Morning Links: Hit-and-run runs rampant throughout CA; video shows plans for Puente Hills Landfill park

If you think the hit-and-run epidemic is getting worse, you’re right.

Stats wonk Ed Ryder does a great job of mining the CHP’s SWITRS database; in the past, he’s created detailed charts to help us understand traffic collisions on PCH, as well as in LA and Orange Counties, and around the state.

So when I met with a state legislator to discuss the problem of hit-and-runs recently, I asked Ryder if he could delve into the database once again to show just how big a problem it really is.

And big is putting it mildly.

As his report shows, it’s goes way beyond bad, and it’s only getting worse. Not just here in LA, but nearly everywhere in California.

In fact, from 2004 to now, a driver fled the scene in nearly 20% of all crashes in the state.

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After dropping to a low of 17.4% of all collisions in 2011, hit-and-run has made a big comeback, climbing to 19.5% in 2015, and 20% to date in 2016.

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Note: It should be noted that the more recent figures are preliminary, since there’s a significant lag time in reporting statistics to SWITRS. And these stats only include death and serious injuries; adding property damage would boost the percentages significantly.

The sheer numbers are staggering, with nearly 300 deaths due to hit-and-run collisions in recent years, and over 20,000 injuries.

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As the following chart shows, the costs are huge, not just in terms of human suffering, but in the economic loss to society, as well.

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Not surprisingly, Los Angeles County is the state’s overwhelming leader in hit-and-run deaths, with San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties fighting it out for 2nd place.

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Injuries paint an even more dramatic picture, with LA County accounting for over half of all hit-and-runs resulting in injuries.

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However, that is partly a function of LA’s sheer size. When you look at hit-and-run collisions as a percentage of population, a much different picture appears.

While LA still leads in injury collisions, it drops to ninth in fatalities.

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It’s possible that may be due to better access to emergency care compared to less urban counties like Kern and Tulare, where it could take significantly longer to get to a trauma center following a crash. As well as slower speeds resulting from traffic congestion and lower speed limits in urban areas.

Regardless, it’s clear that hit-and-run is a problem that affects the entire state.

And it’s not going to go away until we do something about it.

You can download Ed Ryder’s full report here.

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A new video explains the plan for the Puente Hills Landfill park, which was approved by the county supervisors yesterday.

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The route has been announced for next year’s 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia, once again with a focus on climbing.

A 46-year old British amateur cyclist has received a four year ban for using EPO, just months after being banned for using another substance. But cycling doesn’t have a cheating problem anymore. Right?

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Local

Today is the last day to weigh in on the proposed Rail-to-River bikeway connecting the Crenshaw Line to the LA River through the southeast cities.

New signs are being installed on the LA River bike path telling riders to slow down in areas where more people walk. CiclaValley prefers to look on the bright side, noting that part of the bike path closure is due to improvements, even though we may not see them for the foreseeable future.

Pasadena will discuss plans for the coming Metro Bike bikeshare system at a public meeting this Thursday.

Long Beach police receive a $400,000 grant to improve traffic safety, including DUI, distracted driving, and bike and pedestrian safety enforcement.

 

State

A San Diego cyclist is asking for help remembering what the hell happened to him; he found himself standing bloodied and confused in a Target parking lot two miles away with a cracked skull and multiple facial fractures after going for a bike ride, with no idea how he got there.

San Diego offers proposals to discourage driving without increasing density, including counting on autonomous vehicles to reduce the need for parking and room for bike lanes.

While we’re on the subject of our neighbor to the South, San Diego’s CicloSDias ciclovía is looking for volunteers for this Sunday’s 4th annual open streets event.

San Francisco will get its first parking protected, elevated bike lane in the Mission District, but only for one block.

The San Francisco Chronicle looks at the “pack of vigilantes” altering the city’s streets to improve safety for bicyclists; a new video shows how it’s done.

 

National

Streetsblog looks at how American cities can protect cyclists from deadly trucks. It shouldn’t be left to individual cities or states; the federal government should mandate new trucking standards to improve safety for everyone.

Evanston IL city leaders propose removing a new bike lane from one side of the street to improve safety for motorists. Yes, you read that right; they want to sacrifice the safety of people on bicycles to protect the ones surrounded by a few tons of glass and steel. 

A Massachusetts blogger and mountain biker offers real world advice on bike commuting.

A 28-year old New York woman writes in Vogue about learning how to ride a bike as an adult to prepare for a trip to Copenhagen. Yes, Vogue. Evidently, we’ve become stylish.

Bike ridership continues to climb in New York, though lower income communities are being left behind as most protected lanes go into more affluent areas.

A 67-year old Virginia cyclist may be the oldest woman ride solo across the US.

ABC News reports on the South Carolina teacher who is raising funds to buy a bicycle for every student at her disadvantaged school.

 

International

Relatives of people killed on Toronto streets have formed their own traffic safety group to call for an end to road violence.

An Ottawa bike rider was hit by a car while riding in a new bike lane, just hours after it was officially opened. Which is a pretty good sign that a little paint may not be sufficient.

A Canadian city is being sued over an allegedly unsafe bike lane following a collision. Not by the rider who was paralyzed in the crash, but by the driver convicted of causing it by making an unsafe turn.

A UK website goes back 40 years to explain how Edinburgh became a bike-friendly city.

The creepy clown phenomenon continues to spread around the world, as a 15-year old New Zealand boy was frightened by a clown that threatened to kill him as he rode his bike. Although maybe it’s the clowns who should be scared.

Shanghai is offering ebike users a free electronic chip to track their bicycles if they’re stolen.

 

Finally…

Who needs carbon or Ti when you can have wood? It’s one thing to steal a boy’s bicycle; another to apparently steal the boy with it.

And it’s time to make bicycling great again, as a Trump supporter with a megaphone goes on an unexpected bike safety monologue.

Thanks to Cyclelicious for the link.

One comment

  1. Ralph says:

    Lets hope that the $400 K for Long Beach just doesn’t go to stopping cyclist who roll carefully through stop signs and pedestrians who enter the crosswalk just after the flashing green walk sign switches..

    I can sympathize with the rider who crashed and ended up some where else. I crashed for some reason on a motor cycle. My memories are of a truck on my side of a winding road, getting my bike back up on its wheels, arriving at the place I was heading and back to where I started. I don’t remember anything else of the 15 mile round trip on the roads. Scary. Hope he can find something out.

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