Tag Archive for Anthony Portantino

Metro votes on NoHo to Pasadena BRT plan today, bike & ped bill passes senate committee, and gun-toting Sac trail driver

Let’s start with a quick reminder about today’s Metro Board meeting.

The board will give a final hearing for the North Hollywood to Pasadena bus rapid transit line, which includes plans for lane reductions, protected bike lanes and a more livable street on currently car-centric Colorado Blvd, based on the Beautiful Boulevard plan developed by Eagle Rock residents. .

Streets For All offers these tips for making a comment during the 10 am meeting.

  • Use these Talking Points put together by the Beautiful Boulevard Coalition (some are specific to Eagle Rock)
  • In order to make comments by phone, you will need to call in using the number and code above. When the item comes up, click #2 (pound-two) to request to comment.
  • You will only have 1 minute for your comment. (It may be helpful to write your comment down and read it aloud to maximize use of your comment time)
  • If you are watching online, please note that the video feed is delayed by 30 seconds and that you will need to mute your video stream when you speak to avoid background noise.

If you can’t call in, they recommend using this email tool from the Beautiful Boulevard coalition to submit your comments to the Metro Board.

I have another commitment, so I’m counting on you to call in for me.

Meanwhile, a writer for the Boulevard Sentinel suggests that only a small group of advocates support the plan, which he says received no opposition because opponents didn’t know about it.

Evidently, they somehow missed all those public meetings where it was discussed, along with the website promoting it.

But other than that, it was a total secret.

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Glendale state Senator Anthony Portantino’s bill requiring cities to bake bike and pedestrian safety into their community plans is headed to the senate floor after passing both the Transportation and Governance and Finance committees.

SB 932 would force cities to take action to improve safety on the most dangerous corridors; otherwise, anyone injured there would have the right to sue.

Never mind that Los Angeles hasn’t updated its community plan since Ronald Reagan was in the White House.

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Megan Lynch forwards a horrifying story from Sacramento, where a former San Diego County sheriff’s deputy has allegedly been brandishing a gun while threatening homeless people.

Rich Eaton, who now operates a business in the city, was named by victims in three police reports, in one case reportedly growling “I should put a bullet in the back of your head.”

And he apparently doesn’t let a little thing like a bike trail stop him.

The same victim claimed he saw Eaton brandishing a gun at another homeless man a few days earlier.

“Richard was in his vehicle on the bike trail at the top of the levee and I could see him pointing a gun out of the vehicle window,” the report says.

The other victim said Eaton pointed the gun directly at him as he tried confronting Eaton about driving on a path intended for bikes and pedestrians.

“I could see him holding the guns in his hand with the barrel sticking out the window pointing at me,” the second victim said. “He pulled the gun back and said ‘pussy.’”

Eaton is suing the city for failure to enforce its own laws by allowing homeless people to remain on his property, claiming significant damage and a loss in property value.

Even though the writer for Newsbreak says the value of the property has increased $2.3 million in just the last five years.

According to the story, police dropped the investigation into the incidents, at the discretion of the sergeant.

Maybe they could at least tell him to keep his car the hell off bike and pedestrian paths.

Correction: In the first reference to Rich Eaton, I somehow wrote his last name as Williams, for reasons that will forever escape me. Thanks to Andy Stow for the catch.

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

No bias here. The headline on this story from San Diego’s CBS8 isn’t the least bit misleading, suggesting that the city apologized to Rancho Peñasquitos residents for the new bike lanes on Azuaga Street, when the San Diego director of transportation actually apologized for a lack of effective outreach before they were installed. And yes, that was sarcasm.

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

Police in Charlotte, North Carolina announced a crackdown on aggressive young bike riders they accuse of wrecking havoc in the city by riding recklessly and endangering drivers and pedestrians; one is accused of punching a driver in the back of the head, and later shooting into his car, leaving the man paralyzed.

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Local

This is the cost of traffic violence. Relatives of Monique Munoz, the  32-year-old woman killed by a 17-year old boy in West LA, who slammed into her car after running a red light at over 100 mph in his Lamborghini SUV, have settled a wrongful death lawsuit against his family for a whopping $18.8 million. Which barely seems like enough under the circumstances.

Los Angeles Magazine lists beach cruisers as one of the 60 ways the city has changed the world, placing them between The Beach Boys and breast implants; they were invented by in 1976 by a 21-year old mechanic in his dad’s bike shop. The bikes, that is, not The Beach Boys. Or the breast implants.

Beverly Hills is installing a network of green sharrows on South Santa Monica Boulevard, North Doheny Drive and South Beverly Drive. Apparently in an effort to thin the herd and help drivers improve their aim.

626 Golden Streets returns this weekend with five miles of carfree streets connecting the historic San Gabriel and South Pasadena Mission Districts with downtown Alhambra.

 

State 

Volunteers removed a half ton of overgrown weeds and dry brush from a La Jolla bike path.

The curator of a museum in San Diego’s University Height neighborhood says he doesn’t think it can survive plans for a parking protected bike lane and fewer parking spaces on Park Boulevard. Because evidently, people who ride bicycles never, ever visit museums. Especially not if they’re safer and easier to get to.

Caltrans will reduce PCH to a single lane between Deer Creek Road and Sycamore Canyon Road in Ventura County for road work today; bicyclists will be allowed to mix it up with cars in the single traffic lane, though you may have to wait for traffic moving in the other direction.

 

National

Is anyone really surprised that ebike sales are outpacing sales of electric cars in the US? Ebikes are booming, while sales of electric cars have been lagging. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Forbes rates their picks for the best bikes to ride anywhere for all kinds of riders. And for once, I can’t argue with their choices.

Charge your ebike while you ride with a hardshell backpack with a built-in solar panel.

Once again, authorities have managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Utah man with four previous DUI convictions faces charges for killing a 13 year old boy when he right hooked the boy’s bike, before fleeing the scene with the kid’s bike still jammed under his truck; police said they could smell the alcohol on his breath when he was arrested at his home later. He should have lost his license permanently after the second conviction.

A new Utah mountain bike trail is bringing glamping to bike touring, with a series of six fully furnished huts capable of housing up to 14 people strategically located along the 190-mile path.

Smart move. An Illinois teacher uses bicycles as a reward for good work and to keep her students attentive and motivated; she hopes to send each one home with a new bike at the end of the year.

NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk writes that she took up road cycling during the pandemic, until a violent face plant resulting from a New Jersey pothole took her down hard. But she insists she’s not going to let that stop her.

 

International

Two new high tech, retro styled bike headlamps are raising funds on Kickstarter.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A British taxi driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider after his lawyer argued that the victim’s lack of hi-viz and flashing lights made him hard to see — even though he had steady front and rear lights and reflectors on his bike.

An 18-year old Indian man has developed the country’s first artificial inteligence-powered bike counter, complete with AI-sensor camera and a machine learning-based algorithm

 

Competitive Cycling

The 13th Annual Redlands PossAbilities Para-cycle stage race rolled alongside the Redlands Classic last week, using the same courses for the four stage race; national paracycling time trial and road cycling champ national Owen Daniels dominated the series, finishing first in the paraplegic category.

  

Finally…

Now you can be the proud owner of Elliot’s milk crate-basket bicycle from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, although you’ll have to supply your own homesick alien. Maybe once you become mayor, you should stop punching teenage constituents in the back of the head.

Just a suggestion.

And you know you’re a bicyclist when you see a picture of a young Ann-Margret, and stare at her bike.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

CD15 mobility debate, SGV state Senator Anthony Portantino is one of us, and Bullard crowdfund passes $73,00

Streets For All continues to take the lead vetting candidates for the upcoming city election by hosting yet another virtual candidate debate.

This time the group is hosting three of the four candidates to replace CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino in LA’s oddly drawn 15th council district, which stretches from San Pedro to Watts.

Not participating is self-described businessman and community advocate Anthony Santich.

Meanwhile, Buscaino’s mayoral campaign is languishing at the bottom of the pack with just 1% of support from likely voters, after billionaire Rick Caruso’s massively self-financed campaign outflanked him to the right of the city’s otherwise liberal field.

Caruso and Karen Bass lead the field, with 24% and 23%, respectively.

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Speaking of Streets For All, the transportation PAC talks with California state Senator Anthony Portantino, who represents the San Gabriel Valley’s 25th district.

And yes, he’s one of us now.

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The crowdfunding campaign to benefit the families of Whittier’s fallen Bullard brothers, who were killed by an alleged DUI driver in Saturday’s Tour of St. George, Utah, has now exceeded $73,000 of the $100,000 goal in just two days, driven in part by members of Utah’s bicycling community.

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Maybe hi-viz isn’t the answer after all.

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

Four Pennsylvania teens are accused of riding around town threatening people with a replica AK-47-style gun, shooting someone on a bicycle with airsoft pellets.

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Local

The route and the final environmental study for the new 19-mile NoHo to Pasadena rapid bus line will go before the Metro Board later this month; the plan appears to incorporate many of the elements from the resident-designed Beautiful Boulevard plan.

Hats off to Santa Monica-based Bird for piloting a free, first-of-its-kind program to provide motorized attachments for New York wheelchair users.

 

State 

Despite San Diego’s avowed commitment to long-term climate goals, the city’s nonprofit Climate Action Campaign says area cities aren’t doing enough, and moving too slowly in the face of the climate emergency. On the other hand, they’re moving a lot faster than a certain megalopolis to the north we could name.

A group of Ventura middle school students have created a new kind of tote bag for a local food bank, making it easier to carry on a bicycle.

Road.cc highlights 12 “show stopping” bikes from Monterey’s annual Sea Otter Classic.

Arcata explains their new two-stage bike boxes, which eliminates the need for bike riders to filer across three lanes of a one-way street to make a left turn. Although it does mean waiting through up to two light cycles.

 

National

Beware of a recent nationwide jump in road raging drivers, many of whom may be armed after a surge in gun sales during the pandemic.

Bullshit. Forbes considers what types of bikes are best for seniors, which they seem to define as anyone over 55, including ebikes, cruisers and adult trikes. Never mind that many people ride road and mountain bikes well into their 70s, and sometimes 80s. The right bike for you depends entirely on your relative fitness and the kind of riding you want to do, regardless of your age.

The List examines what happens to your body when you ride a bike every day. Hint: It’s all good.

The Cherokee Nation introduced the six young women who will participate in this year’s Remember the Removal Bike Ride, which follows the northern route of the infamous Trail of Tears for 950 miles through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma; this is the first time the participants have been made up entirely of Cherokee women.

It’s official in Colorado, where the governor signed a bill allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields and red lights like stop signs; the law, which takes effect immediately, also applies to other “slow speed” conveyances, including ebikes, e-scooters, skateboards and wheelchairs.

A St. Paul MN writer recalls the “scorcher” menace of the 1890’s, which marked the beginning of the anti-bike bias we still enjoy today.

Streetsblog concludes there’s a little truth — very little — in an article criticizing a new protected bike lane for a drop in local retail sales, rather than poor business practices or right-wing politics.

Georgia police investigators are criticized for not knowing the state’s bike laws, blaming a young woman for her own death because she didn’t have a rear light on her bike or hi-vis clothing, even though neither are require in the state. And even though she was run down by a woman stoned on meth and valium, as well as two other drugs.

 

International

Cycling News rates the best helmets for ebike riders. Which are evidently different than the best helmets for non-electric bikes, for some reason.

A 19-year old British bike rider blames a local housing association after he collided with a collapsed fence and was impaled through the chest by a fence pole.

A new Dutch study offers some much-needed perspective on the relative dangers of ebikes, revealing that ebike riders are 1.6 times more likely to end up in the emergency room than people on traditional bikes — compared to two times more likely for people on racing bikes, and three times more likely for mountain bikers. Which kind of refutes many of the panicked reports we’ve been seeing about the dangers posed by ebikes.

Vision Zero is apparently working in the Netherlands, where traffic deaths are half what they were 20 years ago, although more people were killed riding bikes than in cars. Meanwhile, a road safety group calls for mandatory helmets for anyone over 60, who account for half of the country’s bicycling fatalities.

A Malaysian lawyer called for people to pray for the woman convicted of killing eight teens riding the popular basikal lajak modified bicycles, after she was sentenced to a well-deserved six ears behind bars, along with a fine of a little more that $1,400.

An Aussie tow truck driver was allegedly high on crystal meth when he ran a stop sign and killed a 43-year old man riding a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling star Peter Sagan has temporarily stepped away from racing to deal with lingering health problems following his second bout with Covid. He’s not calling it long Covid, but others are. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

French world champion Julian Alaphilippe was taken down by his own team car during Belgium’s one-day Brabantse Pijl classic.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the cops responsible for catching bike thieves are the ones stealing them. Or when a bicycle-themed NFT group decides they’re not about NFTs after all.

And it’s probably a bad thing when your ebike foldie has a tendency to break in half.

Or maybe that’s just me.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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