Road rage driver intentionally runs down Oceanside rider, TransComm approves Incomplete Streets, and Bike the Vote on hiatus

Forget hit-and-run. Call it attempted murder.

Police in Oceanside are looking for the road raging driver who intentionally ran down former semi-pro cyclist Adam Atkinson Saturday morning.

The unknown driver followed Atkinson for about a mile after exchanging words with him, before slamming into his bike from behind on eastbound on Vista Way.

The impact flung Atkinson through the air as the driver continued down Vista Way, leaving him with a pelvis broken in two places, as well as broken bones in his elbow, collar bone and shoulder blade.

Police are looking for a black four-door BMW with front end damage and a missing passenger side mirror, driven by a man in his mid-20s. He’s wanted for assault with a deadly weapon.

Hopefully, that will be upgraded to reflect the seriousness of the crime, which could have easily killed Atkinson.

And was probably meant to.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

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Streetsblog reports the City Council Transportation Committee gave their blessing to a trio of incomplete Complete Streets projects on Highland, Culver and La Brea at yesterday’s meeting.

In other words, LADOT somehow envisions these as among the few Complete Streets projects that can somehow be implemented without changing the roadway.

So either the streets are already complete and capable of safely and effectively serving the needs of all road users, which means the projects aren’t necessary.

Or LADOT has no intention of actually making them complete, and just wants to call them something that sounds good and allows them to check a box when applying for funding.

I’d put my money on the latter.

Committee Chair Mike Bonin at least asked LADOT to work with the local councilmember’s office to implement the mobility plan.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Especially after the committee approved the projects as written, while politely asking them to think about doing the right thing when it comes to bus and bike lanes.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Joe Linton summed up the whole sad affair in his story.

Streets for All had urged its followers to press the committee to implement the La Brea bus-only lanes already approved in the city’s Mobility Plan. Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Paul Koretz questioned why the planned bus facilities had not been included in La Brea’s preliminary designs. LADOT staff responded that the department tries to “balance the needs” and “our corridors are width-challenged.” This portion of La Brea is at least 75-feet wide throughout. The DOT representative stated that a bus lane would “compromise the objective” of this project, but could proceed independently.

Bonin encouraged LADOT to work with the local council office to implement the bus lane, stating that it is a Metro priority and important for equity. Sadly, the directive to work with the local councilmember is tacit acknowledgement that each councilmember has (and frequently uses) veto powers to get in the way of street improvements needed to save lives, and improve transit, health, and quality of life.

Nice to know that adding a bus lane to make La Brea even somewhat complete would somehow compromise the objective of a Complete Street.

You can click on any of the tweets above to read the whole thread, and the link above to read Linton’s story.

Although this exchange pretty well sums it up.

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Disappointing, but totally understanding decision from Bike the Vote, which will be sitting out next year’s elections.

Having done that job myself, both on behalf of this site and as a board member of the LACBC, I can attest to just how draining it can be. And Bike the Vote went far beyond anything I tried to do.

Hopefully, someone will step up and fill the vote before next year, when we’ll elect a new mayor, city attorney, city controller and half the city council.

Because the only voice the bike community has comes from our perceived ability to influence elections. And if candidates don’t think our vote matters, they won’t even ask for our support, let alone support policies to make our streets safer and more welcoming to people on bicycles.

Otherwise, we can look forward to more Orwellian fiascos like we saw yesterday.

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In better news, Zachary Rynew calls our attention to newly striped bike lanes in the San Fernando Valley.

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This is who we share the road with.

A Metro bikeshare dock is no match for a street racing jerk driver. But at least no one was using it at the time.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

No bias here. Despite admitting that most ebike riders obey the law, a San Diego TV station paints a picture of young scofflaw riders flaunting both the law and safety, while failing to distinguish between ped-assist ebikes, mopeds and electric motorbikes. And goes on to frighten parents over kids riding their ebikes to school. Better to just shove them into the family SUV and drive them like normal parents, right?

No bias here, either. A Florida driver walks with probation for racially profiling a teenage bike rider, and illegally detaining him for allegedly breaking into cars — which he wasn’t.

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Local

CicLAvia estimates just 4,000 people turned out for LA’s first open streets event in two years, belying the pent-up demand expected after the pandemic.

Be prepared to turn off your flashers in the future, as the LA City Council began the process of banning strobe lights at demonstrations, despite worries that it could criminalize flashing bike lights.

If you’re missing a bicycle in the Venice area, you might want to check with the LAPD, after they busted a “prolific” bike thief who now faces seven counts of grand theft.

You may want to find another route through the ‘Bu this weekend, when the annual Malibu Triathlon will take place on PCH.

 

State

San Diego’s annual Bike the Bay rolls this Sunday, the only time bicycles are legally allowed on the iconic San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge.

That’s more like it. Alameda forgoes the plastic bendy posts that too often pass for protection, and installs concrete “chonky curbs” anchored with rebar to keep drivers out of a two-way protected bike lane.

 

National

They get it. Smart City says electric cars won’t save our cities, but ebikes might.

Seattle took advantage of the pandemic to go on a bike lane building “binge,” installing seven miles of protected bike lanes. Bearing in mind that Paris installed 31 miles of segregated bike lanes in a matter of months.

The nine-year old diabetic boy riding cross-country with his dad to see the Statue of Liberty got his wish, rolling into New York after 18 weeks and 3,300 miles.

Bizarre crime from Salt Lake City, where a woman was arrested for fatally shooting her girlfriend during an argument while riding their bicycles.

That’s more like it. A 21-year old Wisconsin man faces up to 25 years behind bars after pleading no contest to the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle. Even I think that’s just a tad excessive.

After she was struck by a distracted driver, a Connecticut safe streets advocate examines why bike riders always get blamed for a crash, even by their own friends and family. Just going by my own experience, she’s right.

The New York Times’ Wirecutter makes their picks for the best commuter bike helmet., while Consumer Reports reminds you even the best helmets only last around five years. The best bike helmet is the one you’ll actually wear, commuter or otherwise.

 

International

Momentum says belt-drive bikes could be a game changer for commuters.

A Vancouver writer takes us back to the earliest days of traffic violence and driver privilege, as a London woman became the first known traffic fatality 125 years ago yesterday, after the new driver of one of just 20 cars in the city yelled at her to get out of his way.

That’s more like it, too. Dublin planners have rejected plans for a 428-unit apartment building because it didn’t include adequate bike parking.

More proof that NIMBYs are the same everywhere, as business owners in Belfast, Northern Ireland complain about plans for a bikeway that would reduce on-street parking by 25%. Even though studies have repeatedly shown that bike lanes are good for business, more than making up for any loss of parking.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a speeding driver got just three years behind bars for seriously injuring a six-year old kid out for a bike ride with his dad, while stoned on a cocktail of weed, coke and ketamine.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — riding 300 miles from Paris to London on a series of cycle tracks. And a ferry, of course.

You think you can ride mountains? A Pakistani mountain biker has become the country’s first woman to ride to the base camp on the world’s second-highest mountain by bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen caps a remarkable comeback by winning Tuesday’s 4th stage of the Vuelta, just over a year after he was lying in an induced coma fighting for his life following a horrific crash in the Tour of Poland.

Rouleur looks at the history of the maillot rojo — or red jersey — worn by the leader of the Vuelta’s general classification; the red color is a relatively recent addition to the race, which began in 1935, but has only been run annually for the past 66 years.

Next week’s Deutschland Tour will feature a star-studded cast of riders who skipped the ongoing Vuelta for the four-stage German race.

Team USA presents a guide to the cycling events at the upcoming Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Olympic road cycling gold medalist Anna Kiesenhofer says the one thing she’s sure of after her surprise win is that she won’t be turning pro, due to a fear of what can happen in the peloton.

Tragic news from Colorado, where a mountain biker died while competing in the Leadville Trail 100 race; details are scant, but other riders suggested he may have fallen during a high speed descent or suffered a medical issue.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with distracted drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about rampaging elephants. Instead of worrying about bike thieves when you park your bike, you might be visited by the Bike Fairy.

And let’s hope the new “cyclist’s paradise” doesn’t retain a faint whiff of its previous existence.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

One comment

  1. Marcia says:

    The new striped bike lanes in the San Fernando Valley are practically useless. I won’t ride in a bike lane unless it is physically protected. A stripe does nothing to keep a vehicle out of the bike lane. All my friends fell the same way.

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