Morning Links: Drunk cyclists and pedestrians, bike lanes benefit public health, and support bikes in Hollywood

More victim blaming from the governors.

A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association says one-third of pedestrians killed in 2014 traffic collisions, and 20% of bike riders, were legally drunk at the time of the crash.

Which, like most of their reports, sounds damning but lacks any real context.

Like whether the victims’ intoxicated state had anything whatsoever to do with the crashes that killed them.

The report implies pedestrians stumbling drunk into the path of oncoming motor vehicles, or weaving bike riders blowing red lights to meet their demise.

Yet it’s just as likely that a drunk pedestrian could have been hit while walking legally in a crosswalk, or that a bike rider may have been rear-ended while riding in a bike lane, despite having a couple beers.

As LAPD officers have repeatedly drilled into my head, intoxication is never the proximate cause of a collision. A driver may run a red light or veer onto the wrong side of the road because she’s drunk, but the cause of the crash is the traffic violation, not the DUI, which is considered a separate offense.

And never mind that a drunken bike rider or pedestrian is a danger to him or herself, while drunk drivers pose a danger to everyone around them.

So yes, the public should be made aware that walking or riding a bike after drinking can put you at serious risk. And taking transit or ordering a Lyft may be a better idea if you’ve had too much.

But seriously, everyone will be better off if you do anything except get behind the wheel.

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Another new study shows building bike lanes compares extremely well to other interventions designed to protect health, resulting in significant health cost savings and benefits to society at minimal expense.

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The LACBC is asking you to turn out next Tuesday to support bike lanes in Hollywood, which currently has none.

The Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council Transportation Committee will be discussing transportation issues including cycling. A public show of support for bike infrastructure is needed so that the committee will prioritize bike safety issues. In particular it would be helpful if cyclists were able to speak about The Hollywood Boulevard commercial district/corridor, Vine Street, Cahuenga Blvd, and/or Highland Avenue as they are all heavily trafficked and precarious for daily cyclists.

When: 6 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Where: Hollywood Methodist Church located at 6817 Franklin Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90028

Parking: Plenty at the church itself

Closest Metro Stop: Hollywood/Highland

Please RSVP at if you plan to attend.

As someone who lives and rides in the area, I can attest to the need for major changes, since there’s currently no safe way in or out of Hollywood in any direction.

Let alone that we’ll be throwing tourists to the wolves once Metro’s bikeshare comes here in the next few years.

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Mark Cavendish’s plans to catch the Cannibal’s record for Tour de France stage wins suffers a setback as he’s sidelined with infectious mononucleosis.

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Local

The Daily News says any public sign of friction on the LA City Council is a good thing, such as CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s endorsement of challenger Joe Bray-Ali in CD1 over incumbent Gil Cedillo.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman talks about the LACBC’s Tamika Butler talking about bikes, equity, and tokenization on the Bike Nerds Podcast.

An Alhambra man was critically injured when he was hit by a car while walking his bicycle across the street; for a change, the driver stayed at the scene.

The 61-year old self-proclaimed UniGeezer spends six days a week mountain unicycling along off-road trails in Agoura Hills, Simi Valley and Santa Barbara.

 

State

Oceanside puts a planned crosswalk on hold as the city questions plans to install a road diet that would protect the lives of kids walking and biking to school.

The second phase of San Diego’s Torrey Pines Corridor project will begin this fall, including buffered bike lanes on both sides.

Professional BMX riders take an anti-bullying message to a Rancho Bernardo high school.

The Big Bear Grizzly says it’s time to ride bikes in Big Bear. I assume that’s the local newspaper, rather than, you know, an actual bear.

A San Francisco bike shop will take your old car in trade for a new ebike. Throw in a sidecar for the Corgi, and I’m in.

 

National

The new Copenhagen Wheel, which promises to turn any bicycle into an ebike, is finally available for purchase. With starting price of $1499, it costs more than most bikes it might be used on.

Denver paramedics are training to ride their bikes to the rescue. Meanwhile, a coalition of bike and safety groups is calling on the city to dedicate $40 million a year for sidewalks, bikeways and access to transit.

Bryan Dotson forwards word that BikeHouston, which just helped guide approval of the city’s ambitious new bike plan, is looking for a new advocacy director. On the plus side, you’ll get to help reshape one of the country’s most notoriously auto-centric cities. On the other hand, you’ll have to live in Texas.

Caught on video: An Ohio driver appears to target one of three kids riding their bikes, running over his bicycle and up onto a lawn as the victim jumps out of the way.

A Massachusetts town votes to remove two whole parking spaces to sort of make way for a bike lane, because removing the four spaces that were actually needed was just too much to ask.

The drunken hit-and-run Baltimore bishop who left a bike rider to die in the street is now eligible for parole, despite serving just 18 months of her seven-year sentence, because Maryland doesn’t consider vehicular manslaughter a violent offense. I’m sure her victim would beg to differ.

A Georgia driver faces multiple felony charges, including aggravated assault and hit-and-run, for turning around and intentionally clipping a cyclist after honking and yelling at the group of riders as he passed moments earlier.

 

International

Caught on video too: The BBC’s Jeremy Vine is once again the victim of a near miss as he rides his bike through the streets of London.

London bike commuters want more showers. And someplace to dry their sweaty clothes.

Dublin’s lord mayor says he doesn’t know anyone who takes bags of shopping home on their bicycles. Maybe he needs to expand his circle of acquaintances since countless people do just that every day.

Irish police sergeants and inspectors say the country’s streets are too dangerous, so they call for making helmets and hi-viz mandatory for bike riders instead of making the streets safer. At least wiser heads prevailed on a plan to force pedestrians to wear fluorescent clothing.

Not even Copenhagen gets bike infrastructure right all the time.

Shanghai tries to halt China’s bike boom, banning bicycles — ridden or parked — from certain downtown districts, as well as a number of roads without bike lanes.

 

Finally…

Seriously, if you’re going to steal a bicycle, inside a police station is probably not the best place to start. Or at least wait until the rider gets off.

And if you’re going to jump your bike across a pond, try stay on until you hit the ramp, anyway.

 

4 comments

  1. keith says:

    Local planning… great to see various parts of the city get on board to figure out ways to improve cycling infrastructure. NoHo trying to get bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd, apparently something our former councilman LaBonge was against.

    And read yesterday where the downtown arts district got funding (in the millions) to put in bike lanes & things.

  2. Doug Moore says:

    As for the Copenhagen Wheel,

    “With starting price of $1499, it costs more than most bikes it might be used on.”

    Very true. But that’s half the price of a new & good quality eBike.

  3. keith says:

    Will be interesting to see how the ebikes evolve in design & price. Was tempted to go to the ebike show that was recently held in Long Beach.

    • bikinginla says:

      I suspect the price will come down dramatically in the not too distant future. What I’m waiting for is for someone to develop a portable ped-assist motor you can carry in your backpack or messenger bag, and slap on as needed. The technology is there; the only impediment would seem to be battery size.

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