Connecting Westwood to Downtown Los Angeles via metro has been difficult to develop. The 720 runs the length of Wilshire but is easily clogged by heavy traffic during commute hours. In first developments, Santa Monica Boulevard was initially proposed to have a freeway component to it. While this would allow for faster car traffic, the idea was ultimately nixed. In place of the freeway however, Los Angeles Department of Transportation looks to extend the purple line to Westwood, even west of the 405. While the extensions and tunneling will be done in three phases, the last two phases are slated to be finished before the opening of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
After shutting down operations in protest of an unfavorable city council decision, Bird and Lime were selected for the exclusive pilot program in Santa Monica. Jump, Lyft, Lime and Bird will now be allowed to operate a limited number of scooters during the pilot program. Lime and Bird will operate 750 scooter each while Uber and Jump will operate 250 scooters. The number of scooters each company can operate can increase over time as the scooters prove to be handled responsibly. Whether or not these numbers will be too low to prove effective or too high to make a difference in public safety remains to be seen.
While many drivers seem to focus on the impact of autonomous driving for consumer vehicles, some experts indicate the largest immediate impact may be in commercial trucking. Autonomous trucking has its unique obstacles to overcome including managing the additional size and mass of the trailer, navigating traffic at high speeds and recognizing dangerous situations outside of its longer braking distances. However, the payoff could be great and immediate for trucking companies looking to make their fleet more efficient. Additional safety features to aid drivers may reduce accidents, leading to fewer injuries as well as fuel-efficient driving. Platooning is a great example of using safety features to allow multiple trucks to drive in sync with one another and reduce drag by following close behind. With that in mind, the truck safety features allowing this type of behavior must be precise and well tested.
While electric scooters have been around for a while, the new shareable scooters have caused a craze in Los Angeles and other major cities across the United States. Scooter companies Bird and Lime have flooded the streets and sidewalks with electric scooters rentable through a smartphone app. Many are excited about the increased options for public transportation while others are cautious about zipping along on city streets. The fact of the matter is that you should always be cautious and exercise good judgement when riding electric scooters as the injuries sustained can be life-altering.
The battle of the sidewalk has taken a turn in favor of removing electric scooters from public access. The Beverly Hills city council voted 4 to 1 in favor of banning electric scooters on any Beverly Hills public right-of-way or public property. The ban was issued in retaliation to the tactics of electric scooter share companies such as Lime and Bird. For those who may not be aware, the electric scooters laying on sidewalks are typically the property of Bird or Lime and can be rented for a fee using a smartphone app. Concern regarding public safety and the potential for electric scooter fatal accidents led to the citywide ban. Beverly Hills anticipates they will revisit the issue in 6 months with a plan of action for handling the increased use of electric scooters.
A French startup, Gloria Factory, strives to create customizable motorcycles for a younger audience who is interested in high fashion. "Gloria Factory is trying to turn the traditional motorcycle marketing on its head by targeting a younger ridership who are more interested in fashion and customization - many of whom have never even ridden a motorcycle before" (Electrek.co).
Electric scooters are being added to the mix of dangers on the roads. Companies such as Bird Rides Inc. and Lime-S have created these electric scooters that essentially anyone can unlock and ride. This inexpensive mode of transportation serves as a tourist attraction in many cities. The scooter costs 15 cents per minute, when unlocked for one dollar via a smartphone app. Although this attraction may seem exciting, they pose new dangers for both riders and drivers on the road.
It's easy to become distracted on the road when drivers focus on technology or their busy lives, instead of what's in front of them. There are three kinds of distracted driving: visual, manual, and cognitive. Read about these distractions learn how to avoid them and stay safe and focused on the road.
More tools and gadgets may not make you a better cyclist, or better split-second decision making, but there is a myriad of tools to help increase your visibility to those with whom you share the road. It is important to remember that riding defensively on well-lit streets is always your best option for completing your ride accident free. In this post, I will highlight the usefulness of some gadgets you can use to alert drivers of your presence on the road.
Harley-Davidson seems to recognize the market and environmental shift to battery-powered transportation and on the way towards introducing electric vehicles to the public. In the past, Harley-Davidson has kept quiet on the details and goals of their electric fleet; now they seem to be more transparent. Over the next decade, they will unveil over 100 new bikes, along with a fleet of electric motorcycles to expand their market appeal. If you are wondering if their electric motorcycles will lose the distinct Harley Davidson sound, they have an answer for you. While it may not have that rhythmic sound of the classic cruiser, the sound will be similar to that of a jet fighter. The quality of the sound and feel of the bike they simply cannot ignore, as the feel of the ride is what defines the iconic American brand.