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October 8, 2011 | By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
More than 100,000 pedalers and walkers are expected to descend on a 10-mile swath of city streets closed to motor vehicles as the third CicLAvia launches Sunday. The first CicLAvia was held last October and was instantly popular, and it appears the event may be expanded to other parts of greater Los Angeles as part of an effort to combat childhood obesity. The county Department of Public Health is sponsoring a behind-the-scenes tour during CicLAvia this weekend for representatives from six cities, including South Gate and Huntington Park, where more than a quarter of the child population was ranked as obese, according to a report from the agency.
October 8, 2011 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
Gov. Jerry Brown raised the ire of bicyclists, Chinese-food chefs, Republicans and some pet lovers Friday as he announced action on dozens of proposed laws. Brown outlawed the sale of shark fins, despite protests from some Chinese American leaders who saw the move as an assault on Asian culture; vetoed a controversial bid to restrict how motorists pass bicyclists; and decided not to require microchip tracking of some dogs and cats. Among the 57 bills he approved were several intended to increase the safety of natural gas pipelines and one that requires all ballot initiatives to be decided in November general elections, which typically draw greater numbers of liberal voters than June primaries.
September 26, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
You've decided to help your health and the environment by riding your bike to work. Good for you! Sorry to have to deliver the bad news: you may be inhaling more soot. The amount might be more than twice as much as urban pedestrians, says a pilot study presented Sunday at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress . The study involved five cyclists who regularly biked to work and five pedestrians from London. They ranged in age from 18 to 40 and were healthy nonsmokers.
July 21, 2011 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday passed a pioneering new law intended to protect bicyclists from harassment by motorists. The ordinance, which backers described as the toughest of its kind in the nation, makes it a crime for drivers to threaten cyclists verbally or physically, and allows victims of harassment to sue in civil court without waiting for the city to press criminal charges. Its passage comes one day after a 63-year-old bicyclist was struck and killed by a car on a downtown street — an incident that bicycle advocates say underscores the dangers cyclists face.
July 15, 2011 | Hector Tobar
You're driving down the Hollywood Freeway and you see a guy in a two-ton SUV, somehow holding the steering wheel while texting at 65 mph. A few minutes later, you pull off onto Sunset Boulevard. While you're waiting at a signal, a skinny guy on a four-pound touring bike speeds past and runs the red light. Which of these two men is the greater threat to public safety? To me, the answer is obvious. But to many of my readers, it's the guy on the bike who's the menace. "I, personally, find most cyclists on the streets of Los Angeles to be perfectly obnoxious," Liz White, a resident of the Village Green, wrote to me last week.
July 8, 2011 | Hector Tobar
In the beginning, there was Ma' Bell, Muff, Skull, and five others. They pedaled around downtown together, surprising a few motorists with a sight then quite rare in Los Angeles: bicyclists traveling in a peloton, in the middle of the night, in the middle of the city. "When you're a kid, you do those kinds of adventures," said one of those original riders, an East Hollywood resident in his late 30s who goes by his biking pseudonym, Roadblock. But they weren't kids. They were people in their late 20s and early 30s, most with professional careers.
July 8, 2011 | By Megan Kimble, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Jogging along the Whittier Greenway Trail is traversing a corridor of history, a trip through an era when citrus trees bloomed — and boomed — in the breeze of passing rail trains. I found this trail because I wanted somewhere long and flat to run, but then I realized I'd stumbled on a relic of a Southern California long past. The Whittier Greenway Trail is a rail trail, a multipurpose public path along an abandoned rail corridor. Following the gentle grade of railroads, rail trails offer recreation — bicycling, walking, horseback riding — and open transportation routes through otherwise dense urban areas where similar trails would now be difficult to build.
June 3, 2011 | By Mona Shadia, Los Angeles Times
Huntington Beach has become the first city in the state to offer traffic school for bicyclists who break the law. The city's police officers now give cyclists the option of going to court and paying high fines or going to traffic school. Some counties, including Santa Cruz and Marin, offer traffic school for bicyclists, but court permission is required first. In Huntington Beach, violators will not need permission or go to court if they elect to take the city's offer. Unlike the much longer traffic school for drivers, the Police Department's Adult Bicycle Safety Program takes two hours, said Lt. Russell Reinhart.
April 26, 2011 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
Californians who talk or text on hand-held phones while driving would face steeper penalties — more than $500 in some cases — under a measure approved Monday by state senators. The lawmakers voted to raise the base fine from $20 to $50 for a first offense and from $50 to $100 for subsequent violations. Including fees and surcharges imposed by local governments and courts, the total cost of a first offense could be $309, depending on the city where the ticket was issued.
March 27, 2011 | By Margaret Wappler, Los Angeles Times
Ask most music bookers in Los Angeles the bare minimum needed for a band to play, and they'll say simply a willing venue ? whether that be the Troubadour or the downtown upstart known as the Smell or someone's dumpy rental. Ask Cameron Rath, who organizes a monthly biking and outdoor concert series that's an uninhibited spree around the Westside, and he'll say an easily accessible electric outlet that can be hijacked for an hour or two. Sometimes not even a socket is necessary; a generator or a car battery works in a pinch.
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