Road-raging deputy brake checks group ride, LA Times calls for Griffith Park car bans, and advocates pan bridge bike lanes

A road-raging Houston deputy constable thought people in a group ride were riding dangerously.

So he apparently decided to make it exponentially less safe.

Makes sense.

The bike riders are now calling for the deputy to be fired for actions that included repeatedly brake-checking the group, which caused at least one rider to crash into his car.

According to Houston’s KHOU-11,

“You see him brake-check people,” one cyclist said. “You see him get out, taunt, intimidate people. You see him drive in oncoming traffic in the oncoming direction. You see him go over across two or three lanes of traffic in the right lane where bikers, by transportation code, are legally supposed to be and legally allowed to be.”

Several angry cyclists then rode past the patrol car, yelling at the deputy and asking for his badge number.

Another cyclist who posted a different video told KHOU 11 he’s pro-law enforcement but believes the deputy’s actions went too far.

“This deputy was definitely out of control,” that man said.

The bike riders say they never received a lawful command or the deputy’s identification, despite numerous requests for his badge number. And not surprising in the current environment, They’ve received a number of threats since posting the video online.

Meanwhile, the local constable — sort of like a sheriff, but with less authority and responsibility — took it upon himself to blame both sides.

Even though only one had threatened anyone’s safety.

Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen said the internal affairs department is conducting an investigation, but he believes there’s fault on both sides.

“After viewing the deputy’s dashcam video, which is now under investigation, it appears both parties, the deputy and cyclists on scene, were not conducting themselves in a safe manner,” Rosen said in a statement. “The cyclists were dangerously impacting other citizens, riding into oncoming traffic lanes and were taking over an entire intersection interrupting traffic.”

Sure, let’s go with that.

Never mind that the deputy appears to have committed a number of possible felony violations, starting with that brake-check, which could and should be charged as assault with a deadly weapon.

But probably won’t be. Because, you know, Texas.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

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They get it.

The LA Times notes that Los Angeles is finally catching up to other major cities in closing some streets to cars — okay, one — while musing whether that marks the start of a road revolution.

LA’s paper of record also calls for closing more Griffith Park roadways to motor vehicles.

The park’s roads are currently designed for the movement of cars, not the safety and enjoyment of cyclists, walkers and equestrians. Drivers treat Griffith Park Drive and Crystal Springs Drive as shortcuts to avoid traffic on Interstate 5 and the 134 Freeway. The speed limit on park roads is 25 mph, but it’s routinely ignored by motorists. The routes aren’t safe for pedestrians or cyclists. Crosswalks and bike lane stripes are faded. Key roads are missing sidewalks for pedestrians and barriers separating cyclists from cars.

It’s no wonder Griffith Park mostly attracts only “strong and fearless” bicyclists, according to a consultant’s report. Councilmember Nithya Raman, who represents the area, said she wants the roads redesigned so families and kids feel comfortable riding their bikes in the park.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog offers a lengthy Twitter thread on how to make the park safer and more convenient for people on bicycles.

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Renderings of the Class IV protected bike lanes on the new $600 million 6th Street Viaduct, scheduled to open this weekend, haven’t exactly been winning rave reviews online.

Like this, for instance.

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LADOT announced a new bollard-protected bike lane on Grand Ave in South LA.

https://twitter.com/LADOTlivable/status/1544808420427063297

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Active SGV lists upcoming rides on San Gabriel Valley greenways, starting tomorrow with Glendora and San Dimas.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1545110738594775041

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Yes, recent bike convert and state Senator Anthony Portantino really is one of us now.

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

No bias here. Miami shop owners say new bike lanes that replaced curbside parking are killing their businesses, insisting their customers can’t afford to pay for parking. They don’t have money to park, yet somehow, still have money to spend at their stores. Sure, that makes sense.

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

Sadly, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and his cyclist brother Roberto never got to live out their dream of fielding a winning team at the Tour de France.

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Local

Los Angeles’ StreetsLA staff has completed the first inspection of pavement quality for the city’s entire 1,100-mile bike lane network. However, despite all the happy talk, there’s no mention that the inspection was inspired by the $6.5 million settlement for a bike rider injured by a Sherman Oaks pothole — vastly more than the $4 million the city spent fixing broken bike lane pavement last year.

Seriously? Ryan Seacrest’s radio co-host Sisanie questions whether you could manage to go carfree at Sunday’s South LA CicLAvia. Because walking or biking the short three-mile route is just so, so hard, evidently.

Streetsblog’s SGV Connect talks with Eastside Bike Club founder and Stan’s Bike Shop owner Carlos Morales, one of the nicest and most inspiring people you’ll ever meet; you can read a transcript here if you prefer that to listening.

The Malibu Times complains about Caltrans’ “chaotically staged” virtual meeting to present plans for bike lanes on the western section of PCH through the coastal city, while noting the lack of answers about the project.

 

State 

You can now buy California-based Aventon bikes at your local Best Buy.

A 25-year old Placer County man will spend the next 13 years behind bars for attacking and robbing a 69-year old man on a bicycle.

 

National

The Federal Highway Administration, aka FHWA, is proposing a new rule to measure and track transportation greenhouse gas emissions.

Wired says e-scooters aren’t as green as you think, either.

Several states are siphoning federal highway safety funds, despite the dramatic increase in traffic deaths; US regulations allow them the repurpose up to half the funding they receive.

Consumer Reports reviews the best bike locks, but won’t tell you without a subscription.

Salt Lake City is accused of violating its own Complete Streets requirement after rebuilding a street to the same incomplete format it was before.

A Joplin, Missouri bike rider was seriously injured when he or she was rear-ended by a sheriff’s deputy responding to a burglary call, who evidently somehow couldn’t see someone on a bicycle directly in front of the car. Yet they can’t even be bothered to recognize that the victim was a person, rather than a mere “subject.”

Proposed legislation in New York would require drunk drivers to pay child support for up to 18 years if they kill a custodial parent in a DUI crash.

A New York State mountain biker rides a 27-mile loop, hoping to find one the finest mountain-bike rides in the Adirondacks, but leaves complaining about poor maintenance and fallen trees.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A pickup driver isn’t facing any charges for killing an 11-year old boy in the Hamptons, despite backing into the victim’s bike while leaving a worksite. Seriously, if you can’t see what’s behind you, don’t effing back up.

 

International

Cycling Weekly looks at ten standout handmade bikes from Enve Composites Bike Builder Round-Up, calling them rideable art.

An Irish man walked with a gentle caress on the wrist for the death of a 63-year old bike rider, after the man’s Yorkie escaped and ran out into the roadway; he was fined the equivalent of just $304 for letting the dog run loose, and a total of $329 for not licensing his three dogs. But not a dime for killing someone. Let’s at least hope the victim’s family has a damn good lawyer.

France is rolling out a new combination bike and pedestrian traffic signal for use when a bike lane runs next to a pedestrian path.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers his observations from a recent family vacation to Barcelona, calling it the “most walkable, most transit-oriented, and most bikeable place” he’s ever been. And yes, I’m only a lot jealous.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rouleur looks forward to today’s stage of the Tour de France, the year’s first mountain finish. On gravel, no less.

Slovenian Tadej Pogačar won Thursday’s sixth stage to become the third yellow jersey holder at this year’s Tour; Bicycling asks the pertinent question of who the hell is the new Slovenian race leader. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you

American TdF rookie Quinn Simmons made a good impression on Thursday’s stage, following the wheels of Wout Van Aert and Jakob Fuglsang on a lengthy breakaway before getting reeled in by the peloton as Van Aert sped off.

Italy’s Alberto Bettiol apologized to teammates Neilson Powless and Magnus Cort, after an ill-advised attack on the cobbles during Wednesday’s fifth stage may have helped keep the American out of the yellow jersey, trailing then leader Tadej Pogačar by just 13 seconds.

Juliette Labous won Thursday’s stage of Italy’s Giro Donne, as Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten added to her overall lead. Meanwhile, Dutch great Marianne Vos is withdrawing from the Giro Donne after her second stage win on Wednesday to focus on “other team goals,” most likely the new Tour de France Femmes.

Damn good question. VeloNews examines the hypocrisy in cycling, questioning why some dopers are forgiven while others are shunned.

Comfy bikes and Tour de France teams aren’t concepts that usually go together.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you set a new record for the oldest person to cross the US by bike. Once again, if you’re riding your bike with meth stuffed in your sock, put a damn light on it. The bike, that is, not the sock.

And yes, the late, great James Caan was one of us.

At least on the silver screen.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1545113994737979392

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

One comment

  1. Allen Marin says:

    Another great daily wrap up as always. Thanks, Ted!

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