Tag Archive for Vision Zero

Happy LA Bike Month, Los Angeles Vision Zero fail, and Damian Kevitt calls for support for school zone speed cam bill

My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence. 

Just another of the many and varied joys of diabetes, a cruel disease that can take you from feeling okay to passing out in a matter of minutes, for no apparent reason.

And yet another reminder to get yourself checked if you’re at risk, and do whatever it takes to avoid getting it. Because you don’t want this shit. 

Seriously. 

Today’s photo of irresistible cuteness by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

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Happy Bike Month, Los Angeles.

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Despite — or maybe because of — an up to 70% drop in traffic fatalities, roadway deaths declined just 3% in Los Angeles last year, thanks at least in part to a dramatic jump in speeding as empty streets encouraged drivers to use a heavy right foot.

This is how LAist explained it.

Based on preliminary data reported by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, 238 people died in collisions last year, compared to 246 in 2019 — a decrease of about 3%.

That slight dip pales in comparison to how sharply car travel fell in greater L.A. and beyond in the early months of the pandemic. Schools closed, many workers stopped commuting to their offices, and local and state stay-at-home orders drastically limited the places and activities we could drive to in our cars.

In mid-to-late March 2020, daily vehicle traffic fell as much as 70%. Last April saw traffic volumes decrease by 30% to 50% compared to the start of the year. Daily driving has been increasing since that historic plummet, but still remain below typical levels, according to city traffic data.

And despite a drop last year, bike and pedestrian deaths are still up over the five years since LA adopted Vision Zero in 2015.

Which isn’t the way it’s supposed to work.

The basic philosophy behind Vision Zero is that humans will make mistakes on the road and crashes will happen, but by redesigning streets to reduce speeding and better protect vulnerable road users, those crashes don’t have to cause severe injuries and deaths. But as the data has shown in recent years, L.A.’s current approach is not working…

While fewer people were killed and seriously injured in crashes overall last year, not all L.A. communities experienced less traffic violence. According to preliminary data compiled by LADOT:

  • The number of pedestrians killed by drivers fell about 12% overall, but increased in some neighborhoods
  • Slightly fewer cyclists were killed last year (15, compared to 19 in 2019)
  • The number of motorcyclists killed in crashes jumped about 45%
  • Motor vehicle occupant deaths were nearly unchanged

Pandemic or not, it’s clear that LADOT’s piecemeal approach to reducing traffic deaths isn’t working.

And it isn’t Vision Zero, by any definition.

The basic philosophy behind Vision Zero is that humans will make mistakes on the road and crashes will happen, but by redesigning streets to reduce speeding and better protect vulnerable road users, those crashes don’t have to cause severe injuries and deaths. But as the data has shown in recent years, L.A.’s current approach is not working.

It’s long past time Los Angeles stopped talking about Vision Zero, and got off its collective ass and did something about it.

Because I’m every bit as tired of writing about fallen bicyclists as you are reading about it. And don’t get me started on all the other people needlessly killed on our streets.

For any doubters out there, yes, ending traffic deaths is possible. If — and only if — we have the political will to make it happen.

Speaking of LAist, just like their parent public radio station KPCC, they survive on public donations.

So open that wallet if you can spare a few bucks

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SAFE founder and Executive Director Damian Kevitt, who lost a leg — and nearly his life — to a hit-and-run driver who was never caught, makes a heartfelt plea to fight for SB 733, which would allow automated speed cams in school zones.

Sadly, California is one of the only nine states that expressly forbids speed safety cameras in school zones. This tool has been available since 1987 and is unquestionably effective. Data in cities across the country, such as New York, Seattle, and Chicago, show that speed safety cameras reduce traffic injuries and fatalities and change driver behavior. More importantly, there are already thousands of schools across the country that currently use speed safety cameras to protect kids, teachers, and parents.

The common sense bill, which would only impact people breaking the law and endangering innocent kids and adults, has been severely watered down by Senate Transportation Committee Chair Lena Gonzalez, a Democrat misrepresenting Long Beach, at least in this case.

As currently written after it was butchered in committee, the law would only allow a pilot project in four schools out of more that 20,000 in the state.

As Kevitt writes,

This is an insult to victims of traffic violence and the coalition of support, especially given the immediate problem and widespread, documented effective use of speed safety cameras across the country.

One of the harder things I have had to do is tell victims of traffic violence — who were emotionally prepared to testify in committee — that this lifesaving bill wouldn’t make it through committee due to political forces that are hard to explain. Why would police unions work to fill a bill that so obviously would help save lives? It is heartbreaking.

But we will pick ourselves up and gain strength. The voices of traffic violence will not be silenced. Safety advocates will not accept that denial of the science. Equity groups will demand accountability. And, in the end, we will save lives.

He urges you, and all of us, to call or email Gonzalez’s office to express your outrage, and demand this life-saving tool to protect innocent lives.

Here’s that link again for her contact information, and sample scripts you can follow.

I’m planning to do it later today. I hope you’ll join me

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I’ve been remiss in not mentioning the LACBC’s virtual LA Rivers Challenge, which replaces their popular LA River Ride, as the world still struggles to shake off the pandemic.

Join us the entire month of June for a virtual challenge in place of the LA River Ride. 2020 was supposed to mark 20 years of River Ride, but we had to put our beloved event on hold due to the pandemic. We’re making up for it in 2021 by inviting you to 30 days of riding, walking and running the historic waterways of Los Angeles!

The LA Rivers challenge is all about doing the mileage goal that is best for you. Select the goal that excites you, tests your abilities, or that you can do with your family. There is a distance for everyone to ride, walk or run.

Opening March 15th, registration is just $40, but follow up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for exclusive discounts. You also have the opportunity to support healthy, sustainable and equitable streets by choosing to fundraise for LACBC while meeting your mileage goals. You can earn great prizes at key fundraising milestones and will qualify for The 2021 LA Rivers Challenge Drawing to win one of our grand prizes TBA! Whatever your contribution, you will be supporting the work of LACBC, as we try to make Los Angeles a safer and more inclusive place to ride, walk and run.

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This is who we share the road with, part one.

Part two.

Part three.

It’s no surprise that we can’t manage to do anything about man shootings, when we still can’t even do anything about stopping people from using their car as a multi-ton weapon of mass destruction.

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While we’re on the subject, there’s good news from Maryland, where bike cam video was used to convict a driver for an aggressive punishment pass.

We need to change the law here in California, where police are currently prohibited from ticketing drivers or charging them with misdemeanors unless they actually witness the infraction.

And no, witnessing it on video doesn’t count, for some strange reason.

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GCN offers advice on how to find good riding routes when you’re new to the area.

And GCN considers one of bicycling’s most vital questions, and one of the last remaining forms of legal doping.

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I’m all in.

Seriously, we could use this right here in Los Angeles.

And right now.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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A sharp-eyed Megan Lynch spotted LAFD bike paramedics on the red carpet of last week’s Academy Awards.

And thanks to Vyki Englert for spotting the LAFD logo on their panniers.

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Nothing sexier than someone on a bike.

Okay, maybe the right someone.

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

Someone sabotaged a beginners bike trail in Scotland with obstacles including tree branches, and fence posts with rusted razor wire, which could seriously injure an unsuspecting rider. Or worse.

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

A murder suspect accused of killing his wife has ridden his bike over 3,000 miles around Denver, despite being on house arrest — and posted it to Strava.

A British man was lucky to walk with a suspended sentence after he was busted with the equivalent of over $2,700 worth of amphetamines when police stopped him as he rode his bicycle with a bloody face; no word on how his face got that way.

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Local

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom announces his candidacy for County Supervisor, basing his run in part on a 20-year record of advocating for a transit, bike and pedestrian-friendly Westside.

That’s more like it. Pasadena is considering four north-south corridors for bicycle boulevards.

A teenage mountain biker was airlifted from the Santa Monica Mountains after suffering painful wrist and shoulder injuries on Sunday.

A young boy celebrated his eleventh birthday Saturday with a 111-mile ride along the beach bike path from Santa Monica to Palos Verdes and back until he completed a century plus an 11-mile victory lap. When I was eleven, I was happy to ride around the block by myself.

Clearly, Long Beach isn’t afraid of road diets, proposing a lane reduction and bike path for a 1.4-mile section of Spring Street. Unlike a certain megalopolis to the north.

 

State

A 38-year old man in El Cajon suffered serious lower body injuries when he was struck by a driver moments after getting off his bicycle.

San Diego’s SANDAG has received a $12 million grant to complete a seven-mile segment of the Inland Rail Trail from San Marcos to Vista.

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom take their eight-month old daughter for a ride through Santa Barbara on their massive ebikes.

Apparently, San Jose leaders aren’t afraid of road diets either, or LA’s seemingly inevitable angry driver backlash to them.

You know you’ve got a serious safety problem when two disabled people are killed crossing the same San Jose intersection in a single month.

Why pro cyclists like to train in Sonoma County. Surprisingly, it’s not the wine. Or maybe not just the wine. 

A Redding man calls it a life-changing moment when he wins a new ebike.

 

National

Cycling News considers the best ebikes for under two grand.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss offers advice on how to not get your bike stolen.

A British website highlights “four epic cycling adventures that showcase the incredible landscapes of the USA,” starting with a ride down the Left Coast from Seattle to San Diego. My brother did that one just a couple years ago — along with riding to the Northwest from Western Colorado, and back again to Colorado from San Diego.

The American Southwest experienced a bigger bike boom than anywhere else in the world, including Europe and the rest of the US.

It takes a real schmuck to steal $20,000 worth of bicycles from a Dallas Boy Scout camp.

A Texas man is suing a sporting goods store after a bike fell off an upper display rack and landed on his head. Which is not funny at all, except that it is.

A Minnesota town is repurposing an old abandoned bridge over the Mississippi as a bike and pedestrian bridge, 40 years after it was closed to cars.

Celebrate Bike Month with a visit to Ohio’s Bicycle Museum of America, where over 800 bikes are on display, dating back to an an 1816 draisienne invented by Karl Drais that they credit as the first true bicycle. Although not everyone agrees. You can read that second link on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you, which it probably will unless you’re a subscriber.

New York mayoral hopeful Eric Adams pledges to build another 300 miles of protected bike lanes in the city during his first four years, if he’s elected, an annual rate nearly three times the 28 miles installed last year. Let’s get the candidates for mayor in next year’s LA election to make a similar pledge. And hold them to it.

A crowdfunding page raised $75,000 for a New York delivery worker who was killed when driver went into the bike lane to pass another car, hit the scooter the victim was riding, then went on to hit two parked cars and slam into an outdoor restaurant.

Two men with the same name are fighting back against a cease and desist order from the City of New York to remove their unpermitted dockless ebikes from the streets.

New York police stopped a salmon cyclist, and discovered they had nabbed a hate crime suspect responsible for a rash of anti-Jewish vandalism.

A Florida driver faces charges for intentionally driving off the road to run over a man she knew who was riding a bicycle.

 

International

Your next Subaru could be a single-speed mountain bike. If you live in Canada, that is.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. A deadly Montreal underpass where a woman was killed riding her bike seven years ago now has a bike path with a concrete barrier to protect riders from passing drivers. And the ghost bike that was installed in her honor was removed Sunday to be transferred to a museum, where it will highlight the dangers on the streets.

Former Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams is one of us, as she goes for a London bike ride in a see-through top while filming a new six-part bio-series based on a memoir from Sex Pistols bassist Steve Jones. Sorry guys, they blurred that part out.

A Scottish bicyclist was forced to abandon his attempt to set a new record for the greatest distant ridden in a single week, after suffering a knee injury on the fourth day.

Those e-cargo bike front wheel skids may soon be a thing of the past, as Italian brake maker BluBrake introduces the world’s first ABS, aka anti-lock braking system, designed for electric cargo bikes. Thanks to Thomas Riebs for the tip.

She gets it. Germany’s first professor of bicycle traffic management says cars should give up space to make room for people on bicycles.

Ebike and electric scooter riders will now have to pass a theory test before they’re allowed to ride in Singapore, starting next month.

She gets it. The widow of a Kiwi bicyclist says a single mistake shouldn’t cost someone their life, while opposing jail for the truck driver who killed him.

 

Competitive Cycling

According to Cycling News, 21-year old Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel stands suspended between stardom and superstardom since breaking his pelvis at Il Lombardia last August.

Cycling News also examines the omertà in women’s pro cycling, where virtually no one is talking about the shameful poverty wages — or no wages at all — paid to riders below the WorldTour level.

Cyclist talks to pro cyclists about their less-than-favorable reaction to UCI’s new safety rules.

The popular Over the Hump mountain bike race series will make a comeback at Irvine Lake on July 20th.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your ebike has a sidecar. That feeling when the bike lane is blocked by a city bus, whose driver is busy having sex onboard.

And if you’re riding your bike after dark while carrying two bags of meth, put a damn light on it, already.

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Thanks to Matthew R for his monthly donation to help keep this site coming your way every day; your support is always welcome and appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Former NTSB official says no deaths should be the only goal, legalize crossing the street, and building the 15 minute city

She gets it.

A former acting chair and board member of the NTSB says we know how to prevent traffic deaths.

And the only rational goal should be zero.

Sometimes I arrived at the scene of a business jet or helicopter crash, other times it was a train derailment, once it was a cargo ship lost in a hurricane — always, it involved a tragic loss of life. But despite the terrible toll of motor vehicle deaths on our nation, I never launched to the scene of a traffic crash. Why? Perhaps because the NTSB only has the capacity to investigate a handful of vehicle crashes each year. Perhaps because there weren’t any crashes classified as major disasters when I was on duty. But in 2019, more than 36,000 deaths were recorded on U.S. roads, so an average of nearly 700 traffic deaths occurred every week I was on duty.

Yet our nation doesn’t think of a traffic crash as a disaster, since deaths typically occur one or two at a time. Many of us don’t believe that every road death is preventable. As a nation, we haven’t yet decided that we can protect everyone, including the most vulnerable among us who use our streets and highways — people who are younger or older, people who are walking or biking, people with disabilities. We accept tens of thousands of deaths on our roads every year as simply unavoidable “accidents,” even though we have proven solutions to prevent them.

It’s worth a few minutes to read.

Because she’s right. There’s no acceptable number of traffic deaths.

And it’s long past time we did something about it.

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Los Angeles Walks is joining with partners across the state on Monday for a national discussion about jaywalking and efforts to decriminalize it.

Like their sponsorship of AB 1238, aka the Freedom to Walk Act, which would get rid of California’s jaywalking law, which is too often used to target people of color.

You can register for the webinar here.

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Streets For All hosts what promises to be a fascinating discussion with the creator of the Paris 15 Minute City Plan on May 11th.

The plan, which is currently being implemented in Paris, promises to put everything you need within a 15-minute walk, bike or transit ride, anywhere in the city.

The LA transportation PAC is also asking for you to take a stand in support for a proposal to make Calfornia’s Slow Streets permanent by emailing the Assembly Committee on Local Government by this coming Wednesday.

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Give credit where credit is due.

Unless you’re LADOT, evidently.

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Bike Talk discusses the bible of traffic engineers this Friday, which is undergoing its first revision in a decade.

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A periodic reminder that bicycle are mobility devices.

And bike lanes help older and disabled people get around, without having to rely on a car.

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Hats off to a kindhearted Cambridge MA cop, who took a few moments out of his day for an impromptu bike ride with a little boy.

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

A British bicyclist had to call off a fundraising ride across the country after a group of jerks men pushed him off his bike around the hallway point. Which makes the real victims the cancer charity he was raising funds for, and the people they could have helped.

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

Police in Ontario, Canada are looking for a bike rider who fled the scene after crashing his bike into a trash bin, while towing a trailer filled with 31 pounds of cannabis. And a guitar.

A bike-riding British thief uses his head to balance the spa he just stole.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego opens a new South Bay campground and bike park. But not together, unfortunately.

A Bakersfield bike path could be underwater through today, thanks to a water line break.

Speaking of Bakersfield, the city will kick off Bike Month with a solidarity ride this Saturday.

Trek CEO John Burke penned a heartfelt ode to his penpal Joe Shami, the 86-year old Legend of Mount Diablo, who was killed in a collision with a driver on yet another ride up the mountain earlier this month.

Bay Area transportation officials marked the beginning of Bike Month by announcing nine Bike Champion of the Year winners, honoring one person from each county in the Bay region for their commitment to bicycling.

The rich get richer. The Sacramento region is planning a bike freeway network connecting area cities, which could require an another 300 miles of trails in addition to the 450 miles already on the ground.

 

National

The Associated Press says give mom an ebike this year.

Outside says it’s time for a federal ebike tax credit.

AARP takes a look a look at bicycling over 55, including what to look for in a new bike, bikes for people with mobility issues, how to be safer on your bike, and eight of the nation’s top rail trails, including the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.

Pop Sugar recommends ten padded bike shorts to make your ride — and presumably, your wallet — more comfortable.

Bicycling considers how to advocate for and protect the trails you ride this summer. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. And they probably will.

Even Honolulu is building a protected bike lane network.

The newest edition of Oregon’s state bicycling manual gets rid of labels in favor of more inclusive people-first language.

In a common lament across the country, Omaha, Nebraska has more bikeshare bikes than ever. Just not enough safe places to ride them.

They get it. A new survey shows Pittsburgh residents overwhelmingly support bike lanes, walking routes and reduced speed limits. And think traffic injuries are a major problem. Maybe someday someone will finally get around to asking Angelenos those same questions, so our elected leaders might finally see that the car-first crowd is just a very loud minority.

New York has sent a cease and desist order to a new rival to the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare system, saying the privately run dockless bikeshare isn’t authorized to do business in the city.

A New Jersey DJ pleads with lightless and scofflaw bicyclists to stay safe.

In an overly familiar story, DC traffic deaths continue to climb while Vision Zero funding is stuck in limbo.

Camila Cabello is one of us, as she goes for a bike ride through the streets of Miami.

 

International

Road.cc offers 14 tips on how to make your bike more comfortable. I’m a big fan of padded gloves, new bar tape and better insoles myself.

He gets it. A writer for Innovation Origins says we need more and better bike paths, not more helmet laws.

This is who we share the road with. A newlywed English teenager gets a well-deserved year behind bars for stealing a crate of eggs, then driving his car while friends threw the eggs out the window at passing people and cars, permanently blinding a motorcycle rider in his right eye with a direct hit. He took the fall for his friends, refusing to name who actually tossed the eggs.

Princess Di’s “shame” mixte bike sold for the equivalent of over $61,000, which the palace forced her to sell before her ill-fated marriage to Prince Chuck; the bike went for more than twice the presale estimate.

Add this to your bike bucket list, with eleven “of the best and most beautiful places” to ride your bike in Scotland.

Rouleur looks at the 18k gold framed bike famed Italian bikemaker Ernesto Colnago made for Pope — now Saint — John Paul II.

Heartbreaking story from India, where an elderly man was forced to carry his dead wife’s body on his bicycle for hours after villagers blocked him from the local crematorium for fear of Covid-19, even though there was no confirmation she ever had the disease.

 

Finally…

That feeling when God tells you to start a weekly bike night at the local skatepark.

And let’s consign “savages” to the racist dustbin of history. Even in reference to some truly despicable bike thieves.

Oh, and it’s “thief,” not “thieve.”

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Death of DC bike advocate reveals LA safety failures, LADOT bike count up 22%, and arrested for Biking While Black

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words following my surgery earlier this month. 

My fumble fingers are finally functional again, even though the swollen new Frankenhand they’re attached to is still almost, sort of, not really, kind of back to normal.

But it’ll get there. And nearly two weeks after surgery, the pain is already better than it was before, so there’s that.

Meanwhile, we have a lot to catch up on.

It will take a few days to catch up on all the bike news we missed, but I’ll make sure we don’t miss out on anything important. 

So let’s get started on the first installment. 

And my apologies for the near-total lack of credits today; with one exception forwarded by multiple people yesterday, I lost track of who sent what to my attention during my extended downtime, which is going to be a problem until we get caught up. 

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels.

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Heartbreaking news from DC, where a longtime bike advocate was killed in a collision, just hours after tweeting about the dangers on the city’s streets.

Here’s how the Washington Post described it.

(Jim) Pagels was struck in a horrific chain-reaction crash along Massachusetts Avenue NW, about a mile from his home on Capitol Hill, his family said. The avid rider and self-described urbanist who was in his second year of a doctorate program in economics, died at a hospital.

Pagels’s sister, Laura Menendez, described her brother as funny, smart and passionate about many things — pursuing his postgraduate studies, playing tennis and board games, and traveling by bike.

“He had a good heart,” Menendez said. “And he was such a huge advocate for bike safety.”

The paper also quotes a friend of Pagels.

“He was so excited about working in that urban space,” said Finn Vigeland, a close friend who met Pagels while the two worked on the Columbia Daily Spectator. “He was well aware of the dangers of cycling . . . but he loved biking, and he wanted everyone to bike. He wanted everyone to feel like this was the best way to get around D.C…

I hope our city leaders hear about Jim and understand the life that was so senselessly taken away on Friday. He cared so deeply about the injustices that led to his death, and he would want us to be furious about it,” Vigeland said. “I hope that knowing that this was something Jim was working so hard to change might prompt people to take bolder action.”

Let’s hope city leaders get the message here, too.

Before it’s too late for someone else.

Meanwhile, a writer for the LA Times took the death of his friend and former college classmate personally.

And used the tragedy as a springboard to call for safer streets, and talk with Michael Schneider, founder of LA street safety PAC Streets For All.

It doesn’t take long for their conversation to get to the heart of the problems on our streets.

ME: Six years ago, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti set a goal of zero traffic-related deaths by 2025, part of the global Vision Zero initiative. So far, we’re not on track to meet that goal. My colleague Steve Lopez recently reported that 238 people died in car crashes in Los Angeles last year — only a tiny decrease from 2019 despite significantly reduced traffic due to COVID-19, and just 8% less than the first full year Garcetti’s policy was in effect. What is going on?

SCHNEIDER: Our city is very good at plans and goals and not very good at implementation. Can you imagine if you were a heart surgeon and people were coming in for heart surgery, and no one would let you operate? Vision Zero is a laudable goal, but until we have a City Council and a mayor who will spend the political capital to make the tough decisions and deal with NIMBY blowback to make changes to our streets, it’s never going to happen…

ME: Where has Mayor Garcetti been on safe streets?

SCHNEIDER: Absent. He says all the right stuff, and he hires great people, like Seleta Reynolds. He will never risk his neck at all for a bike lane or a bus lane.

But I think we’re on the cusp of some exciting changes, especially because the city of Los Angeles has now aligned their elections with federal elections, and the turnout is so much larger and so much more progressive. I think we are on the cusp of truly having different political leadership, where a guy like Paul Koretz, who’s termed out, couldn’t win in 2022 and beyond. And where someone like Nithya Raman, who had making the city more bikeable in her campaign messaging, can defeat an incumbent.

Then there was this about the recent failed attempt to make iconic Melrose Ave safer and more livable for everyone.

ME: Talking about blowback, I read the post you wrote about the proposed “Uplift Melrose” project, which would have added protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks and shaded seating areas along a 1.3-mile stretch of Melrose Avenue. There was broad support from local businesses, but City Councilmember Paul Koretz effectively killed the proposal. Why is it so difficult politically to get changes like these approved?

SCHNEIDER: Opponents typically say the following: If you remove parking or reduce car capacity in any way, how are people going to shop or get to businesses? You’re going to kill business. They also ask, “Why would we invest in this when no one uses the bike lanes anyway?” People cite anecdotes of driving by bike lanes and seeing them empty.

If we had a beautiful six-lane paved highway that only went for one mile and then became a dirt road with potholes, how many cars would take that road? That is the equivalent of what we ask people to do when they bike around Los Angeles. If we had a network of protected bike lanes, you would see a ton of people using them. One piece of evidence is CicLAvia. Those events bring out tens of thousands of people to ride their bikes on closed streets.

What happened to Uplift Melrose was egregious even by L.A. standards. Koretz basically became a puppet for mostly white, wealthy homeowners who couldn’t see themselves riding a bike or a bus.

Pagels’ death serves as a tragic reminder of what can happen to anyone on the streets — even though the risk to any one of us at any particular time is infinitesimally small.

But if anything ever happens to me when I’m riding a bicycle, I want you to politicize the hell out of it.

Take what’s left of my body to the city council and dump it on the dais, if you have to.

Metaphorically speaking, of course. Or literally, for that matter.

And if it happens on a street marked for safety improvements in city’s mobility plan, I hope those lawyers up there on the right will join together to sue the hell out of the city for failing to keep their commitment to safer streets.

Or maybe just sue over LA’s failed and forgotten Vision Zero plan to force the cowards we foolishly elected to lead us to the changes we so desperately need on our streets.

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LADOT has finally release the results of the city’s biennial walk and bike count, which for years has been done on a volunteer basis by the LACBC and later, LA Walks.

Which is something they should have been doing all along.

The result was a 22% increase in bicycle rates from the last count — in 2017.

And yes, they are just now releasing data collected that was collected two years ago, for reasons known only to them.

It also shows how easy it is to boost bicycling with a little decent infrastructure, with a 73% jump in ridership as a result of the protected and separated bike lanes on the MyFigueroa project.

MyFig also resulted the city’s most heavily-trafficked pedestrian corridor, even above the tourist-clogged sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd.

And it points to how Los Angeles can increase the far too low rate of women riding bikes on city streets.

While the report found that women make up 40 percent of pedestrians on weekdays and 44 percent on weekends, women made up just 14 percent of cyclists.  However, the report also indicated a 120 percent increase in female riders on streets improved with dedicated bike paths.

In other words, all they have to do is what the city already committed to in the 2010 bike plan, and the mobility plan that subsumed it.

Not to mention LA’s nearly forgotten Vision Zero and the mayor’s Green New Deal.

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What the hell.

I’m not sure where this video is from; I can’t make out the the police patches or or the name on the patrol cars.

But something looks seriously wrong about a bunch of while cops taking a young black man into custody for the crime of…wait for it…

…riding a bicycle without lights or licenses.

In the middle of the day, no less.

And while some cities require bikes to be registered, I don’t know any place where police have the authority to seize private property over a handful of minor infractions.

Which would be illegal as hell if they tried to seize someone’s car for an expired license or failing to signal a turn.

Let alone not having their headlights on in broad daylight.

Unfortunately, there’s a term for crap like this — Biking While Black.

And regardless of their motivation, it makes the cops look racist AF.

Thanks to Jon, Megan Lynch and Stacey Kline for the heads-up. 

And if anyone knows where this happened, let me know so I’ll never make the mistake of going there.

Update: Thanks to Al Williams for identifying this as Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Which I will make a point of never visiting. 

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If you live or ride in Beverly Hills, the city needs to hear from you at today’s city council meeting, where councilmembers will consider the city’s proposed Complete Streets plan.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s free parking for a tire shop.

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

A Texas bike rider bike rider was hospitalized with a brain bleed and facial fractures when he was run down by a drunk driver — while riding on an ostensibly carfree bike path.

Singaporean actor Tay Ping Hui says he’s got nothing against bicyclists, despite complaining when a small group of riders merged onto the roadway ahead of him. Because apparently, it’s asking too much to slow down or change lanes to drive safely around them.

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

No bias here, either. A Singapore motorcyclist calls for banning bicycles from the roads after watching one — count ’em, one — scofflaw bicyclist weaving through traffic. Meanwhile, the website somehow feels the need to point out that 34 bike riders were ticketed for breaking the law over the weekend. Makes you wonder how many motorcyclists got tickets the same weekend. Let alone drivers. But sure, blame everyone on bicycles.

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Local

LA Magazine highlights “cool” bike accessories to keep you riding in style. Too bad they forgot to feature that mirrored helmet in the main photo. Because who wouldn’t want to look like a human disco ball?

LA Taco takes a look at nine kinds of bad drivers you’ll meet on the streets of Los Angeles — and they include kids on scooters in that.

Keep an extra eye open if you’re riding the Arroyo Bike Path through Arroyo Seco Park, where a man walking on the pathway was shot several times by couple men who approached him around dusk Sunday evening.

A proposal for protected bike lanes on Pasadena’s North Lake Ave would keep 98% of the current parking on the street.

LA County Sheriff’s Deputies made a spectacular rescue of a mountain biker who went off the side of the road on Mt. Wilson; the victim was hanging head-first over a sheer cliff, clinging to the rock face like a cat, suspended by a thin cord around his ankle.

Former Lakers star Kobe Bryant was one of us, starting his bike rides at 4:30 am and not coming home until the sun was at its peak.

 

State

A bill currently under consideration in the state legislature would increase the penalties for a fatal hit-and-run from 2 to 4 years to 3 to 6. It’s already been watered down from the original proposal, which would have doubled the penalties for hit-and-run that result in death or permanent serious injury.

Calbike wants your support for the proposed Safety Stop Bill, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which is exactly what many riders safely do right now. And far too many drivers do unsafely.

AB117, the bill that would create a $10 million fund to help lower income Californians buy ebikes, passed its first test in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Meanwhile, AB 43 unanimously passed the Assembly Transportation Committee with no opposition; the bill would retain the deadly 85th Percentile Law, but allow cities to consider factors other than drivers’ right feet in setting speed limits, such as the location as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety.

California is joining a nationwide movement to prioritize safety over speed. The question is whether the shift is real, or if the legislature will simply pass a few feel good bills before forgetting all about it and moving on to other matters, as too often happens.

Credit old school police work. Riverside police finally busted the hit-and-run driver who killed 52-year old Brian Sabel two years ago, arresting 34-year old Menifee resident Steven Allen Watson Jr. for the crime, despite the apparent lack of any witnesses or evidence at the time of the crash.

Bay Area bike riders may want to ride with a partner or group around Grizzly Peak Boulevard in the hills above Berkeley, where a number of solo riders have been robbed by armed bike jackers; at least five riders have been run off the road and robbed at gunpoint or knifepoint since late March.

A San Francisco ER physician calls for keeping the city’s Safe Streets, saying they’ve helped empty his emergency room.

A San Francisco woman celebrates seven years of living carfree after switching to an ebike when her car was totaled by an uninsured driver; she claims she’s saved over $50,000 over that period.

 

National

Of course she gets it. Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan teams with her Streetfight co-auther to call for cities to hold onto the street space reclaimed for people during the pandemic, saying surrendering our cities to cars would be a historic blunder.

My hometown university has now joined the Vision Zero club. Which isn’t too surprising, considering it’s surrounded by one of the nation’s most bike-friendly communities. Even though it didn’t get that way until long after I left, of course.

Apparently writing with all seriousness, a New Hampshire medical worker and self-described cyclist says he worked with a state legislator on a bill that would require bicyclists to ride salmon, but the bill died when he couldn’t get time off work to attend the hearing. Because evidently, riding a bike in New Hampshire just isn’t dangerous enough already.

A Massachusetts man got his fat tire bike back two months after it was stolen, when he recognized it being ridden by a burglary suspect on a TV news story about a break-in.

The Big Apple is getting a belated start on the micromobility revolution, as the city finally gets its first e-scooters.

 

International

In a story that’s scary as hell, a writer for Bike Radar examines whether lane-keeping technology poses a risk to bike riders, after he had to wrestle a car for control to avoid running down a bike rider sharing the same lane.

T3 considers what you get with a high-end road bike that you don’t with a cheap one. Or put another way, is an expensive bike really worth 20 times more than a low-end bike?

A pair of Vancouver business owners are taking their case to the British Columbia Supreme Court to fight the re-installation of a protected bike lane through a park, arguing the decision to swap a traffic lane for a bikeway wasn’t “reasonable, rational or logical.” Seriously. It’s in a park.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who stole an ebike from a disabled 13-year old English girl.

A pregnant British driver will spend the next 30 months behind bars for killing an 80-year old triathlete while chatting with her sister on WhatsApp; no word on whether her baby will spend the first years of its life in prison with her.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 26-year old driver got a lousy 35 months in jail for intentionally running down a 13-year old boy riding his bike after getting into an argument with the kid in a park, and following him for 20 minutes before using his car as a weapon to attack him.

Scottish cyclist Josh Quigley is on his second day of a world record attempt for the greatest distance ridden on a bicycle in a single week, attempting to ride 320 miles a day in an 80-mile loop through the Scottish countryside; he’s aiming for Aussie pro Jack Thompson’s record of 2,177 miles, despite suffering multiple broken bones in a crash three months ago.

France is now allowing drivers to trade their old, smog-belching cars for a nearly $3,000 grant to buy a new ebike.

Last year was even a bad year for bike riders in the Netherlands, with the highest number of bicycling deaths in the past 25 years.

This is who we share the road with. A Kiwi driver is filmed blissfully driving on the right side of the road — which is the wrong side Down Under adjacent — until confronted head-on by a large truck. If your first thought was that it was probably just an American tourist confused about what side to drive on, join the club.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch legend Marianne Vos outsprinted the competition to win the one-day Amstel Gold Race on Sunday; Belgian Wout van Aert took the men’s race by a nose in a photo finish.

More proof cycling hasn’t kicked its doping habit yet, after 52-year old California masters racer Vahe Aivazian was banned for four years for testing positive for not one, not two, but ten different banned drugs. But the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

That feeling when your personal traffic bypass bridge turns out to be a pedestrian walkway. That feeling when you’re an elected official with no idea what Bicycle Day is all about.

And who needs to pick a bike lock when you can just blow it up with a hand grenade?

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Examining the carnage caused by speeding drivers, the bike boom runs on batteries, and early LA bike cops

Speed kills.

In a column for the LA Times, the paper’s Steve Lopez examines the rising carnage on our streets caused by speeding drivers.

Lopez constructs his story through the lens of the needless deaths of 68-year old Larry Brooks, killed by a driver in $280,000, 200 mph McLaren, and 32-year-old Monique Munoz, whose life was taken by a 17-year old in a $200,000-plus Lamborghini SUV.

Not that you need a high-end super car to speed. Or take an innocent life.

In fact, it seems to be a rising trend.

In the first month of the pandemic last spring, the California Highway Patrol reported that although traffic volume was down 35%, the number of citations for driving in excess of 100 miles an hour had increased by 87% over the same period a year earlier. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, 4,851 more CHP citations were issued for speeding at 100 miles an hour or more, a 93% increase over the same period a year earlier.

And too often, the people who pay the price aren’t the ones with their foot glued to the gas pedal. Three years ago, speeding played a role in roughly a third of all crashes resulting in death or serious injury, according to the most recent stats from the CHP.

Not that more timely statistics would help prevent more deaths, or anything.

Then there’s the broken promise of Vision Zero, which was supposed to be well on its way to ending traffic deaths in the City of Angels by now.

Not making more of them.

The Vision Zero campaign, announced by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2015, set an ambitious goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries and making streets safer for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists by 2025. The progress, and the reviews, have not been sterling. In the Arts District, where Larry Brooks was killed, residents have begged for more sidewalks and crosswalks. A $15-million state grant for such improvements has yet to be put to work.

Budgets, bureaucracy, politics and competing priorities have stood in the way of safety improvements such as turn lanes, crosswalks, signage and enforcement throughout the city. But (LADOT General Manager Seleta) Reynolds said progress is being made and her department has identified 450 miles of city streets where more than two-thirds of the fatal and serious collisions have occurred, with improvements there being prioritized.

Except nibbling at the edges of traffic safety wasn’t what we were promised. And won’t bring about the wholesale changes to the city’s traffic grid necessary to make a substantial dent in the rate of traffic deaths.

Let alone end them in the next four years, as the mayor committed to in announcing the plan six years ago.

Or do much to reduce the number of speeding drivers on LA’s over-engineered streets, as evidenced by the LAPD’s own stats.

(LAPD Traffic Division Cmdr. Gerald) Woodyard ran stats for the 12 pandemic months ending Feb. 28 of this year and found that fatal collisions in which speed was a factor increased from 15% to 21% of the total. Of the 253 fatalities, 117 involved pedestrians, and 48 of the victims were identified as “homeless or transient.”

Let’s hope that the state legislature gets serious about eliminating that deadly 85th Percentile Law that allows drivers to set speed limits with their right foot, and legalizing automated speed enforcement to slow them down.

And maybe Los Angeles can spend some of the $1.35 billion it will be getting in the latest Covid stimulus package to fully fund Vision Zero, and stop using that for an excuse for why nothing gets done.

Then our elected leaders will just have to grow a spine. Or at least enough of one to stand up to angry drivers who demand the right to keep going zoom zoom on our streets, unimpeded by anything that might slow them down.

Like a person, for instance.

If not, maybe we can replace them with new leaders who already have one.

Take a few minutes to read the full piece. It’s worth your time to grasp the full cost of drivers who insist on putting the pedal to the metal.

Because let’s face it, you can’t spell “carnage” without “car.”

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR from Pexels.

………

Speed kills, part two.

Two people were killed, and four seriously injured, when a speeding driver lost control on Vineland Ave in North Hollywood, slamming into two other cars and killing a man who had just stepped out of a liquor store; a passenger in one of the cars was the other person killed.

The crash occurred just blocks from the bike lanes on Vineland.

………

More proof that much of the current bike boom runs on batteries.

………

Actually, it looks like most of those “hats” are helmets on the heads of the LAPD’s first bike cops.

………

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

It takes a real lowlife to torch a Cambridge, Massachusetts ghost bike.

People are attacking a Welsh bikeshare provider, with an average of two bikes damaged each day over a five-week period; 20 people have been arrested so far for vandalizing the bikes.

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

Jessica Jones star Krysten Ritter complains she almost channeled her rage-filled superhero alter ego when she was rudely hit on by a bike riding man while walking on a sidewalk.

British police bust a 19-year old, bike-riding serial groper accused of attacking 12 woman on a Cambridge bike path.

………

Local

Officials conclude that a proposed bike lane on Western Ave in Rancho Palos Verdes won’t have a negative effect on traffic.

 

State

Calbike says it’s time for California to legalize the Safety Stop, which would allow bike riders to legally treat stop signs as yields, as most bike riders — and many drivers — already do. Actually, it was time about 30 years ago; now it’s way past time to get it done.

Encinitas will host a free ebike seminar on the 26th.

No bias here, either. A Santa Barbara letter writer says the new bike lanes on State Street make no sense, and accuses leaders of kowtowing to “the minority bike lobby.”

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a man riding a bicycle was killed in a collision Saturday evening; he was allegedly riding the wrong way when a driver hit him head-on.

Kindhearted members of a Cal Fire crew bought a new bicycle and helmet for an eight-year old Pescadero boy after his were damaged when he was hit by a driver.

No bias here. A Chico State student investigating police bias and racial profiling in campus traffic stops unexpectedly finds himself stopped by three university police officers in a pair of squad cars as he was riding his bike, long after leaving the campus. He was told he somehow looked suspicious because he rode his bike away from the cop he didn’t see, who wasn’t trying to stop him. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

National

City Lab examines the irrational growth in the sheer size of pickup trucks, some of which now weigh as much as 3.5 tons, posing a dramatically increased risk to everyone on the road around them. Correction: I originally wrote the pickups weigh up to 7 tons, rather than 3.5. Thanks to Andy Stow for the correction.

Washington state is moving forward with a bill to bar sales tax for ebikes.

Bodycam video appears to show a 17-year old Arizona boy reaching for a gun after fleeing from police on foot, after what originally began as a simple traffic stop for not having a headlight on his bike; he died three weeks after the shooting — and after begging the cop not to let him die. Thanks to BGD Reporters and Rafe Husain for the tip.

A Utah bike rider was stabbed in the arm in a random attack, moments after an attacker robbed another person just to smash their phone on the ground.

PeopleForBikes spends a day with a bike-borne Boulder CO food rescue.

Despite their new found legal status, ebike and scooter riders find themselves banned from New York’s Hudson River Greenway.

Once again, a driver has fled after running down multiple riders; one woman was killed and another seriously injured when they were rear-ended by the heartless, cowardly driver while on a Florida bike club’s annual member appreciation ride.

 

International

A new Cannondale ad campaign is appearing at iconic sites around the world, as the bike boom pushes the company into the mainstream.

Take a single-track excursion on a Mexican mountain bike Mecca built by a Walmart heir.

We already knew Harrison Ford was one of us, as he dons his spandex for a nearly 800-mile ride from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas. Although some people can’t seem to get over his “skintight outfit.”

Canada’s Liberal government is attempting to solve the country’s first mile/last mile problem by allocating a whopping $400 million for bike paths.

Thieves are feasting on bicycles from bike shed in an English housing development certified as secure by the local police department, because of ventilation holes big enough for someone to reach in and unlock the door. Evidently, the police wanted to ensure the bikes got plenty of fresh air when they weren’t in use.

A UK prosthetics experts is back on his bike after becoming his own patient when he lost his right arm in a bicycling collision with a truck driver.

Photographic proof that the British royal family are no strangers to bicycles.

When is a bicycle not a bicycle? When you strap a gasoline engine to it in Ireland.

A man was fatally shot after threatening a Paris bike cop with a knife outside a train station.

Spanish former F1 champ Fernando Alonso will now have to race with two titanium plates patching his fractured jaw after collision while riding his bike last month.

Peshawar becomes the first city in Pakistan to open a bikeshare service.

An Israeli man who once rode 41,000 miles around the world is credited with saving seven lives by donating his organs when he was hit by a bus driver while making an Everesting attempt near Haifa.

South African bike thieves are using pepper spray to knock riders off their bicycles. But at least they haven’t put a stop to the Cape Town edition of the World Naked Bike Ride.

Business is booming for Taiwanese bikemakers, with revenues up as much as 80%, even though delivery times are down.

An Aussie woman thanks a passing driver for saving her daughter’s life when the bikes failed on the girl’s borrowed bicycle, and she crashed into a parked car.

 

Competitive Cycling

Another reminder that there’s no sure thing in bike racing. Slovenian cyclist Primož Roglič lost his firm grip on the Paris-Nice podium by falling twice on the last stage and dislocating his shoulder. Germany’s Max Schachmann made up a 52-second deficit to take the win.

 

Finally…

Evidently, your body is a bicycle. Your next bike could have no crossbar, fork or seat.

And who hasn’t ridden 163 miles just to get a cup of coffee?

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

US traffic deaths up despite — or because of — coronavirus, LA’s last lonely Jump Bike, and NC ballot deadline tomorrow

If you thought the streets were more dangerous last year, you’re right.

According to an estimate from the nonprofit National Safety Council, traffic fatalities jumped 8% across the US last year.

Around 42,060 people lost their lives, an increase of more that 3,200 people who didn’t make it home to their loved ones, despite a decrease in overall miles traveled due to the pandemic.

Last year’s deaths were the most since 2007 when 43,945 people were killed in vehicle crashes. In addition, the safety council estimates that 4.8 million people were injured in crashes last year.

Federal data shows that Americans drove 13% fewer miles last year, or roughly 2.8 trillion miles, said Ken Kolosh, the safety council’s manager of statistics. Yet the number of deaths rose at an alarming rate, he said.

But all those empty streets just left room for dangerous speeding and aggressive drivers to do their worst.

And even though traffic is now getting close to pre-coronavirus levels, the bad behavior on the roads is continuing, authorities say.

“It’s kind of terrifying what were seeing on our roads,” said Michael Hanson, director of the Minnesota Public Safety Department’s Office of Traffic Safety. “We’re seeing a huge increase in the amount of risk-taking behavior.”

This estimate should serve as a wakeup call to cities and states around the US that merely paying lip service to Vision Zero isn’t enough.

And yes, that includes Los Angeles, where virtually nothing has been done to implement the program since it was announced with great fanfare in 2015.

We’ve already badly missed the initial benchmark to reduce traffic fatalities 20% by 2017. And we will inevitably miss the mayor’s promise to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.

As if.

The simple fact is, people will continue to die on the streets in Los Angeles, and throughout the US, until we finally decide that one more death is just one too many.

And that innocent blood on the street is too high a price to pay for the simple act of getting from here to there.

Then do something about it.

Photo of LA’s last Jump Bike by David Drexler.

………

David Drexler finds the last, lonely Jump bike on LA’s Westside, still leaning against a lamppost on the south side of Westchester Parkway across from LAX.

He notes that the police and city must think it still belongs to the defunct Jump, and that apparently no one in LA thinks it’s worth stealing.

The popular red bikes were taken off the streets when Uber gave up on the dockless ebikes after mismanaging them into the ground.

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Streets For All sends word that tomorrow is the last day to request a mail-in ballot for the following neighborhood council races.

This Tuesday is the final day to request a mail-in ballot for neighborhood council elections in Region 5. These regions include: Central Hollywood, East Hollywood, Greater Wilshire, Hollywood Hills West, Mid City West and P.I.C.O.

Speaking of neighborhood councils, Streets For All adds their endorsements for the Central Hollywood NC to those announced for other areas last week.

And if you live, work, attend school or shop in the Mid City West area of LA, the area’s neighborhood council will consider the proposed Venice Blvd For All Complete Streets project at today’s virtual meeting; you can comment during the meeting, or send your comments in advance by email.

………

Once again, Bike Index’ free bicycle registration and stolen bike database proves that sometimes you get a lot more than you pay for — this time with the assistance of the LAPD.

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Hopefully California will be next.

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Start your Monday with an eight minute snowy stunt biking break.

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

Which includes the seemingly intractable battle between bike riders and equestrians, as a horse group in the UK accuses bike riders of going too fast and being abusive to man and beast alike.

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

A bike-riding man faces a murder charge for shooting a Milwaukee driver to death in a road rage dispute, which began when the bike rider punched the man for complaining that he had to swerve to avoid the salmon cyclist.

It takes a major schmuck to deliberately kick a five-year old kid off his bicycle in a New York park.

Unbelievable. A Belgian court fined a bike rider the equivalent a lousy $1.19 for intentionally kneeing a little girl as he passed on a snowy trail, in an attack that caused well-deserved outrage around the world.

………

Local

LAist wants to introduce you to David McNeill, the man behind the newly completed 13-mile Park to Playa Trail.

Culver City-based Walk N Rollers is raising funds for a volunteer bike repair hub for kids in need; so far, they’ve raised just under $1,000 of the $10,000 goal.

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is one of us, taking a scenic ride through the ‘Bu on his Rocky Mountain mountain bike.

 

State

A half dozen “sculptural” bike racks were installed in Oildale, Bakersfield’s neglected neighbor and birthplace of the late, great Merle Haggard, with designs ranging from a coffee cup and electric guitar, to a figure of a racing cyclist and a whimsically-shaped man on a bike.

Streetsblog SF says it’s time to stop painting bike lanes with green paint that wears off, and starting paving them with colored asphalt like the Dutch.

Wheelie-popping teens celebrate the Bike Life every day by riding around the old Santa Rosa courthouse.

One positive to come out of 2018’s Carr Fire is a new and improved 10 Bridges Trail, which was reduced to a one bridge trail after the fire took out the other nine bridges; Redding bicyclists are already riding it, even though the official completion is still months away.

 

National

Don’t hold your breath about getting the ‘bent parts you need anytime soon. Unless you’re standing near me and not wearing a mask, that is, in which case, by all means, hold it until I leave or you pass out, whichever comes first. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Ebike prices are on their way up, thanks to the expiration of a tariff exemption, as well as bikemakers phasing out promotional pricing.

Las Vegas police bust an alleged drunken hit-and-run driver shortly after the rear-end crash that took the life of a 60-year old bike rider.

This is who we share the road with. A Milwaukee man pled guilty to a hit-and-run crash that killed two young sisters and injured their ten year old cousin, after speeding down a bike lane past cars other drivers stopped at a red light as the girls crossed in a crosswalk. He’ll be sentenced later this year.

A candidate for Manhattan DA calls for treating traffic violence like the epidemic it is.

A Miami cop speeding with red lights and siren killed a bicyclist riding with a group of cyclists last month, yet over a week later, no information has been released.

 

International

Road.cc recommends the tools you should have on hand for basic bike repairs.

Cyclist is celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting a full month of inspirational women in the bike world.

Scotland signs on to a national Vision Zero plan, pledging to eliminate traffic deaths by 2050. And LA will probably still be struggling to meet their 2025 pledge.

Bicycles become a tool of protest as the head of an Indian political party leads a ride in support of fellow politician targeted by a government vendetta.

A Kenyan website talks with the founder of a Nairobi bike club about riding safely in the country.

That’s one way to do it. A new study shows a reduction in Japanese bike and pedestrian injuries when it snows — because people switch to warmer modes of transport.

A Specialized vice president tells the company’s Asian suppliers to step-up production, insisting there’s millions of dollars to be made once the Covid-19 pandemic is finally over.

Who needs drive-in restaurants when you can ride up to the bike-rack tables at a Manila restaurant and dine on your saddle?

 

Competitive Cycling

Irish pro Sam Bennet apparently finds taking the first stage of Paris-Nice nice, but Aussie pro Richie Porte didn’t make it to the finish line.

No surprise here, as Dutch ‘cross meister Mathieu van der Poel out-sprinted notable roadies to win on the gravel roads of the should be-Monument Strade Bianche.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride off with an $11,000 bike, turn off the damn GPS first. That feeling when your delivery ebike goes up in spontaneous flames.

And that feeling when you discover the rusted, jerry-rigged bicycle you’re working on once belonged to Mohandas K. Gandhi.

Yes, that Gandhi.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Hahn moves to study safety after Woods crash, sheriff calls it oopsie, and parking matters more than bike rider’s death

It only took the near death of a celebrity.

LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn is finally pushing for much needed safety improvements on Hawthorne Blvd, where golf legend Tiger Woods was seriously injured in a high speed end-over-end collision.

Hahn directed the county Department of Public Works to review safety on the stretch of roadway where the crash occurred, which residents described as a scene of frequent crashes.

However, no one ordered a similar review when a 32-year old homeless man, identified as Jonathan Valbuena, was killed in a hit-and-run a few miles north on the same deadly corridor.

And no one ordered immediate action despite the corridor’s inclusion on the equivalent of the High Injury Network under the county’s Vision Zero plan, which doesn’t seem to have made any more progress than LA City’s seemingly forgotten plan.

Then again, none of the six people who were killed or seriously injured over a five-year period in that deadly section of the street were famous.

Which, sadly, seems to make all the difference.

That’s not to say the dangerous downhill street where Woods crashed doesn’t need to be fixed.

But maybe we could do something where the rich and famous don’t live and drive, too.

Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

………

On a related note, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has given Tiger Woods a pass on the crash, saying his wreck was just an oopsie.

Apparently, Woods was traveling without a driver to film a low-budget documentary show for Discovery when he crashed.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

No bias here.

San Diego business owners complain about the loss of 22 parking spaces to create a temporary separated bike lane where a bike rider was killed last year.

Even though they’ll get them back when it’s converted to a protected bike lane later this year.

Yet there’s not a single mention of 65-year-old Dan Sweeney, who died nearly two months after a hit-and-run directly in front of their restaurants. Or that the driver left him in the street to die after getting out of his van and moving Sweeney’s bike out of the way.

Almost as if they don’t even care.

Nor, apparently, did anyone seem to care that the driver, 29-year old Mauricio Armando Flores, now faces up to four years behind bars after pleading guilty to leaving Sweeney bleeding in the street after running him down from behind.

He’ll face sentencing next month.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the last link.

………

Local

Opponents of the planned restoration of the Ballona Wetlands have filed a lawsuit to stop the project, saying it’s not needed and could be harmful.

Billie Eilish is one of us, riding her bicycle while listening to the Strokes’ latest album.

 

State

Encinitas is starting construction on a long-awaited streetscape project to add a roundabout, buffered bike lanes and wider sidewalks to the Coast Highway in Leucadia.

A Chula Vista man was killed when a driver crashed into his motorized wheelchair as he was using a crosswalk.

Livermore officials back down and let a bike repairman keep working from home, at least for now, after over 9,000 people signed a petition supporting him.

A bike helmet offers protection against an overly aggressive Bay Area coyote.

Famed Beat poet, censorship-fighting publisher and City Lights Bookstore owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti was one of us, too.

 

National

A new US administration means the reintroduction of the 2019 Complete Streets bill, which would encourage safer, people oriented street designs throughout the country.

A new study of Chicago’s bikeshare system shows low-income workers and people of color relied on bikeshare more than their wealthier counterparts during the pandemic.

Minnesota-based Park Tools continues to rule the bike work bench.

Some people just don’t learn. A Boston vlogger took an “epic” ride on the frozen Charles River, just one week after he fell through the ice.

America’s first congestion pricing plan could get the go ahead now that the former Mayor Pete is heading the Department of Transportation, clearing the way for New York’s proposed program. Which could bode well for Los Angeles — if local leaders have the courage to move forward with Metro’s congestion pricing proposal.

He still can’t start a fire without a spark, but evidently Bruce was just drinking in the park.

A Newport News, Virginia man is using his pandemic downtime to ride every street in the city of !80,000 people. Which is a lot easier than it would be here in Los Angeles.

North Carolina politics could put the brakes on the bike boom in the state.

 

International

How to minimize the environmental impact of buying bike tires.

Road.cc examines where to find plus size bikewear, including LA-based Machines for Freedom.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a drunken hit-and-run driver got just two years and a month behind bars, despite leaving three bicyclists lying in the road with serious injuries.

That’s more like it. Italy has given food delivery companies 90 days to improve the way they treat bicycle delivery riders, saying the mostly immigrant workers are practically treated like slaves.

Maybe they see the bike writing on the wall. Volkswagen is now in the bicycle and ebike leasing and financing business, at least in Germany.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after an Indian man wrestled a leopard to the ground when it attacked his family as they were riding bikes together.

Kiwi bicyclists say another three years is too long to wait to improve safety on a popular riding route where a 65-year old man was killed riding his bike last year.

 

Competitive Cycling

Teams have been announced for the first ever women’s Paris-Roubaix.

The route for this year’s Giro has been officially unveiled, while Cycling News highlights five key stages in the race.

Bicycling highlights twelve cyclists to watch during the upcoming racing season; Sepp Kuss is the only American rider to make the list. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

No bias here, either. Aussie women’s cyclists face discouragement over the lack of recognition and prize money given to their male counterparts.

 

Finally…

How did Kermit ride his fixie, anyway? Turning your single-seat bike into a six-legged tandem, even if some people don’t like it.

And don’t hold any bake sales for Lance just yet.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

State considers ebike rebates and stop as yield, and maybe now LA County will finally fix deadly Hawthorne Blvd

Things could be looking up in the state legislature.

Streetsblog takes a look at bike and traffic safety bills that have been introduced this session that could actually make a real difference on our streets.

AB 122 would finally legalize what most bike riders — and too many drivers — already do by allowing them to treat stop signs as yields; a similar law in Delaware resulted in a 23% reduction in bike crashes at intersections with stop signs.

AB 117 would allocate $10 million from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to provide rebates for ebike buyers; combined with a proposed 30% rebate on ebikes from the federal government, it could finally make ebikes affordable for lower income buyers.

Permanent Slow Streets could become a fixture in neighborhood with limited access to parks and high air pollution risk if AB 773 passes both houses.

As currently written, AB 43, sponsored by new Assembly Transportation Committee chair Laura Friedman would only track bike and pedestrian crashes, but the Burbank assemblywoman hopes to rework it to compel cities to redesign streets to lower speeds.

………

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

You couldn’t have turned on your TV yesterday without encountering wall-to-wall coverage of Tiger Woods’ high speed rollover crash on Hawthorne Blvd in tony Palos Verdes Estates.

Fortunately, he’s expected to survive, despite major injuries to both legs.

But it raises the question of why nothing has been done to improve safety on the deadly street, where a bike rider died in a hit-and-run a little further down the road a few years ago, and where residents say drivers routinely exceed the 45 mph speed limit.

It nearly took the life of one of the world’s greatest golfers.

The next person may not be so lucky.

………

White Eyes, a 20-minute short film shortlisted for this year’s Live Action Short Oscar, questions who really owns a stolen bicycle, and the effect reclaiming it would have on the lives of those involved.

………

People for Bikes takes a quick look at Black bike history.

https://twitter.com/peopleforbikes/status/1364314351990149120

………

This is what a hit-and-run looks like.

The 48-year old English victim was lucky to escape with minor injuries, while questioning the humanity of the driver who left him lying in the street.

“You are not telling me you can’t see or feel a fully grown man on a bike coming in the roundabout. I’m sorry, but that’s just can’t be true.

“I’m really angry, sad and disappointed at the same time. I’m disappointed in the driver, as a human being. One thing is sure that had I done something like that, I would’ve been able to drive away.”

………

One quick way to earn a bunch of one star reviews — park in a protected bike lane.

https://twitter.com/JamesNonchalant/status/1364132581810266115?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1364132581810266115%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-23-february-2021-281119

………

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

A new bill put forward by GOP members in the Washington legislature would tax bicycle and transit riders, as well as Uber passengers, to maintain the roads and fix the damage caused by…cars and trucks.

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

Police in Elmira NY are looking for a bike-riding man who slashed another man in the arm in a dispute over who owned the bicycle; the victim mistakenly thought it was his.

A British man walked with probation and a fine for punching his neighbor and throwing a bicycle at him when the other man refused to turn down his music at 5 am.

………

Local

LA pediatric neurologist Chris Giza explains to The Washington Post how a 21-mile fake commute along the beach can provide balance for people working from home during the pandemic.

Once an environmental makeover of the Ballona Wetlands is finished, you could be able to actually ride through it, rather than just speed past on the Ballona Creek bike path.

Culver City is holding a virtual meeting tomorrow to consider expanding and strengthening the city’s Slow Streets program, including making the existing Slow Streets permanent.

 

State

A pair of California college students rediscovered their faith in humanity by riding across the US; the two women spent three months traveling a meandering 4,200-mile route.

Some San Diego bike riders say roundabouts may improve safety, but they don’t feel safe using them.

San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette examines the ways insurance companies will try to deny a claim by arguing that you assumed the risk of injury when you got on your bicycle. Which is like saying a driver assumed the risk of a wreck by turning the ignition key.

A Santa Cruz scientist who fatally ran down a bike-riding teenage farm worker 25 years ago warns maskless protesters what it feels like to carry that guilt every day.

A new gap-closing bikeway should turn Monterey’s bike lane to nowhere into a connected bike network that actually leads somewhere, while bike riders wait for the completion of a 28-mile off-road bike path connecting key points throughout the city.

 

National

The Today Show profiles three Black founders who built inclusive fitness groups for everyone, including Black Girls Do Bike founder Monica Garrison.

An outdoor website questions whether the REI co-op has grown too much; it’s now a $3 billion business with 168 stores and 19 million members.

Three generations of a Hawaiian bike shop-owning family struggle to weather the ups and downs brought on by the pandemic bike boom.

Kindhearted Florida cops gave a five-year old boy a new bike after his was destroyed in a “horrific” crash that left him seriously injured.

 

International

Road.cc considers fourteen of the best touring bikes for when you finally decide to chuck it all and hit the road.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 92-year old Vancouver man is back on a bike, after a bike shop offered him a loaner ebike for 30 days in hopes his own stolen ebike somehow turns up. He’s also had a martini every day for the last 60 years.

Devastated family members plead for information on how a Scottish man died, after his body was found three years following his disappearance on a charity bike ride.

Tragic news from the UK, where a three-year old girl accidentally hung herself when she fell from a tree while wearing her unicorn bike helmet. Sadly, it’s not the first time I’ve seen stories like this. It’s just another reminder that children’s bike helmets are for riding bikes, and can be dangerous under other circumstances.

An Irish girl who won the hearts of her countrymen when she opened up on TV about losing her leg to cancer has won them again, after learning how to ride a bike again using her prosthetic leg.

Sweden is reducing car usage and making cities more livable by replacing street parking with tables, benches and plants.

A Singapore ebike dealer will spend the next 13 weeks behind bars for forging government seals ensuring power-assist ebikes are safe to use, after repeated attempts to get official approvals failed.

A New Zealand ebike designer is calling for online retailers to fight bike theft by removing ebike chargers from their websites, and requiring proof of ownership before selling them.

Melbourne, Australia bike riders hope the fourth time is the charm, after three previous attempts at bikeshare failed.

You’ve got to be kidding. Melbourne police will use handheld speed guns to crack down on bicycle and e-scooter riders violating the 6 mph speed limit on a multi-use promenade. I have trouble riding that slow even in my lowest gears without falling over.

Australian authorities are offering a $250,000 reward for information on how a man ended up submerged in a sewage tank, after he was last seen riding his bicycle two years ago.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips profiles 2019 junior world road and track champ Megan Jastrab, who won virtually every race she entered before Covid put juniors racing on hold, giving her an extra year to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

Your new Porsche could come with a built-in bike rack. Your next bike helmet could weigh less than a hamster, or maybe a half dozen Pop Tarts.

And when you want to feel like you’re riding Eddie Van Halen’s guitar.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Bernie endorses bike-hater Cedillo in LA’s CD1, the role of law enforcement in Vision Zero, and virtual National Bike Summit

Does Bernie hate bike lanes?

Bernie Sanders endorsed Gil Cedillo for re-election in LA’s 1st Council District, apparently repaying Roadkill Gil’s efforts on his behalf during last year’s presidential primary.

But maybe he should have done a little more research into Cedillo’s record. Like his attempt to have every bike lane in his district removed from the mobility plan, and blocking shovel ready safety projects on North Figueroa and Temple Street.

Not to mention attempting to gut the city’s Vision Zero program, back when it still seemed to be a real thing.

Even though many of the immigrant workers Cedillo professes to champion rely on bicycles as their primary — and sometimes only — form of transportation.

And are too often the victims that Vision Zero was supposed to save.

As the 2017 election demonstrated, Cedillo can be beaten, unlike most incumbent councilmembers in the City of Angels.

Joe Bray-Ali had him on the ropes until Bray-Ali’s campaign imploded after racist and fat-shaming comments he’d made on questionable websites surfaced — likely through Cedillo’s hidden hand.

Instead, Cedillo cruised to an easy victory.

He may have more trouble next time if a serious challenger without so much baggage tosses his or her hat into the ring.

In which case Bernie might soon discover he’s backing the wrong candidate.

………

The Vision Zero Network discusses the controversial role of law enforcement in eliminating traffic deaths this Thursday.

………

Here’s your chance to attend the Bike League’s annual National Bike Summit.

And this time, you only have to travel as far as your favorite screen.

………

Pinkbike offers enough bicycling videos to get you through the entire day today. And maybe tomorrow.

………

Local

LADOT is holding a pair of virtual public meetings next month to discuss proposed protected bike lanes on San Vicente Blvd south of Olympic Blvd.

A “slightly cockeyed” map of 1930s Los Angeles shows several people on bicycles, raising the question of whether Los Angeles is a bicycling paradise lost.

 

State

Fifty-one-year old Leovardo Salceda pled not guilty in the cold case shooing death of 37-year-old Oliver Harrison as he rode his bike in San Diego in 1988; police say Harrison was not the intended target. But he’s just as dead as if he was.

Kindhearted Fontana police teamed with the Fontana Foundation of Hope to replace a boy’s bicycle after his was stolen; he’ll ride in style with a new Spider-Man bike, complete with matching helmet.

Santa Barbara will keep State Street through downtown closed to cars and open to people at least through September 8th.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. Bakersfield prosecutors settled for a lousy two years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — half the possible jail term — after bargaining away additional charges of destroying evidence and driving despite a license suspension due to DUI.

Good for them. Santa Cruz residents pitched to clean up a network of bike chop shops in the city; more than 90 bicycle frames, 100 rims and 150 tires were recovered from two sites.

A San Francisco op-ed says don’t sacrifice a newly carfree JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park just because a museum wants more parking.

 

National

The Manual offers a beginner’s guide to choosing the right size bike.

This is what it looks like to be riding in a bike lane, and get cut off by a Portland city bus anyway.

A Montana paper recounts the story of the 1900-mile single speed bike ride undertaken by Buffalo Soldiers of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps in 1897; the all-Black unit proved bicycles were a viable means of transport for the military — just in time for motor vehicles to push them aside.

More proof that bike riders are tough. A 50-year old San Antonio, Texas man rode his bike back home after he was shot in the stomach in a driveby; no word on his condition or why he was shot.

They get it. A Wisconsin paper says if you ride a bike, get to know your local bike shop, where you’ll get service you can’t find online.

Looks like time has run out for Time; the bikemaker’s pedal and shoe business was just sold to Chicago-based SRAM, while the rest of the company went to Arkansas-based Cardinal Cycling Group.

A Nashville man is looking for his 9-year old daughter’s stolen bike, which was taken before Thanksgiving when the SUV it was inside was stolen as part of a teenage crime spree that ended in the shooting deaths of two of the kids involved; the bike has sentimental value, because it was built by her older brother.

Last week we posted video showing a Brooklyn bike rider being severely beaten by a man with a bat; now the victim, an artist who dedicated his life to beautifying the borough, remains in a coma with a respirator doing his breathing for him.

A Philly op-ed calls for keeping a deadly waterfront roadway closed to cars forever after it was opened up to people walking and biking during the pandemic.

Bicycling celebrates a Pennsylvania Earn A Bike program this month, saying it may be the only one in the country that allows children as young as eight to earn a bicycle by learning how to rebuild it in a 12-week program. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

International

Offroad.cc offers a guide to mountain bike lights.

The London Cycling Campaign suspended an advisor after racist tweets from 2019 accusing aggressive Black drivers of being gangsters on drugs came to light.

You could soon ride in a new public bike park built by bicycle tire and accessory maker Vittoria next to their Italy HQ.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a speeding teenage driver walked with probation for slamming into a man riding his bike, despite leaving him with lasting brain damage and a useless left arm.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, too, where the family of a fallen bike rider feels devastated that a judge gave a driver’s license back to the driver who killed him after just three months.

A 22-year old Christchurch, New Zealand native counts the city’s bike network as one of its few success stories, as the once-vibrant city she barely remembers struggles to rebuild from a series of devastating earthquakes.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Sydney, Australia authorities respond to the death of a bicycle delivery rider by dropping the speed limit to 24 mph and removing several right turns — the equivalent of lefts in the US.

 

Competitive Cycling

In a sport where most riders are washed up by 30, Davide Rebellin is still getting paid to ride for Italian Continental team Work Service Marchiol Vega at age 50.

Seriously? Cycling’s governing body did the right thing by banning a Belgian cycling official after several accusations of sexually harassing women cyclists — then backdated the ban to last April to reduce his suspension.

Nineteen-year old Italian cyclist Miguel Ángel López skidded across the finish line of the UAE Tour individual time trial on his side following a tumbling crash. He was hospitalized with a deep gash to one knee, along with other possible injuries.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you steal a pair of bikes, then come back a few days later and take the bike rack they were locked up to. That feeling when a promising new ebike turns out to be vaporware.

And the next time you have to dodge a car in the Bay Area, it may not have a driver.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Car chases end on LA-area bike paths, couple kidnaps and tortures prospective bike buyer, and weigh in on Glendora Ave

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence, once again. 

The assorted health issues stemming from my diabetes, and the many and varied meds to treat them, conspired to knock me on my ass all Tuesday night and most of the following day.

One more reminder that diabetes sucks.

Virtually all my health problems are the result of doctors who insisted I’d never get diabetes, despite a family history on both sides, allowing it to go undetected for as much as 20 years. 

So if you’re at risk, get checked. And don’t believe anyone who insists your bicycling, lean build and/or healthy diet means you won’t get it. 

Then do whatever you have to do to avoid it.

Because trust me, you don’t want this shit.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

………

Los Angeles TV viewers watched live Tuesday evening as a car theft suspect led police on a high speed chase before briefly driving on the Westside’s Ballona Creek bike path.

He then abandoned the allegedly stolen van to run across the 90 Freeway during rush hour traffic, and apparently made a failed attempt to buy, beg or steal a man’s bicycle back on the path.

All in vain, as it turned out, as the bike rider refused, and police tackled the man in a grassy field shortly later.

It appeared to be a common theme for the day.

Two other suspects appeared to escape capture earlier Tuesday after an extended high speed chase that ended in Long Beach.

They, too, abandoned the car — apparently their own, this time — and beat an escape by walking along the LA River bike path.

………

Buyer beware, indeed.

A New Mexico couple faces a raft of charges after allegedly kidnapping a man who came to their house to buy a bicycle.

They reportedly were looking for someone they said owed them money. But they’re likely to get long prison terms, instead.

And yes, this is why you should always meet prospective bike buyers or sellers in a public place.

………

Here’s your chance to weigh in on a safer Glendora Ave.

………

Learn how to fight for, and implement, effective Vision Zero programs.

Hint: Find politicians with more commitment and courage than LA’s weak kneed mayor and city council.

………

Ever get the feeling they’re just trying to thin the herd?

https://twitter.com/just_barely/status/1361626101559271424?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1361626101559271424%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-17-february-2021-280977

………

Here’s today’s mountain biking break, courtesy of the “insanely long” trails of Idaho’s Silver Mountain bike park.

………

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

An Aussie bike rider voiced his obvious displeasure after a driver passed far too close and too fast.

………

Local

It’s getting closer. The new Taylor Yard bike and pedestrian bridge connecting Elysian Valley and Cypress Park is about three-quarters done. Let’s just hope it’s worth the $18 million price tag, which is more than two to three times the original estimate.

KCET highlights 12 bikeable spots to explore in WeHo’s Rainbow District, aka Boystown, viewable along the bike lane on Santa Monica Blvd. Some I didn’t even know about, like the Door’s offices and rehearsal space, where Jim Morrison laid tracks for L.A. Woman.

Sofi Tucker is one, uh, two of us, as the EDM DJ duo partnered with Venice Beach’s Solé Bicycles for a limited-edition white and purple single-speed bike called The Purple Cheetah, in honor of its paint job and cheetah-print seat.

 

State

Congrats to carfree bike rider Jacob Madel on his appointment as the new advocacy manager for the San Diego Bike Coalition.

A coalition of San Diego advocacy groups reaffirms its support for protected bike lanes on 30th Street through the North Park neighborhood.

San Diego letter writers debate the virtues of protected bike lanes, with frequent BikinginLA contributor Phillip Young taking the contrary view.

Completing our San Diego foursome, 51-year old Leovardo Salceda may finally face very belated justice, 32 years after he allegedly fatally shot bike rider Oliver Harrison with a stray bullet.

Maybe San Francisco construction crews are starting to get it, apparently thinking more about bike riders and other vulnerable road users when setting up their work zones.

Sad news from Riverbank, where a teenaged boy was killed in a collision while riding his bike at 2:30 am.

 

National

Bicycling says Vanmoof’s team of bike hunters could make stolen bicycles a thing of the past. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you.

Esquire rates the seven best bikes to choose from if you want to ride in style this year, ranging in price from around $300 to $1,200.

A Seattle nonprofit uses bakfiets cargo bikes to deliver food and supplies for food banks; 450 volunteers have transported over 88 tons of food since the pandemic started last spring.

The Killers’ Brandon Flowers is one of us, as the lead singer of the Las Vegas-based band will have shoulder surgery for a mountain biking injury.

Nevada’s Clark County, home to Las Vegas, belatedly gives bike riders the right to take the lane.

They get it. The latest draft of Missoula, Montana’s long-range transportation plan is heavy on bike lanes, greenways, shared-use paths and Complete Streets, while dropping a proposed freeway interchange. Now if Los Angeles could just somehow make that leap.

Meet a Missouri man who’s lived carfree for the last 14 years, riding his bike more than an hour to work every day, regardless of the weather.

An Ohio bike shop got a stolen BMX bike back when the owner’s mother called the mother of one of the suspected thieves, asking for her son do the right thing. Which in this case, meant buying it back from the person he sold it to before he could return it.

You can now rent an ebike in New York for $99 a month.

The American spy who killed a 19-year old British man when she slammed into his motorcycle, then fled the scene — and the country, claiming diplomatic immunity — offered to go into mediation when a Virginia court refused to dismiss the civil suit against her. Sadly, the Trump administration refused to send her back to the UK to face charges, and Biden appears to be following suit.

The Virginia Senate approved measures requiring drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders when they can’t give a three-foot passing distance and allow bicyclists to ride two abreast, but punted on adopting the Idaho Stop Law.

 

International

Your next bike helmet could come with built-in lights, complete with your choice of light(er) weight and air vents, or self-charging solar panels.

Banksy’s recent English bike mural is literally off the wall, after it was sold, bricks and all, to an art gallery for an undisclosed six-figure price, despite claims that it really belonged to the people of Nottingham, rather than the building owner who sold it.

A British man will have to find a new home for the hundreds of broken bikes he fixes to give away on Facebook or raffle to raise funds for nonprofits, after his homeowner’s group gave them the boot from his own driveway.

An Irish researcher says a helmet and hi-viz are less effective than segregated infrastructure to improve bicycle safety.

Cyclist touts Les Trois Cols as possibly the greatest bicycling loop in the French Alps, traversing three mountain passes while offering challenging climbs and spectacular views.

F1 driver Fernando Alonso is back in the saddle training for the upcoming motorsports season in Switzerland, just days after surgery to repair his jaw and teeth damaged in a bicycling collision.

An Indian paper asks if the pandemic-induced bike boom is safe and there to stay.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A New Zealand man who killed a bike rider is asking to get his driver’s license back, less than a year after the distracted driving crash; the judge disqualified himself because he has feared for his own safety while biking on the same road.

The Australian edition of Gizmodo examines how the bicycle changed the world for women.

 

Competitive Cycling

About damn time. Thirty-three year old former bike messenger Ayesha McGowan has joined Liv Racing, achieving her high-profile goal of becoming the first Black American woman to compete on the World Tour, just six years after first taking up the sport. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

The US men’s road cycling team for this year’s Tokyo Olympics could fit in a bobsled. No, a two man bobsled.

 

Finally…

VeloNews meets Vogue. When you’re riding a bike, with an outstanding warrant for car theft hanging over your head, just put a damn light on it, already.

And this pretty much sums it all up.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Rule change could ban bikes from streets, Garcetti distracted by shiny flying object, and $25k reward in Specialized bike thefts

Just six days left in the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to everyone who’s given so far for their generous donations to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

For everyone else, what are you waiting for?

Time’s running out! Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

And come back after 10:30 this morning for a guest post by Phillip Young that could improve your chances of being seen on the road.

………

Unbelievable.

If a proposed Federal Highway Administration rule change goes into effect, you could be banned from riding on any street without bike lanes or signage.

Jonathan Maus of Bike Portland writes that a phrase explicitly stating that the absence of bike infrastructure doesn’t mean bikes aren’t allowed is in danger of being changed to say just the opposite.

Image from FHWA website via bikeportland.org

He writes that the change is buried in a major update to the massive Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices published by the Federal Highway Administration on Friday and posted to the Federal Register on Monday.

This change, which has proposed under the Trump administration but will be finalized in the Biden administration — has set off shockwaves in the bicycle advocacy world. It was first pointed out on Twitter this afternoon by League of American Bicyclists Policy Director Ken McLeod.

Reached on the phone from his office in Washington D.C. a few minutes ago, McLeod said the change is so surprising it “seems like a mistake”. “But at same time,” he added, “Why we you trust that it’s a typo? I think we need to treat this seriously and as real.”

Even if it were a mistake, if it wasn’t caught by McLeod it would have likely ended up as binding federal law. The MUTCD is supposed to be updated every 3-4 years, but it’s taken 10 years for this update to happen. That led McLeod to say, if this was done in error, “It could take a long time to fix.”

Let’s hope it really is a mistake.

And not one more last-minute rule change slipped in by the outgoing Trump administration.

………

It’s going to be a long two years.

That’s how much time is left in LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s final term, after the mayor was apparently snubbed by the Biden administration, despite rumors he was a prime candidate for a cabinet-level position.

Because instead refocusing on the city’s long forgotten Mobility Plan, the failed Vision Zero program or the mayor’s own Green New Deal that promised to change how Angelenos get around, he’s shifted his attention to this shiny object — a proposed flying taxi service, which will benefit only those rich enough to use it.

And allow the wealthy to zoom over LA’s clogged and deadly streets, while the rest of us are forced to slog it out down here on the ground.

………

Mike Wilkinson forward news that Lakewood is taking comments on a new master plan that would impact Rynerson Park, an important access point for the San Gabriel River Trail.

………

Specialized is offering a $25,000 reward to recover the bicycles, many of them one of a kind, that were stolen from their Morgan Hill CA headquarters over the weekend.

The thieves made off with $160,000 dollars worth of prototypes, race-winning bikes and personal bicycles belonging to employees that were on display in the building.

Anyone with information can call Morgan Hill Police Department Cpl. Mindy Zen at 669/253-4917 or the department’s anonymous tip line at 408/947-7867.

………

A virtual memorial ride will be held on Zwift tomorrow to honor the five Las Vegas bicyclists killed by an alleged meth-addled truck driver.

The ride is being hosted by a former Vegas police officer who was on the ride at the time of the crash.

You can read the story on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

………

This is why you should register your bike with Bike Index.

It’s free. It lasts a lifetime. It’s transferable. It’s used by the LAPD.

And it works.

………

Everyone needs a bike day every now and then.

Even him.

………

………

Local

No news is good news, right? 

 

State

Streetsblog explains what to do if you’ve been victimized by the driver of an illegally modified pickup rolling coal.

A San Jacinto bike rider suffered major trauma to both legs when he was struck by an alleged drunk driver early Thursday morning; he was hospitalized in serious but stable condition.

San Francisco considers dropping the speed limit to 20 mph in the city’s deadly Tenderloin District. Or better yet, why not the entire city?

Bay Area advocates complain that a new $6 million bike and pedestrian access tube in Alameda would be just as useless as the one it’s supposed to replace.

A planned Ripon bike path is being threatened by habitat for a rare threatened species of beetle.

 

National

Yes, there is haircare hope for Black bike riders. Again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

The Verge tries out Harley Davidson’s new ebikes, and likes just about everything but the price. Meanwhile, New Atlas looks at ebike makers who did things differently this year.

Moving piece from Singletracks, as an Idaho man takes to his mountain bike to ride through grief over the death of his sister. I did the same thing on my roadie after my dad’s death, and again with my mother and both my in-laws; there’s something about riding that allows you to process loss in ways you can’t otherwise. Or I couldn’t, anyway.

They get it. Missoula, Montana is considering a plan to reduce speed limits on residential streets to 20 mph to prevent crashes and reduce their severity. Meanwhile, Los Angeles and other California cities continue to let drivers push speed limits ever higher thanks to the deadly 85th Percentile Law.

Texas Monthly talks with Austin bespoke bikemaker Nao Tomli.

‘Tis the season. A Texas investigative reporter helps out a family in need with nearly $2,000 in gifts, including bikes for all the kids.

‘Tis the season too. An Ohio group donates 24 bicycles to boys victimized by domestic violence, despite being shut down most of this year.

New York bike advocates complain that many of the city’s bike lanes are too wide, inviting people to drive or park in them; the city’s sanitation department wants the wide widths to accommodate their garbage trucks and snow plows.

Streetsblog New York says the NYPD’s bike safety tweets would make a pretty good comedy routine. Except they’re not funny.

New York continues to experience Vision Zero in reverse, as the city’s streets keep getting deadlier, despite earlier progress.

The family of a Florida bike rider call for lights to be installed on a Jacksonville bridge after an 18-year old boy hit a wall when the sidewalk ended, flipping him over; sadly, his body wasn’t found until a week later.

 

International

This year’s bicycle shortage could just be foreshadowing even worse supply problems next year.

A writer for Treehugger says her only regret in trading the family car for a cargo bike was not doing it sooner.

The founder of British bikeshare firm Beryl writes that bikeshare can help drive gender parity in bicycling.

A UK bike nonprofit urges local councils to be brave in the face of angry opposition to active transportation projects.

A fact-checking site says not so fast about that survey showing Brits ready to dump the Conservatives in anger over bike lanes.

The British manufacturer of the illegally overpowered electric trail motorcycle Simon Cowell was riding when he broke his back says it’s not their fault he cranked the throttle too far.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgium’s Woot van Aert won the Crystal Bicycle award as the country’s best cyclist.

 

Finally…

You gotta love a new high-end aero bike inspired by The Clash. Where to catch a draft in a bike race.

And that feeling when your latest object of lust was built in the ’90s.

No, the 1890s.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

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