Tag Archive for War on cars

OC columnist cites mythical war on cars, the cost of traffic violence, and NYT declares it’s the Summer of Cycling

Welcome back from the long Memorial Day weekend. Now settle in, because we have a lot of ground to cover. 

Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels — time to gear up for the war on cars!

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No bias here, as a columnist for the Orange County Register goes all in on the mythical war on cars.

Susan Shelley says throw in the towel on climate change, stop building transit oriented development and duplexes and keep allowing parking minimums, because it really doesn’t matter what we do here in California, since the state only accounts for 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Which is kind of a lot for just one state.

And it might, you know, kind of inconvenience someone.

Besides, she insists, transit isn’t practical because that one time she plotted a route to some distant site 43 miles off it was easier just to drive.

Never mind that most people only need to travel a few miles. Or blocks, even.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A student at UC Davis remembers her best friend; the 19-year old woman was killed in a collision with a garbage truck driver last week.

Two young women are dead, and 20 people injured, after a speeding 18-year old driver crashed into another car before slamming into a group of pedestrians at an annual Nebraska cruising night; police are convinced it’s just another oopsie and wasn’t intentional.

A 25-year old NFL cornerback is dead, along with the woman he was traveling with, after apparently crashing his speeding car into another vehicle on a Dallas freeway; Jeff Gladney spent two years playing for the Minnesota Vikings before signing with the Arizona Cardinals this year.

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The New York Times has declared this the Summer of Cycling.

Which makes it official, right?

According to the paper,

In addition, there’s a couple stories we mentioned last week.

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Good questions.

Thanks to Grace Peng for the heads-up. 

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A Black-led bike club is raising funds to benefit people affected by the recent Buffalo mass shooting.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Evidently, only the top bananas get to ride in the official team pedicab.

Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

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That about sums it up.

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Apparently, e-tandems are nothing new.

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

Police in Boston are looking for a man who slashed the tires on ten bicycles parked at a transit station, for no apparent reason.

No bias here. The New York State Division of Consumer Protection urges everyone to wear a bike helmet, apparently convicted it’s the only thing that could possibly improve bike safety.

Or here, either. A Virginia writer says groups of bike riders are just recreating, while people in cars have important places to go. And it’s their fault if an impatient driver stupidly attempts to pass them all at once.

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

Police in Wheat Ridge, Colorado are blaming a bike rider for a head-on crash between two drivers, claiming one driver swerved to avoid someone on a bike, who left the scene. Even though they haven’t said the bike rider did anything wrong, or explained how they might have caused the crash. 

There’s a special place in hell for the schmuck who slammed his bicycle into a bike-riding 13-year old kid in Long Island, then used it to beat the boy with.

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Local

The Los Angeles River Recreation Zone is officially open for the summer; a local resident says the bike path along the river has been transformed, in a good way.

LA-based Urb-E, maker of the sit-down scooter popular with hip-hop artists a couple years back, has switched gears to join the fight on air pollution and congested streets by refocusing on high-capacity e-cargo bikes. Thanks once more to the prolific Megan Lynch.

Construction has begun on a new streetscape project on Melrose Blvd in West Hollywood’s Design District, including wider sidewalks, shade trees and “bicycle safety improvements,” whatever that means.

Watts-based East Side Riders Bike Club now has its own app to connect users “to the website, swag, rewards, and the ability to track their bike rides.”

 

State 

A public records request reveals San Diego officials went into damage control after the backlash over an advisory bike lane in the Mira Mesa neighborhood, with no more plans to install them anywhere else.

Emeryville mayor John Bauters insists he’s concerned about creating people-oriented spaces, not just bike lanes.

 

National

Build your own DIY ebike for under $500.

After the Portland Bike Index spotted a bike stolen in an armed robbery for sale on OfferUp, they tried to get the police to do something, only to watch that bike and others get sold to unsuspecting buyers, while the cops did nothing (Twitter thread).

Once again, Colorado authorities solved a hit-and-run by using an emergency alert system similar to an Amber Alert. Both Los Angeles and California have similar hit-and-run alert systems, but they’re seldom, if ever, used.

Austin, Texas bicyclists rode to remember gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, who was allegedly murdered by a jealous lover of pro cyclist Colin Strickland; sponsors have cut ties with Strickland over the killing, even though he appears to have had little involvement in it.

Bad news from Moline, Illinois, where a second victim has died after an alleged drunk driver drove onto a bike path paralleling a highway.

An Illinois judge expands cities’ liability for bike riders, ruling that the presence of bikeshare stations indicate that bikes are supposed to be ridden there.

A DC op-ed calls on physicians to help make bicycling safer by demanding safer infrastructure, saying it’s a public health issue.

The League of American Bicyclists, nee Wheelmen, was founded 142 years ago yesterday in Newport, Rhode Island; the group was instrumental in the fight for better roads before cars came along and drivers stole them all.

The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at the Mexican American lowrider bicycle culture in the city.

 

International

Your next bike could be made from recycled plastic.

Treehugger explains how an e-cargo bike can be life-changing.

After a single mom in British Columbia posted on Facebook that thieves has stolen the bicycle she gave her ten-year old son for his birthday, kindhearted strangers pitched into raise over $900 to buy him a new one.

Scotland’s active transportation minister is accused of spreading confusion by encouraging kids to wear a bike helmet, after saying they have no value for adult riders. On the other hand, at least they have an active transportation minister, unlike some countries I could name.

Seriously? A British minibus driver was told he “could be” facing jail time after he was convicted of deliberately swerving to slam into a bike rider, as his passengers watched. Someone needs to change that “could be” into damn well will be.

A former UK minister proves once again you can carry anything on a bike, as he sets off on a 2,000 mile bike tour of Europe with his trusty cello on an extended rear rack.

Bicycling rates are up 53% in Belgium, but bike theft continues to plague Brussels, even as it drops in the rest of the country.

A Czech company wants you to make tushy imprint and take pictures of it, so they can build a 3D-printed bike saddle custom-made to fit your butt, for a mere $400.

A crowdfunding campaign headed by Copenhagenize author and urban planner Mikael Colville-Andersen is raising funds to supply bicycles and build pop-up bike infrastructure for refugees fleeing the Russian invasion in Lviv, Ukraine; the crowdfunding campaign has raised roughly 1% of the more than $212,000 goal.

Bikeshare comes to Cairo, Egypt for the equivalent of just 54¢ per hour.

They get it. A New Zealand website refutes the myth that bike lanes are bad for business.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pre-race favorite Richard Carapaz held on to the pink leader’s jersey right up to the penultimate stage of the Giro, when he lost it to 26-year old Aussie Jai Hindley. Hindley held on in the final time trial, unlike two years ago when he lost the race in the final stage.

Hindley is the first Australian to win the Giro; a Sydney paper explains everything you need to know about the country’s newest cycling star.

Cycling News offers five moments that defined this year’s Giro.

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan is headed to Kansas this weekend for the 100-mile Unbound Gravel race.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can own your very own NFT of the world’s first 3D printed bike. When you’re riding with an outstanding warrant, meth and drug paraphernalia on your bike, put a damn light on it.

And why wait for bikes to hit the street before running them down?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Conservative writer says pry his truck out of his cold dead hands, and crowdfunding for new Encino Velodrome lights

Um, okay.

A writer for a conservative website accuses car-hating liberals of wanting to take everyone’s cars away because they hate freedom.

No, really.

If there is one thing liberals hate more than guns, it’s automobiles, and not because of the climate; our vehicles are scorned by the Left because they free the individual to go anywhere he or she chooses.

In a word, privately owned cars and trucks equal F-R-E-E-D-O-M.

That’s why, in the same spirit as Charlton Heston once warned the gun grabbers, I now notify today’s successors to what Car & Driver‘s Brock Yates famously called the Anti-Destination League that they will have to pry my cold, dead hands off the steering wheel before they get me out of my pickup.

Never mind that the ongoing burden of car payments, gas, insurance and maintenance represents the exact opposite of freedom, as far too many Americans have to work just to keep a shiny hunk of metal and glass parked in their driveways.

The purpose of encouraging alternative forms of transportation isn’t to force anyone out of their cars — let alone take them away.

It’s to provide people with viable alternatives to driving, so they have the freedom to to travel however they choose, rather than forcing them into the tyranny of car ownership as the cost of getting from here to there.

Which you’d think any real conservative would understand.

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The sadly neglected Encino Velodrome, a 50-year old open-air treasure nestled in Balboa Park, is raising funds for a much-needed upgrade to the current dilapidated lighting system.

The facility, which has seen bigger and better days — and was nearly home to the track cycling events in the ’84 LA Olympics — has raised just $1,498 of the modest $20,000 goal.

We could easily get them over the top in the next few days with a little support from the city’s bicycling community.

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That’s more like it.

California may call surfing the official state sport, and three states claim rodeo.

But only Delaware names bicycling as the state’s official sport. Which raises the inevitable question of why the hell don’t we all live there?

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Streets For All is hosting my state senator for their next virtual happy hour one week from today.

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Cincinnati’s newly elected mayor one-ups New York’s new mayor, who took a bikeshare bike to his second day at work, by riding the city’s bikeshare to his inauguration.

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Now this is art.

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Local

CicLAvia recaps last month’s South LA event, calling it a view to LA’s open streets future.

 

State

Sad news from California’s San Joaquin Valley, where a Bakersfield man was killed when a driver crashed into his bike yesterday. And a 69-year old man was killed in a Fresno hit-and-run when a truck driver swerved onto the shoulder where the man was riding, and left him there to die alone in the street.

On a happier note, a San Francisco dad is taking advantage of the city’s carfree and slow streets to form a bike bus to get kids riding to school, with pent-up demand quickly swelling it to several dozen bike-riding children.

 

National

Forbes recommends cold weather gear to help keep you riding throughout the winter. Just in case you live somewhere where the weather actually gets, you know, cold.

JBL’s new handlebar-mounted speakers are perfect for your next bike party, or when you just want to annoy everyone else around you.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old man relates his own history with ebikes, while walking you through everything you need to know to keep up with him on one of your own.

The founder of Bike Index details his investigation that helped uncover a Colorado bike theft ring that funneled hot high-end bicycles to a bike shop in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, for resale at slightly less than their actual value. Yet another reminder to sign up for free lifetime registration with Bike Index today.

Sad news from Iowa, where a longtime mainstay of the annual RAGBRAI mass ride across the state has passed away at 94; she participated in the ride for nearly 30 years, starting when she was 65 and continuing into her 90s.

After watching it deteriorate for a couple years, a Brooklyn writer rescues a rare 1998 Litespeed softail titanium mountain bike that was in the process of slowly being stolen, one piece at a time.

North Carolina has given away over 30,000 kids bike helmets over the past five years, funded by the state’s Share the Road specialty license plates.

 

International

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A British driver has been busted for distracted driving nine times over the past four years, but was still allowed to keep driving. Just one more example of authorities going out of their way to keep a dangerous driver on the road.

Travel site Lonely Planet explains how to tour Edinburgh on two wheels, calling the city surprisingly easy to bike despite its ancient streets and undulating topography.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a van driver was fined the equivalent of less than $750 for knocking a man off his bicycle, fracturing bones throughout his body and leaving him unable to move for two months.

A new study from Zurich, Switzerland shows that shared ebikes and scooters may not be as eco-friendly as we were led to believe.

Commercial cargo bikes are changing the look of German streets.

A Cypriot woman was arrested for injuring a bike-riding woman while driving at six times the legal alcohol limit — before 9 am.

Bike riders in Hyderabad, India are calling for major safety improvements to make the city bike friendly after a man was run down by a drunk driver while riding with three companions.

A new Chinese bike cam system combines a front headlight, rear taillight with brake light, and an action cam into a single unit.

 

Competitive Cycling

Argentina’s early season Vuelta a San Juan has been cancelled for the second year in a row, courtesy of our old buddy Covid-19.

Admittedly, I’m no expert when it comes to ‘cross. But I don’t think this is supposed to happen.

https://twitter.com/cyclocross24/status/1478370522606059522?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1478370522606059522%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-4-january-2022-289239

 

Finally…

Zwift’s virtual Tron Bike could soon be coming to a real world near you. Your next ebike could be powered by hydrogen. And pedals, of course.

And you’ll now have to put a headlight on your ass to ride it in the roadway after dark.

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

Fed ebike credit dies with Build Back Better plan, and Lime CEO says it’s the cars littering out streets, not the scooters

Just four days left in the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Richard N and Kent S for their generous donations to keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

So don’t wait. Time is running out!

Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

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It looks like there won’t be a federal ebike tax credit in your stocking this year, after opposition from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin doomed Biden’s Build Back Better bill for this year.

If not permanently.

At least California residents can look forward to a $10 million ebike tax incentive program going into effect sometime this coming year.

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He gets it.

The CEO of Lime tells Time it’s not ebikes and scooters that are littering our streets, it’s all the cars.

Thanks to Chris Giza for the heads-up.

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

A Houston councilmember tries to have it both ways, walking back criticism of bike lanes as being too in tune with the needs of bicyclists, to the detriment of drivers, then saying his complaints about bike lanes still stand.

Welsh dirt and pedal bike riders were warned to be careful, after a man suffered horrific neck injuries when someone sabotaged a bike trail by stringing barbed wire over it at neck level. As we’ve said before, anyone who does something like this should face terrorism charges, because there is a clear intent to injure others to frighten people off their bikes.

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Local

ActiveSGV celebrated the season with a test ride of the new ebikes coming to the San Gabriel Valley’s bikeshare system next year, along with a ride to observe a 100-year old Christmas light tradition.

 

State

A 57-year old dialysis patient rolled into San Diego to finish the final 1,800 miles of the New Hampshire to California recumbent ride her son was on when he was killed by a Mississippi driver three years ago.

Congratulations to Santa Barbara for their newfound status as a Silver level Bicycle Friendly Community.

San Francisco advocates say they’ve been patient long enough, and want the protected bike lanes and intersections they were promised before Covid shut everything down.

 

National

Nice move from Yuma, Arizona, which has installed a public sculpture honoring a local Special Olympian along a local bike path; the bicycle used by 49-year old Charles E. Cheatham will stand as a memorial to the athlete, who passed away earlier this year.

Police in Glendale, Arizona ask for the public’s to catch a hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider, just one day after the fatal crash; meanwhile, police in Amarillo, Texas just waited until the weekend was over. Unlike the police in a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name, who prefer to wait until the trail grows cold, for reasons known only to them.

Chicago advocates’ warnings of increased danger for people walking or riding bikes if a new Amazon warehouse was approved have come to pass, after a bike lane was erased to make room for a turn lane for the convenience of their drivers, dumping bike riders into traffic without warning.

New York’s mayor elect has selected the longtime chair of the city council’s transportation committee as the new head of the Department of Transportation. He gets high marks from the city’s bike advocates. 

Gothamist says outgoing New York Mayor De Blasio gets praise for starting Vision Zero, while critics complain he didn’t go far enough. Sort of like another big city mayor and future ambassador to India we could name.

New Orleans plans to focus on improving safety for bike riders and others on the streets next year, after the worst year for traffic deaths in the Crescent City since 2014.

 

International

Bike Hacks considers why bike jerseys are so expensive these days.

British police have made a trio of arrests in the home invasion robbery that terrified pro sprinter Mark Cavendish and his family last month, charging a 30-year old man and two 27-year olds for the break-in; no word on whether any of the items stolen were recovered.

Good news about former Italian F1 driver and Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi, who is finally home from the hospital, 18 months after he suffered severe head injuries when he was hit by a truck driver while training on his handcycle.

Over 200 people in Santa suits turned out for an annual bike ride in the Bosnia-Herzegovina city of Mostar yesterday; the four-mile ride was open to anyone with a bicycle and a Santa hat.

 

Competitive Cycling

The three kings of ‘cross will be going head-to-head-to-head four times in the week between Boxing Day and the day after New Years, which really needs a better moniker.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to whip out a gun while stealing a bike from Walmart, at least steal a better bike. Now you can ride gravel without ever taking your bike off the rollers. Or going outside, for that matter (scroll down).

And that feeling when you get your stolen bike back before you even know someone took it.

Which is another good reminder to register your bike.

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

Morning Links: AP e-scooter panic, LA is (not) famous for road diets, and Cedillo thinks people in CD1 don’t need scooters

Let’s start with this insightful look at the panicked Associated Press story we mentioned last week about the dangers of e-scooters, from someone who prefers to remain anonymous.

Here’s an excerpt from the AP story.

Andrew Hardy was crossing the street on an electric scooter in downtown Los Angeles when a car struck him at 50 miles per hour and flung him 15 feet in the air before he smacked his head on the pavement and fell unconscious.

And here’s what our anonymous commenter had to say in response.

The car was going 50 in DTLA, an area where it’s really hard and really illegal to drive 50 mph, and that is the last mention of an obviously speeding car. Instead, it gave 5 paragraphs to helmet use. It outlines the dangers of sidewalk riding (which are valid), but gives no space for discussion of weak infrastructure or vehicle speed that make people feel unsafe riding on the streets. It closes with a quote on how “companies are just dumping in scooters in cities” from Drew Howerton, a 19-year old who visited Austin last October and may not have the most informed view of municipal scooter regulation.

So, to sum it up, scooters are the problem, cars are never the problem and the reporter didn’t interview any subject matter experts. War on cars? Only in your dreams.

Since it is AP, this lazy reporting made its way into nearly every local media outlet in the country.

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In today’s laugh out loud moment, a Detroit paper says more road diets and bike lanes are coming to the metro area, with supporters saying it calms traffic and opponents trotting out the old war on cars canard.

And one commenter opposes the road diets by insisting “This isn’t LA…”

Never mind that road diets haven’t exactly been welcomed with open arms here, either.

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The LA City Council Transportation Committee will meet Wednesday afternoon, squeezing in discussion, amid all the micro-restrictions on truck parking and idling, of actually maybe doing something to close the Northvale Gap on the Expo Bike Path, along with banning dockless bikeshare and scooters in Gil Cedillo’s Council District 1.

Because evidently, only people in wealthier districts deserve inexpensive, convenient transportation options.

“Let them drive cars” seems to be Cedillo’s equivalent of “Let them eat cake.”

Meanwhile, Metro will host a series of meetings this week in the San Fernando Valley to consider what streets transit riders will use to get to the coming light rail line on Van Nuys Blvd — with the knowledge that more people are likely to arrive by bike or on foot than in cars.

The first meeting will take place tonight in San Fernando, followed by Van Nuys on Wednesday and Panorama City on Saturday.

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Tern is giving away a trip for two to to Los Angeles for the August Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia.

Sorry Angelenos, you’re already here.

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Now here’s a bicycle tour to add to my own bike bucket list — a 550-mile ride to visit all six Belgian Trappist breweries.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

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

Anti-bike terrorists strike again, stringing a wire across a UK mountain bike trail at neck height — something that could be fatal if it caught an unsuspecting rider by surprise.

A British bike rider was lucky to stay on his bike and escape injury when he was the victim of an attack with a paintball fired by a slingshot from a passing car.

When I started writing about the war on bikes, stories like this came along maybe once or twice every few weeks; now they’re a daily occurrence. And like today, often more than one.

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Local

City officials have finally broken ground on the long-planned, 400-foot orange Taylor Yard Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge connecting Cypress Park and Elysian Valley across the L.A. River; the $20.6 million bridge has been in the works for three decades. And probably would have cost a lot less if they’d moved forward with it then.

A Venice writer tries all the e-scooters, and says most are awful. But Wheels wins, with Bird first runner-up.

CiclaValley takes a bike tour of LA landmarks. And yet, he rides right past my apartment and doesn’t bother to say hi.

A Duarte bike rider was shot in the elbow Saturday evening when a car pulled up next to him; he refused to cooperate with investigators.

 

State

California Streetsblog says it’s time to buy your tickets for the biennial California Bike Summit hosted by Calbike, which just happens to be in Los Angeles this time. I attended the first one, which was also in LA. And it was definitely worth it.

Kellen Winslow II has been convicted of rape, indecent exposure and lewd conduct in a series of San Diego assaults, while jurors remain deadlocked on eight other counts; the former NFL star was caught in part because Strava placed his bicycle near the site of one of the attacks

Santa Barbara police will be conducting yet another bike and pedestrian safety operation today. As always, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit line if you find yourself riding there.

Quartz says Lyft’s lawsuit against San Francisco shows they don’t care about reducing the number of cars on the road, despite talk from the company’s leadership.

 

National

No surprise here. Months after Seattle cancelled plan for a road diet and bike lanes on a dangerous street, complaints are piling up about unsafe driving and dangerous conditions for people on bicycles. It’s almost as if maybe there might have been a reason for the road diet in the first place.

Kansas officials say that with riders from the Trans American Bike Race passing through the state, it’s a reminder for people to drive safely around bike riders, after two Trans Am competitors were killed by Kansas motorists in the past two years.

A Dallas newspaper offers advice to the city’s newly elected mayor. And fixing sidewalks and building bike lanes top the list.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A little girl in Fargo ND suffered non-life threatening injuries when a driver left-crossed the bike her mother was riding, and crashed into the bike trailer she was riding in, claiming he somehow didn’t see them. So the person behind the wheel drove off with a crappy $20 ticket for failing to yield.

A Milwaukee newspaper offers advice on how to keep your bike safe, including registering it for free with Bike Index.

Must have been an autonomous car. A Wisconsin TV station somehow manages to write 250 words about a hit-and-run that seriously injured a woman riding a bike, without ever mentioning the possibility, however remote, that the car may have had a driver.

Bike riders aren’t even protected on separated bike paths, as a Chicago driver was injured when his car flew off the roadway and onto the bike path along the city’s Lake Shore Drive. Fortunately, he appears to have missed anyone on the popular pathway.

The off-duty New York firefighter who deliberately attempted to run over the bike rider he nearly hit while running a red light has finally been arrested by the NYPD on charges of reckless endangerment and driving without a license. Although he should have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, which is what the crime really calls for, at a bare minimum.

A New York physician says the best way to prevent injuries is for kids to wear a helmet and obey the rules of the road when they ride a bike or scooter. Although giving them safer places to ride couldn’t hurt.

Brooklyn safety advocates say traffic violence has become an epidemic in the south part of the borough — as the next story illustrates.

A 22-year old Brooklyn driver faces charges for killing an ebike rider while allegedly speeding and driving under the influence — with her four-year old son in the back seat. The victim was a hard-working Bangladeshi refugee who had been granted political asylum in the US.

A 14-year old New Jersey girl was lucky to escape with a few scrapes when her bike was struck by a driver who was being pursued by police; police are still looking for him after he escaped following the crash.

A conservative Maryland podcast says “transit activists are just like cycling activists in their casual relationship with the truth and their meltdowns when somebody dare says ‘no.'” Something tells me those transit and bike advocates may have a better relationship to the truth than the people behind the podcast care to confess.

 

International

A Kiwi writer bikes Bolivia’s Death Road. Seriously, if the road had any other name, hardly anyone would bother, regardless of how scenic or challenging it might be.

Canadian Cycling Magazine provides warning signs that you may love your bike more than your partner. I may not love my bike more that my wife, but we have been together a lot longer.

Good question. A Vancouver city planner and urbanist asks if only experienced bicyclists feel safe in a painted bike lane, is it really a bike lane at all? Then again, as someone who lives in Hollywood, I’d settle for any bike lanes right now — good, bad or otherwise.

A Saskatchewan letter writer says separating bikes and motor vehicles is safer for everyone, because many drivers don’t follow the rules, either.

London author Jools Walker talks biking while black, and how her book is getting more women on bikes.

A British op-ed writer says it may seem radical, but calm down and try talking to teenagers like human beings for a change. And just leave the kids on ride-outs alone, already.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a truck driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider because… wait for it… the sun was in his eyes, he was busy adjusting his visor, and he didn’t hear the ruble strips on the side of the road.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling examines how a former ultrarunner with limited bike racing experience and no cycling coach managed to win the world’s premier gravel race.

A new partnership has been established between The Cyclist’s Alliance and the HeadSmart Sports Concussion Programme to study the problem of concussions in the women’s pro cycling peloton.

Victories by Los Angeles-based cyclist Justin Williams in two of the stages of the Tulsa Tough cycling race has put his new Legion of Los Angeles team on the national map; the team is dedicated to “increasing diversity (and) encouraging inclusion” in elite cycling.

 

Finally…

No one likes when drivers park in bike lanes, but don’t whack their cars with your scooter. Apparently Kylie Jenner and friend are a few days late for the World Near-Naked Bike Ride — though someone should tell them bikes work better with just one person per seat.

And it says something when even one of LA’s most bike-friendly city councilmembers doesn’t feel safe riding on the street with his kids.

 

Morning Links: Bikeshare comes to San Pedro, and the war on bikes continues, while the mythical war on cars doesn’t

With all the attention given the new Metro bikeshare in Pasadena recently, Monday’s unveiling of 13 new bikeshare stations and 120 bicycles kind of snuck up on us.

Streetsblog notes that the docks are isolated from the DTLA bikeshare and transit systems, and will mostly serve tourists visiting the port.

Although they do come just in time for the San Pedro meets Wilmington CicLAvia.

Meanwhile, state greenhouse gas reduction active transportation funds will provide $2.5 million to help pay for an expansion of the Metro bikeshare into the USC and South LA area, as well as along the Expo Line.

Thanks to Bike SGV for the heads-up.

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The all-too real war on bikes continues.

After an Arkansas bicyclist was intentionally run down by a road raging driver, the local TV station says we all have to be courteous and share the road. Would they say the same thing if the driver had shot the bike rider instead?

Pennsylvania bicyclists are looking for the road raging driver who deliberately plowed into three riders last week, severely injuring a 67-year old man.

And the sabotage of Australian bike paths has claimed a new victim, as a woman had to undergo oral surgery after breaking two teeth when her bike slipped on a patch of oil someone had poured onto to the path she was riding on.

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On the other hand, drivers and right-wing groups continue to moan about the mythical war on cars. Because evidently, the government hates your freedom.

No, really.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

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Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Bikes 4 Orphans BBQ Ride on the 20th.

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Cory Williams won the men’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, while Norwegian track cyclist Anita Stenberg won the woman’s race.

VeloNews profiles Josh Hartman, a young African American track cyclist from Brooklyn shooting to make the 2020 Olympic team.

The man known as the Godfather of Australian triathlon has been killed in a riding accident while training in Spain.

No surprise here, as the Italian masters rider accused of motor doping denies cheating, but left before his bike could be inspected, claiming he had to get to a wedding. And says haters are just jealous because he’s rich.

Ella Cycling Tips pulls back the curtain on the other lives of female professional cyclists, where even top women riders have to take a second job to make ends meet.

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Local

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Gil Cedillo continues to earn his Roadkill Gil moniker by opposing to the proposed Temple Street road diet; as well as every other road diet in his district. Maybe someone should tell him that Main Street in Santa Monica and Venice has thrived since it was cut to one lane in each direction.

Sheriff’s deputies are taking to their bikes to patrol bike paths in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Culver City wants your input on mobility issues.

Long Beach is donating 27 refurbished bicycles to local at-risk kids after asking residents to contribute their unwanted bikes.

A writer for the Press-Telegram doesn’t take kindly to a new ranking that lists Long Beach 57th out of the nation’s 62 largest city’s, but comes up with this gem of a line:

You couldn’t have a more bike-friendly city than Long Beach unless it’s a place where they drag drivers out of their cars and leave them lying in the gutter.

 

State

An Op-Ed in Bicycling Retailer calls for passing the Idaho Stop Law in California, where a bi-partisan bill remains under consideration after amendments.

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill extending the CEQA exemption for bike lanes for another three years, until 2021; cities are still required to hold public hearings and conduct traffic studies.

More kindhearted cops, as police in Morro Bay pitch in to buy a new bicycle, lock and helmet for a developmentally disabled man whose mother had recently died of cancer.

 

National

A new book tells the story of a more than one thousand badge collection of historic bicycle head badges.

A Hawaiian man spent a week in the hospital with two fractured ribs and a ruptured spleen after he was run down by a cyclist who didn’t bother to look up. Seriously, it’s no different for us than it is for drivers — if you can’t see what’s directly in front of you, don’t go.

You know bicycling is the new normal when even Las Vegas is becoming a bike town.

A father goes biking across Kansas with his kids.

Bicyclists are being victimized by robbers on a popular Chicago bike path; in the latest case, a man was pushed off his bike and his pockets sliced open to steal his wallet and phone before they made off with his bike.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a 76-year old man got two years probation for killing two bike riders as they rode in a designated bike path on the shoulder of the roadway.

A New Jersey-based garbage company is responsible for five deaths in New York City since 2008, killing three pedestrians and two cyclists, including the hit-and-run death of a man riding his bike last week.

If you build it, they will come. After investing heavily in bike infrastructure, New York bicycling rates have doubled over the last 11 years. Meanwhile, Gothamist asks if New York is doing enough to protect bicyclists, as city officials say biking has officially entered the mainstream.

Atlanta rips out a bike lane in front of Baptist church over fears of gentrification and loss of parking spaces.

A New Orleans bike advocacy group is working with the city to create a pop-up parking protected bike lane for the next two weeks.

Florida is considering a proposal to lower speed limits in the southern part of the state from 45 to 25 as part of the state’s shift to Complete Streets, even while they fail to make bridges safe for bicyclists.

 

International

A Canadian bike rider offers some good advice on how to drive around bicyclists. And tells cyclists to get out and vote.

A British bike shop is being fined by the local town council for the crime of placing a free bike pump on the sidewalk.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal from a church collection plate, don’t leave a bicycle with your name on it behind. If you want bicyclists to obey signs on the sidewalk, try to make the meaning clear.

And at least we don’t have to worry about dive-bombing buzzards.

 

Morning Links: They Drive Among Us part deux, and Marina del Rey rider stopped for biking while black

How disappointing.

Last week we looked at the angry anti-bike rants of a self-described former Disney executive, as he vented his spleen over the cyclists who ruined his three week motorized trip through the late, great Golden State.

And how what he termed “nasty, radical bike Nazis” and “selfish bicycle jackasses” were ruining it for everyone with their war on cars.

Never mind that if there really is such a war, the cars are winning.

I was actually looking forward to the promised second part of Greg Crosby’s rant, the same way some people used to pay to see train wrecks.

Sadly, though, he reveals himself to be just another conspiracy nut, convinced there’s a secret plot to use bicycles to turn America into a third world country.

As proof, he offers the bios of the staff of the California Bicycle Coalition, who are well respected in Sacramento. But not, sadly, by our esteemed Mr. Crosby, who faults them all as “proud radicals” and “social justice activists.”

And what do those crazed radicals want? To triple the amount of bicycling by building bikeways — paid for, in his estimation, with your hard-earned gas taxes and registration fees.

Never mind that most bicyclists also drive and pay those same taxes and fees. Or that the general public subsidizes the roads he drives, since those fees cover only a fraction of the cost of building and maintaining the roads.

And never mind the free on-street parking that most drivers seem to feel is a God-given right.

He goes on to complain about being unable to pass cyclists with at least three feet distance, as the law now requires, as if the requirement to pass a bike rider safely was something new. Drivers were always expected to pass at a safe distance; the three foot law merely codifies what that distance is, unlike the six inches some motorists seem to find acceptable.

And he closes with a hint at conspiracy, noting that cities like Burbank have been narrowing streets by building center islands and extending sidewalks. Not to improve safety, in his apparent estimation, but just to frustrate drivers like himself by making it impossible to pass a cyclist.

Oh, the humanity!

Just imagine, all those drivers forced to endlessly idle behind slow-moving bikes, unable to ever get home to their families because of a vast leftwing conspiracy to bring America to its knees.

In all, his rumblings were a disappointment.

Just the self-deluded babble of an angry, indignorant* man so desperate to find someone to blame he creates an enemy in his own mind, rather than taking a few moments to try to understand the world from someone else’s perspective.

How sad.

Then again, he may have relatives overseas, as one British Lord blames bike lanes for London’s traffic congestion, which evidently didn’t exist before they were put in. And another suggests cycling has done more harm to the city than anything since the Germans relentlessly bombed the city.

*Indignorant, an expression coined by my friend Will Campbell to describe someone who is both indignant and ignorant, usually willfully so.

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A celebrity chef is justifiably outraged after he was pulled over by police — most likely sheriff’s deputies — in Marina del Rey for biking while black.

According to his video statement, he was stopped for “going too fast,” and asked if he was running from something; the officer also implied that his pale blue t-shirt might be some sort of gang attire.

Just to be clear, unless he was riding faster than the posted speed limit, or somehow going too fast for conditions, which was highly unlikely, he wasn’t going to fast.

Period.

We should be long past this sort of harassment. Let’s hope he got a badge number and files a complaint.

And that someone in the department actually cares.

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Sometimes zoning and planning regulations can seem a little arcane, at best. But this PSA from Ottawa, Canada clearly explains in just 90 seconds the harm minimum parking requirements can do, and how getting rid of them can make room for bike lanes and transit.

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Call it Strickland’s Law.

Bicycling Magazine’s Editor in Chief Bill Strickland nails it when it comes to any discussion involving bike helmets:

“Anything written or shown anywhere about cycling with or without a helmet can devolve into a helmet debate — and with enough time all will.”

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Help keep LA's best source for bike news and advocacy coming to you every morning.

Help keep LA’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to you this holiday season.

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Local

CapoVelo looks at South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club and the work they do to keep kids out of gangs and off drugs.

The LACBC looks at last weekend’s effort to Clean Up Mulholland with pro cyclist Phil Gaimon.

Bike Walk Glendale invites you to light up your bike for the holidays with a Holiday Bike Ride this Sunday.

The Eastside Bike Club — not to be mistaken with the East Side Riders — hosts their annual Christmas Bike Ride to Downtown LA next Tuesday.

 

State

The Fresno Bee asks if a $150 million allocation will solve California’s transportation woes.

Merced may have to abandon plans to extend a bike path because the route infringes on raptor habitat.

It was a bad day in the Bay Area. A 26-year old man is under arrest for allegedly killing a cyclist while speeding and driving on the wrong side of the road. And a San Jose woman was killed while riding her bike near a park at eight in the morning.

A Chico woman will spend her summer riding across the US to build affordable housing with Bike and Build.

 

National

The president of the American Public Works Assoc says the new $305 billion federal transportation bill lacks “targeted funding for bike and pedestrian projects that promote physical and social health, decrease emissions, and ease congestion.”

Now that’s what I call an e-bike.

A Portland cyclist was killed by an allegedly stoned hit-and-run driver at a spot where a writer had warned of danger just the day before.

A writer in my hometown offers 10 reasons why cars are in decline. None of which Mr. Crosby would probably agree with.

A writer for the Louisville KY paper calls for a three-foot passing law in the bike-unfriendly state, which is rated 49th out of the 50 states.

The entire bicycle committee of Salem MA resigned at once to protest their concerns being ignored. Good for them; let’s hope the city takes the hint.

Nice gesture, as Buffalo NY police give a new bike to the family of a four-year old boy who survived on milk and maple syrup for two days after his mother died unexpectedly.

Under the first 10 months of New York’s Vision Zero plan, crashes are up 1%, while traffic fatalities are down 12, and injuries have decreased 2.5% — even if some drivers don’t like the new lower speed limits.

 

International

The Calgary paper says it takes a special kind of creep to steal a bike from a special needs kid. No argument here.

A London cyclist urges people to look out for each other on the roads, after surviving a crash with a stoned driver.

A British driver who deliberately slammed into a cyclist last June has confessed to murder most foul.

A London bike advocate discovers the loudest voices aren’t always the majority, as most local residents support a plan to turn their neighborhood into a bike-friendly Mini Holland.

Former Lance Armstrong team sponsor Discovery Channel could be the new owner of the Giro d’Italia.

A newspaper in the United Arab Emirates is encouraging cyclists to participate in the paper’s own ride to work day next month.

An Aussie woman’s post went viral after saying she wanted to give a bike to someone whose kids really needed it, not someone “who wastes money on cigarettes;” she finally settled on a family whose daughter spent six weeks in the hospital after nearly drowning.

 

Finally…

If you don’t want a ticket, make sure you understand the local dialect. Evidently, one of the best states for bicycling in Australia is France.

And go ahead and proudly wear that bike cap, even if it makes you look like a dork.

 

They drive among us…

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

If you don’t give, the angry anti-bike cranks win.

My apologies for no Morning Links today.

Attending a Wednesday night meeting meant putting off my meds in order to remain at least semi-functional until I got home. Which inevitably means paying the price later.

And I am.

So instead, let me leave you with this piece from the Tolucan Times, in which a self described former Disney Exec takes a break from telling the kids to get off his lawn, and goes on a rather remarkable rant against “nasty, radical bike Nazis.”

No, really.

It’s people like this we share the roads with, in case you wondered what the impatient, angry driver who just buzzed you or laid on his horn was thinking.

Feel free to offer your comments. I’d offer my own thoughts, but the meds are finally kicking in, and I’m going to go curl up in a ball for awhile.

Can’t wait to see part two next week.

War on cars (Part I)

BY GREG CROSBY ON DECEMBER 4, 2015

We’ve had the war on poverty, the war on drugs and the war on women. Politicians and their marketing consultants for purely selfish political interests have invented every single one of these “wars.” None of these so-called “wars” can ever be won because they are bogus.

The poverty and drug “wars” have had billions in federal funds poured into slogans, ad campaigns and bureaucratic committees and programs for decades.

The “war on women” is totally made up, invented by the Democrats as a way of rallying their base by vilifying Republicans as the party who hate women and want to keep them down.

But we have a new political “war” quietly going on across our country and this one is for real. I call it the “war on cars.” This war is being waged by a coalition of liberal opportunistic politicians and radical environmentalists. To borrow the Obama phrase, they want to “fundamentally transform the United States” from a car-centric nation to a country dependent on public transportation, bicycles and walking.

The difference between those other bogus political wars and this one is that this is one they are winning.

After having returned from a three-week road trip all over California I can honestly say that our highways and streets are being taken over by bicyclists (not sweet little families happily jingling their bicycle bells as they peddle their Schwinns around the Leave It to Beaver neighborhood, I’m talking nasty, radical bike Nazis). These bicyclists with major attitudes and an elite sense of entitlement purposely ride two and three abreast and do anything they can to frustrate motorists, like riding in the middle of a lane on a mountain road where there’s no place to go around them.

Everywhere we drove we encountered these selfish bicycle jackasses in their spandex outfits and European-style alien helmets.  They look like giant skinny mantis insects on wheels. We drove on all kinds of roads and it seemed no matter where we went, we would run into them (not literally, but sometimes it came close). They were on country roads, narrow high mountain roads, city streets, and get this—ON STATE HIGHWAYS. That’s right; California Highway 101 is now open to bicyclists.

I’m not taking about some quiet parts of sleepy little coast Highway 1 along the beach, (although the bike people are there too). No, I’m referring to a major four-lane each way, 80 mile an hour, truck route freeway. Highway 101 is a major, congested freeway and now the idiots that run the state of California are allowing bicycles on it.

They are not simply “letting” this happen, they ENCOURAGE it.

The official road signs are posted all along our highways and city streets now: “SHARE THE ROAD.” Some have images of bicycles and pedestrians on them.  Other signs demand that autos “SHARE THE LANE” because now bike riders have as much right to use ALL LANES in the streets as do the cars and trucks.

The California Bicycle Coalition website says: “Bicyclists can ride wherever they want if they’re traveling at the speed of traffic. If traveling slower than the speed of traffic, they can still position themselves wherever in the lane is necessary for safety. The law says that people who ride bikes must ride as close to the right side of the road as safely practicable except under the following conditions: when passing, preparing for a left turn, avoiding hazards, if the lane is too narrow to share, or if approaching a place where a right turn is authorized. CVC 21202.”

You can see there is lots of wiggle room for the bike riders.  While it is true that the California law states “bicycles may not be ridden on freeways and expressways,” they’ve added a loophole.  The law goes on to state, “where doing so is prohibited by the California Department of Transportation and local authorities.” So when the state has posted signs that say, “SHARE THE ROAD” on these busy highways, it sends the message that it’s okay for bikes to use them.

More on this next week.

It gets better.

Greg Crosby is a writer and cartoonist and former executive at the Walt Disney Company.

Thanks to Mike Kim and Todd Munson for the links.

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