This is the cost of traffic violence, as the carnage continues on Los Angeles streets.
Just one day after a driver traveling at an estimated 80 to 100 miles per hour ran a red light and plowed into cars crossing the busy intersection of La Brea and Slauson, killing six innocent people, a well-known actress apparently copied the act.
According to TMZ, Heche had apparently crashed into a pair of apartment building garages in the area, doing relatively minor damage to each, and may have been fleeing paparazzi and people trying to halt her as she sped up Walgrove Ave.
Security video shows her traveling at an extreme rate of speed.
EXCLUSIVE: Video shows the vehicle owned by actress Anne Heche speeding down a Mar Vista street moments before crashing into a home and sparking a fire. The story on @CBSLA 5pm. pic.twitter.com/1H93z5aVx7
— Rachel Kim (@CBSLARachel) August 5, 2022
Any bike rider or pedestrian unfortunate enough to be in her way would have been killed instantly.
The home and its contents were a total loss.
Heche herself somehow survived, despite suffering critical burns; as in the Windsor Hills crash, she was reportedly too badly injured and treated with too many medications to conduct a valid test for drug or alcohol use.
Although a sharp-eyed person points out what appears to be an open pint of alcohol next to the gear shift in one of the TMZ photos.
Flask of alcohol next to the gearshift pic.twitter.com/3grtBdMGaC
— jonny sokko (@_socallocal) August 6, 2022
Heche reportedly faces a long and painful recovery from her injuries.
We’re only lucky that she didn’t take anyone else with her.
And once again, the crash points out the abject failure of LA’s chronically underfunded — and under-cared about — Vision Zero program, as well as the failure of the city to carry through with the transportation reforms promised in the mobility plan, in the seven years since either was approved.
Simply put, speeds like those in either crash should not be possible on surface streets. And the city should make every effort to ensure things like this can’t happen.
Let alone don’t.
Clearly, though, not everyone agrees. Take this comment in response to Friday’s post about the Windsor Hills crash.
Wow, this is one of the worst articles on this subject ever written. The ideas are without merit and the ignorance is almost frightening. I’d recommend not quitting your day job.
Never mind that this is my day job. But that, too, is who we share the road with.
Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.
There’s no question that LA Times columnist Steve Lopez gets it, as he examines the horrifying carnage on our streets.
“People have their necks broken, they burn to death and suffer unrecoverable injuries. The onus for care drops into the laps of firefighters and paramedics … and even those guys, with all their equipment and training, can’t do anything,” (UCLA ER physician Dr. Mark) Morocco said…
It’s terrifyingly common in Los Angeles, and getting behind the wheel, or going for a walk or a bike ride, is a game of roulette.
Meanwhile, letter writers to the Times say the crash shows the city is desperate for safer streets.
Important Twitter thread from Streets For All examining the full cost of traffic violence throughout Los Angeles, and in each individual council district, since Vision Zero and the mobility plan were adopted in 2015.
The charts also include the amount of mobility plan implementation, miles of bus and bike lanes, and how many people in the district signed the Healthy Streets LA petition to require implementation of the mobility plan when streets are resurfaced, which the organization accurately describes as massive citywide support.
Take a moment to check out your own district, then look at some of the others, like the 55 bike riders and pedestrians killed in Mitch O’Farrell’s CD13 in Hollywood, the 82 killed in Curren Price’s CD9, or the horrifying 105 dead in Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s CD8 in South LA.
Never mind that just one traffic death is one too many.
Great piece from Outside, about custom bikemaker Rivendell Bicycle Works’ well intentioned, but ultimately doomed, effort to offer a 45% discount to Black customers as a form of reparations for the long history of racism in a the bike industry.
“The American bicycle industry has been racist, often overtly racist, since 1878,” the company wrote in the release. “Rivendell has been obliviously—not ‘obviously’—racist most of the time since 1994. We say this not to scold the industry, not to be publicly humble, not to scold other bicycle businesses, and not to be uncharacteristically on trend. It’s just true.”
Rivendell’s nine staff members were on board to launch the Black Reparations Pricing, or BRP. The company would not increase prices on other frames and would dedicate 10 percent of its inventory to BRP for customers who identified as Black. “We’re committed to it, and will not cave at the first heat,” said the company statement. “As for how it’ll affect business, we’ll just see. If we go broke because those who use the flag or God as an invisibility cloak for their white nationalism stop patronizing us we’ll…move on…”
The inequality started in the first bike boom of the 1890s, when cycling lessons and clubs were only available to white people, and bikes were priced out of reach for all but the most elite. The exclusion continued through the next century in ways that had a chilling effect on who rides and where—like a 1971 law in Washington, DC, that required costly bike licenses, which stopped many impoverished Black people from riding as commuters, or a 1987 bike ban in Midtown Manhattan, through which Wall Street executives sought to bar mostly Black and brown bike messengers from their lobbies and avenues, even while those same executives flocked to the mountain bike trails around their summer cabins upstate. A recent Los Angeles Times investigation reviewed 44,000 bike stops by police and found that they disproportionately targeted poorer communities with large nonwhite populations.
Unfortunately, the backlash was swift and severe.
Once Rivendell’s program hit the national media, Petersen began to receive threats by phone and email. Worried about his safety, he installed video cameras around the store. The company’s phones rang repeatedly with calls from alt-right podcasters, and their Yelp, Google, and social media sites were flooded with negative comments and one-star reviews. “Quit the political commentary BS & focus on bikes,” wrote one commenter on Instagram. “Those people, the majority of them, had never bought anything from us. They probably don’t even ride bikes,” says Will Keating, Rivendell’s general manager. “It’s like they just saw something that infuriated them on the internet and had to take the next step.” The program was shut down on the advice of Rivendell’s lawyers. “The whole thing—it was a grand plan that fizzled out,” says Petersen. “We were afraid for our physical well-being. It was really ugly around here. We were all miserable.”
“From a strictly legal perspective, we’ve been handcuffed,” Petersen wrote in a blog announcing the end of the reparations program.
It’s a good piece, and well worth taking a few minutes to read the whole thing.
Because it clearly demonstrates the difficulty in trying to do the right thing, in a country so sharply divided along political and racial lines.
And it raises questions of how much more we could and should be doing to right historical wrongs that continue to manifest in the present.
A rally will take place at Los Angeles City Hall this morning to protest the new ordinance criminalizing open air bike chop shops.
I was the Activist-In-Residence at UCLA this year. Jane was my predecessor @theglowingstars paved the way for me to be a Unhoused activist with lived experience of being Unhoused. pic.twitter.com/lPEJpeyK7s
— Wetheunhoused (@TheoHen95302259) August 6, 2022
Turns out that one of the most common aggressive maneuvers practiced by California drivers is against the law.
Fun fact: In California inching past a stop line or into a crosswalk at a red light, which drivers do constantly, is the same violation as fully running the red. Nobody is ever ticketed for it, but it is a $500-ish fine, after court costs. https://t.co/yA9amd0UNM
— Robert Prinz (@prinzrob) August 7, 2022
On a happier note, it looks like Charlize Theron is one of us.
— @CoolBikeArt1@mstdn.social (@CoolBikeArt1) August 7, 2022
Of course Marge Simpson is one of us.
Margerine – The Simpsons pic.twitter.com/faqUUhcGVl
— cartoon songs that go hard (@cartoonsonghard) August 4, 2022
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
A Pennsylvania man faces charges for getting out of his pickup to beat and strangle a man riding a bicycle, after crashing into the victim and knocking him into a pole.
Sometimes you turn to the cops for help after a road rage attack, only to discover it was a cop who did it; meanwhile, another Toronto cop crashed into a bike rider in a bike lane, later claiming the sun was in his eyes.
The plot thickens. I have confirmed from multiple sources that the vigilante who assaulted the cyclist outside of #HighPark on Monday was an off duty @TorontoPolice officer. Patrick Stewart makes $121,000 a year. Perhaps the lack of charges make sense now. #BikeTO @JohnTory pic.twitter.com/M8rQIeMFWZ
— The Biking Lawyer (Dave Shellnutt) (@TheBikingLawyer) August 4, 2022
Police in the UK initially refused to take action after a woman deliberately drove her Range Rover into a bike rider, who called their response “victim-blaming twaddle.”
No bias here. A London writer proclaims the war on cars is a war on women. Which it wouldn’t be, even if it was real.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
Great Britain’s transport minister is proposing a bill to reign in a “selfish minority of bike riders” by creating a bicycling equivalent to the country’s death by dangerous driving law, with a penalty up to life in prison.
A man on a bicycle is blamed for stealing a New Zealand statue of Ernest Rutherford, known as the father of nuclear physics, by rocking the statue back and forth for half an hour until it snapped off its base.
The LA Times reports on the parents of a 12-year old Pacific Palisades girl who are suing Rad Power Bikes alleging a defective design caused their daughter’s death.
The LACBC is giving donated bikes away to people in need through its Bike Match program.
Streetsblog reports on a recent webinar explaining how to fight for bike lanes where you live.
Seriously? A Coronado newspaper says ebikes may be the future, but questions whether they’re a hazard on the island’s roadways.
Camarillo letter writers say the city needs to make itself bike-friendly now, not five years from now when a new bike path is scheduled to open.
A pair of 14-year old Camarillo boys were injured, one seriously, when they were run down on their bikes by a 68-year old driver at the Camarillo outlet mall.
The LA Times says the best SoCal bike trail is the Ojai Valley Trail, describing it as an “incredibly scenic path (running) 15 miles from the Ventura shoreline to the charming town of Ojai.”
Kindhearted cops in Arroyo Grande got a new bike for a 15-year old boy after the one he rode to his summer job was stolen.
A 23-year old man was arrested for robbing a Palo Alto bike shop near Stanford University, after the shop’s workers refused to buy an ebike he’d brought in.
A rideout took over the eastbound lanes of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge on Saturday, as the CHP did their best to herd them onto a bike path.
A San Francisco bike hater belatedly becomes the Bike Guy after rediscovering riding in middle age.
A new study explains why most people never forget how to ride a bike, no matter how long it has been.
Bikeshare can play a role in helping older Americans age in place.
US Weekly considers the best ebikes for women of any height.
Still more traffic violence in New Mexico, where an alleged drunk driver without a valid license barreled through a Gallup parade celebrating Native American culture, injuring at least 15 people, including two cops who tried to stop him.
He gets it. A columnist for the Minnesota Post explains why driving is bad for America, saying other than extending our ability to move at high speed, it comes at the cost of almost every other kind of action.
More mass carnage, as five Minnesota bike riders were injured when they were run down from behind by a driver, who plowed into the group of seven bike-riding kids led by one adult; fortunately, none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.
Sad news from Ohio, where an Ohio State University student died of a “heart-related medical issue” just two miles from the end of a 102-mile fundraising ride.
Good news from Nashville, where Gospel singer Amy Grant is reportedly improving every day, after she was knocked unconscious for over ten minutes in a fall off her bicycle.
A New York ebike rider was the victim of a strong-arm robbery when he was punched in the head by a stranger who stole his bike in Central Park Saturday afternoon.
The Washington Post examines the inevitable ebike bikelash, saying everyone loves ebikes, except for some who share the road, or the bike lane, or the sidewalk, with them.
Life is cheap in Florida, where a man walked without a single day behind bars — or even being charged with a crime — for killing a bike-riding man when he somehow veered off the road last year.
We Love Cycling offers tips on how to go the beach with your bike.
A Calgary, Alberta man is back to gravel racing, ‘cross and mountain biking, using an adaptive bike he built himself, 20 years after he broke his back snowboarding.
An Ottawa, Canada organization is giving mom’s a taste of freedom by teaching women to ride a bike.
Life is cheap in the UK, where a speeding, stoned and distracted driver gets less than two years for killing a newly married man riding a bicycle.
After he was pulled off his bicycle and beaten by men shouting anti-gay slurs, an Amsterdam man is angered by the lack of resource to mount a police response.
A writer learns the hard way not to joke about unhinged bicyclists in Amsterdam, especially if you weren’t born in the Netherlands.
Ukraine’s elderly bicyclists defy the military violence surrounding them, refusing to flee or give in to the chaos.
Shades of a two-wheeled Eddie the Eagle. A 48-year old man representing Ghana in the Commonwealth Games finished 47th out of 54 competitors in the time trial, which was won by Australia’s Rohan Dennis; Chris Symonds keeps in shape by riding a hybrid bike to his job as a doorkeeper at Britain’s Houses of Parliament, where he keeps his bike safe by parking it at the House of Lords. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.
And maybe it’s just me, but it looks like he could use a larger frame.
— 4 Friends Nihongo EN (@4FriendsNihongo) August 5, 2022
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin, too.