13 years for Adam Milavetz in death of San Diego architect, and LA would be healthier if residents biked to work

Eighteen months after a noted architect was run down in San Diego’s Balboa Park, her killer has been brought to justice.

Thirty-nine-year old Adam David Milavetz accepted a plea deal on Thursday in the death of 57-year old Laura Shinn.

Milavetz pled guilty to to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated after prosecutors dropped the initial murder charge; he’s expected to be sentenced to 13 years behind bars.

Shinn was riding her bike through the park on her way to work as director of facilities planning at San Diego State University when she was run down from behind by Milavetz, who was allegedly high at the time of the crash.

Witnesses reported seeing him run across the streets and dump a bag containing baggies of meth after the crash; police found still more meth, fentanyl and hypodermic needles in his car.

While there’s no mention of a Milavetz having a previous DUI conviction, the original murder count suggests that he may have signed a Watson notice, indicating he was aware he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence in the future.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

A new study examines the health impact of healthier commutes.

The authors considered the impact on public health if Los Angeles residents commuted 2.5 miles by bike each day for five years instead of driving.

The result was a 12.4% net reduction in mortality risk, and 600 fewer deaths over the five year period.

However, areas with more Black and Hispanic residents and a lower socioeconomic status showed a significantly lower benefit, suggesting a need for mitigation strategies in marginalized communities.

………

Another “alarming” study reports over one million children were found to have suffered broken bones as a result of bicycling collisions and falls over the past twenty years.

According to the study, 71% of the fracture patients were white males between 10 and 15 years old. Children who rode without a helmet were most likely to suffer an injury, with 87% of helmet-less riders suffering a skull fracture.

Although that last stat seems somewhat questionable. It seems more plausible that 87% of children who suffered a skull fracture weren’t wearing helmets.

And while that one million figure sounds alarming, it works out to an average of just 50,975 fractures a year across the entire US.

A 2014 study shows that one in three children will suffer a bone fracture before the age of 18. With approximately 73 million children under 18 in the US, that works out to an average of 1.35 million adolescent fractures a year.

Which makes 51,000 less than 4%. And a pretty insignificant figure.

………

Good question.

The New York Times asks why we keep widening highways when experts know it doesn’t work.

The paper examines projects in Houston and Jersey City, while also using LA’s cancelled 710 widening project as a prime example.

Interstate 710 in Los Angeles is, like the city itself, famous for its traffic. Freight trucks traveling between the city and the port of Long Beach, along with commuters, clog the highway. The trucks idle in the congestion, contributing to poor air quality in surrounding neighborhoods that are home to over one million people.

The proposed solution was the same one transportation officials across the country have used since the 1960s: Widen the highway. But while adding lanes can ease congestion initially, it can also encourage people to drive more. A few years after a highway is widened, research shows, traffic — and the greenhouse gas emissions that come along with it — often returns…

The cancellation of the Route 710 expansion came after California learned the hard way about the principle of “induced demand…”

When a congested road is widened, travel times go down — at first. But then people change their behaviors. After hearing a highway is less busy, commuters might switch from transit to driving or change the route they take to work. Some may even choose to move farther away.

Yet Caltrans and Metro continue to flush tax money down the toilet by pushing for ever wider highways, and “just one more” high speed interchange which promises to fix everything.

But only serves to make traffic worse in the long run. Not to mention damaging the climate even more.

It’s long past time to stop wasting billions on highways, and start investing in alternatives to driving.

And yes, that includes making it safer and more convenient to choose riding a bike instead of getting behind the wheel.

Chances are you’ll live longer. And so will our planet.

………

Now this is what I’d call a close pass.

Especially since passing vehicles usually look further away on camera than they feel in real life.

………

Gravel Bike California remembers the late, great Huell Howser and his visit to the Los Angeles Wheelmen’s annual Fargo Street Hill Climb.

………

Evidently, jumping rope while riding a bike has become a worldwide trend. Just days after we saw a Culver City bike rider performing the stunt, an Indian woman has posted video of herself doing the same thing.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cmtj1PJqggh/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=dac42c49-3683-4a3b-b525-dcffbcdaa34e

Then again, maybe Indian bicycle riders are just more skilled than the rest of us.

………

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

No bias here. Online conspiracy mongers have concluded that the concept of a 15-minute city is just a ploy by cabal of global elites to control the masses. Um, sure

A ghost bike for a Denver hit-and-run victim had to be taped back together after another hit-and-run driver crashed into it in the middle of the night, less than a month after it had been installed.

Kansas City has paused work on a seven-mile protected bike lane after business owners rose up to fight it, and a city councilmember drafted an ordinance to rip them out.

A Michigan bike path will be closed for the foreseeable future after someone drove a white truck onto it and crashed into an old wooden bridge; needless to say, the driver didn’t stick around afterwards.

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

A blind British Columbia woman has filed a discrimination lawsuit alleging roundabouts and bike lanes create unsafe conditions for people with limited sight, after someone on a bicycle slammed into her as she got off a bus.

………

Local 

Micromobility provider Helbiz is now offering dockless ebikes in Santa Monica, complimenting their acquisition of the Wheels sit-down scooters last year.

 

State

Encinitas hosted a successful Cyclovia on Sunday, as thousands of people took over a section of Coast Highway 101 through downtown Encinitas.

Old Town Goleta’s Bicycle Bob’s bike shop is switching ownership as Bob Zaratzian retires after nearly 40 years, and Trek Bikes takes over.

Bad news from Santa Rosa, where a man is in critical condition after he was struck by a driver while attempting to enter a road riding his bike.

 

National

An 82-year old retired rocket scientist offers tips for using ebikes for commuting and errands, saying electric cars are good, but ebikes are better. Meanwhile, a Florida letter writer says he hated ebikes until he got one.

A writer for Engadget says she sold the family’s second car, and bought a RadRunner ebike to carry her kid and groceries, instead.

Bicycling offers advice on how to actually share the road with someone on a bicycle. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be available anywhere else, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.

A retired Spokane eye doctor shook off Ménière’s disease to ride her bike 3,000 miles through South America.

Utah’s governor released a public service announcement asking drivers to pay more attention to people on bikes, as bicycling crashes reach a record level in the state.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where an 81-year old driver walked with a lousy traffic ticket for killing a woman riding her bike; police initially blamed the victim, until location data from her smartphone proved she didn’t ride in front of the driver’s car. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to safely drive a car.

A New York Post op-ed credits the city’s new mayor with reducing pedestrian deaths down to pre-pandemic levels, but says he still has a lot of work to do.

Once again, the NYPD is accused of blaming the victim after concluding that a 25-year old woman was killed when she hit a parked car and fell into the street in front of a semi. But the owner of the car says his mirror was already broken, and she never hit it, with witnesses blaming the truck driver, instead.

The accused terrorist who plowed down several people on a crowded Manhattan bike path with a rented pickup goes on trial today in the first federal death penalty case of the Biden Administration; Sayfullo Saipov allegedly killed eight people in New York’s deadliest terrorist attack since 9/11.

 

International

Road.cc complains about the rising cost of bicycling, as high-end bikes continue to grow more expensive, and entry-level bikes suffer from feature creep. And no, the problem isn’t just due to the pandemic, inflation or supply chain issues.

Road.cc also reviews the new book Britain’s Best Bike Ride by John Walsh and Hannah Reynolds, about “the ultimate thousand-mile cycling adventure from Land’s End to John O’ Groats.”

A writer for The Guardian hits the nail on the head, asking how Britain can become a bicycling country if their bikes keep getting stolen. Which is exactly the same question I’ve been asking here. 

In a story that sounds all too familiar, a Kenyan newspaper says bicycle riders are on their own and in danger because town plans ignore them, with no bike lanes at all in two key regions.

Redditors continue to be entranced by South Korea’s solar panel-covered protected bike path running down the median of a major highway, although traffic noise and exhaust pollution continue to be problems. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

 

Competitive Cycling

If you can’t compete in the quadrennial Paris-Brest, try eating it, instead.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a police chase ends on a borrowed bicycle. Self-driving cars are becoming more like human drivers every day. And no, that’s not a good thing.

And a British inmate makes his escape on a bike he stole from the jail’s repair shop. But gets caught 41 miles away for illegally riding on a freeway.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

2 comments

  1. Christian says:

    Chris Matthews Twitter post of “close pass”, 1) isn’t new 2023 law require you to change lanes, old law being 3 ft rule? 2) unless rider was occupying the whole lane, from the vid looks like driver did a pretty good job of passing, he’s got 10ish ft at beginning of vid to white line of shoulder then returns to 1 ft away from white line(so he had to cross over onto oncoming lane)?

  2. J says:

    Rocket Scientist is enjoying his 80s very much due to awesome wheels.

    Those with means who don’t are missing out and some spend MUCH MORE on having a car they don’t drive enough ir safely….. He has a Tesla but would give up driving before ebiking I bet!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: