The League of American Bicyclists kicks off Bike Month today with an awareness campaign to promote cycling, a push that originates back in 1956. Smack in the middle of Bike Month is Bike Week, the officially-designated (if brief) period when we can proclaim our exalted status as a two-wheeled champions with pride. Throughout Bike Week are a series of events to get us back in the saddle. Running from May 13th to the 19th this year, Bike Week finds much to do in the Southland. Here are a few of the events we’ll be attending.
The bike rider’s favorite foil, the Automobile Club of America, has just released data showing that the cost of car ownership and operation are up 2% over last year, making annual upkeep for the average midsize sedan at $9,122/yr. Contributing to the rise are maintainence (up 11%) and insurance (up 2.7%). The study finds the average insurance bill to be about a grand – a reality check for Angenelo drivers who we bet pay twice that. This makes car ownership possibly the worst mobility bargain on the planet (download the AAA costs flyer).
The US Transportation Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued guidelines concerning electronic devices [pdf] to car manufacturers in order to minimize the use of attention-sapping gadgets and other in-cabin causes of motorist distraction. Backed by a new study (and data helpfully packaged as an inaugural Safety in Numbers newsletter), the guidelines are voluntary but nevertheless mark another step by DOT Secretary Ray LaHood to increase road safety on US roadways.
Date released by Traffic solutions firm Inrix draws upon its vast reservoir of traffic data to break the bad news: our Los Angeles area suffers the worst traffic congestion in the nation. Our freeways are the most crowded, our drive times longest, and the time sitting in traffic (59 hours in 2012) is the most egregious waste of productivity. We’re the perennial over-achiever, battling Honolulu year-after-year for worst-city honors. We also place highly across the globe and fall behind only Brussels and Antwerp globally for time spent in traffic.
Beverly Hills Police Department have issued a media advisory yesterday concerning a vehicular assault occurring April 3rd 23rd at 5pm in an alley off the 9000 block of Wilshire. ‘Road rage’ hardly does this justice: in a continuation of a prior argument (in which the rider struck the motorist), the motorist actually doubles back to run head-on into the rider and pin him against a dumpster. With the rider hanging on to the door, the motorist then drives in reverse to dislodge the rider. You have to see it to believe it.
The now-famous CicLAvia cycling street party is back this year with pair of events that expand its reach westward along two of the city’s greatest corridors: Venice and Wilshire boulevards. Starting with this Sunday, when cyclists and streetscape enthusiasts alike will enjoy free run of Venice between Downtown and the beach. From 10am to 3pm.our most pervasive public space will be returned to two-wheeled travelers and pedestrians and allow us to explore the layered histories in the physical environment that make Los Angeles so unique. We’ll be there and hope to see you there too! Next up in June: Wilshire!