Call for Martinez and De León to resign after racist rant, CicLAvia returns to DTLA, and vehicular murder in Griffith Park

Let’s start with a story that has nothing to do with bicycles.

And everything to do with all of us in Los Angeles.

A recording surfaced yesterday of City Council President Nury Martinez, Councilmembers Kevin De León and Gil Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, using racist language while breaking down redistricting arguments strictly along racial lines.

Never mind calling their gay fellow councilmembers a “bitch” and a “diva.” Or referring to Oaxacan immigrants as ugly little people.

I won’t get into all it. You can, and should, read it on your own. Because as ugly as I make it sound, the reality is far worse.

Suffice it to say that Martinez described the Black toddler son of fellow Councilmember Mike Bonin and his husband as a monkey and a fashion accessory, while De León compared him to a Louis Vuitton handbag.

Both Martinez and Kevin De León have supported bikes in recent years, and the bike community have supported them in kind. And both have apologized for their comments.

But that’s not good enough.

Which is why I’m joining with countless other Angelenos and LA organizations calling for their resignations.

There is no place for open racism in our government at any level. It is simply unacceptable, and beneath contempt.

And if they don’t have the integrity to quit, we’ll may have recall them to force them both out.

The only reason I’m not calling for Cedillo’s resignation is that he has already, and deservedly, lost his bid for re-election. But if he had any dignity, he’d leave on his own, right now.

Which in his case is a pretty damn big if, given what we already know about him.

Meanwhile, this is also more proof that it’s time to take redistricting entirely out of the council’s hands, and let a civilian commission have the final say.

Photo of our intern and mascot on the new 6th Street Bridge during yesterday’s CicLAvia.

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In happier news, a good time was had by all at yesterday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia.

Or nearly all, anyway. A couple of firefighters indicated the day was mostly event free, despite a wave of injuries at the beginning of the day.

The route, which for the first time led to Echo Park and the new 6th Street Bridge, saw a massive turnout as Angelenos took advantage of the near perfect weather.

My wife and I, and corgi, included.

Here are a few photos to capture the day.

Nikita of the Real Rydaz poses with her bike.

Both award-winning bikes were built by Will of the Real Rydaz.

Frank Gehry’s new The Grand LA adds to the LA skyline.

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This is who we share the road with.

What started out as yet another a hit-and-run in Griffith Park ended with a murder charge.

News broke Saturday evening that a pedestrian had been killed by a driver earlier in the day. The woman fled the scene, leaving her victim to die in the street on Fern Dell Drive.

The driver was arrested the following day, after investigators concluded that the 70-year old victim’s 32-year old girlfriend had intentionally run him over — using his own car — following an argument.

Sonia Sovereign reportedly confessed to the crime, and is being held on a murder charge on $1 million bail.

And it may not have been her first brush with the law, as a woman with the same name, and the right age, led Colorado police on a drunken chase half a decade earlier.

Just one more argument for why cars don’t belong in the park. Or any park, for that matter.

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Michael Siegal of South Pas Active Streets forwards news of a successful first Walk and Roll at two South Pasadena elementary schools.

Local community organization South Pas Active Streets organized three “bike bus” rides to school on October 5th to Arroyo Vista and Marengo elementary schools. Coinciding with South Pasadena Walk or Bike to School Day, these chaperoned, safety-in-numbers bike rides created an active way to get to school for children who otherwise might not have the opportunity.

Over 30 children and 20 adults participated in one of three different routes to school.  With a core group of riders starting the ride at one end, participants would join the bike bus along its route as it wound its way toward school.  Besides parents, volunteers on these rides included members of DUDES South Pasadena and Mayor Michael Cacciotti.

South Pas Active Streets seeks to provide safe opportunities for active mobility, supporting our childrens’ health, independence, and well-being.  With the success of Wednesday’s first-ever South Pas Walk and Roll, the organization will be coordinating more bike buses and walking buses in the future.

More information on the event, the routes and photos are at southpasactive.org/home/south-pas-walk-and-roll

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I’d be more impressed with the new protected bike lanes on San Vicente if they weren’t half in the gutter.

But at least the city is building something in the mobility plan, for a change.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1578168132589346816

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As we mentioned last week, CSUN is hosting a family-friendly Bikefest in two weeks.

Thanks to Steven Hallett for the heads-up.

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

A failed candidate for state legislature took credit for throwing a red plastic cup full of cider at a Chicago alderman, as he rode past on his bike with about 50 other people to examine existing bike infrastructure and brainstorm improvements. If you can call it “credit,” that is.

No bias here. Louisville KY writer complains about “militant” bicyclists, who hide their anti-car agenda “behind code words like safety, health, vibrant and even equity.” Um, sure. Let’s go with that.

Someone is sabotaging a DC bike lane by repeatedly dumping construction nails into it.

In an apparent attempt to thin the herd, a separated bike lane in Manchester, England, is shared with truck drivers headed the opposite direction to a delivery bay, resulting in a bizarre game of chicken as drivers go head-on towards people on bikes.

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

Police in Santa Barbara are looking for a blond man who allegedly fled the scene by bicycle after beating a man to death, before possible stealing a car to complete his getaway.

An English man faces charges for mowing down two bicyclists while speeding downhill and riding salmon in a London park, and barely missing another rider.

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Local

An op-ed in the LA Times looks at the new law decriminalizing jaywalking in most circumstances, and the historic automotive hegemony that led to jaywalking laws in the first place.

A man in his 50s was critically injured in a Westminster hit-and-run while riding his bike Thursday evening.

 

State 

Camarillo approved a proposal to authorize just over $910,000 to hire engineering and environmental consultants for a planned $6 million bike lane extension on Central Ave. Although that’s a hell of a lot of money for just a third of a mile of bike lanes, so let’s hope there’s more to it than that.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man riding a bicycle was killed when he was struck by two separate motorists, one of whom fled the scene.

The Stanford student paper examines the presence of roundabouts on campus, explaining that they serve to slow drivers below 25 mph.

Just days after Alameda’s mayor killed plans for a protected bike lane, he raised it back up from the dead.

A planned 47-mile bike trail through the Napa Valley wine country could turn it into a bicycling destination to rival Provence.

 

National

A writer for an RV site recommends ebikes for the RV life.

Seventy-seven years after the end of WWII, an Italian man is riding from Seattle to Phoenix to retrace his grandfather’s journey as an Italian prisoner of war.

A Utah truck driver bought a new bike for a five year old boy because he felt bad about the crash that sent the kid to the hospital.

A Denver writer applauds the city for moving quickly to expand its bike network while listening to feedback from the community.

My bike-friendly Colorado hometown is getting its first advisory lane on a street I grew up riding. Something tells me it will go a little better than a similar street design did in San Diego.

Life is cheap in Massachusetts, where a 91-year old driver walked with a lousy traffic ticket for right-hooking a bike rider, who was seriously injured when he landed in the car’s back seat after crashing through the closed rear window. But at least the police asked to have his driver’s license revoked.

A rescue swimmer used a borrowed beach cruiser to save an elderly Florida man and woman, and their dog, following Hurricane Ian.

 

International

Engadget proclaims this the age of the cargo bike. Thanks to Victor Bale for the tip.

The newest Roman Catholic saint was one of us. Italian Artedime Zatti was famed for riding his bicycle throughout the Argentine town of Viedma with a medical case to care for the sick.

She gets it. An op-ed by a Toronto advocate says if we want to get more people on bikes, we have to change our cultural and political deference to cars first.

Nice BBC report on an Indian man who has opened a museum to house his collection of over 150 bicycles, many of which he restored himself. And insists he’s not doing it for the money, but just wants to share them with the world. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

New Zealand’s Stuff says cycling clubs are disappearing because they can’t afford the onerous traffic management plans.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar edged Enric Mas to defend his title at Il Lombardia, the year’s final Monument; the race also marked the last competitions for former Grand Tour champs Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali, who care calling it a career.

Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert is also calling it a career after one last race in Sunday’s Paris-Tours, which was won in a sprint by defending champ Arnaud Démare.

France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prévot won the inaugural women’s gravel World Championship, while Belgium’s Gianni Vermeersch upset Mathieu van der Poel to take the men’s title.

Italian time trial specialist Filippo Ganna shattered the hour record, traveling 56.792 kilometers in 60 minutes — 1.2 km further than the previous record, set by Britain’s Dan Bigham less than two months ago. That works out to a whopping 35.289 miles.

Ganna not only broke the record, he unified the title by also beating Chris Boardman’s 26-year old “superman” record.

Cycling Tips offers photos from Ganna’s record-setting ride.

Five weird ways cyclists bent, if not broke, the rules.

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid profiles L39ion of Los Angeles co-founder and CEO Justin Williams.

 

Finally…

Britain’s wackiest bike race. That feeling when your competitor for a city council seat rescues your stolen ebike bike from a homeless camp, and you still have to run against him.

And now you, too, can race your own hologram.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

4 comments

  1. Joe Linton says:

    You can delete this comment – it’s Frank “Gehry” not ” Geary” (in one of your CicLAvia captions)

  2. Andy Stow says:

    The salmon cyclist in Richmond park was going up the hill, hitting two cyclists coming down. So he probably wasn’t doing any zooming.

  3. Ralph says:

    Ah, the Stanford traffic circles.
    For many years “The circle of Death” was at the south east corner of the quad. Slight downhill and a major cross direction for students heading to classes and back to dorms. Workers if they had to drive through, only work vehicles are allowed, normally stopped before entry to wait for the class change bike pedestrian traffic to subside. The problem I had on my bike was that students wouldn’t go to the right and around the center. They just cut over from any direction. They painted lines and put up signs to direct people to almost no avail.
    The new circles on the streets that go around the main campus area are a vast improvement to traffic flow and safety. Most motor vehicle traffic id force around the center of campus with very limited, and expensive parking inside the ring.

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