Tag Archive for Kelly Michele Wolfe

Morning Links: Serious sentence for a serious crime, memorial for 9-year old victim, and blame drivers, not bikes

They continue to take traffic crime seriously in Orange County.

An unlicensed drunk driver got 18 years — yes, years, not months — for fleeing the scene after killing an elderly woman and injuring her blind grandson as they stood in a Santa Ana bike lane to observe fireworks on the 4th of July in 2013.

When she was arrested two hours later, Kelly Michele Wolfe had a blood alcohol level of .31, nearly four times the legal limit.

Now she’s going to have a very long time to sober up.

Maybe someone should tell the LA DA this is what can happen when you don’t bargain away all the serious charges.

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

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Hundreds of mourners turned out on Sunday to remember the nine-year old boy killed while riding his bike in Irvine on Sunday.

He was a recent Chinese immigrant whose parents had come here looking for a better life.

Instead, they lost a son to this country’s deadly streets.

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Great piece from Boyonabike, who says we should “tell car companies to take cynical marketing gimmicks like ‘Volvo Life Paint’ and shove it where the sun don’t shine.”

Because, he says, the real problem is dangerous and distracted drivers, a lack of safe infrastructure, and a “car culture that sells cars on TV by overt appeals to fantasies of speed and danger”

Seriously, read it, already.

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Local

The LACBC’s Eric Bruins examines the investment priorities for a proposed transportation ballet measure.

The editor of USC’s Daily Trojan says bikeshare has the potential to revolutionize transit in Los Angeles if anyone actually uses it, while a writer for the Los Angeles News Group questions if people will pay $3.50 a trip to ride a bike.

Western Avenue in Palos Verdes could trade street parking for buffered bike lanes; for a change, the primary concern of local residents isn’t over the loss of parking spaces.

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Rick Risemberg offers advice on how to winterize your riding to prepare for El Niño and what passes for winter in the City of Angels.

Santa Clarita wants your opinion on the city’s off-street biking trails.

People for Bikes looks at Burbank’s own Pure Fix Cycles.

 

State

A San Jose cyclist is killed in a collision after allegedly bicycling under the influence; no word on why police think he’d been drinking.

San Francisco completes its 24th Vision Zero bike and pedestrian safety project three months ahead of schedule. Which puts it about 23 ahead of LA.

 

National

Great news from Arizona, as former US Representative Gabby Giffords takes her recumbent on a 40 mile ride less than five years after her near-fatal shooting.

Evidently, a Colorado letter writer really hates bike lanes; he condemns any government official who puts more than 20 cents into bike lane construction to suffer an eternity of spilling hot coffee in their laps while driving.

A Colorado mountain biker relates the frightening story of how he got lost for nearly two days after falling into a river during a recent Costa Rican race.

A discussion of installing crosstown bike lanes in New York’s Upper East Side draws little opposition, even if one community board member says bicyclists’ lawlessness has resulted in a “complete and total Armageddon.” Not to exaggerate or anything.

A Philadelphia magazine explores the challenges of being African American in white suburbia, including a troubling story of black teenagers just out for a bike ride.

The World Championships didn’t turn out to be the financial windfall for the Richmond area that had been promised.

 

International

London’s Cycling Commissioner says banning large trucks during rush hour won’t save as many lives as making trucks safer and building protected bike lanes. He also called a reporter a liar over claims bike riders weren’t using one of the city’s new cycle superhighways.

London plans to close a busy and dangerous junction in the heart of the city to motor vehicles for at least five years to improve safety and “all round congeniality,” while making more room for bikes and pedestrians.

A UK publication says leave the car at home if you don’t want to die young.

Two Brit bike thieves have been jailed for a long running con; they’d leave a laptop bag as security for taking a bike for a test ride, which turned out to hold nothing but books when they didn’t return. They’d gotten away with 23 bikes worth $93,000 before they were caught.

A British woman is left with a broken hip after a collision with a sidewalk-riding bicyclist. But if he just rode off without stopping, how do they know he had a foreign accent?

Forty Americans biked the length of Israel to show support for the Israeli military.

An 18-year old South African man designed and built his own very cool custom bike from scratch.

An Aussie website says it may be time to rethink the country’s bike helmet requirement.

A Kiwi earthmoving company has installed cameras with a dashboard monitor in their trucks to eliminate blind spots that put cyclists and pedestrians at risk.

A five-year old Chinese boy is able to ride his bike again after getting a 3D-printed hand.

Japanese police are looking for a man who smacked a woman in the head with a blunt object after her clothes somehow got caught in his bike when he rode up behind her.

 

Finally…

Evidently, it’s okay to steal a bike from a celebrity restaurant as long as you’re a hunk with washboard abs. If you’re going to use a bike as your getaway vehicle after robbing a bank, wearing a cycling cap sets the right stylistic tone.

And who says beautiful bikes don’t grow on trees?

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Thanks to Wes High and Matthew Robertson for their donations to support this site. Thanks to their generosity, the first ever Biking in LA Holiday Fund Drive is now up to, uh, three contributions!

Morning Links: Gov. Brown signs hit-and-run alert law, bike park meeting Wed night, and SCAG says Go Human

Maybe this will tame our streets a little more.

Governor Brown surprised nearly everyone by signing AB 8 Monday afternoon. The new law creates a Yellow Alert system to place notices of serious hit-and-runs on digital freeway and street signs in the area surrounding a collision.

The bill, sponsored by Glendale Assembly Member Mike Gatto, is patterned after a successful Colorado hit-and-run alert system. Brown signed it just hours after a press conference urging him to approve it, despite his veto of a similar bill just last year.

Maybe it’s no coincidence that the signing came the same day an Orange County driver was convicted of second degree murder in the drunken hit-and-run death of a grandmother as she walked in a San Clemente bike lane with her grandson.

The driver, Kelly Michele Wolfe, had a BAC over three times the legal limit when police arrested her at her home, shards of windshield glass still twinkling in her hair. Prosecutors estimate that she had downed as many as 15 drinks at a local bar before getting behind the wheel.

Wolfe had been warned when she got her California license that a second DUI could result in a murder charge, following her previous conviction for drunk driving in Nevada in 1994.

She now faces a well-deserved 18 years in state prison.

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GOHUMAN-SOCIAL-MEDIA-640x832-BIKES-FULL-LANE_ENGThe Southern California Council of Governments has launched a new campaign encouraging people to Go Human to promote bike and pedestrian safety.

Nice to see the bike ad promotes the full use of the traffic lane.

Although I’d rather see the pedestrian ad point out that there’s a crosswalk at every corner, painted or not, rather than just urging people to cross at the corner or crosswalk.

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There will be a meeting tomorrow night at the Hacienda Heights Community Center to discuss plans for the Puente Hills Landfill Park, including the possibility for LA County’s first true bike park.

The meeting runs from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, 1234 Valencia Ave in Hacienda Heights.

And be sure to sign the petition supporting the bike park.

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Sad news from Yolo County, as an amateur cyclist competing in a time trial was killed when a driver crossed the center line to avoid one rider, and didn’t see the victim riding in the opposite direction.

Police inexplicably said the driver was obeying the law, even though drivers aren’t legally allowed pass if they can’t do so safely.

They wouldn’t have said she was obeying the law if it had been a semi coming the other way.

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New world champ Peter Sagan finally gets the support of his volatile team owner after months of criticism. Sagan used his podium finish as a chance to call for changing the world, after getting there by timing his final sprint perfectly. It wasn’t his first podium finish in a world championship; he finished second in the junior cyclocross worlds in 2008.

The perfectly named Joan of Arc becomes the first Rwandan woman to compete in the worlds, winning by her mere presence despite a last place finish. The championships gave other riders a chance to fly their flag, as well.

Attendance for the worlds topped expectations, with over 645,000 spectators over the ten days of racing. Evidently, support for bike racing is alive and well in the USA.

Speaking of alive and well, Lance Armstrong is still with us, but his specter haunts the worlds. Maybe there’s a female Lance Armstrong waiting to be discovered; while women’s racing expands, it doesn’t face the same anti-doping scrutiny the men do.

And speaking of Lance, he’s not out of the woods yet, despite settling with the insurance company suing him for $10 million for bonuses it paid out for all those Tour de France wins that aren’t any more.

London won’t be hosting the start of the 2017 Tour de France after all, as the city pulls the plug a day before final contracts were set to be signed.

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Local

That’s one way to ruin a good ride. Bicyclists and pedestrians were herded off the Ballona Creek bike path after a body was found resting along the jetty Sunday evening.

LA Times readers react to the recent column by George Skelton calling for a registration fee for bike riders; for a change, they all get it right. The first letter, by El Cajon’s Barry Carlton, nails it.

The Times talks with Matty Grossman, the 11-year old voice of reason in the debate over the Rowena road diet and the needless and never-ending battle betwixt people on bikes and those in cars. And he’s not the only kid to face aggression from angry motorists. Seriously, it takes the lowest form of human scum to yell at little kids out riding their bikes, let alone drive aggressively around them. There’s no excuse. Ever. Period.

LA takes a big step towards revitalizing the LA River with a $25 million grant to buy a key parcel of land. That should also help with plans to extend the bike path the full length of the river by 2020.

Actress and amateur triathlete Teri Hatcher had her Specialized bike stolen from an LA bike shop. But despite what TMZ says, $1,000 is not “super expensive” for a bike, racing or otherwise.

CiclaValley is joining with Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward to lead a feeder ride to see the documentary Bikes vs. Cars at Ambulante Park this Sunday. There are a number of other feeder rides planned; I’ll catch up with them later in the week.

 

State

Opposition is rising to a long-planned bike path through Orange County’s Peters Canyon Regional Park; the bikeway would complete the gap in a bike trail that runs from Irvine Regional Park to Newport Bay.

A writer for an Encinitas paper says Complete Streets aren’t complete nonsense. Despite the slightly unhinged opposition of a local commissioner.

In the wake of Monday’s bicycling fatality in Mira Mesa, San Diego cyclists say they don’t always feel safe on the streets.

A Santa Barbara cyclist wonders if someone is deliberately sabotaging bike riders after he got a saw blade embedded in his wheel.

A lightless salmon cyclist died in a San Jose collision Saturday night.

Someone is sabotaging a popular road for cyclists and motorcycle riders in San Mateo County by affixing tacks to the roadway point up to guarantee they cause flats. Local police and CHP are aware of the problem, which has reportedly gone on for years; a local resident is raising a $10,000 reward. The schmuck should face an attempted murder charge, since a flat tire at high speeds could have deadly consequences.

A San Francisco writer explains why the Idaho stop is safe for cycling, even as the city’s mayor promises to veto an ordinance that would make safe rolling stops the SFPD’s lowest traffic priority.

A Modesto letter writer complains that safety improvements on a major street will make it less safe, and insists it’s not worth $2 million for a few lousy bike riders.

 

National

Momentum Magazine explains why biking is better than Tinder. And you never have to come up with a cover story for how you met your bike.

GoPro is slowly getting more affordable, with a new waterproof, Bluetooth-enabled cam priced at a penny under $200.

Boulder CO caves in the face of the entirely predictable opposition to “right-sizing” a handful of roadways, and will vote today on ripping out the protected bike lanes on the only one that has been completed so far — even though the results have been successful.

An Iowa driver wasn’t even ticketed, let alone arrested, for the death of a cyclist despite crossing onto the wrong side of the road to hit the rider head-on as he rode on the shoulder.

An Ohio driver faces charges of vehicular homicide and wanton disregard for safety in the left cross collision that took the lives of two cyclists and injured three others.

Cleveland plans to have a bikeshare system up and running by June of next year.

The next time you ride to Niagara Falls, you should be able to find a place to park your bike.

As Washington DC becomes more bike friendly, renters are demanding a safe place to park their bikes. And a DC writer explains the proper bikeshare etiquette when two people want the last bike.

 

International

Hitchcock was right. A Vancouver bike rider was terrified by an attacking crow.

A British woman faces charges after her then 9-year old son missed too many days of school because he was grieving over the bicycling death of his father.

A British woman is joining the three men attempting to set a new year record; the women’s mark of 29,603 miles was set nearly eight decades ago.

A Scottish rider was the victim of a brutal and unprovoked attack after arguing with a man walking his dog on a bike path.

Paris may have staged the ultimate ciclovía, as it bans cars from four central arrondissements on Sunday in an effort to clear the air.

An Aussie report finds some types of lane dividers don’t keep drivers out of separated bike lanes and could pose a risk to riders.

 

Finally…

If someone yells at you to be careful after a near collision as he exits a bus, don’t respond by chasing him down and trying to steal his watch. If you’re carrying burglary tools and a ski mask at 1:40 am on a hot high desert night, put some damn lights on your bikes.

And at seven years old, most kids are happy to bike around the block; this Chula Vista kid is already a professional BMX champ.

 

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