Morning Links: Safety improvements on Riverside Drive, and bike riding makes you happier than money

Just weeks after advocates and local residents demanded action on Riverside Drive, they’re actually getting it.

LADOT has announced it’s making safety improvements to the Riverside Drive intersection where 17-year old Christian Vega was killed when he was struck by a driver.

Although that news is tempered by the LAPD’s conclusion that the driver wasn’t at fault, after security video showed that Vega was crossing against the light.

Now if we could just get fast action like that before someone gets killed.

………

Somehow we missed this one last week.

A new study from researchers at Yale and Oxford shows that exercise makes you happier then money.

But you already knew that, right?

Then again, riding a bike with a fat wallet would probably put a smile on anyone’s face.

………

That GoFundMe account for the son of fallen South LA bike rider Frederick “Woon” Frazier is now over $5,000, halfway to the $10,000 goal.

That comes just 24 hours after Peter Flax’s article appeared in Bicycling with a link to the fund.

Which will undoubtedly come as a huge blessing to his desperately poor family, after losing Woon’s income that helped pay for half their rent and expenses.

………

Local

This is who we share the roads with. Even Rolls Royce drivers in DTLA don’t seem to feel a need to stick around after a crash.

CiclaValley goes gravel biking on the Santa Clara Truck Trail.

State

This is who we share the roads with too. An Orange County man got 15 years behind bars for killing two road workers in a drunken crash when he slammed into their truck as it was stopped in a bike lane; he was arraigned on a previous DUI in 2014, but never bothered to show up to court.

He gets it. A San Diego letter writer says painting sharrows on the street to encourage more bicycling is just wishful thinking.

A Corona teacher started a nonprofit called Bicycles for Children, which has helped keep kids in school by donating over 4,700 bikes to elementary school kids in the last seven years.

A 13-year old Los Alamos boy who was riding salmon suffered major injuries when he was struck by a right-turning driver.

National

Bike Mag explains the differences in the technologies behind various helmets designed to reduce your risk of concussion. Although the best way to avoid a concussion is to stay on your bike.

An Oregon paper says stop means stop, and bicyclists shouldn’t be any exception.

So much for U-locks. A pair of Denver bike thieves are caught on video using a grinder to cut through a Kryptonite U-lock and steal the bike in just 12 seconds, start to finish. And when the owner opened the app for his Tile tracking device, he found two years worth of weak battery notices and no clue where his bike was.

A Green Bay Packer tradition of borrowing a kid’s bike to ride to the first day of practice led one player to develop a lasting friendship with the boy whose bike he borrowed. And organizing a benefit concert when the boy’s father went into a coma suffering from necrotizing fasciitis.

Chicago’s transit authority says combination bus and bike lanes could be the solution to a faster commute.

When his bike turns up missing, along with the entire storage unit it was in, Minnesota man decides it can’t hurt to enlist the help of every elected official this side of the president in the hunt.

A Cleveland site asks if Vision Zero is the answer, saying the city’s bicyclists and pedestrians need more than a little paint on the street. The clear answer is yes — if, and only if, political leaders fully commit to the program, and have the courage to stand up to angry drivers. Unlike a certain SoCal metropolis we could name.

Maybe you should check under your bed. A Boston family did, and discovered a long-lost masterpiece by a Nigerian artist that hadn’t been seen since it was first exhibited in 1961. The painting, worth an estimated $100,000, shows four children on bicycles swerving out of the way of a truck. Something we can all relate to.

A group of Massachusetts bicyclists will ride to the Statue of Liberty in support of immigrants.

No bias here. A New York TV station sounds the alarm about “two-wheeled terrors” racing along a Hudson River path, after a four-year old girl was left bloodied when she was struck by someone on a bike. Somehow, the reporter seemed shocked when other bike riders refused to offer a collective mea culpa for the actions of one person. But we all need to slow down and ride safely around pedestrians, especially kids.

A Brooklyn jury gave a man a massive $110 million judgment after he was paralyzed when transit worker dropped a railroad tie on him while he was riding his bike next to an elevated subway track.

Great idea. A New York state legislator wants to use traffic cameras to crack down on people who drive or park in bike lanes. Can we do that here? Pretty please?

In yet another example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late, a woman in New York state killed a man on a bike in a drunken crash, despite six previous license suspensions. A driver should lose their license for at least a year after their first DUI. And have their driver’s license revoked after a second offense — and the car impounded so they can’t keep driving it anyway.

A South Carolina firefighter decides to adopt the puppy he rescued from under a pile of rocks, after some bike riders heard the dog crying; naturally, he named the dog Rocky.

No bias here, either. A witness told a Louisiana TV station that a bike rider collided with the front of a car, which had the green light. Unless the rider rode head-on into the car, the driver hit the bicyclist. And chances are, the “witness” was inside the car at the time, since they described the victim as coming out of nowhere, which is an unlikely observation from someone on the street.

Apparently taking a clue from Los Angeles, mostly white-haired St. Petersburg residents rise up against “lane loss,” as the city moves forward with its Complete Streets program. Because why would you want a street that safely serves everyone when you can continue to go “vroom, vroom,” instead.

International

Cars are killing us without even hitting us. A new study shows that pollution from car exhaust causes four million cases of asthma worldwide every year. And never mind what it’s doing to the planet.

Treehugger says 37,000 lives could have been saved over the past 25 years with lower speed limits.

A London ebike maker will pay its employees the equivalent of 68¢ a mile to ditch their cars and commute by ebike; workers who prefer traditional bikes will get just 26¢.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a retired woman was convicted of killing a bike rider in a collision. Yet the judge said she wouldn’t sentence her to jail because the death resulted from “a second or two moments” of inattention. Sort of like most crashes, fatal or otherwise.

A British expat discovers a bicycling paradise in Spain.

Police in an Australian town were forced to delete a victim blaming tweet after a driver hit a seven-year old bike-riding girl, when outraged Twitter users rose up to complain.

An Australian study suggests that bike lanes actually increase the risk for bicyclists, because drivers pass riders in bike lanes closer than they do otherwise.

The price is going up for China’s dockless bikeshare.

Competitive Cycling

Olympic gold-medal cyclist Marty Nothstein filed suit against USA Cycling, alleging the organization defamed him and invaded his privacy by leaking an allegation of sexual misconduct during his failed run for congress.

Lance talks doping to Rice University students, saying he started because everyone else was doing it. And would have won even if he hadn’t doped. Which kind of begs an obvious question...

Finally…

Your next helmet could collapse so your head doesn’t. If you’re carrying weed, meth and a narcotic pill on your bike, put a damn light on it, already.

And your next handlebars could be as kinky as you are.

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