No charges for killing 2 AZ bike riders and injuring 19, more on charges in Boyes killing; and DUI murder in Solano County

It’s the First Day of the Last Month of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

We’re already way ahead of last year at this time, both in the number of donations and the amount of donations!

So please join me in thanking D-J H and Stephen H, who gave yesterday.

And each of the other 35 people who’ve so kindly opened their hearts and wallets to help keep Southern California’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

So what are you waiting for? Give now!

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Rght after begging for your hard-earned money may not be the best time to mention that I’ll be tied up with a family matter over the weekend, so there won’t be a new BikinginLA post on Monday.

But we’ll be back bright and early on Tuesday to catch up on anything we missed over the weekend.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

Life is cheap in Arizona, where a Phoenix DA has declined to file felony charges against the driver who slammed into an entire group of bicyclists, killing two people and injuring 19 others.

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell refused to file charges against 26-year old Pedro Quintana-Lujan, saying there was no evidence he was speeding, distracted or under the influence of alcohol, though he did still have cannabis in his system from the night before.

Because evidently, that’s the only way someone can be responsible for killing two innocent people, and mowing down a group of people on bicycles like an overgrown lawn.

Quintana-Lujan told investigators his steering locked up and he was unable to control his pickup, which was pulling a trailer at the time of the crash. Although you’d think a forensic examination of the truck would be able to determine whether that was true.

Mitchell tried to position her lack of action as a refusal to let the case go by referring it to the city prosecutor in Goodyear AZ, where the crash occurred.

However, that means Quintana-Lujan could be charged with just a misdemeanor, at best, making the whole damn thing just another fatal “oopsie.”

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More on the 81-year old driver charged with DUI and involuntary manslaughter for killing US Masters track champ and national record holder Ethan Boyes earlier this year.

San Francisco resident Arnold Kinman Low faces federal charges because Boyes was riding on Arguello Blvd in Presidio National Park when Low lost control of his car, and hit Boyes head-on as he rode in an unprotected bike lane.

In addition to the recently installed guard rails separating the bike lane from traffic lanes in the park where Boyes was killed, San Francisco has secured $1.2 million in funding to install protected bike lanes connecting Golden Gate Park and The Presidio.

Normally I say that once again raises the question of how old is too old to drive safely, but the allegation that Low was under the influence probably had more to do with his deadly driving skills than his advanced age, although there’s no word yet on just how drunk he was.

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A 47-year old Solano County driver faces a murder charge for the alleged drunken hit-and-run that killed a bike rider in Fairfield last year.

Witnesses testified at a preliminary hearing this week that Sean Richard Miron crashed into another vehicle as he fled the scene of the original crash, leaving Suisun City resident Christopher Blake Sudat lying in the roadway next to his shattered bicycle.

Miron was detained, along with his passenger, at the second crash, where officers said he appeared to be under the influence. Police also recovered a semi-automatic pistol with an illegal threaded barrel from Miron’s pickup, even though he was barred from having a weapon as a convicted felon.

He faces the murder count due to three prior DUI convictions, suggesting he likely signed a Watson advisement indicating he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence.

However, even without that, his prior convictions indicate he was well aware of the dangers of driving while intoxicated before he sat down behind the wheel that night.

Miron faces charges of murder, hit-and-run causing death, hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of an assault weapon.

Then again, if Miron had been charged in Southern California, he could probably plead out on a misdemeanor and walk with time served.

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

A driver in Boston’s South End parked in the bike lane, leaving a note tucked under his windshield wiper reading, “I don’t care that I’m parked in a bike lane. Just go around me!!” To which bike-riding commenters to the local website responded both emphatically and poetically.

A “mean spirited” saboteur continues to put bike riders outside a London subway station at deliberate risk by tossing thumb tacks in a protected bike lane — and has somehow managed to go uncaught for the past two years. Although we can probably surmise that police indifference could be the likely cause for why they’ve gotten away with it so long.  

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

A Florida city manager is asking for the public’s understanding after he wrecked his bike following a night of drinking. Although I’d much rather see a drunk on a bicycle than behind the wheel of a multi-ton vehicle.

Scofflaw bike riders in Salisbury, England are accused of “endangering the public and traffic” by riding salmon on a one-way street, which local police called “incredibly dangerous.” Although how traffic can be endangered is beyond me. 

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Local 

Um, okay. The Journal of the Congress for the New Urbanism examines the successful Move Culver City project, calling the 1.3-mile bus lane and bike lane installation the first quick build Tactical Urbanism project in the Los Angeles area — without mentioning that the newly conservative city council voted to rip it out, or that the city is being sued to keep that from happening.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune says freeway cams counted 45,000 people taking part in the all-too-brief Arroyo Fest that shut the Pasadena Freeway down to cars, and opened it up to people on foot, skates and bikes.

Pasadena police will mark today’s first day of December with a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation, ticketing anyone who commits a traffic violation that could endanger either group — even if it’s the bike rider or pedestrian who commits it. So as usual, ride to the letter of the law until you leave the city, or you could be the one who gets a ticket.

 

State

The California Coastal Commission is standing in the way of traffic safety in San Diego, stalling the installation of bike lanes on a deadly Point Loma roadway.

An emergency inter-agency operation was mounted to save the life of a mountain biker who suffered life-threatening injuries in the remote mountains of Boulevard, California last Friday, requiring the services of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, US Border Patrol, a San Diego Air and Marine Operations helicopter, and CalFire to bring the victim out to safety. So remote, in fact, that I’ve never hear of Boulevard before. 

A San Francisco bar owner blames the installation of the centerline Valencia Street protected bike lane for the demise of his 150-year old subterranean establishment, suggesting the loss of parking and reduced foot traffic resulted in an 80% drop in revenue. And not, a business model resulting in a bar that no one wants to go to if it means being slightly inconvenienced.

 

National

Bicycling reports that Portland’s MADE Bike Show will be back next year, promising to be even larger than this year’s 200 exhibitors and 5,000 attendees. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

An Arizona man reminisces about his life on two wheels, and dreams of coming back in the next life to live and ride in Amsterdam. But it’s the archival photo of young boys riding for Western Union that’s worth the click.

In a big win for injured bike riders, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that pedestrians and bicyclists must be covered by the uninsured motorist provision in their auto insurance if they’re stuck by an uninsured driver while walking or biking.

Call it the new normal. New York City landlords are banning ebikes from their properties to prevent fires, even though only certain lithium-ion batteries, or batteries with mismatched chargers, are at risk.

 

International

Momentum explains what daylighting intersections means, and how it enhances the safety of bicyclists. Governor Newsom signed a daylighting bill passed in the last legislative session, which will require open spaces on the curbs near intersections to improve visibility.

A 23-year old Florida woman thanked first responders in the Bahamas for saving her life after she rode her bike off an embankment in Walker’s Cay earlier this year, saying the moon and the stars aligned to enable her to survive.

A pair of London teenagers have been convicted of murdering an 18-year old man as he rode his bike to see his girlfriend; a then 14-year old boy, who can’t be named because of his age under British law, killed the victim with a machete in an apparent attempt to steal his bicycle.

While US traffic deaths continue to climb, Great Britain saw a significant decline in bicycling fatalities, with deaths dropping nearly 25% over the past year. Which is more evidence that the dangers on American roads are due to official indifference, as other nations show that reducing deaths is possible when they’re willing to make the necessary changes.

A new Dutch AI tool can demonstrate how any street or neighborhood can be made more livable and bike-friendly.

Professors at a Zurich, Switzerland university are investigating what changes would be required to the city’s streets to encourage more ebike riding than driving.

 

Competitive Cycling

GCN asks if the high cost of entry to cycling is killing the sport. Maybe at the highest levels, but you can spend as much or as little as you want and still compete, if you’re willing to build your own bike and do your own wrenching. 

Cycling Weekly talks with newly retired time trial specialist Alex Dowsett about the moment he realized cycling was his sport when he was just 14.

A top amateur cyclist says British Cycling’s recent ban on transgender athletes competing in women’s bike racing events makes the sport is less inclusive and welcoming than ever by denying the identity of trans women as women; 31-year old Josh Jones is believed to be the only openly gay rider to hold a world ranking in any cycling discipline

 

Finally…

It’s time for Santas and elves on bikes. Why wait to run down a bicycle when you can kill it and the entire bike corral it’s locked to?

And forget bike skills, they’re probably better with a basketball than you are, too.

Or me, anyway.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

One comment

  1. Ben Fulton says:

    I don’t see where the Amado’s guy was worried about foot traffic at all. It’s not mentioned in the link.