Archive for Legal Cases

Morning Links: 15 to life for Oxnard DUI driver, reward for bike-toting dog killer, and bikeshare comes to DTLA July 7

Great news, as we’re now up to 24 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition who’ve signed up in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

Which means we need just two more people to sign up or renew your membership today to make it 26 new members by May 26th.

We may not make the goal of 100 members by the end of this month. But I consider it a personal favor for everyone who signs up before I step down as an LACBC board member next month.

So thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who have joined as part of this drive.

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Sometimes, even a possible life sentence barely seems like enough.

The Ventura County Star reports an Oxnard man was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years to life in state prison for the drunken hit-and-run death of a 43-year old bike rider in 2014.

Thirty-one year old Policarpio Bartolon Diaz may have been driving as fast as 62 mph when he plowed into Marco Flores as he rode with a friend in a marked bike lane. Diaz never even braked as he fled the scene with Flores’ bike still trapped under his car.

Garcia’s friend, Robert Patterson, said he was riding his bike alongside Garcia and also came close to being struck….

“I know for a fact he wasn’t remorseful because when he hit my friend, his brake lights never came on … he just shook him off the car,” Patterson said. “If you hit a human being, you think he would stop. To see him being tossed off the car was the hardest thing I’ve had to live through to this day.”

Diaz had a BAC of .22, nearly three times the legal limit, when he was arrested just a mile away. It was his third arrest for DUI, and would have been his second conviction if the DA hadn’t bargained the DUI charge away in exchange for a guilty plea to second degree murder.

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PETA is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the subhuman schmuck who beat a dog to death in Boyle Heights two weeks ago.

The man chased down the dog after it jumped out of the car and tried to run away, then repeatedly punched and slammed it onto the sidewalk. As if any animal wouldn’t try to get away from someone capable of doing that.

According to KCBS-2 —

The suspect is described as a white male with balding gray hair, 50 to 60 years old, about 6 feet tall and weighing approximately 280 pounds.

The suspect was driving a 1996 to 2000 silver or gray Dodge Caravan with an off-color rear bumper. At the time of the incident, the van had two bicycles on a rear bike rack.

Judging by the photo, at least one of those bikes has been stripped, appearing to be missing both wheels.

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Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson calls out the Palos Verdes Estate Police Department for a lackadaisical approach to investigating the death of cyclist John Bacon.

By Davidson’s account, cyclists have done virtually all the work in tracking down the man who may be responsible, as well as uncovering numerous riders who were harassed by a truck driver matching the same description.

Let’s hope the department cares enough to figure out what really happened. And bring any charges that are warranted.

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Bikeshare comes to DTLA on July 7th.

The system — officially named Metro Bike — will offer 1,000 bikes at 65 docking stations throughout the Downtown area, available for rent 24/7.

According to the announcement from LA Metro

Register today for a bike share pass and receive a Limited Edition Metro Bike Share Kit featuring stickers, a Bikes on Metro guide and more. The first 1,000 people to sign up will also receive exclusive Metro Bike Share pins!

You can get a Metro Bike Share pass by the month or by the trip, similar to transit. If you ride a lot, a $20 Monthly pass might be for you, but if you just ride occasionally you should consider our $40 Flex pass. Remember through August 1st the system will be open for bike share pass holders only, so register for your Metro Bike Share pass today!

Members will be able to rent a bike for $1.75 per half hour — or free for the first half hour for monthly pass holders — while non-members can rent for $3.50 for each 30 minutes using a TAP card.

Only registered members will be able to rent a bike for the first month.

Meanwhile, the LA Weekly takes a sneak peak, finding the bikes smooth, sturdy and safe, if somewhat heavy, and “perfect for bar-hopping, grocery shopping or seeing the sights of DTLA.”

Although we have to come up with a much better nickname for the system than the unimaginative Metro Bike.

And on a related subject, you can now use your TAP card to rent one of the much better named Breeze Bikes in Santa Monica.

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A new Streetfilm celebrates Santa Monica’s savvy multimodalism.

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Last week we linked to a Facebook post from Arizona’s Brendan Lyons, in which he described meeting — and forgiving — the distracted driver who nearly killed him as he rode with his fiancé two years ago.

Now a local TV station picks up the story, describing a touching act of forgiveness for the horrifying wreck that ended Lyons’ firefighting career. And clearly driving home the dangers of using any electronic device behind the wheel, and taking your eyes off the road for even a moment.

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LA’s Phil Gaimon tells what it’s like to race in his home state in the Amgen Tour of California.

Bicycling explains the fine art of bike racing in the rain. Extra style points for belting out “Singing in the Rain” from the back of the peloton.

And what it’s like to be a soigneur for a professional racing team.

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Local

LAist suggests the eight best places to ride a bike in LA. Not to be confused with their ten best bike rides in LA.

Dodger’s bench coach Bob Geren is one of us, as he rides his bike to work at Dodger Stadium. Thanks to the Militant Angeleno for the link.

CiclaValley mournfully helps place another ghost bike in the San Fernando Valley.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newtown talks with Nancy Bond of Move Monrovia.

It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in with CLR Effect; Michael Wagner forwards news that the great I Can Bike program will be held at the Fairgrounds in Pomona at the end of next month to help people with disabilities gain greater independence by learning how to ride a bicycle.

The annual Fiesta Hermosa starts tomorrow in Hermosa Beach, complete with bike valet.

 

State

Following up on our recent piece about a bike rider blown off his bike by jet wash while riding past LAX, Cyclelicious tells a similar tale while growing up on a US military base in Japan.

Like business people in every other city, San Diego business owners worry about the loss of parking spots in the Uptown area after planned bike lanes are installed. As if people on bikes don’t spend money and potential customers don’t like calmer streets. Most likely, by this time next year, they’ll wonder what they were worried about.

A La Jolla paper goes for a bike ride through the city with the Executive Director of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition, and finds it needs a lot of improvement to meet San Diego’s Climate Action Plan.

Santa Ana police shoot a stabbing and carjacking suspect after she led them on a slow speed bicycle chase.

Just one more day to get tickets before the start of the Great Western Bicycle Rally in Paso Robles.

Chewbacca Mom is one of us, as she rides a bike with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park.

Let’s call this the Sacramento section today:

Sad news from Tulare County, as a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run on his way to work Tuesday. The CHP somehow felt the need to point out the victim wasn’t wearing a helmet, as if that would have protected him from an erratic, high-speed driver in large pickup.

 

National

HuffPo offers ten great American bike rides. None of which are in LA. Or California, for that matter.

Good Samaritans pitch in to rescue an Alaskan girl after she’s impaled by her bike handlebar in a remote village. Something that seems to happen far too often, suggesting a serious design flaw that needs to be corrected.

The mayor of Reno NV is pushing for green bike lanes in the right locations.

Life is cheap in Utah, where walking away from the drunken death of a cyclist only merits a single year behind bars.

Forty-eight states later, a Topeka man is back home from a cross country bike ride he took because he feared he’d regret it later if he didn’t. Which is about as good a reason as any.

A suspect has been arrested in the apparently random beating death of a 65-year old Des Moines IA bike rider earlier this month.

A new paper from the University of Illinois at Chicago establishes a metric allowing planners to rank the value of bicycling and walking projects.

BMX champ Dave Mirra was suffering from C.T.E. when he shot himself to death in Greenville NC in February; that’s the same disease resulting from repeated head trauma that has afflicted numerous football players.

 

International

Rio’s mayor says the elevated bike path that collapsed, killing three people, will be rebuilt and open again this year. Note to Rio Times Online: Ciclovía means bike path. So a headline referring to the ciclovía bike path is redundantly repetitive.

A bicycle advocate says it’s time to finish Canada’s Transnational Trail.

Bike your way through two Italian cities.

 

Finally…

Nothing like buying a bike lock and coming out to discover you don’t have anything to lock. Running a pro cycling team can be torture; no, literally.

And this is what happens when your carbon wheel fails.

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My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. It seems my body still feels the need to remind me that I’m not as healthy as I like to think I am, sometime suddenly, unexpectedly and with surprising force.

 

Morning Links: Life is cheap in Ventura County, Kuehl’s cartoon bike goes Expo, and happy Bike to Work Day

We’re still at 17 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

Let’s get this up to one per day by getting just two more people to sign up now or renew your membership today to make it 19 on the 19th. It’s worth the low cost of membership just for the great LACBC gear you’ll get. Never mind helping to make this a more bikeable, livable and equitable city and county.

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They should be ashamed.

The Ventura County DA’s office gave an unwarranted gift to a killer driver on Tuesday, by charging a Camarillo woman with two misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter in the distracted driving death of two people in Moorpark last year.

Even though the CHP had recommended felony charges.

Twenty-six-year old Rachel Hill was allegedly distracted by a “portable electronic device” when she slammed into 53-year old cyclist Maciek Malish at 55 mph, then overcorrected after killing him and smashed head-on into 43-year old motorcyclist Jesse Cushman as he rode in the opposite direction.

Thanks to the inexplicable generosity of the DA’s office — which evidently doesn’t take either traffic crime or human life seriously — Hill faces a maximum of one year in county jail for each count, rather than the six years in state prison per count the CHP and common sense suggests is warranted.

Now two men are dead and two families shattered, while a deadly driver is guaranteed of receiving nothing more than a gentle slap on the wrist.

It’s heartbreaking to realize the lives of those on two wheels are worth so little in Ventura County — even when one is an Emmy winning sound editor.

Let’s hope voters in the county remember this when the next election rolls around.

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LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl has a little fun riding the new Expo Line with an animated bike, surfboard and service dog.


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Happy Bike to Work Day.

If you’re reading this early enough, you’ll find pit stops all over the LA area.

If not, don’t fret; both the Santa Monica Spoke and the LACBC are hosting handlebar happy hours for your ride home.

KPCC observes Bike to Work Day while noting that local bike commuting rates are still too low; Pasadena leads LA area cities with a 2.2% share.

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Italian cyclist Diego Ulissi came out on top in a three-way sprint in Wednesday’s stage of the Giro d’Italia, as Bob Jungels keeps the leader’s pink jersey. Former leader Tom Dumoulin dropped out due to a sore butt.

The fourth stage of the Amgen Tour of California ends with a sprint finish at Laguna Seca; thousands turned out for the start at Morro Bay. Peter Sagan captured his record 15th stage victory in the race, while Julian Alaphilippe leads American Peter Stetina by 22 seconds in the general classification.

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Local

LA’s Fox-11 concludes it is in fact possible to go carfree in SoCal.

HuffPo’s Joel Epstein complains about LA’s trashy streets.

The president of the Holmby-Westwood Property Owners Association says the possible removal of Westwood Blvd from the bike plan is a victory for residents, insisting Gayley Ave is better suited for a bike lane. Because God forbid we should get in the way of their precious Mercedes, Range Rovers and Teslas.

Glassell Park will consider improvements to Verdugo Road, including a road diet and possible bike lanes.

LA Magazine says the Biking Black Hole’s new bikeshare system is encouraging people to ride bikes “on streets that are hostile, if not downright dangerous, to two wheels.” Sort of like Westwood/Holmby Hills residents.

 

State

The 2016 Tour de OC rolls this Saturday to help send foster kids to camp for a mentorship program.

San Diego traffic delays have doubled over the last three years, as too few people opt for transit or riding to work. Yet the city’s mayor says separated bike lanes work, and getting 22% of commuters on bikes is doable.

Bike friendly Redlands is looking for state funding to install a new bike lane connecting with the Santa Ana River Trail.

Fresno is looking to improve the health of its residents by making it safer to ride and bike in the largely Latino and African American south part of town.

A San Francisco cyclist was critically injured when he was run over by a cab driver while riding in a crosswalk.

San Francisco’s Tenderloin district is about to get its first bike lane.

The Sacramento Bee wades into the great helmet debate with a surprisingly even-handed report.

 

National

A police website discusses the new GPS-enabled bait bikes to bust bike thieves.

NPR joins in on a Portland house move by bicycle.

A Spokane bike shop is helping the homeless and underemployed get back on their feet and out on the road.

Caught on video: An Arizona bike rider catches a foul-mouthed road raging driver on his bike cam screaming at him to get on the sidewalk because he was using the left turn lane.

A year later, there are no leads in the apparently random shooting of a bike rider from a passing car near my hometown.

Someone has apparently set out to deliberately injure or kill Colorado mountain bikers by planting three-inch nails embedded in concrete on a new singletrack trail; it’s the second such incident in the area in the past year. Whoever did this should face an attempted murder charge when they’re caught, at the bare minimum.

A North Dakota letter writer applauds attempts to say no to those damn liberal bike lanes.

A bike-riding Massachusetts minister asks motorists to watch out for bicyclists, and not judge the majority of well-mannered riders by the actions of a few idiots. His words, not mine. But still.

Once again, New Yorkers rise up against bike lanes, this time in Brooklyn. Somehow, they seem to think older and handicapped people fair better dealing with speeding cars than bicycles.

An 11-year old bike rider never even left his driveway, yet he’s in the hospital now because a driver couldn’t be bothered to pull over before reaching into the backseat to get something. Too bad it’s not against the law to be an effing jackass.

 

International

A UK shire re-enacts the 97-year old unsolved murder of a young woman as she rode her bike from her uncle’s house.

Nothing like taking a beating from a road-raging 77-year old Brit driver.

A Scottish adventure cyclist has circled the world twice — once setting a world record — and ridden from Alaska to Argentina and the full length of Africa, all before his 34th birthday.

Despite the panicking headline, only eleven Belfast cyclists have been cited for biking under the influence in the past five years.

It’s urban drivers who benefit most from cycling, though that’s not always obvious to motorists, according to a Dublin letter writer.

Barcelona considers building superblocks to reclaim 60% of the city’s streets from cars.

An Aussie pro cyclist says she’s encouraged to see more riders Down Under, yet utterly afraid because of their lack of skills and bad behavior.

An Australian politician says all new road and rail projects in the country should include walking and cycle tracks. Actually, that should be the policy everywhere.

 

Finally…

Think of it as fly paper for bicyclists. Maybe you don’t want to wear that yellow jersey after all.

And it’s pedals, dammit, not peddles.

Seriously.

 

Morning Links: Another killer driver gets a sore wrist, and the Flying Scotsman compares himself to Pluto

A special thank you to the ten new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition who’ve signed up as part of the May BikinginLA LACBC Membership drive. That means we just have 90 to go to reach our goal of 100 new members before I step down from the LACBC board next month.

So take a moment to sign up now to add your voice to one of the nation’s leading bicycle advocacy organizations. And tell all your bike riding friends, family, coworkers to join up, too.

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Add one more driver getting off with a tiny slap on the wrist for fatally running down a bike rider.

After discussing two similar cases yesterday, one more was added to the list after 25-year old Luis Aranda Llamas was convicted of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence for the death of Matthew Carp as he rode in a Menifee bike lane.

Llamas received just three years probation, along with 90 days work release for the 2014 collision.

Prosecutors somehow concluded there was no gross negligence that would have warranted a felony charge, even though Llamas was speeding when ran Carp down from behind, and barely missed Carp’s riding companion.

Evidently, killing someone while driving in a bike lane at a speed well above the posted limit is just one of those things.

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Patrick Lynch forwards news of a horrifying crash that nearly took the life of a Chicago man as he was riding home with his two sons earlier this week.

An SUV driver struck Scott Jacobson after making a U-turn, dragging him hundreds of feet before witnesses and firemen from a nearby fire station managed to stop the driver.

Yet even though the driver was clearly trying to flee the scene, not to mention driving with a revoked license and no insurance, he was not charged with hit-and-run. And isn’t facing a single felony count.

As Lynch puts it,

While Matt Willens from the Streetsblog article is right when he says “In general, society — including legislators, judges, and jurors — is quick to identify with a driver who injures a cyclist, rather than with the injured cyclist. People feel bad about punishing someone they can relate to.”

I don’t think a jury will have a hard time convicting an uninsured, unlicensed motorist who dragged a man 300 feet trying to flee. Let’s hope I’m not wrong.

A gofundme account in Jacobson’s name has raised over $27,500 out of the $50,000 goal in a single day.

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Multiple record holder Graeme Obree, aka the Flying Scotsman, feels ignored by the racing world these days, saying his relationship to cycling is like Pluto’s relationship to Earth.

And they’re off on the Giro, with Dutch favorite Tom Dumoulin taking the early lead, while Aussie cyclist Adam Hansen is attempting to finish his 14th Grand Tour in a row, dating back to 2011.

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Local

Caught on video: A friend of CiclaValley is nearly taken out by a speeding driver who used a bike lane to pass a car on the right while he was riding in it.

If you hurry, you may still be able to make the LACBC’s free bike commuter workshop this morning. Meanwhile, they profile Pitzer College cyclist Cade Maldonado, who grew up in the Pico Union neighborhood.

Car crashes are up in Long Beach, as low gas prices encourage more driving — along with more distracted driving.

The third annual Long Beach Bike Festival takes place today, with bicycle themed events throughout the Downtown area.

 

State

Laguna Beach police will hold a bike rodeo and road safety expo on the 15th.

Community leaders are calling for the reopening of a bike crossing between the US and Mexico that was closed after 9/11.

Over 200 mountain bikers kicked off bike month with a 44-mile dirt trail ride across San Diego County to raise funds for the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.

A 91-year old Santa Barbara man turned himself in for the hit-and-run that injured a 14-year old boy riding his bike. Seriously, anyone who doesn’t know you have to stick around after a crash shouldn’t be driving.

Great story from Sports Illustrated about a Salinas teenager who competes for his high school mountain bike team on one leg, after losing his right leg to cancer in junior high.

A San Francisco cyclist remembers the terrifying assault he somehow survived a year ago when a road raging driver repeatedly attempted to run him down. The driver confessed to his actions, bizarrely thinking the police would agree he did the right thing; he was eventually convicted of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.

Prince was one of us; so apparently is the Marin rehab specialist who was supposed to save him from his addiction to painkillers.

 

National

The Feds make it easier to narrow wide traffic lanes and put protected bike lanes on street projects funded with government money.

Bicycling says it’s never too late to learn how to ride a bike, while a business website says folding bicycles are taking over the commuting world.

An Arizona newspaper congratulates the Department of Transportation for reconsidering plans to remove roadside memorials, such as ghost bikes.

An Iowa driver faces 25 years for killing a cyclist while under the influence — and with a suspended license after a previous DUI conviction; the victim’s parents justifiably decry the “catch-and-release” system that puts dangerous drivers back on the streets.

Chicago Magazine offers a nervous cyclist’s guide to riding more.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a customized tricycle from a special needs kid; hats off to Rockland MA police for getting it back.

A New York man wonders if he did anything wrong when he doored a scofflaw cyclist; the short answer is yes.

New York residential buildings are getting bike friendly, with bike parking, storage and repair rooms and high-end loaner bikes; one building is even giving away $450 bikes to the first 25 buyers. Although with prices starting at over half a million, I’d expect a Cervelo, at least.

A New Orleans man gets 25 years for fatally shooting a man who was stealing his bicycle.

 

International

KCRW’s Madeline Brand talks with the author of The Coyote’s Bicycle, about a Mexican man who used bicycles to smuggle immigrants across the border to avoid detection by sophisticated American ground sensors.

Outgoing London Mayor Boris Johnson leaves a legacy of a bicycling city, even if one rider calls him a prick on his last day in office. Meanwhile, newly elected mayor Sadiq Khan promises to make the city a byword for cycling around the world — which only makes sense since his sister-in-law is former New York DOT maven Janette Sadik-Khan.

A British man got 200 hours of community service for running down his bike-riding FedEx coworker just minutes after they both got off work.

There once was a bike-riding, body armored, shotgun toting man from Limerick, who rode through the streets shooting people at random, and got five and a half years for his crimes. No, it doesn’t rhyme, has no meter and it’s not funny, either.

An Irish cycling group warns young riders not to take caffeine supplements after two teenage cyclists fall ill.

Norway will spend nearly $1 billion in bicycling infrastructure as it aims for zero growth in car use by 2030.

Indian studies show bicycling really is better for you than walking.

A pair of South African women blame a cyclist for causing their car to skid across a freeway and summersault into a ditch in their attempt to avoid them. But if they were really driving slowly enough for a bike rider to pass them, as they claim, how is it they were going fast enough to have a crash like that?

 

Finally…

How could anyone oppose a freaking sidewalk? When Woody hates on bike lanes, New Yorkers fall out of love with Woody.

And I may not be able to read Chinese, but I know a beautiful and utterly amazing kite when I see one. Link courtesy of Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious.

Morning Links: Life is cheap, as killer Palm Desert and Paso Roble drivers get off with gently slapped wrists

The May BikinginLA LACBC Membership drive is up to nine new members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. But we really need to pick up the pace if we’re going to reach 100 new or renewing members before the end of this month. So sign up now and let’s get this into double figures today.

Even if you’re already a member, you can renew to extend your membership to support biking in the City of Angeles, and get some great bike swag courtesy of the LACBC.

And a huge thank you to everyone who’s joined so far.

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Once again, the universal Get Out of Jail Free Card worked its magic, as an 81-year old Palm Desert woman walked after admitting to killing a 73-year old handcyclist last year.

Judy Mae Purcell pled guilty plea to a single misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence in the January, 2015 death of Rose Peters, just as her trial was set to begin.

And as usual, she got off on probation by claiming she just didn’t see Peters before she left-crossed her, even though Peters, who was in a bike lane, was riding with the right-of-way.

Purcell received three years probation, and may lose her driver’s license; she also says it’s had a big impact on her life.

Purcell elected to speak at her sentencing, tearfully telling Lee and Peters (Peter’s daughters), “There’s nothing I can really say, I’m just so sorry.” She said the crash was “truly an accident. I just didn’t see her. I’ve lost a lot of friends over this,” Purcell told them. “I relive that minute every day of my life. Every night, you’re in my prayers.”

At least she’s been held accountable in other ways. Oceanside lawyer Richard Duquette, a cyclist himself, forwards word that Peters’ family has reached a substantial, but undisclosed, settlement in the case.

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A 20-year old Paso Robles driver got off almost as easy, as he’s sentenced to just 75 days in jail and 50 hours of community service for killing an LA cyclist and severely injuring a second rider in a 2014 collision.

That’s despite a long history of traffic violations, and being on probation for a speeding conviction at the time of the crash.

Joseph Mondo was driving a massive GMC Yukon when his phone slipped off his lap, where it shouldn’t have been to begin with. When he looked down to retrieve it, he nearly struck a vehicle stopped to make a left turn, barely avoiding it by swerving onto the right shoulder at 60 mph.

Then, in an astounding display of carelessness and stupidity, he once again took his eyes off the road to find his phone, this time killing 62-year old Los Angeles resident Lee Hekyung Craig, as well as leaving her riding companion, 59-year old Newport Beach surgeon Lawrence Chong, with life-changing injuries.

As Chong said,

“What hurts the most is that I lost (Craig) because of the negligence on the part of someone else,” Chong said, according to the report. “All he had to do was pull over after he nearly rear-ended a car while reaching for his phone. If he had done so, my life would still be good and I would still have Lee. Instead my life is now a mess.”

Granted, Mondo seems to get it.

When he was interviewed by a probation officer following his no-contest pleas, Mondo reportedly said: “What happened has happened. If I could change places, I would. It has changed my life. Someone’s life was lost. I do not need to argue my innocence. I am guilty. I want to move on with my life. I will deal with the repercussions as they come.”

Then again, Craig will never get to move on with her life and Chong may never regain the life he had, while Mondo may have a sore wrist for a few days from the slap the judge gave it.

This is what happens when traffic crimes and prior tickets aren’t taken seriously.

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Grand Rapids MI unveils a new $600,000 bike safety campaign, urging motorists and bicyclists to obey the law and look out for one another.

Although the TV spot does look kind of familiar.

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Local

A 0.8-mile stretch of Van Nuys Blvd in Pacoima will get a road diet, with a buffered bike lane on one side and a parking-protected lane on the other, connecting to the San Fernando Road rail-with-trail bike path on the north end. Part of the city’s Great Streets Initiative, the Complete Streets makeover is intended to reduce speeding and improve safety on one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino argues that part of the Metro R2 transportation funds should be used to repair LA’s crumbing streets since they form the foundation for all other elements of the transportation system, including bicycles. One of the city’s most bike friendly elected officials, Buscaino will be honored with the Golden Spoke Award at this year’s Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Speaking of Good Samaritan, Downtown News profiles Good Sam CEO and dedicated bike commuter Andy Leeka. And a pretty nice guy too, if I say so myself; thanks to Richard Risemberg for the link.

The LA Weekly lists Sunday’s semi-inaugural Los Angeles Bicycle Festival at Grand Park as one of their 21 things to do this week. Although it’s not on Metro’s list of Bike Month events.

Bicycling recommends the annual 30-mile Stan’s Bike Shop/Eastside Bike Club’s Tour de Tacos as one of the 27 best places to find tacos in the US. But they somehow failed to include the Trump Towers taco bowl.

Ride with Metro and Bike SGV to the Huntington Library and Gardens this afternoon.

Wolfpack Hustle’s annual Shortline Crit rolls tomorrow in Long Beach.

Also on Saturday, Finish the Ride and Velo Studio will host a free Tour de Griffith Park: An Introduction to Safe and Fun Riding.

Team LACBC will host a training ride for this year’s Climate Ride tomorrow, heading up Glendora Mountain Road before visiting The Donut Man on the return leg.

 

State

Laguna Beach mountain bikers get to ride with their heroes.

Fortunately, an Apple Valley bike rider was sitting upright and talking after being hit by a pickup Wednesday night.

As if dodging dangerous drivers isn’t bad enough, Turlock police are looking for a man who stabbed a bike rider in the chest in an apparently random and unprovoked attack.

The Menlo Park city council votes to keep El Camino Real dangerous by sending plans for bike lanes back for further study until neighboring cities agree on a common design. “Sending plans back for further studies” usually means they don’t want to piss off motorists by approving it, but don’t want to piss off bike riders by saying no, either.

Sacramento police are looking for the owners of 60 stolen bikes that were recovered when a bike thief was busted.

 

National

Bike riders may be the only ones enjoying the closure of a Seattle viaduct. Meanwhile, you know Seattle’s bikeshare program is in trouble when the people responsible for running it aren’t even members, despite a discount for city employees.

After a cyclist competing in New Mexico’s Tour of Gila broke his bike crashing into a pile of riders who collided with a dog, he traded bikes with a fan and finished the race on an ‘80s era Specialized stump jumper. No word on how the dog made out, though.

Des Moines IA police are looking for two men who attacked a 65-year old bike rider for no apparent reason.

A new report says bicycling is booming in New York City, up a whopping 320% since 1990, even though advocates say the city isn’t doing enough to protect cyclists and keep up with demand. Which just goes to show what can happen when you build an actual bicycling network rather than a few nice lanes here and there.

Count Woody Allen, who used to be funny, among those who think New York has done too much to accommodate bike riders and that bike lanes don’t belong anywhere in his upscale Upper East Side neighborhood. But he’s likely to get them whether he likes it or not.

A Pennsylvania bike rider is charged with stabbing a man who he claims stole his bike.

 

International

A new international study confirms that the health benefits of bicycling and walking far outweigh the risks from pollution. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

A British man gets seven years for the drunken hit-and-run death of a cyclist; he initially told police his car had been stolen and someone else was driving it, leading to the false arrest of an innocent man.

If you build it, they will come. This tweet really says it all about a new London bikeway in the shadow of Big Ben.

Researchers hope da Vinci’s DNA can explain his genius, which included sketching out a bicycle centuries before they were invented.

Bikes are the star of a planned Oslo office building.

An Indian man got a bizarre 10-petaled flower-shaped cataract in one eye following a helmetless collision with a car.

A Taiwan proposal would classify ebikes as scooters, requiring riders to have a helmet and a license.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a $341 40-mile ride in the rain. I don’t care what they say, it’s not a bike friendly town if kids are barred from riding bikes to school.

And luxury hotels may be fascinating, but you’re better off watching the road.

 

Morning Links: LA County pays $1.3 million in death of bike rider, and SD sailor faces hit-and-run charges

We’re now up to six new members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition after day three of the BikinginLA LACBC Membership drive, with just 94 more to go to reach our goal by the end of this month.

So tell your friends, family and fellow riders to sign up now to give bike riders a greater voice in our local communities, and help make LA County a better place to ride a bike for all of us.

And get some great bike swag, too.

………

LA County approves a $1.3 million settlement in the death of Alfonso Cerda, who was run down on his bike by overzealous sheriff’s deputies who mistakenly thought he might have a gun.

As Cerda’s son put it, “If he was on his bike he had a flashlight, his wallet, and that’s it — and his happiness.”

Note: The original story from KNBC-4 said the settlement was for $1.7 million, but later revised it to show the amount as $1.3 million. I have revised this piece to reflect that. Thanks to Opus the Poet for the correction.

………

A Camp Pendleton sailor will face trial on felony hit-and-run and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges in the 2014 death of bike rider Philip White.

………

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske says most cops are motorists and many see the world from a windshield perspective, which is why they often get the law wrong and blame the bicycling victims.

In a similar vein, New York bike advocates justifiably demand the NYPD stop automatically blaming the person on two wheels.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman rides along with last Sunday’s third annual Unity Ride from Little Tokyo to Watts.

The publisher of the Jewish Journal says ebikes could be the best way to beat LA traffic.

The West Hollywood city council says no go to WeHoGo as the name for the city’s coming bikeshare system.

Alex de Cordoba shares photographic proof that people really are riding bikes in LA. Although someone appears to left their child locked to a Trader Joe’s bike rack.

Seriously, how stupidly car addicted do you have to be to drive away from a Van Nuys probation hearing about your double DUI license suspension?

 

State

The OC Register offers truncated results from Sunday’s Dana Point Gran Prix.

An Oceanside teenager was injured when he crashed into a truck while riding down a steep hill on a bike he’d just gotten hours earlier.

CiclaValley shares details of a recent ride through San Luis Obispo.

 

National

It’s National Bike to School Day. Bicycling Magazine offers advice on how to get your kid’s bike ready for the ride.

Portland’s Oregonian offers a beginner’s guide on how to ride to work. Thanks to Pedal Love for the link.

There’s something seriously wrong when a Seattle bike rider isn’t even safe on the sidewalk from man driving while high. Or maybe low, since he says he was on a depressant.

An Iowa driver faces up to 25 years in prison for running down a cyclist while driving at three times the legal alcohol limit.

Ohio AAA now offers road service for bike riders. So when will SoCal AAA get around to realizing that a lot of their customers ride bikes, too?

Is a possible $500 fine enough to stop Connecticut drivers from carelessly crashing into bicyclists and pedestrians? I didn’t think so.

What are New York bike lanes for? Evidently not bicycles.

A DC writer describes the life-changing magic of riding your bike to work. It’s worth the click just for the amazing illustration that accompanies the story.

A New Orleans man faces life in prison for shooting two teenage brothers after they allegedly pushed him off his bicycle; he called a friend to deliver the murder weapon he used in the shooting.

 

International

The Guardian gives tips on how to fix a flat, even if you don’t have tire levers. Or a spare tube. Or a patch kit.

An Amsterdam man invented bikeshare in the 1960s, even though it took decades to catch on, and his own city never embraced it.

Apparently not having injured enough cyclists, the disk brake trial may return to the pro peloton next month.

Add daydreaming to the list of motorists’ Get Out of Jail Free cards, as an Aussie driver walks after killing a cyclist because she just wasn’t paying attention.

China appears to have a love-hate relationship with ebikes.

 

Finally…

Nothing like coming wheelie close to a moving bus. If you can’t jack a bike, might as well steal a car instead.

And seriously, don’t head-butt the cop if you get stopped for reckless riding.

 

Morning Links: Cyclist threatened by Metro driver, SD DUI hearing, and Phoenix scares kids off their bikes

Did a Metro employee try to run down a cyclist while on duty?

That’s what carfree bike rider Randall Fleming says happened to him last week as he rode on South Hope Street in Downtown LA.

He tells his story in the following press release.

Metro-Van-Attempts-to-Run-Down-Bicyclist-Page-1

As noted in the release, Fleming did forward photos of the driver and the van, however, I’ve chosen not to publish them at this time pending further action in this case.

………

In a preliminary hearing for Jonathan Domingo Garcia, witnesses report the 23-year old man drove past popular San Diego neighborhood activist Maruta Gardner twice without stopping as she lay dying in the street after he allegedly ran her down while she was cleaning off graffiti.

According to her husband, she had just taken a photo and was putting her Kindle back in the basket of her adult tricycle when Garcia’s car slammed into her.

He faces charges including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving after he admitting to drinking and smoking dope before getting into his car.

………

Episode 1Let’s give credit to Phoenix AZ, for producing what may be the single most distasteful and off-putting series of bike safety graphic novels ever.

They may actually prove effective in improving safety, however, by scaring kids and their parents off their bikes forever.

………

Local

A writer for the New York Times discovers you can actually visit LA without a car, and even participate in CicLAvia while you’re at it. Just don’t pick the watercress downstream from a horse crossing.

Richard Risemberg says LA doesn’t need a test cycle track near the government offices on Los Angeles Street.

Santa Monica is preparing for the arrival of the Expo Line by improving bike and pedestrian facilities in hopes of getting people out of their cars.

A Valencia bike trail was shut down Wednesday, along with two lanes of traffic, when someone left a leaky canister near the curb; about a gallon of the unknown substance leaked into the gutter. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up; she also sends word of Indonesia’s bicycle rickshaw karaoke pedicabs.

Long Beach is looking for public input to refine the city’s 15-year old bike plan; current efforts include a bike/ped bridge over the San Gabriel River, connecting the Atherton Street bikeway to the San Gabriel Bike Trail.

CiclaValley talks with members of Walk Bike Burbank about the city’s first open streets event this Saturday. But don’t oversleep or you’ll miss the hour-long ciclovía from 8:30 to 9:30 am.

Santa Monica Spoke invites you to participate in the local edition of the worldwide Brompton Urban Challenge scavenger hunt on April 30th; they have a limited number of folding bikes you can borrow for the event.

Team LACBC will host a training ride for next month’s Climate Ride on La Tuna Canyon Road this Saturday; everyone is invited to join in, whether or not you’re participating in Climate Ride yourself.

The May edition of the LACBC’s Sunday Funday ride will visit local landmarks in an 18-mile journey through Northeast LA on Sunday, May 1st.

 

State

Police at UC Irvine use a bait bike to bust a pair of bike thieves; one of the men was already on probation for a previous bike theft. Prison overcrowding and an increase in the threshold for felony theft means few bike thieves ever face serious consequences, even if they do get arrested.

Cal Poly SLO won a national challenge to develop a pedal-less fluid-drive bicycle, thanks to a unique clutch design that enabled the bike to coast more efficiently.

An 85-year old Burlingame recumbent rider was injured in a collision with a garbage truck; fortunately, he’s expected to survive. The news wasn’t as good in Clovis, as a 40-something man was killed when he was hit by a car while riding in a bike lane.

Cars have been banned from one of two roadways up San Francisco’s Twin Peaks for a two-year trial period; only bikes and pedestrians will be allowed on the western loop offering the best views of the city.

San Francisco will host the city’s third annual Walk & Bike to Worship Week next month.

Oakland’s famed Telegraph Avenue is getting a green separated bike lane.

 

National

A writer for Popsugar says biking is the best, despite the silly clothes. Seriously, can we get over this whole thing about the ugly cycling attire? You don’t need spandex to ride a bike. And it can actually look pretty damn good on some people.

Assuming it’s stolen, a Salt Lake City man buys a $5,000 bike from a guy at a 7-11 for $300 in hopes of returning it to its owner.

Apparently, a Kansas State University research and extension agent assumes bicycle helmets are the only thing needed for bike safety. Helmets are a last resort for when all else fails; it’s far better to prevent any need for them by avoiding collisions and falls through safer infrastructure, teaching and obeying bike laws and riding defensively.

Over 15,000 bicycles have been stolen in Chicago since 2010. And only 62 recovered.

The Wall Street Journal says ex-UCLA basketball star and famed Dead Head Bill Walton is all about the bicycle these days.

What may be the oldest continuously operated bike shop in the country is still going strong in Queens NY after 98 years.

 

International

A Canadian sous chef chased down a bike thief and recovered a bike stolen from his restaurant after spotting something suspicious; the owner got her bike back after he a note left on the street.

Yesterday we mentioned a story about British thugs stealing a boy’s bike the day before his bar mitzvah in a strong arm robbery; today’s news is better, as kindhearted strangers raise £1,000 to replace it in less than 24 hours.

Bicycling is up 46% over the last decade, though the country’s notorious weather is keeping many off their bikes. Although someone should tell the writer the phrase is “put a damper on,” not “put a dampener on” it. Even if that seems appropriate for the soggy climate.

 

Finally…

Bike corrals can’t stop speeding drivers from running stop signs. Your next BMW could be a $1,590 Long Beach Blue bicycle.

And a new study from the UK shows that eating just 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate boosts endurance as much as beet juice.

And tastes a lot better.

 

Morning Links: Connecting the dots in LA doping scandal; bike routes through Camp Pendleton closed next week

One quick note before we get started.

I’ll be meeting with the officers in the LAPD’s bike liaison program later today; leave a comment below if you know of any bicycling issues or problem areas you’d like me to address with them.

………

Peter Flax, former editor in chief of Bicycling magazine, connects all the dots in the Nick Brandt-Sorenson doping scandal.

He points out that the rider disqualified for doping after winning the Masters 30-34 national road championships — and recently convicted of selling performance enhancing drugs over state lines — is the same one who owns many of the allegedly dope-aided LA-area KOMs on Strava.

Many people, especially road-racing types in Los Angeles who have to wake up to emails from Strava notifying them of lost KOMs, would like to see these marks stricken. We are talking about a convicted doper who now has admitted to selling EPO. We are talking about a strong but undistinguished big guy who was pack fodder in Pro/1/2 crits who has taken dozens of KOMs from far smaller WorldTour climbers.

When I asked Marcotte about Brandt-Sorenson’s Strava achievements, he laughed out loud. “There’s no way that guy could have done that with the fitness I ever saw — no fucking way,” Marcotte said. “He’s a pretty stout dude. He must be 75 kilos [165 pounds]. That’s a red flag.”

Then there’s this,

I emailed a copy of these testing claims to Cannondale pro Phil Gaimon, who says he doesn’t know Brandt-Sorenson, but has riding friends in common. His reply: “To be honest, he seems like Lance-level creep, just not as good at it.”

It’s a good story, from someone who knows how to tell it.

………

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards word that the bike path through Camp Pendleton will be closed next week — as will the usual alternate route on the shoulders of I-5 through the base.

This comes from an email from Caltrans’ Seth Cutter —

The U.S. Marine Corps is planning to temporarily close the Camp Pendleton Bike Path—the only bike access between Las Pulgas Rd. and Basilone Rd. along Interstate 5 (I-5)— for military operations between this Monday, Mar. 28 and Friday, April 1, 2016.  Under normal bike path closure circumstances Caltrans would open the freeway shoulders in this segment to bicyclists, however there is a construction project that has closed the shoulders of I-5 in that segment.  Caltrans will provide a 24/7 on-call shuttle to carry bicyclists through the closures in the I-5 corridor between Oceanside and San Clemente.  The phone number for the shuttle is (619)385-3267.  Pick-up/drop-off locations are at Oceanside Harbor in the east parking lot (NW corner of the lot), at the park and ride lot at Las Pulgas Rd., and Basilone Rd.(at the south end of the Trestles bike path, where it meets Old Hwy 101).  Signs at these locations will include the shuttle phone number.  Please share this information and make your plans accordingly. We apologize for any inconveniences in advance.

………

A British driver is caught on video deliberately driving onto a sidewalk to run down a bike rider, who then gets up and smashes the car’s rear window.

………

 

Local

Councilmember Jose Huizar announces a new plan called DTLA Forward to improve safety in the Downtown area, including parking-protected bike lanes on Spring and Main. Which just shows what can happen when a councilmember actually gives a damn about improving safety, rather than blocking needed improvements.

Boyonabike gets excited about the new buffered bike lanes on North Halstead Street in Pasadena. Especially since he called for them in his very first blog post nearly four years ago.

Stephen Frears, director of The Program, talks with Variety about Lance and doping.

BikeSGV will celebrate the new Gold Line extension with a Bike the Gold Line ride this Sunday.

CiclaValley talks with John Morlock about Ride2Recovery and next month’s Honor Ride in Simi Valley.

 

State

Redlands will host the 7th annual RUFF Ride this Saturday to benefit animals, including shelters, rescues and spay-neuter initiatives. Yesterday was National Puppy Day; celebrate by adopting an adult rescue dog who used to be one.

San Francisco’s bikeshare system is expanding by adding 72 new stations and up to 1,000 more bikes by the end of the year.

Bike-friendly UC Davis is looking for a new Bicycle Program Coordinator, while Calbike is looking for a Communications Director. I’ll take it if they change the title to Minister of Bicycle Propaganda.

 

National

Portland traffic fatalities are running ahead of last year, despite the city’s Vision Zero pledge last year. Just adopting a Vision Zero isn’t enough; it takes real changes on the streets, as well as education and enforcement. And more than just one year.

City Lab says every city needs a Bike Batman to recover stolen bikes, not just Seattle.

A Utah driver gets off with a misdemeanor after fatally running down a bike rider; he had a BAC nearly three times the legal limit following the crash. This kind of failure to take traffic crimes seriously is why people continue to die on our streets.

Ohio transit workers pitch in to buy a 14-year old boy a new bike after his was crushed in a collision while on the front rack of a bus.

Kentucky expands the time period for tracking DUI offenses from five to ten years; a fourth conviction for driving under the influence within a decade would be treated as a felony. Nice that they’re finally doing something. But allowing four strikes before the crime is taken seriously just keeps dangerous drivers on the road.

A new Texas study says women who take oral birth control are less likely to suffer a knee injury and recover faster if they do.

New York plans to remove a four-lane highway blocking access to the Niagara River, replacing it with a park and walking trails.

 

International

A new study from the University of Duh says if you’re out of shape, an intense training session could do more harm than good. Which anyone who has gone for a hard ride too soon in the season can attest to.

Your front derailleur could soon be a thing of the past.

Argentina’s president gives President Obama a new 250-watt e-bike foldie (scroll down). Which should be good for zooming around DC once he’s a private citizen next year.

A Toronto cyclist says a new parking protected bike lane could be a game changer.

A Belgium bike race goes ahead despite this week’s terrorist attacks, with a local favorite coming in first.

Bike Radar talks with the German expat bike shop owner at the heart of Dubai’s cycling revolution, who’s selling high-end bikes to royal customers.

Surprisingly, an Australian study shows there’s no difference in how drivers treat cyclists, regardless of whether they ride themselves.

That $3,000 Chinese smart bike has already smashed its crowdfunding goals, selling 110 bikes with two more weeks to go.

Tokyo authorities hope a new bikeshare system and a 100-bike sidewalk parking space will reduce the number of illegally parked bikes in the Akihabara district.

 

Finally…

Yes, your bike helmet has an expiration date, or maybe not, after all; thanks to Ron Richings for the correction. What do a tandem bike, a WWII grenade and a headless Paddington Bear have in common?

And a Kansas man noticed someone riding a bike that looked just like his son’s. Because it was.

 

Morning Links: Nine years for drunken West Covina hit-and-run; suspect wanted in Agoura Hills bike crash

For once, the punishment fits the crime.

The Los Angeles County DA’s office announced Tuesday that 25-year old Presley Danielle Rodriguez was sentenced to nine years in state prison for the drunken, high-speed hit-and run that took the life of 44-year old Jose De Jesus Ruiz Villanoeva as he rode his bike to work in West Covina last October.

She was arrested almost immediately when an officer pulled her over after hearing the crash and discovered the damage to her car, while a second officer discovered Villanoeva’s body.

This sentence comes as a pleasant surprise for an office with a reputation for bargaining away serious penalties just to get a conviction in many bike cases.

Although someone should tell the Daily News to read their own story before writing the headline.

Thanks to DreamWaveDave for the heads-up.

………

LA County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a hit-and-run driver who fled after hitting a woman riding her bike in Agoura Hills.

The victim was severely injured when she was apparently right hooked while riding on Argos Street around 11 am Sunday by a driver turning onto Parkheath Drive.

The suspect is described only as a man driving a late-model black compact car. Anyone with information is urged to call the Malibu Lost Hills Station at 818/878-1808.

Thanks to Chris Willig for the link.

………

Sadly, this is exactly how too many bikeways are planned.

Sort of like Paul Koretz’ search for an alternate route for the Westwood Blvd bike lanes, which seems to be proceeding at the same pace as OJ’s search for the real killers.

………

Now that’s tough.

Not the bad break — literally and otherwise — that kept track cyclist Missy Erickson of the nascent World Cycling League’s California Wave team from competing in the Rio Olympics.

But Erickson herself, who broke off a cast so she could compete in a race after suffering a broken wrist and collarbone, as well as a Level 3 concussion, when she took a bad fall during a competition.

The league premiers this Friday and Saturday in Carson; Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson seems to think it’s a good idea.

………

Local

Once again, Los Angeles tops the rest of the US for the nation’s worst traffic. Maybe that explains why groups like Fix the City are fighting the new Mobility Plan; why change anything when you’re already number one?

Good Magazine talks with the founder of the Ovarian Psychos about their new documentary and riding gentrifiers out of town.

Bike friendly New York restaurant, sandwich shop and butcher The Cannibal is finally slated to open, partially at least, in Culver City next month; the name is based on the great Eddy Merckx, not the Donner Party.

Actor Josh Brolin is one of us, as he rides his single speed cruiser along Santa Monica’s Main Street. Although the British tabloids once again seem most impressed with his biceps.

Will Arnett is one of us, too; he recommends riding a bike through the streets of Venice, calling it the greatest mode of transport.

Call it a non-CicLAvia ciclovía, as Long Beach celebrates its downtown area this Saturday with the city’s second Beach Streets open streets event.

 

State

Costa Mesa’s Orange Coast College plans a pedestrian-free bike and skateboard loop around the campus, while banning riding from other areas.

San Marcos will get a one-third mile Complete Street this year, but not as soon as planned.

A San Diego group has unexpectedly dropped their lawsuit against buffered bike lanes on the city’s 4th and 5th Streets.

A Santa Barbara neighborhood association once again chooses parking over bicycles, threatening to sue if the city doesn’t consider alternatives to a contested bike lane on Micheltorena Street and conduct an environmental impact report. The governor signed a bill in 2013 exempting bike lanes from environmental review, but that hasn’t seemed to stop anyone from suing.

Berkeley officials call for extending a protected bike lane two blocks, a month too late to help a woman who was critically injured while riding her bike there.

Red Kite Prayer visits the Marin Museum of Bicycling.

A columnist for the Davis paper looks at Calbike’s proposal to offer a rebate to anyone who buys a commuter bicycle.

 

National

Evidently, the death of a bicyclist is no big deal in Alaska. An 18-year old hit-and-run driver is allowed to finish her college semester before beginning her prison sentence; she was under the influence when she ran down the victim while driving in reverse down the street following a party.

An anonymous Seattle bike vigilante has earned the moniker Bike Repo Batman for helping theft victims get their bicycles back. Thanks to joninsocal for the tip.

Sad news from Boulder CO as former pro cyclist Phil Zajicek lost an arm in a collision with a flatbed truck; fortunately, he’s expected to survive. Zajicek received a lifetime ban for doping violations in 2011.

Bighearted Michigan cops buy a new bicycle for a five-year old boy who was injured when a car backed over him as he tried to ride around it.

An upstate NY man is making plans for a record-breaking attempt at the world’s biggest classic bike parade; under the rules — yes, there are rules for such things — the bikes must be at least 30 years old, and travel at least two miles. Which means my 1981 Trek would easily make the cut, if I could get it to go that far.

 

International

A sustainable transportation lecturer writing in the Guardian says it’s not enough to reduce speed limits on residential streets to 20 mph; we need to stop cut through traffic — aka rat running — to keep quiet streets quiet.

It’s time to bury the phrase “Share the Road” once and for all when it’s used by auto-centric NIMBY’s to fight a planned London bike superhighway.

A London woman breaks the third date rule, agreeing on her second date to ride around the world promoting education with the man who’s now her fiancé.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a Brit paperboy’s bike as he delivers his paper route.

English bicyclists take safety into their own hands by spray painting a warning on an unsafe bike lane; naturally, county officials respond by calling it vandalism rather than actually doing anything to fix it.

A man in Limerick, Ireland was arrested after riding his bike with a sawed off shotgun looking for people to shoot; he wounded one man and missed another before he was stopped while looking for a third victim.

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize goes on a rant against what he considers bad bikeway designs, insisting that if you don’t see it used in the Netherlands or Denmark, it’s probably a stupid idea.

Yemini women lead the resistance to the country’s civil war by riding bicycles as a symbol of solidarity.

Beijing tries free bikeshare in an attempt to battle the seemingly endless pollution gripping the city.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to plow our own pathways. Forget PowerBars; try surviving on roadkill on your next bike tour.

And what to ride when an ordinary, sub-$9,000 bike just isn’t good enough.

 

Morning Links: UCLA cyclist screwed by insurance company needs your help; team track cycling league comes to LA

If you’ve got a few extra dollars lying around looking for a good cause, here it is.

A UCLA grad student and member of the school’s triathlon team has established a gofundme account to raise enough money to repay her mother for legal expenses after being sued by the driver that hit her.

That’s right. She was run down from behind while riding her bike, yet she’s being sued for damaging the car that smashed into her.

On Sunday April 6, 2014 while I was riding on my road bike from work, I was rear-ended by a speeding car with such force that the car’s front bumper was damaged. It is almost two years since the collision and I am still in great debt from the medical bills, property damage and lawyer fees.

Instead of paying for my medical bills, the driver’s auto insurance company had sent me four consecutive letters and invoices claiming thousands of dollars of damages and threatening to sue me for the broken front bumper. First, the company claimed that I backed into the car, although I was on a road bike that does not go backwards. Then, they accused me of smashing into the car from the side – even though my bike was run over by both the front and back wheels of the car. In fact, my bike was still underneath the back tire of the car when the ambulance and police arrived.

Sounds like the same insurance company that represented the road raging driver that ran me down several years ago. Or maybe they’re all like that.

And that’s the Catch-22.

Bike riders often need a good lawyer after a collision, but unless there are significant damages, most lawyers can’t afford to take the case. So there’s no one to hold the insurance companies accountable for their outrageous behavior.

And it’s the people on bikes end up getting screwed.

Thanks to Alex de Cordoba for the heads-up.

………

Break out your cow bells.

A new team track cycling league will hold its inaugural races at Carson’s Velo Center on the 18th and 19th. The World Cycling League will host six mixed-gender teams with a hometown format; our local heroes will be known as the California Wave.

………

Local

The Times says candidates to replace termed out County Supervisor Michael Antonovich were asked questions about “bike trails in Santa Clarita that taper off when they cross into the surrounding unincorporated county area” at a candidate forum. But then fails to mention how any of them responded.

Richard Risemberg notes that humanity, and in particular, humanity on bicycles, has returned to DTLA.

CiclaValley discusses what Strava heat maps reveal about cycling in the City of Angels.

Even if you missed Sunday’s CicLAvia, there’s still a long list of open streets events coming up in the coming months.

You’re invited to the official unveiling of Long Beach’s bikeshare program at 10 am today; the first ten stations and 100 bikes will be available to try out during the city’s Beach Streets Downtown ciclovía on the 19th.

 

State

A tiny park in Orange was originally built as a rest stop for cyclists riding on a pair of long gone bike lanes. Which pretty much sums up the state of bicycling for the past several decades; hopefully that’s changing now.

Nothing like mischaracterizing the story. San Diego Magazine positions the city’s new bike plan as nine miles of bike lanes versus the loss of 500 parking spaces. Then explains that as few as 233 on-street parking spaces might be removed, and those will be mitigated by the addition of 200 underground parking spaces. So it’s really bike lanes versus no big deal.

San Francisco cyclists are forced to ride in a center lane in front of car traffic because of a local law banning bikes from the city’s expanding network of transit-only lanes.

Plans to complete a nine-figure bikeway across San Francisco’s 80-year old Bay Bridge include an elevator to allow disabled riders — and anyone who doesn’t want to accept the challenge of a long, steep ride up the ramp — to access the bridge. Meanwhile, plans to improve bike access to the other side of the Bay Bridge could fall victim to falling gas tax revenue.

 

National

New graphene-infused bicycle tires are more resilient than standard rubber tires, while remaining firm on straightaways for lower rolling resistance, yet softening while braking or cornering for added traction.

Why settle for a dumb bell when you can have a new 95-decibel smart bike bell with built-in microphone, and accelerometer to alert you if it’s being moved without your knowledge?

Singletrack Magazine disavows its own article offering ten reasons why a fat bike should be your only bike.

Modern entrepreneurs often talk about blowing up existing business models; blowing up an actual Seattle bike shop, not so much.

Police in my hometown have located the thoughtful driver who got out of his car to move a cyclist’s bike and backpack over to the curb, but left the victim he’d just run over lying in the street with long list of broken bones. Yet oddly, they still haven’t made an arrest.

So much for political promises. Missouri cyclists plan to circle the capital building next month to protest the ridiculous proposal to require cyclists to attach a 15-foot high fluorescent flag to their bikes; the bill’s author promised to withdraw it weeks ago, but hasn’t kept his word.

As if drunk drivers weren’t bad enough, a Wisconsin bike rider was the victim of a speeding, drunk bicyclist.

 

International

The bike-riding mayor of Victoria, British Columbia wants to make bicycling the norm in the city.

Tragically, a London woman has died after being struck by a bicyclist. Which is just another reminder to always ride safely around pedestrians; they’re the only people more vulnerable on the streets than we are, and even more unpredictable.

London parents say the city’s streets are too dangerous for children to ride their bikes.

British women hold a Suffragette Ride and Tea Party to call attention to the continuing gender imbalance in bicycling; male riders outnumber women three to one in the UK.

Norway’s plan to build ten bicycle superhighways at a cost of nearly $1 billion will be funded by the country’s oil revenue. Now that’s putting it to good use.

The third stage of the Paris-Nice cycling classic was cancelled mid-race due to snow; riders complained about the lack of a plan B.

Plug-in e-bikes are just so old school. A new Dutch model uses solar power to recharge while you ride.

German discount retailer Aldi is starting to carry bike equipment, just in time for its planned expansion into Southern California.

The bikelash rears its ugly head in New Zealand, as community members rise up against a bike lane that isn’t even finished yet.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding your bike while high, put a light on it — and don’t attack the cop who tries to stop you because you don’t have one. If you’ve ever wanted to own a Penny Farthing for pennies on the dollar, here’s your chance.

And I henceforth and for all time claim authorship of the term “areobam.”

 

100-plus mph, underage drunk driver gets four years for 2014 death of bicyclist Haytham Gamal

Four years.

Four years behind bars for driving at speeds over 100 mph in a 35 mph zone, with a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit.

And taking the life of an innocent man as he rode his bike home from work on Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point, after losing control on a slight curve and skidding 200 feet before striking the victim from behind. Then dragging him another 500 feet before flipping over after hitting the curb.

Needless to say, the victim, 39-year-old Haitham Gamal, was pronounced dead at the scene.

All because he had the misfortune of sharing the road with then 19-year old Dominic Devin Carratt that tragic April night in 2014.

Carratt pleaded guilty last month to A) one count of felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, B) one count of felony driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, and C) one count of felony driving with a blood alcohol of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury, along with a sentencing enhancement for great bodily injury.

Yet even though the victim’s wife implored the court to give him the maximum 10-year sentence, the judge showed leniency, deserved or not.

I’m told he imposed a sentence of four years in state prison for the first count, another two years for the second count, to be served concurrently, and stayed an additional two years for the third count.

Carratt will also be required to pay restitution in an amount to be determined at a later date, and his driver’s license will be suspended for three years after his release.

Though why he would ever be allowed to drive again is beyond me.

A woman in the courtroom for the sentencing noted that Carratt’s mother gave him a long, tearful embrace as he walked to the front of the courtroom.

It may be a long time before she gets another chance.

Thanks to Edward M. Rubinstein for the heads-up. 

Dominic Carratt sentence

 

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