Murder and DUI Charges in Griffith Park Crash, Petition to Ban Cars from the Park and NC Registration in Healthy Streets LA

Do this murder instead.

the Los Angeles Times reports that charges against Jairo Martinez, the man arrested for killing 77-year-old AIDS/LifeCycle rider Andrew Jelmert in Griffith Park on Saturday, have been upgraded to murder rather than drive-by homicide.

The paper hints at the reason here.

In addition to the murder, prosecutors charged Martinez, 37, with fatal hit-and-run and driving with a suspended or revoked license after he was convicted of driving under the influence. He was due to appear in court on Wednesday.

If Martinez had been convicted of DUI in California, he would have been required to sign a Watson notice acknowledging that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence at any time in the future.

And kill someone, he did.

Allegedly.

It is clear from the charges that the loss of his license did not prevent Martinez from driving or getting behind the wheel after drinking.

California needs to do more to stop people like him from continuing to drive after losing their license. Even less continue to drive drunk.

Interlocks that check the driver’s blood alcohol level before the ignition engages are a start.

But it would be much more effective to confiscate a driver’s car for the duration of their driver’s license suspension. Or force them to sell their car if their license is revoked.

Because, as the charges against Martinez demonstrate, simply stripping someone’s license does not prevent them from driving.

Or kill someone.

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Meanwhile, road safety nonprofit SAFE, or Streets Are For Everyone, has launched a petition to begin phasing out cars from Griffith Park, except for park rangers and shuttles.

Griffith Park is the largest park in the United States that still allows private cars. It is a haven for the community and a popular destination for cyclists, runners, walkers and families with young children – out for physical activity and socializing. However, the few cycle paths that exist do not have barriers separating cyclists from cars. The posted speed limit is 25 MPH, but many drivers travel between 40 and 60 MPH using Griffith Park to avoid the crowded Highway 5.

And yes, I signed it. I hope you too.

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Twenty-eight down, 71 to go, as more than a quarter of Los Angeles ward councils signed on to the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, which would require the city to roll out the already-approved mobility plan as streets resurface.

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The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is hosting the second in its series of Bike Salons tonight.

The LACBC is also looking for volunteers for the resumption of the Operation Firefly light distribution program.

The other news is not welcome, as the organization has canceled its River Ride for the third consecutive year, while hinting at an event later this year to “celebrate the joy of riding a bike”.

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As we mentioned yesterday, the Bike League – aka the League of American Cyclists – has released its latest ranking of the most bike-friendly states in the country.

Massachusetts passed Washington for the top spot for the first time, while California came in at a seemingly overly optimistic 4th place. New York finished 13th in the standings, despite the state earning an F grade in the Traffic laws and practices Category.

And humble Wyoming claimed the bottom line as the most bike-unfriendly state in the country.

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Sometimes it’s people on two wheels who misbehave.
Local

the Los Angeles Times followed my lead and endorsed Kenneth Mejia as city comptroller, with honorable mention for Stephanie Clements, city budget analyst and longtime financial officer; called career politician Paul Koretz, not so much.

Pasadena is hosting a community meeting next Thursday to discuss the proposed Craig Avenue Greenway, a 1.1-mile bike boulevard between Orange Grove Boulevard and Del Mar Boulevard.

Whittier plans to add a nearly three-mile extension to the popular 4.6-mile Greenway Trail.

State

Calbike invites you to take part in this year’s Climate Ride fundraising scenic ride.

No bias here. A San Diego TV station actually says that California’s requirement that automakers replace gas-powered cars with other battery-powered cars is a prime example of the mythical war on cars.

San Diego Sheriff’s Deputies are looking for a van driver who followed a 16-year-old boy on his bike and tried to lure him inside the van.

Caltrans District 8 is seeking public input on a draft active transportation plan for the High Desert and Inland Empire region.

After a Hayward girl’s stolen bike was found stripped and trashed, kind-hearted sheriff’s deputies worked with a local bike shop to clean and fix it before returning it to her.

It’s open season for mountain bikers in the hills of Oakland, as gangs of thieves rob people for their bikes in a crime spree that dates back to last year.

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney won a seat in the California Assembly in a special election; Haney is credited with the rapid expansion of protected bike lanes in the city’s SoMa neighborhood.

National

Ride a bike offers tips on how to extend the life of your bike’s tyres. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

A Chicago cyclist has won nearly $300,000 in damages after he was seriously injured when he hit the base of a broken bike lane bollard.

Boston’s Bikes Not Bombs organization uses bicycles as a tool for social change.

They get it. A DC website says Vision Zero only makes sense if we can get more drivers off the roads.

A long-running Florida bike shop was set on fire when an unattended e-bike battery caught fire while charging, after sending the customer’s battery to be rebuilt.

International

A Montreal website remembers Bicycle Bob, who fought to make cycling a normal urban activity, while encouraging the city to develop the necessary infrastructure to support it.

The UK has seen a massive 40% increase in bike theft in the last three years alone.

Throwing a bike onto a London train track only to see it explode is not one of the recommended uses.

A British father is calling for police to be given the power to immediately suspend the driving licenses of drugged drivers, after his six-year-old son was pulled over by a driver who had already been arrested twice for DUI.

Harry, Duke of Sussex, current resident of Santa Barbara and former reserve heir, is said to be ‘having fun’ cycling and whistling while attending the Invictus Games in the Netherlands.

Thank a massive volcano on a remote South Pacific island for the modern bike you ride.

Competitive cycling

If you want to watch the oldest of the five monuments here in the US this Sunday, you’ll need a subscription to the GCN+ streaming service; otherwise, you are SOL for the 108th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The Redlands Classic stage race is back after a two-year Covid-enforced absence, with a time trial course last used 26 years ago.

A former Olympian from Tokyo offers an insider’s view of the L39ion training camp in Los Angeles.

To finish…

Bike bridge, footpath and coyote crossing. If you’re going naked biking on Easter morning, at least get a fucking tan first.

And now you too can buy a bike for the same price I paid for my last car.

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

Oh, and damn Poutine too.



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