Disappointing news in yesterday’s LA city elections, with 100% of precincts in.
Anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo appears to have eked out a victory in CD1, setting the stage at least five and a half more years of deadly streets as the city switches to holding its elections at the same time as state and national votes.
Although a runoff with Joe Bray-Ali is still possible, as Cedillo topped the minimum 50% threshold by just 198 votes; Bray-Ali issued a statement saying he isn’t conceding until all the votes are counted.
And in CD5, current councilmember Paul Koretz won a final term with nearly two-thirds of the vote over bike-friendly challenger Jesse Creed.
In the end, Creed and Bray-Ali struggled to overcome the power of LA incumbency, where office holders running for re-election almost never lose — thanks in large part to the city’s gerrymandered districts and the massive amount of out-of-district special interest money that inevitably pours in to benefit sitting councilmembers.
Not that those special interests would dream of expecting a return on their investment or anything.
The news was better in CD7, where Bike the Vote LA-endorsed Monica Rodriguez was leading, and will enter a runoff with Karo Torossian if the totals hold.
As expected, the other current officeholders steamrolled to victory over their token opposition in all the other races.
So if nothing changes, it looks like nothing changes.
A few districts with bike-friendly councilmembers such as Joe Buscaino, Jose Huizar and Mike Bonin will continue to get safer and more complete streets, while Cedillo and Koretz will continue to block much needed improvements.
And our city will suffer for it.
But at least we can end on a brighter note, as anti-growth Measure S went down to defeat, handing AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Michael Weinstein his third loss in three tries at ballot propositions in four months; attempts to regulate drug prices and require condoms for porn shoots statewide lost last November.
And Measure H passed with the necessary two-thirds majority, as the city and county finally appear to be getting serious about working together to end the crisis of homelessness.
This is the cost of traffic violence.
A Massachusetts woman writes about what it’s like to live with the knowledge she killed a cyclist 20 years earlier.
I wasn’t found at fault in my crash; I wasn’t speeding, distracted or impaired on the night I rounded a highway curve and a bicyclist crossed in front of my car, too close for me to avoid. But I will always see him staring wide-eyed at me as he flew into and over my windshield. I will never forget his body at roadside, utterly motionless.
If you remember nothing else I write, I hope you’ll remember this: You do not want to be me. No destination, no text, no drink, no glance away from the road is worth knowing that you have killed another human being. You don’t want to feel you’d give anything not to have been on that road at that time. You don’t want to believe that anything you accomplish in life is offset by the death of another person. You don’t want any happiness you experience to remind you of the happiness denied the person you hit, her family, his friends. You don’t want to struggle to go on living, convinced you don’t deserve to exist, wishing you hadn’t been born.
She still says the collision could have been avoided if only the victim had lights on his bike. But notes that drivers have to change their attitudes to prevent similar tragedies.
Her own friend was killed riding a bike two years ago.
Cycling News looks back at the day the great Marco Pantini left cycling after being busted for doping during the 1999 Giro d’Italia.
The manager for Italy’s Androni Giocattoli team is royally pissed off that they’ve been excluded from this year’s Giro, calling it the biggest injustice of his career. Then again, Axel Merckx isn’t thrilled his team has been left out of the AToC.
The former Scottish national coach says men’s cycling is shit, but women’s racing is a growth industry.
The new chairman of British Cycling says there’s no evidence the organization isn’t clean. Which isn’t exactly the same as saying it is.
A columnist for the Pasadena Star-News says don’t put the brakes on the Idaho Stop law that can make it safer for California cyclists.
Bike SGV posts more great photos from Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets, where a good time was clearly had by all.
Police in La Verne are looking for a bike-riding burglar after break-ins in a pair of jewelry and cellphone stores.
The Santa Monica Lookout says a new study shows SaMo residents are still sticking to their cars. Maybe if they washed their hands more often…
Pierce Brosnan is one of us, as he goes for a bike ride with his wife on an apparently non-existent beachfront bike path in Malibu.
Laguna Nigel police will hold an event at city hall on Monday to talk about traffic safety and enforcement.
The Sacramento Bee reviews the one-man performance Concussed: Four Days in the Dark, by comedian Jack Gallagher, based on the traumatic brain injury he got when he was hit by a car while riding his bike.
The driver for the mayor of Sacramento hit a bike rider at a notoriously dangerous intersection on Tuesday evening while the mayor in the car; naturally, they blame the victim for running a stop sign. So if the intersection is so dangerous, why haven’t they fixed it already?
A new US study posted on an Aussie website shows bicycling can slow the effects of aging, and that older people benefit more than the young. And here I assumed all those close passes were aging me, not realizing I was getting younger, and yes, better looking, with every pass.
Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer calls on bicyclists to use bike advocacy as a tool to save America.
Speaking of close passes, Houston researchers are looking for bicyclist and pedestrian victims of close passes by motorists for a new safety study.
The newspaper for tiny Victoria TX calls on the city to invest in making it more bike friendly.
A new Minnesota study shows bike commuting reduces chronic illness and preventable deaths, saving millions of dollars annually in medical costs. Maybe the GOP should make bicycling a part of their new healthcare plan.
This is what happens when you take Vision Zero seriously. Philadelphia’s mayor calls for a three-year plan touching on virtually every aspect of road travel in order to make the city’s streets safer.
It only took NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. five minutes into his first bike ride to get flipped off by a Florida driver.
A Canadian man with type 1 diabetes is riding across the country in the dead of winter.
A Calgary driver says it’s not her fault she hit a cyclist because the sun was in her eyes. Seriously, if you can’t see what the hell is directly in front of your car, pull the damn thing over and wait until you can.
A UK bike advocacy group calls for clarification on the differences between careless and dangerous driving charges after a driver who admitted to a dangerous pass gets just eight months for killing a man on a bike.
British police are asking for bike cam video to protect cyclists and enforce the law against dangerous drivers. It’s questionable whether similar video footage can be used to prosecute drivers for traffic violations in California, where current law says police must actually witness the violation, except in the case of felonies. Thanks to Cyclist’s Rights for the heads-up.
In an update on yesterday’s story, it turns out a Brit bus rider could tell it was a bicyclist fucking in the bushes because he still had his helmet on; his more traditionally attired partner was wearing a coat, at least. Or maybe it was just a couple with a weird bike helmet fetish.
Police in Malvo, Sweden are on the lookout for a pair of bike-by shooters.
Controversy over a 15-year old model aside, the Lagerfeld Paris fashion show featured crepe de chine Bermuda shorts edged in tweed, described as being perfect for space travel, as well as ideal for riding a bicycle. Seriously, you can’t make this shit up.
India’s Business World considers bicycling as a form of public transport.
Bicycling looks at Team New Zealand’s efforts to pedal to victory in the America’s Cup.
An Aussie news site examines how cycling culture around the world differs from Australia’s not-so-great approach.
Taipei is cracking down on sidewalk riders.
And Lance finally gets around to admitting he was a dick. Which everyone else knew a long time ago.