We knew it was going to happen.
Just four years after a road diet was unceremoniously ripped out on deadly Vista Del Mar, a mother was killed by a hit-and-run driver while carrying her three-year old son.
And immediately, local residents jumped in to demand that something be done to stop the street’s speeding drivers.
A day after the tragic incident, some neighbors are saying that something needs to be done about people speeding down Vista Del Mar.
“Nobody respects the speed limit here,” said a neighbor Adolfo Navarro. “I mean, you’ll see the cops on motorcycles here during the day enforcing it, but at night, it’s…you can hardly see because the lights don’t even gloom right and then you can only see as far as you can using your headlights.”
Except something was done.
And Playa del Rey residents and Manhattan Beach commuters immediately got out the torches and pitchforks demanding its removal, until our weak-kneed mayor cut the legs out from under the local councilmember to force its removal.
Now every damn one of them have this woman’s blood on their hands.
CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin had ordered the road diet when the city was forced to settle a lawsuit for $9.5 million, two years after 16-year-old Naomi Larsen was killed while crossing the road at Dockweiler Beach.
Just like 33-year old Wendy Galdamez Palma on Saturday night.
Bonin understood that, without quick action, people would continue to die on the killer street.
And the next settlement would make that $9.5 million look like peanuts.
So he ordered LADOT to implement a long planned, and long delayed, road diet on Vista Del Mar, along with a handful of other local streets.
Unfortunately, the work was done over a weekend, without warning or public announcements, resulting in massive traffic backups and the inevitable hot tempers.
And somehow, everyone blamed bike lanes — and bike riders in general — for the road diet, even though LADOT used diagonal parking to narrow the street, rather than bike lanes, so speeding drivers wouldn’t keep killing people.
So in the face of demands from angry cut-through commuters, as well as lawsuits and threats of recalls — that was back in the day, before recalls were an everyday thing — Garcetti ordered all the road diets and bike lanes that had been installed on other streets removed.
Making Bonin look like a hapless fool.
And making more deaths inevitable.
As an added bonus, the actions of the future ambassador to India undercut virtually every road diet that had been planned anywhere in the City of Angels, as councilmembers ran scared, and quickly concluded they’d rather see more needless deaths than have those angry drivers come after them.
Most notably on LA’s Temple Street, where both CD1’s Gil Cedillo and CD13’s Mitch O’Farrell quickly backed out of a desperately needed, shovel-ready lane reduction.
Which was soon followed by CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian cancelling plans for similar safety improvements on Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood.
That’s how we ended up with bike riders and pedestrians continuing to die on our streets, six years after the city adopted Vision Zero, and just four years until traffic deaths were supposed to be a thing of the past.
Never mind an ever rising epidemic of hit-and-runs, as drivers recognized just how unlikely they are to be caught. And just how likely they are to get away with a slap on the wrist if they are.
All of which brings us to the needless death of a mother cradling her child in her arms, who reportedly turned away from the oncoming car to sacrifice her life in order to save his.
I honestly don’t know what to say anymore.
Wendy Palma did not need to die. Steps were taken to tame high speed drivers on deadly Vista Del Mar. And spineless cowards took them out.
Which means the next legal settlement won’t by $9.6 million, but significantly higher. Because the city knew there was a problem there, and not only didn’t fix it, they actually removed the fix.
And the one after that will be higher still.
And the one after that.
And people will keep dying, because the cowards in City Hall don’t have the courage to do anything about it.
Photo shows the road diet that was removed from Vista Del Mar.
If a driver can’t see what’s on the road directly in front of them, they shouldn’t be allowed on the road.
— Michael Schneider (@schneider) September 12, 2021
Everyone knows you can’t carry stuff home from the market or hardware store on a bicycle.
Let alone a dozen kegs.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
This is who we share the road with. A British driver somehow seems to find humor in seeing an injured bike rider on the side of the road. Schmuck.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
London police “nicked” a teenage fake food delivery rider who was dispensing cannabis instead of food, catching him with nine bags of weed and the equivalent of more than $700 in cash.
It takes a major schmuck to punch a British man walking his dog and kick him in the head, just because the man asked a passing bike rider to slow down.
Speaking of Mike Bonin, the councilmember announced improved bollard-protected bike lanes on Airport Blvd in Westchester (scroll down), even if half the riding area is in the gutter.
The LA County Sheriff’s Department’s Fugitive Task Force busted a man riding a bicycle in West Hollywood who was wanted for a New York murder, after his barber gave away his location by posting a photo of him getting a haircut on Instagram.
Fifty South Bay bike riders honored bicycling advocate Julian Katz with a ride in his memory, three years after Katz passed away at the age of 88.
They get it. The Long Beach Business Journal makes the case that a $20 million reconstruction plan for Artesia Blvd through Compton, Long Beach, Cerritos and Paramount, including an upgraded bike lane, will be good for business growth along the corridor.
San Diego will be the first US city to get the Bird, as the Santa Monica-based company deploys a fleet of their new ebikes in the city.
Twenty-eight-year old ex-con Martin Valdez Arias has been charged with randomly attacking a woman while riding his bike on a Ventura bike path; he faces charges of false imprisonment by violence and attempted sexual battery.
A travel website offers tips on how to ride your bike across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.
They get it, too. Vox says US cities must be designed to encourage much more biking, walking and transit use to end America’s obsession with driving and fight climate change.
A Denver PBS station looks at the local chapter of Black Girls Do Bike, a nationwide group dedicated getting more Black women to ride bikes. And dispelling the myth that they don’t.
A Missouri construction crew devised a brilliant solution to keep the 287-mile Katy trail open during a bridge replacement project, using shipping containers to form a makeshift tunnel to protect riders from falling debris.
A Chicago group gave away 75 refurbished bicycles to kids from two to ten years old, as well as giving them basic safety training.
This is who we share the road with. A three-month old Brooklyn baby is dead, and her mother clinging to life, after a wrong way driver slammed into another car, and both vehicles spun out onto the sidewalk; the driver, who had an incredible 160 traffic violations in the past four years, attempted — and failed — to jack another car to flee following the crash. Just one more example of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late.
Don’t hold your breath. New York’s mayor promises answers after the NYPD turned a new bike lane into their own parking lot.
A New Yorker gets his stolen bike back two months later, after spotting it in a photo of abandoned bikes recovered by the police.
Camila Cabello is one of us, riding her bike with a friend on the streets of New York.
An Atlantic City paper is surprised to learn that county officials have been building a bike network for the past decade, but they support the effort, saying rising bike deaths make it a necessity.
No surprise here. A Pottsville PA cop wasn’t charged for killing a 31-year old man who reportedly was struck when he rode his bike into an intersection; no word on who actually had the right-of-way, or whether the officer was using lights and siren. Unfortunately, police have a well-deserved reputation for blaming the victim in any crash involving a cop.
If you think traffic is driving you nuts, you may be right. A new study shows exposure to traffic and railroad noise increases the risk of dementia in general, and Alzheimer’s in particular.
A Canadian man is looking for the Good Samaritans who came to his rescue after he did a face plant when a brake cable snapped on a steep descent, while visiting family in Vancouver.
A Toronto columnist says the future of the city’s downtown is not car-friendly. And that’s a good thing.
A man in the UK will spend the next six months behind bars for violating his probation, after being caught in possession of a bicycle that wasn’t registered with police, which was a condition of his suspended sentence for selling weed; he had been allowed back on the streets despite 13 previous convictions.
An Irish paper says carfree housing developments don’t have to be a utopian ideal, and that removing cars from homes can eliminate the risk they pose to children.
A new Netherlands study show bicycling injuries in the country are eight times higher than what has been reported by the police.
United Arab Emirates VP Sheikh Mohammed is one of us, taking to his bike to explore Dubai’s World Expo site ahead of its opening next month. Although he doesn’t look very happy about it, at least in the top photo.
September is the most dangerous month to ride a bike in South Korea, with August second.
More confirmation that Russell Crowe is one of us, as he took his mountain bike out for a spin around Sidney, Australia with his girlfriend.
Dutch cyclist Pascal Eenkhoorn was the star of Saturday’s 7th stage of the Tour of Britain for handing his water bottle to a young fan who pedaled furiously along the sidewalk to keep up with the lead breakaway.
Let’s be honest, it would probably be worth the $6.51 fine to ride with a jet engine on your bike. That feeling when you’re tired of horseshit bike lanes — no, literally. Or get attacked by a pair of naked and mostly naked men.
And who says you need a surfboard to ride the waves?
— keith johnson (@keith_johnson) September 10, 2021
On a personal note, yesterday marked the 14th anniversary of the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident. But I’m still here, and the bees aren’t.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.