Tag Archive for AAA

Driver identified in Portland rampage that left 1 dead and 10 injured, and AAA says it’s crash not accident

We finally know who was — allegedly — responsible for the murderous vehicular rampage that left a 77-year old Portland woman dead, and as many as ten others injured.

And why, sort of.

Sixty-four-year old Paul Rivas pled not guilty to 14 felony counts in the 15-block rampage, including second degree murder and multiple assault and hit-and-run charges.

Unbelievably — literally — he had shifting explanations for why he intentionally ran down so many people, most of whom were walking or riding bicycles.

Rivas initially claimed his Honda Element was having brake problems and that he was searching for an auto repair shop.

Other times, he suggested the injuries could have been inflicted by “another, similar looking” Honda car, not his; and he admitted at one point to striking a bicyclist but characterized the collision as an “emergency maneuver” he made to avoid a more serious crash with oncoming traffic, Multnomah County prosecutor Sean P. Hughey wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

This despite running down the elderly woman as she was crossing the street, then making a U-turn and slamming into her again, dragging her to her death under his SUV.

Yeah, sounds like bad brakes, all right.

The descriptions of his attacks are simply horrific.

Donald Hinson was riding his bicycle on Southeast 18th Avenue when the Honda “drove straight at him without slowing,” sending him and his bicycle onto the hood of the Honda. He fell onto the street and suffered injuries to his leg and a cut to his nose, the affidavit said…

Raymond Chihak said he was on the sidewalk near Southeast 19th Avenue and Stark when he heard screaming. That’s when he noticed the Honda speeding directly toward him. It struck him as he stood on the sidewalk, he said, then sped off, according to the affidavit. Chihak also was treated for his injuries at a hospital.

Bicyclist Juan Caicedo-Gomez was riding in the bike lane on Southeast Belmont Street when the Honda swerved into the lane and hit him from behind, throwing him off his bicycle, according to police.

Pedestrian Faviola Palomera said she was walking in Laurelhurst Park and saw the Honda doing U-turns nearby. “The next thing she knew she woke up in the hospital,” with a head injury after she had been knocked unconscious when the Honda was seen driving out of the park and struck her while walking, according to her statement to police and a witness’ account, the affidavit said.

Yet those are just a few of the victims who were lucky enough to survive.

And yes, those were real people.

https://twitter.com/mckra1g/status/1354525420503396352

That crowdfunding campaign to replace their bikes and help with medical expenses has raised nearly $1,000 of the modest $4,000 goal.

After repeated denials, Rivas finally admitted to detectives that he was the one behind the wheel of the killer SUV.

According to police, he denied drug or alcohol use and did not appear to be under the influence, leading them to suspect he suffered from some sort of mental illness or physical ailment.

Let’s hope it’s enough to keep him off the road for the rest of his life.

Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay. Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding the tweet.

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That sudden chill you feel is hell freezing over.

Update: It turns out that statement wasn’t from the national AAA; instead, it came from the organization’s second largest affiliate group

But still, it’s a start.

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Your periodic reminder that being one of the greatest cyclists of all time wasn’t even close to the most important accomplishment of Gino Bartali’s life.

Bartali is credited with saving dozens, if not hundreds, of Jews during WWII as he transported forged documents hidden in the frame of his bike.

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But at least you can tell the cop it was gluten free.

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When life gives you a geyser, take a shower.

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And no hands, no less.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

That other chill you feel is formerly auto-centric Caltrans asking for your input on creating long-distance carfree bicycle highways in the Bay Area. Now if they could just get around to it down here in SoCal, where the weather is usually more conducive to year-round riding.

Calbike is sponsoring AB 117 in the state legislature, which would create a $10 million fund to provide incentives for ebike purchases; you can sign a petition to support the bill hereAlthough something tells me they could probably go through that much in the first week alone.

Speaking of Calbike, the statewide bike advocacy organization sings the praises of Quick-Build Projects, saying it’s more equitable to vet a project on the ground than on paper. It also sidesteps the endless series of angry meetings that allow NIMBYs to kill much-needed safety improvements simply by showing up and screaming en masse.

 

National

Your next Lime scooter could be a mo-ped.

A bike industry op-ed says promoting diversity in bicycling must be more than just a gesture.

Utah considers adopting the Idaho Stop Law, as a legislative committee votes 8 to 3 to pass it on to the full state house, even if state transportation officials don’t exactly like the idea.

He gets it. A Montana columnist says before you try to pass an expensive and unnecessary bike safety law, try talking with some actual bicyclists first.

An Ohio city manager responds to an online petition to yank out a new bike lane by saying just give it a chance, already.

A New York councilmember calls on the city to develop a real-time map showing where bike lanes are blocked. Wouldn’t a better solution be to just keep them from being blocked in the first place?

No bias here. After a New York driver gets “terrorized” by a bunch of teenaged bike riders, a state legislator calls for a new law to help police pinpoint cellphone 911 calls. But bike riders get terrorized by drivers on a daily basis, and no one cares.

 

International

Nothing like a little Chilean mountain biking in a total eclipse.

Once again, a bike rider can credit his Apple Watch with saving his life, after it automatically dialed the equivalent of 911 when he was swept away by an English river.

Britain’s Independent professes to tell you how to pick the right kind of bike for the way you’ll ride.

Life is cheap in the UK, where an 88-year old man walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider, after a judge sentenced sentenced him to a lousy 16-week curfew.

Sad news from Dublin, where a teenaged boy was stabbed to death when he attempted to intervene in an argument over a stolen bicycle.

A Mumbai teen hangs a banner thanking the police for recovering her bicycle less than 24 hours after it was stolen.

When an Indian boy’s bike was stolen after his disabled father had struggled to buy it, a kindhearted government minister stepped in to buy him a new one.

 

Competitive Cycling

It looks like former USA Cycling Team member, Orange County attorney and frequent BikinginLA contributor David Huntsman’s son is following in his dad’s tread tracks, as Eddy Huntsman joins three other new riders on the Continental Tour Elevate-Webiplex Pro Cycling Team. Thanks to proud papa David for the heads-up.

Bicycling says we should celebrate Tom Dumoulin’s sabbatical from the pro peloton. As usual, you can find it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you unsuccessfully try to make your getaway by bike after stealing a car while high on meth, then returning it and fighting with the owner. That feeling when you get drunk and ride your bike on the freeway.

And maybe this is why she wouldn’t return your call.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

AAA tow for a bike flat, mountain bikes and the people who love them, and gravel grinding in Southern California

Today is Giving Tuesday!

Seriousl, don’t feel obligated to donate to the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

But take a little time and money today to give to someone or something. Even if it’s just handing a few bucks to a homeless person, or dropping it into the Salvation Army kettle. 

Because there are a lot of people who need help out there right now. And giving from the heart will do you as much good as it does them.

Photo from Pexels.com

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Nothing like getting a little help for your flat.

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Today’s common theme is mountain bikes and the people who love them.

No surprise here. Several mountain biking videos have been nominated for Vimeo’s best videos of the year awards.

Pink Bike’s latest podcast raises the question of what it takes to be a responsible mountain biker. Hint: Don’t leave the trail or surrounding woodlands worse than you found them. Better yet, don’t leave any sign you were even there.

Singletracks highlights eleven new mountain bike trails around the world.

And IPSO concludes that e-mountain bikes are a blessing for the environment, despite initially being non-sustainable.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew forwards a guide to gravel riding in Southern California.

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

No bias here. Top Gear and The Grand Tour host Jeremy Clarkson hates London’s new bike lanes, calling the mayor an imbecile and maniac who must be stopped for approving them.

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Local

Chris Pratt is one of us. And so is his eight-year old son Jack.

 

State

Menifee has adopted an extensive new Active Transportation Plan that promises to transform the 92,000 population city. Assuming it actually gets built, of course.

Streetsblog San Francisco’s Roger Rudick tells Caltrans it’s personal this time, after he was knocked down by a wire strung between fences while riding across a parking lot. Tell him I know some good lawyers if he needs one (Hint: see above right).

 

National

After a Massachusetts city puts climate change warnings on gas pumps, a Streetsblog writer says it’s time to put danger warnings on cars themselves.

Food delivery services are booming in New York and other cities, even as delivery riders continue to struggle as work condition get worse. Meanwhile, things are no better Down Under, where food delivery riders put their lives on the line for the convenience of others.

Tragic news from Maryland, where the head of the national association of transportation labor unions was killed in a collision while riding his bike near the entrance to Great Falls Park.

A Virginia website offers advice on how to maintain your ebike to keep riding through the winter. Some of which even applies to LA’s mostly mild winter weather.

A Virginia bike storage company plans to go nationwide with their line of weatherproof, theft-resistant bike capsules.

 

International

Cycling Weekly says it’s time to “stop hating on flat bar gravel bikes and embrace all bikes and all types of riders.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

After his friend was killed riding a bike, a man set out on a 3,200-mile ride across the country to raise awareness for bicycle safety, riding through the frigid Canadian winter.

An ex-Dyson exec is getting into the ebike business, raising the equivalent of nearly $2.7 million for the Scottish company, thanks in part to their innovative transmission system.

Britain’s Evening Standard considers whether a new bicycle subscription service that bills itself as “Netflix for bikes” is good option for commuters, concluding it’s an affordable way to test out bike commuting before making an investment.

The UK’s Cyclist magazine examines the best hybrid bikes for under the equivalent of $667.

A Dublin mom is looking for the hit-and-run bicyclist who apologized to her six-year old daughter after crashing into her while she played in the street, then rode off when she went to get her mother.

Unlike virtually every other major city, Paris vows to fight back against the jump in bike theft inspired by the coronavirus bike boom. That compares with Santa Monica, where I’m told the cops couldn’t be bothered to investigate and recover a $5,000 stolen bike after the owner spotted it for sale online; sadly, it had already been sold by the time he realized they didn’t give a damn.

A Ghanan bamboo bike program is working to build a bicycling culture in the African country to create a cleaner environment.

ABC — no, the Australian Broadcasting Corp — talks with the bicyclist who was clipped by a passing driver, which sent him flying into other riders in the paceline; fortunately, he’s recovering well.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly talks with multi-time national cycling champ Justin Williams about his LA-based L39ION of LA cycling team, and his plans to put the first black rider in the yellow jersey.

A Belgian research lab is investigating whether artificial intelligence can be the future of bike racing broadcasts.

After growing up in Sonoma County, Nikita Ducarroz has developed into one of the world’s best BMX competitors.

South African police made a cold case bust in the 13-year old torture and murder of South African cycling champ Etienne van Wyk.

 

Finally…

Recharge yourself while you recharge your ebike. Your next ebike could look like some sort of otherworldly geometric experiment.

And next time, maybe wait until the waves die down a little.

Just a suggestion.

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It was a little quieter day on Monday for the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive after a very busy opening weekend. Thanks to Janice H for her generous support to help keep bringing SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming to your favorite device every morning. 

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Morning Links: Millions driving while high, Sullivan Canyon closing for five weeks, and the war on bikes goes on

Something else to look forward to.

A new AAA report says millions of Americans are driving while high.

In fact, an estimated 15 million people got behind the wheel within an hour of getting stoned on weed.

Never mind that driving while high is just as illegal as driving drunk, if harder to prove.

And just as deadly, too.

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If you want to ride Sullivan Canyon this summer, you might want to get there quick.

Or you’ll have a long wait until August.

Off-road advocacy group CORBA reports SoCal Gas will shut down the popular mountain biking trail for the next five weeks on Monday for gas line work.

Click to expand.

Speaking of CORBA, aka the Concerned Off Road Bicyclists Association, they do a great job working with SoCal governments and businesses to maintain and expand your access to some of America’s best mountain biking trails.

If you ride off-road, you owe it to yourself to support them the way they support you.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on — teen skateboard edition.

A San Francisco bike rider was the victim of an apparent random, unprovoked assault when a pair of teenage kids whacked him with a skateboard for no apparent reason, then simply ran off.

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Local

Melissa McCarthy is one of us, donning her military jacket and polka dot helmet for an adult tricycle ride through the streets of LA. And she signals her turns, too.

The Pico Rivera city council will meet next Tuesday to discuss proposals for the city’s first protected bike lane and a new pedestrian bridge across the San Gabriel River.

The Press-Telegram says the next Long Beach street fight will be over reduced capacity and limiting turns on the only way out of the Peninsula neighborhood.

State

A new report shows California pedestrians are at serious risk on the mean streets of the Golden State.

The San Diego Union-Tribune examines both sides of the debate over a recently approved plan to remove parking in favor of installing protected bike lanes on 30th Street, with one side saying they’re right for businesses, climate and community, and the other saying the loss of parking will hurt it. Because as we all know, communities are all about cars, and we’re just here to move them around from time to time.

After a Madera bike rider laid his bike down in a failed attempt to avoid crashing into the side of an SUV, police say bicyclists using the crosswalk are required to get off their bikes and walk it across the street. That’s only true where sidewalk riding is banned, though, so your results may vary. And no one is prohibited from riding in the traffic lane through any surface street intersection anywhere in California. 

Bad news from San Jose, where a 69-year old Italian man has died following a solo bike crash.

More bad news from the Bay Area, where a Discovery Bay man was found dead in the road next to his bicycle, from what authorities describe as a medical event.

 

National

City Lab says Fear of Missing Out — aka FOMO — does not make for good urban mobility policy.

Bike accessory maker Planet Bike puts its money where its mouth is, donating over $25,000 to bike advocacy organizations.

A truck website offers advice on bike tools you should keep in your vehicle. And for a change, they actually make sense.

Outside looks at what’s next for Zwift.

Oregon’s senate passes a modified version of the Idaho Stop Law, allowing bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields, while still having to stop for red lights.

A Spokane woman learns the hard way that leaving a vintage bike unlocked is just an invitation for someone to steal it — even though she was just inside applying for a job.

Residents of a Chicago suburb are resisting plans to place a bike path extension along an existing nature trail, suggesting it should go under the massive power lines on a nearby abandoned rail line instead.

A Minnesota man prepares to ride the North Star Bicycle Race, a 629.4-mile unsupported endurance race.

Cincinnati has applied for grant to build a shared-use path along a major boulevard, completing a one-mile gap in an unfinished on-street bike lane. Even if you don’t read the story, it’s worth a click for the sweet steel frame Pinarello illustrating it.

Tragic news from Euclid, Ohio, where a man was killed in a rare fatal traffic collision between two people on bicycles.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a bike from an Ohio Easter Seals office.

In an incredibly boneheaded decision, New York’s new ebike law specifically bans parents from taking their kids along with them, even if the bike is designed for exactly that.

Now you, too, can win your very own Dunkin’ bicycle. But only if you live in New York.

A new study shows a “disturbing” number of Gotham bicyclists are riding distracted by their electronic devices. Just wait until someone tells them about all those distracted drivers, who pose a much greater risk to everyone around them. Let alone car makers who are building text readers, TV screens and game consoles into their dashboards.

A DC jury has found a white bicyclist guilty in a road rage assault on a black motorist, but deadlocked on the hate crime enhancement for repeatedly using the n-word; he was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon and felony assault while armed for using his U-lock to repeatedly hit the victim and his car.

 

International

Many Vancouver residents are riding sans-skid lids, despite a law mandating bike helmet use.

British Columbia unveils a new active transportation policy, including an $850 incentive for ebike buyers.

An Ontario, Canada bike rider is calling for better bike infrastructure after getting hit by drivers four times in three years.

London’s mayor pens a nasty letter to the Kensington and Chelsea council over cancelled plans for a much-needed bikeway, demanding to know how many more residents need to be maimed or killed before they do something.

 

Competitive Cycling

A young racer competing in Spain’s Basque Country suffered a nasty gash all the way across his chest when he crashed into a race barrier.

Cycling Tips puts all the bizarre conspiracy theories about Chris Froome’s serious bike crash into context.

VeloNews says 19-year old Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel is living up to the hype.

 

Finally…

No, that tree didn’t eat a doughboy’s bike. Reflections on riding up the Left Coast and all that jazz.

And probably not the best idea to swear at the cop who tried to pull you over and lead them on a bike chase when you already have an outstanding warrant.

Unless you can totally get away, of course.

 

Morning Links: South LA Slasher claims more victims, AAA fights bike law change, and booby trapped SD trail

Sadly, there’s been more attacks by the bike-riding South LA Slasher.

The latest came Monday morning near Florence Ave and Avalon Blvd, when the suspect rode up on a mountain bike and slashed the face of another man with a sharp object for no apparent reason.

That raises the total number of attacks to six, all in the area of South LA and Southeast Los Angeles County.

The suspect is described as an 18- to 30-year-old Latino man with short hair, about 150 pounds and 5’6″ to 5’8″, wearing a dark-colored T-shirt and pants, and riding a black and green mountain bike

Let’s hope they catch this guy before he does some serious damage.

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Once again, AAA is standing in the way of bike safety legislation — even when the proposed law doesn’t change anything.

Streetsblog reports that Calbike has withdrawn a proposal that would have simply changed the wording of the ride to the right rule to say that bicyclists have the right to “move away from the right edge when the lane isn’t wide enough to share.”

Current wording exempts riders from the requirement to stay to the right when the lane is too narrow to share, which is the case with most right lanes in Southern California.

Not only is it not a significant change, it doesn’t change the rights or responsibilities of bike riders at all. Just simplifies the wording, bringing it in line with statutes in other states.

Yet somehow, AAA still opposed it.

Just one more example of the organization’s mindless, knee-jerk opposition to almost any legislation regarding bikes, including their fight against the three-foot passing law.

Even when it doesn’t infringe on their members’ God-given right to go “vroom, vroom” to their hearts content.

I cancelled my membership several years back when I got tired of the organization using my dues to lobby against laws intended to protect my own life.

And that of everyone else who rides a bike.

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The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A San Diego bike rider was lucky to avoid serious injury when he encountered a booby trap on a popular bike trail in San Dieguito River Park near Lake Hodges. Correction: I originally said I was near Lake Hughes. Thanks to Michele Chavez for the tip.

Someone had not only strung barbed wire across the trail, but had hidden it by braiding the wire in a strand of ivy.

Anyone who tried to ride through without spotting the wire could have been seriously injured.

Which makes this an attempted assault with a deadly weapon.

Let’s hope they find the jackass responsible for this. And that police and prosecutors treat it with the seriousness the crime calls for.

Meanwhile, a man in the UK got 18 months behind bars for siccing his dogs on a pair of bike riders, because he was upset over people riding on the sidewalk.

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Local

LAist looks at the 15 people vying to become the next councilmember occupying LA’s vacant CD12 seat.

Santa Clarita is looking for one hundred more volunteers for this year’s Amgen Tour of California stage.

Long Beach residents got a street-level, one and a half hour view of the Long Beach Grand Prix course, as long as they did it without a motor.

State

This is who we share the roads with. Ten percent of drivers told AAA they “always or frequently” use their smartphones illegally while driving, while nearly 50% admit to doing it at least once. And those are just the ones honest enough to give a truthful answer; the real total is probably somewhere north of that. Far north.

Encinitas approves plans for a Complete Streets makeover of the Coast Highway in Leucadia, adding traffic circles and bike lanes to slow traffic and improve safety.

A San Diego man suffered serious injuries in a collision with a scooter rider as he was riding his bike on the Mission Beach boardwalk Tuesday afternoon.

Goleta was honored by the central coast chapter of a national public works association for the city’s bike and pedestrian master plan, as well as the Hollister Ave multi-use, Safe Routes to School path.

The popular Eroica California classic bike festival takes over Cambria this weekend.

A Pismo Beach street has been turned into a slalom course, forcing drivers to weave back and forth as construction begins on a Complete Streets makeover.

National

Outside says right now, it’s impossible to tell if Trek’s WaveCel helmet technology is as effective as the company claims; MIPS says their tests don’t back up Trek’s promises.

A new startup promises to give you airline-style miles for using non-automotive transport, such as biking, walking and transit.

How to help your mountain bike live a long, healthy and happy life.

Needless to say, Seattle bike riders are frustrated by the latest cutbacks in the bike plan for the ostensibly bike-friendly city, raising questions of what the mayor’s vision is. Or if she has one.

After exempting e-scooters from the city’s mandatory bike helmet law, Spokane questions whether the law is needed at all.

Evidently, New York state won’t be legalizing e-scooters now after all.

International

While everyone else is trying to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, Hamilton, Ontario wants to invite them in.

A British Paralympian says we need another word for utility bicyclists to reduce the hostility many drivers have for people on bikes. Or we could just forget the semantics, and focus on changing drivers attitudes and reminding them that we’re human too.

A Scottish man on an around the world bike tour has picked up a passenger, adopting a stray kitten in Bosnia; he modified his bike to give it a space up front.

German officials blame a rise in bicycling deaths on more older people using ebikes.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bicyclist was lucky to get away without serious injuries when he got left hooked — the equivalent of our right hook — by the driver of an SUV; fortunately, he managed to push off the vehicle at the last moment.

An Aussie bike tells drivers yes, we’re human, and we all deserve respect on the road.

An Australian professor says banning tiny vehicles like e-scooters denies us smarter ways to get around urban environments.

Competitive Cycling

American legend Alexi Grewal, the only US Olympian man to win gold in cycling, regrets his winning ride, saying he selfishly rode for himself instead of supporting Davis Phinney as he had agreed.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a pair of pro riders’ Garmins after they crashed during a race.

Finally…

Apparently, riding a bike in a public park is trespassing. Who needs to pedal when you’ve got a fuel cell?

And you know your open streets event was successful when it draws more people than the annual Elks Parade.

Morning Links: AAA says hit-and-run crashes rise nationwide, and BOLO Alert for a stolen bike

No surprise here.

A new study from AAA shows that hit-and-run crashes are at an all-time high in the US. Something that is born out by simple observation these days.

It should also come as no surprise that the overwhelming majority of fatal hit-and-run victims — nearly two-thirds — were bicyclists or pedestrians.

And 20% of all pedestrian deaths are the result of hit-and-run drivers.

The only surprise is California was not one of the worst states for the crime, which was led by New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida.

Then the report dips into absurdity by offering drivers advice on how not to flee the scene following a crash.

AAA said drivers can avoid hit-and-run crashes by being aware of their surroundings, yielding to crossing pedestrians even if they’re not in designated crosswalks and giving cyclists “plenty” of space when passing them on the road. Should drivers get involved in a crash with a pedestrian or cyclist, AAA State Relations Director Jennifer Ryan said they should stay on the scene because the penalties for fleeing are “significantly” more severe, regardless of who is at fault for the crash.

Actually, the way drivers can avoid being involved in a hit-and-run is to just take their foot off the gas and stop their damn car.

Seriously, is that so hard?

But the problem is, while the penalties for fleeing may be more severe than the drivers might otherwise face, they may be less severe than other factors, such as driving under the influence or without a valid license or insurance. Which can actually give a driver an incentive to flee.

And some drivers just assume that they’ll never get caught — and in most cases, they’re right.

Of course, while AAA did a great job of highlighting the problem, they were silent on any real solutions.

I’ve already offered my suggestions.

But something has to be done. Now.

Because politely asking drivers to stick around just isn’t good enough.

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Be on the lookout for a beautiful 2017 Specialized Allez DSW DL Sprint Expert stolen from the CSUN campus Wednesday.

This one belongs to a friend of a friend, so I’d consider it a personal favor if you spread the word.

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Local

The LA Daily News reports that bicycling deaths have tripled in Los Angeles this year, compared to just two this time last year.

Best wishes to endurance cyclist and nutritionist Matt Ruscigno for a full and fast recovery, after he was seriously injured when he was left-crossed by a driver while riding his bike two weeks ago. Ruscigno is the founder of LA’s legendary hill climb competition Feel My Legs I’m a Racer.

Continuing today’s theme, no surprise here either, as car-supremiscist traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving is trying to fight long-standing plans for a road diet and bike lanes on Aviation Blvd near LAX.

As we mentioned last week, nonprofit group Bikes 4 Orphans is holding a fundraising concert next week to raise money to provide 110 bicycles for an all-girls school in Kenya. You couldn’t ask for a better cause.

 

State

Costa Mesa tries out a pop-up protected bike lane on Merrimac Way.

San Diego students and faculty morn the Grossmont College professor killed by an allegedly sleeping driver while riding his bike last week.

Men’s Journal looks at the coolest bikes and gear they saw at last weekend’s Sea Otter Classic.

San Francisco’s Tenderloin District gets its first protected bike lane.

The formerly staid Wall Street Journal says adults on tiny electric scooters are terrorizing San Franciscans. Yes, we’ve all seen the news reports of panicked Bay Area residents fleeing what remains of the city laid waste by cute little dockless scooters.

Napa Valley will be home to CampoVelo this weekend, described as a three day celebration of “food, wine, cycling, music and philanthropy.”

 

National

Vision Zero has just gone national. The US National Safety Council has set a goal of eliminating all traffic deaths nationwide by 2050.

The American Prospect calls for limiting cars in American cities to shift the focus on our streets to moving people, not cars.

Apparently there’s not much reasoning going on at Reason these days, as the conservative website says don’t blame WAZE for shifting traffic onto neighborhood streets, blame local officials for not building more freeways and traffic lanes. In other words, keep doubling down on the auto-centric planning and induced demand that got us into this mess.

A new documentary examines a coast-to-coast bike tour dedicated to living beyond diabetes.

Next City asks if congestion pricing can be equitable, as Seattle considers becoming the first US city to implement it.

Houston bike advocates are calling for changes at the intersection where a woman was killed while riding her bike, at the same spot another rider died a year earlier. Meanwhile, an Op-Ed from a Houston writer says why bother writing yet another Op-Ed about yet another bicycling fatality.

A community college instructor complains about the abysmal bike infrastructure in Port Huron MI.

No surprise here, as the survivors of the 2016 Kalamazoo massacre say they have little memory of the crash allegedly caused by an allegedly stoned driver now on trial for the alleged murders.

Philadelphia plans to fight bicycling deaths by quipping all new trash trucks with side guards, larger mirrors and 360 degree cameras.

They get it. An Op-Ed in the New York Times says cars are ruining our cities.

 

International

Mark your calendar for June 3rd, which is now officially World Bicycle Day.

A leading climate change expert says don’t bother making a case for bicycling because we’re all doomed anyway.

A Columbian town has banned gravity biking, and will confiscate any bike with modified handlebars for maneuvering around sharp curves.

Cars built in the European Union will now include a cyclist detection system developed by the Netherlands.

Dublin bicyclists stage a die-in to call for safer streets, as over 100 people participated.

Apparently having nothing else to be afraid of, Edinburgh residents are living in fear of scofflaw bicyclists riding on the sidewalk.

For the first time, more people in the Netherlands are now being killed riding bicycles than in cars, led by a rising tide of older men riding ebikes involved in solo crashes.

Twelve Israeli cycling trails to add to your bike bucket list.

Dubai plans to build over 500 miles of bikeways in the next 12 years. Let’s remind them that sharrows don’t count.

An Aussie state scraps a proposal for presumed liability after police stats show bicyclists were at fault in 41% of traffic collisions involving bikes. Which has little to do with it, of course; presumed liability simply assumes the driver of the more dangerous vehicle has a greater responsibility to avoid crashes, and should be held at fault unless it can be shown that the other party was responsible. But that last part usually gets ignored in the resulting uproar anytime someone proposes it.

 

Competitive Cycling

San Diego’s Barrio Logan cycling race returns on Saturday.

Once again, the Cutters team that was made famous in the film classic Breaking Away has won the famed Little 500 at Indiana University.

Austrian cyclist Bernhard Eisel had emergency surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain caused by a subdural hematoma, apparently resulting from a crash in the Tirreno-Adriatico classic back in March.

Former Dutch pro cyclist Karsten Kroon admitted to doping during his career, which ended four years ago. At this point it probably makes more sense to do breaking news stories on the riders who didn’t dope. If they can find any.

Colorado Public Radio talks with ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, who went from disgraced doper to medical dope entrepreneur.

Sad news from USA Cycling, which announced that pro cyclist Jacquelyn Crowell has died after battling a brain tumor.

 

Finally…

Evidently, shorts-clad bike cops chasing miscreants is comedy gold. When you have no idea what the hell you’re doing, the easiest solution is just to ban something — like ebikes, for instance.

And who says you need skis to go skiing?

Morning Links: AAA promotes 3-foot law they previously fought; Brown legalizes triple bike racks on buses

AAA hosted a press event promoting the new three-foot passing law Wednesday morning, even though, as Streetblog’s Joe Linton notes, the auto club fought earlier versions of the bill.

Which is why I’m no longer a AAA member; I got tired of my dues being used to oppose bills designed to protect my safety.

Meanwhile, public radio station KPCC says get out your yardstick because it’s taking effect on Tuesday. And here’s a nice video from an LA cyclist explaining the new law.

……..

Local

Curbed offers 10 underrated locations for possible bike share locations.

Metro sponsors the Glendale: The Jewel City Tour led by CICLE and Walk Bike Glendale on Saturday, Sept. 27th.

Moving story from Pasadena City College about a woman biking across the country to raise awareness for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Just ignore the inappropriate, victim-blaming headline.

Santa Clarita kids can get a free ice cream just for wearing their helmet when they ride a bike.

A crazed driver in a Range Rover speeds up and crosses onto the wrong side of the street just to try — and fail — to spit at Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson as he rode to the Milt Olin protest ride; he encourages everyone to write the DA to protest the decision not to file charges in the Olin case. And too bad he didn’t get video of the other jackass.

 

State

Governor Brown signs a bill allowing triple bike racks on Metro and other transit buses.

This is why you don’t respond physically to dangerous drivers. A Newport Beach rider faces a felony vandalism charge after allegedly throwing a water bottle at a woman’s car.

The Thousand Oaks Acorn says distracted driving laws should apply to everyone — including sheriff’s deputies.

The CHP issues a $50,000 arrest warrant for a Solano County driver who hasn’t been seen since she killed a 72-year old cyclist last march.

The birth of mountain biking in Marin County.

 

National

He gets it. US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says a new bike/pedestrian initiative is critical for the future of the country.

Heartbreaking letter from the mother of a fallen Seattle area cyclist who did everything right — yet the driver who killed him was fined just $175 for a crosswalk violation.

Clearly, he doesn’t get it. A road raging Seattle driver shoots a bike rider in the arm as he tried to ride away following a traffic dispute; if the driver had just run him down with his truck instead, he probably wouldn’t face charges.

Continuing our Seattle theme, the city is evidently plagued by scofflaw cyclists with world class speed.

Oklahoma City approves an eight mile, $13.8 million bike path.

Caught on video: How to steal a New York bike in less than 25 seconds.

 

International

Cyclists are bullied by motor vehicles in Trinidad and Tobago as riders push for safer roads.

Is deadly force appropriate for salmon cycling? Quebec police reportedly pinned a badly injured bike rider to the ground after they ran him over attempting to make a traffic stop; he died later at a hospital.

The guitarist for the band Pendulum offers his five favorite places to ride in the UK.

A secret Manchester cyclist posts helmet cam video of bad driver behavior online.

Clearly, hit-and-run is not just an LA, or even an American, problem, as an Irish driver gets three years for fleeing the scene after running down a cyclist — without ever taking his foot off the accelerator.

When cycling is unpleasant, people will continue to pay to park their cars regardless of the cost.

Pretty funny, alright. Aussie pipe bomb makers joked about running down a cyclist while on a local bombing spree.

 

Finally…

No. Just, no. A Brit cyclist punches out a 75-year old man after exchanging words while riding on the sidewalk, leaving the victim with fractures to his face and collarbone. And an Ottawa driver is lucky to get off with a stern talking to after dooring the deputy police chief.

 

A relatively light post-holiday list of links, including an odd news focus ignoring 90% of traffic fatalities

We’ve got a relatively light load of bike news over the 4th of July holiday.

Which, given that Independence Day is the deadliest day of the year on American roads, suggests that no news really could be good news.

But before we move on, let’s consider the odd perspective of the above link, which appears to have been driven by a nationwide AAA press release, and notes with horror that 10% of those holiday fatalities are teen drivers.

Which means that 90% aren’t.

So let’s be clear.

There is no acceptable level of traffic fatalities, no matter what the age of the victim. Even one death is one to many.

And teenage drivers do seem to over represented in traffic fatalities, as Colorado records show they account for 12% of the state’s deaths despite representing just 6% of the state’s drivers.

But doesn’t it make more sense to reduce the over whelming majority of traffic fatalities — or better yet, all traffic deaths — rather than just focusing on the relatively small percentage represented by teen drivers?

………

Andre Greipel wins stage four of the Tour after Cav goes down in a mass crash; it’s Greipel’s second stage win in just his first two tours. The Washington Post compares Peter Sagan to a young Lance Armstrong, but without all the doping accusations.

………

LACBC promises to keep an eye on the city’s environmental impact report process for 43.3 miles of bike lane projects. Richard Risemberg realizes he’s not so special any more, and likes it. In the biking black hole of Beverly Hills, it’s a little more talk and a lot less action, and more dollars than sense. The Bike League urges your support of the first ever National Women’s Bicycling Summit this September in Long Beach.

A San Diego pedicab driver wins the right to sue the SDPD for allegedly harassing him by stealing his license and then charging him for operating without one, among other escalating offenses. A Mission Beach couple battles cyclists after they’re enveloped by Critical Mass riders while walking on the boardwalk. A new video promotes San Diego cycling as a fun, safe and sensible activity. Why do so many drivers insist that cyclists must obey traffic laws too, yet fail to note that most drivers don’t, either. A local writer says the High Desert won’t ever become a bike community. Turns out police ticket cyclists after all. In an amazing — and amazingly brief — story, a Chico driver loses control while allegedly driving under the influence, and flips his car over a cyclist riding in a bike lane; the rider remarkably escapes with just scratches. An Oakland cyclist is chased by two vehicles, then robbed of his bike and jewelry at gunpoint. A Merced County cyclist is mauled by a pack of dogs, 20 minutes after they’d bitten another rider; thanks to Meghan Lynch for the heads-up.

The otherwise disastrous new federal transportation bill could mean less red tape for local transportation projects — including bikeways. Helmet laws could be on the way out due to a lack of enforcement and increased local liability. Denver tries to keep up with a growing number of cyclists. A Chicago writer says the bike lane is not your parking spot; it’s not the place to fix a broken down bus, either. Time magazine discovers the New York bikelash about two years after everyone else. After a Gotham cyclist and driver exchange words and spit, the driver flashes an NYPD courtesy badge and tells the rider and a traffic cop that his badge number is his apparently minuscule sexual appendage. A New York cyclist is making a slow recovery from nearly crippling injuries. A DC-area driver is convicted of intentionally running down a rider, then beating the crap out of him afterwards.

After a cyclist is let off with a slap on the wrist for severely injuring a pedestrian, a rocket scientist writer for the London Mail says cyclists should be held to the same standard as drivers — not realizing that was exactly what happened, as most UK drivers are held to the same incredibly low standards. Can China go from the world’s leading bicycle nation to one billion cars and back to one billion bicycles?

Finally, if this doesn’t bring a post-Independence Day smile to your face, nothing will. Especially with appropriate holiday musical accompaniment from the Eastside’s own Dave Alvin.

………

Best wishes to departing Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition Planning and Policy Director Alexis Lantz, with thanks for the amazing progress the LACBC — and L.A. cycling — has made during her all too short tenure. And congratulations to the Los Angeles County Department of Health on landing a great new employee.

Best wishes, as well, to incoming Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins, who has very big pumps to fill.

And the skills to do it.

Tell AAA to stop fighting 3-foot passing law; final vote on Bike Anti-Harassment Ordinance July 20th

One of the biggest transportation fallacies is the enduring myth of cyclists versus drivers.

The fact is, despite the irrational hatred some drivers have for us, most cyclists are drivers as well. And many of us — myself included — belong to one of California’s two branches of AAA, by far the state’s largest motorist groups and among the most powerful lobbyist groups in Sacramento.

Yet remarkably, AAA’s kneejerk response is to oppose any proposed legislation that would increase protection for cyclists or pedestrians — let alone protect their driving-only members from needless collisions and the expensive insurance claims and legal matters that follow.

The latest case in point is AAA’s needless opposition to SB910, California’s proposed three-foot passing law.

AAA initially took a stance opposing the measure as it was originally written. Yet even when the key point they objected to — a clause that would allow drivers to pass at less that three feet when they maintain a speed differential of 15 mph or less — was removed, they continued to oppose the bill.

Their current position is that a three foot passing distance is a wonderful idea — but it should be voluntary on the part of drivers, rather than a mandatory minimum standard.

In other words, if they had their way, California drivers would be able to legally pass you at any distance they damn well wanted to. Whether that’s three feet or three inches.

Not only would that gut the proposed legislation, it would significantly weaken the current law requiring motorists to simply pass at a safe distance — which many drivers interpret as anything that does not make actually contact with the cyclist.

That was made clear by the three separate drivers who passed me Tuesday at a distance of about a foot or less, even after I had taken the lane.

Maybe they were in a hurry and couldn’t be bothered to pass safely. Or maybe they were just pissed off to see a cyclist in front of them.

I can’t speak for you, but I’ve had enough.

I’m sick and tired of AAA using my membership money to fight legislation designed to protect my life. And I intend to tell them so.

And I hope you’ll join me.

Just send a letter — evidently, they still haven’t joined to digital age – to:

Thomas V. McKernan
CEO
Automobile Club of Southern California
2601 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007-3254

And

Paula F Downey
President
California State Automobile Association
1276 California Blvd
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

You can see a sample letter here. But mine is going to be more direct and far less polite.

Because I’m sick of belonging to an organization that purports to support my interests working to make the roads more dangerous for me. And everyone who shares them with me.

Besides, I’m told there’s a pretty good alternative that also supports bikes.

……..

Mark your calendar.

L.A.’s proposed Bicycle Anti-Harassment Ordinance comes before the full City Council on Wednesday, July 20th, with the session starting at 10 am. It’s vital that as many cyclists as possible attend; if you can’t be there in person, contact your councilmember to voice your support.

Even if you live in another city but ride in Los Angeles, this ordinance will affect you and help protect your safety, so make sure your voice heard, as well.

The LADOT Bike Program is collecting cyclists’ stories of being harassed on L.A. streets; if you’re on Facebook, add your story to show how desperately this new law is needed.

And the idea seems to be spreading, even before this law is adopted, let alone goes into effect.

……..

Speaking of LADOT, Jaime de la Vega’s nomination to head the agency was approved by the City Council Transportation Committee, and will go to the full Council on Friday; he promises more emphasis on public transit, cycling and pedestrians.

Let’s just hope he lives up to his promise.

……..

Michael Byerts forward the following theft alert:

Be on the Lookout!

The individual shown was videotaped stealing a bike from 5750 Wilshire Blvd one week ago.

Description:  Male black, light facial hair, bald.

Last know incident:  July-7-11 the suspected individual made an attempt to steal another bike from the premises.

Modus operandi: Suspected thief uses cell phone as guise, selects higher end bikes, cuts the lock with a knife & steals the bike in broad day light.

Last Seen: Running from the scene of a reported bike theft on Wilshire, South on Curson to 8th Street then west on 8th Street.

Please report any sightings of this individual to security personnel or the authorities. Never attempt to approach a suspect yourself.

……..

Katusha’s Alexander Kolobnev became the first — but probably not the last — rider to fail a drug test during this year’s Tour.

Meanwhile, barbed wire survivor Johnny Hoogerland says it’s actually easier to ride in the Tour de France than rest in his bed. Red Kite Prayer seems to capture what we’ve all been feeling since Hoogerland got up from that horrible crash to finish the stage; it’s definitely worth the click to read the rest.

Hoogerland’s name was barely known to most of us before the Tour started. In my head he was just another Dutch cyclist. Now he’s a hero, not of the Tour or of cycling, but of the human spirit. After all, who walks out on a dream as the whole of the world gasps for you?

……..

Someone doesn’t get it, though.

In yet another case of an ESPN talking head demonstrating a hateful bias against cyclists, ESPN sports personality Michael Smith repeatedly tweeted how funny he found the Tour de France collision that injured Hoogerland and Juan Flecha. After a storm of protest, he first offered a half-hearted apology, followed by a far more meaningful one once he realized his job could be on the line — or more likely, once the company’s lawyers got involved.

This follows other notable cases involving bike-hating ESPN personalities, including Tony Kornheiser and the team of Waddle and Silvy.

The inimitable Bike Snob joins in the hilarity and our own SWRVE offers a brilliant response.

Maybe it’s time to contact Robert Iger, CEO of ESPN parent company Disney, to let him know that violence against cyclists isn’t funny.

And that we’re sick and tired of his employees encouraging it.

……..

The L.A. City Planning Commission meets at 8:30 am Thursday to discuss a proposed bike parking ordinance. Will Campbell offers a timelapse of Sunday’s not-quite-CicLAvia ride, which seems to have gone off beautifully. Todd Munson captures another shot of a needlessly blocked bike lane on Venice Blvd. The Engaged Observer looks at riding with the Ridazz. Speaking of whom, Ridazz and skateboard flash mobs may take over the 405 during Carmageddon; thanks to Rex Reese for the heads-up. Orlando Bloom deals with “big and intimidating” L.A. by riding his bike, just like the rest of us. Discuss a possible Santa Monica bike share program on Wednesday the 20th. Biking and BBQ with Long Beach’s Charlie Gandy. Rosemead Blvd will get a road diet complete with cycle tracks through Temple City. KCRW’s Steve Herbert is participating in the Cliff Bar 2 Mile Challenge. Peloton magazine invites you to celebrate Bastille Day with them in Burbank Thursday evening. Remembering former cycling champ and SoCal coach Mark Whitehead. Cycling is up in Santa Cruz, and so are cycling collisions.

Problem drivers tend to be problem people. The newly renamed Velo News is now just Velo, except online where, in an apparent attempt to confuse their readers, it’s still Velo News. Walmart now offers Dutch Bike Shaped Objects, which they seem to consider toys. Enhanced enforcement can cut distracted driving rates. Tales of bike commutes good and bad. Tucson police are already targeting drivers who ignore turn lanes on an upcoming bike boulevard. Over twice as many NYC women ride in protected bike lanes as on streets with no infrastructure. Long Island has the highest cycling fatality rate in the New York area. Victoria’s Secret and some of their models raised $200,000 for a bike ride to raise money for cancer research. Ten Samaritans lift a pickup off a cyclist who was trapped underneath. Niagara Falls police rule the death of a cyclist an accident after he rides into an open manhole; call me crazy, but wouldn’t the crew that left the cover off have some responsibility? If New Orleans can become bike-friendly with their ancient narrow streets and levees crisscrossing the city, no other city has any excuse. A political scientist offers an intriguing and insightful look at the conflict between tribes of cyclists and motorists, and the failure of rule of law when it comes to traffic.

A London woman survives without serious injury after being dragged under a large truck at a troublesome intersection. A new survey shows 62% of Aussies are willing to bike to work — but don’t because of safety fears. In a horrific case, a group of drunken thugs beat a 9-year old New Zealand girl with her own bicycle.

Finally, a team of 50-something cyclists, including one from Laguna, sets a new RAAM women’s record by traversing the country in six days, 11 hours and 34 minutes — and beats two teams of younger women and six eight-man men’s teams in the process.

Something tells me they aren’t afraid to bike to work. With or without separated bike lanes.

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