Archive for March 20, 2013

Breaking news — yet another cyclist killed, yet another cryptic report

This is getting very old.

Yet another bike rider has died in what has turned out to be a very bloody few days for SoCal cyclists. And once again, virtually no information is available.

The Long Beach Press Telegram reports that a fatal collision — not accident — involving a bicyclist occurred sometime early this morning in the city of Paramount.

The victim was hit in some way by some sort of unidentified vehicle, presumably driven by an unidentified person, on Rosecrans Ave somewhere near the 710 Freeway; which side of the freeway or which direction on Rosecransis not specified. He died sometime around 5 am Wednesday at St. Francis Hospital.

Hopefully, the paper will follow-up with more information soon.

Unlike the recent cases in Hollywood, Blythe and Pomona, that is, where no additional information has been provided to fill out the initial cryptic reports. Only in the the recent fatality in Rancho Santa Margarita have we received any useful information, thanks to detailed coverage by the Orange County Register.

This is the 11th bike-related fatality in Southern California since the beginning of the year, and the sixth in Los Angeles County this year; that’s far ahead of this time last year, when only a single cyclist had been killed in L.A. County. This is also the first bicycling fatality in Paramount in the last three years.

My deepest sympathy for the victim and his loved ones.

Sometimes, no news is just no news, so let’s get on with a long list of bike links

That’s how it goes sometimes.

I started collecting links for a new post on Friday, but breaking news has kept it offline. And in the meantime, they aren’t getting any fresher, as some of the stories I’ve been hoarding are rapidly nearing their expiration date.

Meanwhile, there’s still no more news on the cryptic reports of cyclists killed in Blythe and Pomona, let alone identification of the rider fatally doored in Hollywood earlier this month. And the bike liaisons for the area appear to be ignoring my request for more information, after apparently thinking no one would be interested in hearing about it at the LAPD bike task force meeting last week.

God, I miss Sgt. Krumer.

Although you’d t least think the death of a bicyclist would make the local news in small town like Blythe, but evidently, it’s less important than announcing the winner of the local rabbit show.

And details on the rider killed in Pomona appear to be a state secret, as no more details appear to have been released by anyone, let alone the authorities. An unconfirmed, and somewhat distasteful, comment to my story suggests the victim was an older man who may have died from a head injury.

So rather than wait for details that don’t appear to be coming, let’s get these links out and make a little more room on the shelf.

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The battle over bike lanes goes on.

A forum is scheduled to discuss bike lanes in NELA March 27th, while Brentwood residents say no to bike lanes on Bundy; you can sign a petition to support the Bundy and Centinela bike lanes here. And in a surprisingly rational approach, North Hollywood cyclists and business owners agree to actually sit down and talk with each other.

Meanwhile, Councilmember Tom LaBonge officially unveils new bike lanes on Rowena Ave, saying the city’s plan is to make L.A. more bike friendly “where appropriate.”

So where exactly is bike safety inappropriate?

And Better Bike insightfully asks whether the proposed Bundy bike lanes will be the canary in the coal mine that tests the city’s commitment to balancing road safety with political commitment.

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The Times’ new transportation reporter offers a look at the Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race; estimates of riders participating the highly praised event range from 3,000 to 5,000.

Meanwhile, hand cyclists compete in the L.A. Marathon. And if you can’t manage to plan your driving around a highly publicized event that’s scheduled a full year in advance, maybe you shouldn’t be driving.

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Help fund a series of bike-in movies on the L.A River. Photos from the funeral of fallen Cal Poly Pomona cyclist Ivan Aguilar. The 5th annual Santa Clarita Century rolls on the 30th. Despite what some drivers think, PCH is not a freeway, which is exactly the problem. An alleged L.A. gang member is injured in a ride-by shooting, which happens far more often than you might think. This Thursday, the LACBC Planning Committee hosts a discussion of how bike friendly places are made; highly recommended. LACBC storms DC for the National Bike Summit earlier this month. Better Bike updates the sad state of bicycling in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, including possible, but not necessarily likely, bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. WeHo News looks at balancing peds, bikes and cars on busy La Brea Avenue. UCLA continues to make progress in reducing auto dependency. Santa Monica suggests making Colorado Ave a one-way street with a two-way cycle track. Glendale makes a number of bike-friendly improvements, though how censoring intersections will help is beyond me; maybe they meant sensors, instead.

California police promise a crackdown on distracted driving next month; how about cracking down on it every day, instead? The Orange County Bicycle Coalition says OC representative Diane Harkey hates bicyclists, as shown by her bill that absolves cities of any liability for bad bike lane design or maintenance. Newport Beach is accepting applications for the new Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee; first action for the committee should be a slightly less unwieldy name. San Diego’s new mayor pledges to make the city the bicycling capital of the nation, if he can only win over the auto-centric people who live there. The rough rides on Highway 1 above Cambria may finally be coming to an end, but not before May. Bakersfield will require more bike racks at new buildings. The Amgen Tour of California will host its third annual elite women’s time trial in San Jose; once again, women riders get crumbs when they should have their own parallel tour. Is Palo Alto improving road safety for cyclists? BART tries out a full week of access for bikes. San Francisco should have bike share by August. The CHP cracks down on a West Marin Sunday morning ride, just as they’ve threatened to do in the Santa Monica Mountains. A Sacramento writer says Californians will continue to rely on their cars, so deal with it.

Long Beach ex-pats the Path Less Pedaled offer five reasons why bike tourism matters. People for Bikes says bike commuting is one of the best ways to stay in healthy. Your Facebook, Twitter and GPS are the latest tools for bike thieves, but a new Kickstarter project promises to employ GPS to protect your bike, while automatically reporting crashes. A new bike computer tracks how much gas you save by riding yours. A guide to how not to put warning signs in bike lanes. Utah bike rider waits for a train to pass, then gets killed by a second one he didn’t see coming. The mere presence of a bike rider on the road is enough to cause a Utah student driver to flip his car. Bad news for women’s bike racing as last year’s inaugural Exergy Bike Tour won’t be repeated; the teams say they saw it coming. Denver’s bike share program gets a $1.3 million boost from the Feds. My hometown of Fort Collins CO narrows their search for a bike program manager to four finalists; regrettably, I’m not one of them. A new Colorado company promotes beer and bike tourism in bike-friendly Fort Collins, where even the thieves are on two wheels. An Iowa cyclist is awarded $1.2 million after mud causes a fall on a bike path. An Illinois man is charged with throwing his bike at the conductor after being thrown off a train. An Indiana man dies of gunshot wounds suffered while riding his bike — 33 years after he was shot. A Queens councilmember says a little speeding never hurt anyone. Bicycling offers photos of the recent Bike Summit in Washington DC.

A new warning system puts sensors — not censors — on bikes to warn truck drivers of their presence. The editor of an automotive website says there’s no war between drivers and cyclists and it’s actually possible to enjoy both; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. London police criminalize Critical Mass. When two cyclists fall 20 feet into a subway at the same site just three year apart, maybe they should consider fixing the damn barrier. In a bizarre coincidence, the founder of Aston Martin was inspired to build motorcars after one ran his bicycle off the road, then was killed in a bicycling collision 45 years later. A Scot driver is clocked doing 138 mph, just a tad over the local speed limit. One hundred thirty five riders survive a Milano-Sanremo classic so brutal it gives suffer face a whole new meaning and the riders had to be bused mid-race; Taylor Phinney bounces back from a career and character defining last place finish to come in seventh despite a snow-crusted helmet. The Afghan women’s cycling team fights for their right to ride in public, let alone compete. A Malawi driver kills three members of the same family walking along a roadway; naturally, uninvolved bicyclists get the blame. A South African writer calls for a shift in behavior on the roads. The cyclist will bounce back from a South African collision, but what about the antelope? A bike rider is killed on one of New Zealand’s most popular, and dangerous, riding routes. A Polish cyclist will ride a seatless bike 2754 steps up the 100 story Shanghai World Financial Center; wait, he already did.

Finally, how many times do I have to say it? If you’re going to carry nine grams of meth in your hat, put a damn light on your bike. Congratulations to the Sydney Daily Telegraph for one of the worst articles on bicycling I’ve ever read, which is saying something. And a Bakersfield bike bum — and I mean that in the best possible way — has some great stories to tell.

You really should read that one.

Today’s post, in which I follow Metro’s lead and issue a challenge to bike lane-averse merchants

I’ve been surprised by the opposition from local businesses to the planned bike lanes that could bring them more business.

Yes, I fully expected some blowback to plans to install bike lanes on busy streets like Westwood, Bundy and Figueroa. Auto-centric residents who can’t comprehend any other means of getting to and from their homes can be counted on to rise up in NIMBYist opposition to any suggestion of reducing traffic flow to a more rational level, or providing a safe alternative to getting behind the wheel.

Even though they don’t have to get out of their cars to enjoy the benefits. But just make it practical for other people to leave their cars behind so they can move more freely in theirs.

But the vehemence of the opposition from the merchants who would benefit from bike lanes has come as a very unpleasant surprise.

It doesn’t take a Masters in Business Administration to realize that anything that enables more customers to come to your door is good for the bottom line. Never mind that bike riders have been shown to visit merchants more often, resulting in higher sales over the long run.

Or that calming traffic — one of the many secondary benefits of bike lanes — can make a shopping district more attractive to everyone, And at the same time, replacing cut-through drivers with destination traffic more likely to actually stop and spend money.

So I was intrigued this morning when I received an email from Metro announcing that this year’s Bike Week will take place from May 13th to 19th. And that a new feature in 2013 will be the first Bike Weekend, in which merchants will be encouraged to offer a discount to bike riders.

Metro invites you to be part of Bike Week LA by offering discounts to any bicyclist who mentions “Bike Week” during Bike Local Weekend, Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19, 2013. This is a FREE advertising opportunity to attract and encourage customers to eat, shop, and play locally. Metro wants to promote you as a destination location for Bike Local Weekend through our website, social media network, and other media channels.

Did you know that bicycling is great for local business? Studies show that people who travel by bicycle actually make more visits to small businesses than people who travel by car. These visits add up – cities all across the U.S. are discovering that when bicycling increases, sales revenue does too. In San Francisco and New York City, for instance, retail sales along certain bike lanes is up as much as 50%! Because bicyclists travel at slower speeds than cars, it’s easier for them to stop and smell the coffee. (It also helps that they don’t have to pay for parking).

If your business would like to participate in Bike Local Weekend, please sign up here no later than May 1, 2013. The earlier you sign up, the better we are able to promote you! Please feel free to contact us with any questions at bikeweekla@metro.net or 213.922.5634.

So let me issue a challenge to business owners who oppose bike lanes in front of their shops. Especially those who have been most outspoken in their opposition, like Galcos in Highland Park and A Little Taste of Hoboken in Westwood.

Just give it a shot.

Offer a discount to bicyclists that one weekend.

If you don’t notice any difference in sales, maybe you’re right. You can come to the next meeting and argue that you tried to market your business to bike riders, and it didn’t do any good.

But if, more likely, your business goes up that weekend, you’ll have solid evidence that we bicyclists spend money at places that make us feel welcome.

And that, rather than the highway to financial ruin you fear, a bike lane in front of your business could be the pathway to higher profits. Let alone a better, safer and more livable business district.

The best part is, you have nothing to lose.

Except your misconceptions.

But don’t be surprised if we complain about the lack of bike parking.

Breaking news — bike rider killed in apparent fall; second Pomona cyclist to die in three weeks

News is just breaking of yet another bicycling fatality, the third in Southern California this weekend.

According to the San Bernadino Sun, Pomona police are investigating the death of a bike rider near Ganesha Park sometime Sunday evening. KCBS-2/KCAL-9 reports the victim apparently died as the result of a fall.

No other details are available at this time.

And yes, I’m getting very tired of writing that.

This is the 10th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 4th in the last two weeks. Tragically, half of those deaths have occurred in Los Angeles County; this is also the second cyclist to die in the city of Pomona in just the last three weeks, following the death of Ivan Aguilar on the Cal Poly Pomona campus last month.

My heartfelt sympathy for the victim and his or her loved ones.

Update: More bad news — bike rider killed in Blythe Friday evening

Evidently, Friday was a very bad day for SoCal cyclists.

First we got word that a Los Angeles rider had died in a Hollywood dooring a week earlier; then an Orange County rider was killed while riding in a Mission Viejo bike lane.

And now comes news that a cyclist was killed in Blythe, just miles from the Arizona border.

Unfortunately, very few details are available at this time.

The Riverside County Coroner’s office reports that 49-year old Alvin Aguirre was hit by an apparently driverless sedan, no make or model given, while riding on the 2200 block of West Hobsonway. The injury occurred at 6:22 pm, and he was pronounced dead at 6:41.

No word on how or why the collision occurred, or who may have been at fault. And no mention of whether the driver remained at the scene.

This is the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, which equals the total for this time last year, and the first in Riverside County. It’s also the second cycling fatality in the tiny desert town in less than two years.

My prayers and condolences for Aguirre and his family. 

Update: The Desert Independent finally offers more information on Alvin Aguirre’s death. 

According to the paper, he was riding west on Hobsonway while pulling a trailer with his bike; witnesses reported seeing him ride unsteadily, weaving within the traffic lane prior to the collision. They saw him swerve into the path of a 2012 Nissan Sentra driven by 26-year old Ramon Torres of Blythe with no explanation, where he was hit from behind. 

Passing Border Patrol agents attempted to revive Aguirre before paramedics arrived; he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Torres was tested at the scene, but showed no sign of impairment. 

Update: Cyclist killed in Mission Viejo

Just got word that a bike rider was killed in Mission Viejo Friday evening.

According to the Orange County Register, the collision occurred around 6:50 pm on the Santa Margarita Parkway, between El Toro Road and Alisos Blvd.

No word on how the wreck happened, or any identity on the victim or driver. The paper reports the victim was pronounced dead at the scene, and that the driver remained onsite following the collision.

A satellite view shows what looks like a ridable shoulder in both directions. However, there’s no indication of which direction the rider was going or where the rider was positioned on the roadway.

The speed limit in that area is 50 mph; a collision at that speed is not likely to be survivable.

This is the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Orange County, which averaged more than one death per month for each of the past two years.

Thanks to Louis Martinet for the heads-up.

Update: The Orange County Register has identified the victim as 58-year old Eric Billings of Rancho Santa Margarita; he was pronounced dead at 6:48. 

According to the paper, Billings was riding in a designated bike lane, rather than a wide shoulder as I had assumed from the satellite photo, when he was struck by a 2003 Acura driven by 39-year old Hast Fakhrai-Bayrooti.

Mission Viejo Patch places the location as 300 yards south of El Toro Road near Trabuco Hills High School. The site says both the driver and victim were headed southbound on Santa Margarita, suggesting Billings was struck from behind. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor.

What does appear to be a factor is a surface street designed for excessive speed, where drivers typically exceed the already too high speed limit by double digits, and an unprotected bikeway in which a few inches of paint is all that separates riders from those speeding vehicles.

Or as appears to be the case here, doesn’t. 

Witness reports from the SoCal Trail Riders forum said the victim appeared to be riding a beach cruiser, which was badly mangled in the crash, and that skid marks from the car extended up onto the sidewalk. 

My prayers and sympathy for Eric Billings and all his family and loved ones.

Update 2: Friends remember Billings as a compassionate and generous man, dedicated to his faith.

Breaking news: Bike rider dies of injuries from dooring last week

Excuse me if I’m a little pissed off.

Not to mention more than a little heartbroken.

On Wednesday, I found myself in a room filled with LAPD traffic investigators to discuss bicycling issues in the City of Angels. And not one of them mentioned that yet another L.A. cyclist had joined that heavenly host as a result of a careless driver.

Maybe they didn’t know.

Maybe there’s a lack of communication within the department, and the people who should be first on the list to be notified about bicycling collisions — the bike liaisons representing the four Traffic Divisions, each of which was represented at that meeting — aren’t.

But either way, a bike rider has been dead for a full week as a result of a Hollywood dooring. And we’re just finding out about it now.

According to a press release from the LAPD, a 49-year old Los Angeles resident, who wasn’t identified in the release, was riding his bicycle in the southbound bike lane on Vine Street near Banner Avenue at 6:30 pm on Sunday, March 3rd, when a driver opened her car door into the bike lane. The rider reportedly collided with the door and was thrown into the roadway.

LAFD paramedics responded to the scene and took the victim to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries five days later, on March 8th.

The driver is identified only as 26-year old resident of L.A. in a 2009 BMW 328i. Police cite unsafe opening of a car door as the primary cause of the collision; drugs or alcohol do not appear to have been a factor.

The press release does not mention the nature of the victim’s injuries or whether he was wearing a helmet; however, this is exactly the sort of collision in which a helmet might have made a difference. The description of the incident suggests that the victim most likely suffered head injuries as a result of hitting the pavement; falling to the street after colliding with a car door is unlikely to result in fatal injuries to other parts of the body, though it is possible.

While dooring is one of the leading causes of bicycle collisions, both here in Los Angeles and elsewhere, it seldom results in fatal injuries. In fact, of the 145 bicycling fatalities in Southern California in 2011-12, only two resulted from a rider getting hit with a car door.

This is the seventh bicycling fatality in the seven county Southern California region this year, compared to 10 this time last year, and the fourth in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his family.

Move along, nothing to see here

Barring breaking news, there won’t be a new post here today. I’ll be guest editing LA Streetsblog this morning instead, so come on over for the latest transportation news, including a few bike links.

Meanwhile, I’ll try to catch upon the bike news and events later tonight or over weekend as my schedule allows.

But before you go, click on this link.

And read the story of BMC rider Taylor Phinney’s last place finish in a race this past Monday, if you haven’t already. And even if you have no interest in bike racing.

Because it’s really not about that.

It’s about the biggest heart in the peloton. And a son’s love for his father, and for bicycling.

And it will make you forget all about that other guy from Texas, at least for awhile.

A little clarification on tickets and misdemeanors, and what police can and can’t do

Maybe I got it wrong.

Or maybe the person who explained it to me did.

But yesterday, I got clarification on what police can and can’t do in cases where they don’t witness a violation.

My understanding was that the police were prohibited from writing a ticket or filing misdemeanor charges unless they actually saw it happen. Which is why it’s so hard to get criminal charges in a harassment case, for instance, because few motorists are foolish enough to threaten a bike rider when a cop is watching.

However, it turns out that’s not quite right.

At Wednesday’s meeting of the LAPD bike task force, officers who work in traffic investigations explained that they actually can write tickets for traffic violations after the fact — if the evidence or witness testimony makes it clear that a driver broke the law.

For instance, if the evidence suggests that a collision occurred because someone ran a red light, they can ticket the responsible party even though they didn’t see it happen.

Criminal charges are another matter.

While police are free to make felony arrests whether they see the crime or not, state law prohibits them from making a misdemeanor arrest unless they see the violation.

However, the key word there is arrest; misdemeanor charges can be filed later if the evidence warrants, whether or not the officer was there when the crime was committed.

Clear now?

It seems like splitting hairs, but that’s the current state of the law here in the late, great Golden State.

The good news is, that means your bike cam video can be considered as evidence leading to a misdemeanor charge.

It can also lead to a traffic ticket after the fact, though that’s not likely in most cases. Particularly if the violation didn’t lead to a collision or injuries.

A couple other quick notes from the meeting:

  • Police are seeing a number of bikes converted to use a small gas-powered engine. However, once you hit the gas, it’s no longer considered a bicycle. Anything with a motor over 150 cc’s is legally a motorcycle; anything below that is considered a moped. And both are subject to laws that bicycles aren’t, as well as licensing requirements. E-bikes are not subject to the same requirements and are still regarded as bicycles under state law.
  • By far the leading cause of bicycling collisions in the Valley Traffic Division is riding against traffic. In fact, riding salmon resulted in nearly six times as many collisions reported to the police as dooring, the second leading cause. And not only does riding upstream dramatically increase your risk of getting hit, it also means you’re automatically considered at fault, at least in part, regardless of any other factors.
  • Finally, those long-awaited stats on hit-and-run requested by the L.A. City Council are unlikely to be delivered before the end of the month. The LAPD still working on compiling detailed data breaking down just how prevalent the problem actually is. But it would be great if they could step it up just a little, since there are currently two state laws under consideration to address the problem, and a little solid data might help.

Today’s post, in which I offer a few helpful corrections for the Newport Beach PD

The Newport Beach Police Department offers advice for cyclists riding in the city.

And for the most part, they get it right.

Where they fail is the admonition that bike riders should position themselves farthest to the right of the lane, ignoring the many exceptions to that requirement contained in CVC21202.

  1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
  2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
  3. When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
  4. When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

And never mind that all of that only applies to bicyclists riding below the normal speed of traffic; if you can keep up with the cars on the street at that time — which is usually pretty easy at rush hour — you can ride anywhere you want on the roadway.

All of which explains why the LAPD says “Ride where it’s right, not to the right.”

There is also no requirement under California law to ride single file, despite what some law enforcement agencies will tell you. As long as riders aren’t impeding traffic — which is defined as five or more vehicles stuck behind a slow moving vehicle and unable able to pass — there is nothing to prohibit riding side-by-side in a non-shareable lane.

Especially on a four lane roadway where drivers can use the other lane to go around.

And riding two abreast is often safer than riding single file, allowing bicyclists to control the full lane to prevent dangerous passing where there’s not enough room for drivers to do it safely. Yet many motorists will try it anyway unless riders take steps — like riding abreast — to physically prevent it.

Of course, just because it’s not against the law doesn’t mean they won’t give you a ticket for it.

And no, bicycles are not considered vehicles under California law, though riders are subject to the same rights and responsibilities of vehicle operators.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Update: This is not intended as criticism of the NBPD, but rather, of the website posted under their name. From what I’ve been told, the Newport Beach Police Department is one of the more progressive departments in Southern California when it comes to working with bicyclists.

However, it remains a common problem that police can misinterpret the laws regarding bicycling, and provide inaccurate information to bike riders and drivers that can cause bicyclists to ride in an unsafe manner, and drivers to think we don’t have a right to the roadway.

When a well-intentioned website like this, which serves to provide safety information for both groups, gives incorrect information, it can do more harm than good and lead to needless conflicts on the road.

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Don’t forget to vote for Walk and Rollers for the Lakers’ Youth Foundation March YOU GRANT. This is a great, locally based program to encourage children to walk and bike to school more often, and more safely. And one I endorse without reservation.

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LADOT recounts the recent first-year bike plan meetings. Some of these meetings — and projects — were highly contentious; you can still offer support for your favorite bike lanes, which may need it.

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A writer for the Wall Street Journal tours L.A. in a Day with Bikes and Hikes LA. L.A. fashion photographer and retailer the Cobrasnake talks tight clothes and L.A. bicycling for H&M; does it hurt my hipness quotient if I never heard of him? This is how you can tell it was a good ride. Gear up for the next battle in the war over parking and bike lanes in North Hollywood. New bike lanes on Rowena Blvd. Santa Monica police bust a bike thief. The Honor Ride for Wounded Veterans rolls in Agoura Hills on April 27th. Manhattan Beach police plan a crackdown on people who walk on the beach bike path, or ride on the Strand; thanks to Margaret Wehbi for the link. The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition calls for a Metrolink Bicycle Access Plan. Boyonabike looks at the not-entirely-unexpected Cal Poly Pomona Bike Lane Brush-Off; unless and until parents of students, and prospective students, decide the auto-centric school is too dangerous for their kids nothing is likely to change.

Here’s your chance to apply for the planned Newport Beach committee to oversee development of a new bike master plan. The San Diego City Council unanimously prioritizes bike safety improvements, but misses the point about the city’s deadly freeway onramps. Caltrans will test a fix a popular bike route on Highway 1 north of Cambria, after a recent chip seal ruined it for riders; this is what happens when they only consider the needs of drivers. The World Naked Bike Ride hit San Francisco on Saturday, despite the city’s recent ban on public nudity. GEICO partially blames a San Francisco cyclist for the actions of driver who doored her, despite proof to the contrary; and this is exactly what’s wrong with liability insurance in California, where cases too often end up in court for no apparent reason. Manteca plans to triple the amount of bike lanes in the city. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat calls on drivers to share the road, and for Sonoma county officials to pass the first countywide L.A.-style cyclist anti-harassment law; at least five cities have passed a similar law, but no test case has been filed anywhere yet.

Fat Cyclist deservedly takes a bikewear manufacturer to task for their needlessly sexist and borderline offensive ad and asinine, virtually incomprehensible marketing philosophy. The Bike League offers advice on how to approach political leaders gleaned from interviews with Congressional staffers. After a Denver-area cyclist is killed in a hit-ad-run, the driver calls police to claim he didn’t know he hit anyone; if any driver is so careless, drunk or distracted he doesn’t even know he killed someone, he or she shouldn’t be allowed behind the wheel. More on the NYPD dropping the term accident from it’s traffic investigations; now maybe we can get the LAPD — and the press — to do the same. Nearly 600 cyclists are injured by dooring in Great Britain every year. Former pro Laurent Jalabert was seriously injured when he was hit by a car headed in the opposite direction.

Finally, I’ve often said that Red Kite Prayer’s Padraig writes more beautifully about bicycling than just about anyone else who’s attempted to set pen to two wheels. But today, he offers a heartbreaking perspective, reminding us that some things are far more important than riding.

If you don’t read anything else I’ve linked to today, read that one.

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