Tag Archive for hit-and-run

Plea deal in drunken Oxnard hit-and-run that killed 16-year old boy, and crowdfund for fallen Rapha ride leader tops goal

Once again, a killer driver has been allowed to plead to reduced charges.

And reduced jail time.

Thirty-nine-year old Oxnard resident Julio Cesar Sanchez pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in the drunken hit-and-run death of 16-year old Andres Hernandez, as the Port Hueneme boy was riding in Oxnard last September.

Sanchez also admitted to special allegations of fleeing the scene and committing a serious felony involving great violence.

He was sentence to nine years, after prosecutors dropped charges of second degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with prior DUI convictions, which could have resulted in a sentence of 15 years to life.

Instead, he’ll likely spend less than half his nine-year sentence behind bars.

Let’s at least hope he’s never allowed to drive again.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

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A fundraiser to help defray funeral expenses for Rapha ride leader John Hermoso has reached over $12,900 in just one week, topping the $10,000 goal.

Hermoso, better known as Panduh in the cycling community, was killed in a head-on collision while riding the Santa Clara Truck Trail near Santa Clarita 12 days ago.

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Here’s your reminder to turn out for the LA City Council Budget and Finance Committee meeting on Friday to demand more funding for active transportation and Vision Zero in the coming fiscal year.

Unfortunately, the city council isn’t taking phone-in comments anymore following the reopening of City Hall, despite rising Covid rates. So you’ll have to show up in person, or email members of the committee in advance of the Friday afternoon meeting.

And if you have any question what difference more funding could make, just take a look at the photo in the tweet below.

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Your periodic reminder that this is what we could have in Los Angeles, where the terrain and weather are more inviting than London.

And London commutes didn’t look like this, either, until the city built out a network of bicycle superhighways just a few years ago.

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The annual Ride of Silence to remember the victims of traffic violence is scheduled for next Wednesday.

Unfortunately, there are no rides currently listed with the national registry in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego or San Bernardino Counties for the day of the event.

However, the Pasadena Ride of Silence will return to the Rose Bowl as a daytime event on Saturday, May 21st.

Let’s hope more people will step up to host rides in Southern California over the next week. Because we really need to send a message this year.

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I’d watch it.

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Somehow, I think it will take just a little more than an illegible sign.

But maybe that’s just me.

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How to tell someone played hooky from physics class.

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

No bias here. A London man is roundly criticized for the crime of riding a Penny Farthing in traffic, while politely waving a driver to turn in front of him — then nearly getting hit when a second driver tries to do it, too.

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

Bizarre story from Las Vegas, where a man faces murder charges for pepper spraying another man, then stabbing him to death, after accusing the victim of damaging his bike “with the help of a ‘hacker’ from Indiana.”

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton digs deep into Metro’s proposed budget for the 2023 fiscal year, which calls for a 27.2% increase in active transportation spending. Although the $80 active transportation budget is dwarfed by the agency’s proposed $634 million in highway spending, a 35% increase over this year.

Pasadena is celebrating an abbreviated bike month, condensing it down to just the last 19 days of the month.

 

State 

More information on the cryptically described hit-and-run we mentioned yesterday in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood, which left the bike-riding victim with major injuries; police are looking for a newer model white 4-door crossover-style SUV with silver alloy wheels, and probable damage to the right front, with a license plate beginning with 8YN. There’s a $1,000 reward for information in the caseThanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

Morgan Hill-based Specialized is developing a new e-cargo bike sub-brand extension called Globe, specifically designed to replace car trips, while priced below the company’s Turbo ebike line.

 

National

Bicycling offers their picks for the best road bike wheels to “improve your speed, enhance you ride quality, and take you farther than ever.” As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Denver area residents reached out to replace the ebike a Vietnam war vet relied on as his only form of transportation, after it was stolen from a Walmart bike rack.

She gets it. The executive director of Chicago’s Active Transportation Alliance calls out the city’s failure to improve a deadly intersection, saying no one should die just because they use a bike to get around.

Pittsburgh is getting a new ebike-based bikeshare system.

New York’s new $4 million traffic safety campaign telling drivers to slow down seems to be having the opposite effect, with a dozen people killed in crashes in the first week.

 

International

Off.Road.cc delivers a primer on frame geometry, while Cycling Weekly discusses frame materials, suggesting metal frames offer benefits over carbon fiber.

A Calgary, Alberta couple dug up a metal 1935 bike license while working in their garden. Note that it wraps around the frame, and would be virtually invisible to anyone at a distance, for all those who insist bicycles should a license to force scofflaw riders to behave.

A Toronto paper demonstrates the right way to write a headline, reporting that a “Cyclist was struck by a driver while walking his bike across the street.” My only quibble is that the victim is a person, not a cyclist. But still.

The US military garrison in Wiesbaden, Germany offers advice on how to ride in the country.

 

Competitive Cycling

Lennard Kämna took Tuesday’s Mt. Etna stage of the Giro in a breakaway; the 23-year old German pro is making a successful comeback after last season was derailed by physical and mental health problems.

Columbia’s Miguel Ángel López withdrew from the Giro after getting dropped in the first miles of Tuesday’s fourth stage; he reportedly suffers a left hip injury that failed to bounce back on Monday’s rest day.

Dutch star Mathieu van der Poel is taking a sabbatical from mountain biking to focus exclusively on road racing this year, before returning to the sport for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Colorado’s annual Durango to Silverton Iron Horse Challenge celebrates its 50th year at the end of this month.

 

Finally…

Apparently, London doesn’t have the only bike-riding cat. Now you, too, can be the proud owner of a Giro d’Italia NFT.

And this one hits right where I live, at the intersection of bikes and corgis.

But evidently, they’re not the only canine bike racing fans.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Not guilty plea in DUI hit-and-run death of Andrew Jelmert in Griffith Park, and LA Times endorses Cedillo opponent in CD1

No surprise here.

Thirty-seven-year old Jairo Martinez pled not guilty for the alleged drunken, hit-and-run death of Andrew Jelmert in Griffith Park last month.

Martinez was charged with felony counts of murder and hit-and-run driving resulting in death, as well as a misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended or revoked license following a previous DUI conviction.

He reportedly ran away on foot after killing Jelmert, who was participating in a training ride for next month’s 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle Ride.

Martinez remains behind bars on $2 million bail.

The murder count stems from receiving a Watson notice after his previous DUI conviction, which states that he could be charged with murder if he kills someone while driving drunk anytime in the future.

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There might be hope for LA’s 1st Council District after all.

Current CD1 Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo has apparently made it his life’s work to throttle traffic safety projects that pose the slightest risk of inconveniencing motorists or annoying local business owners.

Like the fully funded and shovel-ready lane reduction on deadly North Figueroa he halted as one of his first acts upon taking office, after holding a series of sham public meetings with predetermined outcomes. And despite vowing to support the project when he was begging for our votes.

An act he followed up by actively blocking bike lanes in the district he runs like a fiefdom, going so far as trying — and thankfully, failing — to have every bike lane in CD1 removed from the city’s mobility plan.

Yesterday, though, the Los Angeles Times took the rare step of endorsing the opponent of a sitting councilmember, selecting progressive policy advocate and community organizer Eunisses Hernandez over Cedillo.

Here’s the salient part of the endorsement for our purposes.

The council member (Cedillo) has also been a barrier to building bike infrastructure and street projects designed to make it safer and easier for people to travel without a car. Council District 1 has some of L.A.’s most deadly streets, yet he voted against the city’s Mobility Plan to make the car-dominated streets safer and more inviting for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit. He blocked bike lanes, including directing city staff to remove bike lanes from the widened Spring Street bridge.

Hernandez, on the other hand, has made transportation and street safety top priorities within her larger environmental justice and climate change agenda. She said she would launch community reviews of the most dangerous intersections, and advocate for bike lanes, bus benches and shelters, redesigned streets and pedestrian plazas, so it’s easier for people to get around without cars.

Cedillo was in serious danger of losing last time around when the community rallied around challenger Josef Bray-Ali — until Cedillo’s campaign leaked a handful of intemperate, ill-advised and offensive comments Bray-Ali had posted to various websites.

It will be interesting to see what Cedillo comes up with this time to attack his opponent. Let’s hope Hernandez has a few less skeletons in her closest.

Because people in CD1 are dying for a less regressive representative.

Too often, literally.

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A KABC-7 remote broadcast captures an attempted bike theft in the background on live TV.

I love LA! Live ABC7 story about Chappelle; watch the background. from LosAngeles

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Yet another reminder to register your bike today.

And yes, it’s free, for life.

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Bicycles. Good as gold for more than 125 years.

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A partially paralyzed filmmaker offers a short video calling for greater trail access for e-mountain bikes.

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Okay, I’m impressed.

Even if it would be easier to just pick it up and walk up.

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Local

Vice talks with Silver Lake resident Eric Brightwell, who has been living carfree in Los Angeles ever since his broke down 11 years ago, leading to the unexpected discovery that he doesn’t need one here.

Metro will hold a public meeting on the 18th to discuss the agency’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which funds a return to pre-pandemic levels of service.

A Santa Clarita kid was lucky to escape without injuries when a hit-and-run driver ran him down as he rode his bike in a parking lot. Although the local paper seems to have missed that part about a bike in their own story. Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

 

State 

Seal Beach police announced a crackdown on drivers who threaten the safety of bike riders and pedestrians ths month through speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians or bicyclists, illegal turns and running red lights or stop signs. Although nothing says they won’t ticket you for the same violations, so ride to the letter of the law while you’re in the city.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A man was killed in Encinitas when he got out of his car to pick a flower on the other side of the road, and was stuck by another driver.

Seriously? A San Diego TV station says someone was taken to the hospital following a collision between a driver and a bike rider, but they aren’t sure which one was injured. Yet somehow, the Union-Tribune was able to figure it out.

Katy Perry is still one of us, going for a Mother’s Day bike ride on the beach somewhere in California with her 20-month old daughter and fiancé Orlando Bloom.

 

National

Planning Magazine writes in praise of the humble sidewalk, calling it the best infrastructure investment communities can make.

Money Inc. considers the most important things to wear mountain bikingI’d say pants, but that’s just me.

A Mt. Hood ski area is banning bikes this summer, after paying out a $10.5 million settlement when a mountain biker was paralyzed hitting a signpost placed directly next to a double black-diamond trail.

Denver bike riders are putting up signs around the city to remember the victims of traffic violence, and remind drivers of the risk they pose to others on the road around them.

Speaking of Denver, the city’s recently enacted, first-in-the-nation ebike rebate program is already driving an increase in ebike sales at local bike shops.

Frustrated with the city’s inaction, a small group of Chicago bike riders conducted their own DIY traffic study at an intersection where a bike rider was killed, catching drivers running red lights and driving at pedestrians in the crosswalk, as well as threatening the study volunteers.

A Pittsburgh driver pled guilty to ten charges, including vehicular homicide and DUI, for killing a man riding a bike while the driver was high on heroin.

Once again, a faulty ebike battery has torched a bike shop, this time in New York.

Writing for New York Streetsblog, a 20-year transportation engineer calls for responsive countermeasures to curb traffic violence, and “reach the very small percentage of dangerous drivers who can’t be stopped otherwise.” Although most of us might call it a large percentage.

A Delaware beach town installs sharrows in a misguided attempt to protect bicyclists, apparently unaware that studies show sharrows are worse than nothing. Although they do help drivers improve their aim at us.

WaPo offers an introduction to gravel biking.

 

International

Nova Scotia gets its first bicycle traffic signal, which halts right turning traffic so bikes can cross the intersection.

A delivery rider from Brazil is on trial for killing a 16-year old boy in Dublin, Ireland, in a confrontation with another man over the theft of a second delivery rider’s bicycle. And yes, that’s every bit as confusing as it sounds.

A British paper talks with the motorists who helped bring a couple of road racing drivers to justice for killing a man riding a bicycle, who had the misfortune of being in their way.

 

Competitive Cycling

British pro Tom Pidcock won Sunday’s mountain bike World Cup race in Albstadt, Germany by a wheelie big margin, popping a wheel as he crossed the finish line. Sorry.

  

Finally…

Live out your bike mechanic dreams, without leaving your sofa. When you can’t decide whether to ride a bike or a kick scooter.

And maybe the Dutch one hit wonders were a lot cooler than we thought.

Correction: Two-hit wonders. Thanks to Opus for the catch.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Justice for Woon — Banks pleads guilty in fatal hit-and-run, and LA active transport woefully understaffed and underfunded

The good news is, my migraines finally let up after about eleventy-seven hours of sleep the past few days. 

The bad news is, they haven’t gone far. 

It’s been more than a month since one of my many doctors decided the health problems I’ve been suffering since last fall were the result of vestibular migraines, necessitating a complete upending of my diet. 

No caffeine. No chocolate. No artificial sweeteners — not a good thing for a diabetic. No aged cheeses or dried fruits. Or even a number of fresh ones, along with a very long list of other newly verboten foods.

Basically, if I like it, or used it to control my diabetes, I can’t have it. 

But after five weeks of slowly adjusting the new diet, I’m feeling even worse than when I started. 

But let’s try to plow through this anyway, and see how much we can catch up on today. 

And a belated happy Mother’s Day to all you mom’s out there.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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It looks like we’ll finally see justice for fallen bicyclist Frederick Frazier, who was run down by a speeding driver in a Mercedes SUV on a South LA street over four long years ago.

And nearly four years since Mariah Kandise Banks was arrested for killing the young man known to everyone as Woon, and injuring Quatrell Stallings, as they rode their bikes near Manchester and Normandie in 2018.

This is what our anonymous courtroom correspondent emailed me Friday afternoon.

On a beautiful sunny day over four years ago, Mariah Kandise Banks ran down Frederick Frazier and left him to die in the arms of a stranger just a few blocks from his home. She was later apprehended and charged with hit and run and vehicular manslaughter.

This afternoon, another gloriously sunny spring day, Banks accepted a plea deal from the DA.

The count of 20001(b)(2), hit and run involving great bodily injury or death, was dropped.

With tears, Banks pleaded no contest to one count of 192(c)(1), vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

For this charge, she was sentenced to four years in state prison, restitution, fines, and three years of parole upon release from incarceration.

She had requested a surrender date in September due to significant childcare obligations, which was denied.

Sentencing will be on August 19th. Woon’s family is expected to present their impact statements on that date.

RIP Woon. Ride in peace.

Banks could have received up to six years, with another four for the felony hit-and-run count that was dropped.

Peter Flax offered this heartbreaking account of Woon’s death, and the impact his loss had on his grieving mother, fiancé and infant son, who was born months after he was killed; he didn’t know yet that he was going to be a dad. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Four years doesn’t begin to seem like enough for the heartless crime and attempted coverup.

But it will have to do.

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I’m not always a fan of CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who singlehandedly halted the fully funded and shovel-ready lane reductions and bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd through North Hollywood’s Arts District.

But he’s absolutely right in calling the chronic underfunding and understaffing at LADOT “a threat to public safety.”

Well, no shit.

As LAist points out, despite the adoption of Vision Zero seven years ago,

At the same time, the death toll on L.A. streets continues to rise. Within the first 15 weeks of 2022, 95 people were killed in crashes, according to preliminary city data. In the same period last year, the toll was 87.

The number of pedestrians killed by drivers is especially grim — up 53% citywide compared with the same period last year. The greatest share of those victims is in South L.A., where pedestrian deaths more than doubled from this time last year.

And last year was bad; 2021 marked the highest annual death toll in nearly two decades, with nearly 300 people killed in collisions. Roughly half of those victims were killed by drivers while walking or biking. Nearly 1,500 other people were seriously injured in crashes.

Yet shockingly, but unsurprising to any of us who have been paying attention, LADOT is currently working with a 21% vacancy rate — with a whopping 50% in the active transportation and Vision Zero programs.

Not to mention nearly two dozen additional positions that need to be added to meet LA’s active transportation goals.

The agency tried to address those needs by requesting 18 new active transportation positions, as well as two new Vision Zero hires.

Yet Mayor Garcetti, whose dreams of an India ambassadorship have largely gone up in smoke, responded by cutting LA’s transportation budget, while funding just the two Vision Zero hires.

That’s just two more people for a city of nearly 4 million, with 8,500 miles of streets and a rising toll from traffic violence.

Sure. That’ll fix it it.

Although, as the story notes, Vision Zero spending is up slightly over last year, if you squint hard and juggle the numbers just right.

But no matter how you slice it, it’s still just a fraction of the $80 million LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds said five years ago would be necessary to cut traffic deaths a modest 20%.

And a pittance compared to the $270 million New York invested in Vision Zero in 2019 alone.

As others have said, if you want to know a city’s priorities, look at its budget.

And ours says LA just doesn’t care.

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Today is the last day to tell the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration it’s long past time to consider the safety of those outside of cars and trucks in their new vehicle safety tests.

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California’s bicycle omnibus bill — which would allow speed-limited, ped assist ebikes on bike paths statewide, permit bike riders to use leading pedestrian intervals, require drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders, and ban bike licensing requirements — has cleared the state assembly and is moving on to the senate.

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We’ve never had a single ride with the mayor of Los Angeles. But at least you can ride with the mayor of Glendale next Saturday.

Or ride SaMo to Venice with Metro.

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Long Beach offers a very full calendar of Bike Month events.

Meanwhile, Metro offers other events around the LA area.

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They’ve got a point.

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Who needs a drivetrain when you can build your own DIY propeller-driven bicycle?

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

No bias here. Carlsbad CA uses Bike Month to actively discriminate against bicycle, ebike and e-scooter users, banning riders from sidewalks, ditches, sports courts or gyms, as well as requiring them dismount on any trails narrower than five feet or within 50 feet of a pedestrian or someone on horseback.

No bias here, either. Australia’s Daily Mail unleashed a recap of online motorist drivel and dreck, including “calling for cyclists to carry licences, criticising those on bikes for taking up ‘car lanes,’ and claiming that cyclists are ‘more dangerous’ than 4×4 drivers.”

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

Police are looking for a bike-riding gunman who shot a man in DTLA, after riding up to him as he walked on the sidewalk, before riding away.

When a road raging Glasgow driver got out of his car looking for a fight with a man on a bike, he probably wasn’t expecting the whooping he got.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at the installation of a permanent rainbow memorial for Venice hit-and-run victim Prynsess Brazzle, who was killed while riding her bike at the intersection of Pacific and Rose Aves last year. Of course, this being Los Angeles, permanent usually means until it breaks or someone gets tired of it.

Metrolink is offering free rides to anyone with a bicycle during next week’s Bike to Work Week, along with an ebike and rail pass contest package worth $2,500.

 

State 

Newton’s third law of motion applies to politics, too. As Caltrans commits to getting out of the freeway business and refocusing on Complete Streets, the state’s massive 450,000 member building and construction workers union is pushing back.

Sad news from Paso Robles, where a 68-year old man was killed when he rode his bike off the road and ran into a culvert, throwing him off his bike.

 

National

Seriously, who wouldn’t want a solar-powered combination ebike, camper and electric boat? Perfect for riding those flooded freeways if it ever rains here again. 

Barry Morphew, the Colorado man who recently saw murder charges over his missing wife dismissed, says he just wants her to be found. Suzanne Morphew was last seen riding her bike on Mother’s Day two years ago; authorities dropped the charges after claiming they are close to finding her body. Meanwhile, Fox News examines where the case stands now.

Former Olympic gold medalist and world champ Scott Hamilton finished a 444-mile ride to raise funds to fight cancer, 25 years after his last treatment for testicular cancer.

New York is already up to 75 traffic deaths this year, after an NYU student was killed by the driver of a private waste truck.

Bloomberg says ebikes are transforming New York’s transportation future. Which could be happening here in Los Angeles, too, if the city had just bothered to fund active transportation and Vision Zero.

A feel good story turned painful when a Louisiana man was struck by a speeding truck driver, just one day after he been given a new ebike purchased through a crowdfunding campaign.

 

International

Road.cc says the promised benefits of the ebike-replacing SuperWheel sound great, but defy the laws of physics.

A Canadian man lovingly restored his brother’s rusted BMX bicycle, over 35 years after the 15-year old boy was killed in an avalanche.

This deaf, bike-riding London cat is breaking the internet.

A new study from an insurance website ranks the UK’s safest and most dangerous cities for bicycling.

An Afghan man rejected an offer of free plane tickets to ride his bike from Karachi to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage, a distance of over 2,800 miles by car.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Tanzania is now allowing bike riders to ascend Africa’s fifth highest mountain, the nearly 15,000-foot Mount Meru in Arusha National Park.

Sad news from Namibia, where 60-year old rugby legend Gerhard Mans was killed by the driver of an unlicensed BMW while he was riding his bike with a group; he was captain of the country’s first national team after gaining independence.

The closure of Beijing’s subway system due to a Covid surge is leading to a revival of the city’s legendary Bicycle Kingdom.

Authorities in New Zealand are looking for the eco-jerk who destroyed slow growing, 100-year old palms and other native trees to carve an illegal mountain bike trail through a park. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. Period.

 

Competitive Cycling

A familiar face took the Giro’s 3rd stage on Sunday, as Mark Cavendish claimed his 16th stage win in the Italian Grand Tour, although he has a way to go to catch up with Cipollini’s 42 Giro stage wins; Mathieu van der Poel kept his grip on the leader’s pink jersey.

Yes, this is what pro cycling is like every day. Four-legged fans at the Junior Peace Race in the Czech Republic kicked up their hooves ahead of the advancing peloton, apparently preparing the young riders for spectators on the WorldTour, who often behave like animals.

  

Finally…

How many miles per gallon of gas could your bike get, if by gas you meant beer? Your next bike could cost forty grand and shatter in a crash — if you can find one.

And don’t try to tell us you’ve got bike skills if you can’t do it, too.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1523014821964247041

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA to audit failed Vision Zero, memorial for Prynsess Brazzle, and guilty plea in drunken Solana Beach hit-and-run

No irony here.

Outgoing CD5 City Councilmember and city attorney candidate Paul Koretz called on Los Angeles to audit the city’s Vision Zero plan, in an effort to determine why traffic deaths continue to rise seven years after it was adopted.

And just three years before traffic deaths were supposed to be a thing of the past.

Yes, that’s the same self-proclaimed environmentalist who has blocked bike lanes and Complete Streets projects in his district, including on Westwood Blvd and Melrose Avenue, since taking office 13 years ago.

Which certainly couldn’t have anything to do with it, right?

According to the story by LAist, the city saw 186 people killed in crashes in 2015, when the plan was adopted, with a jump to 294 last year. And it’s on a pace for over 330 traffic deaths this year.

Los Angeles Walks Executive Director John Li pointed out one glaring problem with the program.

“Structurally, we have a political system that has not had a unified vision of Vision Zero — it’s 15 different approaches to Vision Zero,” Yi told LAist. “How do we give political elected officials the confidence, or the political courage… to get more bike lanes, more bus lanes, flatter sidewalks, [and] slower streets? Because right now, it’s just too politically risky for elected officials and they’re not willing to be a leader on this.”

But honestly, how do you audit something that was never more than the political equivalent of vaporware?

LA’s Vision Zero has never received more than a fraction of the funding required to implement it, let alone the support from the mayor’s office necessary to even make a dent in traffic deaths.

There was no multi-agency task force dedicated to implementing it. No dedicated staff at LADOT, or any other public agency. No one with the power to cut through the red tape and NIMBY objections to reimagine our mean streets.

And no one with the ability to overrule LA’s 15 little kings and queens, who each rule their own fiefdom from their offices at city hall. Each of whom has the power to unilaterally water down or halt any changes to the streets in their districts, just as Koretz has proudly done.

Never mind “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo in CD1, Mitch O’Farrell in CD13, or Paul Krekorian in CD2, each of whom halted major shovel-ready lane reductions and other badly needed traffic safety programs.

Or any of the other councilmembers who, with very few notable exceptions, cowardly hid behind claims of public opinion and the demands of the almighty automobile to avoid making any of the tough choices necessary to make even a modest reduction in traffic deaths.

Let alone put an end to them.

The simple fact is, LA’s Vision Zero has never been more than smoke and mirrors, with a little modest nibbling at the edges so minor no one could complain.

But that was exactly what we warned about when the plan was first adopted, questioning whether Los Angeles elected leaders had the political will and courage necessary for the plan to succeed.

In retrospect, the clear answer is no.

And 300 Angelenos, and all of their friends and loved ones, are now paying the price every year.

Mayor Garcetti signs the Vision Zero order behind his comically huge outdoor desk; photo from Streetsblog LA.

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Speaking of Vision Zero, we live in a city where officials are willing to honor the victims of traffic violence.

But won’t lift a finger to keep them alive.

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A 22-year old San Diego man faces 15 years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run death of 75-year old Allen Hunter II as he rode his bike on South Coast Highway 101 in Solana Beach last year.

Beau Morgan pled guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run causing death and driving under the influence; he was over twice the legal limit when he turned himself in 45 minutes after the crash.

Once again destroying two lives with one careless act.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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

No bias here. San Jose drivers call a proposal to make them change lanes to pass bike riders insane and evil. Then again, so is hiding the story behind a paywall. 

No bias here, either. A Berkeley writer complains that the city’s policies are turning bicycles into a “weapon of civic destruction…damaging neighborhoods, endangering bicyclists and undermining the legitimacy of governance while squandering millions of dollars.” Okay, so some articles would be better hidden behind a paywall. Or under a rock.

Police in Britain are looking for a road-raging driver who head-butted a bike rider after a dispute.

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Local

The LA Times endorses Katy Young Yaroslavsky — longtime LA politician Zev’s daughter-in-law — to replace Paul Koretz in CD5, although they also like Scott Epstein, who has a much better bike safety pedigree.

Plans are in the works for new bus only lanes on Florence Ave in South LA, which would also allow bike riders to use them; however, like other LA bus lanes, they would only be in effect during peak traffic hours.

A South Pasadena website looks back fondly on Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets.

Palmdale will conduct a Complete Streets overhaul of Avenue R, including walkable sidewalks and painted bike lanes.

 

State 

Social media users are understandably up in arms after video of San Diego workers destroying bicycles during a homeless sweep went viral.

A homeless man already on probation for another crime is back behind bars after shoplifting merchandise and stealing a bicycle from an El Cajon Target, then forcibly taking another bicycle in a strong arm robbery.

The Los Osos woman who got out of prison after just two years of her seven-year sentence for the drunken death of a bike-riding San Luis Obispo college student was released early thanks to pre-sentencing credits and a re-entry program; she’s now back behind bars after crashing into several parked cars with a BAC four times the legal limit.

A new bill in the state Assembly would mandate secure bike parking in new residential buildings; AB 2863 would also require the California Building Standards Commission to update its bike parking standards for commercial buildings. Although they should also require building owners to allow tenants and workers to take their bikes inside to their homes and offices.

Calbike is once again asking for your support for the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill, aka Stop As Yield, aka the stop sign portion of the Idaho Stop Law, somehow assuming Gavin Newsom will sign the bill after vetoing it last year.

Streetsblog talks with a San Francisco ER doctor, who says preventable injuries dropped when JFK Drive was closed to drivers, and pleaded with city officials to keep it that way.

 

National

America Walks takes a deeper look at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s call for public comments on how to make motor vehicles safer for pedestrians — and for people on bicycles. You have until Monday to get your comments in.

A writer for Popsugar replaces her car and reduces her carbon footprint with an ebike from women-owned Bluejay.

Seriously? A Utah paper asks if it’s time to get serious about road safety after three pedestrians were killed in a single hour, with four bike riders killed in the state in recent weeks — wait, make that five. The time to get serious was before anyone got killed.

More proof that NIMBYs are the same everywhere, as Houston residents decry plans for a 1.5-mile lane reduction and bike lanes, calling it a disaster that will cause traffic congestion and force drivers into neighborhoods.

Surprisingly, Minnesota has the nation’s longest paved bike trail, running 800 miles along the Mississippi River, as well as a 315-mile path through two national parks and nine state parks.

 

International

A Welsh police official is “hugely supportive” of bike cams, saying police can’t be everywhere but the public can.

That’s more like it. British drivers complain that they could be fined the equivalent of $6,250 for distracted eating behind the wheel, calling it nonsense and daylight robbery. Although everyone else on the road likely likes the idea.

A Melbourne, Australia city councilor says a proposal to remove bike lanes would be economic vandalism.

A Perth, Australia e-scooter rider was killed in a collision with a bike rider when the two crashed on a blind bend; the bike rider was treated for minor injuries.

An Aussie op-ed complains that Sydney’s new bike plan completely ignores half the city.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mark Cavendish insists there’s no rivalry between him and Fabio Jakobsen for a spot on the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team in this year’s Tour de France.

Women’s cycling continues to grow, with plans for a women’s Milan-San Remo next year.

  

Finally…

Your next bike could be the two-wheeled offspring of Formula 1. We may have to put up with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to deal with road-hogging grizzlies.

And that feeling when a bike path is named after a creepy clown, or maybe the other way around.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Bike-riding woman injured in street takeover, and repeat DUI driver busted again five years after killing bike rider

A woman riding a bicycle was injured when she became collateral damage in a Compton street takeover.

She was hospitalized with minor injuries.

Police are looking for the driver of a white car, who left the scene without stopping after the crash.

………

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

A 22-year old Los Osos woman is back behind bars after hitting several parked cars while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit, just five years after she killed a Cal Poly student riding a bicycle in a drunken hit-and-run.

Gianna Brencola was sentenced to seven years behind bars, but somehow released after just two years, and released from parole less than two years later.

Thanks to jmell for the heads-up.

………

Here’s your chance to demand that new vehicles protect the people outside of them, as well as those inside.

………

Local

Streetsblog offers a roundup of LA bike news, including a) Metro extends its Metro Bike contract for another year, b) Metro approved revised funding for South LA’s Rail-to-Rail bike/walk path, and c) new bike lanes on Burbank Blvd in Van Nuys and a one-way bike lane on 2nd Ave in South LA’s Hyde Park neighborhood.

Seriously? Just two days after popular Rapha ride leader John “Panda” Hermoso was killed just outside the city, the mayor of Santa Clarita promotes the joys of bicycling in the city, with no mention of the recent tragedy or any need to improve safety.

Caltrans is proposing a two-way bike lane and a roundabout to improve safety on Angeles Crest Highway.

 

State 

San Diego continues to prioritize bike safety over parking, preparing to install protected bike lanes on a one-mile, newly repaved stretch of Park Blvd in University Heights, despite the objections of local business owners over removing a whole four spaces.

After finding an ebike for sale on Craigslist for half off the retail price in Santa Cruz, a man checks Bike Index and discovers it’s stolen. And does the right thing by alerting the police, and setting up a sting operation to get the bike back. As usual, read it on Yahoo if bicycling blocks you.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man was killed in a collision while riding his bike across a busy expressway.

 

National

Flux Magazine offers six ways you can make traveling by bicycle an adventure. Because evidently, just taking a bike tour isn’t adventurous enough.

Singletracks highlights sales on mountain bikes and gear up to 40% off.

Tucson AZ is making plans for a whopping 200 miles of bike boulevards in the city of half a million people. Which compares favorably to LA’s current plans to build, um, none.

Utah bicyclists are calling for change after too many deaths on the state’s streets, including Whittier’s Bullard brothers, who were killed by an accused DUI driver outside St. George.

A new traffic safety campaign in New York attempts to scare drivers into slowing down by showing an image of a pedestrian flying through the air after being hit by a car. A writer for Strongtowns says campaigns like that just don’t work, while Jalopnik doesn’t like them, either.

Instead of going after the people in the big, dangerous machines, a Maryland sheriff warns bicyclists he’s got his eye on them, and ready to ticket any scofflaw bike riders in his county.

That’s more like it. Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles mark Bike Month by offering safety tips for bicyclists and motorcyclists. But for a change, they focus on what drivers can do to drive safely around them.

 

International

Cycling Weekly asks if the bike industry is selling riders bicycles that are too aggressive for them. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, absolutely yes.

An Ottawa, Canada paper traces the history of bicycles in the city back to 1869.

Denmark has started a program asking people to donate their unused bicycles to give to Ukrainian refugees living in the country.

A Japanese company introduces secure vertical bike lockers that can be rented by the hour, with space for your helmet and bike shoes.

A prefecture in Japan has turned the concept of rail-to-trail on its head, turning a pair of bicycles into a pedal powered railcar.

 

Competitive Cycling

Heartbreaking news from Australia, where former juniors cyclist Maddy Marshall died, four and a half years after she was diagnosed with leukemia; she was just 24. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Cycling Weekly considers the delicate balance between recovery and competition, after former pro Peter Stetina rode the Belgian Waffle ride with a broken wrist he suffered in a race just three weeks earlier.

  

Finally…

Why wait until the bikes leave the shop before running them down? Another reminder that cars don’t belong in parks.

And yes, you can buy an ebike for less than $1,000.

Whether you really want to may be another matter.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Wrist slap for fatal Jurupa Valley hit-and-run, prelim for killer hit-and-run socialite, and bank robbing cyclist talks to BBC

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

A Riverside County judge rewarded a killer hit-and-run driver with his choice of 364 days in jail, work-release or home vacation confinement, for the crash that killed 30-year-old Rigoberto Guzman Jr in Jurupa Valley three years ago, followed by what the DA described as “a torrent of lies.”

Pizza deliveryman Andrew Scott Walters struck Guzman as he was riding his bike, then got out and pulled Guzman’s bike out from under his car before driving away, leaving the injured victim lying in the road when he was struck and killed by another driver — assuming he wasn’t already dead from the first crash.

Walters went so far as to call 911 to report seeing an injured man down in the road, without bothering to mention his own involvement.

He then went back to the Pizza Hut he worked at, where he explained the damage to his car by telling his boss that a drunk homeless man had hurled his bicycle at him “out of nowhere.”

No, really.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

This is who we share the road with.

Hidden Hills socialite and philanthropist Rebecca Grossman faces a preliminary hearing for the alleged street racing death of two young boys, who had the misfortune of crossing the street with their family while she was speeding down it.

Grossman, co-founder of the famed Grossman Burn Center, was reportedly driving at speeds up to 81 mph on residential streets, while repeatedly switching lanes with another driver, when she slammed into the boys as they rode their skateboard and scooter in the crosswalk.

She faces two murder counts, two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, and a single charge of hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Which proves the over-privileged can be just as idiotic and deadly as the rest of us.

………

No surprise here, as Streets For All has endorsed Eric Darling to replace Mike Bonin in West LA’s CD11; Darling has stood out from the other candidates for his stands on safe and livable streets since the start of the campaign.

The street safety PAC has also endorsed Bob Wunderlich for Beverly Hills City Council, along with John Mirisch.

………

The BBC talks with former US Olympic hopeful turned bank robber Tom Justice, who used his cycling skills to make his getaway from over two dozen banks.

He still rides his bike, even after nine years in prison and more than a decade out, but with a La Grange jersey these days.

Chicago Magazine took a deep dive into his story in 2019 if you want to learn more.

………

Buena Park continues work on a plan to install a road diet and bike lanes on Dale and Whitaker.

………

If you build it, they will come.

This is what the newly bikeable Paris looks like these days. And what Los Angeles could, with just a modicum of effort from city hall.

………

But only bicyclists ignore the right-of-way, right?

………

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

The Texas car shop owner who posted video of himself rolling coal at a bike rider, then denied knowing anything about it, now says he’s really, really sorry. But only after the video went viral, leading to calls to boycott his shop.

No bias here. Someone in the UK altered a road sign with their own handwritten message telling bike riders to ride “single file you Lycra wearing twats!”

After a British bike rider filmed a driver using his phone behind the wheel, the driver chased him, including driving up on the sidewalk at one point, as the terrified bicyclist begged people to call the police.

………

Local

We’re #1! The Los Angeles – Long Beach region once again takes the title as America’s smoggiest metro area. So try not to breathe so much on your next ride. Your lungs will thank you.

Streetsblog looks at the new “protected” bike lanes on westbound 1st Street from Boyle Heights to Little Tokyo. Although once again, the protection is only in the form of little plastic bollards that won’t stop anyone from crashing through.

The Ballona Creek bike path will be closed for maintenance between National and Sepulveda through Friday.

 

State 

Residents of a San Diego apartment complex voiced their anger over new bike lanes in the Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood, which they say were striped in the dead of night with no advance warning. Although that’s hard to believe, since the parking spaces that were removed to make room for the bike lanes would have been full of cars at that hour.

Hats off to a Santa Barbara Eagle Scout, who built a mountain bike trail for students at his old elementary school.

San Francisco takes the next step towards a safer, less-polluting future by permanently banning cars from JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park.

Questions remain over San Francisco’s Slow Streets program, as the city keeps four of its car-lite corridors, while some residents want them gone.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run while riding in a bike lane; another person riding in the bike lane at the time was uninjured.

 

National

A fascinating new study shows colorfully painted street surfaces can cut crashes involving vulnerable road users by a whopping 50%.

The Bike League belatedly addresses April’s Distracted Driving Month, noting that one in five traffic deaths is the result of distracted driving.

Police in Mt. Vernon, Washington are looking for a man and woman who fled on foot after crossing onto the wrong side of the road and driving up on the sidewalk, where they slammed into a family riding their bicycles, injuring both parents before crashing into several parked cars.

This is why people keep dying on our streets, part two. A Las Vegas food delivery driver faces her third DUI in recent years after she ran into a child riding a bicycle, leaving the kid with moderate injuries. Although the two “popular food delivery service providers” she claimed to work for disavowed any knowledge of her. One more example of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late. 

A Utah bike rider is asking the same question every hit-and-run victim asks — “I just want to know why they didn’t stop.”

Denver is putting money where its bike-friendly policy is, with all Denver residents now eligible for a $400 rebate on the purchase of an ebike, with an additional $500 for an e-cargo bike, while qualified low income residents can get a $1,200 rebate.

The Denver Post says Colorado’s new Safety Stop Law, aka the Idaho Stop Law, exposes the animosity between bicyclists and drivers. But you’ll have to sign up or subscribe to find out how or why.

Great idea. A Missouri bike and pedestrian advocacy group got a handful of state legislators on their bikes to ride a bike trail crossing the state with their constituents. I’d love to see that here, at LA City Hall, or in Sacramento.

New York’s fire department is warning about the dangers of improperly charging and storing lithium-ion batteries, after a number of fires, while Bicycling offers advice on how to keep your ebike battery from bursting into flames. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

There’s a special place in hell for whoever took a trailer filled with kids bikes from the New Orleans advocacy group Bike Easy. Although they’re just saying it’s “missing” at this point.

 

International

Shimano says the worldwide bike boom is showing signs of slowing off in Asia and South and Central America, though the North American and European markets are going strong.   

YK Design looks at the top ten bikes designed for an eco-friendly urban commute, including some that are seriously weird, and/or just vaporware at this point. Although number nine may be very strange, but in a very cool way, even though you probably wouldn’t want to ride it with those wires just begging for your crotch. 

A British van driver was sentenced to a total of eight years, including four behind bars, and barred from driving for 12 years, all for killing a 71-year old man riding a bicycle while so drunk he couldn’t to stand on his own following the crash; he had 25 previous traffic convictions. Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until they kill someone.

A Malaysian paper decries kids riding the popular basikal lajak, illegally modified bicycles that allow users to race downhill in the Superman position, calling them “a threat to road safety.” Even though it was a woman driver who was convicted of killing eight teens who were riding them, rather than the other way around.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal posted a video telling fans to be patient, because he’s on his way back. Evidently he meant it, as he returns to Europe to begin training for the first time since the training crash that nearly took his life.

World champion Julian Alaphilippe’s multiple serious injuries during Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège came when he fell down a ditch and hit a tree as a result of a mass crash.

Want to feel old? An eight-year old Missouri second grader was named to the US national BMX team.

  

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a Mini Cooper. Seriously, if a Burley is good enough for your kids, it’s good enough for your pet.

And you probably weren’t planning to, but still.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Update: Bike-riding Guatemala native killed by hit-and-run driver in Koreatown crash, his brother suffers minor injuries

Yet another SoCal bike rider has been killed by a heartless coward, who left his victim to die in the street.

This time, in an early morning crash in LA’s Koreatown neighborhood.

According to a press release from the LAPD, the victim was riding to work with his brother around 3:20 am today when they were both run down from behind on westbound Olympic Blvd, east of Mariposa Ave.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, died at the scene. His brother was treated for minor injuries.

However, a crowdfunding campaign set up by the victim’s coworkers identifies him only as Leonidas, who died in front of his brother Wilder.

Police are looking for the driver of a white Jeep Cherokee, who fled west on Olympic.

The bizarre sequence of events began when the driver was parked on the north curb of Olympic Blvd. As they pulled away, the victim of an unrelated vehicle theft jumped on his hood, believing the driver had something to do with the earlier crime.

The driver sped off with the other man still clinging to his hood, before he fell off into the street.

Security cam video posted by KTLA-5 appears to show the crash occurring as the driver was attempting to get away from the man, which may have distracted him.

Both victims appear to jump up and chase after the driver in the immediate aftermath of the crash; there’s no word on when the victim succumbed to his injuries, or what caused his death.

Reflectors can be seen on their bikes, but they don’t appear to have had lights in the nighttime darkness. There’s also some confusion over whether the driver’s SUV was stolen, or whether he may have been involved in nearby tagging.

The crowdfunding campaign to send the victim’s body back home to Guatemala has raised over $9,400 of the $10,000 goal.

There is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles. Anyone with information is urged to call West Traffic Detectives at 213/473-0234.

This is at least the 31st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It’s also the seventh in the City of Los Angeles.

Twelve of those SoCal deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Update: A late report from KNBC-4 says the brothers were just four blocks from their jobs at a Koreatown bakery, where Leonidas worked as a pastry chef, when they were killed.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 39-year old Leonidas Accip Serech. The driver has not been publicly identified. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Leonidas Accip Serech and his loved ones. 

Murder & DUI charges in Griffith Park crash, petition to ban cars from park, and NCs sign on to Healthy Streets LA

Make that murder, instead.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the charges against Jairo Martinez, the man arrested for killing 77-year old AIDS/LifeCycle rider Andrew Jelmert in Griffith Park on Saturday, have been upgraded to murder, rather than vehicular homicide.

The paper hints at the reason here.

In addition to murder, prosecutors charged Martinez, 37, with fatal hit-and-run and driving with a suspended or revoked license after being convicted of driving under the influence. He was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

If Martinez was convicted of DUI in California, he would have been required to sign a Watson notice acknowledging that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence anytime in the future.

And kill someone, he did.

Allegedly.

It’s clear from the charges that losing his license didn’t stop Martinez from driving, or from getting behind the wheel after drinking.

California has to do more to keep people like him from continuing to drive after losing their license. Let alone continuing to drive drunk.

Interlock devices that check a driver’s blood alcohol level before the ignition will engage is a start.

But it would be far more effective to impound a driver’s car for the full duration of any drivers license suspension. Or force them to sell their car if their license is revoked.

Because as the charges against Martinez demonstrate, just taking away someone’s license doesn’t stop them from driving.

Or from killing someone.

………

Meanwhile, traffic safety nonprofit SAFE, or Streets Are For Everyone, has started a petition to begin phasing out cars from Griffith Park, with the exception of park rangers and shuttle buses.

Griffith Park is the largest park in the United States which still allows private cars. It is a haven for the community and a popular destination for cyclists, runners, walkers, and families with young children – getting out for some physical activity and get-togethers. Yet the few bike lanes that exist do not have barriers separating riders from cars. The posted speed limit is 25 MPH, but many drivers go 40 – 60 MPH using Griffith Park as a way to avoid the crowded 5 freeway.

And yes, I signed it. I hope you will, too.

………

Twenty-eight down, 71 to go, as over a quarter of Los Angeles’ neighborhood councils have signed on to the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, which would require the city to build out the already approve mobility plan as streets get resurfaced.

………

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is hosting the second in their series of Bike Salons tonight.

The LACBC is also looking for volunteers as they resume the Operation Firefly light giveaway program.

The other news isn’t so welcome, as the organization has cancelled their formerly annual River Ride for the third consecutive year, while hinting at an event later this year to “celebrate the joy of bicycling.”

………

As we mentioned yesterday, the Bike League — aka the League of American Bicyclists — is out with their latest ranking of the country’s most bike-friendly states.

Massachusetts overtook Washington for the top spot for the first time, while California came in at a seemingly overly optimistic 4th. New York finished 13th in the ranking, although the state got an F grade in the Traffic Laws and Practices category.

And lowly Wyoming claimed the lanterne rouge as the nation’s most bike-unfriendly state.

………

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

A Charlotte NC Uber and Lyft driver is out of work after a “gang” of teenage bike riders chased him down and beat him up, stealing his phone, wallet, car keys and car, after he got out of his car when he “clipped” one of the wheelie-popping riders at a red light.

A salesperson at a Belgian car dealership dumped a bucket of water onto a bike rider who spit on the featured cars as he rode by every day.

………

Local

The Los Angeles Times has followed my lead, and endorsed Kenneth Mejia for city controller, with an honorable mention for longtime city budget analyst and financial officer Stephanie Clements; termed-out career politician Paul Koretz, not so much.

Pasadena is hosting a community meeting next Thursday to discuss the proposed Craig Avenue Greenway, a 1.1-mile bicycle boulevard between Orange Grove Boulevard to Del Mar Boulevard.

Whittier is planning to add a nearly three-mile extension to the popular 4.6-mile Greenway Trail rail-to-trail path.

 

State 

Calbike invites you to take part in this year’s Climate Ride fundraiser stage ride.

No bias here. A San Diego TV station actually says California’s requirement that carmakers replace cars that run on gas with other cars that run on batteries is a prime example of the mythical war on cars.

San Diego sheriff’s deputies are on the lookout for a van driver who followed a 16-year old boy on his bike, and tried to lure him inside the van.

Caltrans District 8 is asking for public input on a draft Active Transportation Plan for the High Desert and the Inland Empire area.

After a Hayward girl’s stolen bike was found stripped and trashed, kindhearted sheriff’s deputies worked with a local bike shop to get it cleaned up and repaired before they returned it to her.

It’s open season on mountain bikers in the Oakland Hills, as gangs of thieves are robbing people for their bikes in a crime spree dating back to last year.

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney has won a seat in the California Assembly in special runoff election; Haney is credited with the rapid expansion of protected bike lanes in the city’s SoMa district.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to extend the life of your bike tires. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

A Chicago bike rider won nearly $300,000 in damages after he was grievously injured when he struck the base of a broken bike lane bollard.

Boston’s Bikes Not Bombs organization is using bikes as a tool for social change.

They get it. A DC website says Vision Zero is meaningless unless we can get more drivers off the roads.

A longtime Florida bike shop was burned when an unattended ebike battery caught on fire while being charged, after they had sent the customer’s battery out to be rebuilt.

 

International

A Montreal website remembers the city’s Bicycle Bob, who fought to make bicycling seem like a normal urban activity, while encouraging the city to develop infrastructure necessary to support it.

The UK has seen a massive 40% jump in bike thefts in just the last three years.

Tossing a bike onto a London train track to watch it explode is not one of the recommended uses.

A British father calls for giving police the power to immediately suspend the license of drugged drivers, after his six-year old son was stuck by a driver who had already been stopped twice for DUI.

Current Santa Barbara resident and former spare heir Harry, Duke of Sussex, is reportedly “having a blast” riding his bike and whistling while attending the Invictus Games in the Netherlands.

Thank a massive volcano on a remote South Pacific island for the modern bike you ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

If you want to watch the oldest of the five Monuments here in the US this Sunday, you’ll need a subscription to the GCN+ streaming service; otherwise, you’re SOL for the 108th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The Redlands Classic stage race is back after a two-year Covid-imposed absence, with a time trial course last used 26 years ago.

A former Tokyo Olympian offers an insiders view of the L39ion of Los Angeles training camp.

 

Finally…

Bike bridge, pedestrian path and coyote crossing. If you’re going to ride your bike naked on Easter morning, at least get a damn tan first.

And now you, too, can buy a bike for the same price I paid for my last car.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Update — Bike rider killed in Griffith Park AIDS/LifeCycle hit-and-run; driver may have been under the influence

News is just breaking that someone on a bicycle was killed in a hit-and-run in LA’s Griffith Park this afternoon.

According to KCBS-2, the victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was stuck by a driver shortly before 4 pm, in the 4600 block of Crystal Springs Drive.

They were dead by the time first responders arrived at 4:54 pm.

The driver fled on foot; KCBS reported on air that he or she had been captured by police.

There is no information on how the crash occurred.

Video from the scene shows two cars, one with a shattered windshield and apparently missing a wheel; a broken white road bike lies in the center of the street some distance up the road.

The station reports the victim had just left a bicycling event in the park, which may have been the AIDS/LifeCycle SoCal Day on the Ride. Another comment suggested he or she was just a mile from the finish line when he was killed.

Hopefully we’ll learn more later.

This is at least the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the tenth this year in Los Angeles County.

Eleven of those deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Update: The victim reportedly was a man in his 70s. The driver appeared to be under the influence, following his arrest by park rangers

Update 2: AIDS/LifeCycle has identified the victim as Andrew Jelmert, a five-time participant in the annual fundraising ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. 

UPDATE 3: WeHo Times cites participants in the AIDS/LifeCycle ride expressing shock at Jelmert’s death, with one saying the driver passed him at an estimated 80 mph just moments before the crash, despite the park’s 25 mph speed limit. 

According to the site, Jelmert had worked as a real estate agent and investor for over 30 years. 

 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Andrew Jelmert and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Lionel Mares and Metaverse HOA President for the heads-up.

Utah crash victims identified as Whittier brothers, San Diego bikeway fail, and Santa Ana Karen assaults bike-riding boy

Sadly, our worst fears have been realized.

On Saturday, two men identified only as brothers from California were killed when they were run down from behind by a repeat DUI driver near St. George, Utah, who claimed to be on fentanyl from being hospitalized the day before.

And told police she lost control of her car after losing control of her bowels as she was driving.

Yesterday officials confirmed the rumors spreading through the Los Angeles bicycling community were true, identifying the victims as Whittier’s Bullard brothers.

Forty-nine-year old Adam Bullard, who worked at La Mirada’s Cyclerly Bike Shop, and 48-year old Matthew Bullard were described as inseparable in life, as they were, tragically, in death; Adam’s Facebook full of bikes, while Matthew’s was devoted to family.

Another rider participating in the tour says he wishes he could forget what he saw in the aftermath of the crash, including the brothers’ shattered helmets, and shattered shards of their carbon frames strewn throughout the street.

He also reports a pair of teens in cycling gear were standing by their bodies, screaming about their dads.

Read into that what you will. But it fits with rumors that the Bullard’s teenage sons were among the first riders to come upon the scene shortly after the crash.

Adam’s last post is particularly heartbreaking in retrospect.

Their accused killer, 47-year old Julie Budge, faces twin counts of vehicular homicide, DUI and hit-and-run, as well as single counts of reckless driving and failure to stay in her lane.

She continues to be held without bail, no doubt to the relief of everyone else on the roads.

Budge was previously convicted of DUI seven years ago.

Photo of Adam and Matthew Bullard taken from Adam Bullard’s Facebook page

………

Like Los Angeles before it, San Diego has learned the hard way that traffic safety projects are doomed to fail if they’re not rolled out carefully.

In LA’s case, it was the failed installation of road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey, which were unceremoniously ripped out at the mayor’s orders when angry drivers got out their torches and pitchforks, after getting no advance notice the changes were coming.

For San Diego, it came with the rollout of an innovative street design called advisory bike lanes, which retains curbside parking on a low-traffic street, while reducing the roadway to a single through lane, with bike lanes on either side.

Drivers traveling in either direction are supposed to share the center lane, while briefly moving into the bike lanes to pass another vehicle.

The problem was a) local residents in the city’s Mira Mesa neighborhood claimed they didn’t know it was coming, and b) had no idea how to drive in it.

The city apparently went ahead with the installation despite the lack of approval from San Diego’s Mobility Board.

And just as it did in Los Angeles, San Diego bike riders worried that the inevitable bikelash would doom plans to install advisory lanes elsewhere in the city.

Which is exactly what happened.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria personally went door to tell residents he had ordered the removal of the advisory lanes, and the street was going back to what it had been before.

Just like Los Angeles did. Although our mayor didn’t meet with angry drivers, let alone knock on anyone’s door.

The botched rollout, and the angry response that followed, has virtually halted all road diets in the City of Angels for five years and counting.

Let’s just hope San Diego’s advisory laws don’t suffer the same fate.

………

An 80-year old Santa Ana woman faces charges after physically assaulting a 12-year old boy for riding his bike on the sidewalk.

The woman, known on social media as the “Neighborhood Karen,” confronted the boy and grabbed his handlebars, while ordering him to “get the hell off the sidewalk.”

He can then be heard asking why she hit him, to which the woman replied, “Want me to hit you again?”

All of which was caught on camera, since he was trying out his new chest-mounted GoPro.

Never mind that his mother had told him to stick to the sidewalk, because he had recently been knocked off his bike by a driver.

And never mind that it’s perfectly legal to ride a bike on most sidewalks in the Orange County city.

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A homeless camp cleanup along the LA River bike path could force riders to detour onto other routes for the next week.

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KTLA-5’s Frank Buckley is one of us, spotting a semi-flying car on his latest ride.

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

Police in Austin, Texas are looking for a road raging driver who intentionally swerved into a man riding a bike, then kept going without slowing down; the assault was captured on another rider’s a helmet cam, who just happened to be facing the street as he spoke with another man.

No bias here. A Malaysian bike rider gets the blame for slamming into a woman who stepped through a condo gate and into the pathway he was riding on, even though she stepped right in front of his bike without ever looking in his direction.

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

A Manchester, New Hampshire man faces a negligent homicide charge after crashing his bicycle into a 69-year old man walking in a crosswalk

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Local

CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds celebrated the opening of the new parking-protected bike lanes on Riverside Drive just south of Griffith Park.

Metro is offering free bikeshare, bus and train rides on Earth Day, while Metrolink will offer free rides throughout their network.

Advance parking prices at Dodger Stadium jumped another $5 this year, to $25. But riding a bike to the ball park is still free.

 

State 

Nice to know the world may be on fire, but former California Transportation Commissioner Lucy Dunn somehow thinks traffic congestion is the state’s biggest problem, and the state should make it easier for us to all just keep on driving.

 

National

Bloomberg considers why Vision Zero has succeeded in Europe, but failed repeatedly in American cities, including Los Angeles, noting that it’s easy to commit to Vision Zero, without actually doing anything different.

No bias here. An Idaho letter writer complains about “arrogant” bike riders who hog the road by riding side-by-side, forcing drivers to — gasp! — actually slow down until it’s safe to pass. And he must know what he’s talking about, since his family owns two bikes.

The Kansas woman who pled guilty last month to running over and shooting a bike-riding because he smiled and gestured towards her has changed her mind, and now insists she didn’t do it; she’s asking the judge to allow her to change her plea.

Sad news from Arkansas, where a crowdfunding campaign has raised over $45,000 for a young Arkansas bicyclist who suffered critical burns over 63% of his body when a gas line ruptured while he was working on his truck, just before he was supposed to help lead a weekly ride; doctors give him a 50/50 chance of survival.

New York City will shut down over 100 streets to celebrate Earth Day later this month. Meanwhile, Los Angeles officials will undoubtedly mark the day by making a few pronouncements about how important it is to save the earth, while doing absolutely nothing about it.

 

International

Barron’s says bike tourism is the next frontier in luxury travel

Road.cc examines a new vehicle-to-everything system that promises to alert drivers to the presence of bike riders, and the other way around. But like every other similar system, it only works if both the driver and the person on the bike have it installed and activated. And it isn’t likely to be compatible with other systems. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Several riders competing in the Tour of Turkey crashed into a pedestrian walking in the roadway with his back to the peloton, as well as a fan who tried to pull the man out of the way; French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni was taken to a hospital with undisclosed injuries.

Italian pro Samuele Battistella was lucky to escape with a broken tooth and seven stitches to his face after hitting an unsecured piece of road furniture during Sunday’s Amstel Gold classic, and lying unconscious for 20 minute.

No wonder cyclists are so popular on dating apps.

 

Finally…

Who needs reflectors when your entire ebike frame glows in the dark? If you have to get run down by a hit-and-run driver, try to do it in front of a fire truck while everyone is watching.

And if you’re going to deliver a flying kick to a passing bike rider, try not to miss.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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