Still no Koreatown traffic signal after 3 years, Huizar rides 6th Street Bridge, and NHTSA boss calls for Idaho Stop

Good question.

It’s been three full years since a four-year old girl was killed by a left-turning driver while holding her mother’s hand in a Koreatown crosswalk.

Now LAist wants to know why nothing has been done to install the new traffic signal Koreatown residents were promised in response to Alessa Fajardo’s death as she was walking to school.

Alessa’s death highlighted a series of failures: by the driver who killed her and — more significantly — by the city of L.A., which long knew of dangerous conditions at the intersection where she was killed, but did not add (some) safety improvements until after her death…

But three years after Alessa was killed — and more than 30 months since LADOT recommended the signals be upgraded (with 4-way left turn signals) to make the intersection safer — the improvements have not yet been made.

Adding insult to literal injury, the driver apparently skipped town after initially stopping. There’s been an outstanding warrant for Indira Marrero since she failed to appear in court two years ago — despite the relative slap on the wrist of a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge.

Photo by Pixabay.

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from disgraced CD14 Councilmember Jose Huizar, who left office under the cloud of racketeering and bribery charges.

Apparently emboldened by the controversy swirling around successor Kevin De León, Huizar popped up yesterday to subtly remind everyone of one of his more popular accomplishments, even though it wasn’t completed until long after he was gone.

Like Huizar, De León refuses to resign despite repeated calls to step down.

Although as shameful as De León’s conduct has been, at least he doesn’t face decades behind bars for his actions, or the lack thereof.

………

She gets it.

The acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, is calling for approving the Idaho Stop Law.

She argues that data shows the law, which allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields and red lights as stops signs, provides additional safety benefits to people on bicycles.

It’s already in effect in a handful of cities and states, while a modified version known as Stop as Yield — which does not allow for treating red lights as stop signs — is law in several others.

Although not California, where Governor Newsom vetoed it — twice.

………

Today’s common theme is cops behaving badly.

A Canadian mountie faces charges for hitting a bike-riding suspect with his patrol car, after two men on a bicycles were seen making off with a large metal safe on a dolly.

And a 22-year old Aukland, New Zealand cop pled guilty to the off-duty death of a bike-riding man, while driving at well over twice the legal alcohol limit.

………

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

A white Illinois woman walked with probation after being allowed to plead down a felony hate crime charge to a single count of misdemeanor battery, for confronting three Black men riding their bikes along Lake Michigan, insisting their skin color meant they couldn’t be there without a permit.

Anger is growing in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a road raging driver was caught on security cam driving up on a sidewalk to hit a bike rider; both the driver and the victim left the scene afterwards. Always stick around to talk to the police after any assault, vehicular or otherwise.

A Toronto bike rider was lucky to escape from a road raging driver who swerved into him, before getting out of his truck to attack him. Laws may be different in Canada, but LAPD officers have told me that simply exiting a vehicle to confront someone is enough to subject a driver to assault charges.

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

Police in Springfield, Missouri are looking for a bike-riding woman and her companion, after they ignored No Trespassing signs to steal an 80 to 100-pound bench.

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Local

Pasadena has received a $36,500 site grant to improve bike and pedestrian safety.

 

State 

Orange County sheriff’s deputies will host a pair of free, all-ages ebike safety classes in Rancho Santa Margarita over the next two months.

Santa Barbara is removing the green bike lane markings from the center of the State Street Promenade. The bike lanes were intended to separate bike riders and pedestrians, but were ignored by people walking; now bicyclists and pedestrians will be expected to share the carfree street.

Tragic news from Fresno, where someone riding a bicycle was killed in a collision near the Fresno State University campus.

Apparently missing the point of a quick-build bike lane, San Francisco business owners are calling for more study and complaining about a loss of parking, even though the idea behind quick-build lanes is to try them out to see if they work.

Great idea. A resident-led rapid response group is working to call attention to traffic violence in Oakland, quickly organizing protests following deadly collisions.

 

National

Lifehacker offers advice on how to ride your bike in the rain.

Thrillist talks to the “experts” for a list of 16 bicycling essentials every new rider should own. None of which are actually essential.

A Tacoma, Washington bike drive bought in 370 bicycles to be refurbished and donated to people in need.

Fast Company looks at Denver’s wildly successful and popular $4.1 million ebike rebate program.

An Oklahoma man was sentenced to life in prison for the random drive-by shooting that killed a man riding a bicycle; he reportedly killed a stranger just to impress members of a street gang.

An Ohio man wants his coke possession charge separated from charges for the hit-and-run death of a 13-year old boy riding a bicycle, arguing that the drug bust came the next day — even though he was on his way to buy it when he killed the kid.

A Martha’s Vineyard letter writer complains about the two-week closure of a bike path for a three-day music festival, arguing that families and children are routed onto deadly roadways instead.

Lonely Planet says yes, it is possible to be a tourist in New York on a bicycle.

New York is offering a paltry $5,000 reward for the hit-and-run driver who killed a 13-year old boy, who leaped in front of his sister to push her out of the way as they walked in a bike lane.

 

International

Road.cc’s Near Miss of the Day isn’t, after a bike rider’s bikecam catches a van driver actually sideswiping him.

In a major setback for Vancouver bike riders, the city plans to rip out a contentious bike lane through a city park, so cut-through drivers can resume zooming through after being banned during the pandemic.

The conservative Times of London makes a dramatic U-turn by concluding that two-wheels are good, just nine months after demanding licenses and liability insurance for people on bikes. Although they still think cargo bikes annoy drivers.

American Anne Sacoolas pled guilty to a reduced charge of causing death by careless driving in the 2019 head-on, wrong-way driving death of a 19-year old British motorcyclist outside an RAF airbase known to house American spies, where her husband had worked. Sacoolas was able to use her husband’s diplomatic immunity to flee the country; it’s unlikely she will return to the UK for sentencing.

Brussels, Belgium now bans motorists from driving through the city center if that’s not their final destination.

We Love Cycling offers advice on how to cross European borders on a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Ireland is making a bid to host the start of the Tour de France, possibly as early as 2026.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new ebike could literally explode. Or when The Cannibal spent twice as long wearing yellow as Britain’s latest prime minister spent in office.

And why tote a bulky tent and sleeping bag on your next bike tour, when you can peddle your very own solar-powered ebike camper van for the low, low price of ten grand?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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