Healthy Streets LA submits signatures, moves forward in city council; and Moriah “Mo” Wilson killer busted in Costa Rica

So, did I miss anything last week?

Thankfully, my head and stomach finally returned to their standard state late last week, after doing my best to sleep it off all week. 

Now we’re back, with a lot to catch up on.

And no, that fool photo up there refers to the following story, not me. Although the resemblance is uncanny. 

Photo by 1195798 from Pixabay.

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As a former president famously said, “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice…won’t get fooled again.”

Let’s hope we don’t.

It was more than a decade ago when a group of LA bicyclists calling themselves the Bike Writers Collective developed the Cyclists Bill of Rights, calling for common sense entitlements for people who ride bikes.

(Full disclosure, I was briefly a member of the group after this Bill of Rights was written.)

Like the right to “travel safely and free from fear”, the “full support of the judicial system,” and the “right to routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements.”

It made so much sense, it was provisionally adopted by the Los Angeles City Council in 2008.

Which is apparently what they do when they want to make something go away.

The proposal was sent to the city attorney’s office for review, before being routed to various city agencies and council committees, with an ultimate goal of writing it into city code and including it in the upcoming 2010 bike plan.

And that was the last anyone ever heard of it.

Which should serve as fair warning as the city considers preemptively adopting the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal.

This past week, Streets For All submitted over 102,000 signatures in support of the proposal, which would require the city to implement the long-forgotten mobility plan whenever a street mentioned in it is resurfaced.

Assuming enough signatures are validated, it would go before city voters, possibly as early as this fall.

But that’s where it gets interesting.

Because before the public has a chance to vote on it, it will go before the city council, who will have the option of adopting it outright.

If they do, it will immediately become law, and require a vote of the public before it can be modified or repealed.

Meanwhile, the city has also voted to move forward with their own version of the plan, based on the Healthy Streets initiative.

The motion, which passed unanimously — although safe streets opponents Paul Koretz and the recently defeated “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo were absent, along with former mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino — sends it back to the city attorney’s office to draft it into an ordinance.

Sound familiar?

The council will have the option of adopting the Healthy Streets plan, their own plan, or approving both. Or neither., for that matter

According to Streetsblog, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider says the best approach would be for the city to adopt them both.

“There are things in the ordinance, good things, that aren’t in the initiative,” explained Schneider after delivering the signatures earlier today. His advice to the Council? “Adopt ours, and then adopt yours as the implementation mechanism.”

The worst option would be for the city to approve a watered down, toothless version of the ordinance that would allow them to back out of implementing the plan whenever a councilmember decides it would be inconvenient to someone — whether motorists, police or the fire department.

Which could be altered or revoked by future council action at any time.

And which is pretty much what we have right now, resulting in less than 3% of the mobility plan being striped, seven years after it was adopted. And just 13 years before it’s supposed to be completely built-out.

Which means, if the city does adopt a weak-ass version, it will be up to the voters to correct their mistake.

So it’s great that the city is moving forward with their own version of the Healthy Streets LA proposal.

But it’s up to us to stay on top of them, and at the same time, keeping moving forward on the ballot initiative, to ensure we don’t get fooled again.

Or as another former president put it, “Trust, but verify.”

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While we were gone, Kaitlin Marie Armstrong was busted in Costa Rica, after 43 days on the run for the May killing of top gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas.

The 34-year old fugitive was captured at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas.

Armstrong was reportedly traveling on a borrowed passport under an assumed name. She was returned to the US to face murder charges.

Wilson was repeatedly shot, apparently in a fit of jealousy for the crime of briefly dating Armstrong’s boyfriend, 35-year old cyclist Colin Strickland, and maintaining their friendship.

US Marshalls tracked Armstrong down by following her obsession with yoga classes, despite dying her hair in an effort to hide her identity.

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The LACBC has taken a stand against the recently passed ordinance criminalizing bike chop shops, urging the mayor to veto it.

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Enough said.

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This is how fast a tragedy can happen. And how it can be avoided by a matter of inches, and sheer luck.

https://twitter.com/adamatic521/status/1540765682689658884

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Women cyclists competing in the road race at the US Road Cycling National Championships took a knee to protest the recent overturning of Roe vs Wade.

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This is what it looks like when a whole country bikes instead of driving.

https://twitter.com/annaholligan/status/1542205441069010946

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link. 

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They get it. A British police department explains why drivers don’t really want people on bikes to ride single file, regardless of what they might think.

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We haven’t had much success getting Hollywood to #biketheOscars.

Maybe we’re just asking the wrong country.

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

No bias here. After six-year old boy was knocked down on a San Diego bike path by a pair of kids on ebikes, a surf website says ebikes are “piloted exclusively by the lazy and selfish and/or young and spoiled, (who) fly down bike paths, sidewalks, anywhere pedestrians amble at full speed cloaked in the gauze of “environmentalism.” Um, sure.

No bias here, either. A chain of UK coffee shops says they don’t serve people on bicycles in their drive-throughs because “they’re not road legal, taxed or insured.” 

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

A 17-year old English boy faces a dangerous driving charge for fleeing the scene after running down an 80-year old pedestrian with his ebike. Yet another reminder to always slow down and ride safely around pedestrians. And stop if you hit someone, dammit. 

Also in the UK, a 29-year old man faces a charge of “wanton or furious driving while being in charge of a bicycle” for killing a 29-year old woman as she was crossing the street.

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Local

Cars are now officially banned from a roughly one-mile section of Griffith Park Drive in Griffith Park, at least for now. More on that tomorrow.

Once again, bad police training has raised its ugly head, after an LAPD spokesperson tells Spanish speakers it’s illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk in Los Angeles, even though it’s perfectly legal as long as you respect others on the sidewalk.

A man was in stable condition after he was shot while riding a bicycle in central Long Beach early yesterday morning; police have not identified a suspect or motive.

CicLAvia is back, taking over the streets of South LA this Sunday. Or a street, anyway.

Speaking of Streets For All, the transportation PAC is hosting a another virtual happy hour on July 13th, this time featuring LA County District 1 Supervisor Hilda Solis.

 

State 

Several thousand bike riders turned out for a patriotic bike ride through Huntington Beach, in just the ride’s third year.

A kindhearted Castro Valley man fixes up donated bikes, and gives them to people who can’t afford one.

 

National

He gets it. Former President Barack Obama called on cities to fight sprawl and create “livable density…that allows us to take mass transit and take bicycles.”

Writing for Jalopnik, the co-host of The War on Cars podcast says “ban cars” is an inaccurate and incomplete summary of a complex issue, but he means it anyway.

A writer for Slate calls out Joe Biden’s “misguided” plan to suspend the federal gas tax.

A British man is riding across the US to call attention to testicular cancer, under the hashtag #BikingForBalls. No, really.

The Chicago Police Department has opened an internal investigation after a man claiming to be an off-duty cop was filmed pinning a 14-year old boy to the ground, and accusing him of stealing his son’s bike; the boy’s mother accused the cop of racial bias, saying when the boy simply tried to move it because it was blocking the sidewalk.

Police in the Bronx are looking for a hit-and-run driver in a stolen Jeep who killed a bike rider in a high speed crash, then removed a baby from the back of the Jeep, and made off in another SUV.

The carnage continues on American roads, when a DC driver crashed into a man on a bicycle before slamming into a fireworks stand; both the bike rider and a worker at the stand were killed. The driver apparently lost control due to a medical event.

 

International

Amazon is replacing its London delivery vans with a fleet of mini delivery van-style e-cargo bikes.

A British bicycling website says abuse on the roads keeps many women from riding, who might otherwise take to their bikes. The same story could be written for any American city or state.

Copenhagen’s bicycling chef is combining bikes and cuisine to give customers a ride to remember.

A new German study puts ebikes ahead of electric cars as the most popular and attractive form of electric vehicle.

Horrible news from Kolkata, India, where a 25-year old man was electrocuted when he tried to remove fallen electrical wires that got tangled with his bicycle wheels.

A 57-year old Kiwi man has ridden his bike everywhere for more than 40 years, without ever owning a car.

 

Competitive Cycling

Swiss cyclist Stefan Küng learned the hard way that you’re not supposed to grab another competitor’s helmet, grasping Ruben Guerreiro’s skid lid during Saturday’s stage two of the Tour de France.

Danish rider Magnus Cort was a hero to the hometown crowds during Sunday’s stage three, cementing his hold on the polka dot climber’s jersey with an 81-mile breakaway.

There always seems to be a mass crash during the early stages, and Sunday’s stage three was no exception, with several of the leading contenders losing time they’ll have to make up in the coming weeks.

Dutch pro Annemiek van Vleuten cemented her lead in Italy’s Giro Donne with a win in stage four.

LA-based L39ION of Los Angeles swept the podium for the women’s national crit championship, as Kendall Ryan took a bunch sprint ahead of teammates Skyler Schneider and her own sister, Alexis Ryan; 19-year old Sebastopol CA resident Luke Lamperti successfully defended his title on the men’s side.

Kyle Murphy and Emma Langley won the men’s and women’s road cycling Nats.

Veteran cyclist Alejandro Valverde suffered minor injuries when he and a teammate were struck by a driver while training in Spain on Saturday.

Team Novo Nordisk, the pro team composed entirely of cyclists with type 1 diabetes, is out with a new documentary; you can see it here.

 

Finally…

Chances are, you’ve never ridden a bicycle at 169 mph, with or without a tow. Now you, too, can ride your bike on half a wheel.

And I seriously need this one on my wall.

https://twitter.com/davidguenel/status/1541360691742916608

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

One comment

  1. J says:

    “The team offered to serve them via Click & Collect from the front of the store – which is the same service they offered other customers that were on foot whilst the in-store area is closed.” . . . .so it wasn’t cars but phones that where deemed universal.

    The choice quotes of coffee shop employee (s) said glibbly and walked back from did not make this a story if walkup if fine. Too often walkup is NOT ALLOWED after hours of lobby. Then, indeed, car is required for service.

    Re “Cyclist says he was refused service at Costa Coffee drive-through –” has “service” defined as taking order orally not by customer provided wireless device. They walk it to car apparently and the real story is they might of insisted he come to window not having his own??

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