Tag Archive for gun violence

Morning Links: Indignorant anti-road diet columnist, bike riders on the wrong end of guns, and more traffic mayhem

So wrong, in so many ways.

A columnist for the LA Daily News goes out of her way to demonstrate her near total ignorance of traffic safety, Vision Zero and “dangerous” road diets in a column saying the latter belongs in a Museum of Stupid Ideas.

Never mind that road diets have been shown to increase safety up to 47%. But why let a little detail like that get in the way of a good rant?

Then there’s her screed about Vision Zero coming from — gasp! — Sweden.

Common sense would tell you that traffic solutions should be developed locally without guidance from irrelevant foreign capitals, and that’s why common sense is not in the museum.

During 2016, the first full year of Vision Zero’s implementation in Los Angeles, fatalities in traffic collisions were up a horrifying 43 percent over the previous year.

Although she might have mentioned that all LA did in 2016 was develop a plan for Vision Zero. And to the best of my knowledge, talking about reducing traffic deaths has never caused a single collision.

Or that the purpose of Vision Zero is not to prevent traffic collisions, but to keep people from dying in them, by recognizing that people will always make mistakes, but better roadway designs can keep those mistakes from killing someone.

And never mind that virtually every traffic solution currently in use in LA came from somewhere else. From traffic lights and stop signs, to the billion dollar HOV lanes on the 405.

About the only innovation we can claim is the right turn on red light. Which isn’t exactly a template for safety.

But the topper is this one, where she goes out of her way to have it both ways.

Although city officials consulted extensively with community groups before turning eight-tenths of a mile of Venice Boulevard into one of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Great Streets,” the part of the plan that involved taking away a traffic lane in each direction wasn’t exactly displayed on street banners.

So she acknowledges that the city conducted extensive outreach. Then turns around and says it didn’t do enough outreach.

Maybe next time she should do a little basic research so she knows what the hell she’s talking about before flying off the handle.

Or wasting newsprint with uninformed drivel like this.

………

Today’s common theme is bikes and guns.

There are still no suspects in the fatal shooting of a popular Colorado mountain biker as he was riding last week; his body was discovered days later next to a trail.

A Florida bike rider was shot by a driver in an apparent road rage incident; no word on the condition of the victim.

And compared to the previous two cases, a Pennsylvania bicyclist got off easy when an angry driver merely pointed his gun at him following an argument.

Of course, if the drivers had just used their cars instead, it would have been written off as just an accident.

And the bike riders would have been blamed for it.

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Today’s other common theme is the more traditional form of traffic violence.

A pair of Oklahoma men tried to cover-up a fatal hit-and-run collision by intentionally driving into a highway guard rail to hide the damage from hitting a bike rider.

A Missouri man was doing 93 in a 35 mph zone — and driving on a suspended license — when he slammed into a bicyclist last year; he now faces a charge of first-degree involuntary manslaughter.

A Wisconsin man was turned in by his own wife following a drunken hit-and-run that took the life of man riding a bicycle.

An 83-year old Michigan man faces a misdemeanor charge after killing one bicyclist and injuring another in a rear-end collision last year. Older people may depend on their cars for mobility, but we’ve got to find a way to get them off the roads before it’s too late.

………

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten bounced back from her horrific crash in the Rio Olympics road cycling race to win world championship in the time trial yesterday.

If you’ve ever questioned how tough women cyclists really are, consider this video of British cyclist Lauren Dolan celebrating her 18th birthday by finishing the time trial despite a horrific leg injury suffered when she hit a manhole cover. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

https://twitter.com/JamieHaughey/status/909870748549943296/video/1

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Local

Letter writers in the Times say dark tinted windows on cars make it more dangerous for bike riders and pedestrians.

Los Angeles is planning for temporary walkways and bike paths in the recently purchased Taylor Yards railroad site, while plans are developed for a permanent park.

Curbed examines the future of bikeshare in the City of Angels.

Doris Day used to be one of us, riding her bicycle through Beverly Hills to rescue stray animals.

The Beach Reporter looks at Manhattan Beach resident Evens Stievenart’s new world record in the Le Mans Pearl Izumi 24 Hours Cycling race

 

State

Nice story from San Diego, where a nearly blind 94-year old woman took her first bike ride in 15 years on the back of a tandem as part of a Dreams Do Come True program at an Escondido retirement community.

The new dockless bikeshare bikes in San Diego’s Imperial Beach are already getting trashed by users and vandals, less than two weeks after their introduction.

A three mile Wildomar bike lane project has been put on hold after all the bids came in over budget.

A Riverside columnist explain what those green patches in the bike lanes are all about.

Speaking in Oakland, a traffic engineer says protected bike lanes must be the new normal, and urban planners are still trying to undo the damage caused by vehicular cyclists in the 1970s and 80s.

Jens Voigt returns to Marin County to headline the third annual Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin,

 

National

A new study shows teens are increasingly putting off drinking, driving and sex. Which makes sense, since the last one seldom happened without the first two, anyway.

No overreaction here, as TV’s Inside Edition says groups of crazed cyclists are causing “absolute mayhem in the streets.” Meanwhile, a group of young bike riders tried to prove them right by ignoring a ban on bikes to take over New York’s Cross Bronx Expressway.

Houston residents are donating bicycles to help people who lost their cars in Hurricane Harvey.

Kellen Winslow II is one of us, as he tries to sell the home he bought in the Texas hills in hopes of becoming the first pro football player to turn pro cyclist.

A New York woman confirms that riding across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the city’s most difficult commutes, even if it was better than she expected.

Curbed talks with Philadelphia’s biggest bike advocate.

 

International

Edinburg, Scotland is waiting to give hometown hero Mark Beaumont the welcome he’s earned after a record-breaking 79-day bike ride around the world.

A British personal injury lawyer says the laws must be changed to clarify the rights and obligations of bicyclists, and protect riders who hit someone while riding in a bike lane.

A New Zealand cyclist calls for ripping out a new separated bike lane, after first assuring us he’s one of the good ones — not, he insists, a spandex clad rider on a $5,000 carbon fiber bike, or someone who insists on slowly taking the lane at rush hour.

 

Finally…

Apparently, you’re more dangerous than a truck. And everything you always wanted to know about bicycling in Bogotá but were afraid to ask.

Thanks to Dennis Eckhart for his generous donation to help support this site. Or maybe just help pay for that new hard drive.

 

Tonight’s post, which is not about bicycling at first, though I try to make up for it later

Some days, life just doesn’t make sense.

And this was one, in spades, as the unfolding joy of the holiday season was shattered once again by yet another madman with a gun.

I won’t make the comparison, as some have done, to the carnage on our streets. Yes, both needlessly waste precious human life, snatching innocent victims from their loved ones breasts.

But this is different.

This was an intentional choice to kill and kill again. It was not the result of distraction or drunkenness; it did not stem from carelessness or flaunting the laws that govern the roads we all share.

This was an act of gut-wrenching insanity. A heinous crime against God and man.

No rational person could point a gun at a child and pull the trigger. Let alone do it 20 times, then take the life of another eight adults.

Yes, there is madness on our streets.

But it doesn’t begin to compare to the madness that allows this to happen over and over, all over the country.

There will be other nights to address the long list of problems on our streets. But not this night.

This is a night for prayers for people we don’t know. And now never will.

And for those who loved and nurtured them, and now face an eternally aching hole in their lives and hearts that can never be filled.

We are all devastated.

And yes, I’ve said it before.

But let’s not let another day pass without telling those we love that we do. Hug those you can; call those you can’t.

Share the simple joy of having one another in our lives in this season of miracles.

Do it now, before it’s too late. Because one day it will be.

Tomorrow we can all commit to doing all we can to ensure that this will never happen again.

Because it’s happened too many times already.

And it will again.

If we don’t.

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image004

Burbank Bike Angels hard at work

Nothing warms my heart more than people who go out of their way to share a little joy with kids who might not otherwise find anything under the tree on Christmas morning.

That’s why I’m a big fan of things like the 7th Annual All City Toy Ride that — hopefully — took place on Friday if the rain held off long enough.

And even more when bikes are involved as more than just a form of transportation.

Like the work of volunteers with the Burbank Bike Angels, who spent the last three months refurbishing bikes and restoring them to like new condition. And resulting in the delivery of 150 bikes to the Salvation Army to distribute to kids in need, along with another 50 bikes for other organizations.

Their work is just about done for this year.

But there’s always next year. They’re asking you for any used bikes — especially children’s bikes — and monetary donations so they can give away even more bikes next year. As well as volunteers to turn those unloved bikes into sparkling new gifts to inspire better health and a love of bicycling in a new generation.

If you can offer any help, whether bikes, money or time — or all of the above — call the Burbank Recycle Center at 818/238-3900.

Love the bike riding bear in the lower right

Love the bike riding bear in the lower right

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Fifty-eight candidates qualified for next March’s L.A. city elections; all but eight are running for city council seats. The LACBC’s Operation Firefly brings bike lights to South L.A. Flying Pigeon says North Fig doesn’t have to be a killer neighborhood. Getting back on a bike isn’t always like riding a bike. Orange County motorists discover ghost bikes, far too many of which have taken root in the county this year. San Diego counts bikes countywide, while the San Diego Bicycle Coalition says this was the year bikes boosted local business. Thousand Oaks gets a new semi-green bike lane. Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor train line may be looking into a bike share program.

If you’re wondering what to buy your bike riding — or bike curious — friends, consider this review of Elly Blue’s Everyday Bicycling. Nevada begins work on an off-road bike path on their side of Lake Tahoe. Bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users all outspend Portland drivers at area small businesses; NBC picks up the story, as well. A high Seattle driver is charged with attempting to run over a bicycling off-duty cop after he tells her to stop smoking heroin. A 62-year cyclist from my hometown is recovering from a hit-and-run he can’t even remember. A man gets a whopping 30 days for threatening a Montana cyclist with a switchblade. Chicago cyclists get a new two-way cycletrack. Road riding can bring up all kinds of emotions, most of them good. A writer for the New York Times Magazine offers an insightful and very funny sequel to the year-old piece we linked to yesterday, in response to the anti-bike screed from the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo. New York’s upcoming bike share program is just the latest sign of the city’s revived bicycle culture. If you’re a convicted felon carrying a concealed weapon, don’t ride your bike while drunk.

A Canadian driver right hooks a cyclist, so naturally police ticket the cyclist for riding in a crosswalk — even though the driver had a suspended license. The GranFondo Banff has to develop a new wildlife plan after grizzly bears forced a 40 kilometer reduction in last year’s route. A London driver is acquitted of fatally dooring a cyclist, despite having tinted windows that only allowed 17% visibility. The bike riding journalist whose near-fatal collision inspired the London Times CycleSafe campaign remains hospitalized 13 months later, while the distracted truck driver who put her there gets off with a £2,700 fine and eight months suspended license. An open letter urges the British Judiciary to give a damn about the lives of cyclists in response, while a London blogger struggles to understand. Cambridge police crack down on anti-social cycling; apparently, anti-social driving is still okay. YouTube offers a new bike channel in conjunction with a British bicycling communications channel. A UK writer says cyclists need to give respect in order to get respect; odd that no one ever says that about motorists. The 100th edition of the Tour de France will start in Corsica, while the 101st begins in Yorkshire, England; after most of the recent titles have been vacated, does anyone still care? Your next mountain bike could come from Andorra; no, not the tv witch. In honor of the holidays, the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer tandem bike, of a sort. Bike commuting in Rio. Celebrate the birthday of the man who invented the modern bicycle 158 years ago.

Finally, Red Kite Prayer sums up the day’s tragic events nicely, as always.

Two local riders are shot in separate incidents Saturday morning

It’s bad enough that we have to dodge distracted drivers and oversized SUVs without worrying about getting shot. But that’s L.A. for you.

A rider was shot in the back in Highland Park last night when participants in a Midnight Ridazz ride were confronted by a group of reputed gang members. Evidently, events escalated after the riders were taunted as they passed a house, and some of the riders responded in kind.

According to posts on the Ridazz forum, the victim may have been saved when the bullet passed through his backpack; at last word, he had been treated and released, though surgery may be needed at a later date to remove the bullet. In addition, another rider was knocked off her bike, and one or more bikes may have been stolen.

At almost exactly the same time, another rider was also shot in the back, this time in Pacoima. According to police, the victim is expected to survive.

My heart and prayers go out to both victims, with wishes for a speedy recovery.

If you have any information on either shooting, please contact the police.

And be careful out there. Because cars and trucks that go bump in the night aren’t the only things you have to watch out for.

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