Morning Links: DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh killed, DTLA cycle tracks starts work, and Metro Bikes free today

I lost a follower on Twitter last weekend. 

Which is nothing new.

Except this time it happened the worst possible way. 

Like a number of other people, I’ve followed Dave Salovesh, aka @darsal, for some time. And vice versa, for reasons only he knew.

The extremely popular DC bike advocate has been an outspoken supporter of protected bike lanes and safer streets, as well as taking action now to fight climate change. I’ve enjoyed his humor and insights, and learned a lot from him over the years.

Sadly, we won’t be following each other anymore.

Salovesh was killed Friday morning when the speeding driver of a stolen van ran a red light, crashed into a car and slammed into his bicycle before crashing into a tree.

It could be argued that he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, collateral damage to someone else’s crime.

Except he was riding on one of the city’s most dangerous streets, where Salovesh had been fighting to get a protected bike lane.

Whether that would have been enough to save him, we’ll never know.  

Meanwhile, a bicycle columnist for a DC weekly remembers Salovesh as his good friend, confessing to raw emotions while adding that bike advocacy will go on, but it will be far less meaningful without him.

Over two hundred bike riders held a vigil and ghost bike ceremony in his honor on Sunday, starting and ending at the spot where the speeding car thief took his life. 

DC TV station calls his death a cruel irony, while bike riders attending the vigil demand for safer streets for all bicyclists

And the city announced, just a little too late, that it would increase enforcement against drivers who stop or park in bike lanes.  

Which is another of the issues Salovesh had long fought for.

Meanwhile, I’ve lost an ally and a friend, albeit one Ive never met. 

And now, never will.

Photo of Dave Salovesh’s ghost bike and the spot where the driver’s car came to rest by Ryan Keefe

………

LADOT is beginning work next weekend to convert the bike lanes on Spring and Main Streets in DTLA to two-way protected cycle tracks. 

Now let’s just hope they also do something to keep drivers the hell out of them. 

………

Metro, Metrolink and other SoCal transit systems are offering free rides today in honor of Earth Day.

They’re also providing free rides on the Metro Bike bikeshare system. 

Or you can just ride your own bike, which is always free, with or without a code. 

Meanwhile, Metro celebrates Earth Day by beginning a three-year detour of the Expo Line bike path next to Jefferson Blvd today

………

LA’s hit-and-run epidemic struck close to home last week, when a man was murdered by a hit-and-run driver on Sunset Blvd just walking distance from our apartment.

Even with the cane I’m currently confined to.

Compounding the tragedy, the victim was an Australian man who had been released from prison 12 years after he was wrongly convicted of murder.

……….

Pinkbike celebrated the weekend with videos of epic mountain bike fails. 

On the other hand, at least these people were out there riding, so there’s that.

………

Local

Westwood Village applies for grants to improve the appearance and walkability of Westwood Blvd, as well as install bike racks. But apparently forgets to improve the actual streets and add bike lanes so people might actually use them. 

A writer for the USC paper says the future of LA sustainability begins with students, urging them to get involved at every level of planning and policy, including supporting more bike lanes. 

The LACBC’s next Sunday Funday Ride rolls May 5th, offering a preview of June’s popular LA River Ride

Claremont police ticketed bike riders and drivers in a crosswalk crackdown for rolling through the crosswalk instead of stopping for pedestrians, as the law requires. 

Food delivery drivers will get their own dedicated parking spaces in front of two restaurants in downtown Santa Monica for a three-month trial to keep them from double-parking in the bike lane. Now maybe they can do something about the FedEx and UPS drivers who park in the bike lanes on Ocean and San Vicente on a daily basis

 

State

Turns out the thief who stole a $5,000 bike from the Cyclist bike shop in Santa Ana just wanted to ride it, and cut off the ends of the handlebars because he’s a Phil Gaimon fan.

A San Diego community planning board voted to approve plans for a new cycle track in Point Loma

A bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries following a crash with a hit-and-run driver near the University of San Diego. 

A “gypsy family” of pedicab drivers stops in Coachella to provide rides at the music festival, one of several they serve as they make their way around the country. 

A San Jose newspaper says the popular road up Mt. Diablo needs more bike turnouts allowing drivers to pass bike riders without crossing the center line, and hopefully avoid the next crash. 

In a horrifying story, the CHP is looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a Merced woman to die on the side of the road after crashing into her bicycle; her body was found at 1 pm, hours after she was struck the previous evening. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know if she would have survived if she had been found sooner. Or if the coward who hit her had stopped to get help. 

 

National

Seattle bicyclists rode to all 27 public library branches in the city in an 11-hour, 70-mile ride to support investing in the city’s library system.

Speaking of Seattle, the city is bucking the trend by maintaining a fleet of dockless bikeshare bikes, even as providers pull dockless bicycles in favor of e-scooters. 

Talk about not getting it. A Texas man will spend the next ten years behind bars after repeatedly violating the terms of his probation for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he had originally gotten out after serving just 17 days of a two-year sentence thanks to a loophole in the law. You’d think someone would have enough sense to keep their nose clean after a gift like that. But apparently  you’d be wrong

She gets it. A Chicago letter writer says make safer bike lanes the norm

A Michigan outdoor campaign is putting a face on distracted driving by plastering photos of the victims of distracted drivers on billboards.

A Rhode Island man has spent the past nine years looking for a pair of nurses to thank them for saving his life after his front wheel locked up on a bike path.

A 74-year old New York man says he was attacked by a lawless gang of teenage bicyclists swarming down a riverfront path. 

The head of New York’s TransAlt advocacy group says the NYPD has to stop going out of its way to blame the victims

DC bike cops bust a prodigious bike thief, but aren’t able to find any of the bicycles he allegedly stole. 

Kindhearted Virginia deputies pitched in to buy a physically and emotionally impaired man a new bicycle when his was stolen, after they learned he had overcome the odds by learning to walk again following a crash left him in a coma.  

A South Carolina newspaper says not every street in the state has to be a Complete Street, but there are some where it’s necessary.   

 

International

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for children and young adults

London’s formerly bike-friendly Sunday Times now says a reported drop in bicycling levels in the UK is a victory for motorists “in their long-running battle with cyclists.”

A writer for The Guardian says cars are ruining our lives and triggering environmental disasters, and must be phased out within ten years

Dutch bike maker VanMoof has sold 11,000 ebikes worth a cool $33 million and change

Afghan women are demanding that their rights be preserved in any peace talks, including the hard-won ability to ride a bicycle. 

South African police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who fled the scene on foot after plowing into a 10 bicyclists, killing one and injuring seven others.

In a case of keeping an elderly driver on the road until it’s too late, an 86-year Australian man faces charges for dragging a food delivery rider under his car the length of a football field before fleeing the scene; the 23-year old woman he hit suffered extensive injuries, including severe burns. 

In yet another case of an elderly driver who shouldn’t be, a Japanese man crashed his car into a group of people waiting at an intersection, killing a mother and daughter who were sharing a bicycle and injuring eight others. Police suspect the 87-year old driver hit the gas pedal instead of the brake

Taiwan’s Penghu archipelago, made up of more than 90 islands and islets, is promoting bicycling tourism, saying it’s the best way for tourists to explore the area

Beijing is opening a four-mile, bicycle-only roadway with one lane in each direction, along with a reversible lane in the middle. 

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling will field a national team at the Amgen Tour of California, naming ten young riders the team will be chosen from, including one who competes for an LA team. 

Belgium is mourning the death of track cycling great Patrick Sercu, considered one of the greatest of all time.

 

Finally…

Banned from riding your bike in a not-so-public public park. When you decide anyone who doesn’t ride like you do and go out of their way to ride in a bike lane is a selfish, entitled jerk.  

And if you’re carrying a number of controlled substances on your bike, don’t break any bylaws.

Whatever that means. 

5 comments

  1. Courtney says:

    Thank you for including my letter. I’m a “She” not a He.
    I typically come to this blog via LA Streetsblog.

    • bikinginla says:

      My apologies! That name “Courtney” in the letter’s signature should have been a dead giveaway. No idea what I was thinking.

      And thanks for reading, however you get here.

      • Courtney says:

        No worries! In elementary school I met a guy named Courtney and learned anyone could be named Courrney. I feel like I don’t hear a lot of women’s voices when it comes to bike advocacy so I wanted to make sure you accurately reflected my gender identity.
        Keep up the and necessary work! I dream of Los Angeles being a world class biking city within my lifetime,

      • Courtney says:

        No worries! In elementary school I met a guy named Courtney and learned anyone could be named Courtney. I feel like I don’t hear a lot of women’s voices when it comes to bike advocacy so I wanted to make sure you accurately reflected my gender identity.
        Keep up the and necessary work! I dream of Los Angeles being a world class biking city within my lifetime,

  2. JJD says:

    I’m so sorry we lost your friend and fellow advocate. All of his family, friends, and community are in our prayers.

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