Morning Links: Bike rider severely injured in bizarre hit-and-run, and Garcetti swears he supports road diets

It’s been a rough few days for LA bike riders.

The LAPD is looking for the hit-and-run driver who fled the scene after seriously injuring a South LA bike rider yesterday morning.

The victim, identified only as a 45-year old man named Esteban, remains hospitalized in the ICU with severe injuries.

But in a bizarre twist, the police have found the car, talked with the owner and identified the hit-and-run driver. They just don’t know where he is.

Thirty-five-year old Jose Miguel Mendez Lopez was running an errand in his boss’ car when he ran the victim down from behind.

And despite informing his boss of the crash, he ignored her pleas to return to the scene of the crash, and is now in hiding at an undisclosed location.

Meanwhile, a young woman suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision while riding at 8th and Hope in DTLA Tuesday evening.


Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti defends Vision Zero, saying it will be a decade-long effort.

Even though the chance of achieving zero traffic deaths within the decade ending in 2025 is pretty close to zero, itself.

Garcetti also swears he supports road diets, calling them absolutely necessary — when communities support them, that is.

Even though he’s done absolutely nothing to support road diets on Temple Street, 6th Street and North Figueroa, where the local communities have done exactly that.

And he hasn’t shown up at any of the many public meetings to defend the road diet on Venice Blvd, which he also claims to support.

At best, his support so far has been exemplified by benign neglect. Which in practice isn’t much better than outright opposition, allowing opponents to gain an outsized voice with the lack of any vocal support from the mayor’s office.

But who knows?

Maybe now that he’s not running for president he might actually show up for the job he was hired to do.

Meanwhile, LA Taco picks up on the failure of Vision Zero to date, focusing on three needless deaths in the city in just 24 hours.

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the heads-up.


Congestion pricing might happen in LA.

Or maybe not.

A new study from SCAG — the Southern California Association of Governments — calls for implementing a $4 rush hour charge to drive west of the 405 through Brentwood, Mar Vista and a section of eastern Santa Monica.

Although Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin is clearly no fan of the idea.

Presumably it will still remain free to ride your bike through the area.

Although given the lack of infrastructure, and all the angry drivers upset about forking over $4 for the pleasure of driving home from work, I’m not sure if you’d want to.



A former LA city planner says the jury is still out on whether Los Angeles will stick with the status quo, ensuring an unlivable future, or adopt a real Climate Emergency Mobilization Department with the power to actually make a difference.

It looks like the very strange anti-traffic safety advocate who prints up his own twisted manifestos, then mails them to traffic and safety advocates using a false return address, is back.

ActiveSGV — formerly BikeSGV — is celebrating Earth Day a little early this year with a fundraiser on April 11th.

Call it a mini-ciclovia. With the coming return of the Long Beach Grand Prix, Long Beach will once again open the 1.5-mile course to people without motors, whether on foot, skates, bicycles, or any other form of non-motorized transportation. And once again, only for one and a half hours, in the middle of the work day, when most people can’t go.


This is the cost of traffic violence. Both members of the British indie band Her were killed in a car crash, along with their manager, while driving to a show in Santa Ana; no word on just where the crash occurred.

The father of Olympic cyclist and Stanford University student Kelly Catlin, who took her own life earlier this month, says Stanford could have done more to prevent her suicide, despite an earlier attempt and a week’s stay at the university hospital.

Sacramento approves a new bike trail, even though it will mean the removal of unused train tracks and a burned out bridge that train fans had hoped to use someday.

A 75-year old Healdsburg driver will face a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge for killing a woman on an organized charity ride when he drove onto the wrong side of the road to pass a slow moving truck, hitting her head-on.


A Las Vegas man was shot and killed as he was riding his bike with a friend after encountering a group of armed men walking in the streets; he died the night before his young daughter’s birthday.

A new survey shows nearly half of all Austin, Texas drivers want to get out of their cars.

Curbed offers a guide to biking in Chicago for your next trip to the Windy City.

An alleged drunk driver faces felony charges for intentionally ramming a Tennessee bike rider off the road after swearing at him and passing recklessly.

That’s more like it. Parking in a New Orleans bike lane will now cost you $300. Meanwhile, a New Orleans letter writer says bike lanes should be placed on slower, less-trafficked side streets. In other words, exactly where people on bikes don’t need them.

A kindhearted Florida sheriff and his deputies will give a boy suffering from leukemia a new bicycle, after the one he got for Christmas was stolen before he could even ride it.


A new pop-up bike parking trailer provides parking for eight bicycles in a single parking space. As long as someone feeds the parking meter.

A Chicago writer visits his family in Jalisco and Michoacán, Mexico, and discovers a vibrant bicycling culture woven into the rhythm of the roads.

Vancouver’s manager of transportation and planning is one of us. And he’s got the broken elbow, courtesy of a hit-and-run driver, to prove it.

A Canadian letter writer says bicyclists should be licensed and forced to pay for their share of the roads. Because evidently, people who ride bicycles don’t pay the same taxes everyone else does, which already pay for the roads he wants them to pay for. Again.

New Brunswick bicyclists say other than a recently enacted one-meter passing law — the equivalent of a three-foot law — calls to reform the vehicle code to improve safety for people on two wheels seems to fall on deaf ears.

The European Union’s decision to require new cars to carry a device preventing them from exceeding the speed limit is being hailed as a historic advance in traffic safety, akin to requiring seat belts.

Two-thirds of British drivers apparently believe in magic, somehow imagining that bicyclists just come out of nowhere. Which is another way of saying they aren’t paying attention behind the wheel, and have no idea what’s going on around them.

An 82-year old English woman suffered a serious head injury when she was knocked down by members of a university cycling team; she was collateral damage when a half-dozen riders went down trying to avoid her as she crossed the road.

An 11-year old girl in the UK has started her own hand-drawn traffic safety campaign after her mother was killed while riding her bike two weeks ago.

Sorry Lord Winston, the UK government has no intention of licensing bike riders and forcing them to carry insurance.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. An Irish bike rider says he was knocked off his bike after someone threw a catalog at him from a passing car. Which strains credibility, if only because no one uses a dead tree catalog these days.

No bias here. After an Aussie woman is critically injured in a collision, a local TV station only seems concerned about the effect the crash has on rush hour traffic.

Competitive Cycling

Australian cyclist Michael Hepburn was praised for his sportsmanship after he got off his bike to help his friend Zak Dempster when he fell during the Three Days of Panne race, even though they were competitors in the race.

It takes a major schmuck to stand over a cyclist laughing and filming as he lies on the ground writhing in pain after going off the road — let alone joke about stealing his bike. Portuguese pro Domingos Goncalves suffered a broken collarbone and shoulder blade in the crash, while the jerk filming him hopefully suffered massive humiliation.

Caught on video: A massive pile-up at the start of a juniors mountain bike race threatened to take out nearly half the field.


Now you can take your ElliptiGO into the woods. If you’re going to attempt to steal two bikes while riding a kid’s Spider-Man bike, at least take the training wheels off.

And now you, too, can dress sorta, kinda like Lance during his peak doping days.

Or maybe like a priority package.

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