Archive for Bicycle Safety

Barstow bike rider murdered in deliberate attack; driver still at large

A manhunt is on in San Bernardino County after a bicyclist was killed in what police describe as an intentional attack.

According to the Desert Dispatch, 40-year old Barstow resident Bennett Warner was riding his bike westbound on Main Street around 12:53 pm Monday when he was approached by a man identified as 22-year old Raymundo Alberto Rodriguez-Cordova of Barstow.

The two men got into an argument, after which Warner rode into a parking lot on the 1000 block of Main. Cordova followed Warner in his pickup and accelerated into Warner, slamming him into a parked car.

Cordova fled the scene following the crash, leaving Warner to die later of his injuries.

There’s no word on what the two argued about, whether it had to do with road rage or a personal dispute between the two men.

Police are looking for an older model pickup, possibly a 1993 Chevy S10, black with red or primer markings on the front, Kansas plate 180GRS.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Tom Lewis at 760/255-5187.

This is the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Bennett Warner and all his loved ones.

Morning Links: Zero vision instead of Vision Zero in Los Angeles, and bike riders really do make better lovers

So much for Vision Zero being a priority in Los Angeles anytime soon.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports that the new budget the city council will vote on later this week won’t include dedicated funding for the campaign to end traffic deaths in Los Angeles.

Even though the council’s Transportation Committee had voted to devote 60% of Measure M return funds to stop killing bicyclists and pedestrians.

And even though LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds estimated it would take $80 million to meet the mayor’s goal of reducing traffic fatalities 20% this year. Let alone ending them by 2025.

And even though the mayor’s own budget had included a woefully inadequate $16.7 million for Vision Zero.

Instead, the council’s Budget Committee voted to zero out funding for Vision Zero, while saying it was no one’s intention to zero out funding for Vision Zero. They promised to circle back at a later date to consider giving some unspecified piece of the pie to improve safety, while channeling much of the funding to repaving streets.

And we’ve learned from experience what their promises are worth.

As Linton wrote,

Despite LADOT having submitted a Vision Zero work plan with costs (see budget memos 130 and 131), Krekorian and Englander both asserted that directing monies to LADOT for Vision Zero was – in Krekorian’s words “buying a pig in a poke” – paying for an unknown quantity lacking “specific expenditures.” The Bureau of Street Services has not submitted an expenditure plan, but can pour money into its perpetually backlogged repaving programs, which divide expenditures by 15 for the 15 council districts….

In an interview with Streetsblog this morning, Bonin expressed frustration that his colleagues were praising the city budget for its no-kill animal shelters, while not yet dedicating any money to no-kill sidewalks. Bonin said that it didn’t make any sense for the council to put off Vision Zero funding that would prevent deaths and save lives. Bonin further stated that he is continuing to push for a genuine city commitment to Vision Zero.

So for now, at least, it’s exactly what so many of us have feared.

LA may have a Vision Zero plan. But zero commitment to follow through.

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Forget those reports from a few years ago that bicycling can cause erectile dysfunction or other sexual problems.

Because a new study shows no significant negative impacts for men or women; in fact, cyclists scored higher in sexual function than non-riders.

But we already knew that, right? And so did our undoubtedly very pleased significant others.

And you can stop riding those cut-out and cutoff saddles, because bike seats didn’t matter, either.

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Metrolink will be hosting a Bike Week Twitter Party this evening.

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As a public service, no more news about today’s elections in CD7, and especially, CD1 until we have actual results, and can kiss this seemingly endless election cycle goodbye.

You’re welcome.

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Cycling Weekly takes advantage of a rest day at the Giro to catch up with who’s out of the race. America’s best hope took a hit as Tejay van Garderen cracked on Sunday’s stage, dropping four minutes behind the leader.

Monday’s stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California featured a long breakaway, a dramatic finish, and snakes. And Kiwis.

Latvia’s Toms Skujins was pulled from the race by his Cannondale-Drapac team despite somehow managing to get back on his bike following a particularly nasty solo fall during Monday’s race.

Team Sky’s Ian Bosewell wants to rebuild fans’ trust in American cycling by showing the new generation of riders can succeed without doping; he’s going to participate in a bike giveaway at the Hollywood Boys and Girls Club the day after the race’s Pasadena finish.

The AToC will roll along the Central Coast in today’s stage 3, finishing in Morro Bay.

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Local

KNBC-4 wishes you a happy Bike Week.

The Daily News says business owners are struggling to deal with the increasing homeless encampment along the Orange Line bike path in Van Nuys, with open drug dealing and prostitution, as well as people turning the bikeway in an open air toilet. I’ve heard from several riders who no longer feel safe riding the bikeway, and asked an LAPD officer to look into it; he reported that they couldn’t be legally removed because they’re on private property.

The LACBC reports Culver City will get a Metro Bike Hub next year.

The County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal to proceed with the San Gabriel Valley Greenway Network at today’s meeting.

 

State

Coronado suffered a rash of bike thefts, averaging nearly one stolen bike a day over an 11 day period.

The long-planned CV-Link multi-use pathway around the Coachella Valley gets final approval, after excluding Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells from the route. Which they will regret once it’s built and the bizarre resistance to the pathway fades away.

Nearly 300 chefs from around the US will depart from Santa Barbara on their bikes today, riding 300 miles to raise $2 million to help end child hunger; you can donate or sponsor a rider here.

It’s time for the four-day Great Western Bicycle Rally in Paso Robles next week.

Santa Paula police bust the bike-riding suspect who allegedly set a man on fire as he slept on a bench; the victim is being treated Los Angeles with burns over 50% of his body.

Writing in the Fresno Bee, a conservation advocate seems to believe the prospect of allowing bicycles in American wilderness areas will crack the final seal holding back the two-wheeled apocalypse.

Sad news from the Bay Area, where a bike rider was killed in a crash on Mount Hamilton near San Jose. And a 15-year old boy was killed by a train while crossing a bridge in Manteca in the Central Valley.

Once again, San Francisco bike advocates form a human barrier to create a temporary protected bike lane.

 

National

Police departments across the US are going undercover to catch drivers texting behind the wheel. Except in Southern California, of course.

A Oregon paper asks readers whether there should be a tax on bicycles. And gets a response saying bicycles take up more room than cars do. No, really.

A 62-year old legally blind Idaho man has regained his freedom now that he can safely ride a bike on a Boise bikeway.

A Colorado man has been cited for careless driving after the tandem bike he was piloting veered onto the wrong side of the road and sideswiped an SUV, injuring two children on the bike.

The DIY toilet plunger protected bike lane movement has now spread to Omaha NE.

The former Governator took advantage of Houston’s bikeshare system while he was in town to give a commencement address.

A Michigan woman gets six months in jail for a fatal collision with a bicyclist because she had THC in her blood, even though she had the right-of-way and, according to her lawyer, police concluded there was nothing she could have done to avoid the crash.

Heartbreaking news from Indiana, where a driver lost control swerving to avoid a bike rider who had fallen while crossing the roadway and collided with a truck, killing an 11-year old girl in the passenger seat.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Ohio Bike Lawyer Steve Magas, who talks about Bike Week and the challenges facing Cincinnati’s growing bicycling community.

Once again, a bike rider has been struck by a cop responding to a call, this time in New York.

The LACBC’s Tamika Butler delivered the keynote address at last week’s Transportation Alternatives’ Vision Zero Cities conference, asking if Vision Zero can work in a racist society.

Eight hundred riders turned out for a South Carolina bike race — including some of NASCAR’s top drivers.

Caught on video: The moment a New Orleans cyclist was shot with a pellet gun was captured on bike cam by one of his fellow riders; fortunately, he’s now out of the hospital.

 

International

Cycling Weekly takes a look at knee pain and what to do about it.

Brit bike scribe Carlton Reid’s effort to resurrect Great Britain’s forgotten bike highways of the 1930s continues to gain traction. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

A British army vet with early onset Alzheimer’s is riding across the country to raise funds to fight the disease that killed his father and grandfather in their 40s.

An Irish advocacy group says horses are treated better on the country’s highways than cyclists are.

In a terrifying, yet ultimately harmless crash, a South African cyclist was dragged behind a semi-truck after a hook from the truck got caught on his jacket.

A New Zealand bike advocate is concerned by a plan to let children, as well as older and disabled cyclists, ride on the sidewalk, saying it would put kids at greater risk from cars backing out of driveways. But evidently, running over older bike riders is perfectly okay.

One thousand riders from a dozen countries around the world turned out for a two day Chinese Gran Fondo.

 

Finally…

As long as they’re removing statues of Confederate leaders, New Orleans might want to rename a bikeway or two. Red Bull says tall bikes will save the world.

And don’t steal bikes, dude. Especially from America’s biggest bike race.

 

Update: Bike rider killed in collision with Metro bus in LA’s Hyde Park neighborhood

For the second time in less than two weeks, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a Metro bus.

According to KCBS-2, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by the bus around 3:15 pm Monday near Crenshaw Boulevard and Brynhurst Avenue. He or she became pinned underneath, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Unfortunately, no other details are available at this time.

A street view shows two lanes in each direction on Crenshaw, with the street narrowed due to construction on the Crenshaw Line on the center median.

This comes just ten days after 13-year old Ciara Smith was killed when she was hit by a Metro bus in Redondo Beach.

This is the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: David Wolfberg provides more information about this tragedy, along with photos from the site. 

The ghost bike was placed last night.  We learned from after-the-crash witnesses that the bike and victim had been dragged for half a block on southbound Crenshaw before stopping just north of Brynhurst – literally between a billboard for a personal injury attorney service to the north on the east side of Crenshaw (“Don’t wait, Call 8!” you can see on the street view) and the Harrison-Ross Mortuary on the west/south.    Apparently there’s also a pedestrian & bike safety billboard on the other side of of the personal injury one – I’ll check that tonight.
The Google Map view (see street view link above) from January still holds except the cones are gone – so, two lanes of not so great pavement between curb and k-rails.  There’s even a worn out sharrow in front of Highly Favored Hair Studio.  Last night, instead of slowing down for a construction zone, cars were speeding and speeding up as they passed us, and we nearly witnessed another crash as a car stopped just north of the ghost bike to pick up a passenger from the sidewalk.  I worry not just for cyclists, but for everyone here including construction workers who park (in a heavily guarded lot) a block down on the NW corner of Crenshaw and 48th then must cross into the construction area.
We’re told the victim was male.   A reply on NextDoor indicates the victim was a minor.  We had guessed, given the timing, that it was a kid biking home from school.  I don’t want to speculate too much, but it did not look like an intersection crash where the bike flew in from out of nowhere.  I could picture a rider trying to hug the curb and coming across the rough patch adjacent to the sharrow (check street view at 4427 Crenshaw) and faltering in front of the bus.

Update: According to a comment by the victim’s sister, his name is Luis Alvarez, a 21-year old resident of Cicero, Illinois. The family has started a GoFundMe account to bring him back home and pay funeral expenses. 

According to the LAPD’s South Traffic bike liaison, Alvarez apparently passed the bus on the right, then was hit by the bus when he attempted to move back to the right to make a right turn onto Brynhurst. There’s no word yet on whether the bus was stopped or moving prior to the crash; however, a street view does not show a bus stop on that corner. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Luis Alvarez and all his loved ones.

 

Update: San Bernardino bike rider killed in early Sunday morning collision; few details currently available

A man was killed riding his bicycle early Sunday morning in San Bernardino.

In a news story that amounted to little more than a retyping of the Coroner’s press release, the San Bernardino Sun reports that 52-year old San Bernardino resident Dennis Joseph Urquijo was hit by a vehicle of some sort around 2:48 am on the 1100 block of 39th Street.

He was pronounced dead just 11 minutes later.

The paper offers no other details, and reports that it’s unclear whether the driver remained at the scene. There’s no word on how the collision occurred, whether the victim had lights on his bike, or whether either party had been drinking at that hour.

A street view shows what appears to be a quiet residential street coming off a T-intersection with Harrison Street.

This is the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Bernardino County. He is also the seventh bike rider killed in the City of San Bernardino in the past five years.

Update: The Sun reports Urquijo was struck from behind while riding west along the curb line on 39th; the driver fled the scene, leaving his victim to die in the street.  

Anyone with information is urged to call the San Bernardino police at 909/384-5791.

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

 

Morning Links: $4.5 million settlement in broken street death, new laws aren’t helping OC, and windshield bias in CD7

LA’s poorly maintained streets and lack of safe bicycling infrastructure will cost taxpayers $4.5 million dollars.

And cost a bike rider his life.

The city council agreed to a settlement in the 2014 case of Edgardo Gabat, who struck a two-inch ridge of concrete on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, and was thrown over his handlebars.

Sadly, the city knew about the problem after other riders had been injured there, but failed to fix it. Yet continued to list Colorado as a bicycle-friendly street, despite a lack of any bicycling infrastructure or warning signs.

As the LA Times points out, this settlement comes as Los Angeles debates whether to invest Measure M local return funds in fixing the streets or supporting Vision Zero projects.

Clearly, both are necessary. Because sometimes, it’s the same thing.

And as large as this settlement is, I have a feeling Gabat’s family would gladly give it all back just to have him with them again.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from David Whiting of the Orange County Register, who says new laws and thousands of dollars spent improving safety haven’t cut the county’s bicycling death toll, averaging one rider a month killed in traffic collisions.

Yes, he stresses the need for bike riders to be polite and obey the law. And he’s not wrong about that, although no one ever seems to suggest that every driver has to obey all the laws and be ambassadors for motoring.

But he does point the finger where it belongs, at distracted drivers and dangerously close passes that violate the state’s three-foot law. And notes that fines for littering exceed the penalty for nearly killing another human being with just inches to spare.

The kicker to the story, which ends with a call for Wednesday’s Ride of Silence, is that his own wife returned home from a ride as he was writing it, and reported that a man in a truck yelled an obscenity at her.

Which really shouldn’t surprise anyone, unfortunately.

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Streetsblog considers the new protected bike lanes on Foothill Blvd in Sunland-Tujunga, which were installed as a Vision Zero measure in response to the death of bike rider Jeff Knopp. And how they entered the debate between CD7 council candidates Karo Torossian and Monica Rodriguez, as the formerly bike-friendly Torossian offered a windshield-perspective comment about bike lanes being “rammed down our throats.”

Meanwhile, the Eastsider repeats questions for the candidates for CD1, and once again, gets crickets from incumbent Gil Cedillo.

For all the problems that have surfaced recently with Joe Bray-Ali, it’s hard to imagine he could be any less responsive or more out-of-touch with the district than Cedillo has been.

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This is why you don’t retaliate against drivers, no matter what they do or how pissed off you are.

A Santa Clarita man was sentenced to 188 days behind bars for throwing a bottle at a car after the driver apparently cut him off as he rode his bike on the sidewalk.

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CNN visits the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel above Lake Como in Italy and its shrine to cycling and the Giro d’Italia.

A major crash took down 50 riders in the Giro, sending a number of riders out of the race and into the hospital. Meanwhile, Vincenzo Nibali’s homecoming was ruined when one of his teammates got the cycling equivalent of a red card for shoving another rider off the road.

The Modesto Bee previews the Amgen Tour of California, which starts this weekend, and says keep an eye on Peter Sagan. French rider Julian Alaphilippe won’t be defending his title, or competing in the Tour de France, for that matter, after knee surgery knocks him out for at least four weeks.

Southern California’s Coryn Rivera returns to compete in the four-stage women’s Tour of California after becoming the first American the Tour of Flanders; full rosters were released for the women’s teams.

The course for this summer’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will go backwards.

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Local

Metro invites you to attend the grand opening of the long-awaited Hollywood Bike Hub on Friday the 19th at 9 am.

CiclaValley looks at last weekend’s NBA Reunion and BMX Bike Show, which oddly had nothing to do with basketball.

The LACBC will be hosting a pair of bike safety classes in Inglewood this afternoon and this evening.

The Bikerowave bike co-op invites you to bring your bike in on Saturday to get ready for Bike to Work Day, and score some swag from Metro.

Santa Monica gets serious about reducing traffic fatalities, including hiring a Vision Zero Czar, increasing funding, improving infrastructure, updating the bike action plan, and addressing the city’s speeding problem. Maybe LA could take a few hints from them.

The year’s first Redondo Beach TEDx talk addresses the city’s transportation issues, like how to reduce driving and where more bike lanes are needed; sadly, the discussion came just two days before a 13-year old girl was killed riding her bike along PCH.

Speaking of the young victim in that case, the Easy Reader News offers the most complete account yet of what happened that tragic night, and the heartbreaking impact Ciara Smith’s death has had on the community. If the story doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I am.

Long Beach approved plans for a new 2.5 mile bicycle boulevard in the southeast part of the city. Thus demonstrating to its much larger neighbor that it is in fact possible to build the things that are included in a city’s bike plan.

 

State

Good question. The Human Streets website asks if it’s possible to get the data needed to pass the Idaho Stop Law in California without actually trying it first.

An injured mountain biker was airlifted after falling off his bike at the top of Coyote Run Trail in Wood Canyons Wilderness Park near Laguna Nigel.

Laguna Beach is looking for more input to create a more inviting entrance to the city, including a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cal State Fullerton police are looking for a bike-riding man who threatened to kill a woman who rejected his sexual comments.

Newport Beach boldly backs out of plans to improve safety on Bayside Drive, canceling plans for a roundabout, as well as an alternate plan for a road diet. Because obviously, you don’t want to do anything to save lives if it might possibly inconvenience someone.

Sixteen bike repair stations will be installed at fire stations throughout Ventura County over the next year; a 10-mile family friendly ride will be held on Monday to celebrate the first one.

Bakersfield police are still investigating a member of a prominent local farming family in the January hit-and-run death of a woman riding her bike; police found an empty vodka bottle in the SUV of the driver, who has at least one previous DUI.

A Bay Area TV station offers advise on what you need to start cycling, albeit from a strict roadie perspective.

 

National

A new study shows increasing bicycling infrastructure can reduce fatalities and severe injuries as much as 75%. It includes Los Angeles as an example, even though LA has drastically cut back on building bikeways, and largely forgotten its 2010 bike plan.

People for Bikes says living plants make great diverters and traffic calming measures while doubling as on-street storm drainage.

Oregon considers a new 4% – 5% excise tax on the sale of new bicycles to fund transportation projects; while bike advocates may not like the idea, they’re not going to the mattresses.

Chicago is about to get its first contraflow bike lane, on a road where people frequently ride salmon to avoid busier streets.

As we mentioned awhile back, Pittsburgh-based ultracycling legend Danny Chew is back on track towards his goal of riding one million miles in his lifetime, now using a handcycle after a crash that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Hundreds of police officers are riding from New Jersey to DC for the annual Police Unity Tour to honor officers killed in the line of duty.

The homeless man who stabbed a Connecticut man to death as he neared the end of a ride to Miami to propose to his girlfriend won’t stand trial after being declared incompetent by the judge.

 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips says there’s no such thing as “just” a concussion, and every brain injury has to be taken seriously. I concur, from experience.

London’s Telegraph shares ten cycling routes you should tackle on your next trip to the UK.

After former three-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome was intentionally hit by a car while training in France, the BBC asks how safe the roads in the UK really are for people on bikes.

The Guardian says police have to crack down on vicious drivers, because bike riders don’t deserve to be killed by bike-hating motorists for jumping lights or hopping curbs.

Caught on video: Yesterday we mentioned the road raging London mother-to-be who will be having her baby behind bars after running a bike rider off the road and into a tree; today, horrifying security cam video of the crash was released. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Dutch art student left her bike in an English town when she returned home, with a note encouraging people to use it and return it for others to use.

The Paris Velib bikeshare goes electric with a new operator, ebikes and a new parking scheme that doubles dock capacity.

 

Finally…

The best way to lose a race — and get laughed at — is to celebrate your victory a lap early. Unless it’s nearly getting run over by the peloton posing for your Instagram pics.

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a drunken crash, make sure the cyclist you hit wasn’t a bike cop.

They take that shit seriously.

 

Bike rider killed in Oxnard DUI collision; driver reportedly high on prescription drugs

More bad news.

The Ventura County Star is reporting that a 46-year old man was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a van in Oxnard.

Forty-six-year old Oxnard resident Amado Ray Johnson was riding on the dirt shoulder of southbound Victoria Avenue north of Gum Tree Street around 3 pm Tuesday when the driver drifted off the road and struck him from behind.

He died at the scene.

The driver, identified as Ventura County resident Sean Patrick Donovan, was arrested on site for vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

A street view shows a divided roadway with three southbound lanes and a left turn lane, with what appears to be a macadam shoulder.

This is the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Ventura County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Amado Ray Johnson and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Anthony Navarro for the heads-up. 

Update: Altadena bike rider dies weeks after an apparent solo fall, possibly caused by old-style speed bumps

Correction: New information changes the location of this crash, meaning the old-style speed bumps were not the cause of this crash. See the update at the end of this story for the latest details. 

An experienced bike rider has died two weeks after he fell on an Altadena street.

The victim was reportedly riding on Holliston Ave when he fell due to rubber speed bumps a little over two weeks ago.

The man, identified on Facebook as Dick Wood, was reportedly conscious immediately following the fall, and identified the older-style speed bumps as the cause of his crash.

The exact date and location of the fall are unclear at this time. However, someone who lives on North Holliston confirms that there are rubber speed bumps on the lower section of the roadway.

Wood was described by numerous sources as a very experienced and well-liked rider in his 70s who had ridden across the US and participated with the weekly ROC ride at Stan’s Bike Shops when it was located in Monrovia; it has since moved to Azusa.

It’s speculated that he somehow lost control of his bike and hit the speed bumps before going over his handlebars, but that is unconfirmed at this time.

This is the 18th confirmed bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Los Angeles County. Five of those have been the result of solo falls; that compares with two for all of last year.

Update: I have been informed that Wood is believed to have fallen on Holliston below New York Ave. A street view shows an odd speed bump made of what appears to be rubber tiles on the street south of New York; while there appear to be channels in the speed bump, it looks like a high bump that could easily upset a bike if the rider missed the channels for whatever reason. 

Photo courtesy of Ellen Steel

He reportedly was alone at the time of the crash, and died of head trauma this past Saturday. He’s described as a very experienced rider who had ridden across the US more than once.

Update: A comment from a local resident places the site of the crash as Holliston Avenue between Altadena Drive & Mendocino Avenue; a ghost bike has been placed at 2401 N. Holliston, one block above Mendocino. 

As he notes, these appear to be modern speed cushions, which are lower and longer than the old speed bumps, with grooves that should have allowed safe passage of a bicycle.

It’s hard to understand how these would have caused the crash, as Wood reportedly said. 

Meanwhile, another source says that he passed away on Saturday, May 6th.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dick Wood and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Carlos Morales, Wesley Reutimann, Tim Rutt and Ellen Steel for helping with this story.

Morning Links: Idaho Stop Law dead for this year, and 13-year old may have died due to misaligned handicap ramps

So much for that.

A California version of the Idaho Stop Law that would have allowed bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields is dead on arrival at the state legislature.

The bill’s sponsor, Big Bear Assembly Member Jay Obernolte, pulled AB 1103 off the docket following a harsh review at its first committee hearing on Monday in the face of opposition from the usual auto-centric suspects, who can’t seem to grasp that it only legalizes what most bike riders have done for decades.

And the sky hasn’t fallen yet.

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KCBS-2 reports classmates of Ciara Smith wore bright colors to school today to honor the 13-year old girl killed by a Metro bus in Redondo Beach on Friday.

At least one parent blames her death on misaligned crosswalks, which are a result of the single diagonal handicap ramp, rather than two separate ramps that would line up with the crosswalks. In order to turn or cross the street, her bike would have angled out into PCH, exposing her to traffic.

Fatally, in this case.

Which means the city could be ultimately responsible for placing a higher priority on reducing costs rather than improving safety.

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This year, the annual Ride of Silence to remember fallen cyclists falls right in the middle of next week’s Bike Week, between Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles and Thursday’s Bike to Work Day.

There will be two Los Angeles rides this year, the traditional Pasadena Ride of Silence beginning at the Rose Bowl, and a new North Hollywood ride sponsored by the LACBC beginning at the Metro station.

There will also be rides in Orange, Ventura and Riverside Counties, so you’re likely to find one near you.

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No doubt feeling the need to get a jump on LA, the Bay Area will celebrate its Bike to Work Day this Thursday, with 10,000 people expected to participate.

Meanwhile, OC will celebrate with Bike to School Day tomorrow, Bike to Work Day next Tuesday, and a Bike Rally next Thursday.

You can find a calendar of LA-area Bike Month events on the Metro website, while the LACBC offers their own very crowded Bike Month map.

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Still more in the ongoing CD1 saga.

LA Downtown News says Joe Bray-Ali has a chance in next week’s CD1 election, even if it’s a million-to-one.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman uses the Bray-Ali story to challenge bike and safety advocates to examine our own biases, saying the approaches and narratives of the Livable Streets community can silence voices on the margins.

And there’s something seriously wrong when the incumbent blocks the LA Times transportation writer on Twitter for no apparent reason.

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If you’ve been watching the Giro, you may have wondered about those black sticks under the rider’s seats.

The ex-winner of the 2005 Vuelta will get his title back, along with $794,000, after Spanish courts threw out his positive test for EPO.

Chris Froome’s high-speed tuck may not be aerodynamic as everyone thought.

Newcomers won the Redlands Bicycle Classic in a pair of upsets. And speaking of upsets, this RBC rider probably was when a drone sent him over the handlebars.

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Local

Metro’s long-delayed Hollywood Bike Hub is finally scheduled to open next Friday.

Streetsblog reports on Downey’s three-mile open streets event this past Sunday, while Rancho Cucamonga is hosting their own open streets even this Saturday.

 

State

Newport Beach will be conducting a pair of bike and pedestrian safety enforcement days on Wednesday the 17th and Monday the 22nd. By now you know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

San Diego is facing another lawsuit from a man injured while riding his bicycle on a broken sidewalk, just weeks after paying out $4.85 million to settle a similar case.

Oakland cuts the ribbon on the city’s first protected bike lane. Or rather, make that its first curb-protected lane.

Another Sacramento bike rider was bitten by a leashed dog on the American River Parkway, after a rider was bitten by a loose dog from a homeless encampment last week.

 

National

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Idaho man plans to ride 100 miles in a charity ride this Sunday; he didn’t take up riding until five years ago following a double knee replacement. Then again, I’d settle for being able to ride 80 miles when I’m 100.

A Denver bike cop will retire, less than a year after he finally was able to return to work following critical injuries when he was hit and dragged half a block by a driver who suffered a seizure.

Denver drivers are up in arms over a nine-second delay in travel times due to a new road diet and protected bike lanes on a major commuting corridor, as the city reprioritizes its transportation policies to make room for everyone. This should be required reading for everyone at LADOT, the city council and the mayor’s office.

No bias here. An Omaha NE bike rider gets the blame for crashing into a police cruiser whose driver apparently cut him off on the sidewalk.

The LAPD officers participating in the first Hollywood Memorial Ride to honor fallen officers have made it to Nashville TN.

A New York writer describes what it’s like to join 32,000 other riders in a one-day journey through all five of the city’s boroughs.

A Brooklyn judge has ruled that a bike-riding lawyer can proceed with his case against the city following a crash with a pedestrian on the Brooklyn Bridge.

A Louisiana driver is brought to justice by another bike-riding lawyer in the first application of the state’s anti-harassment law. Los Angeles has had an anti-harassment measure on the books for nearly six years, but I’m not sure if anyone has actually used it, let alone received a settlement.

 

International

No justice in the death of rising Canadian cyclist Ellen Watters, who was killed in a collision during a training ride last December.

A Toronto writer says Vision Zero won’t become reality because it’s written in a report, but only when it’s written in the streets.

British bike historian Carlton Reid uses Google Street View to rediscover the country’s lost and abandoned WWII era bike paths.

A writer for the Guardian comes to terms with the death of famed endurance cyclist Mike Hall, counting himself among the lucky ones to have been inspired by him.

The Philippines has a five point action plan to cut traffic deaths in half by 2020. Oddly, reducing driving rates isn’t one of them.

 

Finally…

The world may be coming to an end, but at least your bike has less bacteria than what passes for a bike at the local spin club. If you’re already high, carrying a controlled substance and riding the bike you just stole, maybe you should try obeying the damn traffic laws.

And who needs toilet plungers for a DIY protected bike lane when you’ve people?

 

Morning Links: The good, bad and ugly in SD, screaming AL truckers busted, and the future belongs to bikes

It’s shaping up to be a video Monday.

Let’s start with a clip from Frank Lehnerz, who offers a first-hand perspective on why San Diego bicyclists are frustrated that starts out good, but gets ugly fast.

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An Alabama father and son were arrested after turning themselves in for the screaming road rage assault on a charity cyclist that went viral last week.

Then there was this one from the UK, where a British van driver deliberately ran a bicyclist off the road. And was fired as soon as the video became public.

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The future is ours. A prominent disruptive technologies analyst says bicycles will eventually rule the roads, and cars will be the big losers.

And forget ebikes. Here’s what we’ll all be riding.

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Nice new ad from Go Human in honor of bike month.

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With just over a week left in the campaign, CD1 challenger Joe Bray-Ali has replaced both his campaign manager and communications director with professionals, taking the place of two people described as “essentially neighborhood volunteers.”

Speaking of Bray-Ali, Todd Munson forwards a mailer from incumbent Gil Cedillo that targets the bike-riding challenger directly.

 

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Former American pro Tyler Hamilton says there’s still doping in the pro peloton. Which should come as a shock to absolutely no one.

It was not a good day for Australia’s Rohan Dennis at the Giro; Geraint Thomas had the legs, but not the luck. Here’s Sunday’s spoiler-free standings.

The Sacramento Bee wants to know why women cyclists competing in the Amgen Tour of California make less money than men when they work just as hard. Why, indeed?

Make your TV watching plans for the AToC. Or be there in person when the race comes to the LA area for the last four stages.

BMC Racing General Manager Jim Ochowicz says fans will be surprised by the next generation of cycling talent coming from the US in the next few years; a new group of Canadian riders is on the rise, as well.

ESPN introduces the women of New York’s Red Hook Crit. And for a change, it’s not all glamour pics. Or any, for that matter.

New champions were crowned in the Redlands Bicycle Classic men’s and women’s crits.

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Before we move on, let’s throw in a quick sponsored post from our friends Jon Riddle and Sarah Amelar, Co-Authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles.

Don’t let National Bike Month slip by without adding Where to Bike Los Angeles to your cycling library. It’s by far the best riding guide for LA by far and you can pick it up during the ongoing one-month sale — this May only — for less than twenty bucks a copy directly from the authors’ Amazon store.

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Local

The LA Times says it’s time to give the Idaho Stop Law a try in California.

The LACBC is hosting a Bicycle Commuting Essentials workshop tonight at Just Ride LA in DTLA to help get you ready for next week’s Bike to Work Day.

Streetsblog checks out the new protected bike lanes on Monterey Road in Northeast LA.

A writer for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune rides the San Gabriel River Trail and encounters several homeless encampments on the way, including what looks like a bicycle chop shop.

A writer on Facebook says his mother tracked down her stolen bicycle in El Monte, but can’t get police to take it seriously.

 

State

Newport Beach considers a road diet on Bayside Drive to slow speeding drivers, after resistance to plans for a roundabout.

A San Diego city councilmember rides with 100 bicyclists through his Barrio Logan district, while promising money for bicycling.

San Bernardino County accepts a $200,000 SCAG grant to develop an Active Transportation Plan for the High Dessert’s Morongo Basin.

Why blame all those people in cars for causing traffic congestion, when a bike-riding Santa Cruz councilmember and his supporters make such convenient scapegoats?

A Sacramento bike rider was attacked by a pair of pit bulls from a homeless encampment along a riverfront bike path, suffering severe bite wounds on his legs.

 

National

Despite the failure of Seattle’s bikeshare program — largely blamed on the city’s mandatory bike helmet law — two dockless, app-based bikeshare companies have set their sights on the city.

Caught on video: If you’ve ever wondered how bike thieves go about their business, check out this Boise ID security video.

Bighearted members of an Iowa organization provided five special needs kids with adaptive bicycles.

Texas toddlers complete in a strider bike race around the streets of Fort Worth in the cutest story you’ll read today.

A Memphis cop has joined past and current officers from the LAPD on the first Hollywood Memorial Ride to honor fallen officers.

Several hundred New York riders take part in the annual Blessing of the Bicycles. LA’s Blessing of the Bicycles will take place at Good Samaritan Hospital a week from tomorrow.

New York riders says a perpetually clogged Williamsburg bike lane is a fatal crash waiting to happen.

Evidently, Aziz Ansari is one of us, riding his bicycle to promote an upcoming show at New York’s Paley Center. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Twenty-six riders stopped in Philadelphia on their way to DC on a 400-mile ride from Newton, Connecticut to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.

No surprise here. Bicyclists in Maryland oppose the release of the drunken, hit-and-run Baltimore bishop; if you live in Maryland, you’re urged to sign the petition to keep Heather Cook behind bars.

A Virginia writer says everything he knows about bicycling he learned from his father, and hopes to pass it on to his own kids one day.

Kindhearted cops in Georgia help 17 kids build their own bicycles donated by a food company.

 

International

In a study that should surprise absolutely no one, researchers conclude that the success of bikeshare programs depends on safe bicycling infrastructure.

Bike Radar offers six essential roadie skills, along with nine things you can do on a bike, but probably shouldn’t do off one.

Calgary police recover a stolen bicycle and return it to the owner 18 years after it was taken.

Despite support for cycling from Parliament, the UK’s Cyclist Magazine worries that cycling will get squeezed out of political party manifestos in the rush to the country’s new election.

A writer for the Guardian considers the lesson he learned from his dad about how to be a good father, courtesy of a used purple chopper bike.

Popular five-year old British bikewear maker Vulpine has gone belly-up.

An award-winning inventor in the UK has developed an incredible shrinking bike helmet designed to fit into a small pouch.

A five-year old girl will be tackling the full length of a 55-mile Welsh trail, along with her father and seven-year old brother. At that age, I was happy when my parents let me ride around the block. On the sidewalk.

Sad news from Spain, where a drunk and stoned driver — at 8:30 on Sunday morning — plowed into six members of a triathlon team on a training ride, killing two and seriously injuring three others.

Melbourne, Australia authorities clear a bike rider in the death of an elderly man who stepped in front of him as he rode in a bike lane.

 

Finally…

If you’re a convicted felon carrying a loaded handgun on your bike, don’t ride salmon. Unless headline is missing a comma, this could be the most popular bikeway in the state.

And the next time you’re struggling to make it up a hill, just &%$^! the #&O%! out of it.

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Thanks to Danila Oder for her generous donation to support BikinginLA, and help keep Southern California’s best bike news coming your way every day.

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And another post comes to  close, as the support staff has petered out after hard day fetching all the latest news.

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.

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