LA has America’s worst traffic, NY bike rider accused of pedaling 80 mph, and man gets his 14th DUI on a Buffet bike

No surprise here, as a new survey ranks Los Angeles as America’s worst traffic city.

If you have the patience to click through all 51 pages, you’ll see we’re in good company here in the late, great Golden State, with San Francisco checking in at #3, followed by San Jose at #4.

Also in America’s top — or maybe bottom 50, you’ll find San Diego at #12, Riverside at #16, Sacramento at #18, Fresno #27, and Bakersfield at #31.

Yes, Bakersfield.

The good news, though, is that Los Angeles has only the 31st worst traffic worldwide. So it could be worse.

And probably will be if we keep adding more and more cars to the streets, without providing safe alternatives to driving.

On the other hand, Los Angeles isn’t even on the list of America’s 20 deadliest cities for people on bicycles, per capita.

Although Southern California is well represented by San Bernardino (#3), Chula Vista (#6) and Bakersfield (#11).

Yes, bucolic, fog-shrouded Bakersfield is the only SoCal city to make both unlucky lists. If you want to stretch the definition of Southern California a little.

However, the point of the second list is to show how many of those people killed in each city were wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Bakersfield checks in with a big, fat zero, as does Chula Vista; San Bernardino does a little better with 14% helmet use.

As always, though, there’s no breakdown on how many of those people died as a result of head injuries, or whether their injuries might have been survivable even with a helmet.

So take it with a grain of salt. If not an entire bag.

But you might want to be careful riding in Bakersfield.

Photo by Aayush Srivastava from Pexels.

………

Unbelievable.

A Rochester NY bike rider got rear-ended by a pizza delivery driver while trying to make a left on a surface street, despite reflective panniers, a red blinkie and a reflective rain suit.

Naturally, the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he never saw the victim until he was on his hood.

But about a month later, the guy on the bike was sued in small claims court for $900 in damages to the car that hit him.

Somehow, though, the location of the crash described in the suit moved from a surface street to an Interstate highway. And instead of rear-ending the victim, the driver claimed the guy on the bike hit him while pedaling at 60 mph.

Or maybe 80.

When a reporter asked him about the bike’s remarkably high speed, the pizza man claimed it was doable if the victim was riding an expensive bike.

So maybe those $12,000 or more bikes are worth it, after all.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A Michigan man will spend the next four to ten years behind bars after he was busted for his 14th DUI in 38 years, while on the maiden ride of a motorized Jimmy Buffet-themed bicycle he’d finished building out.

Despite telling officers he’d had just one beer four hours earlier, his BAC measured 0.17 — over twice the legal limit, or “super drunk” under Michigan law.

But he will get eight days credit for time served.

Just to be clear, alcoholism is a disease.

But deciding to get behind the wheel after drinking — or on the saddle of a motorized bike — is just plain, old fashioned stupidity.

………

Speaking of who we share the road with…

That’s exactly the kind of truck that killed nine-year old Nicholas Vela in Anaheim in 2009, because the driver couldn’t see a little kid riding his bike in the crosswalk directly in front of him after he stopped for a stop sign.

I’ve never forgotten the sheer, effing needlessness of Vela’s death, all because a driver somehow felt the need to jack up his pickup to the maximum level allowed by law.

Something tells me he never will, either.

Maybe someday someone can tell me why machines like this are even allowed on the streets.

Because I’ll never get it.

………

Enough said.

………

Here’s your chance to learn how to wrench your own track bike.

………

The latest online trend appears to be barely dressed young — or mostly youngwomen posing on, if not actually riding, bicycles.

Personally, I’ll take Walmart’s Grumpy Gran on a bike, instead.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. 

Two Miami salmon bicyclists are lucky to be alive, as police search for a driver who intentionally tried to hit them head-on.

………

Local

This is the cost of traffic violence, as one of LA’s top chefs will be out of action for awhile after he was seriously injured when he was run down by a driver on Pico Blvd last week.

Metro will be free on Election Day, including a single 30-minute ride on Metro Bike. But with ten days of advanced voting in LA County prior to next Tuesday, isn’t every day this week Election Day?

Speaking of Metro Bike, the LA bikeshare network just installed its 200th docking station at the intersection of Sunset and Silver Lake.

CiclaValley tags along as Gravel Bike California grinds through Eagle Rock and Topanga State Park.

 

State

Calbike is hosting their annual California Dream Ride down the Left Coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles in October. And not only are ebikes allowed, they’ll let you borrow one if needed.

Silicon Valley cycling isn’t going away, it’s just shifting from fast paced venture capitalists to casual coffee and cake rides.

It may not be the carfree street that’s been discussed, but San Francisco’s Valencia Street will be getting protected bike lanes, complete with protected intersections.

Bay Area bikeshare users are revolting online after Lyft jacks up the prices for their dockless ebikes, while Uber’s Jump ebikes withdraw from the area.

No surprise here, as weekend ridership in the new barrier protected lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is over three times the weekday figure.

 

National

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the failure of the US to sign onto a worldwide pledge to eliminate traffic deaths is the safe streets equivalent of withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

Your next pen could write anywhere, on anything. And comes in a handy hi-viz to make you more visible as you ride your bike with it in your pocket. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

How the bicycle almost became the Humvee of the 1890s.

They get it. Vancouver, Washington decides to remove 400 street side parking spaces to make room for protected bike lanes, after concluding that the safety of pedestrians and bike riders is more important than convenient parking.

Moving essay from a Charlotte NC advocate argues you shouldn’t have to wrap yourself up in Christmas lights with a flashing helmet to be seen and safe on a bicycle. And if you don’t have the decency to stop after a crash, you shouldn’t be driving in the first place.

A Miami-area councilwoman got “clipped” by an apparently driverless car she claimed couldn’t see her while riding on a sidewalk. But only an innocent hedge was held accountable. Seriously, if the car had a driver, someone would have mentioned it. Right?

If you want to get along with Florida drivers, move to Boca Raton.

 

International

A Cambridge, England safety barrier is intended to protect against terrorists, but could be putting bicyclists at risk instead.

Cycling Weekly discusses ten bespoke British bike brands.

A hit-and-run driver who killed a South African bike rider will finally end up behind bars, after dropping his seven-plus year appeal of a modest three-year sentence; if he hadn’t fought it, he could have been out four years ago.

A Texas couple is traversing Australia by bike and on foot, just because they want to.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome opens up about the training crash that almost ended his cycling career, and the excruciating comeback to get back on his bike.

US Olympic medalist and world champ Chloé Dygert didn’t even want to be a cyclist, but her dad kept buying her bikes until she gave in.

The Tokyo Olympics could be at risk of being cancelled due to the coronavirus.

 

Finally…

When your rack needs a rack. Repeat after me — if you’re riding a bike with meth, a knife and drug paraphernalia in your backpack, put a damn light on it.

And if you want to make sure passing drivers give you a wide berth, this ought to do it.

One comment

  1. PatrickGSR94 says:

    Looks to me like the LAPD is doing cyclists a favor by blocking the door zone bike lane. The real ones to blame are the idiotic city planners who install door zone bike lanes, and of course the city officials that approve such monstrosities. Seriously, just go around the motorcycle. Not that hard, and certainly nothing to get worked up about.

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