Tag Archive for Jeff Sczechowski

Santa Barbara bicyclist seriously injured in PCH hit-and-run, and Huntington Beach pulls the plug on bike path project

The hit-and-run epidemic show no sign of stopping.

The same day a Santa Ana bike rider was murdered by a driver who fled the scene, leaving his or her innocent victim to die in the street, another bicyclist was lucky to survive being run down by a hit-and-run driver on the Ventura County section of Southern California’s killer highway.

Or maybe calling PCH a serial killer highway is more accurate.

Here’s a brief press release from the victim’s family.

Santa Barbara family seeks answers and witnesses in PCH hit-and-run

On Saturday, February 12 at 11:10 a.m., Santa Barbara resident Jeff Sczechowski (seh-CHOW-ski) was struck from behind and thrown into a parked vehicle while riding his black mountain bike on the shoulder of the northbound side of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). This was just north of the Sycamore Canyon State Park entrance across from the Thornhill Broome Beach Campground that is south of the large sand hill on the inland side of the PCH.  He was wearing a white helmet and grey and yellow cycling clothing.  The victim was transported by ambulance to the Ventura County Medical Center, where he is hospitalized and receiving care.  He has sustained significant injuries to his back, leg, and arms.  Jeff, a chemical engineering PhD, manages a research center in the UCSB Department of Physics.  He is also an avid cyclist and bonsai tree artist.  Jeff, his wife, and their children ask anyone who may have been involved in or witnessed the event to please contact Ventura California Highway Patrol Officer Bowen at 805-662-2640.

Shamefully, fully half of the 12 people killed riding bicycles in Southern California this year have been the victims of hit-and-run drivers.

Yes, 50 percent.

There is simply no excuse.

Not for the heartless cowards who lack the basic human decency to stick around after a crash. Or for those in elected office who lack the courage to do anything about it.

I’ve offered my suggestions on how to stop it. And I’m sure there are other options out there to put a stop to .

But one way to another, this epidemic has got to stop. Now.

Photo of Jeff Sczechowski taken just hours before the crash. Thanks to Todd Mumford for the heads-up.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

After gathering feedback on its proposed Trails to the Sea project, Huntington Beach has pulled the plug on the entire thing.

The project would have added 4.75 miles of offroad trails along a pair of channels, where they would have had zero impact on traffic and the surrounding community. And provided much needed safe routes through the beachside city, which is already one of the most dangerous places to ride a bike in Orange County.

Instead, the responses from local residents were apparently so bad that local officials decided not to do the right thing, and killed the project instead.

Never mind the current dangers faced by bike riders and pedestrians in the city. Or the desperate need to get people out of their cars, at a time when Orange County is already a year-round fire zone.

And never mind that access to a safe bikeway increases local property values.

There’s simply no rational reason to oppose a project like this, let alone cancel it.

But they did anyway.

Thanks to Eric Eberwein for the tip.

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Say goodbye to the green bollards on Del Amo Blvd in Long Beach, and hello to a new curb-protected bike lane.

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The Davis Bike Counter wasn’t just removed. It was killed by an errant driver.

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Megan Lynch also forwards this news about a single bike rider blocking a protesting Canadian trucker from blocking the roadways.

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Real talent is riding a bicycle around a stage during a live performance without missing a note.

Thanks to GlennC1 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.

A South Carolina man was arrested for stabbing a bike rider who nearly hit him while riding on the sidewalk, despite the bike-riding man’s repeated apologies.

No bias here. After a 15-year old boy was killed by a suspected drunk driver, Florida sheriff’s deputies somehow insist on noting the victim didn’t have lights on his bicycle — over half an hour before sunset.

No bias here, either. An Indian protected bike lane was removed after drivers were “inconvenienced” by the lane reduction to make room for it, never mind that bike riders were inconvenienced by the drivers parking in it.

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

An Albuquerque, New Mexico BMX rider is under arrest for a horrific stabbing spree that left eleven people injured at seven separate sites, riding his bike to attack people apparently at random.

Welsh police are looking for an ebike rider who is accused of “terrorizing” the residents of a small seaside town; officers seized his bike after he fell off while being chased, but the rider managed to get away on foot.

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Local

Nice to see East Side Riders Bike Club co-founder John Jones III honored with a trip to the Super Bowl in recognition of his volunteer work.

 

State

Hundreds of bike riders turned out for a ride to honor 49-year old Fremont resident Ellen Le, a week after she was killed in a head-on collision with an SUV driver while riding with a Santa Clara County bike club.

Hundreds more turned out for a demonstration to keep JFK Drive in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park carfree.

San Francisco ripped out a protected bike lane due to a construction zone, temporarily replacing it with a painted bike lane, despite being on a street where three people have been killed in three years. Never mind that removing the protected lane will make the city liable for any injuries that happen as a result.

A Vallejo driver faces a murder charge for the hit-and-run death of a 52-year old bike rider, due to a previous DUI arrest; naturally, the defense attorney wants to blame the victim, instead.

 

National

The New York Times says billions of dollars in last year’s federal infrastructure bill dedicated to highway expansion could worsen climate change.

A Washington mountain biker couldn’t find bikewear to fit her plus-size body, so she started her own company to make it.

Utah’s law cutting the blood alcohol level required for DUI to .05, from the .08 allowed the other 49 states, is showing demonstrable benefits, with drunk driving deaths and crashes dropping 20% in the state since the law went into effect.

A man is restarting his cross-country bike ride in the middle of the North Dakota winter, five months after he was nearly killed by a pickup driver, which ultimately cost him a tooth and his spleen.

Nice move from a Tulsa OK bike club, whose members raised $5,000 to buy a racing bike for a promising young rider who has never owned a bike of his own.

No coverup here. After a New York cop hit a kid while driving the wrong way on a one-way street on Halloween, the NYPD bizarrely tried to claim the boy somehow ran across the hood of a stationary patrol car, then they tried to just pretend the while thing never happened.

New York Streetsblog says it’s not the speed cams that are racist, it’s the road designs in low-income communities of color.

A 62-year old Pennsylvania man is alive today because his friends rushed to call  911 and perform CPR when he suffered a sudden heart attack on a long group ride.

A cautionary story from Charleston, South Carolina, where police are reopening a crash investigation after a man died two months after he was hit by a driver, despite being released from the hospital the same day with an apparent misdiagnosis of just minor injuries.

Always get the keys back after you fire someone. A Florida man faces charges for helping a former bike shop worker come back and steal $15,000 worth of bicycles after she was let go.

 

International

They get it. An op-ed in London’s Independent questions how the country can get to zero carbon emissions when the UK suffers from cyclophobia, and riders aren’t safe on the roads.

No shit. BBC presenter and bike rider Jeremy Vine says that the safety of people on bicycles is more important than drivers getting to their destinations on time.

A new British report shows bikeshare is a gateway drug to get people back on their bicycles, with bikeshare use reducing car use 53%, with an average of 3.7 miles per user.

The game ball for a rugby match between Wales and Scotland traveled 500 miles by bike to get to there, as part of a charity ride to raise fund to fight motor neuron disease.

Porsche is moving further into ebikes by purchasing a 20% stake in Munich ebike maker Fazua, to gain access to their removable engine and battery tech.

Cycling Tips is accusing UCI of silence in the face of allegations of death threats, abduction and torture involving the Afghan Cycling Federation during and after efforts to evacuate cyclists from the country.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 93-year old South African man’s bicycle when he stopped at an ATM; he got the bike from his parents in 1950 and rode it for the past 72 years.

In an obvious effort to thin the herd, Melbourne, Australia has painted sharrows between the rails of a tram line, encouraging people to ride their bikes directly in front of an oncoming train.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome called for banning time trial bicycles, saying it would be safer and fairer to train and race on road bikes; his comments have drawn support from his fellow riders.

Retired Irish pro Nicholas Roche has been warned not to ride in the mountains south of Dublin, while he’s filming the British version of Dancing With the Stars in the city, because thieves are known to knock riders off their bikes, then toss them in their van and drive off while the rider is still sprawled in the roadway.

The Italian movie The Pantini Affair should be coming to the US, after Capital Motion Picture Group picked up the North American rights to the 2020 film about the last five years in the life of legendary cyclist Marco Pantani.

A Steamboat Springs, Colorado newspaper offers photos of downhill dual slalom racing on a snow-packed mountain, while UCI considers plans for a Snow Bike World Cup.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be carved from wood. That feeling when the peloton has to jump the median to avoid a police roadblock.

And we may have to deal with the horns of angry drivers. But at least that beats the horns of an angry bull.

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

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