Cycling shouldn’t be so dangerous, a look at the failure of Vision Zero in LA and Garcetti cutting LA’s transportation budget

Happy Earth Day.

Or as Los Angeles officials call it, Friday.

LA’s elected leaders will no doubt pontificate and issue all sorts of public statements emphasizing the importance of protecting the earth and fighting climate change.

But will do nothing.

And if you happen to see Paul Koretz, outgoing CD5 council member and current candidate for city comptroller, ask him how he can be a self-proclaimed environmentalist while blocking bike lanes in his neighborhood.

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He gets it.

In today’s unmissable story, a columnist from the New York Times writes that biking in the United States shouldn’t be so dangerous.

Using the recent death of a 13-year-old boy from Mountain View as a starting point, Farhad Manjoo writes that the boy was snagged by a truck driver who would never have seen gender on his bike hidden in his blind spot.

And that André Retana and the man who killed him did nothing. But Andre lost his life anyway, thanks to roads designed to prioritize automobile throughput over everything else.

Including human lives.

Manjoo goes on to say this –

The United States is in the midst of a fatal crash crisis. Nearly 39,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes on U.S. roads in 2020, the most since 2007. U.S. roads have become particularly dangerous for “non-occupants” of vehicles, i.e. cyclists and pedestrians. In 2011, 16% of road deaths involved non-occupants; in 2020, it was 20%. The trends are a major reversal – from the 1970s to the late 2000s, deaths on American roads of cyclists, pedestrians and people in cars steadily declined. There are a number of potential reasons for the increase in fatalities – among them the fact that many more of our cars are large deadly SUVs, that states continue to raise speed limits, that ride-sharing vehicles have made our roads more chaotic and that people were driving much more recklessly during the pandemic. But while many cities, states and the federal government have unveiled plans to ease the horror, progress has been elusive.

The intersection of El Camino and Grant Road illustrates much of the problem. A big reason our roads aren’t safe is that they were designed that way — because, as the advocacy group Smart Growth America says, policymakers at nearly every level of government continue to prioritize to the rapid movement of vehicles on the safety of all others on our streets. And even when the dangers of our bad roads become glaring, authorities have limited options to fix them.

Our roads are deadly because officials will continue to call the inevitable consequences of this misconception a tragedy rather than a choice.

It’s more than worth taking a few minutes out of your day to read it all.

Go ahead, we’ll wait.

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Call it another must-have.

LAist’s Ryan Fonseca reflects on the failure of LA’s Vision Zero and the city’s mobility plan, citing a lack of funding and political will that has led to a dramatic increase in road deaths, rather than deaths. to eliminate road deaths by 2025 as promised.

Despite the implementation of both plans more than six years ago, the streets of Los Angeles are deadlier now than they were thenespecially for people walking.

In 2015, 186 people were killed in collisions on city streets. Last year, the death toll was 294, according to city data. Pedestrians make up the largest share of casualties, with 132 people killed by drivers while walking last year. This is 50% more than in 2015.

Fed up, a coalition of security advocates and community groups is pushing for action on November’s local ballot. The measure would require the city to follow its mobility plan each time it repaves a street. This rarely happens now, according to the group, called LA Healthy Streets.

Again, it’s worth taking a few minutes out of your day to read the entire article.

Because, to paraphrase the NYT Manjoo, riding a bike – or walking, or even driving or getting into a car – shouldn’t be so dangerous.

Or deadly.

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Unfortunately, the average streets of Los Angeles likely won’t be safer anytime soon, as the mayor’s new budget slashes the city’s already underfunded transportation budget by $14 million, while pumping an additional $125 million into the LAPD’s bloated $3.2 billion budget.

Things like this explain why both the Los Angeles Time and I endorsed Kenneth Mejia for city comptroller because he already does the comptroller’s job by digging into city finances to find out what’s hidden there.

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Los Angeles has filled in another missing piece of the LA River Bike Path in the San Fernando Valley as the city strives to complete the entire 72-mile course in time for the LA 2028 Olympics.

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So tell me again how cyclists don’t ride in the damn bike lane?

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The esteemed Will Campbell offers a video love letter to the little-known 4th Avenue pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the !0 freeway.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes continues.
Local

A writer for Los Angeles Time wins four of five mayoral candidates for their stances on environmental issues, including calls for better cycling infrastructure; billionaire Rick Caruso obviously couldn’t bother to do more than email it.

It is also the cost of road violence. A mountain lion was killed on the busy 405 freeway just south of the Getty Center early Thursday morning, apparently trying to navigate the massive billion-dollar car sewer.

More than a hundred people turned out to honor late cyclist Andrew Jelmert with a ghost bike ceremony on Wednesday evening.

State

Calbike credits their advocacy work with placing California 4th on the Bike League’s list of bike-friendly states.

Costa Mesa is opening a new bollard-protected bike lane on Bristol Street, while “upgrading” existing bike lanes on Baker Street. This protected lane is pretty much just a separate cycle lane marked by green plastic bollards that won’t stop anyone.

La Jolla’s Traffic & Transportation Board unanimously approved plans to repave and redecorate the city’s loophole Via Capri to narrow traffic lanes and add buffered bike lanes, after a $1.32 million settlement for a man who was killed when his motorbike hit one of the many potholes in the street.

Fontana has decided to abandon an undeveloped property the city has owned for 25 years, while promising to continue the bike races that often start and end there.

Cambria’s Eroica California Vintage Bike Ride returns to San Luis Obispo County next weekend.

National

The bike snobs Eben Weiss says bike manufacturers may not be perfect when it comes to environmental protection, but they should keep doing what they’re doing.

Low-income residents of Corvallis and Eugene, Oregon can get a $1,200 rebate on the purchase of an e-bike.

The wives of deceased cyclists Adam and Matthew Bullard, the Whittier brothers killed while riding near St. George, Utah, thanked local residents for honoring the men with a ghost bike; the city is also moving forward with plans for a permanent memorial near the site.

Indiana University’s legendary Little 500 is set to roll this afternoon; the race was made famous in Come off.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adapted tandem bike from a Missouri child with special needs.

International

The City Fix offers five ways to reduce oil and gas consumption through clean transportation, including building safe infrastructure for bikes and steps, and prioritizing both in transportation budgets. Unlike, say, the budget presented by the mayor of LA this week.

The Belize Cycling Federation has called on all cyclists to don their team shirts to accompany the funeral procession in honor of cycling coach and race organizer Edison “Vintage” Usher, who died days before his 49th birthday when the motorbike he was riding with another man exploded while they were on their way to live-stream a women’s cross-country race.

Canadian mountain bikers are demanding an apology after an Adidas marketing executive wrote a ‘willfully ignorant’ blog post ‘infused with white privilege’, which they say suggests the reason women of color don’t succeed in sports is due to their own lack of hard work.

The president of a Malaysian road safety research institute says there is no law prohibiting cyclists from riding on the country’s roads, as long as they meet basic safety requirements.

Competitive cycling

BikeNews says Dutch pro Mathieu van der Poel may be wiser and more dangerous than ever after recovering from a nagging back injury.

Paris-Roubaix was truly the Hell of the North for Frenchman Florian Sénéchal, who claims a spectator sprayed him with urine during the race. Yet he still managed to finish 13th, despite an earlier crash.

BikeNews features photos from the first leg of this year’s Redlands Classic.

To finish…

That feeling when you just want to go for a naked bike ride. Nothing like riding a bike with glasses and a bow tie carrying a kitten.

And answer the age-old question of why do cyclists shave their legs?

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

Oh, and damn Poutine too.

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