Tag Archive for CD4

Morning Links: Challenger Sarah Kate Levy gets big endorsement in CD4, bike cops in the news, and a video Tuesday

LA’s city elections are still more than nine months away.

Yet the action is heating up in the city’s 4th Council District, where challenger Sarah Kate Levy has already won the endorsement of popular first-term Congresswoman Katie Hill.

It’s unusual for an elected official to endorse a challenger facing an incumbent councilmember from his or her own party.

Especially in Los Angeles.

And especially this early in the race.

Yet Hill announced yesterday she’s throwing in with the rookie city council candidate.

Sarah Kate Levy also received an early endorsement from Bike the Vote LA, who said she stood out far above the scrum of candidates, including Ryu.

Or maybe especially Ryu.

Levy summed up her position on Twitter in response to another user.

Which is something we should have heard from incumbent David Ryu years ago.

Photo from Sara Kate Levy’s website.

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Today’s common theme is bike cops.

When a pair of Seattle bike cops tried to stop a man for carrying a knife, he fought with the officers — probably because of his two outstanding warrants and the coke in his backpack.

Boston bike cops got into a shootout with a fleeing man after responding to a report of shots fired; the officers were uninjured, while the suspect was killed.

Two Ottawa, Canada bike cops were exonerated of breaking a belligerent drunk’s wrist after the man confronted them and challenged one to a fight; investigators concluded he could have broken his wrist in a fight before the police arrested him, or while punching his cell wall afterwards.

And you could always make the tales of a teenaged Maine bike cop part of your summer reading.

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Heartbreaking news from New York, where hundreds of fed-up bike riders rallied to protest the death of yet another person on a bicycle, coupled with the usual inaction by the NYPD.

The victim, a 20-year old bike racer, was hit by the driver of a semi-truck shortly after moving to the city from Virginia.

Needless to say, the driver kept going, returning to the scene claiming he didn’t know he’d hit anyone, after witnesses chased him down.

The victim, Robyn Hightman, had recently been named one of 10 ambassadors for the Hagens Berman–Supermint Pro Cycling Team.

Here’s what she movingly wrote about the impact of bicycling in her life, in applying for the program.

As a homeless youth deeply entrenched in the trappings of poverty and parental abuse and neglect, my first bicycle offered a way to seek respite from the horrors of my surroundings and human experience, if only for a few glorious minutes. My bicycle established a sense of independence, strengthened my ability to be self sufficient, and provided me with the confidence necessary to advocate for myself, my rights, and my needs in public space. My bicycle enabled me to leave our encampment every day to access education, seek out food, and fulfill my basic needs. Eventually, my bicycle allowed me to provide for myself when I began working a full time job at the age of fourteen. My bicycle provided me with the socioeconomic mobility necessary to escape. My bicycle saved my life.

Sadly, she lost it while riding her bike, as well.

Maybe if LA bike riders would respond like that to the continued carnage on our streets, our elected leaders might finally start taking us — and our lives — seriously.

Sadly, though, when someone is killed riding a bike in Los Angeles, in most cases, the late, great Phil Ochs nailed it.

Because in most cases, “It really doesn’t matter to anybody, outside of a small circle of friends.”

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Why waste your bike pump skills putting air in your tires, when you could be making music?

Although this one seems to work a little better.

And more timely, too.

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Okay, so it’s not the kind of bike you pedal.

But a young Pennsylvania man learned the hard way not to taunt a cop while riding a stolen dirt bike if you can’t control the damn thing.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes.

Even when they’re kids riding for a good cause, if not in the right way.

English drivers were angered when a hundred teenagers took to the streets to call for an end to knife crime. But one man did more than complain, getting out of his car and pushing a boy off his bike; police called that “not an acceptable response.”

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Local

Sad news from Koreatown, where a man was shot and killed while riding his bicycle by another man on a bike; police are investigating it as a possible gang shooting.

A New Urbanist living carfree in Los Angeles says she’d like to ride a bike, but has doubts about safety.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

NPR talks with the author of The World’s Fastest Man about the legendary Major Taylor, who battled Jim Crow racism to become an international bike racing sensation in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, yet died pennyless. Thanks to Brooks McKinney for the heads-up.

Wired lists their picks for the year’s top three bike helmets, ranging from Trek’s new $300 WaveCel tech to Bluetooth and crash detection models. Or maybe you’d rather have a full-face mountain bike helmet that snaps off to convert to a regular helmet.

Bicycling says if you get a concussion while shredding trails on your mountain bike, stop riding, already. The same goes for roadies, too.

Forget bikes, Strava wants to be your new social network.

A Portland woman walks with just community service after injuring a woman by booby trapping a bike path after a night of heavy drinking — but she does have to write a letter saying she’s really, really sorry. She can thank the very forgiving victim who asked for no jail time.

Speaking of Portland, a man riding a bike is dead because a speeding, aggressive driver had the munchies after drinking tequila and Sprite all day.

E-mails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show Chicago officials were afraid of a revolt by bike riders if they banned bicycles from the popular Riverfront shared-use path. Even though one alderman is still trying to do just that.

A Minnesota paper almost gets it, saying sharrows are nothing more than a reminder to share the road, although thy don’t seem grasp their benefit as wayfinding symbols, or that they tell both bicyclists and drivers where bikes should be positioned in the lane. As far as safety is concerned, however, all they do is help drivers improve their aim. Which is not a good thing.

A kindhearted Kentucky kid gave away the bike he was given after a thief made off with his bike, after cops recovered the one he got for having perfect attendance.

A Boston mom says the thief that stole her six-year old son’s bicycle didn’t just  take his bike, he stole his innocence.

No bias here. A community in New York’s Hudson Valley has decided to break the law by requiring bicyclists to ride single file, even though state law allows people to ride side-by-side; a local radio station manages to see the story from just one side of the windshield.

There’s something seriously wrong with a protected bike lane when the NYPD has to stand guard to keep drivers out of it.

Tragic news from New Jersey, where family members found a 61-year old man dead on the side of the road next to his bike after he didn’t come home from his job on the graveyard shift; investigators believe he rode off the road on a descent. Although it’s always possible he was the victim of a too-close pass that forced him off the road.

WTF? No, a bicyclist didn’t break into a home and murder an 82-year old Pennsylvania man in his sleep. A man who happened to be riding a bicycle did, before he dismounted, busted in and killed a random stranger. The fact he was riding a bike had absolutely nothing to do with it.

A DC website wonders why there’s so much knee-jerk opposition to road diets in the area, when they would make streets safer and barely affect traffic. Good question. Another good question is why do so many newspapers and websites insist on putting quotation marks around “road diet”? That’s what they’re called. It makes no more sense than to put quotes around road diet than it does “streets”.

 

International

Brazil is the latest country to succumb to the e-scooter invasion.

Britney Spears is one of us, going for a bikini-clad bike ride in some undisclosed tropical location.

The Guardian picks up the disgusting tale of the truly despicable London woman who pretended to be the aunt of a fallen bicyclist she had no relationship to, in order to claim the victim would have opposed a protected bike lane that might have saved her life.

Guardian readers consider how to make bicycling safer and more appealing, with one letter writer saying London doesn’t suck compared to Sydney, Australia, and another suggesting at least two US cities don’t suck, either. One of which is my humble hometown.

A British man uses recycled ocean plastic to create a foldable, and kind of cool looking, bikeshare helmet.

Experts attending the international Velo-City conference say Dublin, Ireland needs to cut private cars to make room for bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly considers five lessons from the recently concluded Tour de Suisse, as well as which Brits to watch for in advance of next month’s Tour de France.

Pro cyclist Lindsey Goldman says there has to be a better financial model for women’s cycling, as her Hagens Berman—Supermint team prepares to lose its chief sponsor. If they find one, tell the men, too.

 

Finally…

When you’re making a jail break, always grab the nearest bicycle you can find to ensure a clean getaway. A man may have a clear conscious after mailing back the $6,000 bike he stole, but he ended up behind bars anyway.

And bike rustlers don’t have to ghost ride their stolen bikes anymore.

 

Morning Links: Endorsing Ramsay and O’Grady in CD4; and a blind bike rider needs your help to regain his sight

Today is election day in LA, as well as several surrounding communities.

I’d planned to write about the candidates running for the seat Tom LaBonge is vacating in Monday’s post, until the untimely death of Alex Baum — and yes, even at 92, he left us far too soon — took precedence.

So let me just offer an endorsement of sorts for the two candidates I’d most like to see make it into a runoff.

But let’s be clear on one thing first. I’m basing my choice strictly on those who bothered to respond to the LACBC’s candidate survey and participate in the recent Liveable Streets candidate forum.

Simply put, if a candidate doesn’t care enough to ask for our support, he or she doesn’t deserve it.

Of the 14 candidates in the race, only six meet both criteria. And of those, I prefer Tomas O’Grady and Carolyn Ramsay, with Sheila Irani coming in a not-so-distant third.

Either of those two would make a great choice; ideally, both will survive to compete against one another for the seat in the June general election, ensuring bicyclists will have a strong voice to replace a very weak one from the district in City Hall.

Meanwhile, the Times endorses Irani, while the Daily News picks O’Grady and Teddy Davis. And the LA Weekly calls the race total toss-up; with 14 candidates, the top two may only need a few thousand votes each to advance to the runoff.

As for the races in other districts, I’ve previously announced my unqualified endorsement of incumbent Jose Huizar in CD14.

For other races in LA and surrounding communities, check out the Bike the Vote LA voter guide. And the Times offers the rest of their endorsements, which for the most part don’t take bikes into account.

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LA cyclist and nutritionist Matt Ruscigno sends word of a friend of his who is still struggling to recover, physically and financially, from a devastating 2008 bike wreck that left him blind and with no sense of taste or smell. Mike Vincent is looking for donations to help pay massive medical bills and recover his sight.

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Local

The Times addresses the death of Alex Baum, focusing primarily on his bike advocacy, while promising a more complete obituary to come. Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers a great remembrance of a great man.

Downtown building owners are offering free bike rentals to tenants.

A woman and her Schwinn were rescued from the LA River by Pasadena firefighters.

KCET looks at LA’s recent literary ride.

Traffic is only going to get worse in WeHo unless the city retools its streets for the future, including bike lanes.

CLR Effect mourns the ghost of a poorly maintained bike lane.

 

State

The California State Association of Counties endorses road diets; let’s hope our local electeds are paying attention.

That proposed bike helmet bill could put a damper on San Diego’s new bike share program.

Once again, Tour de Fat will bypass LA; the nearest stop is in San Diego. Seriously, they can have their damn football team if they’ll just give us Tour de Fat back.

A Fresno cyclist is in critical condition after being hit by a car Monday afternoon; the out-of-control driver continued on to crash into a garage.

A cyclist in San Mateo County is killed in an apparent solo crash.

A Stanford blogger relates what it’s like to be hit by a car. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

A San Francisco bike rider suffered life threatening injuries when he was hit by a car on Monday. Sheriffs deputies performed CPR for at least eight minutes until paramedics arrived; the victim was injured when the driver reportedly blew through a red light.

 

National

One third of all Americans over the age of three rode a bicycle last year; 57% of the 103.7 million US cyclists rode for recreation.

Hawaii police arrest one of their own for the on-duty hit-and-run crash that took the life of a Michigan bicyclist.

Once again, a bike rider saves the day, as an Alaska cyclist rescues a blind dog who had been lost for two weeks on -40 degree weather; he also turned the reward over to a local animal shelter.

Now that’s more like it, as a Casper WY man gets 12 to 16 years for the DUI death of a bike rider.

A 76-year old Texas man bikes 300 miles for Planned Parenthood.

It’s not that New York safety advocates want harsher penalties for killer drivers, as the NY Times says; it’s more like they want them to be charged at all.

No apology from a New York truck driver three years after the death of a cyclist. Then again, any good lawyer would tell his client not to apologize, as it could be seen as an admission of guilt.

 

International

The BBC profiles Britain’s Beryl Burton, arguably the country’s greatest female cyclist.

Sad to see racial animosity rear its ugly head in South African cycling, although I have no idea what it was that the country’s first international pro cyclist was called.

Aussie authorities reject calls to increase penalties for dooring in the wake of a cyclist killed after he was knocked into the path of a truck, while a writer calls for giving bicyclists greater rights on some roads.

A Brisbane man is fed up with rude bike riders after one leaves him lying injured on a pathway. Seriously, there’s no more excuse for a hit-and-run cyclist than there is for a hit-and-run driver.

A Vietnamese motorbike rider is killed escorting a women’s international bike race.

 

Finally…

Ford introduces two new e-bike prototypes that do not look like anything I would want to ride. I wonder if coating your bike in reflective sign paint would meet the state requirement for reflectors in all directions?

And repeat after me: If you’re carrying two meth pipes and a stolen credit card on the $2000 bike you allegedly stole, don’t hang out in front of a cop shop.

 

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