Juneteenth celebration at CicLAvia, settlement reached in Kizzee shooting, and 16-to-life for killer DUI bike path driver

Let’s start with a reminder about Sunday’s South LA CicLAvia.

The upcoming CicLAvia, arguably the nation’s largest and most popular open streets event, will run directly down Vermont Ave from Exposition to Century Blvd, before taking a three-block dogleg to the left along Century.

The Father’s Day event will undoubtedly see multiple celebrations of dads along the route, officially or otherwise.

It will also celebrate Monday’s Juneteenth legal holiday, which marks the day enslaved Americans in south Texas finally heard the long-delayed news of their freedom — marking the last of the southern slaves to be freed following the Civil War.

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The father and aunt of Dijon Kizzee, who was fatally shot by a pair of sheriff’s deputies while riding a bike in South LA three years ago, have reached a conditional settlement in their lawsuit against Los Angeles County.

Settlement terms for the $35 million lawsuit were not announced.

Kizzee was shot 15 times as he tried to flee from the deputies over what began as a traffic stop for riding on the wrong side of the street.

Kizzee allegedly struggled with one of the deputies, striking him in the face and dropping a gun he was carrying; he was shot after he picked it up, even though he was running away from the deputies and didn’t point the gun in their direction.

His shooting came amid the protests over the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, leading many to argue he was killed for biking while Black.

No one was ever charged in the case.

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The Sacramento driver who killed a 76-year old man while driving drunk on a riverfront bike path has been sentenced to a minimum of 16 years behind bars, with the possibility of life imprisonment.

Michael Dodson was riding his bike on the American River bike path when he was run down by 27-year old Armando Moreno-Rodriguez, who had somehow driven onto the ostensibly carfree pathway.

After crashing into Dodson, Moreno-Rodriguez drove another four miles on the path at speeds up to 35 mph before his car shut down, officials said.

Moreno-Rodriguez was convicted on charges of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run involving death, and driving with a suspended license.

He had signed a Watson advisement after three previous due convictions, which states that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence anytime in the future.

Which he did.

Moreno-Rodriguez had blood alcohol level of .27, over three times the legal limit.

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Santa Monica Families for Safe Streets sent out a notice that the city’s new 17th Street protected bike lanes could be at risk.

Councilmember Phil Brock is has placed an item on the agenda for this Tuesday’s city council meeting tasking staff with looking into significantly undermining the new 17th St protected bike lane.

Let the City Council know that you support the bike lane by sending them an email.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

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The Ballona Creek bike path will be closed from 8 am to 3 pm on Wednesday and Thursday between Duquesne and Jackson Aves in Culver City.

As a result, last Saturday’s volunteer bush clearing effort was cancelled.

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Good question.

Will LA’s largely apathetic bike community ever stage a large-scale protest ride on Wilshire Blvd?

Or anywhere else, for that matter?

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

No bias here. An Arizona letter writer complains about scofflaw bike riders blatantly disregarding traffic laws, arguing they make other bicyclists look bad and should all appear in court. Apparently failing to notice the people in the big, dangerous machines speeding, failing to signal lane changes and turns, and watching their phones instead of the street in front of them.

Horrible news from the Baltimore area, where a man is accused of intentionally running down a bike rider with his pickup, then getting out and physically attacking the victim until police arrived to halt the assault; the victim was lucky to escape without life-threatening injuries.

A Vancouver driver apparently tried to drive over a metal bollard thinking it was a plastic car-tickler bendie-post, while driving on what should have been a carfree bikeway.

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

A letter writer complains that while older bike riders stopped to help as she walked back to her car after suffering a flat while riding with her toddler, bike riders in their 20s just seemed annoyed that they existed.

A road raging bike rider and van driver engaged in a tug-of-war over the rider’s bicycle, after he had reached into the van and grabbed the driver’s keys before throwing them down the roadway.

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Local 

This is who we share the road with. A La Puente homeowner was lucky to escape without major damage after two California Highway Patrol officers chasing a motorcyclist collided and crashed into the home’s front yard.

A Santa Monica resident complains that crime, including bike theft, is the beach city’s biggest wave.

 

State

The LA Daily News notes the passage of AB 645 last month, which would establish a speed cam pilot program in California, with just seven dissenting votes in the state Assembly; the bill must pass out of the Senate Transportation Committee by July 14 to stay alive. 

No surprise here, as Black bike riders and pedestrians in San Diego are four times more likely to be stopped by police than white people, just like they are in Los Angeles and the rest of the state.

British Prince Archie is one of us, after the four-year old son of Prince Harry and Megan Markle was given a $250 kids bike with removable training wheels, courtesy of Santa Barbara’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen bike shop.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a $10,000 bicycle from a rider participating in the AIDS/LifeCycle fundraising ride as they passed through Lompoc.

 

National

Your Strava privacy could be at risk.

An Oregon group donated over 400 refurbished bicycles to more than 300 families in need to help get kids on bikes this summer.

A Scottsdale, Arizona council member assures listeners the city “is not run by morons” as he defends a decision to build a road diet, despite opposition from three of the seven members of the city council.

After thieves stole the new ebike a well-known 70-something social and climate activist used as his only form of transportation, his fellow Longmont, Colorado residents have stepped up to replace it, raising over two grand of the $3,500 goal.

Speaking of Juneteenth, a 60-mile Texas bike ride traveled the route the newly freed people took from Galveston to Houston.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts letter writer complains about the city’s Schrödinger’s bike lanes, which appear to be simultaneously safe and unsafe due to the city’s incomplete data.

A Boston neighborhood group gets out the torches and pitchforks over a plan for a protected bike lane on the city’s Back Bay leading to Fenway Park, bizarrely arguing that improving safety for bike riders will somehow make it more dangerous for everyone. Which is exactly the opposite of what studies have shown. 

 

International

Bike theft in Vancouver has dropped 52% since the city began a free bike registration program with 529 Garage in 2015, declining every year since it was adopted.

A new London play uses bicycles to power the production about the disproportionate effects of the climate crisis for marginalized communities.

Fifteen Birmingham, England advocacy groups signed a letter calling for an “end to road violence” after three people riding bicycles were killed in three weeks, including a 12-year old boy; a vigil was held as drivers ignored a nearby red light.

British bikemaker Planet X will live on, after the company was sold in bankruptcy to Britain’s Winlong Garments Ltd.

Your next gravel bike could be an actual Lamborghini, yours for the low, low price of nine grand.

Italy’s transportation minister is calling for mandatory license plates, liability insurance, bike helmets and turn signals for bicycles and e-scooters, putting the burden to improve safety on the victims, rather than doing anything about the big, dangerous machines that actually pose the risk to everyone on the streets; even the UK’s conservative The Spectator calls it a step too far.

An Indian man tells the local press not to write any sad stories about him, as he uses a rented bike to make food deliveries because he can’t afford to buy a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

The three stage women’s Tour Féminin International des Pyrénées was halted during the final stage, after riders protested the dangers posed by “oncoming traffic, parked cars and trucks blocking roads, hazardous motorbikes, and spectators wandering on the roads.”

 

Finally…

Why settle for magic beans when your bike could run on “intelligent beads” — and with all-wheel drive? We may have to deal with venomous LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to deal with actual rattlesnakes — on city streets, anyway.

And this may be my favorite Banksy-style street art

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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