Tag Archive for dangerous vehicles

Tennery pleads guilty in Oceanside hit-and-run death, end suffering caused by cars, and riders injured in SoCal crashes

It looks like we’ll see justice for fallen bike rider Jackson Williams after all.

Such as it is.

Twenty-four-year old Oceanside resident Bailey Tennery pled guilty to killing Williams on Friday, three months after she left the 27-year old Carlsbad resident dying on an Oceanside street.

Tennery faces just four years behind bars when she’s sentenced for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run, and will likely serve less than half of that.

Just one more example of California’s failure to take hit-and-run seriously.

Tennery was arrested a week after the crash when a transient person alerted authorities to the damaged car parked at her home.

Let’s hope there’s a reward for a conviction, so at least some good will come from this needless tragedy.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Powerful opinion piece from NBC reporter Erin Sagen, who writes that we have to stop normalizing the suffering caused by cars.

The threat car emissions pose to the environment gets some attention. But what we Americans are still in total collective denial about is how lethal our car dependency already is. Every year, nearly 40,000 people die in crashes, and at least another 3.3 million are seriously injured. Cars put us in clear, imminent danger every day, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized: Motor vehicle traffic is a leading cause of death for children, well ahead of firearms or drownings. Among adults, Black and brown people are more likely to die or be injured by cars than white people are.

This year so far, 21,450 people have died in motor vehicle accidents, up 17 percent from 2019, according to preliminary estimates by the National Safety Council released last month. More than 2.4 million have been injured seriously enough to require medical attention. Usually when millions of Americans are being killed or injured at these rates, it triggers public outcry, even widespread movements. But when it comes to car accidents, we’ve mostly shrugged our shoulders and accepted the carnage as an unavoidable fact of life.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post explores five myths about highways, including the fallacies that wider roadways move traffic faster, congestion pricing hurts the poor, and gas taxes pay for the roads.

Then there’s this.

Some myths have mysterious origins. This is not one of them. In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a reportabout vehicle crashes that stated “the critical reason, which is the last event in the crash causal chain, was assigned to the driver in 94 percent of the crashes.” That figure, often stripped of its context, has had a long shelf life, particularly among transportation agencies. For instance, in 2019, the North Dakota Department of Transportation published a report claiming that “94% of motor vehicle crashes can be attributed to a preventable human behavior.” Autonomous-vehicle companies frequently cite the statistic — as Waymo does on its FAQ webpage — when touting the supposed safety benefits of their technology.

But laying blame on the driver lets many other parties off the hook — such as transportation engineers who could have created a safer road. For instance, slip lanes at intersections are intended to allow drivers to maintain speed while making right turns. That design can work well in rural areas, but in cities it often places too much onus on a driver, who must monitor her speed, watch for traffic while merging and yield to pedestrians crossing the slip lane at a crosswalk. If a collision ensues, police will find the driver to be at fault, ignoring the engineers who placed her in a dangerous situation…

And our own Michael Schneider looks at America’s disastrous SUV arms race, as vehicles keep getting bigger and bigger, and deadlier and deadlier.

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A man riding a bicycle was critically injured when he was struck by a driver who swerved into the Oxnard bike lane he was riding in Friday night.

The 19-year old driver claims he was avoiding a tractor-trailer that swerved into his lane when he crashed into the victim, who has not been publicly identified.

Just one more example of a driver crashing into the soft, squishy person instead of a big, hard machine.

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While we’re on the subject of SoCal bike crashes, I was forwarded a notice of a man apparently run down from behind while riding in a bike lane on Palos Verdes Drive North in Rolling Hills Estates on Saturday.

Initial reports are he seemed to be okay, but let’s keep our fingers crossed anyway.

And maybe push for a protected bike lane on a dangerous corridor where this crap happens all too often.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

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Buyer beware.

Shimano is warning that a clearance website purporting to sell their fishing and bicycling products isn’t legitimate. The company is trying to get the shimano-clearance.store website shut down.

But avoid it in the meantime, because there’s no guarantee what you’ll get from the site.

If you get anything.

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If the goal is to move people more efficiently, cars aren’t always the answer.

Okay, cars are hardly ever the answer.

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The only thing that could make this photo of hundreds of bikes parked at UC Davis in the 1960s seem any cooler is noting who took it.

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Evidently, Monty Python’s Michael Palin wasn’t just the Bicycle Repairman.

He was also one of us.

Nice bike, too.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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

After a Portland driver decided he didn’t like the barrels blocking his access to a Slow Street, he just moved them out of the way while leaving a passive-aggressive note explaining why they inconvenienced him.

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

A San Francisco woman has avoided charges for running down an 81-year old woman while riding on the sidewalk in violation of local laws; the victim suffered a broken elbow and shattered hip, as well as hitting her head.

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Local

Metro is beginning work on a long-discussed bike and pedestrian corridor connecting Little Tokyo with Union Station, including “crosswalk improvements at 19 intersections, bike/walk esplanades with double rows of street trees and nearly 1.7 new miles of bike lanes.”

Ride your bike to Union Station for a scary good time this weekend.

A 30-year old bike rider was airlifted to a hospital in unknown condition Sunday afternoon after he was injured in Santa Clarita’s Whitney Canyon. That came one day after another rider was airlifted out of Placerita Canyon with a possible broken arm.

 

State

A 31-year old SoCal man went from bike-riding Rialto tagger to one of the creative world’s most in-demand young illustrators.

Hundreds of people turned out to celebrate the completion of the first 3.5 mile segment of the CV Link bike trail in Palm Desert, part of a planned 50-mile loop around the Coachella Valley. Meanwhile, a local TV station wants to know why drivers are using it, too.

The brother of famed 86-year old Bay Area bicyclist Joe Shami, called the legend of Mt. Diablo after riding up the mountain every week for 500 weeks, has filed suit against the city of Lafayette over what he alleges is the poorly designed roundabout where Shami was killed by a driver earlier this year.

 

National

Heartbreaking news from Honolulu, where an 89-year old man died over two weeks after he was run down by a cowardly hit-and-run driver, who left the victim lying in the street. The driver should be charged with murder for making a conscious decision to leave an elderly man to die, rather than get the help that might have saved his life.

The man who has administered Tucson, Arizona’s Pima County for a quarter of a century was critically injured when he was collateral damage in a collision between two drivers while on a weekly group ride.

Denver bike riders have a new curb and bollard protected bike lane to help get into the downtown area; the city is also replacing a painted bike lane where a mother was killed riding her bike two years ago with a new protected lane. Someone mention that last one to Rolling Hills Estates, k?

Life is cheap in Boulder CO, where the hit-and-run driver who ran down former Bicycling writer Andrew Bernstein as he was riding home from a velodrome session two years ago got a lousy two years behind bars, with another two years probation, despite leaving Bernstein paralyzed below the knee in one leg, and dependent on catheters. As usual, you can read the top link on Yahoo if Bicycling block you.

A Nashville advocacy group works with a high school design team to fix a dangerous intersection, including a glow-in-the-dark crosswalk, although it’s oddly described as an art installation.

Residents of the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx rallied to protest plans for a bike lane that would require removing 150 parking spaces in what they claim is a parking-poor area, arguing that they’ll have to park their cars in dangerous areas, and that no one would use it from October to April. So they’d rather make people on bicycles ride on dangerous streets. And maybe they haven’t noticed that many New Yorkers ride their bikes year round.

A 23-year old man from Queens, New York was arrested for the murder of a delivery rider to steal his ebike; the 51-year old immigrant was working to send money back home to his wife and kids in Bangladesh.

 

International

Cycling Tips offers more information than you ever wanted about riding tubeless.

A Toronto writer says the economic and environmental benefits of riding a bike are huge, calling bike lanes integral to the global movement away from cars, while connecting those benefits to the local level.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly likes the bespoke bike President Biden gave him so much he’s riding it, despite refusing to pay for it as British law requires for an official gift.

Paris Mayor Anne Hildago is making her push for a 100% bikeable, 15-minute city the springboard for her candidacy as the Socialist candidate for President of France, although her campaign is starting with just single-digit support.

French fashion icon Christian Dior’s sister Catherine was a hero of the French Resistance during WWII, riding her bicycle up and down the coast of Southern France to draw maps and gather intelligence.

NPR looks at the roaring success of Barcelona’s Bicibús, or Bike Bus, enabling hundreds of children to safely ride their bicycles to school.

A team of volunteers headed by Hyderabad, India’s Bicycle Mayor is fixing up old, unloved bicycles to pass on to people in need.

 

Competitive Cycling

Horrible racing crash in Spain on Saturday, when a woman ran across the finish line just as a rider was crossing it; both victims were hospitalized in unknown condition. The look of sheer terror on the cyclist’s face is gut Twrenching.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole 20 bikes from the Italian cycling team at the world track cycling championships, including a handful of gold track bikes worth nearly $35,000 apiece.

Twenty-seven-year old American Alexis Ryan’s rejoins her sister on the L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team, which also allows her to rejoin founders Justin and Cory Williams, who she rode with on the Major Motion team. Meanwhile, the team has also signed 23-year old American cyclist Ian Garrison, who comes on after two years on the WorldTour.

Cycling Weekly talks with Clay Davies, the first openly gay elite male cyclist in the UK.

 

Finally…

We often have to deal with bearish LA drivers; actual bears, not so much. That feeling when you repurpose bathroom accessories on your handlebars.

And once again, a bike rider is a hero.

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

Study calls for more and better bike helmet testing, bike/ped safety ratings for trucks and SUVs, and how to live carfree

We’ve said it many times before.

Bike helmets can help in a crash, but not as much as they could.

Or should.

Now Bicycling reports a new study confirms the same thing, saying more rigorous testing is needed to improve them.

  • Bike helmets are designed to protect you against a traumatic brain injury (TBI), yet testing them in a way that mimics real-world falls and collisions has been lacking, a new study suggests.
  • Current manufacturer methods tend to test helmets with falls from right angles, which is how you’d land if the bike was stationary.
  • The research describes a new method of helmet testing where crash test dummies hit the ground at an angle as they were moving—basically, the way you’d actually fall off a bike.
  • However, previous research indicates helmets still significantly reduce the risk of skull fractures and other TBIs, so it’s important to wear one while riding.

That last point is important.

I probably wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t been wearing mine during the infamous beachfront bee incident — which is exactly the kind of relatively slow speed fall bike helmets are designed to protect against.

Not the high speed collisions most drivers seem to think.

But even with one, I still spent a night in intensive care, and the better part of a week in the hospital.

That’s also the only time I’ve needed one in four decades of riding.

But I’m damn glad I had it on.

As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

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Interesting idea.

A bill in the New York legislature would impose a safety rating system on trucks and SUVs to rank the danger they pose to bike riders and pedestrians.

But then what?

Studies have previously shown that the flat grills, high hoods and high road clearance of today’s trucks and SUVS — let alone their ever-increasing size — are a key factor in the rising rate of traffic deaths in the US.

And while it might be helpful to know which vehicles pose the greatest risk, it’s pretty meaningless if that’s as far as it goes.

There needs to be additional action to force improvements for the lowest rated vehicles, such as fines that increase with each drop in safety ratings.

Or better yet, force the SUVs and trucks with the worst safety rating off the road. Then give the next lowest tier five years to improve their safety before removing that one from the road, too.

And keep going until every truck and SUV qualifies for the highest safety rating — which, chances are, none do now.

Yes, safety ratings are a good idea.

But ratings without action will just mean more needless deaths on our streets.

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They get it.

NACTO, aka the National Association of City Transportation Officials, came out against the proposed transportation bill introduced in the US Senate, arguing it “largely maintains the status quo that made American transportation so inequitable, unsustainable, and unsafe to begin with.”

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The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition is hosting a webinar tonight to discuss how to live your life carfree.

 

Then again, all you really need is three simple steps.

Step 1: Sell your car.

Step 2: Buy a bike.

Step 3: Ride it. Everywhere.

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

Once again, someone has sabotaged a bike trail in the UK, planting upright spikes on a Scottish mountain bike path where they were most likely to trap, and possibly seriously injure, unsuspecting riders. And once again, this should be treated as the serious crime it is, not just a mere prank.

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

Florida police arrested a 39-year old ebike-riding man for tossing a cooler full of human shit outside a Jewish school in a Miami suburb, two days after he shouted anti-Semitic slurs and threw a bag of shit at the temple nextdoor.

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Local

Micromobility providers are ready to roll out again as America reawakens from its coronavirus slumber, including Santa Monica-based Bird and West Hollywood’s Wheels.

Nick Jonas credits his wife Priyanka Chopra with helping him recover from a broken rib he suffered falling off his bike while filming an undisclosed project with his brothers.

 

State

A 64-year old San Diego man suffered serious injuries when he was cut off by a driver pulling out an alley in the North Park neighborhood, and slammed his ebike into the side of the car; the victim suffered a broken ankle, in addition to other non-life threatening injuries.

The Santa Rosa bicyclist who died last week after he and another bike rider were hit by an alleged drunk driver was a skilled winemaker with the Gary Farrell Winery in Healdsburg; the 12-year old boy who was also injured was not related to him, and just happened to be riding in the same area.

A Sonoma County writer asks how safe it is to ride a bike in the county, then fails to answer the question.

 

National

Black Girls Do Bike is teaming with Little Bellas to encourage more “Black, Indigenous, Girls of Color” to start riding with Little Bellas, which is dedicated to encouraging girls to ride bikes, then to continue riding with the Black Girls Do Bike community once they outgrow the Little Bellas program.

In case you need a refresher, the Southern Nevada Bike Coalition explains how to correctly wear a bike helmet. First step, make sure it’s not on backward, which I’ve somehow seen too many times.

A Las Vegas man was killed when he crashed into a small dog while riding a motorized bicycle; sadly, the dog didn’t make it, either.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee is reintroducing The Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act, which would allow local managers to decide whether and how to allow bicycles in wilderness areas; the original bill expired in the previous congressional session before any action was taken.

Arkansas is hosting a statewide bike summit to talk road safety this month.

A Chicago writer says the city’s new bikeshare ebikes are a game changer — so stop tossing them into Lake Michigan.

Peloton is responding to last year’s shortages created by increased demand during the pandemic by building their first US factory in Ohio.

Charges have finally been filed against a Pennsylvania man who killed a man riding a bike back in 2019, while allegedly stoned on methadone, Klonopin and Xanax. The only question is what the hell took so long?

 

International

Road.cc rates the 15 best chain lubes, while examining the eternal question of wet vs dry.

A street-racing Liverpool man was sentenced to two years behind bars and banned for driving for four years for slamming into a man on a bicycle, leaving the victim with lasting brain damage after languishing in a coma for a full month; the 28-year old future inmate recently suffered a stroke, which he describes as “karma.” The other driver was sentenced to 13 months.

A London police commissioner called for a ban on e-scooters before their wide rollout in the city next month, warning that more people will be hurt. So wouldn’t it make sense to ban cars instead, since they hurt far more people, more seriously?

London should provide more cargo bike parking and make market deliveries by cargo bike, according to a new report from a sustainability think tank.

No bias here. A former Scottish deputy police chief says the bike boom means traffic laws have to be enforced — especially against the people on two wheels.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 76-year old man got just two and a half years behind bars for running over a ten-year old boy on a bike, then backing up and running over him again — as the boy’s father and others watched in horror — while driving at over twice the legal alcohol limit. Fortunately, the kid survived, but with major injuries.

An Irish man faces charges for a strong-arm robbery in which he pushed a woman off her bike as she was riding to work, then punched her in the face as she lay on the ground before making off with her bike, all while “extremely intoxicated” on booze and Xanax.

Cycling Tips highlights six unique brands from the Australian Handmade Bicycle Show, including one that makes wooden handlebars, and another that makes a tail light designed to illuminate the rider’s legs, rather than the roadway.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tour de France winner Egan Bernal tightened his grip on the pink leader’s jersey by winning Monday’s 16th stage of the Giro, which was shortened by nearly 40 miles and two mountain passes due to rain and snow.

 

Finally…

No, you probably can’t get this much air on a mountain bike. And sometimes, two wheels are faster than four.

Especially when it’s this four.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

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