Tag Archive for bicycling fatalities

Murder charge for Oxnard hit-and-run, bike lane funds stalled in infrastructure bill, and take Metro to Sunday’s CicLAvia

Ventura County prosecutors threw the book at the alleged hit-and-run driver who killed a bike-riding boy last week.

Thirty-nine-year old Oxnard resident Julio Sanchez was arrested at his home last Friday, a day after 16-year old Port Hueneme resident Andres Hernandes was run down from behind on an Oxnard street.

Police had found Sanchez’ abandoned car a few hours after the crash.

Sanchez pled not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter with prior DUI convictions, leaving the scene of an accident, and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

At last report, he was being held on a half-million dollars bail.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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This is what we have to look forward to in the unlikely event Congress ever gets its shit together.

More bike lanes that are clearly separated from streets. More pedestrian-friendly street designs. And more safety features on cars

California and other states are in line for a lot more money to implement such plans, thanks to the $1 trillion infrastructure bill the House is considering.

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The Source reminds us about this Sunday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia. And encourages you to leave the car at home and take Metro, instead.

With your bike, of course. Or your feet, if you plan to walk it.

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A series of free online bicycling symposiums will lead into next year’s California Bicycling Summit in Oakland, with leading bike researchers Ralph Buehler and John Pucher discussing Cycling for Sustainable Cities next Tuesday.

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You may have follow a detour if you’re riding the Ballona Creek bike path for the next several days.

But that’s better than the Higuera Street bridge, which will be closed for more than a year.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s free protected car parking in DTLA.

https://twitter.com/ChrisByBike/status/1445456484905611269

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Call it a desire line, as the Department of DIY strikes along PCH in Orange County.

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If you want to ride a bike badly enough, you can usually find a way.

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

No bias here. Enraged New York drivers see an “extraordinary” plot between Uber and Lyft, and a “militant local bike lane group” to deprive them of their God-given right to free parking by building a protected bike lane. Never mind that the ride-hailing companies support the city’s leading bike advocacy group Transportation Alternatives because bike lanes and safe streets are good for their e-scooter and dockless bikeshare businesses. Or that Lyft manages New York’s Citi Bike docked bikeshare, as well. 

Bizarre story from Ontario, Canada, where a woman allegedly threatened two bike-riding teens with a knife after accusing them of being on her property — even though they were on the sidewalk — then apparently ran them down with her car after they tried to leave.

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

Police in New York are looking for a black-clad bike rider who punched a pedestrian in the face as he rode by, then calmly took $100 out of the man’s wallet before riding off.

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Local

Ride Metro buses and trains for free today, as well get free Metro Bike bikeshare rides, to celebrate California Clean Air Day.

LA’s cool pavement project expands to NoHo, promising to reduce temperatures on the streets we ride, which can rise to as high as 140°.

The annual Bike It! Walk It! week returned to Santa Monica schools this week to encourage students to get out of their cars, or their parent’s cars, and walk or ride to class.

Long Beach will hold a virtual meeting tomorrow to discuss a $3.7 million infrastructure improvement project on Santa Fe Avenue in West Long Beach, which includes a new bike route.

 

State

The San Diego Reader considers whether OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace could be behind the city’s soaring rate of bike thefts.

A woman who’s been hit by drivers twice while riding on Sunnyside’s 39th Street says stop signs and speed bumps aren’t enough to tame the city’s drivers, which is why a bike boulevard is needed. Needless to say, some of her fellow residents disagree.

Tragic news from Stockton, where a 13-year old girl was “struck and killed by a vehicle.” Judging by the article, the driver of said vehicle was apparently only coincidently involved.

Life is cheap in San Ramon, where a distracted driver walked with no charges for running down popular NFL assistant coach Greg Knapp as he was riding his bike, despite admitting to looking at his hands-free cellphone.

 

National

Seriously? The US Consumer Product Safety Commission warns about the dangers of micromobility, with e-scooter, ebike and hoverboard injuries up 70% in the last four years, and 71 deaths over the same period. Just wait until someone tells them how many bike riders and pedestrians were killed in the same four years. And it only makes sense that injuries went up since micromobility use has skyrocketed.

Smart Cities says smart cities are beefing up their bike infrastructure in response to the pandemic bike boom. Then again, no one has accused Los Angeles of being a smart city in recent years.

Once again, a science website has concluded that bicycling is better for your overall health than walking. Even if walking ain’t bad.

United Airlines becomes the latest major airline to drop fees to fly with a bicycle, joining American and Delta in making the move.

Electrek examines why ebike sales are increasing 16 times faster than general bicycling. Hint: They’re fun, easy to ride and anyone can do it.

Ford is applying for a patent on a new kind of automated electronic derailleur.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Las Vegas 4th grade teacher and baton coach was killed while riding her bike to school when a driver blew through a stop sign.

A Denver nonprofit is encouraging bicycling by paying people between 15 and 30 cents per mile to ride a bike this month, for a maximum of $75

Colorado’s legislature has finally figured out the obvious problem with the state’s ridiculous opt-in Idaho Stop, aka Stop as Yield, Law, which allows local jurisdictions to decide whether to adopt it. And leads to confusion when bike riders have no idea when they’ve crossed from one city to another, and whether or not they have to come to a full stop.

A Chicago attorney is offering a reward to find the driver who pulled into a bike lane, where his passenger was caught on camera dooring a passing bike rider.

A Nashville walking and bike advocacy group says a recent deadly scooter crash calls out the need for more bike lanes in the downtown area to meet expanding demand.

Speaking of Nashville, country music star Chris Stapleton is one of us, finding balance by riding a mountain bike during the pandemic.

A seven-year old Long Island boy raised over $4,000 for the heroes of 9/11 by riding his bike 20 miles. And insisted on finishing despite crashing his bike into a thorny fence, saying he wasn’t in as much pain as people on 9/11.

A new study reveals what they describe as the “harrowing safety risks” faced by New York’s app-based delivery riders, with half of riders reporting they’ve been involved in a crash or some other incident.

New York police busted a 14-year old boy for randomly attacking several older Brooklyn residents, including an 81-year old man and a man riding a bicycle.

DC is now requiring e-scooter users to lock their scooters to a bike rack when they’re done, which isn’t likely to improve safety or reduce clutter, while blocking parking access to bike riders who need it.

No bias here, either. After initially fleeing the scene, a Florida hit-and-run driver returned to blame the victim, insisting he didn’t know “why that person was in the road;” fortunately, he was arrested anyway.

 

International

Where to rent a bike on your next trip to Tobago.

Ontario, Canada’s equivalent of the Motor City used to be a bicycling paradise — if you go back 130 years.

After England suffers major flooding, a London cabbie somehow blames bike lanes for causing it. Which doesn’t explain why the streets without them flooded, too.

A man from Jersey spent his pandemic lockdown filming bike rides on routes throughout the British island, allowing bike riders around the world to share his rides from the comfort of their own homes.

Britain’s ongoing gas shortage has led to a 119% jump in bike sales, with sales of commuter bikes up 194%.

British advocates argue that bicycle infrastructure has to extend to rural areas, as well as cities, after a 43% jump in bike deaths on country roads last year.

A writer for the UK version of GQ accepts a challenge to ride the full length of the country, and shares what it was like to cover 970 miles in a week and a half riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

More proof life is cheap in Great Britain, where a hit-and-run driver gets a lousy 12 months behind bars for killing the 31-year old daughter of a member of Parliament as she was riding her bike.

Dutch neurologists call on people in the bicycle-riding country to wear bike helmets, despite — or maybe because — virtually no one does, even though Dutch riders suffer roughly 16,500 bicycling brain injuries each year.

France is offering drivers the equivalent of $2,975 to trade in their old smog-belching cars for clean new ebikes.

High-end Italian bikemaker Colnago says their blockchain cryptosecurity is the solution to bike theft, but you’ll just have to trust them on that. But at least you can trust Yahoo to let you read it if Bicycling won’t.

A trio of Aussie researchers analyzed bikeshare data from 40 international cities to determine where bike riders are most likely to brave the rain and snow, with Dublin, Ireland and Seville and Valencia, Spain taking the lead.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly offers a cyclist’s-eye view of last weekend’s Paris-Roubaix.

Longtime Irish cyclist Nicolas Roche is calling it a career after 17 years in the pro peloton.

There’s more than one way to stop when you don’t trust your disk brakes.

 

Finally…

This may just be the best bike name ever. Who needs rain gear when you can carry a roof with you?

And that feeling when you try to steal the same bait bike twice.

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

$50,000 reward in Venice hit-and-run death, man killed on 4,000 mile charity ride, and Eagle Rock wants one lane

Imagine someone you love traveling across the country to follow her faith and feed the hungry.

Now imagine getting a call from an LAPD detective telling you she’s been murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

Although they probably didn’t use that word.

Then imagine that the police won’t return your calls. And you have no idea what’s going on with a case that seems to be going nowhere, and doesn’t seem to be a priority.

You’ve just put yourself in the shoes of the entire family of fallen bike rider Prynsess Di’Amond Brazzle.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t recognize her name. I only recently learned it myself, confirmed by her relatives.

Brazzle was the woman who was killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver as she rode her bicycle around a Venice intersection this past August.

She’s one of 18 victims of hit-and-run drivers in Southern California this year. And yet another Black bike rider or pedestrian sacrificed on the mean streets of Los Angeles, where people of color die from traffic violence at a rate far disproportionate to their share of the population.

Never mind that Pacific Avenue, the street where she was killed, is on LA’s High Injury Network as one of the deadliest streets in the city. And was scheduled for bike lanes in the city’s long-forgotten mobility plan and 2010 bike plan.

Which could mean Los Angeles bears at least some legal responsibility for knowing about the dangers of the street, and failing to fix it.

Prynsess Brazzle had traveled from her family’s Pennsylvania home to Georgia, then west to Los Angeles, believing she had been called by God to feed the homeless.

Only to have her life taken by someone who didn’t have the basic human decency to stop their damn car after slamming another human being early in the morning of August 20th.

Unfortunately, since then, the trail appears to have gone cold.

The only information police have released is a blurry security cam video of a black, large-sized SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Suburban.

That’s despite a $50,000 reward from the City of Los Angeles for information “leading to the offender’s identification, apprehension, and conviction or resolution through a civil compromise.”

So let’s be honest.

Someone out there knows something. Maybe you’ve seen an SUV with a mangled front end. Or heard someone talk about an early morning crash in Venice, or acting strange the next day.

Maybe you’ve got video or other information the police missed.

And maybe you could use a cool 50 grand. Or just want justice for a young mother taken far too soon.

And yes, you can still get the money if you contact the police anonymously.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign to bring justice for Prynsess Brazzle has raised just $139 of the modest $5,000 goal.

We could easily top that today if everyone who reads this digs in to give what they can. And forwards this piece to anyone else who might be interested in helping.

And keeping their eyes open to bring her killer to justice.

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Sometimes I could just cry.

A Wisconsin man was killed while on a 4,000-mile ride to raise awareness of hunger on the Navajo reservation, and raise fund for a mountain biking scholarship.

Twenty-seven-year old Tyler Droeger was nearly 3,000 miles into the ride, when a driver drifted off the roadway and ran him down from behind as he rode on the shoulder of a Utah highway, knocking him into a ravine.

Chances are, he literally never knew what hit him.

It’s heartbreaking to think someone could be trying to do good for others, and still end up a needless victim of traffic violence.

Droeger wrote that, when he began his journey, he “wasn’t even aware of the inequality we have here in our homeland.” And he offered this advice:

“Be good to the strangers you meet. No matter their situation. it could just as easily have been you in those shoes.”

Needless to say, no charges have been filed.

Droeger’s crowdfunding campaign has continued to raise money despite, or maybe because, of his death.

When I first saw the news on Friday, he had raised a little more than double the $4,000 goal.  It’s now over $11,000.

If you have any extra money lying around after donating to Prynsess Brazzle, I can’t think of a better place to put it.

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Let’s hope CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León is paying attention.

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Great ebike ad from Specialized.

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The Department of DIY strikes again, even if it’s no match for drivers’ love of parking in bike lanes.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1444081188918870020

Maybe they should have just used a more seasonal barrier, like the people below.

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It’s hard to get past the Wall Street Journal’s draconian paywall.

So you’ll have to settle for this, courtesy of Orange County bike lawyer David Huntsman.

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A British kid can’t use the bike lane during Back to School Week, because it’s full of cars lined up to get gas during the country’s crippling fuel shortage.

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Maybe one day, we’ll finally get to the point where we don’t need ghost bikes anymore.

I only hope we all live long enough to see it.

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

An older Brooklyn man was knocked off his bicycle when he was sucker-punched by a young man, in what appears to be part of a series of similar attacks on elderly people.

A British driver decides if an easily-passed bike rider is going use the roadway, then he’ll drive on the separated bike lane.

Pettiness abounds from IdiotsInCars

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

Police are looking for a man on a purple bicycle who groped a woman on a University of Hawaii campus.

A valet at a Nashville hotel was shot by a bike-riding burglar; fortunately, he was not seriously injured.

Scotland Yard is looking for a bike-riding man wanted for a series of East London sexual assaults, exposing himself and masturbating in public.

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Local

Disappointing to see the weekly newsletter from CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin discuss what his office is doing to promote transit and safer streets, without a single mention of bike lanes. Let alone bicycles.

The Easy Reader says ebikes are revolutionizing transportation in the South Bay’s beach cities.

 

State

A rare genetic brain disease robbed a marathoner of her ability to run, but she will still take part in a 220-mile Santa Barbara-to-San Diego ride on her recumbent to raise funds for the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Million Dollar Challenge fundraising ride.

A triathlete in San Luis Obispo County recalls the red light-running driver that left her with “two shattered collarbones, two broken ribs and horrific memories of the impact,” then fled the scene, leaving her bleeding in the street.

A Fresno bike rider was critically injured after allegedly running a red light; police also blamed him for riding outside the crosswalk, as if bicycles aren’t allowed in the street. Someone should tell the Fresno Bee that the victim didn’t collide with a vehicle, he was struck by a car, which had a driver.

The San Francisco Examiner looks at California’s most significant bicyclist safety initiatives. They may not be the best source, however, since they cite LA’s dusty, nearly forgotten Vision Zero and mobility plans.

Lafayette considers safety improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists after a school crossing guard was killed in a collision last month, but not before heroically pushing school kids in a crosswalk out of the way, sacrificing himself to save them. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

 

National

Popular Mechanics recommends the best cheap bikes for beginners. The real surprise isn’t the price of the bikes. It’s that Popular Mechanics is still around.

Las Vegas Raiders fans turn out on their custom, low rider bicycles to show their love for the team.

Good news from Kansas, where searchers found a 13-year old girl who had gone missing on a bike ride.

Shades of the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident. A Nebraska man crashed his bicycle after a bee got in his bike helmet and began stinging him. Except in my case, they didn’t sting me. And I got hurt a lot worse.

Even in Oklahoma, speeding drivers get the blame for a jump in traffic fatalities.

Chicago finally gets around to installing a road diet and bike lanes on the deadly street where School of Rock drummer Kevin Clark was killed riding his bike, 13 years after another bike-riding man was killed at the same site. This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work, just not so slow.

A Columbus, Ohio newspaper recommends riding the area’s scenic bike paths.

After a man was killed in Mississippi on a cross-country fundraising bike ride from Dover, New Hampshire to San Diego three years ago, his mother is planning to finish the ride, picking up where he was killed; his ride raised over 12 times his original $10,000 goal to help children with cancer.

The New York Times examines the rising carnage on the city’s streets, despite outgoing Mayor De Blasio’s promise to reduce traffic deaths under Vision Zero.

A trio of kindhearted Florida deputies got a new bike for a man after the bike he used for his transportation was stolen.

Kindhearted Fort Lauderdale firefighters replaced a young boy’s bicycle after it was burned in a house fire.

 

International

A Welsh website says life has gotten crazy at local bike shops during the pandemic.

Sponsors are bailing from the UK’s Black Cyclists Network after allegations of bullying and harassment by the organization’s founder.

Even British drivers support a 10 mph speed limit and speed cams to improve traffic problems.

No bias here. As Paris shifts its transportation focus from cars to walking, biking and transit, all the New York Times can see is the “anarchy” of scofflaw bicyclists. Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the heads-up.

There’s a special place in hell for a retired French police officer who confessed to being a serial killer and rapist in his suicide note; victims included a pair of 11-year old girls, with one victimized after being pulled off her bicycle.

An Indian paper asks if bicycling is safe for women in Chennai, concluding women on long rides face the lack of accessible and clean public toilets and the threat of harassment and discrimination as well as a lack of bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian pro Sonny Colbrelli was the surprise winner of Sunday’s Paris-Robaix on the rain-soaked cobbles; Colbrelli didn’t even expect to finish, let alone win.

Cycling Weekly offers talking points from the race.

Britain’s Lizzie Deignan overcame bloodied hands to win the inaugural women’s Paris-Robaix race, aka Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Cycling Tips offers a photo essay revealing the “grit and glory” of the women’s Hell of the North, while Cycling News offers their conclusions from the first ever women’s Paris-Roubaix, 125 years after the first men’s race.

Bicycling talks with Ayesha McGowan about her successful fight to become the first Black woman in professional cycling, and her goals to make the sport more inclusive for everyone. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

Buy a kid a bike, get free tickets to Tom Brady’s homecoming game. A little skitching will get you a big fine.

And your next bike could be a two-wheel drive, hydraulic-driven, gas-powered bicycle.

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

Windshield-biased Ocean Beach victim blaming, PCH project back on Malibu agenda, and unsafe Venice bike lanes

This is who we share the road with.

In a truly awful piece, a writer in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood complains that bike advocates are lying about this years rash of bicycling deaths to foist an anti-car agenda on the car-driving public.

He has the shameless audacity to go through each death one by one, pointing out how the victims were, or could have been, at fault, but from his windshield-biased perspective.

Never mind that he’s relying on newspaper accounts for his information, which as we’ve seen, too often don’t contain the salient facts and leave far too many blanks to fill.

And all too often, are based on police reports, which can, and usually do, reflect the officer’s windshield bias, and a basic lack of training when it comes to bike laws.

I had intended to open today’s post with a lengthy rant dissecting his arguments. But soon discovered that Peter Flax had beaten me to the punch.

Writing for Medium, Flax took the writer — and the bike-unfriendly OB Rag, which published the shameful piece — to task for the obvious victim blaming.

Obvious to anyone but the author, anyway.

The central premise of Page’s story is that bike advocates and city leader in San Diego have dishonestly tried to leverage the spate of riders being killed there to get more bike lanes built — “to further the cycling agenda” as he puts it. In his argument, the connection between people dying and the need for better riding infrastructure is mostly fictious and totally overblown. And then to prove his hypothesis, Page does some light googling and sets out to demonstrate that nearly all the cycling deaths that have occurred in San Diego were likely the riders’ own fault. It’s an eye-opening exercise in victim blaming.

Above all, the story is inhumane and recklessly presumptive. Imagine thinking that you could spend an hour on Google, read a handful of day-one news stories, and then feel equipped to pronounce that strangers in your community have been killed because of their own errors or bad judgment. Imagine being an editor or publisher and thinking you want to publish that kind of a hot take on your site.

Then Flax did something remarkable.

He reached out to the man who penned that awful piece, and held a non-judgmental online discussion — nonjudgmental on his side, anyway — on why he wrote it.

Here’s just a brief sample of the conversation.

In your story, you state quite firmly that five of these deaths were the fault of the cyclists, and that several made “poor choices” and several more died in circumstances where blame cannot be assigned. This adds up to nearly all the deaths in San Diego. Can you see how many people felt like you were engaged in victim blaming?

I did not blame any victims. I recounted that the news stories on five of these clearly showed the cyclist was at fault, that was not me making a decision based on the facts. The facts in five more do not say who was at fault, not a conclusion I came to. I have responded to several comments asking for a specific instance of victim blaming in my article. Nothing.

It’s not victim blaming these folks are upset about. They are upset because I had the temerity to challenge the cycling narrative to the public by debunking their claim about what these 12 deaths meant. My target was dishonesty.

Unfortunately, the conversation accomplished exactly what you’d expect, with the author unbudging in his unbridled victim blaming, and accusations of some subversive cyclist agenda.

But you have to give Flax credit.

That could not have been an easy conversation to have. And he went out of his way to understand the other man, and to be fair.

But this kind of attitude is, sadly, all too common.

One where we are seen, not as ordinary people simply trying to stay safe on the streets, but as wild-eyed activists pushing a radical anti-car agenda to force the unwilling car-driving public onto bicycles.

When the truth is, we’re just trying to get from here to there in one piece.

And too often, failing.

Photo from the bike path in Santa Monica, which will have to stand in for Ocean Beach.  

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Malibu’s continually rescheduled discussion of a plan to widen the shoulder on a two-mile section of PCH, instead of building bike lanes, which will presumably put bike riders in the door zone — unless maybe they won’t — is back on the agenda for tomorrow night.

Unless it gets postponed once again.

Here’s the notice from Streets For All

Ask the City of Malibu to add safe, protected bike lanes to PCH

There is a special Planning Commission Meeting (RESCHEDULED) in Malibu this Wednesday at 630pm where they are going to discuss approving a plan to widen the shoulder on 2 miles of Pacific Coast Highway between Webb Way and Puerto Canyon Road to add MORE parking.

Their proposal really only benefits cars and puts people on bikes in the “door zone.” We need them to do better – it’s time for Caltrans and Malibu to add protected bike lanes to PCH.

EMAIL THE MALIBU PLANNING COMMISSION BY TUESDAY (9.7)

Maybe the ‘Bu is just hoping we’ll all stop paying attention if they postpone it enough times.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

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The author of this tweet sent it to my attention to point out a dangerous condition on the bike lanes on Venice Blvd.

To be honest, it’s hard for me to get too worked up about this simply because it’s been going on for so long.

Whether’s it’s RVs, illegally parked semis and construction trucks, or some other obstacle, the Venice bike lanes are frequently blocked in one place or another from one end to another, and have been for years.

Enforcement doesn’t seem to do any good. Ticketing or towing drivers for parking illegally only seems to work in the moment, until they come back a day or two later.

If not the same day.

The only solution I can see is to install protected bike lanes from Downtown to the coast. And preferably designed so drivers won’t just park in it anyway, like the LAPD and delivery drivers already do in DTLA.

Which should have been done already.

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Sunset4All held a successful celebration of LA’s first public/private partnership to transform one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

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Join Tern and New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie for a Reddit chat on the two-wheeled future of transportation.

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Here’s your reminder that the annual worldwide Fancy Women Bike Ride will roll later this month.

Unfortunately, I haven’t heard anything about rides planned for Los Angeles, or anywhere in Southern California.

So let me know if you’re planning anything here.

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A Scottish driver escaped a close call when a bicycle fell off the rack of another car on the highway, and lodge in his windshield.

Maybe there really is a war on cars, and the bikes are finally striking back.

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GCN says you’re probably killing your ebike, if you have one. So stop it, already.

Meanwhile, a writer for Treehugger says she gets so many questions, she feels like a celebrity when she rides her ebike. And recommends getting one “a million times over.”

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

Nothing like an LA driver intent on sending a message. Or worse.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1434327524004163588

Evidently, there’s no such thing as a carfree event where drivers are concerned. Like the schmuck who decided to weave his car around participants in Chicago’s Bike the Drive on Sunday.

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

Probably not the best idea to repeatedly fire an antique gun for no apparent reason while riding along an Iowa bike path.

A New York State man is under arrest after using his bicycle as a weapon when police attempted to take him in on a couple outstanding warrants, before pulling a knife on them after a foot chase.

A Virginia bike rider refused to exchange information and demanded money from a driver after a minor collision; the driver wisely called the police instead, and the man on the bike rode off before they arrived.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. A 22-year old Los Angeles man is dead following a road rage confrontation after a minor fender bender. He chased the other driver when she left the scene, then was thrown to the street after somehow ending up on her hood during a second confrontation.

Streets For All is hosting another virtual happy hour a week from tomorrow, with special guest LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. Which makes it the perfect opportunity to ask why the bike plan is still just “aspirational,” and why Vision Zero and the city’s Green New Deal seem to have been pushed so far onto the back burner they’re in danger of falling off entirely.

Mark your calendar for the Los Angeles edition of the World Naked Bike Ride on September 18th, where you can go as bare as you dare except for your face, which will need a mask.

 

State

Police in La Jolla busted a suspected serial burglar and bike thief who had been raiding back yards and garages for months; he’s now being held on $300,000 bond.

After talking with other people who’d done it, a San Francisco writer decides to try riding a bike up the area’s steepest hill, with grades as stiff as 30%

A pair of looters were arrested for stealing bicycles from South Lake Tahoe homes after the town was evacuated because of the Caldor Fire.

Oops. A Chico man was busted after police stopped him riding a $5,000 mountain bike, then searched his home and found several stolen bike frames and parts, along with a few grams of meth.

 

National

Your next bike helmet could come loaded with an augmented reality and artificial intelligence-enhanced heads-up display, complete with a 360-degree camera.

After walking away from his IT job, a Portland man is devoting himself full-time to cleaning up the city’s pathways, collecting trash in a trailer towed behind his bike.

Reno bike advocates are up in arms after the city calls for a $100,000 study to reroute a planned bike lane, because the casinos complained that they don’t want one in front of their businesses. Apparently failing to grasp that bike riders are used to gambling, since we have to do it on a daily basis.

Nice gesture from Denver Bronco’s general manager, the rest of the front office and the coaching staff, as they built 75 bicycles for underprivileged second grade students at a local elementary school in honor of former Bronco’s coach Greg Knapp, who was killed in a Bay Area bicycling collision in July.

Kansas police insist they’ve got the right man now, after arresting a motorist for shooting and killing a man, apparently to steal his bicycle, after they’d both visited the same business; another man was cleared of the crime after being arrested earlier, but was still being held on outstanding warrants.

Sometimes, the sound of gunfire is just a bike tire popping in an Arkansas Walmart.

A Cincinnati student newspaper calls for keeping a popup bike lane that was installed in a weekend for just fifty grand.

A Connecticut congressman is riding his bike across the state to promote all the state has to offer. Which apparently isn’t much, since his ride will be just a hair over 91 miles. 

A New York man was rescued after spending anywhere from two to eight hours trapped down a shaft in the Queens woods when he somehow fell down it during a bike ride through the park.

New Yorkers are criticized for risking the lives of bicycle delivery riders, who somehow stayed on the job despite the incredible risks posed by the recent Hurricane Ida.

Sad news from New Jersey, where nationally recognized cyclist and triathlete Arland Macasieb was fighting for his life after being run down by the driver of a classic ’59 Corvette as he was riding his bike across a freeway onramp; Macasieb is also a repeat national trial champ and national record holder in the Philippines.

A Philadelphia magazine profiles North Philly’s Bilenky Cycle Works and their high-end, handmade bicycles.

 

International

The shortage of bicycles and parts fueled by the pandemic bike boom is now expected to last through the end of next year.

Credit the Romans with the first Low Traffic Neighborhoods — or Slow Streets, as we call them on this side of the Atlantic.

He gets it. A British writer says there are no winners in the debate over cars versus bikes.

Inspiring story from a 14-year old English boy who was told he could never ride a bicycle due to his autism and hydrocephalus, and not only learned to ride, but raised the equivalent of nearly $14,000 for his scout troop by riding 1,000 mile across the length of the UK. And had to overcome the theft of his bike just days before he started.

What does it say about our streets that there’s even a need for a $1,000 German made backpack that becomes a full torso airbag in the event of a crash?

BMW wants to put you on a ped-assist ebike with a whopping 186-mile range — and a top speed of 37 mph, which would appear to make it illegal under California law. And would require a driver’s license and motorcycle helmet even if it’s not.

Gee, it’s such a relief to know there’s no suspicion of foul play in the death of a Singapore man who was dragged more than 100 feet under a bus, after he allegedly ran a red light on his bicycle and was right hooked by the driver, who claims he never saw him.

Speaking of Singapore, a woman had a far too close call when she fell off her bike and nearly landed in the path of a large truck. Although all the commenters seemed to care about is that the group of bicyclists she was with wasn’t supposed to be on that highway to begin with.

Still in Singapore, a bike delivery rider says why bother with handlebars, and builds an AI chip that can steer his bike for him.

 

Competitive Cycling

To the surprise of no one, Primož Roglič won the Vuelta by a whopping margin of 4 minutes and 42 seconds, after taking four stages in the process.

Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez apologized for giving up and quitting in the middle of the penultimate Vuelta stage, after falling off a possible podium finish when he was dropped in an attack, slipping from third to sixth before abandoning.

Pez Cycling News shares their final rant from, and about, the Vuelta.

For reasons known only to them, media outlets across the US suddenly decided to share a 2013 CNN piece offering fast facts about Lance Armstrong, as if the seven-time ex-Tour de France winner was somehow once again relevant. Which he’s not.

Sad news from Spain, where a competitor in a Córdoba mountain bike race was found dead a short distance off the road after going missing during the race; the cause of his death was unknown.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to wear spandex when you ride, but try not to look like the Michelin man. If you’re carrying a baggie full of crack on your bike — and have an outstanding warrant for murder — put a damn light on it, already.

And if drivers keep blocking the bike lane, just move it to the other side of the street to keep them out.

Right?

………

L’shanah tovah to everyone celebrating 5782 today!

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

Banks trial delayed again, German gets 15 years for killing bike rider Bihn Ngo, and Stop As Yield bill goes to governor

Let’s start with a few more notes from our anonymous correspondent, while we wait for her next update from the Scarpa murder trial.

Well, on October 1st, Mariah Kandise Banks has yet another reset for a preliminary hearing in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frasier. Time to review matters is needed by both the latest Deputy DA assigned to her case AND the counsel Banks has chosen to replace her previous, recently deceased defense attorney. This gives Miss Banks a spell to recover, as she seemed to be under the weather with a deep, phlegmy cough. (I wish I would have double-masked.)

I spoke briefly to the DA. He stated that he had personally spoken to Woon’s mama, and I am skeptical, because if I were the mother of the deceased I would absolutely have mentioned that the perpetrator’s social media shows her in violation of the terms of her bail, but the DA did not forward any such mention to the judge.

Judge Erika Estrada is the new judge presiding over courtroom 38, as Judge Hobbs has been assigned to a different one. I am furious on behalf of the Foltz court staffers who have died of COVID that, last summer, Hobbs chose to let a witness testify without a mask. Especially since the witness was a cop, and local law enforcement agencies have had a statistically high infection rate among their members. Ugh. So disappointing.

(Ed. note: Peter Flax wrote movingly about Woon’s death, and his mother’s long-delayed fight for justice, which is now two years longer. 

………

Repeat drunk driver and former bartender Justin Scott German, who ran down Binh Ngo in 2017, accepted a plea bargain last week. He left Ngo’s broken body and parts of his shiny red Mustang lying in the road. Family members who noticed his incomplete vehicle also noted details in the news of a local crash. They asked a neighbor (a retired police officer) how to proceed, and he called it in.

German has been sentenced to 15 years in state prison; 10 for murder and an additional 5 for hit-and-run, to be served consecutively. Currently he’s chillin’ in county until next week, when he has his arbitrary firearms relinquishment hearing.

………

My laptop fried to a crisp last month, and I had nothing backed up.

Nothing.

Most of my court notes are hand scribbled, and my day planner’s good ol’ hard copy too, so there’s some consolation.

But I had been collecting basic info bits for a mapping project, and they are irretrievable.

Several years ago, a nonprofit bike agency back east (Bike Baltimore maybe?) had a map documenting collisions of cars vs buildings. I understand the importance of such an endeavor, because those selfish buildings aren’t licensed, and have you ever seen one wearing a helmet? Ever?!? Every year, these damn buildings inflict hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of dollars worth of damage to vehicles. HOW DARE THEY?!? They must be publicly shamed!

Anyway. I had begun documenting collisions involving buildings and assorted public infrastructure. Like the Edison pole on Huntington Drive that a speeder knocked into a backyard swimming pool on a sunny weekend afternoon. Another collision on Huntington Drive Wednesday involved a collision with an LA County Fire rig, which sent a Toyota into someone’s yard. And the hydrant (one of about 900 annually in LA County alone) that got sheared on Alameda on Sunday. And the fence at the Long Beach DMV that got taken out Monday, never mind the fence at the Hollywood post office. And these apartments, whose occupants should’ve just stayed out of the way. Did I mention some geezer tried to turn my local drugstore into a drive-thru?

These things happen ALL. THE. TIME. and rarely make the news. We just shrug, repair the property, and move on. C’est la vie. So it goes. Pertinent Onion headline.

Photo shows Bank’s alleged victim Frederick “Woon” Frazier in better days.

………

Now we can all breathe a little easier.

It looks like AB 122 has been approved by the state assembly, after it was revised in the senate.

https://twitter.com/JeremyBWhite/status/1433185054750953473

Now it’s on to Governor Newsom’s desk for his signature. But even if he’s recalled, it looks like he’ll have more than a month after the election to sign the bill.

So I wouldn’t expect any news until after the September 14th recall election, as he’s likely to avoid action that could give anyone a reason to vote yes.

Even if research does show it’s safer for bike riders to yield instead of stop.

Thanks to Bicycling Monterey’s Mari Lynch for the recall info.

………

Yes, former LA Councilmember Marvin Braude was one of us.

And there’s a reason why the beachfront bike path is named after him.

………

Nothing like letting a hit-and-run driver get away with it, just because they got away with it.

https://twitter.com/BarbChamberlain/status/1433100471057539080

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

It looks like there really is a war on cars, after all. But this time, it’s Mother Nature who’s looking for revenge.

https://twitter.com/motorisms/status/1433260352209309699

Seriously, though, let’s all say a few prayers and send some good thoughts to everyone affected by Hurricane Ida and it’s remaining remnants. Even the ones in cars. 

………

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

No bias here. An Iowa radio personality complains that the state’s bicyclists are dangerously out of control, before noting that it’s just a small minority that causes the problems. But they should stay out of his way.

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

A New Jersey man was lucky to escape with two months behind bars and three years probation for breaking the jaw of a man with a disability, after an argument that began as he rode his bike by the victim. And ended when he circled back on his bike to punch the guy in the face. See hell, special place, for attacking someone with a disability. Schmuck.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Spectrum News 1 looks forward to California’s forthcoming $10 million ebike rebate program.

Kern County is hoping to salvage a plan to extend the eastern end of the Kern River bike path by avoiding the golf course that scuttled earlier plans. Or better yet, just seize the place by eminent domain, and build affordable housing on the damn thing. And the bike path.

This year’s Eroica California has been postponed until next year, and the 2021 Mammoth Gran Fondo has been cancelled, due to the closure of national forest lands and the strain on firefighting resources.

 

National

Amazon is recalling 860 TurboSke Kids Toddler bike helmets sold through the site because they don’t meet CPSC helmet standards; only size small helmets are affected.

While European shipping companies have been quick to embrace e-cargo bikes, their American counterparts are dragging their feet. For reason’s that should be obvious to anyone who’s paid attention to the lack of safe infrastructure and the sorry state of our streets. 

A Portland woman discusses how she learned to quiet her demons and keep riding through her pregnancy.

A 16-year old Idaho boy completed the nearly 1,200-mile Silk Road Mountain Race through the mountains of northwest Kyrgyzstan, finishing in 11 days and nine hours. So what were you doing at 16?

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would steal a custom-made adaptive bike from a Minneapolis man with a disability. Or any other adaptive bicycle, for that matter.

Tragic news from Queens, where a nine-year old boy was killed in a fire started by charging an ebike battery. No word on what kind of bike or battery was involved.

A New Jersey monument preserves the actual brakeless, fixed gear, steel frame, wooden-wheel bicycle ridden to victory in the first Tour of Somerville race 81 years ago.

A Pittsburgh bike rider confirms that when it comes to protected bike lanes, if you build it, they will come.

That’s more like it. A stoned and drinking Pennsylvania driver will spend up to eleven years behind bars for critically injuring a 13-year old boy riding a bicycle; over a year later, the boy still requires 24-hour care for a traumatic brain injury.

A bike-riding Mississippi woman was apparently killed by a sentient, self-driving 30-year old pickup. Otherwise, the story would have mentioned that the damn thing had a driver. Right?

 

International

Road.cc says new theories changing occupational health and safety could improve road safety, as well as eliminating the attitude of us versus them on our streets.

Mérida, Yucatan is moving forward with plans to build a bike lane network equal to 10% of the 2,900-mile road space devoted to cars. That should be the minimal goal for any city, anywhere.

Kate and William’s kids are all one of us, as Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis spent the summer taking long walks, fishing and riding horses and bikes on an extended stay with the queen in her Scottish retreat. Although the 95-year old queen probably didn’t ride bikes with them.

A UK bike mechanic is giving back to the country’s health workers fighting the pandemic by repairing stolen bikes recovered by the police, and giving them to National Health Service staffers who’ve had their own bikes stolen.

No surprise here, as Copenhagen is once again ranked the world’s most bike-friendly city, followed by Tallinn, Estonia and Amsterdam. Mad City was the only American city to make the list at #27, just behind Ottawa, Canada.

Dutch ebike maker VanMoof has raised a whopping $182 million over the past two years — not counting crowdfunding campaigns — making it the world’s most funded ebike company.

Proof of concept. An Austrian industrial design student has put over 620 miles on his bizarre looking circular-framed touring bike that folds out into its own camper.

A Malaysian website remembers the legendary Lion of Malaya, who fought the Japanese during WWII by smuggling leaflets hidden in the hollow tubes of his bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

To the surprise of no one, Primož Roglič is back in the Vuelta’s red leader’s jersey as the race returned to the mountains for a couple intense stages, over two minutes ahead of second place Enric Mas. American Sepp Kuss is five minutes back after fighting off challengers to finish second in yesterday’s 17th stage.

Oddly named Norwegian cyclist Odd Christian Eiking probably won’t have to worry about making sure they get his name right on the Vuelta trophy anymore, after slipping off the red jersey and out of the top ten.

USA Cycling announced the roster for the road world championships in Flanders later this month; Amber Neben is questionable after she was left-crossed by a driver while riding on PCH in Corona Del Mar two weeks ago, breaking her pelvis in three place.

American paracyclist Oksana Masters won two road cycling golds in two days at the Tokyo Paralympics, despite never having won a previous road race.

Red Bull looks back at the rapid evolution of mountain bikes over the 20-year history of the Red Bull Rampage.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike might not have a chain, belt or anything else connecting the crank with the wheel. If it doesn’t have pedals, it ain’t an ebike.

And why you should never mess with a Victorian woman on a bicycle.

………

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

Keeping dangerous drivers driving until it’s too late, Metro neighborhood bike guides, and Brompton guests on Ted Lasso

Once again, authorities have managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road and behind the wheel until it’s too late.

A 90-year Chico old man faces up to one year behind bars after pleading no contest to killing a 75-year old doctor in a dangerous pass, sideswiping his bicycle after failing to give a safe passing distance.

Shockingly, the crash came just three years after the then 84-year old man hit another bike rider on the same damn road.

Which is exactly when he should have been forced to give up his keys.

Permanently.

Admittedly, it’s difficult to know when an older person can no longer drive safely. And I know from experience just how hard it is to take the keys from a loved one.

But it’s the state’s job to do exactly that. And before they kill someone.

Which makes the DMV, police, and any prosecutors and judges who may have been involved in the earlier case just as responsible for this doctor’s death as the man who actually killed him.

And who shouldn’t have been allowed to drive in the first place.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

………

CicLAvia wants to remind you that Metro has lots of recommendations of where to ride in transit-accessible neighborhoods throughout the city.

Meanwhile, CicLAvia returns this Sunday with a short 2.25-mile route in Wilmington.

Which makes this a great one to try if you want to walk or skate the route instead of riding.

………

SCAG’s award-winning Go Human campaign is hosting an online conversation next Wednesday to discuss what works for advocacy work.

………

You’re invited to join the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s free virtual bike summit today and tomorrow.

………

The subtitles are Spanish, but the audio is in English.

As is the Brompton that’s becoming a featured character in the Apple TV+ series.

Spotted in Ted Lasso S2.E02 from Brompton

The link above is in case the embedded Reddit video doesn’t work. Which happens a lot.

………

GCN offers a beginner’s guide to riding a bike.

………

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

The battle over whether bicyclists should ride abreast is bursting into open verbal warfare in the UK, as the founder of a motoring group warned against “fueling a war between drivers and cyclists,” even though his group fired the first shot by accusing the government of focusing transportation policy on “the privileged cycling few.”

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

The recent rash of bike-riding gropers has reared its ugly head in Palo Alto, where two women were assaulted by the same man in separate incidents.

………

Local

The Easy Reader says now you can stop in for a hot burger or pancakes at Oceans Café & Grill at Dockweiler Beach the next time you ride the South Bay stretch of the beachfront Marvin Bruade Bike Trail.

 

State

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a Solano Beach man saved the life of another bike rider who collapsed on a bike path from a sudden, massive heart attack, performing CPR, without training, for five minutes until paramedics arrived.

A San Clemente man rode his bike across the country to attend his 50th high school reunion, while raising roughly $30,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

A Bay Area panel considers whether the quick build bike and pedestrian projects that popped up in cities surrounding the San Francisco Bay will survive the pandemic. Meanwhile, a former San Francisco realtor worries about added traffic surrounding the city’s Slow Streets, even though the people who live on the streets love them.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for City Observatory says yes, we need electric cars — but with a lot less driving.

CleanTechnica offers advice on commuting by ebike in a bike lane-free suburb.

Salt Lake Magazine says there’s no bust built into Utah’s pandemic bike boom. Although a Portland weekly isn’t so sure, especially when it comes to ebikes.

Sad news from my Colorado hometown, where longtime bicycle industry veteran George Parry died at the all-too-young age of 58 earlier this month. He spent stints as a designer and engineer with GT Bicycles and Schwinn/GT, Cannondale and Niner bikes, after getting his start as a mechanic at my favorite LBS back in the day.

Must be a small company. An Oklahoma City bikeshare provider says someone stole a full third of their bicycles, then listed serial numbers for the five missing bikes. Yes, five.

They get it. A Chicago panel says the disability and bicycle communities should join forces to promote their common interests, while a Pennsylvania TV station reminds us that an adaptive bike can be life-changing for a disabled child. Or adult, for that matter.

A Minnesota art installation features 857 pinwheels and butterflies to honor John Egbers, who was killed by a distracted driver while participating in the 2018 Trans Am cross-country bike race, along with the 856 other people whose lives were stolen by traffic violence while riding their bikes that year. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

The nonprofit 9/11 National Memorial Trail Alliance is hosting its 3rd annual Tour de Trail, a 24-mile ride to the Pennsylvania memorial for the victims of Flight 93 in honor of the 20th anniversary of America’s worst terrorist attack.

A Florida man will spend the next six years behind bars for stealing a $3,000 bicycle from a bike shop floor, then turning around and pawning it for $500.

 

International

British royal-in-law James Middleton introduces his new role as a bike riding, blogging dog whisperer.

No irony here. A Scottish rock band is offering free tickets and other swag to anyone who can help recover the stolen bicycle that was taken from the band’s guitarist for the group that calls itself Mark Sharp & The Bicycle Thieves.

 

Competitive Cycling

Say it ain’t so, Joe. The legendary Katie F’n Compton was banned for four years after testing positive for an undisclosed anabolic agent in an out-of-competition drug test last fall; the 42-year old, 15-time national ‘cross champ won’t be eligible to compete again until late 2024, after her suspension was backdated to the date of the failed test. But the doping era is over, right? I mean, that’s what they keep telling us.

The Los Angeles-based LA Sweat women’s cycling team is working to identify and encourage the next generation with their Junior Development Program. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

American Olympic BMX cyclist Connor Fields says he’s on the road to recovery after suffering a brain hemorrhage in a massive crash in Tokyo, but has no memory of several days, including the crash itself.

FloBikes looks forward to the upcoming mountain bike world championships in Trentino, Italy at the end of this month.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to do bike stunts on the front entrance to the local DOT office — in full view of the security cams, no less.

And that feeling when no one recognizes the random, 4-time Tour de France-winning “bicycle hiker” who rode into the shot.

Thanks to David Huntsman for forwarding the video.

………

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

LA traffic deaths up while bike deaths spike, 19-year old San Pedro bike rider missing, and murder charge in AZ attack

No surprise here.

LAist reports that traffic deaths are up in Los Angeles for the first six months of this year, compared to last year’s already too high death total, with someone killed on the mean streets of LA an average of every 30 hours.

And it’s not just the people in the big, dangerous machines paying the price.

According to the site, serious pedestrian injuries are up 45%, while serious bicycling injuries climbed 34%. And bicycling deaths are up a whopping 40%.

It should also come as no surprise that hit-and-run deaths are up 25%.

In other words, we’re not exactly on track to meet Indian Ambassador Eric Garcetti’s — oops, I mean Mayor Garcetti’s — goal of eliminating traffic deaths in the City of Angels in the next three years.

Never mind all those safer streets we were promised as part of the mayor’s Green New Deal, which will now be up to whoever takes his place — thanks to Garcetti’s remarkably consistent failure to follow through on those promises.

………

Authorities are searching for a 19-year old man who was last seen riding his bicycle in San Pedro Monday morning.

Jankell Hernan Aguilar is described as 5’6″ tall and 150 pounds, with “wavy black hair, a thin black beard along his jawline and brown eyes.”

Anyone with information is urged to call the LASD Missing Persons Unit at 323/890-5500.

………

As expected, prosecutors in Arizona have amended the charges against pickup driver Shawn Michael Chock to add a felony murder count.

Chock is the driver who allegedly aimed his truck at a group of bicyclists participating in a senior’s race in Show Low on June 19th, intentionally slamming his truck into ten people; 58-year old Jeremy Barrett died nearly a month later.

Chock was shot by police after standoff behind a hardware store, but has recovered from his injuries, and remains jailed on half a million dollars bail.

………

Make that $190 now.

………

There’s a newly completed 13-mile trail leading from Kenneth Hahn to the coast.

Which doesn’t do a lot of good if you can’t get there safely.

………

Sadly, it doesn’t take long for most Vision Zero programs to turn into empty promises when elected leaders lack the political will to follow through.

And Los Angeles is the poster child for those failed efforts.

So yes, it’s great that a federal Vision Zero bill has been introduced in Congress.

Let’s just hope it’s more than empty words this time.

Meanwhile, a second bill was introduced by Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians.

The Vulnerable Road Users Safety Act implements National Transportation Safety Board recommendations, while directing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Highway Administration to —

  • Develop and update performance standards for visibility enhancement systems (i.e. for blindspot detection), connected vehicle technology, and vehicle headlamp systems
  • Establish standards for vehicle bumpers
  • Establish performance standards for automated pedestrian detection systems like automatic braking sensors
  • Include separated bike lanes and intersection safety treatments in the FHWA’s Every Day Counts initiatives and Proven Safety Countermeasures program
  • Improve and coordinate information collection to share, combine and publish detailed crash data allowing policy makers and governments to make data informed decisions

………

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

Toronto bike riders are “annoyed” that drivers are pushing planters into bike lanes to create illegal parking spaces, blocking the bike lanes they were intended to protect. Annoyed seems pretty mild under the circumstances; more like pissed off and endangered.

Three British bike riders were collateral damage when a suspected drunk driver made an ill-advised pass, crashing into another driver before his car was pushed into a group of bicyclists; all three victims were hospitalized, with one suffering life-threatening injuries.

You’ve got to be kidding. A driver in the UK gets annoyed at following a bike rider, and responds with a close pass and a brake check, followed by a punishment pass for good measure. And all he gets is a stern talking to from the cops.

………

Local

Streets For All is hosting another Zoom happy hour at 5 pm on August 11th, featuring Burbank Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, who has been fighting for safer streets as chair of the Transportation Committee.

NPR picks up the sordid tale of the $200,000 in out-of-network medical debt that buried LA’s Phil Gaimon when a major track cycling crash ended his efforts to make the US Olympic team, even though he had insurance coverage. And even they agree he got hosed.

Outside calls Catalina Island a hidden gem for gravel biking.

 

State

Encinitas residents are accusing the mayor and councilmembers of cronyism in approving an $11 million settlement for a local bike advocate who was severely injured when she was run down from behind riding on sharrows. Something tells me she’d be happy to give all of it back if it meant not having to deal with the pain and lasting injuries.

Squatters took over a historic Baptist church in El Cajon during the pandemic lockdown, using it for a chop shop for stolen bikes.

 

National

Trek finally figures out that helping more people ride means more sales for them, starting a nonprofit foundation to help build bicycling infrastructure and mountain bike trails. And outlines the steps they’re taking to improve sustainability.

Conde Nast Traveler talks with author Jennifer Weiner about how she got hooked on solo bikepacking on the Great Allegheny Passage Trail.

This is what it looks like when a Seattle cop right hooks a man on a bicycle.

Great idea. A Colorado bike shop is offering a 10% discount to anyone who picks up at least ten pieces of trash off a bike trail.

North Dakota bike riders can celebrate this Sunday by legally rolling stop signs, when a new Idaho Stop Law goes into effect allowing riders to treat stops as yields.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 95-year old man is taking part in the nearly 500-mile RAGBRAI, the eighth time he’s taken part in the popular ride across Iowa.

An Iowa town remembers a 2008 EF-5 that devastated the region with a sculpture of a tornado made entirely of bicycles.

Houston bike riders call on the city to get more aggressive in implementing Vision Zero to meet the 2030 deadline.

After suffering the embarrassment of a group of white cops filmed arresting a Black bike rider for not having a bicycle license, Perth Amboy, New Jersey is eliminating their bicycle registration requirement. But it’s still illegal to “practice any trick or fancy riding.” Because we all know how damaging “fancy riding” is to the fragile fabric of society.

Seriously? An Orlando urologist says men should maybe cut back on their time in the saddle if they’re trying to have a baby — and not spend more that two hours on a bike regardless. If I’d thought riding my bike would have provided birth control in my single days, I would ridden a lot more than I did. And I rode a hell of a lot.

 

International

An Ontario woman says you don’t have to be skinny to ride a bike.

Toronto is installing centerline speed bumps extending into intersections to keep drivers from dangerously cutting corners.

A London man will spend the next two years behind bars for jumping a red light and slamming into a 72-year old man crossing in a crosswalk, who later died; the Albanian bike rider turned himself in after initially fleeing because he was in the UK illegally.

About damn time. Great Britain is revising the country’s Highway Code to give pedestrians and people on bicycles priority over motor vehicles on the streets, although it still has to be approved by Parliament. Now do it on this side of the ocean.

UK Prime Minister’s Boris Johnson tells local governments to leave bike lanes in place for at least a year, or face a cut in funding.

An Irish bike advocacy group demands immediate action in response to a 13% jump in traffic deaths so far this year. Let’s hope their government listens better that ours does.

Organizers have called off a planned 124-mile Aussie charity ride, after concluding that the “appalling standard” of Tasmanian drivers, combined with “poor road infrastructure” and drivers’ “hatred towards cyclists” made it too dangerous for people on two wheels.

In a brutal irony, an Australian bike rider was killed in a collision moments after he ignored a police attempt to stop him for riding without lights or a helmet, which is required in the country.

A writer for Cycling Tips truly captures the beauty of bicycling with a moving piece recalling a ride through Australian woods to heal from the pandemic year and the death of his father from cancer — but not until his father got to meet his new grandson for the first time.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic upgraded his 2017 world time trial silver medal with gold in the same event at the Tokyo Olympics.

A German official was sent packing after using a racial slur in urging Nikias Arndt to catch up to cyclists from Algeria and Eritrea in the men’s time trial; German cycling federation sports director Patrick Moster’s comment was picked up on camera and broadcast across the nation.

Dutch cycling great Annemiek van Vleuten finally got her Olympic gold in the time trial, days after mistakenly celebrating what she thought was a win in the road race.

Forget the Olympics. The race to watch this Saturday is the eight-year old Telluride 100 mountain bike race, sanctioned by UCI for the first time.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’re falsely labeled a “brutal bike thief” on social media for picking up the bike your neighbor was donating for underprivileged children. Do home runs count for more if they nearly hit a bike rider outside the park?

And maybe they could have worded this headline just a little better.

Unless the bicyclists were charged with murder, too.

………

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

SD bike riders protest deadly streets, former WY senator dies from bike crash, and LA Times says slow speeding drivers

It looks like San Diego bike riders have finally had enough.

After a horrifying 12 bicycling deaths in San Diego County so far this year — roughly double what the county might experience in a typical year — dozens of local residents held a protest ride and press conference to demand safer streets.

That bloody toll includes five people who were killed on their bikes in just the past month.

“Grief makes you angry,” San Diego Bicycle Coalition executive director Andy Hanshaw said. “If there’s not a dedicated path that’s seperate from the road, then we need a safer bike lane on the street, and your typical white stripe is not safe enough.”

Beloved bicyclist and San Diego State University administrator Laura Shinn was killed on Pershing Drive last Tuesday. Police said she was in the bike lane, wearing a helmet, when a driver hit her from behind.

Graphics by tomexploresla

“A lot of people are feeling hesitant,” bicyclist Elizabeth Mayer said. “They don’t want this freedom option of transportation taken from them because they’re afraid of cars.”

Although someone might want to tell NBC-7 that not everyone who rides a bicycle is an “athlete.”

………

Sad news from Wyoming, where former US Senator Mike Enzi has died following some sort of bicycling crash.

According to the local Gillette, Wyoming newspaper, the 77-year old politician was transported to a medical center near my Colorado hometown after he was involved in a “serious bicycle accident” Friday night.

He died of his injuries on Monday.

Newsweek reports that Enzi was found lying in the roadway next to his bicycle, about the same time his Apple Watch sent a distress call indicating a bad fall.

The magazine reports he had suffered a broken neck and broken ribs; there’s no word on whether he fell off his bike, or may have been the victim of a hit-and-run.

Regardless of whether or not you agreed with his politics, he devoted his life to serving his state and his country.

And he was one of us.

………

They get it.

The Los Angeles Times says it’s time to stop letting drivers set speed limits with their right foot.

The Los Angeles City Council was recently forced to raise speed limits on sections of Olympic and Overland boulevards in West L.A. — where a woman was killed this year by a recklessly speeding driver.

Why? Because an outdated and absurd law essentially requires cities to set street limits based on how fast people are already driving on a stretch of road — not whether that speed is safe.

This law is based on a flawed methodology, according to a report released last year. It relies on the overly optimistic assumption that most drivers will drive at a safe and reasonable speed, and that it’s safer to set speed limits that reflect the “natural” flow of traffic.

The paper calls for passage of AB 43, which would modify the deadly 85th Percentile Law to allow cities and counties to lower speed limits by a modest 5 mph on streets with injury high rates of injuries, or heavy bike and pedestrian use.

What we really need is to repeal the 85th Percentile Law entirely.

But until we can get there, this is a start.

………

This is what it looks like to ride the new bike lane on New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

Just don’t count on riding it yourself for the next few months.

………

Local

Bird is rolling out their next generation e-scooters in Long Beach this week.

 

State

Clean Technica says California’s new ebike rebate program is a done deal. But securing the funding is not the same as approving the program.

Former San Luis Obispo councilmember Robert “Red” Davis passed away peacefully in his home over the weekend. The 76-year old bike advocate had served as president of the SLO Bike Club, as well as chairing the Morro Bay Citizens Bike Committee and the County Bicycle Advisory Committee; a local bikeway is named in his honor.

A San Francisco TV station tries out a $5,500 ebike intended to replace a car, and capable of carrying two passengers and up to 400 pounds at 30 mph. However, that top speed means you’d be required to wear a helmet, and prohibited from using bike paths and protected bike lanes.

San Francisco Streetsblog says a pilot speed cam program may be exactly what the city needs to meet its Vision Zero goals in the next three years. On the other hand, Los Angeles has virtually zero chance of meeting its goal of ending traffic deaths by 2025, by which time the mayor who committed to it will likely be serving as ambassador to India, anyway. 

Sacramento officials identify the 76-year old man who died a month after he was run down by a drunk motorist illegally driving on a bike path.

 

National

TikTok’s Mr. Barricade discusses the benefits and practicality of quick-build bike lanes.

The New Republic says car sales and usage are on the rise, crushing hopes of reclaiming streets for bike riders and pedestrians.

A pair of Navy vets discuss their 1,300-mile bike ride to visit sites marking the 9/11 attacks to honor those who died that day.

The kindhearted staff of a Wyoming co-op dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a young girl, after someone stole her bicycle and tried to fix its flat tire at their shop.

Someone please tell San Antonio, Texas that a 35 mph speed limit does not a Slow Street make.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 75-year old Kansas man is planning to ride 75 miles to celebrate his birthday, while raising funds to help former inmates reenter society.

There’s a special place in hell for the person who jumped out of a car and shot a 12-year old St. Louis boy, just missing his 11-year old companion; fortunately, the boy is expected to survive.

Olympic silver medalist Brent Emery now devotes his efforts to building custom adaptive bicycles for kids with disabilities; Emery won his medal for team pursuit in the ’84 Los Angeles games.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A legend in local television was killed when a driver ran down a 77-year old former Florida TV executive in the fog on Saturday morning; Stephen McKenney Steck had ridden his bike every day for the last seven years.

Speaking of a special place in hell, that goes double for whoever viciously beat and robbed a 68-year old New York grandfather as he rode a bikeshare bike.

 

International

Raleigh wants to replace your car, too, for the low, low price of just $6,000. Apparently, “replace your car” is code for a cargo bike that costs as much as a used car.

Toronto bike riders are complaining after police ticketed dozens of bicyclists for speeding and blowing a stop sign in a local park, setting up a speed trap on a street where the limit was 20 mph for everyone. Although, as another story that was hidden behind a paywall wondered, is it really fair to ticket bike riders who don’t have a speedometer?

The world’s longest solar power-generating bike path is now open in the Netherlands, stretching over 1,000 feet.

Hats off to Mohammad Ashraf, who is completing a 2,300-mile ride across India, despite having to ride with just one leg after the other was paralyzed in a 2017 bicycling crash, which also limited use of his right hand.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Tom Pidcock took gold in men’s Olympic mountain biking in his first Olympics, after barely qualifying as U-23 rider.

Mathieu van der Poel blames a missing wooden ramp for crashing out of the mountain bike race, saying it had been there during his practice rides.

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten says she’s “gutted” after falsely claiming victory in the road race after losing track of Anna Kiesenhofer, who finished over a minute ahead of her to claim the gold.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a cross-state group ride crosses paths with a police chase. Nothing like being 300 miles into a 1,200 cross-country bike ride because you lost a bet.

And don’t count on riding BMW’s compact, folding ped-assist e-cargo bike anytime soon.

Or maybe ever.

………

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

Unconfirmed report of West LA bicycling death, fighting for racial justice and equity in bicycling, and Metro Bike turns 5

One quick note —

Get out on your bike and enjoy the summer weather with the three-day Independence Day holiday coming up this weekend.

But remember drivers are likely to be distracted, and possibly under the influence after outdoor barbecues and picnics. 

So have fun. But remember to ride safely and defensively. 

I expect to see you back here safe and sound on Tuesday. 

………

Once again, we have a credible report of a fatal bicycling collision, but still have to wait for confirmation.

KNX 1070 helicopter pilot Scott Burt tweeted that traffic had been halted on a dangerous stretch of Sunset Blvd between the 405 Freeway and Veteran Ave in West Los Angeles, due to what he termed a deadly vehicle versus bicycle incident.

The photo appears to line up with the intersection of Sunset and North Lenroy Ave. Although it’s hard to tell just what we’re looking at in the photo, beyond the officers and patrol cars securing the scene and investigating the crash.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more soon.

I can’t begin to tell you how tired I am of this crap.

Is it really too much to ask for the right to ride a damn bike and expect to return home in one piece afterwards?

………

Bike equity and racial justice advocate Tamika Butler has penned another powerful piece for Bicycling, arguing that we’re still not seeing the inclusivity promised by the bike industry in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis.

Never mind that people of color don’t experience the same level of safety on our streets as white riders.

Or rather, the lack of it.

We ride bikes, we get how dangerous this can be. Yet, white advocates didn’t realize that the color of someone’s skin meant that they were more likely not to be seen by a driver while at the very same time exponentially more visible to police. For bicycle advocates of color, especially Black advocates, the goal was never to make streets safe-er. Instead, we are fighting for the same baseline level of safety that white cyclists enjoy.

We worry about being doored or hit by a careless and distracted driver just like all cyclists. But we also carry the burden of knowing that our risks are amplified because we can’t ride around with the protection of whiteness. We too want the experience of riding our bikes without worrying whether people think they look too expensive for us to own, or living in a neighborhood that isn’t deemed too poor or too Black to deserve infrastructure.

Seriously, read it.

And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you, apparently forgetting their commitment to widely share stories about racial equity.

………

Happy birthday to Metro Bike, which is celebrating five years since the bikeshare system was introduced in DTLA.

To mark the occasion, they’re offering free 30 minute Metro Bike rides and the sticker below, or half off an annual membership.

………

Now that’s more like it.

Amazon announced a new program to reimburse employees up to $400 a month for using a bicycle to commute to work instead of driving.

The exact amount will vary by city — it’s just $175 a month for workers in Nashville. However, it’s unclear if it just applies to the company’s five regional centers, or if the benefit will be available to workers at Amazon’s distribution centers and warehouses, as well local delivery drivers.

Now we just need to convince other employees that it’s in their benefit to pay workers not to drive instead of paying for employee parking.

………

A London bike rider was lucky to walk away from a head-on crash, as a driver suddenly swerved onto the wrong side of the street before continuing on to crash into a pole on the sidewalk.

https://twitter.com/standardnews/status/1410646692416925697

………

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

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for a 25-year old Detroit man, who can expect to spend the next 14 to 25 years behind bars after admitting to breaking into a woman’s home and raping her, then fleeing by bike.

………

Local

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives busted a pair of men accused of mercilessly shooting two other men as they rode past the victims on a bicycle and skateboard; they also arrested three other people, and seized a number of ghost guns.

 

State

Encinitas will hold a meeting to talk ebikes at some underdetermined date, to address fears from residents freaking out over the ped-assist bikes in the coastal San Diego County town.

Oakland bike riders will have one last chance next Tuesday to fight to keep the highly successful protected bike lane on Telegraph Ave.

 

National

The US House approved a $715 billion transportation infrastructure plan, with $920 million specifically marked for projects throughout California, including a bicycle garden in Antioch. San Diego County would get $97 million, but much of that would be wasted on demand-inducing freeway projects.

PeopleForBikes wants you to Ride For Freedom this month, offering patches to riders who complete 7, 14 or 21 rides of at least for miles before the end of the month.

Bicycling lists some of the best 4th of July sales on bike gear. Here’s the Yahoo link if the magazine blocks you.

The bike boom goes on, especially for ped-assist bikes, with someone in the US buying an ebike an average of every 52 seconds.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Thirty-eight-year old Boryana Straubel, a philanthropist and founder of sustainable jewelry maker Generation Collection, was killed in a head-on collision while riding her bike in Nevada’s Washoe County, outside of Reno. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A Texas court decides to lock up a deadly driver and throw away the key, sentencing him to life without parole for intentionally slamming his truck into a group of riders participating in a bike race, killing a man and a woman, and injuring three others.

A Black-owned startup benefitted from a Milwaukee business incubator program to bring their next-gen, IoT-enabled ebike to market.

A new Ohio law prohibits the use of eminent domain to take land for a planned bike path for the next five years, delivering a victory for property owners but a significant delay, if not defeat, for anyone hoping to ride it.

 

International

An English man has set out on a 3,100 mile ride up the UK’s steepest ascents to raise money to fight homelessness, after being told he’d never ride a bike again following a major high-speed collision.

You’ve got to be kidding. More proof that life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver was sentenced to a lousy 12 weeks behind bars for killing a 71-year old man out for a bike ride. And even that was suspended for 18 months.

Portuguese bike riders are planning a 30-minute sit in and vigil to call attention to too many people being killed and injured while riding their bikes, in the wake of a bike-riding expectant mother who was killed by a driver.

An engineering website takes a look at South Korea’s 20-mile solar panel-covered, electricity-generating bike path. Which has the misfortune of being located in the center of a freeway, exposing riders to noise and smog from passing cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Make that 32 stage wins in the Tour de France, as Mark Cavendish closes in on the once-unreachable record of 34 set by the legendary Eddy Merckx.

At least some members of the peloton think arresting a fan is a step too far, even if the 30-year old sign-carrying Frenchwoman did cause a massive crash in first stage of the Tour while giving a shoutout to her grandparents. Meanwhile, the operators of the Tour backed off a threat to sue the woman when she was caught. Which she was.

He may not wear the yellow jersey, but 29-year old Australian cyclist Lachlan Morton intends to be the first rider to reach Paris, as he rides the entire route of this year’s Tour de France — plus an extra 1,302 miles — on a self-supported bikepacking tour to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief; so far he’s raised enough money to donate over 1,400 bicycles to help change lives in need. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

We all admire cyclists who get up from a major crash and keep riding to the finish. But a writer for Cycling Tips says racing with broken bones isn’t something to admire.

The world’s biggest women’s stage race, the Giro d’Italia Donne, kicks off today, with rising American star Katie Clouse making a surprise debut in the 19-year old cyclist’s first year on the world stage.

US mountain bike champ Chloe Woodruff withdrew from the US Olympic team, citing personal reasons; she was replaced by Erin Huck.

 

Finally…

Who says you can’t move your entire apartment by bicycle?

And here’s your vertigo-inducing mountain bike ride of the day.

………

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

Justice grinds slowly in SoCal bike cases, reward in previously unknown hit-and-run, and DUI driver injures man on bike path

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from our anonymous legal correspondent.

She’s back today with a long list of cases that are slowly working their way through the court system.

Along with a few killer drivers scheduled to get out from behind bars too damn soon.

………

Mariah Kandise Banks, charged in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier, has yet another prelim reset date coming up on July 13th. This case is just so long and drawn out, and meanwhile, Banks continues to drive and has not ceased her harassment of Woon’s family, in violation of Judge Hobbs’ repeated reminders,

On April 10th, I attended a group march from Woon’s mama’s house to the site of his slaughter, where a new ghost bike was installed. It is really horrible to have to see his mama right there at the scene where a stranger held her son as he died.

In speaking to our group, she told us all she was thankful that so many people showed up and are still fighting to make things safer.

The DA’s office has not been very communicative. I feel that the DA’s office is in violation Marsy’s Law. My understanding is that the clerk has even outright hung up on Miz Beverly. I spoke with Edin (Chief Lunes) at the event, and suggested that perhaps a calm, independent liaison would be helpful in exchanging information. Naturally he volunteered. I spoke to Miz Beverly about this and I think it is a relief to her that she doesn’t have to pick up that phone herself to harangue the prosecutor, who’s really dropping the ball.

______

On the subject of long, drawn-out cases, Justin Scott German has his next appearance date on August 18th for the alleged drunken hit-and-run death of 41-year-old Binh Ngo in Huntington Beach.

 _____

Scuzzy Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes, who told the mechanics who cleaned the blood off her dented car that she’d hit a dog, and subsequently fled to another continent, is eligible for parole in October. Yes, October 2021.

(Chan Reyes was sentenced to seven years just three months ago for the 2017 hit-and-run death of Agustin Rodriguez, after dragging Rodriguez the length of two football fields under her car as she sped away — then fleeing to Hong Kong and Australia in an ultimately vain attempt to avoid prosecution. Evidently, seven years doesn’t last as long as it used to.)

_____

I remain furious that Brandon James Lindsley only got 7 goddamn years for the hit-and-run death of Carla Becerra while illegally riding a motorcycle on the San Gabriel River Trail, but at least he’s not eligible for parole until… February 2023.

Becerra’s ghost bike is still there next to the river trail, so I added some flowers for her birthday a couple weeks ago.

_____

Unrelated to bikes, repeat drunk driver Maritza Joana Lara, who killed a dad on Father’s Day and critically injured four other people, then fled the scene on foot before her arrest in Mexico, will be eligible for parole in 2033.

_____

Stephen Taylor Scarpa, who left Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza’s three little girls fatherless, is still set for a jury trial in August. Scarpa is charged with murder for allegedly driving while stoned when he killed Kreza as the popular firefighter was training for a triathlon while riding in Mission Viejo.

_____

Richard David Lavalle, charged with murder in the death of a 12-year-old autistic boy as he rode bikes with his dad in a Costa Mesa crosswalk, wants to fire his public defender. If this doesn’t happen, his prelim will likely proceed as scheduled September 21st.

_____

Robert Calvin Mata, who killed John Crouch at PCH & 1st in downtown Huntington Beach late last month, remains under investigation for DUI (drugs, not alcohol).

A commenter on your blog said that the crosswalk on the south side of that intersection had been removed, but I remember being surprised that one wasn’t intstalled after the new development went in, given the great increase in pedestrian activity it’s brought to that location.

_____

Ronald Earl Kenebrew, Jr., who was already locked up awaiting a court date on charges of robbery & indecent exposure, was arraigned yesterday on charges of murder, carjacking, and hit & run in the death of Branden Finley as he rode to the Ride For Black Lives in Downtown Los Angeles last year. The court website hasn’t been updated, so I dunno the outcome of his hearing.

LA Superior Court opens back up this week, and I’ll be there to do some digging into a backlog of cases.

_____

School teacher Molly Jane Hoene had a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 21st, and no further hearings scheduled as yet, but her bail still stands, so I don’t think the charges were dropped. Hoene was arrested for the 2019 hit-and-run death of a homeless bike rider in Silver Lake that was caught on security cam.

_____

Moises Iscaya, who fled the scene after killing South LA father Jorge Guerra on July 8th as he rode bikes home with his two kids last fall, is likely to be declared mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Investigators found Iscaya three months later, already in custody on multiple unrelated charges, including murder.

_____

Jared Walter Anderson, who allegedly squished the life out of scooter rider Evan Dyer Faram at Sunset & Vine in 2019, faces the judge again on July 15th.

_____

On a separate not, last month, on Friday, May 14th, I was waiting for the bus at Fig & Pico about 11am, and a ride rolled by… and rolled and rolled and rolled… I thought the river of bikes was never going to end. I honestly started wondering whether they had just looped a few blocks and were going around in a circle. A young man yelled an invitation, so I jumped in and followed a guy riding backwards for at least a half mile. To this day I still don’t know what this ride was!!!!! All ages. Guys, gals. Fixie trash. Insta-girls. Geezers on trikes. BMX kids. Dogs in backpacks, dogs in baskets. Spandex, cargo shorts, hot pants, and a skirt or two… everybody and all their neighbors. Just an amazing encounter. Los Angeles, 2021. Wow.

………

The LAPD announced a $50,000 reward for the hit-and-run driver who killed Leo Dimeglio as he was riding his bicycle on eastbound Jefferson Blvd around 11:41 p.m on June 10th.

Unfortunately, this is the first we’ve heard of the fatal crash. It shouldn’t take nearly three weeks for the police to inform the public that an innocent person has been killed. Let alone ask for our help in apprehending a heartless, cowardly, killer driver.

I’ll have a more detailed story later today.

………

Once again, a driver has gotten onto a supposedly carfree bike trail — this time with tragic results.

An alleged drunk driver somehow got onto Sacramento’s popular American River Parkway and slammed into the Sacramento Wheelmen group ride, leaving one rider in critical condition with severe injuries.

Let’s hope the victim makes a fast and full recovery, and that they secure the trail to keep it from ever happening again.

And that the driver is never again allowed behind the wheel.

………

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

A Boston man is under arrest for slashing a food delivery rider on the arm with an “industrial-style pocket knife” in an apparent random attack. The victim was treated at the scene but refused further medical attention.

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

San Francisco police are offering a $25,000 reward for the 2016 fatal shooting of a man in the Tenderloin District; a security cam captured an image of the suspect riding on the handlebars of another man’s bike; the bike rider has been cleared, but the shooter is still at large.

………

Local

For the first time since the 1980s, Los Angeles doesn’t has the worst traffic in the US. The Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim region was number two last year, behind the New York-Newark area. Which, oddly, is exactly what it feels like to ride a bike here.

Progressive news site Knock LA looks at the fight to form a union representing Metro Bike workers, who don’t actually work for Metro.

The new state budget includes $4.3 million in funding for a proposed walking path along the San Gabriel River.

 

State

Streetsblog offers an update on key issues that passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee yesterday, including a bill allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, a bill legalizing jaywalking, and a third allowing cameras on buses to capture bus lane violations. So we can have cameras on buses, but no speed cams in school zones. Got it.

San Diego safety advocates are calling for drivers to pay attention after the recent rash of bike deaths in the county.

A San Luis Obispo paper say the transportation bill currently taking shape in the US House — as opposed to the recently announced bipartisan bill — contains $20 million for transportation projects in SLO and Santa Barbara counties, including a bike path connecting Morro Bay and Cayucos.

San Francisco Streetsblog calls out a deadly combination of reckless driving and unsafe street design for the needless death of a man riding his bike home from work in Hayworth last week.

 

National

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske examines the safety and legalities of modern roundabouts.

The Christian Science Monitor questions whether America even knows how to do infrastructure anymore.

They get it. The county surrounding Boise, Idaho is suddenly a national leader in protecting bike riders, committing to install protected bike lanes whenever they resurface any of the most dangerous multilane roadways in the region. Maybe the newly bike-friendly Caltrans can follow their lead. Let alone the ostensibly progressive LADOT.

Visions of cowboys on scooters, as e-scooters hit the streets of Cheyenne, Wyoming just in time for the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota is expanding its 35-mile network of bike trails to serve the area’s one million annual users.

A Minnesota bike rider calls on drivers to look out for people on bicycles after he was nearly run down while riding in a crosswalk with his girlfriend while crossing with the walk signal.

The carnage continues in New York, where a 71-year old man was killed when he was stuck by a postal truck in an apparent right hook.

A New York county approves its own three-foot passing law after concluding bike riders need more protection than the state’s “safe distance” passing rule.

That’s more like it. A University of Pennsylvania cop goes viral for her friendly interaction with an Instagram star, as she and her partner join him in passing out sandwiches after initially responding to a call of bike riders blocking the sidewalk.

The DC bike community is in mourning after 61-year-old Jay Moglia died of a massive heart attack while leading a group ride last Saturday; the former bike messenger, racer and cycling trainer was a renowned figure in the Washington area.

 

International

Treehugger rates the year’s best ebike conversion kits.

Pink Bike takes a spin on Earthbound’s high pivot bamboo-frame enduro bike. And likes it.

A British Columbia man questions whether the motorcyclist who ran down his bicycle-riding mother caught a break because authorities thought he was a “nice” and “decent” man.

A Clinton, Ontario website looks back to the “Victorian age of muscular Christianity,” when a group of itinerant American clergymen rode into town on their Penny Farthings under the banner of the newly formed American Wheelmen.

He gets it, too. A Montreal writer questions whether an accident waiting to happen that puts children, bike riders and pedestrians at risk is still an accident.

A British transport minister says no, there is no chance bike riders will be required to wear license numbers, regardless of the demands of “Mr. Loophole,” a lawyer who specializes in getting wealthy drivers off the hook.

Okay, so they weren’t on a bicycle. It’s still worth mentioning two Indian men sharing a motorcycle who escaped a charging leopard by feeding him cake. Although something tells me the big cat will be waiting to blow to the candles when they come back.

A new Australian study hopes to determine whether “excessive” recreational riding leads to heart problems in non-elite bicyclists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Spoiler alert: Skip this section if you still have yesterday’s stage of the Tour de France in your viewing queue. Still here? The news that aging Mark Cavendish won his first stage of the Tour de France in six years is just to big to hide behind a spoiler-free link; the win leaves the sprinter just three victories behind The Cannibal’s record of 34 Tour stage wins.

The entire peloton stepped off their bikes for a silent protest at the start of yesterday’s stage to call attention to the dangerous conditions that have led to a rash of crashes in this year’s Tour, arguing that someone could be killed next time.

The woman who caused a massive crash with her sign in the first stage of the Tour has disappeared after fleeing France to parts unknown.

Now you, too, can wear the same kit as LA’s own L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team.

 

Finally…

A driver cuts out the middleman and runs down bikes before they even leave the shop. Nothing will test your relationship like riding 3,700 miles on a tandem.

And that’s one way to do a multimodal commute.

………

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

Bicyclists call for safety improvements after fatal La Jolla crash, and hundreds turn out for Culver City Pride Ride

San Diego area bicyclists call for better education and safety improvements on La Jolla’s deadly Torrey Pines Road, in the wake of Wednesday’s crash that took the life of scientist and mother Swati Tyagi.

However, advocates are split on the benefits of installing a protected bike lane on the busy roadway, with some fearing it could do more harm than good on the steep downhill grade.

It’s been too long since I’ve ridden that area to recall specific details of the roadway. However, in many cases, it’s safer to have a separated lane with a wide buffer to give riders room to maneuver if need be, rather than trapping riders in a protected bike lane.

Which is exactly the opposite of what’s called for on the uphill side, or virtually any other situation.

It also doesn’t help that bicyclists haven’t even been consulted about planned improvements to the street.

(La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board) Chairman Dave Abrams asked (bicyclist Kurt) Hoffman and others to confer with a La Jolla Community Planning Association subcommittee, which LJCPA President Diane Kane said was looking into pedestrian and car access in and out of The Village, including via Torrey Pines Road.

On June 24, Kane told the La Jolla Light that the subcommittee, called the Village Visioning Committee, has “been working diligently on streetscapes in The Village and on entrances into La Jolla,” such as Pearl and Nautilus streets.

She said she hasn’t seen anything yet for Torrey Pines Road. “So far, bicyclists haven’t been part of the committee’s conversation on traffic calming and streetscape enhancements but will be welcome once the initial concepts are melded into a coherent whole,” Kane said.

Unfortunately, that’s how planning too often works.

And why it too often fails us.

Meanwhile, the Salk Institute issued a statement mourning the death of their colleague Swati Tyagi.

………

A Redditor catches Sunday’s Culver City Pride Ride on his dashcam, featuring what appears to be hundreds of riders.

Although we could do without the idiotas y pendejos popping wheelies while they play chicken with drivers on the wrong side of the road.

Just saw this huge bicycle group ride through Culver City, where are they from? from BikeLA

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up. 

Correction: That wasn’t the Pride Ride. This is the Pride Ride. 

Thanks to Joni for setting the record straight. 

………

Alabama Representative Mo Brooks is one of us, unlocking his bicycle from a rack outside the nation’s capitol as the Big Lie backer refuses to talk to a reporter from CNN, saying he doesn’t trust the network to be honest.

Which is a great way to duck the hard questions.

Meanwhile, Uber’s CEO is one of us, too, spending a day working as one of his own Uber Eats delivery riders in San Francisco, even as Twitter users decry it as a publicity stunt.

………

No bias here.

Apparently, in Hamilton, Ontario, you’re supposed to wait patiently at a stop sign until drivers in each direction wave you through the intersection.

Which will never, ever happen in real life.

And never wear headphones on a bike, even though you can usually still hear traffic noise, unless you’ve got the volume cranked up to ridiculous levels.

Unlike, say, drivers in their hermetically sealed vehicles, with the sound up so high they can’t even hear a fire truck bearing down on them.

………

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

A man was caught on video leaning far out of a car’s passenger window in an attempt to push a British man off his bicycle. However, the jerk’s failure to succeed in his terroristic attack against an innocent bike rider shouldn’t affect any possible charges one damn whit.

………

Local

A preliminary Metro study suggests congestion pricing really would reduce driving in several areas around Los Angeles.

 

State

The popular Belgian Waffle Ride is back in San Diego’s North County after last year’s cancellation, including a two-day Expo and beer garden. Let’s hope the riders visit the beer garden after the race, though.

Officials in Encinitas are scaling back plans to remake the North Coast Highway 101 corridor, settling for modest re-striping in one section instead of the original plans to change the entire corridor at once.

Sad news from San Luis Obispo, where a 61-year old man was killed by a truck driver in a right hook crash.

A Napa Valley paper calls for repealing California’s jaywalking laws.

 

National

Streetsblog explains why slower speeds are better for “affordable, healthy, equitable, accessible and resource-efficient communities.”

US cities are pushing to make pandemic-era street changes permanent, despite the inevitable auto-centric pushback.

Once again, all it takes to convert a city official to a bike advocate is getting hit by a driver, as a Moline, Illinois alderman becomes a strong voice for better bikeways.

A Nashville bike rider wisely gave up his bicycle when he was threatened by a man with a machete; police later busted the thief, finding meth and drug paraphernalia on him, as well as the hot bike.

A 76-year old New Jersey man faces three counts of hit-and-run for the April crash that left three bike riders seriously injured.

A writer from Lafayette, Louisiana says her bicycle joy went full circle as she rediscovered her love of riding a bike during the pandemic.

A Florida man has just 1,500 miles to go on an 11,500-mile ride crisscrossing the US to raise funds to fight cancer; he’s raised nearly $93,000 of his $100,000 goal for cancer nonprofit Chemo Noir.

The husband of a bike-riding Florida woman who was run down by a hit-and-run driver is worried that the 89-year old woman is still driving while out on bail, even though she somehow couldn’t see two adult people on bicycles directly in front of her. Or cared enough to stick around after getting out of her car to look at the crumpled riders she’d nearly killed. Yet another example of authorities not taking the keys from an elderly driver until it’s too late.

 

International

A Toronto columnist goes all in on bicycling after buying an ebike.

Nat Geo recommends the five best bike day trips starting from London, for your next trip to the UK.

That’s more like it. Britain’s Bicycle Association issued new standards for bike parking, calling for safe, easy-to-use bike racks accessible by all bike riders, including disabled riders.

A former Scottish cycling champ now spends his days traveling the country to support renal failure patients and their families, five years after receiving a life-saving kidney transplant.

India’s Hero Bicycles takes on Chinese ebike manufacturers by cracking the European market for the first time.

A whopping 1,500 bike riders turned out for a mass bicycle parade in Budapest, after it was delayed a year and a half by the pandemic.

An Indian anthropologist says the answer to the country’s choking smog is to bicycle or perish.

A Philippine columnist says yes, the country’s new bike lanes really work.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says women can’t compete with men? A 52-year old woman won the brutal Race Across America, aka RAAM, for the first time, as Leah Goldstein crossed the finish line in 11 days, 3 hours and 3 minutes.

The Dutch dominated the one-day women’s La Course race which preceded the Tour, taking three of the top four spots as Demi Vollering out-sprinted Denmark’s Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and former champion Marianne Vos.

Eighteen-year old Sebastopol CA resident Luke Lamperti recounts his surprise win in the crash-marred US national road championship.

The big news from the Tour de France is a first stage crash that took out nearly half the peloton in one fell swoop. What appeared to be an over-enthusiastic fan giving a shoutout to her grandparents knocked down Tony Martin with her sign, causing the others to fall like dominoes, although only Germany’s Jasha Sutterlin was knocked out of the race. Thanks to David Drexler for the link.

Tour officials threatened to sue the woman, even though they have no idea who she is after she slipped away during the chaos; French police are looking for her, too. However, the director of the Dutch Jumbo-Visma cycling team blames Tour de France officials for the massive crash.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the day’s only massive crash, though.

Bodycam video shows a mechanic for Team Jumbo-Visma leap out of the team car and sprint through the peloton with a fresh bike for one of the downed riders.

https://twitter.com/JumboVismaRoad/status/1408897951984979969?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1408897951984979969%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fteam-mechanic-sprints-through-crash-help-his-team-284443

Since the race is being televised in the US, we’ll go back to our usual mostly spoiler updates for the next three weeks. Hence this blind teaser that the yellow jersey changed hands yesterday; you’ll have to click the link to learn who’s wearing it now. Or why it fulfills his famed grandfather’s dream.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be extremely extremely cool looking and made of wood. And here’s your chance to own a DeLorean of your very own.

Flux capacitor optional.

https://twitter.com/dorfman_baruch/status/1409359704271245314

………

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

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