Morning Links: Driver busted in fatal Winnetka hit-and-run, and Krekorian kills Lankershim Great Street

As we noted last week, an arrest has been made in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider in Winnetka.

Forty-seven year old Victor Mainwal Jr. was arrested Friday on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, and is being held on $50,000 bail, with his utility truck impounded as evidence.

Police have not confirmed whether the crash was intentional, as a witness alleged.

The name of the victim has still not been released, pending notification of next of kin; the surviving victim has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

News of the arrest was first announced right here on Friday, and on the BikinginLA Twitter account.

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Following in the footsteps of former Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Councilmember Paul Krekorian snatched defeat from the jaws of victory last week.

Announcing his decision on the Friday before a three-day weekend — a longstanding public relations ploy to ensure whatever you do doesn’t make the next news cycle — Krekorian pulled his support from the nearly shovel-ready plan to remake dangerous Lankershim Blvd into a safer Complete Street that would meet the needs of all road users.

The LACBC reports that he blocked the plan, like LaBonge before him, saying it had to go back to the drawing board because of inadequate public outreach.

Apparently, the countless well-attended public meetings, workshops and pop-up bike lanes held over the past year don’t count. Never mind all the previous meetings going back nearly a decade.

Instead, Krekorian inexplicably threw his hat in with street safety opponents Gil Cedillo, Paul Koretz and Curren Price, all of whom blocked much-needed safety projects supported by large segments of the community.

And never mind that this was exactly the sort of lifesaving project he claims to support, judging by this quote from Yo! Venice.

“Reducing pedestrian and traffic fatalities is something we urgently need to work toward,” said Krekorian, who serves as the Chair of the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee.

Evidently, like Cedillo, Koretz and Price, he’s all for projects designed to save lives. As long as they’re in someone else’s district.

Which means businesses on Lankershim will continue to suffer, and people will continue to risk their lives, however they chose to travel.

And they’ll have their councilmember to blame.

The LACBC offered this call to action in response to Krekorian’s misguided decision:

We firmly believe that this is not an approach that is consistent with Vision Zero’s goal of saving lives.  Want to help? Join us in calling Councilmember Krekorian (818-755-7676) and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (213-972-8470) today to tell them you don’t think this project needs to go back to the drawing board.

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In today’s edition of how to lose your job as a pro cyclist, Daniel Summerhill, a rider on the United Healthcare Pro Cycling team, is charged with firing his gun at a Colorado hillside near occupied homes on a February training ride; he says he did it because he was having a bad day.

Never mind why he had a gun in his jersey pocket to begin with.

Needless to say, once word got out, he immediately resigned from the team.

Which is PR speak for they fired his ass.

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Bid on a bike tour with cyclist and KPCC political and infrastructure reporter Sharon McNary — one of LA’s most insightful and knowledgeable members of the media — while you help support Southern California Public Radio.

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The war on bikes continues, as a tire bounds across a roadway to attack a helpless bike before leaping into the arms of a man inside an office. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

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Local

Construction is nearing completion on the Venice Blvd Great Streets protected bike lanes in Mar Vista, which are already being used by bike riders, although local residents worry the loss of a traffic lane will cause more cut-through traffic. Which shows you what can happen when a councilmember — Mike Bonin, in this case — actually has the courage of his convictions.

LA’s Metro Bike will be expanding this summer, with new branches opening in Pasadena on July 14th, and along the LA Waterfront in San Pedro and Wilmington on July 31st.

The presumed death of the 710 Freeway extension means there’s now $600 million available to spend on transportation projects in the area, in addition to $100 million already budgeted for improvements including synchronized traffic lights, sound walls and bike lanes.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The Cal Poly Pomona student newspaper looks at the impact the loss of fallen cyclist and Cal Poly student Ivan Aguilar had on his family and fellow students, four years after his death.

If you lost a red Specialized Allez recently, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station could be looking for you after recovering one they believe was stolen.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune gets it right after a worrisome start, concluding that bike lanes have little or no negative effect on business. And are often good for local businesses, even if that means a loss of parking spaces.

 

National

A new video series explores the allure of tall bikes.

A Colorado woman will spend the next 12 years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run death of a man on his bicycle.

The national Little Bellas organization helps empower young girls through mountain biking; the Denver Post looks at how a local chapter helps make a difference.

Massachusetts is adding a section on bike safety to their driver’s training manual, as well as posting a video on the Dutch Reach to avoid doorings.

Here’s another reason to ride a real bicycle. A former VP with Peloton was arrested at his Manhattan home for allegedly looting the indoor cycling company of $400,000 to support his lavish lifestyle.

GQ spots actor Justin Theroux riding his fixie through the streets of New York with a $3,000 Tom Ford bag on his back. Note to Theroux: Next time you have an extra three grand lying around, spend it on the bike, not the bag.

The New York Times offers a pretty good beginner’s guide to biking to work.

Evidently having run out of kids to order off his lawn, a columnist with the New York Post takes time out of his busy day to tell cyclists just how much they suck. Mike Wilkinson reminds up this is how it’s really done.

 

International

Toronto has a 10-year plan to build out a complete bicycling network to coax nervous riders onto the roads, though polite Canadian bicyclists want it built sooner, if possible. LA has a 25-year plan to create a safe bicycling network, but we’re told it’s only “aspirational.

A writer for Forbes recommends luxury self-guided European bike tours. Or you could just buy a good guide book, make some reservations, and start riding.

Treehugger goes in search of the lost British bike lanes.

A driver decided to use a new raised, separated bike lane as a convenient and traffic-free way to bypass all those other cars on an Irish highway.

A 73-year old German woman was killed by lightning as she rode her bike. A tragic reminder to find the nearest shelter if you get caught in a thunderstorm while riding; the National Weather Service advises waiting at least 30 minutes after the last thunder before resuming your ride.

A Spanish art project shows the dangers of disappearing bike lanes by placing bicycles that disappear into blank walls, titling one “Cycle Lane 9 ¾ to Hogwarts.”

After a Bollywood actress is criticized for falsely claiming she was so poor she had to ride a bicycle to school, others point out her fellow students were so poor they couldn’t afford one.

A Billings, Montana non-profit collected 260 bicycles to deliver to impoverished villages in Jordan.

There’s something seriously wrong when someone who drives a 233 mph race car for a living is afraid to ride his bike because the streets are too dangerous.

 

Finally…

When you’re pedaling with plans to peddle the crystal meth you’re carrying, just put a light on your bike, already. No, really, if you’re carrying meth, marijuana and drug paraphernalia on your bike, put a damn light on it — and leave the machete at home.

And your next bike could be made like a bamboo wicker basket.

 

One comment

  1. Fred Davis says:

    It really is sad news about the Lankershim project. The Venice Blvd. project isn’t fully complete yet and the vitriol against it, though predictable, is truly disheartening. This petition has been started to show support for the project: https://www.change.org/p/mike-bonin-support-the-great-street-project-in-mar-vista

    Please consider signing.

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