Saturday, September 28, 2013

New Google satellite imagery for Fresno! (Spring 2013)

Some parts of the country, including major cities like Boston, only get updated satellite imagery from Google every 3 or so years.

For Fresno, it's never more than a year before we get the freshest pictures. The latest update, rolled out last week, shows Fresno and the surrounding area as of March 15, 2013.

The previous update, pushed out November of 2012, featured images from August 26, 2012. I did a photo summary of that as well.

That's less than 7 months between updates! Older images are still accessible via the history slider in Google Earth. 

These updates are a great way to follow development in the area, and see how fast some areas are still growing.

Here are some quick examples.  Note: When you zoom into an area with Google Maps, the automatically switch you to the 45 degree view, taken by plane. That hasn't been updated since 2010, so switch back to satellite to see the new stuff.

I've provided links to previous photo tours I've done, if applicable. 

Downtown, 1612 Fulton was nearing the final construction phase, marked as 1. Site work for the GV Urban Broadway project is visible at number 2.

 photo fresno1_zpse4851f97.png
Work on Fresno High is visible. Those "bunkers" in front are now gone.

 photo fresno2_zps38e0fe78.png

Over in Clovis, the newest super-strip-mall is now open for business. I did a construction tour here. See the employee parking in the back? Less than 40 cars, meaning many employees are actually parked up front.

 photo fresno3_zps61d512f9.png

Nearby, the newest trail construction is visible

 photo fresno5_zpsba9cf3e0.png

Further east, also in Clovis, house construction marches on

 photo fresno4_zps4d8881ec.png

Well out in the middle of nowhere, the environmental disaster known as "Millerton New Town" has begun to move forward.

 photo fresno6_zps3baf7326.png

Back in west Fresno....Surprisingly, the "Marketplace at El Paseo" (aka, strip-mall 17) isn't visible... and yet now the enormous mass of Target and such is clear if you drive by. Those things pop up like weeds.

  photo fresno7_zpsae9d657a.png

With the way these imagery updates have been coming, I wouldn't be surprised if we get September pictures uploaded around December.

Any other major sites I may have forgotten to look at?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fresh and Easy closing is a huge loss to downtown Fresno

Note: Because most Fresh and Easy stores will continue business as usual until the end of the year, the chain is still the cheapest way to be high quality food. See end of post for details.

Last week we got the sad news that Tesco had sold the Fresh and Easy chain after months of searching for a buyer. The buyer is "Yucaipa" an investment company better known by its owner, Ron Burkle, a billionaire who has extensive experience in the supermarket industry. Their wikipedia page shows all the companies they've dabbled in.

The good news is that the new owners will operate 150 stores, and they may apparently lean towards the healthier side of things. I was worried Wal-Mart or some Dollar chain would come in to sell the cheapest (and worst quality) foods, which is contrary to the Fresh and Easy experience. Others were hoping for Trader Joes, but such a huge expansion would be unprecedented for them.

The bad news is that 50 stores will close, and dozens of unopened stores will remain dark (or as slabs of concrete). In Fresno, that includes 1st and Bullard, West Herndon, Ashlan and Cornelia, and Shaw and Fowler in Clovis. It is possible that other chains may swoop in for these locations, as it's up to Tesco to sell them. On the other hand, like so many other retail spots, they may remain vacant for years.

More relevant to Fresno is the decision that two stores will close - the location closest to Fresno State, at Shaw and Willow, and the downtown store. The previously closed location on Shields and Cedar will remain closed and be put up for sale.

Fresh and Easy stores were build with large windows,
offering natural light. Most US markets are
 built like windowless prisons.
Note a pattern? The stores that will remain open are those in wealthier areas - North Fresno, North Clovis, and West Shaw.

Few details have been released about the rebranding of the chain (which will take until the end of the year), but talk has been that the owner wants to revive the "Wild Oats" brand, which was eaten up by Whole Foods a few years ago. If that's true, the chain may become a "mini" Whole Foods of sorts. Emphasis is on the "mini", as the buyer is especially interested in the "express" format stores, which are even smaller than most. (None are in the Fresno Market). In fact, the person who used to run 7-11 has just been hired to get the ship in order.... That may be a good thing for Fresno, which only has one Whole Foods to serve a metro population of over a million.

One problem with the rebranding strategy is that the chain appears to have taken a very "traditional" approach to deciding which locations to keep open.

It might seem logical that the buyer would have looked at the 200 stores, and simply chopped the 50 lowest performing locations, or the stores under a certain revenue metric.

But that's not what happened. For one, all the northern stores - including in lucrative San Francisco - were closed. The reason being that the distribution center is near LA, and the planned distribution center in the northern part of the state was never built. That means the Bay Area, Sacramento and Modesto got the ax, regardless of profitability of each individual location.

Second, if the format of the store is changing, then current sales don't mean too much. The new owner may aim for an entirely different market niche.

So what do american chains do when they want to decide where to place their store? They draw a few circles (half a mile, one mile, maybe 2 miles) and pluck out census demographics. What's the median income? How many families? Racial breakdown?

Many media outlets blamed the self-checkout as the
primary reason the chain failed. However, they never
cite any actual research, and ignore that staff would
check you out if you asked.
Unlike other self-checkout systems, the Fresh and Easy
format was as fast as a traditional cashier, since it didn't
 require immediate bagging, and lacked the "please place item
in bagging area" hassle other systems are known for.
Guess who fails that traditional test miserably? 

Yup, Shaw and Willow (in the poorest part of Clovis), and downtown Fresno. Doesn't matter that there's a giant university or government center nearby - the numbers look at residential uses only.

Naturally, I don't have the sales number for their stores, but I frequented the two closed locations and the one on Herndon and Fowler. It's the one still open that always seemed to be the emptiest. Indeed, the downtown location was always bustling.  That makes sense - 40,000 people work downtown, and Fresh and Easy specialized in ready-made food. Office workers would pop in early in the day for their lunch, and maybe drop by on their way home for dinner. Further, the downtown location had no competition - the Herndon and Fowler location manages to be located directly across the street from a Vons AND a Savemart. A Winco is planned a mile away.

It's interesting to note that of the 200 stores in the chain, the downtown Fresno location opened the earliest, reflecting the unique mix of shoppers. While most stores operated from 8am-10pm (eventually cut back to 8pm when Tesco started shopping for a buyer), the downtown store was open at 6am.

Aside from failing the traditional demographics test, another reason may be that the new owner intends to drop the "ready made" line. Either way, it may not be as simple as saying that the location closed because it did less revenue than other locations....

And that leads to opportunity.

It would be foolish for the city of Fresno, and those developing downtown, to let the store remain vacant. I think the city should have lobbied for the location to remain open, which I doubt they did.

Having a Fresh and Easy downtown gave some sense of legitimacy to the area. You can count the number of chains in the entire downtown area on your fingers, and we all know what Fresno thinks of chains. Chain = success.

More important, the location was probably a major selling point to the new downtown condos. Having a grocer nearby is very important. Having a GOOD one is even more so. The current residents will have to deal, but future residents may not be so eager to signup to live somewhere lacking in supermarket choices. (Foodmaxx, across the 99, remains open). 

If the Assemi's want to continue expanding their little downtown empire, they need to supply basic amenities, and that includes a grocer, particularly one aimed at "hip" new urbanites.

If you consider that the downtown Fresh and Easy may have very well been popular, it's not a reach to suggest they either set up their own store, or lobby for someone else to do it. Again, no chain will do so with the standard demographics radius method, which is why it takes extra effort to convince them (and probably an initial incentive, which GV Urban is all too familiar with).

One possibility for Fresno is a strategy San Francisco uses, and Fresno should have been doing for decades:

"Since 2004, San Francisco has rejected chain stores through a series of laws and a ballot initiative. Today, it’s the largest city in the country to ban chains in some zones and require special permits in others."
New Yorker

Implement a more restrictive system, and work it to favor downtown. Want to open your chain in North Fresno? Perhaps the city would be more willing to approve the permit if you also opened a location downtown....

Yes, I'm dreaming.


It is important to note that the remaining stores have not gone through any changes yet....which means you can still get great food (including lots of organic options) at very cheap prices.

The real reason the Tesco lost so much money is because it was so easy to get fantastic deals....

There are three ways:

1) You get points from whatever you buy. 100 = $1. The money you get can be redeemed like a gift card. To top it off, they frequently did 3x weekends.

 photo fresh3_zps78eb9c4d.jpg

2) You get even more points by loading the bonus coupons onto your card. That's in addition to weekly sales.

3) Every week they give you straight cash coupons. You see them in the physical flyers ($3 off $10 or more), you get one in your email ($10 off $50, a massive discount for the industry) and you can get even more on their website...


The best part?

They stack.

Bought $85 worth of food?

$10 off with one coupon (from $50)
$5 off with the next (from $25)
$3 off the next (from $10)

$18 off your purchase, instantly. Use your points to knock off another $10. And then get bonus points for your next visit....all on top of 2x1 deals of the week.

$57 for $85+ in food.


Every night they mark off products that are nearing their expiration date, and put them in a discount fridge. Delicious meat-load dinner expires tomorrow, and you're hungry now? 25% off.

That's why they went out of business. They were literally giving groceries away.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

F.U.S.E fest returns this weekend to Fresno

The Catacomb Party isn't the only local music festival - F.U.S.E (Fresno Urban Sound Experience) is entering its sixth year with another great lineup of local bands.

15 bucks gets you two nights of music at some great venues. There are some changes this year - the festival is smaller (as a result of Catacomb...?) but that doesn't mean it's not worth visiting. Seriously, $15 for two nights of music? It's a steal.

While previous years have included up to a dozen venues, this year it's limited to 8 stages in 4 venues, all at the northern side of downtown. The first night is exclusively at Fulton 55, alternating between the main stage and a smaller stage upstairs, while the second night is mostly at the Warnor's theater complex. One cool thing is that they're apparently using the main stage, which should be fun for the bands. As usual, Tokyo Garden closes out the night - but you have to get there before the music starts if you want food.

It's sort of disappointing that the venue hopping aspect is gone, as I thought it was a great way to discover new places. However, for those who like to listen to music while not straying far from a bar, this is a better setup. For me, I personally liked previous years with food venues, like Joe's Steakhouse, the Casino, and what used to be a downtown sports bar. Maybe if Fresnans actually went out, they'd have enough attendance to support that again?

For comparison purposes: 

Here's a review I did of the 2011 event.

Here's info of the 2012 event. 

Here's the info from the Catacomb Party, held 2 months ago

Here's my review of the 2012 Catacomb Party 

And here is the setup for this year, courtesy of their facebook page.

FRIDAY (September 20TH):
Fulton 55 - Main Stage (21+)
Fulton 55 - Upstairs Stage (21+)

SATURDAY (September 21ST):
Peeve's Public House (All Ages)    - What used to be Fresno Brewing Company
Warnors Theatre - Mezzanine Stage (All Ages)
Warnors Theatre - Stage 'Stage' (All Ages)
Warnors Theatre - Fishbowl Stage (All Ages)
Frank's Place (All Ages)
Tokyo Garden (21+)



FULTON 55 (21+)
7:30 Copper And Glass
8:30 Sea Of Sound
9:30 Richfield
10:30 Cockamainie Jamie
11:30 Collecto

8:00 Boxcar Figaro
9:00 “PechaKucha”
10:00 Tommy Marquez
11:00 Restaurnaut


6:30 Clatterbox
7:30 Francis Ward
8:30 Style Like Revelators
9:30 Sci-Fi Caper

7:30 Sunburns
8:30 Dirty Limbs
9:30 The Sleepover Disaster
10:30 Sparklejet

7:00 Macondo
8:00 Werebear
9:00 Twisted Capz
10:00 Kooleidoscope

7:00 Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries
8:00 Le Wolves
9:00 It’ll Grow Back
10:00 Greener By Color

6:30 Murder Park
7:30 Farooq
8:30 Black Aesop
9:30 Hello8s

10:00 Blake Jones and the Trike Shop
11:00 Isosceles Trio
12:00 Actress
1:00 123Death

$15 for all stages including Friday and Saturday
$10 for Fulton 55 only
$15 for all stages Saturday only
$5 for Tokyo Garden only

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mexico City's Ecobici nears 100,000 subscribers

When it comes to the world of bike-share, New York's Citibike may continue to get the headlines, but it's actually Mexico City's Ecobici that has the most users in the Americas. Last week, they proudly released stats about ridership, and the numbers are impressive, especially for a city that isn't exactly known for cycling (or safe streets). 

According to El Universal, Ecobici has reached 95,780 annual members. Of those, 40,500 have been added since December. That compares with NYC being just shy of 80,000, since launching in May. When the Ecobici program completed their 3rd expansion last year, the goal was 75,000 users.Looks like it's time for more stations.

Ecobici uses a Clear Channel system
In terms of utilization, Mexico City is also the highest for the Americas. While NYC has quickly seen over 3 million trips, Ecobici is now over 10 million.

What makes these numbers even more impressive is that Ecobici is smaller than Citibike (275 vs 330 stations), and does not allow casual use. While NYC (and most other cities) get to rack up the miles with hoards of tourists that can buy passes on the spot, Mexico requires signing up in advance with ID, at off-site locations.

Montreal and DC, the other two major systems on the continent, lag behind in users, although Montreal's Bixi still has the largest system in terms of stations. Both cities helped in proving that bike-share could be successful beyond Europe, and Ecobici and Citibike may not have been around if it wasn't for their programs (and of course, the global pioneer, Paris). 

Here are some interesting stats:

425 - Montreal Bixi
330 - Citibike (NYC)
275 - Ecobici (Mexico)
247 - Capital Bikeshare (DC)

Annual Members:
95,780 - Ecobici
80,000 - Citibike
49,000 - Montreal
40,000 - Capital Bikeshare

Highest Trips in a day:
44,000 - Citibike
28,888 - Ecobici
20,000-25,000 - Montreal*
10,000 - Capital Bikeshare

*I'm not finding a reliable number for this, anyone have something more concrete?

See some more Citibike stats here.
See some more CaBi stats here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Old Town Clovis Trail Gap to Finally be Closed!

It's finally happening!

The two blocks in Old Town Clovis where the regional bike trail disappears will apparently be completed as soon as this year.

The next city council agenda has this surprise:
City staff intends to bid and construct the Clovis Old Town trail connection on the west side of Hughes Avenue from Third to Fifth streets in the 3rd quarter of 2013.
Council document (PDF)
The gap is especially notable, because it's in the heart of Clovis, and there is absolutely no accommodation to direct trail users through the missing area.

Here's where the gap is, Clovis Avenue is the large road on the left. The red lines are the existing trails points, where they suddenly end. A parking lot was built on the rail right of way (ROW).

 photo trailclose_zps61aa719b.jpg

About a year ago, I wrote about this section of the trail. The most unfortunate part is the complete lack of signage and accommodations at the intersections. Car traffic has no idea the trail just pops out there.

Cyclists must make an awkward turn to find the rest of the trail. They hopefully have seen a map before riding it, so know where to go.

Going north:

Going south there are no crosswalks, signs or bike lanes.

In the post I linked above, you can see some pictures taken from the ground.

In that post, I proposed an easy fix: using the wide road ROW to make a cycletrack.

What will they actually build? I don't know - I put in a request for diagrams but was told they won't be made public until October. I guess Clovis isn't a believer in the "public input" side of things. So until October, we won't know if they're building an on-street path, a wider sidewalk extended into the road, or a wider sidewalk into the property.

There is one bit we do know, and it's good news:

A request is being put in for a full stop where Hughes meets 4th. Right now, 4th has a stop, but Hughes doesn't, and there are no crosswalks or curb ramps. The Clovis Veterans Memorial District is specifically asking for a crosswalk and stop sign, and wants to install art along the trail.

Here's that intersection today, the trail would be on the left side of the street.

 photo trailclose2_zps61ed5ede.jpg

Of course I'll post an update as soon as they release the plans for the trail connection.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

CVS addresses ADA violation ... by further limiting pedestrian access to new store

Few major chain corporations out there actually listen to the customer. A year ago, I emailed some companies about their lack of bike racks. Rather than receive relevant replies about racks, I was told I was not being considered for a job. Seriously.

Earlier this year, I again sent along an email to CVS's corporate HQ, but this time about a more serious matter: an apparent ADA violation. Unlike bike racks, an ADA violation can result in a swift lawsuit.

CVS listened; they replied by email, contacted me by phone, replied to my follow-up, and actually did some work on the ground to fix the problem.

But by "fix," I mean "make so much worse"


CVS has recently opened a brand new location in the "Fancher Creek" development, a transit-oriented village for south Fresno in the works for over a decade, which had been stalled since the housing bubble broke. CVS's pop up like weeds in the Central Valley, so the only reason I paid it any attention (see bottom of that post) was because the area was supposed to be under some kind of walking, biking and transit master plan. I was interested to see if CVS did ANYTHING to cater to the transit village that is supposed to pop up around them, rather then dropping in the same store they'd built at every other intersection in town.

Side note: No transit serves this transit-oriented village.

During my walking tour, I noted that this brand new development, built on perfectly flat land, on what used to be an empty lot violated the "equal access" bit of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The law, which has affected commercial properties since 1992, has some exceptions for historic structures and the like, but obviously this brand new development wasn't excused from compliance.

Quick background

Basically, for commercial spaces, ADA has two portions:

The very well defined technical stuff, such as max ramp slope, min aisle width, sign height, availability of railings, turning areas, etc etc. The kind of stuff you can go out with a ruler and note if the facility complies or does not. As you can imagine, because a hard and clear series of rules are set out, it's easy to comply, for both companies and contractors.

Note: If you've seen what appears to be a perfectly fine sidewalk ramp be ripped up and replaced with what appears to be the exact same thing, it's due to a violation of a very technical issue, such as maximum height of the lip where the asphalt meets the cement.

The second portion is very broad: it's about equal access. This part requires more discretion, but basically, the idea is that if an able-bodied person can access a good or service, a disabled person must be accommodated in a way that provides as much equality as possible. You can't require that people using wheelchairs use an entrance around the back, unless you're a historic property, for example. 

This is where CVS failed.

Like most CVS stores, this one is located in a busy intersection, with parking all around it, and a drive-thru in the back (so much for the transit-village).

Pedestrians can be expected to arrive from three points: Walking south on Fowler, walking east on Kings Canyon, or arriving at the intersection from any other location. The front door faces the intersection.

Anyone arriving at the intersection obviously follows the most direct path to the door.

The front door points right at the corner, and even offers (poorly designed) bike racks!


There was a problem though. Those access points nearest to the intersection were not usable by people in wheelchairs. No ramps at all.

Those in wheelchairs were asked to take a lengthy detour. Lengthy detour = ADA alarm bells start ringing.

As you can see the red path is what an able-bodied person would do. The blue path is the lengthy route anyone in a wheelchair had to take. Clearly not equal access.

Now besides that fact that this store was built a full 20 years after ADA took effect, CVS, by nature of being a pharmacy, probably caters to the elderly and disabled more-so than other businesses. Add in the fact that this is a TOD area...and this is just unacceptable.

So I sent off an email in January. I got a call-back very quickly, allowing me to further explain the problem to a real person, who was very understanding.

I was then promised more action quickly:
It was a pleasure speaking with you today. As we discussed I am going to share your concerns with our field managers for review. You can expect a phone call from a member of our field management team within 5 business days to discuss this further.

I never actually got a second call, so a month later (February) I asked for an update, via email. Their reply:

Thank you for your patience with this issue. I do apologize for the delay in receiving a response from CVS. However, I did want to assure you that we are working to come up with a resolution for this situation. We have put together some options and are waiting to confirm the best one with our Field Managers. I will keep you posted in the mean time and you will receive a phone call from a member of our field management team as soon as the plan is decided.

Another month passed with no call, so I emailed them again in late March.

Thank you for your patience. I have received word that they are preparing a plan of action to make the necessary changes to the wheelchair route at this location. You should expect to see changes coming very soon.

Victory! CVS listened! Sure, no one else ever called me, but this sounds like the resolution I was looking for, so that's excused. 

2 more months went by. I visited the site and there had been no changes, so off went another email in late May:

Thank you for your patience. I will have a member of the leadership team for this store reach out to you with status of this project.
You can expect a call within 2 business days.
At this point, you shouldn't be surprised to hear that I never got that call. I don't quite understand the point to all these promises....

I emailed one more time after a week, because they were very specific about the two days...

Thank you for your patience. I am happy to say that I have received word that our engineers are studying the situation at this time. A plan for improvement should be on the table shortly. You will receive a call from a member of our leadership team as this information becomes available.

That's the last I heard from them. Maybe their phones don't work?

Two weeks ago, I swung by the site one more time, and it looks like the "plan for improvement" had not only been finalized, but they'd made physical changes.

Here is the corner. The access points were just to the left and right of the frame....

 photo 2013-08-29142700_zpsb35315be.jpg

Lets enjoy a before and after

Wait, what?

How about off to the left, another before and after...

The most convenient pedestrian access point, gone, without a trace.

They addressed the violation of "equal access" by ensuring that NO pedestrian or cyclist is welcome to the store, from the intersection. Now everyone can take an equally ridiculous detour up the street to get back to the entrance.

What looks so close...

Requires going to an access point so out of the way, a sign is needed to point it out.

To be fair, it's not just those on foot being sent out of their way by CVS. While CVS pulls out all the stops to cater to motorists, with extensive parking, a drive-thru, and barriers to walking on top of it, those who choose to drive cleaner vehicles (in the area of the country with the worst air pollution) aren't exactly welcome either. They're sent to the most distance corners of the lot, spaces that I would bet will not once be used in the next decade.

The CVS pedestrian access points in green, and some of their clean vehicle parking, in yellow. And no, there aren't any charging spots available for EV's.


I guess the lesson careful what you wish for?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cyclist captures hit-and-run on camera

A teenager with a camera mounted on his handlebar caught a truck driver slamming into him. The truck was accelerating - rather than slowing down - to make a right turn at the upcoming light.The truck driver then fled the scene. Will Fresno PD act?

A TV station has the story, and apparently because they have the exclusive on the video, they have the "exclusive" on the news - I didn't see any reporting in the Bee. 

The TV station is calling it an "accident" and running with the "both sides are to blame" angle. Why are both sides to blame? Because the wife of the driver says so.

KMPH news reporter Erika Cervantes spoke with RMS manager Marcey Stark on the telephone. Stark told her that she did not want to comment on camera, but Stark did say her husband was the person driving the car that ran into the bicyclist. Stark also said that her husband told her that the bicyclist is the one at fault, because he's the one who hit the car. Stark went on to say if her husband did something illegal Fresno Police would contact them, but they haven't, so she is not concerned about it. She also added that Fresno Police need to hear her side of the story and she's skeptical that the bicyclist contacted a news station. Then she hung up on Cervantes.

The wife admits her husband knew there was a collision, and still fled. She also says shes not concerned her husband has no regard for human life.

If you click to the news story, you can see the video. The video is very clear, so it's quite easy to see what happened.

It is impossible to dispute that the truck driver is guilty of a crime. He fled the scene, which makes it a hit-and-run. Full stop. His wife admitted the driver knew what happened, and fled. Since the driver came from behind the cyclist, and cut him off, it would be impossible to claim "I didn't see him!"

Even if he was not at fault, fleeing is still a crime, and Fresno PD must act on it.

That being said, the driver was clearly at fault for causing the collision Approaching the intersection in the eastbound direction, the road consists of one turn lane, one general lane, and one bike lane. At the intersection, there is a left turn lane, a general lane, a bike lane, and the addition of the right turn lane.

Because the driver is going from the eastbound lane to the new right turn lane, he is turning across the bike lane. All vehicles changing lanes must signal their turn AND yield to traffic already in the lane next to them. What he should have done was slow down, merge behind the cyclist, and then turn.

In the diagram, the yellow line indicates the change in lanes, which must yield to traffic continuing straight on their green line.

 photo dakota1_zps8679e7bf.jpg(yes the general lane is extraordinarily wide)

Of course the driver isn't the only one to blame. The city has done a poor job with their striping and signage. Now in this case, the company the driver works for (owns?) is based only a couple of blocks away, so he obviously drives this road daily and should be familiar with the striping. For everyone else, it may be a little confusing.

The bike lane is "abandoned" at the most dangerous part - the merge. No signage is placed to remind turning traffic to yield, and it might be unclear where cyclists should ride. The road is also excessively wide, leading to speeding (visible in the video).

Here are the existing conditions:
 photo dakota3_zpsf9531ef6.jpg

And here's what proper striping would look like. At the very least, the city should use a dashed line to create a continuous bike lane.

 photo dakota2_zpse7206199.jpg

The city has a chance to redeem themselves by arresting the motorist and amending their striping plan. Will they? I'm not optimistic. 

The cyclist should also learn some defensive techniques to prevent future incidents with careless (and then criminal) motorists. Even though the cyclist was, by definition, proceeding straight from the bike lane to a bike lane, he might have been better off using arm signals to make the movement abundantly clear. That being said, if I were him, I'd be looking at a lawyer to press civil charges.