Archive for bikinginla

Weekend Links: Super-secret discipline for Milt Olin deputy; SD’s Fiesta Island wreck caused by invisible boyfriend

We’ve got a lot to catch up on today.

So feel free to take a break and go out for a ride. This could take awhile.

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The LA County sheriff’s deputy who killed former Napster exec Milt Olin has been officially disciplined by the department. But since it’s considered a personnel matter, we’ll most likely never know what that discipline is.

And there will be no discipline for the department, which reportedly encouraged its officers to use their onboard computers while driving, despite an official policy against it.

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A psychiatrist says the alleged meth-using wrong way driver who plowed into 10 cyclists on San Diego’s Fiesta Island, leaving one paralyzed, “has bipolar disorder with chronic or long-standing mania and psychotic features, but also depressive features.”

Oh. Well, okay then.

She reportedly blames the crash on an invisible boyfriend who somehow popped up, apparently inside her car, before disappearing.

And she had a bag of meth in her vagina when she was arrested.

Allegedly.

Update: Despite the testimony of the psychiatrist, Theresa Owens was found competent to stand trial on Friday. 

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Three bikes take a 100 year journey to Bike Week LA, coming next month.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the link.

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Update: I’ve been reminded that the OCTA Bike Festival will be held this Sunday from 9 am to 1 p in Huntington Beach.

Although how I can be reminded of something I didn’t know about to begin with is beyond me.

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Local

Note to CMs Gil Cedillo, Tom LaBonge and Paul Koretz: A Virginia study confirms what we’ve been trying to tell you. More bikes on the streets will actually increase traffic congestion unless we have bike lanes to ride in. But hey, go ahead, keep blocking those planned bike lanes on North Figueroa, Lankershim and Westwood until traffic improves.

If you’re looking for a new job, CicLAvia is hiring a new head honcho; meanwhile, the Times talks with outgoing exec and founder Aaron Paley. Although I wish he could remember the role the LACBC played in assisting the birth of CicLAvia; one of the first votes I cast as a board member involved approving a cooperative agreement to help get the first event off the ground.

Caught on video: Streetsblog’s Joe Linton looks a Malibu’s new bike lane on PCH, a first for the formerly bike-unfriendly city. Speaking of the LACBC, the coalitions’s Eric Bruins deserves much of the credit for the coastal city’s change in attitude.

 

State

California Streetsblog interviews Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who insists Governor Brown will sign a Yellow Alert hit-and-run notice this time around; he vetoed a similar bill last year.

Caltrans effectively unblocks protected bike lanes; the state transportation agency will hold a summit on the newly legalized Class IV bikeways next month.

Is someone targeting bike riders in OC? After a Santa Ana bike rider is shot in a possible gang-related driveby, he continued riding to a nearby residence for help; another man riding a bike was shot in the same city just a day later.

Huntington Beach police are looking for a man and woman who tried to steal a purse from a bike rider’s basket, then ripped it out of her hands when she fought back. Thanks to Louis for the tip.

The cities of Highlands and Redlands in San Bernardino County are working together to build a proposed bike lane connecting the two; a separated lane is one possibility.

Sad news from Palo Alto, as the 61-year old woman hit by a cyclist while crossing the street has died. The rider was descending around a blind curve at about 25 mph when he crashed into her; he has not been charged. The victim, Kathryn Green, was a noted philanthropist with local ties to the LA area; she was born in Santa Monica and grew up in the Palisades. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Streetsblog SF picks up the story of the Belmont bike rider blamed by auto-centric police for talking on a cell phone and riding sans-helmet — both legal — when he was left crossed by a car; the 90-year old motorist who illegally violated his right of way wasn’t held responsible in any way.

The Uber driver who allegedly ran down a San Francisco bike rider in a road rage dispute has surrendered his drivers license.

San Francisco’s director of transportation and public health director team up to explain the city’s Vision Zero policy. It would be nice if we could see something like that here; most Angelenos have no idea what Vision Zero is, let alone that the city has adopted it.

NorCal’s Arcata posts a YouTube video explaining the new bicycle boulevard running through the center of town. So why can’t we have nice things like that? See Cedillo, et al, above.

 

National

Phoenix cyclists agree with the city’s low ranking for bike-friendliness.

Organizers unveil the route for this year’s Tour of Utah, which includes a whopping two whole days of women’s racing. Which is better than none, I suppose.

A Houston bike rider has become the latest cyclist to be killed in a collision with a police car; the victim reportedly ran the red light.

Ever wondered what happened to the guy who inspired Breaking Away by almost single-handedly winning the 1962 Little 500?

An Ohio driver gets probation for the hit-and-run crash that left a bike rider seriously injured, and tampering with evidence to hide the crime afterwards. Evidently, life is cheap there. And the law seems pretty meaningless, too.

To celebrate the launch of Philadelphia’s bike share program, Uber brought bike riders a new helmet for just $10. Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the tip.

Bike riders in South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island say harassment is common, after the arrest of a driver for yelling at a woman to get on a bike path, then getting out of his car and grabbing her arm to scream some more.

Caught on video: A Georgia truck driver gets out of his vehicle and pushes a bike rider over after the rider flipped him off for passing too closely; the driver claims he was in fear for his life after the rider kicked at his massive, multi-ton steel truck. Sure, let’s go with that.

Unbelievable. The 2013 police shooting of a Florida bike rider was caught on dash cam video; he was left paralyzed from the waist down — even though his only weapon was a cell phone.

The Justice Department will review the Tampa Bay police department’s ticketing of African American bike riders, who received 79% of the city’s tickets for bicycle violations even though they make up just 26% of city residents. The paper that broke the story asks if police will now stop the biased enforcement while the review is underway. Thanks to BikinginLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the heads-up.

 

International

They never learn. A young British driver becomes the latest to lose her job after tweeting about hitting a bicyclist without stopping.

A Brit woman may have suffered permanent scars resulting from a collision with a grinning hit-and-run cyclist.

A formerly morbidly obese man from the UK loses 210 pounds in a single year after taking up bicycling; he’s now planning to run a half-marathon — and have 14 pounds of excess skin removed.

Now that’s what I call fleeing the scene. An Irish driver gets six-and-a-half years for causing the death of a cyclist. He first fled to the UK, then Australia; he was arrested after being recognized in an ill-advised return to the UK.

Join the Army, and you too can experience the German equivalent of a ciclovía.

Kazakhstan-based pro cycling team Astana somehow manages to keep its top-tier racing status, despite a number of team members busted for doping.

Unbelievable. An Aussie man jailed for killing a cyclist in a 2011 hit-and-run killed another man in a second hit-and-run the same month, and hid his body under some bark and leaves.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: A llama joins the peloton. In Canada, no less, where the animals aren’t exactly native.

If you’re going to climb into a driver’s vehicle and drive off after coming to blows in a road rage dispute — with the owner still clinging to the outside of his car — try to make a clean getaway without crashing into a parked car. But if you want to experience just one angry, honking driver on your ride to work, make sure you have a police escort.

And Bo Jackson says nobody’s perfect. Not even his buddy Lance.

 

BOLO Alert: Bike rider seriously injured in East LA hit-and-run

This one is hard to take.

Police are asking the public to be on the lookout for the driver of a white Toyota pickup who plowed into an East LA bike rider, then simply drove off without so much as slowing down.

KTLA-5 reports the wreck, which occurred at 9:15 am Monday, was caught on a security camera; fair warning, the video is stomach churning, to say the least.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding east on the north sidewalk of Olympic Blvd when he attempted to cross Arizona Ave in the crosswalk. The driver of the pickup, which was headed south on Arizona, went through the red light, violently knocking the rider off his bike before turning right and speeding down Olympic.

The victim was transported to County USC Medical Center with major head trauma.

The CHP, which investigates major traffic collisions in unincorporated areas of the county, is looking for a white, mid-‘80s Toyota pickup with an extended cab, metal rack and black side graphics.

Anyone with information is urged to call 323-980-4600 or the Traffic Management Center (TMC) at 323-259-2010.

Let’s find this heartless jerk.

Action Alert: Panorama City NC sneaks in agenda item to remove bike lanes on Chase Street at tonight’s meeting

I just received news that the Panorama City Neighborhood Council will discuss removal of a recently installed road diet and bike lanes on Chase Street.

The group has already requested removal of the lanes in one section; now they’re planning to ask for removal of the entire road diet.

Worse, they’re trying to sneak this past the public without any real discussion by inserting a last-minute “special agenda” at the end of the previously published agenda. And allowing only eight minutes to consider the matter, effectively eliminating any possibility of legitimate discussion.

5. Consideration and possible action on the recommendation of the Public Safety committee that the Board ask the city to restore Chase Street to four traffic lanes between Woodman Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard. The Board has already taken action to request a return to four lanes between Wakefield Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard. The council had opposed lane elimination in that area when the street restriping was still in the proposal stage. Now that the restriping has occurred, a dangerous condition has also arisen at the Woodman end, where parent traffic blocks the street while waiting to turn into the alley behind Valor Academy Middle School to pick up children. The through-street’s traffic capacity reduction is also causing huge backups along the street during rush hours, and a dangerous diversion of cut-through traffic to Parthenia Street between Woodman Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard. That section of Parthenia has now changed from a quiet residential street to an arterial street. For all of these traffic disruptions, very few bicycles are ever seen occupying the two bike lanes that replaced the two traffic lanes. [8m]

If you live, work or ride in the area, you’re urged to attend tonight’s meeting:

PANORAMA CITY NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING AGENDA

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 6:30 PM
Mission Community Hospital, Medical Office Building, 2nd Floor, Room 208 14860 Roscoe Boulevard, Panorama City, CA 91402

If you can’t make it, email your comments — and your outrage at the sneak attack — to PCNC@EmpowerLA.org; blind copy (Bcc) LA BAC Vice Chair Glenn Bailey at glennbicyclela@gmail.com.

Demand that they allow legitimate public discussion before taking any action.

And that they allow the bike lanes to remain until people in cars and on bikes both have a chance to adjust to the new road design — and give up this ill-advised attempt to revert the roadway back to a more dangerous state.

 

Unidentified bike rider killed in Bloomington collision

Bad news from San Bernardino County.

According to the county coroners office, a bike rider was killed when he rode out into the path of a car in Bloomington yesterday evening.

The collision occurred about 6:48 pm near 11100 Cedar Ave when the rider reportedly darted out of a driveway into the path of an oncoming car. No word on why he exited the drive or didn’t appear to see the car coming.

The San Bernardino Sun reports the victim, identified only as a 34-year old Hispanic man, was transported to Kaiser Permanente in Fontana with severe injuries to his head and torso. He died at 7:26 pm, about 45 minutes after the collision.

According to the Sun, the victim was not carrying ID, and would have to be identified by the coroner.

Let this be a reminder to always carry some form of identification whenever you ride. Your loved ones deserve to know if anything happens, and your survival could depend on emergency care providers learning who you are and what medical conditions you may have.

I now ride with a Road ID that lists emergency contact numbers, as well as information about my diabetes. Just in case.

This is the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Bernardino County. That compares with 34 in SoCal and three in the county this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Thanks to James Johnson of Johnson Attorneys Group for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: Turns out running a red light is no big deal, and you really can ride with your kid to Dodger Stadium

No major stories today, so let’s get right to the links.

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Local

Unbelievable. A driver runs a red light and slams into three teenage girls in a North Hollywood crosswalk, and walks away without charges. Evidently, traffic laws really are merely suggestions for California motorists.

Caught on video: Flying Pigeon owner Josef Bray-Ali and his daughter ride a cargo bike to Dodger Stadium. Proving it is possible to ride a bike when you have children, even if it entails climbing a (small) mountain.

Smart marketing. When tourists stay at the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel on Fairfax, they not only get free use of a bicycle to tour the area, but a free pair of sneakers to encourage walking, as well.

More proof that bike riders aren’t always the good guys, as a Pasadena woman has her purse stolen by a passing cyclist; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Something we left off yesterday’s long list of bike events — Malibu officially cuts the ribbon on the newly installed two-mile long PCH bike lanes at 10 am on Thursday, April 29th at the Zuma Beach Parking lot, PCH and Morning View Drive.

Talented fixie riders are invited to skid, track stand and put a foot down at the DTLB Bike Fest in Long Beach starting

 

State

Calbike offers their monthly report; turns out that Caltrans shares, or maybe stole, their goal of tripling bicycling in the next five years. Does that mean I get to buy two more bikes?

Laguna Beach police are cracking down on distracted driving. Let’s hope every other department follows their example.

Nice story from Newbury Park, as a bike shop owner gives a homeless man a hand up by promoting the business.

The San Francisco school district becomes the latest city agency to adopt Vision Zero.

 

National

Trek recalls over one million bikes equipped with front disc brakes; three people have been injured when the quick release interfered with the brakes, including one who was left a quadriplegic.

Turns out you can use a hands-free device and still drive dangerously distracted.

Despite what you may have read, Millennials are 36% less likely to buy a car than GenXers, while AARP says transit, bicycles and feet are moving us to a brighter future.

USA Today suggests planning your next vacation around the nation’s top 10 bike share cities. Needless to say, LA is not on the list.

A Seattle cyclist files suit against a former city councilwoman who seriously injured him in a left cross crash.

No bias here, as a Tucson paper blames the victim of a right hook for crashing into the car. But at least he was wearing a helmet, right?

Caught on video: A Texas father tackles a man trying to ride off on his daughter’s bike after seeing the thief grab the bike on a security camera.

New York’s mayor says everyone has to yield to pedestrians and bike riders — even bus drivers, who apparently feel they have the right to run over either with impunity.

A Brit blogger provides his perspective on bicycling in New York, potholes and SUVs included; he says riding here explains why only .5% of American journeys are taken by bike. Thanks to Brian Myers for the link.

 

International

A stationary exercise bike developed in LA is helping paralyzed Calgary residents ride by stimulating the muscles in their legs.

Edmonton business owners demand the removal of a bike lane, saying it killed their business when it was installed two years ago.

A Montreal paper says no one should have to die before safe, adequate cycling infrastructure is pushed up the city’s priority list.

A bike tour through the French wine country goes flat. Five times.

The great anti-bike conspiracy? Vested automotive interests are working to suppress cycling, according to a Swedish filmmaker.

 

Finally…

As usual, Bikeyface nails it, saying we don’t need glow in the dark spray for bike riders, we need attention boosting mist for motorists. Caught on video: Stunt cyclist Danny McAskill fixes a flat. And jumps a pair of cows, too.

And the founder of Rapha says bicycling is the most important thing in many customers lives. Which is silly, of course, because that implies there’s something in life other than riding a bike.

 

Morning Links: Upcoming bike events, new sustainability webisode, and a driver beats a bike rider with a bat

Let’s start with a long list of upcoming bike events.

DTLA’s pedal-powered Peddler’s Creamery celebrates its 2nd Anniversary on Saturday, from 4 to 8 pm.

Pico Rivera will host a bike festival from 9 am to 1 pm this Saturday, including bike tune-ups, obstacle coarse and a group ride.

The LACBC is hosting a ride this Sunday as part of the Car Free SFV Earth Day Event as Valley residents are urged to go without a car from just one day. The ride assembles at 9:30 am along the LA River at Fulton and Valleyheart in Sherman Oaks.

Also on Sunday, the Volkswagen City of Angels Fun Ride rolls out from the UCLA campus to benefit the UCLA Hospital’s Blood & Platelet Donor Center; nice to see a kid’s ride honoring the late Alex Baum as part of the event. Thanks to Peter for the heads-up in a comment below.

Culver City will celebrate active transportation on Sunday, May 3rd with the Walk and Roll Festival at El Marino Language School.

BikeSGV will hold their monthly meeting on May 5th at Mulhall Elementary School.

The LA edition of the worldwide CycloFemme Global Women’s Cycling Day movement rolls on Sunday, May 10th, starting at the Spoke Bicycle Café on the LA River bike path. And yes, men are welcome as well.

The annual Bike Week LA runs May 10th through the 16th, with events every day from Sunday through Friday; Bike to Work Day — aka the adult equivalent of Trick or Treat for commuter cyclists — is on Thursday the 15th, with pit stops throughout the city.

One of the highlights of Bike Week every year is the non-denominational Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital on Tuesday, May 12th. A little divine intervention can’t hurt on the mean streets of LA.

Once again, Metro is hosting Bike Night at Union Station after work on Friday, May 15th to celebrate the end of LA Bike Week.

The Eastside Mural Ride will roll through Boyle Heights on May 16th to explore the area’s iconic public art.

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In honor of Earth Day, LA filmmaker Erica M. Hart unveils her new web series Mindful American.

The pilot episode focuses on Angelenos who are working to build community and reduce dependence on cars, from teenage cargo bike builders in Boyle Heights, to CicLAvia and a talk with Bicycle Kitchen founder Jimmy Lizama.

Hart used the insurance payment from when her car was totaled to fund the episode, and says she can’t imagine ever owning a car again after experiencing LA without one.

You can see the trailer here, or watch the full 20-minute episode online.

Lets hope she gets the funding to keep the series going. Without having to wreck another car.

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Local

CiclaValley explains why Thursday’s meeting of the Griffith Park Advisory Board matters; the answer is more than just the ill-advised opening of Mt. Hollywood Drive to cars. A mass ride to attend the meeting will set out from Sunset Triangle Plaza at 5:30 pm Thursday.

Santa Monica police will conduct another bike and pedestrian safety enforcement crackdown this coming Friday and Monday. Try to observe the letter of the law when riding in the city, so it’s only the dangerous drivers who get ticketed, not you.

Here’s your chance to work for a more bikeable LA, as the LACBC is hiring a new fulltime membership manager and a part-time volunteer and education coordinator.

 

State

In case you missed it, Sommer Nicole Gonzales was sentenced to 11 years in state prison after pleading guilty in the meth-fueled hit-and-run death of cyclist Joey Robinson in Orange last year.

Cyclelicious calls on members of underserved cycling communities to represent at Calbike’s street-level advocacy days in Sacramento on April 28th and 29th.

A Sacramento bike rider was killed when he was rear-ended while riding in a bike lane or on the shoulder of the roadway; the investigation is ongoing, but how the driver could not be at fault in that situation is beyond me.

A Belmont bike rider is injured when he’s left hooked by an elderly motorist, yet for some reason, the story focuses on his lack of a helmet and that he was talking on a cell phone while he rode. Both of which are legal, if not always smart, in California.

 

National

Strava and Competitive Cyclist team up to pay people a dollar an hour to ride their bikes. Or maybe not.

A close call with a red light-running truck that totaled a Portland bike rider’s bicycle sparked the movement to downgrade the city’s platinum bike-friendly status.

A Bozeman MT paper calls on motorists to just put down the phone and drive. Amen, brother.

Already bike-friendly Minneapolis will build 30-miles of protected bike lanes in the next five years.

Pedestrian injuries drop 61% following a New York road diet, but making it permanent will make it more difficult to add bike lanes later.

 

International

The Windsor, Ontario city council votes to put in bike lanes called for in the bike master plan over the objection of local residents, who will lose street parking.

Caught on video: A British bike rider records a driver reading a book — yes, reading — while driving.

Mazda is the latest car mark to get into the vapor ware concept bike business, unveiling a track bike in Milan featuring a frame forged from a single piece of metal.

A new Korean study says bike lanes should be at least 2 meters — or 6.5 feet — wide in each direction.

 

Finally…

A new wind-powered bike bell makes constant noise when you ride, for when you want to annoy the crap out of yourself and everyone around you. Now that’s a collapsible bike helmet, folding flat enough to stuff into a laptop bag.

And this is why you don’t want to retaliate against drivers. A Bridgeport CT driver is accused of chasing down a bike rider who threw a rock at her car during a roadway dispute, running over his bike and beating him with a baseball bat.

Maybe she was a Ramones fan.

 

Update: Guilty plea in case of fallen OC cyclist Joseph Robinson

A source calling from the courthouse in Orange County has just reported that the driver who killed 21-year old Jax Bicycle Center employee Joseph Robinson has pleaded guilty to hit-and-run and drug charges, and will face significant jail time.

Sommer Niclole Gonzales, just 18 at the time of the collision, was sentenced to spend the next 11 years of her life behind bars after she admitted responsibility and waived her right to appeal.

Robinson was taking the long way to work on a sunny February morning last year when he was run down from behind while riding in the bike lane on Santiago Canyon Road.

He was hit with enough force to knock him and his bike completely off the roadway; his body was only discovered because an off-duty fire captain spotted a car with a shattered windshield speeding in the opposite direction, then saw a single shoe lying on the side of the roadway.

Gonzales was arrested in a parking lot a short time later as a friend helped her transfer her belongings into another car, in an apparent attempt to cover up her responsibility for the crime. She was found in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia at the time of her arrest.

No word on why her friend wasn’t charged for assisting in the attempted coverup.

The victim’s family was reportedly in tears following the sentencing.

According to the source, the judge’s final words to her were “What a tragedy. Just because you wanted to do meth.”

Update: I corrected the above quote from the judge, which was off slightly due to a bad phone connection.

Gonzales will get credit for 888 days served, reducing her sentence by nearly two-and-a-half years; she’ll also serve three years parole upon her release.

Update 2: According to a press release from the Orange County DA’s office, Gonzales was found guilty of:

  • Felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated
  • Felony hit and run with death
  • Misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance
  • Misdemeanor use and under the influence of a controlled substance
  • Misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance paraphernalia
  • Along with a sentencing enhancement allegation for fleeing the scene of a vehicular manslaughter

Robinson’s family offered emotional impact statements, including this video from his mother showing him riding in happier days.

Then there’s this moving quote from his sister.

“My heart literally hurts when I think about my brother, I can’t think about him without crying. My drive to work takes me right past the accident site where his ghost bike is still hanging. Every morning and night as I pass that spot, I tell Joey aloud that I love him and cry.”

If you’ve ever wondered what harm driving under the influence can cause, that pretty much sums it up.

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the press release.

Update 3: My News LA adds more details, including quotes from Robinson’s family members and his girlfriend. 

The story also quotes Gonzales’ attorney explaining that she had first tried marijuana at age 12, and quickly moved on to meth, which she had been her drug of choice ever since.

According to the attorney, she knew she had hit something, and stopped to see what it was, but continued on when she didn’t see Robinson or his bike. 

Morning Links: LAPD cop charged in beating of bike rider, Biking While Black in FL, and Facebook bike drama

An LAPD officer has been charged with assault in the October beating of a South LA bike rider.

Twenty-two-year old Clinton Alford, Jr. fled from officers when they tried to stop him because he allegedly matched the description of a robbery suspect.

According to Alford, he ran when someone grabbed the back of his bike because the officers failed to identify themselves, and he only became aware of who they were when he was being held down and handcuffed with his hands behind his back.

After all, why would anyone look back to see who was chasing him as he fled for his life?

It was while he was face down trying to surrender that LAPD officer Richard Garcia allegedly kicked him in the head, repeatedly, in an attack that was captured on a nearby security camera. Police say they have no intention of releasing the video, despite the demands of Alford’s lawyer for it to be made public.

According to KTLA-5, he was kicked so hard he lost a filling from his teeth; other officers at the scene called the attack horrific, describing it as like someone kicking a field goal, with Alford’s head as the ball.

Garcia has entered a not guilty plea. He faces up to three years in jail if he’s convicted.

The LA Times reports three other officers and a sergeant have been relieved of duty and assigned to their homes while the investigation continues.

All charges against Alford, for possession and resisting arrest, have been dropped.

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Shameful.

Fifty years after Selma, people are still ticketed for Bicycling While Black, as eight out of ten of the 2,504 bike tickets written in Tampa FL in the last three years — more than Jacksonville, Miami, St. Petersburg and Orlando combined — went to African American residents.

Seriously, it’s long past time this country put this kind of crap behind us. No one should face fear for riding a bike, especially not from police.

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KCBS-2 offers a good report on Sunday’s Finish the Ride; for a change, someone in the media actually seems to get it.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers an update on the current status of hit-and-run, saying we’ve made progress, but there’s still a lot of work to do.

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Major Facebook drama, as an apparent cyclist fires back after Burbank racer Troy Templin posted a photo of a BMW that he says nearly ran him over because, as he claims the driver said, “you were in my way.”

Someone identifying himself as Peter Richardson professed to tell his version of what really happened, claiming Templin “committed multiple acts of violence” simply because the woman honked to let him know she was there, and he had to be run off by a security guard when he wouldn’t let her exit the car. He even includes stills from a security camera to support his claims.

However, the view in the photos is so distant it could show anyone, and it’s impossible to tell from them what may or may not be happening.

And as a commenter to Richardson’s post points out, the photos on his Facebook page were lifted from other websites, raising questions as to whether he actually exists, or if the persona was created simply to go after Templin in retaliation for the photo.

It is curious that his timeline only goes back to April 15th, two weeks after the original photo was posted online.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

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Local

The Times belatedly catches up with the news that the proposed California helmet law has been converted to a study of helmet use by the CHP and the state Office of Traffic Safety; BikinginLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein offers his take on it.

The Daily News lists bicycling as one of the top five eco-friendly ways to get around in LA, while Slate asks if LA can sell the myth of a green, sustainable city.

Alhambra police bust a thief who tried to escape with one of their own bikes on Sunday; the apparently remorseful man wrote of letter of apology from his jail cell.

 

State

A 24-year old San Jose woman is under arrest for slamming into a Miltipas bike rider who was standing on the sidewalk, then crashing into a mini-golf course before fleeing in another car.

An elderly Palo Alto woman was seriously injured in a collision with a cyclist; the rider was coming around a blind curve at speed when he ran into the woman as she crossed the street.

A San Francisco cyclist was seriously injured when he was deliberately rammed by an Uber driver following a violent road rage dispute in which he reportedly pounded on the driver’s car and pushed its mirror in. Seriously, I’m as hot tempered as anyone, but resorting to violence only makes things worse.

Marin County’s new bicycling museum will open this June; maybe they’ll include one of those rental bikes that Sausalito councilmember wants to get rid of.

 

National

A new study shows drivers are more likely to ignore crosswalks at speeds over 30 mph. I wonder what a similar study would have to say about bike lanes and sharrows.

An Anchorage cyclist says ride defensively, because your life may depend on it; good advice anywhere.

If cops in my hometown are reluctant to ticket cyclists because they feel bad about writing tickets that can reach $170 including fees, imagine how the riders feel about getting them.

Minnesota researchers determine that bike lane density — the measure of bike lanes within a given area — matters more than connectivity when it comes to encouraging ridership.

A Knoxville TN bicyclist suffers multiple non-life-threatening injuries when he’s hit by an SUV, but the only thing a local TV station seems to care about is his lack of a helmet.

Mashable looks at a decade of ghost bikes, while New Yorkers conduct the 10th Annual Ghost Bike Memorial Ride, visiting some of the 150 memorials to people who have lost their lives riding in the city.

Just like countless bicyclists everywhere, Shreveport bike riders says motorists need to be more aware of cyclists and the laws governing bikes. Especially the requirement to ride in the street where sidewalk riding is illegal — and the right to do so everywhere else.

 

International

Vancouver’s Van City Buzz gets it right, saying the media’s focus on shiny new safety gadgets is no substitute for proven safety measures like traffic calming and an effective bicycle infrastructure network.

Guardian readers relate their heart-stopping near-misses on the road; unfortunately, that’s something we can all relate to. Meanwhile, hundreds of people turn out for a vigil demanding a stop to killing cyclists; even so, Britain’s Labour Party may be backpedalling in its support for bicycling.

A soccer player is killed when a train smashes into on of those pedal-powered multi-passenger beer bikes in The Netherlands.

Turkey’s president rides through Istanbul to kick off the country’s 51st Presidential Tour of Turkey; he promised to make the city more bike friendly, while saying they “couldn’t manage to make people love the bicycle.”

A road raging Aussie driver hits a woman participating in a charity ride, then drives off with the mangled bike still trapped under her car.

Taking ciclovía to the next level, as one neighborhood in a Korean city bans cars from the streets for a full month.

 

Finally…

Now you can wear matching outfits when you ride with your dog. A word of advice: don’t try to use a mountain bike as a getaway vehicle if you can’t manage to ride it.

And a Portland BMX rider could be facing an expensive bill after riding over a parked $350,000 Lamborghini; the owner says he’s getting estimates to repair damage to the windshield.

Unless it’s all a publicity stunt, of course.

 

Hundreds turn out in Hollywood for Sunday’s Finish the Ride

Sometimes it’s better to let the pictures tell the story.

So here are a few images and random thoughts from the start of Sunday’s Finish the Ride.

Hundreds of people turned out to join the fight against hit-and-run.

Despite the early morning start, hundreds of people turned out in Hollywood to join the fight against the epidemic of hit-and-run.

People of every description came together to ride, roll, walk or run; two LAPD officers ran the 10k route in full uniform.

People of every description came together to ride, roll, walk or run; two LAPD officers even ran the 10k route in full uniform.

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom: "You have a right to feel safe on the road."

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom: “You have a right to feel safe on the road.”

Nice to see new LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Executive Officer Bruce Gillman in the front row, a sign that the city is finally taking hit-and-run seriously.

Nice to see new LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Executive Officer Bruce Gillman front row center, a sign that the city is finally taking hit-and-run seriously.

Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell: "Damien, you're changing the world."

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell: “Damien, you’re changing the world.”

Council members Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander worked together to create a standing reward program for hit-and-runs, saying the hit-and-run epidemic "is a huge moral problem."

Councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander worked together to pass a standing reward program for hit-and-runs, saying hit-and-run “is a huge moral problem.”

Seleta Reynolds: "We should not accept hit-and-run as a natural consequence of just trying to get around."

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds: “We should not accept hit-and-run as a natural consequence of just trying to get around.”

FTR Skaters

Surrounded by a sea of bikes, two women waited for their chance to skate the route.

Not all the participants were human. Because even a dog knows leaving someone lying injured or bleeding in the street is inhuman.

Not all the participants were human. Even a dog knows leaving someone lying injured and bleeding in the street — or worse — is inhuman.

The ride marshals gathered before the start to discuss the routes and keeping the participants safe on streets that were shared with cars.

The ride marshals gathered before the start to discuss the routes and how to keep the participants safe on streets that were shared with cars.

Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt joins the assembled riders for the start of the 50-mile ride; it was only two years ago that he lost his leg in a horrific hit-and-run.

Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt joins the assembled riders for the start of the 50-mile ride; it was only two years ago that he lost his leg in a horrific hit-and-run.

Kevitt sets off to lead the ride, just as he has lead the fight against hit-and-run since recovering from his life-threatening injuries; the driver who fled the scene after dragging him onto a freeway onramp has never been found.

Kevitt sets off to lead the ride, just as he has lead the fight against hit-and-run since recovering from his life-threatening injuries; the driver who fled the scene after dragging him onto a freeway onramp has never been found.

 

Update: Lakewood bike rider killed in early morning collision with suspected drunk driver

Sad news today, as a woman lost her life in an early morning collision.

According to the Press-Telegram, a woman was hit by a car while riding her bike on the 11700 block of Del Amo Blvd in Lakewood around 2 am Sunday morning.

The driver went on to hit a telephone pole, and was later arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

No word on the identity of the victim or how the collision occurred, though a satellite view shows a bike lane on the street.

This is the 14th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Los Angeles County. That compares to 33 in SoCal this time last year and 14 in LA County.

Update: KNBC-4 reports the victim was trying to cross Del Amo at Pioneer Blvd, rather than riding on Del Amo. That intersection is controlled by a four-way traffic signal, which suggest that someone most likely ran the red light.

She died at the scene. The driver was also injured, and taken to Long Beach Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Update 2: The suspect has been identified by KABC-7 as 24-year old Emmanuel Camacho. The station reports that he hit a telephone pole two blocks away from the collision that killed the bike rider, yet for some reason, sheriff’s deputies were not calling it a hit-and-run.

Update 3: The Press-Telegram has identified the victim as 33-year old Lakewood resident Crista Contreras; her Facebook page has turned into an online memorial. 

The paper also reports Camacho has been released on $100,000 bond, and is due in court on Tuesday, April 21st.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Crista Contreras and her loved ones.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the link to her Facebook page. 

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