Tag Archive for Brian Sabel

Repeat hit-and-run driver gets 31 years for killing Riverside bike rider, and LA city council votes to ban outdoor bike repair

That’s more like it.

A California judge got a one-man hit-and-run crime wave off the road by sentencing a 35-year old man with a long criminal record to a whopping 31 years behind bars.

Steven Allen Watson Jr. was convicted for the Riverside hit-and-run that killed bike rider Brian Sabel, as well as another hit-and-run 21 months later that left a 56-year old woman walking with a cane.

He served time for car theft in between — just one of his 17 other felony convictions, along with three misdemeanors.

Watson will have to serve at least 85% of that sentence before he’s eligible for parole, which means he’ll be at least 61 years old when he’s released.

Hopefully, he won’t be allowed to drive once he is.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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The Los Angeles City Council voted 10 to 4 to draft an ordinance banning bike repair or sales on city streets.

The ordinance is intended to halt the bike chop shops that have proliferated in plain view around the city, contributing to the rash of bike thefts.

However, it would also criminalize legitimate bike repair services for homeless residents, and prevent them from earning a modest income by repairing and selling abandoned bicycles.

Hopefully the city attorney’s office will find a way to split the baby that halts criminal activity without preventing other legal activities.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

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That 2.7 earthquake in Silver Lake yesterday was probably just the shock of drivers finding out LA’s Riverside Drive is getting a road diet (scroll down).

A half-mile stretch of one of the two northbound lanes between Glendale and Los Feliz Blvds will be removed to calm traffic and make room for protected bike lanes on either side.

You can only imagine the shockwaves that would have resulted if they had tried to remove parking spaces, too.

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NBC’s LX site talks with the founders of the East Side Riders Bike Club the about using bicycles to cross gang lines and stop the cycle of hunger and violence.

As a child, East Side Riders Bike Club co-founder John Jones III was told there were lines he couldn’t cross in the neighborhood of Watts, Los Angeles. Today, he and his organization — co-founded by his father — regularly cross those gang lines by bicycle to deliver meals to anyone struggling with homelessness or food insecurity.

Unfortunately, I can’t embed this one.

But take a few minutes to click the link and watch the video. And see how bicycles can do so much more than just get you from here to there.

It may just be the best six minutes of your day.

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They get it.

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Take a guess how much Monterey’s leading bike advocacy organization operates on.

And no, I don’t know the answer, either. But after years of working on a low budget myself, I can take a guess.

https://twitter.com/BikeMonterey/status/1491278239918362624

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

A Canadian truck driver was fired after he was caught pushing a bike rider out of his way with the grill of his semi, as a group of riders apparently tried to stop him from joining the country’s protests over vax mandates.

No bias here. The Irish Times reviews a Czech-built Toyota SUV from the perspective that “cities are no longer that welcoming to the motor car” so you need a “rough and tumble off-roader to survive the cyclists’ scorn and snide remarks.” And the higher view puts drivers at eye-level to bike riders and pedestrians, “so you can look your abusers in the eye.” No, really.

No bias here, either. A BBC host was under fire for discussing the recent bike and pedestrian friendly changes to the country’s Highway Code by asking her guests a series of highly slanted questions about why they hated people on bicycles.

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

Police in Manchester, England stopped 30 bike riders for blowing through red lights in just 90 minutes, joining a growing list of British cities cracking down on red light jumpers.

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Local

You can now visit the previously fenced-off Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, complete with bike racks, on your next ride on the Ballona Creek bike path. For those of you outside LA — and some inside — it’s pronounced bi-yoh-na.

Pasadena Now talks with State Senator Anthony J. Portantino about his new bill to improve bike and pedestrian safety by requiring local communities to develop a High Injury Network map, and commit to fixing it within 15 years.

 

State

Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin has been appointed to lead the California State Transportation Agency, aka CalSTA, after less than two and a half years on the job; he’s credited with shifting the state transportation agency’s focus from widening highways to building Complete Streets. Which means Governor Newsom needs to appoint someone who will continue that shift.

San Marco is opening a new two-way protected bike lane in ten days.

Streets For All is teaming with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition on a new Twitter-based crash tracker, which will tweet news of San Diego bike and pedestrian crashes in real time. You can follow the one-year old Los Angeles version here

San Diego will settle a lawsuit filed by an injured bike rider for $1.3 million, to compensate for the severe facial injuries he suffered when he crashed his bike due to a broken sidewalk in the Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood. Just the latest in a series of multimillion dollar settlements due to the city’s damaged sidewalks.

This is who we share the road with, too. Weeks after Elon Musk questionably claimed that no Tesla using the Full Self-Driving Beta had been in a crash in two years, a San Jose YouTuber filmed his car crashing into a protected bike lane bollard, just moments after it ran a red light. Oops.

Streetsblog says Berkeley ripped out a section of a new protected bike lane in front of a hospital, alleging the medical center lied about not being able to get oxygen deliveries.

 

National

Prism says efforts to make American cities more welcoming for people on bicycles are being hindered by over policing of Black and brown bike riders, as well as poor infrastructure in lower income areas.

This is the cost of traffic violence. American Olympian Colby Stevenson took silver in the Men’s Freeski Big Air, after spending five years fighting his way back from a near-fatal car crash caused when he fell asleep behind the wheel.

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to pick a kids bike helmet.

The New York Times Wirecutter asks whether it’s a bad idea to buy a Peloton right now, as the company dumps 2,800 employees in response to crashing stock prices. But at least their severance packages include free fitness classes.

Sioux City, Iowa bike riders are counting on the city expanding its bicycle network, which is currently limited to a single bike lane.

A new petition calls for an anti-dooring ordinance, after a North Carolina man was killed when a driver threw their car door open in front of his bike. And as we mentioned last week, the local press immediately blamed the victim.

A heartbreaking story gets even worse, as the Florida woman who fell to her death when a drawbridge opened while she was walking her bike across has been identified as 79-year old woman. The obvious question is why isn’t there someone or something in place to watch for people so that doesn’t happen? Thanks to Mike Burk and Edward Rubinstein for the heads-up.

There’s a special place in hell for the driver who fled the scene after running down a Florida boy, even if he wasn’t hurt.

 

International

This is who we share the road with. After an English man drove a company van into the back of another car, his boss checked the in-cab video, and watched him swigging champagne strait from the bottle and rolling a cigarette while driving with no hands.

A British MP suffered a broken arm falling off his bike while riding to Parliament.

An Indian writer says better bicycling policies, combined with designing cities to better support the working class, could help the country pedal to a more sustainable future.

A photographer catches a Pakistani street vendor walking a bicycle loaded down with wooden stools.

You’ve got to be kidding. A New Zealand driver is appealing his sentence for injuring a bike-riding lawyer and totaling his $7,000 bicycle, because he wasn’t told the lawyer had a previous drunk driving conviction. Which has nothing to do with why he was riding his bike, or why the driver slammed into him.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome now has his own bikewear line, including a $95 t-shirt and $220 hoodie. Um, I’ll pass, thanks.

Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin was filmed drafting a truck with a few of his teammates on a training ride, and internet commenters were not kind.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you drive F1 for a living, and would still rather ride a bike in the rain than spend 20 minutes stuck traffic. Who doesn’t need $1,100 titanium mudguards on their bike?

And see all the WorldTour team kit colors in 46 seconds.

https://twitter.com/procycletrumps/status/1491019894208753664?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1491019894208753664%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-8-february-2022-290155

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

Update: Riverside road cyclist left dying in the street by hit-and-run driver

Yet another Southern California bike rider has been killed by a cowardly hit-and-run driver.

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Riverside police found the 53-year old victim lying in the westbound bike lane on Victoria Avenue, just west of Myers Street, around 7:45 Saturday morning, after receiving a report of a bicyclist down.

He was transported to a local hospital, where he died.

Police initially thought the man, who has not been publicly identified, had fallen off his bicycle. However, hospital officials reported his injuries were consistent with being hit by a motor vehicle.

Unfortunately, no witnesses have come forward, so there is no description of the suspect or the vehicle used in the crime.

Video from the scene shows a black road bike and silver helmet lying on the side of the road.

Screen grab from KTLA report

No other information is available at this time.

Regardless of how the crash may have happened, there is simply no excuse, ever, for leaving a crash victim bleeding in the street. The driver should face a murder charge for making a conscious decision to let the victim die, rather than calling for help and providing assistance as the law requires.

We’ll never know if he might have survived if he’d gotten help right away.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Zach Fishell at 951-826-8723, or email zfishell@riversideca.gov.

Let’s hope they find the coward responsible for this crash. And that prosecutors treat this needless death with the seriousness it demands.

This is at least the 14th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Update: The Press-Enterprise has identified the victim as 52-year old Riverside resident Brian Sabel.

Despite wearing a helmet, he died of a head injury at Riverside Community Hospital roughly 45 minutes after he was found in the roadway.

No word on how long he had been lying there before help arrived.

This would appear to be his Strava profile.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brian Sabel and his loved ones.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

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