Tag Archive for Michigan

Hunt is on for road-raging Carlsbad bicyclist, and stoned Michigan driver to face charges in Make-A-Wish crash

Happy Veteran’s Day to all those who have served our country! 

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Before we get going, it’s time to start digging under your sofa cushions to save up for the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive later this month. 

The fund drive page is now live, which wasn’t hard to do since I never got around to taking down last year’s page, in case anyone feels an urgent need to contribute before we officially get going on the 25th. 

And I’m open to suggestions if you can recommend a good payment app, since there are always people who ask for an alternative to PayPal or Zelle each year.

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We now have a photo of the road-raging Carlsbad bicyclist who attacked a car driven by a pair of teens.

The man reportedly responded to being yelled at by one of the kids by trying to open their car door and punching a window, before smashing their windshield. He then rode off, but allegedly lay in wait for them down the road.

As we have repeatedly said, there is never any excuse for violence, no matter how justified it may seem at the time.

Now instead of being the victim of an angry driver, a bike rider finds himself a wanted criminal who could face serious charges and be subject to damages once he’s found.

And he will be found.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

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A Michigan woman has been ordered to stand trial later this month in the drugged driving crash that killed two people participating in a Make-A-Wish fundraising ride.

Forty-two-year old Mandy Marie Benn was reportedly visibly impaired on a cocktail of drugs including Vicodin, Suboxone, and Lorazepam. She was also participating in a Facebook group chat while she drove, saying moments before the crash that she wanted to die.

Instead, she took two innocent lives.

She faces up to 15 years each on two felony counts of operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance causing death.

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If you’re feeling more crowded on the roads, it’s because you are.

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

A Vancouver woman was seriously injured when she was pushed off her bike by a bystander acting on the orders of a fake cop, for the crime of riding too close to a man who claimed to be an off-duty police officer.

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

Authorities in Florida discovered “concerning manifestos” in the home of a bike-riding man who was seen shooting bullets into the ocean, then seen four hours later riding his bike near where a man was found shot to death under an overpass.

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Local

Streetsblog offers updates on new bike lanes in DTLA, as well as plans for a quick-build bike lane on Anaheim Street in Wilmington.

Metro is hosting a community meeting on Wednesday, as well as a bike rodeo next month, to gather input on first mile/last mile connections for the Sepulveda G LIne, nee Orange Line, station.

Glendora is working with Active SGV to finalize plans for a new greenway trail along the San Dimas Wash.

Speaking of Streetsblog, the transportation news site is honoring LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell with their Streetsie Award for 2022 Elected Official of the Year at Mercado La Paloma on December 1st.

 

State 

The Contra Costa County district attorney has decided not to prosecute officers involved in a fatal shooting, who was killed by police after a passing bike rider noticed the victim dumping a woman’s body off the side of the road.

A woman suspected in a Tulare County hit-and-run has turned herself in, four days after the crash that killed a man walking his bicycle.

 

National

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg discusses new infrastructure projects designed to make cities safer for bike riders and pedestrians, saying there are places where cars wouldn’t make any sense if you were starting from scratch.

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride with your dogMy best tip is to get a tandem with an usually low stoker position, and let the dog do its own damn pedaling. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Seattle-based Rad Power is recalling 30,000 RadWagon 4 Electric Cargo Bikes due to a defective wheel strip that can allow tires and tubes to become damaged while in use.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a ghost bike for a 13-year old Washington boy who was killed by a driver who went through the crosswalk he was riding in; fortunately, the bike was returned when someone at a scrap yard recognized it and returned it to his family.

The news keeps getting worse from Las Vegas, where it turns out the two mountain bikers killed by an alleged drunk driver during a serial hit-and-run were a couple who had been dating for ten years.

Nevada state police officials are reporting a startling increase in bicycling deaths this year, with eleven people killed riding bikes so far this year — double the number this time last year.

A local group is giving away 500 bicycles, helmets, locks and a t-shirt to kids in need before Sunday’s El Tour de Tucson.

Utah has banned offroad ebike use in protected wildlife areas.

Boise, Idaho is redrawing plans for a protected bike lane after complaints that it would interfere with parents picking up their children from a Catholic school, apparently thinking the ability to drive up to the door is more important than allowing their kids to safely bike there.

That’s more like it. A 22-year old Michigan man will spend 20 to 40 years behind bars after he was sentenced for the hit-and-run death of a five year old boy who was riding his bike in a crosswalk with the rest of his family; his two younger siblings remain traumatized after witnessing the crash.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts judge expressed skepticism over new bendy post-protected bike lanes, saying in response to a lawsuit intended to stop them that the streets appear to be too narrow for them. Which isn’t a decision a judge with no traffic planning experience should be making.

The Boston Globe says a tandem is the perfect way to double your pleasure on the road.

A 12-year old Erie, Pennsylvania boy was severely beaten by two unknown attackers as he was riding his bike somewhere in the city; police were having trouble locating the site because the boy doesn’t speak English and was relying on a translator. No word on whether he was attacked for his bike, or for some other reason.

 

International

Amazon is being criticized for selling tuning kits that can override ebike speed restrictions, allowing the riders to exceed European limitations.

Bike commuters in Manchester, England complain that road signs blocking a bike lane and construction work on the roadway have turned the street into a “lethal mess.”

The death of a Berlin bike rider after climate protestors blocked a roadway, delaying the arrival of first responders, is provoking debate over the tactic even though a doctor insists his death wasn’t caused by the delay.

A delegate to the COP27 climate conference from the Côte d’Ivoire, aka Ivory Coast, has gained a reputation as Africa’s cycling ambassador as he attends every session wearing his hi-viz bike helmet.

A South African construction worker was found dead on the road after he was knocked off his bicycle by someone swinging a piece of wood, then stabbed in the neck; he was killed after winning a large sum of money at a local bar.

A New Zealand woman blames a moment’s inattention by a driver for the crash that left her with a badly broken arm. But at least the driver hit her bike just outside the emergency room at a local hospital.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist and former ski jumper Primož Roglič will be out of commission for another month following shoulder surgery, after dislocating it in a high-speed crash during stage 5 of the Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Why take the blame for losing an MMA title fight when you can blame it on a “vicious” bike crash?

And that feeling when you’re chasing a bear, rather than the other way around.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Killer Michigan drugged driver allegedly a repeat offender, and California to get $631 million for climate resilient infrastructure

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

The 43-year old woman who killed two men and critically injured three others participating in a 300-mile Michigan fundraising ride for the Make-A-Wish program faces her second arrest for driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

Mandy Marie Benn reportedly had been prescribed Aderall and Suboxone, and had prescription bottles for Benzodiazepine in her car at the time of the crash.

Suboxone is used to treat opioid addiction.

The prosecuting attorney in her case described her as so stoned that she “had slow and slurred speech, lack of balance and couldn’t follow instructions,” and told police the jumble of mangled bikes and bodies “almost looks real.”

She had previously been arrested on a charge of operating a vehicle while visibly impaired back five years earlier.

However, there’s no word on a conviction. Which suggests the charge was dropped or bargained away, allowing her to keep driving until she killed someone.

And she did.

Allegedly.

Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

Benn is charged with two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, as well as a couple misdemeanors charges.

She’s being held on a million dollars bail, and faces a maximum of 31 years behind bars.

Which pales in comparison to the cost paid by the victims and their families.

Meanwhile, the victims were identified as a 57-year old man and a 48-year old man, both from Michigan.

Two of the men who were injured have been released, while the third remains hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

And the Make-A-Wish foundation reports they’re “heartbroken” over the needless deaths and injuries.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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U.S. Senator Alex Padilla announced that California will receive over $631 million for “climate resilient transportation infrastructure” over the next five years through the federal infrastructure bill pass last year.

The bill includes provisions for transit, bicycling and pedestrian projects designed to combat extreme weather conditions.

Meanwhile, Calbike looks at how pandemic bike riding led to the birth of SB 932, the Plan for the Future Bill.

The bill from California Senator Anthony Portantino, and sponsored by Streets for All and Calbike, requires local governments to include provisions to make streets safer for people biking, walking, using scooters and taking public transit in the circulation elements of their general plans.

And it includes deadlines for starting and finishing construction of the new facilities, so cities have to actually build them.

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Seriously?

A writer for City Watch says residents of Eagle Rock deserve better than a remake of Colorado Blvd to make it safer and more livable for everyone, accusing Metro of jamming plans for a bus rapid transit down down their throats.

Evidently, keeping it a deadly, traffic-inducing car sewer is somehow better for them, in some inexplicable way.

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Yes, you can do stunts on a commuter ebike.

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

Police in New Orleans are looking for a bike-riding man who fired a single shot at a group of people walking down the street.

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Local

A Los Angeles couple has filed suit against Seattle ebike maker Rad Power Bikes, blaming a flawed design that makes it difficult slow down and stop while going downhill for the death of their 12-year old daughter from head trauma last year.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines the newly renovated Culver Blvd bike path in Culver City, noting that the project improved pedestrian and rainwater facilities, but didn’t make major changes to the bikeway itself.

Helicopter and paramedic crews with the Los Angeles Fire Department rescued an injured mountain biker from a trail in in Shadow Hills on Saturday.

West Hollywood is now home to the next generation of Lime ebikes, with new ebikes from Bird coming later this month.

Santa Monica is planning another bike and pedestrian safety operation for today, ticketing any traffic violations that could put bike riders or pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. Which means the standard protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

 

State 

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 40-year old man was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike through an alley Monday morning.

Sad news from Grover Beach, too, where a 29-year old man on an ebike was killed when he reportedly crossed in front of an oncoming fire truck.

A 69-year old driver crashed into a Berkeley bike rider participating in a group ride Sunday afternoon, before slamming into three parked cars and flipping over; both the driver and the 29-year old man on the bike were taken to a local hospital with injuries that didn’t appear to be life-threatening.

SFist questions whether San Francisco’s mayor is trying to kill off the city’s popular Slow Streets program.

 

National

Ebike and e-scooter provider Bolt Mobility, founded by Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, has ceased operations in several cities virtually overnight, abandoning its vehicles on the streets.

Bike Portland talks with a disabled Portland woman and new bike rider who gained greater mobility on her adaptive bicycle. Proving once again that bikes are for everyone, not just for the healthy and strong.

A 16-year old Las Vegas boy has been missing since he left for his new job on Friday; his phone is turned off and his bike was found in a dumpster ten miles from his home.

Operators of Colorado’s Palisade Plunge mountain bike trail are urging everyone to beware of the scorching heat and bring extra water, after the heart-related death of one man.

Houston patients with pre or existing diabetes or hypertension can now get a prescription for rental bike use.

A Minnesota advocacy group offers a 45-minute recorded discussion on tips for utilitarian bicycling, complete with a print transcript in case you’d rather read it.

Bike lanes in a Boston neighborhood has become the latest battlefront in the battle over gentrification, as Black and Latino residents complain they’re neither needed or wanted by the residents in danger of being pushed out. Even though Black and Latino people ride bikes, too.

The New Yorker ponders what a 9,000 pound electric vehicle should sound like, since silent cars and trucks pose a significant danger to bike riders and pedestrians who rely on vehicle noise for their safety.

That’s a good problem to have. The Manhattan Borough president is suggesting that the city convert a traffic lane on the West Side Highway to a separated bike path to relieve bike traffic congestion on the popular Hudson River Greenway.

NPR talks with the Director of Transportation for Hoboken about how the New Jersey city has eliminated traffic deaths for the past four years through a series of incremental safety changes.

Another reminder to always carry ID when you ride a bike, as authorities in Baton Rouge, Louisiana struggle to identify a man killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding a bike.

 

International

After a British teacher flipped over his handlebars and broke his collarbone, he credited the what3words app with pinpointing his rural location for the paramedics.

Here are 18 bicycling routes throughout the island nation for your next trip to Singapore.

 

Competitive Cycling

Another day, another major crash in track cycling at the Commonwealth Games; Australia is leading a push for better safety measures.

Veteran Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten says she’s “super proud” to have won the first women’s Tour de France in 33 years, despite nearly quitting due to stomach issues early in the week.

The Astana Qazaqstan cycling team reinstated Colombian rider Miguel Ángel López after he was questioned, and apparently cleared, in the investigation into the alleged activities of a Spanish doctor suspected of drug trafficking.

 

Finally…

Celebrate a Tour de France finish on your next bike ride, complete with cheering fans. Your next ebike could have a built-in boombox to annoy everyone as you ride by.

And Aquaman is one of us.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Alleged DUI Michigan driver kills 2 fundraising riders and injures 3 others, and Culver City remakes Culver Blvd bike path

Once again, a motor vehicle in the wrong hands has become a weapon of mass destruction.

Two people were killed, and three critically injured, when an alleged DUI driver plowed into a group of bicyclists participating in a Michigan Make-A-Wish fundraising ride.

The driver reportedly crossed the center line in an ill-advised effort to pass a slower driver, hitting the victims head-on.

Meanwhile, a Canton, Michigan family went out on their own as a tribute to the victims, after the third and final day of the ride was cancelled in the wake of the crash.

This comes just six years and less than 70 miles from the infamous Kalamazoo massacre, where a stoned driver killed five people and injured several others taking part in a weekly ride.

That driver was sentenced to a well-deserved 40 years behind bars.

Let’s hope this one sees the same sort of justice.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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The knock on the Culver Blvd bike path has always been the increased risk bike riders face at intersections.

Hopefully they’ve improved the signaling to improve safety.

https://twitter.com/schneider/status/1552803279628685313

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If you’ve been reading this site over the last decade or so, you’ll know I’m a big fan of the Militant Angeleno’s CicLAvia guides, and even co-hosted a epic guided ride with the notoriously shy masked man during the CicLAvia celebrating the LA Symphony’s 100th anniversary.

He’s never asked us for anything in return.

Until now.

Now, for the first time, the Militant is asking you to send a little much-deserved love his way, in the form of a PayPal donation.

So I hope you’ll join me in opening your heart and wallet to support one of the city’s most loved personalities.

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This, too, is the cost of traffic violence.

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

They clearly don’t get it. A Staten Island website complains about plans for a road diet and removing parking spaces, saying bike lanes aren’t the answer to speeding drivers. Except that’s exactly what road diets are for, and bike lanes are just a tool to narrow traffic lanes and force drivers to slow down.

You’ve got to be kidding. A New Jersey columnist sides with a Jersey City councilmember who fled the scene after crashing into a bike rider, saying the crash shows bicyclists think they’re above the law. I’d say hit-and-run is just a tad more serious than mistakenly thinking you’ve got the green light, as the rider claimed. But that’s just me.

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

New York police are looking for a bike-riding snatch-and-grab thief who is targeting women to steal their cellphones.

Um, no.  A British bike courier faces charges after going on a rampage when his bike was stolen, smashing the windows on twelve businesses with his U-lock, then attacking the cops who tried to stop him. Seriously, don’t do that.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a bike-riding man walked with an 18-month suspended sentence for plowing into a pedestrian, leaving the man with a serious brain injury.

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Local

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal to decriminalize riding a bike on a sidewalk tomorrow, in response to an LA Times investigative report that showed sheriff’s deputies used the sidewalk ban to disproportionately target people of color.

NBA great LeBron James puts his money where his passion lies, investing $30 million dollars in Germany-based, direct-to-consumer Canyon Bicycles.

 

State 

No surprise here. The family of a 34-year-old man who was killed riding an e-scooter in a bike lane on San Diego’s Pershing Drive is suing the city; John Sepulveda was killed just two months and a few blocks from where noted architect Laura Shinn was killed by an allegedly stoned driver while riding her bike.

This is who we share the road with, too. A Riverside man is being hailed as a hero after he ran into busy freeway traffic to save the life of a motorcyclist caught up in a multi-car crash.

Hats off to Simi Valley Eagle Scout Chad Agruso, who installed a bike repair station on the Arroyo Simi Greenway Bike Trail.

Camarillo and Ventura County are considering a proposal to extend the Calleguas Creek bike path from Pleasant Valley Road to California State University Channel Islands, and possibly beyond.

Life is cheap in Bakersfield, where a woman walked with a lousy two-years probation for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider. And then we wonder why drivers don’t take hit-and-run seriously. Or killing someone, for that matter.

Sad news from Fresno, where a 23-year veteran of the police department was killed in a collision while riding a bicycle on Saturday; he was taking part in the annual Tour De Lakes put on by the Fresno Cycling Club.

Caltrans has begun taking comments on building a comprehensive multimodal corridor plan for the I-5 corridor through Sacramento County, which will analyze impacts to all modes of transportation, including bicycling and walking.

 

National

REI is holding a bike sale through August 8th.

Streetsblog examines what’s in the new Senate climate bill for sustainable transportation — and what isn’t. Hint: Ebike rebates.

Google Maps will soon offer information on bike lanes, hills and turn-by-turn directions specifically for people on bicycles.

Bike Portland offers a photo essay from this weekend’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, easily one of the nation’s largest.

Portland celebrated the opening of a long-awaited new bike and pedestrian bridge named for bike-riding Congressman Earl Blumenauer.

Seattle’s Critical Mass ride turned into a memorial for a fallen bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run earlier this month, as the victim’s widow insisted “We should all be safe.” Thanks to Pops for the heads-up. 

A kindhearted Choctaw Nation Tribal cop bought a new bike for a 13-year old girl on the Oklahoma reservation, after hers was stolen.

Two Minnesota bike riders were collateral damage when a driver’s SUV rolled over following a collision, and crashed into them as they waited at an intersection; both victims were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Christian singer Amy Grant is reportedly resting comfortably at home in Nashville after she was released from the hospital following a fall off her bike, postponing all her concerts planned for this month.

They get it. A Buffalo NY editorial board says rising bike and pedestrian deaths demand better road designs.

They get it, too. DC is considering allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and banning right turn on red for drivers.

 

International

Road.cc offers helpful advice on what to do if an airline loses your bike. Hint: Don’t go ballistic and trash all their planes, tempting though it may be.

Vancouver responds to a recent bicycling death by making sideguards mandatory for city-owned heavy trucks.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a custom adaptive bike from a ten-year old Calgary girl with cerebral palsy.

A Toronto paper says making a right turn on a bike is harder than you think, offering tips on the right way to do it — including taking the whole right lane.

Welsh leaders back off plans to improve safety for everyone by reducing speeds to 20 mph after drivers complained, and will now raise speed limits back to 30 mph on some roads.

Dangerous drivers aren’t the only risk Ukrainian bike riders face, as a woman was lucky to escape harm by riding away just seconds before a Russian rocket struck.

Bicyclists in Malta are complaining that the island’s bike lanes must be designed by someone who has never ridden a bike. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

China is once again the bicycle kingdom, as the coronavirus and rising fuel prices bring bikes back in vogue.

 

Competitive Cycling

Maybe it’s the Rouleur jinx. Just one day after the European cycling magazine asked if the great Marianne Vos could continue to dominate the Tour de France Femmes, the answer was no.

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten made that an emphatic “no,” burying the field with a solo attack on Saturday’s penultimate stage, and winning by a whopping three minutes and 26 seconds.

The 39-year old Dutch cyclist somehow survived six bike changes due to a mechanical issue early in Sunday’s eighth and final stage to win the Tour with a final margin of 3 minutes and 48 seconds; van Vleuten’s win comes six years after her horrific crash in the Rio Olympics.

Twenty-seven-year old Veronica Ewers was the top American finisher in 7th place.

CNN calls the inaugural race an “absolutely beautiful moment” that can change women’s cycling.

Sunday’s morning track cycling session at the Commonwealth Games was cancelled due to a mass crash in which England’s Matt Walls and Canada’s Derek Gee went over the wall into the crowd; Walls was treated for over 40 minutes before leaving in an ambulance.

American mountain bikers made history, as Christopher Blevins and Gwendalyn Gibson topped the men’s and women’s podiums at the UCI mountain bike World Cup in Snowshoe, West Virginia, the first time Americans have won both races.

The second edition of L39ION of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams’s Into the Lion’s Den crit has been postponed until next year.

 

Finally…

When you’re riding your bike with a joint and a couple stolen social security cards, put a damn light on it. Or when you’ve got an open beer, meth and three ounces of weed on your bike, maybe try riding with traffic, instead.

And that feeling when you enjoy a romantic tandem ride with 330 million of your closest friends.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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