Tag Archive for Westwood Neighborhood Council

Morning Links: Bike rider murdered on LA River path, Westwood NIMBYs rise again, and LA makes bad list of best bike cities

I’m not usually one to leave a job half done. 

But evidently, I’m okay with knocking off when it’s just two-thirds finished.

Especially when I don’t have any choice. 

I’ve been struggling with low blood sugar most of the night, ranging from dangerously low to just extremely nauseatingly low. 

Despite which, I’ve somehow managed to get this far with today’s post. But I can’t make it any further. 

At least not tonight. 

But don’t fret.

I promise to catch up on the rest tomorrow, when I’ll (hopefully) be feeling better.

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Evidently, nowhere is safe for LA County bike riders.

The LA Times reports that a man was found shot to death next to his bicycle on the LA River bike path just before 11 pm Sunday night.

The vicim was discovered suffering from a single gunshot wound to the upper body on the pathway near Clara Street and River Road in Cudahy.

There are no known suspects.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LA County Sheriff’s Department at 323/890-5500.

Thanks to Eban Lehrer for the heads-up.

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The decidedly bike-unfriendly Westwood Neighborhood Council is raising its ugly NIMBY head once again.

The group, which is dominated by wealthy homeowners in the area, is calling for a motion to block proposed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd from just below Wilshire Blvd to the UCLA campus.

Even though the North Westwood Neighborhood Council, where the lanes would actually be located, overwhelmingly favors them.

And even though they could help revitalize the rapidly dying Westwood Village, while improving safety for UCLA students, staff and employees, along with what few shoppers, diners and movie goers remain.

New LA advocacy group Streets For All is calling for everyone to contact area Councilmember Paul Koretz. Though it’s questionable what good that will do, since Koretz is the one who singlehandedly blocked bike lanes along the lower portion of the street below Santa Monica Blvd at the behest of a handful of homeowners.

More effective could be their final suggestion.

3 – Show up at Westwood Neighborhood Council’s meeting – and encourage any friends that live in Westwood to join you. We will be passing out signs to hold up. Give public comment supporting Metro’s bike lanes on Westwood Bl. and opposing their interference in part of Westwood that isn’t even in their neighborhood council district.

When: Wednesday, December 11, 2019. 7pm.

Where: Belmont Village Senior Living, 10475 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90024

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I don’t want to frighten you.

But before you read this next item, you need to sit down.

Now set down your coffee, tea or whatever you’re drinking. You don’t want you to ruin your laptop, phone or any other device with an unplanned spit take.

Because what I’m about to say may come as a shock. Or maybe a laugh.

Or in my case, a damn good guffaw.

Because Los Angeles finally made a list of the most bike-friendly cities.

No, in the world.

Seriously.

Even though we can’t even make a list of the most bike-friendly cities in California. Or barely in LA County, for that matter.

Let alone with criteria like this.

For this edition of the ranking, we have evaluated and ranked over 60 cities from around the world using 7 factors including biking infrastructure, bike safety, roadside rentals, bike-share index, friendliness (designated bike lanes), road connectivity, and bicycle culture (the shops, routes, and attributes that make each city a great place to ride). These are the best cycling cities in the world. Did your city make the list?

Clearly, they didn’t deduct for LA’s angry, aggressive and distracted drivers. Or elected leaders who seem to like the way Vision Zero looks on LADOT’s website, as long as they don’t actually have to do anything.

Never mind the steadily rising toll of fallen bicyclists that disprove the city’s meager efforts to date.

But not only did LA make the list, we apparently made it twice.

Magazine placed Oslo in sixth on the list ahead of Bremen, and Antwerp. San Francisco and Helsinki round out the list at nine and ten, respectively. Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Portland, Boulder, and Seattle came out as the top five most bike-friendly cities in the United States.

CEO Magazine, which created this list, may or may not be legit.

But LA’s inclusion on it is total bull.

The Onion, on the other hand, get it right with a story saying Los Angeles is now adding lanes for bike riders to recover from getting hit by drivers.

………

Yesterday we posted video of a road raging Texas truck driver blocking both lanes of a narrow highway to tell off a group of bicyclists, which made it look like the riders may have been taking up both sides of the road.

Today we get additional video from another angle, making it clear they weren’t. And that she was going way too fast.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

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‘Tis the Season.

Four hundred Coachella Valley 4th graders got new bikes and helmets courtesy of Variety of the Desert.

Around a hundred volunteers pitched in to build 123 bikes for a Pennsylvania nonprofit, marking more than one thousand bikes the group has given away since 2008.

Even Fox News is getting in on the bike building act.

Meanwhile, Bike Radar has eco-friendly gift ideas for the bike rider in your life. Or maybe something for the bike-riding lesbian on your list.

And the New York Post has advice on gifts to avoid so you don’t end up like the Peloton husband.

………

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

A bike-riding Grinch made off with a San Jose family’s Christmas decorations.

An Illinois man was busted for pedaling his bike up behind a woman to steal her purse in a Walmart parking lot. Even if the headline suggests he was trying to sell his bike, instead.

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It looked for awhile like Monday would be the first day with no donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

But appearances can be deceiving. 

So let me offer a heartfelt thank you to William S for coming through at the last minute with his generous donation help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers photos from Sunday’s West Valley CicLAvia, while CiclaValley offers a video recap. And no, my fumble fingers never gotten used to typing CicLAvia and CiclaValley in the same sentence, and probably never will.

Yet another reminder that Los Angeles will close Hollywood Blvd at the drop of a hat for a movie premier. But somehow can’t create a pedestrian plaza to improve business and save human lives.

 

State

California planners are already telling LOS to get lost.

San Diego’s popular Rose Canyon bike path will be closed this week to pave the final segment.

San Francisco will close a section of Octavia Street in the Hayes Valley neighborhood to cars, and fling it open for people on bicycles. Permanently. Maybe Los Angeles can take the hint.

 

National

Bicycling lists the ten most popular Strava segments from across the US, with a heavy emphasis on the West Coast.

The magazine also looks at Utah’s shrinking Bears Ears National Monument, warning that oil wells could soon replace a bikepacking paradise.

A coalition of conservation groups have filed suit against new federal rules opening National Park trails to ebikes if other bikes are allowed. Evidently, the wilderness is only for the fit and able bodied, as far as they’re concerned.

Trek recalled their 2017-19 Super Commuter+ 8S ebikes because, as the Miami Herald points out, nobody expects the wheels to come of a $5,200 bike. Actually, no one expects the wheels to come off any bike, regardless of price.

A Colorado bike advocate is blown away by biking in Portland. Just imagine how blown away she’d be by Los Angeles, which scored 15 places higher on that list up above.

Life is cheap in Texas, where you can kill a seven-year old little girl in front of her school and walk without even a ticket.

With no apparent sense of irony, a Providence, Rhode Island letter writer says bike advocates should have a more inclusive vision for the city, while insisting there’s no room for bike lanes on the city’s streets.

Streetsblog accuses New York Mayor Bill De Blasio of hypocrisy for encouraging corporate ebike deliveries while banning ebike food deliveries. Meanwhile, the state’s governor is sitting on a bill that would legalize ebikes throughout the state because of an unrelated dispute with the bill’s sponsor.

New York doormen are worried about conflicts between customers and people on bicycles as bike lanes expand throughout the city. Or they could just assume that bike lanes are meant for people on bicycles. Not tourists with suitcases.

 

International

British six-time Olympic gold medalist Sir Chris Hoy offers tips on how to teach your child to ride a bike. Because everyone knows Olympic track cycling is the ideal background for the best sidewalk bike coaches.

Get your next H&M order delivered by bicycle. But only if you live in the Netherlands, of course.

 

Finally…

Now you can gravel grind and ride epic singletrack without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. It’s not a bicycle, it’s an artist’s brush.

And it’s one thing to attack the leader of Britain’s Labour Party. But making fun of his bike is going too damn far.

Morning Links: New app for navigating LA, advice on running for your local NC, and pointing the finger in Westwood

Figuring out how to get around the City of Angels just got a little easier.

And could help improve the way you get around in the future.

The new Go LA app, created by Xerox for iOS and Android devices, calculates the shortest, cheapest, and most sustainable way to get to your destination — whether on foot, by bike, motorcycle, taxi, car or transit, as well as ride-sharing options — while providing map routing and real time traffic and parking information.

And not just in terms of distance, but also time, cost, carbon footprint, health benefits and calories burned. Which means walking and biking will usually win on the last four counts.

The app also sends anonymous trip data back to LADOT to provide feedback on how people actually get around the city to provide data for future planning.

You can read more about the app on the Go LA press release.

………

Maybe that app will make it easier to use Metro, as the LA Times says ridership on public transportation is in a decade-long decline.

The paper cites other transportation alternatives, such as bicycling and ridesharing, as just two in a long list of factors leading to the drop. Although a more likely culprit is increased fares combined with cuts in service.

Charging more for worse service is rarely a good business model.

………

The LACBC offers details on the upcoming Neighborhood Council elections, and urges you to not only vote, but consider running for election to your local council.

As they point out, local councils are usually the first stops for any discussion for or against bike projects in the local community, and their opinions often carry a lot of weight with the area councilmember.

So your involvement really does matter. But you need to hurry, because the deadline to register as a candidate is approaching quickly in some areas.

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Speaking of neighborhood councils, a writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin says the Westwood Neighborhood Council gets the blame for blocking improvements to Westwood Village, including putting up roadblocks to the Westwood Blvd Great Streets project. Homeowners in the area are among the city’s most notorious NIMBYs, and should be held accountable for the decline in the once vibrant Village, where even dancing is banned at their insistence.

Meanwhile, the same writer says Councilmember Paul Koretz has been making opposing promises to both sides about the planned Westwood Blvd bike lanes, promising the neighborhood council and homeowner groups he’d kill the bike lanes, while telling the Sierra Club he supported moving forward with engineering studies. Thanks to Michael Cahn for the heads up.

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BikeSGV reports that a proposed bike park is included in plans for the coming Puente Hills Landfill Park, along with bike and pedestrian access.

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Local

Richard Risemberg accuses the city of malign neglect in its approach to 6th Street in the Mid-City area, where a planned road diet and bike lanes have been blocked as injuries and deaths mount.

CiclaValley looks at the numbers behind the proposed Griffith Park shuttle service, and says they don’t add up. Or even come close.

A Santa Monica advocacy group says the city talks a good game when it comes to promoting alternative transportation, but is hardly discouraging its own employees from driving when they receive free parking.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a $5,300 three-wheeled adaptive bike from a Burbank teenager with cerebral palsy.

Duarte develops a new Citywide Bicycle Master Plan and Safe Routes to Transit Master Plan to encourage more riding and promote bike and pedestrian safety. Evidently, the smaller the city, the more grandiose the title for their bike plan.

 

State

The head of the California State Transportation Agency — no, not Caltrans — says au contraire, the state is actually leading the nation in investments for bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Of course, as the nation’s most populous state, we should lead by default; the question is how do we stack up for spending as a percentage of population.

Some Cardiff residents are up in arms over a proposed bike and pedestrian trail that would run along a railroad track, claiming it would somehow cause irreparable harm to their community and the environment. Because evidently, bikes are so much more harmful than trains.

Menlo Park considers a bicycle boulevard connecting the east and west sides of the city.

San Francisco’s bikeshare program is expanding across the bay to Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville.

The CHP is looking for the heartless coward who fled the scene after left-crossing a Sonoma Valley bike rider; the victim, who was on his honeymoon, is reportedly making a “miraculous” recovery, despite suffering a broken neck.

 

National

Seventy percent of American mayors support more bike lanes at the expense of traffic lanes or parking. The problem is getting their auto-centric constituents to agree.

A Portland cyclist wins a nearly half-million dollar judgment against a car wash after he slipped on the wet, soapy pavement, fracturing his hip, when a car wash customer pulled out and blocked the bike lane he was riding in.

An Idaho bike lawyer makes the case for the Idaho stop law that allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields and red lights like stop signs, arguing that it has helped the state maintain one of the nation’s lowest bicycling fatality rates as a percentage of population.

Not surprisingly, it’s going to be days before DC’s bikeways are cleared following last weekend’s blizzard. And things aren’t looking any better in New York.

 

International

Good news from Argentina, as Italian rider Adriano Malori has awakened from a medically induced coma after hitting a pothole at nearly 40 mph in the Tour de San Luis.

A Toronto paper rides along with bike-borne food delivery people through the city’s frozen streets.

It’s a daily double for the Guardian, as the paper test rides the sub-$700 dream bike of the British Labour Party leader, and looks at how bicycling unexpectedly became cool in Tel Aviv.

Caught on video: A British driver gets two and a half years for deliberately swerving head-on at a cyclist from the other side of the road in a successful attempt to frighten him. Thanks to Jeffrey for the link.

 

Finally…

Nothing like getting a punch in the face when you agree to buy a bike. Forget riding with your dog; try riding with a couple goats on your back.

And driving while very distracted: A pantsless Detroit man was killed in a car crash while watching porn on his smartphone.

 

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