Tag Archive for hit-and-run

Update: 16-year old Port Hueneme boy killed riding bike in Oxnard hit-and-run, 39-year old Oxnard man arrested

Yet another Southern California bike rider has lost his life to a heartless coward in a car.

Except this time, the victim was just a 16-year old boy.

According to the Ventura County Star, he was riding his bike on Hemlock Street in Oxnard, east of N Street, near the boundary with Port Hueneme around 8:35 Wednesday night, when he was apparently run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver.

The victim, identified only as a Port Hueneme resident, was rushed to Ventura County Medical Center, where he died.

Police investigators concluded that he was riding west on Hemlock, and had the right-of-way when he was struck.

The driver’s car was found abandoned less that a mile away near Hemlock and Patterson Road. The 39-year old owner was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.

According to an Oxnard police spokesperson, the victim had a headlight and reflectors on his bike, although it was so badly mangled as a result of the crash that police couldn’t tell if he had a taillight.

However, he was not wearing a helmet, as required for anyone under 18 under California law. Although whether that matters would depend on whether he suffered a head injury, and whether his injuries might have been survivable with one.

And that could depend on how fast the driver was going, on a street where residents have long complained about speeding drivers, and have repeatedly requested speed bumps, with no response from Oxnard city officials.

This is at least the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

At least 18 of those deaths have involved hit-and-run drivers.

Update: The victim has been identified as 16-year old Andres Hernandez, who died of blunt force head trauma.

So his lack of a helmet may be relevant, depending on the speed of the impact. 

His alleged killer, 39-year old Julio Sanchez, was being held on $500,000 bail after pleading not guilty to second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter with prior DUI convictions, leaving the scene of an accident, and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Andres Hernandez and all his family and loved ones. 

Motorists behaving badly, possible parking protected bike lane on San Vicente, and dealing a blow to 85th Percentile rule

A couple more notes from our anonymous correspondent.

In this week’s edition of Motorists Behaving Badly, accounting for the first thirty minutes after midnight Tuesday morning:

  • A driver rear-ended a CHP officer who’d made a traffic stop on the 105, injuring the officer and totaling a patrol vehicle.
  • On Normandie Ave, a hit-and-runner hospitalized a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk literally in front of Woon’s (fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier) mama’s home.
  • A driver smashed the guardrail at Carmelita Ave & Zaring St (house and occupants remained safe, because a guardrail was installed, probably in hindsight.)

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Random tangent: My Favorite Lawyer™ Christien Francis Petersen (who got stabby with a reporter at a freedumb rally in HB last year, and then got arrested again for bringing a bunch of unregistered assault weapons to another freedumb rally last April) was arrested recently for hit-and-run (property damage) & DUI. Thrilled to know I’m sharing the road with him!

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In personal news, my Surly was stolen Sunday morning. Probably not by someone late for church.

Also, while nothing major was lost in the Great MacBook Air Inferno of 2021, little scraps of lost info randomly irk me, like the names of the accomplices in the Chillandra Bell (hit-and-run vs ped) case, and the specifics of the altercation in the Victor Manuel Romero case. Aurgh. Also, I cannot find Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes on the CA Department of Corrections site. I lost my inmate number file, but you don’t actually need one to locate an inmate, and she wasn’t (isn’t?) up for parole until next month.

Photo of driver behaving badly by Artem Podrez from Pexels.

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Mark your calendar for the 18th, when you can sample a proposed parking protected bike lane on San Vicente Blvd.

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This could be the first, long overdue, nail in the coffin of the deadly 85th percentile rule.

Assuming Governor Newsom signs it, the bill would allow local governments to actually lower speed limits starting in 2024, and take the safety of vulnerable road users, such as bicyclists and pedestrians, in setting speed limits.

The bill has widespread support, passing the Senate with just five no’s and five abstentions.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1436102857510449158

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Pink Bike says pump your way to faster trail speed.

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

No bias here. A Missouri town says a badly worded law bans bikes from the city’s parks, even if it was only intended to prohibit riding on structures; even little kids banned from riding in them.

No bias here, either. A professional driver and self-professed amateur cyclist says many London bike riders have to be protected against their own stupidly, claiming there’d be far more riders killed if it wasn’t for drivers like him. Just wait until someone tells him about the stupid things some drivers do.

A British truck driver will be lucky to keep his job after he was suspended for tweeting that he couldn’t wait to knock down one of those “spandex-wearing fuckers.”

A hit-and-run driver in Kuala Lumpur faces charges for driving off after intentionally crashing into a man on a bicycle, leaving the victim with minor injuries.

And call me crazy, but there just may be more to this story.

https://twitter.com/MikeyCycling/status/1435884147915075589?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1435884147915075589%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-9-september-2021-286197

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

WTF is wrong with some people? An Illinois college student reported a couple people on bicycles rode up and coughed on her, after claiming one had Covid.

A British Columbia letter writer complains about silent bike riders who whizz by on the sidewalks without warning. He’s got a point. If you’re going to ride on the sidewalk, give pedestrians the right-of-way and a wide berth, and always announce your presence before passing anyone from behind.

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Local

Take a two-hour guided bike tour of urban art and graffiti in DTLA over the weekend for $19 a person.

Santa Clarita’s Trek Bike Park is adding a number of features to its advanced trail, including an “eight-foot Whale Tail, six-foot kicker ramp, four-foot kicker ramp, 90-degree berm turn and an eight-foot flat wall ride;” it’s expected to be completed by next Friday.

 

State

You’ve got to be kidding. An impasse between the governor and his fellow Democrats in the state legislature means California will miss out on $500 million in funding for active transportation projects, as well as another $1 billion for LA transportation projects for the 2028 Olympics.

LAist examines the recently passed AB 1238, the so-called Freedom to Walk Act, which would eliminate most fines for jaywalking, as well as walking on the wrong side of the street when there’s no sidewalk, noting that the current prohibition disproportionately cracks down on people of color; the bill is sitting on Newsom’s desk waiting for his signature.

Santa Clara is looking for volunteers to serve on the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

A short two-minute film from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism explains how to make the unprotected parts of Oakland’s Telegraph Ave safer for people on bicycles.

San Francisco Streetsblog argues that highways wrecked American cities, leveling some of the country’s greatest neighborhoods. And too often, flattening thriving neighborhoods devoted to people of color.

 

National

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager explains how to avoid common bicycling injuries before they knock you off your bike. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

A writer for Medium says e-scooters shouldn’t be used, because it doesn’t do any good to go green if you break your neck in the process.

Austin, Texas is halfway through building out a 400-mile connected bicycle network in just ten years. Something Los Angeles could have done by now if it had kept Villaraigosa’s promise to build 40 miles of bike lanes every year.

Another e-scooter maker is getting into the ebike business, with Texas-based GOTRAX introducing a $649 entry-level bike.

Illinois has removed the requirement for local matching funds for roadway projects, eliminating a barrier for building safer streets in poorer communities.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Skins and A Dog’s Prayer actress Kathryn Prescott is in a New York ICU after she was struck by a cement truck while crossing the street on Wednesday, narrowly avoiding paralysis after breaking her pelvis in two places, both her legs, her foot and her left hand, according to her twin sister.

It looks like New Yorkers can get their confiscated bicycles back, after city leaders said “oh no, you didn’t” to the NYPD, slapping the department for cutting the locks off non-abandoned bikes chained to traffic signs.

New York police busted a 21-year old man for assaulting and robbing a 68-year old man in a vicious attack as he was riding a bikeshare bike in Queens.

She gets it. A DC woman says it’s time to stop waging a block-by-block battle against safer streets in the era of global warming.

 

International

More on the international bike parts shortage, as Forbes says the wheels could come off the booming bike industry if it can’t keep up with demand.

Road.cc offers advice on how to build a better bike, with 23 upgrades for your roadie for under the equivalent of $68.

A new book shares the story of a researcher’s 10,201-mile journey by bicycle following the annual monarch butterfly migration from Mexico to Canada. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

An Ontario cop has been cleared of wrongdoing for using his patrol car to block a bike rider fleeing from police; the brakeless rider suffered a broken kneecap crashing into his car.

A British company has introduced combination head and tail lights and bike cams, similar to the popular Cycliq Fly 6 and Fly 12, for the equivalent of $138 for one, or $250 for both.

Bike and scooter riders get blamed for the City of Light’s mediocre walkability score, as a Parisian website argues “a Paris stroll has now become a hazardous balancing act for pedestrians trying to dodge screeching wheels and aggressive bicycle bells.”

Swedish electric vehicle maker Polestar introduced plans for a three-wheeled e-cargo bike for delivery companies, although it’s really more of an oversized scooter.

Tragic news from South Africa, where a driver faces charges of culpable homicide, drunk driving and reckless and negligent driving for running down and killing two men in their 50s as they rode their bikes.

Malaysian social media users tracked down a hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike rider faster than the cops could.

 

Competitive Cycling

Hats off to England’s William Bjergfelt, who at 42 became the second-oldest cyclist to compete in the Tour of Britain — and the first paracyclist, after he was told he would never ride a bike again when his shattered leg was reconstructed with three titanium plates following a head-on by a driver in 2015.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a bike-riding kitty in dark glasses. Is it trading down to leave a stolen bike behind to take a Jeep, instead?

And that feeling when they want to name a bike path after you, but you’d rather pass.

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

Banks trial delayed again, German gets 15 years for killing bike rider Bihn Ngo, and Stop As Yield bill goes to governor

Let’s start with a few more notes from our anonymous correspondent, while we wait for her next update from the Scarpa murder trial.

Well, on October 1st, Mariah Kandise Banks has yet another reset for a preliminary hearing in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frasier. Time to review matters is needed by both the latest Deputy DA assigned to her case AND the counsel Banks has chosen to replace her previous, recently deceased defense attorney. This gives Miss Banks a spell to recover, as she seemed to be under the weather with a deep, phlegmy cough. (I wish I would have double-masked.)

I spoke briefly to the DA. He stated that he had personally spoken to Woon’s mama, and I am skeptical, because if I were the mother of the deceased I would absolutely have mentioned that the perpetrator’s social media shows her in violation of the terms of her bail, but the DA did not forward any such mention to the judge.

Judge Erika Estrada is the new judge presiding over courtroom 38, as Judge Hobbs has been assigned to a different one. I am furious on behalf of the Foltz court staffers who have died of COVID that, last summer, Hobbs chose to let a witness testify without a mask. Especially since the witness was a cop, and local law enforcement agencies have had a statistically high infection rate among their members. Ugh. So disappointing.

(Ed. note: Peter Flax wrote movingly about Woon’s death, and his mother’s long-delayed fight for justice, which is now two years longer. 

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Repeat drunk driver and former bartender Justin Scott German, who ran down Binh Ngo in 2017, accepted a plea bargain last week. He left Ngo’s broken body and parts of his shiny red Mustang lying in the road. Family members who noticed his incomplete vehicle also noted details in the news of a local crash. They asked a neighbor (a retired police officer) how to proceed, and he called it in.

German has been sentenced to 15 years in state prison; 10 for murder and an additional 5 for hit-and-run, to be served consecutively. Currently he’s chillin’ in county until next week, when he has his arbitrary firearms relinquishment hearing.

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My laptop fried to a crisp last month, and I had nothing backed up.

Nothing.

Most of my court notes are hand scribbled, and my day planner’s good ol’ hard copy too, so there’s some consolation.

But I had been collecting basic info bits for a mapping project, and they are irretrievable.

Several years ago, a nonprofit bike agency back east (Bike Baltimore maybe?) had a map documenting collisions of cars vs buildings. I understand the importance of such an endeavor, because those selfish buildings aren’t licensed, and have you ever seen one wearing a helmet? Ever?!? Every year, these damn buildings inflict hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of dollars worth of damage to vehicles. HOW DARE THEY?!? They must be publicly shamed!

Anyway. I had begun documenting collisions involving buildings and assorted public infrastructure. Like the Edison pole on Huntington Drive that a speeder knocked into a backyard swimming pool on a sunny weekend afternoon. Another collision on Huntington Drive Wednesday involved a collision with an LA County Fire rig, which sent a Toyota into someone’s yard. And the hydrant (one of about 900 annually in LA County alone) that got sheared on Alameda on Sunday. And the fence at the Long Beach DMV that got taken out Monday, never mind the fence at the Hollywood post office. And these apartments, whose occupants should’ve just stayed out of the way. Did I mention some geezer tried to turn my local drugstore into a drive-thru?

These things happen ALL. THE. TIME. and rarely make the news. We just shrug, repair the property, and move on. C’est la vie. So it goes. Pertinent Onion headline.

Photo shows Bank’s alleged victim Frederick “Woon” Frazier in better days.

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Now we can all breathe a little easier.

It looks like AB 122 has been approved by the state assembly, after it was revised in the senate.

https://twitter.com/JeremyBWhite/status/1433185054750953473

Now it’s on to Governor Newsom’s desk for his signature. But even if he’s recalled, it looks like he’ll have more than a month after the election to sign the bill.

So I wouldn’t expect any news until after the September 14th recall election, as he’s likely to avoid action that could give anyone a reason to vote yes.

Even if research does show it’s safer for bike riders to yield instead of stop.

Thanks to Bicycling Monterey’s Mari Lynch for the recall info.

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Yes, former LA Councilmember Marvin Braude was one of us.

And there’s a reason why the beachfront bike path is named after him.

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Nothing like letting a hit-and-run driver get away with it, just because they got away with it.

https://twitter.com/BarbChamberlain/status/1433100471057539080

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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It looks like there really is a war on cars, after all. But this time, it’s Mother Nature who’s looking for revenge.

https://twitter.com/motorisms/status/1433260352209309699

Seriously, though, let’s all say a few prayers and send some good thoughts to everyone affected by Hurricane Ida and it’s remaining remnants. Even the ones in cars. 

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

No bias here. An Iowa radio personality complains that the state’s bicyclists are dangerously out of control, before noting that it’s just a small minority that causes the problems. But they should stay out of his way.

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

A New Jersey man was lucky to escape with two months behind bars and three years probation for breaking the jaw of a man with a disability, after an argument that began as he rode his bike by the victim. And ended when he circled back on his bike to punch the guy in the face. See hell, special place, for attacking someone with a disability. Schmuck.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Spectrum News 1 looks forward to California’s forthcoming $10 million ebike rebate program.

Kern County is hoping to salvage a plan to extend the eastern end of the Kern River bike path by avoiding the golf course that scuttled earlier plans. Or better yet, just seize the place by eminent domain, and build affordable housing on the damn thing. And the bike path.

This year’s Eroica California has been postponed until next year, and the 2021 Mammoth Gran Fondo has been cancelled, due to the closure of national forest lands and the strain on firefighting resources.

 

National

Amazon is recalling 860 TurboSke Kids Toddler bike helmets sold through the site because they don’t meet CPSC helmet standards; only size small helmets are affected.

While European shipping companies have been quick to embrace e-cargo bikes, their American counterparts are dragging their feet. For reason’s that should be obvious to anyone who’s paid attention to the lack of safe infrastructure and the sorry state of our streets. 

A Portland woman discusses how she learned to quiet her demons and keep riding through her pregnancy.

A 16-year old Idaho boy completed the nearly 1,200-mile Silk Road Mountain Race through the mountains of northwest Kyrgyzstan, finishing in 11 days and nine hours. So what were you doing at 16?

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would steal a custom-made adaptive bike from a Minneapolis man with a disability. Or any other adaptive bicycle, for that matter.

Tragic news from Queens, where a nine-year old boy was killed in a fire started by charging an ebike battery. No word on what kind of bike or battery was involved.

A New Jersey monument preserves the actual brakeless, fixed gear, steel frame, wooden-wheel bicycle ridden to victory in the first Tour of Somerville race 81 years ago.

A Pittsburgh bike rider confirms that when it comes to protected bike lanes, if you build it, they will come.

That’s more like it. A stoned and drinking Pennsylvania driver will spend up to eleven years behind bars for critically injuring a 13-year old boy riding a bicycle; over a year later, the boy still requires 24-hour care for a traumatic brain injury.

A bike-riding Mississippi woman was apparently killed by a sentient, self-driving 30-year old pickup. Otherwise, the story would have mentioned that the damn thing had a driver. Right?

 

International

Road.cc says new theories changing occupational health and safety could improve road safety, as well as eliminating the attitude of us versus them on our streets.

Mérida, Yucatan is moving forward with plans to build a bike lane network equal to 10% of the 2,900-mile road space devoted to cars. That should be the minimal goal for any city, anywhere.

Kate and William’s kids are all one of us, as Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis spent the summer taking long walks, fishing and riding horses and bikes on an extended stay with the queen in her Scottish retreat. Although the 95-year old queen probably didn’t ride bikes with them.

A UK bike mechanic is giving back to the country’s health workers fighting the pandemic by repairing stolen bikes recovered by the police, and giving them to National Health Service staffers who’ve had their own bikes stolen.

No surprise here, as Copenhagen is once again ranked the world’s most bike-friendly city, followed by Tallinn, Estonia and Amsterdam. Mad City was the only American city to make the list at #27, just behind Ottawa, Canada.

Dutch ebike maker VanMoof has raised a whopping $182 million over the past two years — not counting crowdfunding campaigns — making it the world’s most funded ebike company.

Proof of concept. An Austrian industrial design student has put over 620 miles on his bizarre looking circular-framed touring bike that folds out into its own camper.

A Malaysian website remembers the legendary Lion of Malaya, who fought the Japanese during WWII by smuggling leaflets hidden in the hollow tubes of his bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

To the surprise of no one, Primož Roglič is back in the Vuelta’s red leader’s jersey as the race returned to the mountains for a couple intense stages, over two minutes ahead of second place Enric Mas. American Sepp Kuss is five minutes back after fighting off challengers to finish second in yesterday’s 17th stage.

Oddly named Norwegian cyclist Odd Christian Eiking probably won’t have to worry about making sure they get his name right on the Vuelta trophy anymore, after slipping off the red jersey and out of the top ten.

USA Cycling announced the roster for the road world championships in Flanders later this month; Amber Neben is questionable after she was left-crossed by a driver while riding on PCH in Corona Del Mar two weeks ago, breaking her pelvis in three place.

American paracyclist Oksana Masters won two road cycling golds in two days at the Tokyo Paralympics, despite never having won a previous road race.

Red Bull looks back at the rapid evolution of mountain bikes over the 20-year history of the Red Bull Rampage.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike might not have a chain, belt or anything else connecting the crank with the wheel. If it doesn’t have pedals, it ain’t an ebike.

And why you should never mess with a Victorian woman on a bicycle.

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

Day one of Scarpa murder trial, tell LA to stop street racing and loud engines, and CHP responsible for East LA hit-and-run

Our anonymous Orange County correspondent is back to cover this week’s trial of Stephen Taylor Scarpa for murder.

Scarpa allegedly ran down popular Costa Mesa fire captain and father Mike Kreza in a drug-fueled crash three years ago, as Kreza was riding a bicycle in Mission Viejo to train for a triathlon.

Here’s what she had to say about the lead-up to the long-delayed trial.

Stephen Taylor Scarpa‘s jury trial starts on Monday. So far, Judge Patrick Donahue has decided to allow the video of Scarpa’s participation in his high school’s “Every 15 Minutes” event, as well as testimony from fellow personnel of the rehab centers he worked at. The People’s exhibits will probably also include the DMV’s letter of license revocation and a diagram (but no photographs) of the victim’s many injuries.

Since Scarpa has a long-standing association with drugs, his medical records might be presented as well. The judge finds that this is not in violation of HIPAA. Despite the lack of a previous arrest for DUI, there is sooo much other evidence, strong evidence, that Scarpa knew the dangers of impaired driving, the DA might not even bother to present these records. Scarpa had jaw-dropping levels of assorted drugs in his system, and his blood was not drawn until 4 hours after the collision.

His Honor has forbidden Kreza’s fellow firefighters to attend the trial in full uniform, and friends & family will not be allowed to wear clothing or badges with the deceased’s likeness. I am sorely tempted to get a T-shirt printed up with “It’s about time” in bold letters, because according to the arresting officer, these were Scarpa’s words as the handcuffs were slapped on.

And this is how she reported on the first day of public testimony in the trial.

Oh, man, I’m not hopeful.

The Scarpa trial began Monday morning. Deputy DA Michael Feldman began opening statements by thanking the victim’s friends and family for coming. As stipulated by the judge, no uniformed firefighters were present inside the courtroom. But they were out in the hallway to provide support for the widow and other family members. There was no mention that Mr. Kreza himself had been a firefighter.

In a PowerPoint presentation bannered by the misspelled name of the defendant, Mr. Feldman tersely listed the basic facts that support the People’s charge, among them Scarpa’s participation in his high school’s “Every 15 Minutes” program, his rehab stints, and his employment as a behavioral health technician. “He’s gonna be the one to tell you first hand,” insisted Mr. Feldman, pointing at the defendant, that he was aware of the dangers and consequences of impaired driving. To this end, the People played audio files of the interrogation, in which Mr. Scarpa tells the investigating deputy, “I do it, but I don’t condone it,” a tacit and unambiguous confession. Mr. Scarpa clutched tissues as the DA played his confession that he’d driven impaired with his own young daughter in the car.

Feldman then went on to use the word “accident” several times during his opening statement. AUUUUURGH. That is the entire premise of the defense. It’s almost like he’s trying to hand Mr. Scarpa an acquittal with a big red shiny bow.

Mr. Lowenstein, for the Defense, insisted that the collision had been an “accident,” and that Mr. Scarpa’s actions did not meet the legal definition of implied malice. He stated that the prescription drugs found in Scarpa’s system do not, as opposed to Feldman’s assertion, have warning stickers telling users not to drive. The defense asked whether Scarpa acted with “conscious disregard” (without underscoring the impossibility because Scarpa was, in fact, unconscious at the time of impact).

The Defense told the jury that Scarpa, though drugged up after a party, drove approximately 25 miles without incident, and there was no evidence that he was speeding. He went on to loftily praise Scarpa’s parking (“snug against the curb”!) after the collision, and reiterated several times that he did not attempt to flee afterwards. The collision was merely “a split second in time, a miscalculation, a perfect storm of events.”  Scarpa’s temporary inattention, “a fraction of a second,” and impaired state led to “a perfect storm of events.” (Lowenstein also mentioned something about a perfect storm of events.)

Both Feldman and Lowenstein brought up the words Mr. Scarpa uttered upon his official arrest: “It’s about time.” The People assert that this indicated Mr. Scarpa’s acceptance of a long-anticipated outcome. The Defense suggested that Mr. Scarpa had been expecting an arrest only for the duration of his lengthy interrogation.

First to testify was widow Shana Kreza, who identified a photo of her late husband, and briefly described the family’s Saturday morning, getting ready for their daughter’s soccer game. Mr. Kreza had left on his bicycle, but never arrived at the soccer field.

Next on the witness stand was the first responding officer, who described taking initial command of the scene, Mr. Kreza’s broken body, the agitation of the suspect, and the actions of the Good Samaritans.

The next two witnesses had been in the car behind Scarpa. Ragan Hill and her nephew, Cage Morgan, were putting up garage sale signs in the neighborhood. Hill saw Scarpa’s minivan leave the roadway. As it took out shrubs and saplings on the embankment to the right of the sidewalk (where Kreza was riding his bicycle, despite the adjacent bike lane), she saw a body fly off the top of the minivan.

Morgan described his aunt yell, “Oh my god, look at that car!” He diverted his attention from his phone to see Scarpa’s minivan returning to the roadway, with a trailing cloud of debris. He watched as a man fell off the minivan’s roof onto the road. Hill hit the brakes, stopping about 5-10 feet from Kreza’s prone, bloody body. Morgan called 911, and both exited the vehicle to assist.

Scarpa had parked by the curb and exited his minivan as well, but didn’t approach his victim or the witnesses. Instead, he sat on the curb, fidgeting. “My first thought,” testified Hill, “was that he was impaired.”

Both Hill and Morgan described the same aspects of the scene: Scarpa’s agitation, Kreza’s bone sticking out of his lower leg. Morgan was afraid to initiate CPR, fearing it would exacerbate Kreza’s injuries. Because Morgan was unsure the collision was accidental and did not know whether Scarpa was dangerous, he didn’t approach the suspect, but gestured questioningly from a distance, with palms up. He kept an eye on Scarpa, who appeared disoriented, because “I was afraid he would flee the scene.”

Deputy Christian Servin was called to the scene to perform a field sobriety test. He first approached the twitchy suspect and asked what was going on. He was apprehensive about asking Scarpa to perform some of the physical field sobriety testing tasks because his lack of balance and coordination might subject him to falls. Deputy Servin’s search found six 800mg gabapentin pills on Scarpa’s person, and Scarpa confirmed he had no prescription. Though Servin had difficulty with communication because Scarpa was “in and out” of it, he was able to determine that Scarpa had not slept for two days, had smoked .25g of meth 36 hours prior, had fresh tracks from injecting a fentanyl/meth mixture, had taken Suboxone at a party that morning, and had taken lorazepam. Scarpa stated that he had no medical conditions, and (and) that he was under a doctor’s care. (This doctor, perhaps?) Scarpa also stated he knew he should not have been driving, because he was “upset,” and he believed that he had crashed into a tree and several people.

At this point, court recessed for lunch, and I had to split ’cause I have graveyard shifts, but I’m all free for Day 2.

Meanwhile, the Daily Pilot says the case will hinge on intent, and whether Scarpa intentionally committed the act that resulted in Kreza’s death.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Our anonymous correspondent also added this note.

EMT students are required to attend one rotation in a hospital emergency department. I did this.

The morning started off slow, and the nurses had zero interest in talking with me, so I poked my head into an exam room and announced to the patient that I was there to check her vitals. She consented and while I took her pulse, I asked what brought her to the ER. She stated that she had passed out while making a left turn (in a major intersection, btw) and had crashed into a fire hydrant. I sympathized with her awful morning, and then asked what she’d had for breakfast. Nothing. I suggested that it was always a good idea to fuel up to start your day. Then I asked whether she was on any medications. She had taken a prescription narcotic analgesic before she took her kids to school. “And you drove?” She confirmed this. I informed her that it was dangerous to drive under the influence, and her pill bottle even had a warning sticker added to the prescription label. She insisted there was no such warning, so we pulled the bottle out of her purse to look at it.

I read the warning out loud: “Do not operate heavy machinery.”

She protested, with frustration at my stupidity, “I wasn’t operating heavy machinery. I was just driving my car.”

(Ed. note: Because evidently multi-ton cars aren’t, well, you know…)

There are warnings of “Don’t drive until you know how this drug affects you,” even though said drug impairs your cognitive abilities such that you cannot ascertain how the drug impairs you. In the absence of quantification and/or memory, your brain just lies to you: “Everything’s fine.”

Why appropriate phrasing hasn’t been legislated, I don’t know.

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Streets For All is urging you to take action to support a couple of motions on the agenda for this afternoon’s meeting of the LA City Council Public Safety Committee.

Make your voice heard on two key issues this week.

There are two key issues being considered this week at City of Los Angeles Public Safety Committee.

1 – The first (Council File 21-0870) is a motion at the Public Safety Committee to consider re-designing streets to prevent illegal street racing. As much as we fight for lower speed limits, the best way to slow cars down is by redesigning streets all together.

2 – The second (Council File 20-1267) is a motion to reduce illegal exhaust noise in the City of Los Angeles. Modified mufflers disturb the peace and evenincrease our stress hormones and risk of heart disease. While we don’t want more armed officers doing traffic stops, we can solve this by clamping down on the shops that make these illegal modifications.

Here’s how you can help in 2 easy steps:

1) Make public comment using the council file system

If you are unable to make live public comment, the next best thing is writing a message in the council file management system. We have made this easy with a pre-filled template and links.

MAKE PUBLIC COMMENT IN ADVANCE

2) Make public comment live at the committee meetings

The Public Safety Committee is on Wednesday, September 1, at 330pm. Here is the agenda. Call into this meeting to comment on the re-designing streets to curb racing and the illegal exhaust noise issue.

CALL IN INSTRUCTIONS + TALKING POINTS

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Speaking of Streets For All, the political nonprofit is calling on you to fill a vacancy in your local Neighborhood Council if you live in any of the following areas.

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In a Twitter thread, the LACBC calls for accountability from the CHP for the hit-and-run that injured a 14-year old boy in East LA over two months ago.

Despite catching the crash on video, and multiple news reports, they’ve apparently done nothing to hold the officer responsible, or compensate the bike-riding boy for his injuries.

Click on the tweets for the full thread.

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This is who we share the road with.

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

Utah’s Zion National Park is looking for public input on new bike and ebike regulations that would allow bikes in groups of no more than six spread at least a quarter-mile apart, require riders to pull off to the side of the road for buses, and have a bell on your bike to warn people and wildlife. Because everyone knows cougars, skunks and bighorn sheep will politely move aside to let you pass if they hear the dulcet tones of a bike bell announce your presence.

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

San Diego authorities are looking for a bike-riding arsonist who set a series of small fires in the city’s North Park neighborhood earlier this month.

Probably not the best idea to leave a “sanctimonious, passive-aggressive” note on a Portland driver’s car calling out the expired plates, and suggesting they get rid of it and start riding a bicycle.

Police in Lincoln, Nebraska busted a man who stabbed another man in the back in a dispute over an alleged stolen bicycle, then tried to break into an apartment using lock pick tools.

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Local

Bloomberg considers UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup’s call to stop subsidizing drivers at the expense of everyone else, arguing that free parking is killing our cities.

Monrovia’s new “Biking for Bucks” program promises to reimburse people who live or work in the city up to $350 for the purchase of bikes and ebikes, whether for adults or children, as well as bicycle accessories, purchased between July 1st and September 30th of this year. So start shopping, already.

Active SGV teamed with Alhambra and SCAG to install a new popup bike lane, high viz crosswalks and curb extensions on Popular Boulevard in the city to gather public feedback. But hurry of you want to check ’em out, because they’ll be gone this time next week.

 

State

LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds teams with San Francisco Transportation Director Jeffrey Tumlin to pen an op-ed for CalMatters in support of AB 43, arguing that speeding drivers should not set speed limits.

 

National

It looks like Outside and VeloNews are joining Bicycling in hiding their stories behind a draconian paywall, on the mistaken assumption that preventing people from reading them will make more people want to. However, unlike Bicycling, the Outside and VeloNews stories don’t appear to be available on Yahoo.

Schwinn’s new I Am A Cyclist ad campaign focuses on marginalized members of the bicycling community to show what kind of people really ride bicycles.

Consumer Reports explains the steps they take to rate bike helmets, while InsideHook looks at the best commuter bike helmets for people who hate to wear one that won’t make you look like a total dork.

Best Buy is jumping head first into the ebike business by selling ebikes, e-scooters, mopeds and electric dirt bikes on their website, as well as in some stores.

A writer for Shape raves that her new Rad Power bike actually makes her comment enjoyable. And no, Best Buy doesn’t sell it.

Police in Colorado are looking for a hit-and-run driver who abandoned his SUV, then fled on foot before stealing a bicycle from a nearby school to make his getaway.

This is who we share the road with, part two. South Dakota’s killer Attorney General was hit with yet another speeding ticket — his seventh in seven years — just days before he was scheduled to go on trial for the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian while on his way home from a fundraiser last year. Yet he’s still allowed to stay on the roads to kill someone else, never mind that the $177.50 fine for a simple speeding ticket is nearly a fifth of what he was fined for actually killing someone.

A new Illinois law will require the state to pick up 100% of the costs for bicycle and walking infrastructure on state roadways; the state had previously required the local community to pay 20%.

A four-year old Michigan girl is able to ride a bicycle for the first time, after a fundraiser brings in enough to buy her an adaptive bike, and cover the cost to buy a bike for someone else, too.

Like drivers everywhere, motorists in Dayton, Ohio seem to have trouble figuring out how the city’s new parking protected bike lanes are supposed to work, parking in the bike lane next to the curb while leaving the parking lane empty.

 

International

Wired says Covid-19 means it’s finally time for the 15-minute city, where living, shopping and work are all within walking distance in the same neighborhood. Unless you live in Los Angeles, that is, where city leaders seem to be firmly committed to keeping everything within an hour and a half drive. Except at rush hour, of course.

Bosch says their new upgrades to ebike batteries and motors promise to make your new ebike ride smarter and farther.

Probably not the best idea to try to steal a bike from inside a British police station.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a driver was sentenced to seven years for the meth-fueled hit-and-run that seriously injured five bike riders last year — but with time served, he’ll be eligible for parole in less than a year.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-year old American cyclist Quinn Simmons refuses to limit his options, dividing his plans for next year between the WorldTour and American gravel races.

Red Bull talks with two-time European mountain bike champ Lars Forster about how he went from riding with his dad to riding with, and beating, the world’s best.

 

Finally…

When your status in the local bicycling community hinges on finding the right bike basket. Get your very own bicycle umbrella for your next rainy ride.

And you’ll have to wait another year for a zombie bike ride in Key West.

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

Help East Side Riders fix hit-and-run damaged van, help get six critical bills passed, and CHP may have your hot bike

Let’s start with a little bad news from one of LA’s best bike clubs.

Because if you’ve got a few extra bucks lying around, Watts’ East Side Riders could use your help.

The group does invaluable work, using bicycles as a starting point to uplift and feed the community. And they give back far more than they receive.

But that work will be on hold for a least a few days, after someone crashed into their van, pushing it up the street. Best case, it was a hit-and-run driver; worst, someone vandalized their van on purpose.

They haven’t asked for help yet, but they can clearly use it. So give ’em a hand if you can. You can donate directly to them right here.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

And yes, I gave a little, too.

Photo shamelessly borrowed from the East Side Riders Bike Club website.

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Streets For All is once again asking for your help to get a half-dozen bills across the finish line in the final days of this year’s state legislative session.

We need your help to get 6 critical bills to the governor’s desk

The legislative session is about to end do it’s all-hands-on-deck for getting these final bills passed.

We need you to reach out to your state senator because time is running out.

Here are the bills that need to get to Newsom:

  • AB 917 – Cameras on buses to enforce bus-only lanes
  • AB 122 – Bicycle safety stop
  • AB 339 – Requiring local governments to have a teleconferencing option for public comment
  • AB 1238 – Decriminalize jaywalking
  • AB 1147 – Active transportation program for regional agencies
  • AB 43 – Allows cities the ability to lower hundreds of miles of speed limits

AB 43 is important for racial justice as a disproportionate amount of pedestrians killed are in black and brown neighborhoods

Here’s how you can help in 2 easy steps:
1) Email a comment to your state senator as soon as possible!!

If you do not know who you state senator is, don’t worry!

You can easily find out right here.

Use our email template below, but for maximum impact, personalize your message.

CLICK HERE to email your senator

2) Add your name to the I MADE A DIFFERENCE LIST

This helps us keep track of the outreach we have made and where we need to focus our efforts.

CLICK HERE to add your name

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The good news is the CHP may have recovered your stolen bikes.

The bad news is they apparently weren’t registered or reported stolen, so the state police don’t know who they belong to.

And it’s yet another reminder that registering your bike now, before something happens to it, is your best hope of getting it back if anything does.

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Kittie Knox was also one of the first women to join the League of American Wheelmen, today’s League of American Bicyclists, aka the Bike League.

She joined just a year before it changed the bylaws to Whites Only, but since the rule was not made retroactive, Knox was grandfathered in and allowed to remain.

And went on to become a trailblazer for Black women on bikes, and all women.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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We’ve often linked to stories from British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid, as well as his internationally bike touring son.

But this one hit him close to home, as his son’s girlfriend totaled her bike, but was lucky to escape with minor injuries, when she hit a massive pothole hidden by standing water.

Which is another reminder not to ride through puddles, because you never know what is — or isn’t — underneath. Like pavement, maybe.

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Today’s common theme is celebrities and their kids on bikes. And one little girl who should be one.

Credit a bike ride with the success of Michael Jackson’s multi-platinum Thriller album. The gloved one took a ride on a borrowed bike to ride to a Los Angeles schoolyard to watch the kids play after concluding the recording was “crap,” then returned to the studio with a clear head to remix and fix it.

Ben Affleck’s nine-year old son Samuel is one of us, after dad upgraded him to a new Co-Op bike from REI.

Ava Fouts is one of us, too. The ten-year old Tucson girl has done over 200 rides totaling more than 2,500 miles, despite a surgically repaired congenital heart defect. Seriously, if you need a good smile, read this one.

Orlando Bloom has been one of us for a long time, as the British actor posts a photo of himself riding a bike while wearing a back brace after a dangerous fall in his 20s. Oddly, I did exactly the same thing by riding my bike wearing a back brace back in the day. But my broken back resulted from a cracked car jack.

Evidently, British paparazzi never give up, turning out to capture former comedian Lee Evans riding an ebike, seven years after he walked away from his comedy career to spend time with his family.

Luxury car marque Rolls-Royce was founded by one of us; Charles Stewart Rolls started his career as a racing cyclist at Cambridge in the 1890s. Too bad he didn’t just stick to bikes and build a luxury bicycle, instead.

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GCN has advice on how to ge the most out of riding with your family.

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

No bias here. A Kansas City man got the blame for crashing his bike into a van, even though the driver clearly violated his right-of-way by left-crossing him. Never mind that the story doesn’t mention the driver.

No bias here, either. The New York Post somehow thinks maintaining a smoggy, dangerous and traffic-choked boulevard on 5th Avenue is good for business, and returning the street to a more human scale means declaring war on cars. Right. If LA’s elected and appointed leaders had half the courage and imagination of their New York counterparts, we’d already see this on Wilshire Blvd, and a half dozen other major corridors, as well. 

A Welsh driver was fined the equivalent of over $500 for a dangerously close pass of a group of bike riders, which appeared to clear them by a matter of inches.

A British bike rider unwittingly and painfully demonstrated the dangers of overly close passes, when he suffered serious injuries after a driver ran him off the road, and head first into a set of wrought-iron gates.

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Local

West Hollywood’s massive Melrose Triangle project promised to “coordinate” designated ride share and passenger loading areas with the existing bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. Let’s hope that works better than it sounds, because it sounds like a nightmare.

Something must be in the water in Culver City, where another massive 1800-word NIMBY screed decries plans to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians at the three-way intersection of Overland, Kelmore and Ranch, fearing that a planned refuge island for bicyclists and pedestrians would require dangerous mixing of the two, and that the best solution is just to put up a sign banning street crossings entirely.

 

State

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bicycle early Saturday; police are looking for the driver of a possibly red, late model small to mid-sized SUV. Although it would have been nice if the Bakersfield Californian, which should know better, even mentioned that the car had a driver.

Speaking of Bakersfield, you can thank the local golf course and a funding shortfall for killing a “whimsical” proposal to extend the Kern River Bike Path.

A San Francisco writer decries the city’s “inability to address madness and criminality on public transit and on the streets.” And complains about what she calls “whimsical” plans to put bike lanes on the Bay Bridge, saying most would only “undertake the slog” as a last resort, while insisting that biking is a non-starter for small children, seniors, and others with mobility challenges. Clearly, she’s never heard of ebikes. Or met many older bike riders or paracyclists. And what’s with that whimsical word all of the sudden?

 

National

It was a big weekend for naked people on bicycles and chaste camera views, as the World Naked Bike Ride was marked in Mad City, Philly and even Amsterdam.

A kindhearted cop raised funds to buy a new bike and helmet for a Gloucester, Massachusetts teenager, after he was unable to recover the boy’s stolen bicycle.

Three people were injured when their bikes collided at a bottleneck in New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour, which was limited to “just” 20,000 riders as a pandemic precaution.

It takes a major schmuck to push a 74-year old Pennsylvania man down after threatening to steal his bicycle, and only making off with the man’s water bottle.

A group of Baltimore volunteers are delivering meals by bicycle to families in need during the coronavirus crisis.

A man on a cross-country bike tour tries to outrun a hurricane, scurrying just days ahead of Ida’s landfall in Louisiana on Sunday.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is celebrating his 80th birthday by riding his bicycle 80 miles a day for 10 days straight, for a total of 800 miles. Although he might have to take a break for a day or two until Hurricane Ida blows itself out.

Seriously? A Florida man faces felony charges for stealing $2.67 worth of soup and some crackers after crashing his bicycle into a patrol car while trying to flee from police; the petty theft was escalated to a felony due to his previous theft convictions. Anyone who steals something like that does it because he’s hungry, not for financial gain, regardless of his record.

 

International

Treehugger takes a look at surprising ways e-cargo bikes are being used for low-carbon commerce.

Cycling News recommends the best bidons, otherwise known as water bottles for us plain folk.

After a bighearted Saskatchewan boy got a new bike to replace his stolen bicycle, he passed it on to another kid whose bike was stolen, when a Good Samaritan found his purloined bike and returned it.

She gets it. A London physician says she should be able to ride her bike to work without worry, but that we will continue to see more people killed as long as we continue to prioritize the people in the big, dangerous machines. 

Never mind the cars, England’s Countess Sophie got a scare from big-horned stags on a tandem ride with a blind stoker.

A university lecturer in the UK asks if ebikes are ruining mountain biking.

The Dutch may ride at home, but Great Britain’s Dutch ambassador set off a firestorm by saying he doesn’t dare ride in London.

An Aussie business professor puts his expertise to work opening a bicycle-themed hotel in the heart of Belgium’s Flanders region, where “bicycling is practically a religion.”

Calcutta regresses into an auto-centric past by banning bicycles from major streets; an Indian magazine calls it a “warped idea of planning and an antipathy towards the working classes.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Pink Bike considers what’s next for Afghanistan’s growing mountain bike community, over fears of a crackdown by the Taliban; one rider complains he feels like they’ve been dragged into a black hole.

Road.cc says ongoing Covid lockdowns in Asia continue to adversely affect bicycle supplies in Europe.

 

Competitive Cycling

No change in the leader’s standings, as Rafal Majka rode a 56-mile breakaway to victory in Sunday’s 15th stage of the Vuelta.

Twenty-four-year old Evie Richards became British woman to claim the mountain bike cross-county world championship on Saturday in Val di Sole, Italy.

Openly gay Canadian cyclist Kate O’Brien took silver in the 500 meter time trial in the Paralympic Games, just five years after competing in the Rio Olympics, and four years after she was nearly killed crashing into a race moto.

Aussie cyclist Caroline Buchanan became the first woman to land a mountain bike front flip onto a dirt surface.

 

Finally…

Sharpen your pocket knife while you sharpen your riding skills. Your next bike light could be powered by the wind.

And watch out for cars when you stick your imaginary landing.

I would’ve made it if the car wasn’t there :/ from GrandTheftAutoV

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

Scarpa trial Monday for killing Costa Mesa fire captain, wrist slap for killer SD AG, and Malibu postpones PCH meeting

The allegedly stoned driver who killed a popular Costa Mesa fire captain will finally face justice next week.

The Daily Pilot reports that 27-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa will go on trial for murder on Monday for fatally running down 44-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita resident Mike Kreza as he was training for a triathlon in 2018.

According to the paper,

Kreza was off duty and riding his bike in Mission Viejo on Nov. 3 when a van driven by Scarpa drove off the roadway at Alicia Parkway and traveled 8 feet across the curb line, a sidewalk and an embankment, striking Kreza.

Police found Scarpa sitting on a curb following the crash, apparently intoxicated. He admitted to investigators he had shot up a combination of methamphetamine and fentanyl while at a party, along with taking an anxiety medication.

Kreza died two days later, leaving behind his wife and three young children.

The murder charge suggests this wasn’t Scarpa’s first DUI arrest, and that he had probably signed a Watson advisement indicating he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while intoxicated, following a previous conviction.

The paper reports Scarpa has remained in county jail for 1,032 days since his arrest — nearly three years — by the time he goes on trial Monday.

Chance are, he’ll end up serving a lot more than that.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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If you want to get away with killing someone, use a car.

Or better yet, get elected attorney general.

South Dakota AG Jason Ravnsborg was sentenced Thursday for a fatal hit-and-run crash. And walked without a single day behind bars.

The judge gave Ravnsborg a gentle caress on the wrist, allowing him to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts for a total of $1,000 in fines.

Which is apparently what a human life goes for in South Dakota these days.

Even an order to do some sort of public service to mark the anniversary of the victim’s death was put on hold, when Ravnsborg’s attorney argued it wasn’t allowed under the statute.

Authorities allowed Ravnsborg to claim he kept driving because he thought he hit a deer, rather than a man walking along the roadway. Even though the victim did a face plant in the AG’s windshield, leaving his glasses in the car where investigators found them the next day.

You’d think most people would have recognized a human face staring back at them through the windshield. Or at the very least, stopped to see what they hit.

But apparently, that kind of logic isn’t required for elected office in the state.

By continuing home, Ravnsborg may also have escaped a DUI count by delaying a blood alcohol test until 15 hours after the crash, by which time any alcohol consumed at the political fundraiser he attended would have been safely out of his system.

And it was.

Ravnsborg capped it off his extremely minimal sentence with a very self-serving statement.

The state’s governor and at least some legislators are calling for Ravnsborg to be impeached, since he refuses to step down.

We can hope, anyway.

Thanks to Pat Benson for the heads-up.

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To be continued.

Malibu pulled the plug on last night’s planned discussion on widening the shoulder on a two-mile segment of PCH, rescheduling the meeting for next month.

Supporters describe the proposed project as improving safety for people on bicycles. But others fear it would just move us into the door zone, instead.

I’m told that the wider shoulders will allow plenty of room for both bikes and parked cars, without posing a risk to the people on two wheels.

But let’s get serious.

That would require at least seven to eight feet to the right of the roadway and the left of parked cars. Anything less would be in the door zone.

So if there’s that much space already built into this plan, why don’t they just install bike lanes, instead?

Or better yet, a parking protected bike lane.

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CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León wants to know what you want to see on Huntington Drive.

You know what to tell him.

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Good news for anyone who walks. Or crosses the street.

https://twitter.com/LosAngelesWalks/status/1430988640298012672

On the other hand, the legislature killed AB 1401, which was murdered died in committee; the bill would have allowed cities to reduce parking minimums for new buildings near transit stations.

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This is what you call expert level trolling.

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A brilliant solution for locking your bike.

Unless the thief has a chain tool.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for forwarding the tweet.

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

Two British men have been charged with murder, and a third with assisting them, for intentionally running down a man as he and a woman were riding bicycles; the men allegedly abandoned and burned the car they used in an attempt to coverup the crime.

An Australian man faces charges for deliberately ramming three people on bicycles in three separate incidents just minutes apart as they were riding in a bike lane earlier this month; fortunately, none of the victims was seriously injured.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton politely takes LADOT and the LA Bureau of Engineering to task for a number of missed opportunities to install bike lanes, or protect the ones they did install.

Climate Resolve considers Eagle Rock’s resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan to remake Colorado Blvd into a green, safe and vibrant street, calling it an opportunity for climate action.

The Los Angeles Times suggests 13 parking hacks they say every driver should know. Although the best hack is to just take transit. Or ride a bike.

LA firefighters have made it to the halfway point in St. Louis on their cross-country ride to the former site of the World Trade Center to honor the victims of the 9/11 attack.

 

State

A tandem-riding San Diego couple are fed up with the trash lining the city’s Kearny Villa Road, saying nothing has been done despite repeated complaints to the city. On the other hand, when Phil Gaimon got tired of seeing all the trash and litter on Mulholland in the Hollywood Hills, he organized his own volunteer clean-up operation.

A Monterey County writer makes an impassioned defense of an unfinished “bike path to nowhere,” insisting it will be worth it once it’s completed and connects to other bikeways.

A Chico man got his bicycle back six months after it was stolen when police noticed it in a homeless camp, because he had recorded the bike’s serial number and reported it to the police. Although an even better option is to register your bike now so you have all the information before anything happens to it.

 

National

Cycling Tip’s Caley Fretz wants to know where his stolen bike was for the past three years, after it suddenly showed up locked to a Boulder, Colorado fence, mostly intact, not far from where he lived when it was taken.

Boise, Idaho will host a “wonderfully weird” pedal-powered party to celebrate the removal of the dreaded bike tire-puncturing Goathead plants.

How to explore Kansas City by bicycle on your next BBQ pilgrimage.

Continuing with this week’s theme of restoring our faith in humanity, a firefighter foundation in Wausau, Wisconsin bought a new bike for a teenage boy after the bicycle he used to deliver newspapers and care for lawns was trashed in a collision.

Someone is targeting Chicago bikeshare riders by stealing their bikes at implied gunpoint after they unlock them.

A Cleveland website says the only risks you face on Michigan’s carfree Mackinac Island are horse poop, bike traffic and distracted pedestrians.

Speaking of Cleveland, a 58-year old man had to relearn how to walk after shattering his leg in a motorcycle crash, and celebrated his recovery by riding a bicycle 3814 miles through 14 states.

New York is moving forward with plans for congestion pricing, after reaching an agreement with the Biden administration to conduct an environmental review of charging drivers a toll to enter central Manhattan; it would be the first such fee in the US. Meanwhile, Los Angeles officials are doing what they do best, conducting a study of Metro’s congestion pricing proposal. Which usually results in studying it to death.

 

International

Bicycling can be a pain in the back, literally. So read this Cycling Weekly story about the causes of lower back pain, and how to prevent it.

Toronto bicyclists demand immediate improvements after an 18-year old man was killed by the driver of a dump truck, after he was forced to ride through a construction zone when a bike lane ended and dumped him into busy traffic; a bike advocate had warned something like that was likely to happen just two days before it actually did.

Treehugger responds to the same Toronto death by arguing that it’s time for the construction industry to prioritize the safety of people who walk or bike.

Los Angeles becomes the poster child for bad scooter behavior, as a Dublin letter writer uses it as a bad example of what he hopes the Irish city won’t become.

Paris continues to make huge strides towards safety and livability, by reducing speed limits on most streets to just 18 mph.

A former Afghan government minister is happy just to have a job, working as a bicycle delivery rider after moving to Germany in hope of a better future.

Cycling News reports on efforts to get women cyclists out of Afghanistan over fears they will be targeted by the Taliban for breaking traditional taboos.

Dozens of bicyclists took to the streets of Yemen’s capital to call for peace in the war torn country.

One hundred people faced road rage charges in Japan last year, with 24 tagged for brake checks and 20 sudden lane changes; four of the cases were blamed on bike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Surprisingly, two-time defending Vuelta champ Primož Roglič lost more time in Thursday’s stage 12, now standing almost two minutes behind oddly named leader Odd Christian Eiking of Norway.

LA-based Continental cycling team L39ION of Los Angeles lived up to their usual winning ways in the team’s first-ever stage race, taking both the men’s and women’s races in the opening stage of the Fayetteville, Arkansas Joe Martin Stage Race.

VeloNews dives head first into the debate over whether there should be separate categories for elite women gravel racers.

 

Finally…

Think of it as a fondo where you reduce your time by eating donuts. That feeling when your winning breakaway is suddenly halted by a car fire.

And it turns out Dutch kids aren’t born on bikes, after all.

https://twitter.com/NLinSF/status/1430600351028191235

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

Update: Woman riding bicycle killed Friday in early morning Venice hit-and-run

Yet another person riding a bicycle has been murdered by a heartless coward in a motor vehicle.

This time in Venice early Friday morning.

Multiple source are reporting that a woman, who has not been publicly identified, was riding circles around the intersection of Pacific and Rose Avenues when she was run down by a driver around 3:05 am.

The driver fled north on Pacific. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead, despite the efforts of paramedics.

Police are looking for a large black SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Suburban; there’s no description of the driver.

According to the LAPD, it’s not known if drugs or alcohol may have been involved. Which goes without saying since they don’t even know who did it.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD at 213/473-0236 or 213/473-0234, or toll-free at 877-LAPD-247.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles.

This is at least the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also at least the sixth bike death in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

At last count, 16 of those people were killed by hit-and-run drivers.

Update: The victim has been identified by family members as 22-year old Prynsess Di’Amond Brazzle, who followed her faith by coming to Los Angeles to feed the hungry, only to have her life taken by a heartless hit-and-run coward.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Prynsess Di’Amond Brazzle and all her family and loved ones.

Road rage driver intentionally runs down Oceanside rider, TransComm approves Incomplete Streets, and Bike the Vote on hiatus

Forget hit-and-run. Call it attempted murder.

Police in Oceanside are looking for the road raging driver who intentionally ran down former semi-pro cyclist Adam Atkinson Saturday morning.

The unknown driver followed Atkinson for about a mile after exchanging words with him, before slamming into his bike from behind on eastbound on Vista Way.

The impact flung Atkinson through the air as the driver continued down Vista Way, leaving him with a pelvis broken in two places, as well as broken bones in his elbow, collar bone and shoulder blade.

Police are looking for a black four-door BMW with front end damage and a missing passenger side mirror, driven by a man in his mid-20s. He’s wanted for assault with a deadly weapon.

Hopefully, that will be upgraded to reflect the seriousness of the crime, which could have easily killed Atkinson.

And was probably meant to.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

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Streetsblog reports the City Council Transportation Committee gave their blessing to a trio of incomplete Complete Streets projects on Highland, Culver and La Brea at yesterday’s meeting.

In other words, LADOT somehow envisions these as among the few Complete Streets projects that can somehow be implemented without changing the roadway.

So either the streets are already complete and capable of safely and effectively serving the needs of all road users, which means the projects aren’t necessary.

Or LADOT has no intention of actually making them complete, and just wants to call them something that sounds good and allows them to check a box when applying for funding.

I’d put my money on the latter.

Committee Chair Mike Bonin at least asked LADOT to work with the local councilmember’s office to implement the mobility plan.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Especially after the committee approved the projects as written, while politely asking them to think about doing the right thing when it comes to bus and bike lanes.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Joe Linton summed up the whole sad affair in his story.

Streets for All had urged its followers to press the committee to implement the La Brea bus-only lanes already approved in the city’s Mobility Plan. Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Paul Koretz questioned why the planned bus facilities had not been included in La Brea’s preliminary designs. LADOT staff responded that the department tries to “balance the needs” and “our corridors are width-challenged.” This portion of La Brea is at least 75-feet wide throughout. The DOT representative stated that a bus lane would “compromise the objective” of this project, but could proceed independently.

Bonin encouraged LADOT to work with the local council office to implement the bus lane, stating that it is a Metro priority and important for equity. Sadly, the directive to work with the local councilmember is tacit acknowledgement that each councilmember has (and frequently uses) veto powers to get in the way of street improvements needed to save lives, and improve transit, health, and quality of life.

Nice to know that adding a bus lane to make La Brea even somewhat complete would somehow compromise the objective of a Complete Street.

You can click on any of the tweets above to read the whole thread, and the link above to read Linton’s story.

Although this exchange pretty well sums it up.

………

Disappointing, but totally understanding decision from Bike the Vote, which will be sitting out next year’s elections.

Having done that job myself, both on behalf of this site and as a board member of the LACBC, I can attest to just how draining it can be. And Bike the Vote went far beyond anything I tried to do.

Hopefully, someone will step up and fill the vote before next year, when we’ll elect a new mayor, city attorney, city controller and half the city council.

Because the only voice the bike community has comes from our perceived ability to influence elections. And if candidates don’t think our vote matters, they won’t even ask for our support, let alone support policies to make our streets safer and more welcoming to people on bicycles.

Otherwise, we can look forward to more Orwellian fiascos like we saw yesterday.

………

In better news, Zachary Rynew calls our attention to newly striped bike lanes in the San Fernando Valley.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A Metro bikeshare dock is no match for a street racing jerk driver. But at least no one was using it at the time.

………

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

No bias here. Despite admitting that most ebike riders obey the law, a San Diego TV station paints a picture of young scofflaw riders flaunting both the law and safety, while failing to distinguish between ped-assist ebikes, mopeds and electric motorbikes. And goes on to frighten parents over kids riding their ebikes to school. Better to just shove them into the family SUV and drive them like normal parents, right?

No bias here, either. A Florida driver walks with probation for racially profiling a teenage bike rider, and illegally detaining him for allegedly breaking into cars — which he wasn’t.

………

Local

CicLAvia estimates just 4,000 people turned out for LA’s first open streets event in two years, belying the pent-up demand expected after the pandemic.

Be prepared to turn off your flashers in the future, as the LA City Council began the process of banning strobe lights at demonstrations, despite worries that it could criminalize flashing bike lights.

If you’re missing a bicycle in the Venice area, you might want to check with the LAPD, after they busted a “prolific” bike thief who now faces seven counts of grand theft.

You may want to find another route through the ‘Bu this weekend, when the annual Malibu Triathlon will take place on PCH.

 

State

San Diego’s annual Bike the Bay rolls this Sunday, the only time bicycles are legally allowed on the iconic San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge.

That’s more like it. Alameda forgoes the plastic bendy posts that too often pass for protection, and installs concrete “chonky curbs” anchored with rebar to keep drivers out of a two-way protected bike lane.

 

National

They get it. Smart City says electric cars won’t save our cities, but ebikes might.

Seattle took advantage of the pandemic to go on a bike lane building “binge,” installing seven miles of protected bike lanes. Bearing in mind that Paris installed 31 miles of segregated bike lanes in a matter of months.

The nine-year old diabetic boy riding cross-country with his dad to see the Statue of Liberty got his wish, rolling into New York after 18 weeks and 3,300 miles.

Bizarre crime from Salt Lake City, where a woman was arrested for fatally shooting her girlfriend during an argument while riding their bicycles.

That’s more like it. A 21-year old Wisconsin man faces up to 25 years behind bars after pleading no contest to the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle. Even I think that’s just a tad excessive.

After she was struck by a distracted driver, a Connecticut safe streets advocate examines why bike riders always get blamed for a crash, even by their own friends and family. Just going by my own experience, she’s right.

The New York Times’ Wirecutter makes their picks for the best commuter bike helmet., while Consumer Reports reminds you even the best helmets only last around five years. The best bike helmet is the one you’ll actually wear, commuter or otherwise.

 

International

Momentum says belt-drive bikes could be a game changer for commuters.

A Vancouver writer takes us back to the earliest days of traffic violence and driver privilege, as a London woman became the first known traffic fatality 125 years ago yesterday, after the new driver of one of just 20 cars in the city yelled at her to get out of his way.

That’s more like it, too. Dublin planners have rejected plans for a 428-unit apartment building because it didn’t include adequate bike parking.

More proof that NIMBYs are the same everywhere, as business owners in Belfast, Northern Ireland complain about plans for a bikeway that would reduce on-street parking by 25%. Even though studies have repeatedly shown that bike lanes are good for business, more than making up for any loss of parking.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a speeding driver got just three years behind bars for seriously injuring a six-year old kid out for a bike ride with his dad, while stoned on a cocktail of weed, coke and ketamine.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — riding 300 miles from Paris to London on a series of cycle tracks. And a ferry, of course.

You think you can ride mountains? A Pakistani mountain biker has become the country’s first woman to ride to the base camp on the world’s second-highest mountain by bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen caps a remarkable comeback by winning Tuesday’s 4th stage of the Vuelta, just over a year after he was lying in an induced coma fighting for his life following a horrific crash in the Tour of Poland.

Rouleur looks at the history of the maillot rojo — or red jersey — worn by the leader of the Vuelta’s general classification; the red color is a relatively recent addition to the race, which began in 1935, but has only been run annually for the past 66 years.

Next week’s Deutschland Tour will feature a star-studded cast of riders who skipped the ongoing Vuelta for the four-stage German race.

Team USA presents a guide to the cycling events at the upcoming Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Olympic road cycling gold medalist Anna Kiesenhofer says the one thing she’s sure of after her surprise win is that she won’t be turning pro, due to a fear of what can happen in the peloton.

Tragic news from Colorado, where a mountain biker died while competing in the Leadville Trail 100 race; details are scant, but other riders suggested he may have fallen during a high speed descent or suffered a medical issue.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with distracted drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about rampaging elephants. Instead of worrying about bike thieves when you park your bike, you might be visited by the Bike Fairy.

And let’s hope the new “cyclist’s paradise” doesn’t retain a faint whiff of its previous existence.

………

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

Hit-and-run epidemic hits LA and San Diego, volunteers wanted for carfree K-town fest, and best bike traffic sign ever

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

Monday was a rough day.

It was supposed to be my wife’s first day at her new job, after the company she’d been with for 20 years shut down in the first days of the pandemic. But it lasted just three hours before her new bosses decided they needed someone familiar with their systems, rather than training her as they had promised. 

So now we’re both back where we’ve been for the last 18 months, with her extended unemployment benefits expiring next month, just as the Delta variant is exploding. 

Good times. 

………

Today’s common theme is hit-and-run, sadly.

Starting with the heartless coward who backed over a 91-year old woman on the sidewalk behind his work truck in LA’s University Park neighborhood — then got out and watched her die for three minutes before driving away, without doing a damn thing to help.

And if that doesn’t demand a murder charge once he’s caught, I don’t know what does. As always, there’s a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, San Diego police are looking for the driver who fled the scene after running a Mission Bay red light and smashing into a man on a bicycle, dragging the victim and his bike several yards, and leaving him with life-threatening injuries.

The driver abandoned their truck nearby, and fled the scene on foot. Which always raises the question of whether truck was stolen.

Or they just want to be able to claim it was later.

Police in Riverside are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run while riding his bike, which left him a facial injuries too serious for a photo. Seriously, we’ve said it before, but this is why you should always carry some form of ID that won’t get stolen every time you get on your bike.

And let’s not forget this hit-and-run that took the like of a bike-riding man in Ontario Monday night.

Modesto police are looking for the SUV driver who ran down a bike rider from behind and left him to die alone in the street.

In one of the most bizarre hit-and-runs ever, a pair of Kansas women apparently kidnapped the bike rider they had just crashed into, loading the victim into their car before dumping him somewhere else; police later found him safe, but suffering from significant injuries.

Police in New Jersey busted a 92-year old man who kept driving after hitting a 14-year old boy on a bicycle, telling investigators he thought he’d hit a tree branch. Because evidently, tree branches look a lot like 14-year old kids on bikes once you get that age.

A 71-year old New Orleans man turned himself in for a mid-July hit-and-run that took the life of a 74-year old woman artist riding a bike — but only after a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Lest anyone think this is just is an American problem, a New Zealand driver is on trial for killing a bike rider while fleeing from the police, then trying to hide his damaged car under a pile of blankets.

Because that wouldn’t look suspicious at all, apparently.

Sadly, though, nothing will ever change until authorities start taking the crime seriously, and actually do something to stop drivers before they flee, like the cowards they are.

………

Streets For All is looking for volunteers to help host a two block, four hour, carfree block party in Koreatown a week from Saturday.

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This is who we share the road with.

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Can we please get this sign here?

Pretty please?

………

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

After a New York state senator nearly ran down someone riding a bike with his car, he naturally responded by introducing legislation to crack down on people on bicycles; Streetsblog responds that the danger on our streets doesn’t come from bike riders, but from the people in the big, dangerous machines.

Someone has been sabotaging a busy Virginia Beach VA bike lane for the past month, tossing thumbtacks into it in an apparent attempt to cause flat tires and possible injuries.

A Miami man faces charges for driving through a group of bike-riding kids, then intentionally running down a girl as she tried to chase him down.

Then there’s this —

https://twitter.com/amtillie/status/1422172825369157633

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

T.I. was busted when Amsterdam cops politely invited him into the backseat of their patrol car after the rapper rode his bike through an intersection — apparently against the light — and broke the mirror on the police car.

………

Local

LaVerne is considering a 510-foot bike and pedestrian bridge connecting the Pomona Fairplex with the city’s coming L Line, nee Gold Line, station. No word on what Shirley has planned.

LA County is proposing a $30 million, 2.6-mile bikeway along Rosemead Blvd in the Whittier Narrows area. Although you may have to give your email address to get past the paywall.

 

State

Fountain Valley-based Pedego is riding the crest of the pandemic bike boom, with a whopping $121 million in sales over the past 12 months.

A Beaumont man who already had a misdemeanor warrant now faces charges for carrying a loaded, unregistered handgun on his bike.

A 13-year old girl was hospitalized after she was hit by a driver while riding in a Moorpark crosswalk; no word on her condition.

San Luis Obispo’s popular Bread Bike is moving into a brick and mortar storefront after years of delivering their baked good by bicycle; no word on whether the two-wheeled deliveries will continue when customers can just pop in for a loaf.

 

National

What apparently won’t be included in the new bipartisan federal infrastructure bill is money dedicated to removing highways from urban areas; the intent was to restore damage from many existing freeways that destroyed what were then thriving Black neighborhoods.

A Streetsblog op-ed says support the Recreational Trails Program, but don’t fund it with money earmarked for safe sidewalks and bike lanes.

Men’s Journal falls in love with a pedal-less, throttle controlled e-balance bike, calling it “the coolest gift you can give your kid.” Um, no.

While drivers and state officials decry a massive mudslide that blocked Colorado’s I-70, bike riders are taking advantage of an unexpectedly carfree Loveland Pass.

Like most major American cities, Houston roads are for deadly for bike riders and pedestrians because they prioritized traffic speed over safety.

My bike-friendly hometown is better for hipsters than Berkeley, according to an “unironic” survey from Rent.com, but not as good as Seattle, Minneapolis and Tempe.

A Philadelphia reporter finally learns to ride a bike after decades of failed attempts.

 

International

He gets it. A writer for Road.cc calls the bike industry to task for focusing on speed and performance, at the expense of a large segment of their customer base.

Your next bike could be made from LEGOs, though it might be too small to ride. Even if it is fully functional.

A zen website suggests finding yours by exploring Edmonton, Alberta by bicycle.

The former leader of India’s Congress Party rode a bike to Parliament to protest the rising price of gas and cooking fuels.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s the end of an era, as Tejay van Garderen, one of the few American cyclists to make a mark in WorldTour in the post-Lance era, calls it a career after 12 years.

The UK was knocked out of the men’s team pursuit in the Tokyo Olympics when Danish rider Frederik Madsen rode directly into a British cyclist who had fallen off the pace, then leapt up and started swearing at the hapless Brit; needless to say, the Fleet Street press was having none of it.

An Aussie cyclist was lucky to escape with bruises and road rash on his face and arms when the handlebars inexplicably snapped off his track bike at 40 mph, just one thousand meters into a four thousand meter race.

Rouleur looks at under-the-radar riders who could impact this month’s Vuelta.

 

Finally…

Stolen bike or hot car? Your next bike could be a funky, one-seat, four-wheeled, ped-assist ebike/car hybrid.

And your old wheels could be a chicken’s new merry-go-round.

………

Thanks to James B and Elizabeth T for their generous donations to help keep this site coming your way every day; any donation, no matter how large or small, helps and is deeply appreciated. 

………

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

Man killed riding bicycle in Ontario hit-and-run Monday night; no details on victim or driver

Yet another SoCal bike rider has been murdered by a heartless coward in a motor vehicle.

According to the Daily Bulletin, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by a driver around 11 pm Monday near Mission Boulevard and Cucamonga Avenue in Ontario.

He was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:14 pm.

There’s no further information about the victim, how the collision occurred, or the person who killed him. The only description of the suspect vehicle is that it should have front-end damage.

There’s also no word on whether someone saw or heard the victim get hit, or if the he was found in the roadway following the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Ontario Police Department at 909/986-6711, or call Officer Eliseo Guerrero directly at 909/408-1739.

This is at least the 39th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

At least 15 of those deaths have been the result of hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones. 

 

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