Tag Archive for crash not accident

Hahn moves to study safety after Woods crash, sheriff calls it oopsie, and parking matters more than bike rider’s death

It only took the near death of a celebrity.

LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn is finally pushing for much needed safety improvements on Hawthorne Blvd, where golf legend Tiger Woods was seriously injured in a high speed end-over-end collision.

Hahn directed the county Department of Public Works to review safety on the stretch of roadway where the crash occurred, which residents described as a scene of frequent crashes.

However, no one ordered a similar review when a 32-year old homeless man, identified as Jonathan Valbuena, was killed in a hit-and-run a few miles north on the same deadly corridor.

And no one ordered immediate action despite the corridor’s inclusion on the equivalent of the High Injury Network under the county’s Vision Zero plan, which doesn’t seem to have made any more progress than LA City’s seemingly forgotten plan.

Then again, none of the six people who were killed or seriously injured over a five-year period in that deadly section of the street were famous.

Which, sadly, seems to make all the difference.

That’s not to say the dangerous downhill street where Woods crashed doesn’t need to be fixed.

But maybe we could do something where the rich and famous don’t live and drive, too.

Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

………

On a related note, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has given Tiger Woods a pass on the crash, saying his wreck was just an oopsie.

Apparently, Woods was traveling without a driver to film a low-budget documentary show for Discovery when he crashed.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

No bias here.

San Diego business owners complain about the loss of 22 parking spaces to create a temporary separated bike lane where a bike rider was killed last year.

Even though they’ll get them back when it’s converted to a protected bike lane later this year.

Yet there’s not a single mention of 65-year-old Dan Sweeney, who died nearly two months after a hit-and-run directly in front of their restaurants. Or that the driver left him in the street to die after getting out of his van and moving Sweeney’s bike out of the way.

Almost as if they don’t even care.

Nor, apparently, did anyone seem to care that the driver, 29-year old Mauricio Armando Flores, now faces up to four years behind bars after pleading guilty to leaving Sweeney bleeding in the street after running him down from behind.

He’ll face sentencing next month.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the last link.

………

Local

Opponents of the planned restoration of the Ballona Wetlands have filed a lawsuit to stop the project, saying it’s not needed and could be harmful.

Billie Eilish is one of us, riding her bicycle while listening to the Strokes’ latest album.

 

State

Encinitas is starting construction on a long-awaited streetscape project to add a roundabout, buffered bike lanes and wider sidewalks to the Coast Highway in Leucadia.

A Chula Vista man was killed when a driver crashed into his motorized wheelchair as he was using a crosswalk.

Livermore officials back down and let a bike repairman keep working from home, at least for now, after over 9,000 people signed a petition supporting him.

A bike helmet offers protection against an overly aggressive Bay Area coyote.

Famed Beat poet, censorship-fighting publisher and City Lights Bookstore owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti was one of us, too.

 

National

A new US administration means the reintroduction of the 2019 Complete Streets bill, which would encourage safer, people oriented street designs throughout the country.

A new study of Chicago’s bikeshare system shows low-income workers and people of color relied on bikeshare more than their wealthier counterparts during the pandemic.

Minnesota-based Park Tools continues to rule the bike work bench.

Some people just don’t learn. A Boston vlogger took an “epic” ride on the frozen Charles River, just one week after he fell through the ice.

America’s first congestion pricing plan could get the go ahead now that the former Mayor Pete is heading the Department of Transportation, clearing the way for New York’s proposed program. Which could bode well for Los Angeles — if local leaders have the courage to move forward with Metro’s congestion pricing proposal.

He still can’t start a fire without a spark, but evidently Bruce was just drinking in the park.

A Newport News, Virginia man is using his pandemic downtime to ride every street in the city of !80,000 people. Which is a lot easier than it would be here in Los Angeles.

North Carolina politics could put the brakes on the bike boom in the state.

 

International

How to minimize the environmental impact of buying bike tires.

Road.cc examines where to find plus size bikewear, including LA-based Machines for Freedom.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a drunken hit-and-run driver got just two years and a month behind bars, despite leaving three bicyclists lying in the road with serious injuries.

That’s more like it. Italy has given food delivery companies 90 days to improve the way they treat bicycle delivery riders, saying the mostly immigrant workers are practically treated like slaves.

Maybe they see the bike writing on the wall. Volkswagen is now in the bicycle and ebike leasing and financing business, at least in Germany.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after an Indian man wrestled a leopard to the ground when it attacked his family as they were riding bikes together.

Kiwi bicyclists say another three years is too long to wait to improve safety on a popular riding route where a 65-year old man was killed riding his bike last year.

 

Competitive Cycling

Teams have been announced for the first ever women’s Paris-Roubaix.

The route for this year’s Giro has been officially unveiled, while Cycling News highlights five key stages in the race.

Bicycling highlights twelve cyclists to watch during the upcoming racing season; Sepp Kuss is the only American rider to make the list. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

No bias here, either. Aussie women’s cyclists face discouragement over the lack of recognition and prize money given to their male counterparts.

 

Finally…

How did Kermit ride his fixie, anyway? Turning your single-seat bike into a six-legged tandem, even if some people don’t like it.

And don’t hold any bake sales for Lance just yet.

………

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

Driver identified in Portland rampage that left 1 dead and 10 injured, and AAA says it’s crash not accident

We finally know who was — allegedly — responsible for the murderous vehicular rampage that left a 77-year old Portland woman dead, and as many as ten others injured.

And why, sort of.

Sixty-four-year old Paul Rivas pled not guilty to 14 felony counts in the 15-block rampage, including second degree murder and multiple assault and hit-and-run charges.

Unbelievably — literally — he had shifting explanations for why he intentionally ran down so many people, most of whom were walking or riding bicycles.

Rivas initially claimed his Honda Element was having brake problems and that he was searching for an auto repair shop.

Other times, he suggested the injuries could have been inflicted by “another, similar looking” Honda car, not his; and he admitted at one point to striking a bicyclist but characterized the collision as an “emergency maneuver” he made to avoid a more serious crash with oncoming traffic, Multnomah County prosecutor Sean P. Hughey wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

This despite running down the elderly woman as she was crossing the street, then making a U-turn and slamming into her again, dragging her to her death under his SUV.

Yeah, sounds like bad brakes, all right.

The descriptions of his attacks are simply horrific.

Donald Hinson was riding his bicycle on Southeast 18th Avenue when the Honda “drove straight at him without slowing,” sending him and his bicycle onto the hood of the Honda. He fell onto the street and suffered injuries to his leg and a cut to his nose, the affidavit said…

Raymond Chihak said he was on the sidewalk near Southeast 19th Avenue and Stark when he heard screaming. That’s when he noticed the Honda speeding directly toward him. It struck him as he stood on the sidewalk, he said, then sped off, according to the affidavit. Chihak also was treated for his injuries at a hospital.

Bicyclist Juan Caicedo-Gomez was riding in the bike lane on Southeast Belmont Street when the Honda swerved into the lane and hit him from behind, throwing him off his bicycle, according to police.

Pedestrian Faviola Palomera said she was walking in Laurelhurst Park and saw the Honda doing U-turns nearby. “The next thing she knew she woke up in the hospital,” with a head injury after she had been knocked unconscious when the Honda was seen driving out of the park and struck her while walking, according to her statement to police and a witness’ account, the affidavit said.

Yet those are just a few of the victims who were lucky enough to survive.

And yes, those were real people.

https://twitter.com/mckra1g/status/1354525420503396352

That crowdfunding campaign to replace their bikes and help with medical expenses has raised nearly $1,000 of the modest $4,000 goal.

After repeated denials, Rivas finally admitted to detectives that he was the one behind the wheel of the killer SUV.

According to police, he denied drug or alcohol use and did not appear to be under the influence, leading them to suspect he suffered from some sort of mental illness or physical ailment.

Let’s hope it’s enough to keep him off the road for the rest of his life.

Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay. Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding the tweet.

………

That sudden chill you feel is hell freezing over.

Update: It turns out that statement wasn’t from the national AAA; instead, it came from the organization’s second largest affiliate group

But still, it’s a start.

………

Your periodic reminder that being one of the greatest cyclists of all time wasn’t even close to the most important accomplishment of Gino Bartali’s life.

Bartali is credited with saving dozens, if not hundreds, of Jews during WWII as he transported forged documents hidden in the frame of his bike.

………

But at least you can tell the cop it was gluten free.

………

When life gives you a geyser, take a shower.

………

And no hands, no less.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

That other chill you feel is formerly auto-centric Caltrans asking for your input on creating long-distance carfree bicycle highways in the Bay Area. Now if they could just get around to it down here in SoCal, where the weather is usually more conducive to year-round riding.

Calbike is sponsoring AB 117 in the state legislature, which would create a $10 million fund to provide incentives for ebike purchases; you can sign a petition to support the bill hereAlthough something tells me they could probably go through that much in the first week alone.

Speaking of Calbike, the statewide bike advocacy organization sings the praises of Quick-Build Projects, saying it’s more equitable to vet a project on the ground than on paper. It also sidesteps the endless series of angry meetings that allow NIMBYs to kill much-needed safety improvements simply by showing up and screaming en masse.

 

National

Your next Lime scooter could be a mo-ped.

A bike industry op-ed says promoting diversity in bicycling must be more than just a gesture.

Utah considers adopting the Idaho Stop Law, as a legislative committee votes 8 to 3 to pass it on to the full state house, even if state transportation officials don’t exactly like the idea.

He gets it. A Montana columnist says before you try to pass an expensive and unnecessary bike safety law, try talking with some actual bicyclists first.

An Ohio city manager responds to an online petition to yank out a new bike lane by saying just give it a chance, already.

A New York councilmember calls on the city to develop a real-time map showing where bike lanes are blocked. Wouldn’t a better solution be to just keep them from being blocked in the first place?

No bias here. After a New York driver gets “terrorized” by a bunch of teenaged bike riders, a state legislator calls for a new law to help police pinpoint cellphone 911 calls. But bike riders get terrorized by drivers on a daily basis, and no one cares.

 

International

Nothing like a little Chilean mountain biking in a total eclipse.

Once again, a bike rider can credit his Apple Watch with saving his life, after it automatically dialed the equivalent of 911 when he was swept away by an English river.

Britain’s Independent professes to tell you how to pick the right kind of bike for the way you’ll ride.

Life is cheap in the UK, where an 88-year old man walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider, after a judge sentenced sentenced him to a lousy 16-week curfew.

Sad news from Dublin, where a teenaged boy was stabbed to death when he attempted to intervene in an argument over a stolen bicycle.

A Mumbai teen hangs a banner thanking the police for recovering her bicycle less than 24 hours after it was stolen.

When an Indian boy’s bike was stolen after his disabled father had struggled to buy it, a kindhearted government minister stepped in to buy him a new one.

 

Competitive Cycling

It looks like former USA Cycling Team member, Orange County attorney and frequent BikinginLA contributor David Huntsman’s son is following in his dad’s tread tracks, as Eddy Huntsman joins three other new riders on the Continental Tour Elevate-Webiplex Pro Cycling Team. Thanks to proud papa David for the heads-up.

Bicycling says we should celebrate Tom Dumoulin’s sabbatical from the pro peloton. As usual, you can find it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you unsuccessfully try to make your getaway by bike after stealing a car while high on meth, then returning it and fighting with the owner. That feeling when you get drunk and ride your bike on the freeway.

And maybe this is why she wouldn’t return your call.

………

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

Morning Links: AP gives a little on crash not accident, and headphones don’t cause distracted riding

The AP finally gives a little on calling crashes accidents.

The latest edition of the press network’s new stylebook will advise reporters not to use the term when “negligence is claimed or proven,” since it could be interpreted as exonerating the person responsible.

Now we just have get them to flip that, and tell reporters and editors to never call a crash an accident unless it’s proven that no one’s at fault.

But it’s a start.

………

Britain’s equivalent of AAA is the latest to blame distracted walkers and cyclists for collisions, calling them smombies, or smartphone zombies.

Yet like so many others, they also throw headphone-wearing bike riders into the distracted riding mix. Even though headphones only affect hearing, rather than focus.

Here in California, it’s legal to wear headphones or earpieces in one ear, illegal to use them in both.

But blaming them for distracting riders is like saying drivers are distracted when they have their windows rolled up and the radio on. It may keep them from hearing the fire truck blaring its siren next to them, but it doesn’t significantly distract their focus from the road.

Just as riders don’t suddenly lose their ability to concentrate on the road ahead of them when they plug the second earpiece in.

It may not be legal. And it may not always be smart.

But it’s time to stop the ridiculous narrative that equates it to distracted driving.

………

The LA Weekly looks at the man who is using the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to fund his personal LA anti-growth campaign, while an OpEd in the Times says increasing density is more effective in fighting global warming than raising fuel economy standards.

Meanwhile, chapter four of former NYDOT Commissioner Sam Schwartz’ new book Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars offers the best explanation I’ve seen of why density makes sense.

And why’s it’s necessary for healthy cities, and to make walking and bicycling viable options for most people.

………

Local

The LACBC’s Eric Bruins says Metro wants to know how you’d slice the proposed $120 billion for transportation funding in LA County. Let’s start by not wasting it on widening any more freeways.

CiclaValley offers much-needed advice on taking your bike on the subway. Or any other Metro train, for that matter.

The Long Beach Grand Prix course is all yours for a whopping 75 minutes around noon today, as long as you’re biking, walking, skating or using some other form of non-motorized transport.

 

State

A Santa Cruz man is building an oversized mountain bike for taller people.

Sad news from Central California, as a 92-year old bike rider died in a collision with a 91-year old driver.

Northern California’s Caltrain is adding an additional bike car to their trains, increasing bike capacity from 48 to 72.

Tiburon residents worry that a new bike and pedestrian plan designed to improve accessibility could encourage more bike traffic. Which is kind of the point, isn’t it?

A Vacaville man faces a hit-and-run charge for a violent collision with a cyclist last August. Once again proving the inadequacy of current laws, as he faces a max of just four years for a needless wreck caused by overly aggressive driving that left a rider in a coma for two and a half weeks.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to deal with a little — or a lot — of rain, and how to keep your knees from hurting when you ride.

Who says bikeshare bikes are slow? A Hawaiian man riding one beats an experienced triathlete runner in a four mile uphill time trial. By four minutes, no less.

A Portland university is working to develop standards for safe intersections.

Caught on video: A Seattle bike rider narrowly avoids a collision with an SUV by turning hard to the left, though his momentum nearly throw him under the vehicle.

Caught on video 2: An Indianapolis bike cop challenges a couple of kids to a race.

New York cyclists can get a little divine protection at the annual Blessing of the Bicycles at the end of this month; LA’s very ecumenical Blessing of the Bicycles will take place at Good Samaritan Hospital on May 17th. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

A Charlotte NC newspaper wisely warns drivers to expect bicyclists to do the unexpected and give them room on the road.

South Carolina officials close off a lane on a busy bridge for two months as a test to see if they can make room for a bike and pedestrian lane.

Police in St. Petersburg FL are cracking down on bicyclists and pedestrians to improve traffic safety. Probably because it’s easier than attempting to tame the people in the big, dangerous machines.

A Florida paper says it’s time for the state legislature to actually do something about bills to protect cyclists and pedestrians; one would require drivers to allow a bike rider to clear an intersection before turning.

 

International

Vancouver joins the Vision Zero club.

London bike couriers fight for a minimum wage, holidays and sick pay.

It’s been a rough few days for dogs in the UK, as one pup barely survives a collision with a bike rider, while another was repeatedly kicked following an argument between its owner and a man on a bike. Seriously, no matter how pissed off you are at the owner, don’t take it out on the dog. Or anyone else, for that matter.

A business in the UK warns that cyclists who ride under the influence are ten times more likely to be injured than sober riders — then makes a blatant pitch for their roadside breathalyzer.

A South African man goes from stealing bikes to running his own bikeshare company. Let’s just hope he bought the bikes he’s using now.

 

Finally…

Okay, so maybe you shouldn’t blow your tax return on a new bike. Don’t try to lowball a bike seller, or you could end up at a brothel.

And try solving a Rubik’s Cube while riding on one wheel. Then do 116 more.

 

%d bloggers like this: