Morning Links: US bike and pedestrian deaths up in 2018, Mehta convicted in OC hit-and-run, and e-scooters in the news

Traffic deaths are down slightly in the US.

But only if you’re in a car or truck. Otherwise, it appears to be open season on anyone walking or riding a bike.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, overall traffic deaths declined last year to a three-year low of 36,750.

But preliminary numbers show bicycling deaths were projected to rise a whopping 10%, while pedestrian fatalities are up 4%.

Officials would like to put the blame on distracted drivers, but are having a hard time getting accurate figures. Because — tres shock! — drivers are reluctant to admit they were distracted after killing someone.

No word yet on the actual number of deaths for either group.

But whatever it turns out to be, it’s too damn many.

Photo shows an abandoned bike carcass that someone undoubtedly loved once, left carelessly on the sidewalk.

………

I’m told that Medium contributor Pratiti Renee Mehta has been convicted by a jury of her peers in the Costa Mesa hit-and-run that left a 56-year old bike rider with a compound ankle fracture this past March.

She was arrested following numerous tips from the public after police released photos of her black Mercedes following the victim just before running him down.

Prosecutors dropped a charge of assault with a deadly weapon before the case went to trial.

She’ll be formally sentenced on July 17th.

………

Today’s common theme is e-scooters.

Lots of e-scooters.

According to a San Francisco op-ed, a bill under consideration in the state legislature would ban liability waivers for scooter providers, opening the companies up to countless lawsuits, frivolous and otherwise.

Someone vandalized dozens of dockless bikes and e-scooters in San Diego’s Ocean Beach with graffiti containing “inappropriate” words, including “Bird sucks.”

A Nashville writer says e-scooters are not the transportation revolution we need.

New York is finally deciding to join the 21st Century with a bill that would finally legalize ebikes, as well as e-scooters.

E-scooter riders face a $600 fine in British Columbia, where the devices fall into a grey area where they’re neither permitted or banned.

………

Add one more to our recent collection of WWII bike photos, this time from a sailor stationed in Panama (see the last photo).

And a pretty snappy dresser, too.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this one.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as a British magazine jokes about using razor wire to stop bicyclists from riding on the sidewalk.

At least, let’s hope they’re joking.

………

Local

The Daily News highlights six transportation projects that will transform the San Fernando Valley in coming years. We’ll have to fight to ensure they include bikeways, like many other light rail and BRT (bus rapid transit) projects in the LA area.

Metro will consider first mile/last mile options for the Gold Line at Wednesday’s meeting of the Planning and Programming Committee.

Metro’s Bicycle Education Safety Training (BEST) Program will team with the Pasadena Public Library, LA River Path Project and People for Mobility Justice to present a Bicycle 101 class in Pasadena this Saturday.

 

State

That feeling when good news about a Santa Barbara bike rider turns out to be an ad for the local trauma center.

The leaders of a San Francisco transit workers union say the city is sabotaging its own bikeshare system.

Streetsblog San Francisco congratulates Caltrans for winning an award for creating “another bike and pedestrian hellscape,” complaining the agency has no idea what constitutes safe infrastructure.

A Stockton newspaper recommends exploring the “old pioneer trail” from Old Sacramento to Folsom. And notes that you can easily do all, or part, by bicycle.

 

National

Uh… Seattle spanks Jump and Lime for failing to report complaints about illegally parked dockless ebikes by reducing the number of bikes they’re allowed to deploy on the streets to… 700 more than they do now. That’s going to teach ’em alright.

Apparently having solved the problem of deadly, speeding drivers, Denver is turning its speed guns on bike riders who exceed the city’s 15 mph speed limit on bike paths, threatening $100 tickets for the first offense — whether or not you have a speedometer on your bike.

An 18-year old Wisconsin man is dead after being shot by police in an incident that began with riding a bike without lights after dark; he allegedly dropped his bike and ran, then turned and fired at officers after they used some sort of non-lethal weapons to get him to stop.

Riding 180 miles across Maine — on one wheel.

They get it. Gothamist says no other commute beats the sensory experience of riding a bike.

The NYPD apparently likes bikes without riders more than the ones with one, pausing to rescue a locked bike from a swarm of bees.

Now that’s more like it. A Pennsylvania combination coffee shop and bike shop wins permission to open a taproom, as well. Is it just a coincidence that it’s located in the hometown of Bicycling magazine? Probably not.

A Delaware town says all those wobbly, inexperienced bike riders need to be more courteous.

A Virginia motorcyclist faces a variety of charges after crashing into an eight-year old boy on a bicycle after fleeing from police, who wanted to pull him over for speeding; fortunately, the boy’s injuries were not life-threatening.

 

International

They get it. A Montreal newspaper says it’s time to turn accepted logic that customers arrive by cars and bike lanes are bad for business on its head.

A Nova Scotia bike rider learns the hard way that bicyclists aren’t allowed to ride in the traffic lane if there’s a bike lane on the road, otherwise known as a “must use” law. The same law applies in California, though there are numerous exceptions — including if you’re riding at the speed of traffic.

A Trinidad actor appeared in court for the first time to face charges in the horrific crash that killed two bike riders on the island last year; two other riders survived their injuries.

London residents call for an end to bicycle tours, saying they pose a risk to participants and others. Just wait until they hear about tour buses.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker considers the depressing lessons of the failed flagship bikeway through London’s tony Kensington and Chelsea borough, saying the defeat came after a campaign centered on myths. Including one truly despicable woman who posed as the aunt of a fallen bicyclist to oppose the plan; the victim’s actual sister said blocking the plan was unforgivable.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — bikepacking through the Scottish Highlands. I’m in as long as we can add a few Bobby Burns sites somewhere along the way.

More on Irish County Mayo’s wacky plan to improve bicycle safety by requiring bike riders to mount license plates on their bikes.

Cities in the Netherlands have traffic jams, too — they’re just on bicycles.

The Guardian offers photos of 15 of the world’s best bicycling infrastructure projects from the Bicycle Architecture Biennale in Amsterdam. Guess how many of those are in Los Angeles? No, really, go ahead and guess.

Forget bikeshare. A Dutch company wants you to dump your bike in favor of a monthly bicycle subscription service.

The world’s biggest bike maker says Trump’s tariff’s are the final nail in the coffin, as Giant prepares to move manufacturing to Taiwan.

 

Competitive Cycling

Amity Rockwell shares the secrets to eschewing meat, and winning the Dirty Kanza gravel race anyway.

Cyclist considers what Jakob Fuglsang’s victory in the Critérium du Dauphiné means for the upcoming Tour de France.

Australia’s Will Clarke won’t be riding in his inaugural Tour de France after all, after the 34-year old cyclist suffered multiple broken bones in a horrific crash in a Belgian race after leading most of the way.

https://twitter.com/wcsbike/status/1140242280584007680?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1140242280584007680&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.examiner.com.au%2Fstory%2F6220187%2Ftour-hope-gone%2F

 

Finally…

First it was angry drivers, now the deer are out to get us, too. Evidently, there’s no age limit to bike theft.

And no, there is no National SUV Month.

For good reason.

5 comments

  1. The link on the “SUV Month” goes to the Bikeshare parking issue in Seattle.

  2. Rosie says:

    You need to check your facts on the Pratiti Mehta case: she called herself when she saw her car plastered everywhere. She was unaware she was involved and called immediately once she learned of a bicyclist being injured. Court transcripts show the timeline of the calls – She called in to notify the police. Court transcripts will also show testimony there was NEVER impact.
    Sickening it’s a guilty charge when she’s never had even a speeding ticket, the cyclist was at fault for not signaling to go straight (he was in the lane to turn right), and all happened in her blind spot where she couldn’t see. And she’s in jail for it and will likely lose her career she’s worked ten years for. So wrong.

    • bikinginla says:

      The only facts I can site are those that have been made public. Obviously, the jury disagreed with you.

      • Rosie says:

        I encourage this site to read the court transcripts when they are available – and hopefully a correction is made in the media that she did the right thing once she found out (not that anyone else called her in first as the media states). She feels awful that someone was hurt. It’s just heartbreaking to see the media make her out to this “bad guy”. This could have happened to any of us. It was in her blind spot and she did the right thing calling herself in once she saw her car possibly involved.

    • Ralph says:

      It is the drivers responsibility to know what is around their vehicle while they operate the vehicle. Adjust your mirrors and then your head to look.

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