Cops 4 bike thieves 0; County bike plan goes before Planning Committee with much to be desired

This hasn’t been a good week for bike thieves.

Manhattan Beach police nailed two, along with a half-dozen hot bikes. If you’ve had a bike stolen in the South Bay in the last six weeks, see if your bike fits the description of the bikes they recovered.

Here on the Westside, police are celebrating the arrest of two burglars specializing in high-end bicycles.

Thirty-sex year old Herrera and 23-year old Julian Herrera were arrested following a burglary on the 100 block of South Bentley just west of UCLA; no word on whether they’re related.

Two bikes that were stolen in the burglary were recovered from their cars, along with an additional two bikes that were found in their homes. One of those bikes was reported stolen over the weekend in Woodland Hills, and has since been returned to its owner.

Both suspects have been linked to other burglaries in the West L.A. area, and are being held on $500,000 bond.

A bike-riding LAPD officer calls on cyclists to report any theft that may have occurred in the last 18 months.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the screen grab, and the office of bike lawyer Howard Krepack for an advance heads-up on the arrests before the news was officially released.

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The LACBC writes to urge everyone to attend the L.A. County Planning Commission next Wednesday, November 16th, when they will review the Final Draft of the new Bicycle Master Plan — a plan they say still needs some serious work.

While the plan is a nice start, it still leaves a lot to be desired. Like lane widths that are painted to high-speed highway standards, and a failure to comply with suggestions from the county’s own Health Department.

Additionally, the County Department of Public Health recently released the “Model Design Manual for Living Streets” and is in the process of adopting a “Healthy Design Ordinance” elements of both of these initiatives should be reflected in the County Bike Plan. Specifically the Plan should adopt the lane width standards set out by the Model Design Manual for Living Streets.  Instead of uniformly applying Caltrans Highway Design Manual standards across a County so diverse in density, urban form, and local need, the County Manual provides more flexible standards which better reflect local uses.  On streets with design speeds below 35 mph, 10’ lanes are standard, with widths up to 11’ considered if heavy bus or truck traffic is present.  On streets with higher design speeds, the Manual is silent, permitting DPW to continue to utilize Caltrans highway design standards where prudent.  Recognizing that drivers adjust to narrower lanes by reducing their speed, the County Manual emphasizes that “desired speed” should guide lane width determinations.  In addition to desired traffic speed, we strongly request that the County give due consideration to bicycle traffic volumes and history of collisions involving bicycles.  Finally, to the extent the County will seek of guidance from the Caltrans Highways Design Manual, it should document exceptions to 11’ and 12’ lane standards as provided for in Chapter 21 of the Caltrans Project Development Procedures Manual.

The Coalition also calls for less reliance on the virtually worthless Class III bike routes — particularly on the dangerous roads of the Antelope Valley — and greater emphasis on infrastructure that will encourage riding for people of all ages and skill levels, especially in high obesity areas.

Take a few minutes to download the plan and look over the areas where you ride. And see if you think this solves the problems you know about.

And chances are, you’ll want to be at that meeting Wednesday to suggest that this Final Plan shouldn’t be.

Final, that is.

……..

Some of the nation’s leading advocacy organizations press for fair funding in the proposed federal transportation bill (pdf); DC Streetsblog says there’s still reasons for hope, even if it is popular with the GOP.

Meanwhile other cyclists complain about a clause that would force riders off roads and onto bike paths; Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious points out the obvious dangers in that. Or at least, the dangers that should be obvious to anyone who cared enough to consider the matter.

Unlike our current representatives, for instance.

Richard Risemberg writes Sen. Barbara Boxer to demand a change. And the League of American Bicyclists asks you to sign a petition to fight it.

I just did.

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Making short trips by bike could save four trillion pounds of CO2, 1,100 lives, and $7 billion in mortality and healthcare costs — and that’s just six months of riding in just six states.

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I linked to this on Tuesday, but it’s worth linking to again, as several people have forwarded it to me over the past few days. Seems like everyone loves the story of the Colorado cyclist who had her bike stolen during last week’s Colorado vs. USC football game.

She found it listed on Craigslist, contacted the thief and arranged to meet him, posing as a prospective buyer. She asked if she could take it on a test ride — then rode back to her car, stuffed it in the trunk and drove off, in full view of the thief.

And yes, the bike thief was not only arrested, but confessed to his crime.

Just remember, as Boulder police note — and as the LAPD has stated a number of times — it’s not the smartest move to confront a thief on your own.

Thanks to everyone who sent me links to this story.

……..

The New York Times says bikes are just the latest scourge pedestrians have had to face. A Brooklyn pedestrian is in a coma after she was struck by a “racing” rider; the local website blames the cyclist without offering any details. Meanwhile, an NYU student says jaywalking peds and aggressive drivers are the real problem — and it’s okay to flip off a driver who honks at you.

……..

L.A. suggests slowing sidewalk cyclists to 3 mph when pedestrians are present; I don’t think my bike can even go that slow without falling over, then again, I don’t normally ride on sidewalks. Here’s your chance to intern at LADOT. The Beverly Hills Public Library gets a shiny new bike corral. It takes 10 times as much space to park two SUVs as it does two bikes. Roadblock calls for donations to Occupy L.A.’s Bike Share program. Santa Monica’s Planning Commission approves the city’s Bike Action Plan, while Alhambra moves forward with one of their own. Metrolink offers some very cool new bike cars that can hold up to 18 bikes and will run throughout the week. Good advice from the Claremont Cyclist on handlebars and how to use them. CaliBikeTours invites you on a short ride to the Cambodian Arts and Culture Exhibition on Saturday.

Bike San Diego offers a great recap of last weekend’s California Bike Summit. The San Diego hit-and-run driver who was found hiding in some bushes after killing a cyclist will face trial on gross vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run and DUI charges. San Jose sees its third bike or pedestrian death in just five days, and the 6th traffic fatality in the larger South Bay area. San Francisco bike fashion sans spandex. Farmers think they can’t operate safely enough to allow a Central Coast bike path without killing us; oddly, I rode tens of thousands of miles through the Colorado farm country and I’m still here.

This year’s Tour de Fat raised over $400,000 for non-profit groups throughout the U.S., including the LACBC, C.I.C.L.E. and the Bicycle Kitchen. Build your own solar-powered lighted bike helmet. How to keep your bike from being stolen; former NBA center Shawn Bradley gets his back. Twenty-eight reasons to bike; most days, I only need one. Bicycling offers 50 golden rules for riding a bike. Boulder CO proposes an 8 mph speed limit for bikes in crosswalks; like the proposed L.A. sidewalk limit, I wonder if that can be legally enforced against riders without speedometers. A Kansas driver gets just seven days in jail, plus 25 days house arrest for killing a cyclist while drunk; one reason for the low penalty — the victim was drunk as a skunk, high and riding in the lane wearing dark clothes and without lights. The Lance Armstrong Bikeway could soon connect the full width of Austin TX. A Texas driver is arrested for a head-on hit-and-run collision that killed two bike-riding Mormon missionaries and injured another. An Illinois cyclist gets a $120 ticket for riding salmon. Drivers complain about an Indianapolis road diet. An Ohio driver gets three years and six months for running down a cyclist while drunk, while apologists continue to make excuses for him. Listen online to Ohio Bike Lawyer Steve Magas recent radio interview. Memphis gets 55 miles of bikeways in just two years. Haywood NC gets a new bike plan, for which our buddy Zeke should get a lot of credit. Here’s your chance to own a totally unique bicycle, since that sprung-steel wheel bike is up for auction. The New Orleans Times-Picayune endorses the seven-fold expansion of the city’s bikeways.

After a bike-riding mother is dragged to her death, Ottawa authorities don’t think it’s worth doing anything about it. A Toronto driver charges onto the sidewalk to run down a rider in a road rage attack. A UK cyclist clings to the hood of a car for dear life after his bike is slammed by a grinning driver in a road rage assault. The Guardian wants to create a worldwide map of ghost bikes, but questions whether they put people off from riding; I’d say ignoring the dangerous conditions on our streets seldom makes them go away. And as long as London Mayor Boris Johnson is in office, local cyclists may want to stock up on them, while a London bike ride will tour the city’s 10 most dangerous intersections. Cambridge cyclists say signs telling them to dismount need to be more polite. David Hembrow says Great Britain has improved road safety by taking vulnerable users off the road; Bike Aware says it’s the drivers who need training instead. Scotland plans to increase transportation spending — and cut bike and pedestrian funds. An Irish cyclist warns of a second-lock bike theft scam. Disgraced ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis gets a one-year sentence for hacking into a drug lab computer system. Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Romain Sicard was arrested for stealing traffic markers while driving drunk. Italy overturns the conviction of the man who supplied the late, great Marco Pantani with a fatal dose of cocaine. A pair of USB-equipped German bikes can charge your mobile device while you ride.

Finally, a British car site offers real advice on how to share the road with cyclists for a change. And check out this checklist of privileges drivers enjoy — and you don’t.

A Veteran’s Day aside to everyone who has served our country.

Thank you. Just… thank you.

5 comments

  1. I signed the petition and called up Boxer’s office.

  2. The Herreras are being held in lieu of $500,000 bail! It would only be $100,000 if they had run over and killed the cyclist whose bike they stole…

    http://www.coronadelmartoday.com/18067/home/coroners-office-identifies-cycling-victim/

  3. John says:

    They could use more north/south routes in East LA, but overall, it isn’t bad (at least in traditionally under-served areas, like around Compton, the Florence-Firestone area, and Athens).

  4. [...] A Good Week for Cops Catching Bike Thieves (Biking In LA) [...]

  5. Niels says:

    We actually started a facebook page ‘bicycle theft Los Angeles’.

    The purpose of this is that people can put all information of the bicycle theft (pic, description, location of theft, etc) on the facebook wall. Of course with the main goal to help other cyclists to find it back.

    We started this page 2 days ago but we aim to have every LA (greater area) cyclist to like this page so that we can create a sort of community that looks out for the stolen bikes from our SoCal cyclist.

    Please like us: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bicycle-theft-Los-Angeles/260988330620206

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