Tag Archive for traffic congestion

California phasing out gas cars, monthly Lake Elsinore community ride, and Harrison Ford rides after an all-nighter

The good news is, California is planning to phase out gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

The bad news is, they’re not planning to replace them with bicycles. Or even transit.

Just more cars, powered with a plug instead of dead dinosaurs.

Which means our air may get a little cleaner, but our roadways won’t be any safer or less congested.

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Mark your calendar for a Lake Elsinore community bike ride on the last Saturday of every month, to demand a safer environment for area children.

Meanwhile, Bike Walk Lake Elsinore catches you up on biking and walking projects in the Riverside County community.

Thanks to I Like Bikes for the heads-up.

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As if any experienced bike rider doesn’t know that’s the best time to ride, no matter how old you are. Or how long you’ve been up.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding the tweet.

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

No bias here. A mechanic for Jaguar’s Formula E racing team was deservedly fired after an online rant saying people on bicycles “Should be ran [sic] over in the road, dragged on to the path and pissed on by everyone!” if they dare ride in the roadway.

No bias here, either. After people complained about a street being too dangerous to ride a bike on, a British member of Parliament insisted it can’t be too bad, because she survived it. Which seems to set an awfully low bar.

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

Police in England are looking for a teenaged bike rider who reportedly smashed the wing mirror on a car, then dented the door and spit on its hood for no apparent reason. Vandalism is always wrong, tempting though it may be at times. But something tells me there’s probably another side to the story.

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Local

LAist proves it’s possible to ride a bike to Dodger Stadium, and easier than you may think.

 

State 

A Bay Area think tank concludes that exempting sustainable transportation projects from environmental review has worked as intended, as a new bill in the state legislature would make the exemption permanent.

He gets it. An op-ed by a San Diego ER nurse says the city’s streets should be safe for everyone, not just people in cars.

Residents of San Diego’s Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood make it clear they prefer a convenient place to park their cars, instead of bike lanes to help keep people safe from their big, dangerous machines.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a customized adaptive therapeutic bike belonging to an 11-year old Sacramento boy with cerebral palsy.

 

National

Belgian direct-to-consumer ebike maker Cowboy is now offering on-demand home test rides in ten US cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and New York.

Electrek rates the best ebikes in every price range, from under $1,000 to over five grand. I’ll take the Tern e-cargo bike, thank you.

A Washington woman reminds her small town neighbors she’s a 68-year old grandmother on an ebike, not a terrorist dressed in Lycra.

A Salt Lake City TV station describes Whittier’s fallen Bullard brothers as legends in the cycling community, nearly a week after they were killed by an alleged DUI driver outside of St. George. Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign to benefit their families has raised nearly $82,000.

The other Portland is looking to get more bike friendly, too. No, the one in Maine.

A Queens community group wants bikeshare, but only if they can put the docks on the sidewalk instead of the street. Because evidently, curbside parking is more important than people walking.

 

International

Road.cc recalls ten brilliant inventions that changed the bicycle forever.

Edinburgh officials says it’s too soon to criticize a new bike path while it’s still under construction — even though it’s being built in a bizarre zig-zag pattern, with power poles left standing in the middle of it.

Vice examines the bizarre case of a 14-year old Belfast boy who left home on his bike to meet some friends, lost his backpack, fell off his bike, and was seen riding naked through a housing estate before vanishing — all in the space of just 18 minutes. His body was found in a storm drain six days later.

Apparently, the French are no different from the rest of us, with over 80% of French drivers admit to using their cellphones while driving; on the other hand, 72% of bike riders use theirs while riding, too.

Tune in, turn on and go for a bike ride next Tuesday to mark the 79th anniversary of Bicycle Day, when LSD inventor Albert Hoffman dropped a few tabs and tripped all the way home on his bicycle in Basel, Switzerland.

Malaysians are in an uproar over the six-year prison sentence given to a young woman driver, even though she killed eight bike-riding teenagers ranging from 13 to 16; over one million people have signed a petition calling for her to be set free.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclists are riding the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix to get ready for this weekend’s 126th edition of the Monument, give or take a few war years, with the women rolling tomorrow and the men on Sunday.

Heartbreaking news, as Dutch pro Amy Pieters remains in a drug-induced coma, with “no clear picture” of recovery, four months after she was severely injured crashing on a training ride.

Four hometown heroes who grew up watching the Redlands Classic will be competing in next week’s edition of the annual stage race.

Now you, too, can dress like your heroes from the the L39ion of LA cycling team, as long as you’re willing to fork out a couple hundred dollars for an aero jersey, and nearly three hundred for bib shorts. But at least you can get a hat or socks for twenty bucks.

 

Finally…

Apparently, cops think hi-viz repels drunk drivers. That feeling when recovering your stolen tandem turns into a hatchet job — literally.

And yes, we’re clearly the problem. Not all the people in the big, smelly machines.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

More proof bike lanes reduce traffic congestion, and Caltrans commits to non-Vision Zero Vision Zero by 2050

A new study confirms what we already knew.

Bike lanes reduce congestion.

The Carnegie Mellon University study demonstrates how increasing bicycle and micromobility use can lead to a notable decrease in traffic congestion.

But only if there is sufficient infrastructure in place to support increased ridership.

Meanwhile, a study from the Urban Institute suggests that protected and buffered bike lanes, cycle tracks and offroad paths offer a far better solution than painted bike lanes, let alone sharrows.

Your move, Los Angeles.

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Caltrans has finally, semi-officially committed to Vision Zero, even if they very carefully avoided using the term.

And even if they gave themselves nearly 30 years to get there, which effective absolves the agency of the need to take immediate action, giving them every opportunity to kick the can down the road.

But it’s a start.

Maybe someday, someone will actually do more than just start.

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No irony here.

KTown For All co-founder Jane Nguyen was struck by a driver as she was walking in a Koreatown crosswalk (scroll down), while on her way to gather signatures for the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure.

The initiative would improve street safety and transportation by requiring the city to build out the mobility plan as streets are repaved, rather than the current policy of just pretending the plan doesn’t exist.

Nguyen was rushed to the ER by bike rider and corgi owner Kenneth Mejia, who’s running for city controller and has been endorsed by this site.

Fortunately, she wasn’t seriously injured.

And no, I didn’t endorse Mejia just because he rides a bike and has a couple corgis. But it didn’t hurt.

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If you know, or are, a Pasadena public school student, here’s your chance to learn how to fix a bike. And maybe even win a new one.

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Today is the last day to apply for the inaugural Los Angeles City Youth Council. Because it wouldn’t hurt to ensure we have a bike-friendly voices on there.

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But people on bicycles are entitled.

Right?

https://twitter.com/runolgarun/status/1498169046734295040

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Just in case anyone thinks you can’t defend your homeland with a bicycle.

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

A pair of homeless men face charges for beating a Kansas man to death with a metal pipe; at least one of the men was arrested as he rode away on a bicycle afterwards.

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Local

No news it good news, right?

 

State 

San Diego opened a pair of bikeways on Fourth and Fifth Avenues through the Bankers Hill and Hillcrest neighborhoods. Which would have allowed me to safely ride to work when I lived down there. But they only came about three decades too late.

A KPBS roundtable discussion considers what effect the debate over bike lanes will have on San Diego’s climate action plan.

Travel & Leisure recommends REI’s three-day, 113-mile supported bike tour through Joshua Tree National Park, for the low, low price of $1,099 for members. Or for the same price, just get your bike fixed-up, buy a tent and camping gear, and do it yourself.

A writer for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition calls for improving street safety before anyone else gets killed, after a San Francisco pastor was run down from behind while training for a bike ride to Long Beach.

Lodi considers converting an unused railway right-of-way to a rail-to-trail project.

 

National

Road Bike Action wants to talk about your varicose veins. Mine came courtesy of a road raging driver who intentionally slammed into my bike, driving the front cog into my calf.

A new reverse-tricycle ebike from an Oregon bikemaker offers pedal-by-wire, with no direct mechanical connection to the three independent electric motors that power each wheel; the bike also has as a tilting design that allows it to corner like a two-wheeled bike.

Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes considers lowering prices on its most popular models, just months after increasing them due in part to the international bike part shortage.

A Las Vegas bike rider was killed when a bus driver failed to notice the victim was riding to the right of the bus, forcing the rider to cling to the side of the moving bus until he or she lost their grip, and fell into it.

Business owners in Columbus, Ohio and Cambridge, Massachusetts insist on shooting themselves in the foot by fighting plans to remove parking spaces to install bike lanes, even though studies show bike riders spend more than drivers on a monthly basis, and that bike lanes encourage shopping while increasing local sales.

Streetsblog accuses New York officials of a literal coverup after the city did a “fast and shoddy repair” to caved-in pavement on a city street, following the death of a 77-year old man who fell from his bike after hitting the broken pavement; the city had ignored complaints about the problem for nearly three years. Which means the inevitable lawsuit should be a slam dunk.

Kindhearted cops in Coral Springs, Florida gave a young boy a new bicycle, replacing the one he was riding when he was struck by a driver and pinned under the car while on his way to school. Fortunately, he wasn’t badly injured.

Yet another Florida bike rider has been caught on an open draw bridge, as video came to light of a man clinging to the bridge for dear life last November; the news comes after a woman riding a bicycle was killed in a similar incident earlier this month.

 

International

Your next bike could be made from plants.

Brazen bike thieves attempted to use an axel grinder to steal a bicycle in broad daylight on a busy Edinburgh street; fortunately, they were interrupted by people passing by, who guarded it until the owner returned.

Good idea. An Edinburg bike advocacy group has issued an election manifesto calling for creation of a comprehensive network of protected bike lanes and a 30 percent reduction in motor vehicle traffic.

Brompton wants to build a new $134 million factory on an English wetlands, which the company says it will convert to a nature preserve; the factory would employ 1,500 people within five years.

More on the 80-year old British truck driver who killed a 66-year old man who was riding an ebike; court testimony shows he didn’t even brake or take evasive action before slamming into the victim. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive, let alone operate a work truck.

A journalist describes his usual bike route as a “Russian Death Valley” after Ukrainian forces beat back an attack by invading forces.

A Turkish paper describes bicycling as a way of life in the country’s central province of Konya, which is home to 351 miles of bike paths.

Around 400 bike riders hit the streets of Hyderabad, India armed with placards calling on drivers to pay more attentions around people on bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

He gets it. After winning the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne race on Sunday, Dutch cyclist Fabio Jacobsen notes that while young men were fighting to win a bike race, other young men were fighting for their country and their lives against overwhelming odds in Ukraine.

Italian pro Matteo Trentin rejected Chris Froome’s call to ban time trial bikes, saying the problem isn’t the type of bicycle being ridden, but the amount of people in cars.

Spanish motorcycle racer Aleix Espargaró says he nearly joined a pro cycling team after taking up the sport following a bad motorbike crash, calling bicycling the worst drug in the world because “the more you go, the more you want.” Although some of us would say that’s why it’s the best drug.

Two-time IRONMAN World Champion Patrick Lange will be out of commission for awhile, after the German triathlete suffered a joint injury in a training fall.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can have your very own Wu-Tang Clan fixie. If you’re riding your bike with a half gram of fentanyl hidden in your bra, put a damn light on it — the bike that is, not the bra.

And evidently, there’s more than one way to ride around the world — and without breaking a sweatThanks to Steven Hallett for the heads-up.

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

Covid closes SoCal beaches for holiday weekend, Metro reveals recovery plans, and a visit with a bike-riding paletero

Santa Barbara became the latest SoCal county to close its beaches for the holiday weekend yesterday.

That means a nearly unbroken string of city and county beach closures stretching from north of Camp Pendleton through Santa Maria. The closures include the beachfront bike paths in LA County, but it’s not clear if it includes bike path closures in other counties, so check before you go.

State run beaches will remain open, including paths for biking and walking, but parking lots will be closed through Monday to discourage overcrowding.

All of which means San Clemente is likely to get overrun with beachgoers this weekend.

Let’s just hope they’re right about coronavirus not spreading easily outdoors.

But wherever you ride, do it safely and defensively.

I don’t want to have to write about you, or anyone one else, this weekend.

Photo by David Drexler.

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Metro’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force is out with plans for how the LA area can move forward as the city recovers from the coronavirus, without the seemingly inevitable gridlock as people go back to their auto-centric daily routines.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes an in-depth look at Metro’s plans, including an increase in dedicated bus lanes, and possibly taking bikeshare in house to better meet the needs of underserved communities.

Then there’s this.

Metro’s task force recommends a “quick roll-out of more bike infrastructure.” The lack of safe, convenient places to bike has long been a limiting factor inhibiting bicycling in Southern California. What is tricky for Metro is that bikeways are largely out of Metro’s jurisdiction. Metro has roles to play, but municipalities – primarily cities – are ultimately responsible for the bike-unfriendly state of local streets. The task force says Metro should “partner with cities on strategies for rapid deployment of bike improvements.”

So let’s hope Metro can give LA a much-needed push in the right direction.

Linton also goes on to quote a certain bike website writer’s reaction to the plans.

But you’ll have to read his story to see what I had to say.

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Moving piece from the LA Times, which spends a day with an immigrant paletero, or pushcart ice cream vendor, who begins and ends every day riding his bike to and from work.

Mauro Rios Parra is one of the countless Angelenos, immigrant and otherwise, who depend on their bikes for transportation and to earn a living. And who are too often ignored by city planners and elected officials.

According to the story, Rios Parra hasn’t seen his family in Oaxaca for 16 years. But his modest pushcart has helped put one child through med school, and two others through law school.

Which he probably couldn’t have done if he had a car instead of a bike.

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Bicycles allow bike cops to respond quickly and quietly to rapidly changing situations. Unfortunately, that appears to include attacking seemingly peaceful Seattle protesters.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Let’s see Peter Sagan pull this one off with the pro peloton if they ever get back to racing in real life.

https://twitter.com/engineeringvids/status/1278755531352662016

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tip.

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WTF? Why would any family need an SUV that does one eighty? They should send this cat straight back to the hell it came from.

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Local

Somehow we missed this Streetsblog piece on family-friendly bike rides accessible by Metro transit.

Police are still looking for the second bike and skateboard-riding groper who sexually assaulted a number of women in the Venice and Culver City areas; another suspect was arrested recently.

 

State

The CHP is looking for a hit-and-run driver who sideswiped a bike-riding Santa Rosa woman with a trailer; the CHP politely gave the driver a built-in alibi, saying they may not even know they hit anyone.

 

National

Forbes offers advice on how to buy a new mountain bike.

Bicycling tries out the updated 2020 edition of the 1965 Schwinn Collegiate. And likes it.

How to use your water bottle to brush debris from your tires without risking stitches.

A Portland group has created a guide to corking intersections with your bike to protect social justice protests.

Back in my hometown, a university cop is pledging to ride her bike 400 miles this month to benefit Black Lives Matter, and mark the 400-plus years African Americans have been fighting for social justice.

After recovering from testicular cancer, a Texas man who grew up with the nickname Porky got serious about bicycling, which helped him drop 167 pounds while riding up to 200 miles in a day.

A Massachusetts minister suggests taking a spiritual spin on your bike. But don’t be a bicycle Bozo.

The New York Times looks at the city’s bicycle Black Lives Matter protests that have brought thousands of bike riders to the streets to demand social justice.

An off-duty New York cop faces charges for hit-and-run and assault after crashing into a man on a bike, then pushing a bystander before fleeing the scene.

A New York writer says the city’s new e-scooter pilot program is great, but all he really wants is a safe place to park his bike.

 

International

Pink Bike turns into Bicycle Vogue, with a focus on summer mountain bike fashions for men, while Refinery 29 seems more concerned with keeping you stylish on your commuter bike.

The Department of DIY struck in London once again, as climate activist group Extinction Rebellion painted their own popup bike lane through Kensington.

A Scottish program is providing the equivalent of $1.25 million to help local councils, community groups and universities buy ebikes and e-cargo bikes; a previous $2.37 million bought 875 ebikes and 41 e-cargo bikes to replace car trips. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

The BBC examines how helmets, including bike helmets, can keep your fragile brain safe.

A new study shows France is rediscovering the bicycle, with sales up 117% in the first month since the country’s pandemic lockdown was lifted.

 

Competitive Cycling

The actual Tour de France won’t take place until late next month, but a virtual version will kick off this weekend. Maybe they’ll have virtual jostling in the peloton, with virtual falls and virtual road rash. And virtual failed dope tests, too.

Speaking of virtual racing, an Indian army colonel finished fourth in this year’s virtual RAAM, becoming the fourth Indian rider to finish the grueling race, more or less.

A New Zealand navy veteran plans to compete in cycling events in next year’s Invictus Games using a 3D-printed metal pedal spacer and cleat, after injuries from a helicopter crash left one leg shorter than the other.

 

Finally…

If your friend tries to sell your bike without your permission, maybe you need to rethink your friends. Apparently, take one, leave one applies to bike thieves, too.

And nothing like going out for a bike ride and getting stuck in traffic.

Funny how they seem more willing to share the road than LA drivers, and less likely to use their horns.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

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

Oakland settles Biking While Black bust, bicycles don’t cause congestion, and woman on bike shoots road raging driver

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

You know I’m having problems when I can’t even manage to post to say I won’t be posting anything. 

On another note, remember that tomorrow is a legal holiday.

It’s hard to say what it will be like in this extremely effed-up year, but three-day holidays usually mean an increase in traffic the afternoon before as people get off work early to get a jump on the weekend — often after stopping for a drink.

Or several. 

Those who still have jobs, anyway. 

So just be careful if you’re riding this afternoon. 

Use a little extra caution, ride defensively and watch out for careless drivers. Because they won’t be watching for you.

Photo by Ana Arantes from Pexels.

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Oakland officials reached a $147,500 settlement with Najari Smith, the founder of Richmond’s Rich City Rides bike co-op.

Smith was arrested, but never charged, for resisting arrest when cops accused him of playing music too loudly while on a group ride, even though witnesses reported he responded to them respectfully.

Richmond’s mayor said arrest of the respected community leader was nothing more than a case of Biking While Black.

Police also destroyed his bicycle and the bike trailer he used to tow the sound system he routinely used when leading group rides, for no apparent reason.

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No surprise here. Unless you’re a driver.

Bike riders have been urging motorists to be patient for years, insisting that the time they spend following a bike rider only amounts to a few seconds out of their day.

Turns out, we were right.

Writing for Forbes, Carlton Reid explains that a new Portland study confirms bike riders don’t cause traffic congestion, despite the common perception. And that any loss of time caused by someone on a bike is “negligible.”

“Bicycles are not likely to lead to reduced passenger car travel speed, despite their differences in performance capabilities,” says the study, conducted in Portland, Oregon, on roads without bicycle lanes.

“Bicycles do not reduce passenger car speeds by more than 1 mph,” add the study authors concluding that cyclists are not guilty of “negatively affecting travel speed or creating congestion.”

That negligible delay also means the common argument that bicycles cause increased auto emissions by delaying traffic is just so much smoke.

“A general concern of motorists [concerning] the presence of bicycles on roads without bicycle lanes is that they will impede motor vehicles because of their differing performance characteristics, which may serve to increase congestion and vehicle emissions,” explained the study, finding that a 1 mph differential in speed caused by the presence of cyclist would not cause congestion.

And by not being a cause of congestion, cyclists’ presence on roads is not a cause of increased emissions from motorists, either.

It also means that the common motorist maneuver of speeding up to pass someone on a bike, then cutting back in front of them — referred to here as MGIF, or “must get in front” — is just a needless waste of effort that increases danger for everyone on the road.

So the next time you have an impatient driver on your ass, keep your finger holstered. And tell them to just take a breath and get over it, already.

Yeah, that’ll work.

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I don’t even know what to make of this one.

A Detroit driver is dead after an apparent road rage dispute with a man and woman riding bikes.

When the driver pulled over and got out of his car, armed with a knife, the woman pulled out a gun and shot him dead. Which sounds like self-defense.

And yes, she had a permit for a concealed weapon.

Although someone should tell Detroit’s Fox-2 that it was a bike-riding woman who pulled the trigger, not merely “the cyclist’s girlfriend.”

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Looks like Calbike is finally endorsing speed cams.

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I want to be like her when I grow up.

Happy birthday to 1930’s Hollywood star Olivia de Havilland, who’s still one of us, even at the ripe old age of 104.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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A new ad for Dutch ebike maker VanMoof was banned by French advertising authorities, after apparently hitting the auto industry a little too close to home.

Although by banning it, they simply ensured that it will be seen by an exponentially greater number of people.

Speaking of VanMoof, they’ve been honored with a prestigious design award for the year’s best ebike designs.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the tip.

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This is who we share the roads with.

https://twitter.com/GentesSinSuerte/status/1277774192801460225

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Is it bad luck to almost run over a bear with your bike, or good luck you didn’t hit him?

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

Speaking of Biking While Black, a London bike rider was stopped by a cop for “anti-social behavior,” accused of not wearing a helmet and hi-viz, or having a license on his bike. None of which are required in the UK.

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Local

Remember, you can get free 30 minute rides on LA’s Metro Bike bikeshare this weekend, starting Saturday. Or save up to a third off monthly or yearly passes.

Britain’s Prince Harry is one of us, after he was spotted, but not photographed, riding at Surfrider Beach in the ‘Bu. Hard to believe the paparazzi actually missed a celebrity, and a formerly royal one at that. And note to Hollywood Life: Merely stopping to watch the waves does not a surfer make.

 

State

You can drive a stake through the heart of California’s auto-centric focus on Level of Service, aka LOS, as the state replaces it with the more accurate Vehicle Miles Traveled, or VMT, which takes into account all forms of travel.

A San Diego pediatrician is back riding his bike a month after he had titanium rods attached to his spine, after fracturing three vertebrae when he stepped in to protect a security guard who was being attacked by a patient at La Mesa’s Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

California’s switch from LOS to VMT may be intended to reduce traffic, but don’t expect to see sidewalks and bike lanes in San Diego County’s backcountry.

Ventura County will join Los Angeles County, and most of Orange County, in shutting down the beaches over the 4th of July holiday weekend, including  many beachfront bike paths.

A Lodi bike rider remains in critical condition after he was struck by a driver on Sunday.

 

National

A writer for Forbes offers advice for women on how to buy a road bike. Assuming you can actually find one these days. A bike, that is. Although women are getting harder to find, too. 

A bike and donut date with her son teaches a mother that every day is an opportunity for a “once in a lifetime” moment.

Livestrong is still around, apres Lance, and has suggestions on what bike bags to buy.

Arizona traffic fatalities dropped to a three-year low in 2019; however, bicycling deaths were up, despite a decline in bicycle crashes.

A Denver TV station says not only are bikes in short supply now, but getting one in time for Christmas may be a challenge.

Unbelievable. A Kansas City TV station reports a 15-year old kid was killed by an “on-duty vehicle” belonging to the US Service. But takes until the very last line of the story to mention that the vehicle had a driver.

NFL Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith is one of us, as he shares his interval workout with Bicycling, and discusses his Dallas-based fondo. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the link.

There is something seriously wrong with anyone who could run down a 13-year old kid and leave him to die on a Chicago street; the driver now faces two well-deserved felony counts for leaving the scene and failing to report the crash, as well as a pair of misdemeanors. To make matters worse, the boy was killed just after getting his first bicycle.

This is the definition of tragic irony. A woman who was critically injured in a collision with a Chicago Department of Transportation truck driver while riding her bike works as a safe streets ambassador for the department.

The Detroit News says the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing American cities to adopt a Copenhagen-style bicycle model. Someone tell that to LA’s “climate mayor.” Please.

A coalition of current and former staffers called on Bike New York, the nation’s largest bicycle education program, to do more to become actively anti-racist.

An Atlanta bike rider is a hero after loaning his bicycle to a cop in foot pursuit of a murder suspect on a local bike path; the suspect is now in custody on a murder charge.

A pair of Florida sheriff’s departments are the proud recipients of two dozen police fat tire ebikes, courtesy of country music star Brian Kelly of the group Florida Georgia Line.

 

International

A Calgary nonprofit donated 190 bicycles to local families, in part to keep kids from sitting at home stressing about the coronavirus.

Ford is updating a European campaign urging drivers to share the road, and keep bike and e-scooter riders safe in the age of Covid-19.

London drivers are dealing with popup bike lanes by driving onto sidewalks to get around barricades.

Britain’s Daily Mail offers a panicky report that e-scooters will be legal in the country as of Saturday, fearing that cities will be overrun and people may die. Never mind that the biggest risk scooter riders face comes from drivers, not scooters.

A British railway worker is being hailed as a hero after interrupting a bike thief, then sticking around after his shift to look after the bike and ensure it got back to its owner.

Bike-friendly Paris now has an e-bikeshare service. Which is more than can be said for Los Angeles these days after Jump’s retreat from the market.

Thirty-one miles of Parisian popup bike lanes are expected to be made permanent following the reelection of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

A new ranking of the world’s top 90 cities for bicyclists named Utrecht the world’s best bike city, topping Munster, Antwerp, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. The top US city was San Francisco at 39, followed by Portland at 41; shockingly, Los Angeles actually made the list at 57.

The Netherlands’ famously helmet-free reputation could be due for a shakeup, after a think tank recommended that the country mandate bike helmets for children and ebike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as the US national championships have been cancelled for this year for every category except collegiate cycling, marathon mountain biking and cyclocross; the current champs get to hold onto their titles for another year.

 

Finally…

Call it virtual virtual cycling. Your next ebike could be made of wood. Except for the motor, of course. And the tires. And the chain. Probably the gears, too.

And they get it.

https://twitter.com/BritishCycling/status/1278349622688260096?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1278349622688260096%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-1-july-2020-275047

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Thanks again to Matthew R for his generous monthly donation to support this site, and keep it coming your way every day. 

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

LA has America’s worst traffic, NY bike rider accused of pedaling 80 mph, and man gets his 14th DUI on a Buffet bike

No surprise here, as a new survey ranks Los Angeles as America’s worst traffic city.

If you have the patience to click through all 51 pages, you’ll see we’re in good company here in the late, great Golden State, with San Francisco checking in at #3, followed by San Jose at #4.

Also in America’s top — or maybe bottom 50, you’ll find San Diego at #12, Riverside at #16, Sacramento at #18, Fresno #27, and Bakersfield at #31.

Yes, Bakersfield.

The good news, though, is that Los Angeles has only the 31st worst traffic worldwide. So it could be worse.

And probably will be if we keep adding more and more cars to the streets, without providing safe alternatives to driving.

On the other hand, Los Angeles isn’t even on the list of America’s 20 deadliest cities for people on bicycles, per capita.

Although Southern California is well represented by San Bernardino (#3), Chula Vista (#6) and Bakersfield (#11).

Yes, bucolic, fog-shrouded Bakersfield is the only SoCal city to make both unlucky lists. If you want to stretch the definition of Southern California a little.

However, the point of the second list is to show how many of those people killed in each city were wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Bakersfield checks in with a big, fat zero, as does Chula Vista; San Bernardino does a little better with 14% helmet use.

As always, though, there’s no breakdown on how many of those people died as a result of head injuries, or whether their injuries might have been survivable even with a helmet.

So take it with a grain of salt. If not an entire bag.

But you might want to be careful riding in Bakersfield.

Photo by Aayush Srivastava from Pexels.

………

Unbelievable.

A Rochester NY bike rider got rear-ended by a pizza delivery driver while trying to make a left on a surface street, despite reflective panniers, a red blinkie and a reflective rain suit.

Naturally, the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he never saw the victim until he was on his hood.

But about a month later, the guy on the bike was sued in small claims court for $900 in damages to the car that hit him.

Somehow, though, the location of the crash described in the suit moved from a surface street to an Interstate highway. And instead of rear-ending the victim, the driver claimed the guy on the bike hit him while pedaling at 60 mph.

Or maybe 80.

When a reporter asked him about the bike’s remarkably high speed, the pizza man claimed it was doable if the victim was riding an expensive bike.

So maybe those $12,000 or more bikes are worth it, after all.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A Michigan man will spend the next four to ten years behind bars after he was busted for his 14th DUI in 38 years, while on the maiden ride of a motorized Jimmy Buffet-themed bicycle he’d finished building out.

Despite telling officers he’d had just one beer four hours earlier, his BAC measured 0.17 — over twice the legal limit, or “super drunk” under Michigan law.

But he will get eight days credit for time served.

Just to be clear, alcoholism is a disease.

But deciding to get behind the wheel after drinking — or on the saddle of a motorized bike — is just plain, old fashioned stupidity.

………

Speaking of who we share the road with…

That’s exactly the kind of truck that killed nine-year old Nicholas Vela in Anaheim in 2009, because the driver couldn’t see a little kid riding his bike in the crosswalk directly in front of him after he stopped for a stop sign.

I’ve never forgotten the sheer, effing needlessness of Vela’s death, all because a driver somehow felt the need to jack up his pickup to the maximum level allowed by law.

Something tells me he never will, either.

Maybe someday someone can tell me why machines like this are even allowed on the streets.

Because I’ll never get it.

………

Enough said.

………

Here’s your chance to learn how to wrench your own track bike.

………

The latest online trend appears to be barely dressed young — or mostly youngwomen posing on, if not actually riding, bicycles.

Personally, I’ll take Walmart’s Grumpy Gran on a bike, instead.

………

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

Two Miami salmon bicyclists are lucky to be alive, as police search for a driver who intentionally tried to hit them head-on.

………

Local

This is the cost of traffic violence, as one of LA’s top chefs will be out of action for awhile after he was seriously injured when he was run down by a driver on Pico Blvd last week.

Metro will be free on Election Day, including a single 30-minute ride on Metro Bike. But with ten days of advanced voting in LA County prior to next Tuesday, isn’t every day this week Election Day?

Speaking of Metro Bike, the LA bikeshare network just installed its 200th docking station at the intersection of Sunset and Silver Lake.

CiclaValley tags along as Gravel Bike California grinds through Eagle Rock and Topanga State Park.

 

State

Calbike is hosting their annual California Dream Ride down the Left Coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles in October. And not only are ebikes allowed, they’ll let you borrow one if needed.

Silicon Valley cycling isn’t going away, it’s just shifting from fast paced venture capitalists to casual coffee and cake rides.

It may not be the carfree street that’s been discussed, but San Francisco’s Valencia Street will be getting protected bike lanes, complete with protected intersections.

Bay Area bikeshare users are revolting online after Lyft jacks up the prices for their dockless ebikes, while Uber’s Jump ebikes withdraw from the area.

No surprise here, as weekend ridership in the new barrier protected lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is over three times the weekday figure.

 

National

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the failure of the US to sign onto a worldwide pledge to eliminate traffic deaths is the safe streets equivalent of withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

Your next pen could write anywhere, on anything. And comes in a handy hi-viz to make you more visible as you ride your bike with it in your pocket. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

How the bicycle almost became the Humvee of the 1890s.

They get it. Vancouver, Washington decides to remove 400 street side parking spaces to make room for protected bike lanes, after concluding that the safety of pedestrians and bike riders is more important than convenient parking.

Moving essay from a Charlotte NC advocate argues you shouldn’t have to wrap yourself up in Christmas lights with a flashing helmet to be seen and safe on a bicycle. And if you don’t have the decency to stop after a crash, you shouldn’t be driving in the first place.

A Miami-area councilwoman got “clipped” by an apparently driverless car she claimed couldn’t see her while riding on a sidewalk. But only an innocent hedge was held accountable. Seriously, if the car had a driver, someone would have mentioned it. Right?

If you want to get along with Florida drivers, move to Boca Raton.

 

International

A Cambridge, England safety barrier is intended to protect against terrorists, but could be putting bicyclists at risk instead.

Cycling Weekly discusses ten bespoke British bike brands.

A hit-and-run driver who killed a South African bike rider will finally end up behind bars, after dropping his seven-plus year appeal of a modest three-year sentence; if he hadn’t fought it, he could have been out four years ago.

A Texas couple is traversing Australia by bike and on foot, just because they want to.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome opens up about the training crash that almost ended his cycling career, and the excruciating comeback to get back on his bike.

US Olympic medalist and world champ Chloé Dygert didn’t even want to be a cyclist, but her dad kept buying her bikes until she gave in.

The Tokyo Olympics could be at risk of being cancelled due to the coronavirus.

 

Finally…

When your rack needs a rack. Repeat after me — if you’re riding a bike with meth, a knife and drug paraphernalia in your backpack, put a damn light on it.

And if you want to make sure passing drivers give you a wide berth, this ought to do it.

Morning Links: LA traffic isn’t our fault, OC man on trial for stabbing bicyclist, and LA street & transit meetings

It’s a relatively light news day, so let’s just get right to it.

………

Somehow, I just can’t spot the bike lane causing all this traffic congestion on Robertson Blvd yesterday.

So it must be a scooter.

Right?

Or maybe it’s just more LA drivers who can’t see the traffic for the cars.

………

Local

Los Angeles will host a series of public workshops to help create proposals for the city’s Great Streets Challenge Grants, beginning tonight in Van Nuys.

Metro will hold a series of committee meetings to discuss congestion pricing to help reduce traffic, and a report on secure bike parking at Metro stations today and tomorrow.

Thanks to LA Streetsblog for the links.

State

San Diego continues to face a lawsuit claiming dockless e-scooters discriminate against people with disabilities, at the same time the city is finalizing regulations for them.

Great reporting job here. An apparently ageless and nameless El Centro child was injured when he was struck by an apparently driverless truck on his way to his apparently nameless school.

A tip of the hat to the Palm Springs Police Department for busting two bike thieves, and recovering a pair of bikes worth $12,000 that had been stolen from a locked rack on the victim’s car.

Oxnard police are looking for a BMX-riding attacker who assaulted a school employee.

National

The new owners of the parent company of the late, lamented Performance Bicycle say they’re back in business, shipping Fuji, Kestrel, Breezer, SE Bikes and other brands owned by the company to dealers. But Performance itself is dead as a physical presence.

Even Pink’s two-year old son is one of us.

Montana considers clarifying the right-of-way rules regarding bicycles, requiring drivers to move to the left lane or cross the center line to pass bicyclists, even when they’re riding on the shoulder, and to yield to bike traffic traveling in the same direction before turning.

Bike riders are warned to use lights and reflective gear to improve safety. But that wasn’t enough to keep an Austin TX man from getting run down by a possibly stoned bus driver earlier this month.

Even enhanced security wasn’t enough to keep thieves from hitting a Chicago bike shop for the second time this month, making off with $20,000 worth of bicycles.

A Concord NH woman faces a vehicular assault charge for running down a man on his bike from behind while driving without a license; prosecutors contend she was following the victim too closely, even though he was in a bike lane. Although the charges are just misdemeanors and traffic violations, so let’s hope survives that vicious slap on the wrist.

New York Mayor de Blasio defends the NYPD’s bizarre crackdown on bike riders — including using physical force and ticketing riders for breaking nonexistent laws — which followed the hit-and-run death of a bike rider. Even though the victim wasn’t breaking the law, and even though police still haven’t arrested that driver, or any of the other drivers in recent hit-and-runs.

A New Orleans attorney offers tips on riding your bike to Mardi Gras, including advice to avoid riding drunk. Which kind of defeats the whole purpose of the Carnival Season.

A well-deserved hate crime charge has been filed against a Florida driver who threatened a group of young black bike riders with a gun while shouting racial epithets, after one of the teenagers allegedly ran over his wife’s foot.

It’s a sad comment when even someone riding on the sidewalk isn’t safe from drivers on the street, as a New York man visiting Florida was collateral damage in a crash between two motorists.

International

Four men completed an eight day, 372-mile frozen fat bike journey on Canada’s Ice Road in temperatures dipping down to 40 degrees below zero. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the heads-up.

An official police watchdog group has recommended charges against Vancouver police officers for the death of a bike rider, who was somehow killed during a traffic stop because he didn’t have a helmet, lights or reflectors. None of which would normally call for the death penalty.

London blames good weather for a dramatic increase in bicycling and pedestrian fatalities last year, and not just bad drivers and poorly designed trucks.

There’s a special place in hell for the bicycle-riding bandit who injured an 85-year old woman as he made off with his purse; police eventually used dogs to chase him down and take him into custody.

Caught on video: This is what it looks like to be punched by a road raging driver, for the crime of riding on the correct side of the road as the British van driver sped towards him on the wrong side.

Copenhagen residents say Dublin, Ireland’s bike lanes really aren’t.

Caught on video too: A South African bike rider gets ambushed by a man who pushed him off his bicycle to steal his cellphone.

Bicycling Australia says it’s a battlefield out there, offering five tips to improve bicycle safety.

Competitive Cycling

The La Cañada Valley Sun fondly recalls when the 2009 Amgen Tour of California rolled through town on its way to Pasadena; the Peloton included both of America’s future ex-Tour de France winners, as well as eventual winner Levi Leipheimer.

The BBC examines cycling’s obsession with suffering.

Bicycling visits the first-ever Ice Cycle Crit, held on a frozen Massachusetts pond. And examines three current and former pro cyclists to see if there really is a bicycling gene, including cycling scion Taylor Phinney and LA’s own Phil Gaimon.

Cycling Tip’s Neal Rogers writes that he used to be a not-very-good bike racer, with emphasis on the past tense.

Finally…

Put your indoor cycling time to better use baking bread. You can carry anything on a bike — even a basketful of stolen copper pipes.

And most of us can’t walk on water, but at least you can ride on it.

An open letter to the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council about bike lanes in the new community plan

Please excuse the lack of Morning Links today. With tonight’s discussion of removing bike lanes and road diets from the Hollywood Community Plan, I felt it was more important to write and share this open letter. 

We’ll catch up on anything we might have missed tomorrow.

………

To the board members of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council,

Tonight you’re scheduled to discuss a response to the draft Hollywood Community Plan, including the proposed bike lanes included in the Mobility Plan 2035.

However, the draft response contains references to maintaining the community’s current over-reliance on motor vehicles, as opposed to improving safety and connectivity for transit, walking and bicycling to encourage people to use other forms of transportation whenever practical.

At the same time, the president of this board is on record as opposing plans for road diets, saying proponents need a reality check. And letters are included that call at least one bike lane through the Cahuenga Pass — and perhaps others — “infeasible.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Or do more harm to the Hollywood community in the years to come.

The truth is that road diets, more accurately known as lane reductions, can actually improve traffic flow and reduce congestion while increasing safety for all road users. And bike lanes can improve the livability of the community, while increasing the commercial health of local businesses and property owners.

Other cities have recently seen the benefits of road diets.

But you don’t have to look to other cities to see the benefits of road diets.

  • The road diet on Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake has been a proven success, reducing average speed back down to the posted speed limit with no adverse effect on traffic volume, while significantly improving safety for all road users.
  • And despite the initial complaints of business owners, York Blvd in Highland Park has thrived after a road diet was installed; even just six months after completion, it had no negative effect on local businesses.

Meanwhile, there are additional benefits to bike lanes, with or without a road diet.

The best part is, everyone gets to enjoy these benefits, whether or not they ever ride a bicycle. All that’s required is to make it safer, easier and more convenient for other people to ride their bikes.

In fact, studies have repeatedly shown that roughly 60% of all people would like to ride their bikes more if they felt safer doing it. Even right here in the car capital of the world.

On the other hand, the best way to ensure the failure of our traffic grid is to do nothing to encourage people to leave their cars at home, as more and more people move to the city, bringing their cars with them. And more people buy cars thanks to low interest rates and a booming economy.

As counterintuitive as it may seem to some, the solution isn’t to maximize the space given to motor vehicles and their drivers.

Los Angeles streets — and Hollywood in particular — are already built out to capacity. And rapidly filling to it, as well.

Our streets will all grind to halt if we don’t take steps now to make bicycling, walking and transit more viable options for more people. The only thing that’s actually infeasible is to continue on the almost exclusively car-driven path we’re on now.

Simply put, when you say no to road diets and bike lanes, you say no to safety, livability and commercial success. And that your ability to drive unimpeded is more important than people’s lives, and a healthy, thriving community.

Please do the right thing, and support the bike lanes in the draft Hollywood Community Plan.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

Hollywood

Morning Links: $19 billion tab for LA traffic congestion, and the stupidest things people have said about cyclists

Somehow we missed this one last week.

CityLab reports that traffic congestion cost Los Angeles $19.2 billion — yes, with a b — in 2016. Which works out to an average cost of $2,828 per driver.

So sure.

Let’s just follow the lead of LA’s traffic safety deniers and do nothing to provide viable alternatives to driving, while dumping tens of thousands of new cars on the city streets every year.

That will somehow magically make everything better.

Right?

………

Another great piece from Peter Flax, as he builds an Anti-Bike-Crank Hall of Fame based on the 10 stupidest things people have said about cyclists.

………

Local

A UCLA professor will take part in a three-week, 1,000-mile bike ride along the California coast to talk climate change.

Curbed looks at how Los Angeles walking advocate Jessica Meaney gets around. Hint: It’s not by driving.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from LA Bike Dad, who examines whether you should consider getting a bakfiets, aka cargo bike. To answer the unasked question, you pronounce bakfiets like what I have to wipe off after the Corgi goes out in the rain, along with her front fiets.

 

State

LimeBike is bringing their dockless bikeshare to San Diego, undoubtedly to the chagrin of the beachfront bike rental owners who just got the city’s bikeshare docks removed from near their stores. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

Streetsblog talks with a bike-riding San Francisco firefighter about Vision Zero and his department’s windshield perspective.

A Marin man has been ordered to stand trial on four felony hit-and-run charges for ramming four cyclists in last year’s Jensie Gran Fondo, apparently intentionally. Although he should also face charges of assault with a deadly weapon, with potential jail time of a lot more than just five years.

 

National

Despite improvements in automotive safety, US traffic deaths remained over 40,000 for the second year in a row.

Bicycling lists the commuter cycling gear you need this year. Apparently oblivious to the fact that many people seem to get to and from work just fine without any of it.

Seattle proves that it is in fact possible to add jobs while dramatically cutting traffic. Your move, Los Angeles.

If Utah adopts a version of the Idaho Stop law, it will be just the third state in the US to allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields. Which means there’s just 47 more to go.

Colorado lawmakers block an attempt to ban red light and speed cameras in the state. Speed cameras are currently illegal in California, while red light cameras are prohibited in Los Angeles. Which makes the Rocky Mountain State smarter, and safer, than either one of them.

Laredo TX opened a new bike and ride plaza to allow people to safely store their bicycles when they take the bus.

Kansas and Missouri are working to have sections of the famed Route 66 designated as a US Bicycle Route.

A Memphis newspaper looks at the city’s plans to build out their existing bicycle network, six year’s after they were named America’s most improved bike city.

People in Charlotte NC love the dockless bikeshares that have appeared in the city under a trial program. Or hate them.

 

International

Your next bike mechanic could have an international certification.

The Economist says to improve cities, we need to focus on the 95% of the time when cars aren’t being used.

British Columbia bicyclists cheer plans to replace an 81-year old bridge, which has a shared bike and pedestrian lane so narrow that bikes coming from opposite directions can’t pass one another.

A travel writer for the Washington Post rides end-to-end across Britain.

Caught on video: A British van driver inexplicably decides to hover next to a pair of bicyclists, less than an arm’s distance away.

A New Zealand man lost 220 pounds after his doctor gave him a bicycle; now he fixes bikes and gives them away to encourage others to ride. If more doctors would prescribe bicycling to their patients, we might have a much healthier and happy population.

Indian cyclists are giving up their desk jobs to open high-end bike shops.

 

Competitive Cycling

Turns out The Big Lebowski helped inspire ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis’ unlikely comeback as a purveyor of fine medical dope products.

A Morgan Hill columnist is getting hyped for the city’s turn to host a stage of the Amgen Tour of California.

No, pro cyclists are not welcoming Chris Froome back with open arms while a doping cloud hangs over his head, despite what he says.

 

Finally…

Upcycling classic bicycles is one thing; buying a second-hand Penny Farthing is another. Apparently, all the good bikes under three grand are on the radar.

And forget motor doping, mountain ebike racing will now be a thing.

 

Morning Links: Green bike lanes coming to Beverly Hills, and windshield bias from Pepperdine economics prof

Hell is about to freeze over.

After years of telling us it was impossible and repeatedly voting it down, Beverly Hills has given final approval for bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd, between Wilshire Blvd and Doheny Drive.

The city council also overrode a staff recommendation for white striped lanes with a little green paint at key conflict zones, instead voting for green lanes the entire length, at a cost of around $100,000 — nearly triple the staff’s $35,000 budget.

Which should give you an idea just how cheap bike lanes really are.

The work should be done sometime this spring.

Thanks should go to Beverly Hills’ bike-friendly Mayor Lili Bosse, as well as Better Bike’s Mark Elliot, who continued a quixotic and nearly solitary fight for the lanes, long after others had given up.

Myself included.

Photo from Beverly Hills website.

………

I’d give this econ professor an F.

In an Op-Ed for the Orange County Register, Pepperdine’s Gary Galles writes that transit use is down because cars remain popular.

And that the reason they are so popular is because they are “vastly superior” transit and other forms of non-motorized transportation.

Many things are already in motion to solve transit agencies’ problems. For instance, in 2015, Los Angeles began a 20-year plan to remove auto lanes for bus and protected bike lanes, as well as pedestrian enhancements, diverting transportation funds raised from drivers and heightening congestion for the vast majority who planners already know will continue to drive.

Such less than effective attempts to cut driving by creating gridlock purgatory suggest we ask a largely ignored question. Why do planners’ attempts to force residents into walking, cycling and mass transit, supposedly improving their quality of life, attract so few away from driving?

The reason is simple — cars are vastly superior to alternatives for the vast majority of individuals and circumstances.

Of course, what he fails to consider from his windshield-perspective perch overlooking PCH is that drivers around Southern California already complain about massive traffic congestion.

And, in fact, one of the reasons bus use is less attractive that driving is that bus schedules are constantly thrown off by all those people in cars jamming streets beyond their practical capacity.

So what traffic planners are attempting isn’t to create a gridlock purgatory.

It’s dealing with the traffic congestion hell we already find ourselves in, and preparing for an otherwise dystopian future in which more and more people try to jam themselves into an already built-out traffic system that can no longer be expanded.

So unless we provide those people with safe, practical alternatives to driving, our streets will continue to get worse with every new car added to the grid.

That means more frequent and reliable transit, and safer walking and biking. Which in some cases will require making traffic worse in the short term in order to make it better in the long term.

As an economics professor, he should understand that.

But as a shill for the motor vehicle industry, he’s doing a damn good job.

………

The Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council will discuss the draft Hollywood Community Plan at the William & Ariel Durant Library, 7140 West Sunset Blvd on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 6-8 pm.

If you live, work or ride in bikeway-challenged Hollywood, you’ll want to be there to support the bike lanes described in Section 6 of the plan.

Because the Hollywood Hills homeowners will undoubtedly turn out in force once again to complain about density and traffic congestion. As well as bike lanes, if they think it will contribute to either one.

Thanks to the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition for the heads-up.

………

Local

A Pacoima square will be dedicated in honor of fallen cyclist Saul Lopez, the 15-year old boy who was collateral damage in a crash between two cars at Glenoaks Boulevard and Vaughn Street after one of the drivers ran a red light.

 

State

Coronado, where bike lanes give residents vertigo, considers improving bike safety by replacing stop signs with roundabouts; needless to say, not everyone approves.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs rolls this weekend, and a letter writer says it’s rude to ride two or more abreast and force drivers to change lanes (scroll down) to go around them. Even though that’s exactly what drivers are supposed to do, unless there’s a solid yellow line.

A Bakersfield columnist shares the joys of his regular Saturday morning group ride, which has been riding together for over 20 years.

Not so fast on the bike boulevard in San Luis Obispo, as the cycle track portion of the project has been put on hold after residents rise up to demand their God-given right to free street parking.

The former mayor of SLO tries to out-crazy the Coronado NIMBY’s, describing the planned bikeway as “urban rape … not to be performed by a male penis, but by thousands of inanimate bicycles … .” No, seriously.

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan will host a pair of California fondos, starting with a gravel ride in Truckee this May, and a road ride in a city TBD in November.

 

National

Nice idea. In an attempt to support sustainable transportation, a Washington couple builds a small Bike Hut on the edge of their property, providing riders in need with spare tubes, chain lube and other small necessities.

A Montana paper looks at the efforts of rural towns to capitalize on bicycle tourism.

Zen and the art of bicycle maintenance in Minneapolis.

After moving off campus, a Johns Hopkins University student discovers the joys of bicycling in Baltimore and the city’s monthly Bike Party.

A writer from Los Angeles falls head-over-heels — literally — for mountain biking just a few hours outside Atlanta. And wonders why he doesn’t do it more here in California.

 

International

A couple of British pub owners ride the length of South America, covering over 3,000 miles from Chile to Argentina.

A London physician gets it, saying the city’s Camden neighborhood won’t meet its smog reduction goals without a greater emphasis on bicycling and presumed liability. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, presumed liability assumes the operator of the more dangerous vehicle is at fault in any collision, unless it can be proven that the other party is at fault, because they have a greater responsibility to avoid crashes due to their ability to cause greater harm.

A British coroner rules that a velodrome did not follow safety guidelines when a cyclist was killed in a 35 mph crash with another rider in 2014.

An Aussie letter writer says bicycles should be required to have bells, since there’s apparently no other way to politely warn others a bike is approaching. And seems to be under the illusion that drivers politely yield to people on bikes and on foot.

 

Competitive Cycling

An entre Italian amateur team gets busted for systematic doping (scroll down) following the heart attack death of a 21-year old cyclist last May. But sure, tell us again how the era of doping is over.

VeloNews previews this year’s Amgen Tour of California, and says the key stages will be the famed Gibraltar climb and the time trial in Morgan Hill. And looks at how the pros overcome the fear of failure and getting hurt.

 

Finally…

Evidently, I’m not actually a road cyclist. Maybe someday you’ll ride wearing an inflatable flak jacket.

And today is International Winter Bike to Work Day.

So pat yourself on the back if you were able to somehow endure Southern California’s sunny winter weather on your way to work this morning.

Morning Links: Road raging New York mobster, LA transforming to city of the future, and a kindhearted bike gift

These are the people we share the roads with.

An 82-year old New York mobster skated on charges that he participated in the legendary 1978 Lufthansa heist that inspired the movie Goodfellas.

But now he’ll spend the next eight years behind bars after using a law enforcement database to track down a driver who cut him off on a freeway, and setting the man’s car on fire.

Evidently, road rage is dish best served cold.

Unless you get caught.

………

Nice KCRW interview with UCLA urban planning professor Bryan Taylor, who says LA’s traffic problems are the result of the city transforming from a “bucolic Southern California bungalow environment” to an “urban global city of the future.”

And one in which people will walk, bike and take transit in denser communities — and where the 30-mile commute is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

I think that the idea that we should build a system that allows someone to live 30 miles from where they work is ridiculous. If you went that far in Tokyo, you’d cover an area that has most of the population for California. The expectation that someone should be able to get in their car and drive through one of the largest cities in the world unimpeded from one end of the metropolitan area to the other is an expectation that could have existed when L.A. wasn’t a global city of that scale. We now have 17 million people. It’s just not going to be possible for them to live in in Pasadena and drive to Santa Monica and feel like they can do that comfortably. Those days are over.

Which is a point I’ve been trying to make with drivers and reporters for some time, with limited success.

As in none.

………

This is by far the best news story of the day.

After an Indiana woman’s bike broke down on her way to work Christmas Eve, a kindhearted stranger stopped to help. And ended up giving her a bicycle she’d bought for her grandchild’s Christmas present.

………

Local

Metro Bike is planning to expand into the San Gabriel Valley, Culver City and around USC, while it struggles to meet ridership projections in the face of competition from dockless bikeshare.

Curbed offers 18 things to look forward to this year, including the opening of the long-delayed My Figueroa Complete Streets project on South Figueroa, and September’s Disney Hall to Hollywood Bowl CicLAvia.

You have until noon tomorrow to vote for Streetsblog’s annual Streetsie Awards for Elected Official, Civil Servant, Media/Journalism, Individual Advocacy, and Advocacy Group of the year.

The latest episode of Bike Talk interviews prolific bike writer Peter Flax, one of the journalists nominated for a Streetsie this year.

South Bay bike riders can now go to bicycle traffic school instead of paying a fine for traffic tickets. Los Angeles has been talking about doing that, but so far, it doesn’t appear to have moved beyond talk at this point.

A man on a bicycle shot a Norwalk man in the hand after talking with him briefly; police suspect it may have been gang-related.

 

State

San Diego opens the new bicycle-themed Bikeway Village along the bayfront bike path in Imperial Beach.

An Aussie BMX champ vowed to walk down the aisle to marry his fiancé on New Year’s Eve in San Diego, where he’s in rehab for a training accident that left him paralyzed for awhile.

A couple hundred Bakersfield riders get the new year started right with an early morning ride. Although that doesn’t compare to riding with a wind chill factor of 12 below.

Things are getting better for bicyclists on the Bay Area’s Mount Diablo after a number of safety improvements designed to reduce conflicts with motorists.

Sad news from San Raphael, where a bike rider died after hitting an object on a paved trail.

 

National

Motor vehicles are now the leading source of CO2 emissions in the US, as what now passes for the EPA is busy dismantling regulations intended to protect us.

Oregon’s new $15 tax on new bicycles over $200 went into effect yesterday.

A Tucson woman is looking for the beloved bike belonging to her late brother, which was stolen shortly after he died of pancreatic cancer.

Life is cheap in New Mexico, where a man convicted of careless driving in a crash that severely injured a woman riding her bike walks with just 90 days probation, and a whopping $156 court fee that the judge may have waived.

Engineering students at the University of Colorado build an adaptive bike for a girl with autism and limited motor skills.

A Denver paper says ebikes could help reduce traffic congestion, but questions whether they belong on singletrack trails.

While some Los Angeles residents are demanding that the city rip out bike lanes, residents of Amarillo TX are begging the city to put bike lanes in their neighborhood to slow speeding traffic.

A San Antonio man is finally under arrest, seven months after he fatally ran down a bike rider while struggling with a couple of passengers trying to stop his out-of-control driving.

A recovering addict from Missouri rode 3,300 miles across the US to promote recovery.

 

International

A new book tells the story of four young Canadian women who took off on a 400-mile bike ride in the middle of WWII.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old man rode 4,300 miles across Canada. So much for all those people who say older people can’t ride bikes.

Young Toronto residents are passing on getting a driver’s license, and choosing to live in complete communities where walking, biking and transit take precedence.

Bike advocates are fighting plans to block an abandoned British rail tunnel, hoping it can be converted to the country’s longest underground bikeway instead.

No bias here. A non-scientific survey of Brit drivers shows 73% want to force cyclists to wear hi-viz, and 80% want bike riders to carry mandatory liability insurance.

A UK letter writer says bikes were here first and it’s not the fault of bicyclists that roads are getting more dangerous, while another letter writer reminds motorists that cars are dangerous machines, and says drivers who kill should be banned for life.

Finland plans to become a bicycling mecca by 2050, with most commuters riding company-supplied ebikes. But why wait another three decades?

Sweden is now offering a 25% rebate on the purchase of an ebike, as research shows electric bicycles often replace cars.

Caught on video: A Polish mountain biker completes the world’s first backflip in the Superman position.

A 19-year old Indian woman will attempt to set a new record for being the youngest and fastest woman to complete an unsupported, 18,000-mile ride around the world.

Caught on video too: An Aussie bicyclist is caught in a left hook crash, the Down Under equivalent of our right hook, as the writer says the driver was legally at fault but the victim shares the blame.

Caught on video three: A trio of Australian bike riders were lucky to stay upright when they were passed way too close and too fast by the driver of a massive truck.

After two Australian cyclists were sideswiped by the driver of a rental camper van, all the driver had to say was “Big mirror. Sorry.”

Nothing like having to dodge a car thief speeding down an Australian bike path.

Britain’s Sky News says abandoned dockless rental bikes have turned into a social menace in China. Meanwhile, CNN says Chinese dockless bikeshare has turned into a bubble.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a purple, bike-riding octopus. Go for a New Year’s swim, come up with a new bike.

And don’t steal a bike from a pack of Santas.

………

Thanks to Gil S for his generous donation to help support this site. While the annual holiday fund drive may be over, contributions are always welcome.

And on a personal note, today is the first day my wife has been back at work in nearly two months. So let me offer a heartfelt thank you to everyone who have offered so many kind words and support over the past several weeks.

 

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