Cyclists Condemn Prosecutors Decision

This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

The New York Times:  Cyclists Condemn Prosecutor’s Decision

By JOHN COLLINS RUDOLF

Last week The Vail Daily News reported that an Eagle County, Colo., prosecutor had declined to press felony charges against Martin Joel Erzinger, a financial manager who allegedly fled the site of a crash with a cyclist in July.

“Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger’s profession, and that entered into it,” Mark Hurlbert, the prosecutor, said of the manager, told the paper. “When you’re talking about restitution, you don’t want to take away his ability to pay.”

Mr. Erzinger, a money manager for wealthy clients at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, has $1 billion in assets under management, according to his Web site. He now faces two misdemeanor traffic charges related to the incident, which left the victim with brain and spinal cord injuries.

Cycling advocates around the country have decried the ruling.

“Even with an appreciation of the legal complexities, what Erzinger is accused of absolutely warrants a felony charge and it’s shocking that his profession and net worth has even entered into the equation,” wrote Jonathan Maus, the editor of BikePortland.org, a cycling blog.

Bob Mionske, an attorney who specializes in representing injured bikers, said the district attorney’s decision not to press felony charges was unusual given the circumstances. According to court records, Mr. Erzinger did not stop after the accident, but drove several miles to a nearby town and called a roadside assistance service to request a tow for his Mercedes. He did not call law enforcement, the records say.

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Spokes | Tipsy On Two Wheels

This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

 

Spokes | Tipsy On Two Wheels

By J. David Goodman, The New York Times
 

ON the matter of bicycling under the influence, Michael Dolan has known both pleasure and pain.

Mr. Dolan, a 33-year-old public relations strategist, reported some happy two-wheeled encounters while drunk involving the singers David Byrne and Björk — whom he witnessed “being pedaled around and screeching like a child” — as well as a “surreal” collision with a rider on a Penny Farthing.

But he also acknowledged the danger in trying to ride after downing enough alcohol to make a single speed look like a tandem. “I know one person who was killed drunk-biking, one who broke some bones crossing the Manhattan Bridge,” Mr. Dolan said. “Everyone I ride with has at least one story of hurting themselves booze-rolling.” (Mr. Byrne, for one, wrote on his blog about having broken his ribs in a drink-fueled 2008 fall.)

Still, many cyclists have dedicated “bar bikes” — cheap beaters that can be left overnight if a return trip by taxi becomes necessary — and sometimes there are so many bikes locked up near certain watering holes that it can be hard to find a place to park.

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A biker to drivers: Let's call a truce

This article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

A biker to drivers: Let’s call a truce

STEVEN ELBOW |  Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010
 

It was one of those days when everything fell into place. I wheeled out of the driveway of my east-side home and picked up Winnebago Street from Fourth Street. The wind was at my back. I made the lights at Atwood, First Street and Riverside, and I was on Williamson Street. Before me was a line of lights, and with a little luck I could make them all. I was cruising at maybe 20 mph, the same as the car in front of me. Six blocks to go and the last light went from red to green, and the traffic speeded up. The car in front pulled away, and another one squeezed by, then cut me off with a right turn.
 

I skidded to a stop, staring straight down at the guy’s rear bumper as he squealed around the corner. I contemplated chasing down the jerk, but I was wheezing like an 80-year-old emphysema patient without his oxygen. So I sat there and stewed. Then it dawned on me that I could have died.

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Start of Tour de Nez bike race used to remind people of ongoing problem

 

This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

KRNV Reno: Start of Tour de Nez bike race used to remind people of ongoing problem

Thursday June 17, 2010

Thursday was day one of the Tour de Nez bike race. Bicycle enthusiasts used it to highlight what they call an ongoing, dangerous problem. That is, that motorists and cyclists don't always share the road, 

A forum at the Nugget in Sparks Thursday came after two recent bicycle accidents in town. One of those accidents was last week. A three year old girl was riding her bike on Lewis Street when she was hit by a truck. Last month, a Tour de Nez rider was in the bike lane on McCarran Boulevard when he was hit by a car from behind. Luckily, both survived.

A bike law expert said that with more people than ever before now riding bikes, there's now more conflicts than ever. Bob Mionske is a former Olympian and now lawyer and columnist for Bicycle Magazine. He says cyclists have every right to use the road, but often don't get justice on the roadways when they're blamed for accidents even if a motorist is equally to blame.

With the Tour de Nez in town, he says it's a good time to remind motorists and cyclists a simple lesson that can save lives -- slow down and pay attention.

"It's a societal thing, we're all in a hurry, we make too many apointments, we rush to get there, when you do that you make mistakes,” said Bob Mionske. “When you make a mistake against a car, maybe it's only a fender bender but when you do it against a bicyclist or pedestrian, you take their life; we need to put more importance on how we drive," he said.

A Reno PD Sargeant also spoke. Police have received a grant to target and ticket cyclists and pedestrians who disobey traffic laws, as well as cite motorists who do not share the road.
 

Road warrior

 

This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

Reno news & Review: Road warrior

Bike law expert and former Olympian Bob Mionske calls for more justice for cyclists

Bike law expert and former Olympian Bob Mionske rides with Lance Armstrong.

By Kat Kerlin
katk@newsreview.com

This article was published on 06.17.10.

On June 8, a 3-year-old girl was riding her bike on Lewis Street in Reno when she was hit by a Ford pickup. Though she was dragged for about 10 feet, she survived. Earlier, on May 12, a helmeted, former Tour de Nez racer was riding in the bike lane along South McCarran Boulevard and Caughlin Parkway when he was hit from behind by a vehicle and injured.

Inevitably, these sorts of stories spur comments from both motorists and cyclists about the lack of courtesy and often unsafe behavior each group demonstrates to the other. Comments on a Reno Gazette-Journal article about the May 12 accident ranged from complaints about distracted drivers to cyclists hogging lanes.

“Things have changed in the world in the last four years in terms of the number of people using bikes,” says bike law expert and former Olympic cyclist Bob Mionske. “It’s gotten better in that more people are riding, but it’s also put more pressure on conflict.”

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Mionske: Vulnerable User Laws a First Step Toward True Traffic Justice

This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

Streetsblog NYC: Mionske: Vulnerable User Laws a First Step Toward True Traffic Justice

by Brad Aaron on February 8, 2010

In the second installment of his two-part "traffic injustice" series (here's part one), cycling attorney Bob Mionske covers a lot of ground. While much of it will lead Streetsblog readers to nod in knowing agreement, what struck us is the way Mionske exposes how a transportation system so dominated by multi-ton vehicles has basically absolved drivers of responsibility when it comes to interactions with actual people.

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Doctor's prison sentence isn't a sea change for cyclists

This opinion article by Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link below.

The Los Angeles Times: Doctor's prison sentence isn't a sea change for cyclists

Only after multiple assaults was the motorist in the Mandeville Canyon incident finally punished. It should never have gone that far.

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Judge: Woman hit in unpainted bike lane is not protected by law

This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link below.

Bikeportland: Judge: Woman hit in unpainted bike lane is not protected by law

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) on December 18th, 2009 at 10:26 am

When Portlander Rob Daray witnessed a right-hook collision on his commute home last summer he thought it was obvious who was at fault. So did the police officer who cited the operator of the motor vehicle for “failure to yield to a bicycle.” Even the woman driving the car admitted she made an abrupt right turn without checking her blind spots.

But when the case came up in traffic court, the judge came to a different conclusion and now Mr. Daray and others familiar with this are worried that people who ride bicycles are vulnerable — not just on the street, but in the legal system as well.

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Stop. Yield.

 This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link below.

Philadelphia CityPaper: Stop. Yield.

What can Idaho teach us about bike/car relations?

by Brian Howard

Published: Dec 1, 2009

The bike wars in Philadelphia have reached a fever pitch, where vitriol breeds rage breeds illogic — in the streets (see Fletcher, Rachel) and on message boards (see all bike posts on The Clog).

While there are certainly cyclists out there engaging in egregious and dangerous behavior, most of the invective seems to stem from stopping. Or rather, not stopping.

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Troubles in Philly, Lessons for New York?

This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link below.

The New York Times: Troubles in Philly, Lessons for New York?

By J. DAVID GOODMAN

The animosity that some cyclists and pedestrians feel for one another — well-documented in comment wildfires on this blog and elsewhere — simmers just below the surface of shared urban streets, as seemingly inevitable a part of city life as the steam rising through manhole covers. Just as inevitably, every once in a while these tensions boil over, usually in response to a coincidence of tragic accidents.

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