Pregnant woman killed in Tuesday’s Chatsworth hit-and run, bike riders save gridlock costs, and e-cargo biking the kids

Let’s start with a quick update on Tuesday’s Chatsworth hit-and-run that took the lives of two people riding bicycles.

An initial report that the victims may have been transients appears to be wrong, as KNBC-4 reports the man who was killed was a 58-year old, longtime resident of Canoga Park.

The station also confirmed rumors that the woman riding with him was pregnant at the time of her death, making this horrible, needless tragedy just that much worse.

The driver, who has not been publicly identified, was arrest on what appears to be a well-deserved murder charge.

………

One more benefit of riding a bike.

LA Magazine reports that a new study shows gridlock costs Angelenos an average of $1,816 a year in lost time and productivity.

That figure easily leads the rest of the nation. Yet bike commuters can afford to laugh at it, as we glide silently past long lines of backed-up traffic.

But don’t look so smug, Riverside. You clock in at number nine in the US, with an average annual cost of $1,280.

………

Streets For All founder Michael Schneider loads the kids up in the e-cargo bike, and heads off to Griffith Park. Even if bikes are banned from too many trails in the park.

………

Rabi Abonour offers a long thread pointing out the needless danger LA’s lack of infrastructure poses to bikeshare riders.

It’s worth the click to read the whole thing.

………

Unfortunately, the story is hidden behind a paywall, so this may be all the information we get about the $25 million jury award in the death of a bike-riding triathlete.

However, I can’t see it really changing anyone’s behavior on the streets, since most people are unlikely to ever hear about it.

And even those who do will likely write it off as an extreme example that would never happen to them.

Compensation is good for the victims survivors, and helps to make them whole after the loss of a loved one, even when the result isn’t so eye popping.

Financially, anyway.

At most, it offers a reminder to drive carefully around people on bicycles and on foot. But it doesn’t really send a message to anyone.

………

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

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a New Hampshire man faces charges for the suspected distracted driving death of a man riding a bicycle; he was still driving, despite seven previous speeding tickets and two distracted driving charges. To make matters worse, he had known the victim, who used to live under his mother-in-law’s apartment, for years.

Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Albuquerque police busted a pair of men who fatally shot a suspect bike thief who they suspected was riding a bicycle that had been stolen from one of the men; police found the bike inside the gunman’s apartment after the shooting. As tempting as it might be sometimes, no bicycle is worth taking a life.

………

Local

Venice-based Linus Bikes will be supplying a half-dozen bicycles for a Palm Beach, Florida hotel, with four regular bikes and two ebikes.

 

State

The man credited with saving California’s citrus crop from an invasive parasite in the 1880s was one of us, dying in an 1895 bicycle crash, just one year after he retired from the Department of Agriculture.

Encinitas launched the first bikeshare system on the north coast of San Diego County.

The San Diego Bike Coalition and Free Bikes 4 Kidz are teaming with San Diego Trek bike shops to hold a bike collection drive this Saturday, asking everyone to donate gently used bikes that can be reconditioned and given to children from at-risk communities.

Sad news from San Jose, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run. It was the city’s second traffic death this year; both were victims of hit-and-run drivers.

Emeryville sacrifices pedestrian safety by removing a crosswalk in a “quiet zone” street makeover, but plans to replace a bike lane also being removed with a protected bike lane at a later date.

 

National

The Mobility Fund released eight grants worth nearly $400,000 for equitable bike, walking and transit projects around the US; Move LA received $50,000 to help restore and expand Metro bus service that benefit low-income and communities of color; Bike East Bay was the only other California recipient, also getting 50 grand for equitable Slow Streets projects in Oakland.

An Arizona woman wanted by the FBI for the hit-and-run that killed a bike-riding woman on tribal land turned herself in on Tuesday, nine days after the fatal crash; the feds are still looking for the silver and black Hyundai Tucson SUV she was driving. Does that mean she gets the $5,000 reward?

Denver’s Vision Zero program is going the wrong way, with a possible record 84 people killed in traffic collisions last year, exactly twice as many as in 2010.

After surviving the wind-driven pre-New Years inferno that destroyed much of the Colorado communities of Louisville and Superior, the owner and staff of a 42-year old Louisville bike shop immediately began collecting bicycles for victims of the fire.

Sad news from my Colorado hometown, where the 54-year old former manager and buyer for the 59-year old bike shop where I bought my first adult bicycle was killed in a backcountry avalanche; Ralph Eberspacher also worked for mountain bike maker Niner Bikes.

The get it. A Lincoln, Nebraska newspaper says the area’s bike trails add to the richness of the city.

Police at Georgia’s Valdosta State University are teaming with a local bike center and the Salvation Army to recycle bicycles abandoned on campus, and get them to people in need.

 

International

The Guardian profiles a London man who has reported more than 1,000 scofflaw drivers captured on his GoPro, 80% of whom have been prosecuted. Unfortunately, that won’t work in most of the US, including California, where video evidence can’t be accepted as proof of a traffic violation or misdemeanor. Which is something that has to change, given the ubiquity of smartphones and action cams.

A UK paper offers tips on teaching your kids how to ride a bike.

Heartbreaking story from the Netherlands, where authorities are looking for a 14-year old girl’s missing ebike, after she was found dead in a park after not coming home the night before; a 32-year old man who knew the girl was arrested on suspicion of murder or manslaughter and sexual contact with a minor.

Even Azerbaijan is getting sort of bike friendly, with a 4.6-mile bike path under construction in the capital city.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your naked group bike ride gets uploaded to a porn site. Or when your son gets a $2,000 bill for failing to pay registration fees on a nonexistent car, starting when he was nine years old.

And that feeling when all your worst-case scenarios come true, and turns your bike trip through Cuba into the worst vacation of your life.

………

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: