Morning Links: Playa del Rey roadwork shows the worst in some people, and elite amateur cyclist dies in KC crit

Clearly, there are some very sick people out there.

As we pointed out over the weekend, the LA Times’ Laura Nelson wrote a very balanced piece on the road reconfigurations in Playa del Rey that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Times.

In it, she pointed out that the road diet on Vista del Mar was done in response to LA’s $9.5 million settlement with the parents of a 16-year old girl killed crossing the roadway in 2015.

To which she received the following response.

Yes. Someone actually thinks parents would send their kids out to get killed in order to cash in on the settlement. And more than one someone, apparently.

Something tells me Naomi Larsen’s parents would give back every penny of that $9.5 million just to have her back for one more day.

Then again, that letter writer isn’t the only one who thinks that way.

A Pennsylvania bike rider is on trial for taking the lane and forcing drivers to go around him to pass, which is exactly what cycling instructors teach their students to do. But the DA is alleging he’s just trying to get hit by a car so he can collect the insurance settlement.

Or maybe he’s doing it because he’s already been hit by a drunk driver once, and doesn’t want it to happen again.

Nelson also reports that opponents of the changes in Playa del Rey have resorted to what is, at best, an implied threat. If not an actual invitation to commit violence against a supporter of the changes.

Is this really what we’ve come to?

Is the simple act of trying improve safety on our roadways enough to let their anger twist people into some horrible, heartless semblance of a human being?

Apparently so.

Meanwhile, a writer for City Watch tries to see both sides, saying we all have rights and needs, and we need to find ways to accommodate both people on two wheels and on four.

Which seems perfectly reasonable. Until you consider that the lion’s share of every roadway is dedicated to motor vehicle travel, and bicyclists and pedestrians — and parents — are just asking for the opportunity to stay alive on them.

Which doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

But it seems to be, if it means some people get inconvenienced in their cars.

And anyone who sees an equivalency there has got a serious problem.

………

Sad news from Kansas City, where a 30-year old elite amateur cyclist was killed when he crashed into a metal barrier during the Tour of KC crit.

………

Once again, women cyclists can spin their way to a pro racing contract. Which is how 37-year old Leah Thorvilson won a place on the Canyon-SRAM team last year.

Forget doping. American cyclist Andrew Talansky is preparing for the Tour de France by stimulating his brain.

So much for equal treatment. The Irish women’s national cycling championship was halted a lap early because they were riding too slow, and the men needed the course. If you want to send a signal to every bike-riding girl in Ireland that she just doesn’t matter, you couldn’t find a better way to do it.

………

Local

You’re more likely to see a cop on two wheels in DTLA now, as the LAPD nearly doubles the number of bike cops on the streets in response to an uptick in crime.

Yes, bike valets work. Bike SGV reports they parked over 300 bikes and scooters during last weekend’s Arroyo Seco Music Festival.

 

State

A San Diego man riding a motorized bike was seriously injured in a crash with an Uber driver in the Hillcrest neighborhood; a passenger on the bike jumped off when he saw the wreck unfolding.

San Diego Magazine takes a trip inside the city’s giant wind tunnel, where Kristin Armstrong perfected her gold medal-winning form.

A Riverside man was shot to death while putting air in his tires at a gas station.

A Santa Barbara traffic non-profit dedicated to sustainable transportation puts its money where its mouth is, trading driving for a cargo bike.

Multiple gold medal-winning swimmer Katie Ledecky was just another bike-riding student at Stanford.

Pleasanton is about to get a new bike corral.

A new program is taking Sacramento kids out of the inner city, and onto the 23-mile American River Parkway to get them away from traffic and violence, and teach them skills including bicycling and bike maintenance.

 

National

No, speeding really doesn’t get you there any faster.

Caught on video: A Tesla owner tries to run down his bike-riding friend to prove that Tesla’s Autopilot won’t kill bicyclists after all.

The only thing this new Bluetooth-enabled helmet doesn’t promise to do is actually protect your head.

A Seattle father and daughter are riding tandem across the US to save the orcas.

The victim in Saturday’s Alaska brown bear attack says it happened so fast there was nothing he could do to avoid it, and credits his riding companion with saving his life.

A little good news from Detroit, where the dog who was beaten after she was forced to run next to a bike until she collapsed is improving, though she has a long recovery ahead of her.

Speaking of Detroit, city officials spent $4.3 million to acquire 7.5 miles of rail-to-trail corridor to fill the largest remaining gap in a 26-mile greenway around the city.

Good idea. An Indianapolis-area city is encouraging people to ride to outdoor events by providing free lawn chairs once they get there.

Instant karma sucks. A Georgia woman was hit by a car as she crossed the road to check on the bicyclist she’d just hit with her car.

 

International

Michelin introduced a new ebike motor and battery that can be retrofitted to any bike.

A women’s website offers ten reasons to take up bicycling, calling it the next big thing in stylish travel.

A new Vancouver study shows fewer people are driving to the downtown area and more are riding and walking to stores, restaurants and cafes, and are more likely to have a friendly interaction with someone else when they do.

Ten more European rides to add to your bucket list.

An Indian paracyclist opens a training camp for injured military veterans to prepare them for competition, and a return to civilian life.

Aussie bicyclists will now be subject to an on-the-spot $475 fine if they’re caught using a mobile phone while riding, whether moving or stopped.

A Chinese man is riding over 900 miles across the country to compete with other transplant patients, nine years after he received a liver transplant.

 

Finally…

At least we don’t have to worry about air attacks. If you’re going to get busted riding away from a heroin buy, make sure you have 55 bucks to buy your way out of it.

And seriously, don’t bring a hammer to a machete fight.

 

4 comments

  1. Sirinya M says:

    I’m actually scared for the Playa del Rey supporter of the road diet. Not sad, not shocked. I’ve been doxxed like that before, due to my work project. (Not a politician, just a mid level analyst). I’ve seen it happen to my friends too, all on Facebook, by adults old enough to be my parents. Back when I first saw this sort of crime, I was shocked. And now I’m scared, because if someone would dox a fellow person like that, he has shown he doesn’t respect that person, and in fact, holds contempt, and has poor judgment. In a civil dispute, you don’t go around posting someone’s address and create a situation where that person can be harmed.

    • bikinginla says:

      I agree. I’ve seen it too often in the past, which is why I try not to publish the name of drivers involved in crashes or road rage incidents until they become public knowledge, and never post their personal information. Sometimes people let their anger get the best of them and take things too far.

  2. The bike lanes are sorely needed in Playa. The huge development on Jefferson east of Lincoln has hundreds and hundreds of residents. The development was built with bike lanes inside, but it’s kind of an island. The new lanes west of Lincoln provide great access to the beach…

    And as far as getting hammered for views — I’m getting bludgeoned on NextDoor Venice for my support of the MarVista Great Street. Typical responses that I’m in the minority so my needs don’t matter, I should use the side streets, and cyclists are horrendous law breakers. I pointed out that cyclists and drivers break the law at the same rate — just in different ways (mentioning the “California Stop” as an example). I got back the response that drivers go 1 to 2 miles an hour for a California Stop (really hard to go that slow in a car) and cyclists are blowing through stop signs on his street going 25 to 30 miles an hour all the time.

    riiiiight…. 30 mph

  3. Ben says:

    Rick Cole(Current SM city manager, former Pasadena Mayor) survived a recall effort when he installed Parking Meters in Old Town Pasadena. LA motorists have always been and continue to be the worst.

    No one said this was going to be easy. I’m glad Bonin is sticking to his guns. We need to support him.

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