Tag Archive for traffic deaths

Bicycling deaths drop 3% last year, compared to 6.3% jump in 2018; and Slow Streets spread across US — but not LA

Let’s start with a little good news for a change.

According to the the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, US traffic fatalities fell 1.2% last year.

And that drop extended to bicycling deaths as well, which declined 3% compared to 2018.

There was also a 2% drop in pedestrian deaths.

All of which is great news.

But it would be even better if bike and pedestrians deaths hadn’t spiked in 2018 by twice as much as they fell in 2019.

Photo by paul voie from Pexels.

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Today’s common theme is the nation’s bike boom and the spread of Slow Streets across the US.

Bike riders are taking over the streets of San Jose as drivers stay home, and people get out on their bikes.

Sonoma County bike shops got the okay to reopen on Monday, just in time to capitalize on the boom in bicycling.

Bike shops are booming in Las Vegas, where one shop manager says iconic Las Vegas Blvd is turning into a fitness trail; bikeshare use is up in Vegas, too.

Pennsylvania bike shops are missing out on the coronavirus bike boom, prohibited from selling bikes during the lockdown.

Baltimore is getting on the Slow Streets bandwagon, closing streets so people can get out for fresh air and exercise during the Covid-19 lockdown.

New Orleans is getting on the Slow Streets bandwagon, too. But Arlington VA won’t be closing streets for social distancing anytime soon.

Missing from that list is Los Angeles, which continues its longstanding policy of automotive hegemony on the streets.

Although Mayor Garcetti hinted yesterday that changes may be coming, albeit too late to help Angelenos make it through the lockdown.

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

They clearly don’t like people on bikes. An English man was pulled off his bike and attacked by the occupants of a car following a punishment pass, in the same area where a family was harassed for riding their bikes last month.

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

Police in Chicago are looking for a gang of bike-riding robbers who have been terrorizing pedestrians in Rogers Park.

A man was busted for stalking an Idaho Falls, Idaho woman after riding his bike 15 miles from another town to harass her, despite a restraining order.

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Local

Former US Women’s National Team cyclist Ryan Kelly walked 44 miles from Ventura Harbor to the Malibu Pier to raise $4,400 for pediatric cancer research.

Michael Keaton is one of us, as the former Batman and 80’s sitcom star took a spin through Pacific Palisades on his ebike.

Adam Sandler is still riding his bike through the ‘Bu, stopping off at a mobile bike repair van for a little work

 

State

Orange County beaches and beach bike paths will reopen on a limited basis, with users required to keep moving.

The San Diego Bike Coalition is taking Bike Month into the virtual world with a series of riding challenges for both new riders and seasoned commuters.

Sad news from San Francisco, where 22-year old Twitter staffer and bike advocate Courtney Brousseau was murdered Monday night, apparently collateral damage in a shootout between two groups of men.

 

National

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager discusses how to keep going when the going gets hard, while cycling coach Chris Carmichael offers advice on how to descend faster — and safer.

A Chicago woman tracked down the thief who stole her cargo bike, and eventually let him go after talking him into giving it back — and after he complained about being harassed. No, really.

Once again, it takes the death of a bike rider to get needed safety improvements, as Chicago installs protected bike lane bollards where a woman as killed in a collision six months ago. Although “protected” is a relative term when the only barrier is a row of thin plastic sticks.

Seriously, how fast do you have to be going to kill a 72-year old New York bike rider while backing into a parking space?

A writer looks back to his New Jersey childhood with a warning to look out for inanimate objects during May’s Bike Safety Month, while another writer from the state says he knows he’s taking a chance, but riding a bike is therapy right now.

A Virginia company is distributing free bike locks to frontline workers after reading about an Irish doctor whose bike was stolen during her 12-hour shift.

Heartbreaking story from Mississippi, where an 11-year old girl was killed by a hit-and-run driver as she rode her bike next to her mother, after they were both run down and left in the street to die.

Sad news from Florida, where a 71-year old man was killed, and a 70-year old woman injured, when a pickup driver slammed into the tandem bike they were riding.

 

International

Canadian bike advocates say people taking up riding for the first time during the pandemic need a new mindset to stop thinking like they’re driving a car.

Famed Italian bike builder Ernesto Colnago has a new boss, after his eponymous company was sold to an Abu Dhabi investment fund.

No bias here. A European website says Spanish bicyclists are out of control after finally being released from the county’s severe lockdown, and fed-up residents are ready to teach them a lesson.

 

Competitive Cycling

The revised WorldTour calendar has been released, assuming pro cycling will return in 2020 — which is a big if right now; all three Grand Tours will take place, along with the Monuments, although the the compact calendar means the Giro and Vuelta will overlap. There will also be a women’s Paris-Roubaix on the same day as the men’s race.

Legendary French journalist Philippe Brunel looks back on 40 years of the Giro d’Italia, as well as Italian cycling great Marco Pantani.

Speaking of legends, the BBC looks back on triple Giro and double Tour de France winner Gino Bartali on the 20th anniversary of his death; as great as he was, Bartali’s cycling exploits are overshadowed by his secret work to save Jews during WWII.

 

Finally…

Apparently, investing is just like riding a bike. And who needs a Naked Bike Ride when you can just strip down and go for a ride?

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

Slow Streets promised in LA bike plan but never built, tracking US bike deaths, and Pasadena offers free bike work

I had an interview yesterday about the sorry state of bicycling in Los Angeles.

And in the course of our discussion, it belatedly dawned on me that if LA had actually built out the 2010 Bike Plan that was unanimously approved by the city council, we wouldn’t need to beg the city for Slow Streets for social distancing

Because the Neighborhood Bikeway Network we were promised as part of the plan — one of three bike networks that would support everything from local family rides to crosstown commuting — would already give us exactly that, in every neighborhood in the city. 

Rich, poor and otherwise.

Just one more reason to demand that the city recommit to the Mobility Plan 2035 that they already committed to.

After all, we only have 15 years left to build out the transportation paradise they promised by 2035.

Unless maybe they had their fingers crossed.

Or it was all “aspirational.”

Photo by David Mark from Pixabay.

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It looks like Outside is entering my world.

Yesterday, the magazine announced a new program to track every bicycling fatality in the US this year, saying you can’t stop something if you don’t see it happening.

Which is exactly why I started reporting on SoCal bicycling deaths a decade ago, to shine a light under the deadly rock city and state officials were hiding them under.

The magazine leads off with a hard-hitting infographic on bike deaths, including the frightening stat that California accounts for 18% of bicycling fatalities, tied with Florida.

As the nation’s most populous state, California has an explanation, but no effing excuse. Especially when state and local leaders talk about Vision Zero without doing a damn thing to actually save the lives of people, on bikes or on foot.

That’s followed by a trio of stories expounding on the subject.

First, former Bicycling editor Joe Lindsey examines how the bigass SUVs Americans love are killing us. Literally.

That’s followed by advice on what to do if you’re hit by a driver, and how to navigate the legal and medical minefields that follow. Although the headline continues the sloppy journalistic practice of putting the blame on the vehicle, rather than the person driving it.

And finally, a writer pens a missive to the hit-and-run driver who left him in the street to die.

They’re not easy reads.

But it’s vital to read them if we’re ever going to change the deadly culture on our streets.

I wish them luck.

Tracking bicycling deaths is very hard, depressing work. Something the Bike League learned the hard way when they tried documenting every bicyclist killed on American roadways several years ago.

And quit after one year.

But maybe, just maybe, it will go a little easier this time, as Covid-19 continues to keep many drivers, and their killing machines, of the roads.

We can hope.

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Pasadena is partnering with ActiveSGV to provide free basic bike repairs and self-guided neighborhood tours.

Meanwhile, the advocacy group wants your support for ebikes in National Parks.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1257380723780091906

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Enduro World Series pro Jesse Melamed explains how to break down a mountain bike trail.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton rebuts the silly argument that Angelenos don’t need Slow Streets because we have more sidewalks than any other US city. We also have more streets; that doesn’t mean those sidewalks are adequate even under normal circumstances.

Forty some odd years later, Dennis Quaid is still one of us, as the Breaking Away star goes for a Westside LA bike ride with his fiancé; Road.cc patiently explains just what the Daily Mail got wrong in writing about it.

Jason Statham is one of us, too.

Hoodline lists the top four affordable bike shops in Long Beach — or rather, their computer does. And the best in Santa Ana, too.

 

State

WTF? San Diego has approved a plan for Slow Streets promoted by bike advocates — and opposed by local business groups, who for some strange reason didn’t want people to exercise while social distancing in front of their closed shops.

I’ve long been a fan of Richmond’s Rich City Rides bike co-op, as well as founder Najari Smith; California Streetsblog looks at how the group is caring for the local community during the coronavirus crisis.

 

National

Maybe the software is getting better. After repeated reports that self-driving cars had trouble spotting people on bicycles, a Tesla driver says a new upgrade helped spot a bike rider who was hidden from view.

An urbanist website says Seattle’s densest neighborhoods need open streets, too.

The goalie for the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche is one of us; Philipp Grubauer is using his downtime to ride “about 100 miles” a day.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adaptive bicycle from a Minnesota special needs kid.

No bias here. A Connecticut man was killed when he crashed his bicycle into a stopped garbage truck. But no one mentions the likelihood that the truck may have stopped short as he followed it, like they often do.

Anne Hathaway is one of us, going for a ride with her husband along the beach near their Connecticut home.

A writer for New York Streetsblog says the city’s open streets need to lead to permanent changes limiting motor vehicle use.

Baltimore did what LA can’t, or won’t, opening several miles of streets for bike riders and pedestrians to practice social distancing.

It only took the injuries of two teenage bike riders to spur Maryland officials to install a buffered bike lane on the same road. Maybe someday we can actually get bike lanes installed before someone gets hit.

A New Orleans letter writer complains about scofflaw bike riders, and wonders how they’d react if he drove the same way. Apparently forgetting that he’s behind the wheel of a big dangerous machine, and they’re not.

 

International

Bikes are leading the way out of the lockdown in cities around the world.; even tourism websites are starting to notice.

Cycling Weekly examines how the bicycling industry is fighting the coronavirus.

FloBikes offers their picks for the year’s best bikes in several different categories.

No bias here, either. An Edinburgh columnist says bike riders need to start obeying the law in exchange for new pop-up bike lanes. Because no one ever builds a new roadway before drivers promise to stop speeding and put their phones away, or make pedestrians pinkie swear before installing a crosswalk.

Bicycling belatedly catches up with the French plan to give people the equivalent of up to $54.50 for bike repairs to encourage bike commuting after the country reopens; the 20 million euro plan will also pay for bicycling education and increased road space to make bikes “the little queen of de-confinement.”

If this photo doesn’t make you want to ride your bike through the mountains of Islamabad, nothing will.

 

Competitive Cycling

Maybe you missed this year’s edition of the Redlands Classic, which took place virtually on the wonderful world of Zwift.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t use a flare gun as a bike theft security alarm. Your next lock could track your bike through 100 countries if it gets stolen; then again, if the lock worked, it wouldn’t have to.

And apparently, the new AmazonBasics bike lock is as bad as you might think.

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

US achieves road death pariah status, carfree streets and the people who love & hate them, and more open streets on tap

Good grief.

Apparently, the United States is now in favor of traffic deaths.

Or at least disagrees with the rest of the world — literally — on the urgent need to keep people from dying on our streets.

Writing in Forbes, British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid points out that the United States was the only one out of more than 140 nations which refused to sign on to the Stockholm Declaration from the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety held in the city last week.

Because of the latest dissent it’s likely that road safety professionals will say the U.S. is a “road-death reduction pariah.” Pedestrian organizations, including the leading American one, have already expressed disappointment at the U.S. decision to dissent…

Among the key conference resolutions was the call to rein back speed on the world’s roads. The Stockholm Declaration wants countries to “focus on speed management,” with increased enforcement of existing speed limits and “mandate a maximum road travel speed of 30 kph (18.6 mph) in areas where vulnerable road users and [motor] vehicles mix.”

The declaration noted that speed reductions would result in improvements in air quality and could therefore help countries tackle climate change.

And that’s where they lost American support.

The U.S. delegation at the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety objected to a declaration that wants to shift “toward safer, cleaner, more energy-efficient and affordable modes of transport and promote higher levels of physical activity such as walking and cycling as well as integrating these modes with the use of public transport to achieve sustainability.”

Also, the U.S. dissociated from a declaration that aims to focus attention on the “safety needs of those road users who are the most vulnerable including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and users of public transport.”

A statement from the U.S. delegation said it “dissociates itself from references [to] climate change, gender equality, reduced inequalities, responsible consumption and production” claiming that these issues are “not directly related to road safety.”

So, in addition to the usual climate change denial from our nation’s leaders, we’re evidently now opposed to energy efficiency, walking, bicycling and public transit. Or gender equality in transportation, for that matter.

Not to mention saving the lives of vulnerable road users.

Something I would have thought no one could possibly oppose.

And yet, here we are.

The world’s only traffic safety deniers and road-death reduction pariahs.

I don’t care whether you’re liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. Or anything else in-between, above, below or beyond.

Some things are just wrong.

Then again, Lego doesn’t seem to love alternative transportation, either.

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Today’s common theme is carfree streets.

Downtown News considers how we’ll get around on Broadway if cars are banned from the DTLA corridor.

A San Francisco bike shop owner comes out against a proposal to make Valencia Street carfree, apparently preferring the business he gets from motorists to all the additional sales he might get from people who no longer have to worry about getting hit by cars and the people in them.

An Arizona family owns two cars, but prefers to leave them parked for a bike-based, virtually carfree existence.

A Philadelphia bike advocate calls for making the city’s Chestnut Street carfree.

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Yesterday’s CicLAvia is just the beginning.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1230947573243863041

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Give your input on plans to improve mobility on the Westside.

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

A mixed race Indiana couple are accused of harassing two teenage bike riders and running them off the road because they were flying pro-Trump flags on their bikes. I’ve spent the last several months training the foster corgi to ignore dogs he disagrees with; we shouldn’t have to do the same thing for people in cars who don’t like someone else’s politics.

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

A pair of bike riders fatally stabbed a man waiting at a bus stop in East LA in what is believed to be a gang attack. Thanks to Orange House for the link.

Talk about keeping dangerous people on the streets until it’s too late. An Irish man got a well-deserved eight years behind bars for crashing a stolen bicycle into an English tourist as he was making his getaway, leaving her with life-changing injuries; he had a whopping 92 previous convictions, including several involving gratuitous violence.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton argues that LA’s plan to widen Magnolia Blvd is straight out of 1999, and ignores more modern standards adopted in the mobility plan adopted just four years ago.

Seriously? An idiot from Metro Metro’s Chief Program Management Officer tries to argue that most of the agency’s highway projects don’t make greenhouse gas emissions worse. Apparently with a straight face.

Letter writers in the LA Times come out strongly in favor of enforcing speed limits. The problem is, there aren’t enough cops in the country to catch every speeding driver. Which is why we need to legalize automated speed cameras in California.

 

State

No bias here. Only a windshield-biased motorist’s organization could find something to love in California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their heavy right feet.

A San Diego letter writer says stop pushing bike lanes as a solution to traffic, insisting the city has failed to convincingly demonstrate demand. Although as someone much smarter than me once said, you don’t demonstrate the need for a bridge by counting the people swimming across a river.

A Rancho Mirage bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when she was struck by a driver Friday morning. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A state legislator introduced legislation that would keep Bay Area bridges free for bike riders and pedestrians.

Caltrans will shut down the popular new bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge for parts of the next three weeks for inspections, even though it just opened a few months ago; the agency will provide a shuttle to ferry riders and walkers across the bridge.

 

National

A writer for Jalopnik buys a 1980s Schwinn, intending to swap it out with modern components. And finds it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Speaking of Schwinn, the newly trendy bike maker is back with a modern take on the classic Stingray Krates that’s designed to grow with your kids.

Streetsblog makes the argument that Vision Zero is missing something big — like getting more cars off the road, which will make everyone safer.

A Portland writer has his bike stolen. And uses a bluetooth tracker and plausible deniability to get it back. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Longtime Seattle-area guitarist Dave Sims makes a comeback album with his band Archer, 22 years after shattering his spine in a bicycling crash.

Washington became the latest state to require a minimum three-foot distance to pass someone on a bicycle.

Good news, as the Bureau of Land Management, aka BLM, backs off on a uniquely bad idea to lease land for oil and gas drilling that could have threatened Moab, Utah’s famed Slick Rock mountain bike trail.

Chicago’s rapid shift to become bike friendly is largely leaving people of color behind.

A new exhibit in a Boston Museum traces how two women from the same neighborhood broke bicycling barriers in the 1890s — one by riding solo around the world, and the other by competing as a black women.

A Massachusetts paper opines that masses of kids swerving and popping wheelies in traffic — and often against it — is a recipe for disaster.

No bias here, either. The New York Post’s notoriously bike-hating columnist calls out the city’s plans for a bike lane on Sixth Avenue, insisting it “raises the bar for malicious streetscape tampering.” Because evidently, no one who works in those high rise professional buildings would ever want to ride a bike to work.

Brazen bike thieves are targeting ebike delivery riders on New York’s Queensboro Bridge with violent assaults to take their bikes and personal possessions.

A North Carolina columnist performs the mental gymnastics that accompany the switch from bike-hater to one of us.

A year after the drunken Mardi Gras parade crash that killed two people and injured several others, a New Orleans paper questions whether the city is any safer for people on bicycles, as improvements suggested by the mayor continue to exist only on paper.

 

International

That feeling when your road bike just doesn’t have enough high-end bling.

An English city is offering residents the equivalent of up to $3,800 to ditch their cars in favor of bikes or transit.

After a British woman has her bike stolen, her kindhearted co-workers pitch in, raising the equivalent of $580 to buy a new one.

Afghans take to the streets — and onto their bikes — to celebrate a preliminary step towards ending the country’s decades of open warfare.

Dubai now has a 780-bike, 78-station ped-assist bikeshare system.

Kindhearted Aussie cops replace a five-year old girl’s bike after hers was stolen.

A Philippine physician makes the case that bikes are good for the country’s cities. And every other city, too.

A bike-riding American priest and Medal of Honor winner in the Korean War is being investigated for a possible pathway to sainthood.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews examines how the world’s largest women-only mountain bike race, Colorado’s Beti Bike Bash, returned from the brink of financial ruin after a ten-year run.

Tour de France, Giro and Vuelta winner Chris Froome makes his long-delayed comeback from severe injuries suffered in a training ride crash last summer, saying “it feels good to be a bike racer again.”

If you swear you saw Welsh Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas riding the mean streets of Los Angeles last month, you’d be right.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss argues that gravel grinding won’t save bike racing in the US.

 

Finally…

Nothing like celebrating four months of sobriety by getting drunk and stealing a motorcycle. Now you have to start looking for drivers falling from above, too.

And that moment when you suddenly realize you need a change of underwear.

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

Please forgive my unexcused absence on Wednesday. 

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

One more reminder that diabetes sucks. 

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Good question.

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

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

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

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

Or maybe especially in Los Angeles.

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

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

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

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

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Mostly being the key word.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And just how many never returned.

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So much for Vision Zero.

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

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

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

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

That’s something to aspire to, right?

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

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

recovery

BIKE INDEX RECOVERS A BIKE STOLEN 12 YEARS AGO

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

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

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Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

 

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