Tag Archive for Troutdale Bridge

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

Good to see you back after the long holiday weekend. 

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

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

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Call it a major misfire on this one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smart. Real smart.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But those are just facts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bruce Lee was one of us.

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

And this time, the other side is armed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then again, not all the drivers used guns.

Some used weapons weighing a couple tons or more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

Mark your calendar for Monday’s World Bicycle Day.

How to be a good citizen of the bike lane.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uber wants Brits to Jump.

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

Cycling Tips talks with the inimitable Peter Sagan.

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Or, uh…Bigfoot.

Morning Links: Haute couture Dior ghost bike, bicyclists told to walk across bridge, and $43.6 million for LA bike projects

Apparently, memorials for dead bike riders are high fashion now.

In a remarkably tone deaf move, haute couture fashion house Dior is working with French BMX maker Bogarde to co-opt the all-white ghost bike look to further their brand.

And no doubt, rake in big bucks from people with too damn much money and too little taste.

The limited edition BMX is due at the end of the month; the only good news is that only 150 of the utterly tasteless Dior bikes will be built.

Maybe their designers saw a few white bicycles chained to the side of the road, and had no idea why they were there.

Or maybe Dior came up with the idea themselves, and didn’t bother to find out that someone else had the idea first, for an entirely different purpose. And that the all-white paint job actually means something far more important than overpriced fashion.

Though you’d think their bike-making partners could have told them.

Let’s just hope Dior wises up at the last minute, and cancels the sale out of an abundance of caution and taste.

Or at least donates all the proceeds to benefit the families of those who died riding their bikes.

Photo is a screen grab from Hypebae.com.

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Bicyclists in the Malibu Hills are up in arms over plans to reopen the Troutdale bridge on Mulholland Highway this Wednesday.

But only if you’re in a car.

County officials plan to require, or maybe just firmly request, that bike riders dismount and walk across the pedestrian walkway adjacent to the bridge while it is undergoing reconstruction.

Something that would be problematic, to say the least, with the bridge located just beyond a sweeping turn following a steep descent along the popular riding route.

It would also be of questionable legality, since bicyclists are allowed on any road where cars are allowed, with the exception of many limited access highways.

But whether there is an exception for construction zones is unclear at this time.

A lot will depend on just what the traffic signs look like when the bridge reopens.

If they have a yellow background, it’s merely advisory, like the suggested speeds on corners that virtually everyone ignores. But if the signs are white, like a speed limit sign, they carry the force of law, and violators can be ticketed.

Whether those tickets are legal, however, could be up to the courts to decide.

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Los Angeles has scored two state grants totaling $43.6 million for bicycle and street safety.

The city will get $18.8 for a three-mile section of the LA River bike path in the West San Fernando Valley, as part of the mayor’s Twenty-Eight By ’28 program, to complete a pathway along the full 51-mile length of the LA River by 2025.

The other grant provides $24.8 million for improvements along the Broadway/Manchester corridor in South LA, including bike lanes, along with sidewalk and crosswalk enhancements and other safety projects.

Let’s hope that means bicyclists will finally see the long-promised bike lanes along Manchester that might have spared the life of Frederick “Woon” Frazier.

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In a bizarre crash, an Irvine bike rider was injured by a hit-and-run driver Saturday night.

The driver stopped after the collision, and his passenger got out to check on the victim.

Then the driver took off, leaving both the injured bike rider and the person who had been in the car with him on the side of the road.

Something tells me he — or she — will have a lot of explaining to do once they get caught.

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Today’s must-read is a hard-hitting Namibian op-ed that starts out with a clear-eyed look at drivers blaming bicyclists for “minor misdemeanors or violations of road rules to say we ‘asked for’ accidents.”

Then abruptly shifts to an examination of race and privilege, as “black Namibians literally take their lives in their hands every time they head out onto the road.”

It’s more than worth the few minutes it will take to read, if only to get a different perspective from a view most of us seldom see.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

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A black woman accuses Irish police officers of racism after they tackle her 15-year old brother, apparently for the crime of riding a bicycle.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Today’s common theme is generosity.

Hundreds of Renton, Washington kids got new bicycles, helmets and a party courtesy of a local church.

After a Nebraska middle school student was hit by a driver while riding his bike, the local police teamed with a bike shop to give him a new one.

After thieves made off with the motorized bicycle a Detroit-area Air Force vet spent months saving for and building, a stranger saw the story on TV, and convinced his coworkers to pitch in to buy the man a new ebike.

A stranger responds to a social media request to replace the adult tricycle used by a Michigan man with special needs to get to work after his was stolen.

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Local

In a huge victory for advocates of safer streets, LA CD4 Councilmember David Ryu has decided that the road diet and bike lanes on Rowena should stay in place. And recommended that the bike lanes should be extended and converted into protected lanes — an outcome that seemed highly unlikely just a few months ago. You can read Ryu’s full letter here.

A Long Beach bike commuter says the new protected bike lanes on Broadway create more problems than they solve, calling it a horrible experience to ride.

 

State

An estimated 2,300 bike riders and support staff will leave San Francisco in two weeks on their way down the coast to Los Angeles for the 2019 AIDS/LifeCycle Ride.

Unbelievable. A $50,000 settlement from the city confirms that a San Diego cop may have overreacted just a tad when he roughed up a 64-year old bike rider and threw him in the psych ward — all because he ran a stop sign.

Victorville will begin construction on a four-mile separated bike path along Bear Valley Road.

A group of four men and two women with ties to Azusa Pacific University will ride across the US to raise funds for clean water.

Sad news from Paso Robles, where a 70-year old homeless man was found lying dead on railroad tracks next to his bicycle, leading to speculation that he fell and hit his head on the tracks. Police says he wasn’t hit by a train, but are treating the death as suspicious pending an autopsy.

Two Palo Alto neighborhoods are finally connected after the city opened a bike and pedestrian bridge over busy Highway 101.

Forget ghost bikes. Oakland is permanently honoring a fallen bicyclist by renaming the street where he was killed in his honor.

The San Francisco Chronicle serves up Marin County’s Mount Tamalpais — aka Mount Tam — two ways. The hard way, and the less hard way.

 

National

The Wall Street Journal says Trump’s tariffs will mean more pain for the already struggling bicycle industry. As always with the Journal, the usual paywall issues apply.

NPR tackles the same subject, talking with the owner of American bikemaker Detroit Bikes, who relies on imported parts even though the bikes are built in the US.

Bike Index offers tips on how to help recover stolen bikes with a Facebook page.

Bicycling profiles the bike-riding pianist you’ve seen performing in trouble spots around the world, who tows his piano behind his bicycle.

NACTO is teaming with the Natural Resources Defense Council and Delivery Associates to give Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis and Philadelphia a crash course in building out bike infrastructure fast.

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer joins in on Bike to Work Day, proving you can ride a bike in a bow tie.

The Seattle Times takes a look at the city’s deep-rooted bike culture.

Spokane WA gets an unplanned bike and pedestrian bridge after structural engineers ban cars from a 102-year old bridge.

Life is cheap in Montana, where a hit-and-run driver walked with just probation for a crash that paralyzed a bike-riding woman from the waist down; if she fulfills the terms of her probation, the felony conviction will be wiped from her record. Her victim, on the other hand, will serve a life sentence in a wheelchair.

No disconnect here. An Illinois man says a local road is too dangerous for people on bicycles, and it’s not a good idea to ride a bike there. Then adds that drivers pass him way too fast when he does.

No bias here. A Minnesota kid gets right hooked by a school bus turning into a parking lot. So naturally, the kid gets the blame for riding into the bus.

An Indiana triathlete says don’t drive into people on bicycles, after a driver chose to hit him rather than slow down and pass safely.

Nice. Sandusky, Ohio is building a 12-mile bike and pedestrian boardwalk along the city’s waterfront. And yes, with real boards.

DC bike advocates have been fighting for safer streets since Watergate was just a gleam in Richard Nixon’s eye.

Bad enough that a speeding driver killed DC bike advocate David Salovesh a few weeks back; now another speeding driver has murdered the ghost bike put up in his honor.

 

International

An Ottawa op-ed says a hit-and-run driver may have struck a bike rider, but it was bad road engineering that killed him.

You could get a free ebike if you promise to ride it in Europe for 300 to 600 miles in six days.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 96-year old Dutch man rides his ebike up to 22 miles a day — even though he didn’t start riding until he was 65.

The e-scooter invasion of Europe is nearly complete after Germany approves their use on the country’s roads and bike paths, leaving the UK as the continent’s only holdout. Then again, if Britain goes through with Brexit, they’ll sever the ties binding them to Europe anyway.

An Indian city is the latest to get a bicycle mayor to improve it focus on bicycling. Meanwhile Los Angeles still has to make do with the mayor we’ve got.

 

Competitive Cycling

It shouldn’t be a spoiler at this point to point out that race leader Tejay Van Garderen cracked on the steep slopes of Mount Baldy, allowing 20-year old WorldTour rookie Tadej Pogačar to vault to the lead. And ultimately, to victory in the Amgen Tour of California, setting a record for the youngest WorldTour winner.

On the women’s side, Dutch cyclist Anna van der Breggen led start to finish to claim victory in the all-too-brief three stage race.

The LA Times offers a behind the scenes look at the Tour of California, from the perspective of a team director racing behind the peloton.

La Cañada residents turned out to cheer the racers as they sped through the city on Saturday.

Is it a spoiler if Geraint Thomas tells us who will win the Giro in another two weeks?

Former world champ Jack Bobridge won’t be doing any partying for awhile, after being convicted of supplying ecstasy to an undercover cop.

 

Finally…

Commute by towing your foldie behind your foldie, then put the other foldie in the first foldie. Your best bike hack is a $2 pool noodle.

And evidently, there really is a war on bikes. And they’re calling in the Air Force.

 

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