Tag Archive for Kansas

Morning Links: LA as West Coast e-scooter capital, vehicular murder slap on wrist, and CiclaValley takes a spill

Assistant Director of LA Bureau of Street Services Greg Spotts says Los Angeles could become the shared mobility capital of the West Coast.

Spotts notes that 11 companies have applied to provide a total of 37,000 e-scooters, dockless bikes and ebikes to the mean streets of LA.

The city has a series of community meetings coming up to discuss dockless mobility, starting with one in DTLA on the 26th.

Putting 37,000 alternatives to driving on the street is a good thing. But key to the success of any dockless mobility program is providing safe places to ride and park them.

Hopefully, this will spur development of the city bike plan, as city leaders finally recognize the need for safety. And drivers are more willing to sacrifice a few feet of roadway to get scooters out of their way.

It could happen.

The city also needs to provide on-street parking facilities — ideally converting one parking space per block for e-scooter and bike parking.

We should also require every e-scooter to be equipped with a low-volume beeping device to warn pedestrians when one is approaching. And let people with limited sight know when one is parked in their way.

………

Talk about getting the story wrong.

Yesterday we linked to a Kansas story about a teen driver getting a reduced sentence for killing a bike rider in a hit-and-run, but criticized the paper for leaving out just how long he would be behind bars.

Apparently, they left a lot more than that out.

Like actual length of the sentence, which turned out to be just two years — far less than the 16 years the prosecution requested.

Not to mention the fact that the crash was intentional.

A passenger in his car told police the driver passed the man as he was riding in the opposite direction, and made a U-turn to deliberately run him down from behind before fleeing the scene.

And never mind that the victim was Latino and the driver was white, giving a racial tint to both the murder and the lack of justice. .

Amazingly, the judge excused the driver’s behavior because of his young age, clean record and that he had accepted responsibility. Although that came long after he had abandoned the car and gone home to play video games, later calling the police to report his car had been stolen.

Sure sounds like taking responsibility to me.

But no matter how sorry he might claim to be, there is no way to justify just two years behind bars for murder.

If he had used any other choice of weapon, from a gun or knife, to a rock or broken beer bottle, it would undoubtedly have been taken more seriously.

Or maybe the problem was just a victim on two wheels, with a Hispanic name.

………

A conservative columnist goes out of his way to illustrate exactly what’s wrong with America’s political divide, saying it’s time for liberals to get the hell out.

And they should use “public transportation or ride your ridiculous bikes in your ridiculous bike shorts to your shriveled hearts’ content!” somewhere else, while all those “normal” Americans keep gleefully destroying the planet with their massive SUVs.

Except by repeatedly plugging his books makes it all come off as a shameless effort just to sell a few more.

I don’t care whether you’re conservative, liberal or anything else. Or whether you walk, bike, ride transit or drive.

We’re all need to stop demonizing one another, and work together to make this country succeed.

Period.

And the same goes for our cities and states.

Because the alternative isn’t pretty.

………

CiclaValley offers a firsthand view of what it’s like to blow a tire during a descent.

And to have members of one university cycling team help you up while their rival school just rides on by.

Fortunately, he escaped relatively unscathed, walking away with a few bruises and a banged up wheel.

………

I want to be like them when I grow up.

A 73-year old Cherokee elder in Oklahoma overcame excessive weight and crippling diets by taking up bicycling in his 60s; now he’s off insulin, and rides across the reservation when he’s not competing in races around the world.

A 77-year old Chicago woman is biking across the US with a group of other older riders.

………

Local

You still can’t legally ride an e-scooter in Torrance. The city is slow-walking approving e-scooters, even as other South Bay cities are moving forward with legalizing them.

Speaking of the South Bay, a Kiwi writer raves about his visit to the beachside cities, including an extensive description of a guided bike tour along the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail.

Long Beach is planning a $1 million project to add bike lanes along Edwards Blvd to connect the quarter-mile street with the beach. Correction: Wrong Long Beach, dammit; this one’s in New York. Thanks to Chris Buonomo and James for the correction.

Long Beach police use fake bullets to apprehend a bike rider with a fake gun.

State

The Mercury News comes to the not-so-shocking conclusion that some people don’t like Complete Streets or improving safety if it means they’re going to be slightly inconvenienced.

At least one city is making progress in fighting bike theft, as the crime drops 25% in San Francisco.

Speaking of San Francisco, Uber-owned Jump dockless ebikes are cutting into Uber’s own car-hailing business in the Bay Area. And the company says they couldn’t be happier.

National

The Atlantic says Washington’s Birthday used to be celebrated by taking your bike for a spin, instead of countless car and mattress sales.

Traditionally libertarian Nevada is considering a proposal to require anyone under 18 to wear a bike helmet when they ride.

The Colorado legislature is considering following LA’s bad example by banning red light cameras in an apparent attempt to keep the streets dangerous.

A bighearted Michigan man founded a program to give bicycles to local kids, refurbishing and buying 150 bicycles in its first year.

Cambridge MA is making progress in its goal of reducing car ownership, but is only halfway towards its goal of a 15% reduction by next year.

Residents in a Louisiana city vow to fight a plan for an offroad bike path that could require removing trees and roadside signs.

Kindhearted Florida cops dug into their own wallets to buy a new bike for a man in his 80s after his was stolen.

Heartbreaking story from Florida, where a man was killed in a crash while riding his bike, the same day searchers fund the body of his missing daughter in a swamp; relatives don’t believe he had learned about her death before he was killed.

International

Ella Cycling Tips examines the studies, and concludes that what you wear or what sex you are may affect how closely drivers pass you. Or maybe not.

Cycling Weekly examines how much protein bicyclists really need in their diet.

Bike Radar considers what they consider the five most confusing topics in bicycling.

You may be out of luck if your bike gets stolen in London, as a special police bike theft unit is redeployed to fight youth knife crime.

A British woman got three years for crash that left a bike rider with serious brain damage; she was still high on coke from the night before when she ran him down in the early afternoon crash — 16 times the legal limit, in fact.

A polite Brit bike thief returned a purloined two-wheeler with a note of apology, saying he borrowed it to avoid a three-mile walk home at three in the morning.

A new Irish TV series explores the lack of bike lanes in the Emerald Isle compared to the rest of Europe. If you can’t imagine a TV show like that in the US, let alone a series, there’s probably a good reason for that.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list, which must be getting kind of long by now — a mountain biking trek through the South Caucasus Mountains in Azerbaijan. Unless maybe you’d rather experience India’s tropical state of Goa.

Officials say road safety must be improved in Zambia, where bicyclists and pedestrians make up 70% of traffic deaths.

Competitive Cycling

No ego here. The legendary Eddy Merckx says yes, Peter Sagan is complete cyclist, but he was better.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas insists he is definitely not riding in the Giro this year.

A Canadian cyclist rode 5249 laps around a velodrome in 24 hours — the equivalent of 457 miles — to raise funds for much needed repairs; he brought in over $59,000, more than doubling the original $25,000 goal.

Finally…

Nothing goes together like bikes and booze. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting a monitor lizard stuck in our spokes.

And why shovel the stuff when you can just ride your own bicycle snow plow?

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