Tag Archive for USBR 66

Not guilty plea in Goleta DUI bike path deaths, important bike meetings today, and Pasadena council endorsements

The driver accused of fleeing the scene after killing a Goleta couple walking their dog on a bike path pleaded not guilty after being formally charged in the deaths.

Goleta resident Eric Maurcio Ramirez-Aguilar was charged with felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run causing death, and driving under the influence causing great bodily injury, as well as special allegations of fleeing the scene of a fatal collision and injuring multiple victims.

He was already on four years supervised probation for misdemeanor child cruelty at the time of the crash, with an order to abstain from all drugs and alcohol, and attend AA meetings twice a week.

Needless to say, he didn’t.

Allegedly.

The couple leaves behind four kids, ranging from 10 to 20; a GoFundMe page for their care has raised nearly $170,000 of the $300,000 goal.

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Today’s LA City Council Transportation Committee meeting includes discussion of the city’s participation in a pair of national bike routes, as well as an update on the nearly dormant Vision Zero program.

Meanwhile, tonight’s meeting of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council will consider proposals to improve safety on the 4th Street non-bike boulevard by adding traffic signals and diverting motor vehicle traffic where it intersects with Highland and Rossmore.

Needless to say, the proposal faces stiff opposition, even though it would greatly benefit local businesses and homeowners.

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Bike the Vote LA grades their picks in the Pasadena mayoral and council races.

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This one should be pretty self-explanatory, since it’s clearly up to us to get the hell out of the way of drivers, regardless of who has the right-of-way.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1227293630185914369

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Shawadli forwards video of this year’s Tour de Palm Springs.

That’s a hell of a lot of bike riders rolling out from the start.

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Today’s common theme is BMX and mountain biking.

Adam Driver, aka Kylo Ren of Star Wars fame, got his start as an actor after he was medically discharged from the Marines following a mountain bike crash.

After an Oregon bike shop owner died unexpectedly of a heart attack while mountain biking, the bicycling community he fostered rallied around his 18-year old daughter and a 22-year old bike mechanic he mentored to keep the shop open.

A mountain biking coach for an Arizona middle school — yes, they have those, apparently — took the DIY approach, and spent three years building a singletrack practice course on the school grounds.

A nice video looks at a handful of competitors in last year’s BC Bike Race in British Columbia, and forward to this year’s edition in July, as well as a quartet of upcoming public rides.

Bad news from Australia, where a 23-year old Olympic BMX hopeful is in a medically induced coma after suffering a serious head injury while competing over the weekend; Kai Sakakibara has been one of the world’s top ranked riders in recent years.

A former racer gets back on a bike for the first time in three years, after the pressure of performing took all the fun out of it.

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

A Portland woman reports that she and her husband were assaulted by the driver of a large pickup. But the police couldn’t do anything about it because they were busy with a KKK rally.

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

A Santa Barbara bike rider reportedly harassed and blocked riders on a bike trail for the crime of failing to stop at an intersection.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton applauds Mayor Garcetti’s new climate directive calling for a major shift to green transportation in the next decade, but points out he’s running out of time to get anything accomplished while he’s still mayor. Let’s just hope Garcetti actually reads it.

Los Angeles won a ruling saying the city has the right to suspend Uber’s permit for dockless bikeshare and e-scooters after the company refused to share its user data.

This is who we share the roads with. A Florida woman faces charges for literally running away after shifting a car into gear and running over her friend, who had somehow fallen out and struck a tree following a road rage dispute with a motorcyclist in Hollywood. And yes, that’s every bit as confusing as it sounds.

A new video taken by a mountain biker shows the immediate aftermath of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, along with seven others.

CiclaValley lets his bike shoes do the talking.

 

State

The San Diego Padre’s Pedal the Cause has raised a whopping $13 million to fight juvenile cancer in just seven years, bringing in $3.1 million last year alone.

As expected, Craig Wendell Nelson has been sentenced to four years behind bars for the hit-and-run crash that took the life of bike rider Kevin Wilson east of El Cajon last month.

A Tulare bike rider literally dragged Congressman Devin Nunes’ name through the dirt. There’s no indication the man on the bike was homeless, as the Congressman indicated, although he can undoubtedly expect his subpoena any day

A 32-mile combination light rail and bike/ped trail may finally be making progress in Santa Cruz County, in the state’s latest rail-to-trail conversion. Or in this case, rail-to-rail-and-trail.

Stanford is mapping bicycle crashes on campus, and discovering several locations are as bad, or worse, than the school’s so-called “circle of death.”

A San Francisco letter writer says a proposal to tax and license bicycles would discourage bicycling and disproportionately harm low-income riders.

Bicyclists in San Francisco call for quick-build improvements to improve safety at the Embarcadero, even though a cop illegally broke up their demonstration.

A Saint Helena letter writer complains about “terrible roads and laughingly bad bike lanes,” saying the city has everything it needs to be a great bicycling town, but it’s embarrassingly bad. Sounds like it could be LA’s Mini Me.

A Vallejo police officer will be deposed in a federal lawsuit over the failed traffic stop that led to the shooting of an unarmed black bike rider, after the officer was cleared of criminal charges.

 

National

Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong anti-cancer charity is attempting a relaunch after separating itself from the former doper.

Denver bike advocates say the city is nearing a tipping point for using bicycles as transportation, as they work to connect bikeways into an actual network. But the head of a Denver automobile dealers association says the city is waging a war on cars and drivers. Not that a car dealer would have any reason to be biased or anything.

A Helena, Montana nonprofit is getting local teens into road cycling, providing them with bikes, helmets, shoes and other assorted gear, as well as training, to overcome financial barriers to cycling.

Seriously? Residents of a Minneapolis suburb are fighting plans for a bike lane and parking bays — not because of the loss of trees and parking spaces, but because it would make the street feel “cramped, not as safe and not as livable.” Meanwhile, a letter writer says the bike lanes will be unsafe and no one will use them anyway.

New body cam video shows the controversial arrest of an 18-year old Florida bicyclist for the crime of running a stop sign, as well as allegedly fleeing from police and resisting arrest. Must have been a really sensitive cop, because the video doesn’t appear to show any of those things except blowing the stop.

 

International

Treehugger wants to know why the press reports someone was killed instead of merely died — unless the victim died in a traffic collision.

Bike Radar considers the best Valentine’s gifts for bicyclists. Apparently, if you really love someone, you’ll help them avoid saddle sores and butt rash.

No bias here. A writer for the Guardian blames bike lanes and pedestrian crossings for traffic “grinding to a halt” in central London, despite what he calls a complete absence of private cars — even though by his own admission, they’ve actually declined by just 15%. Never mind that the real cause of traffic congestion is all those delivery trucks, ride hailing drivers and all the other cars and trucks on the streets. In London or anywhere else. 

Cyclist compares the bicycling cities of London and Paris, where both bike-friendly mayors are up for re-election this year.

More proof that Vision Zero is achievable, as Helsinki becomes the second Scandinavian country to go a full year without a single bicycling or pedestrian death.

DIY cycling is growing in Peshawar, Pakistan, as local men — and yes, women — are buying inexpensive Chinese bikes and rebuilding them as racing bikes, while making the rest of their kits and gear themselves.

Australian police want to know why a child’s Spider-Man bike was found next to a murder victim whose body had been dumped after he was killed with a tomahawk; two men were arrested the next day and charged with the murder.

 

Competitive Cycling

A writer for Rouleur says this is cycling’s #MeToo moment, as she uncovers abuse and harassment at the highest levels of the sport.

I want to be like her when I grow up. An 80-year old great-grandmother is still breaking track cycling records for her age group, after taking a 20-year break from competition.

French cyclist Jimmy Turgis was forced to retire from racing due to a heart condition at the ripe old age of 28, 16 months after his brother retired with the same problem; a third brother continues to race.

Cyclist profiles pro cyclist Alex Dowsett, who they say is the only hemophiliac competing in professional sports.

A Philippine bike race sponsored by 7-11 became the latest victim of the coronavirus.

 

Finally…

Watch out for giant bipedal frogs on Ohio bike trails.

And that feeling when the antenna controlling your drone falls off in mid filming.

 

Guest post: Los Angeles finally moves forward to support two national bike routes

A few years ago, longtime SoCal bike advocate Bill Sellin started copying me on emails in his fight to get various local leaders to support a pair of US Bicycle Routes across the region. 

It was, clearly, a hard battle. 

First one city, then another came on board. Santa Monica was no surprise; Beverly Hills was. 

But the holdout, for reasons that never really became clear, was the 800 pound gorilla in the process, the City of Los Angeles. 

Apparently, that’s changed. 

Let’s let Bill tell the story. 

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Some time ago you asked about getting an update on the USBR progress and I had nothing — the City of LA was holding out and DOT staff made it clear they were being told to not designate any more streets for any kind of route designation.

But…

I want to let you know that after years of effort, the City of LA is being prodded to move forward on supporting the USBR (US Bicycle Route) designation of 2 national bike routes across the City.

Adventure Cycling Volunteers have been getting local jurisdictions to simply send a letter of support to CalTrans, so that CalTrans can apply to AASHTO for route designation.

I have been working on portions of USBR 66 from Needles to Santa Monica. Bike friendly cities like Santa Monica, West Hollywood, South Pasadena and Pasadena jumped right in. Even hold outs like Beverly Hills and Alhambra signed on support. The County has given support to USBR 95 around Marina del Rey and USBR 66 across East Pasadena.

The City of Los Angeles, facing law suits from cyclists crashing on our city streets, as well as political backlash for improving cycling infrastructure, has been resistant to doing anything toward the USBR support for fear of being blamed for designating a street as part of a route, if the pavement is in disrepair, until every street is cataloged for hazards.

Even though CalTrans previously established the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route along the older Bicentennial Route, along our coast from Oregon to Mexico across the City.

That existing route is proposed for National designation as USBR 95 across Washington, Oregon and California. To get it supported by the City of Los Angeles and a few other ‘hold outs’ is required to complete the process.

Segments of proposed USBR 95 in Los Angeles connect Malibu & Santa Monica, Santa Monica to Marina del Rey, Marina del Rey to El Segundo, Torrance to Carson and Carson to Long Beach. I have been working with the County, Santa Monica and El Segundo along with the City for those segments of USBR 95 as well as USBR 66.

The Proposed USBR 66 rolls west from the San Gabriel Valley on its way from Needles. It drops out of South Pasadena / Alhambra on Mission, then crosses LA on Historic Route 66 along Cesar Chavez / Sunset to Fountain and enters West Hollywood on Willoughby. It resumes on Santa Monica Blvd (historic Rt 66) from Beverly Hills across West LA to Ohio into Santa Monica on Broadway.

Every day cyclists ride these segments of roadways, and all are on the City of Los Angeles’ Neighborhood enhanced route plan from 2016.

Many adventure cyclists continue touring these epic routes by bicycle, the best way to be a tourist in Los Angeles for cyclists from all over the world.

Both of these routes are proposed and adjusted with local agency input prior to support, based on the existing Adventure Cycling route system. These maps and guides have helped cyclo-tourists find their way across our country since the 1970’s when it started as BikeCentennial.

These routes include everything from Freeway shoulders, un-improved streets, Class III on-street Bike Routes & bike boulevards — some with narrow lanes marked with sharrows and BMUFL (Bikes May Use Full Lane) signs, Class II on-street Bike Lanes, off-street Class I Bike Paths and shared use paths, and separated Class IV Cyclotracks where they exist (I don’t call them protected bike lanes because they are not lanes in California law!).

Now we have some strong political movement to resume talks stalled since 1916 to secure support from the City DOT.

Mike Bonin, Councilmember from District 11, submitted a motion on January 17th to direct the DOT to support both routes to CalTrans, install sharrows & BMUFL signs on streets not already designated or with bike lanes or cycle tracks, install USBR wayfinding signs and report back with options to further enhance bicycle tourism along the designated routes.

This Tuesday night, at the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, attended by Laura Crawford, U.S. Bicycle Route System Coordinator for the Adventure Cycling Association, there was unanimous support of a motion to City Staff —

Whereas, the segments of US Bike Routes (USBR) numbers 66 and 95 that pass through the City of Los Angeles are critical to completing these two important national bike routes, and

Whereas hundreds of touring cyclists need to navigate the city each year and have difficulty finding safe, convenient routes, exactly the guidance that the USBR network is intended to provide, and

Whereas the proposed USBR alignments make maximum use of existing approved bikeways in the city, and

Whereas if the USBRs are designated, the city will always have the opportunity to change and update the route with CalTans if better cycling infrastructure is added or better alignments present themselves over time, and

Whereas, despite years of engagement with the city, little progress has been made to approve alignments for the proposed US Bike Routes,

Therefore, the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee encourages the city to move forward with providing a letter of support to CalTrans for the proposed USBR 66 and 95 alignments in Los Angeles, identifying alternative alignments if needed, to achieve submission for approval of these USBRs as soon as possible.

Given these powerful motions to support, we trust the LA City staff will promptly resume discussions to identify the best available alignment of the proposed route and support them to CalTrans, completing a missing link of these statewide projects to connect out the national network of bikeways.

Once Adventure Cycling volunteers get every city along the routes to support the route to CalTrans, CalTrans will submit it to AASHTO and, if approved, the designation will go into effect and we will see new USBR signs go up!

Interested cyclists can keep up-to-date on the USBRS by subscribing to Adventure Cycling’s quarterly eNews.

A few notes of appreciation to Mike Bonin and the Los Angeles BAC from the cycling community will also reinforce their good will.

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