Tag Archive for traffic deaths

Morning Links: Oslo’s Vision Zero map, Hollywood commandeers Main Street, and busting distracted drivers with TAP cards

Please forgive my unexcused absence on Wednesday. 

I’ve been dealing with high blood sugar for the past few weeks. When it finally came down, it crashed hard, taking me down like a shot. And kept me there for several hours. 

One more reminder that diabetes sucks. 

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Good question.

A writer for Strong Towns wants to know why Americans view Vision Zero as an impossible goal.

Even though Oslo, Norway has proven that it can be done.

And offers a recipe any city can follow to break America’s addiction to speed, and the cars that make it possible.

Although in most cities, the overwhelming number of cars and trucks make any kind of speed virtually unachievable for much of the day. Including right here in Los Angeles.

Or maybe especially in Los Angeles.

Never mind that the excess capacity that allows those cars to inch along at rush hour also allows drivers to blow well beyond what passes for speed limits the rest of the day. Putting the limbs and lives of everyone else on or near the roads at risk.

But here’s the path Oslo followed. And the one every other city could, and should, if human lives matter even a whit more than the convenience of people in cars.

Changing that basic fact is our challenge. It’s possible, but it’s going to require both institutional and far-reaching cultural changes, including but not limited to:

It’s a holistic strategy. It will take decades. The lesson from Oslo is that if we embark on this path, the potential rewards are great. We too could have cities where nobody fears losing their son or daughter or parent or best friend to a car crash.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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When is a new two-way protected bike lane not a bike lane?

When the city forgets that we live here too, and it becomes a Hollywood backlot.

https://twitter.com/Tomexploresla/status/1214611261238829056

When you run into something like that, complain to FilmLA, LADOT and the local councilmember — in this case, Jose Huizar.

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Maybe we can get Metro to give the LAPD a few TAP cards.

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Show up for the bike safety course, stay for the free helmet and bike light.

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Evidently, work on the coming Red Car bike and pedestrian bridge over the LA River is coming along nicely.

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It’s not too early to start thinking about impressing that Valentines date with a little hand-drawn bike art. .

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

Nothing like getting attacked by an angry driver who’s blocking a San Francisco protected bike lane. And yes, that’s assault with a deadly weapon, and should be reported to the police.

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

Police in New York are looking for a bike-riding creep who approached a special needs student, then grabbed her ass when she tried to get away.

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Local

New Los Angeles political advocacy group Streets for All wants your help electing Sarah Kate Levy in CD4, and Loraine Lunquist in CD12; both are running against incumbents who are anything but friendly to safer streets.

CiclaValley offers up a video bike tour of Elysian Park, the second largest park in the City of LA. And takes a gravel bike ride in the snow.

CicLAvia is celebrating ten years of America’s most successful open streets events with a fundraising party on the 2nd of next month.

Pasadena Weekly profiles longtime bike advocate and Altadena Councilmember Dorothy Wong.

LongBeachize says with 29 people dead as a result of traffic violence in the city last year, including four bike riders and 17 pedestrians, it’s time to change the way we talk about it.

 

State

San Diego County has paid an injured woman half a million dollars after she suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was thrown from her bike by bad pavement on Highway 8. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Speaking of San Diego, Robert Leone forwards SANDAG’s winter progress report, with 16 miles of bikeways currently under construction and more on the way.

Finishing off our San Diego trifecta, business owners in the North Park neighborhood have proposed an alternative plan that would extend the protected bike lane planned for 30th Street, while allowing them to keep 100 of the 550 parking spaces scheduled to be removed.

Encinitas is closing a section of the coast highway for the first time ever for Sunday’s inaugural Cyclovia.

Heartbreaking news from Ramona, where 53-year old Michelle Scott remains unresponsive with minimal brain function more than three months after a hit-and-run crash while she was riding her bike to work; a crowdfunding page has raised just over $11,000 of the modest $15,000 goal to help pay her medical expenses. Let’s all say a prayer or send good wishes her way for a full recovery. 

Apparently Robert Leone gets around; he’s also looking forward to San Jose’s Library to Library bike tour next Saturday.

The new bike path on the Richmond – San Raphael Bridge may be great, but getting on and off apparently leaves something to be desired; there’s already been a fatal fall when a bike rider crashed into a fence. Thanks to Al Williams for the link.

 

National

A new insurance industry report ranks the 20 most dangerous cities for bike riders; sadly, San Bernardino comes in 3rd and Chula Vista 6th; Bakersfield checks in at 11.

Streetsblog examines the real reasons e-scooter injuries are booming. Hint: scooter usage is, too.

No surprise here. A new study shows the US needs to invest a lot more in bicycling and walking infrastructure if they want active transportation rates to grow. On the other hand, if they just want our streets to become increasing clogged until no one can move, make our air unbreathable and our planet an oven, then carry on.

Lime is responding to continued losses by laying off 14% off its employees and pulling the plug in 12 markets, including San Diego; the company will continue serving Los Angeles, for now anyway.

Road.cc offers eight bike gadgets from this year’s CES tech trade show. And yes, that water bike really is a thing.

Ebike maker Blix has dropped its prices after moving to online distribution only.

Two men have already been arrested in the apparently random shooting of a bike-riding Texas teenager we mentioned just yesterday; still no word on a possible motive.

Evidently, biking while black or brown applies to people on foot, too. At least in New York.

In a remarkable outcome, a Philadelphia food delivery rider won’t spend a single day behind bars for fatally stabbing a wealthy real estate developer who reportedly threatened to “beat the black off” him. Michael White was acquitted on a number of charges after claiming self-defense, and sentenced to just two years probation for evidence tampering for throwing away the knife he had used.

A Maryland state legislator rode her bike 324 miles over a 13-month period to cover nearly every block of every street in her hometown.

A Virginia woman faces charges for the drunken hit-and-run that took the life of a bike-riding father, who was found dying in a ditch nearly an hour after the crash; the driver still had the victim’s hi-viz safety vest embedded in her windshield when she was busted.

A man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has been charged with 2nd degree murder for shooting a bike thief in the head as he attempted to make off with a bicycle from in front of a convenience store.

 

International

Now you, too, can own what may be the world’s most bicycle with a sticker price of £60,000 — the equivalent of over 78 grand in the US.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews examines the rise of Peter Sagan over the past decade, saying he became the most popular pro cyclist by making winning fun.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to Tase a bike-riding young man for popping a wheelie.

And it’s always been my belief that people drive the way they push a grocery cart.

https://twitter.com/SafeCyclingEire/status/1212431490946088962

 

Morning Links: The bikes that won the war, CA projects anti-Vision Zero jump in traffic deaths, and Jump Bike rates jump

Seventy-five years ago today, my dad was on his fifth day in France, after landing in Normandy on D-Day+3.

That is, three days after the bloody landing on Normandy Beach that marked the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany.

He was lucky that, as an MP, he was stationed mostly behind the front lines.

Mostly being the key word.

No so for the men of the 390th Bomber Group stationed in Suffolk, England.

David Drexler reports how they relied on bikes when they weren’t in the skies over Germany.

I am recently back from my trip to Tucson, Arizona.

In Tucson is the Pima Air and Space Museum — a phenomenal place — the Smithsonian of the West for Air History.

There is a special Hanger for the 390th Bombing Group who are alleged to have been instrumental in winning WWII:

“In the spring of 1943, the 390th Bomb Group was activated in Blythe, California with four squadrons: the 568th, 569th, 570th, and 571st. In July, the Group’s air and ground troops were assigned to the 8th Air Force and dispatched to Suffolk, England for missions over Europe. The 390th’s B-17 Flying Fortresses bombed aircraft factories, bridges and oil refineries. A total of 714 airmen sacrificed their lives in the cause of freedom.”

Part of the 390th Museum is a tribute to the importance of the bicycle in WWII along with an actual bicycle that was used in England during the War.

I like the Brooks Seat — not a lot has changed in 75 years for Brooks.

I’m always struck by just how young the men and women we sent to war were, a bunch of kids who literally saved the world.

And just how many never returned.

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So much for Vision Zero.

Streetsblog reports that states are responding to a new federal government program to cut traffic deaths by projecting an increase instead.

Including right here in the late, great Golden State, where state officials say efforts to improve safety will result in an increase of 412 deaths a year, on top of the state’s already too high carnage on the streets.

Never mind that the projections are supposed to be aspirational, and attainable.

In that case, why stop at 412? California can easily attain even more blood on the streets just by doing what we’re already doing right now.

That’s something to aspire to, right?

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Prices just jumped for one leading brand of dockless ebikes and scooters.

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Brandi DAmore forwards Bike Index’s take on that stolen bike they helped recover 12 years after it went missing.

recovery

BIKE INDEX RECOVERS A BIKE STOLEN 12 YEARS AGO

“No one knows what use the bike performed during the years it was missing but, 12 years later, its new mission is to transport my son to perform some very important work.”

This might be a new record. 12 years after its theft in Iowa City, a bike has returned to its owner thanks to Bike Index. Picking up right where he left off, the bike’s owner now uses it to commute around Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago where he works. Bike Index has recovered over $8 million in stolen bikes. Make sure your bike has the best chance of returning to you if it’s stolen – register your bike on BIke Index right now.

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Local

Metro hosts another of their BEST Rides tomorrow, along with People for Mobility Justice and TRUST South LA, as they celebrate Juneteenth by visiting venues along Central Ave from the legendary Green Book, which lists motels and other sites where blacks were welcome during America’s more openly racist past.

The Long Beach Post profiles the owner of the New York-based Propel ebike shop, which is opening its second location on Broadway in Long Beach. Someone tell him they need to advertise here on BikinginLA. No, go ahead, I’ll wait.

 

State

The California Senate Transportation Committee met to discuss a number of bills, including improving bike lane guidance at intersections. Meanwhile, Active SGV offers an update on the bills they currently support in the legislature.

San Diego’s Blind Stoker’s Club enables visually impaired bike riders to pedal throughout the county on the back of a tandem, with a sighted rider up front.

Sports Illustrated says we never really knew NFL star Kellen Winslow II, following his conviction for rape and indecent exposure in San Diego; he was caught in part by Strava data that put his bike near one of the assaults.

Sad news from Lake Elsinore, where a 19-year old man was killed riding his skateboard in a Lake Elsinore bike lane. Evidently, painted bike lanes aren’t any safer for people on skateboards than they are for people on bikes.

An 81-year old ‘bent rider has filed suit against the San Luis Obispo County, the county airport, Caltrans and the FAA after a gust of jet blast allegedly knocked him off his bike and into traffic, resulting in severe injuries and damage to his bike.

San Raphael has opened a new bike and pedestrian bridge across a canal.

A local paper offers more on the life and death of famed Petaluma bespoke framebuilder Bruce Gordon.

A Redding woman repeatedly stabbed a man, leaving him with life-threatening injuries, then calmly rode off on her cruiser bike.

 

National

Bike Snob confesses to riding on the sidewalk with his kids. And says if your city is “plagued by those pesky sidewalk cyclists,” it means its bike infrastructure totally sucks.

Tesla’s new Enhanced Summon feature allows the car to maneuver out of parking spots and come to the driver, instead of the other way around. So who cares if it can’t recognize narrow objects like people on bicycles?

Three groups of riders from my college fraternity will set out from Santa Monica, San Francisco and Seattle to ride across the US this summer, and raise three-quarter of a million dollars for disability awareness.

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager offers tips to build up the strength you need to ride hills. I learned to conquer hills by riding up the steepest one I could find as far as I could go, then coming back the next day and doing it again, going a little further each time until I could ride it without stopping.

Your next ebike could charge itself as you ride, giving you almost unlimited range.

Oregon is moving forward with their version of an Idaho Stop law, allowing riders to treat stop signs as yields, but still stopping for red lights.

Seattle sort of responds to complaints from bicyclists about cuts to the city’s new bike plan, but not really.

Once ski season is over, Aspen CO turns to thoughts of singletrack.

A Denver bike shop gave a new bicycle to a little girl, after a TV station aired a story about the girl selling lemonade to replace her stolen bike.

That’s more like it. A new ordinance in Wichita Falls TX requires drivers to change lanes to pass vulnerable road users, including bike riders, or slow 20 mph below the speed limit to pass.

Sounds like fun. An annual Milwaukee bike ride celebrates both Mexican and Polish culture with a rolling norteña and polka party.

After St. Paul MN police were unable to recover a teenage boy’s stolen bike, despite arresting the thief, they replaced it through a program designed to do exactly that.

A local paper says a South Bend IN bike delivery rider for Jimmy John’s isn’t about to put on the brakes. Not that his bike has any.

That’s more like it too. A Maine bike coalition reminds drivers that state law allows bicyclists to ride anywhere in the traffic lane where they feel safest.

If you’re going to build a bike path that ends at the airport, you might want to inform the FAA — as a Massachusetts town learned the hard way.

New York’s police commissioner remains trapped in the last century, saying he opposes attempts to legalize ebikes and e-scooters because he’s not sure they’re safe. If that’s the criteria he’s going to use, he probably supports banning cars, too.

 

International

An English bike rider says after a car driver apologized for a near collision, a bus driver traveling in the opposite direction pulled up next to them and blamed her for the close call, calling her a homophobic slur in the process.

The UK’s Cycle to Work program now offers commuters up to 39% of the cost of any new bicycle, including ebikes, to get more people riding to work. We need something like this in the US, let alone in Los Angeles – as long as it comes with safe infrastructure so people with actually use it.

A British lawyer explains why a bike rider didn’t get a farthing after he was injured hitting a pothole during a closed road sportive.

An Australian researcher says a lack of safe streets is a big reason why many people in the country don’t ride bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome underwent six hours of surgery to repair multiple broken bones, after the four-time Tour de France winner crashed into a house at 34 mph when a gust of wind caught the wheel of his time trial bike just as he took his hand off his handlebars to blow his nose. Froome was reportedly on a reconnaissance ride for Wednesday’s time-trial stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné; he’ll now miss that, as well as next month’s Tour de France. And probably everything else this year.

Speaking of Froome, he’ll win the 2011 Vuelta from his room in the ICU, because erstwhile champ Juan Jose Cobo was retroactively busted for doping.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal a bike in Canada, put on a helmet first. Even drivers think drivers are being more aggressive abound bike riders.

And now you can help clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by wearing a piece of it on your head when you ride.

 

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