Morning Links: Gov. Brown signs hit-and-run alert law, bike park meeting Wed night, and SCAG says Go Human

Maybe this will tame our streets a little more.

Governor Brown surprised nearly everyone by signing AB 8 Monday afternoon. The new law creates a Yellow Alert system to place notices of serious hit-and-runs on digital freeway and street signs in the area surrounding a collision.

The bill, sponsored by Glendale Assembly Member Mike Gatto, is patterned after a successful Colorado hit-and-run alert system. Brown signed it just hours after a press conference urging him to approve it, despite his veto of a similar bill just last year.

Maybe it’s no coincidence that the signing came the same day an Orange County driver was convicted of second degree murder in the drunken hit-and-run death of a grandmother as she walked in a San Clemente bike lane with her grandson.

The driver, Kelly Michele Wolfe, had a BAC over three times the legal limit when police arrested her at her home, shards of windshield glass still twinkling in her hair. Prosecutors estimate that she had downed as many as 15 drinks at a local bar before getting behind the wheel.

Wolfe had been warned when she got her California license that a second DUI could result in a murder charge, following her previous conviction for drunk driving in Nevada in 1994.

She now faces a well-deserved 18 years in state prison.

………

GOHUMAN-SOCIAL-MEDIA-640x832-BIKES-FULL-LANE_ENGThe Southern California Council of Governments has launched a new campaign encouraging people to Go Human to promote bike and pedestrian safety.

Nice to see the bike ad promotes the full use of the traffic lane.

Although I’d rather see the pedestrian ad point out that there’s a crosswalk at every corner, painted or not, rather than just urging people to cross at the corner or crosswalk.

………

There will be a meeting tomorrow night at the Hacienda Heights Community Center to discuss plans for the Puente Hills Landfill Park, including the possibility for LA County’s first true bike park.

The meeting runs from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, 1234 Valencia Ave in Hacienda Heights.

And be sure to sign the petition supporting the bike park.

………

Sad news from Yolo County, as an amateur cyclist competing in a time trial was killed when a driver crossed the center line to avoid one rider, and didn’t see the victim riding in the opposite direction.

Police inexplicably said the driver was obeying the law, even though drivers aren’t legally allowed pass if they can’t do so safely.

They wouldn’t have said she was obeying the law if it had been a semi coming the other way.

………

New world champ Peter Sagan finally gets the support of his volatile team owner after months of criticism. Sagan used his podium finish as a chance to call for changing the world, after getting there by timing his final sprint perfectly. It wasn’t his first podium finish in a world championship; he finished second in the junior cyclocross worlds in 2008.

The perfectly named Joan of Arc becomes the first Rwandan woman to compete in the worlds, winning by her mere presence despite a last place finish. The championships gave other riders a chance to fly their flag, as well.

Attendance for the worlds topped expectations, with over 645,000 spectators over the ten days of racing. Evidently, support for bike racing is alive and well in the USA.

Speaking of alive and well, Lance Armstrong is still with us, but his specter haunts the worlds. Maybe there’s a female Lance Armstrong waiting to be discovered; while women’s racing expands, it doesn’t face the same anti-doping scrutiny the men do.

And speaking of Lance, he’s not out of the woods yet, despite settling with the insurance company suing him for $10 million for bonuses it paid out for all those Tour de France wins that aren’t any more.

London won’t be hosting the start of the 2017 Tour de France after all, as the city pulls the plug a day before final contracts were set to be signed.

………

Local

That’s one way to ruin a good ride. Bicyclists and pedestrians were herded off the Ballona Creek bike path after a body was found resting along the jetty Sunday evening.

LA Times readers react to the recent column by George Skelton calling for a registration fee for bike riders; for a change, they all get it right. The first letter, by El Cajon’s Barry Carlton, nails it.

The Times talks with Matty Grossman, the 11-year old voice of reason in the debate over the Rowena road diet and the needless and never-ending battle betwixt people on bikes and those in cars. And he’s not the only kid to face aggression from angry motorists. Seriously, it takes the lowest form of human scum to yell at little kids out riding their bikes, let alone drive aggressively around them. There’s no excuse. Ever. Period.

LA takes a big step towards revitalizing the LA River with a $25 million grant to buy a key parcel of land. That should also help with plans to extend the bike path the full length of the river by 2020.

Actress and amateur triathlete Teri Hatcher had her Specialized bike stolen from an LA bike shop. But despite what TMZ says, $1,000 is not “super expensive” for a bike, racing or otherwise.

CiclaValley is joining with Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward to lead a feeder ride to see the documentary Bikes vs. Cars at Ambulante Park this Sunday. There are a number of other feeder rides planned; I’ll catch up with them later in the week.

 

State

Opposition is rising to a long-planned bike path through Orange County’s Peters Canyon Regional Park; the bikeway would complete the gap in a bike trail that runs from Irvine Regional Park to Newport Bay.

A writer for an Encinitas paper says Complete Streets aren’t complete nonsense. Despite the slightly unhinged opposition of a local commissioner.

In the wake of Monday’s bicycling fatality in Mira Mesa, San Diego cyclists say they don’t always feel safe on the streets.

A Santa Barbara cyclist wonders if someone is deliberately sabotaging bike riders after he got a saw blade embedded in his wheel.

A lightless salmon cyclist died in a San Jose collision Saturday night.

Someone is sabotaging a popular road for cyclists and motorcycle riders in San Mateo County by affixing tacks to the roadway point up to guarantee they cause flats. Local police and CHP are aware of the problem, which has reportedly gone on for years; a local resident is raising a $10,000 reward. The schmuck should face an attempted murder charge, since a flat tire at high speeds could have deadly consequences.

A San Francisco writer explains why the Idaho stop is safe for cycling, even as the city’s mayor promises to veto an ordinance that would make safe rolling stops the SFPD’s lowest traffic priority.

A Modesto letter writer complains that safety improvements on a major street will make it less safe, and insists it’s not worth $2 million for a few lousy bike riders.

 

National

Momentum Magazine explains why biking is better than Tinder. And you never have to come up with a cover story for how you met your bike.

GoPro is slowly getting more affordable, with a new waterproof, Bluetooth-enabled cam priced at a penny under $200.

Boulder CO caves in the face of the entirely predictable opposition to “right-sizing” a handful of roadways, and will vote today on ripping out the protected bike lanes on the only one that has been completed so far — even though the results have been successful.

An Iowa driver wasn’t even ticketed, let alone arrested, for the death of a cyclist despite crossing onto the wrong side of the road to hit the rider head-on as he rode on the shoulder.

An Ohio driver faces charges of vehicular homicide and wanton disregard for safety in the left cross collision that took the lives of two cyclists and injured three others.

Cleveland plans to have a bikeshare system up and running by June of next year.

The next time you ride to Niagara Falls, you should be able to find a place to park your bike.

As Washington DC becomes more bike friendly, renters are demanding a safe place to park their bikes. And a DC writer explains the proper bikeshare etiquette when two people want the last bike.

 

International

Hitchcock was right. A Vancouver bike rider was terrified by an attacking crow.

A British woman faces charges after her then 9-year old son missed too many days of school because he was grieving over the bicycling death of his father.

A British woman is joining the three men attempting to set a new year record; the women’s mark of 29,603 miles was set nearly eight decades ago.

A Scottish rider was the victim of a brutal and unprovoked attack after arguing with a man walking his dog on a bike path.

Paris may have staged the ultimate ciclovía, as it bans cars from four central arrondissements on Sunday in an effort to clear the air.

An Aussie report finds some types of lane dividers don’t keep drivers out of separated bike lanes and could pose a risk to riders.

 

Finally…

If someone yells at you to be careful after a near collision as he exits a bus, don’t respond by chasing him down and trying to steal his watch. If you’re carrying burglary tools and a ski mask at 1:40 am on a hot high desert night, put some damn lights on your bikes.

And at seven years old, most kids are happy to bike around the block; this Chula Vista kid is already a professional BMX champ.

 

4 comments

  1. calwatch says:

    For the average TMZ reader, $1,000 is several times more than what they would pay for a bike. This again goes to the disconnect with the general public, who are happy with bikes from big box and sporting goods stores, and the enthusiasts who sneer at the “bike shaped objects” that the hoi polloi ride.

    Fortunately I am seeing less and less of the side-eyeing in the bike advocacy community, as they recognize that there are lots more people who are just fine going to Costco and getting a bike (where it can be returned at any time), or find big box sporting goods shop bikes are just fine, and bike enthusiasts can spend thousands on a bike just like car enthusiasts spend thousands and their weekends tuning up engines and souping up their rides. But Ted, I think that anti-commercial bike bias slipped in there.

    • bikinginla says:

      You’re right. For many people, $200 is a reasonable price; $500 is an extravagance. And many others pick up their bikes a garage sales, Craigslist or resale shops for well under $100.

      I don’t have a problem with that. My only complaint is with TMZ’s characterization of the bike as “super expensive,” which is absurd given the prices for high-end bikes these days. It either displays ignorance on their part, which could have been corrected with a simple Google search, or an attempt to create bias against Hatcher by unfairly painting her as extravagant.

      I also notice that while many news outlets that picked up the story from TMZ, few seemed to have used that phrase.

      I do confess to being critical of BSOs. Not because of the price, but because I’ve too many bike mechanics complain about having to fix them, and because the high cost of repairs can lead their owners to give up riding. Which could have been avoided by spending just a little more at a local bike shop.

      And I will always be biased towards supporting local bike shops as opposed to box stores or sporting goods chains.

      Thanks for keeping me honest.

      • What some people call BSO I think of as a frame kit with placeholder components. I upgraded a WalMart bike over the course of a year and put 5K miles on it in 14 months, or as the customer service rep put it 10 years worth of expected use in a single year (I was replacing a worn-out suspension fork for the third time).

  2. D G Spencer Ludgate says:

    Let’s see…

    I live in the Hollywood Hills and work in Harbor Gateway (both LAPD). My SAG van get’s broken into in Harbor Gateway. Bike repair stand and tools get stolen as well as my Honda EU2000i generator (worth more than Teri’s bike). LAPD says I need to go to San Pedro to file a police report, but believe it was the local homeless population that stole the items and won’t investigate.

    If my SAG van was broken into in the Hollywood Hills or I was a B-list actor then they would investigate?!?

    I’m sorry TMZ, a $1,000.00 bike is a low-end bike. Under the new laws passed by California voters, this is “Petty Theft”.

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