Tag Archive for Goodyear

No charges for killing 2 AZ bike riders and injuring 19, more on charges in Boyes killing; and DUI murder in Solano County

It’s the First Day of the Last Month of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

We’re already way ahead of last year at this time, both in the number of donations and the amount of donations!

So please join me in thanking D-J H and Stephen H, who gave yesterday.

And each of the other 35 people who’ve so kindly opened their hearts and wallets to help keep Southern California’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

So what are you waiting for? Give now!

………

Rght after begging for your hard-earned money may not be the best time to mention that I’ll be tied up with a family matter over the weekend, so there won’t be a new BikinginLA post on Monday.

But we’ll be back bright and early on Tuesday to catch up on anything we missed over the weekend.

………

You’ve got to be kidding.

Life is cheap in Arizona, where a Phoenix DA has declined to file felony charges against the driver who slammed into an entire group of bicyclists, killing two people and injuring 19 others.

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell refused to file charges against 26-year old Pedro Quintana-Lujan, saying there was no evidence he was speeding, distracted or under the influence of alcohol, though he did still have cannabis in his system from the night before.

Because evidently, that’s the only way someone can be responsible for killing two innocent people, and mowing down a group of people on bicycles like an overgrown lawn.

Quintana-Lujan told investigators his steering locked up and he was unable to control his pickup, which was pulling a trailer at the time of the crash. Although you’d think a forensic examination of the truck would be able to determine whether that was true.

Mitchell tried to position her lack of action as a refusal to let the case go by referring it to the city prosecutor in Goodyear AZ, where the crash occurred.

However, that means Quintana-Lujan could be charged with just a misdemeanor, at best, making the whole damn thing just another fatal “oopsie.”

………

More on the 81-year old driver charged with DUI and involuntary manslaughter for killing US Masters track champ and national record holder Ethan Boyes earlier this year.

San Francisco resident Arnold Kinman Low faces federal charges because Boyes was riding on Arguello Blvd in Presidio National Park when Low lost control of his car, and hit Boyes head-on as he rode in an unprotected bike lane.

In addition to the recently installed guard rails separating the bike lane from traffic lanes in the park where Boyes was killed, San Francisco has secured $1.2 million in funding to install protected bike lanes connecting Golden Gate Park and The Presidio.

Normally I say that once again raises the question of how old is too old to drive safely, but the allegation that Low was under the influence probably had more to do with his deadly driving skills than his advanced age, although there’s no word yet on just how drunk he was.

………

A 47-year old Solano County driver faces a murder charge for the alleged drunken hit-and-run that killed a bike rider in Fairfield last year.

Witnesses testified at a preliminary hearing this week that Sean Richard Miron crashed into another vehicle as he fled the scene of the original crash, leaving Suisun City resident Christopher Blake Sudat lying in the roadway next to his shattered bicycle.

Miron was detained, along with his passenger, at the second crash, where officers said he appeared to be under the influence. Police also recovered a semi-automatic pistol with an illegal threaded barrel from Miron’s pickup, even though he was barred from having a weapon as a convicted felon.

He faces the murder count due to three prior DUI convictions, suggesting he likely signed a Watson advisement indicating he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence.

However, even without that, his prior convictions indicate he was well aware of the dangers of driving while intoxicated before he sat down behind the wheel that night.

Miron faces charges of murder, hit-and-run causing death, hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of an assault weapon.

Then again, if Miron had been charged in Southern California, he could probably plead out on a misdemeanor and walk with time served.

………

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

A driver in Boston’s South End parked in the bike lane, leaving a note tucked under his windshield wiper reading, “I don’t care that I’m parked in a bike lane. Just go around me!!” To which bike-riding commenters to the local website responded both emphatically and poetically.

A “mean spirited” saboteur continues to put bike riders outside a London subway station at deliberate risk by tossing thumb tacks in a protected bike lane — and has somehow managed to go uncaught for the past two years. Although we can probably surmise that police indifference could be the likely cause for why they’ve gotten away with it so long.  

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

A Florida city manager is asking for the public’s understanding after he wrecked his bike following a night of drinking. Although I’d much rather see a drunk on a bicycle than behind the wheel of a multi-ton vehicle.

Scofflaw bike riders in Salisbury, England are accused of “endangering the public and traffic” by riding salmon on a one-way street, which local police called “incredibly dangerous.” Although how traffic can be endangered is beyond me. 

………

………

Local 

Um, okay. The Journal of the Congress for the New Urbanism examines the successful Move Culver City project, calling the 1.3-mile bus lane and bike lane installation the first quick build Tactical Urbanism project in the Los Angeles area — without mentioning that the newly conservative city council voted to rip it out, or that the city is being sued to keep that from happening.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune says freeway cams counted 45,000 people taking part in the all-too-brief Arroyo Fest that shut the Pasadena Freeway down to cars, and opened it up to people on foot, skates and bikes.

Pasadena police will mark today’s first day of December with a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation, ticketing anyone who commits a traffic violation that could endanger either group — even if it’s the bike rider or pedestrian who commits it. So as usual, ride to the letter of the law until you leave the city, or you could be the one who gets a ticket.

 

State

The California Coastal Commission is standing in the way of traffic safety in San Diego, stalling the installation of bike lanes on a deadly Point Loma roadway.

An emergency inter-agency operation was mounted to save the life of a mountain biker who suffered life-threatening injuries in the remote mountains of Boulevard, California last Friday, requiring the services of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, US Border Patrol, a San Diego Air and Marine Operations helicopter, and CalFire to bring the victim out to safety. So remote, in fact, that I’ve never hear of Boulevard before. 

A San Francisco bar owner blames the installation of the centerline Valencia Street protected bike lane for the demise of his 150-year old subterranean establishment, suggesting the loss of parking and reduced foot traffic resulted in an 80% drop in revenue. And not, a business model resulting in a bar that no one wants to go to if it means being slightly inconvenienced.

 

National

Bicycling reports that Portland’s MADE Bike Show will be back next year, promising to be even larger than this year’s 200 exhibitors and 5,000 attendees. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

An Arizona man reminisces about his life on two wheels, and dreams of coming back in the next life to live and ride in Amsterdam. But it’s the archival photo of young boys riding for Western Union that’s worth the click.

In a big win for injured bike riders, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that pedestrians and bicyclists must be covered by the uninsured motorist provision in their auto insurance if they’re stuck by an uninsured driver while walking or biking.

Call it the new normal. New York City landlords are banning ebikes from their properties to prevent fires, even though only certain lithium-ion batteries, or batteries with mismatched chargers, are at risk.

 

International

Momentum explains what daylighting intersections means, and how it enhances the safety of bicyclists. Governor Newsom signed a daylighting bill passed in the last legislative session, which will require open spaces on the curbs near intersections to improve visibility.

A 23-year old Florida woman thanked first responders in the Bahamas for saving her life after she rode her bike off an embankment in Walker’s Cay earlier this year, saying the moon and the stars aligned to enable her to survive.

A pair of London teenagers have been convicted of murdering an 18-year old man as he rode his bike to see his girlfriend; a then 14-year old boy, who can’t be named because of his age under British law, killed the victim with a machete in an apparent attempt to steal his bicycle.

While US traffic deaths continue to climb, Great Britain saw a significant decline in bicycling fatalities, with deaths dropping nearly 25% over the past year. Which is more evidence that the dangers on American roads are due to official indifference, as other nations show that reducing deaths is possible when they’re willing to make the necessary changes.

A new Dutch AI tool can demonstrate how any street or neighborhood can be made more livable and bike-friendly.

Professors at a Zurich, Switzerland university are investigating what changes would be required to the city’s streets to encourage more ebike riding than driving.

 

Competitive Cycling

GCN asks if the high cost of entry to cycling is killing the sport. Maybe at the highest levels, but you can spend as much or as little as you want and still compete, if you’re willing to build your own bike and do your own wrenching. 

Cycling Weekly talks with newly retired time trial specialist Alex Dowsett about the moment he realized cycling was his sport when he was just 14.

A top amateur cyclist says British Cycling’s recent ban on transgender athletes competing in women’s bike racing events makes the sport is less inclusive and welcoming than ever by denying the identity of trans women as women; 31-year old Josh Jones is believed to be the only openly gay rider to hold a world ranking in any cycling discipline

 

Finally…

It’s time for Santas and elves on bikes. Why wait to run down a bicycle when you can kill it and the entire bike corral it’s locked to?

And forget bike skills, they’re probably better with a basketball than you are, too.

Or me, anyway.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Arizona toll rises to 19 including two dead, how to protect yourself on two wheels, and Ballona Creek path could be extended

Make that 19.

The number of victims in Saturday’s bicycling massacre in Phoenix suburb Goodyear, Arizona has risen to two dead and 17 injured.

NPR reports the victims of the crash have been identified as a woman from Goodyear and a man visiting from Michigan, both 61-years old. Eight people remain hospitalized, with one in critical condition.

According to the AZ Central website,

Goodyear Mayor Joe Pizzillo also offered his condolences to those whom the fatal collision had impacted.

“We have a tight-knit cycling community, so this has deeply affected many across the West Valley,” Pizzillo said at a news conference at the city’s police station. “But a tragedy like this affects the entire community of Goodyear.”

Twenty-six-year old driver Pedro Quintana-Lujan reportedly told police his steering had locked before the truck drifted right and ran down the riders, likely one and two at a time. One victim said he wasn’t actually struck by the truck, but by the bodies of victims piled on its grill.

Police report there is currently no indication that the crash was intentional. The results of a blood test to determine if the driver was under the influence are still pending; however, as Arizona Bike Law points out, police would have needed evidence of intoxication in order to get a warrant for the blood test.

According to AZ Central, court documents show Quintana-Lujan told police he had smoked marijuana with his wife the previous evening, roughly 11 hours before the collision.

There’s no report on whether police are looking at distraction as a possible cause, or have examined Quintana-Lujan’s phone.

The victims were participating in a regular weekly ride sponsored by the West Valley Cycle bike club. They were among 20 riders in the second of three groups taking part in the ride when the driver mowed them down, spewing bodies in every direction.

Which means only one person on a bike managed to avoid becoming a victim. Chillingly, no one was likely aware of the driver before he plowed through the entire group.

“No one really saw the truck because he pretty much hit the back of the group and came all the way through the group,” (club founder David) Herzog told NPR.

The driver was in a massive Ford F-250 pickup, designed with a flat front grill that would have acted as a sledge hammer when driven at speed; a trailer being pulled by the truck would have added mass while limiting maneuverability.

Quintana-Lujan faces a raft of charges after prosecutors threw the book at him, including two counts of manslaughter and three counts of aggravated assault; at last report, he was still being held on $250,000 bond.

A crowdfunding campaign for the victims has raised nearly $80,000 of the $120,000 goal.

On a personal note, I’m having a hard time coping with this one, and all the emotions it brings up. Like mass shootings, mass casualty crashes like this just shouldn’t happen. 

Photo from Pexels.

………

BikinginLA sponsor Richard Duquette emailed to say the 65-year old bike shop worker seriously injured in the Goodyear crash that we mentioned yesterday had just helped him with his bike last month.

He also reminds all of us of something we have discussed here before, that one of the best ways to protect yourself is to max out the coverage on your own automotive insurance, which also covers you on your bicycle.

Buy the maximum Auto Uninsured/Under insured motorist ($500k min.) & excess Umbrella ($2M) coverage with a UM/UIM “rider” (not just liability) because YOU then control the amount of coverage, instead of relying on the defendant drivers insurance limit, if any, or if in the “course & scope of employers coverage”.

Mass crashes like this may prove difficult getting full compensation, as there will be multiple victims to apportion damages. So spending the money on strong insurance coverage is a critical family & financial planning investment as a bicyclist.

He explains more in this blog post from 2016.

Frequent contributor and San Diego bike advocate Phillip Young also offered his thoughts on how to avoid being a victim of a motorist.

A brightly colored bicycling kit especially with bio movement (bight color with movement) and a rear view mirror may save a trip to the emergency room (ER) or morgue. Easily seeing cars from behind with a mirror is essential situation awareness.

Wear brightly colored bicycling kit [Yellow Chartreuse (best), White (2nd Best) or Orange (3rd Best)]:

  1. Jersey
  2. Helmet
  3. Reflective vest
  4. Shoes, shoe covers, or socks and pants (bio movement)
  5. Front and back blinky lights. (lights with bio movement are the best on arms and legs)
  6. Spoke reflectors, front and rear reflectors, and other reflectors
  7. Rear view mirror (Third Eye bar end mirror is the best)

I can’t argue with any of his advice, although my personal take is to wear colors that contrast with the environment you’ll be riding in. Dark colors can be effective in bright daylight, while light or hi-viz colors are a must at night; we’ve all seen Ninja cyclists decked out entirely in black.

Or maybe we haven’t, which is exactly the problem.

I also believe in using multiple bright running lights, day or night, with a steady white light and flashing white light in front, and three flashers in back.

That’s based on the advice of bike crash survivor Mark Goodley, who researched the optimal approach to lights following the collision that nearly killed him.

I’ve never felt the need for a mirror, since I could usually sense a car coming up from behind before they got close enough to pose a danger. But now that I’m older, I find I get surprised more often, making a mirror a valuable safety tool.

And Young is absolutely right about wearing something attention-getting on your legs. I wear reflective ankle bands at night, and should probably up my shoe and sock game during the day, to ensure drivers see them pumping up and down.

I’ve been known to strap a light to my ankle, though that’s not always easy or comfortable.

I also advise adding front and rear facing bike cams, which could be the only way to provide your side of the story in a serious crash, because the cops will talk to the driver while you’re being hustled away by paramedics.

………

Today’s must read comes in the form of an op-ed from Streets For All Founder Michael Schneider.

Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Schneider bemoans the days when kids could walk and bike in their own neighborhoods.

Half a century ago, it was very common for kids to disappear into their neighborhood and play with other kids, often arriving by bike. This included the school commute. In 1969, 48% of children 5 to 14 walked or biked themselves to school. By 2009, this was down to 13%.

The result has been an enormous increase in children arriving by car. Anyone with school-age children is likely familiar with long and chaotic car dropoff lines in front of schools all over Los Angeles. The same applies to kids’ playdates, activities, sporting events, etc. — usually, children arrive and depart by car.

A large part of the problem — pun intentional — is the ever increasing size of motor vehicles, crowded into streets and lanes that remain the same size they were decades earlier.

The 1973 Honda Civic was 140 inches long and 59 inches high. Today, a Honda Civic is 168 inches long and 70 inches high. A 2015 Ford Mustang is 63% larger than its 1964 predecessor. A 2018 Mini Cooper is 61% larger than its 1950 counterpart. A 2013 Land Rover is 43% larger than a 1981 model. And a modern-day pickup truck or SUV is larger than a World War II-era Sherman tank.

As cars get larger, they squeeze space in existing roads, leaving even less room for pedestrians and cyclists. Where a kid on a bike might have been able to fit comfortably between parked cars and moving cars before, they are now more likely to be perilously sandwiched between them. Even just crossing the street has become harder because of the awful blind spots for drivers of modern,massive SUVs.

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

Because there’s no clearer sign that our cities have failed us than the way they’ve failed our children.

………

Speaking of Michael Schneider, it looks like he won a major victory in the effort to extend the popular Ballona Creek Bike Path to near where the creek rises to the surface at its eastern end.

………

An effort is underway at the state legislature to ban bans on sidewalk riding, in the absence of safe bikeways.

As the tweet suggests, allowing people to ride their bikes on the sidewalk when there’s no bike infrastructure present enables them to decide what is safest and most comfortable way to ride in that situation, without fear of getting a ticket for trying to protect your own life

However, it’s important to remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way, and we all have to ride safely and courteously around them.

Another bill sponsored by Streets For All would eliminate jail terms for transit fare evasion.

Now if we could just get someone to introduce a bill to permanently revoke drivers licenses from hit-and-run drivers.

Finally, the transportation and safety PAC is hosting their next virtual happy hour a week from tomorrow, with Culver City Vice Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin.

………

The winds of political reform are finally blowing in Los Angeles County, as Supervisors Lindsey Horvath and Holly Mitchell are proposing an expansion of the five-member Board of Supervisors, traditionally known as the five little kings for the power they’ve enjoyed over the years.

With the two sponsors on board, they just need one more vote to pass the motion.

And yes, that’s a good thing.

https://twitter.com/LindseyPHorvath/status/1630282154113650689

………

Pasadena’s Municipal Services Committee will receive a report at this afternoon’s meeting recommending the city reject a proposed ebike incentive program; ActiveSGV calls for comments calling for rejecting the rejection.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1630311877296427008

………

Has it really been that long?

Culver City-based street safety and bicycle education nonprofit advocacy group Walk ‘N Rollers is celebrating their 11th anniversary next month.

………

Gravel Bike California rode up to the snow that fell over the weekend above the San Fernando Valley.

………

This is what a city does when it’s serious about fighting climate change.

https://twitter.com/Anne_Hidalgo/status/1630460341678112769

That tweet translates to:

Fighting pollution also means supporting Parisians in their transition to other means of transport.

This is what we do by offering numerous financial aids for the purchase of bicycles.

………

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

No bias here. A writer for City Watch with a severe case of windshield bias calls for free transit use while rejecting bicycling out of hand, suggesting that “bike lanes and other traffic-“calming” measures are probably the worst approach since these practices constrict traffic flow creating more congestion, increasing engine idling, and in many areas exacerbating the inability for trucks to make deliveries, moms to drop off kids, or even to back into a parking space if that rara avis should become available.” You can read her full misguided take, if you can navigate the site’s seemingly interminable popups. 

A Kiwi man says local officials laughed at him when he requested separate bike paths and underpasses for bicyclists at a new roundabout that’s under construction, warning that the dangerous design could result in a bike rider being killed in the first year.

………

Local 

Streetsblog offers a wrap-up on Sunday’s successful CicLAvia in the San Fernando Valley, along with a schedule of upcoming CicLAvias; the next one will be Mid City meets Pico-Union the day before April’s Tax Day. Get your taxes done early so you’re not stuck at home with a pile of receipts, when you could be out enjoying the carfree streets.

The long-awaited Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle and Pedestrian Path on the new $1.5 billion Long Beach International Gateway Bridge is slated to open in May, following the completion of demolition work on the former Gerald Desmond Bridge; the path is named for longtime local bike advocate Mark Bixby, who was killed in a Long Beach plane crash along with four other community leaders.

If you need a cop to come out to a relatively minor crash in Long Beach, better tell the dispatcher you think the driver is drunk or stoned or you won’t see one.

 

State

California is offering $33 million to underserved communities to launch and support new and existing shared mobility projects, including bikeshare.

San Luis Obispo is considering allowing bike riders onto the sidewalk.

 

National

A Honolulu TV station considers bicycling as part of their Multimodal Mondays.

Hiking advocates question proposals in the Montana legislature that would allow ebikes anywhere that bicycles are allowed, including off-road trails. One thing that often gets lost in that debate is that ebikes provide backcountry access to countless people who would not be able to enjoy it otherwise. 

Dallas has combined 39 miles of existing bike trails with 11 miles of newly built bikeways to create a 50-mile loop around the city.

Oops. WWI flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker almost didn’t become one of the most decorated aviators in American history, after cracking his skull attempting to fly his bicycle off a Columbus, Ohio shed in an attempt to imitate the Wright Brothers flight.

The family of a fallen New York bicyclist is suing the city for $100 million, alleging that nothing was done to fix the corridor she was riding on despite five previous deaths in less than two decades. They may have a case, since they can prove the city was aware of the problem, but didn’t correct it. Although the eventual settlement will be far lower than what they’re asking.

A Central Pennsylvania public radio station shares a poem about the intersection of bicycling and Alzheimer’s from Pennsylvania poet Henry Israeli.

Florida’s Highway Patrol is wrapping up their hit-and-run awareness month by telling drivers to stay at the scene after a crash, after Tampa Bay saw over 300 drivers flee this month.

 

International

Bike Radar examines how to prevent hand and wrist pain when you ride. A good padded handlebar tape and padded bike gloves help. So does relaxing your death grip on them in stressful situations.

A South London bike shop owner surprisingly argues that expanding the city’s Ultra Low Emission Zone will just cause chaos. Although the fact that he owns nine cars, and it would cost him the equivalent of nearly $100,000 to make just three of them compliant with the new rules, might have something to do with it.

It only took 18 months, but a London truck driver has finally been charged with killing a pediatrician who was biking to work after taking it up during the pandemic. But whoever designed the city’s Holborn gyratory, where eight bike riders have been killed in the last 15 years, should face charges, too.

A new dockless bikeshare service named Fredo aims to provide last-mile connectivity in suburban France. Although things did not end well for Fredo in The Godfather II. 

Austria gets serious about multimodal commuting by offering a subsidy of up to the equivalent of $636 on the purchase of a folding bike, but only for people with an annual transit pass; the country is also offering a subsidy of half off the price of an ebike, up to a little over $1,000.

Fatal car crashes surged in Germany last year; not surprisingly, bike riders and pedestrians remained among the most vulnerable victims, with death rates rising for both groups.

Spanish newspaper El Pais reports on the new study showing stolen Dutch bicycles usually remain in the city where they were taken, continuing to contribute to the local economy. Even if the original owners are screwed.

Arevo says they’ve fulfilled 96% of the more than 2,800 Indiegogo orders for their new Superstrata custom carbon bikes and ebikes, which are being 3D printed and assembled in Vietnam.

Tragic news from the Philippines, where a 14-year old boy was killed when he failed to round a corner on his bicycle, and rode off a 33-foot cliff; family members blamed the crash on a broken brake.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly says the opening weekend of the bike racing season has seen a shift from Jumbo-Visma to Soudal-Quick Step as the classics team to beat. And no, I didn’t know they have earthquakes in the UK.

Cycling Weekly’s point was driven home by the remarkable feat of Jumbo-Visma rider and Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard winning all four stages of the O Gran Camiño.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can have your picture taken on a giant bicycle with Mexican conchas for wheels. That feeling when selling your bicycle means a more than 13 hour, 43-mile walk home.

And bbenfulton reminds us that reggae legend Peter Tosh was…uh, half of us, too.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

AZ driver plows into club ride killing 2 and injuring 11, a successful CicLAvia, and a more walkable bikeable Eagle Rock

It’s happened again.

Just 18 months after a driver plowed through a master’s bike race in Show Low, Arizona, killing one man and injuring seven others, another driver has done virtually the same thing just 200 miles away.

According to multiple sources, a pickup driver towing a trailer plowed through a group of bicyclists with the West Valley Cycling club in the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear, Arizona Saturday morning, killing two people and leaving eleven others with “very serious injuries.”

One woman died at the scene, the other victim died after being taken to a local hospital. At least one of the injured bike riders was still in critical condition a day later.

The driver, 26-year old Pedro Quintana-Lujan, was booked on charges including two counts of manslaughter, three counts of aggravated assault, 18 counts of endangerment, and two counts of causing serious injury or death by a moving violation.

CNN reports that Maricopa County jail records show Quintana-Lujan was being held on $250,000 bond.

The owner of a Phoenix Trek bike shop said one his employees was among the injured, saying it will be a long time the 65-year old man will be able to work again.

Another bike shop owner said a recently retired friend and customer had already undergone two surgeries to stabilize his cerebral spine, with more in his future.

No word yet on whether Quintana-Lujan was distracted or under the influence. Or why he was apparently unable to see a couple dozen people on bicycles directly ahead of his truck.

Thanks to Victor Bale and Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

………

By all accounts, the year’s first CicLAvia was a success, even if the cold and cloudy weather may have dampened turnout.

Spirits clearly weren’t dampened, however.

Even one of California’s newly elected state senators was among the people enjoying the carfree street.

And for one day, at least, the San Fernando Valley looked a lot like Paris and Guadalajara.

………

You have just two more weeks to voice your support for a bikeable, walkable and livable Colorado Blvd through Eagle Rock.

………

The bizarre 15-minute city conspiracy theory continues to gain ground, as proponents argue that the benign urban planning philosophy is somehow “a plot by ‘tyrannical bureaucrats’ to take our cars and control our lives, which could lead to a real-life Hunger Games scenario.”

Um, okay.

Meanwhile, CNN reports an Oxford, England politician received death threats — many from outside the country — for proposing a plan to filter traffic using traffic cams to limit drivers from cutting through a neighborhood at peak times.

As we’ve discussed before, nothing in the 15-minute city concept prevents motorists from leaving their own neighborhoods, or driving through the city. It merely means that everything you need for daily life should be found within 15 minutes of your home.

According to CNN, the conspiracy theory originally gained traction among Q-Anon theorists and climate change deniers. And Fox News and other conservative media were only happy to fan the flames.

Which led to this —

In December, Canadian clinical psychologist and climate skeptic Jordan Peterson posted a tweet attacking 15-minute cities: “The idea that neighborhoods should be walkable is lovely. The idea that idiot tyrannical bureaucrats can decide by fiat where you’re ‘allowed’ to drive is perhaps the worst imaginable perversion of that idea.”

In early February, UK politician Nick Fletcher raised the conspiracy in Parliament, calling 15-minute cities an “international socialist concept” and claimed they “will cost us our personal freedom.”

And last weekend, online theories spilled into real life protests, as thousands of people, many from outside the area, took to the streets of Oxford to protest the traffic filtering and 15-minute city proposals.

Let’s hope the world regains its sanity. Because walkable, bikeable 15-minute cities are the solution.

Not the problem.

………

Legendary jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon was one of us.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1630070221812944896

………

A young Elizabeth Taylor was one of us, too.

………

A backwards Penny Farthing was apparently the BMX of its day.

More proof you can carry anything on two wheels.

Or one, even.

And nothing actually says your unicycle has to have a wheel.

Click on the photo to see the full image. Trust me, it’s worth it. 

………

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

A Cleveland website says an Ohio legislator needs to explain his overreach on bike lanes, which would have banned a planned center lane cycle track in Cleveland.

Apparently having no grasp of physics, and little on reality, nearly two-thirds of British drivers believe aggressive bicyclists are a threat to their safety, and a bigger danger than they were just three years earlier.

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

An Ontario, Canada man faces charges for getting off his bicycle, and using it to assault a woman pedestrian after demanding money from her.

A lawsuit by a Taipei ebike rider backfired after a judge ruled he was at fault for riding into the back of a double parked car, saying he had plenty of room to go around it.

………

Local 

He gets it. Paul Thornton, the Letters Editor for the Los Angeles Times, asks if LA drivers have suddenly become more okay with endangering lives, arguing that “sitting behind a steering wheel can turn a reasonable person into a borderline psychopath, willing to threaten the life of anyone in the way.” Which was one of the many reasons I quit driving, because I didn’t like who I became behind the wheel.

A letter writer in the Times argues that the best way to protect yourself is to ride with a camera facing in every direction, and get a good lawyer.

Pomona has received a $11.3 million grant to build a 3.5-mile trail along the San Jose Creek that will take pedestrians and cyclists from Cal Poly Pomona to the LA County Fairplex.

 

State

California Walks and UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, aka SafeTREC, are offering free training on how to assess current conditions and identify ways to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Costa Mesa quietly revoked its bike licensing requirement last week, after similar licensing laws were banned as part of last year’s Omnibus Bike Bill passed by the state legislature; two Costa Mesa safe streets advocates were instrumental in getting the ban included in the bill, after discovering the city’s licensing requirement had been used primarily to target the homeless and people of color.

Ebike collisions continue to rise in San Diego’s coastal North County area. Although a rise in injuries could simply be attributable to an increase in ebike ridership.

Melissa Gonzalez, the San Diego driver facing a slap on the wrist for killing Matthew Keenan in a wrong way, head-on crash as he rode his bike in Mission Valley two years ago, defied expectations by pleading not guilty, and will face trial in May, as his widow demands more accountability for the crash.

That’s more like it. A 35-year old man was sentenced to 16 years and 4 months to life behind bars for the drunken Palm Springs motor vehicle crash that killed a 56-year old man. Although as Victor Bale suggested in forwarding this, if the victim had been on a bicycle, he probably would have gotten a slap on the wrist, too.

Troubled pop star Britney Spears received a warning from Ventura County animal control after her two-year old doberman escaped her Thousand Oaks compound, and bit a 71-year old man riding his bicycle nearby.

Up to a thousand people are expected to turn out for Saturday’s Solvang Century Bike Ride through Santa Barbara County

Berkeley is inviting low-income residents to apply for a lottery to get an ebike for long-term use as part of a city-funded program. Although they define low-income a lot differently than I do, with incomes up to $74,000 for an individual, or $106,000 for a family of four. 

 

National

A writer for the Competitive Enterprise Institute says we won’t need more lithium and other rare minerals for EV batteries if we just ban cars and suburbs. Except he somehow seems to think that’s a bad thing.

The president of a Colorado trucking association calls on Denver to rethink its Vision Zero program, arguing that deaths will continue to soar without an increased emphasis on enforcement of traffic laws.

A Texas driver accepted a plea for seven-years behind bars for killing a well-known 67-year old Galveston physician as she was riding her bike last March.

An “activist” bicycling group in Rochester, New York is riding to protest police violence and fight for a more inclusive society.

That’s more like it. After a Manhattan taxi driver jumped the curbed after hitting a bike rider, trapping two people under the cab, New York’s mayor announced that a three block section of Broadway where the crash occurred will be closed to motor vehicles between 8 am and 11 pm. Then again, the street was already a bicyclist’s paradise in the 1890s.

Life is cheap in New York, where a US Postal Service driver faces just one month behind bars and a lousy $250 fine after being convicted of misdemeanor failure to yield for killing a 71-year old man riding a bicycle in a right hook crash; his attorney tried to blame the victim for his own death, insisting he could have braked to avoid the impact. Spoken like someone who has never been right hooked on a bike. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

A quick-thinking Atlanta cop is credited with saving the life of a bike-riding man, who collapsed unexpectedly moments after the officer waved him through an intersection.

The Tampa Bay Times says a 40-year old woman riding a bike has been killed by Florida Highway Patrol car. Which was apparently driving itself, since the story doesn’t mention a human being, let alone a sworn officer, having anything to do with the crash.

 

International

Move Electric examines how common ebike theft is, and what you can do to prevent it.

They get it, too. A Canadian website says Toronto’s Vision Zero plan is all that stands between bike riders and total road anarchy, with “lot more fear, anger and impatience on the roads, and the veneer of civil behavior badly eroded.”

An American woman was left with a nearly $17,000 hospital bill after hitting a pothole while riding her bike on a Scottish roadway.

A day after we mentioned a British woman on trial for pushing a 77-year old woman off her bike, she was convicted of manslaughter, and will be sentenced on Thursday; she claimed she was just gesturing wildly as she complained about the woman riding on the sidewalk, and may have inadvertently hit her. The jury clearly didn’t believe her, either.

Road.cc considers why former BBC host Dan Walker’s call to wear a helmet is controversial, after he credited his with saving his life.

Stockholm, Sweden is getting its first bicycle street, where bicycles will receive priority over other forms of traffic. Which has no known equivalent in Southern California, let alone Los Angeles. 

They get it. A South African website says bicycling could solve transportation problems in Cape Town, calling for an integrated transportation network with bicycling at its heart.

A new documentary looks at the two decade old case of a disabled Japanese man who died in custody, after fleeing from police on his bicycle when they tried to stop him for “acting suspiciously.”

Bicycling Australia chooses their gear of the year, noting the bicycling products that captured their attention. Many, if not most, of which should be available here in the US. 

 

Competitive Cycling

The New York Times offers a deep dive profile on 33-year old individual pursuit world champ and record holder Ashton Lambie, who was working at a bike shop and randonneuring before he took his first ride on a grass velodrome in Kansas, on a borrowed bike, less than seven years ago. And won, of course.

Twenty-three-year old world champ Remco Evenepoel added another notch on his belt with a victory in the UAE Tour.

Colombian Egan Bernal will not be racing in this week’s Paris-Nice after being sidelined by a knee injury, as he returns to racing after last year’s near fatal training crash.

USA Cycling could be looking for you, as the national cycling body set off a “new talent-identification program aimed at underrepresented and more diverse communities” for its track cycling program. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with feral LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to use our ebike’s turbo boost to outrun a pack of hungry wolves; thanks again to Phillip Young. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about being trampled to death by elephants, either.

And unlike most bike-riding dogs, cats don’t need a basket.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.