Tag Archive for Venice Blvd

Morning Links: Venice NC supports data-based decision, angry Playa del Rey Op-Ed, and war on bikes goes on

Chalk up one small victory for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in Mar Vista.

John Montgomery attended last night’s Venice Neighborhood Council meeting, where a motion to immediately undo the recent lane reduction and installation of a parking protected bike lane was under discussion.

Here’s his report.

The Venice Neighborhood Council Parking and Transportation Committee met at Canal Club in Venice on Wednesday night and most of the evening was spent discussing the Great Streets project in Mar Vista. About 40 people attended, with approximately 15 residents of Venice taking part. Of the 15 Venice residents, at least seven turned out in support of the changes in Mar Vista in addition to several folks outside the area from various non-profits focused on pedestrian concerns. The rest were from Mar Vista, with some from the Playa area.

All-in-all the meeting was well run and controlled — and there was very little ugliness that often occurs at meetings where attendees are passionate about their views. I give committee chair Jim Murez credit for this — he was very quick to keep people focused and in line. I don’t agree with all of his views, but I do appreciate his effort to try to make it a positive meeting. Having served time on the Venice Neighborhood Committee, I know how difficult his job is.

The main discussion was a resolution apparently passed by the Mar Vista Transportation & Infrastructure Committee towards the end of June, which is very different from the motion listed in the Agenda (which is filed before the meeting). The very last paragraph of the motion demands that the changes be immediately reversed back to the previous three lanes in each direction.

Attendees discussed concerns about gridlock (20 to 30 minute travel times through the corridor), poor response times from first responders, the “incredibly unsafe” changes (such as not being able to see cyclists behind the cars in the buffer zone), and the fact that this “came out of nowhere.” The advocates, to a person, worked to dispel some of the myths that were brought up, focusing on the positive aspects about making a more livable Mar Vista “downtown,” as well as the fact that anecdotal evidence was not a way to make a sensible decision. They also brought up that this process was public since the middle of 2015 and numerous community outreach attempts were made…it was kinda hard to miss IMHO.

In my personal experience, travel times do increase during commute times (never as bad as 20 minutes) but at other points in the day traffic flows safely and normally — and I have GoPro video to document it. Several of us pointed out that the type of street changes implemented have almost unequivocally shown to increase safety when implemented in other areas, states, and countries. It is true that there is a learning curve with this type of implementation, but after the initial period the changes do end up being safer for everyone.

I was really impressed with the eloquence and thoughts of the cycling advocates (though I’m admittedly biased), who were incredibly positive about the changes while expressing empathy with some of the opponents’ perspective.  A main focus of advocates was to let this trial period play out and use actual data to back up decisions. LADOT’s Nat Gale spoke about all the data that was being collected, and that by the end of this week there would be a LADOT website about the project and the data being collected. He also announced that there would be an open house on Saturday, July 22nd (time and location to be determined) where the initial information would be shared and could be discussed with LADOT employees.

The only really ugly part of the night came when one of the residents opposed to the Great Streets project make a joke about a pedestrian being injured…which drew laughs/chuckles from a few in the audience. I’m sorry, but nothing is amusing about that. At all.

On the positive side, thanks to the advocates who turned out, the committee removed the last paragraph and instead replaced it with one requesting that the data be examined, that a meeting be held in Venice with Councilman Bonin, and that it not have a negative impact on the Venice community. The committee very much agreed that actual data should be used in such a decision and not simply anecdotal evidence.

I spoke with the committee after the meeting and thanked them — reminding them that almost half of the people who took the time to show up from Venice were in favor of the changes. After all, the committee is “Parking and Transportation,” so the deck is somewhat stacked against cycling advocates with the focus on parking. It was heartening to see my fellow Venice resident cyclists take the time out of their evening to show up and support a cause which I feel will benefit the community of Mar Vista. I especially appreciate their ability to separate the hype and anecdotes from fact.

Venice Neighborhood Council Meeting at the Canal Club; photos by John Montgomery

Venice residents who came out to support the Great Streets project

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Meanwhile, a trio of angry drivers take aim at Councilmember Mike Bonin over the safety improvements in an Op-Ed in The Argonaut.

Think the same sort of sputtering anger you hear from a road raging driver, but in print.

In last week’s issue of The Argonaut, Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin justified his newly implemented “road diets” with an insulting diatribe about rich commuters from outside of our communities using our residential streets as highways. The truth is that Bonin’s “road diets” are wildly unpopular with his constituents and he refuses to admit it. He is replacing arterial lanes with bike lanes and parking on the premise that safety and commute times are mutually exclusive. Rather than objectively looking at facts, data and the numerous solutions that can truly make our streets safer, Bonin is misrepresenting details and using divisive rhetoric to force his personal ideals on us.

Note to angry Op-Ed writers: No need to put “road diet” in quotation marks; that’s what they’re called.

Of course, they then go on to compound their hyperbole with an un-objective look at the facts, data and solutions, reacting as only angry drivers can when they lose some of their precious road space in the name of safety.

Other than confusing the average of six collisions annually that result in serious injury or death with the 13 fender benders they site, they offer a collection of anecdotes with a complete and total lack of data to back it up.

And never mind that LADOT will study the results of the road diets, just as in the Mar Vista project cited above, and report back with actual stats and data on their effectiveness before any decision is made on whether to make them permanent.

It’s going to be a very long, angry summer.

You can show your support by signing the petition to keep Playa del Rey streets safe.

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Today’s common theme is the war on bikes, which rages on.

A Seattle woman was shot with a pellet gun from a passing car while riding home with her husband. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A Chicago man is under arrest for pulling a load gun on Critical Mass riders after some idiot sat on the hood of his car.

A FedEx driver in upstate New York faces a felony theft charge for taking a bicyclist’s phone after he tried to take photos of the driver during a dispute.

A Florida woman is accused of using her SUV to intentionally run down a bike rider she knew, then coming back to attack her again.

A road-raging Winnipeg, Canada driver repeatedly bumped a woman’s bike and shouted homophobic slurs, apparently for the crime of being in his way when he wanted to turn right at a red light.

A British bike rider was knocked off his bike, gouged in the eye and dragged by his dreadlocks after confronting a man over rumors he’d been insulting him.

Caught on video: A British truck driver drifts into a cyclist, who barely manages to stay upright after the truck sideswipes him and forces him off the road, then jumps out and starts screaming that the rider was at fault. Which he wasn’t, unless being in the same space the driver wanted to occupy is a crime.

On the other hand, police in the UK are looking for an “aggressive” cyclist accused of shouting abuse at parents as they pick up and drop off their kids at school. My guess is he’s just fed up with drivers cutting him off and blocking the roadway. Or maybe I’m just projecting from my own experiences with school-bound parents.

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In today’s relatively spoiler-free racing news, the yellow jersey switched hands in Wednesday’s stage of the Tour de France, while Italian champ Fabio Aru sent a message to the peloton. And American Andrew Talansky is off to an uneventful start in the Tour.

The debate over whether Peter Sagan should have been elbowed out of the Tour goes on, with almost universal disagreement with the decision; one track cyclist points the finger at Cavendish, instead.

Meanwhile, Ella Cycling Tips offers an update on stage 6 of the Giro Rosa.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes about comforting an injured woman who was hit by a driver, saying we don’t appreciate the vulnerability of pedestrians until it’s too late.

A Marina del Rey teenager raised $12,000 for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation by riding from Mar Vista to Del Mar, stopping at several fire stations along the way.

 

State

An off-road rider was rescued by authorities above Ojai after apparently suffering heat exhaustion. A reminder to be careful riding in the extreme heat predicted for this weekend; bring plenty of water, and avoid riding in the heat of the day, if possible.

A moving new Salinas mural honors a fallen cyclist next to his ghost bike, three years after he was killed by a hit-and-run driver who was never caught.

San Jose will be installing several road diets and bike lanes over the summer. Which means San Jose bike advocates will get to have the same sort of fun we’re having with drivers enraged over losing a small amount of road space.

The San Jose Mercury News reviews Andy Samberg’s cycling and doping sendup Tour de Pharmacy, which airs this weekend on HBO.

Caught on video: A San Francisco driver gets out of his car to argue with a bike rider following a punishment pass. While the story correctly notes that police have to actually witness an infraction to write a ticket or make a misdemeanor arrest, the driver could have been charged with assault simply for getting out of his car to confront the rider. Thanks to Cyclist’s Rights for the link.

Sacramento is building a three-quarter-mile long bike path along the American River, part of a planned bikeway leading to the Cal State Sacramento campus.

 

National

A new study examines the reasons people don’t use bikeshare; no surprise that the leading reason for all demographic groups was fear of traffic.

Another new study examines driver’s attitudes towards bicyclists, suggesting that the roadway is a battleground for social domination, rather than just a competition for space. Which explains the outrage over road diets.

An Op-Ed in a bicycle trade publication questions the lack of women in the bike industry, while noting the situation is poised to change.

Seattle is ready to make its third attempt at bikeshare, with as many as ten dockless bikeshare companies looking to enter the market; however, users are still required to have helmets, which may doom them all.

The massive Outdoor Retailer trade shows will be moving to Denver, in response to Utah officials support for downsizing the Bears Ears National Monument.

A Colorado man writes that he was hit by a speeding car while riding his bike, but instead of ticketing the driver, the cop lectured him about the wisdom of riding a skinny-tired bike on the street.

Nebraska will change the way it installs rumble strips to improve safety for cyclists.

 

International

London’s former cycling czar accuses the new mayor of subverting plans for cycle superhighways, and maintaining capacity for motor vehicles even if it causes conflicts with cyclists.

An 18-year old British man has been sentenced to four years behind bars for killing a middle-aged man by scissor kicking him as he was riding his bike while walking his dog. Violence is never the answer, though the victim had provoked his attacker by repeatedly insulting him using racist terms.

Someone posted a handwritten sign urging drivers to slow down at an English intersection where a bike-riding father was killed, adding that it’s frightening to be passed by drivers going too fast and too close. And it is.

Caught on video: A bike-riding couple in the UK got dangerously buzzed by a speeding motorcyclist.

Better buy that $7,800 graphene-infused bike now; high-end British bike maker Dassi Limited was threatened with insolvency for failing to file required paperwork.

NPR looks at Copenhagen’s efforts to use technology to avoid bicycle traffic jams.

Get your bicycle tuned up. Hanoi, Vietnam has announced plans to ban motorcycles by 2030, the leading form of transportation in a country where few can afford cars.

 

Finally…

Looks like you can keep taking that EPO after all. Proof that there’s more than one way to lockup a bike; thanks again to Megan Lynch.

And some things are just too cute not to share.

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Thanks to Joni Yung for today’s featured image of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

Morning Links: Support Mar Vista road diet at Venice NC tonight, and Sagan gets the boot from Tour de France

The battle over the Mar Vista and Playa del Rey lane reductions and bike lanes goes on.

And it’s just getting started, if the seemingly endless series of attacks from pissed off drivers in my Twitter feed over the long weekend is any indication.

Fortunately, you should have a chance to voice your opinion tonight at the Venice Neighborhood Council meeting at the Canal Club, 2025 Pacific Ave in Venice, starting at 7 pm.

Show up if you can make it. Because those angry drivers certainly will.

………

Just one day after sprinting to victory in the third stage of the Tour de France — despite an unclipped pedal — fan favorite Peter Sagan was unceremoniously kicked out of the race following a collision at the end of stage four that left Mark Cavendish with a broken shoulder. Even Greg LeMond thought the penalty was too harsh.

Caught on video: Australian cyclist Luke Durbridge takes a hard slide into the barricades on Saturday’s rain-slicked streets; he was forced to withdraw with an ankle injury.

Women competing in the Giro Rosa had to contend with unexpectedly challenging hills in the individual time trial.

Lance wants his former teammate and current arch-nemesis Floyd Landis to testify at his trial, one way or another.

………

Local

A writer for City Watch says if Los Angeles officials are serious about fighting climate change, they should get drivers out of their cars by expanding bikeshare, protected bike lanes and bike parking, and emulate bike networks in other bike-friendly cities.

Curbed looks at the Metro Bike Hub currently under construction at Union Station. Speaking of Metro, they’re celebrating the first birthday of the Metro Bike bikeshare tomorrow at the Wheelhouse in DTLA.

A Pacoima intersection may be named after Saul Lopez, after the 15-year old was the innocent victim of a wreck between two trucks as he rode to school last summer.

A Long Beach woman is riding cross-country from Long Beach CA to Long Beach NY to raise funds for eight different non-profits.

 

State

A 57-year old bike rider was seriously injured in a collision with the driver of a semi-truck in Santa Ana.

A 51-year old San Diego man credits mountain biking with changing his life.

A San Diego bike rider was seriously injured when he allegedly ran a red light and plowed into the side of a minivan. As always, the question is whether anyone other than the driver saw whether the light was red or green. But let this be a reminder to always observe the right-of-way, even if you don’t respect the traffic signals.

Riverside County bike cops are now patrolling in Jurupa Valley.

A San Francisco bike rider says tourists with selfie sticks and rental bikes have ruined the Golden Gate Bridge.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 87-year old San Francisco man used a fire extinguisher to fight off a bike thief rolling a bicycle out of his garage.

 

National

Even in bike-friendly Portland, NIMBY business owners turn out to fight a proposed road diet.

A Seattle writer says he supports the city’s new private bikeshare companies, even if he’s sure they’re going to fail.

A Chicago writer recognizes that motor vehicles can do far more harm than people on bikes, but asks if reckless driving and reckless biking are morally equivalent.

A new lawsuit alleges a dangerous New York intersection was responsible for a bike rider’s death last year, after 16 other bicyclists were injured at the same junction in the previous four years.

The family of a Swedish model killed in a collision with a bus while riding her bike in NYC has settled the case for half a million dollars.

J-Lo is one of use, as she goes for a ride with former New York Yankee A-Rod, who could stand to put a shirt on.

Who was that masked man? A hero New Jersey bicyclist pulled a man out of a burning car, then rode off into the sunset without giving his name.

 

International

A Canadian cycling site lists the reasons bike riders make great employees. Not to mention no one has to subsidize our parking, and we’re less likely to fall asleep in those endless 8 am meetings. Although we will eat all the donuts.

A Toronto cop has been charged for a January collision with a bike rider, but no word on what the charges are.

The war on bikes continues, part one. A London van driver tries to wrestle a bike rider into submission after being told he was being recorded while illegally using a handheld mobile phone.

A London bicyclist was the victim of a careless dog walker who allowed her charge to stretch the leash across path; the dog walker didn’t fare too well, either. Always watch out for dogs on retractable leashes when you ride on multi-use trails. Because their owners may not be watching out for you.

Taking a page from San Francisco’s playbook, Dublin bike advocates form their own human-protected bike lane to keep drivers from parking in it.

Demi Lovato is one of us too, as she goes for a 4th of July bike ride with friends in Berlin.

You can save these bicycling routes for your next trip to Moscow. No, not the one in Idaho.

There’s a special place in hell for the Russian bike rider who threw sulfuric acid into the faces of three girls in two separate attacks.

The war on bikes continues, part two. A Singapore driver faces charges after brake-checking a group of cyclists, then punching and dooring one who tried to ride past his car.

Bikes have always been non-polluting. But now they can actually remove smog from the air, thanks to a Chinese bikeshare company.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to paint a bike lane symbol by hand, find someone who can actually paint. Why register bikes when you can register pedestrians instead?

And the Mounties always get their girl. Even if she jumps into a river to avoid getting busted for stealing a bike.

 

Morning Links: LACBC steps up for safer streets in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey, and looks to replace Tamika Butler

The LACBC is joining the fight over streets in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.

Which is good news for everyone who’s been trying to hold their own against the onslaught of angry drivers in the fight for safer streets.

Especially the beleaguered Peter Flax, who has been leading the fight on Twitter and Facebook — at least until they blocked him — as well as in the opinion pages of the LA Times.

But it is the roll of the LACBC, aka Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, to step up and organize the opposition to the opposition, and help keep these much needed safety improvements in place.

Street safety projects on the Westside have come under attack. If opposition to safe streets succeeds in getting these projects removed, it could stifle similar projects across the city…

Some drivers using these corridors have grown impatient because they are unable to travel at the same unsafe high speeds as they previously could. However, LADOT continues working to improve the synchronization of signal lights to help improve traffic flow, while also keeping streets safe for all who use the corridor throughout their day, including drivers.

Despite the great public benefit, these projects unfortunately have come under attack amid a flurry of misinformation being circulated about the projects. There is some concern that they will be removed, but there are actions you can take to make sure that the streets are safer for the communities of Mar Vista and Playa Del Rey.

They share these tips for how you can get more involved.

Want to take action? 

Help make sure these street safety projects are a success and show your support by:

JOINING our Sunday Funday Ride on the Westside this Sunday, July 2nd at 9:30am. We’ll tour the safety improvements in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista. The ride will roll-out at 10am and be approximately 14 miles at an easy-moderate pace. We’ll also make a stop at Mar Vista Farmers Market for a buy-in to show local support for businesses and share fact sheets.

SHARING on social media! Tweet and post photos of your ride through Venice, Jefferson, and Culver Boulevards, and Pershing Drive on the new bike lanes!

Use #SaferVeniceBlvd#SaferJeffersonBlvd#SaferCulverBlvd, and #SaferPershingDr to share your message with fellow safe streets advocates.

VOLUNTEERING for our LACBC phone bank on Wednesday, July 5th anytime between 4:00pm and 8:00pm at our Headquarters. We will be calling members and allies to take action in support of Vision Zero and the new safety improvements! RSVP by email to elizabeth@la-bike.org.

ATTENDING the Wednesday, July 5th Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC)meeting at the Canal Club at 7:00pm! The VNC Parking & Transportation Committee and Board of Directors Meeting will be discussing Venice Blvd, and there will be an opportunity to provide public comment and vote. Don’t forget to share on social media if you show up!

ATTENDING the Tuesday, July 11th Mar Vista Community Council(MVCC) meeting at the Mar Vista Recreation Center at 7:00pm! The MVCC will be taking action on the bike lanes and it’s critical for us to show up and let them know these lanes are essential for safe Westside streets. If you plan to attend, please let us know by signing in here so we can keep you up to date and help prepare you for public comment. Don’t forget to share on social media if you show up!

SUPPORTING all of LACBC’s work on advocating for safer streets by becoming a memberrenewing your membership, or making a donation.

EMAILING the Mar Vista Community Council and Venice Neighborhood Council TODAY to show your support for street safety improvements on Venice Blvd.

You can find a sample email on the LACBC’s call to action (scroll down to the bottom).

Meanwhile, a Manhattan Beach resident says people from out of town who use Vista del Mar and Culver Boulevard should have been consulted before any changes were made.

You know, just like they consulted LA before calming all those streets in Manhattan Beach.

And offering to pay the legal settlement the next time someone gets killed.

………

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re looking for a new executive director to replace the irreplaceable Tamika Butler, who helped lift the organization onto the national stage, and into the debate over bikes and equity.

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How’s this for irony? Lance Armstrong lost his seven Tour de France title for doping with EPO. Now it turns out it probably didn’t do anything to boost his performance. And could give you a heart attack.

Belgian rider Jan Bakelants apologized for suggestive remarks about female hostesses — aka podium girls — at the Tour de France, saying he was just trying to be funny. And not really suggesting they were easy, and probably diseased, which is basically what he said.

No Autobahn here. German time trial specialist Tony Martin will ride a bike designed to pay homage to electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk in Saturday’s Dusseldorf TdF prologue.

Forget all that racing in the Tour de France, ABC would rather just talk about the specter of doping.

Three prominent Irish cycling figures have joined the protest over women racers competing in the country’s national championships being told to get the hell off the course to make way for the men before their race was over.

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Local

Metro Bike is celebrating its first birthday at the Wheelhouse next Thursday.

Maybe you should ride through Eagle Rock or Burbank instead. Glendale has ranked near the bottom of the list of America’s worst drivers for 12 years in a row; needless to say, city officials disagree.

West Covina is looking for input on a new Active Transportation Master Plan, aka Pedestrian and Bike Plan; you can respond through the online survey, or attend an open house workshop July 26th.

 

State

The town council in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood is seriously considering turning Bacon Street into a bicycle boulevard. Oddly, no one there seems to have any problem with the term bike boulevard, which bike advocates and DOTs are loath to use these days.

San Diego police are using bait bikes to combat bike thieves in Pacific Beach. Something we still haven’t been able to talk the LAPD into trying.

The Desert Sun offers a tutorial on the oddly controversial CV Link multi-use path through the Coachella Valley.

 

National

CNN looks at Mark Beaumont’s attempt to bike around the world in just 80 days, nine years after he set a record by doing it in 115 days more.

Bicycling crosses an advertorial line, posting what’s nothing more than an ad for Performance Bike in the guise of an article. Which could get them in serious trouble if they were compensated for it.

It should come as no surprise that traffic fatalities involving vulnerable road users ranks as the fourth leading cause of preventable death in the US.

A Seattle woman has filed a pair of $300,000 claims against the city and its transit agency after falling on trolley tracks, exactly one year to the day after another woman was killed in the same spot.

You may lose your ass inside a Las Vegas casino, but you can save half off the price of pedaling it to the next one on a bikeshare bike this summer.

A Utah man is alleging that a cop deliberately kneed him in the back, breaking his ribs and puncturing his lung, after he attempted to flee from a traffic stop on his bicycle; the officers say they initially tried to stop him because he was riding the wrong way on the sidewalk. Unless the law is different in Utah — which I doubt — sidewalks are considered bi-directional, so there is no wrong way. Which would mean there was no probable cause for the stop, or anything that followed.

A South Carolina man is visiting Las Cruces NM on a cross-country bike ride, 50 years after he saved a boy’s life on a similar trek. And met Clint Eastwood, too.

Good news from Austin TX, where kindhearted strangers have raised $13,000 for the Spanish-speaking bike rider who was shot in the face with a shotgun by a teenager in a passing car, who told police he was just looking to blow off some steam. Instead he nearly blew Alonso Solis’ face off, as well as the next several years of his own life. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

After making it big via Shark Tank, a Dallas entrepreneur is sharing the wealth by giving away custom bikes to pediatric cancer patients.

Chicago city trucks will be retrofitted with side guards to protect bicyclists and pedestrians from getting run over by the trucks’ rear wheels. Something that should be done here in LA. And everywhere else, for that matter.

You could be the proud owner of the 40-acre Minnesota estate currently owned by America’s last remaining Tour de France winner for just $5 million. Which is pretty much the price of a tear-down in Manhattan Beach.

If you’re going to pile all of your belongings on your van before hitting a New Hampshire highway, at least use a bike rack.

New York police are looking for a bike-riding jerk who punched a disabled man who was using a walker covered with LGBTQ stickers; they’re investigating the attack as a hate crime. Proof that people on bikes can be bigoted assholes, just like anyone else.

New York chef Daniel Humm is one of us, going from competitive Swiss cyclist to arguably the world’s best chef.

A Baton Rouge LA bike rider was murdered in an apparently random attack after being approached by the suspects as he was riding on the street.

 

International

Apparently, bike cams have been around since at least the ‘80s. No, the 1880s.

After a bike-riding Montreal purse thief snatched a handbag from a woman visiting a cemetery, she chased after him with her SUV, ending up with her car against a tree with the thief under it.

A London travel writer visits the German hometown of the bicycle on the 200th anniversary of the first Draisine, which was basically a wooden adult balance bike.

Before launching in soggy Manchester, England, a dockless bikeshare company tested their bikes in a Chinese river to make sure they could stand up to the weather.

Swansea soccer player Fernando Llorente is one of us, too, as he suffered a broken arm while riding his bike, and may not be ready for the August start of the Premier League season.

Caught on video: A British bike rider was taken down by a dog that lunged at him as he rode by, then tried to attack him as the dog’s owner tried to help.

Caught on video too: A “secret” cyclist in the UK offers evidence of just how badly bike riders are treated on the streets.

Ten years after an accident left him paralyzed from the waist down, a British man is using a handcycle to ride 2,250 miles around the coast of England and Wales.

A Rwandan writer gets it, calling for the country to promote bicycling as a sport, as well as a means of transportation, and a strategy for health intervention.

A South African newspaper offers advice for the fashion conscious cyclist. Which is really has nothing to do with fashion, and more to do with comfort and practicality.

Bicycling has become an integral part of women’s lives in Malaysia.

 

Finally…

No, your bike is not the proper tool to halt a pair of tools having sex in public. Repeat after me: If you’re going to use a bike as your bank robbing getaway vehicle, get your hair done first.

And if you’re riding your bike with dope, a stolen gun and outstanding warrants, signal your effing turns.

Thanks to Niall Huffman for the featured photo of the Mar Vista road diet on Venice Blvd.

Morning Links: Wasted CD1 traffic safety meeting, and Daily News columnist displays his indignorance

So much for that.

Recently, it was announced that CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo would host a town hall to discuss traffic safety in conjunction with the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council.

Despite briefly raising hopes that Road Kill Gil had, like Scrooge on Christmas morning, turned over a new leaf after getting the message of the recent election he nearly lost, nothing appears to have changed.

And despite the promise of the flier promoting the event, bicycles weren’t even discussed.

Here’s what CD1 resident and BikinginLA contributor Harv had to say about the meeting.

Just move along, nothing to see here.

I attended the subject Town Hall meeting last night at Ramona Hall in Highland Park.

Absolutely nothing there of interest to us. The main speaker (from LADOT) even made it a point to say that bike infrastructure would not be discussed at all, because someone might object to the very idea of bikes on the road. So what ensued was a very general discussion of what Vision Zero was intended to be, although no specific plans were proffered. When asked by an attendee about the existing street safety designs for North Figueroa that were completed several years ago, the speaker acknowledged that project but offered no input as to updates or status.

Following were general discussions on how to safely use the Metro rail system and some pedestrian issues. Pedestrian infrastructure would include crosswalks, bulb-outs, and lights. No discussion of the real problem for peds; car drivers just don’t want to yield to them, regardless of lights, stripes, or signage.

A waste of time IMO. At least I had a very pleasant evening bike ride.

……….

Apparently, the angry have the full support of the uninformed when it comes to the recent road reconfigurations in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.

Writing for the Daily News, KABC radio personality Doug McIntyre seems only too happy to demonstrate his near total lack of understanding of road diets, Vision Zero and traffic planning in defense of maintaining automotive hegemony on LA streets.

And the rights of angry commuters to keep speeding through the city, and putting innocent lives at risk.

(Councilmember) Bonin has embraced Mayor Garcetti’s utopian “Vision Zero” plan, purportedly to eliminate all traffic deaths in L.A. by 2025. At least that’s how it’s being spun. The real purpose is the elimination of the private automobile as a viable means of transportation in Los Angeles.

Traffic planners and the politicians who employ them have created some wonderfully Orwellian gibber-jabber to sell gridlock to commuters. Rather than “bottleneck” and “parking lot” they talk of “traffic calming” and “road diets,” assuming everyone in Los Angeles is a sucker for the latest diet.

Actually, the only thing necessary to eliminate the private automobile as a viable means of transportation is to continue on the same exclusively auto-centric path the city has pursued for the last 60-plus years.

Without viable alternatives, traffic will simply grind to a halt as the city’s population climbs and more vehicles compete for the same amount of space.

Installing safe bike lanes may not get people like McIntyre out of his car, but it could encourage other people to get out and ride when they can, taking more cars off the streets so he can zoom zoom to his heart’s content.

He goes on to spout more uninformed bile, while attempting to paint himself as less of an indignorant* and hopelessly auto-centric troglodyte than his own words make him seem.

Residents and commuters passing through Mar Vista and Vista del Mar are now sentenced to longer commutes, with more CO2 being released into the atmosphere and more on the way. “Vision Zero” is only one city plan to punish drivers and force them out of their cars and onto nonexistent public transportation. The “Great Street” initiative and “Mobility Plan 2035” will similarly remove lanes for automobiles to make driving so onerous, Angelinos will spring for Spandex and pedal 20 or 30 miles each way to work in 100 degree heat.

For the record, I am a passionate supporter of public transportation. I endorsed Measure M so the city of Los Angeles would have the funds to accelerate construction of a world-class light-rail system to give us a viable alternative to stuffing more cars onto our already over-stuffed roads. But what’s happening on Venice Boulevard, Pershing Drive and Culver in Mar Vista is a war on drivers who are simply trying to go to work and drop off their kids at school. They’re being treated like villains by the people elected to improve the quality of their lives, not harass them.

Before he wastes any more time attempting to misinform the public and arouse even more misplaced anger than is already out there, he could take a few minutes to find out what the hell he’s talking about first.

Or maybe we could find a few middle school kids to explain it to him.

Because right now, he doesn’t have a clue.

*Combination of indignant and ignorant. Which seems pretty apt in this case.

………

If you need an example of just how far windshield bias has penetrated our society, consider this response to a tweet calling for a bike valet at Dodger Stadium.

Never mind that you can fit a dozen bikes in the space it takes to park one car. Or that every person who bikes to the game represents a car that isn’t contributing to that congestion.

But Todd Munson answered it best, with a 2016 video showing just how easy and non-congesting it is to bike to Dodger Stadium.

Now if they’d just do something about that bike valet to encourage more people to try it.

………

If you still haven’t watched this weekend’s road national championships, skip the next part.

Still with us? Okay.

Larry Warbasse is your new men’s national road champ, while Joey Rosskopf won the time trial; Amber Neben swept the women’s title.

Atascadero’s Brian Lucido won this year’s edition of the 2,700-mile Tour Divide.

A first-time competitor from Iowa was the first woman across the finish line for RAAM, finishing eighth overall, while a pair of Indian physicians became the first solo riders from that country. You can find full results here.

Welsh cyclist Geraint Thomas says he’s ready for this weekend’s start of the Tour de France, after he was knocked out of the Giro in a crash with a police bike.

………

Local

Sad news from LA’s Florence neighborhood, where a man on a bike was the innocent victim of a fatal drive-by shooting apparently aimed at the occupants of two cars who were arguing following a crash.

Streetsblog reports Metro voted to replace the outdated Level of Service (LOS) metric with Vehicle Miles Traveled, or VMT, which measures other forms of transportation in addition to private cars, including buses and bicycles. And congrats to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton on a most alliterative headline.

The Los Angeles Fire Department rescued a mountain biker who suffered a broken leg on a remote trail in the Santa Monica Mountains above Tarzana Sunday morning.

Boyonabike celebrates the long-needed road diet and bike lanes designed to improve safety on Sierra Madre Villa in Pasadena.

 

State

San Diego cyclists are trading in their spandex for mountain bikes. One rider said mountain biking is the new golf, which would make it the new new golf, since road cycling was the old new golf.

The Newbury Park Bicycle Shop caught a bike thief red-handed on security cam. Or maybe red-headed, in this case. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

 

National

A writer for a Grand Junction, CO paper insists no one commutes by bicycle to annoy motorists. No, really, it’s just an added benefit.

After a Montana driver stops just long enough to scold the bike rider she hit and ask if he had any broken bones, a Good Samaritan drives him to school and takes his bike in to be fixed.

A Texas writer suggests the $14.5 million spent on a new bike bridge may have been wasted, because he only saw 12 bicyclists use it over a three hour period. Never mind that it just opened and most bike riders probably don’t even know it exists yet; if they judged newly opened highways by that standard, none would ever get built.

The victim of a Texas hit-and-run wants the driver who ran him down to face consequences. Pretty much like every hit-and-run victim, everywhere. Thanks to Steve Katz for the link.

Even in Iowa, bike riders are concerned with the dangers of distracted drivers.

The war on bikes goes on, as two Wisconsin teens were arrested for striking a passing bike rider in the face, apparently just for the hell of it.

A Minnesota writer says nothing can replace the intimate and meditative feeling he gets from biking.

Detroit bicyclists ride to raise funds for a Jewish community center in Krakow, Poland, and take a tour of Catholic churches in the city.

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the walking human scum — and I use the term advisedly — who tied a dog to a bike and forced it to run, then beat it severely and left it to dead. I’d gladly volunteer to return the favor if they catch the people who did it. But I suspect it would be a very long line.

New York officials say Vision Zero is saving lives, but more needs to be done.

 

International

Winnipeg, Canada bicyclists say they need more than just room to breathe.

Toronto residents back controversial bike lanes on major street by 69%; meanwhile, 81% of people in the city support slower speed limits for safer streets.

The English city of Southampton will invest the equivalent of nearly $32 million in bicycling facilities, with the goal of increasing bicycle mode share to 15% by 2025.

A Scottish woman who’s been on a solo ride around the world for the last two years was mugged while riding in Brazil, losing her camera equipment.

A bighearted Scottish model will ride nearly 1,000 miles across the length of the UK to help send an optician and dentist to treat children in Cape Verde, Africa.

The Irish Times calls for a greater investment in bike infrastructure to protect bicyclists, but insists it’s up to riders to wear hi-viz and strictly observe the rules of the road.

A Kenyon newspaper talks with a triathlete whose life changed when he was hit by a car, paralyzing his right arm and dashing his Olympic dreams.

No bias here. According to an Aussie TV commentator we’re all mongrels who don’t pay registration fees, and should be banned from the roads entirely.

A Brisbane, Australia woman says riding a bike there is pretty much like riding in the US or UK, and worse than the Netherlands.

A Singapore paper talks to people who ride bikes to find out why the trend is picking up speed on the island nation.

 

Finally…

Now your ebike could shake just like your car’s brake pedal does when you brake hard. We may have to contend with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to dodge bear attacks. Or wild boars, for that matter.

And no, a six-year old boy riding with training wheels was not drunk when he was killed by a distracted driver. Despite what authorities claimed.

 

Morning Links: Manhattan Beach declares war over LA roadwork; Better Bike celebrates SaMo Blvd bike lanes

Manhattan Beach has declared war on Los Angeles.

According to a Facebook post from the group fighting to reverse the changes on Vista del Mar, the Manhattan Beach city council voted to go to the mattresses in a battle with the City of Angels.

Remarkably, the comments to that post blame the free parking on the roadway — which has always existed — with an apparent increase in trash, which has always been there. But which they apparently never noticed before because it was hidden by parked cars.

Thanks to Peter Flax for the screen grab

Meanwhile, the Argonaut reports on the road rage over the road reconstruction on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, and four streets in Playa del Rey, including Vista del Mar. And illustrates it with a photo showing, not just no traffic backup on Venice, but virtually no motor vehicle traffic at all.

Rather than give these projects a chance, the motor maniacal NIMBYs want to rip them out right away. And if that’s not possible, they want to rip popular Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin out of the seat he was just overwhelmingly re-elected to.

On June 13 more than 100 residents of Mar Vista, Playa del Rey and Westchester lambasted the changes during a boisterous Mar Vista Community Council meeting, many of them peppering Bonin mobility deputy Jesse Holzer and Great Streets senior project manager Carter Rubin with a mix of questions and insults.

“Will a recall petition affect the pilot project? How quickly can we get rid of this dumb idea?” asked Edwin Ortega.

Morgan Pietz, a civil litigator who lives in Ladera Heights and works in Century City, said he’s creating a political action committee to fundraise for a campaign not only to restore traffic lanes on Venice Boulevard, but also to oppose any future lane reductions elsewhere.

So rather than just reverse the beachside street projects he objects to, Pietz wants to halt all road diets and Complete Streets projects anywhere in the city, whether local residents want them or not.

And Vision Zero be damned.

But as the Manhattan Beach council vote illustrates, most of the people fighting these projects, particularly in Playa del Rey, live outside the City of Los Angeles, many in homes far beyond the reach of average Angelenos. And commute to their jobs miles away in Santa Monica or Century City, demanding the right to continue their unsustainable lifestyle, and expecting LA to pay the price — financially and environmentally, as well as in human lives.

Maybe instead of a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to fight the road projects, they could pitch in to pay the next massive legal judgment against the city the next time someone gets killed. And buy a little compassion while they’re at it.

It cost Los Angeles $9.5 million to settle the most recent lawsuit over the death of a 16-year old girl killed crossing Vista del Mar, in part because of the complete lack of crosswalks along the deadly street.

And it will cost the city many times that to settle the next one if nothing is done to improve safety, since the city clearly knows about the dangers on the street. Hence the urgency in making the changes.

Never mind that it’s the right thing to do to place the safety of human lives over the inconvenience of drivers, which will pass as people adjust to the changes.

Speaking of adjusting, any guesses how many of the people complaining about the horrendous traffic backups actually carpool to reduce congestion and their carbon footprint? You can probably count them on one finger. And yes, I’d suggest using that one.

Bonin explained his actions in a thoughtful, detailed and moving email yesterday, which should be required reading for anyone on either side of this debate. One demonstrating the political courage and decency that’s long been missing from most of LA’s elected leaders.

He promises to hold a community meeting in a month to discuss the changes, and to be there in person — in a city where officials usually hide from angry constituents.

By that time, LADOT should have actual statistics to show if the projects have been successful in reducing injury collisions, rather than the apocalyptic anecdotes thrown out by opponents.

And traffic congestion should have begun to dissipate as people adjust to the changes.

So hopefully, by then cooler heads will prevail and they’ll be able to discuss this like rational adults, instead of petulant children whose favorite toys have just been taken away.

Yeah, I know. As if.

Meanwhile, the LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride on July 2nd invites you to explore the new street reconfigurations in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey that South Bay drivers seem to consider a sign of the end times.

………

This year’s Tour of California champ George Bennett is just the latest cyclist to be hit by a car while training; fortunately, he only suffered minor injuries.

A women’s cyclist discusses the things she doesn’t miss now that she’s retired from competition, along with a few things she does.

No, poop doping isn’t likely to be a thing anytime soon; a professor at UC Davis calls the story ridiculously irresponsible. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

When banned dopers Lance Armstrong and former US Postal manager Johan Bruyneel oppose the re-election of UCI chief Brian Cookson, it seems almost like an endorsement.

………

Local

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot takes a well deserved victory lap, reporting on the Beverly Hills City Council’s surprising unanimous vote to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. And the even more surprising vote to paint them a hi-visibility color, to the undoubted chagrin of the film industry.

Streetsblog reports the Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes should be installed next year, while crediting a handful of advocates for keeping up the ultimately successful fight.

You can let Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse know just how happy you are with the council’s decision when she hosts a public bike ride on August 20th.

Long Beach improves the complicated five-way intersection of Walnut Avenue, East 20th Street and Alamitos Avenue to benefit pedestrian and bicycle safety, and pave the way for a planned bike network.

 

State

Del Mar is rolling out preliminary designs for a facelift of the downtown area, including new bike lanes on Camino del Mar and some side streets.

A Redlands minister discusses the cross-country bike ride he took last year to raise funds for a new playground at his church.

A Santa Cruz cyclist is suing just about everyone who had anything to do with developing a traffic circle where she fell and broke her hip, alleging there were no warning signs about the train tracks where she apparently caught a wheel.

It was a tragic day for bike riders in Central and Northern California yesterday, as three riders lost their lives in separate collisions.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious reports that Chinese bikeshare company Bluegogo has suspended their planned invasion of the Bay Area, and will be withdrawing from American shores.

 

National

A new research paper suggests there’s a one-to-one relationship between new highway lane capacity and traffic increases, yet planners fail to take induced demand into account when designing new projects. Hopefully there’s a one-to-one relationship with removing lane capacity, as well.

It’s been too long since we’ve heard from Elly Blue, who’s started a Kickstarter campaign to fund Bikequity, described as a feminist bicycle zine about class and social justice.

People for Bikes wants your help to choose a new name for Bike Boulevards. Los Angeles calls them Bicycle Friendly Streets in the city’s mobility plan. But doesn’t seem to want to build any.

Instead of building a traditional street, Portland has built a 130-foot long street just for bicycles to connect three new buildings in the downtown area.

Don’t plan on going to Interbike in Las Vegas without a pass this year; the bicycle trade show has stopped allowing the public in on the final day of the show, as they have the past few years.

A New Zealand man is on his way back home after being seriously injured when he was hit by the driver of an SUV atop a Colorado pass while riding across the US; he’s now stuck with a $150,000 bill for medical expenses until a settlement can be reached.

An Iowa city has officially opened a new bike path segment, part of a 3,000 mile trail along the Mississippi River.

Relatives of a Chicago bike rider insist he was the victim of a hit-and-run driver, even though police say he just fell off his bike.

A new Minneapolis study shows there’s safety in numbers for pedestrians, as well. Unless this jackass happens to be around.

After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, a Massachusetts man is devoting whatever time he has left to fixing up bicycles to give to local kids.

It really shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that riding a bike is at least as fast, if not faster, than taking a cab in New York City; researchers used data from cabs and the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare to reach that conclusion.

A bighearted Virginia sheriff’s deputy buys a new bike for a four-year old girl after hers was stolen.

A New Orleans cyclist was stabbed in the arm and accused of stealing the bike he was riding, by a man who then stole the bike he was riding.

Awhile back, we mentioned the man who was riding his bicycle across the US to visit every major league baseball stadium; sadly, his journey ended when he was hit by a car in Alabama, suffering serious injuries. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

 

International

London’s mayor plans to make the entire city emissions-free by 2050, through a mix of zero-emission vehicles and increasing the mode share for bicycling, walking and transit to a whopping 80%, while cutting motor vehicle traffic by 3 million miles a day.

A London cyclist says hell is a city full of non-cyclists on bikeshare bikes.

There’s now a £2,000 reward — the equivalent of over $2,500 — to capture the British bike rider who was caught on video recently nearly getting smashed by a train when he climbed over the crossing barricades, after the near miss left the engineer with psychological trauma. Maybe it was the man shaking his fist at the train that nearly hit him that pushed the engineer over the edge.

So much for your GPS and Strava. A Dutch company has developed a new bike lock that blocks the cellular network for your mobile phone while you ride, releasing it once you lock your bike using the related app. Now if we can just require every driver to use one.

 

Finally…

How to achieve udder comfort on your bike. Now you, too, can own your very own old media publishing empire.

And if you’re going to fire a toy gun at a group of cyclists, make sure none of them are the king of a foreign country first.

 

Morning Links: Opponents call for removal of Venice Great Streets project; Ride the Colt next weekend

The paint is barely dry on the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in Mar Vista.

Yet already a petition is urging Councilmember Mike Bonin to rip it out, projecting — apparently based on nothing but their own fears — that it will exponentially increase traffic congestion, along with cut-through traffic in the surrounding neighborhood.

And that it is already causing a calamitous decrease in business, as drivers who most likely seldom, if ever, stopped to shop in the area will now avoid it entirely.

Never mind that, as we noted yesterday, the people who actually study such things, based on genuine research rather than mere NIMBY supposition, say the living hell opponents fear is unlikely to actually come to pass.

In fact, a more likely outcome is that the road diet will have little or no effect on travel times, and may actually improve traffic flow, while a more walkable and bikeable street could have a positive effect on local businesses.

But why wait and give it a chance when you can just throw a massive online temper tantrum now?

After all, who cares about little things like greater safety, improved livability, higher property values, fewer commercial vacancies and increased retail sales if it means adding a few more seconds to your commute?

As of this writing, the petition has already seen 630 signatures in six days. A counter petition in support of the project has received 157 signatures since it went online two days ago.

How sad that it’s even necessary.

………

If you can’t make it to CicLAvia a week from Sunday, consider riding the COLT in Chatsworth.

………

Nice piece from Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson confirming that bike riders are indeed the best people.

………

Local

Los Angeles is testing a reflective street surface in Canoga Park designed to reduce the heat island effect caused by traditional blacktop. Which could mean a more comfortable ride on hot days if it’s successful.

Stay alert when you ride: A woman was attacked by a knife-wielding man while jogging on the bike path along Burbank Blvd near Lake Balboa.

A man was in critical condition after he was shot in the neck yesterday morning while riding his bike near the Lincoln Heights Recreation Center.

Streetsblog reports the Gateway Cities Council of Governments is refusing to commit to funding active transportation, despite the efforts of an environmental justice group and the vulnerability of many of their lower-income residents.

Apparently, the California Coastal Commission would rather keep PCH dangerous than eliminate 675 Malibu parking spaces to improve safety.

A Manhattan Beach city councilman is complaining that Los Angeles should have consulted with his city before trying to save lives on deadly Vista del Mar. Because really, who cares if people die in LA as long as traffic flows smoothly in the South Bay?

Hats off to the South Bay’s Beach Cities Cycling Club for organizing bike safety classes at local grade schools. Although it shouldn’t be left up to bike clubs to do what the school district should already be doing.

Long Beach is set to embark on plans to re-envision the PCH corridor as the city’s new Main Street, including a Complete Streets makeover of the deadly highway.

 

State

Imperial County border town Calexico is working on the first update to its bicycle master plan since 2003.

Ford’s new GoBike bikeshare program is set to expand and replace the existing Bay Area Bike Share, with a 10x increase from 700 to 7,000 bikes, and over 500 docks throughout the area.

San Francisco police say if you see a bike theft in progress, don’t try to intervene, but call the police instead.

Streetsblog takes an anti-bike Marin columnist to task for wrongly asserting that bikes can’t play a roll in solving the county’s transportation issues.

 

National

A new UC San Francisco study shows medical costs from bicycling injuries were over $24.4 billion in 2013, and increasing at a rate of $789 million a year. Which Treehugger says is yet another reason to invest in safe bicycling infrastructure.

Bicycling offers advice on how to get the best deal on a used bike. Presumably without buying someone else’s stolen bike off Craigslist.

Despite international complaints, Orange Theory Fitness continues their orange ghost bike rip-off ad campaign, confusing and angering people in Bend OR.

This is who we share the roads with. A 20-year old Washington father is dead, and his friend injured, after the two Native American tribe members were intentionally run down by a pickup driver in what appears to be a hate attack

You’ve got to be kidding. Life really is cheap in Ohio, where a stoned driver got just 33 days in jail for killing a man on his bike, after pleading down from vehicular homicide and DUI charges. Naturally, he claimed it wasn’t his fault because the sun was in his eyes.

Massachusetts police blame the 78-year old victim in a bike crash for not wearing a helmet. Which wouldn’t have mattered if the speeding driver hadn’t hit him.

A town in Massachusetts installs a new sculpture celebrating cyclists.

Baltimore may halt work on a protected bikeway network after opponents of one bike lane complained that it made the street too narrow for fire trucks.

Nice story about an armless man riding a specially adapted bike and pulling a quadriplegic woman in a trailer behind him as they competed in a 50-mile Florida race.

Nearly 17,000 New Orleans bicyclists signed a petition demanding better protection from the police after a bike rider was nearly paralyzed when he was shot with a pellet gun; five other riders were shot with a paint gun in two separate incidents last month.

 

International

A new study found no link between the use of headphones or talking on a mobile phone and crashes by teenage bicyclists, though it did note a drop in the perception of sounds considered crucial for safe bicycling by riders of all ages.

A Toronto columnist says maybe he should pay more attention to angry drivers when he rides his bike, whether or not they’re right.

Another unintended Brexit consequence — British cyclists may lose their easy access to European bikeways.

Two hundred English cyclists rode 96 kilometers to raise funds in honor of the 96 soccer fans killed in the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster.

A nine-year old girl in the UK raised the equivalent of over $1,500 by riding 20 miles in memory of her little sister, who was born without a windpipe. Did I mention she’s just nine years old?

You’ve got to be kidding, part 2. A British judge told a man who stole a bait bike he just needed to get a job — despite 17 previous convictions, including one for bike theft.

The Bahrain-Merida pro cycling team had ten bikes stolen from the team truck parked outside of their hotel in the Netherlands.

A New Zealand bicyclist says overly courteous drivers are killing her with kindness. Almost literally.

Oddly, when you ride your bike drunk, with no lights or reflectors, and only a cowboy hat (scroll down) in violation of Australia’s mandatory helmet law, a judge may hold you responsible for whatever happens next. Even if your lawyer says cars are “a juggernaut of death.”

 

Finally…

Beware of bike cops if you plan to burgle stripper wear in your undies. If you’re going to break into someone’s home, take a shower, drink their milk and leave a load in their toilet, try not to leave your bicycle behind.

And it’s National Donut Day, which is as good a reason as any to stop for a snack on today’s ride.

 

L.A.’s mayor jumps on the bike bandwagon — and promptly falls off

L.A. bicyclists have long fantasized about getting Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on a bike.

Not just for the affirmation of cycling as a valid means of transportation and recreation it would provide in this often unwelcoming city, but so he would understand the challenges we face on its streets.

I have a feeling he gets it now.

Just days after Will Campbell revealed the first known photo of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on a bicycle — and only seven months since Villaraigosa stunned L.A. cyclists by publicly voicing support for bicycling for the first time — he’s now officially one of us.

On Saturday evening, he was cut off by a driver. And ended up with a broken elbow that required surgery on Sunday.

He might be hard pressed to find a local rider who can’t relate to the first part of the story, if not the second.

According to the Times, His Honor was riding in the bike lane on Venice Blvd between Hervey and Hargis Streets near Culver City when a taxi suddenly pulled in front of him, causing the mayor to fall.

Many bicyclists read between the lines and suspected a classic right hook, in which the driver makes a right turn across the path of a rider. Or maybe the cabbie cut in front of the Mayor and stopped short, like an accidental version of what Dr. Thompson was convicted of doing on purpose.

According to LAPD bike liaison Sgt. David Krumer, the real story is just a little different.

It seems the cab was parked along the curb and pulled out directly in front of the Mayor without looking for approaching riders in the bike lane. And rather than the implied hit-and-run, the driver did stop and exchange information, then left the scene before police arrived.

So while the driver did cause what the police term a no-contact collision, it was not a hit-and-run. And the only chargeable offense would be making an unsafe lane change or failure to yield.

Welcome to our world.

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s spent much time riding the streets of this city who doesn’t have a similar tale to tell. Except drivers usually don’t stop for cyclists who don’t ride with a security detail.

And I have a feeling the police took the mayor’s call a little more seriously than they have the rest of us.

So we wish you well, Mr. Mayor.

Some of us hope you ignore all of those people who say this proves how dangerous it is to ride in this city, and just get back out on your bike as soon as you can. While others are hopeful that you’ve learned a lesson about drivers’ attitudes towards cyclists, painful though it may be, and hope you’ll now partner with cyclists to make the streets safer. And are critical of the press that wrote this off as a mere accident and implied it was your fault.

But if you haven’t quite grasped it yet, just try reading some of the comments on the Times story about your injury. If you have the stomach for it.

Like it or not, you’re one of us now.

………

After a dull weekend, some real drama in the Tour de France.

Just as Andy Schleck was about to destroy Alberto Contador on a climb, Schleck lost his chain. And his yellow jersey, as Contador ignored the accepted courtesy of not attacking the leader when he has mechanical trouble. As a result, he now leads Schleck by a mere 8 seconds — with a very pissed of Luxembourger on his heels.

On Sunday, nothing much happened as Christophe Riblon won the stage and the leaders chose to play poker rather than compete; Vino bounced back from a two-year blood doping suspension to win stage 13. Judging by his comments, maybe Lance will be back in 2015 (third item), while his PR machine rolls over bad press. Jens Voigt wonders just how strong Contador really is this year.

………

A cyclist visits New York and asks, can we have some of those separated bike lanes too? Brayj says the city Planning Department clearly listened to him, but the new draft bike plan still has a way to go. How to make Riverside more bike-friendly; just change the name of the city and this would be make damn good approach for L.A. as well. Visiting L.A.’s largely forgotten Fisherman’s Village by bike. A female cyclist says if guys only knew how good they look on a bike, they’d ride everywhere. A cyclist is found dead on the side of a Santa Clara County roadway. Long Beach’s biking expats take the long — and very scenic — route from Nashville to Chattanooga. One of Amarillo’s leading bike activists is killed when a distracted driver tries to pick up the cell phone he dropped. Two cyclists are killed in separate incidents in OKC in just two days. A British cyclist was killed on the site of a planned bikeway that was scrapped just last week. Even for a trained cyclist, wearing a helmet is better than cracking your head. Even in Turkey, they’re building new bikeways.

Finally, a writer for the New York Post bends over backwards to ignore the safety improvements on Gotham’s streets and says no matter how many bike lanes the city builds, they will only make New York more dangerous.

As our own mayor can attest, more cars on the road only make our streets safer.

Right?

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