Morning Links: Red light-running bike rider severely injured in DTLA crash, and taking Montclair to task

This is why you always stop for red lights.

And observe the right-of-way.

According to the LAPD’s Central Traffic Division, a bike rider suffered what was described as severe injuries in a collision at Washington and Grand in DTLA yesterday, and was hospitalized in critical condition.

Traffic investigators report that multiple witnesses said the victim ran the red light before being struck.

Personally, I couldn’t care less if you roll a stop sign or two when there’s no one else around. Just be sure to always observe the right-of-way, and stop if there’s conflicting traffic.

But seriously, always stop for red lights — especially if there is cross traffic of any kind.

And never forget that even if there doesn’t appear to be any traffic on the street you’re crossing, that doesn’t mean a speeding driver won’t come out of view and try to make it through the intersection before the light changes.

Which happens far too often. And too often with tragic results.

So just stop and wait a minute or two. Push the beg button if the light doesn’t change. And hesitate for moment before crossing to make sure everyone else stops, as well.

Because it beats the hell out of waking up in the ICU.

Or not waking up at all.

I hope you’ll join me in offering a prayer or best wishes for the victim, and hope for a full and fast recovery.

Photo from LAPD Central Traffic Division.

………

He gets it.

Writing for Streetsblog, Mehmet Berker does a great job of slicing and dicing the new Montclair distracted walking ordinance that bans the use of electronic devices, including earpieces, while crossing the street.

Never mind that most drivers have their windows up and sound systems blaring. If they’re not too busy texting.

More to the point, the Montclair ordinance is at best a well-intentioned but misguided attempt at making safer streets – legislated by city leaders who suffer from extreme windshield bias. It’s also one more example of our car-centric society’s tendency to classify city streets as spaces solely for automobiles and place the responsibility for safety on anyone who is not driving.

………

Local

Pasadena plans to extend its biking and walking networks — although the latter is usually known as sidewalks — as well as increasing the density of the Metro Bike bikeshare to 800 bikes at three docks per square mile, to help met climate goals.

The latest SGV Connect podcast discusses the proposed Orange Grove Blvd lane reconfiguration, as well as attempts to halt the popular Rose Bowl rides.

La Verne is moving forward with development of a new Active Transportation Plan.

Santa Monica adopts an “emergency” law allowing it to impound shared mobility devices, aka Bird scooters and dockless bikeshare bikes, that pose a hazard to others when left on the sidewalk or in the street.

The LACBC is holding their March RideSELA community bike ride this Sunday through the Willowbrook and Florence-Firestone neighborhoods. Check to make sure it’s still on with this weekend’s predicted rain, however.

 

State

Encinitas commissioners unanimously support plans to convert a deadly section of Highway 101 to a complete street through the Leucadia neighborhood, including bike lanes and six roundabouts. This is the same stretch of roadway where Los Angeles randonneur Jim Swarzman was killed by a drunk hit-and-run driver in 2011; his killer was eventually sentenced to just two years behind bars.

A Santa Barbara bike rider gets caught for running a stop sign in the city’s latest crackdown, as a dangerous underpass prepares for a road diet.

San Francisco plans to replace its fleet of firetrucks with smaller trucks that can fit on narrower streets. Although the purpose of the change is not to reduce conflicts with bike advocates, as the headline suggests, but to save lives.

Bike East Bay reports there are a number of bike jobs available in the Bay Area, from bike shops and bikeshare to advocacy groups.

A trio of Oakland letter writers say there are actually road diets in the city that are safe and successful.

Officials will now spend $100,000 to study backing out of a promised bike lane across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, and converting it to car use instead. Which should tell you how bicyclists rank in their priorities, when drivers get 100% of the bridge, and everyone else gets zip.

 

National

US speed skater Mia Manganello credits bicycling with helping her win the first American women’s medal in the sport in 16 years.

A new study suggests the obsession cities have with bike helmets could actually be undermining more effective ways to improve safety, noting that the real problem is people getting hit by cars.

Portland is using bicycles to revitalize a strip mall district originally build around cars. Which sounds pretty much like most of Los Angeles. So if they can do it, so can we.

A small town in Washington state passed an ordinance requiring all bike riders and skaters to wear a helmet, regardless of age.

A University of Texas student insists the local bikeshare system should provide riders with helmets. Even though there have been only two deaths on all the bikeshares operating throughout the US.

Apparently Copenhagenize’s Mikael Colville-Andersen doesn’t love Minneapolis anymore, dropping it from his list of the world’s 20 best bike cities, even though he used to recommend it. And even though he’s never been there.

Fast Company looks at New York’s bizarre crackdown on ebike-riding delivery people, and how they are being abandoned by their employers.

A Jewish letter writer concludes that the reason his brother died in a 1971 bicycling wreck while his son survived another New York bike crash 44 years later is that his brother wasn’t wearing a helmet, while his son was. Or it could have something to do with his brother getting hit by a bus.

The father of a fallen Florida bicyclist calls for more sidewalks to protect riders. A better solution would be more bike lanes — especially protected bike lanes — since sidewalk riding actually increases the risk of a wreck.

Unbelievable. After a Florida driver gets arrested for the drunken, hit-and-run death of a man on a bicycle — at over 2.5 times the legal alcohol limit — he calls the victim a dumbass for riding in the lane, and says the police should go arrest the victim’s family instead.

Miami is about to get its first woonerf, where cars, bikes and pedestrians share the street on equal terms.

 

International

A St. John’s, Newfoundland college professor is using the BikeMaps platform to develop a map of dangerous locations for bike riders.

Torontoist is back, and says it’s time to make structural solutions to the roads, because our addiction to driving is costing us lives.

A new British study shows that bicycling can help keep you young in more ways than one, including protecting the immune system. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

The Guardian’s Laura Laker says yes, people on bikes to stupid things, but the real danger comes from the people wrapped in two tons of glass and steel. And a bill cracking down on dangerous cycling won’t help.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a van driver gets community service in the death of a bike rider, after making the equivalent of a left cross in front of the victim, who had the right-of-way.

Donors have raised the equivalent of over $33,000 for South African triathlete Mhlengi Gwala, who was attacked by three men who tried to cut his legs off with a chainsaw. There’s still no explanation for the bizarre attack.

A New Zealand columnist says shopkeepers are just being complete idiots for opposing a bike lane that could boost their business.

 

Finally…

When you bounce off the hood of a car, your stunt riding has probably gone just a tad too far. And who needs a ciclovía when you’ve got your own F1 track?

6 comments

  1. Scott says:

    I wait at the red light on my commute, as usual it won’t detect my presence, I proceed to the best of my ability, in accordance with CVC through the malfunctioning signal and get hit by a motorist driving thirty miles an hour over the speed limit. Witnesses will only say that I ran the red but this is not the reason for the system failure. Is it possible this is what happened in the story above?

  2. keith says:

    You only need to get hit once running a red light. And the beg buttons for crosswalks are rarely easy to access without some curb climbing. So I just wait. It’s the best option.

  3. j says:

    I can’t remember the last time I a saw a cyclist knowingly activate a loop detector. Everyone is convinced they have to use a beg button and use the crosswalk. Even in the “protected bike lanes” in downtown LB I see a lot of people leave the bike lanes get on the sidewalk, press a button and cross in the crosswalk. If there is no crosswalk on the right side of the street they use the crosswalk on the left side and ride against traffic, then ride against traffic on the sidewalk or in the bike lane and then cross over to the right side of the street or just say on the other side. This is one of the reasons why there are so many salmon cyclists in southern california.

    When loop detectors are available there is usually only one easy to activate detector which is often to the left of the bike lane where almost no cyclist will stop. I’ve found that on recently repaved roads the single bicycle friendly loop detector has about a 50% chance of actually being in the bike lane. Despite whatever savvy cyclists believe you should do virtually no one is willing to take the full lane to activate a loop detector – certainly not on the 5-9 lane highways (50-60mph) that dominate southern california. As the lone cyclist in Long Beach and NW OC who knows what a loop detector is I can tell you that everyone in this sun bleached idiocracy thinks I’m either crazy, and idiot or an asshole for using the full lane to get a green light. You know what happens when I take the lane, place my bicycle at the edge of type E loop detector (the big circle without a diagonal line)? A car pulls up and honks at me, because they want to make a right hand turn to the left of the bike lane.

    Many cities flat out ignore AB 1581 and refuse to give cyclists any means to get a green light. When a loop detector or radar cease to work it may never get fixed. I’ve been trying for months to get a local intersection fixed.

    • Ralph says:

      In Sunnyvale CA the loop detectors normally work. If they don’t you can report them. and the city will come out to test and fix if needed. One problem is that many riders don’t know where to put their bikes at the intersections. Most in Sunny vale have a bike symbol near the limit line or in the right lane to show the best place to stop. I have seen many riders complain that the light doesn’t trip for their bikes but they pull up into the cross walk…. Which is illegal.

  4. Eric Smith says:

    Hey there,
    Another sad instance of those we share the roads with and the war on bikes.
    Eric
    http://www.dailycamera.com/news/boulder/ci_31723553/greeley-man-arrested-hit-and-run-that-seriously

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