Archive for Bicycle Safety

Bicyclist killed in Thermal crash when driver ran stop sign

A 68-year old man riding a road bike is dead because a driver couldn’t be bothered to observe a stop sign.

According to the Desert Sun, 68-year old Bellingham, Washington resident Jack Roger Laird was killed when he was struck by a driver at 12:06 pm yesterday, at the intersection of Fillmore Street and Avenue 62 in Thermal.

The driver, a woman in her mid-20s, reportedly blew through a stop sign and plowed into Laird’s bike; she stayed at the scene and was cooperating with police.

Laird died at the scene.

A street view shows a pair of two-lane roadways converging in the middle of the desert, controlled by stop signs in every direction. A CHP spokesperson says that drivers frequently ignore the stop signs.

There is a 55 mph speed limit on 62nd, and no reason to believe drivers go any slower on Fillmore.

Or that slowly, for that matter.

There’s something seriously wrong when someone can’t visit this state without going back home in a box. Or ride a bike in the middle of nowhere without worrying about drivers to whom a stop sign apparently means nothing.

This is the 61st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Riverside County this year. Laird is the 2nd bike rider to die in Thermal in the last four years.

That compares with 70 in SoCal this time last year, and ten in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jack Roger Laird and all his family and loved ones.

 

Man killed riding bike in Murrieta collision Sunday evening

A man has died following a rear-end collision while riding his bike in Murrieta Sunday evening.

The Press-Enterprise reports that the victim, later identified as 43-year old Murrieta resident Khuda Dad, was struck by the driver of a van mid-block on Washington Ave between Lemon Street and Davenport Way at 5:57 pm.

Dad was riding north on Washington when he was rear-ended by the van. He was taken to a local hospital where he died the following day.

The driver remained at the scene. Police are still investigating what caused the crash, but say drugs or alcohol don’t appear to have been a factor.

A street view shows one northbound lane on Washington with no shoulder or sidewalk, along with a center turn lane and two southbound lanes. The street appears to have a 40 mph speed limit.

Anyone with information is urged to call to Traffic Investigator Jennifer Metoyer at 951/461-6375.

This is the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Khuda Dad and all his loved ones.

Driver uses car as weapon to murder San Bernardino bike rider in intentional hit-and-run

Once again, a bike rider has been killed in a San Bernardino crash.

But this time, it was not an accident — in any sense of the word.

According to a press release from the San Bernardino Police Department, 52-year old San Bernardino resident Elroy Preston was riding on the 1400 block of E. Date Street around 6:27 pm Sunday when he was struck by a driver, who fled the scene.

Preston was taken to a local hospital, where he died later that night.

Witnesses reported he was struck by a black Dodge Magnum driven by 34-year old Dominic Deshaun Simmons of Fontana; the two men had been at the same home just before the crash.

Police spotted a vehicle matching the description at a gas station in Rialto, and arrested Simmons on suspicion of murder. He is currently being held without bail.

Simmons has an extensive criminal record, as well as several outstanding warrants for failing to appear for hearings on various charges.

Preston also had a record, though no details are available; no word on what the relationship was between the two men, if any.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Oldendorf at 909/384-5619 or Sgt. Kokesh at 909/384-5613.

This is the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Elroy Preston and all his loved ones.

Man riding motorized bicycle killed in San Bernardino collision; 12th bike death in county this year

A San Bernardino man has been killed in a crash while riding his bike.

According to the Fontana Herald News, 24-year old Michael Brian Brownstein died after he was struck by a vehicle where North E Street turns into Kendall Drive in San Bernardino around 5:49 pm on Thursday. 

He was taken to a local hospital, then transferred to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 7:50 pm.

The San Bernardino Sun fills in some of the missing details, reporting that Brownstein was riding north on E Street when he was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by a 70-year old woman, who remained at the scene.

She was not suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The Sun also reports that Brownstein was riding a motorized bicycle, though it doesn’t clarify whether he was on an ebike or a gas powered bike.

A street view shows an undivided roadway with two lanes in each direction, with no shoulder or parking lane, forcing bicyclists to ride in the traffic lane.

This is the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in San Bernardino County. That compares with seven in the county for all of last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Michael Brian Brownstein and all his loved ones.

Morning Links: Stumbling on a Compton bike crash, bike events, and fixing a bike path with duct tape

Mike Wilkinson forwards a reminder to always ride safely.

About 10:30 Thursday morning my wife saw the aftermath of a crash involving a bicyclist near Alameda and Alondra in Compton. Such a scene would be hard for most people to stomach, but it was especially tough for her, because we are both avid riders.

The bike was broken in half, which may indicate the force of the collision, but what really got to my wife was the rider’s screams as the first responders tried to help him. The whole scene is going to haunt her for a while.

Despite her shock, she felt it was important to note that most riders she sees in this area ride terribly. They run stop lights, ride on the wrong side of the road, cross from one side to the other in the middle of the block and worse. That makes it hard for even careful drivers like her to avoid collisions. It’s a reminder that following the rules of the road at least means that you are more likely to be where drivers expect you to be.

Be careful out there!

It’s important to note that there is nothing to suggest that the victim in this crash broke the law or rode recklessly in any way.

But it’s valid to say that our safety as bicyclists depends on riding in such a way that drivers know what to expect. Which means riding with traffic, observing traffic signals, and signaling turns. Even if they don’t.

In other words, ride like your life depends on it.

Because it does.

………

This weekend marks the World Day of Remembrance to honor the victims of traffic violence.

Finish the Ride is marking the occasion with a memorial ride in honor of Jeff Knopp this Saturday; Knopp was killed while riding on Foothill Blvd in Sunland last November. Meanwhile, Streetsblog talks with Finish the Ride and S.A.F.E. founder Damian Kevitt.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, SoCal Families for Safe Streets, Day One, Streets are For Everyone, and Los Angeles Walks will hold a late afternoon ceremony at Pasadena city hall on Sunday.

In other events,

LACBC is hosting a ride marshal orientation on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, Walk ‘n Rollers is kicking off their Fall Fundraising campaign with their first CycleGiving ride in Culver City.

Bike SGV is leading an SGV Greenways bike train ride this Sunday.

Helen’s Cycles is hosting a number of rides over the next three days.

Los Angeles Bike Rebels is (are?) hosting a solo art show by Carolin Keweer on the 25th.

And CicLAvia returns to Wilshire Blvd on December 10th.

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It’s often said that if you can’t fix it with duct tape, it ain’t broken.

Which is amply demonstrated by this video, where people in the Dutch city of Nijmegen fixed a dangerous intersection on a bike path with a simple application of the aforementioned adhesive.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

………

An Irish pundit loses it on a live TV show, accusing bike riders of being actual brown shirt-wearing Nazis, and giving the Nazi salute to drive the point home.

Unfortunately, most of the story is hidden behind a paywall. However, British bike scribe Carlton Reid comes through with the full stomach-turning story.

………

Local

A Mar Vista restaurant owner says the road diet implemented as part of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project put him out of business. If reducing a six lane street down to four lanes, with no loss of parking, is enough to kill your business, your problems go a lot deeper than that.

Speaking of Mar Vista, a dermatologist and Mar Vista Community Council member says Vision Zero is a great idea, but the Venice Blvd road diet was rammed down their throats and won’t save a single life. Because everyone knows that dermatologists are experts in traffic safety, unlike the people who actually get paid to do it. Never mind that it was the result of a two-year, community-driven process, and wasn’t rammed up or down any part of anyone’s anatomy. 

Emmy-winning Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany is one of us; you have to respect someone who rides her bike to an interview with the LA Times. Colin Farrell’s kid is now one of us, too.

Maybe things will get a little safer in Pasadena, which received $112,000 grant from the state to improve bicycle safety. And the Santa Monica police received a $300,000 traffic safety grant of their own.

 

State

One thousand bikes were found in a hand-built dirt bunker after a homeless camp was evicted from the Santa Ana River. If you had a bike stolen anywhere in the Fountain Valley area, now would be a good time to check in with the OC Sheriff’s Department.

A handful of Thousand Oaks residents object to a proposed road diet, while the majority who attended a meeting apparently didn’t have an opinion.

Amgen does more than just sponsor a bike race. They’re also helping to give new bikes to kids in the Conejo Valley.

A Santa Barbara woman says yes, you can go grocery shopping by bike. Although riding to class at the local university appears to have its issues. Note: As Andy S points out below, the shopping piece is a rerun of an article that appeared earlier this year.

Bakersfield received a $30,000 grant from the state for bicycle and pedestrian safety education programs, as well as distributing bike helmets.

Caltrans held a public workshop to discuss their nine-county Bay Area bike plan.

 

National

Trek is getting sued for trademark infringement, accused of stealing the name of the late plus-sized comedian Chris Farley for its popular Farley fat bike. And no, I don’t even want to consider that implication.

Now that you’ve mastered all the other bike skills, learn how to do an upside down flip over an open loop.

Bicycling explains how to survive your next attack by a wild boar or wildebeest. Or an angry dog.

The Aspen CO sheriff has recovered the stolen bike Lance Armstrong gave him, after it was found chained to a tree. Maybe now he’ll have enough sense to lock his bike up like everyone else.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a ghost bike; fortunately, it was recovered at a Kansas scrap yard.

Can he give it back? A 19-year old Michigan man rode his bike to work every day, regardless of the weather, so his coworkers pitched in to buy him a car for his birthday.

New York officials knew the bike path where eight people were killed recently was vulnerable to a terrorist attack, but did nothing to prevent it. Just like LA officials know the risk of a similar attack on Hollywood Blvd, but haven’t done anything about it.

WaPo invites six triathletes to race DC’s bikeshare bikes.

A Virginia Navy vet plans to ride a stationary bike until he’s raised enough money to buy 100 bikes and helmets for local kids.

 

International

Rouleur takes a look at the concept collaborations between bike and auto makers.

A Toronto cyclist says bike lanes aren’t for experienced riders like him; they’re for people who might not otherwise get on a bike.

I want to be like her. An 11-year old girl raised the equivalent of nearly $8,000 for a mental health charity by riding the length of the UK, inspired by a cousin with anorexia.

A bike-riding British purse snatcher is behind bars after grabbing nine purses from elderly women as he rode by, including one theft caught on security cam.

Brit cyclists say software developers and owners of autonomous cars should be held criminally responsible for any crashes.

After a 79-year old English rider was pushed off his bike by a group of teenagers, he refused to press charges because he doesn’t want them to have a criminal record.

A grieving Irish woman says “selfish drivers are oblivious to the huge devastation they could cause,” after losing her entire family in a crash with a suicidal cab driver.

Why bother with water bottles when you can strap a couple half liters of Spanish wine to your bike?

An Indian woman is riding solo across the country to prove that the nation’s roads are safe for women.

Life is cheap in Australia, where the negligent death of a bike-riding doctor isn’t worth a single day in jail.

One of China’s leading bikeshare companies is on the verge of going belly up; Quartz says China’s bikeshare startups will have to merge or die.

 

Competitive Cycling

Now that the Fabian Cancellara motor doping controversy has died down a little, Road.cc reviews Phil Gaimon’s new book Draft Animals.

A British Parliament member says Bradley Wiggins and British Cycling weren’t exonerated by the end of the recent doping investigation.

 

Finally…

Maybe cut back on the meth a bit if you want to outrun a 74-year old man on his stolen bike. Why fly the coop — literally — when you can ride a bike?

And if you’re dismantling a pair of bikes in an alley, while in possession of burglary tools — and already on probation for grand theft — you might want to have an explanation ready in case the cops show up.

Just saying.

 

Update: Two young bike riders struck in Long Beach crosswalk; teenage boy killed

It’s tragic enough when anyone is needlessly killed in a crash.

Worse when it’s a child. Especially one who doesn’t appear to have done anything wrong.

The Long Beach Post reports that a boy in his early teens was killed while riding his bike in the city Thursday afternoon.

According to the paper, the boy was riding with a preteen girl, headed east in the crosswalk on Conant Street at Woodruff Ave at 3:55 pm, when they were both struck by a driver turning left off westbound Conant onto Woodruff Ave.

They were taken to a local hospital, where the boy passed away. The girl remains hospitalized in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.

Neither victim has been publicly identified.

The driver stayed at the scene.

This is the 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the third bicycling death in Long Beach this year, and at least the 13th since 2011.

Update: According to the Long Beach Report, the two victims were  waiting on the sidewalk to cross Woodruff on their bikes, and didn’t enter the crosswalk until the light turned green. The driver turned into them as they were riding across the street.

Anyone with information is urged to call LBPD Collision Investigation Detail Detective Brian Watt at 562/570-7355.

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

 

61-year old bike rider killed in Rancho Cucamonga last week

Somehow we missed this one last week.

According to the Daily Bulletin, 61-year old Rancho Cucamonga resident Tyron Paul Dade was killed last Wednesday near the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Hellman Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga.

Dade was attempting to cross Foothill near the Foothill Village Shopping Center when he was struck by a westbound driver around 6:25 pm.

He was taken to a hospital in Upland where he died half an hour later.

The driver, who was not publicly identified, remained at the scene.

A street view shows Foothill is a four lane divided roadway with center left turn lanes and bike lanes in both directions.

The question is whether Dade was crossing at the intersection or mid-block, and whether he was crossing with the light. Whether or not he had lights and reflectors on his bike could also have been a factor, since the crash occurred 20 minutes after sunset.

This is the 56th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 11th in San Bernardino County. It’s also at least the fifth in Rancho Cucamonga since 2011.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tyron Paul Dade and all his loved ones. 

 

Morning Links: Dennis Hindman found safe, terrorist attacks bike riders in New York, and Bruins joins Bonin’s staff

Let’s start with the good news.

According to his sister, longtime LA bike advocate Dennis Hindman has been found safe in a San Gabriel hospital after being missing for two months.

Apparently, the Toluca Lake resident has been in the hospital for the entire time he’s been missing.

No word on Hindman’s condition yet, or why his relatives were never notified.

However, a hospital stay of that duration is never a good sign; let’s keep him in our thoughts and prayers until we have more information.

………

This time, it was us.

At least eight people were killed when a terrorist claiming an allegiance with ISIS drove 20 blocks down a New York bike path, leaving crumpled bikes and bodies in his path.

At least eleven others were injured.

Five of those killed were Argentine tourists who were visiting the city to celebrate their 30th high school reunion. One of the dead, and three of the people injured, were from Belgium.

The killer was shot by police after crashing his rental truck and exiting waving pellet and paintball guns; at last report he was hospitalized in grave condition after undergoing surgery.

The 29-year old native of Uzbekistan has been a legal resident of the US since 2010; he would have been unaffected by the recent travel bans.

The Associated Press lists other attacks where vehicles have been used as weapons.

Thanks to John Dammann for the heads-up.

………

Congratulations to former LACBC Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins, who is joining CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin’s staff as Transportation Policy Director, replacing longtime aide Paul Backstrom.

Or maybe we should offer our congratulations to Bonin for landing him. And to the people of CD11 for the exceptional hard work and dedication they’re about to receive.

Let’s hope they have the good sense to appreciate it.

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Nothing like rounding a corner in San Clemente, and nearly getting hit head-on by a driver on the wrong side of the road.

Although that little honk from the scofflaw motorist was a nice touch.

Credit Eric Fleetwood for the video, and thanks to David Drexler for forwarding it.

………

There may be a lot of cyclists looking for work soon, as UCI’s new president calls for reducing the size of pro cycling teams to just six riders, after next year’s reduction to eight.

And former LA pro Phil Gaimon offers the latest in his Worst Retirement Ever series, as he tackles Colorado’s legendary Mt. Evans Hillclimb, the highest paved road in North America.

………

Local

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Susanna Schick, who writes about Move LA’s efforts to keep the city moving, while noting that every time she’s tried to push back against traffic, the cars push back harder.

Selena Gomez is one of us, as she stops to talk with fans while riding her bike in Studio City.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare celebrates its second birthday with a day of free rides this Saturday.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson writes movingly about his friend Rob Dollar, who was killed by an allegedly drunk and stoned teenage driver while riding outside of Phoenix on Sunday.

Long Beach’s Beach Streets wants to know what you thought about this past weekend’s open streets event in the city.

 

State

California’s new twelve cent gas tax increase will kick in today.

San Juan Capistrano will widen Del Obispo Street to remove a bottleneck, adding a lane in each direction, along with bike lanes on either side.

Orange County will begin restricting access to the Santa Ana River Trail in order to control the homeless camps that have sprung up along the trail; starting today the path will be closed from 6 pm to 7 am through the end of February, then 9 pm to 7 am until next October 31st.

San Diego’s city council makes the tough choice to remove parking to make room for bike lanes on University Avenue as part of the city’s Vision Zero program, reducing a gap in the city’s bike network. Meanwhile, the city approved a new connector road that will split existing neighborhoods, which would help complete a regional bike network, even though they’ve failed to track whether they’re meeting ambitious bicycling and transit goals to reduce greenhouse gasses.

An Arroyo Grande man says bike riders aren’t paying the “overinflated vehicle registration fees” car owners do, and suggests an annual $75 fee to ride a bike on the road. Never mind that bikes cause virtually no wear and tear on the road. Or that most bike riders already pay those same vehicle registration fees for one or more motor vehicles.

A middle-aged man was shot in the face while riding his bike near a San Jose light rail station. Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the link.

San Francisco police are looking for a pair of brutal bike-riding San Francisco hat thieves.

 

National

A TV website lists ten things you probably didn’t know about American Flyers.

NACTO says a future of autonomous cars calls for a transportation blueprint that puts people first.

Forbes asks if private dockless bikeshare will become a fixture on college campuses.

Lil Kim is sort of one of us, too, as she teaches her three-year old daughter how to ride a bike.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for Colorado’s bike-riding bank robber, the Sneaky Cyclist Bandit. No word on what makes him so sneaky, though.

No bias here. A Denver TV station says the city’s efforts to become more bike-friendly may have hit a snag, because drivers don’t like a new sidewalk, calling it twice as wide as it needs to be.

A Dallas writer says the city can’t handle dockless bikeshare, where abandoned bikes are littering the sidewalks.

Chicago cab drivers are no longer required to drop passengers off at the curb, reducing their liability if someone doors a bicyclist.

Minneapolis has a bicycle-riding, unicorn-costumed candidate for mayor. Maybe Garcetti should consider that approach if he runs for president in 2020.

A Detroit bike co-op gave a new bike to a man with undisclosed medical problems, after the bike he used as his only form of transportation was stolen when he stopped to rest for a few minutes.

A Louisville KY bicyclist declares victory after authorities dropped charges of running a red light and obstructing traffic for not riding in a bike lane; he had claimed there was debris in the bike lane that could have given him a flat.

A New York bus driver was charged with a misdemeanor for the death of a bike rider last year, the first bikeshare rider killed in the city. But at least the driver honked before running him over.

 

International

You can now own your very own $815,000 cycling watch, which comes complete with a limited edition Colnago bike. For that price, it should also come with your own private bikeway to ride it on.

A bike-raging Toronto bike rider gets 18 months probation for an incident caught on video last August, in which a taxi driver intentionally turned into him after he had repeatedly slapped the cab and reached inside for the keys.

A road-raging London driver gets two years for intentionally running over a bike rider, breaking his back — then getting out of his car and telling the injured rider he’d run over him again if he had to.

Apparently they take repeated DUIs seriously in the UK, at least if you kill someone. A woman with three previous drunk driving arrests got eight years for the death of 17-year BMX rider after downing three pints of beer.

Caught on video: A British bicyclist confronts a motorist for driving on the sidewalk to get around a traffic diversion, who was none too happy about it.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t shoot your gun in the air while riding stoned, especially with a previous felony conviction. Your next ebike could run on hydrogen.

And you can now ride your bike through Graceland.

No, not that Graceland.

……..

Thank you to Alice Strong for her very generous donation to help support this site; you can make a donation anytime to help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day using the PayPal link.

 

Bike rider killed in early morning West Covina crash

More bad news today.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, a 64-year old man was killed in a collision in West Covina early this morning.

Baldwin Park Resident Alberto Velez Hernandez was riding west on West Francisquito Ave when he was struck by a driver traveling south on Sunset around 4:41 am.

No word on whether he had lights on his bike.

Hernandez was taken to a local hospital, where he died half an hour later.

A street view shows a four lane street with a left turn lane in every direction at the intersection, which is controlled by a red light. There appears to be a bike lane on Sunset, but nothing on Francisquito.

In a rare concession, the police said either Hernandez or the unnamed motorist apparently ran the red light, rather than automatically blaming the guy on the bike.

Although they followed-up by saying the crash is being investigated as an accident, even though it may have been caused by either the driver or the victim breaking the law.

This is the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 24th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the fourth bicycling death in West Covina since 2013.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alberto Velez Hernandez and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Bike SGV for the heads-up.

87-year old man killed riding across intersection; 2nd fatal bike Santa Ana crash in two days

For the second time in two days, a man has been killed riding a bike in Santa Ana.

According to the Orange County Register, 87-year old Lien Huu Ha was struck by a pickup as he was riding across the intersection at West 1st Street and South Center Street around 12:50 pm.

According to witnesses, Lien was riding west with traffic on 1st when he turned left at Center, and was struck by a driver headed in the opposite direction on 1st.

He was taken to UCI Medical Center, where he passed away.

The driver remained at the scene; police don’t suspect he was under the influence.

A street view shows Center connecting with 1st in a T-intersection controlled by a red light, with three lanes in each direction on 1st and a center left turn lane.

Given his age, it’s possible that Lien may have started across the street with the light, and was unable to finish crossing before the light changed. However, that is just speculation at this point.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Santa Ana Police Department at 714/245-8200.

This is the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 10th in Orange County.

It comes after David Lee Macmillian was killed riding across Main Street on Thursday, less than six miles away.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Lien Huu Ha and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up. 

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