Tag Archive for Vision Zero

Morning Links: Successful die-in at City Hall, Lee moves to rip out Reseda bike lanes, and more Peloton ad fallout

Let’s start with yesterday’s die-in at City Hall, where around 30 Los Angeles bike riders turned out in hopes of not doing it for real on the streets.

According to LAist,

Fed up by the lack of progress on reducing traffic deaths in Los Angeles, dozens of protesters staged a die-in outside City Hall Tuesday, calling on city leaders to take swift, bold action to make streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

“We have all the tools and solutions to solve this crisis,” said cyclist and organizer Andres Quinche. “What we are lacking is the courage and the conviction from our city council members, our mayor, (and) the Department of Transportation to stand up and say that safety matters more than speed, and that someone’s life is more valuable than a driver losing 10 seconds on their way to work…”

“I call the mayor’s office once a week to ask about this,” he said. “And I always get a response that someone’s going to get back to me about it. And it’s been maybe like two months since the last protest we staged and I haven’t heard anything.

But then, that’s about what you’d expect from a city that considers installing speed feedback signs a Vision Zero improvement.

Streetsblog’s seemingly ubiquitous Joe Linton described the die-in this way.

Though L.A. drivers are on track to kill more than 200 people in 2019, speakers emphasized the especially horrific deaths of Marlene and Amy Lorenzo, and of Alessa Fajardo – all kids on their way to school. In a crosswalk near Exposition Park in April, a driver killed sisters Marlene (14) and Amy (12) while they were walking to school. In a Koreatown crosswalk in October, a driver killed Alessa (4) as her mother walked her to nursery school.

Speakers criticized L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and the L.A. City Council for lacking courage and conviction to put their leadership behind the Vision Zero policies they approved. In attendance were three pro-Vision Zero candidates hoping to be elected to the City Council in 2020.

Needless to say, none of LA’s elected officials bothered to stop by. But as Linton notes, three candidates running for city council next year did.

Remember that when you go to mark your ballot next year.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog offers five Vision Zero tips for suburban cities.

Maybe LA officials could take a hint.

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In a move that’s pretty much the opposite of Vision Zero, recently elected CD12 Councilmember John Lee continues to make his anti-bike and traffic safety bones with a resolution aiming to “improve” or remove the hard-won bike lanes on Reseda Blvd.

But before you put all the blame on Lee, notice who seconded the motion.

That’s right.

The same formerly bike-friendly councilmember who single-handedly blocked the Lankershim Blvd Great Streets project that would have brought a much needed, shovel-ready protected bike lane to the boulevard.

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A teenaged boy in Oxford, England made the medical journals after hitting the handlebars in a slow speed bike crash — and suffering what may be one of the most gruesome injuries in bicycling history.

Just be forewarned, however, because you can’t unread the graphic description. Especially if you have a scrotum, or know someone who does.

And no, a bike helmet wouldn’t have helped.

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How about some very cool freeriding through the streets of London and Paris?

You’ll want to watch this one full screen. But maybe take your motion sickness pills first.

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If it’s any consolation for LA bike riders, you may have to deal with flooded streets, but at least you don’t have to worry about treacherous snowpacked and icy bike lanes.

Then again, it would be nice to have more bike lanes, period.

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Active SGV invites you to join them on their annual holiday lights ride this Friday.

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More fallout from that much-loathed Peloton ad.

So far, it’s gotten local coverage from Los AngelesSan Jose and Boston,

CNN picked up the story, while CBS News wasn’t impressed, and Cosmo considered what to give your husband in retaliation return. Although it didn’t keep NPR’s reporters from wanting one.

Apparently, Wall Street didn’t like the ad, either.

Seriously, though, it takes real skilled to make an ad so universally loathed that it garners millions of dollars worth of free press.

But wait, here’s another one. At least it’s a little more middle class.

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‘Tis the Season.

Thanks to a sporting goods chain and a player with the Atlanta Falcons, more than 1,500 kids will get a new bike this year.

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Sometimes its’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A hockey player for the Ottawa Senators clotheslined a bike-riding thief to keep him from riding off after stealing a backpack from a car.

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Thanks to Lisa G and View-Speed Inc. for their generous donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Your support for this site helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Which could come in handy when your ride gets rained out. Like today.

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Local

Voyage LA talks with East Side Riders founder John Jones III. He already has my vote whenever CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino decides to step down.

Streetsblog explains exactly what last night’s Complete Streets meeting in Beverly Hills was all about, including biking, walking and transit improvements.

 

State

If you’re in the mood for a ride up the coast, SRAM will hold an open house and fundraiser for World Bicycle Relief at their San Luis Obispo HQ on December 13th.

A bicycle columnist for a Gold Country newspaper says helmets might help, but the real problem is a lack of good infrastructure.

Somehow we missed this one last month, as a UC Davis researcher says more bicycling could bring huge health benefits to the state. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

 

National

Cycling Tips tests the top bike chains. Meanwhile, another Cycling Tips writer says self-driving cars may improve safety in urban environments, but not as much as improvements in bike infrastructure.

Interesting take from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who says ticketing bicyclists is pointless and cruel because on the streets, survival is more important than strict adherence to the law. I’m firm believer that we’re all safest when we follow the rules, except when we’re not. Your safety is what matters most when you ride. And only you can decide what that means at any given moment.

A writer for Streetsblog says Europe is laughing at us for installing parking protected bike lanes because it only incentivizes driving.

Even in bike-friendly Portland, neighborhood groups want bike lanes somewhere else.

An Iowa letter writer describes how — and why — she gave up riding her bike after moving from bike-friendly Minneapolis, blaming the hatred drivers have for people on two wheels.

You’ll have to wait until spring to ride a bikeshare ebike in the Windy City.

Evidently, Minneapolis police aren’t fans of Viking biking.

Former Massachusetts governor and second-place presidential finisher Mike Dukakis is no fan of driving. Which makes you wonder where we’d be today if an oilman hadn’t won that race.

New York will try out ebike delivery service for Amazon, DHL and other package-trucking companies.

A New York cab driver was busted 20 minutes after running down a bike rider. But only after his passenger begged him to go back.

 

International

When is a Victoria, BC bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s a parking lane literally half the day.

Seriously, how much of a heartless coward do you really have to be to leave a very pregnant English woman bleeding in the street after running her bike down with your car?

Royal-in-law James Middleton — Kate and Pippa’s brother — is getting good use out of his cargo bike, first taking Pippa’s brother-in-law for a ride with his dogs, followed by going Christmas tree shopping with his fiancé. Even if she had to walk along next to it.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old Irishman races 50 miles every weekend and holds a national age group record. Even if he is a stickler for the rules.

An Australian bike rider has died a week after he became collateral damage in a police chase, when he was struck by a driver fleeing from the cops.

Singapore will require ebike and e-scooter users to pass a license test, and may require all users to carry liability insurance.

 

Competitive Cycling

American triathlete Brandon McDonald describes competing just ten weeks after undergoing open heart surgery.

So much for taking over. Four transgender women discuss what it’s like to compete in cycling and other women’s sports with little or no chance of winning.

 

Finally…

Maybe a little Christmas spandex will get you in the holiday spirit. (Insert celebrity name here) is one of us, too.

And who needs winter bike gloves when you’ve got heated handlebars?

Man killed riding bike on Manchester Blvd in Inglewood in possible right hook crash

For the third time in less than two years, someone on a bike has been killed on deadly Manchester Blvd.

This time in Inglewood.

According to KFI Radio, the victim was somehow struck by the driver of a stakebed truck turning right onto eastbound Manchester Blvd from northbound Hindry Ave near LAX around 7:30 yesterday morning.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

It’s unclear which street the victim, described only as a Hispanic male, was riding on.

Based on the limited description, this could have been a right hook collision if the victim was riding on Hindry, or he may have been hit as he was riding in front of the truck on Manchester or just after the driver’s turn.

It’s also possible the driver ignored the No Right On Red sign on Hindry.

The driver remained at the scene. Police have not yet determined if he or she was under the influence.

Anyone with information is urged to call Inglewood Traffic Investigator Ryan Green at 310/412-5134.

This is at least the 66th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 29th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

His death follows the deaths of an unidentified man on Manchester at South Gramercy Place in February, and Frederick “Woon” Frazier at Manchester and Normandie in April of last year.

Which suggests a serious problem on the entire corridor, whether in Inglewood or Los Angeles, where Manchester is on the city’s High Injury Network.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

 

Morning Links: LA Vision Zero fail, bike & pedestrian deaths up in US — and LA, and possible bike death in Palm Springs

Good story from LAist about two pedestrian deaths that occurred within two hours last week.

And by extension, the city’s meager efforts at implementing Vision Zero.

Both victims, including a four-year old girl killed just 50 feet from her preschool, died on streets that are part of the city’s High Injury Network.

While overall traffic deaths are down in three of the four LAPD traffic divisions, pedestrian and bicycling deaths continue to make up 60% of all road deaths in the City of Los Angeles.

And in that fourth division, in West LA, traffic deaths are up a whopping 75%.

Not that the city isn’t doing anything about it.

According to L.A. Department of Transportation spokesman Colin Sweeney, the city has been picking up the pace on safety improvements.

“In 2019 alone, we introduced over 700 improvements to increase visibility of crosswalks — more than 2017 and 2018 combined,” Sweeney told LAist, adding that 77 speed feedback signs and “dozens of traffic signal and street design improvements” have also been installed.

But despite those efforts, preliminary traffic collision data from the Los Angeles Police Department shows that, with roughly 10 weeks left in 2019, the number of people seriously injured and killed by vehicles while walking L.A. streets this year is keeping pace with 2018’s figures.

If you want to observe a wasted effort in action, just stand next to one of those traffic feedback signs, and count how many people observe the speed limit. And how many drivers actually slow down.

Chances are, you’ll have more than enough fingers left over to let the city know what you really think about it.

Not surprisingly, LADOT was quick to demonstrate how little the city seems to understand what the hell Vision Zero even is.

When we asked LADOT about the increase, spokesman Colin Sweeney cited the improvement work the department had completed this year and added that while the city can re-engineer roadways, the other component to safer streets is safer behavior by motorists.

“Drivers need to realize the responsibility they take when they get behind the wheel,” he said. “That means avoiding distractions and slowing down on surface streets which are a shared public space — even 5 mph slower can save a life.”

Except Vision Zero is about reimagining the streets so human error does not result in deaths.

It’s not about eduction. It’s not, as the city often insists, about enforcement.

And it’s not about drivers taking responsibility, as nice as that would be.

It’s about re-imagining the damn streets themselves, so no one dies when they don’t.

And on that count, the city is failing miserably.

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Then again, the same pattern is holding true across the US, where overall traffic deaths are down 2.4%, according to the Washington Post.

Traffic fatalities fell for the second-straight year in 2018, the agency said, and the downward trend continues, with traffic deaths down 3.4 percent in the first six months of this year…

There also were fewer fatalities resulting from speeding and alcohol-impaired drivers. Additionally, there was a 10 percent reduction in the number of children killed in crashes.

That’s the good news. As long as you get around safely wrapped in a couple tons of glass and steel.

But while overall traffic fatalities were down, more pedestrians and bicyclists were killed on U.S. roads last year, accounting for nearly 20 percent of all traffic deaths.

According to NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System data, 6,283 pedestrians and 857 people on bikes or similar nonmotorized vehicles were killed in 2018, increases of 3.4 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively. Federal officials said the rises were concentrated in urban areas.

Maybe someday we’ll have elected leaders who care enough to make the hard choices to put human lives over the convenience of motorists.

Let alone actually take steps to protect the planet.

But it hasn’t happened yet.

Not in the US. Not in California.

And not in Los Angeles.

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Sad news from Palm Springs, where a man was killed in a Palm Springs hit-and-run Monday night.

People who live in the area say the victim was riding a bicycle, but there’s no mention of that in the story, and no confirmation yet through other sources.

Hopefully we’ll get more information soon.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

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Just a quick, non-sponsored reminder that there is a nationwide roadside assistance program for people on bicycles, too.

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Metro Bike is waiving the standard fee for unlocking their ebikes through Halloween.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A British man is under arrest for pulling up next to a bike rider in a car, and fatally stabbing him as he rode his bike. Police are looking for two other men who ran away from the crime scene, and say the attack did not appear to be random.

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Local

You could soon find yourself riding streets of plastic.

Congratulations to the Long Beach/Los Angeles metro area, on being recognized for having the worst air quality in the US. And yes, that’s sarcasm.

The latest SGV Connect podcast talks with the leaders of Calbike at their recent summit in Los Angeles.

The LA City Council Transportation Committee will discuss bikeway maintenance at today’s 1 pm meeting, as part of a long agenda.

Whittier beautifies a parking lot on the 4.6-mile Greenway Trail, a year before a 2.6-mile extension is scheduled to open.

CiclaValley and company go riding at Crystal Lake.

 

State

Ride 2 Recovery is raising funds for former motocross champ Micky Dymond, who suffered a severe brain injury and a number of other injuries in a solo fall while riding a time trial bike in Orange County; the group has raised over $13,000 of the $100,000 goal for the uninsured victim.

A 74-year old San Diego driver hit a man who riding his bike legally, and what should have been safely, in the bike lane, then just kept going because he thought he hit the curb. Which is prima facie evidence that maybe he shouldn’t be behind the wheel.

A group of five former Navy SEALs will embark on a 1,000-mile bike ride down the East Coast to raise funds for the VIP Neuro Rehabilitation Center in San Diego.

Morro Bay police are looking for the hit-and-run driver that left a bicyclist lying on the side of the road with critical injuries; police say he did everything right. But got hit anyway.

A Cotati man was seriously injured in a crash near Rohnert Park when a driver hit his bike. Naturally, the CHP didn’t hesitate to blame the victim.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever burgled a San Jose bike co-op serving homeless people twice in just four days.

 

National

A website for lovers of four wheel drive vehicles says if you enjoy taking one offroad, you probably already enjoy mountain biking, too.

Speaking of which, Singletracks lists five examples of trail etiquette that apply in the real world, too.

Americans took over 84 million bikeshare and e-scooter rides last year.

The NAACP calls the forcible arrest of a black Oregon State University student for riding salmon an attack on her civil rights.

The Houston Chronicle offers more on the 27-year old man killed in a collision after he pushed his fiancé off her bike just before the crash, sacrificing his own life to save hers.

A resident of a small Iowa town insists the city has been recruiting Chicago “thugs” to get funding for low income housing. And offers as proof backpack-wearing people riding BMX bikes at 2:30 am. Which just happens to be half an hour after the bars close, when employees who don’t have cars would be making their way home from work. Just saying.

A Missouri nonprofit has refurbished and given away 500 bicycles over the past few years, including one they dropped off just in time for a homeless man to get to a job interview.

A Wisconsin bike rider is suing after he was seriously injured when he hit a steel cable that came off a fence and was lying across the roadway.

The Chicago Tribune rates the best bicycle inner tubes.

An Akron, Ohio man was lucky to escape with his life when an armed thief jumped out of the bushes and demanded his valuables, pedaling away as the thief repeatedly fired at him.

A Toledo, Ohio recycling plant recovered a 1962 bicycle license that somehow became embedded in concrete that someone brought in to be crushed. Let’s hope the rest of the bike wasn’t in there, too. Or the rider, for that matter.

New York residents say the city will have to take “their” parking spaces out of their cold, dead fingers.

Comedian Billy Crystal barely avoided getting knocked down by an out-of-control food delivery rider who landed at his feet as he was filming his new movie in New York.

After someone steals a New Jersey convenience store manager’s unlocked bike, kindhearted customers pitch in to give him a new one, along with $600 cash.

The bike-riding woman who gained international fame for flipping off President Trump’s motorcade, and got fired as a result, is now running for county supervisor in Virginia.

 

International

Cycling News ranks the best steel frame bikes.

Strava users are angry the popular app is dropping support for Bluetooth and ANT+ devices.

Firefighters from Mexico City and Phoenix AZ recovered the body of a Mexican bike rider, who drowned after falling through a six-foot wide sinkhole in a Hermosillo street.

An English man who received a double lung transplant is riding 300 miles from London to Paris to raise the equivalent of over $25,000 for the hospital that performed the operation.

British police investigators are headed to the US to interview the wife of an American diplomat — or possibly spy — who killed a 19-year old motorcyclist, then claimed diplomatic immunity to flee the country.

Life is cheap in Northern Ireland, where a driver got just one year behind bars for plowing into a group of bicyclists, killing one man and seriously injuring another.

An Irish writer wonders why bike riders and pedestrians can’t just get along.

Five people crossed Australia’s 370-mile wide Simpson Desert on fat bikes, 80 years after it was crossed for the first time, without bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly rates the WorldTour teams on their success this part year; Deceuninck-Quick-Step topped the rankings, while Dimension Data might want to take up another sport.

Transgender Masters track champ Rachel McKinnon defends her right to compete — and win — in women’s cycling, while fending off criticism from other cyclists, as well as Donald Trump Jr.

 

Finally…

Skip the energy gels, and pass the French fries. Ride the future today.

And when in Rome, don’t trash the ebikes.

 

Morning Links: Vision Zero protest at City Hall today, SCAG is hiring, and Chinese TV network discovers CicLAvia

Someone’s finally taking the fight to City Hall.

A trio of “concerned citizens” are fed up with LA’s continuing failure to implement Vision Zero, and the rising death toll that has resulted.

And calling for a protest on the steps of the building this morning.

Unfortunately, I didn’t receive notice until yesterday afternoon. So it may be over by the time you read this.

But here’s what they have to say.

What Happened to Vision Zero?

A protest in front of City Hall

LOS ANGELES, OCTOBER 17, 2019–On Friday, October 18th, at 8am, safe streets advocates, parents, community leaders and concerned Angelinos will gather on the steps of City Hall to send a strong message to Mayor Garcetti, the City Council, and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT): Enough is enough! 

We estimate over a hundred people have died walking or biking in our city since 2019 at the hands of motorists. On Wednesday, Alexa, a 4-year old girl, was killed in the crosswalk while walking to preschool with her mother.

Graphic by tomexploresla

 

In 2015, Mayor Eric Garcetti committed to the popular Vision Zero initiative, aimed at ending all traffic deaths by increasing safe and equitable mobility for all. The ultimate goal is to reduce traffic related deaths to zero by 2025. Yet rather than decline, fatal traffic collisions have risen by more than 32% in Los Angeles (LATIMES) despite reported measures taken by LADOT and the Mayor’s office.  

The sad reality is that in Los Angeles County, the leading cause of death for children ages 5-14, is traffic collisions – with poor neighborhoods being disproportionately affected. Nationwide vulnerable road users die every 90 minutes. (LATIMES) Therefore, we ask Mayor Garcetti, City Council, and other responsible parties for safe streets now.

This protest is a grassroots event organized by Andres Quinche, Bob Frederick and Tom Carroll and is not sponsored by any specific entity, we are just three concerned citizens who are tired of standing by. 

Let’s move our public discourse out of the binary debates between more or less freedom and start humanizing our streets.

PROTEST DETAILS

WHEN: Friday October 18, at 8 AM-9 AM

WHERE: LA City Hall Steps (Spring St side)

 

Hopefully, more than just the three of them will turn out on such short notice.

But it’s heartening to see that people are finally getting fed up. And willing to take to the streets to do something about it.

Protest graphics by Victor Hugo Cuevas.

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If anyone with solid communication and community engagement skills needs a new job, the Southern California Association of Governments is looking for you.

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A Chinese TV network discover’s CicLAvia, and says the open streets event promotes greener, healthier policies.

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Nothing like going for a morning drive. On a bike path.

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Local

A Metro committee has approved plans for two new bike and pedestrian bridges connecting with the L.A. River Glendale Narrows bike/walk path in Glendale.

Santa Clarita’s mayor pro tem led a group of people attending Calbike’s three-day California Bicycle Summit on a tour of the city’s bike paths.

Brian Addison of the Long Beach Post looks back to the days when the greater LA area was the urban rail capital of the world. Imagine how safe bicycling would be today if we still had a world-class rail system running on every major boulevard.

Speaking of which, Metro’s erstwhile Blue Line will reopen next month as the newly renamed A Line. And not, unfortunately, the A Train.

 

State

Congratulations to UC Santa Barbara for achieving the elite platinum-level Bicycle Friendly University designation.

Police in Morro Bay are looking for a heartless coward who left a critically injured 55-year old man bleeding in a bike lane after slamming into him as he was riding his bike home from work.

School kids in the tiny coastal town of Oceano turned out to welcome dozens of veterans participating in the annual Project Hero California Challenge ride from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara.

A new glowing map shows San Francisco’s most popular streets for bicycling, as shown by the people riding them. It would be nice to see the same map for Los Angeles, although it would probably look very different.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for the woman charged with fleeing the scene after killing a 71-year old man riding his bike; she reportedly hit him head-on while driving on the wrong side of the road. The FBI became involved after she fled the state, possibly to Mexico.

 

National

Jalopnik considers how the bicycle changed the world for women.

Life is cheap in Hawaii, where a drift-racing driver got just one year behind bars for slamming into a triathlete participating in a group ride, leaving her with serious injuries that have already required a number of operations, with more on the way.

St. George, Utah will host a pop-up protected bike lane next week, to demonstrate what residents could enjoy, paid for by Spin.

Hundreds of kindhearted Texans dug into their own pockets to help an Army vet who suffers from seizures get a new, and better, bicycle just one day after his was stolen.

The Chicago Tribune considers bicycle seats, and says go with the classic and get a Brooks saddle, while a writer for the same paper tries to assemble a Thule bike rack, and makes call a friend her final answer.

An Indiana website talks with Dennis Christopher, the star of Breaking Away. And yes, that movie was why I started bicycling again, after selling my 10-speed to attend college.

A Pittsburgh advocacy group counted 123 drivers stopped in just four city bike lanes during the morning, noon and evening rush hours.

After initially blaming the victim, as usual, the NYPD quietly changed a police report to reflect that a fallen cyclist was not at fault in the crash that killed him, after all.

A Philadelphia bicycle delivery rider was acquitted of most charges for fatally stabbing a road-raging driver who attacked him after he tried to intervene in the man’s dispute with another driver; the white victim, a former Penn State quarterback, had threatened to “beat the black off” the delivery rider.

This is why you should let the police handle it. An Atlanta-area father and his ten-year old son were both shot in a bikejacking when they interrupted a burglar going through their garage.

 

International

Cycling Tips looks back at the more than 130-year history of anti-bike bias.

A podcast featuring a global panel discusses future of road bikes, asking how new tech can make cycling better. Meanwhile, Road.cc looks back at ten retro tech inventions that changed bicycling for the better.

Promising to keep you safer on the streets, a new app has launched that will turn your smartphone into a crash detector and call for help if you don’t tell it you’re okay.

Castelli’s relatively new clothing line promises to keep you cool on hot days, yet be virtually waterproof in the rain.

A writer for a UK style magazine says she’s tired of being verbally abused when she rides London streets.

The ancient city of Hue, Vietnam, is launching a bicycle tourism service that sounds a lot like bikeshare by another name.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a cab driver got a whole week behind bars for crashing into a woman on a bicycle, leaving her with serious injuries, including lingering damage to one eye. On the other hand, the driver did get a two-year driving ban, which will force her to find another line of work when she gets out.

 

Competitive Cycling

More heartbreaking news from the world of pro cycling, as 19-year old Dutch cyclist Edo Maas has been told he will likely never walk again. The promising Sunweb rider was descending at around 44 mph when he crashed into a car that had somehow gotten on a race course earlier this month. In a tragic irony, the crash that left him a paraplegic occurred on Italy’s Madonna del Ghisallo hill, named after the patron saint of bicycling.

More on the retirement of former cycling scion Taylor Phinney, who leaves professional cycling to pursue art. Best take so far, is that Phinney never let one horrible crash define him. And Phinney offers a powerful comment that there’s power in recognizing you no longer have passion for what you do.

A 27-year old San Diego man became the first person with both legs amputated above the knee to complete in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, using a kneeling handcycle for the 112-mile bicycling leg and running blades for the marathon-length running portion.

Katusha-Alpecin bites the dust, as the Israel Cycling Academy takes over their WorldTour team, leaving many Katusha riders wondering if they’ll have jobs next year.

Twenty-two-year old American world time trial champ Chloé Dygert says she plans on competing in the next six Olympics, which would make her 45 when she finally retires.

 

Finally…

Build your next bike by dumpster diving. Bike-riding dogs in the rain.

And your BMX bike is now the most sought after retro toy.

Except it isn’t. A toy, that is.

 

Morning Links: Los Angeles bike lane fail, take a NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, and road rage on San Diego golf course

Um, no.

Spectrum News 1 reports on Sunday’s CicLAvia, and leads off with the surprising news that Los Angeles has installed 600 miles of bike lanes on LA streets since the bike plan was passed in 2010.

Except it ain’t necessarily so.

There is a case to be made that the city has built 600 miles of bikeways over the past nine years.

But only if you include bike paths and sharrows in that total.

And only if you measure part of that in lane miles — which counts each side of the road separately, effectively doubling the total.

A more easily understandable figure is center lane miles, which measures both sides of the roadway at once.

In truth, Los Angeles had only painted 250.82 miles of bike lanes when adjusted for lane miles, as of the 2015-16 fiscal year. Along with 19.95 miles of bike paths, and 90.44 miles of basically useless sharrows.

In the three years since then, the city’s anemic output has resulted in just 33.25 center lane miles of any kind — a miserable average of just 11.08 miles a year.

And this with a progressive mayor who supposedly supports bicycling, and one of the nation’s most respected planning heads in LADOT’s Seleta Reynolds.

The word pathetic comes to mind.

So a more accurate figure, measured the way most people would understand it, comes out to less than 400 miles of bikeways of any kind built in Los Angeles since 2010.

394.46, to be exact.

And only 284.04 miles of those are on-street bike lanes – assuming all the bikeways built after the 2013-2014 fiscal year are bike lanes, and not sharrows.

Or looking at it another way, only 120.61 miles of bikeways of any kind have been built since Eric Garcetti became mayor in 2013, for an average of just 17.23 center lane miles per year.

And yes, that includes sharrows.

To make matters worse, half of those were built during his first year in office, so they were already under way when he came in.

Which means in reality, Garcetti and Reynolds should only be credited with just 60.85 center lane miles of any kind.

An average of just 10.14 miles per year after his first year.

Just in case you wondered why Vision Zero is failing in Los Angeles.

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Seriously, stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few minutes to respond to this very slanted survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving’s Pasadena franchise.

It would be a real shame if the responses to the survey reflected a desire for safe streets and increased density, instead their desire to keep zoom, zooming on bike and pedestrian unfriendly Rose City streets only a car could love.

And while the survey says you can only respond once, that’s once per device.

I also may have *accidently* discovered that you can respond as many times as you want if you keep deleting the two Survey Monkey cookies on your computer.

Not that anyone would do that. of course.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew is none too pleased with a UPS driver.

For good reason.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A road raging San Diego man drove onto a golf course to chase two bike-riding teens after they allegedly through food onto his car, first running down one boy with his car, then getting out and repeatedly punching him. Note to crazy man: just get your damn car washed next time.

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

Or at least we can assume it was someone who rides a bike who once again hacked a Brooklyn NY traffic sign to spread anti-car messages. Seriously, I’m not laughing. You’re laughing.

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Local

Nice piece from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman about a South LA man who hit the scrapyard to build a custom lowrider-style fat tire bike for a friend. And ended up inking a deal with a bike maker.

 

State

They get it. Encinitas decides to split the baby, converting existing bike lanes along the Coast Highway to protected lanes, and painting sharrows on the right lane of the highway so the spandexed crowd doesn’t have to slow down or compete for space with slower riders.

A Palm Springs magazine talks with Tom Kirk, the man behind the planned 50-mile bike path slowly taking shape around the Coachella Valley.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are trying out new police vehicles with a battery and two wheels, and a Trek decal on the frame.

Streetsblog SF says you may not be able to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, but at least something could be done about employees of transit agencies.

The victim in Thursday’s fatal dooring in Oakland has been identified as a 24-year old Oakland man. Just a reminder, since the Bay Area media insists on saying the victim ran into the open door — drivers are always responsible for dooring a bike rider as long as the victim obeying the law and riding on the right side of the street.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says there’s nothing controversial about bike lanes, and it’s time for the media to catch up. Tell that to Keep LA Moving and their associates.

You can forget autonomous cars saving us anytime soon. A study by AAA shows cars with supposed pedestrian-detection systems can’t recognize people in the roadway under several circumstances, including after dark and when traveling over 25 mph.

The New York Times says bikes and bears don’t mix, with recreational mountain biking leading to dangerous conditions for humans, as well as for bears and other wildlife. Mountain biking may have sustainability issues, too. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the first link.

Forget bears, rainbow crosswalks are the real danger.

Hundreds of Lime bikes and scooters were burned in a Seattle warehouse fire, apparently sparked by exploding batteries.

A Colorado velodrome is facing demolition unless they can find an alternate buyer in the next few months.

A Cleveland man faces 16 charges, including kidnapping and aggravated robbery, for carjacking a vehicle with a toddler inside and killing a man riding a bicycle while fleeing from police. Which brings up the obvious question of why, apparently, wasn’t he charged with 2nd degree murder?

An MS-13 gang member got 23 to life behind bars for hacking a 15-year old New York State boy to death with a machete after he went out for a bike ride.

Apparently, things are no different in Hoboken as they are anywhere else, as local NIMBYs swear their support for bike lanes and Vision Zero, just not where the city wants to put them.

Charges were reduced for an Uber bike delivery rider in the stabbing death of a Philadelphia man, from 2nd degree murder to voluntary manslaughter, reducing the maximum sentence from 40 to 20 years. The defense claims the white victim used racist language while arguing with the black bike rider.

Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a bank robber who may have fled the scene in a white van. Or maybe an SUV. Or a mountain bike.

Bethesda, Maryland bike riders get their first protected intersection. Which outnumbers similar intersections in Los Angeles by a factor of 1 – 0.

Heartbreaking news from Alabama, where a preteen boy shot a 12-year old boy in the back of the head when he refused to hand over his bicycle.

 

International

A British Lord has a long history of vehemently opposing bicycles and the people who ride them. But all that will be forgotten if you sign up for his charity bike ride in Spain (scroll down). Forgotten by you, that is; he’ll undoubtedly continue criticizing bikes while taking your money.

Road.cc explains why UK bike riders may not use the “perfectly good bike lanes” drivers often complain about.

The Guardian asks if we should ban SUVs from our cities. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, absolutely.

Apparently, suffering a severe brain injury isn’t good for your marriage. The wife of British adventurer James Cracknell explains why the couple split up after 17 years of marriage, saying the extreme brain injury he suffered when he was struck by a truck driver while riding across the US in 2010 left him with a different personality.

Amsterdam is slowly moving to cut cars out of the picture, one street at a time.

Break the rules for riding a bicycle in Abu Dhabi, and you may not have one anymore.

Tragic news from Singapore, as a 53-year old man died five days after he was hit by someone on a bicycle; to make matters worse, his sister stumbled on the scene as paramedics were tending to her brother.

Speaking of Singapore, e-scooters may be on their way out in the law-and-order city-state.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a pro cyclist has been seriously injured in a crash with a motor vehicle during a race. Dutch rider Edo Maas suffered neck, back and facial fractures when he collided with a car whose driver had wandered onto the closed course during a rapid descent in the Piccolo Lombardia race; the 19-year old cyclist was riding on the Giro’s Madonna del Ghisallo bike path, named after the patron saint of bicyclists.

Deadspin walks readers through the “hilarious” Zwift cheating scandal. Despite the scandal, Zwift is aiming to make it into the Olympic Games. Nothing like winning gold for riding a bicycle that doesn’t go anywhere.

Bike Radar says Lance just won’t go away. Although they might have said it a tad more politely. But still.

 

Finally…

Sometimes, you just can’t win; even when a bike-riding burglar put lights and reflectors on his bike, it just makes him easier to spot. Today’s lesson — don’t pee around machete-carrying bike riders.

And if mountain bikes are too expensive, just make your own, using a front fork for the rear suspension.

 

Morning Links: Why LA’s Vision Zero is failing, rebutting SaMo Jump bike death rumor, and getting the helmet story wrong

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

The LA Times belatedly discovers the rising pedestrian death toll in the US, but neglects to mention the corresponding jump in bicycling fatalities.

And they put the national figures in context with the City of Angels, along with what passes for an LA Vision Zero program.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti launched Vision Zero in 2015 with the goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025. The city has completed hundreds of projects, but the pedestrian death toll has soared — up 80% from 2015 to 2017, when 134 died. The number killed last year dipped slightly, to 127.

Eliminating traffic deaths is an “aspirational” goal, Dan Mitchell, chief engineer for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, said. “But what other goal is acceptable? How many people, if it’s not zero? How many people should be allowed to die just getting around the city streets?

And there’s the problem.

We were told the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan was “aspirational” shortly after it was unanimously approved by the LA city council, too.

That’s exactly why Vision Zero is failing here, when it’s succeeding in other places. 

Because Vision Zero isn’t aspirational. And it’s not a goal.

It’s a commitment.

It’s an unshakeable commitment to do whatever it takes to stop traffic deaths, and not settling for a lousy “aspirational” vision.

And until our elected leaders and the people charged with carrying it out get that, people will keep dying needlessly on our streets.

Whether they’re on two feet or two wheels.

Or surrounded by two tons of glass and steel.

………

Two bike riders were seriously injured in Santa Monica collisions over a three-day period last week.

Persistent rumors have spread online saying the first victim, a teenage boy riding a dockless Jump ebike, was killed when he was struck by the driver of a Mini Cooper at 20th and Santa Monica Blvd Thursday afternoon, or that he passed away sometime afterwards.

As of Monday afternoon, neither was true.

At last word, he was still receiving care at a local hospital, though medical privacy laws prevent the release of his name or condition.

So let’s all say a prayer or send a few good thoughts in hopes that remains the case until he’s able to walk out on his own power.

………

Talk about getting the story wrong.

A Boston TV station says a new UCLA/Drew University study shows that the vast majority of bike riders don’t wear helmets.

Except it shows nothing of the sort.

As we mentioned yesterday, the study measured how many people who suffered head and neck injuries while bicycling were wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

It had absolutely nothing to do with measuring bike helmet usage in general.

The study concluded that just 22% of those injured bike riders were wearing helmets.

Not that only 22% of bike riders do, which is a completely different thing

………

For today’s video entertainment, the world’s first front flip tsunami on a downhill bike. And no, I didn’t know what that is, either.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Gangs of UK moped riders are getting their jollies filming themselves pushing people off their bicycles, which could result in serious injuries.

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

New York police are looking for a bike-riding groper who’s attacked four women in recent months.

And sometimes it’s both.

Road-raging bike and Vespa riders come to blows — and kicks — in a Denver park. As the news anchor says, that’s not a good look for anyone.

Thanks to Mike Cane — that’s C-A-N-E, not C-R-A-N-E as I mistakenly wrote yesterday — for the heads-up.

………

Local

CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell is looking for a $4 million grant to complete a 2.2-mile bike path on the east side of the LA River in Atwater Village. Los Angeles officials love bike paths, because they get people on bikes off the streets without annoying people in cars. Maybe he could look for a similar grant to fund the road diets and protected bike lanes that might actually improve safety in his district. Thanks to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew for the link.  

A man on a bike was fatally shot in South LA’s Florence-Firestone neighborhood Sunday night; unfortunately, there’s no information on the shooter, or the victim.

KNBC-4 reports on a possible bike chop shop at a homeless encampment in Playa del Rey, apparently failing to notice what goes on at virtually every other homeless camp in the LA area.

Santa Clarita is adding new bike lanes in Saugus and Valencia after making sure they won’t affect traffic circulation. Because God forbid you should slow down a few cars to save a life or two.

Streetsblog looks back at Sunday’s COAST open streets event in Santa Monica.

Groundbreaking comedian Richard Pryor was one of us. And so is legendary actress Pam Grier, who bought him a bicycle so they could ride on the beach together.

 

State

He gets it. A writer for a car and motorcycle enthusiast website says California’s new law allowing some low-income people to trade their cars for ebikes is great, but it’s another thing to ensure they’re safe on the streets once they do.

The Department of DIY strikes in San Diego, where someone posted flyers claiming that everyone now supports the controversial bike lanes on 30th Street, copying the ones posted by opponents a few weeks ago. Note to KUSI TV — The message on them may be fake, but the flyers are real.

Palm Desert plans to start work next year on their five-mile segment of the planned 50-mile CV Link multi-use path around the Coachella Valley.

A Palo Alto driver, who says he’s wished for safer biking conditions for decades — honest! — wants to know who decided  to “make driving harder, slower, more dangerous and difficult” to do it. And insists on trotting out the myth that whole classes of older and disabled people can’t ride bikes.

Streetsblog SF says San Francisco police were quick to blame the victim when a 73-year old bike rider collided with a driver last week, even though the intersection itself could have been to blame.

A 67-year old Oakland man says that as a lifelong bicyclist, he’s never obeyed all traffic laws, nor should he, because trying to make bicyclists obey laws written for cars is like trying to herd cats (scroll down). Which brings up one of the best commercials ever.

 

National

Now that’s a bikepacking trip. A woman rode solo, much of it off paved roads, to map all 2,200 miles of the Pony Express route from St. Joseph MO to Sacramento.

Oregon welcomed Bontrager’s new WaveCel technology to its new home in a Wilsonville warehouse.

Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw is one of us. Or was, before someone stole her ebike from a doubly secured garage; fortunately, she had the good sense to register it for free with Bike Index and add it to their nationwide stolen bike database. Although a Seattle radio host wants to know why Bagshaw’s stolen bike mattered more to police than her daughter’s did.

A Bellingham WA newspaper asks what the proper hand signals are to use when riding a bike. That depends entirely on how pissed off you are at the time.

Sad story from Washington, where a hit-and-run driver marked a stranger’s 34th birthday by fatally running him down with his car as the man was riding his bike back home to his family. Let’s hope they find the schmuck.

Kindhearted Tucson police buy a new bicycle for a young man whose bike was stolen after learning it was his only form of transportation.

A Utah researcher spent 125 days riding 2,300 miles around the Great Salt Lake on a mountain bike pulling a trailer — and getting shot at — to study the risk of dust pollution as the lake continues to dry up.

Two years later, there still hasn’t been an arrest, or any named suspects, in the murder of mountain biker Tim Watkins, who was shot while riding on a Southern Colorado roadway; the non-suspect list includes a man who was arrested shortly after Watkins death for threatening hikers and bicyclists with a hatchet on the same road.

San Antonio, Texas bicyclists have had enough, and are planning a die-in to protest recent bicycling deaths.

Chicago puts its money where its Vision Zero is, investing $6 million to improve dangerous streets on the city’s West Side.

An Illinois cop’s own body cam shows him citing the law to a well-versed bike rider, who politely points out that he got it wrong. And insists on a ticket so he can prove in court that the officer doesn’t know the law. It’s a common problem. Most cops receive little or no training in bike law, so they go by truncated cheat sheets or what they think it is. And too often, they’re wrong.

Maybe he’s not paying attention. Detroit’s mayor said reports of e-scooter injuries are BS.

That more like it. Ohio officials will install an 11-mile bike lane on a highway where two bike riders have been killed in recent years, while noting that it can’t keep drugged drivers off the roads.

Bicyclists in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood are calling a protected bike lane on Grand Street a grand failure due to the city’s failure to use stronger barricades to keep cars and trucks out.

New York has finally decided not to ban bicyclists during the UN General Assembly next week, instead creating a special protected bike lane to replace two being shut down for it. But they will have to pass through a security check.

Gotta hand it to a New Jersey bike thief, who swapped his bike for a better one at a train station, but at least had the decency to lock it up using the victim’s own bike lock and replaced the victim’s helmet on it before riding off. Although he or she might want to consider investing in a better lock next time.

A bike-riding Miami high school student was seriously injured when he was struck by an on-duty police sergeant headed back to the motor pool.

 

International

The president of the European Cyclists Federation says the election of a new European Parliament and the appointment of the EU Commission are the perfect opportunity for legislators to turn their words into action and refocus on safe bicycling and walking.

Edinburgh bike riders are gearing up for this weekend’s worldwide Fancy Women Bike Ride, a movement that began in Turkey seven years ago to mark World Car Free Day and encourage more women to ride bikes. If there’s an LA edition of the ride this weekend, let me know.

Paris is planning to offer residents a 500 euro incentive to buy an ebike — the equivalent of $550 — to help get more cars off the streets. Something Streetsblog says the US should be doing. Or at least something Los Angeles should do when and if they actually give us a safe place to ride them.

A 20-year old Malawi man is facing a murder charge for twisting his 12-year old nephew’s neck after catching him riding the man’s bicycle, then dumping the boy’s body in a pit latrine. Seriously, you can’t make this shit up. And you probably wouldn’t want to.

The swooping Magpie that caused a fallen Australian bicyclist to crash was so well known to locals that they named it…wait for it…Swoop Dog.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says cyclists aren’t tough? South African pro Willie Smit finished another 16 stages of the Vuelta with 16 stitches in his knee following a mass crash in stage 15.

https://twitter.com/williesmurfy/status/1170612880594673664?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1170612880594673664&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcyclingtips.com%2F2019%2F09%2F16-stitches-and-a-life-of-pain-willie-smit-is-cyclings-toughest-rider%2F

 

Finally…

If you’re going to flee from police on a bicycle, try to make sure the cop chasing you isn’t in “near Olympic shape.” Complete Streets, you complete me.

And no. Just…no.

 

Morning Links: LA Vision Zero is hiding not dead, and prelims for accused killers of Mike Kreza and Frederick “Woon” Frazier

One quick correction.

It turns out that LA’s Vision Zero website isn’t gone, it’s just been subsumed into LADOT’s larger Livable Streets website.

Although, since they didn’t bother to forward the previous links, it’s virtually impossible to find unless you know where to look.

Which may or may not be intentional.

And whether that reflects a lessening commitment to saving lives on the part of the city, or just an attempt to bring all the city’s streets programs together under a single roof, is still to be determined.

Thanks to PatrickGSR94 for the correction

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve posted an update from our anonymous Orange County correspondent, who reports today from the prelim for the driver accused of killing Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza.

Stephen Taylor Scarpa had his prelim last Thursday. The courtroom was packed, mostly with family and friends of the victim. The widow held it together surprisingly well.

Scarpa had so many drugs in his system, my notes are 2 pages long. But he might have just “fallen asleep” at the wheel, ’cause that’s happened to him before.

The defense attempted to present Scarpa as a sympathetic figure, saying Scarpa’s actions “killed” himself as well as Fire Captain Kreza. Yes, the defense actually suggested that Scarpa is a murder victim. Audible gasps in the courtroom.

He’ll be arraigned next Tuesday. I hope to make it, because if he’s wise, he’ll go nolo contendere and take whatever plea deal has fallen in his lap.

Meanwhile, Kreza’s sister decided to honor her brother with a tattoo of angel wings enveloping his initials.

And the state legislature voted to name a section of State Route 55 after him.

………

Our OC correspondent also reports from yesterday’s hearing for Mariah Kandise Banks, accused in the hit-and-run that took the life of popular South LA bicyclist Frederick “Woon’ Frazier, as well as the coverup that followed.

Mariah Kandise Banks was scheduled to have her preliminary hearing Thursday morning.

She was late.

This did not escape Judge Lynne M. Hobbs’ attention. Once Banks was present and before her, Her Honor attempted to impart the importance of punctuality. She told Ms. Banks that she’d been this close to revoking bail. She reminded Ms. Banks of the seriousness of the charges against her, and referenced her priors, although I suspect that she was referring to the failures to appear, not the other hit-and-runs (yes, plural).

The prosecutor, citing Ms. Banks’ (and her mama’s) alleged ongoing harrassment of the victim’s family, requested an increase in bail, which the judge denied. The judge further warned Ms. Banks that any restraining order issued against her would become evidence against her in this case.

As Ms. Banks turned to walk away, she petulantly muttered, “Lies!” under her breath. This was heard by the judge, who immediately informed Banks that she was not yet dismissed. The defense requested and was granted that the preliminary hearing be trailed until September 19th, based on a substantial amount of new discovery (evidence) that had not yet been reviewed.

The judge asked why Ms. Banks had been late. She replied she was late because she is not allowed to drive and is therefore dependent on others for rides. (Um. If she is still at her last known address, she lives half a block from the freeway express bus that drops off a few blocks from the Foltz courthouse.) The judge helpfully suggested she find a more reliable way to get around. Inexplicably, Her Honor did not propose that Banks ride a bicycle to her court appearances.

“You are very much on my radar,” the Judge told Ms. Banks ominously, possibly motivating her to be on time.

I really, really like the prosecutor. She’s going to put this killer away for as long as legally possible.

Meanwhile, Spectrum News 1 checks in with the grieving mother of South LA hit-and-run victim Frederick “Woon” Frazier, and uses that as the jumping off point for a broader look at the problems of hit-and-run, and bike and pedestrian, crashes in the City of Angels. Note to non-Spectrum customers: You can still read the transcript, even if you can’t watch the video.

And no surprise here, as KNBC-4 digs into the stats underlying LA’s hit-and-run crisis, and finds only one percent of fleeing drivers are ever brought to justice for their crimes.

………

She also adds this aside.

Wednesday night at 1am, an asshat motorist failed to negotiate the Zoo Drive offramp, took out a bunch of chain link fence, and left giant divots on the grounds of the Griffith Park Dog Park. The location is so close to the river path that obviously those damn cyclists are responsible somehow.

………

The LACBC urges you to contact California’s governor to urge him to sign SB 400, which would allow you to trade your car in for an ebike if you’re poor enough.

Which is a good start.

But what we really need is a program that would allow anyone to trade in their car for a bicycle, electric or otherwise, or a fully loaded TAP card.

Or get a rebate on the purchase of a bike for commuting, so we can start getting more cars off the roads.

………

Speaking of the LACBC, you still have time to complete their survey on what direction the bike coalition should take as it recovers from the disastrous financial mismanagement of the previous director.

………

Bicycling talks with the founder of Project 529 about the ever present problem of bike theft, as their 529 Garage bike registry releases an infographic to drive the point home.

………

Local

The Eastsider offers photos of the stunning bike and pedestrian North Atwater Bridge rising over the LA River, while CiclaValley considers Glendale’s plans for a bike and pedestrian bridge of their own over the LA River, both of which would join two more currently under construction.

KPCC tags along with Danny Gamboa for a first-person look at placing a ghost bike.

A woman was airlifted from the Angeles Crest highway with a severely torn calf muscle after getting hit by a driver, who responded to an oncoming truck crowding the center line by cutting to the right and hitting her bike after getting blinded by the sun. Hopefully the CHP will see that for the confession it is, and not the universal Get Out of Jail Free card it usually serves as. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

Santa Monica-based Bird’s head of sustainability wants to transform America’s streets, even after the company reneged on its promise to fund new bike lanes wherever it operates.

Don’t plan on renting an e-scooter in Hermosa Beach anytime soon. The city has extended its ban on scooters through April, or until they can work out guidelines in conjunction with neighboring cities Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach.

Long Beach warns residents to approve a sales tax extension, or face crumbling roads in the years to come.

 

State

The California DMV will be releasing a guide to your civil rights during a traffic stop next spring. One key point to remember in the meantime is that is you have the right to refuse a search of your bike and belongings if you’re stopped for a traffic violation.

Brooks McKinney talks with the guy responsible for keeping California’s pavement smooth and rideable. Oh, and drivable, too.

Residents of San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood would rather have a homemade pump track than more housing.

The Department of DIY reared its head in San Luis Obispo, where local bicyclists made their own toilet plunger-protected bike lane, two years after a Cal Poly student was killed by a drunk driver.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man with a bike was collateral damage when an SUV driver crashed into a pickup and spun into the victim as he was in a crosswalk; his killer fled on foot without even looking at the man trapped under his SUV.

San Francisco responds to a jump in traffic fatalities by redesigning intersections to improve safety. Which is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. But usually doesn’t.

Streetsblog SF applauds the city for its quick build strategy, but says the 7th Street protected bike lane isn’t.

A Sacramento-area e-bikeshare program was put on hold after Trump’s China tariffs made it economically infeasible.

 

National

A new book details how America’s transportation systems are biased against women, including a lack of protected bikeways.

No surprise here, as a new study shows deaths from red light-running drivers has hit a ten-year high. But sure, let’s talk about all those entitled scofflaw cyclists.

A new study finds booze and e-scooters don’t mix, as nearly 40% of seriously injured scooter users were legally drunk when they crashed. Note to Today Show — Nice job of inflating the stats to get clicks, with a headline that says nearly 50%, before stepping it down to nearly 40% in the subhead.

A Washington man chased down and fatally shot his mother’s boyfriend as the victim rode off on a bicycle; the boyfriend was allegedly abusive, and had a history of protective orders filed against him by other women.

A Wisconsin woman who describes herself as a casual bicyclist has ridden over 7,100 miles at AIDS rides to raise funds and keep alive the memory of friends lost to the disease; when asked how much she’s raised, she said “Not enough because AIDS is still here.”

Hats off to the Providence Journal, which recognized that most biking riding kids in the Rhode Island city aren’t out to break the law or infuriate drivers.

New York police are looking for a man who beat and slashed another man in a subway station in an attack that began with a dispute over a bicycle.

A New York driver ran away on foot after somehow getting his car wedged in a barrier-protected bike lane next to a highway.

In a tragic reminder that people on bicycles can get hurt in collisions with pedestrians, the New York ebike rider who was critically injured after crashing into a 77-year old man has died, while the older man only suffered minor injuries.

Gotham bicyclists say just getting to a spacious new bikeway across a bridge is hell.

 

International

A kindhearted British Columbia business owner gave a boy a new bicycle when both his bikes were stolen, after the businessman learned the boy had raised over $10,000 for the charity that gave one of the bikes to him when he was diagnosed with diabetes as a five-year old.

An 82-year old Toronto man was overwhelmed by an outpouring of community support after the bike he relied on for transportation was stolen less than a week after he got it.

Canadian Cycling Magazine offers five tips to safely lock your bike.

Van-driving bike thieves are targeting solo riders with expensive looking bicycles on a popular Irish riding route. Correction: I originally misplaced this story as being from Scotland, not Ireland. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the. correction.

Belgian ebike owners are hacking their rides to remove European speed restrictions.

No bias here. After a Spanish study finds “several cyclist and environment related variables” that led to fatal bike crashes, the authors only suggestion was bike riders should wear a helmet.

Even India’s relatively low-cost bicycle industry is being undercut by cheaper Chinese imports crossing the border from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The Radavist takes a gravel bike tour of New Zealand’s South Island.

 

Competitive Cycling

The owner of a women’s cycling team says she was wrong to be skeptical about the Colorado Classic bike race and its commitment to elevating women’s cycling.

VeloNews considers how the Colorado Classic upended the traditional TV model by streaming the entire race for free.

Just one day after losing the leader’s jersey, Nicholas Roche crashed out of the Vuelta.

Cycling Tips says the Cross County World Championships are American mountain biker Lea Davison’s chance to redeem herself after a couple difficult years.

 

Finally…

Now even the birds are out to get us. Who needs a fanny pack when you can carry a fashionable $375 “bike wallet” inspired by chunky bike lock chains?

And who really needs a bike seat anyway?

 

Morning Links: Eliminating car culture amid Vision Zero fail, and bike greenways at tonight’s Pasadena council meeting

Good essay by James Ramsey for Gothamist, questioning whether New York City should completely eliminate car culture.

It’s debatable whether New York City is a car town. On one hand, it’s obviously not — the majority of us take public transportation to work, cycling is at an all-time high, and there are people walking around at all hours of the day and night.

But the recent death of Jose Alzorriz, a 52-year-old cyclist from Park Slope, highlights a different reality about how the city is designed, and for whom…

But as economist and longtime cyclist Charles Komanoff wrote this week in an op-ed for Gothamist, the individual decisions of reckless drivers are merely the “proximate causes” of these tragedies.

“The wellspring of cycle fatalities lies deeper, in driving’s culture and sheer volume,” Komanoff writes.

Which is why he’s joining several prominent officials, most notably City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, in saying we need to “break the car culture.” That means making it far more expensive to drive in the city; less placating of reactionary community boards (see the cases of the 14th Street busway, or the Central Park West bike lane); and taking away huge chunks of space currently devoted to free or cheap parking.

Komanoff goes on to add that ending car culture also means “placing public transit, biking, and walking at the center of all city planning decisions.”

Incrementalism isn’t enough, he argues. Adding a few bike lanes won’t “change the cultural assumption that cars reign supreme” in New York.

The same holds true for Los Angeles.

When the city was looking for public input on Vision Zero, several of us argued for the urgent need to break attitude that LA streets are for cars and the people in them.

And that Vision Zero would never succeed as long as the city’s longtime philosophy of autos über alles was allowed to continue.

Which was quickly agreed with. And then, like most bold steps in the City of Angels, promptly forgotten.

Instead, we got a weak-kneed call for drivers to watch their speed from the punter for the Rams.

Evidently, the city concluded the best way to change driver attitudes was to bore them to death, and start over with the next generation.

Like New York, we’re long past the point where incremental changes will make a damn bit of difference.

It’s time for bold action and real change from a mayor and council who seem afraid of both. Or more accurately, afraid of angry windshield-biased NIMBY voters.

That’s where genuine leadership and political courage must come in. Elected leaders willing to stand up and take the heat for changes the city must make if we’re going to survive the coming decades.

And that’s exactly what the city lacks right now.

………

If you live or ride in the Pasadena area, drop whatever you were planning to do tonight and head to the meeting of the Pasadena city council, where officials will discuss proposals for four bicycle greenways, aka bike boulevards.

  • El Molino Ave between Atchison Street and Bonita Drive
  • Wilson Ave between Washington Blvd and California Blvd
  • Sierra Bonita Ave between Washington Blvd and Colorado Blvd
  • Craig Ave between Orange Grove Blvd and Del Mar Blvd

Unless you were already planning to be at the meeting.

In which case, carry on.

………

Over a hundred people turned out for yesterday’s march to demand safer streets in response to a hit-and-run that has left a 15-year old bike rider hospitalized for the past three weeks.

At least it now looks like he’s going to survive.

………

Not only is former NBA star Reggie Miller one of us, he got a new gravel grinder for his birthday.

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YAASSSSSS it’s my Birthday, thanks @santacruzbicycles for the best gift EVER, my Stigmata CC.. Here on my new Santa Cruz Stigmata I’m rocking the new Sram Red AXS with the power meter integration into the front chainrings and a Kogel bottom bracket to keep it spinning. The gearing is 46/33 in the front and 10/33 for the cassette to get me climbing up the hills. Now to keep me rolling I’m on the Santa Cruz Reserve carbon rims laced to some Industry Nine torch hubs. For the tires I’m using the @vittoriatires 700x37c Terreno Zeroes and orange sealant to keep me from getting flats. For the cockpit I have some Easton bars and stem to keep me upright, to allow me to go the distance I have my Selle SMP Dynamic seat with carbon rails. Thanks @dropdeadzep for being the best Producer/Director of this video and @browncastle for the best bike fit and acting cameo.. Big ups to @nitrothomas and @incyclebicycles for fine tuning my new everyday machine.. Watch whole video on my IGTV.. 🎶 @wizkhalifa #BlackAndYellow #NewBikeDay

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

Toronto bicyclists are turning to civil courts to confront road raging drivers after the criminal court system lets them down.

Three British teenagers have been charged with murder for ramming a popular, 18-year old taekwondo star and role model as he rode his bike in southwest London, then getting out and beating him as he lay on the ground.

Two Irish thieves rammed a rider to knock off his bicycle and into a ditch, then got out of their car and mugged him before taking off with his bike.

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Local

The number of e-scooter riders ticketed by the LAPD is soaring, mostly for riding on the sidewalk — even before the Paul Koretz-inspired crackdown on sidewalk scooter riders began.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies ticketed 74 people during their recent crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, half of which were for distracted driving.

When Pomona police officers tried to return a young boy’s cellphone after it was stolen by older kids as he walked to school, they learned he was afraid to walk to class anymore. So the kindhearted cops surprised him a new bicycle, helmet and lock so he could ride to school, instead.

Active SGV considers LA County’s plans for protected bike lanes.

 

State

Yes, those cars with dark tinted windows are illegal in California. Which doesn’t mean they’re not out there threatening your life and safety on a daily basis.

Police are investigating a crash between a bicyclist and a motorcyclist in Rancho Santa Margarita that left one man dead; for a change, it was the man with the motor. Which does not make it any less tragic.

Sadly, a 48-year old San Diego man suffered life-threatening injuries when he crashed his motorized bicycle into the side of a car while attempting to ride across a street; no word on whether he was on an ebike or one with a gasoline engine.

A Clovis woman apparently broke both arms and legs when she allegedly ran a red light and was struck by a driver.

The San Francisco Chronicle accuses Caltrans of trying to steamroll SB127, the Complete Streets bill that would force the state agency to consider the needs of all street users.

 

National

After the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed claiming “new left urbanists” want to use infrastructure to “make the masses conform to one vision of how to live — which unfortunately is hidden behind their paywall — a writer for Jalopnik responds that he never knew an op-ed could be so stupid.

A writer for the LA Times takes an ebike-aided bike tour of the Oregon Cascades. Which just happens to be where my brother is now on his solo bike tour across the west, except he’s currently on the coast.

Police, fire and EMS personnel rode 650 miles across Texas in eight days to honor fallen first responders.

After a homeless man stole a $10,000 road bike off a car rack, Tulsa OK police quickly mobilized to track him down, busting him a few hours later riding the purloined bike while carrying bolt cutters.

A Michigan man with muscular dystrophy will have to start over after his coast-to-coast fundraising bike ride to fight the disease was interrupted when a careless driver slammed into him and his riding partner with just 800 miles to go, leaving both with several broken bones; the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he just didn’t see them. Which should be seen as a confession rather than an excuse, but seldom is.

A Maine man is suing Ford for $1 million over a crash when he was riding his bike with his son. Not over the gardening truck that passed them, but for the the 50-year old Ford lawn mower in the back whose blade came off and nearly severed his leg.

If you’re riding a bike in Boston with a loaded gun in your pocket, try not to act so damn suspicious.

Hundreds of New Yorkers rode to honor a fallen rider and demand safer streets. And called for the city’s mayor to stop running for president and come back to deal with the recent rash of bicycling deaths.

A Philadelphia op-ed says taking steps to hold drivers accountable signals a change in the city’s pervasive car culture.

Philly goes all out for the city’s annual naked bike ride, and they’ve got the photos to prove it.

A Palm Beach FL columnist inadvertently shows how windshield bias can determine who gets blamed for bike and motorcycle crashes, pointing out that drivers get most of the blame in one county, and people on two wheels in the next. Even though studies show drivers are to blame in the majority of crashes.

A Florida woman is under arrest after slamming into a bike rider during her morning commute, then driving to work to begin her shift; she called her husband and asked him to return to the crash scene for her, but never bothered to call the police.

Seriously? After an older person complained about bikes in a Florida park, a city department ordered signs from — from Amazon, no less — banning bicycles in the park, knowing they weren’t official and couldn’t be enforced.

 

International

A pair of British Columbia bike thieves broke into a parking garage and made off with an $11,000 Yeti mountain bike, as well as another as-yet unidentified bicycle.

A 73-year old Victoria BC letter writer says he just rode in a new bike lane, and contrary to the usual hysterical reports, didn’t crash into any pedestrians, get hit by wobbly bike riders or run over by cars coming from a parking lot.

After a drunk, half-naked man got tossed out of an English supermarket, he grabbed a bicycle and tried to smash his way back in through the glass.

A British couple are riding over 3,700 miles to draw a bicycle across the face of Europe to call attention to the environmental impact of traveling by motor vehicle.

The breathless UK media freaks out over a man riding his bicycle on a “busy” street carrying a baby in one arm. For a change, they’ve got a point; a kid should always be in a child’s seat or some other type of safe child carrier on a bike.

An Irish government committee calls on the country to legalize e-scooters. Which means you could soon take a Bird to the Blarney Stone, or a Lime to Limerick.

Cargo bikes are becoming status symbols in Deutschland, as Germans turn away from electric cars in the switch to greener transport.

A Taipei, Taiwan committee calls on the transport ministry to prevent bike crashes, which they mostly blame on the people on two wheels.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News lists ten cyclists to keep your eye on in this year’s Vuelta, which kicked off on Saturday — including a rising young American rider for a change.

Twenty-two-year old American cyclist Chloe Dygert-Owen dominated the inaugural women’s Colorado Classic, winning all four stages, as her husband was 5,000 miles away in Spain competing in his first Grand Tour.

 

Finally…

Anyone can go biking on a mountain, but try riding a third of a mile under one. Are you a biker or a cyclist — or just someone who rides a bicycle?

And why ebikes burn like Jimi Hendrix’ guitar.

Morning Links: Which Way LACBC tomorrow, New York takes Vision Zero seriously, and Rutger Hauer was one of us

Thank you everyone for your kind and comforting words about the Corgi.

I apologize if I haven’t been able to get back to you yet, but I truly appreciate everyone who took the time to reach out or leave a comment. It’s brought some real comfort in a difficult time. 

The Corgi still has a smile on her face, and you helped put one back on mine. 

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Let’s start with a reminder about the Los Angeles Bicycle Coaliton’s Which Way LACBC open house this Saturday, to get your input on what you’re looking for from the county’s leading bike advocacy group.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton talks with LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman about the organizations drift and mismanagement following the departure of former ED Tamika Butler, and the opportunity for reinvention.

Who should come on Saturday?

Everyone. Literally anybody who’s ever been on a bicycle. Anybody who’s ever ridden mass transit, Metro, buses. Anybody who considers themselves a pedestrian. And scooter-ists, as well. And drivers, we want to hear from them, too. It’s an open invitation…

This Saturday’s Which Way L.A.-CBC? is meant to be a bit of a reckoning. There’s a moment in the program where I plan to just speak frankly about how we arrived at this moment.

I’m going to own the fact that I don’t think we are justifying our existence as we stand today. We need the help of basically everyone to become a better resource and a better support to the mission that we are fighting for.

I understand that the stakes are high. This is the moment that we need to turn this thing around. It starts with the input and the thoughtfulness of the people that we need to partner with to get this thing done.

The Which Way L.A.-CBC? community forum will take place from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. this Saturday, July 27, at LACBC headquarters at 634 S. Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it this time; for the foreseeable future, I’ll be home tending to a sick corgi who can’t be left alone more than a few minutes.

But I urge you to attend.

And maybe you could offer my input for me.

  • The LACBC should immediately form an associated 501(c)4 allowing it to engage in political activity; we desperately need a strong voice that can force our elected leaders and candidates to take the bicycling community seriously.
  • The LACBC should stop being afraid to take action, and be willing to take to the streets to demand real safety and protect the rights of bike riders.
  • The LACBC should be willing to back bike riders, and take a stand to support those who step up on their own to demand change, whether or not they’re members of the coalition.

And one more thing.

The LACBC — and the LA bicycling community — needs you now more than ever.

Yes, you.

So take a few minutes to join if you’re not a member, or renew your membership if you are. And make a donation if you can spare the change.

It’s up to you to help the LACBC return to what it was just a few short years ago.

And what we all need it to be again.

Photo shamelessly purloined from LACBC website, via Streetsblog LA.

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This is what happens when you take Vision Zero seriously.

New York mayor and presidential candidate Bill de Blasio announced plans to invest $58.4 million to build 30 miles of protected bike lanes, in the wake of a shocking jump in bicycling deaths.

The city will also crack down on dangerous drivers at crash-prone intersections, as well as drivers who block bike lanes.

Although the NYPD might want to brush up on bike law first. And whether that crackdown on blocking bike lanes applies to the cops themselves remains to be determined.

Meanwhile, an op-ed in the Daily News says bike riders are terrified, and the city must take steps to break the deadly car culture on the streets.

But maybe if LA Mayor Eric Garcetti was still running for president, he might actually feel the pressure to get off his ass and do something about our own deadly streets.

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The late Rutger Hauer was one of us, too.

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Cannondale is recalling 10,000 CAADX Cyclocross Bicycles from the model years 2013 – 2016 after one person died and seven others suffered serious injuries due to a defective carbon fork.

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Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

An American woman living in the UK was slapped by a bike-riding woman for no apparent reason as she crossed a pedestrian bridge, then saw her attacker go on to slap the man walking behind her, as well.

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Local

The LA Explorers Club will take a bicycle tour of ’80s movie sites in the San Gabriel Valley on Saturday; the ride is free, but RSVPs are required.

The third annual Health Fair and Bike Ride will be held in South Central LA on Saturday, August 3rd. Thanks to Sis for the heads-up.

 

State

Pacific Grove says feel free to ride your ebike on the city’s Rec Trail — as long as you don’t engage the engine.

San Jose bike riders are concerned about a growing homeless encampment affecting a key commuter bike path — a problem affecting cities across the state. However, people without a home have to be somewhere. If we want them off our sidewalks and bikeways, we need to pressure our leaders to help put a roof over their heads, and get them the help they need to rebuild their lives.

San Francisco is finalizing plans to close the city’s iconic Market Street to private motor vehicles. That would be like shutting down Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles — which isn’t a bad idea.

A Chico writer tells the story of her stolen bike, which a police detective said was probably already in pieces across the city hours after it was stolen. And now she’s afraid to ride to the market because she doesn’t want her new, cheaper bike to end up the same way.

 

National

More Americans have died in car crashes in the past 19 years than were killed in both world wars.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss explains why we all should care that fewer kids are riding bikes.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero. A 73-year old Oregon man and his two dogs are alive today after a man riding his bike discovered him nearly unconscious on the side of the road after they became stranded with no food and only a little water.

Bicycling fatalities are up in Colorado, too, as a serious cyclist’s loved ones look for the heartless coward who left him for dead after a crash; the victim is former Bicycling editor Andrew “Bernie” Bernstein, who who was riding home from a velodrome when he was run down.

Life is cheap in Missouri, where a dog owner walks with a warm caress on the wrist for allowing his dogs to run free, and allegedly kill an 85-year old man as he rode by on his bicycle.

Thanks for nothing. After a Texas man found his stolen bike for sale online, a Houston cop told him to just buy it back from the thief.

A Houston man took his girlfriend on a 15 mile bike ride spelling out the words “marry me,” before getting down on one knee at the end to ask for her hand. And the rest of her, presumably.

A Chicago scooter rider was critically injured when he was struck by a driver who pulled over when police tried to stop the scooterist for leaving the scene after crashing into a pedestrian while riding on the sidewalk.

A Chicago bike tour will revisit scenes from the city’s violent past on the 100th anniversary of the 1919 race riots.

Talk about not getting it. A Minnesota letter writer says we don’t need any more bike lanes, because most people just ride their bikes on the sidewalk anyway.

Bike riders in the greater Cleveland area remain wary of sharing the road with motorists.

Something tells me there’s a lot more to this story. An Ohio woman is charged with evidence tampering and falsifying vehicle registration in an attempt to coverup her involvement in a hit-and-run that left a bike-riding woman seriously injured.

The problem with a new Vermont bike lane isn’t the squiggly lines that suggest someone was partaking in the state’s newly legalized cannabis while painting them. It’s the fact that what passes for a bike lane is barely wider than some bike tires in places.

A Long Island community says forget dangerous drivers, the real problem on the streets is teenagers on bikes who block traffic and annoy the people behind the wheel.

Liev Schreiber is one of use, making out with his dog on the streets of New York on his double-seated, wine crate-equipped cargo bike.

Holy exploding ebikes, Batman! A New York bike rider suffered burns on his legs when the lock battery on the dockless Lime Bike he was riding suddenly exploded and burst into flames; a company spokesperson said someone had apparently punctured the battery with sharp object while trying to break the lock, and there’s no need to panic. Honest.

Good luck outrunning these New Jersey bike cops on their new 50 mph ebikes.

Atlanta protesters form a human-protected bike lane to demand safer streets after a bicyclist was killed by a city bus last week.

A woman with eight grandkids was shot and killed while riding her bike in Florida’s Orange County.

 

International

Turns out bikeshare isn’t just for wealthy hipsters after all; many of the “super users” around the world come from lower income brackets.

Copenhagenize ranks the world’s top 20 bike cities; not surprisingly, given who was doing the ranking, Copenhagen comes out on top. No surprise either, that no American city made the list.

Architecture and Design says the solution to pollution, sprawl and congestion is getting rid of parking spaces.

Forbes takes a long, lingering look at the many iterations of the World Naked Bike Ride, as people around the globe go as bare as they dare to demand safety on our streets.

A Vancouver man plans a one-person protest of a dangerous bike lane, riding up and down the lane all day to call attention to the one-year anniversary of when another rider was fatally doored on the street.

A British Columbia man on a 1,600-mile bike tour through the Yukon says he’s been blown away by the people and beauty he’s found along the way.

A Montreal blogger says it may be the best bike city in North America, but riding there still sucks.

Keep your eye on Britain, where plans are in motion for “genius” CYCLOPS — Cycle Optimized Protected Signals — intersections to maximize opportunities for safe bicycling and walking, without adversely affecting motorists.

A British bike lawyer explains why a bike rider getting sued for crashing into a pedestrian is actually a good thing for bicyclists.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a retired cop walked with a suspended sentence for killing a bike rider while high on meth, which his lawyer claimed was a byproduct of his Parkinson’s medication. At least he was banned from driving for five years.

An Indian general is one of six people from the county’s military to be accepted for this year’s 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris ride.

An Indian girl holds the world record for the longest bike trip in a single county, riding over 12,000 miles without ever leaving India. Never mind that the “girl” is a 28-year old woman.

Thai officials are rushing to repair an elevated bike path along the Mekong River that collapsed due to erosion on the bank, leaving a gap the length of a football field in the popular tourist attraction.

 

Competitive Cycling

While Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe continues to wear yellow, seven cyclists still have a chance to win this year’s Tour de France with just three stages left.

The sweat-drenched peloton struggling through the French heatwave provides a lesson in what we can look forward to due to climate change.

Cycling Tips considers the sports brutality and bizarre mythologizing of suffering through the lens of New Zealand cyclist George Bennett, who had two hard crashes on Thursday’s stage of the Tour de France, possibly suffering a concussion, yet still finished 27th.

 

Finally…

Forget scooters. Now you can cruise the beach on 7 mph, ADA-compliant purple stuffed…uh, thing. Apparently, God does not have an account at Sonic, whether or not you’re on a bike.

And forget the recovery drinks. Just grab yourself an ice cold Sufferfest.

 

Morning Links: Tuskegee Airman — and bike rider — Robert Friend dies at 99; and minding a Duarte bike shop at 101

Let’s start with the passing of a real American hero.

LA’s own Robert Friend, one of the last surviving members of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, died on Friday, just months away from his 100th birthday.

The 99-year old Lt. Colonel flew 142 missions over Europe and North Africa during World War II as a fighter pilot in the all-black squadron, before going on to serve in Korea and Vietnam. He was later attached to NASA as an Air Force liaison, working on the Titan, Atlas and Delta rockets and the Space Shuttle program.

Not to mention overseeing the infamous Project Blue Book for five years, as the once top secret program investigated over 12,000 reports of flying saucers and other mysterious airborne objects.

Here’s what the Washington Post had to say about his flying career.

Although Col. Friend occasionally discussed Project Blue Book in interviews, he was far better known for his record as a Tuskegee Airman, notably for a two-week stretch when he twice averted disaster.

Striking an oil barge in Germany on Dec. 14, 1944, he unleashed a barrage of 50-caliber bullets that triggered an enormous, mushroom-shaped explosion, nearly taking down his aircraft. “The flame completely engulfed the diving ship,” the Pittsburgh Courier reported at the time. “Friend said it was sort of like being in hell. He managed to pull his ship out at the last moment.”

Days later, he faced bad weather and mechanical difficulties while flying over Italy. Disoriented in the darkness, praying to avoid crashing into a mountain or ejecting over the water, he took his chances and bailed out — and recalled in a 2006 lecture that he found himself parachuting toward a mountain.

“I hit the side of the mountain, slid down to the ground and saw a woman running to me with a knife in her hand,” he said, according to a Washington Post report. An alarmed Col. Friend soon found that she was no Nazi sympathizer. In an act of wartime desperation, he said, she simply “wanted the silk from my parachute.”

Robert Friend was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism, as well as the Congressional Gold Medal given to the entire unit.

The Tuskegee Airmen had to battle racism and discrimination, both in the military and in the Jim Crow South surrounding their Alabama base, before being allowed to face the Nazis.

Yet they quickly earned a reputation as some of the finest fliers on either side, their success in the air eventually leading to the full-integration of the US military.

And eventually, the United States itself.

If that’s not enough, Friend was also one of us, a supporter of Ride 2 Recovery well into his 90s, riding with wounded vets on the seven-day, 465-mile UnitedHealhcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge from San Francisco to Los Angeles when he was 94.

Robert Friend will be buried with full military honors over the fourth of July weekend.

He leaves this world a little poorer and smaller than it was just a few days ago.

And so is the Southern California bicycling community.

Photo shows Robert Friend as a young officer, from the CAF Red Tail Squadron website

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Somehow, we missed this one earlier this month.

Duarte’s Loyd’s Custom Bicycle Shop is back in business, nine months after 101-year old owner Gordon Loyd Gibbons left to have cataract surgery.

The shop, which specializes in restoring classic Schwinn bicycles, has been in business for 50 years. And Gibbons says he’ll keep running it “until the good Lord takes me.”

Speaking of Schwinn, reading that story led me down a rabbit hole to the discovery of my first bike, a hand-me-down, hand-me-down, hand-me-down that passed through all three of my siblings before it got to me.

And had been repainted so many times there wasn’t a hint of its original ID beyond the Schwinn badge.

So I had no idea just what it was until recognizing it in a 1960s Schwinn catalog.

Although if I ever make it out to Lloyd’s shop, I may look for that classic 10 peed Schwinn Varsity I’ve always wanted, instead.

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CyclingSavvy instructor Gary Cziko sets out to ride his bike on each of the streets in LA’s Vision Zero High Injury Network at rush hour, recording the results on a nausea-inducing 360° bike cam — starting with Lincoln Blvd in Venice.

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Breathe LA is teaming with SCAG — the Southern California Association of Governments — to host a panel discussion of key mobility and transportation issues facing the greater Los Angeles community in DTLA this evening.

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No bias here.

In yet another example of biking while black, a black bike rider was stopped and handcuffed by police in Michigan for the crime of not having a light on his bike as he rode to his second job in the next town over — even though he was holding a flashlight to fulfill the requirement for a light.

And was incorrectly told he had to have an ID just to ride a bicycle.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Seven motorcyclists were killed, and three injured, when a pickup driver pulling a flatbed trailer slammed head-on into a motorcycle club comprised of active duty and veteran marines.

Witnesses reported the truck was swerving uncontrollably across the roadway prior to the crash.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the tip, who also notes the prevalence of reporting without an apparent driver involved, or anyone else who might be responsible, other than the victims.

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Local

Yes, there are more bike riders and pedestrians on LA freeways.

A group of bike riders led by UCLA climate scientist Alex Hall are riding from Oakland to Los Angeles on the 550-mile California Climate Expedition to witness the effects of climate change firsthand, while raising funds for the UCLA Center for Climate Science.

E-scooters haven’t made their way to many economically challenged parts of the San Fernando Valley yet — if they ever do.

Some residents of the San Fernando Valley say don’t expand the LA River bike path when some segments are littered with trash and needles. Not to mention throwaway people who have nowhere else to go, right?

A bighearted real estate agent donated 50 bicycles to Pasadena’s Elizabeth House, for the kids of pregnant women who’ve suffered from homelessness and abuse. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

You could win the new Stranger Things BMX bike at next weekend’s popup event to promote the show at the Santa Monica pier.

About damn time. Santa Monica will spend $3 million to improve the beachfront Marvin Braude bike trail north of the Santa Monica pier, including widening the path to create separate walking and biking paths. Now we just have to get Los Angeles on board for their section, as well.

 

State

A San Diego teenager suffered a broken leg when he crashed into the side of a pickup whose driver cut him off while he was riding lightless.

Two San Diego boys who disappeared while on a 1993 bike ride were honored with a new plaque on an existing memorial in the San Diego South Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 26 years after they were found murdered in a riverbed.

The Coachella Valley will add another 15 miles to the planned 50-mile CV Link bike and pedestrian path encircling the Valley. Thanks to Richard Fox, who was interviewed extensively for the story, for the heads-up.

A Ventura letter writer complains about the newly installed bollards along a protected bike lane on Telephone Road, calling on the city to get rid of the ugly “white plastic picket fence posts.”

An 82-year old San Luis Obispo man is suing the local airport after a gust of jet blast knocked him off his bicycle. Seriously, who could possibly have foreseen jet blast at an airport?

A bike-riding Fremont man was charged with a hate crime for throwing rocks at several Muslim men and threatening them with a large stick; he already has a lengthy criminal record for violent behavior.

Sad news, as a survivor of the Paradise Fire, and the town’s unofficial ambassador, has died of a heart attack suffered during a 39-mile bike ride through Mendocino County.

 

National

A Eugene OR letter writer says bicyclists need to be licensed, insured and pay for their own bike lanes. And stay the hell off major roads when there’s a parallel bike route. Because apparently, the taxes bike riders already pay just aren’t good enough. And people on bikes never, ever need to take the most direct route to where they’re going, unlike motorists.

A pair of Denver bike advocates relate the lessons they learned on a conference junket visiting Copenhagen, one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities.

Boise, Idaho has opened a new state-of-the-art bicycle parking facility with room for 42 bikes in an existing parking garage. Even if it does look more like they’re preparing for a steel cage death match.

Four Houston teenagers are under arrest for allegedly testing out their laser gunsight on an apparently random bike rider in a drive-by shooting; the victim saw the green dot on himself just before they shot him in the arm.

A Dallas pastor is trying to bring America together by riding a bike across the country and striking up conversations with strangers about life and spiritual matters.

Apparently, Arkansas horse and mule riders don’t need to stop for stop signs anymore, either.

Chicago residents have embraced the new 606 bike and pedestrian trail, even as it has contributed to gentrification in the former low-income and industrial neighborhoods it passes through.

Even the Twin Cities has a gender gap, with twice as many men riding to work as women.

Once again, a dangerous motorist is able to stay on the roads until it’s too late, this time in Ohio, where a 15-year old bike rider was killed by a speeding motorcyclist riding with a suspended license and two outstanding traffic warrants.

A Nashville columnist says this scooter madness must end, because it’s not the micromobility revolution we need. Meanwhile, an e-scooter rider who was killed in a collision shortly after the devices were introduced to the city, sparking calls for a scooter ban, was riding at twice the legal alcohol limit at the time of the crash.

No bias here, either. A new study shows that nearly 25% of New York bike riders fail to stop for red lights — which means that 75% do. Half of all riders came to a full stop, while another 25% stopped, then proceeded when they thought it was safe.

An injured bikeshare rider says the NYPD ignore reckless driver behavior that victimizes bike riders.

Kindhearted New York Yankees players dug into their own pockets to buy a new adaptive bicycle for a 14-year old boy with a rare seizure disorder. I’ve never been a Yankees fan, but I may cut them a break after this.

The Wall Street Journal asks if you should trade in your car for an ebike. Short answer, yes. Even if most of the story is hidden behind a paywall.

Three Florida police officers were honored for saving the life of a 41-year old man after he went into cardiac arrest while riding his bicycle.

A Florida man has undergone over 60 hours of surgery, and run up countless medical bills, after a hit-and-run driver dragged him over half a mile under his pickup as he fled. A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $7,500 of the modest $10,000 goal after eight days.

 

International

The CBC wonders if it’s rude to blast Bon Jovi from the speakers on your bike. It should at least be a Canadian artist like Bryan Adams or Alanis Morissette, let alone someone from this century. 

Nice move. A Canadian bikeshare adds an adult tricycle, enabling people with disabilities to ride, as well.

Royal-in-law James Middleton, younger brother of Kate, says his five therapy dogs are devastated after someone stole the bakfiets he uses to cart them through the streets of London. Though someone should tell People that the “unique bike” “with a cart upfront” is just an everyday cargo bike. 

The parents of a 21-year old woman who was killed in the London Bridge terrorist attack have founded a London to Paris fundraising bike ride.

A British cyclist who hold the record for the London to Paris crossing now sets his sights on a new record for crossing China’s Desert of Death. Call me crazy, but I’d assume they call it the Desert of Death for a reason.

Brit bicyclists have set up a crowdfunding campaign to help pay expenses for the bike rider who was ordered to pay up to £100,000 — the equivalent of over $127,000 — in damages after colliding with a distracted pedestrian who stepped off a curb in front of him, even though he had the green light, had honked his horn to warn her, and had swerved to try to avoid her. The page has already raised well over 100% more than the original £21,300 goal in just three days. 

I want to be like her when I grow up. An 81-year old Scottish grandmother has set a new record as the oldest person to ride the full length of the Great Britain.

Evidently, Copenhagen hasn’t always been bike friendly. After former INXS frontman Michael Hutchence suffered a serious head injury when he was the victim of a road raging cab driver in the Danish city, it changed his personality and set him on the path to his eventual suicide in an Australian hotel room.

Thailand’s new king is one of us, as he goes for an incognito bike ride with his wife and massive entourage in Lucerne, Switzerland. Although his fashion choices leave something to be desired.

Madrid’s pollution-fighting ban on motor vehicles could be in jeopardy as a new conservative government moves in.

A Bangladeshi midwife in her 70s still rides a bicycle around the countryside delivering medications.

Tres shock! Aussie drivers are stunned and appalled to learn that bicyclists not only are allowed to ride two abreast, but actually encouraged to do so. Which says a lot less about people on bikes than it does about drivers who don’t know the law.

Thousands of Malaysian children will get recycled bicycles after a Mandalay entrepreneur bought up 10,000 bikeshare bikes that were abandoned when the companies pulled out of Singapore and Malaysia.

 

Competitive Cycling

Geraint Thomas explains what it’s like to experience a high speed bike crash — without actually having to go through all the pain and stuff.

Cyclist questions why so many pro teams are failing to make the podium.

Don’t look for American Tejay Van Garderen to challenge for the podium in next month’s Tour de France, after he was assigned to ride in support of team leader Rigoberto Uran.

Annapolis, Maryland welcomed the finishers of this year’s RAAM, aka the Race Across America, including six-time champ Christoph Strasser.

Must be in the genes. Milwaukee’s Nick Reistad spent five years as a pro cyclist, including stints with the US National and Jelly Belly teams; now his six-year old daughter is about ride in her first race.

A British ultracyclist learns the hard way that you can’t set a new 24-hour record if you don’t stay on your bike. And you can’t do that if you spill water on the track.

Apparently, women’s cycling has the same problems the men do with massive crushes of fans crowding the peloton.

 

Finally…

Nothing says 2019 like a bikeshare-by shooting. Who needs an ebike when you’ve got an electric unicycle?

And when you’re carrying over a pound of weed, maybe try not to call attention to yourself by stealing a bicycle.

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Thanks to David Erickson for his generous donation to help support this site. Your support to help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day is always appreciated. 

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