Tag Archive for traffic safety

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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Morning Links: Koretz gets bike-friendly on La Brea, protected lanes make everyone safer, and good news for an injured cyclist

Turns out Paul Koretz can still support bicycling after all.

According to the Beverly Press, the CD5 councilmember was the inspiration for a new pedestrian and bicycle traffic light on Rosewood Ave at La Brea, after seeing a group of kids struggle to get across the busy boulevard.

The traffic light is the first step in a planned neighborhood greenway — a reduced calorie version of bicycle boulevard — on Rosewood stretching from La Cienega to La Brea.

The street will also feature a traffic diverter to force drivers to turn right onto La Brea, to keep Rosewood from becoming yet another cut-through street swamped with motor vehicles.

This is what we could have had on 4th Street if former councilmember Tom La Bonge hadn’t riled up Larchmont area residents by failing to explain how a bike boulevard would benefit them, while promising not to install a red light that was never planned for the street to begin with.

So thanks off to Koretz, who hasn’t exactly been a friend to bike riders in Westwood and West LA, for doing the right thing here.

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Forget safety in numbers.

A new study from the University of Colorado Denver and the University of New Mexico shows that what really makes bicycling safer is installing bike lanes — especially separated and protected lanes.

Originally, researchers believed that more bike lanes and the increase in cyclists would lead to a “safety-in-numbers” effect: the more cyclists on the road, the more likely drivers would slow down and be aware of their surroundings. Instead, they found that safer cities aren’t due to the increase in cyclists, but the infrastructure built for them – specifically, separated and protected bike lanes. They found that bicycling infrastructure is significantly associated with fewer fatalities and better road-safety outcomes.

And like previous studies have demonstrated, it shows that protected bike lanes don’t just improve safety for people on bikes, but for everyone on the roadway.

Researchers found that like the grid blocks found in cities with higher intersection density, bike facilities act as “calming” mechanisms on traffic, slowing cars and reducing fatalities.

“The U.S. is killing 40,000 people a year on roads, and we treat it as the cost of doing business,” Marshall said. “A lot of the existing research focuses on bicycle safety; with this study, we’re interested in everyone’s safety.”

The study also concludes that slowing traffic through bike lanes and other improvements can result in more minor crashes, but fewer deaths — which is the exact purpose of Vision Zero.

And refutes the arguments used by groups like Keep LA Moving, who have used a slight increase in car crashes to argue against the road diet on Venice Blvd.

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How about some good news for a change?

Three years ago, Lauren De Crescenzo nearly lost the use of her legs — if not her life — when she suffered a serious brain injury after a bad fall during Southern California’s San Dimas Stage Race.

The brain damage was so bad she couldn’t even recognize her own parents after the crash, let alone her own teammates.

That’s the bad news.

Fast forward to 2019, and De Crescenzo is the proud recipient of a newly minted masters degree in Public Health from the University of Colorado, with plans to focus on concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

She’s even racing — and winning — again, taking the time trial title at the US collegiate national championship earlier this month.

And if that’s not good news, I don’t know what is.

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On a similar note, if you want to ride your bike for a good cause this weekend, you could do a lot worse than participating in Saturday’s Third Annual Paper Route Ride, to help LA area athletes Jenna Rollman and Sam Bosco with training expenses to get to the Tokyo Paralympics.

That also leaves you free for Sunday, when you can head over to the LA Grange Grand Prix in Carson.

Thanks to Michael for the heads-up. And if you don’t already read his great blog CLR Effect, today would be a good day to start.

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Apparently, the new and improved Ottolock Hexband bike lock is a little harder to bust.

But only a little.

The company’s response is that the lock is only intended for quick errands, and should be used in combination with heavier locks whenever possible.

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

A London bike rider was the victim of a road raging driver who used his car as a weapon to deliberately slam into him before speeding off, after the two had exchanged words.

Someone has been tossing pins on an English roadway in an apparently attempt to harm people on bicycles on at least three separate occasions.

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Local

On Sunday, an HIV positive Los Angeles woman will roll out with thousands of other riders for her 6th AIDS LifeCycle Ride, which ends a week from Saturday at LA’s Fairfax High School after 545 miles down the coast.

That’s more like it. Santa Clarita’s Memorial Day crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bike riders and pedestrians yielded a total of 30 tickets, at least 26 of which went to the people in the big, dangerous machines; no word on whether any bicyclists were ticketed.

City Traffic Engineer Eric Widstrand, who oversaw much of Long Beach’s recent transformation into a bike friendly city, is stepping down from his job for undisclosed reasons.

Long Beach has renewed the $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the two hit-and-run drivers who killed Cole Micek while he was riding his bike in March, 2018.

 

State

One more thing Strava is good for. Former NFL star Kellen Winslow II was busted for a string of sex crimes in part because Strava put his bike at the scene where he allegedly exposed himself to one of his victims.

A 66-year old British man was the victim of Thursday’s bicycling crash on the coast highway in Santa Cruz. So once again, a foreign tourist visiting the US will go home in a coffin simply because he rode a bicycle on our deadly streets.

Streetsblog San Francisco examines the promise from the city’s mayor to build 20 miles of protected bike lanes over the next two years, concluding that it really will double the amount of protected lanes.

San Francisco bikeshare users are getting slammed with hefty $1,200 fines for missing ebikes that they swear they returned and docked properly.

Forbes says the female executives of Bay Area bag maker Timbuk2 are turning the 30-year old company into a lifestyle powerhouse.

 

National

A new study shows every bit of movement helps your health, even if it’s not an actual workout. Or on a bike, for that matter.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning parents and bike riders about the dangers of counterfeit bike helmets. Meanwhile, a viral photo of a crushed bike helmet posted by a pediatrician is convincing parents across the US to make sure their kids where one when they ride their bikes.

It’s 9,000 to one in Portland, where a man is on a one-person crusade to halt the city’s hugely popular edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, which consistently draws 9,000 semi-nude riders.

Colorado now has a vulnerable users law, which increases penalties for drivers that seriously injure or kill bike riders and pedestrians.

Missoula, Montana rolls out new rules for ebikes and e-scooters, saying they’re not just for Lycra-clad racers. Because so many racers ride scooters in their skin-tight Lycra kits, evidently.

A Kansas woman is upcycling trashed bike parts, combining them with stained glass to create unique works of art.

Even Texas is getting on the Vision Zero bandwagon.

After a bighearted Little Rock cop tried to help a kid fix his too small bike, he ended up buying the kid a new one that actually fit.

A Chicago bike rider says banning bikes from the city’s new Riverwalk after promoting it as a bike & pedestrian pathway in order to get a $99 million loan to build it is bait-and-switch, even as an alderman promises to pass the ban.

Vice says New York Mayor, and presidential candidate for reasons only he understands, Bill de Blasio claims to be environmentally friendly, while overseeing a city that’s openly antagonistic to people on bikes.

A teenage bike crew in Philadelphia is all about safety.

A DC kids bikemaker is about to feel the full effect of Trump’s China tariffs.

Miami Beach’s top cop was out on bike patrol over the weekend when he lunged from his bike in a failed attempt to drag a reckless teenager off his own bicycle; the young man wrestled his bike away and rode off, but was stopped before he got too far.

Congratulations to Florida on retaining its title as the nation’s most dangerous state for people on bicycles.

 

International

An Ottawa letter writer says banning right turns on red lights next to bike lanes is a bad idea, because drivers are more likely to right hook a rider when the light is green. Which would make sense if most drivers bothered to look right before they turn right on a red. But they don’t.

The frontman for Papa Roach is one of us, as Jacoby Shaddix rides his bike around London in the metal band’s latest video.

An English language Moscow paper says 1,500 people turned out for Russia’s four-year old gran fondo, even though many of the country’s cities are still unsafe for people on bicycles.

Is anyone surprised that commuters in the Netherlands turn to their bikes in the face of a transit strike? I didn’t think so.

An Aussie woman tells her bike-riding husband that if he insists on shaving his legs, she’ll stop shaving hers. And everything else.

Taiwan-based Tern is out with a new top-secret foldie designed to take anywhere, featuring an all new type of patented folding system, starting at around $1,300.

Beijing will open the city’s first bike-only roadway tomorrow; the 4-mile bikeway promises to cut 14 minutes from commute times to a nearby job center, even with a 9 mph speed limit — and no ebikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Austrian road cyclist and mountain bike racer Christina Kollmann-Forstner is just the latest pro cyclist to be suspended for suspicion of doping. Good thing the era of doping is over though, right?

 

Finally…

Who needs e-scooters when you can rent a dockless e-moped? Would you give your bike to a cop to chase down a criminal?

And if LA really wants to improve safety, they should use the 70 grand to build bike lanes, not look for the city’s safest drivers.

It’s like War Games. The only way to win is not to play.

Morning Links: DC takes Vision Zero seriously, WeHo talks Sunset bulb-outs, and LA zero-emission mobility fund

This is what happens when you take Vision Zero seriously.

A DC councilmember has introduced a 25-point bill to achieve to curb rising traffic deaths.

The Vision Zero bill ranges from mandating protects bike lanes in any new developments, to banning right turns on red lights throughout the city, as well as cutting speed limits to 25 mph on minor arterial streets.

The proposal would also require the addition of protected bike lanes when streets are repaired, impound vehicles blocking bike lanes or sidewalks, and allow bike rider to report bike lane parking violations by taking photos of the offending vehicles, with police ticketing the owners of the vehicles as a result.

A pair of companion bills would require curb extensions in all new road improvement projects, and make bike-related rules part of the district’s driving test.

Maybe someday Los Angeles will follow DC’s lead, and finally get serious about Vision Zero.

Because it sure as hell hasn’t happened yet.

Photo shows LA Mayor Eric Garcetti proudly signing the city’s Vision Zero proclamation at his prop desk; too bad that Vision Zero was just a prop, too.

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West Hollywood will discuss success, or otherwise, of the bulb-out pilot program on the Sunset Strip in three upcoming meetings.

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Somehow we missed this one last week.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti followed-up on his proposed LA Green New Deal by announcing a $300,000 zero-emissions mobility pilot fund directed towards disadvantaged communities.

Three hundred grand could buy a lot of ebikes.

And lanes to ride them in.

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

Police in Melbourne, Australia are offering a $50,000 reward for whoever has been throwing tacks on bike paths and roads, resulting in serious injuries to a number of bike riders. Nice to see them taking the crime seriously.

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Local

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin complains that the Westwood Village Improvement Association applied for a Great Streets grant to improve Westwood Blvd, while ignoring the crumbling, dangerous streets students must use to get there.

A Glendale office building is home to the first commercial property ebike-based bikeshare, available to tenants at no charge.

Pasadena introduces Metro’s Laura Cornejo as the city’s new Transportation Director.

An affordable — whatever that means — Santa Monica apartment development walking distance from the Expo Line will offer 89 underground bicycle parking spaces. And not one space for cars.

Long Beach celebrates jumping over 100 spots into the top 50 bike cities in the US, which seems right since no one could understand why it ranked so low last year.

The 10th Annual Tour of Long Beach will roll this weekend, raising funds to fight pediatric cancer.

Cap off next week’s Bike Week with the return of the 626 Golden Streets, an open streets event running five miles from Mission Street in South Pasadena to the San Gabriel Mission. Evidently, CiclaValley is already in the mood.

 

State

An Orange County real estate agent says California’s future demands higher and denser housing and fewer cars.

A bike-riding man fled from police and barricaded himself in a Costa Mesa hotel room for five hours, eventually emerging with self-inflicted injuries.

Business owners in San Diego’s North Park say a little used parking garage could make up for the loss of 420 parking spaces to make room for protected bike lanes. Meanwhile, a San Diego weekly says the city’s removal of parking spaces isn’t fair to homeless people who live in their cars.

Mountain biking the historic Anza Trail through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Happy Bike to Work Day to all you NorCal bike riders; Los Angeles will celebrate next Thursday on National Bike to Work Day. Pro tip: You don’t have to be riding to work to join in on the fun; riding to school or errands, or just for the hell of it works too.

A San Francisco woman relates the lessons she learned from biking to work for three weeks, calling the experience “life changing.” As long as you can avoid the spaghetti vomit in the bike lane.

Nice move. United Airlines is offering free airfare to anyone flying to California for next month’s AIDS/LifeCycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

 

National

Popular Mechanics considers the best road bikes for every kind of rider. For twelve grand, the Roubaix SRAM Red eTap AXS damn well better be.

They get it. A Yakima WA paper says the city needs to get it in gear and be more bike friendly.

A man calling himself The Bicycle Friar paused in New Mexico after spending 20 months and 15,000 mile bicycling across the US; the former Catholic monk is collecting prayers written on pieces of cloth to carry with him to San Luis Obispo.

This is the cost of traffic violence. An 83-year old Iowa minister was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle in Iowa City; he had served the community since his appointment as an associate Methodist minister in 1965, officiating at over 700 weddings over the years.

Texas bike riders go gravel grinding with the pros.

San Antonio TX bicyclists respond to a pair of recent deaths by forming a new bike safety advocacy group to educate both bike riders and drivers, while demanding more bikeways in the city.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 77-year old Chicago woman recently finished a 3,000-mile cross-country bike ride from St. Augustine FL to San Diego — while riding into the prevailing winds most of the way.

This is who we share the roads with. A Cleveland woman attempted to use her car as a weapon, jumping the curb and slamming into a house in an attempt to ram a pair of women standing on the porch, but hit a kid riding his bike instead.

They get it, too. A Louisville KY TV station looks into suggestions that the city cut funding for bike lanes to make up for a $35 million budget deficit, concluding that after zeroing out bike funding, the city would still need to find another $34.6 million to cut.

MIT mourns a recumbent-riding thermodynamics professor who was an expert in gas turbines, jet engines and human-powered transportation.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late, the road raging motorcyclist who severely injured a Florida bike rider by allegedly swerving into a group of riders was still riding, despite having his driver’s license permanently revoked following four DUI convictions; he was also accused by his stepson of murdering his wife, though he was never charged with the killing.

A Tampa FL bike rider was shot in the ass after refusing to stop when two men tried to get him to.

 

International

Red Bull offers tips for your international mountain biking expedition.

How to take much better photos of your bike.

A London woman says the city could be a bicycling town, if the reckless macho bicyclists would just tone it down. She’s got a point. The highest law of bicycling should be to always ride in a way that doesn’t pose needless risk to yourself or others. 

When a Welsh bike rider couldn’t find a mountain bike he wanted, he built it himself.

Not only will Welsh doctors be able to prescribe bikeshare use to their patients, as we noted yesterday, but it will be fully covered by Britain’s National Health Service for up to six months.

This is who we share the roads with, too. An English driver pretended she was piloting a race car, right up to the point she crashed through a house and killed the 90-year old woman inside.

Two UK men were sentenced to life in prison, while a third got 13 years, for the stabbing death of a teenaged boy in what police termed a minor dispute over a bicycle. Although it’s hard to call any argument that results in murder “minor.”

British cycling great Chris Boardman says ending the hostility towards bicyclists is more important than wearing helmets or hi-viz. Meanwhile, the Guardian’s Laura Laker says UK bicyclists need enforcement, not calls for respect.

Australian advocates call for better bike infrastructure, saying bicycling in the country should be safer; bicycling crashes make up nearly 20% of all transportation-related injuries Down Under.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist looks forward to the three-week Giro d’Italia, which starts on Saturday. And no, you can’t see it in the US, unless you want to spring to stream it online.

Rigoberto Uran will make his comeback from a broken collarbone at the Amgen Tour of California, which starts on Sunday.

American pro Kiel Reijnen found solace riding the cobbles on the Tour of Flanders, weeks after his brother was killed in a workplace accident.

 

Finally…

The only bias here is against Americans — and Californians in particular. They may be the latest fashion craze, but if you’re high on meth and only wearing bike shorts and a single shoe, try to have a bicycle with you.

And a better use for those indoor cycling bikes.

 

Morning Links: Roads closed in Griffith Park, Lyft fights dooring, and bike transponders aren’t the answer

You might want to put off that Griffith Park ride for a few weeks.

Or maybe find another route. 

The roads leading to and around the famed Griffith Observatory will be closed to all traffic for the next two weeks for construction work.

And yes, that includes bicycles.

KNBC-4 has a map showing which roads are closed

Photo from the Griffith Observatory’s Facebook page.

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They get it.

Lyft will start sending its customers a notice ten minutes into their rides telling them to watch for bikes and scooters at the end of the ride. 

They’ll also encourage ride hailing users to employ the Dutch Reach when they open the door to get out, to avoid dooring anyone. 

Which only makes sense, since some of those people at risk of dooring could be their own bikeshare and e-scooter users

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No, the solution to traffic safety is not to make bike riders and pedestrians wear transponders so we don’t get killed. 

But congratulations to a pair of Florida university students who won second place with the idea

Now, if they could just invent one to create a force field that would repel any motor vehicle that came within three feet of me and my bike, I’m in. 

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More on the heartbreaking death of DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh. 

A DC website gives a glimpse of just how much his death impacted the city, including a statement from the local Bicycle Advisory Council, as well as comments from a number of city council members. 

The Greater Greater Washington website relays the grief of the bicycling community

Streetsblog says Salovesh’s death shows the slow progress DC is making towards safer streets

DCist says frankly, it’s personal this time, as the cycling community ramps up activism in the wake of the crash

An American expat and former DC resident now living in the Netherlands talks about the loss of her friend.

And a woman writes that no one should lose a friend to a traffic crash

Meanwhile, an advocacy group will hold a Portland, Oregon rally calling for no more traffic deaths after a woman was killed crossing the street. 

Sadly, things like that happen in Los Angeles nearly every day. But except in very rare cases, no one does a thing. 

That has to change. 

Now. 

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Local

A gang member convicted of killing an LA cop was found dead in his Death Row cell Saturday morning; he was convicted of killing Los Angeles County Office of Public Safety Capt. Michael Sparkes while the off-duty officer was out for a bike ride. 

A writer for Wired says your cellphone could help Metro with a radical remake of the LA bus system, showing when, where and how far Angelenos actually travel, regardless of mode; surprisingly, it shows that only 16% of trips in the city are longer than ten miles. 

Bicycling looks at LA’s new plan to install permanent signs as memorials to fallen bike riders

LA Taco wants to know if you can live without your car for a day

After moving from New York to Pasadena, a bike commuter suddenly finds his coworkers riding to work because they didn’t want him to show them up

A chef at Gladstones in Long Beach is riding in this year’s 300-mile Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry.

 

State

The Santa Ana River bike trail will be closed off and on for the demolition of a bridge on the 405 where it crosses the river; OCTA promises there will be a well-marked detour in place when the trail shuts down. 

An arrest has been made in the hit-and-run crash that killed a Jurupa Valley bike rider Saturday night. 

A man ran off after he was caught spray painting a bike path on the Santa Barbara City College. No word on what he was painting

A San Francisco columnist says the best of the outdoors is always a surprise after encountering a pride of peacocks while riding with his wife. 

You’ve got to be kidding. The case against a 75-year old Healdsburg driver for killing a bike rider ended in a hung jury — even though the man was driving on the wrong side of the road to pass a slow-moving truck when he struck the woman as she was participating in a charity ride. 

 

National

Great idea. In addition to rating cities for bike friendliness, People for Bikes is now providing user generated bike routes in cities around the US. You can download the app here. Do I really need to mention that the bicycle advocacy  group ranks my hometown as the country’s best bike city. Which only happened decades after my last ride there

A website devoted to fighting poverty says fining poor people for jaywalking won’t stop traffic fatalities when the real problem is dangerous streets and drivers.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus explains why Oregon should adopt the Idaho Stop Law the third time around. The same argument holds for California. And pretty well everywhere else

No bias here. After a woman drives onto the shoulder of a highway and kills a man on a bike, the Idaho state police feel compelled to point out that he wasn’t wearing a helmet, as if that somehow contributed to the crash. And at highway speeds, a crash like that probably wouldn’t have been survivable, with or without one

Houston is adding 19 miles of bike lanes, many in underserved communities where people rely on their bikes to get around

Speaking of Houston, there’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding man who stole a 94-year old woman’s wheelchair. Fortunately, her neighbor was able to record the theft, and chase the man down to get it back; police recognized the man in the video, and made a quick arrest. 

Bicycling will now be an official part of PE classes in Tulsa OK elementary and middle schools

Los Angeles bike riders will be happy to learn bike lanes are coming to Melrose. Except in this case, the Melrose is in the Boston area. Meanwhile, the Boston Globe says instead of redesigning streets for people on bikes and on foot, we should wait so they’ll accommodate vehicles that don’t even exist yet.

The NYPD continued its bike-unfriendly ways, arresting the organizer of an informal bike relay race and baked goods ride for a four-year old open container violation before the race could even start. Then confiscated participants bicycles for not having bike bells. 

New York Streetsblog relates the story of a bike rider who was hit by an apparent cop in an unmarked car making an illegal U-turn, and the uniformed cops who showed up refused to do anything about it before the man drove off without identifying himself. Naturally, the NYPD denied he was one of theirs. 

New York bikeshare users are getting lawyers after suffering “grotesque” injuries caused by the braking problem on ebikes provided by Lyft, which operates the city’s Citi Bike docked bikeshare. 

The case against a Virginia landscaper will go before a grand jury; he’s accused of helping one of his employees coverup the hit-and-run that killed a bike rider, fixing the company truck and telling his staff to swear it was a deer. And to stick to their stories. 

There’s a special place in hell as well for the 41-year old man who fatally shot a 14-year old Jackson MS boy to take his bicycle

Jimmy Buffett’s hometown of Mobile, Alabama is getting a new green bike lane, as the mayor works to make the city’s waterfront more welcoming for bike riders and pedestrians

A Georgia bike rider was busted for beating up another man who was riding on a bike path with his wife, after swearing at them about the “rules of the trail.”

 

International

Once again, dozens of dockless bikes end up in a trash heap, after a bikeshare provider in Kingston, Ontario replaces them with a newer model. And once again, dozens of kids and low income people who could have put them to good use won’t. 

A writer for the New York Times rents a Dutch bike, and rides through Holland in search of Rembrandt’s tulips.

A New Zealand automotive website wants to know why Aukland is hiding crash data.  

Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo has officially gotten the boot from Singapore

 

Finally…

From pro cyclist to Goblin-inducing healer. No, a 16-person boat is not a bike, pedal-powered or otherwise. 

And if you’re riding drunk, try not to pound on a driver’s window and rip off a windshield wiper after a close pass. 

Then again, don’t do it sober, either.

Morning Links: Video of Incycle bike thieves, LA’s Green New Deal, and don’t set your mom on fire over a bike

More on the attempted theft of a $10,000 mountain bike that left the manager of the Incycle Chino store critically injured.

Incycle store manager Megan Rodriguez suffered a broken hip, ribs and foot, as well as a fractured skull, when she was run over by the thieves’ truck as they tried to get away with the bike.

Store mechanic Raul Ureno was able to retrieve the bicycle from the back of the truck after chasing them down in his car, but wasn’t able to prevent them from getting away.

According to KTLA-5, police are looking for the following suspects.

Police described one of the suspects as a white male, possibly in his 20’s, standing at around 5 Feet 9 Inches tall, weighing 190 Pounds. He had a full beard and was last seen wearing a black baseball cap, sunglasses, black Hollister hooded sweatshirt, ripped denim jeans and black shoes.

The second man was described as a white or Hispanic male in his 20’s, standing at around 5 Feet 11 Inches tall, weighing 165 Pounds. He was last seen wearing a white and blue baseball cap, sunglasses, a black jacket with a gray hood, a red and blue flannel shirt, black pants and black shoes with white lining.

The driver was described as a white female with a thin build and short stature. She has light-colored hair and was last seen wearing round frame sunglasses, a thick black hooded sweatshirt and red lipstick.

The truck they ran down Rodriguez with is described this way.

The three fled in a blue-gray GMC Sierra truck with a black paper plate on the rear and chrome detailing on the sides, handles and mirrors. The rear driver door is missing the chrome trim. It is possibly a 2008 model.

Security video shows the suspects casing the San Dimas Incycle store before moving on to hit the Chino Incycle location.

As of this writing, a crowdfunding page for Megan Rodriguez has raised over $16,000 of the $25,000 goal in less than 24 hours.

However, it also shows Rodriguez slipping under the truck’s rear wheel as she tried to stop the thieves; you may not want to see that.

There’s a $10,000 reward for information leading to their arrest.

Let’s catch these assholes.

Photo of Megan Rodriguez from GoFundMe page. Thanks to Steve S for the heads-up.

………

Curbed looks at the proposal for a Green New Deal for Los Angeles to fight climate change.

We’ll know city leaders serious when they finally commit to efficient, clean transit and safe bike lanes and sidewalks, and take concrete steps to reduce the number of cars on the street.

Including in Paul Koretz’ and Gil Cedillo’s auto-centric districts.

Until then, it’s all just more talk. And more BS.

Just like all the other far-reaching the city has adopted, and forgotten.

………

No, it’s not a safety measure to make pedestrians wave a brightly colored flag to cross the street.

The flags should be white.

Because it’s a failure of street design and a surrender to the dominance of motor vehicles.

………

Yes, the dispute was over a motorcycle, not a bicycle.

But the point remains: Don’t set your mother on fire if she refuses to buy you a new one.

Seriously.

………

Local

South LA residents held a vigil for fallen bicyclist James Findley, who was killed by a speeding, street-racing driver on Monday.

KCBS-2/KCAL-9 says e-scooter injuries — and the resulting lawsuits — continue to climb.

The Eastsider looks at plans to build a 1,000-foot bikeway to connect the Arroyo Seco Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail with the Arroyo Seco Bicycle Path along the LA River.

Lawndale residents are concerned that bike thieves are targeting their neighborhood. Someone should tell them that bike thieves are targeting every neighborhood.

The Santa Monica Police Department will conduct their next bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operations this Friday and Monday, targeting any violations that put people on bikes or on foot at risk, regardless of who commits them. So once again, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

State

A San Diego man warns against the dangers of e-scooters after he barely survived a crash when he rode out in front of a driver. The easy way to avoid that is just obey the right-of-way and don’t ride out in front of anyone.

A new Ventura workshop gives homeless people a place where they can fix their bikes and buy low cost parts, while allowing them to work for store credit.

Caught on video: A trip down a San Jose bikeway shows all three major kinds of bike lanes in just three minutes.

A San Francisco TV station says homeless people have set up a used bike shop behind a children’s playground. Or more likely, a bike chop shop, just like the dozens in the LA area.

National

The Bike League outlines a Green New Deal for bicycles.

Bicycling offers tips on how to buy a used bicycle. Although they left out the most important one — make sure it’s not stolen.

A VeloNews podcast examines why the remaining Performance Bicycle stores are going belly up.

A proposal intended to fight bike theft by homeless people in Alaska would make it a crime to possess a bicycle with the serial number removed, with a fine up to $10,000; that would allow police to seize the bike to search for the real owner. Then again, if homeless people could pay a $10,000 fine, they probably wouldn’t be homeless.

Utah’s on-again, off-again bill to legalize the Idaho Stop Law is back on again, after passing a vote in the state House.

The first Colorado city has taken advantage of the state’s new modified Idaho Stop law allowing bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields; the law allows each town to decide for themselves whether to let it go into effect. The problem with that is that what’s legal for bike riders in one town may not be legal across the street, with no way to tells you’ve gone into another jurisdiction, or what the law is there.

The traffic safety denier attack on road diets continues to spread across the US, as demonstrated by an op-ed from the Waverly, Iowa branch of Keep the US Moving — the offspring of LA-based motorist pressure group Keep LA Moving — claiming that road diets prevent emergency vehicles from getting through.

Chicago will host the city’s first-ever summit of black bike riders next week.

A carfree Detroit resident describes how he survived the polar vortex.

A Buffalo NY newspaper marks the passing of one of the few blind bike mechanics in the US.

Good for them. A DC proposal would prohibit drivers from stopping, standing or parking in a bike lane, while limiting the situations where they can even drive into one.

The latest Shift Up Podcast discusses an Atlanta tour company’s use of bikes as a gateway tool to celebrate history and explore the city.

A New Orleans TV station says bike riders are afraid of getting hit by cars in shared bike lanes. Someone should tell them that sharrows aren’t bike lanes. And I’d be scared too.

Miami Dolphins cornerback Dee Delaney kept his word, buying a custodian at The Citadel the new bicycle he promised him as a freshman.

International

Cambridge, England residents are outraged that police apparently have better things to do than ticket people for riding bikes on the sidewalk.

A British man forgives the truck driver who put him in a coma for a month by crashing into his bike when the driver changed lanes without warning, and tells him to get on with his life. The court was almost as kind, settling for a weak slap on the wrist by fining him the equivalent of just $641 and letting him keep his license.

Darn those pesky bike riders, getting in the way of the Netherlands becoming the world leader in driverless cars.

An Aussie writer examines how a Green Wave can make bicycling easier, by setting traffic lights to give bike riders continuous green lights.

Competitive Cycling

Cycling scion Taylor Phinney says he’s all in for April’s Paris-Roubaix classic after last year’s eighth place finish.

The Movistar pro cycling team is the latest to offer a virtual cycling competition, allowing you to compete against the pros from the comfort of your own home.

Pro cyclist Fabio Aru gave the pope his Colnago racing bike to be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to an aid project.

Finally…

Science says sports drinks work, even if they are overhyped. Evidently, you’re not allowed to carry cats on your bike.

And your next car-mounted bike rack could be held on by suction cups.

No, really.

………

Happy Valentines Day to all.

If you find yourself alone this year, take a few minutes to do something nice for yourself today.

Just don’t ride your bike until this rain lets up if you don’t have to. And if you do, light yourself up so drivers can see you despite the limited visibility.

Morning Links: Bike lanes promote safer passing, and Chino Incycle manager run down by bike thieves

Maybe that painted bike lane is safer than you think.

In a new study from a Canadian university, researchers rode bicycles equipped with sensors and a handlebar-mounted camera to measure how close drivers pass people on bicycles.

The results show that on two lane roads without bike lanes, motorists passed people on bicycles too closely 12% of the time, based on the equivalent of a three-foot passing distance.

But on roads with bike lanes, that dropped to just 0.2%.

On four lane streets, incidents of close passing dropped from 6% to just 0.5%.

The university plans to use that data to develop tools to determine where bike lanes would do the most good.

………

Bike thieves walked out of the Chino Incycle Bicycles with a $10,000 mountain bike, then ran over the manager when she tried to stop them.

Bike mechanic Raul Ureno chased the thieves in his car and managed to get the bike back, though he was unable to stop them.

The manager, who wasn’t named, suffered a broken pelvis, crushed ribs and fractured skull.

There’s a $10,000 reward for the suspects. Let’s hope someone takes them up on it.

………

A Rancho Mirage-area Strava user posted a photo of a powerful billboard featuring fallen cyclist Will Campbell.

Too bad we don’t have the money to put these up everywhere, one for every rider who loses their lives on the streets.

Maybe then drivers would start to pay attention.

Thanks to Steve S for the heads-up.

………

In yet another example of LA leaders’ rhetoric exceeding their actions, bike-friendly Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Nury Martinez were joined by the decidedly unfriendly Paul Koretz in calling for a Green New Deal for the City of Los Angeles.

Never mind that Koretz has consistently blocked much-needed bike lanes in his Westside district, forcing residents to rely on carbon fuel-driven motor vehicles. And gone out of his way to fight the density that would cut trips for work, school and shopping.

Koretz has long positioned himself as LA’s most ecologically minded councilmember.

But until his actions catch up with his words, they’ll remain just that.

Words.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

……….

Mountain biker Brandon Semenuk tells the full story behind the most viewed mountain bike video of all time.

If you’ve got four minutes to spare, it’s worth taking a brief break in your day to watch the original video. Which is a lot shorter than the 24-minute explanation.

………

Local

Good news, Los Angeles. You no longer have the worst traffic in the US. In fact, we’re not even in the top five.

CiclaValley offers a video essay on the best route from the San Fernando Valley to the Westside, suggesting Fryman Canyon to Franklin Canyon, with a surprisingly low 442 feet of climbing. I’m going to save that one for my next trip over the Hollywood Hills.

State

A San Diego site says it’s time to reign in e-scooters, as the city’s mayor proposes to do just that.

More sad news, this time from Bakersfield, where a man was killed when he allegedly rode his bike out in front of an oncoming car at an intersection.

Redding prepares to open a new bike path connecting downtown to the Sacramento River, replacing what residents call a harrowing one-mile journey.

Work crews with the California Conservation Corp destroyed three popular, but unsanctioned, bike trails in the forests around Arcata, which a local news site called “the lifeblood of the community forest for generations of bike riders.”

National

Bicycling offers nine tips on how to get a stolen bike back, including recommending Bike Index as your best bet to register your bike after the theft. You can report your stolen bike with Bike Index right here on this site. Then again, why wait until it’s too late?

You can kiss the last remaining Performance Bicycle locations goodbye; if you don’t make it in before March 2nd, it will be too late. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the tip.

If you can get past the Wall Street Journal’s paywall, you can read about a Hawaii man who took a five-day ride around the coast of the Big Island once the Kilauea volcano settled down.

The rich get richer. Portland is attempting to reclaim its title as America’s leading bike city by building 16.5 miles of protected bike lanes. And getting rid of 1,000 parking spaces in the process.

Crosscut profiles the active transportation director for the Washington State Department of Transportation, asking if she can save bicycling in the state.

Caught on video: Police in Mesa AZ are looking for three people who attempted to run over a group of bike cops, crushing their bikes as they jumped out of the way.

Utah’s legislature is moving forward with a bill that would allow bike riders to go through red lights if they don’t change after stopping for 90 seconds, over the objections of law enforcement.

Um, sure. An allegedly drunken San Antonio driver who killed a bike riding surgeon says she fled the scene because she got frightened after thinking she ran over something. Meanwhile, his accused killer is out on $50,000 bond. Sure. Doesn’t everyone get terrified when they drive over a stick or a speed bump or something? Thanks to Stephen Katz for the tip.

Lime is pulling the plug on it’s bikeshare service in Hartford CT, leaving the city scrambling for a replacement.

While Los Angeles bike riders wait for the DA’s office to finally file charges against the hit-and-run driver who killed Frederick “Woon” Frazier, the NYPD has failed to make arrests in four recent hit-and-runs involving people on bicycles, including two where they know the identity of the driver. Which begs the question, why should drivers take hit-and-run seriously when police and prosecutors apparently don’t?

About damn time. A well-funded global alliance launched in the nation’s capital with the goal of finally putting people before cars on our streets.

After that Greenville SC boy jumped on his bike to get help for his unconscious father, bighearted local firefighters surprised him with a new bicycle.

International

Vancouver police help a group of college engineering students recover their custom-designed, hand-built, one-of-a-kind racing ebike after it was stolen.

London is responding to the death of a bike rider by banning cars entirely from three roads leading into a busy junction in the city’s financial district.

Caught on video too: A London bike rider discovers an air horn can move mountains. Or at least pedestrians blocking bike lanes. Be sure to stay to the end for the totally unsurprising response; thanks again to Steve S.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is one of us, riding a bicycle into the English Premier League team’s Spain training camp, as they take a break from the title chase.

Amsterdam has a nine-year old junior bike mayor. Which is exactly one more than Los Angeles has, junior or otherwise.

Bari, Italy is now the first Italian city to pay residents to bike to work, up to the equivalent of $28 a month.

They get it. Melbourne’s leading motoring organization is recommending that bicycle superhighways move to the top of the state government’s infrastructure plans to fight traffic congestion in the city.

An Aussie writer calls for a little sympathy and tolerance after reading the disturbing comments following the death of a bike rider.

A Singapore man has been spotted again riding a bicycle while towing a strange ladder-like metal extension. Unless it actually is a ladder, in which case it’s not strange at all.

Competitive Cycling

Lawson Craddock, the pro cyclist who finished dead last in his first Tour de France after riding the entire race with a broken collarbone, is working his way back to this year’s race with a new attitude as a new father.

Fifty-eight-year old former Tour de France stage winner Sean Yates has turned to an ebike to keep riding after suffering a heat defect that limits his pulse rate to just 90 beats a minute.

Rouleur talks with 1960s six-day race superstar Patrick Sercu.

Finally…

Apparently it’s against the law to ride a moped while carrying a bicycle in some places. Climbing the legendary Mont Ventoux without a seat.

And it may be about to get wet out there, but at least this is one problem we don’t have in LA.

https://twitter.com/driversofnyc/status/1095369152578183168

Morning Links: Mad as hell drivers and they’re not going to take it anymore, and BOLO Alert for CA bike thief

Talk about not getting it.

A self-described “avid cyclist” — and, ahem, president and CEO of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association — just doesn’t get why the automobile has become a public enemy, arguing that a fundamentally American freedom is under attack.

You know, the freedom for drivers to spew smog into the air with your gas guzzling SUV, which is right up there with freedom of speech or religion.

Except virtually every argument he makes for why the state shouldn’t adopt California’s clean air standard works against him.

Maybe he’s never tried to breath Denver’s air during one of the city’s frequent winter temperature inversions. Let alone heard of climate change.

Then there’s this tired old myth.

Meanwhile, some cities have put their drivers on forced road diets. They are reducing lanes available to drivers on key arterial streets.

Part of the motivation is to increase bicycle and bus lanes. But again, this gift comes at a cost to drivers. The goal is to discourage driving by intentionally reducing capacity and creating traffic congestion by design. Backers say it’s more “people friendly” — at least for people who don’t need to drive.

The bottom line is they want to force more residents to use alternative transportation by making driving as unpleasant as possible.

Because those road diets couldn’t possibly be about slowing traffic and keeping those people in cars alive long enough to get back home.

Or reducing congestion so that people who need to drive, or simply choose to, can actually get where they’re going in a timely manner.

But maybe that’s what happens when you only see the world through the perspective of your own windshield while driving your bike hundreds of miles to that distant trailhead.

Not to mention when your own bank account depends on convincing other people to buy those bigass trucks and SUVs.

But hey, no bias there.

Right?

………

Then again, he’s not the only one.

A writer for a motorists’ website devoted to maintaining automobiles über alles says recreational roadies are okay, but those urban bike advocates are just Vision Zero zealots dedicated to forcing poor, innocent drivers like himself off the roads. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

And credit Peter Flax with uncovering gem from a guy who’s not going to let the sick tyranny of a small minority of anti-car extremists push him onto disease-filled public transit.

No, really.

………

Bike thief BOLO alert.

Fresno police are urging you to be on the lookout for 32-year old alleged bike thief Marlon Markham, who is wanted for buying bicycles with fraudulent credit cards under a variety of names throughout California.

He then reportedly sells the bikes online.

In addition to the Central Valley, he’s struck in the Bay Area, and in Burbank and Huntington Beach in SoCal.

Photo from Bicycle Retailer

………

Local

Metro Bike begins what so far is a very limited expansion into Koreatown.

State

Friends and family members gathered at the ghost bike for fallen Aliso Viejo bike rider Michael David Tomlinson for a candlelight vigil and to remember him, nearly a week after he was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

Over 40 military veterans took part in the annual Soldier Ride in Del Mar over the weekend, sponsored by the Wounded Warrior Project.

Berkeley plans a Complete Streets makeover of a popular bicycling route to support and grow the city’s 8.5% bike rate. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Streetsblog notes that Oakland has finally gotten it right on protecting bike riders in a construction zone. On one block, anyway.

A Richmond paper examines how the city’s Rich City Rides co-op helps transform lives one bike at a time — exemplified by a 15-year old homeless boy who searches the city for kids without bikes to help them earn one.

Once again, an independent student newspaper at UC Davis mistakenly thinks that violence against bike riders is funny, publishing what they believe passes for satire about someone kicking bikeshare riders off their ebikes.

A Davis judge rules that a bike seat can be a deadly weapon, after a father and son were attacked by a man who threw his bike at them after removing the seat, then used the seat as weapon.

National

Singletracks offers tips on how to reduce your risk of injuries from mountain bike crashes. The most effective way is just don’t ride mountain bikes, but that kind of defeats the purpose.

City Lab says the micromobility gold rush is just beginning.

In a move that really shouldn’t surprise anyone, Utah’s legislature hit the brakes on a proposal to legalize the Idaho Stop in the state.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, an allegedly drunk San Antonio hit-and-run driver had a prior arrest for driving while intoxicated, but with no record of a trial or guilty plea; her victim was a local surgeon. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the tip.

A 72-year old Wisconsin driver faces a vehicular homicide charge for the death of a bike-riding pediatrician, claiming he couldn’t brake in time to prevent the crash — even though he rear-ended the victim while driving half off the road.

Someone should tell Bowling Green, Ohio that sharrows aren’t Complete Streets.

Two years later, Pittsburgh bike riders and pedestrians still feel safer sharing the road with self-driving vehicles than with human drivers, whether or not they’ve actually encountered one.

Bikeshare continues its spread across the US, as Portland — no, the one in Maine — moves towards establishing their own system.

DC moves to protect pedestrians and bicyclists by banning right turns on red lights at 100 intersections.

A University of Florida study shows that Strava really can be used to help city planners design better bikeways.

International

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to avoid back and shoulder pain caused by riding a bike.

Seriously? A Canadian judge acquits a truck driver, saying sure, he had to have seen the bike rider he killed before he right hooked her, but that doesn’t mean he actually, you know, noticed her. Oh, and that failure to signal or wait for the green turn arrow? No biggie.

Calgary’s winter bicyclists get new bike racks that are part bike parking, part public art. I’ll settle for anything that actually keeps my bike safe. Like maybe a fully operational tank.

A Hamilton, Ontario columnist misses the point, saying you can’t redesign roads to get rid of reflexive carelessness or stupidity. Even though that’s exactly the idea behind Vision Zero, to engineer roads so careless mistakes don’t lead to needless tragedies.

Life is cheap in Canada, where a careless driver who killed one bike rider and injured two others walks with a lousy $1,800 fine.

A British 14-time Paralympic gold medallist gets it, saying build bike lanes that are fit for everyone, and not just the brave.

The family of a fallen UK bike rider complain about the six-year sentence given to the driver who killed her while “extremely drunk” and high on coke.

An Irish driver will face charges for plowing into a club ride in 2017, killing one rider and critically injuring another.

Kiwi bicyclists complained about over 100 close passes by bus drivers last year. Although it’s not so easy to complain about getting knocked over when you can’t find out what bus company did it.

The Philippine legislature is considering the equivalent of a nearly five-foot passing law, with penalties starting at $95 for the first offense, and increasing with each additional violation.

Speaking of the Philippines, is anyone really in the mood to bike the full route of the infamous Bataan Death March? Didn’t think so.

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews offers their thoughts on the upcoming Amgen Tour of California, saying the men’s side will come down to Peter Sagan versus Fernando Gaviria, while the women will face their first hors categorie climb with the Mt. Baldy finish.

Former world champion mountain biker Hans Rey has helped provide more than 11,000 free bicycles to people in 30 countries through his Wheels4Life charity.

Finally…

Try taking your bike off the roof rack before going through a drive-thru next time. Sure, he may be an armed robber — and a Chargers fan — but anyone who makes his getaway by bike can’t be all bad.

And the SaMo PD posse was in full pursuit of a stolen car.

Morning Links: Hope for LACBC, Paul Smith ghost bike removed already, and study on the dangers of e-scooters

One quick note before we get started.

Last Friday, I had a very pleasant talk with Communications Director Dana Variano and new Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, aka LACBC.

I won’t go into details, since everything we discussed was off the record. But we had a very frank and open discussion about the state of bicycling in general, and the state of the LACBC in general.

Suffice it to say that Kaufman recognizes that he’s got a steep learning curve to get a firm grasp on LA bike culture and street safety.

And he’s well aware of the problems facing the LACBC after drifting far too long without effective leadership.

But he’s committed to listening and improving communications, which has been a major problem as long as I’ve been involved with the coalition, as a member and former board member.

And to making the hard decisions the LACBC will need to return to being an effective voice for LA bicyclists.

I left the meeting feeling like the LACBC is in good hands.

And with a little hope for the first time in a long time.

………

Disappointing news from Seal Beach, where Eric Dalton reports the ghost bike for Paul Smith has already been removed, less than three weeks after he was killed.

The popular church leader was riding on PCH at Seal Beach Blvd when he was run down from behind by an allegedly speeding driver.

At this point, there’s no word on who removed the ghost bike, or why.

But it’s heartbreaking that someone apparently didn’t think he was worth remembering for even a month.

Let alone reminding drivers of the dangers of SoCal’s killer highway.

………

A new UCLA study shows e-scooters pose pretty much the same risks you might think.

Of the nearly 250 people treated by UCLA medical centers in Westwood and Santa Monica as a result of scooter injuries, the overwhelming majority of injuries were suffered by the people riding them — not pedestrians struck by them, as we are so often led to believe.

“In this study of a case series, 249 patients presented to the emergency department with injuries associated with electric scooter use during a 1-year period, with 10.8% of patients younger than 18 years,” says the January 25 paper by Tarak K. Trivedi, Charles Liu, and Anna Liza M. Antonio.

“The most common injuries were fractures (31.7%), head injuries (40.2%), and soft-tissue injuries (27.7%).”

“Only 10 riders were documented as wearing a helmet, constituting 4.4% of all riders,” the report notes. “Twelve patients (4.8%) had physician-documented intoxication or a blood alcohol level greater than 0.05%

Of course, there’s no word on the severity of the head injuries, which could have been anything from simple cuts to concussions, skull fractures or cranial bleeding.

And no way to know whether helmets could have prevented them.

Then there’s this from Forbes.

Not all of the injured patients had been riding scooters. Eleven had been hit by scooters, and five had tried to lift scooters. Another five had simply tripped over parked scooters, which is what can happen when there are Bird or Lime droppings on the sidewalk.

In other words, despite the panicked response to this study in the media, over 90% of the injuries were to the people riding them. So just like with bicyclists, even the most careless riders are a danger primarily to themselves.

Just wait until the study authors discover how many people get hurt by cars every day.

Which is not to say everyone shouldn’t ride safely, so they don’t pose a risk to themselves or anyone else.

And for chrissakes, don’t leave your damn scooter on the sidewalk, or anywhere else it can pose a danger to anyone.

Especially people with handicaps.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads up.

………

NHL All-Stars Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang apparently didn’t get the memo that scooters are dangerous, arriving at the game on a pair of Lime e-scooters.

https://twitter.com/GoldenKnights/status/1089303215332483072?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nhl.com%2Fnews%2Fshort-shifts-marc-andre-fleury-kris-letang-all-star-game-electric-scooters%2Fc-304245710

………

Howard Valai forwards video of what it looks like when an LA Metro bus passes about a foot off your handlebar.

If anyone had opened the door on any of those cars, he could have seriously injured. Or worse.

………

Life is cheap when you ride a bicycle.

A Colorado truck driver gets an all-too-brief 90 days behind bars, and 120 days work release, for running down a 17-year old boy from behind as he rode in a bike lane, then fleeing the scene and leaving his victim seriously injured in the street.

A speeding hit-and-run Maryland driver got just 18 months behind bars for running a red light and killing a Smithsonian IT specialist who was riding his bike to work last September.

A teenage driver walked with community service for killing a bike rider in the UK by trying to pass on a narrow country road at 60 mph — which the driver’s lawyer wrote off as a simple misjudgment. One that cost an innocent man his life.

But sometimes justice gets done.

Like the Florida driver who got over 13 years behind bars for the drunken, high-speed crash that killed a man on a bicycle.

Or the Japanese man who got a well-deserved 18 years for the road rage death of a motorbike rider, intentionally slamming into him after briefly chasing his bike. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

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I don’t even know what to make of this one.

In a video posted to an anti-bike group, an Aussie driver drove down a bike path to swear at a couple of cyclists for riding in the roadway instead of on the parallel path.

No, seriously.

Needless to say, opinions on the auto-centric site ran in favor of the foulmouthed driver, with one poster calling for him to be named Australian of the year.

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If you haven’t already, mark your calendar for International Winter Bike to Work Day on February 8th. We should be able to show a good turnout here in Southern California, where Viking Biking means you might have to put fenders on your bike.

UCLA will host a panel discussion on Transportation as a Public Health Issue this Wednesday, with Dr. Muntu Davis of the LA County Department of Public Health, Juan Matute of UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds.

The LACBC will hold a historic tour of San Fernando and Pacoima Sunday morning as part of their monthly Sunday Funday rides, which promises to get you home in time for the Super Bowl.

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Local

Cycling scion and three-time national time trial champ Taylor Phinney takes his new team on a tour of the City of Angels and prove he knows it well, including stops at Bicycle Coffee and Golden Saddle Cyclery.

The editor of USC’s Daily Trojan takes a very auto-centric view of Metro’s proposed congestion pricing, saying transportation will always be a citywide struggle. Meanwhile, that Metro proposal also includes possible ride-hailing fees on Uber and Lyft, and shared-mobility fees on dockless bikeshare and e-scooters.

South Pasadena has accepted $332,000 from Metro to pay for the upcoming 626 Golden Streets open streets event through South Pas, Alhambra and San Gabriel this May.

A Santa Clarita letter writer says please leave your bikeshare bikes in the racks where you’re supposed to, rather than abandon them anywhere.

Long Beach police are looking for a serial groper on a distinctive lime green bicycle who’s attacked four women in separate assaults.

Former pro cyclist and current Long Beach Bike Ambassador Tony Cruz had his bicycle stolen last week; be on the lookout for an $8,000 Felt FR1 carbon bike with Sram e-Tap shifters and $1,300 Mavic Carbon Cosmics wheels.

State

State workers can now get reimbursed for their dockless ebike and scooter rides.

Some things never change. Nice to see the OC Register is still giving voice to ridiculously conservative anti-transit op-eds, despite layoffs and ownership changes, and a Congressional map that’s turned solid blue. The paper also says drivers probably don’t know what a sharrow is, which is probably true.

Bike advocate Roberta Walker has begun a rehab program after suffering extensive brain and spinal injuries when she was run down by a driver on PCH in Leucadia last month, while Encinitas has begun rehabbing the roadway to keep it from happening to someone else. A crowdfunding page has raised over $97,000 of the $125,000 goal to help pay her hospital and rehabilitation expenses.

Camarillo police are looking for a man in his 20s who assaulted a woman who was walking on a bike path; fortunately, she was able to fight them off.

An Oakland woman has been charged in the hit-and-run crash that critically injured a 14-year old boy, who was dragged three blocks under her car after she hit his bike; she was already on probation for a DUI conviction last fall.

As we mentioned last week, Marin transportation officials want to cut the four-year pilot program for a bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to just six months, so they can declare it a failure and turn it back over to people in cars.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole 24 bikes from a bicycling club at a Modesto elementary school. And just the opposite for a kindhearted people who replaced 20 of them.

The CHP does more than catch speeders on the freeway. A Redding mountain biker was airlifted to a hospital after apparently breaking his leg in a fall.

National

Great. The plague of LA-based traffic safety deniers has gone national, forming the new agitprop group Keep the US Moving to spread their virtually fact-free campaign to keep our streets deadly and halt all road diets, anywhere. Thanks to Peter Flax for the tip.

Okay, now I’m impressed. Idris Elba is one of us, going for a casual bike ride with his fiancé in Hawaii.

The route has been announced for this year’s 450-mile Ride the Rockies, featuring 28,000 feet of elevation gain through the Colorado high country.

A Minnesota singer found the inspiration for her debut album in the hum of her bike chain.

She gets it. A columnist for the New York Post says drivers are getting away with murder.

New York is still trying to figure out how to deal with ebikes and scooters.

Big Apple Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city doesn’t have the resources to go after drivers who block bike lanes. Which is odd, since most of them seem to be NYPD cops.

Mississippi bicyclists ride 6.6 miles in honor of fallen cyclists.

International

Drivers and doors aren’t the only things we have to worry about. A Vancouver bicyclist was killed when he somehow collided with the friend he was riding with, and fell into the path of a truck.

Canada has cancelled plans for a $65.9 million bike path paralleling a scenic highway through the Rocky Mountains due to environmental concerns and high costs. But all those cars spewing smog are just fine, thank you.

Calgary’s new e-assist bikeshare is a huge hit, even in the winter cold and snow.

The UK could save the equivalent of over $420 million if bicycling could be made as popular in the rest of the country as it is in London.

Well deserved. A British triathlete was fined the equivalent of more than $1200 for aggressively passing a horse and rider on the curb side, colliding with them as causing the horse to bolt, injuring the rider.

The German ambassador to Pakistan went out of his way to find a locally made bike, because he wanted that Made in Pakistan stamp to show his support for the country’s people.

A bighearted South African boy broke open his own piggy bank to buy a new bicycle for a gas station attendant he befriended.

Sad news from New Zealand, where a 32-year old elite cyclist is dying of intestinal cancer, saying she should have pushed harder for a diagnosis after suffering from years of stomach pain.

A Singaporean news channel examines why the island city has yet to become a bicycling paradise, pointing a finger at the heat and rain, and a lack of safe space on the road.

Competitive Cycling

Long Beach will host this year’s Paratriathlon National Championships in June.

Cycling Tips looks at how a little known cyclist from Cuba beat the world’s best women’s riders in the Cadel Road Race.

Road.cc offers advice on how to step up from riding sportives to your first actual bike race.

The LA Times says Zwift’s new esports league is just like pro cycling, but without the turns or crashes, and with actual pro cycling teams.

Finally…

You may not have to worry about drivers on a bike path, but keep your eyes peeled for pigs. How to build a bicycle sidecar out of an empty beer keg; make it a full keg, and you’ve got a deal.

And nothing sells Danish beer like a good bike ride.

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

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

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No Morning Links today.

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

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

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

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

Because sometimes, these people just piss me off.

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

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

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

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

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

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

But in which direction, he doesn’t say.

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

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

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

Well, it ain’t necessarily so

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

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

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

Not two lanes, as LeGras inexplicably claimed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s traffic.

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

Nothing succeeds like the successes of Vision Zero

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The myth of the Foothill Blvd evacuation disaster

Then there’s this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the few things he got right.

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

He closes this way,

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

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

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

Emergency response times tell the real tale

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

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

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

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

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

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

Four seconds.

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

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

But I do hope he continues to write.

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

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

Morning Links: Sneak attack on traffic safety, BAC meets tomorrow, and ebikes benefit people with disabilities

Call it a sneak attack.

Over the weekend, supporters of traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving tried — and failed — to get the LA Neighborhood Council Coalition on the record supporting a total ban on road diets.

The factually incorrect motion, which traffic safety supporters found out about less than 24 hours earlier, was tabled until next month after it met overwhelming opposition.

Here’s the full text of the motion, in case you want to mark your calendar for the next meeting.

BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen wrote a powerful message opposing the ban.

Today’s photo comes with a wish for a Happy Chanukah to all those celebrating this week.

Chanukah Sameach!

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The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold their regular bi-monthly meeting tomorrow night in the conference room of the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Ave.

The committee is the only official voice for bicyclists in city government. Even if elected officials usually just ignore it and hope it goes away.

Click to enlarge

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Today’s common theme is ebikes.

Or more precisely, the way ebikes and other bikes can benefit people with physical limitations.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker calls ebikes a game changer for people who need them.

And makes a point I’ve been making for some time now.

A 2018 study by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities that surveyed 1,800 e-bike riders found that they bike more often, take longer trips, and make different types of trips than they do on pedal bikes. Plus, not only did more respondents feel safer riding an e-bike than they did riding a pedal bike, the percentage of people who felt safer on an e-bike was even greater when the respondents were women, over 55, or had physical limitations.

“E-bikes are making it possible for more people to ride a bicycle” reads the study, “many of whom are incapable of riding a standard bicycle or don’t feel safe doing so.”people

There are a number of bicyclists, especially roadies, who think ebikes are cheating.

I know, I used to be one of them.

And there many people who think older people and people with handicaps can’t ride bikes.

They’re both wrong.

Because unless you’re racing, bicycling is not a competition. Whether you’re riding for pleasure or transportation, anything that makes it easier to get on a bike is a good thing.

For the person doing the riding, for their community, and for the environment.

And ebikes make it possible for people who otherwise couldn’t ride a bike — because of age, physical condition, the length of their commutes, or any number of other problems — to get out and ride like anyone else. Going further and more confidently than they otherwise could.

Or at all, for that matter.

There’s another quote from the story that sums it up.

E-bikes are not a substitute for safer infrastructure, but they could help move more riders from “Interested but Concerned” to “Enthused and Confident.

And that’s a good thing. For all of us.

Meanwhile, a Boulder CO newspaper talks with a bike shop owner who says he used to be dismissive of ebikes, until he realized their benefits for people with physical limitations.

A British survey shows 72 percent of disabled bicyclists use their bikes as mobility aids, but half of respondents are afraid of being seen riding them for fear of losing their benefits.

And more than a quarter of the disabled commutes in Cambridge, England are made by bike.

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Speaking of electric mobility devices, apparently they’re a wise choice. And not just limited to humans anymore.

https://twitter.com/therourke/status/1068875942473404422

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Sad news, as longtime Tour de France commentator Paul Sherwen died unexpectedly at his home in Uganda; no cause of death was announced.

He was 62.

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It’s Day 11 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

Thanks to Adrienne G and Alan C for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

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Local

By all accounts, yesterday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia was another successful event. But it comes just days after the organization was sued by a woman who suffered a brain injury when a careless rider clipped her wheel.

A sports tech website talks with LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon about the tech he uses and life as a YouTube star.

 

State

A San Diego bike rider suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a driver, who claimed he never saw the victim until he was in front of him. Unfortunately, that’s not too surprising; let’s hope investigators get a warrant for the driver’s phone.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to buy a women’s bike, and their recommendations for the best bike in 11 different categories.

The Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Walmart talks about his passion for mountain biking, saying he’s learned some of his best business lessons from the saddle. Something I can relate to; I often did my best work while riding my bike.

It may be a few years since their last basketball title, but the University of Kentucky can celebrate a national championship as the nation’s most Bicycle Friendly University.

A pair of New York bike advocates and engineers say they’ve figured out the exact optimal traffic signal timing to improve safety for everyone and ensure the highest number of green lights for both drivers and people on bikes.

A Virginia landscaper had the truck towed to be repaired and ordered employees to say a worker had hit a deer, instead of the bike rider he’d hit in a work truck and left to die on the side of the road.

 

International

An Op-Ed on Calgary website says traffic laws must reflect the new transport options, including dockless e-bikes. Meanwhile, the Calgary bike boom goes on, even in the winter months, after the city built out a network of protected bike lanes.

Sidewalk riding is a complicated issue, according to an Ontario, Canada letter writer in part because of poorly designed bike lanes and the people who drive in them.

The Guardian looks at who is behind the effort to have one of London’s most popular cycle superhighways ripped out, pointing the finger at a property company, and truck and taxi drivers.

A British man rode 3,200 miles from LA to New York in just 34 days — arriving at the airport half an hour before his flight back home.

A new paper by an English researcher argues that yes, drivers really do pass bicyclists who wear bike helmets closer than they do bare headed riders.

Brit mountain biking legend Hans Rey was the victim of bike thieves, who took eight bicycles, including custom bikes and bikes that aren’t currently available in the country.

Thanks to a new Dutch bike rack design, your bike could power the city.

Madrid bans cars built before 2000, and diesel vehicles built before 2006, from driving in the city center to battle air pollution. Los Angeles will need to do the same for the entire county if we’re going to meet pollution, let alone climate change, goals.

Malta’s prime minister suggests widening the roads to make more room for all road users, while creating preference lanes for bikes, buses and electronic cars.

Tel Aviv is building a 68-mile network of bike trails in an effort to become the Amsterdam of the Mideast.

After the first of the year, you’ll need a special driver’s license to operate an ebike in Israel.

More grist for the climate change mill, as a New Zealand study shows that bike lanes and pathways do, in fact, coax people out of their cars, resulting decreased emissions.

Australian football legend James Hird suffered a broken leg when his bike was hit by a driver.

 

Competitive Cycling

Anyone can win a bike race; the Eurosport website recounts the cycling world’s most spectacular flops of 2018.

Aussie cyclist Mark Renshaw will miss a number of events Down Under after he suffered a fractured pelvis when a driver when through a stop sign.

Cycling Tips talks with women’s cycling legend Marianne Vos about getting her grove back this year.

A roadie discovers he can do more than he thought, completing a 78-mile gravel race despite fears caused by a recent runaway heart rate.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re riding a bike with crack and purple heroin, put a damn light on it, already. Call it Waze for bikes.

And yes, Vladimir Putin is one of us.

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