Update: Taco Tuesday cyclists cited for bad behavior; anti-bike DWP employee a fake

In a story that seemed important at the time, police responded to complaints about the popular Taco Tuesday ride in Playa del Rey Tuesday night.

Upwards of 100 — or maybe 200 — riders were reportedly engaging in drunken, unruly behavior at the intersection of Culver Blvd and Vista del Mar.

At least six riders were cited for various traffic infractions, while four others were ticketed for curfew violations; a white van accompanying the riders was impounded after stopping briefly in a tow-away zone.

However, despite numerous reports that the riders were intoxicated and drinking in public, no arrests were made for liquor violations or biking under the influence, which is illegal under California law.

In the end, it was nothing more than a bike ride that may have gotten out of hand. A few hundred — or maybe just a few out of a few hundred — engaged in exactly the kind of two-wheeled boorish behavior that gives every other cyclist a bad name. And encourages the sort of bike hatred we all face in online forums and on the streets.

But it was not the near traffic riot some might suggest.

However, if this comment from the Daily News story about the event really is from a city employee, it may not be bad behavior from cyclists that we have to worry about.

Michael Walter · Sr. Purchasing Clerk at Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power

Cyclists are highway vermin. Run ‘em down with your Hummer.

Surely a city employee isn’t dumb enough to post a threat — even one which he would undoubtedly claim to be a badly failed attempt at humor — under his own name and title.

Right?

Update: Good news. I just received a phone call from LAPD Sgt. David Krumer, who said he contacted DWP to followup on this comment, and was informed that no one by that name works for DWP and that position does not exist within the company. Evidently, someone with a grudge against DWP created the Michael Walter Facebook account and made the comment in order to make them look bad.

Somehow, it’s comforting to know that this is just the work of a random psycho, rather than a city employee.

……..

I’m told that charges have been filed against Glenn Michael Moore and Michael Dennis Roach, who were allegedly street racing on PCH when a collision sent Moore’s Accord sailing onto a nearby bike path, where it struck and critically injured cyclist Richard Lauwers.

Both are charged with a misdemeanor count of engaging in a speed contest; Moore is also charged with felony DUI causing great bodily injury and felony DUI with a BAC over .08% causing great bodily injury — despite the fact that the collision occurred around 8 am on a Sunday morning.

Fortunately, reports are that Lauwers has recovered from his injuries and continues to ride his bike.

……..

Late calendar additions:

Metro is holding a roundtable discussion to talk about operator training, bicycle outreach and education on Monday, August 22nd from 6 to 8 pm. Anyone whose ever been buzzed by a bus — which means just about every cyclist in L.A. — may want to attend.

The LACBC is co-sponsoring a bike tour of historic Glendale this weekend, and co-hosting a weekend-long training program for bicycle and pedestrian advocates with the Alliance for Biking and Walking in October. Meanwhile, the Coalition is forming a new West Hollywood affiliate chapter at 7 pm on Friday, August 19th at Poinsettia Park.

And C.I.C.L.E. and the Santa Monica Museum of Art co-host the Cause for Creativity: Tour da Arts on Saturday, August 21 from noon to 7 pm; pre-registration is advised since it usually fills up.

……..

Bob Mionske says congratulations to Los Angeles for passing the first-of-its-kind anti-harassment ordinance. And in a must read, he looks at the tendency of police and the media to blame the victim in cycling collisions.

In one of the cases he mentions, anti-bike bias rears its ugly head as a Kelowna, British Columbia rider is blamed for riding too fast in a bike lane after she’s right hooked by a driver.

……..

In bike racing news, American racing prodigy Taylor Phinney loses 35 seconds to drop to 8th place in the Eneco Tour after holding the leader’s jersey; and no, I never heard of that race before this year, either. But I have heard of the Tour of the Netherlands.

Tour de France champ Cadel Evans heads a strong line-up for the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado later this month. SoCal Cycling looks at last weekend’s Brentwood Grand Prix (scroll down), as does the Claremont Cyclist. A Tahoe cyclist relates life as a Category 1 racer; how to make the jump from Cat 4 to Cat 3. And a 15-year old Manhattan Beach bicyclist is invited to train in Europe by USA Cycling.

……..

The city releases its first quarterly report on the Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT); thanks to George Wolfberg for forwarding the link. But when cyclists were offered a chance to set the BPIT agenda, only two people bothered to respond.

Even so, Bikeside insists there’s no way to achieve progress on implementing the bike plan, while Alex Thompson considers the whole thing a complete and utter failure.

Meanwhile, Santa Monica cyclists applaud the city’s newly unveiled bike plan, while the Santa Monica Spoke applauds the process and city staff behind it. The Spoke offers a link to the plan and an email address to offer comments, bikeplan@SMSpoke.org.

……..

Damien Newton blames the poor design of De Soto Ave for contributing to the death of Alex Romero by encouraging drivers to speed. L.A. attorney and cyclist Howard Krepack says it’s past time to invest in Safe Routes to Schools. The biking black hole of Beverly Hills bars transparency by banning search engines; what ever happened to the idea of open government? KPCC looks at how to start cycling in the city. Turns out triple bike racks on buses could be against the law. KCET asks if L.A. needs a bike share program. A memorial grows for Jeremy Perez, the 7-year old cyclist killed in Redondo Beach on Saturday. The West San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Coalition — an LACBC affiliate — is working to make Alhambra bike friendlier. The Claremont Cyclist reports on local riders behaving, in some cases very, badly.

A San Francisco pedestrian has died after being struck by a red light-running rider last month. No DUI charges in the death of a cyclist walking his bike on PCH in Ventura as prosecutors apparently misplace the blood alcohol results. Here’s your chance to go downhill in Death Valley. A state grant has been awarded to close a gap in a Thousand Oaks bike lane. A mountain biker is rescued after being injured on a Laguna wilderness trail. An arrest has been made in the hit-and-run death of a Santa Cruz area cyclist; unlike the father of Dominique Rush in the Alex Romero case, the driver’s parents urged her to turn herself in and co-operated in the investigation. The owner of a Humboldt County trucking company clearly gets it in a look at the proposed three-foot passing law. San Francisco’s Rapha Cycle Club is a new kind of biker bar. A cyclist breaks into — not out of — Folsom prison. The Navy Seabee who saved the life of triathlete Jordon Rapp following a cycling collision last year receives a well-deserved honor for his efforts.

Broken Sidewalk looks at the problem of bicycle infrastructure designed by drivers — definitely worth reading. Transportation as a civil rights issue. The hidden perils of urban bike paths. Advice on how to wash your bike, and how to refresh your legs fast; personally, I use two hard boiled eggs and a café mocha — to bounce back, not wash. A Wisconsin rider says it’s time for all of us to take the pledge to make our streets a little safer, one driver and cyclist at a time. The Green Bay Packers are role models for cycling. Cyclists are rude, drivers are ruder. Rolling out the bike rides to commemorate 9/11. Bike lanes are used for everything but bikes. A well thought-out response to the typical complaint about cyclists not paying taxes. An Irish poet pedals across the U.S.

Tijuana sets the example in showing how bicyclists and motorists can co-exist peacefully. Building bike lanes pays dividends, despite perceptions of local merchants; meanwhile, Toronto’s mayor declares war on bikes. Bikes as looting lookouts and the subjects of violence on the streets of Hackney. The UK has seen a more than 10% jump in annual cycling casualties, defined as death or serious injury. Seeing Beijing in a whole new light after buying a bike.

Finally, a personal injury attorney with offices throughout L.A., O.C. and the Bay Area talks about L.A.’s new anti-harassment ordinance, and repeatedly insists there are only 13,000 cyclists in Los Angeles — missing the mark by roughly 587,000 monthly riders, according to estimates in the new bike plan.

And in the wake of the Dominique Rush case, a couple of readers remind us of another case where a father actively assisted in a cover-up after his son killed a cyclist; thanks to maggie and Jim Lucas for the heads-up.

8 comments

  1. Christopher Kidd says:

    Ted, your link for the BPIT Quarterly report goes to the Daily News article about Taco Tuesday.

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks Chris. Should be fixed now. I can’t blame the late hour for screwing up this time, so I guess I’ll have to take the blame myself.

      Sorry I missed you before you left town. Hope the East Bay knows what a good advocate for cycling they’ve got now.

  2. Eric says:

    Wow, just looked at Michael Walter’s Facebook wall, check it out before he limits access. What a hate filled individual he is.

  3. Re Bob Mionske’s story: I was blamed for going too fast in two of my bike vs car crashes and told to slow down. In the more recent incident (four years ago) I was going just under 25 MPH speed limit and the driver jetted past me at probably 10 over the limit before hooking me.

    Have you seen Steve Magas’s analysis of Ohio crash reports that seems to show clear evidence of police bias?

    • bikinginla says:

      I’m a big fan of Magas’s work. He wasn’t the first to convince me there was a bias at work — that came from my own personal experience — but he certainly documented and confirmed it.

      And a speeding driver cuts across your right-of-way and causes a collision — I can see why they blamed you. After all, the driver couldn’t have cut you off if you weren’t there to begin with, right?

  4. If I said it was a complete and utter failure, that was my mistake. What I meant to say, and I think that comes across w/ a careful reading, is that the process has fallen apart, and that there is a huge risk that things WILL fail, as a result of the failing process and a Bikeways unit that can’t self supervise. As far as if it’s a failure now – well 30 miles of bikeways is 30 miles. It’s 60% of what was promised for year 0, but it’s not 0%. It’s a D minus, and they’ll have to do some more work to get credit for the course.

  5. [...] Commenting Account of Water and Power Employee Taunting Cyclists Is Fake (Biking In L.A.) [...]

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