Welcome to your last pre-Thanksgiving three-day weekend — not to mention the opening weekend for college football.
Which means you can count on a higher than usual percentage of drunks and otherwise intoxicated people on the roads.
So the usual protocol applies.
Ride defensively. And if you’re riding anytime after noon today, assume every driver you see has had a few.
Chances are, you won’t be far off.
I expect to see you back here bright and early Tuesday morning. And I don’t want to have to write about you, unless maybe you pull a pack of puppies out of a burning building or something.
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.
A 33-year old Riverside man is going on trial for murder with a deadly weapon enhancement, for the alleged road rage killing of a man riding a bicycle.
Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez reportedly made a U-turn to reverse direction and run down 46-year old Benedicto Solanga from behind following an apparent traffic-related dispute between the two men.
Gutierrez was arrested three weeks after the July, 2021 vehicular assault, and continues to be held on $1 million bond.
This is who we share the road with.
LA’s second ghost tire memorial was installed yesterday to honor the three Uber passengers killed in a high speed crash in South Los Angeles.
The victims, including two sisters, were riding in the back seat of the Uber when 31-year old Gregory Black slammed into them while racing through red lights at up to 100 mph.
Black, described as a known gang member with an extensive rap sheet, was charged with three counts of vehicular manslaughter, and held on $4 million bond.
So much for the myth that bail is based strictly on the suspect’s ability to pay. And not a reflection of how seriously prosecutors take the crime.
Black was already serving a five-year probation following his release from prison for attempted murder.
Meanwhile, a 17-year old Las Vegas boy faces a murder charge for intentionally killing a bike-riding man, after video posted online indicated the fatal hit-and-run two weeks ago wasn’t an accident.
According to Southern California Newsgroup’s Steve Scauzillo, the plan will “create a chain of paths, regional bikeways and pedestrian crossings to connect passengers who are walking, rolling or bicycling to and from the transit agency’s train lines, bus stops and depots.”
Metro, during a virtual public meeting Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 29, outlined three areas for improvement, identifying 602 “first and last mile” areas located near transit, 81 pedestrian districts and 1,433 miles of regional bikeways.
Just completing the list of regional bikeways, which would connect to existing ones, would cost about $36 billion, which is four times the entire LA Metro annual budget.
The plan has a focus on equity, improving service and safety first in areas where fewer people own cars, including including mostly Black and Latino neighborhoods.
But as we’ve seen with the City of Los Angeles, it’s one thing to make a plan, and another to implement it, as ActiveSGV’s special programs director Wesley Reutimann pointed out.
He said Metro should redirect budget dollars from highways toward completing bikeways and walkways. But getting the OK from cities and landowners can gum up the works. Metro is also asking cities to help fund the projects or apply for grant dollars. This can delay or nix projects altogether, he said.
“Long story short: Metro did a plan (in 2016) and most of it was never implemented. It just feels like this plan update is window dressing,” Reutimann said.
Even a fraction of what the agency wastes on highway engorgements could go a long way towards actually implementing this plan.
Let’s hope someone over there figures out how to do that.
This will be great if it actually happens.
And that’s a big if.
A pair of Los Angeles City Council motions call for streamlining operations between LADOT, LA Street Services, the Bureau of Engineering, and the Bureau of Street Lighting, as well as developing a five-year infrastructure spending plan for the city.
Correction, they both call for a pair of studies on how to do it.
Which is what the Los Angeles city government does best — study problems, rather than actually solve them.
And as we saw with the city council alternative to the Healthy Streets LA initiative, those 60 day deadlines can easily slip to a full year, if ever.
So this will be great if it actually happens. But we’ve been here too many times before.
Let’s hope someone holds the city’s feet to the fire and makes it happen this time.
One of the best day for transportation motions we’ve seen in a long time.
– Capital Infrastructure Plan (!)
– Speeding up LADOT delivery on basic stuff
– Better inter-departmental coordination
— Streets For All (@streetsforall) August 31, 2023
A Denver TV station provides more information on the crash that severely injured professional ultra endurance bicyclist Jay Petervary as he was attempting to set a new record for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.
Investigators concluded Petervary was riding on a mountain highway in central Colorado when he was rear-ended by a 16-year old driver, who may have been speeding, while attempting to pass on a “straight on a wide, open road with no trees or obstructions.”
Petervary says he landed about 20 yards from his bike, skidding face first on the roadway.
He is now focusing on his recovery while his wife organizes his transport back home to Idaho, his future care and the legal repercussions. Donations are still being accepted for the Be Good Foundation. As of Thursday morning, he had raised about $9,500 of the $20,000 goal.
Petervary has a lengthy history with long-distance racing. The sponsored athlete has competed for 25 years, exploring new routes and races. But he also loves providing experiences and opportunities for others, he wrote on his website. He has adopted the mantra “Ride Forward” in not only his athletic endeavors, but in his business, relationships, friendships and more.
“It also meant to not have regrets or get bogged down in the past but also reflect and learn to move forward more fluidly,” he wrote online.
While we’re catching up on crashes, an Arizona TV station talks with the Flagstaff bicyclist who was sideswiped by the driver of a passing RV, taking out around a dozen riders on a group ride like so many bowling pins.
Saturday, Wallace was biking on Lake Mary Road with a local cycling group, “Team Pay and Take” when he was hit in the head by an RV’s side mirror. His helmet came off, and he then crashed into multiple cyclists behind him, causing a pileup. “I mean, these people are like family,” Wallace said. “You know you ride with them every week. My partner was on the ride as well and she crashed right behind me. So your first thought is just like is everyone OK?”
Wallace said the person driving the RV stopped and cooperated with police, but this is an important reminder to share the road as it’s state law to give cyclists at least 3 feet of space. “I think it’s just a sad point that when we get behind the wheel of a car, we don’t see our fellow humans out there as someone who has someone to go home to after the ride,” Wallace said.
No word yet on whether the driver will faces charges; at last report, he was only ticketed for an unsafe pass.
The Militant tried this in 2021 when @JackBox dine-in was still closed during the Pandemic.
They would not take his order.
Have we *really* progressed in 50 years? https://t.co/Hr7QVRtUhc
— Militant Angeleno (@militantangleno) August 30, 2023
There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a handcycle from a disabled paracyclist.
Disabled vet who participated in the Veteran Wheelchair Games just had their racing handcycle stolen out of their apartment's bike room. All of the apartment's cameras are fake & the bike isn't insured cuz she lives on a whopping $250/month.
IF YOU SEE THIS AROUND, LET ME KNOW! pic.twitter.com/K9EovgVce1
— Andy Siebe | ♿ #DisabilityRightsAreHumanRight 🦖 (@SiebeforORD1) August 31, 2023
Some schmuck did the same thing in St. Louis, too.
Canada’s prime minister is one of us. And so are his kids.
Hopped on our bikes this morning for Didi’s first day back at school. Ella’s also heading back to school today… and I know others across the country are, too. Hope everyone has a great year – you’ve got this! pic.twitter.com/uqbY45RYlj
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 29, 2023
No surprise here, as a new Belgian study shows you’re twice as likely to be killed in a collision with a bigass pickup or SUV than with a typical passenger car.
BREAKING: New large-scale Belgian study shows shocking impact of vehicle weight increases on road death and injury.
e.g. When a cyclist or pedestrian is hit by a pick-up, the risk of serious injury increases by 90% compared to a car. The risk of death increases by 200%.
— European Transport Safety Council (@ETSC_EU) August 30, 2023
What’s the point of bike skills, if you can’t use them to clear a little litter off the road?
A courteous use of skillz. pic.twitter.com/37nxodOoWK
— nyvelocity (@nyvelocity) August 30, 2023
Why settle for a hoverboard when you can turn it into a LEGO-like DIY Franken-ebike?
With sideways wheels, no less.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
No bias here. The editor of WeHoVille continues his campaign against bike lanes in the city, citing the removal of the MOVE Culver City project as a warning for West Hollywood, while mischaracterizing the highly successful project that was removed by Culver City’s newly conservative council.
No bias here, either. Residents of León, Guanajuato, Mexico protested plans for a new bike lane, arguing that “about 8 cyclists pass the whole morning,” while official stats say over 65 times that many people ride it every day. Never mind that many more would probably ride there if they felt safer.
Far from abandoning bike lanes, Culver City is proposing mostly 2.5-mile protected bike lanes for lower Overland Ave below Venice Blvd.
Pasadena will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony a week from tomorrow for a new 1.5-mile-long, two-way protected bike lane on Union Street between Arroyo Parkway and Hill Ave; the project, which includes a 1/3-mile bicycle boulevard, is the first of its kind in the city.
Claremont residents debate whether to protect kids on their way to and from school with safety improvements including a curb-protected bike lane, but what’s the life of a little kid when it might inconvenience older bike riders or someone ordering pizza? Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.
Shaq is one of us, riding a custom-made 36″ mountain bike nicknamed The Thompson Beast.
The CHP has introduced a free, learn-at-your-own-pace online ebike safety class, as required by a new bill signed into law by Governor Newsom last year; the bill was authored by Encinitas Assemblymember Tasha Boerner, who is behind the current effort to require licenses to ride ebikes — and who snatched the state’s latest effort to pass a Stop As Yield law from the jaws of victory.
San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Ruddick calls on the city’s transportation agency to tow drivers who park in bike lanes, after talking the staff at a bagel shop into refusing to serve a driver who parked in a protected bike lane in front of the shop. Note to traffic engineers and planners — if someone can park in it, it’s not protected.
Oakland residents are calling for more protected bike lanes, after the tragic death of a four-year old girl who was doored while riding on the back of her father’s bike. And yes, she was wearing a helmet and strapped into her seat.
A new study provides some of the data we’ve been missing on pediatric ebike usage, showing that while riders of regular bikes under the age of 18 were more likely to suffer injuries, ebike riders were 2.4 times more likely to suffer severe injuries requiring hospitalization.
A writer for Electrek takes the contrarian view to the current ebike panic, arguing that we need more teenagers on ebikes, not fewer.
Retired Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon accurately called Lance Armstrong a cheater when the ex-Tour de France winner argued trans athletes should compete in their own division, when both were competing on the Fox show Stars on Mars.
Outside says you should spend at least $250 on bike bibs, arguing that high-end bibs will literally save your ass. I’ll reserve comment, since I’ve never spent more than a fraction of that, and my ass is still firmly attached.
Washington state is set to begin a $1,200 ebike rebate program next year, as well as establishing a series of ebike lending libraries across the state.
Boulder, Colorado threatens to beat California to the ebike rebate punch with the city’s second round of ebike vouchers, before California gets around to issuing its first.
An 83-year old Iowa man was killed by a 77-year old driver, which once again raises the question of how old is too old to drive. Anyone who can still ride at that age deserves better. Then again, so do the rest of us.
A 30-year old Milwaukee man has been arrested for the hit-and-run, street racing crash that killed an 11-year old boy, even though police were quick to blame the victim for veering into traffic and not wearing a helmet.
A Vermont armed robbery suspect made his getaway from the cops by car, on foot, on a stolen bicycle and a purloined sailboat; at last report, he was still on the lam.
Streetsblog explains a new, “very controversial bill from a noted opponent” of increased bicycling that would require ebike registration in New York City.
Madonna is still one of us, riding around New York with friends and her personal trainer, just weeks after surviving a life-threatening infection.
That’s more like it. A Louisiana semi-truck driver is facing a negligent homicide charge for killing a man riding a bicycle by sideswiping the victim while attempting to pass his bike on a curve; the charge is an upgrade from an initial ticket for violating the state’s three-foot passing law.
New Orleans workers organize the first e-bikeshare employees union. Which is actually the second, because Metro Bike employees beat them to it, unless you want to split hairs since LA’s system includes both ebikes and regular bikes
A Florida transit bus driver has been busted for hit-and-run after allegedly crashing into a bike rider, then just continuing on his route rather than stopping; fortunately, the victim did not suffer life-threatening injuries.
Cannondale is the latest bikemaker to jump on the e-cargo bike bandwagon, with the bikes premiering in Europe this fall for the equivalent of $4,300.
An English town swears their new ban on bikes in the city center won’t target disabled or “old and slow” bicyclists, after police ticked an 82-year old man for violating the ban.
A Welsh cop who was tailing two ebike-riding teenagers just before the crash that killed both of them now faces a criminal probe for dangerous driving; the deaths sparked riots when the cops denied following the boys.
Dockless scooters have been scoured from the streets of Paris, on the eve of a ban overwhelmingly approved by voters.
Dutch ebike-maker VanMoof will live on, after the company was purchased out of bankruptcy by Britain’s Lavoie, which makes high-end scooters based on McLaren’s Formula 1 tech; current VanMoof owners appeared to welcome the purchase.
Germany’s Buycycle is bringing its online marketplace for used and refurbished bicycles to the US. Let’s hope they have some mechanism in place to weed out stolen bikes.
An Italian city counselor warns bicyclists not to ride in Milan because it’s too dangerous; the city is attempting to improve safety by requiring sensors on heavy vehicles to detect bike riders and pedestrians.
An Indian woman is calling for a fresh approach to urban planning, saying the country needs a greater emphasis on bicycling to boost the enrollment of girls in both urban and rural schools, increase productivity for individuals, and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
Philippine bicyclists and motorcyclists reject a proposal for a shared lane along a busy roadway. Seriously, just because they’re both called bikes and have two wheels doesn’t make them compatible.
American super-domestique Sepp Kuss soloed to victory in the sixth stage of the Vuelta, high-fiving fans the final 50 yards; meanwhile, Remco Evenepoel lost time to key rivals Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard, as he handed the leader’s jersey to France’s Lenny Martinez.
When life gives you a No Cycling sign, just turn it into a heart. That feeling when it takes longer to certify a record for riding around the world than it did to set it.
And why pedal through Burning Man when your butt can do the work?
Wierd people doing weird shit! #burningman
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin