Tag Archive for transportation planning

San Diego’s transformative new transportation plan, and Munich shows how bike lane bypasses should be done

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San Diego is about to show California how its done.

San Diego Forward, a new 30-year plan presented by the San Diego Association of Governments, better known as SANDAG, offers a transformational vision of what the city can, and should, be.

Here’s how Streetsblog explains it.

It is unlike any previous regional plan in San Diego, or in California. That’s in part because SANDAG got into a bit of trouble over its last, very inadequate draft plan, which pretended to be forward-looking but, like many regional transportation plans, was mostly a warmed-over rehash of previous plans that prioritize freeways. The previous SANDAG plan included some transit and bike improvements, but those investments were all put on the back burner, and highway expansions came first.

Not this time. The new draft plan – written under new SANDAG leadership – presents a utopian vision of what a connected, equitable, easy-to-navigate transportation system could be, focusing on new technologies for managing vehicle traffic, improving transit, and building streetscapes that work for people on foot and on bike.

Although the 3o-year timeline is about 20 years too late for the planet, which needs to see drastic shifts in how we get around in the next ten years to avoid catastrophic climate changes.

The other challenge is the cost, with an unfunded $160 billion price tag — yes, with a b — to build out.

And as we’ve learned the hard way here in Los Angeles, the key to its success is actually building it, rather than letting it turn into dust sitting on the shelf, like LA’s mobility plan.

Which so far hasn’t been worth the silicon it’s printed on.

However, San Diego leaders have actually shown a willingness to live up to their commitments, such as the city’s climate action plan.

So maybe there’s hope of real change down there, even if it may take too long.

Now if they could just show the rest of us how it’s done.


Ralph Durham offers a followup to Monday’s photo of a spacious bike lane bypass through a Munich construction zone, protected by a sturdy metal barricade.

It gets better.

We were walking towards the intersection where I took pictures of the detour at the intersection. This time we tried to cross the bridge. The bridge is undergoing major construction and is down to two lanes from four. No sidewalk use either. However, on both sides there are temporary bike ped bridges. Four in total because there is a small island in the river.

Here is a picture of one of the temporary bridges. Yes that is snow.

Photo by Ralph Durham


That feeling when an anti-bike British lawyer demands his God-given right to dangerously pass a group of bicyclists who are legally riding two abreast to control a narrow lane.

And the cops politely say not today, Satan.

Although the police use a painful analogy to correct him on another one.

Unfortunately, we can only imagine what it would be like to have police back us up like that in this country.


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

The California Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a man who killed an off-duty LA County Sheriff’s deputy along with another man over 15 years ago, and left his bicycle at the scene as he fled afterwards.



Santa Monica will be building protected bike lanes on 17th and Steward Streets in the Pico Neighborhood on the eastern part of the city, along with improved crosswalks and safe routes to school for the area’s Edison Language Academy.



San Diego officials confirmed the identity of a man who was murdered by a driver as he was riding his bike near the Silverwing Recreation Center; police say 40-year old Octavio Mendoza was intentionally run down as the hit-and-ru driver apparently chased him across a grass field with his SUV. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

An Escondido bike shop owner is a repeat winner of the National Gingerbread House Competition, despite only recently taking up competitive baking, as opposed to biking.

A 43-year old Oakland mother suffered major injuries when she was doored while riding her bike in Berkeley, then immediately struck by another motorist as she fell to the street.

A Sonoma paper looks back fondly to bicycling’s local heyday in the ’80s and ’90s. No, the 1880s.



Fast Company says electric cars won’t be enough to save our cities.

A planned Portland lawsuit over the city’s decision not to build a bike lane is up in the air, after the ostensible plaintiff moved to Amsterdam despite crowdfunding $13,000 to fund the suit.

Tragic news from Arkansas, where a bike-riding paramedic was killed during the Little Rock Marathon when he grabbed onto a utility vehicle to respond to an injured runner and was pulled under the vehicle’s wheels; the state governor ordered flags flown at half-staff for two days in his honor.

Talk about a life well-lived. A developmentally disabled Wisconsin man spent 12 years riding his bike to raise funds for a local food bank, covering more than 75,000 miles and raising over $42,000 before his death last week at 75. We should all have a heart that big.

Chicago rolls out Lyft’s new ebikes as part of its bikeshare system.

A Michigan man faces up to 30 years behind bars after admitting to using meth and weed, and using Facebook Messenger while driving at highway speeds when he fatally ran down a woman riding her bike earlier this year.

The bike boom is straining New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare system, which is struggling to keep up with demand in some areas.

Philadelphia solves two problems at once by installing bike corrals to keep drivers from parking in front of fire hydrants.

Heartbreaking news from Florida, where police revealed that the 14-year old Palm Beach boy who was murdered while riding his bike had been stabbed repeatedly in the head by a homeless man, in a totally senseless random attack; his killer had recently spent time in a mental institution after a similarly random attack on an Atlanta man.



Road.cc recommends essential tools for bike riders who do their own maintenance. And yes, I had all of those. Even if my wife won’t let me work on my bike in our apartment any more.

Vancouver is a little more colorful after installing artwork designed by university art students at five bike parking facilities near rail stations around the city.

Twin British brothers have been charged with murder in the death of a 63-year old man, whose body was found earlier this year after disappearing four years ago during a charity ride in Scotland; there’s no word on why he was killed, however.

Israel’s Knesset has given preliminary approval to a bill that would require license plates on ebike and e-scooters.

The former chairman of Fly6 and Fly12 maker Cycliq discovered the hard way that bike cams don’t stop thieves, after burglars made off with a trio of rare racing bikes from his garage.


Competitive Cycling

The reluctance of Quick-Step GM Patrick Lefevere to form a women’s cycling team was behind sponsor Deceuninck switching its alliance to the Alpecin-Fenix team next year.

Twenty-five-year old American ‘cross cyclist and mountain biker Ellen Noble is stepping away from racing indefinitely to deal with health issues caused by an auto-immune disorder and a crash that fractured her spine in three places.

If you’re not doing anything tonight, here’s your chance to dip a toe into track cycling.



That feeling when you hope someone else buys a 20-year old custom-made cycling team bike so you don’t have to. Your next ebike could be a Porsche — and priced like it, too.

And people on bicycles hardly ever threaten anyone with a gun over bike parking.

Just saying.


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



Weekend Links: App for air pressure, new book from former NYDOT commish, and a tack attack on PCH

Mike Wilkinson sends word that you’re probably riding on the wrong tire pressure.

A lot of people do not have the right tire pressures on their bike. If your bicycle tire pressure is too low, your bike will handle poorly, you’re more likely to get a flat, and it will be harder to pedal. If it’s too high, the ride will be rough without really improving efficiency. What’s the sweet spot?

In 2007 Bicycle Quarterly published an article that recommended setting the pressure so the tire would compress 15% when loaded. That’s hard to measure, but never fear… an app is here!

The app (sorry, Android only) is available from Amazon and Google Play. The cost is $2.50. It has some handy preconfigured options and a custom option.

Entering the numbers for my go-fast road bike, I was surprised at how much the app wanted me to lower my tire pressure. I was happy to see that I had the recommended pressure in the front tire of our tandem, but the app said I should put a lot more air in the rear tire.

It’s great fun for bike geeks like me, and it might give you a better ride for less effort!


Looking forward to reading this new book by former New York DOT Commissioner Samuel I. Schwartz, head of Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants and the man credited with coining the term gridlock.

So far, I’ve only made it through the prologue and first chapter as I rode home on the subway the other night, and already learned more than I knew before about how we got into this auto-centric mess we’re in, and how we can get out of it.



Streetsblog’s Joe Linton recaps Thursday’s meeting of the Planning Commission, which voted unanimously to keep Westwood Blvd and Central Ave in the LA Mobility Plan.

Wrong though he may be, at least Paul Koretz had the guts to show up in person to argue against the bike lanes on Westwood; fellow Councilmembers Curren Price and Gil Cedillo sent their staff to do their dirty work.

And the Wave newspaper reports on the protest against Price’s attempts to kill the bike lanes on Central Ave.


Next time you fly Delta, you can see their Sky Magazine’s report on LA’s efforts to shed its reputation as the car capital of the world and become bike and pedestrian friendly.

Or you could just read about it here.

Thanks to the LACBC for the link.


Be careful riding on PCH in Malibu, where someone has reportedly been sabotaging the roadway with tacks.


Just a few new events we haven’t mentioned yet.

Greg Laemmle is hosting a moderately paced President’s Day Ride to visit streets and sites named after them.

CiclaValey invites you to come out for the Connect the Dots Great Streets event on Van Nuys Blvd next weekend, where he’ll be talking bikes and taking part in the Tour de Van Nuys.

Registration is now open for the 2016 Honor Ride Bear Claw in Simi Valley this April to raise funds for Ride 2 Recovery to help rehabilitate wounded vets.

The Los Angeles Bike Festival has put out a call for artists to participate in the May event.

And don’t forget today’s 7th annual Ride For Love.

Ride For Love



LA County opens the new Milton Street Park along the Ballona Creek bike path; the park will be a stop on a planned 13-mile trail connecting the Baldwin Hills to the beach.

Glendale approves a new 1.3-mile green bike lane on Sonora Avenue.

Long Beach’s Alamitos Ave will be getting a road diet and other improvements to make it safer for cyclists, pedestrians and other humans.



Laguna Beach votes to upgrade the Top of the World bike and pedestrian trail.

Irvine-based Pedego Electric Bikes introduces an e-foldie.

A San Diego woman who rides her bike to look for and paint over graffiti in Mission Beach was badly injured in a hit-and-run; police are questioning a person of interest in the case.

San Diego considers a proposal for a half-cent sales tax increase to raise $18 billion for road and transit projects — with less than $400 million set aside for bike and other active transportation projects.

A 67-year old bike rider was seriously injured in a collision in Ventura when he reportedly turned left into the path of a car traveling in the same direction. Thanks to Melissa Pamer for the heads-up.

Police find the badly damaged car they believe killed a San Jose cyclist in a hit-and-run early Friday, though the driver was nowhere to be found; a bottle in the back suggested he or she may have been drinking.

A Dublin lawyer who got a sweetheart deal from an overly lenient judge after killing a cyclist in a hit-and-run could face a year in jail after testing positive for coke while on probation.

A St. Helena council committee votes to move forward with a bike lane that will require the loss of 14 parking spaces in front of a senior center.



Bad news for racing fans, as Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge won’t take place this year; organizers hope to regroup under new ownership for 2017.

Corpus Christi TX recommends a 290-mile bike network, created in large part by moving cyclists onto widened sidewalks.

Elgin IL cops out by deciding to install sharrows to meet a requirement to include bike lanes in a street makeover so they can get a $2 million federal grant.

Akron OH proposes reimagining the city’s overbuilt streets as walkable, bikeable parkways. Be nice to see some of those approaches used here.

Chattanooga TN is named one of seven US cities where people can retire in “bicycling bliss.” My hometown is one of the other six.



A British Columbia man is suing his parents over a mountain bike crash that left him paralyzed as a teenager, in order to protect them from the muddled world of insurance law.

Someone continues to booby trap trails in a UK wood by placing camouflaged logs on blind corners to keep cyclists from using them; it may be the same person who has been attempting to poison dogs with adulterated food.

A London physician has ridden his bike through 73 countries on six continents to treat patients, surviving a broken leg, robbery, stabbing and dengue fever in the process.

A Manila bicyclist calls for protected bike lanes to save lives in a city that averages 125 bicycling fatalities a year, despite being less than half the size of Los Angeles.



Yes, going carless can be sexy. According to this sign, keep the rubber side up.

And just what the Corgi needs, a Japanese bike designed solely to take your dog with you.


US DOT Secretary LaHood says bikes are good

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood tweeted this in support of bikes on Monday:

We’re not anti-car; we’ve paved our share of roads. But bikes must have a seat at the table.

But that doesn’t begin to compare with what he had to say on his blog:

Today, I want to announce a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.

We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.

To set this approach in motion, we have formulated key recommendations for state DOTs and communities:

  • Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.
  • Ensure convenient access for people of all ages and abilities.
  • Go beyond minimum design standards.
  • Collect data on walking and biking trips.
  • Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling.
  • Protect sidewalks and shared-use paths the same way roadways are protected (for example, snow removal)
  • Improve nonmotorized facilities during maintenance projects.

Now, this is a start, but it’s an important start. These initial steps forward will help us move forward even further.

The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation does a good job of explaining just what that means.

But evidently, the planners working on a replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge in the Port of Long Beach didn’t get the memo.


A police sting catches a Downtown bike thief, and nearly stings a nearby pedestrian in the process. The Dodgers could learn a lot from the new Yankee Stadium when it comes to bike parking. Will offers video of his trek down the Orange Line Bikeway, and he’s shocked by the Times’ front page coverage of last weekend’s Fargo Street Hill Climb. The LACBC’s City of Lights program is featured in a Streetfilms video from the National Bike Summit. The hit-and-run epidemic hits Berkeley. A new ghost bike goes up in Sacramento. Security cameras capture the last images of a Portland cyclist missing for nearly a month. A Spokane-area bar owner pleads not guilty to the hit-and-run death of a cyclist earlier this month. Drivers now form the minority in Detroit. Dave Moulton looks back at the King of the Classics. Maybe you just need a better soundtrack for your commute. Riding from Paraguay to the U.S. to save the trees. Bike sharing in Tehran. The failure of London’s new bike plan. Bspoke bikewear fit for the office. More on the London bike death of musician and fashion designer Shivon Watson, aka Shiv Lizzy; Dutch experts say London’s mayor could do more to cut deaths and get more riders on the road. Maybe they should consider an underwater stage for next year’s Tour. Thanks to the Trickster for word that Melbourne-area roads are getting smarter.

Finally, Copenhagenize looks at Ciclovia in Mexico City; if you like what you what you see, don’t just imagine it in L.A. Do something about it.

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