Morning Links: LA asks drivers to stay after they hit someone; suspect identified in North Fig hit-and-run

Sometimes I don’t even know what to say.

I mean, their hearts are in the right place. And it’s nice to see an outdoor advertising company give back to the city, after decades of ignoring every law on the books regarding their business.

Although the largesse of Clear Channel Outdoor in donating billboard space to the city couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the new billboard regulations currently under consideration.

Regardless of their motivation, the city teamed with CCO on Wednesday to unveil a new outdoor ad campaign designed to tackle the epidemic of hit-and-run in the LA area, apparently developed without the input of the many people who have been working to solve this problem.

Or anyone with any experience in advertising, for that matter.

The billboards, which will be posted in English, Spanish and Korean, politely ask drivers to obey the rules of the road and stick around after a collision because it might save a life.

Copied from KPCC website

Copied from KPCC website

Sure, that’s really going to motivate someone who just ran down a pedestrian after downing a few too many.

No moral authority. No threat of consequences. And not a hint at LA’s hit-and-run reward system, which pays up to $50,000 for information leading to the conviction of runaway drivers.

Let alone the state’s new Yellow Alert system, which could mean countless more eyes on the street looking for suspect vehicles.

No offense, but I’ve seen harder-hitting ads asking toddlers to switch diaper brands. And don’t get me started on the art direction, which looks like it was done on a PC in someone’s basement.

Hit-and-run is a serious problem, with serious consequences for the victims.

And we seriously deserve something better than this.

………

AR-151029487Police have finally identified a suspect (scroll down) in the hit-and-run death of Irma “Yolanda” Espinoza-Lugo as she crossed North Figueroa on September 18th.

They’ve asked the public to be on the lookout for William Armando Portales, described as a 49-year old Hispanic male, 5’ 6” tall and weighing 165 pounds.

And yes, there’s a $50,000 reward for anyone who helps bring him to justice.

………

I haven’t gotten involved in the My LA 2050 Challenge Grant Challenge on here, simply because there are so many projects that deserve your support.

It seems like a waste to make them battle it out for public votes, when the goal should be to find funding for as many as possible.

However, one of the more interesting proposals is one to build a bike and pedestrian bridge over Ballona Creek at McConnell Ave, which would help make the bike path a more viable commuter link connecting Culver City with Playa Vista.

Voting ends Tuesday, November 3rd.

………

Local

Not many artists get a chance to work in asphalt. LADOT is looking for an artist to provide creative thinking to help reduce traffic deaths; the position will pay $20,000 over two years. Which is about $20,000 more than most LA artists make.

The LA City Council approved a pilot program allowing people to lock their bikes to parking meters in Westwood Village and on some major streets. Assuming the world doesn’t end, it will hopefully spread throughout the city.

There’s only one thing worse than being stopped by the CHP for riding your bike on the 101 Freeway — having them call your mom to pick you up.

Caltrans will be teaming with SCAG and UCLA to host the 2015 California Transportation Planning Conference at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in DTLA this December; advance registration is a mere $400 unless you can manage to form a non-profit or get adopted by a tribal government before then.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare program — without the quotation marks, please — is set to officially open in two weeks.

Whittier has received funding to purchase land along a railroad corridor to extend the city’s Greenway Trail.

 

State

Newport Beach’s Avocado Avenue gets a road diet, with one lane in each direction and bike lanes with a buffer protecting riders from the door zone.

Eighteen San Diego County law enforcement agencies get nearly $5 million from the state to improve bike and pedestrian safety.

CiclaValley discovers riding in San Diego isn’t the Mayberry-like experience he envisioned.

Palo Alto continues to expand their network of bike boulevards. LA has a bike boulevard, sort of.

The Marin County cycling community remembers bike advocate and Safe Routes to Schools founder Deb Hubsmith, who died of leukemia this past August.

 

National

The majority of bicyclists in the US aren’t spandex-clad roadies, children or urban hipsters, according to a new report.

Already recognized as a gold level bicycle-friendly city, Scottsdale AZ looks to get even better, building on a long history with bikes.

A Denver magazine offers etiquette tips for riding the city’s streets, most of which have nothing to do with etiquette.

The University of Toledo offers students a free bikeshare program.

Formerly auto-centric Indianapolis reclaims its soul by transforming into a bikeable, walkable city. Just five years ago, they had one mile of bike lanes; today they have 90 miles of designated bikeways, including an 18-mile rails-to-trails conversion.

A New York physician reports on a study that shows the severity of bicycling injuries appears to go up after bike lanes are installed, contradicting previous studies; however, he stresses that bike lanes are still beneficial.

Seriously? The Philadelphia Enquirer enquires as to why low-income people use the city’s bikeshare program less than wealthier people. Maybe because they can’t afford it and don’t have credit cards?

A Baltimore bike shop joins REI’s #OptOutside movement in deciding to close on Black Friday. Let me know if any LA bike shops join in; I’ll be happy to promote your shop that weekend.

An Alabama writer asks why white people like Birmingham’s new e-bike bikeshare system so much, in a city that is 73% black.

 

International

British Columbia’s state insurance agency insists on blaming the victim in a bicycling fatality, even though the driver has been charged with driving under the influence, negligence and hit-and-run. The company first claimed the cyclist was drunk or high, then settled on claims that his brakes were bad, that he failed to ride far enough right, and didn’t warn the driver before the driver hit him.

A British bike safety group calls for allowing bike riders to make the equivalent of a right turn on a red light.

Not too shabby. An American cyclist becomes an Internet star in the UK mostly by saying “not too shabby” a lot.

Nice obituary for 86-year old Scottish cyclist Ian Steel, who won the 1951 Tour of Britain, as well as becoming the unwelcome winner of the Eastern Bloc’s equivalent to the Tour de France in the middle of the Cold War.

VeloNews talks with Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin after his near miss at winning the Vuelta.

It’s a painfully small world, as the wife of a New Zealand cyclist happens upon the scene just after her husband is hit by a car driven by a man who knows him.

 

Finally…

When you’re riding with cocaine and marijuana on your bike, don’t go through the damn red light. If you’re going to steal a bike, don’t do it in front of a former college linebacker turned sheriff’s deputy.

And a new GPS-enabled bike compass promises to make bicycling fun again. Riding a bike is, was, and always will be fun, with or without electronic gadgets.

 

2 comments

  1. J Williams says:

    Ann-Marie Johnson is a vocal opponent of the Rowena road diet. It’s a bit disconcerting to see someone who values convenience over safety adorning a public safety billboard.

    Speaking as a professional designer, that billboard does indeed look like a 6 year old made it.

  2. JD says:

    WE used to ride down the middle of the freeway when we were kids. Of course they had not been completed yet.

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