Tag Archive for traffic safety deniers

Morning Links: NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, LA finally counts bikes, and bust made in near-fatal Ramona hit-and-run

Streetsblog takes a look at the highly biased survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep Pasadena Moving, chock full of leading questions designed to get just the responses they want about traffic in the Rose City.

But the best way to overcome their extreme NIMBY windshield bias is to get everyone you know who supports walking, bicycling, transit and safe, livable streets to take the survey themselves.

Because you already have, right?

Right?

Photo by Roberto Nickson from Pexels.

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LADOT will finally conduct its first-ever count of bicyclists and pedestrians in the City of Los Angeles.

Something they should have done years ago; previously, the city didn’t have a clue how many people actually biked or walked in LA.

Apparently, they were satisfied to rely on this count done in the early ’80s.

The only prior counts were conducted on a volunteer basis by the LACBC, later in conjunction with LA Walks.

Hardly a valid basis for any city to make solid transportation decisions.

Bizarrely, though, the story implies that the counts will only be done on weekends, which will provide little real information on bike commuting and transportation riding.

Almost as if the city has fallen for the old myth that the only people who ride bikes in LA are the weekend recreational riders.

By contrast, the LACBC counts were done during both morning and evening commutes, as well as on weekends.

However, that may not be totally accurate, as Sean Meredith suggests that the weekday counts may have been contracted out to a private company.

Let’s hope he’s right.

Update: The LACBC confirms that LADOT has contracted out to a private company to do bike and pedestrian count using traffic cameras. 

In fact, it may have already been done. 

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The CHP has arrested 32-year old Ramona resident Chase Richard for the hit-and-run crash that critically injured Michelle Scott in Ramona.

The 53-year old woman was hit while she was riding her bike to work one week ago today;

The damaged car, which had stolen plates, was seized as evidence.

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This is who we share the road with.

CiclaValley catches the end of a nasty U-turn by a driver who didn’t seem to care he was there.

Sort of like this impatient North Hollywood driver who uses the bike lane to zoom around slower traffic.

Even though someone was riding in it at the time.

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Local

The LA Times reports the LAPD searches blacks and Latinos far more often than whites during traffic stops, even though white people are more likely to be carrying illegal items. That’s why LA’s mandatory bike registration program — which most people didn’t even know existed — was discontinued by the city council a decade ago, after it was used by police in some areas as a pretext to stop and search people of color riding bicycles.

The Orange County Register offers a schedule of the Long Beach Marathon events, including Sunday’s 20-mile bike ride preceding the race.

 

State

Berkeley is considering a proposal to require the city to improve streets and add protected bike lanes on any repaving project, while devoting half the repaving budget to bikeways and high-collision streets. The ball’s in your court, Los Angeles.

San Francisco is finally nearing the start of construction on a 2.2 mile, $604 million makeover of iconic Market Street, turning it into a carfree bicycle and transit corridor.

A Sonoma writer looks back at the legendary Coors Classic, which had four starts in the city, along with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, who won the Coors the year before his first Tour win.

Unruly teenage bike riders participating in a ride out take over the streets of Vacaville, allegedly kicking and slapping vehicles, and attempting to open car doors at red lights. Police took several riders into custody for traffic offenses, even though those are ticketable violations, rather than crimes subject to arrest. Note to Daily Republic: Unless the kids were trying to sell something to the people in those cars, the word you’re looking for is “pedalers,” not “peddlers.”

 

National

The Netherlands Stop de kindermoord movement of the 1970s may have gotten its start with less successful anti-car demonstrations led by American women in the ’50s and ’60s.

A former bike shop owner says forget the romantic dreams of owning a bike shop, and run it like the business it is. Otherwise, you may end up like these former LBS owners on the other side of the ocean.

Neighbors are upset about a Kansas City sex offender’s front yard bike sculpture. Not because they don’t like it, but because their kids are drawn to it.

A Massachusetts Navy vet is on a three-year, 25,000 ride around the US to promote suicide awareness — one year for each time he tried, and failed, to kill himself. His depression finally lifted when a friend introduced him to bicycling.

This is how you do it. Atlanta will install its first pop-up bike lane for a week to judge the response and effectiveness. And inviting people to come out and help build it.

 

International

A crowdfunding campaign is raising capital for what promises to be the world’s smallest and lightest ebike conversion kit; they’ve already raised 1246% of the $25,000 goal with nearly a month to go.

The BBC has confirmed earlier studies that determined families that drive to school are exposed to more pollutants that those who walk or bike; bicyclists were exposed to just two-thirds the amount drivers were.

A finance worker’s helmet cam catches his head-on collision with another rider on a London bike path, after he swerved around a construction barrier.

A British roadie magazine tries to answer the question of whether you need a women’s specific bike. And concludes, maybe.

PinkBike ranks Scottish cyclist Danny MacAskill’s top ten stunt videos, and wants you to vote on your favorite.

Here’s one for my bike bucket list, as The Guardian takes us bikepacking across Scotland. Unless maybe you’d rather add the Czech Republic to your mountain bike bucket list.

An Australian bike rider is looking for the Good Samaritan who saved his life after a hit-and-run driver left him unconscious in a ditch.

A Singaporean e-scooter rider will spend six weeks behind bars for crashing into the back of a man’s leg without slowing down. Seriously, they take this shit seriously over there. Thanks to Mike Cane — that’s C-A-N-E, with no R — for the heads-up. Despite how I usually seem to spell his name.

Three people — one mute, another with a bad leg — are riding their bikes over 1,600 miles across two Indonesian islands to prove to themselves that physical impairments don’t need to be obstacles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yet-another U-23 rider has lost his life. Twenty-two-year old Italian cyclist Giovanni Iannelli was killed in a fall during Saturday’s Trofeo Bassa Valle Scrivia in northern Italy; he fell in a sprint 100 yards from finish, hitting his head on a fence post with enough force to shatter his helmet.

The drug dealer who says he sold Italian cycling great Marco Pantani his final hit of coke now insists that the former Tour de France winner was murdered in his motel room.

The mountain bike course for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is winning praise from competitors.

The 2023 Tour de France could kick off in Spain’s Basque Country. Then again, if they really wanted to ride the Basque country, they could have just gone to Bakersfield.

Aussie cyclist Brodie Chapman discusses six things she’s learned so far while riding on the Women’s WorldTour.

 

Finally…

This could be the first published poem about dooring. If you’re fleeing a robbery on your bike, try not to crash into a police car.

And Los Angeles is fun.

But not that much fun, apparently.

 

Morning Links: Los Angeles bike lane fail, take a NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, and road rage on San Diego golf course

Um, no.

Spectrum News 1 reports on Sunday’s CicLAvia, and leads off with the surprising news that Los Angeles has installed 600 miles of bike lanes on LA streets since the bike plan was passed in 2010.

Except it ain’t necessarily so.

There is a case to be made that the city has built 600 miles of bikeways over the past nine years.

But only if you include bike paths and sharrows in that total.

And only if you measure part of that in lane miles — which counts each side of the road separately, effectively doubling the total.

A more easily understandable figure is center lane miles, which measures both sides of the roadway at once.

In truth, Los Angeles had only painted 250.82 miles of bike lanes when adjusted for lane miles, as of the 2015-16 fiscal year. Along with 19.95 miles of bike paths, and 90.44 miles of basically useless sharrows.

In the three years since then, the city’s anemic output has resulted in just 33.25 center lane miles of any kind — a miserable average of just 11.08 miles a year.

And this with a progressive mayor who supposedly supports bicycling, and one of the nation’s most respected planning heads in LADOT’s Seleta Reynolds.

The word pathetic comes to mind.

So a more accurate figure, measured the way most people would understand it, comes out to less than 400 miles of bikeways of any kind built in Los Angeles since 2010.

394.46, to be exact.

And only 284.04 miles of those are on-street bike lanes – assuming all the bikeways built after the 2013-2014 fiscal year are bike lanes, and not sharrows.

Or looking at it another way, only 120.61 miles of bikeways of any kind have been built since Eric Garcetti became mayor in 2013, for an average of just 17.23 center lane miles per year.

And yes, that includes sharrows.

To make matters worse, half of those were built during his first year in office, so they were already under way when he came in.

Which means in reality, Garcetti and Reynolds should only be credited with just 60.85 center lane miles of any kind.

An average of just 10.14 miles per year after his first year.

Just in case you wondered why Vision Zero is failing in Los Angeles.

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Seriously, stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few minutes to respond to this very slanted survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving’s Pasadena franchise.

It would be a real shame if the responses to the survey reflected a desire for safe streets and increased density, instead their desire to keep zoom, zooming on bike and pedestrian unfriendly Rose City streets only a car could love.

And while the survey says you can only respond once, that’s once per device.

I also may have *accidently* discovered that you can respond as many times as you want if you keep deleting the two Survey Monkey cookies on your computer.

Not that anyone would do that. of course.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew is none too pleased with a UPS driver.

For good reason.

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

A road raging San Diego man drove onto a golf course to chase two bike-riding teens after they allegedly through food onto his car, first running down one boy with his car, then getting out and repeatedly punching him. Note to crazy man: just get your damn car washed next time.

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

Or at least we can assume it was someone who rides a bike who once again hacked a Brooklyn NY traffic sign to spread anti-car messages. Seriously, I’m not laughing. You’re laughing.

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Local

Nice piece from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman about a South LA man who hit the scrapyard to build a custom lowrider-style fat tire bike for a friend. And ended up inking a deal with a bike maker.

 

State

They get it. Encinitas decides to split the baby, converting existing bike lanes along the Coast Highway to protected lanes, and painting sharrows on the right lane of the highway so the spandexed crowd doesn’t have to slow down or compete for space with slower riders.

A Palm Springs magazine talks with Tom Kirk, the man behind the planned 50-mile bike path slowly taking shape around the Coachella Valley.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are trying out new police vehicles with a battery and two wheels, and a Trek decal on the frame.

Streetsblog SF says you may not be able to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, but at least something could be done about employees of transit agencies.

The victim in Thursday’s fatal dooring in Oakland has been identified as a 24-year old Oakland man. Just a reminder, since the Bay Area media insists on saying the victim ran into the open door — drivers are always responsible for dooring a bike rider as long as the victim obeying the law and riding on the right side of the street.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says there’s nothing controversial about bike lanes, and it’s time for the media to catch up. Tell that to Keep LA Moving and their associates.

You can forget autonomous cars saving us anytime soon. A study by AAA shows cars with supposed pedestrian-detection systems can’t recognize people in the roadway under several circumstances, including after dark and when traveling over 25 mph.

The New York Times says bikes and bears don’t mix, with recreational mountain biking leading to dangerous conditions for humans, as well as for bears and other wildlife. Mountain biking may have sustainability issues, too. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the first link.

Forget bears, rainbow crosswalks are the real danger.

Hundreds of Lime bikes and scooters were burned in a Seattle warehouse fire, apparently sparked by exploding batteries.

A Colorado velodrome is facing demolition unless they can find an alternate buyer in the next few months.

A Cleveland man faces 16 charges, including kidnapping and aggravated robbery, for carjacking a vehicle with a toddler inside and killing a man riding a bicycle while fleeing from police. Which brings up the obvious question of why, apparently, wasn’t he charged with 2nd degree murder?

An MS-13 gang member got 23 to life behind bars for hacking a 15-year old New York State boy to death with a machete after he went out for a bike ride.

Apparently, things are no different in Hoboken as they are anywhere else, as local NIMBYs swear their support for bike lanes and Vision Zero, just not where the city wants to put them.

Charges were reduced for an Uber bike delivery rider in the stabbing death of a Philadelphia man, from 2nd degree murder to voluntary manslaughter, reducing the maximum sentence from 40 to 20 years. The defense claims the white victim used racist language while arguing with the black bike rider.

Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a bank robber who may have fled the scene in a white van. Or maybe an SUV. Or a mountain bike.

Bethesda, Maryland bike riders get their first protected intersection. Which outnumbers similar intersections in Los Angeles by a factor of 1 – 0.

Heartbreaking news from Alabama, where a preteen boy shot a 12-year old boy in the back of the head when he refused to hand over his bicycle.

 

International

A British Lord has a long history of vehemently opposing bicycles and the people who ride them. But all that will be forgotten if you sign up for his charity bike ride in Spain (scroll down). Forgotten by you, that is; he’ll undoubtedly continue criticizing bikes while taking your money.

Road.cc explains why UK bike riders may not use the “perfectly good bike lanes” drivers often complain about.

The Guardian asks if we should ban SUVs from our cities. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, absolutely.

Apparently, suffering a severe brain injury isn’t good for your marriage. The wife of British adventurer James Cracknell explains why the couple split up after 17 years of marriage, saying the extreme brain injury he suffered when he was struck by a truck driver while riding across the US in 2010 left him with a different personality.

Amsterdam is slowly moving to cut cars out of the picture, one street at a time.

Break the rules for riding a bicycle in Abu Dhabi, and you may not have one anymore.

Tragic news from Singapore, as a 53-year old man died five days after he was hit by someone on a bicycle; to make matters worse, his sister stumbled on the scene as paramedics were tending to her brother.

Speaking of Singapore, e-scooters may be on their way out in the law-and-order city-state.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a pro cyclist has been seriously injured in a crash with a motor vehicle during a race. Dutch rider Edo Maas suffered neck, back and facial fractures when he collided with a car whose driver had wandered onto the closed course during a rapid descent in the Piccolo Lombardia race; the 19-year old cyclist was riding on the Giro’s Madonna del Ghisallo bike path, named after the patron saint of bicyclists.

Deadspin walks readers through the “hilarious” Zwift cheating scandal. Despite the scandal, Zwift is aiming to make it into the Olympic Games. Nothing like winning gold for riding a bicycle that doesn’t go anywhere.

Bike Radar says Lance just won’t go away. Although they might have said it a tad more politely. But still.

 

Finally…

Sometimes, you just can’t win; even when a bike-riding burglar put lights and reflectors on his bike, it just makes him easier to spot. Today’s lesson — don’t pee around machete-carrying bike riders.

And if mountain bikes are too expensive, just make your own, using a front fork for the rear suspension.

 

Morning Links: A short CicLAvia thread, NYT op-ed says cars are death machines, and Keep LA Moving summit on video

I had a little different CicLAvia yesterday.

My wife, who doesn’t ride a bike, wanted to go to CicLAvia this time.

So I left my bike at home, and we walked the section through the Civic Center and Little Tokyo, then combined it with a long-planned walking tour of the Arts District, ending with lunch at Smorgasburg.

Along with a stop at Angel City Brewery on the way back for a touch of Octoberfest and a half growler of their fest martzen.

And yes, a good time was had by all. With the exception of my new knee, which has been barking at me ever since we got home.

I should have sprung for the Vibranium model.

Or maybe unobtanium.

More a few people turned out this time. Just like every CicLAvia, going back to the very first one.

Whoever scheduled a Mole fest right next to CicLAvia deserves a promotion.

Who doesn’t love the incredible craftsmanship that goes into these lowrider bikes?

Thanks to Jason for a quick rundown on Pure Cycle’s new e-cargo bike.

I’m not saying everyone went to Angel City post CicLAvia…

…but it sure as hell looked like it.

 

Meanwhile, Sam Omar-Hall offers a great thread capturing the day.

And everyone’s favorite transit advocate reminds us that the final CicLAvia of the year comes in two months.

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Today’s must read comes in the form of an op-ed in the New York Times.

Especially after her nine-year old niece was lucky to survive getting hit by an ice cream truck in Los Angeles.

Cars are death machines. Pedestrian fatalities in the United States have increased 41 percent since 2008; more than 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2018 alone. More than 4,000 American kids are killed in car crashes every year – I am thankful every day my niece wasn’t one of them.

Here’s the thing: Statistics clearly don’t seem to persuade anyone of the magnitude of this problem. Not policy makers or automakers, technologists or drivers.

She goes on to quote from over 500 people who responded to her request for stories of getting hit by a driver.

And says autonomous cars aren’t going to save us.

Among the safety measures proposed by car companies are encouraging pedestrians and bicyclists to use R.F.I.D. tags, which emit signals that cars can detect. This means it’s becoming the pedestrian’s responsibility to avoid getting hit. But if keeping people safe means putting the responsibility on them (or worse, criminalizing walking and biking), we need to think twice about the technology we’re developing.

This may be the worst outcome of the automobile-centered 20th century: the assumption that it’s people who need to get out of the way of these lethal machines, instead of the other way around.

And neither are SUVs.

Because the front end of an S.U.V. is higher than the average car’s front end, it is far more likely to hit a pedestrian in the chest or head and twice as likely to kill walkers, runners, cyclists and children, compared to regular cars. And yet, S.U.V. sales account for 60 percent of new vehicle sales.

One of the easiest ways to make cars safer would be to make them smaller. Another way? Figuring out how to get people to drive less by providing safer, more sustainable alternatives to the car.

Seriously, take a few minutes to read the whole thing — including the quotes from the victims.

We’ll wait.

If you have any time left, The Guardian offers this long read on why the streets are getting deadlier for pedestrians.

And for us.

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Shameful.

The wife of an American diplomat stationed in the UK is claiming diplomatic immunity to avoid responsibility for the hit-and-run that killed a British motorcycle rider.

She was reportedly driving on the wrong side of the road when she slammed into the 19-year old victim while driving next to a US spy base.

After police tracked her down, she promised not to leave the country. Then did it anyway, presumably returning to the US.

His heartbroken parents have appealed to President Trump to return her to face justice.

But we’ll have to see if this administration has the integrity to do the right thing. Or will shield her from anything even resembling justice.

I know which one my money is on.

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Keep PDR Moving has posted a nearly four-hour video of the “national summit” for Keep LA Moving, which Peter Flax says amounted to about 25 NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers gathered in a restaurant.

He also says John Forester, aka the “father of vehicular cycling,” comes on about 30 minutes in, and proceeds to bore the room

If you have the time, and the stomach, to actually watch it.

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

A road raging Wisconsin driver got out of his car and repeatedly punched a man on a bike, then threatened to beat up the police officers when they arrived to break it up, after the bike rider made the mistake of flipping off the driver when he revved up behind him. That’s one key lesson I learned the hard way — never flip off the driver behind you.

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Local

The LA Times celebrates the permanent hold placed on the freeway portion of the High Desert Corridor through north LA County, saying building a highway that will increase the amount of miles driven, at a time when the state is committed to cutting driving miles, is the wrong move. But notes that the high speed rail and bike path portions of the project can still go through. And should.

A former member of the Pasadena Transportation Advisory Commission sets the record straight on Complete Streets, correcting the mistaken belief that Complete Streets only benefit of people walking or riding a bike.

This is who we share the roads with. An allegedly drunk Pasadena driver fled the scene after killing a pedestrian; the driver faces charges for vehicular manslaughter, DUI and driving without a license. More evidence just how desperately those Complete Streets are needed. And how desperately we need to do something to stop hit-and-runs.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, and Caltrans want your input on how to transform Beach Blvd between La Habra and Huntington Beach. Banning cars and turning it into a transit, bike and pedestrian corridor probably won’t fly. But it should.

An anonymous donor is offering a $25,000 reward for the heartless coward who fled the scene after running down 53-year old Michelle Scott as she rode her bike to work at her Escondido office on Wednesday, leaving her lying on the side of the road with critical injuries.

The Ventura County Star suggests riding a bike as one option for an eco-friendly commute during the county’s Rideshare Week starting today.

A bike-riding San Francisco columnist says the solution to conflicts on the road are bicycle turnout lanes that would allow bike riders to get out of the way of trailing traffic, just like the one he and his wife used to pull aside to leet a semi pass on a narrow roadway.

Sad news from Oakland, where a 24-year old man was the victim of a dooring; he was killed when someone opened the door of a parked car in front of him, knocking him into the path of a large pickup. I’m told the street had sharrows, which were due to be replaced with bike lanes. But it’s too late to save this man.

Former pro Levi Leipheimer’s GranFondo drew nearly 5,000 bike riders from 14 countries to Sonoma County for the 11th edition of the annual ride.

USA Today picks up the story of the four bike-riding junior detectives who helped rescue a lost 97-year old Roseville woman with dementia.

 

National

Gear Patrol says their bike of the year is one you never heard of. For once, I have to agree.

A writer for Bicycling says ebiking has suddenly become his favorite new way to explore a city.

Bicycle-oriented development is the latest trend in housing targeting Millennials.

Seattle police appear to have abused their bait bike program, targeting poor and homeless people by leaving an unlocked bicycle outside of a Goodwill store; nine people were busted, but the only one that went to trial resulted in a not guilty verdict.

A Michigan woman pens a passionate plea dripping with windshield bias begging bike riders not to make her almost kill us.

NBA great Reggie Miller rode his first century in Indiana over the weekend to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

The carnage continues in New York, where a 10-year old boy was killed riding his bike with the light while in a crosswalk; the driver, who didn’t have a driver’s license, reportedly attempted to flee with the bicycle still jammed under his truck. The boy was the 24th bike rider killed in the city this year, compared to just 11 for all of last year.

Good idea. Some New York city buses will be outfitted with cameras pointed at the right side of the road to catch people illegally parking in bike lanes; the drivers could eventually get tickets in the mail. But who will get the tickets for all those police cars parked in them

Delaware bicyclists are looking for a private property owner willing to host a ghost bike, when they had to take down the bike honoring a fallen bike rider after just two days because the local DOT was planning to remove it from the public property it was sitting on.

Los Angeles celebrated CicLAvia just one day after bike riders in DC enjoyed the city’s first open streets event.

South Carolina bicyclists say a road widening project left them with less room, not more.

 

International

The BBC talks with people with disabilities, who say that ebikes have changed their lives.

Former Cream and Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker was one of us; the rock legend, who died on Sunday, gave up his dream of riding in the Tour de France after he was hit by a cab as a teenager.

Life is cheap in London, where a woman walked without a single day behind bars for slamming into a bikeshare rider with her Porsche and breaking his skull.

No bias here. A UK columnist says the spread of e-scooters are proof we’re doomed as a species, insisting that riders terrorize the sidewalk and look ridiculous. Yes, the way people look while riding a scooter is certainly the best argument against them.

A British man rode a BMX bike 300 miles in a monkey suit to raise funds and call attention to the problem of stillborn births, walking the last mile after breaking his chain. And learned the hard way that a plush monkey head works better than a bike helmet.

A writer for The Guardian wants to know why women bicyclists are targeted for abuse by aggressive male drivers, saying it’s “as though female cyclists are transgressing an invisible boundary in a way that some men find intolerable.”

A full 5% of Scottish commuters regularly get to work by bike, a number most American cities would envy, let alone the whole county. But that’s just half the country’s target for next year.

Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson is one of us, too, as she goes for a bike ride with her boyfriend on a chilly UK autumn afternoon.

Finnish immigrants get free lessons in how to ride a bike in order to fit in with the bike-riding natives.

The Danish and Irish prime ministers went for a leisurely bike ride in Copenhagen, while the Dutch prime minister explains why he rides his bicycle to work nearly every day. Short answer, because he can.

Even Tehran is passing Los Angeles by promising to build 340 miles of cycle tracks over the next five years, although women can ride a little more comfortably here, without worrying about dressing conservatively or prohibitive fatwas. That compares favorably to LA, which “built or upgraded” just 13 lane miles of bike lanes — 6.5 miles of actual roadway — in fiscal year 2018-2019. 

 

Competitive Cycling

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 70-year old Bolivian woman became the oldest woman to compete in the country’s 37-mile Skyrace extreme bike race on the legendary Death Road.

Now you, too, can cheat in cycling from the comfort of your own home.

 

Finally…

If you’re going use a mountain bike as your getaway vehicle, at least wait until you get the money. If you’re playing hide and seek from the cops with a stolen motorbike, maybe find a better hiding place than behind a telephone pole — and put a damn shirt on for your mug shot.

And your bike can take you almost anywhere.

Like to a good piece of cake.

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A special thanks to Linda T and Matthew R for their generous contributions to support this site. I rely on your support — emotionally and financially — to keep the best bike news coming your way every day.

And too often, the worst, too. 

Morning Links: Mar Vista dermatologist reads minds, cool surfaces make people hot, and Film LA blocks DTLA bike lane

A Mar Vista dermatologist and self-appointed traffic planning expert is back, suggesting that anyone who supports road diets spins and distorts the facts to support their hidden agenda.

And that we only want those poor motorists to suffer.

Right.

Somehow, he professes to know that anyone who complains about “white, rich, noncaring (sic) motorists” are themselves very rich and use their cars more than most. And are white, though he says that shouldn’t matter.

Which begs the question of how he managed to check the bank accounts of everyone on the other side of the debate. Let alone their odometers.

Or why he brought up race if it doesn’t matter.

On the other hand, he does get a few things right.

1) Transportation isn’t social engineering, but rather a search for a better way (or ways) to get from Point A to Point B.

2) Ideology and wishful thinking have no business being prioritized over engineering when it comes to the laws of physics, environmental science, and safety.

Which, oddly, is exactly the opposite of the approach he’s previously taken in criticizing city engineers and planners who he disagree with, based on his extensive knowledge of, uh, dermatology.

He’s also right about this.

3) Being pro-train, pro-bus, pro-van/carpool, pro-bicycle or pro-pedestrian is NOT the same as being anti-motorist…and vice versa. We should all have reasonable access to all forms of transportation.

This from someone who’s fought for two years to have the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd through Mar Vista removed, and the street restored to six lanes.

Apparently, reasonable access means drivers get as much space as they want, and people on bikes get whatever’s left. And anyone on foot would have to return to scrambling to cross a raging six lane river of cars — including the elderly who formerly struggled to get across.

He goes on to complain about road diets affecting emergency response times. Yet average response times for the Mar Vista fire station, which is right next to the road diet on Venice Blvd, averages just 30 seconds more than the citywide average.

Granted, every second counts. But that hardly seems like the emergency apocalypse opponents make it out to be

Finally, there’s this odd statement.

5) We didn’t, as a community, fight and pay for the Expo Line and other lines only to have service drop–we’ve proudly paid a heap of money for better rail transit, and we deserve nothing but the best for our blood, sweat, tears, and money). And we definitely didn’t pay for bike lanes to be implemented OVER bus and rail projects and service, only as a nice and necessary supplement.

Can anyone seriously make the claim that bike lanes, in Mar Vista or anywhere else, had anything to do with the highly unpopular service cut on the Expo Line, which have affected train users with bicycles as much as anyone else?

And to the best of my knowledge, there were never any plans for bus lanes on Venice — or anywhere else where bike lanes took precedence over bus lanes. Which the NIMBYs and entitled drivers would probably fight just like they’ve fought bike lanes.

All this leads up to tomrrow’s “National Conference” sponsored by traffic safety denier pressure group Keep LA Moving at the Mar Vista cafe, which must be the only national transportation conference small enough to fit in a local restaurant.

Apparently, it’s open to anyone.

So it would be a real shame if some road diet and bike lane supporters decided to show up.

Photo of Venice Blvd in Mar Vista by Joni Yung.

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LA’s experiment with cool road surfaces may be failing, after researchers discovered an unexpected effect.

While the light colored street toppings succeeded in cooling the street, it made everyone around them hotter as the sun’s heat was reflected back into the surrounding air.

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A bike rider in DTLA encounters an apparent film shoot without any of the required warning or safety cones.

But while it may look like a guerrilla shoot, the video shows what appears to be couple of hi-viz vested cops standing around.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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A Maine company has developed a three-wheeled, pedal-less “bike” that enables people with mobility issues and disabilities to walk around recreationally.

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Local

The Metro Bike bikeshare has expanded into Thai Town and East Hollywood. Hopefully, that means Hollywood itself won’t be far behind.

The Los Feliz Ledger looks at the new bike and pedestrian bridge nearing completion over the Los Angeles River, saying it’s changing the face of Atwater Village.

The Beib is one of us, riding the streets of Los Angeles on a fat tire ebike and learning to ride a unicycle.

SoCal Cycling looks forward to this Sunday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia celebrating the 100th birthday of UCLA.

 

State

This is who we share the roads with. A 29-year old Orange County woman could be 80 by the time she gets out of prison, after being convicted of three counts of 2nd degree murder for the drunken crash that killed three teenagers and seriously injured a fourth; she was over three times the legal alcohol limit an hour after the crash.

New Anaheim Ducks coach Dallas Eakins is one of us. And tougher than most, competing in the grueling, high altitude Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race ten times.

A Leucadia columnist decries the ruination of her fair city, in part by a planned Complete Streets project that would add (gasp!) bike lanes to the Coast Highway.

A San Diego grand jury blames the city for how it handled the e-scooter rollout.

Salinas will hold a ciclovía this weekend, too.

Work is finally beginning on installing a barrier-protected bicycle and pedestrian lane on the Bay Area’s Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, even as a study continues to turn it into an additional traffic lane, instead.

Bighearted Modesto teachers dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a student after his was stolen.

 

National

The Guardian takes a deep dive into why American streets are deadlier than ever for people on foot, even as cars continue to get safer for the people in them. And they’re not that that great for people on bicycles, either.

A writer for Popular Science explains how she went from barely riding a bicycle to finishing a 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle ride in one year. And the stuff she recommends to do it.

Hunters are worried that ebikes will give too many people too much access to the wilderness. Ebike riders should be worried that hunters might mistake them for a deer.

Your next ebike could tell you when speeding drivers coming up from behind get too close.

Streetsblog takes issue with the $90 ticket issued to an Idaho bike rider by a windshield-biased cop for running a red light, even though she was hit from behind by a driver who admitted not even seeing her. She said she stopped at the light before proceeding through the intersection, which is legal in Idaho.

Fargo, North Dakota’s 75-year old Bike Man has died, after fixing and giving away thousands of bicycles to children and families.

A Denver woman is getting used to walking after she had two bicycles stolen within one month of moving to the city.

One of Denver’s best bike mechanics is a 33-year old woman.

A Dallas man admits to fatally shooting a 59-year old man in a shopping center parking lot and stealing his bicycle.

Streetsblog Chicago reads Peter Flax’s recent interview with Effective Cycling author John Forester, and calls him a dinosaur still pushing a discredited anti-bikeway credo.

The man whose dogs killed a nine-year old Detroit girl as she rode her bicycle near her home will face a 2nd degree murder charge, as well as charges of involuntary manslaughter and having dangerous animals causing death.

Good question. A student newspaper at Boston’s Northeastern University asks whether bike theft is avoidable, or if it’s just inevitable.

An Alexandria VA letter writer takes issue with the stereotype of supporters of a planned road diet as a secret cabal of spandex-clad liberals from outside the city. Which should be very familiar to anyone who’s attended a public traffic safety meeting in Los Angeles.

A New Orleans man continues to ride his bike, 24-years after receiving a double lung transplant to treat his cystic fibrosis.

 

International

Road.cc ranks the best rear tail lights, not all of which will be available on the side of the Atlantic. And the best bicycling movies, most of which should be.

Members of the Canadian ski team are stunned by the mountain biking death of ski cross racer Mikayla Martin.

Canadian Cycling Magazine offers tips on how to give your bike a fast clean up after a messy ride.

A European bike biz site says Trump’s tariffs are causing chaos in the North American bike market.

A British rider discovers things have changed since he last rode a bike in the ’80s, after he takes delivery of a new ebike.

Amsterdam is trying to reduce car usage by eliminating 10,000 parking spaces, and encouraging people to use bicycles or transit instead.

Belgian officials are concerned about a “worrying” trend, after setting a new record for bicycling fatalities in the first half of the year.

 

Competitive Cycling

The oldest continually held mountain bike race started as a contest to see whether horses or mountain bikes were faster.

A former bike racer rode Zwift indoors to ride her way back to competition after five years of motherhood.

A Belgian cyclist is really, really sorry he punched another rider following a crash near the finish of a German bike race. Although it was really just a slap to the helmet; I’ve seen kittens hit harder than that.

Slovenian cyclist Matej Mohoric suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung when some idiot decided to run with — and in — the peloton as it neared the finish line in the Tour of Croatia.

 

Finally…

Who needs two wheels when you can ride eight feet over one? Before you try to reclaim your stolen bike, make sure the thief doesn’t have a machete.

And if you’re going to confront a driver in a road rage dispute, make sure to take the orange tip off your toy gun before threatening anyone with it.

Or better yet, just don’t.

Period.

Morning Links: Taking traffic safety deniers seriously, walking bikes on the Troutdale bridge, and Bruce Lee was one of us

Good to see you back after the long holiday weekend. 

Now grab your coffee and buckle in. We’ve got a lot of territory to cover, and a lot to catch up on.

Today’s photo captures an e-bakfiets used as an expensive marketing gimmick for a perfume pop-up at the Grove, photobombed by a hot and tired corgi.

………

Call it a major misfire on this one.

A Sacramento-based reporter for the LA Times appears to take traffic safety deniers at face value, giving them a platform to complain about gas tax funds being used for active transportation.

Two years after state lawmakers boosted the gas tax with a promise to improve California streets, some cities have raised the ire of drivers by spending millions of the new dollars on “road diet” projects that reduce the number and size of lanes for motor vehicles.

Projects have touched off a debate as taxpayer advocates and motorists complain that the higher gas taxes they are paying for smoother trips will actually fund projects that increase traffic congestion.

Especially if those funds go towards reducing excess road capacity for motor vehicles, which increasing overall capacity by installing bike lanes.

Also known as the dreaded — to them — road diet.

Not to mention knee-jerk opposition from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn, which never met a tax they liked.

Gas tax money can legally go to such projects, but that does not mean it should, said David Wolfe, legislative director for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., which opposed the original gas tax increase and supported an unsuccessful statewide ballot measure last year to repeal it.It has since continued to watch and criticize how state and local governments are spending the money.

“When Proposition 6 was on the ballot, all voters heard was money would go to road repair and maintenance,” Wolfe said. “They want roads to be repaired. They don’t want roads to be taken away with their taxpayer dollars.”

Never mind that road diets have been shown to reduce overall crashes by 19% in the Golden State, and as much as 47% elsewhere.

So they’re complaining about using gas tax funds to save their own lives and repair bills.

Smart. Real smart.

Never mind also that $2.27 billion of the gas tax increase went to repair and maintain roads, while $750 million a year was set aside for transit projects.

And a paltry $100 million went to bike and pedestrian projects. Most of which benefit drivers, as well.

But try telling that to angry motorists and traffic safety deniers while they light their torches and sharpen their pitchforks.

“It’s creating gridlock on Venice Boulevard, which is then causing cut-through traffic into our neighborhoods,” said Selena Inouye, board president of the Westside Los Angeles Neighbors Network, a group formed in response to the project…

Inouye, a retired social worker, said having motorists pay higher gas taxes so the money can be used to reduce the capacity of roads is contradictory.

She and her husband are paying more than $4 a gallon for gas at her local service station, she said, a price that has been increased by the state gas tax.

“The money should be used to help with congestion overall, and I don’t think that road diets help congestion. I think they cause congestion,” Inouye said.

Even though no one else seems to be able to find that gridlock they keep complaining about. Or that only 12 cents of that $4-plus for a gallon of gas is due to the gas tax increase.

But those are just facts.

And facts just get in the way when you’re insisting on having yours.

………

Malibu Hills resident Chris Willig forwards his observations on the absurd, and possibly illegal, attempts by LA County to force bike riders to walk over the newly reopened Troutdale bridge.

Mulholland Highway had been closed in Cornell for about 6-months since the Woolsey Fire which caused the Troutdale Bridge to melt. The catastrophe has vexed cyclists. They’ve been forced to use a detour of about 6 miles on Kanan Road to go around the closure.  And that route is plagued by increased traffic particularly 1,000’s of heavy debris laden trucks hauling the remains of burned out houses.

A temporary one-lane bridge opened Wednesday afternoon, but the celebration from the cycling community has been short lived. Cyclists have been banned from the main road bed with LA County officials trying to force people to walk their bikes on a pedestrian sidepath. This strange traffic configuration can been seen in the photo (viewing north from the south bank of Triunfo Creek) with all of the signage required to direct traffic. It seems ridiculous since the crossing is now controlled by a traffic light system to allow only oneway passage at a posted 10 MPH. As cyclists using this route are normally in road shoes, walking the 230 feet required seems dangerous. More importantly, if many cyclists take the detour trudging across the bridge as instructed, it is clear traffic will be interrupted by all the dismounting and remounting in the street, especially at the south terminus (pictured).

The safest and most convenient routing for road cyclists would be using exactly the same rules for auto traffic. Ironically, the only change from pre-fire norm would be we’d have to cut our speed in half to accommodate the cars slowed by the new speed limit.

………

A ghost bike will be installed for fallen Valencia bicyclist Kori Sue Powers tonight.

………

Bruce Lee was one of us.

………

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

And this time, the other side is armed.

A Boyle Heights bike rider was shot in the arm in an apparent gang shooting Friday night.

San Diego’s boardwalk turned into a shooting gallery when an emotionally troubled man pulled out a rifle after getting into an argument with a bike rider, shooting at him several times — and missing, thankfully. Then tried to order an Uber to make his escape.

After someone in a passing Mercedes shot an Oakland woman in the ass with a pellet gun as she was riding her bike, she waited on the side of the road for the police to show up. Then gave up and went home, and waited another 12 hours before they finally bothered to stop by to take a report.

An Iowa bike rider was lucky to remain upright when a driver internationally swerved onto the shoulder of the roadway to sideswipe him, as a passenger leaned out the window to scream insults. And he’s got the video and a hole in his glove to prove it.

After someone shot an Arkansas bike rider in the leg, he refused to go to the hospital because he was afraid someone would take his antique bike.

A road raging Florida driver is under arrest for shooting a man riding a bicycle — for the crime of riding in the traffic lane, just like he’s supposed to.

A road raging Aussie man was busted for apparently following a bike rider home after a collision, pulling out a rifle and shooting at the rider’s home. Then leaving and coming back to do it again. And again.

Then again, not all the drivers used guns.

Some used weapons weighing a couple tons or more.

A Winnipeg bike rider watched as a semi driver flattened his bike, running over it in a road rage incident; fortunately, the victim had already gotten off to confront the angry driver.

A road raging Australian driver got mad after following a group of bicyclists, then cut in front and brake-checked them before turning into a driveway.

………

Then again, it’s not like people on bikes are automatic candidates for sainthood.

A Massachusetts man rode up to a convenience store on his bike, robbed it with a meat clever, and rode away again.

New York police are on the lookout for a bike-riding Bronx thief snatching smartphones from women.

You know we’re making progress when even an Irish mob hitman makes his getaway by bike.

And French authorities are searching for a bike-riding man who planted a nail-filled parcel bomb in Lyon, injuring 13 people.

………

Local

No surprise here, as The Eastsider says bridge construction has turned the LA River bike path into an obstacle course.

The LA Times looks at the latest gear and bikes for bikepacking, and examines the utter bliss of bikepacking in the backcountry.

CiclaValley concludes his Best Bike Weekend Ever trilogy with a look back at the recent 626 Golden Streets open streets event.

A Bakersfield man visits LA for the recent Culver City to Venice CicLAvia, and discovers the best part of traveling is the people and animals you meet, while learning that his pug really likes riding a bike.

The LAPD is introducing sand-riding fat tire ebikes and ATVs to Venice Beach in an attempt to stop running over any more people sunbathing on the beach.

Chris Pratt’s six-year old son is one of us, as the actor and fiancé Katherine Schwarzenegger bought him a fat tire bike in Santa Monica.

If you’re a fan of riding a bike without actually going anywhere, head to the Santa Monica pier on Sunday for the annual Pedal on the Pier fundraiser.

Fans of the long-running British soap East Enders will be happy to learn that Patsy Palmer is one of us, as the actress went for a bike ride with her husband in the ‘Bu.

 

State

Three cities in North San Diego County — Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar — will team together for a 500-bike docked e-bikeshare system.

Sad news from Santa Cruz, where a 66-year old man was killed when he was struck by three separate cars while riding his bike on the coast highway.

Great op-ed in the New York Times from a Berkeley man, who considers the “inconvenience” posed by a lifetime of riding bikes as a one-armed black man.

A San Francisco man live-streamed his confrontation with a bike thief who was using a loud power tool to cut a lock and snatch a bike in broad daylight; the thief gave up and walked away after being challenged.

 

National

People for Bikes says inclusiveness is the way to grow the bicycling community.

Your next MIPS helmet could be full of fluid. Or you could wear one that looks like a baseball cap and folds to the size of a water bottle. Meanwhile, Forbes points out the obvious, noting that bike helmets don’t do a lot to protect your face.

Your next fat tire ebike could have three wheels — with two tandem tires in front.

A former Seattle cop and bike rider gets it almost entirely wrong, arguing that motorists automatically have the right-of-way on sharrows. And insisting that road diets and efforts to get more people on bikes are just a leftist plot. Never mind that there’s a pretty good conservative argument for bikes, too.

Great idea. A Seattle program gives bicyclists discounts at over 150 businesses in the city after buying a $5 sticker to put on their helmets.

It takes a major schmuck to steal an adaptive adult tricycle a Phoenix man used as his only form of transportation following a pair of strokes.

The architect behind the proposed Tucson AZ bike ranch across from the entrance to Saguaro National Park explains his plan in the face of local opposition. 

Police have issued an arrest warrant for an Austin TX woman who left the scene after running down a bike rider earlier this year after the victim picked her out of a lineup; apparently thinking she was getting hit on in a singles bar, she gave the victim a fake phone number before driving off. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

Kansas will install a beautiful permanent memorial to honor a fallen bicyclist who was killed in a collision while participating in the annual Trans-Am cross-country bike race last year.

A Kansas teen jumped into swollen flood waters to save the life of a 12-year old boy who was swept away while riding his bicycle.

Five hundred Detroit second graders got new bicycles, thanks to Chevrolet and the NHL’s Red Wings.

A new community garden will honor the victims of the Mardi Gras parade crash in New Orleans, where a drunk driver killed two bike riders and injured seven other people.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole 10-year old autistic Florida boy’s $5,500 adaptive tricycle — and just the opposite for the Good Samaritans who replaced it.

 

International

Mark your calendar for Monday’s World Bicycle Day.

How to be a good citizen of the bike lane.

Bicycling looks back on how bicycles helped defeat the Kaiser and win the war to end all wars. Which sadly didn’t.

A new Canadian study suggests your best protection could be a high-vis vest with a left-pointing arrow to tell drivers to move over to pass. Although that doesn’t replace the need for safe infrastructure.

Canadian advice for anyone thinking about dating a hardcore cyclist. Or maybe it’s a warning.

A Canadian man got his hot bike back after someone bought it for $60, not realizing it was stolen; the original owner used it to traverse the length and breadth of Canada. No, literally.

They get it. A Vancouver paper says “no civic bureaucrat or politician should approve a bike lane they wouldn’t feel safe taking their kids for a ride on themselves.”

A Montreal op-ed explains how bike lanes benefit everyone.

While we were busy observing Memorial Day yesterday, Londoners celebrated their first-ever Bike to Work Day.

London is moving to protect bike riders and pedestrians by dropping the speed limit in the central financial district known as the Square Mile to just 15 mph. Your move, LA Mayor Garcetti.

Participants in an organized English ride complain about routing the ride onto a roadway with speed bumps on a steep descent and no warning signs — with predictable results.

Uber wants Brits to Jump.

After a Glasgow woman is killed riding her bike, a man does some soul searching, wondering whether bicycling is worth the risk. And concluding he may keep riding, but can’t recommend it to a friend.

A couple hundred people turned out for an interfaith bike ride to remember the victims of the Christchurch, New Zealand terrorist attacks, led at the start by one of the victims, who also lost his wife, in his new wheelchair.

I sort of want to be like him when I grow up. A Michigan man gave up his comfy retirement to ride his bike across the US, and in countries around the world. And spent New Years Day riding a fat tire bike on the ice and snow of Antarctica. No offense to our southernmost continent, but I’d prefer a more temperate climate. Which Antartica will probably be in a few years, if we all keep burning fossil fuels.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic considers himself lucky to have lost just 40 seconds to Giro race leader Richard Carapaz, despite Sunday’s debacle when he crashed on a too-small bike borrowed from a teammate, because he just happened to have a mechanical when the team race director was relieving himself.

You, too, can be a hard man or woman, and ride the routes of the cobbled spring classics.

Big mistake. The largest promoter in bike racing is slowly backing away from supporting women’s cycling.

Lance says he did what he had to do to win, and he wouldn’t change a thing. Except, you know, maybe like getting caught and all that.

Cycling Tips talks with the inimitable Peter Sagan.

Cycling Weekly remembers the legendary Fausto Coppi, calling him a cycling icon like no other.

And seriously, don’t try to snatch a pro cyclist’s water bottle out of his face, no matter how much you want a souvenir.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to ride a stolen bike to the courthouse to be sentenced for stealing another bike. The next driver to run you off the road might do it from above.

And we may have to worry about LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about bears.

Or, uh…Bigfoot.

Morning Links: Help fund prize money for women cyclists, no Redhook Crit, and getting Vision Zero wrong

The USC Cycling Team needs your help to do the right thing.

The cycling team is hosting its first bike race in six years, and wants to offer equal prize money to both men and women.

Which is the way every race should be run. But usually isn’t.

As a result, they need your help to crowdfund just $1,500 to make up the difference in purses mandated by the sport’s arcane rules.

Here’s how they explain it.

Why are the women paid less? That is an existential question plaguing professional cycling, and it trickles down to amateur and collegiate cycling. There are fewer female riders, fewer female teams and promoters are less likely to provide big money for a race that can potentially only draw 12 women. At most races, if the number of registrants surpasses a given threshold, then the prize money doubles. This is how we first modeled our prize structure.

However, this traditional model misses the point. If women knew that equal prize money were up for grabs, teams would show up in full force.  But many racers, both men and women, often wait until the week before a race to register, especially if they are local and don’t have to plan travel. So, women are checking the registration page in the days leading up to a race, weighing the costs of registering against the possibility of their winnings. Field-contingent prize money holds many back from registering.

The event takes place the first weekend in March, with the Rosena Ranch Circuit Race for collegiate cycling teams on Saturday, March 2nd, and the first ever USC Brackett Grand Prix on Sunday the 3rd.

As of this writing, they’ve raised $271 of the modest $1,500 goal, leaving a gap of just over $1,200.

Which we should be able to help them raise without breaking a sweat. Or maybe someone with slightly deeper pockets would like to sponsor the women’s races.

Because frankly, they race just as hard as the men do.

And deserve every bit as much.

Meanwhile, a bill in the California legislature would require sporting events that take place on state-owned land to provide equal prize money for men and women.

About damn time.

………

You can cancel those plans for New York this year.

In a surprising announcement, the Red Hook Criterium has been cancelled for 2019 due to rising costs and insufficient sponsorship funding.

Organizers promise the popular fixed-gear race will be back next year after they reorganize.

Although past experience tells us not to hold our breath, as races that are cancelled over funding too often don’t come back.

Let’s hope that’s not the case this time.

………

Huh?

An Alexandria, Virginia woman says Vision Zero isn’t working in the US because people are choosing cars over public transportation.

Which has little, if anything, to do with reducing traffic deaths.

She cites as proof the factually incorrect, traffic safety-denying Wall Street Journal op-ed recently penned by a Los Angeles lawyer.

And dissected and discredited right here.

Meanwhile, the recent spate of op-eds and letters to the editor on the subject is starting to raise questions over whether this is concerted effort to spread misinformation about Vision Zero and road diets across the US.

And we can probably guess who’s behind it.

………

Local

Watts-based Grammy award winning rapper Jay Rock is one of us, saying he was supposed to perform on the awards show three years ago, but couldn’t because he was laid up in the hospital following a bike crash.

Long Beach says e-scooters are here to stay, as they decide to expand the pilot program while imposing new fees and regulations on scooter companies.

State

The Voice of San Diego says the city can’t meet its state transportation goals without an entirely new vision dictating major changes in transportation. The same goes for Los Angeles, which will have to make wholesale changes in how people get around as part of its LA version of a Green New Deal. But don’t count on it anytime soon.

That’s more like it. Encinitas voted to lower the speed limit on the northern section of the coast highway to improve safety for bike riders.

A 32-mile Santa Cruz rail-to-trail conversion that’s been in the works for decades finally got underway with work to widen a railway trestle to make room for a bikeway.

The victim of Sunday’s fatal bike crash in Stockton is described as a talented sushi chef who was riding his bike to work after loaning his car to a friend with a new baby; sadly, he never got there.

National

We already knew NASCAR favorite Jimmie Johnson is one of us, as he says he loves the suffering that’s part of long runs and bike rides.

Bicycling tells the heartbreaking tale of a woman who lost her fiancé when he was killed in 2015 competing in just his fifth mountain bike race. And restarted her life by moving to the Colorado town where he died, founding a company to help first responders deal with backcountry bike crashes like the one that took his life.

Riding a tandem can make your riding and your relationship stronger. Or it could end it. Or so I’m told.

More ridiculous jurisdictional issues in Colorado, where the state brings ebike classifications up to the national standards established in California, but leaves the actual regulations up to each community. Which one again means what’s legal in one city could be illegal across the street — without riders ever knowing that they had crossed into a different community, let alone one with different rules.

Common sense wins the day in North Dakota, where legislators overwhelmingly defeated a bill to require bike riders to wear reflective clothing at night. Not that wearing reflective gear is a bad idea, but mandating it is.

A new report from the League of American Bicyclists shows Oklahoma City is the deadliest city in the US for bike commuters.

Lime continues its retrenchment on bikeshare, turning what used to be a fleet of dockless bike into a pile of trash after pulling out of St. Louis.

A Michigan man confessed to the 70 mph, hit-and-run death of a bike rider, after police found his damaged car hidden in a field under a tarp and a sheet of snow.

Nashville is close to approving an ordinance that would lower speed limits from 30 to 25 mph.

A federal judge ruled that Trump’s call to execute the driver who killed eight people in a terrorist attack on a New York bike path did not taint the case, leaving the driver eligible for the death penalty.

DC considers building a three mile bike and pedestrian path along the Potomac.

A DC policy site considers how bikeshare can be made more family friendly.

International

The LA Times says love is in the air when you ride a bicycle in Santiago, Chile.

Canadian Cycling Magazine considers the pros and cons of traveling with your bike as opposed to renting one once you get there.

Nice guy. A Toronto letter writer says if you can afford a bicycle, you can afford to buy a license for it. And if you can’t, you can just walk.

Advocates call for more tolerance between Kiwi bicyclists and drivers; one rider says “just chill out and relax.”

The former world leader in dockless bikeshare continues its rapid decline, as Ofo gets the boot from Singapore after its license was suspended.

Competitive Cycling

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay joins in on a fat tire race through the snowy Rockies in Crested Butte CO, complete with a brief video. As always, the Journal’s usual paywall issues apply.

A top Scottish mountain biker was none too pleased when she had to borrow a bike to compete in Spain, blasting British Airways for losing hers.

Cycling Weekly looks back at the rollercoaster career of the late, great Marco Pantani.

Cycling legend Eddy Merckx won’t be prosecuted on corruption charges by Belgian authorities — not because he didn’t do it, but because the statute of limitations has expired.

Finally…

Finding true love, if not your stolen bikes. Your next ebike could come from General Motors — but only if you live in Europe.

And your next dockless bikeshare bike could have lasers.

But not the kind that will let you singe distracted, angry or aggressive drivers.

Damn it.

Morning Links: Fight over road diets goes national, flooding closes GMR, and Emperor Norton was one of us

Let’s start with an important piece from Streetsblog’s Joe Linton about the efforts of traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving to take their crackpot anti-road diet fight national.

Advocates, alert: “Keep L.A. Moving,” a small, vindictive group of well-heeled westsiders with little regard for the safety of L.A.’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged residents, is now pushing its disinformation to a national audience – or, at least, attempting to – by rebranding itself as “Keep The U.S. Moving…”

As bicycle advocate Peter Flax has noted, KLAM’s work seems to thrive best in closed-door conservative echo chambers, like Nextdoor and closed Facebook groups. From there, they work to seed aligned broadcast media, including right-wing radio, where their claims are not questioned. When their dubious assertions, for example “[road diets cause] more accidents, more pollution, more gridlock, heavy traffic,” are actually aired in public debate, or studied using actual real world data, they just don’t hold up.

Like climate change deniers, these “Keep Moving” groups deny data-based studies showing that speed kills and that road diets work

Behind all their crackpot assertions is the empowerment of drivers in well-to-do communities. These ideologues push for unfettered driver access at the expense of safety for all road users, particularly those who have the fewest mobility choices available to them and who are most at-risk to harm. The “right” of this handful of disgruntled drivers to speed is costing the lives of tens of thousands of people in the U.S. every year. Unfortunately, this is a double whammy to low-income communities of color, whose residents continue to die at higher rates. And as Rutgers’ Charles Brown points out, minority communities overlooked for road diet safety improvements “receive enforcement” instead.

It’s well worth clicking the link to read all of Linton’s hard-hitting story.

Because these are the people who, so far at least, have succeeded in halting road diets and other vital safety measures in Los Angeles, keeping our streets dangerous and deadly so people like them can continue to drive unimpeded.

At least until LA’s inevitable encroaching gridlock forces them to a full stop.

And if they have their way, everywhere.

………

Popular riding route Glendora Mountain Road is closed until further notice due to flooding.

………

Robs Muir sends us photographic proof that San Francisco’s beloved Emperor Norton was one of us, too.

Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley

………

Anyone planning to ride to work this Friday for International Winter Bike to Work Day?

If you want to discuss it with a reporter for the new Spectrum News 1 channel, email Jada Montemarano at jada.montemarano@charter.com.

………

Local

Speaking of Spectrum News 1, they offer a nice piece on South LA’s Black Kids on Bikes, which isn’t just for kids. Or African-Americans.

UCLA is offering a week-long, 550-mile bike tour along the California coast to learn firsthand about the impacts of climate change, and possible solutions. Solution #1 — ditch the car, and ride a bike. Thanks to Audrey Kopp for the heads-up.

A Pasadena neighborhood association says the city’s proposed Cordova Street traffic calming project has a lot to like, even if it doesn’t connect with the Gold Line.

The Signal takes a look at Santa Clarita’s new Pace docked bikeshare system.

State

Can you say, duh? A San Diego TV station reports a sharp increase in traffic tickets issued to scooter riders last year — which makes sense, since it was the first full year they were in operation.

Work is almost finished on San Francisco’s newest protected bike lane.

Sonoma officials identify the homeless man who was beaten to death by two other men in a dispute over bicycle; he had served as a mentor to other people who were new to the streets.

Sacramento is the next California city to get e-scooters.

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says chill out about that scary sounding medical study on e-scooter injuries, noting that only 15 of the 249 victims were injured seriously enough to require hospitalization.

Outside examines how energy bars became America’s favorite snack food.

A writer for Fast Company takes a spin in a 300-pound e-trike, and pronounces it the future of urban deliveries.

A driving website calls the micromobility movement part revolution and part gold rush, naming 2018 the Year of the Scooter.

No surprise here. Denver’s docked bikeshare system is losing riders to the convenience of e-scooters.

The mayor of a Chicago suburb threatens to ticket every member of a group ride if they don’t stop for every stop sign. Yes, they are legally required to stop. Even though it would piss off every driver on the street street when they proceed through every intersection one at a time.

Chicago Streetsblog looks back on the life of a bike courier in the 1990s. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

A Massachusetts town wants to become a bicycling city, building on a bike heritage that goes back over 100 years. Although honestly, just about every city and town can say that; it’s what happened in the past 50 or 60 years that matters.

David Drexler forwards a Bloomberg piece about the reasons for a sudden uptick in New York Uber and taxi fares, which ends with “Have you considered biking?”

Great idea. Bike riders in Athens, Georgia can get discounts at participating businesses by attaching a $5 sticker to their helmets.

No bias here. A Georgia college student gets the blame in the local media for hitting a bus with his bike, when he was actually right-hooked as he came off the sidewalk. Yes, he should have slowed or stopped before riding out into the crosswalk, and probably shouldn’t have been on the sidewalk in the first place. But the driver bears responsibility for apparently not noticing him on the sidewalk and pausing to let him cross the street.

International

Cycling Weekly offers 13 inspirational cycling quotes to live your life by. Personally, I like the one from South African Bishop Desmond Tutu.

A British Columbia high school student returned home from an international environmental engineering competition with a bronze medal for her solar-powered e-trike.

A Hamilton, Ontario safety advocate says the city’s Vision Zero plan is a lot of fluff. Not that Los Angeles bike riders and pedestrians can relate that or anything.

This is who we share the roads with. A London motorist suffered serious injuries when a road raging driver intentionally plowed into him as he stood next to his car following a minor collision; no word on whether the other driver was arrested.

A British food delivery rider faces a charge of willful misconduct for a bike crash that left an eight-year old girl with a fractured skull.

Scraping the bottom of the ethical barrel, a driver in the UK faked brain damage to avoid doing jail time for killing a man on a bike while driving at twice the speed limit on the wrong side of the road; he’s now doing six and a half well-deserved years.

London’s Telegraph recommends Dubai’s “surprisingly mountainous” bicycling routes.

Some drivers continue to say bike riders are hard to see. Apparently, so are Australian garbage trucks.

Aussie medical professionals are sounding the alarm about dangerous aggression from motorists directed towards people on bicycles. Or as we call that in Los Angeles, Tuesday. Or any other day, for that matter.

Competitive Cycling

British pro cyclist Scott Auld was lucky to escape with a broken collarbone and various other injuries when he was the victim of a car crash while training in Spain; he was riding on the inside of a double pace line when the rider next to him was clipped by a driver on the wrong side of the road, crashing into him and sending him flying down a ravine.

Finally…

Who needs wheels when you’ve got skis? When you’re semi-royal, love dogs and the press has no idea what a cargo bike is.

And if you’re on parole with outstanding warrants, carrying an illegal weapon and ghost riding another bike along with yours, put a damn light on it — 

Your bike, not the other one.

Or maybe both.

Vision Zero is not a fad — and it’s not making our streets more deadly

A traffic safety denying op-ed in the Wall Street Journal claims both. And couldn’t be more wrong.

………

No Morning Links today.

I had planned to take Martin Luther King Jr. Day off, and post some inspirational words to remind us all to treat everyone like our own brothers and sisters, especially in these turbulent times.

But I felt it was necessary to address an op-ed that was inexplicably published in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, without the apparent benefit of senior editors or fact checkers.

We’ll be back tomorrow with a massive four days worth of links to the latest bike news stories from over the weekend.

Today we’re going to discuss Vision Zero, road diets and traffic safety deniers.

Because sometimes, these people just piss me off.

………

Awhile back, I coined the term traffic safety deniers to describe people who reject the well-established science of traffic safety.

Just like climate change deniers reject the established science behind climate change, for no other reason than they choose not to believe it, or the experts in the field, evidence be damned.

Like lawyer and writer Christopher D. LeGras, who penned a virtually fact free, alternative universe op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, claiming that Vision Zero is nothing but a “road diet fad.” And that it’s having the opposite effect of what is intended, by somehow magically increasing the death toll on our streets.

Or I should say former lawyer, since he apparently gave up his membership in the bar to write full time, resulting in a collection of short fiction published by the small LA-based imprint Rare Bird Books.

Unfortunately, his op-ed reads like a work of fiction, as well.

He starts innocently enough, telling the tale of a 65-year old woman who broke her leg falling on the sidewalk in Mar Vista, suffering a compound fracture. And says it took the fire department paramedics ten minutes to get there, even though the station was just five blocks away.

But in which direction, he doesn’t say.

Yet somehow extrapolates that to blame the road diet on Venice Blvd — and every road diet everywhere else — and Vision Zero in general.

Los Angeles, like cities nationwide, is transforming its streets. In July 2017 the city installed a “road diet” on a 0.8-mile stretch of Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista, reducing four lanes to two and adding bike lanes separated from traffic by parking buffers. The project is part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities in the city by 2025. Launched in 2015, Vision Zero is the most radical transformation of how people move through Los Angeles since the dawn of the freeway era 75 years ago.

By almost any metric it’s been a disaster. Pedestrian deaths have nearly doubled, from 74 in 2015 to 135 in 2017, the last year for which data are available. After years of improvement, Los Angeles again has the world’s worst traffic, according to the transportation research firm Inrix. Miles of vehicles idling in gridlock have reduced air quality to 1980s levels.

Well, it ain’t necessarily so

Problem is, the road diet on Venice was part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets program. A community driven project that had been in the works since 2015, and had nothing to do with LA’s Vision Zero, which was only announced in August of the same year.

In fact, Vision Zero in Los Angeles was just vaporware until the Vision Zero Action Plan was released in January, 2017 — two years after community groups began work on a Complete Streets makeover of Venice Blvd, and the same year the Mar Vista Great Streets project was installed.

Never mind that the road diet on Venice reduced it from a massive six lanes to a more manageable four, to reduce crossing distances to improve safety for pedestrians and increase livability.

Not two lanes, as LeGras inexplicably claimed.

Then there’s the claim that pedestrian deaths spiked in 2017, two years after Mayor Garcetti announced the Vision Zero program.

But somehow, before any significant work had been done on Vision Zero, because the action plan, and the High Injury Network it’s based upon, weren’t even released until that year.

Not to mention that none of those pedestrians were killed on streets where Vision Zero improvements had already been installed. So rather than being the fault of Vision Zero in some vague, unidentified way, they can be blamed on the dangerous, deadly LA streets that Vision Zero is intended to fix.

Which is about like blaming the vet because your cat got pregnant after he fixed your dog.

And don’t get me started on LeGras’ laughable implication that Vision Zero is somehow responsible for LA’s worsening traffic and air pollution.

Traffic is bad on streets throughout the LA area, including the other 85 or so other cities in LA County that don’t have Vision Zero programs. Let alone on the streets that haven’t seen any Vision Zero improvements at all. Which is most of them.

Oddly, traffic also sucks on most, if not all, LA-area freeways, which have yet to see a single bike lane or road diet.

The reason LA traffic is getting worse is a population that’s growing by an estimated 50,000 a year, with most of the new arrivals bringing cars with them, or buying one as soon as they get here.

Along with countless kids who receive or buy a car as soon as they’re old enough to drive, resulting in four or five cars cramming the driveways of many family homes. When they’re not out helping to cram the streets.

Combine all that with a record number of miles driven in the US last year, as lower gas prices encouraged more people to drive more. Something that’s reflected in dropping ridership on LA Metro, as more people switch from buses and trains to private vehicles — adding to the traffic LeGras complains about.

And no, LA air quality is nowhere near 1980 levels.

Then again, he also seems to confuse normal traffic congestion with gridlock — defined as a situation in which drivers are unable to move in any direction.

If you can get through a traffic light in two or three cycles, or turn in any direction to get out of it, it ain’t gridlock.

It’s traffic.

By my count, that’s six false statements in just two paragraphs. Unfortunately, he didn’t stop there.

Nothing succeeds like the successes of Vision Zero

Like the next paragraph, where he somehow concludes that light rail lines have anything to do with Vision Zero. (Hint: they don’t.)

Or the following one, where he implies that Vision Zero projects in the Big Apple have failed to make significant improvements. Even though, after five years of Vision Zero, and countless road diets and other safety projects, New York traffic fatalities are at their lowest level since motor vehicles took over the streets. And pedestrian deaths are at their lowest level since 1910.

While bicycling fatalities have gone up in New York, that’s more reflective of a massive 150% increase in ridership as more people feel safer on the streets.

And rather than leading to increased traffic congestion, the changes have actually improved traffic flow.

While individual firefighters may complain that bike lanes delay response in emergencies, as LaGras claims, the facts don’t bear that out.

In fact, more fire departments are realizing that safety improvements on the streets reduce the need for dangerous emergency responses. Which means fewer people they have to scrape up off the streets and try to patch back together.

Meanwhile, more enlightened cities are deciding that is better to build fire engines that fit the streets, rather than widen streets to fit the fire engines.

The myth of the Foothill Blvd evacuation disaster

Then there’s this.

During the 2017 La Tuna Fire, the biggest in Los Angeles in half a century, a road diet on Foothill Boulevard the in Sunland-Tujunga neighborhood bottlenecked evacuations. After the fire a neighborhood association voted to go off the road diet. The city ignored the request and instead added another one to La Tuna Canyon Road.

That’s a myth that has been circulating in the anti-road diet, traffic safety denier community for some time.

While the road diet on Foothill has unfairly gotten the blame, the real problem stemmed from the closure of the 210 Freeway further up the road. Traffic backed up from that closure down to, and through, Foothill Blvd — not from Foothill back.

Officials never considered it a serious enough problem to remove the bollards protecting the bike lanes, or to introduce other emergency measures, including contraflow lanes, on Foothill.

I’m told that an engineer involved in the evacuations said that people on Foothill were never in danger. And fire officials said they had no problem getting through.

With or without a road diet, relying on private motor vehicles to evacuate any population center will always be problematic, as cars break down and run out of gas, and fallible human drivers try to squeeze in and turn around without sufficient space to do so.

LeGras is correct, however, that a road diet was implemented on deadly La Tuna Canyon, following the near fatal crash that left Keith Jackson in a coma for three weeks.

One of the few things he got right.

But rather than reducing road space, it merely reduced the amount of traffic lanes in places — leaving exactly the same amount of space available in the event of an emergency as there was before.

He closes this way,

It’s noble to want to make America’s streets as safe as they can be. But government officials shouldn’t impose projects on communities that don’t work, inconvenience residents, hurt businesses and impede emergency responders in the process.

Had he bothered to do the slighted bit of research, he might have discovered that most people like the Complete Streets that result from the implementation of road diets and bike lanes.

And that road diets and bike lanes have proven good for businesses across the US. And Canada, too.

Emergency response times tell the real tale

As for impeding emergency responders, let’s go back to that 65-year old Mar Vista woman with the broken leg.

A ten minute response time in any emergency should be unacceptable. But countless things can take place to delay emergency responders that have nothing to do with road diets.

It took far longer than that for paramedics to arrive when my father-in-law suffered a fatal heart attack. And that was in a residential neighborhood, in the afternoon, before Vision Zero and road diets were a gleam in Eric Garcetti’s eye.

Responders can be delayed by the same sort of traffic congestion you’ll find on any other major street in Los Angeles, with or without road diets or any other form of traffic calming or safety improvements.

Never mind motorists who don’t have the sense to pull to the right like the law requires. Which seems to be the majority of LA drivers these days.

But if there was a significant problem, it would show up in the fire department’s response times. Yet the average response for Mar Vista’s Station 62 is just four seconds slower than the average EMS response for the city as a whole.

Four seconds.

I sincerely hope Renee Khoury’s mother Rebecca recovers completely from her broken leg.

As for Mr. LeGras, it’s probably a good thing he’s not practicing law anymore, if he built his cases on such flimsy, easily disproven evidence.

But I do hope he continues to write.

Judging from this op-ed, he should have a fine future in fiction.

Thanks to Alissa Walker and Felicia G for their help in researching this piece.

Morning Links: Bonin declares Mar Vista a Great Streets success, and LAPD gets it wrong with hi-viz for jaywalkers

It’s the last three days of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just three more days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. It’s easy to donate via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address you’ll find on this link.

Any amount will help, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

We’ll even take the change under your sofa cushions. Or whatever you have left once your holiday shopping is over.

So what are you waiting for, already?

………

It looks like the traffic safety deniers were wrong. And the Mar Vista Great Streets project is here to stay.

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin released a four-minute video yesterday touting the success of the lane reductions and bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista.

Despite the claims of opponents, who seemed to be operating from their own set of alternative facts, the newly configured road has resulted in far fewer serious crashes, while carrying just as much traffic, just as quickly, as it did prior to the new design.

In fact, peak travel times are only 30 seconds slower than before.

But while bicycle counts dropped 16 percent, the number of people walking on the street jumped by a full third over the year before. And Mar Vista business is booming.

So much for the specious claim that no one goes there anymore.

This is what one reader, who forwarded the video to me, had to say.

I’m sure you saw this, but Bonin just sent out a pretty encouraging video on Mar Vista Great Streets.

The 1-year LADOT report is apparently favorable on safety, bike/ped/scooter volumes, and (even) car travel times. (Not sure if the report is out yet.) Seleta Reynolds is recommending that the street configuration (i.e., bike lanes, I think) be made permanent, with Bonin recommending that as well.

They had some big numbers about business activity & business openings being *way* up year-on-year. (My take is this probably has more to do with the macroeconomy than the bike lanes, but it at least proves that bike lanes haven’t “killed” Mar Vista)…

Bonin also announced a bunch of traffic changes to reduce cut-through traffic on the side streets around Venice/Centinela, including some protected left turns and longer right-turn pockets on the arterials, as well as more stop signs on Victoria & Charnock.

I was hoping it’d be an announcement about more protected bike lanes, but after the last couple years, anything that’s not moving backward feels (alas) like a victory.

Unfortunately, the report hasn’t been released, and no word yet on when it will come out. Correction: The report was released the same day as the video; you can read it here. Thanks to Eric B for the heads-up.

And I’m sure whenever it does, opponents will once again deny virtually everything in it, just as they’ve done for the last year since the project was installed. Note: The traffic safety deniers are already hard at work in the comments to the YouTube video.

But maybe, just maybe, we can finally get city officials to start making decisions based on actual facts and real world experience, instead of just listening to whoever screams the loudest.

………

An op-ed in the LA Times ridicules the LAPD’s program to give jaywalkers a reflective vest and clip-on lights in lieu of a ticket.

And justifiably so.

It goes on to say defensive walking is not the antidote for the city’s high rate of pedestrian deaths.

Or bike deaths, for that matter. 

Because, while we all need to take practical steps to protect ourselves, the real problem is cars, and the distracted and overly aggressive people in them.

And dressing up like a glow-in-the-dark clown isn’t the answer.

It should also be pointed out that every corner has crosswalk in every direction, painted or not, unless crossing is specifically prohibited with posted signage.

And jaywalking isn’t against the law unless there’s a signalized intersection on both ends of the block.

Too bad the LAPD doesn’t seem to think any of that is worth mentioning.

………

Don’t make her beg. Support the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today.

Local

Mashable promotes sale prices on a pair of bikes from Burbank-based Pure Cycles.

The LA Times examines the practicality of Elon’s Folly, the underground tunnel system he promises will whisk cars at high speeds underneath Los Angeles. Although I’m in favor of anything that would get more cars off the streets, even if that means sending them down into the bowels of the earth.

State

No more $2 bus tours of Camp Pendleton any more, but you can still visit the Marine base by bike — if you plan ahead and apply for a permit in person, in advance.

San Francisco debunks the common argument that protected bike lanes will interfere with fire trucks. And moves forward with another protected lane as a result.

It’s been a deadly year in San Jose.

A Marin newspaper says Mill Valley’s new designation as a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community is well-deserved.

National

The Seattle Times asks if Seattle’s new transportation director can build detente with the the city’s sparing drivers, bike riders, pedestrians and transit users, like he did in DC.

The former sex change capital of the world — and the halfway point by rail between Los Angeles and Chicago — will host the first Southwest Chief Bicycle and Comedy Festival next May, combining a “love of the outdoors, bicycle fetishism and the obligatory live entertainment-and-partying.”

In a battle of letter writers, a Colorado Springs CO bike rider says he doesn’t want the bike lanes the city is forcing on residents, while another rider correctly notes that people on bikes are subsidizing the people in cars (2nd and 3rd letters).

‘Tis the season. A Chicago nonprofit refurbished 50 bicycles for kids in Gary, Indiana, part of the 1,400 bikes they donate in the Chicago area, and up to 8,000 bicycles they send to Latin America and Africa.

Condolences to bicyclists in Adrian MI, who are getting new sharrows and being told it’s infrastructure instead of what they really are, arrows designed to help drivers improve their aim.

Honda is testing a smart intersection system in an Ohio city that warns drivers if a pedestrian or bicyclist — or a red light running driver — is about to cross their path. But only if they have the connected car system installed.

Gothamist says New York bicycling deaths have plunged to a record low as the city built nearly 21 miles of protected bike lanes this year. But Streetsblog says no they didn’t, unless you count five miles of lanes without protection as protected.

Frightening and inspiring story from New Jersey, as the long-time lawyer for the state’s governing body for high school sports makes a miraculous recovery from the nearly fatal bike crash that left him paralyzed, after the riders ahead of him went down on a high-speed group ride.

International

Cycling Weekly presents nine Christmas experiences every cyclist will recognize. Unless, of course, like me, you don’t.

Cycling Tips shares their favorite bikes of 2018, sans price tags, unfortunately. On the other hand, you can get a new and improved Oi bike bell for just $36.

No bias here. A British Columbia letter writer says new bike lanes in downtown Victoria have given bike riders a lawbreaking sense of entitlement.

The Evening Standard asks if soaring ebike sales could help London clean the air.

Yes, please. British police plan to use virtual reality to teach dangerous drivers what it feels like to be passed too closely.

BikeBiz says it will take a fresh approach to make the roads safer, as six UK bike and pedestrian advocacy groups band together to get more people riding.

A pair of bike riders are raising funds for charity by biking from London to Tokyo for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, riding over 12,000 miles through 26 countries.

Bikes are being stolen from an English train station because the bike racks are merely bolted to the ground, allowing thieves to simply remove the bolts and walk off with the still-locked bicycle. Which is why you should never use a rack unless it’s embedded in the concrete.

A police union official says separate rules for bikes, ebikes, scooters, mini electric cars and hoverboards are turning bike lanes in the Netherlands into a living hell. Raise your hand if you’d gladly trade the streets you ride for Dutch bikeways, hell or otherwise.

The rich get richer. The Netherlands is investing the equivalent of $390 million to build 15 bicycle freeways and an additional 25,000 bicycle parking spaces to get another 200,000 commuters on two wheels — and paying bike commuters 22¢ a mile to ride to work.

A Palestinian writer calls on the UK to cut ties with what he calls Israel’s oppressive regime, saying he’s being sent to prison for riding a bike during a protest.

No bias here. A Hong Kong letter writer asks who needs bicycles when you can use the city’s speedy, efficient transit system — especially when they annoy people like him.

Competitive Cycling

Forget doping. The way to get a real — and legal — edge in bike racing is supercomputing.

Finally…

Is that a bikeable alley, or an overly realistic trompe l’oeil painting? When your annual bike ride is like a “naked Christmas episode of Doctor Who.”

And if you haven’t signed a pro cycling contract by the time you’re 11-years old, you’re already falling behind.

………

Thanks to John C for his generous donation to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to keep this site coming to your favorite screen every morning! 


Morning Links: Rampart Village NC considers Mobility Bill of Rights and banning Vision Zero tonight

It’s Day 19 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Donate in just moments via PayPal, or through Zelle using the banking app that’s already on your phone.

………

Call it the good, and the really, really ugly. 

The Rampart Village Neighborhood Council will consider a proposal at tonight’s meeting to embrace a revival of the moribund Cyclists Bill of Rights, now dubbed the Mobility Bill of Rights.  Which was sort-of adopted by the LA city council ten years ago at the behest of the late Bill Rosendahl, then promptly forgotten. 

“10. Discussion and possible Action on – the recommendation from the President to take a position on the Bike Writer’s Coalition (BWC) motion that, Rampart Village Neighborhood Council claims & asserts the aspirational document known as “The Mobility Bill of Rights”; RVNC embraces the public space of our community & the City at-large by proclaiming that “Streets are for People!” “

That’s the good. 

The ugly is the following motion to remove all Vision Zero traffic calming measures — the few that have actually been installed, anyway — and return Los Angeles to its deadly, exclusively auto-centric recent past. 

“11. Discussion and/or Possible Action on – the recommendation from the Executive Committee to take a position on the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition (LANCC) motion that, Rampart Village Neighborhood Council demands that the city enforce the laws & within 30 days of our demand to start the process to remove all Vision Zero traffic calming measures, including but, not limited to the controversial road diets.”

Let’s hope enough people show up to halt this misleading and dangerous motion put forward by the traffic safety deniers behind groups like Keep LA Moving

Thanks to Stephen Box for the heads-up

………

David Drexler forwards a photo of a menorah bike, captured at Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade on the next to last might of Chanukah. 

………

Local

Midnight Ridazz host their annual All City Toy Ride this Friday

An LA Times op-ed says yes, you can have free public transit and traffic-free roads, thanks to the miracle of congestion pricing. 

Another Times op-ed takes LA Mayor Eric Garcetti to task for talking the talk on climate change, but failing to walk the walk by failing to acknowledge, let alone address, climbing driving rates. Yet oddly, the authors fail to even mention bicycling

Environmental groups complain about Metro’s exclusively auto-focused plans to mitigate traffic caused by the cancellation of the 710 Freeway extension, with bike and transit improvements left for discussion some unspecified time in the future. Or not

feeder ride will roll out from the Spoke Bicycle Café on Saturday in support of the March for Public Education at LA City Hall. 

date has been set for the next 626 Golden Streets open streets event in the San Gabriel Valley; the new route will pass through South Pasadena, Alhambra and San Gabriel on May 19th. 

State

Caught on video: A San Francisco bicyclist was nearly run down by a police officer using the bike lane he was in as a passing lane to zoom by slower traffic, sans lights and siren. 

This is who we share the roads with. Palo Alto police are looking for a driver who exposed himself to a woman as she rode her bike, masturbating behind the wheel as he stared at her. Let’s hope they find the jerk and lock him away for a long time. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link

Davis considers making changes to its “Claw” curbside trash pickup, which can result in bike lanes blocked with trash when homeowners put it out incorrectly.  

National

A writer for Men’s Health attempts to jump starts his brain to see if it will make him a better cyclist

Pink Bike writes an obituary for the loved and hated Interbike trade show.

NBC News suggests better clothes for active commuters

A Portland paper takes a deep dive into Oregon bike crashes, and ranks the 20 most dangerous cities for bicyclists; bike-friendly Portland is number two. 

four-lane Chicago-area highway could go on a diet to make room for bicycles. 

Chicago’s dwindling bike messengers want the same access to commercial buildings that food delivery riders enjoy

Here’s one problem LA bike riders don’t have. Boston will remove flex posts separating a bike lane from car traffic to make it easier to salt and plow snow and ice on the bridge they’re on.

New York startup is placing expandable pods on a Manhattan street to provide bike riders with a safe and convenient place to park on a subscription basis. 

The New York Times discusses the lack of bikeshare options for people with disabilities; ebikes can help some would-be riders, but even those are in short supply. And adaptive bikes are virtually nonexistent. 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips discovers firsthand what it takes to ride a solo double century

A new report details the problem of police profiling in Toronto, including a black man who was arbitrarily stopped while riding in a bike lane.

UK bike writer Laura Laker questions whether cracking down on bicyclists will really improve safety, concluding that as long as the government listens to the most hysterical voices, rather than the evidence, nothing will change. 

Bighearted British bike riders deliver hundreds of teddy bears to the ICU unit of a local hospital. 

A Spanish carmaker most of us have never heard of promises their new radar system will detect the “telltale signature of bicycles travelling in the same direction” so their cars won’t run you over. 

An education news site looks at the growth of bicycling in BerlinAlthough the story appears to be so badly translated that it might be easier to read in the original German

Here’s a list of roads to avoid if your travels happen to take you to Dubai on Friday. Unless, of course, you plan to participate in what organizers call the biggest cycle challenge in the Middle East.

No bias here. The political editor of a New Zealand newspaper complains about spending tax money to build bikeways he says no one wants and few will ever ride. And that the need for safety for people on bikes pales in comparison to improving safety for the people in cars. No, really.

It’s time for more women to start riding, because Australia’s MAMILs are lonely. 

The King of Thailand led several thousand people in a nationwide Bike for Love and Warmth to celebrate the opening of a month-long fair. 

Competitive Cycling

The Guardian offers an obituary of the late bicycling broadcaster Paul Sherwen; a childhood in Kenya made him the only cyclist in the 70s pro peloton who could speak Swahili. 

Finally…

Riding the famous Chisholm Trail; no, the one in the UK. Maybe you can’t drive safely while on your phone after all. 

And you have a serious problem when your alibi for DUI is claiming you were merely texting, instead.

………

Thanks to Lisa G for her generous donation to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

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