Tag Archive for California Supreme Court

Your help needed for precedent-setting legal case, Epstein enters CD5 council race, and reward for hit-and-run drivers

This has been a rough year for all of us.

And riding a bike hasn’t always been enough to get through it, emotionally or otherwise. 

So take some time to find something you can truly be thankful for, and give your heart and mind a break for a few days. 

And stay safe out there. I want to see you back here bright and early when we return to our regular programming on Monday.

Meanwhile, Friday will mark the launch of this year’s 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

The corgi puppy is already hard at work preparing for her debut as our new spokesdog. 

But feel free if you want to get a jump on donating and beat the holiday rush. 

Update: Thanks to Arthur B for kicking the fund drive off!

………

Today I learned what depublishing means — and what we can do about it.

Recently, we mentioned a legal ruling from a California appeals court that held Sonoma County responsible for injuries a woman suffered when her bike hit a pothole at 25 mph, setting a precedent that would make it easier for other injured riders to hold local governments accountable for bad roads, and their failure to maintain them.

But now lawyers for the county are asking the California Supreme Court to depublish the ruling, which means it couldn’t be used as a precedent for other cases, claiming she was engaged in an “extreme sport.”

This is how the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition described the case.

The argument put forth by appeals attorney Nadia Sarkis, representing the County, focused on the length, speed, and purpose of Williams’ ride, claiming that as she was engaged in an “extreme sport” and was not an “ordinary user” of the road, she assumed the “inherent risk of the sport.”  In other words, she should have known she could get hurt riding a bike and that County liability for poor road condition therefore does not apply to her.

The Justices’ line of questioning really hammered on this idea that the County’s liability varies based on the speed and purpose of a cyclist’s ride on a given day. One Justice gave Sarkis some hypotheticals and asked in which cases the County has duty. They included a woman riding at the same speed and distance but to work; a teenager riding the same speed but on her way to soccer practice; a 65-year-old woman riding the same speed on an electric bike she bought after having a knee replacement. They all seemed somewhat incredulous only Williams’ incident, but not the rest of these situations, should release the County from liability for the cyclist’s injuries and questioned the whole idea of defining “ordinary” versus “extreme” bicycling.

(Sarkis had quoted a study on “average” speed and distance for recreational versus transportational cyclists and implied that anything above “average” was “extreme.”  The speed and distance of Dr. Williams’ ride were certainly those of a fit and serious rider, but nowhere near what any of us would consider “extreme.”)

Which is ridiculous, of course. And has nothing to do with the failure to ensure a safe riding surface.

Which is where you come in.

Alan Charles Dell’Ario, the plaintiff’s attorney, is asking for letters from bicyclists to forward the Supreme Court within to oppose depublishing the ruling, and keep it as a precedent that could prove invaluable to other injured riders.

You can email your letter to him at Charles@dellario.org.

San Diego bike lawyer Richard L. Duquette, a longtime friend of this site, has shared his own letter to serve as a guide.

Just hurry, because it’s due at the Supreme Court by the end of next week.

Update: Mr. Dell’Ario sends word that your letter must follow the format below to be forwarded to the court.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

………

This year’s city council election ended less than a month ago. But the campaign to replace termed out Paul Koretz in CD5 is just getting started, as Scott Epstein tossed his cycling cap into the ring.

Epstein is a life-long bike rider and advocate for safer streets, and a long-time leader with both the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee and the Mid City West Community Council.

I’ve known him for over a decade, and it’s hard to imagine a better replacement for the pseudo-environmentalist Koretz, who has opposed virtually every bike project in his district.

Epstein has my unqualified support. And you can find a long list of other endorsements by clicking on the thread above.

………

This is who we share the road with.

The LAPD is looking for a motorcyclist and two drivers who ran down a South LA man in a deadly triple hit-and-run.

Fifty-year old Jose Fuentes was crossing Central Ave near 78th Street when the motorcycle rider slammed into him, followed by both drivers running over him, one after the other, as he lay in the roadway.

And not one had the basic human decency to stick around afterwards, let alone call for help or render aid.

Meanwhile, 76-year old Kuen Ham died several hours after she was run down by yet another hit-and-run driver as she was crossing Miramar Street at Union Ave in the Westlake District, dragging her several feet as they fled the scene.

As always, there is standing $50,000 reward offered by the City of Los Angeles for information leading to an arrest and conviction in any fatal hit-and-run, which applies in both these cases.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the Fuentes heads-up.

………

Four people find the balance between mountain biking and skiing.

………

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

A road-raging Pittsburgh man faces a raft of charges including attempted murder for allegedly shooting a man riding a bicycle in a dispute that following a collision.

Someone has been sabotaging a rail-to-trail bike path in the UK by strewing large branches on the pavement, as well as throwing sticks at passing riders.

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

Lincoln, Nebraska police are on the lookout for a pair of bike-riding teens who confronted a family jogging on a bike trail, and flashed a gun when they were asked to move out of the way.

………

Local

Metro is offering Black Friday deals on bikeshare passes this weekend.

 

State

San Luis Obispo released the city’s new active transportation plan for public review.

A Santa Cruz man faces a murder charge after telling police his girlfriend was killed falling off her bike, even though neighbors reported her screams for help.

Tragic news from San Leandro, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a van driver, who remained at the scene. Police are looking for a second driver who left the scene and may have been involved, as well.

Davis police are looking for whoever is responsible for a series of bike shop burglaries targeting high-end bicycles. And it’s not just bike shops falling victim, either.

 

National

Bicycling recommends the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for bike riders, along with ten cutting-edge gifts for tech-loving bicyclistsUnfortunately, these don’t seem to be available on Yahoo yet.

Gear Junkie recommends the best mountain bikes for under a grand.

The NYPD has finally done the right thing, and cancelled dozens of outstanding ebike tickets after the city belatedly got around to legalizing them; the department’s crackdown fell primarily on immigrant delivery riders who could least afford it.

New York’s Department of Transportation overrules a community board to build a cargo bike corral near a Manhattan Whole Foods.

Outgoing New York Mayor de Blasio says it will be up to the next mayor to finish Vision Zero, even though the city has barely made a dent in it.

 

International

Cyclist looks at the relatively brief history of Cervélo, as the cutting-edge brand reaches the quarter century mark.

The Guardian considers how to stay safe running or biking after dark this winter.

Wired looks at the surge in bike lanes in cities around the world, as they react to the challenges and opportunities of the pandemic. Needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

The CBC profiles London, Ontario residents who plan to keep riding through the frigid Canadian winter.

Bike Radar has the best Black Friday bike deals from the UK, as well as a few from the US.

Cycling Weekly examines how London’s Pearson, reportedly the world’s oldest bike shop, launched its online business in the middle of the pandemic.

Brazen London thieves used an angle grinder to steal a locked ebike in front of witnesses in broad daylight.

British residents say a local bike rider might not have been killed if completion of a half-finished bikeway hadn’t been pushed back to 2027.

That’s more like it. An Irish man has until the end of the year to pay a nearly $24,000 fine for seriously injuring two bicyclists while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit, after an appeals court ruled his original 18-month sentence was too lenient.

A Borneo op-ed says it’s time to consider installing bike lanes on the Malaysian island.

Australia’s food delivery riders complain about dangerous conditions after five riders were killed in just two months.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen is back on his bike, three months after a horrific crash during the final sprint in stage one of the Tour de Pologne.

Pez Cycling looks forward to five things they want to see in road cycling next year.

 

Finally…

Not all bike riders are saints, but at least one bike riding priest is one his way. And when the shooting of America’s only remaining Tour de France champ didn’t even make the local paper (Scroll down. No, seriously, keep scrolling.).

………

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

Morning Links: Court rules police can’t search your belongings on traffic stops, ‘tis the season, and sex before racing

Welcome to Day 7 of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today, and help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. Give to the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

The California Supreme Court has just affirmed your right not to be searched by police in a simple traffic stop.

In a case involving a man on a bicycle, Torrance police stopped the man after he rolled through a stop sign, and found evidence of child pornography after searching his phone.

But the court ruled that police can’t conduct a search following a traffic stop unless there’s probable cause that an actual crime had been committed.

In other words, unless there’s reason to believe you just robbed a liquor store or whacked a road raging driver with your water bottle, police don’t have the right to search you, your bike or your belongings without your permission. And especially not to rifle through all the personal data stored on your phone.

Even if it means letting a bike-riding scumbag off the hook.

………

‘Tis the season.

The San Diego Chargers pick up the tab for 150 new bicycles for elementary school kids.

And a Florida TV station collects 863 bicycles for children as part of its annual Bikes or Bust event.

………

Eighty cyclists competed in Peru’s most extreme bike race, the three day, poetically named Challenge of the Condor through the country’s desert.

Thirteen men’s and four women’s teams competed in a ten day stage race to celebrate Ethiopia’s Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day.

Then there’s the breathtaking world of artistic cycling, described as a cross between gymnastics and fixies.

And new studies conclude that there’s no evidence having sex the night before a race will negatively impact performance, and may actually help by relieving pain, especially for women cyclists. No, they aren’t looking for volunteers.

………

Local

Metro appears to have abandoned the Westside and South LA when it comes to new bikeshare locations.

Twenty bicyclists took part in the first Elysian Valley Slow Roll on the LA River bike path over the weekend to call for better safety and consideration for pedestrians on the shared use path.

Richard Risemberg calls on everyone fighting for better safety on North Figueroa to attend Thursday’s meeting with the LACBC’s Tamika Butler to discuss bicycling issues in Northeast LA. Although he seems to have forgotten that quite a few people have been working to keep North Fig from being forgotten.

A bike rider was uninjured when a suspected DUI driver struck the back wheel of his bicycle while fleeing from police in Van Nuys Tuesday night.

Bike SGV is hosting a free City Cycling Class this Saturday to help you learn the rules of the road and get more comfortable riding on city streets.

Hawthorne police will step up bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement on Thursday. You know the drill; for one day at least, ride to the letter of the law within the city limits to ensure you’re not the one ticketed.

A 41-year old transient pled guilty to riding his bicycle up to a AAA mechanic as he changed a car battery in Pico Rivera, stabbing him for no apparent reason, then calmly riding away.

Kylie Jenner may or may not actually be one of us, but that lowrider bike is seriously cool.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune looks at the start of construction on a new segment of what will eventually be the city’s 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway.

Residents of San Diego’s City Heights complain that a planned bikeway is just a conduit to funnel riders through their neighborhood, and that parking spaces must be kept because no one would actually ride a bike to the market. Unlike the experience in, say, virtually every other city.

San Diego’s 2nd annual Recovery Ride will roll next month to benefit drug and alcohol recovery and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs.

A San Francisco writer asks if he was in the wrong to walk facing traffic on a Berkeley bike path. Short answer, yes; both cyclists and pedestrians should stay to the right in the direction they’re going, except to pass.

 

National

Your new winter bike gloves could have built-in turn signals.

Now that’s more like it. An Oregon man faces charges including felony assault, DUI and reckless endangerment for severely injuring a passing bike rider when he crashed into a power pole, knocking the lines down onto the woman.

A Portland university receives a five-year, $15 million grant to find ways cities can redesign their streets to make bicycle transportation more accessible and integrate bicycle transportation into a smart city framework.

After doubling in size last year, the Des Moines, Iowa bikeshare system is looking to double again.

The Chicago Reader says it’s time to stop blaming pedestrians and cyclists, and hold drivers accountable when they kill someone.

The New Orleans paper talks with the founder of the city’s bike co-op, whose goal is to make it possible for anyone who needs a bike to have one.

 

International

Bike Radar offers tips on winter riding. All of which actually apply here in LA, for a change.

A writer in the UK describes what it’s like to not remember who he is after suffering a traumatic brain injury when someone backed a van into his bicycle without looking.

British police stop 50 bicyclists riding without lights on one road in a single night.

Brit TV presenter Guy Martin will attempt to ride 4,802 miles around the British coast in just 20 days, an average of 240 miles a day.

A Welsh track cycling champ had her $7,600 Cervelo P3 stolen from her car after she left it there overnight.

Amsterdam is trying, so far without success, to ban beer bikes in the city center.

Bicycling Magazine talks with Shannon Galpin, who tells you how to fight the good fight based on her experience working for women’s rights in Afghanistan.

Sydney, Australia bicyclists will get a new ramp leading up to the Harbour Bridge in four years, replacing the 55 steps they currently have to trudge up with their bikes.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can enjoy all the fun of the hour record on your ride to work. No, they’re not actually cycling across the sea unless the pedals somehow power the boat.

And no, valet parking a bicycle is not the most LA thing ever.

………

A special thanks to Mike Wilkinson for his generous contribution to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your contributions will help fund this site for the next year.

 

%d bloggers like this: