Tag Archive for drunk pedestrians

Morning Links: Bike-related SoCal shootings, bad MyFig bike signals, and drunken victim blaming by PBS

It’s been a violent few days in Southern California.

Tragic story from Santa Ana, where a woman collecting recyclables was barely able to get off her bike in time before a truck slammed into it early yesterday. Only to discover the driver was already dead or dying from a gunshot wound; police are unsure where or how he got shot.

And man was shot as he and a woman were riding their bicycles on the LA River bike path in Long Beach on Wednesday. Although given the date, it’s possible it could have been caused by some idiot firing a gun into the air to celebrate the 4th.

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Michael MacDonald, aka topomodesto, offers a scathing indictment of the bike traffic signals on the new MyFigueroa bike lanes.

https://twitter.com/topomodesto/status/1014881629397921792

The response from LADOT simply says they’re still fine-tuning the street.

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Today’s must-read is a powerful op-ed from a pair of Toronto bicyclists and political science professors, who say it’s anarchy on the streets for the city’s cyclists.

An affluent city in which the act of riding a bike means our parents, partners, children and friends can die violent deaths is a travesty. A police force that won’t protect us should be ashamed. A legal system that won’t punish offenders is a farce. City councillors who won’t allocate funds to protect lives should be pushed out of office.

Until the city asserts its proper authority, the act of cycling in Toronto will remain a nasty, brutish and deadly experience.

Much of which applies to Los Angeles, as well. From a legal system that too often lets deadly drivers off with a slap on the wrist — if they get charged at all — to councilmembers who don’t just refuse to fund projects, but actually halt already funded safety projects.

And who should be pushed out here as well if they refuse to protect the lives and safety of their constituents, and anyone else who uses the streets of this city.

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On the other hand, PBS NewsHour offers an incredibly wrong-headed report blaming drunk pedestrians for the rise in pedestrian deaths.

Not distracted drivers. Or even poorly designed SUVs.

A third of pedestrians killed in crashes in 2016 were over the legal limit, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That’s nearly 2,000 people — up more than 300 since 2014.

“Those numbers are pretty shocking,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state highway safety offices. “We think this is a big problem.”

Sure.

Except there is no legal limit for walking, because unlike operating a deadly two-ton machine, drinking doesn’t significantly impair moving your feet unless you get stumbling, falling down drunk.

Never mind that the report doesn’t specify how many of those intoxicated pedestrians were actually at fault, or did anything to contribute to their demise other than simply being there.

And it doesn’t mention how many of those deaths were actually caused by a lack of safe sidewalks and crosswalks that may have forced victims out into the street. Other than to suggest you should walk a quarter mile in each direction to get to a safe crossing rather than simply run across the street, like most people would do, drunk or sober.

Let alone the simple fact that if one-third of the victims were under the influence, that means the overwhelming majority weren’t.

We could spend hours picking this one apart.

But let’s just say this story is an incredible, stinking example victim-blaming windshield bias.

And PBS should be ashamed of it.

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Local

KPCC says LeBron could use the new MyFigueroa bike lane to get to Staples Center, except it’s full of parked cars.

 

State

A San Diego TV station explains how the city’s new bike boxes improve safety for bicyclists.

Now living in Los Gatos, mountain biking legend Juliana Furtado speaks out about the risk of suicide and depression, saying she’s lucky to have survived the disease that took the lives of her mother and older sister.

San Francisco-based Spin is bailing on bikes, and getting onboard the dockless e-scooter craze.

A Sonoma County Facebook group is teaming together to help recover stolen bicycles.

Sad news from Santa Rosa, where a man was killed in a crash with two hit-and-run drivers while riding his bike to see his kids; one of the drivers was arrested four miles away.

 

National

That car exhaust you suck in when you ride might be putting you at greater risk for diabetes. It’s frightening to think I might not have inherited my adult-onset diabetes from my mother after all, but gotten it from 30 plus years of riding in traffic instead.

A writer for Forbes says if you want to stay safe on the streets, you need to get radar taillight. Meanwhile, SoCal pro cyclist Coryn Rivera lists the gear she says you need to stay safe on a road bike.

A local magazine says sprawling, auto-centric Dallas could become a bike city. And if Big D can do it, so can Los Angeles.

A Detroit man is spending his weekends on his bike to photograph the city’s street art.

A Michigan court ordered a new trial over a $1 million judgement in the death of a six-year old boy who was killed riding his bike on a fairgrounds trail, after the fairgrounds argued the boy’s father was to blame for letting him ride there.

An Indiana bike rider was hit by a car, which apparently didn’t have a driver. And despite the statements from a bystander blaming the victim for not having a helmet — and who doesn’t think bikes belong on the road — a witness to the crash says a helmet wouldn’t have kept him from getting run down from behind. Thanks to Melissa McCurley for the heads-up.

Instead of making bridges safe for bike riders — or even legal, for that matter — Newport RI is now offering to drive them across the bridges on shuttle buses.

A Buffalo NY bike rider who refers to himself in the second person does the highly flawed math, and says streets aren’t wide enough for bike lanes.

New York is making plans to fix a scary gap in the city’s bike network. Meanwhile, most of LA’s bike network is a scary gap.

Philly bicyclists demand that drivers stop parking in bike lanes. Meanwhile, an op-ed says the way to build a better Philadelphia is to design it for everyone from 8 to 80.

Baton Rouge LA bike advocates say their best hope for changing the city’s bike unfriendly nature died along with a city councilmember who was run down from behind while riding his bike last week.

 

International

Horrifying video from Vancouver, where a bike rider gets right hooked by a massive gas tanker truck, which proceeds to run over her bicycle just as she jumps to safety.

Great advice for motorists from a Yukon columnist, who says drivers are responsible for 90% of crashes with bicyclists.

Good advice from the CBC in Winnipeg on how to avoid having your bike stolen. And how to avoid buying a hot one.

Guardian readers recommend ten European trips to add to your bike bucket list.

A UK writer ranks every type of bike rider from worst to least worst, saying there’s no such thing as an actively good cyclist. Even though she professes to write from the perspective of one.

 

Competitive Cycling

American Tejay van Garderen won’t be competing to win the Tour de France; instead he’ll be riding in support of team leader Richie Porte.

SB Nation says the Tour de France is a parade of dreams, and every moment of the tour is the highlight of someone’s life.

A new biography of America’s last remaining Tour de France winner credits Berkeley with spawning the modern bicycle-racing boom.

Seven TdF teams will be sucking down their $33 a bottle ketones sports drinks during this year’s race.

A group of women cyclists are riding the full Tour de France route one day ahead of the men competing in the race, while still contending with traffic and other inconveniences. But sure, let’s go ahead and pretend women can’t handle long stage races or difficult courses.

Good profile from Peter Flax, who says world road champ Peter Sagan is an enigma wrapped in rainbow stripes.

This is what happens to cyclists with questionable test results who don’t have Chris Froome’s money or Team Sky’s lawyers.

Now you, too, can own your very own Tour de France bike for a mere twelve grand.

The 805 Thousand Oaks Grand Prix rolls this weekend.

 

Finally…

Oh sure, anyone can ride around the world on two wheels. Actually, Khloe Kardashian doesn’t look a bit like she’s competing in the Tour de France, or any other bike race.

And no need to what until you stop, just grill your food while you ride.

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