Bicycle Fixation Weblog

Wednesday, May 20th
Offsite Blogging CCXX
Orange 20's post this week alerts readers that the store has moved (albeit just half a block), and asks that they Check Out Our New Shop.

While at Flying Pigeon LA we ask whether the upset win of David Ryu in Los Angeles District 4 will end in Shaking Up the City Council? It's a body in dire need of a good shake-up…. But Ryu has been very quiet on the campaign trail about what he would actually do if elected…. Well, he's been elected now, so he'd better let us know!

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 20 May 2015 20:07:35 -0800 [link]  

Saturday, May 16th
Half a Loaf
Well, the meeting I attended at LA's City Hall was dreary enough: despite petition signatures in the thousands, the testimony of dozens of stakeholders—a significant majority of whom favored a fully multi-modal facility—and the growing weight of evidence that building car-friendly infrastructure simply invokes more traffic and congestion and drains the public treasury…the Board of Commissioners of the Department of Public works voted unanimously to recommend the Option 1A plan for the Glendale/Hyperion bridge complex linking Silver Lake and Atwater.

This option retains four lanes for mixed (ie, motor) traffic, the same four lanes that induce rampant speeding now, and adds two skimpy bike lanes and one sidewalk. Only one sidewalk, forcing walkers to detour about a half mile if they are unlucky enough to be on the downstream side of the bridge at one end and wish to end up still on the downstream side on the other.

This is the half-a-loaf plan: survival rations, not nourishment. It's better than the abomination that exists today, but it's far from a truly community-friendly multi-modal bridge. Option 3, preferred by the majority, featured three mixed traffic lanes, two protected bikeways, and sidewalks on both sides of the bridge.

The unimaginative minority in the audience could think only that there would be oh-my-god less room for cars—though there can never be "enough room for cars," if you follow the current paradigm of structurally mandating that everyone drive by making all other option unattractive or downright frightening.

The Bureau of Engineering even trotted out their "Level Of Service" computations, though the methodology used has long been discredited and is scheduled to be abandoned by the State of California soon.

So Silver Lake and Atwater will continue to be blessed with road-raging drivers barreling down from the apex of the bridge at freeway speeds—right into pedestrian-centered shopping streets.

Read more here:
Is the City Destroying a Bridge in Order to Save It? (By me)
Is the Death Bridge Dead? (By me)
A Tale of Two Future Bridges: New Bike/Ped Crossing on L.A. River, Fewer Sidewalks on Glendale-Hyperion (By Damien Newton)
Public Works Board Approves Sidewalk Deficient Glendale-Hyperion Bridge (By Joe Linton)

A cursory search on "Glendale Hyperion bridge" will find you many more articles on this issue.

But at least I had the pleasure of a ride downtown in a very light rain, so light that I just let it fall and evaporate from my woolens while I rode without rain gear. (Which I carried just in case.) It is only under rain that much of LA smells good, and so it was today.

And I wasn't alone: I came across many dozens of other cyclists on my way downtown and, especially, in the city's core.

At least there was that.

Richard Risemberg on Sat, 16 May 2015 03:00:00 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, May 13th
Offsite Blogging CCXIX
This week's blogging roundup brings you the Wheelie Bin Bike Lane Derby News from Orange 20 Bikes, and alerts you that They're At It Again, as two LA city council members try to revive the Glendale/Hyperion Zombie Death Bridge plan, over at Flying Pigeon LA.

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 13 May 2015 20:15:24 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, April 29th
Offsite Blogging CCXVIII
On Orange 20's blog this week I celebrate how cyclists are filling Every Little Corner of the region….

While at Flying Pigeon LA I fret over Beverly Hills's inability to see the wealth of Wasted Space on its streets—which could hold heaps of bike racks. If they dared to think of it….

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 29 Apr 2015 23:59:43 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, April 22nd
Offsite Blogging CCXVII
Welcome to this week's blogging roundup!

At Orange 20 we note that We Are Not Baseballs, and that on the road, running after you hit is definitely foul.

While at Flying Pigeon LA, we're just glad that The Beat Goes On, with ridership rising even despite the slow pace of infrastructure buildout.

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 22 Apr 2015 18:24:16 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, April 15th
Book Signing in Los Angeles on May Day
May Day is coming, and, though you might not have heard of it in today's Ammurrica, it's one of the oldest holidays in the northern hemisphere—and one of the newest.

It began in the Roman days as a spring festival, and even then it was probably an older holiday absorbed into the dominant culture of the time. As Europe changed, so did May Day, the most common image of which is the Maypole and May Queen of English country habit—reflected in the structures of Renaissance Faires to this day. In any case, the holiday persisted even as Europe devolved into a rigid theocracy, and was still often celebrated with drunkenness and sexual abandon.

More recently, the holiday became associated with workers' solidarity movements, which is why it is studiously ignored in Ammurrica, Central HQ of the Global War on Labor…and which is one reason we're holding my little book signing at Flying Pigeon LA on that date.

Yes, as you may know, I have gathered a number of the essays I've written over the last seventeen years into a book called Our Own Day Here, which explores the meanings and functions of community, transportation, work, love, and neighborhood in the modern city, and which does not disdain making statements about government, the economy, the corporate world, and how it all relates to the ways we get around on our streets and sidewalks, and, in LA's case, how we treat our river.

I'll be reading from this book, and signing copies (which you can buy at Flying Pigeon LA) for anyone who wishes to increase the value of their purchase by the value of the ink deposited in the signature.

I'll also be signing copies of, and possibly reading from, my urban noir mystery novel, The Dust Will Answer, which is set among the homeless camps and abandoned warehouses of the LA River where it passes through downtown, an area huddled under the shadow of creeping gentrification at the time of the story.

I've even figured out a clever way to "sign" e-book copies of either work, which you'll be able to order through your smartphones right there if you wish. (I'll sign little gallery-quality cards with the cover image.)

However, if you want a signed material copy of the mystery, which is not part of Flying Pigeon's inventory, you have just enough time to order the paperback if you, as the radio ads like to shout, "act now!"

You have your choice of corporate behemoth Amazon or cozy family-run print-on-demand publisher Lulu; same price at either venue. Lulu gives your poverty-stricken author a bigger cut.

So come on down to the legendary Flying Pigeon LA on May 1st at 6:30PM, indulge in some old May Day wine and some new May Day comradeship, listen to some urban yammer, and maybe buy a book to get autographed.

It's spring, and time to renew the world yet again.

Richard Risemberg Book Signing
Flying Pigeon LA
3404 N. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90065
May 1, 2015, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Wine & nibbles


I plan to lead a bike ride to the Pigeon from Union Station that night; details later.

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 15 Apr 2015 23:18:18 -0800 [link]  

Offsite Blogging CCXVI
On Orange 20's blog this week, I ponder why Pasadena is Shorting the Glory by allowing only three and a half miles of streets to be opened for that city's first-ever CicLAvia.

And I exploit Flying Pigeon LA's website to advertise my book signing, telling readers to Save the Date: May 1st! for the event. Which will take place at…Flying Pigeon LA!

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 15 Apr 2015 22:54:56 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, April 8th
Offsite Blogging CCXV
At Orange 20's blog this week, we say Well, Hallelujah Already, as the Miracle Mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard's bus/bike lanes officially opens.

While at Flying Pigeon LA we deprecate those times When the Force Isn't with You, and is in fact breaking its own rules by parking squad cars in bike lanes. Aren't they supposed to protect and to serve us too?

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 08 Apr 2015 18:56:00 -0800 [link]  

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