Tag Archive for traffic violence

1st quarter traffic deaths jump again, proof pickups and SUVs cause more deaths, and holding killer drivers accountable

No, it’s not your imagination.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported yesterday that more people have died on American streets in the first quarter of this year than any year in the past two decades.

Early NHTSA estimates show 9,560 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes through the end of March, a seven percent increase over last year, which saw the highest number of traffic deaths in 16 years.

In other words, we are going the wrong way, at an ever-increasing pace.

There’s a wide range of likely reasons, ranging from speeding and distracted drivers to trucks and SUVs with high, flat grills designed to kill.

None of which are beyond our ability to solve today.

We only need to get enough people to care enough about the lives of innocent victims to demand change.

But so far, that, too, has been beyond our reach.

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On a related note, Ontario, Canada safety advocates say they have the numbers to prove pickups and SUVs cause more deaths, and have written the province’s chief coroner to request an investigation.

One of the studies, from 2021, estimates 8,131 pedestrians between 2000 and 2019 could have survived if they were struck by sedans instead of SUVs or trucks.

Another study, published in the Journal of Safety Research in June, found that while SUVs and trucks made up just 26.1 per cent of pedestrian and cyclist collisions, they accounted for 44.1 per cent of fatalities.  That study also suggested that because of their larger size, SUVs and trucks are more likely to hit vulnerable road users in the chest or head than a sedan.

Maybe they could write a few letters to US officials while they’re at it.

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A writer for Outside takes a deep dive into the aftermath of a tragic New York bicycling collision that took the life of a young woman, to examine why drivers are so seldom held accountable for killing another person.

And what can be done about it.

As part of the story, he looks back to the magazine’s groundbreaking Cycling Deaths project, which attempted to document every bicycling traffic death in 2020, recording nearly 700 fatalities.

In most of the stories we gathered information on, there were no consequences for the driver or even scrutiny of their behavior. Law enforcement rarely issued a ticket to drivers who killed cyclists. Criminal charges for the crash itself were even less common, often occurring only when a driver was intoxicated. It was hard not to read through each case and wonder: Is that the way things should be? Does driving that results in someone’s death cross the legal threshold for punishment that infrequently?

It’s very hard to find comprehensive data on penalties issued after car crashes, but among the safe-streets advocates and legal experts I talked to, it’s generally taken as a matter of course that people who kill cyclists while driving—even recklessly, even illegally—are rarely held legally accountable for their actions. The big picture, those observers say, is that drivers are offered a kind of impunity that doesn’t exist in just about any other situation where a human kills another human. “The judicial system is applying laws in a way that results in widespread injustice to victims of traffic violence,” says Gregory Shill, a law professor at the University of Iowa. “I would go beyond courts—a common root of all this is that we have a high social acceptance of traffic deaths.”

As the story points out, drivers should automatically lose their license if they kill another person, but seldom do.

As Traffic author Tom Vanderbilt put it, a drivers license is too easy to get, and too hard to lose

If I had my way, killer drivers would be sentenced to work-release, required to serve in emergency rooms and morgues during the day to tend to the victims of traffic violence, before returning to their cells at night.

Although the courts would probably consider that cruel and unusual punishment to subject them to that kind of emotional and psychological torment.

Unlike, say, their victims and their loved ones, who have to suffer that pain for the rest of their lives.

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This is who we share the city with, unfortunately.

Maybe they’re care more if it was 58. Or 59.

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Time’s running out to score a great deal on a vintage bike, and support a good cause in the process.

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Yes, your morning commute can be green, and actually make you happy.

Even in chilly Minnesota.

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Remember this the next time you have to lock your bike up to a banged-up wheel-bender rack.

Thanks to Glenn Crider for the heads-up. 

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GCN wants to help you improve your average speed on your bike.

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Our German correspondent Ralph Durham forwards a photo of race walkers at the European Championships in Munich, where he’s working as a volunteer.

And points out that even they have to cope with race motos. Although the slower pace probably means they pose less risk to the racers.

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

That’s more like it. An Idaho driver has been sentenced to 12 years behind bars, with three years fixed, for chasing bike-riding kids through a public park with his pickup, then running over one boy’s bike after he jumped off. But it’s okay, because he’s really, really sorry. No, really.

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

LAPD officers shot a bike-riding young man waving a machete after he refused orders to drop the knife and allegedly advance on officers; no word on his condition.

Elderly London residents say they’ve stopped walking on a roadway that was closed as part of the city’s Low Traffic Neighborhood, the equivalent of a Slow Street in the US, out of fear of red light-running bicyclists and confusion over who has the right-of-way.

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Local

The Eastsider reports city officials will make the temporary closure of Griffith Park Drive through Griffith Park permanent, after a traffic study showed the closure eliminated cut-through commuter traffic without increasing traffic on Zoo Drive (scroll down).

LADOT is bringing protected bike lanes and bus islands to a one-mile stretch of Central Ave in Watts.

 

State 

A California firm is working with Toshiba to improve the chemistry of ebike batteries to reduce charging times and the risk of battery fires.

A coalition of San Diego advocacy groups have endorsed Alternative D for the planned reconstruction of Park Blvd through Balboa Park, which calls for eliminating parking and installing bus lanes and a separated bike lane.

He gets it. A spokesperson for the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition says the problem isn’t that ebikes are unsafe, it’s a wakeup call to how unsafe the roads are.

Anson Williams, the 72-year old actor who played Potsie in Happy Days back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, is running for mayor of Ojai on a platform that includes expansion of bike paths and trails. He’s got my vote.

This is who we share the road with. A UC Santa Barbara cop was busted for a drunken hit-and-run in Solvang earlier this month; fortunately, his only victim was a parked minivan. Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

A San Jose homeowner says he’s spent $30,000 to construct reinforced barriers to stop out-of-control drivers, after 23 drivers have slammed into his home since the 680 freeway opened 50 years ago.

 

National

Next City offers more on the recent NACTO report suggesting that bike laws aren’t keeping bike riders safe, while leading to over-policing of people of color.

Cycling Tips offers a beginner’s guide to what matters most in selecting entry-level road and gravel bikes.

More than 2,100 Denver residents have received ebike rebate vouchers up to $1,700 since the program began in April; most putting their ebikes to good use, with around half riding them on a daily basis. On the other hand, California’s fully funded ebike rebate program remains in limbo, apparently awaiting a chilly day in hell. 

Congratulations to Nebraska, which is no longer the nation’s least bike-friendly state; that dishonor now goes to Wyoming, which is unfriendly to bikes and Cheneys, apparently.

Chicago Magazine talks with Christina Whitehouse, the founder of Bike Lane Uprising, an app allowing bike riders to log the location and submit photos of vehicles illegally parked in bike lanes.

No bias here. Chicago cops responded to a protest over drivers running red lights by changing the traffic signal to green for a full five minutes, stranding everyone waiting to cross the street.

A kindhearted Pittsburgh cop bought a new bike and helmet for an eight-year old girl, after firefighters weren’t able to save her bike from a fire at her grandmother’s house.

TMZ offers more information on the death of Ironman triathlete and Norristown PA cop Brian Kozera, who allegedly ran a stop sign on his bike and crashed into the side of a pickup, before being run over by the truck’s rear wheels. As always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses to the crash, or if investigators are relying on the word of the driver.

 

International

If you’re looking for a new business opportunity, you could do worse than a solar-powered food ebike.

They get it. Calgary, Alberta is installing a bike lane to remove excess road space and slow speeding drivers.

Pilot protected bike lanes on one of Toronto’s busiest streets saw up to a 193% jump in ridership over a single year, while resulting in a less than one minute delay in motor vehicle traffic.

A seven-year old British boy became one of the youngest people to ride from Paris to London after his father was killed in an industrial accident, raising the equivalent of over $42,000 for bereaved children on the 200-mile journey.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says a proposal to requite license plates on bicycles in the UK makes bicyclists the latest target in the culture wars. The proposed regulations are reminiscent of North Korea, where people are required to pass a bicycle proficiency test and display a metal license plate on their bikes; that country also bans women from riding bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

For nearly two decades, we’ve been supposed to pretend Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis never won the Tour de France. Now we’re supposed to pretend Nairo Quintana didn’t have a top ten finish in the Tour last year, after UCI stripped him of 6th place for using the prohibited painkiller tramadol; Quintana denies ever using it, of course.

Ramona High School graduate Gwendalyn Gibson, class of 2017, became the only American to win a World Cup mountain bike race this year, after taking first in a West Virginia race last month.

In case you missed it yesterday, NPR offers a good look at gravel racing, and the sport’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Thanks to Lionel Mares for the reminder.

This week’s 2022 Para-Cycling Road World Championships somehow slipped under the radar, even as the US is making a good showing.

 

Finally…

Evidently, bike mechanics hate triathletes — and not just because they wear speedos, evidently. That feeling when American tourists have no idea why there are so many bicycles parked at European train stations; thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.

And now you, too, can have your very own DIY beer stabilization system to avoid spilling your suds as you ride around Burning Man.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

More high-speed carnage on dangerous LA streets, Streets For All tallies LA traffic violence, and Rivendell reparations fail

This is the cost of traffic violence, as the carnage continues on Los Angeles streets.

Just one day after a driver traveling at an estimated 80 to 100 miles per hour ran a red light and plowed into cars crossing the busy intersection of La Brea and Slauson, killing six innocent people, a well-known actress apparently copied the act.

Except Anne Heche plowed into a home in a fiery Mar Vista crash.

According to TMZ, Heche had apparently crashed into a pair of apartment building garages in the area, doing relatively minor damage to each, and may have been fleeing paparazzi and people trying to halt her as she sped up Walgrove Ave.

Security video shows her traveling at an extreme rate of speed.

Any bike rider or pedestrian unfortunate enough to be in her way would have been killed instantly.

Instead, she apparently lost control and slammed into a home less than a block from an elementary school, narrowly missing the homeowner inside.

The home and its contents were a total loss.

Heche herself somehow survived, despite suffering critical burns; as in the Windsor Hills crash, she was reportedly too badly injured and treated with too many medications to conduct a valid test for drug or alcohol use.

Although a sharp-eyed person points out what appears to be an open pint of alcohol next to the gear shift in one of the TMZ photos.

Heche reportedly faces a long and painful recovery from her injuries.

We’re only lucky that she didn’t take anyone else with her.

And once again, the crash points out the abject failure of LA’s chronically underfunded — and under-cared about — Vision Zero program, as well as the failure of the city to carry through with the transportation reforms promised in the mobility plan, in the seven years since either was approved.

Simply put, speeds like those in either crash should not be possible on surface streets. And the city should make every effort to ensure things like this can’t happen.

Let alone don’t.

Clearly, though, not everyone agrees. Take this comment in response to Friday’s post about the Windsor Hills crash.

Please.

Wow, this is one of the worst articles on this subject ever written. The ideas are without merit and the ignorance is almost frightening. I’d recommend not quitting your day job.

Never mind that this is my day job. But that, too, is who we share the road with.

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

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There’s no question that LA Times columnist Steve Lopez gets it, as he examines the horrifying carnage on our streets.

“People have their necks broken, they burn to death and suffer unrecoverable injuries. The onus for care drops into the laps of firefighters and paramedics … and even those guys, with all their equipment and training, can’t do anything,” (UCLA ER physician Dr. Mark) Morocco said…

It’s terrifyingly common in Los Angeles, and getting behind the wheel, or going for a walk or a bike ride, is a game of roulette.

Meanwhile, letter writers to the Times say the crash shows the city is desperate for safer streets.

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Important Twitter thread from Streets For All examining the full cost of traffic violence throughout Los Angeles, and in each individual council district, since Vision Zero and the mobility plan were adopted in 2015.

The charts also include the amount of mobility plan implementation, miles of bus and bike lanes, and how many people in the district signed the Healthy Streets LA petition to require implementation of the mobility plan when streets are resurfaced, which the organization accurately describes as massive citywide support.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1556068900584173573?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1556068900584173573%7Ctwgr%5Ee095348799edebb4e575fd8dded0c55af291669a%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbikinginla.com%2Fwp-admin%2Fpost.php%3Fpost%3D50133action%3Dedit

You can find a downloadable pdf of the full report for each council district here.

Take a moment to check out your own district, then look at some of the others, like the 55 bike riders and pedestrians killed in Mitch O’Farrell’s CD13 in Hollywood, the 82 killed in Curren Price’s CD9, or the horrifying 105 dead in Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s CD8 in South LA.

Never mind that just one traffic death is one too many.

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Great piece from Outside, about custom bikemaker Rivendell Bicycle Works’ well intentioned, but ultimately doomed, effort to offer a 45% discount to Black customers as a form of reparations for the long history of racism in a the bike industry.

“The American bicycle industry has been racist, often overtly racist, since 1878,” the company wrote in the release. “Rivendell has been obliviously—not ‘obviously’—racist most of the time since 1994. We say this not to scold the industry, not to be publicly humble, not to scold other bicycle businesses, and not to be uncharacteristically on trend. It’s just true.”

Rivendell’s nine staff members were on board to launch the Black Reparations Pricing, or BRP. The company would not increase prices on other frames and would dedicate 10 percent of its inventory to BRP for customers who identified as Black. “We’re committed to it, and will not cave at the first heat,” said the company statement. “As for how it’ll affect business, we’ll just see. If we go broke because those who use the flag or God as an invisibility cloak for their white nationalism stop patronizing us we’ll…move on…”

The inequality started in the first bike boom of the 1890s, when cycling lessons and clubs were only available to white people, and bikes were priced out of reach for all but the most elite. The exclusion continued through the next century in ways that had a chilling effect on who rides and where—like a 1971 law in Washington, DC, that required costly bike licenses, which stopped many impoverished Black people from riding as commuters, or a 1987 bike ban in Midtown Manhattan, through which Wall Street executives sought to bar mostly Black and brown bike messengers from their lobbies and avenues, even while those same executives flocked to the mountain bike trails around their summer cabins upstate. A recent Los Angeles Times investigation reviewed 44,000 bike stops by police and found that they disproportionately targeted poorer communities with large nonwhite populations.

Unfortunately, the backlash was swift and severe.

Once Rivendell’s program hit the national media, Petersen began to receive threats by phone and email. Worried about his safety, he installed video cameras around the store. The company’s phones rang repeatedly with calls from alt-right podcasters, and their Yelp, Google, and social media sites were flooded with negative comments and one-star reviews. “Quit the political commentary BS & focus on bikes,” wrote one commenter on Instagram. “Those people, the majority of them, had never bought anything from us. They probably don’t even ride bikes,” says Will Keating, Rivendell’s general manager. “It’s like they just saw something that infuriated them on the internet and had to take the next step.” The program was shut down on the advice of Rivendell’s lawyers. “The whole thing—it was a grand plan that fizzled out,” says Petersen. “We were afraid for our physical well-being. It was really ugly around here. We were all miserable.”

“From a strictly legal perspective, we’ve been handcuffed,” Petersen wrote in a blog announcing the end of the reparations program.

It’s a good piece, and well worth taking a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Because it clearly demonstrates the difficulty in trying to do the right thing, in a country so sharply divided along political and racial lines.

And it raises questions of how much more we could and should be doing to right historical wrongs that continue to manifest in the present.

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A rally will take place at Los Angeles City Hall this morning to protest the new ordinance criminalizing open air bike chop shops.

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Turns out that one of the most common aggressive maneuvers practiced by California drivers is against the law.

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On a happier note, it looks like Charlize Theron is one of us.

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Of course Marge Simpson is one of us.

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

A Pennsylvania man faces charges for getting out of his pickup to beat and strangle a man riding a bicycle, after crashing into the victim and knocking him into a pole.

Sometimes you turn to the cops for help after a road rage attack, only to discover it was a cop who did it; meanwhile, another Toronto cop crashed into a bike rider in a bike lane, later claiming the sun was in his eyes.

Police in the UK initially refused to take action after a woman deliberately drove her Range Rover into a bike rider, who called their response “victim-blaming twaddle.”

No bias here. A London writer proclaims the war on cars is a war on women. Which it wouldn’t be, even if it was real.

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

Great Britain’s transport minister is proposing a bill to reign in a “selfish minority of bike riders” by creating a bicycling equivalent to the country’s death by dangerous driving law, with a penalty up to life in prison.

A man on a bicycle is blamed for stealing a New Zealand statue of Ernest Rutherford, known as the father of nuclear physics, by rocking the statue back and forth for half an hour until it snapped off its base.

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Local

The LA Times reports on the parents of a 12-year old Pacific Palisades girl who are suing Rad Power Bikes alleging a defective design caused their daughter’s death.

The LACBC is giving donated bikes away to people in need through its Bike Match program.

 

State 

Streetsblog reports on a recent webinar explaining how to fight for bike lanes where you live.

Seriously? A Coronado newspaper says ebikes may be the future, but questions whether they’re a hazard on the island’s roadways.

Camarillo letter writers say the city needs to make itself bike-friendly now, not five years from now when a new bike path is scheduled to open.

A pair of 14-year old Camarillo boys were injured, one seriously, when they were run down on their bikes by a 68-year old driver at the Camarillo outlet mall.

The LA Times says the best SoCal bike trail is the Ojai Valley Trail, describing it as an “incredibly scenic path (running) 15 miles from the Ventura shoreline to the charming town of Ojai.”

Kindhearted cops in Arroyo Grande got a new bike for a 15-year old boy after the one he rode to his summer job was stolen.

A 23-year old man was arrested for robbing a Palo Alto bike shop near Stanford University, after the shop’s workers refused to buy an ebike he’d brought in.

A rideout took over the eastbound lanes of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge on Saturday, as the CHP did their best to herd them onto a bike path.

A San Francisco bike hater belatedly becomes the Bike Guy after rediscovering riding in middle age.

 

National

A new study explains why most people never forget how to ride a bike, no matter how long it has been.

Bikeshare can play a role in helping older Americans age in place.

US Weekly considers the best ebikes for women of any height.

Still more traffic violence in New Mexico, where an alleged drunk driver without a valid license barreled through a Gallup parade celebrating Native American culture, injuring at least 15 people, including two cops who tried to stop him.

He gets it. A columnist for the Minnesota Post explains why driving is bad for America, saying other than extending our ability to move at high speed, it comes at the cost of almost every other kind of action.

More mass carnage, as five Minnesota bike riders were injured when they were run down from behind by a driver, who plowed into the group of seven bike-riding kids led by one adult; fortunately, none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

Sad news from Ohio, where an Ohio State University student died of a “heart-related medical issue” just two miles from the end of a 102-mile fundraising ride.

Good news from Nashville, where Gospel singer Amy Grant is reportedly improving every day, after she was knocked unconscious for over ten minutes in a fall off her bicycle.

A New York ebike rider was the victim of a strong-arm robbery when he was punched in the head by a stranger who stole his bike in Central Park Saturday afternoon.

New York Magazine reports on their picks for the best bike helmets, while the New York Times picks the best handlebar bags.

The Washington Post examines the inevitable ebike bikelash, saying everyone loves ebikes, except for some who share the road, or the bike lane, or the sidewalk, with them.

Over 100 South Florida kids rode their bikes to call for an end to gun violence.

Life is cheap in Florida, where a man walked without a single day behind bars — or even being charged with a crime — for killing a bike-riding man when he somehow veered off the road last year.

 

International

We Love Cycling offers tips on how to go the beach with your bike.

A Calgary, Alberta man is back to gravel racing, ‘cross and mountain biking, using an adaptive bike he built himself, 20 years after he broke his back snowboarding.

An Ottawa, Canada organization is giving mom’s a taste of freedom by teaching women to ride a bike

Life is cheap in the UK, where a speeding, stoned and distracted driver gets less than two years for killing a newly married man riding a bicycle.

After he was pulled off his bicycle and beaten by men shouting anti-gay slurs, an Amsterdam man is angered by the lack of resource to mount a police response.

A writer learns the hard way not to joke about unhinged bicyclists in Amsterdam, especially if you weren’t born in the Netherlands.

Ukraine’s elderly bicyclists defy the military violence surrounding them, refusing to flee or give in to the chaos.

 

Competitive Cycling

Shades of a two-wheeled Eddie the Eagle. A 48-year old man representing Ghana in the Commonwealth Games finished 47th out of 54 competitors in the time trial, which was won by Australia’s Rohan Dennis; Chris Symonds keeps in shape by riding a hybrid bike to his job as a doorkeeper at Britain’s Houses of Parliament, where he keeps his bike safe by parking it at the House of Lords. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your bike tire turns invisible. Or when the road symbols suggest it’s a bike lane for dogs.

And maybe it’s just me, but it looks like he could use a larger frame.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

This is the cost of traffic violence — Six innocent victims killed in fiery, high-speed Windsor Hills crash

Sometimes the news is so bad, I don’t even want to write about it.

Or anything else, for that matter.

That’s the case today, after six innocent people were killed, and eight injured, by a speeding driver who ran a red light in LA’s Windsor Hills neighborhood yesterday afternoon.

The driver, reported to be a traveling nurse in her 40s, was traveling at an excessive rate of speed when she blew through the stop light at La Brea and Slauson directly into heavy cross traffic.

One of the cars immediately exploded into a fireball, as witnesses described bodies and debris raining into a gas station on the opposite corner.

At least six vehicles were involved in the crash, with one victim found inside a burned-out car hours later.

The victims included a pregnant woman; both she and her baby were killed, along with another infant.

The injured included several other children, ranging in age from 13 months to 15-years old.

The driver was hospitalized with serious injuries, and being held in custody as she receives treatment. At least one report indicated she wasn’t tested for drugs or alcohol, because they wouldn’t have shown up after the emergency medications she received at the scene and in the ER.

As others have noted, the design of the wide, multilane intersection and straight roadways engineered for high-speed traffic have to be seen as major contributory factors, along with cars capable of exceeding the speed limit to such a degree.

The technology exists to reign in speeding drivers; we just refuse to use it. And fail to demand it.

On a personal note, I have only watched the video above a single time. But that’s all it took to burn it into my consciousness; I’ve been unable to stop seeing that image as it plays over and over in my head.

And with it comes a renewed sense of failure and despair. I’ve been working for safer streets for a decade and a half now, while others have struggled for much longer. We’ve all seen decades of promises from city officials to do something.

But it’s always too little, too late. If they do anything at all.

LA’s Vision Zero program will be seven years old later this month, just three years from that magic date when we were promised traffic deaths would be eliminated, once and for all. Instead, they have steadily increased, with bike riders and pedestrians paying a disproportionate cost.

La Brea was one of the the first streets identified as part of the city’s High Injury Network, and should have seen significant efforts to tame traffic violence.

Yet it has been allowed to languish as an over-designed, high-speed car sewer. And now six people have paid the price for that inaction in a single fiery incident.

Six innocent people.

We’re bound to hear more about it in the days to come, as city officials mourn the victims and make more promises that they will inevitably fail to fulfill.

I’m disgusted and angry with it all.

I hope you are, too.

We’ll be back on Monday with our usual Morning Links. But right now, I don’t even want to think about it.

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

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.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Fake cop busted for kidnapping bike-riding boy, tech turns cars into “candy store of distraction,” and LAFD says wear a helmet

There was a frightening crime in Panorama City Wednesday morning, when a fake cop allegedly kidnapped a 13-year old boy after crashing into his bike.

The victim, who wasn’t publicly identified, was riding his bike near Van Nuys Boulevard and Tupper Street when he was struck by a pickup driven by 38-year old Ottoniel Mendoza.

Mendoza got out of his truck, identified himself as a cop while flashing a badge, and ordered the boy to get into his truck. He was arrested nearby after a witness called police and followed Mendoza as he drove away.

He was booked on suspicion of kidnapping; other counts likely to be added later after the DA reviews the case.

His victim was taken to a hospital with minor injuries from the crash, lucky to escape safe and unharmed.

A passenger in the truck was released without charges.

Thanks to Tony Toretto for the heads-up.

………

The LA Times says increasing technology is turning modern cars into a “candy store of distraction,” comparing the problem to overwhelmed military helicopter pilots in the 1980s.

The paper also notes that 70% of drivers admit to using their cellphones behind the wheel, a figure that rises to 86% for people who use their cars for work.

Just in case you’re wondering why they don’t seem to see you.

………

The Los Angeles Fire Department wants you to wear a helmet and ride safely if you’re going to Sunday’s South LA CicLAvia.

https://twitter.com/LAFDtalk/status/1544854637022306305

………

Streetsblog LA is hosting their annual summer fund drive, hoping to raise $15,000 over the next two months.

And yes, I plan to give what little I can to support their vital work reporting on LA transportation issues.

The website also announced the August 3rd date for their first in-person Streetsie Awards party in three years, honoring L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell.

………

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

There’s a special place in hell for the Connecticut man who pushed an 11-year old biracial boy off his bicycle; advocates are calling for him to be charged with a hate crime. 

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

Detroit police are looking for a suspect who seriously injured a 51-year old man in a bike-by shooting.

Police in New York are looking for a pair of teenage ebike riders who got into a fistfight with another man, before pulling guns and firing at him on the sidewalk in broad daylight.

………

Local

Los Angeles is bringing safety improvements to a 4.5-mile section of Western Ave between Martin Luther King Jr. and Century boulevards in South LA. Although the project appears to include sharrows instead of bike lanes, which have been shown to be literally worse than nothing

LAist offers more information on the coming Rail to Rail Active Transportation Project through South LA and Inglewood, tentatively scheduled to open in two years.

Long Beach wants to improve community policing by putting more cops on bikes and walking beats.

Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot is one us. Or at least knows the value of posing with a bicycle on the beach.

 

State 

Speaking of a special place in hell, someone — presumably a mountain biker — cut several branches and bushes overhanging a trail in the Del Mar Mesa Preserve, apparently in an effort to increase speed while reducing the trail’s difficulty.

Too many memorials line the streets of San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood, where residents and business owners have complained for years about the lack of traffic safety for pedestrians and cyclists; three people have been killed already this year, including last month’s death of a 63-year old ebike rider.

Mountain Bike Action recommends the off-road, all-levels Sapwi Bike Park and Sapwi Flow Trail Project in Thousand Oaks, a joint project of the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA) and Conejo Recreation and Park District.

 

National

Good idea. A bicycle insurance company is now offering nationwide coverage for damage to your bike, as well as optional theft coverage.

A new study says it doesn’t matter whether you ride your bike midweek or on weekends, as long as you ride.

They get it. A newspaper in Bend, Oregon says prioritizing people over cars won’t happen overnight, but it’s worth the effort, as the city fails to live up to its bike-friendly reputation.

Ebikes are now welcome wherever bicycles are allowed in Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park.

Five of the best social bike rides for your next trip to Denver.

Drivers in Austin, Texas can’t seem to avoid a new curb-protected bike lane, with a local resident reporting at least one blown tire there every day; city officials say it’s needed on a section of roadway where the previous painted bike lane failed to prevent several traffic deaths and serious injuries.

Seriously? A Minnesota teenager is dead because 72-year old driver says he lost control of his control of his pickup when he sneezed, and slammed into the boy’s bike after going off the road at 55 mph; he tested under the legal alcohol limit, despite smelling of booze and showing signs of impairment.

Parking won out over a planned bike lane in Louisville, Kentucky, after residents complained and city officials suddenly discovered the street wasn’t wide enough for them.

Speaking of Louisville, a woman is calling for accountability after a hit-and-run driver left a popular bike advocate lying critically injured in the roadway. Maybe if the city prioritized people over parking, things like that might be a little less likely.

A New York website considers how ebikes can help the city meet its climate goals.

Good question. A DC website asks why we treat traffic safety as if it’s less important than transit safety.

 

International

British Columbia bike and safety advocates are calling for mandatory side bars on large trucks, after a frightening crash where a bike rider was right hooked by a driver turning right on a red light; the crash came just one week after another rider was killed in a similar crash. Banning right on red would help, too.

It looks like Britain can kiss pro-bike, pro-Brexit Prime Minister Boris Johnson goodbye, after one too many scandals.

Bike Radar ogles Danish city bikes while in in the country for the first stages of the Tour de France.

A Pakistani court has sentenced a Christian bike mechanic to death for blasphemy, in a dispute that began when Muslim customer demanded a discount after getting his bike fixed.

A new Honda ebike combines a ped-assist bike with a throttle-controlled, sit-down scooter.

A New Zealand op-ed says Vision Zero should account for the premature deaths caused by car pollution, as well as from traffic violence.

 

Competitive Cycling

Aussie Simon Clarke claimed his first Tour de France stage victory in a photo finish over Dutch cyclist Taco van der Hoorn in Wednesday’s cobbled sixth stage, while Wout Van Aert held on to the yellow jersey by a slim 13-second margin.

Bicycling asks if Neilson Powless is America’s sleeper Tour de France threat, after his solo breakaway was caught in the final kilometer; if he could have held on, he would have started today’s stage in the yellow jersey. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you

Slovenia’s Primož Roglič lost two minutes to the race leaders after a crash forced him to borrow a spectator’s chair to pop his dislocated shoulder back in place.

Roglič’s Jumbo-Visma teammate Jonas Vingegaard had to make up time after getting dropped by the peloton following a disastrous series of bike changes, as he struggled to find one he could actually ride.

https://twitter.com/flobikes/status/1544728920024563713?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1544728920024563713%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcyclingmagazine.ca%2Fsections%2Fnews%2Fjumbo-vismas-bike-change-was-the-most-hectic-near-disaster-ever%2F

 

Finally…

Use a little magnetic attraction to keep your skirt down on a bike. If you’re carrying drug paraphernalia and stolen credit cards on your bike, put a damn light on it, already.

And forget hi-viz. Apparently even riding naked on a tandem isn’t enough to be seen by drivers.

Or one driver, anyway.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Updating traffic violence news, Healthy Streets LA turns in 120,000 signatures, and OC applies for bikeway grant

Happy first day of summer! And belated Juneteenth and Father’s Day greetings! 

Maybe one of these days I’ll actually catch up to the calendar. 

………

Let’s start by updating a pair of tragedies we mentioned yesterday.

First is an Illinois county judge who was killed when he was rear-ended by a 73-year old driver. Today brought news that he had been riding with his wife on a roadway rated by the state as unfriendly for bikes, yet which was inexplicably recommended by Google Maps; he was also a board member for a statewide bike advocacy group.

We had also mentioned that a Buffalo, NY woman was killed when a driver plowed into a group of three bike-riding women; today we learned the victim was popular singer-songwriter in the area. Police believe the crash occurred when the driver suffered some sort of medical emergency.

………

This is just a fraction of the 120,000 signatures they’re ready to turn in for the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposition.

Don’t forget tomorrow’s 2:15 pm special public meeting of the LA City Council’s Public Works and Transportation Committees to discuss a proposal to adopt the wording of the ballot proposition before it goes to a public vote this November.

………

This could be a big plus for OC bike riders.

………

The estimable Will Campbell struck out in an effort to bike to the new Sandy Koufax statue at Dodger Stadium.

………

Lionel Mares forwards photos from Saturday’s ride along the LA River with LACBC and California Sate Senator Maria Elena Durazo and LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman.

Speaking of the LACBC, any donations to the bike advocacy group will be matched dollar for dollar by Warner Bros. Discovery for the next month, up to a total of $25,000.

………

An inspiring new video demonstrates how an adaptive athlete helped Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s “deepest, darkest” mountain bike trail welcome adaptive bike riders.

………

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

Denver area sheriff’s deputies are looking for a man with a long criminal record who allegedly swerved his pickup onto the shoulder of a highway to attack a group of bicyclists Sunday morning, critically injuring one woman; deputies found his abandoned truck that night, after he had stopped briefly to dislodge a bicycle stuck underneath it.

………

Local

Former LACBC board member and Laemmle Theaters owner Greg Laemmle is hosting his popular Tour de Laemmle this Sunday, welcoming anyone who wants to join him in riding to the recently sold Laemmle Playhouse 7 one last time.

The star of the documentary Q Ball was released from prison after 24 long years; he had been sentenced to life behind bars for his third strike conviction after Long Beach police found him in possession of a gun when they stopped him for riding his bike without a light. Otherwise known as a pretext stop, giving cops an excuse to stop and search someone.

 

State 

Food giant Mondelēz International got the munchies, and gobbled up Emeryville-based maker of Clif Bars for a whopping $2.9 billion. Yes, that’s billions with a B.

 

National

File this one under bad ideas. President Biden is considering a temporary pause in the already too low federal gas tax, which hasn’t been raised in 29 years. There are better ways to address the pain of high gas taxes than cutting funds that support transportation spending. Like tax rebates funded by a windfall profits tax on oil companies.

No, that wasn’t former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki making fun of Donald Trump after Biden fell off his bike.

Bike Hacks offers tips on how to feel safe and confident on the road while riding at night.

A Portland man has filed suit against the city, alleging he was injured by a flashbang grenade and beaten by police during the 2020 racial justice protests, and unable to reclaim his bicycle after it was seized by officers.

A new entry-level, retro-style cruiser ebike from Seattle bikemaker E-Velo is specifically designed for riders under 5’10” tall. Although I would hardly call $3,500 “entry-level.”

Pittsburgh has installed the city’s first advisory bike lane, which channels drivers into a shared center lane, while allowing them to briefly move into the bike and pedestrian lanes on either side — just like the one that was unceremoniously ripped out in San Diego.

This is who we share the road with. Six people were injured, three critically, when a New York cabbie hit a bike rider after rounding a corner, then jumped the curb, slamming into several pedestrians and pinning two women against a wall; once again, police suspect the driver may have suffered some sort of medical episode.

Police in Tupelo, Mississippi struggled to identify a man who was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike Friday, before members of the public came up with his name several hours later. One more reminder to always carry ID with you when you ride — preferably something that won’t get stolen if you’re incapacitated.

 

International

A new Colombian law named for a 13-year old victim of traffic violence killed riding his bike commits the country to improving traffic safety through the safe systems approach, while reducing speed limits and adopting UN regulations for vehicle standards and licensing.

Canadian musician DJ JaBig is entering the final leg of a 10,000-mile ride through the US to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief; he’s less than $1,000 short of his $16,500 goal.

Bath, England decides to trade up, replacing two golf courses with a new bike park.

Angry bike riders complain about ice cream trucks illegally parked in the protected bike lanes on London’s Westminster Bridge.

Israeli approved plans to crack down on bike and e-scooter riders for crimes like riding distracted and not wearing a helmet.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly talks with Alexey Vermeulen, who bailed on a brief road cycling career to earn six figures as a gravel privateer.

Win a bike race, celebrate with a dip in the pool in full kit.

And avoid that awkward sprint to the finish with a spirited round of Rochambeau.

https://twitter.com/eurosport/status/1538145608309084160?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1538145608309084160%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclingweekly.com%2Fnews%2Ftweets-of-the-week-rock-paper-scissors-at-a-bike-race-the-other-geraint-thomas-and-quinten-hermans-makes-a-splash

 

Finally…

Why wait for bikes to hit the road when you can run them down in the shop? That feeling when a stray bike wheel shuts down the entire subway.

And once again, a bike rider is a hero. If only to our feathered friends.

But wait, there’s more!

Thanks to TEOTWAWKI, aka TRutt, for the heads-up.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Young siblings victims of traffic violence in Sylmar crash, LA traffic violence spikes, and modest bike gains in Beverly Hills

Sadly, traffic violence continues to climb on Los Angeles streets.

The latest news comes as a young brother and sister were run down as they shared a bike in LA’s Sylmar neighborhood.

At last report, the 12-year old boy and his 8-year old sister were both hospitalized in stable condition with serious injuries.

The driver remained at the scene, and as usual, was not charged.

There is something seriously wrong when children can’t ride safely on what should be a quiet neighborhood street.

Just another example of the unhealthy hegemony of cars in the City of Angels.

………

In news that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, traffic injuries and fatalities spiked on Los Angeles streets in the first two months of the year, after climbing last year.

The jump comes nearly seven years after Mayor Eric Garcetti sat at a massive desk plopped down in a Boyle Heights street to sign a proclamation declaring Vision Zero in Los Angeles.

And just three years from the date he promised to end LA traffic deaths once and for all.

Maybe someone should have warned him that it would require actually taking bold action and making the tough decisions to tame traffic and reduce motor vehicle use.

Oh wait, we did.

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Mark Elliot of Better Bike Beverly Hills, who almost single-handedly led a shockingly successful fight to transform the former Biking Black Hole into something far friendlier to people on two wheels. Although there’s still a long way to go. .

Here he offers an update on what he terms modest wins in the city.

Despite the evident disinterest among our City Council majority (3-2) for multimodal mobility, the city has nevertheless notched a couple of modest wins for safer streets in Beverly Hills.

New leadership at the Transportation Division marks a new era. Mobility planning in Beverly Hills effectively cleared two kidney stones with the retirements of Aaron Kunz and Susan Healey Keene last year. Subsequently the mobility function was moved to Public Works from Community Development. Each change represented a big step forward. Daren Grilley and Jessie Holzer now are in charge of the transportation division and each understands the importance of safe streets. They walk the walk too, so to speak, as they both ride.

New commissioners have revitalized the Traffic & Parking Commission. For too long this commission sat idly by as crash injuries increased year-after-year. Commissioners for too long didn’t even ask why traffic enforcement in Beverly Hills took a ten-year holiday. But starting a few years ago, new appointments to the commission changed the dynamic. Now we have a safety-minded commission and a new chair: Sharon Ignarro. She really walks the walk. But hold on, we are hardly out of the woods yet: one of our councilmembers seems intent on defanging this commission. We beat-back that effort last month.

Elliot also calls on the biking and walking communities to support bike-friendly Mayor Robert Wunderlich and Councilmember John Mirisch in their campaigns for re-election to the Beverly Hills City Council.

………

Hats off to the Laguna Woods bike rider who joined a couple of elderly men to confront a woman walking through the area wearing a Nazi armband, which is home to a number of Jewish retirees.

………

One of our most frequent contributors, Megan Lynch will be a panelist discussing bicycling and accessibility at next month’s CalBike Summit.

………

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

Before you try to intimidate a woman riding a bicycle by revving your engine and honking your horn during a close pass, maybe make sure she’s not a plainclothes cop, first.

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

A British bike rider was threatened with arrest for attempting to jump a closed rail crossing barrier with his bike before finally be turned away, while another greeted cops with a “vigorous hand gesture.”

………

Local

Caltrans is looking for your input on the agency’s draft Active Transportation Plan for Los Angeles and Ventura counties by April 5th.

LA Times readers aren’t fans of Governor Newsom’s plan to give rich and poor drivers alike a $400 gas tax rebate, even if they drive an e-car, while screwing anyone who doesn’t own a car. Meanwhile, the plan is criticized for undermining the governors own climate goals. But what’s a little climate emergency when there’s an election to be won by handing out piles of cash to people who don’t need it?

 

State 

Carlsbad imposes a draconian crackdown on ebikes and e-scooters, banning them from “public sidewalks, drainage ditches, culverts, channels, athletic courts or gyms,” as well as requiring riders to walk their bikes within 50 feet of a pedestrian on any trail less than five-feet wide; the city blames bike riders for 70% of all bike collisions, which defies logic.

A San Jose bike rider was lucky to avoid becoming collateral damage in a collision between two drivers, in one of the closest close calls you’re likely to see.

The Bay Area web series Comedians on Bicycles marked their season finale with a slow-motion bicycle race and a donut-eating contest.

A Marin paper says it makes sense to earmark $2.5 million to build bike and pedestrian paths along the SMART commuter rail corridors.

A Chico man learns the hard way thy shall not steal thy neighbor’s bike.

 

National

Rolling Stone gets on the ebike bandwagon, telling readers to fight high gas prices by ditching their cars and getting an ebike.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the wheel out from under Portland’s Unipiper unicycle-riding flame-throwing bagpiper.

Proving it can be done, Seattle is taking steps to remake a major state highway that cuts through the city, with a $50 million plan to revive the corridor dying from cut-through traffic, and make the seven lane roadway welcoming to people on riding bikes and on foot. Maybe Malibu can take note before LA’s killer highway claims another innocent victim.

An Arizona woman is suing Costco and Phantom bikes for an illegal design using the right brake to stop the front wheel on their ebikes, allegedly losing an eye and suffering other injuries when the brake setup caused her to go over her handlebars.

An Idaho cop says no, you don’t have to yield to bike riders in a crosswalk, but it beats the hell out of hitting them.

Nice way to bury the lede. A Hudson Valley newspaper reports a 69-year old man was charged with wearing earbuds while riding a bike, and failing to signal his turn. Neither of which would have likely come to the attention of the police if he hadn’t been hit by a driver, first.

The New York press is quick to paint bike riders as outrageous scofflaws endangering pedestrians, but it’s just as likely the rider will suffer serious injuries in any collision with someone on foot. The latest case in point is a Harlem ebike rider who was gravely injured when he struck someone crossing the street and flew over his handlebars.

In a major safety improvement, the new protected bike lane on New York’s Brooklyn Bridge has slowed motor vehicle traffic 28%, reducing average speeds just below 20 mph. Although chances are, the drivers using the bridge won’t see that as a win.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette demands an apology from the city police department for the fatal tasing of a Black man who took a bike for a test ride around the block without permission; the victim died after officers tased him multiple times in a matter of minutes.

The Washington Post talks with the Australia native who gained social media acclaim as the Bike Man who singlehandedly slowed a DC truckers convoy protest.

No bias here. Wackadoodle rightwing Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene told a crowd that ”Pete Buttigieg can take his electric vehicles and his bicycle, and he and his husband can stay out of our girls bathrooms. Yup.” Not that they were planning to take their electric cars and bicycles into one.

 

International

Brompton is recalling their new ebike foldies because the mudguard can get caught in the tire.

Travel and Leisure examines the intersection of bike tours and Michelin-starred food.

Treehugger says anecdotal evidence shows high gas prices are leading to booming ebike sales.

Canadian Cycling Magazine celebrates the Oscars with their picks for the best and worst bicycling movies. Although nothing matches the action of an open-handed Will Smith slap delivered to the face of a stunned Chris Rock.

London is facing a bikelash from Conservative councilmembers, who have taken steps to remove popup bike lanes and pedestrianized areas before they had a chance to change transportation behavior; the city’s transportation agency has responded by cutting funding to their districts.

British Olympic cycling hero Sir Chris Hoy says he’s experienced fewer close passes since the county’s new Highway Code went into effect. Although we saw the same thing in California when the three-foot passing law went into effect, but it didn’t last.

Dutch ebike maker Cowboy continues to bring in $81 million in new funding, despite record pandemic and supply chain-related losses.

Great idea. An Indian petrochemical company gave each of its 142 employees an identical new bicycle, and is encouraging them to bike to work at least once a week.

Abu Dhabi says ditch the passenger and wear a helmet if you’re riding a bike, ebike or e-scooter in an emirates bike lane.

 

Competitive Cycling

We may have glimpsed the future of pro cycling, as 21-year old Eritrean cyclist Biniam Girmay just missed the podium with a fifth place finish in the E3 Saxo Bank Classic, in his first full year on the pro tour — then followed it up with first place in Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem, a significant breakthrough for Black African riders. Meanwhile, Wout van Aert came in first in the E3.

https://twitter.com/eurosport/status/1508113176864468992

It says something when the great Marianne Vos says she just wasn’t fast enough to catch 24-year old Italian Elisa Balsamo in the women’s Gent-Wevelgem.

Twenty-three-year old Sergio Higuita captured the Volta a Catalunya after climbing into the lead on Saturday, fending off multiple attacks on Sunday’s final stage.

British pro Lizzy Banks is finally back in the peloton, after losing most of last season to a traumatic brain injury and a major bout with Covid.

Great news from Colombia, where former Tour de France and defending Giro winner Egan Bernal is back on a bike, just two months after a nearly fatal training crash when he slammed into the back of a poorly parked bus.

Kazakhstan pro Alexey Lutsenko will be sidelined for the foreseeable future after breaking his shoulder and collar bone while training in Tenerife.

We’re less than one week away from the world’s biggest little bike race, as men’s and women’s teams were announced for Indiana University’s famed Little 500, made famous in Breaking Away.

 

Finally…

Your next e-cargo bike could fold and glow in the dark. It doesn’t pay to play doctor if you ain’t one.

And don’t ride naked through the woods sporting wood of your own.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

More proof bike lanes reduce traffic congestion, and Caltrans commits to non-Vision Zero Vision Zero by 2050

A new study confirms what we already knew.

Bike lanes reduce congestion.

The Carnegie Mellon University study demonstrates how increasing bicycle and micromobility use can lead to a notable decrease in traffic congestion.

But only if there is sufficient infrastructure in place to support increased ridership.

Meanwhile, a study from the Urban Institute suggests that protected and buffered bike lanes, cycle tracks and offroad paths offer a far better solution than painted bike lanes, let alone sharrows.

Your move, Los Angeles.

………

Caltrans has finally, semi-officially committed to Vision Zero, even if they very carefully avoided using the term.

And even if they gave themselves nearly 30 years to get there, which effective absolves the agency of the need to take immediate action, giving them every opportunity to kick the can down the road.

But it’s a start.

Maybe someday, someone will actually do more than just start.

………

No irony here.

KTown For All co-founder Jane Nguyen was struck by a driver as she was walking in a Koreatown crosswalk (scroll down), while on her way to gather signatures for the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure.

The initiative would improve street safety and transportation by requiring the city to build out the mobility plan as streets are repaved, rather than the current policy of just pretending the plan doesn’t exist.

Nguyen was rushed to the ER by bike rider and corgi owner Kenneth Mejia, who’s running for city controller and has been endorsed by this site.

Fortunately, she wasn’t seriously injured.

And no, I didn’t endorse Mejia just because he rides a bike and has a couple corgis. But it didn’t hurt.

………

If you know, or are, a Pasadena public school student, here’s your chance to learn how to fix a bike. And maybe even win a new one.

………

Today is the last day to apply for the inaugural Los Angeles City Youth Council. Because it wouldn’t hurt to ensure we have a bike-friendly voices on there.

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But people on bicycles are entitled.

Right?

https://twitter.com/runolgarun/status/1498169046734295040

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Just in case anyone thinks you can’t defend your homeland with a bicycle.

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

A pair of homeless men face charges for beating a Kansas man to death with a metal pipe; at least one of the men was arrested as he rode away on a bicycle afterwards.

………

Local

No news it good news, right?

 

State 

San Diego opened a pair of bikeways on Fourth and Fifth Avenues through the Bankers Hill and Hillcrest neighborhoods. Which would have allowed me to safely ride to work when I lived down there. But they only came about three decades too late.

A KPBS roundtable discussion considers what effect the debate over bike lanes will have on San Diego’s climate action plan.

Travel & Leisure recommends REI’s three-day, 113-mile supported bike tour through Joshua Tree National Park, for the low, low price of $1,099 for members. Or for the same price, just get your bike fixed-up, buy a tent and camping gear, and do it yourself.

A writer for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition calls for improving street safety before anyone else gets killed, after a San Francisco pastor was run down from behind while training for a bike ride to Long Beach.

Lodi considers converting an unused railway right-of-way to a rail-to-trail project.

 

National

Road Bike Action wants to talk about your varicose veins. Mine came courtesy of a road raging driver who intentionally slammed into my bike, driving the front cog into my calf.

A new reverse-tricycle ebike from an Oregon bikemaker offers pedal-by-wire, with no direct mechanical connection to the three independent electric motors that power each wheel; the bike also has as a tilting design that allows it to corner like a two-wheeled bike.

Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes considers lowering prices on its most popular models, just months after increasing them due in part to the international bike part shortage.

A Las Vegas bike rider was killed when a bus driver failed to notice the victim was riding to the right of the bus, forcing the rider to cling to the side of the moving bus until he or she lost their grip, and fell into it.

Business owners in Columbus, Ohio and Cambridge, Massachusetts insist on shooting themselves in the foot by fighting plans to remove parking spaces to install bike lanes, even though studies show bike riders spend more than drivers on a monthly basis, and that bike lanes encourage shopping while increasing local sales.

Streetsblog accuses New York officials of a literal coverup after the city did a “fast and shoddy repair” to caved-in pavement on a city street, following the death of a 77-year old man who fell from his bike after hitting the broken pavement; the city had ignored complaints about the problem for nearly three years. Which means the inevitable lawsuit should be a slam dunk.

Kindhearted cops in Coral Springs, Florida gave a young boy a new bicycle, replacing the one he was riding when he was struck by a driver and pinned under the car while on his way to school. Fortunately, he wasn’t badly injured.

Yet another Florida bike rider has been caught on an open draw bridge, as video came to light of a man clinging to the bridge for dear life last November; the news comes after a woman riding a bicycle was killed in a similar incident earlier this month.

 

International

Your next bike could be made from plants.

Brazen bike thieves attempted to use an axel grinder to steal a bicycle in broad daylight on a busy Edinburgh street; fortunately, they were interrupted by people passing by, who guarded it until the owner returned.

Good idea. An Edinburg bike advocacy group has issued an election manifesto calling for creation of a comprehensive network of protected bike lanes and a 30 percent reduction in motor vehicle traffic.

Brompton wants to build a new $134 million factory on an English wetlands, which the company says it will convert to a nature preserve; the factory would employ 1,500 people within five years.

More on the 80-year old British truck driver who killed a 66-year old man who was riding an ebike; court testimony shows he didn’t even brake or take evasive action before slamming into the victim. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive, let alone operate a work truck.

A journalist describes his usual bike route as a “Russian Death Valley” after Ukrainian forces beat back an attack by invading forces.

A Turkish paper describes bicycling as a way of life in the country’s central province of Konya, which is home to 351 miles of bike paths.

Around 400 bike riders hit the streets of Hyderabad, India armed with placards calling on drivers to pay more attentions around people on bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

He gets it. After winning the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne race on Sunday, Dutch cyclist Fabio Jacobsen notes that while young men were fighting to win a bike race, other young men were fighting for their country and their lives against overwhelming odds in Ukraine.

Italian pro Matteo Trentin rejected Chris Froome’s call to ban time trial bikes, saying the problem isn’t the type of bicycle being ridden, but the amount of people in cars.

Spanish motorcycle racer Aleix Espargaró says he nearly joined a pro cycling team after taking up the sport following a bad motorbike crash, calling bicycling the worst drug in the world because “the more you go, the more you want.” Although some of us would say that’s why it’s the best drug.

Two-time IRONMAN World Champion Patrick Lange will be out of commission for awhile, after the German triathlete suffered a joint injury in a training fall.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can have your very own Wu-Tang Clan fixie. If you’re riding your bike with a half gram of fentanyl hidden in your bra, put a damn light on it — the bike that is, not the bra.

And evidently, there’s more than one way to ride around the world — and without breaking a sweatThanks to Steven Hallett for the heads-up.

………

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

Bike rider killed in horrific Arkansas hit-and-run, Bike Talk talks Healthy Streets LA initiate, and Taylor Yard Bridge opening off

Unbelievable.

In one of the most horrifying examples of traffic violence in recent memory, police in Fort Smith, Arkansas discovered a hit-and-run had taken place when someone found a severed leg lying in the street Saturday morning.

They found the rest of the 57-year old victim’s body in the back of a man’s pickup, where it had been since the driver had crashed into his bike around 12 hours earlier.

The driver claimed he didn’t know the victim’s body was there until he got home — and then apparently just went inside and left him there to die once he did.

Graphics by tomexploresla

Which presumably would have given the man plenty of time to sober up before the cops found the body in his truck.

And how anyone could do something like that without being drunk or stoned is beyond me.

The crash is reminiscent of the infamous 2014 case in which a hit-and-run driver drove home with a bike rider embedded in his windshield, and didn’t notice until he came back out the next morning.

Fortunately, that one had a happier ending.

Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

………

Bike Talk talks with Streets For All founder Michael Schneider about the organization’s Healthy Streets LA initiative to force Los Angeles to build out the city’s mobility plan when streets get repaved.

That’s followed by a segment with Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss discussing the Idaho Stop Law, which allows bike riders to treat stop signs like yields, and — at least in Idaho’s original version — treat red lights like stop signs.

A version of which was vetoed by California Governor Newsom last year.

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Remember what we said yesterday about the new Taylor Yard Bridge opening next month?

Yeah, not so much.

LA officials say the official opening has been cancelled. No reason or makeup date has been announced.

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British singer, songwriter and producer James Blunt is one of us.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1495986709179207682

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

A road-raging British driver walked without a single day behind bars for chasing down and ramming a bike rider who damaged his wing mirror; adding insult to injury, the driver was ordered to pay the equivalent of just $1,359 in compensation, despite totaling the victim’s $9,500 bicycle.

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

Police in London busted a sexual assault suspect who used a bikeshare bike in the attack, which allowed police to identify him from his credit card.

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Local

Momentum Magazine asks if Los Angeles can shake its anti-bicycling reputation, and seems to conclude, “maybe.”

On a similar note, a graduate student at Northwestern examines LA’s Vision Zero program, saying it brings both hope and skepticism to the city. Which most Los Angeles bike riders can relate to.

 

State 

No surprise here. San Diego’s KPBS says families of traffic violence victims often feel let down by the criminal justice system.

A 32-year old man was injured when he was struck by a driver in Santa Rosa after allegedly riding his bike through a red light while under the influence.

 

National

A Las Vegas optician may need his own eyes examined, after confessing that he was one of the bike riders charged by a bull captured on a viral video during the recent Rock Cobbler offroad race.

An Ohio mayor is oddly up in arms over a former rival’s donation of a $3,600 police bike to the local police department, as well as giving her late firefighter husband’s rescue gear to the fire department, calling them ethics violations; opponents call the ethics flap just an effort to keep her off the city council.

A paper in Worcester, Massachusetts marks Black History Month by tracing several key sites in the adopted hometown of legendary cyclist Major Taylor, as well as historic locations relating to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, among others.

After a 15-year old boy accidentally ride his bike off a bridge, a Massachusetts cop is credited with his rescue.

New York’s legislature is considering a package of bike and pedestrian safety bills that would give cities more control over speed limits, encourage them to build safer sidewalks and bike lanes, and require drivers to study more safety topics for their license test.

You know you have a problem when two people on bicycles are run down by hit-and-run drivers on the same stretch of a Florida street, the same time of day, just one mile and three days apart. Or when four people have been killed at the same Orlando intersection in four months, the latest victim was a 15-year old boy right-hooked while riding in a crosswalk.

 

International

Bike Radar’s podcast considers how to make this your best year yet on your bike. That’s easy. 1) Just ride, and 2) just ride more. And don’t take it so damn seriously.

Bike riders debate the relative merits of daytime running lights, after Road.cc reposts a 2015 article about their use.

A writer for Jalopnik says the “Freedom Convoy” that paralyzed Ottawa, Canada in recent weeks shows why cars and trucks should be banned from cities.

Canadian bicyclists are mourning the loss of longtime Toronto bike advocate Robert “Bicycle Bob” Silverman, who fought for bike lanes long before the city had any, and helped set it on its current bike-friendly course; Silverman passed away Sunday at age 88.

Good news on the bike theft front, as reports from more than 40 British police agencies indicate the crime fell over 11% last year.

A delivery rider in the UK says he’s never more than one crash away from financial disaster, after his earnings have dropped almost in half over the past few years.

A self-described die-hard Indian cyclist writes in defense of the humble bicycle, after the country’s prime minister cast aspersions on bikes in attacking another political party that uses one as its symbol; the head of that party calls the prime minister’s comments “an insult to the nation.”

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI may be ditching Red Bull for coverage of the Mountain Bike World Cup after this season, entering into exclusive negotiations with Discovery Sports.

Colombian cyclist Daniel Martínez calls injured countryman Egan Bernal a champion on and off the bike, as Martínez opens the European campaign with a third-place finish in the Volta ao Algarve.

Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin says he’s happy to be back on the WorldTour after walking away from the sport for several months last year.

 

Finally…

Go ahead and ride straight, even if the bike path isn’t. And sometimes you have to pedal upstream in life.

………

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

Day one of Scarpa murder trial, tell LA to stop street racing and loud engines, and CHP responsible for East LA hit-and-run

Our anonymous Orange County correspondent is back to cover this week’s trial of Stephen Taylor Scarpa for murder.

Scarpa allegedly ran down popular Costa Mesa fire captain and father Mike Kreza in a drug-fueled crash three years ago, as Kreza was riding a bicycle in Mission Viejo to train for a triathlon.

Here’s what she had to say about the lead-up to the long-delayed trial.

Stephen Taylor Scarpa‘s jury trial starts on Monday. So far, Judge Patrick Donahue has decided to allow the video of Scarpa’s participation in his high school’s “Every 15 Minutes” event, as well as testimony from fellow personnel of the rehab centers he worked at. The People’s exhibits will probably also include the DMV’s letter of license revocation and a diagram (but no photographs) of the victim’s many injuries.

Since Scarpa has a long-standing association with drugs, his medical records might be presented as well. The judge finds that this is not in violation of HIPAA. Despite the lack of a previous arrest for DUI, there is sooo much other evidence, strong evidence, that Scarpa knew the dangers of impaired driving, the DA might not even bother to present these records. Scarpa had jaw-dropping levels of assorted drugs in his system, and his blood was not drawn until 4 hours after the collision.

His Honor has forbidden Kreza’s fellow firefighters to attend the trial in full uniform, and friends & family will not be allowed to wear clothing or badges with the deceased’s likeness. I am sorely tempted to get a T-shirt printed up with “It’s about time” in bold letters, because according to the arresting officer, these were Scarpa’s words as the handcuffs were slapped on.

And this is how she reported on the first day of public testimony in the trial.

Oh, man, I’m not hopeful.

The Scarpa trial began Monday morning. Deputy DA Michael Feldman began opening statements by thanking the victim’s friends and family for coming. As stipulated by the judge, no uniformed firefighters were present inside the courtroom. But they were out in the hallway to provide support for the widow and other family members. There was no mention that Mr. Kreza himself had been a firefighter.

In a PowerPoint presentation bannered by the misspelled name of the defendant, Mr. Feldman tersely listed the basic facts that support the People’s charge, among them Scarpa’s participation in his high school’s “Every 15 Minutes” program, his rehab stints, and his employment as a behavioral health technician. “He’s gonna be the one to tell you first hand,” insisted Mr. Feldman, pointing at the defendant, that he was aware of the dangers and consequences of impaired driving. To this end, the People played audio files of the interrogation, in which Mr. Scarpa tells the investigating deputy, “I do it, but I don’t condone it,” a tacit and unambiguous confession. Mr. Scarpa clutched tissues as the DA played his confession that he’d driven impaired with his own young daughter in the car.

Feldman then went on to use the word “accident” several times during his opening statement. AUUUUURGH. That is the entire premise of the defense. It’s almost like he’s trying to hand Mr. Scarpa an acquittal with a big red shiny bow.

Mr. Lowenstein, for the Defense, insisted that the collision had been an “accident,” and that Mr. Scarpa’s actions did not meet the legal definition of implied malice. He stated that the prescription drugs found in Scarpa’s system do not, as opposed to Feldman’s assertion, have warning stickers telling users not to drive. The defense asked whether Scarpa acted with “conscious disregard” (without underscoring the impossibility because Scarpa was, in fact, unconscious at the time of impact).

The Defense told the jury that Scarpa, though drugged up after a party, drove approximately 25 miles without incident, and there was no evidence that he was speeding. He went on to loftily praise Scarpa’s parking (“snug against the curb”!) after the collision, and reiterated several times that he did not attempt to flee afterwards. The collision was merely “a split second in time, a miscalculation, a perfect storm of events.”  Scarpa’s temporary inattention, “a fraction of a second,” and impaired state led to “a perfect storm of events.” (Lowenstein also mentioned something about a perfect storm of events.)

Both Feldman and Lowenstein brought up the words Mr. Scarpa uttered upon his official arrest: “It’s about time.” The People assert that this indicated Mr. Scarpa’s acceptance of a long-anticipated outcome. The Defense suggested that Mr. Scarpa had been expecting an arrest only for the duration of his lengthy interrogation.

First to testify was widow Shana Kreza, who identified a photo of her late husband, and briefly described the family’s Saturday morning, getting ready for their daughter’s soccer game. Mr. Kreza had left on his bicycle, but never arrived at the soccer field.

Next on the witness stand was the first responding officer, who described taking initial command of the scene, Mr. Kreza’s broken body, the agitation of the suspect, and the actions of the Good Samaritans.

The next two witnesses had been in the car behind Scarpa. Ragan Hill and her nephew, Cage Morgan, were putting up garage sale signs in the neighborhood. Hill saw Scarpa’s minivan leave the roadway. As it took out shrubs and saplings on the embankment to the right of the sidewalk (where Kreza was riding his bicycle, despite the adjacent bike lane), she saw a body fly off the top of the minivan.

Morgan described his aunt yell, “Oh my god, look at that car!” He diverted his attention from his phone to see Scarpa’s minivan returning to the roadway, with a trailing cloud of debris. He watched as a man fell off the minivan’s roof onto the road. Hill hit the brakes, stopping about 5-10 feet from Kreza’s prone, bloody body. Morgan called 911, and both exited the vehicle to assist.

Scarpa had parked by the curb and exited his minivan as well, but didn’t approach his victim or the witnesses. Instead, he sat on the curb, fidgeting. “My first thought,” testified Hill, “was that he was impaired.”

Both Hill and Morgan described the same aspects of the scene: Scarpa’s agitation, Kreza’s bone sticking out of his lower leg. Morgan was afraid to initiate CPR, fearing it would exacerbate Kreza’s injuries. Because Morgan was unsure the collision was accidental and did not know whether Scarpa was dangerous, he didn’t approach the suspect, but gestured questioningly from a distance, with palms up. He kept an eye on Scarpa, who appeared disoriented, because “I was afraid he would flee the scene.”

Deputy Christian Servin was called to the scene to perform a field sobriety test. He first approached the twitchy suspect and asked what was going on. He was apprehensive about asking Scarpa to perform some of the physical field sobriety testing tasks because his lack of balance and coordination might subject him to falls. Deputy Servin’s search found six 800mg gabapentin pills on Scarpa’s person, and Scarpa confirmed he had no prescription. Though Servin had difficulty with communication because Scarpa was “in and out” of it, he was able to determine that Scarpa had not slept for two days, had smoked .25g of meth 36 hours prior, had fresh tracks from injecting a fentanyl/meth mixture, had taken Suboxone at a party that morning, and had taken lorazepam. Scarpa stated that he had no medical conditions, and (and) that he was under a doctor’s care. (This doctor, perhaps?) Scarpa also stated he knew he should not have been driving, because he was “upset,” and he believed that he had crashed into a tree and several people.

At this point, court recessed for lunch, and I had to split ’cause I have graveyard shifts, but I’m all free for Day 2.

Meanwhile, the Daily Pilot says the case will hinge on intent, and whether Scarpa intentionally committed the act that resulted in Kreza’s death.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

Our anonymous correspondent also added this note.

EMT students are required to attend one rotation in a hospital emergency department. I did this.

The morning started off slow, and the nurses had zero interest in talking with me, so I poked my head into an exam room and announced to the patient that I was there to check her vitals. She consented and while I took her pulse, I asked what brought her to the ER. She stated that she had passed out while making a left turn (in a major intersection, btw) and had crashed into a fire hydrant. I sympathized with her awful morning, and then asked what she’d had for breakfast. Nothing. I suggested that it was always a good idea to fuel up to start your day. Then I asked whether she was on any medications. She had taken a prescription narcotic analgesic before she took her kids to school. “And you drove?” She confirmed this. I informed her that it was dangerous to drive under the influence, and her pill bottle even had a warning sticker added to the prescription label. She insisted there was no such warning, so we pulled the bottle out of her purse to look at it.

I read the warning out loud: “Do not operate heavy machinery.”

She protested, with frustration at my stupidity, “I wasn’t operating heavy machinery. I was just driving my car.”

(Ed. note: Because evidently multi-ton cars aren’t, well, you know…)

There are warnings of “Don’t drive until you know how this drug affects you,” even though said drug impairs your cognitive abilities such that you cannot ascertain how the drug impairs you. In the absence of quantification and/or memory, your brain just lies to you: “Everything’s fine.”

Why appropriate phrasing hasn’t been legislated, I don’t know.

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Streets For All is urging you to take action to support a couple of motions on the agenda for this afternoon’s meeting of the LA City Council Public Safety Committee.

Make your voice heard on two key issues this week.

There are two key issues being considered this week at City of Los Angeles Public Safety Committee.

1 – The first (Council File 21-0870) is a motion at the Public Safety Committee to consider re-designing streets to prevent illegal street racing. As much as we fight for lower speed limits, the best way to slow cars down is by redesigning streets all together.

2 – The second (Council File 20-1267) is a motion to reduce illegal exhaust noise in the City of Los Angeles. Modified mufflers disturb the peace and evenincrease our stress hormones and risk of heart disease. While we don’t want more armed officers doing traffic stops, we can solve this by clamping down on the shops that make these illegal modifications.

Here’s how you can help in 2 easy steps:

1) Make public comment using the council file system

If you are unable to make live public comment, the next best thing is writing a message in the council file management system. We have made this easy with a pre-filled template and links.

MAKE PUBLIC COMMENT IN ADVANCE

2) Make public comment live at the committee meetings

The Public Safety Committee is on Wednesday, September 1, at 330pm. Here is the agenda. Call into this meeting to comment on the re-designing streets to curb racing and the illegal exhaust noise issue.

CALL IN INSTRUCTIONS + TALKING POINTS

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Speaking of Streets For All, the political nonprofit is calling on you to fill a vacancy in your local Neighborhood Council if you live in any of the following areas.

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In a Twitter thread, the LACBC calls for accountability from the CHP for the hit-and-run that injured a 14-year old boy in East LA over two months ago.

Despite catching the crash on video, and multiple news reports, they’ve apparently done nothing to hold the officer responsible, or compensate the bike-riding boy for his injuries.

Click on the tweets for the full thread.

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This is who we share the road with.

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

Utah’s Zion National Park is looking for public input on new bike and ebike regulations that would allow bikes in groups of no more than six spread at least a quarter-mile apart, require riders to pull off to the side of the road for buses, and have a bell on your bike to warn people and wildlife. Because everyone knows cougars, skunks and bighorn sheep will politely move aside to let you pass if they hear the dulcet tones of a bike bell announce your presence.

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

San Diego authorities are looking for a bike-riding arsonist who set a series of small fires in the city’s North Park neighborhood earlier this month.

Probably not the best idea to leave a “sanctimonious, passive-aggressive” note on a Portland driver’s car calling out the expired plates, and suggesting they get rid of it and start riding a bicycle.

Police in Lincoln, Nebraska busted a man who stabbed another man in the back in a dispute over an alleged stolen bicycle, then tried to break into an apartment using lock pick tools.

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Local

Bloomberg considers UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup’s call to stop subsidizing drivers at the expense of everyone else, arguing that free parking is killing our cities.

Monrovia’s new “Biking for Bucks” program promises to reimburse people who live or work in the city up to $350 for the purchase of bikes and ebikes, whether for adults or children, as well as bicycle accessories, purchased between July 1st and September 30th of this year. So start shopping, already.

Active SGV teamed with Alhambra and SCAG to install a new popup bike lane, high viz crosswalks and curb extensions on Popular Boulevard in the city to gather public feedback. But hurry of you want to check ’em out, because they’ll be gone this time next week.

 

State

LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds teams with San Francisco Transportation Director Jeffrey Tumlin to pen an op-ed for CalMatters in support of AB 43, arguing that speeding drivers should not set speed limits.

 

National

It looks like Outside and VeloNews are joining Bicycling in hiding their stories behind a draconian paywall, on the mistaken assumption that preventing people from reading them will make more people want to. However, unlike Bicycling, the Outside and VeloNews stories don’t appear to be available on Yahoo.

Schwinn’s new I Am A Cyclist ad campaign focuses on marginalized members of the bicycling community to show what kind of people really ride bicycles.

Consumer Reports explains the steps they take to rate bike helmets, while InsideHook looks at the best commuter bike helmets for people who hate to wear one that won’t make you look like a total dork.

Best Buy is jumping head first into the ebike business by selling ebikes, e-scooters, mopeds and electric dirt bikes on their website, as well as in some stores.

A writer for Shape raves that her new Rad Power bike actually makes her comment enjoyable. And no, Best Buy doesn’t sell it.

Police in Colorado are looking for a hit-and-run driver who abandoned his SUV, then fled on foot before stealing a bicycle from a nearby school to make his getaway.

This is who we share the road with, part two. South Dakota’s killer Attorney General was hit with yet another speeding ticket — his seventh in seven years — just days before he was scheduled to go on trial for the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian while on his way home from a fundraiser last year. Yet he’s still allowed to stay on the roads to kill someone else, never mind that the $177.50 fine for a simple speeding ticket is nearly a fifth of what he was fined for actually killing someone.

A new Illinois law will require the state to pick up 100% of the costs for bicycle and walking infrastructure on state roadways; the state had previously required the local community to pay 20%.

A four-year old Michigan girl is able to ride a bicycle for the first time, after a fundraiser brings in enough to buy her an adaptive bike, and cover the cost to buy a bike for someone else, too.

Like drivers everywhere, motorists in Dayton, Ohio seem to have trouble figuring out how the city’s new parking protected bike lanes are supposed to work, parking in the bike lane next to the curb while leaving the parking lane empty.

 

International

Wired says Covid-19 means it’s finally time for the 15-minute city, where living, shopping and work are all within walking distance in the same neighborhood. Unless you live in Los Angeles, that is, where city leaders seem to be firmly committed to keeping everything within an hour and a half drive. Except at rush hour, of course.

Bosch says their new upgrades to ebike batteries and motors promise to make your new ebike ride smarter and farther.

Probably not the best idea to try to steal a bike from inside a British police station.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a driver was sentenced to seven years for the meth-fueled hit-and-run that seriously injured five bike riders last year — but with time served, he’ll be eligible for parole in less than a year.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-year old American cyclist Quinn Simmons refuses to limit his options, dividing his plans for next year between the WorldTour and American gravel races.

Red Bull talks with two-time European mountain bike champ Lars Forster about how he went from riding with his dad to riding with, and beating, the world’s best.

 

Finally…

When your status in the local bicycling community hinges on finding the right bike basket. Get your very own bicycle umbrella for your next rainy ride.

And you’ll have to wait another year for a zombie bike ride in Key West.

………

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

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