Popular bikeway to remain open this weekend, scholarship fund for fallen cyclist, and your Morning Links

Pete van Nuys, Executive Director of the Orange County Bicycle Coalition, sends word that the popular Pacific Coast Bike Route will remain open this weekend, despite the scheduled Ironman race.

After months of emails and the threat of lawsuit, organizers of the Ironman 70.3 race through Camp Pendleton have agreed to assign volunteer course marshals at the south end of San Clemente to permit regular bicycle traffic between that city and Oceanside.

In recent years Caltrans in San Diego has been issuing permits to the event which has become increasingly possessive of the only connection between Orange and San Diego Counties for 100 miles.

Those permits violate Streets and Highways Code 888, intended to assure citizens that when Caltrans builds a freeway it will not sever connections for non-motorized travelers.

The I-5 freeway alternate is the popular Old Hwy 101 to Las Pulgas, through a portion of the Marine base. When the Marines close it for maneuvers Caltrans routinely opens the shoulders of I-5 for bicyclists. But the race permit even closed those shoulders, stranding bicyclists in Oceanside and San Clemente for up to 5 hours. With little or no notice riders from LA County usually had no choice but to turn around.

Thanks to the hard work of Seth Cutter, Bicycle Coordinator for Caltrans San Diego, the agency convinced Ironman to do what most bike race organizers do: use course marshals to cross civilian bikes and peds. Caltrans is posting signs alerting motorists to bicycle presence. And anyone riding to San Diego’s Bikes & Beers event should find the route open fast along I-5′s shoulders all the way to Oceanside.

……….

Australian cyclist James Rapley lost his like while biking in LA.

Australian cyclist James Rapley lost his like while biking in Los Angeles.

A memorial website and scholarship fund have been set up in honor of Australian cyclist James Rapley, killed while riding on Temescal Canyon last December.

If you want to grasp just an inkling of the love a parent has for his son — and the enormity of that loss — take a moment to read that page and browse through the website.

As you may recall, Rapley was on an extended layover at LAX on his way home from his new job in Chicago to join his family back in Seymour, a small country town in Victoria. So early in the morning of December 22nd — the last Sunday before Christmas — he rented a bike and took off to explore the beachfront bike path from LAX to the Palisades.

It must have seemed magical to ride along the nearly deserted beach at that early hour. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday morning myself.

For some reason, he made a detour onto Temescal Canyon; maybe he wanted the challenge of the steep uphill after the easy ride along the coast. I often do the same, even though it’s not a comfortable bike lane, as drivers frequently go too fast around the sweeping curves, and cut into the bike lane regardless of whether anyone is in it.

In other words, what followed could have happened to me. Or to any of us.

As Rapley rode in the bike lane, doing absolutely nothing wrong, he was struck from behind by an allegedly drunk, and possibly texting, 19-year old driver. He died there on the side of the road; I can only imagine his final thoughts, 8,000 miles from home and the loved ones who were eagerly awaiting him.

I’m told his family has dug deep to fund the scholarship, to be given to a rural student studying engineering or science at Melbourne University, as Rapley had done. But it will take a lot more money to make the scholarship a success, and honor a good and cringe man who should still be with us.

I’d love to see some significant donations come from here in LA. It’s the last place he ever saw, and we owe him and his family a debt we can never repay.

My wallet is pretty anorexic right now, but I’m going to do my best to send a little something their way. I think we owe him that.

Meanwhile, I’ve started making inquiries about how we can convert the bike lane he was riding in into the state’s first parking protected bike lane. It will take a change in state law, which currently requires cars to be parked within 18 inches of a curb.

But this is an ideal location for it, with no cross streets from PCH to Palisades High School, roughly 3/4 of a mile up the hill. And it would, for large portions of the day, help eliminate the risk riders currently face from aggressive and distracted drivers with little respect for a line a paint.

Because the best way we can honor James Rapley is to ensure it never happens to anyone again.

……….

This sort of things always pisses me off.

A friend of mine reports she was assaulted while riding in Huntington Beach over the weekend when a group of idiots in a passing car threw a cup of ice at her, hitting her on the ass.

The good news is, she was able to maintain control of her bike and avoid a potentially dangerous fall, making it nothing more than a major annoyance. The bad news is, she wasn’t able to get a license number or good description of the car, so the jerks remain free to do it again to someone else.

For anyone unclear on the subject, throwing anything at a bike rider runs the risk that they might lose control and fall, or swerve into traffic or parked cars in an attempt to get away. The result can be serious injury, whether or not that was the intent of the attacker.

And it takes a real jackass to attack a woman riding alone after dark.

Then again, harassment isn’t reserved just for women riders.

……….

Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton calls for a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths in the City of Angels. Now will our new mayor or council members step up to answer the call?

Metro’s Bike Week website is up. If you want to find me that Tuesday, I’ll be at the blessing of the bicycles.

LADOT Bike Blog looks at the problem of dooring. but let’s not forget that drivers are almost always at fault for dooring, since they’re required ensure that it’s reasonably safe and doesn’t interfere with other traffic before opening their door. And then, only as long as necessary.

A hero cyclist helps a Santa Monica woman recover her phone from a thief.

There are things you see while bicycling that should be seen by more.

 

State

California considers language that could bar bikes from most off-road trails.

Temecula could vote to support Federal legislation to create long-term, low interest loans to build biking and walking networks.

A close encounter of the potentially stinky kind.

A $9.4 million temporary bike path on the Bay Bridge will be torn down to be replaced with a permanent structure.

 

National

People for Bikes debunks the myths non-riders too often use against us; the answer for “Bicyclists think they own the road” could have been a lot better, though.

Bicycling says you may be getting too much sugar.

Evidently, life is cheap in Ohio, as a doctor gets a whopping 15 days in jail for seriously injuring a cyclist while driving drunk. Why should drivers take drunk driving laws seriously when the courts don’t?

A Louisiana schmuck driver faces charges for running over a four-year old bike rider while fleeing from police; the child suffered moderate to severe injuries.

 

International

The UK renews a campaign calling for cyclists and motorists to “Think! Cyclist” after a successful campaign that may not have changed anyone’s behavior.

Turns out Dickens — yes, that Dickens — supported safe and courteous cycling.

Customers of a Yorkshire paperboy pitch in to buy him a new bike when his is stolen while he was delivering his route.

An Aussie blog asks — and answers — what is a cyclist? My answer is a lot simpler; you’re a cyclist whenever you’re on or with your bike, just as you’re a motorist when you’re driving your car.

 

Finally…

Everyone needs a leather banana holder for their bike, right?

 

3 comments

  1. Joe B says:

    A parking-protected bike lane might be a good idea on the uphill side of Temescal, but I’d hate to be in one on the descending side, with pedestrians crossing without looking and flipping their car doors open in front of me.

  2. Richard says:

    Behind closed doors our history is that the penny a day cost of seatbelts is judged too much for us to pay for and very large numbers of are deemed expendable by increasing car stocking capacity in our communities. We need to petition our government to simply do what it takes to make it safe again. They will balk but in the end the daily dollar per capita cost will be so extreme a bargain to any reasonable person that even zero deaths, not that goal with the extreme failure of nearly a third of ours like Sweden shamefully suffers bit actually no longer killing tons of people a day so a few rich car dealers don’t have to get a real job will get done. Perhaps fewer golf courses or airports or fresh asphault economic tumor activity will result instead of tiny coffins and ample employment mopping up our innards to reopen lanes to the lethal lines of cars only others enjoy us snorting as our sole culture. It is though what we want and only fail to choose and order up our money as good enough to be spent in such noble fashion. Don’t just want it or fuss about the details. Sign the dam blank check. There is no chance of it bouncing, only certitude that the lives will be saved. It is our job to pay, so trivial is that to get our way. We just have to say- just do it! No more deaths in our cities in tolerance of the car epidemic. We are good. We have had enough.

  3. Jeffrey says:

    One good way to send a message and help to keep this from happening again.

    Help James make a difference

    give.everydayhero.com

    Please show your support by giving through James’ Supporter page and share this link to spread the word about Amy Gillett Foundation

    Like · · Promote · Share.

    Jeffrey Fylling

    .

    Jeffrey Fylling

    January 11 · Edited

    .

    From BikinginLA website….Let’s get together on this.

    Friends and family of fallen Australian cyclist James Rapley call for your help to honor his memory.

    As you may recall, Rapley was killed by an alleged drunk and possibly distracted driver while riding in the bike lane on Temescal Canyon during an extended layover at LAX just before Christmas.

    We have had a lot of people ask how they can help and if they can send flowers. Karen and his family believe that donating to a charity would help honour James memory in a more lasting way and we would like to direct you to the below everyday hero site for how you can help via a number of avenues including:

    1) donating to the Amy Gillett Cycling Foundation

    2) participating in a Hello Sunday Mornings challenge

    3) please share these links with your friends and family and spread this important message. Remember to share the roads and to never let yourself or others drink and drive. If you can’t afford a taxi, you can’t afford to drink.

    Thank you all for your support. James was very loved and will be forever missed.

    They also explain the purpose of the HSM challenge.

    We are hoping to encourage 100 people to sign up for a Hello Sunday Morning’s 3 month challenge to abstain from alcohol and create a ripple affect to change Australia’s drinking culture and hopefully save a life. Each HSMer’s story has a positive impact on the drinking culture of 10 people around them. If 1,000 people stop their friends from getting behind a wheel drunk or not binge drinking we can help James make a difference and hopefully spare another family this incredible tragedy.

    One last note.

    James Rapley was laid to rest Thursday in Hadfield, Victoria, Australia.

    If not for a drunken LA driver shattering the quiet of a Sunday morning, he’d be back at work at Groupon in Chicago. And all this would have been a bad dream.

    ………

    Photo: From BikinginLA website….Let’s get together on this. Friends and family of fallen Australian cyclist James Rapley call for your help to honor his memory. As you may recall, Rapley was killed by an alleged drunk and possibly distracted driver while riding in the bike lane on Temescal Canyon during an extended layover at LAX just before Christmas. We have had a lot of people ask how they can help and if they can send flowers. Karen and his family believe that donating to a charity would help honour James memory in a more lasting way and we would like to direct you to the below everyday hero site for how you can help via a number of avenues including: 1) donating to the Amy Gillett Cycling Foundation 2) participating in a Hello Sunday Mornings challenge 3) please share these links with your friends and family and spread this important message. Remember to share the roads and to never let yourself or others drink and drive. If you can’t afford a taxi, you can’t afford to drink. Thank you all for your support. James was very loved and will be forever missed. They also explain the purpose of the HSM challenge. We are hoping to encourage 100 people to sign up for a Hello Sunday Morning’s 3 month challenge to abstain from alcohol and create a ripple affect to change Australia’s drinking culture and hopefully save a life. Each HSMer’s story has a positive impact on the drinking culture of 10 people around them. If 1,000 people stop their friends from getting behind a wheel drunk or not binge drinking we can help James make a difference and hopefully spare another family this incredible tragedy. One last note. James Rapley was laid to rest Thursday in Hadfield, Victoria, Australia. If not for a drunken LA driver shattering the quiet of a Sunday morning, he’d be back at work at Groupon in Chicago. And all this would have been a bad dream. ………
    .

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