Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Morning Links: Rough week for LA bike riders, Streetsie Award celebration, and more sexist bike marketing

Last week was a rough one for LA area cyclists.

Santa Monica police are looking for the hit-and-run driver who rear-ended a bike rider on Ocean Avenue last Wednesday; anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Investigator Jason Olson at 310/458-8954.

An 82-year old cyclist from Marina del Rey was seriously injured when he was hit by a car in Palos Verdes Estates on Friday.

And a bike rider suffered major injuries when he was hit by a UPS truck turning into a driveway in Baldwin Park Friday evening.

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Streetsblog will honor two of their 2015 Streetsie Award winners this Thursday, Santa Monica’s Cyclehop/Hulu for the Breeze bikeshare program, and CA Assemblymember Richard Bloom.

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Specialized builds the bike of the future, sort of.

Yet that doesn’t seem to be the only thing they specialize in, as they somehow resort to the sexist marketing of the past to promote their new e-bike.

Maybe bike companies should be required to hire women to head up their marketing departments so the industry will finally stop shooting itself in the foot.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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German pro cyclist Marcel Kittel says there’s no longer a systematic doping culture in the sport. Then again, that’s what Lance said.

Of course, doping isn’t the only way to cheat; France’s Arnaud Demare is accused of getting a tow from a team car before winning Saturday’s Milan-San Remo race in a tight finish, while the peloton rode through a wall of smoke along the way.

If you have a USA Cycling license, your personal data may have been hacked.

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Former pro Phil Zajicek remains in a medically induced coma after losing an arm when he apparently crossed the center line and crashed into a pickup while riding with a group in Boulder CO; he also sustained facial fractures, broken ribs, a shattered femur and an undisclosed head injury.

A gofundme account has been started to raise $300,000 for his medical care and to support his family.

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Local

Streetsblog reviews Sunday’s Beach Streets open streets/ciclovía in Long Beach; a commenter calls it more relaxed and less bike-oriented than most CicLAvias. Meanwhile, the Press-Telegram says over 50,000 people turned out to enjoy the day. Which is over twice as many as supposedly attended last year’s far more crowded Culver City to Venice CicLAvia.

Investing in Place and the LACBC call for more funding for walking, biking and safe routes to school in Metro’s proposed transportation sales tax measure.

Joel Epstein writes that density is LA’s destiny, and says a proposed anti-growth measure comes at the wrong time as Los Angeles is embracing its bike, pedestrian and transit-oriented future and putting it’s auto-centric focus in the past.

LA’s Pure Fix offers advice on how to photograph your bike.

You know the new Ovarian Psychos documentary has had an impact when their story reaches Pakistan.

Caught on video: A Long Beach cop walks away when a BMX rider schools him on the law allowing bikes on the Rainbow Harbor Esplanade.

 

State

Orange County’s Transportation Authority has $20 million to invest in boosting bikeways in the county.

The Marines finally got around to releasing some of the mountain bikes that were seized for trespassing on trails crossing the Miramar base in North San Diego, after reaching agreements with the owners.

If you’re still jonesing for open streets, head out to El Centro in the desert north of Mexicali this Saturday.

Unbelievably, Fremont uses Safe Routes to Schools funding to make the street in front of a high school less safe by removing a bike lane to make room for a left turn lane. Update: It turns out the bike lane removal is only temporary during the construction, although using SRTS funding for a turn lane is questionable; thanks to Robert Prinz for the heads-up.

Sausalito continues to struggle with how to deal with bike-riding tourists.

 

National

The AP looks at lax penalties for errant drivers who hit cyclists. About damn time the press finally noticed.

Good idea. An Austin TX company offers e-bike foodie tours of local restaurants.

A Minnesota reporter wonders why the state shouldn’t adopt the Idaho Stop law now if it improves safety for bicyclists, and police aren’t enforcing the law against riding through stop signs as it is. Apparently, a British cardiologist would concur.

Jeffrey Tanenhaus explains why he left his corporate job behind and rode one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bikes across the country.

A TV station asks if DC is moving fast enough on bike lanes; local cyclists say not really.

 

International

A new kind of bike rack promises to block bike thieves; since they were installed at a London stadium and park, not a single bike has been stolen. Can we get some here? Pretty please?

After a British bike courier was injured by a distracted hit-and-run driver, he turns to a crowdfunding site to raise money to pay his rent; so far he’s raised over five times the original £300 goal.

An Irish cyclist is injured in yet another anti-bike attack, as someone strung a wire at neck height across a bike bridge. Note to press everywhere: a deliberate attempt to injure or kill someone riding a bike may be many things, but a prank isn’t one of them.

A disabled Indian cyclist tries to crowdfund the money he needs to compete in the Rio Paralympic games.

Israeli cyclists ride in honor of the legendary Gino Bartali, following the route he rode from his home in Italy to the convents of Assisi, where he passed on documents that were hidden in his bike to save Jews in WWII.

A Kiwi website asks if it’s time to reevaluate New Zealand’s and Australia’s mandatory bike helmet laws. Although they may provide some protection from dead kangaroos.

An Aussie feels guilty about the bike he used to get home from a drunken night out, and takes out an ad to find the owner he stole it from.

The next time someone calls for registering bikes and licensing cyclists, remind ‘em that’s the way North Korea does it.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to leave an explosive device on a bike path, make sure police can’t defuse it by simply unscrewing the cap. When you’re riding after dark, try to keep your candles blowing out.

And evidently, they have some very bad swans in Florida.

 

Update: 21-year old bike rider killed in Devore collision Saturday night

New has just come in of yet another fatal bicycling collision.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, 21-year old Jimmy Lynn Fraley was hit a car in the area of Devore Road and the northbound onramp to the 15 Freeway around 5:50 pm Saturday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene minutes late.

Once again, no other information is available at this time.

Devore Road doesn’t seem to intersect with the 15; however, it would appear the collision was somewhere in this area.

This is the 29th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in San Bernardino County.

Update: According to the Highland News, Fraley was riding west on Devore Road — which appears to run north and south — when he was left-crossed by the driver of an eastbound pickup as it turned into the I-15 onramp. 

Update 2: Friends described Fraley as a vibrant man who took up bicycling three years ago to visit his girlfriend in San Bernardino; he had recently begun training for his first triathlon. 

A gofundme account has been established to help pay his funeral expenses.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jimmy Lynn Fraley and all his loved ones.

Woman dies after bicycling collision in Buena Park

New is just coming in that a woman died on Thursday after a collision in Buena Park.

According to the Orange County Register, 35-year old Buena Park resident Becky Sheehan was hit by a pickup while riding her bike at near Stanton Avenue and Page Street at 7:41 pm.

She died Anaheim Regional Medical Center an hour later.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a two-lane street with limited lane markings on Page, and a four-lane street with left turn lanes on Stanton; the intersection is controlled with a traffic signal.

This is the 28th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Becky Sheehan and all her family. 

Thanks to bike lawyer John McBrearty for the heads-up.

Update: Woman killed riding bike in Carlsbad when she reportedly veered out of bike lane

The deadly beat goes on, as a woman was killed riding her bike in Carlsbad this morning.

According to multiple sources, the 59-year old woman was riding south on the 4600 block of Carlsbad Blvd when a witness reports she drifted out of the bike lane in front of high-speed traffic, and was hit by a car sometime after 10 am.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A photograph from the scene show an aqua beach cruiser lying between the number one and two lanes, while another shows her tarped body resting on the bike lane marker itself. Which raises the question of just how far she strayed out of the bike lane, if at all.

Lining up a street view with the photos places the collision site somewhere along here, with a door zone-buffered bike lane next to two lanes of traffic.

The left turn lane suggests she may have been attempting to make a U-turn or turn left into the power plant. Or she may have swerved to avoid an obstacle or a vehicle pulling out from the curb.

There’s a 35 mph speed limit on the street; however, the straight, uninterrupted traffic lanes are likely to encourage speeding through that section.

This is the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and remarkably, the sixth in San Diego County. That compares with ten in SoCal this time last year, and three in the county.

Correction: I originally located the collision site further north away from the turn lane; thanks to Skip Pile for the correction.

Update: The victim has been identified as 59-year old Joyce Smith of Carlsbad.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Joyce Smith and her loved ones.

Update: Santa Ana bike rider killed in late night hit-and-run

Yet another person riding a bike has been left to die in the street by a heartless coward who fled the scene.

According to the Orange County Register, a bike rider identified only as an adult male was hit by an SUV shortly before 1 am on the 1400 block of West Warner Ave, just East of the South Pacific Ave in Santa Ana.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

There’s no word at this time what may have caused the collision, or how it occurred. Witnesses reported the driver fled east on Warner, but no description of the driver or the SUV is currently available.

A street view shows a wide open three lane roadway east of Pacific, with no parking allowed and nothing to slow drivers down.

Anyone with information is urged to call Santa Ana police Cpl. Matt Wharton at 714/245-8209.

This is the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Orange County; it’s also the second in Santa Ana since the first of the year. That compares with ten in the seven county SoCal region this time last year, and none in the county.

Update: The victim has been identified as 44-year old Ricardo Aguilar; no city of residence was given. The time of the collision has been changed to around 5 am. Note: The story in the Register misidentified the victim as Ricardo Martinez; his niece sent a correction in the comments below.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ricardo Aguilar and his loved ones.

Morning Links: Memorial ride for RPV cyclist, 11-year old advocate writes for Times & Mt. Hollywood stays car free

Most fallen cyclists are fairly anonymous, their deaths, while tragic, affecting only a relative few.

Then there are those who are well known in the local community, among their fellow riders as well as others.

Redondo Beach resident Pissanuk Jonathan Tansavatdi, known as Jonathan to his friends, fit that description.

According to Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, the 29-year old rider, who lost his life descending Hawthorne Blvd in Rancho Palos Verdes this week, was a member of his Big Orange riding club.

He cites Matt Miller, another member of the club, who wrote a remembrance of his best friend.

Jon wasn’t just strong, either. He was kind. After the last bro ride, we sat on our top tubes for 10 minutes outside his apartment while he gently encouraged Bader to ride hard, but also to ride more safely and obey the rules of the peloton.

Off the bike He was a prodigious success. He was a founding member of the Rubicon Project, a tech startup that made it big. He just left to found another start up company that had already secured several million in investments.

Perhaps most impressively, Jon had invented his own photosharing app, nearly at the beta testing stage, that allows users to automatically share photos with friends nearby via bluetooth. We mused how useful an app like that would be on our rides.

More than anything, Jon loved his family. He spoke of his sisters and mother and wife with compassion, understanding, and a clear desire to protect them.

Clearly, he was someone who touched a number of people in his all-too-short life, and will be missed by many.

A memorial ride will be held this Saturday at the weekly FDR ride, departing from Miramar Park in Redondo Beach at 8:10 am.

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I’ve often mentioned that homeowners and renters insurance can cover your bike if it ever gets stolen, even away from home. And recommended carrying high levels of uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance to protect you while you’re riding your bike.

But bike lawyer John McBrearty offered some good advice I hadn’t considered in a comment on yesterday’s post about the UCLA student raising funds to pay legal fees, after she was sued by the driver that hit her for damaging his car.

You are absolutely correct about Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist protecting you on the bike-possibly it’s the most important insurance a cyclist can have if the correct policy limits are purchased. However, while homeowners/renters insurance will not provide liability coverage while you are operating a motor vehicle it will cover you for liability if you are on a bike. Much the same way it covers you for liability if someone trips and injures themselves on your property or if your dog bites someone at any location. Of course, you should always read the “Exclusions” section of your policy to see what they don’t cover, some dog breeds are excluded from coverage but I have never seen an exclusion for a bike accident that was caused by the policy holder. Liability coverage only protects you from third parties who are making a claim against you. Again, that’s why UM/UIM coverage is so important for a cyclist also. UM/UIM will also protect you if you are walking, running or otherwise if you are hit by someone who is uninsured or underinsured.

Meanwhile, after mentioning it here yesterday, her gofundme account has reached over $7,000 of the $9,000 goal as of this writing.

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Great piece from precocious traffic safety advocate and future mayor Matlock Grossman, who says LA streets should be safe for 11-year olds like him to ride a bike.

My vision of a livable city is one where kids like me can ride our bikes to school, or to orchestra practice, or wherever, and our parents don’t have to worry about our safety. Streets where cars can only go 20 to 30 miles per hour would be a great start. People driving would still be able to get where they are going in the same amount of time, but the roads would be much safer for everyone — young and old, rich and poor, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians…

By the time L.A.’s mobility plan is supposed to be in place in 2035, I will be 31. I don’t want my children to have to write newspaper articles to make it easier for them to ride their bikes to orchestra class. Safe streets belong to everyone.

It’s well worth reading the full piece.

I only wish most adults understood the need for safe streets as well as he does.

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In a victory for hikers and bike riders, the city announced plans to charge for parking at the Griffith Observatory, while expanding shuttle service throughout the park — except for the highly contested Mt. Hollywood Drive, which will remain closed to vehicular traffic.

Give CiclaValley credit for telling the full story the news media based theirs on.

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Local

The Nation asks if a revitalized LA River will become a playground for the rich, crowding out everyone else. Which is surprising, since I didn’t even know the former left wing bible was still around.

The Easy Reader News names Hermosa Cyclery the South Bay’s best bike shop.

Long Beach has a shiny new aqua-colored and still unnamed bikeshare system, which will eventually offer 500 bikes at 50 stations throughout the city. Down the road, it should be compatible with Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare, which is blowing through the Santa Monica College campus.

 

State

A Rancho Mirage resident says the city’s leadership doesn’t seem to represent people like her, who aren’t afraid of change and support the planned 50-mile CV Link bikeway through the Coachella Valley.

Even Barstow in getting bike lanes on its Main Street.

A San Francisco couple lived just five blocks apart, but they met, fell in love and got engaged at the Solvang Century bike ride; this year’s edition rolls Saturday.

No bias here. A San Francisco TV station says an Antioch cyclist wasn’t hit by a car, but collided with it, instead.

After nearly declaring war on bike-riding tourists last year, Sausalito plans to expand a Bike Ambassador program to help alleviate problems caused by too many people on two wheels. On the other hand, they never seem to complain about all the tourists on four wheels, which made my last visit there pretty miserable.

 

National

A scary new study says distracted driving is the new normal, as motorists spend over half their time paying attention to something other than the road.

Bicycling offers useful advice on how to make sure the bike rack you’re using is secure. Or you could just build your own.

After helping her husband Kurt set the new record for riding the most miles in a single year, Alicia Searvogel plans to tackle the women’s record.

An auto-centric Seattle radio host argues for keeping the streets dangerous and letting pedestrians die, fearing that advocates will lie about an uptick in pedestrian deaths to demand safer streets. Then again, he doesn’t sound like a prince on other subjects, either; thanks to NE Seattle Greenways for the latter link.

An Iowa columnist learns first hand what it’s like to bike like a bike cop.

A Houston weekly lists six streets where people “probably” won’t die riding their bikes. Maybe they should move to Boston, which claims to be tied with DC for the nation’s safest big city for cyclists and pedestrians.

A Missouri woman plans to ride 13,000 miles, stopping at churches in 37 states to raise awareness of sex trafficking.

Forget Vision Zero, says New York police commissioner — and former LAPD chief — Bill Bratton, who insists there will be traffic deaths as long as there are people on the roads. Maybe the city should find someone to do the job who doesn’t give up before he starts.

 

International

A writer for the Guardian offers 10 tips to conquer your bike commute.

A Scottish paper asks if the draconian new fines on Australian cyclists offer a lesson to be learned, or just make the state a laughing stock. You can probably guess how riders in New South Wales, who say they remain terrified on the Aussie state’s roads, would respond.

Seriously? Even the attorney for the former enforcer for Australia’s Banditos biker gang said he had “anger management issues” after getting out of his car and beating a bicyclist for not using a bike lane. Yet he walked with just a fine and a four month license suspension. Evidently, the only crimes they take seriously Down Under are cyclists riding sans helmets.

An Aussie woman insists she told the story of deliberately running down a bike rider who flipped her off hundreds of times, but only in an attempt to frighten off a man she thought was a “child rapist,” never imagining he might actually turn her into the police. Sure, let’s go with that.

A Kiwi bike commuter says he supports better bike facilities, just not if it involves closing his own street to vehicular traffic.

 

Finally…

Who needs real dog, when you can buy one made of recycled bike parts? If you’re going to steal a bike, don’t leave your old one covered in your DNA at the crime scene.

And Lance may have cheated, but he never put itching powder in his rivals’ shorts.

That we know of.

 

Update: San Diego cyclist killed in pre-dawn trolley collision

More bad news today.

Multiple sources are reporting that a San Diego bike rider was killed by a trolley in the city’s Barrio Logan neighborhood.

The victim, identified only as a 27-year old man, reportedly stopped at the trolley crossing alongside Harbor Drive near Sampson Street around 5:45 this morning.

After a southbound trolley passed, he rode around the crossing bars, and was immediately struck by a second trolley headed in the opposite direction. Emergency personnel tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses said that he was wearing earbuds, and may not have heard the second trolley approaching.

San Diego’s KUSI TV reports employees of both Naval Base San Diego and cyber-defense company BAE Systems, located nearby, rushed to the scene, concerned the victim may have been one of their co-workers.

This is a tragic reminder to always wait until the crossing arms are raised before walking or riding across any railroad tracks.

This is the 25th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in San Diego County; it’s also the third bike-related death in San Diego since the first of the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 27-year old Robert Jamil-Hanna Warren, possibly of National City.

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

Update: Bike rider killed by moving truck in Rancho Palos Verdes

Ghost bike for Jonathan Tansavatdi; photo by Jim Lyle

Ghost bike for Jonathan Tansavatdi; photo by Jim Lyle

Word is just coming in that someone has been killed while riding a bicycle in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Very few details are available at this time.

However, KNBC-4 reports the victim was struck by a moving truck on Vallon Drive near Hawthorne Boulevard around 2:50 pm this afternoon; presumably they mean a truck for a moving company, rather than one in motion.

According to the station, sheriff’s deputies believe the truck, which KCBS-2 identifies as a big rig, was making a right turn off an undisclosed side street when it struck the rider.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. No other information is available at this time.

A satellite view shows Vallon as a narrow, winding residential road; Via la Cresta is the only cross street that enters it, just above Hawthorne, though Vallon connects with Marne Drive just below Hawthorne.

This is the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 6th in Los Angeles County.

Update: The Daily Breeze confirms the collision occurred at Vallon and Via la Cresta.

Update 2: KNBC-4 changes the location once again, writing that the collision took place at Hawthorne and Vallon.

According to a sheriff’s spokesperson, the victim was riding down the hill on Hawthorne at a high rate of speed, estimated at 45 mph. The driver of a Mayflower truck turned right onto Hawthorne in front of the cyclist, who was unable to stop at that speed.

The driver continued on, reportedly having no idea the rider had collided with his truck. 

However, if the rider was really going that fast, he would have hit with a significant amount of force, making it seem odd that the driver failed to notice. 

Regardless, sheriff’s deputies concluded that the driver didn’t break the law, and everything he did was “legal at the time.”

Update 3: In their report from the scene, which I was unable to view last night, KNBC-4 reports the truck was stopped at the red light headed west on Hawthorne, and made a wide turn onto Vallon when the light turned green.

The victim, who still hasn’t been publicly identified, apparently rounded a blind curve on westbound Hawthorne while descending at a high rate of speed; unable to stop, he slammed into the side or rear of the truck. 

The driver continued on, dragging the bicycle roughly 200 feet up Vallon before finally coming to a stop. 

There’s no way to know if the victim would have had a chance if the driver had stopped after the initial collision.

Update 4: The victim has been identified as 29-year old Redondo Beach resident Pissanuk Jonathan Tansavatdi. Thanks to Martin Blount for the heads-up. 

Meanwhile, Blount forwards a video showing the descent on Hawthorne Blvd. The intersection at Vallon comes into view at the 1:30 mark, with the riders passing through at 49 mph, giving credence to the police theory that Tansavatdi may have hit the truck at 45 mph.

Update 5: I’ve heard from a relative of Tansavatdi, who described him as sunny, cheerful, handsome, talented engineer, and a friend to many.

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

Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up. 

Update: Bike rider dies following Santee collision after allegedly veering into traffic

A woman has died after a collision in Santee in San Diego County.

According to the Union-Tribune, the victim, who has not been identified, was riding along the northbound curb on Cuyamaca Street near River Park Drive when she allegedly veered across two lanes of traffic. She was hit by a car, whose driver unsuccessfully swerved to avoid her.

The woman was conscious following the collision, but died after being taken to Sharps Memorial Hospital.

The time of the collision is in doubt, however; the U-T says it was just before noon, while San Diego’s KNSD-7 places it at 4:30 pm.

Police say the driver does not appear to be at fault.

This is the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 67-year old Margo Symmonds-Lavanway, who appears to have been homeless.

Update 2: The generous and well-loved woman was reportedly riding her bike to collect recyclables to raise money for people in need. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Margo Symmonds-Lavanway and her loved ones.

Update: Bike rider killed in early morning Victorville collision; SB County deaths already exceed total for all of last year

Yet another bicyclist has lost his life in Southern California, in what has been the worst start to the year in recent memory.

According to the Victor Valley News, a man with a bike was hit by an SUV around 2:30 this morning on the 13400 block of Mariposa Road, near the Southwest Gas Building.

First responders found a mangled bike next to the SUV, with the victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, still on the hood of the car; he was pronounced dead at the scene. The story says he was a pedestrian; however, while he may have been walking his bike, it’s not uncommon for police dispatches to refer to bicyclists as pedestrians.

A street view shows what appears to be a three lane road with two lanes eastbound and one headed west, with a center left turn lane. The photo included with the story appears to place the wreck in the westbound lane, next to the freeway.

No other details are available at this time.

This is the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in San Bernardino County; that compares with just three in the county for all of last year.

This has been the deadliest first two months of the year for at least the last six years. In fact, last year it took until  until May 27th to reach that level in the seven county SoCal region.

Update: The victim has been identified as 16-year old Victorville resident Cesar Machuca Jr. Anyone with information urged to call San Bernardino Sheriff’s Deputies Sahagun or Haynes at 760/552-6800.

Update 2: The Victor Valley News reports the high school junior, who they identify as a Hesperia resident, was on his way home from his girlfriend’s house when he was rear-ended by the SUV’s driver. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Cesar Machuca Jr. and his loved ones.

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