Video highlights LA Vision Zero fail, missing OK bike riders murdered, and Times endorses Soto-Martínez in DC13

It’s been seven years since Eric Garcetti signed the Vision Zero declaration, which committed Los Angeles to ending traffic deaths by 2025.

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

It wasn’t long before the city realized just how hard that would be, and how much change it would require, before quickly shoving it far back on the shelf where they hoped no one would notice.

Funny thing is, though, we told them that. The city held a series of public meetings and solicited comments from the public — without bothering to enlist the advocates who had fought for it.

But we showed up anyway.

One of the biggest things people stressed in these meetings was that it would require wholesale changes in how we get around. Something that somehow didn’t make it into the final Vision Zero Action Plan, which instead proposed a policy of nibbling at the edges of the city’s most dangerous corridors, in hopes the combined incremental changes might somehow make a difference.

You can see how well that worked out.

Another thing we stressed was the need for a change in attitude among LA drivers, assuring the city the program would fail unless there was a large scale reeducation campaign informing motorists that they don’t, in fact, own the road, and that even the best drivers are capable of killing and maiming innocent people unless they learned to drive carefully around vulnerable road users.

And to use the long-abused and misused term, to share the road with people on bikes and on foot, making room and giving them a wide berth, rather than running them off the road.

That, too, was ignored.

I mention this because of this video posted by father and Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, as a driver on what should have been a quiet side street threatened to call the police because Schneider had the audacity to ride a cargo bike in the street with his four-year old kid.

https://twitter.com/schneider/status/1582041692110102529

I share it, not because it’s uncommon, but because this sort of crap is all too common.

There are few of us brave enough to mix it up with motor vehicles that haven’t run into drivers like this at one time or another. Sometime literally.

The attitude persists among too many drivers that streets are for cars, and too dangerous for people walking or on bicycles, without grasping the irony that they are the very people who keep that way.

Until that changes — or rather, until our elected leaders care enough about saving human lives to actually do something to make it change — Vision Zero will continue to fail.

And people will keep dying needlessly on our streets.

Photo from LA Streetsblog

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Speaking of Vision Zero, a pair of NACTO executives argue that cities urgently need to fix dangerous arterial streets, which make up just 15 percent of all roads but are responsible for a whopping 67 percent of pedestrian deaths.

And Streets For All is urging you to support a proposal for a pedestrian plaza on deadly Sawtelle Blvd at tonight’s Zoom meeting of the West LA Sawtelle Neighborhood Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

Because clearly, it’s up to us to keep pushing for a safer, more livable city for all Angelenos.

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It never seemed like the story of the missing Okmulgee, Oklahoma bike riders was going to end well.

But the real story is so much worse than anything we imagined.

The four friends inexplicably disappeared after setting out for a bike ride Sunday evening. A massive search turned up nothing, until their bodies were found Friday — shot, dismembered and dumped in a local river.

To complicate matters, it turns out the men were killed while committing, or at least planning, a crime. Although just what that crime might have been is unknown at this time.

Cellphone records show they traveled to a pair of salvage yards, five and eleven miles from where their bodies were found. One of which showed “evidence of a violent event” nearby.

Police are looking for a person of interest in the case, who also disappeared Sunday night, and reportedly may be suicidal.

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No, it’s not.

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This effectively makes the case for why slower speeds save lives, showing the difference between roughly 50 mph and 20 mph.

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Inspiring video demonstrating that bikes aren’t just for the able-bodied, as British pro mountain biker James Anderson competes despite suffering from Monoplegia, an acute form of Cerebral Palsy.

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

Police in New York are looking for the bike-riding man accused of two sexual assaults in the East Side and West Village neighborhoods. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough. 

A British mother of four claims she was forced to sell drugs after failing in debt to a drug gang, after she was busted for peddling heroin and coke by bike.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times makes a surprising endorsement, picking challenger Hugo Soto-Martínez over incumbent CD13 Councilmember and acting council president Mitch O’Farrell.

Councilmembers Kevin de León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo have been stripped of their committee assignments, as pressure mounts for them to resign in the wake of a racist taped conversation that was leaked last week.

People for Mobility Justice is teaming with Metro to host a free bike tour of East LA taco vendors and bike infrastructure this evening, starting at Mariachi Plaza.

WeHoVille gets the candidates for West Hollywood City Council — or most of them, anyway — on the record for their support, or the lack thereof, for proposed protected bike lanes on deadly Fountain Ave. Too many of whom insist on seeing it from a windshield perspective, preferring to protect parking and high-speed traffic over human lives. 

Metro is hosting a webinar meeting tonight to discuss bike and pedestrian improvements near the planned Sepulveda Blvd G Line — aka Orange Line — station.

Metro has released an interactive map of its Draft Prioritized Active Transportation Network, showing where in LA County the agency thinks it should make multimodal improvements

 

State 

No surprise here, as pedestrians made up 25% of all traffic traffic fatalities in California in 2020, with pedestrian deaths climbing 4% over the previous year.

Carlsbad’s Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream is hosting a fundraiser today for a local firefighter and his 16-month old daughter, after their wife and mother were killed by a driver while riding her ebike with the girl in August.

Sad news from Kern County, where a Bakersfield man was killed riding a bicycle in the city early Saturday morning.

San Francisco is headed for its worst year for traffic deaths and injuries in 15 years, making its goal of zero traffic deaths by 2024 increasingly unlikely; researchers blame inadequate and misdirected police enforcement.

More sad news, as the CHP is searching for the hit-and-run driver who killed a man who was riding a bike in Sacramento just after midnight Sunday; the victim wasn’t carrying ID and hasn’t been identified. Meanwhile, a CHP officer is in critical condition after he was struck by a drunk driver while investigating the crash.

 

National

He gets it. CNN’s Chris Cillizza uses Black Panther’s African utopia of Wakanda as a model to illustrate why it’s time to move our cities beyond the failed and destructive age of car culture.

A mom of twins offers a rave review of her first thousand miles on an e-cargo bike.

Cycling Weekly shares some of the best custom and yet-to-be-released handmade bikes from Portland’s seventh annual Chris King Open House, while Cycling News highlights five bikes from London’s recent Bespoked custom bike show.

The Las Vegas Raiders are adding additional bike racks and planning to stripe bike lanes outside their stadium, in response to demand from fans riding bikes to the games.

Horrible story from Michigan, where a bike rider was killed when he was dragged several blocks underneath a car by a hit-and-run driver.

The New York Civil Liberties Union is arguing a case before the state Supreme Court, demanding that cops and courts treat search and seizure of people on bicycles the same as they do people in cars.

 

International

A new international study shows a bike rider in New York is 25 times more likely to be killed than a similar rider in Vancouver, and faces roughly the same risk as a bicyclist in Auckland or Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, Los Angeles wasn’t included in the study.

This is who we share the road with. A Welsh driver was allegedly using Facebook and Instagram behind the wheel, moments before killing an off-duty police sergeant as she was riding a bicycle; he claims it was his 13-month old son using his phone at the time of the crash.  Sure, let’s go with that.

 

Competitive Cycling

An Irish columnist marks the 10th anniversary of Lance Armstrong’s downfall by arguing that his punishment was “draconian and probably excessive,” but caused by the same “bloody-mindedness” that led to his seven Tour de France wins.

Former Italian great Mario Cipollini was sentenced to three years and a fine of 85,000 euros — the equivalent of nearly $83,750 — after being convicted of domestic abuse and threats against his ex-wife and her current partner.

US national road race champ Kyle Murphy has signed with L39ion of Los Angeles, as the LA-based cycling team apparently looks to compete as a Continental team next year, after dominating the American crit scene.

Zwift is sponsoring the first physical location for the LA Bicycle Academy, a cycling team founded and led by people of color to help young people from underserved communities enter the sport.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the internet has misses the point entirely. Or when your only race fan is a monkey. No, a real one.

And apparently, bicycling fashion has changed just a tad over the years.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

One comment

  1. John says:

    Peddling heroin and coke by bike. Good one.

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