Summer is just around the corner but don't grab that beach towel just yet. Unfortunately, it is also the time of year that car crashes in Los Angeles increase. It is important to make sure you have adequate auto insurance before we enter the summer season.
Most of you know him as the host of the hit show "Price is Right," while others may know him for his fierce advocacy for animal rights. Bob Barker, aged 94, was recently transported to the hospital from his house in Hollywood. Paramedics were dispatched to Barker's home for, "unspecified medical aid." Some suspect this hospitalization may be related to a previous back injury or possibly a fall he sustained in his home in 2017 in which he injured his head. Regardless of the severity of the pain or injury, we wish him a speedy recovery.
As part of Santa Monica's e-scooter pilot program, Uber has recently launched its fleet of e-scooters, which look exactly like their bike program. Jump, the Uber owned Shared Bike and Scooter Company, has a fleet of 500 e-bikes and 250 e-scooters available for rent through the Uber app. The pricing for Jump's scooters is comparable to that of Bird and Lime at $1 to unlock the device and 15 cents per minute to ride. Eventually, Lime scooters will also be rentable through the Uber App although this may take some time before that deal finalizes. In wake of recent laws passed in Los Angeles to regulate e-scooters, it seems the next move for Jump will be to initiate operations in Los Angeles neighborhoods as soon as possible.
On September 5th, Edras Velasquez was struck while riding an electrically powered motor scooter on Glendale Boulevard near Waverly Drive in Silver Lake. Velasquez was left critically injured following the accident as the silver BMW fled the scene. Surveillance footage indicated there was a female passenger with the driver in the vehicle suspected of hit and run. After the initial collision, the driver put the vehicle in reverse in attempt to remove the stuck electric scooter. Velasquez was transported to a local hospital for life saving treatment. Currently, Velasquez is in a coma.
The end of dockless scooters in Los Angeles may have come earlier than most expected. In what some have described as similar to a social experiment, rental scooter companies Bird and Lime released a fleet of dockless electric scooters for consumers to unlock using a smartphone app. Within a week, the city of Los Angeles may issue cease and desist letters to all electric scooter rental companies operating within its city limits. The moratorium on dockless scooters will allow city council to finalize regulations on electric scooters including speed limits and taillight requirements. Currently, Bird scooters can travel up to 15 miles per hour.
The Santa Monica Police Department has taken a strong stance on illegal use of electric scooters. This has come in the form of scooter confiscations in addition to a well-made video titled "Scooters: How not to get a ticket." The video can be found on the Santa Monica Police Department Facebook page and a spaghetti western inspired clip of the informational video be can be found on their Twitter. Since the deployment of shared scooters, Santa Monica Police personnel have confiscated over 100 scooters. Officers will continue to enforce the rules of the road to prevent electric scooter accidents.
It would appear the spread of electric shared scooters has taken yet another hit as Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Mitchell Englander look to ban electric scooter outright in Los Angeles until regulations are finished. Citing personal experience, Paul Koretz of the Fairfax neighborhood asked the city council to place an immediate ban on the use of motorized scooters. Koretz explained that while he was initially in favor of the new wave of transit for Los Angeles, he reconsidered his position when he saw the impacts on his own neighborhood. Unsafe use of the motorized scooters included double riding, underage riders, riders on sidewalks and users failing to use helmets.
June 24th was the 26th CicLAvia and people came out in droves to celebrate the city of Los Angeles on bicycle. For those unfamiliar with CicLAvia, cyclists gather in a specific starting location and bike through various neighbor hoods of the greater Los Angeles area. The most recent occurrence started in Panorama city and ended in Pacoima. Riders of all ages enjoyed the scenery from a different vantage offered by car travel. "There's so much stuff that you miss when you're actually driving," said Venice resident Javier Covarrubias.
For anyone out of the loop, Bird is a public e-scooter renting company. Users unlock e-scooters or 'Birds' around their neighborhood using a smartphone app and rent the motorized scooter for a period of time. When users are finished, they simply leave the bird and another user can take control.
Damon Shear was killed at a crosswalk while walking across Pacific Avenue near Paloma Court around 10 a.m. October 25th. What makes this accident more unfortunate is that this stretch of Pacific was due for additional pedestrian safety infrastructure on the sidewalk. Shear waited for cars in the northbound and southbound lane to stop when he proceeded to cross. While crossing, a northbound driver passed the stopped vehicle and struck Damon. According to Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, "the intersection has been the scene of serious collisions previously, and in recent years the City of Los Angeles has increased LAPD presence there to target unsafe driving behaviors around this intersection..."