Morning Links: Alleged drunk hit-and-run driver faces charges, and Che Garcetti leads urban streets revolution

Unfortunately, I was tied up in a meeting last night, and didn’t have time to write the usual daily bike news roundup. But there are too many good stories to skip entirely, so let’s call this Morning Links Lite.

And come back later today, when we’ll have a different take on Describe Your Ride.

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Don’t forget, there’s less than one week to nominate someone you know to win a new bicycle in our first-ever bike giveaway. So take a moment to tell us who you think deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net today!

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Twenty-five-year old Glendora resident Presley Rodriguez pled not guilty to a felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, along with special enhancement for fleeing the scene, in the alleged drunken hit-and-run death of Jose De Jesus Ruiz-Villanueva as he rode his bike to work last fall.

A police officer heard the collision, and stopped Rodriguez after seeing the damaged car speed away; a second officer found Ruiz-Villanueva lying dead at the scene.

She faces a well-deserved 15 year behind bars if she’s convicted, though the DA will most likely plead the case out for far less.

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Newsweek calls LA Mayor Eric Garcetti the Che Guevara of SoCal infrastructure as he leads an urban revolution that, if successful, could spread across the country.

However, the story also relies on the old misleading stat that only 1% of Angelenos commute by bike, which fails to include other transportation riders such as students, shoppers or anyone who uses a bike for just part of their commute.

And it neglects to mention the huge jump in Santa Monica ridership after the city built a complete bike network, which should serve as a model for LA, and prove that people here will ride if they’re just given a share of the streets.

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Speaking of remaking our streets — and the inevitable blowback cited in the Newsweek story — a petition on Change.org calls for the removal of bike lanes on York Blvd, claiming they cause major congestion at rush hour, overflow traffic on side streets and lost sales for local businesses.

Meanwhile, a counter petition says au contraire, most people want keep the bike lanes right where they are. Sign the latter if you live, work or ride in the area.

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On top of all the other bad news yesterday, a man was murdered while riding his bike in Carson Tuesday evening. Police are looking for two suspects who ran away after shooting him; motive is unknown.

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Police bust a career petty thief living in Leisure World in Seal Beach; the area saw a jump in stolen bicycles after he moved into the community following his latest release from jail.

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A gofundme account has been started to raise funds for a memorial for Stephen Craig Ortiz, the Loma Linda rider killed recently when he was left crossed by a 92-year old driver.

But in a very generous gesture, his family has requested that any further donations go the Inland Empire Biking Alliance, even though the fund has raised only $305 of the $2,000 goal.

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A San Francisco bike rider was pepper sprayed by a driver who had just buzzed her when she knocked on the car’s window at a red light to complain.

Something similar happened to a cyclist right here in LA recently; we should have the story soon.

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Also in the Bagdad by the Bay, a bike deliveryman says he was brutally beaten by a cop, apparently for using his cellphone while cycling, which isn’t illegal.

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After Utah firefighters save the life of a college student who was nearly killed in a collision, they take up a collection to buy him a new bike.

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Cyclelicious reports that a proposed law in Missouri would require all bike riders to have a 15-foot tall orange fluorescent flag attached to their bicycles, apparently to protect riders from low-flying aircraft.

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Look mom, no handlebars!

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Edinburgh police are on the lookout for a “scruffy” bike rider with dark circles around his eyes who allegedly kicked a toddler as he rode by on his mountain bike.

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We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry crashing into a sheep on a high speed descent.

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An Aussie motorcycle cop rode up next to a moving bicyclist and pushed him off his bike in the middle of a busy intersection, allegedly for the crime of riding through a red light and not wearing a helmet.

Police claim the rider had refused to stop when the cop tried to pull him over, but witnesses told a different story.

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And don’t try this at home. A Barcelona bicyclist drafts just inches behind a bus at 50 mph.

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