Tag Archive for traffic deaths

US traffic deaths soar, LA Times picks Pynoos over O’Farrell, and Friedman fights for bike safety on Burbank bridge

If you thought our roads are getting more dangerous, you’re right.

According to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 42,915 people were killed on American streets last year — the highest total since 2005, and an increase of 10.5 percent over 2020.

Bicycling fatalities rose five percent, to 985 — an average of five deaths every two days — while pedestrian deaths jumped 13 percent to 7,342.

Not surprisingly, nearly two-thirds of US traffic fatalities occurred in urban areas, where there are more people, and more cars.

Artwork by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

……….

In political news, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer dropped out of the race for mayor, swinging his support to Karen Bass.

And the LA Times made a surprising endorsement of former Mike Biden staffer Karen Pynoos over incumbent Mitch O’Farrell in CD13 — without mentioning O’Farrell’s role in tanking the shovel-ready Temple Street lane reduction in the wake of the Playa del Rey fiasco.

………

California Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman jumped into the road safety fight to push for steps to improve bike and pedestrian safety on the new Burbank Blvd Bridge.

………

Still more Bike to Work Week news.

Or bike anywhere, for that matter.

Tonight marks the annual Ride of Silence, with rides throughout California; a ride will be held in Los Angeles at 7 pm tonight, starting at 3554 W. First St .

Metro is celebrating tomorrow’s Bike to Work Day by offering free rides for everyone on all Metro Bus and Rail lines, as well as free half-hour Metro Bike rides.

Bike Metro is teaming with the LACBC to host a lunchtime ride through Chinatown on Thursday’s Bike to Work Day.

Culver City Bus is offering free rides for bike riders on tomorrow’s Bike to Work Day.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition and Day One are hosting a Handlebar Happy Hour at the Dog Haus tomorrow night.

And make plans for a Spoke and Art Ride this Saturday.

………

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

There’s a special place in hell for the bike thieves who rammed an 81-year old British man with their car, knocking him into a ditch and stealing his new mountain bike.

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

A 35-year old ex-con will stand trial for the unprovoked murder of a San Diego man in a Pacific Beach restroom, before the killer fled on a bicycle; Martin Alvarez, Jr. has entered a not guilty plea to the fatal stabbing.

………

Local

The proposed LA River Master Plan has been posted online, along with public comments about the plan.

A massive Puente Hills landfill could soon become the new Puente Hills Regional Park, including plans for a bike skills park.

 

State 

Plans for a two-way bikeway down the middle of Palo Alto’s California Street hit the skids, failing on a tie vote at the city council.

 

National

No surprise here. A new study from the Urban Institute shows that tax rebates are a better solution to soaring prices than cutting gas taxes, while policies that discourage driving — like high gas prices, for instance — would have the greatest longterm impact on inflation.

Advisory bike lanes, which give bike riders priority and force drivers to share the roadway, are coming to a pair of short Portland streets. Advisory streets have bike lanes on either side, with a single car lane shared by drivers traveling in both directions; drivers are expected to move into the bike lanes to pass one another, before returning to their lane. Let’s hope they have a better rollout than they did in San Diego

A crowdfunding account has raised over $91,000 for the family of a young Las Vegas father who was killed by a speeding driver while riding his bike on Sunday.

A Minneapolis man pulled himself out of depression and got his life on track with an apprenticeship at a nonprofit bike shop dedicated to providing mentorship and training for young people dealing with housing instability.

Miami bike riders demanded safety improvements to the city’s Rickenbacker Causeway following the death of a couple riding in the bridge’s green bike lane.

 

International

Cycling Weekly considers what makes a good beginner bicycle.

After bike riders complained about a 22 mph speed limit, organizers of the 20,000 person Ride London backed off and removed the speed cap.

Someone cut the locks off a semi-truck in the UK, and made off with 133 Merida bikes as the truck was stopped at a truck stop, while leaving 73 bikes behind.

The co-owner of the Israel Cycling Academy WorldTour cycling team has donated one million dollars to complete a bike trail in Elad.

A Kiwi driver was captured on video ramming a woman riding a bike directly in front of her car, but will only get a lousy $150 fine because she “wasn’t injured enough.” But at least the driver apologized and offered to fix her bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

History was made Tuesday when 22-year old Eritrean cyclist Biniam Girmay outsprinted Mathieu van der Poel to win stage 10 of the Giro, becoming the first Black African to win a Grand Tour stage.

Ayesha McGowan, the only Black rider on the women’s pro tour, called it a victory for all of us.

Even van der Poel showed his support for Girmay in defeat, with a thumbs up gesture as the African rider crossed the finish line.

 

Finally…

Your next e-cargo bike could be self-charging with solar panels. And Giro podium today, followed by a Prosecco cork in the eye.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Young siblings victims of traffic violence in Sylmar crash, LA traffic violence spikes, and modest bike gains in Beverly Hills

Sadly, traffic violence continues to climb on Los Angeles streets.

The latest news comes as a young brother and sister were run down as they shared a bike in LA’s Sylmar neighborhood.

At last report, the 12-year old boy and his 8-year old sister were both hospitalized in stable condition with serious injuries.

The driver remained at the scene, and as usual, was not charged.

There is something seriously wrong when children can’t ride safely on what should be a quiet neighborhood street.

Just another example of the unhealthy hegemony of cars in the City of Angels.

………

In news that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, traffic injuries and fatalities spiked on Los Angeles streets in the first two months of the year, after climbing last year.

The jump comes nearly seven years after Mayor Eric Garcetti sat at a massive desk plopped down in a Boyle Heights street to sign a proclamation declaring Vision Zero in Los Angeles.

And just three years from the date he promised to end LA traffic deaths once and for all.

Maybe someone should have warned him that it would require actually taking bold action and making the tough decisions to tame traffic and reduce motor vehicle use.

Oh wait, we did.

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Mark Elliot of Better Bike Beverly Hills, who almost single-handedly led a shockingly successful fight to transform the former Biking Black Hole into something far friendlier to people on two wheels. Although there’s still a long way to go. .

Here he offers an update on what he terms modest wins in the city.

Despite the evident disinterest among our City Council majority (3-2) for multimodal mobility, the city has nevertheless notched a couple of modest wins for safer streets in Beverly Hills.

New leadership at the Transportation Division marks a new era. Mobility planning in Beverly Hills effectively cleared two kidney stones with the retirements of Aaron Kunz and Susan Healey Keene last year. Subsequently the mobility function was moved to Public Works from Community Development. Each change represented a big step forward. Daren Grilley and Jessie Holzer now are in charge of the transportation division and each understands the importance of safe streets. They walk the walk too, so to speak, as they both ride.

New commissioners have revitalized the Traffic & Parking Commission. For too long this commission sat idly by as crash injuries increased year-after-year. Commissioners for too long didn’t even ask why traffic enforcement in Beverly Hills took a ten-year holiday. But starting a few years ago, new appointments to the commission changed the dynamic. Now we have a safety-minded commission and a new chair: Sharon Ignarro. She really walks the walk. But hold on, we are hardly out of the woods yet: one of our councilmembers seems intent on defanging this commission. We beat-back that effort last month.

Elliot also calls on the biking and walking communities to support bike-friendly Mayor Robert Wunderlich and Councilmember John Mirisch in their campaigns for re-election to the Beverly Hills City Council.

………

Hats off to the Laguna Woods bike rider who joined a couple of elderly men to confront a woman walking through the area wearing a Nazi armband, which is home to a number of Jewish retirees.

………

One of our most frequent contributors, Megan Lynch will be a panelist discussing bicycling and accessibility at next month’s CalBike Summit.

………

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

Before you try to intimidate a woman riding a bicycle by revving your engine and honking your horn during a close pass, maybe make sure she’s not a plainclothes cop, first.

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

A British bike rider was threatened with arrest for attempting to jump a closed rail crossing barrier with his bike before finally be turned away, while another greeted cops with a “vigorous hand gesture.”

………

Local

Caltrans is looking for your input on the agency’s draft Active Transportation Plan for Los Angeles and Ventura counties by April 5th.

LA Times readers aren’t fans of Governor Newsom’s plan to give rich and poor drivers alike a $400 gas tax rebate, even if they drive an e-car, while screwing anyone who doesn’t own a car. Meanwhile, the plan is criticized for undermining the governors own climate goals. But what’s a little climate emergency when there’s an election to be won by handing out piles of cash to people who don’t need it?

 

State 

Carlsbad imposes a draconian crackdown on ebikes and e-scooters, banning them from “public sidewalks, drainage ditches, culverts, channels, athletic courts or gyms,” as well as requiring riders to walk their bikes within 50 feet of a pedestrian on any trail less than five-feet wide; the city blames bike riders for 70% of all bike collisions, which defies logic.

A San Jose bike rider was lucky to avoid becoming collateral damage in a collision between two drivers, in one of the closest close calls you’re likely to see.

The Bay Area web series Comedians on Bicycles marked their season finale with a slow-motion bicycle race and a donut-eating contest.

A Marin paper says it makes sense to earmark $2.5 million to build bike and pedestrian paths along the SMART commuter rail corridors.

A Chico man learns the hard way thy shall not steal thy neighbor’s bike.

 

National

Rolling Stone gets on the ebike bandwagon, telling readers to fight high gas prices by ditching their cars and getting an ebike.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the wheel out from under Portland’s Unipiper unicycle-riding flame-throwing bagpiper.

Proving it can be done, Seattle is taking steps to remake a major state highway that cuts through the city, with a $50 million plan to revive the corridor dying from cut-through traffic, and make the seven lane roadway welcoming to people on riding bikes and on foot. Maybe Malibu can take note before LA’s killer highway claims another innocent victim.

An Arizona woman is suing Costco and Phantom bikes for an illegal design using the right brake to stop the front wheel on their ebikes, allegedly losing an eye and suffering other injuries when the brake setup caused her to go over her handlebars.

An Idaho cop says no, you don’t have to yield to bike riders in a crosswalk, but it beats the hell out of hitting them.

Nice way to bury the lede. A Hudson Valley newspaper reports a 69-year old man was charged with wearing earbuds while riding a bike, and failing to signal his turn. Neither of which would have likely come to the attention of the police if he hadn’t been hit by a driver, first.

The New York press is quick to paint bike riders as outrageous scofflaws endangering pedestrians, but it’s just as likely the rider will suffer serious injuries in any collision with someone on foot. The latest case in point is a Harlem ebike rider who was gravely injured when he struck someone crossing the street and flew over his handlebars.

In a major safety improvement, the new protected bike lane on New York’s Brooklyn Bridge has slowed motor vehicle traffic 28%, reducing average speeds just below 20 mph. Although chances are, the drivers using the bridge won’t see that as a win.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette demands an apology from the city police department for the fatal tasing of a Black man who took a bike for a test ride around the block without permission; the victim died after officers tased him multiple times in a matter of minutes.

The Washington Post talks with the Australia native who gained social media acclaim as the Bike Man who singlehandedly slowed a DC truckers convoy protest.

No bias here. Wackadoodle rightwing Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene told a crowd that ”Pete Buttigieg can take his electric vehicles and his bicycle, and he and his husband can stay out of our girls bathrooms. Yup.” Not that they were planning to take their electric cars and bicycles into one.

 

International

Brompton is recalling their new ebike foldies because the mudguard can get caught in the tire.

Travel and Leisure examines the intersection of bike tours and Michelin-starred food.

Treehugger says anecdotal evidence shows high gas prices are leading to booming ebike sales.

Canadian Cycling Magazine celebrates the Oscars with their picks for the best and worst bicycling movies. Although nothing matches the action of an open-handed Will Smith slap delivered to the face of a stunned Chris Rock.

London is facing a bikelash from Conservative councilmembers, who have taken steps to remove popup bike lanes and pedestrianized areas before they had a chance to change transportation behavior; the city’s transportation agency has responded by cutting funding to their districts.

British Olympic cycling hero Sir Chris Hoy says he’s experienced fewer close passes since the county’s new Highway Code went into effect. Although we saw the same thing in California when the three-foot passing law went into effect, but it didn’t last.

Dutch ebike maker Cowboy continues to bring in $81 million in new funding, despite record pandemic and supply chain-related losses.

Great idea. An Indian petrochemical company gave each of its 142 employees an identical new bicycle, and is encouraging them to bike to work at least once a week.

Abu Dhabi says ditch the passenger and wear a helmet if you’re riding a bike, ebike or e-scooter in an emirates bike lane.

 

Competitive Cycling

We may have glimpsed the future of pro cycling, as 21-year old Eritrean cyclist Biniam Girmay just missed the podium with a fifth place finish in the E3 Saxo Bank Classic, in his first full year on the pro tour — then followed it up with first place in Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem, a significant breakthrough for Black African riders. Meanwhile, Wout van Aert came in first in the E3.

It says something when the great Marianne Vos says she just wasn’t fast enough to catch 24-year old Italian Elisa Balsamo in the women’s Gent-Wevelgem.

Twenty-three-year old Sergio Higuita captured the Volta a Catalunya after climbing into the lead on Saturday, fending off multiple attacks on Sunday’s final stage.

British pro Lizzy Banks is finally back in the peloton, after losing most of last season to a traumatic brain injury and a major bout with Covid.

Great news from Colombia, where former Tour de France and defending Giro winner Egan Bernal is back on a bike, just two months after a nearly fatal training crash when he slammed into the back of a poorly parked bus.

Kazakhstan pro Alexey Lutsenko will be sidelined for the foreseeable future after breaking his shoulder and collar bone while training in Tenerife.

We’re less than one week away from the world’s biggest little bike race, as men’s and women’s teams were announced for Indiana University’s famed Little 500, made famous in Breaking Away.

 

Finally…

Your next e-cargo bike could fold and glow in the dark. It doesn’t pay to play doctor if you ain’t one.

And don’t ride naked through the woods sporting wood of your own.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

US bicycling deaths up over 9% in 2020, Feds commit to Complete Streets, and remembering a fallen bike rider

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released the final traffic fatality stats for 2020.

And the news was as bad as we expected.

A whopping 38,824 people were killed on American roads, the worst since 2007, and a nearly 7% jump over 2019.

That also represents a 21% increase over the previous year in deaths per vehicle miles traveled (VMT). So it’s not just due to more people on the roads; in fact, 2020 was marked by a dramatic decrease in driving due to the pandemic.

The one bit of good news is that traffic injuries dropped 17% in 2020, while crashes declined 22%.

So we’re talking fewer, but far more deadly, crashes, with pedestrians and bicyclists accounting for one in five of those killed.

Like the overall trends, it was a mixed bag for bike riders, with 938 people killed while riding their bikes in 2020, a 9.2% increase over the year before, while injuries dropped 21%, to 10,171.

Meanwhile, we’re off to a horrible start to this year, with 22 people killed riding their bikes in Southern California in just the first two months of 2022 — a rate of one person killed less than every three days.

Which has got to stop.

Now.

………

Meanwhile, the Federal Highway Administration submitted their first report to Congress detailing their “commitment to advance widespread implementation” of Complete Streets, as required by last year’s infrastructure bill.

Which they define like this.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law defines Complete Streets standards or policies as those which “ensure the safe and adequate accommodation of all users of the transportation system, including pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation users, children, older individuals, individuals with disabilities, motorists, and freight vehicles.”

The law requires that a relatively paltry 2.5% of planning funding has to go towards Complete Streets, or bicycling, walking or transit projects.

Then again, that’s 2.5% more than was required before.

Although their idea of a Complete Street may leave something to be desired.

The infrastructure bill also contains a provision that will prevent states from setting traffic safety goals that allow an increase in traffic deaths each year.

And they’ll have to take steps to protect the safety of bike riders and pedestrians in order to keep receiving federal funds.

………

Nice piece from a longtime reporter with the Daily Bulletin, who remembers former five-term Upland Councilmember Tom Thomas, who died Saturday after he was struck by a motorcyclist while riding his bike in Montclair.

David Allen recalls him as a friend, as well as a local leader, along with his three-decade love of bicycling. He talks about Thomas as being too nice for today’s rough-and-tumble civic politics.

A few paragraphs stand out, though. Like this from when Thomas was first elected to the city council in 1990.

Riding defensively is his approach and expecting the worst his philosophy when biking on city streets. Clueless motorists frequently make turns across the path of bike riders or nearly knock them over when zooming by.

Then there’s this, as Allen spoke with Thomas’ wife after his death.

I ask her about Tom’s bike riding. He’d head out Tuesday, Thursday and either Saturday or Sunday for 20 to 35 miles at a time. The 6-foot-1 senior was, enviably, at his college weight of 210. And he took every precaution on the road.

“This man was the safest cyclist you could have,” Ann says. “He wore the neon yellow windbreaker. If it was even dusk, he would turn on his lights, front and back. He always wore a helmet. He would curse people who didn’t wear one. He broke three helmets over the years” — starting with that 1990 accident.

Sadly, it wasn’t enough to keep him safe.

Another reminder that you can do everything right. Yet your safety still depends on those we share the road with.

We have no choice but to trust them with our lives, in the most literal sense.

Even if they don’t deserve it.

………

REI is now offering members a 20% discount on bike repairs, as well as free flat fixing. Which should more than pay for your lifetime membership fee the first time you use it.

………

Now this is a bike ad.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1499111168232800265

………

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

A Bowling Green, Kentucky bike rider was threatened by a pair of men in separate pickups, after the first driver bumped his bike, and the second stopped behind him and threw his bike off the roadway.

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

A man riding on a Placer County, CA bike path struck a woman with his bike, apologized, then pulled a knife and robbed her as he helped her up.

Houston, Texas police are looking for an armed robber who rode up to couple as they were getting into their car outside a shopping mall, pointed a gun at them and demanded their wallets and cellphone.

………

Local

CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian wisely cancelled the ill-advised proposal to widen Burbank Blvd in North Hollywood, opting to widen sidewalks and improve safety for pedestrians instead.

A writer for City Watch questions whether CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz has the integrity to serve as city controller, after violating city ethics rules by attending a fundraiser at the home of a DWP commissioner, while suggesting Koretz should know better after 55 long years in politics.

USC’s Annenberg Media discusses the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal, which would require Los Angeles to build out the mobility plan when streets get repaved.

A new e-scooter company has taken root in Santa Monica, with Chicago-based micromobility company Veo expecting to hire 300 people to staff its West Coast HQ.

 

State 

Costa Mesa will rename a segment of the 55 Freeway for fire captain and fallen bike rider Mike Kreza, who was killed by a stoned driver while riding in Mission Viejo in 2018; Stephen Taylor Scarpa was sentenced to 15 to life after his conviction for killing Kreza last year.

Bikemaker Yuba Bicycles used their own cargo bikes to move their headquarters from San Juan Capistrano to new offices in Lake Forest.

The San Diego Bike Coalition highlights the city’s new @SDCrashBot to track collisions involving bike riders and pedestrians, based on Streets For All’s Vision Zero Alerts, which has provided a similar service for the LA area for a little over a year. Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

Oakland’s 14th Street is due to get a Complete Streets makeover, with a 4-to-2 lane reduction, shortened crosswalks and curb-protected bike lanes on both sides.

No bias here. After an SUV slammed into an Anderson, California preschool, sending 14 little kids to the hospital, the LA Times doesn’t even mention that it had a driver until story’s penultimate paragraph. But at least they didn’t call it an accident.

 

National

If you’ve always dreamed of working in the glamorous field of bicycle journalism, Bikerumor is looking for freelance writers for remote work.

Houston will install a popup bike lane this Sunday to allow fans to ride safely to the rodeo.

An autistic Michigan man spreads joy through his community by riding his bike while wearing extravagant holiday-themed suits, showing how special people with autism can be.

A new documentary from a Boston bike advocate highlights several women who enjoy riding their bikes after dark.

 

International

The Guardian profiles Twitter user @cybergibbons, who polices the social media site to confront anti-bike trolls. I’ve been known to do the same thing, but with about 30,000 fewer followers. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

Road.cc offers tips on how to keep your bike from being a pain in the butt. Or anywhere else.

A Toronto bicyclist films himself unexpectedly, and painfully, wiping out on the city’s streetcar tracks.

Welsh math teacher during the week, record-setting cyclist on weekends.

The truck driver who killed an English woman as she rode her bike through a deadly intersection faces charges of driving while stoned and without a license; she was the eighth bike rider killed there in recent years.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a former Oxfordshire mayor walked with a suspended sentence for killing a 75-year old man riding a bicycle.

A new study from London’s Hackney neighborhood shows the British equivalent of Slow Streets encouraged 30% of residents to drive less, and ride their bikes more.

Two additional men have been charged in the violent home-invasion robbery of pro cyclist Mark Cavendish; a third man is already awaiting trial.

Irish academics say a focus on driver safety has made roads less safe for bike riders and pedestrians, and driven human interactions off the streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Australia, where three-time world champ Alex Woods died from cancer at just 55-years old; he also won championships as a junior, as well as winning gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals.

More sad news, as Ukrainian national cycling coach Alexander Kulyk was killed in a Russian attack while trying to help people evacuate from Kyiv; his son, former pro cyclist Andriy Kulyk demands that UCI ban Russian and Belarusian cyclists.

Russian cyclist Aleksandr Vlasov says he feels sorry for everyone who is suffering because of his country’s invasion of Ukraine, and says he just wants peace like most Russians.

Russian ex-cycling team boss Oleg Tinkov, the former owner of the Tinkoff-Saxo team, also came out against the war, calling it “unthinkable and unacceptable.”

VeloNews looks forward to Saturday’s Paris-Nice race, saying the eight-stage race has the strongest field so far this season. Meanwhile, the magazine asks if anyone can beat Tadej Pogačar in the one-day Strade Bianche, which also runs tomorrow.

A 21-year old British trans woman says she just wants to be competitive again, after previously setting national records as a junior male; Emily Bridges will compete as a woman for the first time this year, after lowering her testosterone levels since publicly transitioning in 2020.

How to cut corners by cutting corners to cheat in bike racing.

 

Finally…

That feeling when winning a time trial scores you a box of sex toys. Your next bike could be all wheels and chain, with no frame.

And that feeling when your toddler needs a $1,200 titanium balance bike.

………

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

Candidate list for June primary, Times’ Abcarian says Vision Zero “impossible,” and PCH claims another victim

Pick your ponies and place your bets.

The Los Angeles City Clerk has posted the latest list of candidates filing for the city’s June primary election.

Like most California elections, not everyone is a serious candidate. But there are some genuine choices hidden among the clowns and wannabes.

………

No, Vision Zero is not “impossible.”

LA Times columnist Robin Abcarian writes that eliminating traffic deaths is a worthy, but impossible, goal.

The goal is worthy, but why go out on a limb with a big, bold promise that is so obviously doomed to fail?

In Australia, at least, they call the effort “Toward Zero,” which seems more realistic…

As long as there is traffic, there will be traffic tragedy, especially in a car-centric city like ours, where you cannot drive an inch without seeing distracted drivers holding phones. How many times have you been stuck behind a car at a red light that doesn’t move when the light turns green because the driver in front is poking at a screen? At least while they aren’t moving, they aren’t killing anyone.

The obvious problem with that attitude is the question of just how many deaths are acceptable as the cost of just getting from here to there.

Graphic by tomexploresla

And if that number is anything other than zero, which of your loved ones are you willing to sacrifice to the motor vehicle gods?

Which makes it clear that one is the only acceptable answer.

Abcarian’s right that we may not get there today. But it’s up to all of us to do everything we can to make sure we get there tomorrow.

To her credit, she does identify one of the biggest problems with Vision Zero, with each of the city’s 15 councilmembers free to implement their own vision of how to end traffic deaths, or the lack thereof.

As well as the lack of alignment between the city and county, with Los Angeles aiming for 2025 — just three years from now — while the county aims to end traffic deaths a decade later.

Never mind the other 87 cities that call LA County home.

But the solution to that is to coordinate, not forget it. Then give the city and county transportation agencies the power to override individual councilmembers and supervisors to do what needs to be done to save lives.

Which also serves to shield our elected officials from blame by angry drivers, which is what some of them really care about, anyway.

And while we’re at it, someone please tell Ms. Abcarian the difference between a crash and an accident.

………

Southern California’s serial killer highway has claimed yet another victim.

………

Pass the word, teens can grab a quick Benjamin from Walk ‘n Rollers for customizing a bicycle.

………

Remember, you always need a truck or SUV to go to the hardware store.

………

Sometimes it’s not who we share the road with, but what.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1491487543455465472

………

Here’s that great East Side Riders video we weren’t able to embed yesterday.

………

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

Someone in newly bike friendly San Diego clearly doesn’t get it, ruling that no action is necessary for a traffic signal clearly designed to thin the herd by encouraging drivers to turn left through a bike lane while bike riders still have the green. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

There’s a special place in hell for the couple who flipped off a bike-riding Florida boy as they passed him in their car, then whipped a U-turn and threatened him with a gun when he responded in kind, before proceeding to pistol whip and slap him repeatedly; they were arrested after the boy managed to record video of the couple, along with their car and license plate.

A 67-year old Scottish man was left shaken after a construction worker pelted him with cement when he stopped his bike to ask if they had a permit to block an Edinburgh bike lane with a cement mixer.

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

A thirsty armed robber helped himself to cash and a canned drink from a Houston convenience store before making his getaway on a baby blue bike.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman takes a hard look at mayoral candidate and current Councilmember Joe Buscaino’s motion to crack down on bike chop shops, which could also catch legitimate bike repair in its wide net. Including if you decide to fix your own bicycle outside on a sunny day, if it’s too broadly written.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton checks out the new bike lanes on Yosemite Drive in Eagle Rock.

This is who we share the road with. A Manhattan Beach man claims a driver ran him over in a grocery store parking lot, then backed up and ran over him again, in a dispute over face masks that began inside.

Camilla Cabella is one of us, taking a bikeshare ride through the streets of LA with a “mysterious” friend. Oh, and she likes ice cream, too.

Rihanna showed her generosity Sunday, stopping by the West Los Angeles VA Campus with practical, needed gifts for homeless vets, including bike locks.

 

State

The annual Tour de Palm Springs returns to the Coachella Valle this weekend, with safety measures and law enforcement in place to hopefully keep participants safe, which hasn’t always been the case.

A 55-year old Navy vet is suing Caltrans, Bakersfield and Kern County after he was injured riding his bike into an open manhole on a Bakersfield sidewalk, which was left unmarked by orange cones or other warning devices.

The US Forest Service settled a lawsuit by agreeing to allow ebikes on non-motorized trails in the Tahoe National Forest.

 

National

Yes, please. A quartet of Democratic congressmen urged the president to request full funding for the new Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program in the next budget, which would provide $200 million a year for five years for biking and walking projects.

US ebike sales are on their way to one million units a year in the US, and one billion worldwide.

A new lawsuit accuses Peloton of bullying competitors and entering into sham agreements to secure its market position.

In a case of real life imitating art, actor Bob Odenkirk revealed his near-fatal heart attack came as he was riding an exercise bike on the set of Better Call Saul, which may or may not have been the same make that killed Mr. Big in HBO’s Sex and the City reboot, and nearly killed Mike “Wags” Wagner on Billions.

Talk about Viking biking. Try riding an ice bike across Wisconsin’s frozen Lake Winnebago in 13° weather.

Frightening story from New York, where a man called the NYPD to report a parked truck illegally blocking a bus stop, and immediately started getting death threats from the truck’s owner — even though his call should have been confidential.

 

International

Treehugger recommends their picks for the best bike cargo bags.

Towing your kids in a bike trailer may not be good for their lungs, as a new British study shows the lower position exposes them to more pollution that someone on a bike seat.

No bias here. And no surprise, either, as a new study from the UK shows that drivers and bike riders are treated differently by the press following a crash.

British bicyclists rode to protest a “discriminatory” daytime ban from the Bedford town center, which resulted in 3,200 fines for the equivalent of $107 — including one issued to a man on the second week of his around-the-world bike tour.

Now bike thieves aren’t even waiting until the bikes are assembled. Thieves hijacked 10,000 Shimano ebike parts by gassing the driver at a German service station.

Pakistan’s Associated Press captures a photo of an old man selling bundles of traditional handmade brooms from his bicycle.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai is one of us, riding with a group to check out a new beachfront bike path. And yes, I included that one just so I could use his full title.

 

Competitive Cycling

Black cycling legend Major Taylor’s 119-year old wood-rimmed Peugeot bike is returning for an exhibit at the Indiana State Museum in his Indianapolis home town.

Tadej Pogačar is back on his bike after testing positive for Covid.

We Love Cycling looks at inter-generational cycling dynasties.

In a scene straight out of Breaking Away, a local Colombian kid falls in and holds his own alongside Rigoberto Urán and Tom Dumoulin on a training ride. Except they don’t put a tire pump through his spokes.

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying meth on your bike with several outstanding felony warrants, maybe try not to make your escape through a snow-covered field.

And enough said.

https://twitter.com/schmangee/status/1491506749794361345

………

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

New book says accidents aren’t accidents, WeHo considers protected bike lanes, and keeping deadly drivers on the road

She gets it.

The New York Times’ Peter Coy talks with journalist Jessie Singer about her new book, which concludes that there are no accidents, just events that could have been prevented.

And that too often, it’s the marginalized members of society who pay the price.

On the other hand, Coy clearly doesn’t get it.

Coy: …Anyway, is it possible to go too far in preventing accidents? It wouldn’t make sense to limit cars to going 30 miles per hour.

Singer: It is our moral and ethical imperative to do everything in our power to protect human life. When people talk about the nanny state, what they’re doing is making excuses for deeply preventable, deeply racialized and class-divided causes of death.

If we look at places that do everything in their power to protect human life, from Sweden’s Vision Zero traffic safety policies to Portugal’s harm-reduction overdose prevention policies, we see that countless lives could be saved just by putting people first.

Never mind that cities across the world have successfully reduced the frequency and severity of collisions by cutting speed limits below 30 mph.

Let alone the worldwide 20 Is Plenty movement to reduce the risk of collisions as well as the risk of death or serious injury by slowing drivers to 20 mph in populated areas.

So yeah, it does make sense to lower speed limits to 30 mph, or less. Because the convenience of drivers should never outweigh the lives and safety of those around them.

Graphic by tomexploresla.

………

There may be hope for WeHo bike riders yet.

Streets For All reports that a pair of studies could result in protected bike lanes on Fountain and Santa Monica Blvd, respectively.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1490794943794716674

Either one would be a game changer.

Together, they would provide the first safe bicycling route through the city, from La Brea in the east to Beverly Hills in the west.

Let’s just hope they both get the go ahead.

………

Today’s common theme is the lenient courts and government officials who inexplicably keep dangerous drivers on the road until they kill someone.

Like the heartbreaking news from New York, where a 99-year old Holocaust survivor was killed by a reckless driver with a long record of speeding and red light violations.

Or the Florida hit-and-run driver who killed a 70-year old man riding a bicycle, and was somehow still on the road despite five previous DUIs; he was caught after two days, which presumably gave him plenty of time to sober up before he was busted.

………

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

No bias here. A candidate for San Diego city council says the city’s new bike lanes are death traps that go unused for weeks at a time.

A Florida city puts the entire obligation for safety on bike riders by requiring lights and bells on their bikes. But there’s not a bike bell made that will do a damn thing to stop aggressive, speeding and/or distracted drivers.

………

Local

Work is proceeding on an $8.1 million, 2.8-mile extension of Pasadena’s Greenway Trail. Correction: Make that Whittier, not Pasadena. Thanks to Joe Linton for keeping me honest.

 

State

A new bill from bike-riding La Cañada Flintridge State Senator Anthony Portantino would require cities and counties to identify a High Injury Network of their most dangerous roads and intersections, and create a plan to correct them within 15 years. But do we really want to let them keep killing people for another 15 years? Cut the timeline to five years, and I’m all in.

Streetsblog offers more details on SB 922, which would permanently exempt bike lanes and other environmentally friendly transportation projects from lengthy environmental reviews. Which are too often abused to halt or delay bike, pedestrian and transit projects that would benefit the environment.

San Diego belatedly begins work on building a separated bikeway along Pershing Drive through Balboa Park, after a bike commuter and a scooter rider were killed on the existing bike lanes last year. Meanwhile, the family of noted architect Laura Shinn, who was killed by an allegedly stoned driver while riding her bike to work, have filed suit against the city. Considering the years-long delay in improving the bike lane, they might as well just back up the Brinks truck. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Bad news from Livermore, where a woman was killed when her bike was hit head-on by a driver after they both crossed the yellow line while rounding a curve from opposite directions.

A Pittsburgh CA man was sentenced to 28 years to life behind bars for fatally shooting man as he was stealing the victim’s bike; the shooter bizarrely claimed self-defense, claiming he felt threatened by the victim’s attempt to get his bike back. Thanks again to Phillip Young.

 

National

In a question that answers itself, Streetsblog asks if America needs a Mobility Bill of Rights, after a group of Washington nonprofits author one for their state. Los Angeles bike advocates created a Cyclists’ Bill of Rights over a dozen years ago, which was sort-of approved by the city council, until it wasn’t, and then promptly forgotten, which was probably the city’s intent all along.

Popular Science says don’t buy an ebike, just build one using the bike in your garage.

Cycling Utah talks with our own Peter Flax, who offers a “look at racial justice issues through the lens of his deep and nuanced understanding of the various facets of bike culture.”

The Boston Globe questions whether the city will keep up the pandemic momentum that spurred bike lane creation throughout the area. Unlike Los Angeles, which squandered the opportunity presented by light pandemic traffic by failing to build a single new bike lane that wasn’t already in the works.

A Brooklyn councilmember tries, and fails, to successfully navigate a street without leaving the bike lane, missing out on the $100 challenge due to an array of drivers blocking it.

DC intends to install another ten miles of protected bike lanes this year, adding to its existing 24-mile network, with another 20 miles coming by 2024.

 

International

Worst dad of the year award goes to British father stole his daughter’s bicycle from the trunk of her car to teach her a lesson.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a careless driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a man riding his bicycle; she was sentenced to 280 hours of community service and lost her license for a lousy 14 months.

A study from Belgian ebike brand Cowboy confirms previous studies showing ebikes offer the same fitness benefits as regular bicycles.

Amsterdam wants to give you over $2,200 for ideas on how to improve bicycle safety in the city.

 

Competitive Cycling

At last, some good news about two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal, who was released from the hospital two weeks after a training crash left him critically injured; however, he still faces a very long recovery.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could come wrapped in rice and potatoes. How about an ebike can actually fly?

And ebike riders of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

No, literally.

………

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

California traffic deaths jump 17% last year, Metro proposes erasing NoHo bike lane, and register your bike already

No, you’re not just being paranoid.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released their latest count of US traffic deaths for the first nine months of last year, showing an estimated 31,720 people died in motor vehicle crashes through the end of September.

That’s a 12% increase over the previous year, and the most traffic deaths in 15 years.

Not to mention the biggest one-year jump since they’ve been keeping score.

Things are even worse here in California, which saw a 17.2% increase in traffic deaths for the first nine months of 2021.

Unfortunately, they don’t break out figures for bicycling and pedestrian deaths, so we’ll have to wait to learn just how bad it’s been for those of us who aren’t wrapped in a couple tons of steel and glass, and protected by seat belts and air bags instead of a little plastic hat.

But if you thought it was getting worse out there, you’re right.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

………

Unbelievable.

The world may be burning, but Metro is busy erasing bike lanes.

………

Yet another reminder to register your bike.

Now.

………

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

………

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

Life is cheap in South Africa, where a prominent triathlete was killed and another injured by an alleged drunken hit-and-run driver, who was released on bail due to “lack of evidence;” the driver couldn’t get away because his Porsche was too damaged to drive. Which sounds like pretty solid evidence to me, but what the hell do I know?

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

Police in London’s Hackney district busted 18 people on bicycles for jumping red lights in just 90 minutes, fining them the equivalent of around $68.

………

Local

Los Angeles is hosting tire recycling events in Baldwin Park at the end of this month, East LA next month and the Antelope Valley in April. And yes, they’ll take bike tires and tubes.

Once again, an Apple Watch has called for help to rescue an injured bike rider, this time when a man somehow came off his ebike while riding in Hermosa Beach.

 

State

A man known as the scraper bike king of East Oakland is working with kids to carry on the tradition of colorful, highly customized bikes, hoping it will help keep them out of trouble like it did him.

 

National

A new study from the Urban Institute shows that pressuring city officials to build bikeways works.

This is who we’ll soon have to share the road with. Even an automotive site calls for banning the new 840 horsepower Dodge Demon from public roads, calling it a nominally street-legal dragster.

Dockless e-scooter provider Superpedestrian is rolling out a new safety system designed to detect and correct unsafe rider behavior in real time, preventing things like riding on the sidewalk or riding salmon.

Triathlete credits a bike safety campaign featuring triathletes for the White House’s shift to prioritizing bicycle safety.

220 Triathlon considers whether you’d be better off with a women’s bike.

Reno bike riders get a new nearly half-mile multi-use path near the airport. Although it looks like whoever striped it needs to cut back on the weed.

A Denver bike advocate laments the death of what would have been a perfect bike lane, thanks to a whole 17 complaints during the public comment period.

An Ohio letter writer complains about the angry drivers who feel the need to ruin a good bike ride because they don’t understand the law. Or just having a bad day.

The Boston Globe marks Black History Month by remembering Kittie Knox, who integrated the League of American Wheelmen — now the League of American Bicyclists, aka Bike League — in 1893, a year before the organization banned Black members to keep her out.

A writer for Jalopnik totals up what it cost, in dollars and swearing, to rebuild a titanium Litespeed bike abandoned for two years on a Brooklyn street.

A New York photographer documents Gotham bike messengers of the 1990s.

 

International

More proof bike riders face the same problems everywhere, as bicyclists in Antigua and Barbuda renewed calls for greater consideration on the roads after a 16-year old boy was while killed riding his bike.

Something tells me there will be no shortage of volunteers to become the UK’s first bike lane inspector.

America’s Got Talent star Simon Cowell is still one of us, despite suffering a broken arm and suspected concussion when he pulled an endo hitting a wet patch while riding his ebike in London; he fractured his back in 2020 crashing an electric motorcycle.

That’s more like it. A drunk hit-and-run driver got seven years behind bars for killing a British man riding a bicycle; he was captured when police spotted him from a helicopter trying to sleep it off in a field.

A Scottish transport and health professor explains the changes to Britain’s Highway Code, while stressing that it’s probably not enough to change anyone’s behavior. Meanwhile, a British bike rider says forget the Highway Code, he just wants to get home in one piece.

A Santa Fe man offers advice on what to consider before exploring Germany by bicycle. Pro tip: Stop the page from loading before the paywall pops up.

As if careless drivers weren’t enough to worry about, a Spanish bike rider was seriously injured when he was shot by a hunter, who apparently mistook him for some sort of game animal riding a bicycle.

A European travel site explores Dubai’s 52-mile Al Qudra cycle track, which connects to other bikeways to form a 124-mile route.

Fifty people had to be evacuated from a Singapore housing block when a ped-assist ebike battery caught fire; authorities advised not using third-party batteries or charging them overnight to avoid fires.

 

Competitive Cycling

Egan Bernal remains in serious but stable condition, as his doctors shift to a focus on pain management to deal with his multiple injuries; Bernal suffered a fractured femur, kneecap, vertebrae and ribs, as well as a punctured lung and chest trauma when he slammed into a poorly parked bus while training in Colombia.

 

Finally…

When you’re trying to escape the cops with an outstanding warrant, try not to ride head-on into a patrol car. Why ride on dry, dusty mountain bike trails when you could have your very own dust Zamboni — which is exactly what it sounds like?

And shades of the Super Bowl Shuffle.

https://twitter.com/AstanaQazTeam/status/1488479125589442561?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1488479125589442561%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclingweekly.com%2Fnews%2Fastana-release-new-rap-video-starring-vincenzo-nibali-and-alexander-vinokourov

………

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

Website wildly exaggerates LA bike deaths, taking a deep dive into LA’s Vision Zero fail, and muscle car driver kills 9

Maybe biking in LA doesn’t suck as much as we thought.

On Friday, we linked to yet another ranking of the best and worst bike-friendly cities in the US.

And to the surprise of almost no one, LA checked in at the very bottom of the bottom, once again being named as the nation’s worst city for bicycling.

But it ain’t necessarily so.

The chart from Tower Electric Bikes shows a bicycling fatality rate of 15.6 per 10,000 residents.

In other words, they say Los Angeles averages 15.6 bicycling deaths per capita for every 10,000 people in the city.

But with a population of nearly 4 million, that works out to 6,162 people killed riding their bicycles every year in the City of Angels.

Which is a little more than seven times the total number of bicyclists killed in the entire US in 2019.

As if the 18 people who needlessly lost their lives riding a bike in the city last year wasn’t bad enough.

Where they got that figure, I have no idea. A footnote on the chart says the stats came from PeopleForBikes annual rankings, but there is no mention of fatality rates on the Los Angeles page, and no reference to that 15.6 per 10,000 figure.

And it doesn’t seem to correlate to any other actual statistics, from any credible source.

So take it with a grain of salt. Or maybe a bag, given just how far off they are from anything close to reality.

Riding here can certainly suck at times, for any number of reasons.

But at least we aren’t that bad yet.

………

LAist takes a deep dive into the failure of LA’s Vision Zero program, with city streets claiming the deadliest traffic toll in two decades last year.

And just how we got in this mess, six years after the mayor signed the program into being, and just three years before Los Angeles traffic deaths were supposed to be a thing of the past.

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

Safety activists believe that work is going far too slowly. Pedestrian and cyclist groups say the city has spent decades prioritizing fast car travel on its streets at the expense of everyone else using the roads — and the rising death toll is the tragic but inevitable result.

“This is not the trajectory of a modern city,” said John Yi, executive director of the pedestrian advocacy group Los Angeles Walks. “The last thing we want is to double down on cars while other cities are reimagining what their streetscapes would be without cars.”

That total of nearly 300 people killed on city streets last year — including 18 people on bicycles and 132 pedestrians — could rise even further as more detailed analysis is done.

Meanwhile, a listing of the city’s most dangerous intersections give us all a roadmap of places to avoid.

Two of which are within a short walk from my own home, let alone a ride.

For pedestrians:

  • Caesar E. Chavez Ave. and Soto St.
  • Avalon Blvd. and Imperial Highway
  • De Soto Ave. and Lassen St.
  • Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave.

For cyclists:

  • Humboldt St. and San Fernando Road
  • Anaheim St. and King Ave.
  • Valley Vista Blvd. and Van Nuys Blvd.
  • La Brea Ave. and Sunset Blvd.

For total collisions:

  • San Pedro St. and Washington Blvd
  • Florence Ave. and Vermont Ave
  • Oxnard St. and Van Nuys Blvd
  • Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave

………

This is who we share the road with.

Absolutely horrible news from Las Vegas, where nine people were killed in a multi-vehicle collision when the driver of a Dodge Challenger ran a red light at high speed, striking five other vehicles in what was called a mass casualty event.

In other words, driving exactly the way the company actively encourages in its ads.

Hopefully, the survivors of those victims will get good lawyers, and sue the hell out of Dodge, not just for making machines capable of mass mayhem, but promoting their use in the most dangerous ways possible.

And if they need a good lawyer, I’m happy to recommend a few.

………

Things are looking up in Eagle Rock, even if you do have to ride in or near the door zone.

………

Note to LADOT — This is what real bollards look like, not those little white car-tickling bendie posts you seem to prefer.

This is also exactly what we need on Hollywood Blvd, particularly at Hollywood & Highland, where the city has done absolutely nothing to protect tourists and pedestrians from motor vehicle terrorists and out-of-control drivers.

More proof that the city has learned absolutely nothing from the automotive attack on the Venice Boardwalk, and the catastrophe at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.

Let alone dozens of motor-driven attacks in New York, London and other sites around the world.

………

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

Congratulations to the Fort Myers, Florida New-Press on what may be the worst bicycle-related headline in human history; only after reading the story does it turn out the victim had a little help getting killed, rather than just keeling over. 

No bias here. A writer for The Spectator complains about “the ceaseless self-pity of cyclists,” and complains about hulking male bike riders on huge bikes speeding down sidewalks, plowing everyone out of their way. Evidently, there must be a class of bicycles in the UK at least twice the size of regular bikes. Or maybe she hasn’t seen an actual bicycle since the Penny Farthing went out of fashion. 

………

Local

They get it. Following the announcement by CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin that he won’t run for re-election, the LA Times writes that the current vitriol in politics is driving good people out of public service.

Los Angeles is getting its first ebike cargo delivery service, with package-laden riders spreading out from four hubs throughout the city.

We Like LA takes a walk on the the LA River bike path through Frogtown.

If you found the LA River path blocked by police activity in Long Beach Saturday afternoon, it’s because a man was shot near the bike path around 11:15 am; the victim was hospitalized in critical condition.

New bike lanes could be coming to Western Ave on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, running from San Pedro through Rancho Palos Verdes, Los Angeles, Lomita and Torrance.

 

State

A Seal Beach police lieutenant warns against riding ebikes discourteously, and says bike riders should slow and come to a complete stop at all intersections, unless they have a green light. Which is guaranteed to piss off every driver on the road around them.

A Las Vegas website recommends bicycling amid the breathtaking beauty of Death Valley’s Artist Road.

 

National

Slate talks with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about the safety crisis on American streets, and what his department plans to do about it.

Salon considers why Peloton has suddenly become television’s latest punching bag.

Texas is fighting to keep the roads deadly, moving to rescind an eight-year old transfer of a state roadway to the city of San Antonio, apparently because the governor doesn’t like plans for a lane reduction to improve safety and livability along the corridor; bike riders call for public outrage over the loss of promised bike lanes along the corridor.

More evidence that we all face the same problems, as advocates push for a better bike network in Western New York, while auto-centric drivers push back hard.

New York Magazine says ebikes are a simple solution to getting cars off the road right now.

 

International

A massive pile of junked bicycles has become a local landmark for London bike riders.

British drivers — and at least some segments of the press — are freaking out over new changes to the country’s Highway Code requiring operators of more dangerous vehicles to take greater care to avoid crashes, while advising bike riders to take the lane and ride two abreast under some circumstances to improve safety.

The Sun warns of an avalanche of lawsuits over the changes, while the Daily Mail insists drivers are powerless to stop bicyclists from riding in the middle of the road. Apparently, they can’t comprehend the difference between riding in the middle of the traffic lane and the middle of the roadway.

Remembering Swedish adventurer Göran Kropp, who rode his bicycle 8,000 miles to Mt. Everest, then climbed the mountain without oxygen.

An Indian man rode over 4,600 miles across the country to raise awareness for road safety, despite being totally blind. He was guided by navigators in cars traveling ahead of and behind his bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

The great Marianne Vos won her eighth world cyclocross women’s title.

Belgium turned tables on the Dutch, sweeping the podium in the men’s U-23 ‘cross championships a year after the Netherlands did the same thing. But the Dutch women held their own, sweeping all three podium spots in the women’s U-23.

The Eritrean cycling team was barred from participating in the Tour of Rwanda because none of the riders have been vaccinated for Covid-19; riders from the country won the race in 2019 and 2020, but no one in Eritrea has been vaccinated yet.

A crowdfunding campaign for Irish champ Imogen Cotter has raised the equivalent of over $25,000, after she was hit head-on by a speeding driver while training in Italy.

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal says the damage from a training crash last week was bad enough that there was a 95% chance he would end up a paraplegic.

 

Finally…

That feeling when clown bikes get their own rutted lane. Be on the lookout for a serial size 46 bike shoe thief.

And the image below is supposed to be a leopard; it’s He Who Must Not Be Named who’s a cheetah.

………

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

US DOT almost adopts Vision Zero, bike writer’s horrific tale of online abuse, and LA is America’s worst bike city — again

What if the new infrastructure bill could actually save lives?

That’s the prospect being presented by the US Department of Transportation, which says it’s time to pivot to a focus on reducing traffic deaths.

And that the recently passed bill includes the focus and funding to do it.

If they actually follow through — which is always questionable, as we’ve learned the hard way — it could represent a huge change in direction for the department, from moving cars to protecting human lives.

Here’s what the New York Times had to say on the subject.

In a 38-page report being released on Thursday, the department outlined an approach heavily dependent on working with states and local governments to address things like designing safer roads and reducing alcohol-impaired driving. The department also said it would issue federal guidance and create new programs to carry out the strategy, such as initiating rulemaking to require automatic emergency braking technology in new passenger vehicles.

The report comes as the number of traffic deaths across the country has soared, reversing some of the progress made over the past few decades. Although fewer people were on the road at the beginning of the pandemic, about 38,680 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020, an increase of about 2,500 from 2019, and deaths surged further in the first half of 2021. Officials have blamed more people speeding recklessly and using alcohol and drugs to cope with pandemic-related stress…

The report is broken down into five objectives: safer people, safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds and post-crash care. It calls on states and local governments to support research and develop technology to detect and prevent alcohol- and drug-impaired driving. It also directs the Federal Highway Administration to revise guidance to encourage safer speeds and the use of speed cameras.

Officials pointed to several sources of funding within the bill, including the $6 billion Safe Streets and Roads for All program, to reduce traffic fatalities.

But this may be the single most important sentence in the story.

“The big first here is committing the department to the idea that only zero roadway deaths are acceptable, and then aligning all of our resources around that,” Mr. Buttigieg said.

While that’s not a commitment to a national Vision Zero, it’s damn close.

Of course, the federal government has limited power to force changes on the streets, most of which are controlled by state and local governments.

And the report doesn’t address the design of modern motor vehicles, with much of the increase in traffic deaths appearing to stem from the increase in massive trucks and SUV, with flat grills and high clearances that almost seem designed to kill.

But it’s a start.

If nothing else, it’s a change in attitude and direction. And if it sticks, it could lead to safer and move livable streets — in every sense.

We can hope.

Read more on Wired and the Los Angeles Times.

Photo by Alexas Fotos from Pixabay

………

A writer for leading British bicycling magazine Cycling Weekly shares the horrifying details of the abuse she has had to endure online, simply for being a woman in a male-dominated field.

Michele Arthurs-Brennan writes that the harassment began just four months into her job, when someone took offense to something she’d written, resulting in a daily torrent of sexually aggressive and threatening comments.

Using sexual slurs is a common tactic among a noisy minority of people who take exception to journalism produced by women. Last year, a global survey of 901 journalists found that women are experiencing unprecedented levels of violent and sexual harassment. A quarter had been threatened with sexual violence and death. This abuse, the UN concluded, was intended to “belittle, humiliate, shame, induce fear and ultimately discredit female reporters.” Similarly, Panorama’s recent documentary ‘Why do you hate me?’ uncovered the sexual and violent abuse that affects women in the public eye.

The reports tally with my experience: harassment has left me feeling physically threatened, and the instigator clearly sought to discredit my career. Very little of the abuse targeted my work directly but instead focused on my appearance, my fertility, my husband and our home. The campaign of insults and intimidation went on for close to a year.

Th abuse eventually forced her to move after photos of the home she shared with her husband started to appear online, along with other personal details.

The final onslaught  – published close to a year after the first incident – included two articles targeting not only me but also my husband. These listed our home address with photos of our house, analysis of the parking situation outside, plus screen shots showing routes I used for regular bike rides – alongside false allegations of driving offences based on pieced-together MOT records, false accusations of the use of anonymous online accounts, as well as an entirely fabricated story about my using “feminist extremism as a cover up” to hide my “infertility” and “multiple failed IVF treatments”. The giant red flag of misogyny here is the assumption that a woman would, or indeed should, cover up infertility out of shame.

This content didn’t only affect me in cyberspace. The abuse and false allegations surfaced whenever my name was searched online, alongside our home address, which had some very real repercussions for us, until we moved house.

No one should have to tell you just how wrong this is. And how no one should have to put up with this kind of crap just for doing their job.

Or for any other reason, for that matter.

I’ve with online attacks over the years, including death threats over the road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista, from people who should have know better.

And yes, I reported them to the police.

But I’ve never had to deal with sexual harassment or attacks just for being a man; that seems to be a special online hell reserved just for women, perpetrated by men.

So if you’re tempted to comment on a woman’s body, or make crude comments or threats of any kind, just don’t.

If you wouldn’t say it to a man, don’t say it to a woman.

Or better yet, just don’t say it.

Period.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

No surprise here, as a new study once again ranks Los Angeles as the country’s least bike-friendly city, with San Bernardino and Santa Ana not far behind.

This is what the bottom ten looks like, which LA wearing the crap crown once again.

Surprisingly, tiny Colorado ski town Crested Butte, with a population under 1,400, checks in as the country’s most bike-friendly city.

You’d think that repeatedly being crowned the country’s worst bike city by multiple organizations would spur LA city officials into action.

But apparently, you would be wrong.

………

PeopleForBikes will be holding its 2022 Bicycle Leadership Conference in our own backyard in March.

………

Good advice for bikes, too.

………

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

No bias here. A Missouri writer decides ebikes don’t belong on trails, after being safely and more or less politely passed by an older man riding one, which didn’t inconvenience him in the slightest.

No bias here, either. So why the hell do some drivers think killing innocent people is funny?

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

Police in Honolulu are looking for a bike-riding man who pushed over a 78-year old woman for no apparent reason, leaving her facing surgery for serious injuries.

A Florida man faces charges after allegedly stabbing another man in the neck in a dispute over a stolen bike seat before riding away on a bicycle. Repeat after me. No bicycle is worth harming another human being. Let alone a damn seat.

………

Local

Streetsblog has more on Mike Bonin’s decision to retire from the LA city council.

The Kelly Clarkson Show, with Jay Leno guest hosting, honored East Side Riders founders John “Pops” Jones Jr. and John Jones III for their work in the community, ending the segment by donating $5,000 to the group.

Metro offers an update on plans for congestion pricing focusing on four areas, including Downtown Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Housing Department received a $163.3 million state grant to build seven affordable housing projects, with $54.78 million dedicated to transit-related infrastructure, including seven miles of bike and pedestrian “improvements.” Whatever that means.

The LACBC offers tips on how to report blocked bike lanes on social media, and who to tag to — hopefully — get action, including using the hashtag #BikeBlockedLA.

This is who we share the road with. An 84-year old driver tried to turn a Los Feliz restaurant into a drive-thru, slamming his car into the building and injuring two patrons, as well as himself, in the process. Once again raising the question of just how old is too old to drive, and when should driver’s keys be taken away to protect others?

South Pasadena Mayor Michael Cacciotti is one of us, as the local paper says he walks the walk when it comes to the environment, and pedals the talk.

 

State

Caltrans says Complete Streets are coming, eventually.

San Diego installs bike counters in a pair of protected bike lanes, which could dispel the harmful myth that no one uses them.

 

National

A writer for Forbes says flying cars are great, but how about allowing people to ride bikes without fear of being harassed by the cops?

Chicago Streetsblog explores how the city can rank as one of the nation’s worst for bicycling, while simultaneously being a case study for best practices.

A coalition of New York advocacy groups is pushing the state to do something to curb traffic deaths, including passing a crash victim’s bill of rights. Which sounds like a damn good idea.

New York Magazine suggests “actually comfortable, expert-recommended” bicycle saddles.

Things are going the wrong way in New York, as the city suffered the deadliest year since it adopted Vision Zero in 2014, while Brooklyn was the city’s deadliest borough.

A Maryland city ripped out a successful bike lane project after a six-month trial, despite a jump in ridership and a minimal impact on traffic — as well as a drop in crashes and injuries — because some people complained.

 

International

Bike Radar offers a beginner’s guide to shifting gears.

A Toronto columnist complains that a new bike shelter for riders waiting to board the subway is all but useless because it doesn’t include anywhere to lock their bikes.

If you build it, they will come. A new study shows European cities that installed popup bike lanes during the pandemic saw an average 48% jump in bicycling rates. Meanwhile, American cities are busy ripping their popup lanes out, while Los Angeles wasted a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by never building any to begin with.

They get it. Vice says not only should every town have a 20 mph speed limit, but roads should be redesigned so it feels dangerous to go any faster.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An English WWII vet is still riding his bike 100 miles a week, despite celebrating his 100th birthday.

The UK is considering switching from gas taxes and excise duties for motor vehicles, which aren’t paid by drivers of electric vehicles, to a road pricing program that would charge all drivers according to miles driven, in an attempt to improve fairness while reducing traffic congestion.

A British man thanked a jury for acquitting him of using excessive force for killing a suspected burglar by pulling him off his bicycle, then kneeling on the man’s back with his head awkwardly twisted to the side for nine minutes.

They get it, too. New Zealand has seen a 700% increase in ebike use over the past five years, along with an 800% jump in ebike injuries, but officials blame the higher injury rates on increased usage, rather than claiming ebikes are dangerous, as too many others have done.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good news about two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal, who is reportedly alert and in good spirits after suffering critical injuries when he slammed into a bus parked partially in the traffic lane, while training near his Colombian hometown.

The news isn’t as good for Dutch cyclist Amy Pieters, who remains in a coma a month after she was critically injured in a training crash, although she’s breathing on her own and showing increased consciousness.

Still more bad news from the training front, as Irish pro cyclist Imogen Cotter says she’s lucky to be alive after she was struck head-on by a high speed driver who was passing a bicyclist on the other side of the road; she’s hospitalized with a broken arm and leg, along with other injuries.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’ve got a flat and out of tubes, and Peter Sagan rides to your rescue. The good, the bad and the ugly of this year’s pro team kits.

And if this clip doesn’t make your day, nothing will.

………

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

18 Los Angeles bike riders killed in 2021 Vision Zero fail, speed cams improve safety, and Sidney Poitier was one of us

It’s worse than we thought.

A lot worse.

Tracking bicycling deaths in Los Angeles last year, it became clear that what I was seeing was clearly a major undercount.

Because the numbers I was seeing were too good to be true, as if LA’s Vision Zero has suddenly started showing results, despite years of just nibbling at the edges of traffic safety.

It’s a problem that has developed over the past few years, as local newspapers and TV stations stopped reporting many bike crashes after the pandemic forced major cutbacks in the newsrooms.

At the same time, the LAPD has taken to telling the public about bike and pedestrian deaths only when there’s a crime involved — and even then too often waiting weeks, if not months, to issue a press release in some parts of the city, particularly in the case of hit-and-runs.

And LADOT has backtracked from their promises to track bike and pedestrian deaths under the Vision Zero program, which has receded to where it seems more like an inconvenience than a priority for the city’s transportation agency.

As a result, I counted just eight people killed riding bicycles in the city last year, a fraction of the 15 to 20 or more deaths that would have been expected in pre-pandemic days.

Sadly, I was right.

According to the Los Angeles Times, that was less than half of the actual total of 18 people killed riding their bikes in the City of Angels in 2021 — a 20% increase over the 15 people killed on bikes in the first year of the pandemic.

The paper points out the ongoing failure of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s underfunded Vision Zero pledge to cut traffic deaths by 20% by 2017 — a target the city didn’t come close to meeting. And the virtual impossibility meeting his commitment to ending traffic deaths in the city entirely by 2025.

According to Los Angeles Police Department data through Dec. 25, 289 people were killed in traffic collisions last year, 21% more than the same period in 2020 and 19% over the same period in 2019. A total of 1,465 people were severely injured, a 30% increase over the same period in 2020. The LAPD defines severely injured as needing to be transported from the collision.

The city’s streets are increasingly dangerous for pedestrians in particular, with 486 being severely injured by motorists — a 35% increase over 2020. Pedestrian deaths rose 6% to 128.

The numbers frustrate transportation advocates, who’ve long argued that Vision Zero — a program to end traffic deaths unveiled in 2015 by Garcetti — is underfunded and given a low priority by the mayor and City Hall leaders.

Then again, that’s what can be expected when our elected leaders quake in fear of getting recalled by angry drivers, and lack the courage to make the hard choices and changes necessary to save lives.

But Garcetti isn’t one to take such criticism lying down.

Garcetti cited the distraction of cellphones as a cause of collisions and said the city has added bike lanes during the pandemic, studied the city’s most dangerous intersections to come up with solutions, and supported a new state law designed to help cities have more control over speed limits.

“But it shows how tough it is,” Garcetti said Thursday.

He pushed back against criticism that he doesn’t mention Vision Zero as frequently as he touts other initiatives. “I speak out all the time,” Garcetti said. “I do on panels, I go out there, internationally, to kind of be part of this movement to make sure that we have more walkable, livable cities.”

So it’s nice to see Garcetti has done what he seems to do best.

Talk and attend conferences.

To be honest, I’ve wracked my brain in recent months, but can’t recall any elected official I’ve voted for and actively supported who has been a greater disappointment than Eric Garcetti. 

He started out great in his first term, before apparently setting his sights on higher office — including the presidency — and appearing to lose interest in the daily work of being the mayor of Los Angeles.

But I can tell you this.

I will not vote for anyone for mayor this year who does not fully commit to making Vision Zero a top priority, and funding it at levels necessary to result in real change. And commit to making the difficult choices and changes we need on our streets to actually reduce deaths and make our streets survivable.

And I won’t support anyone for city council who doesn’t, either.

It’s clear that homelessness will be the primary issue in this year’s campaign. We need to fight to raise traffic safety to a top priority, as well.

Because our lives literally depend on it.

………

A new Chicago study shows speed cams really do work. And they really do save lives.

A review of the city’s 162 automated speed cams, which state law allows to be installed only within one-eighth of a mile of a park or school, showed that serious crashes went up in those areas.

But not as much as they did in the city as a whole.

According to Chicago Streetsblog,

  • Fatal or serious injury crashes increased only 2 percent near speed cameras between 2012-13 and 2018-19, as compared to a 21 percent increase citywide. This is similar to the 1 percent and 19 percent findings of last year’s study, which compared 2012-13 with 2017-18.
  • Between 2012-13 and 2018-19, overall crash totals increased 1 percent in the cam locations, compared to a 25 percent increase in all crashes citywide. The figures from last year’s study were 4 percent and 26 percent.
  • Speed-related crashes increased 18 near speed cams between 2012-13 and 2018-19, compared to a 64 percent spike city-wide. Those are smaller increases than were seen in last year’s study: 25 percent and 75 percent.

Two bills under consideration in the state legislature during the past session would have established pilot programs for speed cams here in California.

But both died on the vine, apparently because they would have inconvenienced speeding drivers, which tend to make them mad.

Fortunately, Calbike and SAFE — aka Streets Are For Everyone — say they’ll make getting a bill through the legislature one of their top priorities.

So there may be hope yet.

………

Los Angeles Bureau of Streets Services Assistant Director & Chief Sustainability Officer Greg Spotts is one of us.

Which should inspire confidence that he’ll get the job done right.

https://twitter.com/Spottnik/status/1479884374053056515

………

Now if all cars were just made like this.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up. 

………

The immortal Sidney Poitier was one of us. So was his friend and fellow 1940s alum of Harlem’s American Negro Theatre.

………

I want to be like him when I grow up.

………

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

No bias here. Instead of complaining about the one rude bike rider they encountered, a New Jersey father addresses his complaints to “all the arrogant jerks who ride on New Jersey trails and roadways.” On the other hand, if you’re not an arrogant jerk, his message apparently doesn’t apply to you.

No bias here, either. Two cops were disciplined after Irish officials allowed a dangerous driver to remain on the streets until he killed a man riding a bike, despite 42 — yes, 42 — previous convictions, and being out on bail from three separate courts. But the police commissioner quashed their fines and sanctions.

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

A Montreal bike rider responds to being told to stay in the bike lane by smashing his bike against the driver’s car. Which probably hurt his bike more than it does the car. Seriously, violence is never the answer, as tempting as it is sometimes.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CYcErfYoi8V/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=310f8a6c-bbd3-4df9-8baa-2b82c601f84b

………

Local

Metro Bike is offering a one-month bikeshare pass for just $1.

The director of the LA chapter of the Sierra Club complains that there are no programs in place to encourage customers to ride their bikes to local businesses.

 

State

A California inventor is working on a bike lane sweeper you can pull behind your bike.

Encinitas residents turned out for the city’s Cyclovia open streets event on Sunday, which shut down four letters worth of the Coast Highway to cars, and opened them to people for four hours from D Street to J Street.

Police in Temecula are looking for a pair of burglars who broke into a local bike shop and stole a pair of high-end mountain bikes.

Riverside’s SMART Tire Company has released the second-generation of their airless metal tire prototype, developed in conjunction with NASA in an effort to reduce weight — and the $2,000 price tag — before it goes to market later this year. Although the investors on Shark Tank didn’t approve.

San Luis Obispo kicked a homeless encampment off a local bike path before closing it for the next eight weeks to make improvements along the route.

A San Francisco writer says he won’t be renewing his membership in the de Young Museum and Legion of Honor, thanks to their demands to return “car-free JFK Drive…to a dangerous highway used mostly by shortcut-takers zipping between destinations outside the park.”

 

National

They get it. Wired says if the US is serious about climate change — which remains to be seen — our leaders need to start treating bicycles like replacements for cars, and not toys.

Mashable considers all the ebikes and scooters presented at last week’s CES in Las Vegas — including one with treads and no pedals to get through the snow.

A series of reports about the “the uneasy coexistence of grizzly bears and humans” recounts the horrific tale of a Montana mountain biker who rounded a blind curve and ran directly into a massive grizzly, who did not take to it kindly.

Once again, an ebike battery spontaneously combusted, sparking a four alarm fire in a Bronx apartment building early Saturday. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries, unlike Sunday’s apartment fire sparked by a space heater that killed at least 19 people.

Nearly 40 injured vets took part in the Wounded Warrior Project’s annual ride through the Florida Keys.

 

International

He gets it, too. A British Columbia columnist says yes, he always wears a bike helmet, but bike lanes will do a lot more to improve safety.

A British automotive website looks forward to the upcoming ebikes that are revving their engines.

UK residents laugh at the idea that people could carry their trash to drop-off sites on their bicycles during a garbage strike. Apparently, no one has ever told them about cargo bikes. Or racks. Or baskets. 

National Geographic examines what makes the Isle of Man one of Great Britain’s best places to ride a bike.

Milan is getting serious about bicycling, unveiling a $272 million plan to build an entire 466-mile network of concentric and radial bike paths connecting 80% of the city.

NPR visits Iraq, where women riding bicycles are often seen as promiscuous, though the women see themselves as activists.

A man from Kazakhstan plans to ride 500 miles from Busan to Seoul, South Korea to mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is targeting a record-tying number five this year, insisting that he’s fully recovered from a near fatal crash two years ago. Even though He Who Must Not Be Named won seven, before he didn’t.

Cycling Weekly considers who has this year’s best looking pro cycling kit.

 

Finally…

Anyone can hold a naked bike ride in the middle of summer, but a January ride takes balls, uh, guts. If you have to steal an ebike, probably not the best idea to take one marked “evidence” from the police impound yard.

And someone get me some ice and a skate, quick.

………

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

Former NTSB official says no deaths should be the only goal, legalize crossing the street, and building the 15 minute city

She gets it.

A former acting chair and board member of the NTSB says we know how to prevent traffic deaths.

And the only rational goal should be zero.

Sometimes I arrived at the scene of a business jet or helicopter crash, other times it was a train derailment, once it was a cargo ship lost in a hurricane — always, it involved a tragic loss of life. But despite the terrible toll of motor vehicle deaths on our nation, I never launched to the scene of a traffic crash. Why? Perhaps because the NTSB only has the capacity to investigate a handful of vehicle crashes each year. Perhaps because there weren’t any crashes classified as major disasters when I was on duty. But in 2019, more than 36,000 deaths were recorded on U.S. roads, so an average of nearly 700 traffic deaths occurred every week I was on duty.

Yet our nation doesn’t think of a traffic crash as a disaster, since deaths typically occur one or two at a time. Many of us don’t believe that every road death is preventable. As a nation, we haven’t yet decided that we can protect everyone, including the most vulnerable among us who use our streets and highways — people who are younger or older, people who are walking or biking, people with disabilities. We accept tens of thousands of deaths on our roads every year as simply unavoidable “accidents,” even though we have proven solutions to prevent them.

It’s worth a few minutes to read.

Because she’s right. There’s no acceptable number of traffic deaths.

And it’s long past time we did something about it.

………

Los Angeles Walks is joining with partners across the state on Monday for a national discussion about jaywalking and efforts to decriminalize it.

Like their sponsorship of AB 1238, aka the Freedom to Walk Act, which would get rid of California’s jaywalking law, which is too often used to target people of color.

You can register for the webinar here.

………

Streets For All hosts what promises to be a fascinating discussion with the creator of the Paris 15 Minute City Plan on May 11th.

The plan, which is currently being implemented in Paris, promises to put everything you need within a 15-minute walk, bike or transit ride, anywhere in the city.

The LA transportation PAC is also asking for you to take a stand in support for a proposal to make Calfornia’s Slow Streets permanent by emailing the Assembly Committee on Local Government by this coming Wednesday.

………

Give credit where credit is due.

Unless you’re LADOT, evidently.

………

Bike Talk discusses the bible of traffic engineers this Friday, which is undergoing its first revision in a decade.

………

A periodic reminder that bicycle are mobility devices.

And bike lanes help older and disabled people get around, without having to rely on a car.

https://twitter.com/AmericanFietser/status/1387647840109879297

………

Hats off to a kindhearted Cambridge MA cop, who took a few moments out of his day for an impromptu bike ride with a little boy.

https://twitter.com/CambridgePolice/status/1387107364986363906?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1387107364986363906%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwhdh.com%2Fnews%2Fleft-a-lifetime-impression-cambridge-police-officer-goes-on-bike-ride-with-4-year-old%2F

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A British bicyclist had to call off a fundraising ride across the country after a group of jerks men pushed him off his bike around the hallway point. Which makes the real victims the cancer charity he was raising funds for, and the people they could have helped.

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

Police in Ontario, Canada are looking for a bike rider who fled the scene after crashing his bike into a trash bin, while towing a trailer filled with 31 pounds of cannabis. And a guitar.

A bike-riding British thief uses his head to balance the spa he just stole.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego opens a new South Bay campground and bike park. But not together, unfortunately.

A Bakersfield bike path could be underwater through today, thanks to a water line break.

Speaking of Bakersfield, the city will kick off Bike Month with a solidarity ride this Saturday.

Trek CEO John Burke penned a heartfelt ode to his penpal Joe Shami, the 86-year old Legend of Mount Diablo, who was killed in a collision with a driver on yet another ride up the mountain earlier this month.

Bay Area transportation officials marked the beginning of Bike Month by announcing nine Bike Champion of the Year winners, honoring one person from each county in the Bay region for their commitment to bicycling.

The rich get richer. The Sacramento region is planning a bike freeway network connecting area cities, which could require an another 300 miles of trails in addition to the 450 miles already on the ground.

 

National

The Associated Press says give mom an ebike this year.

Outside says it’s time for a federal ebike tax credit.

AARP takes a look a look at bicycling over 55, including what to look for in a new bike, bikes for people with mobility issues, how to be safer on your bike, and eight of the nation’s top rail trails, including the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.

Pop Sugar recommends ten padded bike shorts to make your ride — and presumably, your wallet — more comfortable.

Bicycling considers how to advocate for and protect the trails you ride this summer. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. And they probably will.

Even Honolulu is building a protected bike lane network.

The newest edition of Oregon’s state bicycling manual gets rid of labels in favor of more inclusive people-first language.

In a common lament across the country, Omaha, Nebraska has more bikeshare bikes than ever. Just not enough safe places to ride them.

They get it. A new survey shows Pittsburgh residents overwhelmingly support bike lanes, walking routes and reduced speed limits. And think traffic injuries are a major problem. Maybe someday someone will finally get around to asking Angelenos those same questions, so our elected leaders might finally see that the car-first crowd is just a very loud minority.

New York has sent a cease and desist order to a new rival to the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare system, saying the privately run dockless bikeshare isn’t authorized to do business in the city.

A New Jersey DJ pleads with lightless and scofflaw bicyclists to stay safe.

In an overly familiar story, DC traffic deaths continue to climb while Vision Zero funding is stuck in limbo.

Camila Cabello is one of us, as she goes for a bike ride through the streets of Miami.

 

International

Road.cc offers 14 tips on how to make your bike more comfortable. I’m a big fan of padded gloves, new bar tape and better insoles myself.

He gets it. A writer for Innovation Origins says we need more and better bike paths, not more helmet laws.

This is who we share the road with. A newlywed English teenager gets a well-deserved year behind bars for stealing a crate of eggs, then driving his car while friends threw the eggs out the window at passing people and cars, permanently blinding a motorcycle rider in his right eye with a direct hit. He took the fall for his friends, refusing to name who actually tossed the eggs.

Princess Di’s “shame” mixte bike sold for the equivalent of over $61,000, which the palace forced her to sell before her ill-fated marriage to Prince Chuck; the bike went for more than twice the presale estimate.

Add this to your bike bucket list, with eleven “of the best and most beautiful places” to ride your bike in Scotland.

Rouleur looks at the 18k gold framed bike famed Italian bikemaker Ernesto Colnago made for Pope — now Saint — John Paul II.

Heartbreaking story from India, where an elderly man was forced to carry his dead wife’s body on his bicycle for hours after villagers blocked him from the local crematorium for fear of Covid-19, even though there was no confirmation she ever had the disease.

 

Finally…

That feeling when God tells you to start a weekly bike night at the local skatepark.

And let’s consign “savages” to the racist dustbin of history. Even in reference to some truly despicable bike thieves.

Oh, and it’s “thief,” not “thieve.”

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

%d bloggers like this: