Tag Archive for Santa Monica Police Department

Santa Monica police blame the victim in a new bike safety video, two better videos and your Morning Links

Santa Monica police are offering up a new PSA suggesting that stopping for stop signs while riding a bike is child’s play. And the best way to ensure you’ll get home to yours.

Children, that is.

It’s not like their message isn’t reasonable — both the law and common sense dictate that we should observe traffic signals just like anyone else. But while they’ve undoubtedly scored points with bike-hating residents, they could have done a lot more good by focusing on the need for motorists to pay attention and drive safely around bike riders.

Which is what share the road really means, despite the way some drivers — and police departments, apparently — try to twist it these days.

After all, even the most dangerous cyclists pose a risk primarily to themselves, while dangerous drivers pose a risk to everyone around them.

I don’t have any records on what may have caused bike injury collisions in Santa Monica. But neither of the two bicyclists killed in Santa Monica in recent years ran a red light or stop sign. Antonio Cortez died after riding into an open car door while allegedly riding drunk, while Erin Galligan was run down from behind by while riding home from work on PCH.

Even if he was as stumbling drunk as SMPD officials implied, Cortez would probably still be alive today if a driver hadn’t left his car door open in violation of California law.

And to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever suggested that Galligan did anything wrong, other than occupy the same road space as the speeding hit-and-run driver who killed her.

Maybe the SMPD’s next bike safety videos should focus on closing your damn car door and not running away like a coward after you kill someone.

Then again, this is the same department that has promised to crackdown on scofflaw cyclists more than once. Even though they can’t legally focus enforcement on specific violators as opposed to violations.

That is, they can legally ticket everyone who rolls stop signs, for instance. But they can’t direct their enforcement towards cyclists as opposed to everyone else on the road.

And they should know that.

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As long as we’re sharing videos, here’s one from the Encino Velodrome’s recent Swap Your Legs Race.

Meanwhile, a great video says it’s time to fix LA’s broken sidewalks. And even our Twitter-using mayor liked it.

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The Daily News is the latest to notice that current LA law bans kids playing on or near streets.

LA’s first protected bike lane has already seen better days.

How many people get to work car-free in your neighborhood?

A writer for City Watch says the Pacoima Wash bike and pedestrian pathway recently approved by the San Fernando City Council has the power to transform the area.

Zev says you’ll soon be able to sponsor your own section of bike path in LA County.

Drivers can — and should — cross into a bike lane to make a turn, even when there’s a solid white line. California law requires drivers to make a right from the lane closest to the curb, and never turn across a bike lane.

Fair warning to Los Angeles, as Oakland agrees to pay out $3.25 million to a cyclist seriously injured after hitting a pothole. The city had received numerous complaints about the pothole-ridden road but failed to fix it.

Across the bay, San Francisco is on its way to becoming a bike utopia.

How bicycling helped build Kickstarter.

A new helmet attachment promises to keep you cool by soaking your head. No, really.

Turns out the wicked witch of the Wall Street Journal was wrong, while famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz says it’s time for vigorous law enforcement against reckless drivers before they kill someone, not after.

Drivers are at fault for injury collisions with bicyclists in a Georgia county two-thirds of the time. But why did they illustrate the story with a crashed motorcycle?

A documentary maker for the BBC moves to LA, but gives up bicycling to work due to “distracted drivers going 50 mph in the dark.” But isn’t that half the fun? Thanks to Jim Pettipher for the heads-up.

Funny how often totally insane cyclists attack perfectly innocent motorists for absolutely no rational reason. Seriously, no one should ever attack anyone else on the roadway or use their U-lock as a weapon. But something tells me there’s probably another side to stories like this.

The owner of Soigneur magazine looks at five up and coming bicycling groups, and manages to be only somewhat offensive, particularly in regards to women riders.

A writer for the Guardian says cyclists aren’t the enemy, and it’s time to end the us versus them mentality.

An Australian writer suggests bike cams have been beneficial, but oddly worries about privacy concerns even though nothing that occurs in public view is ever private.

Your next helmet could look like an alien brain if you’re willing to spend more than $1000 for the privilege.

Finally, after an Aussie BMW worker calls for intentionally dooring cyclists and posting the videos online, the story somehow devolves into a debate over licensing cyclists, rather than protecting them from illegal assaults by bike-hating jerks.

And Boyonabike found this bike lane fail at Cal Poly Pomona. Are they trying to tell us something?

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Cheering on Brentwood Cat 1 racers, SaMo police catch a bike thief, and a weekend’s worth of links

Congratulations to Velo Club La Grange on another successful Brentwood Grand Prix on Sunday.

Even my non-biking wife, whose eyes glaze over at the mere mention of bicycling, was highly entertained. As was the Corgi, who can be heard cheering the riders on in this brief clip from the from the Cat 1 and 2 crit.

At least, I think she’s cheering.

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When Santa Monica police saw a man using a bolt cutters to remove a lock from a $1500 Trek, he told them he had lost his key. However, using their Sherlockian powers of deduction, they quickly noticed it was a combination lock.

Needless to say, he is now under arrest.

Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the heads-up.

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The UCI, the agency governing international cycling, insists that USADA has no authority to pursue charges against Lance Armstrong; the question is, do they want to prosecute him themselves, or derail the charges?

Meanwhile, ex-Tour de France winner Alberto Contador says he’s grown up during his doping ban.

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The hit-and-run epidemic has become so severe even cops are victims. Beverly Hills may or may not discuss proposed bikeways, and may actually get bike racks in the hopefully soon-to-be-former biking black hole; thanks to Mark Elliott of Better Bike for the heads-up. La Cañada Flintridge becomes the latest local city to develop a new bike plan; link courtesy of Erik Griswold. A La Puente man suffers serious injuries in a fall on the San Gabriel Canyon Road after losing control on a descent and crashing into the mountain. A Bakersfield firefighter takes on the quarterfinals of Olympic sprint cycling, while a Temecula woman wins silver in team pursuit. A Bay Area cyclist faces deportation for riding on the wrong side of the street. Sonoma cyclists confront a summer of sorrow.

Bicycling looks at seven fast, fun and affordable road bikes; affordability being a relative term, of course. UCONN basketball coach Jim Calhoun breaks his hip falling off his bike, surgery was successful. Rochester-area cyclists gather to honor a pair of cyclists, one killed and one seriously injured. Lights, reflective clothes and a helmet aren’t enough to save an Ohio rider. A New York ethicist tries to justify running stop signals on a bike. Thirty years after graduating, a former Baton Rouge resident takes her first ride to school. A fleeing Florida criminal kills two cyclists in an attempt to get away from police; that would be two counts of felony murder, right? Is a Florida bikeway a bike path to nowhere, or a key link in a future bike system?

The family of the cyclist killed by an Olympic media bus asks that his death not be used for political point-scoring by pro-bike advocates. The next generation of British bike racers suffered a tragic loss as an 18-year old member of their developmental squad dies after crashing into a wall. Is this really a safe junction? British success in Olympic cycling has lead to an explosion in the MAMIL population. Brit riders are kicking ass in the velodrome. Bald, beautiful and an Olympic gold medal winner in track cycling. Once again, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain offers a list of links that puts my modest efforts to shame. Salzburg, Austria suffers an increase in cycling deaths. David Hembrow demonstrates how to get parked cars off the streets.

Finally, in a breathtaking attack of rationality, Caltrans proposes lowering the speed limit — yes, lowering — on the Pasadena Freeway to 45 mph. Now if they can figure out a way to drop the limit on a few other roads. And a motorist chases down a hit-and-run driver who fled after hitting a bike rider, and captures it all on video; Cyclelicious speculates that it may have been shot here.

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Best wishes to Rick Risemberg, aka Mr. Bicycle Fixation, for a full and fast recovery; thankfully, he’s living proof that even serious cyclists like you and me need to take care of ourselves. And with luck, he’ll be around a long time to remind us all.

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