Tag Archive for traffic deaths

Redondo Beach teen dragged by hit-and-run driver, callous Mar Vista council member, and 3rd ST protected bike lanes

Whatever the hell illness I’ve been dealing with appears to have broken finally, so let’s ease back into things by catching up on a few stories we’ve missed, along with today’s news. 

And please forgive me for not keeping track of who sent me links this time. Under the circumstances, I was happy just to keep track of my meals.

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While we were gone, Redondo Beach police were searching for the hit-and-run driver who ran over a 15-year old boy riding an ebike, dragging the boy and his bike underneath for half a block.

When the kid somehow managed to free himself from under the truck, he demanded that the driver stop his truck and get out.

Instead the jerk — which is the mildest term we can use here — backed up his pickup, freeing the boy’s bicycle, before zooming off.

Thankfully, the victim wasn’t seriously injured, though he did suffer severe road rash.

Let’s hope the driver is feeling his pain.

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

An elected member of the Mar Vista Community Council explains why she opposes extending the Venice Blvd protected bike lanes and bus lanes.

And no, she doesn’t just sound callous.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog discovers newly protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd in the opposite direction, in front of the Helms Bakery complex.

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The new half-mile long 3rd Street protected bike lane through DTLA is a thing now.

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The East Side Riders Bike Club continues to give back by feeding the community on a weekly basis.

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The Los Angeles Times offers a guide for the bike-curious, starting with what they describe as eight breezy bike trails that will teach you about LA as you ride.

As long as you take a very expansive view of what’s LA, that is.

Not so forgivable is their framing of a story on “nine bike clubs to cruise LA with” for people who are afraid to ride alone. Not all of which are actually clubs.

And none of which require joining out of fear; you can also participate if you want to give back to the community, or just enjoy riding with like-minded people.

Seriously, they should know better.

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The governor finally signed Assemblymember Laura Friedman’s parking reform bill, no thanks to our “climate mayor.”

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The US men’s soccer team is one of us.

Or 28 of us, anyway.

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

Infuriating story from Redlands, where doctor and semi-pro cyclist Kyle Cooper was seriously injured in an apparent hit-and-run. Yet the local cops refused to believe him, somehow convinced it was just an “oopsie.”

A 28-year old Michigan woman faces charges for attacking a 19-year old man with a machete for no apparent reason as he rode his bike to work; fortunately, the victim survived his wounds.

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

Police in San Diego are looking for gunman who escaped by bicycle after shooting a 35-year old man in an aqueduct near westbound state Route 94; the victim was expected to survive, despite multiple gunshot wounds.

An English e-scooter rider faces charges for allegedly threatening a van driver with a meat cleaver for passing too closely.

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Local

Talk about throwing your life away. Twenty-three-year old Long Beach driver Carlo Navarro was sentenced to a very well-deserved 25 to life for wiping out an entire family; Navarro was convicted on three counts of murder for killing a mother, father and young child in a drunken, high-speed crash as they walked home from Trick-or-Treating on Halloween three years earlier.

Streets For All is hosting a meet-and-greet in Venice tomorrow night with Eric Darling, who is running to replace Mike Bonin in CD11.

Metro is hosting a virtual meeting tomorrow evening to discuss extending the LA River Bike Path through DTLA, as well as a virtual and in-person meeting on Saturday.

Pasadena approved 19 projects to replace the now-cancelled $230 million Gold Line grade separation, including a number of active transportation projects.

 

State 

Governor Newsom has signed a bill giving pedestrians priority at traffic lights by requiring leading pedestrian intervals; the recently signed Bicycle Omnibus Bill extends them to bicyclists, as well.

A 22-year old man got a well-deserved nine years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run crash that killed 75-year old Allen Hunter II in Solano Beach last year; Lucas Beau Morgans had a BAC over twice the legal limit when he was arrested an hour and a half after the fatal crash.

Sad news from Sunnyvale, where a man riding a bicycle was killed in a collision Monday evening.

Oakland announced plans for a 16-mile protected greenway, providing the first walkable, bikeable path from Oakland’s Lake Merritt to the South Hayward BART station.

 

National

A new book examines how suburban vigilantes and NIMBYs took over in the latter part of the last century. Hint: It’s not just suburban NIMBYs and vigilantes.

Something is seriously wrong when an award-winning children’s book about a homemade bicycle assembled from scraps is banned thanks to thin-skinned cops.

A mother argues that rather than being dangerous, riding a bike on the road is one of the best things she does with her kids.

Pink Bike offers a guide to your dream job in the bike industry, with 17 high-level bike jobs that are open right now.

Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes is asking owners to park their RadWagon 4 bikes over fears the tires could pop while you’re riding. Which is probably a bad thing.

Ruth Orkin, the then 29-year old daughter of silent film star Mary Ruby, took the first unposed, color photograph to appear on a magazine cover — after riding her bicycle to New York when she was just 17.

A 71-year old New York man is using his megaphone — literally — to demand “Tour de France guys” in Central Park slow down. Never mind that he’s been convicted of election fraud.

Bicycling examines the nation’s most dangerous road for bicyclists, running eastward from Queens in New York State. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Boston money manager still rides his bike to work at 95-years old.

 

International

Cycling Weekly talks with a sports psychologist about how to overcome the six most common bicycling fears. Yet somehow, they don’t even mention my biggest fear — getting run down by a distracted driver.

Bike riders in London, Ontario call for safer streets after a student was killed in a hit-and-run, saying it feels like life or death on the roads.

A British driver faces charges for the alleged stoned-driving death of a popular club cyclist participating in a time trial.

Thirty-year old Scottish twin brothers will stand trial for murdering a 63-year old man taking part in a fundraising ride; the men allegedly beat the victim to death after crashing into him while driving drunk.

Runners may have the bulls, but bike riders in Pamplona, Spain had to overcome the hills.

Taking a cue from Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival, Italy’s Bianchi goes electric. And yes, you have to be pretty damn old to get that reference.

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI announced a second Super Worlds, with all cycling events — including road, track, BMX, mountain bike and paracycling — taking place in the same week in Haute-Savoie, France, four years after next year’s Super Worlds in Glasgow.

This year’s Worlds were marked with drama when race favorite Mathieu van der Poel abandoned during the race, later revealing that he’d been arrested after confronting teenagers who repeatedly knocked on his door the night before the race, keeping him up all night. He was fined the equivalent of nearly $1,000 after being convicted on common assault.

 

Finally…

What if cities had driving and non-driving sections? Sure, you may be champion of the world, but your socks are too damn long.

And that feeling when you can buy a state-of-the-art hubless ebike for less than a concert ticket.

With free shipping, too.

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A belated l’shanah tovah to everyone celebrating this week!

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

13 previous car crashes for nurse who killed six people in Windsor Hills, and women and retirees fastest ebike adopters

Talk about keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 37-year old, Texas-based traveling nurse Nicole Lorraine Linton was involved in 13 prior crashes before she killed six people and injured eight others after allegedly blowing through a red light at up to 90 mph on Thursday.

Yes, you read that right.

Thirteen previous crashes, including a 2020 crash that totaled both vehicles. And yet she was somehow allowed to keep driving, despite demonstrating a clear inability to do so safely.

Either that, or she was plagued by some of the worst luck in the history of driving.

Linton was formally charged with six counts of murder — one for each victim — along with five counts of vehicular homicide. The unborn child of the pregnant woman killed in the crash accounts for the discrepancy; the death of the eight-and-a-half month unborn baby is eligible for a murder charge, but not vehicular homicide.

LA County DA George Gascón concluded her prior crash record indicated she was aware of the risks of driving in a dangerous manner, making her eligible for the murder charges.

Linton faces up to life behind bars upon conviction. She’s currently being held without bail after the previous $9 million bond was revoked.

Thanks to How The West Was Saved for the heads-up.

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Meanwhile, the news is not good for Anne Heche.

The actress, who was seriously burned crashing her car into a Mar Vista home at high speed on Friday, is reportedly in extremely critical condition after slipping into a coma.

Police investigators are trying to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role in the fiery crash.

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I once made the mistake of telling a bikemaker I didn’t see a market for ebikes, because I assumed everyone would want the exercise and health benefits of a standard bike.

Turns out I was wrong about that, too, since studies show ebikes offer the same health benefits as any other bike.

So this is a snapshot of just who is taking up ebikes.

You know, the market I somehow couldn’t picture.

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Let’s take a few moments to consider what’s possible when you register your bike with Bike Index.

You can get a free, lifetime registration in just minutes.

So if anything happens to your bike, you’ll have all the information you need to add your bike to Bike Index’ nationwide database of stolen bikes. And increase your chances of getting it back, wherever its found.

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Streets For All is hosting their latest virtual happy hour this evening.

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Who needs an ebike bike when you can build your very own DIY jet-powered bicycle?

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

No bias here. A new San Francisco group demanding the reopening of JFK Drive through Golden Gate Park to cars has issued their full set of demands, including parking on every street, no parking-protected bike lanes, and no bike lanes replacing parking.

A road-raging Dayton, Ohio man faces charges for intentionally running down, then running over, a man riding a bicycle, before getting out with another man and looking at the victim; the attack was apparently in retaliation for the rider throwing a small flashlight at the driver’s car, after someone in the car threw a water bottle at the victim.

A Florida driver is accused of circling back and jumping a curb to intentionally run down a pair of bike riders, then getting out and shooting one of them in the leg

British police interviewed a man accused of “furiously” pushing a man against a wall and throwing his bicycle out into the street, for the crime of riding his bike on the sidewalk.

An Irish road and cyclocross racer is back to riding just two weeks after he suffered four broken ribs and two broken vertebrae, as well as a partially collapsed lung, when someone sabotaged a mountain bike trail with a rope strung across the path; Seán Nolan warns that its only a matter of time before someone gets killed.

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

A Nebraska man was busted after fleeing from police on his bike when the cops recognized his as having outstanding warrants; he was also carrying meth and drug paraphernalia in his backpack.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma man learns the hard way that if you’re going to stab a man and ride off on his bicycle, make sure it doesn’t have a flat tire first.

Police in Chicago are looking for a bike-riding man who has targeted elderly women in a string of strong-arm robberies, stealing their jewelry before riding off.

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Local

Dozens of bicyclists and other activists turned out at City Hall on Monday to protest a new ordinance banning outdoor bike chop shops, fearing the law could be used to target low-income people and people of color, rather than cracking down on bike thefts.

Streetsblog reports Venice Blvd will be getting another 4.3 miles of parking protected bike lanes connecting to the .8-mile Mar Vista Great Street project, for a total of 5.1 miles of protected bike lanes.

The LA River Greenway is getting a new Canoga Park entry pavilion designed by acclaimed architect Frank Geary, even though the river is nothing more than an open air concrete culvert at that point. Geary has also proposed hiding lower sections of the concrete channel under elevated parks, rather than returning the channel to a more natural state.

Walk Bike Glendale offers action alerts on proposed makeovers of North Brand Blvd and La Crescenta Ave, as well as plans for a feeder ride to the Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia on August 21st.

 

State 

Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 922 passed the state Assembly with almost unanimous support; the bill expedited bike, pedestrian, light rail, and rapid bus projects by exempting them from the California Environmental Quality Act, aka CEQA. It now goes back to the Senate for a final vote before going to the governor’s desk for a signature.

Encinitas-based bikemaker Electra continues to stick close to its roots, keeping its focus on cruiser bikes on the eve of its 30th birthday.

San Diego’s newly revised Climate Action Plan doubles down on efforts to get people out of their cars, including a shift to more Class IV protected bike lanes.

Santa Barbara’s Parks and Recreation Commission approved the removal of 34 trees to build a bike path on the city’s Modoc Road, which will require moving the roadway 12 feet so the path won’t go through sensitive wildlife habitat near Arroyo Burro Creek; the project is less controversial than another one along Modoc Road in Santa Barbara County, which will require removing 40 to 61 trees.

Streetsblog calls on San Francisco officials to fix a street grate in Golden Gate Park that could grab a narrow bike tire and bring down the rider. And did. Call it Golden Gate Grate-gate. 

Oakland wants to use a $1 million state grant to buy 500 ebikes to open an ebike library for low-income neighborhoods.

After hundreds of bike-riding teens swarmed the lower deck of the San Francisco Bay Bridge Saturday afternoon, they’re accused of burglarizing businesses and throwing things at people in Oakland.

A man was sentenced to a well-deserved 17 years behind bars for trying to rape a woman on a Davis bike path.

 

National

Streetsblog offers advice on how to access federal funding from the new Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program, offering a cool $1 billion a year for the next five years for “meaningful, community-led Vision Zero projects.”

Even with federal incentives of up to $7,500, electric cars remain outside the reach of many Americans. Yet the new climate bill fails to mention far more affordable bicycles, let alone ebikes.

The Verge says the ebike tax credit is only mostly dead, as supporters plot the next steps to revive it.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Take a cog railway train to the summit of Colorado’s 14,115-foot Pikes Peak, then bike 13 miles and 5,000 feet back down.

A 49-year old Durango, Colorado fire fighter was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a driver; his death came just two weeks after a 60-year old member of the same department died of a heart condition while riding bikes with his son.

A 68-year old Sierra City, California man was killed when he was rear-ended by a semi driver and knocked into a ditch while riding in Kansas.

Great idea. While Houston is in the midst of a years-long commitment to build 1,800 miles of high-comfort bike lanes, the city is reserving 10% of the funding for smaller “strategic” projects suggested by members of the bicycling community.

Police arrested a 26-year old man for yelling and chucking rocks at people using a Madison, Wisconsin bike path.

A Detroit website says more pedestrians are getting killed as trucks and SUVs keep getting bigger, with some models now exceeding the size of a WWII tank.

The woman accused of killing two men participating in a Michigan Make-A-Wish fundraising ride while driving under the influence is due back in court for a prelim next week; the crash left nine kids without their fathers.

The bighearted employees of a Maine company pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a 19-year old coworker, after the bike he used to ride to work was stolen.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale is one of us, after he suffered a broken wrist falling off his bike to end his season; a Texas website offers an incomplete list of other major league bike incidents, although they include motorcycles as well as bicycles.

New York saw a 33 percent jump in weekday bicycling trips during the deepest, darkest days of the pandemic in 2020. Meanwhile, the latest official figures for Los Angeles show a 22 percent increase — in 2019, before the pandemic and subsequent bike boom.

New Yorkers want more, and more secure, bike parking. Then again, doesn’t everyone?

DC has a new bicycle awareness specialty license plate, even if it does misspell “taxation.”

New Orleans police arrested a 16-year old boy, accusing him of stealing a bicycle from an off-duty cop in a French Quarter strong-arm robbery.

 

International

A Suffolk, England woman is credited with helping save a man’s life after he rode his bike into a river; now she’s raising funds to support the medical charity that helped his rehabilitation.

British police failed to arrest a single bike thief in 87% of neighborhoods with at least one bike theft. And usually a lot more.

A German company has introduced what they call the world’s smartest bike helmet, including a full face air bag, 360° surround safety system, LED lights and a breathable, 3D-knitted liner.

NPR says many Sri Lankans have switched to bicycles due to the country’s economic crisis.

The pandemic is fueling a sports bicycling boom in China, a country more noted for utilitarian and proletarian bikes; meanwhile, the country’s surviving bikeshare companies are raising their prices in an effort to finally turn a profit. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

 

Competitive Cycling

Indianapolis Monthly takes readers to school, explaining what a crit is.

A new documentary captures Pittsburgh’s Frigid Bitch alleycat bike race.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you find driving stressful when you’re not going 186 mph. Try not to back your motorbike into a pit.

And this is who we share the road with.

https://twitter.com/ChadBlue83/status/1556435695635517440

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA considers Complete Streets makeover of Valley Blvd, US House hearing on traffic deaths, and Ballona Creek path closed

Los Angeles is taking the first tentative steps towards a Complete Streets makeover of Valley Blvd, from Mission Road to Soto Street

Proposals for the four-mile stretch of Valley Blvd include bus lanes and a possible sidewalk level, two-way cycle track, while sinking railroad tracks to reduce crossings and improve safety.

But don’t hold your breath.

Actual construction is at least five to ten years off. And what gets built will depend on a series of public meetings, which gives the usual NIMBYs a chance to derail everything.

Photo courtesy of the City of Los Angeles, via The Eastsider.

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About damn time.

The US House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee held a hearing yesterday to consider the country’s rising rate of traffic deaths, especially among pedestrians and bike riders.

Then again, it’s one thing to conduct a hearing. It’s another to actually do something about it.

Which hasn’t exactly been Congress’ strong suit in recent years.

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A section of the Ballona Creek bike path between National Blvd and Duquesne Ave in Culver City will be closed through this month.

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Sunset For All hosts another coffee walk to spread the word about plans for a more human-focused boulevard.

https://twitter.com/SunsetForAll/status/1534319644634497025

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

An Idaho man faces up to 15 years behind bars after accepting a plea bargain for driving through a public park trying to run down a boy riding a bicycle; fortunately, the kid was able to jump off before the man ran over his bike.

Police in the UK are looking for the passenger of a pickup who shouted out the window and squirted an “unknown liquid” in the face of pair of bicyclists as the truck passed them. Far from a harmless prank, something like that can startle the victim and cause a dangerous fail — regardless of whether the substance itself was actually harmful.

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Local

A Long Beach bike rider is in stable condition after he suffered injuries to his upper body when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in the California Heights neighborhood.

 

State 

Victorville will close a portion of Green Tree Blvd for three months as part of a street makeover, including adding bike lanes along the roadway to create a seven-mile bike loop.

Zebra sightings continue in Santa Barbara, including one that chased a bike rider on Sunday; locals suggest it could be a free-roaming domesticated animal who has gone on several previous walkabouts.

San Jose’s Mr. Roadshow says he’s surprised the Bike League rated California as the country’s fourth most bicycle-friendly state, even as bike and pedestrian deaths continue to rise. He should see how surprised the rest of us are.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a therapy bike belonging to an 11-year old Sacramento boy with cerebral palsy; fortunately, kindhearted community members have raised more than $3,000 to replace it.

 

National

Outdoor offers their favorite outdoor love stories shared by the magazine’s readers, including a California couple’s mountain biking meetup that sparked their relationship.

Consumer Reports warns against buying or using the Tony Hawk Silver Signature Series helmet after it failed a safety test; the manufacturer had offered the helmet as a replacement for the recalled Dimensions Bluetooth Speaker multipurpose helmet, which also failed the magazine’s safety tests.

Bicycling recommends their picks for the best saddle bags. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Dallas is the latest major city to adopt a Vision Zero program, agreeing to halt traffic deaths by 2030. Let’s hope they show more commitment than Los Angeles and other cities have, where it’s failing for lack of effort and investment.

A Chicago public radio station considers what the city can do to improve safety for bicyclists, after three riders have died on city streets this year. Meanwhile, Los Angeles has suffered over twice as many deaths, and no one has even batted an eye. 

Prosecutors charged an Indianapolis man with murder for the fatal hit-and-run that killed his ex-girlfriend as she was riding her bike; she identified her killer by giving police his license number before she died.

A writer from Streetsblog says New York can have nice things, but only after they get rid of cars — like blocking vehicles from the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

That’s more like it. DC is considering a plan to charge owners of large trucks and SUVs more to register their vehicles in an attempt to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, with an extra $175 for vehicles weighing between 3,500 and 6,000 pounds, and $500 for anything over that.

 

International

Digital Journal suggests smart helmets could be the future of bicycle safety.

British police are relying on bike cam and dashcam video to enforce traffic laws, after cutbacks in traffic cops. Unfortunately, that’s illegal in most, if not all, US states, where traffic infraction have to actually be witnessed by a cop.

A 49-year old father of three from the UK shares how bicycling helped him recover from a brain tumor, calling it as important to his recovery as his medications.

Your next custom-fitted Italian steel bike frame could come complete with gold-plated lugs and stays.

A 42-year old Dutch woman has been charged with attempted manslaughter for grabbing the arm of the country’s former legal protection minister as he rode his bike at a high rate of speed, causing him to fall heavily and break several ribs, as well as his pelvis and collarbone.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former world ‘cross champ Thalita de Jong is finally back in the women’s WorldTour, five years after a knee injury knocked the Belgian cyclist out of the sport’s top levels.

The Sportsman says seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome is in the toughest fight of his career as he fights just to make the Israel–Premier Tech team for the Tour de France.

The coach of India’s international cycling team has been accused of sexual harassment and trying to force himself on one of the country’s top women’s cyclists.

The Spanish cycling community mourned the death of 87-year old Julio Jiménez, one of international cycling’s best climbers of the ’60s, after he was killed when the driver of the car he was in crashed into a wall.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a little 65 mph bike ride through the California desert. Your next bike could be the self-proclaimed Ferrari of ebikes, for the low, low price of just 18 grand.

And that feeling when jousting on bicycles with boat oars ends up pretty much the way you’d expect.

Jousting with oars on bicycles from WinStupidPrizes

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.”

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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.

https://twitter.com/eurosport/status/1508113176864468992

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.

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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.

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Now this is a bike ad.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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Unbelievable.

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

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Yet another reminder to register your bike.

Now.

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I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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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

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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

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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. 

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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.

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