Tag Archive for Ventura Blvd

Venice bike lane Zoom meeting tonight, Ventura Blvd bike lane plan fails smell test, and cars “social and environmental curse”

We mentioned it yesterday.

But it’s worth repeating, as Kent Strumpell reminds us about tonight’s virtual meeting to discuss expanding the bus lanes and protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista.

Super important!  Virtual meeting for Venice Blvd. bikeway/busway expansion.  The Venice Blvd. Safety and Mobility Project, Wednesday 6:30. Zoom registration and link: https://ladot.lacity.org/venicersvp.

The city needs to see strong support to move this project forward.  It could be transformative, creating LA’s first crosstown protected bikeway.

The plan would expand the bike lanes from National Blvd in the east, to Lincoln Blvd in the west, and provide the Westside’s first safe bike commuter route.

You can learn more from Streetsblog’s report.

Meanwhile, a writer for Patch explains the need for the project, which would serve nearly 47,000 people who live within five minutes of the deadly street.

Venice Boulevard is a part of the City of Los Angeles’s High Injury Network due to a disproportionate number of traffic collisions, according to a statement from LADOT. From 2012 to 2022 there have been 1,203 collisions and 25% of them have involved pedestrians or bicyclists, which is higher than average for Los Angeles. In that same time frame, there have been 58 people who were killed or severely injured in collisions on Venice Boulevard, according to the statement.

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Maybe the news about bike lanes on Ventura Blvd isn’t as good as it seemed.

A couple comments from Lionel Mares and Joe Linton paint the changes in a different light, describing them parking improvements to encourage more driving, instead of safer bikeways to get people out of their cars.

Let’s hear from Mares first.

I am glad that Ventura Blvd in the San Fernando Valley is getting a ‘Bike Lane’, but the traffic road design by LADOT is awful! The bike lane should be moved closer to the curb (by the sidewalk), and NOT in-between moving cars and parked vehicles!! The LADOT rendering (design) is awful!!

Even Streets For All can agree to this!

I have advocated for and demanded city officials and to Michael Schneider that we need better representation in the San Fernando Valley! We want better and safer Bike Lanes!! I can’t take it anymore! The silence is complicit! We demand better and safer streets for all people including bicyclists!

Linton explains the situation further.

Reimagine Ventura (in CD3, Blumenfield) is a half-mile project that is about adding more car parking – it does a road diet then allocates former car travel lane space to diagonal car parking. It “includes bike lanes” but only in the sense that it just keeps existing unprotected bike lanes. It came out of a parking study that analyzed protected bike lanes, then recommended against them.

Clearly, this isn’t the kind of “improvement” we need.

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There may be hope yet.

A writer for The Guardian says we’ve reached peak car, and that private motor vehicles — and not just the gas-fueled ones — are thankfully on their way out.

Now if someone will just tell LA’s elected leaders.

The worldwide love affair with the car, which promised consumers convenience, status and freedom, is over. The reality from Hotan to Hull and Lagos to Lahore is that the car is now a social and environmental curse, disconnecting people, eroding public space, fracturing local economies, and generating sprawl and urban decay. With UK temperatures hitting highs of 40C this summer, this reality has become impossible to ignore. Instead of the prospect of speed and cheap mobility, consumers now get soaring costs, climate breakdown and air pollution, the devastation of nature, mounting debt, personal danger and ill health, and the most serious energy crisis in 30 years…

From here on, it looks like death by 1,000 breakdowns for the private car. Just as the coach and horse were pushed out by automobiles 120 years ago, so the car is being steadily evicted from world cities by the authorities or by public revulsion. As thousands of jubilee street parties showed, car-free streets are popular, and the surest and best way to save money, improve health and make cities quieter and more livable. A recent report from the Centre for London shows how low-traffic neighbourhoods, introduced widely during the pandemic to encourage walking and cycling, reduce car use and make roads safer. Wales has slashed the default speed limit on residential roads from 30mph to 20mph.

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Yes, there’s a smarter way to shop with a bike.

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The last time I checked, the willful destruction of private property was a crime.

Regardless of who does it, or why.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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

Vandals took a sledgehammer to bikeshare ebikes in Tulsa, Oklahoma, knocking ten percent of the bikeshare fleet out of commission.

Madison, Wisconsin bicyclists were warned someone is planting booby traps on a busy commuter bike path, after a 52-year old bike rider was clotheslined by an HDMI cable strung across the bikeway at neck height; the cord was replaced two more times after he removed it. This should be charged as attempted murder at the very least, if and when the jerk responsible is caught.

No bias here. A British driver complains about a “militant,” and “self-important” bike rider, because she did the right thing by taking to the center of the lane when she felt unsafe.

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

A 37-year old Visalia, California man was convicted of four counts of premeditated attempted murder for setting a fire at the home of his ex-girlfriend and their two children, as well as her new boyfriend; he rode his BMX bike both to and from the home to set the arson fire. 

Friends mourn the 44-year old Singapore immigrant who was killed in a collision with a hit-and-run bicyclist in New York earlier thus month.

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Local

Los Angeles County supervisors have ordered unspecified “immediate steps” to slow speeding drivers at La Brea and Slauson, nearly a month after a red light-running driver traveling at an estimated 90 mph killed five people, as well as an infant just two weeks from full term. The supervisors also called for changes in California law to allow automated speed cams, which they could have backed before the bills died in committee during the last two legislative sessions.

Smart Cities looks at the opportunity of LA residents to vote on the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal in 2024, after the city council declined to adopt it outright, and placed it on the ballot, instead.

A letter writer in The LA Times suggests connecting the Ballona Creek bikeway to the Los Angeles River bike path to create a network of bicycle superhighways, while another complains that cars don’t just go away when streets are closed. Actually, studies show they do, because traffic on nearby streets usually show only marginal increases when roadways or bridges are closed to cars.

 

State 

Sad news from Santa Rosa, where the 52-year old chef of a Mexican restaurant was killed when he crashed into a car-blocking bollard while on a casual bike ride with ten co-workers on a local bike path. Just one more example of a protective measure intended to keep people on bicycles safe actually putting them in greater danger.

Predictably, bicyclists in San Mateo County are complaining that recent road resurfacings using chip-seal are increasing the risk to bike riders, while making some rural roads virtually unridable.

Streetsblog calls on San Francisco voters to keep JFK Drive carfree, after city officials recently made the temporary pandemic closure permanent.

A 31-year old Fairfield man faces 15 to life after a Solano County jury found him guilty of second degree murder and hit-and-run causing injury or death for the drunken, high-speed crash that killed a 52-year-old man riding a bicycle last fall; Nadhir Muftah Ghuzi has been held without bail since his arrest.

UC Davis police are investigating the recent incidents of racist and anti-semitic banners being hung from a bike overpass on the campus.

 

National

Streetsblog considers how to design better cities for the “unseen” bicyclists.

British bike parking and infrastructure company Cyclehoop is launching in the US.

CNN likes the Rad Runner 2, calling it the e-utility bike for everyone.

A Utah thief was caught on security cam video smashing a vehicle through the front of a bike shop, and making off with 50 grand worth of ebikes.

Nice move from nonprofit group Operation Get Out, which gave a new bicycle to every elementary school kid in Uvalde, Texas; the group gave away 800 bicycles, along with helmets, locks, tubes and hundreds of stuffed animals.

Sad news from Chicago, where an unlicensed driver allegedly ran a stop sign, killing a 55-year old man riding a bicycle on Saturday. And yet people somehow complain about scofflaw bike riders, who usually don’t pose a risk to anyone but themselves.

Following the death of a State Department diplomat while riding her bike near DC last week, Fox News reports that two women who worked for the department were killed in collisions on their bikes in just over a month; both were in their 40s.

 

International

Canadian Cycling Magazine writes about the absurd heights people go to so they can drive their massively oversized trucks, which threaten the lives of everyone else on the road.

You’ve got to be kidding. The BBC has spanked radio host Jeremy Vine for breaching the network’s impartiality rules by voicing his support for London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods, the equivalent of American Slow Streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel dominated the individual time trial in Tuesday’s stage ten of the Vuelta, gaining another 48 seconds on three-time defending champ Primož Roglič, who looks like he won’t need to worry about defending again next year.

Britain’s Simon Yates was forced to abandon the race after getting infected with Covid-19, the first contender to withdraw due to the virus.

Everything you always wanted to know about the Vuelta a España’s red leader’s jersey but were afraid to ask, including that the maillot rojo was only adopted 12 years ago.

Bummer to take a wrong turn in the Vuelta time trial.

VeloNews reports on the global mourning over fallen Kenyon pro cyclist Suleiman “Sule” Kangangi, who died after a high speed fall during the Vermont Overland gravel race at just 33 years old; Kangangi was called a giant for blazing a trail for African cyclists.

Cycling Weekly looks at the newly formed National Cycling League, questioning whether the competitive crit teams represent the future of cycling, or just another gimmick. We’ll see if they actually begin racing next year, which remains questionable.

A paratriathlete relates how he took his cycling to the next level after losing a leg to cancer in college. For a change, you can read it on AOL if Bicycling blocks you. And yes, AOL is still a thing, evidently. 

 

Finally…

That feeling when your ebike is your favorite photography accessory. But who needs an ebike when you’ve got a jet-powered tricycle?

And that feeling when you tour the world on a tall bike with a rescue dog you just met along the way.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Banning gas cars doesn’t solve car problem, bike lanes on Ventura Blvd, and CA bans parking minimums near transit

She gets it.

Texas A&M assistant urban planning professor and California native Tara Goddard offers her thoughts on California’s move away from gas-powered vehicles.

But even if you could wave a technological magic wand and solve those problems with EVs today, a bigger concern is whether this focus on personal electric vehicles will monopolize public resources that would be much better spent in other ways: namely, on investments in frequent, reliable public transportation between and within cities and towns, better walking and bicycling infrastructure, and land uses that remove the need to depend on vehicles – however they are powered – for every trip.

The problem with a transportation system that depends heavily on private automobiles is that, even if those automobiles no longer emit the same level of greenhouse gasses, they will continue to contribute to unsustainable and sprawling land use patterns, as well as the longer distances and travel times that are bad for us as individuals and communities.

Meanwhile, readers of The Los Angeles Times say while banning gas cars is great, electric cars are still cars, and car dependency is awful.

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We could soon see bike lanes on one of the San Fernando Valley’s most iconic streets.

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LA bike riders have complained about the bike lanes on Venice Blvd for years, ever since they first went in.

And the city hasn’t shown any sign of fixing them yet.

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The California Senate passed Burbank Assemblymember Laura Friedman’s AB 2097 to eliminate parking minimums near public transit.

Now the question is whether Governor Newsom will sign it.

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Streetsblog reports LADOT will host a meeting tomorrow to discuss a planned makeover of Venice Blvd on the Westside.

Wednesday 8/31 – From 6:30-8 p.m., LADOT will host a virtual Venice Boulevard Safety and Mobility Project Workshop. On L.A.’s westside, the city is planning new bus lanes (between Inglewood Boulevard and Culver Boulevard) and new protected bike lanes (coupled with existing protected bike lane stretches, the protection would extend from Lincoln Boulevard to La Cienega Boulevard.) Sign up for the virtual workshop at LADOT Zoom page. Also give feedback via LADOT’s online survey. Find Spanish language links also at LADOT’s project page.

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

Good question. A London woman asks why some people hate bike riders so much, saying she’s been spat at, abused and run off the road.

Anti-bike sabotage continues in the UK, as someone scattered thumbtacks in an already pretty minimal bike lane.

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

Green Bay, Wisconsin police are on the lookout for a knife-wielding robber who fled by bicycle after robbing a Quick Mart.

A British Columbia man calls on a hit-and-run bike rider to turn himself in, after the fat tire bicyclist caught the leash of the man’s small dog, crushing it to death and leaving his wife with facial abrasions and a broken nose. Granted, the guy was a jerk and should have stuck around. But allowing your dog run loosely alongside your bike is a recipe for disaster. 

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Local

Black Lives Matter supporters marched in South LA to demand justice for Dijon Kizzee, who was shot by sheriff’s deputies while running away and after dropping his gun, in what began as a traffic stop for riding salmon, and quickly escalated.

LAist offers an updated guide to biking in the City of Angels. And yes, it’s okay to shed a tear for the bikeshare systems that have bitten the dust.

South Bay bike riders lit up the night with the eighth annual Glow Ride for CF, a sub-seven mile fundraiser to battle cyclist fibrosis founded by a woman who died of the disease after a double lung transplant in 2018.

 

State 

Sad news from Kern County, where a 67-year old man riding a bicycle was killed when he was struck by a truck driver in Wasco Sunday night.

San Francisco Streetsblog says cities need to make protected bike lanes and intersections the default, arguing that continuing to blow off physically protected bike lanes is tantamount to murder.

 

National

No surprise here, as not everyone is a fan of Reno, Nevada’s new popup bike lane network; motorists are driving in the bike lanes, while a business owner complains his sales are down 30% due to the loss of parking. And of course that’s the only possible reason for the decrease in sales, not inflation, higher interest rates or any of the other multitude of problem besetting consumers these days.

They get it. A Wisconsin community radio station talks with local advocates while concluding that streets are for everyone.

A Louisville, Kentucky TV station answers why bike riders don’t need a license to ride in traffic lanes. And with the help of the Bike League, gets it mostly right.

While California continues to delay plans for a fully funded and approved ebike rebate program, Vermont quietly unveiled the nation’s first ebike rebate plan, offering point-of-sale rebates up to $400 on ped-assist ebikes.

She gets it. A Cambridge, Massachusetts letter writer makes a lengthy case in support bike lanes and safe streets, arguing that they benefit everyone, including businesses.

A bicycle stolen in South Carolina was recovered over a thousand miles away in Vermont, thanks to Bike Index’s nationwide stolen bike database. One more reminder to register your bike for free today

The father of the US diplomat killed riding her bike in Bethesda, Maryland calls for safety improvements, saying cities need to do more than paint lines and bike symbols on the road.

 

International

A Scottish brewing CEO took a bad fall and shattered his collarbone, after assuring shareholders there was nothing intense or challenging about the mountain bike run he was taking them on, in a forrest his firm bought to preserve for the planet.

Nearly 9,000 people on bicycles took over a German autobahn to call for safer streets on Sunday.

NPR reports many Sri Lankans have turned to their bikes in the face of massive fuel shortages; one man reported his employer bought him a bike to ensure he could get to work. Maybe we need to try that here, since high gas prices didn’t make a dent in driving.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Irish champ Imogen Cotter returned to bike racing in Belgium Sunday, seven months after she was hit head-on by a driver passing another vehicle while she was training in Italy.

Giro d’Italia winner Jai Hindley concedes that the Vuelta podium may be out of reach, after a steady flow of gradual losses in the early stages.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you think ebikes are cheating, and you like it.

And how about a little unicycle dream to send you on your way?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Morning Links: Fighting for the Rowena road diet, CiclaValley and Bike SGV honored, and reimagining Ventura Blvd

The fight goes on.

A group of Silver Lake residents have created a website to support the successful Rowena road diet in the face of continued opposition from some people who want it torn out, even though it has dramatically improved safety on the formerly dangerous street by cutting overall traffic injuries 22% and serious injuries and fatalities a whopping 75%.

The site includes a before and after analysis, safety research, and a page dispelling persistent myths about the road diet, including the false claim that installing bike lanes was the sole purpose for the reconfiguration.

They urge you to contact CD4 Councilmember David Ryu and tell him to keep Rowena the way it is, and sign up for the mailing list to stay abreast of future action.

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Streetsblog officially announces the winners of this year’s Streetsie Awards.

As expected, CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew won the award for Journalist/Writer of the Year, and Bike SGV won a well deserved award for Livable Streets Advocacy Group.

Other winners were

  • Elected Official of the Year: Tie between Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Marqueece-Harris Dawson and José Huizar
  • Civil Servant of the Year: Metro’s Phil Washington
  • Livable Streets-Friendly Business Award: Metro Bike’s Bicycle Transit Systems
  • Deborah Murphy Award for Excellence in Advocacy: Los Feliz Neighborhood Council president Luke Klipp

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If you live or ride in the Valley, don’t forget tomorrow’s meeting to reimagine iconic Ventura Blvd. And hopefully make it safer and more inviting to bike riders, even if we got left out of the invitation.

And mark your calendar for the next Draft People for Bikes meetup at Burbank’s Pure Cycles on the 19th.

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A British para-cyclist champ calls the sudden announcement that the world championships will be held here in LA a joke; not because of the location, but because would-be competitors were given just seven weeks notice.

Good analysis from Cycling News, as they ask what, if anything, has been done to improve safety after pro cyclist Antoine Demoitié was killed in a collision with a race moto last year.

Systematic doping is so endemic among Russian athletes that the leaders of 19 national anti-doping organizations say the country’s athletes should be banned from all international events.

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Local

LAist offers good advice for riding in the rain. I’ll add a little more: Most drivers can’t imagine anyone riding a bike in the rain, which means they won’t be looking for you. So be conspicuous in your lane positioning and at intersections. And use the best, brightest — and as many — lights as you can manage, and wrap them in plastic unless you know they’re waterproof.

Speaking of Mike Bonin, he earns the endorsement of Bike the Vote LA for the March 7th city council election in CD11.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is offering a $20 discount on annual memberships through this month.

SaMo’s Soft Pedalers will host a Black History Bike Ride on the 24th.

 

State

The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation is hosting their second annual Recovery Ride on the 29th, with routes around San Diego Bay ranging from 12 to 40 miles.

 

National

A new bike lock unveiled at the Las Vegas CES show combines traditional strength with an anti-theft motion detector and the ability to lock and unlock using an app on your phone.

Steamboat CO cyclists say it’s too early to judge the success of the ski resort town’s mountain biking trails, despite a survey showing summer bike tourism has declined over the last two years.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where a driver walks with a slap on the wrist for killing a cyclist competing in an amateur time trial, despite attempting an unsafe pass and violating the state’s three-foot passing law; the victim was blamed for an alleged suicide swerve.

Must be nice. Iowa’s governor calls for better protections for cyclists and stiffer penalties for distracted and impaired drivers. Most California bicyclists have given up on ever hearing something like that from Jerry Brown.

Despite rising numbers of pedestrians and cyclists hit by cars, a group of New Hampshire lawmakers want to repeal the state’s hands-free cellphone law in the name of liberty. So why not just pass a law giving people the personal freedom to drive drunk, stoned or blindfolded? The same principle applies.

Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says as long as security for Donald Trump’s 5th Avenue apartment threatens to make the street a traffic nightmare, they should turn the street into a pedestrian plaza like Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare will test out laser lights that project the image of a bicycle 20 feet in front of the rider in an effort to improve safety.

The governor of New York announces plans to fill in the gaps between existing pathways to create a 750-mile biking and hiking trail through the state in just three years. Notice that no one has proposed anything like that here in California, despite an ideal climate for year-round riding. Present wet weather excepted.

A South Carolina man finds and restores the 55-year old bicycle his brother got for Christmas in 1961, and gives it to him again.

New Orleans breaks ground on a new bike and pedestrian path that will connect two existing paths to create a four-mile trail through beautiful oaks, cypress trees and lagoons.

 

International

Cycling Weekly explains why cyclists ride side-by-side.

Britain’s transportation secretary says he didn’t give anyone his contact information after dooring a bicyclist because no one asked. No, seriously.

A Member of Britain’s Parliament confuses the solution with the problem, questioning whether the loss of blacktop for bike lanes is causing London’s traffic congestion. If he really wants to see congestion, try putting all those bike commuters back into motor vehicles.

Yes, you can ride your bike from London to Paris without dealing with traffic. Although it might get a tad damp if you miss the ferry.

Italy’s Pinarello unveils its new high-end Dogma 10 racing bike, even as it’s already facing the threat of a lawsuit.

Singapore’s transport minister tells parliament that bicycles and personal mobility devices are an essential part of the country’s efforts to go car-lite.

 

Finally…

Nothing like being injured in a crash directly outside a hospital — then taken to another one instead. Thank goodness you still have the freedom to shoot a whale from a moving bike or car in landlocked Tennessee.

And there are worse things than LA drivers, like trying to free a fat bike from an electric fence.

Morning Links: Another successful CicLAvia, Seleta and Sadik-Khan chat, and 15-to-life in fatal DUI hit-and-run

Another successful CicLAvia is in the books.

And according to everyone I spoke with, it was one of the most successful, and least spandexed, ones yet.

The LA Times offers an early report on the day, along with some great photos. The Daily News also reports on the Valley’s first open streets event — although I hope it was a typo when a police sergeant estimated the crowd at an absurdly low 20,000.

Even the New York Times discovered the Valley CicLAvia.

KABC-7 estimates the number in attendance at 50,000, which is about how many bikes were parked in front of Ventura beer and burger bar Stout. KNBC-4 says it could have been as high as 75,000, which still seems low by at least half.

KCBS-2 was worried about the effect on businesses, although from what I saw, many of the businesses that reached out to CicLAvia participants did well.

Some — especially food and drink purveyors — seemed far busier than they would be on a normal Sunday. Others wisely took the opportunity to promote their businesses in hopes the passing riders and walkers would come back another day; one pet shop may have a new customer after their sidewalk table caught my eye.

Then there were those who chose to close down for the day, effectively offering an FU to the countless thousands passing by.

Meanwhile, my favorite overheard comment was from the rider who was surprised to discover that the Valley is just like LA.

And that, more than anything else, is what I love about CicLAvia.

It gives us a chance to rediscover our own city, in a way we never could by car. And visit parts of this expansive city that some may have never seen before.

It also draws a crowd that looks like us. Perhaps the most ethnically diverse event in what may be the world’s most ethnically diverse city, allowing us to meet and interact with people we might never otherwise come in contact with.

You see, it’s not just that CicLAvia is changing our streets.

It’s changing our city.

And how we see ourselves.

These awesomely customized bikes were waiting for an elevator at the NoHo Red Line station.

These awesomely customized bikes were waiting with their riders for an elevator at the NoHo Red Line station.

These two speed demons kept trying to pass me on my right, as their father ran behind trying to keep up.

These two speed demons kept passing me on my right, and nearly dropping me, as their father ran behind trying to keep up.

Many of the participants were children who wouldn't be allowed to ride on the busy boulevard any other day.

Many of the participants were children who wouldn’t be allowed to ride on the busy boulevard any other day.

LAFD paramedics were riding to route to provide faster response if needed.

LAFD paramedics were riding to route to provide faster response if needed.

Businesses that reached out to bike riders were rewarded with bikes on the sidewalk representing customers inside.

Businesses that reached out to bike riders were rewarded with bikes on the sidewalk representing customers inside.

And more bikes...

And more bikes…

...and still more bikes.

…and still more bikes.

Leave it to me to spot the lone Corgi in attendance.

Leave it to me to spot what may have been the lone Corgi in attendance.

There's no better sign of a successful event that a bunch of bored cops watching the crowds go by. Because that means they didn't have to respond to calls for help.

There’s no better sign of a successful event than bored bike cops watching the crowds, waiting patiently in case they were needed.

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This looks like a great talk, as LADOT transportation maven Seleta Reynolds chats with former New York DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan at the Hammer Museum on Thursday.

The event is free — though tickets are required, and only available at the box office one hour before the talk — and bike parking is available at no charge. A live feed will be available online if you can’t make it in person.

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Convicted hit-and-run driver William Donald Johnson gets 15 to life for second degree murder in the drunken head-on collision that took the life of Beaumont cyclist Phillip Richards in December, 2013.

The judge also tacked on an additional three years for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an injury collision.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joel Epstein says this is not your parent’s LADOT; nice to hear how much the department has changed, but we’re still waiting for those changes to show up on our streets.

LA Times readers react to the paper’s editorial calling for more study instead of a California bike helmet law. Meanwhile, Calbike pens an open letter to state Senator Carol Liu suggesting what she can do with her proposed bike helmet law. No, not that.

A writer for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune explains what it’s like to ride a pedal-assist electric bike.

 

State

Speaking of Calbike, now you can own your very own shaft-drive bicycle company, lock, stock and trademark.

San Diego’s Mission Beach wants bike riders to slow down on the boardwalk.

A cyclist is seriously injured going over his handlebars after hitting a rock on a La Jolla roadway; fortunately, he’s expected to recover.

Morgan Hill gets its first complete street on a trial basis, which appears to be working despite misinformation in the community.

A San Francisco street will get special bike-only traffic signals to protect riders from right turning cars, the second street in the city to get that configuration. Which compares favorably to LA, having exactly zero.

The 25-year old Oakland bike rider who had his wallet stolen while he lay unconscious following a collision is finally awake from his coma and talking; a fund has raised $11,000 to help pay his medical expenses.

 

National

A review of medical journal articles shows what we already knew: bike lanes and bike share programs help fight obesity.

A Seattle thief was arrested after trying to sell the bike he stole back to its owner, who had posted a stolen bike notice on Craigslist.

Efforts are underway to make Anchorage AK a more bike-friendly city.

Cincinnati is rethinking a protected bike lane that no one can seem to figure out.

A New York man is suing the city’s bike share program for $3 million after a faulty fender caused him to face plant after flying over the handlebars.

Claiming New York’s bike lanes and pedestrian plazas cause environmental damage, a former New York Libertarian candidate files suit to stop them; a similar suit in San Francisco held up the city’s bike lanes for several years. Then again, maybe he’s got a point.

Former Olympic Bronze medalist and Tour de France stage winner Davis Phinney — father of pro cyclist Taylor Phinney — is honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for his work battling Parkinson’s Disease.

A Baltimore group designs and builds bikes for people with special needs.

 

International

Britain’s House of Commons will debate stricter sentences for dangerous drivers following the deaths of two cyclists. Maybe they should also consider tougher penalties for bar patrons, after one attacks a cyclist for riding on the sidewalk.

Scottish bike riders will soon see another 30 long distance bikeways totaling 500 miles.

German imams and rabbis will ride tandems together, accompanied by 1,000 Berlin residents, in a unity ride for tolerance. Maybe tandems could finally pave the way to peace.

Three-time RAAM champion Christoph Strasser sets a new 24-hour record, riding 556.856 miles in a single day at a former Berlin airport.

Turns out Bollywood megastar Salman Khan is one of us.

A Dutch traffic engineer calls on Aussie drivers to get a new attitude, while a cyclists’ political party aims to give riders more clout at the ballot box.

Singapore cyclists are accused of road hogging.

 

Finally…

It takes a real schmuck to strong arm a five-year old kid by pushing him off his bike to steal it; big-hearted Sacramento cops and clergy pitch in to get him a new one. A Polish cyclist rode up all 3139 steps to the top of Taiwan’s 101 story Taipei 101 building, the world’s tallest building until just five years ago.

And former pro football player Kellen Winslow Jr. is determined to dominate pro cycling; he’ll need to ride a lot more than 60 miles a day, and weigh a lot less than 215 pounds, just to make the peloton. Let alone win.

 

Update: Cyclist describes brutal Sunday assault by road raging Ventura Blvd driver

A cyclist reports being brutally beaten by a driver in front of Mel’s Drive-In on Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks on Sunday.

According to comments from someone claiming to be the victim, the assault took place after he stopped to confront the road raging driver who had angrily buzzed him moments earlier.

I was almost done with my ride, and on Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks. It is not the best street to ride on, but it has multiple lanes, and a car can pass around. I usually don’t ride on it during mid-day hours but the side street I was on had a fallen tree a little bit before and was closed which caused me to turn onto Ventura.

The guy in the pickup wanted to pass me (honking alot), and he wasn’t interested in changing lanes. With parked cars on one side there was no place for me to go. I had the right to use the lane and he could have gone into the left lane to pass. Instead he decided to pass me leaving about two inches of clearance. I didn’t yell or do anything, but I noticed the car and license plate. I eventually saw him pull over at the diner, I guess to eat lunch, so I stopped to let him know I didn’t appreciate what he did. I wasn’t picking a fight, but after about 1.5 seconds he came over to me, knocked me over and then started beating me mostly with kicks to the face. I’m glad my helmet stayed on. Once my skin broke blood was all over the place. I’m sure the witnesses would agree with my story. And people that know me know that I’m not a voilent (sic) person. I never got in a fight in my life.

The writer claims to have the full plate number of the Oregon driver’s truck, as well as his attacker’s phone, which was dropped at the scene. Yet he says that as of Tuesday, the detective assigned to the case hadn’t begun looking into the case.

The guy also dropped his cell phone on the scene, so that is another important piece of evidence. I called the LAPD detective yesterday, and he didn’t even start looking into the case yet. He also didn’t seem interested in tracking down the cell phone information (and there is a good chance is has phone numbers on it of places he may be staying in Los Angeles).

Really this guy could have been caught within 10 minutes of the incident since he has an easily recognizable car with out of state plates, if the police would have acted quickly after talking to the witnesses.

As a number of comments in the long, long thread made clear, stopping to confront an angry driver is never a good idea.

Even if that is something I do myself far more than I should.

You never know who you’re talking to. Or how short a fuse the driver or his or her companions may have.

And yes, I’ve been threatened by angry women almost as much as angry men. In fact, the driver who ran me down in a road rage assault was an otherwise pleasant — or so I’m told — middle-aged woman.

If you see someone who threatened you or drove dangerously around you, the best course of action is usually to let it pass, and just chalk it up to another unpleasant experience on the road. Or if you think it’s serious enough, call the police and let them handle it — bearing in mind that there’s usually not much they can do if they didn’t witness it themselves.

If you do stop, keep your bike between yourself and the person you’re talking to; it could give you just enough time to get away.

I’ve also found the quickest way to defuse an angry confrontation is to pull out your cell phone and snap a photo of the other person and their license plate.

Whatever you do, don’t throw the first punch. Or any punch, for that matter — especially if you were the one who started the confrontation.

If any time has passed between the initial encounter and when you stopped to talk to the driver, the police will consider it a separate event. Which makes you the aggressor, rather than the angry idiot who just tried to run you off the road.

Not fair, perhaps. But they would argue that you had a chance to avoid the confrontation, and didn’t do it.

Meanwhile, it’s a little scary to think a rider could give the police that much information, and nothing has been done two days later. Let alone an arrest made.

Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in.

Update: I’ve received word from a third party confirming that there were several witnesses to the beating in which the victim did in fact receive significant injuries, and that a police file has been opened; unfortunately, a heavy case load raises fears that the attacker may flee the state before police can get around to this case.

Don’t blame the cops this time. Blame the budget cutbacks that have left the department understaffed, and officers unable to do their jobs in a timely manner.

Thanks to Weshigh for the heads-up — and my apologies for failing to credit him sooner. 

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