Grossman gets 15-to-life for high-speed vehicular murders, and Hermosa Beach can’t tell ebikes from electric motorbikes

Just 204 days left until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the city’s mean streets.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re up to 1,196 signatures, so don’t stop now! Let’s get just four more to get it up to 1,200 before I send it to the mayor’s office!

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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That’s more like it.

Wealthy socialite Rebecca Grossman was sentenced to a well-deserved 15 to life for the vehicular murder of two little kids.

The co-founder of the famed Grossman Burn Foundation, Grossman was convicted of the high-speed deaths of 11-year old Mark Iskander, and his 8-year old brother as they crossed a Westlake Village street with their parents.

Here’s how the Los Angeles Times describes the crash.

The boys’ mother testified during trial that her older children had been walking ahead of her and her youngest son in the marked crosswalk on Triunfo Canyon Road when she heard engines roaring. Two sport utility vehicles were barreling toward them.

Iskander dived for safety, grabbing her 5-year-old son. Her next memory, she said, is of Jacob and Mark crumpled on the roadway.

Grossman was driving behind Scott Erickson, a former Dodgers player, who earlier in the day had been drinking cocktails with her at a nearby restaurant. She was driving as fast as 81 mph and traveled another half-mile after slamming into the children, according to evidence presented at trial.

However, the judge apparently took pity on her, sentencing Grossman to two concurrent terms for the murders, plus another three years for the hit-and-run to be served concurrently.

She could have been looking at 33 years before she’d be eligible for release. Instead, the 60-year old Grossman could get out when she’s a relatively young 75.

On the other hand, her victims would have been young men of 26 and 23, respectively, if the married woman hadn’t decided to race her then-boyfriend after drinking and taking valium.

Although it would be nice if Erickson had been held accountable for his not-insignificant role in the boys’ deaths, rather than given a walk by prosecutors.

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Hermosa Beach adopted an emergency ebike ordinance that mostly restates existing state law, but can’t seem to distinguish between electric bicycles and electric motorcycles.

And if it’s so effing urgent, why didn’t they include a link to the damn press release, and not bury it on their website?

Thanks to Dr. Grace Peng for the heads-up.

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CicLAvia looks forward to their fourth open streets event of the year, and the 53rd overall, when they come to Western Ave in South LA on the 23rd, with a list of where to eat and shop along the route.

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It’s now 172 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And three full years since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

No bias here. An Austin, Texas columnist complains the city is putting in all these bike lanes, when it just makes more sense to ride on side streets — which take riders out of the way and usually don’t have traffic signals. And says you should have to wear a numbered armband to ride in certain areas.

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

A Redditor rightfully complains about the “disgusting” amount of used gel packs, water bottles and other assorted detritus left behind following a mountain bike rice through the woods.

Once again, an elderly person has been killed in a collision with someone on a bicycle, this time a 70-year old woman in Dublin, Ireland. Note to Irish Cycle — putting an urgent call for more funding in the middle of a story about a woman getting killed by a bike rider probably isn’t the best look.

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Local 

Spectrum News 1 profiles Finish the Ride and Streets Are For Everyone founder — and all-around good guy — Damian Kevitt, as he dedicates his life to making the roads safe for everyone.

More on the teenaged, motorbike-riding assholes who attacked beach goers and businesses with fireworks in Hermosa Beach on Saturday, as the press continued to blame “ebike” riders, apparently incapable of distinguishing between a ped-assist bicycle and a battery-powered dirt bike.

 

State

Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry looks at the latest tranche of bike and transportation bills in the state legislature, including a bill to exempt bike lanes, bus lanes and pedestrian projects from the need for additional Coastal Commission studies.

The San Francisco Chronicle says the city is ready to throw in the towel on the deeply unpopular centerline bike lanes on Valencia Street, and replace them with some form of side lanes, even though putting the bike lanes in the middle of the street has reduced doorings. Which makes you wonder how the hell someone gets doored when they’re riding in the middle of the street.

Good news from Davis, where a member of the UC Davis cycling team finally awakened from a coma, five weeks after the freshman was struck by a driver while she was riding her bike.

 

National

Bloomberg says the goals of the 15-minute city are laudable, but questions whether it’s even possible to put retail, services and jobs that close to every resident. Hey, nobody said it was going to be easy.

Electrek considers why more American teens are choosing ebikes over driver’s licenses. Maybe they’re just a lot smarter than we give them credit for.

Velo examines whether Biden’s new Chinese tariffs will raise the cost of your next ebike, concluding it’s complicated.

Men’s Journal recommends their choices for Father’s Day gifts for bicyclists that won’t get stashed in the back of the drawer — including a liquor flask, in case you somehow feel the need to get sloshed during your next ride.

CNN Underscored once again considers the best bike locks, sticking with choices from Kryptonite and Hiplok.

A Brooklyn paper talks with the New York borough’s legendary bikeshare-riding stuntman famed for balancing various objects on his head.

Tragic news from upstate New York, where a teenaged boy was killed when he went off the top of a five story parking garage while riding an ebike with a group of friends. Although once again, what kind of ebike isn’t specified.

The annual 900-mile Remember the Removal Bike Ride bike ride is underway, as a group of bicyclists with Cherokee ancestry follow the infamous Trail of Tears their forebears walked from Georgia to Oklahoma.

 

International

Lime will bring the first bikeshare system to a First Nations community when they open an ebike system on British Columbia’s Squamish Nation.

If you build it, they will come. Just a month after critics said a new bike lane in Colchester, England was an accident waiting to happen and would cause carnage, bicycling rates are up 300% on the route while gaining positive reviews from riders.

More than half of bike riders in the UK say the roads are in terrible shape due to potholes and cracked pavement following months of rains.

British carmaker Ariel is releasing its first bicycle in 92 years; the company made the first mass-produced bicycle in 1871, but switched exclusively to cars in 1932.

UK police warn that drivers can’t see you if you’re wearing dark clothing. Even in broad daylight, apparently.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a cyclist loses after celebrating too soon, this time in the women’s Tour of Britain when retiring Luxembourg champ Christine Majerus raised her arms in victory before losing at the finish line.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you take your new tall bike to extreme lengths. Or when your band performs on a bicycle built for six.

And when you’re on felony probation and carrying illegal weed on your bike, just stop for the damn stop sign, already.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Teen bike riders bomb Hermosa Pier visitors, OC bends law to crackdown on ebikes, and BC bike riders behaving badly

Just 205 days left until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the city’s mean streets.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re up to 1,195 signatures, so don’t stop now! Let’s get it up to 1,200 before I send it to the mayor’s office!

………

Seriously, guys, get a clue.

According to KTLA-5, a group of teenagers on ebikes tormented nighttime revelers at the Hermosa Pier Saturday night, setting off illegal fireworks in and around families and adults out enjoying the evening, resulting in a number of minor injuries.

They also caused damage to businesses along Pier Avenue, forcing patrons on the patio of Sharkeez bar to evacuate, as well as hitting a woman in the face with a firework.

I don’t care how immature they may be or how much the city considers cracking down on teen ebikers, there’s just no excuse for that kind of behavior.

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The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to set new rules governing ebikes in the county, with four new categories of ebikes based on maximum speeds and the amount of power they’re able to generate.

They also require helmets for anyone over 16 riding a class 3 ebike, while banning anyone under 16 from riding them, and prohibiting multiple people riding on a single bike.

The new rules also prohibit riding more than two abreast on county roads, and set a maximum 28 mph speed limit for bicycles.

But only the state has the power to set traffic regulations, so where the new county regulations conflict with state law — such as limiting the number of people who can ride abreast, or setting bicycle speed limits that differ from that for motor vehicle — they are probably illegal and unenforceable.

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A Vancouver, British Columbia newspaper goes all in on calling out reckless bicycle and ebike riders in a series of articles.

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Bike Talk has a very busy show this week.

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Active Towns talks with Streets For All founder Michael Schneider.

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It’s now 171 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And three full years since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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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 Boston city councilor is taking fire for conducting a public hearing, and only selecting commenters who agreed with his opposition to bus and bike lanes. Sort of like former CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo did during the sham public meetings on the North Figueroa road diet.

No bias here, either. The London Telegraph worries that new half-ton articulated electric cargo bikes could pose a danger to pedestrians. Because evidently, the multi-ton cargo trucks they’re set to replace don’t. 

Residents of an English town are complaining about signs closing a bike lane and telling bike riders to dismount, arguing that no one ever tells drivers to get out of their cars and push.

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

A bike rider in Denton, Texas faces charges after breaking a driver’s windshield wipers, busting her side mirror and spitting on her window, causing $1,000 in damage, after allegedly crashing into her car while making a wide turn. And never mind the meth he was caught with.

The mayor of New York announced a crackdown on ebikes after a reckless hit-and-run rider just kept going after breaking the leg of a prominent rabbi. But he couldn’t seem to be bothered when the state’s governor cancelled the city’s congestion pricing plan in a blatantly political ploy. 

Speeding bicyclists are accused of forcing the closure of London’s Billionaires’ Row, the city’s most expensive residential street. Although something tells me they would have found another excuse if blaming bike riders wasn’t such a popular theme these days.

Residents of Glasgow, Scotland called for delivery riders to be forced to wear numbered jackets in an effort to hold them accountable, accusing them of bad behavior and removing the speed limitation devices on their ebikes.

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Local 

The South Pasadena city council voted narrowly to keep the bike lanes on Grand Ave in place, after a heavy turnout of bicyclists calling for their retention.

Metro’s Adopt-A-Bike program shares unclaimed bicycles that have been abandoned or recovered on the transit system.

As we’ve noted before, Caltrans is looking for your feedback on proposed bike lanes on PCH in Long Beach.

 

State

Sad news from Fresno, where a 40-year old man was killed Friday night when a truck driver rear-ended his bicycle. But at least the driver stuck around afterwards.

 

National

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that American teens are continuing to ride ebikes, even after they’re old enough to drive. Read it on MSN to get around the paper’s draconian paywall.

A writer for Electrek tested a hydrogen-powered ebike, and barely even noticed.

Bike Shop Girl looks at the effect of Biden’s new 25% tariff on Chinese-made ebikes, kids’ bikes and other key bike-specific parts. And it ain’t pretty.

A Portland, Oregon monthly says bike commuting is rebounding in the city after a rare dip last year, as people return to the office after working from home.

Anchorage, Alaska is experimenting with a pilot protected bike lane project, in an attempt to improve the city’s transportation system and the downtown area.

Congratulations to a Colorado boy who biked to school every single day of middle school.

Boston social media accounts are attempting to shame drivers who park in bike lanes. Then again, if they had any shame, they probably wouldn’t park in bike lanes to begin with.

New Orleans celebrated the World Naked Bike Ride on Saturday, with dozens of people turning out in various states of undress. And wipe down the damn seat afterwards if you’re using bikeshare.

Heartbreaking story from Florida, where a mother found her own son lying dead on the side of the road, just a block from their home, when he didn’t return after riding his bike home from work; the driver just kept going after veering into the bike lane where he was riding.

 

International

Bicyclists in Winnipeg, Manitoba expressed their outrage after a 61-year old man was killed in a hot-and-run while riding a bicycle, with dozens participating in a sit-in at the site of the crash. That compares with Los Angeles, where a few people sometimes express mild annoyance in the comment section following a fatal hit-and-run. If there even is a comment section. 

In a cheeky move, the London edition of the World Naked Bike Ride went directly in front of Buckingham Palace. No word on whether King Chuck came out to take it in. 

Where to ride your bike in Belfast on your next trip to Northern Ireland.

The Channel Island of Guernsey saw a 74% increase in bicycle traffic during the island’s Alternative Transportation Week. Now they just have to make it Alternative Transportation Year. And Decade. And Century.

Michal Sadílek of the Czech Republic’s national soccer team is one of us. But probably wishes he wasn’t right now, since he’ll miss the European Championship after injuring his leg while riding his bicycle. Meanwhile, former 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Mike Conway knows just how he feels, since the broken ribs and collarbone he suffered in a bicycling crash will keep him out of this year’s race.

A 25-year old soccer player from Indian has quit her team, and is instead setting out to attempt a new world’s record for the fast ride around the world.

A Chinese woman riding her bike through Thailand has reportedly been kidnapped, with her captors demanding 25 million baht for her safe return — a tad less than $679,000.

A Philippine paper remembers the country’s bicycling priest of peace.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-one-year old Israeli pro cyclist Guy Timor was killed by an unlicensed drunk driver trying to flee from police, while on his final training ride before leaving for the Czech Republic for a Grand Prix competition.

Bike Radar asks if gravel racing is saving the US cycling scene, as road racing continue to shrivel.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole all 14 Ribble Endurance SLR bikes being used by the UK’s Lifeplus-Wahoo bike team in the Tour of Britain, worth more than $63,000 in total.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t call the equivalent of 911 just because a pedal fell off your bike. That feeling when your bike seat pumps along with your butt cheeks. Nothing like casually wrapping an invasive Burmese python around your handlebars to save an alligator’s ass.

And, um, just…well, okay.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Man dies 4 days after he was rear-ended on his bicycle in Apple Valley; victim identified as 54-year old Victor Cunanan

Earlier in the week, we mentioned that a man had suffered major injuries when he was struck by a driver in Apple Valley on Monday.

Sadly, he didn’t make it.

The Victor Valley Daily Press is reporting that 54-year old Apple Valley resident Victor Cunanan died from his injuries at Loma Linda University Medical Center on Friday.

Cunanan was riding east on Thunderbird Road at Wichita Road around 9:10 pm Monday, when he was rear-ended by an SUV driver traveling in the same direction at a high rate of speed.

The 36-year old driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

A message from his church the next day had asked for “fervent prayers” for Cunanan, as well as his wife and children.

The earlier story had said Cunanan was riding in the traffic lane when he was struck. However, that was not repeated in the second story reporting his death; there is a westbound bike lane on Thunderbird, but not headed east.

The crash remains under investigation. Any with information is urged to call the Apple Valley Station of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department at 760/240-7400, or Sheriff’s Dispatch number at 760/956-5001.

This is at least the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Victor Cunanan and all his family and loved ones. 

Update: Man killed riding bicycle on I-805 in Chula Vista last week; victim identified as 66-year old Victor Keith Fields

Once again, someone has been killed riding a bicycle on a Southern California freeway.

This time on the 805 in Chula Vista last week.

According to San Diego’s Fox 5, 66-year old Victor Keith Fields was riding on the shoulder of southbound I-805 around 7:40 pm on Wednesday, May 29th.

As he was approaching or exiting onto the Palm Ave offramp, the driver of a Toyota sedan swerved to the right without explanation and slammed into him — most likely striking Fields at freeway speeds.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

There’s no word on whether the driver was ticketed or charged. And as with other similar cases, there’s no information on why Fields was riding on the freeway.

This is at least the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: A comment below from Ron Hidinger explains why Fields was riding on the freeway. He also points out that a bike path was supposed to be built parallel to the 805, but no work has started on it. 

I have the answer why the deceased was riding on the freeway shoulder. The section of I805 from Main St to Palm Ave is marked with signage allowing bicycles. Or at least it was, I haven’t been that way in a while. The reason is that there is no way to bike from Chula Vista to South San Diego without using the 805 without going way around. The toll road 125 is similarly marked.
I preferred the north bound side as it was relatively safer. The south bound exit at Palm is a typically chaotic, car centric CALTRANS design seemingly designed to imperil cyclists and pedestrians regardless of whether they’re on the ramp or not.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Victor Keith Fields and all his loved ones. 

Grossman sentencing Monday on hit-and-run, murder charges; and NY congestion pricing decision could jeopardize LA plan

Just 207 days left until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the city’s mean streets.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re up to 1,191 signatures, so don’t stop now! Let’s get it up to 1,200 before I send it to the mayor’s office!

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Prosecutors rejected defense calls for probation for Rebecca Grossman, arguing the wealthy socialite is a narcissist who deserves life in prison.

Grossman was convicted on two counts of murder and gross vehicular manslaughter, and one count of hit and run for the high-speed deaths of 11-year old Mark Iskander and his eight-year old brother as they crossed a residential Westlake Village street with their parents.

The wife of Grossman Burn Center founder Dr. Peter Grossman, Grossman allegedly had Valium in her system and had downed at least two margaritas, before racing with her then-boyfriend, former Dodgers pitcher Scott Erickson.

Her attorneys argued the wealthy philanthropist and mother of two has no prior criminal record and should be spared prison time, while prosecutors contend she deserves a heavy sentence because she hasn’t shown any remorse or accepted responsibility for the fatal crash.

Their recommendation of two consecutive sentences of 15-to-life, plus four years for the hit-and-run count, would mean the 60-year old would likely spend the rest of her life behind bars.

She’s scheduled to be sentenced on Monday.

Let’s just hope the judge agrees.

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More fallout from New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s unexpected decision to kill congestion pricing in New York City.

Curbed says the city needs congestion pricing and the governor blew it in trying to cancel the program, calling it a crucial tool that will benefit everyone, even if it doesn’t poll well.

New York Streetsblog questions whether the governor even has the legal authority to cancel congestion pricing scheduled to go into effect at the end of this month, and if she has a plan to replace the billions in lost revenue to fund the city’s transit network.

The Atlantic calls the governor inept, and says her decision to spike congestion pricing at the last second was terrible policy, and terrible politics.

But the conservative New York Post applauded Hochul for killing congestion pricing, and calls for making sure it stays dead.

While it may seem like a New York problem, her decision matters here in Los Angeles, too. Because if it stands, that will make it almost impossible to implement congestion pricing, which has proven successful in London, virtually anywhere in the US.

Including right here in the City of Angels and Traffic Congestion.

Metro is currently five years into their study of whether congestion pricing would work in Los Angeles.

Then again, that’s usually how the city kill any proposal they want to go away, by assigning a study no one will ever hear from again.

We can only hope that doesn’t happen this time.

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Better Bike Beverly Hills invites you to join Streets For All’s fundraiser and bike ride in the city tomorrow, with guest speakers California State Senator Ben Allen and Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsay Horvath.

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BikeSD is sponsoring a bike ride tomorrow to show that bikes mean business, and encourage bike riders to use its coupon book to support businesses along Main Street in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood.

And vice versa.

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Gravel Bike California takes an epic two-wheeled offroad tour of Catalina Island.

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It’s now 169 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And three full years since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

Meanwhile, supporters of Minnesota’s ebike rebate program says it still has merit, even though it accepted just 80 applications before the website crashed, and the state cancelled the opening for now.

Which is 80 more than California has taken.

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

No bias here, as British broadcaster and bicyclist Jeremy Vine posts video of an unacceptably close pass by a black cab, and commenters can’t seem to grasp the concept that the driver could have slowed down and wait until there was space to pass safely.

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Local 

Hermosa Beach is banning ebikes and electric motorcycles from the city’s greenbelt, but will still allow them on The Strand and in Pier Plaza, as long as the motor is turned off — making them impractically heavy. Banning ebikes from bike paths and walkways is legal under state law; banning them from public streets is not. 

Long Beach released five years of data on e-scooter crashes since they were approved for use in the city in 2018, revealing 113 crashes — including two deaths.

 

State

A San Diego letter writer compares the city’s painted bike lanes with the well-protected bike lanes he enjoyed in Vancouver, and says San Diego’s may be dangerous, but at least no one uses them so there’s no traffic.

Speaking of San Diego, San Diego Magazine recommends an offroad ride through the spider web of trails in Balboa Park’s Florida Canyon.

Finishing our San Diego trifecta, a new report says cities in San Diego County aren’t making enough progress in meeting their climate goals. Although investing more to promote bicycling wouldn’t hurt. 

 

National

A new bill introduced by outgoing Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer aims to reinvigorate bicycle manufacturing in the United States — starting by waiving tariffs for bike components for ten years.

A University of Nevada-Reno news site says better bike paths in the newly approved regional active transportation plan offers one solution to the area’s heat and climate change-inducing traffic congestion.

Wisconsin celebrates the state’s Bike Week with a theme of Bikes Mean Business, as they highlight the economic benefits bicycling brings to the state. Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s mayor marked Bike Week with a five-mile public bike ride. LA’s mayor campaigned as a bike rider, yet couldn’t be bothered to even mention this city’s Bike Week, let alone take a ride with us.

Chicago Streetsblog says the solution to flooding in city’s curb-protected bike lanes is to build more raised bike lanes.

Lime will share its bikeshare and e-scooter rental data for DC and Bloomington, Indiana with the cities to help improve equity, safety and accessibility.

 

International

Bloomberg calls bicycle skills training and education programs aimed at women and minority groups the other kind of bike infrastructure that cities need to close stubborn access gaps and get more riders in the saddle.

Paris will transition to using cargo bikes for deliveries during and after next month’s Olympic Games.

Cyclist visits Copenhagen’s “City of Bikes” to explore what makes it the world’s most bike-friendly city. Words that you are unlikely to ever hear about Los Angeles. 

That’s more like it. Belgium is replacing its 50-year old Highway Code with a new Public Road Code, to reflect that cars are no longer the default standard while welcoming bicyclists and pedestrians; meanwhile, bike theft in the country’s capital has surged 70% since 2015.

An advocacy group in Goa issued a “fervent call” for the immediate implementation of a road safety plan to protect bicyclists on all highways and local roads in the Indian state.

 

Competitive Cycling

Thursday’s stage of the Criterium du Dauphine was halted mid-race due to a massive crash that that took down race leaders Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic, though both were able to get up afterwards.

In one of the more bizarre stories in recent memory, retired pros Laurens ten Dam and Thomas Dekker spent the night before the recent Unbound Gravel behind bars, complete with matching orange jumpsuits, after they were busted for public indecency trying to freshen up in a public parking lot after a three-hour training ride.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the city’s mayor films himself riding a bicycle on a street where bikes are banned. And when your stolen Penny Farthing comes back like a bad penny.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Two teens killed in crash where Vista Del Mar road diet removed, and elderly driver plows through a dozen French school kids

Just 208 days left until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the city’s mean streets.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re up to 1,190 signatures, so don’t stop now! Let’s get it up to 1,200 before I send it to the mayor’s office!

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

………

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

Back in 2019, a four-year old girl was tragically killed by a driver as she crossed the street in Koreatown, while holding hands with her mother.

In a crosswalk. With the light.

Alessa Fajardo and her mom did everything right as they crossed Olympic at Normandie that October day, yet she died anyway. Even though Los Angeles officials knew long before about the dangers of that area and intersection.

In fact, the school they were going to was ranked the city’s 13th most dangerous campus just six years earlier, while Koreatown as a whole was rated LA’s fourth most dangerous neighborhood for bike riders and pedestrians.

That’s pedestrians, like little kids crossing the street with their mothers.

It took four-and-a-half years, and a $9.6 million dollar settlement before anything was done about it.

Los Angeles Times reporter Ryan Fonseca took a deep dive into why.

Starting with the problem of each city councilmember acting like little kings in their own districts, responsible for identifying and approving any improvements before they are made.

Or not.

Neither former District 10 Councilmember Herb Wesson, who represented the district when Alessa was killed, nor his successor, Mark Ridley-Thomas, secured that funding. Ridley-Thomas was indicted on federal corruption charges, suspended from the council and later convicted and removed from his seat in late March 2022. Nobody represented the district until Heather Hutt was appointed that September.

Hutt identified and allocated $530,000 for the new signals in June 2023, but the installation work did not begin until April 2024, four months after the family’s suit against the city was settled.

District 10 staff would not comment on the record about why they could not secure the funds in 2020, 2021, 2022 and early 2023.

No surprise there.

Then again, even on the rare occasions when councilmembers really do try to do something, angry motorists too often rush for their torches and pitchforks — and threats of recall elections.

Tuesday night, two teenagers were killed, and three people seriously injured, in a head-on collision on Vista Del Mar in Playa del Rey.

And if that sounds familiar, it should.

Two years before little Alessa was killed in Koreatown, the city agreed to another $9.6 million settlement, this time with the family of a 16-year old girl killed crossing — wait for it — Vista Del Mar to get to her car after leaving Dockweiler Beach.

The same beach where the kids were killed on Tuesday.

Then-CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin responded by ordering long-delayed safety improvements on Vista Del Mar, and a handful of other streets in Playa del Rey. Both because too many lives had already been lost on the deadly roadway, and because the next settlement, for the next inevitable death, would be exponentially higher.

Yet the resulting lane reductions and bike lanes were unceremoniously ripped out weeks later on the orders of then-Mayor Eric Garcetti, after angry residents and pass-through drivers from Manhattan Beach rose up in anger — aided by angry rants from conservative KFI shock jocks John and Ken.

Hence that failed recall, as well as a lawsuit from anti-urbanist group Fix the City.

It only took another four years before there was blood on Garcetti’s hands, and all those who chose their own convenience over the lives of others.

Now just three years after that, two more people have needlessly lost their lives on that same bloody stretch of road. And despite a breathless report from Fox-11, police reports said there was no indication either driver was under the influence.

Never mind that the settlement for this one will likely be exponentially higher than the last one, since Los Angeles installed, then removed, safety improvements that might have prevented it.

Yet despite at least four deaths on the same section of roadway in just nine years, some people still seem to think they should have the unfettered, God-given right to go zoom zoom whenever and wherever they want, innocent lives be damned.

If you want to know why we can’t manage to do anything about the ever-rising rate of needless deaths on our streets, that’s it.

And it would be nice if our current mayor and council would somehow show they actually gave a damn, since the previous ones clearly didn’t.

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Once again, a car was a weapon of mass destruction, when an elderly driver plowed through a group of 12 schoolchildren at a French resort.

Three of the kids were critically injured when the 83-year old driver hit them head-on as they rode single file, leaving the children screaming in terror and pain amid their mangled bikes.

She was arrested at the scene, then released and taken to a hospital after police concluded she wasn’t in a “fit state” for questioning.

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Speaking of deadly roadways, here’s your chance to fight for bike lanes on PCH in Long Beach.

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No surprise that a town known for wealthy, entitled NIMBYs would choose to prioritize their convenience over the lives of bike riders.

………

Bike Culver City offers a full schedule of bike events this month, including a screening of mobility justice leader Yolanda Davis-Overstreet two short film docuseries on Biking While Black on the 13th.

………

It’s now 168 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And three full years since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

For a change, though, California wasn’t the only state whose competency was question, after Minnesota’s planned ebike rebate program was called off for now when the website crashed within minutes of launching.

………

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

Police in Surrey, England released video of a violent attack on a bike rider, who was knocked off his bike by two “masked thugs” on a motorbike while riding on a bike path.

One of the UK’s leading young women’s cyclists is out of this year’s Tour of Britain after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver; Kate Richardson was on a training ride when she was knocked off her bike by the impatient driver, who came back to verbally abuse her before driving off again.

 

A man in Cork, Ireland was irate after a driver pulled over directly in front of him in a bike lane to chat with a friend on the sidewalk, while he was riding uphill with two kids on his cargo bike.

Campaigning for the European Parliament, a Dublin, Ireland politician went on a “jaw dropping,” “reactionary” anti-bike lane rant, in which she compare them to a Berlin Wall dividing the city in two.

A bike rider in Brussels, Belgium is lucky to be alive after he was knocked off his bike by a driver who tried to pass him and his companion while driving in a clearly marked bike lane, then the enraged motorist got out and slashed the victim’s throat with a knife; the victim managed to escape with just six stitches when the driver barely missed his jugular.

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

A New York rabbi suffered a broken leg when he was struck by a rogue, salmon-riding hit-and-run ebiker as he was crossing a bike lane.

Residents of Glasgow, Scotland called for food delivery ebike riders to be required to wear identifiable numbers on their backs, as a result of a number of collisions and near misses. You know, sort of like prison inmates, but without having to be convicted of anything.

A couple of teen ebike riders naturally got the blame after they quarreled with a “crew of cranky elderly” Aussies — even though the reporter admitted he had no idea what the discussion was about or who caused it.

………

Local 

Streets For All urges support for a proposed 28-mile The Hill to Sea transit corridor traversing 13 cities and unincorporated communities from Pasadena to Long Beach, which would “aggressively reduce car dependency by prioritizing high quality bus service, safe protected bike paths, and improved sidewalks for walking and businesses.”

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton asks what’s next for Measure HLA as Los Angeles continues to slow walk new bus and bike lanes.

Urbanize LA has more details on the planned Complete Streets makeover of Hollywood Blvd, with bike lanes scheduled to be on the ground next year.

Los Angeles is building more than four miles of bike and pedestrian corridors in South LA west of the USC campus.

Glendale is delaying a planned Complete Streets makeover of La Crescenta Ave to search for additional funding, after initial estimates came in over budget.

 

State

Orange County supervisors voted to crackdown on ebikes, including restrictions on sidewalk riding, imposing speed limits and reclassifying bikes that generate more than 750 watts through their motors — even though the latter two could put them in direct conflict with existing state law.

Police in Cathedral City released a description of the suspect vehicle in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider last month; they’re looking for a dark-colored 2014-2019 Nissan Versa with major front-end damage, as well as missing parts.

A 52-year old bike rider in Apple Valley was airlifted for treatment after suffering major injuries when the victim was rear-ended by a driver on Monday.

A Heyward man was sentenced to nine years behind bars after pleading no contest to vehicular manslaughter and hit and run in the death of a 52-year old man riding a bicycle while driving a stolen car.

 

National

CleanTechnica sings the praises of Bike Index for registering your bike, which you can do right here for free, for life.

Bloomberg talks with University of Colorado-Denver professor Wesley Marshall about his new book, Killed by a Traffic Engineer: Shattering the Delusion that Science Underlies Our Transportation System; he’s the one who did a study several years back showing drivers and bicyclists break the law at the same rate — but bike riders do it for perceived safety, while drivers do it for their convenience.

Colorado took a step forward by creating a dedicated $7 million funding stream for “proven small infrastructure projects that improve safety for vulnerable road users,” such as bike lanes, sidewalks and other pedestrian improvements. While that’s far too little — even for a relatively small state — it’s a hell of a lot more than most are willing to commit to.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma man faces charges after he led police on a chase while driving on a bike and pedestrian pathway.

Police in Missouri are continuing to look for the SUV driver who nearly hit a man riding his bike, causing him to fall over a guardrail and down an embankment, where he lay in pain yelling for help for 13 hours.

Lawmakers in Michigan want to increase the penalties for drivers who strike vulnerable road users, while tightening the rules for who is considered one.

Vampire Diaries actress Nina Dobrev underwent successful surgery to repair an undisclosed issue resulting from an electric motorbike crash last week, as media sources continued to misidentify it as an ebike.

The Washington Post belatedly discovers bike buses can provide a viable alternative to the standard SUV school run.

Sad news from DC, where a 34-year old White House staffer was killed while riding his bike when he crossed the center line on a sharp curve during a fundraising ride, and was struck head-on by an oncoming motorist; Jacob Thomas Brewer was the husband of Fox News contributor Mary Katharine Ham.

 

International

Momentum explains why bicycles are the perfect vehicle for the 15-minute city, while offering policies to help your city go Dutch.

A writer for Cycling Weekly says forget talk about the “golden age” of bicycling, when there were ten times the number of bicyclists killed in the UK in 1950 compared to now.

A group of Queensland, Australia researchers consider what can be done about the bad weather, hills and dark nights that keep people from bicycling, particularly women. Ebikes can easily flatten the hills, but can’t help with the dark or bad weather.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling reports the annual Red Bull Rampage freeride mountain bike competition will finally welcome women as something other than spectators. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

People Magazine wants to catch you up on what’s happening with America’s best-known ex-Tour de France winner. But fails to explain why anyone should give a damn. 

Huh? Twenty-five-year old Australian cyclist Robert Stannard received a four-year ban for “abnormalities” in his biological passport, with the ban backdated to 2018. Which is pretty much the same as no ban at all.

Former pro Peter Sagan takes the party on the water in a new beer ad.

 

Finally…

Why spend thousands on a gravel bike, when you can do the Gravel Unbound on a Walmart cruiser? Who the hell would steal a Penny Farthing?

And Hitch was one of us.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Silence marks World Bicycle Day in City of Angels, living carfree in LA, and what a real 3-foot passing violation looks like

Just 210 days left until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the city’s mean streets.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re up to 1,178 signatures, so don’t stop now! I’ll forward the petition to the mayor’s office in the next few days. So urge everyone you know to sign it now! 

………

Yesterday was World Bicycle Day.

Or as it’s known here in Los Angeles, Monday.

While other cities around the world marked it to greater or lesser degrees, Los Angeles observed the day by ignoring it entirely.

There was no official proclamation from the mayor, who seems to have forgotten we exist, after claiming to be one of us when she needed our votes.

Ditto for the city council, which offers us only vague promises that they can ignore later.

The silence was just as deafening coming from county leaders, the governor and the state legislature.

But at least Bike Metro remembered.

Then again, my inbox wasn’t exactly full of messages from state and local advocacy organizations using the day as a springboard to call for safer streets, better infrastructure, and other steps to get more people on fewer wheels.

Let alone the urgent need to provide safe and efficient alternatives to driving, at a time when our world is literally burning.

Instead, World Bicycle Day was just another opportunity for our elected leaders to once again swipe left, and remind us all that they’re just not that into us.

Meanwhile, the India Times marked World Bicycle Day by ranking the world’s top six bicycle friendly cities, while another site listed their own top ten cities.

Portland, Oregon made both lists. And do I really need to say Los Angeles didn’t?

I didn’t think so.

………

Thanks to Culver City-based multimedia producer and Loyola Marymount University Professor Emeritus Art Nomura for forwarding a couple non-commercial video series about the joys of going carfree.

The first, Carfree, Season 1, is described as a 12-part mini-documentary series released last year about the joys and challenges of living carfree, or carfree lite, in Southern California; Carfree, Season 2 is currently in production.

The second is Carfree Epiphany, a series of self-produced 30 second to two minute stories of how people have become and/or are becoming carfree. You’re invited to contribute your own video, with instructions on how to submit it included on the link.

I gave up driving several years ago. And don’t miss driving in this hot mess of a city one bit.

………

Define “three-foot passing violation.”

Or at least it would be, if video evidence of misdemeanors and traffic violations counted for anything in California.

………

Mexico’s new president-elect is one of us.

………

It’s now 166 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And three full years since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

Meanwhile, Minnesota becomes the latest state to offer non-vaporware ebike rebates up to $1,500 — just one year after it was approved by the legislature.

Proving just how quick and easy it can be when the people in charge actually give a damn, and don’t have their skulls firmly embedded between their buttocks.

………

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

Horrifying story from Missouri, where a man was found badly injured 13 hours after somehow surviving a 22-foot fall, after he had to jump off his bike and over a concrete barrier to avoid getting run down by a hit-and-run driver.

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

After three cygnets — aka baby swans — were killed along an English trail, suspicion immediately fell on reckless bicyclists, despite the lack of any actual evidence pointing in that direction. If bike riders were really responsible, there would have been feathers everywhere from the impact with the bike tires.

………

Local 

Autoweek says last weekend’s Electrify Expo in Long Beach illustrates exactly who will be hurt by President Biden’s new tariffs on electric vehicles, e-bikes and e-scooters and components. Like the people who might otherwise buy them. And the ones who will have to pay through the nose to do it anyway.

An LA County judge rejected wealthy socialite Rebecca Grossman’s bid to have her conviction overturned for killing two little kids as they rode their skateboard and kick scooter across the street with their parents, citing her speeding and drinking that night, as well as a previous warning from police about the dangers of speeding.

 

State

The Voice of OC looks at Orange County’s efforts to catch up to the burgeoning use of ebikes in the county, and the panic over teens on fast, throttle-controlled ebikes that may be beyond their ability to control safely.

 

National

Strong Towns says sidewalks, bike paths and other public spaces where people can gather are key to building strong towns that are irresistible to tourists.

Sixty members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity are preparing for the group’s annual cross-country ride to raise funds for programs to support people with disabilities.

Outside makes their picks for the very best gravel bikes available today.

Drivers in Anchorage, Alaska are up in arms after the city’s first protected bike lane and lane reduction appeared over the weekend, as the city struggles to maintain its reputation for being bike and pedestrian friendly.

Denver is removing the rubber bumpers from a protected bike lane in front of a condo building, after an 82-year old man tripped over one and broke his pelvis, leading to a series of falls — and eventually, his death.

Kansas Public Radio talks with LA-based author Peter Flax about his new bookLive to Ride: Finding Joy and Meaning on a Bicycle.

The New York Times examines the people responsible for the city’s ghost bikes, and the message they spread about the need to drive safely.

 

International

Forbes says your next vacation should be a self-guided bike tour.

Canadian Cycling Magazine insists Season 2 of The Tour de France: Unchained is even better than the first.

That’s more like it. Police in York, Ontario are using drones to catch drivers who pass too close to bike riders, and don’t give the newly required one meter passing distance — a little more than three feet.

A new study from a Canadian university shows that driver speeds really do go down when there’s a bike lane on the street.

A British driver is on trial for killing a 52-year old triathlete as she was competing in a time trial in 2022, plowing into her from behind despite clear visibility and an open lane to her left — and later telling police he had no memory of the crash, but admitting that he “must” have hit her. Which would seem kinda obvious under the circumstances. 

A new book argues that the Netherlands isn’t the bicycling paradise people think, and communities — even the ones filled with people on two wheels — should ask deeper questions about what their streets are really for. While the country may not be perfect, it’s still a hell of a lot better than pretty much anywhere here in the US. Especially LA. 

Meanwhile, three-quarters of Netherlands residents think using bike helmets is a good idea for ebike riders, even though hardly any actually do.

Over half the residents of Germany’s Hesse state listed building more bike lanes as one of their top priorities, in a state where one-third of the population ride bicycle a multiple times a week.

More proof of the power of bikes, as bicycling became a tool for liberating women in Karachi, Pakistan, after one woman started a girl’s bicycle club.

The general manager of a new Hyatt hotel offers his perspective on bicycling in Kolkata, formerly known to English speakers as Calcutta.

A writer for a Philippine website explains how New Zealand made him feel safe riding a bicycle, as the country does its best to protect active transportation users.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tragic news from Brazil, where 42-year old cycling champ Lais Saes was killed in a hit-and-run while training with three other women on a dirt mountain road, when she was struck by the driver of a utility vehicle; it took more than an hour for help to arrive at the remote location.

 

Finally…

No, whacking an ebike worker over the head with a motorbike helmet isn’t actually what they were designed for. You can’t drive in the bike lane just because your car self-identifies as a bicycle.

And that feeling when the cops catch a hit-and-run driver because one of your AirPods fell into his car during the collision.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Happy World Bicycle Day, MOVE Culver City CEQA suit trial begins, and Bike Talk talks The Art of Cycling

Just 211 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’ve jumped up to 1,173 signatures, so don’t stop now! I’ll forward the petition to the mayor’s office in the next few days. So urge everyone you know to sign it now! 

Photo by Ana Arantes from Pexels.

………

Happy World Bicycle Day!

………

Just a quick note before we get started. 

I’m finally starting to feel a little better, almost two months after falling and injuring my ribs and back, and re-injuring my shoulder. My ribs are almost back to normal, and my back is getting there. On the other hand, I think my torn rotator cuff is just screwed at this point.

Also, a very kind person reached out to me last week and offered to come over and help around our apartment — the second time that’s happened since my wife and I have both been injured, after another BikinginLA reader generously offered to come do our shopping for us. 

I won’t embarrass them by sharing their names, but I truly appreciate their offers of help. And the kindness and generosity of the readers of this site, which I see every year during our fund drive, and throughout the year. 

So my sincere thanks to both of these people, and everyone who has given from their heart to help keep this all going. 

And speaking of keeping the lights on, please take a moment to thank Pasadena bike lawyer and longtime bicycling supporter Thomas Forsyth for renewing his ad for another year. 

Thank you. 

………

As you may know, I’ve been complaining for some time about Culver City’s regressive move to rip out the highly successful MOVE Culver City project.

Not only did they move quickly to remove the protected bus and bike lanes, combining them into a single shared lane, but they made the move without conducting the required environmental review.

A lawsuit contesting the removal without a CEQA review was filed in November, and will be heard Wednesday at the Los Angeles County Superior Court at 111 North Hill Street.

If you can make it, show up to show your support for the Friends and Families for MOVE Culver City, aka FFMCC, who filed the suit. And let me know what happens.

Here’s a press release from the group explaining the case.

Friends and Families for Move Culver City Invites Members of the Public to Attend the Hearing on June 5th for its Lawsuit Against City’s Planned Removal of Protected Bike Lanes and Pedestrian Protections from MOVE Culver City Project

Culver City, CA – Friends and Families for MOVE Culver City (FFMCC), a local advocacy group, invites members of the public to attend the hearing for its lawsuit to stop Culver City’s removal of critical infrastructure without proper California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review on June 5th at 1:30pm in Department 15 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. The group first raised concerns and filed a lawsuit challenging the Culver City Council’s plans to remove key transportation upgrades in October 2023. The Culver City Council disregarded its own data, hundreds of public comments, letters and warnings from the community, elected officials, businesses, lawyers and environmental and mobility advocates when it first voted to begin the process of removing elements of its MOVE Culver City project in April 2023. Local advocates assert that the City Council’s approval of a CEQA exemption to these modifications is a violation of the law, as it would remove a protected bike lane and pedestrian features to accommodate an additional lane of vehicular traffic without disclosing, analyzing, or mitigating the impacts of those changes in an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

Despite the warning, in January 2024, the Culver City Council voted to approve funding for a construction contract related to the removal of safety upgrades in the Move Culver City Corridor.

Following the vote, FFMCC filed a lawsuit in October 2023. A copy of the opening brief can be viewed here.

“We’re confident in the strength of our case and expect the judge to rule in our favor,” says Yotala Oszkay Febres-Cordero, Chair of Friends and Families for MOVE Culver City, the plaintiff in the case. “The city clearly violated CEQA by voting to exempt the project from environmental review, ignoring the indisputable fact that replacing a protected bike lane with an additional lane for cars, and removing pedestrian safety features, poses significant threats to public health and safety. This is precisely why CEQA was enacted, to provide notice to and protect communities when a planned project generates these environmental threats.” FFMCC is represented by attorneys Ellis Raskin, Jillian Ames, and Jenny Dao of Hanson Bridgett LLP.

In moving forward with this trial, FFMCC hopes to show the City that proper CEQA review pursuant to state law must be adhered to before any environmentally hostile modifications are made to the MOVE Culver City corridor.

About Friends and Families for Move Culver City

Friends and Families for Move Culver City was formed in response to the Culver City Council’s 3-2 vote to declare modifications to the MOVE Culver City project exempt from CEQA and to proceed with the removal of protected bike lanes, pedestrian protections and safety measures, and the addition of vehicle lanes along Washington Blvd and Culver Blvd in Culver City. Following the council vote on 9/11/2023, a GoFundMe was organized which raised more than $15,000 in less than two weeks, with nearly 200 donations from community members opposing the City’s plans.

………

Bike Talk talks with the author of The Art of Cycling in this week’s episode, dropping on Thursday.

………

The popular bike blogger known as Bike Shop Girl has created a new website focused on the cargo bike life.

………

It’s now 165 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And three full years since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

………

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

An English bike rider suffered broken bones and a punctured lung when masked “thugs” on motorbikes pushed him off his bike while riding on a segregated bike lane, in what may or may not have been a bikejacking attempt.

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

Montreal saw a 20% jump in tickets issued to people on bicycles from 2022 to 2023. Which either means people are riding worse, or the cops are cracking down more.

………

Local 

LAist explores the pushback on traffic safety efforts, as people fight to keep the roads dangerous and keep their God-given right to go zoom zoom all they want, damn the consequences.

Pasadena is already on the verge of being a 15-minute city.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adaptive custom tricycle from a young Lawndale girl with a rare neurological disorder.

 

State

Calbike remembers the late, great Bill Walton.

A travel website selects seven surprisingly scenic and bikeable cities in California. Although they list Los Angeles at number six, just ahead of San Diego, which suggests they’ve never actually been here.

The annual AIDS/LifeCycle Ride is underway, with people from around the world riding 540 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles this week; the fundraising ride will end in LA this weekend.

Sad news from Fresno, where a 50-year old man was killed riding in the downtown area; police blamed the victim for making an unsafe turn.

A new Marin County bikeway is a downpayment on a long-planned north-south bikeway reaching across the entire county.

Bay Area bike riding is about to get safer, as work begins to install 22 bicycling turnouts on deadly Mt. Diablo. Then again, when you name a mountain after the devil, you’re tempting fate, anyway.

 

National

Momentum lists the best US bike routes to check out this summer.

Paramedics in Anchorage, Alaska gave a young girl a new bicycle after a “distressing” incident that left her impaled by the brake lever on her bicycle, threatening her femoral artery.

An Arizona man says he could have been killed after he was knocked off his bike by the wing mirror of a passing RV.

Tragic news from Colorado, where an eight-year old girl was chased down and killed by a raging moose as she rode her bike.

Life is cheap in Texas, where killing a kid riding his bicycle is just an “oopsie.”

A New York man was the victim of illegal parking, killed when he crashed his ebike into an unattended semi-truck and trailer double parked in the traffic lane.

The sitting President of the United States was sitting on a bike seat in Delaware this weekend as he went for a ride with his son, Hunter, who will go on trial this week on federal gun charges.

He gets it. A writer for the Palm Beach Post says bicyclists risk their lives to ride in West Palm Beach, and it’s time the city did something to protect them.

 

International

A new study shows making a habit of riding a bicycle can keep your knees young.

Canadian national newspaper The Globe and Mail patiently explains why it’s not a good idea to put bike lanes in the middle of the road. Something San Francisco probably should have read before the whole Valencia Street fiasco.

A ten-year old British girl was injured when some jackass threw a kid’s bike off a multi-story housing unit, hitting the child below.

Bollywood actress Rakul Preet Singh is one of us, as she shares her thoughts on biking in Mumbai for today’s World Bicycle Day.

The India Times profiles billionaire bike rider and software entrepreneur Sridhar Vembu.

Beijing, China is experiencing an ultra-cycling boom, but hopes for the country’s hydrogen-powered bikeshare bikes are rapidly deflating.

A group of Aussie professors, lecturers and researchers examine why so few of their countrymen and women ride bikes, and offer suggestions on how to get the country back on two wheels.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Lachlan Morton and Germany’s Rosa Maria Klöser won the men’s and women’s divisions, respectively, of America’s premier gravel race, the Life Time Unbound Gravel 200 in Kansas over the weekend. Read it on AOL this time if Bicycling blocks you. 

Morton won in a record time, despite making a wrong turn on the course.

A columnist for Cycling Weekly says it’s okay if pro cyclists hate cycling sometimes, because the rest of us have our ups and downs, too.

Tadej Pogačar’s agent proclaims post-ride beers are good for you.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your local bikeway has been around for 126 years. Your next graphene-reinforced bike lock could be axle-grinder resistant.

And who needs a bike seat when you can weld three chairs to your mamachari bike?

………

Thanks to Cassandra Fulgham for her donation to help support this site — and possibly help defray that ambulance ride and ER visit. As you probably know by now, donations of an amount, no matter how large or small, are always welcome and appreciated, whatever the reason.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

National City teen dies 2 days after he was struck by a driver while biking to school — and just days before his graduation

Heartbreaking news from National City, where a teenaged boy died two days after he was struck by a driver while riding his bike.

And just one day after his 18th birthday.

Edgar Burciaga was riding his bike to school Tuesday morning when he was severely injured in a collision at J Ave and East 18th Street in National City.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on how or when the crash occurred. His mother was informed by police around 10 am on the morning of the crash.

His family gathered around Edgar’s bed on Wednesday to celebrate his birthday — a day after he was rushed into surgery, and one day before he was declared brain dead.

They gathered again yesterday to celebrate Edgar’s high school graduation, before his body was wheeled into an operating room to donate his organs.

This is how San Diego’s NBC-7 describes it.

His family said Edgar was bigger than life and he always had a heart for others.

“That’s why his father and I decided he was the perfect candidate to donate his organs to those who are in a critical health condition,” she said.

Edgar was a son, brother, and a senior at Sweetwater High School in National City. He was expected to graduate next week.

“I feel very proud of him, his life, and everything that he was,” said Rutilio de Haro, Edgar’s father.

There will be an empty seat at his high school graduation, but others will go home to their families thanks to his family’s generosity.

The driver remained at the scene; there’s no word on whether they were charged or ticketed.

This is at least the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Edgar Burciaga and all his loved ones. 

Beverly Hills backslides on bike safety, Rancho Palos Verdes considers bike ban, and a prop cash bike theft scammer

Just 214 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’ve inched up to 1,151 signatures, so don’t stop now! I’ll forward the petition to the mayor’s office next week, after getting tied up with health issues this week. So urge everyone you know to sign it now! 

………

Beverly Hills is backsliding on their new found commitment to bike safety and Complete Streets.

The gilded city will rip out its only protected bike lane, on South Roxbury Drive next to Roxbury Park, because some drivers found the new parking configuration confusing and thought it reduced visibility when backing out of parking spaces.

Even though the city doesn’t seem to have done any actual studies to see whether it improved safety during the three years it was in place with no documented safety issues.

The planter-protected bike lane will be replaced with sharrows — even though protected bike lanes have been proven to improve safety for all road users, while sharrows have been shown to make things worse.

And never mind that the arrow in the sharrows symbol is just there to help drivers improve their aim.

………

Speaking of gilded cities, Jim Lyle forwards news that Rancho Palos Verdes is considering banning bicycles and motorcycles from Palos Verdes Drive South, due to the same shifting ground that forced the closure of the famed Wayfarer’s Chapel.

However, that could put the city in conflict with state law unless cars are also banned from the street, since since state law requires bicycles to be permitted anywhere motor vehicles are allowed, with the exception of limited access highways in urban areas.

On the other hand, the suggestion to voluntarily avoid the area is probably a good idea until the ground stops literally shifting beneath your wheels.

Dear Bike Community,

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes would like to inform the Bike Community that the City will be considering prohibiting bicycles and motorcycles on Palos Verdes Drive South (PVDS) and an agenda item is planned to go before the RPV City Council on June 18, 2024.

  • City staff and consultants are seeing rapid and substantial rates of movement (6 to 9 inches per week, depending on location) in and around the vicinity of the landslide area along Palos Verdes Drive South.
  • Despite the warning signs in place, we are seeing injuries.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, we are asking the City Council to consider prohibiting bicycles and motorcycles on PVDS.
  • We are requesting the Bike Community to voluntarily consider alternate routes.

Please let us know if you have comments and questions regarding the above bicycle and motorcycle prohibition proposal.

Please contact:

Ramzi Awwad

Director of Public Works

City of Rancho Palos Verdes

rawwad@rpvca.gov

………

Police are looking for a con man who stole a Huntington Beach man’s electric bike, as well as victimizing several other people with similar scams.

The man poses as a prospective buyer for expensive ebikes advertised on on Facebook Marketplace and other online platforms, and shows up with cash in hand for a test ride.

But only after leaving with the bike do the victims discover the envelope full of money he left behind as a deposit is just counterfeit prop money for intended for film shoots, and marked “For motion picture purposes only” in small fine print.

In this case, the Huntington Beach victim was scammed out of $4,200.

There’s no word on how many other people have been conned, or the value to the bikes he’s stolen. However, after reporting the crime, the victim heard from several other people claiming they had also been victimized in similar scams, including in Redondo Beach and Escondido.

So watch out if you’re selling an ebike — or any other high-end bike — through an online marketplace.

………

This protected bike lane on 7th Street in DTLA was agreed to as part of the approval process for the Wilshire Grand Center.

And it only took 14 very long years after the project got the green light.

………

This is who we share the road with.

………

Anyone?

………

GCN suggests five reasons people don’t bike to work and 13 suggestions to overcome them.

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It’s now 162 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 35 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

No bias here. El Paso police blame the victim, saying a 76-year old man died ten days after striking a car on his bike when the 22-year old driver pulled out in front of him while exiting a parking lot; needless to say, there’s no mention of a charges or even a ticket for carelessly killing an elderly man.

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

A British borough is spending the equivalent of nearly $51,000 to install closed circuit TV cams to deter anti-social behavior by riders on a new bike path.

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Local 

Streetsblog reports protected bike lanes — or what passes for them in Los Angeles — are finally coming to Hollywood Blvd this summer. However, they won’t offer any protection for tourists strolling along the crowded boulevard, other than a few flimsy plastic bollards and whatever cars may be parked alongside it.

The Los Angeles Times highlights six “must-see stops” along the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail. Never mind that the bike path would extend to Malibu by now, instead of stopping at Will Rogers State Beach, except for a misguided campaign to halt the extension over the optics of spending millions to build it. 

Culver City is moving forward with plans for a three-mile concrete bike lane on Overland Ave, along with new safety and streetscape improvements, extending from Venice Blvd through Fox Hills.

Malibu locals can get a free T-shirt calling for speed cams on deadly PCH, complete with an acronym calling for drivers to slow the fuck down, at the Tracy Park Gallery this evening.

 

State

As we noted yesterday, the California legislature has rejected Governor Newsom’s call to gut the state’s Active Transportation Program; Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry explains just how awful the cuts would be. Not to mention the draconian cuts also shows the lack of actual climate bona fides for our ostensibly “climate champion” governor.

Goleta opened a new community garden, playground and extended multi-purpose path through a local park.

A woman in San Mateo County was convicted of second-degree murder and other charges for the drunken crash that killed a 60-year old bicyclist in 2022; 33-year old Samantha Mei Hartwell qualified for the murder count thanks to her previous DUI convictions.

 

National

Men’s Journal recommends three “must-have” mountain bike and/or accessories for when you decide to chuck it all and live out of your van.

A blog post examines the science of why we give up, as it relates to a failed century ride.

An op-ed in a Boulder, Colorado paper suggests that instead of conducting a road diet to improve safety, bike riders should just ride on quieter neighborhood streets. Never mind that the purpose of a road diet is to tame a dangerous roadway, and the bike lanes are usually a tool to do that. And no one would suggest that drivers should be forced to take a slower, circuitous route filled with stop signs just to get where they’re going.

A New York man was killed riding his bike home from his job as a Manhattan dishwasher, after the city delayed installation of a protected bike lane last fall that might have saved him.

 

International

Now you, too, can ride up Glasgow, Scotland’s 650-foot long Montrose Street hill, with it’s “infamous” 14% gradient featured in last year’s World Championships.

Derby, England’s iconic bespoke bike brand Mercian Cycles is entering voluntary liquidation and shutting down operations after 78 years; Leigh Timmis rode one of their bikes on his seven-year, 44,000-mile ride around the world.

After spending the last decade focused on building “bicycle superhighways” for commuters, London’s transportation department is launching a series of leisurely bike routes of up to ten miles for weekend riding.

National Geographic recommends the 15-day, 535-mile bicycle-and-train Slovenia Green Gourmet Route, providing a fresh two-wheeled perspective on the country’s food, history and culture.

A pair of German sisters are now three years and over 6,200 miles into a bike tour of Africa, after they initially set out for Portugal and just kept going.

Over 5,000 elementary school kids in Kitakyushu, Japan have received an official-looking bicycle license after taking a course in bike safety and passing a simple test, although the license doesn’t seem to be required or provide any added benefits. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgium’s “Spy in the Peloton” offers an insider’s look at motor doping inspections at the recently completed Giro, which was the fastest in the race’s storied 115-year history.

The Tour de Suisse will honor fallen pro cyclist Gino Mäder at this year’s race, a year after he was killed in a high-speed crash during last year’s tour.

Former pro Peter Sagan failed to qualify for Slovakia’s mountain bike team for the upcoming Paris Olympics, after his training was derailed by a heart condition earlier this year, ending his illustrious career with a whimper instead of a bang.

 

Finally…

Your next gravel bike could be an e-Ducati. Nothing like putting the blame on you to avoid getting hit by a careless driver.

And look, ma, no feet!

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

Oh, and fuck Putin