’s Transportation Committee to support walking, bicycling, and micromobility and maximizing traffic signal priority for the Expo Line, as part of the LA’s Green New Deal, which could finally be getting long overdue traction.

A year ago, LA Times readers were asked to envision life post-pandemic, but only one lonely response addressed how nice life was with fewer cars on the streets. The simple fact is, if we go back to life as normal pre-pandemic, with cars maintaining hegemony over our streets, we will have failed. And looking outside, it appears we already have.

 

State

Two armed Orange County men were busted after blocking the path of a pair of Garden Grove bike riders with their car, robbing the woman of her bike, pack and cellphone while her male companion bravely rode away; police seized six guns from their home, was well as gun parts.

Family-owned Hesperia bike shop Hi-Desert Bikes is shuttering in August after 30 years in business, sending its owner into an unplanned early retirement.

 

National

If you still long for the little red wagon of your youth, Radio Flyer is riding to the rescue with a pair of fat tire ebikes.

Streetsblog marks Pride Week by examining how the design and planning needs of LGBTQ+ can make public spaces more inclusive.

Livestrong recommends this years best bike locks, starting at just $14.99.

An Anchorage paper says bicycling is a great way to visit different Alaskan towns, while finishing your ride with a local brew.

The Las Vegas bicycling community joined family members in remembering the five bike riders killed by a meth-fueled truck driver, six months after the fatal crash.

The popular bike repair website written by the late Sheldon Brown could be in jeopardy, as the Boston bike shop where he worked, which maintains the site, is shutting down.

More on the custom handmade bicycle President Biden got on the cheap for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson from Philadelphia’s Bilenky Cycle Works at a steep presidential discount, and in record time. And no, he didn’t get a Wikipedia printout in returnThanks to k_david for the link.

Kindhearted members of a West Virginia police community group bought a new bicycle for a young boy, after the Spider-man bike he got for Christmas was stolen off his porch.

Kindhearted New Orleans cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a nine-year old boy, after his was stolen when he was pushed off it by a group of older boys.

A Florida artist makes a statement for inclusion in bicycling with a 215-foot Ocala mural depicting bike riders of all ages, genders, nationalities and abilities.

 

International

Vancouver bike riders shed their clothes for the city’s first post-pandemic edition of the World Naked Bike Ride. And in New Orleans, tooAt least, we can hope it’s post-pandemic, despite rising overseas variants and a high level of unvaxxed people in the US and Canada.

They kinda get it. An editorial in Toronto’s Globe & Mail unexpectedly emerged from behind the paper’s paywall, asking — and attempting to answer — what if cities were designed for the safety of people, instead of the convenience of cars. Although cities could go way beyond Vision Zero, and consider designing them for the convenience of people, as well. 

An Oxford, England writer complains that the way the media reports on crashes involving bike riders, including use of the word accident, just fuels the conflict between bicyclists and motorists.

A heartbroken English mother called on parents to pay more attention to their bike-riding children, after her 12-year old son was killed by a driver the first time he rode his bike on the streets, while being watched by her estranged husband.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this survey gathering responses from disabled bike riders in the UK; if you live or ride in the UK with a disability, or care for someone who does, they want to hear from you.

Advocates in Lagos, Nigeria are calling for more robust provisions. policies and affordability for non-motorized transportation, including walking and bicycling.

Bike riders in Jakarta are calling for a bicycle revolution in Indonesia’s capital city, as the governor calls for building 310 miles of bike lanes, as well as a $56,000 monument to bicycling in the city’s main thoroughfare.

An Aussie writer says riding a bicycle is sweet freedom, even if it might kill her. And it lets her eat more of her wife’s cakes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bike racing returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the first time since the pandemic reared its ugly head, only to face near total domination from our hometown L39ion of Los Angles, which took all three men’s podium spots and the top two women’s spots at the Tulsa Arts District Crit. And swept the top spot on all three individual race titles and omniums on Sunday.

Congratulations to Colorado’s Riley Amos, who became the first American man to win a U23 World Cup mountain bike race.

Cycling Weekly writes that new unions for both men’s and women’s pro cyclists could be about to change the shape of top level bike racing.

 

Finally…

Your next bikepacking campsite could be a portable treehouse trailer towed behind your bike. And probably not the best idea to ride a children’s bike along the crowded train platform you’re supposed to be guarding.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

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