Metro supports your right to the road, PCH cyclist beaten in Malibu, $25k reward for hit-and-run driver

I like it.

Metro is introducing a new bike safety campaign leading up to May’s bike week. One that may finally convince at least some drivers that we’re not confined to a tiny strip of roadway next to the gutter.

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I hope they show this to law enforcement agencies, too.

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A cyclist riding with his wife on PCH in Malibu last month was severely beaten by two men after recording an argument with another rider on his cell phone.

The two men, described as Persian or Middle Eastern in their 40s or 50s, were in a black two-door Bentley without permanent license plates. After they noticed the man recording their argument with the cyclist, they got out and demanded his phone, then punched and kicked him, and took his phone after knocking him to the ground, before driving south on PCH.

The victim suffered a concussion in the assault.

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Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge joins with the CHP to offer a $25,000 reward to find the hit-and-run driver who critically injured cyclist Damian Kevitt by dragging him nearly a quarter mile onto the 5-Freeway near the L.A. Zoo.

Meanwhile, Cal Poly Pomona professor Boyonabike offers his thoughts on the tragic death of cyclist Ivan Aguilar on campus last Thursday; a highly recommended though heartbreaking read.

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Bike scribe Padraig of Red Kite Prayer could use a few prayers and/or good thoughts for a new baby who’s not out of the woods yet.

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The 13th Annual Nation Bike Summit kicked off in Washington DC on Monday with the National Women’s Bicycling Forum, which heard inspiring words from freshman Congresswoman, double war amputee and cyclist Tammy Duckworth. How to diversify bicycling in three easy steps. And Frank Peters of cdmCyclist provides photos from the first day.

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For anyone interested in somewhat colder pursuits, my Iditarod veteran brother is offering his insights into this year’s dog sled race.

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Traffic planning star and L.A. native Janette Sadik-Khan, commissioner of the New York Department of Transportation, spoke at the UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs Complete Streets Initiative last week, and rocked the house as usual; I’m told she got a standing ovation at the Bike Summit, too. Streetsblog offers a guide to today’s city council election. New bike lanes on Vermont are a small step forward. Los Angeles Cycle Chic looks at a CicLAvia wedding. Better Bike reminds those who live in the Biking Black Hole to vote today if you ever want to see improvement in the city; the new Request for Proposals to remake Santa Monica Blvd through Beverly Hills doesn’t look promising. A Santa Monica woman is charged in the hit-and-run death of a tow truck driver on PCH in Malibu last month. Santa Monica Spoke wants your help to deliver Meals on Wheels by bike later this month. Walk Bike Glendale gets that city’s city council candidates on the record for their stands on, yes, walking and biking.

Cyclelicious looks at the bicycling bills under consideration during the current legislative session — including one disastrous proposed law that would remove government liability for any injuries that occur as a result of bad bike lane design or maintenance. Whittier approves a new bike plan focused on improving safety. San Diego considers a bike safety resolution, even as local advocates express their disappointment; Bike SD calls on local riders to attend Tuesday’s council session as a result. North San Diego County drivers will get a wider freeway, while cyclists will get two new bikeways, including a 27-mile pathway along the coast. Temecula will update its trails and bikeways master plan. A Texas attorney dies after jumping into the chilly San Francisco Bay during the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon. After a Marin County cyclist collapses while riding, a sheriff’s deputy uses a portable defibrillator to save his life.

USA Cycling celebrates Major Taylor, America’s first cycling hero, who broke the color barrier over a hundred years ago. Oregon’s largest newspaper starts a new bicycling blog written by their riding reporters. Portland businesses seek out bike front properties. Washington legislator Ed Orcutt apologizes for saying cyclists should be taxed because our heavy breathing contributes to global warming; I guess a tax on sexual activity is out of the question then. Arizona considers reforming their three foot passing law, which currently makes it legal to kill a cyclist if he or she is riding in a bike lane. Utah cyclists may soon be able to ride through red lights that don’t change for them. A Colorado dump truck driver faces a $1000 fine and up to one year in jail for carelessly killing a cyclist. Texas bike wreck survivor and bike safety blogger Witch on a Bicycle unveils his $500 contest to design a tattoo to cover a large fish-shaped scar on his leg.

Biking in crime-ridden Guatemala City is possible after all. Mikael Colville-Anderson, author of Copenhagenize and Copenhagen Cycle Chic, makes his return to his native Calgary. Rising British cyclist Junior Heffernan is killed in a collision with a car in his first race with his new pro team. A British bike rider is hit in the face with a branch thrown at her from a bridge. Did an angry Brit driver punch out a cyclist because he hates bikes or because the rider gave him the finger because he was angry? The BBC cans their long-time cycling commentator in favor of a much younger colleague. UK health professionals warn against creeping requirements for helmets on charity rides, a practice that is virtually universal in this country. Lance could lose his French Legion of Honor medal in the wake of his recent doping scandal. Multiple world champion cyclist Marianne Vos enters her first ever mountain bike race in Cyprus — and wins, of course. Retroactive tests of 50 South African cyclists shows evidence of EPO use. Melbourne celebrates the World Naked Bike Ride; yes, there are naked pictures, whether that makes you want to click on the link or avoid it. Two Kiwi cyclists are hit in separate collisions at virtually the same spot half an hour apart. A Japanese bike mechanic is still wrenching at 85.

Finally, Indian bike advocates call for licensing cyclists, with a small cash payment if one gets killed, saying that will encourage more people to ride; I’d think it would have exactly the opposite effect. And a study from the University of Duh shows that cyclists who are hit by moving vehicles are four times more likely to suffer severe injuries than riders involved in non-vehicle accidents.

Now put this down and get out and bike the vote if you haven’t already.

10 comments

  1. Chris says:

    I read the Vermont Ave. Bike Path article & posted how that since its been built there are cars that use it to overtake other cars almost everyday I drive to work & that I’ve never seen a police officer stop anyone for doing it. Are the police even motivated to make sure this lane is dedicated to cyclists only? As always someone will have to die to get anyone to do anything about it.

  2. There’s a yahoo who got angry with me when he saw me recording his driving behavior with my phone. I hightailed it out of there quickly.

    Gotta love the victim blaming in the comments of that Bentley beating story. / sigh /

  3. Fred says:

    I love your blog, but have to respectfully disagree about removing government liability aka AB738. One of the main excuses that it used to do nothing for cyclists is liability. I had listened to a retired engineer talk about how engineers have far more leeway than the existing guidelines. However, someone from LA argued that when they stick to guidelines, LA wins lawsuits. When they go off the guidelines, they lose. Thus, they are reluctant to implement useful, and known safe bikeway designs due to fear. Finally, there are even a small niche (you know who) who actually threaten to sue the city even if they are not injured for innovating.

    Thus, I ask you to reconsider on why this is a bad law. Surely bicycle infrastructure should be safe, but safety comes from careful design in a non-paranoid environment. Safety does not come from the extremely fearful atmosphere of a court room.

    Finally, few cyclists, if injured will sue the city and less will win. Thus, this does not take away anything from cyclists and it may give us a great deal.

    • bikinginla says:

      The problem stems from exactly the same issues we’ve seen on off-road bike paths, where courts have protected government agencies and land owners from all liability.

      The purpose is to encourage the building or opening of more trails by protecting them from any risk. However, it practice, it also eliminates the need to properly maintain pathways and repair known problems in a timely manner, resulting in needless injuries with no avenue for legal recourse or compensation for medical bills.

      The same thing would inevitably occur in bike lanes if government agencies no longer faced any liability for poor maintenance. Many cities would eliminate whatever budget they currently have set aside to maintain bike lanes in ridable condition in order to save money, and allow them to dangerously deteriorate because they no longer would face any risk in doing so.

      I would support legislation that exempts government agencies from liability for innovative bikeway designs, especially if they have been successfully used in other places. But this law goes far beyond that to eliminate all liability for known defects, as well as unknown dangers.

      We need legitimate tort reform in our society, but mindlessly carving out exemptions from liability is not the way to go about it.

  4. That Indian death lottery is like a mandatory accidental death insurance policy for bike riders, right?

    • bikinginla says:

      Kind of hard to tell due to the apparent translation issues, but that’s how I read it. I wonder how many prospective cyclists will be willing to try it out when the government says “but if you do die, we’ll give your family a few bucks.”

  5. C.K. says:

    We have sidewalks in my city. A dickhead on a 10-speed was on the sidewalk, and out of nowhere, he rode the thing into the street in front of me, as though he were king of the road. I blew my horn, and received the finger. I almost pulled over and BEAT the fucker to death. It’s not just car-hits-cyclist circumstances. The fuckers are arrogant and self-righteous. Stick to the sidewalks, you fucking morons. Next time, I may not be able to control my hatred for you idiots.

    • bikinginla says:

      Normally, I would simply delete a comment so filled with hate. However, I think it’s good for everyone to be able to see the kind of violent mentality possessing some of those we share the road with.

      First of all, no one should ever ride a bike off the sidewalk and into the street without first verifying that it is safe to do so. That’s how too many riders get injured or killed.

      However, you should be aware that while sidewalk riding is prohibited in many cities, cyclists are allowed to legally ride in the street in every state in the US. If you’re not willing to share the road with others who have as much right to be on it as you do, you shouldn’t be driving.

      Now then, about your threat. First of all, it’s always a mistake to assume you would win a fight with anyone; chances are just as good that you’ll be the one who gets his ass kicked. Secondly, the moment you get out of your car to confront someone, you are guilty of assault; if you attack — let alone kill — another human being, you can look forward to spending the next several years of your life behind bars. Get help with that anger before you ruin own your life, let alone someone else’s.

      As for arrogant and self-righteous, maybe you should read your comment again. We’re not the morons making a threat online.

      • C.K. says:

        Perhaps, my comment was made in anger. Some retard almost put his unnecessary death on my conscience. Apparently, his mother never taught him not to play in the street. If I’m going to kill someone, I’d rather it be on my terms…not because someone let their mentally challenged man-child get loose. As far as the rest of you so-called enlightened cyclists, the road is also known as a MOTORWAY. It was created for machines that move with tons of kinetic inertia; and most of the people behind the wheel, these days, do not even KNOW how to drive. So many cyclists that have needlessly died on the streets have done so because their hubris overrode their common sense. It would be no different than a person that decides to have a picnic in the crossfire of two armed, warring factions, just on principal, because they should be able to set up a picnic anywhere—even in a place that could get them killed. That kind of stupidity brings a slight cleansing of the world’s collective intellectual palate, fortunately. Sad as it may seem, there ARE too many people on this planet of dwindling resources. It’s not a bad thing when natural selection takes over. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be NATURAL. You should all use your heads. Don’t put your lives at unnecessary risk over trivial entitlement…especially at the risk of bringing traumatic psychosis to innocent people that don’t deserve it. And as for getting my ass kicked, the military taught me how to hold my fear back from pansies on 10-speeds.

        • bikinginla says:

          CK, something else the military should have taught you is when you’re in a hole, stop digging.

          There is more ignorance displayed in that one comment than most online forums get in a year. Starting with the fact that paved roads were originally developed for bikes, not cars, and that cyclists have been allowed on them ever since — without the need for a license, unlike motorists, who pose a far greater risk to others.

          And those pansies on 10-speeds, as you call them, are often cops and military vets themselves, and probably in better shape than you’ve seen in years.

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