It could be a good year for California traffic safety, if the governor’s veto pen cooperates.
Streetsblog reports Governor Gavin Newsom has until October 14th to sign legislation “championed by safety and sustainable transportation advocates (that) actually made it all the through the sausage making.”
Among the bills that passed are measures to legalize a speed cam pilot program, provide transparency on highway building and emissions, require daylighting at intersections, and prohibit criminal charges for transit fare evasion.
Bicycling bills that made it to Newsom’s desk would create a Caltrans bike czar, legalize sidewalk riding throughout the state, allow vehicle-mounted cameras to enforce bike lane parking restrictions, and require landlords to let tenants store and charge ebikes and e-scooters inside.
Based on Newsom’s previous actions, I’d expect the sidewalk bill to face the greatest veto risk, followed the ebike charging bill, due to the risk of fires.
Other measures would unbundle parking costs from rent, allow businesses to share excess parking, require a human driver in autonomous trucks, and study the costs and benefits of imposing a weight-based vehicle fee.
Another measure would remove restrictions on lowriders and legalize cruising throughout the state — lifting lowrider culture over traffic safety and the climate emergency.
Bills that didn’t make it include the ban on pretextual traffic stops, free transit passes for youths, and requiring the state to take climate change into account on highway projects and monitor air pollutants.
That’s in addition to the latest attempt at passing a Stop As Yield bill, aka Idaho Stop, which was pulled by Assemblymember Tasha Boener, apparently over fears Newsom wouldn’t sign it. Which seemed pretty clear to begin with, since he’s vetoed two previous attempts.
Meanwhile, Calbike considers the risk that speed poses to all road users, but particularly bike riders and pedestrians, as well as making the case for why everyone should support ebikes, even if you don’t ride one.
Image from Schoolhouse Rock – I’m Just a Bill.
No surprise here, as Nevada’s Clark County DA announced plans to try a killer teenaged driver as an adult.
The 17-year old driver was recorded on a now-viral video deliberately aiming his car at retired Bell police chief Andreas Probst as he rode his bike in a Las Vegas bike lane last month.
It’s also no surprise that the car was stolen, one of several auto thefts the teen is accused of taking part in that day. Or that the driver had used it to sideswipe another car moments earlier, apparently just for the hell of it.
Investigators are also trying to identify the passenger who filmed the fatal crash, who could faces charges, as well.
They get it.
The Boston Globe writes that it will take more than just infrastructure to get people onto bikes, and meet the city’s goal of a 8% bike commuting rate by 2030, which is four times the current rate.
Reaching that goal is vital to the city’s health. The increased use of bikes usually means the decreased use of cars, which will shrink the city’s carbon footprint and its need for costly parking spaces. At a time when the T is slow or undependable, cycling can not only fill gaps in the transit system but can also be the most efficient mode of travel.
Moreover, bicycles add to the vibrancy of street life, a potential boon to neighborhood stores, restaurants, and cafes. And let’s face it, we could all use a bit more exercise.
Yes, it will require a network of safe, connected bike lanes, the paper argues.
But it will also take adult bike classes, and bicycle training in elementary schools. Along with state and local ebike subsidies, and tax deductions to help defray the cost of bike commutes or pay for Uber rides in bad weather.
As well as growing Boston’s docked bikeshare system.
All of which applies equally well right here in Los Angeles, or pretty much anywhere else in the US.
And while we’re on the subject, Momentum asks if it’s time for governments to start paying people to bike to work.
Short answer, yes. Longer answer, oh hell yes.
Longtime Los Angeles bike advocate and former LACBC board member Kent Strumpell will interview Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, founder of the Streets For All PAC, in a webinar hosted by Climate Action Santa Monica this Thursday.
That feeling when a 16-year old trail rider could probably drop you like freshman English.
Or maybe that’s just me.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
No bias here. San Diego’s KPBS is once again raising the panic over ebike and e-scooter injuries, as ER doctors cite a painfully small study showing a jump in injuries coinciding with the rise in e-scooter use. Although as any middle school science student could tell you, correlation does not equal causation. And an increase in injuries is to be expected with any increase in usage; the question is whether that rise exceeds what would be expected with greater usage.
Once again, someone has boobytrapped a bike trail in the UK, stringing a nest of orange twine across the trail to ensnare any mountain bikers who failed to spot it; fortunately, a man saw the trap before he hit it at nearly 20 mph, and dismantled it with a small knife from his bike kit.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
After a pair of bike-riding teenaged theft suspects attempted to escape down a Missouri bike path, a local cop following on foot borrowed a bike from a woman taking part in a corporate relay race, and chased down one of the suspects; the woman’s team was allowed to finish the race despite being shorthanded.
Friends and family members are looking for answers after the beloved assistant director of the New York Chinatown Head Start program died days after she was struck by a hit-and-run ebike rider while walking to work.
Streetsblog offers photos and an open thread about Sunday’s NoHo CicLAmini.
San Marcos will close part of Via Vera Cruz Road for a months-long construction and resurfacing project, including adding bike lanes to the street.
A San Diego op-ed examines how speed cams could help reduce the hundreds of lives lost to traffic violence in the city each year. Yet the just-passed speed cam pilot program inexplicably excludes California’s second-largest city.
The Manual recommends mountain biking into Death Valley to watch next month’s solar eclipse.
Bakersfield bike riders now have a new bicycle repair station near Beach Park along the popular Kern River Parkway.
The San Francisco Standard examines what the hell is taking so long with the scaled-back Better Market Street Project, which no longer includes plans for a sidewalk-level fully separated bike lane.
Electrek says budget ebikes are driving retail sales, which is why leading bikemakers like Trek and Cannondale are introducing low-priced ebikes that undercut their own high-end models.
Bicycling recommends the best bike deals in advance of next month’s two-day Amazon Prime Big Deal Days. This one doesn’t appear to be paywalled, but you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you, since it doesn’t seem to be available elsewhere.
Portland’s transportation director has ordered staffers to rip out a 16-block, parking protected bike lane downtown, for no apparent reason, just one year after completing the final segment.
A Maryland man has filed suit against Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes after the front wheel of his RadRunner bike came off as he was riding.
Seattle’s new waterfront bike path is coming into focus as construction nears completion, although, as usual, last-minute changes undercut previous promises.
Following the time-tested model of NIMBYs everywhere, residents of a Denver neighborhood are protesting a new bike lane “protected” by flimsy plastic car-tickler bendie posts, blaming them and a new roundabout for a series of minor crashes.
Bikepackers and hikers are bringing life back to an old Wyoming gold mining town along the Continental Divide Trail, just a small part of the estimated $454 billion outdoor recreation adds to the nation’s gross domestic product.
Life is cheap in Illinois, where a 76-year old driver walked without a single day behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a 20-year old bike-riding man, after the judge suspended his entire five-year sentence for negligent homicide. But at least he’ll be 101 before he’s allowed to drive again.
There’s a special place in hell for whoever shot an 11-year old Saginaw, Michigan boy as he was riding his bicycle; fortunately, his wounds weren’t life-threatening.
A Brooklyn writer argues that foldies aren’t just for city living, and should be part of your outdoor adventures, as well.
A pair of men were injured, one critically, when they were struck by a driver while taking part in a Maryland gran fondo, apparently because they were unable to stop on the wet roadway.
Dueling groups of demonstrators turned out Monday over plans to widen and protect a Montreal bike lane; as usual, the issue was the planed removal of 250 parking spaces to make room for it.
A bike-riding Dublin, Ireland woman was seriously injured in a collision with another bicyclist Monday morning.
A Ukrainian woman rode her bike more than 125 miles around London to draw an outline of the UK, to thank the country for supporting Ukraine.
A UK letter writer supports a call to reduce traffic congestion by eliminating parking, saying the roads are too dangerous for “all but the most experienced and intrepid” bike riders.
A Bangladeshi financial site writes that the local bicycle industry is facing the worst period in memory, apparently falling victim to the worldwide financial upheaval cause by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The fan-based @GCSeppKuss account on X/Twitter started out as a joke, then gained followers as Kuss took the lead in the Vuelta — including Kuss himself.
The last American to win a grand tour before Kuss says his victory could provide a timely boost for a flagging road cycle racing scene in the US.
Velo says the attitude throughout the peloton is that no one deserves a grand tour win more than Sepp Kuss.
The once high-flying Astana-Qazaqstan team brought home less than $5,000 in prize money for three weeks work in the Vuelta.
This about sums up this year’s racing season. Even if the winners of the first two tried to keep the last one from winning.
The 𝗣𝟯𝗥𝗙𝗘𝗖𝗧 Grand Tour season 🏆🏆🏆
Team Jumbo-Visma swept the board at the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España this year.
📸 Cor Vos pic.twitter.com/Xe8p3Wyx4J
— Velon CC (@VelonCC) September 17, 2023
One more way bikes are better than cars for the climate — we don’t need windshield washer fluid.
And you should always wear the proper attire for bike racing, even if it’s a suit jacket and knickers.
Of course there's a Brompton World Championships, in which competitors do a LeMans start – requiring them to run to the bikes and unfold them – and jacket and tie are de rigeur pic.twitter.com/1cdmb2J44c
— Cool Bike Art (@CoolBikeArt1) September 18, 2023
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin