Tag Archive for Vision Zero

Morning Links: Hollywood development plan released, and discrimination and LA’s deadly streets

The streets of Hollywood could look at lot different in the next 20 years.

If we can all manage to survive that long.

The city has released the new Hollywood Model Development Report conducted by consultants Fehr + Peers to plan for development in the Hollywood area by 2040, including streets and mobility.

They operated on the assumption that nothing can be done to mitigate Hollywood traffic congestion, so the focus was providing alternatives to driving.

Like riding bikes.

In fact, the study calls for a number of lane reductions to make room for bike lanes, protected and otherwise — including protected bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd and Melrose Ave.

Along with bicycle friendly streets as part of the Neighborhood Enhanced Network proposed in the 2010 bike plan.

The bad news is, the plan is based on LA’s Mobility Plan 2035, which is already gathering dust on the shelf.

And predicated on the support of Hollywood councilmembers who haven’t been elected yet.

Then again, that could be a good thing, since the ones we have now appertains to be too risk averse to make the major changes necessary to provide alternatives to driving and improve safety on our streets.

Let alone confront the angry drivers who seem to be setting the city’s transportation policy these days.

Thanks to Brandi D’Amore for the heads-up.

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Great Twitter thread from LA Bike Dad looking at the long-lasting effects of racial discrimination in Los Angeles. And how it lines up perfectly with LA’s most dangerous streets.

It’s definitely worth a click to read the full thread.

And here’s what LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds had to say in response.

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As long as we’re visiting Twitter, Pedal Love discovered what may be the best ever bicycle sidecar.

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Marin Facebook users seem thrilled to see a group of bicyclists stopped and ticketed by sheriff’s deputies.

If you have a strong stomach, it’s worth the click just to read the comments. Like this, for instance.

Funny how people often want to ban bicycles from narrow roads because they think it’s too dangerous for bikes. But it never occurs to them to ban the cars that make them that way, instead.

Never mind people, like the woman below, who think bicycling is too dangerous because of all the dangerous drivers on the roads. And somehow continue to believe the myth that if they innocently hit a lawbreaking bicyclist, they’ll be held responsible.

Most of the time, no one is. And in the rare case when police blame someone, it’s usually the victim.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Now you can be the proud owner of a classic 1989 Eddy Merckx team bike made for the late, great 7-Eleven team for the low, low price of just $6,700 US.

As long as you promise to let me ride it.

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Local

Candidates are lining up to fill the seat of CD12 Councilmember Mitch Englander, who is walking away from the district he was elected to serve. We’ll have to wait see which of the candidates support safer streets, if any.

LADOT has released the environmental study for the Winnetka Avenue Street Improvements project to extend the existing bike lanes on Winnetka Ave.

After the recent disastrous proposal for a road diet on Pasadena’s Orange Grove Blvd, the city is giving it another shot with a proposal for a lane reduction, bike lanes and improved crosswalks on Cordova Street; a public meeting will be held to discuss it on Tuesday. Rose City NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers will undoubtedly be out in force to oppose it, so anyone who lives, rides or works in the area should turn out to voice your support.

State

An op-ed on a San Jose website says the mayor’s recent bike crash was no accident, but blames bad road design instead of the inattentive driver. Only the other hand, the mayor says any head defects he may have were a pre-existing condition.

San Francisco Streetsblog says no, bike commuting rates did not drop 19.9% in San Francisco, and 25.8% in Oakland, as reported in last week’s USA Today article.

Oakland plans to speed up repairs on one of the city’s most dangerous streets, a week after a 14-year old boy was critically injured when he was dragged three blocks by a hit-and-run driver.

Washoe County is continuing to build bike paths in the Truckee Meadows, despite a drop in ridership.

National

US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is one of us, after surgery to repair an undisclosed broken bone suffered in an undisclosed bicycling fall and/or crash. Evidently, it’s on a need to know basis. And apparently we don’t.

A bike industry writer says e-scooters don’t appear to threaten the bright future of ebikes.

An ebike maker is used as a model for how to successfully raise prices without losing customers after they get hit with a 25% tariff increase for parts imported from China.

A Utah law firm concludes that downtown Salt Lake City and Provo are the state’s most dangerous places to ride a bike.

A New Mexico State legislator is riding her bike 300 miles to the state capital for the new legislative session.

Who needs employee parking? A Colorado company gave all of its 85 employees new $1,300 ebikes.

A Colorado man put thirteen old kids bikes along his fence for anyone to take. Only to find others continually adding bicycles to the line to replace any that get taken.

A 73-year old Michigan man has now ridden his bike across all seven continents after finishing a leisurely ride across Antarctica.

An Ohio driver pled guilty to aggravated assault for a road rage attack on a man and his wife. But he did write a letter saying he was really, really sorry.

An Irish boxer goes head-over-heels after hitting the skids on the streets of New York.

The rich get richer. Bike friendly DC is going to get three new protected bike lanes in the next three years.

A Florida man is being held on $10,000 bail after he was busted for riding a gas-powered bicycle, despite a suspended license for DUI.

International

Treehugger says drivers should thank bicyclists for modern roads, instead of complaining about us.

Maybe a hot bath doesn’t burn as many calories as riding your bike, after all.

Life is cheap in Calgary, where a bike rider was charged for killing a 75-year old man as he walked in a crosswalk — except he was only charged with failure to stop at a red light. We can’t complain about killer drivers getting off with a slap on the wrist, and not hold deadly bicyclists to the same standard.

A Toronto op-ed calls the modest bicycle one of humanity’s great emancipators.

Police are looking for a British bike rider who smashed a driver over the head with his bike lock after a crash. Seriously, there’s no better way to go from victim to criminal than trying to retaliate against a driver. Or anyone else.

A 20-year old English college student has set a new record for the youngest person to bike across the world, riding 18,000-mile through 14 countries in 159 days.

Bike advocates in the UK accused the country’s Highway Code of victim blaming for tweeting that bike riders should wear helmets and “appropriate clothing for cycling,” rather than calling for safer streets and better driver education.

Britain has been ignoring their own government agency’s advice to prioritize active transportation over driving every year since 2015.

A man in the Netherlands was killed after somehow getting stuck between a fence and the roof of an apartment building bike shed; authorities were unsure what he was doing there. Although considering that he got stuck around 3 am, we can probably make an educated guess.

Sure, let’s go with that. A Zambian man told a divorce court he used the used condoms his wife found in his pants to repair bike tires. No, seriously.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole and vandalized a ten-year old autistic New Zealand boy’s custom-made three-wheeled bike.

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a cyclist has been stripped of his title after testing positive for a banned substance. Except this time, the doper is a 90-year old US track cycling champ.

How bicycling became entrenched in Eritrean culture, despite the difficulty obtaining bikes and parts. And led to the first black Africans to compete in the Tour de France.

Last year was the most successful year yet for Rwanda’s nascent cycling programs.

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a police bike five minutes after you’re released from jail. Nothing like reading a six-mile long poem while you ride.

And seriously, who carries a shotgun on a bicycle — let alone uses it on their riding partner?

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Thanks to Connie L for her generous donation to support this site. The holiday fund drive may be over, but donations are always welcome and appreciated.

Morning Links: Rampart Village NC considers Mobility Bill of Rights and banning Vision Zero tonight

It’s Day 19 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Donate in just moments via PayPal, or through Zelle using the banking app that’s already on your phone.

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Call it the good, and the really, really ugly. 

The Rampart Village Neighborhood Council will consider a proposal at tonight’s meeting to embrace a revival of the moribund Cyclists Bill of Rights, now dubbed the Mobility Bill of Rights.  Which was sort-of adopted by the LA city council ten years ago at the behest of the late Bill Rosendahl, then promptly forgotten. 

“10. Discussion and possible Action on – the recommendation from the President to take a position on the Bike Writer’s Coalition (BWC) motion that, Rampart Village Neighborhood Council claims & asserts the aspirational document known as “The Mobility Bill of Rights”; RVNC embraces the public space of our community & the City at-large by proclaiming that “Streets are for People!” “

That’s the good. 

The ugly is the following motion to remove all Vision Zero traffic calming measures — the few that have actually been installed, anyway — and return Los Angeles to its deadly, exclusively auto-centric recent past. 

“11. Discussion and/or Possible Action on – the recommendation from the Executive Committee to take a position on the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition (LANCC) motion that, Rampart Village Neighborhood Council demands that the city enforce the laws & within 30 days of our demand to start the process to remove all Vision Zero traffic calming measures, including but, not limited to the controversial road diets.”

Let’s hope enough people show up to halt this misleading and dangerous motion put forward by the traffic safety deniers behind groups like Keep LA Moving

Thanks to Stephen Box for the heads-up

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David Drexler forwards a photo of a menorah bike, captured at Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade on the next to last might of Chanukah. 

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Local

Midnight Ridazz host their annual All City Toy Ride this Friday

An LA Times op-ed says yes, you can have free public transit and traffic-free roads, thanks to the miracle of congestion pricing. 

Another Times op-ed takes LA Mayor Eric Garcetti to task for talking the talk on climate change, but failing to walk the walk by failing to acknowledge, let alone address, climbing driving rates. Yet oddly, the authors fail to even mention bicycling

Environmental groups complain about Metro’s exclusively auto-focused plans to mitigate traffic caused by the cancellation of the 710 Freeway extension, with bike and transit improvements left for discussion some unspecified time in the future. Or not

feeder ride will roll out from the Spoke Bicycle Café on Saturday in support of the March for Public Education at LA City Hall. 

date has been set for the next 626 Golden Streets open streets event in the San Gabriel Valley; the new route will pass through South Pasadena, Alhambra and San Gabriel on May 19th. 

State

Caught on video: A San Francisco bicyclist was nearly run down by a police officer using the bike lane he was in as a passing lane to zoom by slower traffic, sans lights and siren. 

This is who we share the roads with. Palo Alto police are looking for a driver who exposed himself to a woman as she rode her bike, masturbating behind the wheel as he stared at her. Let’s hope they find the jerk and lock him away for a long time. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link

Davis considers making changes to its “Claw” curbside trash pickup, which can result in bike lanes blocked with trash when homeowners put it out incorrectly.  

National

A writer for Men’s Health attempts to jump starts his brain to see if it will make him a better cyclist

Pink Bike writes an obituary for the loved and hated Interbike trade show.

NBC News suggests better clothes for active commuters

A Portland paper takes a deep dive into Oregon bike crashes, and ranks the 20 most dangerous cities for bicyclists; bike-friendly Portland is number two. 

four-lane Chicago-area highway could go on a diet to make room for bicycles. 

Chicago’s dwindling bike messengers want the same access to commercial buildings that food delivery riders enjoy

Here’s one problem LA bike riders don’t have. Boston will remove flex posts separating a bike lane from car traffic to make it easier to salt and plow snow and ice on the bridge they’re on.

New York startup is placing expandable pods on a Manhattan street to provide bike riders with a safe and convenient place to park on a subscription basis. 

The New York Times discusses the lack of bikeshare options for people with disabilities; ebikes can help some would-be riders, but even those are in short supply. And adaptive bikes are virtually nonexistent. 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips discovers firsthand what it takes to ride a solo double century

A new report details the problem of police profiling in Toronto, including a black man who was arbitrarily stopped while riding in a bike lane.

UK bike writer Laura Laker questions whether cracking down on bicyclists will really improve safety, concluding that as long as the government listens to the most hysterical voices, rather than the evidence, nothing will change. 

Bighearted British bike riders deliver hundreds of teddy bears to the ICU unit of a local hospital. 

A Spanish carmaker most of us have never heard of promises their new radar system will detect the “telltale signature of bicycles travelling in the same direction” so their cars won’t run you over. 

An education news site looks at the growth of bicycling in BerlinAlthough the story appears to be so badly translated that it might be easier to read in the original German

Here’s a list of roads to avoid if your travels happen to take you to Dubai on Friday. Unless, of course, you plan to participate in what organizers call the biggest cycle challenge in the Middle East.

No bias here. The political editor of a New Zealand newspaper complains about spending tax money to build bikeways he says no one wants and few will ever ride. And that the need for safety for people on bikes pales in comparison to improving safety for the people in cars. No, really.

It’s time for more women to start riding, because Australia’s MAMILs are lonely. 

The King of Thailand led several thousand people in a nationwide Bike for Love and Warmth to celebrate the opening of a month-long fair. 

Competitive Cycling

The Guardian offers an obituary of the late bicycling broadcaster Paul Sherwen; a childhood in Kenya made him the only cyclist in the 70s pro peloton who could speak Swahili. 

Finally…

Riding the famous Chisholm Trail; no, the one in the UK. Maybe you can’t drive safely while on your phone after all. 

And you have a serious problem when your alibi for DUI is claiming you were merely texting, instead.

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Thanks to Lisa G for her generous donation to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Morning Links: New East Side Riders bike book, LA raising speed limits again, and begging to cross on MyFig

Let’s start with a new book from six young members of South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club.

Bikes Need Love Too is a collection of personification essays covering family, loyalty, abandonment, fun, and friendship from six amazing young authors who reside in Watts, CA, and who are members of the East Side Riders Bike Club (ESRBC) organization under the leadership of John Jones III. For seven weeks, the authors participated in a rigorous writing workshop which was facilitated by Publishing Hope and Branding A+ Behavior better known by its acronym, the PHABB 5 program. In these eye-opening and heartwarming essays, the student authors of ESRBC take readers on a fun, powerfully motivating ride. Bikes Need Love Too is engaging, sincere, and a brilliant approach to help encourage young readers to discover their voices.

It’s less than a month from Christmas, and only days from Chanukah. Which makes this the perfect gift for anyone who loves bikes.

Even if you give it to yourself.

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Once again, Los Angeles is planning to raise speed limits beyond already dangerous levels on over 100 miles of streets, further endangering bicyclists and pedestrians.

The increase is required to comply with California’s deadly 85th Percentile Rule, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their heavy right foot.

Sort of like putting bank robbers in charge of security.

Without the increases, the LAPD will be prohibited from using radar, LIDAR and other speed guns to enforce speed limits, as they have been for years on most LA streets.

Which explains why virtually no one in LA obeys them.

But increasing speed limits, even to improve enforcement, is the exact opposite of Vision Zero, making our streets more dangerous for everyone on them.

Instead of voting to endanger even more lives, city officials should be camped out at the state capital to demand an immediate repeal of the law.

And the ability to set speeds at safer, common sense levels.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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In more WTF news from the City of Angels, the universally despised beg buttons are back on the MyFigueroa bike lanes.

After countless complaints from bike riders when the MyFigueroa project first opened, LADOT adjusted the signals to give people walking and on bikes automatic green lights.

But evidently, it was just a show for the people attending the recent NACTO national convention in DTLA.

Now that the convention is over, anyone not in a car once again has to beg just to cross the damn street.

And good luck with that.

Just another auto-centric fail on what’s supposed to be LA’s showcase Complete Street. Let alone another Vision Zero fail.

And they wonder why we’re pissed off.

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The Bike League — aka the League of American Bicyclist — released their list of the most Bicycle Friendly Universities.

Congratulation to Santa Monica College, which moved up to a Silver rating on their fourth year on the list.

Among other SoCal schools, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara held their Gold rankings, while CSU Long Beach and UCLA are Silver.

Cal Poly SLO, CSU Bakersfield, Loyola Marymount and Pomona College ranked Bronze.

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This is who we share the roads with.

LA-based comedian Bill Burr thinks Share the Road means we’re all supposed to get the fuck out of his way.

No, really.

Here’s that quote, in case you missed it.

…Oh and people who ride bikes in LA are morons, morons, they fucking dress up like they’re in a bike race and then they just drive out in the road. And they always yell ‘share the road’, it’s like well ’yeah, yeah you too, move over’ I allowed enough time to get there in a car, not follow you on your fucking bicycle Lance. I’m not saying it’s not a bad thing when they die, but it’s not shocking. *laughs*

In other words, just another indignorant, overly aggressive LA driver who thinks he does, in fact, own the road.

And that it’s somehow funny when someone gets killed.

Thanks to Steve S for the video.

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How to build a DIY wooden bike.

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A new video intended for motorcyclists explains how drivers can look right at you and never see you. Which applies to anyone on two wheels, with or without an engine.

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It’s Day 8 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

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Local

A new proposal from architecture firm Woods Bagot calls for repurposing LA’s surface parking lots into housing, retail and open space; their More LA plan could reclaim enough space to house an additional three million people.

Bike SGV’s annual Noche de las Luminarias awards event takes place tomorrow night; as of Thursday, some tickets were still available.

The final CicLAvia of 2018 rolls, walks, skates and scoots through the streets of DTLA and Boyle Heights this Sunday; be sure to note the earlier 3 pm ending time.

 

State

The LA Times says California talks a good game on climate change, but fails to follow through on promises for building more walkable, bike-able, transit-friendly communities.

Encinitas’ Leucadia Cyclery is closing it’s doors after 30 years. Which makes me feel old, since it was new when I lived down there.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man was killed after walking his bike down a highway embankment, then attempting to ride across a freeway; he was hit by a car almost immediately.

San Francisco is moving forward with a pair of bike lanes to provide alternatives to deadly bike lanes on the Embarcadero, which aren’t due to be fixed until 2022.

Bay Area public radio station KQED discusses ten things to know about bike theft in San Francisco — all of which apply in Los Angeles, including the advice to register your bike. Except for the part about bike theft going down; the opposite is true in the City of Angels.

 

National

‘Tis the season. Momentum Magazine offers their 2018 gift holiday guide for city cyclists.

Lyft is now the owner of the biggest docked bikeshare provider in the US.

Ebike prices are slowly starting to come down, as Bicycling reviews a $1,649 foldie.

A Boise, Idaho bike co-op is training prison inmates to rebuild bicycles for Syrian refugees.

Colorado Springs CO residents debate bike lanes in the local newspaper’s letters column while trotting out just about every anti-bike trope, discredited and otherwise. But while they argue about whether drivers should have to give up a few feet to improve safety, the city is suffering its deadliest year ever on the streets.

The Chicago Tribune looks at those crazy people who bike in blizzards and surf Lake Michigan.

The widow of a fallen Chicago cyclist has filed suit against the parents of the 15-year old hit-and-run driver who took his life, alleging they should have kept their unlicensed, underage son from getting behind the wheel. Let alone driving on the sidewalk, where the victim may have been standing.

The one thing Michigan bike riders, pedestrians and roller skiers — yes, it’s a thinghave in common is disrespectful, dangerous drivers.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.  And spreads to the Big Apple, where someone sabotaged a popular parking protected bike lane in Queens with dozens thumb tacks; a city councilmember gets it right, calling it an criminal act of vigilantism.

An Op-Ed by the former head of the National Highway Safety Administration says if DC is serious about being a green city, it needs to encourage dockless scooters.

A Mississippi bike site says bicyclists deserve equal protection on the roads.

Florida police track down a woman who had been missing since Monday in a Fort Meyers hospital; she had been admitted as a Jane Doe following a crash while bicycling. Yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID when you ride.

 

International

Zwift is about to get some indoor cycling competition. Which should please Strava fans, where virtual group rides are more popular than the real thing.

An Ontario, Canada popup museum celebrates the area’s bicycling history.

Bike thieves force a British bike shop out of business, following the third break-in in just seven weeks.

Police bust an Edinburgh bike thief charged with stealing over 60 bicycles worth nearly $39,000.

A British writer recommends a trip to the Scottish Borders, saying the region has been transformed with some of the best bicycling trails and infrastructure in the country.

Malta proposes a new strategy to replace bike lanes with safer, bike-friendly streets and an app that directs riders to the safest route.

A Nepalese traffic engineer calls for making Kathmandu bike friendly, saying every government agency should see bicycles as a major mode of transportation.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as a writer explores Korea’s mostly flat, sea-to-sea Four Rivers Route, one of the world’s longest paved bike paths.

A former Miss Malaysia goes bikepacking from Cambodia’s 600-year old New City to Thailand’s festival of lights.

Life is cheap in Malaysia, where a dump truck driver received just four weeks behind bars for killing a 78-year old bike rider. He also lost his license for four years, which will cost him his job.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Flax tells the tale of a long-time domestique who finally came in first in his final race.

Cyclist profiles cycling scion and renaissance man Taylor Phinney.

Indiana’s Marian University has awarded what may be the first cycling team mechanic scholarship in the US.

 

Finally…

Try not to photobomb a couple’s surprise engagement, even if they are blocking the bridge. Presenting pro cycling’s Last Supper.

And now you, too, can own the coolest bike in the neighborhood, even if you missed it the first time around.

Morning Links: Distracted driving crashes, CA fails on climate goals, and Reseda Blvd Vision Zero makeover

Welcome to Day Five of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your support helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every morning!

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No surprise here.

A new study from Ohio State University shows that distracted driving crashes tend to be more severe than other crashes.

Which makes sense, since drivers seldom brake for what they don’t see.

According to the study, “distracted driving raises the odds that a crash will cause severe injury or death.” But roundabouts or other traffic calming measures can reduce that risk by forcing drivers to actually pay attention to the road in front of them.

Then again, better enforcement can also reduce the risk by encouraging people to actually hang up and drive.

Meanwhile, a study from Carnegie Mellon University released earlier this year shows that just listening to a cellphone, let alone talking or texting, is enough to reduce brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

Which explains why distracted drivers do so many stupid things.

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A new report shows that no district in California is doing enough to meet climate change goals.

In fact, the amount of miles driven is going the wrong way, increasing instead of decreasing.

Surprisingly, LA’s climate change model of promising improvements to alternative transportation and safety, then repeatedly failing to deliver, somehow hasn’t managed to entice drivers out of their cars yet.

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Speaking of which, maybe LA’s Vision Zero isn’t dead yet.

New plans for a $17 million makeover of deadly Reseda Blvd include protected bike lanes, improved crosswalks and pedestrian islands, and bus boarding islands.

As long as you can wait another five years for the work to be finished.

According to LADOT, 50 people have been killed or seriously injured on the street since 2009. Which is about 50 too many.

Now if they can just build another 100 or so streets like that, then manage to connect them into a real network, they might actually make some progress in reducing traffic deaths.

Let alone meeting the state’s climate goals.

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There’s a lot more news about the Florida driver we mentioned yesterday who slammed into a group of 14 bicyclists, killing one woman and injuring six other riders.

The 33-year old driver admitted she was distracted by something in the car, but couldn’t remember what. And offers a tearful apology, saying she’d trade places with the victim if she could.

Police hope to examine the driver’s cellphone, which was severely damaged in the crash; she’s given them permission to download her usage data.

Two of the injured riders have been released from the hospital; another remains critical following emergency surgery.

And a Florida writer says distracted drivers are making the state’s dangerous streets even worse.

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Maybe they’re planning a two-wheeled sequel to The Italian Job.

Between six to eight masked thieves drilled through a three-foot wall to break into a warehouse owned by Italian bicycle company 3T.

And walked out with 20 high-end bicycles — including one hand-painted by the late, great framebuilder Dario Pegoretti.

Let’s all keep an eye on Rome Craigslist, just in case.

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The LACBC’s Santa Clarita neighborhood chapter is teaming with Bicycle John’s to host a toy ride this Saturday.

Which sounds like a great way to celebrate the season, and warm up for Sunday’s CicLAvia in DTLA.

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Local

This is who we share the roads with. A driver is under arrest for repeatedly attempting to run down a pair of Jewish pedestrians on La Brea Ave in the Fairfax District, after making anti-semitic remarks near a synagogue.

Writing for Los Angeles Magazine, a woman examines the pleasures and pains of walking in LA, including the unwanted joys of sexual harassment.

Fifteen years after the Gold Line arrived, Pasadena may build an overpass to improve traffic on California Blvd. But the city may screw bike riders and pedestrians in the process.

 

State

If you’re itching to tackle your first century, a uniquely named Redlands bike club will help you out with an 11-week course to get you ready.

A Cal Poly SLO student combines Continental-level pro cycling, mountain bike racing and cyclocross with slam poetry.

A San Luis Obispo man spent his Thanksgiving Everesting, climbing 1,300 feet outside Hearst Castle over 22 times.

 

National

A tech website says dockless ebikes and scooters are here to save the world — as long as cities actually design streets to accommodate them and the way people use them.

An opinion piece on NBC News says we should embrace scooters and dockless bikes, even if Elon Musk thinks they’re not cool.

A writer in Moab, Utah gives thanks for bicycles, calling them the original sports tech.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A Kansas woman faces charges — and stitches to her lip — after attempting to run down her ex-boyfriend on his bicycle, then swerving at her own brother before they retaliated in self defense. Needless to say, she blamed them for the whole thing.

The New York Times says more business travelers are riding their bikes to the airport instead of driving. The planned transportation makeover of LAX is supposed to include better bike and pedestrian access, as well as a new Metro station. Let’s hope they keep their word this time.

The Philadelphia Inquirer calls for revitalizing a declining street by banning parking, and using the space to make it more inviting for bike riders and pedestrians.

A DC woman complains about the failure of bike etiquette displayed by shoaling cyclists.

With winter unofficially here, DC commits to clearing snow from city bike lanes, as well as ADA sidewalk ramps.

West Palm Beach FL is planning to build 18 miles of separated bike lanes to go with the city’s 38 miles of bike boulevards, to provide riders with low stress way to get around the city.

A homeless Florida man who killed a bike rider four years ago will probably spend the rest of his life in a mental institution after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity; the victim was nearing the final leg of a ride down the East Coast to propose to his girlfriend.

 

International

A writer for Treehugger writes that bicycling is an important tool for the struggling lower and middle classes, and says “hating on” the people who ride them is classist.

Tragic news from Brazil, where a man was swept away in a flash flood after refusing to let go of his bicycle so he could be rescued. We’ve said it before — no bicycle is worth your life. You can always get another bike; another life, no so much.

Toronto can thank a bike-riding 1970’s mom who was kicked off a park boardwalk by a park warden for kickstarting what turned out to be a nearly 12-mile riverfront bikeway.

One more thing to watch for when you lock your bike. An English rider complains that his — or maybe her — bike was stolen from a new “secure” bike parking garage in Cambridge because the bike racks were improperly secured to the floor. Needless to say, the railway company operating the garage denied any responsibility.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a budding Brit pop star gets eight months behind bars for failing to look when she entered a roundabout, fatally running down a mother of five as she rode her bike.

A road raging British driver gets two and a half years for making a U-turn in an attempt to ram a bike rider who accidentally touched his mirror while complaining about a too-close pass.

The rich get richer. The Netherlands will invest the equivalent of $624 million to get even more people on their bikes.

Now that’s a close call. A bicyclist in the Netherlands barely avoids getting run down by a train after waiting for one to pass in the opposite direction. Seriously, always look for a train coming the other way before crossing any railroad tracks.

A writer for Forbes explains how an engineer for German auto electronics maker Bosch developed the system that led to the explosive growth of ped-assist ebikes.

A New Zealand columnist complains that the “cycling craze” is out of control and criticizes a plan to put bicycling instructors in every school, asking what’s wrong with a few skinned knees? Short answer, not much, if that was the only risk kids faced on the streets. Unfortunately, it’s not.

Life in cheap in Australia, too, where a distracted driver gets just nine months for killing a father of two as he rode his bike. She was attempting to change the music on her phone, which sure as hell isn’t worth leaving two kids without a father.

A British man working in Japan discovers it’s easier to get around by bicycle, as long as you comply with a long list of rules.

Seventy percent of Singapore drivers feel less safe on the roads because of bike riders. So imagine how the people on bicycles feel around all those cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Here’s your chance to buy a slightly used two-wheeled Aston Martin.

 

Finally…

You may be young, but you’ll never look better in Lycra. This is what a paper writes when they don’t know the difference between a recumbent and an adult tricycle.

And seriously. Call me a Silver Cycler, and you’d better be smiling.

Or running.

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Thanks to Paul F, Fred D, Thomas K and Joseph R for opening their hearts and wallets to give to 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your generosity helps ensure this site keeps coming your way every day!

Morning Links: Preparing for time change, the great bike helmet debate, and Gordon-Levitt pulls an endo

Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday.

So when you turn your clock back, make sure you have working lights for your bike, front and rear.

Even if you don’t plan to ride at night, throw a pair of cheap lights in your seat bag, in case a flat or other mechanical problem keeps you out later than you planned.

It beats the hell out of trying to make it home without them.

And remember that the days clocks change are among the most dangerous days for car crashes.

So ride carefully and defensively until drivers adjust to the earlier darkness.

Meanwhile, New York is using it as an opportunity to roll out a new Vision Zero initiative.

Needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t.

………

Today’s common theme is bike helmets. Or the lack thereof.

Peter Flax explains why he hasn’t worn a bike helmet in five months, despite harassment and trolling from drivers and others, well meaning and otherwise.

An Australian safety expert says a proposal to ease the country’s law requiring bike helmets on sidewalks and offroad trails is “stupid.”

A new Canadian study shows bike helmets reduce the risk of dying in a collision with a motor vehicle by 34%. And that you’re at greater risk of dying if you’re over 35.

………

We already knew the star of Premium Rush was one of us. Now Joseph Gordon-Levitt is healing after appearing to go head over handlebars on a bikeshare bike while filming in New Orleans.

View this post on Instagram

I have bad luck shooting on bikes 🤕

A post shared by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitrecordjoe) on

………

A road raging Portland driver cools down before things go too far — despite a punishment pass and leaping out of his truck to confront a bike rider who was forced into traffic when wet leaves blocked the bike lane.

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Local

Mark your calendar. Councilmember Bob Blumenfield is hosting an open house on November 15th to discuss a planned boulevard improvement project on Reseda Blvd. The improvements include better bike lanes and closing the gap in the bike lanes between Vanowen and Valerio Streets.

The LACBC’s annual Operation Firefly program to hand out free bike lights to riders without them will kickoff this Monday in San Pedro.

Officials from Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beach met to discuss “making beach city streets multimodal, safer, more pleasant and effective.” But they drew the line at a proposal for a Complete Streets makeover of Aviation Blvd, comparing it to the short-lived road diet on Vista del Mar. Thanks to Margaret Wehbi for the heads-up.

 

State

Outside lists the 50 best places to work. Unfortunately, you have to get to number 40 before finding one in the LA area; San Diego’s SportRX — who made the best glasses I’ve ever owned — checked in at 24.

 

National

VeloNews talks with a physician specializing in treating bicyclists about how to avoid the most common bicycling injuries. Step one, don’t fall off your bike. Step two, don’t get hit by cars.

Bicycling suggests that ebikes won’t necessarily cost you your hard-earned fitness, and aren’t really cheating.

HuffPo says Uber and Lyft are helping to cause the congestion they claim to be fixing.

The Houston Chronicle takes an in-depth look at the dangers bicyclists and pedestrians face in the notoriously auto-centric city, where everyone blames someone else for the deadly divide between drivers, bike riders and people on foot.

A Chicago design museum is kicking off an exhibit on the cultural history of bicycling in the Windy City.

A Minnesota letter writer says the “the main difference of the ‘stupid’ cyclist’ and the ‘ignorant’ driver” is that only one is traveling at killing speeds.

Louisville KY is investing $140 million for a six-mile Complete Streets makeover of an overly wide main street, including possibly converting part of the extra wide sidewalks into bike lanes.

WaPo questions whether DC’s plan to ban some right turns on red lights will really save lives.

Things aren’t so great for bike riders and pedestrians in Charleston SC, either. But authorities can’t do much to fix it because most roads are controlled by the state.

 

International

A writer for Quartz says one way to make urban cycling safer is fewer angry dudes. But what she really seems to be saying is that we need more women and children, not fewer men, angry or otherwise.

An eco business website asks if dockless bikeshare represents a green revolution or parasites making a profit off the public space. Unlike Uber and Lyft, taxis, private buses and limos, evidently. Not to mention billboards, and other businesses that make money using public spaces.

Like the outdoor Vision Zero ad campaign we mentioned the other day, Toronto is using items that belonged to people killed in traffic collisions to create a hard-hitting safe streets art exhibit.

London business owners are calling for a crackdown on pedicab operators, who have a reputation for riding on the sidewalk and ripping off tourists, deserved or not.

A British study shows 26% of people believe the roads are too dangerous to commute by bike. That number would probably be a lot higher here in Los Angeles.

Maybe you want to add bicycling in Montenegro to your bike bucket list.

Tel Aviv cracks down on scofflaw ebike riders.

Norway’s ambassador rides in Canberra, Australia to share his country’s bicycling culture with the less than bike friendly country.

This is who we share the roads with. Over 20% of Aussie drivers admit to directing road rage towards people on bicycles.  Apparently, the other 80% just don’t admit to it.

He gets it. A Kiwi writer says if you think e-scooters are a safety menace, just wait until you hear about cars. Not to mention the people in them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling profiles former rising pro Adrien Costa, who’s back on a bike after leaving the pro cycling and losing a leg in a rock climbing accident.

Cycling News talks with America’s other ex-Tour de France winner and current legal dope meister as he looks for closure, and tries to move past the “disgraced cyclist” label.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to be a former beauty queen to benefit from bicycling. It’s true, women bicyclists deviate more than men.

And those fake painted speed bumps aren’t fooling anyone.

 

Morning Links: Keeping our streets deadly, biking to a surf record, and hard-hitting non-LA Vision Zero ads

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

San Gabriel police arrested a man for the hit-and-run death of a grandmother and her one-year old granddaughter as they walked in a crosswalk last week.

The suspect, who was taken into custody leaving a local hospital, has three previous arrests on DUI charges. Yet was still driving, and posing a risk to everyone on the road around him.

So once again, authorities managed to keep a dangerous driver on the streets until it was too late.

And another innocent family had to pay the price.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

……….

Brazilian big wave surfer Maya Gabeira combined running and riding intervals on her bike to get back in shape, five years after she was nearly crushed to death by a monster wave.

The result was a new world record for the largest wave ever surfed by a woman.

 

………

A hard-hitting public service campaign uses actual broken bicycles, helmets and personal possessions belonging to people who were killed on Toronto’s streets to drive home the message of the city’s Vision Zero campaign.

These definitely succeed at cutting through the usual ad clutter, and eliciting a strong visceral response.

The question is whether it’s enough to convince people to drive more carefully. Or just convince people that riding and walking are too dangerous, as Marc argues in this Twitter thread.

I’m not sure just where I come down on that debate.

But I do know they’re a hell of a lot more effective and impactful than this embarrassing effort from LA’s Vision Zero program.

………

Let’s catch up with a few coming events.

SoCalCross is hosting a weekend of cyclocross racing at Lake Casitas this weekend, including a Halloween-themed Spooky Cross.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday Ride will roll from the Spoke Bicycle Cafe to the free 2nd Annual Griffith Park Harvest Fest this Sunday.

Bike SGV reports Arcadia is hosting what may be its first ever public meeting on November 7th to discuss bicycle improvement projects throughout the city.

The East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice will host their annual LA River Bike Toxic Tour on November 18th. And no, I don’t know what that means.

………

Local

After losing at City Hall, LA’s overly litigious, self-appointed NIMBY watchdogs have filed suit against the City of Los Angeles to halt the recently approved plans allowing for greater density near Expo Line stations.

 

State

Life is cheap in San Diego, where a 20-year old woman will serve just four months of a one-year sentence for killing a Fallbrook man as he was riding just minutes from his home, while she was under the influence of antidepressants.

Sad news from Marin County, where a popular teacher was killed when her bike was rear-ended by an alleged drunk driver.

More bad news, this time from nearby Sonoma County, where a woman was run over by a loaded dump truck as she was riding her bike in a Santa Rosa crosswalk.

 

National

Zwift wants you to ride for a good cause starting next week, including helping pay the medical expenses for former pro Adrien Costa, who lost a leg while rock climbing in Italy, as well as raising funds for African bike charity Qhebeka, among others.

A Michigan charity group is getting into the holiday spirit already, gearing up to distribute 101 bicycles to needy families.

This is who we share the streets with — and who polices them. A Massachusetts police lieutenant is on administrative leave after a series of columns he wrote for a police publication came to light, including calls to “meet violence with violence” while complaining about Lime Bikes, bike lanes and Tour de France wannabes. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Gothamist asks if just tossing protective bollards in pedestrian areas and bikeways is enough to protect New Yorkers against another truck terrorist attack.

Baltimore has officially changed the fire code to allow bike lanes on narrower streets, despite the mayor’s failure to sign the bill.

After a North Carolina man was killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding on a narrow street, a local resident says bicyclists should ride on the nonexistent sidewalks.

Four experienced Florida bike riders were critically injured when they reportedly changed lanes in front of an oncoming car, and were run down by the 92-year old driver; police blame the victims for an improper lane change. Bicyclists said the popular riding route where they were struck is dangerous, but local residents say bikes belong on the sidewalk instead.

 

International

Here’s another way of looking at Vancouver’s successful bike registration program — it helps return an average of one stolen bike a day to their original owners.

An Ottawa, Canada woman says bike riders should stay off the damn sidewalk already. No matter where we ride, people will complain that we should be somewhere else. Or anywhere else. So just ride safely, legally and courteously, and let it be their problem.

Caught on video: Just moments after safely passing one bike rider, an English bus driver nearly takes out a second bicyclist by cutting in way to close after passing to avoid oncoming traffic.

A British sporting goods company has saved a chain of bike shops from insolvency, while warning that half of the stores may be shut down.

A researcher in the UK finds no evidence that bicyclists pose an elevated risk to disabled people, but says that cars do.

Irish bike riders are posting photos of their bikes outside of polling stations as part of an “I Bike I Vote” campaign. If anyone wants to share photos of how you Bike the Vote next week, I’ll be happy to post them on here.

A New Zealand bicyclist penned an Op-Ed decrying the growing anger on the roads, after an impatient driver posted an irate video showing his group delaying her car for a whole 20 seconds.

Beleaguered Chinese dockless bikeshare company Ofo appears to be in retreat around the world.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former American national champ Larry Warbasse was back in pro cycling’s WorldTour, just days after his Aqua Blue team unexpectedly folded after he had signed a new two year contract.

Cycling Tips profiles former U-23 national champ Keegan Swirbul, who finds himself without a team at the ripe old age of 23; he may be the only rider to make the leap from parkour to the pro tour.

 

Finally…

Honestly, who doesn’t need a $6,000 sort-of bamboo e-cargo bike?

And why bother with brake levers when you can just brake with your butt?

………

Happy Halloween! Use extra caution if you drive tonight, and watch for kids early and over-indulging revelers late.

And if you ride your bike, ride defensively, because drivers won’t be looking for you tonight.

Morning Links: Blocking motorized terrorist attacks, forcing drivers to bike, and sickening accusations from France

We’re not doing enough to fight terrorist attacks.

And much of what we’re doing is wrong.

That’s according to a paper prepared for a New York Vision Zero conference, which says cities have failed to respond to the threat of vehicular terrorist attacks in effective ways to protect the most vulnerable road users.

Cities have so far responded to this new threat in an ad-hoc manner. Many have begun to erect physical barriers between the walkers who define their urban spaces and the multi-ton vehicles whose drivers pose a growing threat.

But while some physical barriers are necessary, government officials need to create and adhere to core principles in protecting their residents, workers, and visitors. Anti-terror infrastructure should ease walking, biking, and public transit use, not impede it. The age of terror by car and truck is an additional challenge for urban planners who still haven’t quite answered a pre-existing question: In dense, historic historic cities with finite space, who gets access to the streets?

I’ve often argued that Los Angeles has failed to do anything to protect the tens of thousands of tourists who visit Hollywood Blvd every day, especially in the area around Hollywood & Highland and the Chinese Theater.

A situation that could be resolved almost overnight by installing a barrier-protected bike lane on Hollywood Blvd, along with a pedestrian plaza at Hollywood & Highland.

That would meet the goals spelled out in the paper by improving access for people on bikes and on foot, giving the streets back to the people while hardening them against terrorist actions.

Let’s hope someone finally listens before it’s too late.

Photo shows a typical summer crowd in front of Hollywood & Highland. And needlessly vulnerable to a vehicular terrorist attack due to the inaction of our elected leaders.

………

A Prop 6 supporter says you need to vote to repeal California’s recent gas tax increase so she won’t be forced to ride a bike in her heels.

No, really.

………

Just sickening.

Marc Sutton, the Welsh restauranteur who was shot and killed by a French hunter while mountain biking last Saturday, was a monster and a rapist.

That’s according to his own mother, who says she’s glad he’s dead.

He served six months behind bars for assaulting a former girlfriend, shattering her cheekbone and damaging her eye socket, while another woman claimed he had raped and beaten her around 100 times.

He is also accused of raping and physically abusing his own sister when she was a child.

His mother charged that Sutton fled to France after she and an alleged victim confronted him.

She told The Sun: “When I heard he had been killed I felt utter relief, it was a massive burden off my back. I was just relieved he couldn’t hurt us or anyone again.

“‘He deserved to be shot like an animal — he was the biggest animal there was.”

A former girlfriend said she had “cried with relief” at this death.

 

His father denies the charges, as does his last girlfriend, a partner in his restaurant, who called the allegations wicked lies.

She added: “His friends know the real Marc. The Marc I knew and loved was a kind, happy, loving man who would do anything for anyone.”

………

Local

Three California cities lead the list of the crappiest roads in the US; surprisingly, Los Angeles only ranks third, behind San Francisco and San Jose. Which is just one more reason why Bicycling rated LA as America’s worst bike city. And one more reason to vote no on Prop 6.

Don’t forget the WeHo Bicycle Coalition is hosting a free panel discussion tonight with BikinginLA title sponsor Jim Pocrass, along with representatives of the sheriff’s department, CHP and the City of West Hollywood.

Santa Monica celebrates a Halloween-themed Kidical Mass on the 27th.

 

State

A new SafeTREC website urges California bicyclists and pedestrians to map out where you experience collisions, near misses and safety hazards, as well as where you feel safe traveling by foot, bicycle or scooter.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The Redlands hit-and-run victim we mentioned yesterday was a popular crossing guard credited with touching countless lives; rather than an e-scooter user, as we initially reported, he was actually a longtime moped rider.

Goleta unanimously approves a new bicycle and pedestrian master plan intended to increase the town’s 4% mode share for both bikes and pedestrians.

Sounds like fun. Bakersfield bike riders will enjoy a Halloween full moon ride next Tuesday. That’s almost worth making the long drive through the fog. Almost.

 

National

Cycling Tips talks with a Boulder CO man who refurbishes — and yes, rides — vintage mountain bikes.

An Idaho website calls for a speed limit on ebikes and scooters on the city’s bike path — and charging a license fee for all bikes and scooters to pay for enforcement.

A Dallas writer complains that the former bike-riding editor of the city’s alt weekly now seems to hate bikes, saying that Dallas will never become a city of bicycle commuters.

An Albany NY writer says after a year, he’s still using his bike as his primary means of transportation, although the quality of the road makes a big difference.

Curbed says bicycles are a small, but vital part of New York’s plans to cope with transportation after a subway line is shut down for over a year of maintenance work.

A bike rider says he loves DC, but sometimes, riding in the town sucks. Something most of us can probably relate to, wherever we ride.

No, those all white bikes decorated with bats and jack-o-lanterns and skeletons in a DC suburb aren’t ghost bikes. At least, not that kind.

 

International

Apparently NIMBYs aren’t just an American phenomenon. Calgary residents fought what ended up being a highly popular bike and pedestrian bridge by claiming that if they wanted beauty, they’d travel to Paris. That attitude could explain why Angelenos love to visit walkable cities overseas, but fight them in their own neighborhoods.

No bias here. A British county councilor says bicyclists are dangerous and selfish, and it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed, as he announces plans to ban bikes from pedestrian areas; he also called delivery riders idiots.

Britain will now add instructions on the Dutch Reach to the country’s driving handbook.

A Dutch website looks at how the country’s status as the world’s leading bicycle nation impacts society.

Ride a thousand miles along the former Iron Curtain from Berlin to Budapest for the low, low price of “just” $8,318.

Bicycling is booming in the capital of Latvia, as riders complain the city hasn’t kept up with the safe infrastructure they were promised. Sounds familiar.

A Palestinian woman says the best way to explore Palestine is by bike, as she works to promote bicycling among women, and change age-old perceptions that they can’t ride bikes.

Jerusalem plans to triple the amount of bike lanes in the city in just five years. Which sounds impressive until you realize they only have 26 miles of bike lanes right now.

Tired of waiting for officials to take action, South African bike riders painted warnings on the streets to alert riders to broken pavement caused by tree roots.

A British teenager may have to give up on an attempt to become the youngest person to bike around the world following the theft of his bike and gear in Australia, after traveling 18,000 miles through 17 countries.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with Coors Classic mastermind Michael Aisner about how the race shaped the future of bike racing in the US. I was lucky enough to watch the amazing Coors Classic, and its predecessor the Red Zinger Classic, while growing up in Colorado.

Austrian pro Bernhard Eisel says he decided to retire three times as he recovered from surgery for a serious brain injury, before finally deciding to come back again next year.

Cycling Tips talks with the manager of Britain’s longest-running UCI cycling team, who calls it heartbreaking that the Continental level JLT-Condor team is closing down at the end of the year.

 

Finally…

Win the Nobel Prize, get your own bike rack. If you see proof of aliens on the moon, keep it to yourself — or don’t ride a bike years later.

And this is who we share the protected bike lane with.

………

I confess, I’ve been pretty out of it this week. So let me thank John L for his generous contribution to support this site. And apologize for not doing it sooner. 

If you’d like to help keep BikinginLA coming your way every day, you can donate through PayPal or by using the Zelle app on your phone

Morning Links: LA’s first people protected bike lane protests Mayor Eric Garcetti’s ineffective Vision Zero

About damn time.

Bike activism finally returned to the mean streets of Los Angeles, with the city’s first people protected bike lane, courtesy of a new group calling itself People Protected LA.

Their message, “LA needs safe streets, not lip service.”

Which is exactly what they got in remarks from LA’s mayor, who took a break from his unannounced campaign for president to defend the city’s Vision Zero program at the annual convention of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, better known as NACTO.

According to LAist,

Speaking at the conference Tuesday, Garcetti said the city has implemented “over 1,200 Vision Zero improvements” but said he recognizes that not all of them will work out as planned…

“They’re like, ‘Oh, it’s not done yet, people are still dying’,” Garcetti said. “Well, we had a 7 percent reduction last year (and a) double-digit reduction in pedestrians this year — those are real people that are still living. You can’t quantify who they are, but that is worth it … because those are people who are going to be alive for decades from now because of those improvements. So our reach must always exceed our grasp.”

 

Which sounds great, if you ignore the 80% increase in pedestrian deaths over the last two years, or the six bicyclists who were killed in traffic collisions in just the first four months of this year.

Not to mention the continued failure to build the network of safe bikeways we were promised with the 2010 bike plan.

Or the cancellation of nearly every planned road diet project by frightened councilmembers, after LA Mayor Eric Garcetti pulled the rug out from under Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin by ordering the removal of the bike lanes and road diets he was fighting to protect in Playa del Rey.

Let alone Garcetti’s repeated failure to defend his own Vision Zero and Great Streets programs at any of the city’s countless contentious public meetings, leaving it to bike and pedestrian advocates to do his job for him.

Which makes a protest like yesterday’s people protected bike lane almost inevitable.

And necessary.

This is how a press release from the organizers of the people protected bike lane addressed the protest.

Mayor Eric Garcetti launched Vision Zero in 2015 and set a goal for 2017 of a 20% reduction in traffic deaths. Instead, Los Angeles has seen a 34% increase in traffic deaths. Last year, 245 Angelenos were tragically killed in traffic collisions. LADOT has determined that speed is the primary factor causing unnecessary loss of life, and that improvements to roadway infrastructure are critical in reducing deadly speeding, yet proposed projects like North Figueroa Street, 7th Street, Fletcher Drive, Manchester Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Temple Street, and Venice Boulevard have languished or been cancelled outright.

Up to this point, LA’s Vision Zero program has been a major disappointment.

And to be perfectly honest, so has the mayor for the past few years.

Let’s hope he gets the message, and refocuses his attention on the people and the city that elected him.

And finally turns Vision Zero into the transformative, life saving program we were promised.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers more on Garcetti’s remarks and the protest, saying LA’s mayor doesn’t “appear to have used his considerable influence to help councilmembers to better embrace Vision Zero.”

No, he hasn’t.

All photos by Michael MacDonald.

………

Tragic news from Rialto, where the father of a three-year old girl remains in a medically induced coma after a heartless coward crashed into his bike, and left him bleeding and barely conscious in the street.

Andy Welch was riding his bike to the market when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver, laying crumpled in the street for nearly half an hour as more drivers sped by.

He was finally able to crawl to his cellphone and call for help.

This is yet another tragic reminder of California’s pervasive hit-and-run epidemic.

And the near total lack of action on the part of our elected officials, who have the power to stop it.

Yet don’t seem to recognize the problem.

………

Local

See above.

 

State

Caltrain develops a new bike plan to accommodate bicyclists, but bike riders say it doesn’t go far enough.

A San Diego writer traces the engineering mistakes and bad political decisions that turned busy Clairemont Blvd into a dangerous “stroad.” And questions whether it will be the next San Diego street to get a road diet and bike lanes, which some local residents consider a “conspiracy to make driving so difficult that we all will be forced to pedal bicycles.” They’re onto us, comrades.

A Santa Barbara bicyclist offers advice for motorists, like don’t door bike riders and signal your damn turns. Although he may not have actually said the d-word.

 

National

A writer on an automotive website says scooters are a menace, but it’s okay to feel conflicted about bikes as long as you don’t take it out on the riders.

Singletracks questions why e-mountain bikes are still fighting for acceptance in the US, despite their popularity in Europe.

A local newspaper talks with America’s other ex-Tour de France winner about his new Portland-area cannabis shop, and how he moved from illegal doping to legal dope.

They get it. The Denver Post says e-scooters may be a headache, but the solution is building more bike lanes to accommodate their users, while the city works on a pre-paid rental plan to get users to ditch their cars.

A bike-riding Colorado Springs CO city councilmember says the city must accommodate alternative forms of transportation.

According to a Nebraska planning professor, safe and efficient self-driving cars could block efforts to build walkable, bikeable and livable communities.

A pair of musicians stop in Ohio on their 4,300 mile tour of the US by bicycle.

The Brown University paper calls the arrival of Uber’s JUMP electric bikeshare program a giant leap for Providence RI.

A Connecticut public radio station spends an hour discussing the origins of bicycles, and how bikes helped inspire the women’s movement over century ago.

A cannabis website examines New York’s illegal bicycle weed delivery services.

 

International

A local writer describes how Bogotá’s ciclovía has become a part of life for an entire generation.

Lime scooters invade Canada.

New British government figures show the number of pedestrians injured in collisions with bicyclists reached an all-time high of 531 last year. However, despite the obvious implication, there’s no word on who was at fault in the crashes, or whether it was simply due to the increased number of people riding in the UK. That said, it’s a reminder to always use care around people on foot, who can be unpredictable and are the only ones more vulnerable than we are.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 75-year old man from the UK just finished a 4,000 mile bike ride across the US.

Maybe its a sign of progress that bicycles are seen as a sign of progress in Armenia, as the new Prime Minister makes waves by riding the “first official state bicycle of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.”

An Indian website says now is the best time to own a bicycle, and the country’s first homegrown ebike will help you burn more calories than cash.

Israeli government ministries appear to be arguing over the best way to kill the ebike boom.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. Mountain biking ancient Moroccan Berber trails.

Australian drivers — and some bicyclists — have a meltdown after someone posted a photo of a group of riders using the traffic lane, rather than the bike lane next to them.

A wanted Japanese criminal hid in plain sight during seven weeks on the run, touring the country by bike and posing for Facebook photos.

An Air Force major rode 375 miles across Korea to honor fallen service members.

Mountain biking champ Rebecca Rusch won an Emmy for her documentary Blood Road, retracing the infamous Ho Chi Minh trail through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos to find the site of her pilot father’s death during the Vietnam war.

Two Chinese farmers are expanding their horizons by riding across the country one stage at a time; in the last five years their traveled over 12,400 miles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Olympian and cycling promoter David Chauner says the solution to cycling’s broken business model in the US is to develop a season long track cycling competition. Sort of like the World Cycling League he’s been trying to get off the ground, for instance.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with angry drivers, but at least we don’t have to contend with road raging ‘roos.

And when dangerous streets mean saying goodbye like a fighter pilot going into war.

Which isn’t the least bit funny.

 

Morning Links: LA’s absent mayor leads to failing Vision Zero, and anti-Vision Zero widening of Magnolia Blvd

The Guardian’s Laura Laker questions whether Vision Zero has lost its way, describing the program as a success in New York.

And a failure in Los Angeles.

In January last year the city’s mayor, Eric Garcetti, announced its first Vision Zero strategy, with a goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025. Work would focus on 40 High Injury Network streets, particularly those near schools. Interventions included pedestrian scrambles, painted kerb extensions protected by bollards, and left turn safety improvements.

However, things started to unravel. On Temple Street, where 34 people were killed or severely injured within 2.3 miles in eight years, a “road diet” expected to reduce crashes by up to 47%met backlash from residents and drivers. Local city leaders downgradedlane removals to things that wouldn’t interfere with motor traffic: sidewalk repairs, new traffic signals and crosswalks.

She quotes Jon Orcutt, the former NYDOT director of policy who developed New York’s Vision Zero plan, as he points the finger exactly where it belongs by saying LA councilmembers who supported Vision Zero were left isolated and “hung out to dry” in the face of opposition.

The former policy director also explained who was responsible  for problems with New York’s plan after its initial success.

Orcutt also expresses his frustration at a lack of ongoing improvement in New York after those initial improvements.

“We need leaders to say, ‘This is what we are doing in the city, and you don’t get to say no, and you don’t get to come back on what our technical experts say,’” he says. “That is the power of the mayor – that’s the point of the megaphone you have.”

That’s exactly the problem in Los Angeles, with a mayor who’s too busy exploring a run for president to do the job he was elected to do. And who has repeatedly failed to support his own Vision Zero and Great Streets programs, let alone fight for them.

It was also Mayor Garcetti who pulled the rug out from under Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin, caving in the face of a backlash from angry drivers after Bonin took bold action to improve safety in Playa del Rey.

And yes, hanging him out to dry.

If Garcetti really wants to be president, maybe its time he stepped down as mayor to focus full-time on his run for the White House.

Then maybe someone will step in to take his place, and actually fight to stop the deaths on out streets, instead of just talking about it.

If not, it’s long past time to come back home and roll up his sleeves, put up his dukes, and start fighting for the safety plans he put in motion.

Because right now, his traffic safety legacy is just so many words.

Ghost bike photo by Matt Tinoco

………

More evidence that Vision Zero is failing in the mayor’s virtual absence.

CiclaValley reports on plans to widen Magnolia Blvd between Cahuenga Boulevard and Vineland Avenue, as the city claims to be improving safety by adding a traffic lane.

Never mind that reducing congestion and improving traffic flow will allow more drivers to speed through what once was a quiet two-lane street.

Which is the exact opposite of Vision Zero.

He urges you to send a version of the following email before the comment period ends at 5 pm next Monday.

And so do I.

To: Billy.Ho@lacity.org

CC: karo.torossian@lacity.org, jackie.keene@lacity.org, ciclavalley@gmail.com

Subject: Magnolia Boulevard Widening (N) Comments

I am writing because I am opposed to the widening of the north side of Magnolia Boulevard between Vineland and Cahuenga. This project does not improve safety conditions for those that use the roadway and puts vulnerable populations at increased risk of injury.

This is a growing and vibrant area that needs to serve everyone’s needs safely. Please prioritize projects that saves lives over seconds.

………

Local

Jonathan Weiss, whose son’s bike was recently stolen from the Westwood Rancho Park Expo Line station, calls for e-lockers to improve the security problems that can keep people from biking to the train. Or riding back home if they do.

Pasadena police will be conducting a bicycle and pedestrian enforcement program on Friday. Which means ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports on Sunday’s Pride of the Valley open streets event in Irwindale and Baldwin Park.

Santa Monica’s 16-month dockless bikeshare and e-scooter pilot program officially kicked off on Monday, including the introduction of Uber’s Jump dockless ebikes.

 

State

Former Elektra Records president Jeff Castelaz is preparing to embark on his tenth Pablove Across America Ride, traveling from San Raphael to Los Angeles. The annual ride, which is named after his late son Pablo, has raised over $3 million dollars for pediatric cancer research.

As we noted yesterday, San Diego resident Denise Mueller-Korenek is now the fastest person on Earth, setting a new land speed record for human-powered vehicles. The Wall Street Journal offers on-bike video of the record-setting ride, if you can get past their paywall.

El Cajon is struggling to regulate dockless bikeshare, as both Ofo and Limebike set up shop in the city.

The San Francisco department of transportation’s Rapid Response Team is working with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to fix a deadly crosswalk where a bike rider was killed last week. That’s how Vision Zero is supposed to work, unlike Los Angeles, where traffic deaths just result in crickets.

 

National

Reader’s Digest — yes, it’s still around — explains how to use Google Maps to find safer bike routes.

An Iraq war vet is focusing on helping others after riding 4,300 miles across the US, saying she bought her bike to save her own life instead of ending it.

VeloNews considers the difference between long-term bike trends and passing fads.

A New York bus driver faces just 30 days in jail as he goes on trial on misdemeanor charges in the death of the first person killed riding one of New York’s Citi Bike docked bikeshare bikes.

Orlando FL moves towards allowing dockless bikeshare, despite complaints from the city’s docked bikeshare provider.

 

International

Venture capitalists say the future is bright. And comes on two wheels.

Treehugger says if you have trouble riding a bike, maybe you’re just using the wrong kind.

After writing a needlessly offensive column that made a good point — that some bike riders should cool it with aggressive cycling around pedestrians — a Vancouver writer ignores the complaints and pats himself on the back because older people agreed with him.

A Toronto columnist explains why bicycle licensing is a bad idea, saying that city abolished its licensing requirement in the 1950s.

Speaking of Toronto, advocates say political will is needed to solve the city’s bike infrastructure inequity.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a young woman gets off with community service and losing her license for 18 months for killing a bike rider after losing control of her car while speeding.

Dublin bicyclists are attaching cardboard wheel clamps — aka boots — to cars parked in bike lanes to protest the lack of police enforcement.

The Guardian offers a photographic look at Sunday’s carfree day in Paris and Brussels.

A writer sets off on a bike tour of Austria’s Tyrol region in search of the best food, in advance of next week’s road cycling world championships.

After arriving from Lithuania, a woman has created her own position as Malmö, Sweden’s Violinist on a Bike, between rehearsals with the Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A Bulgarian driver faces a murder charge for killing a bike-riding ballet dancer while high on coke and cannabis; he also faces a charge for his third offense for driving without a license.

Once again, an Australian study has found that drivers are responsible for the overwhelming majority of traffic collisions involving bike riders.

Fourteen percent of Australians have traded their car commutes for walking or bicycling, and 56% are open to leaving their cars at home.

Good question. An Op-Ed in the Guardian asks why bicycling deaths are rising in Australia when cars are significantly safer than they were 25 years ago, concluding that the problem rests with aggressive and entitled drivers.

Heartbreaking story from Japan, where a mother faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter after her umbrella got caught in her bike wheel, and her 18-month old son hit his head on the pavement when he fell to the street.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can ride a slightly used pro racing bike, or buy weed from a slightly used ex-yellow jersey winner.

And what’s the penalty for Scooting Under the Influence, anyway?

………

Thanks to Hamid V for his generous donation to help support this site. 

If everyone who visits BikinginLA today donated just $10, it would be more than enough to keep to keep this site going for a full year. 

And G’mar Tov to all our Jewish friends; may your fast be easy.

………

Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia on September 30th!

Just RSVP to MilitantAngeleno@gmail.com. We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: Motorist blames Vision Zero, the real problems on our streets, and the best bicycle dog chase ever

Honestly, I don’t even know where to start with this one.

A writer for the extremist National Motorists Association blames New York’s Vision Zero for everything this side of the Lindberg kidnapping.

Vision Zero is a huge nightmare for everyone that lives or works in NYC. Since the introduction here of Vision Zero, commute times have more than doubled. The city has introduced road diets, has converted streets for bike and bus only lanes and has gotten rid of left turn lanes. These changes have made NYC streets nearly impassableRoad rage has now become more common due to frustration, crowded roads and less space to drive.

Under the Vision Zero regime, driving to work during morning rush hour takes hours instead of minutes. NYC has become anti-car and really anti-transit too since there seems to be little money available to fix the decrepit subway system. The use of congestion pricing to help pay for the subway won’t help either. Is it fair to make motorists pay for public transportation when we might not even use it?

Never mind that improving public transportation relieves pressure on the traffic grid, as more people choose not to drive.

Let alone his unsupported claim that commute times have doubled — or maybe it’s gone from mere minutes to hours, since he doesn’t seem sure.

Which you’d think would result in higher stress levels, though most New Yorkers seem to disagree.

He also takes offense at “entitled” pedestrians and bike riders who apparently throw themselves in front of those poor, put-upon motorists in hopes of getting hit.

Road diets are one thing but another side product of Vision Zero is that it has produced  a generation of distracted and entitled pedestrians who expect motorists to yield to them as soon as they step foot into the street even when crossing against the light or outside of legal crosswalks. I have witnessed so many close calls where pedestrians with intent moved in front of a moving vehicle because they know whatever happens, the motorist will always be at fault. The same holds true for bicyclists who seem to think that the rules of the road do not apply to them.

But seriously, it’s worth reading, if only to understand who we share the roads with.

Or because you need a good laugh.

Photo by Stanley Nguma via Pexels.com

………

Good question.

A mobility blogger says cities are dithering with e-scooter caps, while ignoring the real problem.

When was the last time cities like San Fransisco, Santa Monica, or Los Angeles threatened Ford or GM with cease and desist letters, or slapped them with vehicle caps, or threatened to ban them from cities for creating, say SUVs, that are even more deadly than regular cars, even when we knew they were more deadly 14 years ago?

………

Stop whatever you’re doing, and check out the best bike chase in recent memory, as a couple of ebike riders pursue a runaway dog in a hair-raising ride through the streets of New York.

And be sure to stick around for the surprising denouement.

Update: Unfortunately, it looks like they’ve taken down the original version I’d embedded.

Here’s a less edited and non-captioned version of the video. But it’s worth clicking on the link above to get the full effect.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up. And the best laugh I’ve had in weeks.

………

Local

If you’re headed to the 13th Annual AltCar Expo and Conference in Santa Monica this weekend, go by bicycle and take advantage of the free bike valet. Or better yet, just forget the car and buy a good ebike or cargo bike instead.

Talk about the cup half full. While everyone else saw LA’s e-scooter pilot program as compromise to keep scooters on the streets, KNBC-4 says it will force thousands of scooters off them.

 

State

An Op-Ed in the Desert Sun calls for creating protected bike lanes in a planned makeover of Indian Canyon Drive to create a Complete Street that works for everyone.

Something virtually every bike rider can relate to, as a Thousand Oaks bike rider was forced to jam on the brakes when a driver cut across two lanes of traffic to make a right turn from the left laneLet’s give a shout out to TOPD deputy Mike Berg, who says bike riders are at fault in some of the crashes between bicyclists and drivers in the Conejo Valley. Which is undoubtedly true, as is the obverse. 

Protected bike lanes barely win out over parking spaces in San Luis Obispo, as residents argue a cycle track would actually make bicycling more dangerous.

A mobility website asks if San Francisco just solved scooter sharing.

 

National

Treehugger says we all have to stop obsessing about bike helmets, because “in most interactions between bike and truck, the helmet doesn’t make much of a difference,” and just isn’t relevant to the real safety discussion.

A writer for Strong Towns says maybe we need to talk about the dangers of bicycling, as well as advocating for more riders. Because it’s not fair or honest to to do one without the other.

Bicycling says if you really like spin class, try riding a real bicycle once in a while.

Two young Korean men finished a 70-day trip across the US to call attention to Korean comfort women in WWII; only 27 survivors remain today.

A Chicago bike rider was seriously injured by a woman fleeing in a stolen car, just seconds after barely missing a father taking his kids home in a cargo bike.

New signs tell Chicago bike riders to walk their bikes on what is supposed to be a multi-use trail, after a single “crackpot” threatened to sue the city.

New York police wanted to file charges in the case of an Australian tourist who was killed in a crash with a garbage truck after a taxi driver cut her off in the bike lane, but the district attorney refused to accept the case.

A New York website says Central Park is an oasis for bicyclists — if they can get there.

 

International

Practice makes perfect. Yamaha is out with their 25th generation of ebikes, after inventing the ped-assist category in 1993.

A Vancouver bike commuter says the city’s holier-than-thou bicyclists are ruining it for everyone; his point is that a little courtesy and respect for others make a big difference. Although he could make the point just as effectively without stereotyping the people he complains about.

No bias here. A Winnipeg TV station says a bike rider was killed when “collided” with a semi. After all, it couldn’t possibly be that a truck driver actually hit the person on the bike.

Toronto’s mayor calls for a crackdown on loud cars and motorcycles, saying their owners should be heavily fined for creating disturbances. Please, please, please let that spread here to LA. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Mobike has thrown in the towel in Manchester, England after too much vandalism and too many stolen bikes.

The British government has dropped plans to raise the floor for liability claims to the equivalent of $6,500, which would prevent most bike riders from filing claims for minor injuries.

Britain’s roads minister — the equivalent of our Secretary of Transportation — tells parliament that segregated bike infrastructure is critical for improving traffic safety.

Local residents are threatening to sue to stop a 100-mile closed course UK ride that’s expected to draw up to 15,000 riders; they also plan a walking protest to block the route of the ride.

A German man who now lives on his bike plans to set a new record by riding over 14,000 miles from the Arctic Circle to Argentina in under 125 days.

 

Finally…

Not even bike-riding police commissioners are safe from lawbreaking drivers. When you can’t make the ride for the first time in 18 years, so your friends try to recreate it for him.

And hats off to whoever heroically filmed a British man being beaten by a bike thief in a strong-arm robbery, while a suited man politely tries to sort of, but not really, intervene.

It’s not like anyone would actually want to do something to stop it or anything.

………

If you want to join the Militant Angeleno and me for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour on September 30th, RSVP by emailing MilitantAngeleno@gmail.com. 

We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

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