Morning Links: Road rage driver attacks LA bike rider, WeHo mayor OKs blocked bike lanes, and protected bike lanes AOK

Sorry about that. 

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

Blame it on my diabetes, after a bout of low blood sugar knocked me out for several hours. 

I’d like to say it won’t happen again.

But it probably will. 

Road rage photo by Wendy Corniquet from Pixabay.

………

Un-effing-believable.

A man riding to work on Santa Monica Blvd was repeatedly harassed, brake checked, and physically assaulted by a driver in an unmitigated display of road rage that lasted over 6 minutes.

All for the crime of riding a bike, legally and exactly where he was supposed to be.

And to top it off, she accused him of scratching her car after she blocked his bike against another car, and proceeded to door him multiple times.

Seriously, watch the whole thing — with the sound up.

According to KCBS2/KCAL9, the road rage attack took place two years ago. The poster child for road rage driver was arrested after the victim called 911, and was recently sentenced to 450 hours of community service.

Which is why he’s just releasing the bike cam video now.

Hopefully, that will be enough to get her road rage temper under control. And help her realize that bikes do, in fact, belong on the streets.

………

The LAPD is stepping up efforts to find the heartless coward who slammed into a 15-year kid riding legally in a South LA crosswalk, and left him lying crushed and bleeding in the street.

Meanwhile, advocacy nonprofit SAFE — Streets Are For Everyone — is hostingMarch for Safety and Healing – In Honor of Roberto Diaz this Saturday.

Diaz is the victim of the crash, who remains hospitalized.

………

Evidently, the mayor of West Hollywood is perfectly okay with mail carriers and delivery drivers blocking the city’s few bike lanes.

Which isn’t much of a problem.

Unless you’ve ever had to go around someone blocking the bike lane in heavy traffic on Santa Monica Blvd.

Because it’s apparently just too much to ask them to remove a parking space or two to create a loading zone.

Oh wait. Maybe I wasn’t the first one to say that.

After all, it’s much easier to accuse people of “outrage culture” than to take a small step to protect human lives.

WeHo can clearly do better than that. And should.

In fact, it does, no thanks to the mayor, apparently.

………

No surprise here.

After the the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a study questioning the safety of some protected bike lanes, John Pucher and Ralph Buehler, two of North America’s leading bicycling academics, say it ain’t necessarily so.

According to a Forbes piece by British bicycle historian Carlton Reid, this is how Pucher responded in an email.

“Finding problematic intersection design of cycle tracks here and there in three U.S. cities does not at all negate the overwhelming evidence that protected bike lanes are both safer, in fact, than unprotected lanes or no facilities at all, and that the vast majority of cyclists and potential cyclists overwhelmingly prefer such protected facilities and feel safer on such facilities, thus leading to sharp increases in cycling rates.”

Pucher stresses:

“The IIHS study focuses on the dangerous intersections, but overall, cycle tracks are definitely safer. I agree, however, that intersection design is absolutely crucial to the safety of cycle track systems, and that special intersection, roadway markings, traffic signs, and traffic signals are necessary.”

So don’t stop fighting for protected bike lanes.

Just make sure they’re designed properly.

………

The Malibu Times reports that local pro mountain biker Marshall Mullen’s short film The Woolsey Fire Through the Eyes of Marshall Mullen will make its local debut at Casa Escobar restaurant.

The paper notes that the film been on YouTube since late May. But oddly doesn’t bother to include the link.

Fortunately, we can do better than that. Even though this version has a much shorter title.

………

They get it. No, they totally get it.

GQ recommends their picks for the best bike helmets for any kind of road riding.

But they begin their piece this way.

No, you don’t have to wear a bike helmet. If you were to, say, get hit by a garbage truck on your commute, a small piece of foam and molded plastic is not going to make much of a difference. But since this is America and not Copenhagen, where cyclists are demonized for taking a sliver of space away from precious steel boxes and commuters are regularly in fear of their lives, it’s best to hedge your bets. Wear a helmet. (But whatever you do, please don’t helmet shame those who prefer to let their locks flow.)

………

Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly. 

A San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries when he was hit over the head with a bicycle. The attacker fled, but it sounds like police know who the attacker is, since they know his age.

An Aussie bike rider faces charges after he rode across several lanes of traffic to spit in the face of an anti-abortion protester. Seriously, don’t do that.

………

Local

The LAPD is responding to CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz’ recent anti-scooter campaign by establishing a special task force to ticket e-scooter users riding on the sidewalk along Beverly Blvd, Melrose Ave and 3rd Street. Apparently, he’d much rather they get their asses run over on those narrow, busy streets that don’t offer any other place to ride. Or just not ride scooters, which is what he really has in mind.

Streetsblog talks with Bird’s sustainability chief.

Montebello Blvd is getting bike lanes and new medians in a 1.4-mile improvement project. And aggravating drivers in the process.

California is sending $315 million to LA County for highway repairs funded by the recent gas tax increase, along with $5.4 million for active transportation projects.

 

State

The proposed Complete Streets bill will stay alive in the state legislature, despite a “farcical” estimate from Caltrans that appears to be an effort to kill it.

The driver who killed Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza as he rode his bike in Mission Viejo last year had seven different drugs in his system at the time of the crash, including prescription drugs, street drugs and various metabolized drug byproducts; 25-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa is facing a murder charge in Kreza’s death, and remains behind bars on a $2 million bond.

Beautiful piece by an investigative reporter for the LA Times about the remarkable recovery of a man who was nearly killed in an Oceanside bike crash, after lingering in a near vegetative state for months. And her efforts to convince someone he was still alive in there.

San Diego advocates are calling on the city to reconsider plans to remove parking spaces to install bike lanes on 30th Street because of the impact it could have on elderly and handicapped people. Because apparently, it’s impossible to pull over just long enough to let someone out of a car. And elderly and handicapped people never, ever ride bicycles, as everyone knows.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a woman was killed trying to ride her bike in a crosswalk; the CHP immediately absolved the driver of blame because it was dark. Apparently, Dodge Challenger’s like the one the driver had don’t have headlights, and the CHP has never heard of the state’s basic speed law, which prohibits driving too fast for current conditions. Like when it’s too dark to see what’s in the road directly ahead of your car.

A pair of men were busted for making off with six bikes worth $30,000 from a Santa Cruz bike shop after they were observed by a witness.

A car thief received the maximum sentence for plowing into a San Francisco bike cop as he attempted to flee from the police; Willie Flanigan was convicted on charges of “assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run, evading and resisting an officer, fleeing the scene of an accident, receiving stolen property and being an unlicensed driver.” Yet somehow, despite all those charges, the maximum sentence was just 12 years and 8 months.

Seventy-five-year old Courtney Rudin was convicted of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for the head-collision that killed a woman riding in a Sonoma County charity ride when he made dangerously ill-advised passed around a slower vehicle; he faces just one year behind bars. Seriously, killing another human being should never be a misdemeanor, intentionally or not.

An 85-year old Los Osos man was critically injured after he suffered some sort of medical issue and fell off his ebike, even though he was wearing a helmet.

 

National

Bike Lawyer Bob Mionske says excusing careless drivers by blaming their victims just ensures that other drivers will keep driving that way.

No shit. Streetsblog says testing self-driving cars on the roads endangers pedestrians. And everyone else.

Forbes says bicycle-oriented development is a growing force with the larger field of transit-oriented development throughout the US, now that bicycling is the nation’s fastest-growing form of transportation.

Entry-level ebike prices continue to drop, as Rad Power Bikes introduces their new RadRunner cargo bike, which can be ridden in e-assist or full throttle mode.

A moving and hard-hitting photo essay says Portland is spending millions to stop drivers from killing people, but it’s not working.

He gets it. A Salt Lake City-area father and bike rider says aggressive driving should be treated as a crime. Preferably before they kill someone.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 86-year old Utah man still rides 1,000 miles a year on a tandem with his son; he was riding 3,000 miles a year on his own until he was hit by a driver three years ago. Although I’d just as soon skip that whole “hit by a driver” part, thank you.

Former Bicycling editor and elite cyclist Andrew “Bernie” Bernstein speaks out from his hospital bed about the dangers of distracted, drunk and/or speeding drivers, a month after he was left to die by a hit-and-run driver outside Boulder CO.

A bike shop in my hometown is struggling to clear its name after police arrested someone selling stolen bikes on the Let Go app, and making it appear the bike shop was doing it.

A Dallas man faces a murder charge for allegedly running down a man riding a bicycle for allegedly stealing his gun, then allegedly beating him to death with a piece of wood.

Horrible news from Oklahoma City, where a professional magician suffered severe spinal damage when he was struck by a police car while riding his bike; the officer was placed on paid leave, while the victim may be permanently paralyzed and unable to speak.

The owner of three pit bulls that killed a nine-year old Detroit girl as she was riding her bicycle has been charged with second degree murder for not controlling his dogs; the dogs, one of whom was shot by a rescuer, will likely get the death penalty.

An Indianapolis teenager says he forgives the driver who fled the scene after running him down on his bike, leaving him lying in a ditch unable to move.

I want to be like him, too. Bicycling offers four tips from the 91-year old Indiana cyclist who keeps breaking age group records.

Rapper Kadeem’s new album World Sport takes on a bicycling theme, reflecting the time spent on his ‘87 Schwinn World Sport as he was recording it, as well as his time on two wheels navigating the streets of Boston, dealing drugs and delivering for DoorDash.

New York prosecutors threw the book at the 18-year old driver who ran a red light and caused the collateral damage crash that killed a Brooklyn bike rider two weeks ago, charging him with criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, vehicular assault, disobeying a traffic device and doing 61 mph in a 25 mph zone. In other words, driving his Dodge Charger exactly the way the carmaker suggests he should. Thanks to Shaggy for the heads-up.

The New York Times examines why drivers rarely faces charges for killing bike riders; prosecutors have to show the driver’s behavior was “egregious,” and that they broke at least two traffic laws. Although it seems unlikely that the same standard would apply to killing someone with any other kind of weapon.

In the eternal battle over car storage, Philly residents are on the warpath over new bikes lanes that removed over a hundred parking spaces.

 

International

Forbes recommends six bike tours from around the world, including a self-guided tour of LA-area movie star homes, for people who are into that sort of thing.

Road.cc offers a guide to group ride hand signals. No, not that one.

Montreal will soon start ticketing drivers who violate Quebec’s equivalent of a three-foot passing law by using an ultrasound device that measures the distance between a bike and a passing car. The LAPD apparently has no interest in that, despite being told about the device multiple times as part of the department’s bike liaison program.

This is why you should always get checked out by a doctor after any bike crash. A London man died after a blood clot caused a heart attack two weeks after he fell off his bike. That’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way.

A report from the UK Parliament says forget electric cars, get Brits on bikes. Good advice on this side of the Atlantic, too.

Evidently, placing solar panels in a French roadway was a bad idea.

Germans call for expanding bicycle infrastructure after bicycling deaths reach their highest total since 2010.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews suggests four story lines to follow at the four-stage women’s Colorado Classic bike race, which kicked off yesterday in Steamboat Springs CO. You can livestream the races on the magazine’s website.

The New York Times offers an obituary for Felice Gimondi, one of just seven cyclists to win the Tour de France, Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can find bikeshare above the Arctic Circle, in case you were wondering. If you’re riding your bike with several outstanding warrants, just put a damn light on it, already.

And your next bike could be a Harley.

No, really.

 

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