Tag Archive for Texas

Pity the poor oppressed drivers, killer Texas driver blind in one eye & can’t see out of the other, and ’tis the season

It’s the final week of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just five more days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. 

It was a record-setting weekend, easily topping last year’s record 73 donations.

So let’s all thank Alissa C, Joel S, Gregory S, John C, Adrienne G, David A, Steven Y, Heather J, Matthew R, Steven F, Brer M, Mitchel D, Jeff M and Joel F for their generous donations to keep all the best bike news coming your way every day.

Which raises the question, what are you waiting for, already?

Take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

Today’s must read comes from The Guardian.

Columnist Catherine Bennett writes in sympathy to all the poor, oppressed drivers forced to share the road with the rest of us.

Reports from the frontline of the war on motorists have made distressing reading for some vehicle owners. With low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) surviving both physical and media assault, improved protections for pedestrians and cyclists in a revised Highway Code will weaken still further, they discover, a right to road domination long understood to be, if not divinely ordained, something even better: unassailable.

She goes on to discuss an unfortunate driver who was sentenced to a whole 18 months behind bars and a three-year driving ban for chasing, and ultimately running over a man on a bicycle, recording the entire intentional attack on his dash cam accompanied by his screaming wife.

And leaving his victim “fortunate to survive injuries including a fractured pelvis, torn genitals, six broken ribs and a punctured liver.”

She concludes this way.

Teachable moment: if you want to behave recklessly and dangerously on a road without incarceration, inconvenience, or even incurring a large fine, it’s advisable to do it inside a car. As for almost killing a stranger in a moment of madness: that too, as demonstrated by Mr Moult, is best done, for the avoidance of more stringent penalties, from a seatbelted position inside, for preference, one of the car industry’s more environmentally objectionable models.

Seriously, read it.

………

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

The 66-year old Texas driver who slammed into a group of cross-country bicyclists, killing a Massachusetts man and injuring two others — including a Santa Rosa woman —  explained the crash by telling police he’s blind in one eye and can’t see very well out of the other one.

So why the hell was he still allowed to drive?

Someone, somewhere, should have noticed his vision problems and got him off the streets before he killed someone.

Not after.

Just one more example of the convenience of drivers being given priority over the safety of everyone else.

………

‘Tis the season.

Orange County’s Bicycle Santas are back after last year’s forced hiatus, donating 80 bicycles to FaCT (Families And Communities Together, Orange County).

Around 200 Portland kids can expect new bikes, thanks to a group collecting bicycles and tricycles for children in need under five years old.

A Boulder, Colorado program has provided anywhere from 300 to 500 refurbished bikes for local kids each year for the past 15 years, as well as 50 ebikes for essential workers this year, funded by a state grant.

A massive bike donation program in Syracuse NY celebrated its 25th year by giving away 2,000 bicycles to people in need.

Donations are still being sought for a Virginia Beach VA foundation, where organizers hope to distribute 300 bikes to kids this Christmas.

Fayetteville, North Carolina’s famed Bicycle Man charity is giving away around 1,000 new and refurbished bicycles, after delaying last year’s giveaway due to the pandemic. The longtime community activist started by repairing bikes in his garage; his wife took over following his death eight years ago.

A church in Columbia, South Carolina is continuing their tradition of refurbishing around a hundred bicycles a year to give to local kids.

Louisiana’s Terrbone Parish hosted a bike and toy giveaway, with 300 bicycles given to children in need, including families still suffering from 2009’s Hurricane Ida.

A Cajun Country car club donated three custom-built adaptive bikes to special needs kids in Louisiana.

Nearly one hundred kids got new bicycles in a Daytona Beach park.

Today’s list also includes one of our own sponsors, San Diego bike lawyer Richard L. Duquette, who is now among latest sponsors of the Bikes 4 Kids Project.

………

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

As usual, there’s no shortage of anti-bike letter writers, who put their bias on full display in response to Michael’s Schneider’s recent op-ed calling on officials to drop their opposition to bike lanes; one writer said people on bicycles are usually very fit and very brave, and so there’s no point wasting our streets on a tiny niche. Cleary, he hasn’t met many of us.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Irish man walked with a suspended sentence after threatening a female bike cop, promising the court he’s a changed man and will never, ever do it again — even though seven of his 72 previous convictions were for threatening behavior. Yes, 72.

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

Authorities in Florida are on the lookout for a man who fled on a cruiser bike after robbing a convenience store with a sawed-off shotgun.

A bike-riding man in Osaka, Japan is under investigation for an apparent arson fire that killed 24 people at a mental health clinic where he was a patient.

………

Local

The Los Angeles Times asks if drivers are angrier these days, and goes on to answer their own question — an average of 42 people a month were shot or wounded in road rage shootings in the past year, double the previous average. And one person was shot or injured every 18 hours in the US this year.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines the new MOVE Culver City project, and concludes Downtown Culver City just got more walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly.

Electrek says if you’re still waiting for a new ebike, it’s probably stuck on a ship off Long Beach.

 

State

Streetsblog California looks at what’s in the new federal infrastructure bill for the state.

A Chula Vista bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was rear-ended by a driver following some “miscommunication,” because the bike lane was clogged with storm debris.

Family members remember Ricardo Serrano, the 15-year old boy killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding his bicycle in Victorville less than a mile from his school earlier this month.

 

National

Nice tradition in one Billings, Montana neighborhood, where residents still light luminarias every Christmas Eve in memory of a 12-year old boy who was killed  by a driver while riding his bicycle in 1962.

A 22-year old Mad City, Wisconsin man operates a one-person bicycle recovery program within the police department.

One person is dead, and seven injured, after nine ebike batteries blew up while being recharged in New York overnight, sparking a massive fire; two teens were forced to shinny four stories down an exterior pipe to escape the blaze.

A Steetsblog op-ed observes that bike booms come and go, so the New York’s new mayor has to seize the moment to make transformative change.

A stoned Long Island utility worker faces 3.5 to 10 years behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle while high on meth, amphetamines and fentanyl; he slammed into five separate vehicles after running a red light, fled that crash before hitting the victim, fled again and ultimately attacked another driver after slamming head-on into the man’s truck.

A certified cycling instructor in Jersey City NJ says there’s currently a de facto ban on bicycling for transportation in the city.

She gets it. A DC columnist says a five-year old girl recently killed by a driver while riding in a crosswalk with her father deserved better, and should leave behind a legacy of safer streets.

A Norfolk, Virginia man has filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the local police for excessive use of force, after a cop tackled him off his bike for the crime of riding without a headlight, breaking his leg in three places; needless to say, an internal investigation concluded the cop didn’t do anything wrong.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana continues to make progress on accommodating people on bicycles, with plans in the works for a bike path that would wind through five parishes, the Louisiana equivalent of a county. And it only took four decades after I left.

Miami bike riders complain that new widely spaced rubber armadillos placed on a causeway to protect them from drivers have just replaced one danger with another one.

 

International

Road.cc examines the science behind flashing versus steady bike lights. So why does it have to be one or the other? I ride with a solid beam illuminating the roadway, and a flashing light to get drivers’ attention. 

Meanwhile, Road.cc’s off-road edition considers whether titanium is the ultimate frame material off-road bikes.

Buzzfeed considers 18 places around the world where cars are banned, and “no one seems to miss them.”

Life is cheap in Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where a parole board told a woman who was sentenced to five years behind bars after killing a man riding a bicycle and fleeing the scene while driving drunk last year can go home during the day.

London’s Independent considers the huge change a bicycle can make in a refugee’s life, and how you can contribute. Even if you have to read the story on Yahoo.

According to a recent survey, even though bicycling is up 30% in Scotland, 61% of bike riders say a lack of safe riding routes keeps them off their bikes.

It may be a long way to Tipperary, as the song says, but you may not find anywhere to park your bike in the Irish city once you get there.

A 70-year old blind Japanese woman has authored a picture book based on her own experience riding a bike for the first time at age 60.

A New Zealand woman can credit her two-year old rescue dog with saving her life following a bike crash, climbing up an embankment to get help after she had ridden off the edge.

 

Competitive Cycling

Now you, too, can own the bike Wout Van Aert rode to victory on Mount Ventoux in this year’s Tour de France; bidding currently stands at nearly $15,000.

USA Cycling announced a new national crit series with a $100,000 purse, although it currently features just six of the previous ten races.

 

Finally…

Learn how to ride a bike in real life, in the metaverse. That feeling when you go on to become a famous actress, even if your first stunt double was a bike-riding boy in a padded bra.

And yes, he gets it.

………

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

Calls for investigation into biased sheriff’s bike stops, multiple charges in Texas coal roll crash, and more fed bike funding

Let’s hope they take it seriously this time.

Los Angeles County leaders have called for an investigation into last week’s LA Times investigative report on the harassment bike riders face at the hands of sheriff’s deputies and the back seats of their patrol cars.

And Latino riders in particular.

The paper found that out of 44,000 bicycle stops conducted by LA County sheriff’s deputies, seven out of ten people stopped were Latino, and 85% of bike riders stopped were searched.

According to the paper, they found illegal items in just 8% of the searches — less than one half of one percent.

Never mind the highly questionable legality of those searches.

This is how a sheriff’s spokesperson explained it.

Riding a bike allows criminals “to traverse a neighborhood unnoticed, faster and safer than on foot, and additionally makes it easier to avoid police contact. We are not conducting traffic stops of persons obviously engaged in the use of a bicycle for exercise or amusement,” department spokeswoman Lt. Lorena Rodriguez said in September.

Apparently, no one wearing spandex has ever been up to no good.

Not to mention that bicycles allow perfectly law-abiding people to get to work, school and the market.

And for many, it’s the only form of transportation they have. But apparently, just riding a bike somehow makes people of color suspicious in the eyes of sheriff’s deputies.

Thankfully, LA County officials pushed back on Monday, with two county supervisors — Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis — calling for the legalization of sidewalk riding in unincorporated areas, which was used as a pretext for traffic stops in eight percent of the cases.

At the same time, members of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission asked the department’s inspector general to conduct an investigation into the report, and racial disparities in traffic stops in general. And to look into whether the agency should be conducting traffic stops to begin with.

All of which sounds good.

However, County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is notorious for ignoring efforts by members of the Board of Supervisors, the Oversight Commission and the Inspector General to look into his activities, or that of the department he leads, since his upset election three years ago — to the point of refusing to comply with legitimate subpoenas for information and testimony.

And so far, they’ve been unable, or unwilling, to force him to comply.

The excuse Villanueva has given is that he isn’t subject to their authority, having been elected directly by the people. Even though both county and state law allows for an oversight commission with direct authority over the sheriff.

So don’t hold your breath.

An investigation is definitely called for. But whether it will go anywhere remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, remember that you are under no obligation to let police or sheriff’s deputies search your belongings without a warrant. And they’re not likely to get one based on a simple traffic stop.

They have the right to ask you for identification, although there’s nothing in the law that says you need a driver’s license just to ride a bike.

But whether or not you consent to a search of your bike, pockets, bags or backpack is entirely up to you.

………

About damn time.

The district attorney in Waller County, Texas is finally getting around to filing charges, over six weeks after a teenage pickup driver ran down six bicyclists while attempting to blow exhaust smoke into their faces, a violent act known as rolling coal.

The 16-year old driver, who has not been publicly named, is expected to face six counts of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — one count for each victim, four of whom were hospitalized.

The charge carries a penalty of anywhere from two to 20 years for each count in Texas. However, as a juvenile, he is likely to face far less, unless he is tried as an adult.

Waller police came under intense criticism for failing to initially arrest, or at least ticket, the driver; as the investigation moved forward, it became clear the boy’s parents were influential in the community.

Meanwhile, Texas pickup drivers astutely note that rolling coal is for idiots.

………

More on the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill, which is currently awaiting Biden’s signature, as we continue to learn just what’s in it.

Bicycling Retailer reports that, in addition to the $11 billion in federal transportation safety funding we previously mentioned, the bill includes additional benefits for people who ride bikes, including Complete Streets and a big boost in the funding pool for bike projects.

The infrastructure bill includes:

  • An increase in funding for the Transportation Alternatives Program by 60%, with subsequent annual increases. The program is the largest source of federal dollars for bike projects like protected bike lanes, trails, and multi-use paths. The funding is currently limited to $850 million annually, and the bill would increase the program to $1.38 billion in 2022 and up to $1.48 billion in 2026.
  • A requirement for all states to develop standards for Complete Streets, a policy and design approach to ensure users of all ages and abilities have safe and convenient access.
  • A vulnerable road user assessment to determine how dangerous roads are for people outside of cars.
  • Inclusion of the model three-class e-bike definitions.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog lists several other “small victories” contained in the bill, including,

  • A new competitive grant program that will provide another $200 million a year to connect active transportation infrastructure to plug gaps in existing networks sand improve access to essential destinations
  • Another $200 million a year for the new Safe Streets for All program, which will fund Vision Zero projects throughout the U.S.
  • A further $200 million a year for the Reconnecting Communities pilot program, which will address the damages caused to BIPOC and low-income communities by the interstate highway system in a number of ways, including projects that promote active modes like pedestrian bridges and highway removals
  • A new requirement for states to devote 15 percent of their Highway Safety Improvement Program dollars to saving vulnerable road users’ lives if vulnerable road users make up 15 percent of their roadway deaths or more — a move that will impact nearly all coastal communities and a handful of upper midwestern states, too
  • A revision of federal crash reporting standards to better capture the causes of the pedestrian death crisis, including new provisions to better incorporate hospital data into federal stats, rather than just police data

………

San Diego County’s annual Udo Heinz Memorial Ride will roll out from Carlsbad on November 20th — a week from this coming Saturday.

This year’s ride will honor all fallen bicyclists, which the county has seen far too many of this year.

The ride was founded seven years ago in memory of Heinz, who was killed by an allegedly distracted bus driver while riding in Camp Pendleton in 2013.

Thanks to our latest sponsor, San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette, for the link. 

………

As we mentioned last week, the Los Angeles City Council’s Public Safety Committee voted to advance a proposal to ban bicycle chop shops on public property, even though chop shops dealing in stolen bicycles are already illegal.

This photo by David Drexler, of a homeless encampment at Venice and Grandview in Mar Vista, shows why it may matter, although it’s not clear from the photo whether that’s on a property belonging to the city.

If your bike disappeared in the area recently, you may be able to find it there.

Or part of it, anyway.

………

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

You’ve got to be kidding.

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

Police in Michigan busted a bike-riding bank robber as he made his getaway after allegedly hitting two banks in a single day.

………

Local

A Cheviot Hills website looks back to the earliest days of bicycling in West Los Angeles over a century ago, as the first generation of two wheelers gave way to more familiar names to Angeleno bicyclists, including local legends Alex Baum and Raymond Fouquet. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Long Beach could soon green light a $1.4 million project to improve traffic signals on deadly Los Coyotes Diagonal, including installation of new detectors for vehicles and bicycles. A good start, but what the street really needs is a road diet and protected bike lanes in both directions.

Authorities have identified the man killed by a gunman in Long Beach last week as a 31-year old father, who was riding his bike home from his studies to become a dental assistance; police believe the shooting was gang related.

 

State

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 13-year old Hemet boy went missing after he ran away from home on his bike two days before Halloween; he was eventually found as a John Doe in a local hospital, after he was struck by a driver just half an hour after leaving home.

A driver plowed into several bike riders near Los Olivos on Sunday, leaving one rider with serious injuries.

That’s more like it. San Jose bike cops will patrol a newly opened section of the Coyote Creek Trail ten hours a day, seven days a week. Something that should be done on at least a frequent basis on every bike trail, everywhere. Especially here in LA. 

Sad news from Stockton, where a 62-year old man was killed in a late night collision while riding his bike.

 

National

Bicycling says it’s time to switch to dry lube, already. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

The New York Times says the popularity of electric bikes doesn’t show any sign of fading, with ebike sales jumping 145% last year, and now outselling all-electric cars by more than two to one.

A Streetsblog op-ed says the revised edition of the MUTCD merely enshrines dangerous policies into law.

Alaska is experiencing a serious shortage of fat bikes and parts.

A Colorado bike rider shares what he learned tackling his first century ride.

Good idea. Link will cut the maximum speed in half for first-time e-scooter users in Hartford, Connecticut to improve safety until they get the hang of it.

Bike ridership on New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge nearly doubled over last year after a new two-way protected bike lane opened on the bridge in September.

 

International

Trek puts its money where its mouth is, pledging to match donations to World Bicycle Relief up to $500,000 through the end of the year; the nonprofit works to change lives by donating bicycles to people in need in developing areas.

Road.cc shares “affordable, high-quality” gadgets for bike riders for less than $135.

Interesting idea. A new light developed by a London designer shines a buffer grid onto the street around you, and automatically sends your location to a crowdsourced stress map when drivers get too close anyway.

Birmingham, England is finally getting around to installing bike lanes at an intersection where a young doctor was killed riding her bike four years ago.

British Transport Police are looking for a pair thieves who threatened a man with a weapon and wrested his bicycle away from while on board a train near Glasgow.

A 42-year old mother in the UK will spend the next five years behind bars for fleeing the scene following a drunk and stoned crash that killed a 61-year old man riding a bike; she told police the damage to her car was from hitting a fox. Although there may be a slight difference in size between a little fox and a grown man on a bicycle. 

An Aussie bike rider shares what it’s like to be dive-bombed by a swooping magpie.

 

Competitive Cycling

Fumiyuki Beppu, the first Japanese cyclist to reach racing’s highest level, called it a career after two full decades on the WorldTour.

 

Finally…

An ebike for people who like to pretend they’re on a modern motorcycle. When rumble strips protect the cars, not the other way around.

And that feeling when there’s an SUV parked on your singletrack trail.

https://twitter.com/SarahJ_Berry/status/1457115150583013380?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1457115150583013380%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-8-november-2021-287627

………

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

25×25 plan to reshape LA’s public spaces, man killed in Texas mass casualty bike crash, and Zuckerberg’s bad bike fit

Before we get started, there’s news of a 24-year old man killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike in Santa Ana early Friday morning.

However, I haven’t been able to find official confirmation of the crash, or any further details.

Hopefully we’ll learn more soon.

………

Streets For All announced a bold plan to reshape the streets of Los Angeles on Monday.

The group’s 25×25 plan calls for devoting 25% of the city’s public space back to the people, instead of cars.

Consider this manifesto from the opening page of the 25×25 website.

For over a century, the people of Los Angeles have been forced to accept a “normal” on our streets that is anything but:

  • It is not normal for a whole city to be crippled by traffic.
  • It is not normal to breathe poisonous air.
  • It is not normal for children to lack space to play.
  • It is not normal for jobs to be rendered inaccessible, especially for low-income communities and communities of color.
  • It is not normal for sidewalks to be impassable and broken.
  • It is not normal for bus service to be unreliable and late.
  • It is not normal to fear death and serious injury when crossing the street or riding a bike.

Streets For All envisions a city where the bus is never stuck in traffic. Where children can bike themselves to school. Where green space dots every corner of the city. Where everyone can get where they’re going quickly, with dignity and joy.

Streets For All is asking candidates in next years city elections to sign on to the 25×25 plan, with half of the candidates for city offices already endorsing it.

So far, more than 50% of viable candidates running in 2022 have already signed on:

Mayor: Jessica Lall
Controller: David Vahedi, Kenneth Mejia
City Attorney: Kevin James, Marina Torres
CD1: Eunisses Hernandez
CD3: Yasmine Pomeroy
CD5: Molly Basler, Jimmy Biblarz, Sam Yebri, Scott Epstein, Katy Yaroslavsky
CD9: Curren Price, Dulce Vasquez
CD13: Al Corado, Dylan Kendall, Hugo Soto-Martinez, Kate Pynoos
CD15: Bryant Odega

It’s worth noting that one candidate for city controller hasn’t signed on.

Then again, it’s no surprise that bike-unfriendly pseudo-environmentalist career politician Paul Koretz would oppose it.

However, it’s hard to imagine LA’s glacial bureaucracy moving fast enough to build out the plan’s long list of measures in just the next four years.

  • 1,550 miles of additional Slow Streets
  • 60,000 safer crossings at all intersections
  • 615 miles of dedicated bus lanes on Tier 1 Metro bus routes
  • 30.5 million square feet of public plazas and open space for people
  • 26.1 million square feet of wider sidewalks
  • 600 miles of new protected bike lanes
  • 200,000 additional trees
  • 6,000 new bus shelters
  • 2,500 new public restrooms
  • 10,000 new benches
  • 20,000 new trash cans
  • 7,500 additional Al Fresco outdoor dining implementations
  • 10,000 new loading zones

Meanwhile, this is what they say the plan would achieve, if implemented.

  • Likely reach zero annual traffic deaths on city streets (achieve “Vision Zero”)
  • Increase the number of Angelenos that live a 10 minute walk from a park or plaza from 65% → 100%
  • Increase the number of Angelenos that live within a 10 minute walk from a bus-only lane from 11% → 55%
  • Increase the number of Angelenos that live a 10 minute walk from a protected bike lane from 10% → 65%
  • Ensure every school and park is directly connected to a neighborhood greenway or slow street
  • Reduce VMT in LA by at least 13% per the LA Green New Deal
  • Increase the percentage of all trips made by walking, biking, or transit 35% per the LA Green New Deal

Of course, the key to all of that is the phrase, if implemented.

Which is always the problem in Los Angeles, where it’s one thing to get a plan passed, and another for city officials to actually carry it out.

But it has the potential to be truly transformational.

So let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Photo from LA25x25.com.

………

Sad news from Texas, where a man has died after a driver slammed into a group six bike riders in Liberty County, northeast of Houston.

And as usual, the speeding driver has been released without so much as a ticket.

The victim was identified as 51-year-old Kent Joshua Wosepka from South Hamilton, Massachusetts, one of six riders participating in an annual cross-country ride from San Diego to St. Augustine, Florida.

He was a talented artist, who chaired the board of trustees for Boston’s Montserrat College of Art.

A 54-year old woman, also from South Hamilton, and a 59-year old woman from Santa Rosa were also hospitalized in serious condition; the other three riders were uninjured.

Investigators allowed the 66-year old driver to walk without charges, despite police concluding he “failed to maintain his speed.”

At least this time the investigation is being conducted by the state police, rather than the local sheriff, as was the case in nearby Waller County in late September, when a teenaged driver plowed into another six riders while attempting to envelop them in a cloud of exhaust fumes, known as rolling coal.

Let’s hope the drivers are held accountable in both cases. But I wouldn’t count on it.

It’s Texas, after all.

………

Maybe we can talk KCBS/KCAL9 bike riding news anchor Jeff Vaughn into trade his news desk for a bicycle seat.

………

That feeling when you’ve got $69 billion, but can’t manage to get a decent bike fit.

………

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

A Houston-area bike rider was severely beaten by a neighbor, who ordered him to leave the corner he was stopped at because he was “making everyone nervous,” apparently just for being a Black man on a bicycle.

………

Local

The LA school district is participating in a pilot project for the All Kids Bike program, ensuring every kindergarten kid at two elementary schools will have a chance to learn how to ride a bike during PE classes.

A Koreatown website examines Bicycle Meals, the volunteer group delivering food to homeless people by bicycle three times a week.

CD11 Councilmember and Transportation Committee Chair Mike Bonin is asking for public endorsements as he faces re-election next year, as well as a right-wing recall attempt; Bonin has long been one of the most bike and pedestrian friendly members on the council.

This is who we share the road with. A 27-year old Long Beach man faces charges for an allegedly deliberate hit-and-run attack in which he drove onto a crowded sidewalk outside a Halloween party early Sunday morning, injuring six people, following what was described as a domestic violence incident.

 

State

Phillip Young forwards news of a support group for people who have been injured in bicycle crashes, courtesy of the San Diego County Bike Coalition. (Scroll down. No, keep scrolling.)

Police in Pacifica are looking for a hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike rider from behind, leaving him or her with serious injuries.

Legendary Sausalito bike shop owner Anthony “Tony” Tom died last week; he was around 65-years old.

A Davis letter writer says the city is no more the nation’s bicycle capital than any other college town, and that a bicycle capital “should do more than rest on its laurels for establishing bike lanes in the 1960s.” Ouch.

 

National

Seattle introduces a simplified plan to close a 1.4-mile gap in the city’s Burke-Gilman Trail, which has defied solutions for over two decades.

In an unusual twist, gambling giant Ceasar’s Entertainment may shoot down plans for a bike lane through Downtown Reno, because it doesn’t go in front of their casinos.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in Ohio, where a hit-and-run driver who nearly killed a bike-riding mother of three walked without a single day behind bars when she was sentenced to one lousy year of probation, and lost her driver’s license for a whole six months. Anyone who leaves the scene of a crash without stopping should lose their license for life, at a bare minimum.

A New York State man faces up to seven years behind bars for killing a bike-riding woman while he was high on weed, which is legal in the state — but not for drivers.

 

International

Cycling Weekly looks forward to the best Black Friday deals on kids bikes and balance bikes, both in the UK and the US.

A group of English pediatricians and other health professionals rode their bikes 800 miles to the COP26 climate summit to call attention to the dangers of pollution and climate change for kids.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a terrified 10-year old British boy’s bicycle at knifepoint.

An Indian man launches the first bike brand in Chhattisgarh state, employing traditional art and craft forms to make a handcrafted bamboo bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

American ultracyclist Amanda Coker shattered the women’s 24-hour record, becoming the first woman to ride more than 500 miles in a single day.

Oleg Tinkov, the former owner of the Tinkoff-Saxo cycling team, has been convicted of tax fraud in the US and fined $500 million — less than a quarter of his estimated wealth — on top of a one-year suspended sentence.

 

Finally…

Seriously, what kind of lowlife steals an ice cream bike from a gelato shop? If you have to steal a bike, don’t visit grandma until she turns off her security cam.

And I would have thought Daniel Boone was more of a horse guy, myself.

………

Thanks once again for Matthew R’s generous monthly donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. 

Meanwhile, our seventh annual Holiday Fund Drive is coming at the end of this month. So start saving your spare change. 

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

Blaming micromobility victims in New York, accusations of bias in Texas coal-roll crash, and School Streets kicks off in LA

Before we start, I hope you’ll join me in welcoming noted San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette as our newest sponsor. 

I’ve known Duquette for some time, after connecting over some particularly egregious bike cases from San Diego and Orange Counties, as well as Riverside and Imperial Counties. Along with the advice he’s shared on topics from staying safe on the road, to how to find a good lawyer if you don’t.

I’m happy to have him join our roster of Los Angeles-area sponsors, all of whom I have personally vetted, to provide access to effective legal counsel throughout the SoCal region.

……..

The New York Times clutches its pearls over the rise in micromobility, noting that ridership surged 130 percent to 88.5 million in 2019, from just 38.5 million the year before.

But instead of celebrating the relative safety and convenience of e-scooters and other electric mobility devices, they choose to focus on people acting like, well, people.

Along with the human cost.

Still, the e-mobility boom has brought significant safety challenges to New York’s already congested streets. At least 17 people have been killed while riding electric mobility vehicles this year, according to city officials. Revel, which operates an electric moped share program in the city, voluntarily shut it down for a month last year after three riders were killed.

E-mobility crashes have also killed three pedestrians this year, including the actress Lisa Banes, who was knocked down by a hit-and-run scooter rider on the Upper West Side.

Many pedestrians and cyclists complain about e-bike and e-scooter riders who speed, ride on sidewalks and run red lights and go the wrong way on streets.

Although if they think e-scooters pose a risk to pedestrians, just wait until they hear about cars.

But let’s be honest.

It doesn’t take a lot of observation to realize that people do stupid things, whether they are driving cars, riding bikes, walking or piloting scooters.

And while all of those can pose a risk to others, it’s the people in cars who do the most damage.

Yes, reckless riding on a scooter is stupid, and dangerous — to the rider and those around them.

But it’s far from the biggest danger on the streets.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog responded by accusing the paper of victim blaming and trying to push people back into cars.

………

No surprise here.

The law firm representing six bicyclists injured by a coal-rolling teenager in Waller County, Texas while training for a triathlon says the entire investigation of the crash has been “riddled with anti-bike bias.”

Then again, that was obvious the moment police allowed the 16-year old driver to go home with his parents instead of pressing charges.

Or even issuing a damn ticket.

Meanwhile, the local DA made it clear he doesn’t want to take the heat.

“This case was not handled appropriately by the investigating agency. PERIOD,” Mathis wrote in a Facebook post. “Despite being encouraged by the Texas Department of Public Safety to treat the scene as a crime scene and to contact the D.A.‘s Office for advice on how to proceed, the investigating agency chose not to do so.”

Then there’s this, providing the first public clue as to why the kid appears to have been handled with kid gloves.

The attorneys say the 16-year-old was “coal rolling” the cyclists shortly before plowing into them, and said the teen’s connections to Waller County officials were the reason he was allowed to leave the scene after being questioned.

On Monday, Mathis acknowledged these connections, but added that investigators have yet to “see evidence of a city official directing the officer on the scene as to how to handle this particular situation.”

Although chances are, in a small county like that, no one had to tell the cops on the scene who the kid was.

Especially after mom and dad showed up.

………

Now that’s more like it.

Los Angeles is closing a section of Westmoreland Ave to cars as part of the School Streets pilot program.

https://twitter.com/_KennyUong_/status/1447703817630322689

………

Everyone knows there’s no point in reinventing the wheel.

Which may be why automakers keep insisting on reinventing the bicycle, instead.

………

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

No bias here. A Virginia letter writer complains that the area needs more more roads for cars, not bike lanes. But he can’t seem to decide if bike riders are lawbreaking, uninsured and unlicensed scofflaws, or children pedaling on toys around their own neighborhoods.

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

An Oregon man faces an attempted murder charge for stabbing a car passenger in an apparent road rage incident, which began when he started throwing rocks at the victim’s car.

………

Local

Coffee, pastries, gravel, ocean views, bbq and beer. What’s not to like?

Spectrum News 1 checks in on Sunday’s return of CicLAvia to DTLA.

Pasadena now has an extra $462,900 to spend on DUI checkpoints, distracted driving enforcement, and bike and pedestrian safety operations, courtesy of a state grant. What, they couldn’t round up and make in an even $463,000 for some reason? Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey is one of us, taking his roadie for a ride through the ‘Bu on Sunday.

 

State

California Congressman Jimmy Panetta says it’s disappointing that the proposed federal ebike tax credit was cut in half in a House committee, but it’s still a start. Disappointing doesn’t begin to describe it, especially when e-car buyers get ten times the $750 tax credit they’re planning to offer ebike buyers. 

An eight-year old Santa Maria girl was hospitalized after a truck driver crashed into her bicycle with enough force to break it in half; no word on her condition.

The New York Times’ California Today newsletter looks at San Francisco’s Clement Street commercial district as a local example of the 15-minute city, where everything you need on a daily basis is just 15 minutes away, without setting foot in a car.

 

National

Specialized is recalling all of their Tarmac SL7 road bikes due to the risk of steerer tube failure. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A writer for Outside finds joy again on her ebike, after getting a life-changing medical diagnosis.

When you’re tired of fixing flats, just build your own airless bike tires.

Portland should have a new 475-foot bike and pedestrian bridge over I-84 next summer, named for the city’s bike-friendly Congressman Earl Blumenauer. It’s an odd choice for a name since he isn’t dead or retired, which is usually the primary requirement to get something named after you.

A member of Colorado’s Pyramid Lake Paiute tribe wants you to acknowledge the land you’re riding on, and the ancestors who were there first. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Topeka, Kansas is doing the right thing, giving away over 700 decommissioned bikes from the city’s former bikeshare program, rather than tossing them on the scrapheap, as too often happens.

Evidently, bike thieves have a heart in New Hampshire, where a woman got her stolen bike back after she posted a note asking for its return.

Tragic news from New York, where an ebike rider was killed by a wrong way driver while riding in a bike lane that had recently been downgraded from a protected lane, because drivers couldn’t resist driving over all the little car-tickler plastic bendie posts.

Hundreds of New Orleans residents Ride for their Lives to demand better safety for people on bicycles.

A Florida Good Samaritan replaced a disabled woman’s stolen adaptive trike for her birthday.

 

International

The New York Times memorializes Iohan Gueorguiev, famed as the Bike Wanderer for his six-year bikepacking quest traveling from the Arctic to Patagonia, which he documented on his YouTube channel; Gueorguiev committed suicide in August while riding out the pandemic at a friend’s home in British Columbia.

Riders on high-end bikes are being targeted in London’s Richmond Park, with at least three bike-jackings in the last six days, including pro cyclist Alexandar Richardson, who was relieved of his $13,600 bicycle.

Scotland is introducing a new campaign to promote hostels and bike tourism, inspired by the discovery of an 85-year old diary from a then 17-year old girl who toured the Highlands by bike with her two sisters.

A British man got a well-deserved year behind bars for pushing another man off his ebike after claiming it was really his, and making off with it while the victim lay unconscious in the street. Although a year seems a little light, considering he already had a 62-count rap sheet over the past 15 years.

Forbes promotes five new hosted European bike tours, starting at $3,199 for an ebike tour from Croatia to Montenegro. Or spend over five grand, and see where Slovenian cyclists Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič got their start.

French police are investigating the murder of a Spanish bikepacker, who was found in the roadway with several facial injuries, close to a popular cross-country bicycling route just south of Lyon on a trip that had started in the Netherlands.

He gets it. Volkswagen’s CEO says “Biking is fun, healthy and good for the environment” and a vital part of the urban mobility mix.

Good news from Afghanistan, where 38 people associated with the country’s women’s cycling team have reached asylum in Switzerland, with help from international cycling’s governing body.

Japan belatedly decides that sensor-operated automatic braking systems on cars should avoid killing bike riders, too. But gives carmakers three years to keep doing it.

Malaysian prosecutors aren’t giving up, filing yet another appeal to a higher court after charges were dismissed against a woman for killing eight teenage kids riding modified basikal lajak bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Prior to this year, only three cyclists had ever won Il Lombardia and the Tour de France in the same season — Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault. Now you can make that four, after 23-year old Tadej Pogačar accomplished the rare feat last weekend.

Hats off to 22-year old triathlete Chris Nikic, who became the first athlete with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman competition.

Colorado authorities belatedly identified the mountain biker who died during this year’s Leadville Trail 100, reporting he was killed by blunt force trauma to his chest, supporting the theory that he crashed at high speed.

 

Finally…

A business writer says it’s always the right time to get on your bike and think — or dictate your column while on a 426-mile fundraising ride. That feeling when you overstate the amount of your bike and pedestrian grant by a mere ten times.

And apparently, bicyclists don’t pay road tax. Or boat tax, either.

………

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

Special prosecutor appointed in Texas coal roll crash, and inquest into fatal deputy shooting of South LA bike rider

There may be hope for Texas justice after all.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the DA in Waller County, where six bike riders were run down by a 16-year old kid in a bigass pickup attempting to roll coal says just the act of blowing exhaust fumes onto innocent victims is assault.

“They are causing their vehicle to ‘spit’ on a living, breathing, human being that is worthy of dignity and not having his or her person violated,” Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis wrote in a Facebook post. “That simple assault is easily elevated to a jail eligible offense if bodily injury occurs, which can be caused by entry of toxic particles into mouth, nose and eyes.”

Never mind that the kid actually slammed into the victims after belching exhaust on another rider.

Naturally, though, the boy’s lawyer insists it was just an oopsie.

Rick DeToto, a Houston lawyer hired by the teen’s family, called the boy “inexperienced” and characterized the crash as serious but not prompted by someone out to commit mayhem.

“The police did an investigation at the scene.,” DeToto said in an email. “This included speaking with eyewitnesses… After their investigation they decided not to charge my client and did not issue him a traffic citation. Clearly, they decided a crime had not occurred.”

A special prosecutor has been appointed to handle the case, adding to suspicion that the boy’s parents may be prominent residents of the area, or that he wasn’t initially arrested due to some other conflict of interest.

Photo by WikimediaImages from Pixabay.

………

Maybe there will be justice for Dijon Kizzee, too.

Though I wouldn’t bet on it.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to direct the county coroner to hold an inquest into Kizzee’s death at the hands — or guns — of LA County sheriff’s deputies, along with two other men who were fatally shot by deputies last year.

Kizzee was riding a bicycle in South LA last August when a pair of deputies attempted to stop him for riding on the wrong side of the road, a common practice in the area that’s usually ignored by law enforcement.

According to the deputies, Kizzee attempted to flee on foot and struggled with deputies when they tried to stop him, and was shot 16 times after he dropped a gun, then allegedly picked it up and pointed it at them.

However, witness reports and security video suggested that Kizzee was running away from them when he was shot repeatedly in the back, deputies continuing to fire even after he lay helpless on the street.

Kizzee’s father has filed suit, alleging that the case raises questions of excessive force, as well as the existence of gangs within the department that celebrate and reward officer shootings.

However, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has stonewalled other investigations, refusing to respond to subpoenas from civilian authorities. And deputies involved in other shootings have failed to participate in coroner’s investigations, resulting in failed inquests that offered little or no insight into the shootings.

There’s no reason to believe it will be any different this time.

………

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition needs your help to get a Complete Street on North Lake Avenue over the finish line.

………

They get it. The San Francisco 49ers Levi Stadium welcomes bike-riding fans with a safe and secure bike valet.

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1442570750242672648

Maybe SoFi Stadium, the new home of the Los Angeles Rams and the San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles, could learn something from our neighbors to the north.

………

Streets for All announced their next virtual happy hour next month, featuring Santa Monica City Councilmember Gleam Davis.

………

Local

Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman announced $15 million in state funding for a pair of projects connecting her Glendale hometown with the LA River bike path — even though she helped block a $7.5 billion green transportation bill in the legislature, which included a whopping $500 million for active transportation projects statewide.

Turns out the wall of bicycles we showed you the other day is an installation created by a homeless artist in Koreatown. There’s no word on where he got all the bikes, though, so you might want to take a close look if yours went missing lately. 

Agoura Hills will participate with the LA County Sheriff’s Department next month on a new campaign to encourage people to drive safely around bicyclists.

 

State

Bay Area bike advocates make a new push to improve safety on the Golden Gate Bridge, where a person on a bicycle is 21 times more likely to suffer an injury than someone in a car.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss guides us through the six stages of bicycling enlightenment.

Good question. A Washington radio station asks what kind of person would steal the bicycle a little kid used to ride to school.

A Wyoming couple is riding down the full length of the Mississippi on their ebikes one section at a time, even though the husband is 78-years old and dependent on oxygen.

A Good Samaritan came to the rescue of an Omaha bike rider after finding him bleeding in the street with what turned out to be a fractured skull — and left him an anonymous gift card to get a new bike helmet.

Once again, a teenage driver has slammed into a group ride, as a two bicyclists were seriously injured when a 17-year old girl plowed into them near Joplin, Missouri.

Now that’s impressive. Michigan is working on a 2,000-mile pathway running through 48 counties extending the full length of the state, with separate paths for biking and hiking.

A four-year old DC boy couldn’t wait to get back on his bike, despite getting hit by an SUV driver while riding in a crosswalk.

Mississippi’s Soul City Cycling is working to change the complexion of bicycling in the state, where the overwhelming majority of bike riders are white.

This is what the theft of a $13,500 bicycle from a Florida bike shop looks like.

 

International

A writer for Road.cc celebrates the joys of having places on your favorite riding route where you can take a leak.

Oops. A London driver clipped a bike rider with his wing mirror during a too close pass. Except the guy on the bike turned out to be a plain clothes cop conducting a sting operation to catch drivers violating the equivalent of a three-foot passing law.

Life may not begin at 40, but a London writer discovers she can still get an ebike and teach herself to ride it after avoiding bicycles for the first four decades of her life.

German bikemaker Cube has licensed the rights to BMW’s three-wheeled concept cargo bike designed to improve stability by leaning into corners; no word on when it might hit the market.

Two-thirds of Dutch drivers admit to checking their phones behind the wheel, even though 84% say the messages aren’t important.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist looks forward to this Sunday’s Paris-Robaix classic, and who you should keep an eye on in the race.

 

Finally…

Science says bicycling does not effectively work your abs. Forget the pro crit, the real action was in the bikeshare race. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

And that feeling when you lose a bike versus car race, but feel like you came out ahead because you weren’t stuck in a car.

………

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

No charges for teen coal-rolling Texas driver who slammed into six bicyclists, and putting bike safety in perspective

Texas bike riders are justifiably up in arms after police investigators allowed the 16-year old driver who slammed into six bicyclists to walk free.

Or rather drive, in his mangled pickup truck, after mommy and daddy showed up at the crash scene he caused, in a failed attempt to envelop the riders in a cloud of exhaust by rolling coal.

Never mind that four of those six riders weren’t able to walk, drive or ride anywhere, after they were rushed to the hospital — two evacuated by helicopter due to the seriousness of their injuries.

Authorities wouldn’t say if charges will be filed at a later date, or if they’ll simply let a bike-hating little criminal escape justice.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

………

A graphic from Momentum Magazine puts bike safety in perspective.

………

This is what a protected intersection looks like in practice.

And we could use a lot more of them here in Los Angeles, too.

………

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

The driver in the Las Vegas instant karma crash has pled guilty, nearly a year after a passenger in his van leaned out the window and pushed a 56-year old woman off her bicycle — then fell out of the window himself, tumbling 150 feet along the roadway before slamming into a streetlight. Bike-riding victim Michelle “Shelli” Weissman and her killer, 23-year old Rodrigo Cruz, both died at the scene.

Another case of sabotage in the UK, as someone pounded large metal spikes into a roadway in an apparent attempt to injure anyone passing through.

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

A Iowa man was busted for riding his bicycle on people’s yards until he crashed into someone’s dog, then fleeing from police on foot; no word on the dog’s condition.

Police are looking for an armed man who has been riding a bicycle around North Carolina’s East Carolina University robbing people at gunpoint.

………

Local

Yo! Venice looks at the recently installed protected bike lanes on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica, asking a bike-riding surfer if they’re working as intended.

 

State

Cal State Fullerton philosophy lecturer and former Foo Fighters sound engineer Austin Duggan is one of us, building his own BMX ebike on a titanium frame.

San Diego’s newfound commitment to safer bike infrastructure comes too late for too many grieving families.

Lime evidently decided they could turn a profit in San Diego after all, returning their e-scooters to the city after pulling out last year, citing their limited “path to profitability.”

 

National

A new book explains how Everesting grew into a global phenomenon.

A Tucson, Arizona church is promoting bike safety after the pastor was the victim of a hit-and-run.

A writer for the Denver University student newspaper calls out the city for failing implement the safe bike lanes a sustainable city demands.

Cyclist Magazine spends some time with the folks at Colorado-based Moots, discovering how a little two-man backroom operation became one of the most desirable names in titanium bikes.

A Texas DA has dropped sexual assault charges against the then 18-year old son of ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, even though the underage victim allegedly recorded him confessing to having sex with her, and four of the six people she told remembered her saying it was nonconsensual.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a bike from a visually impaired man who’s already ridden 4,100 miles across the US to spread random acts of kindness; his bike was stolen in Missouri when he suffered a flat, and had to hide his bike on the side of the road to get the tire fixed.

The New York e-scooter rider who killed Gone Girl actress Lisa Banes faces charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, with a potential sentence ranging from probation to 15 years behind bars.

Florida deputies are passing out bike lights to lightless bicyclists instead of writing tickets.

 

International

Advocacy group London Cycling Campaign called on supporters to help restore its online reputation after an organized campaign branded the group as militant, racist and destructive, among other non sequiturs.

Talk about leaving a dangerous person on the street until it’s too late. A British man will likely walk out of jail for time served after being sentenced for a hate crime for attacking a man who caught him trying to steal his bicycle, while insulting the victim’s Islamic faith. He was sentenced to just 14 months behind bars, despite 33 previous convictions for 75 offenses.

A memorial festival will honor the legacy of British blues legend Julian Piper, two years after the 72-year old bluesman was killed when his bicycle hit a bollard.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a distracted delivery driver will spend just three years behind bars for killing a 64-year old man riding a bicycle, after he took his eyes off the road for nine seconds to look up an address on the smartphone.

Denmark discovers used wind turbine blades make ideal bike parking shelters.

Police in Brussels, Belgium will now fine bike thieves the equivalent of $292 on the spot, in an effort to combat an epidemic of least 230 stolen bicycles every day.

 

Competitive Cycling

L39ION of Los Angeles cyclist Ama Nsek won the final stage in the 10-race USA CRITS series on Saturday, while Erica Clevenger took the women’s race.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with aggressive LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about aggressive moose bike thieves on the bike path. Or overly aggressive river otters, for that matter.

And if you’ve been riding a bike around the Bucks countryside buck naked, put some damn clothes on, already.

………

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