Tag Archive for vehicular manslaughter

Killer Oceanside hit-and-run driver gets 2 years, low curb hazard on new Culver bike lanes, and scam Bonin anti-recall site

Before we get started, just a quick reminder that today is Giving Tuesday, the one day each year set aside to support worthy nonprofit organizations that need your help.

We could name a very long list, from Streets For All and the LACBC, to Calbike and Streetsblog LA and California.

Along with your own local advocacy groups, wherever you live.

One group that recently came to my attention is the Los Angeles Bicycle Academy, a youth cycling and bicycle education program created to “empower, educate and develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills in youth between the ages of 8-18.”

Our focus is to work with youth from underserved communities where opportunity, access, equity, and exposure within the sport of cycling is extremely limited. We want to help more young people learn the positive impact a bicycle can have on their own lives, and the lives of those around them.

They have big plans for the coming year, including opening a community bike shop, launching a build-a-bike program, and developing a women’s cycling team.

It’s worth checking out. And maybe adding them to your giving list this year.

Speaking of giving, our spokesdog up there reminds you to support SoCal’s best bike news by giving to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

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Life is cheap in San Diego County, where 24-year old Oceanside resident Bailey Tennery got a lousy two years behind bars for killing 27-year old Carlsbad resident Jackson Williams as he rode his bike in Oceanside last July.

Tennery pled guilty to felony hit-and-run causing death and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.

She could have gotten up to four years in the state pen, with another year in county.

Instead, she got a relative slap on the wrist for leaving an innocent man to die alone in the street. Then hid her car for a full week until it was spotted by a homeless man.

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You can’t please everyone.

Culver City officially unveiled their new Move Culver City initiative, installing quick build bus and bike lanes on three major streets in the downtown area — in a fraction of the time and cost required for similar projects across the city limit line in Los Angeles.

But while most people came out to celebrate completion of the project, I’m told a group of drivers turned out to protest, apparently under the misconception that 100% of the streets belong to cars.

And unwilling to give up a single inch, let alone a lane or two.

On the other hand, the response from the two-wheeled group seems mostly positive.

However, Mitchell Guzik pointed out an unexpected hazard posed by low concrete curbs intended to protect people using the bike lanes, but which could present a risk to any bike rider who runs into them.

Photo by Mitchell Guzik

Even in daylight, it’s a struggle to spot them in the photo. Which means it would be nearly impossible after dark.

And as we’ve seen on PCH in Cardiff, unintentionally hitting them can spill a rider into the roadway, with serious results.

The obvious solution, as Guzik suggests, is to paint the curbs a more visible color. Or go crazy, and let some of Culver City’s many artists decorate them.

Obviously, we don’t want to fall into the common SoCal trap of letting perfect be the enemy of good when it comes to bike lanes.

But just a minor improvement could make them safer for everyone.

Correction: I originally misspelled the name of Mitchell Guzik. My apologies for the error. 

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They’re back.

A few very unpleasant years ago, I had the misfortune of tangling with the fraudulent Westside Walkers Twitter account, which was created in response to the 2017 lane reductions on Venice Blvd and in Playa del Rey.

As Peter Flax made clear in outing the person behind the account, the Westside Walkers pretended to be “LA’s #1 walking & biking advocacy group.”

But it was actually just one man’s political dirty trick, posing as a nonexistent group to muddy the advocacy waters and make his opposition to traffic safety measures seem more reasonable.

He even went so far as to claim to be a co-founder and operator of this site. Which I can assure you neither he, nor anyone else other than myself, had anything to do with.

Now he’s back, pretending to be the “Official Democrat Anti Recall” group supporting CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, which undoubtedly came as a surprise to the actual group opposing the recall.

As before, this is just another political dirty trick by a recall supporter and longtime Bonin hater, in an attempt to muddy the water.

And not hesitating to use outright lies to do it.

So don’t fall for it.

Whether or not you support Bonin — and I do — there’s no place for stunts like this, from someone with a long history of playing dirty.

Politics in Los Angeles are dirty enough.

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

No bias here. A London political columnist takes issue with bike lanes and the unlicensed people who use them, saying bikes were fine for Victorian times, but should only be used on private property these days (scroll down — no, keep scrolling). Just wait until someone tells him who the roads were really built for. 

A British driver sideswipes a bike rider while making an ill-advised pass. And naturally blames the guy on the bike for being there — and touching his car with his body. No, really. 

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Local

DTLA’s Grand Ave now has a dedicated right-side bus lane to complement the protected bike lane on the other side of the road.

 

State

A truck driver who fatally right-hooked a bike-riding San Luis Obispo man faces a maximum of one lousy year behind bars or a $1,000 fine after being charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide, because he didn’t do it on purpose. On the other hand, the victim is still dead, whether or not it was intentional.

The CHP busted a hit-and-run driver who killed a 25-year old Watsonville man when he rear-ended the victim’s bicycle.

A Streetsblog op-ed accuses Oakland’s Vision Zero program of being an empty promise, and says the city needs to take it seriously if they want to eliminate traffic deaths. A sentiment most Los Angeles bike riders and pedestrians could probably relate to.

The carnage continues in the Bay Area, as a San Jose bike rider was killed in a collision yesterday.

The victim of the fatal Moraga bicycling collision we mentioned yesterday has been identified as a 77-year old man, who surely deserved better.

 

National

The Washington Post says, despite the rising rate of disasters brought on by a rapidly warming climate, state transportation agencies are only beginning to plan for climate change.

US bicycling rates are up 10% nationwide, with some cities seeing up to a 50% jump in ridership.

Electrek looks at the year’s best ebikes for under a grand.

Cycling Tips talks with an Iowa artist who turns discarded bike parts into works of art.

Um, no. Treehugger says a New York company’s stylish, high-viz vests will make you want to ride your bike every day. Something is seriously wrong if you have to dress like a glow-in-the-dark clown just to stay alive on a bicycle.

Streetsblog makes the case that the NYPD is lying about the risks posed by ebikes, conflating crashes involving ebikes, which are legal in New York, with mopeds, which aren’t. And placing all the blame on the bike riders, while ignoring who was actually at fault in those crashes.

Something is definitely out of kilter when bike lanes become a wedge issue in a local New Jersey election.

 

International

Evidently, in Canada, a bicycle visible in your Zoom background is just a partisan prop.

A writer for Bike Radar makes the case for registering your bike in the UK. Something you can do for free with lifetime registration from Bike Index on this side of the pond.

A British newsletter takes issue with the legend that Scottish veterinarian John Dunlop invented the pneumatic tire in the 1880s, pointing out that another Scotsman had patented one 40 years earlier.

The Philippines pandemic-driven bike boom was accompanied by a nearly 50% increase in injury collisions.

 

Finally…

Bicycles for people with more dollars than sense. Nothing like wracking your nuts on the top tube on live TV

And probably not the best idea to drive a stolen car to sell a stolen ebike bike to the guy you stole it from.

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It’s Day 5 of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

So let’s thank Bernard B, Stephen M and Tom C for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy keeps coming your way every day.

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

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

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

Tennery pleads guilty in Oceanside hit-and-run death, end suffering caused by cars, and riders injured in SoCal crashes

It looks like we’ll see justice for fallen bike rider Jackson Williams after all.

Such as it is.

Twenty-four-year old Oceanside resident Bailey Tennery pled guilty to killing Williams on Friday, three months after she left the 27-year old Carlsbad resident dying on an Oceanside street.

Tennery faces just four years behind bars when she’s sentenced for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run, and will likely serve less than half of that.

Just one more example of California’s failure to take hit-and-run seriously.

Tennery was arrested a week after the crash when a transient person alerted authorities to the damaged car parked at her home.

Let’s hope there’s a reward for a conviction, so at least some good will come from this needless tragedy.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Powerful opinion piece from NBC reporter Erin Sagen, who writes that we have to stop normalizing the suffering caused by cars.

The threat car emissions pose to the environment gets some attention. But what we Americans are still in total collective denial about is how lethal our car dependency already is. Every year, nearly 40,000 people die in crashes, and at least another 3.3 million are seriously injured. Cars put us in clear, imminent danger every day, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized: Motor vehicle traffic is a leading cause of death for children, well ahead of firearms or drownings. Among adults, Black and brown people are more likely to die or be injured by cars than white people are.

This year so far, 21,450 people have died in motor vehicle accidents, up 17 percent from 2019, according to preliminary estimates by the National Safety Council released last month. More than 2.4 million have been injured seriously enough to require medical attention. Usually when millions of Americans are being killed or injured at these rates, it triggers public outcry, even widespread movements. But when it comes to car accidents, we’ve mostly shrugged our shoulders and accepted the carnage as an unavoidable fact of life.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post explores five myths about highways, including the fallacies that wider roadways move traffic faster, congestion pricing hurts the poor, and gas taxes pay for the roads.

Then there’s this.

Some myths have mysterious origins. This is not one of them. In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a reportabout vehicle crashes that stated “the critical reason, which is the last event in the crash causal chain, was assigned to the driver in 94 percent of the crashes.” That figure, often stripped of its context, has had a long shelf life, particularly among transportation agencies. For instance, in 2019, the North Dakota Department of Transportation published a report claiming that “94% of motor vehicle crashes can be attributed to a preventable human behavior.” Autonomous-vehicle companies frequently cite the statistic — as Waymo does on its FAQ webpage — when touting the supposed safety benefits of their technology.

But laying blame on the driver lets many other parties off the hook — such as transportation engineers who could have created a safer road. For instance, slip lanes at intersections are intended to allow drivers to maintain speed while making right turns. That design can work well in rural areas, but in cities it often places too much onus on a driver, who must monitor her speed, watch for traffic while merging and yield to pedestrians crossing the slip lane at a crosswalk. If a collision ensues, police will find the driver to be at fault, ignoring the engineers who placed her in a dangerous situation…

And our own Michael Schneider looks at America’s disastrous SUV arms race, as vehicles keep getting bigger and bigger, and deadlier and deadlier.

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A man riding a bicycle was critically injured when he was struck by a driver who swerved into the Oxnard bike lane he was riding in Friday night.

The 19-year old driver claims he was avoiding a tractor-trailer that swerved into his lane when he crashed into the victim, who has not been publicly identified.

Just one more example of a driver crashing into the soft, squishy person instead of a big, hard machine.

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While we’re on the subject of SoCal bike crashes, I was forwarded a notice of a man apparently run down from behind while riding in a bike lane on Palos Verdes Drive North in Rolling Hills Estates on Saturday.

Initial reports are he seemed to be okay, but let’s keep our fingers crossed anyway.

And maybe push for a protected bike lane on a dangerous corridor where this crap happens all too often.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

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Buyer beware.

Shimano is warning that a clearance website purporting to sell their fishing and bicycling products isn’t legitimate. The company is trying to get the shimano-clearance.store website shut down.

But avoid it in the meantime, because there’s no guarantee what you’ll get from the site.

If you get anything.

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If the goal is to move people more efficiently, cars aren’t always the answer.

Okay, cars are hardly ever the answer.

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The only thing that could make this photo of hundreds of bikes parked at UC Davis in the 1960s seem any cooler is noting who took it.

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Evidently, Monty Python’s Michael Palin wasn’t just the Bicycle Repairman.

He was also one of us.

Nice bike, too.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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

After a Portland driver decided he didn’t like the barrels blocking his access to a Slow Street, he just moved them out of the way while leaving a passive-aggressive note explaining why they inconvenienced him.

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

A San Francisco woman has avoided charges for running down an 81-year old woman while riding on the sidewalk in violation of local laws; the victim suffered a broken elbow and shattered hip, as well as hitting her head.

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Local

Metro is beginning work on a long-discussed bike and pedestrian corridor connecting Little Tokyo with Union Station, including “crosswalk improvements at 19 intersections, bike/walk esplanades with double rows of street trees and nearly 1.7 new miles of bike lanes.”

Ride your bike to Union Station for a scary good time this weekend.

A 30-year old bike rider was airlifted to a hospital in unknown condition Sunday afternoon after he was injured in Santa Clarita’s Whitney Canyon. That came one day after another rider was airlifted out of Placerita Canyon with a possible broken arm.

 

State

A 31-year old SoCal man went from bike-riding Rialto tagger to one of the creative world’s most in-demand young illustrators.

Hundreds of people turned out to celebrate the completion of the first 3.5 mile segment of the CV Link bike trail in Palm Desert, part of a planned 50-mile loop around the Coachella Valley. Meanwhile, a local TV station wants to know why drivers are using it, too.

The brother of famed 86-year old Bay Area bicyclist Joe Shami, called the legend of Mt. Diablo after riding up the mountain every week for 500 weeks, has filed suit against the city of Lafayette over what he alleges is the poorly designed roundabout where Shami was killed by a driver earlier this year.

 

National

Heartbreaking news from Honolulu, where an 89-year old man died over two weeks after he was run down by a cowardly hit-and-run driver, who left the victim lying in the street. The driver should be charged with murder for making a conscious decision to leave an elderly man to die, rather than get the help that might have saved his life.

The man who has administered Tucson, Arizona’s Pima County for a quarter of a century was critically injured when he was collateral damage in a collision between two drivers while on a weekly group ride.

Denver bike riders have a new curb and bollard protected bike lane to help get into the downtown area; the city is also replacing a painted bike lane where a mother was killed riding her bike two years ago with a new protected lane. Someone mention that last one to Rolling Hills Estates, k?

Life is cheap in Boulder CO, where the hit-and-run driver who ran down former Bicycling writer Andrew Bernstein as he was riding home from a velodrome session two years ago got a lousy two years behind bars, with another two years probation, despite leaving Bernstein paralyzed below the knee in one leg, and dependent on catheters. As usual, you can read the top link on Yahoo if Bicycling block you.

A Nashville advocacy group works with a high school design team to fix a dangerous intersection, including a glow-in-the-dark crosswalk, although it’s oddly described as an art installation.

Residents of the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx rallied to protest plans for a bike lane that would require removing 150 parking spaces in what they claim is a parking-poor area, arguing that they’ll have to park their cars in dangerous areas, and that no one would use it from October to April. So they’d rather make people on bicycles ride on dangerous streets. And maybe they haven’t noticed that many New Yorkers ride their bikes year round.

A 23-year old man from Queens, New York was arrested for the murder of a delivery rider to steal his ebike; the 51-year old immigrant was working to send money back home to his wife and kids in Bangladesh.

 

International

Cycling Tips offers more information than you ever wanted about riding tubeless.

A Toronto writer says the economic and environmental benefits of riding a bike are huge, calling bike lanes integral to the global movement away from cars, while connecting those benefits to the local level.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly likes the bespoke bike President Biden gave him so much he’s riding it, despite refusing to pay for it as British law requires for an official gift.

Paris Mayor Anne Hildago is making her push for a 100% bikeable, 15-minute city the springboard for her candidacy as the Socialist candidate for President of France, although her campaign is starting with just single-digit support.

French fashion icon Christian Dior’s sister Catherine was a hero of the French Resistance during WWII, riding her bicycle up and down the coast of Southern France to draw maps and gather intelligence.

NPR looks at the roaring success of Barcelona’s Bicibús, or Bike Bus, enabling hundreds of children to safely ride their bicycles to school.

A team of volunteers headed by Hyderabad, India’s Bicycle Mayor is fixing up old, unloved bicycles to pass on to people in need.

 

Competitive Cycling

Horrible racing crash in Spain on Saturday, when a woman ran across the finish line just as a rider was crossing it; both victims were hospitalized in unknown condition. The look of sheer terror on the cyclist’s face is gut Twrenching.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole 20 bikes from the Italian cycling team at the world track cycling championships, including a handful of gold track bikes worth nearly $35,000 apiece.

Twenty-seven-year old American Alexis Ryan’s rejoins her sister on the L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team, which also allows her to rejoin founders Justin and Cory Williams, who she rode with on the Major Motion team. Meanwhile, the team has also signed 23-year old American cyclist Ian Garrison, who comes on after two years on the WorldTour.

Cycling Weekly talks with Clay Davies, the first openly gay elite male cyclist in the UK.

 

Finally…

We often have to deal with bearish LA drivers; actual bears, not so much. That feeling when you repurpose bathroom accessories on your handlebars.

And once again, a bike rider is a hero.

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

It’s Car Free Day, San Diego driver faces murder for meth-fueled death of Laura Shinn, and always carry ID on your bike

Happy International Car Free Day!

Metro Bike is offering a free bikeshare ride today to celebrate, along with steep discounts on 30 day and yearly passes.

And a European website says if there is a war on cars, Car Free Day is winning converts to the anti-car side.

So leave the car at home today.

Or better yet, declare your own personal war on cars, and trade it in for a new bike or ebike, and make it Car Free Day every day.

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A San Diego man faces years, if not decades, behind bars for killing a woman as she rode her bike.

Thirty-eight-year old Pacific Beach resident Adam David Milavetz is charged with murder for running down well-known architect Laura Shinn while high on meth as she rode her bike to work in a Balboa Park bike lane last July.

He faces an additional felony count of vehicular manslaughter while under the influence, giving jurors a choice of charges and potential sentences.

Milavetz, who works as a “420 mobilization tech” and delivery driver for a pair of cannabis dispensaries, entered a plea of not guilty to the charges; he has been held in custody without bail since his arrest.

He was arrested a month earlier for driving while high on meth.

And once again, authorities managed to keep a dangerous driver the road until it was too late.

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Momentum Magazine says there’s still a lot worth fighting for in the $3.5 trillion House infrastructure bill, even if Congress did cut the proposed $1,500 ebike tax credit in half.

The e-bike tax credit and other bicycle programs that make up the massive bill are as follows, and it signifies a welcome change and an indication of just how fast and how large e-bikes sales are growing:

  • E-bike tax credit: 15% on the purchase of new e-bikes (the first $5,000), up to $750 benefit value. The credit was originally proposed for 30%.
  • Bicycle commuter benefit: Allow use of pre-tax dollars to fund bike purchases and bike-share memberships.
  • E-bikes for business tax credit: An incentive of a tax credit of 30% for businesses to install e-bike charging stations
  • Funding to reconnect or enhance communities split apart by highway projects.
  • Opportunities to build a sustainable and complete bicycle network.

Meanwhile, drivers will continue to get a tax credit ten times that size for buying an electric car, as the government works to maintain the automotive hegemony on our streets.

And never mind that the prospect for the House bill aren’t looking good in the evenly split Senate, where Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema are insisting on further steep cuts to the bill, even though it has already been reduced $1.5 trillion from the original proposal.

Slate asks what if Congress helped bicyclists instead of drivers for a change?

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Yet another reminder to always carry ID when you ride.

Authorities in Sacramento are trying to identify a Spanish-speaking man who is trapped in a fugue state following a collision with a driver while riding his bicycle, and can’t even remember his own name.

But don’t rely on your wallet or cellphone, or anything else that can be easily stolen if you’re incapacitated in a crash; it may sound ghoulish, but it happens often enough to be a valid concern.

I always wear a Road ID when I ride. Or any other time I leave home.

I also keep emergency contact information written down on a slip of paper in my jersey pocket or seat bag; other people attach information on their shoes or directly to their bikes.

But do something. You don’t want your loved ones frantically searching for you if anything happens.

Thanks to “Zero Carbon” Kevin and Megan Lynch for clarifying where this took place.

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Unless you have to share the road with LA drivers, that is.

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If you build it, they will come. Women, too.

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GCN examines whether we should be afraid of bicycles made by carmakers.

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

Police in the UK criticize the “depressing level of selfish and poor behavior” shown by motorists during a sting operation to catch drivers who pass too close to people on bicycles; a fifth of all drivers were stopped for violations.

Meanwhile, a bike rider in Cornwall, England shares video of repeated bad passes by drivers.

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

Police in Regina, Saskatchewan tackled a man off his bicycle as he attempted to flee, booking him on 11 counts including weapons charges, assault and possession of burglary tools.

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Local

A Long Beach couple started a petition demanding safety improvements to Los Coyotes Diagonal after their son was killed by a suspected drunk driver while trying to cross the deadly street earlier this month, where far too many people have been killed in recent years — including a pair of bike riders just two years ago.

 

State

If you ride in the Santa Barbara area, the CHP will be distributing enough bike lights, reflectors and helmets for one thousand people in Isla Vista this evening.

An Oakland website examines why the area’s roads are among the deadliest in the state, and asks for their readers help in finding out.

Marin County drivers and officials are once again coming for the successful bike lane on the upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, after a study suggested that converting it back to a traffic lane could save drivers a whole eleven minutes, while costing bike commuters hours. Or forcing them back into cars. Sure, let’s just turn all the streets back over to cars. It’s not like there’s a climate or fatality crisis or anything to worry about.

 

National

National Geographic says there are good reasons to believe America’s pandemic bike boom will become a longterm trend.

A Tesla fan site explains how the carmaker’s Full Self-Driving Beta steers cars around bike riders and pedestrians. The problem is, Tesla is turning all of us into unpaid beta testers just by sharing the road with them, whether we like it or not. 

A Streetsblog op-ed says playable streets represent the next frontier in public spaces, with infrastructure and street furniture designed to inspire imagination.

A first-time ebike rider says the new 28 mph Specialized ebike won him over — especially the Garmin sensor feature that displays the position of cars around and behind the bike on a small screen on the handlebars. Although that maximum speed means a helmet is required in California, regardless of age, and it would be banned from separated bike paths.

Bicycling offers tips from the pros for beginning riders. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Nevada couple faces a shitload of charges for killing the wife of a Tesla co-founder as she rode her bike last July, then lying about who was behind the wheel; a TV reporter explains the driver is charged with reckless driving causing death, rather than vehicular manslaughter, because the former is a felony while the latter is just a misdemeanor. Thanks to Al Williams for the tip.

A suspected Arizona bike thief was killed after he dropped the bicycle to flee from police and ran out into traffic — and into the side of a box truck, before getting hit by another driver.

The Sierra Club magazine talks with Detroit bike riders about the difficulty of Biking While Black, even in a city that’s overwhelmingly African American.

Dayton, Ohio wants to destroy the 1892 building that housed the Wright Brothers first bike shop, saying it’s become a nuisance after falling into a state of “extreme disrepair.” Although once a historic site is gone, you can’t get it back.

They get it. A Bangor, Maine newspaper reminds us that pedestrian deaths aren’t statistics, they’re people. That goes for people on bicycles, too. Or anyone else who’s a victim of traffic violence.

Maryland is investing $16.8 million to fund 42 bike projects around the state. Although Amazon donated nearly half that amount to complete two bike trail segments near their Bellevue, Washington HQ2 alone.

 

International

The Finnish city of Turku is attempting to promote bicycling by experimenting with different types of secure bike parking, including public ebike charging cabinets that can automatically extinguish a battery fire.

If you can live without the extra bells and whistles and Garmins, you can get a new Chinese-made Tenways ebike right now on Indiegogo for less than half the price of the Specialized ebike.

Singapore Facebook users freak out after spotting someone riding a recumbent bike, accusing the low rider of courting death.

 

Competitive Cycling

Hats off to 23-year old Christopher Blevins, who became the first American to win a Mountain Bike World Cup race in 27 years on Sunday.

 

Finally…

That feeling when even a nine-foot fence and a pond aren’t enough to deter a bike thief. That feeling when you want an ebike, but secretly wish it was a motorcycle.

And don’t bother showing up for a Covid test if you’re not in a car.

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

Driver in Arizona attack had long record of assault and DUI arrests, and killer Escondido driver gets 30 years — or less

Once again, the legal system did its best to keep a dangerous driver on the road until it was too late.

With predictably tragic results.

Authorities identified the driver who intentionally slammed into participants in a Master’s bike race in Show Low, Arizona on Saturday as 35-year old Show Low resident Shawn Michael Chock.

The AP reports Chock has a long criminal record, dating back to a 2007, when he pled guilty to a reduced charge after being indicted for aggravated assault, followed by disorderly conduct with a weapon a few months later.

Three years later, Chock was allowed to walk with probation after prosecutors dropped three DUI charges, allowing him to plead to a single count of felony aggravated DUI, as well as shoplifting and another aggravated assault.

He ended up serving 19 months behind bars anyway, after violating his probation.

Now seven innocent people are paying the price for that extreme leniency, with six of Chock’s victims still hospitalized in critical condition, and another in stable condition.

Chock himself is in critical condition after he was shot by police during a standoff following the crash.

Maybe someday our courts will take driving under the influence seriously, and put the public’s right to safety on the roads above the privilege — not right — of driving.

But sadly, not now. Or anytime soon.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

Ex-con Jamison Connor was sentenced to nearly 30 years behind bars after pleading guilty to felony charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run in the death of 36-year-old mountain biker Kevin Lentz in Escondido two years ago.

Lentz was just below the entrance to the Daley Ranch Recreation Area when Connor rounded a blind curve at a high rate of speed, slamming into him head-on.

Yet despite a well-deserved sentence of 29 years and ten months, Connor could be out in just six years due to a quirk in California law, Prop 57, passed by voters in 2016, allows a prisoner to be considered for parole after completing the sentence for the primary offense if it was a nonviolent crime

Remarkably, Connor’s primary sentence of vehicular homicide is not considered a violent crime.

Although I’m sure Lentz and his loved ones would disagree.

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Cycling News went all in on Amazon Prime Day this year, with recommendations on the best bicycling deals, what Garmin deal to avoid and the ones you shouldn’t, and where else you can find good bike deals today.

Meanwhile, The National looks at the best Prime Day ebike deals.

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The Transport Workers Union of America reports that Metro Bike workers are trying to unionize.

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Crouching Tiger, Levitating Bicycle.

Apparently this was done by the construction crew so they could lay the new concrete without disturbing the bicycle.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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

No bias here. Oklahoma residents are fighting plans for a bike path through their neighborhood, trotting out the trope that bicycles and pedestrians don’t mix — even though they’d be on separate pathways — and fears that people on motorcycles or small cars would use the pathway. Which says a lot more about the mentality of Oklahoma residents and drivers than it does about bicycles.

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

Tasmanian police strongly recommend riding you bike on the bridge, not across the arches supporting it.

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Local

Tragic news from Compton, where a man was shot to death while riding a bicycle early Monday; no word on the identity of the victim, or how it happened.

Voting is underway for this year’s LA2050 Grants Challenge; CicLAvia is a finalist in the Play category, in addition to East Side Riders, as we mentioned yesterday.

 

State

The San Diego Reader accuses scooter companies of bullying, and says the tragic death of actress Lisa Banes raises safety concerns for the San Diego area, after she was killed by a hit-and-run e-scooter rider in New York. If they’re that worried about a single death caused by a scooter rider, just wait until they learn about cars and the people who drive them.

Santa Barbara is expanding its bikeshare system into the city’s Coastal Zone, after a successful introduction downtown earlier this year.

A Bakersfield TV station goes back to basics by explaining what an ebike is, as debate continues whether to allow them on the city’s Kern River Parkway Trail.

A Lodi man is preparing to spend the next few months riding across the US from San Francisco to Savannah, Georgia, to raise funds for five different charities.

A Sebastopol paper celebrates hometown boy Luke Lamperti, after the 18-year old cyclist won an unexpected victory in the road cycling national championships.

 

National

A new study of “socioeconomic and demographic changes in predominantly residential neighborhoods” in 29 US cities show that despite fears of gentrification, new bike lanes don’t result in the displacement of people of color and low income residents.

A writer for Forbes considers whether dooring will still be risk in the era of self-driving cars.

Yes, you can ride a bike when you’re pregnant, and it’s actually good for you.

Sad news from Colorado, where a missing man was found dead in a creek swollen with winter runoff, after he failed to return from a bike rider on Saturday.

A little more sanity from Oklahoma, where kindhearted strangers pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a man after learning he was walking 17 miles each way in the the scorching heat to get to his job at Buffalo Wild Wings.

 

International

Treehugger offers tips on how to keep your bike safe at home, where half of all bike thefts occur.

Road.cc suggests ways to keep your bike from being a pain in the butt. Literally.

A British Columbia letter writer says we’ll stay off the sidewalk if you’ll stay the hell out of the bike lane. Actually, I may have added that hell part myself. Not that I’ve ever had to deal with recalcitrant pedestrians in bike lanes, or anything. 

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 83-year old British man is back on his bike, just two weeks after a major endo left him a “bloody mess.” I mean, aside from the endo and bloody mess, that is.

A new German-made taillight includes an HD video camera that automatically saves video of close passes, as well as the last several seconds of video if you hit the pavement.

The Financial Express says India is riding its way to a more bike-friendly future, as bike sales have jumped up to 400% during the pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Guardian offers a stage-by-stage preview of the Tour de France, which gets off to an earlier than usual late June start this Saturday.

Bicycling offers a team-by-team guide to who will win this year’s Tour de France, while suggesting it may not be your favorite one. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

British sprinter Mark Cavendish was a surprise addition to the Deceuninck-Quick-Step roster, after missing the last three Tours.

Why just watch the races as an uninvolved spectator, when you can join the fun with Cycling Tips’ Tour de France Fantasy Competition?

Cyclist looks back to Frenchman Antonin Magne’s win in the 1931 Tour, which he repeated three years later.

Britain’s cycling team is looking to continue their success at the Summer Games, despite several years of scandals and conflict since capturing 12 medals in Rio.

A gritty 30-mile breakaway at the US road cycling nationals won a pro contract for 30-year old Lauren De Crescenzo. But only after she finishes her work with the CDC.

 

Finally…

Apparently, riding a bike isn’t just like riding a bike. If you can’t remember whether you stole the bike you’re riding, maybe cut back on the drugs a bit.

And that feeling when you’re cut off by a drifting weinermobile.

………

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

Update: Claremont woman killed in Friday the 13th bicycling collision, driver arrested for vehicular manslaughter

Sadly, Friday the 13th lived up to its reputation for a woman riding her bike in Claremont.

According to the Claremont Courier, the woman, identified only as a Claremont resident, was riding north on Mills Ave near Rockford Drive around 9 am Friday.

A driver headed in the opposite direction lost control attempting to pass another vehicle and skidded across the roadway, hitting the victim head-on.

She was taken to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where she died.

Thirty-eight-year old Claremont resident Cheryl Becker was arrested for vehicular manslaughter. She also faces a charge of child endangerment because her children were in the car with her at the time of the crash.

Not surprisingly, police say speed may have been a factor.

A street view shows a two lane roadway on Mills, with a center turn lane and bike lanes in each direction. Police say there’s been an increase in unsafe driving on the street in recent months, including drivers exceeding the 40 mph speed limit.

Friday’s crash took place just blocks from where Sandra Wicksted killed Leslie Pray in a 2018 collision as Pray was riding her bike. Wicksted was sentenced to 16 years for voluntary manslaughter earlier this week, after prosecutors pled down from the original murder charge.

This is at least the 56th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as long-time Claremont resident Terri Wolfe Ingalls, who was killed less than a week after her 62nd birthday. 

According to the Claremont Courier, she was run down just moments after leaving her home. Her final act may have been waving to her neighbor as she set out on her bike. 

The paper describes her as a “thoughtful, lovely” mother of four, and grandmother of seven, who checked in on her elderly parents every day. 

They’ll all have to find a way to get along without her now.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Terri Wolfe Ingalls and her loved ones.

Update: Man riding a bicycle killed by speeding driver in possible DTLA street racing crash

A man riding a bicycle is dead because a driver couldn’t keep his foot off the gas pedal.

And he may not have been the only one speeding.

According to KTLA-5, the crash occurred around 8:55 Thursday night on the 2100 block of South Alameda Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

Although earlier reports put the time of the crash closer to 8:30 pm.

The northbound driver lost control when he hit the railroad tracks and smashed into the victim at high speed, then slammed him into a utility pole.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was deemed beyond medical help when firefighters arrived, and died at the scene.

For once the driver stuck around. Probably because he was trapped inside his overturned car with minor injuries, and he had to be removed by the firefighters.

Witnesses reported that he was driving at least 50 mph before the crash, and appeared to be racing another driver.

Police took him into custody on suspicion of negligent manslaughter. Which sounds like the bare minimum he should be charged with.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD at 877/527-3247.

This is at least the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the sixth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The victim has been identified as 30-year old Manuel Gonzalez Hernandez, who was reportedly homeless. Which does not make this any less tragic, or minimize the severity of the crime in any way.  

The driver, who still has not been publicly identified, was driving on a suspended license. 

One more reminder that taking someone’s license away doesn’t always stop them from driving. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Manuel Gonzalez Hernandez and all his loved ones.

 

100-plus mph, underage drunk driver gets four years for 2014 death of bicyclist Haytham Gamal

Four years.

Four years behind bars for driving at speeds over 100 mph in a 35 mph zone, with a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit.

And taking the life of an innocent man as he rode his bike home from work on Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point, after losing control on a slight curve and skidding 200 feet before striking the victim from behind. Then dragging him another 500 feet before flipping over after hitting the curb.

Needless to say, the victim, 39-year-old Haitham Gamal, was pronounced dead at the scene.

All because he had the misfortune of sharing the road with then 19-year old Dominic Devin Carratt that tragic April night in 2014.

Carratt pleaded guilty last month to A) one count of felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, B) one count of felony driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, and C) one count of felony driving with a blood alcohol of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury, along with a sentencing enhancement for great bodily injury.

Yet even though the victim’s wife implored the court to give him the maximum 10-year sentence, the judge showed leniency, deserved or not.

I’m told he imposed a sentence of four years in state prison for the first count, another two years for the second count, to be served concurrently, and stayed an additional two years for the third count.

Carratt will also be required to pay restitution in an amount to be determined at a later date, and his driver’s license will be suspended for three years after his release.

Though why he would ever be allowed to drive again is beyond me.

A woman in the courtroom for the sentencing noted that Carratt’s mother gave him a long, tearful embrace as he walked to the front of the courtroom.

It may be a long time before she gets another chance.

Thanks to Edward M. Rubinstein for the heads-up. 

Dominic Carratt sentence

 

Morning Links: Glendale bike rider attacked by SUV driver, and guilty plea in 100 mph Orange County DUI case

It’s happened again.

A woman riding her bike in Glendale is the latest bike rider to be the victim of an apparent intentional assault by the road raging driver of a motor vehicle.

The 29-year old woman, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding on San Fernando Road near Magnolia Ave around 4:40 pm last Friday when the driver of an SUV allegedly pulled up next to her and swerved into her bike, striking her ankle.

After the victim yelled that she’d been hit, the driver yelled something back and swerved into her again, nearly crushing the rider between the SUV and a parked car after she turned her bike to avoid getting hit.

Police arrested 53-year old Glendale resident Nazik Ghazarian on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon; she was taken into custody after another driver blocked her car while bystanders called police.

Meanwhile her legally blind husband, who was riding with her in the SUV, told police Ghazarian did nothing to “agitate” the cyclist.

The victim reported pain in her ankle, but declined treatment at the scene.

After all, who would get agitated over a little thing like multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon?

………

The OC Register reports 20-year old Dominic Devin Carratt faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to the DUI death of cyclist Haitham Gamal as the victim was riding home from work in April, 2014.

In a horrifying detail that wasn’t reported at the time, Carratt was going over 100 mph when he slammed into Gamal’s bike; he had a BAC nearly twice the legal limit, despite being just 19-years old at the time of the wreck.

According to the paper, he pled to a long list of charges.

Carratt pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit causing bodily injury and he admitted a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury.

………

Pro cycling’s governing body considers testing team bikes before each race to prevent motor doping. They should also stop the practice of allowing riders to switch bikes mid-race, which is the easiest way to get, and hide, a tampered bike.

………

Local

The LA City Council Transportation Committee will consider a motion directing LADOT to report on the implementation of the bicycle infrastructure in the City at this afternoon’s meeting. Based on recent progress, that could be a very short report.

Several dozen protesters associated with T.R.U.S.T. South Los Angeles gathered on Central Ave to fight a proposal from Councilmember Curren Price to remove the street from the Mobility Plan. Someone should tell Price not to judge a bikeway by what he’d be comfortable using; not everyone is looking for a quiet place to ride with their grandkids.

The maker of Lucky Brand jeans offers their own private bikeshare system for employees of their offices in DTLA.

High-end British bikewear maker Rapha pops up on Abbot Kinney for the next two months.

Caltrans presents alternatives to replace the Trancas Creek bridge on PCH in the ‘Bu; both versions include a wider shoulder to make room for bikes and pedestrians.

A Pasadena bike rider is in serious condition after he was hit head-on by a driver who veered onto the wrong side of the road.

Temple City will select a final design for Las Tunas Road at the city council meeting on Thursday; make your voice heard to ensure they choose the safest option for cyclists and pedestrians.

 

State

A group of Olympic cyclists and hopefuls, including the great Kristin Armstrong, urged middle school students in El Cajon to believe in themselves. And have fun.

A Berkeley OpEd says the city needs to work to provide greater safety for bicyclists.

More bad news from Sacramento, as a second bike rider has been killed in a collision this week.

 

National

A Portland study says a good bikeway network helps riders avoid dirty air.

Las Vegas’ coming bikeshare system will be just part of a new transportation innovation district in the downtown area.

Wyoming considers creating a committee to study a network of bike and pedestrian paths crossing the state. Having crisscrossed the state many times, safe bikeways through the mountains and prairies of the state would be absolutely amazing; you haven’t lived until you’ve ridden with a herd of wild antelope running alongside you.

The Kentucky state senate approves a three-foot passing bill, including a provision allowing drivers to cross the center line to pass cyclists, even in no passing zones, similar to the one vetoed by Governor Brown a few years ago.

Residents of Hoboken would rather double park than make room for bike lanes.

Jimmy Fallen is one of us, as he cruises sans skid lid through the Hamptons on a $6,000 fat bike.

A Savannah GA writer credits recent bike lanes with the city’s jump in bike commuting rates, but fears they’ve reached peak bike with no more bikeways on the agenda.

 

International

Road.cc offers a roundup of a number of new bikes from top makers, including a Look time trial bike that would be perfect for your morning commute.

If you build it, they will come. A Toronto study shows bicycling is up 300% on one street since a separated bike lane was installed; 38% of those riders didn’t use the street before the bike lane was built.

An exceptionally compassionate Canadian family urges the court to sentence a hit-and-run driver to probation instead of jail for the death of a bike rider.

A candidate for mayor of London says bicycling in the city is quite safe, even though he won’t let his own teenage daughters do it.

Social media blows up when an English rail station operator suggests a traveler and his family should just leave their bikes at home.

Britain’s leading bike retailer is accused of sexism for saying a men’s bike is great for riding on pavement or trails, while the women’s version is good for visiting Auntie Doris.

A South African cyclist is visiting all 19 of the country’s national parks, riding over 3,700 miles in 80 days to raise funds for orphaned rhinos. Meanwhile, a Durban DJ learns the hard way not to make fun of fallen cyclists on Facebook.

A 24-year old Chinese man who once walked across the US is planning to bike from San Francisco to China on a pilgrimage to “explore the ecological and spiritual awakening in the 21st century and the cultural landscape and the political economy of the global village, through the lens of China’s interconnectedness with the world.” Oh, well if that’s all.

 

Finally…

Bashing people and cars is not the correct use for a cable bike lock; then again, neither is locking your bike with one for more than a few minutes. Seriously, don’t stab someone if you think he stole your bike; at least that’s better than how they treat bike thieves in Bali, though.

And British police appear to be looking for a maniacal bike-borne pedestrian pusher with multiple personalities.

 

Breaking news: OC lawyer guilty in 2013 DUI death of cyclist Eric Billings

Word is just coming in that an Orange County attorney has been convicted in the DUI death of cyclist Eric Billings two years ago.

According to a press release from the OC District Attorney’s office, Hasti Fakhrai-Bayrooti pled guilty to a single felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated on Tuesday.

The DA reports the 41-year old Rancho Santa Margarita woman had prescription drugs — including Xanax and Suboxone — in her system when she ran down Billings’ bike from behind on March 15, 2013, as he rode in a marked bike lane on Santa Margarita Parkway in Mission Viejo.

Fakhrai-Bayrooti was apparently unable to plead down to a lessor charge; she was convicted on the same count she was originally charged with, which is unusual in cases that don’t go to trial.

According to the press release, she is currently out on $100,000 bond, and faces up to four years in state prison when she is sentenced on May 8th.

She also faces possible removal from the state bar following her conviction; she has been an active member of the bar since 2005.

Thanks to Edward Rubinstein, and Amy Senk of Corona del Mar Today for the head-up. (And apologies for misspelling Rubinstein’s name at first.)

 

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