AZ driver plows into club ride killing 2 and injuring 11, a successful CicLAvia, and a more walkable bikeable Eagle Rock

It’s happened again.

Just 18 months after a driver plowed through a master’s bike race in Show Low, Arizona, killing one man and injuring seven others, another driver has done virtually the same thing just 200 miles away.

According to multiple sources, a pickup driver towing a trailer plowed through a group of bicyclists with the West Valley Cycling club in the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear, Arizona Saturday morning, killing two people and leaving eleven others with “very serious injuries.”

One woman died at the scene, the other victim died after being taken to a local hospital. At least one of the injured bike riders was still in critical condition a day later.

The driver, 26-year old Pedro Quintana-Lujan, was booked on charges including two counts of manslaughter, three counts of aggravated assault, 18 counts of endangerment, and two counts of causing serious injury or death by a moving violation.

CNN reports that Maricopa County jail records show Quintana-Lujan was being held on $250,000 bond.

The owner of a Phoenix Trek bike shop said one his employees was among the injured, saying it will be a long time the 65-year old man will be able to work again.

Another bike shop owner said a recently retired friend and customer had already undergone two surgeries to stabilize his cerebral spine, with more in his future.

No word yet on whether Quintana-Lujan was distracted or under the influence. Or why he was apparently unable to see a couple dozen people on bicycles directly ahead of his truck.

Thanks to Victor Bale and Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

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By all accounts, the year’s first CicLAvia was a success, even if the cold and cloudy weather may have dampened turnout.

Spirits clearly weren’t dampened, however.

Even one of California’s newly elected state senators was among the people enjoying the carfree street.

And for one day, at least, the San Fernando Valley looked a lot like Paris and Guadalajara.

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You have just two more weeks to voice your support for a bikeable, walkable and livable Colorado Blvd through Eagle Rock.

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The bizarre 15-minute city conspiracy theory continues to gain ground, as proponents argue that the benign urban planning philosophy is somehow “a plot by ‘tyrannical bureaucrats’ to take our cars and control our lives, which could lead to a real-life Hunger Games scenario.”

Um, okay.

Meanwhile, CNN reports an Oxford, England politician received death threats — many from outside the country — for proposing a plan to filter traffic using traffic cams to limit drivers from cutting through a neighborhood at peak times.

As we’ve discussed before, nothing in the 15-minute city concept prevents motorists from leaving their own neighborhoods, or driving through the city. It merely means that everything you need for daily life should be found within 15 minutes of your home.

According to CNN, the conspiracy theory originally gained traction among Q-Anon theorists and climate change deniers. And Fox News and other conservative media were only happy to fan the flames.

Which led to this —

In December, Canadian clinical psychologist and climate skeptic Jordan Peterson posted a tweet attacking 15-minute cities: “The idea that neighborhoods should be walkable is lovely. The idea that idiot tyrannical bureaucrats can decide by fiat where you’re ‘allowed’ to drive is perhaps the worst imaginable perversion of that idea.”

In early February, UK politician Nick Fletcher raised the conspiracy in Parliament, calling 15-minute cities an “international socialist concept” and claimed they “will cost us our personal freedom.”

And last weekend, online theories spilled into real life protests, as thousands of people, many from outside the area, took to the streets of Oxford to protest the traffic filtering and 15-minute city proposals.

Let’s hope the world regains its sanity. Because walkable, bikeable 15-minute cities are the solution.

Not the problem.

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Legendary jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon was one of us.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1630070221812944896

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A young Elizabeth Taylor was one of us, too.

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A backwards Penny Farthing was apparently the BMX of its day.

More proof you can carry anything on two wheels.

Or one, even.

And nothing actually says your unicycle has to have a wheel.

Click on the photo to see the full image. Trust me, it’s worth it. 

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

A Cleveland website says an Ohio legislator needs to explain his overreach on bike lanes, which would have banned a planned center lane cycle track in Cleveland.

Apparently having no grasp of physics, and little on reality, nearly two-thirds of British drivers believe aggressive bicyclists are a threat to their safety, and a bigger danger than they were just three years earlier.

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

An Ontario, Canada man faces charges for getting off his bicycle, and using it to assault a woman pedestrian after demanding money from her.

A lawsuit by a Taipei ebike rider backfired after a judge ruled he was at fault for riding into the back of a double parked car, saying he had plenty of room to go around it.

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Local 

He gets it. Paul Thornton, the Letters Editor for the Los Angeles Times, asks if LA drivers have suddenly become more okay with endangering lives, arguing that “sitting behind a steering wheel can turn a reasonable person into a borderline psychopath, willing to threaten the life of anyone in the way.” Which was one of the many reasons I quit driving, because I didn’t like who I became behind the wheel.

A letter writer in the Times argues that the best way to protect yourself is to ride with a camera facing in every direction, and get a good lawyer.

Pomona has received a $11.3 million grant to build a 3.5-mile trail along the San Jose Creek that will take pedestrians and cyclists from Cal Poly Pomona to the LA County Fairplex.

 

State

California Walks and UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, aka SafeTREC, are offering free training on how to assess current conditions and identify ways to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Costa Mesa quietly revoked its bike licensing requirement last week, after similar licensing laws were banned as part of last year’s Omnibus Bike Bill passed by the state legislature; two Costa Mesa safe streets advocates were instrumental in getting the ban included in the bill, after discovering the city’s licensing requirement had been used primarily to target the homeless and people of color.

Ebike collisions continue to rise in San Diego’s coastal North County area. Although a rise in injuries could simply be attributable to an increase in ebike ridership.

Melissa Gonzalez, the San Diego driver facing a slap on the wrist for killing Matthew Keenan in a wrong way, head-on crash as he rode his bike in Mission Valley two years ago, defied expectations by pleading not guilty, and will face trial in May, as his widow demands more accountability for the crash.

That’s more like it. A 35-year old man was sentenced to 16 years and 4 months to life behind bars for the drunken Palm Springs motor vehicle crash that killed a 56-year old man. Although as Victor Bale suggested in forwarding this, if the victim had been on a bicycle, he probably would have gotten a slap on the wrist, too.

Troubled pop star Britney Spears received a warning from Ventura County animal control after her two-year old doberman escaped her Thousand Oaks compound, and bit a 71-year old man riding his bicycle nearby.

Up to a thousand people are expected to turn out for Saturday’s Solvang Century Bike Ride through Santa Barbara County

Berkeley is inviting low-income residents to apply for a lottery to get an ebike for long-term use as part of a city-funded program. Although they define low-income a lot differently than I do, with incomes up to $74,000 for an individual, or $106,000 for a family of four. 

 

National

A writer for the Competitive Enterprise Institute says we won’t need more lithium and other rare minerals for EV batteries if we just ban cars and suburbs. Except he somehow seems to think that’s a bad thing.

The president of a Colorado trucking association calls on Denver to rethink its Vision Zero program, arguing that deaths will continue to soar without an increased emphasis on enforcement of traffic laws.

A Texas driver accepted a plea for seven-years behind bars for killing a well-known 67-year old Galveston physician as she was riding her bike last March.

An “activist” bicycling group in Rochester, New York is riding to protest police violence and fight for a more inclusive society.

That’s more like it. After a Manhattan taxi driver jumped the curbed after hitting a bike rider, trapping two people under the cab, New York’s mayor announced that a three block section of Broadway where the crash occurred will be closed to motor vehicles between 8 am and 11 pm. Then again, the street was already a bicyclist’s paradise in the 1890s.

Life is cheap in New York, where a US Postal Service driver faces just one month behind bars and a lousy $250 fine after being convicted of misdemeanor failure to yield for killing a 71-year old man riding a bicycle in a right hook crash; his attorney tried to blame the victim for his own death, insisting he could have braked to avoid the impact. Spoken like someone who has never been right hooked on a bike. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

A quick-thinking Atlanta cop is credited with saving the life of a bike-riding man, who collapsed unexpectedly moments after the officer waved him through an intersection.

The Tampa Bay Times says a 40-year old woman riding a bike has been killed by Florida Highway Patrol car. Which was apparently driving itself, since the story doesn’t mention a human being, let alone a sworn officer, having anything to do with the crash.

 

International

Move Electric examines how common ebike theft is, and what you can do to prevent it.

They get it, too. A Canadian website says Toronto’s Vision Zero plan is all that stands between bike riders and total road anarchy, with “lot more fear, anger and impatience on the roads, and the veneer of civil behavior badly eroded.”

An American woman was left with a nearly $17,000 hospital bill after hitting a pothole while riding her bike on a Scottish roadway.

A day after we mentioned a British woman on trial for pushing a 77-year old woman off her bike, she was convicted of manslaughter, and will be sentenced on Thursday; she claimed she was just gesturing wildly as she complained about the woman riding on the sidewalk, and may have inadvertently hit her. The jury clearly didn’t believe her, either.

Road.cc considers why former BBC host Dan Walker’s call to wear a helmet is controversial, after he credited his with saving his life.

Stockholm, Sweden is getting its first bicycle street, where bicycles will receive priority over other forms of traffic. Which has no known equivalent in Southern California, let alone Los Angeles. 

They get it. A South African website says bicycling could solve transportation problems in Cape Town, calling for an integrated transportation network with bicycling at its heart.

A new documentary looks at the two decade old case of a disabled Japanese man who died in custody, after fleeing from police on his bicycle when they tried to stop him for “acting suspiciously.”

Bicycling Australia chooses their gear of the year, noting the bicycling products that captured their attention. Many, if not most, of which should be available here in the US. 

 

Competitive Cycling

The New York Times offers a deep dive profile on 33-year old individual pursuit world champ and record holder Ashton Lambie, who was working at a bike shop and randonneuring before he took his first ride on a grass velodrome in Kansas, on a borrowed bike, less than seven years ago. And won, of course.

Twenty-three-year old world champ Remco Evenepoel added another notch on his belt with a victory in the UAE Tour.

Colombian Egan Bernal will not be racing in this week’s Paris-Nice after being sidelined by a knee injury, as he returns to racing after last year’s near fatal training crash.

USA Cycling could be looking for you, as the national cycling body set off a “new talent-identification program aimed at underrepresented and more diverse communities” for its track cycling program. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with feral LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to use our ebike’s turbo boost to outrun a pack of hungry wolves; thanks again to Phillip Young. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about being trampled to death by elephants, either.

And unlike most bike-riding dogs, cats don’t need a basket.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

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