Tag Archive for World Day of Remembrance

Morning Links: Motion to unprotect Yucca Street, more on the Great Helmet Debate, and Elizabeth Warren gets it

It’s hard to fight for safer streets when we have to keep fighting to protect what little we already have.

Case in point:

motion before the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council would remove a key traffic diverter from LA’s first — and shamefully, only — bicycle boulevard, on Yucca Street in Hollywood.

Also known as bicycle friendly street in LA bike plan parlance.

The motion would remove the diverter on Yucca Street at Las Palmas Ave that allows bicycle traffic to pass through while diverting motor vehicle traffic off the street, to create a low-stress environment for people on bicycles.

Something that’s desperately needed in high-stress Hollywood, which is virtually devoid of bicycling infrastructure.

Unless you consider sharrows more than just something to help drivers improve their aim.

The Yucca Street motion will be heard at the council’s 6 pm board meeting this Wednesday at the Will and Ariel Durant Branch Library on Sunset Blvd just west of La Brea.

………

More on the seemingly endless Great Bike Helmet Debate.

A writer for Bicycling argues that mandatory helmet laws actually make riders less safe.

And Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says he got it wrong, and Peter Flax got it right regarding the NTSB’s call for mandatory bike helmet laws, instead fixing the problems that are really killing bike riders.

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One presidential candidate gets it, anyway.

Elizabeth Warren marks World Remembrance Day for traffic victims with a call to end traffic violence. Thanks to Ms. Fast for the link.

Meanwhile, the transportation minister for Trinidad and Tobago marked World Remembrance Day by saying bike riders will be given more space on the roads in one of the island nation’s most developed areas; that follows the deaths of two bicyclists killed on a club ride last year. Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for the tip.

That compares to Los Angeles, where city officials said nothing to mark the day.

Let alone actually do something about it.

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

Police in the UK are looking for the victim of a drive-by BB gun attack after witnesses saw him knocked off his bike and into a ditch by the shooting; the jackass behind the wheel also spooked the horses being ridden by a group of kids.

Now that’s a close pass. A group of British bike riders were lucky to avoid getting run down by a driver in a massive truck speeding down on a narrow country road, who missed them by mere inches as he blew by in the opposite direction.

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Local

LAist says yes, you can take your bike on Metro buses and trains. Even if the space reserved for bikes on trains is usually full of people without them.

Long Beach gets a $275,000 grant to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety through workshops on the importance of reflective armbands, bike lights, reflectors and helmets. If they really want to improve safety, skip the workshops and stand on any corner to pass out lights, and arm and ankle bands.

 

State

Calbike has a new policy director, promoting former Senior Policy Advocate Linda Khamoushian from inside the organization.

The Orange County Register takes a brief look at yesterday’s Meet on the Beach carfree festival through seven Orange County communities.

San Diego bike riders beware. The city’s police department will be cracking down on traffic violations that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk today, regardless of who commits them. So stop for stop signs, signal your turns and lane changes, and otherwise ride to the letter of the law until you pass the city limit lines.

More bad news from San Diego, where yet another bike rider has suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a pickup driver while ghost riding another bicycle; neither bike had lights.

To complete today’s San Diego trifecta, a lawsuit filed against the city by a bike rider paralyzed in a meth-fueled crash with a wrong way driver on Fiesta Island is finally going to court after five years.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of Santa Barbara friends ranging in age from 83 to 91 are still riding together after nearly 60 years.

San Jose residents are complaining about a bicycle chop shop in a homeless camp along the Guadalupe River Trail. You can find countless others just like it down here in Southern California.

A San Jose site takes a deep dive into why the city’s quest for safer streets has failed, resulting in worsening rates for bicycling and pedestrian injuries. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

The long-awaited protected bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge across the San Francisco Bay finally opened, drawing “hordes” of bike riders that opponents said wouldn’t show up.

 

National

A new study confirms what many of us have suspected — that subtle shifts in how news stories about crashes are reported can affect how readers assess the blame, and what should be done about it.

Who says you need a car to pick up a little extra cash?

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says if you actually look at the numbers, e-scooters aren’t very scary at all.

An Anchorage AK police officer faces charges for allegedly punching a bike rider and kicking him in the nuts in what began as a traffic stop for not having lights on his bike, after the man had sworn at and flipped off a line of police cars; the cop snatched the phone the victim was recording him with, but it continued to record audio of the assault.

A Seattle-area driver fled the scene of a crash at speeds of up to 60 mph after running down a man on a bicycle, dragging his bike under the car for nearly a mile, then covering the car with blankets to hide the damage; when investigators examined the car, they found it peppered with rice from the groceries the victim was carrying.

This is why I like Phil Gaimon. The LA-based former pro is using his new-found celebrity to support No Kid Hungry, stopping in Houston to talk cycling, charity and cookies as part of a nationwide fundraising tour for the group.

An Oklahoma man faces charges for using his car as a weapon to run down a bike rider following a drug deal gone bad.

Chicago bike riders respond to recent deaths by saying the city is falling behind in protecting bicyclists by failing to build more protected lanes and requiring side guards on trucks, along with keeping people and businesses from parking in bike lanes.

A New York State man has been sentenced to 28 months to seven years behind bars for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, then driving home, changing cars and coming back to the scene; he drove to the sheriff’s office to turn himself in after seeing the victim’s body lying in the street.

North Carolina’s Department of Transportation is complaining that local officials and residents don’t want their quiet country roads turned into virtual superhighways. Go figure.

Ben Affleck is one of us, riding his muddy bike through the streets of New Orleans.

I want to be like him when I grow up, too. A Florida pastor celebrates his birthday by riding his age with an 82-mile journey.

A Florida bike rider rolls through a stop sign on a bike path, and into the path of a driver who doesn’t bother to stop — neither before, or for very long after hitting him. And throws his hands up in frustration when he realizes going to get hit. The video captures the full crash, so be sure you really want to see that before clicking the link.

 

International

A Vancouver man is the latest bicyclist to ride every street in his own city.

She gets it. A Toronto op-ed writer says if we want people to give up their cars, we have to fix our streets first. Meanwhile, a writer for City Lab says it will take more than an app to get people out of their cars.

And we thought LA had bad streets. Over 250 people on bicycles have been injured or killed by potholes in the UK.

A English man broke a 133-year old record by riding a Penny Farthing 874 miles from one end of Britain to the other, breaking the old record by 13 hours. Of course, one reason the record stood so long is because it was set on a Penny Farthing.

A British police conduct board has concluded that officers aren’t responsible for the death of a 75-year old man pushing his bicycle up a hill, who was killed by a driver trying to escape the cops at speeds up to 80 mph.

An Irish senator accepted a challenge to get out on a bike himself after tweeting a complaint about bike riders last week, and concludes that maybe he should have seen the conditions bicyclists actually face on the streets before complaining.

They get it, too. Germany is planning to expand bicycling infrastructure and dedicate more road space to bike riders to protect them and fight climate change.

Bicycles are making a comeback in Calcutta, aka Kolkata, after being banned from 174 major streets until just 17 years ago.

A drunken hit-and-run driver talks about the emotional weight she carries after killing a 15-year old New Zealand boy riding his bike last year, and how hard she was slapped on the wrist by being confined to her home for a whole 11 months. Although it probably doesn’t compare to the emotional burden the kid’s parents will carry for the rest of their lives.

A trio of Kiwi brothers are making names for themselves throughout New Zealand for their mountain biking skills — even if the oldest is just 12-years old.

 

Competitive Cycling

Evidently, the pros feel the same way we do. Four months after Italian cyclist Alessandro de Marchi was seriously injured when he crashed out of the Tour de France, he was livid after a dangerously close pass on a training ride nearly put him back in the emergency room; naturally, the driver told him to go to hell when he complained.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner looks over the crop of rising young American cyclists, and concludes there may be hope for us yet.

Every superhero has an origin story. British cyclist Katie Archibald relates how hanging out with the fixie crowd led to track racing in Edinburgh — and eventually an Olympic gold medal. A reminder that you never know where riding a bike could take you. Or the kids just starting out.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a romantic bike ride after getting dissed by Taylor Swift fans. Before stealing London’s longest bike, you might want to consider whether you can actually sell it.

And if you want to advertise bikes by showing a kid riding one on a beachfront pathway, maybe make sure bikes are even allowed there first.

 

Morning Links: World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims & anti-Vision Zero NoHo road widening

Los Angeles Walks invites you to join them for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims this Sunday, hosted by their project SoCal Families for Safe Streets.

Especially if you’ve impacted by dangerous street design and reckless driving in Southern California.

This Sunday, November 18, more than 100 family members, survivors, and allies will stand in solidarity.

We will remember the thousands of lives lost and forever changed in preventable traffic collisions across Greater Los Angeles. Join us. 

Stand with Dr. Debbie Hsiung, who witnessed the death of her 7 year-old son Aidan Tam on May 31, 2014, while her family legally crossed the street in Pasadena. Dr. Hsiung went on to co-found SoCal Families for Safe Streets, a project of Los Angeles Walks.

SoCal Families for Safe Streets members bear witness to their pain and suffering in order to end preventable deaths and severe injuries on our streets.

Together the group will mark World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday, November 18 from 3pm-5pm at LA State Historic Park. RSVP now. 

Streets Have Stories

In addition to participating in ceremonies that honor lives lost or forever changed by preventable traffic collisions, we invite you to share your story this Sunday with Monique López of Pueblo Planning, who will be on hand recording experiences.

Every 7 hours someone is killed or severely injured on LA city streets.

Thousands of people throughout our region live with the pain of a sudden, traumatic loss or a life-altering injury. But their experiences — the stories of people most directly impacted by dangerous street design and reckless driving — go unheard.

Join SoCal Families for Safe Streets on Sunday, November 18 at World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims to record your story.

Through your story, you will help to shift our cultural understanding of traffic and street safety in Los Angeles and push for change.  

Please join us. RSVP today.

With gratitude, 
Los Angeles Walks

Besides, they’ll have s’mores.

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Local

LA Councilmember Joe Buscaino has proposed lifting a ban bicycles, scooters and inline skates at the city’s 25 skate parks.

CiclaValley urges you to attend Monday’s meeting to discuss LADOT’s dangerous anti-Vision Zero plan to add more traffic lanes to Magnolia Blvd in North Hollywood.

A Vermont newspaper posts an obituary of Burlington native Leslie Pray, who was allegedly murdered by a Claremont motorist while riding her bike earlier this month.

Over 60 people in Long Beach have something else to be grateful for, after the city gave out 62 refurbished bicycles donated by residents yesterday.

 

State

Nice program in Riverside, where city officials are working with Ride 2 Recovery to give bicycles confiscated by police to veterans, saying it can literally save a life by giving them a way to get to the doctor or cope with PTSD.

Highland proposes pedestrian and bike safety improvements along a key bridge, including street lights and bicycle signal detection zones, with a possible Class 1 bike path to be added later.

A new study says completing the bike path along San Francisco’s 82-year old Bay Bridge would offer spectacular views, for a spectacular price — as high as $429 million.

 

National

The Design Museum of Chicago commissioned 17 original pieces of bike art for a new exhibition opening this week. Thanks to Fred Davis for the heads-up.

East Coast newspaper readers say reckless bike riders need to get off the sidewalk and follow the rules of the road. If you want to get bikes off the sidewalk, just give people safe places to ride on or off the street.

An Op-Ed in the Boston Globe says the streets need to be made safer — now. Meanwhile, the paper calls for requiring side guards on trucks to keep bike riders and pedestrians from getting caught underneath. If side guards were required in California, Frank Guzman would probably still be alive.

An MIT PhD candidate quits school and takes a nice, quiet 6,000-mile bike ride along China’s Silk Road. And writes a book about it.

New York improves access to the city’s Williamsburg Bridge by installing a protected bike lane, in advance of next year’s shutdown of a key subway line. However, Gothamist says the new bike lane has a potentially dangerous flaw.

After a Virginia man killed a bike rider and fled the scene in his work truck, his boss had the truck repaired to hide the evidence; now they both face criminal charges.

A Charleston SC newspaper says cars shouldn’t be the only way to get around the city, and that focusing on them makes it more dangerous for everyone else.

 

International

Cycling Weekly discusses the four stages that come after having your bike stolen.

A writer for Treehugger learns to give her bicycle a tune-up at a bicycle collective — aka bike co-op — in just a couple hours. And rides off for just $15.

Bolivia’s Death Road lived down to its name when a 22-year old Israeli woman was killed after a 440-pound rock fell onto a mountain bike tour.

London’s Evening Standard looks at five plans to cut toxic air and traffic deaths, including making deliveries from a train station by e-cargo bike and building safer trucks to protect people on foot and on bikes.

Paris considers banning cars permanently.

A Pakistani cycling coach says too many people think of a bicycle as a poor person’s transport, rather than a healthy way of life.

An Aukland, New Zealand columnist questions why bicycles provide such a “flamethrower of fury,” saying just relax a few years and you’ll love what the city is becoming.

An Australian newspaper considers the myth around riding single file, saying most drivers consider riding two abreast illegal and dangerous — and it’s actually just the opposite.

The Aussie edition of Bicycling provides ten tips on how to get more out of Strava.

 

Competitive Cycling

You won’t be seeing Portuguese cyclist in the pro peloton anytime soon, following his four year ban for doping with EPO before the 2017 Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Bikes really are the new golf — and beat running, too. Who needs earbuds when your helmet has built-in bluetooth bone-conduction speakers?

And seriously, who doesn’t need a bicycle jacket that turns into a sleeping bag?

 

Morning Links: Stumbling on a Compton bike crash, bike events, and fixing a bike path with duct tape

Mike Wilkinson forwards a reminder to always ride safely.

About 10:30 Thursday morning my wife saw the aftermath of a crash involving a bicyclist near Alameda and Alondra in Compton. Such a scene would be hard for most people to stomach, but it was especially tough for her, because we are both avid riders.

The bike was broken in half, which may indicate the force of the collision, but what really got to my wife was the rider’s screams as the first responders tried to help him. The whole scene is going to haunt her for a while.

Despite her shock, she felt it was important to note that most riders she sees in this area ride terribly. They run stop lights, ride on the wrong side of the road, cross from one side to the other in the middle of the block and worse. That makes it hard for even careful drivers like her to avoid collisions. It’s a reminder that following the rules of the road at least means that you are more likely to be where drivers expect you to be.

Be careful out there!

It’s important to note that there is nothing to suggest that the victim in this crash broke the law or rode recklessly in any way.

But it’s valid to say that our safety as bicyclists depends on riding in such a way that drivers know what to expect. Which means riding with traffic, observing traffic signals, and signaling turns. Even if they don’t.

In other words, ride like your life depends on it.

Because it does.

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This weekend marks the World Day of Remembrance to honor the victims of traffic violence.

Finish the Ride is marking the occasion with a memorial ride in honor of Jeff Knopp this Saturday; Knopp was killed while riding on Foothill Blvd in Sunland last November. Meanwhile, Streetsblog talks with Finish the Ride and S.A.F.E. founder Damian Kevitt.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, SoCal Families for Safe Streets, Day One, Streets are For Everyone, and Los Angeles Walks will hold a late afternoon ceremony at Pasadena city hall on Sunday.

In other events,

LACBC is hosting a ride marshal orientation on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, Walk ‘n Rollers is kicking off their Fall Fundraising campaign with their first CycleGiving ride in Culver City.

Bike SGV is leading an SGV Greenways bike train ride this Sunday.

Helen’s Cycles is hosting a number of rides over the next three days.

Los Angeles Bike Rebels is (are?) hosting a solo art show by Carolin Keweer on the 25th.

And CicLAvia returns to Wilshire Blvd on December 10th.

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It’s often said that if you can’t fix it with duct tape, it ain’t broken.

Which is amply demonstrated by this video, where people in the Dutch city of Nijmegen fixed a dangerous intersection on a bike path with a simple application of the aforementioned adhesive.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

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An Irish pundit loses it on a live TV show, accusing bike riders of being actual brown shirt-wearing Nazis, and giving the Nazi salute to drive the point home.

Unfortunately, most of the story is hidden behind a paywall. However, British bike scribe Carlton Reid comes through with the full stomach-turning story.

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Local

A Mar Vista restaurant owner says the road diet implemented as part of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project put him out of business. If reducing a six lane street down to four lanes, with no loss of parking, is enough to kill your business, your problems go a lot deeper than that.

Speaking of Mar Vista, a dermatologist and Mar Vista Community Council member says Vision Zero is a great idea, but the Venice Blvd road diet was rammed down their throats and won’t save a single life. Because everyone knows that dermatologists are experts in traffic safety, unlike the people who actually get paid to do it. Never mind that it was the result of a two-year, community-driven process, and wasn’t rammed up or down any part of anyone’s anatomy. 

Emmy-winning Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany is one of us; you have to respect someone who rides her bike to an interview with the LA Times. Colin Farrell’s kid is now one of us, too.

Maybe things will get a little safer in Pasadena, which received $112,000 grant from the state to improve bicycle safety. And the Santa Monica police received a $300,000 traffic safety grant of their own.

 

State

One thousand bikes were found in a hand-built dirt bunker after a homeless camp was evicted from the Santa Ana River. If you had a bike stolen anywhere in the Fountain Valley area, now would be a good time to check in with the OC Sheriff’s Department.

A handful of Thousand Oaks residents object to a proposed road diet, while the majority who attended a meeting apparently didn’t have an opinion.

Amgen does more than just sponsor a bike race. They’re also helping to give new bikes to kids in the Conejo Valley.

A Santa Barbara woman says yes, you can go grocery shopping by bike. Although riding to class at the local university appears to have its issues. Note: As Andy S points out below, the shopping piece is a rerun of an article that appeared earlier this year.

Bakersfield received a $30,000 grant from the state for bicycle and pedestrian safety education programs, as well as distributing bike helmets.

Caltrans held a public workshop to discuss their nine-county Bay Area bike plan.

 

National

Trek is getting sued for trademark infringement, accused of stealing the name of the late plus-sized comedian Chris Farley for its popular Farley fat bike. And no, I don’t even want to consider that implication.

Now that you’ve mastered all the other bike skills, learn how to do an upside down flip over an open loop.

Bicycling explains how to survive your next attack by a wild boar or wildebeest. Or an angry dog.

The Aspen CO sheriff has recovered the stolen bike Lance Armstrong gave him, after it was found chained to a tree. Maybe now he’ll have enough sense to lock his bike up like everyone else.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a ghost bike; fortunately, it was recovered at a Kansas scrap yard.

Can he give it back? A 19-year old Michigan man rode his bike to work every day, regardless of the weather, so his coworkers pitched in to buy him a car for his birthday.

New York officials knew the bike path where eight people were killed recently was vulnerable to a terrorist attack, but did nothing to prevent it. Just like LA officials know the risk of a similar attack on Hollywood Blvd, but haven’t done anything about it.

WaPo invites six triathletes to race DC’s bikeshare bikes.

A Virginia Navy vet plans to ride a stationary bike until he’s raised enough money to buy 100 bikes and helmets for local kids.

 

International

Rouleur takes a look at the concept collaborations between bike and auto makers.

A Toronto cyclist says bike lanes aren’t for experienced riders like him; they’re for people who might not otherwise get on a bike.

I want to be like her. An 11-year old girl raised the equivalent of nearly $8,000 for a mental health charity by riding the length of the UK, inspired by a cousin with anorexia.

A bike-riding British purse snatcher is behind bars after grabbing nine purses from elderly women as he rode by, including one theft caught on security cam.

Brit cyclists say software developers and owners of autonomous cars should be held criminally responsible for any crashes.

After a 79-year old English rider was pushed off his bike by a group of teenagers, he refused to press charges because he doesn’t want them to have a criminal record.

A grieving Irish woman says “selfish drivers are oblivious to the huge devastation they could cause,” after losing her entire family in a crash with a suicidal cab driver.

Why bother with water bottles when you can strap a couple half liters of Spanish wine to your bike?

An Indian woman is riding solo across the country to prove that the nation’s roads are safe for women.

Life is cheap in Australia, where the negligent death of a bike-riding doctor isn’t worth a single day in jail.

One of China’s leading bikeshare companies is on the verge of going belly up; Quartz says China’s bikeshare startups will have to merge or die.

 

Competitive Cycling

Now that the Fabian Cancellara motor doping controversy has died down a little, Road.cc reviews Phil Gaimon’s new book Draft Animals.

A British Parliament member says Bradley Wiggins and British Cycling weren’t exonerated by the end of the recent doping investigation.

 

Finally…

Maybe cut back on the meth a bit if you want to outrun a 74-year old man on his stolen bike. Why fly the coop — literally — when you can ride a bike?

And if you’re dismantling a pair of bikes in an alley, while in possession of burglary tools — and already on probation for grand theft — you might want to have an explanation ready in case the cops show up.

Just saying.

 

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