Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

63-year old bike rider dies over a month after Burbank collision

Sad news from Burbank, as a bike rider has died more than a month after he was injured in a left cross collision.

According to a press release from the Burbank Police Department, 63-year old Henry Peter Kuen was riding east on Magnolia Blvd when he was hit by a car turning left onto Buena Vista Street at 2:25 pm on December 9th.

Kuen was hospitalized with a severe head injury, where he remained in critical condition. It’s unclear exactly when he died; the press release only notes that the police were informed of his death yesterday.

He was not wearing a helmet; in this case, it’s possible that it might have made a difference.

The driver remained at the scene, and police note that the driver was not under the influence. However, there is no word on who had the right of way, or why he or she apparently didn’t see Kuen on his bike.

A street view shows a typical urban intersection with traffic signals and four lanes, plus turn lanes, in each direction.

Police note that the case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact BPD Traffic Detective Sam Anderson at 818/238-3100.

The press release ends with this, which should be a mantra for everyone on the streets:

The Burbank Police Department logged four fatalities in 2015 as a result of traffic collisions. We would like to remind the public to remain vigilant and avoid distractions while traveling on our roadways. Drive at a safe speed for conditions, don’t text/talk on your cellphone, always maintain safe distances and look twice for pedestrians and bicyclists.

This is the 73rd, and hopefully last, bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 29th in Los Angeles County. Kuen appears to be the first person to die while riding a bike in Burbank since at least 2011.

My deepest sympathy for Henry Peter Kuen and all his lived ones. 

Thanks to Melissa Pamer and GhostBikes.org for the heads-up.

Kuen BPD Press Release

Update: 75-year old man killed in Huntington Beach bicycling fall

Sad news from Huntington Beach this morning.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim, identified by MyNewsLA as 75-year old Richard Schultz, was found lying in the street on the 8300 block of Talbert Ave around 10:39 am yesterday.

Schultz was unconscious and suffering from a serious head injury; he died at 2:45 pm after being taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange.

He appears to have somehow lost control of his bike and fallen, perhaps after striking a fixed object; police investigators say no other vehicle appears to be involved. Of course it’s always possible that a passing car or truck, or some other action, could have caused him to lose control.

A satellite view shows a four lane roadway with bike lanes on either side; there’s no word on which direction he was riding.

Anyone with information is urged to call Accident Investigators Josh Page at 714-536-5670 or Bob Barr at 714-536-5663.

This is the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Orange County. And it’s the fourth bicycling fatality in Huntington Beach in just the last eight months.

Update: An Orange County rider sent this in response to the Register article.

Curiously, the article states that the road was “free of hazards” and that no vehicles were involved. Both are suspicious statements. First, on Saturday morning, that’s an incredibly busy stretch of road. It crosses Beach Blvd (a stroad that Caltrans won’t let the city put bike lanes on). It’s right by the Walmart driveway, and westbound leads directly to Central Park, whose sports fields are slamming busy on Saturday mornings. Also, the westbound stretch borders the cemetery, so it’s kind of treated like a speedway, and a lot of motorists punch the gas when they see the pesky yellow light of the signalized “intersection” of the Walmart driveway, which can lead to a lengthy red light in letting a backed-up line of motorists exit the parking lot. As far as the “free of hazards” claim, DOUBTS. Hunny’s pretty good at maintaining a street sweeping schedule, but there’s been so much grit & gravel & puddles & leaves & mud & fronds & trash & hidden potholes thanks to the storms lately, it’s been harrowing riding pretty much everywhere. Not to mention, I really have no confidence in the ability of HBPD’s Major Incident Reconstruction Team to assess what counts as “hazards” to a bicyclist.

Update 2: According to the LA Times, he was wearing a helmet. That raises more questions, since it suggests that either the helmet failed, or the force of the impact somehow exceeded the design capacity of the helmet. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Richard Schultz and his loved ones.

Update: Bicyclist killed in Loma Linda collision; first SoCal bike death of 2016

That didn’t take long.

Just four days into the new year, a cyclist has lost his life, the first bicycling fatality of 2016 in the seven-county Southern California region.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 33-year old Loma Linda resident Steven Ortiz was hit by a car while riding at Bryn Mawr Avenue and George Street at 12:07 pm today. He was pronounced dead at Loma Linda University Medical Center half an hour later.

A street view shows a two-lane, three-way intersection with a stop sign on George.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time.

This is the first bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in San Bernardino County; there were three cyclists killed in the county last year.

Update: The Press-Enterprise reports that the wreck was caused when Ortiz was apparently left-crossed by the 92-year old driver. 

According to the brief description, both Ortiz and the unidentified driver were traveling south on Bryn Mawr. However, the only way they could collide under those circumstances would be Ortiz was riding on the wrong side of the road, which is not mentioned in the story. 

It’s also possible that the paper may have gotten Ortiz’ direction wrong. 

Update 2: Mark Friis forwards a press release from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department that indicates the Press-Enterprise did get it wrong.

The release says that Ortiz was riding north on Bryn Mawr, rather than south, and was unable to stop when the southbound driver turned left in front of him onto George. 

Which raises the question of whether a 92-year old driver still belonged behind the wheel. 

Ortiz SBSD press release

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Steven Ortiz and his family. 

Thanks to Erik Griswold and Mark Friis for the heads-up. 

 

Morning Links: Cyclist injured in apparent non-hit-and-run, and LA bicyclists appear to be fair game

It looked like a hit-and-run.

But for a change, there doesn’t seem to be anyone else involved.

Police spent Tuesday night searching for a driver who fled the scene after a passerby found a man lying critically injured in a Van Nuys crosswalk, still wrapped around his BMX bike. After further investigation, however, they concluded that he fell and hit his head while riding under the influence.

Of course, as always, the question is why he fell; whether he was simply too drunk to stay upright or if there was some other factor that caused him to lose control of his bike.

Regardless, let’s hope he makes a full and fast recovery.

Thanks to Richard Risemberg for the heads-up.

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The Times reports on the bike-riding Long Beach man who was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies after one deputy accidently shot his partner in the leg during a scuffle.

The recently released video shows Noel Aguilar struggling with the officers, who had apparently disarmed him before opening fire, despite Aguilar’s insistence that he didn’t shoot anyone.

And once again, the DA’s office declined to press charges against police officers, despite the video evidence. Just like the case of Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino in 2013.

Or the Milt Olin case, for that matter, where a deputy plowed into Olin’s bike from behind as her was distracted by the car’s onboard computer just after texting with his wife.

Which raises the question of whether the DA refuses to prosecute cops. Or just doesn’t give a damn about people on bikes.

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Apparently, I’m the mixed metaphor minion-master Obi-Wan Kenobi of LA bicycling.

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‘Tis the season.

Donations now total over $16,000 for the bike-riding Colorado busboy who turned in $3,000 in cash a customer had left behind; make that $22,000. Evidently, honesty really does pay.

Texas police collect over 100 bicycles to distribute to children.

An Oklahoma police officer repaired a girl’s damaged therapy tricycle after it was stolen and thrown over a fence; her parents couldn’t afford the $5000 it would take to replace the bike for their daughter, who suffers up to 60 epileptic seizures a day.

Pennsylvania police give a new adaptive bicycle to a six-year old special needs boy.

An anonymous donor gave the equivalent of $150 to replace a British girl’s bike for Christmas after hers was stolen.

Around 150 Brits dressed up like Santa for a bike ride to raise funds for a children’s hospice.

After a paralyzed Welsh stunt biker tried to sell his bike to raise money for his rehabilitation, over £50,000 — roughly $74,000 — in donations poured in from fans.

And a Santa Rosa cyclist uses Strava to wish you a Merry Christmas.

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Local

CiclaValley is justifiably angry about the death of pedestrian on Riverside Drive, where the city installed new bike lanes while simultaneously making the street more dangerous. Kind of like Vision Zero in reverse.

Richard Risemberg says Burbank made the right decision in requiring riders to walk their bikes across a dirt-covered bridge used by equestrians; although he notes that if horses could be trained to charge into battle for the past 7,000 years, they should be able to tolerate someone on a bicycle.

Reseda Blvd receives a nomination from Streetsblog for the nation’s Best Urban Street Transformation of 2015. While it’s a huge step for auto-centric LA, it doesn’t begin to compare with the best work elsewhere. Or where we need to be, for that matter.

LA Weekly ranks the city’s new Mobility Plan number one on its list of why this was a banner year for new ways to get around in LA. Although they screw up the timeline; the plan has already been approved by the city council, first with, then without amendments, with more under consideration.

The jerk who stole a bicycle out of the hands of a boy who had just won it in a Halloween raffle makes LAist’s list of Southern California’s biggest jerks for 2015.

A Santa Monica man was severely beaten by a bystander after dropping the bike he was walking onto his own dog, accidently or otherwise.

Long Beach’s Danny Gamboa writes about the ghost bike movement for Bicycling Magazine. Danny is one of the heroes of the local bike movement, even if he prefers to give the recognition to others.

 

State

As of the 1st, it will be legal to ride your e-bike on California bike paths.

After the father of two Santa Ana teens were hit by a car while riding his bike, they responded by forming the Bike It! Santa Ana campaign, which was recently awarded a $2.7 million grant for three projects, including two protected bikeways. Makes you wonder why adults have so much trouble getting things done.

A Santa Barbara man invents a new dog carrier for his bike — bicycle or motorcycle — which allows your dog to ride safely tethered inside. Now I know what to get the Corgi for Christmas.

A proposal to cut back on street sweeping in Davis would mean more flat tires for bike riders.

 

National

As she nears retirement, the founder of Trips for Kids reflects on the group she founded 27 years ago; the national organization works to get kids out on mountain bikes.

After a five-year old Idaho boy was seriously injured in a collision while riding his bike, the state agrees to put more bicycling questions on their driving test.

A Los Angeles man keeps fighting for a bikeway in Grand Teton National Park, where his 13-year old daughter was killed by a distracted driver 16 years ago. Somehow, a roadway doesn’t harm the environment, but putting a protected bike lane on or next to it would.

The Department of DIY strikes in Rhode Island, as city officials move to quickly rip out a BMX track secretly built in the woods.

Baltimore residents can’t seem to figure out the city’s new parking protected bike lane.

Fort Lauderdale becomes the latest US city to embrace Vision Zero, and the first in Florida.

A Florida cyclist films the hit-and-run driver who ran him down from behind, without slowing, while he was riding on sharrows. The video is hard to watch, leading right up to the point of impact. And if you’ve ever wondered why I’m no fan of sharrows, this is a damn good reason.

 

International

A Canadian website says investing in bicycle infrastructure is one of the smartest investments a city can make. Meanwhile, Toronto is leading the way with a year-round network of protected bikeways.

Brit rider Mark Cavendish wants to cap his riding career with a medal in track cycling at the Rio Olympics.

In an usual case, a 13-year old British boy is charged with causing the death of a motorcyclist by intentionally riding his bicycle into the path of a car; the driver stopped in time to avoid him, but the victim hit the car.

Now that’s more like it. A Swedish university suggests paying people to ride bikes in the most congested part of Stockholm by using congestion charges from motorists.

A writer looks at the recent Tour of Rwanda, where police beatings and the country’s recovery from genocide overshadow the action in the peloton.

An Aussie writer says the government must stop its war on cyclists, and stop actively discouraging people from riding.

 

Finally…

If you want to spot the trendy new neighborhoods, just follow the fixies. Don’t bust out a car window, even if the jerk driver honks and nearly hits you for riding in the traffic lane.

And if you’re going to burglarize a shed and steal a mountain bike, it’s probably best if you don’t leave your mobile phone behind.

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It’s the last day of the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Thanks to David Wolfberg, Christian Hesch, Calla Weimer and Carmen Tellez for their generous support, along with everyone who has so generously contributed this past month.

Seriously, thank you.

Who could turn down a face like that?

The Corgi thanks you for your support. And she’s glad it’s the last day of the Holiday Fund Drive so she can attempt to reclaim her dignity.

Morning Links: LA cyclist dies from heart attack, Finish the Ride comes to the Valley, and I talk bikes on Bike Talk

Just a quick update today, due to too many other obligations. We’ll have a full Morning Links tomorrow.

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Sad news today, as an LA cyclist has passed away after suffering a heart attack while riding his bike.

According to Breitbart.com, conservative activist Avi Davis passed away peacefully at the UCLA Medical Center on Monday, after he was placed into a induced coma following his December 10th coronary.

He leaves behind two sons, as well as his parents and three siblings.

A memorial will be held at 11:00 am today at Home of Peace Cemetery, 4334 Whittier Blvd in Los Angeles.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Avi Davis and his loved ones. Thanks to Asher for the heads-up.

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FTR_HH_email11-22-2015The first two Finish the Rides were huge hits, bringing hundreds of riders, walkers and rollers together for a fun day supporting the fight for safer streets and an end to hit-and-run.

Now the event comes to the San Fernando Valley for the first time with a ride and festival this Sunday — the perfect way to end the year on a high note.

Spokeswoman Dayna Galbreath sends this information.

Finish The Ride, Run, Walk ‘N Roll Across The Valley 2015

Brought To You By Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE)

Support safe city streets and help end hit and run crimes by taking part in Finish the Ride, Run, Walk ‘N Roll Across The Valley!! All proceeds will benefit Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE) and Happy House.

Join us on Sunday, December 27th, 2015 for an awesome event to end the year!  Registration is open RIGHT NOW so register TODAY at www.FinishTheRide.org/register.

Plans for FTR Across The Valley 2015 include:

  • Ride= Two routes including a 25 Mile Finish The Ride and a Metric Century
  • Run =  5K, 10K and Half Marathon
  • Roll= 10K
  • FREE 2K Walk/Roll for the kids!
  • Timing and medals awarded for selected events
  • Cool goodie bag and free t-shirt with registration
  • Great live music and dancing
  • Free festival and safety expo with giveaways, raffles, prizes and activities for kids and adults alike and much more!  Feel free to bring the whole family!

For details on the FTR Across The Valley 2015 event, click here.

To join the FTR volunteer team, click here.

Join FTR Across The Valley 2015 not only for yourself, but for those who survived, those who didn’t and the safety of ALL!

#FTRValley #EndHitandRuns

For more information on the event itself, registration questions or other customer service inquiries, e-mail us at register@FinishTheRide.org or call (844) 884-7233 Ext. 801.

Meanwhile, CiclaValley interviews FTR founder Damian Kevitt.

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I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, so check out last week’s Bike Talk, wherein I was one of the guests, to see — or rather, hear — once again why I’m a writer instead of a radio pundit.

Here’s how the website describes the show.

TJ Flexer, Zachary Rynew, Nick Richert

TJ puts together this show with bloggers Zachary Rynew of Ciclavalley.org and Ted Rogers of bikinginla.com. With Steve Messer, President of the Concerned Off Road Bicyclists Association, Jim Cadenhead, founding co-host of Bike Talk and Orange 20 bikes, and Neil Shirley, Bike racer, journalist, and fundraiser for World Bicycle Relief.

This past Saturday’s show sounds interesting, too.

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Just a few more quick notes.

Frightening stat, as LA leads the nation in traffic fatalities among major cities, with 6.27 deaths per 100,000 people in 2012. San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco also make the top ten.

Bicycles are now specifically included in the law requiring slow moving vehicles to pull over to let traffic pass. However, that only applies on two lane roadways when five or more vehicles are backed up and unable to pass; it does not give police cart blanche to ticket someone riding in the traffic lane, or impatient drivers the right to harass anyone in front of them.

Ventura police bust a high-end bike thief.

That bike-riding Colorado bus boy who returned $3,000 in cash that a customer left behind will now get even more than that, as a gofundme account set up for him has raised over $5,100.

Now that’s love. A British man rides 12,000 miles to Australia just to spend the holidays with his girlfriend.

Evidently convinced that bikes are just as dangerous as cars, Australia’s New South Wales introduces draconian fines for law-breaking bicyclists, quadrupling the amount in some cases. Riders will now pay over $300 for not wearing a helmet, $425 for going through a red light, and will be subject to a $105 fine if they’re caught without ID — even though licenses aren’t required to ride a bike. The one bit of good news is they’re also experimenting with the equivalent of a three-foot passing law.

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Finally…

If you’re going to get Tased for riding salmon while carrying meth and wanted on an outstanding warrant, at least make sure you’re wearing a heavy down jacket.

Then there’s this.

And let’s end with a heartwarming video from Foster City CA. After a little girl was hit by a car while riding her bike, bystanders lifted the car off her, and police pitched in to buy her a new bicycle.

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Just three more days to support the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive; thanks to Karen Karabell, John P. Lynch and Mark Ganzer for their generous contributions.

Don't make her beg. Support the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Don’t make her dress up like this for nothing. Support the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Weekend Links: LA Times gives LADOT a data-driven push, ‘Tis the season and a fat bike for the zombie apocalypse

Maybe what LA needs is a good push.

Which is exactly what the LA Times gave it Friday, with a deep dive into the world of bicycle collisions using the CHP’s SWITRS data to identify the ten most dangerous streets for bicycling.

Not surprisingly, Figueroa, which has been in the news far too much lately, makes the list, coming in third, behind only Venice and Vermont, which led the way with 230 bicycling collisions over the past five years.

Others included Western and Sunset, along with the parallel east/west boulevards of Pico and Olympic.

Surprising, Van Nuys is the only street in the San Fernando Valley to make the list, followed by Downtown’s Main Street and Wilshire Blvd.

Going back to Vermont, the paper found that when drivers were found at fault, it was mostly for failing to yield, speeding and improper turns, while riding salmon was the main reason cyclists were blamed for collisions.

And they suggest that separating bikes from cars with protected bike lanes, or at the very least, painted lanes, is a good start if the city’s Vision Zero is going to succeed.

Let’s hope LADOT is listening.

Not to mention the mayor and the city council.

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‘Tis the season.

A Redding group teams with Coke to give 60 bikes to foster kids, as well as recently adopted kids.

An Ohio group donates 246 bicycles through the Toys for Tots program.

When a Pittsburgh PA man wanted to give away a few bikes in honor of his daughter and grandchildren, he went on Facebook asking people to nominate six deserving kids. Instead, contributions poured in to buy more bikes; he’ll now be donating at least 35 bikes to needy kids.

Rhode Island police dip into their own pockets to buy a bike for a young girl after hers is stolen.

A North Carolina group donates three truckloads of bikes to less fortunate kids. Although the local TV station seems to think it was news from the future.

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Don't make her beg. Support the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Don’t make her beg. You only have six more days to support the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

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Local

Voting on where Metro’s new bikeshare stations should be located in DTLA ends at the end of the month.

A UCLA public health website says the new Wilshire Blvd bus-only lanes should be called a bus, bike and a**hole lane due to a lack of enforcement against aggressive drivers who use it illegally.

A new video discusses what the future of LA streets could be, including drone footage of the recent CicLAvia in Downtown LA.

A Santa Monica letter writer suggests making Arizona Avenue a greenway like the new Michigan Ave greenway.

As we mentioned yesterday, Redondo Beach’s Harbor Drive separated bikeway made People for Bike’s list of the nation’s top 10 new bike lanes.

A bystander’s video suggests sheriff’s deputies may have killed a Long Beach bike rider after one of them accidently shot his own partner.

 

State

The Voice of San Diego looks at what stands in the way of a proposed international bike lane across the border with Mexico. Besides Donald Trump, that is.

The San Jose paper examines at what went wrong with a planned bike & pedestrian bridge in Palo Alto.

 

National

Honolulu attempts to finance a bikeshare program by asking donors to adopt a bike for $1,000.

Nebraska’s Supreme Court bizarrely rules that a railroad may have been at fault for a boy’s death after he rode his bike around the crossing guards; his mother’s lawyer argued that the first train was too loud for him to hear the second train that killed him, while blocking it from view.

Cincinnati considers a 42-mile bikeway circling the city, though a business writer questions whether supporters will actually see it built in their lifetimes.

Streetsblog remembers the man who saved New York cycling by fighting a 1980s Midtown bike ban.

Bikes really do mean business. September’s world championships in Richmond VA brought in $89 million in direct spending, with a total economic reach of $170 million.

Raleigh NC installs bike lanes and sharrows around the town; naturally, drivers are confused and say cars should come first because there’s more of them. By that argument, people should always come before cars.

A Florida man is shot in the legs when he refused to let go of his bike when four men tried to jack it. Rule number one: Never forget your life is worth more than your bike.

 

International

A Canadian bike shop is refurbishing donated bikes to give to Syrian refugees when they arrive.

Police are looking for a road raging Brit cyclist who reached into a car and rode off with the driver’s keys. Something I have been tempted to do many times, wrong though it may be.

The owners of the Tour de France reject proposed reforms for pro cycling, and have pulled the race from UCI’s new WorldTour calendar for 2017.

Muslim cyclists in Australia will ride for peace on the one year anniversary of Sidney’s Lindt Café attack.

 

Finally…

Who needs GPS when your bike seat can tell you where to go. Charlie Brown had a kite eating tree, but at least it didn’t eat bicycles. Or anchors.

And just what every Angeleno needs for LA traffic or the zombie apocalypse — a camo fat bike with a gun rack in the back.

 

Morning Links: Turning Vision Zero into an unfunny joke, adventures in traffic blocking, and CicLAvia the Musical

No bikes involved this time.

But sadly, a 17-year old high school student was killed while walking in a crosswalk on North Figueroa yesterday, apparently unaware that classes had been cancelled due to a terrorism hoax.

This is the fourth traffic fatality on the street in the last six months, with three pedestrians and a cyclist losing their lives on a street that was supposed to have been made safer by now.

And would have been, if Councilmember Gil Cedillo hadn’t unilaterally killed a fully funded, shovel ready road diet for reasons he has yet to fully explain, instead bizarrely claiming he was halting the safety project in the name of safety. Yet as yesterday’s tragedy clearly shows, his inaction has merely helped keep a dangerous street deadly.

Unfortunately, we live in a city where councilmembers oversee virtual fiefdoms, thanks to the reluctance of their fellow councilmembers or the mayor to challenge them for fear of retaliation against projects in their own districts.

This has to change.

If Cedillo is unwilling to admit his mistake, someone in city leadership or LADOT has to find the courage to stand up to him to protect the lives of our fellow Angelenos.

Otherwise, people will continue to die needlessly.

And our much-vaunted and fought-for Vision Zero will be nothing more than a very unfunny joke.

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Today’s theme is bizarre court cases involving allegedly traffic-blocking bike riders.

A Louisville KY bike and pedestrian advocate rejected a plea deal on charges of blocking traffic and running a red light, insisting that bicyclists aren’t required to use bike lanes. Or stop at red lights, for that matter.

A Pennsylvania bike rider faces charges for repeatedly obstructing traffic by slowly riding his bike in the middle of the road; a prosecutor hints he may be trying to get hit after receiving a settlement from a drunk driver for a 2007 collision. Or he could just be taking the lane on a narrow street, like bike riders are instructed to do.

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Help keep LA's best source for bike news and advocacy coming to you every morning.

Help keep LA’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to you every morning.

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‘Tis the season.

For the seventh year, the Burbank Bike Angels will donate over 120 refurbished bikes to children of local low-income families.

A Rochester NY bike shop donated 20 bikes to an organization serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, for the second year in a row.

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Local

Democratic legislators ask Obama for funding to start planning and design work for the restoration of the LA River, which could include extensions of the LA River bike path.

LADOT is looking for a Planning Assistant. Riding a bike should be an added requirement for the job, though.

CiclaValley offers 100 seconds of bike commuting from the Valley to DTLA.

 

State

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition says anti-bicycle bigotry is growing, as local residents fight plans for long-promised bikeways.

San Diego approves a new climate action plan, including a commitment to cut car trips in key transportation zones by 50% within 20 years.

SF Gate says nice try on San Francisco’s first raised bike lane, but it doesn’t actually keep cars and trucks out.

 

National

Pro ‘cross racers offer advice on how to avoid high bike fees when you fly.

The Federal Highway Administration provides Case Studies in Delivering Safe, Comfortable and Connected Pedestrian and Bicycle Networks.

The family of a Portland driver accused of fleeing the scene after killing a cyclist while driving stoned says it was just an accident and he’s really an awesome person. Except when running down bike riders while too high to drive, evidently.

A New Mexico man is arrested for his seventh DUI, just three months after being released from prison for killing a bike rider in 2005 while driving at three times the legal limit. Yet somehow, despite repeatedly proving he’s incapable of resisting the temptation to drink and drive, he’s still allowed behind the wheel.

Forget skiing. If you’re looking for a little winter adventure, try fat tire cycling through the Minnesota snow.

The Wall Street Journal says New York safety advocates say more needs to be done even though traffic deaths are declining. After all, it’s Vision Zero, not Vision Slightly Better.

A Savannah writer nails it. “A legion of scofflaw cyclists cannot inflict the amount of pain, suffering and death as one young man driving a Dodge Durango.”

 

International

Unbelievable. A Costa Rican cab driver denies doing anything wrong after pulling out from the curb and hitting three lead riders of a bike race after police had cleared the route; fortunately, no one was badly hurt.

A road raging bus driver deals with a confrontation with a London cyclist by running over his bike.

A candidate for London mayor offers a six-point plan to make the city a “byword for cycling around the world.”

A British man gets life in prison for intentionally driving his car into his bike-riding romantic rival.

Police are looking for a Brit rider who threw a woman down a flight of stairs after becoming enraged because her dog was not on a leash.

An Indian paper calls speeding and luxury cars a killer combination. Meanwhile, 110 CEOs from all over the world will ride over 500 miles on a week-long expedition through the country, and a champion para-cyclist explains how he didn’t let losing a leg stop him.

Brisbane, Australia’s Green Party proposes a network of protected bike lanes, which would allow cyclists to ride in safety to within two blocks of any location in the downtown area.

 

Finally…

Go ahead and win the world championships, as the prestigious former British Medical Journal says the rainbow jersey isn’t cursed after all. What it’s like to ride a bike to your own wedding.

And presenting CicLAvia, the musical.

Perris bike rider killed while crossing busy intersection

Sad news from Perris, as a man was killed while trying to cross a busy street.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 60-year old James Pica was riding his bike on Orange Avenue when he attempted to cross Perris Blvd at 6:13 pm, when he was hit by a northbound car. He was pronounced dead sometime later at a local hospital.

The 18-year old driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence.

No other information is available at this time.

A satellite view shows a wide, multilane intersection with traffic signals in every direction; no word on who may have had the right-of-way.

This is 72nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Riverside County. It’s also the third riding death in Perris in the last three years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for James Pica and all his family. 

Update: Bike rider killed in San Diego’s Mission Valley Thursday night; ; 12th cyclist killed in SD County this year

This is not the news any of us wanted tonight.

Multiple sources are reporting that a bicyclist was killed while riding in Mission Valley in San Diego around 8:31 pm Thursday.

According to the Union-Tribune, the 22-year old victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding east on Friars Road near Rio Bonito Way when he crossed the road diagonally and was hit by a BMW traveling in the same direction.

He died before he could be taken to a hospital. The driver, who remained at the scene, suffered a minor injury in the collision.

A street view shows four lanes of traffic on what appears to be a high speed roadway, narrowing to three near the Rio Bonito Way exit. Meanwhile, a satellite view shows a curving road with an entry lane not far west of Rio Bonito.

There’s nothing on the opposite side of the roadway, which raises the question of why the victim would have been attempting to cross; a more likely explanation is that he may have been moving from the right parking lane into the through lane as the roadway narrowed.

It’s also possible that he may not have been able to see the car coming up behind him, as it could have been hidden by the bend in the road, especially if it was traveling at a high rate of speed. It also would have been out of view if it had entered Friars Road via the ramp at Qualcomm Way, so poor road design may have been a contributing factor.

This is the 71st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in San Diego County; it’s also the seventh in the city of San Diego. That compares with nine in the county this time last year, and just one in the city.

Update: KUSA-TV reports that it’s unclear if the driver may have been under the influence. 

Update 2: Vision Zero San Diego forwards raw video footage from the scene, which shows a green bike lane that was not shown in the satellite view. It also shows extensive damage to both the car and the bike, suggesting the collision occurred at a high rate of speed.

There is a visible debris field in the right lane shortly after the onramp from Qualcomm Way merges into Friars Road; the victim and his bike came to rest shortly after the exit lane to Rio Bonito Way. 

Note: This video shows graphic damage from the collision, and may be difficult to watch. 

Update 3: Turns out out the real story is a lot different from what was originally reported.

According to a press release from the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office, the victim was a 65-year old Matthew Driggers, a homeless man who was walking his bike across the street when he was struck.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Matthew Driggers and his loved ones.

Update: Nine-year old boy killed in Irvine collision

Any traffic death is heartbreaking. But it always seems worse when it’s a child.

Word is just coming in that a nine-year old boy was killed while riding his bike in Irvine this afternoon.

According to a press release from the Irvine Police Department, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by a van at 3:15 pm at the intersection of Roosevelt and Bay Tree. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead just 20 minutes later.

The 57-year old driver remained at the scene.

No other information is available at this time.

A satellite view shows a residential neighborhood with four lane divided roadway in each direction, with a bike lane on Roosevelt and three parks within a four block radius.

Anyone with information is urged to contact IPD Traffic Sergeant Matt August at 949/724-7023.

This is the 70th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th in Orange County this year.

Update: The Orange County Coroner has identified the victim as Keven Jiang, who lived in Irvine. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Keven Jiang and all his loved ones.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the link.

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