Tag Archive for Woodland Hills

Wealthy hit-and-run socialite faces double murder trial, Metro Bikes $1 through September, and Queen was one of us

The wealthy co-founder of the Grossman Burn Center has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the alleged DUI death of two little boys.

Fifty-nine-year old socialite Rebecca Grossman was allegedly speeding at over 70 mph in a 45 mph zone, while driving at just over the legal alcohol limit, when she plowed her SUV into the two boys in a Westlake Village crosswalk two years ago.

The judge refused to drop the murder charges, which stemmed from Grossman’s presumed knowledge that ignoring the speed limit and driving recklessly could result in the death of an innocent person, based on her previous history of speeding violations.

She brutally ran down 11-year-old Mark Iskander and his brother Jacob as they were crossing the street with their family on a skateboard and scooter, respectively, while failing to brake for the children or stop afterwards, until her car shut down a third of a mile away with the air bag deployed.

Grossman is currently free on $2 million bail, and faces 34 years to life if she’s convicted on the murder counts.

Photo from Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.

………

Get a Metro Bike bikeshare membership for just one buck for the rest of this month.

………

Metro is considering plans for bus-only lanes on Sepulveda Blvd north of Ventura Blvd in the San Fernando Valley, which could be used by people on bicycles, as well.

………

As Tolstoy makes clear, it’s never too late to learn to ride a bike.

………

Who needs carbon wheels when you can ride wood, instead?

………

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

Oh, please. A writer for Forbes makes the case for vehicular cycling, without using the term, arguing that protected bike lanes increase risk for people on bicycles, while using Forester as her primary support. Even though the most comprehensive study to date concludes that separated and protected bike lanes are the single biggest factors in improving safety for bike riders in urban environments. 

No bias here. A Colorado TV station writes that a Ford pickup fled the scene after killing a bike rider, only mentioning in passing in the body of the story that the truck even had a driver.

No bias here, either. A South African website makes the case for requiring license plates on bicycles, arguing that “reckless cyclists have as much potential to seriously injure or even kill pedestrians” as motorists do. Which is absurd on the face of it, since motorists kill 1.3 million people worldwide each year, while people on bicycles cause a tiny fraction of that.

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

A British man beat the crap out of a neighbor in a “frenzied attack” that began with a dispute over scuffing the walls of the apartment building’s stairwell by bringing his bike up and down, spattering the victim’s blood over the newly painted hallway.

………

Local

The LACBC will host a fundraising ride and party in the the Arts District November 5th, with tickets starting at $100.

Santa Monica is making Vision Zero safety improvements on a 2.5-mile section of Wilshire Blvd, as well as at Ocean Park and Lincoln, and Olympic and 14th; however, there are no bikeways planned for Wilshire. Dammit.

 

State 

Caltrans offered an update on the agency’s progress implementing its new Complete Streets policy.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Yucca Valley man for the July hit-and-run that left two men with major injuries when their tandem bike was rear-ended by the suspect’s car; David Alderson is currently being held on $100,000 bond.

 

National

Great idea. A nonprofit group repurposed Uber’s abandoned bikeshare ebikes by establishing ebike lending libraries in low-income neighborhoods.

More fallout from that horrible article in The Atlantic that called ebikes monstrosities, as a Streetsblog op-ed says it’s not the ebike that’s a monstrosity, it’s car culture.

An environmental writer makes the case for “right-sizing” delivery trucks by replacing them with cargo bikes, but bizarrely concludes most people shouldn’t get one for their personal use.

Ars Technica says the new Urtopia Carbon ebike is what you get when you try to combine an ebike with an iPad.

220 Triathlon examines the best bicycling trousers for a dry and comfortable ride, none of which are remotely suited for your next tri.

Salem, Oregon’s second attempt at a bikeshare system ended in failure, unable to overcome theft and vandalism problems.

Portland bike riders learn the hard way that a separated bike path is still technically a roadway, after a local raceway directed Indycar fans to drive head-on into the path of bicyclists using it.

Like much of the country, Washington State is going the wrong way, with traffic fatalities rising to a 20-year high in the state, including a 26% increase in bike and pedestrian deaths.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the tandem bike an Ohio special needs boy used to ride with his grandmother.

A half dozen MIT students and recent graduates rode their bikes 3,800 miles from DC to San Francisco, teaching STEM classes to kids along the way.

A columnist for the LA Times considers whether New York’s congestion pricing proposal is fair to lower-income drivers, and proposes banning cars entirely as one option that might be fairer.

 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips rides a 17-year old Cannondale for a month to compare how it stacks up to modern technology. Even though a 17-year old isn’t exactly an antique.

Here’s one for your bike bucket list. Or maybe 20, as a European travel insurance comparison site lists the continent’s most Instagrammable bike routes, including this one in Scotland offering challenging climbs and breathtaking scenery.

London’s bikeshare system saw record use this summer, as local residents took advantage of sunny weather to avoid transit strikes and rising fares.

The British woman who got mugged outside a police station when she tried to reclaim her stolen bicycle got it back, thanks to a bighearted scooter shop owner who returned it after buying it off the thief. But her bad luck continued when she had yet another bike stolen in the meantime.

Bianchi has a new flagship road ebike, complete with a more than $5,000 price tag.

Israel is opening a new $7.3 million, 1.3 mile bike tunnel through the Jerusalem mountains, making it the world’s fifth longest.

Incoming Kenya First Lady Racheal Ruto was among the thousands of Kenyons who turned out to pay their respects to Suleiman “Sule” Kangangi, after the influential Black cyclist died in a solo crash during Vermont’s Overland Gravel race.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel extended his lead in the Vuelta with another stage victory on Thursday, and is now leading Spain’s Enric Mas by two minutes and seven seconds; don’t waste your time looking for an American in the top 50.

However, Evenepoel raised hackles by refusing to sign a kid’s jersey following Thursday’s stage.

Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini overcame a crash to finish second in Thursday’s stage two of the women’s Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, finishing two minutes after Dutch pro Annemiek Van Vleuten.

The Tour of Britain responded to the sudden death of the UK’s Queen Elizabeth by cancelling the remainder of the race, which was set to conclude Sunday on the Isle of Wight, and declaring Spain’s Gonzalo Serrano the winner.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me — if you’re carrying meth, weed and drug paraphernalia on your bike, put a damn light on it. That feeling when there’s no place to park your cargo bike.

And in case there was any doubt, yes, Queen Elizabeth was one of us.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Morning Links: Permanent memorial for young Valley bicyclist, Aussie distracted driving cams, and more NY anti-bike bias

One tragic note before we get started.

I’m told that a man from Altadena has been gravely injured in an apparent solo fall while riding with a friend in the Northern California backcountry.

The victim is currently being treated in a Bay Area hospital for severe neck, spine and brain injuries.

I’m withholding his name and other details for now out of respect for his family and their privacy.

But prayers or best wishes are definitely in order.

………

He gets it.

Bike advocates rededicated the ghost bike for 15-year old Sebastian Montero, who was killed by a speeding driver while riding his bike in Woodland Hills on Easter Sunday last year.

The ceremony also saw the installation of the city’s first permanent marker honoring a fallen bicyclist, one of up to 20 per year the city will install with a reminder to drive safely.

Photo from Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s Twitter account

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield struck the right tone, reminding the small audience about the big hole Montero’s death left in the lives of everyone around him.

And that a simple sign wasn’t going to fix anything.

“The signs themselves are wonderful,” said Blumenfield. “[But] they’re not going to solve our problems with people dying on the roads.”

It will take a renewed commitment to Vision Zero by the people elected to serve all of us — not just the people in the big, dangerous machines.

And a willingness on their part to stand up to NIMBYs and angry drivers that has been sorely lacking in the city in recent years.

………

Great idea.

Inspired by the death of his friend James Rapley, the Australian bike rider killed on Temescal Canyon while on a layover at LAX six years ago, an Aussie entrepreneur has developed an automated camera system designed to capture drivers illegally using a handheld cellphone.

The automated cameras from Acusensus are designed to work like red light or speed cameras to provide photographic proof of the driver breaking the law, along with the license of the car.

Presumably, tickets would follow in the mail.

It would likely require a change in the law to use them in California, where red light cameras are allowed at local discretion, but speed cameras are currently prohibited.

However, it should withstand privacy concerns, since there is no legal expectation of privacy for anything that is readily visible in public.

Although the state’s overly entitled drivers would likely rise up to complain, just like too many do over any attempt to hold motorists accountable and keep them from breaking the law.

But there are few things the state could do virtually overnight that would have a greater impact on safety and do more to save lives.

………

No bias here.

The bike-hating New York Post says bike riders are killing pedestrians, and accuses the city of not doing anything to stop it.

Then they go on to explain there were seven pedestrian deaths in the last nine years — something works out to less than one a year, along with another 250 injured each year.

While one death is one too many, the paper doesn’t bother to mention how many bike riders were injured or killed in crashes with pedestrians.

Never mind who was actually at fault in those crashes.

And as anyone who has ever had a pedestrian step out into bike lane without looking, or turn suddenly in front of your bike can tell you, it ain’t necessarily the person on two wheels.

Nor do they bother to put it all in perspective by citing the 100-plus pedestrians killed by motorists each year.

Which only works out to a margin of slightly 100 to one, anyway. Making it pretty damn clear who represents the real danger to people walking.

But who cares about facts if it sells newspapers.

Right?

………

Speaking of which, a New York study shows zombie pedtextrians isn’t really a thing after all.

………

Go for a Monday mountain bike ride with the great Peter Sagan.

But maybe drop a little dramamine first.

………

Thanks to Sgt. Helper for forwarding video of a bike-riding nun who could probably drop most of us.

Well, me anyway.

https://twitter.com/TrumpPatriotPL/status/1167874990810648577

………

Local

Hats off to LAPD officer Andrew Gonzalez, who rode his bike 300 miles from LA to Stanislaus County to deliver a flag to the family of a fallen Newman police officer who was killed during a traffic stop last year.

Katherine Schwarzenegger and Chris Pratt are two of us, as they enjoy married life on a mountain bike ride in Los Angeles.

NoHo’s Chandler Bikeway is set to get $1.2 million in improvements. None of which is apparently aimed at improving safety for bike riders.

E-scooters are officially banned in the ‘Bu.

The Daily Breeze recounts the story of deadly Vista Del Mar, including the failed 2017 attempt to install a road diet, which was ripped out when drivers insisted on their God-given right to go zoom zoom even if it keeps killing people.

 

State

A San Diego woman suffered severe head trauma when a driver leaving a parking lot smashed into her bike as she rode on the sidewalk. Yet another example of why riding a bicycle on the sidewalk isn’t as safe as most people think.

After a Murrietta boy was hit by a car while riding his bike, the kindhearted people at Target gave him a new one.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 56-year old bike rider died after allegedly making an abrupt left turn into the path of a pickup driver.

San Jose police bust ten suspects in a series of burglaries targeting bike shops, as well as construction sites and school districts in the Bay Area.

A San Jose columnist goes for the jugular, arguing that a bike rider killed in a head-on collision on popular Mount Diablo would be alive today if parks officials hadn’t ignored a judge’s 27-year old order to improve the roadway. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

Officials identified the victim in last week’s fatal hit-and-run in East San Jose as a 44-year old San Jose man. Thanks to Ralph Durham and Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Indicating a total misunderstanding of what speed limits are for, a Santa Rosa-area letter writer says drivers should be required to drive the speed limit, and bike riders should get the hell out of the way so they don’t slow down the more important people in cars. Just like drivers, bicyclists are required to pull over when safe to do so if there are five or more vehicles stuck behind them and unable to pass; the law does not apply if there are two or more lanes in each direction, or if the people can safely pass them.

Three new members were named to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis; the trio will be inducted November 2nd.

A Eureka woman was busted for trying to pass a phony $100 bill at a bike shop to buy a bicycle for…wait for it…$5.46. Sound like maybe she was getting a fake bike for her fake money, anyway.

 

National

New rules for the national parks system would allow ebikes on any trails other bicycles are allowed on, providing new access to the wilderness for older or less able-bodied riders.

Buzzfeed says Amazon’s next day delivery is bringing chaos and carnage to America’s streets, while the company avoids responsibility for the harm they’re causing.

New street design guidelines from the American Society for Landscape Architecture show why inclusive cities start with safe streets.

Guarantee your kid wins playtime at the park with his or her very own Harley-Davidson e-balance bike.

Portland police finally busted the bike thief who stole a 69-year old man’s $11,000 bicycle in a strong-arm robbery in July; a friend of the victim had filmed the thief riding it shortly after the theft.

A hit-and-run bike rider rode over the hind leg of an eight-month old Labradoodle puppy on an Idaho greenbelt, snapping it in two, then simply rode off. Which makes him no less of a cowardly a-hole than any heartless hit-and-run driver. Schmuck.

Kansas City MO develops the usual factions in the fight over bike lanes, as advocates argue for improving safety and boosting local businesses, while opponents fear harm to businesses and want to keep their dangerous streets just the way they are.

A Texas man refuses to take no for an answer after doctors told him he’d never ride a bike again when he lost his leg in a horseback riding accident, completing a 168-mile ride on a prosthetic leg he designed and built himself.

An 18-year old girl rode 550 miles on a tandem bike with her father from Chicago to Toronto for her first day of college, while a Flint MI bike shop owner saved the day when they developed a crack in their tandem’s steering tube.

More proof hit-and-run isn’t just a California thing, as Chicago police are looking for the heartless coward who slammed into a mountain bike rider, and left him to die on the side of the road. Thanks to Art S for the tip.

After a legally blind Indiana man’s bike was stolen, a friend spotted it on someone else’s porch and stole it back.

Congratulations to Ohio officials for keeping a dangerous driver on the roads until he killed someone. The alleged drunk driver who killed a bicyclist on Saturday had been charged with driving while impaired seven years ago, but prosecutors pled it down to a single count of reckless driving with a small fine; the victim was chief counsel to a former Ohio governor. Which means his blood is on their hands.

A driveway vigilante is under arrest after a New York driver took the law into his own hands, deliberately slamming his SUV into the screwdriver-toting bike rider he suspected of breaking into his vehicle, and killing him.

New York’s former parks commissioner says bike and pedestrian traffic in Central Park has become so chaotic and dangerous due to its growing popularity and lack of pedestrian and cycling safety infrastructure that he won’t ride his bike there anymore.

An op-ed in the New York Daily News says sure, bikes are all fine and good, but the city’s Belmont neighborhood needs its parking. Unlike, say, every other neighborhood that says the same thing, until they find out they’re actually better off with more bikes and fewer cars.

Need a haircut? A bike-riding New York barber says he’ll go anywhere to cut hair, traveling from Machu Picchu to Tokyo.

Now that’s more like it. A Philadelphia man is suing a delivery company for repeatedly blocking a bike lane, as well as the city’s parking authority for failing to enforce it.

A Delaware man who is “hardly a bike-phobe” says they’ve already had several bike riders killed in the area, and its totally the fault of those careless, lawbreaking vacationers on bicycles.

An op-ed in the Washington Post says we can have an enormous impact on improving our cities by making it easier to ride a bike and harder to drive a car.

Life is cheap in Virginia, where a woman walks without a single day behind bars despite a conviction for reckless driving in the death of a man riding his bicycle.

A new Clemson University study confirms that daytime taillights can significantly improve your safety. Speaking strictly for myself, I’ve had far fewer close calls since I’ve started riding with multiple taillights and an ultrabright headlight during the day. As much as it really pisses me off to have to do it. 

 

International

London is changing building design rules for skyscrapers to reduce the wind tunnel effect for bicyclists.

A British writer calls for taming the automotive hegemony on our streets by banning all car advertising.

Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden is one of us, too, going for a casual ride with her two daughters.

A new study shows cargo bikes are more efficient than delivery vans in urban areas, so the UK government put its money on…flying taxis.

It’s a long, long way to Tipperary, and an Irish columnist just wishes you’d show a little respect and use your bike bell on the way there.

Yet another study confirms the safety in numbers effect, as a new Belgian study shows motorists will adjust how they drive in relation to the number of bicyclists on the street.

South African police ended a nearly two-year reign of terror when they arrested a Zimbabwean man for murdering a bike rider and a hiker in a national park, as well as eight other nonfatal stabbings and muggings.

A New Zealand charity refurbishes bicycles to give to refugees, and teaches the recipients how to ride them, giving them new hope in the process.

An Aussie op-ed says just painting bike lanes on a street and assuming bicyclists will be safe and motivated to use them is delusional, and does nothing to encourage more people to give bike riding a try.

The Philippines considers a bill that would require elected officials to use public transport. We need something like that here, like requiring officials — elected and otherwise — to walk, bike or use transit at least once a week.

 

Competitive Cycling

A “crazy week” ends at the Vuelta with yet another leader change.

Cyclist looks at the winners and losers in the Vuelta’s first week, while Cycling Weekly confines itself to five talking points from stage 9.

One of those losers was Tejay van Garderen, who was forced to drop out with a broken finger following a crash on Thursday.

Rouleur considers how tiny Slovenia rose to the top of the cycling world.

A Mexican cyclist got a two-year ban after getting busted for doping. But the doping era is completely and totally over, right?

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a bicyclist competing in a Russian bike race loses control and veers off the course, but grabs a little girl to protect her as he falls.

Finally…

Yes, a bike lane can save your life the next time you inhale a wasp while riding. If you’re going to take your loaded shotgun into Home Depot, at least get off your bike first.

And don’t toss trash out the window of your chrome-covered Lambo.

Especially if there’s a bicyclist around.

………

One final note. 

This is exactly how I feel when I post most mornings. Now if I could only figure out how to include a decent bottle of booze as a downloadable attachment.

%d bloggers like this: