Killer Oceanside hit-and-run driver gets 2 years, low curb hazard on new Culver bike lanes, and scam Bonin anti-recall site

Before we get started, just a quick reminder that today is Giving Tuesday, the one day each year set aside to support worthy nonprofit organizations that need your help.

We could name a very long list, from Streets For All and the LACBC, to Calbike and Streetsblog LA and California.

Along with your own local advocacy groups, wherever you live.

One group that recently came to my attention is the Los Angeles Bicycle Academy, a youth cycling and bicycle education program created to “empower, educate and develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills in youth between the ages of 8-18.”

Our focus is to work with youth from underserved communities where opportunity, access, equity, and exposure within the sport of cycling is extremely limited. We want to help more young people learn the positive impact a bicycle can have on their own lives, and the lives of those around them.

They have big plans for the coming year, including opening a community bike shop, launching a build-a-bike program, and developing a women’s cycling team.

It’s worth checking out. And maybe adding them to your giving list this year.

Speaking of giving, our spokesdog up there reminds you to support SoCal’s best bike news by giving to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

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Life is cheap in San Diego County, where 24-year old Oceanside resident Bailey Tennery got a lousy two years behind bars for killing 27-year old Carlsbad resident Jackson Williams as he rode his bike in Oceanside last July.

Tennery pled guilty to felony hit-and-run causing death and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.

She could have gotten up to four years in the state pen, with another year in county.

Instead, she got a relative slap on the wrist for leaving an innocent man to die alone in the street. Then hid her car for a full week until it was spotted by a homeless man.

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You can’t please everyone.

Culver City officially unveiled their new Move Culver City initiative, installing quick build bus and bike lanes on three major streets in the downtown area — in a fraction of the time and cost required for similar projects across the city limit line in Los Angeles.

But while most people came out to celebrate completion of the project, I’m told a group of drivers turned out to protest, apparently under the misconception that 100% of the streets belong to cars.

And unwilling to give up a single inch, let alone a lane or two.

On the other hand, the response from the two-wheeled group seems mostly positive.

However, Mitchell Guzik pointed out an unexpected hazard posed by low concrete curbs intended to protect people using the bike lanes, but which could present a risk to any bike rider who runs into them.

Photo by Mitchell Guzik

Even in daylight, it’s a struggle to spot them in the photo. Which means it would be nearly impossible after dark.

And as we’ve seen on PCH in Cardiff, unintentionally hitting them can spill a rider into the roadway, with serious results.

The obvious solution, as Guzik suggests, is to paint the curbs a more visible color. Or go crazy, and let some of Culver City’s many artists decorate them.

Obviously, we don’t want to fall into the common SoCal trap of letting perfect be the enemy of good when it comes to bike lanes.

But just a minor improvement could make them safer for everyone.

Correction: I originally misspelled the name of Mitchell Guzik. My apologies for the error. 

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They’re back.

A few very unpleasant years ago, I had the misfortune of tangling with the fraudulent Westside Walkers Twitter account, which was created in response to the 2017 lane reductions on Venice Blvd and in Playa del Rey.

As Peter Flax made clear in outing the person behind the account, the Westside Walkers pretended to be “LA’s #1 walking & biking advocacy group.”

But it was actually just one man’s political dirty trick, posing as a nonexistent group to muddy the advocacy waters and make his opposition to traffic safety measures seem more reasonable.

He even went so far as to claim to be a co-founder and operator of this site. Which I can assure you neither he, nor anyone else other than myself, had anything to do with.

Now he’s back, pretending to be the “Official Democrat Anti Recall” group supporting CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, which undoubtedly came as a surprise to the actual group opposing the recall.

As before, this is just another political dirty trick by a recall supporter and longtime Bonin hater, in an attempt to muddy the water.

And not hesitating to use outright lies to do it.

So don’t fall for it.

Whether or not you support Bonin — and I do — there’s no place for stunts like this, from someone with a long history of playing dirty.

Politics in Los Angeles are dirty enough.

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

No bias here. A London political columnist takes issue with bike lanes and the unlicensed people who use them, saying bikes were fine for Victorian times, but should only be used on private property these days (scroll down — no, keep scrolling). Just wait until someone tells him who the roads were really built for. 

A British driver sideswipes a bike rider while making an ill-advised pass. And naturally blames the guy on the bike for being there — and touching his car with his body. No, really. 

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Local

DTLA’s Grand Ave now has a dedicated right-side bus lane to complement the protected bike lane on the other side of the road.

 

State

A truck driver who fatally right-hooked a bike-riding San Luis Obispo man faces a maximum of one lousy year behind bars or a $1,000 fine after being charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide, because he didn’t do it on purpose. On the other hand, the victim is still dead, whether or not it was intentional.

The CHP busted a hit-and-run driver who killed a 25-year old Watsonville man when he rear-ended the victim’s bicycle.

A Streetsblog op-ed accuses Oakland’s Vision Zero program of being an empty promise, and says the city needs to take it seriously if they want to eliminate traffic deaths. A sentiment most Los Angeles bike riders and pedestrians could probably relate to.

The carnage continues in the Bay Area, as a San Jose bike rider was killed in a collision yesterday.

The victim of the fatal Moraga bicycling collision we mentioned yesterday has been identified as a 77-year old man, who surely deserved better.

 

National

The Washington Post says, despite the rising rate of disasters brought on by a rapidly warming climate, state transportation agencies are only beginning to plan for climate change.

US bicycling rates are up 10% nationwide, with some cities seeing up to a 50% jump in ridership.

Electrek looks at the year’s best ebikes for under a grand.

Cycling Tips talks with an Iowa artist who turns discarded bike parts into works of art.

Um, no. Treehugger says a New York company’s stylish, high-viz vests will make you want to ride your bike every day. Something is seriously wrong if you have to dress like a glow-in-the-dark clown just to stay alive on a bicycle.

Streetsblog makes the case that the NYPD is lying about the risks posed by ebikes, conflating crashes involving ebikes, which are legal in New York, with mopeds, which aren’t. And placing all the blame on the bike riders, while ignoring who was actually at fault in those crashes.

Something is definitely out of kilter when bike lanes become a wedge issue in a local New Jersey election.

 

International

Evidently, in Canada, a bicycle visible in your Zoom background is just a partisan prop.

A writer for Bike Radar makes the case for registering your bike in the UK. Something you can do for free with lifetime registration from Bike Index on this side of the pond.

A British newsletter takes issue with the legend that Scottish veterinarian John Dunlop invented the pneumatic tire in the 1880s, pointing out that another Scotsman had patented one 40 years earlier.

The Philippines pandemic-driven bike boom was accompanied by a nearly 50% increase in injury collisions.

 

Finally…

Bicycles for people with more dollars than sense. Nothing like wracking your nuts on the top tube on live TV

And probably not the best idea to drive a stolen car to sell a stolen ebike bike to the guy you stole it from.

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It’s Day 5 of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

So let’s thank Bernard B, Stephen M and Tom C for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy keeps coming your way every day.

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

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

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