Tag Archive for U.S. Department of Transportation

Morning Links: USDOT announces national Vision Zero, London bike lane hate, and bike lanes & gentrification

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Now we’re getting somewhere.

The US Department of Transportation has announced their own Vision Zero plan to end traffic fatalities on the nation’s roads.

Although unlike most similar plans — including LA’s — with ambitious, if unrealistic deadlines, the USDOT proposes to eliminate deaths on our streets within 30 years. By which time enough changes may have occurred in our transportation system to make it possible, if not probable.

Even in the face of the apparent massive 10% jump in traffic deaths in the first six months of this year.

As usual, however, the feds are approaching it cautiously, budgeting just $1 million per year for the next three years to fund grant programs to explore the idea.

And even that could go out the window next year, depending on who wins the election.

Thanks to Michael of Racers Who Ride for the heads-up.

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London’s Daily Mail goes off on an anti-bike tangent, calling the construction of bike lanes in the UK — including the city’s popular cycle superhighways — lunacy, while pointing out that they may be busy at peak hours, but are often empty at other times.

Sort of like roads, in other words.

Which are flooded with cars at rush hour, but encourage speeding and aggressive driving with their overbuilt capacity most of the day, and especially at night.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker takes exception, calling the Daily Mail story the latest example of the internet’s propensity for example-free, anecdote-driven, fringe activist memes migrating into the mainstream media.

And noting that London’s bike lanes, which take up just 3% of the city’s streets, have contributed to a 60% increase in bicycling rates, with bikes making up a whopping 70% of rush hour traffic on one busy street.

So if something is bringing London’s traffic to a halt, as the Daily Mail claims, maybe it’s just all those cars.

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Speaking of the Guardian, which seems to be today’s voice of reason, they offer a good examination of whether bike lanes cause gentrification.

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Local

The LA Times warns that Los Angeles County voters defeated a transportation tax measure in 2012, and they could do it again with Measure M, which needs a two-thirds vote to pass.

KPCC’s Take Two takes a look at what to wear when you’re riding a bike and spandex just won’t do, including LA’s own swrve.

Joe Linton previews this weekend’s New Urbanism Film Festival.

An overly modest CiclaValley offers some great bicycling photos.

West Hollywood has experienced a jump in bike thefts over the past few months; the sheriff’s department is still looking for the owners of five bikes recovered from an abandoned property last month.

Bike the Vote LA urges a no vote on Santa Monica’s anti-growth measure LV.

 

State

Huntington Beach police are looking for a bike thief caught on camera lurking under the pier before riding off with a locked bike. What’s shocking about this story isn’t the theft, it’s that Patch is somehow still in business.

San Diego is about to fail its first test for the city’s Climate Action Plan, as the first neighborhoods to prepare plans that fail to meet minimal standards for shifting commuters to biking, walking and transit.

Palo Alto police conclude that a 73-year old bike rider who was killed in an August collision blew through a stop sign before he was hit by a car. As usual, however, there’s no word on whether there were any witnesses other than the driver who killed him.

A Hayward bike rider was found dead next to a freeway onramp, at least five hours after he was the victim of a hit-and-run.

 

National

Bicycling Magazine anoints Charleston, SC as the nation’s worst city for bicycling, a sharp fall from grace after making the top 30 in 2010; they also rank this year’s bicycling hall of shame.

Alternet ranks the 20 things most likely to kill you; as usual, the only advice on how to stay safe on a bicycle is to wear your helmet. Never mind that avoiding collisions through better infrastructure and learning to ride safely is far more likely to protect you than any helmet. Or that you’re over ten times more likely to die in a car.

Vogue likes the looks of a new collapsible bike helmet that just launched on Kickstarter.

Oregon farmers are fighting plans for a rail-to-trail conversion of an abandoned railway, fearing the presence of bikers and walkers could result in higher crime and complicate pesticide spaying. Which sounds like a great reason to switch to more sustainable farming methods.

Seattle looks into the dangers streetcar tracks pose to cyclists in the downtown area.

Horrifying story from Texas, as a 10-year old special needs boy was set on fire by another child while he was out for a bike ride; he’s currently on life support with first and second degree burns, as well as a lung infection.

An Illinois mayoral candidate says he never wanted to get rid of the requirement for bike lights, even though he proposed an ordinance to do exactly that.

Not surprisingly, the mother of a Chicago woman killed by a flatbed truck while riding her bike last week has filed a lawsuit; the only surprise is that it’s for just $100,000. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the link.

A Boston bike commuter tells motorists I don’t want to die, and you don’t want to kill me.

 

International

Clearly, hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem, as drivers fled in 13% of Ottawa, Canada collisions.

A new survey shows the overwhelming majority of Toronto residents approve of bike lanes. Although a Toronto website says local bike shops need an attitude adjustment so getting a bike serviced isn’t an unpleasant ordeal for women.

Adweek picks up on the controversy over a British ad campaign that puts the onus for avoiding collisions on the people on two wheels, rather than the ones operating the big dangerous machines. Meanwhile, 87% of people on the street in a very non-scientific London survey say cyclists should have to pass a test before being allowed on the roads. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

A British researcher is riding across the UK to find out why Brits voted to leave the European Union.

An English writer says every driver should have to spend an hour on a bicycle to qualify for a driver’s license.

Local governments are derailing Scotland’s plans to become more bike friendly and increase bicycling rates.

An Irish writer insists that bike riders need to pay their share for the roads if they want to be taken seriously. Except they already do, of course. And should be anyway, just like anyone else.

Google is employing a virtually army of bike riding women to help get women in rural Indian villages online for the first time. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

A South African business site says developing a culture of bicycling would counteract congestion in Cape Town, as the city begins work on developing a cycling strategy.

An Aussie lawyer bizarrely argues that a drugged-out hit-and-run driver should be spared jail because it would cause irreparable harm to her 15-month old son. Never mind the irreparable harm she caused the bike-riding mother of three she killed, along with her family.

Singapore has ticketed over 700 bicyclists, ebike riders and personal mobility device operators for reckless behavior since May.

 

Finally…

Chances are, bike riding isn’t doing permanent damage to your lady parts, assuming you have them. And Poland unveils a new bike lane apparently made of luminescent Smurfs.

 

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.

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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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