Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Local News Briefs

Bike-Pedestrian Safety Enforcement

The Santa Monica Police Department conducted a Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation on Monday, November 24, 2014. It focused enforcement on primary collision factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

"The department has mapped out locations over the past five years where pedestrian and bike collisions are prevalent, along with the violations that led to those collisions," police said. "Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian traffic and collisions occur in an effort to lower deaths and injuries."

Officers were looking for violations engaged by drivers, bike riders and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries. Special attention was directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks and similar dangerous violations.

"Additionally, enforcement will be taken for observed violations when pedestrians cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Bike riders will be stopped and citations issued when they fail to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists," the department said.

All riders are reminded to always wear a helmet; those under 18 years of age must wear helmets by law. Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners.

Locally, the Santa Monica Police Department has investigated 874 fatal and injury collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists during the past three years. In 2012, California witnessed 612 pedestrian and 124 bicyclists killed that year while nationally; 4,743 pedestrians and 726 bicyclists were killed. The Governors Highway Safety Association's and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2012 Data reports reveal that California leads the nation in bicycle and pedestrian deaths.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Toilet Fire

On November 10, 2014, at approximately 1703 hours the Santa Monica Police Department and the Santa Monica Fire Department responded to the rear of 1410 3rd St. Promenade regarding a portable toilet fire.

A witness reported seeing the suspect depicted below go inside a portable toilet while carrying a cardboard box and then exiting without the cardboard box. Within minutes the portable toilet was ablaze.

If you witnessed the incident or have additional information, please contact either Detective Robert D'Andrea at (310) 458-2201 extension 6679, Sergeant William Heric (310) 458-8453 or the SMPD Watch Commander (24 hours a day) (310) 458-8427.

Suspect Description: Male, White, 5'9" to 5'11, medium build, wearing a black hooded jacket, gray shorts with orange trim

Police Seek Information on Hit and Run

On September 21, 2014, at approximately 6:48 A.M. the Santa Monica Police Department responded to the report of an injured person in the 1400 block of the Santa Monica Beach. The victim a 25 year old male, Caucasian, was found by Los Angeles County Lifeguards yelling for help.

The Santa Monica Police Department's Major Traffic Accident Investigation Team responded. Tire track evidence consistent with the report of a possible hit and run were recovered from the scene. The victim sustained major trauma to his body. He was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

The Santa Monica Police Department is asking for help in identifying potential witnesses to the accident. If you have information please contact Traffic Collision Investigator Jason Olson at 310-458-8954 or Sergeant Phillbo Rubish at 310-458-8950.

Mark Verge Cornered SM Rentals, Now He's After Restaurants

Mark Verge, who founded Westside Rentals, is trying to break into the restaurant game in Santa Monica. First Verge changed up Babalu into Art's Table. Then came news that Verge was behind the former Wildflour Pizza space (which is turning into a beer garden of sorts).

Now it is reported that Cafe Montana is turning into a place called Ox & Son, with the high-end project slated to open some time next year. Apparently former Inn of the Seventh Ray chef Bradley Miller is helming the operation. Cafe Montana had occupied this spot for nearly 20 years, only to fold recently..


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