Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Out for justice!

A pair of high-profile bicycle vs. car accidents are in the news this week in California.

In the first, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is back on the job following a collision that required surgery to repair a broken elbow.  The mayor was upbeat in public appearances Monday and used the opportunity to issue a plea that cyclists wear helmets -- he himself was during last week's accident in which he says he hit the pavement head first.

Interestingly, the mayor rejected any talk of pursuing legal action against the cab driver who abruptly pulled in front of him as Villaraigosa rode in the bicycle lane.  Whether you see this as a sign of a forgiving nature or as an indicator there's more to this crash story than the official version indicates depends on which side of California politics you call home.

The second rider in the news this week is in no mood for forgiveness... at least not until the driver who hit him comes forward to accept responsibility.

Bill Tinsley, 75, was riding along a moderately busy boulevard near Sacramento in late June when he was struck by a white sedan that kept going.  This week, he's standing alongside that same road, holding signs asking for help in identifying the driver.  The accident wrecked his bicycle and, Tinsley says, "took a few years off" his life.

I'm guessing this rider, having seen Tinsley appeal on television and learned that he and the CHP have little in the way of evidence, will come forward at precisely the same time O.J. produces that missing track suit and knife.

Here's a link to Tinsley's story, and here's one to Villaraigosa's.


  1. What do you think of London's cycle superhighways? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-10648330

    I think it takes more than some blue paint to make a safe place for bikers

  2. @Katherine,

    You're very up-to-date on these things! I didn't learn of the london blue lanes until the day after your post! For what it's worth, I'm partial to separate lanes/trails etc. whenever possible.

    You're certainly right about more than lanes/paint being needed. It seems one very important factor is the number of bicycles moving in an area. The more bikes, the more drivers expect them, learn to "see" them and accord them a bit of space and safety.