Newport Beach cyclist was world-class triathlete, killer driver had 16 tickets; bike plan goes to council March 1

Authorities released the name of the cyclist killed by an alleged drunk driver in Newport Beach Monday evening.

Forty-one year old Amine Britel, a local businessman and world-class triathlete originally from Morocco, was pronounced dead at the scene. His killer, Danae Marie Miller, was released on bond Tuesday morning, on a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated — and was on the road despite receiving 16 traffic tickets over the last six years, including six tickets for speeding or driving too fast for conditions in a three-year period.

Miller has apparently been playing Russian Roulette with her car for years, while the courts failed to do anything to stop her. Now one life is ended and another shattered, all because a woman who probably shouldn’t be allowed behind the wheel got behind one after drinking.

Thanks to Lois Rubin for the link to Britel’s profile on Wafin.com, and Patrick Pascal for the link to the Daily Pilot story about Miller’s driving record.

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Word comes from the LACBC that the draft bike plan is scheduled for final approval by the City Council on Tuesday, March 1st. A press conference will be held at City Hall at 9:30 am Wednesday to celebrate its anticipated passage.

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Three cyclists barely survive falling boulders during the recent Christchurch earthquake; the riders suspect a nearby jogger didn’t make it. The photos offer fair warning of what could happen on PCH when  — not if — it happens here. Thanks to the Trickster for the heads-up.

There are several ways you can help. Then again, there are always those who’ll make the best of any situation.

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The controversy over New York’s Prospect Park West bike lanes just won’t go away, as a cyclist and university professor sides with the opposition, and video shows an ambulance bypassing traffic by using the bike lane.

And the crackdown on scofflaw cyclists continues as NYPD officers allegedly beat a teenage cyclist on camera, then throw him in jail for 24-hours for riding on the sidewalk; according to police, the ass-kicking was justified.

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Then again, the same battle is being fought on this coast, as battle lines are dug in over the Wilbur Avenue road diet — even though it’s supported by 77% of local residents — while LADOT claims to have a compromise.

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If you own a Felt bike, be sure to check this recall list.

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Why show your eco-cred by arriving at the Oscars in a Prius when you could go by bike? Maybe co-host Anne Hathaway will do it.

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The CalTrans Bicycle Advisory Committee meets this Thursday at 1:30 pm. Help CicLAvia expand east into Boyle Heights. Bicycle Fixation takes the city to task for poor roadway maintenance on 4th street that put cyclists at risk. LADOT Bike Blog asks how you would improve 7th Street for bikes, and reports on the recent BAC meeting, including the election of Jay Slater as chair. Green LA Girl interviews Lindsey Darden, author of Adventures of a Car-Less Valley Girl. Call it the art of bike maintenance, as C.I.C.L.E. and Bikerowave team with the Santa Monica Museum of Art for a tour of the museum, bike maintenance workshop and a mini-ride through the neighborhood on Saturday. Bikerowave plans a 4th birthday celebration this Friday. CD4 council candidate Stephen Box will sponsor free bike repair at the Hollywood farmers market this Sunday. Long Beach is building a multi-modal downtown; maybe L.A. could follow suit. Claremont Cyclist asks why smaller towns aren’t included in lists of bike-friendly cities. Who needs a car when you can bring home $100 in groceries by bike? A four-year old is killed in Sacramento after riding his bike out into the street. The father of the folding bike dies at age 77.

Free bike repair stands are popping up at Whole Foods stores. Next time a driver runs you over, ask if he or she is a Verizon customer. Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey blames bad reporting for bike racing’s continued lack of popularity, while the magazine looks for the next Lance Armstrong among a small group of rising stars. Tucson Bike Lawyer takes issue with yet another incorrect reminder that cyclists don’t pay for infrastructure; I know I do, and you do, too. A Colorado man gets hit by a car, then faces charges for biking under the influence. Utah considers the Idaho Stop Law. Chicago’s new mayor is a big supporter of biking; then again, so is Detroit’s. If you’re going to hit a car, at least make sure it’s an ambulance. A Florida cyclist is hit by a car, but the dog he was towing escapes unharmed. Everyday substitutes for expensive sports bars and drinks.

Now you can ask strangers to rate your ride. London’s new Olympic velodrome is officially open. British cycling champ Victoria Pendleton plans a series of women-only bike rides. Plans are underway to change the bike lanes near Blackfriars Bridge to speed traffic and make cycling less safe. A Manchester bike cop is the victim of a hit-and-run; the driver got out and looked at the victim before fleeing the scene. A Brit cyclist threatens an offending driver with a meat cleaver. Malaysian track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang is expected to make a speedy recovery after finishing a World Cup race with a massive wood splinter through his leg. Now you can produce clean drinking water while you ride; I produce a lot of water when I ride, but you wouldn’t want to drink it.

Finally, a fascinating Seoul study shows how cyclists make the transition from leisure riders to bike commuters. Married, married and lower income people are more likely to make the switch; oddly, so are people who live in high-rise buildings. And it concludes that governments should invest in separated bike lanes.

Maybe the Idiot’s Guide to Bike Commuting would help.

7 comments

  1. The truth on “paying our way” is that cyclists who don’t drive overpay for road infrastructure, since car and fuel fees and taxes cover less than half the cost of building and maintaining roads. Driving in the US is highly subsidized and hugely expensive–$600 billion in subsidies since 1947 alone! (See http://tinyurl.com/4vpe37g )

    Read a synopsis of the situation, with links to studies, here:

    The Gas Tax Fallacy

  2. The Trickster says:

    Thanks for posting those.

    That photo of that kid doing a jump on one of the bung bridges has to be among my fav photos, along with the two guys giving out a massive cheer on top of the collapsed PGC building after they were rescued (http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/photos/4690111/Christchurch-quake-Day-1 photo 21), the photo of the smile of the guy who had his wife (the last person rescued so far) pulled out (http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/photos/4692812/Christchurch-quake-Day-2 photo 26), and this image that they showed on TV just immediately after the quake of this Maori guy lifting and throwing what must’ve been a 100kg (220lbs?) plus peice of concrete to try and get someone out. It showed a ‘real life’ demonstration of the effect that adrenalin can have!

    Anyway, as I said yesterday its pretty nasty in Christchurch, far worse than last time. Where I am is perfectly fine (we’re about 1500km away), however we’re expecting tourists and residents to be heading this way pretty soon as refugees as Christchurch is truely smashed this time. I, like many here in Auckland have posted messages on a number of sites offering couches/mattresses, basically anywhere where people can lay their heads. I know if it was me, I’d rather be on someones couch a LONG way away from continously shaking ground and destroyed buildings than elsewhere.

    On a personal, slighty narcissitic note, its crap I won’t be racing down there now… was supposed to be racing fairly close to the epicentre in about a months time. The race hasn’t been officially cancelled yet, but it will be seeing as it starts in the square with the cathedral (which is gone) and goes through hills similar to those in the photo.

    Also I understand that the backpackers I was going to stay in has been destroyed – I saw images on the news of a car crushed about 2 doors up from it (http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/photos/4692812/Christchurch-quake-Day-2 photo 13). :(

  3. The Trickster says:

    A couple more photos I’ve come across.

    Also, from the tiny bit I know about LA geography, the area where these photos and the one at the clifftop would be a bit more like the canyons than PCH, as I understand PCH does have ‘some’ room (maybe 500m) between the coast and the rocky cliff. These cliffs are right on the road.

    http://www.vorb.org.nz/rez_viewattach.php?id=135949&mode=&TB_iframe=false
    http://www.vorb.org.nz/rez_viewattach.php?id=135950&mode=&TB_iframe=false
    http://www.vorb.org.nz/rez_viewattach.php?id=135951&mode=&TB_iframe=false

    Again, that is up near where my race was going to be.

    • bikinginla says:

      Depends on where you are on PCH; some areas place riders directly under the bluffs, while others are some distance away. But yes, this looks more like the canyons around here, which are also popular riding spots.

  4. [...] separated bike lanes. The OC Register reports that Danae Miller, the alleged drunk driver who killed Amine Britel on Monday night, had actually received 17 traffic tickets since 2005, but had six dismissed; [...]

  5. [...] Deadly Drunk Driver in the OC Had 16 DRIVING TICKETS the past five years (LA_Now, Biking In L.A.) [...]

  6. [...] on September 22nd in Newport Beach on a single count of felony vehicular manslaughter in the February death of triathlete Amine Britel. She reportedly was texting and had a BAC of .10 at the time of the collision, and had 16 prior [...]

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