No felony charges for Jeffrey Ray Adams, Venice NC approves Main Street road diet

Cyclist and attorney Dj Wheels reports that the D.A. has declined to file criminal charges again Jeffrey Ray Adams, and referred the case to the Santa Monica City Attorney.

Adams is the driver who allegedly intentionally collided with a cyclist in Santa Monica last month, then ranted about it on video, threatening the rider, witnesses and everyone within earshot.

To be honest, I’m not surprised.

While his behavior was outrageous, the rider’s injuries don’t support a felony filing under California law, which pretty much requires the loss of a major body part before any crime involving a moving motor vehicle is taken seriously.

And the rider didn’t help himself by sending an angry email to a number of local officials demanding justice just hours after the incident.

If the D.A.’s office saw that — and there’s every reason to believe they did — it could have played a significant role in their decision not to file.

Don’t misunderstand.

Adams’ actions were incredibly stupid, dangerous and offensive, and — in my personal opinion, anyway — should prevent him from ever operating a motor vehicle again. And if the law was better written, he’d be facing considerable jail time.

But felony charges were never likely in this case.

So now it’s up to Santa Monica City Attorney Marsha Jones Moutrie to provide some semblance of justice.

And get a dangerous driver off the streets before his aim improves and he kills someone next time.

……..

The Venice Neighborhood Council voted Tuesday to support the Main Street road diet and bike lanes after receiving support from cyclists and local residents — though not everyone agreed.

And in a pleasant change, the VNC asked LADOT to come back with more suggestions to make the plan safer for cyclists and pedestrians — unlike the recent controversy over the Valley’s Wilbur Ave road diet, where the “compromise” ended up making the bike lanes significantly more dangerous for riders.

LADOT opened the meeting by revising the plan to add 6” to each bike lane, taking the space from the center turn lane, after complaints that the lanes would place riders in the door zone.

Eric Weinstein reported from the meeting:

I think it was the community support for this project that carried the day. The VNC stayed late into the night to resolve and vote this project – you could see them getting tired of endless debate. The big majority voted for. Kudos to the chair (and the parliamentarian) for getting this voted. Should be striped and signed within a month or so. A very long process for some more lanes connecting Santa Monica to Windward Circle!

It’s not perfect.

But as someone who regularly rides both the pre-road diet L.A. and post-road diet SaMo sections of Main Street, I can tell you the much-derided Santa Monica section is much safer and more pleasant to ride, even if it could use improvement.

Hopefully, we can look forward to something better down the road.

But this should be a lot better than what we have now, for cyclists and pedestrians.

And drivers, too.

And on a related note, the LACBC’s Colin Bogart reports that the Burbank City Council voted to keep the bike lanes on Verdugo Avenue, by a vote of 3 – 2.

……..

The seriously anti-bike L.A. Weekly goes out of their way to take yet another needless slam at L.A. cyclists in an article trash found on the beach during Coastal Cleanup Day, as Simone Wilson writes:

• “Condoms all over the place,” according to the Times. Nothing new, says King. As common as plastic horses and bike kickstands. (Not so green now, are we, Team Bike!)

That might be a valid comment if cyclists were in the habit of throwing parts of their bikes into the ocean.

The Weekly somehow ignores the possibility that a bike kickstand might end up on the beach after a bike was stolen and dismantled for parts. Or that one of their own readers got riled up by the paper’s bike baiting and ran a rider down on the bike path, strewing parts everywhere.

No less likely than their implication.

Most likely, however, kickstands and other parts can simply fall off poorly maintained bikes as they ride down — wait for it — the bike path.

You know, the one that goes right along the beach.

Yeah, that could never happen, any more than you might find car parts along a highway.

Seriously, we had higher journalistic standards when I ran my high school paper.

Thanks to Kim for the heads-up.

……..

If you missed the first public session of the Dutch-sponsored ThinkBike this morning, you can still sign up for the closing session on Friday afternoon, followed by an after party at the new Angel City Brewing Downtown.

Richard Risemberg writes about riding with the Dutch experts on their way from LAX to Downtown on Wednesday.

Yes, they rode in. From the airport.

Doesn’t look like I’ll be able to make any of it, since the Royal Netherlands Embassy neglected to check with my wife’s plans for her vacation before scheduling the workshop, but twitter users can follow along at #ThinkBikeLA.

And despite attacks on cyclists from some misguided quarters, places with lots of cyclists — like the Netherlands, for instance — are safer for pedestrians, as well.

Then again, like some local weeklies we could name, the NY Daily News seldom seems to let the facts get in the way of a good story.

……..

Inspiring thoughts on what L.A. can learn from NYC. Help set the statewide biking agenda for 2012 in Downtown L.A. A ghost bike is planted in Pasadena for hit-and-run victim Jocelyn Young. Like the rest of the city, the Beverly Hills Whole Foods fails the bike-friendly test. The Source says we could soon see a few Bikestations in L.A.; maybe Beverly Hills could put one in to make up for everything else bike-related they lack. The Claremont Cyclist offers his usual great photos of last weekend’s ‘Cross at the Cornfield, and suggests if you can’t hear with your earbuds in, maybe you should take them out. Ashley Tisdale bikes Toluca Lake with a flat fat tire. The Long Beach Gazette says it’s time to prove the bike-friendly city’s bike plan is working. L.A. County offers a $10,000 reward in the killing of Pablo Ortiz, gunned down while riding his bike in Long Beach.

Corona del Mar’s cdmCylclist takes time out from bike touring the Erie Canal to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. A San Diego area cyclist is seriously injured after apparently turning left in front of oncoming traffic — always wait until traffic is clear before turning, and watch out for speeders; thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up. Some good looking bike lanes make their appearance at San Diego State University; maybe that’s what USC needs. Bike San Diego reports that former NPR host Tom Fudge got back on a bike for the first time since he was injured in a cycling collision four years ago; by the way, if you’re not reading BSD, you’re missing some of the best bike coverage south of L.A. If you left your bike at Burning Man, maybe you can spot it here. San Francisco considers allowing bikes in commercial buildings to deter theft.

Consumer Reports says even celluloid cyclists should wear helmets. When a 20 minute-car trip can be replaced with a 10-minute bike ride, bicycling becomes the obvious choice. Turns out if you right hook a cyclist in Tucson, it’s the cyclist’s fault. Seriously. Not surprisingly, Portland developers cater to a two-wheeled clientele; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up. A Seattle cyclist writes about having his life threatened by a laughing truck driver in an apparently deliberate assault. Licensing bikes is impractical, according to a Seattle radio host. A Sioux Falls driver gets a whopping 100 days in jail after mixing prescription meds and alcohol before blacking out and killing a cyclist; yeah, that’ll certainly send a message that it’s okay to get high and kill people. A Packer fan downs six beers and two mixed drinks before running down a cyclist. Former U.S. 5k champ Henry Dennis is killed when his bike is hit from behind by a drunk driver in Wisconsin; sounds like that state may have a drinking and driving problem, then again, what state doesn’t? Looks like Chicago will be the next big city to get a bike share program. A Chicago cyclist takes Critical Mass to task, as well as repeatedly promoting his own book. No airhead beauty queen here, as Miss Ohio pedals 850 miles across the state to raise money and awareness for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. What sentence would you give a drunk driver who ran down a cyclist at 6 am on his way home from a strip club? Richmond VA will host the 2015 world road championships.

The Vancouver Sun reminds drivers to check their mirrors before opening doors; we should all send them a thank you card. Britain’s bike clubs are booming. Is it really a Cycle Superhighway if you have to get off your bike and walk it — on a barricaded sidewalk, no less? Brits debate just whose road it really is. Italian authorities implicate Lance Armstrong in paying the reputed doping doctor he claimed to stop seeing in 2004; meanwhile, Levi leaps to Quick-Step. Video of the recent European record 80 mph bike ride. Pot, meet kettle — the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association claims bicycling is a luxury few can afford. Fast cyclists live longer than slow ones. So there.

Finally, the Lovely Bicycle encounters our own framebuilder Megan Dean at Interbike, and likes what she sees; then again, doesn’t everyone?

10 comments

  1. Mark Elliot says:

    On that Sioux Falls driver who received the equivalent of a wrist-slap of 100 days in jail – not the penn – for brutally running down a driver? Well, you can’t expect more from South Dakota, the state where the former governor hit-and-run a motorcyclist while under the influence, denied it, then finally resigned on conviction (yes, he had a position to resign in the state legislature!).

    That’s character. His sentence? 100 days. Work release after 30.
    http://tinyurl.com/3wusxs2

    At least the felon in this case copped to the tragedy. You’d think that in a state as sparsely-populated as SD, one would never run into anybody else, much less an accident like this one, crossing two lanes of traffic while unconscious to strike a cyclist.

  2. Mark Elliot says:

    Oops – brutally running down a *cyclist.* He may have run down drivers too.

  3. Joe B says:

    Okay, I understand that because Jeffrey Adams’ attempt to put another human being in a hospital bed for the rest of his life was ultimately unsuccessful, and because he used a car instead of a gun, he will be lightly punished and will be back behind the wheel very soon.

    What I don’t understand is why the DA can’t file the misdemeanor charge. Do DA’s only file felony charges?

  4. [...] camera. BikingInLA explains that although the behaviour of the driver was outrageous, he is still not considered dangerous enough to warrant a Felony charge under California law. Rather sad that we have to be dismembered, left in a comatose state, or [...]

  5. phil says:

    The article is incorrect. Jeffrey Ray Adams was charged with two felony counts and was last held over for his plead in January 2012.

  6. phil says:

    Jeffrey Ray Adams pled no contest on May 29th, 2012 to a violation of Penal Code Section 245 (a) (1) Assault with A Deadly Weapon [his car]. He was placed on three years of formal, felony probation and must complete 20 days of labor as well as an anger management program. Restitution was ordered (as required by law) in an amount unknown at this point.

    • Joe B says:

      So…I take it he’s back behind the wheel of the deadly weapon that he proved himself incapable of using safely?

      • phil says:

        As soon as the DMV finds out he used his car as a deadly weapon while committing a felony, he will loose his driver’s license for life in the State of California. So, who knows how long that will take….

        • bikinginla says:

          Thanks for the heads-up on this one, Phil. Should have been at least some jail time, but formal probation and anger management are a plus.

          Let’s hope we don’t hear his name again related to a traffic matter again.

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