Tag Archive for traffic safety

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

It’s worse than we thought.

A lot worse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sadly, I was right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talk and attend conferences.

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

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

But I can tell you this.

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

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

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

Because our lives literally depend on it.

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

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

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

According to Chicago Streetsblog,

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

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

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

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

So there may be hope yet.

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

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

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Now if all cars were just made like this.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up. 

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

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I want to be like him when I grow up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

90-year old walk advocate severely injured by driver, ’tis the season to give kids bikes, and biking down stairs in hot pursuit

It’s the last three days of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Brandon H and Michael S for their generous donations to bring all the best bike news and advocacy to your favorite screen every morning.

And yes, the corgi is going to keep staring at you while you’re reading this, until you give in. 

So don’t wait. Stop what you’re doing and give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

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

It’s okay. We’ll wait. 

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A driver ran down 90-year old walking advocate Jacque Ensign, the co-founder of the Berkeley Path Wanderers, as she walked in a Berkeley crosswalk, leaving her with “multiple severe injuries.”

She’s one of three older residents seriously injured while walking or biking on the same short section of roadway in the Bay Area town.

Which is a pretty damn good indication they have a serious traffic safety problem.

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‘Tis the season.

Sacramento sheriff’s deputies made a ten-year old special needs boy’s wish come true, giving him a bicycle made to look like a police motorcycle, including red light and siren.

Police in Port Isabel, Texas gave a ten-year old boy a new bicycle as a reward for pointing out where a suspect was hiding.

A professional mountain biker performed stunts for a group of 65 Hartford, Connecticut first graders, then surprised them all with new bikes and helmets.

A foundation started by a Baton Rouge, Louisiana man has given adaptive bikes to special needs kids for the last 14 year, donating over 400 of the high-end bikes in that time.

A Mississippi sheriff’s department is teaming with a local chapel to donate bikes to a pre-selected group of children.

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Pink Bike examines the difference between $450 and $2,200 mountain bike wheels.

Now someone tell ’em to do road bikes next, ’cause I need new wheels if my damn hands ever let me start riding again.

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A Seattle bike cop rides his bike down a couple flights of stairs before chasing a suspect on foot to recover a gun and bust a suspected drug dealer.

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

A British politician demonstrates the opposite of the holiday spirit, yelling at a group of kids to get off their bicycles for the crime of riding in a new bike lane that recently opened. Schmuck.

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

Police in Osaka, Japan believe a bike-riding man accused of arson at a mental health clinic where he was being treated attempted to seal the door with tape before lighting a leaking container of gas on fire, sparking a blaze that killed 25 people.

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Local

Metro will offer free bus and train rides on Christmas and New Years’ Eves, along with free Metro Bike rentals the same days.

 

State

San Clemente will consider banning bicycles and ebikes from the pier, as well as the beach trail and sidewalks, in response to complaints about reckless bike riders.

The rich get richer, as the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, offers a progress report showing 12 miles of new bikeways, with 11 more currently under construction and another 34 miles in the wings. Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding the email.

A San Luis Obispo op-ed explains how bike riders can avoid right hooks. Although better advice would be to tell drivers to check their mirrors and blindspots to avoid cutting someone off in the first place.

Bike Davis looks back on the last year in California’s ostensibly most bike-friendly city, in the form of the 12 Days of Christmas. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

 

National

A triathlon site considers the best reflective and hi-viz gear to keep you safe on your bike.

A small Chicago bike shop is out around $16,000 after thieves broke in for the second time in two weeks, stealing five bicycles worth $15,000; the rest is the cost of having the glass replaced for the second time. Meanwhile, a SWAT team surrounded a bike shop in nearby Skokie, Illinois, but all they found inside was a few missing bikes. Thanks to David Drexler for the tip.

It’s not safe for anyone outside of a car on New Jersey streets these days, as bicycling and pedestrian deaths reach their highest levels in 32 years.

Eight Pittsburgh PA cops will face discipline for killing a man who was tased to death for the crime of taking a bike being sold for fifty bucks for a test ride around the block without permission; the Black victim was tased eight times in rapid succession, dying the next day. Criminal charges are still being considered against the officer who fired the taser, and possible others.

Life is cheap in Georgia, where judge tossed out charges against a state senator for failing to call 911 when his buddy called to tell him he’d just fled the scene after running down a bike rider; he called the police chief, instead, fatally delaying the critical emergency response.

Frank Sinatra would probably appreciate plans to install bike lanes on Sinatra Drive in his home town of Hoboken NJ, since he looked pretty dapper on a bike himself.

 

International

Cyclist beats a dead horse, once again raising the long-settled question of whether it’s safe to ride a bike when pregnant. Not only is it safe to ride when your pregnant, it’s good for you and your baby, who will likely be born wearing cleats and a jersey. Unless you’re a man, that is, in which case it’s not safe at all. 

Jalopnik explains how a group of Colorado bike theft victims worked with Bike Index to uncover a ring of bike thieves who would steal high end mountain bikes, then send them across the border to be resold in a Juárez bike shop.

Mexico News Daily considers a far more legitimate operation, profiling an all-female studio making custom, hand-built bicycles in Mexico City.

With typical Brit understatement, the government of the UK says it has no plans to make people on bicycles wear identification numbers, regardless of what a popular bike-hating lawyer demands.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twentyone-year old Columbian cyclist Daniel Arroyave was lucky to escape without serious injuries when he was struck by a driver while on a training ride in his home country; however, his bike is toast.

Spanish cyclist Rafael Valls calls it a career after 11 years on the WorldTour, concluding that lingering injuries prevent him from competing at an elite level.

 

Finally…

Apparently, cops are perfectly okay with someone flashing a fake driver’s license and a tin foil police badge while riding a possibly stolen ebike. When you’re carrying $13.8 million in coke on your bike, try not to hit a car fleeing from the cops.

And that feeling when a protective barrier is there to protect the sidewalk, not the bike lane.

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

Governors get it wrong on traffic safety, support plan to extend Ballona Creek bike path, and new bike path coming to SGV

It’s the last eight days of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to Stephen T and Marven N for their generous donations to bring all the best bike news and advocacy to your favorite screen every morning, and help keep the corgi in kibble. 

So what are your waiting for, already?

Take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, more than she or I could ever express.

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You can always count on the Governors Highway Safety Association to get it wrong.

A new report from the group calls for safety advocates to focus on driver behavior, and not just infrastructure, to improve traffic safety.

To their credit, they start out well.

“Emphasizing one approach does not mean we should discount others,” GHSA executive director Jonathan Adkins wrote in the report. He stressed the need for advocates to use a “safe system” approach, one that includes many different approaches, including enforcing existing laws, educating drivers and engineering streets to minimize crashes. The idea is that the system builds redundancy, to reduce the number and severity of traffic crashes.

But it quickly goes south from there.

At the same time, though, GHSA cautioned against advocates going overboard in increasingly popular approaches like Vision Zero that stress the importance of changing infrastructure to make streets safer. Those movements have led to the growing popularity of protected bike lanes, pedestrian islands and narrower vehicle lanes, which protect non-motorists and encourage slower vehicle speeds.

That has sometimes led to a “disconnect,” GHSA said, over whether traditional campaigns about driver behavior belong in those new approaches.

The problem is, as the director of Transportation for America points out, 100% of the effort up to now has been on education and enforcement.

You only have to look at the more than 33,000 people killed on US roadways to realize that approach has failed. And will continue to fail.

Closer to home, you just have to walk or bike on LA streets to realize traffic safety eduction too often falls on deaf ears. And enforcement has little or no impact on daily driver behavior, because drivers have little or no fear of getting caught.

The only rule on our streets seems to be do whatever the hell you want as long as you don’t kill anyone.

And if you do, blame the victim.

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that traffic deaths have remained high in the City of Angels, despite the city’s negligible Vision Zero program.

Yes, traffic safety education and enforcement matter. But enforcement only works if drivers have an actual expectation they will be held accountable when they break the law.

You can stop laughing now.

That just leaves remaking our streets to prevent speeding and other bad behaviors, which a century of experience tells us in the only way we’re ever going to see any real improvement.

Because what we’ve been doing — and what the GHSA calls for — just hasn’t worked.

And won’t.

Because the traffic safety definition of insanity is to keep focusing on education and enforcement, and somehow expect a different result.

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Streets For All needs your vote for a proposal to extend the Ballona Creek bike path to the intersection of Cochran Ave and Venice Blvd in Mid-City Los Angeles, roughly two miles northeast of where it currently stops in Culver City.

Our effort (along with SWA, Culver City Forward, Bike Culver City, and others) to extend the Ballona Creek bike path has been selected as a finalist by Urbanize LA as a top project of 2021. Winning the top spot would increase visibility and momentum to get the project in the ground. They are currently accepting votes from the public – please vote now!

You can cast your vote here (scroll to the bottom of the page).

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Streetsblog reports on six new projects in the San Gabriel Valley, which received a total of $20 million in state parks grants.

That includes $3.285 million for the new Big Dalton Wash Trail and new pocket parks in Baldwin Park.

Here’s what Streetsblog’s Kristopher Fortin had to say about the planned project.

The new Big Dalton Wash Trail Greening Project will add a contiguous bike trail with lighting and four pocket parks on Northern Garvey Avenue, Southern Garvey Avenue, Dalewood Street, and Francisquito Avenue along the trail system. The project includes a new pollinator garden, playground with two shade structures, picnic areas throughout each park with shade structures, three exercise stations, public art at each park and along the trail, pathways, signage, landscaping, and ornamental fencing.

Last year, the city was awarded $2.5 million – from the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Grant Program funded by Proposition 68 – for the 2.8-mile Big Dalton Wash multi-use path, which is planned to extend from Central Avenue to Baldwin Park Boulevard.

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Another satisfied customer.

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Speaking of education, count on bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid to know the full story behind one of my favorite bike posters, with a message that can’t be repeated enough.

The book he’s holding is Reid’s Bike Boom: The Unexpected Resurgence of Cycling, which I highly recommend, along with his first book, Roads Were Not Built for Cars.

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An Illinois paper recommends things every bike rider needs, except most them you actually don’t.

Although some things are essential, like a decent bicycle. Then again, who could pass up a fat tire bike and matching chainsaw?

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Good point.

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

A British driver was sentenced to five years behind bars for leading police on a high-speed chase, driving four times the posted speed limit and narrowly missing bike riders in the process.

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

Los Angeles police are on the lookout for the “Two O’Clock Rock” burglar, who got his name by throwing rocks through the front window of businesses to burglarize them between 2 and 4 am, before making his getaway by bicycle or in an early 2000s Nissan.

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Local

‘Tis the season. Three hundred third and fourth grade students in Watts got a new bicycle and a basketball, courtesy of longtime community organizer “Sweet” Alice Harris.

Metro is teaming with the LACBC to host a short, family-friendly bike ride to celebrate the Season of Sharing this Sunday; Metro is also hosting a pair of virtual bicycle education classes today and tomorrow.

This is who we share the road with. A West Hollywood driver demonstrated the dangers of converting parking spaces into dining spots, by driving through one on Santa Monica Blvd.

An op-ed from Wesley Reutimann of Active SGV and Topher Mathers of the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition calls out the rising death toll on Pasadena streets, with six people killed and 55 injured while walking in the city in just the last 11 months.

 

State

A 17-year old San Marcos boy suffered what’s described as major injuries when he allegedly ran a red light on his ebike, and t-boned an Amazon delivery van in the intersection. As always, the key is whether any independent witnesses saw him blow through the red, other than the driver he crashed into.

San Diego’s Ride1Up is introducing a new ebike built for two — as long as one person just wants to go along for the ride.

Bike-friendly Davis is attempting to combat rampant bike theft by offering free online bike registration through Bike Index. Then again, anyone can do the same thing right here

Add this one to your bike bucket list. In less than ten years, you should be able to ride a new 600-mile biking and hiking trail through the Eastern Sierra Nevadas; the Lost Sierra Route will connect 15 mountain towns in Northern California and Nevada, from Truckee to Susanville.

 

National

And just like that, Peloton was forced to pull their viral ad suggesting Mr. Big didn’t die in the Sex and the City reboot after all, after two women accused actor Chris Noth of sexual assault.

More ebike news, as Rad Power has introduced the second generation of its low-priced RadRunner e-utility bike.

Phoenix bike advocates call for protected bike lanes on what is euphemistically  called a bike boulevard, where a popular bike ambassador was killed recently; the only bike infrastructure currently on the bike boulevard are some sharrows and Share the Road signs. Meanwhile, a Phoenix weekly calls it a “posthumous step towards justice for the orange-vested downtown ambassador.

‘Tis the season. A worker at a Phoenix grocery store says he feels loved, after a brief conversation with a customer about the sad state of his bicycle led to a two-month crowdfunding campaign to buy him a new one.

This is who we share the road with, part two. A Colorado truck driver was sentenced to a whopping 110 years behind bars for the fiery crash that killed four people, despite his claims that his brakes failed; the judge said his hands were tied by a state law that requires the sentences to run consecutively, rather than concurrently.

Heartbreaking news from Pennsylvania, where a 71-year old man suffered an extreme slow-motion death due to complications from a traumatic brain injury he suffered in a bicycle crash 35 years earlier.

A New York writer says the NYPD is cultivating bike lane chaos by refusing to enforce laws keeping Vespas and mo-peds out.

Cross GoTrax products off your holiday shopping list, after the Better Business Bureau of Virginia gave the ebike, scooter and hoverboard maker an F rating, noting that complaints about defective products were usually ignored, and when they weren’t, they were usually replaced with other defective products.

 

International

Bike Radar examines the subtle differences between ‘cross and gravel bikes.

Bike Europe looks at the state of Eastern and Central Europe’s efforts to reshore bicycle production from China.

Toronto proves cities can make popup bike lanes permanent, voting to keep seven temporary lanes in place. Los Angeles could do the same thing, except it never built any to begin with.

Speaking of Toronto, a ghost wheelchair now honors a beloved woman who was killed when she was struck by the driver of a cement truck.

Five bike routes to explore Amsterdam on your next trip to bike heaven.

Tibetan refugees living in India held a series of cross-country bike rallies calling for a boycott of the February Beijing Winter Olympics.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to get in a wreck, speed up you’re emergency response by getting run down by an ambulance driver. If you can’t find a new ebike, just build one.

And how to sneak out for a bike ride when you’re working the ER.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

Metro bikewashes 605 freeway expansion, LA council considers safety measures, and CicLAvia heads to South LA

Sometimes, the explanation stinks as much as the project.

And the location.

Anyone who ever drove the 605 Freeway through Baldwin Park and the City of Industry in years past noticed the stench of the duck farm long before it came into sight.

And it lingered long after, making you wonder if the odor was still wafting through the air, or burned into your olfactory nerve.

It’s been 20 years since work began to turn the poultry farm into a park. Although you have to wonder if even that is long enough to get the stink off the land.

But now the stench is wafting from the Metro boardroom, instead.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the board Planning Committee unanimously approved a $35 million project to widen the freeway interchange at the 605 and Valley Blvd. And is greenwashing it with supposed benefits to bike riders and pedestrians.

What’s depressing is how inexorably these small freeway expansion projects continue to advance. And the Metro gaslighting that now promotes polluting auto-focused freeway expansion as good for equity and for active transportation.

He goes on to note that Caltrans bizarrely certified that the project would have no negative environmental impact.

Because apparently, induced demand isn’t a thing anymore.

The 605/Valley Blvd project was environmentally cleared via a negative declaration (asserting the project has no adverse environmental impacts) approved by Caltrans in May 2021. The environmental documents use discredited Level of Service metrics to show that widening roadways would “reduce congestion on Valley Boulevard” and “alleviate mobility constraints.” The project would widen roads, increasing car congestion and concomitant pollution burdens on the surrounding communities.

Equally bizarre, though, is Metro’s attempts at greenwashing the project by touting its extremely limited benefits to alternative transpiration.

Again, from Linton’s Streetsblog piece —

Caltrans and Metro tout the project as benefiting alternative transportation. The environmental documents assert that the project would “enhance bicyclist and pedestrian safety” and “help reduce GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions” by supporting alternative modes of transportation: biking and walking.

All of the non-car features of the project are:

  • Adding a sidewalk where it is currently missing on the north side of Valley Boulevard – including ADA-mandated features such as wheelchair ramps.
  • Adding “a widened shoulder to provide a future bike lane along Eastbound Valley Boulevard up to the northbound loop on-ramp.” Installing this 1,400-feet length of bike lanes does not appear to be actually included in the project, but the margin for potential future bike lanes is nonetheless noted as helping reduce GHG emissions.
  • Reducing the curve radius of the northbound loop on-ramp from eastbound Valley Boulevard; this “would be reduced to slow entering traffic to enhance safety for bicyclists and pedestrians and support use of these alternative modes.” Note that the reason the turning radius is being narrowed is to accommodate a second lane on the current one-lane on-ramp (without taking out the business next door). Caltrans asserts that an upcoming curve radius would slow Southern California drivers entering the on-ramp, and that this would encourage bicycling. Really.

All the extra bike riding this project would inspire wouldn’t begin to offset the environmental and climate damage it would cause.

Then again, it’s hard to offset anything when the bike and pedestrian side of the equation is virtually nil.

Unless you think a possible, noncommittal quarter-mile bike lane that may never be built is enough to offset what would undoubtedly be a major increase in traffic and emissions.

Or that safety for people on foot and bicycles can really be enhanced by adding a second onramp lane.

Admittedly, I’m not lawyer. But it seems like it wouldn’t take a very big cannon to shoot holes in the environmental report for this project.

Or a water pistol, for that matter.

So let’s be honest.

Every member of the Planning Committee who voted in favor of this project — which is all of them — should be ashamed.

Because whatever benefits this freeway widening project may or may not offer, their efforts to bikewash it with negligible benefits to bike riders and pedestrians stinks every bit as much as the duck farm did.

And it will take years to wash that stench off them, too.

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Nice to see an effort by LA Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz to use newly signed state laws to improve safety on our streets.

Then again, Koretz has always been in favor of safety improvements, as long as they’re in someone else’s district.

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CicLAvia has released details on December’s 5.3 mile open streets festival in South LA, connecting the neighborhoods of South Central, Exposition Park, Leimert Park and Crenshaw.

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Today’s must read comes from an Associated Press story that only tangentially involves bicycles.

Instead, it’s about kids as young as six years old being handcuffed and arrested by police — including brutal use-of-force incidents — the overwhelming majority of whom are Black, brown or other people of color.

Here’s just one example they cite.

About 165 miles due south, in the rural hamlet of Paris, Illinois, 15-year-old Skyler Davis was riding his bike near his house when he ran afoul of a local ordinance that prohibited biking and skateboarding in the business district — a law that was rarely enforced, if ever.

But on that day, according to Skyler’s father, Aaron Davis, police officers followed his mentally disabled son in their squad car and chased his bike up over a curb and across the grass.

Officers pursued Skyler into his house and threw him to the floor, handcuffing him and slamming him against a wall, his father said. Davis arrived to see police pulling Skyler — 5 feet tall and barely 80 pounds, with a “pure look of terror” on his face — toward the squad car.

“He’s just a happy kid, riding his bike down the road,” Davis said, “And 30 to 45 seconds later, you see him basically pedaling for his life.”

Seriously, there’s no damn excuse for targeting kids like this, unless they somehow pose a direct threat.

And that’s pretty hard to imagine for a six-year old.

Or an unarmed 15-year old just out for a bike ride.

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More evidence that motor vehicle exhaust lowers intelligence, as a Texas driver rolls coal into a Whataburger dining room.

@jaysonmanzanares0

Only in Texas #fypシ #smoke #funny #stupid #dumbass #viral #popular #outtaline #whataburger @Whataburger

♬ original sound – Jayson Manzanares

While it may seem like an obnoxious prank, it should be treated as an assault with a deadly weapon, which could have severe consequences for anyone with allergies or breathing problems.

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Who needs a bike car in the train when you’ve got one in front of it?

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

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

No bias here. Instead of improving safety, Korea’s leading steel maker is banning bicycles from its mills.

Singapore is banning bicyclists from riding in groups of more than ten people riding abreast, or five riding single file.

 

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

Calabasas sheriff’s deputies are looking for a bike-riding cosmetics shoplifter who raided the local Sephora and Ulta Beauty stores on at least four separate occasions.

Police in my Colorado hometown are looking for a peeping Tom who fled by bicycle after he was spotted, firing several shots at a group of people who tried to confront him.

A bike-riding Florida teenager says he was trying to kill himself to avoid going back to jail when he fatally shot a cop he was wrestling with, who was trying to arrest him for attempting to break into several cars.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

The New York Times explains why Newsom vetoed a handful of bills, including California’s proposed Stop As Yield law and one legalizing jaywalking. Meanwhile, SF Gate questions why Newsom vetoed the jaywalking bill, since everyone does it.

Here’s a chance to make some money while you ride your bike. Caltrans wants to pay you up to $250 a day to clean up trash along California highways.

Santa Barbara is hosting a pair of public meetings, virtual and otherwise, to discuss a possible bike/ped bridge over the 101 Freeway.

A Santa Cruz charity ride raised over $200,000 for local nonprofits. And no, it’s not named for conservative KFI shock jocks Jon and Ken.

Good news and bad news. Bay Area bike riders are happy to learn the hard-won bike lane on the Richmond-San Raphael Bridge won’t have to be closed for construction of a proposed water pipeline. But the approach leading to the bridge will be.

 

National

Seriously, who doesn’t need a limited edition Ozzy Osbourne bike jersey?

A climate website looks at the delivery riders on the front lines of the shakeup in sustainable transportation, and the price they pay with their own lives and bodies. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Outside offers advice on how to avoid low bone density, which has been linked to extensive bicycling.

Road Bike Action offers tips on how to be your own wrench.

Consumer Reports provides advice on how to keep your ebike running longer, while warning about the dangers of ebike battery fires.

A trio of Seattle physicians call on officials to reconsider a proposal to revoke the county’s mandatory bike helmet law, which has been used to unfairly target people of color.

Kindhearted Texas residents pitched in to buy a new ebike for a formerly homeless vet, after his homemade shoeshine cart and the jury-rigged ebike he built were stolen; he recovered the shoeshine cart, but his bike remains missing.

Hats off to a group of Rhode Island mountain bikers, who pitched in to scrub Nazi graffiti off state lands.

A former mountain biker from Seattle is in New York, replicating the Shadowman figures of 1980s street artist Richard Hambleton.

An op-ed from three New York teens calls on the city to develop The NYC Tube, a proposed inter-borough bicycle highway. We need something like that here in Los Angeles to connect at least some of the 88 cities in LA County. Let alone one crossing the City of LA itself.

Momentum Magazine talks with a stunt rider who calls himself Obloxkz, or O, about the Red Bull documentary NYC Bike Life and the ride-outs that continue to traumatize Long Island drivers.

Florida police are checking an abandoned bike for fingerprints, which may or may not have been the bike ridden by someone who may or may not have been Brian Laundrie, who may or may not be suspected in the death of Gabby Petito. Meanwhile, investigators are examining human remains found in a Florida nature reserve, which may or may not be Laundrie’s.

 

International

Intenet users teamed up to find a handicapped Vancouver man’s stolen handcycle, just 17 minutes after he posted a notice of the theft online.

An Italian ultracyclist is riding over 1,200 miles from Milan to Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference to spread the word about bicycling.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as India’s Relief Riders earn a nomination for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to deliver food and medicine to elderly, disabled and people isolating during the worst of the country’s pandemic.

An Indian man insists he loves his wife, despite running her down with his car as she rode her bicycle to work, then hacking her to death before attempting to cut her head off. Which makes you wonder what he would have done if he didn’t love her.

Malaysia threatens to jail people for up to three months for the crime of riding an e-scooter on public streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seems appropriate. Rising Belgian pro Remco Evenepoel will take part in the Kansas edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride, along with his Deceueninck-QuickStep teammate Mattia Cattaneo.

Seventeen top women’s teams have confirmed for next week’s inaugural Lion’s Den race in Sacramento, with a star-studded field including US Olympians Lily Williams and SoCal’s own Coryn Labecki, who was formerly known as Coryn Rivera before her recent marriage.

Cyclist looks forward to next year’s women’s Tour de France, calling it a week of brutal climbs and gravel.

A diabetes website talks with former Team Novo Nordisk cyclist Ezra Ward-Packard about the joys of competing with Type 1 diabetes. Thanks again to Keith Johnson. 

Cannondale is teaming with travel and language company EF Education First to sponsor new college cycling teams at one HBCU and two tribal colleges, with enough funding for three years.

Forty-seven-year old Natalie van Gogh is calling it a career after 15 years in the pro peloton, insisting she’s just Natalie, “not Natalie the transgender cyclist.”

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to ride your e-scooter on a highway, weaving in and out of traffic at up to 60 mph. Now you, too, can get your next bike from a haunted REI co-op.

And maybe it’s time we demanded a mandatory helmet law for deer.

Pretty impressive handspring as it tumbles offscreen, too.

………

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

Ped superhero Peatónito studies LA Vision Zero fail; Slow Streets win at LA Council, and bike rider busted for Metro murder

I’ve never been one for the whole superhero genre, preferring to find heroes in real life.

But I make an exception for Mexico City’s caped protector of pedestrians, the legendary Peatónito.

So I was pleased when he popped up in my inbox today, courtesy of an email from pedestrian advocacy group Los Angeles Walks.

Nowadays it feels like we can all use a hero or shero. So we’re happy to introduce Peatónito! He comes to us from Mexico City, where he began his masked work saving lives and slowing traffic. And Peatónito has traveled beyond, from NYC to Los Angeles, fighting against the crime of poorly designed streets & sidewalks and reckless driving through creative public demonstrations and street theater.

This summer, Los Angeles Walks partnered with the crime fighter as we trained future generations of peatónitos and organized for safe street changes. He finished his training at UCLA’s Institute of Transportaiton Studies, where he penned a pedestrian manifesto (or his graduate capstone paper) titled The Pedestrian Battle of Los Angeles: How to Empower Communities to Plan and Implement Pedestrian Road Safety Infrastructure.

And what a manifesto it is.

Even a brief summary nails the city’s gaping equity gap, as well as the experience most of us have had in fighting for a safer city, for people on two feet or two wheels.

• Walking in a non-white census tract increases the probability of being killed or severely injured by a motor vehicle in Los Angeles (Figure 1). Black people are only 8% of the population, but 20% of all pedestrian fatalities. Meanwhile, median income, vulnerable age (children and older adults), and the number of cars in a household do not have a statistically significant relationship with pedestrian road safety.

• City council members are responsive to residents’ demands and threats opposing pedestrian-focused traffic safety. Even when other city agencies and LADOT support these improvements, the city council has more power over deciding the outcome of road safety infrastructure plans. Consequently, there is a need to balance this power dynamic.

• Affluent, car-oriented residents tend to have stronger influence over council members, who prioritize their concerns over those of underserved people. This power dynamic in LA permits small groups of noisy stakeholders to hijack a conversation; they manipulate the narrative to make it seem convenient for everyone. It is vital to give more power to the people that fight for safe streets, whose voices

“The pedestrian is nobody in this city, he has been forgotten by authorities and our own citizenry. The curious and paradoxical thing is that we are all pedestrians at some moment. As such, we have forgotten ourselves.” – Peatónito

 

Here’s how Los Angeles Walks succinctly sums up Peatónito’s recommendations.

• The City must recommit and strengthen the Vision Zero program, a city-wide initiative to reduce traffic fatalities to ZERO by 2025.

• The City budget should adequately fund and staff all of Vision Zero’s goals, including the Dignity Infused Community Engagement (DICE) project.

• The state should get rid of the 85th percentile rule, a state rule that requires speed to be set at the average of ongoing traffic, which has led to what many call “speed creep.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Let’s hope he sticks around. LA pedestrians — and bike riders — could really use our own superhero.

Photos and quotes courtesy of Los AngelesWalks

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Speaking of which, it looks like people won out over cars in the City of Angels for a change.

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They got her.

Twenty-five-year old Los Angeles resident Irma Monroy was busted for the murder of a Metro employee at DTLA’s 7th Street train station, after she allegedly stabbed the victim in the chest following a heated dispute.

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There’s truly a special place in hell for the Arkansas driver who — allegedly — rammed a woman jogging on the side of the road with his pickup, then carried her off and sexually assaulted her before burying her beside a rural road.

Let’s hope he ends up in a very deep, dark pit for a very long time. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

………

The bike swap meet scheduled for this weekend by the Mid City West Community Council has been postposed until the following weekend.

Which could come in handy now that the bike boom has cleaned out many bike shops.

MCW Neighborhood Bike Swap
Sat. Oct. 31st, 2020 Halloween!!
7765 Melrose Ave, (Sportie LA parking lot across from Fairfax High)
9 am  to 1 pm. 

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This is why you need to register your bike.

Now.

………

Here’s your biennial reminder to get out and bike the vote.

https://twitter.com/starryflo/status/1317571256456159234

And yes, I want to be like him when I grow up.

Meanwhile, it’s nice to see a community organization pressing the candidates for LA’s 10th Council District about their stands on active transportation.

………

Looks like The New Yorker is catching up on the city’s coronavirus bike boom.

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

Business owners in Bristol, England are calling for the removal of a new bike lane, claiming it’s killing their business. Because evidently, ripping it out makes far more sense than trying to entice the passing bike riders into their shops.

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

A bike-riding San Bernardino County man has been busted for a series of peeping, burglary and indecent exposure incidents.

Heartbreaking news, as a dog died five days after a bike rider allegedly kicked it in the head for no apparent reason as his owners were running with him on a Minnesota trail. Although something tells me there may be more to the story; bicyclists usually don’t kick at a dog unless it’s attacking them.

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Local

Another paper from UCLA’s Luskin Center documents a century of failed efforts to reign in LA traffic.

 

State

Sad news from San Diego, where a man apparently died of natural causes while mountain biking on a canyon trail near the Miramar National Cemetery.

Santa Barbara considers installing a docked ebike bikeshare system on the city’s main street.

More sad news, this time from Porterville, after a hit-and-run driver was arrested for killing a 15-year old boy as he rode his bike Friday night.

Cities Today asks if San Jose’s new bike plan can boost bicycling rates. Only if they actually build it, as LA bike riders can attest.

The family of an fallen teenage bike rider in Elk Grove calls for changes at the dangerous intersection where he was killed; the speed limit there was recently boosted from 35 mph to 45 mph — no doubt thanks to the deadly 85th Percentile Law.

An Oakland construction site is the safest block in the city for bike riders, after workers installed a Jersey barrier on the left side of the bike lane for a change.

 

National

Actually, that new soft, squishy bike helmet looks pretty damn cool. If it actually works, that is.

Bicycling staff and readers share their spookiest bike rides ever, just in time for Halloween. For a change, there’s no Yahoo mirror site for this one, but try opening it in a private window if the site blocks you out.

A new crowdfunded grant program is designed to help BIPOC filmmakers — Black, Indigenous and People of Color — tell their stories.

C|net offers their picks for the best ebikes.

They get it. A Texas magazine says Houston’s Vision Zero program won’t succeed if it’s done one intersection at a time, and that it calls for a “reckoning that the car-heavy city does not appear ready to make.” They could write the same story about Los Angeles.

New York has completed work on a road diet and two-way cycle track on 5th Avenue through Harlem.

Another pedestrian has been injured in a crash involving New York’s Citi Bike. Except this time, a 72-year old woman was hit by a van driver servicing the bikeshare system.

Actress Famke Janssen is one of us, as she rides her bike with a massive plastic bin on the front through New York to pick up some trash bags. And looks pretty damn stylish doing it.

 

International

Cycling News recommends the best saddles for when your ride hits the rocks.

A Toronto letter writer complains that few of the city’s bike riders wear helmets, despite a mandatory helmet law. Although the headline writer deserves to get their knuckles rapped for saying “Bike lanes are only good if cyclists wear a helmet,” which is factually incorrect, and has nothing to do with what the writer wrote.

Belfast, Northern Ireland has been named the most dangerous city in the UK for people on bicycles, with a whopping 71% of people surveyed saying they’d been involved in some sort of crash in the city.

The EuroNews website wonders why Europe’s largest bike-producing country has been so slow to ride them.

This one is going on my bike bucket list. Italy is opening an 86-mile paved bike trail around the country’s largest lake. Or maybe you’d prefer a 260-mile bike path from Paris to the Normandy coast.

How Spain’s fourth largest city became a leading bike city in just 15 years by building out an entire connected bike network all at once. As LA bicyclists have learned the hard way, we’ll never get there with a disconnected, piecemeal approach. 

Now that’s scary. A Singapore driver records himself swerving at the last moment after coming up way too fast on a bike rider taking the lane.

 

Competitive Cycling

The race moto rider Julian Alaphilippe crashed into in the Tour of Flanders says he can’t help feeling guilty about the crash. Although the people who really deserve the blame are the ones who allow motorcycles near cyclists in the peloton to begin with.

Meanwhile, Alaphilippe had surgery on his hand to repair two bones that were broken in the crash.

Cycling Weekly explains what to look for in the final week of the Giro.

VeloNews looks forward to the Vuelta, with five ways this year’s race will be unlike any other. Race organizers hope to emulate the Tour de France, which went off without a single Covid-19 infection, as opposed to the Giro, which didn’t.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you take social distancing just a little too far. And maybe naming your saddle after the #1 enema maker isn’t the best idea.

Or is it #2?

………

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

Unconfirmed San Fernando Valley bike fatality, ask LAPD about SFV traffic safety, and marketing bikes in the British Empire

Sadly, I’ve received an unconfirmed report that a woman was killed in a collision while riding her bike in the Valley Glen neighborhood of LA’s San Fernando Valley.

Unfortunately, while this comes from a reliable source, there was nothing in the news to confirm it before this was posted.

I’ll have more later if I’m able to get more information.

Update: The report has been confirmed.

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You can ask the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division about the above crash, as well as other San Fernando Valley bike safety issues, in a Zoom meeting on Wednesday.

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A Twitter meme looks at how our world got this way.

For better or worse.

Thanks to Hap Dougherty for forwarding these two.

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This is how Raleigh marketed itself in the last days of the British Empire.

Again, for better or worse.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Great video from the son of British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid about his solo bike tour home after visiting the Giant bike factory Shanghai.

Speaking of the senior Reid, he writes that a new paper from transportation experts at the World Economic Forum predicts bicycles and buses will be the dominant forms of transportation in the not-too-distant future.

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How to build a ‘cross bike for a price that won’t make you that way.

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

A 70-year old woman lost a tooth and suffered a bloodied nose when a man pepper sprayed her as she was riding on a Sacramento bike path, in an apparently random attack.

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

A Minnesota woman faces charges for allegedly using her bike to damage a car belonging to the lawyer representing one of the cops accused of killing George Floyd.

A Florida bike rider could be facing a murder charge after fatally stabbing a driver who allegedly chased him with his car in a dispute over a drug deal.

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Local

USA Today ranks the greater Los Angeles metro area as the nation’s 20th best city for active lifestyles, two spots above San Diego. Although apparently by people who’ve never experienced SoCal drivers from outside the car.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Streetsblog considers what lessons London’s congestion pricing program has for Vision Zero in American cities.

New technology could turn e-scooters off when users are breaking the rules by riding on sidewalks.

A writer for Cycling Savvy offers a primer on bike lights.

A Texas letter writer tells drivers to pretend they’re in California, where roads signs tell them to allow three feet of clearance when they pass a bicyclist. As long as they don’t act like too many California drivers and ignore the signs, that is.

A 16-year old Wisconsin boy was shot in the leg by three assailants in a dispute over whether the bike he was riding was stolen.

Great idea. Detroit is offering a self-guided interactive bike through the city’s historic sites in the battle for civil rights.

Get that healthy glow by riding a new mountain bike trail near Tennessee historic Oak Ridge National Laboratory nuclear research lab.

Trevor Noah is one of us, taking a ride with a friend through the streets of New York. Just don’t tell him September was the deadliest month for New York bike riders since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office six years ago.

 

International

Calgary advocates are pushing the city to reverse an earlier decision and keep popup bike lanes open through the winter.

Montreal is moving to permanently approve an ebike delivery program started during the pandemic lockdown.

A Canadian man finally got back the bike he rode across the country in the ’80s after spotting it for sale on Facebook, nearly 30 years after he loaned it to a friend.

Five English men are embarking on an 800 mile bike ride to visit the home stadiums of all 20 Premier League teams to raise funds for a pair of charities.

Life is cheap in Wales, where one driver was acquitted of hitting a bike rider, and a second walked with a suspended sentence for running over him as he lay in the roadway after claiming she was “dazzled” by the sun.

Two Scottish cricket players rode 672 miles to raise funds for charity in honor of a former teammate who died of a brain tumor 18 months ago.

A British newspaper talks with a local woman about what it’s like to be a bike builder.

Nineteen-year old UK track cyclist Emily Bridges writes about growing up as a bike racer, and coming out as a trans woman.

Bengaluru bike riders can now enjoy India’s first plastic post-protected popup bike lane.

An Indian website says bicycling has become the country’s greatest Covid lockdown love affair, whether to ward off loneliness and claustrophobia, or to take advantage of the cleaner air. Enjoy it while they can; as we’ve seen in Los Angeles, the clean air won’t last once people get back in their cars.

Completing today’s Indian trifecta, the city of Ahmedabad reverses course and removes plans for a cycle track from a redesigned roadway — and decides not to include them in any other roads, either.

African bike advocates are working to make the continent more bike friendly.

Parents are up in arms after Sydney, Australia officials demand the removal of a homemade pump track because it could damage fragile ecological and aboriginal sites.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Jerusalem Post celebrates the first Giro stage win for the Israel Start-Up Nation cycling team.

It was Portugal’s Day in Sunday’s stage nine of the Giro.

Last year’s Tour de France winner Egan Bernal pulls the plug on this year’s racing season, saying you learn more from bad moments than you do from good ones.

The iconic Paris-Roubaix cycling classic was the latest victim of the coronavirus, due to a rising case count in Northern France.

 

Finally…

Your great-great-grandmother couldn’t get bike riding insurance, either. That feeling when a stray cat joins your round-the-world bike ride, and changes your life.

And when a local wayfinding sign directs you to a bikeway 400 miles away.

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

LA slowly gets Slow Streets, 7th Street protected bike lanes looking good, and Westwood homeowners up to old tricks

About damn time.

Los Angeles finally got around to implementing Slow Streets this weekend to allow residents to get outside while maintaining social distancing.

Only two months after the coronavirus lockdown began in mid-March. And long after other cities in the US and around the world demonstrated it could be done safely, to the benefit of local residents.

But naturally, LA has to do it the hard way.

Instead of just installing them on appropriate streets throughout the city — or even following the already-approved network of Bicycle Friendly Streets in the city’s mobility plan — someone has to apply for them.

Correction, some sort of group or organization has to apply, not an individual.

And only one application will be accepted per neighborhood council district.

So, maybe you’ll get one somewhere near you. But probably not.

Never mind that the city has already threatened to shut down any Slow Street that turns out to be too popular.

Meanwhile, Sacramento is following LA’s lead — and bad timing — by asking residents to nominate streets for their Slow Streets program. Thanks to Martin Rose for the link.

………

Evidently, LADOT can move fast when they put their minds to it, after all.

Patrick Pascal says this is what it looked like just two days earlier.

7th Street bike protected bike lane; photo by Patrick Pascal.

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Westwood homeowners and the Westwood Neighborhood council are up to their old tricks, incorrectly claiming that every organization in the Westwood area opposes bike lanes on Westwood Blvd in Westwood Village.

And drastically exaggerate both what is planned, and the effect it would have.

Which is a polite way of not calling them liars.

Except the North Westwood Neighborhood Council, which represents the area north of Wilshire Blvd, where the proposed bike lanes would be located, are actually in favor of it.

https://twitter.com/graysonapeters/status/1261016593347211264

But that first link implies, this is nothing new.

The area’s wealthy homeowners have claimed ownership of the Village for decades, going so far as to have dancing — yes, dancing — banned.

Maybe they staged the Footloose remake in the wrong town.

It’s this kind of ham-fisted misrepresentation of the area that caused the NWNC to break off from the Westwood NC a few years ago, and finally give Westwood Village its own representation.

Before the homeowners succeed in completely killing it.

Because they will, if they have their way.

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No, seriously.

If they’re stupid enough to do the crime, they’re probably stupid enough to get caught.

Richard Rosenthal forwards news of a group of four Long Beach teens who mugged a man riding his bike on the San Gabriel River Trail, stealing his phone and wallet after hitting and kicking him, then tossed his bike onto the rocks along the river.

And posted a video online boasting about the crime.

Long Beach police think there were other people who witnessed the crime, or knew about the video, and kept silent.

Anyone with information is urged to call LBPD Robbery Detective Fermin Gonzalez at 562/570-7068.

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Some things are just too cute not to include here.

………

Here’s a suggestion for the next time you want to hit a little gravel.

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Evidently, Mr. Las Vegas is one of us, too.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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

Police are looking for a murder suspect who fled the scene on a bicycle, after stabbing a man to death on LA’s Venice boardwalk.

Police in Seattle are looking for a bike-riding thief wanted for a string of armed robberies. Odd that no one tries to steal his bike when he leaves it unlocked like that when he goes in to rob a store.

British police are looking for a pair of bicyclists who collided with a six-year old scooter-riding boy, leaving him with a broken leg.

………

Local

Even though collisions are down 38% in Los Angeles since the Covid-19 lockdown began, traffic fatalities are up 15% — with pedestrian deaths jumping 33% — thanks to speeding drivers.

Los Angeles came as close as it probably ever will to being a traffic-free city on the last Monday in March.

KPCC and LAist producer Leo Duran tries to uncover why no bicycles are allowed on the beach bike path in LA County, and doesn’t get anywhere. But he does have the good taste to quote yours truly.

Santa Monica is extending the city’s shared mobility pilot program for another year.

Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago is one of us, spending his lockdown time with his kids and girlfriend when he’s not riding his bike through the streets of Los Angeles. Maybe he’ll run into Tobey Maguire riding his bike while he’s out there.

 

State

Seal Beach is planning to reopen a section of the San Gabriel River Bike Trail through the Orange County city in the coming days, though the exact timing isn’t clear.

Encinitas considers lowering speed limits on the coast highway to improve safety for bike riders, while trying to accommodate all kinds of bicyclists.

Sad news, as longtime Riverside civic advocate and volunteer high school mountain bike coach Bob Stockton was killed when he was struck by a van driver while jogging last week. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

An Isla Vista bike rider was seriously injured when he allegedly rode out of a driveway in front of an oncoming car.

Lompoc wants your input on the city’s proposed Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan.

Bad news from Bakersfield, where a bike rider suffered major injuries when he or she was run down by the driver of a gardening truck, who fled the scene.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is looking for volunteers to help distribute seedlings throughout the area. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Berkeley is going beyond Slow Streets by closing major streets entirely to provide physically distant restaurant seating.

As LA’s Slow Streets gets off to a slow start, San Francisco is preparing to expand its program to 13 new corridors.

 

National

Phillip Young forwards news of the most dangerous cities in the US for bike riders. For once, we can be glad Los Angeles didn’t make the list; San Bernardino, not so much.

The Atlantic warns about the dangers of a backlash against walkable, bikeable cities in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

NPR catches up to the coronavirus bike boom, noting bike sales are up 50% over last year; Canada is running out of bicycles, too.

A new study shows that bike commuting really does increase after bikeshare rolls into town.

The Bike League wants your help to design and build a better bike lane barrier.

Bicycling rates the ten best women’s mountain bikes.

Portland cops bust a homeless camp bike chop shop, recovering at least 15 hot bikes, including a Cannondale worth four grand as well as various bike parts and power tools.

Still no trace of the Colorado woman who reportedly disappeared on a Mother’s Day bike ride; her family is offering a $200,000 reward for her return, with no questions asked. Police say they haven’t ruled out foul play.

Well if that’s all it takes. A pair of Texas priests rode through the Rio Grande Valley to pray for rain — and the next day it poured. Then again, I used to have a gift for bringing rain when I rode, too, despite praying it would hold off until I got home.

No bias here. A New York TV station questions whether all those new temporary bike lanes are really needed, because bikeshare use is down during the coronavirus pandemic. Never mind that many people are far more comfortable riding their own bikes, rather than a shared bike, right now.

No surprise here, as New York’s popular Five Boro Bike Tour was cancelled for this year, just three days before it was scheduled to be run.

The Cherokee Nation has cancelled the annual Remember the Removal Bike Ride tracing the route of the infamous Trail of Tears through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma; the nine young riders chosen for this year’s tour will have a chance to ride next year, instead.

A group of Savannah, Georgia bike riders are creating their own self-guided tour of the city’s historic neighborhoods, writing their guide in sidewalk chalk.

 

International

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says ebikes could be the answer to our post-lockdown commuter problems, while the Christian Science Monitor says the world’s two-wheeled future is so bright it has to wear…well, you get it.

T3 argues that you can get a really good road bike for less than the equivalent of $1,200.

Bike Radar offers a guide to developing an effective cadence.

Does it really count as the World Naked Bike Ride if you’re just riding naked on your indoor trainer?

A Vancouver Island man was lucky to get his bike back after it was recovered in a police raid, three years after he reported it stolen. Which is exactly why you need to register your bike now, and report it to the police if it ever gets stolen.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is one of us, taking to his bike with an apparent tennis racket slung across his back.

It ain’t necessarily so. A London legend tells of a woods haunted by the ghost of a boy murdered by an axeman while walking or riding his bicycle in the early 1700s. Problem is, that’s about a hundred years before the first forerunner of the bicycle was invented.

A writer in London explains how she overcame her fear and started riding her bike.

Sad news from the UK, as Phil May, lead singer for the British ’60s R&B/psychedelic rock band Pretty Things, died following surgery for a broken hip suffered when he fell off his bike.

Up to five million Brits are expected to bike to work following the coronavirus crisis, a significant chunk of the country’s 32 million residents.

Chef Gordon Ramsey continues to demonstrate how to win friends and influence people, telling his Welsh neighbors not to get their knickers in a twist as he settles for riding indoors this time, after flaunting his lockdown-breaking bike rides the last few weeks.

Chris Boardman says the UK has a chance to change the country’s transportation forever.

Red Bull recommends nine French climbs that will chew you up and spit you out, while giving you a sense of accomplishment — if you actually make the summit.

A woman from the UK says she learned to live in the moment while riding along the Rhine and Danube rivers to Istanbul, “turning the pedals and waiting for the world to unfold.”

Sad news from India, where an American expat working in Hyderabad, India was killed in a mountain biking fall.

A migrant worker in India stole a bicycle to make the 150-mile journey home. But he left a very nice note saying he had to take it to get back to his special needs son.

An Afghan man is riding his bike door-to-door through Nangarhar province to spread awareness of Covid-19.

We take a lot of things for granted in this country — like an ambulance will be there when we need it. Residents of a remote Ugandan village were excited to receive a modified bicycle ambulance to transport expectant mothers and sick patients to medical care when an ambulance isn’t available.

South African bicyclists are urged to wear masks when they ride. Los Angeles bike riders are required to wear masks under the latest rules, while riders in LA County are only required to wear masks when others are around.

A reporter is riding his bike across Japan to see firsthand the effects of Covid-19 in the island nation.

 

Competitive Cycling

That didn’t take long. Just four days after LA’s Phil Gaimon shattered the world record for Everesting, US cross-country mountain bike champion Keegan Swenson shaved 12 minutes off Gaimon’s record.

On the other hand, Everesting on a fixie, not so much.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t use WD40 to lube your chain. If your city won’t paint bike lanes, just do it yourself. Your next bike lock could double as a light — or part of your frame.

And your new cargo bike is waiting. If you can outbid Zach.

………

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

Slow Streets finally coming to Los Angeles, face masks now required in LA, and YouTubers injured in hit-and-run

Finally.

Los Angeles County has given a long-overdue blessing to the concept of Slow Streets.

And LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has suggested the city may give them a try.

According to a story from Time Out,

On Wednesday, the county announced that as part of an update to its “safer at home” order, it would allow cities to close off streets to car traffic and temporarily turn them into pedestrian-only areas.

“Local public entities may, if they want to, temporarily close certain streets or areas to automobile traffic and this would allow for increased space for persons to engage in recreational activity that’s permitted by the health officer orders,” said Department of Public Health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer in her daily briefing.

Slow Streets, a term that was virtually unheard of before the concept spread rapidly across a world afflicted by Covid-19 and the resulting lockdowns, are fully or partially closed to motor vehicles to allow people to get outside for a little fresh air and exercise, while providing enough space to allow for social distancing.

Without having to worry about getting run down by a speeding, distracted driver. Or having to leave their own neighborhood.

But as usual, LA appears to be wrapping the concept in needless red tape.

Instead of simply choosing several streets to close down across the city, as countless other cities have done, Los Angeles will make residents apply if they want one near them.

https://twitter.com/laura_nelson/status/1260735078168064000

Which may or may not be approved, depending on whatever criteria will be used to vet the request.

Most likely, though, it will depend on whether the local councilmember wants them, in a city where they are virtual kings and queens in their own districts, with the power to bless or kill any street proposal.

So we may be able to get out for a little air soon. But I wouldn’t hold your breath just yet.

As usual, though, this comes because bike and pedestrian advocates fought for it.

………

You’re now going to have to wear a face mask anytime you go outside in the City of Angels.

Although whether that would apply if you’re riding your bike, and not around other people, remains to be explained.

But just like deciding to ride without a helmet, you can expect to be harassed and publicly shamed by self-appointed safety vigilantes if you’re not wearing one.

………

YouTube stars and influencers Marcus and Kristin Johns were both injured by a hit-and-run driver, who they say swerved directly at them in an intentional attempt to run them down as they were riding their bikes.

The driver was apparently fleeing from police following a burglary.

Neither one suffered major injuries, though they were both hospitalized. Unfortunately, however, they don’t give any date or location for the crash.

But it could explain why this story about Monday’s Toluca hit-and-run has unexpectedly blown up, with over 10,000 page views in the last two days.

………

ESPN has released the trailer for their upcoming documentary about Lance Armstrong, titled simply Lance.

Which reminds me of this old classic.

………

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

A pair of “respected” retired woman are suspected of sabotaging a British bike trail by building traps using rocks and branches to stop unsuspecting bike riders.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says there are new bike lanes on two sections of York Blvd in NELA, with a two-block gap on a narrow section in between.

Streetsblog looks at the opening of the Rose Bowl loop to people, not cars. Meanwhile, a Pasadena writer suggests repurposing Old Town’s Colorado Blvd for outdoor dining.

Watchmen actress Malin Akerman celebrated her birthday with an unmasked ride with friends and family through the streets of Venice.

Final Destination star Ali Larter is one of us, riding through Pacific Palisades with her five-year old daughter.

Shia LaBeouf is one of us, too, riding with his with wife in Pasadena, with the family dog in tow.

 

State

San Diego is trying to pump new life into May’s moribund Bike Month by encouraging people to try bike commuting. There may never be a better time to give it a shot, with motor vehicle use at a historic low.

He gets it. Writing for a Yucaipa paper, a veteran bike cop says the far to the right law is widely misunderstood, and you’re not expected to be a gutter bunny. Although he may not have used that exact term. But still.

An allegedly intoxicated Fresno teenager hit the trifecta, crashing into a parked car, a bike rider and an apartment complex while fleeing from police; no word on the rider’s condition.

Vallejo’s annual tongue-in-cheek Obtanium Cup bike festival has been cancelled.

 

National

Time to start hoarding bicycles. The Guardian says bike usage is soaring across the US, while Bike says we’re running out of bikes, and it’s not just due to the coronavirus.

Lifehacker offers tips on learning to ride a bicycle, even if you’re an adult. Although once you actually get on a bike, you won’t feel like one.

The Verge says something better may emerge from the ashes of the scooter-sharing industry, which has ground to a halt over coronavirus fears.

A pair of Seattle bike cops are suing the city, alleging they were injured due to poorly maintained bicycles.

Los Angeles isn’t the only city enjoying cleaner air during the coronavirus lockdown. Denver is getting long-overdue relief from the city’s notorious brown cloud.

Evidently, that flawed study that incorrectly asserted that bike helmets reduce head injuries up to 85% will never die, rearing its head once again in an editorial from a Kansas paper. More accurate studies suggest helmets can reduce the risk of head injury 48%, and serious head injury 60%.

An Illinois letter writer complains that bike riders are discriminated against at drive-up windows. Just another example of windshield bias and the hegemony of motor vehicles.

Boston is considering four options to allow residents to get outside while maintaining social distancing, including Slow Streets and pop-up bike lanes.

New York is opening another 12 miles of Slow Streets now to allow for social distancing outside, along with another nine miles of protected bike lanes later this month.

An Alabama man was killed by his neighbor in a shooting that began with a dispute over the victim’s son, who was riding his bike down the street with a slingshot.

That’s more like it. A Florida city is building a new visitor’s center to attract people on bicycles.

 

International

The World Economic Forum suggests the Covid-19 pandemic could usher in a golden age of bicycling.

Cycling News looks at how ebikes are powering a worldwide revolution in post-lockdown transportation.

Road.cc lists their picks for the best road bikes priced from roughly $1,222 to $1,833. Which makes a lot more sense when you consider that translates to a nice, round £1,000 to £1,500 in the UK.

London’s historic Square Mile financial district will block some streets to motor vehicles as the city comes back to life, encouraging people to walk and ride bikes instead of driving.

The Standard says this is a chance for a more bike-friendly London.

A suspected British bike thief experiences instant karma, falling off the bike into a patch of nettles and breaking his ankle as he tried to make his escape.

The Sea Otter Classic is pulling the plug on the inaugural Australian edition of the annual Monterey bike fest.

 

Competitive Cycling

Covid-19 claims another major event with the cancellation of Colorado’s iconic Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race.

If Oregon gives the okay to resume bike racing, it will be up to promoters to prove the race is safe from the coronavirus.

Cycling News looks back at the first American to ride in the Giro d’Italia, nearly 50 years before the first American team made its debut.

 

Finally…

When protesters try to disrupt your bike shop opening, just give them a deal. Your next ebike could be a balloon that fits in a backpack. No, really.

And this is what happens when someone who’s apparently never ridden a bike tries to design facilities for them.

………

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

Morning Links: Pasadena’s VMT under attack by drivers, LA County District 2 survey, and what to do after a crash

Before we get started, Spectrum News 1 reporter Jada Montemarano reached out to say she’s working on a story about bikeshare and e-scooters, and wants to talk with frequent users, especially people who use it to get to or from work or public transportation. 

If you’d like to talk to her, you can reach her at jada.montemarano@charter.com, or on Twitter via @JadaMontemarano.

………

Pasadena could take a big step backwards at tonight’s city council meeting.

Reportedly under pressure from Pasadena’s traffic safety denying pressure group Keep Pasadena Moving, the city is considering going back to the outdated and discredited LOS — Level of Service — method of measuring traffic flow.

The problem is that LOS only measures automotive throughput; that is, how many cars can be moved through intersections as quickly as possible.

That contrasts with the more accurate VMT — for Vehicle Miles Traveled — that counts people, rather than vehicles, regardless of how they travel.

As usual, the auto-centric NIMBY crowd will likely be out in force. So anyone who bikes, walks, uses transit or yes, drives in Pasadena owes it to themselves to turn out in force for tonight’s council meeting:

Monday, January 13, 2020 @ 6:30 p.m.
Pasadena City Council Chambers, 100 Garfield Avenue, 2nd Floor
(Note: The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition notes the item is last on the agenda and it’s likely to be a long meeting!)

Or if you can’t make it, you can email your comments to mjomsky@cityofpasadena.net; the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition includes a pre-written email you can customize with your own thoughts.

Meanwhile, the VP of a neighborhood association somehow blames VMT for turning the Rose City into a copy of LA’s Westside.

Which is a bad thing, evidently.

………

Bike the Vote LA is on the case in LA County’s 2nd Supervisor District with a hard-hitting survey to get the candidates on the record before the March primary.

And in another important, if not vital, race, a large turnout for the Democratic presidential primary could make the difference in lifting Democrat Laraine Lundquist over short-term incumbent Republican John Lee in LA’s nominally nonpartisan election in CD12.

In the short time he’s been in office since squeaking by in November’s special election, Lee has already shown himself to be one of the city’s most regressive councilmembers, attempting to block plans for a high-speed busway, and remove the city’s first protected bike lane on Reseda Blvd.

………

Last week a friend of mine was rear-ended by a driver.

Fortunately, he and his bike are mostly okay. But it serves as yet another reminder of what to do following a crash.

To start, never say it was your fault. In the moments immediately following a collision, you may be confused, or unsure exactly what happened. Give yourself time to analyze the situation before saying something you can’t take back.

The same goes for injuries. Never tell the other person, police, insurance companies or anyone else you weren’t hurt immediately following a crash. Chances are, you might be and just don’t know it yet. Get yourself to a doctor to get checked out. Or at the very least, go home and wait to see if anything develops overnight.

Exchange ID and insurance information with the driver. If you leave without the driver’s information, you’ll be on the hook if it turns out you are injured. And you could be cited for hit-and-run, even if you weren’t the one who hit or ran.

And if you end up with significant injuries, medical bills or lost work, at least talk to a lawyer. The job of an insurance claims adjuster isn’t to settle the case fairly, it’s to settle for as little as you’ll settle for. Which means you’re the one who could get screwed.

You don’t have to hire a lawyer if you talk to one. And you should never pay anything upfront; a liability lawyer should take his fee out of your settlement, only after everything is settled.

If you do need one, I can recommend three damn fine ones over there on the right; you can’t go wrong with any one of them.

And here’s a little more advice about what to do following a collision I wrote a few years ago.

………

Loos like South LA’s Eastside Riders is continuing their good works in the local community. And need your help to do it.

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Here’s what you can look forward to seeing on the roads in the near future.

Too bad they may not be able to see you.

https://twitter.com/bikepedantic/status/1216484945784340480

Never mind that high, flat grill, which was apparently designed to inflict maximum damage to any bike riders or pedestrians who might get caught in its path.

But hey, it’s perfectly legal, right?

………

Local

An ArtCenter professor is teaming with biotech billionaire and LA Times owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiung to market a wide, fat tired scooter capable of doing up to 30 mph. The question is, what happens when it hits the streets, where e-scooters are often limited to 15 mph. And will it require a helmet, like ebikes capable of doing up to 30 mph?

 

State

Not only did San Diego police bust the thief who stole an ebike from a man suffering from Parkinson’s, they recovered another hot ebike — they just don’t know who it actually belongs to. Seriously, register your bike now, before something happens. And immediately report it to the police if it gets stolen, then add it to the free, nationwide Bike Index database of stolen bikes. Because the cops can’t return a recovered bike if they can’t prove who it belongs to.

The San Diego Association of Governments has approved a cool $90 million to keep regional bike lane projects on track.

Say hello to San Diego County’s first bike park in Bonita, thanks in large part to the efforts of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.

The new 3.9 mile Mojave Riverwalk bike and pedestrian path connects the Mojave Narrows Regional Park with a seven-mile loop of bike paths and bike routes through Old Town Victorville.

Once again, an Apple Watch saves the day, with its fall detection software automatically calling paramedics when a San Francisco ebike rider was struck by a driver.

San Francisco’s Planning Commission thinks a carfree street next to the city’s new transit center would make a marvelous site for a parking garage ramp for a new hotel tower.

The San Francisco Chronicle wonders whether ebikes can really replace cars, given their popularity in the Bay Area.

 

National

Vision Zero has finally made it onto the American political stage, with an endorsement for a national plan to eliminate traffic deaths from South Bend, Indiana mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg; unfortunately, he doesn’t include a deadline for the country’s last traffic death. And someone needs to explain the concept of induced demand to him.

Bicycling offers their take on the most exciting bike tech from last week’s CES trade show. But somehow missed the tiny little $8,800 solar powered ebike car.

Outside says dress warmly, and you won’t get stuck riding a Peloton all winter. Is it just me, or is everyone taking shots at Peloton lately?

Steve Harvey may or may not be one of us, but his grandson is now, after the erstwhile talk show host teaches him to ride on his Spider-Man bike.

A Washington writer says he was wrong, because it turns out Vision Zero isn’t just aspirational at all.

There’s a special place in hell for a San Antonio thief who shot a homeless man five times when the victim refused to give up his bicycle; now he’s under arrest, while the man he shot remains in critical condition. Just let it go. No bike is worth your life, even if it’s all you have.

A kindhearted Texas cop showed up at a little girl’s house with a new bike after hers was stolen just a week after she got it for Christmas.

Speaking of Vision Zero, Kansas City could become the latest city pledging to end traffic deaths. Someone should tell them that just talking about it isn’t enough, however, unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

That’s more like it. An Ohio driver will spend the next three and a half years behind bars without parole after copping a plea in the drunken death of a bike rider; she’ll also have a drivers’s license revoked — for life.

A new app will crowdsource data about bad drivers. But only people in the DC area will be able to call up the driver’s DMV record.

A new app being field tested in Arlington VA uses traffic cameras to look for blocked bike lanes.

The kindhearted kids of Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — site of a mass shooting two years ago — have collected 1,000 bicycles for impoverished kids in around Durbin, South Africa.

 

International

Road.cc picks their road bike of the year, with the price capped at roughly $4,500.

A law enforcement officer offers pro tips on how to keep your bike from getting stolen. Hint: Lock the damn thing already. And register it.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation says forget electric cars, ebikes could be the real answer to greener transportation.

A Vancouver letter writer accuses the city of pandering to a few bike riders, insisting that removing 700 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes won’t result in even 17 more bike riders. Which may be a reasonable argument, if you ignore the results from almost every other city around the world.

Eddie Redmayne is one of us, looking decidedly dapper riding in London after fixing a flat.

There’s a special place in hell for the thief who stole an e-bike from a 13-year old boy in the UK after pulling a sawed-off shotgun out of his pants. Honestly, though, who among us doesn’t keep a shotgun in their pants?

A Spanish website credits kindhearted cops with buying a delivery man a new bike after his was run over in a crash — except they were the ones who ran a red light and crashed into him.

A formerly homeless Singaporean man used a food delivery job to get off the streets, then lost weight after switching from an e-scooter to a road bike in response to the city’s scooter ban on sidewalks and pathways.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to pedal ski bikes, either. Don’t let a little blizzard keep you off your bike.

And why let a little thing like flooding stop you from riding your balance bike?

 

Morning Links: Happy World Bicycle Day, a slap-happy Giro fan, and bringing back beloved British bicycling bread ad

Before we start, I hope you’ll join me in thanking the law firm of Thomas Forsyth for renewing their sponsorship of this site for another year. 

Without their continued support, and that of Cohen Law Partners, and especially title sponsor Pocrass & De Los Reyes, this site would not be possible. 

………

Happy World Bicycle Day.

Zwift wants you to do your riding inside today, as the virtual cycling company is hosting charity rides every hour.

So go ahead. Feel free to join in for a good cause.

But then get your butt outside and get on a bike that actually goes somewhere.

Meanwhile, I’ll be joining you in spirit as I continue to rehab my knee, getting in a few imaginary miles inside with a non-Zwift spin on trainer.

And wishing I was riding outside instead.

Photo by Flo Dnd from Pexels.

………

Knock a Giro cyclist off his bike by getting a little too close to the action, and prepare to get slapped.

Twice.

Meanwhile, the rider’s boss was all in, saying it would have been the end of cycling as a sport if López was disciplined.

………

A British bread company is bringing back a fully restored version of a classic ad that was recently voted the country’s all-time favorite, and which launched the career of director Ridley Scott.

………

Local

The LAPD has located the hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider in Boyle Heights on Friday; the driver failed to stop after running over 24-year old Maywood resident Jaime Ramirez.

KCET offers a guide to the most unusual streets in Los Angeles.

Cypress Park residents are tired of the sound of speeding cars, screeching brakes and crunching metal, saying it’s just a matter of time before someone gets killed. Unfortunately, it’s not an accident that their city council representative is commonly known as Road Kill Gil for his willful inaction on traffic safety issues. 

The Alhambra Source considers the city’s problems with bike safety from the perspective of the people on two wheels.

A ghost bike was installed in Valencia last week to honor 22-year old Kori Powers, who was run down from behind while riding on Rye Canyon Road.

Santa Monica approves an $833 million Climate Action & Adaptation Plan, including plans to replace half of all motor vehicle trips with walking, or riding bikes, scooters and skateboards.

Hermosa Beach has renamed the sharrows on Hermosa Ave for Julian Katz, the former public works commissioner and longtime advocate for bikeways who passed away last year. Out of respect to Katz, I’ll keep any wisecracks about the non-benefits of sharrows to myself, for once.

Long Beach is addressing complaints about the safety of the new Broadway protected bike lanes — by changing street sweeping times. Sure, let’s go with that.

A Long Beach man was fatally shot when a group of men got out of a car and chased him down the street as he tried to get away on his bike.

 

State

A Fox News columnist accuses California’s “looney left politicians” of ignoring the state’s problems, and focusing on things like “Los Angeles…spending millions of dollars building bike lanes modeled after those in Copenhagen.” We wish.

The former safety officer for the Kern Wheelmen says Bakersfield’s streets aren’t safe or enjoyable for bike riders, with or without a bike lane, and haven’t been since the ’80s.

Once again, a San Francisco bike rider has slammed into an elderly pedestrian in a crosswalk, while apparently attempting, and failing, to beat the light. Fortunately, the victim does not appear to have been seriously injured.

A San Francisco advocate decries Lyft’s attempt to maintain a bikeshare monopoly in the city.

An advocacy group is suing Danville over its approval of a 69-home community near Mt. Diablo State Park, alleging the environmental impact statement doesn’t adequately address the risks posed to bike riders.

Sad news from Carmichael, where a bike rider was killed in a collision after allegedly riding into traffic without waiting to cross a major street.

Caltrans Director Laurie Berman is one of us. Or was, for a day, as she led a Bike Month-ending ride in Sacramento on a bikeshare ebike.

A local paper tells the story of Thomas Stevens, who decided on a whim to ride a bike across the Sierras on a Penny Farthing in 1884, becoming the first person to bike over Donner Summit on a bicycle, then continued on around the world.

 

National

Britney Spears is one of us, going for a bike ride around her neighborhood with her boyfriend, wherever that may be.

A Tucson AZ couple are riding with cameras on their bikes, in response to what they call the most frightening city they’ve ridden in.

A new Colorado program will offer insurance to bike riders for the low, low price of just $50 a month. Even though bike riders pose a fraction of the risk drivers do, whether to others or to the company that insures them.

NIMBY residents on a Chicago street say they’re more afraid of getting hit by bicycles than by the people in the big, dangerous machines Even though there’s no record of anyone getting killed by someone on a bicycle in the city, ever.

After not riding for 20 years, an Ohio man learns the hard way that riding a bike isn’t just like riding a bike.

The Department of DIY has opened a branch office in Maine, where a group of volunteers is saving $45,000 a mile by building their own network of mountain bike trails.

If you’re looking for a little summer reading, how about a thriller starring a Boston bike messenger and stand-up comic who ends up doing a little mystery sleuthing on the side.

A Staten Island writer says that Vision Zero is just a Catch 22, and will just result in more safety efforts whether deaths go up or down. We can only hope. And if it is a Catch 22, let’s hope it’s better the one currently airing on Netflix.

A headphones-wearing BMX rider knocked a Hasidic man’s hat off his head, in what New York police are investigating as a hate crime.

Baltimore bike riders turned out to honor a popular 84-year old man known as the mayor of a local bike trail, after he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Now that’s scary. A South Carolina man was injured when the pavement he was riding on collapsed underneath him without warning, dropping him into a ten-foot sinkhole.

Sadly, it happens to cops, too. A Florida sheriff’s deputy was killed while training for a 9/11 memorial ride when a driver blew through a stop sign at 40 mph and slammed into his bike.

 

International

A Trinidad father is the latest challenger to build the world’s tallest bike, at a planned 25 feet six inches; the current title is still held by LA’s own Stoopidtall.

Maybe crashing into a pedestrian is more dangerous than we thought. Saskatoon police are looking for a bike rider after the gun in his backpack went off when he hit a pedestrian with his bike, shattering a storefront window.

Nearly half of all British residents say the country’s streets are too dangerous for bike riders.

They may be right. A Conservative member of Parliament suffered a broken hand when he was doored by a car passenger. Proof to doubting Americans that yes, conservatives can and do ride bicycles.

I want to be like her when I grow up. An 81-year old English grandmother has set out to bike the full length of the country, from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

Up to 90,000 people turned out for a Berlin demonstration and bike ride demanding more space for bikes on the city’s streets.

Mumbai is attempting to make itself the bicycle capital of India by 2030.

A Philippine bicyclist makes the case for a bike-friendly Manilla, saying more people on bikes would free up more space for cars. Although scofflaw bike riders don’t excuse drivers hogging bike lanes, regardless of what he says.

A Thai paper correctly acknowledges that bicycling can turn you into a sex god. Although that might not be the exact way the phrased it.

 

Competitive Cycling

If you still don’t know who won the Giro, you probably haven’t been paying attention for the last week, when Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz tightened his grip on the pink jersey.

Carapaz’s victory was a long way from his childhood riding a skeletal bike without tires that his father pulled out of a junkyard.

Former race leader Primož Roglič faded in the homestretch after crashing in stage 14, but was able to save his place on the podium with the final time trial.

Colin Strickland and Amity Rockwell won the men’s and women’s editions of this year’s Dirty Kanza endurance gravel race, with Strickland setting a record for the first sub-10 hour finish.

Once again, a young bicyclist has lost his life competing in a race, as 18-year old Danish junior cyclist Andreas Byskov Sarbov was killed in a collision while competing in a time trial.

Bicycling says it’s been 30 year since since Greg LeMond won the Tour de France in what the magazine calls the greatest comeback in modern sports history.

Washington’s Robbie Webster and Missouri’s Sarah Haskins won the men’s and women’s elite divisions of the Herbalife 24 Triathlon from Venice to DTLA. A homeless advocate planned to ride the biking leg of the race, despite losing one of his own to flesh eating viruses.

 

Finally…

You can carry anything by bike — even a full-size massage table. That feeling when your fall ends up immortalized on a Google street view.

And forget scooters. It’s time for dockless pogo sticks.

No, really.

………

Thanks to Matthew Robertson for his ongoing support of this site

And on a personal note, I hope you’ll join me in wishing the Corgi a happy birthday today, as she turns 13; we’ve now had her for almost nine of those years.

Even if she does have way too many toys.

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