Morning Links: Pico-Union hit-and-run, butt darts game threatens OC bicyclists, and dodging traffic — literally

The LAPD is looking for the heartless hit-and-run coward — my words, not theirs — who fled the scene after running down a bike rider in Pico-Union neighborhood last Tuesday.

The department reports the victim was riding west on Venice Blvd at Magnolia Ave when he was sideswiped by a passing driver and knocked into a parked car, suffering severe head injuries.

The driver kept going without stopping, or apparently even slowing down.

The suspect vehicle is described only as a tan-colored minivan; no description on the driver.

The city offers an automatic reward ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injuries depending on whether the injuries are permanent. Or $50,000 for a fatal hit-and-run.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD West Traffic Division Officer Juan Velasco at 213/473-0234. Anonymous tips can be given by calling LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800/222-TIPS (800/222-8477) or at lacrimestoppers.org

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The OC Register examines the asinine butt dart stunts in Orange County, in which moronic assholes in cars swerve at people on bicycles, point their fingers like guns, and yell “butt dart!”

The paper reports a law firm is considering filing a lawsuit against Chad Towersey, the Orange County Instagram star who started the dangerous fad.

“What we want is for (Towersey) to denounce this,” said Gven Sariol, a cycling safety advocate at the Sariol Legal firm in Santa Ana….

Towersey said he’s actually performing the stunt, and recording it, as a way to promote safe bicycling: “Please ride safe and obey the rules of the road — That is all we ask,” he wrote in a caption for an Instagram post.

Of course. Harassing, intimidating and assaulting people on bicycles — let alone scaring the crap out of them — is being done in the name of bike safety.

Bullshit.

All we have here is yet another jackass looking for more online hits at the expense of innocent people.

Never mind that startling or frightening people on bicycles can have disastrous consequences, as the riders can overreact and swerve into traffic, or off the roadway or into parked cars. Or lose control and fall off their bikes and into the path of oncoming traffic.

And what happens in the seemingly inevitable instance when one of these so-called pranksters pulls the stunt on bike rider who happens to be armed — and yes, there are people who carry weapons when they ride.

Would the same law enforcement officials who wrongly insist that harassing bicyclists isn’t a crime be willing to turn the same blind eye to someone who reacted in self-defense when they thought they were being attacked?

This crap will stop when authorities actually care enough to find a way to prosecute these jerks.

Hopefully before someone gets killed.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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Speaking of jerks — or any of the other epithets from the previous section — consider the driver who nearly made CiclaValley Eclipse Day roadkill.

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The first Indian woman to qualify for Paris-Brest-Paris says foreigners will soon be drawn to the country’s ultra-distance cycling events.

CNN looks at the Vuelta’s decision to combine male and female podium hosts, rather than just eliminating podium girls. Note to CNN: When your headline refers to “podium girls — and men,” you’re still getting it wrong.

Outside offers advice on how to prepare for your first bike race.

A Santa Rosa woman won the prestigious Leadville 100 mountain bike race after she was given a late push by a piece of pizza.

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Local

LA Magazine offers a good look at the city’s Vision Zero program, which should be required reading for anyone opposed to road diets or other traffic safety programs.

Great piece from Curbed’s Alissa Walker, who says residents of Jefferson Blvd are fed up with dangerous drivers, so they’re embracing road diets and implementing traffic safety improvements themselves, armed with a $6.3 million grant from Caltrans.

A Good Samaritan chased down the hit-and-run driver who fled after striking a woman as she was directing traffic on Los Feliz Blvd Saturday night.

Former LADOT artist-in-residence Alan Nakagawa will lead a bike tour of his Street Haiku project, including the scent of Hollywood in Springtime, from Mariachi Plaza on September 10th. Having smelled the actual Hollywood in springtime, it’s not a scent I would recommend.

Skid Row’s Union Rescue Mission has seen a 23% drop in charitable giving last year, despite a 23% increase in homelessness in LA County; it had faced a $5 million deficit last year until the head of the rescue mission rode his bike to Sacramento with his wife to raise funds.

 

State

The Guardian examines how bikeshare became a symbol of gentrification in San Francisco, seen as something for affluent white professionals, not locals.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 19-year old bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run Sunday night.

The Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association has spent the summer shoring up area trails and going after grants for more involved projects.

 

National

A writer for Strong Towns says narrow roads are better than crosswalks, and that road diets are “a far cheaper and more effective way to allow for safe pedestrian crossing.”

The Seattle Times says yes, drivers get ticketed for parking in bike lanes, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

An alternative weekly in Seattle says the consequences of the city’s mandatory bike helmet law falls disproportionately on black youths on the city’s south side, who have taken to using the new dockless bikeshare systems without them.

A Florida driver faces life in prison for killing a bike rider, after driving two miles with the man stuck in the rear window of his car, then dumping him still alive next to a dumpster.

 

International

Clean Technica says bicycles and autonomous vehicles are on a collision course, suggesting that getting the cars to recognize and respond to bicyclists is an unsolvable problem. Of course, every problem is unsolvable until someone does it; creating working car radios was considered unsolvable 90 years ago.

A London teenager suffered life-changing injuries in a horrific attack when he was sprayed in the face with acid by moped-riding thieves who stole his bicycle.

London’s Evening Standard offers the best bike shoes for autumn, apparently in case you don’t want to wear white on your bike after Labor Day.

Johnny Depp’s daughter Lily Rose is one of us, as the 18-year old model works on her bicycling skills in France with her mom, Vanessa Paradis.

A Singaporean appeals court affirmed the record $8.65 million awarded to a then-pregnant woman who was hit by falling cables at a construction site while riding past on her bicycle; even though she wasn’t badly injured, she developed what one of her doctors called one of the worst cases of PTSD he’d ever seen.

 

Finally…

When they say “Don’t try this at home,” this is exactly the sort of thing they’re talking about. Evidently, scofflaw cyclists are nothing new; thanks to Ted Faber for the link from his hometown.

And Kathy Kurutz forwards a little brighter note to end on today.

4 comments

  1. Irene says:

    You link to a type 1 diabetic tandem marital bike successful nonprofit ceo’s, to state capital, fundraising ride, the blaming his over many years limb loss on dtla sidewalk bacteria is unfortunate however. If you have festering wounds, failed already organs like a kidney, a Sandy sunny beach in Malibu might be deadly for you, but those who should care who are of normal health need not merely donate mega dollars, but can witness via there own flesh and meet the modern day economic mainly leper colony inhabitants without it being heroic to dare step down the improvised even repurpose sewer access concrete ways. You don’t want to cook eggs on the ground, have anyone kiss the feet that step on it, but healthy unblistered legs especially those of bikers are quite safe stomping shoed. A Dr there, even foregoes gloves, taking knowing risks for cause, but nobody should city walk anywhere barefoot….

    Those not needed to Lobby in Sacramento should walk and talk… live among .. to the tent people far more, with reasonably much less fear. It might be a good thing if further expansion of row institutions is given competition from voter approved taxes relief, the hundreds of female beds this on tandem once reported rider wants to build one backyard mega tent for deserve nonetheless we find other hoods for them to walk, Bike, etc. in.

    The biking angle brings attention to type 1 diabetic tragedy, however needed, but fans fear of flesh eating bacteria of the sort that created human dumping grounds and vile religious exploitation of those directed there by near monopolistic ancient
    Insanely I fear over built legacy players and here demonstrated dangerous hunger for sustenance over real progress.

    The mission is diverse including a drug addict treatment facility offering long term housing to them that is noble also but beyond local homelessness drawing in and dependent on the ghetto surrounding it for thriving historically in such work.

    The 5 million deficit of a mission seems a petty small riddance compared to the propoganda cost to perceptions of safety. Even if you break a tent there for free for months, no real chance of being eaten alive exists as the result of so saving rent funds.

    If only the sick pop tents then habitability conditions are hard to maintain, biking for dollars to rent tent space is exquisitely complex to see rightly, to limit respect for, sorry!

  2. A big emphasis in the city of LA’s implementation of Vision Zero is the fact that higher motor vehicle speeds increases the risk of serious injuries and fatalities. As far as I can tell the LADOT cannot lower the average speed of motorists below the posted speed limit. The LAPD is totally incapable of lowering the average speed of motorists on a street as they don’t have the manpower to do it.

    So what is one of the things the LADOT planning on doing for Vision Zero? Updating the average speed of motorists on streets, the 85 percentile, so that the posted speed limit is the correct maximum and then the LAPD can give speeding tickets. Which means, especially for the SFV, that speed limits will increase on some streets. The end result will that the LAPD will be able to give out a few speeding tickets and the LADOT, who have the capability of lowering the average speed of motorists, will only be able to reduce the average speed to the posted speed limit. Chandler Blvd, in the SFV, has a posted speed limit of 35 mph. That will likely be increased to 45 mph to reflect the 85 percentile speed of motorists. Which means the LAPD will likely only give speeding tickets to those motorists traveling over 50 mph on that street. Any attempt to lower the average speed by the LADOT on this street will only bring the average speed down to 45 mph, which is where it is currently.

    It’s Zero Vision for the LADOT as it stands now in terms of increasing the posted speed limits.

    • Alan says:

      Dennis, there is recognition at the State and local levels that the 85th percentile rule isn’t working for safety. Am not sure what or when it gets replaced with, but expect to start hearing about alternatives in the next year or two.

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