Editorial: CicLAvia Pasadena much more than a cycling festival (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)
The editorial likes the event and would like to see Colorado Boulevard closed to cars much more often:
Two lanes should be taken out every other day. Parklets should bloom along its curbs. Whole blocks should be shut down to traffic much of the time for farmers markets and other strolling-oriented commerce. Wouldn’t that be anti-business? The reverse is true. You can discover a lot more, and buy a lot more, on foot than zooming by at 35 mph. Come Sunday, walkers and riders going the whole route will see places they had no idea existed before. Colorado is paralleled by two one-way streets, Union and Green, that can handle all the necessary automotive traffic.
Interesting. Works for me. That said, it’s kind of strange the editorial doesn’t mention something else important: that Pasadena finally has a new proposed bike plan that might make it easier to reach some of the six Gold Line stations in Pasadena a little easier. It also might make cycling in Pasadena safer: there have been 543 reported bike-related injuries in Pasadena between 2009 and 2014 and five fatalities.
As a cyclist and long-time Pasadena resident, I don’t think the existing bike infrastructure is any great shakes. Here’s the map of the existing and proposed changes — unfortunately it doesn’t show the location of Gold Line stations. The map also doesn’t show some other proposed improvements for “Roseways” and “bike boulevards” that could make biking on smaller residential streets more comfortable.
I’d be interested to know what Pasadena residents think of the plan. Leave a comment or email me. Addendum: the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition advocates for biking improvements (among other things) and you may find their website to be a good source of non-government info about the proposed bike plan.
Bicycle safety facts (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
In 2013, there were 743 pedalcyclists killed and an estimated 48,000 injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Pedalcyclist deaths accounted for 2 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities (Table 1) and injured pedalcyclists made up 2 percent of the people injured in traffic crashes during the year.
The number of pedalcyclists killed in 2013 is 1 percent higher than the 734 pedalcyclists killed in 2012. The increase in 2013 is the third straight increase in pedalcyclist fatalities, a 19-percent increase since 2010.
I’m sure that the numbers will continue to generate discussion about bike safety. One thing to keep in mind is that the rise in bike injuries likely coincides with a rise in biking. That said, I think most people agree that’s no excuse for continuing to make cycling safer and to try to minimize bike-car conflicts.
The Legislature will soon vote on a bill that would legalize lane-splitting, a popular practice which is neither outlawed or expressly allowed by the law. The bill would allow motorcyclists to travel between lanes at 15 mph faster than traffic is moving up to a speed of 50 mph. Some say the change doesn’t go far enough, others say this would make lane-splitting safer and still others say the practice is dangerous at any speed.
Tough issue. Speaking personally (and as a Subaru driver), I think the 15 mph cap make sense as it seemingly removes the big differentials in speed that can make lane-splitting a frightening thing to watch at times.
I sell handmade rosaries (Zocalo Public Square)
The latest in Zocalo’s ongoing series of profiles of Metro riders.
Everyone agrees roads and rails need major repairs. But a state fund to pay for the fixes is due to run out of funds in 2016 with no solution agreed upon. One result: New Jersey Transit commuter rail riders are facing a big fare increase that they say doesn’t match the service they get.
A state gas tax increase — New Jersey’s taxes are second-lowest in the nation — is one way out, but that’s an option with little appeal for Gov. Chris Christie. Critics say his presidential ambitions don’t exactly jibe with a tax increase while others are still incensed that in 2010 he canceled a project that would have added a new rail tunnel between Manhattan and Jersey.
Random thought: what Jersey lacks in modernized infrastructure it still has in good music. A little something from the relief concert for Hurricane Sandy…
Project exodus (New Yorker)
A thoughtful book review and essay of sorts on interplanetary transit — in particular, attempts to colonize Mars. Take it away, Elizabeth Kolbert:
Every sensate being we’ve encountered in the universe so far—from dogs and humans and mice to turtles and spiders and seahorses—has evolved to suit the cosmic accident that is Earth. The notion that we could take these forms, most beautiful and most wonderful, and hurl them into space, and that this would, to use Petranek’s formulation, constitute “our best hope,” is either fantastically far-fetched or deeply depressing.
As Impey points out, for six decades we’ve had the capacity to blow ourselves to smithereens. One of these days, we may well do ourselves in; certainly we’re already killing off a whole lot of other species. But the problem with thinking of Mars as a fallback planet (besides the lack of oxygen and air pressure and food and liquid water) is that it overlooks the obvious. Wherever we go, we’ll take ourselves with us. Either we’re capable of dealing with the challenges posed by our own intelligence or we’re not. Perhaps the reason we haven’t met any alien beings is that those which survive aren’t the type to go zipping around the galaxy. Maybe they’ve stayed quietly at home, tending their own gardens.
Concur. Mechanical space exploration works for me. Besides, we should probably deal with our infrastructure issues on planet Earth before building infrastructure on other planets, including the reddish ones.
Categories: Transportation Headlines