New law keeps dangerous DUI drivers on the road, and sharp-eyed BikinginLA follower helps recover stolen bike

Welcome back.

We made it. Not just through the holidays, which is always a challenge. But through the most difficult year in recent memory. 

So pat yourself on the back, and take a celebratory bike ride to mark your achievement. And if you already did, go out for another one. 

Thanks to John M, Eric B, James V, Steven F, Grace P, John H and everyone else who donated their hard-earned money to the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

This year’s donations ranged from $5 to $250. I appreciate the smallest donations every bit as much as the largest ones, because I know all too well how hard it can be to give when money is tight.

I am also incredibly humbled and grateful for the kind words that accompanied so many of the donations. It was a struggle just to get through the past year while keeping up with the demands of this site, for a number of reasons.

It means more than I could begin to say to know those efforts are appreciated. And I’ll do my best to live up to all you had to say.

Thank you.

Photo by Raniery Costa Pelissari from Pexels.

………

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

The new Orange County DA writes that DUI must have consequences, after a little-noticed new law went into effect promising to wipe DUI convictions off a driver’s record.

Beginning January 1, a new law that makes misdemeanor DUI eligible for diversion changes that. Once diversion is completed, it’s as if the crime never happened – and those prior convictions wash out, despite the fact that state law allows prior DUIs to be pled and proven for up to 10 years.  They can’t be used as a prior – and the families whose lives were shattered by an impaired driver will not get the justice they deserve.

Assembly Bill 3234 does not impose a limit on how many times someone can be given diversion. How many times are we going to give someone a break before they kill someone? And now if they do, we won’t be able to prosecute them as more serious crimes.

Seriously, this could be a disaster.

Our legal system will now be actively working to keep dangerous drivers on the road. And free from consequences for actions that could lead to more deaths on the state’s roadways.

………

If you still need proof that registering your bike with Bike Index works, consider this story, complete with a happy ending.

Thanks to a sharp-eyed BikinginLA follower.

https://twitter.com/157/status/1345059924686983170

https://twitter.com/157/status/1345076777073299456

And yes, they did. Resulting in our first recovered bike of the new year.

https://twitter.com/157/status/1345177864975499264

So what are you waiting for, already?

It wouldn’t hurt to get a better bike lock, either.

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Looks like a new sort-of protected bike lane has popped up in Culver City. Although I’d call something with flimsy plastic bendy posts a separated lane, instead.

………

This is why LA-based former pro Phil Gaiman should be second in line for cycling sainthood behind Gino Batali. Even if he’s not dead yet.

………

Never mind the best. Gravel Bikes California looks at the worst of gravel riding in 2020.

Which somehow seems appropriate for the past year.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

………

Looks like Georgia Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock is one of us. Although something tells me his opponent Kelly Loeffler isn’t.

But I could be wrong.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. Rebecca Grossman, co-founder of the prestigious Grossman Burn Foundation, has been charged with two counts each of murder and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for the hit-and-run deaths of two young brothers who were walking with their parents in a Westlake Village crosswalk. She was released on $2 million bail, pending the results of toxicology tests.

A Reddit user questions the broken, substandard and half gutter bike lane on northbound Sepulveda Blvd north of Mulholland.

Congratulations to Santa Monica on being named a Gold level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. And yes, they deserve it.

 

State

‘Tis the season. The San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles teamed with the Pechanga tribe to give 200 new bicycles and helmets to Southern California kids in need.

 

National

They get it. Business Insider says the US wasn’t ready to handle last year’s pandemic-induced bike boom after a century of leaving bikes behind.

The BBC considers the planned 3,700-mile Great American Rail Trail, which will stretch from DC to the Pacific Ocean near Seattle.

C|net lists their favorite bikes for the coming year.

Las Vegas police are rolling out a specialized bike designed to measure violations of the three-foot passing law to improve safety for people on two wheels. I know the LAPD is aware of the technology, because I told them about it. But apparently, they don’t think it’s worth the effort or the relatively minimal cost. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up. 

An Arizona man was shot by police after a chase when officers tried to make a traffic stop as he was riding his bike, and he allegedly flashed a gun at the pursuing cops.

A Denver bike shop owner is back already at work, just one week after he was released from the ICU following a serious traffic collision,

The New York Times offers tips on how to maintain that new bike you got for the holidays. Or bought for yourself, for that matter.

A New York bike commuter responds to getting run down by a cab driver by advising bicyclists to be loud, and shout when you need to to ensure your safety. Even if the story strangely repeats itself while you’re reading.

The father of a 15-year old boy is considering suing the NYPD, despite an apology from the chief of detectives, after he was wrongly — and publicly — accused of being part of a gang of bike riders that randomly attacked two vehicles on the city’s iconic 5th Avenue last week.

They get it, too. A Philly TV station says protected bike lanes could encourage more bike commuters while reducing congestion.

 

International

London’s tony Kensington neighborhood ripped out a new bidirectional bike lane, after accusing it of causing traffic congestion. So now it’s blocked by parked cars 80% of the time, instead. Let’s be honest — the real cause of traffic congestion is all those cars, not the bike lane.

One of the first casualties of the UK’s ill-advised separation from the European Union turns out to be handmade Brooks saddles, which are now owned and distributed by Italian saddle maker Selle Royal, and as a result, won’t be sold in the UK for the foreseeable future because of Brexit.

Two men have been arrested in connection with a disappearance of a Scottish father after he set out on a bike ride three years ago, and was never seen again.

It must run in the family. British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid’s 23-year old son decided to pick up his new bike from the Chinese factory and ride it back home to Great Britain. Even if some of the commenters bizarrely insist the ride was faked.

No bias here. Aggressive Berlin bike riders are accused of inducing road rage in drivers and pedestrians. Never mind that people on bicycles make up 18% of the city’s traffic, while getting just 3% of road space.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peloton Magazine tells the groundbreaking story of Shelley Verses, who shattered the gender barrier in pro cycling by becoming the first female team trainer in European cycling, with the late great 7-Eleven team in 1985.

 

Finally…

Who needs a marching band when you’ve got a bike?

Yeah, no.

And Frodo’s creator was one of us.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

2 comments

  1. Ralph says:

    That British rider stayed overnight at our place in Munich. I escorted him out to Furstenfeldbruck on his way home. Nice guy.

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