Tag Archive for Federal transportation funding bill

Killer meth-fueled Vegas driver gets 16-40 years, misguided recall for CD4’s Raman, and $20 million for LAC transport projects

That was fast.

Almost seven months to the day after five Las Vegas bicyclists were killed by a truck driver, their killer copped a plea to two counts of DUI causing death.

DUI is right.

Arizona resident Jordan Barson had nine times the amount of meth in his system required to be considered legally impaired.

He now faces anywhere from 16 to 40 years behind bars, along with a paltry $58,000 in restitution.

Once he gets out, whenever that may be, Barson will be required to have an interlock device on his car for anywhere from one to three years.

Which, it should be noted, detects alcohol, not meth.

Meanwhile, a killer truck driver in Flagstaff AZ didn’t have to play the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card after local police played it for him, claiming the sun was in his eyes when he ran a red light and slammed into a group of bicyclists.

Fifty-eight-year old California resident Normand Cloutier is accused of killing a 29-year old woman and injuring five other riders in the crash.

Of course, as several people pointed out on Twitter, the correct course of action when you can’t see what the hell is directly in front of you is to pull over to the side of the road until you can.

Photo by Cameron Casey from Pexels.

Let’s hope Barson’s cell is slightly better than this one.

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Another day, another recall by people who can’t get over the fact that their candidate lost.

This time the intended target is CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman, who hasn’t been in office long enough to actually do anything that would call for one.

Not that that matters in today’s political environment.

Let’s hope this one doesn’t get any further than the idiotic attempt to recall Mike Bonin a few years, driven by conservative KFI anger meisters Jon and Ken.

Who will probably be happy to get behind this one, too.

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The new transportation bill under consideration in the US Congress includes $20 million for LA-area projects, according to Burbank Rep. Adam Schiff’s office.

In addition to traffic and pedestrian projects, the list also includes sharrows in Glendale, and pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements on Melrose in West Hollywood.

That last one could have connected with a Complete Streets makeover of Melrose in Los Angeles, if it hadn’t been summarily and singlehandedly killed by CD5 Councilmember and pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz.

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The Bike League announced their latest list of Bicycle Friendly Businesses, with 33 new or renewing firms honored.

None of which are in Southern California, although the LA office of the Morrison & Foerster LLP law firm got an honorable mention.

Maybe someone should tell them that MoFo may not be the positive nickname they seem to think it is.

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Maybe it’s just me, but it seems there are few things more sexist than women’s fashion magazines.

Especially when it comes to bicycles.

Because apparently, women just want to look cute on a bike, and would never want to put on spandex and get all sweaty or anything.

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Don’t miss this one if you’re in the Bay Area this weekend.

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

Clearly, he doesn’t get it, either After a community board in New York’s Upper West Side calls for banning ebikes from protected bike lanes, the city’s outgoing mayor quickly refused — because he doesn’t think they belong in traffic lanes.

Drivers in Auckland, New Zealand, are plotting to invade the city’s bike lanes on a busy Saturday morning — this Saturday, in fact — and drive on the bike lanes when they’re likely to be full of people on bicycles. Which seems to be the point. One hundred drivers have confirmed so far, so if it’s like very other Facebook event, maybe three might actually show up.

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

A Boston bike rider got off with a warning for riding through a busy highway tunnel, after state police officers told him it was both illegal and dangerous, as evidenced by the sudden braking as drivers spotted him in the right lane.

What the hell is wrong with some people? An 18-year old Delaware man faces charges for shooting an 11-year old girl with a BB gun in a dispute over the girl riding his bicycle.

A bike-riding Singapore man got off with a $5,600 fine for punching a truck driver who had tried to run him down during a mutual road rage incident; the driver had already been sentenced to a week behind bars.

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Local

KTLA-5’s Rich DeMuro visits Venice Beach’s Bike Attack to learn about electric bicycles, then test rides the VanMoof S3, calling it the Tesla of ebikes. Then again, that’s not necessarily a compliment.

Departing Metro CEO Phil Washington pens a letter to the community in support of the 18-mile NoHo to Pasadena bus rapid transit line, which includes the proposed Beautiful Boulevard plan through Eagle Rock.

Caltrans recommends a $3.532 million plan to fix the twin intersections of Rambla Pacifico and Las Flores Canyon at PCH in Malibu, which saw three traffic deaths and 81 injuries in just a three year period. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to include any bicycle safety measures on the deadly highway.

 

State

It takes a major league schmuck to steal a three-wheeled adaptive bike used by a special needs girl to help with her balance issues.

Bay Area bike advocacy group Bike East Bay wants your help to save the protected bike lanes on Oakland’s iconic Telegraph Avenue.

 

National

Seriously? Consumer Reports discovers the “hidden danger” of big pickup trucks, which are increasing in size with virtually every model year. Never mind that the risk to others should be pretty damn obvious to anyone who has ever walked, ridden or just stood next to one.

USA Cycling announced their new Let’s Ride program to teach bicycle safety and basic bike skills to elementary school children throughout the US.

A new ebike from Civilized Cycles is designed to carry up to two passengers and four loaded grocery bags in comfort, with an automated air ride system that adjusts to the weight the bike is carrying for a smoother ride.

In Style shows women what to wear to look cute on four types of bike rides. Because as we all know, looking cute is what really matters, and no woman would ever want to put on spandex and get all sweaty or anything. Right?

Marketplace examines why Phoenix-based fixie maker State Bicycles is struggling to meet the increased demand brought on by the pandemic-induced bike boom; co-founder Mehdi Farsi blames supply chain issues for an inability to ramp up to meet a two to three-times jump in sales.

Speaking of Phoenix, the downtown area just got its first two-way protected bike lane.

After a Davenport, Iowa man was killed by a red light-running hit-and-run driver while riding his bike back home, the victim’s wife says it never should have happened.

St. Louis is installing zebra lane delineators to separate bicycles and motor vehicles along a protected bike lane; the small bumps — often called armadillos in other cities — promise to be more effective at keeping drivers out than the usual thin plastic car ticklers. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

A study conducted by Maine’s Bowdoin College shows that cities that adopt a Complete Streets policy also see improvements in how crashes between drivers and pedestrians are covered by the media.

Long Island’s Suffolk County is cracking down on scofflaw riders from the Bike Life movement, by creating a new crime of reckless bike riding complete with a $250 fine and possible confiscation of their bicycles.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker, who always gets it, says helmet laws are not what New York bike riders need right now.

 

International

USA Today offers a modestly covered-up view of naked bike rides — and riders — around the world.

The Barbados transportation minister says bike riders have an equal right to the road, and calls on drivers to help create a more equitable environment for everyone.

Cycling Tips features the hilarious Danish helmet PSA we linked to yesterday, while calling for more “bike-adjacent” ads to feature Vikings.

A new project from the mayor of Hyderabad, India aims to address bad air quality by giving “pre-loved” bicycles to people who will use them as an every day form of transportation.

 

Competitive Cycling

Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner Tadej Pogačar is gearing up to defend his pandemic-year Tour de France win by competing in his hometown Tour of Slovenia.

 

Finally…

Go back to the wide stripe jerseys and hairnet helmets of the 1970s. Your next bike helmet might kinda see around corners.

And who hasn’t taken on a national hillclimb champ on a series of increasingly inappropriate bicycles?

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Fed bike funding — and your right to the road — in danger; an argument against mandatory helmet laws

Bend over.

The new Federal highway spending bill proposed by our own Sen. Barbara Boxer and Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe is out. And if it passes, we’re all going to get screwed.

The new bill not only cuts the amount of funding available for bike and pedestrian projects, it forces bike projects to compete with Recreational Trails, Safe Routes to Schools, and other non-bike and pedestrian projects for funding. Which means the smaller pool will be cut even further before anything bike-related ever gets funded.

The Alliance for Biking and Walking offers a good comparison between the current and the proposed bill.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, it also includes a clause that will forbid you from using any Federally funded roadway if there is a bike path within 100 yards. It doesn’t matter if that bike path is a slow, winding recreational path in crumbling condition that meanders far from where you want to go, you’ll have to ride it.

And you’ll lose the right to the road you’re currently guaranteed under the law.  Evidently, because you could, conceivably, get in the way of what our elected leaders clearly seem to think are more important road users.

And this comes from our supposedly liberal junior senator, who has inexplicably decided to do the work of the radical right for them.

No one thought is would be easy to protect bike funding in the current environment.

But I don’t think we expected to be the victims of friendly fire.

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The owner of Santa Monica’s Bike Effect writes movingly, and heartbreakingly, about the death of Robert Hyndman on the Rapha ride they sponsored last Saturday.

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Dave Moulton, former maker of some of the best bikes built in my lifetime, offers a thoughtful argument against mandatory helmet laws, “saying mandatory helmet laws do not make cyclists wear helmets, they make some people stop riding bikes.”

I wear a helmet when I ride my bike, not because I believe it will save me from serious head injury, but because I believe the little protection it does give can’t hurt.

Another big incentive for me is, in the event I am hit by a car and injured; when I make a claim with the car driver’s auto insurance, they cannot say I was negligent and contributed to the seriousness of my injures by not wearing a helmet.

Insurance companies are notorious for finding ways to pay less or not pay at all on a claim; why give them the opportunity to deny a claim by not wearing a helmet? Apart from that I believe this little piece of lightweight Styrofoam I wear on my head offers only a token amount of protection.

These are my personal views; I would not tell anyone they should or should not wear a helmet when riding a bike. I strongly believe that helmet use should be an individual choice.

It’s a good read, and makes the argument for helmet use — and against mandating them — in a clear, concise and rational manner.

And it should be noted that both of the SoCal cyclists who died this past weekend were wearing helmets.

I can’t stress enough that bike helmets are designed to offer full protection at impact speeds only up to 14 mph; they offer little or no protection in high speed falls, and none whatsoever to any other part of the body.

They’re designed to protect against slow speed falls, such as tumbling off your bike under normal riding conditions, or impacts at relatively slow speeds.

Mandating their use is more about making non-cyclists feel better about sharing the road with us than it is about protecting riders.

Evidently, Britain’s Parliament gets it.

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L.A. launches a virtual town hall to discuss mobility in the city. The York Street bike corral is back in action. Once again, Los Angeles considers ways to change the law that allows biking on sidewalks. Mayor Villaraigosa, Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Mitch Englander decide that car dealers shouldn’t be taxed; no word on when bike shops will get a similar tax break. Meanwhile, Councilmember Rosendahl proposes a motion to keep Mandeville Canyon speed bump free; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up. The Times’ George Skelton concludes bike trails are budget pork. Last weekend’s Free the Streets brings a dose of bike culture to South L.A. Streetsblog plans an end-of-the-year party on Thursday, December 8th. Santa Monica’s proposed Bike Action Plan gets a hearing before the city’s Planning Commission Wednesday night, while the new Bike Centers open on November 18th. Get a gift card when you make a purchase over $250 at Cynergy. A new Long Beach-based website celebrates the beauty and benefits of bicycling for women. Long Beach’s biking expat Russ Roca says losing his car saved his life.

A ghost bike has been installed for Mark Leones, killed last month is a solo bike wreck, while Claremont Cyclist catches up with the long, sad list of ghost bikes throughout Southern California, and looks at Sunday’s Long Beach Cyclocross. The Newport Beach Bicycle Safety Committee needs more time than their one year term to complete their work; the only question is why they thought they could solve all the city’s bike problems in a single year. Monterey riders will have a chance to bike the famed Laguna Seca racetrack. Palo Alto gets a new bike plan; the city calls it ambitious, but what do local cyclists think? Martha Stewart parks in a San Francisco bike lane. SF Gate asks if it’s safe to ride while pregnant. If you’re looking for a serious challenge, consider next April’s Mount Laguna Bicycle Classic, an epic timed challenge offering up to 101 miles with over 10,000 feet of elevation gain.

Bikes Belong and SRAM partner on a new campaign to fast-track separated bike lanes. How to bunny hop — and how not to. The Reno Rambler looks at bike lane pushback, and concludes the vehicular cycling model won’t broaden the spectrum of riders. A look at 12 bike calendars for 2012. Tribal justice means no justice for a cross-country cyclist killed on a New Mexico reservation. A Colorado cyclist steals her bike back from the person who stole it from her. Now that’s bike parking. A Boston cyclist “accidently” rides a local freeway. Boston businesses decry a loss of 71 parking spaces to make room for a bike lane; maybe someone should point out that cyclists spend money, too — and are more likely to stop and shop. What to do with abandoned bikes in Gotham bike rooms. The New York Times architecture critic gets back on his bike to review the city’s bike lanes. A New York woman confesses she was high when she ran down and killed a cyclist, and gets rewarded with a reduced sentence. Someone somehow manages to massively crush a street full of cars. New technology could soon help keep drunk drivers off the road. Louisiana cyclists ride to raise awareness after three cyclists are killed in one week. After a cyclist is killed, Mississippi decides it’s finally time to enforce their three-foot passing law. For the first time, a Florida judge permits punitive damages in the case of a cyclist killed by a texting driver.

Toronto proposes to ban bike parking over 24 hours anywhere except bike racks; I assume that means the city is saturated with safe and secure bike parking, right? Bike-friendly Bogota mayor Enrique Penalosa loses his bid for re-election. The London Mail tours Pashley. David Hembrow argues that training riders rather than fixing the roads has failed UK cyclists. Campy unveils its new 11-speed electronic shifting system; it seems like this is an expensive solution in search of a problem, since the beauty of a bicycle has always been it’s simplicity. There will be no 2nd annual Tour of South Africa, after all.

Finally, from the Department of WFT, a driver corrects a cyclist for not riding in the non-existent bike lane, then tells him to break the law by riding on the sidewalk. And a bike riding child is injured in an apparent hit-and-run before being transported by ambulance.

On a Playmobil toy box. Seriously, what were they thinking?

Thanks to Dave Schneider for the Playmobil link.

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