Tag Archive for violent crime

LADOT sets priorities for state legislation, driver tries to run down Pasadena bike riders, and fallen DC cop was one of us

Thanks to all for the kind words after yesterday’s non-post.

My pain is back down to a more normal — and more tolerable — level, so let’s get on with it. 

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Looks like they finally get it.

LADOT has released their legislative priorities for the coming year, which they’ll take to the state legislature if the Los Angeles City Council gives the okay.

1 – Reforming state law, allowing LA to lower speed limits (it’s crazy, but today LA doesn’t have control over its own speed limits, and even has to raise speed limits on already dangerous roads!)

2 – Automating speeding tickets using speed safety cameras. Speed is the #1 factor in determining if someone lives or dies when hit by a car, and speed cameras are a proven solution to reduce excessive speeding. Armed officers must be removed from traffic law enforcement, and this is a great way to do it. LADOT has a thoughtful proposal that takes into account privacy and makes sure the burden doesn’t fall disproportionately on communities that can least afford it.

3 – Increase legal protections for the most vulnerable road users(pedestrians and cyclists). This would increase civil fines and penalties in the event of crashes caused by carelessness or driver distraction (ex. texting).

4 – Get rid of handicap placard abuse by reforming the benefits they provide and increasing enforcement, so we can preserve handicap spots for those that truly need it.

Throw in new laws to target the hit-and-run epidemic crippling Los Angeles bike riders and pedestrians — too often literally — and they might be on to something.

Streets For All is asking everyone to submit a comment to the council in support of the LADOT agenda.

You can find a sample comment template here, and use this link to submit your comments.

And if you want to call on the council to add a fifth priority to address hit-and-run, I won’t complain.

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A report has been circulating on Nextdoor about a driver intentionally trying to run down and brake check a pair of Pasadena bike riders.

I’ve obscured the license plate number since I have no way of verifying the report.

But keep your eyes open if you ride in the area.

And let’s hope the victims reported it to the police, because this is a crime — end could have easily been much worse.

Thanks to Steve Messer for the heads-up.

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Zachary Rynew calls out the sexism that’s been baked into the popular Belgian Waffle Ride in years past.

And which, like podium girls, doesn’t belong in cycling, period.

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That’s easy. All of them.

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Looks like fallen Officer Brian Sicknick, who gave his life defending the US Capital from insurrectionists on January 6th, was one of us.

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One hundred-year old Captain Sir Tom Moore was one of us, too.

The bike-riding WWII vet raised the equivalent of nearly $45 million for the UK’s National Health Service by walking laps across his backyard.

Sadly, he died Tuesday after catching Covid-19.

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Thanks to BikeSD for today’s history lesson, and shining a light on a Black woman we should all be thankful for.

And someone I’d never heard of before.

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Zwift invites you to pedal along with top Black cyclists like Nelson Vails, Rahsaan Bahati and Ama Nsek of LA’s L39ION of Los Angeles team in a virtual ride through New York.

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

No bias here. British radio personality Nick Ferrari, a regular critic of bicycling, said London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods are a form of apartheid. Never mind that he lives on one himself.

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

A British man denied selling an ebike allegedly used in a fatal shooting to cover-up for his nephews accused of the crime.

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Local

Hats off to LA’s Michael Park, who’s giving back to the community by leading a crew of bike riders in feeding the homeless in Koreatown twice a week. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you.

Metro Bike is offering a discounted bikeshare membership to essential workers for just $75 for a full year.

Good news for the San Gabriel Valley, after Metro approved $12 million for active transportation projects in South Pasadena and Monterey Park.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was hospitalized with unknown injuries after getting struck by a driver; no word on the victim’s condition.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature, AB 117, would create a $10 million, five-and-a-half-year ebike rebate program for California bike riders, using money from California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. So keep your fingers crossed. Or better yet, contact your representatives in Sacramento.

San Jose police released security cam video of the crash that killed a bike rider early Sunday morning; police are looking for a black Chevrolet Silverado with a bed cover and likely front-end damage.

A San Francisco supervisor calls for kicking out Lyft’s for-profit bikeshare, and turning it into a city-owned and potentially city-operated service.

Northern California bike shop owner Dennis Uphoff died last month after he was injured in his home; he was 69.

Police in Manteca are asking for a meaningful dialog with organizers of a series of mass bike rides involving mostly tween and teen riders, after accusing the riders of being “outright rude,” “blatantly defiant to orders” and spewing profanities at officers who try to rein them in.

 

National

Staffers from the recently defunct Bike Mag are starting a new mountain bike publication, called Beta.

Good piece from Cycling Tips Angry Asian saying it’s time to cut out the cancer of criticizing other bike riders for not doing it right or arguing that one kind of bicycling is better than any other.

The Portland driver who deliberately ran down numerous bike riders and pedestrians in a wild 15-block rampage, killing one and injuring at least ten others, has been hit with a well-deserved 31-count indictment, including a second degree murder charge.

New Las Vegas billboards tell drivers to change lanes to pass people on bicycles.

A Kansas City advocacy group is calling on the city to decriminalize walking and biking by repealing laws that have been used to target Black and brown people.

New York’s Suffolk County is confronting complaints about teen bicyclists swarming the streets by banning trick riding, weaving or zig-zagging “unless necessary,” as well as requiring a horn or bell, at least one hand on the handlebars, and no more than one person per bicycle, along with a raft of other requirements.

New York’s new transportation commissioner promises to install 10,000 new bike racks across the city, leaving it only a few million short of what’s needed to accommodate the city’s bike riders.

DC’s Vision Zero program actually has some teeth, requiring that any construction work on streets “pre-identified as a candidate for a protected bike lane, bus-only lane or private-vehicle-free corridor” has to include it in the final project.

The Maryland bike rider who assaulted a group of teens and ripped up the Black Lives Matter fliers they were posting along a bike path last year has walked with probation after apologizing for his actions.

Bike riders in DC fear the security fencing installed in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol on January 6th will make their commutes more dangerous.

The coronavirus bike boom — and Democrat takeover of DC — leads to the reintroduction of two bills that died in last-term’s GOP-controlled Senate, to make bikeshare programs eligible for federal transportation funding and reinstate and improve the bicycle commuter tax benefit.

Virginia’s comprehensive bike safety bill, which includes the Idaho Stop law, passed the state house and moves on to the Senate.

 

International

Cyclist explains how to clean your bike in the time it takes to make a cup of tea. A standard of measurement that may be meaningless to most people on this side of the Atlantic.

A science website says drop your car and get on your bike if you really want to cut your greenhouse gas emissions.

A Guatemalan bike rider is fighting hunger by trading donated books for food to distribute to the needy.

North Vancouver is doubling the current $100 fine for blocking a bike lane, while banning “stopping, parking or otherwise impeding a mobility lane.”

A British man has founded a charity to give bikes to cancer patients to help them recover, crediting bicycling with helping him overcome his illness.

A pair of brothers in the UK are on trial for the alleged racist murder of a Black man to steal his bicycle.

Crashes involving bike riders more than doubled in Brussels over the past decade, with 72% involving a motor vehicle last year.

A group of female journalists and activists broke with taboos to hold northeastern Syria’s first women’s bike race to encourage women to ride bicycles and promote green transportation.

A surprising three-quarters of Aussie bike riders say they’ve been the victim of road raging drivers. The only real surprise is that the number is so low.

 

Competitive Cycling

American cyclist Quinn Simmons appears to be back in the good graces of his Trek-Segafredo team; the 19-year junior world champ will make his Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders debuts after being suspended last year for an online comment in support of Donald Trump that was widely seen as racist and divisive.

Zwift has banned two more virtual cyclists for cyber doping by falsifying ride data.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a bike from the local police. Bike tattoos are forever — especially the truly cringeworthy kind.

And that’s one way to make sure drivers pass safely.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Morning Links: Bike rider mugged on Ballona Creek; LA Times criticizes selfish drivers fighting traffic safety

Cars aren’t the only threats people on bikes have to face.

One of the constant themes repeated by the people fighting bike lanes in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey is that, in their humble opinion, bike riders would be better off riding away from traffic on the Ballona Creek bike path than risking getting hit by cars on the streets.

Never mind that Ballona Creek bypasses all the shopping and employment centers between Culver City and the beach. Or that limited access points makes it harder for people to get where they need to go.

Which makes it more practical for recreational riding than for people who need to get somewhere, in most cases.

But there’s another recurring problem with the Ballona Creek bike path.

The isolation the path, below public view, makes it an ideal hunting ground for criminals. Which has been a problem on the path since at least 1990.

Every few years, there seems to be another rider attacked on Ballona Creek. And every few years, calls go out for police patrols on the pathway.

But nothing ever happens. And no government agency ever seems to want to take responsibility for the path.

Which leads up to what happened two weeks ago, when Jesus David Orozco was riding home after attending to Mar Vista Community Council meeting to discuss the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

Something has to be done to ensure safety for everyone on the Ballona Creek bike path.

And done quickly.

Because just like on the streets, people won’t use it if they don’t feel safe there.

Especially if they actually aren’t.

Update: I’m told that Orozco posted on Facebook that he has returned to work today, and that, thanks to the physicians that treated him, is feeling good and looking like himself again. 

I’m not sharing the post, since I haven’t requested his permission to use it.

But the only things that would make this news any better is if the police caught the people who did this, and the county and cities along the trail committed to improving safety so it doesn’t happen again.

Thanks to Jonathan Weiss for the heads-up.

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The LA Times really nails it this time.

In a surprising editorial, the paper calls on LA leaders to find the courage to fight back against “selfish” motorists opposed to street safety projects.

And let’s be clear. This is the official editorial voice of the publisher and paper, not merely an Op-Ed.

The paper complains about the callousness of too many commuters, and the risk that kneejerk opposition to change will override good policy. And possibly even reverse the city’s Vision Zero plan.

Vista del Mar wasn’t an official Vision Zero project – it didn’t go through the standard community outreach and input process that is an essential part of any road reconfiguration. Still, it quickly became the rallying cry for opponents of road diets and other projects that might slow traffic. It’s worth noting that some of the loudest critics of the Vista del Mar reconfiguration and another nearby Vision Zero project in Playa del Rey don’t live in the community; they commute through it to avoid 405 traffic.

The paper goes on to criticize Roadkill Gil Cedillo’s cynical effort to gain veto power over any road diet or lane reconfiguration in CD1, as well as Paul Krekorian’s backtracking on the Great Streets project proposed for Lankershim Blvd.

Typical City Hall. It’s easy for Garcetti and council members to tout their progressive credentials and sign off on ambitious policies to transform L.A. It’s much harder to implement those plans. Too often city leaders fold in the face of opposition. We’ve seen this with the city’s Bicycle Plan. We’ve seen it with homeless housing. And that’s why so many ambitious plans remain unfulfilled.

City leaders, and Garcetti in particular, have to continually make the case that Vision Zero is about making the streets safer for walkers, bike riders, motorcyclists and, yes, even drivers. The mayor has been far too quiet in defending his program and council members who face blowback when they support road safety efforts. Projects downtown and in Silver Lake have demonstrated that road diets can help reduce injuries without significant traffic delays. There is a learning curve, and over time as more Vision Zero projects are completed, residents will likely see that the benefits of safer streets outweigh the lane losses and any effect on traffic flow.

Not to mention the attitude they attribute to motorists at the start of the piece is no exaggeration. It’s exactly what I’ve been dealing with on social media and in the comments on this site.

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In Orange County, they’re not actually attacking bike riders, just pretending to.

And likely, scaring the crap out of innocent people in the process, for the sake of a stupid prank.

An OC law firm reports that people in cars are zooming in close to bicyclists, then making a gun with their hands and yelling “Butt dart!” at the rider.

It’s just pure luck that someone hasn’t been startled or frightened into falling or crashing, with potentially serious consequences.

Thanks to F Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Someone needs to explain the meaning of sharrows to the driver of a San Diego pickup. And remind him that brake checking a pair of cyclists was what got Dr. Christopher Thompson five years behind bars.

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LA’s own Coryn Rivera topped the women’s field to win the 2017 RideLondon Classique. More on the RideLondon festival in the International section below.

More proof that motor doping is a real thing, as an Italian masters rider was busted for having a concealed electric engine hidden in his bike.

More bad news on the ultra-endurance front, as endurance cyclist Frank Simons has been killed near the start of the European Transcontinental race, just 51 miles into the 2,500-mile race; he’s the third rider killed competing in an ultra-endurance race this year.

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Local

LA County is offering a $10,000 reward for the capture of the bike-riding jackass who sexually assaulted a woman in the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department’s Altadena Station rescued a mountain biker in Arroyo Canyon early Saturday. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Easy Reader posts great photos of kids participating in Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

The Press-Telegram provides a full construction schedule for the new bike boulevard being built on 6th Street in Long Beach

 

State

Meet the Huntington Beach man who invented the beach cruiser in the 1970s.

Mazda helped build and donate 120 bicycles for foster families in Orange County.

No bias here. The San Diego Union-Tribune wants to hear from readers about the city’s mythical war on cars.

A Fresno letter writer calls for greater enforcement of “maniac” drivers who put bicyclists at risk.

Sad news from San Jose, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a train.

Chico proposes a dramatic new bike and pedestrian bridge over a wide, busy street.

 

National

No surprise here. A new federal study shows speed was a factor in 31% of all traffic fatalities; the study recommends making the penalty for speeding equal to the penalties for drunk driving.

The Colorado legislator who called for an annual registration fee for bicyclists, then backed off after a massive backlash, now says maybe there needs to be a crackdown on scofflaw cyclists. And suggests it’s not fair if owners of ATVs, boats and snowmobiles to have to buy registration stickers, and bicyclists don’t. Never mind that all of those have motors; if they’re going to tax cyclists, maybe they should make hikers, skiers and pedestrians pay a fee, as well.

Someone is sabotaging ebikes in Aspen CO.

Touching story from Texas, where an entire family is wearing bike helmets in solidarity with their new baby, who has to wear a helmet to treat flat head syndrome.

Nebraska’s governor is riding 150 miles with a group of mental health professional to help end the stigma surrounding children’s mental health. It’s a kickoff event for Break the Cycle, a 5,000 mile ride from Seattle to DC to raise funds for child and adolescent mental health initiatives.

More victim blaming. Minnesota police say a cyclist ran a stop sign before she was hit by a van; her GPS shows she actually slowed to 1.1 mph before accelerating again.

Kindhearted Duluth MN cops pitch in to buy a new mountain bike for a man when his was destroyed in a crash, after they discovered he lived in an assisted living home and it was his only means of transportation.

Just two weeks after launching in South Bend, Indiana, bikes from the new LimeBike dockless bikeshare are already ending up in a local river.

Off-duty police officers will patrol multi-use trails in an Ohio town, as residents say they’d be more likely to use them if there was a police presence, even though there hasn’t been a crime problem. Which might be an answer for Ballona Creek, and other off-road paths in the LA area.

A Tennessee hit-and driver caught on bike cam ramming a bicyclist on the Natchez Trace Parkway has been indicted on federal charges of reckless aggravated assault, lying to a federal agent, and obstruction of justice; he could face a total of up to 37 years in federal prison. Apparently, they didn’t buy his excuse that someone on the side of the road had thrown a bicycle at his Volvo. Thanks to Allyson Vought for the link.

The New York Times says bicycling has become part of the city’s culture, with over 450,000 bike trips every day; the city has committed to building an additional 50 miles of bike lanes every year — including ten miles of protected lanes — after more than doubling the number of bike lanes over the past ten years. Thanks to Victor Bank for the tip.

 

International

The massive annual RideLondon cycling event was expected to draw 100,000 participants this past weekend, with 24,000 riders taking part in the century ride, a decrease of 3,000 riders over last year to improve safety.

Caught on video: An Aussie bicyclist pulls an endo and just barely avoids falling in front of an oncoming car. Note to Daily Mail: Going over the handlebars isn’t caused by going too fast, but by squeezing the front brake hard before the back one, causing the front wheel to lock before halting the bike’s momentum.

Apparently “hordes” of Brit runners are taking up bicycling to protect their knees, including an Olympic 1,500 meters star.

The Guardian says swapping cars for bicycles will make a bigger difference in the fight against pollution than switching from diesel engines to electric.

Israel’s railway authority will be installing automated bike parking garages at heavily used stations across the country.

The Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai is one of us, as Sheikh Mohammed stops to rescue a woman rider with a twisted chain.

The authoritarian president of Turkmenistan is one of us too, as he leads 7,700 riders, including government officials, on a nine-mile route through the nation’s capital; cars were banned from most major Turkmen cities for the day.

The war on bikes continues, as someone has been pouring oil on bike paths in Melbourne, Australia, in an attempt to make riders slip and fall, which could result in serious injuries.

 

Finally…

Who needs a water bottle when you can weld a cup holder into your top tube. How to explain why you never forget how to ride a bike without really explaining anything.

And someone please tell the LA Times we have a Critical Mass down here, too.

 

Morning Links: Arrest made in LA River Bike Path shooting, and Los Angeles ranked 24th best bike city in US

My apologies. We haven’t been able to correct the problem with email notifications yet. So if you’re not getting emails when new posts go up, rest assured we’re working on it.

And just keep coming back each day until we get it corrected.

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An arrest has been made in the shooting of two men on the LA River Bike Path in Elysian Valley earlier this month.

Nineteen-year-old David Umana was taken into custody this past Thursday for the incident, which began when he allegedly tried to steal the bikes belonging to the victims, who were riding with their wives.

Despite earlier suspicion of gang involvement, Umana does not appear to have gang ties. No word on whether police have identified his alleged accomplice.

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Bicycling Magazine is out with their latest biennial ranking of America’s 50 best bike cities; Chicago ranks number one, with San Francisco placing second.

Crain’s says the Windy City may be number one, but it’s a long way from perfect.

My hometown ranks 12th, as part of a bike friendly Colorado triumvirate with Denver and Boulder at 11 and 10, respectively.

Surprisingly, Los Angeles checks in at 24, seemingly more out of respect for what it could be than what it currently is; meanwhile, Long Beach inexplicably follows four points lower at 28, while Santa Monica didn’t even make the list.

It’s hard to imagine anyone who has actually ridden those three cities agreeing with that.

Thousand Oaks just makes the cut at 49.

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Local

Work is finally set to begin on the MyFigueroa project this October; the Complete Streets project will feature protected bike lanes linking USC with Downtown.

An LAX bike cop is credited with working with another officer to save the life of a suicidal Korean man.

CiclaValley offers his fall cycling preview.

It’s a well-deserved life without parole for a Pomona man who was captured on his bicycle after cutting out his girlfriend’s lung and heart.

LA County Sheriff’s officials have identified the deputy who shot an unarmed, homeless bicycle rider in Castaic last month.

Zac Efron is one of us, as are a handful of other stars who competed in Sunday’s Malibu Tri.

Santa Monica is encouraging everyone who lives or works in the city to go carfree on October 7th.

 

State

Tragic news from Orange County, as a 15-year old Anaheim boy is in a medically induced coma in critical condition after he was hit from behind by an erratic driver who fled the scene; the victim was riding in a bike lane and reportedly doing everything right when he was struck.

The Bay Area’s BART train system says your U-lock may not be that secure after all.

Plans have been approved to add a 10-foot bidirectional bike and pedestrian lane to the upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

 

National

The LA Times asks if Oahu’s Honolulu Century Ride is the best bicycle workout ever.

When St. Paul MN trades parking for bike lanes, a student complains that she might have to get a bike because parking is too hard to find. Which is kind of the point, yes.

Kalamazoo MI votes to give bicyclists a five foot passing distance. Which is meaningless unless it’s actually enforced.

A St. Louis student says she feels like Mufasa from the Lion King, as she succumbs to a wildebeest-like herd of swarming bicyclists as she makes her way across campus.

Great piece from Brooklyn Spoke, who says it’s hard to see Vision Zero when you’re looking through a windshield.

A New Orleans man is suing the phone company alleging that a low hanging phone line caused him to fall off his bike. Wait. They still use land lines in the Big Easy?

 

International

The Financial Times says cycling really is the new golf, but ride with a diverse group because nobody wants groupthink.

A London writer says an ebike helped her overcome her fear of riding in the city, without breaking a sweat.

Britain’s bicycling countess sets off on her 450-mile castle-to-castle ride, saying she’s terrified, as father-in-law Prince Phillip — aka Queen Elizabeth’s husband — calls her mad. No, seriously.

Caught on video: A British driver illegally uses his handheld phone to record cyclists riding legally.

Shades of Coronado. A UK mayor says putting bike lanes on a historic walkway would be vandalism.

This is why people continue to die on the streets. An 83-year old Australian man killed a cyclist after he was allowed to keep driving despite failing two driving tests following a stroke.

Evidently, a cable tie a day does not, in fact, keep Aussie Magpies away.

Bikeshare is becoming more popular in Seoul, Korea, with 100,000 members and no serious wrecks.

 

Finally…

Apparently, swallowing up a bicycle is enough to get on the shortlist for tree of the year. Bicycling may not cause erectile dysfunction, but it can give you a numb vagina.

And why count sheep when you can use your bike to chase them?

 

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