Tag Archive for Encino

Caltrans wants input on replacing Encino ped bridge, best ad ever for LA bicycling, and maybe we should just move to Dubai

Caltrans is looking for feedback on a proposal to replace the pedestrian bridge over the 101 Freeway in Encino.

Or maybe not, since one of the options doesn’t involve a replacement.

Artwork from Caltrans rendering. Thanks to S. Martinez for the heads-up.

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Phil Gaimon does a little lane splitting on PCH through the ‘Bu, passing cars like they were standing still.

Which, from the looks of it, they mostly were, as usual.

He calls this the best ad ever for cycling in Los Angeles. And he’s got a point.

Although I’m not sure I’d split lanes like that on SoCal’s killer highway, even though it’s perfectly legal.

But I confess, there’s a real satisfaction in passing long lines of stalled traffic on your bike.

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Maybe we should all just give up on LA and move to newly bike-friendly Dubai.

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Once again, an English police department shows their American counterparts how it’s done when it comes to enforcing safe passing laws.

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Local

A Pasadena website looks at the new bike lanes in Arcadia and San Gabriel.

 

State

San Jacinto approves plans to implement critically needed bike and pedestrian safety projects.

Santa Maria police will step up bike and pedestrian safety enforcement from the 18th through the 25th of August. Standard protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you get out of their jurisdiction.

Santa Cruz has chosen eleven streets for the city’s Slow Streets program.

San Francisco proposes a protected bike lane and other steps to fix a dangerous section of Folsom Street.

A Sacramento TV station wants to see your first bike.

 

National

A new Amazon Prime show from the producer of Survivor promises to pit the world’s toughest cyclists against the world’s most challenging bike race. If you can’t access the Bicycling site, you can read it on Yahoo.

Road Bike Action Magazine is offering free online access with registration. And entertain yourself for hours swatting their many popup windows.

Your next bike tires may never need air or a patch kit.

A columnist for a Salt Lake City paper says biking in the age of coronavirus is the least we can do. Which is all most people do, anyway.

The Green Bay Packers’ website goes all the way back to 1958 to uncover the source of the team’s annual tradition of borrowing kid’s bikes to ride to the first day of training camp.

Sadly, there will be no more bicycle taco deliveries in Milwaukee.

A Minnesota public radio station looks at the local chapter of Red Bike and Green, a Black riding collective founded in Oakland 13 years ago to bring more diversity to bicycling.

Heartbreaking news from Detroit, where a mother was killed, along with her one-year old son, when a driver plowed into the bike trailer she was pulling with her bicycle. Crashes involving bike trailers may be rare, but sadly, they do happen, despite what many drivers will tell you.

More proof that ebikes are real bicycles, as a Tennessee man lost 105 pounds and beat diabetes by riding one. Once again, if you can’t access the Bicycling site, you can read it on Yahoo. And before you ask, no, that won’t work for me; if I lost 105 pounds, there wouldn’t be much left. And I’d still have diabetes.

A Boston website takes understandable pride in Bicycling’s promotion of the hometown East Coast Greenway. Although hometown is a bit of a stretch for something that runs over 3,000 miles through 15 states.

A Hoboken NJ bike thief folded under interrogation about the theft of a folding bike, appropriately enough.

Apparently, Virginia state police plan to put a pickup truck behind bars for fleeing the scene after running down a teenage boy who was walking his bike, since they don’t even mention that it might have had a driver.

 

International

Bloomberg examines the problem planners face balancing expanded space for bike riders with the needs of disabled people. Although it’s worth noting that expanding space for bikes allows some disabled people to ride bikes, which many use as mobility devices.

CBC says cutting speed limits could slow climate change. Not to mention save lives.

That’s more like it. After 12 criminal convictions in the past 15 months — including four for bike theft — a prolific British thief has been banned from even handling or sitting on a bicycle for the next two years.

Surprisingly, bike theft in down dramatically in the UK, with 19,000 fewer bikes stolen compared to the previous year.

The Guardian’s Laura Laker says UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will never see the golden age of bicycling he anticipates as long as the roads continue to feel unsafe.

In what may be the best story of the day, a four-year old British girl rode three miles on her little pink bike — complete with a doll in the toy rear child seat — raising the equivalent of $522 to fight cancer, after her grandfather died of the disease.

Helsinki, Finland is converting a boulevard into a shared bike boulevard, creating an express bikeway where drivers have to slow to the speed of bike riders.

A play that premiered in Germany’s Terezín Ghetto during the Holocaust will be performed live in New York and Israel; The Last Cyclist is described as a comic allegory that “pits innocent bicycle riders (Jews) against escaped lunatics (Nazis) who seek to destroy them,”

Residents of India Goa state are turning to bicycles and running to stay fit and get away from the pandemic for awhile. They also have the country’s best cuisine, which is annoyingly hard to find in Los Angeles. 

A former Philippine volleyball star turned TV host is giving away 50 bicycles to deserving people to help them get to work during the pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

A writer for the New York Times examines the coronavirus lockdown phenomenon of Everesting and the rapidly falling world records.

Colorado’s high school mountain bike season is going virtual in response to Covid-19. Now if they can just figure out how to make that work with high school football.

Cycling News wants to know if anyone can beat Remco Evanepoel at the rescheduled Il Lombardia monument race.

You may never win a stage in the Tour de France or the Critérium du Dauphiné, but you can own the bike that did. Or might have, anyway.

Speaking of which, Stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné featured an unexpected hazard — hailstones.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have to revise your story because people don’t know what a stroad is. Your next bike helmet could squish down, so hopefully your head won’t.

And if you’re going to ride 621 miles on a stolen bicycle to see Tokyo for the first time, try not to get busted for bike theft just short of the city.

But at least the purloined bike the adventurous thief took was only worth $93.

Thanks to Robert Leone for that last one.

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

Accused killer of Jim Swarzman arraigned in San Diego, currently facing relative slap on the wrist

The accused hit-and-run driver charged with killing Encino cyclist Jim Swarzman has pleaded not guilty in San Diego Superior Court.

According to multiple reports, Joseph Ricardo Fernandez was arraigned Wednesday on a single count of hit-and-run causing death.

That’s it.

No charges for DUI charges or killing another human being, whether carelessly or deliberately. Just running away like a coward and leaving a crumpled body behind.

Fernandez faces up to four years for taking the life of another human being – less than Dr. Christopher Thompson received for attempting to injure two riders in Mandeville Canyon.

Hopefully, the case is still under investigation; it’s always possible that additional charges may be added later.

The description of the collision suggests that the driver was either asleep or extremely drunk when he hit Swarzman, as witnesses reported the truck drifting from lane to lane before swerving over to hit Swarzman’s bike.

Witness descriptions also suggest that the driver was fully aware that he hit something, despite Fernandez’s reported comments when he turned himself into police that he thought he may have hit something over the weekend.

By all accounts, the collision was extremely violent. People on the scene, including Swarzman’s fiancé, say his bike exploded on impact and that he was hurtled through the air before crashing to the roadway; the driver then sped away from the scene.

And yes, Swarzman was riding exactly where he should have been on the roadway, and was lit up like a Christmas tree in the North County San Diego darkness.

It plausible that Fernandez was so drunk — or yes, so tired — that he couldn’t remember it the next day.

But I find it impossible to believe that he did not know, at the moment of impact and the minutes that followed, that he had hit someone or something, and made the decision to run away rather than stop and be held accountable for his actions.

Of course, I have no way of knowing if Fernandez had been drinking. My speculation — and at this point, that’s all it is — is based strictly on the late hour and the witness descriptions of the truck’s actions before and after the collision.

Although if I had to make a bet, I’d lay everything I own on it.

And that shows the failure of our current laws regarding hit and run. As it now stands, California law actually encourages drivers to flee the scene if they’ve been drinking, because the penalties for drunk driving are much stronger than the penalties for hit-and-run.

If he was in fact intoxicated, the smartest decision Fernandez made that night — as least as far as his legal prospects are concerned — was to run away until he could sober up, then turn himself in once the booze and/or drugs were out of his system and a DUI charge was off the table.

And that has to change.

At last report, Fernandez was still being held on $100,000 bond. His next scheduled court appearances are a readiness conference on May 5th, and a preliminary hearing on May 10th in the San Diego Superior Court, North County Regional Center, case number CN290834.

I’m not mad yet. But I’m getting there.

Correction: Originally, I had written that Fernandez had pleaded guilty. That was a typo; the plea was not guilty, as I’ve corrected it above. Thanks to Dj Wheels for the catch.

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