Tag Archive for Active SGV

Morning Links: A conservative laughs at traffic violence, upcoming bike rides, and AI won’t replace bike writers yet

Evidently, conservatives are expected to be totally cool with people needlessly dying on our streets.

At least according to a writer for the National Review.

He — and of course it’s a he — takes issue with Elizabeth Warren’s tweet decrying traffic violence on last Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Crash Victims.

“Traffic violence” is quite a phrase. In the end, it may be all that anyone remembers of Warren’s decreasingly persuasive but increasingly eccentric campaign. In this bold new framing, cars are not the principal way Americans get around, with fatalities being an unfortunate but blessedly rare occurrence (one per 100,000,000 vehicle miles traveled, a rate that is down more than 80 percent in my lifetime). No, to Warren, cars are instruments of violence like, I don’t know, nunchucks or fuel-injected guillotines, and so she issues her clarion tweet to #EndTrafficViolence. So, right now, November 18, 2019, “it’s time” for us to zero out deaths from cars? How? On what planet?

He concludes with this brilliant observation.

Down here in America, where almost nobody has ever doubted that the benefits of motorized transportation have more than justified the various costs, even when the chance of getting killed in a car was 20 times higher than it is today, I’d say cars have a much brighter future than Elizabeth Warren’s White House bid.

Never mind that an estimated 36,750 lost their lives on American roadways last year. And that traffic deaths are going up for anyone not safely ensconced in a few tons of glass and steel, surrounded by numerous safety devices not afforded to the rest of us.

Or that countless Americans, and a number of American cities, are working to bring that death toll down to zero.

And the future of automobiles is in question, thanks to rising traffic congestion, inefficiency and climate change.

So I hope he enjoyed his laugh at Warren’s expense. And pray that no one he loves loses their life to traffic violence.

Or anyone else, for that matter.

Meanwhile, City Lab looks at the progress, or lack thereof, for several major cities who were early Vision Zero adapters.

Including Los Angeles, which continues to set the standard for lack of progress.

Photo by Netto Figueiredo from Pixabay.

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Active SGV is going to be busy this weekend, with a ride to the first holiday event of the season.

That will be followed with a ride to examine proposed South Pas bike parking tomorrow.

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The next Metro BEST ride will roll to CSUN two weeks from tomorrow.

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Robert Leone forwards word that this week’s closure of San Diego’s Rose Canyon Bike Path was postponed due the Wednesday’s rain.

Due to forecasted inclement weather conditions this week, the full closure of the Rose Canyon Bike Path originally scheduled for Tuesday, November 19, has been postponed and rescheduled for December. The path will remain open this week. The rescheduled closures are anticipated as follows:

Beginning Tuesday, December 3, there will be a temporary full closure of the Rose Canyon Bike Path as crews pave the final section of the newly constructed permanent bike path. The full closure will begin at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, December 3, and will be in place for approximately four days.

More information is on the mid-coast website, click here. During the closure, and as was planned prior, Mid-Coast Trolley crews will facilitate a “bus bridge,” which will include bicycle-carrying capable vans, to transport cyclists and pedestrians around the closure area. Signage will be in place to direct cyclists. The bike path is anticipated to reopen by 6 p.m. on Friday, December 6. As always, we appreciate your patience! Thank you.

My apologies for the late notice, after I lost his email for a few days.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

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Maybe Artificial Intelligence isn’t going to replace bike racing scribes anytime soon, after all.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is never-ending.

A Cleveland teenager faces charges for punching a bike rider in the head and knocking him cold, in an apparently random attack.

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

Tacoma WA police are looking for the bike-riding bandit who needlessly blew off a carjacking victim’s foot with a double-barelled shotgun after he had already given up his car.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego approves new regulations shutting down dockless bikes and scooters after midnight.

Palm Springs police have released a description of the suspect vehicle in last month’s hit-and-run that took the life of Raymundo “Ray-Ray” Jaime as he was riding his bike; police are looking for a 2008-2012 dark-colored Chevrolet Malibu with likely front-end damage. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Congratulations to San Luis Obispo for their new status as a gold level Bicycle Friendly Community.

Sad news from San Jose, where a bike rider was left to die alone in the street by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

Speaking of San Jose, the city shows Los Angeles how it’s done, installing ten miles of quick-build protected bike over the past year for just $1.5 million.

Not only is San Francisco’s new transportation boss one of us, he’s an advocate for increased density, opposes free parking and parking minimums, and prefers automated buses over self-driving cars.

That didn’t take long. Just weeks after the Trump administration approved a policy allowing ebikes on government trails, equestrians have filed suit to block e-mountain bikes from the Tahoe National Forest.

 

National

The Smithsonian takes a long look back, comparing the resistance to e-scooters to the backlash over the first bicycles.

Bicycling recommends the best men’s and women’s bike shoes. Personally, I’m holding out for a good pair of cleated wingtips. Or maybe cowboy boots.

Action cam maker GoPro is finally returning to its roots, after its attempts to diversity crashed faster than its failed drones.

Five bike-friendly bars for your next trip to Tucson. You’re welcome.

Utah police literally ran down a woman suspected of riding a stolen bicycle, dragging her 40 feet beneath the patrol car; remarkably, she didn’t suffer any major injuries, despite ending up pinned beneath the car with her ankle behind her ear. The cops swear it was just an oopsie, even though the officer behind the wheel is no longer with the department.

Denver’s docked bikeshare service is pulling the plug on the system in January. Or maybe not, if they can get a new vendor.

A Missouri letter writer says the law should be changed to ban bikes on highways after dark. Or you could just, bear with me here, slow and pay more attention when you drive at night. And lower the damn speed limits while you’re at it. 

Wisconsin ebike riders aren’t breaking the law anymore, after the governor signed a bill legalizing them.

No bias here. After a Minneapolis bike rider was fatally right hooked by a truck driver, police say he was the one who struck the truck. Note to WCCO-4 — If police are blaming the victim for striking the truck, it’s a pretty good indication they don’t think the victim was stopped.

This is who we share the roads with. Country music star Sam Hunt was busted for driving salmon in Nashville with a BAC over twice the legal limit. And I’m not crazy about his music, either.

A Massachusetts woman goes to Germany with her family, and discovers bicycling is the go-to mode for running everyday errands.

There’s a special place in hell for the New York State condo board that ordered a four-year old boy to stop riding his tricycle in the complex. Never mind that the kid is the only Latino child in the development.

Bighearted New Jersey bike riders will ride eleven miles to donate frozen turkeys to a community food bank for people struggling with hunger.

A 1.4-mile multi-modal trail is connecting Baltimore neighborhoods for the first time since they were severed by a highway project.

Just months after Atlanta stiffened fines for drivers who park in bike lanes, they’re letting offenders get off the hook with a parking scofflaw diversion program.

A kindhearted deputy bought a new bicycle to replace a 12-year old Florida boy’s stolen bike, after noticing he’d stopped riding it to school.

A grieving letter writer calls on Florida to place protective barriers between roadways and bike lanes to prevent more needless deaths like her heartbroken daughter’s fiancé, who was killed last week by a hit-and-run driver while doing everything right.

 

International

How to live a vegan lifestyle without adversely affecting your bicycling.

Nothing like a four-wheeled, $19,000, fully enclosed, ped-assist ebike to keep out of the rain. Or you could just save around $18,900 and buy some decent rain gear, without looking quite so ridiculous.

Popular Mechanics — yes, it’s still around — explains how a Mexican engineering student turned a personal project into a handmade bamboo bike company, combining his passions for bicycling and sustainable living.

An Ontario, Canada website explains how installing safe bike lanes improves safety for everyone else on the road, too. As well as making the community healthier and more prosperous.

The founder of Britain’s Black Cyclists Network says his recent run-in with police — where he was ordered to move his bike to an unsafe spot, then stopped and searched because he allegedly “smelled like marijuana” — says a lot about how the general public views bicyclists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Life is cheap in Australia, where the driver who killed 23-year old rising pro cyclist Jason Lowndes just moments after texting her boyfriend walked with a lousy $2,000 fine — just $1,357 US — and community service.

 

Finally…

Seriously, every town needs a puppet bike. If you’re going to burglarize a business, don’t make the media make fun of you.

And if you never know when you’re going to need a lampshade.

Even on your wedding day.

Got married last year. Best way to get her to the altar! from bicycling

 

Morning Links: Charges increased in Frederick “Woon” Frazier death, and WeHo drag queen run down on purpose

Maybe there will be justice for Woon after all.

I received the following email from an anonymous correspondent at yesterday’s scheduled prelim for Mariah Kandise Banks, charged with the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier and the attempted coverup that followed.

The People have filed an amended complaint against Ms. Banks in which the charge of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence has been upgraded to felony.

Judge Lynne Hobbs thanked Ms. Banks for being on time this morning. Alas, the prelim was trailed yet again.

The judge inquired about the prosecution’s previous request for an increase in bail due to the accused’s alleged harassment of the victim’s family (and frankly, she seemed willing and prepared to grant it). The prosecutor stated that she had spoken to the victim’s family two days ago and had received no further reports of harassment, so the bail stands as-is.

Ms. Banks was her usual muttery self as she exited the courtroom.

The increased charges mean Banks now faces six years for felony vehicular manslaughter, rather than one year for the misdemeanor count.

That’s in addition to a possible four years for felony hit-and-run.

However, it’s unlikely she’ll serve anywhere near that. The LA district attorney’s office has a well-deserved reputation for bargaining charges down to avoid a trial.

If Banks is smart, she’ll drop the attitude and cop a plea. And maybe get out in a couple years, rather than risk serving the full dime behind bars.

Photo of Frederick “Woon” Frazier taken from his original crowdfunding page.

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This is who we share the road with.

A popular West Hollywood drag queen says a driver fled the scene after apparently running him down on purpose as he was leaving a bar with friends two weeks ago.

The victim, Sasha Markgraf, says he was the only member of the group dressed in an effeminate manner.

In addition to being a drag performer and singer, Markgraf is also a costume designer. When he left the bar with his friends to cross Larrabee Street after 2 a.m. he was wearing high heels and suspects the driver may have intentionally hit him.

“It’s sad to say but I think he was coming straight for us. He didn’t have to go right. He didn’t have to veer to the right,” Markgraf says.

A crowdfunding page says the driver turned on his car as Markgraf stepped off the curb and revved his engine before plowing into him. So far, it’s raised just $2,100 of the $50,000 goal.

Unfortunately, the only description of the car is a silver Honda Civic. There’s no description available for the driver.

Lets hope they catch this jerk before he or she tries to kill someone else.

And maybe succeeds next time.

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Another crowdfunding page is raising money to buy a new bike for an Active SGV staff member whose bike was stolen, along with her panniers, wallet and clothes, at last Sunday’s CicLAvia.

So far it’s raised nearly $300 of the modest $500 goal.

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There’s no shortage of bighearted people in today’s news.

When the bike a Salem, Oregon man used as his primary form of transportation was stolen, his friends in the trading card community pitched in to buy him a new one.

The bike an Ohio man used as transpiration for himself and his one-year old daughter was stolen just two days into his new job, so his Walmart coworkers dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike and trailer for someone they barely knew, and most had never met.

A Pennsylvania man rode his bike across the US, raising $11,000 for a pair of small-town animal rescues.

Great piece about a British Columbia bike shop owner and inventor who earned the Lanterne Rouge in the 1955 Tour de France, joining another rider as the first British cyclists to finish the tour; after moving to Canada, he built the wheelchair used on an around-the-world journey, as well as refurbishing bicycles to give to those in need. Sadly, he died of cancer on Saturday.

Then again, some people would rather help themselves. After a thief stole the bicycle a nine-year old English boy got for his birthday, he set out to do odd jobs around town until he earned enough to buy a new one.

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Local

As we noted yesterday, LADOT is looking for volunteers for the city’s first-ever official bike and pedestrian count later this month, as well as using traffic cameras for part of the count. Volunteers are needed to count bicycles in Long Beach, too.

A pair of LA Times readers shake a metaphorical fist at the paper for celebrating the death of the High Desert Corridor through the Antelope Valley.

 

State

67-year old San Diego man was rear-ended on his bike in broad daylight, suffering what was described as a non-life-threatening brain bleed. A witness said he “came out of nowhere,” which is just another way of saying you weren’t paying attention.

The student newspaper at San Diego State University says the school made a bad decision in banning e-scooters and other micromobility devices, based on bad data and with little student input.

A Santa Barbara man was critically injured when he was hit head-on rounding a curve after allegedly drifting onto the wrong side of the road; fortunately, he’s expected to make a full recovery.

 

National

Bicycling hosts a debate on whether someone on a bicycle is a cyclist or a biker. Apparently, a person riding a bicycle wasn’t an option.

A medical columnist says if you really want to avoid pain when you ride, hie thee to a bike fitter. Though he might not have phrased it quite that way.

A Hawaiian advocacy group will host a Noodle Ride, with participants using pool noodles to call attention to the three-foot passing law.

Seriously? An Oregon letter-writer says she’s fine with one bike lane, but why do bicyclists need one going the opposite direction on the other side of the street, as well?

Albuquerque paramedics are using bicycles to get through the crowds at the city’s annual hot air balloon festival.

Good advice. After surviving a serious collision while riding her bike, a Boulder CO woman says you should take published reports in the media with a massive grain of salt. Like this one, for instance.

A Houston man is dead after a cop driving at high speed — and without lights and sirens — slammed into him in a crash caught on dashboard video from a car parked nearby. In a tragic irony, the city launched a prescheduled campaign just hours later, calling on drivers to watch out for vulnerable road users.

A writer for Streetsblog Chicago says he’s willing to bury the hatchet after a city alderman backs down on his threat to ban bikes from the Riverwalk. But he wants those illegal Bicycles Must Be Walked signs taken down.

A Minnesota man just finished riding every public street in his county

A Pittsburgh man is making his third official attempt to set a new handcycle 24-hour record. The paraplegic athlete set an unofficial record of 407.7 miles in 2016, breaking the existing record of 403.8; however, the track wasn’t certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, so it didn’t count.

Life is cheap in Pennsylvania, where a 73-year old woman was killed in a left cross collision, and the driver walked with a lousy traffic ticket. There’s something seriously wrong when needlessly taking the life of another person amounts to nothing more than a simple traffic violation.

 

International

Cycling Tips says a British Columbia bikemaker is setting a new standard for environmental sustainability in the bicycle industry.

Heartbreaking story from Hamilton, Ontario, where a 14-year old boy was stabbed to death by a pair of brothers as his mother watched, after he had confronted the other boys for allegedly stealing his bicycle.

Life is cheap in Wales, too, where a woman got off with just 27 months behind bars for drunkenly driving “like a maniac” and plowing into four members of a family out for a bike ride, then fleeing the scene; one of her victims was lucky to survive. So naturally, she blamed the entire thing on her boyfriend.

A British truck driver was convicted of careless driving in the death of a bike-riding doctorhis view was obstructed by a dashboard tray full of ornaments and other items.

In news for my fellow diabetics, a new Australian study shows that while diabetics are prone to heatstroke, you can reduce your risk by training in the heat for a week in advance.

 

Competitive Cycling

Baltimore will host a one-day ProSeries race — one rung below the WorldTour — for the next three years.

Cycling’s governing body says it’s going to work with riders to improve safety in time for next year’s cycling season. If they really want to improve safety, they’ll get team cars and race motorcycles out of the peloton, and require riders to wait until someone can catch up for assistance.

 

Finally…

Nothing like circus friends to borrow a bike from. Apparently, there’s no bike lane that can’t be turned into a parking lot.

And nothing like turning a Santa Clarita bike path into your personal brass knuckle fight club.

 

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