Tag Archive for AB 122

PCH widening will put bikes in door zone, support urged for CA bike/ped safety bills, and Branson lied about biking to launch

Nothing like sacrificing bike safety on the altar of parking that hasn’t even been built yet.

Malibu is finally getting around to widening a two-mile stretch of deadly PCH between Webb Way and Puerco Canyon Road to improve safety for people on bicycles.

Except instead of adding bike lanes, they’re merely widening the shoulder so there’s room to add parking, while allowing bikes to share the space on the side of the roadway with the new parked cars.

Which means instead of dodging cars in the traffic lanes, bicyclists will now have to dodge swinging doors from parked cars. And risk getting knocked into those traffic lanes in front of speeding drivers if they don’t.

So if you ride the coast highway, tell everyone you know to tune into Monday’s virtual meeting of the Malibu Planning Commission.

And tell them to go back to the drawing board.

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Streets For All has made a number of calls to urge support for important transportation safety bills in the state legislature in recent days.

Unfortunately, most have come too late to repeat here, with the deadline for comments coming before you’d likely have a chance to see it and respond.

However, this one is different.

The LA traffic safety PAC is urging you to send an email before 4 pm today to support a pair of common sense bills allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and eliminating the state’s blanket prohibition on jaywalking.

Two bills to make our streets safer and friendlier for walking and biking have passed the Senate Transportation Committee and will soon be voted on by the Senate Appropriations Committee:

  • AB 122 would legalize the safety stop, allowing people on bikes to yield at stop signs. Eight states and a number of local jurisdictions have already taken this measure, and research has shown a reduction in bicycle injuries of up to 23% as a result.
  • AB 1238 would replace the archaic ban on “jaywalking” with common sense rules for crossing the street. Today’s laws are used as a pretext for racial profiling and originated from auto industry pressure and corruption.

Both of these bills are important for democratizing our street space. It is time for the rules of the road to reflect the needs of different users, rather than just motorists.

Please use our template below to email a comment to the Appropriations Committee by 4 PM on Wednesday, July 14. Feel free to add your own message, and remember to enter your name and address at the bottom for your comment to be considered.

Streets For All offers an email template you can modify and send to show your support for the bills, with the correct email addresses already included.

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Speaking of Streets For All, Joe Linton politely pointed out that I got the date wrong, and the group’s Zoom happy hour with UCLA parking expert and professor emeritus Donald Shoup is from 5 to 6 pm this evening, rather than last night.

Confirming once again that I have no idea what the hell day it is any more.

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That bike commute billionaire Richard Branson took to get to Sunday’s maiden launch of his Virgin Galactic flight into space?

Never happened.

According to Reuters, an anonymous company official admitted it was all a publicity stunt, and the famous ride was actually staged nearly a week before the brief flight.

Never mind that the faked video was supposed to form the basis for a cross-promotion with Trek, which will now be left looking like fools if they use it as originally planned.

Next they’ll probably tell us the flight was staged, too.

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This is who we share the road with.

A Seattle bike rider was confronted by a road-raging driver, apparently for the crime of not confronting him when the motorist made a dangerous and illegal turn to go the wrong way on a traffic circle, and the rider just shook his head and went around him.

Then this —

It’s worth clicking on the tweets to read the whole tread, because most of us have been in similar situations with angry drivers.

And if you haven’t yet, chances are you will.

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That feeling when an Austin, Texas bike lane is just a feeder route for Pennywise the Clown.

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Oh, nothing. Just someone riding a bike one handed, with a bag suspended on his handlebars and a sofa on his head.

@albeezyyyyyy

One man moving company

♬ original sound – Albert Molina

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

There’s a special place in hell for a St. Louis hit-and-run driver who murdered two people at once when he ran down a 19-year old woman riding her bike home from work, despite being six months pregnant.

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

A California appeals court upheld the 16-year sentence for a man who calmly rode off on his bicycle after fatally stabbing an acquaintance in a South LA parking lot.

An Ohio man was shot by police when he pulled a knife on a cop, after he was stopped for carrying a baseball bat on his bike in an early morning incident.

New York police are looking for a Brooklyn bike rider who groped a woman’s ass as she walked on a sidewalk, then yanked down her top, exposing her breasts, before riding off. But at least the cops managed to get a damn good security cam image of the schmuck’s face before he disappeared.

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Local

The Bike Shop offers a look at last month’s Culver City Pride Ride.

Streetsblog looks at some of the 31 grants made to SoCal cities and groups as part of SCAG’s Go Human campaign, focusing on three in the San Gabriel Valley.

 

State

This is who we share the road with. A San Diego driver crashed his car not once, not twice, but thrice in just a few blocks while allegedly driving under the influence of…something.

Seriously? At least some San Diego residents are complaining that a new coastal bike path is too wide, arguing that it’s designed more like a highway.

Kern County advocacy group Bike Bakersfield offers tips for riding in hot summer weather. Which is something we’re all going to have to get used to.

San Luis Obispo has a shiny new protected intersection, the city’s first. But needless to say, some drivers find it confusing.

Participants in this year’s Pedal the Pacific campaign stop in Santa Cruz on their 1,700-mile ride down the Left Coast to call attention to sex trafficking. Note to Santa Cruz Sentinel — Just because a group of young women are riding together, a cycling team that does not make.

A Bay Area TV station explains what a bicycle superhighway is, as plans move forward for one in Santa Clara County.

Forbes tests Brompton’s new ebike foldie on the hills of San Francisco.

Sad news from Merced, where a 64-year old Ventura County man is under arrest for the hit-and-run death of a 22-year old man after rear-ending his bicycleNote to cowards — If you’re going to run after a fatal crash, take your damn license plate with you. Or better yet, don’t.

 

National

Axios demonstrates a keen grasp of the obvious, observing that the US has a lot to learn from Europe when it comes to bike friendly cities.

While bikemakers everywhere are struggling to get the parts they need during the pandemic bike boom, Seattle-based ebike maker Rad Power has cut 50 days off the supply chain simply by shifting overseas deliveries to a different port that isn’t so backed up.

A Colorado woman is on trial for murder after shooting an alleged meth-using man who had threatened her after she threw his bicycles and drug paraphernalia into the trash.

A San Antonio, Texas bike ride will stop at a pair of the city’s murals promoting vaccinations to call attention to the need to get your shot to fight Covid-19. And yes, that means you.

Kindhearted Pittsburgh firefighters made a little kid’s day by doing a little repair work after he flagged them over to fix the broken training wheels on his bike.

New York Streetsblog complains that the city’s Department of Transportation doesn’t care that a protected bike lane is being blocked by construction work.

 

International

London’s Independent recommends gear for people inspired to ride by the Tour de France.

Here’s your chance to own Princess Diana’s childhood chopper bicycle, if you have a spare thirty to forty grand lying around.

The 72-year old aide on the British version of The Apprentice will be off the show for the foreseeable future after falling off his ebike, and undergoing a number of surgeries due to the “horrific” crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

By the time you read this, Tadej Pogačar will be deeply engaged in defending his yellow jersey in the penultimate mountain top Pyrénées finish in the Tour de France, offering competitors just two more chances to realistically deny him a second straight title.

Pogačar is expressing his confusion over the “strange” tactics other teams are using, at the same time they’re complaining about his team.

Four-time Tour winner Chris Froome says Pogačar has the race all wrapped up as long as he keeps his bike upright during the final week.

Cycling Weekly fills in the details on Aussie cyclist Lachlan Morton’s solo challenge to beat the peloton into Paris by six days, riding the same routes followed by the Tour de France, plus every mile in between. Morton’s ride has raised nearly half a million dollars for World Bicycle Relief, enough to send 3,110 rugged new bicycles to Africa for people in need. Although Bike Radar seems more concerned with his bikepacking rig.

Rouleur celebrates Marianne Vos’ record 30 stage wins in the Giro d’Italia Donne, which used to be known as the Giro Rosa, and her decade-long domination of women’s cycling.

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan is officially out of the Tokyo Olympics after the Slovak Olympic Committee and Cycling Federation said he won’t recover from recent knee surgery in time to compete.

Outside challenges you to take part in one of their favorite bike races this summer.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the ‘bent bike that drops you looks like a banana. Get a new bike for the price of a canned iced tea — but only if you live north of the border.

And good thing bike riders tend to wear quick drying clothes.

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

 

Donation match for LA’s 1st private/public bike lane partnership, and unconfirmed bicycling death in Solano Beach

Back in my blissfully misspent youth, there was a popular cartoon that showed a couple buzzards sitting on a fence.

One turns to the other, and says “Patience my ass. I’m going to kill something.”

It seemed funny at the time.

But that’s kind of where some LA bike advocates are right now.

Rather than wait endlessly for the city to finally get around to improving safety for bike riders and pedestrians on Sunset and Santa Monica Blvds, they’re trying to speed things up by helping pay for it through a private/public sponsorship.

And they need your help.

Here’s how Terence Heuston, the former author of LA Bike Dad, describes it.

Sunset4All, in partnership with the LACBC, is launching a crowdfunding “match” campaign to fund the initial engineering plans for protected bike lanes and pedestrian improvements on Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards through East Hollywood, Silver Lake, and Echo Park.

If the community reaches our $25,000 goal, angel donors will MATCH THEIR DONATION. Every dollar of their tax-deductible donation will be DOUBLED if we reach our goal! Declare your independence from traffic by donating before 4th of July!

The NUMBER of donors is as important as the number of dollars. The city of LA installs safe street projects where there is broad community support. Every individual donor is an individual VOTE for this project. Even a small donation is tangible PROOF that Angelenos support safer streets and protected bike lanes.

The private/public partnership model has been used successfully in other regions to accelerate the installation of the Arapahoe bike lanes in Denver and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. We want to transfer this innovative model to Los Angeles and release a flood of protected bike lanes region wide. It all starts with Sunset4All reaching its fundraising goal.

You can learn more — and contribute — here.

And yes, I just opened my wallet and put my money where my mouth is. If every else gives the same amount, we just need another 999 people to follow suit.

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I’m still waiting on official confirmation. But sadly, it looks like another bike rider has been killed in San Diego County.

This comes follows on the heels of another tragic death just a few miles south in La Jolla, where a young mother from India was killed when she was run down by a 74-year old driver while making a lane change on her bike on Tuesday.

Assuming the victim’s death is confirmed, that will mean nine people have been killed riding their bikes on the suddenly mean streets of San Diego County in just the first six months of this year.

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Calbike calls on everyone to write your California state senator to urge their support — or in one case, opposition — for a trio of bills.

AB 371: This measure will place a large and unprecedented insurance requirement on shared mobility systems. It won’t make our streets safer but it will put every bike-share system in California, public and private, out of business. Email your senator to vote NO on AB 371 to save bike-share.

AB 122 (Boerner Horvath): The bicycle safety stop (first introduced in Idaho in 1982) makes biking safer and easier, but some California groups don’t want this commonsense, pro-bike measure to become law. Tell your senator to vote YES on AB 122, the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill.

AB 1238 (Ting): The Freedom to Walk Act puts an end to unjust jaywalking laws advanced by the auto industry a century ago.  these laws prevent people from enjoying their streets on foot safely, in the interest of making them the exclusive domain of cars. Today, jaywalking laws serve as a sometimes tragic pretext for biased policing, as a hugely disproportionate share of jaywalking tickets are issued to Black Californians.  Tell your senator to support the Freedom to Walk Act, AB 1238.

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After several years covering the transportation beat, the LA Times Laura J. Nelson is taking on a new role as a rapid-response enterprise/investigative reporter.

Over the years, Nelson developed an encyclopedic knowledge of Los Angeles transportation issues, and her insights and in-depth reporting will be missed.

On the other hand, that means that her old job is now available.

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Ride in solidarity with the Metro Bikeshare and Donut Friend Unions tomorrow.

As the son of a union man, I only wish my slowly healing hands would let me join in on the ride.

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We’ll have to see how it ends up when they flesh out the details. But right now, it looks like active transportation may have lost out in the bipartisan compromise on the transportation bill.

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Pink Bike wants to teach you how to actually learn new bike skills.

Evidently, there’s a lot to learn, since this is just episode one of a ten part series.

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This is who we share the road with.

Apparently, bear spray has become the weapon of choice for aggrieved motorists and insurrectionists.

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

No bias here. A Laguna Beach paper compares teenage ebike riders to the Lord of the Flies. No, really.

A nine-year old English boy was the victim of anti-bike sabotage, suffering a serious neck injury when he rode his bike into a rope someone had strung across a trail at neck level. Let’s hope whoever did this faces serious charges when they catch the jerk.

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

A woman made her escape by bicycle after robbing a San Diego nail salon at gunpoint.

Prosecutors threw the book at the San Francisco thief who was recorded riding his bicycle out of a Walgreens after dumping a pharmacy shelf into a bag, filing 15 charges for robbing the same store four days in a row.

Authorities near my Colorado hometown are looking for a man who apparently took offense when a woman nearly backed over his fellow bike rider, and punched her in the face. Seriously, don’t do that. It’s only natural to feel anger and fear when someone nearly hits you or a riding companion, but violence is never the answer.

A New Jersey man faces weapons charges after he dropped a stolen handgun when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Atlantic City.

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Local

Los Angeles is finally getting around to connecting the county’s disconnected rail system to the airport, with a new station that also promises to improve bicycling connections to LAX. Meanwhile, bike advocate Michael Schneider says why wait, when you can ride to LAX right now? Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

LA County received $32 million in grants from the California Transportation Commission, including $5.6 million for a two way, 1.5-mile protected cycle track on Union Street in Pasadena.

Streets for All is hosting a Culver City Pride Ride this Sunday.

Santa Monica-based Bird is getting into the e-bikeshare business.

California’s Clean Mobility Options program, funded by the state’s cap-and-trade system, will fund a $1 million e-bikeshare system for residents of the Rancho San Pedro affordable housing community, near the Port of Los Angeles; 19 other clean energy projects around the state will receive grants up to $1 million.

 

State

Enjoy a 10-mile, no one left behind, kickoff ride for the new Over the Hump mountain bike season in Laguna Niguel on July 8th.

The manager of Costa Mesa’s Specialized bike shop shares his favorite Orange County trails.

Despite years of outreach, some businesses and residents in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood still seem to be surprised, if not angry, over the loss of 450 parking spaces to makes room for new protected bike lanes on 30th Street.

Speaking of parking, San Diego is moving forward with a proposal to remove parking minimums for many businesses. Hopefully Los Angeles will follow suit.

San Jose removed traffic lanes on two downtown streets to give bike riders new concrete barrier-protected bike lanes, replacing the previous painted bike lanes.

 

National

City Lab says open streets aren’t always open to everyone, including people with disabilities, for whom they can be closed.

Gear Junkie offers tips on how to buy a used bicycle.

All seven victims of last weekend’s Show Low AZ vehicular attack remain hospitalized, with six in Arizona and one in New Mexico; the driver who deliberately ran them over with his pickup is also hospitalized in stable condition after being shot by police.

Heartbreaking news from Denver, where an 11-year old boy in suburban Aurora has now undergone five operations in two weeks since he was run down by an alleged drunk driver while riding his bicycle, and dragged 50 feet beneath the driver’s car.

Not all Austin, Texas bike riders are thrilled about sharing their bike lanes with pizza delivery robots.

After an Oklahoma group gave a young man a new bike when they learned he had to walk 17 miles roundtrip to work and back, a crowdfunding campaign raised nearly $50,000 to buy him a new car. Which just goes to show that kind gestures can take an unexpected bad turn.

While Los Angeles continues its over-reliance on motor vehicles, Cleveland — yes, Rest Belt Cleveland — is reimagining itself as a denser, more walkable city effectively served by transit. Although it’s accused of backpedaling on plans for a sidewalk-level, two-way cycle track.

New York mayoral frontrunner Eric Adams promises that if he wins, he’ll ride his bike around town, take the subway and walk through neighborhoods like former Mayor John Lindsey in the ’60s. Which would be a big change from outgoing Mayor de Blasio, who’s infamous for being driven to the gym in a massive SUV.

A Florida man got ten years for stabbing a woman as she rode her bike in West Palm Beach, in an apparently unprovoked attack.

 

International

Yes, your ebike can get wet. But don’t try riding it through the pool.

Pink Bike questions whether mixed-wheel bikes, aka mullet bikes, with one wheel larger than the other, are here to stay.

Momentum Magazine rolls with Welsh DJ Dom Whiting and his mobile cargo bike party.

Ebikes far outsold electric cars in the UK last year, despite a government subsidy for the latter, as one ebike was sold in the country every three minutes. Meanwhile, British bicycling deaths jumped 40% last year, due at least in part to an increase in dangerous driving during the pandemic.

A stoned English driver got a well-deserved 11 years behind bars for killing two bike-riding men while speeding 30 miles over the speed limit in a stolen car.

An Indian writer says bicycling is back in vogue in the country.

People in Lebanon are taking to their bikes as the country runs out of gas. Literally.

Ebike sales have doubled in Singapore, driven by demand from food delivery workers.

 

Competitive Cycling

After a near-absence from the Tour de France in recent years, North Americans are making a strong comeback to the peloton, with four riders from the US, along with another three from Canada.

A writer for Bicycling offers a lengthy dissertation on what happens when she meets her idol, Primož Roglič. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A writer for the AP says the Tour de France could come down to a rematch between fellow Slovenian’s Roglič and Tadej Pogačar.

French cyclist Audrey Cordon-Ragot says it’s about damn time there was a women’s Tour de France once again, as this year’s final La Course becomes the stepping stone to next year’s women’s Tour. Although she may not have put it quite that way.

Thirty-eight-year old Dutch cyclist Koen de Kort may have seen his cycling career come to an end after three fingers on his right hand were amputated following a crash in an off-road vehicle. And fellow Dutch cycling star Maurits Lammertink will miss the Tour de France after he was rushed into surgery for a brain injury caused by a collision with a scooter rider.

The director of the women’s Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus cycling team was banned for three-years after several riders accused him of sexual misconduct and harassment.

Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel is proof that sometimes, greatness runs in the family.

https://twitter.com/AlpecinFenix/status/1408123568714665994

 

Finally…

Your next Mercedes Benz could have just two wheels, and a battery. Proof you can be a billionaire fashion mogul and still bike to work.

And former pro Fabian Cancellara is selling…something.

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Thanks to David E for an unexpected donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day.

Okay, almost every day. 

Donations of any amount, at any time and for any reason, are always appreciated. 

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

Noted safety advocate’s tragic story of friend’s death as they were riding together is compelling — but it may not be true

Due to the time and effort this story has taken, there will be no Morning Links today. We’ll catch up on anything we missed tomorrow. 

Photo by Danny Gamboa.

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It’s not unusual for advocates to disagree about bike and traffic safety.

It’s doesn’t necessarily mean one person is right and the other wrong. And it doesn’t mean we can’t respect one another, or work together on issues where we find common ground.

That’s the position I find myself now, after learning respected safety advocate Pat Hines, founder of the nationally recognized nonprofit youth program Safe Moves, opposes the California Safety Stop, aka Stop as Yield, bill that recently passed the state assembly.

Hines cites a personal tragedy in opposing the bill, when a friend was killed as they were riding together while training.

This is from a recent story from the Sacramento Bee.

For Pat Hines, founder of traffic safety group Safe Moves, this bill is personal.

While training for the 1984 Olympics, Hines and a fellow cyclist, Sue Latham, rode their bikes through an intersection, believing they had enough time to cross. Hines made it across, but Latham was struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle.

Hines tells virtually the same story in this 2013 piece from the Mountain View Voice.

Safe Moves founder, Pat Hines, started the organization in 1983, after her friend, Sue Latham, was killed while the two were riding their bikes together.

Neither of the two were wearing helmets, Hines recalls, “because I don’t like helmets and I had asked her not to wear one either.”

Hines blew through a stop sign and Latham followed her. And while Hines made it in time, Latham didn’t — she was struck by a passing car, which never stopped.

There’s just one problem.

It may not be true.

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I confess, I wasn’t aware of Hines’ opposition to AB 122, or the tragedy that spurred her life of advocacy, until a few days ago.

That’s when I received an email from Serge Issakov, a longtime advocate for San Diego bicyclists.

I don’t always agree with him, either. But I always respect him, and his opinion, and make a point of listening to whatever he has to say.

It was Issakov who pointed me to the article in the Bee, and called out the discrepancy in her story.

As the stop-as-yield bill is working its way through Sacramento there have been several articles about it, and several quote cycling safety advocate and former RAAM racer Pat Hines, who opposes the bill, saying that she was once riding with a friend, Sue Latham, who rolled a stop and was hit, fatally. I of course felt empathy for the horror Hines must have experienced as I first read the story in the Sacramento Bee.

He reached out to me after coming across this 2018 article from the LA Daily Mirror historic website, which tells a radically different story about how Latham was killed.

One which did not involve them riding together — or Latham running a stop sign.

In fact, she wasn’t even on her bike at the time.

California Highway Patrol investigators said that [Sue Latham] was apparently kneeling on the side of the highway, trying to unjam the gears on her bike, when a motorist hit her, throwing her 15 to 20 feet in the air, causing massive head injuries and leaving a pool of blood on Pacific Coast Highway. Whoever hit her dragged her to the construction site and partially undressed her to make it appear that she had been raped, and then made a second trip to get her bike, the CHP said. Because she was nearly 6 feet tall, investigators said it might have taken two people to drag her to where she was found.

As Issakov pointed out, two extremely different accounts.

One is a simple, and all too common story, about a hit-and-run that occurred after someone blew a stop, with tragic consequences.

The other, a bizarre tale that strains all credibility.

Except it’s the second version that seems to be true.

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The story starts to change as you move back in time.

Starting with this 2008 story in the Sahuarita Sun, which cites Hines as saying Latham had run a red light, rather than a stop sign.

Hines told students she started the organization in memory of her best friend, Sue Latham, who died in 1983 when she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Hines, also on a bicycle, had run a red light, and her friend followed. Latham was thrown 65 feet and died in the hospital three days later.

Hines said she was young at the time of the accident, and reckless about traffic safety.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my friend,” Hines said.

Note that the story is also off by two years on the 1981 date of Latham’s death.

However, those discrepancies can easily be written off as a simple trick of memory.

More troubling is a 1993 story from the Los Angeles Times, which suggests Hines wasn’t with Latham at all when she was struck.

And again, the story incorrectly sets Latham’s death in 1983, rather than 1981.

She began (Safe Moves) after her best friend was killed on a bicycle Nov. 13, 1983, by a hit-and-run motorist. Sue Latham had been on her way to meet Hines for a morning ride on Malibu’s Pacific Coast Highway.

“The guilt I felt for Sue’s death was overwhelming,” Hines said. “I’d been responsible for her being interested in bicycle riding… I’d told her, ‘Don’t worry, the cars have to look out for us.’ ”

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But when we go back to more contemporaneous accounts, like this 1982 Associated Press story published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel just over two months after Latham’s death, and archived on the California Digital Newspaper Collection maintained by UC Riverside, the story changes completely.

And the bizarre fake rape story starts to become much more credible.

It was near dawn on a cloudy Sunday morning last fall when Miss Latham set out alone from Santa Monica on a bicycle ride up the scenic highway.

She had moved to Los Angeles just two months earlier from Austin, Texas. Miss Latham, who held a master’s degree in quantum mechanics, seemed to be settling nicely into the Southern California lifestyle. She had joined a swim club and loved to bicycle.

As she pedaled her 10-speed into Malibu on Nov. 15, she apparently developed a problem with the bike and got off to make repairs along the shoulder of the road. As Miss Latham was working, an automobile swerved and struck her, throwing her 15 to 20 feet.

Investigators say the driver, and perhaps another person, got out of the car and dragged her to a site about 100 feet away. They removed her shorts and underpants, shoved her beneath a partially constructed home and drove off. Police say it was an attempt to make Miss Latham look as if she was raped and beaten.

Two days later, in a hospital, Miss Latham died of head injuries and the Malibu office of the California Highway Patrol had a homicide to solve…

The story goes on to describe a billboard campaign and reward intended to find Latham’s killer.

And it mentions Hines, with no suggestion she was with Sue Latham when she was killed.

Pat Hines, a member of the (Santa Monica Swim Club) and a friend of Miss Latham’s, is hoping to boost the reward to $100,000.

Ms Hines said friends told her that as soon as the emotional impact wore off, people would lose interest. It isn’t true, she said. “I get letters from people all the time”, including from those whose sons and daughters have been killed by hit-and-run drivers, she said. “People are desperate to help.”

“I don’t want to let it get by”, she said. “I don’t want her to become just another statistic.”

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An even more contemporaneous article from the Austin American Statesman, written just a month after Latham’s death, tells her personal story in much more detail.

And confirms the tragic crime as told by the CHP, rather than Hines’ version of events.

The paper describes Latham as having a genius IQ, and publishing an article on the quantum mechanical study of a particular laser reaction in the journal of a prestigious British academic society, while studying for her masters at the University of Texas.

She was also a talented artist, with her work displayed in a New York gallery when she was just 17.

And she was active in the budding environmental movement of the 1970s, as well as campaigning for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Somewhere along the way, though, her interests shifted to the family business of writing, following in the footsteps of her novelist father and screenwriter sister and brother-in-law.

Which led her to move to Los Angeles to break into the business as a screenwriter and actress. And led to her friendship with Hines, then an advertising director for KRTH-AM.

“I met Sue in a restaurant,” Hines recalled. “I train daily on a bike, and Sue asked me if I knew any places to ride that were safe. I told her LA is really a bad place to ride…cars are everywhere and motorists don’t pay any attention to people on bikes. I said it was important to ride with somebody, and she kind of smiled and said, “I don’t worry about things like that…

The bike route Hines and other friends suggested was the Pacific Coast Highway, but they said the ride should only be undertaken early in the morning when traffic was light, preferably on holidays or weekends.

On the final day of her life, Latham borrowed her sister’s car, and parked behind Gladstones at Sunset and PCH, where she planned to meet the other members of the swim team later that Sunday morning.

Shortly after 7 am, Latham got off her bike on southbound PCH and knelt alongside the road; the CHP suspected she was fixing a mechanical problem.

That’s when the driver, who still hasn’t been caught 40 years later, veered off the side of the road, slamming into her.

Unconscious, and likely clinically dead, she was alone and defenseless against her killer or killers.

What happened next turned the case from a routine traffic accident into a bizarre incident that captured the attention of a city not known for its compassion.

Someone dragged Latham off the roadway, leaving her under a beach house under construction about 30 feet from the highway. Doctors later found sand in her brain.

After the injured woman was hidden from view, someone removed Latham’s shorts and underwear. her bike was concealed behind a nearby construction crane, and her backpack, containing her current journal, was stolen.

Note that there is no mention of Hines, or anyone else, being with her, other than the heartless cowards who took her life and went to extraordinary lengths to coverup the crime.

In fact, the story makes it very clear that, not only was Hines not with her, but wasn’t even aware of her death until the next day.

Outrage. The word comes up frequently in conversations with Californians who knew Latham or who have heard about the case.

One person who uses the word is Hines.

“We must have ridden right past her and not known it,” she said.

Hines said she got back to the restaurant where Sue had left her car about 2 pm that Sunday, but did not notice the Mercedes was still there.

The next morning, unaware of the accident, Hines saw Latham’s car in the restaurant parking lot about 6 am.

“It was still pitch dark,” she said. “I thought Sue might have gone swimming by herself. I ran up and down the beach but I didn’t see her.”

Then, assuming Latham must have been somewhere else, Hines went for a swim herself.

In fact, Pat Hines didn’t even learn about Latham’s impeding death until around 10 am Monday, when someone called the radio station to make sure Hines was okay.

The caller told Hines that an unidentified young woman had been critically injured in a hit-and-run on the Pacific Coast Highway. She had been admitted to Santa Monica Hospital as “Jane Doe.”

I knew it had to be Sue,” Hines said. I called the restaurant and found her car was still there. I called one of her friends and she said she had not seen Sue in two days.

Convinced the woman was Sue Latham, Hines contacted Latham’s brother-in-law.

She and the brother-in-law went to the hospital that Monday, and identified Latham.

Sue Latham died at 10:30 the following night.

………

None of this is to suggest that Pat Hines is intentionally lying.

Maybe, as Serge Issakov suggests, she just needed a compelling story for her advocacy work, and it evolved over time.

But time can play tricks on memory, especially when clouded by grief and survivor’s guilt.

Pat Hines lifetime of work on behalf of bike-riding children has surely earned our respect, and more than a modicum of consideration; there’s no telling just how many young lives she could be responsible for saving.

We also haven’t heard her side of this story. Issakov reached out to her for a reaction, but hasn’t received a response at the time this was written.

And I’m more than willing to post her response if she sees this.

Let’s also not forget that real story is, or should be, that there’s someone out there, living or dead, who’s gotten away with killing an innocent young woman for a full four decades.

But the next time Pat Hines tells the story of how Sue Latham died, whether to oppose AB 122 or any other reason, take it with a grain of salt.

Or maybe a five pound bag.

………

Eid Mubarak to all those observing today’s holiday!

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

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