Tag Archive for Toluca Lake

Covid-19 fuels inequitable urbanist fantasies, YouTube stars recovering from hit-and-run, and carry anything by bike

A powerful piece from Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the coronavirus isn’t fuel for urbanist fantasies.

Instead, the virus is revealing the inequities that have long existed in our cities. And which need to be addressed if we’re going to make any real progress.

Even before the staggering impact of the novel coronavirus had been fully revealed, the people who write and think about cities were busy writing prescriptions for their recovery. But instead of bearing witness to mass death as a moment of reflection, many urbanists are using the coronavirus as an opportunity to accelerate their pre-pandemic agendas—agendas which ignore the issues that made COVID-19 more catastrophic than it should have been.

This was first obvious by early April, as cities including Los Angeles, Detroit, St. Louis, and Chicago began to report that black and Latino residents were dying at a higher rate than the rest of the population. Latinos, in particular, were at greater risk because they are more likely to work at essential jobs. Living situations—including overcrowding in small apartments due to high rents—were also pinpointed as a reason the virus was ravaging certain communities.

It’s not an easy read.

Especially if you insist on holding on to your own biases. And yes, we all have them.

But it’s important one, if we’re going to build the kind of cities we say we want.

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YouTube stars Kristin and Marcus Johns are both out of the hospital, a week after they were apparently the victims in last week’s allegedly intentional hit-and-run while riding their bikes in Toluca Lake.

Police chased the suspect, but lost his car somewhere near Universal Studios.

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Yet more proof you can carry anything on a bike.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s blocked.

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Dedicated. 😔

A post shared by Ted Faber (@snorerot13) on

As in this view of the Venice Blvd protected bike lanes in Mar Vista.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the photo.

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Evidently, kids love gravel biking almost as much as their parents do.

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Local

Metro finally dumps its balky app, replacing it with the popular multi-city Transit app, which includes integrated transportation options like bikeshare, dockless e-scooters and ride-hail services.

An LA Times columnist straps on her face mask and bikes to Venice Beach, questioning why people breaking the rules by tanning on the beach aren’t getting tickets; apparently, talk radio station KFI doesn’t like what she had to say — or the Times, for that matter. Fortunately, she didn’t try riding on the bike path, or she could have been the one getting ticketed. Although that doesn’t seem to be enforced, either. 

A columnist for the Pasadena Star-News complains about over-engineering on the newly reopened and carfree Rose Bowl Loop.

Santa Monica plans to tear down an old church across from Santa Monica College to build low-income housing, with over twice as many bike parking spaces as car parking slots.

Long Beach approves an “open streets initiative,” allowing streets, sidewalks and parking lots to be repurposed for outdoor activities, including dining.

A Redondo Beach motorcycle rider tries out a beach cruiser-style ebike, and finds his commute to Santa Monica takes twice as long, but is much more peaceful.

 

State

Deadly car crashes have spiked in California during the coronavirus lockdown, as relatively empty streets entice too many drivers to put their foot down.

San Diego celebrates Bike Month by unveiling a new Better by Bike campaign. Can’t argue with that one.

A Bay Area street has been closed to car traffic, becoming home to daily cello concerts.

Davis police were able to quickly identify and arrest a thief who broke the window of a bike shop and made off with $1,600 bike. Note to CBS Sacramento — $1,600 is hardly “pricey” anymore. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

Police in San Rafael busted two bike thieves using bait bikes. Something that the LAPD has still never tried, over fears of entrapment claims.

A travel website says you’ve got to add Tahoe’s West Shore Bike Cruise to your bike bucket list.

 

National

Inside Edition discovers the current Covid bike shortage, while CBS News picks up on the coronavirus bike boom, while noting that 50% of current riders plan to keep riding when the pandemic ends. Which will hopefully be much closer to sooner than later.

A writer for Grist takes a contrary position, questioning whether Covid-19 will halt the progress towards a carfree future.

Ebikes are the perfect antidote for coronavirus anxiety, according to a writer for a Santa Fe NM paper.

Even though Colorado’s annual Iron Horse Classic scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled, local residents worry mountain bikers will show up and try to do the ride anyway.

A Dallas woman is looking for the Good Samaritan who stayed with her and comforted her after she was hit by a driver, just days after she started riding a bike again.

Ben Stiller recounts how his late father Jerry ran through the streets of New York to chase down the kid who stole Ben’s bike when he was a child — then came back empty handed, saying the kid who stole it needed the bike more than he did.

Slow Streets slowly make their way to Atlanta.

Florida police busted a bike thief who made off with a bike that a woman had ridden across the US; they also recovered the bike — or what’s left of it, anyway.

 

International

Six ways to make city streets safer for pedestrians. And everyone else.

FloBikes tells you how to replace an inner tube. But you already know that, right?

Toronto bike advocates are calling for a two-wheeled post-pandemic future.

Britain’s bike industry is joining together to promote a new PR campaign, telling the public that Bike is Best. Which is true, even if it feels a little grammatically challenged.

British thieves are taking advantage of the bike boom, too, with bike thefts up nearly 50%.

The UK’s Alzheimer’s society says a bike ride or brisk walk three times a week can help stave off dementia in people over 60. So what are you waiting for, already?

An Irish paper says children are the future, so get them on bicycles.

French bike parts maker Mavic may be circling the drain, but a pair of unnamed former pro cyclists may be preparing to ride to the rescue.

A Manila op-ed says a connected bike lane network is just what the Philippine city needs. It’s just what Los Angeles needs, too. But Manila might actually get it.

 

Competitive Cycling

Makes sense. Bicycling’s Selene Yeager says Everesting is having a moment right now because, as George Mallory famously said, it’s there. And nothing else is right now.

Road Bike Action remembers the late, great Amgen Tour of California, which was cancelled due to financial problems just in time to avoid being cancelled by Covid-19.

Word has it Lance doesn’t like the way he’s portrayed in the upcoming ESPN documentary about him. Which raises the burning question, who cares?

Rouleur examines the worst bike kit of the modern era.

And the road worlds could be coming back to the US.

 

Finally…

You, too, can be the proud owner of a 1959 Schwinn cruiser bike for the low price of just $800. Bold move, declaring this is Bike Month when there’s only ten days left.

And no, bikes aren’t the new toilet paper.

They’re much harder to use, and nearly impossible to flush.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Innocent victims pay price in Toluca Lake hit-and-run, zipping down GMR, and a sort-of group ride with Rahsaan Bahati

This is why we keep calling for closing streets to cars and opening safe Slow Streets.

And what happens when that doesn’t happen.

As Los Angeles enters its third month of the coronavirus shutdown, more people than ever are taking to the streets while leaving their cars behind. 

People all across the city are walking and riding their bikes to get exercise and fresh air while maintaining social and physical distancing, often walking out into the street to avoid others on the sidewalk.

Unfortunately, though, the streets are just as dangerous as ever, as fewer cars on the road entice too many drivers to plant their right foot to the floor.

Case in point, two Toluca Lake pedestrians and a bike rider — or maybe the other way around — were injured when a speeding driver plowed into them around 8 pm yesterday, then fled the scene after stopping briefly.

An LAPD officer gave chase after spotting the driver speeding off, but lost him a short time later; police are looking for a silver Ford Fusion with Texas plates, last seen in the Universal Studios area.

Fortunately, at last report, none of the victims were seriously injured.

But it’s bad enough that Angelenos have to change our entire lives to keep ourselves and others safe from Covid-19 through social distancing.

We shouldn’t have to risk our lives just to get a little exercise and fresh air while doing it.

It’s long past time for LA’s city leaders to give us a little space to safely get outside — in every neighborhood.

Not at some vague, undisclosed time in a future that may never come, like most promises we’ve gotten in recent years.

But right now, when we need it most.

Because something like this will happen again. And we may not be so lucky next time.

Photo by Athena from Pexels.

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Speaking of CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew, he’s going downhill these days. And recording it during a high speed five-mile descent on a closed Glendora Mountain Road.

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Here’s your chance to ride with South LA’s own former US crit champ Rahsaan Bahati. As long as you don’t, you know, actually want to go anywhere.

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Sunset for All is continuing their Bikes Mean Business campaign to show Sunset Blvd businesses just what they’re missing to gain support for protected bike lanes.

And lucky for us, this week’s pick is one of LA’s rare Chicago-style pizza joints.

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Mountain bike pro Christina Chappetta offers advice on how to ride safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Singletrack gathers “20 world champs, skills coaches and veteran amateurs” to teach you how to corner on a mountain bike.

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Local

LA County will reopen beaches for active uses on Wednesday, but the beachfront bike path will remain closed.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

A writer for Jalopnik discovers you can bend the chainstays on a metal frame bike. But it doesn’t necessarily do any good.

Lime’s purchase of Uber’s Jump dockless ebikes and scooters makes it the world’s largest micromobility company. But it could be short-lived, as Uber has an option to buy Lime in two years.

Someone spray painted a Portland bike path, telling users to wear a mask or stay home. But they also drew a cute little heart, so there’s that.

Authorities are looking for a 49-year old Colorado woman who never came home after going out for a bike ride.

Some Texas drivers aren’t fans of the extra bike riders out on the streets.

Bike trails could spur economic development in Southeast Michigan. And pretty much everywhere else.

There’s must be something good in the water in Massachusetts, where a kindhearted state trooper bought a new bike for a little girl after hers was stolen, complete with handlebar basket and training wheels. And a group of bighearted firefighters bought one for a five-year old girl after they had to damage her bike to free her ankle when it got stuck in the frame.

A Maryland TV station looks back at the first hour record, set in 1893. And no, it only seems like we’ve all been quarantined ever since.

The coronavirus bike boom could be saving a Florida bike shop, after the owner was forced to shut down everything but the store’s online sales.

A Florida writer asks who needs a boat to go fishing when you’ve got a bike?

 

International

Shimano wants to bring the equivalent of a check engine light to your bicycle.

Pez Cycling News offers a cyclist’s guide to surviving the Covid-19 quarantine.

Bike Radar examines the eternal question of how many calories do you burn on your bike? And concludes, it depends.

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says the actions cities take now will determine whether bikes or cars dominate the streets after the coronavirus crisis. At this point, it’s pretty clear which way Los Angeles is going, and why.

A Canadian man’s plan to bike across the country is back on after mounties recovered his bicycle eight months after it was stolen. Which is one more reminder to register your bike, and always report it to the police if it ever gets stolen, if you want any chance of getting it back.

Once again, a young bike rider has been impaled by his handlebars. A 17-year old British boy was lucky to survive after his brother put pressure on the wound when his leg was impaled when he fell off his BMX. It’s long past time bikemakers were forced to redesign handgrips to keep this from happening.

The Guardian asks if the coronavirus could cure Brussels, Belgium’s addiction to driving.

Melbourne, Australia is preparing to remove streetside parking spaces to make room for bike lanes, as residents chose bikes over transit during the coronavirus crisis.

Perth considers more bike lanes and wider sidewalks to reduce congestion on the city’s bike paths.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch Olympic road champ Anna van der Breggen announced she’ll retire after next year.

Former pro Phil Gaimon spent yesterday attempting to set a new world record for Everesting by riding up LA’s Mountaingate Drive over 60 times, to raise funds for No Kid Hungry.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can own the steampunk ebike from Westworld, if you have an extra ten to thirteen grand lying around. Look like you just stepped off a turn of the century pro team.

And when you’re with a group, it’s a naked bike ride.

Alone, they usually call it indecent exposure.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

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