Tag Archive for Wilmington

Bass ignores mobility plan in State of City, MOVE removal violates CEQA, and LA Engineering greenwashes LOS climate fire

This doesn’t bode well.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass gave her first State of the City address yesterday, with a focus on the city’s efforts to build housing and end homelessness, as well as increasing the size of the LAPD, LAFD and 911 services to improve safety.

What Bass did not mention was traffic safety, Vision Zero, the mobility plan, bikes, pedestrians, transit or alternative transportation.

We’ll see where her priorities lie when she releases her first city budget this morning, and whether any of that will be given the funding they need.

But right now, it looks like we’re going to be an afterthought.

If that.

Photo by Aayush Srivastava from Pexels.

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Carter Rubin of the Natural Resources Defense Council, aka NRDC, makes a compelling argument in favor of the very successful MOVE Culver City Complete Streets project.

And keeping it right where it is.

The project is under fire from the newly auto-centric conservative majority on the Culver City council, which wants to rip it out so cars can once again go zoom, zoom without having to make room for anyone else.

Here’s just a part of what Rubin has to say.

recent analysis of the corridor shows MOVE Culer City has delivered substantial benefits with few tradeoffs.

  • A 52% increase in bus ridership
  • A 32% increase in cycling activity
  • A 18% increase in pedestrian activity
  • Only a 2 minute increase in average peak period travel time for people in cars

Hard-won progress deserves defending. So this week, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sent a letter to the City Council expressing our support for the MOVE Culver City initiative. In doing so, we joined over 20 other organizations that advocate for sustainable, safe, healthy and equitable transportation.

He also notes that removing the project could violate state environmental laws, as well as federal civil rights requirements.

In our letter, we make the case that any action by the city to increase the number of lane-miles available for mixed-flow vehicle traffic would require analysis, disclosure, and mitigation of potential environmental impacts pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The City must comply with CEQA before making any final decision on a project that changes conditions on the ground today.

Full removal of MOVE Culver City would entail adding approximately 2.6 lane miles of vehicular lanes to principal arterial highways, which is likely to significantly increase vehicle miles traveled, according to the state’s official CEQA guidance. That increase in VMT would contribute to additional greenhouse gas emissions impacts, as well as criteria air pollution, including ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and PM10 and PM2.5, from tailpipe exhaust and brake, tire, and roadway wear.

Further, we note that the City is required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to analyze changes to transit service that might disproportionately affect people of color, immigrants and other protected communities who ride transit.

Or to put it more succinctly,

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They still don’t get it.

The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering is proposing widening a one-mile section of Alameda Street in Wilmington near the Port of Los Angeles, increasing the street to three lanes in each direction to boost automotive throughput and the largely discredited Level of Service.

But they’re throwing us a bone by adding a bike and pedestrian trail to greenwash their work while they set the climate on fire.

Maybe they could just give us the trail, and skip the damn climate bonfire.

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Go Human is awarding grants up to $40,000 to improve traffic safety in your own community.

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Walk Bike Long Beach invites you to for a morning of bikes and coffee this Saturday.

Celebrate Earth Day this Saturday on your bike! We’ll do the usual group ride to get some coffee — this time aiming for Belmont Heights. Then back to Pedal Movement.

For EXTRA CREDIT, keep rolling with us and climb Signal Hill for a chat with the Sierra Club about the threat of future oil drilling in our community.

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Nice to hear from our bike-riding state senator and Congressional candidate.

Now we just need to get the rest of ’em on bikes, too.

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Hard to tell just where this is, but it looks like it might be the Santa Monica Civic Center complex.

Or maybe SaMo High.

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In case you were looking for something to hang on the wall of my office, this will do nicely, thank you.

Of course, you’d also have to buy me an office.

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

No bias here. Officials in a Massachusetts town are up in arms after state officials begin work to remove a traffic lane and install bike lanes on a local bridge, insisting no one told them about the plans; one city councilmember actually insists there’s not enough bike traffic on the bridge to justify a bike lane, apparently forgetting that most people don’t enjoy risking their lives in traffic with safe infrastructure.

No bias here, either. A British Columbia letter writer complains that a “boondoggle” bike lane “smacks of ‘fiscal irresponsibility’ and ‘catering to cycling interests’ over the concerns of taxpayers,” apparently forgetting that people who ride bikes pay taxes, too.

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Local 

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers photos from Sunday’s Pico Union meets Mid-City CicLAvia.

South Pasadena Active Streets was honored by state Assemblymember Mike Fong for their work organizing bike buses for local elementary school students.

The Pasadena Star News looks forward to this weekend’s 626 Golden Streets through San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont in the San Gabriel Valley. Assuming you can get past the paper’s paywall, that is.

 

State

Bakersfield’s popular Kern River Bike Trail will be closed until further notice for maintenance work.

San Francisco moves to make the city less livable with a proposal to rip out the pandemic-era parklets in front of restaurants.

Speaking of San Francisco, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is calling for quick action on Arguello Blvd, where masters champ and world record holder Ethan Boyes was killed recently; the organization notes the Presidio street is used by hundreds of families, commuters and competitive athletes every day.

Just like the failure of the $1 billion 405 Freeway widening project here in Los Angeles, the engineer behind the Bay Area’s $600 million project to widen the 101 Freeway admits that it accomplished nothing, as traffic congestion goes from bad to worse. Just one more argument to invest in transit, rather than flushing more money down the toilet on highway projects. Or widening streets to move more cars.

 

National

Streetsblog complains that Biden’s EV Revolution will pay Americans to drive some really dangerous pickups and SUVS that pose a risk to everyone on the road around them, particularly people walking and biking.

The Washington Post reports that men face a higher risk of dying than women at every stage of life, with the male sex accounting for 71 percent of pedestrian deaths and a whopping 87 percent of bicyclist deaths.

Road Bike Rider explains how to pack for a bike tour, while Cycling Weekly offers lessons learned from going tubeless.

Cycling News considers the best budget bike helmets. But neglects to include any of those budget prices.

A lawyer offers advice on what to do after a hit-and-run or road rage incident. Or both.

The internet is still going crazy over the square, tread track bike wheels.

A 19-year old Bend, Oregon man is building his own sustainable mountain bike company.

A Las Vegas writer takes a pleasant bike ride through the city to examine new construction in preparation of this fall’s Formula 1 race.

Great idea. North Dakota fourth and fifth graders are teaching kindergarten kids how to ride bikes.

If you build it, they will come. Bike ridership is outpacing motor vehicle use in Ann Arbor, Michigan, thanks to new protected bike lanes and banning right on red in some locations.

Maine considers a Stop as Yield law, allowing people on bicycles to roll stop signs instead of coming to a full stop, when its safe to do so.

New York’s city council is considering new regulations to combat ebike and e-scooter battery fires.

Tragic news from Virginia, where a 26-year old woman was killed while she was teaching her 6-year old daughter how to ride a bike, along with her boyfriend; they were all run down from behind by a 36-year old woman.

A New Orleans driver faces up to 15 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a “beloved” local butcher as he was riding his bike six years ago; no word on why it took so long to bring the man’s killer to justice.

 

International

Forbes considers the best bike computers. Even though the most enjoyable rides usually come when they’re broken.

Bikeshare is booming in Mexico City.

That’s more like it. A new British Columbia bill would require speed limiting devices on all heavy duty commercial trucks, while mandating a “safer road environment” for bike riders and pedestrians.

A new memorial bench handcrafted by a fellow bike rider honors a legendary Scottish man who wrote about bicycling for the local paper.

No surprise here, as a new report shows people in London’s poorest areas face the biggest risk of traffic injuries or death. Just like in Los Angeles, and most major cities. 

Next time you’re in the Dutch city of Nijmegen, make sure to stop at the Velorama National Bicycle Museum, the country’s only museum devoted to the invention and growth of the now-ubiquitous bicycle.

The hit-and-run epidemic has spread to Spain, where a British tourist was killed when he was run down by a heartless coward who fled the scene.

A Russian man is riding his bike around the world to promote traditional Turkish music.

 

Competitive Cycling

Russell Finsterwald and Heather Jackson claimed victory in the men’s and women’s elite categories in San Diego’s Belgian Waffle Ride, while the race retired the number 12 in honor of 2022 winner Moriah “Mo” Wilson, who was murdered in Austin, Texas last year.

It was another stage win for L39ION of Los Angeles cyclist Skylar Schneider, who won her second in a row to conclude the women’s Tour of Redlands, while Blue Ridge Twenty24’s Emily Ehrlich claimed the overall victory in the GC.

L39ion of Los Angeles founders Justin and Cory Williams announced the launch of their third co-ed, multi-racial city-based cycling team in Austin, Texas, following the launch of another team in Miami. They may be single-handedly — okay, double handedly — doing more to ensure the survival, growth and spread of cycling in this country than anyone else.

Bicycling explains the new National Cycling League and how it works, and whether it fulfills the promised fan-first professional cycling experience. Read it on AOL this time if the magazine blocks you.

 

Finally…

What good is a wearable computer if the health data thitey measures is wrong? When life gives you speeding drivers, give them your own DIY traffic sign saying “slow the f*ck down.”

And that feeling when you sprain your ankle falling off a bike just before your widely panned set at Coachella.

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Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month. 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Are bikes green enough to change the world; KTown Block Party and CicLAvia; and firefighters stranded on 9/11 tour

Yes, your bike is green, whatever color bike you ride.

But the question is whether it’s green enough.

A writer for Bike Radar took a deep dive into the climate impact of different modes of transportation, concluding that a bicycle is by far the best choice, even when compared to walking.

And yes, even if it’s an ebike.

Here are their key conclusions.

  • Cycling has a carbon footprint of about 21g of CO2 per kilometre. That’s less than walking or getting the bus and less than a tenth the emissions of driving
  • About three-quarters of cycling’s greenhouse gas emissions occur when producing the extra food required to “fuel” cycling, while the rest comes from manufacturing the bicycle
  • Electric bikes have an even lower carbon footprint than conventional bikes because fewer calories are burned per kilometre, despite the emissions from battery manufacturing and electricity use
  • If cycling’s popularity in Britain increased six-fold (equivalent to returning to 1940s levels) and all this pedalling replaced driving, this could make a net reduction of 7.7-million tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to 6% of the UK’s transport emissions

That’s a big drop. But as they admit, going back to that rate of riding, from a time when many post-war Brits couldn’t afford a car or the gas to drive it, is a big lift.

More achievable would be replacing cars with bicycles and ebikes for half of all trips of five miles or less, which would result in a much lower but still significant reduction in greenhouse gasses.

By these calculations, cycling has the lowest carbon footprint of any mode of personal transport, even when compared to walking.

From a climate perspective, it makes sense for as many journeys as possible to be made by bike.

On an individual level, cycling instead of driving (or any other method of travelling) can make a positive impact on your carbon footprint.

But on a national scale, cycling has a limited role in addressing climate change. Because cycling is restricted to short journeys for most people, it can only replace a small fraction of the kilometres covered by cars.

Even if half of all sub-5-mile car journeys were replaced with cycling (a deliberately optimistic scenario) this would save around 7.7-million tons CO2e in the UK, equivalent to 2 per cent of UK domestic emissions in 2016. Not to be sniffed at, but not a silver bullet.

If that same 2% figure were applied to the US, it would save 102 million tons of CO2, based on 2017 figures.

That’s nothing to be sniffed at, either.

But it will take a better analytical mind than mine to calculate whether replacing half of all trips of less than five miles with bicycles, electric and otherwise, would be more or less than the UK’s 2%,

But even that would be a challenge in a country where cars are king, and even adequate bike networks are few and far between.

It’s not an insurmountable problem. But it’s not likely to change without leaders with the political will and courage to make it happen.

And right now, that’s the problem.

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Then again, bikes are pretty efficient, too.

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It’s a busy bike weekend.

First up is tomorrow’s carfree 6th Street KTown Block Party.

That will be followed on Sunday by the first post-pandemic CicLAvia on a 2.2-mile course through Wilmington.

Even if the pandemic is once again rearing its ugly head.

Also on Sunday, ride and dine with celebrity chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger with a bike ride through their favorite neighborhoods, followed by brunch at their Socalo restaurant in Santa Monica.

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The Bay Area firefighters and EMTs who set out recently on a cross-country bike ride to New York for the 20th anniversary of 9/11 are stuck in Jackson, Wyoming after the new Chevy Tahoe they were using as a support van broke down, leaving them stranded.

And General Motors put the lie to their promises of great quality and service, by saying it will be another six weeks before it can be repaired.

Which would mean they’d be starting back out on their trip two weeks after they were supposed to get there.

Hopefully GM will decide to avoid the bad publicity and figure out a way to do something sooner.

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Streets For All has been kind enough to post video of Wednesday’s virtual happy hour with California Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Laura Friedman, for those of us who missed it.

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Great to see the Cutters are still together after all those years after Breaking Away first hit the screens.

But they’re not going to get very far without any rubber on that bike.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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

No bias here. A Flagstaff AZ paper offers advice on how to ride around the city safety, “without pissing anyone off.” Actually, the advice isn’t bad, even if the headline sucks.

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

Stockton police are looking for a man on a bicycle who allegedly set a Mexican restaurant on fire when they refused to give him a free drink.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says Metro didn’t exactly make the new and improved Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station bike and pedestrian friendly, skipping a promised bike lane in favor of more parking for cars.

Whittier business owners want to keep the city’s Greenleaf Ave closed to motor vehicles, and make permanent the Greenleaf Promenade that took its place for over a year.

A donation from Metro will allow Long Beach to double the number of bikeshare docks in the city.

 

State

Newport Beach ebike maker Electric Bike Company isn’t anymore, after city officials insisted their workspace wasn’t zoned for making bicycles; they’re now in a larger Costa Mesa facility with an expanded product line.

San Diego bike riders continue to call for change following a rash of bicycling deaths this year.

 

National

Men’s Journal recommends the best used bikes to buy now.

A safety startup wants you to pay 300 bucks for a cellphone-sized device to go on your bike, which promises to alert both you and drivers of any dangers they may pose. But only if their cars have the system installed, which they probably won’t.

A Texas driver faces a pair of manslaughter charges for an alleged drunken two-part crash in which he first killed a man riding a bike, then crossed onto the wrong side of the road a few miles later and killed a man driving a pickup.

Bicycling and pedestrian deaths continued to rise in Texas last year, continuing a five-year trend.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a man will spend just ten lousy days behind bars for killing a bike-riding teenage boy, if he behaves while wearing an ankle bracelet after they let him out.

He gets it. An op-ed in the New York Times argues that electric cars may be a big improvement over gas engines, but any mode of transportation that sits idle 95% of the time is still a problem.

Actor Justin Theroux is one of us, riding his flat-barred roadie through his New York neighborhood.

That’s more like it. A 67-year old Maryland man was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for killing one man and injuring six others when he slammed his car into a group of bicyclists while under the influence of a controlled substance.

 

International

The Verge likes the second-generation Hummingbird, the world’s lightest folding ebike. But they’re not so crazy about the $6,200 price tag.

British police were following an alleged terrorist when he stabbed a woman walking a bicycle, as well as another man, before officers shot and killed him; 20-year old Sudesh Amman had been released from prison on a terrorism charge just ten days earlier.

There isn’t a pit in hell deep enough for the apparent vegan troll who has been tormenting a Welsh farmer online after the farmer killed his three-year old son by backing over the bike he was riding.

One man was killed, and several others injured, when a South African driver attempted to pass several cars on a blind hill, and slammed into eleven people on their bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Post-Olympic bike racing is back with the five-stage Tour of Denmark. And so is Remco Evanepoel, who claimed his first stage win since a horrific crash in last year’s Il Lombardia.

Cycling Weekly looks forward to the first week of the Vuelta, which kicks off tomorrow.

Outside profiles a team of Latin American immigrants who are shaking up New York bike racing.

Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Valente says if you want to succeed in cycling, have fun along the way.

A groundbreaking Aussie cyclist now has permanent brain damage after she suffered over 60 concussions during her racing career.

 

Finally…

Two thousand years after Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, he could now use bikeshare, instead. Win gold in the Olympics, ride a gold bike in the Vuelta.

And don’t reach in and ride off with a driver’s car keys after an argument at an intersection

As much as we’d all like to sometimes.

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

Streets For All shares virtual drinks with Friedman, CicLAvia returns on Sunday, and Brits battle over riding abreast

Let’s start with a couple of events this week.

Streets For All is back tomorrow with another virtual happy hour, this time featuring California State Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Laura Friedman.

Meanwhile, Fox11’s Good Day LA looks forward to the return of CicLAvia in Wilmington this Sunday. The short 2.2-mile route could see a big turnout from a full year’s worth of pent-up demand.

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Britain’s Jeremy Vine takes the contrarian view to all those drivers who insist people on bikes should ride single file all the time.

Needless to say, not everyone took the lesson well. And some of the responses were brutal.

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GCN explains how to choose the right bike pump.

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Norm Bradwell forwards the best pro bike helmet commercial of all time.

Yes, you may have seen it before, but it’s more than worth seeing again. Or for the first time, if you haven’t.

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

No bias here. San Diego letter writers insist no one uses bike lanes because they don’t see them filled with bikes at the exact moment they happen to pass by, and that bike riders have to obey the law. Never mind that studies show safe infrastructure improves adherence to the law, and that bike riders break the law at about the same rate as people in the big, dangerous machines, but for much better reasons. Hint: Drivers cheat for convenience, bike riders to stay safe.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding man who groped a woman in her 60’s as she walked on a Palo Alto sidewalk.

With any luck, the British Columbia perv who allegedly exposed himself to several woman while riding his mountain bike will be there waiting for him.

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Local

Glendale has hired the architecture firm behind New York’s highly successful High Line Park to reimagine the Verdugo Wash, reclaiming the concrete-lined channel while potentially adding bikeways and walkways.

 

State

For the second time in a week, a Santa Barbara driver has been busted for running down a teenage bike rider, as a driver is being held on $100,000 bond on DUI and hit-and-run charges after rear-ending a 14-year old boy on a bicycle; the victim was hospitalized with moderate injuries.

The pandemic bike boom continues to strain the bike industry, as the bicycle division of Scotts Valley’s Fox Factory is over a year from catching up to demand, despite — or maybe because — record sales for the past year and a half.

Now that’s more like it. Sacramento responds to one of the city’s dangerous streets by shutting it down entirely to make it more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

 

National

Utah is now home to five new US Bicycle Routes, adding 550 miles to the 410 it already enjoyed; that’s part of a nationwide expansion with 18 new routes in five states, adding nearly 3,000 miles to the US Bicycle Route System.

Great idea. A Colorado town is trying to boost local bike shops while encouraging alternatives to driving by considering a $200 rebate for every ebike bought in town.

A Colorado man is charged with murdering his missing wife, who disappeared on a Mother’s Day bike ride last year. Sheriff’s deputies found Suzanne Morphew’s abandoned bicycle later that day, and discovered her undamaged helmet days later over eight miles away; however, her body has never been found.

Group rides are booming in popularity in Houston during the pandemic, like  800 people on bikes rapper Slim Thug lead to the home of a young man with Downs Syndrome, who wanted to meet him.

Is anyone really surprised that Illinois cops rushed to blame the victim when one of their own right hooked a 71-year old man riding his bike on the sidewalk?

Interesting idea from Michigan, where learning to ride a bicycle is used as a springboard to help kids get ready for kindergarten.

Adweek says you need the skills of an Olympian just to get around New York.

The New York Times questions whether the city’s pandemic-inspired carfree streets can survive the pushback to proposals to make them permanent.

No surprise here, either, as Florida and Louisiana lead the way with the most bicycling deaths per capita in the US.

The Miami Herald seems surprised that a man was run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a bike lane, as if the thin strip of paint was somehow supposed to repel cars.

 

International

The latest Copenhagenize Index ranks the world’s top 20 bike cities, with the usual suspects — Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Utrecht — taking the lead. Guess how many American cities made the list? That’s right, none.

A Dutch bicycle brand reminds Londoners that riding a bike is forever, not just for during the pandemic lockdown.

A kindhearted Indian cop dug into his own pocket to buy a new bicycle for a 14-year old boy after his was destroyed in a collision while riding home from his job.

 

Competitive Cycling

The racing world goes on in the wake of the Olympics, with stage one of the seven stage Tour of Poland.

Malaysians are geeking out over the $80,000 track bike their countryman Azizulhasni Awang rode to a silver medal in the men’s keirin in Tokyo.

Sad news from New Zealand, where 24-year-old cyclist Olivia Podmore died unexpectedly, five years after she represented the country at the Rio Olympics.

Cyclist remembers the Tour de France win 23 years ago that made the late Marco Pantani a legend.

 

Finally…

If a driver asks for your help with a flat tire, maybe just keep on riding. Now you can own the gas-powered moped Steve McQueen rode on the track at Le Mans for a mere 50 grand.

And forget elevation gain. Try riding a bicycle a thousand feet in the air.

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

CicLAvia returns with 3 dates this year, a first-hand view of traffic violence, and bike rider shoots driver in self-defense

We all have something to look forward to this year, with the return of America’s largest and most successful open streets festival.

In the best news we’ve had in a pandemic plagued year and a half, CicLAvia will return next month in Wilmington on August 10th.

That’s followed by the traditional Heart of LA route in Downtown Los Angeles on October 10th — the same date as the first CicLAvia, also in DTLA, eleven years earlier.

And last but far from least, a long-awaited return to South Los Angeles on October 5th.

Here’s what our bike-riding friend at KCBS2/KCAL9 have to say on the subject.

https://twitter.com/JeffVaughn/status/1411175401552896004

Photo of an earlier CicLAvia in DTLA by yours truly.

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Every day as I search through the news, I find heartbreaking stories about fatal and near fatal crashes from across the US.

For every one I link to, there may be a dozen or more I don’t.

Just more collateral damage in our incessant obsession with getting from here to there as quickly and inefficiently as possible

Like this story from the very tip of the Pacific Northwest, a stone’s throw from Canada, about a 76-year-old man struck by a trailer pulled by a pickup driver while riding his bike.

Normally I’d read it, maybe mutter a quick prayer, and move on. Just another every day tragic occurrence.

Except this time, the details dovetailed with an email I received yesterday, in the form of a script, from fellow bike rider and corgi aficionado Mike Burk, who moved from SoCal to the cooler and cloudier clime a few years ago.

Fade in:

Late morning, driver’s POV.

Coming home from town this morning when we’re diverted off the highway to a side road because of a road block. At the intersection, noticed a truck towing a poorly loaded trailer carrying an old backhoe. The truck was stopped, the driver getting a ticket by a couple of sheriff’s deputies.

Finally back on the highway and two or three miles down the road. Flashing lights ahead. As we inched along I noticed a bicycle on its side and no rider around. Whatever happened is over (it had been only 90 minutes since we came that way into town).

Seeing the bike and the emergency vehicles, I got a picture.

Photo by Mike Burk

Dissolve to:

Early afternoon, POV over shoulder, sitting at computer.

Me, during a Zoom meeting with our homeowner’s association Publications Committee. Going over articles for our next month’s Kala Pointer Newsletter. One of the committee members asked, “Did you hear about Stan Cummings this morning? He was riding his bike…”

You can guess the rest. Yes, that was Stan’s bike. He was medivacced (sp) to Harborview Hospital in Seattle (40 miles… if you’re a crow). He’s in their TBI unit, not expected to recover well, if at all.

It didn’t take too long for someone following to dial 911 — and then for the sheriffs, local police, and state police to locate and stop the truck.

Stan is active in the community and on his bike. We’ll see what happens.

Fade to black.

Burk adds this final thought.

I forget that this can happen anywhere. We’re in a REALLY small town. Even after all the miles I’ve put on my bike, the thought of getting out on that highway (WA19 and WA20) up here just terrifies me. I keep to the back roads.

Sadly, that’s exactly the case.

The news stories I see come from everywhere English is spoken, and many places it’s not.

From big cities and tiny towns in every state throughout the US, as well as Canada, Mexico and Central America, the Caribbean, the UK, Europe, India, Africa, New Zealand and Australia. And virtually everywhere else, on every kind of roadway.

Yet somehow, the onus for safety inevitably rests on our narrow, unprotected shoulders, rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines who pose the danger to people on bikes, and everyone else.

It’s like living in a village where monsters roam the streets, dragging people off at random. And instead of doing something about them, we merely tell the villagers to be careful and lock their doors at night.

Like this rabidly auto-centric anti-Vision Zero diatribe, in other words.

Which is kind of like telling gunshot victims to dodge the bullets, rather than suggesting that maybe gun owners shouldn’t shoot them.

Frankly, I don’t have the answers anymore.

I just know I’m so damn tired of reading every day about still more innocent people dragged off by the monsters.

And worrying that one day they’ll grab me, too.

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Bike Talk talks protected bike lanes, from every angle.

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Speaking of which, the protected bike lane on Oakland’s Telegraph Ave has been so successful, the city wants to tear it out.

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Apparently, Minnesota’s annual Freedom From Pants Ride went off without a…well, you get the idea.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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Megan Lynch forwards this piece about a man seven years into a diagnosis of dementia, yet still riding his bike across Nova Scotia to fight the disease.

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Evidently, the Dutch city of Groningen was been a bicycle city for awhile.

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British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid explores England’s old Great North Road from London to Newcastle, traveling in style in a classic Morgan sports car, accompanied by a Brompton foldie in the passenger seat.

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

In a truly bizarre case, a man on a bike shot a road raging Houston driver in self-defense when the male driver told a bike-riding couple they couldn’t ride in that neighborhood, then deliberately knocked the woman off her bike; her pistol-packing partner was let go, while the driver was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.

No bias here. After a driver intentionally knocks a British man off his bike, she claims to be an ex-cop, and the current cops don’t hesitate to blame the victim. And a driving instructor uses the incident for a training video.

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

A man on a bicycle remains at large after shooting an Arleta man following an argument Sunday night.

Seriously? There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for a 23-year old English man who was caught masturbating on his bicycle, riding one-handed as he pursued women and young girls. Yet the bike-riding perv somehow avoided jail despite doing it not once, not twice or even thrice, but four times, apparently because the judge thought he’s a “promising student.”

A Singapore bicyclist was criticized for leaving a painted bike lane to draft behind a trio of dump trucks. Although that would be perfectly legal in the US, though not necessarily smart, where most, if not all, states allow bike riders to take the lane if they’re riding the speed of traffic.

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Local

The Gateway Cities Council of Governments will discuss the ill-advised plan to widen the 710 Freeway, displacing homeowners and fouling the air to create more induced demand. A much better option would be to spend the same amount on transit, bikeways and pedestrian improvements so people don’t have to drive the damn thing.

Brooklyn Beckham is one of us, as soccer great David Beckham’s grownup son goes for a Beverly Hills bike ride with a friend.

 

State

Just days after a woman was killed riding her bike on North Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla near UC San Diego, another bike rider was injured when a suspected drunk driver drifted into the bike lane he was riding in, less than half a mile from where the first woman was run down.

The San Diego Union-Tribune considers how North Park’s new 30th Street protected bike lane will affect the community.

A Santa Barbara librarian says her new ebike was the best thing to come out of 2020.

San Jose police busted an alleged fence who specialized in high-end bicycles and construction equipment, while paying thieves a fraction of their actual value; he was caught with an estimated $100,000 of hot merch at the time of his arrest. If you’re missing an expensive bike anywhere in the Bay Area, give ’em a call, just in case.

Tragic news from South Sacramento, where a 76-year old man riding a bike was killed by a hit-and-run driver who briefly stopped following the collision, then ran over the victim to make her getaway.

For anyone up in the Sacramento area, the Davis Bicycling, Street Safety and Transportation Commission will meet on Thursday to discuss a number of proposals, including a newly funded plan to widen the I-80 corridor (bad), while possibly adding bicycling improvements (good). Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

 

National

Seriously? Women’s Health asks if outdoor bike riding is good for weight loss. Hint: A resounding yes!

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a California man raised $13,000 to provide running water to families in the impoverished Navajo Nation by riding his bike from California to New Mexico.

A Santa Fe, New Mexico school is tapping into federal funds to get more kids to bike and walk to school. Which is something every school should be working on.

Boulder CO police say there’s a nationwide bike shortage, so use a damn U-lock, already. Although they may not have said it quite that way.

More proof that collisions with pedestrians are just as dangerous for the person on the bike, as a 28-year old New York woman was left clinging to life after she crashed into a pedestrian walking in a Prospect Park crosswalk while she was riding in the bike lane. Seriously, ride carefully around pedestrians, who are just as unpredictable as people on bikes. And in cars.

An Atlanta bike rider flagged down paramedics after an 18-year old backup quarterback at Kennesaw State University was fatally shot near Pensacola, Florida; his 19-year old passenger suffered multiple gunshot wounds when their attackers fired over 50 rounds at their car.

 

International

TechRadar rates the “super smart” Cowboy 4 as their top ebike, saying it feels like the future of bicycling.

Mashable offers tips on what to think about before entering the ebike world. But they get the first tip wrong, suggesting that ebiking is just a seasonal thing for everyone but the most extreme bicyclists.

Offroad.cc shares their thoughts on what to look for in a used mountain bike.

Um, okay. Pink Bike looks at all the things that didn’t happen in the world of bicycling last month.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a hit-and-run driver walked without a single day in jail for killing an 18-year old man riding a bike. But at least he called 911 before driving off.

A young Black man plans to file a complaint against the Montreal cops who roughed him up and handcuffed him for the crime of not having a reflector on his front wheel. Or maybe because he stopped to watch them question another man.

Life is cheap in the UK, too, where a truck driver walked without spending a day behind bars for killing a 73-year old ebike rider, because the judge thought he showed “genuine and enduring” remorse. Which, oddly, won’t do a damn thing to bring his victim back.

A Singapore bike rider unfairly gets the blame for riding in the traffic lane when a driver slams into him from behind, throwing him onto the windshield before landing in the roadway; the victim sat up following the crash, so hopefully he’s okay. Warning: The dashcam video of the crash is absolutely horrifying, so be sure you really want to see it before you click on it.

 

Competitive Cycling

By now, you should have had plenty of time to catch up on the Tour de France. So it shouldn’t come as a spoiler to reveal that last year’s winner Tadej Pogacar not only reclaimed the yellow jersey, but tightened his grip on it before Monday’s rest day.

Breakaway specialist Thomas De Gendt argues the level of competition is much higher at this year’s Tour de France, thanks to a rash of young riders making their presence known.

Cavendish says he may be struggling, but don’t write off four-time Tour champ Chris Froome yet.

Mathieu van der Poel pulled out of the Tour after losing the yellow jersey to focus on winning mountain bike gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Judging by the video below, he might just have a shot.

A sports physicist considers how many calories you’d have to consume to ride like a pro in the Tour de France.

Nicholas Dlamini, the first Black South African to compete in the Tour, received a round of “rapturous” applause when he crossed the finish line on Sunday’s ninth stage of the Tour, despite failing to make the cut following a crash.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get so drunk you can’t remember stealing a $1,000 bike. That feeling when you’re glad the bear only ate your bike seat.

And John and Yoko were both one of us.

Thanks to author Richard Risemburg for the heads-up.

………

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

Man killed crossing PCH on bike in Wilmington crash Tuesday morning

Deadly PCH has claimed yet another victim.

According to the Daily Breeze, a man was crossing PCH in Wilmington around 5:25 Tuesday morning when he was struck by a pair of drivers.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding on Eubank Avenue at PCH when he was hit by one driver, then hit again by a second driver and knocked off his bike.

Both drivers remained at the scene.

Police report that he was apparently crossing against the light. However, there’s no word on whether there were any independent witnesses who weren’t involved in the crash at that early hour.

It’s also possible that the light may have changed as the victim was crossing the massive seven lane highway, bordered by a two lane service road.

This is at least the 18th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also just the second in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

Update: My News LA reports the victim was crossing PCH headed north on Eubank Ave when he was struck by an eastbound driver, then hit again by someone traveling west on PC.

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

Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up.

Bicyclist killed in Wilmington big rig hit-and-run Friday morning

Finally, and sadly, we have confirmation. 

Friday morning, I received an email from Richard Rosenthal saying that he had seen what appeared to be the aftermath of a bicycling collision on Anaheim Street in Wilmington.

He was on his way to work when he saw the street blocked in both directions, a police tent pitched on the median, and a bicycle lying next to it. 

Despite reaching out to a number of sources, I was only able to confirm that someone had died there, but not what happened or whether the victim was riding a bike at the time.

Now we know. 

According to KTLA-5, a man was crossing Anaheim near Sampson Ave when his bike somehow struck the right rear side of a semi-truck headed west on Anaheim. 

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The driver reportedly continued without stopping. However, if the crash happened the way the station describes, it’s possible he or she may not have been aware of it. 

Although it’s hard to understand why a bicyclist would have ridden into the side of large truck like that, or how he ended up on the center median if he hit the right side of a westbound truck.

It seems more likely that he may have been riding across the street when the driver cut him off, knowingly or otherwise.

Police are looking for a truck with a light-colored cab and dark brown trailer. As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles. 

This is at least the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayer for the victim and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Richard Rosenthal for the heads-up.