Tag Archive for drugged driving

Cost of traffic violence — 3 killed in SD crash, air better worldwide in pandemic, and bike quotes to get you riding

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Yesterday’s rains drove even more people than usual living on the streets to a San Diego underpass Sunday night, because they had nowhere else to go to seek shelter from the storm.

They paid for it with their lives the following morning when an allegedly impaired driver plowed onto the sidewalk, killing three people and injuring six others, two critically.

Seventy-one-year old Craig Voss arrested for three counts of vehicular manslaughter, as well as five counts of causing great bodily injury while committing a felony, and one count of felony DUI for driving under the influence of drugs.

Police believe Voss was the subject of a call to 911 shortly before the crash reporting a possibly intoxicated driver.

But at least he remained at the scene and attempted to aid the victims.

Beyond the sheer tragedy of three more innocent victims sacrificed on the alter to motor vehicles, it’s heartbreaking that so many people who’ve already lost everything and have to live without a roof over their heads — for whatever reason — aren’t safe along the streets they’re forced to live on.

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One more sign of the damage done by motor vehicles.

Air quality improved in 84% of country’s worldwide when pandemic lockdowns forced many people to stop driving.

An improvement that will undoubtedly be reversed once businesses open back up and people go back to work.

Especially in places like Los Angeles, where so little was done during the closures to encourage more bike riding, walking and other forms of alternative transportation.

That compares to cities throughout Europe, which are doubling down on their successful efforts to encourage bicycling as a safe form of socially distanced transportation, with 600 miles of “cycle lanes, traffic-calming measures and car-free streets” installed over the last year.

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Parade Magazine, of all sources, dishes up 50 bicycling quotes to inspire you to get out and ride, including these —

“Everyone in their life has his own particular way of expressing life’s purpose – the lawyer his eloquence, the painter his palette, and the man of letters his pen from which the quick words of his story flow. I have my bicycle.” – Gino Bartali

“Cyclists see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to” – Dr. K.K. Doty

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” Elizabeth West

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The good news is the city continues to improve safety for bicyclists in DTLA.

The bad is it seems to come at the expense of the rest of the city.

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Invest a short 20 seconds of your life to understand the freedom a bike can give someone with a disability.

And how easy it is to take it away.

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I want to be like him when I grow up.

A 77-year old Arizona man turned down his daughter’s offer to take him by car, and rode his bike nearly 50 miles roundtrip to get his Covid vaccine shot.

Although that might be trumped by a much shorter ride from a much older Dutch woman.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver with a history of violence walked without a single lousy day behind bars when a judge gave him a suspended sentence for assaulting a young couple who had stopped to fix a flat, first punching the man before knocking the woman down and stomping on her head. Seriously, what the hell are jails for, then?

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Local

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold a virtual joint meeting of the Planning and Bikeways Engineering Subcommittees starting at 1 pm this afternoon.

Spectrum News 1 looks at what’s driving pedaling the ebike boom.

 

State

Cooler heads prevail in Santa Barbara, where police reject calls to arrest young bike riders — primarily people of color — for riding bikes and performing stunts on the newly installed bike lane on the city’s State Street pedestrian plaza, with police saying they don’t want to “criminalize children for riding bikes.”

The good guys finally won one for a change, as police busted a pair of burglars who broke into a Larkspur bike shop and temporarily made off with seven bikes worth $29,000, after the owner spotted them inside his store on a live security cam.

Napa’s proposed new general plan envisions making the city’s main streets more walkable and bikeable.

 

National

Planetizen says ending traffic fatalities once and for all isn’t as farfetched as it seems.

That’s more like it. A Nogales AZ man will spend the next seven and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, while he was stoned on meth.

In an unusual move, dozens of volunteers teamed with Houston planning and public works officials to paint a new high-comfort popup bike lane. Maybe that could be a model for Los Angeles to finally end the auto-centric stasis on our streets.

Nine of the 21 candidates for a Queens city council seat took part in a bike ride through the district to examine problems and policies before the upcoming election. For years, the LACBC’s candidate surveys asked people running for city offices if they’d be willing to meet or ride with bicyclists if they were elected; even though most agreed, no one ever asked them to.

If you find yourself riding a bike in New Jersey, keep your hands on the handlebars and your feet on the pedals. And put a damn bell on it.

Biking is booming in the City of Brotherly Love, too.

A Virginia op-ed calls for lowering speed limits to 15 mph to save lives. Although here in Southern California, a 15 mph speed limit means most drivers would still do 25 to 30 mph. But at least that would be an improvement for most drivers, who currently do 35 to 45 in a 25 mph residential zone.

That’s more like it. A North Carolina man got 33 to 49 months behind bars for the November hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

Nice move from bikemaker Subrosa, which gave a new bike to a 15-year old Florida boy whose bicycle was destroyed in a hit-and-run crash; the company teamed with Adventure Cycling to give him the first bike from next year’s line, ensuring it will be a one-of-a-kind bike for the next several months.

Bike riders often spot things drivers don’t. Like a body lying near a Florida bike path, for instance.

 

International

Cyclist celebrates world bicycle speed record holder Denise Mueller-Korenek as Monday’s inspirational woman.

Gates Carbon Drive promotes a half-dozen new bikes using the company’s belt-drive products.

A neurodivergent Saskatoon, Saskatchewan kid will get a $3,500 adaptive bike back, after a bike thief was busted when he listed the unique bike for sale online.

A Mexico City woman is forging her own way in the traditionally male-dominated custom bicycle scene as the owner of the city’s only woman-run bike shop.

Damn straight. An English op-ed calls for trusting the experts when it comes to bicycling and traffic planning.

Germany’s Rose Bikes joined ranks with Commencal, Propain, Santa Cruz and other bike brands in announcing price increases due to rising costs caused by the pandemic.

Apparently, things are pretty much the same everywhere, as drivers continue to park in Philippine bike lanes, with most of the scofflaw vehicles belong to the government.

Remarkably, an Aussie bike rider was able to bounce back up when a dash cam video catches him in a frightening crash while trying to ride across a street.

 

Competitive Cycling

Writing for Red Bull, bike scribe Peter Flax profiles multi-time national champ and L39ion of Los Angeles (pronounced “legion”) founder Justin Williams, and his drive to drag cycling into the age of diversity, kicking and screaming if he has to.

Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar continues to hold the lead after the penultimate stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race, with Danish cyclist Mads Würtz Schmidt claiming his first WorldTour stage win.

British barrister and time trial specialist Jonathan Parker claims to have shattered the world record for 100 miles, checking in a slant two seconds under two hours and fifty minutes, beating the existing record by eight minutes.

UCI pulled the plug on the season opening Mountain Bike World Cup downhill race after Slovenian health officials urged them to reschedule due to the ongoing pandemic.

A 16-year old Georgia boy’s only goal was to finish the 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational fat bike race; instead, he somehow managed to finish third.

 

Finally…

Turn your body into a mini-electric generator when you ride. Another reminder why your bike should sleep indoors, especially during a massive winter storm.

And maybe this will get drivers to give you a little space.

https://twitter.com/svblxyz/status/1371401312177377280

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Apropos of that aforementioned winter storm, I love this image from my home state, where the snow is nearly one corgi deep.

Thanks to Dr. Grace Peng for the laugh.

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

Morning Links: Higher crash rates in states with legal cannabis, and driver gets life for killing LAPD officer

This is who we share the roads with.

A new study shows that crash rates are up six percent in the four states where cannabis is legal, compared to neighboring states.

Which is a good reminder that it can take a full 24 hours or more to metabolize marijuana. And driving under the influence of cannabis is just as illegal as alcohol, if harder to quantify.

Meanwhile, Wednesday marked the first day cannabis was legal in Canada.

And it only took one hour before the first ticket was issued for toking behind the wheel.

Photo by Michael Fisher from Pexels.com.

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A 25-year old driver got life behind bars for intentionally ramming an LAPD patrol car and killing the officer inside, in an attempt to help his friend in another car escape a police chase.

Which couldn’t be more deserved.

But remember that the next time a driver gets a slap on the wrist for deliberately running down someone on a bicycle.

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And combining the last two themes, Jeffrey Fylling forwards a press release from the Orange County DA’s office announcing that a 24-year old woman will face up to 10 years in prison for killing an 81-year old man while allegedly driving high on cannabis.

Which gives a whole new meaning to the term weed killer.

It would be nice to see prosecutors take it that seriously the next time a California driver kills someone on foot or on a bicycle.

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CD6 Councilmember Nury Martinez is asking for your input in designing a Safe Routes to School program to improve walking and bicycling to Van Nuys Elementary and Panorama City Elementary schools.

A public meeting will be held at each school next Thursday to discuss a Walking Safety Assessment.

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Local

Curbed talks with East Side Rider’s founder John Jones III about the club’s efforts to inspire change in the local South LA community through bicycling. Although I had no idea they had chapters in other cities across the US. And thanks to whoever sent this to me; my apologies for losing track of it. 

CiclaValley previews Monday’s Donut Ride on Reseda Blvd.

Forget the candy this Halloween. Metro Bike is offering a bulk discount on single ride bikeshare passes. Although that doesn’t guarantee you won’t get egged or TPed by kids who’d rather have a sugar high than a free ride.

Helen’s Cycles is hiring a part-time cashier for their Santa Monica store.

 

State

Over 1,000 bicyclists are expected to turn out for the annual Tour of Upland next month.

About 40 veterans and first responders are making their way down the California coast as part of the eleventh annual Project Hero United Healthcare California Coastal Challenge to highlight the health issues they face, including PTSD.

Chico is updating its bike plan after just five years. So naturally, the local TV station quotes a driver complaining about scofflaw bicyclists. I wonder if they also bring up lawbreaking drivers whenever someone wants to build a new overpass.

 

National

They get it. AARP suggests ten ways bicycle friendly streets are good for people who don’t ride bikes, while offering a reminder that people of all ages like to ride bicycles. Print this one out before your next public meeting, and leave a copy on every seat. Especially since older people tend to be more resistant to bike-friendly changes.

A writer for a travel site says you can participate in adventure travel, even with a hidden disability.

Forbes suggests what you can do in your own neighborhood to slow climate change. Hint: It has pedals and two wheels, and maybe a battery.

Motherboard says e-scooters reveal America’s urban transportation crisis, adding they’re fun, but nobody knows what to do with them yet.

Portland experiments with raised, floating bus platforms to reduce crashes with bike riders. For once, Los Angeles got there first with raised platforms on Los Angeles and Figueroa.

Nebraska tourism officials are told they can bicycle their way to prosperity by hitching a ride on the bike tourism boom.

No bias here. A Chicago writer complains about an “abundance of rude (maybe even psychotic) bicyclists” who ride on the sidewalk, instead of in the “bike lanes that have disrupted and uglified” downtown streets, while adding that police should ticket downtown bike riders instead of sidewalk riders in black neighborhoods. Nothing opposing bike lanes, as well as people who don’t feel safe using them.

Chicago’s Bike Lane Uprising is a crowdsourced civic tech platform designed to make it easier to report drivers blocking bike lanes or other obstructions.

St. Paul MN discovers they can trick drivers into stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks.

New Orleans bike riders will no longer face a $150 fine for failing to failing to register their bikes; the city revoked its mandatory registration after one rider received nearly $1,000 in tickets for a single traffic stop, including one for failing to register his bike.

The police chief in Tampa FL says his cops stop bike riders mostly because they don’t have lights, run stop signs or ride salmon. It’s just a total coincidence that 80% of the bike riders they stop are black.

A Tampa TV station says a three-foot wide curb bike lane is dangerous by design, putting bicyclists too close to passing cars. Especially since that three feet appears to include the gutter.

 

International

Treehugger says it’s time to face the dangers cement trucks pose to the people around them, and put safer trucks on the roads.

Road.cc lists 18 things they “reckon” every bike rider hates. I hate the word reckon, but I reckon that’s my problem.

A new urban bike promises to be weatherproof and maintenance-free, with airless, puncture-proof tires, a carbon belt drive, and seven speed internal hub. Although the nearly $2,000 price tag could put a dent in your wallet.

Your next bike helmet could be printed, not made.

Drivers in the UK could be required to give bicyclists and pedestrians the right-of-way in every situation under a proposed revision to the country’s Highway Code.

A trio of bighearted British kids raised the equivalent of over $6,500 for a hospice for terminally-ill children and adults; two rode 300 miles across England, while the third, who suffers from Cardio Facio Cutaneous Syndrome, rode 30 miles on his adaptive bike.

It’s official. Scottish cyclist Jenny Graham has shattered the women’s record for bicycling around the world in just 124 days, beating the existing record by 20 days.

France considers a mandatory bicycle registration program to fight bike theft as part of a 25-point, $401 million plan to boost bicycling — including a proposal to pay people up to $458 a year to bike to work.

Volkswagen’s new smart headlights promise to recognize and highlight people walking or riding bikes in low light. Which the drivers probably won’t notice because they’ll be too busy with their phones.

An Israeli soccer player is expected to be charged with hit-and-run and DUI for a crash that killed a teenage boy illegally sharing a friend’s ebike; the other boy could also face charges for carrying a passenger, swerving into the driver’s path and riding without a helmet.

A legendary Aussie firefighter wants to thank the stranger who tossed his bicycle in the back of his SUV and drove him home after he took a bad fall in traffic, injuring his shoulder.

A Manilla legislator proposes a nearly five-foot passing distance to improve safety for people on bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks at the complicated case of newly crowned women’s masters champ Dr. Rachel McKinnon, saying the debate over the first transgender world champ can’t be solved, but it can be better understood.

Former Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins says like it or not, Lance is iconic, and was singled out for doping when he wasn’t the only one doing it.

Surprisingly, the winner of last year’s Zwift indoor cycling competition has thrived in the pro peloton, signing with pro team Canyon-SRAM for a second season.

 

Finally…

When you really want to go retro with your water bottle. If you don’t think drivers hear your warnings, get a grip.

And when your marriage goes downhill as soon as you say your vows.

 

Morning Links: 40 years behind bars for drug-fueled Kalamazoo massacre, and new ways to drive distracted

Forty years.

That’s the minimum sentence the driver convicted of the Kalamazoo massacre will serve, after being convicted in the drug-fueled death of five bicyclists, and injuring four others.

Charles Pickett Jr. was sentenced to 40 to 75 years behind bars, meaning he’ll be at least 92 when he gets out if he serves his full sentence.

But at least Pickett said he sorry.

“I’ll live with this the rest of my life. I would give my life for the people I murdered, killed and maimed and everything else and I just want to say I’m sorry,” he said, wiping away tears.

The judge wasn’t having any of it, though.

The judge called Pickett’s apology “woefully inadequate,” saying that until that point, he didn’t appear remorseful for his actions. The judge also pointed out Pickett had many opportunities to stop driving before he hit the cyclists, but didn’t.

At least one survivor said his tearful apology was pretty underwhelming.

Yes, alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases. But driving under the influence is a choice.

One that can have devastating consequences for innocent people on the roads.

As well as the not-so-innocent people behind the wheel.

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Just what we need. Another way for people to be distracted behind the wheel.

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Local

As usual, the LA Times gets it, saying e-scooters aren’t a scourge, they’re a solution. And says Elon Musk is going to destroy Los Angeles in a dumb attempt to save it.

LA Taco looks at the arrest of Mariah Kandise Banks in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA, and the low rent attempted coverup that followed.

CiclaValley watches the Nichols Ride again, but gets some great photos in the process. And he has a good excuse for not riding.

 

State

Laguna Beach police conducted their annual Road Safety Expo to help stop bike and pedestrian deaths; they focused on the dangers of distracted driving, as well a bicycling and walking skills.

The people behind anti-road diet group Keep LA Moving continue to export their traffic safety denial program, this time taking up shop to halt safety improvements in Tustin. Credit Peter Flax with the link.

Ocean Beach planners approve a concept for parking protected bike lanes along West Point Loma Avenue.

A San Diego girl was lucky to escape with a bruised leg after she was hit by a turning car while allegedly riding salmon.

After a successful trial, NorCal’s Caltrain is expanding a program allowing bicycle riders to board bike cars first to make boarding more efficient.

Sad news from the Tahoe area, where a man was killed when a driver veered right into his bicycle.

 

National

This is who we share the roads with. A Minnesota motorist fleeing from police plowed into a playground, critically injuring two small children, as well as injuring their brother.

Akron OH looks to Copenhagen for inspiration on how to become bike friendly.

Massachusetts police can’t figure out who’s responsible for a road rage incident, so they just charge everyone (scroll down).

New York drivers can’t seem to figure out that they don’t go when the bicycle-shaped traffic signal turns green.

 

International

A film critic offers seven anecdotes marking the 15th anniversary of the bike-themed The Triplets of Belleville. And if you haven’t seen it, what the hell are you waiting for?

Talk about not getting it. Ontario, Canada police release a bike safety video, telling bicyclists to ride a far right as possible — even when there are sharrows on the street.

After a Nova Scotia man traded his car for a bicycle, he hopes a revised vehicle code will finally treat bike riders and drivers equally. And he’s not the only one.

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame does a little bicycle myth busting in the Guardian.

According to The Atlantic, bakfiets — aka cargo bikes — are the new symbol of gentrification in the Netherlands, as upscale white mothers take to two or three wheels in place of the family minivan.

Reporting from the Netherlands, People for Bikes says the Dutch ride a lot, but don’t go far.

Uber’s Jump e-bikeshare service has made its first foray into Europe, landing in Berlin following a botched entry with their carshare service.

Australian site The Conversation discusses how traffic signals are designed to favor cars and discourage walking.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canada may be getting close to legalizing marijuana, but it remains banned for cyclists under international doping rules. Seriously, has a little weed ever enhanced a cyclist’s performance? It usually has the opposite effect. Or so I’ve heard.

VeloNews recounts competitors tales from the recent 206-mile Dirty Kanza gravel race.

Twenty-seven-year old Aussie BMX champ Caroline Buchanan will compete in Texas later this month, just six months after a serious crash nearly ended her career. And her life.

 

Finally…

At least someone’s fixing potholes. Advice for your first naked bike ride.

And she didn’t just marry into royalty, she married into cycling.

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Thanks to Mark H for his generous support of this site.

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