Tag Archive for driving while high

Killer Make-A-Wish driver convicted, and Orange driver pleads guilty to intentionally running over bike-riding boyfriend

That didn’t take long.

Mandy Benn, the Michigan driver accused of killed two men participating in a three-day Make-A-Wish fundraising ride while stoned on prescription meds, was found guilty on all 15 counts by the jury, including second-degree murder, after just three hours of deliberation.

Which works out to about 12 minutes a charge.

Benn was attempting to pass a UPS truck when she went onto the wrong side of the road and slammed head-on into a group of riders, injuring three others in addition to the two men who died at the scene.

A detective investigating the crash said she appeared disoriented, and “like she was on a different planet.”

Benn had two painkillers and an anti-anxiety drug in her system at the time of the crash, as well as bottles of prescription meds in her car. The defense tried to blame her disorientation on a concussion suffered in the collision — an excuse the jury clearly rejected.

She could now spend the rest of her life behind bars once she’s sentenced on the murder charges.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

………

Maybe she should change her relationship status to “It’s complicated.”

A 29-year old Orange woman will be sentenced later this month after pleading guilty to intentionally running over her then-boyfriend as he rode his bicycle away from her home in December, 2020.

Diana Rodriguez pled guilty to felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon and corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, with sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury in a domestic violence incident.

Prosecutors dropped a felony count of mayhem, as well as three misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, as part of her plea deal.

The victim was scorched a hot vehicle part after being pinned under her car, but survived when a neighbor used a jack to lift the car off him.

………

The family of Joshua Cervantes Drayer called for justice and closure more than a year after the 40-year old Dana Point man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his ebike.

………

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

The head of Brompton’s bikeshare program criticized UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s new “proudly pro-car” policies, describing Sunak’s attempt to halt the mythical “war on motorists’ as “wedge politics” and an “artificial construct” which will “hopefully blow over given time.”

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

A sidewalk-raging English delivery rider went over his handlebars attempting to get at a delivery driver who had called him a dick, among other less-than-friendly terms, for complaining about on the sidewalk, after pointing out that he wasn’t supposed to ride there, either. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail, apparently believing two wrongs do, in fact make a right, clearly sided with the foul-mouthed driver.

………

Local 

A letter writer in the Los Angeles Times pleads with government officials not to take away the cherished right-turn-on-red that so many SoCal drivers seem to assume is their God-given right, arguing that if drivers and pedestrians both obey the law, it’s perfectly safe. Which is about like saying guns are perfectly safe if owners use them properly, and people don’t step in front of the bullets.

The Beverly Hills Courier considers the city’s plan to add bike lanes to a third-mile section of Beverly Blvd.

 

State

San Diego’s commitment to building an actual bike lane network is paying off, after our neighbor to the south was recognized as America’s “greenest” city.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Holocaust survivor and age-group world cycling champ Leon Malmed celebrated his 86th birthday with a South Lake Tahoe bike ride.

 

National

A 53-year old woman was charged with careless driving for killing a ten-year old boy riding a bicycle in a small town near my Colorado hometown; police concluded she was driving distracted, after initially blaming the victim.

Hundreds of Houston bicyclists turned out for a memorial ride through streets lined with green ribbons to honor a 14-year old boy who was killed by a driver while riding his bike to school last week.

Bloomington, Indiana hamstrung an award-winning bikeway by installing new stop signs, slowing bike riders as well as the intended drivers.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts letter writer calls attention to a recent USDOT report that says bike lanes protected with car-ticker plastic pendy-posts reduced crashes by 50 percent when compared to bike lanes without them.

Police in New York are looking for a man who beat a 66-year old woman with a collapsable baton, knocking her off her bicycle, after the two nearly collided in Central Park.

Echoing a statement we’ve all heard too many times, North Carolina bicyclists say a 61-year old man was doing everything right when he was run down from behind and killed by a driver while attempting to make a left turn.

 

International

Insider Monkey — no, that’s not a typo — lists the world’s 20 most bike-friendly countries, and somehow includes the United States, where bikes and all other forms of transportation take a back seat to cars, at number 13, ahead of Japan, England, Spain and Italy; the Netherlands and Denmark naturally lead the rankings, with Australia — which is even more bike-unfriendly than the US — coming in third.

A Toronto college student got his stolen ebike back after launching his own investigation, and finding it for sale at a “really sketchy bike shop with no name.”

Life is cheap in Jersey, where a 51-year old driver walked without a day behind bars, as if a lousy six-month driving ban and community service is sufficient punishment for seriously injuring a bike rider in a “momentary lapse of concentration.

A stoned truck driver in Edinburgh, Scotland will have to find a new line of work after he was sentenced to two years behind bars and banned from driving for eight more, for killing an intensive care nurse who was biking to work during the pandemic.

An 85-year old Scottish woman rode her bicycle to cope with her grief over the deaths of her adult children, riding 1,000 miles around the country while raising the equivalent of nearly $88,000 for charity in the process. I have no idea how many hundreds of miles I rode to cope with my father’s death.

The leader of the Cyprus Green Party calls for an end to the country’s mandatory bike helmet law.

A writer for Taiwan News wants you to put the island on your bike bucket list.

Speaking of Australia, The Guardian says more Australian families are ditching cars for ebikes, in part because they pay for themselves. To which Californians who have waited more than two years for the state’s long-delayed ebike rebate program, respond “We wouldn’t know.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenia’s Tadej Pogačar became just the third cyclist to win three consecutive editions of Italy’s Il Lombardia, after Alfredo Binda won three in 1925-1927, and the great Fausto Coppi won four in a row from 1946 to 1949.

Fellow Slovenian Matej Mohorič won his first senior world title at Sunday’s Gravel World Championships, apparently while riding an as-yet unreleased Merida gravel bike.

Australian cyclist Nathan Haas was forced to ride a bike quickly pulled from Colnago’s in-house museum at Sunday’s gravel world championships after his bike was lost by the airline.

New Zealand’s 34-year old “Flying Mullet” Shane Archbold calls it a career after a decade in the pro peloton.

Mountain bikers from 19 states and three countries set off from downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas Saturday for the 1,000-mile Arkansas High Country race.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could come wrapped in 24 karat gold and cost more than a Rolls-Royce. Nothing like riding your bike to Hell and back. No, literally.

And that’s a very good question.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Huerta on trial for Tour de Palm Springs death, examining the racial gap in traffic deaths, and too little too late for LA mom

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today, so settle in and let’s get to it. 

……..

Jury selection has begun in the trial of Ronnie Ramon Huerta for the death of 56-year old bicyclist Mark Kristofferson during the 2018 Tour de Palm Springs.

Huerta was allegedly stoned and driving at up to 100 mph when he lost control of his car and plowed into the Lake Stevens, Washington man and 48-year-old Huntington Beach resident Alyson Lee Akers as they were riding their bikes.

Kristofferson died at the scene, while Akers miraculously survived the impact despite suffering significant head trauma, resulting in lasting injuries.

Huerta was arrested after he was detained by witnesses as he tried to escape into the desert.

He faces charges of second-degree murder, driving under the influence of drugs resulting in great bodily injury, reckless driving and driving on a suspended license.

NBC Palm Springs had this to say about Huerta’s driving history prior to the crash.

According to a trial brief filed by the District Attorney’s Office, Huerta was a repeat traffic offender, racking up seven citations over a two- year span for speeding, failing to obey traffic signals and signs, making unsafe lane changes and driving while distracted due to use of a cellular telephone.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles suspended his driving privileges in 2017 because he had accumulated so many points on his record that he was deemed a “negligent operator” of a vehicle and unsafe to be on the road, the brief said.

Huerta had been suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana during a Desert Hot Springs police investigation in January 2017 stemming from his plowing through a stop sign on Palm Drive. However, no charges were filed due to a lack of conclusive results in blood screenings that were done after his arrest, according to court papers.

Despite that, he still retained possession of his car, so he able to get behind the wheel despite his horrendous driving record and lack of a valid license.

And Kristofferson and Akers paid the price.

Allegedly.

Photo from Ekaterina Bolovtsova for Pexels.

………

He gets it.

In an op-ed in the New York Times, Adam Paul Susaneck, founder of Segregation by Design, examines the alarming racial gap in American traffic deaths.

Across the US — and right here in Los Angeles — your risk of dying in a traffic collision increases exponentially if you live in a community populated primarily by people of color, as well as lower income neighborhoods.

Which are too often the same thing.

The design of our cities is partly to blame for these troubling disparities. Pedestrian and cyclist injuries tend to be concentratedin poorer neighborhoods that have a larger share of Black and Hispanic residents. These neighborhoods share a history of under-investment in basic traffic safety measures such as streetlights, crosswalks and sidewalks, and an over-investment in automobile infrastructure meant to speed through people who do not live there. Recent research from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, found that formerly redlined neighborhoods — often the targets of mid-century “slum clearance” projects that destroyed residences and businesses to allow for new arterial roads and highways — had a strong statistical association with increased pedestrian deaths. The neighborhoods graded D for lending risk by the federal Home Owners’ Loan Corporation had more than double the pedestrian fatality rate than neighborhoods graded A.

He writes that on a per mile basis, Black people are more than twice as likely to be struck and killed by a vehicle as white pedestrians, while fatality rates for Black bicyclists are a whopping 4.5 times higher than white cyclists.

For Hispanic walkers and bikers, the death rates were 1.5 and 1.7 times higher, respectively, than they are for white Americans using the same modes of transportation.

Then he brings it home for those of us living here in LA.

In Los Angeles, for instance, a 2020 analysis by U.C.L.A. researchers found that although Black residents made up 8.6 percent of the city’s population, they represented more than 18 percent of all pedestrians killed and around 15 percent of all cyclists. From 2016 to 2020, the Los Angeles metropolitan area had more pedestrian deaths than any other metro area in the United States and a pedestrian death rate higher than the metropolitan areas around New York, Philadelphia or Washington…

Last year, 312 people died in traffic accidents in Los Angeles, the majority of them pedestrians and cyclists. “If 300 people died of something in the city, whether it was something violent or whether it was something else like Covid, the resources were put behind it to try to prevent those things, to respond to those things,” said Eunisses Hernandez, a member of the Los Angeles City Council. “We have not seen that same urgency with people dying in traffic accidents as pedestrians and as cyclists.”

Shameful doesn’t begin to describe it.

The solution, he says, is investing in safer road design with proven interventions like “narrowing streets, reducing the amount of space devoted to cars, enforcing speed limits and adding trees to provide visual cues for drivers to slow down.”

And he adds,

City planners must recognize that we all should be able to walk or ride a bicycle through our own neighborhood without fearing for our life.

It’s well worth a few minutes of your day to read the whole thing.

Go ahead, we’ll wait.

………

Call it yet another example to too little, too late.

A mom walking her 6-year old daughter in a crosswalk was fatally run down by a driver, and her daughter critically injured, as they crossed the street in front of the girl’s school Tuesday morning.

The driver may or may not have been intoxicated, or could have been suffering a medical emergency.

So the LA city council has responded with a plan to install speed bumps near every elementary school in the city.

Which raises the obvious question of what the hell took them so long — particularly since the city has ostensibly had a Safe Routes to Schools program for the past several years?

And why the hell do we always have to wait until someone is needlessly killed before making even the smallest safety improvements?

At least they’re doing something now. Too late for an innocent mother and her equally innocent child.

But still.

………

They get it, too.

A podcast from The New Republic examines America’s unhealthful addiction to motor vehicles.

Americans are in a toxic relationship with their automobiles. They’re bad for us—polluting, noisy, and increasingly dangerous to pedestrians—yet we remain fully committed to them. They’re also bad at their primary function: transport.

I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet.

But this week’s fiasco with the gutting of the MOVE Culver City project to add a traffic lane certainly makes their case for them.

………

Spectrum News 1 reports California’s long-delayed $7.5 million ebike rebate program will finally launch sometime in the second quarter of this year.

Which is, like, now.

The program will be limited to California residents 18 or older, with a gross annual household income less than 300% of the federal poverty level.

The station reports that the standard tax credit will be $1,000, with an additional $750 for cargo or adaptive ebikes.

You can also receive another $250 if you live in a a disadvantaged or low-income community, or have a gross income 225% of the federal poverty level, or less.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s meeting of the Pasadena Municipal Committee was cancelled, delaying approval of a proposed ebike rebate program for residents of that city.

Thanks to Atticuz the Freelance Activist for the heads-up.

………

Things are starting to take shape on 7th Street in DTLA.

https://twitter.com/multimodalLA/status/1651053122276720641

………

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

San Diego’s infamously bike hating Ocean Beach columnist calls on the neighborhood to secede from the city, in part because of bike lanes allegedly foisted upon them without local input.

No bias here. A Toronto mayoral candidate has taken aim at the city’s bike lanes, catering his campaign to bike lane haters.

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

Three women were assaulted in separate incidents in New York’s Central Park after being surrounded by bikeshare-riding teenagers.

………

Local 

Who knew you could checkout a bike pump at your local library?

Streets For All reminds you to take the survey about changes to Eagle Rock Blvd between Colorado and York boulevards, and select Option 2, which they say is “safest for cyclists, widens sidewalks, adds more sidewalk trees and preserves the most parking (ie. less likely to experience community pushback).”

Streetsblog offers photos from Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets through four San Gabriel Valley communities, and reports that new bike lanes have been installed on Foothill Boulevard in Sylmar and San Fernando Road in Cypress Park.

Michael Siegel forwards news that South Pas Active Streets will host a bike valet at Saturday’s The Eclectic community music and art festival in South Pasadena; the event will be held on Mission Street, which will be closed to cars for the day.

 

State

Streetsblog offers more details on AB 73 passing out of the Assembly Transportation Committee; the bill would allow adult bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, but must survive Gavin Newsom’s veto pen if it passes the legislature.

San Diego continues to make massive payouts to settle personal injury lawsuits, with the latest example a $2.95 million settlement for a man who suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was thrown off his bike after hitting sunken pavement in the city’s Bay Ho neighborhood, and now suffers permanent disabilities. Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

This is who we share the road with. A Temescal Valley man is on trial for murder in the hit-and-run death of three teenagers, and critically injuring three others, when he allegedly ran them off the road in a fit of rage after one of the teens rang his doorbell and mooned him before speeding off in their car; he also claims he seldom drinks, but somehow chugged two six-packs of beer in two and a half hours before the crash, yet was miraculously driving under control, “even using his turn signals” as he pursued their car. Sure, that’s credible.

Friends of fallen San Francisco masters cycling champ Ethan Boyes want to know why the details of his death remains shrouded in mystery, while the lawyer for his family calls for patience.

Sad news from Fremont, where a man riding an ebike was killed in a collision with a Tesla driver.

A group of bicyclists including former pros Alison Tetrick and Rebecca Rusch rode their bikes from Marin County to Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic, while Cycling Weekly highlights the top ten things chosen from the 900 brands on display at the show.

The Kelly Clarkson Show features Sacramento’s Mercy Pedalers, a religious nonprofit that uses bikes to distribute water, food and other vital resources to the city’s homeless residents.

A kindhearted Merced school principal bought a new bike for a teenage student after his was stolen.

 

National

Road Bike Rider considers the difference between biking and cycling, even though they mean exactly the same thing.

Vice recommends the best city bikes, going beyond the usual suspects to include bikes from REI, Linus and State.

A bill in the Oregon legislature targeting civil disorder has bike advocates worried that it could ensnare people protesting while riding a bike or corking an intersection on charges of engaging in paramilitary activity.

The Coast Guard had to rescue a man in Galveston, Texas after he spent nearly a day trapped in mud when his bike got stuck.

A Texas man rode eighty miles on what he calls the frontage road from hell, just so you don’t have to.

The editor of Chicago Streetsblog is recovering after he was seriously injured when a piece of unsecured construction material fell off a pickup truck and struck him as he was on a bike tour of southern Illinois.

A Minnesota man was named Advocate of the Year by the League of American Bicyclists.

A bighearted Indiana man is on a mission to ensure every kid can have a bike, by refurbishing used bikes and donating them to children in need.

The family of a Pittsburgh man tased to death by cops for the crime of test riding a bicycle he thought was abandoned has reached a super secret settlement with the city; five officers were fired over the incident, while three others were disciplined.

A bighearted man in Maine has spent the last three years rebuilding 400 bikes for asylum seekers coming to the state.

Bicycling calls BS on a Cambridge, Massachusetts group whose highly-flawed study purports to show bike lanes are more dangerous than simply sharing the road. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

If you build it, they will come. New York City’s transportation commissioner says bike ridership in the city had has reached an all-time high, with 24,000 daily weekday trips on on the East River Bridges alone.

The chair of New York’s city council transportation committee insists local community boards should have veto power over street safety projects. Which would turn New York’s successful traffic safety work into the same failed system we suffer with in Los Angeles, where councilmembers overrule any and every project in their districts.

Two new bike lanes across the Mississippi River from New Orleans are causing confusing among apparently easily confused drivers and local officials, with contradictory complaints that one lacks protective barriers, and the other one doesn’t.

Miami officials have approved plans for a 20-mile long, fully separated pedestrian and bicycle trail.

A teenager vacationing in Florida with his family suffered serious injuries when a 19-year old unlicensed driver fell asleep at the wheel and slammed into his bike.

 

International

Brompton foldies go electric, as Momentum considers the benefits of owning a folding bicycle.

Bike riders in Ottawa, Canada complain that new bike lanes abruptly end to make room for right turn lanes, arguing that the design is too dangerous. To which SoCal bike riders say welcome to our world.

Add this one to your bike bucket list — an ebike tour of lighthouses in southwest Scotland.

A British company has introduced rear-view bicycling glasses with built-in mirrors.

A man in the UK denies having anything to do with the hundreds of stolen bikes found in his garden. Apparently, they were all place there by the bike fairies without his knowledge.

Apparently fascinated by countries starting with the 21st and 11th letters of the alphabet, an English man rode his bike nearly 2,000 miles from the UK to Ukraine in three weeks to raise funds for charity.

An Aussie broadcast network examines desire lines, and what they can tell us about how to design safer, better public spaces.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgium’s Sanne Cant is back in action after receiving 60 stitches to close severe facial cuts suffered in a mass crash in the women’s Paris-Roubaix.

Tragic news from Colombia, where a 17-year old cyclist died of a heart attack during the second stage of the Vuelta a Anapoima.

A local cycling team in Sierra Leone is riding in Great Britain’s national team kit, after the outdated uniforms were donated by the father of Britain’s Ethan and Leo Hayter.

Alpecin Cycling previews next months 106th Giro d’Italia.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your final project for welding school is an 8.5-foot high tall bike. When you’re carrying meth on your bike, obey the damn traffic laws — and don’t head butt the cop car after you get busted.

And when you’re riding your bike with an outstanding arrest warrant, stop for the damn stop sign, already — and don’t fight with the cops after leading them on a bicycle chase.

……….

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Man riding bicycle killed by Oceanside driver high on heroin; driver arrested for DUI and vehicular manslaughter

An Oceanside man is dead, just because he rode his bike on a street that should have been safe.

And had the misfortune of sharing the road with someone who decided to get behind the wheels while high on heroin — by his own admission.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the victim was riding on Douglas Drive near Madra Lane, either in the street or on the sidewalk, when he was struck by the driver just before 5 pm at the entrance to the Mission View mobile home parks.

He died at the scene.

The victim was identified only as a man who appeared to be in his 50s.

The driver, a 52-year old Oceanside resident, was arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter after apparently failing a field sobriety test, and admitting that he was using heroin.

That could be escalated to murder if it turns out this wasn’t his first DUI offense.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred, but it seems likely the driver struck the victim while either entering or exiting the mobile home park.

San Diego’s Fox5 reported on the crash as well, but seemed more concerned about the effect on traffic from the street closure than the needless death of a human being.

This is at least the 11th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones. 

26.5 years for killer stoned driver in AZ master’s race, a damp last CicLAvia of 2022, and Orange Line bike path closure

It’s the second full week of the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

I’m often humbled by the support this site receives. And never more than I was on Sunday.

Saturday I was feeling low after we didn’t receive a single donation, leaving the fund drive hundreds of dollars behind last year’s record-setting pace.

Then on Sunday the floodgates opened. Not only did the sudden outpouring of support make up the deficit, it actually left us a little ahead of last year this morning. 

I recognized a lot of the donors, whether from giving in years past, sharing links or comments on here, or from their work on bike advocacy issues. 

Each and every one touched my heart, leaving me overwhelmed with gratitude. But none more than a donation from a loved one of a fallen bicyclist, who remembered the support I gave them in their time of need. 

All of which has me feeling incredibly humbled today.

I hope you’ll join me in offering a sincere thank you to André V, Greg M, Scott G, Penny S, Samuel M, David Matsu, John H, Anthony D, Mark M and Andre C for their very generous support. 

Because they’re the ones who gave from the heart to bring all the best bike news your way today, and every day. 

So don’t wait. Just take a moment right now to join them by donating via PayPal or Zelle.

We’ll wait.

………

There’s justice in Show Low, Arizona, a year and a half after a stoned driver plowed into a master’s bike race, killing one man and seriously injuring eight other people, six critically.

Shawn Michael Chock was sentenced to 26½ years behind bars for the bizarre crime. The 36-year old man received a 16-year sentence for killing 58-year old Jeremy Barrett, and 10-1/2 years for assaulting a police officer, to be served consecutively, with no time off for good behavior for the first 16 years.

A defense attorney claimed Chock was once an accomplished bike racer himself, but suffered from mental health problems. He reportedly relapsed when he received bad family news after three years of sobriety, and blacked out after failing to take his meds and inhaling aerosol fumes, crossing over several lanes of traffic to plow into the racers.

Although that doesn’t fit with earlier reports that Chock was laughing as he steered into the victims, and made a U-turn to come back at them.

Which is kind of hard to do when you’re unconscious.

It’s also worth noting that a history of mental illness and substance abuse somehow wasn’t enough for authorities to keep Chock from getting behind the wheel until it was too late.

He was only arrested after officers shot his truck engine to disable it following a standoff with police behind a hardware store.

………

Sunday marked the last CicLAvia of the year, as the streets of South LA opened to welcome bike riders, walkers, skaters, rollers, cowboys, and yes, even Dodgers, of every description, despite the cool, cloudy and sometimes wet weather.

Of course, it’s always after the event that those warm feelings give way to the typical LA challenge of just getting home in one piece.

………

One of LA’s busiest bikeways shut down without warning, as Streetsblog discovered an unexpected closure on the Orange Line.

And as usual, the detour leaves something to be desired, dumping riders onto surface streets to negotiate their route with impatient drivers.

How long the repairs will take, and how long the closure will last, is anyone’s guess.

………

The next time you complain about the crappy bikeways you have to use, or the lack thereof, remember this.

It could be worse.

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1599195355949563904

………

A distracted driver calls out the risk posed to safe, law-abiding bike riders from distracted drivers just like him.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1599579717325111296

Click on the tweet if the photo of the rider is obscured.

………

This is who we share the road with.

………

Who needs handlebars?

Or a head tube, fork or front wheel, for that matter?

………

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

No bias here. A Marin paper calls for “compromises” by limiting the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bike path to weekend use by recreational riders — even though traffic congestion is no worse than before it was installed, and removing it on weekdays would just make traffic worse in other areas. In other words, they want bike commuters and local communities to compromise by surrendering to drivers.

No bias here, either. A Portland hotel manager complains about a parking protected bike lane in front of the hotel, as careless guests nearly collide with bike riders, and a guest’s car door “got hit by a bicyclist.” No, the guest doored the person on the bike, which is against the law.

Vancouver’s parks board is preparing to cave to angry, entitled drivers for whom one lane isn’t enough by ripping out a popular bike lane through the park, and restoring a second traffic lane so drivers can use it as a cut-through route.

A 24-year old Scottish man suffered multiple injuries after he was pushed off his bicycle by a couple men on a moped, for no apparent reason.

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

More proof ebikes are replacing car trips, as a British ebike rider conducted a carless driveby shooting, firing repeatedly into a car after riding up next to it, although he missed all the occupants.

……..

 

………

Local 

Metro is scheduled to start construction on the La Brea Ave bus lanes today, though the rain may have something to say about that.

Long Beach is considering lowering speed limits on 100 sections of city streets, including 23 that could drop to 15 to 20 mph.

Anyone interested in serving on your local Neighborhood Council should make plans to attend an information session hosted by Streets For All this Thursday. We need a lot more support for bikes on local councils to overcome the outsized NIMBY voices. 

Speaking of Streets For All, the transportation PAC is hosting a virtual happy hour with newly elected CD13 Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez on Wednesday, December 14th. Which would be a good opportunity to ask about his plans to improve bike safety and infrastructure in the Hollywood district.

 

State 

San Diego Magazine lists ten bike rides to meet the needs of every kind of rider.

‘Tis the season. Over 300 children in the Coachella Valley have new bikes this week, thanks to the Variety Children’s Charity of the Desert.

A Camarillo letter writer says he agrees with a driver that bike riders belong in the bike lane, if only the city had some.

They get it. The San Francisco Chronicle says instead of getting rid of Slow Streets, the city make them even better, arguing that it’s hard to view the Slow Streets experiment as anything but a wild success.

 

National

Bike counters recorded nearly 42,000 bike trips to Colorado’s Maroon Bells, fueled largely by the increasing popularity of ebikes.

‘Tis the season, too. A Boise, Idaho bike drive plans to give away 567 bicycles to kids in need over the holidays.

Sixty-seven-year old Joseph Kennedy reportedly confessed to the deaths of four men who disappeared after setting out on an Oklahoma bike ride, telling a friend he “killed the men and cut them up” because they stole from him.

Brooklyn firefighters rescued a semi-conscious man and two puppies after yet another fire allegedly started by an ebike battery.

A bill in the New Jersey legislature would make it the first state in the nation to mandate bike helmets for adults. Although similar laws have repeatedly been shown to be counterproductive, reducing bicycling rates and the safety in numbers effect, while disproportionately affecting low income riders and people of color. Thanks to Victor Bale for the link. 

Another seemingly sentient SUV, as a Philadelphia TV station reports a bike cop was hit by a Ford Explorer, whose driver apparently had nothing to do with it.

A 31-year old woman with Down’s Syndrome is able to ride a bike for the first time since she was a child, after a kindhearted stranger saw her competing for the title of Virginia’s Miss Amazing Senior Miss Queen, and gave her a new three-wheeled bike through a nonprofit organization.

 

International

A website for a drunk driving interlock ignition system reminds us that other countries have solved the problem of drunk driving, even if the US can’t seem to do it. Sort of like we can’t seem to solve traffic deaths, hit-and-runs, shooting deaths, poverty, universal healthcare…

A Spanish man touring the world by bicycle stops in Mexico’s Yucatán on his way to Argentina, accompanied by a dog he adopted in Spain, and another who adopted him in Mexico.

Mexico City’s Los Chilangos lowrider bike club is combating gang life by promoting a positive bicycle culture as an alternative to the world of drugs and gangs, although facial tatts are still welcome.

A Halifax, Nova Scotia bike shop says business is booming and employees are sticking around longer after they committed to paying a living wage, a full ten dollars above the area’s current minimum.

Over one thousand Londoners turned out for a 14-mile Black Unity Bike Ride across the city.

English police link stolen ebikes to the drug trade, robbery and other crimes, saying they’re being used to pursue criminal activity. Shocking that criminals would use stolen goods to do other crimes, I know.

A pair of British politicians call on their peers to practice what they preach by installing more “secure, accessible and sufficient” bike parking on the Parliament grounds.

A writer in the UK says a 3,427-mile ride around the coast of Britain saved his mental health during the pandemic.

France is marking the 80th anniversary of a successful suicide mission by British marines, who slipped behind German lines to destroy five ships; only two of the men survived the mission and escaped to safety, fleeing 100 miles by foot, bicycle and trains to Gibraltar.

An Islamabad, Pakistan paper makes the case for bringing the concept of carfree cities to the country.

Japan’s bicycle industry was reportedly built on the ironworking skills developed to build burial mounds dating back 1,600 years.

An Aussie designer says he doesn’t care about negative feedback, as he spends his days designing the world’s most outlandish concept bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Police have identified a 62-year-old German truck driver as a suspect in the hit-and-run death of Italian ex-pro Davide Rebellin, who died shortly after retiring from a 30-year racing career; police are still searching for the suspect.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding a bike with outstanding warrants — you, that is, not the bike — put a damn light on it already. Playing cumbias from the back a wagon pulled by a bike.

And we might have to deal with bored LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about being attacked by a wild boar while riding a bike.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Repeat DUI driver busted in fatal Newport Beach hit-and-run, and stoned distracted driver charged in killing of KC father of ten

Before we get started, our old friend Walt Arrrrr discovered a ghost bike installed in Baldwin Park.

After tracking it down, he discovered the victim was killed in a collision that barely made the news last month.

I’ll have more information later today.

………

The driver who killed 44-year old Costa Mesa resident Randon Cintron as he rode his bike on Jamboree Road in Newport Beach was arrested shortly after the crash.

Thirty-six-year old Anaheim resident Adriana Rivera Bernal was taken into custody a couple miles from the crash site.

Bernal was reportedly high on an undisclosed drug at the time of the crash, and held on $1 million bond on suspicion of murder and hit-and-run.

She reportedly has a long history of drug abuse, petty theft, ID theft and auto theft, as well as multiple DUIs, which explains the murder charge.

A crowdfunding campaign to pay Cintron’s funeral expenses has raised over $29,000, easily topping the $20,000 goal.

………

For anyone who, like me, has been following the case of the Kansas City teacher and father of ten children who was killed by an allegedly stoned hit-and-run driver, a crowdfunding campaign has raised over $204,000 of the $250,000 goal.

Meanwhile, the 27-year old driver has been charged with felony counts of hit-and-run resulting in death, and tampering with a motor vehicle; she reportedly admitted to police she was texting and high on Percocet when she ran the victim down, and allegedly set fire to her car afterward to coverup the crime.

She was also uninsured and driving on a suspended license.

More proof that taking a driver’s license away doesn’t necessarily stop anyone from driving. Officials have to impound the car, too.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

Sometimes, you just have to save drivers from themselves.

Even if they don’t thank you for it.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1570134505763278848

………

No car, no wilderness for you.

………

People for Mobility Justice is hosting a ride to examine bike and pedestrian safety improvements in Wilmington .

………

Any LCIs want to help out in Menifee this Saturday?

………

Walk ‘n Rollers is heading to Culver City to celebrate my birthday host a Walk & Roll Festival on the 24th.

………

Mark your calendar for next month.

………

Here’s another one to mark your calendar for.

https://twitter.com/NYC_SafeStreets/status/1570101221150846977

………

There’s just something about this one that draws you in.

………

Sure, go to Australia to train for the Worlds.

But watch out for flying ‘roos.

………

That feeling when one little missing letter changes the whole meaning of the headline.

………

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

No bias here. A candidate for West Hollywood city council comes out in favor of keeping Fountain Ave dangerous, as John Duran says he’s running to “kill Council’s dumb ideas,” like replacing traffic lanes with bike lanes — even though the city estimates it will reduce crashes 35% to 40%.

A New Orleans public radio station examines a proposal to remove protected bike lanes from the usually neglected Algiers neighborhood, because some local residents find the bollards the “most intrusive, visually unappealing design available.” Because evidently, aesthetics matter more than saving human lives. 

A British transportation planner argues against taking the lane, suggesting that it just pisses drivers off.

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

56-year old Long Beach man faces charges for stabbing a couple outside a gay bar following a dispute, killing one man and seriously injuring another, before fleeing on his bicycle. A crowdfunding campaign to help pay the victims’ funeral costs and medical expenses has raised $37,000 of the $50,000 goal.

Multiple cars were hit with rocks thrown by a Portland man riding a bicycle and pulling a bike trailer; police cited the homeless bike rider for criminal mischief, adding to the 42 other citations he’s received recently.

………

Local

A man riding his bicycle in South LA was struck twice with bullets after hearing multiple gunshots, but was apparently unaware of where the shots came from.

That’s more like it. A 136-unit apartment building planned for LA’s Sawtelle neighborhood will feature 103 bicycle parking spaces, and just 93 spaces for cars.

Pasadena approves a list of 19 priority transportation projects using money Metro saved by not building an overpass on Colorado Blvd; half of the projects involve multimodal uses. Demonstrating that funds can actually be put to good use — a lot of good uses, in fact — instead of wasted on expensive, demand-inducing highway projects. 

Santa Monica made the list of eight small cities with bike friendly cultures, joining more established locations like Wisconsin’s Mad City, Boulder, CO and my Colorado hometown.

Long Beach’s Beach Streets carfree open streets event returns this Saturday, after a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus.

 

State 

Streetsblog is urging Gov. Newsom to veto AB 371, which would make bikeshare and e-scooter providers solely responsible for the negligent or reckless behavior of riders.

Electrek is teaming with Irvine-based e-bikemaker Super73 for a ride through Orange County Saturday evening. Even though the website uses a very expansive definition of Los Angeles.

Nice gesture, as Orange County residents contributed over 200 bouquets to continue the charitable work of eight-year old Bradley Rofer, who was killed riding his bike in Coto de Caza earlier this month; he donated the money he raised selling bouquets to support young cancer patients.

San Diego’s Blind Stoker’s Club is in the mix for a grant of up to $15,000.

Goleta will host a public meeting on September 20th to consider the San Jose Creek Bike Path Project, following the completion of the environmental review.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is hosting their Bike to the Future annual fundraising ride on Sunday.

Oakland police still haven’t made an arrest in the hit-and-run involving an impatient driver during the monthly East Bay Bike Party, even though the department was presented with eyewitness accounts and the driver’s license plate number.

 

National

Writing for Outside, bike scribe Joe Lindsey makes the case for why you should buy an ebike instead of an EV.

The National Law Review examines the high cost of bicycle crashes, and the obvious cost-effectiveness of avoiding crashes in the first place.

A British boy features in a typical Facebook scam, as photos keep popping up saying he was struck by a driver September 4th in several different US towns; the boy was actually hit by a car in Grimsby, England three months earlier, while an accompanying photo of a bicycle comes from a 2021 crash in Santa Rosa.

How Google Maps could tweak their algorithms to make bicycling safer and more appealing.

Tomorrow’s Dateline NBC season premier will examine the murder of gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas, and the arrest of her accused love triangle killer Kaitlin Armstrong.

A former St. Louis drug dealer turned his life around by designing and building custom lowrider bicycles.

A Kentucky bike ride will take participants past several distilleries. Which seems like one hell of a wasted opportunity.

Sharing a bike lane with ebikes and scooters is one thing; sharing a New York bike lane with motorized lawn chairs is another.

A new study shows Philadelphia bikeshare use crossed geographic and socio-economic lines during the pandemic.

Drivers continue to blow through a DC stop sign, a year after a five-year old girl was killed while riding her bike in the crosswalk.

 

International

World Car-Free Day is one week from today. So how do you plan to celebrate?

Now you, too, can start your own bike brand.

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says America’s ebike revolution is in trouble, because too many supposed ebikes aren’t.

No surprise here, as a new study from Chile finds that income inequalities affect the presence and quality of bicycling infrastructure.

A Vancouver researcher uses her bike as a scientific tool to map the area’s bats.

More proof that government officials are the same almost everywhere, as Northern Ireland’s new infrastructure minister reneges on his pledge to introduce legislation to support safer bicycling.

British Cycling has removed a restriction on not riding bicycles during the queen’s funeral, in response to a significant backlash. Although they still would prefer your didn’t.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a man was sentenced to 30 months behind bars for the drunken, wrong way crash that nearly killed a 13-year old boy; he was so wasted the pub he was at cut him off, so he was driving to another to keep drinking when he hit the kid head-on while on the wrong side of the road.

Seriously? A London writer says you’re better off dealing with the city’s traffic than trying to ride a bike in Amsterdam.

Cycling Tips explains how East Africa’s Team Amani became the unlikely stars of Meta’s new ad campaign.

Tragic news from Thailand, where a British couple riding their bikes around the world were killed Wednesday when they were run down by a pickup driver outside of Bangkok.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has added six riders to the US team for the Worlds, after fatigue, injuries and the fight for WorldTour teams to avoid relegation have taken a toll of the previous roster.

Cycling Tips debates whether cycling team relegation is a good idea. I’m all for it, myself. 

Our friend Peter Flax travels to Idaho to discover the myriad joys of gravel racing.

As you can see below, not all competitions involve spandex. Or two wheels, for that matter. (“Triporteur” translates to tricycle.)

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have to train a replacement after your bike-riding parrot dies. When you steal a tow truck, maybe don’t return to the scene of the crime to reclaim your bike.

And bike-riding cats are nothing new. But not many have their own helmet.

https://www.tiktok.com/@heyitsgingerandpepper/video/7142957087075749122?is_from_webapp=v1&item_id=7142957087075749122&refer=embed&referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newsweek.com%2F&referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newsweek.com%2Fcat-helmet-bike-ride-viral-tiktok-video-1742860&referer_video_id=7142957087075749122

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

42-year old man killed riding ebike against traffic in Huntington Beach, 70-year old driver arrested for DUI

Once again, Southern California’s killer highway has claimed a life.

But this time, the victim was at least partly at fault for riding salmon — even though he was struck by an allegedly stoned driver.

According to the Daily Pilot, 42-year old Huntington Beach resident Timothy John Briley was killed when he was struck by a driver while riding an ebike against traffic in Huntington Beach Tuesday evening.

Briley was reportedly riding north in the southbound lanes on Pacific Coast Highway, just north of Admiralty Drive, around 6 pm when he was struck head-on by an SUV driven by 70-year old Barbara Front of Huntington Beach.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he died 40 minutes later.

Front remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators; she was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence at 7:40 pm.

There are no bike lanes or other bike infrastructure on PCH north of Admiralty, and no word on whether Briley was riding in the parking lane or traffic lanes.

There’s also no word on why he was riding against traffic, although some people mistakenly believe they’re safer facing oncoming traffic. However, the reality is just the opposite.

Anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach traffic investigator Jeremy Rounds at 714/536-5670.

This is at least the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Timothy John Briley and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin for the heads-up. 

Blaming deadly streets, LA council considers Healthy Streets plan, and stoned driver injures mother and child

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

I’m still dealing with what my doctors insist is a form of neurological migraine, even though it hasn’t responded to treatment.

Most nights I struggle to work through it; last Tuesday I couldn’t. My head had me down for the count, and every attempt to rally ended in failure.

I’d like to say it won’t happen again.

But it probably will, until they finally get this damn thing figured out.

Graphic by tomexploresla.

………

Let’s start with this piece from NPR.

The public radio network looks at the recent bike boom, and the unfortunate boom in bicycling deaths that accompanied it. Along with the role played by deadly streets designed for maximum automotive throughput.

Take this brief quote, for instance.

Improving urban transportation safety for all users starts with putting cyclists, pedestrians and those using scooters, e-bikes and other alternative mobility modes on a level playing field with car and truck drivers, says P.S. Sriraj, director of the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois – Chicago.

“There is this lack of awareness about sharing the road between different modes, between motorists and bicyclists,” he says.

“The U.S. has this perception about modes other than automobiles being inferior and that needs to be addressed right from the get go,” Sriraj adds.

It’s worth a few minutes out of your day to read the whole thing.

Thanks to Lionel Mares for the heads-up.

………

It looks like the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure is making an impact at city hall.

Los Angeles Council President Nury Martinez has joined with four other council members to introduce a measure to implement the city’s long-ignored mobility plan while performing unrelated street resurfacing and slurry seal projects.

The proposal, also backed by councilmembers Monica Rodriguez, Kevin de León, Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, requires the city attorney to draft an ordinance based on the Healthy Streets LA initiative.

It’s just as notable, however, for who didn’t sign on, including pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz, “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, and Hollywood councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, among others.

While the ordinance would be a big step forward, it could be subject to change down the road, and likely could be overridden by a vote of the council, unlike the ballot measure.

Depending on how it’s written, it could also be weaker than the ballot measure, which would require implementation of the mobility plan, rather that just recommending it.

However, it would also avoid a long, difficult and expensive campaign for passage of the Healthy Streets proposal, with no guarantee it would win.

………

What’s worse than an out of control elderly driver?

A stoned one.

A San Diego mother and her child learned that the hard way, when a 78-year old alleged drugged driver slammed into their bikes at 11th Street and Fern Ave Tuesday evening.

Fortunately, their injuries where not life-threatening. The mother was hospitalized with serious injuries, while the child, who was not identified, suffered minor injuries.

The unidentified driver was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.

Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive. And why can’t we manage to keep impaired drivers the hell off the road.

………

Police believe Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, the alleged killer of top gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, flew to Houston before catching a flight to New York.

Armstrong reportedly shot Wilson multiple times, believing she was involved with Armstrong’s boyfriend, cyclist Colin Strickland, who Wilson had briefly dated when the couple were on a break.

Armstrong is 5′ 8″ tall and weighs around 125 pounds. Anyone with information is urged to call the US Marshals Service at 1-800/336-0102.

………

LADOT has made safety improvements to deadly Foothill Blvd.

Although I suspect most bike riders would prefer to see the bollards on the other side of the bike lane.

………

The rich get richer.

Long Beach continues to lead the way in the LA area by building out an actual bike network.

Speaking of Los Beach, the city will host a Pride Ride tomorrow evening.

https://twitter.com/CenterLB/status/1528835863513288705

………

Pico Rivera is getting a new bike lane, too.

Even if it is just a short strip of paint.

https://twitter.com/ayruem2/status/1528924673248858113

………

As former New York DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said, first they fight to stop it, then they fight to keep it.

………

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

No bias here. After a Macon, Georgia bike rider was right hooked by the driver of a logging truck, the local press blames him for riding into the truck’s rear tires.

After Welsh police sent a warning letter to a van driver about an overly close pass of a bike rider, the driver posted the letter on Facebook and bragged about getting away with it.

………

Local

Pasadena police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation tomorrow, ticketing any violations that put bike riders or pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So ride to the letter of the law until you leave the city, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Colorado Boulevard recaps the recent 626 Golden Streets open streets event on the first of this month.

Santa Clarita’s Bike Week celebration took 400 car commuter days off the roads.

 

State 

San Diego advocates are calling on the mayor to improve safety by doubling funding for quick-build bikeways, while the mayor calls for “sexy streets,” a plan to repave 54 miles of major roadways while adding bike lanes and improved sidewalks.

No surprise here. San Diego spent over $68,000 to stripe advisory bike lanes on a Mira Mesa street, then rip them out just days later.

Intense has opened a new assembly plan in Temecula, allowing the mountain bikemaker to streamline operations while giving it greater flexibility.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Montecito, went for a bike ride with a friend from the old country, where he used to be a royal.

Sad news from Fresno, where a 73-year old man was killed by a driver while riding his bike in a crosswalk; Fresno bike riders say they fear for their safety after a recent string of fatal crashes.

Alameda will decide whether the safety of people on bicycles is more important than convenient parking spaces.

More sad news, this time from ostensibly bike-friendly Davis, where a UC Davis student was killed when she was struck by the driver of a garbage truck while riding her bike — even though the story doesn’t even mention that the truck had one. Megan Lynch, who came upon the crash scene shortly after the collision, says Davis “should NOT be Platinum level year after year without serious work on accessibility, and serious enforcement around car-centrist vandalism and car violence.”

 

National

Cycling News looks at the Memorial Day bike sales to help you find the best deal. But before you buy anything online or from a chain store, check with your local bike shop to see what they have to offer, including better service.

A new white paper from Portland State University considers how to make ebike incentive programs more effective.

Portland and Denver have halted wasteful freeway expansions. Let’s hope LA Metro follows their example at today’s board meeting.

A Denver TV station declares the great bicycle shortage is over, as bike shops are rebuilding their inventory, although prices are still up.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Days after an alleged drunk driver drove onto a new bike path next to an Iowa highway, killing one person and injuring two others, officials installed a temporary barrier to keep cars out while they decide on a permanent solution.

Guardian Bikes, a fast-growing startup backed by Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, is building a highly automated manufacturing plant in Seymour, Indiana to overcome supply chain problems inherent in Chinese manufacturing.

Pittsburgh is using complex metrics to design safer streets for bike riders and pedestrians exactly when and where they’re needed.

The best places to ride your bike on your next trip to Cape Cod.

A Boston college student has developed a one-pound backpack for bike riders that automatically inflates into an upper body airbag in the event of a crash.

 

International

Mark your calendar for the 5th annual World Bicycle Day one week from tomorrow.

No surprise here. A new European study confirmed that protected bike lanes help close the bicycling gender gap, with more women willing to ride on safer bike lanes. And no, that does not include bike lanes protected by LADOT’s flimsy plastic car ticklers.

Get a new ebike for less than the equivalent of $1,200 from German grocery chain Aldi this week. But not, sadly, in the US.

You can now borrow an e-cargo bike to transport bulky waste or reusable items to a Rotterdam environmental park.

The New York Times takes multi-day ride from Italy to Croatia.

An Aussie driver will spend the next four years behind bars for killing a respected Adelaide doctor as he was riding his bike; the driver was under the influence of a cocktail of illicit drugs, including meth, ecstasy, coke and weed.

 

Competitive Cycling

Still more bad news, as former pro cyclist Jaime Alberto Restrepo was shot and killed Monday in Antioquia, Colombia; the 25-year old Columbian was targeted by two men on a motorcycle, one of whom was arrested.

The Giro remains incredibly tight, with Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz maintaining a slim three second lead over Australian Jai Hindley with just four stages to go.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you need a massive $75,000 pickup with a three-quarter ton payload just to drive down the street for a cappuccino. When you’re carrying meth, coke and a crack pipe on your bike, put a damn light on it. The bike, that is, not the crack pipe.

And if you’re going to make your getaway from the cops on a bicycle, don’t choose an uphill route.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

France tells carmakers to promote biking and walking in their ads, and Argentine driver runs down 5 riders on bike path

That’s more like it.

France is promoting alternative transportation by requiring all automotive ads to include a brief mention of alternatives to driving.

Options include “Consider carpooling,” “For day-to-day use, take public transportation,” or “For short trips, opt for walking or cycling,” along with the hashtag #SeDeplacerMoinsPolluer, or “Move and Pollute Less.”

That requirement applies to all TV, print, radio and internet advertising; failure to include one of the three options could result in a fine of up to fine of up to 50,000 euros, or $56,444 at current exchange rates.

Maybe we could see that on this side of the Atlantic some day.

We can dream, right?

………

Horrifying story from Argentina, where a stoned driver doing 74 mph rammed five people riding on a bike path, before fleeing the scene with the help of four people waiting in a nearby truck.

Sadly, one of the victims died on the operating table.

Police arrested later arrested the driver, along with his accomplices. However, there’s no word on whether he lost control of his car and just caught a ride with people nearby, or if this was intentional and preplanned.

………

Turns out some bike riders aren’t fans of red light-running scofflaw bicyclists who cut them off, either.

………

I want to see this sign posted along every street in California.

https://twitter.com/VisionZeroCA/status/1478114003754774528

………

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

Clearly, not everyone is a fan of the Bay Area’s Slow Streets. But not everyone threatens to come back with a Freightliner semi-truck and run over a woman to express their displeasure.

https://twitter.com/LukeBornheimer/status/1477781176471355392

A Singapore truck driver was caught on video blowing through a red light while honking his horn at the woman legally crossing the street on her bike to get the hell out of his way.

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

The LAPD is looking for a man who stole a bicycle to make his getaway, after he murdered a homeless man in Panorama City in an unprovoked shooting.

………

Local

Urbanize LA readers chose Streets For All’s proposal to extend the Ballona Creek bike path as the city’s best transportation project of the past year.

Newly freed Britney Spears is one of us, taking a spin on a high-performance ebike that looks more like a dirt bike with pedals, with a top speed of around 28 mph.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune looks forward to Sunday’s annual Encinitas Cyclovia, combining open streets, live music, safety clinics and a bike rodeo for the kids.

An op-ed from the wife of a fallen San Diego bike rider killed by a wrong way driver, along with the advocacy manager for the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, takes the Union-Tribune to task for an editorial cartoon showing a business owner run over by bike riders, while saying the city needs to do far more to improve safety for people on bicycles and prevent more needless deaths.

A mountain biker was airlifted to a Riverside hospital with moderate injuries after he rode off an embankment on a Jurupa Valley trail, just north of the Pomona Freeway.

 

National

The National Complete Streets Coalition has put together a handy dandy little tool to help you calculate the benefits of any Complete Streets project, including safety, health, the environment and the economy.

A Colorado letter writer complains about the sentence given the speeding driver who killed pro mountain biker Benjamin Sonntag, calling the three-year sentence “pitiful,” especially since he could get out in just 18 months.

A Wisconsin man was able to get his stolen bike back after spotting it for sale online; police arrested the thieves when the man set up a meeting, and recovered several other purloined bicycles, as well.

That’s more like it, part two. New York-based grocery delivery service Buyk is expanding into Chicago with a commitment to deliver purchases within 15 minutes, without delivery fees, while paying their delivery riders a competitive wage starting at $17 per hour. Maybe we can talk them into coming to Los Angeles next.

Santa Monica based-Lime destroyed around 1,000 bicycles when they pulled out of South Bend, Indiana before the pandemic, despite donating 100 bikes to the city as the basis of a new community bikeshare system, and sending 200 bikes to Africa for people in need.

Unbelievable. The Allegheny County medical examiner ruled that the death of a Pittsburgh man was accidental, even after he was tased by police eight to ten times for the crime of taking an apparently abandoned bicycle around the block for a test ride. Which makes you wonder what the hell the cops would have to do to call it a homicide.

New York Streetsblog highlights five dangerous neighborhoods new Mayor Eric Adams needs to address to get the city’s failing Vision Zero back on track. There’s no way to get LA’s Vision Zero back on track, because it never was on track to begin with.

 

International

Bike Radar offers a complete guide to immersive chain waxing, calling it the gold standard for lubricating your bike chain.

A university in the Netherlands is testing out an 82-foot section of a smart bike path, complete with embedded with sensors, 3D cameras, wifi, radar and bluetooth, which can tell researchers how many people are using it, how fast they’re going and when; smart paths could ultimately be used to keep bike riders from waiting at red lights in bad weather, or direct riders to a faster route if it gets too busy.

The BBC shines a well-deserved spotlight on a 17-year old Ghanan boy who builds handmade wooden e-motorbikes to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. Even if the report is written in pidgin English. Seriously, I’ve known a number of people from Ghana, most of whom speak English at least as well I do, if not better.

Aussie researchers are looking at the worldwide trend of nonprofit bicycle kitchens that provide tools, second hand parts and bikes, and help with repairs, as well as offering a hub for community building. That’s true for several LA bike co-ops, including the Bicycle Kitchen, Bikerowave, The Bike Oven and the Ride On! Bike Shop in Leimert Park.

A Kenyon man spent three months riding the 2,700 miles from Malinda, Kenya to Durbin, South Africa to raise funds for orphans, while suffering three crashes along the way.

A Philippine website remembers a 74-year old endurance athlete and medal-winning triathlete who died recently from a stroke, competing for decades after losing his leg in a 1978 bombing that killed his 16-year old brother.

 

Competitive Cycling

Irish cyclist Dan Martin calls it a career after becoming just one of three Irish riders to win a stage in each of the Grand Tours, living up to his promise that he would walk away when he stopped enjoying it.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could look like a turtle and unfold with the pull of a string. Arnold has to tell his ebike “I’ll be back” after being spotted with a plastic boot on his leg.

And apparently, blue is for boys and pink is for girls — even when it comes to pro cycling kits.

………

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

Stoned killer of Costa Mesa fire captain gets 16 to life, Peloton PR disaster, and bike-riding car vandal strikes in Norwalk

Time’s running out to give to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just 12 days left to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

Thanks to Nick R, Steve M, Sean M, Penny S and David M for their generous donations to help support this site, and keep the corgi in kibble for the next couple months.

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. And needed.

………

Sixteen to life.

That’s the sentence handed down to 28-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa in the drugged driving death of Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza.

Scarpa, a former drug counselor, was convicted of second degree murder for jumping a curb in Mission Viejo, and running down Kreza as he was riding on a sidewalk.

Kreza was training for an upcoming triathlon when Scarpa slammed into him, as he was driving home from partying all night with a cocktail of drugs in his system.

Scarpa told investigators he’d taken meth, fentanyl and “undefined downers,” and had been awake for days before getting behind the wheel.

Someplace he had no business being under any circumstances.

Kreza left behind his wife and three young daughters, who have been understandably devastated by their loss, and who struggle to go on without him.

Hopefully, Scarpa can get clean behind bars, and do something to benefit society when and if he gets out..

………

More on last week’s Peloton PR disaster.

Peloton stock prices plunged in the wake of a key character dying after using one on the first episode of the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That…

Meanwhile, the New York Times wants to know if the company can sue over it, while Peloton responds by resurrecting the victim in a new ad.

This comes just two years after the company’s self-inflicted PR fiasco with their widely panned Peloton Wife holiday commercial.

Maybe they should just avoid the holidays from now on.

………

Sheriff’s deputies in Norwalk are looking for a bike-riding man who vandalized a pair of cars last week.

………

‘Tis the season.

Third graders at two Tustin schools thought they were going to learn who won a new bicycle in an essay contest; instead, all 143 kids got a new bike, courtesy of Aliso Viejo’s Dirtbag Mountain Biking Club and Bikes for Kids.

Volunteers in Madera, California built 215 bikes ranging from tricycles to 29″ mountain bikes to give to children in need.

A motorsports dealer in French Camp CA was hoping to give 200 bicycles to local kids over the weekend, a tradition of giveaways that began when he decided to fix up and donate 30 bikes four years ago, rather than throw them away. And yes, I had to look that one up to figure out where the hell French Camp is.

Volunteers in Tyler, Texas continued a 35-year tradition of rebuilding bicycles to donate to local kids for the holidays.

Over 200 people turned out for the longest-running holiday themed bike ride in the Boston area, many dressed as Santa or other seasonal characters. Although probably no one bothered to dress as Krampus, darn it.

A Georgia auto shop owner has given away hundreds of bicycles over the last ten years. And this year was no exception.

Panama City, Florida’s Salvage Santa oversaw efforts to rebuild 350 bicycles to give to local kids and organizations, an ongoing effort for the past 43 years.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man has over 2,000 bicycles to give to kids “at the bottom of the food chain” this year; a tradition that started with just 20 bikes 15 years ago.

………

Zackary Rynew calls attention to LA’s use of plastic bollards to keep cars safe. Yet somehow, they have trouble using them to protect people on bicycles.

………

Volunteers are needed to work this weekend’s Holiday Carnival at the Velo Sports Center, and experience three days of competitive track cycling.

………

The open streets revolution is spreading worldwide.

The latest evidence comes from Kenya, where three major streets were closed to cars and opened to people in the city of Kisumu on Saturday.

Thanks to @Menorman for the heads-up.

………

Apparently, Joe Jonas is one of us, taking to a bike on the streets of New York to get to his latest show.

https://twitter.com/JonasBrosBros/status/1469468216367845376?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1469468216367845376%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.iheart.com%2Fcontent%2F2021-12-10-joe-jonas-rode-his-bike-through-new-york-city-to-get-to-jingle-ball%2F

………

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who fled the scene after knocking a nine-year old DC kid off his bike. Fortunately, he didn’t seem to be too badly hurt.

As usual though, you can’t unsee it. So be sure you really want to watch a little kid get run down by a heartless coward before you push play. 

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

………

You still have time to make a bid on the jersey Lachlan Morton wore on his alt-Tour de France run, where he followed the entire race route while putting in more miles, and riding solo. And still beat the peloton into Paris.

………

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

No bias here. Plans to close a longstanding gap in Seattle’s famed Burke-Gilman Trail hit a snag when the Teamsters and local businesses complained that putting a bike lane through the area will make it more dangerous for their businesses and truck drivers. Because apparently, running over a bicyclist get blood on their big, bad trucks.

No bias here, either. A retired New Jersey planner and engineer says forget installing bike lanes in downtown Northampton street, because bike riders can just get off and walk. And it’s just too dangerous for people on bicycles on the street without them, anyway. That sound you heard is thousands of near simultaneous head-slaps from every bike rider reading that crap.

Or here. A DC writer says just because a four-year old kid was was hit by a car while riding in a crosswalk, that’s no reason to call for safer streets. And misrepresents safety studies to say protected bike lanes are no place for kids.

A British man in his 30’s was critically injured in what police are describing as a deliberate attack, as the driver used his car as a weapon to run down the victim on his bike before fleeing the scene.

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

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the bike-riding thief stole two days worth of cash donations to a San Francisco toy drive.

A Pennsylvania man faces charges for hurling a sharp-edged rock into a passing car, slightly injuring a boy inside, after the driver swerved close to him to avoid rocks in the roadway; he admitted to keeping the rock strapped to his bike for exactly that purpose. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. Period.

………

Local

Thieves scaled a fence to break into a home in LA’s Mid-Wilshire neighborhood, stealing a $2,700 ebike and power tools while the residents were in the house.

Police have identified a 29-year old man as the victim of a fatal shooting in a homeless camp along the LA River bike path in South Gate.

A 23-year old mountain biker was in serious condition Saturday after he was airlifted following a fall in the Santa Monica Mountains above Pacific Palisades.

 

State

Caltrans has issued a new Complete Streets policy, which states that all Caltrans projects will, by default, provide “comfortable, convenient, and connected complete streets facilities” for bikers, walkers, and transit riders. Let’s hope they live up to it this time.

Encinitas is looking at installing a two-way, barrier-protected bike lane on the Coast Highway to help people on bikes get to the legendary Swami’s Beach.

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, will consider implementing a road usage fee that would charge drivers for each mile they drive. Which is one of the best reasons I’ve heard to ride a bike instead.

 

National

A digital photography site offers tips on how to get better shot of bicycling events.

Bicycling offers advice on when to fix your own bike — and when to let someone else do it. As usual, read it on Yahoo it Bicycling blocks you.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss considers the zen of ignoring obstructions in the bike lane. Which seems like kind of a metaphor for life.

A legal website looks back at how government regulations killed off the forerunner of the e-scooter a hundred years ago, and questions whether history will repeat itself.

Over 300 bike riders turned out for a memorial ride down the Las Vegas Strip to remember five men and women killed by a meth-fueled semi driver a year ago while on a group ride just outside of town.

A formerly 306 pound Indiana man credits bicycling with helping him drop 136 pounds in just 18 months; he started on a stationary bike, before bicycling neighbors invited him to come outside and ride with them.

Ebike makers are teaming with local nonprofits to provide discounts to front line workers in the Bronx.

Heartbreaking story from DC, where a woman describes how she went from mom to traffic safety advocate following the death of her five-year old daughter, as she was riding her bike in a crosswalk last September.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice on how to make your bike more comfortable.

A former London bike courier explains why he’s willing to risk prison to fight for safer streets for people on two wheels, and call attention to the impending climate emergency. Which is clearly already here.

Tripling current levels of bicycle use in London would result in the equivalent of a $6.62 billion boost to the local economy, according to a new study.

Great Britain has introduced new traffic rules to give bike riders, equestrians and pedestrians a higher priority on the road, with the new rules going into effect January 1st.

World champion British cyclists Rachel Atherton and her older brothers Dan and Gee are moving from racing mountain bikes to making them.

A German court ordered employers to provide all the tools their employees need to do the job, including bicycles and smartphones for delivery riders and bike couriers.

A pair of Italian teenagers were sentenced to 18 months behind bars for their roles in the gang that stole 22 bikes from the Italian national track team at October’s world track championships.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips talks with the philosopher of the pro peloton, French cyclist Guillaume Martin, who has flown under the radar while notching a number of top ten finishes.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert is just as dominant at ‘cross as he is on a road bike, taking a snowy first place by more than a minute at Val di Sole, while the great Marianne Vos was narrowly edged out by 19-year-old Dutch cyclist Fem van Empel on the women’s side.

 

Finally…

One more time, if you’re riding a stolen bike in the wee hours of the morning, put a damn light on it.

And Burger King is preparing to field a whopper of a cycling team. Although credit Jay Cisco with a better take than mine.

………

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

It’s Car Free Day, San Diego driver faces murder for meth-fueled death of Laura Shinn, and always carry ID on your bike

Happy International Car Free Day!

Metro Bike is offering a free bikeshare ride today to celebrate, along with steep discounts on 30 day and yearly passes.

And a European website says if there is a war on cars, Car Free Day is winning converts to the anti-car side.

So leave the car at home today.

Or better yet, declare your own personal war on cars, and trade it in for a new bike or ebike, and make it Car Free Day every day.

………

A San Diego man faces years, if not decades, behind bars for killing a woman as she rode her bike.

Thirty-eight-year old Pacific Beach resident Adam David Milavetz is charged with murder for running down well-known architect Laura Shinn while high on meth as she rode her bike to work in a Balboa Park bike lane last July.

He faces an additional felony count of vehicular manslaughter while under the influence, giving jurors a choice of charges and potential sentences.

Milavetz, who works as a “420 mobilization tech” and delivery driver for a pair of cannabis dispensaries, entered a plea of not guilty to the charges; he has been held in custody without bail since his arrest.

He was arrested a month earlier for driving while high on meth.

And once again, authorities managed to keep a dangerous driver the road until it was too late.

………

Momentum Magazine says there’s still a lot worth fighting for in the $3.5 trillion House infrastructure bill, even if Congress did cut the proposed $1,500 ebike tax credit in half.

The e-bike tax credit and other bicycle programs that make up the massive bill are as follows, and it signifies a welcome change and an indication of just how fast and how large e-bikes sales are growing:

  • E-bike tax credit: 15% on the purchase of new e-bikes (the first $5,000), up to $750 benefit value. The credit was originally proposed for 30%.
  • Bicycle commuter benefit: Allow use of pre-tax dollars to fund bike purchases and bike-share memberships.
  • E-bikes for business tax credit: An incentive of a tax credit of 30% for businesses to install e-bike charging stations
  • Funding to reconnect or enhance communities split apart by highway projects.
  • Opportunities to build a sustainable and complete bicycle network.

Meanwhile, drivers will continue to get a tax credit ten times that size for buying an electric car, as the government works to maintain the automotive hegemony on our streets.

And never mind that the prospect for the House bill aren’t looking good in the evenly split Senate, where Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema are insisting on further steep cuts to the bill, even though it has already been reduced $1.5 trillion from the original proposal.

Slate asks what if Congress helped bicyclists instead of drivers for a change?

………

Yet another reminder to always carry ID when you ride.

Authorities in Sacramento are trying to identify a Spanish-speaking man who is trapped in a fugue state following a collision with a driver while riding his bicycle, and can’t even remember his own name.

But don’t rely on your wallet or cellphone, or anything else that can be easily stolen if you’re incapacitated in a crash; it may sound ghoulish, but it happens often enough to be a valid concern.

I always wear a Road ID when I ride. Or any other time I leave home.

I also keep emergency contact information written down on a slip of paper in my jersey pocket or seat bag; other people attach information on their shoes or directly to their bikes.

But do something. You don’t want your loved ones frantically searching for you if anything happens.

Thanks to “Zero Carbon” Kevin and Megan Lynch for clarifying where this took place.

………

Unless you have to share the road with LA drivers, that is.

………

If you build it, they will come. Women, too.

………

GCN examines whether we should be afraid of bicycles made by carmakers.

………

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

Police in the UK criticize the “depressing level of selfish and poor behavior” shown by motorists during a sting operation to catch drivers who pass too close to people on bicycles; a fifth of all drivers were stopped for violations.

Meanwhile, a bike rider in Cornwall, England shares video of repeated bad passes by drivers.

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

Police in Regina, Saskatchewan tackled a man off his bicycle as he attempted to flee, booking him on 11 counts including weapons charges, assault and possession of burglary tools.

………

Local

A Long Beach couple started a petition demanding safety improvements to Los Coyotes Diagonal after their son was killed by a suspected drunk driver while trying to cross the deadly street earlier this month, where far too many people have been killed in recent years — including a pair of bike riders just two years ago.

 

State

If you ride in the Santa Barbara area, the CHP will be distributing enough bike lights, reflectors and helmets for one thousand people in Isla Vista this evening.

An Oakland website examines why the area’s roads are among the deadliest in the state, and asks for their readers help in finding out.

Marin County drivers and officials are once again coming for the successful bike lane on the upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, after a study suggested that converting it back to a traffic lane could save drivers a whole eleven minutes, while costing bike commuters hours. Or forcing them back into cars. Sure, let’s just turn all the streets back over to cars. It’s not like there’s a climate or fatality crisis or anything to worry about.

 

National

National Geographic says there are good reasons to believe America’s pandemic bike boom will become a longterm trend.

A Tesla fan site explains how the carmaker’s Full Self-Driving Beta steers cars around bike riders and pedestrians. The problem is, Tesla is turning all of us into unpaid beta testers just by sharing the road with them, whether we like it or not. 

A Streetsblog op-ed says playable streets represent the next frontier in public spaces, with infrastructure and street furniture designed to inspire imagination.

A first-time ebike rider says the new 28 mph Specialized ebike won him over — especially the Garmin sensor feature that displays the position of cars around and behind the bike on a small screen on the handlebars. Although that maximum speed means a helmet is required in California, regardless of age, and it would be banned from separated bike paths.

Bicycling offers tips from the pros for beginning riders. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Nevada couple faces a shitload of charges for killing the wife of a Tesla co-founder as she rode her bike last July, then lying about who was behind the wheel; a TV reporter explains the driver is charged with reckless driving causing death, rather than vehicular manslaughter, because the former is a felony while the latter is just a misdemeanor. Thanks to Al Williams for the tip.

A suspected Arizona bike thief was killed after he dropped the bicycle to flee from police and ran out into traffic — and into the side of a box truck, before getting hit by another driver.

The Sierra Club magazine talks with Detroit bike riders about the difficulty of Biking While Black, even in a city that’s overwhelmingly African American.

Dayton, Ohio wants to destroy the 1892 building that housed the Wright Brothers first bike shop, saying it’s become a nuisance after falling into a state of “extreme disrepair.” Although once a historic site is gone, you can’t get it back.

They get it. A Bangor, Maine newspaper reminds us that pedestrian deaths aren’t statistics, they’re people. That goes for people on bicycles, too. Or anyone else who’s a victim of traffic violence.

Maryland is investing $16.8 million to fund 42 bike projects around the state. Although Amazon donated nearly half that amount to complete two bike trail segments near their Bellevue, Washington HQ2 alone.

 

International

The Finnish city of Turku is attempting to promote bicycling by experimenting with different types of secure bike parking, including public ebike charging cabinets that can automatically extinguish a battery fire.

If you can live without the extra bells and whistles and Garmins, you can get a new Chinese-made Tenways ebike right now on Indiegogo for less than half the price of the Specialized ebike.

Singapore Facebook users freak out after spotting someone riding a recumbent bike, accusing the low rider of courting death.

 

Competitive Cycling

Hats off to 23-year old Christopher Blevins, who became the first American to win a Mountain Bike World Cup race in 27 years on Sunday.

 

Finally…

That feeling when even a nine-foot fence and a pond aren’t enough to deter a bike thief. That feeling when you want an ebike, but secretly wish it was a motorcycle.

And don’t bother showing up for a Covid test if you’re not in a car.

………

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