Archive for Bicycle Safety

Update: Teenage girl killed by Metro bus on PCH in Redondo Beach

Southern California’s killer highway has claimed another victim. And a lack of bicycle infrastructure may be at least partially to blame.

According to the Daily Breeze, a 13-year old girl, who has not been publicly identified, was riding her bike with a friend when she somehow swerved in front of, or into, a Metro bus around 5:40 pm on Pacific Coast Highway at Knob Hill Ave in Redondo Beach.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The paper reports a witness said she swerved in front of the bus, while initial reports suggest she rode into the side of the bus, according to a Metro spokesperson. The bus was operated by a subcontractor, MV Transportation, rather than Metro itself.

However, the South Bay’s Easy Reader, which places the time of the crash as 4:40 pm, cites a local business owner who says the girls were coasting their bicycles along the sidewalk before riding out into traffic.

They also note that the collision was partially captured on security camera, while observing that the bus had the green light as it approached Knob Hill on southbound PCH.

The other girl was unharmed.

A street view shows a commercial roadway on PCH with two lanes in each direction and a center left turn lane, with a wide sidewalk along side.

Meanwhile, a Twitter photo on the KTLA-5 report shows the victim’s bike resting on the curb on the northwest corner, while police blockade the center Knob Hill alongside PCH, suggesting she may have ridden off the handicapped ramp into the intersection. However, it’s unclear how that would have placed her in the path of the bus.

The lack of safe bicycling infrastructure on PCH may have contributed to the crash by encouraging the girls to ride on the sidewalk instead of the street, where they would have been more visible to the driver. And may not have had to dart into the path of the bus.

This is the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County. And while it’s at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Redondo Beach since 2010, it’s the first in the last five years.

Update: The victim has been identified as 13-year old Ciara Smith of Redondo Beach, a student at Parras Middle School. 

Update 2: The community turns out to mourn her death.

Update 3: KCBS-2 reports the crash may have been a result of misaligned crosswalks due to the single diagonal cut handicap ramp, rather than two separate ramps aligned with the crosswalk. 

Some of her classmates brought flowers and wore bright clothes in her favorite colors of teal, mint green and blue.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ciara Smith and all her family and loved ones.

Morning Links: Bicycling examines our deadly streets, Bike Month heats up, and Bray-Ali story travels the globe

Bicycling Magazine gets it.

No, really.

The magazine that’s long been criticized for its focus on spandex-clad road cycling has dug deep into the safety crisis on our streets, for a June issue focused on the dangers riders face and the failure of the legal system to protect us.

They even got the headline right — This Has Got to Stop!

Their examination is highlighted by a survey of bike riders conducted on the magazine’s website, which includes the following key points:

  • 32% have been hit by a motor vehicle (me too)
  • 61% of urban riders have been doored (yep)
  • 89% of respondents have been harassed by an aggressive driver (uh huh)
  • 20% experienced being followed by an aggressive driver (ditto)
  • 31% have had an object thrown at them on a ride (more than once)
  • 29% report being coal rolled (cough)
  • 52% of female cyclists have experienced aggressive driver behavior on at least some of their rides compared to 33% of men

In addition, you’ll find a number of articles that together sum up the current sorry state of bike safety in the US.

It’s not all bad news, though. The magazine also looks at some of the more positive aspects.

As you read these stories — and read them, you should — you may recognize several of the cases as stories we’ve reported on here. And if you read carefully, you may find my name, as well as the name of this site, sprinkled in here and there.

It’s a demanding, heartrending and intense series of stories. And may very well be the best work the magazine has ever done.

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Bike Month is starting to heat up.

Metro is celebrating with a free month of Metro Bike bikeshare if you sign up for a monthly membership.

The LACBC is celebrating by profiling bike riders throughout the month, while Bike SGV profiles bike riders in the San Gabriel Valley.

And thanks to Portland bike advocate and mom Kath Youell, you can now track your Bike Month Challenge miles online, even if you don’t have a workplace team to join.

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The Joe Bray-Ali story has now made it around the world, as an Indian website picks up the story, apparently drawn by Bray-Ali’s Indian-Hungarian-Irish Jewish and Muslim heritage.

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In addition to the risk of traffic violence, some bike riders face actual violence.

A 12-year old Cleveland girl was collateral damage in a car-to-car shooting, shot in the foot as she rode her bicycle.

A Florida man was shot in the ankle by another bike rider who attempted to rob him.

Caught on video: A man calls for help as he’s mugged by a gang of hooded youths who steal his bicycle in a London Park.

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The legendary Marco Pantani still holds the hearts of Italian cycling fans, 13 years after his cocaine-fueled death.

African cycling suffered a big setback as Namibian cycling star Costa Seibeb was killed in a car crash Tuesday morning.

Caught on video, maybe: A stalled motorcycle caused a massive pileup near the starting line of New York’s annual Red Hook Crit. The video may or may not play; I’ve been looking for a working version of this for two days, after it was apparently removed from YouTube.

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Local

Streetsblog highlights the debate over Vision Zero funding in the Los Angeles transportation budget, which is quickly reaching a crisis point as traffic deaths continue to climb.

While approving a handful of bikeways, West Hollywood says forget about a road diet on Fountain, and chooses parking over safety on Santa Monica Blvd. Note to WeHo: You can’t connect to the bike lanes on Willoughby in Los Angeles, because there aren’t any.

Yo! Venice examines bike theft in Venice Beach, which is down after police cleared out a number of homeless encampments in the Ballona Wetlands; the LAPD still has a number of unclaimed bicycles they recovered from the homeless camps.

Ground was broken on a Newhall Ranch bridge project, including walkways on the bridge and a bikeway underneath.

 

State

No bias here. After a Santa Rosa cyclist was hit by a car as he attempted to cross the street, police note that he was not in a crosswalk. Even though bike riders are usually discouraged, though not forbidden, from using one.

Sad news from Northern California, where a bike rider was killed in a Half Moon Bay hit-and-run, and a Petaluma man died when he reportedly went over the handlebars after losing control of his bike.

An anti-bike Marin County columnist says bike riding is not a viable option for anyone except fit, young people, and the county isn’t going to become a bike-crazed Holland anytime soon. Which is exactly what they said in Holland before it became one. And countless older, out-of-shape adults ride bicycles every day.

Disabled veterans ride with the pros at an invitation-only mountain bike race in Grass Valley.

Chico gets promoted to gold-level bike-friendly status.

 

National

The Hawaii city council votes on whether to fork over $50,000 to pay the legal fees of a police officer who was apparently fired after killing a bike rider in a crash while on duty.

A Seattle man who lost both legs when he was hit by a Prague subway train hopes to be the first handcyclist to complete the Race Across America, which starts next month

Now that’s more like it. A stoned Washington driver gets seven and a half years for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle just minutes from his home.

A model arrives at New York’s Met Gala dressed for the red carpet after beating traffic with a pedicab ride through Central Park.

Caught on video too: An Alabama cyclist is the victim of a screaming tirade from two men in a truck, one of whom hangs out of the open passenger door to berate him.

Once again, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a police officer, this time in Jacksonville FL. As usual, police say it was the bicyclist’s fault, even though the officer was responding to a call without lights or siren, saying the rider was reportedly swerving for no apparent reason and didn’t have any lights. Even though the crash occurred before sunset.

 

International

Ottawa bicycle advocates throw mud in the great debate over bike fenders.

A new report from members of the British Parliament calls for changing the driving code to require drivers to yield to people on bicycles.

Over 200 cyclists turn out to honor fallen endurance cyclist Mike Hall at a memorial service in his English hometown, a little over a month after he was killed in a collision while competing in an Australian race.

One in five Welsh adults have not ridden a bicycle in ten years. Which means 80% of Welsh adults have.

Caught on video three, or maybe four: A Scottish man is nearly crushed in the equivalent of a right hook, after taking up bicycling again for the first time in 20 years. While the driver clearly cut him off, he should have stopped when the truck first cut into him, rather than pulling alongside before the driver cut him off again.

Helsinki, Finland will get an expanded bikeshare system this summer, with 1,400 bikes at 140 stations, as well as another 100 bikes in a neighboring city.

 

Finally…

Touring the world on a smuggled bikeshare bike. Your next ebike could be a hippo. Or maybe a panda.

And nothing like teaching your son the family business.

The bike theft business, that is.

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Thanks to Eric from Boulder for his generous donation to support this site.

Which leads to our periodic reminder that if everyone who visits this site today contributed just $10, it would fund BikinginLA for a full year.

Then again, if just one person contributed a shitload of money, it would probably have the same effect.

Oceanside bike rider dies after apparently crashing into a tree

For the third time in two weeks, a bike rider has died in an offroad fall in Southern California.

San Diego’s CBS2 is reporting that an unconscious man was found around 9:40 this morning just off a bike path in Oceanside, near North Santa Fe Avenue and state Route 76.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was found with his bicycle next to a tree at the bottom of an embankment. He was pronounced dead at the scene, despite attempts to resuscitate him.

No other information is available at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to call Accident Investigator Gabe Cobian with the Oceanside Police Department at 760/435-4989.

This is the 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in San Diego County.

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

 

Update: Man dies after apparent right hook in Temecula Wednesday night

Sad news from Temecula, where a man on a bicycle died following a Wednesday night collision.

According to the Valley News, the victim was struck by a truck driver who was turning right from eastbound Temecula Parkway to Pechanga Parkway around 8:52 pm last night.

Riverside County sheriff’s deputies responding to the scene found the man, who has not been publicly identified, lying in the roadway suffering from major injuries. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died today.

There was no indication that alcohol was a factor.

Based on the limited description, it would appear the rider was the victim of a right hook. However, there’s no word on where the victim was riding at the time of the crash.

A satellite view shows a major intersection with seven through lanes and two right turn lanes on Temecula, which suggests that he may have been riding on the sidewalk and rode off into the crosswalk. However, that is just a guess at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Carpenter at the Temecula Police Department at 951/696-3000.

This is the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Riverside County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 56-year old John Napolitano.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Napolitano and his loved ones.

Morning Links: LA cyclist mugged by transient, CHP endorses speeding drivers, and CD1 race gets dirtier

Regular bike commuter Lou Karlin forwards word that he was attacked by a transient while riding in LA’s Pico-Robertson neighborhood Tuesday evening.

I was going west on Whitworth at Crescent Heights at approximately 6:10 p.m.  A male transient was pushing a shopping cart northbound across the intersection.  He passed me just as my light turned green.  As I began to pedal, he turned back, entered the intersection and punched me in the jaw, knocking me off my bike.  The driver behind me stopped and came to my aid.  The transient, apparently deranged, accused me of having attacked him first and then threatened to hurt the driver.  We let him go on his malevolent way, northbound on Crescent Heights.

I wasn’t badly hurt, just a sore jaw and ribs.  I called 911 to report the incident, and was told to wait for officers.  Unfortunately, it took 60 minutes and repeated calls before two officers arrived–so the transient had disappeared long ago.  In retrospect, I wish I had followed him.

It might be worth a heads up to those who commute on Whitworth — the transient is white with a stocky build, in his 50’s, has a beard, and wore baggy jeans and a light-colored, short-sleeved shirt.

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Speed cameras work.

A Maryland news report says that no pedestrians have been killed on a roadway near the University of Maryland since a speed camera was installed in 2014; three people were killed on the street in the six months before it was put in place.

And a New York report from 2015 showed that speed cameras in school zones have been a resounding success, resulting in a 58% decline in speeding tickets in just four months.

Unfortunately, though, a bill that would allow a pilot project in San Jose and San Francisco has been put on hold due to opposition from law enforcement groups.

California Highway Patrol Officer Tom Maguire, representing the CHP’s rank-and-file union, challenged the notion that speed cameras would help improve street safety.

In his 21-year career patrolling the East Bay, Maguire said, “I have never investigated or assisted in an investigation that involved a vehicle and a pedestrian or a vehicle and a bicycle that resulted in a fatality where speed was the primary collision factor. Never.”

Which ignores the fact that while collisions may be caused by other factors, excessive speed can contribute or exacerbate that primary collision factor — such as a speeding driver blowing through a red light or making unsafe lane changes — and significantly increases the risk that a crash will result in death or serious injury.

Things he should be well acquainted with in his 21 years of patrolling.

In fact, it seem disingenuous, to use the polite term, to suggest that speed is never a factor in a collision, let alone the determining factor in whether someone lives or dies following a wreck.

And the CHP should, and undoubtedly does, know better.

So the question becomes, not whether speed cameras save lives, but why the union representing CHP officers is willing to stand in the way of safety, and continue to let people die on our streets as the victims of speeding drivers.

You’d think they’d be in favor of reducing speeds, obeying the speed limit and saving lives.

But evidently, you’d be wrong.

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We all knew this was coming.

The only question was what it would be, and when.

LAist posted a story yesterday that dug deep into CD1 candidate Joe Bray-Ali’s online history, and found a handful of comments posted to an alt-right website that can be described as insensitive, at best. And that appear to have the fingerprints of the Cedillo campaign.

Bray-Ali explains in a video posted on Facebook that he was, in effect, trolling the users of the site. But apologizes repeatedly for his mistake in judgment.

He also apologizes for remarks about gender reassignment surgery, noting that he’s changed his views after getting to know a number of trans people during the campaign.

So let’s be clear.

Virtually every political campaign conducts opposition research on the opposing candidate to dig up whatever dirt they can find. Most campaigns have to common sense and decency not to use it.

Evidently, Gil Cedillo’s doesn’t.

While they will undoubtedly deny having anything to do with it at today’s press conference to denounce Bray-Ali’s comments, there can be little doubt that this came directly from Cedillo’s campaign — and undoubtedly with his direct approval — and was given to the writer for LAist.

I’ve personally been involved in a number of campaigns where someone uncovered damning information about the opposing candidate. The decision on whether to use it was left to the campaign manager, but it always run past the candidate before releasing it.

And in every case, the decision was made not to use it. Sometimes by the campaign manager, sometimes by the candidate. But always because it was the right thing to do.

But clearly, not all politicians are so ethically enlightened.

I am deeply disappointed by Joe Bray-Ali’s comments, and the lack of judgment shown in posting to sites like that, for whatever reason. His only defense is that he was posting as a private citizen, before he chose to run for office.

But he should have known better.

On the other hand, I am disgusted that Gil Cedillo would stoop so low to hold onto a seat he clearly doesn’t deserve. Whether or not he wins the election, his credibility is shattered.

And we should all see him as the dirty politician he has proven himself to be.

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Samsung is introducing an app that will automatically reply for you if you get a call or message while you’re driving or riding your bike.

Unfortunately, installing and using the app is voluntary.

Which means it’s not the solution to distracted driving, but it’s a start.

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The Colorado Classic has announced the twelve women’s teams that will compete in the inaugural edition later this year.

Iran’s former national champ just got a seven and a half year ban for doping, his second offense in less than 12 months. Good thing the doping era is over.

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Local

Bike SGV forwards news that South Pasadena is considering bike lanes on Mission Street and protected bikeways on Fair Oaks; you can weigh in with your thoughts to help shape the future of South Pasadena.

Credit Bike SGV with passing on the news that Pasadena’s bike-friendly city council candidate Andy Wilson eked out a victory in last week’s runoff election.

The Press-Telegram presents your playlist for the fourth Beach Streets open streets event this Saturday.

 

State

No bias here. The San Diego Union-Tribune says an eight-year old girl hit the front of a truck with her bicycle, even though they explain that the truck actually crashed into her after she allegedly rode out in front of it.

Officers taking part in the Hollywood Memorial Ride from Hollywood to DC to honor fallen law enforcement officers stopped in Palm Springs Tuesday night.

Kids in a small, impoverished Kern County town are now riding bicycles abandoned by people at Burning Man, after they were stripped of fur and psychedelic tape, and repaired by a Bakersfield nonprofit.

A Sacramento news site warns that Vision Zero may be an elusive goal, while noting that countywide figures show bicyclists were at fault in 71% of crashes, and riding salmon in 61%. Both of those numbers seem highly questionable; if so many people are really riding on the wrong side of the street, something is seriously wrong. And they need to find out why.

 

National

You’ve got to be kidding. A Hawaii judge reduced the bail of a man charged with attempted murder for allegedly driving up onto a sidewalk to intentionally run down a bicyclist — even though he has no permanent address and at least one previous conviction for failing to appear.

A Portland writer says the city has spent 40 years building itself around pedestrians, trains and bicycles, so it’s time to just give up on driving altogether.

Employees of a Denver-based company built and donated 750 bicycles for local kids in an effort to set a new Guinness world record.

If you plan on riding the Montana backcountry this spring and summer, watch out for bears.

Four Texas cops are riding across the state to honor the five officers killed in last year’s Dallas ambush.

Researchers at the famed Cleveland Clinic have discovered that bicycling may be the best medicine for Parkinson’s Disease. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A California man with Type 1 diabetes will ride 800 miles through what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider America’s Diabetes Belt, from Chicago to Atlanta, to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association.

A Vermont letter writer says replacing parking spaces with bike lanes is discrimination against disabled, elderly and rural people. Because as we all know, none of them ever ride bicycles.

 

International

A Canadian cyclist warns his fellow riders not to ride the nearly finished Trans National Trail, saying it’s not safe because much of the trail runs on the shoulders of high speed highways.

An Ottawa city councilor pulls his support for a bike lane in the face of public opposition to the loss of 97 parking spaces.

New legislation would commit the United Kingdom — which may become the Untied Kingdom post-Brexit — to a specific plan for funding bicycling and pedestrian projects, with the equivalent of up to $1.54 billion in spending by 2020/21.

A new British study shows how road pollution can pass through your lungs and into the bloodstream, raising the risk of heart attack and stroke; the risk is greater for people who already suffer from coronary heart disease. However, the benefits of bicycling still outweigh the risk posed by air pollution.

A Scottish transportation group says bicycling instead of driving would amount to an 8% pay raise for the average person, saving the equivalent of over $2,500.

Touring Paris on two wheels.

While the US government scrubs any reference to climate change off government websites, the UN is partnering with a Chinese bikeshare company to raise awareness of global warming.

 

Finally…

That’s one way to prevent bike theft. Your next bike could literally suck smog.

And a writer in Singapore isn’t exactly pleased with her brief bikeshare experience.

 

Morning Links: Dangerous driver — and pedestrian — tricks, and willfully indignorant* bike-hating writers

The war on bikes goes on.

A Macon GA pedestrian was convicted of misdemeanor assault for body-checking an Air Force chaplain who was riding his bike on a base fitness trail, insisting “the trail is not for bicycles.”

A North Carolina driver faces a second degree murder charge for — allegedly — intentionally running down a bike rider, for the apparent crime of saying something to a woman at a nearby home.

A British Columbia hit-and-run driver may have intentionally targeted a 14-year old competitive cyclist; a witness saw the truck veer into a bike lane to hit her, while reports circulated about a similar truck involved in a previous road rage incident.

Meanwhile, a Toronto writer asks if driving is a privilege, why is it so hard to revoke — and why shouldn’t dangerous drivers be priced off the road?

Or as Tom Vanderbilt put it, a driver’s license is too easy to get, and too hard to lose.

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Then there are the writers who just don’t get it. And seem damn proud of it.

A Davis columnist doesn’t seem to like the idea of an Idaho Stop Law, because, in his observations, virtually no one on a bike stops for a stop sign anyway, while every single driver comes to a full and complete stop. No, really, you can stop laughing now, that’s what he said.

An Atlanta columnist describes a road diet as “New Urbanism-speak for choking off a road” in hopes that drivers will become so frustrated they’ll go somewhere else.

On the other hand, an Australian columnist gets it, saying licensing bicyclists isn’t the answer, and that only a change in the attitude of all road users will prevent future tragedies.

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Fallen pro cyclist Michele Scarponi will be buried today in his full team kit; even his parrot is in mourning.

A French pro was the victim of a vicious attack with a baseball bat and a box cutter while on a training ride with two other cyclists.

Former British cyclist Jonathan Tiernan-Locke lost his license for 41 months after being convicted of driving at over twice the legal alcohol limit. This is why people continue to die on the streets, when even a second drunk driving offense results in nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

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Local

Vision Zero will host four open houses in Southeast and South LA in the coming weeks, with the first one this Thursday. And will roll out a series of events throughout the LA area, starting this week on Hoover Street.

The Better Bikeshare Partnership looks at the Team LACBC Diversity program to encourage more people to take part in the annual Climate Ride, beyond the usual white male suspects.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’ll be holding a roadside bike repair workshop tomorrow evening in conjunction with DTLA’s Just Ride LA bike shop.

 

State

Now that Governor Brown and his wife got new bicycles for Christmas, maybe he’ll be a little more concerned about bicycle safety and providing safe places to ride.

A San Diego man recounts his “amazing” four-day ride along the coast highway from Ocean Beach to Santa Barbara with a friend.

A San Jose woman wants bike riders to pay to fix potholes in the roads, even though bikes don’t cause them. Cyclelicious takes the opportunity to remind us of the Fourth Power Rule, concluding that a Prius causes 38,000 times more road damage to the road than a bicycle.

 

National

People for Bikes compares bicycling to other types of exercise to see how it stacks up; shockingly, riding a bike comes out on top almost every time.

Portland is developing an adaptive bikeshare program to address complaints that the city’s Nike-sponsored systems isn’t accessible to people with disabilities.

Austin TX is doubling the size of their free bikeshare system.

Caught on video: A Skokie IL cop pulls over a driver for tailgating a bike rider, telling them both “I want you to know that I care.” Although it’s kind of scary that the rider didn’t know he was being followed that closely.

A Minnesota TV station profiles a facemask wearing, bike-riding Robocop who records and challenges dangerous drivers.

Drag racer Courtney Force and IndyCar driver Graham Rahal are two of us, as they go fat bike riding in Indianapolis.

Caught on video too: Tennessee firefighters rescue a teenager who tried to ride his bicycle through 50-degree floodwaters.

Life is sickeningly cheap in Florida, where killing a fourth grader riding his bike on the sidewalk is worth nothing more than a $1,000 fine and a one-year license suspension.

 

International

Caught on video three: A bike-raging Toronto cyclist smashes the side mirror of an SUV, accusing the driver of laughing after nearly hitting him; a local advocacy group rightly condemns vigilantism while noting that something clearly led up to the incident.

Horrific story from London, where police are looking for a gang of masked thugs who hacked a teenage bike rider to death for no apparent reason, after harassing people earlier in the evening.

An unmarked bike cop will be riding the streets of Edinburgh to catch and educate drivers who don’t pass safely. Which is really all it takes to enforce the three-foot passing law, and yet, almost no police agencies in the US bother to do it. Including here in Los Angeles.

Forbes says the Glasgow study showing bike commuting can lower your risk of death by all causes 41% is an exceptionally well-controlled study, adding to its credibility. Unlike, say, the one that says you could suffer dementia and have a stroke if you drink diet soda.

A new Dutch system uses bunnies and turtles to tell you whether you need to speed up or slow down to make the next green light. And a cow to say just give up, already.

A bikeshare company is picking up the tab for Beirut’s first prototype bike lane, which will be extended throughout the city if all goes well.

The battle to reclaim Mosul from ISIS rebels has resulted in a unique bicycle culture, as cars and motorcycles are banned from moving in the west side of the city, and bikes are more practical in the rest.

Remembering when bikes went to war a century ago, as members of the Kiwi and Aussie Anzac Cyclist Brigade found themselves trapped in the trenches of WWI.

Nothing like watching a seeming embarrassed kangaroo hide its crotch after just missing an Aussie cyclist.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re riding your bike at 2:40 am carrying hash, crack and coke, put a damn light on it and stay off the sidewalk. If you’re going to use your bicycle as a burglary getaway vehicle, again, put a damn light on it, already.

And if you feel the need to salute the cyclist who just beat you in a sprint to the finish, try to use more than one finger.

Or at least hide it from the camera.

 

*A mashup of indignant and ignorant, a truly lovely combination

 

Mountain biker found dead after being missing overnight in Carbon Canyon Regional Park

Mountain biking is usually a safe sport, resulting in nothing more than a few scrapes and bruises.

Yet for the second time in less than ten days, a mountain biker has been killed riding on an off-road trail in the Inland Empire.

According to KABC-7, 43-year old Long Beach resident Sokha Pho was found dead today in a remote region off the Raptor Ridge Trail in Carbon Canyon Regional Park, just over the San Bernardino County line from Orange County.

However, KCBS-2 places the location in Chino Hills State Park.

The station reports he had gone riding yesterday morning, and relatives called authorities when he did not return as expected yesterday afternoon. Rescuers from Orange and San Bernardino Counties conducted a search by foot, vehicle and air before spotting his body around 2:30 pm, suffering from obvious signs of trauma.

Commenters on a member’s only Facebook group said the trail, which is normally safe, was overgrown with foliage and virtually impassible; one rider told me she decided not to ride the trail yesterday because she couldn’t get through the overgrowth.

This is the 14th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in San Bernardino County.

Correction: KABC-7 originally identified the trail as Rafter Ridge, rather than Raptor Ridge. I’ve changed the story to reflect the correct location. Thanks to Bob for the catch.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sokha Pho and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

Morning Links: More on Vision Zero funding, bike theft goes unpunished, and Merced driver topples nine riders

There’s more reaction to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s call to increase funding for Vision Zero, as advocates say it’s not enough.

The mayor’s proposal instead calls for using Measure M return funds to repave 60 lane miles of streets — just 30 actual miles — in the High Injury Network, while making safety improvements at the same time.

Meanwhile, his proposal to boost Vision Zero spending to $16.6 million would still represent just a small fraction of what New York spends each year to reduce traffic fatalities. Even though Los Angeles leads the nation in pedestrian deaths.

The LACBC’s Tamika Butler suggests tapping police and fire departments budgets to make up the difference.

Tamika Butler, executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, said the city could find other ways of securing more money for Vision Zero. One option, she said, would be to tap police and fire department funding.

“When you’re looking at the important work these departments do, it’s all about saving lives,” Butler said. “Vision Zero is about saving lives, too.”

The LAPD is chronically understaffed, with the smallest police force per capita of any major American city, while struggling to protect one of the largest patrol areas. As it is now, police have more cases than they can handle, and relatively minor crimes — like stolen bikes — often don’t get investigated.

And the fire department is just recovering from the drastic staffing cuts during the last economic downturn that increased response times to unacceptable levels, putting traffic victims and others in need of emergency care at needless risk.

Yes, we need to find the money to fix our streets somewhere, as well as dramatically increasing spending on Vision Zero to eliminate traffic deaths.

But taking funding from the police and fire departments is the wrong way to go about it.

………

Speaking of bicycle theft, an Op-Ed in the LA Times asks why cities are allowing bike theft to go virtually unpunished.

A big part of the problem has been changes in the law a few year back that reclassified any theft below $1,000 as a misdemeanor, while preventing people convicted of misdemeanors from receiving any real jail time.

And since most bikes fall under that threshold, police put less effort into investigating those thefts, since they know the thief will be back on the street in a few days even if they manage to get a conviction.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t still try to return bikes to their rightful owners when they can. In fact, a detective in the West LA division reported at last week’s meeting of the department’s bike liaison program that they had recovered three bikes in recent months using Bike Index.

Which is just one more reason to register your bike.

………

An 81-year old Merced driver struck four cyclists with his mirror as he tried to slip past a group of riders without crossing the center line, taking down all nine riders in a chain reaction crash, while sending three to the hospital.

Investigators said the riders did nothing wrong, and the driver would likely be ticketed for unsafe passing. Although the CHP suggests being old may be the new Get Out of Jail Free card.

You can put this one directly on Governor Brown’s doorstep.

Unlike some other states, California’s three-foot passing law does not allow drivers to briefly cross the center line when safe to do so to pass people on bicycles, because Brown vetoed an earlier version of the bill that would have permitted it.

The result is drivers who try to squeeze by bicyclists unsafely rather than risk a ticket for briefly having two wheels over the yellow line.

So it’s the people on bikes who pay the price, instead.

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Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this newsreel view of Nazi occupied Paris in 1944, filmed in part using a camera hidden in a bike basket.

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The fourth of the five Monuments rolled on Sunday with the Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic, the ending of which should not shock anyone. Meanwhile, the first women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège ended in a solo breakaway.

The peloton paused before the race to pay tribute to Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi, who was killed in a collision with a van while on a training ride on Saturday. Vincenzo Nibali dedicated his victory in the Tour of Croatia to Scarponi, who he said was like a brother to him. And an Aussie rider wonders if it could be him next time.

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Local

The new Los Angeles State Historic Park finally opens after 14 years, offering walkways and bike paths in the shadow of Downtown LA and Chinatown.

KABC-7 talks with the architect working on a 12-mile long bike path along the LA River in the San Fernando Valley, part of plans to extend the existing bikeway the entire length of the river.

The Wave newspaper offers an even-handed look at last week’s CD1 debate between Gil Cedillo and Joe Bray-Ali. Speaking of Bray-Ali, the Times has reconsidered their endorsement of him, and concluded that yes, he is the right person for the job.

Burbank approves plans for two-way separated bike lanes on a 1/3 mile section of Leland Way.

Long Beach held a tricycle race at the city’s Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital to raise funds for pediatric cancer research and call attention to next month’s annual Tour of Long Beach.

 

State

Newport Beach pulls back on plans to widen the Coast Highway at Mariner’s Mile to three lanes in each direction, as residents call for revitalizing the street to make it more attractive to bike riders and pedestrians, instead.

They’re onto us, comrades. A San Diego letter writer insists the nefarious bike lobby is running the city government, indoctrinating fourth graders, and forcing poor, put-upon drivers to plod through potholes while we luxuriate in bike lanes. Although he doesn’t begin to compare with the Michigan woman who thinks having to obtain a license to park on the street is just as bad as the Holocaust.

San Franciscans are questioning why bicycles are banned from the city’s light rail trains after an injured woman is denied a ride to the hospital after falling on the tracks.

 

National

Twenty-two mountain bikers have been mauled by bears in the last 17 years, a surprisingly low rate given the number of riders in bear country and the speed they travel.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A skilled reconstructive hand surgeon and medical professor riding in a bike lane was killed in a collision with a bus in Las Vegas, while his wife is undergoing chemotherapy.

Denver police bust a serial bike burglar.

A Montana compromise will create an 80,000-acre wilderness area, in exchange for allowing mountain biking on 3,800 acres.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Texas cop is acquitted of criminally negligent homicide after running over and killing a man who was fleeing on his bicycle. Even though he moved his car and the victim, lied about what happened, and waited over eight minutes to call the paramedics while the man died.

A trio of Peoria IL priests are riding their bicycles 350 miles across the diocese to encourage more vocations to the priesthood.

After years of decreases, doorings increased fifty percent in Chicago in 2015.

Hundreds of people turn out to call for more bike lanes in Boston.

A North Carolina woman suffering from Multiple Sclerosis wins her fight to ride a bicycle.

New Orleans passes ordinances that will require a safer passing distance, as well as prohibiting motorists from driving in bike lanes; the law also bans harassing bike riders or throwing anything at them.

 

International

A group of students is following the monarch butterfly migration on their 9,000 mile journey from Mexico to the US.

Ottawa, Canada residents are up in arms over plans to remove 97 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. After all, who cares about improving safety if you have to walk a few steps from your parking space?

An artist depicts bicycling through London in a series of illustrations.

A man returns home to his English hometown seven years after he left on a 43,000-mile around the world bike tour that raised the equivalent of nearly $13,000 for charity.

As many as 10,000 people may have turned out in for this year’s Pedal on Parliament calling for safer streets for Scottish bike riders.

Caught on video: An Irish cyclist was nearly hit head-on by a speeding truck that crossed the center line.

An Irish government minister says he’s lucky to be alive after he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle with his wife.

The Danes do know how to combine bikes and beer.

A new Australian bikeway will be built like a limited access freeway, making it difficult for local residents to use it.

Caught on video too: An Aussie cyclist sticks the landing when he’s hit by a driver, flipping in the air and coming to rest sitting on the roof of the car.

A local newspaper talks with the founder of Singapore’s only cycling instruction school, who says over half his students are adults.

Dockless bikeshare may still have a few kinks to work out, after a Chinese man was charged the equivalent of $60,000 for a 20-minute ride. And the founder of one of the bikeshare companies says yes, there’s a bikeshare bubble, but his company will survive.

Bicycling is growing in popularity in South Korea, where beautiful mountains and lakes are just a short ride from Seoul, and the roads have bike lanes.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have an inflatable frame and fit in the trunk of a Ford. Probably not the best idea to push a baby carriage with a foldie.

And admit it. You’ve spent years perfecting your imitation of Charlie Chaplin hammering a sprint finish.

 

Morning Links: More funding for Vision Zero, City of Angels Ride, and saving NB cyclists by crashing into them

In his State of the City address, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a boost in Vision Zero funding, from a paltry $3 million up to $17 million.

Although that’s still a far cry from the $155 million New York spends on Vision Zero each year.

And as CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin made clear, it’s not nearly enough.

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This one sounds like fun.

Adam Ginsberg reminds us that there’s still time to register for this Sunday’s City of Angels Charity/Fun Ride benefitting the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center.

After all, how often do you get a tour of LA with a police escort, and the intersections corked by cops?

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Newport Beach police don’t have to look very far in their quest to crack down on violations that threaten the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians, after one of their own officers collided with a bike rider Thursday afternoon.

The victim was reported to be conscious and breathing when he was taken to a local hospital.

And unlike the LA County Sheriff’s Department, which insisted on investigating its own deputy in the crash that killed Milt Olin, the NBPD has wisely handed the investigation over to the CHP.

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In case you’ve forgotten, CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo was for bike lanes before he was against them.

Then again, that’s when he was running for council the first time and thought he needed our votes.

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Apparently, aggressive riding is okay, but punching another rider isn’t, as Ukrainian cyclist Andriy Grivko gets a 45 day ban for slugging Marcel Kittel during a race.

The probe into British Cycling continues, as an outside investigator delves into their medical records.

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Local

The long-delayed Los Angeles State Historic Park will open this Saturday on the east edge of Chinatown in DTLA.

The Metro Bike bikeshare has hit 134,000 rides through March since its launch July 7th, but is still far below their target goal of two rides a day per bike.

Caught on video: CiclaValley captures what happens when Waze intersects with trash day on a narrow roadway.

West Covina police will patrol the city’s parks on bikes to address concerns over the homeless population.

A suspected bike thief apparently got away from sheriff’s deputies in Newhall by taking to the rooftops in his effort to escape, although they did recover three bicycles during the search. I just wish there was an armed response like that every time someone steals a bike.

Rotterdam comes to Santa Monica to talk bikes May 3rd.

 

State

The San Diego Padres’ annual fundraising ride will cross the Coronado Bay Bridge for the first time this fall.

Palm Springs bicyclists rode to city hall in support of the proposed 50-mile CV Link bike path, in the face of opposition from the city’s mayor.

A Monterey woman describes how she won a Brompton bike race wearing a plaid skirt, while Monterey bike shop owners explain how they’re adapting to a rapidly changing marketplace.

A Stanford postdoctoral fellow considers the problem of distracted drivers, and how they can keep women from riding their bikes.

 

National

You may never have to carry a spare tube or patch kit again — if you can get used to the strange looks you’ll get.

The Today Show considers how to find the right bikes and accessories for any rider.

A government website looks at how technology can help eliminate traffic deaths.

A new Portland video asks people how many traffic deaths and injuries would be acceptable for their own families, then asks if that should be the goal for everyone.

A bighearted 11-year old Wyoming girl won a new bicycle at an Easter egg hunt over the weekend. But instead of riding it home, she turned around and gave it to another girl who needed one.

Three Michigan police agencies deny charges in a federal report that they could have done more to prevent the Kalamazoo massacre, despite failing to respond to three calls warning about the stoned driver as he careened down the road for 22 minutes before the fatal crash.

The rich get richer. New York continues to get safer for bicyclists, as Brooklyn’s busiest business corridor is about to get a bike and pedestrian-friendly makeover. And plans are underway to install 24 blocks of protected bike lanes along iconic 7th Avenue.

 

International

A British man shares the lessons he learned bicycling around the world for seven years, including that strangers will open their doors for you, and Iran is a much better place than people make it sound.

If you still aren’t convinced, London’s Telegraph offers eight stats that show why you should bike to work — like being less likely to need Viagra in your 50s. The Telegraph also gives a glowing review of the $35,000 Bugatti urban bike without actually bothering to ride it.

London cyclists complain that a study showing bike commuting cuts your risk of cancer by 41% doesn’t take into account the dirty air they have to breathe.

Caught on video too: A British bike advocate’s camera is stolen as he’s recording cars parking in a bike lane, then smashed to bits by the thief after a brief chase.

Belfast’s successful bikeshare system is being put at risk as more than one-third of the bikes have been stolen or put out of action by vandals.

An Aussie cyclist urges other riders not to react to aggressive or threatening drivers. Which may be good advice, but it’s a lot easier said than done when you’ve just had the crap scared out of you.

As China’s dockless bike bikeshare systems expand into new cities, bike abuse and vandalism follow.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your cruiser bike as a getaway vehicle after a double-barreled bank robbery, at least hide the damn thing afterwards. Before you headbutt someone who won’t loan you his bicycle, make sure he actually owns one.

And an Aussie writer says don’t do things that could kill you. Which pretty much eliminates everything other than staying in bed all day.

Except that can kill you, too.

 

Murrieta mountain biker killed in trail riding fall last Saturday

The Murrieta Patch is reporting that a mountain biker has died after losing control of his bike on a local trail.

Sixty-five-year old Murrieta resident Dennis Fabozzi was reportedly trailing a group of riders around 1 pm Saturday on a dirt trail near Tenaja Road and Via Volcano, when he fell and struck his head on a rock, resulting in a serious neck injury.

Witnesses performed CPR until paramedics arrived; however, he died at the scene without regaining consciousness.

The story notes that he was wearing a helmet. Unfortunately, that would have done nothing to protect his neck from blunt force trauma.

This is the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Riverside County.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Dennis Fabozzi and all his loved ones.

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