Ghost Bike for Jesus Castillo

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Came out of Soul Slam LA at the Echoplex a couple of weeks ago and saw the Ghost Bike for Jesus Castillo.

Jesus Castillo was killed by a drunk driver April 19, 2009 on Glendale Blvd.

6 thoughts on “Ghost Bike for Jesus Castillo

  1. After all the rides, and the rallies, and the lobbying and meetings – after all of that the past several years, our city fathers have done jack and they have done shit to make conditions on the streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

    Bike riders and pedestrians are getting massacred in LA, and these bastards are spending tens of millions on “ATSAC” signal timing to SPEED UP CARS?! What the fuck!

    I talked with an engineer at the LADOT today, and the guy told me that at most the signal timing can improve vehicle throughput by 5% – at most! What the hell are we wasting all that money for when one dumbass on a cell phone can ruin the flow of traffic? Get people out of cars and make our streets safer!

    When I heard about Jesus Castillo’s death, so close to the starting point of Midnight Ridazz at Pioneer Chicken, I developed a boiling rage that simply will not settle down about this issue.

    This is the sort of change that is worth fighting like hell for, fuck all that national political crap that none of us little people can change (unless we’re billionaires). Give us back our streets, and the return of the republic to its rightful owners (the people) will follow.

  2. Of course, there should be more bike lanes (between sidewalks and the parked cars, not between parked cars and moving traffic) and other facilities. And of course, driving should be made more expensive (no, I don’t find gas prices very expensive) while the city should actively promote walking, transit, and bicycling. But, of course, we can’t hold our breaths for these Hollandesque ideas to be adopted here…

    In the meantime, I wish bike activists would also reach out to Latino immigrants to ensure they are riding safely. I always see immigrant men riding without helmets, without lights or reflectors, sometimes in the opposite direction on the street (so they can better see oncoming cars). These guys bike not out of any conviction in the enlightened nature of bicycling as a form of transport, but out of necessity. The youngish, whitish, middle-classish crowd that make up the LA County Bicycle Coalition, on the other hand, choose to bike out of ideals… That’s awesome. I do too. But something tells me their ideals don’t necessarily include visions of social justice, which may explain why they so scantly engage the most marginalized and vulnerable cyclists on the streets.

  3. You raise an excellent point, and one that the LACBC studied extensively in 2000 ad 2001 in a report called “Enhanced Public Outreach Project for the Bicycle Master Plan” for the MTA.

    The report found a big chunk of “invisible” bike riders who receive no support and have no clear idea about how to ride safely and legally, and yet still use the same thoroughfares and commercial districts that everyone else gets to via automobile.

    The LACBC just got started, with Councilman Ed Reyes’ office, handing out safe cycling information in spanish and english along with free bike lights to working class latin men – the most common type of person to be killed while riding a bike in LA County.

    I could give a crap about what is happening in DC when my brothers and sisters are being slaughtered in LA’s streets and our political class regularly ignores the whole thing and does everything it can to keep money and attention on car speeds, freeway paving, and suburban home subsidies.

  4. With respect to Chuy’s suggestion, for what it’s worth I plan on acquiring as many blinkies from the various Bike To Work Day pitstop stations I visit tomorrow and then giving them to any lightless fellow cyclists I meet on my various commute routes.

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