Tag Archive for Oklahoma

Video highlights LA Vision Zero fail, missing OK bike riders murdered, and Times endorses Soto-Martínez in DC13

It’s been seven years since Eric Garcetti signed the Vision Zero declaration, which committed Los Angeles to ending traffic deaths by 2025.

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

It wasn’t long before the city realized just how hard that would be, and how much change it would require, before quickly shoving it far back on the shelf where they hoped no one would notice.

Funny thing is, though, we told them that. The city held a series of public meetings and solicited comments from the public — without bothering to enlist the advocates who had fought for it.

But we showed up anyway.

One of the biggest things people stressed in these meetings was that it would require wholesale changes in how we get around. Something that somehow didn’t make it into the final Vision Zero Action Plan, which instead proposed a policy of nibbling at the edges of the city’s most dangerous corridors, in hopes the combined incremental changes might somehow make a difference.

You can see how well that worked out.

Another thing we stressed was the need for a change in attitude among LA drivers, assuring the city the program would fail unless there was a large scale reeducation campaign informing motorists that they don’t, in fact, own the road, and that even the best drivers are capable of killing and maiming innocent people unless they learned to drive carefully around vulnerable road users.

And to use the long-abused and misused term, to share the road with people on bikes and on foot, making room and giving them a wide berth, rather than running them off the road.

That, too, was ignored.

I mention this because of this video posted by father and Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, as a driver on what should have been a quiet side street threatened to call the police because Schneider had the audacity to ride a cargo bike in the street with his four-year old kid.

https://twitter.com/schneider/status/1582041692110102529

I share it, not because it’s uncommon, but because this sort of crap is all too common.

There are few of us brave enough to mix it up with motor vehicles that haven’t run into drivers like this at one time or another. Sometime literally.

The attitude persists among too many drivers that streets are for cars, and too dangerous for people walking or on bicycles, without grasping the irony that they are the very people who keep that way.

Until that changes — or rather, until our elected leaders care enough about saving human lives to actually do something to make it change — Vision Zero will continue to fail.

And people will keep dying needlessly on our streets.

Photo from LA Streetsblog

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Speaking of Vision Zero, a pair of NACTO executives argue that cities urgently need to fix dangerous arterial streets, which make up just 15 percent of all roads but are responsible for a whopping 67 percent of pedestrian deaths.

And Streets For All is urging you to support a proposal for a pedestrian plaza on deadly Sawtelle Blvd at tonight’s Zoom meeting of the West LA Sawtelle Neighborhood Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

Because clearly, it’s up to us to keep pushing for a safer, more livable city for all Angelenos.

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It never seemed like the story of the missing Okmulgee, Oklahoma bike riders was going to end well.

But the real story is so much worse than anything we imagined.

The four friends inexplicably disappeared after setting out for a bike ride Sunday evening. A massive search turned up nothing, until their bodies were found Friday — shot, dismembered and dumped in a local river.

To complicate matters, it turns out the men were killed while committing, or at least planning, a crime. Although just what that crime might have been is unknown at this time.

Cellphone records show they traveled to a pair of salvage yards, five and eleven miles from where their bodies were found. One of which showed “evidence of a violent event” nearby.

Police are looking for a person of interest in the case, who also disappeared Sunday night, and reportedly may be suicidal.

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No, it’s not.

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This effectively makes the case for why slower speeds save lives, showing the difference between roughly 50 mph and 20 mph.

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Inspiring video demonstrating that bikes aren’t just for the able-bodied, as British pro mountain biker James Anderson competes despite suffering from Monoplegia, an acute form of Cerebral Palsy.

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

Police in New York are looking for the bike-riding man accused of two sexual assaults in the East Side and West Village neighborhoods. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough. 

A British mother of four claims she was forced to sell drugs after failing in debt to a drug gang, after she was busted for peddling heroin and coke by bike.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times makes a surprising endorsement, picking challenger Hugo Soto-Martínez over incumbent CD13 Councilmember and acting council president Mitch O’Farrell.

Councilmembers Kevin de León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo have been stripped of their committee assignments, as pressure mounts for them to resign in the wake of a racist taped conversation that was leaked last week.

People for Mobility Justice is teaming with Metro to host a free bike tour of East LA taco vendors and bike infrastructure this evening, starting at Mariachi Plaza.

WeHoVille gets the candidates for West Hollywood City Council — or most of them, anyway — on the record for their support, or the lack thereof, for proposed protected bike lanes on deadly Fountain Ave. Too many of whom insist on seeing it from a windshield perspective, preferring to protect parking and high-speed traffic over human lives. 

Metro is hosting a webinar meeting tonight to discuss bike and pedestrian improvements near the planned Sepulveda Blvd G Line — aka Orange Line — station.

Metro has released an interactive map of its Draft Prioritized Active Transportation Network, showing where in LA County the agency thinks it should make multimodal improvements

 

State 

No surprise here, as pedestrians made up 25% of all traffic traffic fatalities in California in 2020, with pedestrian deaths climbing 4% over the previous year.

Carlsbad’s Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream is hosting a fundraiser today for a local firefighter and his 16-month old daughter, after their wife and mother were killed by a driver while riding her ebike with the girl in August.

Sad news from Kern County, where a Bakersfield man was killed riding a bicycle in the city early Saturday morning.

San Francisco is headed for its worst year for traffic deaths and injuries in 15 years, making its goal of zero traffic deaths by 2024 increasingly unlikely; researchers blame inadequate and misdirected police enforcement.

More sad news, as the CHP is searching for the hit-and-run driver who killed a man who was riding a bike in Sacramento just after midnight Sunday; the victim wasn’t carrying ID and hasn’t been identified. Meanwhile, a CHP officer is in critical condition after he was struck by a drunk driver while investigating the crash.

 

National

He gets it. CNN’s Chris Cillizza uses Black Panther’s African utopia of Wakanda as a model to illustrate why it’s time to move our cities beyond the failed and destructive age of car culture.

A mom of twins offers a rave review of her first thousand miles on an e-cargo bike.

Cycling Weekly shares some of the best custom and yet-to-be-released handmade bikes from Portland’s seventh annual Chris King Open House, while Cycling News highlights five bikes from London’s recent Bespoked custom bike show.

The Las Vegas Raiders are adding additional bike racks and planning to stripe bike lanes outside their stadium, in response to demand from fans riding bikes to the games.

Horrible story from Michigan, where a bike rider was killed when he was dragged several blocks underneath a car by a hit-and-run driver.

The New York Civil Liberties Union is arguing a case before the state Supreme Court, demanding that cops and courts treat search and seizure of people on bicycles the same as they do people in cars.

 

International

A new international study shows a bike rider in New York is 25 times more likely to be killed than a similar rider in Vancouver, and faces roughly the same risk as a bicyclist in Auckland or Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, Los Angeles wasn’t included in the study.

This is who we share the road with. A Welsh driver was allegedly using Facebook and Instagram behind the wheel, moments before killing an off-duty police sergeant as she was riding a bicycle; he claims it was his 13-month old son using his phone at the time of the crash.  Sure, let’s go with that.

 

Competitive Cycling

An Irish columnist marks the 10th anniversary of Lance Armstrong’s downfall by arguing that his punishment was “draconian and probably excessive,” but caused by the same “bloody-mindedness” that led to his seven Tour de France wins.

Former Italian great Mario Cipollini was sentenced to three years and a fine of 85,000 euros — the equivalent of nearly $83,750 — after being convicted of domestic abuse and threats against his ex-wife and her current partner.

US national road race champ Kyle Murphy has signed with L39ion of Los Angeles, as the LA-based cycling team apparently looks to compete as a Continental team next year, after dominating the American crit scene.

Zwift is sponsoring the first physical location for the LA Bicycle Academy, a cycling team founded and led by people of color to help young people from underserved communities enter the sport.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the internet has misses the point entirely. Or when your only race fan is a monkey. No, a real one.

And apparently, bicycling fashion has changed just a tad over the years.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Northvale Gap can kicked down the road, missing OK bike riders possibly found, and hope for safety once Roadkill Gil resigns

LADOT appears to be kicking the Northvale Gap can down the road once again.

Writing for Streetsblog, Jonathan Weiss reports the city transportation agency says construction on closing the gap along the E Line, nee Expo Line, through Cheviot Hills will now begin in 2024, after most recently promising to start this year.

This comes a full decade after the Westside train line, and the rest of the bikeway accompanying it, opened.

The city decided to skip the section along Northvale Road after litigious residents rose up in arms over fears that bike-riding burglars would utilize the path to make off with their big screen TVs and other valuables.

So instead of riding safely and comfortably in a channel behind their homes, bicyclists riding the Expo path are forced to take the steep hill in front of them, while the city forks out tens of millions more over what it would have cost to have closed the gap when the train line opened.

How that improves security, or anything else, for the handful of overly entitled homeowners along the street is beyond me.

Rendering of Northvale Gap Expo Line path from LADOT, courtesy of LA Streetsblog

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Heartbreaking news from Oklahoma, where four unidentified male bodies were pulled out of a river outside of the small town of Okmulgee on Friday, five days after four friends disappeared shortly after setting out on a bike ride Sunday evening.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up. 

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The sooner “Roadkill” Gil resigns, the sooner we can start seeing the safety improvements he’s blocked for the past nine years.

Although he seems to be dragging his feet.

Speaking of Eunisses Hernandez, it couldn’t hurt to get some bus, bike and pedestrian supporters on her staff, if you’re looking for work.

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A reminder that LADOT wants to talk bikeways in Del Rey tomorrow.

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Today’s common theme is ebikes.

Bicycling offers a guide to everything you need to know to start commuting by ebike, but were afraid to ask. Short version: Get an ebike, start commuting. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

The magazine also offers tips on riding an ebike in the rain, insisting you can do it safely with a few simple precautions. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Marketplace says the popularity of ebikes is soaring, but not everyone is convinced — including host Kai Ryssdal.

And a government technology site says ebikes are gaining momentum as a solution for climate change and traffic congestion.

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

A teenage driver was arrested for ramming a bike rider outside Dublin, Ireland, apparently intentionally, in an assault that was stupidly recorded and posted online.

A British driver was fined a total of 451 pounds — the equivalent of $506 — for a breathtakingly close call after he ran a red light and nearly slammed into a boy crossing on his bike.

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

A Michigan man faces charges for robbing a business before making his escape by bicycle; police tracked the suspect to his home a few hours later.

Police in Ithaca NY are looking for a bike-riding man who pointed a gun at a motorist, for no apparent reason.

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Local

KTLA-5’s Sam Rubin and Eric Spillman completed last week’s Bike MS: Bay to Bay charity ride from Irvine to San Diego Bay. Although I’m not sure just what Bay they’re referring to in landlocked Irvine.

The Pasadena City Council voted unanimously to include the Arroyo Link in a request for Metro funding after the cancellation of a planned grade separation for the Metro L Line, aka Gold Line; it would create a multi-use path for walking, biking and jogging from Old Pasadena to the Arroyo Seco along the route of the partially built, 1899 elevated bikeway.

 

State 

San Diego’s bicycle-themed Rouleur Brewing Company won gold in Denver’s annual Great American Beer Festival for their Domestique Blonde Ale in the “Belgian-style Ale or French-style Ale” category; 11 other San Diego-area breweries were also honored.

San Francisco follows New York’s lead in exploring bounties to report drivers blocking bike lanes. If they’d do that here in LA, we could all retire comfortably.

 

National

Even Car & Driver questions whether it’s time to reverse the national “Right on Red” trend of the 1970s, as DC bans the procedure to protect bike riders and pedestrians.

Outside reviews ten plus-sized mountain bike shorts for men and women.

Milwaukee residents were outraged by video of a white man grabbing a Black teen by the throat while holding his bicycle to prevent him from leaving, accusing the kid’s friends of stealing a bike from the man’s friend’s yard. No word on how he knew they were the right kids, or that the teen had anything to do with it.

Over a hundred New Yorkers turned out for a bike tour of Harlem to demand a protected bike lane on Adam Clayton Powell Blvd to provide “Black and Brown people…safe passage to Central Park.”

A nonprofit and a local distributing company teamed up to give new bicycles to the entire first grade class at a Baltimore elementary school.

A South Carolina Uber driver faces a lawsuit for killing a man on a bicycle while he was checking the company’s app on his phone; he faces a charge of careless driving for somehow failing to see the rider decked out in a reflective vest, with front and rear lights on his bike, as he rode right in front of him.

A Florida man faces an attempted murder charge for shooting at, but apparently not hitting, another man in a dispute over bike parts outside a convenience store. As we’ve said before, no bike is worth a life. And especially not bike parts.

 

International

Road.cc examines the differences between gravel and endurance bikes.

Cycling Weekly explains everything you need to know before buying your first gravel bike, followed by five gravel bike upgrades to help you go faster and/or farther.

A delivery rider was attacked with a knife by a teen bike rider in a dispute that began when their bikes collided on a London bike path.

The Peak highlights six of the world’s most scenic bike trails, including the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route through the US and Canada, although they rank a Vietnamese trail as number one.

Olivia Williams is one of us, as the British actor rides her bike in London while she prepares to portray the new Queen Consort Camilla Parker Bowles in new season of The Crown.

An 82-year old English man says he’d rather go to prison than pay a £100 fine — the equivalent of $112 — after he was ticketed for riding a bike through the town center, just as he has for over 40 years.

She gets it. A Belfast, Northern Ireland columnist says vilifying bike riders is dangerous and irresponsible, and it’s selfish for drivers to complain about someone on a bicycle slowing them down. I like her already.

Irish families are reportedly distraught over plans to put a bike lane through a Dublin cemetery. Although something tells me the residents won’t object.

Bloomberg examines the decades-long campaign to reclaim the streets of Amsterdam for people on two wheels. Thanks to Victor Bale for the link.

Brussels’ Minister of Mobility, Public Works and Road Safety says death threats won’t stop her from implementing the city’s plan to reduce motor vehicle traffic by nearly 25%, while improving streets for people on two wheels or on foot.

The Associated Press of Pakistan offers a great photo of a man with his bicycle loaded down with a massive bundle of sticks.

 

Competitive Cycling

Road.cc talks with French road race and time trial champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot, who’s looking forward to next year after suffering a stroke on the eve of last month’s world championships.

American Nielson Powless got his first win of the year in his final race of the year, as his EF Education-EasyPost team took the top two spots at the Japan Cup.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can buy a brand new Porsche for just $11,750. Your next GMC could be a VanMoof. Or maybe vice versa.

And more proof you can carry — or tow — anything on a bike.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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