Wrist slap for fatal Jurupa Valley hit-and-run, prelim for killer hit-and-run socialite, and bank robbing cyclist talks to BBC

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

A Riverside County judge rewarded a killer hit-and-run driver with his choice of 364 days in jail, work-release or home vacation confinement, for the crash that killed 30-year-old Rigoberto Guzman Jr in Jurupa Valley three years ago, followed by what the DA described as “a torrent of lies.”

Pizza deliveryman Andrew Scott Walters struck Guzman as he was riding his bike, then got out and pulled Guzman’s bike out from under his car before driving away, leaving the injured victim lying in the road when he was struck and killed by another driver — assuming he wasn’t already dead from the first crash.

Walters went so far as to call 911 to report seeing an injured man down in the road, without bothering to mention his own involvement.

He then went back to the Pizza Hut he worked at, where he explained the damage to his car by telling his boss that a drunk homeless man had hurled his bicycle at him “out of nowhere.”

No, really.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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This is who we share the road with.

Hidden Hills socialite and philanthropist Rebecca Grossman faces a preliminary hearing for the alleged street racing death of two young boys, who had the misfortune of crossing the street with their family while she was speeding down it.

Grossman, co-founder of the famed Grossman Burn Center, was reportedly driving at speeds up to 81 mph on residential streets, while repeatedly switching lanes with another driver, when she slammed into the boys as they rode their skateboard and scooter in the crosswalk.

She faces two murder counts, two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, and a single charge of hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Which proves the over-privileged can be just as idiotic and deadly as the rest of us.

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No surprise here, as Streets For All has endorsed Eric Darling to replace Mike Bonin in West LA’s CD11; Darling has stood out from the other candidates for his stands on safe and livable streets since the start of the campaign.

The street safety PAC has also endorsed Bob Wunderlich for Beverly Hills City Council, along with John Mirisch.

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The BBC talks with former US Olympic hopeful turned bank robber Tom Justice, who used his cycling skills to make his getaway from over two dozen banks.

He still rides his bike, even after nine years in prison and more than a decade out, but with a La Grange jersey these days.

Chicago Magazine took a deep dive into his story in 2019 if you want to learn more.

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Buena Park continues work on a plan to install a road diet and bike lanes on Dale and Whitaker.

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If you build it, they will come.

This is what the newly bikeable Paris looks like these days. And what Los Angeles could, with just a modicum of effort from city hall.

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But only bicyclists ignore the right-of-way, right?

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

The Texas car shop owner who posted video of himself rolling coal at a bike rider, then denied knowing anything about it, now says he’s really, really sorry. But only after the video went viral, leading to calls to boycott his shop.

No bias here. Someone in the UK altered a road sign with their own handwritten message telling bike riders to ride “single file you Lycra wearing twats!”

After a British bike rider filmed a driver using his phone behind the wheel, the driver chased him, including driving up on the sidewalk at one point, as the terrified bicyclist begged people to call the police.

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Local

We’re #1! The Los Angeles – Long Beach region once again takes the title as America’s smoggiest metro area. So try not to breathe so much on your next ride. Your lungs will thank you.

Streetsblog looks at the new “protected” bike lanes on westbound 1st Street from Boyle Heights to Little Tokyo. Although once again, the protection is only in the form of little plastic bollards that won’t stop anyone from crashing through.

The Ballona Creek bike path will be closed for maintenance between National and Sepulveda through Friday.

 

State 

Residents of a San Diego apartment complex voiced their anger over new bike lanes in the Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood, which they say were striped in the dead of night with no advance warning. Although that’s hard to believe, since the parking spaces that were removed to make room for the bike lanes would have been full of cars at that hour.

Hats off to a Santa Barbara Eagle Scout, who built a mountain bike trail for students at his old elementary school.

San Francisco takes the next step towards a safer, less-polluting future by permanently banning cars from JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park.

Questions remain over San Francisco’s Slow Streets program, as the city keeps four of its car-lite corridors, while some residents want them gone.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run while riding in a bike lane; another person riding in the bike lane at the time was uninjured.

 

National

A fascinating new study shows colorfully painted street surfaces can cut crashes involving vulnerable road users by a whopping 50%.

The Bike League belatedly addresses April’s Distracted Driving Month, noting that one in five traffic deaths is the result of distracted driving.

Police in Mt. Vernon, Washington are looking for a man and woman who fled on foot after crossing onto the wrong side of the road and driving up on the sidewalk, where they slammed into a family riding their bicycles, injuring both parents before crashing into several parked cars.

This is why people keep dying on our streets, part two. A Las Vegas food delivery driver faces her third DUI in recent years after she ran into a child riding a bicycle, leaving the kid with moderate injuries. Although the two “popular food delivery service providers” she claimed to work for disavowed any knowledge of her. One more example of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late. 

A Utah bike rider is asking the same question every hit-and-run victim asks — “I just want to know why they didn’t stop.”

Denver is putting money where its bike-friendly policy is, with all Denver residents now eligible for a $400 rebate on the purchase of an ebike, with an additional $500 for an e-cargo bike, while qualified low income residents can get a $1,200 rebate.

The Denver Post says Colorado’s new Safety Stop Law, aka the Idaho Stop Law, exposes the animosity between bicyclists and drivers. But you’ll have to sign up or subscribe to find out how or why.

Great idea. A Missouri bike and pedestrian advocacy group got a handful of state legislators on their bikes to ride a bike trail crossing the state with their constituents. I’d love to see that here, at LA City Hall, or in Sacramento.

New York’s fire department is warning about the dangers of improperly charging and storing lithium-ion batteries, after a number of fires, while Bicycling offers advice on how to keep your ebike battery from bursting into flames. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

There’s a special place in hell for whoever took a trailer filled with kids bikes from the New Orleans advocacy group Bike Easy. Although they’re just saying it’s “missing” at this point.

 

International

Shimano says the worldwide bike boom is showing signs of slowing off in Asia and South and Central America, though the North American and European markets are going strong.   

YK Design looks at the top ten bikes designed for an eco-friendly urban commute, including some that are seriously weird, and/or just vaporware at this point. Although number nine may be very strange, but in a very cool way, even though you probably wouldn’t want to ride it with those wires just begging for your crotch. 

A British van driver was sentenced to a total of eight years, including four behind bars, and barred from driving for 12 years, all for killing a 71-year old man riding a bicycle while so drunk he couldn’t to stand on his own following the crash; he had 25 previous traffic convictions. Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until they kill someone.

A Malaysian paper decries kids riding the popular basikal lajak, illegally modified bicycles that allow users to race downhill in the Superman position, calling them “a threat to road safety.” Even though it was a woman driver who was convicted of killing eight teens who were riding them, rather than the other way around.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal posted a video telling fans to be patient, because he’s on his way back. Evidently he meant it, as he returns to Europe to begin training for the first time since the training crash that nearly took his life.

World champion Julian Alaphilippe’s multiple serious injuries during Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège came when he fell down a ditch and hit a tree as a result of a mass crash.

Want to feel old? An eight-year old Missouri second grader was named to the US national BMX team.

  

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a Mini Cooper. Seriously, if a Burley is good enough for your kids, it’s good enough for your pet.

And you probably weren’t planning to, but still.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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