Morning Links: Ten years for drunken Santa Clarita hit-and-run, and LA County approves Vision Zero Initiative

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Ten years.

That’s how long a sentence Lucas James Guidroz is expected to receive after pleading no contest in the drunken hit-and-run death of Rod Bennett in Santa Clarita earlier this year.

The popular math teacher, musician and band director was riding on Placerita Canyon Road on May 25th when Guidroz plowed his Lexus into Bennett’s bicycle from behind, then fled the scene as Bennett lay dying where he fell.

He turned himself in shortly after police found his car two days later.

The 28-year old Guidroz is expected to be sentenced on November 7th on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Although the Santa Clarita Signal still can’t be bothered to get the name of the victim right.

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LA County votes to implement a Vision Zero Initiative, without apparently understanding what that means.

Despite the press release from County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ office, Vision Zero is about improving safety with a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities — not encouraging environmentally friendly alternatives to driving, as admirable as that may be.

And as always, the unanswered question is whether county leaders have to courage to make the tough choices required to save lives.

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Maybe it takes awhile for news to make it past the Orange Curtain.

A full week after the Orange County Register reported on the drunken hit-and-run that may have left a bike rider with a broken leg, and a young woman facing charges just hours after posing with her new car, the broadcast media has finally caught up with the story.

LA’s KABC-7 offered a brief report on the arrest of 22-year old Laguna Beach resident Aya Ibish, while Sacramento’s Fox-40 went into more detail.

Maybe they picked up the story from the OC Weekly, which posted it on Monday.

Then again, if they can’t be bothered to read the Register, they could have learned about it right here days earlier.

Or they could have found out about it on YouTube, after the story got the Taiwanese TomoNews animation treatment, which is always good for a laugh or two.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the last link.

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UCLA students discuss whether Westwood Blvd is safe for cyclists, in the wake of the much-needed Westwood bike lanes being removed from the LA Mobility Plan without a valid reason, other than some local homeowners and business owners apparently just didn’t want them.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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Local

Writing for City Watch, Tim Deegan says it’s time to embrace New Urbanism, and suggests the New Urbanism Film Festival, which runs tomorrow through Sunday, as the perfect place to start.

The aptly-named Alissa Walker writes about why she’s trying to raise her daughter carfree in Los Angeles.

Richard Risemberg says the Expo Line bike path could have been a contender, but was done in by inadequate street crossings.

Thankfully, the victim of Monday’s Long Beach hit-and-run escaped with just a broken leg; the driver admitted to police he was fleeing a previous crash when he ran into the rider.

 

State

The Desert Sun urges Indian Wells voters to turn down a resolution that could halt construction of the planned CV Link bikeway through the city.

The Berkeley alumni association talks with law professor Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, a five-time amateur world champ in time trials and road racing who set the women’s hour record last year at age 43.

 

National

Streetsblog writes about the four biggest sins reporters commit when covering pedestrian deaths, all of which apply to bicycling, as well.

It’s time to apply for the fourth annual QBP Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship Program, to prepare for a career as a wrench.

A Tucson AZ veteran made enough money selling bicycle chain art to pay for surgery for his therapy dog.

Good news, as Robert Choi, the founder of Utah-based Volagi Cycles, is showing some improvement after suffering a head injury when he was rear-ended by a driver last week; he was found unconscious in his office after initially refusing medical treatment. Always get checked out by a doctor anytime your head hits the pavement, regardless of whether you’re wearing a helmet; even a small brain injury can have serious consequences.

A volunteer bike repair center is fixing up bikes to give to the homeless in my hometown.

Once again, a visitor to this country is unable to survive America’s mean streets, as an Australian man was killed when his bike was rear-ended while riding in Kansas.

Chicago readers offer their advice on how to make bicycling safer, from licensing and ticketing cyclists to making bicyclists ride salmon.

A New York court rules the city’s bike lanes can stay, after rejecting a lawsuit claiming they caused environmental harm by creating traffic congestion.

Common sense finally comes into play in Maryland, where a 15-year old girl who was slammed into a wall and pepper sprayed for refusing medical treatment following a bicycling collision won’t face charges after apologizing to the police.

 

International

A Canadian writer, who says he’s a bike rider himself, calls plans for a national bicycling strategy an ill-conceived boondoggle. Meanwhile, a Newfoundland counselor calls for turning his city’s bike lanes into parking spots.

London’s mayor calls for completion of a new bike and pedestrian bridge over the Thames by 2020.

Selfies kill. A British woman died after hitting her head in a solo fall, just moments after taking a selfie as she rode from her mother’s birthday dinner; her husband called for a mandatory helmet law as a result, saying she’d still be alive if she’d worn one.

The BBC talks with pro cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten about the Olympic crash that horrified the world; she argues that Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead shouldn’t have been allowed to compete after missing three drug tests.

 

Finally…

Evidently, blocking bikeways is nothing new. Bikes are great for transporting anything, including the loot you just stole from a home.

And you can see a lot of things when you ride hopefully a wild panther won’t be one of them.

One comment

  1. …Alissa Walker writes about why she’s trying to raise her daughter carfree in Los Angeles.

    My favorite quotes from Ms Walker’s article:

    “When you’re traveling with a tiny human, you begin to understand that LA is designed around two goals: 1) move cars fast and 2) help cars park.”

    “If the people who planned and built our city were required to take their own babies around LA without the help of a car, we’d live in a very different place.”

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