Tag Archive for Alex Villanueva

Hahn moves to study safety after Woods crash, sheriff calls it oopsie, and parking matters more than bike rider’s death

It only took the near death of a celebrity.

LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn is finally pushing for much needed safety improvements on Hawthorne Blvd, where golf legend Tiger Woods was seriously injured in a high speed end-over-end collision.

Hahn directed the county Department of Public Works to review safety on the stretch of roadway where the crash occurred, which residents described as a scene of frequent crashes.

However, no one ordered a similar review when a 32-year old homeless man, identified as Jonathan Valbuena, was killed in a hit-and-run a few miles north on the same deadly corridor.

And no one ordered immediate action despite the corridor’s inclusion on the equivalent of the High Injury Network under the county’s Vision Zero plan, which doesn’t seem to have made any more progress than LA City’s seemingly forgotten plan.

Then again, none of the six people who were killed or seriously injured over a five-year period in that deadly section of the street were famous.

Which, sadly, seems to make all the difference.

That’s not to say the dangerous downhill street where Woods crashed doesn’t need to be fixed.

But maybe we could do something where the rich and famous don’t live and drive, too.

Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

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On a related note, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has given Tiger Woods a pass on the crash, saying his wreck was just an oopsie.

Apparently, Woods was traveling without a driver to film a low-budget documentary show for Discovery when he crashed.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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No bias here.

San Diego business owners complain about the loss of 22 parking spaces to create a temporary separated bike lane where a bike rider was killed last year.

Even though they’ll get them back when it’s converted to a protected bike lane later this year.

Yet there’s not a single mention of 65-year-old Dan Sweeney, who died nearly two months after a hit-and-run directly in front of their restaurants. Or that the driver left him in the street to die after getting out of his van and moving Sweeney’s bike out of the way.

Almost as if they don’t even care.

Nor, apparently, did anyone seem to care that the driver, 29-year old Mauricio Armando Flores, now faces up to four years behind bars after pleading guilty to leaving Sweeney bleeding in the street after running him down from behind.

He’ll face sentencing next month.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the last link.

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Local

Opponents of the planned restoration of the Ballona Wetlands have filed a lawsuit to stop the project, saying it’s not needed and could be harmful.

Billie Eilish is one of us, riding her bicycle while listening to the Strokes’ latest album.

 

State

Encinitas is starting construction on a long-awaited streetscape project to add a roundabout, buffered bike lanes and wider sidewalks to the Coast Highway in Leucadia.

A Chula Vista man was killed when a driver crashed into his motorized wheelchair as he was using a crosswalk.

Livermore officials back down and let a bike repairman keep working from home, at least for now, after over 9,000 people signed a petition supporting him.

A bike helmet offers protection against an overly aggressive Bay Area coyote.

Famed Beat poet, censorship-fighting publisher and City Lights Bookstore owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti was one of us, too.

 

National

A new US administration means the reintroduction of the 2019 Complete Streets bill, which would encourage safer, people oriented street designs throughout the country.

A new study of Chicago’s bikeshare system shows low-income workers and people of color relied on bikeshare more than their wealthier counterparts during the pandemic.

Minnesota-based Park Tools continues to rule the bike work bench.

Some people just don’t learn. A Boston vlogger took an “epic” ride on the frozen Charles River, just one week after he fell through the ice.

America’s first congestion pricing plan could get the go ahead now that the former Mayor Pete is heading the Department of Transportation, clearing the way for New York’s proposed program. Which could bode well for Los Angeles — if local leaders have the courage to move forward with Metro’s congestion pricing proposal.

He still can’t start a fire without a spark, but evidently Bruce was just drinking in the park.

A Newport News, Virginia man is using his pandemic downtime to ride every street in the city of !80,000 people. Which is a lot easier than it would be here in Los Angeles.

North Carolina politics could put the brakes on the bike boom in the state.

 

International

How to minimize the environmental impact of buying bike tires.

Road.cc examines where to find plus size bikewear, including LA-based Machines for Freedom.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a drunken hit-and-run driver got just two years and a month behind bars, despite leaving three bicyclists lying in the road with serious injuries.

That’s more like it. Italy has given food delivery companies 90 days to improve the way they treat bicycle delivery riders, saying the mostly immigrant workers are practically treated like slaves.

Maybe they see the bike writing on the wall. Volkswagen is now in the bicycle and ebike leasing and financing business, at least in Germany.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after an Indian man wrestled a leopard to the ground when it attacked his family as they were riding bikes together.

Kiwi bicyclists say another three years is too long to wait to improve safety on a popular riding route where a 65-year old man was killed riding his bike last year.

 

Competitive Cycling

Teams have been announced for the first ever women’s Paris-Roubaix.

The route for this year’s Giro has been officially unveiled, while Cycling News highlights five key stages in the race.

Bicycling highlights twelve cyclists to watch during the upcoming racing season; Sepp Kuss is the only American rider to make the list. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

No bias here, either. Aussie women’s cyclists face discouragement over the lack of recognition and prize money given to their male counterparts.

 

Finally…

How did Kermit ride his fixie, anyway? Turning your single-seat bike into a six-legged tandem, even if some people don’t like it.

And don’t hold any bake sales for Lance just yet.

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

LASD exonerates itself in Kizzee shooting amid calls for sheriff to resign, and e-scooters just ain’t the problem

No surprise here.

Nearly three weeks after LA County Sheriff’s Deputies shot and killed Compton bike rider Dijon Kizzee, the department held it’s first press conference.

Not surprisingly, it exonerated itself completely, even while multiple investigations are still ongoing.

And even as community activist Najee Ali accused the Sheriff’s Department of trying to “blame a Black man unjustly shot … for his own murder by his deputies” while speaking on behalf of family members.

According to a department spokesperson, deputies originally attempted to stop Kizzee for riding salmon, a crime that does not normally carry the death penalty.

Kizzee reportedly was carrying a gun that had been stolen in Las Vegas, which he was not legally allowed to have due to a prior felony conviction and a restraining order.

Deputies fired at least 15 shots after spotting the weapon when he dropped it, along with some clothes he’d been carrying.

However, after giving the deputies over two weeks to get their stories straight talk to investigators, the gun somehow went from the ground, as the sheriff’s department originally stated, into Kizzee’s hand as claimed in the new report.

Never mind that security video appears to show the deputies shooting at Kizzee as he ran away.

Unfortunately, we may never know for sure what happened, since LA County Sheriff’s Deputies aren’t currently required to wear body cams.

But the shooting does raise questions, especially in a department where gang-like groups wear matching tattoos and call themselves names like the Executioners.

It doesn’t matter who Kizzee was, or whether he had a record. It also doesn’t matter that he ran from the deputies, or briefly tussled with one when they tried to tackle him.

For the crime of riding on the wrong side of the street.

What matters is whether the deputies had a legitimate reason to fear for their own lives, or that of the public, before opening fire.

Let alone whether the department can, or will, conduct an honest investigation of its own deputies. Especially under the current administration.

Because this one doesn’t begin to pass the smell test.

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On a closely related subject, the LA Times says LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who has repeatedly ignored subpoenas and attempted to dodge civilian oversight, is the best advisement for the need for “muscular” oversight.

In addition, several city and county officials are calling on Villanueva to resign, including LA Councilmember David Ryu and county supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl.

Yeah, that’ll happen.

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CBS News says micromobility is proving increasingly deadly, citing 41 deaths linked to e-scooters, ebikes and hoverboards over a three-year period.

Which compares to roughly 112,500 people killed in motor vehicle collisions over the same period.

Admittedly, I’ve never been very good at math, but I’m pretty sure 41 is less that 112,500.

A lot less.

So which one is really the problem on our streets?

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Something is seriously wrong when you’re not even safe from cars and their drivers in your own home.

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Here’s one for weight weenies, as GCN investigates whether bike weight really matters in the Tour de France.

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

Police in San Diego busted a bike-riding arsonist who used “molotov cocktail-like devices” to repeatedly set shrubs on fire outside a police station.

Chicago authorities are on the lookout for a masked bike-riding groper who has assaulted several women.

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Local

The LA Times catches up with the founder of the magical Venice Electric Light Parade weekly bike ride.

A former LA city planner accuses Los Angeles officials of being closet climate change deniers in environmentalist clothing.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a temporary halt to the Long Beach State Cycling Club, which is unable to keep riding under current university restrictions

 

State

Seriously? San Diego washed away a series of children’s chalk drawings supporting Black Lives Matter on a La Jolla bike path just days after they were finished, citing complaints that they were “hate speech.”

Santa Barbara is looking for a way for bike riders to coexist with pedestrians after the city closed a popular street to make room for shopping and dining while social distancing, which was also the spine of the city’s bike network.

 

National

The Idaho Stop Law is slowly spreading across the US, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields.

A writer for Bicycling says never mind the cliche about never forgetting to ride a bike, because the truth is, you never forget how good it feels to ride one. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out

Good question. Wired wonders why Uber wasn’t charged in the death of an Arizona bike rider who was killed by one of their driverless cars, instead of the admittedly distracted human behind the wheel.

A new study from Portland’s Alta Planning and Design says don’t cut corners on corner design to prevent unsafe turns by drivers.

A kindhearted Texas cop replaced a nine-year old boy’s bike after it was stolen.

An Arlington Texas police detective was released from the hospital following a crash that killed a fellow bicyclist when a driver plowed into the group they were riding with. But since the driver remained at the scene, it’s evidently okay.

A Houston reverend will bike 500 mies through Michigan to raise funds to fight hunger in Guatemala.

Martha Stewart is one of us, enjoying the coronavirus quarantine while popping her new line of CBD-infused fruit pate and riding her ebike around her 153-acre New York state farm.

He gets it. A New York assembly member says the state should subsidize ebike purchases to wean people off of cars. We need to start hearing that from California officials, too.

 

International

A Scottish bicyclist who was nearly killed in a Texas collision while riding across the US will attempt to set a new record for riding nonstop over 500 miles through the Scottish Highlands, taking aim at the existing record of 31 hours and 23 minutes.

Paris is the latest major city to announce that 31 miles of popup bike lanes that were installed at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown will be made permanent. That compares favorably to Los Angeles, which will make zero lanes permanent, out of the zero popup bike lanes that were installed. 

Here’s something you won’t see in the US. The king and queen of the Netherlands took a casual bike ride while meeting with local officials, wearing a suit, gown and practical pumps.

A Singapore letter writer says licensing drivers doesn’t seem to make them any safer, so maybe it’s not the answer for bike riders, either.

 

Competitive Cycling

The 600 pound gorilla that is Team Ineos finally performs as expected in the Tour de France, at least for one stage.

The president of Slovenia is pretty pumped that two of his countrymen could be standing on the final podium when the Tour gets to Paris.

The director for leading team Jumbo-Visma got the boot from the Tour after losing his cool when inspectors allegedly damaged leader Primož Roglič’s bike checking for signs of motor doping.

Defending champ Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands is out of next week’s worlds after crashing while leading the Giro Rosa

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be made of wood. Seriously, don’t bite the guy whose bike you just stole.

And don’t put dog poop in Trump supporters mailboxes.

On a bike or otherwise.

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

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